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Breaking This One Nasty Cycle Will Change Your Life.

Breaking This One Nasty Cycle Will Change Your Life.

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We have all been guilty of passing judgment on both ourselves and others. We judge ourselves for where we’re at in life, or we judge others on their actions and lifestyle choices. In truth, judgement is not a freeing feeling, it confines both us and the people we place judgment upon. On a deeper level, humans operate on vibrations and frequencies. Simply put, we are energy and therefore we are very sensitive to the energy that comes from our thoughts and words. The thoughts we have and the words we speak are much deeper than a simple spoken word or thought, they hold power and affect both us and/or whoever we are speaking to.

Your Thoughts Have Power.

Positive thoughts and words have a similar impact on us. When we share from a place of love, a place that is judgment free, we allow the space for others to let go as well. Whatever is sent out to the universe both positive and negative is absorbed so it is important to be conscious of our thought patterns. If you have ever passed judgement on another and later felt that person knew what you had said or thought, they are simply picking up on the energy you had sent out.

When we judge, we are judging based on our own beliefs and preferences of how someone should act, dress or make their choices. We are all on our own paths, living out our own experience and there should be no judgement towards the way others choose to live out their own journey.

You Don’t Know Their Story.

When a judgemental thought comes up, try to transform that thought and instead come from a place of understanding. There is always more to the story than what you are basing your judgement upon. Having compassion for others and understanding that there is always more going on behind the scenes in people’s personal lives will dramatically shift your life in positive way.

How You Can Break The Cycle.

I challenged myself to one full day without judgement. This meant any time a judgmental thought came to mind,  I was to release it and let it go. This was more difficult than it may seem, mainly because we have been heavily programmed to judge and compare by society, so breaking down that programming was tedious at first.

Because of the lifetime’s worth of programming most of us have been subject to, judgement may continue to rise even if you are making a conscious effort to let go of it. The key is to not judge yourself for these thoughts coming forward but to acknowledge the thought, let it go and not give the thought any power.

Throughout my one day challenge, I still had judgmental thoughts arise but I did not engage in them nor did I voice them. When I did not allow myself to give energy to these thoughts, I could feel a sense of weight lifted off of my shoulders. By the end of the one day challenge I could see and feel the difference in my own energy and in turn that affected the people I was surrounded by. It was without a doubt an enlightening experience.

We are all different people, living our own experiences and navigating through our own daily challenges. So what are we waiting for? Let’s accept that our perspectives are subjective and the potential to truly connect comes from present listening, understanding and empathy.

Try This Yourself.

I challenge you to let go of judgement today and see how it feels to let those thoughts roll off your shoulder rather than to playing into them. Share with us below your own experiences in letting go of judgement!

Much Love!

Check out more articles by this author HERE.

16 Signs That Say You May Be Magnesium Deficient & What To Do About It

16 Signs That Say You May Be Magnesium Deficient & What To Do About It

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Yesterday marked the third time in the last month that I had overheard someone being diagnosed with a magnesium deficiency. The interesting thing is that in all three scenarios (my own included) the symptoms that each individual was exhibiting to prove the deficiency were completely different from one another. Needless to say, this made me curious and led me down a bit of a rabbit hole in further understanding what exactly magnesium is and how it plays a role in our overall health.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function. It is involved in over 300 metabolic processes in your body and plays a key role in keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm and building strong bones.(2) Naturally magnesium can be found in a number of seeds (i.e., pumpkin and sunflower), nuts (i.e., almonds and cashews), and even in spinach which packs an average of 79 mg of magnesium per 100 gram serving.

The daily recommended intake of magnesium ranges from 400 to 420 mg in men, 310 to 360 mg in women and 80 to 240 mg in children all depending on age. It is also suggested that when pregnant, women increase their magnesium intake to between 350 and 400 mg depending on the age at which they are pregnant.(1)

Signs That You May Be Deficient

In my case, a magnesium deficiency was identified through the panic and anxiety that I was working through earlier this year. The most prominent time that I would find myself struggling with panic and/or anxiety was at night, the magnesium helped my body to regulate and distribute melatonin more effectively allowing me to get a better night’s sleep. (You can read about some of the other things that have helped me overcome this by clicking HERE)

Here are 16 magnesium deficiency symptoms that Natural Society comprised in an article released in April of last year:

  • Calcium deficiency
  • Poor heart health
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes
  • Respiratory illness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Potassium deficiency
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor memory
  • Confusion

Sources Of Magnesium

In addition to the seeds, nuts and spinach that I mentioned above, magnesium can also be found in potatoes, tempeh, quinoa and most beans -including black, lima and navy.(4) Like all essential vitamins and minerals, getting an adequate amount of magnesium daily may sound tedious or difficult to incorporate, but it is only as difficult as we choose to make it. The more we hold on to a particular lifestyle or way of eating the more we limit ourselves to habits that feel comfortable on the surface but may be taking a toll on our body. Look out for any of the symptoms listed above and even explore the world of supplements if that is easier for you to incorporate. Based on a recommendation, I incorporated magnesium into my life by taking Anderson’s Concentrated Mineral Drops.

SOURCES:
(1) http://naturalsociety.com/16-magnesium-deficiency-symptoms-signs-low-levels/
(2) http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/10/30/11-ways-magnesium-helps-your-mind-body/
(3) http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-magnesium
(4) http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Minerals/Food-Sources-of-Magnesium.aspx 

It’s Everywhere You Turn – See How The Beauty Industry Is Manipulating The Masses & Preying On The Insecure

It’s Everywhere You Turn – See How The Beauty Industry Is Manipulating The Masses & Preying On The Insecure

Beautiful-Estee-Lauder-Model-Makeup-Estee-Lauder-The-Metallics-New-Pure-Color-Makeup-Video-Tutorials-Get-The-Estee-Lauder-Metallics-Makeup-Look-Metallics-Beauty-Look-1024x490
Beautiful-Estee-Lauder-Model-Makeup-Estee-Lauder-The-Metallics-New-Pure-Color-Makeup-Video-Tutorials-Get-The-Estee-Lauder-Metallics-Makeup-Look-Metallics-Beauty-Look-1024×490

No matter what country you’re in, France, the UK, Japan, India, or Canada, you are surrounded by it at any given moment. The latest sale, the hottest new look, the ideal body, the only way to ‘fit in’. This overtly westernized image of beauty has become the international standard through the influence of clever marketing and advertising schemes. We are taught that in order to fit into the globalized culture we must fully embrace the western body.

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Vanity-Insanity
Sadly, lighter-colored skin is considered the ideal image of beauty in most countries that contain darker skinned people. The use of skin lightening creams are rampant throughout these countries, pulling in billions of dollars every year. The majority of these products work by eliminating the production of melanin, the natural pigment found in our skin. By the year 2018, it is estimated that the global market for skin lighteners will reach a staggering $20 Billion. But the use of these products don’t come without dangerous risks.

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Skin lightening products are estimated to bring in $20 billion by 2018.
Hydroquinone, a common topical ingredient found in skin lightening creams has been shown to cause leukemia in mice and other animals. The European Union even banned the ingredient in cosmetics in 2001, although it can now be prescribed by a doctor.

In Korea and other Asian countries, blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, has become the most common cosmetic procedure. The idea is to create a look that makes the eyes appear more open, similar to the shape of Caucasian eyes. If you look at the models and Anime characters portrayed in Asian magazines and advertisements, it is easy to see the exaggerated size of their eyes and the influence this has on the population.

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Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is the most common cosmetic procedure in Asian countries.
Self-Love = No Profit For Beauty Industry
Where do these beauty ideals stem from? The sad part is that the desire to look a certain way doesn’t come from the men and women themselves, it is often imposed on them from the mass media and society at large. Why? Because insecure people make better consumers.

And this isn’t just a female related issue either, men face the same bombardment of chiseled models and beefy sports super-heroes every day. There is a market pin-pointed for every faction of the population.

In truth, if someone were completely happy and confident with how they felt and looked, they wouldn’t feel the need to wear makeup, do their hair, dress fashionable, or pay for expensive and invasive surgeries. These industries would all fail, and this is something they know.

800px-Kami_Parsa_MD_Cosmetic_LowerEyelid_Blepharoplasty

This is why the big companies spend billions on advertising every year. This is why the westernized standard for perfection is pushed in everyone’s faces day-in and day-out. And this is exactly why we need to put an end to these standards.

The Illusionists is a new documentary coming out this year that aims to raise awareness around the vanity-insanity issue currently plaguing our world. Their 4 minute teaser has been going viral around the web and for good reason, I think the timing of this message couldn’t be any more imperative. We can’t wait for the conversation around westernized beauty standards to be at the forefront of international discourse.

What do you guys think, have you ever felt pressured to look a certain way based upon our current westernized standard for attractiveness? Share with us below!

10 Quotes To Help Us Stop Resisting Something We All Go Through

changeThere is one thing that is constant in life, that is change. The sooner we recognise that nothing remains the same, the sooner we let go of attachment and we can start living and learn to enjoy change.

Why is it Difficult to Change? We are always searching for a state of permanence, we want things to remain the same. We want certainty. This certainty is the same certainty that at the end of the day will make our lives dull, lifeless and conformed.

How do we Make Changes? By understanding our fears and insecurities we are better placed to make the change we want or need to make in our lives. We must meditate on what we really want and why. Once we have discovered the truth we must take action.

Change is in Understanding the Big Picture – Too often we get caught up in day to day trivialities of life and forget the bigger picture. It is only when we take the time to stand back and put things into perspective, we can change our focus of what really matters and make things happen.

Change and Life – Change is the only thing we can really predict with any certainty. When we understand everything is in a state of flux our wisdom grows and we can enjoy life.

Change is How we Perceive Things – Our beliefs and attitudes have been molded over many years. To be free of any influences we must acknowledge and release these mental states that hold us back from new experiences, and a fresh way of living.

Lao Tzu and the Buddha both recognised that we must not get attached to things as this limits our existence and makes change difficult. Attachment restricts new experiences and ideas cannot enter. Being open and empty allows the individual to accept alternative ideas, possibilities and change. We must empty ourselves of any existing beliefs and attitudes so that we can be filled with new exciting and sustainable opportunities. Change is a constant and we must recognise this as such. By sticking to past ideologies, beliefs and models that are flawed we are hurting only ourselves. By coming to terms with and addressing our potential with a fresh approach we can realise a new reality and future that benefits all. Here are some great quotes to get us thinking about change and changing…

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky. Rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain. What is born will die. What has been gathered will be dispersed. What has been accumulated will be exhausted. What has been built up will collapse and what has been high will be low.” Buddha
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.” John Lennon
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” Stephen Hawking
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” George Bernard Shaw
“In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.” Benjamin Disraeli
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov
“Any action is better than no action, especially if you are stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake at least you learn something in which case it is no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.” Eckhart Tolle
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
“Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone you’re living an illusion. There’s something seriously wrong with you. You’re not seeing reality. Something inside you has to change. When we have a negative feeling we usually project this onto someone or something else. I am right, they have to change. No. The world is all right. The one who has to change is you.” Anthony De Mello
Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

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Is Your Brain Truly Ready for Junk Food, Porn, or the Internet?

Supernormal Stimuli

A wise man rules his passions, a fool obeys them.

—Publius Syrus

Given the rapid pace of technology, one has to wonder whether or not our brains (and bodies) have been able to keep up with all the new “stimulation” that is available.

Some research suggests that a few of the things we enjoy today would be classified as supernormal stimuli, a term evolutionary biologists use to describe any stimulus that elicits a response stronger than the stimulus for which it evolved, even if it is artificial—in other words, are sources of “super” stimulation like junk food and porn more likely to hook us into bad habits?

It is certainly a very muddy topic, but it’s a question that I believe deserves investigating.

After all, we’ve become increasingly surrounded by stimulation that wasn’t available even a few years ago, so are my mind and body really ready for Flavor Blasted Goldfish™ and never ending social media updates?

Before we get into the research, let’s summarize the concept a bit more clearly: what exactly is a supernormal stimulus?

The brilliant comic below will explain the basics, and will take you less than 2 minutes to read.

 

Be Aware: Supernormal Stimuli

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Comic: by the insanely talented Stuart McMillen, published with permission. More about Stuart and his work at the bottom of the post.

When “Super” Stimulation Goes Wrong

Nikolaas Tinbergen, a Nobel Prize winning ethologist, is the father of the term supernormal stimuli. As noted, Tinbergen found in his experiments that he could create “artificial” stimuli that were stronger than the original instinct, including the following examples:

  • He constructed plaster eggs to see which a bird preferred to sit on, finding that they would select those that were larger, had more defined markings, or more saturated color—a dayglo-bright one with black polka dots would be selected over the bird’s own pale, dappled eggs.
  • He found that territorial male stickleback fish would attack a wooden fish model more vigorously than a real male if its underside was redder.
  • He constructed cardboard dummy butterflies with more defined markings that male butterflies would try to mate with in preference to real females.

In a very quick span of time, Tinbergen was able to influence the behavior of these animals with a new “super” stimulus that they found themselves attracted too, and which they preferred over the real thing.

Instinct took over, and now the animals’ behaviors were a detriment to their livelihood because they simply couldn’t say no to the fake stimulus.

Much of Tinbergen’s work is beautifully captured by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barret in the book Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose. One has to wonder if the leap from these findings to human behavior is near or far.

Dr. Barret seems to think that the link is closer then we believe, arguing that supernormal stimulation govern the behavior of humans as powerfully as that of animals.

The hypothesis is that just like Tinbergen’s quick introductions of abnormal stimulation to animals, rapidly advancing technology may have created a similar situation for humans—can we really be “prepared” for some of our modern, highly stimulating experiences, given the amount of time we’ve had to adapt?

It’s very hard to say—you’ll find excellent arguments from both camps.

Here are a few common examples that are often brought into question:

(Note: please read the full article. I’m not saying that you should never engage with the following, or that the examples below are conclusive, or that they are the “norm,” not at all in fact! They are merely brought up out of curiosity.)

Junk food

1.) The highly addictive nature of junk food is one of our generation’s great concerns—food is being engineered specifically to be more appealing than its natural counterparts. Is it any wonder then that when fast food is more thoroughly introduced to other countries, people start consuming it more often?

2.) It could be argued that for a large span of time humans had a relatively stable palette. Now a new food “concoction” comes out every week. How might this be affecting us? Some studies have suggested that foods like processed grain came about far too quickly and are doing quite a number on your mind and body.

3.) Food is one of the toughest things to struggle with because it’s an absolute necessity—the problem with junk food is due to the fact that it is a “super stimulating” version of a natural reward we are supposed to pursue. Food addiction is the real deal, and a tough habit to break because the triggers are ever present.

TV & video games

1.) A quick peek in my home office would show a still functioning Super Nintendo hooked up with Chrono Trigger ready to go. I don’t think that video games cause excessively violent behavior (research agrees), but I do have to admit that it seems video games may be addictive for some people, and in particular, for certain personalities.

2.) Television addiction may cause some users to elicit the signs of a behavioral addiction—users often watch TV to change mood, but the relief that’s gotten is only temporary, and often brings them back for more.

3.) You’re likely not surprised to hear that computer games have been linked to escapism, but what you may not know is that some studies have found symptoms of withdrawal in a very small subset of subjects; they became moody, agitated, and even had physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Pornography

1.) Probably the most controversial of all modern stimuli, pornography has been described as insidious in nature because it might skew the otherwise normal activity of sex. Porn has been linked to changing sexual tastes, and some argue that porn can become a “never-ending” supply of dopamine (though there are few conclusive studies done on porn and the mind).

2.) There’s a passage from a Kurt Vonnegut novel where a man shows another man a photograph of a woman in a bikini and asks, “Like that Harry? That girl there.” The man’s response is, “That’s not a girl. That’s a piece of paper.” Those who warn of porn’s addictive nature always emphasize that it is not a sexual addiction, it’s a technological one. Could porn impact the way you view the real thing?

3.) It’s been suggested that pornography messes up the “reward circuitry” in human sexuality—why bother trying to pursue and impress a potential mate if you can just go home and look at porn? This has been argued as the beginning of porn addiction, as novelty is always a click a way, and novelty is closely tied to the highly addictive nature of dopamine.

As psychologist Susan Weinschenk explained in a 2009 article, the neurotransmitter dopamine does not cause people to experience pleasure, but rather causes a seeking behavior. “Dopamine causes us to want, desire, seek out, and search,” she wrote.

It is the opioid system that causes one to feel pleasure. Yet, “the dopamine system is stronger than the opioid system,” she explained. “We seek more than we are satisfied.”

The Internet

1.) Unsurprisingly, psychologists are now giving serious consideration to the web, recognizing that it may be a very addictive outlet. It allows unfettered control to engage in nearly anything, and some countries like Japan and South Korea have had serious problems with reclusive, socially inept individuals who have a very unhealthy internet obsession—one story I read detailed a man who hadn’t left his apartment in 6 months.

2.) Social media has been shown to make many people depressed—they see the highlight reel of others, and may feel worse about their own life. These pruned and often misleading looks into others lives was never available before the web. In spite of this, people can’t stop checking them, thinking that they might be missing out on something.

3.) Internet overuse, for some people, may be hurting their ability to focus. The quick bursts of entertainment that the internet provides, and the fact that information is always a click away, may (through overuse) cause a decrease in conceptual and critical thinking. Some have argued that the internet can become ‘chronic distraction’ that slowly eats away at your patience and ability to think and work on things for extended periods of time.

What Should You Do?

This can seem like a lot to take in at once.freakoutandpanic

Before you panic, freak out, and throw away all of your Oreos + cancel your internet subscription, please listen—everything in moderation, just like your reaction to the information in this article.

There is a lot of research that counters what we’ve looked at above. Explore books like The 10,000 Year Explosion for more from that perspective. In addition, consider that resources are all in how you use them.

Take the Internet: sure, there are signs that in some ways the Internet might become a distraction, but think about its contributions. The web is the best source in the world for information and knowledge, so how it affects you depends on how make use of it.

We are all perfectly capable of using and engaging with supernormal stimuli—the only reason I chose to highlight the extreme examples above was to show how things can go wrong with overuse, or misuse.

That’s right folks, you can put away your torches and pitchforks! I’m not the enemy of junk food, the Internet, and everything awesome. My one and only goal for this article was simply exploration of the topic.

In fact, the comic above had similar intentions. The artist, Stuart McMillen, articulately describes why you shouldn’t be afraid of information like this. In many ways, it should be comforting:

In both cases, the main change is awareness. Awareness that the reason we are drawn to sickly desserts is because they are sweeter than any naturally-occurring fruit.Stuart McMillen

Awareness that watching television activates the primitive ‘orienting response’, keeping our eyes drawn to the moving pictures as if it were predator or prey. Awareness that liking ‘cute’ characters comes from a biological urge to protect and nurture our young.

I have not removed supernormal stimuli from my life, nor do I intend to do so fully. The key is spotting the stimuli as they appear, and engaging the mind to regulate or override temptation.

I echo Deirdre Barrett’s conclusion that sometimes it can feel more rewarding to say no to the supernormal, than to cave into impulse. Only awareness will help stop the supernormal from becoming what is ‘normal’ in our lives.

(Psst… you should subscribe to Stuart’s awesome newsletter to hear about a brand new comic he has coming out in 2014. Also, be sure to stop by his website and check out his other comics. He also has prints available for sale, I’ve purchase one myself and they are great. Well worth the very small price.)

You Decide What’s Normal

The “solution,” so it seems to me, is to simply to avoid habituation.

The real enemy here is complacency—or allowing yourself to become a victim of your habits, instead of the person in the driver’s seat.

C.S. Lewis has some insightful thoughts on this:

Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.

After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.

A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.

It’s my personal opinion that mini-sabbaticals are a great way to test small dependencies on anything. The ability to go without in regards to things we choose to do is important because it puts you back in control.

Giving something up for just a small period of time can help you understand its place in your life, especially when it’s an optional activity. If you try to stay away from something for just a few days, and you find yourself becoming anxious and agitated, that could be your body telling you something important. If you can give it up “cold turkey” with no problem, that’s important information too!

So no, don’t panic and freak out. Just recognize that your brain can get hooked by the many sources of “super” stimulation we have today, and it’s your job to make sure you are always in control.

Those who do not move do not notice their chains.

—Rosa Luxemburg

Alien Races Book – English