True Nature Travels Blog

gratitude1

Gratitude is something that is sorely lacking today. Too many people feel they are entitled to what they have, and even a simple “thank you” is too much to ask from them. A lot of the stress we feel about our lives can be traced to feel entitled to the “nice things” that others have. Still, I believe that if you learn how to practice gratitude, you can shift your focus—and with this new attitude, everything can change.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

“A Man Must Feel the Bite of Winter to Feel the Warmth of the Hearth.” If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you’ve heard these words before, but more than a quote from a TV program, it is a beautiful description of what gratitude is and why it is an essential antidote to the emptiness we feel in life. Because of the comforts that surround us—comforts that previous generations would have found unimaginable—that we have become numb, entitled, and unable to feel gratitude for what we have.

We have become numb, entitled, and unable to feel gratitude for what we have

Today we have smartphones connected permanently to the internet. We have access to the repositories of all the knowledge of humankind, but imagine if there was no internet. No instant communication with your friends wherever they may be in the world. No Wikipedia or other websites from which we can mine the collective knowledge of the world. Just 20 years ago, that was the reality.

I remember a time when we had to go to the library to access the internet because the home internet was not yet a thing. It is because I know what it was like before the internet that I appreciate its existence more.

Now apply that to something closer to home. Imagine what life would be like to be an orphan. To not have a mother nagging you to put on a shirt or some other mundane “motherly” thing. To not have a father giving outdated life advice while teaching you how to do “manly” things more suited to the 1950s. Just the thought of not having your parents ought to get you to call them right now to tell them you love them.

Mindfulness As A Method Of Practicing Gratitude

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If you haven’t seen my article on mindfulness, maybe now would be a good time to give it a read. Mindfulness is the ability to appreciate the present and the things we have in the here and now. By practicing mindfulness and the science of gratitude, we can be grateful for what we have, even if it is not necessarily what we want, or not as good as what we desired.

A mindful person lives in the moment and enjoys the wonders of what they possess at the moment. By being content, the mindful person does not covet what they do not have. They are grateful for what they already have and do not take for granted their blessings or the achievements they have reached. A person trained in the art of mindfulness will savor with gratitude the life they already have. They will not covet a life that they could have had or that they desired in their youth.

For example, I know a man who became a lawyer at the age of 33. Recently, he lost both his parents within two years of each other. His doctor suggested that he discipline himself and develop mindfulness as an antidote for chronic, long-term dysthymia, which is the combination of an anxiety disorder and low-grade depression.

If this man decided to only focus on the negatives in his world, he might be cursing the powers that be for taking away his parents. He could be resenting the fact that it took him so long to become a lawyer.

But a mindful and grateful heart would teach him to be thankful that he had his parents for the first 30 years of his life. He had the privilege of becoming a lawyer in a state where more than 80% of those who finish law school do not ever attain this status. He has a lot to be grateful for if only he can train himself to see the light instead of dwell in the darkness.

He has a lot to be grateful for if only he can train himself to see the light instead of dwell in the darkness

In a way, mindfulness and gratitude will form a positive feedback loop in your life. Try it and watch as your attitude toward everything in your life changes.

The Scientific Argument In Favor Of Gratefulness

In a study, researchers learned that a person’s happiness level could be stable over the long term. This means that a grateful person can have a high level of happiness, and they can sustain it over a prolonged period. So, the bottom line here is: A grateful person is happier. (Consider rereading what I wrote about mindfulness earlier in this post, and start reaping the benefits of being happier right now.)

The same study also found that not only were people with a grateful mindset 25% happier, but they were far more optimistic about the future, too. One way to understand this is that the person who has a positive outlook in life will see the world differently. The grateful attitude for the present will permeate their attitude for the future.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Someone with a grateful heart has a positive outlook on life because they aren’t wasting time being jealous or coveting what they do not have. They are already happy because they are content with their life.

This positive attitude has even farther-reaching effects on other aspects of a grateful person’s life. Depression or anxiety are far less likely to take hold because of the grateful attitude that increases their baseline happiness.

A grateful, happy person is less likely to seek out alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behaviors. This is because these are behaviors that people use to fill a void in their lives. They wouldn’t have to fill a void if they were already fulfilled. Gratefulness means that there is much less of a chance that compulsive behaviors will become attractive to them in the first place.

The Practice Of Gratitude In Our Daily Lives 

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For those with religious inclinations, the practice of gratitude begins with prayer at the start of their day. Whether they are Christians, Jews, or Muslims, each will typically take part in morning prayers. During this practice, the faithful will thank a higher power for allowing them to rise in the morning after a restful night’s sleep.

If that’s not your cup of tea, then wake up nevertheless with a sense of gratitude. Even if you don’t practice any religion, it would be beneficial to reflect in the morning and take stock of what you have. Do not take anything for granted! If you have a roof over your head, a warm bed, and enough to eat, then you should be grateful.

Be grateful that breakfast is merely a matter of walking into your kitchen and opening the refrigerator or cabinets. Consider how so many others must work or even beg for the meager sums they would need to get the first or only meal of their day.

The Power Of Thank You

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“Thank you” should be an important phrase in your vocabulary. Say thank you when someone does you a favor or offers you a simple act of kindness—and if this is not something that you do as a matter of course, well, its time you made it a habit now. Giving thanks is an excellent way to develop an attitude of gratefulness, even if it is just in the little things.

Thank the person in front of you for holding the door for you. Thank your partner for handing you your first cup of coffee each morning. Thank your administrative assistant for bringing you your morning mail at work. It may feel awkward at first, but eventually, it will become a habit.

As a bonus, people will learn to appreciate—and emulate—your newly-developed sense of good manners. The practice of saying “please” and “thank you” has become a lost art in this era of entitlement—the 21st Century. You are spreading gratitude by bringing good manners back into the modern age.

The practice of saying “please” and “thank you” has become a lost art in this era of entitlement

If you want to learn more, you can draw inspiration from the movie Happy, Thank You, More Please. As the movie title suggests, the audience is invited to have an attitude of Happy, Thank You, More Please. If something makes you happy, then be grateful by saying thank you to the person who made you feel this way, and the “More Please” is in reference to asking for more of the thing that made you happy.

Gratitude And The Law Of Attraction

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There are many people today who believe in something called the law of attraction. They ascertain that when we want something and work hard to make it happen—or attract it—the universe will somehow bring it to us. For example, if we want a promotion at work, and if we diligently strive to attract the promotion, eventually, we will receive it. There is a mystical, quasi-religious aspect to the law of attraction. Suffice to say that it has many followers, simply because it appears to work.

Even for those of us who don’t necessarily put much stock in the other-worldly, it still makes sense. After all, how do we attract something? By acting toward making it happen. How does an employee attract a promotion? By working more hours, being more efficient, or generally acting in a manner in which they would be more deserving of a promotion.

The same holds with an attitude of gratitude. By being grateful even for small favors or kindnesses, you will attract people to be positively disposed toward you. People tend to feel good and act accordingly when they receive gratitude.

That Uber driver you thanked for bringing you to work? He might have been working all night, perhaps dealing with difficult customers. That small act of kindness in thanking him might be the first nice thing he experienced during his entire shift. That diner waitress you thanked for bringing you your first coffee of the day? That little bit of positive reinforcement and kindness could be the only thing that is holding back her tears.

In both and many other cases, the gratitude you show might very well attract even more acts of kindness from others. The kindness you display may resonate with others, and in turn, make them feel more grateful and allow them to experience a more positive outlook in life. Even if only for the moment that you gave them that appreciative interaction—that brief experience might help them to see that it is possible to obtain an attitude of gratefulness.

Life Is What You Make It. So, Why Not Make It A Grateful Experience?

The ability to be thankful for both small things and great blessings will change your outlook. It can spark a positive feedback loop that will change your inner attitude—and your entire life.

There are even scientific studies that suggest living gratefully can improve your quality of life. Your positive outlook and grateful attitude can stave off depression, as well as many other sources of negativity in your life. Think of it this way: Gratitude helps increase your positivity, and this positivity will help you resist succumbing to the onslaught of negative vibes around you every day.

This positive feedback loop within protects you even further because you will not accumulate negativity, and you’ll have a lower chance of engaging in any risky, compulsive behaviors, which might cause you even more problems later on. After all, if you feel good about yourself, you are far less likely to do drugs or consume excessive amounts of alcohol to “feel better”—and, best of all—this improvement in your attitude can radiate toward others around you.

By practicing gratitude, you may very well be bringing this gift to others in your day-to-day life.

 

About the Author

Rebecca Temsen is a Blogger & Editor at selfdevelopmentsecrets.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Wellness Trip 1

Nowadays, people resort to going on vacation solely to run away from the hard-working and tedious lives they are leading. However, many tend to return from holiday feeling even more drained. Organizing and going on a wellness trip where you can enliven all your senses, have long and relaxing spa days, meditate, and do yoga will enable you to find a greater purpose beyond tourism. While there are many resorts and wellness destinations around the globe for you to choose from, you still need some basic guidance on how to organize the best international wellness trip. Here is a guide that will get you fully covered.

 

Set a clear ‘relaxing’ objective

You can’t start browsing through various destinations before you figure out what relaxation and mindful wellness trip means for you. You need to have a clear and steady objective of what you want off your trip. For many, it’s the serenity of the ambient, while other factors like comfortable accommodation, beautiful scenery, and fitness amenities are vital. You may want solely to hold or organize spa retreats and offer quality spa treatments and dietary detoxes, so take a notebook and write down your ideas. Once you have everything sorted out, you can search for an international location.

Wellness Trip 2

Look for a lucrative destination

There is an abundance of gorgeous and peaceful wellness retreats around the globe that simply allure an individual to stay there forever. When you need to organize a wellness trip on your own, you need to be careful with your choice. Start your search by narrowing down the places that can fit within your budget. Envisioning impossible outcomes will only make you disappointed. Consider going somewhere touristy, but don’t opt for renowned retreats but many somewhere off the beaten path. Also, go off the popular seasons when there is less crowd. Chances are that you will get the most of your trip and more.


Coordinate trip wisely

Now for some technical matters. Firstly, if you are travelling by car either solo or with a buddy or two, you should find out how to drive internationally. This means that you must check the maps, roads, read the regulations, learn some foreign rules, get the necessary papers, check the rental possibilities if necessary, and others. Next, you have to schedule the sessions, provide suitable accommodation, confirm and reconfirm the timings, and of course, coordinate meals and make sure that dietary are taken care of.

Wellness Trip 3


Deal with the logistic upfront

Organizing an international wellness trip requires patience and diligence, but above all meticulous logistics. Besides transportation, transfer, meals, and food, you need to organize productive wellness activities that will enable you and the whole group to make the most out of your healthy travels. Whether you set your heart out to the beach, mountain, or a place within the rainforest, if you don’t clearly set the timing of the sessions, length, and find the right yoga teachers and trainers, you will be in for more stress. Therefore, in order not to get busy with the organization on your trip, deal with important matters upfront so that you can utterly unwind in your wellness trip.


Seek for physical tranquillity and activity

Going to a distant place where the sheer environment can help you improve your health and wellbeing is the key to an international wellness trip. Sometimes even if the surrounding can make you feel re-energized and uplifted, it may not be enough. Find a place where you can get active and have the ability to relax as well. Have some other activity in mind besides doing yoga and meditating. Think hiking, swimming, or stargazing. Organize some extra curriculum activities like writing, drawing and art sessions, learn how to play an instrument or how to cook some special international dish.

Wellness Trip 4


Have a light agenda and short sessions

You don’t want to do yoga for 5 hours in the morning and then sit and meditate for another five. No, you must set light and mindful agenda so that everyone can get the most out of their stay. If you are in a different timezone, pay attention to the jet lag that someone might be experiencing. Let your yoga or other spa sessions last up to 2 hours each or 45min of some other demanding workout. Have a short break where you would chat, drink green tea and meditate. In the afternoon, you can do other activities, roam around, and in the evening gather up to share experiences.

You aim should be to make this international wellness trip as restful and rejuvenating as possible. By following the above-mentioned guidelines you will certainly accomplish that and have a mindful and regenerating experience.

 

About the Author

Morgan Elliot

Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, and a happily married mother of two. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things.

https://twitter.com/MorganRoseElli1

True Nature Travels Blog

Ayurveda

 

Not everyone loves traveling, however, those who do can attest to the fact that traveling is an entire fun package. Asides the fact that it is interesting and full of excitement, it also holds memories which you would treasure for years to come.

The fun in traveling does not start from the road trip it starts from the anticipation. Waiting for the designated day to arrive comes with its own type of fun, as you could find yourself fantasizing before then.

In order to enjoy your travel, it is advised that you carefully and painstakingly select everything you need, so that you do not get on board and realize that you left out one or two things. Now, there is an undeniable fact which is, stating how exactly your travel might be. You might be surprised to find out that, it is either more strenuous than usual or more comfortable than you expected. On a conventional note, there is no escaping it you might be faced with stress, which could come in different forms.

Below are some of the common symptoms which travelers are likely to experience:

  • Dysfunctional digestive system
  • Impaired immune system
  • Constant feeling of tiredness
  • Feeling overexcited
  • Feeling depressed
  • Body pains and aches

These common symptoms are what Ayurveda seeks to handle. Ayurveda tries to ensure that the spirit, body, and mind are in one piece so that you would feel bubbly and balanced.

It would interest you to know that one of Ayurveda’s foundational goals is providing optimum balance to your well-being.

Ayurveda

Below are some essential tips, which would keep you on the right track while traveling:

  • Body massage: When you have had a long stressful day of undergoing touristy pursuits, it might be tempting to go straight off to sleep. This is not advised, however. It is best to
    perform a massage on your body. If you cannot do it yourself, then you can get someone to help. In a good number of cases, you might not get someone who would be readily available, so you have to do it yourself. All you need do is, commence from the top; your head, perform a massage on the scalp, right down to your feet. Do not skip your stomach, as a good massage helps with proper digestion. This is why it is important always to go along with a small bottle of oil, to perform this traditional Ayurvedic massage.
  • Yoga practice: When traveling, the commonest activity you would perform is sitting, and this makes you quite stiff, depending on the number of hours traveled. Yoga comes in handy to eliminate this body stiffness. When Ayurveda and Yoga are practiced together, the advantages are always much. You do not need to perform complex hand and leg twists for Yoga, all you need is a wide space which would give room for ample movement and body and mind healing. During your trip, you can perform some Yoga on your seat, or probably after your trip has ended. You can do some basic exercises such as forward folds, side bends, stand twists and the likes. Simply move your body gracefully.
  • Remaining Hydrated: Water is essential for all forms of travel, and it is necessary to have an ample quantity with you. The cool breeze seeping through the air-conditioners, or the tough breeze blowing through the window in your car, is enough to make you dehydrated and cause you to lose balance. It is more advisable to take water than alcohol prior to and when traveling, as alcohol makes you dehydrated. For your trip, take along with you, a portable water bottle, and ensure it is quite warm so that it can promote easy digestion and for your overall comfortability. For increased effectiveness, you can mix with any natural superfood such as shilajit, turmeric, lemon and a host of others. Every superfood has its own benefits. Lemon juice mixed with warm water protects the body from Immune system deficiencies. To turn the usual water to natural energy drink and to boost your energy level, you should use shilajit. But there are other amazing health benefits of mumio.
  • Enough sleep: The importance of enough sleep cannot be overstated. Before you travel, ensure that you sleep well, because it is important to your health. It is better to have a goodnight’s rest prior to your travel, than during the trip itself, except if it is a very long one, it is still safe to fall asleep for a while. After your trip, your body also needs enough sleep, especially at night. During the night, your mind and body undergo detoxification and repair, and results are best gotten when you are asleep. If it is hard to sleep, then you can perform any of the following activities:
  • Take a shower
  • Listen to music
  • Meditation
  • Read any random book

Ayurveda

  • Pause to breathe: If you want to know how stressed you are, take a moment and check your breathing pattern, you will observe that it is quite shallow. Also, when you are feeling more relaxed, your breathing pattern becomes deep. Hence, the deeper you breathe, the better your health is. Hence, during the course of your travel, take a moment to perform a simple breathing exercise. For 4-5 seconds, breathe in through your nose, and breathe out for six seconds. Repeat this for a good number of times until you feel fulfilled. If you are someone who finds it quite difficult to keep up with exercises such as this, you can place a reminder for yourself, at a particular time of the day when you can perform it. With time, you will get used to it.

 

Conclusion

Having gone through these tips, planning your next vacation would be easy. You can take a mental picture of yourself undergoing these activities, and plan how they would fit into your schedule.

Taking part in any of those tips will aid in reducing the accumulated stress in your body. When you travel, always bear it in mind that, you are focusing on grounding and providing balance to your spirit, mind, and body. Some of them might be rigorous and uncomfortable for you, the end results are usually amazing, and you would be able to enjoy every bit of your trip.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

Finding freedom of the self

Finding freedom of the self; how to let go and surrender

As we approach the half way line in the year, this is a great time to pause, reflect and release everything that is holding you back from living with confidence, bliss and freedom. The thing is all of us can feel completely free, we just have to be open to let go and release what we are holding on to so tightly. Through every experience, we pick up different energy, conscious and unconscious reactions which can all trigger tension or imbalances in the mind, body, and soul. We can attach ourselves to people, things, situations and experiences that can create a heaviness internally. Finding freedom is about learning to let go of all the attachments, of the unnecessary emotional baggage we carry around, and by acknowledging that it already exists within ourselves.

Freeing the physical body

It’s no surprise that moving the body and being physically active brings many health benefits. But on an energetic level, this also helps us to release any blockages we may have within. One of the main aspects of hatha yoga is about purification of the physical body. When we practice asanas and bring our body in alignment, we release toxins, muscular tightness and clear out anything that impedes our energetic flow. Through movement we create space in the body, to feel more freely, to think more clearly and to breathe more deeply. Bringing our attention to the breath and practicing pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) will also get the prana or life force within flowing freely. Although hatha yoga brings a harmonious state to the physical body, any type of physical exercise will benefit you in feeling free in the body. Negative emotions and thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, shame, guilt, etc also get stored in the body resulting in muscular knots, physical pain and even illness. As we continue to allow the mind to wander and keep our emotions inside, we create tension in the physical self. Moving the body, alongside with deep breathing can help release these so we can learn to move freely and enjoy the rhythm of our own body.

Freeing the mind

The mind can sometimes be non-stop, feeding us with different thoughts at all moments of the day. If we pay attention to these, we can go further into creating ideas and scenarios, all resulting in illusions. Practicing meditation is not about sitting in lotus pose with your hands in a mudra and ignoring these thoughts; instead it is about bringing yourself into the present moment, feeling grounded and still, whilst simply observing the non-stop chatter of the mind with no attachment to it. When we do so, we can learn that this is the only experience we are part of; that the past and the future don’t exist, all there is in now. Practicing mindfulness is important, because when we have stillness of mind, we can be present with clarity. And this is true freedom. And when the mind is free, creativity blossoms and we see the world as it is, without any biased preconceptions. We can also allow the mind to be curious and to be open to new things, learning and practicing mindful affirmations.

Freeing the soul

The soul is part of every experience we go through on our physical journey through life. Connecting with this completely authentic and pure part of the self, doesn’t necessarily require any special type of practice. The soul is at the essence of who we are, we are always with it and it is always with us. The soul thrives on all types experiences, excitement, courage, new beginnings, freedom of expression etc We nurture the soul when we learn to love ourselves and love others; when we let go of judgement of the self and others; when we trust and surrender. We can listen to the guidance of it simply by allowing ourselves to listen to the silence within. We can do so through mindfulness and becoming aware of our intuition and its wisdom, separating our desires from it. We can allow the soul to shine through acts of goodness for the self, others and the environment coming from a pure intention. Those who travel often begin to feel more inspired about life and their purpose. This is because the soul feels free to explore the world through a different perception other than being bounded by routine and to do lists. But physical travel is not necessary as this is part of just some people’s journey. Others can simply do so by taking an internal adventure of the soul, journeying through their own self and discovering what is deep inside. Whatever you perceive is making you feel stuck, come back to the present moment, observe it and let go. Freedom is and will always be available to you.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miriam IndriesMiriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

Be Well Live Well

Spring time is all about cleansing and regrowth

As nature starts to lighten its load, us as humans start to mimic that in nature. Building new daily rituals, removing old patterns that don’t serve our authentic code, our highest self, and really diving into embodiment. There are many remedies for helping one get into their bodies and so I am going to share some of my favorites that have helped me transition into the spring time.

Since Spring is a Kapha season; heavy, wet, dense, and slow. We want to incorporate rituals that can balance these qualities. So, quicker, heated, and energizing. For example: more cardio and exercise daily, body rituals to move our lymphatic system, reduce napping, rise with the sun, indulge in saunas, and add energizing aromatherapy to our life. Drinking detox spring teas that will help our metabolism get back to action and limiting snacking/overeating. Taking herbal tinctures to support the immune system and transition is highly recommended as well since Spring is allergy season to the max!

Be Well Live Well

Now let’s talk embodiment for a second. What does that mean exactly? Most would automatically think it means to be able to look graceful and beautiful as we move our body. Sure, that is a part of embodiment to be able to feel your movements in a controlled manner, but truly only a section of the word. Feeling, incorporation, manifestation, realization… these are all synonyms that really put this word into play. Since this is a time to grow into the new, we must be able to FEEL and LISTEN in order to really dive into ourselves and that is the embodiment I am talking about. When we start to do daily practices, rituals if you will, then we start to become more connected with our true authentic self and get to really just BE with our body, mind, and spirit. Learning how to love more of ourselves, connect more, and find more peace in our lives. All of these practices that I am going to share with you all are tools to help enhance this sensation. Most products can be found locally near you at health food stores in their beauty department and of course, there is always online. I hope you all have a smooth and happy transition. Let’s dive into the rituals.

Be Well Live Well

Abhyanga (Self-Body massage/ Oiling of the skin)

For spring, you will want to use a lighter oil such as almond, or grapeseed and even infuse it with an energizing essential oil. This practice can help create a protective, strengthening force field around you for the day. It is best to apply the oil warmed up right before you shower. The warm water will help open the pores and so the oil will penetrate more deeply. Now I am talking, whole body and focus mostly on where the joints are. Rotate in a circular motion. This will start to move the blood flow in the body and form a deeper sense of self-acceptance and appreciation. Try to be gentle and loving with your touch.

dry brushing

Dry Brushing

So deeply beneficial in the spring time since water retention and weight gain are usually present. You will want to use a natural bristle dry brush, it is very easy to locate these at a local store. You will do this on dry skin and preferably before you oil or shower. Starting from the ankles, moving upward toward your heart, make small circular motions and really exaggerate in the areas of armpits, groin, chest, inner thighs and anywhere fats that may be more stubborn would generally hang out. This is really good to boost circulation and exfoliate/ stimulate this skin. The body should be more of a rosy color and this is a practice that should be welcomed at least twice a week before showers and oiling.

tongue scraping

Tongue Scraping

You can use a stainless steel or copper scraper for this and try to incorporate morning and night before brushing the teeth. Scrape the tongue at least 6 times from back to front and be mindful of your little taste buds in the back and tongue tissue. A mucus will likely appear so rinse as needed in the sink.

herbal tinctures

Herbal Tinctures

Now there are many ways of getting herbs for support during transitions but I am going to share my favorite company with you. This is a local small business in Ben Lomond, Ca (Santa Cruz Mountains) and is curated by an herbalist I know personally. He has been studying herbs for over 18 years and is literally an encyclopedia of herbs. These tinctures also taste delicious when most are pretty hard to chug down due to their taste. Calasha has a few different tinctures that would be supportive. I highly suggest for men and woman to each get the Vital Woman or Vital Man to help nourish your own particular body and then pair it with either the peaceful mind blend or lung support. The lung support is EXTREMELY beneficial for seasonal support and since Kapha can attack the respiratory system, this is a crucial key to keep in you balance and keep the body strong during the shifts. Their tinctures are sold locally in Santa Cruz but you can order through me directly! Email primalharmony@gmail.com to find out more on these medicines.

meditation

Meditation

ALWAYS crucial when going through any type of shift and to also speed up the embodiment process. Meditation can be at any time of the day but I highly suggest right upon waking and right before bed time. There are many free apps now on the phone that can guide you through a meditation or simply just give you some music to have in the background, and if you already have mantras incorporated in your daily habits then I highly suggest brining in an invocation. Mediation isn’t necessarily about quieting the mind but instead learning it and watching the thoughts that come in and learning to not attach but instead just watch. It is also one of my favorite ways of devotion and bringing myself back to my spirit, empowering myself and improve focus.

Be Well Live Well

Neti Pot

Think of this as flossing your nose. Important to use filtered warmed up water and salts specifically for the Neti, they will be sold in the same area as the pot and will be a fine grain sea salt. I highly suggest staying away from any plastic ones and spending a little more for the ceramics. This is for dislodging accumulation mucus and impurities that most definitely arise during the spring! Use in the morning and then only, try to not overdo it and always wash your Neti afterwards. You’ll boil the water and then let it rest with the salts to dissolve. Make sure to test the water before using, you should be able to hold your finger in there without any discomfort. Lean forward and tilt your head to one side and keeping the back of your neck extended, so bend your torso. Tip your head and place the spout into the top nostril and wait for the water to run out the other side. If the water is not draining after a few tries than wait till you can have more proper guidance in person. Make sure to follow the instructions for the amount of salts and so forth. You can find this at a local health food store.

Foods to start eating more of:

Pungent spices, dry whole grains, astringent fruits, lean proteins, bitter vegetables, and raw honey in moderation.

Think warming, light, dry, mobile, sharp and what is selling at your local farmers markets. That is always a key way to know what is seasonal or not.

Here is a recipe for a digestive tea for the spring:

2 cups water
1 inch fresh ginger root
1 star anise
3 cloves
3 peppercorns
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Bring water to boil. Coarsely chop the gingerroot and include the skin. Add everything to the water. Let boil for 1 minute then simmer on low with the pot covered for at least 10 minutes. Strain before drinking. Drink after meals throughout the day.

Happy Spring!

spring

 

About the Author

Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of LifeChelsea Shapouri is a Lifestyle Consultant for women and an Elemental Yoga Instructor based in Santa Cruz, CA. In her work, she offers Ayurvedic lifestyle modalities, Yoga, Breath work, Meditations, and Ayurvedic Recipes. Every client and student is rare and special to her. Chelsea’s mission is to find their unique rhythm, their primal-natural state, and from there support them with techniques and recipes that are meant for their bio-individuality. Harmony for the emotional body, physical body, and mental state is the embodiment she lives by and wishes to offer. Bringing people back home to themselves with techniques they can simply do themselves is what she lives for. The art of service is the art of love and she shares what has helped her heal for the hope to help others heal. Stay connected to Chelsea and read her story through social media or her website: https://primal-harmony.com/

True Nature Travels Blog

Implementing self-care habits can create a harmonious way of life, by bringing our energy and focus to our health and wellbeing. We are often taught that compassion and kindness are about giving to others, but we must first do so for ourselves in order to understand the meaning of these. Only by honouring our own existence, we can do so for others also. Regardless of how busy life can get, your priority should always be on your health, because if you are feeling good, then the quality of your life matches this. Whilst there are many different ways you can create a self-care routine, here are just a few that are easy to integrate throughout your daily schedule.

self-care

Daily sesame oil self-abhyanga

Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic body massage that focuses on bringing the whole body in balance. Ayurveda is known as the oldest medical system in the world, dating back to 7000 years ago and originally practiced in the Vedic culture. Whilst the treatment is done by a qualified practitioner, we can also replicate a small part of it into our daily routine. This can be done in the morning or before bed, however, traditionally it is recommended every morning to create a sense of grounding in the body and stillness to the mind. In doing so, you are starting the day with love and kindness as you focus on your wellbeing. Sesame oil is detoxifying as it removes toxins from the surface of the skin, so it’s a great way to give your skin a good cleanse. But it is important to wash it off after about 10 minutes using warm water. Start by applying sesame oil to your hair, face, ears and the rest of the body. Create circular movements around the joint areas, such as the wrists, elbows, knees, shoulders, hips and ankles and upward movement of the palm on all other parts. Sesame oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and leaves a beautiful glow to the skin. It has a heating quality, so it will warm up your muscles and joints, a perfect way to start the day.

self-care

Nourish your digestive system

The foods we eat play a vital role in our overall well-being. Respecting yourself and honouring your body and mind means that you also pay attention to your diet and its nutritional value. We often think of food as a comfort factor to our emotional state, however, food is simply the fuel to our body. When we start to think of it as this, we start to give our body what it needs to be healthy, strong and perform well. Everybody is different, so start to pay attention to how your own body reacts to specific foods. Just because an apple is labelled as healthy, it doesn’t mean that it suits your current digestive state also. Start to listen and connect with your body more when eating. Notice how you feel after different foods and how your digestion is. A healthy, strong digestion is when you can wake up and release stools without any stimulants. This shows that your body is digesting the food well overnight. Feed yourself everything that your body requires to feel healthy, function well and have the necessary vitamins and minerals.

self-care

Setting your intention for the day

How we choose to begin every day has a great impact on how it will actually be. From the moment we wake up, the mind can start the non-stop chatter and before we even leave the house, we’ve already exhausted ourselves with unnecessary self-created scenarios. A morning habit to start practicing daily is to nurture your mind by setting an intention for the day ahead and taking a few moments to meditate on this. Affirmations are effective and they really work wonders once we start to believe what we affirm to ourselves. Feed your mind with positive intentions which empower you to love and accept yourself unconditionally, to manifest your purpose and to embrace your unique self. Affirmations should always be said in the present moment, giving your unconscious mind the motivation to believe it and start working towards making it happen. They are reminders that anything is possible but also have strong influence on the type of energy we give out and are open to receive.

Self-care

Joint mobilisation and light stretching

The most loving thing you can do for your body after you wake up in the morning is to stretch and move. Joint mobilisation exercises boost blood circulation in the body and release the stiffness created in the joints during our sleep. These are best done in a gentle way and you don’t need a lot of space to do so. This daily habit can increase the overall flexibility in your body, and open up any energetic blocked areas. By becoming more physically flexible, the mind also opens and becomes more adaptable to changes or new ways of doing or seeing things. Feeling good in your own body is empowering and it can lead to a more harmonious relationship you have with your whole self.

joint mobilisation and stretching

Slow flow hatha yoga practice

Hatha yoga is the 3 rd limb of the 8 limbs of yoga and it refers to the physical practice, meaning all poses. By practicing it, we purify the physical body and create space in the body and the mind in order to reach a state on inner balance. We also begin to understand our body better and form a beautiful relationship with all parts of the self-based on respect, unconditional love and acceptance. Sometimes the body needs a more vigorous practice, other times a slower one so it’s good to check in with yourself and see what your body needs at the time. But incorporating slow yoga flow at least once a week will slow you down and bring more stillness to your body, mind and soul. When we are still, we can gain more clarity in the mind and reset ourselves. A slow flow encourages us to be gentle with ourselves and to let go of any expectation. We learn to surrender to this present moment, release any emotional or physical tension, and take some quiet time to go within, reflect and reset.

 

About the Author

Miriam IndriesMiriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

Spring Detox Tea

 

“The rivers are swollen with snowmelt, and the sap is starting to run in the trees. All the moisture that was bound by freezing temperatures is now moving to clear winter stagnation.”
-Cara Barstrom.

Just as nature is starting to unfold from its slumber, our bodies start to crave a sense of lightning and clearing. As the river runs more deep and clear, the body starts to break down all of the
stagnation which was created in winter, carving new pathways for vitality and a healthy abundant of Ojas. This is an important time to really learn from natures rhythms, study her evolution and
spend more time outside basking in her greatness. Start to feed the digestive fires and encourage the body’s natural cleansing this time of the year with bitter, astringent, and pungent foods and adding in seasonal greens, bright berries, spicy soups (my favorite), fresh ginger, and fresh turmeric.

 

Spring Detox Tea

 

Everything takes time to grow, it takes patience, purification, and never-ending devotion with the deepest sense of compassion. The lessons that spring can bring are endless as we transition to
seeing beauty and growth in every corner we see. Can we learn from our mother and be in cycle with her, so our bodies heal in the most potent way? Be gentle here and start to really stoke your
fire. Exercise daily, especially outdoors and feel yourself cleanse with the sweat. Massage the body with almond oil or grapeseed, rejuvenate the moisture that the skin craves and also dry brush
the body weekly before bathing. Wake up with the sun and wind down with the moon, fill your days with life so you only eat when hungry. Most importantly, to stay balanced and supported through spring, drink tulsi, ginger, or the Spring Detox tea daily.

 

Spring Detox Tea

 

I’m going to share with you all the detox tea. To me, keeping myself hydrated and my digestive fires supported is what gets me out of this heavy energy that can linger from the winter. It’s time to
shed and bloom, move past this slow, sticky, and even lethargic state and start to put all of my effort into my days. Planting seeds of intention so they grow with the nature around me. This tea will help with any feeling of sluggishness and really get your digestive system into gear. We are only as healthy mentally as our gut, right? So, for this season, stay light, warmed, and stay with what’s in season to eat. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful transition. For any other support during spring, feel free to follow and reach out to me on my Instagram. I always love to support my virtual community as much as I can: @primalharmony

Let’s get growing

 

Spring Detox Tea

 

Spring Detox Tea

2 cups filtered water
1-2 inches of fresh gingerroot
1-2 anise stars (depending on your liking to licorice)
3 cloves
3 peppercorns
1 tsp cinnamon powder

 

Start by putting the crushed or not crushed spices (except cinnamon) in a small saucepan, medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes to dry roast. Then add the water and cinnamon and bring to boil. Simmer 10-20 mins. Strain and enjoy! This season is a time to cut back on the sweets. If you absolutely need something in the tea, put 1-2 tsp of honey.

 

About the Author

grains of lifeChelsea Shapouri is a Lifestyle Consultant for women and an Elemental Yoga Instructor based in Santa Cruz, CA. In her work, she offers Ayurvedic lifestyle modalities, Yoga, Breath work, Meditations, and Ayurvedic Recipes. Every client and student is rare and special to her. Chelsea’s mission is to find their unique rhythm, their primal-natural state, and from there support them with techniques and recipes that are meant for their bio-individuality. Harmony for the emotional body, physical body, and mental state is the embodiment she lives by and wishes to offer. Bringing people back home to themselves with techniques they can simply do themselves is what she lives for. The art of service is the art of love and she shares what has helped her heal for the hope to help others heal. Stay connected to Chelsea and read her story through social media or her website: https://primal-harmony.com/

True Nature Travels Blog

As we begin to approach the spring season, it’s the perfect opportunity to give our mind a good cleanse from all the overthinking, worry and stress. With all the super-moons we’ve had this year so far, this is a great time to do a reset mentally, physically and emotionally. What will you manifest this year? Which wellness habits will you start practicing?

 

 

1. Meditation – “I am all that I am in the now”

The most powerful way to let go of all thoughts and be still in the present is through the practice of meditation. Being mindful and living in the moment is not something that comes easy for everybody, although it should. Naturally we are created to savour and live each experience, but somewhere along the way we lost the memo. So, we worry, and we continue to live in the past or hope for a better future, without actually seeing what’s right in front of us in the now. Assigning some quiet quality time every day can work wonders for your overall health. It can help you gain the clarity you need by giving your mind a break from the non-stop chatter. This month, commit yourself to at least 15 minutes of meditation every day. This is your quiet time, when you can close the door on all that’s been bugging you and just let yourself be calm and at peace. Press pause on life and simply be in the now, without having to pressure yourself into thinking or feeling anything.

 

 

2. Journaling – “I express myself freely”

Finding ways in which you can express yourself freely can be beneficial for your health in general. Through journaling you can declutter the mind, by putting your thoughts and feelings out there. It is a beautiful experience that does not require you to follow any rules and you might even be surprised how good it feels once you start doing it. Physically writing things down also helps you to let go easier, and through the process you might discover some great ideas which were somewhere in your subconscious mind, beneath all the other unnecessary worry. To get yourself motivated, buy a beautiful journal and some coloured pens.

 

spring clean

 

3. Mindful breathing – “I follow the rhythm of my breath”

We are constantly underestimating the power of our breath, still knowing that it is the most important aspect of life. So, if our breath is what keeps us alive, then how can we best use it so that we can activate our life force with more vibrancy? Daily pranayama/yogic breathing exercises are super effective for the nervous system, helping release worry, stress and anxiety. By connecting with your breath, you bring your attention to your current state of being, without being distracted of other external stimuli. Whilst there are different types of breathing techniques you can try; a simple way is to just bring your awareness to every inhale and every exhale. Sit on a chair with your back straight or lie down with your spine aligned and close your eyes. Relax your body and inhale through the nose, filling your lungs with air, pause for a second and then exhale through the mouth. You can do so at least 5-10 times or longer. Each time you inhale, know you are bringing a fresh supply of oxygen in the body, and with each exhale, release whatever you need to let go of.

 

4. Yoga – “I create harmony and balance in my body”

Physical purification of the body is very important and effective for a healthy lifestyle. Yoga is not a sport or a fitness regime, but a way in which we honour our physical, mental and spiritual self and bring these in harmony. In yoga we are always beginners. The mat is your safe space to help you connect with your inner self and let go of any physical and energetic blockages. Practicing yoga a few times a week not only can bring your body in balance but you also become more disciplined and self-aware. You begin to see just how amazing the body really is and start to respect and honour it.

 

new year

5. Get social – “I am open to connecting with other souls.”

Sometimes all you need is some social therapy, meaning going out with friends and having a good laugh. Social connections are super important, for they can soften our hearts and fill our lives with joy. Honouring others also means to honour yourself and making time for your loved ones is needed. Whenever I find myself in a bit of a mental funk, having a good catch up and light-hearted conversation with my closest friends works wonders. I travel a lot so it’s hard to physically meet, but even a video or audio call can be so energising, a time when you completely disconnect from your own bubble of life and step out of it. Openly communicating with others, sharing your ideas, thoughts and feelings can also activate and balance your heart chakra, the energy space in the body that governs trust, connection and unconditional love. The more connected we become to the external world, we also learn to trust our inner one.

 

Spring clean 4

 

6. Take a break from social media “I feel connect with the external world”

Social media certainly comes with its benefits, especially if you travel a lot or use it for your business. But sometimes we can become so stuck in the “social” cyber world that we forget that there is a real world out there, waiting for us to go and be part of it. Give yourself the permission to switch off from emails, notifications and from posting your life to the world at least one day per week. It can be very challenging as most of us have become so dependent on it, but it’s important to take a break, restore and rejuvenate your mind from all the social media buzz.

 

spring clean

 

7. Start a walking challenge “I trust my own abilities to manifest and achieve my goals”

Walking outdoors is an amazing way to hit refresh for our whole self and connect with nature. It is also a great way to release those happy endorphins and get away from being surrounded by gadgets, chores and indoor stale air. By starting a challenge, your mind will become more focused and disciplined towards achieving a goal. When not in excess, goal setting and achieving is beneficial towards our overall health, but it also boosts our confidence and self-belief in our abilities. Walking is super relaxing and yet energising at the same time. So put on your trainers, leave your phone behind and get out there, exploring.

How will you honour yourself this month?

 

 

About the Author

Miriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

When Sandi Morris won the 2018 Pole Vault World Championship, she cleared the bar, fell to the mat, sat right up in exaltation, and then… she curled into a ball, clasped her hands to her chest, and took a quick moment for her own inner joy.

“That woman has a relationship with herself,” I thought, tears touching my eyes.

 

Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Ways to Cultivate Self Love

 

I have a special Valentine’s Day message for you:

If you want to sustain a loving relationship with another person, then just like Sandi Morris winning the pole vault, you must also pour self love into the mix.

Here’s how:

  • Breathe

Does this seem like a spiritual platitude? It’s not. Close your eyes right now, and focus on a single breath…

The breath offers a non-judgemental way to pay attention to ourselves, and attention is the primary vehicle of self love. Deep, conscious breaths open the channel that lets love in.

Sufi poet, Rumi, has been telling us this for centuries:

There is a way of breathing that is a shame and a suffocation, and there’s another way of expiring – a love breath – that lets you open infinitely.

When you need love, breathe.

 

Maintain-Gratitude-holidays

 

  • Say No

This is YOUR life. You get to choose how to spend it. Saying no to one thing means getting to say yes to something else.

Say no at least once a day. You may take a nap instead of running errands. You might say no to a lunch invitation, so you can say yes to walking alone in nature. Say no to taking on a stressful new project. Say no to a second helping of cake. Say no to being hard on yourself…

Self love means prioritizing things that are important and that contribute to your well-being and saying no to things that don’t.

 

5 Ways to Cultivate Self Love

 

  • Take Small Risks

“Don’t hold back!” Lukas said, as I left. Those words boarded the plane with me, and when I had the chance in Cali, Colombia, even though I was nervous and didn’t know the steps that well, I asked Carlos to dance.

Taking small risks is not about the immediate results you’ll get. (That first dance with Carlos was a mess!) It’s about getting in the game instead of sitting on the sidelines of your life.

When you survive a small risk, it unlocks self-discovery, builds confidence, and creates inner trust. Bit by bit, self love grows, no matter the circumstances.

I am not counseling you to be reckless, here! Do not throw caution to the wind or pretend to be someone you’re not, but do push your boundaries in small ways.

 

5 Ways to Cultivate Self Love

 

  • Appreciate Beauty

Beauty evokes the most innocent and honest part of who we are. Be reminded of your deep, natural innocence by seeking beauty.

Observe nature. Take in the arts. Honor craftsmanship and skill. Listen to birds, rain, the wind in the trees. Experience color, shape, sound, texture, design. Build altars. Let your mind expand into the sky; ride the lightning; feel your heart bloom with a flower.

You will find that in communion with beauty, you are lovable, you are good, you are true. Let beauty nurture you, and pour self love into the part of you that appreciates it.

 

5 Ways to Cultivate Self Love

 

  • Practice Metta

If you only adopt one strategy from this list, make it metta.

Metta practice is like taking a daily, self love vitamin. Translated from Pali, the word metta means “loving kindness.”

The meditation consists of repeating short phrases that focus the mind on qualities of basic goodness. The phrases I use come from dharma teacher Kelly Blaser:

  • May I be safe.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be free from suffering.
  • May I be filled with loving kindness.

These are valid wishes to have for ourselves! There’s nothing greedy or arrogant here. Repeat these phrases to yourself daily. Feel their meaning. Your capacity for self love will flourish.

 

5 Ways to Cultivate Self Love

 

I don’t know what Sandi Morris does to cultivate the self love she expresses so authentically, but it’s easy to recognize the fruits of her willingness to do so: a life of well-being, joy, and accomplishment.

May you, too, find the willingness to tend the deep-rooted tree of self love in your heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

About the Author

Delana Thompson helps spiritually-inclined entrepreneurs express their hearts and expand their influence with authentic copywriting, project management, and professional delivery of their online content. Her clients include teachers and practitioners of meditation, yoga, ayurveda, shamanic healing, astrology, and fine art. When she’s not writing marketing emails or designing landing pages, you’ll find Delana salsa dancing, practicing meditation, planning a trip, listening to a podcast, speaking Spanish, or missing all her faraway friends. Visit Delana on LinkedIn to learn more about her business.

True Nature Travels Blog

I always think the beginning of a new year is always exciting and fresh.

I tend to look at what the year has brought me; the gain and losses, the lessons learned, the growth that presented itself and then just be so grateful for it all. There comes a moment of self-realization and expansion and then there is this new chance to put all the new learning to work! Every year, I start to feel more and more myself with all of the ways I continue to sustainably transform with nature around me.

Now, in the past I have been a person to say my new year’s resolution is to lose a certain amount of weight or to change my eating routine, get successful in my business, etc. None of these things are bad things to want, if it is what will make anyone happy then I vote yes! For myself, I started to just see a pattern of a wanting and succeeding in a quick accomplishment but not really finding a lifestyle change. It would disconnect me from nature because it would cause me to be so physically focused. Throughout those years, I would somehow change my mind in my business, change my workouts because life happened, and would fall out of my eating routine. Then, there I would say either ill start it the next year or next week. See, patterns that literally would waste my energy throughout my days and leave me chasing my tail. This year I am committing to something new that will sustainably give me a deeper connection and a way to give back to what matters most to me.

 

Healing the gut sustainably in 2019-2

 

My new year’s resolution this year is to give back to mother nature as best as I can and to live as sustainably and recycled as I can. There are many ways to do this and I have been doing my part the past few years but I know I can do better. One way, obviously has to do with food. Sustainably composting and limiting on buying process foods that come in “trash” items,” and saving my food scraps that I can use to make stocks!

 

Healing the gut sustainably in 2019-2

 

Stocks, my new favorite thing since last year. The moment I started to make them more often and indulge, it dramatically helped my vitality and health. Did I mention its sustainable as well? Taking our scraps, saving them and not letting them go to waste, what is better than that? Now if you are vegan, that is awesome because I have an option for you too! Vegetable stock is just as nutritious and delicious, it just skips some of the nutrients that bones will give. Here are some benefits that stock brings into your life:

  • helps alleviate joint pain- healthy lubricated bones and joints
  • helps heal leaky gut
  • boosts the immune system
  • encourages healthy skin and hair (mostly the bone broth)
  • fights inflammation
  • helps fight common colds
  • promotes weight lost
  • improves hydration
  • increased the mood
  • cell-protecting
  • helps regulate the menstrual cycle

Convinced yet? Improving our health, connecting more with our mother who lets us live and eat from her, and living in more vitality and connection. What could be better than this?
Now for this you will need either a very tall, large pot or my favorite way is a slow cooker. Happy new year all and enjoy getting brothy!

 

Healing the gut sustainably in 2019-3

 

Bone Broth (Vegetable broth option)
1-1/2 pound frozen or fresh beef/chicken bones
3 stalks celery
1 onion
2 carrots
(whatever else you have left over in freezer)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
filtered water
(one stalk rosemary- optional)

First, start by baking the bones in the oven 415 degrees for 15 mins
Then add them into the crockpot
Add the remaining ingredients
Fill with water till the brim
Cover and let cook on low for 2-3 days
Add water daily as needed with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
*If cooking in a pot. Same steps but keep the stove on low only while you are home
* Veggie stock only- Add herbs like rosemary or sage- double veggies and that is all! Only needs 1-2 days to cook
Strain and enjoy
Can eat the broth on its own or with noodles, veggies, rice, hard-boiled egg…. Endless possibilities!

 

About the Author

Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of LifeChelsea Shapouri is a Lifestyle Consultant for women and an Elemental Yoga Instructor based in Santa Cruz, CA. In her work, she offers Ayurvedic lifestyle modalities, Yoga, Breath work, Meditations, and Ayurvedic Recipes. Every client and student is rare and special to her. Chelsea’s mission is to find their unique rhythm, their primal-natural state, and from there support them with techniques and recipes that are meant for their bio-individuality. Harmony for the emotional body, physical body, and mental state is the embodiment she lives by and wishes to offer. Bringing people back home to themselves with techniques they can simply do themselves is what she lives for. The art of service is the art of love and she shares what has helped her heal for the hope to help others heal. Stay connected to Chelsea and read her story through social media or her website: https://primal-harmony.com/