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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6 Tips For A Wholesome New Year

One of the most important gifts you can give to yourself this New Year is to have a healthier lifestyle. To achieve this ideal, you need to embrace a sustainable program that entails gradual steps. This is far easier to sustain and less strenuous compared to a sudden change of lifestyle.

You stand to have an enjoyable experience if you engage in specific daily tasks. Your body will adjust gradually depending on its needs. Eventually, you will fall in love with healthy living because you will realize it is a lovely gift you are consciously offering to yourself every day.

You probably have heard that adapting healthy habits into your daily life is difficult. Nothing can be further from the truth. All you need is to adhere to a number of rituals, and your body will begin to love healthy living.

Drink Warm Lemon Water First Thing In The Morning: This is important for expelling toxins from your body, reinvigorating metabolism, fortifying your immunity, giving your organs the water they need for optimal functioning and obtaining much-needed energy to begin your day. You stand to benefit more from this drink if you add black pepper, freshly-ground turmeric or ginger, and a little bit of your favorite healthy oil. Turmeric will also be of great benefit to your body because of the presence of black pepper. The latter improves the bio-availability of the former.

Start Your Day With A Smoothie: There is no better nutrient-packed drink than a smoothie. You can increase the amounts of minerals and vitamins in a smoothie by loading it with superfoods.

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Take Herbal Teas Instead Of Coffee: It is possible to gravitate towards coffee, but your body stands to gain more from drinking rooibos and other herbal teas. You will surely be a healthier person when your kidney is cleaned, your body hydrated, and when you have lower levels of cholesterol. Similarly, herbal teas help you to lose weight and assuage your headaches, among other gains.

Exercise: When your body moves, more endorphins are released into the blood, making you a happier person. Both your mood and energy levels improve when you exercise. Where possible, walk to your place of work instead of driving. Depending on your personality, exercise in the morning or after work. It will help clear your mind.

Opt For Healthy Snacks Instead Of Processed Nibbles: Smoothies, fruits, a couple of nuts or your home-based energy bar are healthier choices compared to cookies and sausages.

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Enrich Your Food With Turmeric: This spice is packed with medicinal properties and plenty of other benefits. Nothing adds more value to your pasta and rice meals, sauces and soups like turmeric.

You see how easy is ease to adapt these practices into your daily lifestyle? A time will come when you will not imagine your life without them. Along the way, you will pick up other similarly-beneficial habits. There is no substitute for your body. Nurture it.

 

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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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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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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Are You Obsessed With Social Media?

Whenever the word ‘addiction’ or ‘obsession’ is mentioned, we associate it with negativity. We believe that people can only get addicted to cigarettes, harmful drugs or other obnoxious substances and behaviours. Is that why we don’t notice or acknowledge that we are addicted to social media sites?

Asking pertinent questions…

What are the symptoms of this addiction? Are there negative repercussions in such a scenario?

Addiction is addiction – the terminology notwithstanding

It is important to begin by stating that there is no difference between addiction to drugs, work or social media in terms of the disruptions these activities bring to life and how they affect the individual in question and those around him or her. That is why you should think twice before castigating that person who is sinking under the weight of cocaine, if you exhibit some of the symptoms we are about to discuss.

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How to self-diagnose your social media addiction

The good thing about social media obsession is that you don’t need to sit before an expert and explain your symptoms for you to know you are hooked. You can do it yourself. Here’s how:

    1. You wake up in the morning and turn to your phone (incidentally it ‘sleeps’ under your pillow), turn on the internet and check whether there is anything you missed on FB while you were asleep.
    2. Your phone is connected to the internet while you spruce up to go leave your house because you don’t want to miss out on interesting posts that are trending in your Whatsup group.
    3. Breakfast is on the table but you have one eye on your phone going through all the stuff being shared in your group.
    4. You don’t forget to take a photo of your breakfast and display it or FB, Twitter or even Instagram just to show your friends and followers what you ate!
    5. You give live updates of everything happening in your life, tagging people to photos and videos and ensuring they know what you are dressed in. Even when you are bored and tired, you make sure the world knows it.

  • Every idle moment, including when you are in a bus or train, is used to make observations of people and funny events and to post images of what you come across.
  • You are on social media most of the time, visiting as many platforms as possible because you are on almost all the sites.
  • When your friends want to find you, they don’t need to call you or come to your office or home. You have a reputation of being online most of the day, even at odd hours, thus making it easy to locate you.
  • There is this game you are playing and you cannot resist reaching the next level; after all you are competing with many other people in your group and you want to have the bragging rights.
  • You are the selfie queen. Every time you meet with important people and some nobodies is time for a selfie, which you promptly post on social media and boast about the meeting the persons on the photo.

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  • I don’t want to get into details of those who tweet while performing some vital duties in lavatories or those who are quick to get the details of some famous dead folks and giving breaking news of the death of such celebrities.

Why you should act!

This list is endless. What is important is that you realize that social media obsession is taking away precious time that you could use reading, discussing face-to-face with loved ones and consciously interacting with other people. It is unfortunate that you can spend more time with people you barely know or those who are far removed from you while neglecting those around you and who matter most to you.

Eventually you will begin to neglect your own hygiene and personal needs to pander to the vain expectations of other people. Remember social media creates a false image of perfection that you are expected to fit in and since you cannot attain it, you end up with low self-esteem, despondency and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

How to end the obsession

  1. Ditch social media sites. Pull down your accounts and be free of this addiction for ever.
  2. If you cannot leave social media completely, reduce the number of sites you are in; after all the same people you follow on Twitter are your friends on FB.
  3. Come up with a social media schedule in which you spend a few hours every week catching up with the latest news, thus leaving the rest of the week for serious stuff.
  4. Spend more of your free time with real people, chatting, laughing, enjoying a meal or beverage, travelling and helping the poor instead of wasting all your productive time on social media.
  5. Work on your attitude, self-esteem, grooming and other personal elements away from social media and create a unique style for yourself so you don’t fall victim of unrealistic expectations of social media.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Get Rid of Old Stuff and Start Anew in 2016!

The whole world belongs to humanity. However, there are some spaces that belong to individuals. You own such a place. It is your house, bedroom and so on. Occasionally, a lot of dirty stuff and other cluttering materials accumulate and this leads to physical, emotional and spiritual stagnation.

Is it normal to have stuff we don’t need?

Once you understand how the stuff you don’t need dirt contribute to your attitude and personal life, you will realise the need to rid yourself of the old and allow new and fresh ideas into your life. Often, we think that having stuff we don’t need is just a normal issue. But is that really true?

Think about those cards that your former boyfriend sent you many years ago and which you keep in a small or big box somewhere in your house. Are they really worth keeping today? How about those old shoes and clothes that you don’t wear anymore? Is there something more useful you can do with such space? How about the dust that emanates from these spaces, hurting your health? How many people would benefit from those old clothes that you are keeping and which you cannot wear because they are out of fashion or cannot fit you anymore? Even if you don’t want to donate your stuff to the poor why not convert them into money? You can sell your used books on Amazon and spend the proceeds in other ways.

It is unfortunate that you lost that close family member. However, keeping their old clothes and other bulky mementos in a closed room in your house is not the best way to celebrate the dead. Wouldn’t it be better to remember you late relatives by giving out their stuff to the needy?

Beyond getting rid of old stuff here is the philosophical angle of de-cluttering

The old and bulky stuff that occupies our precious spaces is closely connected to our relationships, histories, identities and also feelings of self-worth. We choose to keep old photos and personal belongings of our dead relatives because we want to remember them. Those romantic letters from your childhood flame are important for your history and also to remind you of your worth when somebody else rejects you.Many a times when you go through your stuff you are going through an emotional journey. Every item reminds you of a specific time in your life when you were either happy or sad. Some photos bring fond memories of people you once knew. There are also those photos that you don’t even want to look at a second time because they bring back painful memories. In essence, whatever you keep that has no use currently carries memories and emotions that are either positive or negative. When you decide to get rid of such stuff, you are getting rid of those memories and feelings. Consequently, it is important that you sort out your stuff carefully before you burn some documents, throw away some papers, sell some personal stuff or even donate to charity.

Woman buried under an untidy cluttered woman wardrobe. Woman in high heels needs help from to much shopping. Shopaholic girl.

How your dirty and bulky stuff affects you emotionally…

Experience has shown that people who have unwanted stuff that occupies space unnecessarily in their lives also have emotional problems corresponding to the clutter in their lives. In those old shoes, clothes, letter, photos and other stuff are negative feelings and experiences that you need to let go. Many have never forgotten their former lovers. They keep photos and other mementos of their former flames. As a result, they spend a lot of time comparing current lovers with past ones and end up with broken hearts because no two people are the same.

Your house lacks vital energy because, where that power should be, because you have chosen to keep the personal belongings of your grandparent who died many years ago. There is no way new positive energy will come your way if you don’t create space for it. Those projects you have not completed for many years fill you with frustration and desperation. You have even allowed some people to store their unwanted stuff in your house. It is stuffy, dirty and uncomfortable. You cannot think creatively in your own house.

A new beginning

As you begin the New Year you need to create time to sort out valuable items that deserve to be retained and those that belong to charity or the trash bin. Look around you and you will realise that a huge chunk of the stuff in your house is simply useless junk that clutters your life without adding any value to you.

The New Year offers you an opportunity to begin life anew. Getting rid of old stuff should be a gradual process because it is not easy to let some stuff to go. However, always remember that the moment you get rid of unwanted stuff, you will get a new dose of optimism that will help you live more productively in the New Year. Free yourself of trash and live in a clean physical, emotional and mental environment.

Woman Standing By Bedroom Window And Opening Curtains

With love,

Grace Guru

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The Essence and Beauty of a Smile!

If you knew the potency of a smile, you would use it more often. The hearts doesn’t lie and one of the languages of the heart is your smile. Did you know that that positive reaction you craved from people, but never received, was denied because you never smiled? There is a profound science behind a smile which you should know so that you use this weapon more often to your advantage.

Non-verbal communication

Did you know that a lot of the meaning we share in communication is actually non-verbal? People tend to believe more in what you don’t say than in what comes out of your mouth. One of the non-verbal cues that people resort to in order to judge your intentions and character is your smile. Even little children avoid older people who don’t smile genuinely and often!

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Smiles are like communicable diseases

A smile is a contagious cue that transmits an emotion. More importantly, a sincere smile is easy to decipher and it comes our involuntarily. Your mood or emotion is like a barometer that people use to gauge approachability. Your smile represents the units of measurement. When you smile, you are telling the people around you that you are a positive minded person they should get close to you.

In addition, a smile elevates your mood and the emotions of people around you. Have you ever noticed how a smiling child brings cheer to people in the vicinity, including strangers? Try looking at a mirror and smiling at your face and you will be surprised at how your smiling mirror image will create wells of positive feelings inside you.

Research has shown that when a positive-minded and smiling person enters a room, the mood of the people in that space is transformed to reflect what the newcomer has introduced. The opposite is true. A smile is like an echo that must reflect back. The only way you can make people to view you positively is to be genuinely concerned about them to the extent that it shows on your face through your smile.

What else does research say about smiling?

• What would you feel if someone gave you a big amount of cash or you won the jackpot in a lottery? That is the feeling a simple smile will give you at no cost.

• When you smile, you help your body to fight against worry while simultaneously bringing down you heart rate and blood pressure.

• Do you love eating chocolate? A smile will bring so much happiness your way that not even 2000 chocolate bars will!

• A child will smile 400 times more than you every day. The best most of us can accomplish is 40 to 50 times, if we really love to smile.

• Endorphins, the feel-good hormones in your brain, are secreted when you smile thus increasing your propensity for positivity and success.

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Let’s be more practical

When you smile often you increase your chances of succeeding in your interactions with other people and also in your individual pursuits. A smile is sometimes the differences between the job candidate who secures employment and the one who merely attends an interview. Of course you know that interviewers are human who cannot resist a smile!

A smile makes one salesperson successful while grumpiness drags the other person to failure even though the two have similar qualifications and the same products to sell. The reason some shopkeepers have a constant flow of customers and others end up closing shop in the first month is because one smiles with customers and the other doesn’t. Indeed as the Chinese say, “If you can’t smile, don’t open a shop!”

One woman has a hard time getting men to notice her despite her natural beauty and the added magic of makeup and stylish dressing. Another woman is confused on how to choose the right man for her because the number that is attracted to her warm genuine smile is too high to handle.

How then do you make smiling a natural habit?

1. Be grateful for who you are and what you have and you will realise you have something to give to the world including a genuine smile.
2. Maintain a positive mind-set and you will realize that the world has so much to laugh and be happy about.
3. Fake it till you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at yourself. Visualise yourself smiling before people and feel the positive vibrations you will create in these people.
4. Keep in mind that special person in your life. Think about the many happy times you shared together and particular events that are unforgettable for both of you.
5. Learn to see the unusual and hilarious side of life. There are many events, people, movies, songs and many other issues that should not leave you without a smile.
6. Surround yourself with positive minded people who also like to smile. Soon you will catch the smiling diseases and never get cured!

Finally, please remember to smile genuinely!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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How to Make Your Resolutions A Reality

Positive thinking and the law of attraction have continued to mesmerise people over the years. In particular, the idea that by visualising something and holding that image in the mind can actually bring that object to a person is popular among people. But does it always work like that? What lessons can we learn from visualisation to help us realise our New Year resolutions?

Some people cannot tell the boundary between fantasising and visualising. You can create fantasies in your mind about a car you want to purchase and believe that simply by dreaming about it, it will be actualised. This is what most naïve practitioners of positive thinking believe. Most of what people call the law of attraction is actually lopsided and unable to yield results, unless by coincidence.

Earn Your Results

One of the tenets of life that many people ignore is the fact that results must be earned even when visualisation is part of the equation. According to research, you stand to gain if you focus on the real steps that you will take to achieve your dream instead of fantasising about the dream itself. You are better off thinking and planning the process of achievement instead of wasting time on the potential outcome.

It is human to try and avoid the long and practical route. We want the shortcut and that is why we believe that fantasy will yield fruits without exerting any efforts. Your mind normally believes in the images you create for it. It is possible to create an image of success and convince the mind that it has already been achieved, thus negating any need for real effort.

First – Visualise Your Action

That is like putting the cart before the horse. To do things the right way would be to visualise the efforts first before the outcome. The moment you base you aspirations on a solid foundation of action, you are on the path to success. In essence, you cannot simply set New Year resolutions and wait for time and chance to make them happen simply because you have ingrained the image of your expected outcome deeply in your mind. The moment you glorify dreams at the expense of pertinent action, you lose the way to success.

Your New Year resolutions are good but you must chart the path to them. While your destination is known to you, it is impossible to get there unless you know the way and actually travel on it. You will do yourself a great favour if you identify the way and start visualising how you will cover every step. Before you realise it, you will have covered every mile and arrived where you always wanted to be.

See yourself going through the steps to your resolutions instead of fantasising and feeling excited that you have arrived even before starting your journey. It is not naturally for fruits to grow where the roots are or vice versa. Everything has its place in the scheme of things. Nature does not change its processes and principles to favour you. You must plan based on the infallible laws of nature.

Second – Take Action 

Now that we are clear that you must focus on the actions you will take towards achieving your New Year resolutions, begin to realistically act on your plan. The first point would be to fight doubt. Doubt is the water that douses the flame that is your dreams. It is rare for a person to have a dream without some lingering thoughts of self-doubt in the background. The difference between successful people and those who don’t make it is that the former decide to stifle self-defeating thoughts.

The next important action you must take is to work on your positives and affirm your positive conduct. This New Year, you need to work on eradicating your negative thoughts while at the same time adopting positive behaviour. Think about your strengths and focus on making them even better and surpassing what you have already done. For example, waking up early to exercise will lead you gradually to your fitness goals instead of fantasising over the ideal image.

Another crucial step towards your dream is to stop procrastinating. Granted, there will always be a tomorrow to accomplish your goals if you are too tired and have enough excuses not to do anything today. However, that tomorrow may be next month or next year and you will not have realised your objectives. Procrastination is one of the greatest thieves of time or so we are told. Don’t fall into the temptation of having excuses for what you should be doing now.

To complement these efforts, exercise mindfulness as you plan for the New Year. Concentrate on one action at a time. Mindfulness teaches us to focus instead of multitasking. Give each action towards your resolution the time and effort it requires before moving to the next one. Only then will you realise your plans for the New Year.

Happy New Year! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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