DIY Toothpaste!

I don’t like to use regular toothpaste because of the fluoride (an industrial toxic waste product, which is a poison, and can cause neurological and endocrine dysfunction) and other unnecessary, cancer-causing ingredients.

I started using organic toothpaste, but after learning the many benefits of coconut oil toothpaste, I decided to give it a try! Some of these benefits include: attacking streptococcus bacteria (a major cause of tooth decay), no harmful chemicals, anti-cavity properties,  and cost efficiency!

And here’s something slightly personal- fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, which I had a mild case of since I was a kid. I did not realize that once I started using my homemade toothpaste my teeth would become naturally whiter and I no longer have those disgusting lines on my teeth as bad as I once had!

I’ve officially gone coco loco.

So now I’ll tell you how I make my toothpaste (the simplest way possible).

2016-02-28 20.00.17
All you really need is coconut oil, and baking soda. A small zip-lock bag, spoon, and a curious puppy ūüėČ

Continue reading “DIY Toothpaste!”

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Earth

Thank you,

For being the foundation under my feet

.. Even when I feel like I’m buried six feet deep.

Thank you,

For always providing the resources I need

.. One day, a future generation may not be so lucky ūüė¶

Thank you,

For being so beautiful,

For always listening,

and even sometimes responding.

The universe works in mysterious ways, but I know that it’s always on my side.

‚̧ Namaste ‚̧

^^This thought came to me as I was ending my meditation today. It felt great to say “I’m back.” For awhile I was struggling with depression- something we ALL go through every now and again. My anxiety was through the roof. It was terrible. I had discontinued my normal routine of exercise/yoga/meditation and relaxation for awhile due to some major changes in my life. I knew that if I returned to this routine I could be happy again, but it was hard to even find the motivation to actually do it. At first, I started back up with the meditation. But before every meditation I would think to my higher self “Please just help me. Please guide me in the right direction. Please give me some sort of insight on what to do.” I think I was too eager at first, I desired that insight and creativity that once came to me during each meditation so badly, that it was overpowering. Finally, I took a step back and let the magic happen. I’m starting to feel okay again.

It’s so easy to lose yourself, but¬†it can be very hard to find yourself again. But it IS possible, and it’s important to remember that, no matter how impossible it may seem at the time.. no matter how alone you may feel. Even though people tell you you’re not alone, there’s nothing one can say to take you out of the negative mindset that you feel trapped in. Just keep telling¬†yourself that you do not have to stay in that dark place. You don’t have to stay, but it’s up to you to find your way out. Days may seem like weeks, weeks feel like an eternity.. just stay calm, and try to stay positive. Those positive thoughts will eventually add up, and the positive activities will eventually lead you back to your happiness. Everything will fall into place, no matter how much you want to believe they won’t this time, and you just want to give up.. don’t. When you give up, you lose. There are always going to be ups and downs, when your down it’s important you remember how to get back up. Take a look at the people/things/world around you. Everyone/Everything has a struggle, only those who are strong enough actually get through it. You are strong enough. You are human, the only thing that makes you weak is your own ego telling you that you can’t do it. No matter how weak you feel, continue to push yourself to go that extra mile. In the end, you’ll be glad you did. There’s always something to look forward to, even if it’s something as simple as the sun shining through your window. Think about the way it makes you feel, and hold on to that.

Can we learn to love again? When the sun and moon collide

 

When it comes to love, none of us know what we are doing. That is a fact. I don’t claim to be an expert either, but we all have our philosophies we like to live by. Everywhere we look we are surrounded by messages of love- some not as apparent as others, but the message is still there. So why is it so hard to love? Shouldn’t that be the one thing in life that comes naturally? The one thing in life that’s¬†easy?

I think we’ve all learned one way or another- most likely the hard way, that love is something that holds tremendous power over us all. We all know that losing someone dear to our hearts is¬†one of the toughest pain to endure- whether it is a break-up, or the death of a close friend or family member. Yet we still can’t quite get it right when we are lucky enough to be given “second chances.” Most of us love ourselves unconditionally, so why is it so hard to extend that love to another human being? We are able to easily speak the words “I love you,” but I don’t think any of us really have a clue as to what we are actually saying.

Continue reading “Can we learn to love again? When the sun and moon collide”

Sometimes, in order to understand a situation it’s best to walk away and come back later, refreshed.

Surprisingly, I made it back to Michigan around 1am this morning. I say “surprisingly” because 1) I was so ready to quit reality and stay in Colorado, and 2) we had a crazy storm last night that made flying a bit intense. It was pretty cool though. Flying at night is so much better. Especially seeing the sunset from up above, it is so peaceful. When looking out one side of windows on the plane, the sky was a deep blue atop a burnt orange, with an all black landscape. Looking out the opposite side, it was pitch black but when you looked down, you could see all the cities lit up. It was beautiful!

I met some cool people at the airport and on the plane as well. It was nice because we were all going back home to the same city, so it was cool to get to know some people I may run into at some point. The last half hour of the flight was crazy. We drove right into the storm, and all you could see was darkness, then when the lightning struck- you saw the giant cloud we were driving through, and the red and green flashing lights on the wings of the plane. It was like being on a high speed rollercoaster ride at some horror-themed amusement park. The turbulence was so bad at one point that there was a loud BANG, and the whole plane tilted. I thought we were going down that time, everyone on the plane screamed and held on for dear life. We continued to blaze through the stomach-dropping clouds and the lightning, and finally busted out into clear skies and landed safely. The drive home was another story- just as intense.

I had a great experience on my trip, it was something I really needed. I was feeling pretty down for multiple reasons before I left.. but hiking through the mountains and simply just being away from everyone and everything, in an unfamiliar place was an absolute necessity. Being away helped me to realize what I find most important. Rather than over-thinking and complicating things, I was able to just feel. What I felt is what I decided is important to me. I learned where my mind wanders when I gave it a rest from over-analyzing every situation. I learned a lot about myself, and others.

I accomplished most of the things I had hoped to accomplish on my lustful itch for a “roadtrip.” I became friends with strangers. I learned someone’s story. I had meaningful conversations. I was spontaneous. I maintained a healthy diet. I did what I wanted for once, by myself, and that felt great. Overall, it was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back! Oh, and I have to mention the friends I stayed with were the best! Their hospitality was great. They took such good care of me- making dinner, providing alcohol, driving through crazy backed-up six lane traffic to get me to the airport.. and I would be so happy to return the favor for them one day. They will be receiving a gift in the mail very shortly for being so amazing ūüôā

Until we meet again, Love to all ‚̧

co3

What’s the alternative?

pills

Everything has it’s risks, just like everything should be taken in moderation. I have a hard time¬†understanding why some people flat out REFUSE to believe in natural medicine. I recently posted an article on facebook about essential oils and that they are now being “approached scientifically” only to be replied too with an article titled “Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds” (b/c my dear friend is a fact finder and doesn’t rely on one article on the internet for his information– which is awesome)! While I understand that there is not a lot of scientific evidence to prove that natural medicine is beneficial (in the sense of curing¬†disease), I also understand the MANY PROVEN risks that come with prescription drugs.

Here was my reply to the article posted to my wall: “haha I knew you would look into this! First off, I agree… one should not discontinue treatment for certain medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, etc. because the pharmaceutical drugs are clearly effective in these cases. However, the only argument this article really states is that “homeopaths believe that illness-causing substances can, in minute doses, treat people who are unwell.” DUH! Isn’t that what a vaccine is? The argument against this is that the substance is SO diluted that there is nothing left of the molecule being used to treat an illness, therefore it does not work. Which, I am no expert so I won’t comment on this. What I do know is that when our bodies fight infection without the help of drugs antibodies are formed and this is what prevents us from getting sick all over again.. because the body’s T cells remember the foreign antigen and can fight against it if it presents itself again. So I believe that is the idea behind the diluted mixture where it “retains the memory” of the molecule even though it has been completely diluted out. Idk if that’s true. What I do know is that there are MANY forms of natural healing. So when I say I support “alternative medicine” I am saying that there are most certainly alternatives to approach healing without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. This is a fact. One example- in physical therapy they use ultrasound. This is a form of natural healing, or “alternative medicine” because instead of taking a drug to cover up the symptoms of pain, the ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to penetrate deep into the tissue, internally massaging the muscle and producing heat to relax the muscle. Then there’s herbology, reflexology (massage therapy), accupuncture, chiropractic, electrical stimulation, etc… Those are all proven to be effective. So although the medicinal part may not be true (it doesn’t help but it also doesn’t hurt).. there are still alternatives to just popping a pill. Also, how do you think pills are made? There are natural components in drugs… like aspirin contains salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in the plant meadowsweet. However, it is said that without the whole plant, the salyclic acid may cause other problems such as stomach bleeding, which is one of the warnings on an aspirin bottle. Finally, while I agree that one shouln’t stop taking prescription drugs for everything, there are certain things you can treat naturally. Like anxiety. Instead of taking an “Anti-DEPRESSANT” which may cause more problems than you originally started with… it’s important to realize that anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors… stress, environmental, etc.. so instead of being handed a pill to cover up the symptoms and walking out the door… homeopaths are good to see because they take every aspect into consideration where they may be able to identify the root cause of an individuals anxiety and come up with techniques to get rid of it. Prescription drugs should be a last resort in these cases since they can lead to other complications, resulting in more prescriptions, perhaps leading to even more complications, and potentially addiction- which could leave someone delusional or apathetic.. or death. I could go on but this is ridiculously long lol. But I do have to say also that I lost respect for this article when they said “I have no problem with colleges wanting to run courses on crystal-ball gazing….” AS IF that’s what they do in med school…. yea right, get real! Seems like a pretty bias statement. Just sayin’….”

I know, pretty lengthy response. BUT…

I would also like to add that many patients don’t even know what they’re taking or why they are taking their prescription drugs. This is a huge problem because 1) you should always be aware of what chemicals you are ingesting, 2) certain drugs may interact, or counteract with each other, furthering complications.. 3) you may be taking two drugs that do the same thing so there is no need for both, and 4) you’re doctor can’t always keep track of everything you are prescribed and all of your health concerns, therefore it is your job to take responsibility of your own health by remaining conscious of what you are being prescribed and why. You never know, there may be more harm being done than good… there are MANY medication errors every year… in fact, there are¬†many deaths each year due to prescription drugs alone. I’m not saying all prescription drugs are bad and that everyone should stop taking them, and I am no expert.. but based on the research I’ve done on my own time, it cannot hurt to look at the alternative and weigh your options when it comes to YOUR health.

Another thing is, everyone’s body is different. What may work for one person’s symptoms may not work for another. So instead of adjusting prescriptions and going through the chaos of finding a drug that works for you… all the whilst doing some damage to your body, try the natural route. Like I said, prescription drugs should be a last resort in some cases. You do not need a pill to solve all your problems, what you need is a healthy lifestyle. Diet and exercise go a long way. Telling someone not to even consider natural medicine is like telling someone not to take their vitamins. While there is still controversy whether vitamins are crucial¬†or not.. since you would get all of those nutrients with a healthy diet, there are still people who are deficient and need these supplements. You can’t tell people these things don’t work. Everyone is different. It is your choice to seek every option available to you and decide how you want to handle your health care. Let me also say that there have been many successful treatments that I have learned of from people¬†I personally know¬†with natural medicine for many diseases such as cancer, thyroid problems, and kidney function. As with anything, do not only look to one side for an answer. You have to take every perspective into consideration before you can even have an opinion on something.. and that’s where I stand.

Thanks for listening!

State of Grace

When I was younger I always kind of looked at those who practiced meditation as “quacks.” I never gave it much consideration. Little did I know, meditation would become something I would strongly adhere to as I became older because of it’s variety of benefits.

Why meditate: I like to think more about the spiritual aspect of meditation than the physical benefits- though both are wonderful. Spiritually speaking; in the most superficial sense, meditation allows for the connection between the body and soul. This is done by bringing the mind, body and senses into balance. This connection is
important to our very sense of ‘purpose’.¬†The goal of meditation is to¬†heighten consciousness..¬†to awaken and recognize the soul, simultaneously allowing the soul to recognize oneself. Through meditation, we are open our minds to new possibilities, and we begin to hear our higher self. Meditation is not a religious endeavor, although the two may or may not go hand in hand– prayesoulr itself can be considered a form of meditation.¬†Through meditation individual’s may feel as ‘one’ with their surroundings- in other words, they obtain a deeper awareness that there is no difference between an object and an individual,¬†they simply observe their surroundings without judgement, but with appreciation, accepting everything for what it is. Meditation is the journey to self-realization, allowing one to transform their mind, typically leading to a more positive experience, along with a deeper understanding and connection to our inner-self.

Throughout the day- and even during sleep, the¬†mind happens on it’s own, generating thoughts whether one is consciously participating or not. Typically, this may result in unnecessary, unwanted stress.¬†During meditation, the mind will continue to wander, yet the thought process is slowed down and allows for a ‘focused wander’ as you are only thinking about the present moment.. the “here and now.” This would be referred to as mindful meditation.. leading to a sense of peace, calmness, and security.

Physical/mental benefits: People often turn to meditation for the immediate, physical and emotional benefits, and there is good reason to. Neuroscientists believe that the mind has¬†a¬†“negativity bias” where we tend to focus more on the negative things than positive. Most of the time we are unaware of the neurological activity going on inside, which can lead to failure of recognizing when our bodies are stressed. Usually there is a physiological response from our bodies signaling stress- anxiety, panic attacks, “stress marks,” hives,¬†etc. Meditation is very beneficial in the pursuit to overcome stress and negativity resulting in a multitude of physical and emotional benefits. Some of the most common benefits include:

  • Increased concentration– this is a¬†good one for us bloggers! My favorite part of meditation is pretending time doesn’t exist. With this perspective, there is no struggle to think creatively because everything you need comes to you naturally. Meditation results in a higher state of consciousness where the creativity is forever flowing. It also allows for a heightened ability to focus, and slows down the decline of our cognitive function¬†due to aging and¬†increases¬†gray matter!
  • Improved quality of life– through the reduction of stress, there are tons of resulting benefits- lower blood pressure, improved immune function, etc. that work to improve our physiological well-being. If you want to know more, Google it. There’s tons of benefits so I won’t cover them all right now because there is brainwave synchronization illustrationliterally something for every system in the body. This article does an excellent job explaining the neurological aspect with lots of research to back up these claims!
  • Decreased depression, and anxiety! I have met numerous people who have turned to meditation in order to cope with these two mental illnesses in particular. Anti-depressants aren’t for everyone, so meditation is their best alternative. I have turned to meditation for anxiety purposes and I couldn’t be more happy with my choice.
  • Positive lifestyle– after meditation the tone is set for a good day because of the positive state of mind you are left in, which may lead to more positive interactions.

Tips on how to focus: Use a candle! Your mind will always wander and generate thoughts.. because that’s what it does. Meditation allows one to disengage from their stress-provoking thoughts, through focusing on only one thing for a period of time. This is what will lead to improved concentration in the future. You will be well-trained in taking yourself out of stressful situations, quieting the mind, thinking more clearly, and you can learn to focus solely on relaxation techniques. Focusing on the flame of a candle during meditation will¬†bring the mind back into focus whenever it starts to wander. I particularly enjoy using a candle because¬†it allows for an expansion of awareness leading to all kinds of insights. If you prefer to have your eyes closed, you can also focus on your breathing, or your heartbeat while shifting¬†your gaze toward¬†the third eye! Mantras also help- one of the most commonly used being “Om” — which also has various benefits in itself that I will talk about later on. Also, try not to focus on the outcome, simply focus on just “be”ing.¬†purpose

Finding¬†TIME to meditate: You may think you don’t have the time to meditate, but there is always time. Meditation¬†is one of the¬†most important things a person¬†can do. This should top any priority list, because in the grand scheme of things it won’t matter how fat your bank account is, or what material possessions you’ve acquired. What will matter is¬†the connection you’ve acquired¬†with your soul and spirit, and the consciousness you’ve gained. Once you give meditation a chance to work and you experience the benefits for yourself, you will always make time. Especially because you will anticipate that relaxing and peaceful sensation. Whether it is randomly during the day when you have an extra couple time medof minutes, in the morning when you awake, or at night before going to bed– just don’t lay down! You don’t always have to have long meditations, some days may be shorter than others when starting out. Just remember to keep an open mind and really give it a chance to change your perspective. I guarantee you will be glad you gave it a try. One thing I recommend is finding a way to make it part of your routine. For example, right now I like to do my meditation at night as a way to end the day on a positive note. After my meditation, I like to enjoy a nice steamy shower- it really allows for some intense relaxation and stress relief! Then after my shower, I will enjoy a delicious cup of hot tea (favorite brands are yogi and stash) to benefit my body.¬†I love having¬†tea because it leaves me feeling rejuvenated! It is the best way for me to keep myself in a relaxed, calm, and peaceful state of mind at the end of the night, completely taking the edge off from all the stress during the day, and completing my zen time!

How I do it: When I begin my meditation- either in lotus (sitting cross-legged), or corpse pose.. I take a few good deep breaths- inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the mouth as a “Haaaaa.” This allows the physical body to go into a deep relaxation, while awakening the main energy points of the¬†body- the chakras.¬†With every exhale, I imagine the tension Caduceus-kundalinileaving certain parts of the body; first the face- the eyes, jaw, and mouth. Then the neck, the shoulders, arms, fingers.. and so on all the way down to the toes. I also like to start out by telling myself to be focused on the present moment, to be in the here and now, and that there is no such thing as time (so that I don’t begin to worry about all the things I need to accomplish). Additionally, that all my worries are “outside” in the external world, where I am leaving them, and taking myself out of for the moment.

When looking into a candle- vision blurred, I like to make comparisons between the candle and the human body to keep focused. How they relate, how the candle can be used as a metaphor for the human experience. Hence, my previous post: The candle and the flame.There are so many ways to go about these comparisons and contrasts, I try to keep mine more positive. Also, keep in mind that each meditation is different!

Once finished with my meditation, I¬†take one last deep breath in and let it out, releasing all the tension and negative energy that’s leftover. Placing my hands together as if I’m¬†about to say a prayer; I place them over my my third eye, bow my head and bring them down to my heart. This is to increase the flow of divine love– “we are all one when we live from the heart,” and it’s simply a gesture for the term “Namaste” — which is to show¬†a deep form of respect. I like to use this gesture to show appreciation for this life and everything I¬†have, and for allowing me to “be” and I thank myself– good self-esteem and confidence booster! Finally, I lean¬†forward from the lotus position and place¬†my hands¬†on the ground- still together in prayer, connecting my¬†body and soul with the heavens and the earth. At the end I like to affirm with myself (for anxiety reasons) that I have nothing to worry about, and that the universe always takes care of me. Whenever something goes wrong, there is always a reason, and everything usually falls into place for the better.

Happy Meditating!

Another Wanderlust Post.

I know, I’m sorry. But I can’t help it! I keep seeing things that remind me of this roadtrip and I get way too excited!! Today, I was pleasantly reminded by this Article: 6 Reasons Why Not Quitting Your Job to Travel is A Waste Of Your Life!¬†I have to say, I completely agree with these 6 reasons (big shock)! Whenever I speak with an elder person, one of the things they make sure to tell me is that if I have the desire to travel (and that I should), do it now, while I’m still young. One elder couple told me of all their travels and how happy they were with what they had accomplished at the time, because shortly after, both their health went downhill and now they are spending all their time with doctor visits and health programs. Luckily, they’ve remained in high spirits and they love to share their stories!

As much as I do feel irresponsible for ditching my “normal life,” I think it is actually very necessary to gain this “Life Experience” while you still can. Then, if/when you come back to “reality” and you are sitting down for an interview with grad. school, or a new job.. you can tell them that you Continue reading “Another Wanderlust Post.”

The candle and the flame

At first you have the candle. Solid, cold, hard, homogeneous.

Then you have the flame. Warm, bright, constantly changing in size and shape.

The flame touches the wick of the candle, and the two come together as one.

Continue reading “The candle and the flame”

Welcome to the puppet show, where fear is the least of our concerns!

Isn’t it scary to think how simply being afraid can drive people to extremes that could ultimately lead to acts of violence?¬†Just as evident it is that fear resides in our country as a main pillar of support, it is also evident that people are in denial of the fact that they are living in fear.¬†Today’s society has paid more homage to fear than ever before. Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Social anxiety, PTSD, and Major Depressive disorder are some of the most prevalent mental illnesses today.¬†This particularly interests me because- whether we are conscious of the damage done or not, it proves that we have little control over the damaging effects of fear.

GAD: “People with the disorder experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worse, even when there is no apparent reason for concern.¬†They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues……¬†They don‚Äôt know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants….¬†People with anxiety disorders are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety.”

Depression: “a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general.”

http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

One minute a person will tell you America is the greatest country in the world and we have nothing to be worried about. The next, America is corrupt and we have everything to worry about. Why is it that these are the two most common thought processes? Well, today we tend to cultivate fear rather than trying to eradicate it, leading to this two sided view of our country.

Years ago, FDR stood in front of his people and said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He built his people up, rather than tearing them down. So why has this dialect Continue reading “Welcome to the puppet show, where fear is the least of our concerns!”

What’s your motto?

(This is totally my motto.. in addition to, simply: “Do what makes you happy, for you’ll be criticized anyway”)

life
(Although I don’t know whether this is totally glum, or optimistic?!)

..And right before I saw this I was just pondering.. because I saw an angry facebook status about how much everyone sucks and how the world should just end. Here’s my thought: I agree the majority of mankind is hopeless. That being said; that’s why you¬† Continue reading “What’s your motto?”