Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 11.21.26 AM

The Art of Kissing: What It Means & Why We Do It

 In the world of romance, a kiss is considered sacred. A passionate kiss is seen as the ultimate mark of attraction and compatibility between two people. The general consensus is, all will likely go well if the kiss goes well. So why is it that only 46% of cultures actually engage in kissing in the romantic sense? What is going on?!

It turns out, the background behind kissing isn’t all that simple. In fact, there are a bunch of scientists studying kissing, who call themselves philematologists. The most common idea behind how kissing started is that it is in an evolution of a system of food sharing between mothers and offspring.shutterstock_367709207

In this system, mothers would chew up food and pass it to their children’s mouths via their own. I felt weirded out when I first found this out, but according to researchers, it became a way to bond and express love.

Another point made is that a baby experiences love and security through lip pressure in stimulation, such as when it drinks its mother’s milk or milk from a bottle. Continue reading

shutterstock_205579396

The Power of Smudging: The Different Types of Blessing Herbs & Their Healing Properties

Smudging originates in Native American practices, as the act of purifying a room or space with the smoke of sacred herbs as a means of clearing negative energy. But, smudging isn’t only for spaces; it’s also about clearing your body, mind, and spirit to rid of any negativity or pessimism that are compromising your energy and wellbeing.

Smudging is scientifically-proven to release negative ions to which research has proven to be linked to release positive mood receptors in humans. By burning healing herbs and wafting the incense-like smoke around, it’s believed to encourage feelings of wellness and positivity.

shutterstock_312240278The science of smudging is strong, with healers and experts alike asserting that positive ions, and their by-product, free radicals, in the air are unhealthy and polluting to the human body, mind, and spirit.

The art of smudging is administered with the use of smudge bowl and sacred herbs directly lit of burned on a coal tablet. It can also be performed using herbs tied together in bundles – called smudge sticks.

 While the methods vary, the concepts are the same: the sacred smoke is used to cleanse an individual or space from moods or dispositions that retract from their wellbeing and higher consciousness. To do this, smoke is ‘washed’ over the person or object with a feather accessory or by fanning the smoke with one’s hand.

Smudging and the Varieties of Blessing Herbs

  • Sage: removes negativity

  • Cedar: restorative and transformative

  • Sweetgrass: gentleness, love, and kindness of Mother Earth

  • Lavender: protection, cleansing and attracting love

  • Copal: attracts positivity and good spirits

  • Myrrh: enlightenment, youthfulness, and truth

How to Perform a Smudging Ritual: Guidelines and Tips Continue reading

shutterstock_204521077

5 Powerful Yoga Poses That Help With Breast Cancer Recovery

 Being diagnosed with breast cancer can leave you feeling terrified and confused. You’ll more than likely find yourself going through several rounds of chemotherapy, being administered drugs and in severe cases, you may have to have a mastectomy. One of the lesser known and discussed side effects of cancer is a newly found mistrust of your own body – it can be easy to feel as if it has let you down. 

One well-known form of exercise that can help rebuild your appreciation of your own body is yoga. Whether you are still undergoing treatment or you have successfully fought off the disease, yoga can be a gentle way of maintaining your overall health without over-exerting yourself. Practicing yoga also allows you to repair the link between your body and mind, ensuring your overall spiritual wellness.

Not all yoga positions are available whilst you’re in treatment and recovery, however, these five positions are tried and tested ways for breast cancer patients to enjoy yoga and love their bodies… 

shutterstock_207563935Savasana

Savasana is an ideal position for someone rediscovering their body – focusing on the release of muscle tension and stress. In many yoga studios, the savasana is largely rushed through in a couple of minutes.

However, in traditional yoga practices it is not uncommon for someone to hold the position for as long as 30 minutes. This is because true spiritual yoga should be about taking the time to understand the flexibility of your own body as it aligns with your mind.

Continue reading

shutterstock_263608211

4 Hallucinogenic Herbs That Are Legal & In Your Garden

 For centuries humans have been taking psychedelic drugs for a multitude of reasons. The indigenous populations of the Amazon Basin used ayahuasca as part of ceremonial practices and have done so for so long that the exact origin is now unknown.

The earliest recorded growth and use of opium goes as far back as 3,400 B.C. Mushrooms have featured across several cultures for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes, especially in Siberia, thanks to their ability to transport the human mind beyond reality and onto astral planes.

Many plants with hallucinogenic properties have even been used for medicinal purposes – thought to bring with them healing powers.

Illegal Statusshutterstock_245570767

In the United States, it is only really in the past 150 years that regulations of pharmaceuticals and drugs have appeared in the law.

Around 1860, laws were introduced to prevent the mislabelling or improper selling of certain drugs, calling them “poisons” if they were sold for the wrong purposes. Several pharmaceutical societies also supported the listing of cannabis as one of these so-called poisons.

From there, over the years, more laws were written, more substances outlawed, and more reasons were cited for these bans. Today, in the US, the Controlled Substance Act keeps lots of drugs that give you these highs illegal and as more plants are grown, prepared, and ingested, even more laws are made, and you’re left in the middle stone cold sober.

Continue reading

shutterstock_116740402

Totem Animal Vs. Shadow Animal: What’s The Difference?

Totem and shadow animals played a crucial part of Native American culture and individual consciousness. They were animals that influenced each individual’s life journey. The way we interact with animals and the lessons that they can teach us to remain as relevant for modern society as it did thousands of years ago.

Each of us will find ourselves drawn to or repelled from different animals for reasons that science can’t explain. Evolution teaches us that bears and wolves are dangerous animals yet we are still fascinated by them and compelled to see them. While others that cause us little harm such as mice or most spiders we shrink away from. This is our spirituality showing us those animals which are crucial to our life journey.

But what’s the difference between a totem animal and a shadow animal?

What is a totem animal?

shutterstock_357384701

Native American tradition tells us that each and every one of us has up to nine animal totems over the course of our lifetimes. An animal totem is an animal that embodies our personal and spiritual identity.

They can represent a facet of our personalities, act as a guide for our future or highlight an aspect of our past we did not understand.

Each animal totem will teach us a different lesson but collectively they teach us the importance of living in harmony with the natural world and how to adjust our lives to purity of thought and emotion.

Totem animals serve as helpful, inspirational guides on our journey through life. By focussing on understanding the traits and characteristics of our totems we begin to externalize them in order to become better people. Continue reading

Seeking Higher Consciousness