Do You Get Annoyed?

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Do you get annoyed?

Irritating isn’t it! And the problem is that it can become a habit, a way of being if you allow it… when you live in your small mind.

It’s so easy to get cranky – to let that ‘damn and blast’ feeling take over. What if you were to look at those ‘small mind’ situations from a different point of view?

So, your day starts like this….

It’s your first day at a new job and you’re running late. You miss the bus. Your small mind starts fuming. You’re so annoyed you can’t see beyond your nose. Things don’t improve. When lunchtime comes around you get the wrong food order. OMG! How stupid can people be! You keep your head down and eat it anyway because you’re starving, and you don’t want to make a fuss after arriving late. And so, the day goes on… trapped in your small mind.

Now let’s step out of that small mind and rewind the day…

You’re running late, and you miss the bus for work, but instead of letting your small mind take over, you say, “That’s interesting!” Suddenly, you allow yourself to see the big picture. You look around, and notice your neighbour stopped at the lights. She waves you over and gives you a lift, and you make it to work in plenty of time. Then lunchtime comes around and you get the wrong food order. Oh, that’s interesting, and you look up. There’s someone on the other side of the office looking quizzically at her lunch as well. You both realise you have each other’s order. You swap, sit and chat, and you make a new friend. And so, the day goes on… looking at the bigger picture.

Interesting, isn’t it!

Do you see how the energy changes when we say, “that’s interesting”? It opens the door to possibilities.

Try it next time irritation hits and see where it leads. It’s easier than you think.

Cheers!

© Inara Hawley 2018

Veggie Egg Muffins

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This is so easy and simple that it doesn’t need a recipe, but the photograph is so appetising and they are so delicious, I decided to share it anyway. These are perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or summer dinner with a salad.

Veggie Egg Muffins

Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins

  • Half a small cauliflower, riced
  • One head of broccoli, riced
  • You can use any grated vegetable you fancy
    • A nice alternative is corn and grated zucchini
  • Vegan or dairy cheese – as much as you like
  • 10 medium size eggs (700g)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I use oat milk)
  • Seasoning to taste – salt, pepper, onion powder, parsley
  • Olive oil or butter

Method:

  • Place the riced cauliflower and broccoli in large mixing bowl
  • Note: if using grated zucchini, squeeze out the excess moisture first
  • Add as much cheese as you like and mix well
  • Spray a large 12 cup muffin trays with olive oil or grease with butter
  • Fill each muffin cup to 3/4 with veggie and cheese mix
  • Whip eggs well with milk and add seasoning and parsley
  • Fill each muffin cup with the egg mixture till all used
  • Then bake in a 180 degree oven for 20-25 minutes till nicely browned
  • And then eat ’em!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

(c) Inara Hawley 2018

The Hold Up

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Writing prompt:
A man with a nasty scar over his right eye enters a bar, points a gun and says, “Give me all your money”. He is wearing a hoodie and needs a fix badly. The bartender is on a minimum wage, getting a divorce, and badly wants a smoke. It’s three in the afternoon, but the bar is dark. A ceiling fan is pushing the hot air around, and the place smells. As the robber leaves, he drops a twenty-dollar bill on the floor and says, “Keep the change.”

Inside, Joe scratched at the heat rash on his neck and looked around the bar. What a dump! No wonder the place was empty. If he didn’t need the money he’d be gone. Gone from moaning Mona. Gone from the divorce lawyers. Gone with a smile on his face and happy fag in his mouth. Yeah, that’s what he wanted right now as he sat back and closed his eyes – a smoke.

Outside, a man in a hoodie nervously shifted from foot to foot, his right eye twitching. The scar was painful today… his next dose would fix it. A dose always fixed it. He fingered the gun in his pocket, waiting for the right moment. It was three in the afternoon, but the place was dark. Perfect!

It was now or never. He charged into the bar and yelled, “Give me all your money.”

Joe’s eyes sprang open. A pistol was pointing right at him.

“Sure, sure… calm down… here ya go.” Joe emptied the till and shoved the money forward on the counter. “It’s all here.”

The pistol was now waving madly. Joe stepped back and put up his arms. “Calm down pal… calm down.”

The man in the hoodie had his head down and started stuffing the money into his pockets.

Joe squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced. God, is this how it ends? In a grimy bar. Take all the money! Just go. I’m not looking at you. I don’t want to know who you are. Just leave!

All Joe could hear was the hum and click of the ceiling fan. He cautiously opened his eyes. Out of the void a voice said, “Keep the change” as a twenty floated to the floor.

It was a voice he recognised.

(293 words)

© Inara Hawley 2018

Anger – A Surprising Visitor

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This week I had a surprising visitor – anger. I haven’t experienced anger for a very long time, probably 30 years. And I have never been as angry as I was this week. I was shaking with rage.

Now, why would I allow myself – the person who comes from the centre of peace and love – to get so angry that I literally wanted to punch someone’s lights out?

It was a knee jerk reaction.

One that was based on the built-up memory of this someone’s repetitive aggressive behaviour. I snapped because it happened again. Strangely enough, it wasn’t anywhere near as aggressive as in past times, but I snapped anyway. And it’s because my memory bank was chock-a-block full of it, and suddenly it all hit me at once.

I wanted to shout and scream and threaten.

But, I have never, nor would I ever confront someone with anger in the heat of the moment. It is too destructive, so instead, I reached out to somebody who I knew would listen without judgement. Someone who was safe; someone who allowed me to vent.

The interesting thing was that while I was experiencing the rage, I was also acutely aware of being in control of what I had to do with it. I even remarked on it. I knew I needed to let it out, and I am thankful I had a safe place to do just that. In fact, it was almost an out of body experience as I could hear every emotive and angry threatening word from outside myself.

But…

The other interesting thing was, I knew I would never act on it. My love and compassion will always be far greater than any anger I could ever feel. But I had to voice it, or I would have exploded.

The truth is, when someone behaves aggressively on an ongoing basis, we don’t always challenge them. We get used to it, find ways to deal with it and make excuses for them. When life gets hard and things go wrong for those locked in aggressive patterns, they let loose, and anyone who is in the way gets it. So, we the non-fighters back away from the aggressive energy. My anger was the result of years of backing away – not challenging it because I didn’t want to make it worse for those in the firing line, didn’t want it to personally impact me, and of course, I always hoped it would change.

Now here is the question.

Will I challenge it this time? I have lived long enough to know that the right time to say what you want to say without anger or aggression always presents itself, so yes, I will. But I will do it with kindness and empathy because that’s what aggressive people need the most.

They are desperate to be heard.

The sad thing is they look for happiness outside themselves and can never find it, so punish not only themselves but all those around them. They are trapped in a negative cycle, and as much as we may want to help them, they must find their own light-bulb moments.

As for me…

In the meantime, I take full responsibility for my anger; for allowing it build, for not acknowledging it, for what it created in my body, and for the energy it sent out into the Universe. I don’t intend to stack it up again, so I am healing and freeing it the only way I know how – with the Ho’oponopono Prayer.

And finally, here’s something for you to consider. How much anger do you think you’re holding onto, because I didn’t think I was holding onto any.

With love,
Inara

© Inara Hawley 2018

Do You Buy Mayonnaise?

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Do you buy mayo? Well stop it! Making your own takes just 3 minutes. Truly, only 3 minutes including getting all the ingredients out, and it’s delicious! Plus, you won’t be adding to the recycle pile of glass or plastic with an empty jar of mayo every month.

So, are you ready? Grab the oil, vinegar, eggs, dijon mustard, salt and pepper, your measuring jug, teaspoon and stick blender, plus a wide-mouthed jar… and away you go!

Avocado Mayonnaise

Mayo Ingredients - Sunday MusingsJar of Mayo - Sunday Musings

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100 mls of avocado oil
  • 100 mls of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 2-3 turns of the pepper mill

Method:

This is the fun part. Put all the ingredients into your nice clean jar and whizz for about 20-30 seconds till blended and the consistency is just right. If it’s a little thick for your liking, add some cold boiled water and whizz again till you’re happy with it. It lasts about a week in the fridge, which is just about right in our house. Sometimes I make it twice a week depending on who I’m feeding.  So, pop it into the fridge, and enjoy!

So, there it is! I use it instead of butter on bread. It’s fresh, it’s delicious, and it’s lovely with boiled eggs or a salad sandwich. And… you can experiment with different oils. How cool is that!

Happy cooking! 

© Inara Hawley 2018

What does RUOK really mean?

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I’ve been thinking about writing this for some time but didn’t know where to start because it’s about many things. Difficult times, kindness, caring, reaching out, friendship, but if I’m honest, it’s basically about giving a damn.

Not everyone lets you know they’re having a rough time. We’re all different. Not everyone asks for good thoughts and prayers. Not everyone asks for help. Not everyone complains. That doesn’t mean that their life doesn’t have its ups and downs, or that they aren’t dealing with challenges. It could mean that they’re keeping schtum because they want to stay as positive as they can; doing their best not to be at the mercy of overwhelming emotions.

These are the folks who look for the best outcome in their day. They are the ones who tell you only a tiny bit of what’s really going on because they look for the best feeling thought and choose to tell the story of their positive expectations instead. They seem so strong, don’t they? So together. So easy to be around. If they are dealing with something tough, they certainly don’t rabbit on about it. They talk about the good things instead.

And how do I know this? Because I’ve had a very difficult year. And I can only now say how hard it really was because the worst of it is over. I found it very hard to talk about because I didn’t want to drag myself down into what, for me, felt like a negative and stagnant place.

I handled it by shining as brightly as I could. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have used a kind word. That came home to me not long back when a social media friend picked up on a comment I made and sent me a private RUOK message. It was such a kind gesture that it brought tears to my eyes. My heart was full of appreciation.

So, how often in our busy lives do we reach out to those around us?  It’s a funny old world isn’t it, where the squeaky wheel always gets the attention. So, how about that friend, family member, or colleague who always has a smile on their face? Have you asked them lately how they’re doing?

There’s not a person out there who doesn’t have troubles, big or small, who doesn’t want validation or couldn’t use a kind word. My point is this ~ why not stop by and ask someone how they’re doing? Those who shine a bright light in this world would love a moment of your time.

So, go for it. Pick someone today, and ask them how they’re really doing, and then, listen. Trust me, it will not only make their day, it will make yours as well.

© Inara Hawley 2017

A Mouse, Doubt, and a Ginger Beer

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Writing Prompts: Mouse, Doubt, Beer

Frank had to book the holiday online if he wanted to be in the competition. And, he not only wanted to be in the competition, he wanted to win.

His eyes had lit up when he saw the ad on telly. It would be the best surprise ever for Marge. She had been talking about a cruise for the last twelve months. And if he won? Well, that would be the icing on the cake. All that extra spending money!

The screen in front of him came to life. Following the instructions they had been given in computer class, Frank put his hand on the mouse and clicked on the little multi-coloured circle on the desktop. He had it all there in front of him. Step by step, in pictures – how to order and pay online.

He could hear the instructor now, ‘Frank, don’t despair. It’s easy when you get the hang of it.’

But what if he didn’t have the hang of it? What if he pressed the wrong button? What if he put in the wrong details? What if he was too slow? What if he booked the wrong cruise? What if he was still in the middle of it all when Marge got home? Frank was overwhelmed with doubt and apprehension.

‘Don’t be silly,’ he told himself. ‘You can do this Frank!’ Employing his careful one-finger typing, he put in the website address. Up popped a kaleidoscope of colours, moving pictures, and even a talking video. Staring at the screen, Frank felt more confused than ever, when he heard, ‘Hey Pops, whatcha doin’?’

It was young Clare, Frank’s granddaughter, holding up her keys, ‘Pops, you didn’t hear the door!’

‘Oh Clare, pet. You don’t know how glad I am to see you.’

Before he could say easy-peasy, Clare had done it all. Would he ever get the hang of this Googling, surfing, and ordering online? He didn’t think so. But then, he knew what he had to offer was worth much more.

Clare had come to ask for his advice.

So, on this hot summer day, it was time for a refreshing homemade ginger beer and a chat.

(361 Words)

© Inara Hawley 2017