Some people think that vanilla is boring. It has nothing to offer because it is not flashy or loud, and it never gets “new and improved.” Do not be swayed by such people: vanilla is amazing. And the same people who do not see the importance of vanilla are the same people who are unaware of their brain power, negative or positive. Do not fall into this category: vanilla is awesome. And you are vanilla with brain power.
The vanilla plant flower is white, the color associated with innocence, purity, friendship or neutrality (white flag of truce). Late in the 19th century, Physicians chose to wear white coats to represent hope. Psychologically, the color white aids in mental clarity and creativity. The Urban Dictionary claims that vanilla is “the original of something, like the original Ice Cream flavour. In computer games the original game is called classic or vanilla when the expansion comes out.” To be called “vanilla” is to be called original.
On the cupcake side, vanilla is a staple ingredient: it is found in ice cream, cookies and all sorts of wonderful baked goods. It can be added to drinks (God Bless Sonic and Starbucks). And get this: it is used to enhance the flavor of chocolate, caramel, and custard. If you were to go into any carwash place, convenience store, grocery store, the perfume section in Wal-Mart or Saks, vanilla is all over the place. It is popular in perfumes because scientists believe the smell induces “innocent” thoughts and a softer, more subtle smell. It is used in candles, infusers, soaps, air-fresheners, oils, lotions, and certain kinds of make-up. The pure smell of vanilla is used in certain medical and therapeutic practices, as it reduces stress and anxiety. Basically, vanilla makes everything better.
The smell of vanilla, whether in its purest form or somewhere in the mix of a product, reminds people of childhood times, and generates intense happy memories: softness, great comfort food, warmth and love.
I consider warmth and love among our most precious commodities, right up there with food and water and air. How versatile is vanilla? In some instances, it HAS to be added, or the flavor is sour. Just like vanilla, you are versatile, and there are things that only you can do. You matter.
Maybe you think you don’t. Maybe you haven’t been given a raise in a while, or maybe your boss and coworkers haven’t given you compliments lately. Maybe even your family and friends have neglected you somewhat, and since you’re not one to really raise a stink or cause waves, maybe you feel like you’re underachieving, underappreciated, or just plain stuck. This may be how you feel right now, but it is not necessarily reality. So, let’s change your brain pattern just a tad, shall we? See if we can change your frown into a happy face today.
Just so you know, we are all vanilla, some more than others. We are all the same deep down, simply because we all abide by certain universal rules: be kind to others, share what you have, and help if you can. You, my dear reader, have vanilla in spades.
Maybe you are dependable; rain, sun, sleet or hurricane, you are where you say you will be when you say you will be there. Your word is your bond, and people trust you without fail, because they know you will come through for them.
Perhaps you are a giver. It makes you happy to find the perfect give for someone and watch her face light up when she receives it.
Maybe you are supportive; in your job, family, and social circles, people probably ask you for help often, and you do everything in your power not to let others down. People also know this about you, which makes them trust you more and depend upon you more. You are everyone’s cheerleader, and it makes you happy to see your friends happy and successful, because their success is your success.
And maybe they forget to thank you because you are so integrated into their world that your presence—your dependability, your endless support—is so continuous, that you are like the very air they breathe. When they come to you for help, it is because they know without a doubt that you will do whatever they are asking better than anyone else in their world, and they simply think of you as an extension of their own hands. They have forgotten that you are your own cupcake, in your own little cupcake wrapper, with your own favorite cupcake icing on top. Because all of us are part vanilla, they have picked up on your strong vibration, and absorbed it into theirs.
And that’s OK. We are not here to judge or blame. Do not think of these people in a negative light. Each time they ask you for help, or they thank you for finding the perfect gift, they are affirming your importance to them. Remember this. If you need other affirmation from friends and family, you can always ask. If you do this, do not get wimpy on me or on them: promise me you will be clear and unemotional, and do not apologize. You are not trying to hurt their feelings; you are sharing your feelings, and you have that right. Own your cupcake, and bring on the vanilla! Often, we are advised to “get rid of negative people.” Maybe this is not possible for you today, or maybe you are not ready for such a separation right now. That’s OK. You are an original, and you have unique gifts, and you may share your gifts with whomever you choose. When you are ready, you will share more with others. Until then, these ideas may help.
4 Things You Can Do To Change Your Brainwaves
There are five brain waves: Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Theta. If you want some quick information on them, you can read my blog here. Otherwise, just know that for you to be the best cupcake possible, you need to optimize your Alpha brain waves as much as possible, and here are 4 things that you can do to help move your brain into Alpha state and feel better. Before you read them, set your intention: what is it that you want to receive from these exercises?
You need a stopwatch, a pen, and some notecards.
Have fun! 🙂
- Breathe. I know, this seems like a no-brainer, but I’m going to ask you to breathe a certain way, so just relax and read on, Cupcake.
Set your timer for two minutes, and start it. Inhale for a count of five seconds through your nose, hold your breath for a count of five, and exhale completely for a count of three. When you inhale, your chest should expand as your lungs do, and as you exhale forcefully, your abs should “hollow out” and contract a little. You will probably be out of breath when you first begin this. Don’t panic! Just relax, and if you can’t inhale or hold your breath for a count of five, go for a count of four (or heck, count faster, lol). There is no magic number of breaths to reach in this time. The goal is TO BREATHE DEEPLY. Relax, feel the oxygen go through your nose and down your throat, feel your chest rise and fall, and just breathe.
When the timer goes off, grab your pen and paper.
- Write. Set your timer for one minute. As fast as you can, write down all the things that make you special, all the things that make you unique and original. Also write down all the things you like about yourself; personality traits, skills, physical appearance, anything goes here. Skip the qualifiers. For instance, I could write, “I’m friendly,” and move on. I would skip “unless I’m tired.” I would only write “I’m friendly,” then move on to “I have pretty eyes,” and keep writing things I like about myself until the timer stops.
Do yourself a favor: RELAX and ENJOY THIS. Do not overthink it. Your brain is in Alpha state from the deep breathing, and the thoughts that are coming to you are true. Don’t fight them or argue them or justify them; just write them down as quickly as they come to you.
When your timer goes off, look at the things you have written. Take ten positive comments, and put one comment on one colored post-it note or colored notecard, until all ten are done. Put the remaining comments safely away, where you can find them later. Now comes the fun part. Take the notecards and place them randomly around your house; in random drawers, under your favorite towel, in your checkbook, any place where you are sure to find them sooner or later. For the next three weeks, when you “discover” your notecards, smile and say, “Yes, I am!” or “Yes, I do!” This brings your positive affirmations to the front of your mind, and reminds you of your awesomeness. In three weeks, either change your cards out, or hide the cards in other places. It takes about twenty-one days to develop a habit, and most people start to ignore the cards if they are still in the same place. If you want to change, you need to keep doing something different. Move the cards, and this develops a new positive brain pattern again, which strengthens the Alpha brain wave again.
- Pay attention to your thoughts. Andy Shaw claims that 99% of people go through life not paying attention to their thoughts. We get wrapped up in our anger, or our victim mode, or other negative thoughts, and then we have a bad day, and we have no idea what caused it.
Yep. That’s it. Just 15 little ol’ seconds.
Most people find this surprisingly difficult; they realize they start to daydream, or think about work, or form evening plans. If this is the case for you, try to find a strong, happy memory. Add details, such as colors, sounds, smells, sounds, and anything else that you remember. If you can get control of your thinking for twenty minutes, you’re a mastermind. All day? Jedi material. Can’t do fifteen seconds? Today is a great day to start practicing. Own your cupcake, baby! This time, it’s all mental, and you WILL own this!
- Stand up straight! Do this any time you need a little pick-me-up or confidence. Scratch that: do this, period. Bring your shoulder blades close to each other until you feel your posture change, then bring them just a little closer than that. Close your eyes, and feel your body. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips in a straight line (and you are now an inch taller—yay!).
Now, look up. Find a spot in front of you at eye level anywhere from fifteen to thirty feet in front of you. Keep your head up, and keep your shoulder blades pulled toward each other. Walk to that spot, then find another spot at eye level, and walk to it. If you are walking into people traffic, feel free to look at them and smile. As long as your shoulders are pulled back, your feet will actually pick up and land with better form and authority, and they will send happy feet signals back to the brain, and Boom! Another awesome happy brainwave shift.
Done! Way to go, Cupcake! Make sure you share some of your original and uniqueness with us other cupcakes, so we can all celebrate you!
Monitor your thoughts as often as you can, and try to increase your thought time each time you hold a positive thought in your mind. Walk tall everywhere, and practice your breathing. If you ever feel your anxiety raising, you don’t have to do the five-count method. Most scientists believe that three deep, chest-expanding inhales followed by similar exhales will put the brain in Alpha state (5 seconds was the average number of most people studied). Have fun, and let me know how you’re doing!
How do you relax? What do you do to help yourself feel better? Please share in the comments below. You may be helping others who read this!
Until next time, stay frosted!