Kicking Gluten To The Curb!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its getting cooler but not just yet. I’m waiting for a massive temperature drop to switch out my Summer gear for Fall/Winter wear. So until then, it’s temperamental North Texas weather for the next couple of days. But I just cannot wait to layer on. LOL…I know all my Midwesterners are rolling their eyes at this but hey! You are not a tree. You can move. And you don’t have to let the gusty Ohio River winds invade your soul every year. The choice is yours!! Anyways, todays post is about my journey to being gluten free. And by sharing this journey, I hope this can help someone else.

Food is life. It doesn’t matter the culture, region or people. Food is the number one common denominator. When it comes to food sensitivity, its very easy for people to expect bad reactions, extreme skin anomalies, swelling, or itching throat. But, there is a more subtle reaction that I believe is more deadly because the symptoms are milder and many of us fall under this category but are not aware.

A huge amount of the general populace (myself included) eat to curb hunger and attain satiety. In order words, we eat to keep our bellies filled or full. This is very different from eating to ‘fuel’ the body. When you eat food without knowing your bodies needs, your body accepts the food because it has no choice (duh) but it looks for places to store it because it doesn’t know what to do with it. That is why we see an increase in belly fat, fat around the thighs, arms because we have adopted a diet that in many many cases is not suitable for our body type. And the long suffering human body has to do the best it can with the trash it receives on a daily and still keep us alive, keep our hearts pumping and fight off the bacteria and illnesses in our environment at the same time.

I Started Paying Attention to My Body.

The signs were there, but they were very mild so its very important to pay attention to our bodies Some people have instant reactions like rolling on the floor or hives that instantly appear. This is not the case for everyone. A lot more people have milder symptoms that are often and very easily overlooked. Nobody just drops dead without any warning…our bodies are too intelligent for that. The problem is we ignore the signs because they’re subtle and fleeting. Here are some signs you may be sensitive to gluten.

*Being bloated on a daily or after eating certain foods. Ex. Rice and certain grains, baked goods, desserts, milk, certain cheeses, sweets, sodas, sweet fruits, alcohol, heavy carbs etc.

*Gut imbalance. Constant yeast infections. When people hear the words ‘yeast infection’, it’s very easy to think it always has to do with the private areas. Well… we have yeast in our gut and on our skin as human beings. The problem comes when the yeast bacteria outgrows the good bacteria and compromises the immune system. Then there’s a problem.

*Constipation and irregularities. If you have to take laxatives on a regular, or all those fiber powders and supplements, this is not normal and is not healthy. The commercials on TV want you to buy more products without really addressing the root cause or underlying issue.

*Acne. Skin issues. Hormonal imbalances. These three things go hand in hand and a lot of times when the diet is fixed, there will be significant and visible improvement in these three areas.

Healing the Body – How to get started.

*Find a naturopath who is well versed in diet and nutrition as well as gastrointestinal health.

*Removing unnecessary metals from the body. Ex. Mercury amalgam dental fillings etc. This is a whole other post on its own. But I encourage you to look up the side effects of having metals in the body. Don’t just take my word for it.

*Some people may need extensive bloodwork to determine their body type and how better to fuel it. We no longer need to expect to be sick just like our family members were due to our genes. We can start now to make changes to mitigate or completely rewrite our own health path.

*We can start by cleaning out our diet. We owe that much to our bodies. Remember, we only have one.

*Colon hydrotherapy. It’s funny how we get massages, spa treatments, and all kinds of pampering to our outer bodies while very few people take the time to do an internal cleanse of their internal organs and system. I believe in balance. Take care of your insides and your outer body will need less work. Scientist say that the gut is the brain and after doing my own research, I believe it. If the gut is healthy and clean, your mind, will and emotions with be better for it.

*Clean out your refrigerator, pantry and all your secret stashes….yes, I said stashes. With advise from a naturopath or nutritionist, draw up a diet plan that works for your body type and do the best you can to stick to it.

*Read the labels when grocery shopping. Up until now, I had no clue that there was such a thing as gluten free aisles or sections. The market is rapidly growing because a lot more people are experiencing food sensitivities and looking for alternatives to relieve the symptoms.

*Cheat responsibly. A gluten free diet is very hard to stick to 100% because almost every food around us has some form of gluten in it. When you do cheat, portions matter.

Folks, If this post helps one person, it makes all the difference in my world. I have been through it myself and if anything I say on here helps someone else, my work is done. Feel free to share your experiences, like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again…and my hope is that when I do, it will be cooler in North Texas, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Healing Your Body…Post Pandemic!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are fine and doing great in your part of the globe. Its been a minute since my last posts and it’s been fun but also very intense. The weather is soooo nice in North Texas. I almost don’t want to say it before we wake up one morning and it’s literally back to hell again. LOL. From what I heard, we should be gearing up for another very cold winter and I just cannot wait to layer on. There’s literally a countdown to swapping out my summer wardrobe for Fall but I’m not quite there yet.

We made it to the ember months and it’s something to be thankful for. With the pandemic, the craziness of life and all the other things in between, if you’re reading this post, you’re here and that matters. Looking back at the past months, I would say that 2021 has been a year of getting healthy-er and doing right health wise. I began by making minimal changes. These changes were difficult and still are but the longer I stick to it, I must say that it gets better. Just because it looks like the world is ripping to shreds doesn’t mean we take our focus off living life and doing the things we must to remain in tip top condition all around.

It’s almost baking season! I’m not sure if there’s any such thing as healthy baked goods but I’m going to try. And if you happen to have discovered a way to enjoy baked good that don’t make your body pack on the pounds, please send them my way.

Still staying safe despite the pandemic. Folks, it’s not over and staying in good health, taking your vitamins and being physically active is the way to go.

Get out more…in open spaces. Go hiking, work out in the park, go golfing. Being out in nature exposes you to negative ions that are good for your body and overall well being. Have you met anyone that went to the beach or a waterfall or lived out in the country that didn’t feel at ease or calm-er than us city people? Trust me, it wasn’t the farm animals LOL. Don’t just take my word on it, look it up for yourself.

Get back into your hobbies. Doing things that you really love. Getting back into reading, baking, kayaking, taking dance classes, learning to cook, visiting coffee shops with outdoor seating if you’re not comfortable being indoors. A friend of mine told me about couple who haven’t been seen in over a year. I kid you not. They both work from home, have everything delivered and use facetime for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. No judgement here. I can understand the fear but if the world was ending, it would have ended a long time ago. We truly live when we do the things that we love, so take baby steps if you must but you’ve got to keep on living life…or a semblance of it as you once knew.

Take a deep breath. A lot of times people think that once you’re healthy you’re good but being healthy is a broad term that encompasses every aspect of life. Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one wakes up in tip top health just because they made a decision the day before to take action. Folks, it takes baby steps, little tweaks, cheat days until you no longer feel the need to do so (hehe…myself included). So until I come your way again be safe, have fun because the festivities are just around the corner!! And…it will only be a little while before its another Christmas. Smile…because you’re still here!!!

Please like, comment and follow for more. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

The Shrewdness of Time!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Summer is officially a couple days away but the heat isn’t waiting till then. Its time to slather on the sunscreen, sun hats, sun shades and the short shorts because the proverbial ‘Texas Burn’, is on!

So I tend to get pulled into watching numerous clips of TikTok videos streamed on YouTube about dogs…especially when bored or just looking for something to distract myself. The funny antics or despairing experiences they’ve had and their journey to recovery and being loved back into the loyal, furry little friends that they truly are bring back memories of growing up and having litters of puppies every now and again. I come from a dog loving family so its in my DNA.

There was always a big pup among the litter who was the bully, cried the loudest and stayed on mama tits long after the others had dozed off for the night. Yes, I’m referring to that one. I remember one time when I had to feed them in separate bowls because this cute little rascal would literally eat everything before the others even got a head start. So one day, something happened. I had just got done serving up their food and I was sitting in the kitchen watching them eat. The little rascal finished his food and looked up at me and then at his brother eating a couple of feet away. I knew what he was thinking LOL. He knew by now that he wasn’t supposed to go near his siblings plates during meal time so this is what he did. He pretended to be sniffing something on the floor and walking around the room….all the while closing in on the nearest pups plate. I was watching him intently but he was oblivious to me. In this pups mind, he was smart…very smart if I might add. All this time, he was pretending to sniff something on the floor, he was inching closer to his brothers bowl. In this pups brain, all of this was going to go unnoticed…..WRONG!!! I was unto him from the moment he looked at his brothers plate. I could literally see the wheels turning as he was trying to figure out the most stealth way to steal a couple bites of food without me knowing. I share this to say that…..

Life is a playground and you’ve got to get on it and play. You will fall down, You will learn from it and hopefully get back up and in the game again…literally. With time and experience, you learn and you grow. You don’t fall for the same tricks as you once did. You aren’t as gullible as you once were. You tend to question things – by asking ‘why’ and by anticipating the outcome of things whether good or bad. There is a sharpness, a seasoning that comes to you that cannot be acquired in any book or crash course. Life itself is THE school.

Time makes you shrewd.

*If you apply yourself to the school of life, you can spot things from a mile away.

*You aren’t quick to react as you were in your early days.

*You are more observant.

*You listen more…not just to what is being said in the moment but how it’s said and when.

*You become better at reading motives and intentions.

*You become intentional and more clear on what works for you and what doesn’t. What you want and what you won’t accept.

*You realize that you are human and you DO have a choice. Nothing is set in stone. There are no absolutes…someone just hasn’t discovered a way yet.

In my opinion, life is a playground when you are young. You fall, you get scraped, heal faster, learn from it and get back on the playground. I believe this is the time to train yourself because when you’re older, you get stiffer, you’re becoming brittle, you’re not as quick or you don’t heal as fast. But its meant to be that way. This is when you can sit back and pour into the younger ones who are willing to listen. Those who understand the invaluable pearls of wisdom being bestowed and who want to ensure that they don’t fall into the same ditches you did…literally. A timeless saying that rings through is to ‘never cast your pearls to swine’ is one that I often heard growing up but honestly did not grasp the depth of until much much later.

Folks, these are the gains and rewards we enjoy when we actively participate in life. Some of us took a fall and are now watching from the sidelines, afraid to get back on this playground called life. I speak to you and to myself as well…’Don’t be afraid. There’s only two directions it’s going to turn out: Good or Not so good’. That’s it! It’s better to try and not get the outcome you want than to not have tried at all. Until I come your merry way again, please like, follow and share your thoughts with me and the other Starr readers around the world. Have a fabulous week ahead!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Tell Your Story!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. It’s been a minute since my last post and life has somewhat returned to normal since Snowstorm Uri decided to take a hike. Its March!! Happy New month to you all. I hope your new year resolutions are still on? People say that most individuals fall off the wagon by the end of January but hopefully you’re still in it till the end.

Do you ever have those days where you’re up late and craving all things rich in calories, savory on the taste buds and filling for your belly? Well, this was one of those nights for me. I had been craving pizza all week but tonight was different. It was as if my stomach was saying ‘It’s either you do something about this or neither one of us is sleeping tonight’…jeez. So I do the right thing by looking up the calories in a pizza I would usually get in the past and the time of day I intended ingesting those calories…I changed my mind and decided to make my own; Free of the excess oils and hidden fats. A recipe that I could count all the ingredients on one hand…Ha Ha! Off to the kitchen I went to make my own pizza. Surprisingly, once I got started, the growling in my stomach settled down quite a bit. I started to wonder, best hurry up now before it resumes again. Photos and recipe are below!!!

My post today is about the power of communication. We all have a story. Life happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, are phrases we are all too familiar with. I noticed that the most open phases of communication is when we’re kids and have no filter, and when we’re old-ER and no longer care what the world thinks. But there’s a gap between these two phases where we are either outwardly silenced or inwardly feel the need to conceal, withhold, or reveal as little as possible. Keeping up with appearances, not wanting to ruffle feathers, show weakness or simply ignoring things and hoping they’d die off or disappear are some of the coping mechanisms that we pick up along the way. This may appear fine and good in the moment but can I tell you that the burden on the human body is so heavy that emotional and mental weights have now been proven to cause illness, cancer, tremors, hernias, high blood pressure…you name it.

I stumbled upon a show where a neurosurgeon was talking about the connection between the body, the mind and the human spirit and it blew my mind. I later listened/read (can’t remember which), a story of an elderly woman who had a tremor. She had issues with walking and just doing everyday simple things. A neighbor invited her over to join their small group which she obliged since she lived alone and company would be good. On a particular day during the groups meeting, everyone was to share on something that happened to them that they never really opened up about. One by one, each person shared their story – nothing was too big or too insignificant, if it mattered to them, it was important.

It came time for the old lady to speak, she looked down, took a deep breath, and still shaking started talking. Her son had died many years ago. It was devastating. Everyone expected her to get over it and move on after the grieving period was over (technically). But she wasn’t ready. Attempts to talk about it were shut down. It was too painful for her husband to remember. And so, she buried it within her soul. As she spoke, pausing to wipe her eyes every now and again, one of the people in the group spoke ‘you’re not shaking’ he said. The old lady stopped and looked down at her hands. The tremors weren’t there. She could not believe it. She held out her hands and the shaking was almost non existent. The meeting at this point was over, everyone came round to give her hugs, there were more tears but it could only be a miracle that this happened.

When I listened to that story, I feel like the grief she was not allowed to express had to be suppressed. Since it was suppressed, the emotional stress of carrying this burden began to break down her physical body, manifesting itself as a tremor. Folks, I am not a medical doctor of any sort but I strongly believe that our mind, bodies and soul are intertwined and have the ability to affect the other especially when we’re out of sync, stressed, traumatized or holding unto blacked out memories that we have forgotten we even have. I feel that instead of waiting for the ‘I don’t give a rats behind years’, why don’t we give ourselves permission to be our authentic selves and speak our truth…NOW. I feel like old age should be enjoyed and not just spent in and out of medical facilities because of things we could have dealt with.

Disclaimer: Not all ailments are mentally or emotionally related but a lot of them are.

My Late Night (Two Crust) Pizza Recipe!

Crust Ingredients: 2 Cups of Flour, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2 tsp of Fast Acting Yeast, 1/2 Cup of Water, 1 tsp of Sugar.

Topping are whatever I had in my fridge at the time: Pepperoni, Black Olives, Pickled Banana Peppers and Green Bell Peppers, (No Cheese TYVM).

Sauce: A combination of Marinara Sauce & Ketchup.

Directions: Warm the water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add sugar and then yeast. In a mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix. Pour in the foamy, activated, yeast water. Mix and cover for one hour. Turn your Oven to 350oF. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the dough and a dusting of flour. Divide dough into two and refrigerate one half for later. Get your rolling pin and stretch the dough out. Get a pan and apply cooking spray. Transfer the dough and stretch some more using your fingers. Add the tomato sauce, toppings and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Its ready. Cravings satisfied. Time for bed!

Until I come your way again. Tell your story, it may be the one thing that can save your life, your health, your relationships…you never know until to speak your truth.

Periwinkle Starr

Good Vibes Only!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? I was up late one night with some time on my hands and decided to get this post going while my creative juices were still flowing…oh the joys of writing. As the name implies, ‘Good Vibes’ is a term that’s easily tossed around in everyday conversation so much so, that we can overlook what it really means or it’s implications. But there is a deeper meaning that the definition does not do enough justice to and I’m going to shed a little bit more light on it in this post.

When I fly, one of the things I memorize once I’m seated in a plane are the safety features, where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency. One of the instructions that irk me every time I hear it is when the flight attendant asks us to ‘put on the drop down oxygen mask first before helping your child’, heaven forbid something happens during the flight. This statement has never really sat well with me until it hit me. You have to be OK, alert, or afloat before you can help someone else – irrespective of who they are to you. I notice that no matter how much you may want, wish, love to help or assist or even visualize good things for loved ones; the decisions they take must happen between their own two ears, and the overall outcome is THEIR responsibility and not yours. This is often a hard pill to swallow especially when you have a ‘rescuer’ type personality, but in reality, it rings true. At the end of the day, we have the sole responsibility of creating healthy boundaries, enforcing them, keeping our peace and enjoying life while fulfilling our own purpose. Here are a few things that can and will help.

Learn to Be Kind to Yourself. Good vibes start within you. People tend to be harder on themselves than they would be on others. Stopping all forms of negative self talk or harsh chastisement is something that we may need to be intentional about and catch ourselves a couple of times before our brain can actually breaks the cycle (something I read some where about breaking bad habits and how many times you have to do it for your brain to grow new neurons – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!). A famous saying is to love thy neighbor as thyself – the goal is to FIRST love yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, forgive yourself, and then comes the ‘others’. But how often do we find ourselves doing things for others that we would not even think to do for ourselves – because somewhere, at some point in our lives, we have been trained to think that we do not matter which is so far from the truth.

Get a Backbone. Standing up for yourself verbally, mentally, relationally is very important because it sets the stage and informs those around you that you will not tolerate unacceptable behavior. The backlash will come depending on the health of your inner circle, and you will hear words like ‘stubborn, difficult, opinionated…and more. These are complaints of those who can no longer take advantage, can no longer control, use or abuse you. But keep at it because the world is learning who you are. I guarantee that you will have a little bit more peace after this.

Be Responsible. This is a tough one but being self sufficient or self reliant in life gives you the ability to set the bounds around your life. As the saying goes ‘He who pays the piper, controls the tune’. Self sufficiency is a broad spectrum that could mean a myriad of things ranging from being financially stable or having a roof over your head, to being in control of vital decisions that affect your life. If you aren’t there yet, work towards attaining this goal. It will pay off in the end. There are countless cases of violations that occur just because we are at the mercy of cruel or unhealthy people.

When People Talk, Listen. There is a famous saying ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. As humans, we are always communicating who we are to the world around us, whether it’s being funny, sarcastic, gossiping, slander, non-verbal communication or mental projections. The key is to listen. People say what they really feel, not in grandiose conversations (although that tends to happen sometimes), but in every day chatter. Being an avid listener will save you a whole lot because you will be able to sift out those you can truly trust and those you should not cast your pearls to (literally).

We are Human Antennas. Have you ever met a person, maybe lived with them or worked in close proximity with them who outwardly were nice, did all the right things but in your heart, something just didn’t sit right with you about them? Well, that’s your gut or antenna picking up on something that transcends the physical realm and should not be ignored. Haven’t we all heard countless stories of ‘I had a gut feeling about ‘them’ but no outward proof to back it up’, or ‘They were so charming, I just ignored the feeling’.

Whether You Like It or Not, You Are in a War. You are in a fight for survival, a fight to be, a fight to not just thrive but flourish, a fight to be happy, sane and free. Our everyday life is fraught with things fighting for our attention, fighting to drain our energy if we would just let it, or fighting for our emotions or our time (fill in the blank). We need to fight to keep negative or undesirables at bay in the context of what we can control. The choice at the end of the day is yours.

Hold Your Lines. Do you ever notice that when an unhealthy individual comes in contact with a healthy person who they cannot access, cannot control, cannot manipulate or take advantage of, they become livid, they will hate your guts, they will try to take jabs (or chicken scratches in my opinion) at your armor, but they will not and cannot succeed because you see them, you know what they are about and as a principle, you do not budge or subscribe to those type of channels.

Be Kind to Others. The world has enough evil in it already. Be kind. Do unto those as would like done unto you but still use wisdom. Treating people the way they truly deserve does not make you any better than they are. Put out into the universe what you would like to receive from it.

Skip into the Sunset. Folks, life comes with it’s own challenges – it’s called being human. There are no real super hero’s but there are people who have mastered the ‘Art of Living‘ and I believe the earlier we master this art, the better we will be at doing life well. At the end of the day, if you incorporate these basic things into your routine, things may not automatically snap into instant perfection BUT you will be lighter, you will enjoy the simple things more, you will be a healthier and mentally stronger person all round and giddy enough to skip into the sunset because you have done the best you can. Thank you so much for reading. Please like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Cash In The Attic?!

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Hello Y’all and Happy New Month! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s June already and I can’t believe it. This year has been interesting to say the least but just like the Timex wrist watch commercial, we have learned to ‘take a lickin and keep on tickin’. That’s about all we can do right now. The weather in North Texas is surprisingly cooler than the heat we are used to at this time of year but again, not many people have been on the road, pumping CO2 (among other things) into the atmosphere via fumes.

Quarantine has made us become more acquainted with our living spaces than we have ever been before corona hit. I will admit that I was more of a visitor in my own space, barely around during the week abnd home only on some weekends – and I was either out and about or getting stuff done and was never really there.  So I finally had time to look closely at what I was working with…ha ha!

 And then, it happened…

I was surfing channels one day, when I stumbled upon the show ‘Hoarding, Buried Alive’. It had been a while since I had watched an episode so it was a good distraction. As the name entails, the documentary shows the lives of people who have been overtaken with saving and keeping things for ‘future’ use that really never get used – if that makes any sense. Before you know it, I had watched three episodes back to back. I was appalled, shocked, and glued to the TV all at the same time. I realized something towards the end of the third episode that apart from a minute number of people that have mental issues, the majority of people don’t go to bed one day and while tucking themselves in, say out loud, ‘when I wake up tomorrow, I want to be a hoarder’. It often starts when something either tragic, traumatic or shocking happens in their lives, that is not addressed or dealt with and slowly, they start stacking up stuff.  The usual phrase I kept hearing was ‘I might use that someday, or this may come in handy, or we can put this to some use’. And before you know it, the home gets filled with stuff, in some cases to the ceiling with footpaths as the only means to get around or in most cases some spaces within the dwelling were deemed inaccessible. There were all kinds of animals, rodents, dead animal carcasses, and fecal matter all around – it was disgusting to watch. The aim of the show is to then have an intervention of sorts with the individual and then enlist the help of a clean up crew to clear out the home.

No One Is Perfect.

Those people could be us, our parents or our friends. I can assure you that the average person knows at least two people in their lives with hoarding tendencies.  They may not be so far gone to make it on to the show but the tell tale signs are already there. I kid you not, the very day after watching that show, I started reorganizing, I started sorting through things that I hadn’t looked at in years in an attempt to declutter my space.  Here are a few tips to having cash in your attic instead of clutter. So stay with me.

♦  Do your best to make peace with your life’s circumstance the best you can. Get     counselling, forgive, meditate, go to therapy…do something!

♦  Develop a waste not want not approach to life. This proverb means if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need. So instead of hoarding items for an apocalypse that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen, take what you need and some,  not E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in the store.

♦  Sort through your stuff and make a list, grouping your items into categories and how you intend disposing off of them.  There’s covid-19 going around now, so yard sales are a big no no.

♦  Become an online retailer and make some money off the stuff that you don’t need, don’t use and probably stuff that’s just sitting there and taking up real estate in your home.

♦  Donate what you can’t sell to your local community store. Someone less fortunate will be able to put it to good use.  If they are hoarders themselves looking for a steal, at least it’s off your hands and no longer your problem.

I believe the state of a persons personal space to some extent paints a picture of the state of their mind and gives you a view of who they are. We deserve to give ourselves the decency (in the way we live) that our humanity deserves. No one should exist in such deplorable conditions but still, it happens but I believe we can avoid ending up like that. So until I come your way again, I want you to try my 5-step plan and let me know how it goes. Do like, comment and follow my blog and be safe out there!

Periwinkle Starr♥

Happy New 2020!!

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Happy New Year Y’ all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? If you are reading this post, you made it!! I woke up to a freezingly cold morning in North Texas and all I wanted was a hot cup of tea, pancakes and my laptop.  It was too cold to sit out on the porch so my work desk with an ample view of the outdoors had to suffice. Looking back on the last ten years, I must say that it’s been one long ride and being thankful that I made it is so important because so many others did not.

When it comes to the first day of the year, I like to hit the ground running every time. If you are Starr reader and have been with my blog through the years, you know that I am not a fan of new year resolutions.  In my mind, I feel like we make those resolutions just so we can break them. I mean, who on earth do you know that follows through 100% on their resolves till the end of the year? That’s right – no one.

For me, with every new year comes tweaks – to be and do better. I feel like its easier to incorporate little changes than lists things that deep down I know I won’t  even keep before the weeks end LOL!

MY New Year Tweak or Mantra is “Effective Management”!

♦Time Management: Whether its reading one book in a week, to working out daily, or making a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends, meeting work deadlines, managing my time better is the goal. We have 24 hours in a day. The plan is to use it wisely.

♦Diet: Having a refrigerator filled with food and still eating out defeats the purpose in and of itself. The aim is to be intentional with meal prepping for a couple of days during the week which will help keep our budget from spiraling out of control.

♦Health & Fitness: Taking health and fitness to a whole new level this year is the goal. Whether its trying my hands at weights, swimming longer laps at the pool, joining one of those boot camps or just eating healthier and incorporating intermittent fasting into my regimen (Intermittent fasting is a whole other blog post on its own). The bottom line is to challenge yourself to get healthier and fit this year.

♦Career: Get on top of your goals, aspirations and dreams. Get started on whatever it is you planned on doing. Always remember that you are happier when you do what you are meant to do deep down in your soul.

♦Mental & Emotional Health: For some people, this is letting go of things that don’t make you happy, those things that drain you and take away your peace. Sometimes we believe that by burying our head in the sand or pushing things down under layers of activities will make certain  issues go away. This is not always the case. 2020 is the year to confront things, to speak your truth and uncover what’s in the dark. Life is too short – don’t waste it.

♦Manage Relationships: We all need somebody…anybody will not do. Make up your mind to clean house when it comes to relationships this year. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and not the LESS in you.

♦Manage Your Screen Time: Being a reality TV fan, I seldom have time to watch anything else because I can’t stand the wait or the suspense of watching a series. But every now and then, vegging out on my TV or phone is something we’re all guilty of and I feel we can all do better.  There’s been a study I came across that people are developing eye problems from the blue light emanating from phones and other electronic devices.

♦Give Back! Whether its volunteering, donating food to your local food bank or community store or religious center is awesome! We live in a self-indulgent society but stepping out of your sphere to affect someone else life makes a world of difference.

I hope you had a fun celebration. Its time to hit the ground running folks. If you fail to plan, you’re ultimately planning to fail. It’s going to be an amazing year so get ready. Do Like, follow and comment on your tweaks for the new year! Until I come your way again, be safe, upbeat and healthy!!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

When It’s Ok To Let Go!

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Hello Y’all! Happy New Month! I hope your weekend has been great so far. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in North Texas. The temperature has dropped and I have finally swapped my summer garb for winter wear…at last! I turned down a camping trip with some adventure buddies this weekend. Well…considering the fact that I’m home now, swaddled in all things warm; I have my heat turned on including my mobile mini heater I carry around with me – and I’m still cold. There is no way in hell I was going to sleep OUTSIDE or pretend for a few days that I could survive in the wild. I feel like to really ‘survive’ out there, I may need ‘boot camp type of training like I’ve seen on national geographic…hehehe. My last failed attempt at camping ended up with us packing up and driving to a lit Walmart parking lot to spend the night because the nearest hotel was too far out. All the horror movies I have ever watched summed up into one HUGE film. I mean from bears, to anacondas, ghosts, people who had camped out and were never found, previous episodes of paranormal and supernatural combined…the possibilities were endless. So…no thank you. Anyways, lets get back to the gist.

Life Happens To Us All!

If you are alive and breathing, you have a story. Whether it’s good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, ecstatic or dreadfully tragic. We all have a story. Some people find a way to make the best use of what life has handed them and push forward to live a regular, imperfect life as our humanity allows but for others, not so much. There are three forms of expression I see and I feel everyone of us at some point has been in one or all of these three categories. Its the same trauma but different outcomes or should I say outward expressions. So stay with me.

The ‘Woe Is Me‘ Group. Those people who wear their life’s trauma as a badge of honor on their fore head- like it’s something to be proud of. It almost feels like they walk around with their souls leaking out; and if you stand close enough, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to regurgitate all over you. They go around with the same old sob story and have a reason why they can’t do anything while resorting to drain and suck the life and time out of all they encounter. These people move around a lot. It almost seems like as soon as they are discovered or exposed, they move on to the next unassuming source of supply.

The next group is the Emotionally Void. There are those who look to the outside to fill a void on the inside. Nothing will ever be enough. Whether its money, power, sex, drugs, alcohol…you name it. To use people and things for their benefit without care or consequences, just as long as it serves them is their modus operandi. These people have been hurt and have vowed to do everything and anything to not have to feel that way ever again. Its a ‘hurt you before you hurt me’ vicious cycle that never ends. There is a lot of camouflaging to the extent that after a while – not knowing who they ‘really’ are becomes a frightening reality.

Finally, this group is what I’d like to call ‘Forever The Optimist‘. Being one of those glass half full personality types, they are always looking for the good in people. The constant search for good that may balance out the bad in others or in situations – when some things are just what they are: plain old bad. Trying to give the benefit of a doubt or hoping the outcome is not as unpleasant as it seems in many cases is the norm. Instead of looking at the actions, sometimes these kind souls would often look at the backstory that caused or led to those actions; and in many cases would give a pass based on those facts or even permit certain things that aren’t necessarily healthy around them because they are so forgiving. They are torn between identifying with the pain they too have experienced or going the other extreme and burning people at the stakes…literally.

Balance is the key.  None of the people who fall into these categories is a ‘bad person’. We need to figure out a way to heal, move past the hand that life dealt to us and express ourselves effectively in the world. To think we can save everyone is ludicrous in and of itself and a burden so big we were never meant to bear. Change only comes by a person making a decision within their self to change. So hanging on is great but you have to know when it’s ok to let go. There comes a time where you need to choose your health and well being first and do away with guilt and condemnation of not being able to save everyone. Until I come your way again, be safe and upbeat knowing deep down in your soul that sometimes its ok to let go!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

The Beauty Of It All.

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Hello Y’all! Hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been great in North Texas right until I remembered that school will be back in session real soon; I literally went from a solid six to a two…on the ‘patience for traffic’ scale and yes, I made that up LOL. Anyways, I am going to savor the nicely flowing traffic with the occasional wreck here and there before the madness begins. The high point of my week has been my discovery of one of my favorite ice cream places very close to my work – simple pleasure of life get me everytime.  But on a more serious note, there has been so much going on in the news lately. The saddest and most horrendous things have happened in quick succession that burying my head in the sand or pretending that it does not exist is no longer an option.

Hmmm…(Sigh)

These days people are afraid of people. Afraid to interact. People react because of a mindset that expects a negative outcome even when there isn’t a threat and I feel we are slowly being conditioned so much so that we isolate ourselves thereby widening the wedge between us as people, as humans. Life is too short to keep walls when there are tremendous opportunities to be gained by interaction and community and I am not just writing this but I am speaking to myself as well. Now, I’m not recommending going out and hugging strangers on the street but just having an open mind about every circumstance we find ourselves in before concluding the worst.  My life Mantra that I try to follow is to:

Give everyone a clean slate…to show you who they really are.

Until then, I feel like we can make use of those freed up brain cells for doing more relaxing or productive things instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop…which in most cases never does; or when it does drop, it’s the ones we don’t expect that surprise us the most.  We live in a fallen world and there will always be bad things or bad breaks happening all around us (and even to us sometimes) but the goal is to be able to see the beauty of life despite the negativity, despite the trials. I’m not a good horse rider but I love love the idea of the blinders they place on the horses head that force it to keep looking straight ahead and not at the noise and distractions happening on each side. I made up my mind a long time ago to not let people, events or bad breaks make me cynical, hardened and bitter. In my opinion, that’s too much power that no one deserves to have over me. I decided not to let a couple of bad apples ruin the bunch – whatever that means or however it applies to you and I.

Anyways, Fall is around the corner and before you know it, we will start our progression towards the years end. Until I come your way again, stay safe, upbeat and open to the things we do find beautiful in life.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Boundaries: The Key to a Healthier You!

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Hello beautiful people!! Its been a fun minute since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world. I am so excited for the weather like you won’t believe. The warmth is here. There’s more daylight to enjoy and the Duchess of Sussex JUST HAD A BAYBAY!! Anyways just  like I always say, when it comes to the weather, we can never be happy for any extended period of time so I have resigned myself to the new norm – enjoy it until you don’t! This week I’m writing about something that’s very important to our existence as human beings and it’s called boundaries; so grab a cup of tea, some biscuits and get comfy.

In the past, I always thought of boundaries as something on the external, outside of me. Ever hear of the term, ‘they invaded my personal space’. Its often used to describe physical things – separate or outside of ourselves but there is a different way of looking at it. A boundary is something that bounds or limits according to the Urban Dictionary…

My Definition of Boundaries

What I will or will not permit, what I will or will not accept, what I will or will not yield myself to either in my emotional, mental, or physical experience as a human being.

In life, there are things we have control of  and there are  things we have no control over. An example would be setting off on a trip with no control as to what happens after you leave your home to get to your said destination. Whatever comes your way during your journey – you need not get worked up or attempt to burst a blood vessel because – it’s out of your control.

Boundaries are not just physical barriers that we put up to protect, preserve or maintain order but it can also be emotional, mental as well as spiritual boundaries. Without it, we would descend into chaos. Without boundaries, we would be out of sync and we would lack peace within ourselves and I mean the peace that radiates from the inside out not the faux zen with a thriving volcano seething just beneath the surface. Here are a few areas of life where I believe you and I need to maintain healthy boundaries in order to function at our optimal best. If we are lacking or out of sync in one or more of these areas, we might need to take a closer look and re-evaluate our reality.

•   Boundaries Within Families. It is very important to have boundaries between spouses, between parents and children and between siblings because these are the closest points of influence to us. When healthy boundaries exist in a family unit, it’s great but when it’s lacking, it could be hell-ish.

•   Social Boundaries – These are your interactions with people in your social circle. It’s very vital to surround yourself with healthy, upwardly mobile and those who make you grow in ways that pleasantly surprise even you. If there’s drama, gossip, knit picking and all kinds of elementary school foolery; it’s thank you – NEXT according to Ariana Grande.

•   Work/Life Boundaries.  A saying I can never forget says, ‘Work is a part of life. Work is not equal to life’. If you find yourself spending more time at work instead of with family, I believe it’s time to break the cycle and re-establish our boundaries again. By the way, there’s nothing to feel guilty about because we’ve all faltered at some point in our lives and will continue to do so. The goal is to enjoy life and not strive for unhealthy perfection.

•   Mental Boundaries. This is taking responsibility for your own mental health, wellness, and growth. Life happens to everyone and our goal (you and I) is to choose the right things to focus on in spite of our life circumstances. Knowing when to look at the big picture of events and when to zoom in to the fine details of life is key.  Getting facials and massages are nice but being responsible for your own mental growth and overall well being is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

•   Re-Learning the Art of ‘NO’. Have you watched a toddler that’s learning to speak. My guess is their favorite word is no. Even for the things that they do need..ha ha! Now, that’s a little too extreme but I find that there are grown adults who have literally forgotten the art of saying no. They are bent out of shape and stretched too thin by takers who care nothing about the fact that these kind souls are literally ripping at the seams and cannot muster the courage to JUST SAY NO. We have all been there and done it at some point and there is no shame or judgement here. But a time comes when you come to yourself, you realize that even if you gave all you had including the very last drop of blood in your body to these people or person, it would never be enough. This realization is the beginning of freedom which in turn leads to the re-establishment of boundaries.

So feel free to like and share your thoughts and comments with me. I hope you enjoy the weather while its still ‘nice’ out. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr