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What makes a person successful in this life? Is it dying with a big ol’ pile of money? Is it having the most friends? Is it the big house and fancy car? Is it being recognized by others for your achievements? Is it being pretty and well liked? Is it bagging a perfect spouse? Getting that kid into Harvard?
Over the years I have dramatically redefined my perspective on personal success. Everyone has their own criteria, but for me it has nothing to do with any of the above. I have come to realize that true success has little to do with worldly achievements and everything to do with the inner peace that comes from not needing them.
Am I a successful artist? Absolutely. I am not getting rich off of my creativity, but I am earning a living. If my spouse died, I could support myself entirely on my income. I only have to work a few days a week now thanks to years of time investment. I make money while I sleep and on the days I do not work too. In my own mind, that is success. I ignored those that said I couldn’t do it and I worked hard to achieve my goals.
Am I a successful Mom? You bet. I turned away from my abusive upbringing and defied the odds. I did not perpetuate the abuse and I’ve helped my autistic daughter find her own voice. I have supported her every step of the way and encouraged her to love herself just the way she is. I did not teach hate or prejudice and as a result she has friends of all races, religions and sexual orientations. She is now enrolled in college and doing all of the things normal folks do. She didn’t go for an Ivy League school, but one that fit her goals. She didn’t win a bunch of awards or get a perfect SAT score. But she is happy. To me this is one of my greatest achievements and I feel pretty successful as a parent.
Lastly, am I successful overall? The are so many ways to achieve success: Relationships, Job, Health, Family, Hobbies, Fitness, etc. The simple answer for me is: Yes. The detailed answer would be far too long to expect the average blog reader to get through. I am at a point in my life that I no longer concern myself with how others view me. I am satisfied and happy with who I am and all I’ve done. In the end, that is all that matters. So, yes, I am truly successful.
Do you see yourself as a success?
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Yesterday me and the hubby went on a little field trip. We found our way to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Pinellas County. Somehow in all of these years in Tampa, this gem has been hidden from me. We frequently drive down to Sarasota to enjoy the Selby Gardend, but this place was also amazing! So many flowers all out in the open to see and smell. The winding paths lead to many beautiful surprises. Plus there is a little heritage village with old houses and buildings that were to be destroyed, but were saved and moved here. What a treat!
It is a macro lens photographer’s delight. 🙂
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Another beautiful day in Florida and I was out early with my camera. We have the most beautiful aloe plants growing all around our property and the humming birds love them. I am not sophisticated enough as a photographer yet to start capturing those speedy little birds, but I did get some nice shots of the aloe flower spikes. They are so delicate. I use the aloe leaves for skin irritations and they are quite healing. I wonder if the flowers are useful? Here are some ways that the leaves benefit us humans:
Aloe Vera contains many vitamins including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12.
Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe Vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are about 22 amino acids that are necessary for the human body and it is said that 8 of these are essential. Estimates of the amino acids found in aloe range from 18-20 amino acids, with all 8 essential amino acids.
Alove Vera also includes quite an impressive range of fatty acids. Aloe contains three plant sterols, which are important fatty acids- HCL cholesterol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol, and B-sitosterol. All are helpful in reducing symptoms of allergies and acid indigestion. Other fatty acids include linoleic, linolenic, myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic.
Aloe Vera is a well-known adaptogen. An adaptogen is something that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness. It is thought that aloe’s power as an adaptogen balances the body’s system, stimulating the defense and adaptive mechanisms of the body. This allows you an increased ability to cope with stress (physical, emotional and environmental stress like pollution)
Poor digestion is related to many diseases. A properly functioning digestive tract is one of the keys and foundations of health. Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help improve digestion. The interesting thing about taking aloe internally is that, because it is an adaptogen, it helps with either constipation or diarrhea, helping to regulate your elimination cycles in whatever way you need. It’s been a great remedy for people with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome as well as acid reflux. Aloe also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and in our gut keeping your healthy intestinal flora in balance. Aloe is also a vermifuge, which means it helps to rid the body of intestinal worms.
Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, just like seaweeds and chia. The main benefit to consuming gelatinous plant foods in your diet is that these gels move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way and get eliminated through the colon. This will help the proper elimination of waste from your body and help the detoxification of your body.
Disease cannot manifest in an alkaline environment. Most people are living and subsisting on mostly acidic foods. For great health, remember the 80/20 rule – 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acidic. Aloe vera is an alkaline forming food. It alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits
There hasn’t been a lot of studies conducted in this but there has been some research to show that Aloe Vera extract injected into the blood, greatly multiplies the oxygen transportation and diffusion capabilities of the red blood cells.
According to a study published in the 2000 issue of the British Medical Journal, beta sitosterol helps to lower cholesterol. By regulating blood pressure, improving circulation and oxidation of the blood, lowering cholesterol, and making blood less sticky, Aloe Vera juice may be able to help lower the risk of heart disease.
I think given the stresses of our daily lives, every one can use a boost to their immune systems. The polysaccharides in aloe vera juice stimulate macrophages, which are the white blood cells of your immune system that fight against viruses.
Aloe is also an immune enhancer because of its high level of anti-oxidants, which help combat the unstable compounds known as free-radicals, contributing to the aging process. (Free radicals are a bi-product of life itself, it is a naturally occurring process but we can overload ourselves with unnecessary free-radicals by living an unhealthy lifestyle) Aloe is also an antipyretic which means it used to reduce or prevent fever.
Because of aloe’s well-known healing properties for the skin, aloe is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry. It is a known vulnerary, (meaning it helps heal wounds) and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis and even to bug bites. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It’s feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver. Aloe is also an antipruritic: A substance that relieves or prevents itching. Aloe Vera is an astringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions.
Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin and fits within my general guideline: “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat!” Aloe increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.
Wow, I think that covers all anti- bases. Okay, I admit, that was just a sneaky way to add in another 8 good reasons why you should keep Aloe Vera handy and incorporate it into your lifestyle. Aloe Vera’s active ingredients are sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol which are substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms and act as a team to provide antimicrobial activity thus eliminating many internal and external infections, also active against bacteria. It also helps to treat fungal and viral infections.
Source: Sacred Source Nutrition
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This past weekend was filled with fun and diversion from my normal routine. I spent a lovely day with a friend in Tarpon Springs eating Greek food, playing pool and hitting the vintage shops. I also got in some photography on Saturday. My husband and I headed out to Sand Key, FL and surrounding beaches to soak up a little sunshine and explore beach condos. While we were trekking about, these hot pink flowers really caught my eye. They were ground hugging beauties. He immediately identified them as “ice plants” which I had never seen in the South before. He said they grow like wild up in California where he is from. In 45 years this is my first ice plant spotting. Wow! The color is fantastic (unaltered…straight from my Nikon D7000). I find I actually “see” more when I carry my macro lens with me. There really is so much beauty in our world. 🙂