Are We Living in the Kali Yuga?

Orignally Published on UpliftConnect.com on November 1, 2016 By Jacob Devaney

Are We Living in the Kali Yuga_1

Ancient Wisdom on the Cycle of Time

It isn’t hard to recognize that even though we live on a planet that surrounds us with beauty, that there is a lot of darkness happening within humanity. The ancient Sanskrit teachings understood that civilization goes through distinct cycles of creation and destruction. Native traditions have similar stories to describe different ages of humanity as well. It can be easy to lose hope sometimes, but there many possibilities for spiritual growth and awakening during this time. Let’s look at the bigger picture knowing that the warm glow of dawn always follows the coldest, darkest moments of the night.

What is a Yuga?

The ancients understood time as a circle, not linear, and the circle of ages are known as the yugas. Like the four seasons in our year, there are four yugas in the full cycle (Mahayuga). Each cycle has distinct themes and spiritual lessons for humanity. Below are the four yugas in order from beginning to end. It is important to note that the first yuga is the longest with each one getting successively shorter (4:3:2:1) until the cycle starts again.

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The ancients understood time as a circle.
  • Satya Yuga: First we see the time of truth and perfection, which thankfully lasts four tenths of the cycle. These humans are honest, youthful, vigorous, and virtuous. Everyone is happy, and religions live as one. Disease in non-existent, as is fear. Those living through this part of the cycle are gifted with abundance through the land, along with great weather.
  • Treta Yuga: The second Yuga lasts for three tenths of the cycle. Unfortunately, this is where human virtue begins to fall away. Leaders gain more dominance, causing wars to rise. As if to reflect the state of humanity, the weather also moves to more extremes. It is unsurprising that people’s health begins to lessen in this part of the cycle.
  • Dvapara Yuga: The third Yuga lasts for two tenths of the cycle. During this time, people become more sluggish and slow, many aren’t as strong as their ancestors, and the number of diseases increases. Becoming discontent with their lives, humans fight each other. This could possibly be because maturity decreases, with some people still possessing characteristics of youth in old age.
  • Kali Yuga: The final age lasts only one tenth of the cycle, however, that is certainly long enough as it is the age of darkness and ignorance. People slide further down the path of dishonesty, with virtue being of little value. Passions become uncontrollable as unrestrained sexual indulgences and manipulations run through society. Liars and hypocrites rise. Important knowledge is lost and scriptures become less and less common. The human diet is now ‘dirty’, and people are not even close to being as powerful as their ancestors in the Satya Yuga. Likewise, the once pristine environment is now polluted. Water and food become scarce, as do family bonds.

What Should We Do?

It could be that we are currently in the Kali Yuga stage of the cycle. If that is true, what can we do to move back into the the first, much more pleasant phase?

The Vedic Scriptures, of course, recommend meditation, yoga, and various spiritual practices as the natural antidote to the strife of the Kali Yuga. And while some scholars have attempted to tie dates of these cycles to the calendar, yet few agree on when the Kali Yuga will end. For this reason, we must not fall into fatalism (thinking that we are all doomed and there’s nothing we can do about it) or hopelessness, but instead must strengthen our personal practice and act as a light in dark times for those around us that are lost. To find peace in peaceful times is no accomplishment, to find peace in the most unpeaceful times is true spiritual attainment!

This is one of many stories that illustrate what each of us observe when we pay close attention to nature. Life goes in natural cycles of gestation, birth, growth, decay, death, and rebirth. We see it in the plants, the seasons, in the rise and fall of nations, as well as in our own personal lives. When something is pure, it can be maintained as pure but cannot become more pure, it can only become less pure. In that same regard, when things are polluted or corrupted, they can be returned to purity. The Kali Yuga is as good a time for spiritual discipline and evolution as any.

Something pure can be maintained but cannot become more pure, it can only become less pure.

A Universal Story

The ancient Greeks called these four ages of human civilization the Age of Gold, Silver, Bronze, and the Age of Iron. The Phoenix always rises from the ashes of its predecessor. The Hopi tribe believe that a cycle when humans head and heart are disconnected (Fourth World of Separation) is followed by an era when they are in harmony (Fifth World of Peace). The Lakota believe that the birth of a White Buffalo in 1994 signified a time of great healing and unification around the world. The Pan-American prophecy of the Eagle and Condor speaks of the re-uniting of the tribes through sacred wisdom and power. For as much darkness as one might see in the world, there are endless stories of rebirth to explore. These are roadmaps for us from the darkness into the light.

A Parable

Once a king asked his wise men to give him something that would make him happy when he is sad, and sad when he is happy. The wise men spent days thinking about it in silence and watching the clouds go by. On the fourth day, they wrote on a piece of paper and handed it to the king. When the king read it, he thanked them. What did it say?

This, too, shall pass.”

The Phoenix always rises from the ashes of its predecessor.

The Big Picture

Whether you take this information as literal or metaphorical, you can gain much value from considering it. Destruction is part of creation, we live in a world of endless cycles. Sometimes things have to fall apart in order to come back together stronger than before.

If we are actually living in the Kali Yuga now, then any and all behaviour that is wholesome, honest, generous, virtuous, happy, authentic, is emulating behaviors that bring us closer to the Satya Yuga. Satya Yuga is the next phase in the cycle, a golden age of abundance. Knowing that the Kali Yuga can end abruptly at any moment, observe what is happening around you, grow your compassion, and learn what you can from this precious time!

 

Cooks and Eaters of the World Unite/ Cocineros y Comedores del Mundo Unidos

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes I think of some of the problems of the world and I come up with the  easiest solutions.  I think, “Seriously am I the only one thinking this?”  I don’t think I can be the only one who thinks this but anyway here’s my big idea to feed people more healthy food, bring people together, eliminate waste and just make this world a little better.

A veces pienso en algunos de los problemas del mundo y se me ocurren las soluciones más fáciles. Pienso: "¿En serio, soy el único que piensa esto?" No creo que pueda ser el único que piense esto, pero de todos modos, esta es mi gran idea de alimentar a las personas con alimentos más saludables, reunir a las personas, eliminar el desperdicio y hacer que este mundo sea un poco mejor.
chef holding white tea cup

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Although everybody eats, my plan involves two groups Cookers vs eaters.  The cooks do just that cook (they can eat too) and the eaters eat (they can cook too.)  So the scenario would go something like this.  I am making a big pot of the Best Ever Mushroom Soup .  I can’t eat it all by myself and I know my good friend who likes to eat (he’s an eater) can come over to eat my soup or I can just give it to him to go.

And eaters serve such an important purpose.  By eating healthy food, it can support a zero waste lifestyle and I’m sure the cook appreciates you eating their food.  So you are doing a great service to humanity by eating.  Thank you and don’t feel bad or guilty for eating at someone’s house or accepting their food.  They obviously must care about you to offer you something to eat.  And face it, everyone needs help once in a while.  Who knows maybe next time you can whip up something for your favorite cook.

So wait isn’t the cook getting screwed over?  I mean they did all the cooking and the eater just came over and ate and didn’t contribute?  Well their contribution was eating the food, my friends will bring me something if I need it.  Nuts, sugar,chia seeds… They will say what can I get for you or I just start getting blessed by strangers.  It just gets the giving circle going.  So GIVE GIVE GIVE.  You’ll get back way more than you give.  Give it a go.

I miss the days when I could get off work and go home to a meal ready to eat.  My mom used to cook every night from scratch.  Thanks Mom!!  I  have very big shoes to fill.  Now I cook and eat, share my food with friends and things are going pretty smoothly.

Aunque todos comen, mi plan involucra dos grupos: Cocineros y comedores. Los cocineros hacen exactamente eso (también pueden comer) y los comedores (también pueden cocinar). Así que el escenario sería algo así. Estoy haciendo una olla grande de la Mejor Sopa de Champiñones de todos los tiempos. No puedo comerlo todo solo y sé que mi buen amigo a quien le gusta comer (él come) puede venir a comer mi sopa o solo puedo dársela para que se la lleve.

Y los comedores tienen un propósito tan importante. Al comer aliments saludables, puede mantener un estilo de vida sin desperdicios y 
estoy seguro de que el cocinero lo aprecia al comerlos. Así que estás haciendo un gran servicio a la humanidad comiendo. Gracias y no te 
sientas mal o culpable por comer en la casa de alguien o aceptar su 
comida. Ellos obviamente deben preocuparse por ti para ofrecerte algo de comer. Y acéptalo, todos necesitan ayuda de vez en cuando. Quién sabe, tal vez la próxima vez puedas preparar algo para tu cocinero 
favorito.

Así que espere, ¿no se está jodiendo el cocinero? Quiero decir que 
hicieron toda la comida y el que comió vino y comió y no contribuyó. Bueno, su contribución fue comer la comida, mis amigos me traerán 
algo si lo necesito. Nueces, azúcar, semillas de chia ... Ellos dirán qué puedo obtener para ti o simplemente empiezo a ser bendecido por extraños. Simplemente pone en marcha el círculo de dar. Así que da da da. Volverás mucho más de lo que das. Darle una oportunidad.

Extraño los días en que podía salir del trabajo e ir a casa a una 
comida lista para comer. Mi mamá solía cocinar todas las noches 
desde cero. ¡¡Gracias mamá!! Tengo zapatos muy grandes para llenar. Ahora cocino y como, comparto mi comida con amigos y las cosas van bastante bien.

MOM:VALValerie a Health and Wellness Coach is with her mom at her Birthday Party.  Valerie believes as you heal yourself you eat the planet.

Valerie, una entrenadora de salud y bienestar, está con su madre en 
su fiesta de cumpleaños. Valerie cree que mientras te curas te comes el planeta.

10 Shocking Benefits of Listening to Classical Music [Infographic]

Originally Published on TakeLessons.com on January 22, 2016 By Booke Neuman

10 Shocking Benefits of Listening to Classical Music Infographic
Chances are you’ve heard that there are several benefits of listening to classical music. But is there any actual truth behind this statement? According to numerous studies, there absolutely is.

There are a ton of brainy benefits one derives from listening to classical music. From pain management to improved sleep quality, listening to classical music has both mental and physical benefits.

In fact, simply listening to classical music as background noise can have a significant impact on your mood, productivity, and creativity.

I guess those old guys were really onto something, huh.

Below are some surprising benefits of listening to classical music backed by actual science.

10 Benefits of Listening to Classical Music

1. Decreases blood pressure

Want to keep your heart healthy? According to an Oxford University study, listening to classical music can help reduce one’s blood pressure.

In the study, researchers played participants different styles of music, including rap, pop, techno, and classical.

Classical music was effective at lowering participant’s blood pressure, while rap, pop, and techno actually raised blood pressure.

2. Boosts memory

Did you know that listening to Mozart can actually help improve your memory? According to a study, people who listened to Mozart’s music showed an increase in brain wave activity that’s linked directly to memory.

So next time you have to memorize a big speech or presentation, put on some Mozart while you practice.

3. Sparks creativity

To get your creative juices flowing, listen to some classical music. While listening to classical music won’t instantly make you creative, it will help put into a more creative mindset.

Next time you need to brainstorm, try listening to some Mozart or Bach to get your mind thinking outside the box.

4. Reduces stress levels

If you’re feeling particularly stressed, listen to some classical tunes. A study found that pregnant women who listened to classical music were less likely to feel stressed throughout their pregnancy.

Scientists claim that classical music’s tempo is similar to the human heart, which eases both anxiety and depression.

5. Supercharges brainpower

Do you have a big test or project coming up? Boost your brainpower by listening to some classical music.

In a study, French researchers found that students who listened to a lecture in which classical music was played in the background scored better on a test compared to other students.

6. Fights depression

When you’re feeling down in the dumps, ditch the donuts and opt for some classical music instead.

Several studies have proven that classical music helps relieve depression and melancholy.

In fact, a study from Mexico discovered that listening to classical music can help ease symptoms of depression.

7. Puts you to sleep

Do you toss and turn for hours before finally falling asleep? Rather than squeeze in another episode of Games of Thrones or New Girl, listen to classical music.

According to a study of people with sleep issues, listening to classical music for just 45 minutes prior to bed can help improve sleep quality.

8. Relieves pain

Instead of reaching for another Tylenol, you might want to consider playing a Bach or Beethoven playlist. Multiple studies have shown that listening to classical music can help relieve pain.

According to researchers in London, patients listening to classical music used significantly less pain medication.

9. Makes you happy

Want to get out of that bad mood you’re in? Listening to classical music can help increase dopamine secretion, which activates the brain’s reward and pleasure center.

In fact, a 2013 study found that music can help put people in a better mood.

10. Improves productivity

It’s a Monday morning and you can’t seem to get it together. To help boost productivity, listen to some classical music.

A series of studies have proven that music makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable.

A study performed by researchers at the University of Maryland found that Baroque classical music in the reading room can help improve radiologists’ efficiency and accuracy.

Give it a Try!

While classical music can’t raise your IQ 10 points, there are a ton of benefits of listening to classical music. Not sure where to start? Our friends at Merriam Music put together a great beginner’s guide here.

Whether you need to cram for an important presentation or you simply want a good night’s sleep, classical music can help. But Don’t just take our word for it. Try it out for yourself and let us know what benefits of listening to classical music you experience!

An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy

Originally published on worldtravelable.com  on March 24, 2018 By Ella

An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy

Reduce, reuse, recycle… Rings a bell? Why is it so important? With events like the Earth Hour being celebrated worldwide, have you thought of the importance of your own impact on the environment? And if there is anything you can do at your level?

In this article, I want to discuss all this from my own perspective. I live in Spain but those tips can apply to you no matter where you live!

I am nobody to say what should be done, I am still learning and nobody’s perfect! But if you love travelling like I do, you will realise that caring is the only way to preserve the beauty of our planet! And even small and easy steps can actually make a huge difference!

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The importance of education in sustainability

Before I wrote this article, I wondered when I started to actually care about the environment.

I would say that it goes back to my childhood.

When I lived in Germany, you could get a fine just by throwing a paper on the ground. And I never did. I do not know if it’s effective, but it worked for me and all the kids I knew. It just became a habit to simply keep my stuff in my pockets until I found a bin. It would never occur to me to throw trash on the ground! And when I went to live in France and I saw children of my age doing that, it bothered me deeply!

I also have clear memories of learning how our democratic system works. I think I was about 9 years old, and I was living in France at that time. I remember thinking that when I grow up I would vote for the Green Party. So in my case, it started very early.

Perhaps that is the key: education.

Caring for our planet: more than recycling

When I was a kid, protecting our planet seemed very simple to me. I thought it was enough to place the garbage in the bin and not on the ground, as it was already an effort that many people around me were not doing.

I also knew that I should return glass bottles in the store, and would even get rewarded a few cents. I actually never understood why this method was abandoned. I hope it will be implemented again soon in France and extended to other materials, like plastics! It is indeed already happening in other countries like the Netherlands.

But I was far from imagining that my daily actions could have such an impact on our environment.

It took me over 30 years to realize that the problem was much more complex and that I could do many more things to help our ecosystem.

Step 1: Recycling

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Recycling is a first step very easy to implement.

In Germany, I learned that recycling was not only about sorting glass and plastic bottles, I found out that we could actually recycle a lot more!

Compost is a good example and it’s great for the garden! Something totally unknown to me until then.

Initially, I felt that recycling so many things was complicated, but now I realise it’s just a matter of habit and organization.

Most importantly, I realized that I spent a lot less time bringing the garbage out of the house. Why? Because if we recycle well, paper and plastic can be kept a long time since they are generally clean materials. And the compost is in a mini trash which is great since it is actually what usually annoys the most due to its bad smell. So in the end, it’s a win-win situation! In Barcelona, the recycling containers are very easy to reach, just opposite my house! And it was the same in Germany, so no excuse at this level either! In Ireland, they came to pick it up at your house once a week. Each country or city has its own way, so just get informed!

Recycling is good, but I quickly realized that it’s not because I recycle that I am eco-friendly. Remember the RRR logo? Well, it actually starts with reduce. How? It starts with reviewing the way we consume. That’s the most powerful tool to reduce our impact.

Step 2: Our consumption

This is where everything shifts. Yes, money always has the last word!

So think before spending! Your dollars are powerful: the companies who own products that are unsustainable would be obligated to react and take care of their impact if you ban them!

Tip nº1: Think local

Whether buying clothes, food or furniture, there are often local solutions to avoid the “Made in China”.

I know, even with the best intentions, it’s not easy to escape that trend!

Ready-to-wear fashion brands are often much more accessible, in terms of price or location. But alternatives not only exist: they are growing!

For example, I remember buying a jumper made in Italy from one of the major brands! I found it incredible because I usually see Bangladesh or China on the labels.

There are also big brands that sell products made of organic cotton or even of recycled products! I worked at one of those brands for a while and that’s the only thing I would buy from them.

A company like Inditex may be considered local for a Spanish people because it is the nationality of its founder, Ortega. However, it is far from a local business as you know! Globalization has made it a monster, and we could debate for hours to discuss pros and cons.

But it’s not the point I wanted to make. All I am saying is that if I have the choice, I would rather buy local and avoid all these big brands. And if I buy from a big brand, I would only buy the clothes made close by, and from recycled or organic materials.

And yes, it exists, small neighborhood shops that make quality products and made in the country.

In my neighborhood, Poblenou, I found 2 clothes stores that make quality products and remain very affordable, which also helps run the local economy.

For furniture, it also seems very complicated. We immediately think of Ikea or any other big brand when we have to buy a table. You might say it’s still European if you are living in Europe! But maybe there are other solutions. Ask around, there are lots of people with recycling projects, to give a second life to objects. I have heard of this type of shops in France for example.

I even have family members who love wood and create furniture.

Another thing you can do is to simply try to repair before replacing. Make your shoemaker work for example! In my case, he did a great job with an old suitcase I was about to throw away! Be creative and observe your environment! There are other ways to consume!

Tip nº2 : Think Quality

If you think of food, quality is going to make a huge difference for your health.

There are so many options available: local markets, cooperatives, farmers who sell their products on the road, those who open their farms to pick up their products directly from the field! Yes, I assure you, it exists!

Tip nº 3: Remember to focus on seasonal products

I know… I get lost too! We are so used to seeing the products available all year long that we do not know anymore what is in season.

If you have a doubt, ask! And if you do not like to ask, go pay a visit to Sir Google, as my aunt would say! In fact, I prefer the search engine Ecosia for the initiative to plant trees!

Tip nº 4: Follow the proverb: seek and ye shall find!

I know what you are thinking: organic food is way more expensive…

Well, I must admit that when I went shopping in Paris, I got a slap in the face! But it’s just a matter of time. You have to keep looking, and you will end up finding something more affordable, believe me! In Barcelona, it’s the same, I had to search and compare shops.

Another point I wanted to make: going to an organic store like Veritas or Whole Foods Market may be more expensive than going to a traditional supermarket like Mercadona or Walmart… But as I often say, I prefer to eat less and eat better. Focus on quality rather than on quantity. My taste buds are so much happier than with processed food! So at the end of the day, I do not spend much more. It often happens to some of my relatives to tell me that when they eat at a fast food restaurant, they are hungry again after an hour… There seems to be a reason for that… And not a healthy one according to a study presented here…

Try to think of small convenience stores. They are not necessarily expensive.

Zero waste shops start to appear everywhere and it’s good news! Here we do not care so much about the brand. We care about the quality of the products. You come with your jars and you fill them in. In Barcelona, we have a small chain like Goccia Verde where we can buy all household products that way. We also have grocery stores where cereals, herbs, starchy foods, dried fruits, legumes etc can be bought in bulk. A real pleasure not to have piles of plastic around my products! If you do not have jars, they give you some! And at worst, there are paper bags available! See if this kind of shops exists in your city!

And that’s a lot cheaper since we do not pay for packaging or marketing the brand anymore!

Same thing for our cosmetics. I thought I was making the right choice by buying from Yves Rocher, because I thought their products were more natural, until I read an article from a study of a famous French association doing a customer review…

My husband and I joined a German company to become a distributor of their health products. I try to make him work as much as possible when it comes to the health products. It’s local in a sense as we do not go through intermediaries. And they have certified quality products, especially the Aloe Vera line.

I also like to check the products of my neighborhood herbalist’s shop that are often organic and work better than what I find in the supermarket! It is amazing to see the natural power of apples, aloe vera or bamboo!

Step 3: Transportation

That’s a chapter that could take pages. But to summarize, you should avoid the car as much as possible. Take public transportation i.e. metro, bus, tramway. Or carpool if you have no other option. There are also ecological taxis in Barcelona, I’m a fan! It does not cost much more, they have an app, it’s very responsive and you can pay by credit card and ask a charger and the Internet! And they only drive hybrid or electric vehicles!

Personally, I cannot live without my Bicing subscription to move around the neighborhood by bike or to make short trips. My back does not allow me to do a lot of cycling but I do what I can, and at my own pace! We must also be aware of our impact during our travels.

As for vacation, I’ve already talked about it in the article to travel responsibly. It’s not a simple matter when you want to discover the Globe. In an ideal world, and if my boss allowed me to take 3 weeks in a row, I would travel far away only when I have enough time to be able to truly appreciate a country.

Our hectic pace and work do not always allow it, but let’s think about it. I try to take the train rather than the plane when I go to Madrid or France for example. It’s more expensive but if you think you should also go to the city centre then, there is some time saving and in terms of my business trips it can save me a hotel night! Plus travelling to airports is usually very expensive. When I take the train I spend less money to reach the city centre.

I also really liked this article about slow travel.

In short, all these small actions, if added by millions of people, can have a very positive impact on our environment! Try to think of it with creativity and openness! I know I do not always make the right choices, but at least I’m trying. This is a first step towards the right direction.

And you? What other habits do you feel are helpful for our environment? Maybe it’s as easy as switching off the lights in the office when everybody’s at lunch! Or sharing my article to raise awareness within your community! Feel free to do so! And do not hesitate to share your comments below, and add any other tips you feel are simple to implement in your day to day life!

DIY Lipstick Recipe with Essential Oils

Originally Published on www.ewg.org 

DIY-Lipstick-Recipe-with-Essential-Oils

by Sabrina Ann Zielinski (“Mama Z”)

Women around the world apply toxic, synthetic ingredients to their face, including around mucous-membrane eyes and mouths, daily. The chemicals are blinked into eyes, seeped into pores, and accidentally licked into mouths daily, accumulating over a woman’s lifespan. Hence, the reason for my DIY lipstick recipe.

Don’t you want to know those ingredients are safe?

The first stop is the Environmental Working Group database to identify products that are made without toxic chemicals, fragrances, and preservatives. Often, this is the only step someone will consider because it’s hard to believe cosmetics can be replicated at home. This simply isn’t the case – you can DIY cosmetics just like any other topical formulation!

Dangerous Chemicals in Lipstick

Learn how to avoid these dangerous chemicals by making my DIY lipstick recipe. Have you ever wondered how many chemicals you’re swallowing by putting toxic lipstick on your lips? Studies suggests that up to 75% of all lipsticks contain lead! Our friend Dr. Josh Axe published a fantastic article about how dangerous they can be! This is what he says….

“Lipstick and glosses are often ingested over the course of the day so the impact of any toxin is heightened above and beyond skin absorption levels. According to prior research, the Berkeley scientists estimated average lipstick use as twice-a-day applications and heavy use as applying lip gloss or lipstick 10 times a day. One application spreads 10 milligrams of product across a woman’s lips, most of which is ingested. Average use of lipstick means that a woman ingests about 24 milligrams of product. Women that apply lipstick or lip gloss frequently may be ingesting as much as 87 milligrams of product per day.

“The researchers compared what the women were likely ingesting in lip products to health standards for heavy metal consumption like those defined by the EPA for drinking water. They found that average lipstick or lip gloss use in these products resulted in women exceeding daily intake guidelines for aluminum, cadmium, chromium and manganese. In 10 of the products they looked at, daily use meant that a woman would exceed chromium intake recommendations by 100%.”

A Natural DIY Lipstick Recipe

My DIY lipstick recipe is nothing more complicated than a jazzed up lip balm. In addition to this homemade lipstick recipe, have you tried my DIY lip balm recipe?

DIY Natural Lipstick

Author: Mama Z
Ingredients

Instructions

Set a glass measuring cup or a jar into a sauce pan with an inch of water in it to create a double boiler.
Melt the wax, carrier oil and shea butter in the jar over medium heat.
Stir in optional coloring.
Finally, remove from heat and quickly stir in a drop or two of essential oil for fragrance and nourishment, like cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, or lemongrass.
Pour into lip balm tins or sticks.
Let cool.

Notes
Word of Caution:
Most reports state that citrus oils are phototoxic (can cause excessive burning when exposed to the sun) to varying degrees. If you choose to use citrus in your lipstick, be careful to only use 1 drop and stick with the list that’s considered safe according to the classic text, Essential Oil Safety:

Bergamot Oil (FCF) – Bergaptene/Furanocoumarins is removed
Blood Orange Oil
Lemon Oil (Steam Distilled)
Lime Oil (Steam Distilled)
Mandarin Oil
Sweet Orange Oil
Orange Leaf Oil
Satsuma Oil (Cold/Expeller Pressed)
Tangelo Oil
Tangerine Oil
Yuzu Oil

Should You Be Using Dental Powder Instead of Toothpaste?

Originally Published on Carefreedental.com on March 22, 2016 By Carefree Dental

What’s the deal with dental powder? Is it better than toothpaste? How is it made? Here you’ll found out everything you need to know about this tooth cleaner.

Should You Be Using Dental Powder Instead of Toothpaste

Photo by Steven Lilley via Flickr,

We all know what goes into a normal, healthy dental regimen: brushing with toothpaste, using dental floss, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. And even if you don’t do the last two steps, toothpaste has always been a staple tooth cleaner since what seems like forever. But did you know that once upon a time, this minty paste wasn’t found in the bathrooms of most people. Instead, something called “dental powder” was used to brush teeth, keeping them clean and fresh.

What is dental power?

Dental powder is mixture of a variety of ingredients to replace toothpaste as a cleaning substance. It often contains baking soda, herbs like cloves, mint, or cinnamon, and an artificial sweetener for taste.

Although the use of dental powder has regained in popularity recently, it’s just another trendy home remedy. According to How Stuff Works, it actually dates back to ancient history as an important part of dental care.

Origin of Dental Power

The first use of dental powder dates back thousands of years to the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Romans. Even before Cleopatra was around, the people of Egypt kept their teeth clean with powders or pastes made from burnt eggshells mixed with pumice and the power of ox hooves’ ashes. The Chinese added herbs, salt, and ginseng to enhance the cleaning properties and taste of the powder. Greeks and Romans used crushed bones and oyster shells to make a grittier powder. To prevent bad breath, the Romans also added powdered bark and charcoal to their teeth cleaner.

Around 1000 A.D., the Persians realized the danger of overly abrasive tooth powders that cause tooth damage. So they created a milder substance using burnt snail shells, herbs, and honey.

In the 18th century, Britain was the first to market tooth powder. Baking soda was usually the key component, and they added more abrasive substances like brick dust, earthenware, and cuttlefish to thoroughly polish teeth.

From powder to paste

By the early 19th century, two other important ingredients were added to common dental power: Borax for a foaming effect, and glycerin turning the powder into a paste. This made the product easier to use and added a more cleansing effect. Later on, toothpaste was put into collapsible tubes and contained fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel. Thus, toothpaste as we know it today was born.

Dental Powder vs. Toothpaste

Both dental powder and traditional fluoridated toothpaste work well as tooth-cleaning agents. But which one is better for you? Here are the pros and cons of each:
Traditional Fluoridated Toothpaste

Pros:

Easy and convenient to use

Gently cleans and polishes teeth

The American Dental Association recommends fluoride strengthen teeth and reduces cavities

Cons

Contains fluoride, which is poisonous if swallowed

Glycerin leaves a film on teeth preventing remineralization

Tooth Powder

Pros

Studies have shown that tooth powder can be more effective at removing plaque than toothpaste.

Most tooth powders are composed of natural and organic ingredients.

Because it does not contain fluoride, it is non-toxic and safer for children.

Cons

Powder is less convenient to clean with than a paste.

Herbs and clay can leave a funny texture in the mouth after use

Beneficial Ingredients Dental Power

The key ingredients in dental powder are what make this product very beneficial for teeth:

  • Bentonite Clay
    This clay naturally binds to toxins, helping eliminate heavy metal toxins from mercury fillings. Plus, it’s rich in minerals that are nourishing to gums and teeth.
  • Sea Salt
    Unrefined sea salt is helpful for healing irritated gums and contains a plethora of tooth-benefitting minerals.
  • Baking Soda
    Baking soda is a long-time trusted tooth cleaner. It works as a gentle abrasive to gently polish teeth and clean and whiten your smile.
  • Xylitol
    Xylitol not only adds a sweeter taste to the powder, but also can benefit your oral health. It naturally stimulates saliva production, which helps protect and remineralize teeth. Stevia is another good option if you wish to use a different sweetener.
  • Sage
    For years, cultures around the world have used sage as a natural tooth-whitener.
  • Cloves
    Cloves not only tastes great; it’s also a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient to help sore gums.
  • Essential Oils
    Essential oils have an endless list of benefits. Peppermint oil is a great choice for dental powder because it is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial. On top of having pain-relieving properties, it also leaves your mouth feeling minty and fresh.

Make your own dental powder

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of bentonite clay
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of calcium powder
  • 1 teaspoon of pure sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon of xylitol powder (for sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon to tablespoon of Cloves or Cinnamon (or both, depending on the flavor you prefer)
  • Mint, spearmint, or other essential oils for taste

Instructions

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl or pint sized mason jar. Mix them together using a non-metal spoon. (Bentonite clay loses some of its beneficial properties when it comes in contact with metal, so it’s best to use plastic, glass or wooden bowls, containers, and spoons when making your dental powder.

Add essential oils by dripping them into the mixture. Stir well.

Keep the powder in a sealed container. Because it doesn’t have any liquid ingredients, it should last an indefinite amount of time on your counter without any problems.

Brushing with Dental Powder

Using tooth powder is similar to brushing teeth with toothpaste. Simply wet your toothbrush and dip it into the powder. Or if you’re using a small squirt bottle, carefully squirt the powder onto a wet toothbrush. Brush teeth holding the brush at a 45 degree angle, thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Brush for at least 2 minutes. Then, rinse your toothbrush and mouth with cool water. You can use this multiple times a day.

You can use dental powder as a replacement for toothpaste. However, you can still use toothpaste after you brush with tooth powder.

Keeping up with an Oral Health Regimen

Of course taking care of your teeth requires more than just using tooth powder. To keep teeth healthier and whiter, try sticking to this dental regimen:

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day, morning and night after meals.
  • Floss and rinse regularly to keeps gums healthy and bacteria at bay.
  • Change out your toothbrush every three months or so. Make sure that you clean it thoroughly after each use.
  • Keep up with regular dental check-ups and cleanings to keep your teeth in prime condition.

So which do you prefer to brush with: dental powder or traditional toothpaste? Let us know in the comments below!

Liberation From The Kitchen

How would you feel with some extra free time?  It’s easier than you think.

Let’s look at the current situation.  Many men and women work full time jobs.  After they get off work, they have to get home and figure out dinner for themselves and maybe their families.  Not sure about how many people feel about cooking dinner after working at least 8 hours, but it can be exhausting and that’s not exactly the first thing you feel like doing.

So how do you deal with this feeling of not wanting to cook?  Many people decide not to cook and instead go to their favorite take out or restaurant and buy dinner.  Not only is this pricey but most of the packaging comes in plastic.  Hopefully you grab something healthy for your body.  But if not then you bought something bad for one’s body and is bad for the planet as well.

How about thinking about a new solution?  I know this is not a new idea but actually a very old idea.  So maybe you have a good friend that is in the same situation as you.  So before you cook dinner you give them a quick call and say, “Hey friend, I’m making some mushroom soup and salad.  I cannot eat it all.  Would you like to stop by on your way home from work and pick some up on your way home?  Bring your own container and we’ll save the planet.”  Your friend is not only grateful but she replies, “Thanks so much!! I made some almond meal cookies and I’ll bring you some.”

The next night the cookie making friend calls her making friend and says, ” I made some quinoa with pesto sauce would you like me to bring some over?”  And they were both fed happy and they had the strength to carry on another day.

So if everyone started to do this, it would just create a world where people are sharing, caring and being fed.  It would be really great for the planet, families wallets and it would allow people to share some time together instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also try new and different food and if you like to cook, then someone to tell you how awesome your food is.  Also there’s nothing wrong with just giving food to someone with no expectation in return.  As you give, so shall you receive.  This is how we will transform our planet.  One small gesture of sharing at a time.  Let’s start the cycle of giving and receiving.

About the Author:  Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  Her dream is to see all people healthy and happy.  She shares with you healthy recipes, Anything good for Mother Earth as Mother Earth is in need of healing. As you Heal Yourself, You heal the planet.

Infinite Heart Meditation Heartfulness

Originally Published on Silentstay.com By Ruth & Bruce Davis

infinite heart meditation _5

The heart is the core, the essence of all spiritual traditions. The infinite heart is the pure source waiting for each of us. Here there is a vastness without words. It is felt as sweetness, an intimate love, gentleness, an ocean of peace or sky of light…..infinitely expanding. This is a direct experience of the spiritual heart where we are effortless being. Each person has their own unique experience. Once the silence of the heart is felt, our life changes. We have found our home inside. Retreat, spiritual practice, simple joy, our spiritual heart becomes our anchor in daily life.

infinite heart meditation

From Hindu perspective:
Hindu philosophy and Advaita, considers the heart the seat or center of consciousness, a temple, and that by meditating on this center, one becomes united with the higher or divine Self, God inside. It is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart. It is the great I Am that the sages refer to. It is referred to as Samadhi Pada or Hridaya. This is the core of our being, our deepest true nature, the seat of our soul. Bhagavad Gita: Brahman (the Supreme reality, the Absolute) and Atman (Self, soul, spirit) are identical. The internal world is characterised by bliss and the cessation of mental activity. This was the work of the teacher Ramana Maharshi and his teachings of Self-enquiry and non dualism.

infinite heart meditation _2

From Buddhist perspective:
The Kargyupa School of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy speaks about Mahamudra, the Great Seal. This is the experience of bliss and emptiness. “We are of the same luminous essence as everything in nature.” Here they are experiencing their Buddha nature, the pure mind in it’s natural state; at peace, awakened and divine. ​

infinite heart meditation_3From Buddhist perspective:
The Kargyupa School of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy speaks about Mahamudra, the Great Seal. This is the experience of bliss and emptiness. “We are of the same luminous essence as everything in nature.” Here they are experiencing their Buddha nature, the pure mind in it’s natural state; at peace, awakened and divine.

infinite heart meditation _5

From Christian perspective:

​The Christians find their Christ light within themselves. The peace of Christ, the love of Christ, become more then words as our heart center is opened and felt. Christianity shares with all the great world religions a rich path of humility, giving, and receiving God, the pure light, within. Centering prayer, holding one’s attention in the heart with focus on the highest qualities, is one form of Christian contemplative meditation.

5 Wisdom Bites on How to Handle Difficult People

Originally published on ThewomanFormerlyKnownasBeautiful.com By Live by Surprise

5 Wisdom Bites on How to Handle Difficult People_2The term “Asshat” seems to be catching on. Today my guest blogger Liv has her own take on how to handle difficult people aka Asshats.

I love what she’s learned from her ex and think her practical advice will help not just in the love life arena, but also with family, friends, co-workers and bosses. Here’s Liv from Live By Surprise:

Asshats are everywhere. It may be your boss, your co-worker, your customer, your server, your ex, your whatever. Asshats will come and go, and you’ll learn new things about dealing with them from each one.

Sometimes, they’re even passable as human beings when you first meet them. The asshat may make it past the sniff test and even become your friend, your boss, or your significant other. Once this has happened, it’s much more difficult to get them out of your life. And if you’ve had children with an asshat, you’re pretty much stuck.

Asshats may be able to mask their behavior for a short time – but their behavior will eventually betray them. You’ll get better at spotting them after you’ve dealt with a few.

Utterly ruthless, these individuals are incredibly resilient, fearless and not constrained by ethics or a moral code. Beware if they have you in their sights. Their complete disregard for anyone but themselves often leads to blow-back for those around them. And if that happens, it is never, ever (at least in their mind), their fault.

I have a lifetime of experience of dealing with asshats – and of course that one special someone who keeps coming back – but I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and appreciate all of the things that I have learned as a result.

1) Once an asshat, always an asshat

While going through my divorce, my therapist said to me “if he was like this while you were married, why do you expect him to be different now?”

The realization really jarred me: it was true. Stop wishing the asshat was different. Don’t expect a change in behavior. Asshats don’t suddenly become aware of their asshat status and reform their ways.

In the entire history of asshats, there has never been an asshat who has suddenly become a nice person (without a full frontal lobotomy).

2) Asshats are not good listeners

Asshats are limited to one function at a time. When you’re talking, the asshat is thinking about what they’re going to say in response, even if it has nothing to do with what you’re saying.

They can’t listen and think at the same time any more than they can chew gum and walk. You will never convince an asshat that you’re right and they’re wrong. Reason and logic are not skills an asshat understands or appreciates.

Despite their inability to listen, your listening skills should be fine-tuned. When your conversation with an asshat is getting heated, step back and take a breath. Try to understand why they’re being asshatty.

Sometimes (although not always) you can figure out what you need to do to stop the behavior. If not, you may need to cut your losses and save your strength for another day.

3) Don’t get defensive and accusatory

The asshole’s goal is to get your goat. Don’t respond emotionally. The asshat will take it as a win, and you don’t want them to think they’re winning.

Always take the time to prep yourself prior to dealing with an asshat. Remain confident. Keep your tone neutral. Stay on task. Don’t get distracted. You know what you need – get it and get out.

4) Handle aggression assertively

If the asshat you’re dealing with is aggressive, either verbally or physically, then regardless of who they are, it’s OK to walk away or put the phone down.

If needed, you can return to the conversation when the asshat has calmed down. No one has the right to compromise your sense of personal safety and well-being.

As well, feeling threatened may throw you off.

As I said in number three, you need to remain in control of both yourself and the situation. If you’re not – you can always come back to it later when the situation has cooled.

5) If you don’t have to deal with an asshat – don’t!

If you were simply dealing with a difficult person, you might be able to set aside your differences and come to a compromise. Most of the time, when you’re dealing with an asshat, this is not possible. Step back and really examine the situation.

Is it worth the stress? Is there someone else who could deal with this situation better? Is the situation even worth dealing with?

As I learned from the movie WarGames (1983), sometimes “the only winning move is not to play”. Always know what your limit is, and if you’ve hit it, walk away.

 BIO:

Liv is the pseudonym reformed divorcee and single mom – now remarried, coparenting and working mother of three. She’s been a featured writer on DivorcedMoms.com and her work can be found on ScaryMommy, HuffPost Divorce, MockMom and Sammiches and PsychMeds. You can find more at http://www.livebysurprise.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter (http://twitter.com/livebysurprise)