Part Deux

We got so wrapped up in our family holiday that very few pictures were taken. (I love/hate when that happens.) And the ones that were taken weren’t amazing. But. Never fear.  We had our Thanksgiving ReMix last night and it was delicious.

I made some fresh turkey gravy with onions, celery and fresh herbs and put the turkey breast in to heat gently. We had brussels sprouts and red potatoes that didn’t get made on the actual day that got their turn to shine. Brussels sprouts with bacon and a few cherry tomatoes and the red potatoes got a bath in milk, butter and rosemary. Delish. I wanted to make some fresh rolls but didn’t have the energy. Ha! That’s because I’ve already had enough rolls… (although Dionne is off work today and I can hear her in the kitchen making bread… I’m smelling cilantro, yum.)

Turkey Day ReMix

Turkey Day ReMix

So that was dinner last night and lunch again today. We ate all of the brussels sprouts last night so we did have to make more rolls for lunch. I mean, there they were just waiting to have butter melted in them. What would you have done?

The next and final stop for this fabulous turkey from Richardson’s Farm will be a yummy turkey pot pie.

Oh, and did I mention Dionne made bread?

Fresh Baked Bread

Cilantro, Dill & Green Onion Cottage Cheese Bread

Giving Thanks

What a wonderful holiday, Thanksgiving. I hope you all had fantastic meals and good quality time with the people that mean the most to you.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. This holiday isn’t about spending money and buying a bunch of gifts, it is about appreciating and enjoying what you already have. Spending time in the presence of the family and friends that make our lives beautiful.

Dionne, Al, Joycie Bear & Crystal

Dionne, Al, Joycie Bear & Crystal – That sun is bright!

This Thanksgiving, as with most, I cooked for my Grandparents – Joycie Bear & Al, my mom, my sister Johanna, partner Dionne and my son, Quentin. We had a local organic meal this year using veggies from my Greenling local basket, and a free range turkey from Richardson Farms (which I ordered through Greenling as well, YAY, YUM and Thank you!)

When I was a little girl, I would wait all year to eat my Joycie Bear’s Thanksgiving dinner and now as an adult, I wait even more anxiously to cook it for her. I learned to cook from her and her mother, my Granny. I felt the absolute love they had for me in every tasty bite. It was a gift I am driven to pay forward to everyone I can. I LOVE to feed people.

My grandmother, Joyce, is the most precious woman in the world. Strong (though she doesn’t see it) and quiet, she has been the rock in our family. She is kind, loving and compassionate, willing to help anyone who needs it and has been a steady beacon of support and love throughout our (at times tumultuous) family history.

I spent my Thanksgiving exactly how I wanted to this year. I was not working for someone else worrying about sales, money or deadlines. I planned the meal, cooked and cleaned my house, all the while bursting with love and appreciation, preparing my home to host my sweet family. I said about a million times, “I’m so happy to be me! Thank you God for putting me here on this earth at this time with these fantastic people.”

I love who I am and where I am and what I’m doing. I appreciate my life so much and the people with which I choose to fill it. Nothing is missing. It’s all here. Perfectly imperfect in every moment.

Do I have everything I’ve ever wanted? No. Is anyone’s life ever completely, 100% exactly what they hope for? Probably not often, but there are always so many things to love and appreciate.

What do we want and why do we want it? These are the only 2 things we should ever concern ourselves with. We could write a novel about what we don’t want or what’s wrong. We can blog about our troubles and issues and tell everyone we know how sick we are or our child is, but that never makes those problems go away. To the contrary, it only spotlights them and adds more energy to the situation, expanding it and making it bigger. We must stop chronicling what we don’t want.

Spend more time thinking about what you have to love and appreciate and less time worrying about what hasn’t shown up yet. Our focus and attention on what we appreciate and want more of will expand and more of that will make it’s way into our reality.

Throughout my past week of giving thanks, I would laugh as a new wave of appreciation came over me; I wondered how many people felt the same as I. How many of us love the food we grew up on and love even more feeding the wonderful people that fed us for so many years.

I give thanks today and everyday for all of our lives. I give thanks for the joy we are free to feel and share. I give thanks for the kind, compassionate love we are capable of cultivating, and that when we extend first to ourselves, can overflow to all others.

I am overflowing today and each new day with love and appreciation for life and everything in it.

Life is good and life is easy. If it’s not for you, it truly can be.

I’m here to help.

Mind Control

Our minds can tell us some pretty scary stories. Most of which there is NO actual evidence of, mind you, just general or very specific scary thoughts, stories or ideas. (As a mother, I know I’m not alone in wanting to wash my brain after flashes of ridiculous thoughts about the safety of my child.) They could stem from the news, a friend, the radio or maybe just bubbled up all by itself from our little brain. At some point we have to recognize these negative thoughts flowing from our minds are…. #1 – not who we are, #2 – not helping and #3 – not true.

Our brains are machines, pre-programmed to focus on and ferret out what is wrong in every situation. It’s as if our minds are a self-defense mechanism for our species. It served us well thousands upon thousands of years ago, but not so much today. No big deal. Just decide to begin seeing things from a different, lighter perspective, there is always a bright side. Set your intention to recognize when your mind is trying to “sell” you something and don’t buy in. Sure there are things out there we don’t like, but our attention to them only gives them energy, makes them bigger and more powerful. What you focus on expands.

Once you begin to grasp what this means, your life will change rapidly and easily.

When I observe people around me upset about what they are seeing in their own reality (everyone’s is different!) and talking about it being so bad, I wonder… What do you think is happening with each word that comes out of our mouths, speaking to the contrary of what we want?  I’ll tell you what’s happening, more and more of what you don’t want is being generated and “shipped out” to you for your experience, like you just placed your order on Amazon.com. It’s even free shipping! Yep, step right up folks and talk all you want about what you don’t want, don’t like, think is wrong and feel so strongly about and MAKE NO MISTAKE the universe will put more and more of that on your delivery truck. We live in a Law of Attraction based universe, whether you know or understand it or not. It WILL show up in your world. Trust me, I know. I also know it’s all too easy and feels too good to bitch, moan and complain about how things are wrong, wrong, wrong and this world is going to hell in a handbag! (Oh, and get someone on that bandwagon with us, that always feels better. ha.) Guess what, I’ve done it before myself. But, none of that changes anything.

What does change everything is letting go.

Let go of your attachment to all of your thoughts and everything you think. Stop worshiping at the alter of your negative thoughts. They don’t control you. YOU control them. Make the decision right now to stop being so romanced by negativity. Notice what you feel in your body when you’re focusing negatively on something. Soothe yourself and let that feeling pass. Now, focus on something more pleasing. If you can focus on what you want and it feels good, great! Do that. Or focus on your beautiful view, or awesome pet, or fun family, or great partner or exciting up coming adventure. Focus on something that feels good and makes you laugh and feel happy.

What you want is on it’s way to you. The larger part of who you are, knows exactly what you want and wants you to have it. And furthermore is doing all it can within the confines of your attitude to bring it to you. All you need to do is quit focusing so much on what’s wrong and start looking around at what is great about your life. There is plenty. This vast and wondrous universe that created us all to have our own individual personalities and desires is more than capable of creating the outcome you want. And you having the outcome you want doesn’t have to come at the expense of someone else. There is enough for everyone.

Rather than trying to make the world look exactly like you want it to, what if you concerned yourself, mainly, with how you feel? What if we went for happy and healthy, rather than “I have to be with this specific person, in this specific town, doing this work, specifically.” What would be the big tragedy if you actually went for happy before the relationship, job, house, etc? You can be. Just decide that you want to be happy and begin moving in that direction. If you need help, get it. This is your life! Enjoy it to the fullest.

So the next time your mind serves up a big heaping helping of fear/doom/gloom, pass.

Put Me In Coach

Beautiful PK Sunset

We took a road trip this weekend to the lake (Possum Kingdom Lake, in Texas). The sunsets are always beautiful. It’s a nice 4 hour drive. Far enough to make you feel like you’ve gone somewhere, but not so far that it takes up your whole weekend getting there and back.  While driving, we talk, sing or sit in peaceful silence.  It feels so good to really unwind and relax after a full week.

The song Centerfield, by John Fogerty came on. Clap. Clap. ClapClapClap. Clap. Clap. ClapClap. I was immediately taken back to my childhood, riding in my Daddy’s pickup truck windows down coming home from school, singing this song and realizing it was about baseball.  I smiled at myself and sang along. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today. Look at me, I can be, centerfield.”

I then thought of my days of playing basketball in high school.  Taking a breather on the bench and then being ready to jump back into the game. Watching the action and seeing what the other team is doing and realizing what the next move could be. Leaning down the bench and saying to Coach Courtney, “Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play”.

I miss that. Playing basketball on a team. The flow of the game.  The hard sprints, juking and defending, falling down and getting back up, passing the ball or taking the ball to the basket when it’s right. It’s a game and we play it with our friends and teammates.  Some of them are our best friends, but some we may not fully appreciate. (there is always something to appreciate) But the point is we are a team and our objective is doing our very best and hopefully the outcome will result in a win. (but if it doesn’t, the fact that we all did our best is a win)

I love that about sports. It brings all kinds of people together. Money, political party, social status (hilarious) or race all unimportant, we’re on the same team. And we ARE on the same team. The human team. It’s a really fun game to play when you don’t take things so seriously.

No matter what you are faced with, it’s not that bad. Certainly not as bad as your mind (and the news) might be telling you it is. Death is a transition back into the bliss of the non-physical. (for everyone) So, nothing to fear there. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. When you can allow yourself to be with the pain for just a moment, it can go away. But our minds wrap us up in the story over why and how bad it is. This does nothing but perpetuate the situation. Bless our hearts.

Relax and breathe. Forget about the situation for a minute and let your self have a moment of peace. Feel what you feel and allow yourself to move through it. These feelings of upset and hurt don’t have to last forever. It’s only our mind that keeps bringing them back up and our inability to just sit and be with the feelings that doesn’t allow them to move on out. Like water off a ducks back… feel what you feel and move on. You can do it. Talking about or focusing on what you don’t want only creates more and more of that in your life.

If things don’t go the way you want, say, “Oh well, what’s my next move?” This is the game of life. Get up every morning, ready to play, ready to do your best at whatever you do. Ready to focus on what’s working and let go of what’s not. Great coaches don’t point out our shortcomings and then drone on about them, they point us in the direction we need to go. Guiding us toward what and where to focus to make our game better.

Let your awareness be that great coach. Let what you don’t want be an easy reminder that there’s something better to focus on. If you don’t want to be sick, focus on your health and all the ways you feel good and are healthy. Learn how to play the game. How many times have we heard that? Life is a game too, you know. You get to choose how you’re going to play in every moment. Are we going through Door #1 filled with fear and negativity, or will we choose Door #2 that is full of possibility, ease and potential. Your attitude and focus are everything.

Don’t let things that are out of your control ruin your here and now. Your life and how you feel everyday is what is truly important. We have full control over that with our focus and intention. Find the bright side and focus on it. A wise man once told me that life is 10% what God gives you and 90% what you make of it. (Thanks Daddy for starting me on the road to my enlightenment!) Attitude is everything.

What are you making of your life? Are you letting your own focus make you unhappy or letting situations outside of yourself determine how you feel? Are you listening to things that upset you and make you mad? Turn it off. Focus on what’s good in your life right now. No one has power over you. You are the creator of your own life through your focus and intention. Intend now to be happy. To allow energy to move freely, naturally. Intend to spend more time appreciating and less time criticizing. Soothe yourself in the quiet of your own mind. Tell the story of what you want and see what happens.

This can seem at first much easier said than done, but I am here to tell you that life is good and it only gets better. You can figure this out on your own, or you can get help if you need it. I’ve been there and am fully aware of all the tricks your mind (the devil) likes to play on you. I can soothe you and help you get a better perspective. There is always a better perspective. Recognize your own power in your life and embrace it. It may seem scary at first, but who better to determine your future than you. It can be whatever you want. It’s never too late and there is no such thing as a missed opportunity.

Get excited about life. You can be your own great coach, it just takes a little practice. Everyone starts somewhere and where you are is perfect. Abraham once said that behind every great athlete is a great coach that saw their potential before they were able to see it themselves.

And that person for you, is me.

I love you so much,

Crystal