I recently read a very thought provoking quote. It is a bit long but worth putting it in its entirety here:
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
– Hugh Mackay, Psychologist
The thought of picking wholeness over happiness extends to so many aspects of our lives – our work, health, relationships and food – to name a few. While our choices related to all these aspects can “contribute” to our happiness, the real question we should be asking ourselves is, are our choices contributing to our wholeness?
I have been a regular reader of quite a few blogs over the past 5 to 7 years. Many of these are food blogs involving touching personal stories, pictures of beautiful babies and cute pets, and of course amazing recipes and food! From a distance it would look as if all these bloggers live a picture perfect life. When I started blogging, I was subconsciously expecting similar results – my blog would have perfect pictures, beautiful personal stories, recognition from my peers and outstanding success. Basically my expectations were that my blog would make me happy!
As my journey as a blogger has extended into its fourth month, the blog has thrown my way plenty of the unexpected – frustrations, disappointments, failures – along with some success and a lot of joy of doing something I enjoy doing. Overall, it has contributed to my wholeness more than my happiness.
As the new year is only a few days away, it’s time for the new year resolutions for most people. It is amazing what a fresh start does to our minds; it reenergizes us and gives us a new sense of purpose. But it is important to remember that anything worth doing is going to involve a lot of the negatives – frustrations and failures, along with the positives of success and happiness. And if we want to stay on course, we need to embrace the negatives as well.
I recently read that weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle is on top of the list of new year resolutions for most people. As I have had more than my share of failures in this department, I wanted to write a post about something that has helped me immensely in being healthy – a wholesome breakfast. In my experience, if I had a healthy and filling breakfast in the morning, it helped me make better choices throughout the day. I wanted to work out, eat salad for my lunch and drink my green tea!
This might not be a “happy” breakfast of sausages and bacon, but it is a “wholesome” breakfast full of good carbs and fiber, along with good fats and omega 3s. With a little advance planning, this healthy breakfast can be put together in less than 15 minutes, so no excuses!
When I changed my diet, I mainly changed two things: what I eat, and when I eat. The “what” part was relatively easy to fix – avoid the junk food that had little or no nutritional value. The “when” was a bit tricky. After reading some very informative books, I realized that it is important to time your carbohydrate intake. I learned to eat more carbohydrates in the early part of the day – breakfast and lunch, and eat less carbs in the later part of the day. Carbohydrates are an important part of the diet, they are the essential sugars which energize us. The unused carbs, however, are stored as fat in our bodies. So if you eat a huge meal of carbs for dinner and go to bed, not good! So eat this healthy breakfast, hit the trail and skip the line at Starbucks! Happy New Year, friends!
Easy and Healthy Breakfast – Steel Cut Oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
4 tbsp goji berries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp flaxseeds
1 tbsp raisins
6-8 almonds & walnuts
1 tbsp honey
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the oats and goji berries, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stir occasionally. Cook till water is absorbed and oats are tender.
Take warm oatmeal in serving bowl, top with chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, raisins, nuts and honey.
Overnight Soaking (optional)
Boil water in a medium saucepan, remove from heat and add oats and goji berries. Cover the pan and let stand overnight. Overnight soaking cuts down the cooking time in the morning by half. Also soak the nuts in a separate bowl. Soaking the nuts overnight makes them easy to digest.