LIFE CLEANSE: OUTLINE

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“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” Stephen R. Covey

So do you remember a while back, well it would have been at the beginning of the year when I posted we were going on a beach trip and then I was coming back to start my 2014 LIFE CLEANSE?

Did you see my post right after about our crazy stressful trip that, although full of mercy and learning, left me a bit frazzled?

Here’s the deal, I was originally planning a 90-DAY LIFE CLEANSE. Yep, whole thing start to finish from January through March.

Well, here it is April and I’m just now getting to the next Phase!

At first I was kind of getting down on myself, which was definitely not helping the process, and then I thought to myself, “Come on Meg! Who put a time limit on this thing anyway?! You did! Nobody else is imposing these time restrictions! You silly thing, just keep working on improving, stop with the crazy/impossible expectations!”

So, here I am. I went back to the original 2014 LIFE CLEANSE title to relieve my personal anxiety on the subject. Plans are more motivating to me when they have a title;) Also, I’ve taken a more “Move on when you’re ready” approach to reaching the next phase.

Each Phase of my plan has a Section that I can work on exclusively or in connection with the other two sections. Also, each section tries to focus on a different aspect of my being (ie: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, etc.)

Here’s my ORIGINAL plan:

Phase 1: Renew, Revitalize, Reflect

Renew: This is meant to be a more Spiritual and Emotional Section of Improvement. Spiritually I want to Repent and Forgive (mostly myself), moving forward, as if I was starting life anew. Emotionally I want to leave Discouragement and Self-doubt behind and move forward with Hope and Courage.

Revitalize: This is a more Physical Section of Improvement. For myself, I know I need to focus more on self-care, especially rest. Sleep, breaks, and focusing more on where I’m “letting myself go” physically. It’s impossible to fill everyone’s bucket from my empty one. Also, in my surroundings, to make myself more efficient and productive I’m organizing, downsizing, and deep cleaning my home. This “spring-cleaning” is always very refreshing for me.

Reflect: This is a Mental, although touching on the Emotional and Spiritual Improvement Sections as well. This will of course require Heavenly help, my knees will get a workout With this Section I want to focus on three main questions: What do I really need to change in my life ? What is/are the root(s) of what is holding me back from this change? What changes can I make that will make change in my family?

Phase 2: Study, Strengthen, Synthesize

Study: A mostly Spiritual Section, a need to focus more on the quality of my study rather than quantity. I’ve been going through the motions lately and don’t feel the invigoration of learning and inspiration as strongly as I once did. I mostly want to focus on my study of Scripture, being “IN” my prayers and not just habitual monologues, and the topics that I have pondered on during my time of Reflection in Phase 1.

Strengthen: In this Physical focused Section I was to hone my routines/habits. Making sure I “Put first things first” (Stephen Covey), namely my study and self-care. Also, taking a literal interpretation of the section, I want to focus more on changing my exercise routine to include more strength training. I’m finding I can do my daily Mommy tasks when my body is in better condition.

Synthesize: This will be mostly a Mental Section. I want to focus on how I can use the emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of my being to work together more efficiently and productively. I believe this will mean paying more attention to timing, and highs and lows of the day/week/etc. For this section I will focus more on receiving guidance through prayer, and daily planning, using a long-term vision. Also I plan to write the things I’m discovering about myself so that I can forecast what, when, and how to do tasks/activities.

Phase 3: Clarify, Cleanse, Create

Clarify: This will be a Mental and probably Emotional Section. At this point in the process I am hoping I can define what really are the roots of my personal vices. The idea being, to kill the problem from the source.

Cleanse: A Physical Section that will focus mostly on food cleansing. Omitting some foods and adding others to cleanse my body of toxins and hopefully find a good food balance that will lessen the “build-up” in the future.

Create: Another Mental, Spiritual and Emotional Section mix. Now that I have found the roots, I want to create a “game-plan” of how I can use my virtues to eliminate the vices. This will probably be an ongoing process but I’m thinking that the earlier Phases will help me get rid of distraction and focus on the things that will empower me to make real change.

Another thing I noticed after I started working was that the Phases kind of overlap. Right now I’m still working on Revitalize from Phase 1, and I’m learning that Renew is something that needs to happen more regularly…. but I’ve moved on to all three Phases in Phase 2, albeit slowly;).

I’m hoping this makes sense. Sometimes my ideas only make sense to me;)
I’ll be posting and hopefully vlogging some of what I’ve been learning in this process of Cleansing my life. My main goal is to find the main roots of change in my life that need to be made. I realize that some may take a life-time to change but I think that the identifying and concentrating on specifics will help me progress more successfully.

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Cinnamon Roll-up Pancakes

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Ok, I promise to get back to discipline on the next post but I just had to share this new find! If you’re on a diet you might want to skip this one. Unless you’re on my diet, the “eat-whatever-looks-good” diet, if you are you’ll LOVE this recipe!

So, I’m sure the majority of you already know about cinnnamon-roll pancakes but for those of you who don’t you should definitely check out this recipe: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/breakfast/other-breakfast/cinnamon-roll-pancakes-2.html

They are AMAZING! Not health food. Not anywhere close. But totally delish!

But as usual, I couldn’t leave the recipe alone and had to mess with it. Mostly, I wanted something quicker and that omitted foods to which we have sensitivities.

So here is what I came up with:

4 cups all-purpose flour
8 tsps baking powder
2 tsp. salt1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients, then add

6-ish cups almond milk(we’re going for almost crepe batter consistency)
4 tbsps vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. vanilla

4 large eggsMix well and cook like normal pancakes only make them larger (6-8 inches across)
GLAZE
1/2 cup vegetable oil spread (or butter, you can omit this too)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla(can be omitted, or try maple or mint!)Almond milk (or water or milk) to desired consistency

Once you’ve cooked the pancakes just drizzle the desired amount of glaze on them and roll them up like a crepe and you’ve got a cinnamon roll pancake that tastes just as good in 1/2 the time as the original recipe! Yum!

Quality vs. Quantity

So tell me this, which is it? Which is more important? Does it depend on the issue? Or are they both equally important? Quality or Quantity? Quality and Quantity? Well, let’s explore the issue shall we?

When it comes to food I think we can say that quantity  is important, adequate but not too much. However, don’t you think the quality is even more important? We all know that if you have a quantity of junk food it will do more damage than good. Also, studies have shown that some of the healthiest people in the world have lived on a very small quantity of food but of high quality. Well, food may be the only isse we can say one or the other.

What about water…that’s a tricky one. If you don’t get enough you die. If you have bad quality water, you die. I guess we could say that to get enough of not high quality but not deadly water then you’ll be fine. However, pure quality water works better in the body than water that your body has to filter and fight in order to use. So it’s both isn’t it?

Then we have the issue of education. It seems that the general world view is moving toward the philosophy that more is better. School hours are increasing and teachers and parents are heaping tutoring and homework on top of that. But is the level of education increasing with this added time?

I think we can agree that if a person spends an hour studying a subject and understands what it is studied it will be considered a success. However if the same person spends hour upon hour studying a subject and never understands it then what is the point? We could go off on learning styles and teaching methods (if these subjects interest you, be sure to read my articles on Discovery Learning and Homeschooling: Before you begin…), but let’s stick to it shall we?

Many of the United States founding fathers and other pioneers of that age we consider well-educated for their time, however they did not spend hours in a school room. What they did do is read and study quality materials and then apply what they learned in everyday speech and living. More emphasis was placed on thinking rather than studying. At the same time, we know that great minds like Aristotle and Einstein spent their free time studying. Maybe in this case we can say that it’s like water, quality first and then quantity?

For my last complicated issue let’s look at time. We often hear it said that quality time is more important than the quantity but I tend to think that its justification for letting our priorities slip (see my article on Balance if you want to explore this more).

Children especially feel loved when they see us busy, but still taking time just for them. To them it is less important of what we do when we’re with them as it is that we are with them. Nonetheless, if we constantly are putting off what the child most loves doing with us (like the “Love Languages” mentioned in my article Homeschooling: One more thing before you begin…)than they will begin to feel neglected regardless of the amount of time we spend with them. So again, it’s both isn’t it?

Now tell me, what do you think? Is there ever a clear answer on Quality vs. Quantity or is it simply an issue of balance?