Happy National Make A Friend Day!!! – A toddler shows us how to make friends quickly [Video]

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Always observed on February 11th, National Make A Friend Day is a wonderful opportunity to meet someone new and make a new friendship.  Friends serve a very important role in everyone’s lives.  They are one of life’s most valuable assets.

toddler managed to make people’s tedious supermarket shop a bit more entertaining with a simple happiness trick.

In a bid to make everyone smile, 16-month-old Joey wandered throughout the aisles waving and engaging with strangers while a guardian closely followed behind her. 

And of course, the majority of people couldn’t resist giving the young girl a smile and wave back.

Go out and make a friend today!!!

Emotional Intelligence by Primrose Path (BLW Contributor)

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This evening my friend and I attended an emotional intelligence seminar hosted at the university. First, in case some are not familiar with the idea of emotional intelligence, I will explain the basic concept. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ – emotional quotient) is essentially recognizing your own emotions as well as others . The ability to differentiate between them an act accordingly. While this may sound like a very basic concept, it’s surprising to learn how many people are not emotionally intelligent or even conscious of trying to be so. A lot of our every day conflicts with others is simply based on the fact that we are not acting emotionally intelligent. It became apparent to me very quickly in my therapy sessions that I was confusing emotions very often in relationships, whether it was friendships, work environments or intimate relationships. EI or EQ is becoming aware of yourself, self realization. When experiencing a conflict, I was taught how to – instead of reacting to situations – to respond to them. I was shown how to identify emotions properly, and in turn approach conflict properly. Instead of becoming defensive, apprehensive or aggressive in a situation, I began to explain to myself what I was actually feeling and where it was stemming from. Again, in turn, I was able to explain these feelings and ideas to the people involved, thus finding a resolution efficiently and calmly. No more of this “arguments going no where” feeling. I can tell you right now, that a lot of it came directly from fear. Fear turned into anger. It wasn’t long before I realized that my angry persona was just fear protecting itself. The emotional intelligence seminar this evening reiterated the fact that I realized just last week, that I need to become more conscious of my emotions again and practice what I learned during my therapy sessions once more.

To move onto the act of becoming more emotionally intelligent, these are some things I took away from the seminar:

  1. Become socially aware. Be involved in events or things in your environment and community.  Think of how it makes you feel.
  2. Manage your stress by acknowledging that it exists. No one is perfect and stress will get the better of us all at times, but try to actively be aware of triggers and ways to cope with stressful situations.
  3. If you are someone who needs new connections, go out there and make them.
  4. If you are someone who needs alone time, make time for you.
  5. Have courage. Courage can be big or small, some days are more courageous than others.
  6. Do the right thing. Most times, you’ll feel it in your gut.
  7. Move forward. Don’t stay stagnant, or your situations will too.
  8. Care about something bigger than yourself.
  9. Look at the big picture. Sometimes we tend to focus in on small points of the picture and can get somewhat lost, take a step back and find what is ultimately important to you.
  10. Be aware of how you come across to others, be approachable but don’t be a door mat.
  11. Listen to hear – not to reply.
  12. Find your best qualities and strengths.
  13. Be authentically you.
  14. Grow by experiencing new things.
  15. Love yourself, but stay humble. No one respects arrogance.
  16. Don’t be defensive. If you’ve encountered a difficult situation with someone or something, identify the situation, address the problem without simply pointing fingers, find out what your common goal is and work towards that common goal.
  17. Lastly, give yourself permission to not take it all on at once.

The  concept of emotional intelligence is to use this every day to communicate with the world around you.  Communication is so vital, but so many of us are doing it wrong. We may not know this, and it is not always malicious, but it’s true. So if you are struggling with emotions, mental illness or relationships of any kind, please take into consideration exploring your own emotional intelligence. It may just open more doors and make your life a lot easier.

Talk tomorrow, friends.

– A

Check out other great articles from Primrose Path

You are what you’re feeling- The Effects of Negative Emotions on our Health

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emotional_pain_chart

Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Convexly, if your body releases cortisol while you are stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.

What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.

POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE

Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brainis a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in  bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while driving and simply apply the break slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?

CUT THE PERCEPTIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our health.

“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~Hippocrates

MIND BODY CONNECTION

The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?

Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.

When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more thins loosened up and pain went away.

When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.

YOU HAVE THE POWER

Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Life’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?

Remember, you have all the power in you to get through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a  big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.

Credits: Joe Martino of Collective Evolution

A Psalm Of Life by Le’Meinspireu (BLW Contributor)

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A poem by H.W Longfellow, that has unknowingly inspired me since class 9th.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Check out other great articles from LE’MEINSPIREU

What a Rodent Taught Me About Habits by This Life Map (BLW Contributor)

A few weeks ago I opened the glass slider that leads to our back yard to preheat the BBQ. I pulled the cover off, turned on the propane and turned the burners to get the fire going. I turned to go inside and grab the plate of chicken but decided I should make sure there was nothing on the grill.

I opened the grill and couldn’t believe my eyes…

When I opened the grill I found a hot and anxious rat ready to escape and escape it did. Fortunately, I checked before the BBQ got too hot and cooked the rat! It quickly jumped over the edge of the grill and down to the ground where it hid under the cover of the BBQ.

To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I lifted the BBQ cover and there he was again. This time, he ran toward the edge of the house and under some bushes, never to be seen again.

I went back to turn off the grill and when I looked inside the grill again, I noticed the rat had built a nest and had hijacked my BBQ, he was taking over. As a result of this experience, I haven’t grilled for over a month and I miss my steak and burgers.

Don’t Let Your Habits Be Hijacked

With habits or BBQs that we neglect to take care of and use, even for a  for a week or two, we discover something else has taken the place of our healthy habits. The replacement habit may be laziness, entertainment, food, or in my case, a rat!

Sometimes a broken habit can set us back for a little while and it takes some effort to get back on track. Other times, we let bad habits creep in and stop us completely from doing the good habits we were doing before. When we allow this to happen in our lives, we are missing out on great opportunities for growth and learning.

What good habits have been hijacked in your life and slowed your growth? What are the “rats” that have hijacked habits in your life or even stopped you? What do you need to do to start again?

Check out other great articles from This Life Map

Happy National Pizza Day!!! – What’s your favorite type of pizza? People Try Chicago Deep Dish Pizza For The First Time

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People Try Chicago Deep Dish Pizza For The First Time

Michelangelo’s love for Pizza

Smoking Past – Smoking Present by Spearfruit (BLW Contributor)

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Sometimes I will write a post and not finish it for different reasons.  I started this post last year and I do not remember why I did not finish it – but decided now was a good time.

The following words were written on May 17, 2015 –

On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke.  This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’.  This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.

I remember a time when employees could smoke at their job in their cubicles.  Many changes have occurred referring to smoking and smokers.  I understand that smoking is bad and can cause illness and death.  I understand smoking affects those people that do not smoke.  I understand the laws that prevent smoking in public buildings and certain areas within a city.  What I do not understand is why those that do not smoke think they can diagnose cancer.  Why is this?

Ok, I get it – I am ranting some because as a smoker I do get a little irritated that nonsmokers seem to know more than I about the outcomes of smoking.  I am a courteous smoker; I do not smoke in my own home, when somewhere else I go hide to smoke as to not bother anyone else and I do not like the smell of smoke – I hate the smell of smoke in clothes, in rooms, etc.

My point is I know smoking kills and I choose to smoke.  I know smoking can kill others and I choose not to smoke around them.  I know smoking can shorten my life span and I am ok with that.

The following words I am writing today –

I have smoked off and on since I was 15 years old – 40 years now! I have quit smoking on several occasions cold turkey with the longest non-smoking period of 4 years.  Why do I quit then to go back to start again?

In my postAddictions or Habits or Routines‘, I concluded with the following –

My point to this post is I have a habit of being drawn to addictions and routinely have quit addictions and started the same addictions again time after time.  So are addictions an issue or is it the routinely stopping and starting the habits of addictions the issue, or is it the habits that cause the routines of addictions the issue?

On my recent visit to my urologist Dr. F., he told me I needed to quit smoking.  He said the tumor on my bladder will have to be surgically removed, and continuing to smoke, the next time the whole bladder may need to be removed.

Today I am still smoking, and tomorrow I will smoke, but the next day is the day I will once again quit – hopefully for the last time.

Check out other great articles from Spearfruit

 

Happy National Bagel Day!!! – Steak and Cheese Bagel Sandwich Recipe

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Steak and Cheese Bagel Sandwich:
4 onion bagels

2 lb. shaved steak
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
8 slices of American cheese or cheese of your choice

Toast bagels. Optional step: wrap in aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to soften crust slightly. 

Heat a large skillet on medium high. To put a good sear on the steak, you don’t want to crowd the pan. Add half of the shaved steak and half of the seasonings. Cook until steak is no longer pink. Divide steak into 2 piles. Add two pieces of cheese on each pile and loosely cover with a lid or foil, avoiding touching cheese. Remove skillet from heat and allow to sit for a couple minutes until cheese melts. 

Transfer the steak and cheese piles onto 2 bagels and assemble the first two sandwiches. Loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Cook the remaining steak and assemble the remaining two sandwiches. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Motivation Monday – Chose to be a Leader, Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders?

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Nearly there…no idea what lies ahead! by Mubeenazam (BLW Contributor)

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So here it is, my first ever blog, very excited as I have no idea what I am really doing but hope that it will be lots of fun and games along the way!   It is for family, friends, people who like me and those who don’t and those who simply want to know what other human beings are getting up to in their life!

My hope is that this blog will interest people, inspire others to ‘Be the change that you what to see in the world’ (Gandhi) and allow some to look at life in a  different way and not be afraid to break from the norm and the ‘system’ we are in.

So here is the overview of what we are setting out to do…hopefully!

For those who do not know me my name is Mubeen Azam and in May of this year I resigned from my job as a teacher after seven amazing, challenging and fruitful years in Cornwall, UK.  A change was needed to reevaluate and refocus our perspective on what life is, so we decided to travel to Canada for a break, a holiday, well an extended holiday…for a year!

I will be travelling with my beautiful, supportive, caring, loving, intelligent and rock of a wife, Nour, who literally has been my guiding light since we first met in January 2001 and who I could not live without as I believe I am of her and she is of me and whatever has happened so far in our life and what will happen in our future is simply meant to be.

By the grace of God we have been blessed with three a beautiful daughters, Fatimah (8, going on 18), Maryam (4, going on 14) and the one who rules, Sara (2, who has been here forever)!

I certainly don’t feel it and many, many, many people tell me I don’t look it  :)but I will be 40 this August and I wanted to give my own personal meaning to the saying ‘life begins at 40’…so we are nearly there as we travel in less than 36 hours, hope you enjoy the journey too and remember, chill it’s just Mubeen!!!

Check out other great articles from Mubeenazam