This week, I’m bringing you a slight respite from a long topical thought-piece. My intention was to write a post about memory, moods, and the interconnectivity of the two. But this week just got away from me. I’ve been swamped with one thing after the other and today, I started feeling a little sick. Rather than skipping a post, I decided to re-post one of my first pieces. It's on Paying Attention to Your Thoughts. It's a short piece, yet has some great information. I hope you enjoy the redux!
I promise next week, I’ll return in fine form with a well thought out post!
(originally posted on March 21, 2017)
A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with an old friend on one of those crazy spring-like days in February, enjoying a brief respite from the snow and cold. We spent the day strolling through the West Village, window shopping, people watching (always an interesting past time in Manhattan, for sure) and chatting casually about this and that.
As the sun began to set with its warm pink glow in the western sky, our conversation turned to more serious topics. We walked to a local restaurant for a drink and a bite, and it was there that she finally filled me in on some life events that she had alluded to earlier. As it turned out, she was going through a major transition on all fronts, and frankly, was having a very tough time dealing with it. I offered up a few life coaching tips; and one, in particular, resonated for both of us. It was a concept that I've used in sessions with clients, and was also well-articulated in a post that I recently read, “Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.”
The article, written by Prudence Sinclair, begins: “It’s a very simple concept to understand and yet a very difficult practice to master. Most of us are aware that we feel a certain way or that our lives seem to be going in a certain direction, but we have no idea how we got where we are. We always get where we are because we focus our attention on certain things and then experience the results. If we don’t like the results we are living, we’d better shift our attention onto something better…
The simple act of paying attention to our thoughts and feelings empowers us to change our lives. Stop giving so much focus and attention to the things in your life that are no longer serving you. Once you start paying attention to what you’re paying attention to, you change who you are being in your life and how you experience the world.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Stand guard at the portal of your mind.” The most important component of creating success and moving forward is through our thinking. If we are impeccable about anything in our quest to achieve our dreams and goals, we need to be impeccable about our thoughts. The subconscious mind doesn’t have a sense of humor, it simply believes what the conscious mind is telling it. Paying attention to what we’re paying attention to is a powerful tool for increasing our awareness and shifting our outcomes.
And in the words of my mentor, Mary Morrissey, “Where I place my attention, I am placing my intention.” This is truly an essential part of the process of creating any type of change.
As for my friend, things are already looking up with a possible new job, a new love interest, and a new, more positive outlook. Onward and Upward, my dear friend!
To read Prudence Sinclair's article, visit: http://prudencesinclair.com/are-you-paying-attention-to-what-youre-paying-attention-to/
Cooking for Joan
This recipe is a favorite that I make frequently — Spicy & Sweet Asian Chicken Breasts (or Thighs). And as a bonus, I'm also including the side dish that I make with it — Sticky Ginger Rice with Peas. The chicken is always moist, the flavors meld well together, and it’s really easy to make. I serve it at casual dinner parties and it's always a hit. Enjoy!
Spicy & Sweet Asian Chicken Breasts (or Thighs)
Prep Time: 10 | Cook Time: 40 | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy
• 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
• 1/4 cups Sriracha
• 1/4 cups Mike’s hot honey*
• 1 TB honey
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
• 2 teaspoons soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon of lime zest (optional)
• fresh basil or chopped green onion (for garnish)
• olive oil/cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425°F
Line a baking pan with oiled or sprayed aluminum foil for easy clean up.
Combine all the sauce ingredients.
Place chicken into pan and season with salt and pepper.
Pour ½ the sauce on top
Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Lower temperature to 375°F
Remove from oven and pour the remaining sauce and bake for 15-20 more minutes.
Garnish and serve over sticky ginger rice with peas.
*This recipe is for large pieces, so cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
*I like spicy food, so if you’d like it less spicy or you can’t find Mike’s Hot Honey, just use regular honey.
Sticky Ginger Rice with Peas
Prep Time: 5 | Cook Time: 20 | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy
• 1 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice
• 1 TB minced fresh ginger
• 1 cup frozen petite peas
• 1 cup miso or chicken broth
• 1 cup water
(use 2 cups of water if you don't have or want to use stock)
Place rice in strainer. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.
Transfer rice to heavy medium saucepan.
Add 2 cups of liquid. Stir in ginger. Bring water to boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 17-20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Sprinkle frozen peas over rice (do not stir into rice).
Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir peas into rice.
Season rice lightly with salt.
Transfer to bowl and serve.