Category Archives: Intrinsic Vicissitude

Why You Should Forge Your Own Trail

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Forge Your Own Trail image courtesy of Pixabay

At a glance, it may seem as if the logical thing to do is just follow the trail that others have carved, and sure, there may be times when you should do that. However, think what you may be missing by following someone else’s path.

The One Who Goes First Sets the Standard

The person who goes first, sets the pace and creates the original benchmark, or set of goals, for the people who follow. For example, Henry Ford created the a manufacturing process that companies worldwide are still trying to replicate.

The One Who Goes First Enjoys the Adventure

Being the first one to do something is exciting, and fun, and an adventure. Following may have the advantage of using an easier path, but the leader gets the bragging rights, the excitement of being first, and gets to enjoy the most success.

The One Who Goes First Gets to Help Others

Helping others makes us feel good – it’s just part of being human that we (for the most part) enjoy the way it feels (emotionally) when we reach out to help someone else succeed.

Forging your own path is pretty likely to give you more of a feeling of accomplishment than you’re ever going to get by following someone else’s trail. And here’s the real difference between making your own trail and following someone else’s…

Should you have others you look up to and ask for advice? Absolutely! Should you follow the advice blindly without considering how it meshes with your goals and existing know-how? Probably not!

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Tips for Resolving a Breach of Contract

A breach of contract may be defined as a broken promise. Something that stems from an individual’s failure to fulfill any term of a contract without a lawful excuse. Maybe you hired a developer to build your company’s website and they stop midway through the job without giving you the password, or perhaps a handyman never finished the job or performed shoddy work. Another common breach of contract involves employees who quit to go to work for the competition, one of the reasons Nike sued some of its designers who decided to abandon the company for rival Adidas, as Oregon Live reports.

Breach of Contract image courtesy of Pixabay

These tips can help you resolve a breach of contract without having to sue, no matter what the reason, whether you live in Hamilton, Ontario, Los Angeles, California or anywhere else. Oftentimes, simply sending a demand letter will do the trick as few people want to face a lawsuit, especially when it’s obvious they’re in the wrong.

Try to Work It Out

Before sending any type of formal notice, or threatening a lawsuit, make an attempt to work it out more informally. That can save you time, money and potentially even the working relationship. Never threaten to sue just to get out of a deal that isn’t as lucrative as you thought it would be as it’s likely to backfire, particularly if you’re bluffing, which can lead to a long, drawn-out court battle.

Send a Notice of Breach

If you’re unable to work it out with the other party, the next step is to send a “Notice of Breach,” which creates a record of the date the party that breached the contract is officially told – that can be important if a dispute ends up in court. The notice must indicate which part of the contract was breached. For example, did the other party fail to perform, such as not delivering goods or services, or not paying you for what you provided? Or, maybe they made it impossible for you to perform your obligations? No matter the reason the breach occurred, it’s important to identify all contract clauses affected and list them out. If there is more than one, they should all be listed with the strongest claim first.

Don’t be melodramatic, instead, stick to the facts using a professional tone. If it goes to court, it won’t look good in the eyes of the jury or judge if you have a bullying tone.

In many cases, sending a Notice of Breach will allow both parties to come to a satisfactory solution on their own.

Arbitration or Litigation?

If the breach of contract can’t be resolved without intervention, the next option is either arbitration or litigation. Arbitration involves submitting the dispute to a neutral third party to help resolve it and is much more cost effective than litigation. It’s also much quicker and less cumbersome than having to go to trial. An agreed-upon arbiter is selected to hear the dispute and issues a decision that’s binding.

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Native Deodorant: Product Review

I received a free sample of Native deodorant from a company called PinchMe. I reviewed the sample on the PinchMe site, as requested, but I wanted to share about it here, too.

Native Deodorant
Free sample of Native Deodorant

My Free Sample of Native Deodorant

As I mentioned above, I got this free sample of Native deodorant in exchange for a review on another website, but I want to share about it here, too.

It’s an interesting personal care product, in my opinion, because it’s designed to give you a clean, fresh feeling without any of the harsh chemicals you find in some other deodorant brands.

Native deodorant info card
Native deodorant info card

My Experience With Native Deodorant

The first thing I noticed about Native deodorant is its light, floral scent. Looking at the Native deodorant website, I see it also comes in unscented, but I personally prefer the light scent the free sample had instead of an unscented product.

Feels thick: The second thing I noticed is how it goes on. It has a slightly different feeling than the deodorant I normally use, and it feels like it maybe goes on thicker. It wasn’t unpleasant or anything, just a bit different.

Need to reapply sooner: I also found I had to wash up and reapply it sooner than I do my regular brand of deodorant. The company’s website comments mention how long it lasts, but that wasn’t my experience.

It seemed to be effective on me for just about six hours before ‘armpit-onion-skunk’ smell started – compared to the 24-hour protection my existing brand provides – so I would say – don’t expect all-day protection from it – based on my experience.

Extra Native deodorant info card
Extra Native deodorant info card

Why I Liked Native Deodorant

I know I mentioned the differences between the deodorant I normally use and Native deodorant, and having a different texture and needing to apply more often could be perceived as negative, but here’s why I think Native deodorant is a great product:

  • It’s healthier for your body because it doesn’t contain sulfates, aluminum, or parabens
  • Cruelty free with no animal testing, ever
  • All-natural ingredient list you don’t need an encyclopedia to decipher

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude. I hope you enjoyed this review of Native deodorant, and your comments and questions are welcome below or on our Facebook page.

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Natural Supplements That Relieve Depression Symptoms


Do natural supplements that are said to relieve depression symptoms work? That’s the focus of this article, read on to learn the findings of my research, but be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any of the supplements mentioned here – to see if they may help with your depression.

Image of depression courtesy of Pixabay

As an adult, depression has been one of the most disabling things I’ve experienced, and I can say with a great deal of certainty that almost every problem I’ve had – and those problems that I still have – are linked to depression. I’ve been blessed in that my chronic depression hasn’t been severe enough that I’ve needed to seek medical help, though I often wonder if I couldn’t have saved some time in life and been in a better place faster if I had talked to my doctor about my chronic depression.

Natural Supplements With Reputations for Relieving Depression

A number of natural supplements have gained status for the way users claim they relieve depression, and given the severe side-effects of some prescription medications, it’s worth looking into the depression relief options provided by natural supplements such as CBD oil, fish oil, SAMe, and folic acid.

CBD Oil for Depression

I hesitated, at first, to write about CBD oil due to its perceived-but-incorrect association with marijuana. It comes from the cannabis plant – but – it’s a different strain of cannabis than the kind that gets you high and ‘loopy’ -that’s a totally different kind of depression relief. The strain of cannabis plant used to produce CBD oil has had the THC ‘bred’ out of it over the years and while it does provide a kind of relaxed bliss, it isn’t going to give you the munchies or make you laugh like a buffoon even if something awful happens the way the other kind of cannabis does.

Fish Oil for Depression

I’ve been using fish oil for a few weeks now, though I didn’t start it for depression. I was having so much trouble with my focus and attention deficit problems that I was desperate, but I don’t like to take prescription medicines if there’s any other way. And, I have noticed some relief of my attention problems, along with the surprise benefit of noticing some relief from my depression. (That’s saying something for me, that I got through the holidays with no bout of depression.) Another plus for fish oil, it can help support heart health, according to the label on the bottle.

SAMe for Depression

SAMe, S-adenosy-L-methionine, is a molecule that occurs naturally in the human body, and it’s been found to help depressed adults who don’t respond well to prescription depression medications. It has also been found effective in relieving osteoarthritis symptoms in patients participating in some studies. It has been noted, however, that bipolar patients experience more manic behavior when taking SAMe, so it’s advised that bipolar people avoid this natural supplement.

Folic Acid for Depression

Low levels of folic acid, also known as folate and as vitamin B-9, have been linked in studies to a number of common ailments, including depression. This vitamin is found in the dark, leafy greens that are often left out of the typical American diet, and it’s easily replaced with supplements or dietary changes. Physical issues its lack-of is associated with include depression, birth defects, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. If you check the labels of multivitmins,you may find it’s already in your daily multivitamin supplement.

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude and reading this post about natural supplements for depression. Questions and comments are welcome, and again, be sure to chat with your doctor before adding new supplements to your diet. Every body responds differently to new medications, so your physician’s care is always your safest starting point in relieving depression or any other ailment.

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Do Binaural Beats to Improve Focus Work?

The past few weeks, I’ve been really struggling with focus, and the amount of work I’ve been able to produce has really suffered. I decided to try listening to some music with binaural beats to improve focus, and I wanted to pop in here and share a bit about it. (Music that’s got a beat but isn’t much to dance to… though a night out dancing to regular music has benefits, too.) After all, being productive is one huge thing that affects my sense of positivity and how I feel about – well – everything.

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Where I Found Free Music With Binaural Beats to Improve Focus

Since this is my first experiment with this technique, I wanted to explore some free options, and I found some on YouTube. I don’t have enough experience with this yet to recommend any specific binaural beats soundtracks or videos, but I will say I found the music and experience of listening to Super Intelligence: Memory Music, Improve Focus and Concentration With Binaural Beats Focus Music by Greenred Productions while working made me feel more at peace – which was in itself a very nice thing after a crazy-hectic few weeks.

Music With Binaural Beats as Part of a Meditation Session

I also listened to music with binaural beats as part of a couple meditation sessions, and I found these far more relaxing than my usual meditation sessions. I also found I was more deeply relaxed for several hours after the meditation sessions than normal.

What Binaural Beats Haven’t Help Me With Yet

So far, the jury is still out for me on whether binaural beats can help improve my focus and productivity, though I suspect with patience and continued use I may see a change for the positive. As of now, I haven’t noticed any real improvement in those areas. Where I have noticed improvements are in the depth of relaxation I’m able to achieve and the depth of meditation I’ve been able to achieve with these relaxing tones playing in the background while I work and meditate.

What the Experts Say About Binaural Beat Therapy

Binaural beat therapy might sound like a lot of silliness or like some new fad, but a bit of research reveals its long history and its effectiveness at treating some patients.

Binaural Beats were first discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and it “has been used in clinical settings to research hearing and sleep cycles, to induce various brain wave states, and treat anxiety,” according to Psychology Today.

Almost ten years ago, around 2010, it was popular to say that kids listening to binaural beats were i-dosing – or that binaural beats music was a digital drug for teens – which was really not proven to be the case – but I wanted to include a mention of it here in case you remember reading about i-dosing from back then.

My Questions for You About Binaural Beats

I’m curious to hear if anyone reading this has tried listening to music with binaural beats to increase focus and productivity (and if it worked or not.)

I’m also curious – if it worked – did it work the first time or did it take multiple tries to notice a difference?

I’m thinking about picking up this CD of pure binaural beats on eBay, to make a personal self-guided meditation for myself, so if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, pop over to eBay and take a look.

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3 Great Backyard BBQ Styles for Men

Since I just shared a post on cute fitness apparel for women, I thought I should share some fun, summery clothes for guys, too.

Intrinsic Vicissitude is proud to partner with Old Navy to bring you this short list of great guy’s backyard BBQ styles for men.

3 Great Backyard BBQ Styles for Men

For the man who wants to show some patriotism in his outfit this 4th of July, but still stay stylish, we’ve found a few simple fashion upgrades.

Here are a few of our favorite styles for him to show his American pride at this year’s festivities.

The Commando Sunglasses

Whether he’s manning the grill or tossing horseshoes with buddies, these Commando sunglasses are up for anything this 4th of July. The polarized lenses are made with triacetate cellulose to provide clarity and 100% UV protection, so no matter how sunny the day is, these shades keep him looking cool.

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Dip-Dye Pocket Tank for Men

Stripes on the 4th are a given, so why not mix things up with this dip-dye tank? This tank features a soft cotton jersey blend for a relaxed fit that keep him looking and feeling chill and laidback. Pair with medium wash denim for classic American style.

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Built-in Flex Drawstring Jogger Shorts for Men

These nautical jogger shorts are sure to be on heavy rotation this summer. They feature an elasticized waistband for ultimate comfort between devouring hot dogs and hamburgers and playing a round of croquet. Soft, lightweight double-weave twill keeps him cool on even the hottest of summer days.

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Frosty Heat Blasting Treats for Kids of All Ages

Beat the heat of summer with a build-your-own ice cream sundae party or whip up a batch of Pinterest-worthy popsicles that look as incredible as they taste. Ice cream creations and playful popsicles provide a fun way to cool off while enjoying special moments with the kids.

Heat Blasting Treats
Heat Blasting Treats image courtesy of Pixabay

These treats aren’t just for kids, though. Adults enjoy the unique popsicle flavors and building sundaes with their favorite ice cream toppings as much as kids do.

Make Everyday a Sundae

Set up a sundae bar that lets everyone at your next gathering choose favorite toppings for a chilly themed party that pleases both kids and adults.

Pick serving bowls and utensils that match your party’s theme colors, or consider offering guests edible waffle bowls to reduce waste and cut cleanup time after the party.

  • Stick with one or two basic ice cream flavors to keep things simple for a younger crowd, like vanilla, chocolate, or Neapolitan.
  • Or, break out some exotic ice cream flavors to mix things up.
  • Then, get fancy with the sundae toppings.
  • Encourage guests to put a layer of toppings, like chocolate sauce, under the ice cream for a stunning visual effect.
  • Then, suggest topping it off with flavored toppings like strawberry, pineapple, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
  • Add some decorative sprinkles, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries to the toppings lineup.

Homemade Ice Pops Recipes and Tips

Ice pops provide another fun way to cool off on hot days, and you can make them as simple or fancy as you like.

  • Start by choosing an ice pop maker. These come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs.
  • Stick with a smaller mold if you’re making popsicles for younger children or dieters, or use a larger one for people with bigger appetites.

Plain juice ice-sicles: This works with any juice your family enjoys. Fill the ice pop maker with clear or brightly colored juice. Then put the popsicles in the freezer overnight or until frozen.
Juice and fruit popsicles: Drop a few small berries or slices of strawberry and pineapple cubes in the empty popsicle maker. Fill the slots with white grape or another clear juice and freeze.
Sweet almond milk and fruit: Put some small berries or colorful fruit slices in the slots in the mold, then fill the slots with sweet almond milk, insert the toppers, and freeze for a fruity, creamy and very pretty ice pop.
Candy and juice popsicles: Drop a few small pieces of candy, like gummy bears or Swedish fish in your ice pop mold. Fill it with clear juice or lemonade and freeze it overnight.

The keys to knowing how to make ice pops are so simple – they’re knowing what your family likes and making sure there’s a flat spot in your freezer to place the ice pop maker.

Then, just unleash your creativity and have fun putting together a variety of ice pop flavors.


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Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe

I’ve been looking for easy ways to increase fiber and protein in my diet, and I LOVE having a granola bar for breakfast every day, but I’m not wild about the cost of buying pre-baked ones – so I started experimenting with making my own recipe.

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe
Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe image courtesy of Pixabay

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

These crunchy Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars are a little labor-intensive to make, but my family really loved them! They have the sweetness of a cookie and the healthful goodness of a high-quality protein and fiber bar without the high cost of store-bought protein and fiber bars.

One great thing about this recipe is – it’s so easy to change and adapt to meet your family’s preferences. So, if you’re feeling like munching on some sweet and nutritious treats, gather up your ingredients and kitchen products for baking, and let’s get started!

Ingredients for Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  • 7 cups rolled oats (This is basically an entire 18-ounce container of oats)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Cooking oil spray

Steps for Making Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread the mix on a large 18×13-inch baking sheet. (If you don’t have  a large baking sheet, divide the ingredients in half and spread them out on a smaller baking sheet, but consider reducing the oven temperature by 25-degrees because it will be spread out thinner.)
  4. Stir the ingredients on the baking sheet every ten minutes for a total of 20-25 minutes.
  5. Pull the baking sheet (or sheets) out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 300-degrees.
  6. Pour the baked oats, nuts and chia seed mix back into the large mixing bowl. (This step was, for me, kind of awkward because it was hard to hold the big baking sheet steady enough to pour the food into the baking dish.)
  7. Put a saucepan on the stovetop and pour the honey and brown sugar in it.
  8. Set the burner to the medium heat setting and start stirring.
  9. Keep stirring for 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the honey.
  10. Quickly pour the vanilla and cinnamon into the sweet mix and stir thoroughly.
  11. Pour the sweet mix over the oat mix and stir until the oats, nuts, and chia seeds are coated with the sweet honey mix.
  12. Lightly coat the baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
  13. Press the granola mix into the baking sheet as tightly as you can.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (When this gets to about 25 minutes it’s a good idea to check it every few minutes because once the honey and brown sugar mix start baking, they scorch easily and your granola bars can end up with a burnt flavor.
  15. Let this cool for 10-minutes, then cut into the desired portions.
  16. Be sure to cut them before they’ve been out of the oven for 15-minutes, though, because they’re super tough to cut if they cool longer than 15 minutes.
  17. Portions: I cut them into 18 bars because this is what I have for breakfast and I want it to be comfortably filling – but you could go much smaller or bigger depending on your needs. If I were making them for snacking purposes, I would cut them much smaller than I do when making them for a meal replacement.

These high-protein, high-fiber Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars can be stored covered for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. (I put them in snack bags for convenience.)

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How to Let Go of the Hurt When Someone Lets You Down

Sometimes, life is just brutal, and you need to get away from your troubles to relax and regroup. It’s just a fact of life that things go wrong, people you trust let you down, and awful things happen that can’t be fixed – and that’s when you NEED to do something good for yourself.

When Someone Lets You Down
When Someone Lets You Down image courtesy of Pixabay

It Only Hurts You to Stay Mad When Someone Lets You Down

When someone lets you down, and you’re upset, the one who benefits from you letting it go – is you.

I hope you’ll excuse me using my own experience for this, but I recently had an experience where someone I trusted (a close relative) let me down – completely.

I wanted to just forgive it and not talk about it anymore, but the other person wouldn’t let it go – kept saying she had to make it right – but followed that seemingly noble sentiment with the information that there is no way to make it right.

She suggested a way to make it right – would it have? NO! But, I said, okay, let’s do that – just to have it over with. She decided she couldn’t DO that. Okay. So, quit talking about it. I’m busy and have no more time for this.

She created endless drama and stress over the course of the past three days, to the point I can’t sleep and am getting behind on my work.

I went, over the course of three days, from wanting to never talk about what she had done again and wanting to just let it go, to being utterly and completely, furious and wanting her to make it right.

This person went from apologizing over and over to trying to blame me, remember, I was the one who was betrayed, for something she did. (Typical narcissistic behavior.)

So, basically, I was starting to feel sick from internalizing the rage she was pushing on me, and I decided the conversation was over. I wrote my feelings on a sheet of paper and burned it in effigy.

It may sound silly, but I felt like the weight was lifted off my shoulders by simply letting go, and there’s actual science behind the risk of holding it in when something upsets you.

Some Things You Can Do to Get Over Feeling Hurt

Everyone deals with things differently, so browse through these ideas of ways to do something for yourself to see if you can find something that would help you let go of that ‘let down’ feeling so you can feel better.

After all, if someone lets you down, it isn’t your fault, it’s theirs. You shouldn’t suffer. They deserve to own it.

  • Write it out: If, like me, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper lets you release them, consider writing a letter to the offending person. You don’t have to send it. In fact, if someone hurt you, they don’t deserve to know how you really feel. That’s why I choose to burn my ‘release letters’ – I can literally watch the smoke carry my pain and anger away. I mean, I’m still kind of peeved right now, but I’m not angry like I was, and that’s better for my health.
  • Consider a getaway: Go somewhere like a health retreat Gold Coast for a vacation or go somewhere close for a soothing spa day.
  • Exercise: Choose your favorite kind of workout, from an intense boxing session to a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
  • Go inside yourself: Meditate or pray in a quiet spot.
  • Read something inspiring: Pick up a book on a topic that inspires you, or visit websites that cover topics that make you feel better about life.

When someone lets you down and they won’t ‘let it go’ – know that it’s about them and their baggage, and not about you. If you’re the victim in a situation, don’t let the other person push their guilt off onto you.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away, to the extent you can, and do something positive for yourself.

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Ways to Change Your Life When You’re Feeling Lost

Feeling Lost? Browse through these quotes (from wiser people than I am) on ways to change your life to get some potentially revitalizing ideas.

Change Your Life When You're Feeling Lost
Change Your Life When You’re Feeling Lost image courtesy of Pixabay

Ways to Change Your Life if You’re Feeling Lost

Shift your focus to something other than your problems.

“Love people who hate you. Pray for people who have wronged you. It won’t just change their life… it’ll change your life.” – Mandy Hale

Change what you can in a positive manner, even if it’s just something small.

“Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.” – Kevin Michel

Let it start with the way you think, all change begins inside of our minds.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

Know there are things in life that you can’t change, accept those things and focus your energies on the things you can influence.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”  – Lao Tzu

Realize we aren’t meant to understand everything, and that’s okay!

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman

Allow yourself to be open to new ideas, you can’t achieve change in life by holding onto the things that have already failed to provide positive results.

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” – Frederich Nietzsche

Learn all you can, read, take classes, search the internet for information, talk to people, take notes, because learning is the foundation upon which you can build a brighter, stronger future.

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”  – Leo F Buscaglia

Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed putting this post together, especially since I was feeling a little lost today myself, and I hope you enjoyed these short quotes about ways to change your life when you’re feeling lost.

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