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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Dangerous GMO’s!

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

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

Understanding GMO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

Why, should you be concerned?

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

Woman's hand holding the sun over wheat field.

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

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

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

What should we do?

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

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

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

With love,

Grace Guru 

XXX

 

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The Secrets to Sleeping Like a Baby

Insomnia – that monster that befriends you just when you need sleep most – has reached alarming levels. There is an epidemic of sleeplessness. None of us is immune from this condition. It is important for us to find out what causes insomnia and how to overcome it if we really want to sleep like the babies we once were.

When sleep avoids you…

When was the last time you had a restful night and enjoyed it for two to three consecutive days? With all the cares of this life, you go to bed expecting that you will doze off as soon as you slip under the blanket. Unfortunately, many are the times you will roll and roll on your bed hoping and wishing that sleeps will come your way but in vain.

Melatonin and the science of sleep

Let us first understand the science behind insomnia. There is a neurochemical that is secreted in your brain that controls your sleep patterns. Melatonin, once released into your blood, makes you drowsy, relaxed and sends you to dreamland. This chemical is there in your system during the day but in low quantities. As the evening wears, on melatonin increases until about 2 am, when it peaks.

Interfering with melatonin flow

In essence, sleeplessness is a result of interfering with the natural flow of melatonin in the body. The solution lies in exercising mindfulness. You should know when the body is telling you to sleep. You must stop interfering with the natural cycle of melatonin in the blood. By now you know that taking caffeine drinks is one way of ensuring you don’t sleep when you expect to.

More importantly, you need to time your sleep to coincide with the melatonin wave. One way of doing this is to come to terms with your day shortly before you go to sleep. While sitting on your bed, shut your eyes and reflect on the issues that you have not resolved, then simply allow them to go. Now breathe deeply and lie down.

You can also lie on your back, concentrate on your breathing and relax your body and mental faculties as you breathe in deeply. Try as much as possible to be at ease in this position and sleep will encroach gradually into your territory. When this happens, turn to your favourite side and enjoy restful sleep.

Watching television before going to sleep

The blue light rays that come from your television, laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and other electronic screens, interferes with the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland. Consequently, if you use such gadgets and immediately go to sleep you are likely to take some time before sleep catches up with you.

For this reason, the best time to go to sleep if you have been using these gadgets is after one hour. Ensure you finish working with these devices early enough such that you have time for other activities that will take at least one hour. How about arranging your clothes or washing dishes before you sleep?

Sleeping in a cluttered bedroom

Your bedroom should be a sacred place. The moment you allow this important room to be disorganized and cluttered you send away sleep. Avoid distracting your sleep by all means. For example, watching TV or working on the computer in the bedroom will expose you to blue light and we have already analysed the consequences of such action.

Have as few extras items in the bedroom as possible. Let every item in the bedroom be related to sleep. Ensure your beddings are clean and well-spread. Let the mattress be flat and comfortable. The pillow should also prop you up based on your body and should be comfortable enough.

Lack of exercise and relaxation

Your body needs to be relaxed before you go to sleep. You can achieve this by engaging in yoga. Begin with meditation to bring your body, mind and soul into harmony. Sit comfortably on your bed and prop you body up with a pillow or other comfortable material. Cross your legs, close your eyes and begin to stretch your body using any of the less-involving yoga exercises.

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Among the recommended yoga exercises to induce sleep include seated twist, corpse pose cross-legged bend, forward bend, knees-to-chest pose, reclining twist, reclining big-toe hold and half happy baby. Regardless of the posture, make sure your mind is relaxed and that you feel every part of it. Remember to practice mindfulness as this will promote body immunity and regulate your blood pressure too.

Other reason for insomnia

Lack of sleep can also be caused by chronic pain, allergies, anxiety, depression, some types of medicine and neurological diseases. Ensure you seek medical or psychological help as the case may be because some of these issues are beyond your ability.

To sum up, you need to deal with the causes of insomnia in your life because you really deserve to sleep like a baby as this is an important step towards making yourself productive the following day. Sleep is vital; pursue it at all costs!

 

family sleeping on the bed with question mark concept

 

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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Change Your Attitude for You to Make It

Many people do not live their dreams because they choose to believe in lies. We are all born with the desire to be better and to surpass our expectations. Nobody wants to lead a mediocre or low life. If desire were to translate into reality without any effort all of us would be living in utopia. However, the role of beliefs in determining success or otherwise cannot be ignored.

What is it that you believe that makes you less than successful?

The Law of Attraction holds that the mind and the mouth have power for good or evil. The mind does not differentiate between the truth and lies if you make it belief any of the two. When you believe in a lie and want it to happen so strongly, it will.It is, therefore, important that we establish which lies these are because once we do, we will have the strength to change our attitudes and actions. Perhaps it is because we are afraid of succeeding, or we think we don’t deserve it or we are simply naïve. The fact is that we have to watch what we believe if we are to avoid falling into the failure trap. Before we delve into those lies, you need to remember that the Law of Attraction works in all circumstances irrespective of whether you believe it or not. Moreover, only after overcoming identifying the lies you have accumulated over time and getting rid of them will you be able to take full advantage of the law of attraction.

Here are the lies:

  1. You believe that you can’t do that thing or accomplish that project and you convince your mind so. This is the beginning of failure. The moment you plant a seed of doubts in your heart, you immobilize your mental capabilities. The mind believes that there is no need to act because no success will be realized.
  2. You believe you don’t know where you should start your journey to accomplishment. It is important to realize that nobody really knows where to start. The secret has always been to start where you are with what you have. The right way, if it ever existed, will become visible when you take the path available to you. Unfortunately, many of us wallow in the suffocating dust of perfectionism, waiting for the perfect opportunity, which eventually never comes.
  3. You believe you don’t have the means to actualize your dream: Unless you were born in a king’s house or your father is a dollar billionaire, there is no time you will have all the money you need for a project. According to the law of attraction, what you need is an idea and the desire to pursue that thought to the end. If you don’t have a viable idea even the largest amount of money will not lift you out of misery.

Man with long nose isolated on grey wall background. Liar concept. Human face expressions, emotions, feelings.

A dose of positivity

Many of those who fail to reach their dreams lack a positive mind-set. The law of attraction teaches us to be optimistic. When we believe everything will turn out well even in the midst of gloom, the mind and body will find a way of getting us out of the mess. Instead of folding your hands and lamenting about how nothing goes well in your life, you should start believing and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. The mind is a very powerful tool that you can manipulate to your advantage. You need to mould your mind to embrace life positively. Whatever you convince your mind it can accomplish, it will. Similarly, when you believe in the lies that you cannot accomplish a certain task or project, the mind will obey you. It is, therefore, important to understand that life will always have its disadvantages but only hope, faith and optimism will help you out of the gloom.

Positive vibes only custom hand lettering apparel t-shirt print design, typographic composition phrase quote poster

We limit ourselves by the beliefs we have. Within us is limitless possibility. When you use an iPhone and its capabilities remember a human being like you had that idea in mind and went ahead to actualize it. If the Wright Brothers had listened to the negative voice that says “I can’t” probably we would not have aeroplanes today. Life has unfathomable possibilities staring at you but without a dose of belief and optimism, you will never see beyond your current situation. If you are looking for excuses as to why you should not succeed in a certain course, you don’t need a lot of effort because life presents them to you. However, if you choose to see with the eye of faith and recognise the little door opening somewhere in your world, you will make a difference.

The right moment does not exists

“Nothing goes well in my life” is the song of the person who chooses to wait for the right moment and the one who is too fearful to try. Determine to get out of that trap today. Open the inner eye and attract the kind of life you always wanted by practicing optimism and positivity.

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX

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The Ultimate New Year’s Cleanse!

Every New Year is an opportunity for you to start life anew. People make resolutions to transform their lives positively. Sometimes I wonder why these resolutions do not include eating and dieting. Considering the many health problems in our society, it is time you made the wise decision to cleanse your body in 2016.

Not An Expensive Exercise

Detoxing your body should be high up on your list of the things you must do this year. I need to state from the onset that cleansing your body does not have to be expensive. In fact, if you use food as your primary cleanser, you need to incur any extra costs on top of your grocery expenditure.

Why Should You Detox?

It is also important to remember that the beginning of the year is a very important time to detox because of the effects of the festivities on your body. Think of the damage you will have caused your body through uncontrolled eating, poor eating habits and consuming of unhealthy foods, and you will appreciate the need to give your internal organs a healthful bath.

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Here are practical ideas you may want to implement this year to ensure your body is clean and healthy at all times.

  1. Water. Water

I cannot emphasise this more. You need to take as much water as possible every day, the recommended minimum is eight glasses every day, but that does not stop you from taking more. Moreover, while ‘water’ here is taken to mean fluids, please take pure / distilled water as much as you can. Remember this is the fluid that is crucial in almost all body processed including carrying nutrients to the cells. Toxins will be flushed out and your brain will function more effectively when you take water regularly and generously.

 

  1. Eat a lot of Fruits and Vegetables

The toxins in your body are mostly as a result of eating unwholesome food. One way of flushing them out is to eat fruits and vegetables in large amounts. Remember fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and other disease-fighting elements. They also have fibre which provides roughage and aids digestion. Research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables lose weight faster than those who don’t. I am sure you know that excess weight is an indicator that your body has toxins that need to be expelled.

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  1. Replace caffeinated beverages with apples

What do you take for breakfast? Many of us cannot imagine breakfast without tea or coffee. It is customary and we think it is mandatory. But what do these beverages contain? They have caffeine and other stimulants that continue to detoxify the body every time we take them, yet we ignore that fact. I suggest you take apples instead. They have pure and long lasting energy for the day ahead. They also keep hunger pangs away for long, which means you are unlikely to overeat during the day. Are we not in the middle of an obesity epidemic? Apples will also give you vitamin B12 which is vital for your health. I suggest you also pack your breakfast with soy milk, yoghurt and eggs while minimising coffee and tea intake.

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  1. Eat adequate amounts of protein

Many of us neglect proteins and instead eat a lot of carbs which in turn leads to unhealthy weight gain. To ensure your body is clean, you need to eat fish, eggs, beef, mutton, pork, poultry meat, milk and other forms of protein. Proteins are also found abundantly in legumes like beans and pulses. The good thing with proteins is that they help to build body cells, tissues and muscles. Considering the natural wear and tear of these important body elements, proteins are very important as part of your diet. However, ensure you eat the prescribed 45g a day and opt for white instead of red meat.

  1. Be temperate in eating

Eating is good but it must be controlled if the body is to be detoxified. Some of the people who are obese did not get into their current conditions because they did not eat the right food. Their mistakes was to consume more than what they needed. The body is burdened and poisoned when we eat in excess of our needs. The excess food is store in form of body fat but this is done after the digestive system has been given surplus work to do. Eat smaller portions more often, chew slowly and allow the body time to digest before you take another meal.

  1. Shun sedentary lifestyle

The food you eat cannot be digested and assimilated effectively simply because you chewed it well. You will greatly aid your digestion and detoxification processes by exercising in one way or another after eating. Take a walk or hit the gym occasionally. Engage in household chores so as to move your body. This will quicken digestion and give your body time to rest and make use of the food you have eaten.

Change your diet and eating habits to make sure you have a Happy, toxin-free and healthy 2016!

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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Super Easy & Super Healthy Workplace Habits

Your workplace is one of the most important spaces in your life. The place where you make your living. It is in this space that you build a career and nurture social relations with your colleagues. A significant chunk of your life will be spent working, which makes this place all the more important. But apart from work, what else can you do to make your workplace a more comfortable space?

Not Always Blissful!

Let us face the truth. Workplaces are not always comfortable and desirable. A slave driver of a boss does not make your life pleasurable. Nosy colleagues may create a scenario that you wish to run away from. Clients can be difficult to deal with. Sitting behind a desk and computer the entire day may not be your cup of coffee. In essence, you are not guaranteed enjoyment in your work station. You have to find a way to lighten your burden and bring cheer to your day!

Maintaining Your Health And Sanity

That is why you need to learn new super easy and super healthy workplace habits to incorporate in your daily schedule! We are talking about habits that help you to remain healthy and sane throughout the day. Believe me; you can easily lose your mind, although momentarily, when certain stressful situations arise. The following habits are worth learning and practicing in your workplace:

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness means that you are aware of yourself, your environment and the happenings within that surrounding. It also implies that you can observe what is happening but defer your judgment. In other words, you can detach yourself from events surrounding you so as to concentrate on one issue that is important to you. You also avoid reacting spontaneously to issues and choose rather understand what is happening.

In the workplace, you can practice mindfulness by reminding yourself of your roles and responsibilities every day before you begin working. It is also important to recall the mandate and objectives of the organisation. With this in mind, your mind will not wander a lot. You will also avoid working on issues that do not add value to the organisation. Mindfulness will help you to be productive because you will accomplish one task at a time.

A person that exercises mindfulness also leaves workplace issues behind before going home. More often than not, we steal joy from our homes when we carry home the stress we should have left at work. Mindfulness means that you reflect on your accomplishments before leaving your workplace and ensuring that chapter is closed until you return the next day.

Young woman doing yoga on the mat on the roof, sitting in lotus posture, looking at camera and smiling

  1. Meditation

Whenever meditation is mentioned, some people think of long sessions of silence and prayer. While there is some truth in such beliefs, the truth is that you can actually meditate for short durations in your workplace. Before we get to the specifics, we need to understand that meditation can calm your mind and help you to focus on what you are doing thus eliminating many of the casual mistakes you make daily.

You can meditate at regular intervals (say one hour) if your work station and schedule allow. Alternatively, you can take time to reflect when there is no much work. Whichever way, ensure you are comfortable. Preferably, have a mat in your workplace if circumstances and regulations permit.

In your meditation, ensure you feel every part of the body. Practice breathing deeply and make sure you feel the sensations travelling through your body. Once you have blocked off distractions in your environment, sit still, relax and breathe rhythmically. As you do so, identify one part of your body that you want to ‘listen’ to. It could be your feet or even your heartbeat. By the end of your exercise, you will have strength and motivation to face the next challenge.

caucasian business woman in eyeglasses relaxing neck,stretching arms - short break for exercise on chair  in office

  1. Physical Exercises

Space within which you operate may not be big enough, but you can still stretch out your body. Deskbound living is damaging our bodies. However, since most of us work in such circumstances, we need to find ways of making the body active. There are quite a number of exercises that you can engage in without much hustle in your workplace.

For example, you can stretch out your body while supporting it using furniture in your office. You can improvise push-ups or other forms of exercise as long as your body is not injured. After sitting for a long duration, you can perform squats or stretch out your legs or hands. Walking around the office after sitting for some time will also help to stretch out body parts which have been constricted after sitting for long.

Exercises in the workplace will keep your mind and body healthy and also promote interaction since you will be forced to leave your desk and visit other people’s stations to see what they are doing. The most important issue is that you don’t spend all the time seated and that you take the time to move around and stretch out your body. Remember you can significantly improve your workplace experience through mindfulness, meditation and simple exercises.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Be A Conscious Leader

In leadership, every guru has his or her own approach and readers and students often end up confused as to who is telling the truth. The fact is that the best leadership approach is the one that works for the practitioner’s and followers’ situations. I know I am sounding as if I am advancing my own theory too. I have right to do so, don’t I?

Allow me to state my opinion in a different way. In the absence of a clear definition of leadership and above the din of a multiplicity of theories, good leadership can only be defined through the leader’s effectiveness in influencing followers towards a noble and mutually beneficial course. However, unless you are a conscious leader, you will gradually develop into an empty shell that eventually runs of content and inspiration.

Who Is A Conscious Leader?

Have you ever met a motivational speaker who is in dire need of the inspiration he or she purports to offer? For example, do you know a renowned financial teacher who became bankrupt after some time? I know one and I am sure you have another one in mind. How possible is it that one can be the recipient of so much wisdom and be the channel for benefiting many, yet fail to gain from the same wealth of knowledge.

Now I can explain what a conscious leader is. This is leader who is in touch with his or her own life and who does not lose sight of himself or herself in the process of leadership. If you are a conscious leader, you lead by example because of the conviction you hold on the issues you share with your followers. A conscious leader is first a disciple of the philosophy he or she subscribes to before becoming a leader.

You must own your life story and implement the change you want to see in others. Only after taking charge and responsibility over your life do you become a conscious leader who can guide others in a particular direction.

What Do You Need To Do To Become A Conscious Leader?

  1. Have Your Own Philosophy Of Life

Throughout life, we are accustomed and socialised to live according to the dictates of those in authority like our parents, school authority and the government. However, as we grow, and especially if we desire to be effective leaders, we must begin to form our own philosophies and visions about life. Such ideologies spring from what we consider our purposes to be living on earth at this particular moment.

  1. Look At Life From A Larger Perspective

In the hustle and bustle of daily life it is possible to lose sight of the larger picture. A conscious leader understands that life is more than the struggle to place food on the table. You need to observe what others take for granted; to see the trends that others don’t, and to make out the connections that are only visible to those who dare to question life itself.

  1. Connect With Your Inner Self

There is no way you are going to be a conscious leader if you don’t know yourself. Understanding what moves and motivates you is essential if you are to help your followers to lead productive lives. Whether you are going to pray or meditate is not the problem. The most important thing is that you have some quiet time with yourself for rejuvenation, inspiration and re- strategising.

woman meditating in lotus pose on the beach at sunset

  1. Learn To Listen

A conscious leader is one who listens. Listening entails giving undivided attention to the other person while absorbing what they are telling you. It demands for compassion and sympathy to the plight of your followers. If you have learned to listen to your inner voice, then you can listen to others without judging them, thus becoming a conscious leader.

  1. Accept Criticism

A story is told of a despotic tyrant who used to kill ministers who criticised him even after encouraging them to correct him whenever he went wrong. The mark of a conscious leader is one who is open to criticism and correction by those he or she leads and even opponents. No one is perfect and people will point out to you areas in your life that need to be rectified. Accept genuine criticism and make necessary changes as you go along.

  1. Invest In Your Followers

As a conscious leader you should never forget that you are a leader because you have followers. Whether you are a spiritual leader, politician or manager, when you invest in the personal and professional development of your followers, you gain more credibility. Followers will not remain with you for long if they don’t find anything of value or if they feel the cause is benefiting you only.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Conscious Leadership?

  1. Only conscious leadership is real leadership. The best example you can give to your followers is to live the dream you are championing.
  2. Leadership begins with a clear vision. Never forget your vision and what it entails.
  3. Find a strategy of overcoming stress especially in a manner that entails withdrawing from the larger public for some specific periods on a regular basis.
  4. Believe in your followers just as they believe in you. When you lose confidence in them, you lose confidence in your leadership abilities.
  5. Learn to be thankful for your life, position, people around you and the leadership responsibility you are holding.
  6. There is a reason you are a leader and the rest are followers. Whatever makes them love and follow you, strengthen as a conscious leader.
  7. Be happy. Joy is infectious. If you can bring cheer to your soul, it will be reflected in the lives of your followers too.
  8. Communicate as often as possible. The heart of leadership is constant flow of messages between all parties involved.
  9. Motivate your followers. As a conscious leader, you need to understand each of your followers, where possible, and come up with strategies to lift them up when despondency sets in.
  10. Never forget that your happiness and that of your followers are intertwined.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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