Practicing Asana!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ásana is any firm and confortable position”

Yôga-Sutra of Patañjali

Written by Paulo Pacifici

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar And Why You Need It

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

Time-Tested Panacea

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

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

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

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

What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Mirrors And Their Proper Placement According To Feng Shui

Mirrors are both a necessity as well as a convenience. All of us use mirrors both within the home as well as outside of it.

Mirrors stand as a symbol of reflection – both physical and spiritual. Our thoughts, words and actions are a mirror of our feelings. A mirror is nothing but a metaphor, a reflection into our own selves.

To solve any crisis in life, we need to determine the cause of the problem. Only when we see these problems can be work towards fixing them. Now, given that mirrors are a reflection of our lives, they can help us see problems and fix them. For example, only when we look at our reflection in the mirror can we say whether we’re having a bad hair day or not!

 Mirrors and Feng Shui

Mirrors have been used since ancient times across many different cultures. However, the ancient Chinese laws of Feng Shui give particular importance to mirrors and their placement.

According to Feng Shui, a mirror is a representation of water. Since chi energy can be pooled or collected with water, it can be done so with a mirror as well. This makes mirrors an extremely powerful tool – they double everything including chi energy.

All Feng Shui experts and practitioners know the power of mirrors. Mirrors are often referred to as Feng Shui’s aspirin. They can magnify, energise and alter a space dramatically. If placed properly, mirrors can even cure any space that is awkwardly shaped and lacks chi energy.

Feng shui concepts word cloud illustration. Word collage concept.

But it isn’t a mirror that is inherently auspicious. Rather, the placement of a mirror is what makes it auspicious or inauspicious. Feng Shui states that mirror placement within a home affects health, wealth and happiness. Proper mirror placement can boost and enhance chi energy around a home. This in turn can bring abundance and luck. On the other hand, an improperly placed mirror does just the opposite. Improperly placed mirrors deflect chi energy away from a home and can also cause a lot of harm. What a mirror reflects defines whether it’s placement is auspicious or inauspicious.

As I mentioned earlier – mirrors double up whatever lies in front of them. So, mirrors can attract both positive and negative energy with the same influence and efficiency. Hence, Feng Shui gives a lot of importance to mirror placement.

If you’re a Feng Shui practitioner, you must understand where and how to place mirrors within your home. While many Feng Shui practitioners may tell you to use Pa Kua (bagua) mirrors, this is debatable. Experts state that any mirror works as well as Pa Kua mirrors, so there’s really no point hoarding special mirrors. You can go with rectangular or square shaped mirrors as they can easily be found and they work just as well. Unless advised by an expert, avoid irregularly shaped mirrors.

I’m sure you’re wondering about the specifics of how to place mirrors properly in your home. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the Do’s and Don’ts of mirror placement according to Feng Shui. Make sure to follow them all!

Do’s Of Placing Mirrors

When it comes to proper mirror placement, there are many rules that Feng Shui practitioners abide by. While some of these rules seem strange, many of them are incredibly practical. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 of the Do’s of mirror placement, which also offer practical benefits.

  1. Use whole mirrors

Whole mirrors are large sized mirrors that allow you to see yourself in one piece. It is important to use whole mirrors because they give you a feeling of completeness whenever you look into them. This feeling of completeness allows you to affirm yourself and your goodness.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature

By using mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature, you will enhance the chi energy indoors. There is a lot of healthy chi energy outdoors – in gardens, trees, blue skies and clouds. By reflecting these in your mirror, you will allow this healthy chi energy to flow within your home.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces

Inside a home, the living area is a symbol of prosperity while the dining area is a symbol of wealth. By using mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces, you can magnify the wealth, abundance and prosperity in your life.

  1. Use mirrors to add light and movement

Every home has some dark areas where there is not enough light, for instance a long hallway. By using mirrors in such dark areas, you can circulate light and facilitate movement. In turn, this will also help chi energy circulate throughout your home.

  1. Use mirrors to cover problems

Many rooms with awkward shapes can be remedied with the help of mirrors. For instance, if you have a square pillar in a room, you can mirror all four sides of the pillar. This essentially makes the awkward pillar disappear from view. Mirrors can be used to cover other similar structural defects, such as a cut within your home.

  1. Keep your mirrors clean

Always ensure to keep your mirrors clean. A cloudy mirror will reflect cloudy images. This has a detrimental effect on you as you will associate a cloudy mind whenever you see your reflection.

  1. Use mirrors to reflect wealth

Many Feng Shui practitioners place mirrors to reflect jewellery and cash lockers. This reflects positive chi energy and can help bring more prosperity and wealth into your life.

  1. Use mirrors near entryways

Placing mirrors near entryways can bring about a great positive effect in your life. Mirrors near the entrance of a home activate the water element and allow better flow of chi energy into your home. You’ll also see a positive glimpse of yourself whenever you leave home.

  1. Use mirrors to broaden space

If any area of your home is narrow, then you can use mirrors to visually broaden the space. While this certainly improves aesthetics, it also facilitates easier flow of chi energy around your home.

  1. Make sure that your mirrors are at the right height

If you have many people living in your home, you need to ensure that your mirrors are at the right height for everyone. Everybody living with you should be able to see a good reflection of themselves in the mirror. This will help positive chi energy touch everyone’s lives.

Don’ts Of Placing Mirrors

Like I mentioned earlier, there are many, many Feng Shui rules regarding proper placement of mirrors. However, I will focus on the rules that are universal and apply to most spaces. Here are 10 such practical rules regarding the Don’ts of mirror placement.

  1. Don’t place mirrors opposite doors

Never place a mirror right opposite your doors. This will cause any positive chi energy to bounce back right out of your door. You’ll miss out on many opportunities in life if you do so.

  1. Don’t place mirrors where they reflect negative views

Your mirrors should never reflect any negative views or messy areas. Avoid placing mirrors opposite to toilets, stoves, flames, clutter, drains or poison arrows (sharp corners). If you see an ugly sight in a mirror, negative energy will only be magnified, so make sure to avoid this.

  1. Don’t place mirrors in your bedroom

Never place mirrors in your bedroom. Mirrors can cause an over-stimulating effect when placed in a bedroom. This in turn creates insomnia. Also, if there is a problem in a relationship, mirrors will magnify the problems. It is best to leave mirrors out of the bedroom altogether.

  1. Don’t use cracked or broken mirrors

Cracked or broken mirrors are a big no-no. They distort the image of every object and they harbour a lot of negative energy. Get rid of all your broken mirrors and replace them with clean, new ones.

  1. Don’t use antique mirrors

Antique mirrors often get distorted with time. When you look at yourself in an antique mirror, you will get a distorted perception of premature aging. It is best to avoid antique mirrors and even mirrors that have antiqued surfaces or frames around them.

  1. Don’t hang a mirror too high or too low

Your mirrors should be placed at an ideal height for all members of your family. Never place a mirror such that the head of a person is cut off in the reflection. Mirrors should always reflect the entire head and shoulders of an individual – regardless of how tall or short they are.

  1. Don’t place mirrors facing one another

Placing mirrors right opposite each other can create a funhouse effect. However, this should never be done within a home as it traps the flow of chi energy. Chi energy will be stuck between the mirrors and will never flow to other parts of your home. Avoid infinite reflections as they create a strange vortex that can cause distress and displeasure.

  1. Don’t place mirrors at the end of staircases

Placing mirrors at the end of staircases means that they’ll either cut the feet or the head in a reflection. You must avoid this completely. Unless your mirror can reflect a person’s entire body, never place it at the end of a staircase.

  1. Don’t place mirrors at the end of hallways

While placing mirrors in hallways helps the flow of chi energy, mirrors must never be placed at the end of a hallway. If you do so, your mirror will attract negative energy. This negative energy won’t leave your home easily, so make sure not to place mirrors in such areas.

  1. Don’t place mirrors near study tables

If you have a study table, make sure not to place a mirror next to it. Mirrors can cause a loss of concentration during study and this problem only gets magnified with time. Mirrors should be placed only where they reflect positive energy, not near a study table.

I’m sure you agree that mirrors are a very powerful tool. Not only do they help us see reflections of physical objects, but they are also a symbol of spiritual reflection.

As a Feng Shui practitioner, I always ensure that my mirrors facilitate the flow of positive chi energy in my home. While there may be thousands of do’s and don’ts regarding mirror placement in Feng Shui, I tend to follow the most practical rules. By doing so, I’ve found a lot of peace and prosperity in my life.

iStock_000073401961_Small

If you’re focused on more happiness, better self-esteem, better health and prosperity, then you should also adopt these Feng Shui rules on mirror placement. Believe me – these rules have stood the test of time and they will turn your fortunes drama

With love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Be Creative Again!

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

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

 

Here are ten tips to help you become creative again…

  1. Embrace Good Old Nature

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

  1. Exercise Regularly

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

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  1. Take A Journey To New Territory

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

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  1. Become Playful And Childlike Again

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

  1. Sleep, Baby, Sleep

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

  1. Do Something Else

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

  1. Inject Yourself With A Dose Of Laughter

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

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  1. Hook Up With Friends

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

  1. Admit Defeat And Move On

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

  1. Indulge Your Senses

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

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

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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How To Stop Feeling Lonely!

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

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

The Extreme Effects of Loneliness

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

Woman Lying Awake In Bed Suffering With Insomnia

What Causes Loneliness?

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

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

Here’s How To Overcome Loneliness

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

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

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

young woman meditation on sunset beach

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

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

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

Outdoor portrait of beautiful young women having fun.

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

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Spiritual Bath Cleansing!

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

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

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

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

The Background

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

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

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

Approaching Ritual Baths

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

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

Meditation on top of the mountain when sunrise.

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

Types of Spiritual Baths

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

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

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

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

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

Other Gains

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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Visualisation Meditation and Why It Is Essential For You!

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

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

The Power of Visualisation Meditation

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

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

Woman doing meditation near the ocean beach. Yoga silhouette.

Getting Down to Business:

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a Recommended Frequency?

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

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

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

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

Why people fail to gain from Visualisation Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concluding Thoughts…

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

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

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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15 Tips To Help You Get Out Of A Bad Mood Fast

Moods are important! Emotions are part and parcel of every human being. The tradition with human feelings – these include both good and bad vibes! If anyone tells you that they only experience good moods, please realise you are dealing with a liar or a mentally disturbed person!

As fate would have it, it always seems harder to get into a good mood but always very easy to lose it. To put it differently, you are likely to change into a bad mood faster than it will take you to adopt a positive emotion. It feels like an exercise in futility, right? … Not exactly!

Stimulate the secretion of endorphins!!!

Stimulate the secretion of endorphins!!!

Why A Bad Mood Is To Be Avoided

It is important to consider the negative effects of a bad mood, hoping that this will jolt you into realising why you need strategies in order to rid yourself of a bad temperament. A foul disposition sets in motion a series of negative reactions to people, events and other external stimuli.

When you are in a foul temperament, you are likely to dent your reputation through negative talk and actions. You may say something you will regret. It is also possible to throw away opportunities and people that could have helped you. In other words, a bad mood beclouds the mind and precipitates negative conduct.

How To Change Your Mood For The Better

Here are effective actions to take when your mood goes south, as it will often do. You will realise that changing your mood to the better will demand that you address certain mental, physical, social and even dietary issues:

1. Treat the cause, not the symptoms: Your moods are indicative of a deeper problem within you. Perhaps it is self-acceptance or low self –esteem. Possibly there is an unresolved problem with someone else. It is time you took the bull by its horns. Iron out the issues with the other person, or, where necessary, seek professional assistance.

2. Set goals and priorities: Your foul mood is probably due to exhaustion and feeling that you have too much to do within a very short time. Write down all the tasks that await you and prioritize them. Identify the urgent and the important and decide what to do first.

3. Adopt a positive disposition: Whenever you focus on the bad that is happening or is likely to happen around you, you tend to feel to despondent. Focus, rather, on what makes you happy. Think about your past success whenever the present seems to be going against your present desires.

4. Grab a wholesome snack or meal: Your moods plunge when you are low on energy. The best solution is to eat healthy food like fruits, nuts, vegetables, avocado and dark chocolate, to name a few. The nutrients these foods carry will elevate your mood almost immediately.

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Healthy snacks: Try a small piece of gluten free bread with nut butter and some raspberries on top! Yum!

5. Engage in an enjoyable activity: What is that pastime that brings out the best in you? Just do it. Get out there are and ride a bike. Volunteer for community service. Engage deliberately in activities that have previously lifted your moods and made life enjoyable.

6. Invest in some humour: Your mood has plummeted? Watch that favourite comedian or comedy show and bring back some excitement into your life. Call the funny friend who makes you laugh simply by being around you. Go out and meet them as this will spike your mood. How about remembering events and people that made you laugh in the past?

7. Bring a smile to your face: This is where we say you should fake it until you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at the person who is looking back at you. Act happy and you will be surprised at how quickly your thoughts pick up the happy mood.

8. Engage in a distraction: Instead of focussing on that issue that has negatively affected your disposition, look for something different but more enjoyable to do. It may not be something you have done before, but it has to help your forget your reasons for being sad.

9. Work out: It is rare to find a person who is exercising being unhappy at the same time. Exercise has a way of stimulating the secretion of endorphins thus lifting up your mood. Take a brisk walk, hit the gym or perform push-ups in your living room to drive bad moods away.

10. Practice spirituality: There is a soul inside you that yearns for connection with the Supreme Being. Nurture your soul by engaging in prayer, meditation or any other activity that nourishes the inner being. The ensuing peace of mind cannot c0-exist with bad moods.

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11. Listen to your favourite music: Music, especially that cool and sentimental type and spiritual vibes, has a way of lifting up your spirit and giving you a reason to be positive and to smile again, despite the negatives around you.

12. Dance: Closely related to music is the idea of moving your body in unison with the beat and rhythm music you are listening to. Dancing, like exercise, has a positive impact on your endorphins, banishing away a foul mood and bringing back the positive vibe you need.

Just Dance!

13. Reach out to friends and family: Some bad moods stem from feelings of disconnection from the rest of the society. That is why you need to call your friend and eat out or watch a movie together. A much cheaper option is to set out on a walk or picnic.

14. Play: Which is your favourite game? Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, badminton? Get some friends or visit the sports club and play to your satisfaction. Bad mood will eschew you.

15. Disengage social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their cousins have a way of making you feel less successful, unimportant and less attractive, especially when you look at the posts and profiles of apparently more successful peers. Give yourself a break and focus on improving your self-esteem.

Most importantly, remember you can only get out of a bad mood by taking practical steps. Whatever works for you, bring the vibe and groove back, maximize on it, and bad moods will not dictate how you live your life!

With Your,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

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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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