Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trusting Love One More Time

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doing some celebrity instagram surfing I came across Khloe Kardashian’s profile and saw this meme that included a quote from the late great Dr. Maya Angelou. In true Brionna fashion my mind began to wander on the topic of love. 


love [luhv] Show IPA
noun
1.
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3.
Sexual passion or desire.
4.
a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

So this is the definition of love that Dictionary.com provides, however I’m not completely convinced that love can actually be defined in one particular way. If I had to describe love in one word it would be dynamic, it is a force like no other. To put it plain and simple, and of course to quote one of my favorite movies, “love is the thing, you know.” (That’s Sex & the City if you didn’t know!)

We may ask ourselves after every breakup or heartbreak how can something that’s held in such high esteem, hurt so bad. To answer this question I like to look to the phrase God is love simply because that particular combination of words correlate in my mind. The way in which God moves is often times mysterious yet clever, unexpected yet welcomed. The same goes for love. The conundrum we call love is an ideal, though it cannot be solved and sometimes seems unattainable most of us strive to achieve this in its truest and most genuine form. If we as humans are put on this earth to love, how is it that love can hurt so bad and why is it that we have to go through 80 different loves in order to find our one true love. There is a simple answer to that question: Everything is a process.

What makes love so dynamic is that it’s comprised of many facets and even a simple discussion of love will lead you down the road to other topics. Even as I sit and think about it, the concept of love easily sways my thought process to the topic of destiny and fate and that in itself will take you to another concept of soul mates (Oh, and there will be a future blog post dedicated to soulmates). These are all ideas that are heavily related but for now I’ll keep my endless thoughts on a leash and focus on one thing only – NOT GIVING UP ON LOVE.

Love is just like anything else in life, it may not come easy. What I like to think differentiates this special little enigma though, is the fact that we were put here on earth for this reason, so its kind of a given. What is most important to understand about love is that it is a process. You will never reach a new destination without first traveling there. My birthday is coming up & I’ll be going on vacation but I’m not going to close my eyes, open them and be on a tropical island. No, I have to pack myself up, get myself on a plane and then arrive to my destination. Consider your failed relationships layovers, delayed flights, and pit stops to your final destination of enchanted love. Since I’m going with this whole trip theme, how often do you get caught in traffic and say, “Ahh screw this I’m half way there but its too much traffic, I’m going home”? Only like never right?  The one failed relationship you just had could put you closer to your prince charming. Not only will trials and tribulations help you appreciate him when comes but recognize that you may not have been ready for that prince if he came knocking any earlier. Every experience comes with a lesson. Sometimes you cross paths with people for the sole purpose of learning something you never would’ve had you not encountered them. Respect the process.

We all deserve love, but more importantly we all deserve to make someone outside of ourselves feel the same love we desire. To simply remember that life and love are both processes should be enough to get anyone through when they are feeling down on love. Define love in your own way and seek out those who measure it the same as you do. No matter how many times you thought this was the one and it wasn’t “have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time”, it will happen when its meant to.


Xoxo,
Brionna 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Master Plan: The Importance of Setting Goals

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm not the biggest sports fan - in fact I hate just about everything that has anything to do with sports (with the exception of the physically fit male players) but there is one thing I do know about all sports known to man. In basketball the object of the game is to make a basket against the opposing team. In soccer the object of the game is to get the foot driven ball past the goalie of the opposing team. See the commonality here? Each of these very popular games has an object - A GOAL. If Lebron James ran after Kobe Bryant on a court for hours and hours with no direct goal or purpose would you actually watch the game? Okay, so maybe some of you may love seeing these players in action so much that you would watch them any way, but ask yourself how long could you actually sit there and be entertained. To me this can be summed up in one word  --> BORING! So if you wouldn't watch a game that didn't have a definitive goal, why would you live a life with no definitive purpose? 

To set goals is to for see your future and your purpose in life. I see a person with no goals to be someone who walks down the street completely blinded by what’s in their path to come, a driver with their eyes off the road. How can you ever tackle what awaits you if you do not prepare. Of course some obstacles are unforeseen but I like to live by the old saying, “if you stay ready, you never have to get ready”. Setting goals forces you to have a plan. It forces you to be ready. It motivates you to take the next step in your potential endeavors. I can remember in elementary through junior high school teachers implemented the “four square” concept for writing. It was basically an outline for an essay – a plan. Not only did I hate it back then but also I found it to be pointless added work. In retrospect, I can now appreciate that implemented outline because I can now appreciate the value of a solid foundation.  

More than anything it is important to understand that you are in control, not anyone else. This is your life. You can't sit around and expect to be handed things because that's not how the real world works. Now being the open-minded person that I am I like to look at things from all sides of the spectrum. So let's speak hypothetically and say someone does hand you the key to success, if you don't first stop and think which way the key goes into the lock the door will remain shut. Take the Kardashian family for example. Sure people like to say "they are famous for nothing", lies you tell! The Kim Kardashian sex tape may have catapulted their fame, but it takes a certain kind of person to turn that infamy into a multi-million dollar empire such as the Kardashians have done. Kris Jenner took the reins of a not so good situation and strategically placed each and every one of her kids exactly where they wanted to be, but I digress. The point is she had a plan, she made goals, and the goals were not only set but I’m sure they were exceeded. How can you ever exceed a goal if you never set any to begin with? It will never happen.  

Taking accountability is the first step. Own it! No player ever wins without getting in the game, but more importantly no game is ever played and won with out a plan. There are very few things in this world that we can control, ourselves and our own lives just happens to be apart of the controllable. Dream. Strategize. Set a goal. Plan. Execute!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pretty Girl Plight

Sunday, July 20, 2014



My friends and I have a lot in common. We like similar music, television and just about worship all things that are widely considered ‘girly’ in life. During a routine sit down with one of my closest girlfriends we came across an article in a magazine that discussed the woes of being beautiful. Of course being the very opinionated gals we are it sparked a heavy conversation on life as “attractive women”. Sundays are normally my reading days, so in a search for mental stimulation I somehow found a post on TheFrisky.com about how hard it could be to be friends with a pretty woman. I promise you I went into this as impartial as possible, but I emerged from this article with a set opinion that didn’t surprise me at all.

I will not toot my own horn, or that of my friend’s, but its pretty safe to say we’re all attractive women. Not only do we have it together in the looks department but also we’re all college educated, possess a sense of style and are just generally well-rounded individuals. I almost neglected to mention the most important thing, that we are all damn good friends to one another! So I read these words…

“Let’s face it: Beauty is a privilege. It acts like a honing device for male attention, opens doors to clubs, causes compliments to rain upon the lucky ones. But if the parties aren’t careful, a beautiful friend and a regular-looking friend can get locked into a power dynamic. Of course, not every beautiful woman lords her privilege over her less beautiful friends. Still, some do. Beauty is a universally valued quality for a woman; it offers privileges that can always be relied on. The logic of one’s arguments or articulation of one’s emotions, unfortunately, are less reliable. And because plenty of women and men want to be around attractive women just so those privileges can rub off on them, some beautiful women aren’t used to hearing “no.” I truly think my friendship difficulties with pretty women stem from my challenging them with words or reasoning, instead of just falling in line with the power dynamic they try to exert. Jealous? No. I’m resentful. When it becomes clear to me that a beautiful friend of mine plays the “my way or the highway” card, I resent the fact that I’m being valued so little…”

As someone who has heard the words “you are so beautiful” her entire life I can honestly say my beauty has absolutely nothing to do with the way in which I live my life, especially not how I conduct my friendships. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t speak for all attractive women because let’s face it, some people have a completely different journey than others. Take my girlfriend who I mentioned earlier for example. During our discussion she felt that as a pretty girl people don’t realize it can be hard. She’s automatically perceived to be less than smart & judged by her looks all the time. Me on the other hand have had totally different experiences, therefore I possess a different outlook. I totally disagree with Jessica Wakeman’s post because I know first hand that its completely bull. I’m not devaluing her opinion; rather I’m deeming her diagnosis a tad unsuitable. Maybe she personally experienced a shit load of “mean girls” who thought because they were beautiful the sun rose and set on them, but to say that pretty girls are hard to be friends with? Girl, please!

Yes, it is true we all know that spoiled girl who wants to have her way and thinks people should ask ‘how high’ when she requests a jump, but don’t get that confused with every attractive woman. Being attractive is very similar to being born rich. This is the deck of cards you are dealt and you play them how you play them. Some people use their money to jump-start their lives and build something even greater, while others use it as a crutch and an excuse to be lazy. It’s the same thing with beauty, sure you may get free stuff sometimes or things may just go a smidge more easily for you than compared to the female that’s not as conventionally attractive. Trust I’ve had my times where it was blatantly clear I got over because of my looks but I’ve also had times where I was just as pretty and lost. Everyone is different.

Really it comes down to the person you are inside. Whether you are on the receiving end of the mean-girlerization or the giving end its about what’s inside of you not outside of you. I have a tattoo that reads ‘beauty is skin deep’. It’s the character and not the appearance. It’s you. If you are a pretty girl who allows people to think you’re just a talking head with no intelligence, whose fault is it but your own? If you are not conventionally beautiful and you feel as if you can’t be friends with pretty women, is it the pretty women, or is it you? I find it hard to believe that every attractive woman Jessica crosses paths with turned friendship into a “power dynamic” war. I mentioned in an old post that people like to look outside of themselves for happiness, but that’s not the only thing they seek outward for. Rather than look to place blame on others dig deep within yourself and think ‘hmm, I wonder if it was the superior attitude of that pretty girl or my preconceived notions and insecurities”.  Let’s be clear if both parties are secure in themselves and their position in the relationship it can all work out. So let me clear it up, as some of my expressed thoughts may have seemed a bit contradicting. Beautiful women are not some mold or Stepford wives that were sent off the assembly line to think they are the rulers of all. Some do but not all, so to make a general statement such as “pretty girls are hard to be friends with” is complete malarkey.

Last and most importantly, ladies, any woman who would dare demean or devalue a friend because she doesn’t look the same or measure up is not a true friend, not a woman and surely is not attractive. You might want to do some self-reflection before you blame it on the “pretty girls”. Surround yourself with confidence. Be confident and I promise you, you may have 99 problems but this won’t be one! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fuel To The Fire

Tuesday, July 15, 2014






Today I was sitting in statistics class when we began to explore a new chapter in the text. The topic was correlation, the branch of statistics that deals with the relationship between numbers. The professor then posed the question "how many people are needed for a relationship to take place" and the class answered collectively, "two". So I looked around and I said, "um that's a lie, I have a relationship with self. Me, myself, and I". Of course that was just me over thinking things as I usually do, but it really did get my wheels turning. So maybe in statistics the answer "two" may suffice but in life, just as my classmates did, people often look outside of one's self for what they can really retrieve from within. There are so many times in life when the bond with another is chosen over the bond with self. So why is it that we as humans can so easily sacrifice our healthy relationships with self for others? 

In Psychology Today, Dr Melanie Greenberg writes that the biggest struggle in life is to know, embrace, and accept ourselves. Maybe that is why people choose to overlook their relationship with themselves - its avoidance. If you take a second to examine your life you will probably realize you have cherished relationships that you nurture in order for proper maintenance and growth. The same effort we put into these exterior relationships, we should also invest in ourselves. The one thing I pride myself on is actually being a good friend. It is important to remember that you, just like the other people in your life need the tender love and care you give out. The way you fight for that friend you’ve known for years, fight for yourself. The way you forgive that boyfriend who continuously hurts you, forgive yourself. The way you go out of your way for your siblings, sacrifice for you.

The good thing about this self-love is that it’s somewhat innate and I like to believe that as we grow up life has a way of dimming its blaze. Be the fuel that ignites the fire of your love of self. We are all guilty of neglecting self, even me, but it’s important to recognize that action and reverse it. Spend time with yourself, be productive and lead a life that will result in your happiness and only then will you gain the ability to embrace yourself and truly love you. Dwelling on your flaws does not feed self love but rather promotes a negative self image. We only get one body. We only get one life. We must make the absolute best of it even if everything in our life isn't the way we would have personally designed it. The most important relationship you will ever encounter is that with yourself because you can give to you, what no one else can. Commit to yourself and love you as you expect others to. 

Love for you is not only acceptance, but also true care and respect. Holding such feelings for yourself is nothing but conducive to living a happier life. Valuing yourself will ensure you take proper care by means of prohibiting any and all things that attempt to bring you down or take you off track. When you love someone else there’s always that chance that said love can be unrequited, but this love is a love in its own class. Not only is the risk of unrequited love not a factor here but also you know exactly what to do to truly fulfill yourself even if you may not realize it yet. Martin Luther King Jr. changed an entire country with a little bit of love, so just think of the impact your love for yourself can have on your life.



xoxo,
Brionna :) 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Big Gifts, Small Packages

Monday, July 14, 2014



This past weekend was time truly well spent. I guess the old saying stands true that big things really do come in small packages. It is the smallest state in the United State by size, yet it holds so many unique beauties within its state lines.

My visit to Providence, Rhode Island was prompted by the need the to visit a close friend of mine who is studying at Brown University for the summer. We stayed with her on what they call 'college hill', the area which encompasses the Brown University campus, Rhode Island School of Design campus and the surrounding community & its literally on a hill (a hill that we had to walk up several times by the way). After seeing her pictures of the beautiful city prior to arriving I was even more pleasantly surprised to come and find that things looked exactly how I thought they would – picturesque and quaint like something out of a movie. The city is filled with college students, drivers who will actually let pedestrians walk whether they have the light or not and some very beautiful landscaping.

Though it was only a short visit we used every moment we had to fully experience what the city had to offer. I’m proud to say I experienced one of the prides of Providence, the Water Fire. The tradition is a full out festival every other Saturday of the summer months where 100 bonfires burn on Waterplace Park, which is located in downtown Providence. I found the water place to be very reminiscent of the Seine River in Paris the way it cut directly through the city and could be overlooked by a number of walk-able bridges. The bonfires burn while the locals either marvel with their families at the sight, take pictures, or shop at the abundance of street vendors. The festivities occur so often, yet the people of Providence appreciate it so much that there were still hundreds of people out to support. I decided to live a little on the wild side and embark on a nature embracing activity and kayak! I absolute hate water so although I welcomed the experience I was still a bit hesitant. Needless to say, I had a complete blast with my girls this weekend. Who knew Rhode Island would be so fun!



P.S. The club in Providence actually wasn’t even that bad – which would explain my lack of a voice in the video below  ☺
video



xoxo,
Brionna :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yoga VS Religion

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Close your eyes and imagine indulging in pure relaxation, existing in a state where you have a clear mind, a lean body and an open heart. Part of what I just described may totally sound like a drug high but I promise that’s not where I’m going with this, what I’m speaking of is yoga. As I delve deeper into my yoga practice I discover new things every day. I recently came across an article that addressed the issue of yoga and religion. Being the open minded person I am I guess I can understand why someone may feel as if it has to be a choice between the two, but I stand firm in my belief that not only does it not go against a religion (Christianity or any other) but the two may actually be able to go hand in hand if you tailor it that way for yourself.

Christian yoga seems to be an emerging concept, something very new to me but interesting nonetheless. To have “Christian yoga” insinuates that Christians cannot practice yoga, as it would be against their beliefs. I completely disagree. No matter what god you serve it shouldn’t exclude you from practicing yoga. Some may refer to it as modern day yoga. So you know how Americans take concepts from other countries, strip them of their true essence and kind of turn it into something new, yeah that’s the idea behind modern yoga. The word yoga derives from an ancient Indic language of India, Sanskrit, and holds the literal meaning “to join” or “to unite” which is exactly what the practice of yoga does. Though the practice does have roots in Hinduism, in modern times we tend to focus more on the physical practice than the spiritual practice.

Experiencing the connection between the mind and the body allows one to become more self-aware on both mental and physical levels. You begin to better understand your body – what affects it, what feels good, what things it would probably be best for you to let go off. In doing so you can learn to love deeper and appreciate the things in life you never have before. Gaining appreciation for the other people and things we share this land with, in my eyes connects you with whichever god you serve that much more. For Christians in particular who believe that God is the creator of all things, attaining a mental state where you are grateful for not only the world he has created but all that he has blessed you with personally seems almost ideal. Clearing your mind of toxins and negativity gives you ample room to do so. It teaches you how to accept what is resulting in way less stress in daily life. Yoga is a time for coming into one accord with one self. In doing this you could even build time in your practice for a prayer or the occasional “amen”.

Just as religions have many different branches and interpretations, you can take the practice of yoga and personalize it to work for you and your lifestyle without sacrificing its efficiency. If nothing else, you get a work out.

YOGIS UNITE !!!

xoxo, Brionna :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

#DontsupportKendallJones

Friday, July 4, 2014
A Texas Tech cheerleader, Kendall Jones, is now being ripped apart on social media after posting “souvenirs” from her big game hunting endeavors. 19-year-old Kendall is now taking to Facebook and twitter with the help of her supporters to defend her craft as a huntress.

There was a movie called The Purge that came out about a year or two ago that allowed the residents of America to kill for a whole 12 hours without any repercussions. The movie was quite entertaining, however the concept was not only barbaric but also completely and utterly absurd! To be free to go around and kill living things without consequence is animalistic and wrong. However, many people including The Hunter Defense Fund, Jones, and her supporters feel that they are actually not murderers but humanitarians. According to her Facebook, one of the huntress’ main reasons of defense is that the financial resources provided by hunters actually feeds the economy and in turn helps everyone. She also feels that hunters like herself, help to regulate the overpopulation of certain species.

Now those who support Kendall and other hunters would probably quickly go into defense mode and say, “if we can eat them, why can’t we hunt them”, but you see its not always what you do, but why you do it. There is a circle of a life of course. We are provided with the resources that the higher being has supplied us with on this earth to survive. If that means some cows, chicken and fish must die so that we as humans can nourish our bodies then we can probably charge that to the concept of “the circle of life”. What we can’t charge to that concept though, is killing endangered species in the name of economic contribution or population regulation. When you hunt what you’re doing is murdering a living thing with feelings for your own entertainment.

This is a very controversial subject so I won’t say too much, but what I don’t understand is how anyone in his or her right mind could actually defend this girl or this practice. Just think, how would you like it if someone came into your territory to hunt you while you were simply trying to live your life and mind your own business. Let’s face it; a lot of us act more like animals than the inhabitants of the jungle so is it okay to just end the lives of those who you feel are of lesser value. Please don’t misunderstand me, I respect anyone with a passion for their craft as I am a person with such, but what she’s doing is wrong. Facebook should indeed ban Kendall Jones from posting these photos, which clearly promote a blatant disregard for animals and animal cruelty. In addition, I totally agree with the efforts to ban her from hunting grounds of Africa. So do you #supportKendallJones ?

xoxo, Brionna

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Book Of the World

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
A great person once spoke the words “the world is a book & those who do not travel read only one page”. Vacationing to beautiful islands and lying on the beach is great, but there is a lot more to seeing the world than just some beautiful blue water. Experiencing lands which are foreign to you gives you one of a kind insight – a chance to gain new perspectives on things you would never have imagined.

One of the chapters in my personal book of travel is Paris, France. In the spring of 2013 I studied abroad for an entire semester in the beautiful city of lights and got the chance to see several European countries. I actually got the chance to see more places in 5 months than many people do in 5 years & I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. European cities in general are very similar to those we are familiar with here in the U.S. but little did I know, I would get the opportunity to visit one of the most naturally & culturally rich places on the globe.

In less than 4 hours, after departing the city of Paris I ended up in a land much different from any other I had ever seen before. I was now in Marrakech – the capital of Morocco. (For those of you, who do not know, that is a country in Northern Africa, in close vicinity to Europe). Stepping out of the airport we were immediately smacked with a completely different level of heat. It was 108 degrees and it was barely afternoon! I mean so hot that the shuttle bus air conditioning didn’t even produce cold air, just cool. I was in Africa. Beautiful would have to be an understatement in describing this place.

After arriving, one of the first things we did was visit an authentic Kasbah. We all reluctantly got out of our shuttle bus back into the heat to visit the restaurant and take a walking tour through the town’s exotic forests. Here is when it truly hit me. We are Americans. We think like Americans. We live like Americans. Our tour guides were children because here, children have to work and contribute to their households. We were bombarded with solicitation of dates, an indigenous fruit. It was almost as if they knew we were Americans and that when Americans come you ask them for money, because they have it. The kids were relentless and desperate and suddenly my heart was broken. Throughout the course of the trip we got many tours and even the chance to get authentic henna tattoos, probably much better quality than the ones you can get in New York. This experience was hands down the most eye opening part of not only my trip to Africa but the entire semester. A kind man of the town gave us henna tattoos free of charge and refused a tip. He proposed to us, “do not tip me, we do not accept tips. Tipping goes to only one person, while if you purchase from our town shop it goes to the entire community”. He may not have known it, but this statement from this very generous man spoke volumes about the world we as Americans live in. Not only do we accept tips, but we expect them! This Berber man taught me something that no other experience ever had. For a country that lacks in finances, I was completely floored by their level of resourcefulness. Americans take so many things for granted and we are all about self. The Berber people understand the value of using what they have to the greatest advantage and sticking together. With no indoor plumbing and some without electricity these beautiful people use every resource they have available to them to make a better a life. When I say resources, I’m not just speaking of the ones that grow from the land. They use their intelligence; they use their love, to build unity in their communities with the understanding that it truly does take a village.

I saw the Mona Lisa, rode camels in the Sahara desert, ate escargot & authentic paella in Spain but none of that equals the lessons I learned while in Morocco. I also saw women slave away to make the very oils we use to satisfy our vanity by simply going to the store and swiping a credit card. I learned a sense of true community togetherness and perseverance - What is more beautiful than that?

RIDING CAMELS IN THE SAHARA


PLAYING WITH MONKEYS IN THE OLD TOWN SOUK

MY ATTEMPT TO LOOK LIKE ONE OF THE BERBER PEOPLE

Xoxo, Brionna :)

ABC's New 'Black-ish'

Summer is in full swing but in true Brionna fashion I’m thinking ahead. The only thing not dreadful about the end of the summer is the juicy fall television we have to look forward to, and of course my birthday which is in October! If you are a true television junky like me the one show that pops in your head before any other is more likely than not Scandal. The political drama is by far one of, if not the best thing, to hit primetime since I don’t even know when. Luckily for us though, ABC is producing more quality television just like this.


Being added to the fall television lineup is comedic family series ‘Blackish’ starring some names we all know and love. Andre and Rainbow Johnson played by Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson struggle to keep their four environment adapted kids grounded in the African-American culture growing up in a mostly-white affluent neighborhood with the help of Andre’s old-school dad played by Laurence Fishburne. Cinema Blend reports that the behind the scene creative contributions come from members that are also behind a successful sitcoms such as “The Game”. Here’s a clip from ABC’s new comedy.
I’m thinking comedy powerhouse Anthony Anderson, veteran actor Laurence Fishburne, and the beautiful and oh-so talented Tracee Ellis Ross together can only mean one thing – good television! Let’s not forget the kids who will probably take the show to a higher level of comedy. I’m not too familiar with any of the four Johnson children - Yara Shahidi (Zoey), Miles Brown (Jack), Marsai Martin (Diane), or Marcus Scribner (Andre Jr.) however I’m confident that with the lead of the elder actors the cast will pull together and deliver us the fun loving, comedic, and heartwarming programming most of us like to see. Perhaps it will give us the family dynamic of The Cosby Show, the quick witted comedy of Girlfriends and the modern feel of Modern Family.

I can’t wait! 






Xoxo, 
Brionna :)  




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Living A Stress Free Life - According to Epictetus

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



A philosopher once said, “some things are up to us and some things are not up to us” and these are wise words if I’ve never heard some before. The Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus said these words in his piece The Handbook, which focused on key themes shared by stoics of his era. We often spend time stressing and focusing on things that we can and never will be able to control thus unnecessarily pushing ourselves further back from true happiness, the ultimate life goal according to Epictetus and Aristotle. As I mentioned in previous posts I share the same ultimate life goal - genuine happiness - and plan to live in such a way that is conducive to attaining such a goal.

Many philosophers touch on subjects that aren’t really relatable or applicable to everyday life. In his teachings, Epictetus pretty much lays out a foolproof guide to living a less stressful life that some may easily over look. It can be used as somewhat of life guidebook. He speaks about three major concepts: attitude being key to happiness, ataraxia, and caring only about that, which is in your power. Caring about what can control. Here are some things that are both in and out of our control as humans. Those things we cannot control we should not stress about because in the end it is pointless to give energy somewhere you will never be able to humanly change. 

WHAT IS UP TO US
WHAT IS NOT UP TO US
Opinion (our ideas about things)
Body (the body we are born with)
Pursuit (what we choose to go after)
Property (material goods)
Desire (our wants)
Reputation (what others think about us)
Aversion (opposite of desire—what we do NOT want or what we actively push away)
Command (what others force us to do)

Ataraxia à This is the practice of detaching yourself from what you can’t control. Epictetus tells us to detach our desires and our aversions—the things we want and the things we do not want to happen—from anything out of our control in Section 2 of The Handbook. Curbing your wants and desires will help you do this. Attitude is the key to happiness. The idea that it’s not what you are faced with, it’s how you deal with what you are faced with. Always remember keeping a positive attitude towards everything in life and not dwelling on the unchangeable will indeed alleviate unnecessary stress and leave space for more positivity. 

Thanks Epictetus for the eye opening ideas!


Sans Viande Recipe # 1

These two things have to be the best things known to man, not to forget about sleep though. I love food and food is LOVE <3.  After some self-reflection I discovered that I've officially maintained my meat-less diet now for a solid four months. Exciting right? True dedication! I am not your traditional vegetarian, but I am a pescatarian.
Every time I say, “I’m a pescatarian” someone responds, “Huh? What? A Presbyterian”. NO! A pescatarian is simply a vegetarian that eats seafood.

Now, this hasn’t been the hugest transition ever since I was never the biggest red meat eater any way, but in my past life chicken was everything. Surprisingly enough I haven’t even had the slightest craving for a succulent buffalo wing with good ranch dressing from Dallas BBQs. Can you tell that I’m lying through the very movement of my fingers on this keyboard or am I convincing? Of course I've wanted a chicken wing or two but I’ve been strong. There are wonderful meat alternatives and yummy veggies to keep you away from all the yucky chemicals in the meat of today’s world. Eat up

Here’s a super fun, super tasty, & most importantly SUPER DELICIOUS recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but I certainly will soon! Of course follow the guidelines to ensure correct preparation of dish, but I always like to put a bit of a twist any time I get a recipe from a cookbook! 

Bon Appetit! :)

Submitted by: SNAVELA1 


Introduction
Im making these for superbowl so I wanted to list them before, trying to stay away from the wings and dip!
Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 12
Number of Servings: 10


Ingredients
20 Large Mushrooms
1 Can (6 oz.) of Crabmeat
1 Tbsp. Light Mayo
2 oz. 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp Seasoning Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Chives


Directions
Preheat oven to 400.
Clean mushrooms and remove stems.
Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl.
Stuff the mushrooms evenly with the crab mixture.
Place on baking sheet, ungreased, and bake for 12 minutes.
Serve.

Number of Servings: 10

 Xoxo,
Brionna J




15 Reasons Joshua Becker Thinks We Should Blog







Sitting at my desk at work (yes I do actually work, at work, I just needed a break) I came across this really interesting article that completely help me put in to perspective why I decided to create a blog. Joshua Becker just about sums it up perfectly in his article 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog.


It’s a quick thought provoking read. Totally worth it! 


Xoxo,
Brionna :) 
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