Worthiness – Is it worth the cost?

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” Malcolm S. Forbes

Worthy. It’s a word we don’t use often in common everyday conversations. Is it because we don’t have a reason, or because it’s not something we feel. Almost a taboo to discuss. We might think it a little rude to ask someone, “What’s it worth to you?” or “How much is it worth?”. People typically only talk about worth in terms relative to things, not ourselves.

Isn’t that often the case, though? Generally, we can only feel comfortable discussing things or actions, but we have a hard time talking about the things that make us intrinsically human. Talking about our spirit is a bit trickier. Discuss the condition of our mind? No, just no. A bigger challenge is to talk about our own worth! No one ever says, “So, whatdya think you’re worth?”, do they? Of course, we would never respond with dollar amounts, or specifics, or even abstracts. Is there a right answer? A wrong answer?

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Mark Twain

Today, I am asking myself that very question. What am I worth? Can it be enough to just say I am worthy? If I say it over and over, but can’t believe it, it’s a powerless statement. Being empowered is a big deal to me, so if I can’t put the power behind it, I need to delve deeper.
I set out to put words to my “worth”. Maybe it will resonate with some of you.

Defining it

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines worth as:
1. a. Monetary value.
b. The equivalent of a specified amount or figure.
2. The value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it held
3. a. Moral or personal value
b. Merit, excellence

So, if worth is the value placed on one’s self, as in definition 1, how can we determine it? Does a dollar amount suffice?

A quick search on the internet reveals that the human body is worth about $120,000USD on the black market. Body parts on the “red market”, or the place where one can legally sell their living parts could be worth much more over the lifespan, up to several million dollars, if selling blood, a kidney, bone marrow, even hair, ovum, semen, and so on.

Everyone knows our worth is not determined by the value placed on our body parts…don’t they?
A super model can make upwards of $30,000,000USD from print ads to catwalks to other related interests. A not-so-super model can make a few thousand per year, barely enough to independently support her/himself. A professional, award winning athlete can make $100,000,000 or more between sports and endorsement contracts. A non-award winner will be lucky to have mention in the weekly small town newspaper sports section in a score roundup.

Maybe definitions 2 and 3 are more applicable. Then, if I am measured by my qualities, what are they? Have I determined what qualities will make me valuable?

How amazing it is to me that I have gone much of my life determining what qualities in clothing, shoes, cars, homes, music and jobs make them worth my money or time, but I have not put much effort into determining what makes me valuable, or of worth.

Maybe we consider what we’re looking for in a spouse or partner – some of us may have even made a list of what we find attractive or want in a mate. What qualities make your friends valuable? That’s not so hard to answer. Perhaps my friend is funny, smart, has common interests, or is non-judgmental. All of those are great qualities.

The truth is, we don’t consider the qualities that make us worthy of our time, because we are afraid. What if I don’t measure up to my own standards? What if I am a failure and everyone but me knows it? All of the “what if’s” are killing us! We have driven ourselves into the ground, over-burdened ourselves with “what if” and used that as our excuse to not take a real look at what being worthy really means!

The Truth

“Just because people throw it out and don’t have any use for it, doesn’t mean it’s garbage.” Andy Warhol

So, then is it really about the body? No, and it’s not about the qualities, either. It’s all a big lie. We’ve been duped.

Our worth isn’t determined by our body image. It isn’t even determined by our ability to throw a ball, how fast we run, our smile, our niceness, our charm.

Maybe you didn’t know it, but by being born, having a spirit and mind, you are priceless. How this could logically be proven wrong? Thoughts cannot be seen by another, feelings cannot be felt by anyone else in the same manner. Fingerprints are unique, and so is the mind. Hair has its own unique growth pattern, and so do hearts.

A Masterpiece

The fact is, you were born priceless. There are some caveats, though. A masterpiece can be priceless because of its beauty and uniqueness, but if left in the rain, it will deteriorate and lose its priceless condition. In like, if no one can ever see the masterpiece, it cannot be priceless, for it is unknown and its beauty becomes irrelevant and unappreciated.

You and I are a masterpieces. If we leave ourselves open to bad conditions, we can deteriorate and become in need of serious repair. A priceless portrait with chipped paint must be attended to. If no one ever experiences our beauty and uniqueness, it is as if we don’t exist, and our priceless status becomes null. Where is the value in an undiscovered masterpiece? Who can appreciate the unseen and unknown?

My point is, we must live our lives as if we are masterpieces – the most beautiful piece of art imaginable – on display at the most important gallery in the existence! We must live as though we know that we are priceless and stop considering our worth and value. Let us attend to protecting and enhancing the things which have made us priceless.

We must ensure that we live a life that reflects that priceless distinction. Make sure that your paint – the color of your character and personality – isn’t chipped and in need of repair. If it is, repair it! Contribute to the world – the gallery – and protect the condition of the place where you are displayed. A masterpiece doesn’t detract from its surrounding, it enhances them. At the same time, why not display your masterpiece in a place that is in good condition, that highlights the contribution of beauty you bring to the world.

“The diamond does not need to prove its worth. It is, in fact, the person who must teach him/herself to recognize the worth of real diamonds. A person must study this in school. A diamond does not go to school to learn how to prove its worth. It is a person who must recognize the worth of a diamond. Dear diamonds everywhere, stop trying to go to school. The worthy will recognize your worth.” C. JoyBell C.

Other people may judge your “worthiness”, but the truth is that they don’t appreciate your beauty. Just go and be. Maintain your condition, do the upkeep. Contribute to your surroundings. Make your life a masterpiece and those who recognize your beauty will know that you are priceless – keep them around! They are contributing to the gallery of our world, too. Let those who can’t see that your true value go their own way. They are likely in need of some repair. That’s okay. Just don’t let their disrepair chip away at your paint!
Make your life a masterpiece! You were born for it!

Gratitude and the Golden Globes?

Cosmo in Budapest...

Cosmo in Budapest…

Gratitude is at the heart of my family. I use every opportunity to teach and model it for my children. It’s a struggle that I have mentioned on more than one occasion. It is especially difficult to teach gratitude to children who didn’t have a reason to be grateful in their early lives. Add in the sometimes challenged thinking of a child with foetal alcohol exposure, and the struggle is very real! This is true for 6 of my 8 children.

I am committed to modeling gratitude myself. Opportunities to find others displaying gratitude or appreciation are often difficult to find. The news media gives us stories about people who had a need and are thankful to have it met. It can be found on blogs and such, also. All of those are the real deal and I am always happy to share these with the Clan.

We didn’t watch the Golden Globe awards live yesterday due to our location and time difference. We did find some video clips today on Youtube and other media sites. Sadly, we were left with a dampened affection for the show, some of our favorite actors and the awards ceremonies in general.

At this point you are thinking, “Oh, she’s a Trump supporter and didn’t like to hear bad things said about him”, or similar notion. You couldn’t be more wrong! I didn’t disagree with the things said. Then, where is the problem? I’ll tell you…

One of the most loved parts of the day is sitting around the table and sharing the best part of our day and what we are grateful for...every day!

One of the most loved parts of the day is sitting around the table and sharing the best part of our day and what we are grateful for…every day!

I look forward to this time of year for the awards ceremonies. What better place to hear “thank you” and acknowledgements than from a group of talented and amazing people who entertain us. They are larger than (real) life, right? Everyone enjoys their craft, not only through the stage and cinema, but through their expressions of appreciation for the people, us regular folks. We spend our time and money to be entertained by their considerable artistic abilities. The extravagance of their dress adds to the occasion as they adorn themselves to show how important it is to receive the honor of being recognized for their creativity and talent.

Meryl Streep, Hugh Laurie and the others who used the precious time they were given to accept or present awards and show their gratitude and acknowledge those who have given them the opportunity to be who they are, were disappointments. I don’t have to disagree with their statements to not like the delivery. Gone was the gratitude and humility and in their place were egos run amok.

Before anyone says, “But what they said was true!”, I will be clear, I don’t disagree, but that is NOT the point. Truth can be leveled in appropriate places at appropriate times to an appropriate audience. This wasn’t the place, time or audience. This was the time for these people to say, “I know you have seen me and my work, but now I see YOU. I honor you, I respect you and I am grateful to you”, to the public, their audiences, and, in this case,the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Meryl Streep thanked none of her audience or associates. Hugh Laurie did thank his associates and the HFPA, but didn’t bother to acknowledge his audience. Apparently, we just weren’t important enough as mere observers. If that’s not the case, are they not-so-subtly conveying the idea that we, the people, loyal fans, don’t really have anything to do with their successes and achievements? Is the HFPA responsible for that?

The other argument is that the Golden Globes aren’t presented or awarded by the public audience. Then why televise it? WHy the commercial sponsors? There’s no need to involve us at all, if that should be the case.

The Golden Globes were brought by the HFPA. To quote from the their website:

The mission of the HFPA is:

To establish favorable relations and cultural ties between foreign countries and the United States of America by the dissemination of information concerning the American culture and traditions as depicted in motion pictures and television through news media in various foreign countries;

To recognize outstanding achievements by conferring annual Awards of Merit, (Golden Globe® Awards), serving as a constant incentive within the entertainment industry, both domestic and foreign, and to focus wide public attention upon the best in motion pictures and television;

To contribute to other nonprofit organizations connected with the entertainment industry and involved in educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities;

To promote interest in the study of the arts, including the development of talent in the entertainment field through scholarships given to major learning institutions.” The intentions are all good. However, a line was crossed, and even erased in favor of unleashed egos and forgotten purposes.

If a celebrity wants to proclaim their opinions, there are places, times and audiences that are appropriate. Make use personal social media, mediums that are meant to give insight into that persons’ life. Really, their opportunities are abundant in comparison to the average person. If a celebrity (or anyone) feels so strongly about an issue, own it, live it and proclaim it. It was not necessary to steal the smile from a child’s face or the warmth in their heart by not allowing them to see the example of gratitude, humility, graciousness, appreciation, acknowledgement and joy that should have been conveyed by these famous people but was neglected in favour of an agenda that wasn’t intended for this venue.

This hasn’t changed my continued efforts to teach these virtues to my children. We as a family are less inclined to watch awards ceremonies for the same reasons that we have in the past…

Artists in their habitat... Seamus and The Fox Because we have better things to do!

Artists in their habitat…
Seamus and The Fox
Because we have better things to do!

It’s all about the food…#simplefood #keepitfresh

Hey everybody! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and stayed happy and healthy!
Speaking of healthy and happy, I know a lot of you likely made some resolutions to get healthy or lose weight. So, I wanted to share this recipe idea with you, because the Clan is all about #simplefood and finding balance, living abundantlyAND because it’s so easy, tastes sooo amazing and has plenty of leftovers, which I am famous for making over into something new for the next day!

My receipt from the veg stand in Albanian (no, I don't know all of the Albanian names yet!)

My receipt from the veg stand in Albanian (no, I don’t know all of the Albanian names yet!)

To begin with, chop up any and every fresh vegetable you can get your hands on. Don’t think about whether it will taste good with the other veg, just add it anyway! We almost always add potatoes, carrots, cabbages, leeks, onions, garlic, zucchini, celery and spinach, but it will vary by availability. Although frozen spinach, peas and such are lovely to just toss in when fresh isn’t available. Be sure to #keepitfresh for health and flavours sake!
Just put it all in the pot!

Just put it all in the pot!

Add any and all fresh herbs that are available. Right now, it’s basil, thyme, rosemary, dill and some type of cilantro-looking stuff I don’t know what it is, but it is commonly used in Albanian dishes). Just chop them up and throw them in the pot – use an abundance! There are no right or wrong amounts, unless of course, spicy things need to be accounted for, but my goal is usually just to fill the pot 3/4 full.
Add everything that's available -  it really will taste great, it's fast and easy to prep...

Add everything that’s available – it really will taste great, it’s fast and easy to prep…

Add a lot of love and positive thoughts, salt and pepper, a can of coconut cream and a jar of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes. Fill with just enough water to cover the bounty, cook on medium heat for a couple of hours and voilà! You have an amazing meal!
On the stove for a couple of hours The smell is amazing and look at those colors!), while I catch up on other must do's...

On the stove for a couple of hours The smell is amazing and look at those colors!), while I catch up on other must do’s…

Finally, don’t forget it can be made over the next day by adding pasta, rice, beans. Be creative! Serve with bread and a little cheap (or expensive) wine. The Clan likes to throw some almonds, macadamias, pecans or walnuts in our soups instead of croutons!
The best thing about this is that it’s so simple, uses what’s on hand and little thought, can last for at least 2-3 meals and be made over into something new and leaves you with more time to enjoy the beauties of your world…or at least time to spend with your favorite people.
Less prep and cook time leaves me with more time for things like meditating with my favorite people!

Less prep and cook time leaves me with more time for things like meditating with my favorite people!