Our greatest lessons tend to involve learning to love and appreciate "the process."
When we focus on the outcomes - which often don't happen the way we envision them - we are either surprised by the unexpected or disappointed when results fall short of our expectations. The outcome is unreliable, inconsistent and indeterminate.
Instead, when we reflect on the journey, we see evidence of our resilient nature and our multitude of layers.
We can see where we learned, where we shared, where we failed, where we picked up broken pieces, where we sat in darkness, where we basked in glorious light, where we lost and regained confidence, where we gathered in community, where we poured our hearts in brutal honesty, where we triumphed and rediscovered ourselves time and time again.
Talk about range! Life really is an imperfectly perfect journey.
I'm always reminded to not allow the dark times to shatter my optimism because it's all a part of the process. Like Selah Sue sings, "the black parts need to be loved as well."
When it comes to measurements (except in baking), I always find this part tricky to convey because I truly believe you have total freedom over the look, flavor, texture, and serving size of your dish. Whether you want to make a small portion just for you or a huge pot of pasta for a family of 5, only you can gauge how much of a particular ingredient you want to add. You can't always subtract though, so be careful. It's always better to under-season for obvious reasons.
The way I see it, I can tell you to add 1/2 cup of shrimp, but if you're a SUPER shrimp lover, like my girlfriend, you might want to go full cup here. Ain't nothin' wrong with that! So, here's simply what you need to make that delicious masterpiece you see below ;)
whole wheat pasta
cooked & peeled shrimp
pesto (I used trader joe's basil pesto)
fresh or dried basil
fresh or dried oregano
salt & pepper, of course
1. Boil your pasta.
2. In a saucepan, heat up olive oil and some butter. Add your onions and garlic until translucent. Add shrimp and stir until heated through. Add tomato paste and a little water to dissolve paste and create some sauce. Stir.
3. Add all your seasonings and stir. Add your pesto and let it dissolve in sauce. If it begins to dry out, just add more water (pasta water would be great or even some broth).
4. Now drain your pasta and add it to the shrimp & pesto sauce. Mix.
5. Lastly, add your fresh spinach and cover for a bit until they wilt. Give everything a good mix to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
At this point, you can add anything based on what you think it's missing. Taste your food, people! I swear it's a thing. Need more garlic powder? Add it! More butter? Add it! Need a little heat? Grab the cayenne pepper.
If you have the time, play around. Cooking is experimental and fun! Don't let anyone tell you different. Unless their name is Gordon Ramsay or something. Then, I guess maybe listen or whatever lol ;)
According to the book by Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization is the "art of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce powerful results in your life."
Many spiritual and personal development teachings discuss the importance of the practice of visualization as a tool to facilitate desired manifestations. When you actually think about it, whether we are aware of doing it or not, we're always visualizing.
When planning to expand a family, we're probably thinking about the color scheme of the baby room, the kind of parent we'll be or the trips we'll take with our new little addition.
We also have a tendency to dwell on negative experiences from the past or anticipate negative future outcomes by replaying images in our minds. It's not that we want the negative outcomes to actualize, but we don't even make the connection when we are in that autopilot state. The "go-to." The comfort zone.
In either case, we will manifest what we're constantly visualizing into our reality - wanted or unwanted.
The truth is we are always engaging in some form of intentional (and non-intentional) visualization practice. But when we become aware that our minds hold the power to shape our physical experience, we can make deliberate choices to visualize the things we actually want instead of what we don't want.
Affirmations are short yet powerful, positive statements about ourselves. They're meant to affirm our inner being, thereby un-tapping our greater selves. The detachment most people experience when using affirmations is due to the missing feeling to support the statement. For example, if you say "I freely give and receive love," but in the moment you feel unloved or sad, there will be a disconnect between the two. Your feeling needs to be a "vibrational match" to the affirmation in order to manifest the desired outcome.
It doesn't mean you can't say the affirmation; simply use one that is truer to your current feeling and still positive. In this case, you can say, "I accept all my feelings as part of myself" or "I am showing up for myself today no matter what" rather than "I am so amazing and beautiful" or "I am happy and loved."
Creative visualization (imagery + affirmation) is a reminder that we are co-creators with the universe.