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A Birthday to Remember!

For my birthday, I decided to take advantage of an email special I’d received for Matthew’s Restaurant, 2107 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL

I couldn’t have made a better choice! I began my celebration with an Italian sidecare cocktail. A delicious combination of biscotti liqueur, a fennel/anise type flavor combined with something delicately citrus , served with a lemon twist–very delicious. 

My waiter , Jason, was very attentive to my needs, most often meeting them before I asked. He did little things that were over and above what a typical waiter would do. He helped me with menu choices by patiently explaining my options and answering my questions. Even though he was busy, he never made me feel rushed.

I finally decided upon the Prime Beef Tenderloin with heirloom tomato salad, feta, basil, manodori balsamic, done medium rare,  which was moist and tender. I opted for the Ginger Summer Vegetables, brushed with Coconut Oil as my side and topped the meal with their Sassafras Soufflé, fresh cherry compote, vanilla gelato dessert.

Since it was my birthday, the dessert chef wrote Happy Birthday in what appeared to be chocolate sauce on my serving dish–a very touching and pleasant surprise. 

I had the opportunity to observe and interact with Chef Art. He is amazing to watch as he preps food with the upmost of care –particular that each morsel is diced or chopped to perfection. He plates food with creativity and beautiful expression. He took the time to interact with me personally, adding to my overall enjoyable experience.

In general, the staff was friendly, polite and eager to please. It was a wonderful evening and I could not have asked for anything more. The food is of the highest quality with emphasis on presentation and flavor, although pricey, definitely worth it. The food was excellent and the company moreso.

Bon Appetit

How to Fight to Win

by Linda Irene

Life is not without its relationship problems. When people are upset it is usually because they do not feel they are getting what they want. Many times we assume the other person should know, but for clarity’s sake, make your requests known, clearly.

If someone is angry with you:

  • Listen.
  • Listen to what they are saying.
  • Listen for the deeper truths.
  • Getting defensive does not help
  • Listening is the doorway through which love enters

If you are angry with someone:

  • Speak the truth with love – blame, name-calling and criticism are detrimental.
  • Talk it out without raising your voice
  • Don’t threaten- in any form: don’t threaten to leave, don’t threaten divorce – don’t threaten.
  • Don’t say: “you always/ you never” – speak to the situation at hand
  • Guard your words – once they are out, the damage is done

Remember:   You are not in a conflict to have your own way–to win

You are in a conflict for your relationship to win

Count to Ten

It turns out that counting to ten before responding in anger, or any emotion, has scientific validity.

The Amygdala part of the brain, is the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation. It reacts to triggers before the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, kicks in, which may take 10 seconds. Therefore, counting to ten  gives you time to respond rather than react to a stimulus.

Robert Plutchik created the wheel of emotions in order to illustrate the various relationships among the emotions.

Plutchik

The intensity of emotion decreases as you move outward and increases as you move toward the wheel’s center. The intensity of the emotion is indicated by the color. The darker the shade, the more intense the emotion, therefore, anger at its least level of intensity is annoyance, but at its highest, anger becomes rage.

Be slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19, 20),  Reckless words pierce, but the tongue of the wise heals.  (Proverbs 12:18)

The next time you are tempted to hurl sticks and stones, count to ten–save your blood pressure, a friendship and possibly a marriage.

Plutchik Wheel of Emotions

What Will They Say About You?

clouds

A man stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone from beginning to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but said what mattered most of all was

the dash between those years.

That dash represents all the time she spent alive on earth.

For it matters not how much we own, the car…the house…the cash, but what matters most is how we spend our dash.

So, when your eulogy’s being read, with your life’s actions to re-hash,

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

Taken from How Do You Live Your Dash, author unknown

Do we use Anger or Love to get what want?

Angry-parent

This is what anger does to the child in each of us.

Most people handle anger in one of five ways.

  1. Some try to  bury their anger. They may avoid they person they are angry with to avoid confrontation.
  2. Some are passive-aggressive. They don’t get mad, they get even. They may use the silent treatment, stubbornness or withhold what the other person wants or needs to get even. They never directly face their anger or let others know why they are angry.
  3. Some use anger to get what they want by threatening or overpowering others.
  4. Some are explosive. When they are upset, everyone knows it. They fly off the handle, blow off steam, then it’s over–for them. Everyone else around them becomes upset as a result.
  5. Some purposely pick fights because they are addicted to the power surge and anger high they get from being angry and throwing a tantrum.

Isn’t it better to act in positive, loving ways rather than react?

We can deal with anger in healthy ways by:

  • speaking our truth with love
  • treating each other with respect
  • not stuffing anger
  • taking time to understand why we became angry in the first place
  • don’t try to resolve issues while still angry

Watch for the things that trigger our anger

  • being offended
  • not getting what we want
  • someone did not meet our expectations

We have options.

We can:

  1. demand your rights
  2. seek first to understand the situation completely from both sides
  3. take time to discuss the issues before jumping to conclusions

Which will you choose?

DAILY CHOOSE LIFE

DAILY CHOOSE LIFE

By Linda Irene

            Has joy gone out of your life? Has life become a maze of endless responsibility? Have you lost interest and enthusiasm in doing things you once enjoyed? Do you wake up in the morning dreading another day? If you answered yes to any one of these—then it is time to choose life.  Here’s how:

  • Don’t allow the busyness of life to swallow you up. Take charge of your life. Do some soul-searching to determine what is important to you. What brings sizzle into your being? If you are not doing that which makes your soul click its heels together in a vivacious dance of glee, you have temporarily lost your way and are in danger of drowning in the sea of responsibility. Throw yourself a life raft and hop aboard.
  • Plan your days. Instead of letting your days happen to you, decide ahead of time what you want to accomplish with your day. Make a list if a list helps you organize and stick to your plan.
  • There must be balance between job, family and social responsibilities and having ‘you’ time. You time is essential for your overall health and well-being. Do one thing every day that makes you smile on the outside and jiggle with laughter on the inside. It could be as simple as enjoying a hazelnut coffee from Starbucks if that is what brings you pleasure.
  • Schedule playtime. If you have been saying to yourself, “I would love to do (fill in the blank), when I have some free time,” but free time never seems to come—pencil in your free time—daily. Free time could be as little as fifteen minutes that you take for yourself to daydream, ponder, enjoy a sunset or the night skies—anything that takes you out of do, do, do, mode to aaah mode.
  • Allow yourself to enjoy life. Sometimes people mistakenly believe that taking ‘me’ time is selfish. If that describes you—consider this: when preparing for take-off, the flight attendant gives instructions regarding the unlikely event of losing cabin pressure. She says, “An oxygen mask will appear. First place the mask on yourself then on your children or others requiring assistance.” Why? Because if you do not take care of yourself—you cannot help others. Likewise, if we do not take the time to fill our lives with the little things that fill us up with joy, we are working with an empty vessel, unable to give to others what they need until we fill our vessel with all the goodies that make us come alive. Me time is not selfish—it is imperative.
  • Begin today. What will you do today to give yourself the gift of abundant, joyful living?

We all need a laugh–here’s my contribution today…

Here are actual entries for a competition that asked for a two-line poem- with the most romantic first line, and the least romantic second line:

1. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you has screwed up my life.

2. I see your face when I’m dreaming.
That’s why I always wake up screaming.

3. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you’re not.

4. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss;
But I only slept with you ’cause I was pissed.

5. I thought that I could love no other,
—that is until I met your brother.

6. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet & so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl’s
empty…and so is your head.

7. I want to feel your sweet embrace:
But don’t take the paper bag off of your face.

8. I love your smile, your face, and your eyes.
Damn, I’m good at telling lies.

9. My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe, “Go to hell”.

10.What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

WHO SAID POETRY IS BORING?

Low Hanging Fruit

Low Hanging Fruit

 

Don’t pick the low hanging fruit! Low hanging fruit is low to the ground and within easy reach. Anyone can choose low hanging fruit because of its abundance. Low hanging fruit is…well…available. The only benefit of availability is immediate gratification.  Aim higher.

Look up. See that succulent piece of fruit at the top of the tree? It’s prime quality; fully developed, rounded, balanced, and delicious. It’s taken its time to ripen and has all the qualities you’ve been looking for, and it’s waiting for you.

Don’t accept available fruit; wait…focus on that one piece of fruit that caught your eye at the top, then place your ladder securely at the base of the tree and reach for it. Reach until it is firmly in your hand.

Remember this analogy when choosing a husband or wife. Don’t be quick to settle for available with instant satisfaction when you can have a lifetime of pleasure if you are willing to do the work.  Know the qualities you want, keep focused and choose prime. It will be worth the work and the wait.

pic source: treelovers

Some days I feel like a green apple in a basket full of red apples

Some days I feel like a green apple in a basket full of red apples—the one that stands out for being different. But I’ve decided to view my differences as unique, rather than feeling I am not like the others and therefore do not fit in. It is not my job to ‘fit in.’ My purpose is to develop to my fullest potential in the areas where I am gifted and excel.

While I may admire who you are and your accomplishments, it does me a disservice to try to be like you. I remind myself to keep my focus on developing my talents and to appreciate myself for all my little steps of courage along the way that lead to some measure of success however small. I am mindful also that even the failures were successful in teaching me patience, endurance and tenacity.

As I look over my shoulder I see who I was back then and who I have become. While I still have a long way to go, I smile to myself—happy with the progress.

Pic source: