Positivity to Start off your Week

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Start your week right by using affirmations to get you where you want to go.

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Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

Taking Care of Yourself

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The hardest thing to do is to invest in taking care of yourself.  And, by investing I don’t mean just money, but time and effort.  As a mother, ever since I gave birth, the majority of my life has been spent in taking care of my children.  I remember having to have the babies in the bathroom with me when taking a shower, since my children seemed to need only small catnaps both day and night.  Therefore, I was usually passed out on what available surface there was during these teeny tiny little “naps” (notice the quotes).  So, as they grew, and got to be teenagers who loved to sleep, I began to sleep a little later.  But, I’ve since found out that anything over 5 or 6 hours makes me feel like throwing up, so I’ve gotten used to just getting up when I first wake up (instead of trying to go back to sleep) in order to work out.

That’s the first thing I do on a daily basis for myself.  Other than that, it’s mostly an effort.  I’ve just recently started getting my hair cut at a salon after going for 5 or 6 years without a haircut.  Who needs a haircut when you always wear your hair in a bun?  Every time my appointment comes around, I have to force myself to go.  The excuses are varied – it’s raining, there is snow, I don’t really have the money…  Seriously, it’s not expensive to get your hair cut every two months.  I’ve recently bought myself some face masks but using them again is an issue.  I seem to be looking for the “right” time to do so.

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Eating properly is another issue.  I buy lots of fruit every week but seem to think that if I eat an orange, there won’t be enough for someone (the mythical someone) else to enjoy.  Of course, there is plenty of fruit at the end of the week, but I still think that I can’t eat much of it.

Taking care of yourself is an important part of your health and your well-being.  What do you do on a daily/weekly basis to take care of yourself?  Do you find it difficult to make time for you?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Do You Love Animals?

 

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Most people love animals. Who doesn’t love their cats and dogs? But does that mean that you love all animals? Do you also love cows, calves, sheep, lambs, chickens, chicks, pigs and piglets, also? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you eat meat, eggs and dairy, you don’t love animals. I know, it’s a harsh statement, and I once “loved” animals, but I also ate them. Most of us who are plant-based were once just like you. We divorced ourselves from the reality of farmed animal’s lives. We lived with the blinkers firmly in place, and simply tried not to think about it. However, there is so much scientific evidence out there showing us how cruel the practice of raising animals to eat is, that we really morally can’t continue to do so.

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From animals who sing, to the fact that they form attachments with each other, our understanding of other animals continues to grow. The level of animal sentience is much higher than was thought, and the new evidence just continues to grow. I am including links below for your education on these topics. Please read, follow the links within this articles to the scientific studies, and think about your own choices. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

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https://www.alternet.org/food/new-online-calculator-lets-you-see-impact-your-meat-intake-animals-climate-and-your-health?akid=16743.302291.SXinIv&rd=1&src=newsletter1088934&t=8
https://www.care2.com/causes/5-animals-you-didnt-know-could-sing.html
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/after-researching-how-pigs-are-treated-their-meat-cambridge-professor-went-vegan-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=8
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/dog-cow-pig-world-sentience-there-no-difference-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=6
https://www.care2.com/causes/10-amazing-facts-about-animal-sentience.html

Life Changes

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There are as many ways to change your life as there are people. While one way will work for one person, it won’t work for another. Each of us is in charge of how our life goes, even when it doesn’t feel like that. Our reactions to what happens to us is often the only way we can change things. Each time something perceived as “bad” happens, we can control how we react. Just for an example, my sixty-year-old husband was laid off a few weeks ago. He could have decided that was it, and he wasn’t going to work anymore. That, of course would have been devastating, and we would have sunk into a mire of our own making. We owe a mortgage payment, a tractor payment, not to mention the usual utilities, etc. that go along with living. Instead he looked at where he was, and realized that being completely depressed wasn’t going to help. We needed to replace his phone, and laptop, since they were both company-owned. Which we did, immediately. Not so easy is replacing the company-owned truck, since our truck is a diesel-guzzling beast. However, we will be hopefully getting a certified pre-owned smaller truck with better gas-mileage soon. But, the best part of this was that because of the many contacts he has made over the years, he was hired with a new company within five days (including a weekend).

We were lucky. I know that we were lucky. Events turned out just right for us, and I know that they don’t turn out just right for everyone. My daughter graduated Magda Cum Laude from college in September and she is still looking for work. Luckily, she has her job creating content for a web-site that she’s had for a few years, but she would really like to find a full-time job. She looks, but the market is tough.

The big difference with this set-back was that we had an action plan, and I believe that action helped keep up my husband’s spirits. I didn’t let him sit around and be depressed. I helped him act in order to go forward. Sure, looking for a phone and laptop doesn’t sound like much, but it did keep him occupied. Having to find places to store all his tools, etc. that were in his truck also kept him busy. He went from working to sorting and storing, to planning and researching new phones and laptops. Action is necessary for change.

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The end note is this: no matter how much you want to change, you have to put that want into action. Action is what changes you. Nothing else. So, decide how you want to change, and ACT!

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Your Ship

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I love this quote because it reminds me (and I do need reminding) that what is going on outside of me does not have to be reflected inside of me.  There is chaos in the world, and there is a lot of anger and hurt and division right now.  However, I can do what I can in order to change that by writing about it and by sending letters and signing petitions.  But, if I want to live a life that is not full of stress and worry, I really need to put up boundaries and leave it all outside my mind.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that, and I longer I try to put the focus on what I can do, and what I can’t do the more peaceful I feel.  No amount of brooding I do is going to change others.  Focus on what you can do, change what you can, and make yourself the best you can be.  Yes, be active with what you can do for the outside world, but don’t make yourself crazy by letting that be your only focus.  You can’t change the world, but you can influence and change your life.  Work on that, and hopefully your change will ripple outward and touch the rest of your world.

Words of Wisdom – 12 Things to Remember

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I love these 12 statements.  All of them are true.  They apply to all of us.  If we were to read these every few days, think about them and put them into effect, our lives would be more efficient, happier, and more productive.

How much time do you spend worrying about yesterday, and/or other people’s opinions?  Do you let these things, that you can’t do anything about, ruin your today?  Or do you compare yourself to someone else?  Our lives are all different, we’re on different paths, and also different speeds.  What works for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you, and what works for you doesn’t for another person.

Most importantly, things change.  They don’t stay the same.  During difficult times this is a good thing to remember.  But, it’s also true of the good times.  Sometimes things just work, and sometimes they don’t – that’s life!

Are you too judgmental?  Remember, when you are negative and judging, it says much more about you than it does about the person you are judging.  Check your own behavior/habits before you judge another.

Overthinking (worrying) is something I excel at.  And yes, most of what I worry about doesn’t come to pass.  It also prevents me from accomplishing what I could be doing instead of overthinking things.  Be aware when you do this, and try to curtail it.  It doesn’t have any positive effect, and can lead to depression and anxiety.

Happiness doesn’t come from others, “things”, or “more”.  It comes from yourself.  This is one of the hardest things to remember.  Our society tells us from a young age that happiness can be bought, or found in another.  No, only you can make yourself happy!

Positivity comes from focusing on being positive.  Seriously, it’s that easy.  If you consciously reflect on the positive, it helps chase the negative away.  Which leads to the next thing on the list – sharing smiles.  Try to smile at other people.  The cashier, the mailman, the person next to you at work.  It doesn’t cost you a thing, and as science has proven, it makes you happier to simply smile.  Along with smiling, try being kind.  Ask others about themselves, be helpful.  Again, it doesn’t cost you anything, and leaves you with a positive feeling.

One of the hardest things to remember is that failure isn’t quitting.  If plan A doesn’t work, go to plan B.  Think of how long it took others to invent a new anything.  Think of all the failure that came before they finally got it right.  If they had quit, the steam engine, telescope, etc. etc. would never have been invented.  Failure is not quitting, stopping is quitting.  Don’t stop.

And, last, but not least, what you put out into the world comes back to you.  If you’re negative and judgmental, that’s what you’ll get back.  If you worry too much and don’t find happiness within you, you won’t be happy.  So, work on the positivity, the happiness, the kindness.  Focus on your goals.  Smile at others.  Your life will change for the better.