Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nothing Limits You Except Your Fear

The above is one of my all time favorite quotes/poems. The text is at the bottom of the post if you have a hard time reading the above.

This poem has alway spoken to me. I think often times many of us, especially women feel like we do not have the right to do something grand with our life, to let other people see the things we can really accomplish. We (okay this is just my PERSONAL thoughts of what is probably going on in my own brain) feel that we do not have the right to dare to dream of doing something amazing, and accomplishing great things in life. Who am I to dare to dream to make a change in the world? Who am I to actually make a big difference? What makes me think that little old nobody me can do something that will actually change something? 

I think that that is where I am standing right now. I am bound by my thoughts, limited by my fear, and controlled by my belief (subconscious or otherwise) that maybe I cannot, or do not have the ability to do something great with my life. I am overwhelmed by thoughts of ideas and possibilities of what I could do and avenues I could set out on, an in the end frozen in a state of fear that is limiting me from actually doing something with my life.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

In which I become a hamster...

I've been struggling lately. A lot. I feel like most of my life I have just been a hamster stuck on a wheel. I'm running, but not going anywhere, not making any progress. Lately I'm more of a hamster just standing on a wheel. My little hamster brain has suddenly realized that for all the running I have done, I haven't gotten anywhere. The problem is, I WANT to go somewhere, I want to do things, big things. I feel, know, deep in my heart that I am SUPPOSED to be doing something BIG with my life. I have some important role to fill, but I just don't know what it is. I have so many ideas, so many possibilities, but I just don't know where to start. My hamster self has been stuck in a box with an infinite amount of different paths, all that in all likelihood lead somewhere great, and at least lead SOMEWHERE, but I'm so overwhelmed that instead of just picking one, I am frozen. Stuck, maybe too scared to head out into one of those unknown paths and see what is waiting. Lacking the confidence to even try one of those paths.

One quote I love, I can't remember if it is from a book or a movie, is something along the lines of , "What you want frightens you to death, which is why you fail to comprehend yourself." I believe that the quote is actually about a woman who has fallen in love with a man, but in life in general I think it is pretty accurate for a lot of us.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How "Brainwashed" Have YOU Been By Mass Media?

Something that is on my mind a lot is the effect of media on us, the world as a whole, the American people, men, women, girls, boys, and each of us individually. We are bombarded from day 1 with certain stereotypes, ideals, and molds that the media lays out for us of what we and our lives should look like. These stereotypes are often perpetuated by much of the populace, at least much of the vocal populace.

For the most part I try and avoid buying into these stereotypes and ideals. Sometimes I do wonder though how much of my own way of thinking and desires have been shaped by the media and what we are told to want. Do I want to lose those 15-20 pounds I have put back on over the last few years because I actually want to based on how I feel, etc. or because I have been exposed to the idea that lighter/thinner is "better"? I honestly do not know, it can be hard to tell how much is TRULY your own thinking and how much of it is indoctrinated into you via mass media.

Today however, I got an up close and personal slap in the face about how much an individual's ideals and ideas about how people are supposed to be can be formed by media and outside sources. This morning my younger brother, Erik, was in my room, "harassing" me while waiting for our mom to finish getting ready to take him out driving. She was almost done, and he starts in on how women just take longer to get ready, something like, "You can tell she's a woman, a man wouldn't take that long to get ready." I told him that I probably took less time to get ready than most guys I know. He told me that this was because, "That's because you are like a dude. You're more like a guy, you are kind of boyish." ................... Thanks? He goes on to tell me, "It's a good thing!"

Now, I know my brother well enough and I am comfortable enough with myself that it didn't really bother me, at least not for what he was saying about me, but it did bother me for what it was saying about what he though of men and women. Women are supposed to take a long time to get ready, they are supposed to blow dry their hair, and put makeup on, and curl their hair, etc. If you do not do these things you are obviously not a woman, but more like a "dude." Men get ready quick, they have to sit around and wait for the women to primp and prepare themselves for going out. So, if you do not live up to this stereotype then you are something else, and do not qualify for being a man/woman.

I have never been one to take a long time to get ready. Even if I have to take a shower before I go I can keep it under twenty minutes (and I have A LOT of hair), and if I have already taken a shower it's a matter of getting dress and running a brush through my hair. (Take THAT! ;)). I don't wear makeup, I honestly don't even own any and if I did I wouldn't know how to apply it. About the only thing I can do with my hair is curl it, and that is pretty much my limit. Like my sister just said (texted), "Most girls wouldn't take so long if they had hair like yours!" I was blessed with nice hair, really nice hair, hence the not knowing how to do it!

Erik was not done with his "insights" on his sister. This afternoon we were driving back from the movie, and we somehow get on the subject of my dating life (or the lack thereof). He's only known of one guy I have ever dated, and he informed me that, "You don't like boys." I'm not 100% sure where he was coming from/going from with this, but it just hit me that the way media portrays it you are either some ditzy boy chasing girl or some uptight corporate type witch with a capital "B" who does not like men. Therefore if you aren't the ditzy type you must not like men. Well, I am definitely not the ditzy type, (not that I don't have my "blonde" moments, I do, I DEFINITELY do, but I am not what the media portrays "ditz's" to be). So, if I am not a ditzy boy chaser then I must hate men, right? That is what the media would have us believe.

These two little conversations today with  my brother struck me with how much anyone, anywhere can be impacted and have their perspectives on people shaped by what they are exposed to in the media. I wonder, how much have each of us been "brainwashed" by what we are exposed to in the media?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Finding Encouragement in Unlikely Places

It looks okay, but just not quite right!- GF White Bread
So today is day 5 of my new Gluten Free, Egg Free, and (mostly) Dairy Free life. So far it is going pretty well. The whiff of French Bread at Sprouts today wasn't very nice, well actually it was DELICIOUS, but it wasn't terrible. I've been doing a lot of.... Pinteresting? Pinterest Searching? for various gluten free and dairy free recipes. I have found some recipes for gluten free breads that look pretty decent and some blogs that I will probably start stalking in the future. In a non creepy way of course.

Along with the blog stalking I have been doing some flour pricing. Gluten free flour is EXPENSIVE!! I have been feeling like I won't be doing a lot of baking in the future because I am just not willing $3+ a pound for flour. That is just an outrageously ridiculous price. Today I decided to head to Sprouts to look for rice flour prices and then take a chance and head over to WinCo to look at their bulk food section. I hadn't been there for awhile and couldn't remember what they had in the flour section. After a bit of stick shock at Sprouts ($3.49 for 20 oz for Bob's Red Mill White Rice Flour), I mentally crossed my fingers and drove to WinCo. (I love WinCo, I'm not sure why, I think part of it has to do with the fact that it reminds me of going back to Twin Falls and shopping at the WinCo there.)

Anyways, I headed back towards the Bulk Food section and walked down the Flour aisle. I looked at one side, no Rice Flour, but there was Chia Seeds, Flax Meal, Spelt Flour (which I can't have), and several other things that I may be buying in the future. I turned to the other side, and there at the end was White Rice Flour for.... $1.21 a pound!! SCORE! I grabbed a bag to get some (Janice had asked me to bring some up when I come to visit), and started pouring some in. As I did so an older lady made a comment about what a good price that was. I agreed with her and told her that I had just found out how expensive it was, and was now going to be buying it due to food issues. She shared that she had baked her own bread for 50+ years and then had found out she too couldn't eat gluten. We talked for a little bit, she reassured me that in time I wouldn't even crave bread and then pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down the name of  two blogs she really liked for Gluten Free baking. One I had heard of, but the other was new to me, Baking Beauties.

Baking Beauties GF Cinnamon Rolls
I have looked at several recipes from this blog and it looks like a gold mine. I came above the above picture of a cinnamon roll and that little picture made me feel like there might be hope for actually having gluten free bread that actually tastes like... bread. It was encouraging to meet that lady and WinCo and to have her give me this blog name. After all, who doesn't like a good cinnamon roll??