Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Smile Unexpectedly

The hardest thing you can do is smile when you are ill, in pain, or depressed. But this no-cost remedy is a necessary first half-step if you are to start on the road to recovery. - Allen Klein

Painted satelite 😊taken by Denise Augustus

An unexpected smile is a gift for the mind and soul. Research has shown that smiling (whether forced or genuine) has many beneficial effects on our bodies. Smiling can boost your mood, immune system and help relieve stress. Smiling cost nothing at all and is so good for us. I am always amazed how people can smile and laugh even at the toughest times in their lives.

I remember being in the hospital, feeling like crap because I was in pain and a good friend would come to visit and make me smile or laugh even when it hurt to do so. I would say, "Please, don't make me laugh. It hurts," all while giggling and appreciating this momentary relief. What little do we know is that it is not momentary. The effects of that visit and the smiling and humor go a long way to assist in making us feel better.

Do yourself a favor and smile even when you do not want to. Feeling stressed or anxious? Smile. Feel like crying? Cry and smile through it. Focus on the smile and then think about something or someone or a time that brings a smile to your face. Smile for no reason at all and watch as life changes little by little, smile by smile.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Stress Less Tip 10: Be Comfortable with Silence

 You don't always have to say something. - Sammy Davis Jr.

Silence can be uncomfortable for some people. I find to be comfortable with silence is to be comfortable with yourself. There are those that use silence as a tool for negativity, i.e the "silent treatment." In order to foster health and good energy, silence should not be used to get back at someone, ignore someone, or make someone feel bad. We want you to learn how to be comfortable with silence for peace.

Meditation is a wonderful way to use silence to one's benefit. Meditation is not an easy practice especially if a person is not accustomed to being silent with themselves. Some people think that meditation is a state in which our mind is blank but that is not the case. Meditation is to be mindful of our thoughts, emotions, body and mental experiences. Let the thoughts come and go, explore them, and have an anchor thought or word (mantra) that helps to refocus your thoughts when they start to go to astray. You may need to have an already established a mantra or a focus word that will bring you back from far wandering thoughts. You may also need to start slow with a 5-minute session and then grow from there.

Silence can also be used to avoid conflict. Sometimes we may have an initial instinct to reply to comments that stir us emotionally. Our initial reaction may not always be the most well thought out. There are times when it is okay to take a moment of silence that will allow us to reflect on our response. Silence can also be used to avoid conflict especially when we already know we have a tendency to say the wrong things.

Lastly, celebrate silence in your life. You do not have to feel the need to always break it. You do not have to fear it. Be comfortable with it. Know when to break the silence and share your voice. Remember that knowing when to speak up is just as important as knowing when not to.

Monday, January 7, 2019

What Men Want Trailer

What Ment Want will make its way to theaters on Friday, February 8th, and stars Taraji P. Henson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Aldis Hodge, Erykah Badu, and Max Greenfield.

The trailer looks cute and fun. The cast ensemble should be a fun mix.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Aquaman Movie Review

Aquaman starring Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II reigns supreme for the second weekend in a row at the box office easily beating out Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. I cannot say that it is not a deserved victory. If you have not watched this movie yet and maybe was a bit skeptical like me, go ahead and take the time to check it out.

Full disclosure, I am a science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, superhero, action and everything in between movie-loving geek so I may be a tad biased. With that being said, I was extremely leery of this latest DC effort, especially after Justice League (which I did not hate but was hoping for better). I got what I was looking for with Aquaman. The pacing of the story was just right. The action sequences enjoyable without getting boring or drawn out. The introduction and how they provided background information was engaging. Comedic timing, for the most part, was well done without being too corny and over the top.

This was an inconspicuous feel-good movie in that it was nicely wrapped up in action and intrigue, and I absolutely love feel-good movies. There were so many times in which I found myself rooting for the success of the unlikely hero. The film was not without faults. The young-adult version of Aquaman definitely could have benefited from some more acting classes and of course there were some predictable aspects; however, the movie was so enjoyable that I could overlook those.

The film is worth the watch in the theater.


Jason Momoa as Aquaman was well suited and just too darn good looking for words. I was already looking forward to him after Justice Leauge anyway. Honestly, he was one of the bright spots in that film and I was curious to see how much of that spark his character would remain in his own film. Fortunately, he retained all of it. I was a little over his self-deprecating attitude about halfway through the movie but I understand why it was necessary. Him overcoming his lack of confidence was a triumph not only for himself but for everyone who sometimes believes that they are just not good enough. Sometimes we have to push past those negative emotions and work through things anyway because it is the right thing to do and life is worth the effort.

Nicole Kidman as Atlanna was pretty badass. It has been a while since I have seen her in a film so it was refreshing to see her in this one with a touch of vulnerability but also a fierceness that all mothers who want to protect their children have within them. She is a strong actress and I enjoyed seeing her on screen. Because she is such a big name, I actually did believe that she was gone. They wrote her storyline well.

Patrick Wilson as King Orm gave a surprisingly appropriate performance. I have always enjoyed him in his previous work but he has been an under-the-radar actor. I am happy to see him grab a little bit of the spotlight in this film. His character was played perfectly in that he was attempting to be this strong person but ultimately was a punk deep down inside. This was apparent in his God complex attitude. He was almost the villain you felt sorry for if he would only stop being evil for 2 minutes.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Manta gave a commendable performance. There were a couple of times when I felt his acting was over the top but for the most part enjoyed having him on screen. I wish there was more of him but they set it up well for the sequel. Now that he partnered up with the crazy scientist guy, he will hopefully make a formidable villain. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Bird Box

Have you watched A Quiet Place meets The Happening? I mean Bird Box.

I love Sandra Bullock. I have not watched her in a film in a long time. I actually watched her in Oceans 8 and Gravity which was years ago and a long time for me. I was excited to see her in another project. I was also happy to see Rel. Now he is someone who took advantage of the exposure he received from Get Out.

Bird Box had a strong cast of actors. Most of them have been in the game for a while giving strong performances while going under the radar, so the acting was stellar on all accounts. There has been a lot of hype going on about this movie via social media so some people have high expectations. The memes are hilarious and I can relate, especially to the one about Girl and Boy not following directions. However, if you are looking for something scary on Get Out level, you will be disappointed.

The storyline is very similar to the Happening except the Happening provided us with a reason for the phenomenon where Bird Box did not. I believe this is done purposefully as a set up for part two. People want to be able to make sense of what is happening and that was a big missing piece. The other movie that it reminds me of the A Quiet Place because of the natural backdrop, removal of an essential sense, and the concept of doing all that you can for your children. It was also very suspenseful like A Quiet Place.

Personally, I cannot watch movies like this anymore. My nerves cannot handle it but my daughter pushed me to watch so I was able to get through it by asking her lots of questions LOL. It was entertaining. Solid 3/5 stars for entertainment value only. There is quite a bit of reality that one must suspend to fully enjoy it. There are some plot holes that need to be addressed if they pursue Bird Box 2.


To go into a little more detail.
Sandra Bullock as Mallorie was cool as heck. Her character actually had layers but you had to pay attention to understand it. She is like those parents that love from behind the veil of protector and sometimes cannot has an emotional inability to separate the two. In the end, she softens up.

Trevante Rhodes as Tom is just fine. I have not followed his career so this is the first time I am seeing him and his acting was on point. He was badass till the end. Unfortunately, I felt like he was a prop. He played the character well but as it was written did not really bring any depth to the story. He could have been anyone. He went out like a G though.

John Malkovich as Douglas was the MVP even though he died like the rest of them and he forgot to use the shotgun at the supermarket but I am sure that is because he was too drunk to get his act together. However, he was like a darn oracle up in there but no one listened to him.

Lil Rel Howery as Charlie got a bad deal. He was cool AF. He also was dropping truth about the origin of the "toxin" (in my head it will be revealed that there is some truth to what he is saying if they ever do a part two) and he told them about the supermarket. Charlie specifically told him he did not want to roll with him. Then because Douglas drunk behind didn't think to shoot the crazy guy, he sacrifices himself. That was an unnecessary loss of life.

Malorie's birds were some supernatural type of birds. Those were the true champions. They survived being put in a freezer, the river, the box ... what was she feeding them.

3/5 👍👍👍

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Stress Less Tip 9: Get Creative

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Want to feel alive? Tap into your creative energy. Want to decrease your stress levels? Get lost in doing something that taps into your creative energy. We all have the capacity to be creative and harness the healing energy that it provides. The creative skills we had as children did not disappear. We still have them; the problem is that we may be out of practice. As we have grown into our adulthood, we carve out less time for play because we have responsibilities. This is why, for some of us, our creative energy has died down some. The good news is that we can revive it.

Spend some time thinking about the things you love to do, the things that bring you joy. Spend some time thinking about the ways you like to use your hands. Is it cooking, drawing, helping others? Do you enjoy reading, writing, singing, dancing, playing around with your kids, or even walking and taking in the natural sights around you?  Personally, I love to read and write and learn new things. I can get lost in doing any of those. Even though I know this about myself, I still sometimes get lost in the daily "rat race" that I forget to engage myself. It takes being mindful of our needs.

Take some time with yourself. Start with five minutes and get to know yourself, then take action. Get creative!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I am Jubilant

I am jubilant. 
: feeling or expressing great happiness and triumph.
♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
#positiveaffirmations #affirmations #overjoyed #exultant #triumphant #joyful #rejoicing #exuberant #elated #wellbeing #selfreflection #selfesteem

Affirmations  are so cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. They are a constant needed reminder in our lives. Too often, we forget how magnificent of a creation we are because we get boggled down with life. That can lead us not to appreciate the regular moments. Moments in which we are not in strife. I am grateful for those simple moments. In those simple moments, I claim jubilance. I am jubilant.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Meg

The Meg starring Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, and Page Kennedy is now available for purchase and digital download. It did not enjoy rave critical reviews but I enjoyed it. Statham is not showing off his fighting skills in this one but he still gets to help save the day.

Statham's character, Jonas Taylor, is a washed-up rescue diver who is recruited to rescue his wife from beyond the deep blue sea. This creates the initial tension and conflict of having him back before moving on to the real problem- the megladon. This movie had just the right amount of comic relief and actions. Conversely, I can see why it got such bad reviews. It can be a little hokey at times but I enjoyed it. Rainn's character was fun and everyone else came together in a weird comfortable way. The pacing was right for the suspenseful elements and for the most part the graphics were on point.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Stress Less Tip 8: Do Not Get Comfortable

you deceive me
relishing in my lull
Capitated, I do not move

Comfort is something we all seek in our lives. Honestly, who wants to be uncomfortable? I sure do not. Unfortunately, comfort can be the worst thing for us sometimes. Our body requires a delicate balance to maintain our daily living. Healthwise if anything is out of whack too much for too long, we will find ourselves falling ill. Consequently, we may physically interpret comfort as maintaining equilibrium. However, even in our comfort, we can physically throw parts of ourselves out of whack.
Maintaining balance or equilibrium is not a static thing. I like to think of it as a quest in which we are always moving towards a goal, making adjustments, jumping through hoops. Think of our goal towards equilibrium like the game Temple Run (I know, I am taking it back). This is what is constantly going on in our bodies. Reaction after reaction to keep us moving forward.
Comfort is the opposite of that. Comfort fools us and the difficult thing about it is there is some part of our brain that relishes in it and convinces us we need more of it because it is like a safe place. Let’s just look at this from a personal, physical perspective. I am most comfortable when I am lying in bed, under my covers after fidgeting for a few minutes to find just the right spot; or when I am sitting on the couch in front of my television for hours, watching my shows. That is the ultimate comfort for me. If I did that daily for hours and hours on end, parts of my body would rebel. My muscles would shrink, I would gain weight, and other negative sides of living an overly sedentary life still would lead me right on down to the illness path. That is not moving forward.

In other ways, comfort is like that. We need a little of bit of stress to run through so that we can be propelled to the next level of our lives. Remember the saying about “growing pains,” well life has growing pains. Life is about growing pains.  As much as we love to be comfortable do not get fooled into a static living. Stress is not the enemy when it is managed. Stress is a part of our life. Stress is the log to jump over or slide under. Stress is the bulldozer that you have to successfully dodge to keep going away. Comfort as great as it is will have you stuck in the same place, wondering what did I do with my life. Think of your life as a seesaw with stress on one end and comfort on the other and you in the middle- balance it out. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Stress Less Tip 7: Work Through the Stress with Music

I, like I imagine a lot of other people do, use music to help me through all types of situations in life. Music is just one artistic avenue that we can use to help us heal an cope with life's up and downs.

This song Lovely by Billie Eilish ft. Khalid is one of those songs that resonates with my spirit. First of all the melody lulls me into a very peaceful and comfortable place. The lyrics, on the other hand, are anything but. For me, they tell of a struggle, a fight in which the person is not letting herself lose. No matter how tough it may be or how long it takes, she is not giving up.

From one perspective it can seem depressing but I choose to see where she still believes in herself enough not to give up. And that she also has an understanding that this is just a moment that she will get through. However, there a times when we have to go through it. I honestly do not know what is meant by "welcome home" but I interpret it as life has its ups and downs and when we are down we have to work through it in order to be reborn into something better.

"But I know someday I'll make it out of here
Even if it takes all night or a hundred years
Need a place to hide, but I can't find one near
Wanna feel alive, outside I can fight my fear

Isn't it lovely, all alone?
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone
Tear me to pieces, skin and bone
Hello, welcome home"

I posted the lyric video instead of the actual one because we can interpret it as we feel for ourselves and assign greater meaning as we see fit. Enjoy. It is a lovely 😀 song with powerful lyrics.