Practicing Asana!

Everyone loves practicing ásana (physical positions); they are amazing; they make your body strong, supple and definitely healthier. But why does almost every style of yôga practice ásana in a different way?

I can not tell you much about the others methods, as I don’t practice them, but I can explain ours and why is so effective.

India is, historically, one of the most invaded countries in the world.  Every great emperor in the world passed through there, including the Aryans, later Alexander the Great and most recently the British invasion. You can be sure that every single colonizer somehow changed and influenced the Indian culture and, consequently, Yôga. The most recent, and significant, change that happened in Yôga was the introduction of repetition of the ásanas.

Ásana was traditionally practiced with permanence, but when the British army landed in India the yogins of that time seemed to like the Western idea of working out the body with repetition and this new habit got stronger when Yôga was exported to United States.

So, what do we lose by practicing ásana with repetition? First of all, ásana should not be categorized as “gymnastic”. Ásana has not only the aim to make your body healthier, but, mainly, to achieve body-consciousness and self-knowledge. Body and mind being closely interrelated, the practice of ásana aims at mastery over the body with a view to securing corresponding mastery over the mind. Control of nervous and vital energies produces control of mental functions. The mind-body complex is brought under perfect control, the indwelling Self shines out and the higher self is realized.

I think it is only possible to achieve such delightful results with permanence of ásanas, never with repetitions.

When you stay in the position for a good time it acts deeply on the muscle fuses, the receptors inside the muscle cell that are connected with muscle tone, and with the protection against the risk of strain. The position, combined with focused attention and coordinated breathing, affects the muscle fuses, stimulating them to lower their defensive control over the muscle. The fibres of the muscles decrease their level of contraction and effectively stretch.

Ásana is any firm and confortable position”

Yôga-Sutra of Patañjali

Written by Paulo Pacifici

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar And Why You Need It

Apples are renowned for their nutritive benefits. Most weight loss diets include this fruit. The good news is that there is an even better way of enjoying this delicacy. Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV) is beginning to excite health and nutrition experts – for good reasons.

Time-Tested Panacea

It is important to understand that ACV did not become relevant in the modern era. Actually, the man who holds the enviable title of ‘Father of Medicine’ Hippocrates, is credited with having used ACV to cure a host of illnesses. He especially loved using this substance to dress wounds.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

To create this wonder drink, one has to crush apples, thereby exposing the fruits to yeast and fermentation. The sugar in the fruits is turned into alcohol. The ensuing substance is mixed with bacteria to transform it into ascetic acid through fermentation. In essence, ACV’s main component is ascetic acid.

When making ACV, one may opt to filter the mixture to have a smooth liquid. This type of vinegar is used for cleaning as well as culinary purposes. However, at the surface of the ACV that has not been filtered is a thick substance called ‘Mother’. This version of ACV contains beneficial proteins and bacteria that look like cobwebs.

What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar?

From the onset, it is crucial to realise that there are many benefits associated with ACV. However, not many of these have been verified scientifically. They are just assumptions. Over the years, ACV was used as a home-made remedy for a range of complications. Some families still use it out of custom handed down generations.

Because it kills bacteria and other pathogens, ACV is widely used in home cleaning. Warts, lice, fungus and nail infections were customarily treated using this type of vinegar. It is for the same reason that this substance is used to preserve food.

Like the apples it is made from, ACV can be of great help to people who want to lose weight. It fills the tummy so that one feels full even when they have not eaten much. This in turn reduces the urge to eat – a powerful reason for weight gain. Moreover, CV contains very few calories and this helps in curtailing weight gain.

ACV has also been found to be effective in managing diabetes. It helps to lower blood sugar levels. The ascetic acid in this substance is anti-glycemic and this is important in dealing with sensitivity of the insulin.

Apple Cider Vinegar is also important as a detoxifier. The same way it deals with bacteria and other harmful organisms in the house, it helps the body fight infections. The liver will benefit from an intake of ACV just as the lymph nodes. When these body parts function optimally, illnesses are kept at bay.

The benefits of ACV cannot be exhausted in one article. One can only understand them through experimentation.

Here Are A Few Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Apple Cider Vinegar:

  1. Pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV into a glass of water and you have a rejuvenating drink before you.
  2. Pour two drops of ACV into your smoothie to enrich the latter.
  3. Take the same drink in the morning to clear your digestive system and prevent you from overeating.
  4. A few drops of ACV used to dilute water will create a drink that can help overcome indigestion and other temporary stomach problems.
  5. Having a problem with heartburn? Mix half a teaspoon of ACV in water and take the drink for immediate relief.
  6. Use ACV to dress your salads the same way you would use balsamic vinegar.
  7. If you want to have whiter teeth, gargle with ACV to remove stains in your gums and mouth.
  8. Mixed with water and essential oils, ACV is one of the most effective all-purpose cleaners for your home.
  9. You can also use ACV as a facial toner when you mix it with water and apply the mixture to your face using cotton wool.
  10. Mix half a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and use the mixture to rinse your hair, to make the latter healthy and vermin-free.

 

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Be Creative Again!

The joy, enthusiasm, optimism and productivity exhibited by creative people is infectious. If you are the inventive type, losing your spark is the last thing you want to happen. Even those who don’t consider themselves imaginative crave for the day they will exude positivism without struggling.

We all can do with an injection of originality in thinking. Creativity invigorates your mind and gives you the impetus to face challenges and pursue new endeavors. Are you suffering from momentary or prolonged dearth of imagination?

 

Here are ten tips to help you become creative again…

  1. Embrace Good Old Nature

Human beings often forget they are part of nature. The outdoors, especially the woods, water bodies and hilly areas can ignite the spark that is lying idle in you. Take a walk and breathe fresh air. Listen to the chirping of birds. Learn from the diligence of bees. Your creativity will come back in a flood.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Sitting down for long constricts your muscles and blood vessels. Blood does not reach your body cells, tissues and organs as effectively as it should. You feel lethargic because oxygen is not reaching every part of your body. Why not join a fitness club or create an enjoyable exercise routine? You will realize that every time you exercise, you lose bad moods and redundant thoughts and feel fresh to think again.

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  1. Take A Journey To New Territory

Creativity often takes a plunge because we are so much used to the familiar. Your eyes need to see a new world to feed the brain with novel ideas. Take a physical journey to an exciting place you have never visited before. Let your juvenile curiosity be awakened again. Get lost in the wonder of new frontiers as this will bring back your creativity.

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  1. Become Playful And Childlike Again

Once upon a time, you were a little child who was mesmerized by fairy tales and ogre stories. You played hide and seek without any care as to what people thought about you. You mimicked other people; laughed at the slightest provocation, and shed tears of joy and pain in equal measure. That unfettered, jovial, carefree and playful child is still within you. That boy or girl still craves happiness. Play with little children. Engage in their games.

  1. Sleep, Baby, Sleep

In our busy world, sleep is fast becoming a luxury. We are too busy running errands and eking out a living to care about taking a nap. Your brain and body need rest. That way you recuperate and get the strength you need for another day. Think of a baby and how it cries when it lacks sleep. Think of how playful the same baby becomes moments after waking up from restful sleep. That is what will happen to you when you embrace regular sleep or unscheduled naps.

  1. Do Something Else

Creativity decreases with monotony. When you perform repetitive tasks, your body is overwhelmed by your predictable movement. If you have been writing for hours and are bored, why not listen to music? Get rid of the junk in your house. Do whatever will make you break the monotony and your will begin to think creatively again.

  1. Inject Yourself With A Dose Of Laughter

You have heard that laughter is medicine to the bones. Sometimes you need to look at the funny side of life. Find something to laugh about, including your past mistakes. Go and watch that comedy at the theater. How about a funny movie or a sitcom featuring your favorite comedian? Doing this revitalizes your mind and your creative energies.

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  1. Hook Up With Friends

People you love and whose company you enjoy can be your greatest source of inspiration. When your creative fuel tank is almost empty, call that funny friend of yours and share a cup of coffee. Relieve those funny experiences that you share.

  1. Admit Defeat And Move On

When you think about failure constantly, your creativity suffers. To avoid this, be sincere with yourself and admit it when you have failed. You are not a paragon. You are made of flesh and blood. Nobody said you must know everything. When you can’t handle an issue anymore, and it is costing you more than you are investing in it, admit defeat and look for another challenge.

  1. Indulge Your Senses

You will do yourself a great favor if you find a way to invigorate each of your senses when your creativity goes down. When was the last time you plucked a rose flower, and imbibed its sweet aroma? Eat that meal you have craved or never tried. Go for a full-body massage. Go birdwatching. Listen to a different kind of music. This way, your creativity will be revived.

Whatever you choose to do, remember you cannot accomplish much when your creative batteries are running low.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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What is Quantum Physics?

Quantum physics (or as some choose to call it, Quantum Mechanics) is  a branch of physics concerned with the way energy and matter behave, particularly in relation to molecules and atoms as well as nuclear and other smaller levels of matter.

Physicists themselves have described it as an impossible science because it defies conventional knowledge of cause and effect and relies heavily on probability. It has been described as the science of the ‘very small’.

It revolves around the idea of isolating objects from the surroundings and attempting to study such objects. Now that some objects are too big to be removed from their environments and analysed, quantum science takes place in the world of atoms, molecules and other microscopic elements.

This line of physics became of concern to scientists when it was established that the laws that dictate how larger objects operate do not apply in the same way where microscopic objects are concerned.

A concept image of a woman's spirit drifting from her body and floating towards a light.

The word ‘quantum’ refers to quantity and is derived from the Latin language. In quantum physics, matter and energy can be broken up into discrete units which are not only observed but also predicted. Indeed, everything that exists can be studied in quantum physics. For example, even though one cannot see time and space, quantum physics studies and describes them.

Brief History Of Quantum Physics

Quantum physics has its roots in the early 20th Century when physicists discovered that at the macroscopic and microscopic levels, the laws that govern objects were different.  With time, scientists developed more precise methods of measuring matter, and that is when they began to observe unusual trends.

In terms of documentation, though, quantum physics is said to have been spawned by Max Planck who wrote a paper on the subject of black body radiation in 1900. Other experts who played significant roles in the development of this field of inquiry were Niels Bohr, Erwin Schroedinger, Warner Heisenberg and the renowned Albert Einstein.

It is important to note that while Albert Einstein is renowned for his ground-breaking and significant discoveries in science, he was opposed to the tenets of quantum physics. Einstein dedicated a lot of his time to experiments and discourse meant to discredit quantum physics. Credit to him; the proponents of this line of thought put in more research and came up with the discoveries we have today.

Achievement concept in a filament lightbulb.

The Uniqueness Of Quantum Physics

This field of physics holds that the moment you begin to observe something, you begin to influence the physical activities that take place around it. Waves and articles act in similar ways and may be confused for one another. The movement of matter happens even where there is no intervening space.

Moreover, transmission of information also occurs over infinite distances. The main discovery in quantum physics for most people is that the universe consists of sequences of probabilities.

Some Important Issues In Quantum Physics

It is true that many people find this field of study rather complex especially because of constant reference to unseen matters. For scientists, it may not be much of a problem to visualize the claims of quantum physics, especially because the right technology exists to measure the links between various phenomena.

However, for the general public, quantum physics must be explained in simpler terms if it is to be appreciated. Actually, this area of knowledge is somewhat complex and weird even for the physicists who study it, but this should not imply that it is entirely incomprehensible for those willing to grasp its gist. Here are some fundamental issues that underlie this field:

  1. Quantum Physics Revolves Around Waves And Particles

Matter has both particle and wave elements and the two natures are mutually existent. It sounds rather weird to have an object that is simultaneously a particle and a wave. In actual sense, quantum physics deals with an object that is not entirely a wave or a particle, but a combination of the two.

The basic unit of quantum physics has wavelength and frequency, thus sharing the characteristic of a wave. On the other hand, the same unit is countable and can be domesticated up to a certain level, which means it shares the elements of a particle. The moment one begins to understand the dual nature of the object of quantum physics; he or she is on the way to understanding what quantum physics is all about.

Elementary Particles series. Interplay of abstract fractal forms on the subject of nuclear physics, science and graphic design.

  1. It Is Distinct

The very nature of quantum physics implies that it is discrete. All models consist of measurable amounts. For example, light is measure with wavelengths and frequencies, all of which can be quantified. The energy contained in light is similarly quantified based on the wavelength and frequency of the respective light ray.

  1. It Is Probabilistic

It may sound contradictory or ironical (after learning that quantum physics is discrete) to realise that the same science is probabilistic. In essence, it is not possible to be certain of the outcome of an experiment when using a quantum system. There are many possible outcomes of an experiment and probability is applied when trying to establish the outcome of each attempt.

Even when finding the congruence between theory and practice, it is only through probability that the relationship can be inferred. The final outcome is arrived after carrying out several experiments over some time and trying to find out which one is closest to the expected outcome.

Probability is also applied when trying to conceptualise the existence of particles in multiple states. Any predictions are based on probability.  Before any calibrations that would lead to an outcome, the system in question is said to be in intermediate state. In essence, quantum physics is probabilistic in as far as outcomes are concerned.

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  1. The Result Of Quantum Mechanics Are Not Tied To Prevailing Circumstances Only

According to quantum physicists, the result of experiments in this field is non-local. This means that respective results can depend on the characteristics of an object that is far removed from the object being measured. Moreover, one cannot explain these results using the same logic employed when explaining the movement of signals at the speed of light.

However, one should not misconstrue this to mean that one can transmit information at a rate that surpasses that of light. Some experiments were done in the attempt to employ non-locality of quantum mechanics to surpass the speed of light. As would be expected, these experiments did not succeed.

  1. In Most Cases, Quantum Physics Deals With ‘Smaller’ Objects

One of the unusual things about quantum physics is that whatever it predicts often goes against conventional experiences. The larger the object you study the lesser the effects. In essence, this field of study is concerned with minuscule objects, like particles and wavelengths, all of which diminish as the size of an object increases.

  1. It Is Real…

Many people, on coming into contact with the assertions of quantum physics, often assume this is an intangible issue – like magic. Simply because one cannot conceptualize waves and particles does not mean that they don’t exist. Similarly, the fact that quantum mechanics works in an almost invisible manner does not mean it is magic.

Quantum physics is ingrained in scientific thought and it supported by definite and infallible laws of nature.  Mathematical procedures and methods exist to support the claims of quantum physics. It is also true that human beings can study and exploit the teachings and principles of quantum, physics but this does not make the latter is magic or mysticism.

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Application Of Quantum Physics

It is important to understand that quantum mechanics is not just an abstract kind of knowledge. It can and has been used in practical ways to develop technology and items that human beings use every day.  This is especially in the electronic and computer world, which is always in flux, thus implying that the quantum science is alive and necessary.

Some of its applications include LED lights, computer monitors, florescent bulbs, MRI scanners, bar-code scanners, semi-conductors, super-conductors, transistors, spectroscopy, digital cameras, fiber-optics, photocopiers, solar cells, DVDs and CDs. Further, it is estimated that developed countries derive 25% of their GDP from quantum science-related activities.

Not Yet Fully Understood

Interestingly, many physicists who have spent time researching on quantum science opine that no one has ever fully comprehended what this area of knowledge is all about. Indeed, Niels Bohr one said that unless one is shocked by quantum theory he or she is yet to understand it.

This assertion should be taken seriously considering Bohr was one of the scientists who first realized that unlike what classical theory had led many to believe, quantum physics was replete with chaos and murkiness, not precision. In other words, this is a field that requires greater inquiry and experiment before any plausible conclusions can be made.

That said, humanity continues to enjoy the marvels of quantum science. While one may not fully comprehend what exactly happens with particles and waves in matter, this does not prevent one from enjoying the benefits of such knowledge.

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With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

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How To Stop Feeling Lonely!

People in the world are becoming lonelier despite the increasing population and more ways of making friends. Before you dismiss my assertion, you must understand that by ‘lonely’ I do not mean isolated. Actually, you can be alone but not lonely.

Loneliness is not a good experience. Can you imagine being at the centre of a crowd yet you are feeling lonely? Think about it this way: You are attending a celebratory event, partaking of all the eating and fun, yet you are not part and parcel of the crowd. You feel lost amongst friends.

The Extreme Effects of Loneliness

Did I hear you say that one can only be lonely in the remote parts of our planets? Let me startle you a bit. In one of the Koreas, it is reported that people are so lonely that they are watching videos of other people taking dinner! That is how serious loneliness is for people around the world. To aggravate matters, people that suffer from loneliness are likely to die early. It turns out being out of touch with people and social life is harmful to your health and life. Research also indicates that social circles are reducing in circumference. Today, you are likely to have fewer friends than you had several years ago.

Woman Lying Awake In Bed Suffering With Insomnia

What Causes Loneliness?

Considering the negative effects of loneliness and the interdependence of human beings, it is imperative that we find ways of averting loneliness. We need to remember, though, that loneliness begins in the mind before extending into the physical realm. The moment you lose touch with yourself, you begin to feel lonely. If people are not coalescing around and you feel like they are isolating you, more often than not it is because you have created an aura of loneliness around you. Consequently, any effort to fight loneliness must recognize the role your temperament and conduct play in creating this condition.

The moment you begin to feel comfortable and confident with yourself, you begin to find freedom from loneliness. Having low self-esteem leads one to seek validation from others from a defeatist point of view. The fight against loneliness, therefore, begins from within as it moves to the outside.

Here’s How To Overcome Loneliness

1. Appreciate Yourself: There are countless reasons to love yourself, but only you can identify and appreciate them, before others do. Within you is a great person, waiting to be expressed and to enrich the world with exceptional talents and gifts. You are valuable to the world even as you are unique. It is important for you to learn to ideologically distance your ‘self’ from you and the appreciate it. When you value yourself, you will always find something worthwhile to do, irrespective of where you are. Your thoughts will be geared towards making most of the time you have either with friends, family or yourself. You will not fear to be alone because that is when you imbibe the wisdom that you share with those you meet.

Young woman caucasian asian smiling and lying on a bench reading a book in the park

2. Create Time to Feed Your Soul and Mind: People grow emotionally and in personality when they have time with themselves. You must find time to withdraw away from the public to think and meditate about yourself in order to appreciate who you are. Moments of silence, isolation and profound reflection are crucial for people who want to overcome loneliness.
You need to occasionally hike up the hill alone. One of these fine days, take a boat and explore the deeper parts of the lake. Take time to read a book that motivates you. Go out on a date by yourself where you can enjoy a meal to celebrate who you are. Keep a journal to jot down and later reflect on your experiences.

young woman meditation on sunset beach

3. Identify and Address The Cause of Your Condition: Deep inside you is a voice that you cannot silence. If you listen to it, it will tell you why you are lonely. Once you realize the root cause of your problem, address it. If the problem is related to people around you, for example those who have hurt you or you have hurt, seek for peace. If the reason you feel lonely is because you have no confidence in yourself, you may need to consult a life-coach or someone who can help you overcome your self-confidence issues. Self-pity and relocation to another city or neighborhood will not work in the long run. Confronting your fears and the people and objects that represent your phobias is a great step towards liberation from loneliness.

4.Appreciate Others and Create Time For Them: While loneliness and being alone are not the same, they are related. That is why people who travel away from home for prolonged duration’s often feel lonely. They are far removed from their loved ones and cannot participate in the rituals and excitement of friendship and family. It is for this reason that you need to create time to be with the people that value and love you. Never miss a social event deliberately. When people are celebrating birthdays, weddings, funerals and other social events, avail yourself. Make time for sick folks in hospitals and homes. Help out in community service and emergencies. Be present in good times and in bad moments.

5. Do What Makes You Happy: Loneliness is a product of disengaging yourself from that which makes you who you are. The moment you forget to pander to the whims of the kid in you, you begin to feel lonely. I am talking about that carefree fella who likes to have fun. That old self that appreciates loving and begin loved.Feed that little rascal that wants to laze on the sofa and watch television after days of work. That little ‘you’ that you are trying to stifle still enjoys taking a cup of coffee with friends. He or she loves a holiday and the occasional bungee diving or other daring sport. Be carefree at times and loneliness will take a flight.

Outdoor portrait of beautiful young women having fun.

That said, if you still feel lonely after trying these tips, get help from a professional because the problem could be deeper than we think.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Spiritual Bath Cleansing!

Every day of your life brings you into contact with people and events that have powerful impacts on your life. You imbibe both negative and positive energy from this interaction. At the same time, you vibrate good and bad energy and the environment often reacts in equal measure. It is within this context that spiritual bath cleansing is very important.

You see, the negative energy you absorb and exude tends to accumulate over time to the extent that your soul and mind become toxic. Thankfully, your body has its own mechanism of fighting and expelling negative energy. However, unpleasant energy can build up to the extent of being uncontrollable. It is at that stage when your life becomes a bother.

You obviously have gone through times when you felt angry with yourself and others. These are moments when you are not at peace with yourself and your environment. You live on the edge. Anyone who comes your way feels the negative vibrations and energy emanating from you. You even realise that some people are avoiding you because you ooze negativity.

These moments demand thorough cleaning of your body, soul and mind, as this will renew your energy field. A spiritual bath is a ritual bath that opens your heart to freshness and inspiration while expelling negativity. It is an opportunity to give yourself something like a birthday because you will begin to feel like a new-born child.

The Background

Before you imagine you are engaging in a king of newfound ritual, it is important to understand that spiritual bath cleansing has been practised for many years before. History records this practice as part of cultural conduct in Africa and Europe. This was a popular practice used in hoodoo and magic circles. It had and still maintains traces of African, European and Native American witchcraft and religious practices.

Ritual baths often involved using running water or even sea water, especially the type that was regarded as pure. Other practices involved adding concoctions of roots, herbs, minerals, tree barks or even salt. Well, today we may not use spiritual bath cleansing for witchcraft and magical purposes, but the physical and spiritual benefits are worth enjoying.

Spiritual bath cleansing was also employed in treating sickness. People who were experiencing physical discomfort were put into baths to cleanse away the sickness in their bodies. Contrary to what you may expect, many of these people were cured of their illnesses or at least got some relief from their illnesses.

Approaching Ritual Baths

There are a number of baths that can give your body, mind and souls the needed relief from negative energy. Remember whatever method you choose to employ the intention is to create an atmosphere conducive to understanding what your inner self is telling you. You must be ready and willing to inculcate the change you need to make positive energy flow through you once again.

From the onset, you need to understand that you are cleaning your spiritual self and protecting yourself from unwelcome influences. This implies you are not just engaging in the normal bath you take in the morning, evening, after a journey or when you just feel exhausted. You need to bring your entire self into this exercise.

Meditation on top of the mountain when sunrise.

Unlike normal baths, you cannot use the normal soap, bath oil or shampoo that you normally use. Never forget that you are engaging in a spiritual exercise and you need to bring all your senses into the bath. If you really want to get the most out of your ritual bath, you must distance yourself from mundane thought and practices – the type that you engage in during a normal bath.

Types of Spiritual Baths

1. Using salt water: This is one of the most popular methods of cleansing your body. It is important that you set aside an hour or so for the exercise to have the desired effect. Several handfuls of unrefined or unprocessed sea salt, or the highly-regarded Himalayan crystal salt, added to warm will do the job. You may want to use some essential healing oils like lavender to boost your relaxation.

As you relax in the water, engage in meditation or some form of communication with your inner soul or the Supreme Being. Ask to be relieved of the negative energy that has piled up in your body, mind and soul. Do not hesitate to ask for higher spiritual vibrations. It is recommended that you just put on you robe, that you and do not dry the body with a towel. Moreover, try to remain in that state for 24 hours.

Give yourself this kind of treatment once every week and you will realise how powerful spiritual bath cleansing is.

2. Using baking soda ash: Perhaps the only time you use this product is when you are baking. Now you have another important use of baking soda – spiritual bath cleansing. The same approach as the one used with the salt bath is necessary.

3. A natural bath in the ocean: You need to try this especially if you live near an ocean. What many people don’t know is that the sea and the salt therein are therapeutic. Taking bath in such an environment will cleanse your body from physical and spiritual impurities.

Other Gains

This exercise has other important benefits. To begin, a salt bath helps the skin to absorb the heavy metals and toxins in your skin and eliminate them. Moreover, there are numerous trace minerals that your body needs and this kind of bath will infuse your body with them. If you have been having skin problems such as acne, a ritual bath will kills the bacteria and dirt that has accumulated over time. Similarly, your muscle pains and aches will begin to feel better.

The woman in a white sundress on seacoast with open hands. A picturesque landscape

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the importance of spiritual bath cleansing, make sure to give your body the necessary rejuvenation it deserves. There is nothing more important you can do to a body that has served you this long than to bring relief to it through a spiritual bath.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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Visualisation Meditation and Why It Is Essential For You!

Visualisation meditation is a form of meditation that involves communicating with either spiritual guides, your higher self / subconscious mind or Supreme Being. The other form of meditation is object-focused but this one is a form of visual meditation that is subjective. Practitioners preach that meditation visualisation is a powerful tool for transforming one’s inner being and conduct.

Visualisation meditation is subjective but at the same time it involves a high level of action from the person who wants to benefit from it. The reason some people have never realised the benefits of visualisation meditation is because they often confuse it with daydreaming. To the observer, a practitioner of this technique may appear to be daydreaming but in actual sense the latter is involved in an engaging and powerful self-transformation exercise.

The Power of Visualisation Meditation

As noted earlier, visualisation meditation is regarded highly because of its powerful ability to transform lives. The following are some of the ways in which practitioners have benefited from using this technique:

  • Relief from pain. People who have experienced chronic pain have reported to feel significantly better after this particular practice.
  • Acceleration of healing: Individuals who are recuperating after undergoing treatment attest to the speeding up of the healing process after engaging in visualisation meditation.
  • Dealing effectively with anxiety and stress: After practicing visualisation meditation repeatedly, practitioners report significantly decreased levels of tension and the increased ability to focus the mind on other productive activities.
  • Generally, people are using this technique as a substitute to or to complement contemporary medicine.
  • Did you also know that if people practiced this technique, they would reduce their visits to the doctor by 90% because the majority of illnesses we suffer from can in fact be cured through visualisation meditation?
  • Last but not least, if you have a problem concentrating on a task, lesson or routine this technique can drastically help you to reverse the trend.

Woman doing meditation near the ocean beach. Yoga silhouette.

Getting Down to Business:

  • Begin by looking for a quiet place and time, preferably a quiet room or at night before you sleep. However, don’t limit yourself – ensure you have enough time and will not be interrupted during the session.
  • Like all meditation, visualisation meditation begins with the practitioner adopting a comfortable meditation posture.
  • The next course of action is to shut your eyes. This helps you to concentrate your mind on the task at hand.
  • Now breathe deeply from you diaphragm and relax your muscles gradually.

  • Visualise yourself in a place where you are surrounded by a glowing white light.
  • Imagine that that light is filled with peace and happiness.
  • Concentrate on imbibing the light every time you breathe.
  • Allow that feeling to infiltrate into your body, reaching each of your cells, organs, atoms and every other part of your being.
  • Now visualise yourself getting rid of negative energy. Think of all negativity as a black smoke. Release the thick stuff from your body as you breathe out.
  • After getting rid of negativity, focus on the positive. Think about that thing or state you desire and how you will feel when you eventually achieve it. With that image in mind, inhale deeply, as if allowing the dream to become a reality.

  • Remember to create as clear an image as possible, complete with all the senses.
  • Once the process is over, go through the normal procedures of concluding a meditation session.
  • Don’t forget that visualisation meditation should be repeated regularly until it becomes a normal practice. The desired image must be called into the mind as often as possible in order to make it some kind of an obsession you must achieve.

Which kind of scenario is conducive for Visualisation Meditation to endure expected results?

  1. To begin with, your visualisation should involve smaller moments and not vague gigantic amounts. In other words, you cannot dream the world in one setting. You know what you want. Break it down into smaller goals and objectives. Remember the dream will be realized piece by piece, not all in one go.
  2. You also need to have a clear plan. Like your dream, your plan must be broken down into achievable parts. You might want to create daily, weekly or monthly tasks that contribute to the overall goal. You also need to be realistic when making your plans.
  3. Now put your plan into action. Be faithful to the plan you have made. You are your own supervisor. Have a To-Do list for each day.
  4. It will not be easy. You must have self-belief. There may be many times you will feel like giving up. You need to have self-confidence. Nothing will be achieved without your efforts. You will find obstacles throughout your journey. Let the expected outcome work as an incentive for you.
  5. It is the sum of small efforts that will culminate in the dream. Always see the bigger picture in the smaller effort.

Is there a Recommended Frequency?

Visualisation meditation is not about the time you spend doing it but the level of concentration and result. At the onset, it is advisable to spend between a quarter of an hour and half an hour in the exercise. This is especially when you are new to the technique.

As you become more experienced, you may want to concentrate for longer periods of time. In other words, the duration of time spent by different people depends on experience.

How many times should you do it in a day, week, month etc.? Again this is a decision to be made by the individual. Some do it twice a day while others visualise only once every week. It is only you who knows how desperately you need to make your dream come true. However, you should be careful not to overdo the exercise to the extent of it become mundane and ineffective.

Despite this, if you make it a routine and it works for you, then go ahead and practice it. For example, there are people who engage in it before going to bed or after waking up. Your bed will often provide enough comfort to visualise and meditate. This is especially effective for people who find it difficult to sleep.

Why people fail to gain from Visualisation Meditation

Visualisation meditation has been criticised by people who do not understand the rationale behind it. In recent decades, the debate on the law of attraction has attracted widespread acceptance and rejection / skepticism in equal measure. This is especially true when it comes to attracting the things, people and circumstances that one wants in his or her life.

The reason I am talking about the law of attraction is because it teaches a form of visualisation meditation that many use for material gain at the expense of their spiritual, emotional and mental development. Visual meditation acknowledges (like the law of attraction) that everything begins as an idea before it matures into reality. Everything your senses can perceive was once an idea in the mind of another person.

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However, many beginners of visualisation meditation stumble when the ideas they hold in their mind do not come to achievement. What they forget is that even the best idea must be backed up by a parallel action of the technique in order to produce the desired results. As one anonymous individual said, building castles in the sky is commendable but the dreamer must go ahead and lay the foundation if the dream are to become a reality.

In essence, you must go beyond visualising what you want and create an action plan for achieving your desires. There must be some form of physical effort towards achieving the dream. Unless you act towards your goal you will be like the person who dreams he or she had won the lottery and wakes up to search for the money in the bed, only to realise it was merely a dream!

Nature has rules and laws that do not change to suit our needs. It is us who need to change to be in tandem with nature. In the case of visualisation meditation, nature demands that we align our attitudes and actions with the desired outcome. A seed that is planted but not watered will die. An idea that is visualised during meditation but is not planned for eventually becomes a distant dream or a fantasy.

Some people also fail to realise the fruits of visualisation meditation because they fail to back up the dream and action with belief. You must believe that you will achieve your dream. There are many who have an idea, create a plan for achieving the dream but fall along the way because they do not have self-belief. You need confidence and self-assurance that you are equal to the task and that the universe will help you to achieve your desires.

Another barrier to visualisation meditation is over-indulging in the exercise without the backing of common sense. Creating a mental image of what you desire is the first and very important step towards your target. However, creating mental images for the sake of it or simply because you want to escape your current position ASAP is detrimental to your efforts.

Think about it this way. If you visualise yourself getting out of poverty or some form of misfortune tomorrow yet you don’t have the means to back you up, you will be disappointed. It is important to remember that visualisation meditation is not magic. There can be no miracles if you don’t expend any efforts towards making your idea a reality. Wishful thinking is not synonymous with visualisation meditation!

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I hope you do not think that I want you not to be ambitious. No. Ambition is crucial for personal success. However, your dreams must be in tandem with the universe and its workings. There are laws of cause and effect; laws of planting and harvesting, and laws for rewarding effort and not mere fantasising. To emphasise: that is how nature works and it cannot change to suit your whims.

Many of the people you will hear disparaging visualisation meditation are those who were looking for quick fixes and instant riches, contrary to rationality and common sense. They came with high hopes. They wanted a miracle. They were not willing or prepared for the mandatory effort and self-belief. When the natural and rational outcome of their meager efforts came to fruition (here I mean when they failed) disappointment and disillusionment set it and they started blaming the technique and not themselves.

Concluding Thoughts…

The process we have discussed here is just an example. Come up with one that fits your need. Make sure the atmosphere and experience you visualise is one that brings you into the right state of mind to expel negative energy and imbibe positive energy. Make sure you do this as often as you feel you are functioning optimally.

Finally, an idea / dream, coupled with the right plan and a determination to succeed are the main ingredients for effective visualisation meditation.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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The Paleo Diet: The Basics

One of the greatest and most beneficial lessons we can learn from our early ancestors is how to make prudent food choices. Today, we grapple with numerous illnesses, majority of which stem from what and how we eat. The Paleo diet is an attempt to replicate the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. There are numerous benefits to be gained from this approach to nutrition.

Some Reflections On Our Past Are Crucial At This Point

As man evolved, he devised various strategies for survival. Food, as a basic necessity, was at the center of man’s development throughout the years. Originally, human beings were hunters and gatherers. Their diet consisted of what they could find easily in nature.

If you were to subsist on a caveman diet today, what would you eat? To begin with, fruits and nuts were easily available from trees even before man knew how to light a fire. Plants provided the food needs of the cavemen. If this diet was harmful, our ancestors would not have survived. I would not be writing this article today and you would be nowhere to read it.

With the discovery of fire, the Paleolithic man began to cook food, especially meat from animals. Now he could eat fowl, mammals and fish. It is important to remember that these animals were found abundantly in the wild. They fed on natural vegetation and grass. This augmented the plant diet and kept our early ancestors in perfect health.

They Lived Longer Than Us

By now you know that we cannot even come close to the number of years these people lived. Many of them clocked centuries, except for instances when plagues and other diseases decimated populations. I want to believe that obesity was not in the parlance of the day because these were active people who ate lean meat and plant materials.

Enter Manufacturing And Food Processing

However, the scenario was to change when human beings began to domesticate animals and to practice agriculture. Gradually, eating habits changed. Food began to be cooked more than being eaten raw. Modern technology led to the processing and storage of food. Needless to say, the nutritional value of cooked and processed food is lower than that of raw food.

Today, as a consequence of gradual diet changes, we are experiencing many life-threatening and violent diseases. Experts opine that we need to change our diets to the original caveman food if we are to survive the onslaught of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes and other illnesses.

What The Paleo Diet Entails

Paleo means going back to the basics in terms of diet. It entails eating what the cavemen feasted on. The word ‘diet’ should not be misconstrued to mean a temporary measure for purposes of losing weight. Paleo is a lifestyle choice which entails eating particular foods and avoiding others.

When you adopt a Paleo diet, you eat as much as possible as our early ancestors. This means eating fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts, lean meats and wild meats as opposed to starches, milk products, legumes, grains and processed foods. If you are keen enough you will realize that caveman ate the former and not the latter.

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Customized The Paleo Diet

It is important, though, to understand that there is no standard Paleo diet. While it is important to stick as much as possible to caveman delicacies, one must be realistic about the type of food available in their vicinity. Moreover, this diet cannot be adopted and accepted by the body immediately. It takes time to get used to it.

Moreover, you need to be patient when you are adopting this diet because it is not easy to stop eating food that you were used to. Take the example of legumes and potatoes, foods that are common in any household. How about dairy products and peanut butter? It will take time before you get used to the idea that these foods are not part of a Paleo diet and should be discarded.

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In actual sense, there are categories of Paleo dieters depending on the extent to which one adopts this lifestyle. There are absolute Paleo dieters, those who cannot contemplate taking anything that our cavemen ancestors could not eat. Considering the reality of modern life vis-à-vis Paleolithic times, it is quite difficult to replicate the past.

The more realistic and common approach is to try as much as possible to eat a Paleo diet, while still consuming little amounts of some of the foods that do not meet the threshold. For example, most Paleo dieters still find time to take some milk, eat peanut butter and consume legumes and grains. However, it would be foolhardy to take alcohol if you are on a Paleo diet.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Paleo Diet?

  1. It promotes metabolism since the body only eats a ‘primitive’ diet; that which it can absorb and assimilate easily.
  2. It helps in weight loss because efficient metabolism helps to unclog the digestive system thus promoting the burning of excess fat.
  3. It helps to stabilize blood sugar thus contributing significantly to efforts to prevent or limit the effects of type 2 diabetes.
  4. It reverses autoimmunity, a situation in which body tissues ‘eat’ into each other, especially when a new organ is transplanted into the body.
  5. A Paleo diet is effective is preventing the onset of heart diseases and controlling exiting cases. Hunters and gatherers were never known to have cardiovascular complications.
  6. People who subscribe to a Paleo diet have virtually no allergies.
  7. Paleo diets help the body to have optimal levels of energy the entire day as opposed to conventional diets which cause energy fluctuations in the body.
  8. It boosts skin health and also results in stronger teeth.
  9. Improved sleep patterns have also been reported among people on this type of diet.
  10. For those who want to lose weight healthfully, this is one of the most effective approaches.

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List Of All Paleo Foods

The following is a comprehensive list of Paleo foods:

Fruits: Avocado, papaya, peaches, mango, blackberries, grapes, plums, lemons, lychees, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon and bananas. Despite this, fruits contain high amounts of fructose and eating a lot of them may be counterproductive to the Paleo diet and efforts to lose weight.

IMG_6449Vegetables: Avocado, Carrots, celery, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, artichoke hearts, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, parsley, green onions, peppers, eggplant and cauliflower. However, it is important to avoid vegetables that have high amounts of starch, like butternut squash.

Nuts: Cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pine, pecans, sunflower and macadamia seeds. It is important, though, that you watch out not to eat a lot of nuts especially if you want to lose weight.

Fats and oils: olive, macadamia, avocado, coconut and grass-fed butter. In Paleo diets, fats and oils form are a major source of energy for the body.

Meat: Poultry, quail, pheasant, pork, veal, grass-fed beef, bacon, lamb, goat, buffalo and venison, kangaroo, ostrich and turtle. All these meats should be prepared as naturally as possible. Remember you will only say you have eaten a Paleo diet when the animal in question has been eating the natural way, not through modern methods of rearing animals.

Fish: Sardines, Salmon, Mackerel, Bass, Tuna, Halibut, Walleye, Sunfish, Red snapper, Swordfish, Tilapia, Shark and Trout. It is important to understand that wild fish is the best for Paleo purposes. Our lakes and rivers are full of these creatures, which contain omega-3 fats that are important for the wellbeing of the heart and mental health too.

Seafood: Crab, shrimp, clams, oysters, crayfish, lobster, crawfish and oysters.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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10 Simple Things to be Happier Now!

Happiness is something that all of us crave and search for all the time. It comes and goes, sometimes very quick and sometimes it stays a bit longer! Ask any person you meet what they want from life and chances are they will mention happiness are very high. We spend a lot of money trying to attain all that bliss, we go to great lengths – to the end of the world – just to feel that serenity and gladness that we crave so much.

So why is it that we don’t remain happy for long?

Here are 10 simple things you need to do to become happier or to inculcate an attitude of happiness:

1. Live a simple life: Most of us forget that life is meant to be enjoyed and the best way to do it is to live as simply as possible. Often, it is not the money and material things that bring happiness into life. Rather, it is the simple things that matter. Appreciate the very fact that you are alive and healthy; that you can talk to people and listen to the beautiful sound of nature. Much of these can be enjoyed away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Think about it this way: how would you live if you were taken to a world without modern technology?

2. Imbibe the fresh air from outdoors: There are few things that are as refreshing and invigorating as the outdoor. You level of happiness is likely to spike when your brain imbibes fresh air. After hours of interacting with many people and machines, some of them irritating, you need an injection of freshness and happiness from nature. Create time over the weekend or after work to visit that park or lake where nature teems. The blood in your brain needs that freshness to bring back happiness.

3. Exercise gratitude: It has been proved that people who accept themselves as they are often experience high levels of happiness compared to those who are always complaining. Learn to give thanks for the people around you like family and friends. Be happy when things go right and learn to appreciate when you don’t get your way. Instead of basing your daily disposition on the weather, train your body to appreciate all kinds of weather. Grateful people often find more reasons to become happier.

4. Engage in regular workouts: Regular exercise relieves the body from stress. It stretches out your muscles and brings relaxation. Your brain becomes invigorated because fresh air is mixed in the blood. Your mood is boosted and you begin to feel happier. Rarely will you go into the gym with a foul mood and low spirit and return with the same disposition. People who exercise regularly are among the happiest on earth.

The only bad workout, is the one that never happened!

5. Focus on the good, not the bad: To become happier, you need to identify issues that make you happy and those that sadden you. Your focus should be on maximizing on the positive issues and minimizing or eradicating the negative. In life, there will always be some things and people that exasperate you. Remember you cannot control what comes your way but you can decide how to react to all stimuli. Choose to be happy. Choose to see what is good inside you instead of focussing on the bad that some people associate with you.

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Small and simple things make us very happy!

6. Spend adequate time on sleep: The human body is designed with its own mechanism for happiness, and part of this is getting enough sleep. There is no way you will be happy when you deprive your body of sleep. Most of the time when you are irritable and likely to pick a fight with other people, it is because you have not slept adequately. It is important that you sleep for between six and eight hours daily since this will naturally rest your body and give you greater happiness.

7. Extend a helping hand: Human life was never designed to be a lonely and selfish affair. We are what we are because someone helped us along the way, we only become happier when we extend the same kind of assistance to other people who need it. Human nature is such that when we lift the spirits of others our joy is amplified. And there are many people in need of your help. Orphans, widows, the homeless, the sick and so on, can benefit from some of the surplus resources you have.

 

8. Have quality social time: Your friends and relatives play a great role in your life. They know you better than anybody else. Your good and bad moments are all engraved in their minds. Your happiness is connected with theirs. It follows that as their happiness increases, so does yours. Consequently, plan to spend more quality time with those who love you. Attend special occasions such as weddings and birthday parties to show support and enjoy these people’s company, and your happiness will increase.

9. Meditate: One of the most acknowledged strategies of making you happier is to meditate. Meditation helps you to bring your mind, body and spirit into conformity. It eliminates your inner conflicts, giving you peace of mind and contentment. The moment you give your inner nature contentment, you begin to become more positive and pleasurable to live with. Learn to spend time is silent contemplation of your life, listening to your inner voice.

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Meditation – Quiet the mind and your soul will speak

10. Treat yourself well: Your happiness depends on how well you value yourself and how you treat yourself. You cannot make others happy if you are not happy with yourself. The battle must begin within you. Money may not buy happiness but you can use money to increase your happiness. Treat yourself to that special meal in the restaurant you like. Make that special trip to a place where you have always craved to visit. Buy that special smartphone or latest kind of clothing or car if you can afford it. You deserve it as this will make you happier.

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Treat yourself well and spoil yourself, you deserve It!

When all is said and done, happiness begins with you appreciating yourself. Becoming happier is possible when you extend this love to others, appreciate what life brings your way, and find little ways to make life more bearable for all human beings.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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