Category Archives: IS IT JUST ME!

Diva Musing: Breakfast at the Watering Hole…..

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After I meditate and leave for the day, I usually eat a light breakfast before work… as I often don’t get to stop, even for a comfort break, all day.  Recently I’ve started going to the Taco Bell near here.  I sit and send my morning motivational texts to friends and family, while listening to joyful music from the 50-60’s… which won’t mean much to you younger lot.  However,  I smile and enjoy some of the best coffee ever and ease slowly into my day; thanking the Universe for making such a great way for me to start my mornings. 

How about you my Divakind? Are you good to yourself from dawn to dusk?  Do you take the time needed to “smell the roses”, hug the pups or kids, enjoy the simple settings around you no matter what? 

I encourage you to try it!  Your day just goes better and you get more out of it.  Find a good local near you and try it. If you are a stay at home Diva then get the morning…”must do’s” done… sit quietly in your meditation space and enjoy your cup of coffee there.  Drink in the silence of your own safe space.  Feel the flow of your calmly beating heart and enjoy what the Universe offers each new day.. We love you….   Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: I found a good calorie counter….

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I was looking for an online calorie counter and found this great website below. I looked up the calories and fat in an apple fritter and almost stroked from seeing it!!!! I have got to do better. If you are on a …” I’ve Got To Do Better”….kick use this as a good tool to look up a few things that may lead to the dead butt like I’ve got now…..Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

Yup, dead butt syndrome is a thing. Also known as gluteal amnesia, it happens when your gluteus medius — one of your three butt muscles — stops working properly.

 

Most of us spent a good part of our day sitting down.  It’s. Just. Not. Good. For. You.
In addition to increased risks in health problems from sitting too much, you can also get “dead butt” syndrome.
Yup.  It’s a thing.
Think you’re safe because you exercise?  You might not be.  Runners, for example, are susceptible to dead but syndrome.
This Week’s Challenge
Get up off of that chair and get your rear in gear! And?  Do at least one of the exercises in the “
Dead Butt Syndrome:  How to Wake Up Your Butt and Get it Moving Again.”
You got this!
Are you on Facebook?  Come join me!  Check out these daily Facebook motivators.
Eat better, move more and believe in yourself,
Suzanne-
ACE-certified Health Coach & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
FitWatch – Eat Better. Move More. Believe in Yourself.
https://www.fitwatch.com

Our mailing address is:  FitWatch Inc.1900 Seguin;  Brossard, Quebec J4X 1K8;   Canada    https://www.fitwatch.com

 

Today’s Thought: Over-entitlement….

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I was at the breakfast hole this morning with my favorite fast food manager in the world.  She runs a tight ship and is gloriously a joy!  I call her one of my AngelGirls!  She and I were reflecting on how after decades in corporate America we have seen people become insensitive, over entitled, and just lacking in manners and common courtesy.  She says people come in and order a one dollar item and berate the staff like they are entitled. I’d probably dump hot coffee on them or something.  But not AngelGirl, she waits on these dweebs as if they were actually human beings.  I have lessons to learn from her!  

She makes each day that I go in a wonderful way to start the day.  We should all learn from her, in fact.  This grumpy crone actually loves people….(don’t tell anyone), but I draw the line at rude, manner-less, idiots.  

Yesterday I was leaving the wholesale super store with my sister…each with a huge cart full.  A manner-less, dweeb (you cannot imagine how much I want to cuss on this one) jumped between our overloaded carts and attempted to push past us in a hurry, with his 2 loaves of bread.  He pushed by me and I accidentally hit his heel.  He turned to me and said I needed to get my glasses checked.  The fire breathing dragon from middle Earth erupted and I went off like a bottle rocket.  

“What has happened to manners in the South” I screamed.  Rude old men deserve to get hit when they are not gentlemanly enough to let two women, pushing heavy baskets, leave a premises.  He began to curse back.  I told him to get out of my face or I’d hurt him worse the next hit.  My sister now red and embarrassed. What I really wanted to say was…” Unless you are taking those 2 loaves of bread to Jesus to feed the starving masses there is no excuse for your disgusting behavior”.  But I refrained realizing I’d let my disgust for the over-entitled masses make me as rude as they are. Although I felt truly justified in doing so with this old fart.  Courtesy people!  Respect! I still believe in good manners.  

However, as a time worn crone, I set proper boundaries, and take no shit! Someone still has to take a stand for those wonderful men who stand when we enter a room, open the door for anyone, and care for their families and loved one with gallantry. My tribute to those few of you who remain gentlemen in spite of the chaos of the world.  We love you best.  Is It Just Me? 

Crone No. 1’s Website….BEAUTIFUL….www.theturquoisechick.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

 

Diva Musing: Summer Health…

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I searched the web and found a creative article on ways to use vegetables for a healthier lifestyle.  Enjoy the summer bounty!  Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

17 Creative Ways to Eat More Vegetables

SOURCE: CURE JOY https://authoritynutrition.com/17-ways-to-eat-more-veggies/?utm_source=notification&utm_medium=standard

Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. Veggies are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off disease.

Additionally, they are beneficial for weight control due to their low calorie content.

Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people.

Some find it inconvenient to eat vegetables, while others are simply unsure how to prepare them in an appetizing way.

This article will cover 17 unique ways you can incorporate vegetables into your diet, so that you never get sick of eating them.

1. Make Veggie-Based Soups

Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once.

You can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and adding spices, such as in this tomato soup recipe.

Furthermore, it’s simple to cook veggies into broth- or cream-based soups.

Adding even a small amount of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

For example, this recipe for broccoli veggie soup contains 1/2 cup (78 grams) of broccoli per serving, which provides a significant amount of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate (1).

Here are a few other veggie-based soup recipes for you to try:

2. Try Zucchini Lasagna

Another creative way to eat more veggies is by making zucchini lasagna.

Traditional lasagna is a pasta-based dish made by layering lasagna noodles with sauce, cheese and meat. It’s tasty, but it’s also typically very high in carbs.

A great way to prepare this delicious dish so that it has a lower carb content and more nutrients is to replace the lasagna noodles with strips of zucchini.

Zucchini is a rich source of B vitamins and vitamin C, in addition to trace minerals and fiber (2).

This recipe for zucchini lasagna is fairly simple to make by combining zucchini with ground beef, cheese and a variety of other veggies.

3. Experiment With Veggie Noodles

Veggie noodles are easy to make, and a great way to get more veggies in your diet. They’re also an excellent low-carb substitute for high-carb foods, such as pasta.

They are made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer, which processes them into noodle-like shapes.

You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They are commonly used for zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Once the “noodles” are made, they can be consumed just like pasta and combined with sauces, other vegetables or meat.

Here are some veggie noodle recipes for you to try:

4. Add Veggies to Sauces

Adding extra vegetables to your sauces is a sneaky, unique way to increase your veggie intake.

While you are cooking sauce, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, spinach or bell peppers.

You can also puree certain veggies with seasonings and make them into a sauce on their own.

Here are some examples of sauce recipes that incorporate extra veggies:

5. Make a Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower is extremely versatile, and there are many unique ways to include it in your diet.

One strategy is to replace regular, flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust, such as this one, which is made by combining cauliflower with eggsalmond flour and some seasonings.

You can then add your own toppings, such as fresh veggies, tomato sauce and cheese.

Substituting cauliflower crust for flour-based crusts is an excellent way to enjoy the delicious taste of pizza, while reducing your intake of carbs and calories.

A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains only 5 grams of carbs and 25 calories, in addition to lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which flour-based crusts lack (3).

6. Blend With Smoothies

Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack.

Typically, they are made by combining fruit with ice, milk or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavor.

Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as in this recipe, which combines kale with mango, peaches, ginger and some other flavorings.

Adding spinach and kale to smoothies is an easy way to get more nutrients.

Just 1 cup (30 grams) of spinach contains 181% of your daily needs for vitamin K and 56% for vitamin A. The same serving of kale provides 206% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 134% for vitamin C and 684% for vitamin K (45).

In addition, frozen zucchini, pumpkin, beets and sweet potatoes work well with smoothies, which you can try with the following recipes:

7. Add Veggies to Casseroles

Including extra veggies in casseroles is a unique way to increase your veggie intake.

Casseroles are a dish that combines pieces of meat with chopped vegetables, cheese, potatoes and a grain, such as rice or pasta. As you might expect, traditional casseroles are typically very high in refined carbs and calories.

Luckily, you can reduce calories and carbs in your casseroles by replacing the grains with veggies, such as broccoli, mushrooms, celery or carrots.

This casserole recipe incorporates eggs, coconut milk and spices with broccoli, onions and mushrooms.

These veggies contain a combination of several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants (678).

8. Cook a Veggie Omelet

Omelets are a great dish to include in your diet if you want to eat more veggies.

They are made by frying beaten eggs with a small amount of butter or oil in a pan, and then folding them around a filling that often includes cheese, meat, vegetables or a combination of the three.

Any type of veggie tastes great in omelets. Spinach, onions and tomatoes are common additions.

You can also add chopped bell peppers to omelets, such as in this recipe, which is a great way to enhance your intake of vitamin C and vitamin A (910).

9. Prepare Savory Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a great dish that will incorporate more veggies into your diet.

Oatmeal is typically consumed as a sweet breakfast food, often combined with fresh fruit, raisins or cinnamon.

However, you can also enjoy it as a savory meal by adding eggs, spices and lots of veggies.

This recipe for savory oatmeal includes onions, mushrooms, collard greens and tomatoes, all of which provide a healthy combination of nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium (681112).

Here are a couple other savory oatmeal recipes for you to try:

10. Try a Lettuce Wrap or Veggie Bun

Using lettuce as a wrap or certain veggies as buns in place of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more veggies.

Lettuce wraps can be a part of several types of dishes, and are often used to make low-carb sandwiches and bunless burgers.

Additionally, many types of veggies, such as portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes and sliced eggplant make excellent buns.

Lettuce wraps and veggie buns are an easy way to reduce your calorie intake, as one lettuce leaf contains only one calorie. Refined bread is much higher in calories (1314).

Furthermore, replacing flour-based products with veggies is a great way to reduce your carb intake, while consuming lots of nutrients.

The following recipes are a great place to start with lettuce wraps and veggie buns:

11. Grill Veggie Kebabs

Veggie kebabs are a great dish to try if you want to increase your veggie intake.

To make them, place chopped vegetables of your choice on a skewer and cook on a grill or barbecue.

Bell peppers, onions and tomatoes work well for kebabs. You can also use mushrooms and zucchini, such as in this recipe.

12. Enjoy a Veggie Burger

Veggie burgers are a delicious and unique way to increase your veggie intake.

A burger is a sandwich consisting of a ground meat patty, typically made of beef, that is then placed inside of a bun with various toppings.

Burger patties can also be made by combining vegetables with eggs, nuts or nut flours and seasonings. Sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants, are also commonly used to make veggie burgers (15).

The following recipes combine sweet potatoes with almond flour, egg and a variety of spices and chopped veggies, such as mushrooms and cauliflower:

You can take these recipes a step further by wrapping your veggie burger in a lettuce wrap, instead of a bun.

13. Add Veggies to Tuna Salad

Adding veggies to tuna salad is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.

In general, tuna salad is made by blending tuna with mayonnaise, but any type of chopped vegetable can be added to increase the flavor and nutrient content.

Onions, carrots, cucumber and spinach are common additions, such as in this recipe.

14. Make Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are an excellent dish to include in your diet if you want to increase your veggie intake.

They are made by stuffing halved bell peppers with cooked meat, beans, rice and seasonings, and then baking them in the oven.

Bell peppers are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A and C (9).

You can increase the nutrition content of stuffed bell peppers by including lots of extra veggies. Onions, spinach or cauliflower work well, such as in this recipe.

15. Add Veggies to Guacamole

It is fairly easy to add veggies to guacamole, and makes for a unique way to increase your veggie intake.

Guacamole is an avocado-based dip made by mashing ripe avocados and sea salt together with lemon or lime juice, garlic and additional seasonings.

A variety of vegetables taste great when incorporated into guacamole. Bell peppers, tomatoes and onions are good options.

This recipe for veggie guacamole includes onion, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, which provide a combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C and manganese (2816).

You can also make guacamole with roasted vegetables, such as in this recipe.

16. Blend Veggies With Meatloaf

Another way to increase your veggie intake is by blending them with meatloaf.

Meatloaf is a dish made with a combination of ground meat and other ingredients, such as eggs, breadcrumbs and tomato sauce. It is then molded into the shape of a loaf, which is where it gets its name.

You can add just about any type of chopped vegetable to meatloaf, including onions, bell peppers, carrots and zucchini, such as in this recipe.

Additionally, you can make “meatloaf” that is completely veggie-based, like this one, which includes chickpeas, carrots, onions and celery.

17. Make Cauliflower Rice

A unique way to increase your veggie intake is by eating cauliflower rice.

It is made by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor into small granules. You can then use it raw or cooked as a substitute for regular rice.

Cauliflower rice is significantly lower in carbs than regular rice, with only 5 grams of carbs per cup, compared to 45 grams in a cup (158 grams) of rice (317).

Additionally, cauliflower is significantly higher in nutrients than rice. It is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium (3).

This recipe for cauliflower rice contains step-by-step directions on how to make it, in addition to some ideas for extra ingredients you can add to enhance its flavor.

The Bottom Line

There are many unique ways you can include more vegetables in your diet.

Make “rice” and “buns” with vegetables, or incorporate them into common dishes, such as casseroles and soups.

By making veggies a regular part of your eating habits, you’ll significantly increase your intake of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.

Eating enough vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and may be beneficial for weight control (1819).

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong eating more veggies.

 

Diva Musing: FAMILY FUN….

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I was reading this article today and it was like my beautiful daughter-in-law Jenni had written it herself. These are all activities we enjoy each time I visit her and my son and 2 grandsons.  She even created an outdoor drive-in on the back wall of the house for me so we could all expedience the fun of the old fashion drive in movie at home under the stars.  Popcorn included!  The zoo, planetarium, and museum included.   The sense her sons have of home and family will cause them to be great men, fathers and husbands.  Plus grandma enjoys too….
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

10 Activities That Will Strengthen Your Family Bond

A strong family bond creates happiness and security for each family member. When kids are bored, they may exhibit behavioral problems which cause parents to discipline them. This takes away from the happiness and feelings of security kids should have. If you do fun things with your kids that have elements of education hidden in them, everyone is happy.

Parents feel like they’re doing a good job raising kids that will become good people. Kids feel nurtured and cared about as their parents take time to be with them. Parents are the leaders of the family unit and it’s their responsibility to ensure bonding. It may not be easy with hectic lives but it’s essential to ensure a good foundation for healthy minded children. There are many fun family bonding activities that can bring a family together. See these ten activities that will strengthen your family bond.

10. Build a Family Tree Together

Building a family tree will give each member of the family a sense of identity as you learn where you came from. Building a family tree can be a daunting task for just one person so doing it together makes it easier. Start off by finding a template that allows you to easily add family members as you find them. Give each family member a task they’re responsible for. If you have older kids, get them to do some research online.

9. Eating Meals Together

For a family that is involved with individual activities, sitting down for dinner is important. Taking the time to enjoy food together while you touch base should be a nightly activity if possible.

You have the opportunity to talk about the details of your day. It allows you to find out on a daily basis what’s happening in school and social activities with your kids. Cooking together or cleaning up after dinner is good practice also. Getting your children to contribute to some of the domestic duties of the house will teach them about work ethic.

8. Play Board Games Together

Playing board games is fun and they’re designed to make you think. It doesn’t take that much time and you don’t have to leave the house. Building these memories for your children are invaluable to their state of mind and your own.

There are many board games designed to interest all members of your family regardless of age. Make it a weekly family engagement to have a games night. Teaming up with your kids is a great way to bond, especially if you happen to win. You’ll also have the opportunity to be a good sport in the event that you lose.

7. Volunteer Together As a Family

Volunteering is a great idea for a family on so many levels. Doing something deeply meaningful together brings you closer. You are teaching your kids how to have a humanitarian mindset at an early age.

Many experts suggest that volunteering boosts self-esteem and is good therapy for depression. Getting your kids volunteering at an early age gives them a good sense of self. This is essential when they become teenagers. Some options are serving meals at a shelter, helping a family in need over the holidays or doing a charity walk as a family unit.

6. Be Crafty Together

Kids love being creative as it gives them the opportunity to express themselves. Their finished craft project will be one of a kind which is how children discover their individuality. Many adults say they’re not creative but everyone is creative as art is whatever you want it to be.

Being creative is just as important as academic enhancement for children. Better still is when you involve yourself with the crafting projects as a means of bonding. It’s a lot of fun and you have the opportunity to learn something from your kids such as learning that coloring outside the lines isn’t so important.

5. Go Camping

Camping with the family is a valuable bonding experience as you get away from every day distractions. Whether you rough it in a tent or stay in a motor home, getting into nature with your family has many benefits. You can take the opportunity to educate your kids about the environment around them. You can teach them how to fish, go on hikes and explore the wilderness that surrounds you.

Being in close confines together is interesting in its own way and a brand new way of cohabiting together. You may have obstacle to overcome as camping isn’t always easy or convenient. Kids will find the small things interesting too like how you heat up water or make dinner without the standard kitchen.

4. Get Outdoors

If you don’t have time to go camping, take a day trip outdoors. Go for a hike and include a picnic lunch. In the summer, spend a day at the lake. Another great way to bond with your family is to go geo-caching. This involves getting a GPS system and finding the spot where a secret treasure has been hidden. Usually, the spot will include a stamp your kids can use to mark in their geo-caching passport. Kids especially love this activity as they love treasure hunting. Teaching your kids to love the outdoors at an early age will benefit them later in life as they make their own choice on activities.

3. Bedtime Bonding

When your kids are small, reading them a book before they go to sleep is a great way to bond. It gives you the opportunity to spend some relaxed time with your kids. They also have the opportunity to wind down and will tend to go to sleep more quickly. Families that go to church will often say prayers with each other before going to bed. If you’re not religious, it’s still a good habit to share what you’re grateful for. To acknowledge those who aren’t doing well in life and wish them the bet for them gives you and your family an appreciation for what you have. This gives your children a sense of gratitude for the life they have instead of taking it for granted.

2. Plant and Nurture a Tree or Garden

Many schools have an adopt-a-tree program where they’re given a sapling from their local forestry association. Planting a tree in your yard with your children is a great way to document the years that go by. It’s fun to get down in the dirt and out in nature with children as you teach them the lessons of how they play an important part in the environment.

Creating a family garden is another great way to bond with each other. Kids love to play in the dirt anyway so teach them how to assist in gardening. Smaller kids would be happy to pull weeds or plant seeds. Older kids can assist with fertilizing and daily watering.

1. Science Experiments

If you look online, you’ll find many easy science experiments you can do with your kids at home. You’ll probably only need everyday household items for any given project. It’s a fun way to spend time with your kids as they learn. The actions are fun but you also get your kids thinking about the scientific reaction of the project. Expanding your child’s mind in a fun way is an efficient way to ensure their mental development

http://healthprep.com/family-pregnancy/10-activities-that-will-strengthen-your-family-bond/10/

Diva Drifting: Daydreaming….

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I’ve been finding myself drifting this summer.  Many stories say Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, daydreaming on a train!  My favorite quote in the world is Einstein “Imagination is better than Knowledge.”  I’ve re-posted the article below as a more technical review of it all. But Bottom line I believe daydreaming is good for the soul and spirit of creativity.  I’d love your thoughts on it.                              Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Everyone, or nearly everyone, reports daydreaming on a regular basis, with studies indicating that as many as 96% of adults engage in having at least one bout of daily fantasies. Psychologists have long been interested in the vagaries of our mental meanderings. William James, credited with being the founder of American psychology, famously studied streams of consciousness to provide “data” for his functionalist theory of the mind. In 1890, he wrote that “When absorbed in intellectual attention we become so inattentive to outer things as to be ‘absent-minded,’ ‘abstracted,’ or ‘distraits.’All revery or concentrated meditation is apt to throw us into this state that transient lapses in the control of attention may lead to a shift in attention from the external world to internal mentation.”

While James pursued his studies of consciousness, across the Atlantic, University of Leipzig psychologist Wilhelm Wundt used introspection to understand how the mind works. They may have had similar methods, but they had very different theories. James was interested in finding out how the mind adapts to experiences; Wundt wanted to learn about the mind’s structures. Today, neuroscientists combine the best of both of these worlds, looking at brain scans while their study participants complete various mental tasks.  Serendipitously, it was while studying the brain’s activation during tasks involving memory and attention that neuroscientists first discovered the neural basis for daydreaming. While in between tasks, the researchers noticed that a set of brain structures in their participants started to become more active. These same structures turned off as soon as the participants began to engage in the cognitive tasks that were the original focus of the research.

Eventually, scientists were able to pinpoint this set of specific brain structures which we now know as the brain’s “default network.”  This network links parts of the frontal cortex, the limbic system, and several other cortical areas involved in sensory experiences.  While active, the default network turns itself on and generates its own stimulation.  The technical term for such a product of the default network is “stimulus independent thought,” a thought about something other than events that originate from the outside environment.  In common speech, stimulus independent thoughts make up fantasies and daydream, the stuff of mind wandering.  

Apart from entertaining us when we’re bored, what does the default network do for us?  Some researchers propose that it’s actually a type of watchdog or sentinel, ready to spring into action when we need to attend to an outside stimulus.  However, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the default network is there to help us explore our inner experiences (Buckner et al., 2008).  Specifically, we engage our default network when we’re thinking about our past experiences, imagining an event that might take place in the future, trying to understand what other people are thinking, and assisting us in making moral decisions.  

It seems, then, that our default network makes daydreaming possible.  The effect of daydreaming on our psyche may depend, furthermore, on the nature of our daydreams. In a series of questionnaire studies, York University psychologist Raymond Mar and associates (2012) asked men and women ranging from 18 to 85 to report on the frequency and vividness of their daydreams as well as their life satisfaction, levels of loneliness, and social support. For men, the more frequent their daydreams, the lower their life satisfaction. For women, vividness but not frequency was related to lower life satisfaction. For both genders, people who daydreamed about their close family and friends reported higher levels of life satisfaction. Those who daydreamed about romantic partners that they didn’t currently have (past or potential), strangers, or fictional characters were lonelier, had less lower social support, and tended to have lower life satisfaction.

Although this was a correlational study, the Mar findings suggest ways to use daydreaming to your advantage. Your daydreams will be more likely to bring you happiness if they’re about the actual people you know rather than the imaginary people you would like to know.  The Mar findings also suggest that there are times when it’s better not to daydream.  Anytime you’ve drifted off to la-la land while someone is giving a boring talk, speech, or seminar, you may suddenly come to the realization that you have no idea what this person just said. You’ll be in trouble if you need to take a test or answer a question directed toward the inattentive you.  In a social situation, such as a date or family meal, the consequences can prove embarrassing if not relationship-killing.

Other evidence suggests that the content of your daydreams can interfere with your memory, even when you’ve paid attention to the information you’re trying to learn. University of North Carolina Greensboro psychologist Peter Delaney and colleagues (2010) instructed college student participants to daydream about a situation either very much like or very much unlike what they were doing at the moment. Those who were told to imagine themselves in very different circumstances had poorer memories than those who were instructed to daydream about someplace close.  If you’re going to engage in mental time travel, and there’s something you need to remember, better keep that travel pretty close to home. 

You might expect that with its tendency to reach inward, your default network’s activity could make you more creative.  This is only partly true.  University of British Columbia researchers Melissa Ellamil and her colleagues (2012) found that it’s the temporal lobe in the cortex that generates creative ideas. The default network decides whether to like those ideas or not.  Reinforcing Delaney’s findings regarding memory and daydreaming, Japanese researchers Hiraku Takeuchi and collaborators (2010) showed that the people more likely to generate creative ideas in a laboratory task were less able to deactivate their default networks.  Creativity may, then, come at a cost if your goal is to learn and remember new information.

These studies on daydreaming suggest 4 practical ways you can put your brain’s default network to best use for you:

1. Tune out your default network when you need to focus. Your best chance to learn something new comes when you deactivate the network. If you feel your inner thoughts are crowding out the new information, take that extra step to turn down their volume.

2. If your daydreams are bothering you, change them. We know from the Mar study that people who daydream about unobtainable relationships feel unhappier and less satisfied. As difficult as it may be, try to fantasize about the relationships you now have or those that you might reasonably be able to start in the near future.

3. Use your daydreams to help, not hurt, your memory. From the Delaney study, we learned that students who daydreamed about faraway places or situations had poorer memories than those whose daydreams stayed closer to their current realities. If you use your daydreams to elaborate on your experiences now, you’ll have a better chance of remembering those experiences in the future.

4. Don’t stifle your creativity, but don’t let it interfere with what you need to know. Creative people seem to be more likely to engage in flights of fancy, as the Takeuchi study showed. Before you let your imagination run rampant, make sure you’re paying enough attention to what is going on around you to get that information to stick in your long-term memory.

Your daydreams can mold your memory, your attention, and even your happiness within your relationships.  Daydreams may be the stuff of your brain’s default network, but they can also prove to be the source of your personal fulfillment.

Why and How You Daydream

What is the stuff of daydreams? Your brain’s default network may have the answer.
 

Diva Ranting: Idiot Drivers…

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I’ve been trying not to rant of  late. Trying to nurture the kinder, gentler, Crone….However, Is it just me, or do the dumbest drivers ever always get out during lunch hour, and impede the progress of those of us who have places to go during lunch hour?  

I just got behind some impaired git who was going …Oh, I don’t know…less than 2 miles per hour in the superstore parking lot all the way to the light.  The light turns green for the usual 5 seconds and the git sits, then runs the red light! Here’s me and the rest of the lot waiting at another light.  

Always safety first! However, my mind is saying run the light with the git, and push that little slow moving bug down the street into an oncoming train!!!  Sorry, the rant made me feel better!  Anyway, I wish you all a better traffic pattern than the one in the Crater today.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Rambling: Depression

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We’ve talked about this before but it’s graduation and the time of year some folks find themselves in need of counseling.  Do be afraid to get help.  Here again are some of the signs you may wish to consider…..

8 Signs of Depression

Depression is more than just being sad and gloomy. It’s a chronic overwhelming feeling, self-loathing, and a feeling of helplessness. Almost everyone feels depressed at some point of their life, but not everyone talks about it or seeks treatment. The fear of judgment and criticism force them to bury their true feelings deep down, pretending to be someone totally different on the outside. You may have a dear one who is doing just the same at the moment, and you have no idea about it. But how does one identify or read the signs? Here are some characteristics of people who are silently suffering from depression. Keep your eyes open for these.

1. Personalities That Seem Happy

A major sign of people who are depressed secretly is that they don’t reflect any signs of it. They appear to be extremely happy and content with their lives. They smile a lot, and laugh a lot. Looking at them, you you would never guess that deep down they hate themselves and are silently suffocating in self-loathing. You have to closely examine their defenses and desires to see what they fear. Check for quirks, or small triggers that causes them to reveal their true selves- it may be hard to do so, but not impossible.

2. Their Brains Are Tired From Over-thinking

People who suffer silently from depression or anxiety cannot shut their brains down. They are constantly talking to themselves in their heads, unable to shush their minds. They might not remember the last time their mind was at peace. It is always one pointless debate after another. One endless argument after another. One fine day the brain will snap, tired of working continuously.

3. Their Greatest Fear Is Judgment

A major reason most depressed people don’t talk about what’s going on in their heads is because they hate being judged. Our society is to be blamed to a great extent for this fear as mental illness is still considered to be a taboo by majority of the people even today. They are scared of being linked to the prejudices and stigma linked to depression and other mental disorders. What they do not realize is that depression is an illness similar to any other illness in the world- there is nothing to be ashamed of.

4. They Want To Refrain From Hurting Others

It is natural for depressed people to snap at trivial things. When this happens, their empathy kicks in hard and they start seeing themselves as monsters who are capable of hurting everyone they love. So they try to hide it from their loved ones, without even realizing that doing so would cause everyone more pain and suffering.

5. They Hardly Trust Anyone

A common sign of depressed people is that though they will have tons of friends, they will trust only a handful. They might act like social butterflies, but deep inside, they feel lonely. Only few hold their confidence. In worst cases scenarios, not a single soul would hold their confidence, causing them to feel more and more lonely and sad.

6. They Are Hard To Read And Impossible To Get Close To

Another difficult trait seen in people suffering from depression is that they are awfully closed up. You may talk to them everyday, but you will hardly know anything about what is actually going on in their lives. They hardly reveal their innermost thoughts, and always stick to general topics when you talk to them. They always have a mask on, and you keep getting the feeling that there is so much more going on underneath all the layers they choose to hide behind.

7. They Are A Smart Lot

Being depressed and being silent about it makes them smart and strong. To endure pain in silence is not a simple thing. It makes a person mentally and emotionally strong and transforms them into something else. It takes a lot of mettle to suffer silently and act cheerful on the outside- not everyone can do it.

8. They Mess Up Things For Themselves

They struggle to be normal, but they can’t. They are genuine, they carry other’s woes, and they don’t seek attention. This makes their life a difficult one to live. This is how most depressed people behave. The last thing they want to do is trouble others, so they try to deal with things on their own, only to make matters worse. If only they knew it is completely okay to reach out for help!

Author Unknown


Diva Musing: Chakras…

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Many people like me collect rocks.  I love the intricate creation of each stone. They are the gifts from the Divine that no one pay much attention to.  I always believe the Divine Source gave us everything we need in creation.  Here is a list of some of those stones and some of the healing properties at which they vibrate….

Chakra Stones and Metaphysical Properties of Crystals

ROOT CHAKRA’S color is red, other colors associated with the Root Chakra are black brown, and gray. Chakra stones like garnetonyx, and red jasper are beneficial.

The NAVEL CHAKRA’S color is orange. Chakra stones like carnelian and orange zincite help to bring the system into balance.

The SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA’S color is yellow. Chakra stones like citrine and yellow sapphire are used.

The HEART CHAKRA’S color is green and the secondary color is pink. Chakra stones like rose quartz or green tourmaline are useful.

The THROAT CHAKRA’S color is blue like aqua or turquoise, secondary colors are various shades of lighter blues. Chakra stones like turquoise or blue lace agate balance this chakra.

The BROW CHAKRA’S color is indigo or shades of dark blue. Chakra stones like lapis lazuli or
sodalite compliment this area.

The CROWN CHAKRA’S color is purple, the secondary color is clear or white. Chakra stones like
amethyst or clear quartz are perfect.

Clearing and Programming Chakra Crystals

Chakra crystals are a tool and can be like a storage battery for thought energy. “Clearing” has to do with the energy of the stone or crystal. Chakra crystals can be “programmed” with our thought energy and then act on our subtle chakra energy fields. They also to help to create situations in our lives that will lead us in directions that allow positive growth and healing.

Clearing a Chakra crystal or gem stone is a simple task, and it is a way to insure that there are no left over negative energies from the person who owned it before you. It is a way to personalize your Chakra crystal, and create a new energy bond between you and your new gem stone partner. There are many ways to do this, but this is a simple and effective way – make sure you will not be disturbed. Hold your new crystal under running water, and as the water pours over it, close your eyes and imagine all the negative energies are washed away down the drain and out to the vast ocean to be purified by the cycles of life. You can also leave them in the warm sun, and allow the power of it’s light purify to the crystal with “fire”.

To program your new Chakra crystal, simply hold it in your hand, close your eyes, then in your imagination, create an image of what you want your crystal or gem stone to help you