Adding Positivity to My Life

Robert Louis Stevenson Quote

The past few days were a little difficult.  Unfortunately  I live with two people who can often be quite negative.  I do try my best to let the negative energy “roll off my back” so to speak, but it can be pretty hard when the comments come at me “fast and furious”.  I just wanted to post some positive quotes today as a way to help myself and maybe some of you, too.

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I hope they help, because being positive is always preferable to being negative!

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My Joy

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This past week had some really joyful aspects to it. Although I know that I can be child-like as far as finding true joy (sunsets, animals), I am really glad that I haven’t ever placed joy in material things. Blowing bubbles has always been a go-to in fighting depression, sadness or even despair.

Some of the things that made me joyful this past week are:

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Walking the Air Line Trail – my daughter and I decided that one of our joint resolutions this year would be to hike and walk more. Our first excursion was walking the Air Line Trail (a walk-way that was made by paving over a train-track) that is next to a small plane airfield. We walked the trail on Sunday morning, and it was windy but wonderful. Next week we plan to walk on one of the trails that goes through the woods.

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Lucy – I watched the movie Lucy and must say that it was much different than I thought it would be. I really liked it, since the focus was on the brain, how little brain capacity we actually use, and the theories of what would happen if we used more of it. I’m still thinking about it, and as far as I’m concerned that’s what a good movie should do for you.

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Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix – Veganized – The first day that I was supposed to make this soup for dinner, I completely forgot that I had to soak the beans overnight. However, it was so good the next day that I know I’ve got to buy another bag as soon as I can. I used the recipe on the back except for the non-vegan parts. I veganized it by adding 2 cups each of carrots and celery, 2 potatoes and 2 onions. I also threw in about a tablespoon of Chia seeds. Then I added a bunch of different spices, including basil, cumin, rosemary, thyme, oregano, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Yum!

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Book – I got the first chapter written for the book that I’m writing for a young friend of mine. And, I even illustrated it, with much help from my much more artistic daughter, and was able to give it to him. I felt so creative!

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Bluebirds of Happiness – Even though it’s still February, I’ve spotted two pairs of Bluebirds.  I love these birds since they are so beautiful – they are also rumored to bring happiness to those who see them.

So yes, it’s been a joy-filled week.

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Learning About Our Country

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While I don’t really want to be political, I do want to encourage all of you to read Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer. I am recommending this book to all, since it is so important for all Americans to understand how democracy has been undermined in our country.

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I read this book last week, and I also battled depression from it. It’s not an “easy” read; however, it is an important one. I also took seventeen pages of notes while reading. This process helped me keep track of all the various corporations, think tanks and non-profits that have been paid for by the extremely wealthy in order to keep themselves extremely wealthy.

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Since this is an election year, I wanted to make sure as many people read this book as is possible. Once you read it, I hope that you end up with a better understanding of what has been going on in our country for the last 25 years. I also plan on writing a series of posts regarding this issue beginning next week. Just remember as you read the book that Jane Mayer has pages in the back of the book footnoting her facts. Also, she has not been sued for defamation, slander or libel.
Please read, comment and let me know what you think.

The Importance of Goals

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Goals are so important if we want to live the kind of life that we want. Personally, I don’t know anyone who is so completely thrilled with their lives that they don’t have some sort of goal that they want to work to attain. The problem is what happens between the dream of a better life, and the reality. It’s so easy to dream, and so hard to do.

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That’s why I really feel that writing your goals down – even the huge ones, is the first step in the process of getting what you want. Some dreams will never come true; they should remain nice fantasies (like the one where I magically grow 5 inches taller – 3 would do, too); but others are completely attainable if only we give them space to breathe and grow.

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Write those goals down, figure out ways to attain them and do the steps you come up with. Reading affirmation and motivational quotes can help, too. Believe in your abilities. Don’t listen to the “Negative Nancy’s” who only want to bring you down. Find positive people and listen to them. If you can’t find any positive people in your life, then go on the internet and find them there. Read books written by motivational speakers; watch the speeches. Be your own best friend. Believe in yourself; and if you’re not quite there yet, create your own affirmations and say them to yourself over and over again during the day. And most importantly of all, never give up!

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What is Oil Pulling?

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There has been some talk about how unsafe toothpaste can be. I like to use Arm & Hammer toothpaste, since I know that one of the best things you can use to clean your teeth is baking soda. If you’ve ever tried using baking soda, you know that it can be a less than happy experience. Also, you aren’t supposed to use straight baking soda on a daily basis. I do like the benefits since it does get rid of any tartar build up you might have. I use a toothpaste that’s a combination of baking soda and peroxide. I like it, and feel that it works great for me. That being said, there are other ways of keeping the inside of your mouth healthy and one of them is called oil pulling.

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Oil pulling consists of putting about a teaspoon full of oil (usually coconut) in your mouth, swishing it around and pushing it between your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes, and then spitting the oil out. This is a very old practice, and according to various studies actually works.
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling

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This process is really beneficial to your health as it helps prevent gingivitis, plaque and bad breath. Also, if you chose to use coconut oil the lauric acid which it contains helps to prevent cavities. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/picture-of-the-teeth
I’ve always been a fanatic about my teeth. Because I brush my teeth too hard, I use a child-size soft toothbrush. I will also brush my teeth for quite a while. I got my first cavity at the age of 30 and have never gotten over it. I hate to go to the Dentist and actually sweat and shake while in the chair. If I were to have nightmares over anyone in the medical profession, it would be Dentists.

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Here is another article regarding oil pulling from a dental point of view. Please note that it says that oil pulling should not replace visits to the dentist or brushing your teeth. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/03/how-dental-professionals-can-respond-to-oil-pulling-patients.html

If you haven’t tried this process, I would suggest that you only do it for about five minutes to start, (20 is so long) and you can add to the time as you go. If you feel that your teeth and mouth are cleaner, just keep it up. However, never swallow the oil. Always spit it out! You only need to do this once a day. Let me know how it works for you.

Women and Voting

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This election season has been a strange time. Gloria Steinman and Madeleine Albright are so busy supporting Hillary Clinton that they’ve decided that all woman must support her also. Because, well you know, she’s a woman! Never you mind if you don’t like some of the things that she’s done or said, or who she appears to be “in bed” with. You don’t like the fact that she’s supported by Wall Street? That she’s taken tons of money from them? That’s okay…she’s a woman, and as a woman, it’s your duty to support her! And, if you don’t, you are turning your back on women…all of women-kind. After all, what did we get the vote for, if not to simply support other women; your own opinions and beliefs be damned!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gloria-steinem-bernie-sanders_us_56b63c95e4b04f9b57d9d69a

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/us/politics/gloria-steinem-madeleine-albright-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders.html?_r=2

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Do I sound a little upset? Yes. Just because some women feel that Hillary is not in their corner; is not going to support health care for all; equality for all; reigning in the huge banks; taxing the super-rich; they are just supposed to forget all they know of Hillary and support her anyway. And, if they don’t they should be prepared to be lectured to, told how they’re only supporting Bernie because the boys are; and, to top it off, to not support Hillary is to be anti-feminist.

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I thought that the definition of feminism was “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

Nowhere in that definition does it say that we are obligated to support any female candidate simply because she’s a woman (in that case, where is the obligation to support Carly Fiornia?); or for that matter any woman simply because she’s a woman. As women do we not have the right to weigh our own options and decide for ourselves? Is that not what the Suffragettes were fighting for? The ability to decide our own fates?

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I have always admired Gloria Steinman and Madeleine Albright. They are incredibly intelligent women who have worked for equality in our culture. However, I do not believe that gives them the right to lecture and rebuke other women for choosing a candidate that speaks to their beliefs and hopes and dreams for this country and themselves. What do you think?

Do Emotions Make Us Sick?

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This is an interesting question. It is a well-known fact that consistent stress can and will make you sick. Everything from weight gain to heart attacks can be blamed on long-term, consistent stress. However, can other emotions also make you sick? A study by Dr. Gabor Mate shows that bottling up emotions can and do make you ill later in life. As children we learn what acceptable emotional behavior is, and what is not. Once learned we tend to continue with our emotional life in the same way as adults. This is when we can become ill.   http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/how-your-emotions-could-be-making-you-sick?akid=13953.302291.wv-Yl7&rd=1&src=newsletter1050268&t=8

 

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Stress releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. If the emotions, anger or fear are not dealt with, the body retains these hormones and they in turn can stop digestion and suppress our immune systems, leaving us susceptible to illness.

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Dr. Mate talks about how our society’s mores against “taking time off” and “self-care” can add to the problems. We also are pushed to be successful and to remain successful through hard and unrelenting work. Isn’t it true that one of the first questions you are asked upon meeting someone is “What do you do?” If your answer doesn’t make you sound successful that person may no longer be interested in learning anything more about you.

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As someone who has learned to suppress both anger and fear, I agree with Dr. Mate and his conclusions. There is more to life than pushing ourselves, and there should be nothing wrong with a little self-care. A calm and relaxing bubble bath sounds really good right about now. How about you?