On My Father's Retirement

Last week my father retired. He had been with the same company for 34 years.

34 years.

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That is almost unheard of these days. Staying with one company for that amount of time. 

Today, loyalty doesn't seem to be valued like it once was. Corporate management has transitioned to a new era of management style where the sense of "company as family" is lost and turnover is high.

Despite my Dad's modesty, it was revealed to me that he is a rather big deal in his industry. 

Amongst the changing tides of corporate cutbacks and general insensitivity to employees, the company that my father worked for threw him a retirement party. That alone was a big deal.

Amplifying the evening were the speeches, including videotaped messages sent in from prior colleagues currently residing in Europe, and the humorous, touching gifts. His coworkers made enlarged copies of past company calendar photographs (from back when they made themed employee calendars to give out to corporate customers-- they are HILARIOUS), a lamp that included a model catalytic converter and a cake that featured photographs of his plants. (The building "plant" not the vegetation.)

The most emphasized point of the evening was that more than being brilliant at his job, my father was a remarkably great man to work for/with. Apparently, my father was constantly espousing that work should be fun, that when people enjoy what they are doing and appreciate how they are treated, they work harder and better.

This is completely counter to the incoming management style throughout most of corporate America today. 

Hearing men and women talk about my father advocating this incredible life perspective brought tears to my eyes over and over. I was filled with such pride and love for a man that I realized had this entire work-life happening throughout my childhood that I was completely ignorant of. Not only did I feel blessed to be raised by a man with such a healthy, wonderful approach to work, but I recognized how little I knew was going on when I was young. I suppose that is a normal byproduct of childhood when our lives are consumed with our own schooling and pastimes, but knowing now the amount of pressure and substantial hard work he did constantly, I have a whole new respect for him. Yes, he maintains that work should be fun, but he still believes in doing great work. He was constantly giving presentations, overseeing projects and making huge contributions to his industry. 

I am a proud (and very fortunate) daughter.

Since yesterday was also Father's Day, I suppose there is no better time to honor the great fathers of the world. Here's to you.

 Father's Day Quote
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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Quotes for Self-Improvement

 Self-Improvement

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."

~Eleanor Roosevelt

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."

~Hemingway

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

~Howard Thurman

"If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room."

~Anonymous

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.“

~Apple

 

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

In my 28th year

I turned 28 on Saturday.

Apparently, that is supposed to mean something. Some metaphorical turning of the page.

Our society is rather preoccupied with youth, aging, not-appearing-to-be-aging, and physical decay.  

It's bizarre, actually.

Besides stemming from a fear of death, why would aging be seen as such an awful thing?

If we are able to remove the deep-seated fear of death that most people carry, can we stop viewing birthdays as worrisome passage of time? What if we count our lives in lessons learned or experiences had? I want to keep track of fears overcome and the degree to which I have learned how to love. Those take time to accumulate, thus living (and aging) is beautiful progress.

We seem to assign certain expectations and common benchmarks to different ages, as if we are bound by these rules on a cellular level. Your choices are your own. You do not have to subscribe to the notion that you are ever too old to try new things, have adventures or make big life changes. 

I find it exceptionally funny, if somewhat strange and even a bit disheartening, that we seem to do this to ourselves at such remarkably (and increasingly) young ages. I remember having a bit of a crisis at turning 22.

22!

At the time, I felt as though I had surpassed all of the birthdays where I had new allowances to look forward to. 16 and a driver's license, 18 and a legal adult, 21 and legal to drink alcohol...they were all behind me. On top of it, with every passing 20-something year I was feeling stressed about meeting expectations that I had set out for myself.  

I was not yet working a job I loved. I wasn't where I wanted to be financially. And since I am attempting to do artistic and entrepreneurial things, there have been very few ways to measure my strides towards those goals. I felt frustrated and lost. 

Which is exactly why each birthday was vexing. It brought up the disconnect between my previous expectations and my reality.

It was all in my mind.

I invented the problem and I could just as easily allow for the solution. 

Let go.

Once I let go of my associations between a number and my story about what that represented, everything shifted. 

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This is a relatively recent realization. 26 is probably when I started to recognize that I was being rather unkind to myself and perhaps I should cut it out. Granted, this isn't like switching on a light; where once it's on it's on. I still ponder about my age and my life each April, but these days I am able to (mostly) be an observer of the moment.  

Okay, so I do wonder if I'm starting to look older. I am firmly in my LATE twenties now. I still get carded at bars, but I have been curious about how my appearance has changed over the 8 years that I have been in my twenties. Luckily for me, Photo Booth exists.

If you were to look at Photo Booth on my computer (the made-for-selfie's application on Mac laptops) I would look incredibly narcissistic. And that makes me laugh. The good news about having yearly selfie sessions (that normally stay for-my-eyes only) is that it is a wonderful exercise in aging. 

Below, for your viewing pleasure (and perhaps just for a good laugh at my expense) is a collage of various computer selfie's from the past 8 years all mixed up. Besides the hilarious observation that I clearly prefer one side of my face to the other, and that I like to either prop up my chin or my hair with my hand, I think that it is remarkably hard to arrange the correct chronological order. 

Despite the overly self-involved nature of selfies, I think I will continue to have a solo Photo Booth session annually. I think it will be an interesting way to track myself over time and have some fun with the aging process.

Even making this collage has been surprisingly self-affirming. A welcome reminder that the passage of time is both compelling and rather unworthy of our apprehension.

Yes, I recognize that this is a collage of my twenties, not a collage spanning over multiple decades into middle age, but since I had already begun to agonize over possible unwanted changes, it is good to remember that the voices in my head that like to self-criticize are dumb.

When I'm 50, I hope to enjoy looking at my appearance from over the ages and see the beauty in each passing year. Hopefully, I will think back to the moments in my twenties when I thought unkind things about my appearance, remember how ridiculous that was, have a good laugh, and admire my wonderful laughter lines; appreciating that I had a marvelous time creating those creases.

And then I hope that when I'm 90, I look back on my appearance into my senior years, still seeing the beauty, and think back to when I was 50 and thought that I had laughter lines. But no, oh no, little did I know how much more laughter I still had ahead of me to really make them stick.

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Conscious Music

I haven't posted My Weekly Three music videos in a little while, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to do so. I listen to a lot of music so selecting which ones to include is sometimes a challenge. I decided to go with a bit of a theme for this week's posting: Peace & Love. Enjoy!

Nothing More, Alternate Routes

Unity, Trevor Hall Feat. Matisyahu

Give Love, MC Yogi

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Owning My Fear

Fear. The most cutting of all four letter words. I've talked a bit about fear and consciously choosing to surround myself with supportive folks. (For example, this blog post here.) I am talking about it again because it's a common theme in my life, and as I have discovered, a common theme in many people's lives.

I am a strong believer that for anyone who is attempting to suss out a life by way of uncharted territory, it is extra important to choose the company you keep carefully. 

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There are people that throw around the word "can't" too freely. They wield it like a sword ready to cut down those that seek to stray from the acceptable path.

The strange truth is that despite how it may seem, these people are probably not out to hurt us. People who inject such negativity into other people's lives are far too consumed by their own experiences for it to truly be about us. It is about them. Their attitudes are a reflection upon their own inhibitions or life circumstances.  

This awareness lends me some compassion towards people that say unsupportive things, but it does not mean that I need to choose to prolong interaction with them. And nor do you if you find yourself in a room full of naysayers. You can leave that room. 

I'm also learning that fear is not a bad thing. It is how we respond to our fears that matters.

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These days my level of inner calm is a pendulum.  

I started to panic about moving back to LA because I had, somewhat arbitrarily, set the end of April as my departure date. This having to do mainly with the fact that my birthday is at the end of April and therefore it felt like a good time to high-tail it out of here. Seeing as how it is already mid-April, that date was clearly overly ambitious. Time flew and I felt completely unprepared.  I was supposed to fit in multiple trips before leaving! Not to mention actually getting packed and ready.  

The pendulum had swung too far to the right; I was feeling rushed, completely caught off guard by the swift passage of time.

Then my mother calmly reminded me through an episode of hysterics on the phone that I set this date for myself and I didn't actually have to be out by a certain time.

Oh, right.

As it turns out, delaying making concrete departure plans was a good thing, as there are new developments in the works causing some shifting in dates. 

After this release of my timetable, I had a few days of genuine calm. I felt at ease for the first time in a while.

And then the pendulum started to swing back the other way. Now there were too many questions! When AM I getting out of here? Seriously, what AM I doing? Is LA the right move? GAH!

Hello, my name is Katie Anxiety Habib.

I am a bit ridiculous and I suppose the only redeeming quality is that I know it and can ultimately laugh about it; you know, when I'm not in the midst of a frenzy.  Wait, I take it back. I have been known to do a laugh-cry.

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The take away here is that it is all going to be okay.

(Did that feel like a leap? Stay with me.)

And since that is really all that I ever need to hear, I am saying it to you. 

It is all going to be okay.

If you have genuine dreams and are in active pursuit of those dreams, keep trucking! Living with uncertainty is a rather uncomfortable place to be, but I am a big believer in pushing ourselves, striving for new horizons and embracing change. Even in my only 27 (nearly 28 now!) years, I can already see the truth in Mark Twain's words, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things you did do."  

Foraging ahead is scary. It is. If we are the one clearing the path then we don't know for certain what the future looks like. 

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Living in the questions is not how we are taught to function. If you find yourself in a state of anxiety over your life, make the question smaller until it feels manageable.  If your entire life feels like one big question mark, and at the moment that feels terrifying instead of freeing and it can absolutely be the latter! That's my ultimate goal. If you are already there, Bravo! But if you are like me and that level of trust is still a burgeoning practice, give this a whirl stop asking that large of a question. Don't ask yourself how your life will look five years from now. Focus on just this year, or this month, this day, or even just this very moment. What is it that you want to do right now? What would make you feel calm and centered right now?

And trust me, we want to feel calm and centered. From that place we can conquer the world.   

5 Comments /Source

Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Big Announcement

I’m moving back to LA. 

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For how long or exactly what that entails, I do not know.  I’m trying ever so hard to be okay with living in that uncertainty.  In my daydreams I thrive on uncertainty.  Gypsy-wanderer style.  But in my current, everyday reality, such massive uncertainty freaks me the hell out.

To be fair, I am prone to anxiety.  I’m working on it.

I don’t have the specific date of departure yet, but it looks like I will be leaving in the end of April and road tripping it out to Los Angeles.

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via fanpop

Annnnnd....enter overwhelm.

Here I am attempting to plan what should amount to a truly epic cross-country road trip with my best friend, and yet all of the questions and details have turned me into an insomniac.

Because here is the thing:  I’m going out there without a job.  Without a fully developed plan.  I mean, I have a partial plan.  I have people that I can stay with and the intention of subletting over the summer so that I don’t have to buy furniture or commit to a lease until I find my footing, with just enough money to do so.  But just enough.  I will need to figure out an income stream fairly quickly and that is stressful. 

I’m from a family that ensures that everything is already worked out ahead of time, instead of trusting that everything will work out in time.

Yes, I am the token risk taker of the family, and I generally like to be flexible and care-free, but my genetics and upbringing betray me and the secret truth is that their fears and concerns do affect me. 

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Interestingly, I’ve got their support on this one.  They know that I have spun myself a tangled web of frustration and restlessness that needs to be broken.  They trust that this is a good move for me.  Beyond good-- necessary.

But then what?

I’ll admit that I hunger for my adventures to include a lot more international travel.  That is certainly the goal.  But, seeing as how I generally want to see EVERYWHERE, I also want to explore more of the U.S.A.  This is a rather large country, after all.  There is a lot here.

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via pinterest

A cross-country road trip is on my bucket list and here I am planning to check it off.  That’s amazing.  Plus, I am going to Charleston in a couple days.  Hopefully, Boston next month.  And then I’ll be road trippin’ it.  I even have potential plans to go up to San Francisco for a few days in May and I’ve always wanted to do a pacific coast road trip as well.  So maybe that can be the plan for now.  I’ll get my wandering in state-side first.  I’ll gypsy around the U.S. and enjoy some domestic hungry adventures.  (And get a job of some sort, of course.)

Instead of stressing over how to make everything work out, and how to include all of the epic adventures that I want to have IMMEDIATELY, I will be excited about this change.

(She says because, “Words are the first step towards deeds!” Right, Liz Lemon!)

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via pinterest

In truth, writing this all down is helpful.  It pulls the words out of my brain and removes some of the mental clutter.  Between this and some newly revamped sleep hygiene, I’m starting to be able to fall asleep before the wee hours of the morning. 

Progress.

Compare Much?

I got published in Flux!

Thanks Flux!

In their own words: Flux is a space for those of us who are trying to navigate the beginnings of adulthood to safely express our views and experiences on topics that affect our daily lives. Personal stories, reflections, political views—they all have a place here. This is a judgment-free zone for those of us working to figure out what it means to be a “grownup.”

Here is an excerpt of my article titled Maybe Other People's Lives Don't Matter.

As it turns out, turning twenty didn’t actually make me much less like a teenager.

At 18, I really did think of myself as discerning and astute. I had it in my head that I was now a real-life adult and that I was in control of my own life. In actuality, I was often affected by my surroundings and fairly insecure about a lot of things. I suppose being easily influenced is a rather common trait among teenagers. Unfortunately, that unpleasant state of confusion and that search for exterior validation didn’t magically go away when I turned twenty.

I’ve come to realize that classic “peer pressure,” which is often depicted as an exclusive product of childhood, sticks around well into adulthood. In fact, there is a solid possibility that I will one day be 70 and will face manipulation by my fellow 70 year olds. (I’ve worked in a country club and witnessed this happening first-hand.) But, it is definitely an epidemic when we’re in our twenties. I mean seriously, why do you think the most coveted key demographic for advertisers is 18-34? Because we are impressionable! And on top of that, we tend to buy shit. Because we actually believe that we need it!

Granted, besides the already often-discussed consequences of consumerism-gone-wild, I don’t actually think that wanting to wear fashionable clothes or have the latest iPhone is super terrible or indicative of a personal crisis. We are allowed to like shiny things. No, I’m more concerned about being so affected about others’ opinions of how we live our lives.

Click here to read the rest of Maybe Other People's Lives Don't Matter

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

How to Distinguish Between Commonly Confused Terms

At risk of coming across as a pompous sudo-English professor, I've got a mini English lesson in store for you.  A lot of people actually wonder about this stuff, enough that they are common google searches, so I'm really just trying to be helpful.  

Now I realize that some are you are gonna be all:

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And that's okay.  But for those of you who like words or don't know how to use irony correctly and want to, please stick around.

As I've previously mentioned- I'm a word nerd and I love language.  With that in mind I thought I'd go over some common word misusage.  The following are a few words that get thrown around a LOT and often in the wrong context.  Yes, fine, we probably knew what you meant, but seriously you will upgrade your power of speech significantly if you can use these properly.  Plus, you really will win major favor with other obnoxious word nerds like me.  

Ethics versus Morals

Ethics (in the practical sense) are rules/laws about right and wrong from an external source, typically society at large.  Ex. government laws, a company's rule book. In the philosophical sense, ethics deals with theories about what is good for society.

Morals are an individual's own principles.

For example, smoking marijuana may go against society's ethics (although that is now shifting) and result in a fine or incarceration, but an individual may not think that smoking marijuana is immoral.  Violating ethics usually results in some sort of punishment by law or a company ethics committee, while violating your own moral code tends to result in shame or depression.  The two often overlap as ethics tend to reflect the morality of the people, but since morality is individual, what is deemed ethical by society may not align with some people's own sense of morality. Also, something can be deemed unethical in the philosophical sense if it does harm to society, even if it goes without reprimand. This actually happens a fair bit because: 

  • Our lawmakers are supposed to be concerned with defining the country's ethics code. The political parties are supposed to be offering different points of view with regard to what is ethical based on how they define society, but ultimately still be debating what is beneficial for society at large. Instead, recent history has found politicians debating morality.

Envy versus Jealousy

Envy is when you covet something that someone else has.

Jealousy is when you are afraid of losing something you already have.

You can be jealous of your boyfriend flirting with another girl because you are afraid of losing your boyfriend.  You are envious of that girl if you want her shoes or great hair.

Let me state this again for the record since this is such a common confusion: if someone else has something you want the word is ENVIOUS.  If someone achieves something that you've wanted to achieve you are ENVIOUS.  Unless you are afraid of losing something or being replaced, jealousy isn't the correct term.

Irony versus Coincidence

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via pinterest

Unfortunately, Alanis Morissette got this one a bit wrong.  Pulling from the NY Times, "Not every coincidence, curiosity, oddity and paradox is an irony, even loosely. And where irony does exist, sophisticated writing counts on the reader to recognize it.”  Okay, so I'm not trying to make us all NY Times worthy writers, but here's some helpful info regarding IRONY.  

First off, just to complicate matters, there are multiple different types of irony.  I'm going to avoid dramatic irony and tragic irony since this is not a Shakespeare class.  Here are the two types of irony that are commonly used today:

Situational Irony is when there is an incongruity (or reversal) between what is expected and what actually happens.  Meaning: what happened is not what you would have expected.  For example, it is ironic when a couple chooses to have an indoor wedding in order to avoid the rain and the sprinklers end up going off during the indoor wedding.  Another example would be if a criminal returned to the scene of the crime to cover up his tracks, only to end up leaving new evidence that actually leads to his capture.

Verbal Irony is when the intended meaning is opposite of what is said.  Sarcasm is an example of verbal irony, as is understatement and overstatement.  There is also something that I will call "Non-Verbal" irony because it's technically not spoken, but it's the same usage.  The best example of this is modern day hipsters. Hipsters wear clothing that is indicative of a certain genre or social statement, but wear it "ironically" because they are actually meaning to make fun of that trend.  

Coincidence is when two things occur in such a manner that it would appear as if they had been planned or prearranged even though they were not.  

For example, everyone showing up to a party wearing the same colored shirt is a coincidence.  Rushing to make it to your flight on time, then getting to the airport and finding out your plane has been delayed is just a coincidence.

The trouble with irony is that it is somewhat dependent upon one's expectation.  Therefore, technically some events could seem ironic to one person and coincidental to another.  For example, believe it or not: if a daredevil manages to complete all of his stunts without injury and then trips while walking and breaks his arm- that's really coincidence.  The fact that he tripped while walking isn't truly ironic because people trip and fall sometimes.  Although, if you were talking to this daredevil and asked him, "How did you break you arm? Did you fall off your motorcycle or hurt yourself cliff diving?" And he replies, "Actually, I tripped while walking down the street." You would find that ironic since it was the opposite of what you were expecting.  All in all, there is definitely some leeway. 

But for the record: "a traffic jam when you're already late" is just a coincidence.

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Sympathy versus Empathy versus Pity

Sympathy is a recognition or understanding for the situation of another.  Acknowledging another's hardship or challenge with support or encouragement. Think "comforting" someone.

Empathy is when one actually feels and relates to the emotions of another person.  One has experienced that hardship before or can place himself in that person's shoes.  Think "relating to" someone.

Pity is when someone compares one's personal situation to someone else's and feels better off.  Think "feeling sorry for" someone.


Well, there you go!  I hope that has cleared up a few things.  If you have any questions about the correct use of those words, feel free to ask.  Otherwise go forth my newly educated readers and spread annoyingly accurate speech throughout the land!

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Getting Yelped

During my early twenties, I held one of those rites of passage, character-building jobs known as being a waitress.  Or for you fancy restaurant industry types: a server.  Yes, I was a server for a couple of years and in general I think I was pretty good at my job. Which, by the way, is actually not a super easy job.  I know it looks like it would be really easy, but the truth is that being a server is only easy when everything goes smoothly and all of your customers are nice.  This never happens.  Instead, you inevitably get some really difficult tables, the kitchen gets backed up, people keep changing their order after you’ve already put it in the computer and you inexplicably get caught trying to take the order of a party of 10 for over 20 minutes.

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via blogs.sap.com

            Most of the time I was pretty good at keeping my cool.  Well, not actually, just in appearance with my tables.  Trust me, all servers are bitching up a storm about how crazed they are to one another in the back.  But every now and again, my horror would show up on my face.  I honestly don’t think it’s my fault; my face is overly expressive.  Can’t be helped.  Still, one day, when I was not stoked to be at work, I served a lady who apparently liked to write reviews on Yelp. 

 Remember Naomi from the movie  Waiting.   Every waitress can relate to her.

Remember Naomi from the movie Waiting.  Every waitress can relate to her.

            Okay, so I really would like to talk some trash here because I personally think that it is incredibly shitty to call out a broke waitress by name in an online review unless this person was a straight up jerk.  In all honesty, the write up wasn’t that bad and did not get me fired or anything.  It did get me called out by my manager in a shift meeting, though.  But here’s the thing: I wasn’t great that day.  It started off just fine, but I was feeling grumpy and when she started complaining that the food came out in the wrong order when I didn’t realize that she wanted the food in a particular order my patience was thin.  Normally, I would have put on my standard overly apologetic server speak and been uber nice to make up for it, but that day I wasn’t having it.  It just seemed absolutely ridiculous to me that she required the food in a certain order when this was an average Chinese food restaurant where it’s all pretty interchangeable and most of our clientele doesn’t care.  Or if they do, they specify.  Then when I thought she was completely stiffing me on a tip I made a point not to say my usual “Thank you so much” spiel when she left.  It turned out that she did leave me an okay tip... and a blast on yelp.  Ouch.  Lesson learned. 

            So back to my original point, I still think it’s shitty of her to use someone’s name when it’s not like I called her names or something.  In general, I’m a fan of supporting what you like and not bashing what you don’t.  I think the internet has made it far too easy for people to insult others.  I have never in my life done that and I would never complain about food order or just about anything that seems kind of beside the point.  I’m a super chill customer so it always blows my mind when other people are not.  And yet, I would have been far better off sucking it up and being a gracious server in spite of it.  So here’s the lesson twenty somethings: sometimes you are going to be moody and not like your current “not your dream job” job.  Do a good job anyway.  I mean, don’t kill yourself trying to make the world’s greatest latte or something, but put it this way: you’re never going to regret doing any job well.  You may regret screwing up a job, even one that you didn’t think you cared about.  Being professional does not come back to bite you in the ass.  Being unprofessional might.  Why risk it?

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Music I Currently Have on Repeat

Noah Gunderson, Ledges

Ben Howard, Hand to Hold

Connor Christian and Southern Gothic, Sheets Down

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

We Are Whole And Complete

I have a tendency to try to fix things.  On some level this is a positive quality.  For one, I give pretty spot on advice to my friends and family.  I am incredibly adept at being objective with other people’s dilemmas and when something really does need to be done, I’ve got ideas, suggestions, and different ways of looking at an issue.  (Of course, my own life is a different story.)  On the other hand, viewing us as beings that require fixing really isn’t conducive to creating a safe space for people to heal and feel loved.  A situation can be fixed.  A table can be fixed.  We do not need to be fixed.

 via wallpapersfor.me

via wallpapersfor.me

The words that we choose when describing a situation are important.  They shape the conversation.  The word "fixed" can sometimes carry too much negative connotation.

The truth is that no one needs to be fixed, because we are not broken.  Even if we want to alter something about how we are living our lives, we are not inherently a broken product. 

We are whole and complete, AND there is room for transformation, movement and change.

I love this idea.  It was completely novel to me when one of my teachers taught this concept.  The idea that these two possibilities could coexist blew my mind. 

How do we live this truth?  How do we remember that we are whole and complete while we are attempting to transform in some way?

 via pinterest

via pinterest

1.  Remove judgment words

The way that we shape the conversation about whatever we want to change is incredibly important.  When we talk about ourselves (or others) we shouldn’t use words like “right” and “wrong,” “good” and “bad.”  You are not a bad person.  Even if you feel as though you have made mistakes, you have the ability to make new choices going forward.  The way you have been living your life isn’t wrong, it just may not be serving you.   This approach is much kinder and more likely to help you achieve the shift that you aspire to.

2.  View bumps in the road as necessary lessons

So what if it took years to realize that a relationship, career path, daily habit etc. wasn’t working for us.  We know now.  Let’s chalk it up to a meaningful life lesson and be grateful to be on the other side.  Regret is unhelpful and paralyzing.  In grade school, we used to get gold stars for learning new things.  Instead of lamenting that we didn’t miraculously know everything from the beginning, let’s celebrate our new education.  We figured it out!  Now we can move on.

3. Love ourselves

I tend to harp on this one a lot, but if underneath the stumbles and frustrations we can still look at ourselves with love and compassion we are going to be able to move forward.  No matter what it is that needs to shift in our lives, a small detail or a considerable overhaul, we are whole and complete with the innate power to transform.  I’m quite confident that this mentality results in much more action and success. 

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via pinterest

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Natural Skincare

Does winter dry out your skin like it dries out mine?

I have currently found a really awesome combination of natural oils that keeps my skin hydrated and clear. Happy day! In case any of you have winter dry skin woes and are looking for a natural option, I want to share my nighttime skincare recipe. It only has three ingredients!

  1. Tea Tree Oil (the diluted kind, safe to be applied directly to skin)
  2. Neem Oil
  3. Coconut oil
Skincare.jpg

First I apply the gentle strength Tea Tree oil directly onto any blemishes or potential "problem areas."  That stuff works wonders!

Then I mix together approximately equal parts of Tea Tree, Neem and Coconut oils in a mini bowl or container.  

Apply to face.  The end.  

How awesome is that?!  And the pleasant aromas of tea tree and coconut overpower the less pleasant smelling neem.  The result is soft, smooth skin.  Loving it!  

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Got a Weight Problem?

I got published in Elephant Journal! (Again!)

Elephant-Journal-logo.gif

Thanks Ele! I'm very grateful for these opportunities.

Elephant Journal is an independent online journal dedicated to the mindful life.   In their own words: "The mindful life is about yoga, organics, sustainability, conscious consumerism, enlightened education, the contemplative arts, adventure, bicycling, family…everything."

Here's an excerpt from my latest article titled How To Not Have a Weight Problem:

The key to not having a weight problem is not having a food problem.

The key to not having a food problem is not having a body image problem. So ultimately the real question is: How not to have a body image problem? And the answer is not (I repeat, NOT) having the perfect body, because that doesn’t exist. There isn’t one perfect body; there isn’t even my perfect body. There is just my body, and in so being my body, it is perfect.

We’ve got to love ourselves.

We need to not beat ourselves up every time we eat a “bad food” or forgo a workout.

Please don’t be someone who always wants to lose 10 pounds. I know those people. I’ve been that person. I didn’t feel extremely unhealthy or overweight, but any day that I felt extra slim was a good day and any day that I felt larger than normal was a bad day.

I always pictured myself thinner (and therefore magically happier) in the future.  In the words of Bob Newhart, I needed to “STOP IT.”

Click here to read the rest of How To Not Have a Weight Problem.

Feel free to leave any thoughts and comments about this article on this post or at the bottom of the piece on Elephant Journal. 

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Defining Introverted

I am an introvert.  

It is interesting to me that many people don't seem to understand the true meaning of that classification.

 via stockvault.net

via stockvault.net

Let's start with what it doesn't mean.

  • It doesn't mean that I don't like people.  I like people a lot.  
  • It doesn't mean that I am not social.  I am quite sociable and enjoy social events.
  • It doesn't mean that I am a quiet wallflower.  I am often loud and jovial.

While there are, of course, introverts who may prefer solitude over the company of others most of the time, consciously avoid social events and would act rather silent and removed if they were forced to attend a social gathering, that is not the very definition of introverted.

Introvert: (n) Person who retreats mentally

My interpretation is that extroverts are rejuvenated by the vitality of others, while introverts are drained by it.  Instead, introverts acquire their strength from solitude.

 via challengeofsolitude.blogspot.com

via challengeofsolitude.blogspot.com

I enjoy people very much.  Well, people that I enjoy- I enjoy very much.  But I need alone time.  

I go beyond being content in my own company to requiring it.  Solitude for me is an oasis.  An opportunity for me to just be.

We humans are a social bunch.  We tend to thrive in communities and acquire a "group mentality."  There is safety in numbers and fear of the outliers.  It is this unease around the recluse that sets off an assumed association between a want for privacy and nefarious thoughts.

While there are certainly warning signs of mental anguish that include voluntary extreme isolation, an introvert wanting to recuperate in solitude is not that.

My personal experience has been that since I fit many people's expectation of an extrovert by being generally outgoing, people sometimes struggle with understanding that after having been vivacious and (yes, sometimes) brash, that I may need to retreat into solitude without thinking that it is somehow a negative reflection upon them.  I tend to be very sensitive to other people's energies and can come home drained after a day spent enveloped in the activity of a large group.  

This is not a bad thing.  I don't mind it at all.  Given space and opportunity, I will happily revive and repeat.  

But I need that time. 

Without it, I struggle.  I get depleted.  My health suffers.  And honestly, I'm a bit tired of having to defend it.  

Some people easily get it.  They, too, are introverts and understand completely.  But to my extroverted comrades who take offense or have concern: please know that it is not personal, that it is not problematic, and that I do not expect you to seek the same method of comfort.  

We introverts do not insist that everyone appreciate the pleasure of solitude as we do, though we may like to promote its benefits, but we do ask that we be granted the space to do so.

It really is what is best for all of us.

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Some quotes for the week

"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness."  

Leo Tolstoy

"You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have."  

Oscar Wilde

"To be beautiful means to be yourself.  You don't need to be accepted by others.  You need to accept yourself."

Thích Nhất Hạnh

"Mmm. Terrible Ideas.  Don't you just love those."  

From Under the Tuscan Sun

"There is nothing more beautiful, nor more rare than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me that is the true essence of beauty."  

Steve Mariboli 

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Music is good for the soul

Bastille, Flaws

The Head and The Heart, Rivers & Roads

Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams

2 Comments

Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Word Nerd

I love language.  I love descriptive imagery and witty banter.  Good conversation, challenging debate, a beautiful turn of phrase- mmm, baby, that's the stuff.

While I am a little dismayed that one of my favorite quotes, an awesome quote from Dead Poet's Society, has been turned into a commercial voiceover for iPad Air, it reminded me to focus on language on this site.  I actually was going to have a separate page on this site entitled Written Word (which featured that quote btw) where I would list books, essays and poetry that I enjoy, but instead I decided just to allow those to come out organically as part of my journal.  So here is a post featuring some words that I think are beautiful and little known.

And here is that wonderful quote from Dead Poet's Society, in case you haven't heard it before: 

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"

(And just for the record: my problem isn't with Apple.  I'm writing this post on a MacBook Air actually, but something about using that quote as a marketing campaign and therefore making it super hackneyed feels kind of like my favorite indie band just went mainstream.  I don't know- it may be silly, but I think many can relate.)

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Published

I got published in Elephant Journal!  

Elephant Journal is an independent online journal dedicated to the mindful life.   In their own words: "The mindful life is about yoga, organics, sustainability, conscious consumerism, enlightened education, the contemplative arts, adventure, bicycling, family…everything."

Here is an except from my article:

Of the many diet-based communities out there, the vegetarian community is one of the largest and most prolific.

Bear with me for a moment, but as a recent graduate with my M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health, I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of years thinking about people’s diets and their relationship to their diets. It seems to me that, for some, subscribing to a particular diet philosophy is akin to subscribing to a specific religious belief.

The correlations run deep—from leaders to sacred texts to ‘true believers’. Blind faith, for example, can defend any effect that a diet may have upon one’s body: feeling ill is simply the body detoxifying, or perhaps the diet wasn’t adhered to strictly enough. Any unfortunate reaction is explained away.

Is there a Church of Vegetarianism?

Click here to read the rest of Is there a Church of Vegetarianism? 

Feel free to leave any comments on this post or at the bottom of the article with your thoughts.

I'm very grateful to the staff of Elephant Journal for publishing my article.  Thank you!

elephant-journal.jpg
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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Themes of 2013- Part 2

Now, what about the reigning themes of pop culture in 2013?  

 via imgfave.com

via imgfave.com

In 2013, American culture said goodbye to Breaking Bad, hello again to boy bands and what the hell? to the most ineffective congress in U.S. history.  But the overriding theme that will probably dominate most 2013 pop culture wrap ups is something else.  In 2013 mainstream pop culture was introduced to the idea of Twerking.  While I have no real interest in talking at large about a dance move, I do think the juicy nugget within that topic is about the larger conversations that went on after Twerking hit the airwaves.

Once again, female sexuality and body image came front and center.

I've read a lot of articles and heard a bunch of commentary about people's reactions to the general omnipresence of mostly-naked pop stars and overt sexual imagery. Ironically, these shouts of outrage are fueling the epidemic and encouraging more of it by garnering massive attention to these displays.  These objections are also not new. This whole cycle isn't new. Miley is being vilified today.  Britney and Christina were vilified 10 years ago, and Madonna was vilified before that.  Why the topic of female sexuality, and women's behavior in general, garner the most vehement reactions by the public is of interest to me.

I don't think there is any doubt that men and women are treated differently when it comes to sexuality and behavior.  

 via feelmorebetter.com

via feelmorebetter.com

Society at large seems to be fairly uncomfortable with the idea of young women having sex.  All of the laws and conversations about birth control, HPV vaccines, abstinence and abortion tend to stem from a deep seeded belief that young women (and women in general) should not be having sex.  Otherwise, the conversations would be different.  It is a proven fact that teaching abstinence results in more teenage pregnancies than methods that teach safe sex measures.  The HPV vaccine is targeted at curbing an epidemic of the most common STD that can result in CANCER, but some people fear that if a girl gets the vaccine it will magically result in her either having sex immediately or ultimately later having more sex or both (and the implicit connotation there is that her having sex is bad.)  If those who oppose abortion truly are against the idea of a fetus being terminated, then they would support birth control because it has been proven that the number one way to cut down on abortions is to increase use of birth control.  Instead, the powers (and followers) who oppose abortion tend to also be against birth control rights.  Therefore, the central thread is that sex should be minimal and only for procreation.  Of course, the burden of responsibility under that doctrine tends to fall much more heavily upon women than men as well.

But back to the twerking.  Why are we, as a society, so preoccupied with displays of female sexuality in pop music performances?

Personally, I agree that there seems to be a general uniformity and lack of creative diversity amongst the marketing campaigns of pop music.  The entertainment industry does seem a bit stuck in their ability to promote artists.  Interestingly, there is actually way more music (and all other art forms) available today than ever before thanks to technology that allows aspiring artists to publish their own material and make it technically available to a large mass of people.  I say 'technically' because with such a vast amount of stuff out there in internet land, people will only find it if they know where to look.  So yes, I do absolutely wish that the record companies and other influential playmakers will help diversify the market and get different representations of sexuality and human behavior (other than the one-size-fits-all concept of aggressive, in-your-face nearly naked dancing) into the mainstream.  

That said, I think that it is possible to recognize that there are some missing opportunities for a greater range of artistic expression without having a conniption fit every time a woman takes off her clothes.  Seriously, a MTV award show performance probably should not dominate the public conversation for as long as it did.  (And yes, I recognize that I am talking about it, but honestly I'm really talking about the larger issues.)  Granted, maybe it was a marketing ploy.  I assume that controversy still sells, and it could be a conscious choice by businessmen to keep those conversations going. Even if that is true, I would argue that we take the bait too easily.  We shouldn't keep finding displays of female sexuality so shocking and we shouldn't keep feeling the need to scorn these young women.  (I mean, come on.  We are doing this so much that that the term "slut-shaming" now exists.)  After all, we are talking about sex- not violence. As a culture, we seem way more tolerant of violence in representation than of sex.  Why is that?  

So long 2013, I hope 2014 brings some new ideas into the mix and leaves behind a bit of the mania.

 via fitnessgoop.com

via fitnessgoop.com

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Themes of 2013- Part 1

Before we collectively ring in the New Year, what is there to take away from this wacky year that has passed?

 via pinterest

via pinterest

On a personal level, 2013 was the year I graduated from graduate school with a M.S. degree.  It was the year I completed my clinical internship and passed my subsequent board exam.  It was also the year I launched this website.  Ultimately, it was a year of books and computer screens.

But what about the intangibles?

I definitely had some inner growth.  Every day has been about becoming a little bit closer to the person I aspire to be.  To gain faith and confidence in myself.  To cultivate my own observer and turn down the volume on any self-judgements.  

I see many more glimmers and glances into that woman.  Everyday she becomes slightly more real.  

I am proud of the person I am becoming.  There are days of doubt and struggle, but I do look back on my early twenties and have thoughts of, "If I knew then...!"  It seems funny and strange, to identify with something so cliché.  But I do.  And I suppose I will continue to have those thoughts as I age.

Alas, it is still a process.

Oh to have the freedom of figuring out exactly what I want to do and how to do it- without fear!  To have the audacity to be me!

I think that is how I shall ring in the new year.  I'll toast to that!

 via pinterest

via pinterest

I'm attempting to come up with the word that I want to choose for 2014.  I really like the idea of picking 'my word' ever since reading about the concept of a city or person having their own word in Eat Pray Love.  A person's word can certainly change over time, so I think declaring my word for the year is a nice spin on the classic "resolutions" concept.

I've been mulling it over a bit and I think I've landed on it: GUMPTION.

I resolve to remember to live my life with gumption in 2014.

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.