1. A Life of Contentment: The Truth about Happiness

    July 6, 2014

    A Life of Contentment: The Truth about Happiness

     

    In horse racing there is something called a trifecta. To win a trifecta, the bettor must not only pick the horses finishing in the top three places in a race, but the exact finishing order of each horse. In this article we will lay out our own trifecta. Ours has nothing to do with horse racing though. Rather, it has to do with picking a winning strategy for a life well lived.

    To get started I’m going to ask you to suspend a commonly held belief. That belief is this; “all I need to enjoy a good life is to be happy.” Nonsense! As you will learn, happiness is an overrated temporary response to the alignment of certain events in your life. Happiness is not a permanent state or condition. If it were meant to be permanent we would have no need for the word sad.

    That said, let me assure you that I have nothing against being happy. I enjoy happiness whenever or wherever it may occur. Pursuit of happiness is an important factor in human evolution. My only concern is that in our pursuit of happiness we often overlook those events, people, and situations that may or may not be conducive to our being “happy,” but never-the-less are important. If I may, allow me to substitute here the word contentment for happiness.

    As I will explain, contentment captures the importance of balance in our lives. I like to call this place, a life lived in balance, the good life. Which brings us back to the trifecta. Our race track: the Good Life; the heat: Psychology and mental health; the entrants: in gate #1 is Spirituality, gate #2 holds Meaning of Life; gate #3 Positive Psychology. The rest of the field is made up of a rag-tag assortment of lesser important names. Let’s look at the top three.

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  2. Balance Your Life with Ayurveda And The Doshas

    March 24, 2014

    Ayurveda

    by Jacqueline De Burca

     

    A Guide To The Tridosha Concept

    For over 5000 years, the Ayurvedic system has offered a body of wisdom to help people to achieve balance and vitality, whilst realising their full potential. Practitioners of the ancient holistic system of Ayurvedic medicine view each human as an individual and diagnosis is carried out using all of the five senses. Ayurveda considers that the physical and mental aspects, as well as the personality combine to make a unit, of which all aspects can influence the others. Treatment can include the use of herbs, yoga, nutrition, panchakarma cleansing, Vedic astrology and acupressure massage.

     

    Native to the subcontinent of India, this traditional medicine system’s name Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word ?yurveda, which means life-knowledge. There are texts on Ayurveda which date back to as early as the 3rd or 4th century B.C. However today in India the word is used to cover a range of traditional medicine, which means that there are numerous branches of Ayurveda now. Historically the system has enumerated the bodily substances into a framework of the five great elements (earth, water, fire, air and aether) which also interact with the seven tissues (blood, plasma, flesh, bone, marrow, adipose and reproductive).

     

    In Hinduism it is believed that humans and all of creation are made up of these five elements, which dissolve back into nature upon death, balancing nature’s cycle. However whilst living humans are affected by the five elements and Ayurveda aims to balance the three elemental substances, known as doshas. Known as the tridosha concept, tt is believed that each human being is a unique combination of the doshas, which defines their character and temperament. Every human has a natural systems state, which is a natural combination of the doshas. In Ayurveda is it believed that humans can achieve balance by seeking more of the element/s that they lack, which can be done through care of their habits, environment and behaviour.

     

    The three doshas are:

    Vata      – air and space = wind

    Pitta      – fire and water = bile

    Kapha    – water and earth = phlegm

     

    These fundamental energies affect both our inner and outer environment, plus they govern structure, movement and transformation. Upon diagnosis an Ayurvedic practitioner provides guidelines to be applied on a daily and seasonal basis. These include specific seasonal and daily routines, proper use of our senses, diet and behaviour. Ayurveda teaches that health is a result of a finely tuned integration between our spirit, body, mind and environment.

     

    Vata

    If Vata is the predominant dosha a person tends to be light, thin, energetic and enthusiastic. Vata types can be visionaries, with wonderful imaginations but they can also get spaced out. On the positive side Vata has an abundance of creative energy, but needs to watch out for feeling uptight and anxious. Although Vata may have artistic talent, the mind can sometimes be restless. This can lead to over analysis and theorising. They can also have a tendency for over-indulgence in some of life’s pleasures.

     

    Vata is required to mobilise the functioning of the nervous system, so this is why when there is too much Vata – an imbalance of Vata, that the person may tire easily due to over thinking, anxiety and worry. It also affects flatulence, windy humour, rheumatism and gout.

     

    To Balance Vata

    • Create a routine
    • Listen to relaxing music
    • Meditate if possible twice every day to calm your mind
    • Your environment should have more earth tones and mild pastel shades
    • Before going to bed, try to minimise watching TV, eating or heavy reading
    • Oil your skin

     

    To Avoid Excess Vata

    • Avoid exposure to the cold
    • Don’t eat too much dry, leftover or frozen food, or food that is bitter or astringent
    • Avoid too much exercise
    • Avoid suppressing your natural urges
    • Don’t travel too much

     

     

    Pitta

    Those who have more of the Pitta dosha are often confident leaders. Their physique tends to be moderately strong, and they seem to walk with a sense of purpose. When they speak the voice is often strong, or even loud, and their speech is convincing. They are enthusiastic for knowledge, have a leaning towards being very focused and can have a razor sharp mind. Even when relatively balanced they can seem argumentative, but it is mixed with a sense of humour. However an excess of Pitta can make them irritable, fiery and snappy. Those with Pitta as the prevalent dosha can be organised perfectionists.

     

    The energy principle of Pitta is to use the bile to direct digestion and metabolism. As heat is its main quality, those with Pitta can suffer from overheating, skin irritations, ulcers and heartburn.

     

    To Balance Pitta

    • Spend time in cooling environments
    • Do gentle exercise that doesn’t overheat you
    • Try to learn to go with the flow
    • Eat cooling foods, cucumbers are excellent as are many vegetables and fruit
    • Avoid oily foods
    • Take deep breaths frequently, or do breathing exercies
    • Do yoga asanas which are gentle

     

    To Avoid Excess Pitta

    • Don’t overexposure yourself to heat
    • Avoid too much intellectual thinking
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Be careful of too much anger, fear or hate
    • Do not exercise in the middle of the day
    • Avoid antibiotics and ideally all drugs

     

     

    Kapha

    Kapha tends to have a broader frame and long limbs. They are compassionate and caring, often speaking in a slow, rhythmic manner. They are stable, patient people who don’t tend towards anger too easily – however if they are driven far enough then they don’t calm down very easily. Essentially full of love, loyal and kind-hearted, the Kapha is the dosha which is prone to gain weight easily. They take longer to learn but when they do the memory is strong. Also it may take then a while to reach a conclusion, but they make excellent logical analysts.

     

    If there is an excess of Kapha then the person may feel lethargic and over-indulgent. As phlegm is the controlling body fluid, Kapha types are prone to excess weight, congestion and a sluggish digestion.

     

    To Balance Kapha

    • Walk for around 15 minutes after eating to aid digestion
    • Be attentive to your food while eating, in other words be mindful
    • Trigger your natural energy by going to a yoga class
    • Breath deeply or do breathing exercises
    • Do an invigorating daily self massage

     

    To Avoid Excess Kapha

    • Avoid eating too much meat, dairy, fried food, salt and sweets
    • Don’t use sedatives or tranquilizers
    • Avoid exposure to the cold
    • Avoid doing little or nothing
    • Don’t drink too much water
    • Be careful about focusing too much on possessiveness, greed and doubts

     

    To get the best out of Ayurveda, you should go to a qualified practitioner and then follow through on the recommendations based on your current balance of doshas. However, if you are curious, you can first try some quick online quizzes to find your balance:

    http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/

    http://www.pukkaherbs.com/Ayurveda/dosha-quiz

     

    Author Bio: Jacqueline is trained in auricular acupuncture, hypnotherapy and Vortex Healing. She firmly believes in the healing power of nature, as well as its inspirational effects on us. She also loves ancient wisdom and is fascinated by how certain places can have a special effect on us.

     

    Image Credit: marketing-deluxe.at


  3. Personal development by Volunteering: Getting more than what you Give

    March 18, 2014

    Personal development through Volunteering

    It’s common among regular volunteers to hear them say that: “When volunteering, the volunteer often receives more than what he/she gives of their time.” What is it about volunteering on a regular basis that makes this activity so meaningful and fulfilling? How can spending your time “working for free” (as some might put it) make anyone happy?

    Living your life in an altruistic way will make you happier. Don’t believe me? Believe the Science. Studies have shown that nuns have happiness levels higher than any other group! Why is that? What makes devoting one’s life to others such a fulfilling one? It gives you a sense of belonging, purpose in life and increases your sense of community. But most of all, it helps you realize you’re not alone in the world and small random acts of kindness do change the reality around you.

    According to Viktor Frankl’s theory of Logotherapy, the search for meaning and purpose in life is one of Man’s greatest dilemmas but also it is achieving the knowledge of what’s the meaning of your life and taking responsibility for it, that will “set you free” for any psychological restraints you might have.
     

    Sense of community, purpose and belonging

     
    By no means does this article intend to make you join a religious organization in order to make you happier and satisfied about your life! I brought up the studies about nuns as just an example. But what these multiple studies really demonstrate is that living inside the bubble surrounding your life (job, home) will leave you with a sense of emptiness and disconnection from everyone else. Since birth, all we human beings seek is to belong, to connect with other human beings at a deeper level. It’s not the amount of time shared with someone that will give a sense of fulfillment, it is the quality of the time shared with someone, and the depth of human relationships.

    Sharing your time with others will provide you with a deep sense of belonging to a community, where the word solidarity will still mean something. Soli-what? Yes, giving just for the sake of doing it without expecting anything in return except for some gratitude! Again you don’t believe me? Try this simple exercise in your life: have an spontaneous act of kindness to anyone – a smile, a comforting word, hold the elevator for someone – and see what happens. You might just make someone’s day.
     

    Should I do some volunteering work to feel happier?

     
    That’s up to you. Like any other activity, if it doesn’t satisfy you, don’t do it. Volunteering can only be a rewarding experience when done with genuineness. It has to come from the heart to work. And don’t think that volunteering will magically heal all your problems, you have to feel good about yourself in order to help others. Again take responsibility and don’t expect others to be happy for you.
     

    A few tips for the volunteer wannabe:

     

    1. Start with small activities. Why don’t you try getting engaged in a small volunteer work in your community or even job? There are many one-day volunteering activities that you can try out.
    2. Areas of interest. What are your areas of interest and what kind of people do you see yourself working with? Do you love children, the elderly? Are you keen on sports or worried about the environment or love animals? Answer this question first, then start looking for volunteer projects near you.
    3. Willingness to commit. You cannot volunteer to anything if you’re not committed to it. Volunteering is not like a job but it requires responsibility. After all, there are people depending on you.
    4. Feeling satisfied about it. If volunteering does not fill your heart with joy or take too much of your time, it’s not a rewarding experience. On the other hand, if you feel like it makes you a better person and you feel like you’re making a difference in the world, then you’re on the right track. Keep doing it!

     
     
    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25000888@N08/2536175241


  4. Why it is Getting Harder to Find That Special One

    February 28, 2014

    Why it is Getting Harder to Find That Special One

    We all have meaningful relationships in our lives or at least we’ve had that experience (parents, friends, family, and love). But as we grow older, meaningful relationships seem harder to find. How can we connect deeply to someone and not just have relationships that scrap the surface of meaningful? Where can we find them and how will you know you’ve met someone worth keeping around?

    We used to have no filters.

    And got hurt over and over. So we developed walls to protect us from others. But sometimes those same walls that are meant to protect keep others away. My bottom line is, you’re going to have to open up to someone once in a while.  But you should be prepared to recognize the ones that are going to be worthwhile opening up to.

    In a crowd and still all alone.

    This has got to be one of the worst feelings to have. Of being alone in spite of being surrounded by other human beings. But those same people don’t mean anything to you neither do you mean anything to them. They need to know you to care and love you. And as psychologists like John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth and others have pointed out attachment to other human beings is one of our most primal needs and essential to our mental health and adaptation. A lot of our mental health issues arise from a lack of attachment and meaningful relationships in our lives. We cannot forget we are social beings and need face-to-face contact.

    Are you in meaningful and fulfilling relationships?

    I’ll give a few clues on what are the components of a meaningful relationship. If you’re involved in love and friendship relationships that have components like:

    • Respect. Do your friends call to check up on you? They don’t leaving waiting for hours? Do they listen when you talk?
    • Time investment. Are the people around you making the effort to spend time with you? Even if they’re far away they still seem close by (because they call or send e-mails or texts)?
    • Mutual feelings and caring. Does that person reply to your feelings in the same way? Do they empathize with you?
    • A feeling deep connection. Do you feel like that person means a lot to you? Do you have a history together and memories you wouldn’t trade for anything?
    • Understanding. Does that person make the effort to understand you even if they don’t agree with you?

    If you checked yes in all components, congratulations! If you’re not involved in meaningful relationships start thinking on how you’re going to make room in your life to let the good ones in and he bad ones out.

    Meaningful relationships: how do I get one?

    • It involves work and personal commitment. I’m not going to lie to you: to have meaningful relationships, you’ll need to devote love, time and care to someone. It takes work but like I’ve always heard anything that is worthwhile in life has to be fought for.
    • Be picky. You can be a crowd pleaser if you’re going to pursue meaningful relationships in your life. It’s much more effective to have one or two close friends than 500 friends on Facebook that are not around when you need a shoulder to cry on.
    • Don’t give yourself to anyone and everyone. This follows that last one. Yes you have to give yourself a little bit, but people should earn your trust first. And don’t give yourself away, you’re precious. Make them work it!
    • Don’t settle for scrapes of love. You’re looking for the real deal. If a friend can’t give you a similar amount of their time and attention as the ones you provide them, then maybe you shouldn’t settle for just that.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sianainengland/5893681354


  5. Developing A Sense of Gratitude

    February 2, 2014

    Developing A Sense of Gratitude

    Sure, we all want to believe we are grateful for the things we have in this life, but how much do we truly practice gratitude on a daily (or even weekly) basis?  Being grateful for what one has seems to be a simple task, but surprisingly, for many people, it is not.  With the hustle and bustle of daily life, along with the development of new gadgets and gizmos everyday, it can be hard to stay grounded and appreciate the things that are a part of you life in the here and now.  Here are some tips for increasing (or developing) a sense of gratitude.

     

    Write it down – This might seem like a no-brainer; writing down what you are grateful for is simple.  However, it can be more difficult than you think.  First and foremost, you need to actually sit down and find the time to write.  As I stated earlier about the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard for many people to justify sitting down for a few minutes and write out these affirmations.  However, by keeping a visible list of things and people you are grateful for in your life, it can serve as a powerful reminder in times of need.  Whenever you are feeling down about life or struggling with some problem, you can pull out the list and remind yourself of just how many things you have to be thankful for.

     

    Letters of appreciation – Another great idea to help you feel more grateful about your life is to write a letter of appreciation to someone in your life.  You don’t actually have to send this letter if you don’t want to, but the act of writing down all the ways this person has helped you can send an important message.  First, it helps you realize that you are important and others do care about you.  And second, it allows you to take a moment to reflect on just how much another person was able to be there for you during an emotional or trying time in your life.

     

    Meditate – Getting in tune with your physical and mental states of being is another way to develop or strengthen gratitude.  Even sitting down for 10 minutes and focusing on yourself can help you appreciate how strong you can actually be.  Focus on your breathing, how it feels as it enters and leaves your body; focus on the physical sensations and the mental clarity that meditation can bring.  Learning to appreciate the amazing things your body can actually do helps you to feel grateful for health and well-being.

     

    Help someone in need –This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  Maybe it’s a weekly standing date at the local shelter to lend a hand (or an ear).  Perhaps it’s volunteering once a month at the animal shelter.  Or maybe it’s simply helping someone with grocery bags outside the supermarket.  Whatever you do, no matter how large or small, the act of helping another human being helps you reconnect with your purpose in life and makes you appreciate the fact you can actually be of assistance to another person (or animal).

     

    Focus on what you have, not what you want – Sure, we all have wants in life.  We want to have more money, more time, a bigger house, a nicer car….the list could go on and on.  But instead of focusing on the things in life you don’t have, try refocusing your energy on what you do have.  For example, if you find yourself longing for more closet space in your bedroom and it’s stressing you out, think about the fact you are lucky to have your own bedroom – because there is someone out there sleeping on the floor (or worse, in a car or on the streets).  When you are upset because your best friend bought a new car and you’re still driving around in your clunker from college, think about that elderly gentleman who walks (rain, sleet or snow) because he can’t even afford a clunker.  When you keep the focus on what you actually have rather than what you don’t, you learn to appreciate the smaller (and greater) things in life.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/4345364420/

     

     

     


  6. Anxious About Finding Love in the New Year?

    January 8, 2014

    lindseykone-3583798017
    The New Year is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Many people feel a sense of positivity during this period as they make plans and resolutions for the year ahead. For some people, 2014 will be year when they finally find the job of their dreams, vow to become a more laid back person, or quit the junk food. However, for some people the year ahead will be the one where they hope to find love.

    The Christmas period which has just passed can be a very difficult time for singles – many people wish they had someone to share those special times with. With the New Year comes a renewed sense of hope. Of course, you can’t simply expect the man/woman of your dreams to fall into your lap, however there are things you can do to be more proactive in your search for love.

    The New Year is the most popular time for people to sign up to online dating websites. There is no longer such a stigma attached to online dating and it’s thought that around a third of marriages begin this way. As long as you exercise safety and caution, especially when meeting someone for the first time, online dating can be a great way of meeting new people. If you work long hours or have family commitments, then this method is easy to fit in around your busy life.

    If you have a little more time on your hands, you might want to consider taking up an evening class or joining a local hobby group. Not only will you pick up some new skills but it’s an excellent way to meet new people. The great thing about taking up a class in something which interests you is that you’re more likely to meet likeminded people who share your interests and passions. It’s much more different than simply meeting someone at a bar where you know very little about each other.

    Ironically, another method which is becoming increasingly popular is to have a psychic reading, such as those at TheCircle. Although it’s not for everyone, many people report that having a reading can help to give them a new perspective on life and help them to understand what they are looking for in a partner. The reader is unlikely to tell you that you will meet someone tall, dark and handsome, but they may give you inspiration as to how to meet that special person.

    There are no guarantees when it comes to finding love. However, if you open yourself up to the possibility of meeting someone new then good things are likely to follow. Many people believe that the New Year is all about bettering themselves and forgetting about any unhappiness they may have felt in the previous year. Moving forward may mean taking up new hobbies, becoming healthier or simply trying to adopt a more positive outlook on life. All these things can help to facilitate your search for love.

    Author Bio:  Gemma Andrews is a mom of two, who met her husband 3 years ago after taking up a Spanish language class in her local town. After feeling disillusioned in her search for love, she realised that once she stopped worrying about finding ‘Mr Right’ and concentrated on trying new things and being a more positive person, love soon followed.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindseykone/3583798017


  7. If You Don’t Want To Regret About Your Life In 10 Years

    November 5, 2013

    If You Don't Want To Regret About Your Life In 10 Years

    by Alex Strike

    Once, I’ve read such an expression: “Do not behave as if 500 years are left for you to live”. I do not know why, but these words made me think of my life in a different way. You must admit, that usually we do not think about the fact that tomorrow might not come; and one day we look around and confess that we lived a wrong way. We start thinking about the things we would change or do in a different way if we were ten years younger for example.

    Were you happy all these years? Did you love enough? Did you do what you wanted exactly? Maybe it would be better to do something today in order not to regret about your life and missing opportunities in ten years? What can you do right now for your tomorrow’s happiness?

     

    1. Think of health

     

    Your body is a house of your soul, that is why think and care about it as the most important thing you have in life. If you do not have health, you will have nothing at all, so, eat and rest well, and do not forget about exercising as well.

     

    2. Love

     

    Love may come to your life from different sources, that is why just do not miss an opportunity to love something. It will give you a chance to understand how much beauty is around you every day, and you will surprise how easy it is to notice it and get pleasure of it.

     

    3. Laugh

     

    Some of us take their life too seriously. Why should we do this anyway? Every day it is possible to find humor in something that surrounds us, so, do not ignore such a chance. Laugh as much as you can, find positive moments everywhere, enjoy every moment your life brings to you.

     

    4. Do not keep silence

     

    How often do we hide what we really think? Do you really think that no one around you do not know about your feelings? Do not keep silence, when it comes to relations with other people: if you love a person – tell him/her about it; if a person hurts you – tell him/her as well.  Is it difficult for you to express your feelings? Writing a letter will be a perfect variant for you then.

     

    5. Do not live in the past

     

    We all have the past, and we often think of it wondering about “what if…”. Moreover, some people believe that the past can be changed (we all remember Jay Gatsby, do not we?). Forget about it! It is done already, and there is no reason to regret about anything that can’t be changed. So, it’s high time to throw all regrets away and think of your past as memories, nothing else.

     

    6. Do not crave for material things

     

    We all want fame, popularity, much money, beautiful people around, etc., and we all crave for it for the whole life. We think that we’ll become happy at once we get all these material things. But the truth is that your expensive clothes and cars are the last things you will think of when you are old. The more chances are you will remember your loyal dog and those feelings it gave you. So, just stop craving for all material only.

     

    7. Accept what you can’t change

     

    There is no point to regret and worry about anything you can’t change. And even if you think you should have entered another university or married another person, there are things you can’t change already. The only thing you can do is to re-evaluate all of them and think logically what you can change. Follow your instincts, or just try to change your attitude towards the situation you can’t change.

     

    8. Do what you love

     

    Yes, it sounds so obvious, and we all definitely heard this advice, but… Do you follow it? No, think again! You will never regret about spending time with people who make you happy; you will never regret about your holidays and vacations… But you may regret about all missing opportunities: about a book you have not read, about courses you have not attended, and so on. Be open to new hobbies, and do what you really like in this life.

     

    9. Open your mind

     

    Do not be afraid of thinking about things in a different way. Open your mind to new opportunities and possibilities, change your perspective, and you will see how easy it can be to improve yourself and your relationships with people around. Feel less bitterness, feel less anger, and open a new world to yourself.

     

    10. Be grateful

     

    Maybe you do not know this fact, but gratitude can really improve you: your health, self-worth, spirituality, happiness. The sad truth of life is the fact it will never be perfect, but it does not mean you have nothing to be grateful for. Do not forget to thank life for all those big and small joys it gives you.

     

    Author Bio: Alex Strike is a young blogger at the best online essay writing services.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicoravassard/8568683430


  8. Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

    October 17, 2013

    by Joanna Hughes

    Does the power of positive thinking have the ability to heal the human body? What about religious belief, or the commitment to spiritual wholeness? In all cases, an increasing amount of scientific research point in the direction of “yes.”

    Scientists from all over the world are discovering what many ancient cultures have known since the beginning of time: enabling balance between mind, body and soul promotes comprehensive wellness and improved quality of life.

     

    Meditate for Better Health
    While spirituality is often associated with religious practice, it can also be derived from secular sources, such as meditation. A recent study conducted collaboratively between Milwaukee’s Medical College of Wisconsin and Fairfield and Iowa’s Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention of the Maharishi University of Management suggests that people with coronary artery disease reap significant therapeutic value from transcendental meditation.

    Total peace
    It’s not just relaxing, meditation is good for your physical health!

    Participants in the study experienced a 50% decrease in risk of heart attack and stroke compared to the placebo group. Presented at the American Heart Association meeting, this study joins a wealth of other results connecting spirituality to overall well-being. In fact, the establishment of a meditative practice has been linked to everything from decreased blood pressure to lessening chemotherapy-related nausea to reducing chronic pain.

    Religion, too, has been scientifically linked to better physical health, with studies demonstrating fewer emergency room visits as well as faster recovery from heart surgery by patients who profess strong religious beliefs.

     

    Mind Control
    Other research results–evaluating everything from group therapy’s influence on breast cancer survival rates to the effects of biofeedback on migraine headaches in children–demonstrate the power of mind over matter when it comes to health. Unfortunately, the relationship can also work in reverse: for example, chronic illness is a major cause of depression.

     

    So Now What?
    Now that the connection has been established, the next step is applying this information in a meaningful way. Proper nutrition and healthy eating are cure-alls for a number of physical ailments, and can lead to improved mental energy as well as a heightened sense of fulfillment. If you are religious, attending services or becoming involved with your church or synagogue can have a beneficial bearing on your well-being. Non-secular programs which integrate the mind and the body include meditation, yoga, and group therapy.

    Hippocrates himself was a believer in the connection between mind, body and soul. Considered the father of modern medicine, he promoted balance as an important component of ideal health.


    Hippocrates figured it out thousands of years ago.

    Today’s physicians are increasingly accepting this ancient wisdom, which forms the basis for contemporary integrative medicine. After all, we can acknowledge that the body and mind are biologically programmed to communicate with each other. It is not a far reach to conclude, therefore, that one’s positive or negative state has direct bearing on the other. It is a complex system of connectedness, and one which we are only beginning to comprehend.

     


  9. You Are the Creator of Your Destiny

    October 7, 2013

    creator of your destiny

    Many people have the view that karma is the doer of everything. It is destiny that makes and does things. Such people believe they are fated by their karma to be like they are and there is nothing that can change them.

    For an intelligent person it is all deceptive, such a person will never put restrictions on his ability. An intellectual man believes that he has to make his own destiny with his thoughts and actions. By saying ‘it’s my destiny and I cannot change it’, a person is only limiting is abilities and is creating walls around him that will not break until the person wants to break them down with power of his thoughts and actions.

    Do we control our destiny?

    It is a simple question, but very difficult to answer – Do we control our own destiny? Majority of people act as if their destiny is pre-created. There are only a few who believe they have the capacity to change, and only these few plan, execute and dream of a better future despite the challenges they face in life.

    Almost all of us lead our lives according to desires, personal bonds, duties, family obligations, planning and accidental happenings. In such a scenario believing that you create your own destiny, you can take your own decisions and make your own choices in life and make the best efforts to shape existence the way you want it to be. Positive frame of mind and belief aren’t the only things that make your destiny, hard work and destiny go hand in hand.

    Listed below are a few ways about how you can work on your life and be the creator of your own destiny.

    • Dream and share in your network

    Dream about your goals, dream about what you want to be and don’t limit your dreams to yourself. Share your dreams with other like-minded individuals in your network because you never know when someone would show up in life and help you achieve your dreams.

    • Focus on health to make your destiny

    You must have heard – health is wealth, so it is, there is nothing that you can do without good health. It is important for you to focus on good health and nutrition. Without health you cannot labor and without hard work you cannot make your own destiny.

    • Plan as much as possible and then work in a focused direction

    In the process of creating your own destiny, it is important to examine and discuss all the aspects of your life – personal and professional – and then plan accordingly to achieve happiness and success. Without a plan you don’t know where you are going, so plan towards making your own destiny. It is however important to be pragmatic in planning. Your plans should reflect what is physically possible (keeping the available resources and limitations in mind) only then you will be inclined at working hard to fulfill your plans.

    • Pursue your goals

    There is no point planning if you are not going to work in order to execute your plans. Your actions are directly proportional to the results, thus the best way to pursue your goals is to do a little bit (towards the goal) every single day of your life to pursue your destiny.

    • Do not limit your belief and fear

    There are a couple of things that can hold you back from fulfilling your destiny – your self-limitations and fear are a few of them. Do not let your belief be limited, and never fear anything, do what you fear and your fear will certainly disappear.

    • Aim for the impossible and get the best possible

    You have the ability to make your own destiny, so make decisions and act upon them whether you realize it or not. Never limit your goals, set high standards for yourself. Setting high goals will let you see the invisible and those who can see the invisible can achieve the impossible and create their own destiny.

     

    This post was provided by MTSRoller: Headquartered in New York, MTSRoller.com is an online store specializing in skincare products such as derma rollers & high end Korean skin creams. The company has a strong presence in the United States and Canada. Authentic products sourced from leading brands at a discounted price are shipped overnight by MTSRoller to its customers all over the world. You can follow MTSRoller on Twitter: @MTSRollercom.

    Image Credit: Hilde Skjølberg – http://www.flickr.com/photos/hebe/2575732319/


  10. Painting From the Source

    September 14, 2013

    by Aviva Gold

    paintingfromthesource.com 

     

    The term “process painting” implies painting ( or drawing ) from intuition with no plan or goal. It is like playing freely with the paint, choosing colors, shapes, images, allowing the painting to unfold organically in ways you would not expect, …. directed from the unconscious, allowing the painting to change, get painted over, turned around and grow or shrink. “Organically” means, approaching the painting and the images as a living entity which has its own natural evolution and growth like a seed to a tree, and following its growth where it takes you. There is no right or wrong, no rules to follow or prescribed technique. You and the painting evolve as in nature as if following a genetic program.

     

    Different from copying from nature, still life or doing portrait from life or photo, different from a preplanned picture or illustration, process paintings goal is to be with out an intellectual goal. The goal is to be in the moment and follow where the painting leads you. … and stay with it until there is a clear completion , visually and emotionally. The emotions and body sensations you experience in this full body engagement with paint is part of the process.  And different from Abstract painting, process painting allows and welcomes images to appear in their own dream like determination. Often the painter in process experiences some transformation from the experience. PP is practiced more for the evolutionary experience then for the final product. Process painting is practiced by self taught and professionally trained alike. Often people journal as the painting changes and unfolds.

     

     

    There is a similar method called a Drawing (or painting) Marathon, often used in art schools to free up students.  In a drawing marathon, people will get together for a full day or longer and completely submerge them selves in drawing all day and night as long as they can, perhaps with rotating models or other subjects, till life as a reference point; drawing as much and as quickly as they can for as long as they can. The purpose being that people will loosen up and let go of limiting habits and allow inspiration and newly gained facile, freshness and comfort with the materials to enhance the creative process.

    PAINTING FROM THE SOURCE method which I facilitate and train others to teach is based on a combination of process painting and painting marathon as described above with the addition but with the addition of  much more.

    In the Source painting process we use tempera, water based paint which dries quickly (kindergarten paint) and paper. Some of the characteristics that distinguishes PFTS from generic “process painting” is that I encourage:

     

    1. People to stay in the same painting for the duration of time ( 1 day, a week end , often 5 days). There may be many layers and papers added on. Some people work on a painting with details for months.
    2. A sacred ritual and safe atmosphere, with an alter, opening prayer, …weave/invite the presence of The Sacred through candle lighting, opening and continuous prayer, sacred words, chants and sounds, presence of an alter, rituals, include awareness of current season, moon phase, and holidays etc.
    3. Safety/privacy, the personal sharing of heartfelt hopes/intentions from the process/painting experience. No comments about anyone’s process/painting.
    4. People  periodically allow the movements and sounds from their painting to come through them with the group witnessing or group participating. These embodiments, where the paintings over soul channels through your body and expresses its depths through your body, are profoundly transforming to the painter and the group.
    5. Viewing the unfolding process/painting as a great mystery with no analyzing or interpretation, always moving beyond a tempting story.
    6. Embracing and allowing uncomfortable images and colors to emerge and express their needs
    7. Opening up a dialog with the painting for and / or with images in the painting to receive guidance.
    8. Conduct Retreat in Nature and away from participants daily life if possible.
    9. The Tribal Experience; support, love and being witnessed by the group.
    10. Encourage painters to complete images, feet, fingers, roots, earth below, end of roads, source of river and all possible details.

     

    Source painting has a more focused conception and purpose.

     

    PURPOSE: The natural and ancient way to create authentic Art, is healing to the maker, viewer and community. Similar to meditation, yoga, trance dance, chanting, and dream tending, the Arts, (particularly spontaneous painting and drawing), are a potent and effective means to mystical revelatory states of consciousness with the bonus of a stirring visual record.  Source Painting taps into both the personal and collective flow of mysterious archetypical imagery which empowers, inspires and transforms the painter. The PFTS workshop is designed to aid contemporary people in reconnection with nature and the original Source of life, which in turn leads to practical benefits such as improved health, work, relationships and heart open practices for community and environmental sustainability. Creativity and sacred presence are the same.

    I will be facilitating a 5 day workshop, Paint & Dance From the Source, on Oct 20-25 at Pumpkin Hollow (www.PumpkinHollow.org) in the upper Hudson Valley of New York. For more information about this workshop please contact me at Aviva@PaintingFromTheSource.com or by phone (805) 640-1724.

     

    Aviva Gold Author Bio: Aviva Gold MFA, MPS, CSW, ATR-BC, REAT, calls herself a painting witch. And like most witches throughout history, Aviva is steeped in the womanly art of midwifery. Why a witch? Because she is intimately conversant with the mysteries and magic that underlie everyday reality, and with the alchemy that taps into them to bring healing and integration. Why a midwife? Because she is a skilled guide to those on the path to the deepest truth and the complex process of spiritual evolution. This dual personae is the medium Aviva uses to make her teaching unique and uniquely powerful: painting is her channel to the truth.

    Images: Aviva Gold – www.paintingfromthesource.com