Mirrors are both a necessity as well as a convenience. All of us use mirrors both within the home as well as outside of it.
Mirrors stand as a symbol of reflection – both physical and spiritual. Our thoughts, words and actions are a mirror of our feelings. A mirror is nothing but a metaphor, a reflection into our own selves.
To solve any crisis in life, we need to determine the cause of the problem. Only when we see these problems can be work towards fixing them. Now, given that mirrors are a reflection of our lives, they can help us see problems and fix them. For example, only when we look at our reflection in the mirror can we say whether we’re having a bad hair day or not!
Mirrors and Feng Shui
Mirrors have been used since ancient times across many different cultures. However, the ancient Chinese laws of Feng Shui give particular importance to mirrors and their placement.
According to Feng Shui, a mirror is a representation of water. Since chi energy can be pooled or collected with water, it can be done so with a mirror as well. This makes mirrors an extremely powerful tool – they double everything including chi energy.
All Feng Shui experts and practitioners know the power of mirrors. Mirrors are often referred to as Feng Shui’s aspirin. They can magnify, energise and alter a space dramatically. If placed properly, mirrors can even cure any space that is awkwardly shaped and lacks chi energy.
But it isn’t a mirror that is inherently auspicious. Rather, the placement of a mirror is what makes it auspicious or inauspicious. Feng Shui states that mirror placement within a home affects health, wealth and happiness. Proper mirror placement can boost and enhance chi energy around a home. This in turn can bring abundance and luck. On the other hand, an improperly placed mirror does just the opposite. Improperly placed mirrors deflect chi energy away from a home and can also cause a lot of harm. What a mirror reflects defines whether it’s placement is auspicious or inauspicious.
As I mentioned earlier – mirrors double up whatever lies in front of them. So, mirrors can attract both positive and negative energy with the same influence and efficiency. Hence, Feng Shui gives a lot of importance to mirror placement.
If you’re a Feng Shui practitioner, you must understand where and how to place mirrors within your home. While many Feng Shui practitioners may tell you to use Pa Kua (bagua) mirrors, this is debatable. Experts state that any mirror works as well as Pa Kua mirrors, so there’s really no point hoarding special mirrors. You can go with rectangular or square shaped mirrors as they can easily be found and they work just as well. Unless advised by an expert, avoid irregularly shaped mirrors.
I’m sure you’re wondering about the specifics of how to place mirrors properly in your home. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the Do’s and Don’ts of mirror placement according to Feng Shui. Make sure to follow them all!
Do’s Of Placing Mirrors
When it comes to proper mirror placement, there are many rules that Feng Shui practitioners abide by. While some of these rules seem strange, many of them are incredibly practical. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 of the Do’s of mirror placement, which also offer practical benefits.
- Use whole mirrors
Whole mirrors are large sized mirrors that allow you to see yourself in one piece. It is important to use whole mirrors because they give you a feeling of completeness whenever you look into them. This feeling of completeness allows you to affirm yourself and your goodness.
- Use mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature
By using mirrors to reflect the beauty of nature, you will enhance the chi energy indoors. There is a lot of healthy chi energy outdoors – in gardens, trees, blue skies and clouds. By reflecting these in your mirror, you will allow this healthy chi energy to flow within your home.
- Use mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces
Inside a home, the living area is a symbol of prosperity while the dining area is a symbol of wealth. By using mirrors to reflect your living and dining spaces, you can magnify the wealth, abundance and prosperity in your life.
- Use mirrors to add light and movement
Every home has some dark areas where there is not enough light, for instance a long hallway. By using mirrors in such dark areas, you can circulate light and facilitate movement. In turn, this will also help chi energy circulate throughout your home.
- Use mirrors to cover problems
Many rooms with awkward shapes can be remedied with the help of mirrors. For instance, if you have a square pillar in a room, you can mirror all four sides of the pillar. This essentially makes the awkward pillar disappear from view. Mirrors can be used to cover other similar structural defects, such as a cut within your home.
- Keep your mirrors clean
Always ensure to keep your mirrors clean. A cloudy mirror will reflect cloudy images. This has a detrimental effect on you as you will associate a cloudy mind whenever you see your reflection.
- Use mirrors to reflect wealth
Many Feng Shui practitioners place mirrors to reflect jewellery and cash lockers. This reflects positive chi energy and can help bring more prosperity and wealth into your life.
- Use mirrors near entryways
Placing mirrors near entryways can bring about a great positive effect in your life. Mirrors near the entrance of a home activate the water element and allow better flow of chi energy into your home. You’ll also see a positive glimpse of yourself whenever you leave home.
- Use mirrors to broaden space
If any area of your home is narrow, then you can use mirrors to visually broaden the space. While this certainly improves aesthetics, it also facilitates easier flow of chi energy around your home.
- Make sure that your mirrors are at the right height
If you have many people living in your home, you need to ensure that your mirrors are at the right height for everyone. Everybody living with you should be able to see a good reflection of themselves in the mirror. This will help positive chi energy touch everyone’s lives.
Don’ts Of Placing Mirrors
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many, many Feng Shui rules regarding proper placement of mirrors. However, I will focus on the rules that are universal and apply to most spaces. Here are 10 such practical rules regarding the Don’ts of mirror placement.
- Don’t place mirrors opposite doors
Never place a mirror right opposite your doors. This will cause any positive chi energy to bounce back right out of your door. You’ll miss out on many opportunities in life if you do so.
- Don’t place mirrors where they reflect negative views
Your mirrors should never reflect any negative views or messy areas. Avoid placing mirrors opposite to toilets, stoves, flames, clutter, drains or poison arrows (sharp corners). If you see an ugly sight in a mirror, negative energy will only be magnified, so make sure to avoid this.
- Don’t place mirrors in your bedroom
Never place mirrors in your bedroom. Mirrors can cause an over-stimulating effect when placed in a bedroom. This in turn creates insomnia. Also, if there is a problem in a relationship, mirrors will magnify the problems. It is best to leave mirrors out of the bedroom altogether.
- Don’t use cracked or broken mirrors
Cracked or broken mirrors are a big no-no. They distort the image of every object and they harbour a lot of negative energy. Get rid of all your broken mirrors and replace them with clean, new ones.
- Don’t use antique mirrors
Antique mirrors often get distorted with time. When you look at yourself in an antique mirror, you will get a distorted perception of premature aging. It is best to avoid antique mirrors and even mirrors that have antiqued surfaces or frames around them.
- Don’t hang a mirror too high or too low
Your mirrors should be placed at an ideal height for all members of your family. Never place a mirror such that the head of a person is cut off in the reflection. Mirrors should always reflect the entire head and shoulders of an individual – regardless of how tall or short they are.
- Don’t place mirrors facing one another
Placing mirrors right opposite each other can create a funhouse effect. However, this should never be done within a home as it traps the flow of chi energy. Chi energy will be stuck between the mirrors and will never flow to other parts of your home. Avoid infinite reflections as they create a strange vortex that can cause distress and displeasure.
- Don’t place mirrors at the end of staircases
Placing mirrors at the end of staircases means that they’ll either cut the feet or the head in a reflection. You must avoid this completely. Unless your mirror can reflect a person’s entire body, never place it at the end of a staircase.
- Don’t place mirrors at the end of hallways
While placing mirrors in hallways helps the flow of chi energy, mirrors must never be placed at the end of a hallway. If you do so, your mirror will attract negative energy. This negative energy won’t leave your home easily, so make sure not to place mirrors in such areas.
- Don’t place mirrors near study tables
If you have a study table, make sure not to place a mirror next to it. Mirrors can cause a loss of concentration during study and this problem only gets magnified with time. Mirrors should be placed only where they reflect positive energy, not near a study table.
I’m sure you agree that mirrors are a very powerful tool. Not only do they help us see reflections of physical objects, but they are also a symbol of spiritual reflection.
As a Feng Shui practitioner, I always ensure that my mirrors facilitate the flow of positive chi energy in my home. While there may be thousands of do’s and don’ts regarding mirror placement in Feng Shui, I tend to follow the most practical rules. By doing so, I’ve found a lot of peace and prosperity in my life.
If you’re focused on more happiness, better self-esteem, better health and prosperity, then you should also adopt these Feng Shui rules on mirror placement. Believe me – these rules have stood the test of time and they will turn your fortunes drama
Your Grace Guru
Moods are important! Emotions are part and parcel of every human being. The tradition with human feelings – these include both good and bad vibes! If anyone tells you that they only experience good moods, please realise you are dealing with a liar or a mentally disturbed person!
As fate would have it, it always seems harder to get into a good mood but always very easy to lose it. To put it differently, you are likely to change into a bad mood faster than it will take you to adopt a positive emotion. It feels like an exercise in futility, right? … Not exactly!
Why A Bad Mood Is To Be Avoided
It is important to consider the negative effects of a bad mood, hoping that this will jolt you into realising why you need strategies in order to rid yourself of a bad temperament. A foul disposition sets in motion a series of negative reactions to people, events and other external stimuli.
When you are in a foul temperament, you are likely to dent your reputation through negative talk and actions. You may say something you will regret. It is also possible to throw away opportunities and people that could have helped you. In other words, a bad mood beclouds the mind and precipitates negative conduct.
How To Change Your Mood For The Better
Here are effective actions to take when your mood goes south, as it will often do. You will realise that changing your mood to the better will demand that you address certain mental, physical, social and even dietary issues:
1. Treat the cause, not the symptoms: Your moods are indicative of a deeper problem within you. Perhaps it is self-acceptance or low self –esteem. Possibly there is an unresolved problem with someone else. It is time you took the bull by its horns. Iron out the issues with the other person, or, where necessary, seek professional assistance.
2. Set goals and priorities: Your foul mood is probably due to exhaustion and feeling that you have too much to do within a very short time. Write down all the tasks that await you and prioritize them. Identify the urgent and the important and decide what to do first.
3. Adopt a positive disposition: Whenever you focus on the bad that is happening or is likely to happen around you, you tend to feel to despondent. Focus, rather, on what makes you happy. Think about your past success whenever the present seems to be going against your present desires.
4. Grab a wholesome snack or meal: Your moods plunge when you are low on energy. The best solution is to eat healthy food like fruits, nuts, vegetables, avocado and dark chocolate, to name a few. The nutrients these foods carry will elevate your mood almost immediately.
5. Engage in an enjoyable activity: What is that pastime that brings out the best in you? Just do it. Get out there are and ride a bike. Volunteer for community service. Engage deliberately in activities that have previously lifted your moods and made life enjoyable.
6. Invest in some humour: Your mood has plummeted? Watch that favourite comedian or comedy show and bring back some excitement into your life. Call the funny friend who makes you laugh simply by being around you. Go out and meet them as this will spike your mood. How about remembering events and people that made you laugh in the past?
7. Bring a smile to your face: This is where we say you should fake it until you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at the person who is looking back at you. Act happy and you will be surprised at how quickly your thoughts pick up the happy mood.
8. Engage in a distraction: Instead of focussing on that issue that has negatively affected your disposition, look for something different but more enjoyable to do. It may not be something you have done before, but it has to help your forget your reasons for being sad.
9. Work out: It is rare to find a person who is exercising being unhappy at the same time. Exercise has a way of stimulating the secretion of endorphins thus lifting up your mood. Take a brisk walk, hit the gym or perform push-ups in your living room to drive bad moods away.
10. Practice spirituality: There is a soul inside you that yearns for connection with the Supreme Being. Nurture your soul by engaging in prayer, meditation or any other activity that nourishes the inner being. The ensuing peace of mind cannot c0-exist with bad moods.
11. Listen to your favourite music: Music, especially that cool and sentimental type and spiritual vibes, has a way of lifting up your spirit and giving you a reason to be positive and to smile again, despite the negatives around you.
12. Dance: Closely related to music is the idea of moving your body in unison with the beat and rhythm music you are listening to. Dancing, like exercise, has a positive impact on your endorphins, banishing away a foul mood and bringing back the positive vibe you need.
13. Reach out to friends and family: Some bad moods stem from feelings of disconnection from the rest of the society. That is why you need to call your friend and eat out or watch a movie together. A much cheaper option is to set out on a walk or picnic.
14. Play: Which is your favourite game? Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, badminton? Get some friends or visit the sports club and play to your satisfaction. Bad mood will eschew you.
15. Disengage social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their cousins have a way of making you feel less successful, unimportant and less attractive, especially when you look at the posts and profiles of apparently more successful peers. Give yourself a break and focus on improving your self-esteem.
Most importantly, remember you can only get out of a bad mood by taking practical steps. Whatever works for you, bring the vibe and groove back, maximize on it, and bad moods will not dictate how you live your life!
Your Grace Guru
Happiness is something that all of us crave and search for all the time. It comes and goes, sometimes very quick and sometimes it stays a bit longer! Ask any person you meet what they want from life and chances are they will mention happiness are very high. We spend a lot of money trying to attain all that bliss, we go to great lengths – to the end of the world – just to feel that serenity and gladness that we crave so much.
So why is it that we don’t remain happy for long?
Here are 10 simple things you need to do to become happier or to inculcate an attitude of happiness:
1. Live a simple life: Most of us forget that life is meant to be enjoyed and the best way to do it is to live as simply as possible. Often, it is not the money and material things that bring happiness into life. Rather, it is the simple things that matter. Appreciate the very fact that you are alive and healthy; that you can talk to people and listen to the beautiful sound of nature. Much of these can be enjoyed away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Think about it this way: how would you live if you were taken to a world without modern technology?
2. Imbibe the fresh air from outdoors: There are few things that are as refreshing and invigorating as the outdoor. You level of happiness is likely to spike when your brain imbibes fresh air. After hours of interacting with many people and machines, some of them irritating, you need an injection of freshness and happiness from nature. Create time over the weekend or after work to visit that park or lake where nature teems. The blood in your brain needs that freshness to bring back happiness.
3. Exercise gratitude: It has been proved that people who accept themselves as they are often experience high levels of happiness compared to those who are always complaining. Learn to give thanks for the people around you like family and friends. Be happy when things go right and learn to appreciate when you don’t get your way. Instead of basing your daily disposition on the weather, train your body to appreciate all kinds of weather. Grateful people often find more reasons to become happier.
4. Engage in regular workouts: Regular exercise relieves the body from stress. It stretches out your muscles and brings relaxation. Your brain becomes invigorated because fresh air is mixed in the blood. Your mood is boosted and you begin to feel happier. Rarely will you go into the gym with a foul mood and low spirit and return with the same disposition. People who exercise regularly are among the happiest on earth.
The only bad workout, is the one that never happened!
5. Focus on the good, not the bad: To become happier, you need to identify issues that make you happy and those that sadden you. Your focus should be on maximizing on the positive issues and minimizing or eradicating the negative. In life, there will always be some things and people that exasperate you. Remember you cannot control what comes your way but you can decide how to react to all stimuli. Choose to be happy. Choose to see what is good inside you instead of focussing on the bad that some people associate with you.
6. Spend adequate time on sleep: The human body is designed with its own mechanism for happiness, and part of this is getting enough sleep. There is no way you will be happy when you deprive your body of sleep. Most of the time when you are irritable and likely to pick a fight with other people, it is because you have not slept adequately. It is important that you sleep for between six and eight hours daily since this will naturally rest your body and give you greater happiness.
7. Extend a helping hand: Human life was never designed to be a lonely and selfish affair. We are what we are because someone helped us along the way, we only become happier when we extend the same kind of assistance to other people who need it. Human nature is such that when we lift the spirits of others our joy is amplified. And there are many people in need of your help. Orphans, widows, the homeless, the sick and so on, can benefit from some of the surplus resources you have.
8. Have quality social time: Your friends and relatives play a great role in your life. They know you better than anybody else. Your good and bad moments are all engraved in their minds. Your happiness is connected with theirs. It follows that as their happiness increases, so does yours. Consequently, plan to spend more quality time with those who love you. Attend special occasions such as weddings and birthday parties to show support and enjoy these people’s company, and your happiness will increase.
9. Meditate: One of the most acknowledged strategies of making you happier is to meditate. Meditation helps you to bring your mind, body and spirit into conformity. It eliminates your inner conflicts, giving you peace of mind and contentment. The moment you give your inner nature contentment, you begin to become more positive and pleasurable to live with. Learn to spend time is silent contemplation of your life, listening to your inner voice.
10. Treat yourself well: Your happiness depends on how well you value yourself and how you treat yourself. You cannot make others happy if you are not happy with yourself. The battle must begin within you. Money may not buy happiness but you can use money to increase your happiness. Treat yourself to that special meal in the restaurant you like. Make that special trip to a place where you have always craved to visit. Buy that special smartphone or latest kind of clothing or car if you can afford it. You deserve it as this will make you happier.
When all is said and done, happiness begins with you appreciating yourself. Becoming happier is possible when you extend this love to others, appreciate what life brings your way, and find little ways to make life more bearable for all human beings.
Your Grace Guru
Insomnia – that monster that befriends you just when you need sleep most – has reached alarming levels. There is an epidemic of sleeplessness. None of us is immune from this condition. It is important for us to find out what causes insomnia and how to overcome it if we really want to sleep like the babies we once were.
When sleep avoids you…
When was the last time you had a restful night and enjoyed it for two to three consecutive days? With all the cares of this life, you go to bed expecting that you will doze off as soon as you slip under the blanket. Unfortunately, many are the times you will roll and roll on your bed hoping and wishing that sleeps will come your way but in vain.
Melatonin and the science of sleep
Let us first understand the science behind insomnia. There is a neurochemical that is secreted in your brain that controls your sleep patterns. Melatonin, once released into your blood, makes you drowsy, relaxed and sends you to dreamland. This chemical is there in your system during the day but in low quantities. As the evening wears, on melatonin increases until about 2 am, when it peaks.
Interfering with melatonin flow
In essence, sleeplessness is a result of interfering with the natural flow of melatonin in the body. The solution lies in exercising mindfulness. You should know when the body is telling you to sleep. You must stop interfering with the natural cycle of melatonin in the blood. By now you know that taking caffeine drinks is one way of ensuring you don’t sleep when you expect to.
More importantly, you need to time your sleep to coincide with the melatonin wave. One way of doing this is to come to terms with your day shortly before you go to sleep. While sitting on your bed, shut your eyes and reflect on the issues that you have not resolved, then simply allow them to go. Now breathe deeply and lie down.
You can also lie on your back, concentrate on your breathing and relax your body and mental faculties as you breathe in deeply. Try as much as possible to be at ease in this position and sleep will encroach gradually into your territory. When this happens, turn to your favourite side and enjoy restful sleep.
Watching television before going to sleep
The blue light rays that come from your television, laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and other electronic screens, interferes with the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland. Consequently, if you use such gadgets and immediately go to sleep you are likely to take some time before sleep catches up with you.
For this reason, the best time to go to sleep if you have been using these gadgets is after one hour. Ensure you finish working with these devices early enough such that you have time for other activities that will take at least one hour. How about arranging your clothes or washing dishes before you sleep?
Sleeping in a cluttered bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sacred place. The moment you allow this important room to be disorganized and cluttered you send away sleep. Avoid distracting your sleep by all means. For example, watching TV or working on the computer in the bedroom will expose you to blue light and we have already analysed the consequences of such action.
Have as few extras items in the bedroom as possible. Let every item in the bedroom be related to sleep. Ensure your beddings are clean and well-spread. Let the mattress be flat and comfortable. The pillow should also prop you up based on your body and should be comfortable enough.
Lack of exercise and relaxation
Your body needs to be relaxed before you go to sleep. You can achieve this by engaging in yoga. Begin with meditation to bring your body, mind and soul into harmony. Sit comfortably on your bed and prop you body up with a pillow or other comfortable material. Cross your legs, close your eyes and begin to stretch your body using any of the less-involving yoga exercises.
Among the recommended yoga exercises to induce sleep include seated twist, corpse pose cross-legged bend, forward bend, knees-to-chest pose, reclining twist, reclining big-toe hold and half happy baby. Regardless of the posture, make sure your mind is relaxed and that you feel every part of it. Remember to practice mindfulness as this will promote body immunity and regulate your blood pressure too.
Other reason for insomnia
Lack of sleep can also be caused by chronic pain, allergies, anxiety, depression, some types of medicine and neurological diseases. Ensure you seek medical or psychological help as the case may be because some of these issues are beyond your ability.
To sum up, you need to deal with the causes of insomnia in your life because you really deserve to sleep like a baby as this is an important step towards making yourself productive the following day. Sleep is vital; pursue it at all costs!
Your Grace Guru
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.
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.
Your Grace Guru
Whenever the word ‘addiction’ or ‘obsession’ is mentioned, we associate it with negativity. We believe that people can only get addicted to cigarettes, harmful drugs or other obnoxious substances and behaviours. Is that why we don’t notice or acknowledge that we are addicted to social media sites?
Asking pertinent questions…
What are the symptoms of this addiction? Are there negative repercussions in such a scenario?
Addiction is addiction – the terminology notwithstanding
It is important to begin by stating that there is no difference between addiction to drugs, work or social media in terms of the disruptions these activities bring to life and how they affect the individual in question and those around him or her. That is why you should think twice before castigating that person who is sinking under the weight of cocaine, if you exhibit some of the symptoms we are about to discuss.
How to self-diagnose your social media addiction
The good thing about social media obsession is that you don’t need to sit before an expert and explain your symptoms for you to know you are hooked. You can do it yourself. Here’s how:
- You wake up in the morning and turn to your phone (incidentally it ‘sleeps’ under your pillow), turn on the internet and check whether there is anything you missed on FB while you were asleep.
- Your phone is connected to the internet while you spruce up to go leave your house because you don’t want to miss out on interesting posts that are trending in your Whatsup group.
- Breakfast is on the table but you have one eye on your phone going through all the stuff being shared in your group.
- You don’t forget to take a photo of your breakfast and display it or FB, Twitter or even Instagram just to show your friends and followers what you ate!
- You give live updates of everything happening in your life, tagging people to photos and videos and ensuring they know what you are dressed in. Even when you are bored and tired, you make sure the world knows it.
- Every idle moment, including when you are in a bus or train, is used to make observations of people and funny events and to post images of what you come across.
- You are on social media most of the time, visiting as many platforms as possible because you are on almost all the sites.
- When your friends want to find you, they don’t need to call you or come to your office or home. You have a reputation of being online most of the day, even at odd hours, thus making it easy to locate you.
- There is this game you are playing and you cannot resist reaching the next level; after all you are competing with many other people in your group and you want to have the bragging rights.
- You are the selfie queen. Every time you meet with important people and some nobodies is time for a selfie, which you promptly post on social media and boast about the meeting the persons on the photo.
- I don’t want to get into details of those who tweet while performing some vital duties in lavatories or those who are quick to get the details of some famous dead folks and giving breaking news of the death of such celebrities.
Why you should act!
This list is endless. What is important is that you realize that social media obsession is taking away precious time that you could use reading, discussing face-to-face with loved ones and consciously interacting with other people. It is unfortunate that you can spend more time with people you barely know or those who are far removed from you while neglecting those around you and who matter most to you.
Eventually you will begin to neglect your own hygiene and personal needs to pander to the vain expectations of other people. Remember social media creates a false image of perfection that you are expected to fit in and since you cannot attain it, you end up with low self-esteem, despondency and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
How to end the obsession
- Ditch social media sites. Pull down your accounts and be free of this addiction for ever.
- If you cannot leave social media completely, reduce the number of sites you are in; after all the same people you follow on Twitter are your friends on FB.
- Come up with a social media schedule in which you spend a few hours every week catching up with the latest news, thus leaving the rest of the week for serious stuff.
- Spend more of your free time with real people, chatting, laughing, enjoying a meal or beverage, travelling and helping the poor instead of wasting all your productive time on social media.
- Work on your attitude, self-esteem, grooming and other personal elements away from social media and create a unique style for yourself so you don’t fall victim of unrealistic expectations of social media.
Your Grace Guru
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.
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.
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.
Your Grace Guru
We live in a world where materialism reigns supreme. We are all guilt of competing with our loved ones for the most up to date product, self indulging and boasting about our material possessions on social media. While capitalism has resulted in the improvement of the quality of life for many, millions still live below the poverty line. We have forgotten the benefits of giving at a time when the world is deeply divided between the rich and the poor.
Giving is an act of sacrifice. We can all relate to the struggles of spending your own money on something or someone, rather than yourself. It’s a conflicting feeling when you know there is a lot you can do with the money you are giving to charity. However, you decide to forego your rights and privileges over the money to bring relief and cheer to another human being. You give because you have seen a need that can be fulfilled by the resources you have!
In contrast, if you give simply because you have no use for the materials you are giving, you may not feel like you are sacrificing. While giving from abundance is not prohibited or unethical, it is a fact that giving makes more meaning when it is done out of the desire to help another person even if that means that the giver will have to waive some benefits.
From the time we are born, we are accustomed to receiving. As new-borns, we experience the warmth of other people. Our parents, siblings and relatives receive us with a lot of joy. Gifts come our way even if we don’t know it. As we grow up, we receive gifts during birthday parties, Christmas and other festivals and events. As long as we remain under the custodianship of parents and guardians, we expect to be recipients.
Sooner or later, though, we become adults and realise that we are expected to start giving and stop expecting others to give us. That is the moment when we realise the gifts we used to unwrap were actually sacrifices from other people. Society now expects us to give to the less fortunate and to our family members. In a way, the moment we begin to give is the moment we begin to live.
What Then Is The Importance Of Giving?
Giving is an expression of our humanity. A human being is expected to be like a lake with an outlet. When the lake receives water, it must allow some of the water to flow out so that it can receive more. The movement of water energises the lake and gives life to the animals and plants within it. In contrast, when you stop giving, you become like the Dead Sea, a water body that receives without giving, and cannot support life. In essence, you give because you are created to give and that is how you prove you are indeed human.
It is also important to give because by so doing, you will help another human being to live and enjoy life. At the same time, you will be happier because you are helping others. You are lucky if you have everything you need. There are many more who cannot afford one meal a day. Millions have no place to live at a time when some people have more than one place they call home. If you rush to the doctor whenever you catch a cold, you need to know that there are some patients who cannot afford to see a doctor. If you are a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild, remember there are millions of orphans and homeless people on earth.
Giving is important to the soul because it is the best weapon against unfettered materialism. Materialism is a form of disease that is destroying the soul of humanity. A soul that does not give eventually dies out. When we allow selfishness to engulf our hearts and make us callous, we kill the very essence of our being. Giving, therefore, gladdens the soul because the soul was not created to be selfish. Shunning greed and selfishness is the best way to ensure that the resources on earth reach each and every inhabitant.
The soul is spiritual and thus amenable to giving. The Supreme Being, whatever name you choose to give it, is a force for good. One cannot claim to be spiritual if they don’t give. In some religions, a portion of one’s earnings are donated to the poor either directly or through a religious order. It is ironical for one to claim to believe in a Supreme Being yet remain immune or dumb to the needs of others. Religion always teaches how generous the Supreme Being is to humanity and thus expects that adherents will be kind to other believers and non-believers alike. We, therefore, give to follow religious instructions and to connect with the higher being. The soul finds happiness in giving because it is accustomed to God unlike the body and the mind.
We give because it is in generosity that we find the meaning of life and this fulfils the soul’s desire.
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Your Grace Guru