Spirituality and Self-help

HOW TO OVERCOME THE FEAR OF JUDGEMENT

Every painting session for me is a life lesson. It’s my subconscious guiding me towards what it wants me to change in my world view. This particular watercolor sketch, created while sitting on a windowsill in Paris, amidst a heat wave, was a huge breakthrough. Perhaps it’s a realization, to which all almost 40-year-olds arrive. It’s quite amazing, however, to witness it manifest itself while painting. I guess I call it “letting go.” I tried so hard to measure out axis and relational positioning. I was mindful of perspective and the direction of all lines. Yet, there’s always room for human error. Your hand wants to keep going, not constantly stop for the math to catch up. Therefore, there were tons of mishaps, tons of re-dos and not having an eraser drove me insane. I gue...

BLIND WALKING

It feels as if I am walking, walking blindly into unknown territory; as if a cloth is over my eyes, and a gentle wind at my back forcing me to move forward. But I’m stuck. Is it fear? I think so. I feel as if I am being gently pushed off a cliff, a cliff I have walked patiently on for many moons – years maybe – pacing back and forth from the edge, afraid to get too close, afraid to peer over to see a hint of what could be there. But now there is a gentle wind behind me, forcing me to make tiny, awkward, clumsy steps forward. I have one foot on the edge of the cliff, steady and securely on the rocky ground, and one foot over the edge. I feel gravity pulling my foot out further, so that my leg becomes outstretched. My foot begins to lower, slowly giving into the gravity pull, slowly I begin ...

CONSTANT SEEKER: LEARNING TO NAVIGATE YOUR LIFE

What to do if you are never satisfied with yourself and what you do. You think that giving up is an option? I tried, believe me. I was not satisfied with it either. I was at my five-to-nine day job, next to the copy machine working constantly because tomorrow was a deadline for everything. I felt the heat of the machine and even an open window could not hold the hot air around me. It was my fourth job I had changed in five years. I thought I would go crazy. Since the moment I graduated from school, the constant seeker in me had woken up. I picked up my first job in children’s library and attended classes at University. That was my life. It might have been very satisfying, but it was not. When half of a year past I started questioning what I am going to do next, what my next steps are...

A DIY GUIDE TO OPENING AND ACTIVATING THE 7 CHAKRAS

A chakra (pronounced ‘cha-kra’) is an energy centre within the auric and physical body. The term chakra, derived from Sanskrit, means spinning wheel. A wheel spins like a vortex, or a whirl wind, as each chakra is a disc or node that serves as the nonphysical highway through which energy travels. These energy centers, when even, restore harmony, which translate into a sense of well-being, health and oneness. Though we commonly talk about the seven main chakras, there are 114 chakras in the body and many more on the outside of the body. However, let us focus on just the seven to get us started. Chakras restoration is not some hippy dippy trend or movement; its roots lie deep within pre-historic Indian society. Though empirically we cannot prove that chakras reside within us, we certainly ca...

DEFINING YOUR HAPPINESS

Do you remember having to look up vocabulary words in English class? For me, it involved the use of a large hardcover dictionary; for some of you Dictionary.com or a similar website may have been your source. No matter what source was used, you found that most words were not limited to one definition, but often there were multiple meanings. Happiness is a trending term. It is a broad word that many try to define narrowly. Many self-help books have been written on it, public speakers hold seminars and conferences about it, life coaches offer their services to help guide you to it…. What does it mean? Just like many other words, happiness has more than one definition. Dictionary.com gives two: the quality or state of being happy is the first and most basic meaning, and the second is good for...

REFRAME YOUR ENDINGS INTO YOUR STRONGEST BEGINNINGS

The Art of Transition: How to reframe your endings into your strongest beginnings. We are nearly six months and one new moon into 2017 and I’m still amazed at how the pace of our days seem to accelerate.  Who knew that on January 1st, 2017 we would experience such a shift in our collective consciousness. With every celebrity or prominent figures’ death, we are constantly forced to deal with our mortality and reminded that our days are few here on Earth. With all these shifts that are happening I can’t help but wonder about my parents generation (Baby Boomers) and their peers trying to make sense of their beliefs about what it means to human. We live in an era where we are discovering the spectrums of gender, sexuality, race and cultural identities. How confusing must it be for them t...

23. MASTER’S STUDENT. UNEMPLOYED.

I cannot adult today. That phrase has turned into my new motto lately. I don’t know what it is but it holds so much truth in it. Maybe it’s all my responsibilities or maybe I don’t have enough things to do. Maybe it’s my lack of early 20’s success or maybe everything is just simply overrated. Everyone on social media seems to have their life figured out and know what their purpose is right out of college. (I’m not jealous or envious, I can only admire and congratulate them with sincere joy.) But, how do people do it? I have no answer for that question at all. I can tell you one thing for sure is that I am working on it. I am currently a Master’s student, trying to further my education and chances of getting a “good” job. Though, I am unemployed because I quit my old...

AYURVEDA MEDICINE – KNOW YOUR DOSHA BODY TYPE

Ayurvedic medicine is not some new age fad or trend but a highly sophisticated healing system that was developed more than 5,000 years ago in ancient India. In Sanskrit Ayur means life and Veda means science. Life science!  It’s based on the principle that health and wellness depends on the equanimity between the mind, body and spirit.  Ayurvedic treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture and herbal remedies to promote health and well-being. However, Ayurveda is much more complex once you delve into it. This is just a concise introduction. This healing system was banned in India during Britain’s colonial rule, but has now become very widespread globally especially with the rise of people taking up yoga and meditation. It is underpinned by the principle that what matter...

#SUPERWOMAN JOSIE SCHWEITZER | FOUNDER OF THANK YOGA TALKS TO HARNESS

Josie Schweitzer talks to us about finding her calling, letting go of her business and the transformative power of yoga In the early 2000s, Josie Schweitzer took her first yoga class in a basement in the beautiful city of Columbus, Ohio. She was intrigued, but scared because the practice was not approachable. A few years later, in her 20s, she was introduced to a more challenging practice – and that’s when the art of yoga stuck. “The fact that I could go and sweat and feel like I’ve been worked in a lot of ways, kept me coming back to it,” Schweitzer said, who is also a runner and an adrenaline junkie. Yet, she knew there was more to yoga than just the physical benefits. “Once I started practicing, it only took a few months for me to get really, really curious as to why I was feeling...

ALL THAT YOU ARE

Getting up early on a freezing cloudy morning for work is extremely challenging, and the snooze button looks like the most tempting thing that exists… And then we have Mr. Benjamin Franklin, who solemnly affirms: “The early morning has gold in its mouth.” Who would disagree, but imagine waking up early on a Sunday morning? It’s nothing short of an unintentional irony…is it not the case? 7 a.m. reflections: I cocooned myself under the warm quilt and screwed my eyes shut, adamant to grab another hour of sleep, but a little over five seconds and it had me gasping for air! You know the momentary drop of oxygen levels in enclosed dark spaces?! So, I had to toss the covers to the side… Sometimes sleep can be like happiness, you know…The more you chase it, the more it eludes you...

ON THE LIVING AFTER DEATH

The sun had finally set and the mushrooms were starting to kick in. Caroline and Cristobal, Santiago and John, they sit around us in lawn chairs, but there had only been enough drugs for Isaiah and me. We’re sitting on a blanket together in the middle of my backyard. The blanket is red and green and yellow. It is ugly. Isaiah is scribbling in a notebook and her legs are straight out in front of her. The notebook sits in her lap, and as she bends over it her back curves and her hair just barely brushes the grass. She glances up at me for a moment. Her pupils are huge. I can hardly see the brown of her eyes. She goes back to her pen and paper; she is very far away. Someone tells a story or a joke. Isaiah is the only one who is not laughing. My phone rings. It is loud and it is clear. I...

ADULTHOOD IS THE ALARM CLOCK WE NEVER WANTED TO SET

Have you ever noticed how the loudest person in the room is the first person your eyes fall upon? I’m not saying you want to give that person your attention. Hell, you might be doing your best to avoid the guy in jean cargo shorts, who’s been arguing with his friends for the last ten minutes about how great Tom Brady is. But that person undeniably demands it from you. Adulthood is like that. Fear is a lot like that. Anxiety is definitely like that. And our weaknesses, are that guy’s ex-girlfriend, who walks through the front door unannounced, and will be damned if her ex out does her. But it’s always the person our eyes fall upon next that become our refuge. It’s our best friend laughing unapologetically about the entire pint of beer she spilled down her new dress, or our brother’s college...

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