What is it?
How can we use it?
Tip for Intuition:
When I was in school, I was told that sacred meant “holy” or “set apart”. I never understood what it meant until I discovered meditation. “Sacred” sounds like such a heavy word, as most words connected with religion usually do. So what does it really mean? Let’s take a look into the meaning of sacredness.
In the Eye of the Storm
The best way I could define this word is living right in the middle of a storm. Sometimes life can be like a tornado. When people and activities get caught up and swept away in a storm of panic or stress, it is just like an emotional tornado. If we were to succumb to this stressful and anxious energy, we would be in effect, caught up in this slipstream. So what can we do when all around us is negative? We need to go “inside” to find inner peace. We need to be the eye, the watcher of the storm.
Drop the Anchor
It is important not to get caught up with this wave of stressful energy. To find a place of peace in the midst of stress, we can do a short meditation. It is a great practice to return your focus to your body, your breath or your inner peace, especially in moments of stress. One moment of mindfulness can be enough to let the storm pass by. Like training a muscle, we can learn to retreat back to the present moment, to ourselves.
Retreat to a Sanctuary
Sometimes it can be difficult to meditate in the middle of a chaotic occurrence or life situation. For that reason, it can be a good idea to go to a place of peace, like a sanctuary. This can be a quiet room, a church, a park or a graveyard. There are lots of places that can give refuge when you are feel overwhelmed by the pull of negative energy. Being in nature is also a calming experience. A holiday, a short trip or a change of scenery can also be exactly what your mind needs to calm down.
Find Your Own Sacred Place
Sacredness is a personal thing. We all have different ways to find peace and these will also change as we develop as a person. We are on a journey to discover our own inner peace. Inner peace for ourselves is the most important. After we find peace on the inside, we naturally create harmony around us.
What is a connection between people? How do connections form and why do they disconnect? In this article, we take a look at the world of human connections.
The name is bond…
I believe connections are bonds, invisible to the human eye, but very real to our emotional selves. If we are sensitive, we can pick up on how well we “get along” with different people. With some people, we seem to be compatible as friends and with others, for some reason, we have nothing in common. In romantic relationships, we call this chemistry, but in our daily lives, we naturally have people we are on the “same wavelength” with and others, we simply do not connect with.
Has is ever happened to you that you think about another person, like your Mum, only to receive a text from her a minute later. This is what some people call a coincidence, but I believe that humans have ways of reaching out to each other, that we don’t yet fully understand. Siblings in particular have especially good connections and twins can even know what the other twin is feeling or doing at a given time. We can think about each other and if we listen, we can “pick up” on little messages from each other.
Breaking up is hard to do
They are called break-ups for a reason. We literally invest our energy into forming bonds or relationships with other people. If we have a very heart felt-connections with another, be it romantically or even on a friendship basis, this can be quite a strong bond. If we spend a lot of time bonding with that person, the relationship gets stronger. When relationships end, or when friendships end, this bond is broken. And the end sometimes can be short and swift, or can take a long time to heal.
There is no distance that love cannot travel. Our friends in other countries remain connected with us. Even though we can be far apart from our friends when they are in different places, they still feature in our thoughts and our lives. Sometimes something small like hearing their favourite song on the radio can remind us of that friendship.
There are wonderful phrases in the English language which describe how we make positive connections with others. Sometimes we say “Send my love to your parents” when we speak with a friend, whom we are very close with. Or when we see great suffering, we may say “my heart goes out to those people”. These are examples of us giving out good energy to other people.
Forever and Ever
We keep connections that are healthy and which give us a positive feeling. Sometimes, this even means that people who have passed on still remain connected to us. The first way that children are taught about death that the person is not gone, but they live forever in our hearts. This is quite a beautiful way to view death. It can help the grieving process to know that the connection is different now, but it is not over.
Connections are like bonds between two atoms. We form and break connections all the time. There are strong, weak, short-lived and long-lasting, positive and negative. Some take time to develop or heal once broken. The cosmic dance of relationships is for our greater good. Always.
We have teas for all occasions!
What type of tea do you like? Some teas are good for some of our health issues. There is even the right time to take each one. Do you know when to drink what kind of tea? If you are fond of a cuppa, here is a list of teas and their remedies.
The story goes that this drink was invented when leaves fell into a cup of hot water belonging to a monk. This was a happy accident to happen upon him as he found his mood were quite enhanced. This discovery showed us tea is full of antioxidants and caffeine which means it is good to boost energy and also has some medical properties. Green tea is best to take in the morning so that you can awaken your metabolism.
Strong in flavour and deeply comforting, this is a favourite tea of the Irish. This tea is highly oxidizing and kills bacteria in our mouths which cause cavities. Black tea is also revered for reducing cortisol levels in the body, meaning that it helps to reduce feelings of stress. It is important not to take too much black tea as it may keep us from sleeping if taken in too high amounts.
Chamomile tea is best taken before going to bed as part of our winding down time. This tea is made from the beautiful chamomile flower and has a wonderfully pleasing aroma. This tea is best taken with the full flowers immersed in water for aesthetic reasons! Chamomile tea has very relaxing effects similar to lavender. For this reason it can be used to help alleviate insomnia.
Ginger tea is a good option to take when we have stomach problems. Motion sickness and morning sickness can also be treated with this tea. Its healing properties have been known for thousands of years, making this a well-known and well-revered medicinal tea. Ginger can also be freshly grated into hot water and combined with lemon to maximise the taste and power of the ginger root.
And finally, peppermint tea is also very effective for stomach pains. The sweet-smelling essential oils of peppermint tea make this a very pleasing tea to drink. Peppermint activates digestion in the stomach in a very gentle way and for that reason can be used to reduce stomach pains. It is ideal to take at any time of the day, and some people take it before going to bed to help to sleep better.
So for most health ailments of the body and mind, there is a natural remedy. Teas can be a great soothing or energising tonic depending on which kind we choose. It is definitely worthwhile using some of the ancient wisdom about the fruits of the earth to improve our health and well-being.
Someone asked me for my thoughts on meditation and it got me thinking… do I know anything about meditation? For me, meditation is so pure and simple that it is somehow complicated to put into words. Mindfulness/meditation is the art of doing nothing and letting go. It is going home to ourselves when we have left our senses. It is our natural way of being. It is feeling the power of relinquishing the need to control.
The Great Contradiction
Meditation to me is a kind of contradiction. By yielding to the present moment we overcome our situation. By giving in to what is happening, we are instantly rewarded with a better, more fulfilled feeling. By letting go, we gain so much. And all we have to do to have the most wonderful feeling in the world… is absolutely nothing.
Our Busy World.
With people so busy checking their phones, looking over their shoulders for competitors and some even building walls of fear and hate, we all need meditation to help us to find a sense of peace. In our current society, we have become too infatuated with speed, success and doing, that we have forgotten to refuel.
Recharge the Batteries!
Humans energy levels are similar to mobile phone batteries. Almost every day, we charge our mobile phones to make sure that it has enough energy. This is akin to people making sure to get a good nights sleep. We need around 8 hours every night to function well. But what happens during the waking hours of the day?
Take Many Breaks.
As we use up energy on our phone, for phone calls, internet and messaging, we demand a lot from our phones. By the same token, as we expel our own energy on our thoughts, our daily tasks and constant activity, we also deplete our own energy. We need to take moments during the day, simply to be. We need moments in which we do not give out too much energy. We can stop for a minute to refuel our batteries.
What Do the Experts Say?
Eckhart Tolle, the author of “The Power of Now” advises that adding a small moment now and then to our lives for a mindful breath or a short meditation can greatly improve our well-being. The length of the meditation is not important, rather he advises to inset periods of meditation on a regular basis. The duration of meditation will naturally extend as we implement our own practice.
I encourage everyone to practice a bit of meditation. In whatever way we invite peace and meditation into our lives, it is one of the healthiest choices to make. We can slow down. We can refuel. We can become healthier and happier. As we practice, moment by moment, we can recover from a lifetime of struggle.
Meditation is savouring the sweet mundane. It brings in attention to life as it is, here and now. In meditation, you can begin to declutter your mind. There are many portals to meditation, e.g. breathing, awareness of the body and sense perceptions. The goal of meditation is to come back to yourself. When you forget to give your true self attention, you can always
come back home, back to oneness with God and back to full health. I created this little article for you to see how meditating can help you on your path to full mental, physical and spiritual health.
Our Mental Health:
When sitting in meditation, practice letting go of your worries and cares of the day. Come into the space where you can just be you for 5 to 10 minutes. There is no onus on you to say, do or be anything during this time. This is a safe place and a welcoming place. As you sit in silence, become aware of a space inside you that is what you truly are. As you bring loving attention to your real self, the baggage that you carry begins to fall away. Maybe you have carried this for a long time without knowing it. As we bring all sides of ourselves into the light of awareness, the light of our true self strengthens.
Toxic relationships, and abusive comments from strangers are some sources of outside negativity. If you are sensitive, hurtful words can linger in your mind. I noticed that hearing a man swearing on a bus can put me in an uneasy mood for the rest of the day. Unresolved issues amongst families can also “live” in your psyche and release negative energy to you. The solution is to mediate when you feel upset by another’s comments. The space brought in by meditation allows us to separate these comments from ourselves. In this way, we build a protective shield against outside negativity.
If you want to make some new positive beliefs, you need to clear your mind firstly. Meditation helps you to take away the noise in the mind which gives you an empty space to bring in a new idea. Think of it as clearing all the words off a whiteboard and then writing a new mantra to begin your new day. This is very good practice if you are using affirmations. A short meditation before your affirmation will greatly help with your manifestation.
Our Physical Health
Signals that something is amiss in your body always start quietly. When we learn to listen to our body’s feelings we can notice the little signs it sends us when something is not quite right. Perhaps we are out of balance in some area in our life, which our body is reflecting back to us. For example, I recently lost my voice, which I thought was due to excessive use from talking or from singing. But at a deeper level, with meditation, I could tell that there was a bigger meaning behind losing my voice. I have to learn to speak up for myself and to speak my truth in order to have a happy, healthy body.
Our bodies love to move and be energised by exercise. I recommend a short meditation before carrying out your normal exercise routine, just to check in with how your body is feeling. This is also good before a yoga class, so that you can notice what parts of our body are aching or needing more attention. You can then be more aware of your body’s needs to avoid injury during your regular sports activities.
Bringing your attention to your breath is one of the quickest and most effective forms of meditation. Listen to the breath and feel the ride of the waves on the exhalation and inhalation. Notice how all this breathing happens with very little effort when your mind and body are relaxed. The breath is a wonderful portal to meditation as you align your body to your spirit.
Our Spiritual Health
As you become more comfortable with meditation, you will notice that you “know” certain things to be true beyond what the mind can justify. I believe the center for intuition is in the heart or the stomach. If there is a niggling question to which you want to know the answer, I recommend asking the heart, as it is our great connection to the truth. As Paul Coehlo said “Listen to your heart, it knows everything.”
The most important connection, in my opinion, is your relationship with God, the source of life or the universe. Through meditation, you can clear an opening for more light to enter your life. You can open a door for more positivity to enter. This positive influx may be in many forms, e.g. abundance, joy, freedom and health. As the wonderful book “Eat, Pray, Love” says: “If you open that door … God will rush in…. and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed.”
As we have space for God in our lives, our world will open. New opportunities, new friends and new avenues of life will open up. Our relationships with other people become more meaningful and rewarding. We can share love and give out good vibrations to all people and the Earth. We can become a harmonised race with peace and joy as our goal.
Once we have let go of our personal baggage, shielded ourselves against bad karma and made a strong connection between ourselves and life, we can open to each other. Share the love and the good vibes with people who seem open to receiving good karma. Meditation is a life-long practice and worthwhile beginning now. We owe ourselves and each other the very best in life. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s meditate!
Just the thought of going to the gym. Suddenly you think of everything else you could do instead… It’s easier to have a duvet day, but the payoff for your health is priceless. Whether you are completely new to fitness or struggling to face another hour at the gym, I have some advice to get you back on track. Here are my Top 10 Tips to get you off the couch and back into the gym.
Whether it’s you’ve Summer holiday or a wedding coming up, visualise how you want to look on a certain date. Imagine how you will look and more importantly how you will feel on that day. Make sure to keep this image clear in your mind before you begin training. Remind yourself that every session will bring you closer to your goal.
Losing too much weight too soon can be very bad for your health and put a strain on your heart. So it is important to create a relationship with food and exercise that you can maintain for the rest of your life. To lose weight or get into shape, I recommend investing in a personal trainer. They will advise you the healthiest way to reduce your body fat in the shortest possible time. Your health is your greatest asset and your trainer will be with you every step of the way.
We are not born gym-bunnies. It takes time to build up your fitness levels, so it is perfectly natural to work up a sweat and have a bright pink face while training. I have to admit, I still feel out of place amongst the super-fit gym members, but everyone has their own pace and their own style so we should not compare ourselves to others. It is also good to remember that everyone else at the gym has at one point felt a bit out of place when they first began.
Adding music to your training is like adding magic! Have some fun by making your own personalised gym playlist. Play some warm up songs to get started, followed by songs with a strong beat for cardio for your workout and finally some slower songs for your cool down. Most gyms will play dance music that would not be out of place in Dicey’s on a Saturday night, so if this set list is not to your taste, bring your head phones to play the tunes that you like.
Your training is time to focus 100% on you. You can let go of all your cares from the week. Whether you are out jogging through the park, doing yoga at home or taking part in your spinning class, for that hour, nothing else matters but your training. Having this time dedicated to you can be a great reliever of stress.
There is a temptation to go to the gym with earphones, speak to no one and do your training in a little bubble. So, bring a friend! Research suggests that training with a friend can increase your performance 200%. The energy you get from someone else sharing in your session will make you want to give more and be able last longer. Having a friend by your side means you can laugh through the whole session and have so much more fun.
We have to forgive ourselves for being human. We are not perfect, though some people appear to be! Sometimes we slip in our commitment to being healthy, but we always get a second chance. I believe that each time we “fail”, we uncover a weakness which we can then learn from and move on. So, you can think of failures as really precursors to success. A nice little quote to sum this up is:
“Power is made perfect in weakness”.
When we exercise, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, called endorphins, get released and make us feel happy. This feel-good factor is a great boost and will have you smiling again after your training. It is called a post-work out high and can be a little addictive!
A new approach to training could be just what you need to engage new muscles and give you a fresh start into fitness. If you always focused on flexibility, why not try out focusing on strength. If you feel you mastered your core strength, go for endurance, etc. Even if it means, you are the only guy in the dance class or the only girl in the boxing class, don’t be afraid to go for something new!
Don’t let your goal be too vague, e.g. losing weight. Be specific with your goals, e.g. I want to be a size 8 by August. As you continue with your new fitness and diet regime, you can watch this goal become a reality. Research shows that people who set goals in their minds are 10 times more likely to succeed than people who don’t set any fixed goal. As you get comfortable with one level of fitness, you will want to step up your game to reach a higher level. Your trainer will be only too happy to challenge you!
There is so much to gain by bringing fitness into your life. Make sure to keep it fun, new and interesting. Don’t be disillusioned by any slips ups as they are a part of life. Keep your eye firmly on the prize, no matter what. Be sure to bring along some enthusiastic friends to keep you on your toes! So what are you waiting for? Grab your gym buddy and get going!