Would you like a kiss?

Today’s affirmation:

Today I give from the heart.

My insomnia is back. Truth be told, it never really left. Sleep, when I do get it, is not very restful so I’ve been feeling rundown a lot lately. As a result, my morning routine is rushed and I’ve been finding that I forget to say my affirmation before I even leave my bed. All that to say, I forgot to start my day with an affirmation and it may be just in my head, but I’m finding that my thoughts feel scattered and unfocused when I don’t do the affirmation first thing. It’s a struggle to remember it during the course of the day.

Today is one of those scattered thoughts days. It’s a struggle to focus at work, far less to be mindful of giving.

We have a tradition at the office, if someone goes on vacation, when they return they usually bring chocolates to share with everyone. A co-worker and friend had just returned from vacay and brought Hershey’s Kisses for everyone. At first I thought it might have been just a three or four, but when I got my “package” it was a quite a lot…enough to share.Thank you tradition.

Disclaimer: stop reading now if you don’t want to read the puns.

Was this a test God? I’ve been faithful to my lifestyle change and not given in to the demands of my sweet tooth. Then, bam! You send me an envelope full of little chocolate kisses. I mean, seriously, you can’t have just one kiss…right?!

To save myself the grief of the scale on Monday, I was gonna have to share these kisses around. A kiss for everyone I meet until I have none left. Tough work, but I can smile and give ‘em.

Of course, my opening was, “hey, would you like a kiss?” BIG SMILE. Hand over Hershey’s Kiss. “There you go.” HUGE SMILE.

I feel like a rock star because I realised two things doing this: 1. everyone wants a kiss and 2. people are greedy. Most fun I’ve had on this journey yet.

Red or Blue?

Is it just me? Or does it appear as if the majority of the populace has been on a steady diet of the blue pill lately? It must be that most of the population exists in this Matrix that Jack built. That is the only explanation I can find for this pervading “sleep” that has created a lull over the nation.

How else could one describe this “blissful ignorance of illusion” that causes the population to not question why Jack’s greatest achievement on his “war” on crime as National Security Minister to date, is be clear that “private companies who shall remain private” paid for Shaq’s $10 million-dollar visit. Or is that the sleep so sweet, we forgot all about the spectacle of our PM being lifted high in the air to dunk a basketball? 35 murders later, all we can get from our Jack is a “I didn’t kill them…” and a promise for a crime plan long overdue, in another 4 months.

It must be that people are sleeping, because the nightmare continues. Our PM has been conspicuously mum on this and other major issues, not even to blame PNM incompetence and corruption. The once vocal business leaders in Port of Spain, must be rolling over in their comfy beds, sucking their thumbs while they nap because we have heard nothing from them on this latest surge in crime. And as for the PNM providing a glitch in this matrix, not happening, as they too seem to be snoozing.

When you have a National Security Minister claiming that he doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “abuse of power” while he personally escorts a demolition crew to violently oust protestors and no one bats an eye, you know is level Ambien people swallowing. In this dream state, it seems many people cannot tell the difference between right and wrong anymore. Happy tidings for our wide awake criminal elements.

You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. – Morpheus, The Matrix

This rabbit hole, so far, has been one long nasty fall with no bottom in sight yet.

baby steps

Today’s affirmation:

Today I give with creativity.

I think I really need to stop being surprised by the Universe or be more open to the fact that each moment in everyday is an opportunity to choose to let Love in or not. Moment to moment either we Love or we don’t.

As I was leaving home for work this morning, I said very tongue in cheek and out loud, ok Universe, I need your help today. I really want to give creatively. You gotta help me out.

Just as I locked the gate and stepped into the street there was a taxi passing and the driver indicated that he was going my way. Getting in, took some manoeuvering, because I had my handbag, gym bag and travel mug. I hit snooze a few times this morning, which made me late so I had to have my morning smoothie to go.

The driver enquired about all the bags I had with me and if I went to a gym? I said yes and that was all the encouragement he needed. We talked the entire trip. He shared with me some of his history, that diabetes and hypertension runs in his family and he had major surgery a few years ago and because of that he had to leave his 8-4 job, change his lifestyle, start eating clean and exercising more. After getting in one mention about my own lifestyle change and green smoothie, I was content to listen with the murmured uh huhs here and there, learning and soaking up all he had to say.

As we approached the taxi stand, he said that he would drive down to my building since I had all those bags and the mug. I was so grateful, because I was late and getting dropped off at my building would shave off precious minutes. He then asked, why type of milk I used in my smoothie…just the opening I needed to expound about how I use yogurt instead of milk and it’s a very simple and customizable recipe that he should try.

He said to me, that “it’s good to share the good things with others”. I thought it was so poignant and true. Usually, I use my morning commute time to check email, reply to messages and read my daily inspirations, ignoring everyone and everything around me. Today, however, I never looked at my phone once. Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed this random yet insightful conversation about eating better and exercising a little more.

My one regret was that I didn’t get his name but that’s the way this morning was supposed to go. Of course I was happy to not have to walk the four blocks from the taxi stand to my building in high heels. I was extremely thrilled for the opportunity to share a bit about my green smoothie which I love so much. But it was only upon reflection about what happened this morning I understood that being present and open was the gift for today.

This 29-Gift journey is teaching me everyday, to stop and savour the moment. I have to be present to the present to recognize the opportunities to give and to be open to the gifts given to me. Of course all this wisdom came right after I snapped at friend who was only trying to compliment me last night. Sometimes, this journey can really feel like it’s a one step forward, two-steps back dance. But each baby step forward, gets me closer to the authentic me who is better equipped to deal with the eventual two steps back.

You are blocking Love when you don’t let people give to you. Open up and let it in. – Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love.

…and I will add to those words, the more Love you let in, the more Love you will have to give, especially when you enlist help from the Universe.

Today’s affirmation:

Today I give with joy.

My affirmation today, felt like a lie because joy was the last thing I was feeling. My lessons in forgiveness, are far from over. Since Saturday, I have had something weighing on my mind. I managed til now to convince myself that it wasnt that big of a deal. Boy was I wrong.

Have you ever had a phone call to make, but the more time passes, the easier it gets not to make it? You rationalise why you don’t have to make it, yet you feel guilty because the time that elapses only makes the situation worse? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of business?

I had such a phone call to make. I had to call and apologize and ask for forgiveness. I was afraid to make the call and my inaction was frustrating me. If I am to live my truth and walk in light always, then I should be able to make this phone call. I should be able to feel the fear and do it anyway.

I truly felt ashamed that I wasnt able to deliver on a promise and I didn’t have the cojones to make amends. I was plagued by thoughts about what my friend must think of me now that I didn’t live up to expectations. How do I feel about myself? My integrity is now in question. What if my friend is so upset, she doesn’t even want to speak to me? And if she does hang-up on me, I deserved it didn’t I?

The more I tried not to think about it, the more I felt bad about it. I was beginning to feel like a fraud, here I am on this 29-Gift journey, trying to give of myself to others and I couldn’t even do this one thing. This thing that needed to be done. I finally picked up the phone tonight and dialed. No answer.

The coward in me rejoiced. Oh sweet relief! Now I can say, hey, I tried to call, but there was no answer. See, I made an effort, albeit a half-hearted one.

I managed to convince myself that this was ok…until I got home from work. As soon as I was alone with my thoughts, I decided I couldn’t come here and talk about light and love and there was this “love thing” I was avoiding doing. I simply had to Spartan-up and call again, whatever the consequences. Feeling bad about it and not doing anything, was not going to help me or my friend. So I called.

We spoke. Though she felt disappointed, she accepted my apology. I still feel terrible about the whole situation but I am very glad that I faced my ego and made the call. An apology is like a mirror. When it’s sincere, it is an admission to self that you are human, that you are flawed, you make mistakes, sometimes you disappoint people and yourself. Give yourself and the people in your life the permission to be human.

Today’s affirmation:

Today I simply give.

I got up today, filled with doubt. Doubts about this path and where I’m headed consumed me. I couldn’t even get creative about my affirmation. I didn’t mention before but there is one caveat for the 29 Days of giving which is, if you miss a day, you should start again from Day 1. By 4 p.m. I was feeling like I may have to start Day 1 again tomorrow. I had absolutely no clue about what the day’s gift was going to be. Starting over felt like a defeat somehow.

As I was wrapping up to leave the office, my friend Lucy invited my sister and I to join her for dinner. On the way to her spot, I thought to myself, how can I give a gift in this situation? But by the time I got there, I vowed to myself that today’s gift will happen naturally and that I should just enjoy the girl-time for what it was.

Lucy loves avocados as much as I do and so our dinner was going to be an avocado salad. Yes, my love affair with avocados continues. Below is a list of the ingredients we used for what turned out to be one of the yummiest salads I’ve ever had. It is light, easy to make and absolutely “customisable”

Avocado & Feta Salad

You will need:
2 ripe avocados
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 green sweet peppers, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 apples, chopped
2 cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup chives, chopped
½ cup of crumbled feta
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 lime

For dressing:
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil


Directions:

Cut avocados in half and remove pits, dice and add to salad bowl.
Add lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, sweet peppers and chives.
Toss and chill.

Combine all ingredients for dressing, whisk briskly.

When you’re ready to serve: top with apples, feta and walnuts.

Drizzle with dressing.

This made about 5 servings.

Salad Tip: Put some lime juice on the chopped apples, this will keep it from getting brown.

Today’s gift? I did the dishes and cleaned up after our dinner!