If you’re less than lucky, you’re searching in your mind and trying to think of that one person who is a good listener, who you can tell absolutely everything to and still know they will be by your side no matter what.
If you were able to think of someone, that friend is more than a friend. That person is a TRUE treasure. And if the person you thought of is a family member, he/she is a double treasure, given the dismantled state of most of our families.
But if you’re mentally scratching your head, shaking it and have a semi-frown on your face because you can’t think of anybody who really listens to you, you’re not alone and I want to honor you.
Before I attempt to say anything…. I just want to hold your hand through time and space, squeeze it and tell you that I know how you’re feeling.
If you’re part of my community, it is highly likely that you were hoping that the outcome of this week’s election was one of peace, hope….and love.
Turns out, it was one of shock, desolation and hate for MORE THAN HALF the country.
For the past couple of days, I have been hibernating emotionally.
Hopefully, you have also been doing what you have to do to find your footing once again. To feel more grounded with each passing day. But If you’re on the floor still and need a bit more time to process this all, go ahead. Take your time.
How I’ve Been Coping, Which Is a Actually NOT The Best Way To Do So
Even though words are my thing, I have said little to very few people. I Whatsapped a friend. Talked to my mom over the phone . FB messages two other friends and my brother. Instagrammed an acquaintance. But I haven’t talked to anyone face to face about it. And it’s felt lonely.
And I think that’s how we feel with our emotions.
Like we put all our hope, all our will and all our might for this result to be a positive one and we were cheated of the win. To say that we were blind-sighted is an understatement.
So now, what we’re really left with is suspicion.
Of who we can trust.
Of who’s on “our side.”
Of who’s open to love.
Of what’s gonna happen.
Of whether we should have faith.
Of whether we even have any faith left to cling on to.
What I Learned Really Matters From This Election
Even though words are my thing, it’s almost like there are no words to process this all. And it’s only through really digging deep within ourselves that we can find some answers and make a teeny-tiny little bit of sense of this situation.
I get that there are changes that the political establishment needs. I really do.
But what’s surprising is that it seems like America snapped and demanded change instead of politely asking for it. And yes, I also understand that maybe politeness in a tense time like these is the last thing you think of. But man! We don’t have to be savages when wanting our voices to be heard, right?
“Our desire to be heard shouldn’t have to inflict hurt on others.” – Haydee Montemayor
Ironically, I think that the best thing we got out of this election is actually several things:
The notion that we have to be more strategic about how we communicate not only as citizens, but in our own relationships.
Waiting until we snap….is not the best way to communicate.
Insulting isn’t either.
Nor is marginalizing.
Nor is it minimizing.
Nor is it making fun of one another.
Nor is not taking people who pose a potential danger seriously.
Because when we ignore these things. we run the risk of letting hate win instead of tolerance, unity, acceptable and love.
So What Did You Learn?
As you can see, processing this ordeal takes courage.
We need to come to terms with our hurt, how we communicate it and our hope.
“Before we can state our hopes, we need to process our hurts.” -Haydee Montemayor
In large part, we will have less hurts if we learn how to communicate better.
So let’s explore what’s going on inside of you.
Before we blame others (which is VERY tempting, especially if you’re in the losing side of this election) ask yourself:
What didn’t YOU do?
In what way did your communication fail?
The 11 Biggest Lessons From The Election Results That I Learned Regarding Communication
1) For me, I wish this blog, Love and Treasure, could have reached more people than it has and be more than it is. Since I created Love and Treasure, I knew that love was a topic that deserved and needed the spotlight. And yet, sometimes, I admit that I was worried that everything I wanted to say about this topic would feel cheesy. So I held back a little. Actually, a lot.
2) Several months ago, I had the “grandiose” idea of wanting to ask more famous people and famous entrepreneurs to voice their political preference as a way of convincing more people to vote for love, not hate. But I didn’t ask them. Why? Because I thought that I would be an inconvenience and I assumed people were smart, and could see through the candidate that was trying to con them.
3) I created a meme about this election that I didn’t promote enough because I didn’t want to be “in your face” about this issue and because at that time, I was a little afraid to speak up more than I did and more than I could have.
4) As Oprah says, what we focus on expands.
I always had a feeling that we were focusing way too much on the guy that we didn’t want instead of the Madame we did.
I was guilty of this too.
It was fascinated and even mesmerized to see the ineptitude of the guy we didn’t want … and to see how popular he was.
It was, and unfortunately is, a very bizarre phenomenon of luring a moth to a flame that I still can’t quite get my head around.
For more information on how it literally all went down, I suggest that you reconsider what media you watch. I loved watching an independent news show called The Young Turks because these guys really DO bravely (not cowardly) tell it like it is… about all of the candidates, and about the issues that most deserve our attention. You should check them out!
But I’ve learned that next time, I should focus mostly on what I DO want and be more proactive about sharing my reasoning for moving TOWARD something instead of against it.
5) Almost after every election someone comments that there should be an amendment to the electoral college.
That’s an understatement, to say the least.
Too late now, right?
Well, yes. At least for this time around.
6) “Just like being a witness to generosity, brings joy to the heart, being a witness to insults should make you more empathetic.” -Haydee Montemayor
We don’t have to be a woman, a Jew, Muslim, a Mexican, disabled, gay or ugly to know that an insult to one of us impacts the rest of us.
7) Words written in The Constitution matter.
8) What we say we endorse or disavow reflects on us.
9) Education matters
“Ignorance is the root of many things, especially the disassociation of that which is really sacred, such as our essence and our heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
Said another way,
“Ignorance is the antithesis of the ever-increasing potential of the wisdom of the heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
10) “The labels we so cowardly put on others are often what we are ourselves. ” -Haydee Montemayor
For example, if we call somebody “crooked, ” we are projecting that we ourselves are crooked.
The same goes for “dishonest.”
The same for “liar.”
You can truthfully describe someone. But if you repeat the descriptive word again and again and again, without concrete evidence that you can use as unbiased examples for why you’re calling someone that name….then guess what? You’re not telling the truth about other people, you’re simply projecting what you think they are.
It’s like we’re taking our dirty little secret, the characteristic we hard the most about ourselves and momentarily saying to the world, “I’m not ____, THEY are.”
And in the end, when we do this, we do one of two things.
1) We only fool ourselves OR
2) we attract other fools who have this same issue with themselves to make our projection a little bigger and to think that our way of seeing the world is our absolute truth.
But in the end, repeating our projection more and more doesn’t make it a truth, it’s just makes it a more annoying projection.
11) And perhaps my favorite lesson is that words of gratitude matter. It is beautiful to watch Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama do so much for the people. To truly become invested in their well-being. And we owe so much to them. And a thank you may not seem enough for everything they’ve done, but it’s much better than nothing.
So as you live through the many stages of grief, which if you’re like me… Aren’t sequential but all over the place…. Ask yourself: What did you learn about your communication and communication in general?
If You’re Scared To Look Within, Listen From An Answer From Within
If you’re in a state of shock so big that you haven’t really been able to process what the beep just happened… try this:
What Does My Soul Want To Say?
In my case, it pisses me off when the bad guy wins.
Like what the hell?!
I’m all for the underdog winning, not the dog.
So What Does Your Soul Want To Say?
Listen to your soul.
Resist the temptation to sensor it.
Simply listen to what is wanting to come through you.
And once you’re ready, talk to whomever has earned the right to hear your story.
“Communicate because words are the way we make sense of the world.” – Haydee Montemayor
Communication is your way out of the fog you may feel. Even if you’re only communicating with yourself.
Rip The Bandage Off, If You Need To And When You’re Ready
If your soul is still resistant to speak up. Ask yourself:
What Hurts The Most About What Just Happened?
In my case, the result is pretty bad in and of itself. Having to explain it to my son… is just too much! I haven’t had the heart to do it. Just the notion that he lives in a world where this could be happening made it very difficult for me to want to get up on November 9th.
Trying to make sense of all of this as an adult… is super hard. Trying to explain it to a little one… seems almost impossible. This is really messed up.
Another thing that hurts me quite a bit is this:
I’m sure that people on both the winning side and the losing side have lost in the past.
“Losing sucks. Losing unfairly sucks big time.” -Haydee Montemayor
You know what I mean?
If the electoral college really gave the ultimate victory (which it hasn’t voted on and will do so until December 19, 2016), to whoever got the greatest number of votes, then justice would be made.
But instead, we’ve decided to play Bingo and grant the victory not to the person that actually filled most squares of the card, but to the person who filled in the least number of fields. Like helloooooo?!
Who DOES that?!
Apparently, we do.
And unfortunately, we do this more times than they’re acceptable.
Or fair. Or just.
Let me explain. Since the beginning of this century… This “phenomenon” of putting the losing candidate into the White House has happened twice in 5 elections.
So Let’s Do Some Math, Shall We?
2 divided into 5….is 40%
That means, that the people of the U.S. get a leader that we DON’T vote for 40% of the time!
That’s outrageous! Insane! Shitty! Totally, Absolutely and Painfully Unfair!
Yes, of course there are way more years to the century (if we all survive that long, know what I mean? Wink, wink) … But STILL!! Being stuck with someone who you didn’t choose for the second time in just a little over a decade and a half is unimaginable… Preposterous.
So it’s no wonder that we’re hurting!
How this can happen in a “so-called” democracy beats me! Yes, I know that the electoral votes are the cause behind this, but as it’s REALLY clear, that electoral college system is archaic. It was used as a safeguard that no longer applies. And that quite honestly, reduces the value of the vote.
For example… why should someone’s vote in New York be less important than someone’s vote in Oregon? People who live in large cities or crowded states already compete for and literally pay the price for living there. They shouldn’t be cheated out of having their vote be worth less. They shouldn’t have to compete for the value of their vote.
So yep, the electoral college should be removed. And when it is, the value of someone filling out the space on a BINGO card, will be exactly the same value as someone else filling in another BINGO card.
That, is called fairness.
We all need an even playing field . Whether were women, men, someone voting for the 8th time or the 1st time regardless of where we live, what our race is or what our socio-economic status is.
So, on the brink of doubting what freedoms you have still and what you can control, take advantage of the fact that you still have the chance to feel and the chance to express your emotions. You still have the chance to connect with yourself. And to extend your hand to someone else who might be needing you to reach out, squeeze their hand and help them heal.
Now It’s Your Turn
In the comments below, share with us what your biggest takeaways were from this election. In times like these, like in every “so-called” failure, we can make the “failure” a little less of a “failure” by asking ourselves what we learned and applying those lessons in the future.
Are you wanting to breastfeed but are telling yourself what is probably the number one excuse we ALL use, (that I really shouldn’t have to tell you because you know it already) which is, “I don’t have time” to breastfeed.
When it comes to breastfeeding, “I don’t have time,” can mean three things.
It can mean that:
1) There so many doubts and hangups that you have about breastfeeding that you FEEL like you don’t have the time to figure out how to breastfeed, why to breastfeed, when to breastfeed, how often to breastfeed and everything else that breastfeeding entails. And don’t worry, I totally get it that that’s a lot of information.
2) You are a busy person and literally don’t know when you’ll be able to squeeze in the time to breastfeed.
3) You’re just using the phrase as an excuse.
So Now That You Know What’s Holding You Back In Your Breastfeeding, What Are You Gonna Do About It?
The good news is that when you use the “I don’t have time” excuse for any of the reasons mentioned above, you can actually test these the reasons/excuses by asking yourself a simple question that author of The Work, Byron Katie asks and that is “Is it true?” If you say yes, then you ask yourself her second question, which is, “Can you be absolutely know that it’s true?” Or you can take my shortcut and just ask yourself.. “Is that really true?”
Breastfeeding is one of those topics that fuels mommy wars.
Mothers who decide to breastfeed can’t comprehend why there are mothers who decide not to breastfeed.
Mothers who don’t breastfeed don’t understand what the big fuss about breastfeeding your baby is all about.
And while it’s up to you to decide on which side of this elephant in the room you stand on, I’m here to share what I know about breastfeeding from the research and from my experience.
I wish I could be impartial and provide you with research studies that presented the downside of breastfeeding. But I haven’t found any. (Not that I think any exist).
On the contrary, the value and benefits of breastfeeding are such, that usually, pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics Association (AAP,) breastfeeding consultants and the World Health Organization (WHO) are in agreement that babies should be breastfed for 1 year to 3 years or more. Many people are under the impression that 6 months is what you should aim to breastfeed for, but if you read the fine print carefully, you’ll at least 6 months of EXCLUSIVE breastfeed is suggested, but that it is also recommended that you continue to breastfeed even after you start introducing solids.
My decision to breastfeed was a very natural and easy one. In my mind, mothers breastfed. That’s what they do.
Even though I myself wasn’t breastfed and I don’t remember seeing my mother breastfeed my younger sister and my younger brother because she would do it behind closed doors in her bedroom… I decided to breastfeed. I knew it was important to my baby and I.
Since I had no role models to look up to, I started to do my own research and get comfortable with the idea I would be breastfeeding. And I was pretty excited.
When I was pregnant, I went to my first breastfeeding support group.
It was funny being there without a baby. And it was funnier that I was there before anybody could tell that I was pregnant. And you know what my recurring though was for most of that session? “I don’t want to see any boobs.” Although truth be told, I did see some breastfeeding mom’s boobs there and at other mothering courses I attended.
I’m not a Summer girl AT ALL. It’s my least favorite season of the year.
So to me, it’s VERY important that I focus on the enjoyable things of Summer or keep busy so that Summer seems more bearable and goes by faster.
So without further delay, here are my Summer 2016 Favorites.
In Spring, I started a 90-day fitness program and I finished it toward the end of July. It’s called Fé Fitwhich you can read about in this blog post I wrote.
In that post, I give you a rundown of what I like about Fé Fit, what I don’t like and everything in between.
But as you can probably conclude, the reason that I’m mentioning this workout in this Summer Favorites blog is because I really liked it. And it truly did help me improve my health.
If you’re a mom, wanting to improve your fitness, I may just have saved you hours looking for a fitness program that caters to your needs and limited time.
America’s Got Talent
One of my favorite things about summer, which I have been able to enjoy for several years now, is America’s Got Talent (AGT). In case you don’t know about it, it’s a show on NBC that allows people of many different talents to compete for one million dollars.
Honestly, some talents are really dumb and others are really spectacular. My favorite? The unexpected and the mesmerizing.
I enjoy all sorts of unique talents that AGT highlights …from the singers, to the mentalists. to the magic acts.
Don’t worry if you don’t have cable. You can catch the episodes online on YouTube, which you can play on your TV with one of my favorite TV gadgets of all time (I’ll tell you more about that in a second).
This year my top favorites are:
The Clairvoyants a mind-reading, food-tasting, color-predicting married couple that’s pretty much unlike anything you’ve seen before . You gotta see them for yourself.
An NFL player that does magic, John Dorenbos. Look into his childhood. I love when people are great not because they had a perfect childhood but in spite of having a reallyyyyy imperfect one.
Steven Brundage that works with the Rubik’s cube . (Fun fact: I liked playing with the Rubik’s cube when I was a kid. But trust me, I was not as good as this guy is. No way!)
Linkin’ Bridge, a group of African American friends who sing beautifully!
Brian Justin Crum, the male soloist who sings with lots of passion.
The juggler, Viktor Kee, who is amazing and may have you enjoying jugglers for once.
The family of 3 made up a mom (who was once a teen mom), a daughter and a step dad who sing beautifully in a band called Edgar.
Laura Bretan, a teenage opera singer that sings so passionately you can feel the music in your bones!
Aside from the acts themselves, what I really enjoy about AGT are stories of loss, triumph, comeback and glory are soooo inspirational.
And since the Olympics are currently on, you have a couple of weeks to catch up on the episodes which have aired already.
Married At First Sight
In my Spring Favorites I mentioned that this show was one of my favorites. Guess what? It recently started up again.
It’ll be the first time I get to watch it along with everybody else instead of binge watching it.
What I love about the episodes that I’ve seen so far that only include a brief part of the honeymoons is that the couples, although not perfect, have a good chance to work out if they put in the effort.
They’re quite normal people, from the looks of it. But unfortunately, a couple of them have had an absent father figure, and that is quite hard on most people.
But we’ll see. Literally!
One of THE best gifts my husband has ever given me has been an Apple TV.
Well, actually, it is one of the best things i gifted my myself and family. Because I bought one of the 1st Apple TV versions that came out. Then, my husband gifted me a 2nd Apple TV for my office TV.
What I love about Apple TV is that you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. As long as you have access to the shows you want to see, you can watch them.
My favorite and most used Apple TV app is YouTube.
I watch everything from my favorite YouTubers, to fun clips from Ellen or the Jimmy Fallon show.
And this Summer in particular, the Apple TV was great since it allowed me to watch the political convention I wanted to watch. And it has allowed me to catch little glimpses here and there from the Olympics. LIVE!
How can you watch live, you’re probably asking?
You search for a popular topic. And then see if there is a “Live Now” phrase underneath its title.
Not all topics will be live, of course. Actually, most of them wont. But if you don’t have cable, and you wanna watch the debates coming up live, for instance, you probably can.
I’m not a fan of sitting on the couch and watching TV for hours non-stop, so I’m of the belief that a device like Apple TV can save you time by allowing you to watch what you want to watch sooner.
Although you do have to be careful because Apple TV supports Netflix… and you cannnn binge on Netflix or some other shows, topics or YouTubers.
But then again, there are less commercials.
So, like with everything, you have to be responsible with how much you use this product.
Even my Treasurables… the quotations which I share on my blog posts and on social media are stored there.
I store my keywords for my posts and my hashtags for social media on Evernote as well.
If it matters… it’s there.
I then assign it to one of the notebooks that I have created and presto! I then know and have the peace of mind that the likelihood of finding any note I store on Evernote has gone up.
I have had to write ideas on random napkins, pieces of paper and a post-it notes, but I’ve learned the hard-way that it’s worth taking the extra second or two to open up the app, type the note there and then store it where I can later find it..
Trader Joe’s Spa Natural Facial Cleansing Pads with Tea Tree Oil
As strange as it may seem, many times, I tend to like things before they become popular.
I’ve been using tea tree oil products (also known as Melaleuca oil) since before I got married. And I’ve been married for more than eleven years.
Why? Because I learned back then that I would someday have a house, a husband and children and I wanted to expose them and myself to as few chemicals as I could.
So when shampoos, facial products and essential oil reselling ladies are highlighting the benefits of Melaleuca oil, it doesn’t surprise me.
On the contrary, I think, “what took them so long to jump on the bandwagon?” 😉
Anyway, i found some tea tree oil wipes at Trader Joe’s and they’re a real treat. They work the best when you’ve washed your face very well, (like with a spin brush) and then you simply wipe your face with one of these wipes.
If you have oily skin, or combination skin, they’ll help reduce the oiliness of your skin. And you can use them any time of day as long as you don’t mind if your make-up is slightly “adjusted.”
But what would you rather have? A little less make-up in a certain area, or oil on your T-zone or all over your face? Yep, I thought so.
These Trader Joe’s Spa Natural Facial Cleansing Pads With Tea Tree Oil do smell like tea tree oil (so you at least have to be tolerant of, or hopefully like the smell in order to enjoy them).
They feel like a sip of tea for your face. They’re refreshing. Aromatic and relaxing.
On the downside, they tend to dry up more quickly than I would like. So use them every day. Or really make sure you have sealed them well after each use. Don’t be like those people (trust me, I’ve been one of those), who save the best things for “some day” when you feel worthy of them. Because you’re worthy of many things each and every day.
I know I’ve mentioned them before, but Leonie Dawson’s “Diaries”which most of us would refer to planners, are excellent. I’ve been using mine to jot down my blog projects.
And it’s very interesting to see what steps I’m taking to move my blog forward.
And since it’s only that listed on there I can clearly see on which days I’m being more productive. And you know what? I have started working on things for my blog that I had literally been putting off for years.
So if you’re in the market for a planner in general or for a planner to get really honest with yourself as to how much time you’re putting into something, on what days, and what you’re actually doing, then I recommend these.
Any planner can work, but these are pretty to look at, sturdy, and have lots of little rectangles that you can hopefully fill with useful things for making that dream of yours come true. 🙂
Food is one of those things that you use multiple times a day….and as such, it’s difficult to pick only one thing to be “THE favorite” item for summer. So I’m not going to even try to narrow it down. Instead I’ll tell you my favorites for each month.
Limited Edition Creamy Caramel Cake Blue Bunny Cake Ice Cream
WOAH! May I just say that this was probably the best food item I discovered this summer?
Amazingly, I only bought it once. Dang it, I don’t know if I’ll be able to buy it again this summer, or next summer, but I think that the memories of having had this ice cream will last a lifetime.
I do hope, though it’s still available so that you can try it.
Can we just stop for one second to savor the name of this frozen treat? Limited Edition Creeaaaammmy Caramellllll Cake. It’s as good as it sounds.
So what’s it like?
White, soft, and good.
And as if that weren’t enough, there are pieces of goodness….. cake. These perfect bite-sizes of cake are cold but soft. They melt in your mouth and dazzle your taste buds.
They really do!
It’s crazy to me that this flavor might not be around forever, but if that’s the case, I have a plan B (which is not as great as having this ice cream, but we gotta relive the best times in our life once in a while).
Just in case it’s not available… do what I did with a carrot cake my mom gifted my husband and I for our anniversary… cut up pieces of cake (or tear them up, who cares?), and mix them into some vanilla ice cream. Let the cake pieces soak up a bit of the ice cream and cool a little.
This Plan B ice cream won’t be the same… BUT it’s pretty divine, as well. 🙂
Friendly’s Coconut Ice Cream
The fact that I have two ice cream flavors on here is probably making you think that I’m addicted to ice cream or something.
But nooooo. I’m not.
I hardly every buy it.
Why? Because I don’t want to be tempted to eat it. (I know that sounds like I am addicted, but I do this with lots of things that are good, but not necessarily good for you).
Anyway, this Friendly’s Coconut Ice cream is something else, I’m telling ya.
It’s soft, and it has probably one of my best favorite flavors overall… coconut! If you LOVE coconut, you’ll love this ice cream.
The texture, the flavor, the intensity… is perfect. 5 stars. The fluffiness? 10 stars. #fluffiesticecreamever
Golden Honeydew Melon
It might seem like I forced myself to come up with something healthy to share with you as part of my summer food favorites.
But, honestly, I tried some golden honeydew melons that were TRULY THE most delicious melons I’ve ever tried.
Regular melons or regular honeydew melons are alright, but I’m telling you, these golden honeydew melons that I had in June were soooo good that they became like dessert.
My toddler and I ate several of them throughout the month. And we made melon drinks with them (just by blending them). They were so perfectly sweet that they required no sweetener. And they needed very little water because they were very juicy.
Try them. You’ll be able to understand how good I was trying to tell you that they were.
You may be a little late in the game like I was, or you may have been an early adopter of a trend that’s going on right now of drinking Boba Tea, otherwise known as bubble tea.
Boba are large tapioca pearls that are like fruit jellies.
You know those tumblers/go-to glasses with wide straws that you can buy to serve yourself a smoothie on the go?
Well, when you get a Boba tea, you are served with one of those straws so that the marble-sized bobas, or fruit jellies, can come through.
If you’re like me, and like eating round things like chia seeds, Israeli couscous, you’ll enjoy Boba Tea.
Plus, the flavors you can pick from are good.
Guess which one I tried first? The coconut milk boba tea.
It was good. Is it the best thing out there? Noooo, but it’s a cool thing to try.
The best part, is that it’s unique and quite refreshing… for the hot summer months.
Where do you find one? Google Boba Tea and you should find a number of places in your area that sell them. Use a site like Yelp or Foursquare to find the best one.
Bonne Maman Natural Wild Blueberry Preserves From Thrive Market (I like the Wild part in the title)
I have told you and have been wanting to share more about Thrive Market, a membership site that allows you to save up to 50% on healthy food items that is shipped to your door.
This summer, I placed a couple of orders. And on the second one, I ordered blueberry preserves and strawberry preserves.
They do unfortunately have a little bit of sugar, but boy oh boy are they good.
You know what the blueberry preserves taste like?
Like you were walking through some lavender fields in France and you stumbled upon a little home where the owner was making some preserves with freshly picked blueberries.
Usually, I go for the strawberry jam/preserves… but I gotta say, that I preferred the blueberry one in this case.
Green beans From Trader Joe’s
Weird story. You may remember that I hate New Year’s Eve. Well, the day that it started becoming more tolerable was the first year I decided to boycott the New Year festivities while my family went out and I stayed home and cooked myself some green beans.
Ever since then, I fell in love with green beans and I would seek them out at Chinese buffets and would make my own fresh.
When I saw that Trader Joe’s carried them several years ago, I decided to try them.
So guess what? When my toddler was trying the more “solid” solid foods, green beans were one of his favorites.
I love this variety because I just heat up some coconut oil, then add these green beans, a little pepper and sea salt or Himalayan Pink Salt and voila! They turn out delish!
And they’re pretty filling and so emotionally and physically satisfying that sometimes, my toddler and I have made them our full meal.
Now It’s Your Turn
What product that I mentioned intrigued you the most?
Last week, I completed the Fé Fit 90 day workout program that I started in April.
I’m not saying this to brag because trust me, everybody could care less that I completed it.
I’m sharing my journey with you becauuuuuse I believe that any day is a good day to start or continue exercising. For you. For your wellbeing. Not for some event in which you need to “show off” your body.
Most importantly, exercise isn’t meant to be a punishment for all the times you didn’t exercise or didn’t eat well the whole year. Exercise isn’t a genie either. It’s not going to instantly and magically grant you a bibiddibobiddiboom vavavoom bikini body.
Our bodies are not Play Doh and we can’t just roll our bodies back and forth under pressure and get longer and leaner.
Exercise is meant to take you closer to your emotional heath goals and your physical health goals. They go hand-in-hand.
Fé Fit is a workout created by and geared toward moms. As their slogan says, “Created by women, for women.” They also say, it’s “Created by moms. For moms.” And it’s not just for new moms, but for moms of all ages that want to get in better shape.
And before you feel excluded because you’re not a mom… don’t worry about it!! It helps all ladies.
It targets ladies’ problem areas. You know…. the booty, the flab, the bulge.
Instead of bulking you up, Fé Fit workouts tone you.
What have you needed recently that you haven’t gotten?
Is it possible that what you’re calling a need, is actually a want?
Are you demanding that someone fulfills this want of yours by calling it a need?
Confusing, I know.
Yet we confuse our needs and wants ALL THE TIME.
And let’s be honest, what irritates you the most:
Not having a want met or not having a need met?
A need, right?
Why is that?
Well, for starters, no matter how much you want something, you can always soothe your temptation to have it by remembering that it’s just a want.
On the other hand, if you think something is a need, then you MUST have it. Like yesterday. Or the day before. Or soon, like REALLY soon. And your impatience for not having it tends to grow.
Even if you have a legitimate reason why you don’t have a need now, like for example if you’re saving money to purchase that need, you won’t be at peace until you have fulfilled that need.
Except that mayyyyyybe you aren’t going to be at peace even after that need is fulfilled. Why? Because you’ll already have another need that you need, if that makes sense.
When it comes to the need-get-need-get-need-get cycle…. we have to realize that our “need to need” won’t go away (even monks and nuns have needs). One day you will need a new pair of socks, next month you may need to replace an appliance that breaks down, you may need to buy a new car next year, and ten years from now, you’ll need new socks. It’s a cycle.
How Can We Manage Our Needs?
So knowing that our needs will be with us till the day we die, we have to do 4 main things in order to be in control of our needs rather than have our needs control us.
We need to:
1) Learn what a need really is. (You think you know what it is, but there’s more to learn).
2) Be able to truly distinguish a need from a want and be mature enough to give our needs a bit more priority.
3) If you have to rely on someone else to fulfill your needs, you must communicate effectively. Period. At the same time, you have to remember that you can only control what you can control and that you should let them control what they truly do need to control.
4) Have a better attitude about not always being able to get our needs met right away.
5) Become more willing to provide ourselves with our needs instead of expecting somebody else to fulfill them for us.
So, What Is A Need?
Answering this question can get tricky because immediately, we can see that if you were to compare notes between your needs and someone else’s needs, that they would be different. (The same applies for wants since each person has their own set of wants).
So in order to try to get as much relativity out of this equation as possible, let me introduce (or most likely re-introduce) you to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
I don’t know about you, but THE moment I saw this pyramid many, many years ago, I feel in LOVE with it. Why? Because I thought to myself, “FINALLY! Someone actually gets what I need!”
The premise of this pyramid is that we all have needs that go from basic needs, such as those that start at the bottom of the pyramid… to more elaborate needs the higher up in the pyramid we go.
This diagram essentially shows that at the base of the pyramid are our very basic needs and that these needs need to be met before we can logically aspire to have the needs in the higher tiers met. (NOTE: We all need these things listed in the physiological category in our life except for sex. For example, kids don’t need it. And adults can choose not to have it and they would still be okay).
For example, when babies are born, they need to be able to breathe well, eat well and hydrate well (their breastmilk or formula is both their food and their water), sleep a lot (at least they should…not that they always do), be okay in and at peace with their environment and they have to pee and poo. And even as adults, we need to be able to have and do these things, for the most part.
But after the basic physiological needs are taken care of, we need safety, then to feel a sense of love and belonging, then esteem, then self-actualization.
The Caveat Behind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
If you’ve been on this planet for a while, however, you KNOW that there is practically never a moment in your life when every single one of these needs are met all at once.
Would be lovely… glorious even…. but that isn’t how life rolls.
At any given time, there may be one or a handful of things in each category/tier that may be “off.” For example, you can have all of your physiological needs met, but then all of a sudden, you’re laid off, so there goes your feeling of safety.
Or you may have your physiological and safety needs down pat, but you’re not getting along well with your in-laws, or your own family, so your sense of love and belonging isn’t as strong as it could be.
So what this boils down to is that we will always have needs that haven’t been met… perhaps ever, not right now, not lately or not yet.
You Have WAY More Than You Ever Thought
Therefore, while it’s good to know what you NEED, you also have to focus on abundance instead of lack.
For example, instead of fixating on what we don’t have… let’s fixate for a moment on what we do have.
Take at look at even the base of the pyramid…. even many of the poorest people living in the United States right now are richer than many people in the world who live off of less than $2.00 a day. And it’s not the minority of the world who’s in this predicament. It’s 2 billion people. … almost 1/3 of the world. Add to that that 17,000 children on our planet died yesterday, will die today and will die tomorrow of dire starvation…. and all of a sudden your needs and wants are pale in comparison, right.
As sad as it is, the fact that you are living off of more than $2.00 a day and are alive reading this makes you really blessed. It’s even more mind-boggling to know that most of you reading this who have a job and a home are richer than many kings and pharos were. Not necessarily because of the job and the home but because you have among many things, running water, electricity, the experience of having flown on an airplane and a computer that allows you to connect to the world literally right at your fingertips.
Can you believe that?
But wait, there’s more!
If you also live in the United States or in a country that values people’s freedom… isn’t that worth a ton as well? Think about it! How valuable is freedom that when people “behave badly” in our world they’re deprived of it. Freedom is one of the greatest treasures… and for the most part, it’s something that most of us have day in and day out.
WHAT A PRIVILEGE!
The fact that you can express yourself and be you is something that people have lost their lives over, but that can allow you to fully show up in your life.
So you see?
You have it made!
Well, pretty much.
Yeah, there may be that thing you really need or think you need, but other than that, be appreciative of the blessings that are so much part of your every day life that you don’t even notice. Even the hope or the certainty that one day you’ll have that need that you so much aspire to is something to be happy about. It’s one more reason to live.
Keep The Momentum Of The Glass Being Way More Full Than You Expected Going
If you’re lucky to feel that you have everything or most of what you need, continue to cultivate that feeling by focusing on the “little” things… that if you look at them long enough, you’ll notice that they’re big things.
For instance… for a couple of months now, I have been staring at one pair of curtains that I have in my home and just admiring them. They’re pretty, but more than that, they cover one of the biggest windows in my home. A home, which I happen to love. And I simply need to take a look at those windows to remind myself of how blessed I feel to have this home, where I live happily with my loved ones. It’s such a simple thing to focus on… but even writing about it makes me teary-eyed.
And is that curtain a need? Not necessarily, but it is part of the house, it makes me feel more secure and it’s representative of the home that I’ve been able to make of this house.
A NEW Model For Understanding Your Needs
Now that you understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and that you can use that pyramid almost as a mirror that can tell you that you may be feeling a little off or totally in your groove based on how many needs you’re blessed to have checked off at any given moment, I want to introduce to you a different model for understanding your needs.
According to Ayurveda, which is a 5,000-year-old natural healing system based off of India, you have four basic needs.
Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine are rooted in Ayurveda ,which also influenced Greek medicine.
The reason why it’s important to consider this model for understanding your needs is because aside from being a system that treats illnesses, it’s also a science. “Ayur” means life and “veda” means science or knowledge. It’s essentially a body of wisdom that helps people realize their human potential while staying vital. It provides knowledge on diet, routines, the best use of our senses and behavior. It’s underlying premise is that health is the integration of our environment, body, mind and spirit.
Your 4 Ayurvedic needs are:
Material comforts: Otherwise known as Artha
Love and connection: known as Kama
Sense of purpose: which you’ve probably heard as it being referred to as Dharma
And spiritual awakening or liberation: known as Moksha
Right off the bat, you can see that this model is quite similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Although it doesn’t break down our needs in as much detail, I do like how it clarifies what the ultimate desire really is…. and that is to fulfill your dharma/purpose and have a spiritual awakening.
It’s important to note that when you are upset, it’s because you feel that one of these needs is either missing or weak in your life.
And when you sense that something is off, you feel uncomfortable.
And when you feel uncomfortable… you don’t relate well to others. It’s possible that you even blame them for your discomfort thinking that the anguish that you’re feeling was somehow created by them.
You can see how people influence your issues in these examples:
If you know that someone doesn’t believe in your career choices and is intervening with your Dharma, you feel it because they don’t let you be who you know deep down you’re meant to be.
When someone treats you poorly, they’re messing with your kama.
Blaming other people isn’t what’s most useful, though.
Whenever you feel sad, mad, anxious, uneasy, etc., you should try to get to the root of the issue by asking yourself:
“What happened, who said, or who did something that is making me feel out of balance?”
You’ll usually find that it’s something someone else said about you, how they reacted regarding something about you, or simply your own limiting beliefs.
When people mess with what you hold dear, you are better able to see what you really want, what you need, what you stand for and what you’re unwilling to give up.
People confronting you or questioning you is like bowling.
They throw the ball towards your needs, which are your own particular convictions in life.
It’s YOUR job to be strong about them.
It’s not your job to control the direction in which they throw the ball.
By standing your ground, you are better able to gain control.
What Can You Do When Someone Pushes Your Pins?
You can acknowledge that something/someone “pushed” you and now you’re a bit wobbly, so to speak through your feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment, anxiety and sorrow
When you feel that you’re wobbly you can ask yourself…
Which Pin or Ayurvedic need did they just take a blow on?
What component of this needs is more affected? Meaning if they hit the love and connection pin, for example, what exactly is making me feel unloved?
No matter what the blow was like use the “yeah, but” strategy. It goes like this: If your main sorrow is
“My family doesn’t care about this side hustle that I’m doing, ” Answer yourself like this: “Yeah, but I have the support of my husband and I believe in the positive impact that I’m having on others that do care.”
In other words, what you want to do is liberate yourself and the person or circumstance that upset you from upsetting you.
By focusing on that which you can control. By having better thoughts, by taking better actions that support yourself, or by facing the circumstance or person head on so that whatever is bothering you goes away.
For example, if you’re married and your spouse has stopped being a loving contributor to your life for years and on the contrary, has been a pest for quite some time and is robbing you of your peace for years now and doesn’t want to seek outside help, you have to address him/her head on and perhaps give them an ultimatum, and if she/he doesn’t give you the love and connection that you need, you’re outta there. In this case, a simple, “He treats me poorly. Yeah, but he really loves me,” doesn’t cut it.
How can you tell?
Because the goal is to feel better…. to have more peace and love than you have indifference and abuse in your life.
Life is too short to be in a place or with someone who rains on your parade every day.
You don’t need that! And they certainly don’t need to be doing that to you, so why the hell are they?
Stand up for yourself and your needs… as long as they’re needs of respectful love, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to do something about them.
What’s The Difference Between A Need And A Want?
After reviewing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the 4 Ayurvedic needs, it’s clear that the items listed on both of these models are our needs.
However, as you’ve probably figured out as we were going through them, it’s still not easy to just take a list of these needs and give them to people (or for people to give them to you) and have them be happy, forever, all day, every day.
Because there are variables that influence what action will give someone the most joy.
So, the only way to know is to communicate.
A need may be a need, it’s how we want it that makes the difference in they joy we get out of it… and it whether it crosses the line between a need or a want.
Why we need something can also reveal that what we say is a need is actually a want.
For example, we all need love.
However, how someone is going to get you to feel love is different from how someone is going to get me to feel love.
You may want roses every holiday because it’s y our favorite thing to get. I may want my husband to help me with the chores every day because their company makes the tasks go by faster. If both of us appreciate getting roses or getting help around the house because it boosts our levels of happiness they may be our needs. (After all, there are five love languages).
If, however, you want roses every holiday to show them off on Instagram or I want my husband to help me with the chores because I’m a feminist who thinks that men should do an equal amount of chores or more chores than women do for a change… then you and I aren’t getting a NEED fulfilled… we’re actually getting a want. The intention or why behind getting what we say we need can reveal that it’s really a want.
One big clue to know whether something is a a want is to determine whether you are requesting what you’re requesting because you want to inflate your heart or to inflate your ego.
If it’s for your heart, you experiencing it for the joy that it gives you will be enough.
If it’s to inflate your ego, the experience won’t be enough. You’ll want to brag about it, whine about it, ask more than you got with it, get it because deep down you feel worthless, get it because deep down you feel entitled, etc. You’ll have ulterior motives for getting it.
How Can You Maximize The Likelihood of Getting Your Need (Or Want) Met? One Word: Communication.
As we’ve learned in prior posts, expressing what you want clearly is the best way to increase the likelihood of getting your need met.
You have to communicate expectation, frequency, level of importance, and ideal time to have this expectation fulfilled.
How Can You Effectively Communicate Your Needs
These are the questions you should ask yourself and that most importantly, that you should communicate with others so that they get to know you, what your needs are and how to meet them:
What is it that you need?
How often do you expect this need to be given to you?
In the grand scheme of things, how happy will fulfilling this expectation of yours make you feel in comparison to other expectations?
When is the best time to give you this need?
Why do you need this?
For example, you may love Cold Stone Creamery (which I do) and the Wendy’s Ice Cream Frosties.
Let’s say it’s your birthday. How will people know what ice cream to get you that day?
Answer: It depends on what you clearly communicated to them prior to your birthday.
But will you have time to specify each of these 5 questions for every want and need you’ve ever had?
Nope. Not happening.
What does this mean?
You will be disillusioned.
There will be needs you wont get.
Give Them a Break!
It is unrealistic to expect people to know what your wants are and what your needs are 100% of the time.
Let’s face it, YOU don’t even know what you want or need much of the time.
You REALLY have to be in tune with yourself to know what you want and you REALLY have to be in tune with others to share what you want.
And even if you did have the time to share it all… life is an exchange, not a laundry list for someone else to fulfill for you.
“The problem with our needs is that we confuse them with our wants and then we expect others to fulfill our need-want regardless.”
How Can We Have A Better Attitude About Not Getting Our Needs Met, Right Away?
The answer is mature patience.
The thing about patience is that it’s one of those things that you can’t fake because the more you fake it, the more it comes back to bite you.
Think about a time when you were pretending to be patient.
What was REALLY going on inside of you?
Your expectations were growing like huge air balloons impossible to hide.
Your impatience for not having your expectations met was rotting your brain.
You wanted to tell someone how pissed off you were that what you’ve been waiting for soooo long wasn’t yours yet.
You basically were torturing yourself repeating over and over and over in your mind how unworthy you thought you are, how undeserving and unlovable you were.
You felt soooo bad about all of these things that you wanted to give up.
You would have rather ended up with NOTHING than wait for that which you wanted.
Have Faith That Someone Can Help You
There are times in life when your greatest need wont be given to you by those who you hold dear and near to your heart.
During those times, aside from having patience you have to have faith that either you can provide that which you need for yourself or that someone can help you.
If you need to get a job, for instance, other people will be part of the process. They will give you information, interview you, hire you, train you, welcome you with open arms, etc.
In order to fulfill your need, you gotta be positive, but you also need to do something about it. Enough said, right?
It comes back to communication. You have to revisit the relationship.
Is it a relationship that you can expect something from?
Is there an obligation for them to help you?
Have you been able to get something in the past?
Relationships are also a matter of give and take.
Follow Your Desire To Help Others, But Also To Help Yourself
We often go from one extreme to the other.
“We neglect our needs when we want to be giving to others.
We neglect our wants by focusing too much on what other people need.”
And then there’s the opposite end of the generosity spectrum:
“We focus so much on our needs that we can care less about what other people want.
And we want what we want so much that we aren’t interested in meeting other people’s needs.”
The point is, you have to find the right balance to give and receive.
You can’t be so selfish that you neglect everyone else’s needs, nor can you be so giving that you let others be so selfish that you end up with nothing in the end.
These are like truth-twisters, which tongue-twisters about truth.
How Can We Be More Willing To Provide Ourselves With Our Needs Instead of Expecting Somebody Else To Fulfill Them For Us?
By sheer conviction and determination.
We have to wake up and smell reality. It doesn’t matter if it’s hard for us.
Here are some things we need to keep in mind in order to increase our chances of fulfilling our own needs:
Many of us, especially women, unfortunately, have a delusional dream that someone out there will be our prince charming that rescues us from whatever mess we find ourselves in. They won’t. We have to watch our every step so that we do get into a mess that we can get out of it, take ownership and learn from the circumstance.
We have to be go-getters, but we have to use our intuition.We have to take calculated risks.
We have to be alert enough to know when we’re chasing after the wrong thing… or the wrong person.
We know when we want to say that something was a coincidence or that “fate” brought you to a certain situation that you know didn’t come together by magic, but rather that you’re forcing. And we know that when we’re compromising ourselves and we’re not listening to our intuition, that if we pursue something that started poorly or that feels forced it won’t work. It just won’t.
If you grab onto something like a greedy kid… no matter how much of a treasure you think that thing is… it will be taken away from you.”
When we learn the effort required in fulfilling our needs we can better appreciate someone who out of love, fulfills our needs for us.
Be proud of the goals that you achieve for yourself.
Approach life and your needs like a Bucket List. Part of what makes Bucket Lists fun is that they’re something that you decide will make you happy, you work toward those goals, you take time to both prepare for your goals, you enjoy the day you finally do them and you feel a sense of pride checking off the items of your list.
Life is a Big Bucket List. Be grateful for the opportunity to be alive to fulfill your needs and the needs of those you love.
Now It’s Your Turn
What did you learn in this post that struck a chord with you?
How do you best ensure that your needs are met?
Look forward to reading your comment below.
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.
When we feel anything less than happy it is because there are things that we desire that we don’t have.
It’s a simple statement with profound repercussions.
There are things that we desire that are needs and there are things that we desire that are wants. More often than not, we “need” the needs. Yet, when we stop and look at our wants… they’re usually quite revealing. They allow us to learn more about our specific nature, and about human nature as well.
For instance, some of you may get super upset at your spouse for forgetting to put the food that you prepared for them back into the fridge.
If you call them out on it, what you say and what you perceive can indicate that you think they:
Don’t don’t care about wasting food
Don’t value money
Don’t like your food
Did it on purpose
And how they react can either:
Show you that to them, leaving the food out is not a big deal
Show you that they kind of know that it was a mistake but they don’t want to be considered accountable (Isn’t this response the worst?)
Show you that they understand that it’s a big deal because they use words that make you feel better, they act with consideration toward you and they apologize. Most importantly, you know that they know that they’ll be more careful next time and the likelihood of them leaving the food out is very slim.
Most of you would react positively if your spouse did the third thing.
However, if they do one of the other two things, leaving a food item out can all of a sudden become a huge deal! A fight even.
Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I would like to make the post for this week fun and light.
Specifically, I’d like to ask you to participate in the Love and Treasure Valentine’s Day Tag 2016.
You’re welcome to answer them just for your own purposes, with your partner, on your blog, on your YouTube video or on any other social media outlet that you enjoy. Please be warned that if you answer them with your partner…. they may realize that what they’ve been giving you for Valentine’s Day, isn’t what you prefer. But then again, that can help your relationship when you express your needs with tact. And, be sure to reassure them that you love them anyway. 😉
Answer The Following Love and Treasure Valentine’s Day Love Tag 2016:
1. Are you a romantic person?
2. What do you prefer to receive on Valentine’s Day? a) chocolate or other candies b) dinner c) jewelry d) movie e) flowers f) clothing g) card