Awareness, Believe, Faith, God, Grace, Hope, Inspiration, Life, Love, Mindful, Moments, Peace, Relationships, Self Care, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Holding Patterns

“I am choosing to show up and nurture every part of me that needs love, healing and support.” ~ Alex Elle

I have always been a firm believer in the poem Reason, Season or A Lifetime and it was the Daily Encourager email about Holding Patterns, which ironically, I received on my birthday, that only reaffirmed my belief that things, circumstances or people often come into our lives for a reason, maybe for a season and sometimes for a lifetime. I now begin each day by reading the passage and saying the prayer at the end. I share it with you and may we all journey wisely and never lose our faith when we encounter a holding pattern season.

Namasté.

Holding Patterns

Many times, God will allow a painful situation or a painful circumstance in our life to “swallow us up.” This season in our spiritual growth is a “holding pattern”. We can’t move to the left or the right. All we can do is sit, like Jonah sat in the belly of that great fish, so God can have our undivided attention and speak to us.

God put Jonah in a “holding pattern” because He needed to speak to his heart. Jonah was all alone. There were no friends to call, no colleagues to drop by, no books to read, no food to eat, no interferences, and no interruptions. He had plenty of time to sit, think, meditate, and pray.

When we’re deep down in the midst of a difficult situation, God can talk to us. When He has our undivided attention, He can show us things about ourselves that we might not otherwise have seen.

A few of God’s holding patterns:

• When you are sick in your physical body and you have prayed but you are not yet healed, you are in a holding pattern.

• When you are having problems with your children and you have put them on the altar, but God has not delivered them yet, you are in a holding pattern.

• When you have been praying for a loved one to return to God, and they have not come back yet, you are in a holding pattern.

• When you are in a broken relationship and you have given it over to God, but it has not been restored yet, you are in a holding pattern.

• When the doors slam shut before you can even knock on them, you are in a holding pattern.

When we are deep in the belly of a difficult situation, there are no interruptions. God has our undivided attention. All we can do is sit, think, meditate, and pray. Like Jonah, we cannot run from God, because there are no mountains that are high enough, valleys that are low enough, rivers that are wide enough, rooms that are dark enough, or places that are hidden from Him.

We must remember to praise Him while we’re waiting, remember three things:

• The pattern has a purpose.

• The pattern has a plan.

• The pattern has a process.

So stop struggling and start listening, praying and trusting. He’ll keep you right where you are until you can clearly hear Him say, “I love you.”

Suggested Prayer: Father, forgive my unbelief. I know you love me and I will come to see the benefit of everything in my life, even this holding pattern, and the manifestation of my Good is assured through You. You have planned nothing for me but victories and I am ready to receive them regardless of how difficult the path.

“When you follow your heart, you follow God, and you’ll find your own path to your own deepest peace and happiness.” – R Hauser

Believe, Compassion, Faith, Giving, Life, Life Experiences, Life Lessons, Relationships, Spiritual, Truth

Someone Like You

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love…and the greatest of these is love.” Corinthians 13:13

With my morning coffee, I read this short, yet meaningful, article about finding the Path to a Life of Love. The article challenges the scientific theory of love (the brain) versus the spiritual side of love (the soul). Of course, in reality…the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, and ultimately, love comes from the deepest part of our souls. It also references the old pop song, “Love the One You’re With” and while many of us follow a path outside ourselves to find love, the person we should give our love to and who, in return, we should return that love, clearly, is the person we are with every minute of the day, ourselves. Ahhhaa!

While the article guides you on a simplistic version of a suggested five step path…my thought, more than likely this would be difficult for most to do as we are not of a culture who is openly at ease with discussing matters of the deepest part of our heart and soul, especially when it comes to matters of love and life experiences. The steps lead you down a path from believing in love to not limiting love to a few and denying it to others to making the search for love an inward search to seeking people who value love as much as you do to believing that love is a powerful force.

My moment was in step four…seeking people who value love as much as you do. There is this old saying, “if you want to be wise, seek the company of wise people.” The writer states, maybe we should do the same when it comes to love and life…if we want to know about real human experiences, we should seek out those who have walked the path of real life and love experiences and who are willing to share them. He also states that in our society, most are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love and this inhibition is part of our own insecurities. Perhaps it’s time to allow our spirit to begin a journey that follows a path which leads us to finding that one person who is wise in ways of love, human experiences and who knows how to live life at a deeper level.

Maybe there is this repressed and deeper person inside many of us, who is just waiting to bust out and just maybe we haven’t allowed or believed in the deepest love of ourselves to be completely present, available and in the moment. Maybe when we do, we will be ready for that someone who is emotionally and spiritually available and someone who knows how to live life with a deeper understanding, with the ability to express themselves fully and someone who values all that life and love has to offer…someone like you…a deeper, loving person.

So on this beautiful Spring morning, while listening to one of my old favorites by Van Morrison…I open the windows to allow the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze cleanse the inside air and my soul, along with my spirit and as always…I remain hopeful and maybe the best is yet to come.

Namasté

Awareness, Meditation, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Who Am I?

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

~ Mark Twain

Along with nearly 290,000 FaceBook followers, I participated in the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Desire and Destiny with Deepak and Oprah. My hope was that the journey would expand my knowledge, my awareness, provide me with the tools I needed with understanding my true self, and by the end I thought I would have clarity around the life I am meant to live…my destiny, and my life purpose. I wanted to learn, and understand how to connect with my soul, to cherish, and realize my desires in order for me to live my life to the fullest, and to make a difference in the lives I touched.

Go figure, Day 1, I was already stuck! As instructed, I closed my eyes, and I was directed to ask myself the question, “Who am I?” While I sat silently, with my eyes closed, breathing deeply, and trying to feel my soul’s deepest thoughts of who I am, I couldn’t find the words to answer this question…I struggled. I attempted to allow the quiet energy to rise inside of me, and I tried to figure out my intentions, and thoughts but my body, and mind were resistant. Fear took over, or I should say the ego, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know who I am or more importantly, if I really even knew, who I am. I went through the 21 days never answering this question, and yesterday, I returned to listen to Day 1 all over again with the hopes of clarity.

As I went through my day, the question resonated in my head, and I thought about what I learned. I reread what I wrote down over, and over again…”Once we begin to understand who we are, we open the doors to infinite and abundant possibilities. Each of us has been put here for a purpose, and we each have a unique destiny. The only way that our destiny unfolds with complete clarity is when we are still enough to hear the whisper of our hearts desires. When we allow that quiet energy to rise within, it shapes our intentions, thoughts, and actions. Being aware, and in the present moment, and being open to walking the path, with complete confidence, and belief that with living each day with inspired passion, and abundance would connect you to your souls purpose.” Wow, this was huge for me but could it be that I am not present or connected to my soul to know who I am or still enough to hear my hearts whisper?

With every person I spoke with, they could hear the angst in my voice. I questioned my beliefs, and as the fear took over, and I began to second guess myself…my life choices, and my decisions (past and present). All I could think, “I just went through 21 days of a spiritual learning, and did I not absorb any of it?” Some of the dearest people in my life, listened, and attempted to talk me through it. The emotions were on overload, I was babbling, and at the end of the day, one dear friend said, “Deborah, always remember everyone puts their panties on the same way, one leg at a time. No one is better than you, and you just need to believe in yourself. Walk with the style, and grace that you have, along with the confidence that you exude. I don’t care if you cry your eyes out in the privacy of your own home while eating a pint of ice cream but when you go out that door, be the confident you that you know you are.” The intelligent side of my brain got it but the emotional side was still in the battle, and I couldn’t let go…I just hugged my pillow, prayed, and went to sleep.

When I awoke, I read, I listened more, and this is what I learned…when we have limited beliefs than it’s those life experiences we are given. Understanding that the path to wisdom, and knowledge is always open, and changing from I can’t to I can is critical in this life. Gaining the strength to release the past, awakening to the present, and taking action for a future we deserve is our absolute right. The more we understand how life works, and how thoughts work, the better our lives will be. Learning to change our thinking, will change our lives. Being aware, and paying attention, and knowing that what we say, is what we attract, and completely understanding each word we speak creates the life we live is enormous. Knowing how to stop this one is key, and conscious awareness is the only thing that will keep it out of our life. Anything you complain about repeatedly is something you have an unconscious intention to produce. Huge! We all have a tendency to talk about the things we don’t want versus the things we do want. We are all on a life journey, and if we live fairly unconsciously, life is just happening, and not being lived. When we finally get that we have so much more control over our life, and the experience of life…there is a no place more joyous.

Everyday is a new beginning, and with the help of another dear friend, I learned who I am…I am love. I know I give love freely. I don’t know how to live my life without love. Love exudes from me unconditionally, and love feels good for my soul. I know in fulfilling my dreams, attending to myself, and others from a place of generosity, and love, it is only then that I will have started my journey of listening to my deepest truths…my hearts whisper. I know I have to use every ounce of my being to continue to live with an abundant amount of consciousness, and to follow the calling of my heart, to create my destiny, and life purpose. As I travel this path of life, stillness will be important for me, along with capturing those moments in life with complete awareness, curiosity, and absolute unconditional love. On that path, I know I will find, and live my life purpose, my life desires, and my life destiny, along with peace, and joy because I am love.

lh1

Baking, Food, Uncategorized

Baking and Life 101

With the holidays quickly approaching, and being currently unemployed, there are days I feel a great sense of freedom, and at the same time a lot of fear, and tremendous anxiety. Recently, I have been spending a lot of time meditating with the hopes of learning how to let go of my fears, and how to stay more in the moment, each, and every day. I am making every effort to focus on what I do want to flourish in my life, and to believe now is my time to fulfill my life’s passion, along with my heart’s deepest desires.

I am taking the time to learn, to really understand, and believe that every day brings me a gift to start over, and to truly learn who I am, and what do I want in this life. If we all could only find the time to stop, take a step back, and center ourselves, and connect with our true self, we can begin to appreciate the joy, and abundance in our lives. Once we pay attention to the joy, and abundance that surrounds us, they both begin to come effortlessly into our lives. I try every day to believe that with every life challenge I have been presented, they have been gifts (yes, at times, it’s hard to believe this), and understanding that with each challenge new doors will open, and lead me to my greatest destiny.

For me cooking is one of my life’s passions, and I find it to be a place where I am the most relaxed, creative, completely focused, and at peace. For the last two weeks, I put on my mad scientist baking hat, I turned my kitchen into a testing kitchen, and I must say, with great pride, the delicacies coming out of my kitchen have been getting rave reviews from my top critics, my grandchildren. Oh, and trust me, if they don’t enjoy something, there is no hesitation in telling their Nana the brutal honest truth (I think they learned that from me). I have said this many times before baking is pure science, and deviating from a recipe is a risk, and I have been known to be a risk taker many times over. While I follow most recipes to the letter of the law, I am compelled to put my own signature twist on most, if not, all recipes, and then, and only then, is it called mine. I have also dabbled in making my own well thought out creations, and my top critics have yet to be completely disappointed.

I have been testing some dessert recipes, in preparation of the upcoming holidays, and with hosting Thanksgiving, this year, I was looking to incorporate a new dessert onto the menu. But by popular demand, the standards (apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie…boring!), which are good old American Thanksgiving staples, will remain on Nana’s menu. However, it’s a given there will always be a surprise…a decadent new, and different delicacy on my table. With my testing complete, I share with you some new creations, with Nana’s spin on them, and each of them have been added to my recipe file.

Naturally, with it being Thanksgiving something had to be made with pumpkin. First up, the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles drizzled with Dulce de Leche. They were by far one of the easiest cookies I have made, with the exception of the Dulce de Leche sauce, which took nearly 3 ½ hours to make. While there are very few ingredients involved in the recipe (whole milk, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and my own twists), patience, and a lot of love went into making this decadent sauce, and it had everyone humming with each bite of a cookie. Ironically, with all of the effort, and time, you end up with just about a cup of the Dulce de Leche, which is pure lusciousness. A small helpful hint, I would suggest the last 30 minutes or so be spent carefully watching the cooking process. The last thing you want to do is waste hours of your time, and love, and end up with a lumpy sauce or a burnt one, no less, versus a silky, shiny cup of creamy delicious sweetness.

These cookies received rave reviews from my grandchildren…one granddaughter asked me where I bought them (utmost compliment), and my grandson licked the Dulce de Leche off each cookie before he ate them. My oldest granddaughter begged me to take them out of her house, and my daughter wanted to hurt me for bringing the entire batch over. And the method to my madness…if I didn’t, Nana might of ate them all, and anyone that really knows me, knows I prefer food over dessert but these were just too hard to resist…even for me!

dulce2

dulce1

Next up, French macarons, not macaroons, but macarons. I must admit, these were a challenge, time consuming, and a very detailed, delicate cookie that must be made with such precision, and handled with extreme care…yup, that’s why the French are masters at baking. Seriously, the passion, love, and precision that goes into making these treasures is the reason I have a new found respect for pastry chefs, who have mastered the art of macarons. With all of that said, my first attempt, while it turned out very few, they were incredibly light, airy, and decadent. The Eggnog Macarons were laced with a cinnamon, and nutmeg spiced buttercream. I must admit, out of a dozen, I ended up with four macarons. They are extremely delicate, and must be handled so gently when you add the buttercream…they shatter very easily. This was also my first attempt at buttercream, and after following the recipe to a tee, the first batch went straight into the trash. In making the second batch, it required me to put on my mad scientist hat, I got creative, and ended up with the most delicious buttercream that included a warm subtle hint of nutmeg, and cinnamon. My granddaughter told me they reminded her of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The second batch, Chocolate Macarons filled with Chocolate Ganache were much more successful. However, I learned very quickly that over mixing the meringue produces a flatter, and larger cookie. Chocolate ganache is pretty much a staple in my house, and while I have the recipe down to a science, you still need to be very careful with the chocolate, and that it is tempered correctly. Again, these were just as time consuming, as you must wait for each process to be completely cooled before proceeding with the next steps. In the end, they turned out magnificent, and along with the Eggnog Macarons, they were removed from my home very quickly.

Lessons learned with macarons…do not over mix the dry ingredients into the meringue, sifting of all dry ingredients is a must (especially the finely ground almonds), completely cooling the macarons before filling is essential, and eating the finished cookie the next day (as recommended) proved them to be a more decadent cookie. Lastly, the most helpful hint that I learned…they all must be the same size, and for the novice baker to ensure they are, making a template of precise circles, drawing them on parchment paper, and placing it on its reverse side on a cookie sheet, and then piping the meringue inside each circle…brilliant!

macaron

Lastly, there are the Chocolate Truffle Cups, which I proudly claim as a pure creation of my very own, and one of the most decadent, irresistible little morsels I have ever made. The cups are made with wonton wrappers, and are filled with this incredible chocolate truffle that has a slight creamy texture, along with a note of bitter chocolate, and yet, they will satisfy any sweet tooth. They were topped or dusted with a mixture of cocoa powder, and cinnamon, along with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, or a cookie and cream crumble or my favorite, chopped pistachios, and sea salt. Again, rave reviews, and after posting a picture of these on my Facebook page, one comment stated, “Moving in. I won’t bring much. Just some elastic-waist pants.” Another said, “They look delicious!!” and another, “I want one of each!” Well, that “one of each” got the surprise of a lifetime, and the next day, I personally delivered a container filled with more than just “one of each” to a person I hadn’t seen in over 40 years. The element of surprise, along with someone’s flattering reaction to your food is by far one of the greatest compliments you can ever receive.

trufflecups2
Returning to where I began, I recently heard these words through my meditation exercises, “It is our birthright as human beings to receive infinite gifts from the universe. We are all here to fulfill our life purpose in this world…a life lived with passion, intention, and fulfillment.” Maybe it’s time for me to be in the present moment, and aware, and in doing so, maybe it’s time for different choices. Maybe my purpose is to bring the world joy, and abundance through my food. There is always a lot of maybe’s but what I do know for sure is my passion for cooking, and sharing my delicious food is a burning desire in my soul, and I strongly believe my dreams are not out of my reach. They say, “When we do what we love, and give freely of ourselves, what we offer comes back to us in ways far beyond our imagination.”

In giving what I love, if you are interested in trying one of my creations, please feel free to contact me, directly, at divinedelectables@aol.com, and I will be more than happy to share any recipe that you choose…freely.

Namaste