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The Virtually Inevitable Backslide May 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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After Zig-Zagging to the Zenith and falling in love with the view, we declare, with emphasis, “I’m NEVER going back down there!”  

Never say never.     

Maintaining an enlightened perspective when faced with the daily challenges of life is difficult . . .  something or someone pushes our buttons, and our time-worn automatic response kicks into high gear causing us to backslide.

Before we know it, we’re back on auto-pilot, headed straight for the Sea of Negativity.   In short order, we find ourselves in a heap at the foot of the mountain that we just finished struggling to climb. 

And Ego says, “Why did I bother to try climbing it in the first place?  What a waste of time and effort!  The view wasn’t that great anyway. 

“I’m staying down here where I belong.  I’m not going to keep trying to be someone I’m not.”

And Ego lived Unhappily Ever After.  

The End.

Wait . . . not so fast!  

Unlike before, we now know, with absolute certainty, that there is another perspective on life.  We know that, while viewing life from that perspective,  we felt better ~ viewing life from a Spiritual perspective gave us true peace of mind. 

In addition, we are more aware of our thoughts, and see them heading south towards the Sea of Negativity sooner.  Even if we aren’t actively monitoring our thoughts, we are more attuned to how we are feeling.  

We notice more quickly that we are feeling negative, and can step on the brakes sooner ~ because now we have a positive frame of reference for comparison.

So how does the story really end? 

We get up, look up at the top of the mountain, and realize that we have a choice.  We can revert back to an Ego-orientation, and hang out at the bottom of the mountain (where Ego resides) or we can rejoin our Higher Self at the Zenith.  

Eventually, we choose to leave Ego behind and start climbing again, because we know in our heart that it’s a journey worth making. 

Only this time, as soon as we start climbing, we see through the clouds that previously obscured our view.  We see your Higher Self waiting for our return.  

In our mind’s eye, we visualize being back on that Zenith, viewing the world with compassion and kindness, rather than with anger and fear.  The view from the Zenith feels real to us now, because it is real.  It is where our Higher Self always resided, even before we knew of its existence. 

Once we’ve reached the Zenith the first time, we never have to re-climb the mountain.  To return immediately to the top of the mountain, we just need to let go of the negatives ~ to replace our earth-bound Ego-orientation with all the good feelings and peace within. 

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, all we have to do is visualize ourself back at the Zenith, as we tap our heels and say, “Who I am is who I want to be.”  

As soon as we re-align with our Spiritual perspective, we are back at the Zenith.  

Sitting on the top of the world.

Related: The Path To Enlightenment * Zig-Zagging To The Zenith * Progress, Not Perfection *  ABC’s of Happiness Spiritual Milestones

Yummy Hummus! May 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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All the talk about food lately has inspired me to share a few versatile vegetarian recipes with you.

First up, hummus, a delicious Middle Eastern dip made from chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) which adds fiber, protein, and iron to your diet  in a crowd pleasing way.


Although prepared hummus is readily available in most grocery stores, whipping up a batch in a blender or food processor is quick and easy.  The result is a delicious and healthy dip to pair with raw veggies, pretzels, or tortilla chips.

Once the basic ingredients have been puréed into a smooth consistency, you can tailor the hummus to your specific tastes by adding other ingredients: black olives, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, spinach, feta cheese, fresh parsley.

Basic Hummus

1 16 oz. can of garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 small onion, chopped (optional)
2 Tbsp. olive oil (or substitute canola or vegetable oil)
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (or a couple of dashes of Tabasco)

Place all ingredients into a food processor and purée until you no longer see any chunks of onion or garlic.   Once smooth, add any “custom” ingredients like olives, and pulse to incorporate to desired consistency.  Chill for several hours to allow flavors to meld.

Spoon onto a serving platter, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with raw or blanched veggies:  carrots, celery, red pepper, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, cucumber.

In addition to serving as a dip, hummus makes a wonderful spread for wraps and sandwiches:

Spread hummus on a softened tortilla, and add lettuce, salsa, grated cheese, red or green peppers, black olives, grated carrots, etc.  Roll tightly into a cigar shape, and slice in 3-4 pieces for serving.

If making ahead of time, roll tightly and wrap individually in Saran Wrap.  Later, just slice and serve.

Other Recipe Ideas:  Tribe Hummus Recipes

Zig-Zagging to the Zenith May 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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As we continue moving forward on the Spiritual Path, we zig-zag slowly around and around the mountainside.  Eventually, the clouds part ever so slightly, and we see the Zenith waiting to welcome us. 

We eagerly join our Higher Self, and look around in awe at the view. 

We see innocence in the actions of the calloused.  We see the hurt behind the angry words.  The world viewed through the eyes of Spirit is a vastly different world than that viewed through the clouded lens of Ego. 

We begin to feel true peace of mind as Ego-concerns fade. 

We focus less on what others think of us, and more on how we feel about ourselves.  We choose happiness over being right more often.  We see that others are doing the best they can, based on the experiences they’ve  had.  We view their actions more generously, and less judgmentally. 

We embrace our Higher Self and exclaim in happiness, “Wow!  This view is awesome!  I wish you had gotten my attention sooner.  Man, if I had known about this place, I could have saved myself from a ton of unnecessary pain and anguish.” 

Spirit nods knowingly. 

Life is beautiful when viewed from a Spiritual perspective.

Once we reach the Zenith, the challenge shifts from “attaining enlightenment” to maintaining our present moment perspective . . . even when faced with the daily challenges of life.

Related post:  The Path To Enlightenment * Progress, Not Perfection * The ABC’s of Happiness Spiritual Milestones