MY LIFE AS A DUMPLING

MY LIFE AS A DUMPLING…..and you ask what are you talking about? Allow me to clear the air, I am not expressing anything about my weight. I am somewhat fluffy and that may come into play in my blog post. I am a Southern Gal, but those who know me or have read my blog have heard that twang in how I express myself and I am proud to say I can make old fashioned dumplings.

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How does this have anything to do with life? As I always see a life lesson in most every action in my days, I will share with you my thoughts as a dumpling. I will add a recipe for making dumplings so let me put on my apron and go into the kitchen of life.

Making Dumplings takes some preparation as does bringing a child into the world:

  • Maybe making dumplings is a spur of the moment decision and you find yourself in the kitchen looking around to see if you have all of the ingredients which is equivalent of unexpected pregnancies. You may have to improvise if no time was allotted. That doesn’t mean your dumplings will not be as good as planned dumplings but it means simply it is on the spot cooking. I must have been an unplanned baby and I have never been the smoothly rolled out dumpling but more of an abstract, rough edged dumpling but still a good dumpling in the end.
  • When proper planning, with all ingredients handy, rolling pin with lots of flour to prevent sticking, dumplings may look more uniform, same size, same thickness but to a tad a little boring. You may be scratching your head on my opinion of the cookie cutter type dumpling but you have met these “dumplings” in life. I have nothing against this type dumpling but they are not the trend setters, artists, motivational speakers, inventors, etc. When each dumpling is the same size and thickness as in life, a group of young girls or boys who feel they have to dress the same, wear the same brand of shoes, hair cuts, make up, jewelry, and speak the same and live in the same type houses, they become “squared dumplings”. It is very seldom that a square dumpling will rise differently than the other dumplings and even will stick together to where they are not eaten separately, but become a big glob of dough.
  • Some keys or secrets to making and cooking dumplings are:
  1.           Do not overthink dumplings. Dumplings, as are humans,  better with uniqueness and not how they measure up to others. Dare to be the one dumpling who wants to rise to the top faster, be the one that soaks up the gold liquid instead of worrying about drowning or being eaten by life. Go for it and be the dumpling that someone cannot wait for and they savor the taste your life as a dumpling has become.
  2.          Hang around with other outstanding dumplings. Other dumplings, or friends who have the same dreams, inspire you to the top while those sticky dumplings, or people who are always trying to stick together or depend on others to be beside them are not the best dumplings. Break away from the needy and dependent dumplings or they will weigh you down to the bottom of the pot of life.
  3.          Don’t stress my dear dumpling if it gets pretty hot. Dumplings need the heat because if the heat is not present, dumplings will become a gummy mess. Life is made to have the tense moments to complete the process or cause a mere dumpling made of nothing but a few ingredients to soak it up and rise. Many hot moments of life can create something so tasty you never forget the taste. It is the same thing for us human dumplings, we write or cook our life stories each and every day and fill our lives with seasonings or experiences. It is the same way the cook adds the extra flavor with the seasonings to the hot broth. Without those seasonings or life adventures, life would be hum-drum to say the least.
  4.         Not all dumplings get eaten at the first meal. I think back to a song “Our Day Will Come  (click on the song title and you will hear Ruby & The Romantics sing it) and I have experienced this part of life taking its time to give me an opportunity to do what I truly love to do by writing a blog for 6 years and publishing 2 novels and in the process of the third one. I must have been a little thicker and it took longer for me to cook through before I began to rise. Be patient if life makes you, my dumpling friend, a little thicker and it takes some time and more effort for your talents to develop.

    OLD FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

    Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is a family favorite meal that is both comforting and delicious! This chicken and dumplings recipe is created from scratch including the tender dumplings and juicy chicken in an easy homemade broth.

    INGREDIENTS:

    BROTH

    • 1 chicken cut into pieces
    • 1 onion
    • 3 large carrots, cut into thirds
    • 3 stalks celery, cut into thirds
    • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • bay leaf or a pinch of poultry seasoning (optional)

    DUMPLINGS

    • 1 3/4 cups flour (plus extra for dusting)
    • 1/3 cup shortening
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    OTHER

    • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
    • parsley for garnish

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Combine chicken, onion, carrots and celery in a large pot. Season to taste.
    2. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. While broth is simmering, prepare dumplings below.
    3. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Discard skin and bones and chop remaining chicken, set aside.
    4.  Gently add dumplings to broth.  Simmer 15-20 minutes or until tender.
    5. Stir chicken (and vegetables if desired) into broth and cook about 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

    DUMPLINGS

    1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and shortening with a fork until shortening is mixed in.
    2. Add milk a little at a time and mix until combined (you may not need all of it, you want a soft but not sticky dough).
    3. Knead a few times on a floured surface until dough is smooth.
    4. Generously flour your surface and roll the dough out to 1/8″ thick. Cut dough into 1″ x 2″ strips.  Flour generously to avoid sticking.
    5. Cook in broth as directed above.

    TO THICKEN BROTH (OPTIONAL)

    1. In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water.
    2. Add to boiling broth a little bit at a time stirring to reach desired consistency.

    NOTES:

    Carrots and celery can be served on the side or chopped and added to the broth along with the chicken.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION

    Yield: 8 servings, Serving Size:

    • Amount Per Serving:
    • Calories: 551 Calories

    (Nutriton information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

    ©Holly Nilsson for SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

 

Blogger’s note: I am proud to be a dumpling and I want to be the best dumpling I can possibly be. I want each and every dumpling like you to succeed. Be the best dumpling filled with savory taste and enjoy the moment you are recognized for your uniqueness.Now get in the pot and start rising dear dumpling friends.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to the original links and/or locations for credits.

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Spring Fling Book Sale..Now $.99 ebooks

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It’s Spring and Time to see how your blogger writes Romance Novels with a different twist of Suspense. If you like to figure out Who, What, Why, and How while laughing, crying, wondering, and loving, this is the time to read one of my ebooks while at bargain prices.

 

 

It all started with A Mistress, A Wife so this is my first book in the series, Reflections of Love. Don’t wait but click on the links to buy both of the books before the third and final book of this series is finished.

 

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When I write, the world becomes my infinite playground.

If I feel weak, I can create a strong character and I feel invincible.

If I feel lonely, I create a person surrounded by those who love.

If I feel restless, I can give my characters many great adventures.

If I feel strong, I create a character which my strength is needed.

If I feel stressed, I can add laughter and a lighthearted scene.

If I feel love, I can create compassion for others feeling unloved.

Written by Arline Miller in 2016

A book or a poem allows an escape or alteration to a mundane life. I am blessed with a wonderful life and enjoy the ability to create a different world where readers can step into a character’s fictional life. Maybe it helps to appreciate the life they have in reality.

There is an author page on this blog if you want to learn more about me. I love encouraging other budding authors who want to dabble in blogging, writing, and living. Until We Read Again, Arline Miller

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location. Photos are not necessarily the property of Sipping Cups and sourced to original location if known.

 

ONE DOWN AND ONE TO GO

Good Morning,

Tomorrow I have my left eye cataract removed and the corrective lens inserted. I had my right eye surgery last Wednesday and I am excited about completing this procedure.

I hope to return to my blogging soon afterwards and I appreciate all of you who have been reading some of my previous posts and checking out the other pages.

One of my objectives is to do a series of posts introducing some of the dishes I have learned are better for my health but are tasty to prevent the boredom. I have some friends who have Facebook pages on wellness eating and I will ask them to guest blog too.

I hope to “see” you soon.

Thanks for your patronage of the blog.

Here are the many looks of your blogger, Arline Miller with and without glasses. Wait a minute I think I resemble some animals in some of them. Just kidding but then again, I am not seeing very well at the moment……Until We Read Again…..Arline Miller

TIME TO GET THE EYES BLUE AGAIN

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TIME TO GET THE EYES BLUE AGAIN……I found out that I will require cataract surgery on both eyes. I will not be posting until I have both of the procedures completed. During this break, please feel free to check out the posts dating all the way back to 2012 to give you my take on a lot of subjects. I am nearing 1000 blog posts so check them out by going to the ARCHIVES right side that has dates by months and years and click on them for some reading.

I look forward to “seeing” you on the flip side when the baby blues are clear and not cloudy.

Have regular eye exams and take care of your eyes. Please comment on the blog on the older posts. I love reading your reactions and personal experiences.

Until I post again……..Arline Miller, blog author.

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TAKE ONE LAST LOOK AT OURSELVES

LOOKING DEEP INSIDE may be the selfie post for me. I think deep but don’t dwell on any one thing for any length of time. The way my mind works is to move quickly from one thought to another and this helps me multi-task pretty doggone good. This morning, however, I thought this might not be as great an asset as I require. How many times have I started to think about my inner self, my inner health, and my inner wealth? In those times, did I exhibit the focus on each subject to accomplish change or a peaceful resolution concerning them? So, selfie on looking deep within myself became the blog message this morning. I found an interesting blog article on 6 Reasons to like yourself so I thought I would concentrate on each one to delve deep about my inner self for today.

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6 Reasons to Focus on Liking Yourself, and How to Do It

by HENRIK EDBERG

adsense#Twitter“Nobody will think you’re somebody if you don’t think so yourself.”

African-American proverb

“Self-love is not opposed to the love of others.”

Dr. Karl Menninger

“Happiness is: Looking in a mirror and like what you see .”

Author Unknown

People have a need for affection and being liked. But it’s very easy to make a mistake here and go about it the wrong way. Because while trying to get others to like you may seem like a simple and common solution there is an alternative. One that I find works better.

It is to focus on liking yourself more rather than trying to get people to like you.

Here are six reasons why I put my focus in that place. And after that a brief guide to how you can increase how much you like yourself.

1. Liking yourself gives you power and strength.

If you go for trying to get people to like you you’ll most likely come off as needy and desperate a lot of the time. This is a bad position to put yourself in. Because liking and respecting yourself goes hand in hand with people liking and respecting you.

If you bend to other people all the time then they may like what you do for them. But they may not like you on a deeper level because there is a weakness and lack of confidence and personal power there.

2. People like people who like themselves.

What is attractive to a friend, an employer or a potential partner? To me, it seems like a lot of this boils down to people liking people who like themselves. Someone who likes him/herself is positive, confident, takes care of his/her health and opportunities in school/at work/in life.

3. More inner stability, much less of an emotional rollercoaster.

Getting compliments and being liked is wonderful. The problem is just that if you rely too much on validation from others then you let the outside world, other people, control how you feel. And that can be a real rollercoaster.

Because if you really need the positive validation from people then it’s hard to avoid listening to their negative input. Or you may feel bad when there is a temporary lack in the validation. So what do you do? You let go of focusing on needing that input and replace it with focusing on validating and liking yourself instead.

4. Life becomes more fun and relaxing.

If you like yourself then it becomes natural to just be your best self and let people like the real you. Doing the opposite and trying to get people to like you leads to a lack of honesty in any kind of relationship and life becomes a like walking on egg shells while using different masks with different people.

5. What you think and feel about yourself flows over.

The more you like yourself, the easier it becomes to like, help and be kind to other people. How much you like or do not like yourself flows over into your world.

6. You minimize self sabotage.

If you don’t like yourself, if you deep down don’t really think you deserve what you go after then you will tend to sabotage for yourself. Perhaps in subtle ways. You may get a gut feeling that this success is wrong and so you start doing stuff that screws things up. If you like yourself there will be a lot less self made obstacles in your mind to overcome on your path to success.

How to like yourself more

So, the benefits sound pretty good. But how do you go about changing how you feel about yourself?

Here is a brief but in my experience very effective guide that works in real life.

Do the right thing.

I write about this a lot. That’s because it’s simple thing to keep in mind and if you live it then it can bring your awesome results.

When you do what you think is the right thing then your self esteem goes up. If you just coast then you tend to feel kinda lame about yourself. So do awesome stuff and you feel awesome about yourself. Do ok stuff and feel ok about yourself. This is not always an easy thing. But people who do the right thing get fine inner rewards (and often outer rewards too). What you do tends to correspond to what you get in the long run.

What is the right thing? Well, that’s up to you to decide and it can vary from life to life and situation to situation. Some of the things I think is the right thing to do is to keep my life in order and organized, to workout regularly and take care of my health, to be positive and open, to spend time doing things I really like doing, to get out of my comfort zone and face fears and to be a person of action.

When you do the right thing you like yourself more and so the self sabotage decreases. The standards you set for yourself flows over to your world too. What you accept or don’t accept from yourself is what you tend to accept or not accept from other people.

And what you think and do to the world around you – for example being judgmental or being open and kind – is how you tend to think about yourself and treat yourself too.

Don’t take yourself for granted or focus on the wrong things. Appreciate yourself.

What you do or do not do has a huge effect on how you view yourself and how much you like yourself. But what you focus on in your mind is also important. Because if you do good things but then focus on small faults or failures then that won’t help you.

So make a habit of focusing on appreciating the good things about yourself. Take two minutes right now to think about positive things about you or good things you have done and accomplished. Or take a few minutes tonight to write down five good things about yourself in a journal.

This extends to what you focus on in the world around you too. Because as I mentioned in the previous tip, what you focus on in the people around you tends to be how you see and treat yourself. So you may want to add five or ten things that you appreciate about the people around you to those journal entries and two minute appreciation sessions.

The more you do things like these, the more this kind of thinking will naturally pop up in your everyday life too. You are changing how you think about yourself and what you have a tendency to focus on.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone on Twitter and Stumbleupon. Thank you very much! =

Number 6 struck a chord and not necessarily for just me. I decided to paste it again for us to slowly read it and allow it to penetrate our inner self deeply:

6. You minimize self sabotage.

If you don’t like yourself, if you deep down don’t really think you deserve what you go after then you will tend to sabotage for yourself. Perhaps in subtle ways. You may get a gut feeling that this success is wrong and so you start doing stuff that screws things up. If you like yourself there will be a lot less self made obstacles in your mind to overcome on your path to success.wishes 2

I somehow feel better about digging deep because I have learned to like myself even with my flaws and yes, even with my difficulty in allowing myself due diligence on searching within myself without self sabotage. Today, I think I like me enough to concentrate on tearing down any doubts, conquering any fears, and building good foundations for the future. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING YOURSELF AND OTHERS TOO!

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(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party materials are sourced to original location for reference credit.

WHEN WE COME TO THE LAST DAY

WHEN WE COME TO THE LAST DAY is the topic for the blog and with the end of the year approaching at a fast pace, I thought it might be a good day to look at “The last day”. It may give you a little food for thought.

How many “Last Days” do we have?

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Last day of school:

On the last day, a variety of emotions may originate in the form of sadness, gladness, confusion, sentimentalism and either of these can be disguised in the form of over jealousness. A good way to look at the last day of school is like going to the dock and waiting for the cruise ship to arrive for your next adventure.

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Last day of work:

Sometimes, the last day of work can be trying with everyone celebrating your departure and a little confusion can rise. Are your co-workers enjoying your victory of leaving or are they happy you are leaving? Retirement is a milestone in life to recognize your dedication, commitment, and successful completion of your career, so look at retirement as the same as a rescued pet leaving the shelter, happy to go but wish you could take all of your buddies with you. Stay active; you are retiring and not dying.

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Last day before marriage:

Thoughts and more thoughts; questions am I doing the right thing and is this the right person to spend my entire life? This is a powerfully strong emotional day but step back and remember a week, month, or even years ago and how much you wanted to share every minute with this very person and relax. You will now have millions of those minutes to share.

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Last day before giving up a habit:

Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. That’s 21 days of going to the gym every day or exercising in some way every day, 21 days to meditation, 21 days to eat healthily, 21 days doing, 21 days of anything.

When you want to start a habit, don’t tell yourself you are doing it for life, tell yourself (your conscious brain) that you are going to try it for 21 days. For example if you want to start the habit of meditating tell your conscious self that you are trying it for 21 days. Now, when you have completed this for 21 days your conscious mind has the choice of stopping it or carrying on, or so it thinks. Your neural pathways have formed already and you will more than likely continue with your new habit, you will have seen the benefits along the way your unconscious will want to continue if it has been beneficial.

This can also work when trying to break a habit, however research has shown that the neural pathways to any habit could be lifelong and a cue or a trigger can cause us to start back up an old habit, like smoking.

(Excerpt from an article  Health
A new habit
by Steven Aitchison)

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Last day before having a child:

This is the last day of your former life as life is never the same as before you are engaged in a lifetime of loving, caring, educating, supporting, and inspiring a baby from the birth, through the “first of everything”, teenage challenges, young adult strides and growth, and the ups and downs of letting go and allowing them to experience life as an adult. No day will ever be the same as the last day before having a mini-me entering and taking center stage. No day will ever be filled with love as the days which will follow this day.

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Last day before commitment to a relationship, faith, community project:

This should be a day of release of prior thoughts, relationships, hesitancy felt in consideration of making this commitment. A commitment is a mental reward of sorting through all of your choices and selecting what suits you the best. The questions and concerns should fly out of the window as commitment is a necessity for success. Grasp the opportunity and let go of past reservations. 

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Last day of life:

I will leave this one as the thought provoking text. What does this day mean to you and to me? Does it mean defeat or victory? Does it mean that you have lived life to the fullest and have seen your dreams to rendition? Does it mean you leave this world feeling fulfilled or empty? Does it mean you have the faith to believe there is more after this life? This is the only last that I cannot help each one of you through. It is a personal thought by design. I am led to the scripture “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.”—Php 2:12-13.

I leave this message with you and hope that you will not only think of the “Last” but think of the “First” as I say LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by experiencing all of this beautiful life before it becomes a LAST.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced to original location if known. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups unless notated.

TAKING THE DAY OFF

TAKING THE DAY OFF is a great idea but not just for Memorial Day but for a reset. I am proud to be an American for a lot of reasons but I am concerned for not only the state of our country but the world as well. It is hard to watch the news and witness the horrendous acts of humans. I want a reset. I want to ask all of us to stop the blame game since I keep hearing “It is this one’s fault; no it is this someone else’s fault; no, it is another’s fault and on and on.” Let’s get real. It is All of Our Fault if we allow this to fester our society.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and they never will.

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Here is my reset button list:

  1. Stop the blame game. We can only control our actions and not the actions of others. Throughout my lifetime, I have been disappointed by many and I am confident I disappointed many others.
  2. Decide what things we can change. Take positive actions that will make a difference in the world or at least the community we live in.
  3. React constructively to negative events or people. What can we do or say that will suggest positive action or thinking in a negative situation. Instead of criticizing others, figure out how you can make a good difference and don’t become part of the problem but instead come up with a sensible solution.
  4. Concentrate on internal growth and success. Personal frustration and/or unhappiness can exasperate any person’s reaction and allows depressing thoughts. I feel “Misery loves Company” comes into play in this situation. In using the time spent criticizing others, we can lose the necessary time to improve our personal lives.
  5.  Build on the idea that we need each other. I love to bake and cook but sometimes I need to take a break and use the services of a restaurant or bakery. How many of us are plumbers? Let something go wrong and a plumber becomes the most important person to contact. The internet, which as a writer and blogger can be a blessing but at the same time, if used unwisely, can be a curse and destructive. Use it wisely. I bounce ideas off a lot of people and they are from all kinds of backgrounds to get a well rounded base for writing but in the end, I select the usable information and discard what is not relevant to what I am writing. I need the input, however, and it is as important even if it is not used.
  6. Decide to live a happy life even in unhappy times. You may ask, “What are you talking about Miss Crazy Positivity?”  It is possible and allow me to reference a time in our country which will make the current times seem frivolous. Many people did not live through the depression of 1929 until it ended but even though the following statistics will show a big decline in births, it is evident some people found a way to be happy or survive the most difficult time. In other words, children were born and life went on in spite of the horrendous conditions.

Trend of the crude birth rate Estimates of the total number of births and the birth rate in the United States have been made for each year NATALITY since 1909. As shown in table 1-B and figure 1-2, the mid=thirties separate two contrasting periods of change in the crude rate. In the earlier period, 1909-33, the rate underwent a marked decline, dropping from 30.0 to 18.4. This represents a continuation of the downward trend that had started many years before. Available estimates place the annual rate in the colonial period at 50 to 57 births per 1,000 inhabitants.2 The only appreciable interruption occurred shortly after the First World War. Following a sharp drop in 1919, the rate climbed in the next 2 years again turning downward to reach an all the low during the depression period. The longterm decline has been characterized as a genuine demographic revolution, related to the development of modern society, the rapid development in arts and sciences, and the adoption of a rational approach in individual and family living.3 Changes in the reproductive patterns of persons living in both urban and rural environments, and the increasing and more widespread knowledge of effective contraceptive methods are factors associated with this secular trend. The movement toward urbanization was also 2Donald J. BOgue, The Population of the united States, The Free press of Glencoe, Illinois, 1959. 3Wilson H. Grabill, Clyde V. Kiser, and pascal K. Whelp ton, The Fertility of Anjeri..qn V/omen, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York, 1958.

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7. Trust in yourself and your abilities. Before we can believe in others and trust others, we have to believe in our own gut and instinct. We can make decisions for ourselves and can even have input and influence on how others think about a situation. While trusting ourselves, we see things clearer and realize as one young girl said to another, “Do you think this whole world revolves around you or something?” Each one of us is important and we should realize input and brainstorming is the best avenue for resolution of an issue and the creation of solutions.  A true Know it All doesn’t know it all but is willing to listen to All to gain knowledge and expand his or her horizons.

8. Listen with an OPEN ear. I get asked a lot of times how did I decide to do this or how do I know how to do that and my answer is always the same. I was not afraid to ask questions, seek help from those who had the knowledge I was seeking, AND importantly, listening with an open mind with an ear tuned in for learning and not contradicting. All that I have learned has been a combination of studying, researching, communicating with others, experience both with success and failures. Others have given good advice which I listened and then chose my own path.

9. Be forgiving and understanding. None of us actually know it all. Plenty of people know a lot but by our human make up, we make mistakes and guffaws. We succeed and fail sometimes many times over. We look wise; we look stupid. We agree to disagree; or we remain stubborn and obstinate and nothing gets accomplished. Forgiveness is a win-win as both receive a good feeling from this encounter.

10. Feel good about life. When we wake up in the morning, it is vital we set the tone for our day. Practice saying, “It is going to be a wonderful day” instead of having a “Woe is me” attitude and watch how much better the day goes. Positivity works. Stop and look at the good things in your life instead of finding fault with your conditions or people you are associated. No matter how bad it may seem, trust me, someone in this world has it worse than you. Concentrate on positive attitude and steps to improve your surroundings and mental focus. You can turn your life into a life you can be happy by practicing being happy within yourself.

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LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING EACH DAY OF LIFE.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit. Photos are not property of blog unless stated.