Category Archives: inner beauty

LOVE IN ALL IT`S SPLENDOR

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How do you see  love and being loved?

I have always been a person that was hungry for love, to give love and to be loved. Since I can remember the idea that I had of love was like a Hollywood movie, full of drama, romance and high emotions at all times.

With my experiences in my relationships, I think I attracted willingly my idea of love but was it ever so draining and tiring.  Living at a constant state of powerful emotions, I love you, I hate you, fighting and making up. The middle was never an option for me, I didn`t even realize that I did have this option available because my perception was not real, romantic novels and movies are not real life. As a true romantic I needed to change my perception and my definition of love.

 

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First came the notion of self-love

With experience comes knowledge and wisdom for all of us and we can choose to repeat old patterns and expect different results but we can also chose to change our patterns and truly receive different results in every area of or life. We can choose to be a victim or the take responsibility for what we have co-created.

My idea of love changed completely and the more I started to honor myself, to love myself, to understand my being, my essence. To nourish my values, my commitments and my dreams. The less I needed to find someone to complete me because I felt complete on my own. The less I searched for love outside of myself. It was all and always was present from within, self-love simply needed to be nourished by encouraging it in my daily practice. I made a clear decision to divorce emotionally and mentally my past relationships and to start practicing new ways of love. This extended in my life, in all of my relationships, family, friends and even work. It has even extended in how I treat my home my things, the productivity of my work and with love we plant seeds, with nourishment we allow things to grow, with care we obtain results.

 

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How I define love now

Love is acceptance, love is patience, love is respect, love is choosing your battles, love is space, love is peace, love is being responsible for you own happiness, love is sweet, forgiving and humble because none of us are perfect and we are all here to learn from our journey on this earth. Love is understanding.

Don`t love like a beggar, love like a king or a queen. What I mean by this is love with elegance, kindness, courage, intelligence, composure and deliberation so the person you are with knows where they stand. No one can guess what you are feeling or thinking so be open and communicate with ease and peace.

Love is taking responsibility for your own insecurities and working on theme so they do not consume your relationships. Love is not blame, it is not using someone’s vulnerabilities as ammo. Words are powerful and they cannot be taken back.

Never settle! You are deserving just like any living creature on this planet.

I send all of you love and hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to send me your opinion’s on this subject.

Mélika Emira Baccouch

PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES

49994394172a8ec05e7428102d4b8d21When I come home, I take off my shoes and go inside. I never thought to do it the other way around, until now.

Aside from the beach or your backyard, how often do you take off your shoes and walk around outside? If you are like me, you can’t remember when—it may have been sometime in childhood.

Every morning for the past 15 years, I’ve walked my dog in the woods next to my cottage. A couple of days ago I finally slipped off my shoes and walked barefoot. This is what I learned.

1. I still worry about what people think.

As soon as I took off my shoes I had a minute worrying that passerby’s might think I had either taken LSD or was stuck in the ’70s. I also realized how weird it was to have shoes on all of the time. We are animals after all. The only animals that wear lace up, padded shoes.

2. The earth is soft.

So soft in fact that it deeply moved me. Like touching a beloved’s cheek. The temperature of the dirt changed step after step depending on the tree cover over me, and the leaf litter under me. The moisture, the rocks, the shade, the direction of the wind. It all mattered.

3. Walking barefoot is best done slowly and gently.

This way of moving alters your mind and mood. The sharp rocks and prickly oak leaves are there, but it is no big deal. The animal in us knows how to shift our weight, slide a little to the left, step on a rock, or not.

4. Walking barefoot creates presence.

Mind chatter dissipates. The birds are less suspicious. We are quieter and the animals tend to stick around more. We notice sounds, smells and see more detail as we slowly pass by.

5. Sensing connection.

I could really sense the “mother” in mother earth as I stood on her warm skin. I felt the biosphere. The connection of us all. Roots nested under the soles of my feet, cool spikes of growth poking through the earth all around me, and leafing out above me. Feeling the rumble of the creek rise up through my small bones. The delicate nature of our world. I also realized why my dog walks where she walks.

Last month, my mentor, Martha Beck first encouraged me to remove my socks and shoes and venture out on the earth barefoot. We were at a retreat surrounded by horse pastures. I have been lucky enough to have spent much of my life in the company of wonderful horses but this was the very first time I was shoeless. It was a whole new, almost unexplainable experience. When the horses noticed me, they stopped eating and trotted up to the fence. I silently moved towards them. They seemed very curious and very calm. We stood together on the warm earth for a long while, and then noiselessly, we separated as one.

It is amazing to me how wearing shoes on my feet has separated me from so much of who I am, and what I am a part of.

I am completely aware that much of this may sound hokey but I encourage you to try this simple yet slightly radical act of slipping off your shoes and walking in the dirt. Please leave a comment and let me know what you discover.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/11/please-remove-your-shoes-how-to-find-the-mother-in-mother-earth/

Ayurvedic beauty tips for great skin

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Ayurveda was a very early adopter of the mantra that “beauty comes from within.” The 5,000 year-old-science is known for extolling the benefits of balancing the whole body, supporting digestive health, optimizing energy, and treating each individual according to her specific dosha (constitution)—and not just finding the right facial cleanser or aesthetician.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore skin and hair. In fact, Ayurveda’s got more beauty practices than Estee Lauder—and they all do double duty, boosting your overall wellness while they give you a glow.

Some of them might not sound all that intuitive—traditionally there’s a lot more oil used than lotions or creams, and exfoliation is part of the drill for detoxing purposes—so we asked top Ayurvedic practitioners to share some of their favorite holistic beauty tips that you can do easily. Put them in your routine now for that inner-outer beauty balance. —Ann Abel

1. Know your dosha. Your Ayurvedic constitution also points to your skin type, says Lisa Amechazurra, marketing manager for skin-care line VPK at Maharishi Ayurveda. (The VPK line stands for the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.) Vata is thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate and wrinkle-prone; Pitta is susceptible to rashes, breakouts, and rosacea if out of balance; and Kapha is thicker and oilier, prone to enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, and eczema. Her company’s website provides great information about treating each one, as well as other Ayurvedic beauty secrets.

2. Let the seasons dictate your skin care. Siva Mohan, an Ayurvedic doctor at Svastha Health in Long Beach, California, says constitution-based skin care has it’s place, “there are seasonal approaches that are even more important. Even if someone has a Vata constitution, they will have to balance Pitta during the heat of the summer. Our climate is a significant energetic input. All approaches to summer beauty from an Ayurvedic standpoint are about balancing Pitta dosha, or bringing in the opposite qualities of Pitta.”

3. Moisturize your face with coconut oil and whip up facial masks. Dr. Mohan likes coconut oil for daily use because it’s cooling in nature, and not too heavy. Some women swear by ghee (clarified butter), which you could also try. Dr. Mohan says masks are your go-to: dry and irritated skin will bounce back with an organic castor oil mask. And if you suffer from the opposite, you absorb excess oil with chickpea flour. Use it as base for masks to absorb excess oil from the face, chest and back, she says.

4. Exfoliate with sugar instead of salt. Sugar helps boost cell turnover and retains moisture, and it’s considered cooling (not heating), which makes it good for summer. Svastha recommends mixing it with cooling, rejuvenating herbs and botanicals such as rose petals, slippery elm, and bhringraj, for a facial scrub. (She stocks them; your local drugstore probably won’t.)

5. Swab your skin with raw milk—or bathe in it. “Full-fat milk or cream-based masks are wonderful for soothing and cooling irritated or inflamed skin,” says Dr. Mohan. Once a day dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of raw milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores. Thanks to its fats and lactic acid, “it has tremendous moisturizing, softening properties,” says Ritu Srivastava, spa manager at the Ayurvedic spa, Ananda in the Himalayas in India. Adding milk or cream to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin. And if you’re vegan, coconut milk has similar properties, says Dr. Mohan

6. Use rosewater as a toner. Dr. Mohan likes rosewater spray because “it smells good and feels great” and can be used several times a day. “Roses are cooling and support soft, supple skin.”

7. Spot-treat with neem oil. Use a cotton swab to apply it directly to pimples or spots of minor inflammation and “let it do its magic overnight,” says Dr. Mohan. “It’s drying and similar to tea tree oil but more cooling and better suited for the summer.”

8. Add aloe vera to your regular regimen. Srivastava says the plant isn’t just for sunburns. It makes the skin smooth, supple and younger looking. Some women apply it topically, like a toner or treatment. Others swear by a daily swig or sipping it in a juice.

9. Practice oil pulling. Swishing sesame or coconut oil instead of Listerine has become a super popular practice of late. And while you’d think its immediate benefits would be related to oral hygiene, the idea is that a healthy mouth boosts your overall wellness (healthy gums are related to healthy heart) and that it aids in all-over detoxification. Here’s how to do it.

10. Use a raw silk gharshana glove or natural bristle dry brush on your body. It’s key to toned and firm skin, great for places that retain fluid, and helps cellulite, says Dr. Pratima Raichur, author of Ayurvedic beauty bible, Absolute Beauty. For Vata and Pitta skin types (dry or sensitive skin), use a raw silk gharshana glove for an effective but less abrasive form of exfoliation. For Kapha skin type (thicker, oily skin), use a natural bristle brush. Starting with your feet, massage in upward, circular motions toward the heart. Then rinse off.

11. Make hair lustrous with coconut oil. In addition to imparting sheen, it provides strengthening nourishment to the hair, says Srivastava. Take your time massaging it in (add essential oils of geranium, lavender, and rosemary, like at the spa, if you can) to improve circulation and slough off dead skin cells, which is said to help hair growth.

12. Slather yourself in oils—and learn the art of self-massage. Jenoa Navarrete, product development manager for VPK, says massage is as important to boosting radiance as it is to helping manage stress. “For example, Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic massage done with warm massage oil, not only deeply moisturizes but afterward, you’ll look and feel more radiant. It offers many health benefits when done regularly, as well.” Can’t slip away to the spa? Use an Ayurvedic oil and work from your face down to the soles of your feet. And good news—even two minutes before bed helps.

Abhyanga Ayurvedic Self Massage

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There is no greater expression of self-love than lovingly anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil—this practice is called Abyanga. The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth.

A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity. Regular Abyanga is especially grounding and relaxing for Vata dosha imbalances, but everyone can benefit from this practice.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
(One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging

Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body

Imparts a firmness to the limbs

Lubricates the joints

Increases circulation

Stimulates the internal organs of the body

Assists in elimination of impurities from the body

Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification

Increases stamina

Calms the nerves

Benefits sleep—better, deeper sleep

Enhances vision

Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy

Softens and smoothens skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear

Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha—to learn more about Doshas.

Abhyanga Routine and Oils

Massage your body with love and patience for 15-20 minutes. Here are the recommendations for frequency and oil type, based on the doshas:

Vata Dosha: 4-5 times a week using sesame, almond, or a Vata-balancing oil, such as the Relaxing Abhy Oil.
Pitta Dosha: 3-4 times a week using a coconut, sunflower, or a Pitta-balancing oil.
Kapha Dosha: 1-2 times a week using safflower or a Kapha-balancing oil.
Good for all Three Doshas: Jojoba oil
Steps to Follow for Self-Massage:

Warm the oil (pour approximately ¼ cup into a mug and warm using a coffee-cup warmer.) Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist, oil should be comfortably warm and not hot
Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room
Apply oil first to the crown of your head (adhipati marma) and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp (home to many other important marma points—points of concentrated vital energy)
Face: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears, especially your ear-lobes—home to essential marma points and nerve endings
Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage toward the direction of your heart
Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points
Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body
Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap on the “strategic” areas, avoid vigorously soaping and rubbing the body
When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently. Blot the towel on your body instead of rubbing vigorously
Enjoy the feeling of having nourished your body, mind, and spirit and carry that with you throughout your day.

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-benefits-of-ayurveda-self-massage-abhyanga#sthash.Mzsb9y9w.dpuf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HQLsfZh5js

Mademoiselle Non!

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The legendary one-time étoile ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet turned avant-garde dance master Sylvie Guillem has worked with some of the greatest choreographers of the modern age, and this week she appears in a unique collaboration with three of the most eminent: Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Jiří Kylián. 6000 Miles Away is already being hailed as a masterpiece by insiders and it promises to be a transcendental masterclass in the language of dance from the 45-year-old dancer famed in her youth for a rebellious streak that earned her the industry nickname Mademoiselle Non. In person the CBE-holding dancer is as formidable in character as her lean, toned muscular body, although her eyes and quick smile belie a profound depth of humility and humanity – after all, this is a woman who has shunned celebrity her entire life, despite being widely considered one of the greatest artists of her generation. In this rare interview with John-Paul Pryor the revered boundary-defying dancer and choreographer discusses her drive, her discipline and her penchant for saying non.

What would you say drives you to continually push yourself in your art form?
I think it comes from my personality. I’m still a kid trying to be astonished by things. I have kind of this curiosity to learn, and I’m always learning something new. It’s always about putting myself in danger – putting myself in an uncomfortable situation for a while – and that’s very rewarding because it’s always a step forward. I am used to a routine and discipline as well, of course, because that’s the base of what I do, but if I was not able to go out of that or to use it as a springboard then I would be bored. My problem with dance is that it can follow a recipe that is very efficient but it is only a recipe. In that instance, it will be good but it won’t be excellent – it won’t be exceptional, it won’t be extraordinary.

What made you leave classical dance and move towards the avant-garde?
I have had quite a long career and for a while I was kind of dependent on the image I had, and the specialty I had, so I was responding more to demand. Once I had done everything I had to do in classical, I decided that I could spend more time on going towards people, and I wanted to do that more than doing something that I was trained to do. That’s what drives me – to go towards people and to spend time with them, giving them the opportunity to really understand that I am open to a lot of things, and that I really want to discover what they have to teach me.

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You’ve worked for some incredible choreographers, – what’s the push-and-pull like creatively between the choreographer and the personal expression of the dancer?
It depends. Some choreographers like a lot of involvement and improvisation – a lot of proposition. Then you need to really put yourself in danger to show an opinion; show a will to try things that might not be accepted. Others have a very particular idea, and in that case you step more towards their idea of things. With Billy (William Forsythe) it’s a lot of exchange – a lot of participation, a lot of involvement physically and mentally because it’s quite complicated choreography. When you work with Matts it’s more about his way of saying things and doing things, and you are translating that into physical shape… into a shimmer. They are different but what they have in common is that it’s their own thing. That’s what I’m looking for – people who have their own way of saying things. You can meet a lot of choreographers with this or that award, but when you look at what they do, it doesn’t talk to you, doesn’t say anything, doesn’t go anywhere – it has no vision, no special language.

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Without that vision is it impossible to transcend into something truly profound?
Well, the work has to be personal, otherwise there is no involvement – you are not there, you are just reproducing something that is not yours, and you are not yourself when you are doing it, so, what is the point? It might be very nice to look at but there is no going towards someone, and no one will receive it. There is no exchange with the audience if it’s not personal, if you don’t have your identity in it. Honesty is really a pure thing and on stage who you are as a person comes across so much. Whether you are doing classical or modern dance, it’s about your choices – your choices of how to do things, how you find your information, how far you go into the work, how far you push the discipline, how much you fight against limits.

Why do you think society so readily applies the term rebel to people who do their own thing?
It’s a very easy sticker to put on someone. In the field I was involved in when I was young the discipline is so hard and there is a kind of a code, and everything has its role inside the box, but to be able to follow that and to be happy within those constraints – those rules – you need to be driven by your dream. I was never driven by a dream. I was never driven by being a ballerina and that gave me a wider opportunity of choices. The Paris Opera Ballet became an open door for me – it was not an arrival point, it was the departure point. The rules that were ruling that system were not for me – what was important to me was that I was experimenting. I had a strong instinct, and was kind of animal in my reaction when someone was telling me: ‘You have to do that!’ If for me it was not relevant or had no purpose I was like, ‘No. I’m sorry. If you want me to do that only then take someone else because I won’t be happy.’ It was already the start of me making a choice. That’s when I started to have problems because a dancer is usually a quite disciplined person and when you ask her to do something she does it. But I realised very early that I did not have a lot of time and I didn’t want to lose time doing things that didn’t matter to me. That’s why I started to say no to things, and for the classically minded people it’s not the way to do things – so, to them you are a rebel.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmMaNQBED8Q

http://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/1204/sylvie-guillem

10 Essential Qualities of a Real Man Worth Dating

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I was recently wondering what I wanted in a relationship? This article really shed light on my own personal needs as a woman. This article relates to men and women in my perspective. Each human being wants to be treated with integrity and respect, no matter what gender they are.

In my recent relationship, it was very difficult to be praised or acknowledged for my work, my passions and my success. Nothing was ever said when I achieved something. In my heart, whether it’s a friend, a parent or a romantic relationship. It’s always such a gift and an honour to share accomplishments, life is not always easy and accomplishments do not fall from the sky.

When someone I love and care about shares some of their life’s victories and down falls on their own personal journey. A great deal of feeling and heartfelt emotions come up; from feeling humbled that the other has shared with me some of their most intimate moments on their journey. Knowing they have crossed onto the other side as a stronger and wiser person and have achieved the confidence and the courage to walk on their path, no matter how many personal fears they needed to confront. Being the hero in their own life!!

Being proud of the other is an emotion that comes from the heart and it is a good feeling. We are the other and the other is us. Let’s celebrate together! Isn’t this love?

No matter where I am in any relationship, I take great care and pride in celebrating accomplishments and dreams. It’s empathy towards the other to share your love and your support towards the relationship because it’s saying ” Hey, I know it took work, I know it took time, I know it to strength and you persevered. I am so proud of you! “.

Celebrating and praising the journey and the outcome are important and meaningful when you are in a healthy relationship. 

Thank-you

Love love love

Melika Emira Baccouche

10 Essential Qualities of a Real Man Worth Dating

1. A real man is responsive to your needs.
Real men don’t merely care about how you fit into their world; instead, they care about your individual needs. If your partner gets upset just because your needs interrupt his day or cause a minor inconvenience, then you should find someone less selfish to share your life with.

2. A real man would never project his faults onto you.
Real men don’t automatically assume a relationship’s problems are caused by you; instead, they take an honest look in the mirror before speaking up, because it can be easy to project your own problems onto another person. If your partner always points the finger at you instead of working together with you as a team, then he isn’t worthy of your companionship.

3. A real man is willing to take action without hesitation.
Real men don’t seek approval for every thing they do; instead, they are confident enough to take action without hesitation. While your partner should consult you about major life decisions that you deserve to have a say in, he shouldn’t be so hesitant that he seeks your permission for every single thing he does. If your partner is unable to exercise anything resembling independent thought, then he will become so clingy that you’ll want to scream.

4. A real man is passionate about something besides his relationship.
Real men don’t consider their relationship to be their one and only interest; instead, they have passions that don’t involve you. If your partner pitches a fit any time you make plans that don’t involve him, then you could be dating a person who is severely lacking in ambition.

5. A real man isn’t suspicious or paranoid without cause.
Real men don’t accuse you of cheating without cause; instead, they only speak up if they have a concrete reason for having a suspicion, and even then they do so in a way that doesn’t involve wild accusations. If your partner gets paranoid just because you happen to have male co-workers or friends (crazy idea since that is approximately half of the population), or if he is so suspicious that he snoops your texts and Internet use behind your back, then you might be dating Mr. Wrong.

6. A real man can stay calm and cool during a confrontation.
Real men don’t resort to insults, judgement or violence during a confrontation; instead, they are willing to talk through the issue without devolving to personal attacks. If your partner explodes in anger at the slightest provocation, then please tread cautiously for your own safety.

7. A real man cares about his appearance.
Real men don’t “let themselves go” just because they are married or in a sustainable relationship; instead, they continue to take care of their body. Physical appearance isn’t the most important thing in the world, but there is no denying that sexual attraction is a necessary ingredient of any healthy relationship. If your partner can’t be bothered to exercise or practice basic grooming habits, then expect your intimacy to die a slow and painful death.

8. A real man doesn’t add insult to injury.
Real men don’t proclaim “I told you so!” after winning an argument; instead, they let the issue go as if it didn’t even happen. If your partner makes you feel like a bad person just because you were wrong, then you might be dating a man who isn’t emotionally intelligent.

9. A real man is happy to bask in the present moment with the love of his life.
Real men aren’t so consumed by their work that they can’t be bothered to spend uninterrupted time with you; instead, they are happy to turn off their phone so they can focus on enjoying the present moment with a partner they know they are lucky to have. If your partner can’t turn away from his work, even for a moment, to express how much he loves and appreciates you… then he isn’t going to be capable of providing you with the romance and attention you deserve.

10. A real man isn’t concerned with fitting into societal stereotypes.
Real men aren’t spineless conformists; instead, they exercise independent thought to make their own decisions, with no concern for what “society” or “the guys” have to say about it. If your partner is always consumed by what is the “manly” thing to do, then you might be dating a man who isn’t capable of thinking for himself.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-essential-qualities-real-man-worth-dating.html

THE POWER OF WORDS!

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Dear friends,

I feel inspired today to share some ancient well-known wisdom.

My brother is highly none religious and the most scientific and perfectionist person I know. He shared something with me many times and it highly resonated with my mind and my heart.

One day, I had made a mistake and I called myself stupid.

He reprimanded me and told me NEVER, EVER, to call myself stupid and to let go of diminishing my self-worth with words. In his philosophy, this would eventually connect with my mind. He told me that this had changed his life and had helped him improve his self-esteem and his life through the subconscious mind. He told me that our mind is like a computer and we re-inforce our thinking threw words. Words effect the way we think on a much deeper level that we can even be consciously aware of. Not only does it effect us but it effects others.

Since I have been reading the Autobiography of a Yogi from Yogananda, I have noticed the way a a Guru speaks to his disciples. The subconscious mind and the vibrations of word are much stronger than we think. The power of a Guru or a teacher is great, we are completely in awe of their accomplishments and we become very open to their opinions and words. If someone you trust and admire expresses to you that you are AMAZING, you feel amazing. Maybe sometimes you will even believe it deeply because it comes from someone of admiration.

I encourage kind words from your mouth, beautiful predictions for your future and to simply be mindful of the power of words. Dr. Anita Sharma expressed in our Ayurvedic classes many time; Turn your tongue 10 times before your speak.

To me this is a metaphor that applies on many levels in our lives. We are so much more powerful and beautiful then we know or that we could ever imagine. I wish for all of you to let go of the negative and jump into gratitude. Do not waste energy on useless people or useless conversation. Express the good and the bad but be aware of what you are truly saying. Don’t keep the negative emotions inside express!! But don’t stay in a repetitive negative hamster wheel. This is the ego that does not want to turn the attention to the heart and the soul. Be aware that there is a way to transform a negative into a positive. You can do this the moment you have come to peace with any situation and you are ready to look inside.

I personally always ask myself the question: Why am I really angry or sad? What button did this person push to affect me in this way?

Often my answer is, expectation! I expected something else, these are my emotions and no one has the capacity to hurt me but myself. If I had no expectations; how can the pain or hurt touch me? We must first respect our own self if we want others to respect us. We must give the same amount of unconditional love and space for freedom to others, as the amount we wish for ourselves. Love is space, love is space to be yourself and when you give yourself this gift, you will more and more allow others to be themselves.

We must allow others to make mistakes or be who they are fully and truly. Just like we must practice self-forgivness, we must look at others as our mirrors. They deserve the same forgiveness, there will never be the perfect conclusion you want in any relationship or the definition of a perfect relationship. We are made of different stripes and we have so much to learn everyday. Let go of the negative and sprinkle your magical words everywhere. It will change the way you live and it will change the way you think. As a self made gift by your own efforts, a nice feeling will be living in your heart at all times. Be humble with yourself and others. This is the only way to grow, learn and constantly let go to allow space for new energy.

Words by Yogananda

Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired….Sincere words or affirmations repeated understandingly, feelingly, and willingly are sure to move the Omnipresent Cosmic Vibratory Force to render aid in your difficulty. Appeal to that Power with infinite confidence, casting out all doubt; otherwise the arrow of your attention will be deflected from its mark.

“After you have sown in the soil of Cosmic Consciousness your vibratory prayer-seed, do not pluck it out frequently to see whether or not it has germinated. Give the divine forces a chance to work uninterruptedly.”

— Paramahansa Yogananda
Self-Realization Fellowship Paramahansa Yogananda-small background texture imageScientific Healing Affirmations

“As one uses different affirmations, his attitude of mind should change; for example, will affirmations should be accompanied by strong determination; feeling affirmations by devotion; reason affirmations by clear understanding. When healing others, select an affirmation that is suitable to the conative, imaginative, emotional, or thoughtful temperament of your patient. In all affirmations intensity of attention comes first, but continuity and repetition mean a great deal, too. Impregnate your affirmations with devotion, will, and faith, intensely and repeatedly, unmindful of the results, which will come naturally as the fruit of your labors.”

— Paramahansa Yogananda
Self-Realization Fellowship Paramahansa Yogananda-small background texture imageScientific Healing Affirmations

7 Ayurvedic Skin Care Tips for Healthy & Glowing Skin!

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Beautiful glowing smooth skin is desirable by every woman and appreciated by every man. Genetically, we are wired to be attracted to people with clear skin and a glowing complexion because it’s a sign of good health. Ayurveda has some time-proven tricks to make your skin clear, soft, and radiant without spending a fortune or loading up on chemicals.

First, let’s see why our skin tends to become rough, dry, and irritated during certain seasons and with age. According to Ayurveda, it happens due to the accumulation of Vata in the body. Vata predominates in the Fall and early Winter, and in people over the age of 50. When there is excess Vata, we are prone to dry skin, cracking joints, thinning dry hair, and brittle nails. Vata can also show up in the body earlier if you’re really stressed, have a Vata disturbing diet or live in a Vata inducing climate (cold and dry). The secret to staying young is keeping Vata at bay.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will slow down Vata accumulation in the body and will help you stay young and keep your skin beautiful.

1. Don’t Skip the Veggies – Stick to high-water content vegetables that are easier to digest, such as lettuce, carrot, cucumber, daikon radish (which is revered by Ayurvedic healers for its purifying properties), fennel, and tender asparagus tips. These vegetables are tridoshic: they are good for all types of skin. Combine at least 3 and enjoy with a simple olive oil-lemon juice dressing.

2. Eat Like a Bird – Both traditional and Ayurvedic medicine agree that adding seeds and nuts into your diet will improve the condition of your skin. Vata is drying by nature so all foods that have natural healthy fats in them will prevent this imbalance. Nuts and seeds are a perfect food — they contain Omega-3s, healthy fats, and fiber to help a weakened Vata digestion. My favorite snack is GoRaw Sunflower Flax Snax. You can also try adding almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and other nuts to your oatmeal (or having them as your afternoon snack, when Vata naturally predominates).

3. Sip Some Tea – Vata is dry and cold by nature so your skin will stay younger looking longer, if your keep these two qualities at bay. Stay hydrated throughout the day and give preference to warm liquids, such as herbal tea. Making some spicy tea with fresh ginger and lemon will wake you up in the afternoon and keep your digestion healthy, which is important for glowing skin.

4. Pump It Up – Exercising is necessary in preventing cold Vata from accumulating. Modern doctors advise exercising to keep your muscles and joints healthy and toned, while helping you sweat out toxins. Exercise will also improve blood circulation, digestion, and give you a healthy blush! Choose the type of exercise that makes you feel good and gives you energy without exhausting you. Whether it is walking, jogging, dancing, yoga, or boxing — you should enjoy it and have fun moving your body.

5. Breathe In and Release – High levels of emotional and mental stress is one of the major reasons why Vata gets aggravated (Not good!). It literally sucks out all the vital juices from your skin making it dehydrated. Meditation and breathing can be very effective stress busters that you might want to consider. To get started with yogic breathing, lie on your back or seat comfortably, place one palm on your belly, and another one on your chest. Start inhaling into your belly, letting it slightly rise, then keep inhaling into your ribs, expanding the ribcage up and out, letting the air completely fill up your lungs by inhaling all the way up into your chest. Mentally keep track of your breathing — your belly, ribs, and chest. On your exhales, let the air move in the opposite order — chest, ribs,and belly sinking in. Do this simple yet very effective breathing technique for 5-10 minutes when you need to calm down whether it is before an important meeting or right before you fall asleep.

6. Doze off with Sunset – Aggravated Vata often causes restlessness which can lead to insomnia (Not good for your skin!). Any skin care professional or Ayurvedie doctor will agree on the fact that getting at least seven hours of sleep is a good thing when it comes to having a healthy and glowing complexion. If you have trouble falling asleep, try a full yogic breathing described above or use this one before going to bed.

7. Take Skin Moisturizer to a New Level – Staying hydrated on the inside is important but you shouldn’t forget about taking care of your skin from the outside, as well. Cleansing and moisturizing are the most crucial to keeping your skin healthy and young. An oil massage is the best remedy for dry skin. For the best absorption, anti-aging oil massages should be done at night. Apricot oil applied 2-3 times a week at night makes my skin feel very smooth and healthy. Once a week give yourself (or ask your partner to give you) a full body massage with oil. It stimulates healthy blood circulation, lymph drainage, reduces water retention, and keeps your romantic relationship exciting! Abhyanga, a full body oil massage, calms the mind, leaving you feeling grounded yet focused and alert, and balances emotions. Using natural organic oils is also a lot cheaper than chemical-loaded lotions found at a pharmacy. Try these Ayurvedic oils for your specific dosha: Kapha, Pitta, or Vata.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1302/7-Ayurvedic-Skin-Care-Tips-for-Healthy-Glowing-Skin.html

The 5 Characteristics Of Couples That Last!

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As a coach and soon-to-be therapist, I spend a great deal of time and energy studying relationships: what helps them to succeed, what leads to their expiration, and what impedes their growth.

The more I learn about these issues, the more challenging it gets. To be honest, the project of studying relationships while being in one is kind of like Googling a symptom and diagnosing yourself with every known disease. It ain’t easy.

In fact, learning about what it takes to be in a successful relationship while being in a committed partnership is, at best, laced with frustration and growth; and at its worst, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Most of us know that the beginnings of most relationships tend to be filled with romance, passion, and cheese plates, and that this “honeymoon phase” inevitably ends. Yet “successful” couples last for a reason. Over time, they work together as a team to create a loving and comfortable companionship. While everyone is different, I think the recipe for lasting love is fostered by certain qualities ….

Based on my studies, here are the five characteristics of couples that last:

1. Dedication

A skilled clinician can tell within 10 minutes of meeting a couple whether their relationship stands a chance. How? By asking a simple question, “How committed are you to making this work?” Each partner’s commitment to the relationship not only informs whether they will last, but the overall level of satisfaction for both partners.

Let’s face it: relationships take work! Both partners need to be ready to work together, not against each other. That said, it’s important to note that high conflict doesn’t make for a bad relationship necessarily. It’s about whether the conflict gets resolved or shoved to the side (and results in a Pompeii-esque eruption). As long as both parties are willing to work for it, there’s a good chance they can make it work.

2. Appreciation

Couples who stay together happily don’t just love each other, but they actively appreciate each other. I don’t care what Disney says: love is not enough. Successful couples admire and genuinely respect each other’s point of view, values, and goals. It’s a practice, and it requires a sustained effort.

3. Empathy

Empathy, as opposed to sympathy, is understanding how others feel from their perspective, rather than projecting our own emotions onto another’s situation. Happy couples actively work to understand and validate one another’s emotional states. This, in turn, increases prosocial behaviors (such as helping, volunteering, and expressing concern). Stepping outside of yourself, on occasion, is essential for making your significant other feel, well, significant!

4. Sexual Attraction

We’ve been conditioned to believe that attraction inevitably fades in time. As men approach middle age, testosterone declines and it may take more time and work to create excitement. Women, on the other hand have proportionately more estrogen and enter what I like to call their dirty thirties (or filthy forties).

This increase in desire coupled with the male’s decline can impact one’s self-esteem and the relationship itself. At that point, attraction becomes even more important. The good news is that chemistry increases when both people share why they are attracted to the other person, whether that be physically or emotionally.

5. Companionship

Happy couples enjoy spending time together. No, I’m not just talking about sitting next to each other while watching reruns of Family Guy and eating takeout. I mean actually spending quality time together and making it a priority.

Of course, sometimes we get tired and want to laze around with our partner. And that’s OK. But the same way communication in relationships takes work, so does making time for intentional quality time.

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many couples only hang out while running errands, discussing daycare, or fighting about who left the cap off the toothpaste.