Jellybean Facts

jellybeans

What’s our fascination with jellybeans?

Is it because they are colorful, super sweet and readily available for a quick sugar pick me up?

Or is there something more to our attraction to jellybeans?

Here are some interesting facts about jellybeans for you to ponder:

• Jelly Beans were first introduced to the Easter scene in the 1930’s patterned after the popular Mid-eastern confection known as Turkish Delight. This was a popular egg shaped candy in America and sold primarily in glass jars that sat atop counters in stores all over the country.

• Jellybeans became linked to the popular Easter Bunny after the Civil war as a forerunner to Easter. Eggs were considered a symbol of new life during the spring season and the two seemed perfectly matched. Consequently, Jellybeans stuck as one of the classic Easter candies. Currently, 16 billion jellybeans are made for the Easter holiday with “red” being the most popular color.

More Interesting Jellybean Facts

• Most of us use, or are at least familiar with, Google’s Android operating system called Jelly Bean. Google’s Jelly Bean is a module that is widely available to lots of applications—as though it might be grabbed out of a jar in handfuls when needed. In fact, the Android logo, shaped like a large jellybean jar, is also part of the Android lawn statues on the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

• Ronald Reagan, the 40th US president, had such a fondness for jellybeans that he had three and a half tons of red, white, and blue Jelly Belly jellybeans shipped to Washington, DC for the 1981 Inaugural festivities.

• One of the space shuttles even took up a bunch of jellybeans for the shuttle crew to snack on.

• The term jelly beaning is American corporate slang for small talk with a client, getting to know them on initial meeting, before trying to make a sale, close a deal etc.

• Every year, there are more bizarre jellybean flavors introduced than the year before. For example, the Jelly Belly Company has such flavors as ”toothpaste” which supposedly is similar to gum.

• The notion that jellybeans, in the shape of an egg, are symbolic of new life or rebirth does not go unnoticed. Spring is said to be a time of new beginnings, a shedding of the dull colors of winter and a bursting forth of vibrant and lively hues.

• Considering the example of jelly beans as given by Google – grab a handful out of the jar when needed – I think we could use the jelly bean metaphor for those times when we need a little lift. For example: Reach your hand into a jar of jellybeans and take what you need to feel alive and energized. You can just play with them. Count how many colors are in the jar; count how many jellybeans are in the jar. You may just find yourself more relaxed and less stressed.

• To get over hurt and anger, try what I call the jelly-toss. Reach deep and grab a big handful of jellybeans. From the handful, pick a color that represents your strongest feeling. Toss that color in the trash until you have exhausted that particular color. Pick another color and do the same until all the jellybeans are gone. Now, didn’t that make you feel better? And it didn’t add one calorie to your diet.

• In a dilemma – can’t decide between two similar choices? With this method, you simply select the first jellybean color that catches your eye. Select the next color that attracts your attention. Assign a choice to each color jellybean selected. Count each of the colors and the one with the higher tally is the one you go with. Of course, this is not the best way to make a major life decision. But for decisions such as “should I wear the blue shirt or the red shirt”, this is easy peasy…

• Keep a jar for jellybeans with a small scooper on your desk for visitors as a conversation starter. Ask their favorite color and let them tell you why.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not you may have indulged in this popular treat at some time or another and wondered how jellybeans came to be so popular. Now you know…

If you have other tips or interesting facts about jellybeans, please share them with us in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

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The Power of Quiet Time

Park benchMost of us don’t have quiet time. We’re usually too busy to sit quietly for even a minute. We certainly don’t believe we deserve a space of our own in which to go within to replenish our energy.

In the book, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf refers to a woman needing a quiet space of her own to write. I doubt if Woolf could have envisioned the hectic lives most women live today. Whether we apply it to writing or other areas of our lives, Woolf’s message is still relevant. We all need some quiet time and a space to reflect and reclaim a sense of well-being.

Some of us manage to build quiet time into our busy days but others constantly complain about a lack of time.

Most often, it’s not time we lack but rather, we regret forfeiting quiet time to reflect, re-center and regain a sense of well-being. Quiet time helps us to unwind from our daily stressors, engage in an activity we enjoy or just sit quietly to replenish our energy.

When I don’t build some quiet time into my day, it seems as though I’m on a merry-go-round – going nowhere fast. But when I make it a point to schedule some quiet time into my day, my life doesn’t seem quite so hectic.

There’s a reason why hospitals advocate for quietness. It’s so patients can restore their strength and regain health. You don’t have to be in a hospital to regain your strength and reclaim a sense of well-being.

Instead, use these power of quiet time tips to reflect and re-center yourself:

Request some quiet time if you live in a “busy’ household. I’ve found that often a request is all that is needed to get what you want. Rarely will your request be denied. And even if it is, you must take charge of your life by having the courage to do what is best for you.

Make space for yourself away from everyone else. A busy mother once told me that her quiet time was a relaxing bubble bath at the end of her day. She taught her family not to disturb her during this time.

Take a walk around your neighborhood for 15-20 minutes. I often find a short walk alone quiets my mind and re-energizes me.

Spend quality time with others. Most couples know that in order to stay connected and strengthen their relationship they must spend quality time together, focused on each other. Spending quality time with those you care about means listening and giving that person your undivided attention. You can’t give another person your undivided attention when you are busy checking email, texting or thinking about your next project.

Listen to soothing music. Music is a natural relaxant and reduces stress.

For more tips and insights like these, I invite you to check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You

What picture are you painting?

What Picture Are You Painting

What picture are you painting in your mind about yourself?

Anytime we paint a picture in our mind that’s not authentic or represent who we really are, it leaves an indelible imprint.  It’s an image that we constantly try to emulate, assimilate and redefine based on someone else’s picture.

Recently I attended a paint party.  Paint parties are popping up all over the United States.  They are sometimes held in restaurants, bars and private homes.  Wherever they are held, the atmosphere is jovial and there is always plenty to eat and drink.  The whole idea of a paint party is to have fun while a professional artist guides novices (like me) in creating our own unique work of art.

Like anything we try that’s new, I was apprehensive and didn’t know quite what to expect. In other words, I almost let fear keep me from a fun experience.

As the room filled and everyone takes their place in front of an already set up easel with an attached canvass to start our masterpiece, the artist announces confidently, “our project today is a sunflower”.  As she distributes the various size paint brushes, paper plates to hold and mix the paint, I’m feeling less and less confident.  When the instructor passes out the aprons, I assume this is so we don’t go home looking like we’ve been in a paint fight with a 5-year old.

Of course, the instructor had her sunflower prominently displayed so we all could see what a real sunflower looks like. And, like most of the large group of women (and a couple of men) in the room, I tried my darnedest to follow her instructions and imitate her painting of a sunflower. And for a moment, I thought I might be successful until I noticed my masterpiece had taken on a life of its own.  While the instructor’s sunflower was dead center on the canvass with vibrant colors and perfectly formed leaves, my sunflower looked much like the Italian Leaning Tower of Pisa, known worldwide for is unintended tilt.  My leaves were a little misshapen and drooped casually along the side of the sunflower.  What I intended to be a bright yellow had somehow morphed into a yellowish/orange.

Unlike the instructor, I don’t have years (or even minutes) of painting experience. Nor do I have a natural talent for painting or even a plausible knowledge about mixing paint. Nevertheless, here I am ready to paint my masterpiece!

I’m keenly aware of my strengths and my limitations.  Painting is not one of my strengths.

So, why in the world did I sign up for a painting class when the only thing I’ve ever painted was a wall?

It wasn’t about creating a masterpiece worthy of hanging in the Smithsonian. It was about:

  • pushing through the fear of “getting it right” to experience something new and exciting
  • acceptance (being okay with who I am and what I can do)
  • breaking free of self imposed limitations (e,g,, “I can’t paint”...)
  • letting go of negative self talk (“it won’t be good enough” – good enough for who? -see acceptance above)
  • another chance to get closer to living fearlessly.

Here is what I took away from that painting class –

I don’t have to create like anyone else and I don’t have to be or do anything like anyone else.  I only need to show up as authentically, unabashedly ME!

When I shoved aside my fear, judgment and self-doubt and let go of what I thought the other people in the class would think of my feeble attempt at painting, I created my own unique sunflower (tilted and off-color). My painting may never win me an award or hang in a museum but I got something much more valuable than recognition.

I got self-satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. I experienced yet another opportunity to show up as my authentic, creative, divine self without judgment or self-doubt. And, I had fun doing it.

Now, you can’t put that on canvass!

Is the picture you have in your mind representative of who you really are?

What picture are you painting?

Please take a moment to share comments about your unique picture.

And for more ways to suspend fear, self-doubt and criticism, you may want to read my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Listening Well

Listening WellMost of us have experienced the frustration of having someone not listen to us or felt that same frustration when someone says you’re not listening to him or her.   But, before we get all bent out of shape and accuse someone of not listening, we must first ask ourselves the question, “how well do I listen”?

You must learn to be a good listener if you want others to listen to you.  That means putting down the smartphone and giving the other person your undivided attention.

A smartphone is no substitute for meaningful connection

Listening is so much more than hearing the words that are spoken. Listening involves paying full attention to the person speaking, taking note of the tone of voice, gestures, body language and making eye contact.

We are so accustomed to speaking in shorthand – e.g., OMG, LOL, ROFL, etc., that real communication easily gets lost.  A “smart” device is no substitute for meaningful, connected interaction between two or more people.  Smart devices and shortcut speech is just another way for us to avoid connecting with each other in a meaningful way.

Before you send your next text, email or instant message, ask yourself:

How well do I listen?

How does my commuication connect me to him/her?

And to further hone up on your listening skills,  keep these tips in mind to remind you to become a better listener.

1) Look the person speaking in the eye as they talk to you. This shows that you are paying attention. Don’t fidget, survey the surrounding scenery or check email.

2) Nod your head occasionally, say, “tell me more”, or ask questions when appropriate to indicate your interest.

3) Don’t interrupt the person speaking to complete her thoughts in your mind before she has the opportunity to finish speaking.

4) Notice the speaker’s body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. When we focused only on the words being said, we often miss important physical cues that would clarify and give us a better understanding of what is really being said.

5) Remember to ask questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”. You want to ask questions that promote more conversation and clarity.

For more listening and communication tips, you may want to order my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace, and Celebrate the Real You

Who do you think you are?

canstockphoto1212266Who do you think you are is a refrain that fear whispers in my ear regularly.

The only purpose for fear landing on my shoulder, whispering my ear, “who do you think you are” is to stop me dead in my tracks, so I won’t take the next step toward realizing a dream or doing something that will bring me joy.

You may not even realize fear has you in its clutches until you are gripped with immobility, indecisiveness and self-doubt.  By then you’ve put aside your dreams, your aspirations and lack the energy to move forward.

In other words, you’re the passenger not the pilot in your own vehicle.

How do you silence “fear talk” when she whispers in your ear,  “who do you think you are”?

You silence her the same as you would any other pest.

1) First, you flick her off your shoulder like the annoying pest she is so she no longer has access to your ear.

2)  Tell her that she’s not the boss of you and go away. Like most bullies when you stand up to fear, she will run the other way or at least leave you alone and walk fast towards her next victim.

Once you prevent fear from accessing your ear, swatted her from your shoulder and sent on her way, you no longer have an excuse to stay stuck. Now you are free to pursue your dreams and show up in the world as the fearless, authentic woman you really are.

So what are you waiting for?

Get fear off your shoulder and start living the life you deserve and want.

For more tips and insights like these, check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.