Living, Laughing, and Recognizing Change

The past few days have been rather interesting for me. Not because I have had this terrible cold, or that I have been house sitting; rather, I have been in a gradual process of self-realization. Do you ever find yourself doing something completely random, and then you have a sudden spark of realization about something that has nothing to do with what you are currently doing?

This weekend, I encountered a few moments like this. I haven’t had this type of self-realization in quite some time. My self realization was one that pushed me, challenged me, and eventually made me question many things in my existence. It was one of those “Oh, wow, so that’s why I.. and this is what I need to do if I want to..” moments.

I find these to be, honestly, quite terrifying; we all fear change to some extent. Some change comes naturally, but most change comes through some sort of self-resistance. We resist because we get used to certain routines, certain attachments, certain ways of life. Being able to see past these, and MAKE yourself move past these things, is quite difficult.

Let’s take someone who is addicted to alcohol, for example. Many alcoholics go their entire lives without ever changing their ways. They might recognize that the direction they are going is not the one that  best suits their needs, or their health, but they continue to run themselves dry until there is nothing left; that is, unless they accept their ailment, and know in their soul that change is not easy, but it is the only choice.

Anyways, my realization? This weekend I realized the things that I need to do to move past my ailments, and I accepted that it will not be easy, though I am indeed up, capable and accepting of the challenge.

A Lesson on Life

I am realizing more and more throughout my readings and my day-to-day experience that there is only one goal in life: Happiness. That is essentially all people strive to achieve; whether it be through money, through their lifestyle, through their marriage, through their kids, through their job, through their belongings, through their diet… (the list goes on and on), but the only reason we do the things we do is because we think that they will bring us some sort of ephemeral happiness. 

I am learning more and more, as I get older, about what things I look for happiness in. I am happy when I am at work, I am happy when I am outdoors and/or getting enough exercise, I am happy when I find a new recipe that I like, I am happy when I make a new friend, I am happy when I feel good, and I feel happy when I feel like my relationships are in good standing.  Most importantly, I am happy when I feel happy.

Sounds simple, no? Well, it’s not. These things are so easy to SAY, but so hard to DO. Why is this? I have come to the conclusion that happiness is only a result of successive failures; that is, when I fail enough times, that success feels so.damn.good. I think that is true for all humans; If life were full of successes, how would we ever learn? Would we be truly happy? One thing would be sure, we would be stuck in our own way without any will to change. That in itself is a scary thought.

I have been finding this in my day to day experiences lately; that is, I have been finding that there are many things in my life that Don’t make me happy; things that I dread: Bills, Car repairs, getting sick, losing touch, loneliness, days where I don’t exercise, gaining weight.. (the list also goes on). I think, oddly, that I couldn’t be happy without these things in my life. They bring everything into perspective. One can only reach happiness within their own perspective. We NEED the things we dislike in order to find the things we like, which in turns bring happiness.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of things we don’t need at all. But, we have to remember that we have a choice in EVERYTHING. It is what choices we make today that will bring us happiness TODAY. It is the choices we make tomorrow that will bring us happiness tomorrow. It is the things we decide not to keep in our lives that will change our perspective forever.

Happiness is perspective. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to say goodbye to the things that drag you down. 

 

 

The Moral of the Donkey and the Farmer

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is like this. The dirt will always come it you, in one form or another. There will always be someone who doesn’t believe in you; doesn’t believe you are worth the effort. It is up to you as an individual to prove yourself during the course of your existence. Show yourself that you DO have faith, and DO know how to escape these ‘wells’ of life. Take that dirt and use it as your stepping stones.

Only YOU can make the best of any situation!

Carob Banana Oatmeal Gluten Free No Sugar Added

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Gluten Free, No Sugar Added Carob Banana Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups rolled oats (not quick or instant)
½ cup of Peanut Butter or Peanut Butter Powder (If using peanut butter, do not add Earth Balance)
3 Tablespoons of Rice Protein
3 tablespoons cinnamon or 2tbsp Cinnamon and 1tbsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice (Trader Joe’s)
1 Cup of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 Cup of Garbanzo Bean Flour
½ Cup of Carob Bean Powder
3/4 – 1 Cup of Almond Butter
1 ½ cups raisins
5 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter, or liquid oil (I used Earth Balance)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* You can get a large package of this flour at Whole Foods for about $3.50

 

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners, or grease well.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the peeled bananas. Stir the egg in thoroughly, then add the oil or melted butter and vanilla and mix. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir together until well incorporated. If the mixture seems dry, add water or other liquid by the tablespoonful until it seems right.
  • Scoop batter onto cookie sheets in two-tablespoon mounds. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Makes about 24 cookies (medium sized)