The Sun And The Rain And the Apple Seed

With the sporadic weather that has plagued the earth, and in honour of the US Thanksgiving, I thought I’d re-post this popular blog.  It was originally posted in March, 2012.  Although it doesn’t have to do with a big meal, it has everything to do with an attitude of gratitude.  May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!

grat-i-tude noun:  the quality or feeling of being thankful

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in Canada. Our country is immensely wide and somewhat deep as well. However, from coast to coast, we have one thing in common: We find some way to communicate our displeasure with the weather! It’s almost like an ongoing joke.

If it’s a winter’s day, and it’s -15°C, we will complain that it is a harsh winter. (That is about 5°Farenheit, by the way!) “It’s probably warmer in Nunavut, when will this dreaded winter be done?” If it’s summertime and 30°C+ a humidex factor (91°F), we’ll say that the summer is sooo hot this year.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. I try not to have bad days, so I decided to be thankful for whatever weather that we are having at the time. This winter was incredibly mild, I was thankful that it wasn’t -15°C. We did have some really cold days, I was grateful that the sun was shining. There was one bitterly cold day that it also snowed. I got chilled because I had to run errands that day. When I got home, I made a big pot of soup and went under the covers. That day, I was grateful for a comfortable bed to snuggle up under.

Last week in Southern Ontario, we had a warm spell. The temperatures got up to 25° (77°F). We had to look at the calendar to be reminded that it was the middle of March, and not June. Our normal temperatures are about 9°C (47°F) for this time of year. The magnolias, crocuses and daffodils started blooming. I bared my legs and wore skirts. There were days that it was raining because, after all, it is spring. True to form, I heard people complaining that it was going to rain. IT WAS 25° DEGREES, AFTER ALL! Sigh…

Well, we are now in a “cold snap”, according to the weather forecast. Today I woke up, and the temperature here is not getting any higher than 3°C (37°F). It will be unseasonably COLD today. I took a walk, and the magnolias, which were ready to open last week, have turned an ugly brown colour because of the extreme cold. The flowers that were blooming so beautifully just days ago, are now being covered up for protection. However, it is SUNNY!

Erratic weather is a definite possibility, I do acknowledge that. The weather may bring droughts or tornadoes. Hurricanes and floods may be something that has touched your life. I am in no way minimizing the effects of disasters on you or anyone else’s life. However, I know from experience that, the faster I get out of the victim stage, the faster my recovery.

I spent so many years not being happy because of my difficult marital situation. Now I am embracing all that life has to offer, even rainy days. If it didn’t rain, the daffodils would not look as beautiful. Each day, I find something to be grateful for, and oftentimes, the weather is part of my gratitude journalling. If it’s winter and raining, I’m thankful that it is warm enough not to be snowing. If it’s winter and cold, it is usually sunny, and for that, I am also grateful. If it’s 30°C, it’s definitely not snowing, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Can you find something for which you are grateful?

May Your Cup Always be full,

Stephanie~Emerging Princess

www.stephanietitusandrews.com

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The Success Indicator

Today’s post is courtesy of Jeff Moore of My Everyday Power

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Pursue Your Passion!  Live Your Legacy

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini

It’s Theological Thursday.  As is the custom, here is a post from a Christian point of view.  Enjoy!

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  I was warned, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day.

A few days before, I lay on a hospital bed in the emergency ward, preparing for surgery.  I had developed a condition, a Small Bowel Obstruction, which required emergency surgery.  The doctor explained what he was going to do, and where they were going to cut.  I looked at the Doctor, mortified.

Surgery

Surgery (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

“Can’t you cut across my belly, below my belly-button?” I asked.

“No, that’s not possible,” the gentle Doctor quietly responded.

Well, when they got to the surgical floor, I prayed that the situation would change.  My procedure was successful (or I wouldn’t be writing this blog! 😉  ).  A day later, a nurse came to change my dressing.  Most of my stomach area had gauze or surgical tape.  I eagerly awaited the revelation of where my actual scars were.  As the nurse worked and explained what she was doing, I peeked.  I would eventually be doing her job when I was released.  As the gauze was taken off, I gasped.  I had been cut from my sternum, past my belly-button, all the way down to—well I couldn’t tell.  I couldn’t see that far!  My hopes of a low-lying scar were dashed against a rock, and broken into a million pieces!

“Who would want a scarred body like this?” I thought.  Turning to the nurse, I said,

“Oooh gosh, look at dat!”

“Girl, yuh had may-jah belly sur-dree”, she replied.

Not only was the surgery a surprise, I was also in a foreign country.  I was in the second week of a vacation to my birthplace, Trinidad.  It didn’t take me long to revert to being a “Trini” again—embracing the slower pace of life, and the sing-song method of speaking.

A few days later, I was released from the hospital.  During the next couple of weeks, I had some major fights with God about my scar.  It was a bone of contention during many of my prayer sessions.  I believe that it even started sowing the seed of ingratitude in my heart.  I was upset that now, I couldn’t wear an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie” bikini of any colour.

One day, I came to my senses and thought,

“Hold up!  This is ridiculous!  You have borne three children.  Your belly has been stretched to the maximum.  You have all the rivers of the world etched into your belly as proof!  There’s no way under the sun, that you’ll even ever go out in public in a bikini!”

That was a huge turning point for me.  Perhaps being angry at the scar was a way of taking my mind off the seriousness of the surgery.  Either way, I was finally able to thank the Lover Of My Soul for creating my body to be the wonderful machine that it was.  I was grateful that I was able to bear three wonderful children and nourish them.  I had strong legs, hands that worked, and a sound mind.

I looked back at the events surrounding my surgery, and they had God’s hand written all over them.  My room-mates were all Christians.  Visitors provided prayer coverage, and worship music was constantly playing.  I was surrounded by relatives who loved and cared for me.  This included a prayer-warrior aunt, who mustered up the support from my childhood church.  I had the surgery in a fabulous teaching hospital, with the head registrar leading my team of doctors.  I was able to have the surgery for free, as I was born there.  And when I was released into the care of my relatives, I didn’t have to lift a finger.  My laundry was done for me, my food prepared…that would not have been the case had I been in my own house.  This is the first time in my life that I was truly pampered.  Fussing over an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” seemed so puerile.

Recovery was a challenge, I won’t lie.  This surgery really changed my life.  Each day I’m thankful for my health.  I look at my “bikini” line”, and I’m well-aware that God saved me from the jaws of death.  The Lover Of My Soul has a great plan for my life.  I will reap my heavenly rewards, after I shake off this broken-temporal body.

What life-changing (near-death?) experience have you survived?  Please share…

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

 

 

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May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Foodie Friday

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although it’s Foodie Friday, today’s entry is not really food (although most ingredients are edible).  It’s more like a recipe for great winter hands.  I love when my hands are hydrated.  Dry hands, especially in the winter, are not my fave thing.  For years, I have made various concoctions of creams to help keep my skin soft.  I even came up with a belly cream for my daughter to use to prevent stretch marks when she was pregnant with my grandson. It worked~she doesn’t have a single striae there.  She doesn’t even look like she had a baby! 😥  (I really should start writing some of this stuff down, as people always comment on how well my creams work.)  And since I’m on more of a health-kick since my surgery, today’s feature was right up my alley.

I was really happy when I found this hard lotion recipe.  I added more coconut oil and cocoa butter because brown hands can handle~and often need~more “grease”.  Fiddle around with the recipe.  Make 1 little bar, stick it in the freezer and test it out.  If you don’t like it, melt it down and keep working until you like it.  Everyone has different tolerance levels for moisture & oil on their hands.

The original recipe was from one of my fave sites, Made On.

In a double boiler, melt equal amounts of beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil.  Stir until fully melted.  Pour into moulds and enjoy!  I used paper muffin cups for larger ones (1/4 full) and plastic ice cube trays for ones that I put in my purse.  For different fragrances, add a few drops of essential oils, such as vanilla, to smell your preference.  (I made ylang ylang and lemon.)

Like I said, I added more oils, about 2 tbs of coconut oil and cocoa butter, but my hands can handle it!  You can mix and match oils quite easily.  Oh, and these are all natural butters, not processed!  For those allergic to beeswax, a hard lotion can be made with soya.  I’ve experimented with one, but have not had success as yet.  Will post when I do.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Tying It All Together (Part V)

It has been a few days since my last post…

I have literally worked backwards with these last few blogs! To be quite honest, I am a very spontaneous kind of person. I love a good challenge. Working these posts in this order has been a bit confusing, but here is the summary:

Live Your Life Lightly. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Live Your Life Liberally. Step out of your box and live a little!

Leave a Legacy. Leave a positive imprint on our world!

We are all given a small time on this earth. There is not enough time to hold grudges. It is actually a waste of precious time and energy to do so. Life is to short for you not to enjoy it. That doesn’t mean that you should indulge in things that are detrimental to your health. However, occasionally taking part in something different will really put some sizzle in your life. And while you are doing that, Leave a Legacy. Volunteer in you community or give back to mankind in some way.  It will change your life.

Hopefully, these three suggestions will nudge you to make some small, positive changes in your life!

To wrap things up, here is the actual blog, in presentation form, which I presented at a recent MoMonday Event:

Living Lightly (Part III)

In my last blog, I talked about Leaving and Living a Legacy. Today, I will tackle the first part of my speech, “Live Lightly”. But, what exactly does this mean?

By Living Lightly, I refer to letting go of the non-important incidents that happen in your life. Do you sweat the small stuff? Does everything have to be done a certain way, or you will be out of sorts?  Are you a person who must have your Starbuck’s coffee each morning, or you’re doomed?  Can you move on after a disagreement, or do you hold on to it for months on end?

I love to have certain things done in a particular manner, and items in my house put in particular places. However, after starting my Coaching practice, I realized that it takes a lot of time. I have adult children who now assist with many aspects of running my household. As a result of this, I have had to learn which battles are worth picking, and which ones that just have to go! And, occasionally, the motherly stubbornness wants to set in and take over, but I much prefer to have a relationship with my kids than quibble over something that won’t change our value system.

For me, taking public transit definitely teaches me to Live Lightly. Toronto is a very eclectic city. Unfortunately, some people were not taught manners at an early age~or they have forgotten them. When you are sitting on a train and someone is blasting loud music while you are trying to study Psychology, well, you either get angry, or learn to Live Lightly. The relative that really annoys you at family functions~they are you, Living Lightly personified!

Living Lightly, like Leaving a Legacy, is a choice. Take some time to analyze the situation that is before you. Ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow, next week, next month or next year”? Most times, this elevates the situation to the “absurd” level and makes it not worth the fight.

Letting go, forgiving and Living Lightly all go hand-in-hand.  Next time, I will address how I Live Liberally.

Living Your Legacy (Part II)

To continue with my last blog, not only can one Leave a Legacy, but you can Live your Legacy as well.  That can be done in three ways:

1.  What Do You Want To Create?

Is there something that you want to be known for in your professional life?  Are you a great negotiator?  A fair leader?  Maybe you are known as a peacemaker?  Or perhaps you are the one who brings the doughnuts and treats to the office.  You are known for something, and if you don’t like what you are known for, change it!  We have the power to do that.  Create something more memorable!

2.  Who Do Want To Emulate?

There is a world of people out there.  Somewhere, someone has done what you are doing now, or attempting to do.  Who is this person?  Google can help here.  The person doesn’t have to be famous.  However, they can be a means of insight and information for the path that you wish to take.  Remember:  Success leaves tracks.  When you choose a mentor/hero, I suggest finding someone who is/was not addicted to a substance, and didn’t die an untimely death.  There is not sense emulating someone who is a known alcoholic, or who died early in life.  Lastly,

3.  Where Do You Want To Spend Your Time, Talent and Treasure?

By this, I mean your time outside of work.  What organizations or agencies do you want to give back to?  Can you sing?  Maybe you can volunteer at a senior’s home and cheer up the residents with your music.  Do you own something unique?  I bet you would have your local kindergarteners, or other pertinent group, awestruck.  Maybe you are blessed financially, and can support a project or initiative of a local charity.  Volunteering is so under-rated.  Giving to an organization that will probably not be able to give you financial returns can be extremely rewarding.  I know that when I do, I feel a great sense of accomplishment.  I feel like I’ve taken my mind off my problems, if even for a few hours.

When we take the three steps described above, I believe that we can take steps to not only leave, but Live Your Legacy.

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Who Moved My Ball?

Many of us are fans of the comic strip by the late Charles M. Schulz.  His “Peanuts” comic strip, was one I looked forward to reading on a Saturday evening~after all my chores were done, of course!  Charlie Brown was a character that most of us could identify with at some point in our lives.  The recurring scene where Charlie Brown attempts to kick a football–which Lucy is holding, is a familiar one.  “He’s been through this before”, we all think.  “Lucy always moves the ball!”  However, each time Charlie Brown trusts her again.  For the umpteenth time, he takes a run for it, and when he’s ready to take a goal-scoring kick…he goes flying, and lands flat on his back!

Who moved my ball indeed!

That Charlie Brown scene was what was going through my mind recently as I, too, lay flat on my back.  Except, I was in a hospital room recovering from emergency surgery.  WHO MOVED MY BALL?  Was I even playing the game?  Why me?  Why now?

Many other questions went through my mind while in that hospital room.  The first thing was that, if doctors come to do emergency surgery, “no” is not an available option.  The second thing was the magnitude of my procedure.  This, I discovered the first time the nurse came to change my dressing.  “Oh my word!” was all I could say at the sight of my belly-length scar.  The third thing that troubled me was the thought, “Will I ever be able to use my left hand again?’  I am left-handed.  My IV was in my left hand, after an unsuccessful right-hand run.  The left hand had swollen and my fingers non-functional. (Call me self-absorbed!)

As quickly as those thoughts came to me, my analytical brain found answers~go figure.  For thought number one, I was grateful that I had a fabulous team of doctors.  I was especially grateful that the doctors found my problem in a timely fashion.  Some people who had my same problem were not as fortunate.  Secondly, I was never gonna wear belly-tops anyways!  After bearing three children, I have all the tributaries of the world etched on my belly in the form of stretch marks.  This new scar added another dimension.  And, writing with my left hand…I needed to suck it up and learn to write with my right hand, if need be.

To be quite fair, those questions were secondary in comparison to this one:  What about my business?  Up until that point, I had many things regulated that related to my business.  I was attempting to blog twice weekly.  I was tweeting regularly again.  I checked my stats, etc. etc.  However, I DID IT ALL…I was not at a place where I had an assistant as yet.  So, if I wasn’t physically doing these things, it wasn’t happening.  After I got sick, I couldn’t wrap my head around doing things for the business at all.  All I could manage was eating, napping, and pacing the house to pass gas!  But my subconscious still worried about the things that were not happening to let the world know that I was in business.  Finally, I got a recurring internal message, “Just drop the ball, Stephanie”.

And, that’s what I did.  Dropping the ball freed me in ways I could never have imagined.  I was able to enjoy the pampering from my extended family.  To be fair, I’ve never really been pampered like that before!  I allowed people to do my laundry, serve me hot chocolate in bed, make me food, and bring me mangoes and coconuts~and I loved it!  I was able to enjoy the birds singing, the daily chasing of lizards and birds from my room…the fact that I was alive!  During this pensive time, I discovered that:  1.  My opinions on failure and disappointment have completely changed (I feel another blog coming!);  2.  My business structure has also morphed;  and 3.  My feelings on what is important to me have completely evolved.

I totally was not expecting that “Lucy Manoeuvre” in my life.  I was on vacation, visiting family that I had not seen in years, for goodness sake!  Although, I am still healing physically, I’m slowly picking myself up, I’ve dusted off my behind, and am re-positioning myself in the game…with some valuable life lessons.  I wasn’t happy during the “Manoeuvre”, but I am glad for what I learned from it.

The next time someone or something moves my ball, I am hoping that I can turn and say, “Thanks, Lucy!”

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

I remember this song from when my kids listened to it years ago.  I’m not a lover of the skimpily-clad dancing scenes, but the chorus really speaks to me.

Choices

Embracing The Choices In My Life!!

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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