Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Heaven Within . . .

“Seek not outside yourself, heaven is within.” ~Mary Lou Cook

Popeye the sailor man knew who he was and made no apologies for that man. “I yams whats I yams and that’s all whats I yams.” He had almost no hair on his head . . . squinty eyes . . . a very protruding chin . . . odd shaped arms . . . and a ridiculous laugh . . . but he was Olive Oil’s sweetie pie when push came to shove. She accepted him for who he was, and I think that was partly because he was confident in who he was as well, accepted himself as who he was, made the most of all that he had to work with . . . and loved himself.

Then there’s Olive Oil . . . when I was a child, I could never understand what the big attraction was. Skinny as a bean pole with that odd nose that looked like a peanut stuck into the middle of her face . . . her hair severely drawn back . . . flat chested . . . she was hardly the picture of feminine allure, but she had men fighting over her . . . regularly. I think I finally get it though . . . she, too, accepted herself for what and who she was, made the most of it and then celebrated and loved herself.

Together . . . they made beautiful music.

I think that is the secret to true beauty . . . to be able to love and accept oneself just the way we are. To make peace with all the lumps and bumps . . . the freckles and the wrinkles . . . the parts that sag in the middle and the parts that stick out where they shouldn’t stick out . . . hair that is always too frizzy, or too curly . . . or too straight . . . boobs that are always either too big or too small . . . The list goes on and on. How can we expect others to love us and accept us when we cannot love and accept ourselves?

“Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places . . . I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.” ~Saraha

Sometimes it’s really hard to love yourself. At least it is for me. We know things about ourselves that nobody else does. We know all our secret thoughts, our secret wishes . . . we are privy to things we’d never want anyone else to know.

We need to accept that we are not perfect. We may never be perfect. But . . . we are who we are . . . and we are each unique and special in our own right. It’s our uniqueness that sets us apart and makes us beautiful. We can and should love ourselves . . . not tomorrow, or the day after that, but . . . today.

We, each one of us, have a spirit that is unique only to us . . . a part of us that is a beautiful creation, sent here by our Heavenly Father, who is the Father of that spirit . . . the part of us that can shine regardless of those big hips or skinny legs . . . this is the part of us that glows, that shows and evokes our genuine beauty . . . the beauty from within . . . the only beauty that truly matters.

I have probably never been a real beauty in the sense of the physical word, but I have felt beautiful and I feel beautiful and I know that I am beautiful . . . and that beauty comes from within. My Todd would probably never win a Mr. Universe contest, and I can’t remember the last time I saw women lining up just to catch a glimpse of him . . . but, when I look into his beautiful blue eyes I melt. The eyes are the windows to the soul and this man has a beautiful soul. I think we make each other melt, which is a good thing.

I really hope that you will, each one of you, today take a few minutes to celebrate yourself and love yourself. Find that little bit of heaven that is within. Be gentle and kind and remember who you really are . . . the daughter or son of a Heavenly Father who created your spirit . . . a divine presence that exists within. How could that ever be bad???

It’s not . . . it’s beautiful . . . and it’s real . . . and it’s you. Love and embrace you today!!

I love chicken wings, especially the hot ones. Back in Canada I could always find them in the grocery store but I have had a hard time finding them here, well, not separated from a whole chicken at any rate, and I really can’t afford to buy a dozen chickens just to get the wings. I have developed this way of getting the delicious flavour of chicken wings and all the satisfaction from using chicken breasts. I love these and I bet you will too! Not to mention they are probably a whole lot healthier without all that skin and fat!

*Boneless Hot Wings*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

These are so delicious and tender, I could eat them every day. It might look like a long list of ingredients and complicated, but once you get everything organized they go together very quickly and before you know it you’ll be enjoying them and coming back for more. Deeeee licious!

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp sweet paprika
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sunflower oil
1 TBS butter, melted
1 tsp hot sauce (You can use more ifyou can take it . . . I can’t!)

Blue cheese dressing (store bought or homemade)

Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika in a bowl. Set aside. Whisk together the egg and milk in another bowl and set aside.

Slice each chicken breast crosswise into 1 inch thick slices. Dip each slice into the egg/milk mixture and then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat the process until each piece has been double dipped. Set aside on a plate and then, once you have double dipped each piece put the plate in the fridge to chill the chicken for at least 15 minutes.

Heat about a half inch of sunflower oil in a skillet over medium high heat until hot enough to fry. Fry the chicken pieces in the hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove to drain on paper kitchen towelling.

Put the melted butter and hot sauce into a plastic container with a lid. Add the chicken pieces, put on the lid and shake gently until coated.

Divide amongst two plates and serve with some blue cheese salad dressing on the side for dipping. Just wonderful!

And in The English Kitchen today, what I did with Nigella's Spaghetti with Marmite!


  1. Marie, it's late here, I'm feeling pretty sick, and then I saw your post. Thank you for taking me to revisit a topic that I tend to shy away from. Your post is very well stated, and very thought provoking. Thank you for this valuable lesson. You are a wonderful teacher!!!

    Much love, Jan

  2. Thank you for this uplifting post today, I really needed it! Since I've been having a problem with hair thinning/loss lately, that has been pretty depressing and I don't even want to look at myself these days because of it... LOL! But trying to remain positive that it is problem that can be corrected...we'll see. But beauty is more than skin deep, that's for sure. I try to be mindful that the real, true beauty is not the surface kind, but what we carry in our hearts and let shine forth. You have a way of lifting me from afar--you know, that! :o) LOVE YOU LOTS, dear friend... Happy Day ((BIG HUGS))

  3. I do agree with your positive thoughts today. Too often we forget that we are beautiful unique persons. A good reminder to all of us. I hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one as you celebrate the beautiful person that you are!

  4. What a wonderful post! Yes, we're all our biggest critic. But "I yam what I yam"! Thanks for your sweet visit -- your chicken looks wonderful! I'm a wing lover too.

  5. I loved about Popeye and Olive..very cute and so very ya, have a great day! :D

  6. Hi Marie
    Such lovely encouraging words. I needed to hear that. Thank you.
    Hugs, Rhondi


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