10 Powerful Methods For Rewiring Your Brain

When you understand how neural pathways are created in the brain, you get a front row seat for truly comprehending how to let go of bad habits. Read more of this post

Mental Strength Building: The Benefits of Brain Training

With our daily lifestyles consistently filled with endless stress and distraction, we may be overlooking an often forgotten, yet majorly important aspect of our bodies: our brains. In a culture that moves a mile a minute, making some quality time for you and your mind can often be a difficult thing. We often work like mindless drones and are constantly bombarded with daily distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and television, which can simply take over all of our spare moments. And not to mention other stress-filled aspects of our lives such as dealing with money, houses, children and so much more. Read more of this post

Wabi Sabi is Not Food, But You Can Eat It!

I often take notice of things around me that don’t seem to fit in their current environment. These objects have a simplistic way of standing out amongst all of the organized things that coordinate. In a way, these items disorient my mind as my mind searches for organization. Out of this, a state of mind arises. This state of mind enables an appreciation for this disorganization. Interestingly, when we take a closer look we find that this is not a disorganized object at all. Read more of this post

Create Abundance With The Summer Solstice

Did you know that solar power is consider one of our greatest societal accomplishments to date involving energy? Individuals that use solar power are always looking to score the most amount of absorbed power on any single given day. Yesterday, they hit a peak day, and they knew it was coming. June 20th, 2013 arrived the Summer Solstice in where the sun hovered in the sky appearing to stand still for the longest time of the season. This allowed solar power operators to collect a huge amount of renewable energy within a single day. This made June 20th a very powerful day power producers.

summer solstice

The Summer Solstice is a Pagan, Celtic, and Druid tradition that dates back hundreds of years. The main theme of the solstice is abundance, citing if celebrated correctly one can manifest any into the material world. Around the world people celebrate by communing in large drum circles, parties, and rituals. If you notice, everything done during the summer solstice is a communal event. This is very important, for the spirit of the summer solstice is just that; one of a great coming together.

Although you may or may not believe in particular religions or traditions, the religions featured during this celebratory time have very real rituals they follow during the summer solstice. For Pagans, the following themes, symbols, and spells apply:

Herbs – basil, chamomile, daisy, elder, pine, St. John’s wort, tyme, yarrow, frankincense, fennel, lavender, and lily

Essential oils and incense – frankincense, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, lotus, jasmine, rose, wisteria, and myrrh

Colors – yellow, white, red, blue, green, tan

Decoration – anything reminiscent of the sun (yellows, reds, oranges), dried herbs, potpourri, fruits, summer flowers

Gemstones – any green stone (e.g. emerald)

Foods – mead, fresh fruits and veggies, lemonade, cookies and cakes decorated to honor the Sun, and of course plenty of ale

Spellwork – Litha is the perfect time for any magick but is especially good for Animal Protection and Marriage & Vow Renewal spells

Litha Incense – 2 parts Sandalwood, 1 part Mugwort, 1 part Chamomile, 1 part Gardenia petals, several drops of Rose oil, several drops of Lavender oil, several drops of Yarrow oil

Orange Honey Butter – 2 Tablespoons grated orange zest, 3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 – 2 Tablespoons honey, Combine ingredients and chill until ready to eat. Yum!

If casting spells and chanting doesn’t seem like something that would fit your personality or beliefs, then a good way to spend your summer solstice would be to simply enjoy the day and the day following by honor the mid-summers day with acknowledgment. So often we get caught up in our busy lives and forget to honor the earth we stand on. Be thankful, grateful, and compassionate towards others. In the spirit of the ancients, the ancients would be proud if you did.

 

A Zen Approach to Our Politically Driven World

When we think of Zen we think of a solitary monk sitting on a comfy pillow in a quiet room chanting or simply meditation. Most of the time we never think to cross Zen and politics. Politics has turned into a rough sport between high rolling lobbyists and power hungry politicians. Not to be nieve, not all politicians start out bad, nor do all of them end up bad. It’s the system that we should blame, and the system is where we can inject a drop of Zen.

zen, politics, news, philosophy

The Mall in Washington, D.C. is 1.4 times larger than Vatican City. This amazing fact my give you some insight into how we few our political system. For millennia, we have viewed ourselves as the ultimate power structure, untouchable, and incorruptible. In large scale, when claims such as these are made we know that the system is simply better at hiding the problems rather than fixing them. Therefore, we must act like a dedicated monk and dissect the way we think about politics and our government in order to develop some detachment and peace from it.

Detachment? Yes, that was the implication. How can something so deeply rooted become detached from our sense of self? This is where Zen comes in; we need to establish political information and structure as if we were handling our ego. When we look at our ego, i.e. sense of self, we often look at the parts that make it up. Our likes/dislikes, fears, wants, needs, and conditioning. This too can be applied to the way we interact with political matters. We must first understand the conditioning that is involved. Asking: Is our way of looking at politics conditioned by the way we were raised? Are the views we hold true naturally ours? Are there other views that appeal to us but we’ve been scared to embrace them for reason of exclusion from friends or family? When we get to the center answers to these questions we realize that not all of our views are as organic as we originally thought. We find that many of our base views about politics are founded in past condition and fear. Ironically, these are the two main culprits when dealing with the ego as well. By using awareness and compassion we can learn to embrace the view we are more apt to hold as true versus the preprogrammed methods of looking at the political system.

Through this inspection, we can understand more clearly our position larger issues that effect the whole of humanity. We are, therein, able to step back and look at our interpersonal relationships associated with the political topic. Would we no longer be friends with some people? No, that’s an alienation tactic. Instead, we would estable report with those of different view structure in order to know them as better human beings, allowing them space to express their individuality. This could aslo be summed up as, political compassion.

After we have taken a step backwards, we are now ready to look for patterns in the way we react to political statements and situations. Are we subjecting ourselves to conditioned habit forms of action and reaction that place us in a defensive stance when confronted with opposing views? How does this deep our relationships with others or spark real solutions towards pending political problems? Most of the time they don’t. By acting in knee-jerk fashion we don’t give space for our thoughts to breath. We react habitually because we are comfortable(settling) with that way of reacting to conflict. Most of the time these are defense mechanisms that are put into place to keep us from getting hurt. When discussing politics with someone of different view keeping our thoughts and reactions in check is incredibly important towards the validity of the relationship. Unfortunately, politics has a way of dividing friends, family, and organizations. We become deeply invested in our point of view, so much that we forget that there are other points of view out there that may be right as well even if they are conflicting with ours.

As we endure this time of political change we need to approach each situation as a time to become more aware, egos in check, and watchful of how we react. And just like in 1798 when John Adams spent seven months on his farm in Massachusetts to care for his ill wife Abigail, we too should take time out to take care of the system that is in need of constant care and attention.

Is Your Mind the Problem or Solution?

Did you know that every time your heart beats, your arteries carry 20 to 25 percent of your blood to the brain(Piedmont Brain Tumor Center). The harder you think, the more oxygen and fuel your brain will use from your blood – up to 50 percent. This insightful fact confirms how how amazing our brain is. Psychologically speaking, the average number of thoughts a person has each day is 70,000. The majority of them the same couple of thoughts, repeated. Create this visual:  There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain. The distance around the world at the equator is 24,900 miles – amazing. 

We have gently discovered that our brain is an amazing part of the human body. Accounting for the way we see, feel, and experience the world. However, it seems that this main headquarters for our life is the center of many of our problems. The brain[and body] aslo has the ability to adhere to habit forms and substance addiction. In this sense, we struggle day in and day out with the right decisions for our life. Must of this battle is waged in the thinking mind. Even though psychiatry and philosophy works to come up with answers concerning the thinking mind, the results are still very inconclusive. Each philosopher claims to have answers. But upon closer inspection, we find their rhetoric just as flimsy as those that came before them. Even though many of these outstanding academics fail to come to solid conclusive results, there are constants that remain throughout many of these streams of exploration. I will showcase this four characteristics that are subtle parts of our lives. These characteristics shape our lives, they are key. If you wish to change your life for the better, implementing change in these areas will do that for you.

 

 

  • Habits: Habits first arise in the mind as, simply put, thoughts repeated. Think of a bad habit. Got it? Now, what if I told you that you had the power to change this habit(exchange)out for one that will serve you? This may seem crazy or outside of your view of current thought, but it’s not only possibile, its a necessity. Each habit can be changed, but only if it is replaced by another habit. This shift is a good time to become clear about what you want. Once you make that decision, you will be able to replace a habit with a habit that serves your goals and dreams. For some reason, along the way somewhere, we developed this idea that habits are bad. Habits aren’t bad, bad habits are bad. If I commit to setting a habit of getting up early every day for the purpose of seeing the sunset, that habit is a really good habit. This habit allows me to see every sunset in my lifetime – pretty good if you ask me. So the key here is to find what you want to replace, than, get clear and commit to repeating it in your mind. This may seem like insanity at first, but just think of all the things you’ve done this with yielding no results.
  • Actions: Actions are the direct result of your habits. When you realize this, you fully understand that habits literally form our lives. From how we walk to how we talk, habits shape every aspect of our lives. This brings to light the issues in our lives and how we can turn them around by simple not enlisting in our habitual reactions. The argument here is that we can’t control the events that happen to us. This is a cop-out. Yes, we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to those situations that come into our field of experience. This is the second key to turning around your habits to habits that server you versus destroy you. The core mindset here is to become present during an experience where you would normally react a certain way. Once you become aware of how you are acting, you can take action to change the way you react.
  • Environmental Change: As soon as your habits are aligned with your goals and dreams, and your actions have taken hold the new patterns. You are now ready to watch your environment change to support your goals. Once you start to take action on the new habit forms developed in your mind, your environment will change(sometimes rapidly)to support the actions you are taking. Do you remember the sunset analogy? Once I have made the committed habit to get up early for the purpose to see the sunset, taking action to rise out of bed early, I will see the curtains open by my hands, the tea being made, and the yoga mat laid out. My environment will experience even further changes as I continue this each day. My environment will literally change to support what I have envisioned in my mind.
  • Purpose: I decided to place this last as a form of deconstruction of the steps. Once you have understood these steps, you now need to focus on the purpose for the change in lifestyle. Your answer shouldn’t be “for a better life”, we all want that. Dig deep and really understand your goal and purpose for changing a habit, and therein your life. Why am I honestly changing this habit. Get clear, focused, and lasered in on your goals and dreams. Align your habits with your goals that you’ve now discovered. Once you have aligned your habits towards your goals and dreams the actions will take hold, enabling your environment to support your efforts. Take the risk, take the change. Whats the worst that could happen? Your life remains the same…?

 

How to Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind

What is the subconscious mind?

What does the subconscious mind do?

Your subconscious mind is your ultimate video, voice, and thought recorder. From this lifetime and before, your subconscious mind has recorded everything that you’ve seen, heard, thought or experienced. Read more of this post