Power of Positivity

If I ever become a super hero, I want my super power to be positivity! 🙂

I have been working on changing my mindset lately to focus on what is happy, upbeat, and awesome. It’s not my default, by any means. In fact, negativity has been my theme song for many years. I had the non-talent for being in a beautiful situation with amazing people–and I could still find something about which to complain.

WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!

I have asked myself that question for many years…but without much resolve to change it.

Well, I have a new theme song–and it goes more like this:

Here are a few practices that have helped me lately that I would love to share with you:

1. Exercise. Daily. Seriously. Exercise boosts endorphins (happy chemicals). Even a twenty-minute walk has shown to increase brain activity, too…and nothing beats the uplifting feeling of accomplishment that follows a good work-out (and a delicious protein shake). 🙂

2. Smile. It relaxes facial muscles (that I wrinkle when I worry or am negative). It also boosts endorphins. 🙂 And, smiling people look better, nicer, and more approachable!

3. Check in with happy thoughts on an app called “happier.” IT. IS. A. SERIOUSLY. HAPPY. PLACE. 🙂 I have loved reading about the happy moments of others–and reading positive messages helps me reset my brain from a negative station to a positive one. I also feel happier and encouraged when I post my own happy moments!

4. Balance/stimulate chakras. Chakras are energy centers in the body according to ancient traditions. I have been using yoga to work on mine, and I have felt happier and more positive. 🙂

Well, that’s all I have for now, other than to let you know that I have been blogging less now because I have been writing more. My characters on my latest novel are taking shape–and I couldn’t be happier.

See? I am becoming more positive!

Chocolate Wishes and Brownie Dreams

I bake often. In the course of a day, I often run my oven more than once (though I do try to conserve energy and heat as much as possible). Today, I actually fired it up for three loaves of delicious bread and then again for the subject of this post…and I’m getting to that.

I adore chocolate. I crave it. I bake with it. I create with it. I eat it. I share it. 🙂 Fewer food items create the endorphin boost within me the way chocolate does. It’s almost as awesome as a good date with my husband…(now, a good date with my husband AND chocolate…yes, please!).

Still, I have worked on various recipes of chocolate cakes and cookies, frosting and fondue, until they have become part of my baking repertoire. Sadly, I have not been able to find a brownie recipe to replace the box mixes in my cupboard.

“Box mixes are just better,” declared my almost-professional-baking aunt once. I agreed with her. I would sample varied forms of brownies…some very delicious in their own ways, but I could not find a from-scratch brownie recipe to satisfy the sweet and gooey, fudgey deliciousness of a box. No frosting. Just chocolate amazingness.

Well, today I can say that no more. I found a recipe someone posted on Facebook (is it just another form of Pintrest these days?) that I had taken a screenshot of on my phone. As I was deleting photos to free some space, I started to write down the recipe…and thought I might give it a whirl. It was touted as “replace your box brownie mix for pennies on the dollar” or something like that…and I needed an afternoon activity with the preschooler…so, into the kitchen we went!

Sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla, oil and water swirled together in a bowl and tossed into a sprayed, 9×13-inch pan later, I waited. And waited. And watched. And counted down with the timer. And removed the pan from the oven at twenty minutes to check–still un-done. Three minutes later, I checked them again and voila!

I tried to let them cool. I really did. Like, for maybe five minutes of smelling the chocolatey, brownie smell of yum. Then I cut into the corner (my favorite piece).

Oooooooooh! They were like music to my mouth. Gooey. Yummy. Crumbly from not being set yet. (I imagined them cooled in swirl of vanilla ice cream….) As I have sampled a couple more during various stages of cooling, I can happily declare success.

No frosting necessary.  No boxes required.

Blessings All Around Us

Okay, so before I get back to posting some fiction that is bouncing around my brain (literally–sometimes it hurts until I get it out and down through my little fingers which type the images through words onto a screen)…I just want to take a moment to encourage each of us to look around whatever setting in which we find ourselves.

What do we see?

I see a screen (which is a blessing itself as it allows me to communicate with the world from my tiny little desk).  I see windows and sunlight streaming in through them, which produces Vitamin D and boosts endorphin levels.  I see a photo of a child that once grew inside me which brings back fond memories.  I see Kleenex for when my nose runs.  I see Germ-X, which I can use to clean my hands after I use the Kleenex.  I see artwork of children I love, a table where people sit to eat together and exchange ideas through conversation.  I see a kitchen filled with memories of making sweets, breads, and dinners, and images of my family around the counter making plates of goodies to take to friends and neighbors.

What do you see?

Look a little deeper.

The blessings are all around us, if only we stop, look, and listen.

🙂

Hope you have a glorious weekend, my dear blog friends! I’ll catch up with you on Monday!

(photo copyright Sarah Knight Photography)

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