Friday, November 19, 2010

Recipe Collection: Chinese Chicken Salad


Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 bag Cole Slaw mix (without dressing) or 1/2 cabbage shredded
1/2 - 1 cup slivered almonds
2 bags of Top Ramen
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Take the unopened bags of Top Ramen, and smoosh the noodles with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer hammer.  Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, add the ramen noodes (minus the package and the soup packet).  Brown noodles until light brown.  Add slivered almonds toward the end to very lightly brown.  Put this mixture into a large bowl.  Add cubed chicken, onions and cabbage.

Mix together dressing:
1/2 cup oil (a light vegetable oil - not olive - works best)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt

Mix with fork or whisk until thickened.  Toss salad with dressing.  You can serve immediately or refrigerate.

This makes enough to serve at 4 adults with leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe Collection: Hamburger Gravy

I am feeling in the need of some comfort food, so I will be having mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy for dinner tonight.  When adding back in starches, I am going to follow my friend Bruce's strategy for weight loss.  Only eat a 1/4 cup of a high carb or high sugar food at your meal.  The gravy will be a 'free' food, but I will only have one-half level cup of the mashed potatoes. 

My easy hamburger gravy recipe is to pan fry crumbled low fat hamburger - I use buffalo when I can find it.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Drain any excess fat.  Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted) per pound of hamburger.  Stir well, and heat until warmed through.  Serve on top of mashed potatoes or biscuits.  One pound of hamburger usually feeds about 4 adults.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recipe Collection: Chicken on a Diet, Jicama Hash Browns, Almond Muffins


Chicken On A Diet

Skinless Chicken Thighs
Diet Orange Soda
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Garlic Power or Onion Powder
salt and pepper

Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs.  Spray a 10 X 13 baking dish with Olive Oil Pam.  Put chicken in baking dish.  Sprinkle with garlic or onion powder, and salt and pepper.  Combine soda and soy sauce in a ratio of about 3 parts soda to 1 part soy sauce.  Pour over chicken.  Bake at 350 degree until done.

I didn't put cooking times or amounts in the recipe.  I've been making this version of chicken for years.  I use regular soda when I'm not on a sugar restricted diet.  This time I used boneless, skinless thighs, and covered them with the soda/soy mixture, turning them about every 10 minutes.  I cooked 10 thighs and it took about 40 minutes.

My favorite was is to use thighs with bones and skin, and not use as much of the soda/soy mixture, so that the skin crisps.  I've also used this soda/soy mixture in a crock pot with drummettes.  Careful not to cook too long for this one as the meat will fall off the bones.

Jicama Hash Browns

2 cups jicama, peeled and grated
1/2 thinly sliced onion
4 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Mix above in a bowl and set aside.  (One recipe suggested grating the jicama first, adding the salt, and allowing it to sit.  Then press out the water.  I didn't do this, but I probably would next time).  Melt 4 tbsp butter in a frying pan, medium high.  Add the jicama mixture and press flat.  Cover and cook until browned on the bottom.  Flip and repeat.

There were no times given with this recipe, and because I didn't press out the water, it took longer than I had anticipated.  My estimate would be about 10 minutes per side, similar to regular potatoe hash browns.

The results smelled really good, and I thought tasted pretty good.  I put a little grated cheddar on mine.  The rest of the family used ketchup.  The cheese was okay; the ketchup not so much. 

Almond Muffins

1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. truvia or sugar substitute
1 1/2 c .almond flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

Mix together butter, egg and sugar. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with milk. Bake in greased muffin "tins" for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

CINNAMON MUFFIN TOPPING

4 tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 c. truvia (or sugar substitute)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Dip muffins in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Recipe Collection: Moroccan Lemon Chicken

Morrocan Lemon Chicken Recipe:
 
6 breasts of chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup of water
2 roma tomatoes chopped
18 pitted large green olives
 
Brown chicken in olive oil.  Remove from pan.  Add onions, garlic, cumin, tumeric, pepper and cinnamon sticks.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are cooked.  Add chicken back to pan.  Drizzle with lemon juice.  Add the remainder of the ingredients.  Allow it to come to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook 30-40 minutes until chicken is done.
 
Comments:  This smelled really good while cooking, but the chicken came out dry.   This is how I would change the recipe.  I'd use chicken tenderloin or cut the breasts in smaller pieces.  I'd heat the oil in the skillet, and add the cumin, tumeric and pepper to blend (maybe add a tbsp of butter as well).  I'd use 1 tsp cinnamon (or more) instead of the cinnamon sticks.  Then I would lower the heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onion was clear.  Then I would turn up the heat a little, add the chicken, coating it on both sides, while lightly browning it.  Next I would drizzle on the lemon juice, add the chopped tomatoes and the olives, and start with 1/4-1/2 cup of water.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, checking the chicken for doneness.  Continue cooking until done, checking every few minutes, and adding water as necessary.
 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recipe Collection: Roast Beef Roll Ups

Roast Beef Roll Ups:  With 4 slicces of deli roast beef - watch for sugar content - spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each slice. Slice a 2" piece of cucumber into quarters lengthwise.  Roll one piece of cucumber up in each of the slice of meat.  My husband and daughter like this with a pickle slice instead of a cucumber.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe Collection: Marcia's Vegetable Soup

Marcia's Vegetable Soup (for 4)

1 large can tomato juice
1/2 head cauliflower
1 bunch broccoli
seasonings to taste
shredded jack cheese

I cook it in a crock pot, but it can be done on the stove top.  Chop cauliflower and broccoli.  Add to tomato juice in pan.  Season to taste.  I use Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, and a dash of cinnamon if the soup tastes tart.  I also will add any extra vegetables I may have.  I sauteed some chopped onion, celery and minced garlic in olive oil and added it to the soup.  Cook until vegetables are done the way you like.  Serve in separate bowls, and top with shredded cheese .

It's called Marcia's Vegetable Soup because I got the recipe from my dear friend, Marcia.  She is a COOK.  I just make dinner.  There's a difference!  This is one of my family's favorite soups, and I love it for the simplicity.  It's also a great recipe to give to a new bride or mom who is looking for quick meals to cook.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recipe Collection: Flour Free Low Carb Vegetarian Pizza

2 cups grated zucchini, press to remove water/fluid
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Mix ingredients together and press onto greased baking sheet or pizza pan.

Bake at 425 - 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Allow to cool a bit.

Top with sugar free tomato sauce and pizza toppings of your choice.  We used cheese, onions and mushrooms.

Broil until cheese melts.

It was really good!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe Collection: Faux Mashed Potatoes and Meat Loaf

Meatloaf recipe - sort of.  I'm a toss this in and toss that in kind of cook.  Not a whole lot of measuring going on with foods I've cooked previously.  What I wanted to share was this part of the recipe - keeping it starch free:
2 lbs 97/3 or 96/4 ground beef
1 egg
1/2 onion
3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic diced or pressed
1 cup crushed pork rinds (replacing bread crumbs)
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
seasonings to taste
sugar free Barbeque Sauce

Saute the onion, celery and garlic in a little olive oil, on medium low until onion and celery are soft.  In a big bowl, combine all ingredients except the barbeque sauce.  Mush with hands until mixed.  Put in loaf pan, bundt pan or form loaf mound in glass baking dish.  Brush barbeque sauce over loaf.

Bake 1.25 - 1.5 hours at 375 degrees.  Refrain from opening door to check on it.  Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Faux Mashed Potatoes:
1 head cauliflower, steamed until soft.  With mixer, mix like you would for mashed potatoes.  If you need liquid, add a little low salt chicken broth or a little milk/cream.  Season to taste. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recipe Collection: Taco Salad


Today's goal is to drink at least 32 oz of water.  I learned from Katie Evans, a hypnotherapist and weight loss counselor, that to find out the amount of water you should be drinking a day, the minimal amount that is, you take your weight and divide it in half.  That is the minimum number of ounces of water you should consume per day. 

Taco Salad Recipe:

Lettuce
Celery
Radishes
Green Onions/Chives
3.5 oz meat sauce
Salsa (no sugar - read the label)

Assemble the greens and vegetables.  Top with meat sauce.  Add a little salsa to taste.

Taco Meat Sauce:
100 grams lean ground beef (less than 7% fat)

1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup water
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic crushed and minced
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of oregano
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional) (I used cumin)
Salt and pepper to taste

I was cooking for 6 adults yesterday, so I made a large batch, adjusting the spices to taste. I also used a can of organic tomato paste and low sodium beef broth in lieu of the tomatoes and water.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Recipe Collection: Curry Chicken Soup, No Bean Chili Recipe


Curry Chicken Soup Recipe (one serving)

3.5 oz/100 grams boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into little bite size piece
2 cups low sodium, low fat, chicken broth
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP dried chopped onion (or 1/4 chopped fresh onion)
Salt and Pepper to taste
I also added some tumeric to taste.

Put in a pot to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes.  This can also be fixed in a crockpot.

Chili Recipe (one serving)

100 grams lean ground beef (less than 7% fat)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup water
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic crushed and minced
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of oregano
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional) (I used cumin instead)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in small frying pan, add onions and garlic. Stir in tomatoes and water. Add spices and simmer slowly until liquid is reduced.   The longer it cooks the more tender and flavorful. Add a little water as needed to prevent burning.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Recipe Collection: Chicken and Broccoli Saute



Chicken and Broccoli Saute Recipe:

Serving for one
3.5 oz / 100 grams of skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in strips
1 handful broccli florets
1/2 cut low sodium, low fat chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic power
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Toss chicken in coconut oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sautee chicken in non stick skillet for 1-2 minutes. 
Add broccoli and stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth, garlic powder and lemon juice.  Cover and cook until broccoli is tender.

Note:  I was cooking for 4, so I had used a little more coconut oil, and sauteed the chicken a little longer.  By the time I added the broth, the chicken was almost done, so I ended up taking out the chicken and just letting the broccoli cook in the broth.   I did increase the amount of garlic powder, salt and pepper to go with the number of servings I was cooking, but I did not significantly increase the lemon juice as my family does not like the strong flavor.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quotes from The Little Book of Aloha by Reneta Provenzano

I am cleaning out my desk, and I found a piece of paper with some quotes from The Little Book of Aloha, and I thought I would share.

When opportunity knocks, answer the door.

You are in control of your own life.  Be open to advice but trust in yourself to decide.  We each have our own rhythm.  Learn to dance to yours.

Do not read too much into things.  Some things are exactly as they appear.

Listen to what people say, but watch what they do.

Once an apology has been made, it becomes your responsibility to forgive.  If a grudge is held instead, it becomes your kaumaha (burden) and will continue to make you ill.

Anger is fear of letting go.

Understand your intentions before you act, as actions plant the seed for the future.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Abundance Tip: Use Affirmations

Some people collect baseball cards. Others collect antiques. And yet others collect CocaCola memerobilia. I collect affirmations. I have a 3X5 file box full of affirmations for most any occasion.

I am sure you have heard the teaching about how our thoughts create our reality. We are co-creators with Source/God for our experiences in life.  The Bible tells us “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Before the creation took place, God had to think the thought of creation. “Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Think the thought, speak the word, and creation begins.

Affirmations are the process we use to speak the word. We decide (think the thoughts) what we want, then we verbalize those thoughts in the form of a positive affirmation. The Universal Creative Mind does not know the difference between complaining and affirming. It is very important that we speak of what we want, not what we don’t want. Don Miguel Ruiz, author of one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, calls this being impeccable in your word.

My favorite affirmation to use is “I am prosperous.” It covers a wide variety of situations. It is easy to remember and recall. It is the first thing out of my mouth when and if I notice that I am talking about things I do not want to create. In other words, if I find myself thinking or talking about a problem or situation that I do not want to create or continue, I make the shift in my consciousness by repeating the affirmation “I am prosperous” over and over and over.

I have found that repeating an affirmation at least 100 times in a day increases the power of that affirmation. It may sound like a lot, but really it goes very quickly. It does not have to be 100 times in a row. I do affirmations when I’m in the shower, at a stop light, during a TV commercial, etc. You will surprise yourself how many moments there are during the average day where you can repeat your affirmations.

I employ my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) philosophy when working with affirmations. I have found that the shorter the affirmation, the more apt I am to remember it and be able to rattle it off at those times that my ego is loud. There are many books and websites, teachers and coaches, which list and create affirmations. Many of my favorites come from people like Florence Scovel Shinn and Catherine Ponder. I have included some of the ones I use frequently below.

I am prosperous.

Golden opportunities are all around me.

I always have more than enough.

My prosperity serves the world.

Affirmations can be repeated silently as a mantra while you are meditating. They can be repeated out loud as suggested above (in the car, in the shower, during TV commercials). You can write out the affirmations if you like. You can record your voice saying the affirmations, and then play them back while you are sleeping.

One powerful way of working with affirmation is to do them in partnership with a friend or in a group. I have used this technique in a Mastermind Group and in a 4T Prosperity class. The group sits in a circle. The first person states their affirmation, such as “I am abundantly wealthy. I easily pay my bills and I have money to spare.” Starting with the person sitting on the right, everyone in the group then repeats back the affirmations, one at a time, using the person’s first name. For example, “Betsy, you are abundantly wealthy. You easily pay your bills and you have money to spare.” When each person has repeated the affirmations back, the person on the right then states his/her affirmation, and the process is repeated.

Affirmations are not a magic trick to achieve your desires.  Affirmations are a practical and useful tool to co-create all you need or desire.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Abundance Tip : Nature Abhors A Vacuum

I've been collecting and experimenting with abundance and prosperity tips over the years.  I had at one point intended to write a book on the topic, but my guidance has been just to share the information.  Here is tip #1.

Declutter, declutter, declutter. Release, release, release. Donate, donate, donate. As a society, we accumulate so much stuff. When you are working on attracting things into your life, you must get rid of the stuff that you no longer use. If you haven’t worn it in 1 year, haven’t used it in a year, don’t plan to re-read it, gift it, donate it, recycle it, but get it out of your space. I promise you, you will not miss it.

Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, shared a decluttering technique that I just love. I have improvised a bit because I hang on to things for sentimental reasons, even things I don’t necessarily want. The plan is to declutter and release one room in your house per day. Into each room, you bring 3 boxes. One box is for things to donate or sell at a garage sale. Another box is for things you are keeping for sentimental reasons. The third box is for those items that you have not used or enjoyed for greater than a year, but are not yet ready to release.

 Look at every item in the room. If it is something you use or enjoy frequently, it stays. Otherwise, it goes in one of the three boxes. Do this for each room. Things for donation or garage sale are self explanatory. However, it means either take the things to Salvation Army, Goodwill or other second hand store within two days, or plan your garage sale for no later than the next weekend. Do not store these items. The box of sentimental items can be marked and stored somewhere safe. The box of not yet ready to release items is inventoried (a list of the contents is made) closed, marked and dated. In one year, if you find you have not opened the box to use anything, it then becomes a donation/garage sale box. Release and let go of those items you no longer are enjoying. Allow someone else the pleasure of enjoying the items.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What's Working Ya?

My friend, Dr Steven Farmer, has a phrase/question he likes to use during his workshop Q&A/check-in sessions.  It's "What's workin' ya?"  I always thought it was an information greeting, along the lines of "Where y'at?" or "Whazzup?" 

So here I am, reading Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert, and I come across a passage where Liz is talking to a yogi master/monk at an ashram in India about a ritual that just bugs her.  She hates it, and his reply (taking the position that it is still beneficial to her)  is ".....especially because you are having such an extreme reaction to it.  If something is rubbing so hard against you, you can be sure it's working on you."

Ahhh, what's workin' ya?

In my workshops, I have often shared a story on the trial of forgiveness in regards to relationships.  When I was much younger, I was involved in an abusive relationship - physically, mentally and emotionally.  The episodes were not frequent, but the consequences stayed with me for years.  We discontinued the relationshp after about 4-5 years, but it was 30 years before I was done being mad at "him".  It took 30 long years for me to ulitmately recognize that I was the one that needed to forgive myself for enabling the behavior that had continued in his family for generations, to forgive myself for sticking around and not taking action, and to forgive him for just doing what he learned growing up.  For thirty years, I worked on healing that part of me.  The first year after we split, I was mad every day.  As time went by, the anger dissapated somewhat, but when that emotional button got pushed by some experience or some memory, it would gnaw at me for days.

And then one day, I was just over it.  I couldn't tell you what happened, what enlightening experience occurred, if there was actually a specific ah-ha moment, or what.  I just know that one day I realized I was no longer mad.  I could think of "him" and what had occurred and be entirely neutral about the situation.  There was no emotion involved - not love, not hate, not joy, not fear - just nothing.  It was a bit like thinking of my 8th grade art teacher, whose name I don't remember.  I don't even remember if it was a man or a woman.  I just know I took the class, and learned how to sketch a fist. 

So what's my point?  What's working me? 

I was released - let go - fired - from a job I loved.  I am still not sure what happened.  It was a shock at the time, and I guess it still is.  Could I have done anything differently?  What or who can I blame for the experience?  This is what my mind works on....still.

Now it should be noted that the teaching that says "When one door closes, another is opens" is so true in this case.  I am very happy to be unemployed and without responsibilities.  It has given me the opportunity to be with my kids and grandkids, to write, to play, and to be free to do as I please each day.  The Universe has provided me with resources to cover expenses without having to hold down a "job".  I call myself "retired" (rather than unemployed) because given a choice, I would not go back to work - I would not change a thing.  (Well, maybe I'd see to it that the temperatures in Seattle never dropped below 40 degrees, but that seems like a big manifestation for little ol' me to undertake right now.)

Yet still my mind is caught up in the drama of all that happened.  Yes, everything worked out for the best.  Yes, I am happier now than I have ever been.  But why did it have to happen this way?  And why do I care?  THIS is what's workin' me!  Why do I care?

I've put to use most all of the healing techniques I've learned over the years.  I've cut cords.  I've done ceremony.  I've used crystals.  I've used flower essences and aromatherapy.  I've done soul retrieval.  I've asked for answers through my dreams and in my journalling.  You name it, I've probably tried it.

What I have learned through all of this is that there are always two or more sides to every story.  The truth can be found in each version.  I may be the star in "my drama" but I was not the star in my employer's story.  I was a supporting cast member.  I don't want "my story" to be a tragedy.  I want it to be about overcoming obstacles and personal triumph over those personal tradegies.  And this time, I don't want to take 30 years to reach that happily ever after conclusion.  I am ready for this particular chapter to be over.

So blah, blah, blah, yada yada yada, what's working me here?  Why the hell do I still fuss and fume about this particular story?  Why do I care so much?

Then I came upon this line in Eat, Pray, Love.  "Be a scientist of your own spiritual journey."

I am not sure what is really means, but it captured my attention.  Is it to be organized, practical and documentary in my spiritual life?  Are there specific steps we all have to take to enlightenment about things in life.  Is it that you need the left brain and the right brain to be working together on all challenges?

"Letting go and letting God" is fabulous when you are deep in prayer or meditation but not so easy when ego is yakking away about the unfairness of it all.

"Dear God, please do not let it take 30 years for me to work this out.   I'll be close to 90 by then.  I don't want to go through this drama for that long.  I need help now!"

My answer came immediately - "I'm here.  I'm always here.  Something is working you.  Quit just asking the question, Why do I care?  Start answering it.  Take that step and find out.  The answer is in your mind, just working to get out!"

Okay, okay, back to meditation and perhaps some traditional talk therapy......The issue is working me because it needs to be released to where ever it is that emotional crap goes once you've learned what you need to know.  The answers are within, buried down somewhere.  The methods used to dislodge them may be different for each of us, but getting the hurt and pain out, and releasing it is key for us all.

So what's workin' ya?  Are you ready to put on your working gloves and start digging for your answers?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Affirmations

One of the steps in The Four Be's To Abundance is to write out daily affirmations.  By the 22nd day, sometimes coming up with an affirmation can be a challenge.  I've been asked to share some of my own affirmations that I use each month.

I am prosperous.

God is the Source of my supply.

I am rich beyond measure.

I am healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The more I have, the more I have to give.

Every day, in every way, things are getting better and better.

I always have more than enough.

I vibrate at a level of wealth and abundance.

I am open and receptive to all the gifts the universe has to offer me.

Prosperity is my divine birthright.

I trust the Universal Spirit of prosperity to provide richly for me now. 

I give thanks for a quick and substanial increase in my financial income now.

I now co-create all the abundance and wealth I need and desire.

My financial situation is beautifully blessed.

I am abundantly inspired in all the work that I do.

I am filled with creative ideas.

Money comes to me, easily and effortlessly, at the divine right time, in the divine right way.

I am just plain lucky.

Luck is my constant companion.

I am a money magnet.

The divine light within me is creating miracles here and now.

Money flows to me like an incoming tide.

I am slender and fit.

I am my perfect weight.

**************************************************************************

Those are some of my favorites.  Do you have any you'd like to share?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Four Be's To Abundance

THE FOUR BE’S TO ABUNDANCE


22 Days To A Shift In Your Financial Vibration

By Betsy M Brown

No matter whose book or website you read, or whose class you attend on the Laws of Attraction or similar topics, there are a few basic principles that are shared. I call these the Four Be’s.

Be Grateful.

Be Positive.

Be Clear.

Be Prepared.

These ideas are nothing new. I have worked with these principles for many years. I now present them to you in a simple format that I find has worked well for me, and for others. The idea behind this 22 day program is to stretch your creative mind and work your vibrational muscles. Just like any exercise program, you start out slowly, develop a foundation and build up from there.

Why 22 days?

First, it is said that it takes 21 days to change a habit. We are working here to shift out of our limited thinking and break any ties that bind us. The extra day gives us a boost in the right direction.

Second, in terms of numerology, 22 is a master number, often referred to as the Master Builder. The energy of the number 22 can turn the most ambitious of dreams into reality. It is unlimited, yet disciplined.

And finally, according to the book, Healing With The Angels, by Doreen Virtue, repetitive 2s mean “Our newly planted ideas are beginning to grow into reality. Keep watering and nurturing them, and soon they will push through the soil so you can see evidence of your manifestation. In other words, don’t quit five minutes before the miracle. Your manifestation is soon going to be evident to you, so keep up the good work! Keep holding positive thoughts, keep affirming, and continue visualizing.”

The Basic Principles:

You will need a journal, notepad or 3 ring binder filled with lined paper. This exercise works best when you write it out by hand, first thing in the morning. On Day 1, for each of the four principles, you will write one statement or thought. On Day 2, you will write two statements or thoughts for each of the principles. For Day 3, you will write three statements or thoughts for each section, and so on. By Day 22, you will be writing 22 statements or thoughts for each principle.

Principle #1 – Be Grateful:

This is simply about having the attitude of gratitude about people and situations in your life. By being aware of the blessings all around you, you will attract more into your life for which to be grateful.

Principle #2 – Be Positive In Your Thinking:

Using affirmations is a simple tool to train your thoughts to stay positive. Focus on what you desire, not what you fear.

Principle #3 – Be Clear About Your Desires and Dreams:

It’s important to have a list of your dreams and desires, and to keep these ideas fresh in your daily thoughts. This is the place where you are detailed in the description of things you would like to attract into your life. This is where you dare to dream big – the house on a lake with a ski boat, treating the entire family to a trip to Disneyland, a new sports car, a publishing contract, etc.

Principle #4 – Be Prepared:

If you suddenly had money, how would you spend it? Would you just spend it haphazardly, or would you have a plan? How much would you spend on yourself? How much would you spend on others? With this principle, you will start with $1000. Each day, you will increase the amount by another $1000. Day 1, you will spend $1000. Day 2, you will spend $2000. Day 3 you will spend $3000. And so on, until Day 22, when you spend $22,000.

Putting The Program To Work:

I am a practical person. I like to keep things simple. I can dream big, but I like to dream reasonably. In keeping my statements grounded and believable to me, I am better able to co-create because the power/faith behind the belief is there.

With Principle #1 – Be Grateful. You may be grateful for the same things every day. These may include things like your family and friends, your dog or cat, your job, etc. Then you may find that you have days where you are grateful for being awake to watch the sun rise, and other days where you are grateful that you can sleep in until 10am. One day you may be grateful for the sunshine, and the next you may be grateful for the rain. It does not matter if you repeat the same things every day or if you change things up. It’s the attitude that counts.

With Principle #2 – Be Positive In Your Thinking. Write affirmations that have meaning to you. The affirmations do not have to be just about finances. Prosperity and abundance applies to relationships, opportunities, and manifestations of any kind. Again, you may have affirmations you use every day, and you may find yourself writing different ones from time to time.

Principle #3 – Be Clear About Your Desires. This is where you list anything and everything you would like to attract into your life. Include in your list not only the big things, but anything that comes to mind. For the purposes of this exercise, keep your list to the number appropriate for that day. You may have a longer list that you keep separately. The more times you write it down somewhere, the more times you keep the idea in your conscious awareness, the more likely you are to attract that item.

For Principle #4 – Be Prepared. I have found that it is helpful to really think about how you would spend the money you received that day. In the book, Ask and It Is Given, Abraham (as channeled by Esther Hicks) says, “Of course there is no thought that you cannot eventually have…..but you cannot instantly jump to a thought that has a vibrational frequency very different from the thoughts you are usually thinking.” It’s not easy to imagine owning a home, free and clear, with an ocean view, 4 bedrooms and a 3 car garage filled with a brand new sports car, an SUV and a Mercedes sedan, if you are still at a point where you are not sure that you can pay the rent on your one bedroom apartment. It’s not impossible, but it is a big jump.

How I Worked The Program:

I am a creature of routine. First thing every morning, I grabbed my tablet of paper and started in on my four principles. There was a great deal of repetition in what I wrote for the first two principles. Every day I was (and am) grateful for my family and friends, for a life style that allows me to spend time with my grandchildren, and so on. Every day, I affirmed that I am prosperous, that I am healthy, wealthy and wise. Occasionally, I would not ‘feel’ the energy behind the affirmation that I am rich beyond my wildest dreams, and I would look for another way to say the same thing that I could really feel. When you do this exercise, please think about what you are writing.

With Principle #3, being clear about your desires, I’d find some days that my desires were very different than other days. I always included that perfect piece of property with the sunrise view. However, occasionally a banana split would appear on my list, but not every day.

I think Principle #4 is my most favorite part of the exercise. I’m a firm believer in tithing, and in paying myself, so each day I would allocate 10% for tithing, and 10% for savings, and then spend the rest. One Day 1, I paid my house payment. On Day 2, I paid the electric, water and cable bills. Each day, I paid my bills, until I had paid every bill for the month, and then I started spending. I felt good for being responsible with my money, and it honestly was what I would do with money. Think of all the lottery winners we read about that just spent their money without regard to financial responsibilities. It does pay to be prepared.

At the end of the 22 days, I wrote out how I had spent my imaginary money. The total amount of money that came in for this exercise was $253,000. I had tithed $25,300. I had saved $25,300. I had paid all my bills for the month, including mortgage payment, equity line of credit, health insurance, utilities, phone, and satellite TV bill. I purchased new jeans, a new surround sound system, a new DVD player, a Kindle with 15 books, two new recliners, new sheets and pillows, new tennis shoes, new underwear, new tires for the car, new drawer slides for the kitchen cabinets, new screen doors for the house, new carpeting and a new refrigerator. I had the house painted, fixed the railings around the staircase to make them baby-safe, had the deck stained, filled the heating oil tank, paid for a landscaper, and had a cement pad poured for the 5th wheel with electric, water and sewer hook-ups. I took friends out to dinner, paid for weekend trips to the ocean and to the lake, paid for first class airfare to Mexico to visit friends, and a first class trip to the Florida Keys. I arranged to take all the kids and the grandkids to Disney World and Epcot Center for a week. I paid for one year of child care for my new grandbabies, and one year of doggy daycare for the dog. I had a massage, a pedicure, a manicure, and I bought new makeup. I treated myself to a spa day, had the hair on my legs permanently removed through laser treatments, and treated my husband and myself to one week of Panchakarma by an Ayurvedic Practitioner. I bought new glasses and paid for some dental work I’ve put off. I paid my property tax bill for 2010 and estimated federal income tax on the money I was receiving. I paid off my credit cards, and bought $5,000 in certificates of deposit. I bought $200 worth of lottery tickets, and allowed myself $300 to play with at a local casino. I bought new awnings and some vinyl skirting for our 5th wheel trailer and bought a pre-paid gas card to cover our fuel expenses for next year. I gifted each of our kids $5,000 and bought new toys for the grandkids and the dog. Whew – all that in just 22 days.

Now, in the real world, in those 22 days, I did pay my monthly bills. I did buy new makeup. I did buy a new surround sound and DVD player. I ordered a Kindle and a new pair of jeans. And I paid off my credit cards. Had you asked me at the start of the month if I was planning to accomplish anything other than paying my monthly bills, I would have said no. But the Universe was listening, and I was doing my part by working with The Four Be’s To Abundance. I had income that I hadn’t anticipated, my financial advisor made some great suggestions with resulted in extra money, and I used reward points from my debit/credit cards to make some purchases.

One of the things I have learned over the years of working with The Law of Attraction and spiritual principles is that you have to take what you’ve learned and make it work for you. This process has worked for me, and continues to work for me. I lovingly share it with you. Repeat the process each month and you will see results.

With blessings of peace and prosperity,

~Betsy~

©Betsy Brown April 2010 www.betsymbrown.com

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hello, My Name Is Fearless - At Least For The Moment

The other morning, on her Facebook wall, a friend of mine posted the following quote from Marie Curie.


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

This quote has been with me for a few days. I wonder if Marie Curie was a spiritual person?

What do we have to fear? Snakes? Air travel? Tornados? Earthquakes? Loss of a spouse/partner? Loss of income?

Right this moment, I am afraid of none of these things.

As I look at the sentence, does the sentiment mean we’d be better off understanding the things/situations in our life, or does it mean we are to understand the fear? Did Dr Curie mean that if we understood where our fears originated, we could then understand the “why” of the fear, and therefore adapt better? Or did she just mean exploration and investigation are good things?

How do we overcome fear? By facing the fear, or by understanding what causes the fear? Perhaps a little of both? Maybe it is just magic? Maybe it is just faith? Maybe it is the mind being bored and looking for something new, whether it is something else to fear or something new to love? Maybe fear gets smothered with other thoughts and just ceases to exist.

As I sit and write this, I realize there are very few things I’m fearful of in general – rattlesnakes, hitting a patch of ice while driving and sliding off a cliff – never to be found, suddenly being naked in public, offending someone unintentionally and never knowing it (and yes that means I really am not afraid of intentionally offending someone). But right this moment, there are no rattlesnakes to be concerned with here in Snohomish. I’m not planning to drive anywhere that there might be ice on the road. I’m sitting alone in my office, so if I were suddenly naked, it would not be a big deal (although I am seriously considering closing the curtains just in case). Not worried about developing cancer or heart disease. Not worried about finances. Not fearful of earthquakes or tornados. Nope, nothing to fear in this moment.

I’m just beginning to wonder if what Marie Curie really was referring to is what a significant waste of my time and energy fear, in and of itself, really is.

So here is to new experiences, new adventures, new attitudes and being fearless in life!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ho'oponopono, BP and the Gulf of Mexico

Yesterday, there was a prayer by Dr. Masaru Emoto (author of "The Hidden Messages in Water" for the Gulf of Mexico, circulating around Facebook.  It goes like this:

 "I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, planktons, corals, algae and all living creatures. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you."

I was intrigued by his combining what he knows about sending loving energy to water along with the practice of Ho'oponopono.  What a great idea!

Last night, I experienced what I hear many people complaining about lately:  an early morning awakening (3:00 am) with trouble going back to sleep.  When this has happened to me before, I had good luck with just mentally repeating a short prayer or mantra.  Last night, I thought about the Gulf of Mexico and Ho'oponopono.  And then I thought about BP. 

We all know that anger serves as a barometer for us to determine the difference between like and dislike, good and bad, love and hate.  But anger is just a gauge, like mercury in a themometer.  It is what we do with that gauge, the actions we take, that effect the outcome. 

For most of us, just being angry at BP does nothing but send out negative energy that is going to turn around at some point and bite us in the butt when it comes right back to us in some form.  I'm not a geologist or environmental specialist.  I am unable to travel to the Gulf Coast to volunteer with clean up.  I am unable to contribute large sums of money right now to assist.  What I can do is pray, however. 

It occurred to me that I need to broaden my horizon from the water and the plant/sea life to include BP in my prayers as well.  My judging BP does no good.  Energetically, it must be hard for BP to function at its best with all the negative energy coming its way.  The spill was a mistake.  It was not intentional.  The goal is not to be angry with BP, but to stop the leak and resolve the problems the oil spill has caused.  I believe that Ho'oponono is a way we can all contribute to help with the clean up.

Will you join me?

For the water in the Gulf of Mexico - I love you.  I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.

For all the living creatures, including plant and sea life, effected by the spill - I love you.  I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.

For BP - I love you.  I am sorry.  Please forgive.  Thank you.

And so it is.

By the way, a few moments of reciting the Ho'oponopono prayer, I fell back asleep, and slept soundly until the alarm clock went off at 5am.

With blessings of peace,
~Betsy~

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rest In Peace, Robert Parker

I've recently turned my focus away from spiritual counseling/teaching and back to creative writing.   I'm not sure how other writers go about determining what they want to write, but I like to write what I like to read. 

I was very saddened recently to learn of the passing of one of my favorite writers - Robert Parker.  Mr Parker was the very talented author of the Spenser series, the Jesse Stone series, and the Sunny Randolph series.  What I discovered about myself in reading Mr Parker's work is that I am especially fond of the character development aspect of writing.  The very bringing of life to these stories through really 'knowing' the characters - identifying with them, anticipating their reactions based on past performance, and in that way becoming part of the story itself, albiet as an observer.  As I read his work, I would filter through my mental data bank of actors and do my own casting.  As an aside, I would never have cast Robert Urich in the role of Spenser.  He just did not fit my mental image of the Spenser that Mr Parker created.

I never understood the hullabaloo and carrying on about the death of Michael Jackson.  I will admit that Michael Jackson was a very talented artist, but he was not my cup of tea.  Now, Mr Parker, that's another story (pun intended).  Right now I am enjoying one of Mr Parker's last books in the Spenser series - The Professional.  In this book, the main character, Spenser, is talking with his cohort, Hawk, about a book Hawk is reading; a book by Janet Evanovich, another one of my favorite authors.  Just the mention of Ms Evanovich alone endeared me to the character of Hawk even more.  And, I want to know about about him.  I would buy more books so I could learn more. 

As anyone who has been wrapped up in a series of books (Harry Potter, Twilight, Robert Jordan, etc), or a soap opera for that matter,  would understand, I just want the magic of the stories to go on and on. I think I now understand a bit more about how Michael Jackson's fans felt.   I presume those fans just wanted to enjoy more of his music and to see what he would create next.

Mr. Parker, you will be missed.  Thank you for enriching my life, and helping me to see what kind of author I would like to be.

Now.....where is my Kindle?  I need to finish The Professional and start in on Split Image (the next in the Jesse Stone series).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Considering Retirement

I haven't blah blah blahed in a long time.  What's on my mind right now is retirement and what that means.  I don't hold a regular muggle job, but I do have income from doing readings, energy clearings, selling my products and doing counseling sessions.  All of that takes commitment and scheduling.  For some reason, I woke up the other day and realized that I didn't want to 'have' to do anything I didn't want to.  I am having the best time ever being a grandma.  I like to write when I feel the urge.  Some days I don't feel like writing on my KISS Card blog, and I'm bored with writing a monthly newsletter.  If I felt that way for just one day, I could move past it, but these feelings have with me for awhile.  Then I read Karen Bishop's last Wings post, http://www.emergingearthangels.com/ .  She is going through something similar.  Maybe it is time to make a change.  To make no commitments, to take one day at a time, and just enjoy it for what it is.

So what do I do when I'm trying to work out a mental problem?  I have another cup of coffee and play a little Bejeweled.  I think that's what I'll do right now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

I enjoy going to http://www.jamieridlerstudios.com/ every Wednesday morning to see what Jamie's topic is for that day.  Today's question was very intriguing, and I'm taking part in the hopes of finding the why behind my answer.

The question is What Do You Wish To Say No To?  I've actually had some pretty nice opportunities presented to me about speaking engagements, but the bottom line is that I do not enjoy speaking in front of large groups.  I love small group work.  I love writing.  I love sharing.  I love helping.  I do not love standing on a stage and just talking.  I know that is really not part of my path.  If it was, I would enjoy doing it.  I wish to say no to such generous offers without feeling guilty about doing so.  I wish to say no without striking a fear cord that I am somehow tampering with my abundance.

Today I say no to speaking engagements and yes to writing assignments.
Today I say no to fame, and yes to fortune.
Today I say no to doing things out of fear, and yes to doing things out of joy.

And so it is.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Introducing my grandson, Odin Thomas Stack

He arrived at 9:35pm on 2/27/2010, weighing in at 7lbs 2 oz and measuring 20" long.  Mom, baby and grandma doing well.

Sunday morning with Grandma

Sunday morning with Grandpa

He screamed for about 15 minutes, and then hardly a peep out of him since then!  This was taken just minutes after he was born on Saturday night.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Intriguing Quote

"Only a mediocre writer is always at his best." W. Somerset Maugham - Hmmm I think I'm willing to be bad in order not to be mediocre.  I aspire not to be bad, and definitely not to be mediocre, but as in all things, practice makes perfect.  I am willing to take a chance at being not so good, in order to be terrific!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Do For Our Kids

Today, I had my H1N1 shot - swine flu vaccination.  I haven't had a flu shot since I turned 18 years old, and was able to just say no thank you.  But alas, when your pregnant daughter works for an OB/GYN, and it is recommended that all family members intending to have contact with the baby should be vaccinated, well, what's a girl to do.  My husband had never had a flu shot.  I'm just happy said daughter is not insisting on the regular flu shot as well.

I will say one thing though....It is not nearly as traumatic having a shot at age 55 as I remember it being at age 5.  Score one for growing older!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friends and Facebook

Facebook is pretty amazing.  We all have friends - personal/social friends, friends from school, friends from work, friends we've met in pursuit of hobbies or interests, friends of friends, and so on.  It was on Facebook that I found out by commenting on the new TV Show, Past Life, that a personal friend believed in past lives.  This was a topic we had never discussed before, and I was just shocked to find my 'professional' life inter-mingling with a personal friendship.  And it is always fun to look at the mutual friends, as sometimes there is a surprise.  I recently noticed that a friend I met during a training, who had grown up in the same area as I did, is friends with one of my friends from school.  Now, really it shouldn't be that surprising, as West Seattle really has a small town atmosphere, but still, it surprised me.   Maybe I really am a 'friend' of Kevin Bacon's.  I'm three degrees of separation from Donald Trump, so surely I can be connected to Kevin in some way.  Why not - Julie Andrews, Sam Elliot, Kelsey Grammar and others are already my friends.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Are What You Eat

Oh oh - last night I had pork chops.  I guess I'm a pig.  But seriously folks.....

I've gone from one end of the spectrum to the other on the subject of food.  I followed a raw food diet for 6 months one time.  I did the Atkins diet for 6 months.  I was an ovolactovegetarian for over 15 years.  Right now, I'm eating anything I want.  I avoid some foods, such as wheat and dairy, because I feel better when I don't eat them.  Occasionally I cheat, but that's a choice I make, knowing the consequences that follow.  I struggle most with my personal feelings about consuming meat, whether it be beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.  I love animals.  And I do have issues with myself about not being vegetarian.  I just feel better when I have protein that meat provides.  My answer, for the time being, is to continue to take of me.  To trust my body's messages.  And to take the time to bless the food I eat, and to give thanks to the animals who provide for my nourishment.

That's my blah blah blah for today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A New Commitment

I woke up this morning with the thought that I should do what they tell all writers to do.....Make a commitment to write "something" every day.  I do draw a daily card from my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart)™ Oracle deck and write a little comment about the card and how it applies to life....in particular my life.  Sometimes my comments are clearly channelled and sometimes it is just stuff.  And then I have this blog that I have not contributed to in a long time.  It started out as a place to yada yada yada and blah, blah, blah about things.  So today I will make the commitment to write something here every day. 

I wonder how long the commitment will last?  How long do resolutions last?  Until you get bored with it or until you see no purpose in continuing with it or you are distracted by the latest version of some computer game.  This is sounding awfully pessimestic to me.  I see myself as a grown up Pollyanna - to the point that sometimes I even want to gag myself.  Yet here I am talking about making a commitment and wondering when I will break it, all in the same paragraph.

Back to the writer writing something every day.  My goal right now is to write a series of mystery novels involving a 30ish main character, sprinkled with some psychic or metaphysical stuff, and full of snappy, witting dialog.  That's my 'true north' for the moment, but instead, I'm headed south southwest or somewhere because I'm blahblahblahing instead.

If I haven't lost you by now, either you know me and know that eventually something interesting or funny will come out of my mouth/head onto the paper/screen - or you are glutton for punishment and poor writing.  That is a question you will need to answer for yourself.

Until tomorrow.....Keep it simple and keep it real.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Working With Ascended Masters

I woke up this morning thinking about Psalms 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want. A bit weird for me as I usually wake up thinking, "Okay, where am I?" That's what happens when you live in a RV and travel someplace new each week. So wake up and begin reciting that psalm was an interesting experience. It reminded me of my mother-in-law waking up singing The Lords Prayer on the night my husband's boat sunk in the Bering Sea. A little freaky. I drew a card from my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart)™ Oracle Deck.  It was Call On The Ascended Masters.  The card says "The Ascended Masters are our Master Teachers.  They want to help you to create joy, peace and happiness in your life.


I took a few moments to refresh my memory on the life of David, generally believed to be the author of the Psalms. David was appointed to King Saul's court as a musician and armour bearer. The bible is rich with stories about David. At various stages in his life, he kills a giant, commits adultery, leads battles, writes songs, fights with his children, and forged a mighty empire. In other words, he led quite a life. Normal in many ways, and extraordinary in others.

Ascended Masters are generally described as those divine beings that once led lives on earth. Their experiences and spiritual growth has led them to be considered Master Teachers. I love working with these spiritual beings as they've been here, done that, learned and grown from the experiences.

Today I most likely will not kill a giant, commit adultery, lead a battle, or forge a mighty empire. I may fight with my children, but I hope not. Perhaps I'll write a song or a poem though. David, today will you help me create joy, peace and happiness in my life.