How To Control Your Vices

By Callie McBride

How To Control Your Vices | The Organic Beauty Blog

For all the dedicated health foodies out there who devote large amounts of time and energy to maintaining a healthful and active lifestyle, it usually feels like its simple 90% of the time, and nearly impossible 10% of the time. For a number of days in a row you wake up early, eat a good breakfast, get a great workout in, and make a homemade dinner at the end of the day. Then, out of nowhere, you wake up one morning and find that it can be incredibly challenging to keep up consistency with exercising, or to find variety in the kitchen, or even the motivation to drink lots of water! You feel distraught that you’re craving trashy TV and a big bowl of cereal; you feel anxious that your momentary break from veggies and 6am yoga may throw you off track. You feel surrounded by those pesky little things called vices.

Do not fret; there is a solution!

Give In To Your Vices

In my own personal experience, trying to fight through cravings and vices never works. I attempt to go without coffee for a month, and suddenly my 5am wakeup calls become positively dreadful. I ban any sugar or chocolate from my diet, and magically I crave sweets as though they’re oxygen. I mentally order myself not to miss a day in the gym, and in effect my bed becomes that much more comfortable. It seems that all of the restrictions or rules we place upon ourselves only backfire and cause us to fall into bad habits or take less care of ourselves. This happens when we strive for perfection in our health and fitness. We aim too high and forget that we are only human! While it’s wonderful that we delight in eating right, staying active, and maintaining a lifestyle meant for optimal wellness, we can get too caught up in the midst of it all. This, in turn, leads to a temporary lapse that leaves us feeling lazy or uninspired. I’ve been there, and I know how upsetting it is to feel like your goals were thrown off by a long holiday weekend or an unnecessary TV binge.

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Instead of warding off all potential vices in our lives, I say we embrace them. Um, what!? Don’t write the idea off just yet. Accept your vices as they come, and learn to control them instead of let them overpower you. I, for one, have a strong vice for coffee. Though I am aware that it’s highly acid forming and addictive (not to mention costly), I cannot seem to give it up. Instead of steering clear of all Starbucks (an impossible feat in NYC) and vowing never to sip the drink again, I can allow the vice into my life in a healthy way. I hopped online, did some research, and found an amazing way to make your own cold coffee concentrate. Since no heating is involved in the process, it is much less acidic which leaves me feeling guilt-free and satisfied! Mixed with ice and some homemade almond milk, and my coffee vice has just transformed into a delicious pleasure.

raw-icecream

Another vice of mine, that I am venturing to guess could be yours too, is ice cream. Is it the devil? The angel? We’ll never know. Since becoming vegan a number of years ago, I was immediately excited to hop on the health train and learn all that I could about feeding my body perfectly and becoming as healthy as possible. There’s that word again-perfect. After I while, I grew exhausted from always “being good” and refraining from this nighttime snack or cool summer treat. I became nostalgic for the delicious taste of creamy, cold ice cream that always hit the spot. However, I still am not interested in a dairy-filled, sugary pint that is chock full of artificial flavors, fillers, or thickeners that don’t do anything for my body. Again, I turned my vice into a pleasure by taking the time to control the situation, instead of avoid the treat and eventually break. I discovered the Raw Ice Cream Company, which offers multiple flavors of cashew and coconut milk-based ice cream. Sold in half pints to control portions, this ice cream is entirely good for the body and the planet.

Whatever your particular vices are, I encourage you to accept them as a form of self-challenges. If you don’t have any, then I am convinced you are a robot. Imperfection is part of being human, so take these pesky habits and turn them into ways to further your quest for healthy living. Just as I can now enjoy my iced coffee guilt-free, you can also change your perspective on your own vices that get under your skin. Be creative, be resourceful, and be active in maintaining health and wellness as a large part of your lifestyle.

Willing to share your vices, and possible ways to turn them around? Comment below!

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How To Meditate: Chakra Meditation Guide – Root To Crown

By: Stephanie Heino

How To Meditate Chakra Meditation Guide – Root To Crown | The Organic Beauty Blog

As you might have heard, scientists tell us that everything is made up of energy. And this is something ancient cultures have known for thousands of years. The well-developed and proven healing systems of traditional Chinese medicine are based around even flow of energy. Energy flows through different pathways, called Meridians, around the body. This energy that I am talking about has intense focal points called Chakras. There are 7 main chakras in our bodies.

A healthy system works with an even flow of energy. But if the flow of energy gets blocked it works just like a garden hose getting plugged leading the entire system to be dysfunctional. The same thing happens in our body, if just one of the chakra centers is out of balance it can affect everything. And yes, it does feel like you are out of balance.

If you chose to not go and see an energetic healer for a treatment, alternatively, you can work on yourself. But for those of us without a developed psychic sight, how do we know what chakras need attention? Luckily, there are often proven physical, emotional and mental conditions that suggest where attention is needed. When you get the hang of it, it makes sense and your intuition will guide you further. Chakra meditation is a form of meditation that is concentrative, recharging, and cleansing. Chakra meditation is used as a balancing form of meditation, channelling in good energy and and ridding the body of negative energy. The chakras that are the centers for energy within the body, and using chakra meditation helps to keep that energy balanced and aligned.

Chakra meditation can be performed in a couple of different positions including lying down or sitting in a position that feels comfortable and relaxed (cross-legged on the floor works great). It is important that the head and back are aligned. While practicing chakra meditation, many people choose to listen to soft, soothing music or to listen to complementary music that is soft and relaxing. It is important to remember that this form of meditation is very powerful and you should take the effects into consideration before you begin. Usually, it is an excellent idea to start out with a chakra meditation instructor to properly guide you. Chakra meditation uses thought, contemplation, and reflection on the various chakras to bring about the balance that is needed and also to provide more energy as well. As you are meditating, it takes deliberation to focus on the chakras and to get rid of problems and negative energy that may be held in each. If you are going to practice chakra meditation it is important that you understand the seven chakras and how they effect the body and mind, so let me tell you a little bit about each.

Below you see a figure illustrating the chakras from the base of your spine and all the way up to the top of your head. Notice the colours of each chakra, as you will use them in your work.

The Seven Chakras

  1. The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine.
    It vibrates with the color frequency of Red. This is the location for your stability, balance and security.
  2. The Naval (or Sacral) Chakra is located in the lower abdomen.
    It vibrates with the color frequency of Orange. The place for passion and sexuality. It is also the location for psychic abilities and higher consciousness.
  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra is located between the navel and sternum. It vibrates with the color frequency of Yellow. This is where spontaneous actions and energy are located. It is also the place where our willpower can be found.
  4. The Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the same height as the physical heart. It vibrates with the color frequency of Green. This is the center for compassion and unconditional love.
  5. The Throat Chakra is located in the throat region. It vibrates with the color frequency of Blue. This is where our communication abilities and our ability to express our selves verbally are located.
  6. The Brow Chakra (Third Eye) is located in the center of the forehead. It vibrates with the color frequency of Indigo. This is our window to the spiritual world. This eye has the ability to see beyond the physical world.
  7. The Crown Chakra is located on top of the head. It vibrates with the color frequency of Violet, or pure white light. This chakra is the direct channel to higher consciousness and getting in contact with our Higher Self, which can work as a guide, if you learn to listen to it.

Step by step Chakra meditation guide to open your Chakras – Root to Crown.

Start off by sitting comfortably in the Lotus position or in any posture you find most comfortable. Take a few deep belly breaths, feeling all your tensions, anxieties, and stressors leave your body with each exhalation.

Step 1

The Closed Flower. Close your eyes and take a deep breath all the way down to your root chakra. Imagine a bright red colour at your root chakra area. This is the Chakra of stability and security. Visualize a closed flower on that area. As you breathe in, imagine that the air carries a warm energy to the root chakra flower, which slowly opens. Feel how you are allowing your chakra to heal and be free.

Step 2
Sensing. Use your senses and see the red colour clearly in your minds eye. Feel the colour slowly expand from the root chakra flower and stretch out through your legs and all the way down to your toes. Feel it expand from its source up through your body, out your arms and all the way to your fingers. The bright red chakra colour stream also enters your head and fills your whole body with its warmth.

Step 3

Opening The Flower. Feel the love and security as the root chakra flower continues to open, making you feel more and more safe. Say to yourself (mentally) that you will not allow anything to come in the way of the blossoming of this root flower. Any bad experiences or any obstacles are not powerful enough to close this remarkable flower. When you feel that your Chakra has opened, let the bright red colour float upward to your second Chakra, the Sacral Chakra below your naval, and blend with its warm orange colour.

Step 4

The Closed Sacral Flower. See the orange closed sacral chakra flower at your second chakra. Breathe in deeply and feel how the energy is carried to the closed orange sacral flower, and how it stimulates it to open up just a bit. See how the bright colour from the chakra flower slowly leaks out and expands from this Sacral Chakra to all sides.

Step 5

Sensing. Visualize clearly in your mind how the orange colour moves through the bright red root chakra colour and further down to your thighs and legs and finally reaches your feet and toes. Feel how warm and pleasant the sensation is. The warm orange colour also moves upward like the red root colour, passes through your stomach and your chest, and fills it all with a warm secure feeling. It also reaches your arms, hands and finger and your head, filling it all with love and security.

Step 6

Opening The Flower. Allow your sacral chakra to open. You are in a safe and secure environment so allow it to open up and embrace the world as it has become much stronger now. Your source for passion and sexuality and even some psychic abilities is opening and is sharing its warmth and its qualities with the rest of the body and the rest of the world. It does not have to hide anymore, so allow your sacral chakra flower to remain open no matter what the future may bring.

Step 7

Continue. Do the above chakra exercise for each chakra, but remember to change the chakras individual qualities and colour. Try to work with each chakra for at least 5 minutes. Do not rush through the meditation.

Chakra meditation is a great investment in balancing your body, mind and spirit. Comment below and share how you felt afterwards. Good luck!