Spiritual Sundays: How to Meditate (5 Easy Steps)

Greetings & Happy Sunday, Spiiirits!

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Meditation is a vital component for self-awareness and spiritual growth. The practice of meditation brings with it not only spiritual benefits, but mental and physical benefits as well. After educating myself on meditation and its many benefits, as well as beginning to experience some of the benefits myself, I believe meditation should be practiced by every human being on the planet, daily, in some shape or form. This would be beneficial, not only for each individual, but for all mankind collectively.

Many stray away from meditating because they don’t have a complete idea of what it is or how to do it. And we can all agree that Mother Culture has taught us to fear what we do not know/understand. But meditation should not be something we remain in the dark about any longer. And it should be something everyone knows how to do.

Feeling as such, I have decided to compile a basic how-to guide to meditation. Nothing too stressful, a couple of quick steps…so easy a caveman could do it! 😀

 

Step 1 – Find Your Meditation Location. Find a private spot where you feel safe and comfortable. The spot should be quiet and free from external distractions. This can range from a bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, a spot in your backyard, etc. just anywhere where you can create a comfortable, quiet, uninterrupted moment for yourself.

Step 2 – Get Comfortable. Once you have secured your meditation location, find a spot and get comfy. You may sit in a chair or on the floor. You may also lie down, though it is easier to accidentally fall asleep this way. Just choose the position that is most comfortable for you. But be sure that, no matter how you choose to sit, you keep your posture upright as to properly facilitate the flow of energy. Make sure to clear the exact spot where you plan to meditate of any clutter. Many people use crystals to amplify their meditative sessions. If you have crystals or some other object pertaining to the meditation, it is fine to keep those near you. Also, if you become uncomfortable at any later point in the meditation you can mildly maneuver. However, for best results, movement should be kept to a minimum.

Step 3 – Decide the Time Frame. Once you begin the act of meditating, it is easy for time to pass without you being aware how much of it has gone by. While some may just let the meditation lead them and just get up whenever they feel “done”, this may not be the  best move for a beginner. You also don’t want to find yourself inclined to think about time at all during the act of meditation, as this may just make you figity, and bring stress that draws attention away from your meditation. The best way to avoid this is to predetermine a time limit. This can be done by setting a timer or alarm. 30 minutes is a good amount of time to meditate, though you should feel free to do more or less. Guided meditations are another good way to decide the time frame of your meditation, but more on that later.

Step 4- Breathe & Observe. Close your eyes.  Now its time to get into the groove of actual meditation. Take deep breaths, fully inhaling and fully exhaling. Now begin to clear your mind. You can do this by focusing on your breaths or by counting to 100 in your mind as you continue to breathe. Thoughts will come during this time, but it is your job not to engage with any of these thoughts. You are to separate yourself from the thoughts, simply becoming a passive observer of them. It is important in this moment not to classify the thoughts that come as good or bad, or really respond to the thought in anyway. Don’t delve into the thought, don’t analyze it. Simply observe the thought as it passes and then send it away.

Step 5 – |END| Return to the Physical Realm. The alarm (or whatever timer you have put in place) sounds, signaling that the time has come to draw your meditation to a close. DO NOT just bounce up hurriedly. Slowly ease into the physical state of being. Start off by mentally becoming aware, again, of where you are physically. Next become aware of your physical body. Wiggle your toes, yawn, stretch. Then slowly open your eyes and re-accustom to your surroundings. It is important to do this because shifting modes too rapidly can be discombobulating. However this whole process need not take longer than one minute. Now you can get up, move about, and carry on with your day! Some people, alternatively, choose to remain in their spot and reflect upon the meditation or send silent gratitude into the Universe. This is perfectly fine as well. Go with how you feel! (which after a meditation, is usually GRRREEEAAAATTTT! 😉 )

***Quick Tip***- I mentioned guided meditations in step 3. Guided meditations are a great tool for beginners! (and pros, alike, if you ask me). They are perfect for giving those who have trouble clearing their mind, on their own, something to focus on. There are also guided meditations that cater to specific areas (such as balance, prosperity, healing, etc.). And with guided meditations ranging from as short as 10 minutes to as long as 2 hours, they can be perfect for deciding the time frame for how long you want to meditate, as well as what aspects of your being you are primarily want to focus on in each session.

Hope these tips prove helpful to you guys. Happy Meditating, Spiiirits!

Namaste

☮XOXO A.T.☮

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OOTD: Updo’s & Thrifted Pleasantries

An Outfit of the Day from a couple days ago…

Actually, it was last Thursday, which was an awesome day for a lot of reasons. It was my last day of Summer session I, my mommie and grammie came out to visit me, and they packed me down with a house full of groceries. I also got a job on Thursday for which I had to go in and do paperwork. As I watch my days’ progressions, it just amazing to see how many blessings God lays in my path. Can’t be anything but thankful.

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gold studs – F21, gold charm necklace – SB, shirt – Free Spiiirit Vintage, cobalt pants – Thrifted, seahorse ring – Glitter, bicycle ring – SB, belt – Thrifted, camel oxfords – Thrifted

Every piece of this outfit (minus the studs & rings) was thrifted at some point. Even the necklace, which was borrowed, is a vintage gold piece that was picked up in a thrift store. Ahh, I love my thrifty days. They give life to my inner frugal fashionista! The updo was a quick, easy twist on a simple hairstyle. If you guys want a tutorial, just let me know.

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

Trendspotting Tuesdays: Orange Lipstick + Finding Your Shade

Orange lipstick is hot, Hot, HOT for the summer.

Check out a couple of celebs that have taken to rocking the trendy color…

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Now orange is a color that can easily look tacky and loud if done incorrectly. However, it can look great on any skin tone, if you pick the right shade for you.

A Couple Tips on Finding the Correct Shade

Light Skin: Choose a very true-to-orange shade, it’ll pop against your bright skin
Medium Skin: Choose an orange with golden undertones, it’ll accentuate your skin and give it warmth without bronzer
Dark Skin: Choose darker oranges with more brown to brick undertones, it will be less harsh on your tone while giving you the poppy look you desire

For all shades: Always opt for liner whenever possible, its the secret to long-lasting and defined lips in any lipshade. (You can buy a beauty supply lipstick and make it look like a million bucks with liner, Trust Me.) Also if you can’t find your exact shade in the stores, don’t be afraid to mix colors and liners until you do!

The right orange lip gives you a fun look and a warm summer glow. And with these tips & tricks in your arsenal there is no need to fear getting it wrong. Go forth & get funky in orange!

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

Menswear Mondays : Costume Ideas for Men

Hola all, Halloween is drawing near!

And I realized that I had given some options to my ladies as far as costumes they could put together from their closest, use a little DIY to make, or cheaply buy, however I offered no recourse for my guys! I apologize my dears, and I am here to fix the situation.

Here are a couple of last minute ideas for costumes you guys can be that won’t break the bank…

The Hobo

This little man did it best! This costume is easy an inventive. Wear a flannel shirt and some ripped jeans, add a little dirt effect for flair, get a styrofoam cup or cardboard sign and put a funny “will work for…” type statement on it and its one and done. Don’t forget your beard! Which can be drawn on or fake hair fuzzies glued on. Your perrogative!

The Zombie

Just like with the girl version, you can wear regular clothes and bloody-fy them. All you need to do is maybe put in some creepy contacts and add a little undead like makeup and you’re good to go.

Clark Kent

Superman! Dun dun dunnnnn!!! Well, not quite…but a much easier way to achieve an even cooler costume. All you need here is a suit and some “nerd glasses” (an easy way to get these is to pop the lenses out of the ones given for 3D movies…perfection). Open up the suit slightly to reveal a shirt with a superman logo on it, just so everyone knows you’re a superhero in disguise. You can easily buy a cheap superman shirt or make your own from a basic tee and an iron on.

The Fireman

Probably one of the easiest to achieve. Especially if you’ve got a nice bod. Boots, pants, suspenders, oiled torso, and a fire hat. One and done.

And there it is! Hopefully I have inspired some good, quick, and easy last minute costume ideas for my men out there. Stay tuned for more men-friendly fashion & advice next week!

Until Next Time

XOXO JAZ’