Category Archives: inner peace

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

A Home That Sparks Joy- Marie Kondo

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Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms


I’d always tackled clutter by room—take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category—deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.

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Getting nostalgic over old letters or distracted by sweet toddlers might be a temporary high, but it won’t get you anywhere fast.

Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings


With my eyes now open, I realized my closets had hit rock bottom. Everything had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your hardworking socks really thrilled to be balled up? It had sounded out there when I read it, but suddenly my clothes looked totally miserable.

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Kondo warns that you shouldn’t show your family the discard bags, since they’ll want to stop you from getting rid of so much. Case in point: Henry tried to nab an old hat

 

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend


As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.

To be honest, I was probably procrastinating. In theory, I was sold on the idea of living exclusively with clothing that gives me joy, but I still had hang-ups: What will I be left with? Will I have anything to wear to work? Will I have to sacrifice beloved things, all for the sake of decluttering?

Then my 18-month-old son, Henry, wandered in, and there’s nothing he loves more than recluttering. The afternoon was basically lost. If you do this, don’t waste time like I did (and maybe book a babysitter for this project).

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While she doesn’t go for the classic storage pieces, Kondo loves a good shoebox (or any pretty box you have tucked away) for its all-purpose organizing power.

Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good


From then on, I followed Kondo’s advice to a T. I gathered every piece of my clothing and put it in one giant pile. While I normally tidy my clothes only when I’m on a long phone call—distracted from the task at hand—today I wasn’t even supposed to listen to music. Channeling Kondo, who says a prayer upon entering a client’s home, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started digging through the mountain of clothes.

Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably. I realized I had many things that seemed great in theory but weren’t actually my style—they’d be better on someone else’s body or in someone else’s life (examples: an überpreppy skirt or a corporate-looking jacket).

Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief—12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.

 

Lesson #5: Fold, Don’t Hang


Once you’ve sorted out the things to discard—and only then—you can decide where the remaining things should go. Rather than folded in a cubby or hanging in a closet, Kondo thinks a lot of our clothing would be better off (or as she’d say, happier) folded in a dresser.

I hadn’t been using a dresser at all before, but now, having begun with four overflowing closets, I was down to enough clothing to fill one closet and one dresser. Pulling from the tops, pants, and scarves now destined for the dresser, I started folding using Kondo’s special technique.

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Here’s the basic KonMari vertical fold, which can be applied to everything from T-shirts to stockings. First, make a long rectangle, and then fold from the bottom up into a little package.

Lesson #6: THE Fold!


Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up (you aren’t jostling a whole pile every time you take something out or put something back). Folded this way, clothing looks like fabric origami, ready to line your drawers in neat rows.

To keep these little folded packages standing at attention in the dresser, Kondo suggests using shoeboxes as drawer dividers. A smaller box is perfect for square scarves, a deep one can go on a bottom drawer for sweaters.

The dresser install, using a few shoeboxes. I even folded some of my husband’s striped shirts (on the left), just to inspire him to try this in his own drawers.

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Lesson #7: Fall in Love with Your Closet


This is why people become evangelical about the KonMari method. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter and put things away, your dresses and skirts—the fun stuff, let’s be honest—can see the light of day. There’s breathing room between pieces, so you no longer have to do that awkward arm wrestle with the racks. All of which means you get a hit of joy—even hope!—just opening your closet, whether you’re getting ready in the morning or planning a party ensemble.

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Kondo advises hanging clothes so that the line along the bottom slopes upward—it adds an optimistic zing.

Lesson #8: Rediscover Your Style


For years, I’ve worn the same rotation of easy-to-grab, reliable pieces without dipping into all the color in my closets. And there’s a lot of it—maybe because I grew up near the ocean, I have a weakness for turquoise and pink and love a color mash-up and summertime prints. I’d almost forgotten about these colors in the daily race to get out the door.

 

https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home/marie-kondo-book-declutter/

More Hard Hitting Words From the Dalai Lama About the Mass Brainwashing of Society

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The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is always garnering a lot of attention, and for good reasons. Most recently, he told the world that simply praying is not the answer for the incident that occurred in Paris, as well as other similiar atrocities that seem to happen all over the globe. He stated that humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it, which makes no sense. If we created this mess, we should be the ones to solve it, not God.  His comments went viral as they resonated with so many people around the world who realize that action on a mass scale is required at this time to change the direction our planet seems to be going in.

Intertwined with the Paris attacks are the realities of war, and there is a great piece written on the Dalai Lama’s website site regarding the mass brainwashing of human beings. This is something we touch upon regularly on our website, especially when it comes to incidents of terrorism, war, and the creation of these groups who are carrying out these attacks all over the world.

“War and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous – an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”(source)

This (above) statement really hits home. If you think about it, these vast and powerful organizations, and the military in general, “solely exist to kill human beings.” As the Dalai Lama touches upon, we are conditioned and made to believe that military service is something to be proud of. Sure, these men and women may be entering into the service in order to serve their country, with a tremendous amount of bravery and good hearted intentions, but what they do not know is that this global war on terrorism is a complete fabrication. The enemy they are made to believe they’re defending their country from is actually a product of their own country. As Dr. Michel Choissudovsky, University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics tells us, the global war on terrorism is completely fake and based on fake premises. Soldiers have been brainwashed into thinking that they are going after an enemy and defending their own country when that same enemy is fully supported and financed by the western military alliance, and as the Dalai Lama sates:

This is exactly why “we feel that war is acceptable,” because we are made to believe it’s a necessary course of action.

He then goes on to state that:

“We are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die. None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people – his relatives and friends – suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.” (source)

The extent of this brainwashing is quite massive, and if we are going to stop the murder of other human beings and war in general, it is that ‘brainwashed’ soldier that needs to wake up. It is a human being pulling the trigger, giving the orders, and thinking that they are doing something good. We are the reason why war exists in the first place, we created it, we participate in it and we prolong it. Just imagine what would happen if every human being on the planet refused to participate in war? This is why we say change needs to come from within, and as more soldiers wake up to what’s really happening here, there will be more of them who refuse to go to war.

“No matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don’t have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society.” (source)

Some of these soldiers that are used by their corporate/big bank puppet masters are starting to wake up and speak out. Linked below is an article that provides two excellent examples, with some shocking information that many people are still waking up to (graphic footage warning).

Horrible & Numbing”: Chilling testimony from U.S. Air Force Drone Operator On His First Kill”

As far as this manufactured global war on terrorism, you can check out this article, among others:

Professors & Politicians Gather To Warn Us About The New World Order

The Dalai Lama Then goes on to speak about how expensive war is. This is something many people think about – the fact that the money pumped into the military, and the Department of Defense in the United States alone (including black the black budget) could completely alleviate  poverty and hunger on our planet.  That being said, money is made out of thin air, typed up on a computer screen and printed at will by the controlling elite.

We are talking about, as X Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer states, “trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars” that “have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief no nothing about.” Welcome to what president Eisenhower called the military industrial complex where, as he warned us, the rise for misplaced power exists and will persist. What would he say about what’s happened today?

The point is, if we are going to use money as a tool, why not take that many and allocate it to provide food, shelter and clothing for everybody on the planet? The defense expenditures of a couple of countries alone could do this no problem.

“We should feel fed up with the violence and killing going on around us. If a human being is killed by an animal, it’s sad, but if a human being is killed by another human being it’s unthinkable. We have to make a special effort to think of each other as fellow human beings, as our brothers and sisters.” – Dalai Lama (source)

Thank you Dalai Lama for saying the things that you have said within the past few months.

By Arjun Walia / collective-evolution.com

You can read his full article HERE.

THE BEAUTY OF BIRTH SUITS

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Body’s are an amazing gift.  It is our birthright to feel beautiful and free because we live in our body’s our entire life. They are an extension of who we are on the inside. If we feel good on the inside it reflects on the outside and vice versa.

There is a difference between nudity and sexuality, we have lost this simple ability to connect with our body’s. When we swim naked we feel the wonderful sensation of water on our entire bodies. When we stand naked we can feel the wind massaging our skin, from our toes to our fingertips. We should never deprive ourselves from feeling all of these wonderful sensations that is our entitlement.

When I look at these photographes, I see expression’s of true happiness and freedom. Real beauty comes in all shapes and forms. It comes from a raw place. Imperfections are part of the artistry and loveliness of the human body.

Let go of the guilt, let go of the shame and be proud of your body’s.

It all stems from the mind and now a days everything is sexual ” so they say”. Do not buy into this and simply start where you are. The more you love your body, the more you will love yourself.

I hope this inspires women as much as men to feel free in all that they are.

Human!

Love love love

Melika Emira Baccouche

 

 

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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/

5 Things Every Yogi Should Know

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One of the joys of being a yoga teacher is that I get to see a side of people that most people don’t get to see.

During an hour-long practice, I see a room full of people drop their outer facades and fall into the present moment. I see faces soften. I see shoulders relax. I see defenses fall away. It is hard to accurately describe what that looks like, but it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

I am honored and grateful to be a teacher of yoga. I see people blossom right into the best, most confident, versions of themselves. There are five things I want to make sure that every yogi knows.

1. Yoga is more than just doing poses on the mat.

The beauty and inspiration of yoga is that it consists of many different elements. The ancient sage Patanjali talks about eight limbs of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. They consist of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. If you want more info on each limb, you can read the basics on Yoga Journal, or jump right into the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali.

While most people are most familiar with the physical aspects of yoga, asana practice is only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in more depth, more spirit, more love… other limbs of yoga can help you as much, if not more, as being on the mat. There is always more to learn, in each and every limb of yoga, and because of that, we are all students figuring it all out — even the most advanced teachers. Open yourself to the possibilities of the entire yoga tree.

2. Honoring your present moment—no matter what that is—is the key to yoga.

Some practices are hard. Some flow with ease. We all, at one time or another, feel like swearing at our teachers as we hold a pose longer than we want to. We all feel like running from the room screaming like our hair is on fire at one time or another. Whatever comes up is real, it is important, and it needs to be acknowledged. Every time we practice yoga, we have the opportunity to be present, to stop the stories raging in our mind, and just be. It sounds so easy, but it is one of the most challenging parts of the practice. Staying with each breath as it unfolds is the most advanced part of yoga.

3. It is important to feel yoga, not perform yoga.

I don’t look like a svelt cover model yogi. I barely squeeze my ladies into size 12 Lululemon tops. I can’t do certain poses that some of my students can do. However, when I am on the mat, I feel my yoga. When in dancer’s pose, I feel my body express the pose like I am a ballerina on a NYC stage. When I arch my back in camel, I feel my heart center creak open and the energy flood in. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. It only matters how it feels to you. Yoga makes me feel beautiful.

Sometimes you’ll run across a person who is performing for the crowd. The pre-class headstands and arm balances, the looking around to make sure everyone is watching, the pushing of bones and muscles into places they have no right going are all tell-tale signs of a yoga performance. I used to get annoyed, mainly because I can’t do many performance ready poses, but now I send love to the performer. I want her to feel her own beauty, not need anyone else’s approval. Watch what happens in your mind when you practice. When you turn inward and are present to your current experience, the room can fall away and the practice can be felt deeply in your heart. You can feel beautiful and strong.

4. What we do on the mat is practice for “real life.”

It’s so great to be able to go to a studio and roll down a mat next to other like-minded people. What we do there is practice for what happens in our “out of the studio” world. We learn to stay present at the office, to breathe through the discomfort of a hard conversation, to accept what is happening with our kids, to let go of the big critic on our shoulder (aka our ego).

Yesterday, I was in a meeting with a grumpy colleague and I felt anger and defensiveness start to rumble in me. I was internally mounting my argument against the poor unsuspecting man, which surely would have blown back his chair and launched him into the next decade. In a word, I was pissed. Then I remembered my yoga… breathe, Katie, breathe. Deep breaths. Three of them. The anger passed. I was able to be calm as I expressed my thoughts. I was able to negotiate. My colleague’s life was saved. Everybody won. That situation was sponsored by vinyasa yoga.

5. What we deal with what happens on the mat is how we deal with life.

This is one of the hardest things for me to learn. When I am in practice and something really challenging comes up, I want to run. I am a bit shamed to tell you that I have actually faked nosebleeds to get out of holding a pose. Running from the room with my hand over my face, I sure as hell got out of that pose.

Guess what my defense mechanism is in life? Yup, run little rabbit, run. Yoga has taught me that how I react to things on the mat is a mirror to my reactions in life. That is a big, hard, ugly pill to swallow, but it is true. My self-doubt comes up on the mat, and it comes up in my life. When I experience a breakthrough on the mat, I learn that if I practice hard and believe in myself, I can do anything. Instant breakthrough.

Yoga is a not just something I do. It is the way I live my life. I encourage everyone to start where they are and let the practice evolve, unfold, and transform you. It all starts with your willingness to be present in this very moment. Breathe on, sweet one. Breathe.

A SPIRITUAL REFLECTION ON BOUNDARIES

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“I just think that boundaries are the most amazing, wonderful and difficult things to implement. They are beautiful tools that we need to use in our life to create intimacy, not to block it. A boundary doesn’t keep people out of our lives. A boundary just keeps people from violating important spaces in our lives; and when we have boundaries, the intimacy is increased, not decreased.” — Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School

There are many people in the spiritual world who romanticize the idea of dissolving or shedding personal boundaries . . . of being One with all beings, or most titillating, with an intimate partner. This is a wonderful ideal, but unfortunately, since many of us have an unclear understanding of boundaries in the first place, we end up mistaking unhealthy connectedness with others (fusion) for true communion with them.

Oneness and individuality

Confusion about the spiritual notion of Oneness most often manifests in our relationships with other humans. Most of you reading this are people who highly value peace and calm in your lives, and uphold the virtue of compassion. Some of you might believe that if we are all One, we should understand the pain of others and not judge them, even when they cross our boundaries. You may believe that being kind to others means flowing like water around them. You may believe that we ALONE must take responsibility for all of the difficulty in our lives and deal with it by ourselves, because it’s ultimately saying something about us, not others.

NO. NO. NO. (And yes, sometimes.)

This is the paradox of spirituality. While the above statements indeed have deep truth to them, they often times cannot, and should not, be applied without discrimination to our lives as humans on Earth.This is where the Buddhist notion of TWO TRUTHS or Two Realities (ultimate reality and relative reality) can be useful. Both realities co-exist, and it is part of the human journey to learn how to skillfully dance between them. Yes, from the perspective of Source we are One (or as Buddhists might put it, we all share the ultimate nature of Emptiness), but we are also unique individuals who have our own needs, preferences, and desires. We have our own complex emotional world, which it is our personal responsibility to take care of, so that we can be happy and healthy.

“Boundaries allow differences to play their essential role by preserving our autonomy and making healthy interrelatedness possible — a fact clearly illustrated in mature relationships, in which there is deep communion without any dilution of one’s sense of self. In such relationships, we don’t discard our boundaries to make meaningful connections; we expand our boundaries to include the other without short-changing ourselves.” — Robert Augustus Masters, author of Spiritual Bypassing

What are boundaries for?

When other people come into our personal space and violate it, physically or emotionally, it is appropriate to set a boundary in order to take care of ourselves. (Remember, people don’t know where our boundaries are unless we clearly make them known.)

Boundaries are not about controlling others, or blaming them for how we feel. They are about taking full responsibility of our own safety, well-being, and happiness.

A boundary is a request you make along with a clear consequence regarding what you will do if the request is not respected.

For example, “If you don’t stop with the name-calling, I will leave the room.” Or “If you keep coming home drunk, I will move out and not consider returning until you are in a rehab program.” Or, “If you keep bringing up my ex, I will stop engaging in our conversation.”

Some of us tend to go a little wild when we first start to take boundaries seriously. But remember, a boundary should only be made when there has been a violation of your physical or emotional space (like your boss raising his voice at you or someone smoking in your home). It’s not a tool to be used when you simply don’t like someone’s words or behavior but they are not actually doing anything to or toward you. It’s not a tool for controlling other people. For example, it’s not a boundary if you try to use it to get your husband to take out the garbage or get your girlfriend to call you more often. That’s called manipulation!

Following through on boundaries

One of the most important but difficult things about setting boundaries is actually following through on the consequences you have stated. Sometimes we try to use aboundary as a threat, with no intention of actually following through. We’re afraid of others getting angry or feeling hurt, or we just find it very difficult to assert ourselves. So instead, we set a boundary with the sole desire of forcing the other person to change. Again, this is manipulation. If you want your boundary to be taken seriously (and if you want to take yourself seriously a.k.a. trust yourself), you have to do what you say you will do.

“When we begin to set boundaries with people we love, a really hard thing happens: they hurt. They may feel a hole where you used to plug up their aloneness, their disorganization, or their financial irresponsibility. Whatever it is, they will feel a loss. If you love them, this will be difficult for you to watch. But, when you are dealing with someone who is hurting, remember that your boundaries are both necessary for you and helpful for them. If you have been enabling them to be irresponsible, your limit setting may nudge them toward responsibility.” — Henry Cloud, author of Boundaries

Boundaries ultimately come from a place of compassion and respect for yourself. You may be frustrated and angry with others, but the reason why you’re experiencing this is often because you don’t have proper boundaries and you haven’t been SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH. Once you take full responsibility for your happiness, you can set boundaries with others from a place of calm, empowerment, and love – not anger or resentment toward them.

It can be helpful to explain to the person you’re setting the boundary with that this isn’t about them or about them doing something wrong, it’s about you, your truth, and your needs. If they choose to be offended by your truth, that’s their choice. When setting boundaries, you have to be willing to accept the response of the other party. You’re not demanding that they change; they are free individuals. It’s just that if they don’t change, you’ll follow through on the consequence you described.

Mastery takes practice

Boundary work takes a ton of practice, so no worries if you don’t get it right on the first few (hundred) tries.

I think part of the reason boundaries are such a difficult thing to apply to our life is because it highlights the spiritual paradox I mentioned earlier: We’re all born of same Source (and thus have this beautiful “urge to merge”), and yet we’re also unique, distinct streams of consciousness having our own experience of life on earth.

It’s a challenge to fulfill both our spiritual desire to connect with each other AND our human drive to express and experience the fruits of our unique needs and preferences.

Learning to do this is a sign of true mastery.

Keep on keepin’ on, friends!

http://www.stephanieylin.com/spiritual-reflection-on-boundaries/

Thich Nhat Hanh on Loosening the Knots of Anger

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Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us how to relax the bonds of anger, attachment and delusion through mindfulness and kindness toward ourselves.

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To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible.

Many people look for happiness outside themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us. Our culture tells us that happiness comes from having a lot of money, a lot of power and a high position in society. But if you observe carefully, you will see that many rich and famous people are not happy. Many of them commit suicide.

The Buddha and the monks and nuns of his time did not own anything except their three robes and one bowl. But they were very happy, because they had something extremely precious: freedom.

According to the Buddha’s teachings, the most basic condition for happiness is freedom. Here we do not mean political freedom, but freedom from the mental formations of anger, despair, jealousy and delusion. These mental formations are described by the Buddha as poisons. As long as these poisons are still in our heart, happiness can not be possible.

In order to be free from anger, we have to practice, whether we are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. We cannot ask the Buddha, Jesus, God or Mohammed to take anger out of our hearts for us. There are concrete instructions on how to transform the craving, anger and confusion within us. If we follow these instructions and learn to take good care of our suffering, we can help others do the same.

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The Knots of Anger

In our consciousness there are blocks of pain, anger and frustration called internal formations. They are also called knots because they tie us up and obstruct our freedom.

When someone insults us or does something unkind to us, an internal formation is created in our consciousness. If you don’t know how to undo the internal knot and transform it, the knot will stay there for a long time. And the next time someone says something or does something to you of the same nature, that internal formation will grow stronger. As knots or blocks of pain in us, our internal formations have the power to push us, to dictate our behavior.

After a while, it becomes very difficult for us to transform, to undo the knots, and we cannot ease the constriction of this crystallized formation. The Sanskrit word for internal formation is samyojana. It means “to crystallize.” Every one of us has internal formations that we need to take care of. With the practice of meditation we can undo these knots and experience transformation and healing.

Not all internal formations are unpleasant. There are also pleasant internal formations, but they can still make us suffer. When you taste, hear or see something pleasant, then that pleasure can become a strong internal knot. When the object of your pleasure disappears, you miss it and you begin searching for it. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to experience it again. If you smoke marijuana or drink alcohol and begin to like it, then it becomes an internal formation in your body and in your mind. You cannot get it off your mind. You will always look for more. The strength of the internal knot is pushing you and controlling you. So internal formations deprive us of our freedom.

Falling in love is a big internal formation. Once you are in love, you only think of the other person. You are not free anymore. You cannot do anything; you cannot study, you cannot work, you cannot enjoy the sunshine or the beauty of nature around you. You can only think of the object of your love. That is why we speak about it as a kind of accident: “falling in love.” You fall down. You are not stable anymore because you have gotten into an accident. So love can also be an internal knot.

Pleasant or unpleasant, both kinds of knots take away our liberty. That is why we should guard our body and our mind very carefully, to prevent these knots from taking root in us. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can create internal formations in our body. And anger, craving, jealousy, despair can create internal formations in our mind.

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Training in Aggression

Anger is an internal formation, and since it makes us suffer, we try our best to get rid of it. Psychologists like the expression, “getting it out of your system.” And they speak about venting anger, like ventilating a room filled with smoke. Some psychologists say that when the energy of anger arises in you, you should ventilate it by hitting a pillow, kicking something, or by going into the forest to yell and shout.

As a kid you were not supposed to say certain swear words. Your parents may not have allowed you to say these words because they are harmful, they damage relationships. So you went into the woods or to an isolated place and shouted these words very clearly, very strongly, in order to relieve the feeling of oppression. This is also venting.

People who use venting techniques like hitting a pillow or shouting are actually rehearsing anger. When someone is angry and vents their anger by hitting a pillow, they are learning a dangerous habit. They are training in aggression. Instead, our approach is to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace anger every time it manifests.

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Treating Anger with Tenderness

Mindfulness does not fight anger or despair. Mindfulness is there in order to recognize. To be mindful of something is to recognize that something is there in the present moment. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me; breathing out, I smile towards my anger.” This is not an act of suppression or of fighting. It is an act of recognizing. Once we recognize our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness.

When it is cold in your room, you turn on the heater, and the heater begins to send out waves of hot air. The cold air doesn’t have to leave the room for the room to become warm. The cold air is embraced by the hot air and becomes warm—there’s no fighting at all between them.

We practice taking care of our anger in the same way. Mindfulness recognizes anger, is aware of its presence, accepts and allows it to be there. Mindfulness is like a big brother who does not suppress his younger brother’s suffering. He simply says, “Dear brother, I’m here for you.” You take your younger brother in your arms and you comfort him. This is exactly our practice.

Imagine a mother getting angry with her baby and hitting him when he cries. That mother does not know that she and her baby are one. We are mothers of our anger and we have to help our baby, our anger, not fight and destroy it. Our anger is us and our compassion is also us. To meditate does not mean to fight. In Buddhism, the practice of meditation should be the practice of embracing and transforming, not of fighting.

Using Anger, Using Suffering

To grow the tree of enlightenment, we must make good use of our afflictions, our suffering. It is like growing lotus flowers; we cannot grow a lotus on marble. We cannot grow a lotus without mud.

Practitioners of meditation do not discriminate against or reject their internal formations. We do not transform ourselves into a battle field, good fighting evil. We treat our afflictions, our anger, our jealousy with a lot of tenderness. When anger comes up in us, we should begin to practice mindful breathing right away: “Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger.” We behave exactly like a mother: “Breathing in, I know that my child is crying. Breathing out, I will take good care of my child.” This is the practice of compassion.

If you don’t know how to treat yourself with compassion, how can you treat another person with compassion? When anger arises, continue to practice mindful breathing and mindful walking to generate the energy of mindfulness. Continue to embrace tenderly the energy of anger within you. Anger may continue to be there for sometime, but you are safe, because the Buddha is in you, helping you to take good care of your anger. The energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha. When you practice mindful breathing and embrace your anger, you are under the protection of the Buddha. There is no doubt about it: the Buddha is embracing you and your anger with a lot of compassion.

Giving and Receiving Mindfulness Energy

When you are angry, when you feel despair, you practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, to generate the energy of mindfulness. This energy allows you to recognize and embrace your painful feelings. And if your mindfulness is not strong enough, you ask a brother or a sister in the practice to sit close to you, to breathe with you, to walk with you in order to support you with his or her mindfulness energy.

Practicing mindfulness does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. You can practice with the support of your friends. They can generate enough mindfulness energy to help you take care of your strong emotions.

We can also support others with our mindfulness when they are in difficulty. When our child is drowning in a strong emotion, we can hold his or her hand and say, “My dear one, breathe. Breathe in and out with mommy, with daddy.” We can also invite our child to do walking meditation with us, gently taking her hand and helping her calm down, with each step. When you give your child some of your mindfulness energy, she will be able to calm down very quickly and embrace her emotions.

Recognizing, Embracing, Relieving the Suffering of Anger

The first function of mindfulness is to recognize, not to fight. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me. Hello, my little anger.” And breathing out, “I will take good care of you.”

Once we have recognized our anger, we embrace it. This is the second function of mindfulness and it is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting, we are taking good care of our emotion. If you know how to embrace your anger, something will change.

It is like cooking potatoes. You cover the pot and then the water will begin to boil. You must keep the stove on for at least twenty minutes for the potatoes to cook. Your anger is a kind of potato and you cannot eat a raw potato.

Mindfulness is like the fire cooking the potatoes of anger. The first few minutes of recognizing and embracing your anger with tenderness can bring results. You get some relief. Anger is still there, but you do not suffer so much anymore, because you know how to take care of your baby. So the third function of mindfulness is soothing, relieving. Anger is there, but it is being taken care of. The situation is no longer in chaos, with the crying baby left all alone. The mother is there to take care of the baby and the situation is under control.

Keeping Mindfulness Alive

And who is this mother? The mother is the living Buddha. The capacity of being mindful, the capacity of being understanding, loving and caring is the Buddha in us. Every time we are capable of generating mindfulness, it makes the Buddha in us a reality. With the Buddha in you, you have nothing to worry about anymore. Everything will be fine if you know how to keep the Buddha within you alive.

It is important to recognize that we always have the Buddha in us. Even if we are angry, unkind or in despair, the Buddha is always within us. This means we always have the potential to be mindful, to be understanding, to be loving.

We need to practice mindful breathing or walking in order to touch the Buddha within us. When you touch the seed of mindfulness that lies in your consciousness, the Buddha will manifest in your mind consciousness and embrace your anger. You don’t have to worry; just continue to practice breathing or walking to keep the Buddha alive. Then everything will be fine. The Buddha recognizes. The Buddha embraces. The Buddha relieves, and the Buddha looks deeply into the nature of anger. The Buddha understands. And this understanding will bring about transformation.

The energy of mindfulness contains the energy of concentration, as well as the energy of insight. Concentration helps you to focus on just one thing. With concentration, the energy of looking becomes more powerful.

Because of that it can make a breakthrough that is insight. Insight always has the power of liberating you. If mindfulness is there, and you know how to keep mindfulness alive, concentration will be there too. And if you know how to keep concentration alive, insight will also come. So mindfulness recognizes, embraces and relieves. Mindfulness helps us look deeply in order to gain insight. Insight is the liberating factor. It is what frees us and allows transformation to happen. This is the Buddhist practice of taking care of anger.

Every time you give your internal formations a bath of mindfulness, the blocks of pain in you become lighter and less dangerous. So give your anger, your despair, your sorrow a bath of mindfulness every day—that is your practice. If mindfulness is not there, it is very unpleasant to have these seeds come up. But if you know how to generate the energy of mindfulness, it is very healing to invite them up every day and embrace them. And after several days or weeks of bringing them up daily and helping them go back down again, you create good circulation in your psyche, and the symptoms of mental illness will begin to disappear.

Mindfulness does the work of massaging your internal formations, your blocks of suffering. You have to allow them to circulate, and this is possible only if you are not afraid of them. If you learn not to fear your knots of suffering, you can learn how to embrace them with the energy of mindfulness, and transform them.

Reprinted from “Anger,” by Thich Nhat Hanh, with permission of Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2001 by Thich Nhat Hanh.

http://www.lionsroar.com/loosening-the-knots-of-anger/

25 Life Changing Lessons To Learn From Rumi

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by Luminita Saviuc

“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.” ~ Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, also known as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic who, in my personal opinion, wrote some of the most beautiful and most profound words that were ever written. You won’t believe it how much wisdom and how so much power there is in his words. It’s incredible.

Today I would like to share with you 25 life changing lessons to learn from Rumi, lessons that have the power inspire and empower you to live a more authentic, beautiful, loving and meaningful life.

Enjoy :)

1. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”

“You sit here for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”

“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well when a strong rope is in my hand?”

“Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.”

“Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”

2. Your job is to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, not to “them”.

“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”

3. Never give up on yourself.

“When you go through a hard period, When everything seems to oppose you, … When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

4. Ignorance is God’s prison.

“Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.”

5. The treasures that can be found outside of you can’t even compare with the treasures that can be found inside of you.

“You wander from room to room Hunting for the diamond necklace That is already around your neck!”

“If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”

“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?”

“You go from village to village on your horse asking everyone, “Has anyone seen my horse?”

“Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar. Reach your long hand out to another door, beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says How aren’t you?”

“There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.”

6. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.

“Knock, And He’ll open the door Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”

“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”

7. There is something you can do better than anyone else.

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

8. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.”

9. When you commit to something, do it with all your heart.

“Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”

“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”

10. Good things come to an end so that better things can fall together.

“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

11. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”

“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

12. Do what you love and do it with love.

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

“Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.”

13. Think less. Feel more.

“Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”

“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”

“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?”

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?”

14. Love is worth it all.

“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering.”

“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”

15. Appreciate both the good and the bad in your life.

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”

“When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”

16. You change your world by changing yourself.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

17. We are made of Love and made to Love.

“We are born of love; Love is our mother. “

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.”

“I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ “

“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquillity.”

18. Your Soul is not of this world, your body is.

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”

“When I die, I shall soar with angels, and when I die to the angels, what I shall become you cannot imagine.”

19. At the Soul level, we are all ONE.

“All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.”

“What shall I say, O Muslims, I know not myself, I am neither a Christian, nor a Jew, nor a Zoroastrian, nor a Muslim.”

“I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast.”

20. Your Soul is more precious than anything.

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

21. Choose your life partner wisely.

“Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free.”

22. Real love transcends the material plane and no matter if your bodies are apart, your souls will forever be connected.

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”

23. Raise your words, not your voice.

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

24. Silence is the language of God.

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”

25. Just to be alive is not enough.

“You think you are alive because you breathe air? Shame on you, that you are alive in such a limited way. Don’t be without Love, so you won’t feel dead. Die in Love and stay alive forever.

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