The importance of cooking with purpose

When I think about cooking, I immediately think of my mother. For those who know me, know that my mother is the essence of my very being. Her meals are charged with high frequencies that pull me out of the deepest funk. Today, I will journal about the typical Seychellois dish that brings the family together. Even when we are far apart, this dish never fails to bring us joy. 

When I think about my family and Seychelles, I think about the Fresh Grilled Red Snapper with Spicy Creole Sauce, Fresh Rice and Green Pawpaw Satini Papay. The colours glazed on the dining table, evoking a feeling of security, love, joy and compassion. As I enjoy eating the meal, I have to include that watching (because sometimes it’s better to let the professionals get on with it) or helping my mother cook her exceptional dishes is also a magical experience. She chops her ingredients as though they were just picked from the garden, washes the fish with care and infuses positive intentions as she folds the seasoning in the Satini. This is an alchemy that my elder brother also uses and never fails to impress and envelope the devourers who usually ask for a second serving. And you know the food is really delicious when we sit in silence or get stuck in with our (clean) fingers. This is one way we show love for one another and the community. There’s plenty to extend a bowl of nourishment for our extended family. 

For the sweet-toothed, the traditional Ladob is usually a favourite after a Sunday lunch. The plantain and sweet potato, coconut milk, sugar and nutmeg is the foundation that brings warmth and a smile on my face reminiscent of the holiday cheer that compels me to top up my plate until bedtime. However, it’s not the type of dishes that make or break meal times, it’s the person’s energy that fulfils the purpose they want to convey. I find that it’s imperative to churn and actively add positive intention within every meal I cook as I want nothing but the best for my family and guests. 

I dedicate Today’s post to my mother, my big brother and my Seychellois ancestors.

Until next time. xo

The importance of taking R&R

Today’s post is on the importance of taking some time for rest and relaxation. It has become a habit of mine to schedule in some rest during the weekend yet, something always demands my attention. The laundry, new creative ideas to action, grocery shopping, or even catching up on exercising. This week though, I have vowed to create space for my R&R at all cost. Yes, J.P. Mooney is doing absolutely nothing but meditating, indulging in relaxing baths and sleeping. I wish everyone peace, balance and bliss. Don’t forget to take some time out because if you’re not good, you can’t help others.

Until next time xo

Tiny ways to save money for bigger goals

A lot of times we don’t hesitate to swipe our thumbs and credit cards, purchasing things that we know we can do without. Many of us have goals, and we have an idea of the journey we need to make towards such goals. However, we lack the financial health and longevity. Some of you may wish to purchase your first home or second investment property, thinking about your retirement, or simply wish to start creating generational wealth for your family. Whatever your goals may be, below are some simple steps to help you on your way. Note, I am not a financial advisor, therefore, seek professional help if you’re struggling financially.

Budget, Budget and Budget some more

You’ve probably seen this word everywhere, but the reason why it’s popular is because having a budget is essential to balance your spending and boost your savings towards your financial goals. How many times have you gone to the shop and bought something that you weren’t sure you could afford? Chances are we have all done this. Having a budget is not as daunting and limiting as it may come across. The purpose of a budget is to create a plan for all of your spending. You simply need to write a list of your outgoings with the total and a list of your income. This should include your essentials- bills, clothes, grocery etc. and your wants- The remainder of the money left over from your bills should then be evaluated and placed in a savings account of your choice for the long term. You can also do some research into investing by checking out The Motley Fool.

Balance your wants

I know it’s challenging to adhere to your budget when everything seems to be on sale and it doesn’t help that every social media influencer keeps advertising the latest trend that you NEED to have…The truth Is, you don’t! If you’re serious about meeting your financial goals, you need to seriously consider what you’re willing to sacrifice out of your life. One thing people tend to forget is that long term goals, most times require short term sacrifices and the sacrifices don’t always need to be painful as there are ways to get your needs without spending outside of your budget. If you usually turn your nose up at sales then you can swallow your pride and find some good discounts (yes even on investment pieces), you can learn how to cook your favourite restaurant dishes at home and find the best discount vouchers for your days out. There are ways around doing what you want while staying within your budget, you just need to be more creative and flexible with your research.

Place yourself in the right mindset

Sometimes it’s challenging to save money when we are always surrounded by everyone else’s expectations of what wealth is. The meaning of wealth is unique to each person, and only you know what that meaning is for yourself. In order to reach your goals, you have to take the first step and make a move because nobody will do it for you. Then, you need to align yourself mentally, emotionally and physically by ensuring that your environment is conducive. Your emotional connection to money also needs to be aligned with your vision, and your mind requires focus on executing the actions required to help you on the way. Everyone has their individual circumstances, and to take a step in the right direction you need to pause, evaluate, plan and make a move. This also includes doing research on long term money management by reading books or by finding a YouTube documentary. Yes, YouTube can be handy! Also, it’s good to surround yourself with likeminded people who will encourage and motivate you when the going gets tough but don’t be afraid to go independent if you find that people are dragging you down. There is plenty of support and resources available to help you on your way, but you have to make an effort to find it.

Until next time xo

Thoughts on turning 28

A lot of people fear the big 30 and whilst most are eager to celebrate the important landmark birthdays, there are a few people who either hated or loved their twenty-eighth birthday. First of all, I must reflect on how much I have achieved in one year. Never did I think I would write and publish five books, have a sustainable writing business and still have a tunnel vision for my goals. Yet, here I am, proud of what I have accomplished in a short space of time. Below are some thoughts from myself and loved ones on turning twenty-eight.

Making empowered decisions

Waking up on the right side of my twenty-eighth birthday, what a trip! I didn’t feel as elated as most people showcased on social media. I didn’t feel any different from the day before, and I have to admit that my mental strength was shaky with absurd self-expectations. Expectations of having a giant party, spending loads of money on things that weren’t conducive to my spiritual growth, my mental health or on people that weren’t on my frequency. Of course, looking back now I thought It was a bit ridiculous that I felt pressured by the standards socials created on one’s mental health, but that’s the thing with social media, mundane crap creeps up on your feeds and absorb your energy like a vampire. A light feeling from within then struck me with profound warmth that has stayed with me until now. It was an urge to journal my intentions and affirmations for my personal year, which in turn would empower me to make empowered decisions, in everything I do.

The vow to travel

A lot of people in my circle have said that turning twenty-eight presented more opportunities to travel and experience the world. This is mostly because they are or were settled in their careers with comfortable salaries that enabled them to get up and go. They felt that this was the time where they could really let go of expectations and revert back to their childhood selves. Although we are all aware that this experience is not the same for everyone.

Careers and confidence

This seems to be the common themes with people I’ve spoken to, where they felt more confident turning twenty-eight because their careers were taking off and were on track. On the other hand, some felt that it was the appropriate time to jump ship and change careers. Meanwhile, confidence also increased because they were gaining more experience to do things on their own. This confidence also built into self-knowledge, gaining a better insight into what it is that we want and how we perceive ourselves and the world.

Blooming friendships and support systems

Where would we be without the friends who have stuck by us through thick and thin? Surviving a birthday and life’s journey is doable on our own. However, the experience is fun with friends whom, we have accepted and those who nurture us in return. For most of us who have these superheroes in our lives, whether it’s one or one hundred; a healthy support system is part of a key that enables us to build confidence and feel secure.

Management of expectations

One of the popular thoughts on turning twenty-eight is usually panic and anxiety over being married and starting a family. This is exceptionally true for some people who feel they have a solid ground in their career yet, feel the pressure like they’ve fallen off track in their social life. “The pressure to start a family, as I’m aware of my biological clock and the feeling is very real”. Sure, society and family plays a role in our mental projection of when is the right time to get married and start a family; however, times have changed, and science has evolved. The most important note here is to realise that you need to have an internal assessment and awareness to ensure that you’re making decisions for you and not others. Chances are, family and friends will not pay your bills and childcare if you fall in an unfortunate financial crisis, and they are unlikely to pay for your wedding, that is, unless you’re from a wealthy and generous family. Marriage and raising children is not only financially taxing, but it’s also emotionally and spiritually testing too. If you are not aligned within yourself, and you haven’t healed from past trauma or detrimental habits, you have to take into account and assess if your environment and partner/s are conducive to your goals. Keep pushing through and take your time.

All the best xo

Sometimes it’s the Full Moon

When was the last time you stopped and looked up at the sky? Yes, I’m entirely into observing the moon cycles and astrology in general. Ever since I was a child, I always sat on the veranda gazing at the moon and wondered about celestial mysteries. Now, I know and understand that whilst some would rather stick to trusting what their feet could feel on the ground, I was destined to awaken, explore the metaphysical, and find my purpose. The air around the new moon is exciting too, and of course, the new moon is just as important; however, I had always felt connected and resonant to the energy around each full moon. Sometimes it’s light or fun, but most times the energy leading up to the full moon is intense and chaotic, which makes it excruciating. If you’re a spiritual alchemist, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Each full moon is the midpoint and climax of the lunar cycle, during which the moon is opposite to the sun in the zodiac and is therefore fully illuminated by its light. Hence the intense energy! 

The days or even weeks leading up to a full moon, you may start to feel certain emotions boiling closer to the surface. Depending on the zodiac sign that the full moon is settled in within your natal chart, this energy will affect various areas in your life that require special attention. This will be the things that you need to nurture, re-evaluate, cleanse or release since the full moon brings projects, relationships and processes to a tipping point. Usually, it is a good idea to practise journaling, meditate or even have a relaxing bath- in general, any activity that is conducive to your mental, spiritual or emotional strength and endurance. Whatever you decide to do, ensure that you’re in a safe space. This is a time to reflect and harvest off the seeds you’ve planted in life or to shed thoughts, people and situations that no longer serve you. You may cry or just roll around in hysteric laughter, everyone is unique. If you would like to know more about the full moons or to dabble in a general astrology reading, just type in Full Moon readings on Youtube and pick a reader who resonates with you.

The upcoming full moon is in the sign of Taurus, which is rather unique and exciting because it falls on Halloween (31st October)! In general, this will impact the areas in your life relating to money. So you’re more likely to overspend on your budget and dip into your savings, or you may end up striking good fortune. Regardless, it’s good to be conscious about your finances and be grateful for your blessings. At the very least, look up at the sky and enjoy the illuminated beauty!

Happy Full Moon xo

The art of coping with life

Today’s post is relatively short and reflective. I write this as I sit and observe the world spin around my reality, with the characters fulfilling their roles. Life has been a whirlwind adventure over the past three years, and my awakening hasn’t been smooth sailing. For sure, I was caught up in my own way of preservation and refused to allow myself to be receptive of new opportunities. There were times on my journey that I felt empty even though I was surrounded by friends. Although I knew I had the strength to get through any situation, I felt lost. Nonetheless, I knew I was destined to achieve my life’s purpose. Anyway, no matter what came my way or how low I thought I felt, I emerged on the other side with clarity and confidence to cope with life.

Self-forgiveness

Sure, we’ve all done things that we weren’t proud of. Especially in the reminder reel of disappointments and embarrassing moments from five years ago, your brain decides to play right before you fall asleep. It’s so easy to accept people’s judgements, anger and the disappointing image they paint of us even when the time has flown by, but what if we decided to forgive ourselves. Part of life’s lessons is to learn from the mistakes we’ve made. One thing I know for sure is that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the choices I made in the past- good or bad, right or wrong. So whenever you feel embarrassment from your former self creep in, don’t immediately turn to shame. Instead, pay homage to that version of you and nurture this self because if we continue to hide in shame and darkness, we are more likely to project our broken and traumatic self onto others. The ‘others’ tend to be the people who are closest to us. Perhaps try some positive affirmations to help you on your journey.

Being selfish

This is a common issue where we feel guilty for our needs and desires. The truth is, we all deserve to have what we need and desire. Most of us run in circles trying to please people yet, we never stop to realise that we are unable to help others if our own cup is empty. So don’t feel guilty to set healthy boundaries. Learn to say no when you need to and find ways to do the things that help you to connect with self. Another way of being selfish is to manage expectations accordingly. We’re not all built to carry our load, and everyone else’s as we navigate our way through life. A lot of people have such high expectations of us that we end up falling over ourselves trying to meet them and vice versa. The key is to find a balance for how others manage their expectations and how we manage ours.

Soothe yourself to sooth others

There have been many times when I felt like I couldn’t afford to soothe people in my circle because I wasn’t aligned with my own peace. Sometimes circumstances arise in life that knocks the air out of your lungs and sends your knees weak, however, to be available and supportive to others, you have to take time out of situations to make sure you’re at peace. Even nurses need to be nursed and nurtured. So if you find yourself in a difficult situation and you feel like you’re patting your way around the dark, take some time out to process your emotions, thoughts and find clarity.

Opinions are not facts

Imagine if you listened to every single opinion that was made about you and your life goals? I can’t imagine this because I know that people’s opinions, especially when it’s unsolicited, are not a concrete fact. We all have our own perception of what life is or what it should be. If you get caught up in a fight, you will notice that everyone who witnessed the fight, when asked, will have a slightly different version to recount, including yourself. There isn’t really a right or wrong account of the fight, but merely, everyone had their own perception of what happened. This is the same with life’s trivial moments. People will always have an opinion, but it’s up to you how you let it affect your life. At the end of the day, when you hop into bed and close your eyes to reflect, the only opinion that matters about your life choices is yours.

Have a wonderful day.

J.P. Mooney’s guide to holiday gift giving

It’s that time of the year…again and although it feels like it was only yesterday that we bid farewell to Christmas, with our body clock stuck in the limbo of lockdowns, that supposedly thrilling part of the year is leering around the corner. Today’s post is dedicated to the art of gifting. I love gifts, and I think everyone around me loves to receive gifts too. Even if you hate surprises, the idea that you could potentially receive something you really want or an item that could change your life for the better (and for free) is thrilling! Below are a few suggestions I have tried and loved that I think are worth a browse.

Anything and everything Rituals

When I recently discovered Rituals, I absolutely fell in love with their products. My home was fragranced like a spa, and my skin felt like I just walked out of a spa, whilst, Rituals products remained affordable. There’s a wide variety of gift ideas to choose from such as divine relaxing candles, bath and shower foams, hair and travel sets, makeup, perfumes and refills! If you’re stuck for choice, you can try a gift set from their exciting collections or The Rituals of Advent Calendar. This is perfect for distributing as stocking fillers or gifting to an exceptional loved one to indulge. 

Check out Not On The High Street

This site contains various original gift ideas suitable for anyone on your list. Not On The High Street is suitable for quirky presents catered for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, Christmas and so much more. I guarantee you’ll be able to find something suitable for even the most challenging recipient in your life.

The ever so trusted Amazon

Where would we be without Amazon prime? Last-minute gifts are no longer a thing because with amazon delivery you can pretty much order anything you want direct to the recipient’s address, gift-wrapped and without a price receipt for peace of mind. This means your recipient won’t need to know how much you actually spent on their gift. 

Find your unique treasure on Etsy

Etsy is a beautiful marketplace that caters to all your gifting needs. The magic of Etsy is that the majority of their products are handmade and original from local artists and boutiques around the globe. Etsy has a variety of sections to choose from, e.g. Jewellery and accessories, clothes and shoes, home and living, wedding and party, vintage and collectables etc. Whatever you decide to gift your loved ones, you are very likely to find a unique version of it on Etsy. Even if you are undecided, the site provides a seamless browsing experience as they consistently promote on a high standard. The only issue is that the products are so creative and beautiful, you may become obsessed!

Browse the trail of luxury on Net-A-Porter

NET-A-PORTER is a game changer when it comes to making luxury fashion accessible. If you love fashion and high-end designers, then this site is for you. The site sections are as follows:

What’s New– This shows you all the new pieces and trends that have just launched.

Designers- Here, you can search the collections by designers. This is easier if you have a favourite designer and know what you’re looking for.

Clothing, Shoes, Bags, Accessories and Jewelry and Beauty- The most popular section on the site.

Editorial and What To Wear– Let the articles and edits inspire you. Even if you opt to not make a purchase, they are still an enjoyable read.

Buy my books

It would not be a J.P. Mooney blog if I didn’t take an opportunity to promote my own work. If you’ve searched all over the internet for the perfect thoughtful present and still couldn’t find anything, then perhaps have a look at my books. I have a collection of contemporary poetry and an expanding catalogue of romantic thrillers that I am soon distributing wide for you to choose from. If you have book lovers in your life or you just want something pretty to gift your loved ones, have a browse here

Do you have the wealth yet, still stuck for ideas? Perhaps the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine may inspire you. Whatever you decide to do during the holidays, it’s also important to remember that while materialism is fun, there is no greater gift you can give someone than your time.

Best Wishes.

It’s time to get organised

The leaves are falling, the air drifts into stillness, and our desire to go outside begins to decline into a need to stay indoors in our favourite silks watching Netflix, sipping our beverages of choice. Autumn. The perfect season to slow down and gather ourselves. As we do so, we begin to feel the need to get our lives in order the best we can. Below are my typical list of things worth revisiting and up-keeping.

Wardrobe

This is the time to have some fun putting together some autumn/winter appropriate outfits. Find ways to liven up your wardrobe by adding new pieces or removing the cringe-worthy items you purchased out of boredom during lockdown amnesia. You can donate some of these items to the local charity shop, sell them on eBay, or swap them with your friend. If you’re someone who loathes ironing clothes, this is the time to ensure all of your key pieces are washed, dried, and ironed so that it’s ready for the festive season.

Finances

You must go through your bank statements, direct debits, and standing orders to reevaluate your income, savings, or any outgoings you anticipate during the winter months. This is not the time to bury your head under the sand, hoping that your financial affairs will fall in line. Emergencies are most likely to arise during the cold months, such as boiler breakdowns, car breakdowns, services, etc. It’s also important to factor in all of your festive activities and luxuries as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the more money you will be able to save. Perhaps you’re anxious about the lack of income. Nonetheless, this is the time to think about creating a side hustle or perhaps research on affordable investments. The opportunities are endless once you summon the drive and discipline to flourish in the age of technology. Check out the Break Platform for some ideas.

Necessary Maintenance

As much as you need to be financially prepared to deal with the necessary maintenance, you also need to be prepared by anticipating what may need fixing during the cold months. Don’t leave your car servicing or fuel level until the last minute, because it won’t be a fun experience to be stranded on the motorway or on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a homeowner, make sure your boiler is sufficient, and your house isn’t susceptible to flooding or anything that could make your autumn and winter a living nightmare. Prevention is better than a cure.

Health

This is an obvious point, but I think it’s worth reinforcing. Your health is the foundation of your quality of life. If you’re run down from overworking or from being a permanent sofa resident, you will be unable to enjoy the pleasures of this life. It goes without saying that in the current climate, your health is of utmost importance. As tempting as it is to slouch on the sofa, wrapped in your blanket with a tipple in one hand, and a thick slice of cheesy pizza in the other, it is also good to ensure you’re well-hydrated, your body is moving, and your diet is as clean possible. I’m not a doctor, so if something doesn’t feel quite right with your mind or body, then it’s a good idea to catch up with your GP.

Check on your loved ones

Perhaps you’re responsible for looking after a loved one or you live quite far, and you are unable to visit frequently. Whatever the situation, it is crucial that you schedule consistent means of communication to ensure that your family and friends are okay, be organised with their care, and promote a micro-community to help those in need.

The most important thing to remember here is that everything seems to take twice as long in the cold months; therefore, always be prepared for the unexpected. Ensure that you look after yourself and your loved ones and stay safe.

Five ways to begin or refresh your meditation practice

Let’s talk about meditation. My journey has been quite long, however, fascinating when it comes to meditation. I started my journey three years ago, and the thought of sitting down quietly and watching my breath didn’t appease. At that time, I marveled at the notion of being busy and restless, ensuring that I had a lot of things to do and people to see. My excuse was, “I could never meditate. I can’t get my mind to stop thinking” but then something inside me switched, and I began to understand that meditation was a time to connect with myself with or without thought. Thoughts will always be there, but as you progress with practice, you will be able to automatically quiet your mind. But then comes the time when you fall out of your meditation to practice, sometimes for so long that you dread starting again. Below are the five tips to help you start, whether it’s for the first time or the tenth.

Find a quiet space to reflect

It can be your garden, the bath, or your bedroom, but wherever it is, make it comfortable for yourself so that it’s conducive to meditating. Once you are in this space, try not to focus too much on being thoughtless but more-so reflect on your day, situations, or feelings that stand out to you. Here is where you’ll choose to allow the matter to flow through you and out into the universe.

Write a journal

Writing is a fantastic way to help clear your mind and push negative emotions out and it is a great way to help you materialise your intentions. Words are powerful, and if you choose to study and research them, you will realise that words are spells. You may choose to keep two journals, for releasing negative emotions and thoughts, the other for manifesting your goals. There’s no specific time to journal. Keep it tucked safely in your bag, besides your bed, or anywhere you deem fit. The focus here is to take some time for awareness.

Go for a walk

This is not just any power walk; leave your headphones, and take your time to notice the environment around you, whether it’s on the city streets or the countryside. Pay attention to the sounds and the cycle of how things work, try to see things from a different perspective. How often do you get to slow down and notice things around you? Enjoy and explore.

Try some yoga

You can sign up for a class or follow a free video tutorial; the choice is yours. But when you decided to try yoga, make sure that you do your research and start on a level that is suited to your experience to avoid hurting yourself. Yoga Journal is a great resource to look into.

Watch or listen to something that makes you laugh

Sometimes we all need a healthy dose of laughter. You can relieve the pressure off your meditation practice by simply immersing yourself in content that makes you laugh. You’ll notice that when you’re engaged in this state, your worries will start to melt away, and your body should automatically relax.

Rest in silence

This approach is similar to the first point, sometimes all we need to do is sit or lie in a quiet place. When you rest there long enough, you’ll notice that your body will signal what it needs, and your mind will be receptive to ideas and new thoughts that will encourage your growth.

Being The Higher Self

This post is dedicated as a reminder for you to find your inner balance and peace by knowing who you are. There are certain people, whether it’s complete strangers, in friendships, work colleagues, or family members that are low frequencies who intentionally or subconsciously are culprits of dragging you down to low-level situations that don’t serve your highest purpose. Suppose you can listen and observe carefully instead of blindly reacting to situations. You will understand and see that most people are out there to gain your confidence and friendship to fight their battles because they are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. These people are set within their ways, they are comfortable living in their toxic cycle, and they cannot function without drama. As much as you try to lend support and provide care, you have to use discernment and know that some people are out there just to use your energy and goodwill to boost their confidence and drama within their space since they can’t live without it.

Always find time to do the work within yourself to find your confidence because when you know yourself and what you stand for, you are more likely to have the courage and strength to stand up for YOU, your belief. It will also signal to these people that you cannot easily be lead to arguments and low-level situations. It is true that the higher you raise your frequency, the better you can deal with people as you realise that certain situations are not worth your time and energy.
We are now coming towards the end of 2020, and if you haven’t planted seeds for yourself, you still have time to do so and watch them grown, whether it’s for your health and wellness, creative and business ideas, or lending your knowledge to those who need it. This is an excellent approach to taking care and protecting yourself as when you walk with a strong and confident posture when you know who you are and what you stand for; nobody can approach you with their nonsense to sway you. Even if they did try, they wouldn’t be successful.

This post is to help and nudge you into remembering who you are. Please continue to do the work, and if you haven’t done any work within yourself, this is a great time to start. Find some time by yourself to figure out what you like, what you want to achieve, and what type of people you wish to surround yourself with. There is no time to slack as we need to move forward. We can’t engage in mundane garbage anymore as the world is moving forward, there may be two types of people. The alchemists understand and know that they can create opportunities for themselves and walk in their highest purpose, and the sheep who fall for anything and everything while waiting for people to fix their lives.

All the best.