Spring cleaning is a household ritual passed down through the generations. Long winters mean a lot of time stuck indoors with sealed doors and windows. As the first warm days of spring arrive, it is invigorating and refreshing to open the doors and windows and breathe in the fresh, Spring air. Cleaning and airing out the home brings a sense of freshness and renewal – like waking up after a long, deep sleep.
In much the same way we clean our homes to rid them of stagnant energy; it is important to also refuel the soul. The winter leads to the blues for many. Lack of sunlight and color can dampen one’s spirits and hinder ambition. On those first days of Spring, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself body, mind and spirit is exposure to natural sunlight. Sit in the sun and allow it to soak in.
Did you know that sunlight is the body’s only 100% natural source of Vitamin D? It’s true, while you don’t want to overdo exposure to sun rays, a bit of daily sunlight ensures your body is getting what it needs. Vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked to depression as well as many health problems. When you feel rejuvenated by the sun, it’s for good reason! Not only does it clear away mental fog and emotional uneasiness, it provides vital nutrients essential for good physical health as well.
Once you’ve soaked up some much needed sunshine; take a few moments to contemplate the Spring and what it symbolizes. Spring is the season of renewal, where what was “dead” comes back to life. What areas of your life are in need of renewal? Is there something you have always wanted to accomplish that you have been putting off? Do you long for a fresh start? Take time to breathe new life into something that sparks your passion.
Spring cleaning provides a great opportunity to purge. Remove all that is unneeded in your life and simplify. Eliminating clutter in your home and workspace clears the mind and elevates your mood.
After cleaning your home; consider doing a spiritual cleansing as well. Spring is a great time to use a smudging ritual to remove any negative energy and facilitate the flow of positive new energy. This can be done throughout the house to improve the vibration of your living space. You may also want to consider doing a personal cleansing ritual to rejuvenate your spirit. Salt baths and healing meditations are a great way to welcome the spirit of Spring.
Once your space is cleared and cleansed, consider adding back in a few elements that help keep the energy strong and positive. Feng Shui items can help energize your space and draw abundance.
Spring is a great time to focus on new opportunities and enhancing personal growth on all levels. Seeds planted now will come to fruition later, just like the annual harvest. Consider your long range goals and do what it takes to nurture them today, so that they can come to fruition tomorrow. Let the initial enthusiasm and warmth of Spring help build your momentum and determination to succeed.by
When most people hear the word “investment” the mind is immediately pulled to money or financial strategies, but that in fact is not the way to ensure your best life. Investment is defined as “an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.”
Every day, we are called upon to make investments. We invest ourselves by giving our time, resources and energy in a variety of ways. So, when we consider what our best long-term investments are, do they truly surround money and things? How many people do you believe say during their final moments – “Gee, I wish I would have spent more hours working and making money”.
It’s doubtful many would say that, but how many do you think look back and reflect, wishing they would have invested more time and energy where it really matters? How many do you think regret not valuing or expressing their appreciation for their loved ones enough?
When all is said and done; love is the best investment. It is what gives depth, passion and purpose to life. When we do what we love and surround ourselves with people who we adore, who also love and respect us, there is no greater joy in life.
Love means being fully present in the moment. When you are deep within your heart center, there is no anger, fear or negativity that can have any power over you. Many people meditate daily for precisely that reason. It is a way to tap into a place of love and inner peace at will. This calm center is a respite from the distractions of the world and a way to let go of anxiety, recharge and get back to what matters.
Yes, being financially stable and able to provide for one’s family is important, but when it becomes an all-consuming activity, it can rob you of joy – and time. There needs to be balance in all areas of life, and spending time focusing on what matters is a true way to ensure that you are getting a great return on your investment.
While things can provide fleeting moments of happiness, experiences are where true joy lies. Take time to enjoy a new adventure with a loved one. Invest in building fond memories that bring joy to others and make you smile whenever you look back on them. These are the moments you will be remembered for one day, not what gadgets you bought or how many hours you worked.
At the end of the day – and the end of your days; the love you shared and received will matter far more than any other investment made. Spend time every day investing in love. Do things you enjoy that make your soul sing. Take a few minutes to appreciate those around you who make life beautiful. These simple acts are investments that pay rich rewards immediately.
Love is the one asset that grows most when you give it away freely.
During this month of love, it is a great time to focus on the heart in general. The great masters have taught us that love, in all its forms, is the highest of vibrational energies. It is the ultimate attainment and most important concept for humans to know and understand.
When we experience true, unconditional love; it is the purest form of spiritual energy. This is one of the reasons so many are drawn to babies and pets. When we see their images, we smile, because we recognize the innocence and purity of these beings, the unconditional love they impart and the fullest potential they embody. We can easily see the spirit of the universe within them, and on some level, we too are reminded of our connection with our source.
As we go through life, at some point, we all experience sorrows and heartaches. Many times, we feel deep emotional pain in our heart region. The experience literally feels like our heart is breaking. The heart chakra, located at the center of the chest, is where we experience blockages due to emotional pain and trauma. It is also where we can, through practice, experience the purity and wholeness of unconditional love at will.
One of the best ways to overcome emotional blockages and bring about healing and transformation is to focus healing on the heart chakra directly. This can be done with energy work, meditation and other practices that release blocks and raise your vibrational energy.
Learning to love and value oneself is the most powerful step towards developing a healthy heart center. As you heal and build up the heart chakra, emotional empowerment results, bringing strong feelings of inner peace, harmony and compassion towards self and others.
During healing meditations or energy sessions, it can be helpful to incorporate the colors green or pink, which represent the heart chakra. Stones that can assist in more rapid cleansing and healing include malachite and rose quartz. Place these stones on your heart chakra as you meditate, or wear them as a pendant around your neck, near your heart. Heart chakra meditations impart the emotional lessons of forgiveness, letting go, building trust and developing more compassion and empathy for self and others.
Some of the deeper emotional issues that are cleared through the heart chakra are separation, grief due to loss, abandonment and emotional abuse. As you work to heal the heart chakra, these issues will come forward to be released and cleared away. It is important to have an outlet to express these feelings and let them flow. Some find water features like fountains can be helpful for focusing on release. The water represents emotions as they flow gently and freely. It is important not to repress the emotions again, but to allow them to flow naturally like a stream.
In addition to emotional healing, working with the heart chakra can also help prevent and heal other physical ailments as well. The heart chakra is associated not only with the heart and circulatory system, but also the lungs, breasts, upper back and shoulders. If you are experiencing health problems in these areas, work with heart chakra may help ease your physical symptoms as wellby
February is the month for focusing on love. Holiday’s like Valentine’s day tend to highlight the beauty and importance of romantic love, but the one concept that is missing from this holiday, and society in general, is the importance of self-love.
Why is this such an important topic? Because self-love is the first and most important step in establishing long-lasting, healthy relationships with others who complement you and enrich your life.
Self-love is not an act of selfishness, in fact, it allows you to be fulfilled and in that state, you are better able to meet the needs of others. We cannot give away what we don’t have within ourselves. It is important to nurture and cultivate respect and love within, so that you can become a strong, healthy person who is able to attract strong, positive relationships of all kinds.
Here are the top 5 reasons that self-love is so important for a healthy life.
When you take the time to properly care for yourself, to nurture your own dreams and follow your passions, you become a strong, positive role model to those around you. Through your example; you give others permission to also follow their own inner light.
When you honor yourself from a place of higher awareness; you feel at peace. You can be alone, but not lonely. This allows you to maintain a proper balance in relationships between distance and togetherness. This balance allows room for individual dreams and goals to flourish, while still enjoying the strong support of partnerships.
Self-love promotes good health on all levels. When you take time to focus on your needs mentally, physically and spiritually you will achieve greater enthusiasm for life and stronger resilience in times of challenge. When body, mind and spirit are all nurtured properly, life is richer and more rewarding.by
Spiritual practice can be a very effective remedy for depression. Depression, at its root, is caused by unfulfilled desires. The anxiety that often accompanies it stems from fear of the unknown and feelings of powerlessness. Spiritual practices can help people discover what it is they truly need and desire on a deeper level to feel satisfied in life. They also work to eliminate the fears and lack of self-confidence that fuel anxiety. Regular spiritual practice instills healthy habits that counteract the negative mental and emotional responses that fuel depression.
Mental health organizations are even starting to recognize the benefits of activities like meditation for managing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Spiritual practices focus on the development of inner balance and removing external pressures, providing relief from symptoms. Some spiritual practices that have been shown to help with depression are meditation, prayer, yoga and energy work like Reiki.
Meditation is a practice anyone can learn on their own. It not only helps to quiet the mind and emotions, but instills a habit of mindfulness. Meditation stops anxiety in several ways. The deep relaxation induced by meditation calms the sympathetic nervous system, stopping the trigger of the “fight or flight” response that fuels anxiety. Meditation reduces the heart rate and places the mind into a place of full and present awareness. When we are fully present within the current moment, anxiety ceases to be a problem.
Prayer is another meaningful way to ease depression. It allows us to let go of things, to release our troubles to a higher power. We stop struggling and allow our answers to appear to us when the time is right. Prayer also allows us to shift our focus. Expressing gratitude for our blessings changes our perspective and inspires more optimism.
Yoga is a great way to get the stress-busting benefits of physical exercise, combined with the relaxation and mindfulness of meditation. The breathing and meditation in yoga help calm the mind and relieve the body’s stress responses. This in turn lowers blood pressure and decreases production of stress hormones. Stress goes hand-in-hand with depression. Managing stress can have a huge impact on quality of life mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Yoga and meditation can be used by anyone regardless of religious affiliation or background.
Many find spiritual advisors or healers to be beneficial for dealing with depression. Reiki practitioners and other energy healers can help remove energy blockages and negativity from the mind and body, replacing them with positive “chi” or life force energy. Reiki is a form of energy healing where the practitioner uses various hand positions above the body of the patient, guiding spiritual energy to heal all sorts of issues mental, physical, emotional or spiritual.
If you struggle with anxiety, depression or a high-stress lifestyle, daily spiritual practice can help improve your outlook and quality of life.
Zen is the art of keeping harmony and balance body, mind and spirit. When all are functioning optimally, a state of tranquility is born that transcends any daily struggles. It brings a lasting inner peace that frees you from the grip of stress and anxiety.
There are several ways to consciously and deliberately invite more zen into your daily life. Doing so will allow you to reach your fullest potential and live the life you’ve always imagined.
Understand Your Dreams
It is impossible to create goals without having a clear idea of where you are going and what you wish to achieve in life. Uncertainty leads to self-sabotaging behaviors like avoidance, procrastination and postponing joy. Take time to really know and understand who you are and what your soul desires. Once you know what you truly want to achieve, find ways to incorporate that into your daily life by developing positive habits and behaviors.
Develop Positive Habits
Develop positive habits. It’s easy to become focused on what we don’t want or what we feel limited by. Where our thoughts go, so does our vital energy, so it is important to shift your focus to developing positive behaviors that will move you in the right direction. When you learned a sport or how to play an instrument as a child, chances are you were made to practice every day. This eventually developed a positive habit that nurtured and grew your new skill.
In order to lead an enriched life, it is important to focus on positive habits. They build and improve upon your natural strengths and talents, keeping you motivated and feeling on purpose in your life. Larger goals and dreams are achieved through this practice.
Remove Chaos and Pursue Order
Remove clutter from your life. Clutter has many forms, from negative self-talk and mind chatter that is left unchecked, to discordant living and work spaces. Chaos in any form is anti-zen and creates stress and ill health. Take time to explore and express your thoughts and feelings before they turn to anxiety.
Start to make your work space and living area more workable. Clear clutter and arrange needed items in such a way that everything has a proper home. Tackle one area at a time and embrace it as a personal growth challenge. Organization is key to a better life and a simple way to be more zen. Imagine having a space free and open, where the energy flows naturally and everything is where you can find it when you need it.
Mindfulness is the fastest path to a zen state, that anyone can do at any time with a little practice. Placing your mind fully in the present moment eliminates stress and anxiety. You are no longer living in the past or worrying about the future, you are wholly alive and in the moment. Close your eyes, take a deep cleansing breath and engage all of your senses. Immerse yourself wholly in the moment. Feel the rise and fall of your chest, the air on your skin, the smells and sounds that surround you.
This practice can be done anytime you need to feel more aligned. Whether it’s a few moments or an hour, mindfulness is a powerful form of meditation that transforms lives.
Move Your Body
Sedentary lifestyles are very common in the West. Many people work long hours sitting in an office. The consequences of this lifestyle can be devastating to one’s health and well being. Take time to move your body every day, whether it’s a brisk walk outside at lunch to soak up some sunshine and fresh air, or a dance class after work. Move your body in ways that also move the soul.
Many enjoy mind/body activities like Yoga or Pilates. Others enjoy hiking in nature and reconnecting with the elements and some feel the need to move their body to the rhythm of music. Ask your body what ways it would like to move and then incorporate that movement into your daily routine. Exercise clears the mind, relieves stress and boosts energy naturally.
Incorporate these five things into your daily routine and you’ll find that every day can be a zen day.by
It’s a new year and many people have resolved to reach new goals for 2014. There tends to be a great deal of enthusiasm for creating resolutions, but what many don’t consider is how to break bad habits that lead to self-sabotage. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to reach new goals if bad habits are holding you back. Here are 5 habits to eliminate to ensure you reach your goals this year.
Procrastination is a dream killer that leads many to sabotage themselves. Have you ever wondered why you just can’t seem to do what you need to on time? Do you struggle with keeping schedules? For many, procrastination is a direct response to stress. When we feel pressured, the body’s stress response, also known as the “fight or flight” response, takes over. Procrastination is a form of avoidance that happens when we feel overtaxed mentally or emotionally. To break the procrastination habit; you need to address the underlying cause of stress, whether it’s time management, being disorganized or feeling overwhelmed.
Another self-sabotaging habit is being disorganized. Whether it’s chaotic thoughts or a workspace that doesn’t function well; clutter in any form is destructive. Organization is key to managing larger projects and goals in an organized manner. The best way to do this is to break things down. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds and improve your health, that’s a great goal, but where do you begin?
Determine all the steps that comprise the larger goal. Weight loss goals involve much more than working up a sweat. You have to learn about nutrition, portion control, safe exercise habits, counting calories, overcoming emotional eating etc. Starting off with everything facing you at once can be overwhelming and cause you to give up before you really get started. Breaking down all the facets can help you find workable monthly, weekly and daily goals.
For example for January you might focus on researching nutrition and walking 30 minutes per day. The following month, you might add in different exercise and start counting calories. Next, you may add onto those new habits by exploring emotional eating patterns and how to overcome them.
Breaking larger goals down into smaller good habits you can build on, brings those loftier goals down to Earth and makes them easier to achieve. Not every goal has to be all at once, which leads into the next bad habit to break.
Impatience and seeking instant gratification can sabotage long-term goals. It’s easier to give up when results are not immediate. Keep a journal of your larger goals and every day keep track of the steps you are taking to reach that goal. If your dream is to have your own business; each day do something that helps you work towards that goal whether it’s research, planning or learning new skills. Keep records of your progress where you can see them at a glance. This can provide that instant shot of motivation when you need to satisfy that need for instant gratification. Doing this daily provides a continuous stream of motivation.
Inconsistency sets people up for failure. You cannot expect to reach goals without having a plan and sticking to it. Developing new habits to replace old ones and having daily and weekly targets is the best way to maintain the momentum required to reach larger goals.
Finally, discipline is a necessary component to any major goal. Discipline should not be confused with punishment. Discipline keeps it positive and is motivating; punishment and coming down on yourself is a form of sabotage that invites failure. Good examples of discipline are developing positive habits, rewarding yourself for reaching goals, and motivating yourself to stay on target by seeking support when necessary. Any form of negative self-talk, deprivation or belittlement is a form of self-sabotage that needs to be re-channeled in more positive directions. Think about it, most of us push away or rebel when being berated. The same happens even when the source of scrutiny is the inner critic. Change the way you relate to yourself and you will change your entire world for the better.
Overcoming these 5 habits will ensure that you can reach any goal you set for yourself. Here’s to an inspired and empowered new year!by
Change is often difficult. To make changes, we must be willing to leave behind the comfort of what is familiar and face the new and unknown. Uncertainty can lead us to accepting circumstances that are not ideal.
Have you ever stayed in a relationship or job that was not fulfilling or challenging enough, but you feared what would happen if you left? Many people get caught in the trap of comfort zones. It’s understandable. Sometimes it feels easier to face what we know rather than accept risk. Unfortunately, this desire to protect ourselves often comes at a heavy personal cost. Loneliness, feeling trapped, boredom, and futility can all result from resisting change.
Without change, growth is not possible. Think of the caterpillar that transforms itself into a butterfly. We too have to be willing to accept sacrifice or “death”, in order to bring new passion and purpose to our lives. Without the efforts of the caterpillar, no butterflies would ever emerge. In order to transform, you have to be willing to embrace change and work hard, or forever remain a caterpillar.
Those who accomplish amazing things in life are not the ones who never faced challenges or felt fear; they were the ones who despite those things, felt compelled to take action anyway. There is no such thing as “fearlessness”. Everyone has fears, but not everyone allows their fears to dictate their actions. These are the people who, often after many failed attempts, get their wings and take flight in life.
With the beginning of a new year, people often feel compelled to make major changes. There is a sense of a fresh start and the desire comes to better oneself. With that desire however, there needs to be a willingness to take action and this is where fears and feeling overwhelmed often stop people in their tracks.
Change will always be scary, but there are ways to make it more manageable so that it doesn’t stop you from reaching your potential.
First, you have to understand what it is you truly want to experience in life at soul level. Ask yourself honestly what areas of your life lack passion or are not challenging you enough? Once you have the answers to those questions; you can understand what you need to do to change things for the better.
Break your larger goals down into smaller attainable ones and keep records of your progress. If your goal is to own your own business one day, but you feel you can never leave your job – rather than give in and accept that as fact, be willing to make changes.
Spend time each day doing something that is focused on your goal. Read books to gain knowledge, research your ideas, location, potential customer base etc. Spend time preparing for your transformation. This is your incubation period. In nature, we don’t see much happening when we view a cocoon, but inside all these amazing transformations are occurring.
Your small actions add up and will lead you to your ultimate destiny. Be willing to change, find a goal worth pursuing, and take steps every day towards that goal. In time, you’ll see your transformation was much more painless than you might have imagined.
Remember that without change, growth is not possible and that we all go through changes, whether we choose to work with them or not. Those who embrace change are the ones who find the most success in life.by
The beginning of a new year brings a sense of renewal and a fresh start. Many move into this time with a great resolve to better themselves in the coming year, but soon the daily grind ensues again and that passion wanes. So, how do you keep that positivity and hope alive and well throughout the year? Fortunately there are some steps you can take to reinforce that positive energy and keep it flowing.
Start by making it a goal to eliminate as much stress from your life as possible. Although stress happens to everyone; chronic, on-going stress leads to health problems on all levels: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Take stock of where you are right now. Are there situations in your life that are creating tension and anxiety? Choose one of these areas of concern and make fixing it your priority. For example, if your home is disorganized or cluttered and it makes you feel stressed, make this your goal for the new year. Break it down into manageable smaller goals, say one room per month and then daily do something to make that area function better. Keep track of your progress.
Daily progress towards larger goals keeps you feeling uplifted and shows you that you are in fact moving in positive new directions. Keeping a record of that, allows you to go back and see how far you have come when you feel overwhelmed or need a quick shot of motivation. The spirit of renewal and feeling empowered continues to grow the more it is fueled. Keep feeding it.
Also, make a commitment to yourself. Every person needs to make themselves a priority. Take time for yourself each day, even if it’s just a few minutes for quiet meditation or a hot bubble bath. Decompressing daily and valuing yourself enough is key to reducing stress and anxiety and maintaining a strong sense of self. Every person deserves to be a priority. Doing so allows you to feel more rested and fulfilled, which in turn allows you to better meet the needs of others in your daily life.
You can also feel stronger and more positive throughout the year by taking time daily to focus on a positive mantra. It can be anything you choose, so long as it is positive. A short prayer, a favorite quote, an affirmation – something you can take time to reflect on daily that keeps you feeling empowered and inspired. Change it monthly to get the best benefit.
You might wish to pin it on the bathroom mirror so you can focus on it while getting ready for work, or anywhere it catches your eye daily. Whenever you see it, take a moment to pause and really let the message sink in. This is a very simple practice that can instantly put your mind into full and present awareness, while bringing you back to what truly matters. Both are key to keeping stress at bay.
So, in short, remember to do the following each day to keep yourself feeling positive and on track throughout the year.
Make yourself a priority.
Set empowering goals and make them manageable
Keep track of your progress.
Use daily positive reinforcement.by
The New Age Source offers a wide variety of singing bowl sets and they are among our most popular items. These beautiful, handcrafted bowls make a great gift for any occasion.
Singing bowls are meditation tools that come from Tibetan tradition. When the rim of the bowl is rubbed by the wooden mallet it helps place the brain in a meditative state. The bowls produce sounds on the same alpha wavelength found in the brainwaves induced by meditation.
Singing bowls aren’t just for meditation either. They provide sound therapy and are used as part of holistic treatments to calm the nervous system, refresh the mind, and soothe the soul. Sound therapy has been gaining popularity in recent years as a stress-relief technique.
Playing for just a few minutes is enough to relieve tension and promote feelings of peace and serenity. Even those who don’t practice meditation will find these bowls and the sounds they produce delightful for relaxation purposes.
Among our favorites are the embossed singing bowl sets that come in an antiqued looking finish. The interior and exterior are both embossed with Tibetan symbols like the Buddha and OM. The bowls make a crystal clear, pure sound when played and are beautiful to look at. Many of these bowls are works of art that you will be pleased to display on your altar or in your home.
Some of the embossed bowl sets are infused with a touch of vibrant color. Blue, green or sienna finishes make the designs even more striking.
If you are looking for a punch of vibrant color, our chakra singing bowls are an excellent choice.
This exclusive line of singing bowls incorporates the color and symbols of each chakra into the design. Each bowl comes with a multi-colored cushion ring and custom box. These sets are lively and beautiful and will add a punch of color and visual interest to any sacred space.
Simpler designs are also available. We offer simple and elegant highly polished brass bowls with wood strikers included. It is a classic design fit for any space. Our bowls come in different shapes and sizes, from those with straighter, flatter sides to very rounded. No matter your preference, you can find singing bowls to meet your needs.
The New Age Source also offers cushions to help control vibrations when playing your singing bowl on a hard surface. Each cushion is made of foam and covered in a variety of fabrics and finished with matching piping. There are several varieties of cushions to choose from thin, thick and ring styles are all available.