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Embracing change…

Most of us who have hit 40 and beyond have most times become hardwired in our ways that change does not come easy and is often worse than pulling teeth, however, if we fail to embrace change both internally and externally we will slowly decay, grow out of touch with times and very well become stubborn, doddering old coots. 

Some may say that after all, we are not going to live forever nor get out here alive – they do have a point – so why bother to keep up with change? There are boundless reasons why change is not only good for your body and soul, your mental health, your business – whatever that may be – and it may not only elongate your life but perhaps make your life more interesting and ‘you’ a less of a stubborn doddering old coot 😉 Change quote, Challenge, Life, Pushing Forward, Inspiration, My Thinking Corner

We know that change is constant and even when we don’t seek it, it is thrust on us that we are not left much choice; you either fight it to a bitter finish, or you embrace it with flourish. The choice is yours.

The many benefits derived from change range from:

Personal growth: you will learn new things, discover new insights and perspectives every time you experience some change. Sometimes the outcomes and lessons learned may not be your initial expectation and could be much better.

Improvements: No situation in our life improves by itself without making the necessary adjustments; be it our finances, health, job, relationship, home…We need to take those vital steps required to improve that circumstance that we are struggling with because without making the effort things will continue to stagnate.

Life values: Mere looking at the present conditions of our existence and how a pandemic has made most people reevaluate their lives and reinforce those important life values is an easy example. From time to time we need to assess our values.

Flexibility: Embracing change helps us adapt easily to new situations and even thrive whilst at it. We become far more supple.

Ripple effect: Making big changes in one swoop is extremely difficult, but taking those little steps of change surely lead to bigger ones and hopefully better results.

Strength: A lot of change comes with attendant challenges and overcoming them only makes us tougher.

Progress: Progress is the child of change. Your vehicle will most certainly not move forward when the gear is constantly in neutral. To get where you want to be, be prepared to change the gear and move forward.

Opportunities: Change brings opportunities – both expected and unexpected – and they could present you more fulfilment, happiness and growth. To illustrate, nearly two years ago I flipped my career pursuit and started a journey in the educational sector where I started out teaching French in a new school here in the UAE and within a short space of time, I was promoted to a head of the section. My initial goal was to keep my French sharp and not lose it the way I have lost speaking Spanish, here I am now, not knowing for sure where the ride is going but enjoying it and hoping to make the best of it all the way.

Exciting New beginnings: Change brings that much-desired excitement that we need in our lives. It puts a spring in your step when you close a chapter that should have been closed way back and open a new one that leads to greater things.

A more interesting life: What would life be when it becomes one monotonous, boring and uninteresting routine? As dull as dishwater. Resist that temptation to stick to predictability all the time and aim to initiate little self-evolving steps of change that will lead you where you need to be.

Enjoy the butterflies!

 

Pressing the reset button…

So far, it’s been a tremendously hard year all around the world for many. Our general sense of normalcy and everyday routines, that feeling of taking charge and being in control of our actions and surroundings – which are things we all took for granted, is at very low levels. The anxious have become more anxious, the depressed are more depressed, the lonely feel more isolated and the angry ones’ simply grew worse with their anger mingled with hatred.

Laughter seems far and few in between with frustration and financial crisis dogging many of us night and day. Emotions are all over the place these days and all it takes is spending a few minutes online to witness meltdowns, emotional combustions here and there, all decorated with colourful expletives.

Yet, there’s hope and there are many lessons to be learnt from this difficult experience and our focus shouldn’t stay hung up on all the stress that we have and possibly still experiencing at present. I have searched within me to see what I have felt, what I have seen and what I have learned. My thoughts are not coming out in any particular order, just a free flow of some of what is going on in my head at present without editing.

This situation has shown us that a virus can be a unifier because it doesn’t choose boundaries. It can affect anyone irrespective of background, race, religion, culture, financial status etc. Standing alone as individuals we are fragile, but as a community, we stand stronger, hence, since death is always over one’s left shoulder as is commonly said, we must remember our humanity and the importance of treating each person right especially in the face of our temporal existence.

Everything that you know can end today, ‘cos tomorrow is promised to no one, therefore, it is absolutely essential to focus on the right things and be fully present in every given moment. Value the preciousness of your existence as well as that of others.

Learn to enjoy your life and appreciate what you have. Just think about the fact that there are people out there with far less and possibly in more dire straits. Things may not be going as smoothly for you as they did many months back – know that this time too shall pass and these days which have been spent slowing down is not a waste of time. Our focus has shifted a lot more from material things to things that matter – the bare basic needs of life.

Don’t be reluctant to embrace those little things that will work miracles in you; don’t be afraid to live each day as you deserve and to help others when you can. If you are unable to be of help, the least you can do is not to spoil someone else’s day

If you didn’t do so well yesterday, PLEASE, don’t be afraid to press the reset button and start again today. Saying YES to a refresh is far better than going on a long trip down guilt lane.

Sometimes when life presses that pause button, it is simply asking us to slow down and to take a good look at ourselves. My hope is that these days has taught us to love, to care, to listen, to help and to respect others.

How are you doing? I hope that things haven’t been too rough?

What Will You Accomplish This Year?…

I took a second look at this blog that I started at the beginning of the year before COVID came to town, and I realized that some of the things I had wanted to achieve almost bordered on ‘being vain.’

I rewrite my list and wish as below…

  1. Staying Alive… that will be top of my list.
  2. Loving and showing more love to those around me.
  3. Being thankful and grateful for each day and the opportunities that I have.
  4. Staying in touch with loved ones near and far.
  5. Giving more of me – ‘cos there’s an ample lot of me to give 😉
  6. Quitting the complaining and worrying less.
  7. Staying hopeful that ‘all things will work out for my good’
  8. Focusing on the absolutely necessary
  9. Laughing a lot more than I am at present.
  10. Dancing a little each day.
  11. Applying the 2-minute rule in trying to get things done. (I will expand this further in another post).
  12. Eat healthier meals and savour every bite.
  13. Taking back charge of my blogging and writing.
  14. Keeping the right momentum with my studies and getting my homework done on time.
  15. Approach change and challenges with a positive mind.
  16. Stop letting the thoughts of financial struggle dominate every breath that I take.

I refuse to continue to mount pressure on myself and guilt trip myself over the failure to achieve all the high-achieving goals that I had on my previous list. It doesn’t mean that I am settling for less, rather I am pressing the ‘REFRESH’ button and allowing myself to exhale in order to inhale better.

See you around.

© Jacqueline

By the way, what was on your list?

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When the corpse is not ours…

In my place, it is commonly said that “when they carry the corpse of someone you don’t know, it simply seems like the pallbearers are carrying an old box.” To make the understanding clearer, when we are insulated and are not directly affected by wicked acts of fellow men, the outcomes of those actions barely cause us to pause and think.

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Until we all as humans recognize that everybody has a right to life whatever race or colour they may be, whatever religion they choose to believe in, whatever gender or sexual affiliation they lean to, whatever tongue they may speak in…

until we as humans realize that no one is superior to the other and that all men are created equal – men used figuratively in this sense…

until we humans understand that the migration of people has been happening from the beginning of time and whether we like it or not, mixing of races and change is inevitable…

until we as individuals begin to question our love for hatred, bigotry, division and discrimination, prejudice and intolerance…

until we start to hold the toes of our leaders to the fire and hold them accountable for their utterances and misbegotten directions…

until we lose the cloak of apathy that seems to have pervaded our minds and taken place in our hearts where empathy should be…

until we as individuals search our souls and ask ourselves if we are truly living and reflecting the goodness that we want to see in the world…

despicable and horrific occurrences like mass shooting will continue to gather momentum…

and who knows…

maybe one day, that old rickety box might very well become ours to bear.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, to buy some fresh things….

For several weeks now, I’ve been more adventurous with food and have been paying extra attention to eating generous portions of fresh fruits and veggies more than I possibly did last year and I must say that I see good results ‘cos my skin certainly feels clearer and my bowels happier 🙂

While foraging for my weeks’ supply, I ran into these luscious Riccio Fiorentino tomatoes in the organic section and was certainly attracted to them due to their deep red colour and their trademark ridges. I do love eating tomatoes and learnt to juice and eat them fresh like my daddy, however, I certainly balk at spending a king’s ransom on vegetables.

I thought I could just buy a kilo or two but was forced to drop them like hot potatoes when after it was weighed the cost of my 6 tomatoes was enough to buy me my entire basket of vegetables for the week.  I felt a bit disappointed and settled for my regular everyday tomatoes all the while thinking of the sweet, rich flavour of those beauties.

Am I the only one who feels that the prices of these organic products are most times irritatingly exorbitant and exaggerated?

Finding Fabulous Fulfillment For Yourself After Having A Little One

You aren’t afraid to admit that your entire life revolves around your new baby. You have lost all concepts of who you were before you had the little one and you don’t want it to affect your self-esteem in the long run. Being a new mom is full of challenges, so you need to keep in touch with the person you have always been, otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy. Whether you’re trying to impress your spouse by furthering your career or you just want to give yourself a little boost of confidence, there are so many ways to feel fulfilled without compromising the important things in life. Consider all of the following ideas and you will soon be able to find contentment amongst the hectic life of having a newborn.

Pursue Your Passions

You should never give up on pursuing your passions, even when you have had a child. Your career and studies might have to go on hold for a short period of time whilst you adjust to life with a little one, but there is nothing stopping you from achieving your goals eventually. You might want to start with taking an online course which will help you enhance your career one day. Whether it’s an MBA with engineering focus or a business management degree that will help you to start your own company one day, you will be able to find the ideal solution for you, without compromising on the important time with your new baby.

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Reconnect with Friends

When you have a child it is very easy to lose touch with people who were once very important to you. Reconnecting with your friends and maintaining those strong relationships is very important for your own sanity. You will regret ignoring your best friend for the first few years of your child’s life because one day you might really need to lean on them for support. Schedule regular catch ups with your close companions and you will never feel out of the loop or lonely.

Take Care of Yourself

Find little pockets of time throughout the day to give yourself that little bit of tender loving care. Whether it’s a hot bubble bath whilst the baby is sleeping or you meditate for half an hour first thing in the morning, there are so many ways to practise self-care. These small moments are precious and will help you to keep your sanity during a hectic day. A pamper session once a month will also help you to feel fabulous.

Find the Perfect Balance

Whatever your personal goals are, you should always strive for the perfect balance. You can do it all, whether you’re chasing a career whilst taking care of a baby or furthering your studies in between motherhood. Find an equilibrium that helps you to conquer all the elements that you love and you will always be content in your life.

Although your little one means the world to you, you must never forget about yourself and what you want to achieve in life. As long as you strike a balance between the two you will always be happy and comfortable with all of your decisions in life.

Boobs, Breasts and Bras…

Yes, you read the topic ‘boobs, breasts and bras,’ correctly. This is a little chit-chat about your bosom buddies and they are nothing to fear or dread. Being a woman, you can’t disassociate from parts of you that accentuate your femininity and if you’re like most women, you know your breasts intimately – their ups and downs, how they fit into your bras, the way they look in certain dresses, what they feel like at different times of the month and perhaps if you are getting on in age, the changes they go through as the law of gravity helps them head downhill.

Interestingly, it took me getting to the ripe old age of my 30’s to get comfortable with my gals, and I attribute our delay in getting to know each other well to two main things: frustrating bra shopping escapades and lack of better insight on how to find the right kind of bras for me.

As odd as it might sound, choosing the right bra for your shape and size isn’t always that easy, and sadly, most women find the experience to be such an ordeal that sometimes after scouring through dozens of bras, sweating, huffing and puffing in the changing room, you end up leaving the store with nothing at all, or sometimes you leave with a bra that’s entirely wrong for you, which I presume is worse.

For those of us who have been well endowed in the upper chambers of boobs department, finding comfortable, yet beautiful and efficient bras that help to support our buddies and boost their confidence is truly a path to wellness and peace of mind. I vividly recall my last months’ foray into a well-known top brand store that I shall keep a secret, every bra – even though they were meant to be my attributed size – left me thinking that I had supplementary breasts and by the end of the frustrating escapade I’m not sure who felt more pained between the attendant and me. The whole experience left me feeling like an elephant trying to wear fripperies and negligees and I couldn’t help venting a little on my Facebook update.

Following my little update, a friend sent me the image below which not only made me chuckle, but made me realize that the journey of the bras is a common denominator among women and with my tongue in my cheek, I dare ask, which illustration matches your predicament?

I have reached an age where I am no longer going to part with my money for flimsies that don’t uphold me no matter how pretty they look. In search of great, high quality bras with good support, I have abandoned those infernal underwire cups that most times leave you feeling pinched, caged in and out of breath. Let the truth be told, at a certain age, the law of gravity brings the perkiness of your boobs down by several notches and though you don’t want to look ridiculous trying to push your boobs up to the high heavens, you equally don’t want them dangling to your knees. What you want is the right upliftment of comfy, beautiful and supportive bras that will treat your bosom buddies right.

Quick Tips on How to Make Bra Shopping Less of a Pain

  • It pays to know your size. To find your bust size, measure around your ribs just under your breasts and measure around the fullest part of your breasts. Subtract the band measurement (ribs) from the bust measurement to get your cup size.
  • Make sure that your entire breasts are in the cup, not spilling over or to the sides.
  • Check that the straps are not digging into or sliding off your shoulders.
  • The centerpiece between the two cups should lay flat on your sternum.
  • The thicker the band, the more support you will get.
  • Be patient and have fun with it.

The Real Meaning Behind Working Hard

People all over the world will tell you that “working hard” is a piece of advice to take with a grain of salt. It’s not exactly clear why they think that (and sometimes they fail to understand it themselves) so let’s take a dive into the meaning of working hard and why everyone should do it – at least to a certain extent.

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Having Endurance

Hard work doesn’t just mean putting in a little effort to reach your goals. Hard work means enduring a journey of effort, pain and occasionally misfortune. It’s all about having that endurance to keep working hard throughout your life and never giving up.

It’s one of the most desirable qualities in people. Having that endurance to keep on working longer than others will put you at an advantage and ultimately make you more successful than others. If success is measured in the amount of time you put into something, then those with more endurance can ultimately last longer.

However, it doesn’t mean pushing yourself to a point where you physically collapse. There are some people that are perfectly capable of working long hours and putting in more effort, and it’s ultimately down to how much pleasure you get from putting in an extra effort and going the extra mile to see better results than people who are lazy and have put less time into their dreams.

You Define Hard Work

You’ll occasionally see hypocrites telling you that hard work is X or Y, and they’ll say that their definition of hard work is the be-all-end-all. However, you’ll find that they rarely ever meet their requirements of “hard work” and they’re just blowing steam.

Don’t listen to these types of people. You will define hard work by your own measurements. Some people consider it working themselves until they’re physically tired, while others consider it completing a task with plenty of time left to spare. Entrepreneurs might consider hard work to be making more profit than their projected numbers, and artists might consider hard work as being able to stay consistent.

Define hard work yourself–don’t let someone do it for you.

The Problem with Overworking

One of the reasons why people say that hard work is bad is due to overworking. If you find that you’re never given a break and that your employer is constantly pushing you, then this lawyer here can help you get a break before you injure yourself. The idea is to constantly try and push your limits so you can discover what you’re really capable of, but you should also keep in mind that you shouldn’t overwork yourself to the point you’re hurting your body and mind.

Hard work is important and it carries a different meaning from person to person. However, you need to remember to always take breaks and let yourself relax both physically and mentally. Hard work and success are long-term marathons that take endurance, not sprints that are over in a few seconds!

This is a collaborative post.

The Power of ‘I AM.’

I AM. The two most powerful words in your life and without exaggerating, in the Universe. Have you ever taken the time to ponder over these two small words ‘I AM’ and the power entrenched in them?

Going deeper than the simple understanding of the power of ‘I AM,’ do you consciously recognize those subconscious “I am” statements that you make about yourself? On a daily basis, what do YOU think of YOURSELF? What thoughts of you do you accept?

Naturally, we are our own worst critics as well as the co-creators of our lives. We have been given this free will and immense power to decide who we are and who we want to become. The sad truth, however, is that most of us lack sufficient positive belief in ourselves and we expend our energy picking ourselves apart rather than building ourselves and this is in addition to external beliefs that we have internalized based on third-party thoughts and influence.

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We all have the power of choice and no matter how late you wake up to this knowledge, knowing this and accepting this power, we can start taking the necessary steps to break the cycle of self-limiting beliefs that surreptitiously takes hold of our lives.

An important factor in the lives of individuals who have broken their chains of limitation to rise up and achieve their goals is their recurrent positive attitude and strong “I am” affirmations. Belief + Action = Results. The journey of transformation always starts from within.

When you consciously begin to utilize the power of “I AM” statements, believe me, your life will transform. This is not a probability that works only for some people. It will work for you when you WORK AT IT!  It’s all a matter of consistency. You have to make it a daily habit to affirm yourself in a positive way. Once you make this a conscious habit, after some time, it becomes an unconscious habit – you have re-trained your brain to accept better, more positive beliefs about who you are.

Make it a goal to dig deeper, soul search and find those negative, defining and debilitating words that you hold over yourself. These words don’t serve you well and your goal is to transform them. These negative words steal into your psyche and as you believe them, they become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We all have been blessed with unlimited power and creativity and our inner spirit knows this. Your “I am” statements affirm the truth of your nature. When you say ‘I AM JOY or I AM AT PEACE,’ life provides you with the means to find inner joy and peace. Replace your I WANT’S with I AM and start to embody the power of who you truly are.

You get to choose what to think about yourself.