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I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Posts Tagged ‘family

Gratitude exercise: Write & remember affirmations of gratitude

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I am grateful that I am alive.
I appreciate that I have an attitude of gratitude.
I am thankful that I see the blessing on the flip side of the challenging issues.
I appreciate that I love myself through the hard times.

I am grateful that my health is better than yesterday.
I am grateful that my health is better than last week.
I am grateful that my health is better than last month.
I am grateful that my health is better than last year.

I appreciate opportunities to learn different, useful things.
I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.
I appreciate opportunities to enjoy greenery, sunrise, sunset.

I am thankful for my parents, my husband, my baby.
I am thankful for my siblings.
I am thankful for my friends and acquaintances.
I am thankful for my job and my source of livelihood.

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Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Posted in family, lifestyle

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Gratitude exercise: Food that makes you happy

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Since food is one of our essential needs, I ask myself why not enjoy them more and let them make me happy.

On the last Thursday of August 2013, l squeeze a South African orange that tasted so sweet. A previous orange from the same batch tasted sour. In an analogy, l hope that sour relationships in our life turn sweet, when we are patient. Being patient is an art.

On the 2nd Monday of September 2013, I had a lunch with Thai friends. A guy who is returning to his home country praised my hard work, he often saw me also working in the weekends. During the lunch, I also tried stir fried fresh bamboo shoot, they taste crunchy, I like it!

In October 2013, I meet up with a mentor Keith Ferrazi, an Italian American. His surname sounds like Ferrari, the fast driving luxurious car to me. Keith’s main message of never eat alone is like a wake-up call for me. Up until 2011, I signed myself up for a challenging project with a deadline of 2011. I was struggling and stressing, I put extra efforts, energy, sweat, time, and even tears into my project. Since my time was limited, I often chose to eat during off-peak hours (I saved time on queuing and finding a seat), but that also means that I could not find someone to eat with (at weird hours). Gradually, I have learned to be comfortable with eating alone and be happy with myself. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because we have to be independent. However, I sacrificed opportunities to develop my inter-dependent skills by eating alone. Now, it is time to form new relationships, to revitalize old relationships, and to sustain harmonious ongoing relationships.

Free food served in association with conferences / talks. Actually, there is no free lunch, someone else is paying for our food, so I can only be grateful. It often makes me think how to increase the production of healthy food to sufficiently and sustainably feed the fast-growing world population.

Simple, relatively bland homemade / home-cooked food after a day of eating strongly-flavored, mass-produced food, to detox and re-balance our body. I am not totally anti-junk food. It is ok to have the indulgence of e.g. desserts, ice cream, curry, etc, but not for every meal!

Some nights, I cook soup overnight using the slow cooker. Having a (sometimes 2!) bowl(s) of hot soup in the morning really makes me more grateful than ever, especially to Mom & Dad who bought the ingredients for us. Thank you for loving us!

In December 2013, I packed snack to work. My snack includes different kinds of fruit (including Thailand longan, Korean Jeju Mandarin, nectarines from Australia), bread, and KitKat Hazelnut! Sometimes, I got free snacks. Life is awesome.

Written by blueroselady

February 17, 2014 at 9:08 am

Happiness exercise: write a short introduction about yourself

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In a series of happiness exercises, I brainstorm novel and creative ideas of doings that can boost up our happiness. Today exercise is simple: write a short introduction about yourself. You can memorize it to remind yourself when you experience negative emotions, to make new friends and build new relationships, or simply to make an elevator pitch.

Here is a brief introduction about myself.

I am an ordinary woman with a BIG dream to give extraordinary service to others.

My love include life, family, stories and writing. I dream of writing a book that is enlisted in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers.

Everyday, I give my best to live and learn so that I can share useful tips about education and entrepreneurship / business,
that are thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.

I am also interested in people, travel, food (especially Asian food and Italian desserts), visual arts, movies and creative ideas.

Counting my blessings, I am grateful for being a mother, lifelong student, storyteller, researcher and marketer; and having good health and more wealth than the yesterday-me.

Thank you very much for being interested in me!

Please keep in touch and feel free to comment.

Written by blueroselady

October 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

Posted in writing

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Gratitude exercise: write a letter / post about a gadget / an appliance that benefits your life

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I am grateful for my blender.
Blender is a versatile small appliance that everyone who loves home made, healthy, and delicious food must have.

Herein, I write a post to describe how my blender has benefited and brought joy to our lives.

Dear blender

Thank you for being so efficient in providing my family with delicious and healthy food.

We have enjoyed so numerous healthy and delicious items.
Papaya milkshake
papaya banana milkshake
banana chocolate milkshake
strawberry banana milkshake
avocado chocolate milkshake
avocado coffee milkshake
honeydew milkshake
They taste so delicious, preservative-free, 100% natural, and healthy (I normally do not add additional sugar like commercially available juices).

Puree for baby (ideas for recipe here)

Next, I plan to try use blender to make soup (Oh! how I miss those hot / warm soup of 2007-2009).
The following recipes are designed on my mind (no testing done yet) as inspired by other recipes.

PUMPKIN SOUP
1. cook / the followings in a pan / pot / rice cooker / slow cooker:
# pumpkin
# meat / pork rib and/or dried scallop
# 1 clove garlic, minced
# 1 onion, chopped
# pepper to taste
# thyme, chopped / ginger / cinnamon / Rosemary
PS: I may also saute the garlic, onion, thyme / ginger with olive oil / sesame oil.
2. Then blend in small batches (e.g. 1 cup / time) / use hand blender.
3. To make the soup creamier, add milk.
4. Garnish with fresh parsley / coriander.

SWEET POTATO SOUP
Same as pumpkin soup, just replace the pumpkin with sweet potato

CREAMY BAYLEYS MUSHROOM SOUP
Use low heat to saute mushroom in little olive oil.
When the liquid is released from the mushroom, add Bayleys and cream / oat.
Transfer the mushroom into a pot of boiled meat / ribs.
Bring to boil. Add milk.
Add pepper to taste.

More ideas …
barley soup
pear soup
add carrot to sweeten to soup

Tips:
for your safety, use bottle brush to wash to prevent the blades from accidentally cutting any of your finger.

Written by blueroselady

October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Happiness exercise: Describe yourself in positive ways

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Happiness means differently to different people.
To some people,
happiness means a combination of the followings:# Finding love & happily married
# Having children, grandchildren, great grandchildren
# Good health
# Be financially well-off
# Enjoying a successful career
# Ability to maintain work-life harmony
# Happy relationships with extended family (ie. parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, etc)
# Fulfilling friendships
# Making a difference to the world. You laugh … yes, many people, including me, set their dreams so high (and hence raising the standards of attaining their happiness).

To sum up, happiness is fundamentally related to health, wealth, and children.

Since happiness is related to so wide and diverse areas of our lives, how can we work on each area of importance to us? How to prioritize?
I believe in exercises / practice. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to a real talent.
Sincerely, I want you to master the art and science of happiness,
so that you can choose to be happy
even in the face of difficult circumstances and being overwhelmed by negative emotions.

In my designed series of happiness exercises, I would share numerous effective and tested exercise to enjoy happiness in your life.

Today exercise is to describe yourself in positive ways. Write to yourself. List your favorite attributes, your achievements, your roles, your love, and anything elseo about you.

Herein, I do the exercise on myself (in the autumn of 2013)

I am …
# a mother
# a daughter
# a wife
# a student of Coursera, edX
# a researcher
# a storyteller
# an author
# an ex-artist

I love …
# people who love me & whom I love.
You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” Before Sunset (2004)
# food (especially healthy affordable food and desserts)
# simplicity
# diversity
# reading (and writing) and hence books
# gardens & parks in spring & summer, in early mornings & late afternoons
# philosophy of life
# giving smiles, talks in front of groups
# learning diverse things. I believe in the “See one, Do one, Teach one” model.
# dreams
# personal development, making a syllabus for life / bucket list / life planning
# entrepreneurship + unconventional work
# (and honestly sometimes fear) change / dynamics.
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov

I used to love …
# travel
# photography
# fireworks
# movies
But now they are not on top of my priorities.

People who have inspired me (non-exhaustively) include:
# Anthony Robbins
# Cayden Chang
# Chris Guillebeau
# Danah Zohar
# Dale Carnegie
# Dong Mingzhu 董明珠
# Goldie Hawn
# Jean Maalouf
# Jessie Louise Yancey-Siegel, affectionately known as Weezie
# Josh Kaufmann
# Joseph Murphy
# Leo Babauta
# Leong Kaiwen
# Louise Hay
# Luciano Passuello
# Michael Ellsberg
# Napoleon Hill
# Robert Cialdini
# Tahir
# Thich Nhat Hanh
# Tim Ferriss
These people are my brothers / sisters, my mentors, my dearest friends.

Things that I want to have / have more / give more to others:
@~@ Happiness
@~@ Health
@~@ Optimism & Hope
@~@ Gratitude
@~@ Kindness e.g. smile
@~@ Empathy e.g. a listening ear
@~@ Wealth
@~@ Wisdom
@~@ Courage e.g. to make new friends

Things that I want to remove / reduce :
@~@ Fear
@~@ Sadness
@~@ Anger
@~@ Envy / Jealousy
@~@ Clutters
@~@ Disappointment

Written by blueroselady

October 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters

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Once, I had the opportunity to attend a sample club meeting of a Toastmasters Club.
Although I found such a meeting provides a platform to develop & hone our public speaking skills, I decided not to join immediately because I had other priorities at that moment.

However, whenever we have the opportunity (time & audience) to give a speech (e.g. to an audience of strangers), we should cherish it.

Below are some exercises to improve our communication skills, especially for giving public speeches / talks.

# Storytelling : You can tell a story to your (younger) family member, this activity nurtures companionship & communication. A friend’s Dad used to tell stories to her until the age of 10 – that is when her father died due to lung cancer, but to her, who chooses to believe in every cloud has a silver lining, her father lives forever in her heart.

I have also been telling stories to my baby from the lovely books written by others, but how I wish I could tell him more on personal stories, something related to him, his family members, the place where he was conceived & born. To many of us, the most meaningful stories are those that are personal or those that we can relate to personally.

# Prepare & practice : Remember the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice that the best in every field have diligently undertaken. When you practice more, your create new brain connections, you become smarter, stronger, & healthier.

# Count Ah : While you practice delivering your speech / giving a talk, record it. Then re-listen to your speech, count how many times you make the audible pauses such as "ah," "er," "um," "well," and "you know". Try to minimize it next time.

# Impromptu : Get a collection of common topics. Give a 1-2 minutes or 5 minute speech about it. This exercise trains your mind to think fast & clearly, to organize your thoughts well in a very short amout of time.

# Timer: Besides using timer to keep track and manage time while cooking, heating up food for your baby, you can also use timer to refine our speech, so that we do not over talk & give other people a chance to speak.

# Record & Review : You do not need an expensive gadget, you can simply use your mobile phone to make a video.

Bonus exercise:
# Listen to inspiring talks (e.g. TED talks, BBC documentaries), note down the main points, re-deliver the talk using your own words & illustrations (personal / local examples) & if you can, add your own reflections. Be innovative!

Written by blueroselady

August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

5 calming tips to overcome anger

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It is OK for you to experience frustration / anger.
You are not alone.
We all experience frustration / anger in our lives.

Anger is not always bad,
anger helps us to assert our rights.

Anger, like other negative emotions and also positive emotions,
are normal and appropriate
under particular circumstances in space and time
(dynamic spatio-temporal context).

However,
when anger is prolonged / intense / unacknowledged,
it may lead to diseases,
which we do not want.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“For every minute you remain angry

you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind.

Negative emotions such as anger / frustration / resentment,
can be extremely destructive,
because these destabilizing emotions blur our vision,
disable us from rational and clear thinking,
and rapidly drag us down to regrettable paths of lives.
There is truth in the saying that
Anger Is One Letter Short of Danger.

It is all right to feel anger
but it is not all right
to express anger violently
or with cruel words.

Anger shows on our face,
can impair our potential to live a happy life.

Angry outbursts / aggression can become a bad habit;
the more one allows anger to take control,
the deeper the brain pathways are carved & reinforced,
because of brain plasticity.
Simply put,
Anger begets anger.

When people are stress / angry,
their body releases stress hormones
like cortisol & adrenaline,
that intensify the amygdala’s sense of danger,
& shut down the calming function of the prefrontal cortex.

We want calmer, more effective & more resourceful ways
to handle our emotions,
especially angry feelings.

We want to prevent ourselves
from getting stuck in deeper problems,
such as depression & anxiety,
in the long run.

Thích Nhất Hạnh / tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ views that
either expressing or suppressing anger
is an end of 2 extremes.
Expressing anger harms those around you,
destroys your relationship with others.
Suppressing anger harms yourself & your health.
Instead, choose to acknowledge our emotions.
Choose calmer & more soothing ways to attend to anger.

Melissa Costello shares that
anger can be a cover up for deep hurt & pain.
In 10 Mindful Minutes,
Goldie Hawn & Wendy Holden also shares that
anger can be due to fear.

The good news is
we can learn techniques
to overcome & deal with
our pain & fear.

Our brain is plastic,
we can train our mind
to be positive.

We can be creative
or learn from creative people
in dealing with our negative emotions.

Roger Weissberg of Yale University
contributed a technique using the traffic signal imagery^
to help people to deal with difficult emotions.

^ Children may prefer we call it traffic signal game,
instead of the traffic signal technique.

How to use the traffic signal technique?
You can get some paper & color pencils / crayons
to draw a picture of traffic signal.

Alternatively,
you can visualize traffic signal in your mind
When you are feeling negative emotions such as anger,
use the traffic signals to help you
to drive & steer your emotions safely.

Red = stop. Breathe mindfully / do some mindful breathing.
Yellow = consider all possible / thinkable / reasonable ways to respond.
In this yellow light stage, we activate our prefrontal cortex.
Green = Respond mindfully.

The traffic signal technique works because
according to Paul Ekman,
we begin feeling a strong emotion much faster
than we are aware of it.

When we use the traffic signal technique,
we allows ourselves to stop and think.
The technique lengthens the time between
the impulse / stimulus and response (either reaction or action)
as soon as
we realize and recognize
our difficult / negative feelings.

According to Victor Frankl,
between our stimulus and response
we have the freedom and power
to choose our response:
the most positive, mindful, meaningful response.
Through frequent practices
of the traffic signal technique,
we can build solid emotional resilience.

Last, but not least,
we can memorize some affirmations & scriptures.
They act as a short-cut
to quickly calm ourselves down
in the intense moment of strong negative feelings.

Examples of affirmations:
# The anger of today is the remorse of tomorrow
# If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb.
# People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing

Examples of scriptures:
# Proverbs 16:32 : “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that controls his temper than he who conquers a city”
# Proverbs 22:24,25 : “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered”
# Exodus 2:11-15 : In a sudden burst of anger Moses killed an Egyptian and had to flee for his life! It then took him 40 years of patiently, humbly tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the Voice of God instead of his own impulses, before he was ready for the slow, la­borious, patient work of delivering the Hebrews from Egypt.

To summarize
@~@ Remember that anger++ = Danger
@~@ Neither express or suppress anger, but acknowledge it
@~@ Traffic signal technique
@~@ Remember that you can choose your response
@~@ Memorize affirmations / scriptures