Posts tagged meditation

10 ways women can learn to love themselves


By Minna Salami from www.msafropolitan.com

www.SpiritualLondon.co.uk


There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who truly loves herself. No matter what height, shape, hair-type or skin you have, the beauty of a self-loving personality is ultimately reflected in your behaviour. Learning to love yourself is the single most beautifying action, which reflects in how you act and react in any situation; how you speak, carry yourself and interact with other people are all determined by how genuinely you love yourself.

Learn how to meditate

In order to love yourself, you have to connect with the inner you. Set aside some time on a daily basis to simply ‘be’, and truly benefit from the gift of meditation. No woman is beautiful if she is stressed out.

Learn how to keep a journal

Keeping a journal is keeping a recorded dialogue with yourself. You can discuss your fears and woes, but also your successes and joys. The only way to love you is to know yourself. Keeping a journal is an important step in this process.

Learn how to listen to your intuition

Oestrogen is the hormone, which allows women to be especially in tune with our intuitions. As you get to know yourself better, your gut feelings will also become clearer. Listen to the signs that tell you how you feel about things; graciousness lies in the connection between intuition and action.

Learn how to accept your looks

Even supermodels have days when they are dissatisfied with their looks. It’s part of human nature, often as a sign that we are neglecting either our mental or physical health, to occasionally feel unattractive.  Accepting your looks, is a different matter however, and a trait, which will do more for you than any magic potion or surgery can.

Learn how to take care of your body

Your body is your temple; it is the capsule of your soul and mind. Communicate with it, by observing what makes you feel healthy, and strong. Remember that a body, which does not exercise, is a body not fulfilling its function.

Learn how to manage your finances

Whether you can afford a personal bookkeeper or not, staying on top of your personal in- and outgoings is crucial to your confidence. You are an independent woman, you came into this world alone, and to be frank, you will leave it alone. Don’t leave something as important as your finances, in the hands of another person.

Learn how to be kind

As much as we are independent, we are also co-dependent. We need other people in all elements of life, from daily service transactions to friends that we can share our lives with. Kindness is therefore a key to a happy life. As you do upon others, so will be done upon you.

Learn how to enjoy sex

Female sexuality is one of the most over-debated and misunderstood topics of our time. It’s no wonder that many of us begin to think of a sex as a chore, or a conundrum. The key to enjoying sex is in learning that you have every right to express yourself sexually. There is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for what you want in bed.

Learn about your sisters and mothers

Women are like branches of a tree; we have all come to be from the same roots. We are perhaps, even more co-dependant than men, because typically we connect with our emotions rather than our minds. Find out about those particular women that have paved the way for the lifestyle you lead. Starting from your mother, to your grandmothers, to the women that made a difference in your town. These are the mother’s of your mother’s of your mother’s.

Learn how to communicate with God

Whichever God you believe in, there are feminine attributes to your religion, which you particularly should seek out and learn how to use. Every individual woman should find her way to connect to the divine feminine too.

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Spiritual Living: 5 ways to make meditation a part of your daily life

Meditating can produce an inner calm. It can wake up your heart and mind and help you see more clearly, and feel more fully. When you open your eyes, your heart will open too.
Yet, so many of us struggle to find the time in our increasingly busy lives for meditation, making it feel more like a chore than a pleasure.
The key to making it a part of your life is to understand how enjoyable silent contemplation can be. It is not hard work, or boring, meditation is fun! Below are five useful tips to hopefully get you synching and connecting with that inner fountain of love and peace.
1. Substitute the word ‘meditation’ with ‘me-time’.
As much as I love to meditate, I’m not a great fan of the word. It sounds quite clinical, and certainly not like a source of enjoyment, which makes it easier to neglect on a busy day.
2. Make ‘me-time’ fun.
That way you will want to do it more frequently. It can be very rewarding to sit in Buddha position and just quieten the mind, but on occasion you might prefer to draw, cook your favourite meal, write or go for a jog. The only criterion is that you connect your me-time activity to your ‘self’. So, if you choose to draw, sketch something that makes you feel calm. If you write, make it a poem. If you cook your favourite meal, try to connect with the food, enjoy the textures, aromas and colours of the ingredients.
3. Spend ‘me-time’ every day.
Even Barack Obama sets aside me-time. You can too. Start with five minutes a day. That’s nothing! Be persistent and gradually, you will likely spend longer as you will find yourself looking forward to your reflection time.
4. Expand your imagination.
On those days you decide just to sit and contemplate (which I highly recommend you do), imagine that you are on a private beach by yourself, or in a tropical garden lying on a bed of scented flowers, or that you are a ballet dancer practicing in an empty arena. You can be anywhere or anything, set your imagination free!
5. Spend me-time on the go.
Meditation is about more than sitting at home in a reflective state of mind. It means making connections to everyday life. Take your reflective mind with you wherever you go. For example, stay calm during your commute to work by listening to meditation music on your mp3 player. Close your eyes, reflect over the calming sounds and transport yourself into your inner world. Your colleagues will wonder over your new calm and peaceful moods!

Minna Salami is a writer and blogger who loves the blessing of me-time and silent reflection. You can read more of her musings on the missmays blog

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Saturday’s Inspiration – 5 ways to live a more peaceful life

1. Start from the obvious. Surround yourself by beautiful things and people. Did you know that the influence from other people extends to 3 degrees of separation? That means that your life and moods can potentially be affected by your sister’s friends daughter! The same applies to your immediate surroundings where you spend most of your time.
Try to arrange your room/space so that energy can flow freely and undisturbed. Divide your room/space into working/sleeping/relaxation spaces so that each space can be charged with the energy that will help you accomplish different tasks. If you meditate, a sacred space is crucial for a successful and peaceful practice. Even if you feel lazy and tired, sitting in your usual meditation space will uplift your spirit.

2. Do few things but do them well, make your time pass slowly. Wise words from St Francis of Assisi. When rushing and running with endless things to do and stress of not being able to accomplish them all ask yourself if it will matter in 1 year time. 5? 10? Will it matter on your death bed? The quality of life is not related to the amount of things you do, but the depth of your experience – the awareness that you put into it. So relax and sit back – remember we float in the endless Universe and you are just a tiny dust.

3. Love and trust yourself. What is inside, that is also found outside. Wondering why did five relationships in a row end in exact same way or why you cannot achieve your goals and dreams? Love yourself. Surround yourself with love. Remind yourself of importance of this act! You cannot expect the world to love you if you cannot even fill yourself with love. So look at the mirror, say a good old ‘I love you’ and smile to yourself. You are great! Alive, gifted, talented, unique and wonderful being. This is the first day of the rest of your life!

4. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Have vision, intention and meaning – be aware how you are making your steps towards your vision every single day. If you wish something with all your heart, the whole world will help to make your dream come true. Be yourself and always follow your heart – only you know if you are making a progress. After all, we do not have an option but to be ourselves!:)

5. Healthy and simple diet – the best way of feeling…. healthy and simple! (watch this space for more info on alternative diets) There is so much to learn about healthy diet. Unfortunately most of us are raised on refined foods, but it is never to late to make a transition. Be aware how your body’s needs change with the seasons. Swap your refined grains and pasta to wholemeal alternatives – most of the goodness of a grain is in its lobe! Eat more veggies and dark leafy greens (it is the right season!). Cut sugar and coffee – make your deserts at home so at least you know what’s in it. And it is so creative! Make simple meals and chew them well – buono appetito!

Movie of the week: Pan Nalin, Samsara (2001)

WWW.SPIRITUALLONDON.CO.UK

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London eclectics: breathwork at a Buddhist centre, movie at a DIY hippy venue

First sunny Sunday in a long while. It is not even February yet, but the sun is shining and the air is filled with modest spring warmth. Today my plans are to visit a North London Buddhist Centre to join my friend’s breathwork group and on the way back watch a Glastonburian film preview at Passing Clouds in Hackney.

The plan is set, a south Londoner in my heart I scribble my bus routes in my notebook and with an A to Z, a blanket, a camera and a bottle of water I set off for a mission.

It is really exciting to see spiritual centres popping up in different locations of London creating an atmosphere of local and accessible alternative lifestyle choices. I have a vision that one soon day everyone in London will have a neighbouring holistic hub and instead of a local fried chicken shop – an access to fresh and healthy local produce made with love. I am visioning this knowing that a Tibetan Buddhist Centre is moving quite literally at the other end of my street (watch this space for a story about it)! We are here to make our reality the way we want it.

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however (Richard Bach).


But lets get back to North London Buddhist Centre on Holloway Road. As a rule, Buddhist centres in London are hubs for veeeery affordable holistic therapies, yoga, tai chi and meditation classes, chanting evenings, retreats, all sorts of workshops and lectures. For me their activities always guarantee a deeper view on spirituality whether in meditation or yoga class. Whatever your beliefs might be, it is well worth finding your local Buddhist centre and see what they offer – you never know what you might discover!

Truth is, my visit there has nothing to do with their activities or Buddhism itself (at least this time). I am going there for a breathwork session with my friends and am using this opportunity to have a little sneaky peak inside the centre.



As I imagined, the centre is filled with serenity and has a lovely shop selling everything from ritual tools, vast collection of Buddhist and meditation books, statues, Tibetan bowls, malas, oils and candles… you name it. I am literally mesmerized but I remind myself that I am here with a slightly different intention.

The breathwork technique is also known as Conscious Connected Breathing, where there is no pause between the in breath and the out breath. This action naturally moves the breather into so called ‘non-ordinary state’ where the brain drops into Alpha and Theta. These states move us from a logical level into a more lateral place of just being present. It is at this point we are most receptive to shifting improvements in health, mental clarity and emotional well-being. (Taken from Terri George website ).

I cannot write much about breathwork itself as it is a deeply personal experience. All I can say that it is one of the most grounding, immediate, simple and natural therapies of self-healing which works despite your beliefs or prejudices. I feel it is very good for westerners who tend to repress their ‘aliveness’, authenticity, self-expression and pain. In a safe space created by skilful and experienced facilitators you easily return to the states of your core being allowing yourself to be a child again, reborn, regress, explore, vision and express anything that has been left behind. I find it to be a deeply healing process which helps to accelerate personal growth.

The breathwork is done and after the facilitator makes sure that we are all grounded and ‘alright’ to spill out to the streets of London we say our goodbyes and leave. Now I am in a rush for a movie preview at Passing Clouds. The movie, although intended for those ‘hard-core hippies’:) receives quite a bit of interest and I really enjoy the cosy retro DIY atmosphere of the venue.
Passing Clouds 1

Good news is that Passing Clouds organise all sorts of events, concerts and jam sessions for an alternative crowd so it is well worth checking them out!

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