Tag Archives: inner beauty

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/

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How to Let Go and Forgive

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We’ve all been hurt by another person at some time or another — we were treated badly, trust was broken, hearts were hurt.

And while this pain is normal, sometimes that pain lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over, and have a hard time letting go.

This causes problems. It not only causes us to be unhappy, but can strain or ruin relationships, distract us from work and family and other important things, make us reluctant to open up to new things and people. We get trapped in a cycle of anger and hurt, and miss out on the beauty of life as it happens.

We need to learn to let go. We need to be able to forgive, so we can move on and be happy.

This is something I learned the hard way — after years of holding onto anger at a loved one that stemmed from my childhood and teen-age years, I finally let go of this anger (about 8 years ago or so). I forgave, and not only has it improved my relationship with this loved one tremendously, it has also helped me to be happier.

Forgiveness can change your life.

Forgiveness does not mean you erase the past, or forget what has happened. It doesn’t even mean the other person will change his behavior — you cannot control that. All it means is that you are letting go of the anger and pain, and moving on to a better place.

It’s not easy. But you can learn to do it.

If you’re holding onto pain, reliving it, and can’t let go and forgive, read on for some things I’ve learned.

1. Commit to letting go. You aren’t going to do it in a second or maybe not even in a day. It can take time to get over something. So commit to changing, because you recognize that the pain is hurting you.

2. Think about the pros and cons. What problems does this pain cause you? Does it affect your relationship with this person? With others? Does it affect work or family? Does it stop you from pursuing your dreams, or becoming a better person? Does it cause you unhappiness? Think of all these problems, and realize you need to change. Then think of the benefits of forgiveness — how it will make you happier, free you from the past and the pain, improve things with your relationships and life in general.

3. Realize you have a choice. You cannot control the actions of others, and shouldn’t try. But you can control not only your actions, but your thoughts. You can stop reliving the hurt, and can choose to move on. You have this power. You just need to learn how to exercise it.

4. Empathize. Try this: put yourself in that person’s shoes. Try to understand why the person did what he did. Start from the assumption that the person isn’t a bad person, but just did something wrong. What could he have been thinking, what could have happened to him in the past to make him do what he did? What could he have felt as he did it, and what did he feel afterward? How does he feel now? You aren’t saying what he did is right, but are instead trying to understand and empathize.

5. Understand your responsibility. Try to figure out how you could have been partially responsible for what happened. What could you have done to prevent it, and how can you prevent it from happening next time? This isn’t to say you’re taking all the blame, or taking responsibility away from the other person, but to realize that we are not victims but participants in life.

6. Focus on the present. Now that you’ve reflected on the past, realize that the past is over. It isn’t happening anymore, except in your mind. And that causes problems — unhappiness and stress. Instead, bring your focus back to the present moment. What are you doing now? What joy can you find in what is happening right now? Find the joy in life now, as it happens, and stop reliving the past. Btw, you will inevitably start thinking about the past, but just acknowledge that, and gently bring yourself back to the present moment.

7. Allow peace to enter your life. As you focus on the present, try focusing on your breathing. Imagine each breath going out is the pain and the past, being released from your body and mind. And imagine each breath coming in is peace, entering you and filling you up. Release the pain and the past. Let peace enter your life. And go forward, thinking no longer of the past, but of peace and the present.

8. Feel compassion. Finally, forgive the person and realize that in forgiveness, you are allowing yourself to be happy and move on. Feel empathy for the person and wish happiness on them. Let love for them, and life in general, grow in your heart. It may take time, but if you’re stuck on this point, repeat some of the ones above until you can get here.

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.

10 Rules I Live By To Face Whatever The World Brings

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1. Stop trying to fix others.

Why is it that we know exactly how to fix other people’s problems? The truth is that when we try to fix others, we rob them of the opportunity to fix themselves. We’re saying to them, I know better than you. In reality most people don’t want to be “fixed,” they want to be heard. Rather than tell your best friend, your partner or your co-worker what to do, let them be their own guru. Listen.

2. Believe in you.

Whom or what you believe in is up to you. The Hebrew word for “to pray” isl’hitpallel. It is in the reflexive voice, which means that when you pray, you pray to yourself. With this small grammatical distinction the Jewish language is telling us an important truth about our lives; faith begins with you. So if you feel you have lost almost all faith, at the very least don’t stop believing in you.

3. Ditch the F-word (fear, of course).

Our human tendency is to believe that all unknowns are dangerous. It’s part of our evolutionary make-up. When faced with a life-changing or life-upending decision or opportunity, we tend to find all kinds of reasons to avoid leaving our comfort zones and crossing new thresholds. But it’s time to ditch the F-word. Courage is feeling the fear and moving forward anyway. Be courageous.

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4. Accept that you won’t always know why something bad has happened.

We all know that bad things happen to good people. Life moves without our consent. Yet we can spend a lifetime trying to figure out “why.” Rather than stay fixated on that question, as Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of Why Bad Things Happen to Good People tells us, ask “What now?” When you do, I promise you that the next threshold will be waiting for you.

5. Stop comparing.

Why is it that everyone else’s life looks easier, better and more glamorous than your own? The grass is truly greener if you compare the outsides of others with your insides. Remember if we want to overcome our (very human) instinct to measure our happiness against the happiness we see around us, we must realize that our perception of others’ happiness is often very wrong. Just because a room might be right for your friend, your co-worker, or your neighbor doesn’t mean that room is right for you. If you can celebrate others, you will find your own life worth celebrating.

6. Search for meaning, not happiness.

Happiness is overrated. There is no universal recipe, even though we would like to think there is. As a society, we have a very narrow definition of what happiness is: fame, wealth, power, and prestige. But these things are not universally attainable and quite often fleeting. Instead, create experiences that give you meaning and purpose, and you will find a new kind of “happiness” that will sustain you throughout all of life’s challenges.

Rainy Day Love

7. Let go of perfect. Strive for the best you can do.

We have become a society that believes that everything falls into two buckets: things that are perfect and then everything else. So if our decision to cross a threshold does not lead directly to perfect, our reasoning goes, then why bother? Bother because life is made up of more than two buckets and contrary to what we may believe, no one has a perfect life. Perfection is not a destination, but there is a lot of pretty good along the way.

8. Each day is an act of faith.

Getting out of bed each morning is an act of faith. In Judaism we even say a blessing of gratitude the moment we open our eyes. Having faith does not necessarily mean believing in God (I know, shocking, coming from a rabbi!). it means having faith in you. It means knowing that you have the inner tools and resources to face all the obstacles in your way.

9. Don’t let your emotions determine your reaction.

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to emotion, restraint is not always my strong suit. To combat this tendency, I developed the Wait Box: a file on my computer that exists today. Whenever I am tempted to react viscerally to a person or situation, I write my response — holding nothing back — and file it in the Wait Box. There my emotional response sits for twenty-four hours and marinates.

Of course, rarely does the response I initially write ever see the light of day. Usually it gets dumped in the trash and later replaced with something much more thoughtful, logical, and productive. There is always value in waiting and letting the thoughtful response catch up with the emotional one.

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10. Believe that tomorrow will be better.

The adage “tomorrow is a new day” may be cliché, but it rings true for a reason. The nature of life is that we can’t go back. We can only go forward. When we wish to re-create the past, we are really wishing to go back to a place that no longer exists. Find strength in knowing that we are not the same as yesterday, and we can move onward and upward. Today may be extremely challenging, but tomorrow will be different.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21341/10-rules-i-live-by-to-face-whatever-the-world-brings.html

Ayurveda Hair Treatments for gorgeous hair

These Ayurveda hair treatments nourishes and strengthens the hair

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Ayurveda treatment with herbal oil:
Use herbal oils to treat hair problem as well as promote healthy hair growth. Massaging your roots with ayurvedic hair oil like neem oil or amla oil that works not just to improve blood flow to your head but also to nourish roots.
Massage 2-3 tablespoons of oil onto your scalp for 5-10 minutes. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight. Shampoo and condition as usual the next morning.
Try the best hair oil spa treatment at home for faster hair growth >>

Ayurveda treatment with herbal powder:
Mix amla or fenugreek powder to coconut oil or aloe vera gel for a hair mask. The hair growth herbs strengthens the shaft and helps prevent breakage. Apply this to your hair and scalp and massage gently. Leave it for 30 minutes. Massage the treatment into your scalp, let it work its magic over the next couple of hours then shampoo and style your hair as usual.

http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2014/05/ayurveda-hair-masks.html

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