20 May 2012 5 Comments
02 Jan 2012 2 Comments
Yogurt. Shrimp. Lobster. Salmon. Asparagus. Kidney beans. Broccoli rabe. Soy milk. Skim milk. Oatmeal without milk or sugar. Brussels sprouts. Sea bass. Pomegranate. Garbanzo beans. Tomato juice, and a few other items.
These foods have at least one thing in common. And that is, before the age 30 or 35, I didn’t eat any of them. As I was fixing one of my new favorite snacks, non-fat Greek yogurt with honey, walnuts, and blackberries or strawberries, I thought about how far I’ve come and laughed.
Before I started eating yogurt I watched others, with envy enjoy it. This may sound crazy but because it is such a healthy snack, I insisted on learning to eat it, but continued to gag at the slightest scent of the cool and creamy treat. Through diligence and help from a few great friends; I got past the gagging stage and now enjoy indulging in the snack.
I say all of this to encourage you to try something new in 2012 and for the rest of your life. Anything! Just something that you haven’t eaten, read, visited or experienced before… within reason! Skip the illegal and immoral stuff.
Enroll in a class at your local college, learn a new hobby, try a new exercise, travel to a new city, just do something out of the ordinary for YOU. Go it alone without the security blanket of a friend or family member to encourage you along. Push and encourage yourself. Allow the energy to emerge from within you. Experiencing a new adventure solo will keep you focused on your personal experience and will further empower you, as well as, give rise to your personal satisfaction.
“If you do what you always did, you get what you always got” – Unknown
I’ve latched on to this quote because it is a cue to periodically switch things up. The wording of the quote may not be exact, but the meaning is the same. If you are looking for new results, try something different!
To grow we have to experience new, different, or change. To evolve, we have to step outside of our comfort zone to the unknown. It is that unknown that can unveil a gigantic and exciting new world.
In 2011, I took a Rags Sharqi (belly dancing) class and had a blast! I didn’t know anyone in the class, but met a few hip funky divas old enough to be my mom. They were cool and encouraging and probably a little surprised that this black chick didn’t have the “natural” moves needed to make the bells on my skirt sing like theirs. When my schedule permits, I will return.
My natural hair journey has also opened up a new world to me. I’ve learned about and now respect the importance of Fair Trade. I’ve made new friends and have learned to educate myself on the products that I consume and use daily. Most importantly, I’ve discovered new things about myself and sometimes feel as though, I’ve begun to shed a layer of transparent skin that desensitized my life experiences.
This year, I will set out again to wet my appetite with more newness– Newness in terms of discovering new foods, new places, new events, new talents and whatever out there awaits me. As I sit here and type this, I’m pondering the idea of adding a “Newness” page or category to my blog. I’ll mull over the idea for a bit and either it will appear or it won’t. Lol! I really am… Either case, I will positively share my new experiences in ’12. Good luck!
29 Dec 2011 2 Comments
“Raise the bar for yourself”
- Oprah Winfrey
How do you define quality for yourself? We can all pretty much define quality in terms of products and services, but what about quality on a more personal level. What does quality mean in your personal relationships? Quality as a mom, dad, husband, wife, etc.. Quality in the work that you are paid a salary to perform? Is it exterior or interior factors that shape and determine your sense of quality?
This morning, while watching a segment on the OWN Network, Oprah commented that she admired an individual featured on the show because, “he raises the bar for himself.” The statement reverberated with me, because I’ve always believed that we must set the bar for ourselves and gradually elevate that bar.
Don’t wait for your supervisor, manager, director, hubby, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, teacher, or anyone else to tell you that “it’s time.”
Professionally I have found success in raising the bar for myself, even in a few isolated cases where the elevation isn’t acknowledged by my superiors. So what! I feel or felt good about what I did and that’s all that matters. Quite often, it (raising the bar) isn’t always expected or perceived to be a priority in the workplace, or even articulated as a need by so called leaders. Yet it can make all the difference in job performance and job satisfaction.
The same goes in our personal life. I often ask myself, what I can do to improve the quality of my life and the quality of my family’s life. If I look around and see that something is the same and has been the same for any length of time, I question it. “Is this working?” Even if what the “it” is in fact working, I have to ask myself how I can improve upon it and go from there.
Take for example, my diet. Anyone who knows me, know that I am conscious about my diet. I make sure to include fruit, vegetables, and to prepare a balanced meal for my family. Yes, like any normal person, I have my moments of weakness and over indulgence of my personal faintness for dark chocolate. Mmm… just writing about is tempting.
A few months ago, I assessed my diet and decided to make some changes. The changes made, were subtle, but the results were surprising and mind-boggling. I’m glad that I was open to change.
The principle of doing our best in everything we do is the underlying theme in raising the bar for oneself. This theme has and continues to be a critical message for my children, as well as, serving as a constant reminder for myself.
For the New Year, I will continue to raise the bar myself and have set new goals in three areas of my personal life. All won’t be easy, but good usually requires a little more effort, so I’m ready for the challenge!
Best wishes to you for a peaceful, happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!