5 Steps to Renew Your Kitchen

Before we can get to cooking, lets start with giving our kitchens a facelift. The time has come to get rid of all the unhealthy, preserved, nutrient deprived food from inside your freezer, fridge and pantry- this includes clearing out all those special hiding spots with your late night snacks. Clearing out your kitchen of all the bad stuff can mean a lot more then just removing the junk. You are creating a new start for yourself when it comes to how you use your food. Providing yourself with alternative solutions for the times that you are so comfortable with falling back on easy, unhealthy food choices is one of the most important elements in reaching your health goals. Lets create a new vibe for your kitchen- for the food you make everyday and the food you run to for a quick fix.

1.    A good rule of thumb when it comes to products like cereal, snacks, quick meals and other basics: Take a look at the ingredients. Single out anything that is sugar or a version of sugar (high fructose corn syrup, etc). The order in which the ingredients are listed on the box is directly related to the quantity that is in the product. So- the first ingredient has the highest quantity. A good rule a thumb- do not let sugar, or any form thereof be any MORE than the 3rd ingredient. This alone will rule out some of the WORST things in your pantry.

2.    Go fresh. With the exception of canned beans and tomatoes, get rid of everything that should be growing in the dirt but has found its way into cans, out of your pantry. This means all that canned fruit, fruit cocktails, compotes and sugar packed jams.

3.    Switch your sweeteners. Kiss your sugar, Sweet ‘n Low’s and Splendas good bye. Replace those cute little packets of sucralose  with stevia extract, a natural sugar alcohol that’s found in plants. If you like using honey to sweeten your tea or protein shakes in the morning, switch it over to agave necter. Agave necter is half the calories of sugar and with its lower glycemic index, it promotes a slower absorption of the sugar in it. Hence making agave nectar a great sweetener for diabetics, but also a definite smart choice for any other health conscious individual.

4.    Cut the fat. Get rid of shortenings, vegetable oils and lards. You don’t need these things to give your food a moist texture and taste good. Hang onto your olive oil and 0 calorie non stick cooking spray as you will find at least one in most of the recipes I share with you.

5.    Segregate. When it comes to vegetables, not everyone gets along. Separate everything from potatoes. Potatoes give off a lot of the moisture thats different fruits and veggies are hungry for (especially ones in the onion family), causing them to spoil quicker. Keep bananas away from the rest of your produce, as the hormones they spit out as they ripen cause other fruits to oxidize faster. By taking the time to separate your produce, and learning what foods do not play well with others, you are maximizing your dollar by ensuring that the foods you buy stay fresher, longer.

When it comes to replacing what you’ve removed, try not to get overwhelmed. To start, make the switches that I have suggested: your sweeteners, your cooking fats. When you get to the store, go by the rule of sugar as the 3rd ingredient. You’ll find it easy, and probably realize that there are some pretty healthy alternatives for what you have been eating. Stick to whole foods: whole grains, fresh veggies. Stay away from anything overly processed or processed at all if possible. And remember, this isn’t an overnight transformation. As you follow my recipes, your collection of better products will start to build, and your understanding of what’s worth eating will soon become second nature.

With that, give this morning dish a shot. It’s great for weight loss and can be kept in the fridge for a few days and taste just as great.

Morning Musli

1 1/2    Cups Rolled oats
2    Cups Rice Dream, Vanilla Flavor
2    Tablespoon Agave nectar
1/4    Cup Chopped apples, red
1/4    Cup Chopped apples, green
1/4    Cup Dry roasted almonds, unsalted, chopped or sliced
1    Teaspoon Cinnamon
Rice Dream as needed

Instructions: Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Check 1 hour after mixing, checking moisture content. Extra Rice dream may be needed depending on desired consistency.

Calories: 148.13

Baby Talk

Oprah… has a way of nailing things right on the head. I don’t know if it’s all those quiet private plane rides from Chicago to Santa Barbara and back, but the lady has one seriously charged thinking cap.

The other day Her Lady O had the Author of “Women, Food and God” on to speak about her book, and how it is changing so many lives. After Oprah put her golden tear of approval on the 211 page weight loss bible, women of the audience and readers of the book shared their stories via home video and in studio testimony. I of course had an Oprah ‘ah ha’ moment, and impulsively squealed my “AH HA”, out loud. Luckily, myself and 2 dogs were the only ones in the room. My ‘ah ha’ moment came when a woman was talking about her 11 year old daughter. She overheard her daughter make a comment about her thighs, and how she was fat.

Two things are important here, both of which Oprah beat me in identifying. One, children are our best mirrors. What we identify ourselves as is amplified by our kids. I don’t have children, but as someones child,  I’ve realized that as I’ve gotten older, a lot of my issues are a reduced version of my parents. I exhibit my fathers self inflicted pressure to succeed, my mothers desire to make others feel happy at any cost even to myself. We identify with our parents identities because for such a huge portion of our developing lives, they are what we know to be true. In this woman’s case, she always struggled with weight, was vocal about it, hereby her daughter adapted the behavior and the identity of ‘fat’ most likely before she even knew what ‘fat’ was. Now, as a pre-teen, she stands staring in the mirror verbally assaulting herself about her appearance. Whether the child is over weight or not clearly isn’t the issue. The issue here is important point number two…

In one of my earlier blogs I talk about disapproval. Just like anything, when we practice something we naturally become better at it. When we practice disapproval of ourselves or others, it becomes apart of who we are. We are all born perfect beings, so an identity of such self hatred could only be taught, even inadvertently. My point, the daughter has learned by observation that this is how her mother speaks to herself, however when the mother hears her daughter exhibit the same behavior, she is in shock and awe. Why? Because she’s a child. Most if not all emotional issues start in childhood, what changes as we get older is the way we treat ourselves about them as our environments change. We become more cruel and explicit in our remarks to ourselves. Remarks of course that no one would make to a child. This woman, realizing this, walks into the room with her daughter and through positive and gentle affirmation, attempts to reinforce her daughters self esteem, self worth, and image. Speaking to her as she is, a child.

But aren’t we all? If our emotional issues begin in childhood, than in those issues, aren’t we always going to be children?

What’s to change is how we treat ourselves. Begin today by treating yourself a little better. When an insecurity arises, talk to yourself as if you were a child. Be an advocate for your own healing. Stick up for yourself, against yourself. Be your own vigilante versus your own bully.

Your Kid Could Be An Ax Murderer

Decisions. Choices. Meanings. Stories. Blame. Fear. Anger.

This is the inner workings of the machine that is YOU. Humans are full of “one or the others’. Full of stories about our past. Why someone said something, how it made us feel, what it made us do, all the things we can’t do now because this and that happened and you can’t fix it because it was followed by that event…

Sound familiar?

This involuntary thought process is the accelerator for most if not all problems we face everyday. It’s what leads to emotional eating, procrastination, addiction, divorce, self sabotage and reality television.

In [real] REALITY, things just happen. It is us, complicated and fascinating, that make the stories that go with it all. Instead of living in a world of simple facts, events, and leaving the past where it belongs; we perceive it, connect it to any number of emotions, and make it fact. Each time something happens that is relevant to the story, we take it on as evidence that our story, based on emotion, is what actually happened. Everyone around you is doing this, therefore, no one is ever looking at anything the same way, ever.

What we are all trying to do is protect ourselves. The more stories we have, the safer we are. Think about it. We never have to take responsibility because we can keep ourselves from being wrong, bad, dominated, and at fault. We ALWAYS end up as the victim in our stories. We ALWAYS GET TO BE RIGHT.

I love being right. I think out of everything the world has to offer, being right is totally my favorite.

I want to be right because it proves against a story I have in my past.  Every time something happens or someone does something, I get to throw a big juicy piece of evidence in this truck of stories that I have been driving around my whole life. More proof that I am in fact… right about EVERY THING. This becomes incredibly convenient when you are in a relationship. Or at a work place where you are not the boss. Or on a diet. Parents are a great place to find evidence.

What ends up happening here is we become slaves to our stories. Everyone and everything around us becomes apart of it and nothing is ever real. A new relationship is never new, its just an extension of the handful you’ve had before. In fact, the more relationships you’ve HAD the worse they GET, because the story just gets bigger and YOU KEEP TELLING IT. With every crash diet you do, that doesn’t work because they are not designed to, you add another piece of PROOF that you are going to be fat forever.

So. I have a challenge. Start thinking. Realize that in life things just happen. That’s all. Things happen because they happen, no reason. No story. A lot of people deal with some major stuff and this can be difficult. Abusive parents, rape, death, abuse in relationships. Through these experiences we build stories about them, keeping the events alive and essentially search for other tools to cope. We torture ourselves and the people around us, all for something we are powerless to change. I am not trying negate the power of an experience, what I am trying to convey is the power of YOU as a human being. The power of choice and decision. To recognize the voice in your head that tells you that because your parents didn’t show you adequate love or god forbid were abusive, that now and forever you aren’t worth love from anyone. The latter is a choice YOU make and can be over ridden at any moment. The best news is two fold: 1. Nothing bad that has happened is happening NOW. 2. You can be brilliant, perfect, and effective in life in lieu of anything that happens to you

There is so much opportunity for an amazing life, regardless of what has happened to you in the past that you equate to what makes you YOU. You can transform the way you think at any moment. If you want to lose weight, do it. Let go of the reasons and events that you have gathered as to why you shouldn’t, can’t or won’t.  We come up with reasons not to based on our stories and everything you are afraid of. Fear keeps us away from so much. When you think about how much you miss out on because of fear, it will nauseate you. Fear that your partner will leave you, that you’ll lose your job, that people wont like you, that you wont look good, or that your kids will turn out to ax murderers. None of those stories matter because you are powerless against them.

Start now, as this right here can be a perfect moment if you make it. You are you, perfect in every way.

Oprah’s Books Are Made of Gold

Grab a mirror. Look at yourself. Look at yourself in the eye. What do you see? What do you remember? Who does that person identify themselves as?


I’ve never been a cheerleader and I’ve never been a motivational speaker. I’ve found it to be ineffective and void of any power whatsoever. So I’m not going to tell you what it is you should see. (snore) Regardless of what I say about YOU, you are the one staring back at YOU in the mirror.
So I’ll tell you what you most likely see. You see a person where most of their ideinity has become a product of their most consistent complaints comprised by a bunch of funny words that you think make up an individual. Too old, too young, too fat, not smart enough, wrinkly, tired, stressed, sometimes happy, not good enough, sometimes funny, un-lovable too serious, unheard…
We mistake a lot of things in life. The most common mistake is mixing up a feeling, with reality. It’s really crazy actually, if you truly start thinking about how nuts humans are.
Example: you go to a movie. It’s this dramatic love story and somebody DIES. You cry. You have tissues- you are handing them to your friends they are crying your neighbor is crying everyone is crying. Do you know how many times Bruce Willis has died in a movie? 11. Robert DiNiro, 12. But every time your emotions at that moment are CONVINCED that he is dying yet again.
Truth- you can have real feelings when nothing is going on. Do you really think that a movie theatre is the only place this happens?
So with that in mind, go back to looking in your mirror. Knowing that something as silly as a movie can have you convinced that someone has died, apply that to some of the events in your life that are even more dramatic and have lasted longer than 90 minutes.

We feel powerless because we think that experiences, feelings, opinions, others opinions, laws, rules, etc are a valid test of reality and who we are. So we become gullible. Bullying. Kids are ending their lives because other kids call them a “worthless fag.” Is that kid a worthless fag? No, but he thinks he is. Why? Because someone said so. At one point, women couldn’t vote. Was there some shift in the energy of the universe that said they can now? No. Someone said they should. We passed a law (we spoke) and it became true. Blacks-drinking fountains-someone said- “blacks should have separate drinking fountains.” Oh ok.
What’s the common demoninator here? Someone saying something and a human believing it’s true. If there is a strong enough consensus to something that is said, everyone follows. And the authority of who says it, makes it even more real. If I handed you a diet pill and said “and now, you may eat everything you like” you would probably believe me. Oprah recommends a book and 100 respectable middle aged women lose their mind in her studio when they get it for free, like the books made out of gold.
What is happening here is someone of authority on a subject is saying that something is good or bad and therefore it becomes a reality to those listening. If Oprah says it’s a great book, it’s a great book! This is why we have celebrities endorse products. They are a person of authority, and if they say it’s good, then it must be.
Unfortunately you are at a loss. A loss of power to be precise. Someone else is creating your reality. In REAL reality, you have all the power.
So ask yourself this question: How do I occur for myself?
Do you occur as overweight? Do you occur as unmotivated? Do you occur as someone void of knowledge and resources? Void of love? Support?
Answer that, and then really wrap your head around this sentence: Your actions are trapped by the way you occur to yourself.
If you occur to yourself to be unmotivated, then you act less upon the things you want to accomplish. Do you occur to yourself as void of knowledge and resources? Then you will act like you know nothing. And your results in life, in ANYTHING, are directly connected to your actions.

When you occur to yourself as powerful, you will, without a doubt, go out and make things happen.

So, look at yourself in the mirror and make a decision of who you choose to be. Tell yourself, out loud. Tell your partner, your friends, your dog. Tell everyone. And just like Oprah promoting a book, it will become reality.

The Meaning of Food

Lewis Carol said “life is but a dream”… the other day I was sitting in my car, in traffic, (I live in Los Angeles, and some of my best ideas come from hours on the 101) and for some reason I really got to thinking about what that meant. We are constantly living in this story of past and future, making everything we do and see sacred in some way. Creating little landmarks in our mind. When you take the way we look at food, different types of food especially, in some way or another it triggers a memory. When we have an abusive relationship with food, the dream we relive every time we indulge is nothing but a volunteered repeat of our past.

I believe that the most difficult times for us as adults are the ones we create for ourselves. You have the power to change your approach about anything including your health at any moment, and what better place to start than with food. Don’t just change the way you eat, take it one step further and change the story, the dream, and the everyday experience you have with your food. This will make your experience so much more successful. Lets lay out a few simple rules that I apply to more than just my eating habits:

1. Don’t approach your diet, or change in general, as something foreign. Make an effort to really buy into what you are doing. A lot of times our most continuous and negative feelings insist to exist because we buy into them so much. One of my worst and I know is hard for a lot of people is disapproval. What we don’t realize everyday is by buying into our own disapproval we are PRACTICING disapproval. The more you do it, the stronger the quality becomes. You essentially become an expert at causing this harm to yourself and subsequently, others at times. Take this negative power that you have given yourself, and turn it on itself. Buy into the change you are making in choosing to eat better. When you buy into it, you are practicing it, thus strengthening the habit and becoming an expert on fueling your body efficiently.

2. Set yourself up for success. If you are trying to quit smoking do you leave packs of cigarettes laying around the house? Probably not. Ill say this a million times, you cant eat the bad stuff if it isn’t there, so get rid of it. Empower yourself by taking out the trash.

3. Make a conscious choice. If you are going to change the way you eat, do it and do it all the way. You don’t need to wean yourself off of McDonalds. I understand that sometimes food can be your go to- to feel safe, to become calm- but the point of choosing to become a happier, healthier you, is to create a new safe place for yourself. Take a deep breath, and find the safety in moving forward in a better way for you and those you love. This is a form of acceptance, and a form of respect for the legitimate fear you have in becoming a slightly different person. Embrace it, love it, and be proud of yourself for being ahead of the curve and doing what’s best for YOU.

As we start to work on cooking processes, you’ll start to realize what a few little changes can do, but more importantly, how good they can taste. Lets start with the recipe for today. Get yourself a fresh chicken breast from your butcher. When you buy fresh, you are able to maximize on the flavor of that product, and minimize the amount of calories consumed. Dust that chicken with a little salt and pepper and that’s all you’ll need. Toss the garlic on when its ready and pay attention to it while it cooks, making sure its never over done. When you don’t use a marinade or excessive seasoning, the only issue you can really run into is over drying of meat. Cook the chicken until it’s just done, take it out, and allow it to rest for a couple minutes before serving. Don’t forget that the internal temp of the chicken will continue to rise slightly after its been removed from the oven, and the cooking process continues as it rests. With the green beans, this is a classic side dish you’ll find at many restaurants. The process of blanching the green beans (which is briefly cooking in boiling salt water, then removing and placing immediately into ice) is a great way to get the perfect crunch to any veggie, while still hanging on to the nutrients. The almonds throw in a great taste and positive nutritional value, all together a great side to pair your juicy chicken.

Try this out tonight. Don’t be afraid to throw your favorite herb on your chicken. Going for maintenance and not so much weight loss? Season some cooked quinoa with salt and pepper and place ½ cup under the chicken before serving.

Enjoy and be well.
Cassandra

You Are Not Your Weight

[A person who is the master in the art of living, makes little distinction between their work and their play. Their labor and their leisure. Their mind and their body. Their education and their recreation. Their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which and simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace. Whatever they do. Leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them, they are always doing both.]

Who are YOU that your reality IS?

When who you are IS something, it gives you an unrealistic relationship with that thing. When who you are IS overweight– as when you are IS something– your behavior is in an automatic dance with that something.

Example: When who we are is something, we establish this sort of primitive connection to reality. ie. The glass door is clear so we walk into it because we can see through it. Who we are is there is no door, so our action is a match for that. As far as you are concerned you are sitting still reading this blog right now, but really you are hurdling in space around the sun at thousands of miles per hour. Our mind isn’t always completely logical or even honest with us for that matter. When who you see yourself to be is directly correlated to something you have, like anger or even weight, everything you do and everything you experience will be in direct connection to that. Your weight for example, will also become the loudest part of your identity and personality;  it will be what you think of first when you wake up and last before you go to sleep. Instead of being human, you become a number, a pant size, a surplus of whatever you think you have too much of.

So how do you get out of this way of thinking? Transformation begins at the level of personal. It doesn’t begin with a diet, a book, a dvd, or a pill. Your dreams automatically get shut down when you look for a saving source; something outside of you for the desire for change. The need for any type of change is self diagnosed, and self cured.  The best place to start is to distinguish the image of what you think you are, to what you really are. Put your wants and desires for life before the complaints that you have currently. Distinguishing your weight and what you don’t like about it as something separate from the actions you take to make it what you want. In taking action against what you wish to change, you automatically get to be that person…instantly.

Control

What gives the distance of a goal time and form? It has a beginning and an end. Boundaries. Measurability. This is the inner workings of an achievement. There is always a precise action to fulfill a commitment. When something doesn’t happen, we often say that there is some uncontrollable and/or insolvable issue in the world.
Almost certainly this is your reality with your health both mentally and physically if you are living with either of them as a “problem”. A few blogs back I spoke about stories and how those stories keep us safe. If you have been meaning to lose those 10+ pounds for any amount of time and you haven’t yet, guaranteed there is an uncontrollable and/or insolvable issue that you continue to tell yourself which keeps you free of blame, and essentially keeps you safe. Reality- your life is full of options, answers and alternate routes, it’s up to you to choose them.

The one thing that gives you your whole life is your total life. You are always inventing a new possibility for being you.

Starting today I want you to create a new paradigm of being human. This is the ultimate “no excuses” lifestyle. Your new paradigm of being human is you calling the shots. Picture properly painted: unless you are on a gurney near death, you will find a way to move your body, in the fashion of some exercise, everyday. You WILL choose the apple over the french fry, the salad over the burger, and the water over the soda. You will NOT waste your money on a 30 day workout DVD, a healthy body takes longer than a month no matter how loud they yell at you. You will not count your food in points or in fluid ounces, and certainly you will never prelude any meal with a pill. Your new paradigm is to GET REAL. BECOME RESPONSIBLE. And TAKE CONTROL.
Given what is important to you, that is what you get to be and create.

The Game

Believe it or not we all have a split personality. There is you, the slightly eager, maybe curious, solution seeking reader of a health blog. You have every intention of taking care of yourself and the people around you, and you would like to have a happy, simple life.


Then there’s the other you. The one you designed when you were very young. Imagine the first time you recognized unfairness, meaning: something made you angry. Hurt you. Confused you. At this point you generated a phrase, or maybe just a word. It dictates the feeling you had that you couldn’t articulate at the time. This was the birth of what I like to call, your “act”.

act. [akt] verb; without object
to pretend; feign: Act interested even if you’re bored.
to serve or substitute (usually followed by for): in the absence of my sanity, my alter ego will act in my place

Your act is responsible for everything unworkable in your life, and everything that comes at you that you see as unworkable, is handled by your act.
Example: Me. My act is, “hear me.” In the face of something that isn’t working, I am convinced that no one is listening to me. So I talk more, louder, in different tones. Go about it different ways. Once I’ve decided that I’m unheard, that’s it. No matter what anyone may say, I’m not being heard. God as my witness I will keep talking until I faint. Just to insure that everyone, ya know, hears me. [crazy]

Your act can be your saving grace as it normally is what creates an unreasonable drive and determination, (tune in next week…Teaser!) but for now I’d like to stick to if left unattended and unchecked, it can break apart our lives.

So here’s the game. The whole point of life as far as your act is concerned is to be validated. It’s more important than love, health, marriage, everything. You will forfeit and destroy relationships, and to preserve your act you will even refuse to be healthy.
As fascinating as this is to uncover, (which I hope you are doing) it’s also incredibly boring. Your whole life has been surrounded by a fundamental concern you established as an adolescent. You are trying on jeans at 40 or fighting with your partner in your 30′s and you’re best test for that current reality and valid feelings is a concept you generated when you were 8.

Please take a moment to laugh at that.

While you are at it, imagine a picture in your head. You, face to face with an elementary school aged child. He or she is telling you how to operate every element of your life that isn’t quite working for you and you say “You are definitely correct. Excellent plan.”

This is our struggle. We look through life and everything in it and we are so unaware of the distortion that’s right in front of us. No wonder most of us feel like we are never good enough. No wonder we are never satisfied. With years of living the best that most of us can come up with is “there’s something wrong with me.”

There’s nothing to fix here really. It’s just an understanding that in moments where life gets a little challenging, being aware that you and everyone else around you, isn’t always operating with both feet in the now. We are all walking around like little kids. Combining all of our experience and all of our knowledge as adults, just that little bit of awareness will change the way in which you handle your interactions with others but most importantly yourself. Would you ever look at a child and tell them that they are fat? Ugly? Not worthy of love? Absolutely not. But when you say that to yourself that’s exactly who you are talking to.

Inspector Gadget

Humans do not lack the power to change the world, we are just often blind to our tools to do so.

When we live in the mentality of being powerless, then we most simply are. The most influential people in the world aren’t made of a lighter weight, heat resistant, rust proof material. They all haven’t had the gift of a perfect childhood, above average IQ or a trust fund. The difference between a person in touch with their own personal power to change anything from their weight to the eradication of AIDS, and someone who has no power at all, is the awareness of choice. A healthy, productive, effective life is never impossible.

gadget [gaj-it]  -noun. a mechanical contrivance or device; any ingenious article. —Synonyms
contraption; whatsis, doohickey, thingamajig.

Options give us choice= power. Try this on: become your own version of Inspector Gadget. Put yourself in the frame of mind that you have the solution for everything. Something starts to fall apart- screw driver. Something you want is out of reach- go go gadget arm. You’ve become the Home Depot for life’s hurdles.

Even if just for today, use your imagination with this concept. It can be fun, but without a doubt effective.

Balance

One wonders why he is clumsy while walking forward with his head turned backwards.

Our world gets it’s volume and depth by the people we have in it. If people aren’t there we don’t get to be anyplace.

The plural of human beings by virtue made us not a singular.

The give and take of human relationships are always the hardest. Finding that epic balance where no power is lost for either human, and where the capacity to see something, anything, can cause breakthroughs in each persons performance as a human being.

Really it boils down to five things:
1. Commitment.
2. Integrity.
3. Agreement
4. Listening
5. Receiving.
Commitment- Your commitment to show up. A commitment to creating workability in your world as well as your relationships. It starts at the personal and works it’s way out, not the other way around. Ironic how some can stand for so much- world peace, hunger, cancer, AIDS, whale migration- yet they come home and tell their partner to shut up. There has to be a commitment to show up on all levels.
Integrity- Life becomes non-linear when you focus on real integrity. You have more space to live in when you aren’t focused so much on integrity being a morality issue. Integrity doesn’t just mean telling the truth, it can mean everything from being on time, to taking out the trash, to keeping yourself healthy.
Agreement- The most consistent things in your life right now are created solely out of an agreement. The consensus of an agreement can make anything a reality. From whispering in a library to the days of the week. There really is no Sunday-Saturday, it’s just something human beings have agreed upon to keep track of things, and keep things in order. Think about the smooth reality you could create if you came to similar agreements in your relationships.
Listening- The size of our life is a function of how much we are listened to, and how much we listen. The biggest problems can be solved, simply by listening. When you make someone feel known, respected, and heard, you are facilitating that epic balance of power between two people.
Receiving- If you have ever taken an economics class you’ll be familiar with Milton Freidman’s adage “there is no free lunch.” We are conditioned that everything comes with a price. Lunch, friendship, love, happiness. In many cases things are a give and receive, but there are moments in where it isn’t so. A hard one for me, COMPLIMENTS. I can’t take a compliment, I have to give one back.”Cassandra I love your hair.” “Why thank you I love your…shoes. Iloveyourshoes!” I may not even mean it, it’s pathetic! Hands down, it’s always a symbol for something greater. Imagine the level that your relationships could go to if you were able to 100% receive the free goodness and abundance that they were giving you.

Start today. Take out the trash, listen to someone, start your commitments with yourself, and say thank you to a compliment.