Daily Prompt: Leaves On A Stream – Meditation Technique

Daily Prompt: Leaves On A Stream – Meditation Technique


 

cropped-lakeelkhorn.jpg

Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, MD

 

With all the craziness going on in our society today, it is understandable that we are more stressed out than what should be considered normal. Our newsfeeds on social media and on TV are constantly scrolling with natural disasters, politicians trying to take away our rights to our life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness (like access to affordable healthcare), and other individuals just being evil and hurting others. This is, of course, no short list of things that affect our daily lives. However, what sets us apart is how we deal with these stressors.

Some individuals just unplug from their electronics for a few days when it starts to become too much while others go to classes or join organizations that promote relaxation techniques of various kinds. Some do yoga, tai chi, and other forms of meditation while some others, depending on what is going on in that person’s life, may need a bit of extra help by talking with someone.

I strongly advise that if you need to talk to someone, please do. It is very beneficial and everyone needs some help from someone they can trust and/or a professional. If you need to talk to someone, please contact your country’s crisis hotline or suicide prevention number. They have professionals who are able to help and it is, most certainly, not shameful to ask for help when you really need it most.

I was recently introduced to a new meditation technique when I was undergoing cognitive behavior therapy. My therapist had introduced it as “Leaves on a Stream” meditation technique she herself had learned about.

Just think about it…


Imagine being in the woods. Sitting on the ground or up in a tree or even on the bank of a stream. If you look up towards the sky, what do you see? Sunlight trickling between the leaves as a gentle breeze blows through? 

As you start to drift your eyes downwards, you notice a leaf came unattached from the tree above. Floating gently down next to you till it reaches a stream nearby. Water gently trickling around little rocks like mini waterfalls and making little pools before continuing on its way. 

Now imagine, placing your stress and worries on that leaf that is floating down to the water. Then watch as it gently and slowly floats on the stream’s current away. 

Looking back up, another leaf has detached itself from the strong, majestic tree to float down before you. Again, place your stress and worries on that soft leaf and let it float down the stream.


This was how it was more or less explained to me. The beautiful imagery helping to calm my anxiety and ADD mind. Reducing high levels of built-up stress to having muscles relaxed and feeling more centered.

Personally, I have tried other types of meditation though some were not too successful. However, there were some that were successful. Back when I was in college, I took a class at my local community college called Tai Chi Chuan. The slow movements were meditative and calming for me. Along with the relaxing music, I was able to focus and feel more energized. I felt like I was normal. Now, how many individuals can say they felt that way? Probably not many if they are being honest. (Being normal? How fun is that?) Another thing I just remembered was a previous post I saw while scrolling through Facebook titled “Something to remember when stressed.” All of these things are important to our wellbeing. Be it physical or mental, it is something we need to focus and do as we can.

If this sort of imagery is not helpful for you, there are other meditative types of things one can do to help reduce stress. Listening to music you find calming, reading a book, taking a walk out in nature, cooking, and more. The possibilities are endless!

On an ending note, I had subscribed to a poetry subscription website and a poem that reminded me of this technique had beautiful imagery. It reminded me of leaves on a stream and my troubles and worries floating down it gently away.

From Knopf Poetry, a poem by Vera Pavlova:

sit by the river
keep pitching
your troubles in it
watch them
float away
with the current
too light
to drown

—from Album for the Young (and Old) 

via Daily Prompt: Leaf

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Easy Pan-Fried Breaded Chicken Breasts (Gluten Free)

Easy Pan-Fried Breaded Chicken Breasts (Gluten Free)

Happy Thursday everyone!

This recipe is pretty simple but tasty! I first made it and had the lightly pan-fried chicken breast slices with some cornbread waffles as was needing something different than the usual baked chicken.

Of course, you can add any sides you like from waffles to loaded mashed potatoes or even creamy mashed cauliflower too. The possibilities are endless! These pan-fried chicken breasts would be good topped on a salad even.

The breadcrumbs I used were the Full Circle Italian breadcrumbs brand that I found at my local Lowes grocery store but any brand will do. If you don’t have the Italian style breadcrumbs, you can add some parsley flakes and salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs before you coat the chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

  • Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (Italian style works amazing!)
  • 1lb Chicken breast thin sliced
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning
  • Oil (I use canola but any high heat oil works)

Directions:

  1. Clean and cut chicken into thin strips.
  2. Add breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper (and if not using Italian style, add parsley flakes too!) onto a plate. Lightly coat the chicken breasts in the breadcrumbs till each piece is covered.
  3. Heat oil on low to medium heat in a frying pan. (Be careful as the oil will splatter as it cooks the chicken. I use a splatter screen for my frying pan to help minimize getting splattered and burned.)
  4. Add a few chicken slices to the hot oil and cook till browned on each side and thoroughly cooked.
  5. Place each cooked piece of chicken on a plate with paper towels. Once finished cooking the chicken breast slices, pat dry with a paper towel before serving.

Enjoy!

via Daily Prompt: Fry

Daily Prompt: Mentor Me

Daily Prompt: Mentor Me.

There’s a lot of people who have helped me to become who I am today. Some have helped me artistically, career-wise, being more patient, and even eating well. Though I have to say these people, my wonderful friends, have been my mentors. Many of them have been with me since first or second grade and others I’ve met later and we’ve stayed friends for years. To these wonderful and inspiring people, I hope they know how much they mean to me and how I think they are more than mentors but hero’s in their own right.

Some of these heroes are teachers, soon to be health professionals, writers, artists, and other professionals. They mean so much to me and have helped me to be who I am today. They have helped me to learn about a wide range of things and to even help myself more too. I have learned to be more patient and calmer (though still have a long way to go on those at times) and to be healthier.

As of right now, I have decided to go vegetarian as it is very helpful. I admit, I actually feel better inside. Like poisons, that were inside, are slowly leaving. Granted I am still overweight but it will take time and patience to lose it, I know I am on my way to do so.

I have also worked hard to be better at writing and art. It has taken awhile and in some things there’s still more work to be done but I am getting there definitely. My web design classes I have gotten all A’s on projects, etc. My graphic design classes have been B level but when I have designed things for freelance work, clients have been very happy with what I have given them. My writing classes have ranged from A- to a B. (Seriously, how could anyone get an A- in Writing 300 at UB? It’s almost unheard of!)

So to these hero’s who have helped me so much, I thank you from my heart. You mean the world to me and I know I can’t express it more so and sometimes not as much as I should but you should know that I appreciate everything you all have done for me and to help me to become better.

Daily Prompt: All About Me

Daily Prompt: All About Me.

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

I wanted to create a blog detailing my journey in becoming healthier and making a lifestyle change. This is something I have tried numerous times with various diets but each time, when heavy stresses arose, I would end up falling off and going back to my old ways. So I figured why not try this and work on making it stick?

I’m tired of my issues with my health going downhill and not being able to lose the weight I need (let alone the needed motivation) so for the things I have learned in the past and from others, I’m chronicling my journey with it’s ups and downs and sharing it for the world to see. This way even though it may be a difficult path, there is support and new ideas can always help me to advance farther on it. It also gives tips, recipes, and more for others who are interested or who may be struggling themselves to give them hope and ideas on changing their lives for the better.

Daily Prompt: Right to Health ~ A Recent Graduate’s Take on Health Care Accessability

Daily Prompt: Right to Health.

“Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?”

My Belief

The daily prompt is a good one even if it is very political. As a recent graduate from University and a current freelancer, not having access to affordable health care is a very big deal. My income is usually quite sporadic so not being able to visit a doctor when I first start getting a cold, leaves me hanging out in the wind.

If the government provided affordable or preferably, free health care, it would be a huge burden off of low income and no-income adults. Sure there is Medicare/Medicaid but not everyone qualifies for it. What about the poor students who have no jobs yet due to the economy and yet have to live with their families? Their families should not have to pay for each doctor’s visit their child has to go to and being paid at minimum wage while having student loans is outright laughable.

A good question that is probably in a lot of people’s minds is how would it be funded? A few cents in taxes would greatly help pay for this type of thing. Why not add the tax to the cost of gas? Or have businesses over a certain amount, pay a little extra? Then to have an organization or department in the government to mandate quality of these hospitals and doctors is a good thing too. This way, we will have better quality of living in this country. I am sure there are other ways to get it funded and to keep the quality high but this is just my ideas.

Benefits Vs Non of Government Medical Care

Pros
There are many benefits of Government medical care.

  • Can have treatment even if can’t afford it
  • Ability to be more affordable
  • Healthier citizens
  • Less Taxing on the economy

Cons

There are also some cons too.

  • Quality can be poor depending on the training of medical staff & equipment
  • Need for better background checks for current and future doctors to reduce con artists

There are a lot more pro’s and cons of having Government affordable health care but I really do believe that the government needs to take a step in this direction as our future health is at stake.