An Introduction to Mindfulness

mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark WilliamsThe Mindfulness Summit: Day 1

Professor Mark Williams is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford and was also the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre until his retirement in 2013.

Professor Williams, along with colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto), developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression. He is also co-author of the best selling book ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace In A Frantic World.’

In this interview Mark elegantly answers the question ‘what is mindfulness?’ He also leads 2 simple introductory practices for beginners and talks about why mindfulness is so effective for the treatment of depression relapse.

IN THIS INTERVIEW YOU’LL ALSO DISCOVER…

  • The difference between mindlessness and mindfulness.
  • Why mindlessness often gets us into so much trouble.
  • The cutting edge research on mindfulness for depression (Mark is one of the world premiere researchers in this field).
  • The ‘breathing space’ mindfulness practice, which is great to use in times of stress and difficult emotions
  • How to use ‘habit releasers’ to bring more mindfulness into daily life.
  • An experience of the ‘body scan’ mindfulness practice.

To watch, listen and download this interview, register FREE for The Mindfulness Summit HERE or click one of the banners in this article.
mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark Williams

You may also like this short video of Mark reading “Hokusai Says“. I certainly enjoyed it after listening to the interview.

 

21 Amazing Lessons You Will Learn With Mindfulness

mindfulness summit, meditation

Through my study of the world wisdom traditions and my journey into mindful living, I have learned many valuable lessons which have brought me greater peace, joy and fulfillment.

Here are 21 of the greatest spiritual lessons I’ve learned:

1. The world’s wisdom traditions have one central message that I have learned to live and know to be true. Happiness (and when I say happiness I mean a deep and lasting contentment, a sense of being at peace and at ease within and feeling a deep connectedness with life (a happiness that words could never fully capture)) cannot be found in external factors but can only be found within. Happiness comes from abiding in our natural state.

2. Thoughts are not facts.

3. I’m not who I think I am.

4. The moment I leave the present moment I leave myself. The moment I leave myself, I leave the source of all true fulfillment. Nothing ‘out there’ in the world can bring that sense of fulfillment back… but in a heartbeat I can choose to return to myself and the present moment.

5. Everything is alive. Everything is connected. I am a part of an incredible, vast, outrageously magnificent and mysterious evolving cosmos.

6. There is nothing neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.

7. When I drop desires and expectations about how people should be, about how life should be, about how I should be, all things are wonderful as they are.

8. Love, compassion and reverence arise naturally when I am fully present with any person, place or thing.

9. Taking care of myself is a gesture of love and kindness towards all life.

10. All fears ultimately come down to the fear of death. We don’t need to get rid of this fear but we do need to acknowledge it and extend compassion and understanding towards it. We also need to develop courage and vulnerability in the face of fear so we can live our lives authentically.

11. All that arises passes away. Observing and accepting this from the still, silent, changeless depths of my being, peace rushes forth.

12. What other people think of me is none of my business.

13. Our  minds are the bottom line for how we feel, what we think and how we act. Change our minds and we change our whole lives from the inside out.

mindfulness, peace14. Trying to change the world without changing myself is futile.

15. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

16. Resistance is futile.

17. Gratification comes and goes, contentment stays with you forever.

18. Beliefs shape our perceptions, just like sunglasses color what we see. Mindfulness lifts the glasses off our face so we can see things as they really are.

19. What makes a human being most unhappy is mind wandering. What makes a human being most happy is being fully present in the moment. Therefore the most intelligent thing to focus on (once survival needs are met) is being fully present in the moment.

20. There is no such thing as a mundane moment. Only mundane states of mind.

21. The only thing that keeps us from being at peace is the stories we tell ourselves about why we’re not at peace. Without the story there is only peace.

Do you have some of your own spiritual lessons to share with us? Share your own wisdom in the comments section below.

mindfulness summit, meditation

Your Spiritual Support System

Your Spiritual Support System

spiritual support, support system, spiritual support system, hay houseYou’ve got the power to feel vibrant, healthy and happy!

You don’t have to go your journey alone.

No matter how strong you are, every once in a while, you need someone to lean on. And when it comes to making real shifts in your life…sometimes it feels like you need more than a person, you need a village of support to help you stay on track.

Surrounding yourself with people who know how you feel because they are on the same path is one of the best ways to reach and maintain any goal you have. A Hay House author, Gabrielle Bernstein, suggests in Miracles Now, “Find your spiritual community. Open your mind, spirit and social media stream to receive a spiritual running buddy of your own.”

You can connect with others for support and continue to share your personal journey long after the Summit ends. When you join this 10 day online webinar, you gain instant access to other people, just like you, who want to connect, share and improve all areas of their lives – a spiritual community you can tap into anytime for what you need most to stay on track.

Hay House truly wants you to feel great about the journey in discovering new ideas and developing new tools while also connecting with new friends along the way who can offer support and encouragement when you need it most. Plus, this community gives you a chance to be a spiritual running buddy for others as well, which always feels great!

And you don’t have to absorb or listen to every single lesson! Another great tip from Gabrielle’s book, Miracles Now, is when it comes to setting goals or making changes in your life, “Keep it simple. Go Slow. Be the Happy Learner.” Simply choose one main area to focus on and make that change consistent over the next 10 days. Then, when you feel ready, you can build on the small successes over time and create radical shifts that bring daily peace and happiness to your life. Be gentle with yourself when you falter and pat yourself on the back when you succeed – and most importantly, share what you learn with others!

gabrielle bernstein, meditation, spiritual supportWhat you’ll learn during the World Summit:

• Meditation for modern times
• Practical tips for attracting abundance and prosperity
• Shed pounds WITHOUT dieting
• New scientific discoveries in the mind/body connection
• Reveal your true purpose using The Passion Test

Join the Hay House World Summit and Facebook Community to feel:

• Supported, more hopeful and more able to take control of your life and your health.
• More in touch with your intuition, happier, and more motivated to make food and thought changes to enhance your sense of well-being and unlock your inner vibrancy. And you’ll feel more connected to others sharing in the same journey.
• Inspired, capable, and deserving to pursue what matters most to you. You’ll feel this way because you’ll learn to listen to your inner guidance system and how to call forth your guardian angels.
• A sense of freedom and weightlessness that will be completely new to you ? you’ll see how your new positive thoughts and daily habits bring more good into your life each and every day. Your mind will be open to new possibilities for making money, finding a compatible partner, and giving yourself permission to be, do and have what you really want.

We’re all about sharing the love! So, if you know anyone who needs a little lift and community support, we encourage you to share the Hay House World Summit!
Join us for 10 days to feel your way to more love, more joy and more abundant energy!

Keep learning for years to come!

Due to the overwhelming response to last year’s World Summit packages, Hay House is offering similar packages for this year’s Summit, but with even MORE GREAT CONTENT and BETTER BONUSES!

Hay House digital package, digital downloads, Hay House World Summit 2014Change Your Life Digital Downloads – $197
(Retail Value $1,644 with bonuses)

• Digital Downloads of all audio interviews
• PDF transcripts and worksheets

PLUS, Enjoy Bonus Gifts valued at over $394!

You won’t believe the huge bonuses they’re throwing in this year with the Change Your Life package!

Here’s what people said about last year’s World Summit:

“It made me really understand my journey and what I was doing and the purpose of it. It really explained a lot for me and gave me so much encouragement… that I’m on the right track.” —Arlene

“This was amazing. So many practical tools that can help me connect with my intuition on a deeper level for the answers I seek. It came just at the right time and reminded me to listen to my gut.” —Orly

“Best talk I have heard out of the 25 years I have listened so far. This is info everyone needs to know. Life saving and life enhancing! Thank you.” —Felice

“Wonderful stuff coming from deep insight and compassion. Material to mull over for months and years to come. Thank you for opening these doors for us.” —Charlaine

“There were so many messages in the interview with Doreen Virtue that spoke so clearly to me. It touched many aspects in my life that are occurring in this present moment. I felt like I was meant to listen to this. I can’t even begin to describe the clarity this one interview has brought to my life.” —Monique

“Wow! This interview was so inspiring. I love Iyanla’s raw truth. I also loved her explanation that we are constantly tested at the level we need to learn, because we didn’t get it again!! Thank you so very much!” —Lyn

“I shed a few tears, laughed and experienced a real ‘ah ha’ moment that will help me step forward in life. THANK YOU.” —Marnie

“Loved it. It was really nice learning about the science of my body and helping me learn how to best treat it.” —Charlotte on Donna Gates interview

“First of all I thank Hay House for bringing such beautiful souls together. You have actually created a paradise of angels who are so loving, caring and willing to share their knowledge through this forum. God Bless!” —Sheetal

“I now know what I need to practice and focus on. Just brilliant.” —Eternal A.

“I am in awe of this summit and amazed at what I’ve learned and how to see a different view. There are so many wonderful people from Hay House who have been inspiring and no matter where you are on your journey, there is always something new to learn.” —Lucinda

“I experienced tears of OMG, we can choose and BE living here. Nothing will remain the same for me; it just gets better! And I thank you for that awakening.” —Anne

Your Spiritual Support System

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?

addicted to thinking
Image courtesy of www.facebook.com/ZenToZany

A bird in a tree is talking to a dog on the ground. The bird is really upset and flustered. The dog asks, “What’s wrong?”. The bird flaps it’s wings and says, “Well I’m thinking about what happened yesterday and I’m worried about the future. What should I do?”. The dog replies, “Stop thinking!”.

It is not the situation that causes our pain, it is our thinking about it.

Eckhart Tolle teaches how to be present in the moment in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (UK). He has recently released his new book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (UK).

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?

Life is like an onion, you gotta peel back the layers

Life is like an onion

Life is like an onion, peel back the layers, subconsciousWhen you decide that you are not satisfied with your life as it is, and resolve that you want to change it, the most important part of changing your life lies in changing your thoughts, which have created your beliefs, and thus influence your actions.

You have to free yourself from the mental bondage which is holding you where are you.

Positive thinking and affirmation will go a long way towards changing your mindset, but for some it just doesn’t feel ‘true’, and when that happens you create resistance. It’s no good affirming to yourself ‘I am abundant in all areas of my life’ if your head is saying ‘Well that’s bullshit!’.

So what causes your head to resist positive affirmation? The memories that have stored themselves in the layers of your subconscious. So why would your subconscious do this to you? Surely it should help you and work for your benefit? Well, it actually believes it is doing just that. It tries to stop you from being hurt or disappointed again.

You can positively affirm all you like. It’s a great start. But it took time to develop your current mindset, and to change or improve it could take a long time too, because your subconscious will try to keep protecting you and nag you to do what it’s always done.

A bit like having a stain on your carpet: you could cover it with a rug or a plant pot. But you will always know the stain is there, and every so often you will trip up on the rug or the plant pot. Using this analogy, you can’t go out and buy a new carpet (buy a new mind). The only way to cure the problem is to get that stain removed, and it may take a lot of scrubbing.

Like an onion, our subconscious has created layers. Something happened when we were a child to make us have a reactive emotion. Sometime later another incident happens that reinforces that feeling. We accept it as the way we are. We come to believe that thought, feeling, emotion is ‘normal’ for us.

The layers build as we get older, and the thoughts, beliefs and resulting actions shape our lives. They become part of our substance. Then by accepting the thoughts as true, we attract further evidence to support the belief; thoughts like ‘That always happens to me’, ‘I’m just unlucky’, ‘I always get hurt’.

Life IS abundant. It is only our resistance to that belief that pushes abundance away.

To truly heal your subconscious, involves doing some self-inquiry as to why you might think a thought.

Think of the most recent incident that caused a thought. For instance, you didn’t get a promotion at work or you lost your job. Your first thoughts may be, ‘I’m not good enough’, or ‘They didn’t appreciate me, even though I worked really hard’.

Then look for more instances where you might have had that same thought. It could be something like you having cooked a new recipe up, and your partner saying ‘Yeah it was OK’, or ‘I’m not really keen on that (ingredient), or not offering any positive feedback. Or maybe you’ve made a mistake with something and you thought ‘It’s no good, I’m just not good enough. I’ve failed’.

You need to really peel back the layers. Go back as far as you can. As with peeling an onion, there will be tears. It will be painful. You may fight with your subconscious much of the way. It’s trying to protect you. It will bury the thoughts even deeper. It doesn’t want you to feel hurt.

You may find it takes you back to a very young age, probably before the age of seven, which is when most of our downloading and programming took place, as our brain was working in theta brainwave state (the state used for learning, and also for hypnosis), so we soaked it all up like a sponge. It could have been something we may consider as relatively harmless, e.g. you draw a lovely picture for mum, she’s busy on the phone, or cooking dinner, or just generally tired from ‘being mum’ all day. She says “Not now, can’t you see I’m busy/tired”. To a child, this can be programmed as ‘I’m not important’, ‘I did something nice, and she doesn’t even want it’. Perhaps you did something naughty as a child, or were mistaken for being naughty (as many ‘normal’ children do!), and were sent to your room with words like, ‘You’re not having dessert, you don’t deserve it’.

Then comes the important bit: you need to practise forgiveness on every aspect you uncover. You need to peel and heal every layer.

A wonderful technique for this is called ‘ho’oponopono’. It is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.

It consists of 4 statements:

  • I love you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • Please forgive me.
  • Thank you.

On every aspect you uncover, say these like a mantra. Even better if you can just use them as a meditation. Relax with some soothing music and repeat the mantra over and over. You don’t have to always be thinking of something or someone specifically, although it is powerful if you do. You can address the mantra to another person, to yourself, to your younger self/child. You are addressing this more to your own subconscious, letting it know it is safe to release those thoughts now.

Find ho’oponopono manuals at Amazon.com

Find ho’oponopono manuals at Amazon.co.uk

My personal favourites are Cosmic Ordering: The Next Step by Barbel Mohr and anything by Dr Joe Vitale.

Life is like an onion

Life is Meant to Be Fun and Easy

laugh-oftenLaugh, play, and enjoy your life.
When you are seeing the grand scheme, the bigger picture of it all, you understand that life is the greatest game you will ever get to play! Seriousness is a disease that can cripple your soul. Drop this overly serious self who has such a tight grip on you!  Your desires will manifest soooo much faster! And it feels much better to be playful again…

Give yourself permission today to have a good long laugh at all your seriousness. Add just a tad of lightness into your agenda and see how good it feels! You’ve been carrying enough weight on your shoulders and you deserve the feeling of letting it all go!  Your only real job in life is to enjoy each moment that you are alive.  This includes allowing others to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it!  This means that you can do the same! Enjoy hanging out with your super vibrant fun self today!

A big belly laugh at it all always serves as the best guide…

Above is an example of one of the uplifting FREE Enlightened Messages emails I look forward to receiving from Enlightened Beings. They actually arrive personalised, although I have removed the personalisation for use here. I use their Super Manifestor meditation package often, and always feel great from doing so.

Click Here!

 

Click Here!

Your own Magic Wand

magic-wand1Today you’ve probably had plenty of people around you reminding you it’s Friday the 13th. I know I have. I really try not to believe in such superstitions any more, because all they are is a result of past negative programming. And if we believe that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality, as I am coming to learn they do as I have gathered so much evidence to support this over the last couple of years, then having beliefs like this does not support us positively.

However, some part of this superstition must have triggered something subconsciously as I ended up having, quite frankly, a crappy day! Three negative things happened (yes THREE, there’s another superstition to be released!), that knocked me more off-balance than I have felt for quite some time. The first was quite major, something that was life-changing. I believed that this was a bad circumstance I would have no choice but to endure for the foreseeable future, potentially several months or even years. But I also know through what I have learned about Law of Attraction that all is not lost as long as I can get a grip of my vibrational frequency pretty sharpish. The following 2 events were further evidence to support that my attention, energy and focus was not where it should be.

So my dominant intent became to change my focus. To soothe my resistance to the contrast I was manifesting.

I was very fortunate to have arranged to meet a like-minded friend for a cup of tea. The moment I walked in her house and she saw I was upset, she sat me down and firmly placed a rose quartz crystal in my hand. After a cup of tea, a hug, and some wise words, and still holding on to the crystal, I felt the negative charge begin to dissipate.

I returned home, knowing I needed to find the perfect meditation to further ease my emotions. I browsed through my extensive collection and settled on a ‘Quiet Mind Meditation’ by Enlightened Beings.

After listening to this, it felt like so much negativity had been released from me. I felt inspired to make a phone call. I discovered that all is not lost, and that the problem is something that my doctor may be able to help me with, so I made an appointment for early next week. Wonderful! I have time to adjust my energy frequency in the right direction over the weekend.

What else was wonderful was that it brought my attention back to using these beautiful guided meditations. I purchased this package a couple of years ago, but now and then I forget I have them. This is because I have done so much research and tried out so many more products, that they sometimes slip off my radar. The funny thing is though, when I do hit the tough times, it always seems to be this collection that I am drawn back to. And when I use them regularly and consistently I do know they work. I remember saying to an aunt, when I was telling her about them one day, that when I listen to one of these daily, I always receive some unexpected financial windfall or gift within a few days e.g. winning a competition or a cash win on the lottery or something. More important that that though, they make me FEEL good and light.

They do recommend that you listen for 45 days to see amazing results, however as I said, I generally don’t get that far as my attention jumps on to something else. I’m really asking myself why now, because I have never made such a claim about any of my other meditations as I made to my aunt about these ones.

If I gave you a “Magic Wand” that empowered you to create anything you desired…what is that one thing that you would choose to manifest into your life?

Jafree Ozwald, who has a lovely, soothing, meditative voice, has the most life transforming manifesting materials which truly work at attracting the money, relationship, health, career and life of your dreams!

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You can instantly download this AMAZING online program and learn…

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Jafree has spent 15 years researching and testing out his Manifesting Technology and has found amazing results with it!!

Check out this testimonial…

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Get ready for a powerful manifesting adventure… enjoy!

“Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace”

innerpeaceI absolutely love this blog page someone kindly shared on Facebook today.

Life’s too short to take things too seriously.

I do love all the positive adjustments I continue to make in my life, that make me feel better about being ME. I’m loving my new healthy diet, but as this lady says, I’m not gonna worry about having the odd bar of chocolate or going out for a few beers when I fancy it.

These are the REAL

Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace.

P.S. If you’ve never heard of prancercise, this will enlighten you, and maybe make you pee in your pants a little bit 😀

Wishing on a Star – FREE Hypnotic Meditation

WISHING-ON-A-STARI am a huge fan of daily meditations to help calm, relax and balance me. I prefer guided meditations to the silent meditations and have quite a large library of them now.

Some of my absolute favourites are by Collin Rosati, Director of Hypnosis Vancouver. He has the loveliest, calmest voice of any hypnotist I have ever heard, and never fails to relax me.

If you sign up for his newsletter at http://hypnosisvancouver.com you will receive a new one for FREE each month. The one I have just received in my email is called Romantic Magic – Wishing on a Star, and really is as beautiful as it sounds. I am feeling so blissed out right now 😀

P.S. I just discovered that Collin ‘Sonny’ Rosati has an associated website, with a blog, where you can listen and download some free meditations direct from the site here, without the need to enter your details, although I’m sure you will want his newsletter and more audios after hearing him. Happy listening 😀

Stormy weather – got my dancing shoes on!

Well I have certainly been going through a few storms recently.

I’ve been hesitant to write because I wanted my blog to be full of positive vibes. But I thought, isn’t that being a bit fake? How can I write about life being so wonderful all the time when sometimes it just isn’t?

The purpose of my writing is not about how perfect life always is: it’s about how I handle those tough times. How I recognise when my frequency moves up and down the emotional scales. What I attract into my life by how I focus. And what do I do to adjust myself back into balance. Back into a more positive frame of mind and better-feeling thoughts and emotions.

Over the past few weeks, I think I took on a lot of physical activity that my body hasn’t been used to for a long time. I forget that although my head wants to dance and play and run a marathon, my legs just don’t, and they make it known when I try to overrule them.

Then I received news about some hospital tests I had being less than favourable. I started worrying of course. The worry took me to a place of panic. And then to add to it, my house got burgled.

I really felt that I was stuck in a downward spiral that was sucking me down faster and faster. My relaxation and meditation strategies took a back seat. I let life get too busy. I become overwhelmed. And after the burglary happened I spiralled down further into anger, an emotion I really haven’t felt for a long time.

Of course I recognised the pattern, as I described earlier in Emotion Devotion, and knew I had to stop this decline.

meditate20minsI tried to listen to some of my usual guided meditations on my ipod, but found it difficult to switch off the worrying thoughts in my head. Then the sun came out after several weeks of rainy weather, so I took myself out into the garden with my Kindle to read. However, I got very little reading done. I found myself distracted. I looked up to the clear blue sky and noticed the patterns the trail of the aeroplanes had made across the sky. Two of them formed a X shape and I imagined this was a sign from the Universe giving me a kiss and saying ‘Everything is OK’. I thought about all the planes passing overhead (luckily too high up for me to be disturbed by engine noise), and appreciated how easy it is for me to be on one of them flying away to some glorious holiday. I listened to the beautiful birdsong, and enjoyed watching the birds flying to and from the feeders I had filled up with food. I noticed the new buds on the young fruit trees I had planted last year. I appreciated the warmth of the sun on my face and arms, and appreciated how the sun and the slight breeze were drying the laundry I had hung out. I enjoyed listening to my neighbour’s little granddaughter singing and laughing. I spent more than an hour just basking and noticing everything wonderful around me.

I became completely mindful of how, right there, right at that very moment, life was perfect. I had more than I needed and everything I wanted. I know that when I am mindful and ‘in the moment’, everything is always working out ok. I have no worry or stress, just peace and calm.

When you become mindful and calm, your brain naturally goes into an alpha state, which is the state you are aiming to achieve in meditation. I realised that, for me, at that time, doing a specific meditation exercise felt like I was trying too hard. It felt like I was saying “C’mon inner peace, I haven’t got all day!”. However, by getting myself out in nature, and becoming mindful of the beauty around me and everything around me to appreciate, this just naturally took me into alpha, there was no effort required, no resistance to push against.

Many people think of meditation as it used to be defined: sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, chanting ‘om’. However, meditation can now be defined as anything that calms your mind, and enable you to stop or change your thought patterns. It can be the traditional Buddhism-style meditation if you wish. It can also be focussing on your favourite soft music, or watching children or animals playing. It can be becoming lost in the creation of art. Whatever you can give your full attention and feels good, whatever recharges your batteries.

When I thought later on about those things I had been worrying about, I could do it from a different perspective. It felt like the high charge had been removed. I have to go for further appointments at the hospital, but I am appreciating that I have access to an excellent Health Service that will help take care of my body. On the subject of the burglary, I am thankful that I was safe (as I was in bed asleep during it). While they took my purse and jewellery, a few bits of which were precious to me, there were lots of my possessions around which they did not take. I felt that as my energy frequency is quite high as a rule, but just experiencing a minor dip, the loss was not as bad as it could have been. I even thought about my earlier post about two travelling angels, and considered how I would rather it happen to me than perhaps one of my elderly neighbours, who may be less able to cope emotionally.

I also listened to several of the speakers in the Hay House Summit, which I wrote about earlier. So much inspiration to enjoy. I took lots of notes of some of them too, so will probably write about those in future posts.

When I want to feel better, I go to see the quacks!
When I want to feel better, I go to see the quacks!

Since then, for the last week or so, I have made a point of getting myself out to the local parks, and just sitting doing the same as I did in my garden. I have taken along a journal to write down my mindful thoughts and appreciations. I have enjoyed watching the baby ducks and cygnets getting bigger, healthier and stronger every day, being nurtured by their parents. I appreciate the people who stop to let me pet their dogs and have a lovely chat.

I can feel my energy increasing every day, and I am thankful for some challenges that make the getting back into balance feel sooooo delicious 😀