A List Of My Blessings

Mignonne having fun 3 - 250Last night I observed how our little dog Mignonne enjoys the moment and how she loves unconditionally. I felt her pure joy just being with me, the simplicity of it all.

And I asked myself: why do I complicate my life? Is it my ego? On reflecting about it, I have to admit that most of my problems are caused by my ego. Let’s examine it: Somebody not talking to me as I would like to be talked to, not looking at me like I would like to be looked at, not paying enough attention, not appreciating me like I deserve, and it goes on and on. If only I could be like our little Mignonne, not reading anything into life’s events, just loving and enjoying life? Wouldn’t that be an incredible experience?

So I came to the conclusion that as of that moment, I will focus on all my blessings. I made a list of them, and it was amazing! What a blessed person I am. Who would have thought! And every time I read it, I add more blessings. It is an impressive list, and with a list like that, I can only be filled with gratitude and appreciation.

I feel wonderful , and will have that list with me at all times. Try it! It is worth the time and effort. Your heart will be filled with gratitude and it is a great feeling indeed!  

Knights of the Road

Knights of the RoadHave you ever wondered how it would feel sitting on a powerful motorcycle and cruising down the road? I watch motorcyclists go by and ask myself the question: Would I like to do this? Would this be fun?

Motorcycles always intrigued me. Not only did the bikers have a certain charisma, but just imagining being on the road, the force of the wind and a feeling of complete freedom was fascinating to me. I never have pursued this activity except during one short period when I was young and a boyfriend had a motorcycle. So, when our friend and neighbor prepared for a special motorcycle trip with friends, I had to find out more about it. I had to find out what made them want to ride a motorcycle, what do they feel when driving down the road through beautiful scenery, in fair weather or foul. Assuming that you would enjoy more hearing directly from them, I organized an informal interview during which they could share their experiences, their thoughts and feelings. It was plain fun to watch them, the passion showing in their voices and faces, the love they have for their motorcycles and mostly, the camaraderie and friendship amongst them. As they said, you can ride the bike alone but it becomes truly special when you can do it with some friends sharing the passion with you.

They left for their trip – the knights of the road, as I see them. Maybe because I am European, it just strikes a very romantic cord in me. In a way, I wish I could join them on this adventure, experience the road, live the adventures of the road, and most of all, commune with nature. It would be a thrill for me and satisfy the four parts of total health: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I truly believe that having a passion and combining it, like in this case, with physical activity, mental alertness, friendship and fun can only have a positive effect on our health and well-being. Anything which allows us to grow, stretch, strive and achieve is beneficial and should have a place in our lives. There are many different avenues; let’s take one and stop being a bystander. These three guys have been very inspirational to me and I am very grateful for their time and willingness to share their uplifting spirit.

We will follow them during their trip and find out from time to time how they are doing and where they are. Let’s experience this road trip with them and have a blast! We will publish the updates in “The Forum” and your comments would be welcome and appreciated. Their first destination is the motogpmotorcycle races in Austin.

Enjoy the video in “spotlights” giving you some insight of what a biker feels and experiences. The interview was very impromptu and the “real” thing. Have fun!

Balance and Harmony

Balance and HarmonyMy work on Not Just Cooking’s new website is exciting, but at the same time never done. The work will overwhelm me completely, if I allow this to happen. I love what I do although sometimes so many things call for my attention that I feel the need for space and distance. When this feeling comes over me, I know it is time to re-group and to re-prioritize.

Staying in balance is very important to me, and doing so has helped me get through difficult times in the past. There are moments when discomfort and stress take over, rising up and seeming to swallow everything around me. When I realize this is happening, I step back, breath deeply and repeat my mantra over and over again while focusing on appreciation and gratitude. If possible, I do biofeedback or meditate. This helps tremendously and allows me to remain in a joyous and harmonious state. Keeping aligned with this vibration allows me to achieve what I set out to do, feel better, and be much more productive.

Is this easy to do? The difficulty is in being aware of what is happening and sensing the tension building up within. As soon as one is able to acknowledge this state, it becomes easier. If you don’t allow the stress and discomfort to grow, they will recede into the background. The only action you need to take is being aware of what is going on, what you are thinking, and then changing your thoughts. Focus on things you like and appreciate. You’ll see, it is like an agitated lake calming down and becoming serene. And then you ask yourself: why did I think this was all so important in the first place?

I love seeing this website taking shape, growing and taking on a personality of its own. It is like watching a flower open, timidly at first and then more and more powerfully. The website talks to me, and I feel connected. It is like giving birth to a beautiful creation, loving and caressing it, but at the same time letting it develop in its own way. No, I don’t mind the time it takes, it gives back so much more than I ever imagined. I just have to make sure that I stay in balance and don’t neglect myself. It is surprisingly easy to get so absorbed in the moment, mostly when one has fun, that one forgets to take care of one’s needs.

Would you like to share your technique for staying balanced and harmonious? We would love to hear and learn from you.

 

Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare 250This is a frequently discussed topic and opinions are strong and emotions sometimes fly high. I know because I have had very lively discussions on this subject. Everyone has their own convictions and they are all valid. The important factor is that we feel comfortable with what we believe and how we act. As long as there is harmony between the two, there is no conflict within and therefore no stress.

Personally, I am a big animal welfare person. I have been a vegetarian for a big part of my adult life because I didn’t approve of how animals were raised and slaughtered. I am not an activist, just follow my own convictions. I now eat meat again but I like to know that the animals were raised under humane conditions. The prices are higher so I cut our portions down, which is healthier anyway. Furthermore, the flavor is much better and knowing that the animal was not abused nourishes my body and my soul.

I do not know what your convictions are but wanted to share mine. Animals are sensitive and they feel pain and stress. I know that business principles apply when raising animals for consumption, but wouldn’t it be a better world if we could also apply humane values as well?

You’ll find a link below explaining the 5 steps of animal welfare from Whole Foods Market. It is great to see large corporations stepping up on this issue. Let us know what you think on the Forum.

[tippy img=”https://notjustcooking.com/images/did-you-know.png”] Animal Welfare Standards[/tippy]

Puppies and Dogs

Our daughter and son-in-law have a new puppy – a Newfoundland. Karma will be the playmate and companion to their other Newfoundland, Sven. This new addition to the family made me think of the puppies which enriched our lives over the years.
A puppy was always such a special event in my life. I stood in awe and watched this furry ball express life, love, curiosity and zest to experience life. I embraced it all and made each puppy the promise to offer a life of non-constraint and the freedom to grow. I learned by watching, and felt I was growing as well.

Puppies are true bundles of love and joy and it is our responsibility to let them grow into loving and happy adults. That is our stewardship and unconditional love is our reward.

What do we feed our beloved furry companions? Will we feed them organic? Dog food or people food? We had an interesting consultation some years ago with an alternative vet who explained to us that dogs are pack animals and like to eat with the pack. We are the pack. So she recommended feeding our little Yorkie a small amount of what we eat so she feels she is part of the pack. We started putting her little plate on a place mat on the floor in the breakfast area, where we have our daily meals and she took to it without problems. She still gets her dog food, but she eats it during the day or later in the evening. Don’t try to put dog food on her plate! She will look at you with such contempt that you have no choice but to give her some of what are eating. If you get seconds, she feels entitled to get seconds too. Of course, she only gets what’s good for her. She is now 12 years old, in perfect health and we know that she is a happy little girl.

Always remember that they only have us – we have our friends and family – and that they love us unconditionally. Give them the best, they deserve it.

Mignonne

Here is our little sweetie “Mignonne”, getting up in age but then, age is just a number and she doesn’t know it and acts accordingly. My role model!

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