Top 8 Things About Being Spiritual From A Former Cynic

Being spiritual is not an easy thing to do, as you are having to go up against what most people think. It tends to be for people who have endured a lot of suffering in one way or another (it was for me anyway) and certainly decreases a lot of arrogance/assumptions you may have had about life itself. Strangely, despite the huge amount of suffering taking place on this planet, there is still a lot of arrogance, as if people think they know what to do and are trying to force square pegs into triangular holes

The sad thing is, I’m ashamed to admit, is that I’ve been there myself. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been cynical, and was brought up in a cynical, religious family. I’ve had my fair share of people ranting at the TV, as well as heated opinions at the dinner table. I know how easily it is to be manipulated by your peers. Breaking away from that isn’t easy.

Which leads me to ultimately believe, that the people who are spiritual are people who are searching for answers, and are desperate to find meaning behind the chaos. When this mentality is embraced, arrogance gets thrown out of the window, and you are now primarily searching for your truth. Here, I list the top things I’ve realized trying to be spiritual. Hopefully you’ll take something good out of this;-)

1- Having an obe/lucid dream is more advantageous than you realize.

I know this is a tricky one for most people, but by having some form of a regular obe session, or even lucid dreaming, will be hugely beneficial to your self/spiritual growth (as well as helping you with the law of attraction). The reason? Having an obe will constantly remind you about your spiritual truths (as you are now separate from your body so you can explore more stuff with your mind) and you get to do many wondrous things, like visit your loved ones, heal yourself (yes, it’s possible), speak to your soul guides, plus much more. Even having a lucid dream (which is like having a partial obe) will still yield some spiritual benefits which will help you with your spiritual self-development.

The only problem for most people, of course, is that achieving such a state is tricky. You do really need to watch your conscious thoughts when you drift of to sleep, or even easier (from what I’ve read) get up after about 4-5 hours, go somewhere else (like a living room) settle down in a chair and watch your thoughts carefully as you relax your body into the vibrational state. This does require practice and self-discipline, which in this modern day and age, not everyone has.

But when it works, it’s an amazing adventure;-)

2- Being present is very simple to achieve, yet super difficult to maintain.

The art of being present, in my opinion, isn’t so much achieving presence per say but to maintain it. It’s one thing to feel present when you are walking on a nice country path going to your local village. It’s something quite another to feel present when you are in the office, and you have lots of work to do, lots of customers to speak to, etc… That is when it counts. This is where fantasizing, while giving you a coping mechanism for your EGO to use, is actually more of a hindrance than a help.

Keeping present when you are mentally at work is an art indeed, and requires lots of practice. Your EGO will try to fantasize/day dream/create melodramas out of nowhere, so you do have to watch your thoughts very closely. However, if you can do it, you’ll find that your general work stress levels will be reduced significantly, and you will also be more attentive and more mentally sharp (as well as more emotionally in control of the situation). Food for thought.

3- Having an understanding of your Chakras is pivotal for self-growth.

It’s all very well meditating and reading about stuff on spirituality, but if you don’t get a good grasp on your Chakras, and learn to use them/balance them, you are majorly missing out. Your non-physical vortices, which connects you to your non-physical self do need to be maintained. True, meditation will help you do that by default. Also true, Yoga helps as well as sleep. But if you don’t do any of the above, you do need to actively cleanse/balance your Chakras.

The problem when it comes to psychology, is that the chakras don’t often get taken into consideration. And yet the Chakras do govern your psychology all too often, from how you speak (Throat Chakra) to how emotional you are (Sacral Chakra). By learning about the Chakras, and then taking active steps to help them when the going gets tough (including using EFT), you get to help the Qi energy flow into your physical body much more easily.

4- Meditating is simple to do, but you do need routine.

Meditation isn’t difficult to do. I mean, it’s all about creating a sort of, ‘space’ in your imagination, so you can feel the peace/deep love from your soul/higher conscious. Now, you can do this while being present; or you can imagine a spinning object, and once you have your full attention on the object let it start to slowly fade away. You will be left with a blank space, meaning that you are therefore meditating. And of course, meditation has numerous health benefits, from increased attention, to the reduction of the aging process, plus much more.

The problem with meditation (I find) is getting into a routine where you do it on a regular basis. Of course, if you go to a Yoga class, (which you’ve paid for) routine isn’t an issue. If on the other hand, you don’t have any schedules outside of work, getting a routine and sticking to it can be really tricky for the undisciplined amongst us. It does go without saying that be creating and sticking to a schedule will do numerous benefits to your body and mind. So it is really worth it to find a good technique out there (there are may meditational techniques to choose from) and sticking to it. You’ll thank yourself 1 month from now!

5- You still need your sleep, or you’re playing catchup!

You can be spiritual all you like, and can read about the spiritual laws, or how we are all one, or how to visualize for perfection. But take it from me, if you don’t have you’re beauty sleep and are exhausted the next day, being spiritual is pretty much useless. The only exception to this, is that you can try to meditate in Theta to have a few quick energy bursts during your break times, or use a Theta/Delta CD to have an hour nap if you’re at home (whatever works best for you!).

Just because you understand (to some degree) what spirituality is all about, doesn’t mean to say that you skimp on sleep. Far from it, and this is a hard core lesson that has taken me years to overcome. Why? Because I had got into some real bad habits of going to bed and to sleep later than I realized. And of course, it doesn’t help if you suffer from anxiety, which perpetuates the situation even worse.

I won’t go into the benefits of sleep too much (this article does a good job of doing that), but needless to say if you do want to take maximum advantage of your souls power, getting your beauty sleep is an absolute must!

6- You can still enjoy EGO melodramas, but keeping to your heart-space is better.

This is a tricky one, because melodramas are a proven money maker, especially when it comes to the visual arts. We all love to see a good thriller/drama, and we all love that exciting, almost intense feeling of justice and right and wrong, and seeing the villain ultimately getting crushed by the hero/heroine. And some of us take this to the next level, by fantasizing that we are the hero, and that we can beat everybody that crosses our path. And we feel so righteous about it as well…

…only except that the feeling of happiness when it comes to EGO melodrama pleasures are actually cosmetic. I once tried to differentiate a feeling of happiness from EGO and happiness from the soul, by trying to observe my emotional state while fantasizing being in a heroic situation, versus being present and in the now, and seeing everybody as extensions of myself (oneness). The results were spectacular…while I did feel excited when I had my EGO fantasy, the deep love and peace when I was experiencing oneness (albeit for a brief moment) went deep into the soul, like a warm gentle dagger to the heart. There is simply no comparison. But it’s not easy either, as you have to make a conscious choice to actually try to live fully present, and actually stay there. But the rewards of exuding unconditional love and presence are numerous.

7- Letting go is super tough when you need something badly or are stressed.

This is back to the old law of attraction, where you have to let go to get what you choose. Trouble is, your EGO has more control than you give it credit for, and for most people who practice the law of attraction, letting go is tough. You are essentially accepting on blind faith that something IS going to happen, and that you are thankful for it in advance (of course, for those obe explorers amongst you, you will already know that you thoughts are, ‘physical’ in their own right in the non-physical world, so blind faith is no longer required…just patience;-). And when you are stressed, this makes the situation even more complex, and feels like you are going though hell. Not a great way to practice the law of attraction, believe me.

So, what is the solution? The ultimate trick, (and this is going to sound harsh and insultingly cliche, but here goes…) is to try to be genuinely grateful for what you have. That is the secret to letting go. Being grateful for the here and now, and realizing that you are not attached to the outcome. Sure, it will be great if it happens, but you are grateful whatever happens. I know, this does sound insultingly borderline unjust, but the truth is, this is how the multiverse works. Practicing gratitude has long been an old spiritual concept, and it is no wonder why certain religious textbooks also promote this as well. But the ultimate trick is to be genuinely grateful, which may require a change in perception for some people.

8- Changing your mental perception is not a 5 min thing!

Being formally cynical, and then being spiritual, is not easy. There is a lot of deconstructions taking place, and you do feel like you are loosing your sanity along the way. Plus the fact that you might still be hanging around with the same people who got you there to begin with and are themselves also cynics and zapping the energy from right under your feet. True, certain spiritual/psychological techniques, like affirmations/EFT etc do help, but you do have to be on your conscious guard nearly all the time, especially if you are with people who love coming out with negative opinions on why life is hell.

Try to give yourself time to adjust, as life won’t suddenly change for you overnight (if being spiritual was that easy, everybody would be doing it). It takes a thing called, ‘time’ for the changes to reflect in your behavior, and then your physical reality. It’s not a 5 minute thing. Most successes aren’t. Changing your inner perception and then your attitude is always the crucial first step, and must always be taken. You cannot think of helping the world, unless you help yourself first. Harsh but very true.

 

Top 6 Reasons Being Spiritual Rocks!

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Do you believe in spirituality, or an existence of a soul? Do you believe that we all have a bigger purpose than what is consciously seen here? Or do you simply believe that we are on this planet to work to pay our taxes, get a family, get old, and just die?

Maybe you don’t believe in a different way of seeing things, and that would be fine. Being spiritual is a game changer, because essentially you are now changing the rules. And believe it or not, most people are simply not comfortable with that idea (otherwise, the world would’ve changed a long time ago!). Some people even go so far as to believe that we have to suffer on this planet to achieve paradise in a perceived heaven. That’s fair enough, I respect that. I don’t agree with this, because this asks way to many questions than are answered. And quite frankly, some (if not most) of these people would be arrogant. Quite a harsh thing you would say, but consider this. Suffering is not a normal state of being. The body (and mind) was meant to thrive (hard to believe sometimes, I know). The example of this is in the body (in most cases) to self-heal, while the mind can self-heal using various spiritual techniques (one will be discussed shortly).

So it’s quite obvious that you were not meant to suffer on this planet. Yes, in some circumstances, suffering is needed to stop an action, for example using courage (whether you are a battle worn soldier, or suffering from OCD/paranoia). In this case, in order to overcome a mental obstacle, you need to suffer (slightly) and use courage to, ‘beat’ the subconscious. That is called expanding your comfort zone, and is a must when it comes to self-improvement. But notice how I said to suffer slightly. It’s not normal to endure any intense emotional or psychological suffering. But courage has it’s own rewards, and at the risk of sounding inhumane, it all starts with suffering (the trick, obviously, is to keep the suffering to a low;-).

So it’s very clear that we are not meant to suffer on this planet (apart from the time you need to expand your comfort zone, but that’s it). While I appreciate that there are medical cases where suffering is due to intense injuries, for the most part, the body and mind doesn’t like it. And that’s not surprising.

But at the risk of digressing, being spiritual is a game changer, because it does help reduce suffering. And in this modern day and age, where psychological suffering seems to be at an all time high, being spiritual is turning into an absolute must. But why be spiritual? Below, I list the Top 6 ways why being spiritual rocks. Hopefully you’ll be inspired.

1. Feeling peace on demand

Being spiritual is a great easy (and free) way to feeling peace on demand (or if you wish to be slightly religious here, Goodness On Demand, ‘G.O.D’;-). As hinted earlier, the mind has the ability to self heal in a number of ways. One is through being in the, ‘now’ or commonly known as mindfulness meditation.

You don’t have to sit down, and try to think of nothing for this to work, you can be mindful in doing everyday chores and activities. The trick is to keep your attention to strictly your body or the outside noise (or even your peripheral vision). All three are excellent ways of being consciously present in the here and now.

When you do this, your sacral chakra will spin more, allowing a rush of energy to pour into your non-physical body (click here for a guide on the chakras). This energy increases your personal power, and is one of the energies responsible for the law of attraction working quickly for you (more on that later). Quite simply, if you feel depressed, or feel like you are the victim of negative circumstances, one of the best ways of reducing and (sometimes) eliminating it is to be in the here and now. But being in the here and now helps you in other ways as well, which leads me nicely to my next point…

2. Less easily manipulatable

Being spiritual means that you can observe yourself more easily, as you are less from EGO and more from a higher state of consciousness. This also means that you get to see other peoples power games as well. While not always nice to observe, your empathy and compassion does increase, as you get to see how other people conduct their affairs rightly or wrongly, so you can learn from them.

This also means that you can observe yourself more easily, and thereby improve how you conduct your own state of affairs, watch your own emotions, and generally find ways to stand your ground when the going gets tough. This is invaluable, as it helps you keep your inner peace when other people are going through their own melodramas. This also means that you are not easily swayed by other peoples opinions, which allows you to do and experience things that you wouldn’t normally do, which leads me to my next point…

3. Feel more natural and less ashamed.

This is a big one as I believe that a lot of people feel shame/guilt and fear. Essentially, being spiritual means that you are going against the very grain of society, due to the fact that most people are normal and not natural. By being spiritual, you are becoming more emotionally healthy, and therefore reduce your past and emotional burdens, which can sometimes (subconsciously) be passed onto other people.

Regrettably, some people feel ashamed for feeling ecstasy or any form of goodness that they experience (harping back to my earlier point that some people think that we need to suffer). Being in the here and now is one great way of feeling more emotionally healthier, but there are other techniques. Being emotionally intelligent is a great way of finding out how aware you are with your emotions, so you can be more focused and improve aspects of your life.

4. Have out-of-body experiences.

This is another big one, yet it sometimes surprises me how many people are spiritual, yet haven’t had an out-of-body experience. This is a shame, as the two really should go hand-in-hand. You can be the most cold-hearted cynic all you want, but the second you have an out-of-body experience (or a few of them at the very least) most of your cynical beliefs goes out the window! Why? Because you finally get how life works. Essentially, by being more spiritual you reduce the electrical activity in your brain, which allows you to (sometimes) separate yourself from your body when you are in bed.

But why have an obe to begin with? Put simply, have an obe substantially allows you to experience your higher-self, or divinity first hand. No other experience beats it. You essentially see, ‘behind the veil’, so to speak, and you finally get what most religions and spiritual textbooks talk about. The benefits of out-of-body explorations are numerous, but one of the main ones is to greatly reduce the fear of death (which is oh so crucial for your EGO), substantially increase your love and respect for life, and helps you see first hand the law of attraction due to the fact that you are within time/space so there is no time delay between thought and event. This leads me towards my next point…

5. Experience the law of attraction firsthand.

Being spiritual is a great way to experience the law of attraction, as you are more conscious of the desire turning into an event. You get to count how long it takes from a desire to manifest into an event for you to enjoy experientially, which as a result, stops you from being the victim of your circumstances and instead be the powerful co-creator you always were (and incidentally, you are co-creating with your soul). You know how well you are doing when it comes from manifesting your desires, by seeing how long in space/time it takes from a desire to turn into your reality, and then trying to improve upon it (see it like your own personal competition;-)

Being spiritual allows you to reduce your personal anger, past/historical issues, and allows you to be more in the here and now, which helps the manifestation process. This all guides you towards being 100% responsible for your creations (although for some part, it will be subconscious and you won’t be aware of it). This of course eliminates your cynicism and reduces your negativity, which not only helps your body but also makes you more of a healthier and happier person. Food for thought;-)

6. Feeling unconditional love

I put this one last, as this is the key ingredient and also the key experience behind being spiritual. Essentially, you get to feel more love for yourself and your neighboring souls. This is done by seeing the unity of everything, or if it’s easier, seeing places and people as extensions of yourself. By doing this, you feel more love pour into your non-physical body, via your Heart Chakra and you become more peaceful and happier in the process.

As unconditional love is the language of the multi-verse, you also use it to manifest your desires more easily, due to it’s strong connection to the spiritual world (they do say that your Heart is the gateway). Unconditional love is vastly under-rated, and has been known to not only heal supposedly incurable diseases, but also helps you become more charismatic, and allows you to manifest your desires when used with being mindful. Feeling and experiencing unconditional love is key in helping evolve this planet. But if you don’t want to hear me proselytize, that’s fine. Just take it from me that you will feel more natural, more healthier and more stronger when you get into the practice of feeling love wherever you go.

 

Your 7 Main Chakras Explained, And Why They Are Important To Your Health!

When it comes to stress and anxiety relief, there is a topic that few people want to get involved in. And the reason only a few people want to get involved in it is because it may challenge their very own core beliefs about the nature of divinity. By default, when anyone mentions or insinuates about the non-physical, people are either thinking you are talking about science, or even worse, death.

Yet, the very nature of who we are can help us in understanding out lives, our particular lifestyles and ultimately (sticking to the topic of stress relief) how to use it to feel more better, more energized and more healthier (and in some cases, more mentally sharp). The non-physical is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather embraced. And this shift in mentality can help us not only reduce stress and anxiety in our everyday lives, but also has a knock-on effect on other things as well (including using your very own body, arguably, as a manifestation tool…but that is for another day).

You see, at the risk of proselytizing, we are all spiritual beings (of some degree) in a physical body. And believe it or not, your whole body doesn’t just encompass the physical you (i.e. skin, organs etc…) but also the non-physical you. People who have had out-of-body experiences, or near death experiences will testify to this. This non-physical vehicle (if you will) help them, ‘float’ around and do all sorts of stuff. But you don’t have to be a mental or spiritual guy to feel your non-physical body. You can do it using various techniques.

Your physical body has points which allows Qi or life energy, to flow in to, ‘feed’ your organs, and these non-physical contact points between your physical body and your non-physical body, are known as,  ‘The Chakras’.

Now, some of you will already have been put of this article by this point. Unfortunately, some people are so strict with their beliefs (rightly or wrongly) that any mention of the non-physical is automatically associated with the almighty upstairs (or your own particular version). Now, I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you are not open-minded enough to consider the following article, I’m afraid this article may not be for you. But if you can suspend your beliefs for just a few minutes, you’ll find information that can help you reduce stress in numerous ways.

Having said that for some of you, what I’m going to say here will probably not be the first time you’ve heard this. For some people, they will already know what the Chakras are, and are probably even using other techniques (as well as the ones in this article) to help balance them out (more on that later). If that is the case, please see this as a gentle reminder, and nothing more;-)

If you do, on the other hand, want to know more about your Chakras, than keep reading. Hopefully you’ll take away a lot than you think, and although the exercises may seam downright insultingly obvious, it’s amazing to think how many people don’t know or even do this. Of course, as always, don’t be fooled by the simplicity. Your Chakras are powerful, and have more of an influence than you give them credit for. While I’m doing more research on the correlation between the Chakras and the subconscious (even I have questions about this subject that need answering, as the subconscious also has a big control over your body and your conscious thoughts and actions) needless to say that taking your Chakras into consideration when it comes to any form of negative relief (stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts) will greatly help in recovery and an automatic improvement in ones lifestyle. Try it and find out for yourself!

This is quite a long article (over 3300 words) and does talk primarily about your 7 main Chakras, what they do, and how you can balance them. If you do find that there are more tips you can add to this list, please feel free to let me know (I’m all for finding out more:-).

Now to begin with, you have over a 100 Chakras from places like your toes and your hands to above your head, but there are 7 main ones. Each one serves a big role in the development of your consciousness, as well as helping your emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual and physical needs. So your Chakras have a huge influence to you and your emotional well-being, stress levels, and your manifesting skills (if you are into anything like the law of attraction, but that is for another day;-).

Your Chakras are therefore responsible for your emotional well-being, as well as your general mood, how well you place yourself in society and how well you communicate to your loved ones and the public in general. Your Chakras are the, ‘jack of all trades’ so to speak. And don’t forget, your Chakras are the connection between your soul and your physical body.

There are so many great videos online on helping you open your Chakras, and whether you can tell if it is open or closed, but before I carry on, some quick terminology. When we say open or close down your Chakra, what we mean is opening or closing your vortex. Your Chakras are vortices swirling around like a funnel, and you can close one, open one up, and make one spin quicker or slower to stop any unbalances and therefore balance the Chakra which gives you the correct proportion of pure Qi energy flowing into your etheric body and therefore influencing your physical body. By contrast an unbalanced Chakra will give you too much or too little energy, which will negatively physically and emotionally influence you. And this will be reflected by the way, in your behavior.

Now your first Chakra is your Root Chakra, and is located at the bottom of your spine and is also the most physical one, and is the one which has the lowest vibration of energy and as a result the lowest wavelength. And that is because it is closer to the physical. Your root Chakra is really your connection to the physical world. Physicality is energy at it’s most slowest vibration.

Now if you were an energy healer, you would be able to see the colour red, as this Chakra emits a reddish hue. Now it does govern our physical energies, it governs our survival, securities, passions, our money, our job, really our vigour in life. When it is balanced, you do feel very secure, very stable, very grounded, you do tend to use very good common sense. When it is blocked, you are blocking the flow of life energy, you may ask very deep questions, for e.g., ‘Why am I here?’, you may feel disconnected towards life. And of course, your ability to manifest will be stuttered.

If it is over-active, it is the opposite. You will be very greedy, you’ll demand everything, you’re highly strung, almost aggressive, can be reckless and impulsive, even sexually manipulative. When it is under-active, you can be very tired, very lethargic, very weak, afraid of change, you lack confidence, fear of abandonment, all of these are psychological issues, and this is the thing about the Chakras, they will govern your psychology.

But you can open the Root Chakra, by visualizing a red flower opening and spinning, by dancing, you can stamp your feet for short periods of time, and you do feel more better as a result. You tend to feel more alive. Interestingly, when I did some research behind this, I discovered that the sense of smell is associated with the Root Chakra, so if you can smell very easily your Root Chakra may be very well balanced. Now how does it feel? Well your Root Chakra feels like a low hum down your spine, a bit tingly at times. You have to be really careful as this should be a good tingling sensation. If it is a bad tingling sensation, you could have a very serious medical condition. So with practice you should be able to differentiate between a good tingling sensation, and a bad tingling sensation. I’ve noticed that mine tingles in a nice way, certainly hearing some bass and listening to some types of music, as music often stimulated the Chakras.

The the next main Chakra above is near your sexual organs and is called the Sacral Chakra, and this is located near the sacrum and testes/ovaries that produce the various sexual hormones. Again, if you are an energy healer, or can see non-physical energy, the Sacral Chakra emits an orange colour.

This Chakra is involved in relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs and pleasure. It does mentally govern creativity, governs joy and governs enthusiasm, so again, psychological influences there.

You know when it is out of balance or blocked, when you are no longer enjoying life, you are very angry or frustrated, your suppressing your emotions, and in some cases no sexual desire, your lacking creativity, have feelings of guilt or jealously. If you do tend to be unemotional, or very stiff, (and we have all met people who are unemotional and are very stiff, they have like a poker facer!) that is also another symptom that this Chakra could be under-active.

If it is over-active on the other hand, you can be very emotional most of the time, you can be emotionally attached to other people and can be very sexual as a result.

There are many ways to open and balance this Chakra. You can take walks by an ocean or a lake, you can go swimming, you can have relaxing, aromatic baths, you can of course, visualize the colour orange, or an orange flower opening and spinning. And it goes without saying (at the risk of sounding unprofessional or intimate) you can even make love to yourself, or your partner to balance this Chakra.

How does it feel? You know when you feel sexual energy in your body. It’s similar to lust, you can feel it around your body, but most notably around your sexual organs.

The next Chakra is your Solar Plexus Chakra, (or sometimes called your Naval Chakra, as it is located above your navel, or belly button). The colour this Chakra emits is yellow. You would need to work on this if you lack self esteem, if you lack will power (if you give up easily), if you experience aggression, anger, if you have difficulty expressing your feelings, if you have trouble getting things done, stuff that comes to productivity and completion of projects.

Feeling tired can be an indication of an underused, or blocked Solar Plexus Chakra. If you have too many negative thoughts, suffer from anxiety, that could also be a symptom of a blocked, out of balance Chakra. It’s all about asserting yourself in a group, and if your Chakra is under-active, you do tend to be indecisive, sometimes passive.

Of course, if it is over-active, the complete opposite will occur, and you will be domineering at times, sometimes aggressive (and we have all met people who seem to dominate the group).

To open and balance this Chakra, you can take a walk in the sun, take regular walks, wear yellow clothes, do things that spark your interests and passions, and another great way is being in the, ‘Now’. When you are in the, ‘Now’, you feel that rush of Qi energy rushing into your body via your Solar Plexus Chakra.

Now the Chakra above, is your Heart Chakra and is located outside of your Heart. This emits a greenish hue and is also deemed the, ‘gateway to the spiritual world’ hence why if you come from love, (a little tip, if you can feel unconditional love for around a few minutes, not only will it help you to reduce your stress, but you can also reduce any future fear-based scenario. Out-of-body explorers already understand this) you are really using the spiritual world, which of course creates the physical world. We are in a spiritual multi-verse.

When it is opened, you feel love, kindness, compassion, you are affectionate, you’re very friendly, you work in harmony, and you work at creating harmonious relationships.

If it is closed, or out of balance, you can be very distant and cold (something I was guilty off in years gone by). You do need to work on it of course, if you have problems with relationships, if you have problems keeping friends, if you feel lonely all the time, if you feel unloved, if you are unable to love yourself and others and you have difficulty letting people into your life. You can also catch a cold quite easily because your Heart Chakra does tend to work in close relationship with your immune and nervous system, hence the psychological and health influences.

You can open or balance it in several ways. You can let go of negative people, not always easy of course…so you can do the next best thing, and forgive them (which helps you to love unconditionally) and letting go of anger from unwanted past experiences (forgiveness should help you with that as well). Wearing green clothing can sometimes open and balance your Heart Chakra as well as surrounding yourself with things you enjoy as well as imagining hugging someone you love and admire, and feeling that love spread across your body.

When you have opened the Heart Chakra or balanced it, you feel the feeling of love emanate from the vortex, and it will soon spread across your body. Feelings of fear soon dissipates, as fear cannot exist when you feel, ‘unconditional love’.

The next Chakra is the Throat Chakra, and is all about self-expression, and emits the colour light blue. It is located at the throat.

You know when you need to work on it, when you find it hard to express your self freely and find it hard to communicate, you can sometimes find yourself telling white lies most of the time; you find it difficult to listen to other people, your lacking in self esteem and have speech problems. You know when it is under-active when you don’t speak much, you are very introverted, perhaps shy, even not speaking your personal truth.

Opening or balancing your Throat Chakra can be achieved by singing out load very loudly, by speaking louder than usual, and by saying something as simple as, ‘Hi’. Not many people realize this… just saying, ‘Hi’ to people on the street is a great way of doing this. Reading poetry out loud is another great way of doing it, as well as standing firm in your opinions, in a non-argumentative way. If the opinion is going to create an argument, the best thing to do is to stop the opinion.

When it is open, you don’t have any problems in communicating, and may consider yourself to be a bit of an artist.

The next one is one that most people are curious with. It is often talked about, and one that has the most attention, and that is your 3rd Eye Chakra, located between your eyebrows, but slightly above.

It is all about insight and visualizing. When it is opened, you have very good intuition, but you may also tend to fantasize a lot.

You need to work on it if you are not very good at thinking for yourself, if you find yourself relying on other people, like your parents, and your friends; you may be rigid in your thinking and rely on your beliefs too much, which may lead to confusion. If you suffer from panic and anxiety attacks and you cannot think clearly or if you have trouble concentrating, and are having problems finding a purpose in life, this could also be an indication. Another indication is that you lack goals for example, if you lack faith or you cannot find your own inner voice.

One thing I read, is that it could be blocked or very imbalanced if you have learning disabilities or if you have hearing problems, so that’s worth bearing in mind (no pun intended;-).

If it is over-active, you tend to live in fantasy land too much, and in some cases may even hallucinate. If you are not careful, you do tend to lose focus very easily. The 3rd Eye Chakra is the gateway to intuition and higher perception and people who have a strong vibration with this Chakra are people we would call psychics. We are all psychics, and we all have that ability, but most of us have to work on it as you would do like a muscle.

It can be opened/ balanced by being in the, ‘Now’, which helps reduce mental chatter, or meditating with Yoga. Theta and Delta, brainwave states between 0.5hz to 7 Hz (the measurement of the electrical activity of your brain, commonly before you go to sleep and when you wake up) are also a good way of opening up this Chakra. Now unless you are a trained meditation expert, you would need CD’s to help you achieve Theta or Delta. A package I personally recommend is the ARVARI course, which not only helps you get to Delta (which lowers your mental noise), but also helps you reduce your stress and allows you to manifest a lot easily, as you are very close to your soul.

The feeling of an active 3rd Eye Chakra is the equivalent of someone gently tapping your forehead. It is like a tiny, throbbing sensation, and in some peoples cases, can cause small headaches if it is being opened, or balanced for the first time.

The final Chakra is one that is above your head, and is called your Crown Chakra, which emits a whitish hue and is your connection to source, higher consciousness, or essentially your soul.

Remember what I said about the root one being the lowest vibration? Well your Crown Chakra is your highest vibration because it is the vibration closest to your soul/higher self.

When it is blocked, unbalanced, you are not aware of your spirituality, you have very rigid thinking, you may even suffer from depression or a mental disorder, and you may have a weak immune system or you suffer from chronic fatigue.

On the other side, if you intellectualize a lot, obsessed with spirituality, or neglect your basic bodily needs, it may be over active and you may need to work on it.

When it is balanced, you do connect to your inner being, and you feel a oneness with divine source; you feel a sense of bliss, with an understanding of your life’s purpose. You become more aware of the beauty around you, with nature, and you feel its natural energy. You are happier because you are connected to the, ‘all that is’, and as a result, you don’t feel lonely. This means you are unprejudiced, and are aware of yourself and this world. You become very non-judgmental, and exhibit unconditional love.

To open this Chakra or balance it, you do need to meditate daily, it’s as simple as that! Take time to be still, being in the, ‘moment of now’ really helps. Try and be thankful and grateful for everything you are and have. By being thankful, you uplift your soul. This connects you more to the spiritual aspect of yourself very quickly. Again, being in Delta also helps in this case.

So, this is just a quick run-down of the Chakras, as they are pretty essential, not just to manifesting your reality, but also to your emotional, psychological and physical well-being. You can also help balance your Chakras when you have an out-of-body experience, by using the healing power of love to flow though your consciousness and direct it to one of your Chakras, and as a result, begin to self-heal in that way.

Combining your Chakras with other mental and emotional tools (like EFT, please see my article about it) will help you reduce your stress or depression, give your life purpose back to you, and allows you to not only recover from your illness, but lead a more healthier and happier lifestyle. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. You should be pleasantly surprised;-)

 

Not Getting Enough Sleep Due To Your Stress? Here Is a Simple Guide To Sleep Like A Baby!

Its a familiar story… you’re tired, and you come home. You try to finish all of your tasks for the evening, but you’re not sure if your boss is happy with that presentation you’ve just made, or the number of emails that you have managed to reply to…and you’re scared that you are going to lose your job! Your heart beats faster…your anxious and your tired.

It’s been like this for several weeks, but guess what, it’s now taking it’s toll. Your partner is moody at you, as you seem completely disinterested, and you’re scared that you are loosing your sanity and you’ll go broke.

You watch TV, feeling more and more tired, but for some reason, unable to get to bed. You finally trudge up the stairs, and limp to the bathroom, your mind still racing full of thoughts, like ants running around inside your brain. You look at your self in the mirror, and you know you look like a mess, but you dare not admit it to your partner.

You get undressed, and you get into bed. It’s already extremely late, and you’ve got to get up early tomorrow!

Your mind is still racing, and your sick of it!

This tired feeling numbs your senses, and you feel like you’re a zombie. As you turn the light of, you know that you’ll get 5 hours tops (and that’s if your lucky!). You lie in bed, initially staring at the ceiling, then at the moonlit curtains that’s casting a shadow over the dresser. You’re scared! You need this job, or else

You close you eyes and try to sleep, but no such luck. Your heart is beating faster than normal, and you feel achy around your heart. Your head feels like it is extremely hungover, like you’ve just been out in town. It feels like a big heavy doorknob that’s sitting on your shoulders Your mind gets dreamy, and very blurry…

You wake up, exhausted, eyesight not fully sharp. You stumble out of bed, and almost fall to the floor, head feels dead. Within the next hour, you will force some cereal down your throat, and drive to work, hoping to keep the bad feelings of dread to an all time low, and figuring another way to survive another day…

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It’s the same old story for the millions of people who get stressed each day and loose sleep over it

It’s estimated that over 40% of people are stressed at work, while over 25% claiming to be super stressed. And that’s not all, it’s also estimated that people having time of work due to stress is costing the US economy over $299 billion yearly!

Yet, the cruel irony, is that for many of us who get stressed, we tend to skip on the very thing that can reduce it.

It’s a vicious cycle. Your stressed, so you try to get some sleep. But of course, that’s easier said then done, and you can’t focus. If you are paranoid, or have OCD, you will (of course) do your routine more than once, in an effort that some dreadful thing won’t happen. This naturally keeps the mind busy, making it even more difficult to relax.

You go to bed (eventually) only to discover that your imagination has suddenly gone into 5th gear. You close your eyes, but you’re nervous about tomorrow (assuming it’s not already tomorrow that is) and you look at the alarm clock. When you do wake up, you’re extremely tired, desperately wanting another couple of hours at the very least (but knowing you’re not going to get it).

And then you have to go to a job, which is mentally and emotionally draining, and you get stressed. You come home, and the cycle repeats itself

Stress causes lack of sleep, which causes more stress, which causes more lack of sleep, which causes more stress…

…and so on.

Do this for a long period of time, and you begin to mentally injure yourself!

You see, we need between 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep each night, as lack of sleep can cause

  1. Reduction in cognitive functioning. It impairs:
  • Alertness
  • Attention
  • Reasoning
  • Concentration
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Makes it extremely difficult to learn something more effeciently
  • You won’t remeber easily what was learned in the previous day, as sleep helps the consolidation of the memories in your mind. Simply put, you won’t remember much!

2. Accidents

It has been noted, that sleep deprivation has caused some of the biggest accidents in recent history. The 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 nuclear meltown at Chernobyl. Drowsiness does slow reaction time, similar to drink driving. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that fatigue causes around 100’000 vehicle crashes and around 1’550 crash related deaths per year in the US.

3. Reduced sleep increases your risk of:

 

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • A stroke

 

4. Sleep deprivation can impair your own judgement

Getting regular loss of sleep decreases your ability to make accurate judgements of a situation or event, thereby causing you to make inaccurate assements and not act wisely, including whether or not you are getting enough sleep.

5. Lack of sleep can increase a risk of death.

Found in the, ‘Whitehall II Study’, Researchers from Britain looked at around 10’000 British Civil Servants over 2 decades, for sleep loss, and found out that the servants who had reduced their sleep from 7 hours to around 5 hours (or fewer) almost doubled their risk of death from different sources.

6. Loosing your sleep can make you gain weight

According to a study conducted in 2004, the people who slept for less than 6 hours a day were 30% more likely to suffer from obesity than those who slept between 7-9 hours. Not only that, but there is a link between sleep and the peptides that regulate the appetite. Shortened sleep is strongly associated with a decrease in Leptin and an increase in Ghrelin, Leptin being a protein hormone that has a key role in regulating appetite and Ghrelin being a hunger-stimulating peptide.

7. Reduced sleep actually ages your skin!

Too much reduced sleep leads to fine lines, lacklustre skin, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get your sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone, Cortisol. This breaks down the protein that keeps your skin nicely smooth and elastic, Collagen. Reduced sleep also reduces the release of the Human Growth Hormone, which help promote growth when we are young. As we get older, it helps increase thickened skin, muscle mass and strengthens bone.

8. Reduced sleep makes you depressed

Sleep disorders and reduced or ineffective sleep patterns all contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a poll conducted in 2005, people who were medically diagnosed with anxiety or depression were far more likely to be sleeping less than 6 hours a night.

9. Reduced sleep can kill your sex drive

Yes, it’s now official, lack of sleep reduces your sexual libido. Having less energy, increased tension (probably due to stress and anxiety) and feeling extremely tired or fatigued are most to blame.

10. Reduced sleep reduces your immune system

This is the same system that helps fight off colds and illnesses, and having a poor sleep schedule really helps in increasing your chance in catching a cold.

I could relate to some of this. Having suffered from OCD, paranoia and stress, I regularly got around 5 hours if I was lucky. You literally walk around in work, wanting to put your head on the desk.

I couldn’t concentrate, had mood swings, and got depressed and stressed way too easily.

You see, we lead such busy lives, we have commitments, families to take care off, and getting a good night sleep seems like the furthest thing on your mind.

Or it could be the opposite. Getting a good night sleep is something that you are desperate to achieve. But for some reason, you simply can’t get it.

You have tried everything, from hypnotherapy to sleeping pills. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to turn into an insomniac.

Yet due to the nature of technology, we believe we can do so much more, in the same amount of time.

This causes breakdowns of relationships, family issues, and puts a burden on your job. Ask any stressed out person, life simply isn’t fun, and your not fun to be around!

But why is sleep that important to reducing your stress levels, and getting you life back?

It’s because what sleep does, which is vitally important to your well being

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Sleep reduces stress by revitalizing your body when you are dreaming, as well as:

  • Increasing more plasticity (connections between the nerve cells)
  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleeping enhances your emotional memory
  • Increases learning skills, and decision making processes
  • Cognitive functioning is increased during a healthy sleep

 

And cognitive functioning is a big one, because it’s the one that allows you to function more sharply!

So you see, not only does getting your quality sleep matter, it’s more important than you think

Don’t forget, your sleep goes through stages. Non- REM sleep (REM- Rapid Eye Movement) and then REM sleep (each cycle lasting around 90 minutes).

Stage 1- The transition to sleep – Takes roughly 5 minutes, eyes move slowly under the eyelids and your muscle activity slows down- brainwave electrical activity around light alpha (alpha between 8-13hz)

Stage 2- Light Sleep – Takes roughly 10 to 25 minutes and is when your eyes stop moving, your body temperature decreases, and your heart rate slows – brainwave activity around theta to deep alpha (theta between 4-7hz)

Stage 3- Deep Sleep – If you are spiritual, this part would be when you lose your sense of self, or you have achieved connection to the universal source. If you were to be awakened, you would feel very groggy, and dis-oriented. The blood flow is directed from your brain to your muscles, allowing the restoration of your physical energy. Brainwave state, 0.5 to 3hz (delta)

Stage 4 – REM sleep – Normally between 70-90 minutes after falling asleep, you enter REM sleep. It’s called REM because your eyes dart back and forth, and you are dreaming. Due to having a sense of self, you actually go back up to theta. It is this state where your legs and arms are paralyzed and and your heart beats and blood pressure increases, while your breathing shallows. Images are very vivid (well, you are dreaming after all!)

It’s stage 3 that is the crucial one. When you are in deep sleep, HGH is released, and you feel more refreshed. The only way to get more stage 3 deep sleep, is to start going to bed early i.e. spend more time in bed!

You will feel more refreshed, think more clearly, but most of all, feel alive!

But spiritualists also see sleep in a different light.

We have non-physical contact points, between the non-physical and the physical (the non-physical being part of the multi-verse). When we are asleep, life energy or Qi, trickles through these contact points, or votices. These votices are your chakras, and it is the chakras when you are sleeping that ultimately govern how refreshed you feel when you wake up.

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Your chakras allow the Qi to nourish your vital organs, including your brain. This is why meditating is so important if you wish to have a quick dose of energy during the day. Just 10 minutes of meditation done during your lunch hour will helps re-energize you, as meditation can help open and all life energy to give you a burst of energy (I’ve done this successfully while sitting in my car, engine turned off).

However, your chakras are not the only reason why getting your sleep is vital in reducing your stress and anxiety levels for the short, to long run

A protein called the Circadian Rhythm is also important. This is essentially your internal body clock, and is responsible in stopping you having a good nights rest, especially if you are doing shift work in your job.

Simply put, the body requires routine.

If you go to bed at different times during the week, your circadian rhythm will be out of sync, and as a result, your deep sleep will suffer.

So not only are your chakras passing the vital life energy to your body, but your internal body clock is also happy, as well as your Human Growth Hormone helping you out while your in REM sleep, by:

  • Building stronger bones
  • Improving your sleep patterns
  • Increases the synthesis of new protein tissue, helping muscles repair or recovery
  • Helps improve the quality of your heart and Kidneys
  • And (of course) produces more energy.

 

So as you can see, the Human Growth Hormone plays an important role in the development of your emotional and physical well-being, as well as physical healing.

But this does beg a question, how does one get sleep when one is super stressed?

The trick here is to (somehow) relax the mind.

You’ve got to break the cycle somehow. The best way is to relax the mind to a degree that you can nod off.

In a moment, I’ll talk about quick ways you can relax the mind when you are stressed at work, but for now, let’s look at some quick ways to help calm the mind enough for you to get to bed and get (at the very least) your 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (and that’s loads, by the way).

  1. Have a warm relaxing lavender bath
  1. De-clutter your bedroom
  1. Stop mind engaging activities 1 hour before going to bed
  1. Take up the art of mindfulness meditation
  1. Have a warm glass of milk before going to bed
  1. Avoid caffeine after 3pm
  1. Turn the clock the other way, so you don’t get distracted by the time
  1. Read Heart Warming stories
  1. Listen to a Delta Entrainement CD (I recommend the ARVARI, as they guide you to Delta extremely well)
  2.  And it goes without saying, but a nice air-cooled, comfy bed (and pillow) goes a long way!

 

But sometimes, you simply cannot get that restful sleep that you need, then what?

Believe it or not, there are tactics that you can use to get (some) refreshing energy to not only get you through your tough day in the office, but also get your mind remotely sharp.

  1. Learn to meditate in a private place, like your car

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Just doing this for 10-15 minutes, either at break time or lunch, will help you feel some energy from your non-physical self. Try this as a quick test

 

  • Do deep belly breathing for a minute

 

  • Now listen to the breathing intently. Feel it and pay it attention when it enters your body and when it leaves

 

  • Now close your eyes, and keep your attention on your breathing.

 

  • Focus your attention for as long as possible, and you should find that a healing peace will flood your stomach area. You will feel very present, and you will have opened, or balanced your solar plexus chakra (the one responsible for personal willpower, ironically;-)

 

This will be enough to calm your mind down, so you can relax. If you can also balance this with feeling love flow and permeate your body, you will be able to feel re-energize and allow the Qi to make you slightly more refreshed and alert, as well as being able to de-stress you.

To feel love, try this:

 

  • Again, take some deep belly breaths for about a minute. This will help calm and slow down the mind (controlling your breathing helps control the mind)

 

  • Now, imagine hugging somebody you deeply love and admire. This could be your boyfriend/girlfriend, sister/brother, husband/wife, you get the picture;-)

 

  • Really try to imagine hugging them in your favorite place (this is your imagination, so choose any place you like)

 

If done correctly, you should feel love emanate from your heart chakra, and permeate your body. This will be a very unconditional, healing form of love, and you will start to begin dissolving any current psychological or emotional issues you have (true love always heals;-).

Try using your imagination to, ‘guide’ this love around your body. It should be pretty easy to do.

Using this with being present in the 1st exercise will not only help your mind stop racing, but will relax you, help you de-stress, re-energise you and give you a clear head. You can try this in your car (with the engine turned off, obviously) for about 10 minutes, and feel the difference..

2. Have a 15 minute Delta power-nap

If you do have a racing mind, and being in the present moment is simply too difficult, try buying a 15 delta power-nap mp3, and listen to it when you are in the car (again, engine turned off;-)

You can get some great mp3’s that really help your brain reach near the delta state, and will allow you to de-tune fairly easily, and a power nap increases the cognitive function up to 40%. You can get a 10 min mp3 to a 35 min one here (I use a 15 min myself).

3. Learn how to feel the love while in the workplace

You can try this one you’ve mastered the above exercise, but this time, while inside doing your job. It’s surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it, and when you let it spread through your body when you are sitting down, will help de-stress you in the moment and re-energise you.

4. Keep drinking the water

Not really a tactic, but I thought I must include it on this list, as not drinking enough water throughout the day will dehydrate your body, making the stress worst! So keep drinking the water, and avoid the caffeine. This alone will work wonders, and you will keep your organs ticking over

Lack of sleep and stress, when combined, make a deadly duo. But you can get your sleep, and as a result, your life back. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know below. I would love to hear from you;-)