Monthly Archives

January 2018

in Healthy Recipes, Inspiration

Zesty Waffles my culinary 2018 thing

I got a beautiful waffle maker as a Christmas gift. Kudos to my sista Inese! Waffles have been on my mind for quite a while. Perhaps it was due to my fond memories of my auntie who passed many years ago, and she used to make lovely heart shaped waffles for me and my siblings every time we were visiting her during summer.  I always remember the smell of waffles and the delish apple sauce she used to put on the top of them. Yummy! It feels like I have attracted the waffle  maker so once it made its place on the counter, the process of waffles making has begun.

Here is my latest recipe:    

* 3 tbsp. of oats flour

* 3 tbsp of spelt flour

*5 tbsp of rice flour

*1 tbsp of maple syrup

*2 tbsp of coconut oil

*1/2 tsp of gluten free baking soda

* 1 tsp of cinammon

*1 cup of plant milk of your choice ( I used rice milk in that recipe)

Mix all the ingredients together. If the consistency is too thick, then go ahead and add more rice milk.

Waffle maker should be ready by now to welcome new waffles. I spread some coconut oil inside and pour the cake . Some waffles will take a bit longer if you wish them to be more ‘crispy’. use your own judgement when it comes to how long you should keep them in the maker. I just keep on taking a peek if they are ready. 😀

those ones are topped with berries smoothie and dark chocolate spread and almond flakes . and voila!

 

Enjoy!

 

Light and hugs from me

Monika

in Inspiration

Assess Me Not

When I was in school, I was told that good grades would get me a successful life. That was the secret, I thought. I was a good student in primary school, quite good in high school too, however that was the time when I started to believe the idea was completely false. How could a grade determine whether I was going to succeed or not? I was quick to understand that education goes way beyond any classroom.  As I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and I was looking forward to becoming one. So, I did. I got to teach in high school and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My students made every day different and funny. I never knew what I would experience during the class and I liked that. What I did not like was the old foundations of the educational system itself. Back then, I was a young teacher, still studying and I began to question what I was taught in college, my work and school curriculum. At college, I saw my classmates being determined to get the best grades because they were noticed and put on pedestal. I felt abandoned in a way as by getting 58% in a descriptive grammar test (subject I have no use now whatsoever) made me feel like I was not going to be a good teacher. I was studying late at night to meet all expectations of a good student. I did not like all subjects, some of them were boring and some lecturers were not making the effort to create classes more interesting. My motivation and interest were fading and subsequently my grades too. On numerous occasions, I was told both indirectly and directly that I was failing. I felt miserable as not getting to a certain percentage level, I was being treated like a loser. It was an internal fight foe me as I knew I was meant to teach yet my marks were showing that I was not good enough.  Then at school, I saw restrictions of the system itself. The amount of paperwork kept increasing, leaving less potential for teaching. it felt daunting and annoying. Moreover, my students were reporting that that are bored during other classes and that was the moment when I realised that the school curriculum was operating on a quite old system that let’s be honest, was not serving students. I began to steer away from curriculum a bit as I really wanted to keep my peeps engaged. So, I had to come up with new ideas. How on earth I could base my teaching on system that was eighty years old that time? Once I started to apply some new projects and classroom activities, my students began to be more willing to participate, they were given a chance to express themselves, their uniqueness was noticed, and they helped one another. I enjoyed seeing them progress.

 In my opinion, I owe that to the education system that is old, rigid and lacks flexibility. The same system got me question my abilities, my strengths and till today it leaves so many “average” students unnoticed. the system encourages to have good grades, graduate, get a secure job (because it is too scary to go for a job you really want) and not to consider your potential. Loads of stuff taught in school, has no practicality when we step into the real life.  Why there is no room for subjects like: dealing with stress, creative writing, find your calling, discover your strengths?  Why students are forced to read texts, books that quite frequently, they find hard to understand (coz they were written millions of years ago)? The system that perhaps was working 100 years ago, keeps failing students and I feel it failed me too. My passion for teaching was succumbed by the system that was telling me that according to my grades I was not doing well. It hurt so much as you know when you have that desire in your heart, you can hear your calling and it is so strong and you know that this is the only profession you can see yourself in. I can only think of one teacher in college who taught methodology and I adored her. Not only was she like a fresh air to the dull classroom teaching yet she also encouraged us to show her who we were. She listened to us and she accepted our ways of acquiring information during class. We were talking a lot, and everyone could choose the place to sit. I chose the desk and I kept moving. I loved that freedom and guess what: I thrived during the classes. Why? I guess my teacher was willing to test new waters and we went for a dive with her. Yeah, every class was like a diving board- a beautiful tool to delve into our potential. I am thankful for those classes – they made me believe I could aspire to be a great teacher.

I reckon that current education has instigated fear based learning. Students are paralysed to fail. I was one of them in college. I had late night learning. I saw number of my classmates cheating on tests, I heard number of students getting into colleges just to get a degree (coz you know it is a guarantee of a good job (security). I saw numerous teachers putting labels on students because they kept getting lower grades. Instead of adopting a mindset of a seeker, many of us have been living in a survival mode nowadays. Conditional learning + Good grades = good secure job = success. That is a common equation where ‘cans’ and cant’s’ are still prevailing. Grades do not determine our success. It’s about time the system was altered. Education is to be enlightening, challenging, inspiring, fun. It is to help us uncover our passions, potential, focus on developing our strengths. Personally, I think this is the equation of a good education: passions+ curiosity + commitment + positive mindset = success. My message to all students: Once you get a lower grade, please do not beat yourself up, do not criticise. Instead, look at that grade and say out loud: You will not define me

 

Light and Hugs from Me

Monika

in Inspiration

New Year New Zest

Festive time and New Years Eve usually make us ponder more about life, we pause and we think about the year past. I felt that way this year too. I spent  Christmas at home in Poland and I could not refrain from reflecting on the year gone. Do not get me wrong I think there is so much value in revisiting the experiences you had. I actually wrote a list of what I achieved last year and it put a smile on my face as so many dreams came true. I also took down my vision board and put it on the table. While I was coming to sit on the sofa, I accidentally hit my knee against the glass table and the pain was  excruciating to the extent that it made me cry. So here I was sitting and looking at my 2017 vision board, crying because of the pain and it hit me: I was not merely sobbing due to the physical pain, it was also due to all those images that has not come into my reality yet.   The feeling of not being good enough came back to me, the feeling of loneliness appeared, the feeling of being judged emerged. I scolded myself. I felt like I was wrapped in quite a blanket of emotions and it brought me to my knees. I wished there was a quick fix to that miserable state of being. Who does not want a magic pill to get over all those negative emotions faster, right? But hey, life is not about shortcuts nor ready made remedies. Instead of going into the pity party mode ( that used to be me ages ago), I took  some deep breaths in ( I have learned the Wim Hof breathing technique – I will share my experience about that in other post) and stopped at every single image on my vision board that has not showed up yet.  Not only had I noticed that I  made such  great expectations of myself but I also came to a greater realisation: I did not take a consistent action in order to achieve them. I actually quit half way on some of my desires, I gave up and the reason for that appeared suddenly as well. I was scared to change direction of my life ( even tough the images on vision board were showing that it was something I dreamt about) as it meant going into unknown and being vulnerable as never before should my dreams come true. That fear of being seen as I am, the fear of being judged has been hanging in there, stopping me from celebrating dreams now. What struck me even more was that I looked up to others for acceptance, for approval that it was alright for me to grow. Even my body has been giving me signs that I was stamping my feet in the same place as the pain in my joints got worse. It became clear to me that my mind has been affecting the way I feel physically too.
So today, as I was wiping the tears  crawling on my cheeks, still feeling that I failed myself, I wrote a permission slip to myself: “Every day as I wake up, I accept myself the way I am and I accept the way I feel and I move forward slowly yet steadily.  I also did a short meditation as I felt like it was the best thing I could do. Afterwards, I picked one desire I would like to come to fruition this year and I took one small step towards it. I sent one email I was contemplating for so long. Did it scare me? Yes. Did it excite me? Hell, yeah. And it did liberate me from the handcuffs of fear of being visible. The relief I feel now is so immense. Mistakes, failures, fears – they do not define you or me!
What I would like you to get from my today’s experience is this: when facing unpleasant circumstances, when you feel lost or broken, when you feel depressed, not good enough, please do not feel bad because you are experiencing all those negative emotions, do not hide them and pretend they did not make you feel miserable or cranky or anxious. Do not sweep them under the carpet. Instead make them your allies as they are the moments in life you grow, and take a small step to achieve your goals or improve your circumstances. Please remember, every time you reach a low point in life, embrace it, surrender to it and accept it (acceptance does miracles)  as from LOW there is only one way: UP!  and you have time to get there!
Happy New and Zesty Year Folks
2018 – Year of self acceptance and more visibility for me.
I raise a glass of kombucha to learn to raise above any challenges in 2018
What about you? What is 2018 going to be about for you?
Light and Hugs from Me

Monika  {)ii(}