How Strong Is The Power Of Your Mind?

One of the most renowned experiments on the close connection between the body and the mind is the placebo effect. Simply put, the placebo effect holds that when a sick person is given a counterfeit pill or one that resembles an actual pill but has zero effect, the patient will be cured, not because the medicine has any effect, but because of the patient’s unreserved belief in the efficacy of that pill.

The Starting Point

That will form the starting point as we seek to understand the powerful effect the mind has on other faculties of the body. Dr Lissa Rankin, a physician and researcher established in a study that the prevalence of diseases and concomitant expenditure was almost as high in poor neighbourhoods as they were in posh California areas.

The Poor And The Rich, Alike, Get Sick

While everybody would expect poor folks to have higher risks of falling sick due to poor dietary practices, lack of exercise, smoking and drug abuse among other practices, people in wealthier areas were also at risk, to the surprise of many. This study brought to the fore the fact that contrary to the teachings of conventional medicine, it was important to unleash a holistic approach to treatment of illnesses, especially to embrace the marvels of the mind.

The Law of Attraction

Another important issue to consider when pondering how strong the power of the mind is lies within the law of attraction. Over the years, philosophers, theologians, quantum physicists and other professionals have come to the conclusion that when the mind consistently holds on to a thought pattern, whatever is being thought about comes to pass.

There have been many reports of people who have transformed their financial fortunes as well as other spheres of life by using the law of attraction. Some terminally ill patients, who had been informed by physicians that they would not live for long, have been known to walk out of their hospital beds into flourishing wellbeing.

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I never really knew how powerful the mind actually is!

Now, To The Immense Powers Of The Mind

These and other developments in the study of the mind illustrate just how powerful this organ is. However, in order to understand, to a greater depth, the powers of the mind, let us delve into the specifics.

1. Healing Of Diseases: For many years, faith healing has been practiced but is always dismissed by most medical practitioners. The field of medicine or conventional healing has been aided to an extent by the discovery of the power of the mind. According to experimental studies carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, located in Massachusetts, patients who underwent a number of mindfulness techniques (e.g. meditation, and mantra) demonstrated significant gene changes, which helped to decelerate ageing, improve metabolism and relaxation, and regulate insulin in their bodies.

The practice of mindfulness created changes in the DNA that led to remarkable health improvements for participating patients. In essence, the power of the mind was called into action to aid conventional medicine and what resulted was more than could have been accomplished through common therapeutic means. With more experiments, we could witness a decrease in global expenditure on medicine and healthcare. The irony is that this power has always been with us yet medical practitioners did not find it prudent to try it on human beings.

2. Assuaging Of Physical Pain: The study of the mind has also led to interesting findings that have impacted the way we understand and deal with pain. To begin with, the placebo effect indicates that the mind actually has control over the body. While pain is real and cannot be wished away, it is evident that the human body has its own healing mechanisms which are domiciled in the mind. It is possible now to understand how faith-healers work, whether they (faith-healers) understand the rationale or not. The moment one believes that they are going to be healed, the mind starts to work towards the healing of that person.

The connection between the mind and the body, though unseen, is very powerful to the point of bringing relief from pain. This discovery has led many to believe that what we call ‘miracles’ of healing are merely the manifestations of the healing power of the mind on body maladies. Again, if such a discovery is actualized people will spend less on medicine and healthcare systems will not be as strained as they are today.

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Do we really need all of these pills and tablets?! Or can our mind heal us?!

3. Emotional Healing: Did you know that emotional pain is as excruciating as physical hurt? The fact that people who hurt emotionally may not exhibit physical injuries does not mean that they are hurting less. Studies have established that the same mechanisms that work in emotional throbbing are the ones involved in physical pain. The brain is created in such a way that it does not differentiate between sources of pain. When people lose a loved one or go through a breakup, the aching they feel has the same potency as if they had been hurt physically.

But there is something that should worry you more. While physical pain lasts for certain duration and disappears, emotional pain stays for a longer time. Every time a person is reminded of the hurtful event that stung their feelings, chances are that the wound will become fresh again and pain even more. It takes time and deliberate acceptance of circumstances for the mind to bring about healing. Need we be careful about the emotional pain we inflict on other people? We should.

4. Managing Stress: Another important area of medical research that has benefited a lot from understanding the power of the brain is stress management. One fact about the brain is that it cannot differentiate between real threats and those that don’t exist. We all know the reality of stress even when it emanates from genuine issues that put the lives and comfort of those we love and ourselves at risk. And life has so many of these, many of which emanate from the people we interact with daily.

 However, we need to understand that even imagined stress can have a devastating effect on our lives because the brain considers it stress. Whatever we imagine that can bring pain into our lives eventually hurts us. The solution, thankfully, lies in the same mind. We can visualize ourselves doing away with both real and imagined stress and it will be gone as simply as it came. The moment we realize that we can change our thinking and change our circumstances, we rid ourselves of negative stress that can easily destroy us.

5. Learning Through Visualisation: The mind is so powerful that we can use it to learn without actually being in a learning environment. The brain has a capability called neuroplasticity, which implies that it devices new pathways on a continuous basis. By repeating a routine when learning a skill, we strengthen the pathways which carry the respective action. That happens when you are in a classroom trying to learn a skill. However, the brain does not differentiate between what you actually perform and what you visualise. 

According to the great Albert Einstein, you are better off with imagination than with knowledge, if you were to choose between the two. In essence, if you imagine carrying out some action using your brain, the mind will react as if you are in actual practice. Visualization is, therefore, a very important aspect of learning. This should be of great interest to educationists.

6.Goal Achievement: Now, this may shock many because it is unprecedented. Did you know that when you speak about your goals, your brain believes you have achieved them? Wow! Your mouth may be your downfall, after all. Experts have established that the moment you start telling others of the goals you intend to achieve, the brain confuses your talking for action, thus depriving you of the motivation to achieve an ‘already attained’ goal.

Talking about your goals gives you satisfaction and sends the signal to the brain that you don’t need any more inspiration and inner strength to reach out. Methinks we should keep quiet about our dreams and wait until we have accomplished them. Once again, a goal in mind tells the brain to give you the resources you need to achieve it. What a discovery!

Conceptual illustration of dreams inside the shape of a person's head

7. Boosting Your Mood: Put a smile on your face now because there is good news. Did you know that your facial expression affects your emotions? The brain (how “confused” this organ is) cannot differentiate between a fake and a genuine smile. This means that the moment stress engulfs you, you can laugh your way out of it. A fake smile has the same effect on your brain and relieves stress the same way a real smile does. When you facial muscles move to form a smile, the brain interprets it as a positive emotion and stress takes a flight.

Something is the matter and you are stressed? Laugh at your problems. Hide from people and smile your way out. Someone is stressing you out, pretend not to be upset and smile instead. Don’t frown because this will strengthen bad moods. Make it your reaction to always meet stress with a smile because you have a brain that is so powerful that it does not realize you are pretending you are happy!

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The Parting Shot

This space is not enough to elaborate exhaustively just how powerful the mind is. However, with this knowledge, you can live a better life because you can handle physical and emotional hurt as well as ubiquitous stress.

Hopefully, scientists and other interested parties will continue to discover other marvellous capabilities of the brain that would help us live happier and longer lives. Until then, let us toast to the most powerful computer ever created – your brain!

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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Have You Met Rumi!

Rumi was a poet of Persian origin who lived in the 13th Century. His birth can be traced to modern Afghanistan in a city called Balkh. He was born Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī on September 30, 1207. He would later migrate to a little town called Konya; in the country we call Turkey today. Don’t be shocked, therefore, if you come across Iranians, Turks and Afghans, who claim Rumi was one of their own.

According to Frank Lewis, a scholar who has written the biography of Rumi, the name Rumi actually means Rome, a reference to the areas under Roman rule that were later conquered by Turks, and where Muslims like Rumi settled. Rumi’s other name, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī, cements his connection with his city of birth in Afghanistan.

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It is this multiple identity that makes this jurist, poet, theologian and Islamic scholar a popular figure not only in Asia but also across the world. No singular religion or culture can claim to own Rumi exclusively. His works are revered among Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews. You will hear recitations of his poetry in mosques, cathedrals, Zen monasteries and synagogues alike.


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He is arguably the greatest composer of mystical poetry to have graced the earth. The world is more than 7o,000 poetry verses richer thanks to the creativity, ingenuity and profound philosophical knowledge of this great man. It is no wonder that his teachings have been translated into the major languages of the world.

While many in the West have come to know Rumi in the last two decades, thinkers and scholars in Asia and the Middle East have always held Rumi in high regard. His poetry covers a range of topics – some mystical – some philosophical. In his works, you will come across passion, desire, love and spirituality. Like many of the philosophers whose knowledge was revered in the past, Rumi’s counsel was timeless and is still relevant today.

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It is important to note that Rumi was born in a wealthy and noble family, and though his life had the usual drama all of us ago, it was not until he met wandering holy man than life changed drastically. One wonders why the philosophy and mysticism bug had not bitten the young man before, considering his father was a mystic, jurist and theologian.

Enter Shams, the potent spiritual wanderer who was way below the social class of Rumi, and who belonged to the upper class, and the Rumi’s life took a dramatic turn. Although the two would come together as teacher and student when Rumi was around 37 years of age, Shams had noticed the younger man at 21 years of age and decided to wait until a later date to covert him into spirituality.

The bond between the wandering teacher, otherwise known as the Bird, and Rumi took time to heal. The fact that Shams was a lonely antisocial figure and below the nobility associated with Rumi, was so much of a hindrance that the older man had to leave town following death threats from the upper class.

To solve the class problem, Rumi married the daughter of his teacher thus setting off their long friendship. It is no wonder then that the first epic written by Rumi was titled, “The Collective Poems of Shams of Tabriz.” It is evident that Rumi ascribed his knowledge and philosophy to his master and teacher –Shams. His search for love and the truth under the tutelage of Shams transformed Rumi into a thinker and philosopher.

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The death of Shams at the hand of the youngest son of Rumi resulted in profound grief for the latter. This, coupled with their two years of interaction, led to two collections of epics: Massnavi (Mathnawi) and Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi.

The following quotes illustrate just how deep Rumi’s philosophy of life was and how he conceptualized human existence and the experience of living:


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Rumi celebrated love:

The garden of love is green without limit
and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy.
Love is beyond either condition:
without spring,
without autumn, it is always fresh.

On love and the possibility of a disagreement between lovers, he said:

“Every day my heart falls deeper in the pain of your sorrow.
Your cruel heart is weary of me already.
You have left me alone, yet your sorrow remains.
Truly your sorrow is more faithful than you are.”

Rumi also understood what most of us have had to experience when being left by a lover and said:

You left and I cried tears of blood.
My sorrow grows.
It’s not just that You left.
But when You left my eyes went with You.
Now, how will I cry?

But he also understood the need for one to endure the pain of being rejected:

Love is best when mixed with anguish.
In our town,
we won’t call you a Lover
if you escape the pain.

Rumi also had something to say about drunkenness, the inherent dangers and the need to say ‘no’:

“I am so drunk
I have lost the way in
and the way out.
I have lost the earth, the moon, and the sky.
Don’t put another cup of wine in my hand,
pour it in my mouth,
for I have lost the way to my mouth.”

The importance of more silence and less speech was also a great concern of this philosopher:

Listen!
Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell,
for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend.
When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues.

Rumi’s philosophy was also based on the Supreme Being:

I have seen the king with a face of Glory,
He who is the eye and the sun of heaven,
He who is the companion and healer of all beings,
He who is the soul and the universe that births souls.

On the need to seek happiness from the source and not reflectors of love, Rumi had this to say:

Sunlight fell upon the wall;
the wall received a borrowed splendor.
Why set your heart on a piece of earth, O simple one?
Seek out the source which shines forever.

Finally, do you know the value of your soul? Rumi has this challenge for you:

You know the value of every article of merchandise,
but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru!

XXX
 

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How to Balance Your Hormones!

Obsession with Veggies!

Hello gorgeous ladies, I have written this article just for you!

It is not possible to talk about the human body without mentioning the word hormones!  Many people do not understand about these chemical secretions and reactions, but all of us have to deal with hormonal issues every now and then. Hormonal imbalance is a serious health complication for many people, especially to women in all stages of life.

Owing to the complex lifestyles and dietary choices we make today, we have compromised the composition of hormones in our bodies. Incidentally most of the illnesses wreaking we have in our lives emanate from hormonal disproportion. It is important that you understand exactly what it means to have hormonal imbalance.

Vitamin D in Riviera Maya
Vitamin D in Riviera Maya

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then your body is having problems balancing your hormones.

1. Lethargy: If you are the type that feels weary most of the time and needs to have some snack to make your body active, it is likely your hormones are not well-balanced. Is it becoming common for you to feel exhausted, befuddled and lazy? Have yourself checked for hormonal inequality.

2.  Bloating and other digestive complications: Many a times when you experience problems of the digestive track, you tend to associate them with poor dietary habits. However, it is also possible that your digestive hormones are not being secreted normally.

3.  Uncontrolled weight gain: One of the main problems facing women today is excess weight. It is true that most of this is caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates and processed foods. However, if your hormones are not working optimally, this problem will persist.

4.  Depression: A dip in mood and emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance. It happens when we don’t get enough rest, are stressed, or when the body has a large number of toxins.

5. Poor sleep patterns: Hormonal imbalance may also manifest itself through erratic sleeping patterns. Insomnia tends to affect every faculty of the human body. Unless you align your body to the natural sleeping order, you are going to experience interruptions in your daily routines.

6. Low libido: Sex is controlled by hormones. The moment your hormones don’t work exactly as they should, you will experience lack of or low sexual drive.

7. Hot flushes and night sweats: If you are starting to experience increased temperatures and unusual sweating at night, it is time you were checked for hormonal disproportion. Don’t just dismiss it as any other complication.

The best way to deal with such health complications, then, is to balance your hormones. There are a number of ways you can do this. The most popular (but unfortunately not the best) is hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Considering hormonal imbalance is a problem for many people, especially women, HRT practitioners are making a kill. The actual problem with HRT is that it does not treat the cause of the problem but deals with the symptoms only.

Despite this, we should not be fast to condemn HRT. Many perimenopausal women will tell you that when they begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats, the fastest method to relieve the pain and discomfort is to take respective pills. What we are saying though is that it is better to use more long lasting methods, most of which are natural and less expensive compared to HRT.

Natural Strategies of Balancing Hormones

1. Ensure that you have healthy weight: The level of oestrogen in your body increases with increases in adipose tissue, the latter being as a result of excess fat. This is because the adipose tissue performs a similar role as the endocrine glad at this point. To avoid unnecessary secretion of surplus hormones, therefore, you need to have healthy weight. Know your BMI and always live by it. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Remember having the right weight is also good for your general outlook and health.

2. Include cruciferous veggies in your diet: Indole-3-carbinol is the element in cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and related plants that generates diindolylmethane (DIM) after metabolism. With these two elements, the secretion of oestrogen in your body is regulated thus preventing hormonal imbalance. In addition, it has been proved that eating cruciferous veggies helps to prevent cancer, especially the type that affects the breasts. Stock up on these vegetables and find ways of including them in as many as your foods as possible.

3. Introduce phytoestrogens in your food: This is one of the best approaches to dealing with hormonal imbalance since it happens naturally. Instead of buying expensive HRT medication, simply eat food rich in soy and also consume generous amounts of seeds such as sunflower and flax as well as beans sprouts. Other foods rich is phytoestrogens include peas and garbanzo beans. By simply eating such food, you will regulate hormones in your body without experiencing negative side effects. And you don’t have to worry because these seeds are found in abundance in areas close to you like grocery stores.

Healthy Food Choices Inspiration
Healthy Food Choices Inspiration

4. Consume avocados and coconut oil: Another relatively inexpensive way to curb unusual fluctuations in body hormones is to consume foods that contain fatty acid chains of varying lengths. The best examples of these are avocados and coconut oil. This category also includes salmon derived from natural habitats and butter from grass-fed animals. Apart from having your hormonal levels restored to normal you will experience improved metabolism and increased loss of weight. Instead of using expensive drugs, look for these food products and eat them as often as possible.

5. Reduce your intake of caffeine: Coffee and tea are favourite beverages for many, but herein lies a problem for those with hormonal imbalance. When you take caffeine, especially before you sleep, you tend to lose sleep, but more significantly, the hormonal level in your thyroid is interfered with. This is the moment you experience all sorts of chaos in your body since hormonal activity is significantly altered. We are not intimating that you avoid these beverages altogether (although this is advisable for those with critical hormonal imbalance problems) but reducing intake, especially before going to sleep is important.

6. Sleep adequately: Your hormonal imbalance problem is likely to be as a result of not getting enough sleep. If you are not getting between seven and eight hours of quality sleep every day, your hormonal activity will be affected negatively. Your body is designed to have reduced activity at night and this is when sleep sets in. The moment you disturb this order, you also interfere with your hormonal activity. Make sure you sleep by around 10 pm as this will ensure you get quality sleep. Make sure you have lie on a comfortable bed and that your room is dark enough. Avoid watching television or gazing at smartphone screens before you sleep.

7. Practise deep breathing: To deal with night sweats and hot flashes, you don’t have to resort to HRT all the time. The simple routine of breathing from the belly two times every day with each session lasting fifteen minutes will bring you natural relief from hormonal discrepancy. Deep breathing helps your lungs to imbibe enough energy to be fed to the blood, which ensures the blood that reaches your cells is clean. When your blood is clean, you will have not only stronger immunity from illnesses, but your hormonal activity will also be balanced correctly.

8. Herbal remedies can help: There are herbal medicines that have been proven to deal effectively with hormonal imbalance. Shatavarim, an Ayurvedic herb, is known for its ability to reduce mood swings and irritability that comes with menopause. There are even herbs that are known to deal with the physical pain and psychological distress associated with hormonal imbalance. However, it is important to talk to an expert before you begin using herbal remedies for this problem.

9. Avoid conventional birth control: While this may not be a popular kind of advice when dealing with hormonal problems, it is important to consider the rationale behind it. Did you know that birth control pills are essentially hormonal therapies that alter how your body works? More importantly, these pills make you more vulnerable to breast cancer, migraines, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, high blood pressure and breast tenderness, among other issue that should worry you. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to look for more natural and harmless ways of controlling child bearing than to interfere with hormonal activity and expose you to some much pain?

10. Get vitamin D and lots of It: This vitamin is known for its ability to boost mode and general wellbeing. To this end, vitamin D helps to control hormonal activity. This implies that you need to get enough time in the sun, though you should take care not to be harmed by the sun’s rays. Bask in the early morning and late evening hours. If you do not have this privilege, look for vitamin D supplements. This is especially true if you live in an area where you don’t have adequate exposure to the sun.

Outdoor portrait of beautiful young women having fun.

So now you have it! HRT may work over some time but it is not sustainable for hormonal imbalance problems in the long term. Go the natural way and you will never suffer from painful side effects or have to worry about the possibility of contracting dreadful illnesses again!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Dangerous GMO’s!

The quest for global food security has over the years witnessed aggressive efforts to create plants that can withstand changing climatic conditions and plant diseases. The most prominent of these attempts is the creation of genetically modified organisms, popularly known by the acronym ‘GMO’. Fortunately or unfortunately, while this development is worthy celebrating, it is surrounded by serious controversy and inherent danger.

From the onset, it is important to state that GMOs are far from being safe as many would have us believe. But before we delve into the dangers of GMO, let us first understand what GMO is all about.

Understanding GMO

Let us begin from the known and proceed to the unknown. By nature, every organism has its unique composition, the DNA that differentiates it from others. A natural plant is one that has all its genes intact as it was created or as it has evolved over the years. In essence, natural corn, for example, should have all the qualities of corn as we have known it over the years.

Scientists, however, argue that as plants and animals continue to evolve, they undergo changes that may alter their chemical and nutritional composition. This is especially because soils continue to lose their fertility and plants cannot get all the nutrients they used to earlier. Animals feed on the deprived soil. Moreover, the use of fertilizers and chemicals means that the genetic makeup of the plant can be altered. The consequence is that the plants we know today are of lower nutritional value than before.

It is also argued by experts that plant diseases and pests have over the years lowered the quality of plants and other organisms thus the need for mechanisms to prevent the harmful effects of these diseases. Unless these diseases are prevented from affecting and destroying organisms, some plant and animal species will disappear soon. These and other reasons are used to front GMOs.

A GMO is an organism that has had its genetic composition interfered with through artificial means especially in a laboratory. Through a process called genetic engineering, scientists extract the DNA of one type of plant or animal and replace the removed material with others from sources that have no relationship with the original organism.

The sources of new genes are often other animals, plants, insects, viruses, bacteria or even animal tissue. It is important to remember that this is contrary to the natural way in which crossbreeding among species occurs. Next time you come across the term ‘transgenic’ organisms, you need to realize it has the same meaning as GMO since it denotes the transfer of genes between different organisms.

A Chinese Asian female medical doctor or scientific researcher or doctor looking at a flask of blue liquid in a laboratory.

When this is done, the plant has to change in terms of its nutritional and chemical composition and in some cases the physical appearance. Moreover, and more importantly, genetic engineering not only alters the genetic infrastructure of an organism, but is also unpredictable and extremely mutative. Moreover, allergic reactions and toxins often follow genetic engineering.

We also need to realize that in the past there have been other attempts to improve the quality of species. These include tissue culture, selective breeding and hybridization. The difference between these traditional genetic methods of gene improvement and genetic engineering is that the former actually aids nature instead of circumventing it.

The other complication is that genetic engineering may actually act contrary to the ideals of improving the genetic quality of organisms. For example, some crops return lower yields after genetic engineering. The same happens with nutritional value. Allergic reactions and toxicity are attendant problems, but even more worrying is environmental degradation stemming from GMOs.

GMO research was at first perceived to be for research purposes only, but with time, it became clear that there were commercial interests. Today, many food crops have been genetically modified to some extent. We are talking of papaya, soybeans, corn and other plants such as cotton. Despite this, most of the food we eat remains natural and this includes rice, oats, where, tomatoes, beans, grapes and barley.

In relation to animals, there are no GMO creatures at this time. Well, there was an unsuccessful attempt to create GMO pigs, but it was shelved after a short trial. However, the fact that animals feed on GMO corn and soy means that the negative impacts of GMO will affect people who feed on such animals. The fact that GMO foods are not clearly labelled puts everybody at risk.

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

Why, should you be concerned?

It would be unfair not to underline that research on the harmful effects of GMOs is on-going. However, it is important to note that there are regions that have adopted a wait-and-see attitude instead of rushing to adopt GMOs. For example, in the EU, GMOs crops are rarely grown and any GMO products must be clearly labelled to help a buyer to make a personal decision on whether to consume such products or not.

Woman's hand holding the sun over wheat field.

Secondly, some scientists have expressed reservations to GMOs on the basis that the allergies witnessed during genetic engineering might affect consumers. This is a genuine concern considering the prevalence of diseases such as cancer, which primarily involve irregular multiplication of body cells. One wonders, then, whether it is necessary to eat GMO food when there are natural alternatives.

Another concern related to GMOs is that the entire process eventually harms the environment. This is especially true in relation to GMO farming. Pesticides are the main issue here. Companies that manufacture GE seeds are also the main producers of pesticides. While GE seeds are made to withstand herbicides, farmers must purchase chemicals to kill weeds. The problem is that farms develop weeds that resist chemicals in the long run thus requiring even more harmful insecticides.

It is obvious that when the environment is harmed by chemicals, human beings will suffer. Polluted air, soil and water in turn contribute to death of marine life, global warming, toxicity in water sources, death of plant and animal life and the plethora of illnesses that we are battling today. In essence, we can suffer direct and indirect consequences of developing, nurturing and consuming GMOs.

What should we do?

As intimated earlier, it is imperative that we ask ourselves whether we really need GMOs. Nature is resilient and altering its cause can only results in disaster in the long run. Global warming and its consequences are clear evidences of that fact. Before you introduce GMOs in your diet, ask yourself whether you have exhausted all existing natural alternatives.

We must start reading labels on the food materials we buy and ensure we don’t form a habit of constant consumption of GMOs. It is important to be careful when we buy canola, alfalfa, papaya, corn, soy, and sugar beets. These are foods that have undergone extensive genetic engineering. Some, like, soy, are totally transformed from what we were used to.

We need also to ask ourselves whether GMOs are manufactured for the benefit of humanity or the firms than create them. Why is it that the largest manufacturers of GE foods are also the leading makers of chemicals to fight weeds? Are we helping businesspeople to make more money at our expense or we really need GMOs for survival of the human race?

With love,

Grace Guru 

XXX

 

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Pranayama

I would like to write about a special breathing practice, which is called Paranayama. We all know that breathing is something that we do every day, 24/7, but don’t really pay any attention to it most of the time. If I tell you what life changing benefits you can get out of Pranayama, I am sure it will make you so much interested that you will start practicing it on a daily basis.

Pranayama is made up of two words i.e. “prana” meaning breath and “yana” meaning to control or restrain. Pranayama, therefore, means to control the breath. Without breathing, we obviously can’t live. Prana is a vital element of our existence on this earth. The only thing we ought to do is take good care of this precious gift God has given us. Utilization of this energy source gifted to us is crucial to ensuring we stay a healthy and disease free lifestyle.

The benefits of pranayama can’t be underscored. There are intangible (that can’t be touched) and tangible (that can be perceived by the sense of touch) advantages.

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Controlled breathing rate!

I am sure you know it already or at least heard it from your friends – Yoga is great for the mind, soul and it will also help you to control your breathing a lot. So another way to practice Paranayama is trough Yoga, it will enable you reduce your breathing rate and breathe more deeply and slowly.

But can you imagine?! With Pranayama, you can reduce your rate of breathing from 13-16 breaths per minute to 5-7 breaths!

A decreased respiratory rate leads to the following

  • More oxygen will be pumped into the lungs due to the slower and deeper breaths
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relaxation of the body muscles and joints
  • Eased nerves
  • Internal organs will be relaxed leading to less wear and tear hence a healthier lifestyle

Backlight profile of a woman breathing deep fresh air in the morning sunrise isolated in white above

Increase in life

According to yoga, breathing increases longevity. The deeper and slower you respire, the longer you will live. For instance, tortoises breathe 4-5 times a minute, and they end up living more than 200 years.

Improved blood circulation

When we breathe, fresh oxygen enters our bodies, and we exhale carbon dioxide. Oxygen travels from our nostrils to our lungs and later on to the heart. Once it reaches the heart, it is pumped into the veins and arteries throughout the body. Therefore, deeper breaths lead to better blood circulation and a revitalized life.

A healthy heart

It’s common knowledge that the heart is the most conscientious organ in the body. Once it stops beating, that’s the end of life. It beats close to 101, 000 times a day. There is not a single minute it has stopped, whether you are resting or sleeping. Your life expectancy will mainly be determined by how healthy your heart is. The more oxygen you breathe, the more oxygen and blood is passed through the heart leading to the more youthful heart. The lesser oxygen you breathe, the lesser blood will be pumped through your veins and arteries leading to a weakened immune system and lower energy levels. You will feel weak, and your muscles and joints will be frail.

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Benefits to the body

Pranayama will have a positive effect on various body organs such as the kidneys, abdomen, heart, pancreas, intestines, diaphragm, and the lungs.

An improved digestive. Digestive system related problems will be cured with better breathing techniques.

Reduced lethargy and improved energy levels.

With more oxygen in the blood, toxins will be removed from the body leading to a better well-being and an improved immune system. Removal of toxins and a better immune system means the onset of illnesses is easily prevented.

Improved mental health

Pranayama frees us from all forms of stress and depression related issues such as anger and lasciviousness. You will be freed from all mental conditions bad characters traits such as arrogance, egotism, and greed for the earthly possessions such as money.

Yoga is great for the mind and soul. Pranayama practice will help you feel relieved, calm, a sense of body lightness, inner peace, and better concentration. You will experience better memory, improved sleep patterns, and enhanced skills.

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Enhances life quality in old age.

The world is changing, and unfortunately, we are engaging in more sedentary lifestyles. We are exercising less, walking less (because we think having a car is the most important thing to own), and spending more time on our smartphones and computers. We are becoming zombies. Living such a lifestyle will lead to your lung capacity decreasing as the lung tissues grow less elastic.

Such a lifestyle means we will have a poor quality of life in our old age. Pranayama will help improve this quality and help us live a better life when we are retired.

Old age problems that yoga will reduce include:

  • Hardened arteries which may lead to lower circulation of blood in the body
  • Rheumatism, headaches and backaches.
  • Muscle pains, stiff joints and weakened bones.
  • Pranayama will also lower the buildup of uric acid in the body which can have adverse effects such as discomfort and chronic joint pains.

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Reduced stress

Once you feel stressed, your body will experience bursts of energy to counter any form of danger that may come your way. Scientifically this is known as the fight or flight effect. You will experience faster and shallow breaths which mean less oxygen will be inhaled and consequently pumped into your bloodstream.

Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline will be produced which increases the blood pressure and heart rate. However, with breathing you can be able to control all these. Deep breathing will give you a sense of calm. Your heart, mind, body, and soul will be peaceful. Deep slow breaths reverse the effects of adrenaline by stimulating the vagus nerve in the parasympathetic nerve system which lowers the heart rates and blood pressure which eventually leads to a calm mind and body.

Your emotional state will be improved with deep controlled breathing techniques. You will be less reactive to your emotions due to a relaxed spirit.

The stages of the breathing process include

Puraka known as inhalation- Here you breathe in deep and slow, and you fill your lungs with air.

Kumbhaka i.e. retention. This is the second stage where body temperatures are raised, and oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream.

Rechaka i.e. exhalation. You release the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the lungs and diaphragm return to its normal position.

Young woman enjoying coffee while lying in the bath with foam and candles

Types of Pranayama

Bhastrika

This means to bellow, i.e. produce a blast of air. Just as a bellow is used to generate lots of air, you ought to breathe in and out rapidly. To practice the Bhastrika Pranayama, sit in a comfortable position and inhale in and out while closing your mouth, expanding and contracting your chest.

Start with 10-15 breaths then increase them to 25-30 breaths. Remember inhaling deeply is the whole point of Pranayama. Retain the air in your chest for as long as you can, then slowly release the carbon dioxide.

Bhastrika Pranayama leads to

  • Reduced throat inflammation
  • Eradicates asthma
  • Destroys phlegm
  • Eliminates all diseases related to the lungs, throat and bile.

Suryabheda

Ensure you are in a comfortable position such as siddhasana. Keep your eyes shut when practicing this Pranayama. Close the left nostril and slowly inhale air through the right nostril. Once you have inhaled enough air (you should be comfortable), close the right nostril with your thumb and retain the air by pressing your jaw against your chest. Increase the rates of retention until sweat is slowly excreted from the hair roots.

Exhale slowly without producing any form of a sound through the left nostril with the right nostril is still closed using your thumb.

Benefits of Suryabheda Pranayama

  • It eliminates any decay in the body
  • It also destroys any worms in the digestive system
  • It cures illnesses such as sinusitis, rhinitis, and rheumatism
  • Suryabheda Pranayama also clears the brain and purifies it.

Ujjayi

Before beginning this Pranayama sit in the siddhasana position and keep your mouth closed at all times. Inspire slowly through both nostrils in a smooth, comfortable pace. Close your mouth once the inhaled air fills up your lungs until the end of your throat. Enlarge your chest when breathing in.

When you are inhaling, there is a weird but uniform sound that will be produced due to the partial closing of the throat. Ensure you are in a comfortable position when breathing and retaining the air in your lungs and throat. Then slowly respire through the nostrils. The best thing about Ujjayi Pranayama is that it can be performed even when during your normal day activities e.g. when at work, or even when walking.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama include

  • Reduces the amounts of heat in the head.
  • Removes phlegm and increases the gastric fire in the body
  • Curing of pulmonary illnesses such as asthma
  • Reduces occurrence of heart-related illnesses

Bhramari

Ensure you are in a padmasana sitting position before starting the Bhramari Pranayama. Breathe in through both nostrils and expire while making the sound of a bee. Repeat the inspiring and expiring severally until the body is soaked in perspiration.

Once you feel like you have perspired enough, inhale deeply through both nostrils and retain the air as long as you are comfortable then let out the carbon dioxide slowly through the two nostrils. You will feel calm and joyful once you are done with this procedure.

Benefits

  • When you start the process, there will be increased body temperature and consequently improved blood circulation throughout the body
  • When you conclude the process, body heat will be reduced through sweating.

Sheetkari

This Pranayama is a little different from others as it involves folding the tongue till it touches the upper part of the mouth. Once you do that, inhale through your mouth while making a hissing sound. Ensure you are comfortable while inhaling, then respire slowly through the two nostrils.

You can choose to keep the upper and lower jaws in contact when breathing in and repeat that process severally.

Benefits include

  • It boosts robustness and beauty. You will be full of strength and life
  • Eliminating problems such as insomnia, hunger, sluggishness, and dehydration.

Sheetali

Sit in a comfortable position. Stick out your tongue straight and fold it like a tube. Then inhale air through the mouth while making a weird but uniform hissing sound. Expand your lungs and retain the air as much as you can. Relax a little bit, then respire the carbon dioxide slowly through the right and left nostrils.

Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama include

    • Blood purity. Your blood and circulatory system will be pure and toxic waste will be exhaled.
    • Quenching of thirst. You will feel better and rehydrated
    • This practice also reduces the hunger pangs and cools the body.

Plavini

The Plavini Pranayama is unique as it involves drinking air from the mouth to the stomach like water. ‘Drink’ the air until the stomach is ballooned a bit. You have to hear some hollow sound when you tap your stomach.

Practice the said procedure slowly. Once you have practiced enough, allow air out. Belch out the air repeatedly.

Benefits

  • Those who have perfected this Pranayama can float for lots of hours on water
  • Persons with this skill can stay without food for several days

Anulom-Vilom

Sit in a comfortable position. Use your right thumb to seal the right nostril and inspire using the left nostril. Breathe in the air to the lungs and not the stomach. Seal the left nostril and expire using the right nostril. Do the said procedure repeatedly.

Then close the left nostril and inspire through the right nostril. Seal the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat those steps severally.

Anulom-Vilom Pranayama leads to

    • Stable body temperatures
    • Lengthens life
    • Reduces stress
    • Removal of toxins from the body
    • Better blood circulation

Chandrabhedan

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor. Your shoulders should be straight and relaxed, and the back should be upright. Seal your right nostril with the right thumb and inspire through the left nostril. Ensure you are comfortable when inhaling to the lungs. Seal the left nostril using your right-hand index finger and exhale through the right nostril.

Repeat the procedure above for 15-20 times.

Benefits include

  • Curing heartburns
  • Stabilizes the body’s temperatures
  • Cooling the body

It’s important to note that this Pranayama shouldn’t be practiced by people who suffer from low blood pressure. It should also be done only during the summer and not any other season.

Pranayama for Children

So now that you have learned the most popular Pranayama techniques, how do you go about teaching your kids such methods of cleansing the body and living a healthy lifestyle?

Pranayama helps children find inner peace and harmony. Pranayama will uplift their moods and spirit; they will learn how to deal better with nerve-wracking or anxious situations. Practicing such yoga techniques is fun.

Steam Train Method

This is particularly popular with baby class or prekindergarten kids. The first step is to sit in a comfortable position such as a crossed- legged position. Instruct them to seal their nostrils using the upper lip. Then, breathe in through the nose forcing the inhalation to sound like a steaming train.

Gradually speed up the breathing in and out. This particular Pranayama method is critical as it calms the minds of the kids and betters blood circulation in the body.

Dragon Breath Technique

This is another popular Pranayama method for children. It’s slightly different from the steam train method because it involves letting out the toxic carbon dioxide to the universe. The mouth should be kept wide open, and exhaled gas let out to the universe.

The first step is to be in a kneeling position. Instruct them to should raise their hands in the air and outstretch their fingers. Inhale through the nose slowly until the lungs are filled with air. When exhaling, the kids should stretch their arms in front and exhale through the mouth. It’s an entertaining process, and I’m also pretty sure the kids would have fun pretending they are a dragon.

With the hand and fingers movements, the kids are stretching and relaxing their upper body.

 

The Mantra

Using a mantra in the form of a poem, encourage the children to breathe in and out. A mantra will help them improve their concentration, cleanse their bodies and enhance awareness. A chosen mantra should be something that will uplift, calm or empower the kids.

Reciting loudly or quietly, the kids can recite the mantra below.

There (inhale) is (exhale)

Nothing (inhale) that (exhale)

Can (inhale) stop (exhale)

Me (inhale) from (exhale)

Accomplishing (inhale)

My dreams (exhale)

The three named Pranayama for kids can be practiced by kids who are up to the age of 18. They can be used as a good base for teaching the more complex Pranayama techniques such as Chandrabhedan, Anulom-Vilom, Plavini, Sheetali, and Sheetkari et al. They are great for the mind, body and soul. They can be particularly useful for the children who suffer from anxiety issues, and stress related problems such as depression.

They can be performed during any season the year or whichever time of the day or night. Encourage your kids or younger siblings to practice Pranayama for kids as there is no other perfect gift – blissful moment – you can give your child or younger sibling(s).

 

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Keys To Lasting Happiness In Life!

According to Vedanta philosophy, there are two categories of happiness. The first type of happiness is the one that is a result of things turning out the way we want them to be. For example, we can say we are happy because of our friends, family or even children. We are happy because of certain resources that are affecting us, resources that can be taken any time e.g. they aren’t permanent by nature – You could lose your job or wife, so reasons for this type of happiness can be lost any time.

The second category of happiness isn’t as a result of something we achieve or something we do but  it’s a state of being. It doesn’t depend on the outer circumstances or our moods. As a result of this state our inner self tends to become calm and exuberant. Pure joy, in this case, is a result of a connection in our deepest state of unbound awareness.

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Listed below are keys that will ensure lasting happiness in your life.

  1. Listen to your body’s behaviour and needs…

What are you comfortable doing and what are you not comfortable doing? When you are undertaking a task, ask yourself, “Do I like doing this?” If your body displays signs of distress and agony or anguish don’t proceed with the work. However, if you feel comfortable and eager to do the chore, please continue. Know what you love doing and what you detest doing then follow what your body says.

  1. Pay the most attention to the present…

Live and enjoy the present and always keep in mind it’s the only time you have. Accept what comes your way, maximize whatever it is and learn from it. Keep attention to what is on the table at the moment. The infinite laws of nature should be left the way they are, and life should be enjoyed to the fullest the way it is. The present is the way it is. The current moment is as it is because the world and universe are at is.

Ignore what others have to say about you. People may say all sorts of things because of how you look, the way you dress but you should ignore all the negative comments. Discover the infinite possibilities that you have on your hands. Look at life positively.

  1. Eat healthy…

Avoid alcohol and other fermented foods. Expose your body to safe and clean environments, nourishing foods, and happy and comforting experiences. Consider your life to be a life support system. It is like a transport system that will take you to where you desire to be. For you to arrive safely at a particular place, you need a road worthy vehicle. The same way, you should keep your body healthy. Avoid contaminating your body with toxins such as cigarettes, or liquor. Desist from alcoholic drinks. The human body is made up of cells that contribute to the state of comfort and well-being. Therefore, keep every single cell in your body in its purest form.

Healthy smoothie - banana-vanilla, pomegranate and orange, spinach and herbs

  1. According to psychology, the natural state of us humans is a state of love. Fear, hate and distress counter the state of love…

You should, therefore, build a “wall” that will shield all the hate and negative statements from your family and friends. Take part in undertakings that will have a positive impact in your life such as team building exercises. Take any fears you have and come up with ways of countering them with compassion and love. Instead of fearing exams, why don’t you study hard and work hard for them so that you won’t have to fear the outcome of the results. Once you read and revise, you will be happy when you receive your results. You can face threats because your inner self is invulnerable and impenetrable to fear.

  1. Create time for meditation and relaxation of the mind…

Meditation can be explained as the gateway to high levels of self-awareness, linking the mind to our inner power and eventually to self-worth. Look for space and release your feelings, breathe in the clean air, and discover your inner happiness and peace. You could start short e.g. with a ten-minute meditation either by listening to calming music or just relaxing over something that works for you. You could eventually lengthen the time you meditate by staying for longer periods every week.

How about you start each meditation session with a short prayer. Don’t ask for stuff, instead, connect your higher self and your source of light. Make it a habit, a daily practice. Pay a lot of attention to your inner life and shun external interpretations that aren’t good for you such as animosity and deception.

handsome couple practicing meditation exercises on the beach at sunset

  1. Find a place in your heart to forgive…

Avoid reacting to opposition or anger with hatred, because through that, you will stressing yourself. You will make things worse because you will end up filling up your heart with disgust, and you will end up being furious. How about, you relinquish your anger as, through that, you will be cooperating with the universe flow of peace and tranquility.

  1. Show me who are your acquaintances and I will describe your character…

Such are wise words that we should always remember so as to remain happy. Your world “out there”, replicates your reality “in here”. Persons who you react with abhorrence and revulsion project your inner world. Be nice to those close to you. Whatever you love and care about most is what you wish for yourself. If you love someone and care about them, it means you would want the same for yourself. The key objective here is self-knowledge.

What Will Affect A Peaceful Mind?

  1. Special attachment is dangerous…

What we all call love is nothing but special attachment to someone or something. Such kind of attachment isn’t recommended.

If there is love, I will be at your service. Whatever you need, I will provide.

If there is attachment, I will look at you and ask myself, “What kind of service do you provide?”

One partner states: I deserve this because I married you.

The other half says: I deserve this because I married you.

This form of special treatment often passes off as love, because both the husband and the wife think that life is all about rights and not duties.

Affection + Egotism = Attachment | Attachment – Egotism = Affection.

Understand the statements written above. I don’t dispute love and its existence. I am just a firm believer that attachment isn’t something that should be approved.

Attachment is all about how many times you will see your partner and, therefore, there is no space for anything to blossom between the two of you. With love, you are open with each other, and there is a chance for discovery of new things between you two. Just like when flowers bloom during the spring season, your relationship will blossom, and you will be happy when there is love.

Intimate scene of couple in love

  1. Control your desires…

Uncontrolled feelings and desires cause mayhem. We are humans, and as humans, we can’t live without desires, needs and wants. However, the tricky part is, can we control our feelings? What happens once we let our emotions rage?

Feelings can be uncomfortable at times. Controlling what you feel doesn’t necessarily mean repressing or ignoring them all together. It means keeping them in check, the same way that thermostat keeps the room temperatures in your house in check. Doing so will help you become emotionally stable as well as bettering your health.

The best way of keeping your emotions in check is to focus more on your physical senses. For instance, is your heart beat rate faster? How are muscles behaving? Are they tense or tightened? Is your breathing shallow or rapid?

Acknowledge your emotions instead of suppressing them. Once you know they are there e.g. sweaty palms, and a faster heartbeat, you will be able to relax and heed what your body is communicating.

If you have heightened muscles, you could try PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation). PMR will enable you to identify any muscular tension in your body

Look for a quiet and relaxing environment and calm down. Relax for about 10-20 minutes.

Ensure you are always comfortable. Wear clothes that you like. Try to wear loose fitting clothes. Cleansing and deep breaths will help calm your mind and muscles.

Curl your toes as tight as you can for 5-10 seconds. Relax your muscles for around 20 seconds, and then move to the other foot. Do the same for all the other muscles in your body including those on your stomach, buttocks, lips, eyes, forehead, upper arms, hands, hips, thighs, feet and the forehead.

If you are always working, or if you are always busy, focus on the facial muscles. Engaging in such activities will help you relieve any stress you may have.

You could use visualization methods to relax. Picture yourself in a safe place. That place should be soothing and relaxing. That calm place could be quietest park you know, your bedroom, the spa, your worship place, or the beach. Create as much detail as you can. What do you smell, hear, feel, or touch?

You could imagine yourself as that pebble that’s thrown in the ocean. The pebble will drift away as the waves rise. Picture your problems to be that pebble. Imagine all that negativity, hate and animosity are drifting away just like a pebble. Comforting, isn’t it?

Young woman enjoying coffee while lying in the bath with foam and candles

Visualization often seems weird in the beginning, but once you practice it, you will find it normal and comforting.

  1. What do you operate on? If they are likes or dislikes, be ready for consequences… 

We are all unique in different ways. What I desire, might not be what you desire. For instance, a person might find pleasure in smoking, but another guy might not stand it. Some guy may look forward to selling his condo; another, on the other hand, can’t wait to buy it. Such happens everywhere.

What might be happy for someone may end up being sad and sorrowful for another. Therefore, it’s not a being or thing but how you relate and share with it. It’s not the external world that wrecks your peace but rather how you relate to it.

When you are operating on the mind level, it’s all about what you like and dislike and that is dangerous. For example, if you go to a certain country, and you find whatever food you like isn’t part of the menu, so what next? You will end up furious. And that will dent on the level of happiness you intend to achieve.

You should, therefore, operate on the intellect level instead of likes and dislikes as that will help you choose the correct path.

Double exposure portrait of a woman combined with photograph of nature

  1. The mind has a tendency of wandering…

Sometimes the mind rambles when you are talking to someone. It’s a little bit tough to concentrate 100%, even if you really want to. Lots of things are always running through our minds. The haunting past, anxieties about the future often affects our concentration.

Such worries tire us and tire our minds. Take time off and relax.

Avoid working on the weekends. Relax your mind, take a walk at the beach or spend your Saturday at the park. Children are most of the time happy. You have ever asked yourself why? Because they never worry about the past or future. Their minds are always relaxed and therefore, they are always joyful and happy.

Once You Change, You Will Be Able To Change The World!     

Be the change that you want to see on the planet. Do things that you would want to see happen on the earth. If you decide to change your thoughts, your actions, the world around you will change.

View your environment with new lenses. I know everyone would like to see a clean and airy environment free from all filth and waste from non-biodegradable goods. I know you love it when the air is clean. Since you like it that way, then why would you want to engage in practices that will be detrimental to the environment such as unclean energy sources e.g. coal energy. Isn’t that going against what you would want the world to be? If you want a clean earth, green, use clean energy sources such as solar power. Avoid littering the environment. The main problem of changing the world without changing yourself is that you will still be you even after you change the environment that you dwell in. With all your negativity, hatred and flaws, you will stain the world with your sabotaging tendencies.

With you being in such kind of situation, you will not achieve whatever you intended because your mind is full of all that negativity.

Avoid spending so much time on other people’s mistakes e.g. “I wish he didn’t walk like that”, “I wish he didn’t drink that beer” Sometimes we end up forcing our closest friends or family members to change. The truth of the matter is, it’s a little bit challenging to change a person for who he or she is.

Instead, be an example, a beacon of hope. If you wish your spouse to be more positive, allow your positivism to permeate your relationship.    

beautiful girl enjoying the summer sun outdoors in the park                                                                    

 With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

 

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The Ayurvedic Dosha

Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The modern world has slowly accepted this traditional system of medicine, and it’s seen as an alternative to modern medicine. In most Western European and American hospitals, this traditional form of medicine has been integrated into general applications as well as in the medical field.

Ayurveda has been in use for more than two millennia and has varied and evolved over the years. It’s said that the classical Ayurveda began with the transmission of the medical expertise from the Gods and then knowledge was passed to the sages, and finally to the human doctors. These therapies are based on complex compounds of herbal products, metals, and various mineral substances. Ayurveda also involves complex medical techniques that include surgical procedures e.g. perineal lithotomy, extracting foreign objects, suturing wounds, and rhinoplasty.

Medical scholars have asserted in the past that Ayurveda originated in the prehistoric periods, and some concepts of this traditional form of medicine were discovered since the times of Vedic period and Indus Valley Civilisation or even earlier. However, most of the medical expertise was developed in the Vedic period, with systems that include Jainism and Buddhism having some practices and concepts appearing in the Ayurveda medical system.

Under Ayurveda is three fundamental substances called the doshas.

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DOSHAS

Doshas according to the Ayurveda system are three humors that constitute the body of a human being. The dosha teachings are also commonly referred to as the Tridosha theory.

Ayurveda mainly exists because of a delicate but key balance between the three doshas or bodily humors called Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.

The three named doshas above are present in every human being, but the teachings of Ayurveda proposes that we all have at least one dominant dosha since our birth date. Ayurveda also recommends that there should be a balance between the other two doshas. Once the doshas are well balanced, we will live a healthy and disease-free lifestyle but when they aren’t, we develop diseases that are often as a result of various causes. Such causes may include:

  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Most of the Eastern Asia countries have fully integrated the three doshas into their schools of medicine. Ayurveda physicians will even undertake evaluations of your body such as checking your pulse, evaluating your appearance, taking your temperature and asking questions to see how you will handle them and also how you respond to certain scenarios.

There are three doshic states…

Decreased: In this case, a certain dosha is present but in a lower than normal proportion also known as a depleted or a reduced state

Balanced: All the 3 stated doshas are present in their normal equal proportions also called an equilibrium state.

Increased: One of the doshas is present in a greater than normal proportion also known as an excess or aggravated state.

Of the three states above, the aggravated state or increased state leads to the highest number of imbalances, which often come from a range of influences such as stress in life, or a dosha aggravating budget. You could initiate a reinstatement of balance, but it would need a lot of dedication and effort. You would first need to understand your body makeup then complement the needs of your external environment with the needs of your internal environment. Ayurveda medical system offers various specific recommendations for every individual ranging from a general lifestyle change to the treatment of diseases.

VATA DOSHA

Vata’s definition is derived from the elements of air and space, which translate to ‘’that which moves stuff’’. It is considered as the most significant dosha because it the greater life’s force and it controls Kapha and Pitta doshas.

Vata Qualities   

Some Vata qualities include mobile, light, subtle, rough, dry and cold. A Vata person may display the mental and physical individualities in both an imbalanced and balanced condition.

Vata Pyschical Characteristics

Vata individuals have a sense of excellent adaptability, light frame and are thin. As mentioned above, the Vata influences other doshas. Energies in Vatas come out in bursts and, tend to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. They have cold feet and hands. Their digestion is sensitive, and they sleep lightly as compared to the other doshas.

Vata persons are always on the go with energetic, creative body and minds.

Imbalance Of A Vata

When a Vata is imbalanced, it exhibits anxiety and certain disorders that may include either one or some of the following; constipation, dry skin, arthritis, pains, aches, loss of weight, weakness, and skin dryness.

A Vata individual becomes imbalanced as a result of

  • Sleeping late at night and for fewer hours
  • Eating while on the run
  • Smoking cigarettes or shish-a
  • Drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
  • Eating while anxious or depressed
  • Having an irregular routine

How Can Vata’s Stay Balanced?

A balanced Vata is enthusiastic, creative, lively, balanced, and gifted with a natural ability to communicate and express him or herself effortlessly.

Listed below are some guidelines a Vata can undertake to ensure they are balanced:

  • Follow the dietary steps listed below
  • Have enough sleep and always keep warm
  • Vatas should avoid certain climatic weathers such as dry climates, windy and cold conditions
  • Avoid very noisy places such as clubs and bars
  • Reduce traveling and keep your movements to a minimum
  • Avoid inconsistent routines and engage in exercises that are regulated and gentle in nature
  • Create time for rest, having breaks between heavy and complex tasks.
  • Live in a safe, peaceful and calming environment.

Young woman having head treatment with pouring oil in Ayurveda spa .

Favourable Diets

A Vata is known to be dry and cold and, therefore, require nourishing warm foods, of reasonably heavy texture. Fat and butter are recommended for stabilising a Vata.

Always choose satisfying, sweet, soothing and salty foods. Other diets common for Vatas include warm milk, hot cereals, butter, cream, nut butter, raw nuts, baked bread, warm soups, and stews. Sugary fruits are preferred to the sour and bitter ones. Vatas are advised to wait till fruits are extra ripe so as to consume them.

You should also have hot water and warm drinks regularly. Drinks such as hot herbal teas ought to be taken in the late afternoon.

Spices that a Vata can use in their foods include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.

What Types Of Food Should A Vata Reduce?

Vata should desist from drinking drinks with a lot of caffeine such as sodas and coffee. Sweets should be avoided. Cold drinks and foods such as raw vegetables, and greens, iced drinks, and salads will lead to a Vata imbalance as stated above. Avoid having unripe fruits as they deemed to be too astringent.

VATA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Vata should undertake to ensure dosha balance and restore Vata balance if there is any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapes, avocados, lemons, fresh figs, plums, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, coconuts, berries, sweet lemons, cherries, stewed, sour oranges, plums, grapefruits, apricots, and bananas.

The fruits listed above should be well ripened.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include pears, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Dried, unripe fruits should be avoided.

Grains

The best grains for a Vata include cooked rice and cooked foods such as oatmeal cereals.

Note that the cereals should be cooked and not dried.

Grains to be taken with moderation include millet, dry oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.

Dairy

All forms of dairy are allowed.

Meat

The best meats for a Vata include chicken, turkey and sea foods all in small quantities. Generally speaking, the best meats are white meat.

Types of meat that to be taken in moderation include red meat, e.g., beef and pork

Beans

The best type of beans includes the following: pink lentils, chickpeas, tofu and mung beans. However, tofu should be taken in small quantities unlike the other listed type of beans.

Beans such as black beans, kidney beans should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Vatas include ghee, sesame and olive oil. Olive oil is the best oil and is highly recommended due to its nutritional value and health benefits.

Spice & Herbs

Vatas should avoid having spices in large amounts. They should also desist from astringent and bitter spices and herbs that include thyme, fenugreek coriander seed, and parsley. Herbs such as turmeric and saffron should be taken in moderation.

Vegetables 

All vegetables listed below should be cooked.

The best vegetables include the following: turnips, garlic, carrots, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes

Vegetables that should be taken in moderation include broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, eggplant, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, peppers peas, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts

Desist from consuming raw vegetables.

Seeds & Nuts

Almond seeds are considered the best for a Vata. However, all nuts and seeds are acceptable.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed.

PITTA DOSHA

Pitta is related to the elements of Water and Fire and roughly translates to ‘’the one that cooks’’ It refers to the energy of metabolism and digestion in the body that functions through substances such as enzymes, bile, and organic acids. The liquid nature of the named elements above accounts for Pitta’s element of Water make-up.

Locations of Pitta in the body include stomach, spleen, eyes, sweat, pancreas and the small intestine. Psychologically, they govern courage, joy, jealousy, mental perception and anger. Physiologically they provide the body with energy and heat through the breaking down of complex molecules.

When you feel like your body is “overheating,” Pitta is usually the cause. Internal body temperatures should always be kept in check to avoid such scenarios.

 

Pitta Qualities

The qualities of a Pitta include acidic, pungent, penetrating, intense, light, hot, and sharp. This dosha controls metabolism, energy production, and digestion. A Pitta’s principal function is conversion and transformation of foods into energy.

The qualities listed can be reflected in either an imbalanced or balanced state.

Emotional Features of a Pitta

Pittas have a strong ability of concentration and are powerful intellects. They are excellent speakers, good decision makers and teachers. Other characteristics of Pittas include direct, sharp-witted, precise and, ambitious, outspoken and practical. They love challenges and taking adventurous trips.

Imbalance of a Pitta

When they are imbalanced, they exhibit certain behaviours such as being argumentative, short-tempered, and emotional outbursts.

What Causes the Imbalance of a Pitta?

  • Overworking
  • Eating while furious
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Drinking alcohol, tea or coffee
  • Consuming Pitta-aggravating diets

When Pittas are imbalanced, they suffer from disorders such as burning sensations, indigestion, skin rashes, peptic ulcers, and heart burns.

How Can a Pitta Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan listed below
  • Engage in calming exercises every day such as walking, tai chi, yoga, and swimming.
  • Participate in activities that relax the mind like spending time in the park enjoying the picturesque nature
  • Avoid climates with high humidity, excessive heat, and steam.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid conflicts
  • Avoid stimulants especially those that are artificially made

Woman doing meditation near the ocean beach. Yoga silhouette.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Pittas need to have warm or cool foods with reasonably heavy textures. Pittas should desist from having hot, steaming foods. Ideal tastes include astringent, sweet and bitter tastes. Consume cool foods in the hot weather such as ice cream, salads, and milk. A good breakfast for a Pitta may include apple tea, cinnamon toast and cold cereal. Red meat should be avoided as it tends to generate heat for the body. Vegetables are best for Pittas. They should consume high amounts of vegetables, grains and milk.

Foods a Pitta Should Reduce

Pittas should avoid all alcoholic drinks. A Pitta should go slow on the consumption of fatty foods i.e. they ought to use less added fat and butter. They should skip hot drinks, nuts, honey, egg yolks, hot spices, cheese, pickles, and sour cream. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Pittas ought to use lemon juice as a dressing instead of vinegar. Fermented diets should also not be taken by Pitta persons.

PITTA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Pitta should undertake to maintain balance and restore balance in case of any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include apples, sour cherries, berries, grapefruits, pineapples, peaches, raw papaya, dark grapes, and persimmon.

A vital point to note is the fruits named above should be sweet and ripe.

Avoid any fruits that aren’t ripe and sweet especially plums, oranges, grapes, and pineapples.

Grains

The best grains include white basmati rice, oats, barley, and wheat.

Grains such as rye, corn, millet, and brown rice should be taken in moderation

Diary

The best forms of dairy for a Pitta include milk, egg whites, butter, not sour fruit sorbets and ghee.

Cheese, ice cream, egg yolk, sour buttermilk, cream & yogurt should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats for a Pitta include; shrimp, chicken, turkey, and river fish. All the listed types of meat should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as seafood and red meat should be taken in moderation

Eggs and fish

Beans

Mung beans, tofu, red lentils, and chickpeas.

Beans such as black lentils, black gram, and Ar har Dal should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Pitta include sunflower, soy, grape seed, and olive oils.

Oils such as coconut, corn, safflower, almond and sesame oils should be taken in moderation.

Spices & Herbs

Pittas should avoid all types of spices as they too heating. However, some herbs and spices such as cumin, mint, black pepper, dill, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, saffron, fennel, and turmeric can be consumed in small amounts

Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, sprouts, squash, zucchini, parsley, green beans, and spinach.

Some of the vegetables that ought to be taken in moderation include onions, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers and chilies

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Pitta include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and coconut seeds

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed except for molasses and honey.

KAPHA DOSHA

Kapha dosha is related to the elements of water and earth and roughly translates to “the one that sticks” It refers to the energy of lubrication and constituents of the body with its physical and structural form and the smooth functioning of all human parts. In general terms, it can be referred to the body lubrication, glue and cement of the areas of the body all rolled in one.

Kaphas tend to weigh heavier as compared to the other doshas. They also possess earthier bodies than the other two types. As a result of being heavier, they can easily store fats and fluids. Their speech is slow and melodically. They are attached and naturally calm. Sometimes they have watery dreams and have heavy and thick elimination.

Locations of Kapha in the body include the following: tendons, lungs, fatty tissue, ligaments, connective tissues, chest, throat, lymph, and the head. Psychologically, they govern greed, mental inertia, forgiveness, attachment, and love. Physiologically they store energy, moistens food, and they relate to bodily fluids such as mucous, water and lymph

The fluids in a Kapha may be stored in the body and leading to a dampened system which will eventually cloud the mind and weigh down the body leading to fatigue. This accumulation of fluids in the body leads to other body disorders that include sinus congestion, obesity, and mucous related diseases. Such body disorders often, in the end, cause depression, attachment, and lethargy. 

KAPHA QUALITIES

The qualities of a Kapha include steady, slow, heavy, oily, cold and soft. It governs the body structures. It is the principal that holds together cells and forms the bone, muscle, and fat. Kapha also provides immunity to the body. The core function of Kapha is safeguarding the body from diseases.

Kaphas have an excellent stamina and a strong build. Their skin is radiant and smooth. Their digestion is regular, and they sleep soundly. However, once a Kapha adds a lot of weight, he or she tends to retain lots of fluids, which eventually manifests as allergies in the body.

What Are The Emotional Characteristics Of A Kapha

They are naturally loving, thoughtful and calm. They tend to be comfortable with routine and enjoy life. Kaphas are also supportive, loyal, steady, patient, and strong. They love listening to music, relaxing and reading.

Imbalance Of A Kapha

What causes an imbalance of a Kapha?

  • Overeating
  • Eating to get rid of emotions e.g. eating sweets when stressed.
  • Not engaging in any physical activities.
  • Avoiding intellectual tasks.
  • Spending a lot of time in cool and damp climates.
  • Spending lots of time indoors especially on the TV, laptop or computer.

When imbalanced, Kaphas become lethargic and overweight. They sleep excessively. They suffer from diabetes, depression, asthma, and depression.

Kaphas also hold onto jobs and relationships when imbalanced. They show excessive attachment and are resistant to change. They are also quite stubborn.

How Can Kaphas Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan below
  • Exercise every day.
  • Engage in activities that will energise, stimulate the body and mind.
  • Allow for variety in life, challenges, and excitement.
  • Break off from old ways of thinking, and stagnation.
  • Always keep dry and warm
  • Take part in introspective activities such as writing and meditation
  • Have a boundary between being taken advantage of and being nice.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Kaphas need to have dry foods, light, warm or cooked light meals. They also do best with raw vegetables and fruits. Spicy foods are such as Indian or hot Mexican foods are good for Kaphas. Dry methods of cooking that include broiling, baking, sautéing, and grilling are preferred to moist methods of cooking such as poaching, steaming or boiling. Preferred spices include turmeric, cumin, sesame seed, and fenugreek. Tonic water, endive, and romaine lettuce are some of the foods that are good for a Kapha.

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Foods Kaphas Should Reduce

Kaphas should go slow on the consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and should reduce salt consumption as this often leads to fluid retention in the body. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Kaphas have a tendency of overeating.

They should have the main meal during the day with less heavy, dry foods in the late afternoon or night. Kaphas should desist from consuming fats, sugars, dairy products, chilled drinks, and foods. They ought to use oils and ghee in small proportions.

KAPHA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Kapha should undertake to ensure balance and restore Kapha balance if there is any imbalance. These foods mainly affect the moist and heavy aspects of the body.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapefruits, cranberries, apples, pears, prunes, papaya, berries, cherries, and pomegranates, and apricots

Dried fruits including figs, apricots, raisins, prunes, and are great for Kaphas.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include mangoes, bananas, fresh figs, dates, and coconuts.

Grains

The best grains for a Kapha include basmati rice, buckwheat, barleycorn, millet, oats, and rye.

Grains, for instance, rice and wheat, should be taken with moderation

Kaphas are also advised to avoid steamed grains and hot cereals because they are too damp for the body.

Diary

Small amounts of whole milk, warm skim milk, camel milk, goat milk, and soy milk are good for a Kapha. They can also take eggs, but they shouldn’t be cooked with butter or fried

Eggs yolks should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats include the following; lean fish, chicken, and turkey which should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as red meat and shrimp should be taken with moderation

Beans

All legumes can be consumed.

Beans such as kidney beans and tofu to be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for a Kapha include sunflower, grape seed oil, almond, and olive oil.

All oils should be used in small quantities.

Spices & Herbs

Kaphas can have all types of spices and herbs. However, the most preferred include sesame, cumin, ginger, and fenugreek. Spices and herbs are good because they improve digestion.

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Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, sprouts, peas peppers, and spinach.

Vegetables to be eaten in moderation include zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Kaphas include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed but in small quantities.

Woman having Ayurvedic spa treatment. Pouring milk.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How about a Valentine’s day with a difference?

Yes, it’s that special time of the year again. Our cities and our towns are painted with the colour RED, the colour of LOVE. Love birds are drowning themselves in wine; red roses flowers are decorating our streets. All these acts of love only happen once a year, this month of February. It’s the month of love.

But first, have you marked on your calendar that Valentine’s Day is only a few days away? I know you probably are way too busy working hard, making extra money to take care of your loved ones, but the first step in ensuring such a day is a success to remember the day in the first place.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on the 14th of February. It’s a great day of reminding and rekindling the passion between you and your soul mate. Book a romantic hotel for your wife or who you love, buy a bottle of wine, cook his or her favorite meal. There is so much you could do for your loved one. But is it the only month or day of the year where we manifest love in all its forms including romance, passion, intimacy, joy, friendship, communion and ecstasy? Or can we express it at anytime of the year?

Love is a very strong power, what guides us humans! I know you may not yet have met someone who you are compatible with due to one reason or another. And you won’t be happy with all the roses littering our streets and couples holding hands in your city if you are all alone this Valentine’s.

But let me make it easy for you now! The first step in attracting that person you desire this is to cultivate self-love. You’ve got first to love yourself before you find that someone you have always wanted to be with.

Pretty couple kissing each other against a white background

What is self-love?

‘You and you deserve your love and affection more than anyone else in the universe!’

Personally, I have had problems with lack of self-love before. I have sorted the approval of others after struggling with feelings of guilt and failure in my life. I have felt shame and talked to my friends and family with little success. I didn’t feel I was worth of being loved at all. So how do you come out of this dark pit?

Self-love is a word that is often thrown around and misunderstood by many. It’s not about taking great care of yourself, buying yourself the latest Nikes or buying yourself that Chanel bag you have always wanted. It’s more than the usual material possessions that make us smile. Take part in actions that will ensure the psychological, physical and spiritual growth of yourself.

Lack of self-love often leads to many other self-sabotaging traits that may include either of the following

  • Hypersensitivity and defensiveness
  • Poor communication skills
  • Underachievement
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor social life due to poor social skills
  • Hyper vigilance defined as the constant fear of making mistakes
  • Chaotic and stressful relationships with your loved ones
  • Passive aggressiveness

Many of you who are looking forward to Valentine’s Day may be well aware of this concept called self-worth. We may accept the term and all that comes with it i.e. that we love ourselves, and hopefully, our family and acquaintances reinforce that. Things will be different out there because you know it’s a harsh world. You could encounter comparisons, judgments, and criticism.

Such negative thoughts will cloud your mind and make you believe you can’t love yourself. And once you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to attract that person you have always wanted to be your valentine. Take it as a fact!

Being told you aren’t good enough, is detrimental as you will forget to trust yourself and rely on other people’s judgments and beliefs. If other people detest you and your ways, you will struggle to be that person who meets the needs and traits of the person who you seek. You will also not be able to meet the world’s approval, and you will end getting trapped in a negative bias.

With such kind of challenges, it’s no wonder so many persons suffer from a low self-esteem. To embrace a feeling of self-worth, we have to come up with various ideas for responding to bad input and negative criticism that often boxes us to the corner.

Image of woman holding heart symbol, shallow depth of field

So how to cultivate Self-Love?!

Learn to accept

You may not always like something about yourself, like your body size or your face, or you may not be the most interesting person in your circle. You might look at some of your family members or friends and wish you were like them, but unfortunately, there are some realities in life but you can always try to change some. The most important even if you are trying to do the best of yourself and go on a diet, be more intellectual or even do nothing about it. Just learn to accept the way you are and focus your energy on more positive and productive endeavors in your life and about yourself. That way you will be able to relax your mind and heart.

Learn healthy communication and social skills

This is the best way of finding that person who you’ve always wanted and, therefore, inspire love in your life. You should be able to communicate your fears and feelings in a healthy, non-confrontational and mature way. Such are critical in ensuring you cultivate self-love thus leading to improved relationships. Everyone on this planet is insecure in one way or another, instead of diminishing or hiding them, enhance your emotional insight so as you are more authentic to those whom you approach. 

What’s your passion?

What do you love doing, what is your hobby? Once you define what you like participating in, you will always find a reason for waking up in the morning. You will be eager and engaged in doing what you desire. You will be able to strengthen a confident self-perception by linking up your skills with what you are passionate about. No one will force you to be someone or something you aren’t because you will openly express what and who you love.

Forgive, forgive, and forgive

To love yourself and those close to you, you have first to forgive yourself, and then forgive others for hurting you. You forgive yourself the same way you forgive others, be it your friends or family. Offer it freely with kindness. Don’t beat yourself over a mistake you have done as it’s an exercise in futility. Offer your friends forgiveness even if they don’t seek it for one reason or the other. The ability to forgive yourself and others is a bold step in wholeness, self-respect, and self-worth.

So after attaining your self-love, how do you attract someone, in other words, how do you become a love magnet?

Where and how do you find it? What steps can you take to keep the fire burning once you find love? Why is it so hard for you to find love and your friend, colleague or cousin drowns in it every day? Those are some of the questions that may be running through your mind.

Allow natural love to flow from your heart to others.

  1. The first thing you should do is to let go of fear.

You should be confident by now, having gathered your self-worth. The natural state of us humans as stated above is love, and the opposite of it is distress, anxiety and fear. Once you feel anxious or anguish, build a wall, a fortress around yourself to protect you from all things related to anxiety, and negative comments. That ‘fortress’ may include dropping friends that may be bringing you down, or you could engage in other positive activities that will build your confidence such as taking part in team building activities with your colleagues or family members.

Action: Over this period, look for any issues in your life that are fear based. Take a piece of paper, indicating what you fear and how you can respond to your fears from a compassionate and positive point of view. Instead of fearing that homeless man that you always ignore at the subway, how about you buy him a sandwich or hand him a couple of dollars?

Train yourself to let go of fear by countering fear with acts of love.

  1. Love yourself first.

As I mentioned earlier, you should first and foremost think about yourself before you can love another person. What that statement means is you should accept your flaws as none of us is perfect. Instead of blaming yourself and others for mistakes committed in your life, why don’t you look at the positive side. Look at yourself and appreciate yourself and those close to you, reminding them of their good qualities.

Action: State down the positive traits of yourself as well as others. You look great, and you are beautiful inside and outside. Look at the positive side of everything, e.g., how you handle your colleagues or what you are great at. Once people critic you, or you critic yourself, pick up a positive response to it from the list you have written down.

Loving yourself will help you project your love towards other people, and that way true love can blossom between you and your soul mate.

  1. Forget about your past

Most of the people who I have spoken to, have told me that so many unpleasant things have happened in their past relationships, some of which have negatively affected their love life. You may not realize it, but every time something negative happens in your life, you register it in your subconscious. It, therefore, goes in the ‘sack’ of all unpleasant things that ever happened in your life and such things are a burden on your relationships.

Imagine having a 200-pound sack on your back? It will be tough to walk. Accumulated ‘unpleasant things’ in your head will be like a 200-pound sack on your back; it will be hard for you to move forward in life especially with regards to relationships.

Action: State all the terrible things from your past, and write them down on a piece of paper. Strike them out one by one, indicating letting go of all fear, anxiety and unpleasant things that may be weighing you down and then burn it. Let go of any anger and excessive need to control those who you love and care about.

Close-up image of smiling couple in love, concept of love and happiness

  1. Define your needs.

Having needs is part of human nature. We go to school, eat, sleep, work, or even marry because we have needs. In fact having needs will help you create a relationship. You and your partner will be more connected and feel better if both of your needs are voiced and accomplished. Even after stating such, most of us are uncomfortable asking the other party to meet our needs.

The irony is, we get into relationships to get some particular needs met.

Action: Think about your needs, write them down if you can. Then know the needs of your significant other, and those who are close to you. Go ahead, work hard and ensure all the stated needs are met!

  1. Do you know your relationship patterns?

If you aren’t attracting the right persons in your love life, most likely it’s not the first time. In such a case, you may be having relationship patterns that are a hindrance to you attracting the right people to your love life.

Action: Ask yourself if there is a way you behave that prevents you from causing love? What are your relationship patterns and what kind of people do you attract? Once you state your pattern, you will be able to define new ways of causing love between you and those who you crush on.

  1. Express your boundaries.

Boundaries are critical as they help you honor your wants, needs and protect you as well. Once you can choose to say yes or no to a request or demand from those who you love is when you know you have defined boundaries. Boundaries are important when you are well aware of your needs. Always ask those close to you to respect them. They will help you be more discerning, earn you self-respect and inspire others to treat you well.

Action: Keep in mind the boundaries that people should know, and make them aware of them in a subtle, polite manner. Be kind and open to your partner.

  1. What do you want?

What do you want from your relationship or your partner? Clearly and concisely state your wants. Ensure you don’t go overboard and give unrealistic and out of this world expectations. Be modest and avoid setting very low expectations. Avoid sabotaging your love life by engaging in negative behaviors, and instead, take action to create what you want.

Action: Model your love life after those relationships you value the most.

Be your own valentine

As you might already noticed, the month of February is often full of expectations, talks of love and people exchanging all kinds of gifts. Some can’t wait for it to come while some want it to pass as soon as it comes because they haven’t found someone to share the love with. Those who are single dread the day because there’s too much pressure from their friends and family who have a plus one to celebrate with.

I have highlighted a couple of ways in which you could cultivate self-love, and after that attract that one person you want to spend the 14th of February with. To be sincere, you may need to be patient to find love. It depends on the kind of a person you really want, your needs and desires. What if you don’t find that one guy or lady that you want to be with? How do you get to enjoy and have fun this month?

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this month. I agree that having someone else in the picture is important as it will bring you happiness and joy. However, you don’t have to have someone so as to have the best Valentine’s Day ever in your life. You could view it positively and even name it ‘Self-love Month’ instead of Valentine’s Day. And another important point to note is you don’t have to wait till February to celebrate ‘Self-love Month’. How about we do it differently this year and celebrate it every single day of our lives. Being your own Valentine is one of the best ways of living a positive life.

So what steps could you take in being your own Valentine, not only this month but also every other single day of the year?

  1. Indulge yourself in a treat

I know you have probably seen lots of offers from various shopping establishments, salons, bars or even spas. Why don’t take a day off, go for a spa day or buy yourself a box of chocolates and get to remind yourself that you are worthy of such indulgence? Indulge in a treat, have an hour relaxing or reading a good book. You deserve it!

Treats and gifts are the first languages of love. Do something good for yourself. It’s not a crime to send yourself dozens of roses!

  1. Keep in mind how awesome you are!

Don’t wait for friends to tell you how beautiful, handsome, talented you are, or that you have a great smile. I know you feel great when other people compliment you. But compliments are even better once you praise yourself. We are often quick to blame ourselves when we do wrong, but once we do right, we never remember to pat ourselves on the back. I am all about self-improvement, and giving myself a compliment every day of my life.

Doing so has helped me live a happy and optimistic life.

  1. How about you challenge yourself this Valentine’s period?

Take a paper and note down your goals. What do you intend to achieve this year or this month of February? Start a project and challenge yourself to learn a new skill in the coming days or months. How about you take a day off, and learn a new recipe. Get empowered by the unlimited possibilities that are before you and take your life by the reins. Learning is a recommended way of invigorating yourself and getting to have fun this Valentine’s month.

  1. Eat healthy

Indulge in activities that will add value to your life. You could slow down on the alcohol and instead have more fresh juices instead. Eat healthy foods as such kind of foods are the key to supporting a healthy life. According to Anahata Chakra, the fourth main chakra of Buddhist Tantric, Hindu Yogic, and Shakta Traditions, there are certain foods key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. They include vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Eat more vegetables, and exercise during this month.

Fresh farmer strawberries on dark wood texture in shape of heart

  1. Reflect on your life and relax.

You could relax through a number of ways e.g. by enrolling in a yoga class. Engage in heart-opening postures under the Anahata teachings such as the Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, and Heart Melting Pose. These exercises will help increase blood flow in the veins, hence increase your flexibility and strength.

Delight and smile that you have nothing special going down on the 14th. You could catch some early sleep. Once you relax on your bed after a long day, reflect on the positives that life has to offer e.g. a simple thing like the fact that you are healthy.

And as I mentioned all above, you don’t need a date to have an unforgettable Valentines experience on February 14th. Stop frowning and live life to the fullest. In fact, this should be your happiest month of the year. Be happy, progress, and the most important thing, CULTIVATE SELF-LOVE this February.

And just live every day of your life like a Valentine and spread the love vibes out, they will come back to you more and bigger then you can imagine.

With LOVE,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

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