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Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Abuse of Power

Say it fast and it is the abusive power. The same day as the heart-wrenching but inspirational memorial service in Tuscon there was a lot of other talk about "words" being spoken on the airways and I got an email that I will share.

There was a vocabulary primer that I remember from grade school called "Words are Important". Indeed they are. Here is the email which came originally from content in Self magazine:

The Power Of Words

It’s true, they are only words. But the problem lies in the fact that words have been proven to be extremely powerful tools in creating strong feelings that can lead to immense joy or profound sadness. For many, the continual, even jesting use of negative phrases can have the same effect as an abusive parent, spouse, friend or boss telling you repeatedly that you are stupid and worthless. Soon enough, you begin to feel that way, and what was once just a word can lead to a perceived reality. And that can lead to depression, anxiety, apathy, and an inability to achieve our goals. 

If you’re rolling your eyes right now, consider that the power of positive thinking is backed up by actual science. Just ask Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (a.k.a. PEP Lab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the author of Positivity, a book about the science behind how positive emotions affect not only our general happiness, but also our health and ability to achieve goals that we may have previously thought impossible.

“Positivity doesn’t just change the contents of your mind—It widens the span of possibilities that you see,” says Fredrickson. 
As many emotions start with thoughts, and thoughts are mostly made up of words, it makes sense that we actually have the power to change our emotions and beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing. We can do this by simply taking the time to consciously change our words and phrases from negative to positive." 

The article goes on to state that these words can be what you say to yourself as well as what is said to you. And so, here is the thought for the weekend...avoid a smackdown, of any kind, from anyone, unless it is an uplifting one involving food and Bobby Flay.

Here is a recipe of his that looks comforting and positively delicious! Have a great weekend!

Bobby Flay's Chipotle Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

2 cups heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth. In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.  Serves 4-6.

Not-so-photogenic sweet taters awaiting their Bobby Flay transformation!

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