I am successful. I am fulfilled. I am an astronaut. I am amazing. I am late. I am in trouble. I am enlightened. I am yours. Etc.
Anything after I am will only give you power if you worship it. For example, fulfillment doesn’t exist outside the body. You are who decides if you are fulfilled or not. Saying I am fulfilled is a start, but it is the practice and devotion to that affirmation that amplifies it.
For weeks this spring I was devoted to I am sad. I am wrong. I am incomplete. I am not fully expressed. And while none of those things are true unless I believe them to be, my resistance to being love only brought more pain and lethargy.
Finally, with a little help from my friends, classical music, cleansing, exercise, acceptance, and lots of prayer, that which shifts all thoughts back to love, I can finally say I’m on a much clearer path to health and happiness.
I am healthy.I am happiness.I am alive. I am.
It was a close call too. I don’t think I’d ever been as deep in the storm before. I am grateful for treading in such dark waters and I’m committed to never going back.
No healer has ever healed without having healed himself first. No believer has ever believed as strongly without first testing his beliefs. And no lover has truly loved without having loved another and let go.
I’m not afraid to let go anymore. If it looks to others like I did something wrong, made bad choices, acted selfishly, or fearful, then so what. I can say, to you I am wrong. I am selfish. etc. Big deal. Stick and stones may break my bones but I choose not to give those thoughts a home. When I am sad I will simply be grateful for the sadness as it is a gift, a miracle in fact, to experience this powerful emotion, trusting the pendulum swings both ways; embracing all of life in it’s awkward perfection. I would never tattoo ‘I am sad’ on my body so why would I dwell on it in the mind? I am awesome, however, will make a great tattoo.
I am honored.I am humbled. I am happy.I am.
Post from Jason Mraz
By Liane Membis, CNN
It seems impossible.
Human trafficking cases, blind promises of freedom, forced prostitution rings — these aspects of modern-day slavery come to light all too often.
Estimates of the number of slaves worldwide range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars. Approximately 100,000 victims are in the United States, working as slaves inside homes, in agricultural fields, in the sex industry and other places, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report.
That’s millions of women, children and men struggling to escape captivity. That’s millions of people wondering what it means or what it would take to be free again.
But what about solutions - How can we end modern-day slavery? Three experts weigh in what businesses, governments, the public and individuals must do.
Activist: We must believe that change can happen
Rob Morris is president and co-founder of Love 146, a non-profit organization that works to combat child sex trafficking.
I think first of all it will take the audacity to believe that we CAN end it. Considering the overwhelming stats of how many slaves exist today and how much money the sale of human beings generates, some would call it naive or idealistic to believe we can end it. I prefer to think that it is audacious. And it has only been people of audacity that have ever changed the world. Was it naive or idealistic for a William Wilberforce who fought against the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Great Britain to believe that it could and should end? No. It was audacious. And it came to an end. Was it naive or idealistic for a Martin Luther King Jr. to stand up on the Washington Mall and cry; “I have a dream!” No. It was audacious. I could go on and on.
It will take tenacity. We need to be committed for the long haul. Albert Einstein said; “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stick with problems longer.” In other words … we don’t give up … even when it gets hard. The reality is traffickers are committed 24/7. We must be at least that committed to stopping them. I love the words of jazz singer Billie Holiday who sang; “The difficult I’ll do right now. The impossible will take a little while.”
It will also take a collective effort. I love that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added a fourth “P” to the international framework in combating human trafficking. In addition to Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, she added “Partnerships.” If we are going to end modern-day slavery, governments, non-government organizations, law enforcement, service providers, communities of faith, businesses and corporations, individuals, all have to work together. The reality is traffickers make up such a small fraction of the human race. Then there is the rest of us.
Rabbi: Money and knowledge is power
Rachel Kahn-Troster is a strong supporter for the interfaith movement against slavery and Director of Education and Outreach Rabbis for Human Rights in North America.
We need to all learn the signs of slavery. One thing that strikes me when I read about examples of modern slavery in the United States is how many of them were found by nosy neighbors. People who noticed a nanny who never left the house, for example, or a hotel worker who noticed a child who seemed scared and not with people they knew. We have to know what questions to ask and how to direct victims to the right services, for example, the National Human Trafficking Human Resources Center.
Slavery is an issue that is hidden in the open - we choose not to ask questions about the price of goods that we buy or the labor that produces those goods. But once we know how to recognize slavery, we have to act and we have to help victims.
I think it is also important to work with businesses - no business truly wants to be built on the work of slaves, but they need incentives to create transparency in their supply chains. And as consumers, we don’t want to buy chocolate that comes from child slave labor in the Ivory Coast, or tomatoes picked by slaves in Florida. The first step is to make educated choices as a consumer: buying fair trade tea and coffee and chocolate, for example, or only buying tomatoes from companies and grocery stores that have signed on to the Campaign for Fair Food. But we have to go beyond being a consumer to being an activist, writing to corporations that don’t have policies about slavery in their supply chains (along the lines of the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act) or who don’t buy fair trade and telling them that we are choosing to spend our money elsewhere.
We also need to learn about government policies that root out slavery - the Trafficking Victims Protection Act for example, or laws that prevent the exploitation of workers here legally - and ensure there is enough funding to implement them and provide services to victims of trafficking. In today’s economic climate, times are tough and budgets are being cut, but we have to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are supported. Compared to the defense budget, the amounts of money our government spends to fight slavery is relatively small. Surely, we can do better.
Ultimately, slavery is a moral question: In the land of the free, how much of our lives are build on the work of those who are not free? Slavery is a human rights crime of the highest nature. We have to live to a higher moral standard than that created by slavery, protesting that human lives are not cheap commodities to be bought and sold. We have be prepared to say that we are not willing as Americans to be complicit in slavery. We have to make ourselves aware, and then we have to do something.
Researcher: Academic research should influence the public hemisphere
Christina Bain has been addressing issues on human trafficking and domestic violence in Massachusetts since 2005. She currently serves as the Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
In order to prevent modern-day slavery, key areas to develop are public and private partnerships and social entrepreneurship within an academic setting.
One example of a partnership took place in March 2011. During the 2011 Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, the Kennedy School’s Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery co-created a panel at the Harvard Business School focused on the role that businesses can play in preventing modern-day slavery. The panel featured representatives from LexisNexis, The Body Shop and Panjiva and addressed how every business can tackle modern-day slavery, whether through supply chain management; allocating business capital to assist non-governmental organizations; or human resources training.
Academia can also work with the public and corporate sectors to produce multi-disciplinary professional development trainings. These trainings would give promising practices in combating modern-day slavery to not only current law, business and public policy students, but public health professionals, law enforcement and corporate leaders.
By effectively combining resources, tools and knowledge, public/private partnerships and academia could begin to meet the challenges of modern-day slavery prevention.
(CNN) — Once you reach 45, it’s a lucky person who has not been struck by a proverbial truck. You name it: divorce, cancer, an ill parent, lost job or troubled child.
Times where you wonder why you had no clue it was coming, when you say, “Is this really happening to me, right now?” There are days that will be so life altering, so reality shifting and so painful that the planet you live on will seem to slip off its axis.
Inevitable as these days are, there are always lessons to be learned. It may sound corny, but I think it’s true, that the only thing you can control when the sky falls is your response to it.
I’ve been hit by my share of proverbial trucks, but on one spring morning I was run over by a real one — a Chevy three-quarter-ton king cab pickup. The driver, a guy who works at the market in town, was not drunk or speeding. He just made a mistake. His rear wheel ran right over my lap, breaking my pelvis in six places.
It nearly killed me, and I later learned it should have. I look back now and see that I was lucky. My time wasn’t up yet. I also now know that there are huge lessons that can only be learned from a terrible, unsolicited and unavoidable crisis. Which is not to say I wish you one, rather, to let you know that it’s not all bad.
The next time that proverbial truck is barreling at you, brace yourself. Have courage, and know there’s something to learn from it that may make you a better human being.
Here are four lessons I learned:
1. Don’t assume bad things only happen to other people. Why shouldn’t you get hit by a truck? As my father would say, “What makes you so special?” Years ago he taught me that life isn’t fair.
The thing is, Dad didn’t say it in a bitter way. He was matter-of-fact, and actually very positive. At 78, he still wants to be the guy at bat when the tying run is on third and there are two outs in the ninth inning.
He was right. When I looked around the hospital emergency room, and later the nursing home where I went to rehab, I knew I was lucky. There is always someone who is worse off than you are.
2. Forgiveness is freedom. When my family and friends heard that I forgave the driver of the truck that hit me, they all said I was a very good person.
Actually, I’m just like you. I figured I’d be really angry. But when you are so dramatically confronted with your own mortality, your perspective changes. I just don’t have time for bitterness. Life is too short to spend a second of it cultivating enemies.
Annie Dillard wrote that how we spend our lives is how we spend our days. I choose to spend mine on the sunny side, not in a dark cave. And you know what? Forgiving the driver who struck me was as much of a weight off my shoulders as it was his. Maybe more. It was a cosmic win-win. I could have spent the rest of my life being bitter, sad and sorry. I could have. But I didn’t work so hard not to die to live that way.
3. People are good. I think it was Einstein who observed that we all owe so much to the labors of other people, especially strangers. While I knew my family, friends and my small community would rally to get me back on my feet, I hadn’t expected the tenderness I received from strangers — the nurses, doctors and hospital- and rehabilitation-facility aides who all lived 1,000 miles away from my home. (I live in Haines, Alaska, and was treated in Seattle).
They changed my bedpan and gave me sponge baths. Believe me, I never thought anyone but myself would clean me that way. I learned that human beings are fundamentally good, no matter what you see on the news.
4. Be grateful and laughter will follow. Finally, there is something oddly empowering about surviving the worst. It has given me a kind of gratitude I never felt so deeply before. The good news is that six years after the accident, on mornings after a strenuous hike or staying up too late with friends, I can wake up and say, “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck,” and laugh.
Sometimes, only after a huge incident, your perspective of life is altered. The initial blindness and numbness of self disappears and you reconnect to your true nature. We tend to take things for granted, getting used to the repetitive routines in our lives and loose touch with what really matters, of who we are and what our true needs are. It’s a noisy place out there. We live in a chaotic, busy and stress-fueled society, a society that prizes sleep deprivation as means of productivity; cities that run 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year…people are always in a rush, strangers walk past by each other without a glaze, without a smile. It’s tragic that for some, it takes such a drastic event to able to have your eyes open, better later than never, right?
No matter what happens, don’t give up. Everything happens for a reason, life is a matter of perspective. You can rather decide to be happy and let go of grudges and hatred or you can torture yourself, as if you’re a victim of life’s lessons. There’s always something to learn from, that’s how we grow, that’s how we become stronger.
So whatever happens, don’t give up. Be grateful always, don’t wait until you lose something to appreciate it.
I love the chewy and sweet and sour flavor of pad thai. This one is the authentic version, so the sweet and sour presence is not as intense as the western versions but still pretty flavorful.
Here are the ingredients:
6 oz (170 g) rice stick noodles
1/3 cup (75 mL) chili sauce
1/4 cup (50 mL) fish sauce
1/4 cup (50 mL) lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) Asian chili paste or hot peppersauce
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, sliced
1 sweet green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
12 oz (340 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz (113 g) medium tofu, cubed
2 cups (500 mL) bean sprouts
6 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) choped fresh coriander
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped roasted peanuts
In large bowl, soak noodles in warm water until flexible, about 15 minutes; drain and place in large dry bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix together chili sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, 1/2 cup (125 mL) water and chili paste; set aside.
In wok, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; stir-fry garlic, shallots and green and red peppers until softened, about 4 minutes. Add to noodles.
Add remaining oil to wok; stir-fry shrimp until pink, about 2 minutes. Add fish sauce mixture and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium. Stir in egg; cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
Add noodle mixture, tofu, bean sprouts, green onions and chopped coriander; toss and stir-fry until noodles are tender, about 3 minutes. Garnish with peanuts, coriander sprigs and lime wedges.
Soak noodles in warm water to soften them.
Washed bean sprouts
Chopped green onion. Oh my the aroma once you start chopping…AMAZING!
Cut the chicken, mixed sauce, beaten eggs, minced garlic and chopped tofu pieces.
Once wok is heaten up, add oil. Once oil is warm drop tofu. Sizzling magic!
Add minced garlic.
Mix in the beaten eggs.
Stir in chicken and cook
Add bean sprouts. Stir a bit and add the rest of the noodles, green onion and sauce.
Add some coriander for decoration and sprinkle peanuts on top. Voilà!
“Afghanistan has been called the worst place to be a child.
One in five will die before their 5th birthday, according to UNICEF. More than 600,000 children sleep on the streets. More than 2 million are orphans.
But one woman is trying to improve the lives of Afghan orphans and change the sobering statistics.
Andeisha Farid, 28, founded the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization in Kabul in 2008 to create orphanages that were safe environments, places to learn and paths to the future.
From Kabul, Farid talked with CNN about her own devastating childhood, teaching kids about tolerance and security concerns living in Afghanistan.”
From child refugee to someone who shelters. I can’t imagine growing up in circumstances as such, I don’t know if I could grow up to be this selfless and caring as Andeisha. Many people, growing up in an environment of hardship become bitter, fearful and most likely to flee somewhere else for survival to never return again. But this woman, decided to do something about it. Getting out of a camp was not enough, she had to prevent other children from falling victim into the atrocity she was pulled into. People like her, are those to admire. They are the compassionate, the brave, those who fight for justice, those who give it all for others, those who truly love. We are all living in this world together, it’s time to work together and start caring about others. Any action of love, seeded from the heart will reach out to other hearts.
Bought a bunch of herbs a couple of days ago. Used some for other dishes, since there are still plenty left I decided to make pesto sauce out of it.
It’s simple and easy. All you have to do is get the ingredients, wash the herbs and toss everything in blender.
Cooked some chicken
Boiled some veggies and noodles.
Mixed it all + the pesto.
And then, all the texture and flavours blend in. YUM!
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your actions.
Keep your actions positive because your actions become your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your lifestyle.
Keep your lifestyle positive because your lifestyle becomes your destiny.
KEY LIME MERINGUE PIE
Mixing cookie crumbs with melted butter to form crust.
Pressed crust, ready to bake (10 min to get it hard and crunchy)
Making the meringue (4 eggs whites)
From clear, to bubbly to foamy and snowlike :)
Pour meringue on top of key lime mix (Left side: Can of condensed milk + 2 eggs yolks + 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed key lime juice)
After spreading it evenly across the pie, bake meringue until brown (about 10 minutes).
Serving to friends the next day.
Used two eggs instead of four because there was one guest with allergies, as a result (which I just learned now) the lime filling didn’t double as it was suppose to.
At the end he still couldn’t eat it :(. Vegan recipe next time for sure!
I love salads. The combination of bright colors, the blending of fresh raw flavors, the crunchy texture, the aroma swimming through your nostrils….hmm yes, I’m having a food affair. And they’re super easy to make as well!
Tried out this easy salad recipe.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more at then end if desired
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 1/2 corn cobs (replaced with 2 cups of frozen corn)
3/4 cup of frozen edamame (out of pods)
3/4 cup of froen peas
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 small red pepper, finely chopped
1/6 white wine
1/8 heavy cream (replaced qith evaporated milk, didn’t have heavy cream)
3/4 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
1) Brown chopped onions
2 )Brown corn
3) Stir in edamame and peas
4) Add in red pepper and grated lemon zest. LOOK AT THE COLORS!!!!!!!
5) The final touch: Stir in the wine for 30s + milk to thicken everything.
Le dish :)
Later in the evening, mixed it up a bit by adding freshly chopped tomato and avocado pieces sprinkling some lime juice and salt on top (salad chilled in the fridge as well)
After making chicken empanadas, I made alfajores and key lime meringue pie.
It’s been 4 tiring days already. I’m having lots of fun, but I’m also exhausted. Been cooking non-stop since Tuesday, started with lomo saltado then Wednesday and Thursday with chicken empanadas (running to buy ingredients, miscalculated a bit) and finally today making the desserts to get them ready for tomorrow. The big day, where I’m having my friends over. Four very special people who I’ve grown close to these past couple of months. So I decided to invite them over to show how much I appreciate their friendship.
Now, the making of alfajores de maicena.
The start, I know it’s a mess! But had to pull out all the ingredients out and trying to make two things at a once to save time.
1¼ cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of powder sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp of lime zest
1 - 2 tbsp of milk (if necessary, depending on the dough)
3/4 to 1 cup of manjar blanco (known also as dulce de leche, a milk caramel sauce)
3 tbsp of butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
Sift corn starch flour with all purpose flour and baking powder.
Beat powder sugar with butter and margarine.
Add egg yolks to butter and sugar mixture.
Chilled dough for about and hour in plastic wrap, time to roll in out!
Calculating the best way to fit as much circles as possible to maximize use of dough perimeter area :D
Ready to go in the oven!
Flipping the cookies once they’re out of the oven, to slightly heat the top.
The cookies, look at it’s nice color!! Slightly browned but not burnt in flavor.
Sandwich alfajores with manjar blanco (known as dulce de leche as well)
Sprinkle each cookie with powder sugar on top.
Trying one alfajor out, the remaining dough turned out into a deformed cookie.
The final masterpiece:
Best batch of maicena alfajores EVER!
Pretty happy with how these turn out :) First time ever. At the beginning I thought the chicken was too spicy, too sweet but once it cooled down it tasted a lot like how I remember it in Peru. Started around 11am and finished (kind of, there’s still a lot of dough left but I didn’t have enough chicken) around 3pm. I was exhausted. But had fun along the way while I multitasked between getting laundry done and cleaning around.
For the dough:
4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of margarine
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
¾ cup of liquid (mixed with evaporated milk +water and one egg)
1 tsp of salt
To close the empanadas:
1 egg yolk (glaze)
A bit of milk
Fot the chicken filling:
- 1½ cup of chopped red onion
- ¼ cup of oil (approximately)
- ½ k (1lb 2 oz) chicken pieces (can be chicken breast, thigh)
- 1 tbsp of aji amarillo paste
- 3 boiled eggs cut in pieces
- Pieces of olive (optional, i personally don’t use it)
- 1 egg yolk
And now the fun part starts!
Mixing margarine with flour and shortening using a fork.
Getting the sandy texture (using only a fork, DO NOT USE HANDS)
Forming the dough (No hands, just fingers U_U)
Wrap it up and let it stand in the fridge for at least an hr.
The chicken breasts.
Heat the pot, add some oil. When oil is heated as well, stir in the onion pieces and let them brown. Then add the chicken pieces. When almost cooked add the aji amarillo sauce, some salt and pepper to taste along with a dash of paprika. I like to shred ihe chicken at the end so it will blend in with all the flavors even more.
Getting the shape and size to fill in the chicken!
Looks like taco before wrapping em’ up.
Empanadas off to go! Bake time (200ºC for 20-25 min).
25 min. later:
My lunch :)
Let it cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle some powder sugar on top and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top while eating.
The flavor was pretty close but the beef was overcooked and hard to chew. Had the ingredients ready for a long while but couldn’t actually get in action until a couple hours later. Had to wait for someone, but I hope that didn’t affect the ingredients and the overall result.
Getting started, chopping onions:
Red pepper, so bright and rich in aroma as well:
Sirloin beef (Got the wrong one, couldn’t find tenderloin *sighs*)
Setting up the spices and flavours:
Baking the fries:
The final result:
FINALLY FOUND THE AJI AMARILLO PASTE!
I CAN FINALLY DWELL INTO THOSE PERUVIAN RECIPES I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY!!!
Oh, Kensington Market I love you. Thank you Salamanca for importing these <3