Jotter Wednesdays: Introduction to our new blog, “Broken Clay Vessels”

We are delighted to introduce our new blog, “Broken Clay Vessels”. We will touch on many issues twice a week basis.

For more details on this blog, please head to this link: https://brokenclayvessels.blog/

Thank you.
Esther & Eunice

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Jotter Wednesdays – Chinese New Year goodies and calories

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We are still in the season of Chinese New Year (CNY). Though things are very different and quieter this year, much has not changed in terms of food and snacks for the festive. Each one of us will have our favourites of the various snacks from the festival. At the same time, it is also good to look at the calories in the cookies.

An article from the Channel News Asia, “How many calories are lurking in your Chinese New Year snacks?” by Jalelah Abu Baker gives us the calories in some of the popular CNY snacks. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/chinese-new-year-snacks-fat-calories-fish-skin-14159600

Of course, my all-time favourite will be Bangkit cookies and Bahulu. Yummy. 🙂

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Timer Apps for Qigong, Meditation, Yoga, Reiki…

Hi all!

I have been using two timer apps for my Qigong, Meditation and Reiki practices and it is working well for me. Sharing with all here…

a) Meditation Timer & Log by TeleSoftas apps
https://meditationapp.wixsite.com/download-app

b) Meditation Timer by Harish Kumar Chauhan
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sohamgreens.MeditationTimer&hl=en_SG

 

Good day!

shallow focus of clear hourglass
Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Life goes on…

To protect ourselves and to contain the virus, most of us are indoors. Below are some ways we can keep occupied while we are indoors.

book on a white wooden table
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

1. Spend more time on yourself

Each of us must try to get active for 30-45 minutes each day. There are many ways to get active indoors. Some of the ways will be through qigong, tai chi, yoga, meditation, home exercise types of equipment such as the treadmill, etc.

From The Chopra Centre, free programs: https://chopra.com/free-programs

From The Box of Happiness, yoga and many more: http://theboxofhappiness.com/yoga-sequences/

From Live & Dare, free meditation and more: https://liveanddare.com/

From Flowing Zen, [COVID-19 Support] Learn Qigong Online from Me for Free During the Crisis: https://flowingzen.com/21150/learn-qigong-online-from-me-for-free-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

From Reiki Rays, on Reiki resources: https://reikirays.com/

2. Less Clutter, More Energy Flow

The lesser things you have, the more positive energy flows in. Are there things that need cleaning/clearing at your surroundings, closets, kitchen cabinets, etc.? When you are focused on cleaning/clearing, it will relieve you from the stress.

Clean & Happy Nest, Bright Ideas for Better Living: https://cleanandhappynest.org/wpd/category/bright-nest/

How To Make Your Home Totally Zen in 10 Steps: https://freshome.com/inspiration/how-to-make-your-home-totally-zen-in-10-steps/

3. Hobbies: Handicrafts / Sewing / Crochet / Knitting / Paint / Drawing / Colouring

Focus on hobbies that increase your creativity. When your creativity levels are high, there is no place for stress and negativity. There are many online options available.

Crochet Basic Stitches from Karen Costello Soltys: https://www.shopmartingale.com/images/marketing/how-to/pdf/BasicCrochetStitches.pdf

4. Gardening

Spend more time with the plants and feel connected and grounded to nature. Some things you can consider is to grow a new type of plant, repot an existing plant or redecorating your garden space.

The Micro Gardener: https://themicrogardener.com/ten-tips-for-creating-beautiful-gardens/

Good housekeeping: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g495/small-garden-ideas/

The Spruce, Apartment Gardening for Beginners: https://www.thespruce.com/apartment-gardening-for-beginners-4178600

5. Journal writing

Are you feeling angry and stressed? You can always write out your thoughts and feelings in a journal. By doing that, not only you are releasing all anxiety to the paper, you are lightening the load from yourself.

Tips to start a journal writing from wikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Journal

6. Scrapbooking

Heard of this? Get creative about this.

What Is Scrapbooking? by Rebecca Ludens: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/what-is-scrapbooking-2960505

Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners: 25 Inspiring Layouts by Megan Andersen: https://www.creativelive.com/blog/scrapbook-ideas-for-beginners/

7. Sing and Hum to yourself

Sing and hum to yourself…

Singing And Humming To Yourself Can Have A Huge Impact On Your Body’s Health: https://www.littlethings.com/singing-humming-benefits

8. Cooking / Baking

With all the panic buying and stockpiling, this can be a bit challenging. Let’s be creative and create simple dishes or bake new items to try.

9. House Improvement Works

You can consider repainting your home or doing some simple home improvement works. And if you are intending to paint walls, why not use the stencils and get creative?

How to Make Wall Stencils: https://www.toolnerds.com/how-to-make-wall-stencils/

10. Write a story

Have you ever wanted to be an author or write a story? There are many online tools available to create a story online.

Commaful: https://commaful.com/writers/

For Children: https://www.imagineforest.com/

My Storybook: https://www.mystorybook.com/

11. Reading Books / Inspirational Guides

Do you still have old books stored away? It will be a good time to get them to re-read. If your nearby library is closed, you can also consider reading the electronic version of books.

12. Origami

A standard size paper of 75 x 75mm and you can make amazing crafts. It is a fantastic activity for the whole family. But do take note that origami paper comes in several sizes.

From Origmi.me: https://origami.me/

13. Board Games / Card Games

Board and/or card games will bring the nostalgic feeling of the good old days! At the same time, it will provide a break from electronics.

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Board Games: https://howgameareyou.com/health-benefits-board-games/

14. Other Ideas

Coronavirus Keeping You Home? These Fun STEAM DIY Kids Activities are Parenting Rescues! by SassyMama: https://www.sassymamasg.com/parenting-coronavirus-stay-home-kids-activities/

In short, all I can say,
Be positive! Be creative!

Blessings,
Esther

 

TOP 25 THIS TOO SHALL PASS QUOTES | A-Z Quotes

From The Chopra Centre: The Immeasurable Value of Meditation for Coping During the COVID-19 Crisis

Want to know the benefits of meditation in this difficult time?

Refer to the below link for more details:

https://chopra.com/articles/the-immeasurable-value-of-meditation-for-coping-during-the-covid-19-crisis?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

For free 21 day meditation, refer to this link from Chopra Centre:

https://chopracentermeditation.com/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

aquatic bloom blooming blossom
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Happy International Women’s Day 2020!

Hi, my friends!

It has been a long while since I posted in my blog…I am back again! What a better day than to be back on this meaningful day for all – Happy Women’s Day to all!

Each of us has both feminine and masculine qualities – we should strive to balance it all…Even though today is purely dedicated to females, I also want to take this opportunity to include the men who are actively taking up roles as a mother, daughter, etc in a family.

So, Happy Women’s Day!

You can also read about the International Women’s Day 2020 theme: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Happy Weekend to all!

Love,

Esther

Silhouette of Four People Against Sun Background

 

Inspirational and Motivational Monthly Downloadable & Printable Calendars

If you are looking for a different way to motivate and inspire yourself on a monthly basis, you can see whether monthly downloadable calendars will do the work for you. I have found the monthly calendars recently and am sharing with all. I do like it as each month there is a different theme.

For non-Reiki practitioners and wants general motivation, try this site, Action for Happiness:
https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars
Personal remarks: Suitable for all.

I came across “Action for Happiness” website by chance and like the fact that they have monthly motivational calendars plus other interesting things.

For Reiki practitioners and believers, here is the link to the Reiki Rays site:
https://reikirays.com/68595/chillax-reiki-calendar-july-2019/
Personal remarks: This will be more useful for people who have knowledge of Reiki and the terms.

I use both calendars and it just adds more dose of inspiration and motivation to my daily activities.

Look and see whether it can benefit you too…Have an inspiring day! 🙂

pexels-photo-843266.jpeg
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

Happy July my friends! 🙂

It has been a long time since I posted something. Today I want to share on my favourite after lunch tea, Earl Grey. I know not all are tea fanatics or have special love for tea only. I do not drink coffee. I love tea. Not all teas are my favourite. Among the teas I consume, Earl Grey is one of my favourite, stress-reliever tea. It works well for me as “pick-me up” after a tired day or “wake-me up” while drowsy in sleep…

My first love with Earl Grey happened when I went to dine in at a restaurant and requested them for Green Tea. The restaurant did not have any green tea tea and they offered me as a substitute Earl Grey tea. I took it, as it was my habit to take tea after my lunch. What they offered me was Sir Thomas Lipton Earl Grey Tea. The first sip and I was in love with the tea. I started hunting for the same brand but it was hard to get that as usually that brand is sold to F&B outlets in bulk (I was told by one supermarket retail person). I bought Dilmah Earl Grey instead. It is serving me well. Lately, I wanted to try another brand Earl Grey and I bought Taylors of Harrogate. Taylors of Harrogate tea is fantastic too!

Quite some time back, I made my Taylors Dilmah Tea at work and one of my colleagues came around looking for the person who is drinking Earl Grey. The fragrance has floated quite a distance and she found me and asked me of the brand. Now, she loves Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey.

There are plenty of articles and blog posts on Earl Grey benefits. I am just listing two posts on Earl Grey.

10 Surprising Benefits Of Earl Grey Tea You Never Knew by Tegan Jones
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-surprising-benefits-earl-grey-tea-you-never-knew.html

What is Earl Grey Tea? by Teatulia
https://www.teatulia.com/tea-varieties/what-is-earl-grey-tea.htm

Taylors of Harrogate: my new addition to Earl Grey Tea…
https://www.taylorsofharrogate.com/

Dilmah: for a long time drinking this…
https://www.dilmah.com.au/tea-brands/dilmah-exceptionals/exceptional-elegant-earl-grey–44.html

Sir Thomas Lipton: this was my first love…
https://www.unileverfoodsolutions.com.sg/en/product/sir-thomas-lipton-earl-grey-2g-1-EN-111956.html

Of course, not all might feel the same way as I do about Earl Grey Tea. But if you do have a special love for Earl Grey Tea, welcome to my club! Even if you are not a tea lover, thank you for taking time to read this post. For those who have not tried Earl Grey before, perhaps you should make an effort to do so. Who knows you too might find a new love with Earl Grey tea?

White Ceramic Teacup on Saucer With Brown Liquid

Drinking Water from Copper Cups

You will know the benefits of copper vessels if you happen to be in the Yoga and / or Ayurveda line. Alternatively, if you have had Indian traditional upbringing, you will also be aware that drinking water from copper vessels is important.

I spent my younger days with my great grandmother, grandmother and all the elders. In those days (that is in late 1970s), silver ware and copper ware were the most used by Indian families. The elders in my family taught me the benefits of drinking water from copper vessels and eating from either copper or silver wares. Come to think about it right now, those days glass wares were not common and so was plastic wares too. The most common types of plates and utensils were usually made of copper, silver or wood.

As days passed and modernization took place, Pyrex glassware were the trend and so was forgotten the copper and silver wares. Nowadays, I try to make changes to my daily life based on what I learnt in my younger days. One of the many things that my elders taught was to drink water early in the morning out of a copper cup/mug. I re-started with that practice and I should say it rather makes a slight difference to my body systems. Benefits are not major and visible immediately. As with any healthy changes to food and lifestyle, the results will be visible or experienced slowly. The results I experienced was a better “feel” of the inner systems mainly in the digestive system. Other results are not visible to me, but I do believe it does well for my body systems one way or another.

While Indian elders and traditions tells of benefits of drinking water from copper, there are always reports contradicting that. I am not here to debate which theory is correct. I am sharing what I have learnt in my younger days and a practice I am putting back into my life and influencing my family members at the same time too. Moreover, drinking water once in the morning from a copper cup is not much work or something to debate about. It all comes down to how much you believe and trust what has been said (or learnt) or passed down from generations.

Below are some articles on drinking water from copper cups:

From YogaDigest.com: 6 REASONS TO TRY A COPPER WATER VESSEL
https://yogadigest.com/copper-water-vessel/

From OneWorldAyurveda.com: Health Benefits of Drinking Water in Copper Vessel
https://blog.oneworldayurveda.com/health-benefits-drinking-water-copper-vessel/

From Wholesome Ayurveda.com: Correct Way To Drink Water From Copper Vessels And Its Health Benefits
http://www.wholesomeayurveda.com/2017/02/27/correct-way-to-drink-water-copper-vessels-health-benefits/

From Vasantihealth.com: Are You Using Your Ayurveda Copper Water Vessel Correctly?
https://vasantihealth.com/blogs/news/are-you-using-your-ayurveda-copper-water-vessel-correctly

From Today.com: Drinking from a copper cup: Good for health or the latest health fad?
https://www.today.com/health/drinking-copper-cup-good-health-or-latest-health-fad-t86946

From DrCopper.in: Various Information such as cleaning, benefits, etc
https://www.drcopper.in/

copper cups esther neela blog

 

Dim Sum

One my favourite “light” dishes to fill tummy will be Dim Sum. For those who are not familiar with Dim Sum – it is actually “small bites” of dumplings, pao (steamed buns), spring rolls and more.
While some Dim Sum items tends to be steamed, some will be deep fried. As with any food, over indulgence is not advisable. Always eat light…not eat till you are full!

Check out some articles that can open your eyes to the world of Dim Sum:

From HerWorld: These are the healthiest dim sum to order
https://www.herworld.com/lifestyle/food/these-are-healthiest-dim-sum-order

From SmooDiaries: Dim Sum guide for beginners
https://thesmoodiaries.com/dim-sum-guide-beginners/

From TheSpruceEats: Chinese Dim Sum Menu Translator
https://www.thespruceeats.com/dim-sum-menu-translator-694589

Happy Dim Sum!

dim sum esther neela blog

Tropical Fruit Goodness! Bananas…

From where I am now (that is in Singapore) it is always possible to get all kinds of tropical fruits all year round. But today, I will post on bananas.

In Singapore, bananas are imported from various countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Ecuador, Vietnam and India.

Bananas need to be consumed at a certain time. If not they become overripe and not so pleasant for some to consume. Well, there are other ways which we can use ripe or overripe bananas for cakes, kuehs (local delicacy) and more…below are some links to the benefits of our tropical fruit, bananas and some recipes for trying…

Enjoy the yellow goodness! 🙂

6 Good Reasons to Eat a Banana Today
https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/good-reasons-eat-banana-today
By: HealthXchange.sg

When to Eat Bananas and Is It Suitable for Everyone?
https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/when-eat-bananas-suitable-for-everyone
By: HealthXchange.sg

Recipe: Fried Banana Balls, by Nonya Cooking
https://www.nyonyacooking.com/recipes/cekodok-pisang~HyMxuwsDG5-7#video

Recipe: Banana Cake, by Best Receipes
https://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/easy-banana-cake-L1581.html

Recipe: 4 desserts to make with ripe bananas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0PQrCwol6g

Recipe: Ways to use your overripe bananas, by Womens Weekly Singapore
http://www.womensweekly.com.sg/how-to/ways-to-use-your-overripe-bananas/

bananas

Courage : Weekly Single Word Inspiration

Courage: Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog

Courage!  

Most of the times, we want to be safe and doing the usual, familiar things – that is being in our comfort zone. What about the time when we need to be in the “unknown” zone? What about the time when we need to try something that is different from what we have done in the past and what we are already familiar with? That is when fear, helplessness, and doubt creeps in. We tend to lose confidence in ourselves and in our ability. To overcome all of that, we need courage. 

As Osho once said, 

“The new is unfamiliar. It may be the friend, it may be the enemy, who knows? There is no way to know! The only way to know is to allow it; hence the apprehension, the fear.” 

Each of our life will definitely present to us situations when we have to bring out the attribute of courage out. When we open ourselves up to new adventures, the end result might be success or failure. We will never know that until we try. But our focus should not be on results only. The fact that we have already stepped out of our comfort zone to do a work, is something to be appreciated. 

If life presents to you an occasion when you had to step out of your comfort zone, always say “Yes!” Do not worry about the results yet. Just be in the present moment and live your life fully…

Who knows? The situation/occasion that calls you to be in might bring you new opportunities…

Have confidence in yourself that you are capable to handle anything that comes along your way. Have faith in yourself. 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? 

We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. 

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, 

at whatever cost, must be attained.” 

~ Marie Curie ~

Courage: Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog

Moments of Gratitude: Family & Friends

Moments of Gratitude: Family & Friends - Esther Neela Blog

Everyday is a gift….

Today, let us be thankful for family and friends around us. There is no need to think about tomorrow and the future.…just for now be in gratitude that you have some company.

What if you are alone? No one is alone. We are always surrounded by nature and her elements. And depending on what you believe, you also have angels, Saints and God.
Spend some quiet moments connecting to them in positive ways.

A gentle reminder: Live life fully in your own way and always be in the present moment…..

“You have an appointment with life, and that appointment is in the present moment. If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Harmony : Weekly Single Word Inspiration

Weekly Single Word Inspiration: Harmony - Esther Neela Blog

When someone mentions to you “harmony”, what comes to your mind? Or what does that mean to you? To me, “harmony” is to be in unity – it can be among communities, groups, or from a Reiki or Spiritual viewpoint, it can be a unity among the senses or chakras or mind, body, heart connection and so on…

When something is in unity or unified as a single source, there exists happiness. Without harmony or unity, there will be no happiness. Even though we claim to be happy, there will be something that will be bothering us that will cause us to be unhappy or to fuss about.

Just like Mahatma Gandhi mentioned, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” To achieve happiness in a situation or in life, it is necessary to have harmony in our thoughts and actions. For if what we do is one-sided or a sloppy job, harmony will be absent which in turn will start to damage our situation further or our relationship with others.

Before looking for approval and acceptance from others, it is best we start with ourselves. When we are in harmony with our own thoughts, senses and feelings, it is not necessary to look for approval from external people. We also have to remember that other people too have their own matters in life and challenges. Instead of putting unnecessary strain on someone to achieve harmony for our own sake, the easier way is to be in harmony with our self first.

I have personally gone through many stages of my life without harmony at times. During those times, I take regular time out and pen my thoughts down. It is easier for me to pen my thoughts and emotions on a paper. Then I think through exactly what is bothering me. I ask myself lots of questions such as whether my thoughts are in the same direction as my actions. If no, I start asking myself even more honest questions and look at where my life is headed to. At times, it is easier for me to get all answers. At times, it is a struggle as things are not as easy as what it seems. During the times of struggle, I tend to be harsher on myself which I know is wrong. I instantly take a step back and tell myself to be gentle with my good self. I give myself time to think through, and get my internal thoughts and external actions in tune.

It does take time to get in tune to our own self in harmony, but the most important thing is not to give up or get angry or displeased with our self. I feel that if one is unable to be in harmony himself, he will never derive harmony (or happiness) from anywhere. Depending on external factors such as people, situations and environments to provide us with harmony is wrong too. After all, no one owes us anything.

During the process of self-discovery and / or self-analysis, we have to be gentle with ourselves. If we are always in conflict with our own thoughts and emotions, we have to sincerely start questioning ourselves gently and kindly what exactly we hope to achieve and want in life. Not everything we need or want in life will be provided easily. We have to learn to accept things if it is not according to what we wanted or wished for. Once we have accepted things as they are, it is easier to be in harmony with anything around us.

Make a point to be in harmony with your self on a daily basis. And please be gentle and kind to yourself.

To conclude, a quote from Marcus Aurelius, 
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe”.

Harmony : Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog