How about a Valentine’s day with a difference?

Yes, it’s that special time of the year again. Our cities and our towns are painted with the colour RED, the colour of LOVE. Love birds are drowning themselves in wine; red roses flowers are decorating our streets. All these acts of love only happen once a year, this month of February. It’s the month of love.

But first, have you marked on your calendar that Valentine’s Day is only a few days away? I know you probably are way too busy working hard, making extra money to take care of your loved ones, but the first step in ensuring such a day is a success to remember the day in the first place.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on the 14th of February. It’s a great day of reminding and rekindling the passion between you and your soul mate. Book a romantic hotel for your wife or who you love, buy a bottle of wine, cook his or her favorite meal. There is so much you could do for your loved one. But is it the only month or day of the year where we manifest love in all its forms including romance, passion, intimacy, joy, friendship, communion and ecstasy? Or can we express it at anytime of the year?

Love is a very strong power, what guides us humans! I know you may not yet have met someone who you are compatible with due to one reason or another. And you won’t be happy with all the roses littering our streets and couples holding hands in your city if you are all alone this Valentine’s.

But let me make it easy for you now! The first step in attracting that person you desire this is to cultivate self-love. You’ve got first to love yourself before you find that someone you have always wanted to be with.

Pretty couple kissing each other against a white background

What is self-love?

‘You and you deserve your love and affection more than anyone else in the universe!’

Personally, I have had problems with lack of self-love before. I have sorted the approval of others after struggling with feelings of guilt and failure in my life. I have felt shame and talked to my friends and family with little success. I didn’t feel I was worth of being loved at all. So how do you come out of this dark pit?

Self-love is a word that is often thrown around and misunderstood by many. It’s not about taking great care of yourself, buying yourself the latest Nikes or buying yourself that Chanel bag you have always wanted. It’s more than the usual material possessions that make us smile. Take part in actions that will ensure the psychological, physical and spiritual growth of yourself.

Lack of self-love often leads to many other self-sabotaging traits that may include either of the following

  • Hypersensitivity and defensiveness
  • Poor communication skills
  • Underachievement
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor social life due to poor social skills
  • Hyper vigilance defined as the constant fear of making mistakes
  • Chaotic and stressful relationships with your loved ones
  • Passive aggressiveness

Many of you who are looking forward to Valentine’s Day may be well aware of this concept called self-worth. We may accept the term and all that comes with it i.e. that we love ourselves, and hopefully, our family and acquaintances reinforce that. Things will be different out there because you know it’s a harsh world. You could encounter comparisons, judgments, and criticism.

Such negative thoughts will cloud your mind and make you believe you can’t love yourself. And once you don’t love yourself, you won’t be able to attract that person you have always wanted to be your valentine. Take it as a fact!

Being told you aren’t good enough, is detrimental as you will forget to trust yourself and rely on other people’s judgments and beliefs. If other people detest you and your ways, you will struggle to be that person who meets the needs and traits of the person who you seek. You will also not be able to meet the world’s approval, and you will end getting trapped in a negative bias.

With such kind of challenges, it’s no wonder so many persons suffer from a low self-esteem. To embrace a feeling of self-worth, we have to come up with various ideas for responding to bad input and negative criticism that often boxes us to the corner.

Image of woman holding heart symbol, shallow depth of field

So how to cultivate Self-Love?!

Learn to accept

You may not always like something about yourself, like your body size or your face, or you may not be the most interesting person in your circle. You might look at some of your family members or friends and wish you were like them, but unfortunately, there are some realities in life but you can always try to change some. The most important even if you are trying to do the best of yourself and go on a diet, be more intellectual or even do nothing about it. Just learn to accept the way you are and focus your energy on more positive and productive endeavors in your life and about yourself. That way you will be able to relax your mind and heart.

Learn healthy communication and social skills

This is the best way of finding that person who you’ve always wanted and, therefore, inspire love in your life. You should be able to communicate your fears and feelings in a healthy, non-confrontational and mature way. Such are critical in ensuring you cultivate self-love thus leading to improved relationships. Everyone on this planet is insecure in one way or another, instead of diminishing or hiding them, enhance your emotional insight so as you are more authentic to those whom you approach. 

What’s your passion?

What do you love doing, what is your hobby? Once you define what you like participating in, you will always find a reason for waking up in the morning. You will be eager and engaged in doing what you desire. You will be able to strengthen a confident self-perception by linking up your skills with what you are passionate about. No one will force you to be someone or something you aren’t because you will openly express what and who you love.

Forgive, forgive, and forgive

To love yourself and those close to you, you have first to forgive yourself, and then forgive others for hurting you. You forgive yourself the same way you forgive others, be it your friends or family. Offer it freely with kindness. Don’t beat yourself over a mistake you have done as it’s an exercise in futility. Offer your friends forgiveness even if they don’t seek it for one reason or the other. The ability to forgive yourself and others is a bold step in wholeness, self-respect, and self-worth.

So after attaining your self-love, how do you attract someone, in other words, how do you become a love magnet?

Where and how do you find it? What steps can you take to keep the fire burning once you find love? Why is it so hard for you to find love and your friend, colleague or cousin drowns in it every day? Those are some of the questions that may be running through your mind.

Allow natural love to flow from your heart to others.

  1. The first thing you should do is to let go of fear.

You should be confident by now, having gathered your self-worth. The natural state of us humans as stated above is love, and the opposite of it is distress, anxiety and fear. Once you feel anxious or anguish, build a wall, a fortress around yourself to protect you from all things related to anxiety, and negative comments. That ‘fortress’ may include dropping friends that may be bringing you down, or you could engage in other positive activities that will build your confidence such as taking part in team building activities with your colleagues or family members.

Action: Over this period, look for any issues in your life that are fear based. Take a piece of paper, indicating what you fear and how you can respond to your fears from a compassionate and positive point of view. Instead of fearing that homeless man that you always ignore at the subway, how about you buy him a sandwich or hand him a couple of dollars?

Train yourself to let go of fear by countering fear with acts of love.

  1. Love yourself first.

As I mentioned earlier, you should first and foremost think about yourself before you can love another person. What that statement means is you should accept your flaws as none of us is perfect. Instead of blaming yourself and others for mistakes committed in your life, why don’t you look at the positive side. Look at yourself and appreciate yourself and those close to you, reminding them of their good qualities.

Action: State down the positive traits of yourself as well as others. You look great, and you are beautiful inside and outside. Look at the positive side of everything, e.g., how you handle your colleagues or what you are great at. Once people critic you, or you critic yourself, pick up a positive response to it from the list you have written down.

Loving yourself will help you project your love towards other people, and that way true love can blossom between you and your soul mate.

  1. Forget about your past

Most of the people who I have spoken to, have told me that so many unpleasant things have happened in their past relationships, some of which have negatively affected their love life. You may not realize it, but every time something negative happens in your life, you register it in your subconscious. It, therefore, goes in the ‘sack’ of all unpleasant things that ever happened in your life and such things are a burden on your relationships.

Imagine having a 200-pound sack on your back? It will be tough to walk. Accumulated ‘unpleasant things’ in your head will be like a 200-pound sack on your back; it will be hard for you to move forward in life especially with regards to relationships.

Action: State all the terrible things from your past, and write them down on a piece of paper. Strike them out one by one, indicating letting go of all fear, anxiety and unpleasant things that may be weighing you down and then burn it. Let go of any anger and excessive need to control those who you love and care about.

Close-up image of smiling couple in love, concept of love and happiness

  1. Define your needs.

Having needs is part of human nature. We go to school, eat, sleep, work, or even marry because we have needs. In fact having needs will help you create a relationship. You and your partner will be more connected and feel better if both of your needs are voiced and accomplished. Even after stating such, most of us are uncomfortable asking the other party to meet our needs.

The irony is, we get into relationships to get some particular needs met.

Action: Think about your needs, write them down if you can. Then know the needs of your significant other, and those who are close to you. Go ahead, work hard and ensure all the stated needs are met!

  1. Do you know your relationship patterns?

If you aren’t attracting the right persons in your love life, most likely it’s not the first time. In such a case, you may be having relationship patterns that are a hindrance to you attracting the right people to your love life.

Action: Ask yourself if there is a way you behave that prevents you from causing love? What are your relationship patterns and what kind of people do you attract? Once you state your pattern, you will be able to define new ways of causing love between you and those who you crush on.

  1. Express your boundaries.

Boundaries are critical as they help you honor your wants, needs and protect you as well. Once you can choose to say yes or no to a request or demand from those who you love is when you know you have defined boundaries. Boundaries are important when you are well aware of your needs. Always ask those close to you to respect them. They will help you be more discerning, earn you self-respect and inspire others to treat you well.

Action: Keep in mind the boundaries that people should know, and make them aware of them in a subtle, polite manner. Be kind and open to your partner.

  1. What do you want?

What do you want from your relationship or your partner? Clearly and concisely state your wants. Ensure you don’t go overboard and give unrealistic and out of this world expectations. Be modest and avoid setting very low expectations. Avoid sabotaging your love life by engaging in negative behaviors, and instead, take action to create what you want.

Action: Model your love life after those relationships you value the most.

Be your own valentine

As you might already noticed, the month of February is often full of expectations, talks of love and people exchanging all kinds of gifts. Some can’t wait for it to come while some want it to pass as soon as it comes because they haven’t found someone to share the love with. Those who are single dread the day because there’s too much pressure from their friends and family who have a plus one to celebrate with.

I have highlighted a couple of ways in which you could cultivate self-love, and after that attract that one person you want to spend the 14th of February with. To be sincere, you may need to be patient to find love. It depends on the kind of a person you really want, your needs and desires. What if you don’t find that one guy or lady that you want to be with? How do you get to enjoy and have fun this month?

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy this month. I agree that having someone else in the picture is important as it will bring you happiness and joy. However, you don’t have to have someone so as to have the best Valentine’s Day ever in your life. You could view it positively and even name it ‘Self-love Month’ instead of Valentine’s Day. And another important point to note is you don’t have to wait till February to celebrate ‘Self-love Month’. How about we do it differently this year and celebrate it every single day of our lives. Being your own Valentine is one of the best ways of living a positive life.

So what steps could you take in being your own Valentine, not only this month but also every other single day of the year?

  1. Indulge yourself in a treat

I know you have probably seen lots of offers from various shopping establishments, salons, bars or even spas. Why don’t take a day off, go for a spa day or buy yourself a box of chocolates and get to remind yourself that you are worthy of such indulgence? Indulge in a treat, have an hour relaxing or reading a good book. You deserve it!

Treats and gifts are the first languages of love. Do something good for yourself. It’s not a crime to send yourself dozens of roses!

  1. Keep in mind how awesome you are!

Don’t wait for friends to tell you how beautiful, handsome, talented you are, or that you have a great smile. I know you feel great when other people compliment you. But compliments are even better once you praise yourself. We are often quick to blame ourselves when we do wrong, but once we do right, we never remember to pat ourselves on the back. I am all about self-improvement, and giving myself a compliment every day of my life.

Doing so has helped me live a happy and optimistic life.

  1. How about you challenge yourself this Valentine’s period?

Take a paper and note down your goals. What do you intend to achieve this year or this month of February? Start a project and challenge yourself to learn a new skill in the coming days or months. How about you take a day off, and learn a new recipe. Get empowered by the unlimited possibilities that are before you and take your life by the reins. Learning is a recommended way of invigorating yourself and getting to have fun this Valentine’s month.

  1. Eat healthy

Indulge in activities that will add value to your life. You could slow down on the alcohol and instead have more fresh juices instead. Eat healthy foods as such kind of foods are the key to supporting a healthy life. According to Anahata Chakra, the fourth main chakra of Buddhist Tantric, Hindu Yogic, and Shakta Traditions, there are certain foods key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. They include vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Eat more vegetables, and exercise during this month.

Fresh farmer strawberries on dark wood texture in shape of heart

  1. Reflect on your life and relax.

You could relax through a number of ways e.g. by enrolling in a yoga class. Engage in heart-opening postures under the Anahata teachings such as the Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, and Heart Melting Pose. These exercises will help increase blood flow in the veins, hence increase your flexibility and strength.

Delight and smile that you have nothing special going down on the 14th. You could catch some early sleep. Once you relax on your bed after a long day, reflect on the positives that life has to offer e.g. a simple thing like the fact that you are healthy.

And as I mentioned all above, you don’t need a date to have an unforgettable Valentines experience on February 14th. Stop frowning and live life to the fullest. In fact, this should be your happiest month of the year. Be happy, progress, and the most important thing, CULTIVATE SELF-LOVE this February.

And just live every day of your life like a Valentine and spread the love vibes out, they will come back to you more and bigger then you can imagine.

With LOVE,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

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Amazing Reasons to Run Your First Marathon

Marathons have been with humanity since the days of the days of the Greece Empire. A marathon is a long race where people compete for honours and fame. Today there are different categories of marathon runners: those who compete for money, presents and records, people who compete for fun and those who do it to accomplish a dream. Whatever your motivation, it is time you ran you first marathon and I will tell you why. Before that you need to know that there are mainly two type of marathon – the full marathon which is 42 km long and the half marathon that is 21km long. However, there are other fun marathons that you can participate in including the 10km, 5km and children’s races of varying lengths. Most major cities have a marathon that take place annually. In the UK, the London Marathon is regarded as one of the major races in the world, attracting thousands of runners including elite athletes from around the globe. The US also hosts many marathons with Boston and New York being the most famous.

OMSK, RUSSIA - MAY 24 : Marathon runners compete at the Spring Half Marathon 2015 in Omsk, Russia, May 24, 2015. Marathon athletes running on street

Training for the marathon

When you decide to take place in a marathon, you need to start preparing early enough. The best favour you can do yourself is to have a group of people to train with. Develop a training plan. Remember you must practice running for the same distance that you intend to run in the real marathon.

Make sure you also train adequately. You cannot begin training one week to the marathon because you will not be ready on the material day. Another important consideration is to invest in the best running shoes as you will need to be comfortable during the race. There is nothing as boring as training for marathon alone. Get some company and you will enjoy your training.

Remember to drink a lot of water because this is the fuel that will keep you going. Energy drinks are also good to use as long as they do not contain a lot of sugar. More importantly, eat a balanced diet, preferably wholesome food, but moderation. Carbohydrates are very important because they give you the energy you need to train for the race.

  1. For the sheer fun of it

There is a lot of fun involved in running a marathon particularly when you do it in a group. There is a lot to see and share with your fellow competitors in the course of the marathon. Fun moments as people struggle to finish the race will make the experience even more exciting. What more? There is nothing that defeats the joy of reaching the finishing line even if it is five hours after the winner.

Young girl crosses finish line

 

  1. To get motivation to accomplish other tasks

Running a marathon enables you to think, live and accomplish a dream. Within the few hours you will be running, you will acquire the discipline needed to set, prepare for and attain other goals in life.

  1. To lose weight

There is no way you will prepare adequately for a marathon and finish it yet fail to shed some weight. Preparing for a marathon requires you to run a lot and in the process you will burn calories.

  1. Health benefits abound

Running will make your blood run as it should because your heart will be strengthened and oxygen will reign free. Expect your risk of heart diseases to be lowered significantly and your blood pressure to normalize. Cholesterol takes a flight when you run a marathon, while your immunity will get a boost.

  1. You will make friends

Normally, major marathons bring together people from all walks of life. Here you will find amateur and professional runners from all continents and you will make lasting friendships with them.

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  1. To contribute to charity

Many people who participate in marathon do so because they are out to help a certain cause of kindness. You could help to build a school or a hospital in a developing country. With the number of disasters and prevailing poverty in the world, this is a great reason o participate in a marathon.

  1. How about being the special one?

How many people in your family or neighbourhood have ever finished a marathon? You will be in a special class. You will have a story to tell people and your story will be retold and inspire other people to take the challenge.

  1. To take part in a historic event

Marathons are important events in the calendars of important cities. Taking part in marathon means you will be listed as having participated in a great event. You will have important memories to deliver to your children and grandchildren.

Determine to run a marathon this year. It may look daunting for now but you will never regret once you reach the end of the race. If you have been craving an accomplishment that will rank high in your lifetime goals, look no further than running a marathon. Remember you don’t have to run the full marathon at the first attempt. You can start with 5km or 10km and later graduate to the half-marathon before taking on the mother of all races – the full Marathon.

 

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX

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Help Save the Planet – Change Your Food Shopping Habits

The world is reeling under the weight of environmental degradation. Humankind is busy destroying its resources with little regard as to how future generations will live or survive. Governments and organisations are some of the main culprits in this regard thus explaining their slow and half-hearted reactions. It is time that each one of us took the task of saving the planet personally.

Different Ways; Same Objective

There are different ways to play your role in making the planet a better place to live in. Among the most popular is to be vegan or to eat only organic food. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you curtail emission of greenhouse gasses and the use of chemicals in growing food.

Of course you have many other reasons to want to be vegan or to eat organic food. Most of the food in our market is grown using chemicals that are known to contribute to high risk of cancer and other diseases. Genetically Modified Food (GMO) is also said to be responsible for some diseases. Add this to the use of antibiotics and artificial hormones and you will have second thoughts before buying and eating conventionally-grown food.

On veganism, it is important to realise that human beings contract some diseases from domestic animals. These animals are kept in congested conditions where they are fattened for slaughter using chemicals and modified animal feeds. The normal process through which an animal must go before it matures is shortened so that you get meat and milk on your table. If we all chose to be vegan, there would be no need to rear animals in such unhealthy environments or even to eat them.

How The World Can Be Saved

The most important issue, though, for this article is that we are able to save and protect the earth through the food choices we make. Suppose all of us chose to eat organic food, there would be many benefits. It would be a decision that would revolutionise the world, help to conserve the environment and save the world billions of dollars that we are using to treat diseases associated with chemicals in food.

To begin with, if we stopped growing and eating organic food, there would be fewer toxins in our soils and the air. Normally, most of the chemicals used in farming remain in the air, water and soil for very long durations and continues to poison the environment. When people eat these foods, they are likely to get sick often gradually.

In addition, if we decided to grow food organically, the fields on which this food is grown would absorb most of the carbon in the environment. Is it estimated that one acre of an organic field can absorb the amount of carbon that is emitted by about 11, 000 cars every year. In essence, we would be reversing the negative effects of excess carbon in the air.

Animals that are grown the normal way emit less carbon than those that are grown for meat in secluded and congested places. We have interfered with nature and this is causing us many problems. When animals graze in the open and eat the grass and other plants they are meant to, the carbon and other gasses they emit are in tandem with natural flows of carbon in the air.

Female Customer Shopping At Farmers Market Stall

Another reason to support the assertion that going organic would save the earth from further destruction is the fact that non-organic farming also requires the use of other techniques for packaging which increases the waste burden of the planet. Normally organic companies ensure they have sustainable ways of packaging their products so that only few greenhouse gases are emitted.

Organic farming is in tandem with nature because it replenishes nutrients in the soil. Organic strategies also protect plants from pests and diseases in a manner that does not interfere with the ecosystem. What most of us don’t know is that some of the pests we consider harmful and kill with pesticides are important to the environment and should not be killed.

Greater Awareness and Activism

The good news is that people are becoming sensitive about the environment and are making demands related to the type of foodstuff they want to purchase. It is not just about nutritional value of food but how that food is grown. People want to eat food that is grown in a healthy manner. In turn, supermarkets and governments are conducting research and surveys among consumers to know what type of foods the latter do not want to find on shelves.

It is sad that human beings have resorted to destroying the very environment they live in. For example, our flesh-eating habits are depleting fish and other creatures in the ocean. The wastes from the animals we keep for meet are polluting the air and making the earth hotter by the day.

By choosing to be vegan or to eat organic food only, you may not seem to be doing much, but if all of us played our little roles effectively, we would save the earth.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Water under the Bridge – How to Forgive

One of the best ways to start the New Year is to let go off the past and begin on a new slate. I have in mind forgiving those who have hurt you and allowing positive feelings and thoughts to imbue you. But how easy is it to forgive? Is it even important to forgive in the first place?

Not an easy task!

Forgiving people who have hurt you, especially those who do it deliberately, is not the easiest of tasks. We are not talking about telling that person it is ok, then remaining with hurt feelings for days to come. Forgiveness is about letting out those feelings of hatred, anger and bitterness towards someone who has hurt you.

Forgiveness is not easy…

Forgiveness is more about you than it is about the person who has hurt you although some of them are hard to forgive. Think about this close friend who knows almost all your secrets and who broadcasts your dirty linen to the public.How do you forgive betrayal from a person who is not even willing to acknowledge they are wrong or that they need forgiveness? Your close friends are urging you to forgive that boyfriend who betrayed you with a close ally but now wants to come back. However, the person in the wrong has not even made an effort to ask you to forgive him.Forgiving is also not easy because sometimes the pain is too hard to bear. This is especially when the person who needs forgiveness appears to have had the motive to hurt you. It is no wonder that there are family members who can never see eye to eye. Some cannot sit in the same room or even share a table. I know some people who will get aggressive and prepare to fight when they meet their perceived enemies. Feelings of bitterness and grudges are bottled for many years waiting for the opportune time to explode. There are family conflicts that run so deep that generations of offspring who were never alive when the triggering events occurred can even kill their ‘enemies’.

But is it beneficial to hold grudges and refuse to forgive?

Earlier on we had observed that forgiveness is more about you that about the person who has hurt you. There is a saying to the effect that keeping a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. In other words, failing to forgive a person hurts you more than the other person. It is ironical that the other person may not even be asking for forgiveness and has a light heart at a time when you are carrying an emotional burden in your heart. Yes, your self-mage and self-esteem were hurt by the actions of another person, but by holding on to feelings of bitterness, you hurt yourself more.

The woman in a white sundress on seacoast with open hands. A picturesque landscape

In essence, whether the other person comes to you asking to be forgiven or they simply pretend they never did anything wrong to you, you owe it to yourself to expel the hurt feelings from your heart and begin on a new slate. That burden that is weighing so heavily upon you cannot wait until a remorseful person comes to ask for pardon.I know you think that by stopping to talk to this person you are retaliating. Yes it is true that there is a form of relief from saying that hurtful word or hitting back in a way towards that evil person. However, when all is said and done, it is you who will be hurt whenever you meet this person or even hear people talking about him or her.

Health benefits of forgiving

And there is scientific evidence to back these assertions. According to the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, those who take time to forgive others enjoy better health including lower blood pressure, reduced levels of depression, less stress and a strong immune system. Forgiveness if kindness towards your soul, mind and body and giving yourself an opportunity to live wholesomely,

You also need forgiveness

Let us elevate this discussion. Are you also in need of forgiveness at one time or another? Unless you are not human, you can never avoid hurting people, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Honestly, how do you feel when you have hurt a person, and when you ask for forgiveness, the aggrieved person withholds it? Forgiveness is about empathy – walking the path of the other person and living their experiences. The golden rule urges us to do to others what we would want them to do to us.

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Its normal to be hurt; it should be normal to forgive

To sum up, remember you cannot avoid being hurt by the people around you. While you should try to minimize it by being more empathetic and civil, do not hold on to hurt feelings because it is you they will destroy – not the other person. You have a choice to make; do it wisely. This New Year, determine to forgive the hurts of 2015 and begin on a new grudge-free and healthy slate.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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The Ultimate New Year’s Cleanse!

Every New Year is an opportunity for you to start life anew. People make resolutions to transform their lives positively. Sometimes I wonder why these resolutions do not include eating and dieting. Considering the many health problems in our society, it is time you made the wise decision to cleanse your body in 2016.

Not An Expensive Exercise

Detoxing your body should be high up on your list of the things you must do this year. I need to state from the onset that cleansing your body does not have to be expensive. In fact, if you use food as your primary cleanser, you need to incur any extra costs on top of your grocery expenditure.

Why Should You Detox?

It is also important to remember that the beginning of the year is a very important time to detox because of the effects of the festivities on your body. Think of the damage you will have caused your body through uncontrolled eating, poor eating habits and consuming of unhealthy foods, and you will appreciate the need to give your internal organs a healthful bath.

Digital Bathroom Scale Displaying OMG Message

 

Here are practical ideas you may want to implement this year to ensure your body is clean and healthy at all times.

  1. Water. Water

I cannot emphasise this more. You need to take as much water as possible every day, the recommended minimum is eight glasses every day, but that does not stop you from taking more. Moreover, while ‘water’ here is taken to mean fluids, please take pure / distilled water as much as you can. Remember this is the fluid that is crucial in almost all body processed including carrying nutrients to the cells. Toxins will be flushed out and your brain will function more effectively when you take water regularly and generously.

 

  1. Eat a lot of Fruits and Vegetables

The toxins in your body are mostly as a result of eating unwholesome food. One way of flushing them out is to eat fruits and vegetables in large amounts. Remember fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and other disease-fighting elements. They also have fibre which provides roughage and aids digestion. Research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables lose weight faster than those who don’t. I am sure you know that excess weight is an indicator that your body has toxins that need to be expelled.

Delicious and healthy breakfast with fruits, berries and cereal, horizontal

  1. Replace caffeinated beverages with apples

What do you take for breakfast? Many of us cannot imagine breakfast without tea or coffee. It is customary and we think it is mandatory. But what do these beverages contain? They have caffeine and other stimulants that continue to detoxify the body every time we take them, yet we ignore that fact. I suggest you take apples instead. They have pure and long lasting energy for the day ahead. They also keep hunger pangs away for long, which means you are unlikely to overeat during the day. Are we not in the middle of an obesity epidemic? Apples will also give you vitamin B12 which is vital for your health. I suggest you also pack your breakfast with soy milk, yoghurt and eggs while minimising coffee and tea intake.

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

  1. Eat adequate amounts of protein

Many of us neglect proteins and instead eat a lot of carbs which in turn leads to unhealthy weight gain. To ensure your body is clean, you need to eat fish, eggs, beef, mutton, pork, poultry meat, milk and other forms of protein. Proteins are also found abundantly in legumes like beans and pulses. The good thing with proteins is that they help to build body cells, tissues and muscles. Considering the natural wear and tear of these important body elements, proteins are very important as part of your diet. However, ensure you eat the prescribed 45g a day and opt for white instead of red meat.

  1. Be temperate in eating

Eating is good but it must be controlled if the body is to be detoxified. Some of the people who are obese did not get into their current conditions because they did not eat the right food. Their mistakes was to consume more than what they needed. The body is burdened and poisoned when we eat in excess of our needs. The excess food is store in form of body fat but this is done after the digestive system has been given surplus work to do. Eat smaller portions more often, chew slowly and allow the body time to digest before you take another meal.

  1. Shun sedentary lifestyle

The food you eat cannot be digested and assimilated effectively simply because you chewed it well. You will greatly aid your digestion and detoxification processes by exercising in one way or another after eating. Take a walk or hit the gym occasionally. Engage in household chores so as to move your body. This will quicken digestion and give your body time to rest and make use of the food you have eaten.

Change your diet and eating habits to make sure you have a Happy, toxin-free and healthy 2016!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru xxx

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How to Make Your Resolutions A Reality

Positive thinking and the law of attraction have continued to mesmerise people over the years. In particular, the idea that by visualising something and holding that image in the mind can actually bring that object to a person is popular among people. But does it always work like that? What lessons can we learn from visualisation to help us realise our New Year resolutions?

Some people cannot tell the boundary between fantasising and visualising. You can create fantasies in your mind about a car you want to purchase and believe that simply by dreaming about it, it will be actualised. This is what most naïve practitioners of positive thinking believe. Most of what people call the law of attraction is actually lopsided and unable to yield results, unless by coincidence.

Earn Your Results

One of the tenets of life that many people ignore is the fact that results must be earned even when visualisation is part of the equation. According to research, you stand to gain if you focus on the real steps that you will take to achieve your dream instead of fantasising about the dream itself. You are better off thinking and planning the process of achievement instead of wasting time on the potential outcome.

It is human to try and avoid the long and practical route. We want the shortcut and that is why we believe that fantasy will yield fruits without exerting any efforts. Your mind normally believes in the images you create for it. It is possible to create an image of success and convince the mind that it has already been achieved, thus negating any need for real effort.

First – Visualise Your Action

That is like putting the cart before the horse. To do things the right way would be to visualise the efforts first before the outcome. The moment you base you aspirations on a solid foundation of action, you are on the path to success. In essence, you cannot simply set New Year resolutions and wait for time and chance to make them happen simply because you have ingrained the image of your expected outcome deeply in your mind. The moment you glorify dreams at the expense of pertinent action, you lose the way to success.

Your New Year resolutions are good but you must chart the path to them. While your destination is known to you, it is impossible to get there unless you know the way and actually travel on it. You will do yourself a great favour if you identify the way and start visualising how you will cover every step. Before you realise it, you will have covered every mile and arrived where you always wanted to be.

See yourself going through the steps to your resolutions instead of fantasising and feeling excited that you have arrived even before starting your journey. It is not naturally for fruits to grow where the roots are or vice versa. Everything has its place in the scheme of things. Nature does not change its processes and principles to favour you. You must plan based on the infallible laws of nature.

Second – Take Action 

Now that we are clear that you must focus on the actions you will take towards achieving your New Year resolutions, begin to realistically act on your plan. The first point would be to fight doubt. Doubt is the water that douses the flame that is your dreams. It is rare for a person to have a dream without some lingering thoughts of self-doubt in the background. The difference between successful people and those who don’t make it is that the former decide to stifle self-defeating thoughts.

The next important action you must take is to work on your positives and affirm your positive conduct. This New Year, you need to work on eradicating your negative thoughts while at the same time adopting positive behaviour. Think about your strengths and focus on making them even better and surpassing what you have already done. For example, waking up early to exercise will lead you gradually to your fitness goals instead of fantasising over the ideal image.

Another crucial step towards your dream is to stop procrastinating. Granted, there will always be a tomorrow to accomplish your goals if you are too tired and have enough excuses not to do anything today. However, that tomorrow may be next month or next year and you will not have realised your objectives. Procrastination is one of the greatest thieves of time or so we are told. Don’t fall into the temptation of having excuses for what you should be doing now.

To complement these efforts, exercise mindfulness as you plan for the New Year. Concentrate on one action at a time. Mindfulness teaches us to focus instead of multitasking. Give each action towards your resolution the time and effort it requires before moving to the next one. Only then will you realise your plans for the New Year.

Happy New Year! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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The Perfect Bedtime Drinks To Send You Into A Peaceful Sleep

After a long day making a living, nothing brings more relief than to finally slip between the sheets and enjoy a restful sleep. However, for many people, sleep does not come easily for a number of reasons. More importantly, people have devised healthy ways of ensuring they get adequate and quality sleep whatever the day might have brought their way.

One of the best ways to make sure you enjoy your night’s rest is to drink herbal tea! Due to its amazing benefits to the body, herbal tea is loved all over the world. But do not imagine there is only one type of this product. Thanks to tradition and developments in the kitchen and medical field, there are many varieties of herbal teas each with unique benefits. A look at a number of them will reveal exactly why you need to start taking herbal teas today.

Importance Of Herbal Teas

Before then, let us understand a few things on the importance of these teas. Herbal teas help you to sleep because they contain nutritional elements and less caffeine. Compare this with common teas which contain caffeine and you will realise why herbal teas are the best choice of beverage before going to sleep. Caffeine generally keeps sleep away from the body and that is not what you want before you go to bed.

Many of these teas also have a soothing effect on the tummy. Normally, when your tummy is rumbling and complaining about something you ate during the day, you cannot afford to close your eyes. A number of herbal teas help to control flatulence and bloating which are common stomach problems. In essence, when you drink herbal teas before going to bed, the gas in your stomach is neutralised and sleep becomes your friend.

Another major problem that many of us have is heartburn. You know that obnoxious feeling when your chest feels like it is in hell. How many of us can sleep when having heartburn? How many common beverages or teas can take care of this problem? Your guess is as good as mine. By dealing with acid-reflux, herbal teas help you to deal with heartburn thus allowing you to have a restful night.

Now this is for pregnant women – some of the most delicate people we have in society. Nausea and morning sickness are common and you need to find a way to overcome them if only to have a normal day when you wake up. Your unborn child is also safe when you take herbal teas before your sleep. You may not be pregnant but you have a relative that may need herbal teas to ease her morning sickness.

Not all herbal teas perform the same role. Some of them may have elements that may not augur well with you. Consequently, read the labels carefully before your purchase herbal teas to determine whether the products will help you. For those who prepare the herbs directly, please read about the particular herbal tea to know if it contains any negative effects.

Our Recommended Herbal Teas:

  1. Peppermint

This is a popular herbal tea especially because it gives energy to the body and relieves stomach upsets. In case you had a busy day eating and drinking all sorts of foods, your tummy may give you trouble and this is the kind of herbal tea that will give you relief before you sleep.

  1. Chamomile

This is the most renowned of herbal teas all over the world. Many people prefer to dry out the flowers, prepare the powder and use it directly. You may also purchase it from a shop where it may be combined with other herbal teas.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is also a very important bedtime tea variety. It is a common plant that you can find in most places. However, there are also lavender herbal teas that you can purchase and use before you go to sleep. More importantly, lavender helps you to relax and deal with stress.

  1. Valerian

Research has confirmed that valerian has sedative properties. Our ancestors may not have had the benefit of research but they knew instinctively and through experience that valerian would help to deal with anxiety and help people to sleep.

  1. Lemon Balm

There are many people who also prefer lemon balm as a bedtime tea. Those who love this product say it helps them to relax thus inducing restful sleep. You may opt to buy the processed type or make your own from the leaves of this important plant.

  1. St John’s Wort

This plant with yellow flowers may be your solutions for lack of sleep. Research shows that St John’s Wort reduces anxiety and is also an anti-depressant. With so many people experiencing depression, this plant will boost sleep by dealing with anxiety.

Now you know it. Don’t suffer from lack of sleep or use pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects. Choose herbal teas and sleep soundly and healthfully daily.

Which is your favourite herbal tea? Any tricks or secret flavour combinations? Share with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Get a Head Start This January – How to be on Top of Your Game

The festive season has just begun but before you know it, it will suddenly disappear just as it had come. The New Year is crucial because it signifies yet another opportunity for you to set new goals and targets. One of the most famous traditions of the New Year is to have a set of resolutions. However, most of us these resolutions are not pursued beyond the second or third months.

How To Stick To Your Resolutions

New Year resolutions are meant to help you to abandon old detrimental and unrewarding habits and adopt new ones that will make you a more productive individual. One reason we don’t achieve what we plan to do in the New Year is lack of focus. We fail to concentrate on the goals we set. That is why most of our plans are stillborn.

However, there is a strategy you can use to make sure you see your resolutions through. I know you might be like many who decided to be realistic and stopped making plans for the New Year. After breaking their resolutions year after year (most of them before the end of February) they chose to live without resolutions. This is like throwing out the baby and with the bath water. That is why you need to understand and practice a strategy that will ensure you are on top of your game in the New Year.

Mindfulness Is The Solution

Mindfulness is the state of being aware of what is happening within you and your environment without being judgemental. A person who is mindful accepts what is happening around him or her and does not label events and experiences as being right or wrong. Mindfulness requires that you live in the here and now without trying to stifle the past or obsess with the future.

When you become mindful, you concentrate in what you are doing at the moment. Nothing else matters. Focusing on the event you are undertaking is the secret to accomplishing much more than other people do. I know you have listened to people waxing lyrical about multitasking and how this habit can help you accomplish more in a minimal time. What these people don’t tell you is that in actual sense, you accomplish less and do not exhaust your abilities when you perform many tasks at the same time.

As observed earlier, lack of focus is the reason many of us fail to accomplish whatever it is we set out to do. Studies have shown that the ability to focus has a powerful bearing on how well we control our emotions and our ability to meet long-term goals. It does not matter what profession you are in; as long as you cannot focus on one task at a time, you will not achieve the exact results you wanted. Worse still, you are likely not to achieve anything.

You normally set New Year resolutions with the belief that you are going to achieve them. I have never heard of someone who decides they will become worse people in the New Year. We all dream of becoming better students, parents, employees, employers, leaders, managers and so on. Why then do some people become what they planned to while others remain stagnant in their unwanted circumstances and behaviours yet all of them set positive and virtuous New Year resolutions?

The Answer…

Let us review some scientific findings. Did you know that a child who controls his or her impulses and attention is less likely to be a criminal or to become a drug addict compared to those who don’t have control over their feelings and actions? The same children are likely to have happier marriages. Did you also know that having the ability to focus is a better measure of academic success than IQ? Irrespective of how academically gifted you are, if you cannot concentrate, you are going to fail in whatever you are doing.

One way of practicing mindfulness is to meditate. Meditation is an ancient practice that teaches one how to relax and focus on feelings and sensations in the body. Meditation provides one with an opportunity to reflect on positive issues and to be thankful for what they have. If you can focus on your breath, for example, for about twenty minutes without shifting your thoughts to other issues, then you are mindful.

In the same way, if you meditate on your resolutions daily and determine to approach them one by one, you will achieve them. Whatever you focus your mind on becomes easy to achieve. You will be on top of your game as you begin the New Year if you learn to practice meditation mindfulness. You will be surprised at how effortlessly you will achieve your New Year resolutions when you begin to focus and concentrate on one task at a time.

What are you new year’s resolutions? What is your plan to stick to them? We would love to hear: you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

Enjoy the last couple of days of 2015! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Beat That Dreaded Bulge – A Quick and Simple Detox After a Period of Indulgence

Christmas is a time of indulgence – good and bad alike. The festive season provides an opportunity for us to unwind after a long busy year. At the end this season, many of us will be exhausted. Hangovers, lethargy, illnesses and irritability will be common as we try to deal with the aftermath of our drinking sprees and binge eating.

Before you think you are being judged for your excessive behaviour, remember you are not alone. All of us indulge over Christmas and New Year, it’s one of the best parts of the holidays! There are numerous visits to other people as we also receive visitors. In between, there is the temptation to eat and drink beyond normal to please our hosts or guests.

The only problem is that you will be left to deal with the repercussions. When all the niceties have been said, the music has died down and everyone has returned to their day to day lives, you will be left to argue with the weighing scale that dreaded bulge (erghhhh).

Most of the regrets actually emanate from poor planning of the holiday season and a carefree attitude. It is like a dog that has been unleashed and given a few hours to indulge in its most-craved activities before being tied up again.

The following are our quick and effective methods that you can use to detox your body after indulging in binge eating and excessive drinking:

1. Go Water Crazy

Your body is predominantly made up of water. Water is life and without it your body cannot function (especially on a hangover where you are more than likely to be extremely hungover and have a lot of salt in your system from that guilty pizza, kebab or burger at 3am). Water is also a cleansing agent, working with the kidneys and the skin. After mistreating your system during festivities, you will do well to cleanse your blood by drinking a lot of water.

Mixing warm water with lemon is also known to remove any toxins from the night before. Similarly, peppermint tea and green tea can be extremely helpful with relieving symptoms of bloating, constipation and other digestion problems. They can also act as a temporary fix to speed up a process of loosing any weight you may have gained from having one too many minced pies. (Yay for herbal tea!)

2. Squeeze In A Workout

It is ironic how we throw caution to the wind when the festive season arrives. People who used to flock fitness centres all of a sudden take a break. The few exercises you used to do at home evaporate from your mind and schedule. You sleep late and wake up when the sun is up. By the time you celebrate the New Year, you have added kilos.

Hard as it may sound, hitting the gym just once will help so much. Not only will you feel better within yourself, you will also jump kick the return of the fitness bug ready for the new year!! Even if you take a short jog round a local park, or along a river, throw yourself ahead of the game and in front of everyone else (don’t deny those mini competitions that will arise with your friends come January).

3. Ditch Carbs

Now that you want to detox your body it is important to remember where it all began. It all started with uncontrolled eating and drinking. Similarly, your path back to the ideal weight and healthy body is through diet. You must start watching what you are eating. More importantly, eat foods that help you to clear the bad stuff you have eaten over the previous weeks.

To begin with, don’t bloody skip breakfast! I don’t know what time you will have to wake up, but irrespective of your busy work schedule, make sure you enjoy a heart and healthy morning meal. The food items on your breakfast table should be well-balanced. High levels of fibre and protein are key.

Secondly, ditch the heavenly carbs. Oh yeah we’re talking pasta, pizza, rice, bread – the whole team. Feeling lazy and craving a Big Mac, or Fish and Chips? Hell no, you can forget about that. Ditch all processed foods, put the phone down what do you think you’re doing ordering Dominos Pizza or that lamb curry? We’ve just had Christmas! The time for guilt-free indulging is over! You will without doubt begin to feel the difference if you stop eating carbs and processed foods even after a couple of weeks!

Lastly, You cannot detox your body if you don’t watch the portions you are eating. Your lunch should not be as heavy as your breakfast. Actually, the best way to ensure you don’t overeat during lunch is to eat well in the morning. Keep your lunch to leafy greens and some protein, mix with some delicious salad recipes and dressings so that it encourages you to keep eating healthy.

4. Get Your Zzz’s

In addition to water, exercise and diet, give your body adequate rest. Part of the reason you have gained weight over Christmas is lack of sleep. Eat a light dinner some two or three hours before sleep. Got to bed early and give your body ample rest. Your mind needs detox just as the body. Make sure your house is well-ventilated, and surround yourself with your favourite music. Practice positive thinking especially as you face the challenges of January. If you are religious, revive your spiritual life.

Practice this and you will recover quickly and effectively from any excess weight and psychological complications of the holiday season and face the New Year confidently.

If you have any special tips that work for you, we would love to hear about them! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

 

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