Category Archives: Informative

Finding True Self-Esteem

Finding True Self-Esteem

In looking back on last week’s first lesson on Finding True Happiness, I am admittedly disappointed in myself that I just plain forgot to utilize the lesson’s exercises and what I promised to do when things get stressful, overwhelming or frustrating: Deep breathe, check in with my body and observe what I feel physically … emotionally… and breathe…

I am disappointed because I’m so desperately searching for ways to change any negative patterns and avoid toxic circumstances – or at least deal with them in a way that promotes understanding, love and inner peace.  I really could have benefited from remembering to practice self-care in this way this week.

Our company shut down, unexpectedly and with no warning on December 5.  We were all told we had until the end of the day to pack up and leave and that would be our last day of pay.  We were given a print out of FAQs in order to navigate through the muddy, and uncertain waters that lay ahead: Collecting our last paycheck and information about whether or not we would receive unused sick time, vacation and floating holiday time, whether or not anyone from HR would be available to answer any questions (NO), etc.  Blind-sided.  Shocked.  Devastated.  Terrified.  These are the most relevant words I can use to describe what I felt; I know my peers felt it too.  I know the over 19,000 students, trying to finish their programs, felt these things as well.  And not a soul from the organization was committing to sticking around to help anyone through their questions, feelings of betrayal and loss.  I guess in retrospect, I don’t know if I would have known how to breathe deep.  I felt like I was drowning.  I’m just sorry I didn’t try.  How beneficial it would be to remember to breathe and take time to be aware of what I am feeling, slowing down my mind and getting control of my emotions.

Tonight, I’m sitting down to read lesson 2:  The Second Key: Finding True Self-Esteem.  This is a short lesson that focuses on two concepts:

  1. Happiness comes from self-awareness and knowledge of your true self.  Being unhappy comes from confusing their self-image with their true self.
  2. Object-referral vs self-referral.

The idea here is to try to get to know your true self and rid yourself of the addiction to the feeling that happiness is connected to self-image.  Self-image is a product of what life’s situations, others, society and the environment around you, imposes upon you and it leads to ultimate unhappiness (need to make more money, do more things, have more things, etc.).  This is what object-referral is. It’s an addiction to creating an ego based on external factors.

So, we must learn to operate in self-referral mode vs object-referral mode allowing us to be more in touch with our true self and less concerned with self-image (ego).

“True being has five qualities, which does not depend on any external factors at all:

1. Your true being is connected to all that exists
2. It has no limitations
3. It has infinite creativity.
4. It is fearless, and willing to step into the unknown.
5. Intention from the level of being is powerful and can orchestrate synchronicity (a meshing of outside circumstances to bring about your intention.)” (Reinventing Happiness,

The lesson teaches that the contrasting five qualities of the ego identity are “completely rooted in the external rather than in the internal:
1. The ego needs outside validation in order to belong and have worth.
2. The ego fears that its helplessness will be exposed.
3. The ego prefers habit over creativity. 
4. The ego fears the unknown.
5. The ego assumes that without struggle, its needs would never be fulfilled.” (

As we learned in the first lesson, awareness is paramount.  This lesson piggybacks that theory by learning to engage in life through your true self and not falling prey to object-referral based, self-image habits and behaviors.

Something this lesson conveyed really resonated in me today, as I struggled deeply to not feel overwhelmed, stressed out and abandoned.

“And instead of repressing old thought patterns of neediness or dependency, we must allow ourselves to be with the feeling until it completely dissipates. When we keep doing this, we make sure that we will not fall into the same pattern over and over again because we remind ourselves with a new awareness that remembering old hurts does not help anyone.” (Reinventing Happiness,

In other words:  Don’t wallow.  Rather, be aware of what you’re feeling. Feel it.  Be with it. Let it go and realize staying in that negative space helps no one; especially not you.  Be with yourself with no judgement and no pressure from object-referral (outside pressures of expectations) and be with your true-self and move forward into it – whatever that feels like, or looks like for you.

We’re asked to observe ourselves in difficult situations, begin to be aware of our motivations, and to contemplate what moments we are acting on our ego versus our true self.  We’re asked to look at something that happened in the day and ponder: “What can you do in the future to increase the times when you are acting out of true self rather than self-image?”

There isn’t a single day I know I’m not operating in object-referral mode and pushing or judging myself, in self-image mode, based on what I think I should be accomplishing or doing in my life.  I know that the vast majority of people around me live this way too.  It’s so very hard to find that fine line between knowing your true self and living your life in that space and not offending people around you because you’re not subscribing to what they think you should be doing or how you should be living your life.

I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago.  If I had a quarter for every time I’ve said, “I haven’t made anything of myself…”, I’d be rich.  It is this very mentality I seek to change.

It’s a work in progress for sure but I know that awareness is indeed the first step. Then, put some of the observational techniques in place to breathe, feel, and let those negative self-image based feelings pass, so that you can make way for a healthier mindset and growth towards inner peace.

If anyone reads this and can relate, and would like to practice more mindful habits but gets stuck like me, please feel free to reach out.  I’m a firm believer in surrounding myself with like-minded, positive people, to set a new pattern and help to achieve a goal.

Peace-seekingly grateful for the support and community!



A Report on Holey Goodness


stacked colorful donuts image

I’ve always wanted to be a food blogger. For a few reasons. First, I love to write. Second, I love to try new places. Third, I love to eat! I love good food. My husband and I both do. Frankly, we’ve raised an adventurous eater in Nathan, too. His biological father is from a Middle Eastern culture, so he’s had a real variety of foods in his young 14 years. Kevin and I both like to experiment and try new food too, so Nathan has been raised to prefer things like sushi and lamb’s head stew rather than chicken tenders and hot dogs. Don’t get me wrong. He eats everything. In fact, he loves mac-n-cheese, but he’s just not afraid to try different things and that’s because his parents are adventurous eaters and because we’re not short order cooks. If we’re having Ahi for dinner, we’re having Ahi for dinner – not two Ahi tunas and a cheeseburger for the kid.

Anyway, this post is not about our family and our eating habits. It’s about food. It’s about fattening, round, gooey delicious food. DONUTS!

I personally have never been a donut fanatic. I love sweets and do love donuts, but over the years, I’ve been somewhat judgmental about donuts. They’re fattening. They’re full of sugar. For someone who has always loved food, been indifferent to exercise and struggled to keep the extra weight off after having a baby, donuts are the antichrist of foods. However, over the years, since living here in York, PA, I’ve snubbed the local donut joint and heralded Dunkin Donuts as the one and only donut for me.

It’s time to set the record straight (enter Maple Donuts).Maple Donuts Counter pic

The other day, I came up with the idea of comparing two or three of my favorite donuts. A blueberry cake, a chocolate cake, and a Boston Crème donut. One each, from both Dunkin Donuts and Maple Donuts. This idea came to me after woofing down about a dozen donut holes, a friend of mine at work, brought in last Wednesday. They were Maple Donut holes and they were scrumptious! As an aside: Why donut shops call the little round balls punched out from the center of a donut, the “holes” I’ll never understand. These are the balls left over after creating the donut that DOES have the hole. No comprende.  Shouldn’t these be called donut balls? I can hear my teenage boy chuckling now – so, never mind.

Anyway, I came home from work with this great idea for a taste test to see which donut was better. We agreed to go to Dunkin Donuts and Maple Donuts to get 2 each of our favorite donuts from each place and compare them. It didn’t go exactly as planned but I can say I’ve reached a definite conclusion.

Kevin, Nathan and I drove to Maple Donuts, which is just 10 minutes from the house (Danger! Danger!). We bellied up to the counter – the same counter I joked with Nathan about a few months ago: “I don’t get this donut bar concept. What do people do at 8 a.m. in the morning? Belly up to the donut bar and get their feed on? Aren’t we all fat enough?”

After visiting the Maple Donuts, located on West Market Street, in York, PA, I can say that I finally get it. This place is far more than a place for people to pack on the pounds. It’s a real down-to-earth, donut diner that specializes in amazing donuts, coffee and homemade sandwiches and soups – 24 hours a day.

We bellied up and ordered two donuts each. I ordered the S ‘mores donut and a Chocolate donut with Peanut Butter Frosting, Kevin got a Chocolate Frosted, Chocolate donut and a Frosted French donut, Nathan got a Boston Crème and a regular glazed donut.

Nathan and Kevin at counter(Kevin and Nathan, post consumption)

The idea was to eat them just to enjoy them because we’d never been to Maple Donuts before, and then take home a Blueberry donut, a Chocolate Cake Donut with glaze and a Boston Crème donut to compare with the same donuts that we would later buy at Dunkin Donuts. What happened was that we just decided that Maple Donuts was so superior to Dunkin, that we wouldn’t even bother with the trip to Dunkin. End of story. It wasn’t just the freshly, hand-made and decorated donuts that made the difference for us, it was the personality of the Maple Donuts store altogether.

Over 100 years of age sign

Overall, the attendants there, that morning, served us enthusiastically, making us feel welcome and like part of the Maple Donuts regulars, even though this was our first visit there.

Shaylyn, one of the counter attendants informed us about maple donuts’ name. She asked us if we knew where the name Maple Donuts came from. I responded that I guessed it came from their “star donut”, the maple glazed donut. She told me that was a typical answer, but that the name actually was given because the first Maple Donuts was opened, on Maple Street, in York, PA. I told her that we were here to sample and compare the donuts here with Dunkin Donuts’. She made sure to tell us that their donuts were all hand dipped and decorated 24 hours a day.

Carrie Beck, the regional manager took this picture for us, of their donut gems on production belt:

GemsIn talking with her, I mentioned the comments I’d made to Nathan in the past about “bellying up to the donut bar” and she told me that it really is a communal place – “Like a neighborhood bar but instead of alcohol we serve coffee and donuts!” I believe her. The parking lot is always full.

Two other attendants, Missy and Marie, gave us a little more information about their 24-hour menu. They serve BLTs, egg sandwiches, tuna, ham and chicken sandwiches, and soups, along with their freshly made donuts and their own Maple Donuts coffee blends.

The factory just behind the donut shop on Market Street, in York, pumps out mass quantities of “holey” deliciousness and there is another factory location in Eerie, PA as well. The donuts are sold in gas stations, convenient stores, grocery stores and other places all over PA.

Cupcake joints were springing up all over the place in a trendy “how do ya do” sort of way in the last few years, in an effort to introduce a new dessert concept and start a new craze – but you know what? Donuts have been around for ages and there are some places that just NEED to be discovered. Maple Donuts is one of them.

If you haven’t tried them yet, stop in. You will not be disappointed.

Migraines Shmigraines


Losing a whole day to a painful headache that also makes you sick to your stomach sucks.

For those of you who suffer migraines of any form or in any capacity, I offer you this new gem. It’s receiving a bunch of media press and it appears to be “headed” to the U.S.

This Huffington Post article covers the invention of a migraine headband. Check it out here (thanks Huff!):

I have to wonder what my neurologist will make of this sci-fi gadgety-looking thing. He poo poo’d acupuncture for migraines the last time I was there! He knows I’m a massage therapist. While I respect and appreciate his own personal beliefs and practices, I will always seek alternative, non-pharmaceutical intervention for pain if I can. Until now (maybe), I’ve been taking a drug called Treximet, prescribed by my anti-Eastern modality neurologist ( The only side effects I’ve ever suffered with this drug are occasional soreness of my actual skin. Like to touch. And, I talk loopy on it. That’s all the time. I should clarify that. I talk loopy regularly, even when I’m not taking my migraine med. It gets worse when I’m medicated. 😛

Anyhooo- just throwing a bit of new news on migraines out there for anybody actually paying even a bit of attention to anything I ramble on about.

Let me hear from you if you know anything more about this product! I’m super curious about it myself.