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 bunch 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

 

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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

Springtime And Fools Day!

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Hello Y’all! It’s springtime already and its been a minute since my last post. I woke up this morning to catch a glimpse of a Blue Jay bird on the oak tree next to my porch. I don’t think I have seen anything as intricately designed and as beautiful, the sight of this bird brought back memories from my bird watching days back in Ohio. Just as I was about to creep closer to get a better view, off it went! I remember living in a small college town that literally went to sleep when school was out made me appreciate the quiet scenic beauty of bird watching.  Some friends of mine have a feeder in their backyard that brings all kinds of birds to the yard (and no, I’m not referring to the milkshake song by Kelli’s ha…ha), but it was a always a sight to behold with everything from hummingbirds to Orioles…pure beauty!

Happy Belated April’s Fools Day!! I hope you got to do something fun to your friends and family. Well, I SURE DID!! A colleague and I saran wrapped two of my co-workers cubicle  for April Fools Day and it was awesome! They were both out of the office the whole week prior and what better way to welcome them back than to have a brand new cubicle,…oh the joys of unpacking everything…ha ha! I mean, nothing was exempt, from swivel chairs to pens, hand cream to monitors, dirty coffee mugs, heaters, plaques even the rice stuffed snowman was not left behind.

The Plot

So BeBe (not real name) sends me a couple of prank options to pick from. We had already wrapped the office managers office last year with Christmas wrapping paper so that wasn’t new anymore. The second option was to newspaper wrap everything but where would we get that many newspapers and we had to act fast because time was of the essence.  The last option was to use saran wrap…he he. That was totally doable especially with a dollar store eleven minutes away from the office, it was a quick trip worth taking.

I get to the store, ask for help finding the goods and I grab EVERY box of saran wrap on the shelf and head to check out. When it gets to my turn, the check-out clerk says “I see you’ve got a whole ‘lota’ wrapping to do huh?” I smiled (showing all teeth) and answered “I sure do”! It was more fun wrapping than I had expected. Come Monday morning, I’m skipping into the office as innocent as the lamb I am and say my usual ‘good morning’. One of them is smiling while the other is still trying to untangle a few ‘brand new’ items from the saran wrap. I nearly died laughing!! They promised to retaliate which will take another year so we still have plenty of time to think up the next prank.

The Bottom Line

Life can be hard sometimes, we need to laugh a little and re-learn the art of playing and having fun. Let me know how your April Fools Day turned out in the comment section below because I will be needing a few good tricks sometime soon. Until I come your way again, stay safe, happy and full of vibrant energy in your part of the world! I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

 

 

Trick Yourself into Loosing a Few…

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Hello y’all! Hope your week has been nothing short of amazing in your part of the world? I guess I spoke too soon, the burn is back in North Texas, and no… this is not another whining session. It’s almost like we can’t ever be happy. Its too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too muggy… on and on like some of the creepy toys with recorded voices sold back in the day when I was growing up – that should have been illegal by the way. Anyway,s this weeks post is about something I have thought about a lot and I have had several chats with friends for a while now.

The Dilemma!

It’s a no brainier that the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to bounce back from all the sugar, drinks and our predominantly high carb diet. I started believing that the scale was not my friend anymore; when in actual fact, your metabolism is slowing down and you need to be twice as active just to keep up. It’s like waking up one morning and walking past a mirror before doubling back and screaming ‘What is happening to me’? – a little dramatic you might say but the struggle is beyond real. Not taking yourself serious enough is what is happening. Rome wasn’t built in a day just like those pounds didn’t pop up overnight. The usual progression is about 10 pounds per year and viola!…I look like I ate a wildebeest for breakfast with a wardrobe full of clothes that do not fit.

Allow me to paint a picture in your mind – a picture of the solar system, with the planets spinning around the sun. Now imagine you are the sun, the center of ‘your’ universe and the planets represent other aspects of your life – family, work, relationships, dreams and goals. If you’re happy with yourself and that includes being satisfied with who you are in the core of your being, then everything else benefits and your world is so much better.

So Lets Start Small !!

•          Start taking walks

•          Opt for tea instead of hot chocolate or all those lattes.

•          Reduce your portions and increase your meals.

•          Make up for your excesses with more time spent being active.

•        Never use the word ‘diet’. Your brain will go into panic mode and start                storing aka hoarding excess glucose and some people end up gaining weight when dieting instead of loosing weight. The key is to eat more small portioned and healthy meals; this will trick your brain into thinking there’s always going to be food coming in thereby prompting it to release the excess glucose and you’ll start to shed.

•          Drink more water and less soda or fizzy drinks and less alcohol.

•          Your body deserves rest. All nighter’s are inevitable but sleep is a key ingredient to weight loss and maintenance.

•          Do a gut cleanse. The cravings for sugar, sweet treats and carbs may be due to an imbalance in your digestive tract. First do your research and proceed with a mild cleanse before going hardcore. Its best to check with your healthcare provider before embarking into the unknown.

These are simple tips that gradually ease you into the process and I’m positive you will be shedding a few in no time…only if you stick to the plan. Thanks for reading! Follow me and share your experiences on how to trick your body into shedding a few! Until I come your way next time, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Slow Cooking …In Texas!

Hey Y’all! I hope your week has been as hot as mine. If you’re in North Texas, you know that there isn’t any escape from the heat at this time of year. I was in Austin for work and found it nice and pleasant…and by nice I’m referring to 86°F of sunshine. That was heaven compared to the miniature hell hole I have found myself in the last couple of weeks 😦 I can literally cook breakfast aka make scramble eggs on the bonnet of my car – it’s not even funny anymore; and ‘No!’ There is no upside to this situation. No bag of gold at the end of this rainbow, just heat…and lots of it. Anyways, I just needed to whine for a quick second.

In spite of the heat, I found myself making excuses just to stay home in the cool and do nothing; it wasn’t long before the scale started to ‘lie on me’…ha ha!

My Turning Point

Here I was trying to figure out how I was going to get more exercise without straining myself excessively when I got a message from a friend of mine asking if I wanted to go walking in the evenings? My reply was…YES!!! I got off my couch, put on my trainers and literally ran out the door before I could convince myself otherwise. My first walk was painful…and yes I said “walk’. I didn’t realize how unfit I was. We started walking a little over 5 miles four times a week. JUST. LIKE. THAT! If i could spend time watching TV for at least an hour each day, then I could walk for an hour and some every other day. So we would meetup at a park close to both our homes and off we went. Its been almost a month since I started walking outside and I feel so much better. I’m not up to running yet but I can do a light jog…(tongue hanging out) LOL!

Benefits of Walking

You’re out in nature.  You’re breathing in natural air and not central air. You get to catch up with friends. You will improve your circulation and in turn, your heart will thank you. You will begin to loose weight at a steady pace over time instead of crash diets and killer workout routines – in this heat!!

Safety Tips When Walking

•      Have your phone on you always.

•      Walk with friends or fitness buddies.

•      Having pepper spray on you doesn’t hurt.

•      If you’ve got allergies, take medication.

•      Walk in well lit areas.

These are a few pics from my trail. Let me know what tips you can share to stay fit. until I come your way again, stay cool, fit and hydrated.

 

Periwinkle Starr

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Near Death Experience…New Outlook on Life

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Happy New Month Y’all!! Can you believe its July already? Well, I can. Time flies by when your’re fully occupied. One of my favorite things of the season is being able to dress lighter; you can almost never go wrong with all those insanely bright colors. I finally (rolling eyes) got around to packing up my winter clothes and making room for my summer clothes…LOL, so don’t be down on yourself if its the middle of the year and you haven’t organized your closet space yet. Now, as much as I love writing about all things ‘light’, fun and positive; I also love to write about deep life experiences and the lessons I learned in the process. Today’s post is one of those.

That Fateful Day.

One sunny day, years ago; I had gotten some time off and wanted start my day with running a few errands before settling in to chill, relax and take it easy. I made a stop at a Goodwill store to drop off some items I had kept for so long but couldn’t find the time to give away. I remember driving down the road about 5 miles from home and getting close to one of the traffic lights on my way. It was green as I approached it and suddenly changed to yellow the closer I got to the light. It remained on yellow for longer than a light would usually be and so I decided I would cross it.

All I remember was seeing a huge dark shadow come from the my side and in a split second, all I felt and heard was ‘Bam’!! I saw myself in the car but it felt like I wasn’t bound by gravity. It reminds me of those car collision tests with dummies where the impact is recorded and replayed in slow motion. My car somersaulted 3 times and landed on its roof.

I was hanging upside down supported by my seat belt when the daze started to wear off. The windshield was cracked, the doors were smashed in – totally destroyed. There was shattered glass all around me. I reached for the door but couldn’t get it to open. The window in the back seat to the right was busted open and this was going to be the only way to get out of the car. I released the seat belt lock and hit the roof. There were pieces of glass that cut my hands and knees as I crawled out of the car.

By this time, people rushed to help. The paramedics, the police and more people came unto the scene. My car was rammed on the driver’s side by a black Ram truck. As I was been attended to, one of the questions I was asked was how I came out of the car and how possible it was that I had just a few cuts on my knees and hands. There were measurements taken of the window I had crawled out of and all the police could say was ‘you are an extremely lucky lady’. The car was totaled. The emotional trauma was so much, it took me a couple of months to remember everything that actually happened because all my body did was kick-in in that moment to survive.

A Faulty Traffic Light.

That particular light was shut down and covered for repairs 2 days later; and even though I was given a ticket, I didn’t care to dispute it or go to court to prove anything…I was just happy and so grateful to be alive. All I wanted was for the whole ordeal to be over and done with…fast! I needed to get on with life.

My Outlook On Life Since Then…

Life is so fragile. A split second is all it takes and it can be all over. Knowing this reality humbled me in so many ways, I can’t even begin to explain.

I became a more compassionate human.

My empathy for ‘ALL’ suffering grew. Now I wasn’t exactly an ice queen by any chance but I did have some frosting..ha ha. This experience taught me to feel for others and not just those within my sphere of life.

Dissatisfied with all things specious.

Learning to forgive ‘quicker’. Life is too short. We are not and will never be perfect. Each of us sees life through our own perspective of what we believe to be right about the world. With that been said, some things are not worth the drag – what if the person you hold a grudge against passes suddenly and you didn’t speak because of something not worth it after all.

I keep it moving. There’s a sense of urgency to push ahead and not hold unto things, ideals or pattern of action that aren’t working or delivering the desired results.

Appreciative of every single day. Every day is not perfect but you’re alive! You can still dream and it’s not too late to change or try something new.

My belief in a higher power. Nothing else but the Big Guy up there watching over me.

Thanks for reading. Hope y’all have a fabulous month ahead and get to enjoy some amazing fireworks on the 4th! Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

Anthony Bourdain: A Friend in my Mind

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Friday morning was a mad dash. I was off to two different offsite meetings before heading back to work. At almost mid-day was when I looked up my twitter feed. In that moment, I felt like my heart skipped a beat. It read “Anthony Bourdain was found dead by suicide”. I didn’t really understand what it meant; I had just watched the last episode  of Parts Unknown on sunday so he was still pretty fresh in my mind. This week was awful for the entertainment industry, first Kate Spade and now Anthony. I was puzzled, sad, wondering, afraid, questioning all at the same time. Lets take a walk back to how he became a friend – in my mind.

An Authentic Human Being

Anthony Bourdain was a real and authentic human being. He had money, success, fame but he knew those things did not exempt him from life – the daily struggles of anyone alive on this planet. He was who he was and he wasn’t ashamed of it. His love of travel and of food took him all over the globe. He was curious about cultures different from his, intrigued about how people lived, their values and the things that set them apart from other groups. There had to be more to a person or groups of people and Bourdain understood that.

There was a humility about him; he was willing to travel to remote parts of the world to sit with total strangers, share a meal and just listen. He gave others a chance to paint their own pictures, an opportunity to tell their own story – not the scripts written by people outside their experience. He ate any where from the best restaurants in world to eating on street corners and in back alleys; on many occasions trying things from menu’s that some of us wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. This part of him I could so relate to because I have gotten sick so many times from tasting and trying different cuisines in the past that I made up my mind to live vicariously by watching Parts Unknown and the Travel Channel.

He had things that he struggled with, that was no secret. It was said that he ran from his demons but not fast enough. Could it be that if he had taken time to acknowledge the things he was struggling with instead of painting a different picture to the world, he might still be here. I remember his last visit to a remote village in Asia where he made an eerie comment saying ‘it would be the last time he would be back there’, – I cannot help but wonder if he already knew what he was going to do. So sad, sad indeed.

We can’t keep losing people like this.  Something as simple as talking to someone else can go a long way to being free. Diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle coupled with rest help re-center and refresh the body. Being in close contact with family, friends and loved ones keep us emotionally balanced. Mental illness is no respecter of persons. An icon was lost and we pray for peace for his family at this time.

 

Periwinkle Starr