I often hear people say “life is short”…well, it actually isn’t that short. It is literally the longest thing you can ever do. So, wouldn’t it be nice if the longest thing you ever did was the most pleasant thing you ever did? Of course. However, life is a mysterious road which, if we are lucky, is filled with more good mysteries to uncover than bad ones. No matter what, though, our life depends on us. Our attitudes, choices, decisions, actions, & thoughts. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are in control, and though there are times we really aren’t, most of the time we can at least control our reactions. Training thoughts, attitudes, and reactions takes practice, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. I’m still working on that myself. While we are on the topic of life, I would like to share with you the ways which I have found to enrich my life – and by no means does it make me an expert on this, but perhaps you will find it to be a pleasant read (or maybe even inspiring). So here are some of the ways I enrich my life:
- Be a human sparkle. That doesn’t mean to be excessively vivacious or obnoxiously flamboyant. I mean that you shouldn’t restrain yourself from being bright and cheerful. Radiate positivity. Smile often. Be grateful. If you are in a poor mood, try making your significant other laugh – that will likely take the edge off your mood (plus it’s so uplifting to see your sweetheart smiling).
- Learn to value yourself. You are given one life, one chance to be you, one opportunity (with a million little ones sprinkled about) to make your life truly yours. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, don’t compete with the rest of the world. There is no such thing as perfect people, there is no such thing as flawless. Embrace everything about yourself- work on becoming the best version of your own unique self. As Dr. Seuss put it: “Today you are you, that’s truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you”. Through all of this though, stay humble.
- Take care of your mind. Keep your mind pure. Do not let thoughts corrupted by fears control you. Do not let anger and resentment consume you. Do not overthink/over analyze or brood. Do not evade communication or difficult conversations with those you love; express yourself in a kind, gentle, and sensitive manner. Quiet your mind through meditation, journal writing, going for a walk, or other methods which suit you best. Direct emotions & thoughts instead of letting them direct you; instead of reacting instantly, take a moment to reflect on and understand what the situation is. Often times our emotions do cloud the reality of a situation…it’s not wrong to feel the emotions, it’s just better to pause and take a moment before reacting. Let your thoughts and emotions flow like the river – accept their path, appreciate their significance, learn, grow, and let the “waters” of the mind flow peacefully.
- Believe. There may not be magic in the sense that we imagined it when we were kids, but there really is magic around us. There is a sense of magic in love, in a plate of delicious food, in the waves of the ocean, and even in a headbutt from your cat. Believe in the good; believe that everything will be okay and that all things will end up as they are meant to.
- Show your loved ones how much you care. We are all busy, but we all make time for what matters most to us. Take the time to show the people (or person) you love most just how much you appreciate them and care for them. It will not only enrich your life, but it will also enrich theirs.
- Take a Moment. Whether you are having your morning tea/coffee, reading a textbook, doing laundry, or eating dinner – take a moment. Even if it’s just a second, take that second to acknowledge the present. You don’t need to think about it for any prolonged period of time, nor give the moment any mental energy…all I suggest you do is just let the mind register it. We all seem to either be stuck in the past or living in the future, taking a second to register your present can help alleviate some stress.
- Celebrate your victories – even the tiny ones. I found that when I do this, I feel so much better. I mean it; be proud of yourself for all the things you accomplish, even if they seem trivial. Say you have never made a fancy dish before, and tonight you pick up a cookbook and cook something you’ve never even considered before. Be happy, be proud! It doesn’t have to be perfect, the fact that you did it is a cause to say ‘good job, self’. Do so in everything and watch how much further you go.
To end this post, I want to share a recipe with you which makes the best apple pancakes:
- 1 egg
- 1 cup shredded tart apple
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- Honey and berries/fruit for serving
- In a big mixing bowl, combine the egg, butter, milk, vanilla extract, and apple. Mix until well combined. In a second mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Give the dry ingredients a quick mix so that everything is blended together. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a little at a time and making sure to mix well between each addition.
- Heat an oiled frying pan on medium heat. Use a small ladle or tablespoon to scoop the batter onto the pan. Cook until browned on both sides.
- Serve immediately with some fruit/berries and honey.
This recipe is great for a weekend breakfast treat, plus it’s pretty simple and quick to make.
Have a wonderful week, everyone!