Hearty Soutwestern Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice & Chik’n

Are you having a good week, friend? You have that choice to make, yeah? Last week was…weird for us. Things seemed out-of-sorts; the house was out-of-order; we weren’t hungry enough to actually cook much, and that’s just plain weird.

We did get to try out this clay mask, and we loved it! It’s affordable, good for your skin, and it’s fun. If you haven’t been treating your skin as good as you should have, start taking steps now (or do the whole shebang) to treat yourself better. We have been using Acure, and are very happy with the results so far. We want to change things up soon-ish, so we will be trying out some new products before too long. If your skin care budget is tight, there are some resourceful websites for making your own products at home. The take away: your face deserves care; reduce/eliminate toxic products you slather on; good skin care fits most budgets; and, drink more water. “Spa night” is always fun around here! Basically, it was our date-night this past week!

This weekend was 50/50 adulting and decompressing. Put a break on the hamster wheel, okay? We took care of household chores, prepared for the week, slept in a bit, and enjoyed ordinary time together. Exciting, right!? Not really, but there is an overwhelming sense of calm . Knowing we have at least three days worth of meal prep and chores out of the way is worth a couple hours spent on Sunday afternoon. Yes, it takes just as much time to do those tasks during the week, but getting them done ahead of time relieves the “caged monkey” feeling during the week.

Last Sunday after camping, we were in no mood to whip up anything fancy. Hello, Tortilla Soup! As with last week’s chili, the ingredient list may seem long. DON’T FRET! We have an ingredient list comprised of common veggies and cupboard spices. Seriously, the hardest part is waiting to ladle up a bowl! If rice isn’t your jam, you can serve this soup over tortilla strips, but we love the texture the rice adds. As always, the mock chicken can easily be swapped with chicken.

So, last week we talked about caring what other people think. Our homework assignment was to notice how the ideas and values of others alter our commitments. Were you able to remain aware of how other people determined most of your decisions?

As always, if you’re just here for the recipe, you know how to keep scrolling to get the goods. This week, let’s talk about TRUE happiness. True happiness for YOU reading this; true happiness for US trying to find it. We will begin with a few questions, okay? Actually think about your answer to each question before moving to the next. Are you happy? What does the word happiness mean to you? If you think you’re happy, where do you get that happiness?

Whether you admit it or not, you believe “happiness” comes from a place outside your SELF. You search for happiness in your significant other, your job, your family and friends, the food you eat, the trips you take, and in all other outlying situations. Now, ask yourself again if YOU are happy, or are you constantly looking for a way to get enthused about life. Admitting you aren’t truly happy…well, that’s quite an unsettling truth.

As a human, you jumble anticipation with happy. Are you happy, or are you anticipating the 14-day cruise that embarks tomorrow? Did you just say to yourself, “Heck, I’d be happy with a 7-day cruise!”? You’d be excited, not happy. If you were happy, you would be happy with no cruise. Eeeek, right? For the sake of “happiness”, let’s say you do have a 7-day cruise planned; you’re happy as a clam. You’re getting packed for your cruise that leaves in the morning, and your son’s teacher calls you to come pick him up; he’s been expelled. On your way to get him, you hit a bear and total your car. You finally manage to get to the school, and THEN you find out he is failing all subjects. He’s been expelled and he’s failing all subjects, your car is totalled, you’re not even half way packed for your trip, and you have no clue where your totalled car is at this point. So you say, “Self, nothing can make me unhappy; I’ve got this cruise tomorrow!” The very fact that you said that to yourself means you are truly UNHAPPY. Your ego is keeping you busy by searching for enthusiasm; your ego is pulling out all the stops to keep you from doing the work needed to find TRUE happiness inside the SELF.

If you found $1000 in your back pocket, how long would that make you happy? Probably as long as it would take to pay that looming credit card bill. Then winning the $10,000 jackpot would make you happy, right? You lose 50 pounds; smiley face! Smiley face lasts until think your nose is too big. You see? You are constantly scrounging around looking for “stuff” to pacify you from one invigorating situation to the next. This hopping around from one stimulate to the next can be applied to everything you do.

The lack of your ability to “be present” further prevents you from TRUE happiness. We’re not talking about planning. We’re talking about planning, and then spinning your wheels thinking of everything that could go wrong. We’re talking about, “I’m going to make THIS decision! Oh, but what if THIS person gets upset?”. This circles back to what we talked about last week. You plan, then you try to figure out where other people will rank your plan on their “value scale”. You care about what other people think; you decide what to do next based on what they will think, and you try to find happiness based on what they think.

Okay, friend that is all we have for you on happiness today. Maybe in the future we can talk about ways to start working on true self happiness. Keep your awareness in check. Continue to recognize how you alter your decisions based on what others will think. In addition, let’s try to notice when we are seeking anticipation and excitement. It’s probably going to be difficult for you to identify that mindset, maybe even impossible, because we intermingle happiness with short-term emotions. Instances in which you are looking for SOMEONE to “do something”, or times when you are waiting for SOMETHING to happen are tell-tale signs. Waiting for your daughter to come home with an “A” on a test; looking for your significant other to do that romantic thing you want, and anticipating an event are all examples of excitement. So, be aware of those and how they trick the ego.

Now, time for Hearty Southwestern Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice & Chik’n!

Print Recipe
Hearty Soutwestern Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice & Chik'n
Filling, healthy, and comforting
Cuisine Southwestern
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 1 hr 15 Minutes
Cuisine Southwestern
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 1 hr 15 Minutes
  1. In a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium until ripples appear. Add onion, celery, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 8 mins, or until onions are translucent.
  2. To the pan, add all peppers, garlic, scallions, and ¼ tsp salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, stock, water, spices, and ¼ tsp salt. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour. Add corn, beans, lime juice, cilantro, and chick’n, and cook until warmed through, or about 5 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot over rice, and top with with optional garnish.
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2 thoughts on “Hearty Soutwestern Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice & Chik’n”

  1. I loved your post on “happiness”! I feel “true happiness” only comes when you are in the “now”, but for me it’s being able to stay there! Oh how alive and “happy” I am when I am there! Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Jackie! Exactly! Keep practicing the NOW, right? So the moments of “happiness” are a permanent state.

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