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

Moments of Gratitude: Sleep

Sleep – everyone wants to have a good rest to be rejuvenated for next day activities. Whether you had a full 7-8 hours of sleep or lesser hours of sleep, it does not matter. The fact that you are able to sleep is the thing. Just for awhile, think of those people who cannot get to sleep because of many situations – such as war, fear, depression, illness and more. While you can be grateful for sleep, please also spend a moment for those who are unable to sleep. Pray for those people, if you can.

Moments of Gratitude: Sleep - Esther Neela Blog

Spices! Cardamom…

There are many spices that are used for both healing and cooking purposes. While all spices have their benefits, I wish to particularly highlight on one spice today: Cardamom.

Yes! Cardamom….I am a person who is easily swayed by my sense of smell when it comes to perfumes, spices and essential oils. One of my all time favourite will be Cardamom. Below is an image of cardamom (if you do not know it). Some call it as “Queen of Spices”.

There are two types of cardamom: green and black (or brown). The green type is the more common type.

Shutterstock Picture of Cardamom - Esther Neela Blog

In general, cardamom is used as a treatment for mouth ulcers, bad breath, digestive problems, and even depression.

Ayurveda uses this quite extensively for many purposes. But I am not going to go into further details on that.

I am easily attracted by this due to the fragrance. I use this extensively for my cooking and when the fragrance of this particular spice hits my senses, I feel great….

Below are some websites that talks extensively on this spice. Recently, Crabtree and Evelyn had this used in their Xmas editions….A look at some of their items below (images taken from Crabtree and Evelyn website)…I have eaten the chocolate biscuits with a hint of cardamom…I do like the fragrance of the cardamom, but I do find the chocolate a bit overwhelming.

Crabtree and Evelyn White Cardamom Indulgent Treats - Esther Neela BlogCrabtree and Evelyn All Butter Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Biscuits - Esther Neela Blog

So, if you are like me, who love the fragrance of cardamom…let us all appreciate and enjoy one of nature’s creation…. 🙂

Some websites listing all on the spice cardamom:

From Myspicer.com
https://www.myspicer.com/history-cardamom/

From IndianMirror
http://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/indian-spices/cardamom.html

From WebMD
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-614-cardamom.aspx?activeingredientid=614&

From Organic Facts
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-cardamom.html

From Nutrition and You.com
https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cardamom.html

Recipe using Cardamom
Semiya Payasam (Rich Indian Dessert)
If you have eaten out at an Indian Restaurant, mainly South Indian Restaurant, this dessert is usually popular. It is one of my favourite too :).
Check out the recipe below…
http://www.happyandharried.com/2016/08/31/semiya-payasam-kheer/

Shutterstock Picture of Payasam - Esther Neela Blog

There are many other recipes for using cardamom in your daily dish. You can search for those…

Have a great weekend!

Spices Pictures - Esther Neela Blog

 

You can be thankful today for Literacy….

The simple fact that you are able to read and understand – this is already something that you should be thankful for!

There are so many people around the world who is not able to afford a basic education. We might not be able to help everyone in the world to achieve a basic literacy level. In our community or somewhere we live, we can always look for opportunities to provide someone with a chance to educate themselves or volunteer at a reading club or via any reliable charity organisation to donate for a child’s education and more.

You can be thankful today for Literacy.... - Esther Neela Blog

 

Zodiacs and Crystal Stones

In the past, I shared quite a number of information and articles on the various healing stones and its properties. If you are still in doubt on some crystals or stones, the most informative website that will come handy for you will be this: Healing Crystals for You

If you are unsure where to start on knowing the crystals and their properties, I suggest you start with your Zodiac sign and the appropriate stones. While many may argue (or even debate) on the correctness of this, I feel that it is more safe to start with that than purchasing a stone unknowingly.
Another way is to trust your instincts. If one particular stone has been attracting you with its vibration, then my suggestion is to go for it….
Okay, back to Zodiacs and the Stones….visit this page….
Soon I will be sharing in depth with you on how some crystal stones has assisted me or my student in our daily life…
Zodiacs and Crystal Stones - Esther Neela Blog

An Inspiration to all….Singapore’s first female Olympian, Tang Pui Wah

Found this video on one of the many Singaporeans who inspire anyone – be it young or old….be it in any year…all of these adds to our life some meaning and soul searching too!

As such, this is one of the many videos that has captured my attention – on Singapore’s first female Olympian, Tang Pui Wah.
An Inspiration to all....Esther Neela Blog

Benefits of Jasmine Tea

All of us at one stage or another in our life would drink tea – be it English Breakfast, Herbal or Fruity. Today, I would like to blog on Jasmine Tea and its benefits. It is one of my favorite tea – for its aroma and also for its benefits.

The benefits I get from drinking Jasmine tea are many – but the main is for relaxation. I buy my pure Jasmine tea from Eu Yan Sang.

All links are below. Enjoy reading and why don’t you indulge in some pure jasmine tea today? 🙂

Of course, with any food or drink, it is always important to practice moderation. 

Link to purchase pure Jasmine tea from Eu Yan Sang
http://www.euyansang.com.sg/jasmine-tea-888842534102.html#q=jasmine%2520tea&start=1

Read more on Jasmine Tea

From Organic Facts
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/health-benefits-of-jasmine-tea.html

From Earth Friends
https://www.earthsfriends.com/jasmine-tea-benefits/

From Tea Forte
https://www.teaforte.com/tealiving/the-secret-history-of-jasmine-tea/

From Livestrong.com
http://www.livestrong.com/article/447320-side-effects-of-jasmine-tea/

Benefits of Jasmine Tea - Esther Neela Blog

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents

Purchased the below planner from Amazon.
Best features I love: lightweight, starts from August 2017 and has a monthly features plus weekly. Vibrant colours, with lovely inspirational quotes.

Downside: the monthly planner box might not be big enough to hold many matters. If your handwriting is the big type, you might have a difficult task to keep everything in the box.

Other than, it is a lovely and a good buy. And I have already started planning my August… 🙂

Wish to purchase this? Visit the below link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6VQHJO/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_dp

Pictures below:

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

 

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

 

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

 

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

 

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

 

2018 Diary / Planner by Orange Circle Studio, Succulents - Esther Neela Blog

Healthy Eating: Apricots

The season for apricots are coming – well, at least in most overseas countries, not here. These are usually imported from overseas for us here and is slightly pricier than other common fruits found here. Dried apricots or canned apricots are usually available all around the year. Fresh apricots are seasonal. Nevertheless, let us look into some benefits of apricots.

Apricots are a good source of Vitamin A, C and rich in antioxidants. For detailed benefits on this fruit, refer to the links below:

From The World’s Healthiest Foods
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=3

For Recipes, from Martha Stewart
http://www.marthastewart.com/275304/apricot-recipes

Healthy Eating: Apricots - Esther Neela Blog

Healthy Eating: Oats

Last week, I covered on raisins and its benefits. Today, I will briefly write on oats. Oats has existed in many forms and in many varieties and my all time favorite will be Quaker Oats and I am going to cover some aspects on it. This brand has been in existence for 130 years!

History of Quaker Oats – get to know briefly the downs and ups of this company
http://www.quakeroats.com/about-quaker-oats/content/quaker-history.aspx

Even in oats, there are varieties such as “Old Fashioned”, “Quick”, “Instant” and “Steel Cut”. Don’t understand what I am saying? Refer to the below link, with pictures and details….
http://www.quakeroats.com/oats-do-more/why-oats/our-oat-story

People these days are environment conscious and going “green”. Below is Quaker Oats part of being environmentally friendly….
http://www.quakeroats.com/oats-do-more/for-your-world/oats-and-the-environment

Recipe for Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – my personal favorite
http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipe/vanishing-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.aspx

Recipe for Famous Oatmeal Cookies
http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipe/famous-oatmeal-cookies

And my simple version of oatmeal “snack” is with raisins (Sunmaid). That is something I can never resist….

As mentioned earlier, or simple logic, each of us vary in our nutritional needs.
Practice moderation for any kind of food and always have a variety of greens and colors….
Have liquids in your daily diet – in the form of water, juice and soups…and most importantly, remember to add qualities like gratitude and positiveness in your daily life!

Let’s all enjoy the goodness of oats! 🙂

Goodness of Oats! Esther Neela Blog
Goodness of Oats! Esther Neela Blog

Healthy Eating: Raisins

Everyone would have eaten raisins in our life. Raisins are actually dried grapes. And when I mention raisins, what brand comes to your mind first? Well, for me will be the red boxes SUN MAID. It is widely available in many countries around the world.

Do you know that the “Sun-Maid girl” really existed?
Her name was Lorraine Collett Petersen.

Read the below link to know the history of the “Sun-Maid girl”
http://www.sunmaid.com/cp_sm_subm/the-sun-maid-girl

And coming to the benefits of raisins, we know of some….here is to know more of it….
http://www.sunmaid.com/cp_sm_subm/frequently-asked-questions#q1

History of raisins, anyone? Of course, being a Humanities person, I shall never stop searching for histories of anything…From Ancient Egyptian time, let’s trace the history of raisins….
http://www.sunmaid.com/cp_sm_subm/history-of-raisins-and-dried-fruit

Other than the above, if you constantly have sweet cravings and do not want to indulge in sweet things all the time, try popping some raisins into your mouth. The sweet feeling will subside and you will not be craving for any more sweet things.

And if you are also an oatmeal fan, try adding some raisins into your oat porridge – it is sure yummy and healthy too.

You can also try the same with bran flakes. It helps increase the fiber in your body. But do take note that you must drink enough fluids such as water and juice to “soften” the fiber in your system.

Sun Maid Raisins - Esther Neela Blog

Bran Flakes with Raisins - Esther Neela Blog

Healthy Living: Myths of Drinking Water

There are many times we are told to drink so much water daily. But is that the truth?
There are many articles in support or disputing it – I am not here to prove anyone right or wrong.
The simple logic I have is that each of our body systems knows how much water we need and it will act accordingly. It is no use forcing yourself to drink water. Once the thirst hits you and you crave for water, go for it. Read the below article or you can also search on your own other articles….
Happy Drinking! 🙂

From The New York Times, “No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day” by Aaron E. Carroll
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html?_r=0

Myths of Drinking Water - Esther Neela Blog