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.

Are We Living in the Kali Yuga_2

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!

 

Are You Worth It?

Let’s get real EVERYONE wants your $$

Nowadays is it just me or does everyone want to get paid? Uncle Sam, grocery stores, water bills, car payments etc. Come the first of the month everyone has their hands out and we pay these bills because we are responsible adults. That’s just what we do.

This is getting old!!

What about your dreams?

After you’ve paid all of your bills and if there is anything left over, it’s time to think about investing in yourself. Now you can buy a book to learn about your passions. However whatever that is, you must begin to practice it at some point. And that’s what this article is really about.

What about Video’s for learning?

Let’s say you want to learn pilates reformer, video’s are great for learning for observation, theory and just to watch how the professionals do it. But once it comes down to implementing what you’ve learned, you really want to have professional training. Why? Because you can learn bad habits which are difficult to break, you can injure yourself because maybe you aren’t set up in the correct alignment, and over time doing it incorrectly can cause serious injury. Also you can do things maybe you’re not really ready for but you force it and get hurt. You need the immediate feed back to know what you are doing correctly and what you aren’t doing correctly.

Why would a yoga teacher take classes?

I do understand that monthly hand out syndrome I described at the beginning. Although I have had numerous hours of training, teachers still need training. Recently I made the investment in a Stott’s V2 Max Pilates Reformer Bundle and let me tell you it is a beast. I am not certified in reformer training but somewhere in my mind I thought, I’ve taken enough classes, I don’t think I need to keep taking classes. I’ll just watch some videos and do it that way.

Would you know what to do with this beast?

“Warning danger Bill Robinson,” don’t do it. Keep taking the classes until you are really confident that you know what you are doing. Plus watching videos to learn can be quite literally a pain in the ass!! You just want to know a simple answer to a simple question, with a teacher, you can just ask the question. If not, you are literally on your own. Google this, google that and maybe you’ll get the right answer. Many just give up in frustration or maybe they get injured. Also the teacher will be able to look at her students and know what their bodies actually need. She will say, my students need to focus on chest openers and make sure to target that. A video just does whatever it does and you end up frustrated.

What did I end up doing?

I decided that I still need to continue taking classes in person and also continue on my own to learn via books and videos. I really like Pilates Anytime. The instructors are excellent and they really educate you about your body and how it should move.

Did I want to go the cheap route and quit paying a professional for training? Hell yeah!! Did I do it? Hell no!!! I’ve decided that I am worth the investment to make sure I stay safe and can continue to learn. Plus let’s keep it real, we all need the motivation and teachers motivate us and so do the students. So do yourself a big favor and get professional training. I promise you won’t regret it. Plus baby, you are WORTH it!!!

Valerie doing Triangle pose. Such a delicious pose.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She lives in Northern California and encourages people to follow their dreams and passions. She’s passionate about dancing and fitness and is evolving in her knowledge and training. She encourages everyone to follow their passions.

Valerie’s loves to dance and have fun. Here she is PLAYING.

Tap Dancing To Santana is Hard!!

My Dad was a music teacher and we had a family band in the 70’s. My dad played keyboards and trumpet. My eldest brother, Chris played the drums, Ben played the guitar and Adam played the bass guitar and vocals. They played this song in 1975 and Chris was 15, Ben 14 and Adam was 12.

I remember hearing this song A LOT when I was a kid too. It’s not a very fast paced song and tap dancing to a slow song is a little bit like slowing down a stampede. When I TAP I generally want to go fast. IT’S JUST SO FUN!!

I decided to dance to this song just to honor my brothers that were playing this music when they were just kids. It just amazes me!! I thought well the least I can do is TAP dance to the song.

This is what I was doing well they were playing music.

Well you can obviously watch the video. This is improvisational dance. It’s not a perfect performance by any stretch of the imagination. I look at it and cringe. But then I’m like, OH WELL. I just want to let people know that it’s OK to do your thing even if your not PERFECT. Get over the PERFECTION thing anyway. There is no such thing.

I just wonder if I’m going to dance on a bigger floor than that little piece of wood. Time will tell sweetheart…

If my mom wouldn’t have been cooking, we’d all be dead. Thanks Mom!! She was behind the scenes making sure we all ate. XOXO


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She encourages everyone to relax, eat healthy and just enjoy our lives.

Get Healthy Without Food

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many think that whenever it comes to being healthier than it must involve food. While food is definitely important, it’s usually a process to make changes regarding food. So here are some things to consider that do not involve food.

  1. Take a breath to the count of 3,4 or 5. That’s it. Exhale and just feel your body relaxing with each exhale. It doesn’t have to be a big production, you don’t even have to tell anyone your doing it but while your at it, give a little thanks for clean air.
  2. Walk tall: Do you realize how many people only dream about being able to walk? Give thanks to your body for giving you the strength and privilege to be able to walk. A 10 minute walk can do wonders for depression, mental health. Just breathe and walk… Hey do 1 and 2 together. Now we’re multi tasking. If you have pain while walking, maybe a good time to visit the doctor to find out what’s the problem.
  3. Think for one minute about what your favorite song is. This is the song (old or new) that you know the words to the song and you hear it and it just makes you happy. For me it would be Dance Sister Dance by Santana but what’s your favorite song? All you have to do is listen to that song and breathe. Hey if you want you can do 1, 2 and 3 together and you will be a triple threat… But you can listen in the car or shower or wherever you feel like listening to it is cool!! But a triple threat will be cool!!
  4. Feel grateful for whatever you want to acknowledge. If you can walk and talk and breathe, be grateful. How about being grateful for this life that you have been given. Life can be hard but believe it or not, you are a miracle and there is nobody else exactly like you. The mold was broken and you are a beautiful soul. Even if you have done terrible things, your soul is still good. Your body just did some stuff but your soul is pure light.
  5. Have you ever day dreamed? You know just think about whatever wonderful little thing you love or a fantasy that you would love to have come true. Spend a little time dreaming about anything you want but if you want to integrate all 5 concepts. Breathing, walking, listening to your favorite song and while you are at it be grateful that you can day dream. Pretend you are a super hero and everywhere you go it’s just easy breezy and you have cool super powers. What would that feel like for you? If you want to write about it, do it but not any pressure. This is fun stuff. But writing it down would be super cool!!
Maybe just hang out and relax. This looks heavenly!!

In the spirit of not giving you more than you can chew, we’re going to end this so you can go on and practice. In the words of my music teacher, Keep Calm and Practice, Practice, Practice.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach that lives In Nor Cal. She encourages everyone to find their passion and enjoy life. Valerie wishes to sleep in a tee pee one day. But she’s not the camping type right now. Maybe one day she will find her tribe. Dreaming of my tribe. Donde estas?

What The Heck is a Neutral Pelvis?

Young woman lying on the bed at home

After years of working at a desk and experiencing pain in my back after working out, I decided that it was time to dial things way back and go back to the basics of Pilates. I was feeling like my muscles were not evenly balanced and I was experiencing pain in my upper neck and back AGAIN. My right side was dominant and in an effort to get things balanced again, I took a break from working out. I had to allow my muscles to relax and then gradually build them back up. No Pain No Gain is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard and at this point in my life pain free mobility is gold.

Not super exciting but Neutral Pelvic tilt will stop a lot of problems


What is Neutral Pelvis?

From the book Simply Pilates By Jennifer Polman, The pelvis is the junction between the torso and the legs to which various muscles attach for movement and stabilizing purposes. When the pelvis tilts forward or backward the curve of the lower back will change. Current spinal health research indicates that the natural curves of the spine should be maintained during exercise in order to strengthen the muscles essential to postural support. The correct positioning of the pelvis is crucial to maintaining this natural spinal shape. Neutral Pelvis is achieved when the pelvic bones tilt neither way, but simply rest where hip and back muscles can remain fairly relaxed. The easiest way of finding this position is to recognize that your public bone and hip bones ( silica crests) all form a parallel level with the floor when lying on your back. (These bones should be aligned in the same plant when the body is in any position.) Neutral pelvis is the ideal position in which to strengthen the dee abdominals.

CORRECT ABDOMINALS 

THIS IS WHAT NEUTRAL SPINE. SEE THE LIL MOUSEHOUSE UNDER THE WAIST? A LIL MOUSE CAN PASS UNDERNEATH YOUR WAIST IF YOU DON’T FREAK OUT FIRST.

Strong abdominals are more important to you than achieving a “six-pack.”  Good quality movement while preventing spinal injury begins by working the muscles from the inside out.  This means refining the action of the abdominal muscles so that you can work the deeper layers responsible for maintaining “core stability.  To target this area you need to focus on the drawing in and up of the lower abdomen-between the public bone and navel.  Imagine zipping up the abdominals starting from the pubic bone, as if you’re zipping up tight jeans!  Use pelvic floor muscles and flatten and tighten the abdominals toward the floor, without actually disturbing your Neutral Pelvis.  Try not to tense up the gluteal muscles (buttocks).  Imagine that your whole navel and waist area is shrinking as though held in a corset.  During a pilates session an instructor would typically describe this action as “scooping, drawing in or pressing the navel to the spine” in order to ensure the deeper layers of abdominals are strengthened.  

Valerie back again

If you still don’t get it next time you take a pilates class, ask the instructor if she can explain it to you. Also you have to maintain the neutral spine when you do all of the exercises and that means you probably have to slow down a lot and get back to the real basics because your muscles can get weak with the quickness if you’re not paying attention.

Also if you watch TV, lie on the floor and watch it on a yoga mat. Use pillows to support your neck and roll around like a kid. Next time your tired lay on the floor and remember your practicing neutral spine so you are exercising. XOXO Don’t feel guilty for lying down. You deserve a rest beautiful. Great thing to think about on your day off from the gym or if you’re just starting out this is MANDATORY BABY!!

This is a real simple breathing exercise to get you started. You might want to print this out and read it every time you get into this position. You will need to practice OVER AND OVER. Sorry about that. Also make sure your Dr. gives you the OK to exercise.

Simple Breathing Exercise

  1. Lie on back, knees bent, heels opposite sitting bones, hands resting on lower abs
  2. Inhale to prepare, exhale engage pelvic floor and draw in and up of your lower abs…zip them up like a tight pair of jeans. Also pretend you drank a big coffee and glass of water and you need to hold it in. Yikes!!! But relax your glutes (buttocks)
  3. Inhale into your ribs and feel your ribs going to the sides. Your abs are engaged so no air is going to your belly. It’s going sideways in your ribcage. (Ribcage and shoulders stay on the floor)
  4. Exhale for 4-5 counts allowing chest and ribs to fall while drawing in lower abs. (Remember keep your mouse house)
  5. Head, neck and gluteal muscles are relaxed.
  6. If you experience pain then you probably want to tell your Dr. where you have pain. Pain is the way the body tells you something ain’t cool.

You’ll get strong really fast if you just do this. For now I have to read a book and do what it says to do. Sometimes instructors leave out a key set up cue and it will throw you off and then it’s easy to get injured. I say take your time and do the moves very deliberately. Also don’t be afraid to allow your muscles to relax and recover and then rebuild them up the right way. I do recommend the book above but that’s up to you.

That’s all for today sweetie pies. I know it’s not easy to do this stuff but if you don’t do it for yourself, who will? PS: TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR PHONE. Your neck says thank you. XOXO I know because I had to as well.

Valerie is a Health Coach living in Northern California. She’s recuperating after a LONG CAREER. She shares her discoveries and encourages everyone to take good care of themselves. She believes as you heal yourself, you heal the planet. Here’s her journey.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Nov 27, 2015 By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

… and why it says nothing about your worthiness for love.

The opposite of love isn’t hate; it is indifference. Ghosting, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, is having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend or someone you are dating, disappear from contact without any explanation at all. No phone call or email, not even a text. Ghosting isn’t new—people have long done disappearing acts—but years ago this kind of behavior was considered limited to a certain type of scoundrel. In today’s dating culture being ghosted is a phenomenon that approximately 50 percent of men and women have experienced—and an almost equal number have done the ghosting.1 Despite ghosting’s commonality, the emotional effects can be devastating, and particularly damaging to those who already have fragile self-esteem.

Why do people ghost?

People who ghost are primarily focused on avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel. The lack of social connections to people who are met online also means there are less social consequences to dropping out of someone’s life. The more it happens, either to themselves or their friends, the more people become desensitized to it and the more likely they are to do it to someone else.

“I didn’t understand exactly how I actually felt at the time, so instead of trying to talk it out, I ghosted.” 2

“I used to disappear when it was all I thought it was [a fling], or I got scared of finding what I wanted…Or some kind of fear factor from a past relationship kicks in.” 2

“Looking through the lens of a coward, passive withdrawal from dating seems like the easiest and nicest route…until it’s done to you.” 3

“I kind of think that it’s part of what makes the online dating scene so appealing. Since you don’t have friends in common or weren’t introduced through some other channel, it’s not the end of the world if you just drop off the face of the earth.” 4

“I, for one, consider myself to be an honest and straightforward person. And yet I’ve ghosted…And I’ve told myself, time and time again, that it’s all the fault of the toxic dating culture we’ve created. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what we’re all telling ourselves.” 5

How does it feel to be ghosted?

For many people ghosting can result in feelings of being disrespected, used and disposable. If you have known the person beyond more than a few dates then it can be even more traumatic. When someone we love and trust disengages from us it feels like a very deep betrayal.

“I felt like an idiot. Like I had been played a fool. And more so I felt disrespected. Take the romantics away, to have a great connection with a new friend and then all of a sudden never hear from them again? That’s painful and really disappointing. No one deserves to be blown off.” 6

“It still felt a bit like someone had punched me in the gut when it happened. The disregard is insulting. The lack of closure is maddening. You move on, but not before your self-esteem takes a hit. The only thing worse than being broken up with is realizing that someone didn’t even consider you worth breaking up with.” 7

“Going from texting every day and seeing each other a couple times a week to nothing without the slightest hint of why was a kick in the gut.” 8

“Ghosting is one of the cruelest forms of torture dating can serve up.” 9

Why does it feel so bad?

Social rejection activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain.10 In fact, you can reduce the emotional pain of rejection with a pain medication like Tylenol.11 But in addition to this biological link between rejection and pain, there are some specific factors about ghosting that contribute to the psychological distress.

Ghosting gives you no cue for how to react. It creates the ultimate scenario of ambiguity. Should you be worried? What if they are hurt and lying in a hospital bed somewhere? Should you be upset? Maybe they are just a little busy and will be calling you at any moment. You don’t know how to react because you don’t really know what has happened. Staying connected to others is so important to our survival that our brain has evolved to have a social monitoring system (SMS) that monitors the environment for cues so that we know how to respond in social situations.12 Social cues allow us to regulate our own behavior accordingly, but ghosting deprives you of these usual cues and can create a sense of emotional dysregulation where you feel out of control.

One of the most insidious aspects of ghosting is that it doesn’t just cause you to question the validity of the relationship you had, it causes you to question yourself. Why didn’t I see this coming? How could I have been such a poor judge of character? What did I do to cause this? How do I protect myself from this ever happening again? This self-questioning is the result of basic psychological systems that are in place to monitor one’s social standing and relay that information back to the person via feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. When a rejection occurs your self-esteem can drop which social psychologists propose is meant to be a signal that your social belonging is low.13 If you have been through multiple ghostings or if your self-esteem is already low you are likely to experience the rejection as even more painful, and it may take you longer to get over it as people with lower-self-esteem have less natural opioid (pain-killer) released into the brain after a rejection when compared to those whose self-esteem is higher.14

Ghosting is the ultimate use of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty.15 It essentially renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem.

Regardless of the ghoster’s intent, ghosting is a passive-aggressive interpersonal tactic that can leave psychological bruises and scars

How do you move forward?

The important thing to remember is that when someone ghosts you, it says nothing about you or your worthiness for love and everything about the person doing the ghosting. It shows he/she doesn’t have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours, and they either don’t understand the impact of their behavior or worse don’t care. In any case they have sent you an extremely loud message that says: I don’t have what it takes to have a mature healthy relationship with you. Be the better person, retain your dignity, and let him/her go peacefully.

Don’t allow someone else’s bad behavior to rob you of a better future by losing your vulnerability and shutting yourself off from another relationship. Keep your energy focused on doing what makes you happy. Know that if you are someone who treats people with respect and integrity then the ghoster simply wasn’t on your wavelength and someone better is coming your way, as long as you keep your heart open and your focus forward.

References

  1. http://www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/advice/a12787/girls-ghos…
  2. http://www.chicagonow.com/accidentally-sexy/2015/03/ghosting-three-guys-…
  3. http://goodguyswag.com/ghosting-when-a-nice-guy-is-too-scared-to-say-no/
  4. http://www.vice.com/read/i-asked-men-why-they-ghosted-me-511
  5. http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/08/why-good-people-ghost-how…
  6. http://www.therefinedwoman.com/ghosting-so-thats-like-a-thing-now/
  7. http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/08/why-good-people-ghost-how…
  8. http://www.gq.com/story/the-reason-you-just-got-ghosted
  9. http://goodguyswag.com/ghosting-when-a-nice-guy-is-too-scared-to-say-no/
  10. Krossa, E., Bermana, M., Mischelb, W., Edward E. Smith, and Wager, T. 2011. Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 108 (15), p. 6270–6275, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102693108.
  11. DeWall, C., et al. 2010. Acetaminophen Reduces Social Pain: Behavioral and Neural Evidence. Psychological Sciences, 21 (7), p. 931 -7
  12. Cynthia L. Pickett, C., Gardner, W., and Knowles, M. 2004. Getting a Cue: The Need to Belong and Enhanced Sensitivity to Social Cues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30 (9), p. 1095-1107.
  13. Leary, M. R.,Haupt, A. L., Strausser, K. S., & Chokel, J. T. 1998. Calibrating the sociometer: The relationship between interpersonal appraisals and state self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, p.1290-1299.
  14. Hsu, D. et al. 2013. Response of the μ-opioid system to social rejection and acceptance. Molecular Psychiatry, 18, p. 1211–1217.
  15. Williams, C., Richardson, D. Hammock, G., Janit, S. 2012. Perceptions of physical and psychological aggression in close relationships: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, (6), p. 489–494.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much_1

Dr. Jennice Vilhauer is the director of the Outpatient Psychotherapy Treatment Program at Emory Healthcare, the developer of Future Directed Therapy, and the author of Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life.

www.futuredirectedtherapy.com

To view my 2015 TEDx talk on Why You Don’t Get What You Want click here.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much_4

Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D., is a clinical faculty member in the School of Medicine at Emory University and most recently served as the director of the outpatient psychotherapy program at Emory Healthcare. She was formerly the director of psychology training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate training in psychology at UCLA and her graduate training at Fordham University, followed by postdoctoral training at Columbia University. She is the developer of Future Directed Therapy and the author of Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life.

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!

An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy_2

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

An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy_3

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