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6 Reasons You Should Try Smudging and How To Do It At Home

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6 Reasons You Should Try Smudging and How To Do It At Home

Smudging might be a totally new concept to you, but it has been used for centuries to cleanse negative energy and purify living areas. Smudging typically refers to the burning of small parcels of certain herbs in order to cleanse a space of low energies. It is surprisingly easy to practice smudging in your own home – all you need is an open mind (and some herbs!)…

1. It Clears The Air Of Negative Energies

If you have just moved in to a new home and, much as you love it, the energy just feels a little…off. This could be down to a number of reasons, including strange or low energies, but this is not something that you have to live with. Burning ceremonial sage, as directed below, can help to cleanse rooms and spaces of negative energies.

For those of you who thinks that smudging seems a little far out, there is actually some science behind it all! Burning sage actually changes the composition of air, physically altering the way it is made up. This shift can positively affect the quality of the air, as well as erase any bad energy. Burning sage in your new home, workspace or around yourself can get rid of old energies and make room for new experiences.

2. Smudging Will Help You To Sleep

Smudging can really help you to drift off, and improve the quality of sleep that you are getting. Again, this is due to the change in air composition. The increase in negative ions produced by smudging allows your body to relax more, thus encouraging sleep. The aroma, too, can help you drift off more easily, and promotes deep and beneficial sleep. Lavender can also be used for smudging, especially if you are looking for a good night’s sleep.

Part of the reason that smudging helps aid sleep is the routine side of it all. Get yourself into good habits – relax, burn sage and get cosy. Your body will begin to associate smudging with sleeping and you will soon find yourself drifting off without even trying!

3. It’s Transformative

With the change in air comes a change in energy. Whether you believe in the science behind this or just the power of positive thinking, burning sage makes a big difference. Imagine this new air getting rid of all the negative energy and bad vibes that hang in the air.

Smudging is a great way to move on from unwanted or painful experiences. Break-ups, emotional conflicts and illness all tend to get trapped up in the air around us. Part of moving forwards involves letting go of the past and transforming our surroundings. By physically altering the air around you, it’s easier for your mind and heart to move on after trauma.

4. It Enhances Your Spirituality

Smudging enhances your yoga and meditation practice. Part of this benefit admittedly comes down to the ceremony of the whole process, and the spirituality that accompanies it. Again, the clearer the air, the clearer your mind. By imagining a healthy space with room to grow, you will open yourself to a much more beneficial session.

Smudging can really set the tone for your practice, and helps you enter meditation in a focused state of mind. There is something really special about preparing a room for yoga practice, and this scared ritual has so much history behind it. Think of it as an aromatic Feng shui, for both your living space and your mind.

5. It Deep-cleans, Fast!

Burning herbs is an easy way to deep clean the house. Sage alters the ionic composition of the air when it is burnt, by releasing more negative ions into the air. These ions have amazing effects on our minds, but can also make physical changes to our home. The increase in negative ions balances the air out, making it healthier and cleaner for us.

The negative ions, if there are enough of them, can effectively clean your home, too. They work by getting rid of dirt and mould build-up, as well as having an anti-bacterial effect. Essentially, these negative ions cling to the ions involved with nasty aromas and dust, making them heavy enough to fall to the ground. This makes it much easier to clean your home or workspace, leaving you feeling safe and healthy.

6. It Is A Wonderful Mood-booster

Burning sage, and other herbs, is believed to ward off depression and negative thoughts. Serotonin is the chemical that helps us feel good and improves our moods. Smudging can help to normalize Serotonin in the brain, thus stabilizing our moods. This stability in the home is really important to our mental health and, while it may not be a cure, smudging can definitely boosts your mood!

How To Do It At Home:

Smudging is super easy to do, and it doesn’t require any prior experience or knowledge of herbs of Native American traditions. These simple steps will help you reset your home and improve your well being.

This is a lovely ritual that will boost your mood and encourage positive energies in your home. It is something to be enjoyed, and you can perform it as often as you like.

You will need:

  • A smudge stick, which you can buy or make yourself (see below!)
  • A small candle and a lighter/ matches
  • A bowl or container that is fireproof. Add sand to safely extinguish the embers when you are finished

I like setting everything out on a special cloth or table, just to add to the ceremonial feel of it all. Make this your own ritual by dressing in the same clothes, playing a meaningful song or following the same route around your home each time.

Start by lighting your candle. I’d opt for an unscented one, just so you can fully appreciate the smell of the herbs, but this is a personal preference. Hold the smudge stick over this flame until it is lit – it should gently glow with fire.

Carrying your smudge stick over the bowl or container, start making your way around the space you wish to cleanse. This just makes sure that any embers safely fall and are extinguished efficiently.

It is recommended that you walk clockwise around your house, waving the smudge stick to ensure that the herbal smoke reaches all corners of each room. Open cupboards and wardrobes and focus on the corners of each room. Reach into any spaces that may hold stale air or negative energies.

If you want to clear a space of negative energy, picture this energy lifting away as you walk around the room. Healing? Then imagine the smoke cleansing the space of any illness or injury. Whatever it is, envision it floating away on the smoke.

Return to where you began the smudging session, gently pushing the smudge stick into the sand. Blow out the candle, or leave it burning somewhere safe for a while longer. Carefully pack everything away ready for your next ceremony.

Remember, that this is a sacred ritual and respect it appropriately. Take your time, breathe mindfully and move with purpose.

Which herbs should I use?

If you fancy making your own smudge stick, you are in for a treat. This is a really fun thing to do, and definitely adds to the whole experience. Trim a handful of herbs to a similar length, and tie together with string or ribbon. It really is that easy!

Sage is the most common herb used for smudging, as it works efficiently to cleanse the air and recharge the ions around you. This is a lovely choice for any new homes or workspaces that need a spiritual overhaul.

Lavender is the perfect herb to smudge your bedroom with, as it encourages sleep. The scent is quite strong, but it really helps the mind and body to relax.

Juniper can be slightly trickier to find that some of the other herbs, but it is really amazing! It helps recharge your mind and body, especially after illness or fatigue.

Myrrh and Rose are both great options for anyone who regularly practices meditation. They encourage positivity, confidence and feelings of love.

Frankincense has been widely used in relation to illness, and can be burnt in a room to get rid of sickness. It can also help the healing process along, and I would suggest using Juniper alongside it for this purpose.

Myrrh and Frankincense normally come in the form of resins, which cannot be made into smudge sticks. Instead, light a charcoal stick or ‘puck’ and crumble some resin on top of it once there is sufficient smoke coming off it. This will infuse your home with the scent, while cleansing and resetting the space around you.

Make sure that you fully dry your bundle before using. Hanging it upside down for a few days after you have made it can do this.

The wonderful thing about smudging, is that it can be done when ever and as often as you like.

Have you heard of smudging before? Would you like to clear your living space of any bad vibes and negative energy? Who would not want to treat themselves to a instant positive mood boost. Why not treat yourself to a wonderful smudging ritual. You deserve it.

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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

Multiple studies have indicated that a large percentage of people are unhappy with their jobs. Research carried out by Microsoft in 2021, showed that 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer. Sometimes, this dissatisfaction comes from working long hours. Other times, it is about not making enough money.

On occasion, however, the source of unhappiness is the person that you work for. Working for a tyrant boss is draining and stressful. It can have a negative impact on nearly every area of your life, because the stress that it causes makes it hard to “let go” of your workday even when you are at home.

So, how do you know if you are working for a tyrant boss? And if you are, what can you do about it?

A Boss That Is Never Wrong

You have heard of the phrase “the customer is always right,” but do you work for someone who never seems to think that you are ever right?

A tyrant in the workplace is often a dictator. This means that they don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or ideas, and if they do, they are instantly shut down. A tyrant boss can “never be wrong,” and they have the final authority on everything.

Unfortunately, they are often the ones who will suffer in the end. No one is perfect, no matter how much your boss thinks that they are. If they do not take other people’s input into consideration, they are going to burn out and end up making poor choices, which will impact the business in the long run.

Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right. Ken Blanchard

They Expect Carbon Copies Of Themselves

Does your boss seem to gravitate toward employees who are just like them?

Narcissistic people tend to be kinder to those who have the same characteristics. The problem with that? It takes a diverse group of people with different skill sets to make a great team.

If your boss favors people just like them and expects everyone to conform to certain unreasonable expectations, you should see this as a huge red flag.

Additionally, pay attention to how your boss’ personality changes around certain people. If they tend to play favorites, it might be another sign that they are running a tyrannical operation. Everyone in a business should be treated equally. Favoritism doesn’t belong in a professional setting.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Henry Ford

They Don’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has become an important topic of conversation over the last year. With more people working remotely, it has been harder for some to strike a healthy balance between their work life and their home life.

While, in many cases, you can find ways to manage this balance, some bosses simply won’t allow it.

For example, does your boss frequently call you on your day off? Do they email you or message you after working hours, or first thing in the morning?

If your boss cannot respect that you have a life and that you deserve some free time, they are running their business like a dictatorship. Good employers know how important it is for their employees to have free time, whether it is for self-care or socialization. When a worker constantly feels like they are “on the clock,” they are more likely to get burnt out quickly, and their performance will suffer.

They Are Master Micro-Managers

Does your boss lurk over you more often than not? Do you find it hard to get anything done in a day because they are micromanaging everything that you do?

Micro-managers want a play-by-play of everything that you are doing throughout the day. They will try to take charge of your projects and overlook everything so you can’t be as productive as you could be.

You can work to diffuse a micro-managing boss by giving them more information than they ask for. Beat them at their own game by giving them detailed information about what you are working on. If they feel like they are not able to be “on top” of you anymore, they will likely give up and let you work in peace.

Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people. Steve Jobs

They Want All Of The Credit

Typically, when a business sees any kind of success, it is a good sign of a strong, dynamic team. One person cannot hold up an entire company on their own.

But, if your boss tends to take the credit for everything and loves being in the spotlight, it can often feel like your efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. There are children’s books about people doing all the work and someone else taking all of the credit. Some adults just never seem to learn the “moral of the story”.

What Can You Do About It?

So, what can you do if you are working for a tyrant boss? Aside from resigning, which is sometimes the only option, there are a few ways that you can manage things on a daily basis.

First, try not to let your boss’ behavior affect you. Yes, they can be frustrating. They will get to you, at times. It is important for you to take the high road and be the bigger person. No matter where you work, everything that you do is a reflection of who you are – your personal brand. Don’t give in to your frustrations, and don’t fuel your boss’ attitude by snapping back at them. If you do, chances are, their behaviors will become even more exaggerated.

Your overall well-being should be your top priority. If you don’t see any signs of a changing environment, you don’t need to stay in a toxic workplace. Understand some of these signs, and trust your gut when it comes to how you should respond. Many of us have had bad experiences with tyrant bosses in the past, I know I have. In my experience, tyrant bosses very rarely change. They have either moved on or I have.

Life is too short to be stressed out by your boss. Thankfully there are plenty of great bosses out there too who will respect and value you and they are a real joy to work with.

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

We live in a world where other people’s triumphs, successes, and even their vanity are constantly in our faces. Digital influencers and social media make it seem easy to look perfect and feel amazing all of the time. Even your friends and family members might appear to having more success, happiness and fun.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably list off a handful of people you have compared yourself to in the past last week. Maybe a co-worker got a promotion at work, or maybe your friend has just flown off on vacation. Maybe someone you have not seen in years posted a photo online that made you envious of their lifestyle. When you start comparing yourself to others, it is easy to lose your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you let your guard down, you can fall into the trap of chasing after other people’s lives and not appreciating who you are and what you have achieved.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. How true those words remain today – perhaps even more so!

How can you stop the endless scrolling, or looking at the lives of people you know and feeling like you’re somehow less important?

Let’s look at a few tips and techniques that can help you to stop comparing yourself to others.

Know Your Triggers

Maybe a co-worker getting a promotion doesn’t affect you, but a friend getting married does. You might be single or recently divorced. Or, maybe you have been in a relationship for a while but your partner doesn’t want to get married. As a result, you start comparing yourself and the things you want to what someone else has. The things that cause you to compare are your “triggers”. Sometimes, you might not care whether someone has more than you, but other times it can really sting and make you feel low.

Understanding your triggers and accepting them will make it easier to stop making those comparisons. First, you can avoid triggers as much as possible until they do not impact you as much. Maybe cut down on your social media usage. Do you pick up your phone out of habit and constantly refresh your Instagram feed? Perhaps get into the habit of keeping your phone out of reach and taking a social media fast from time to time. As you work on that, try to think about why comparing yourself in those specific situations is a waste of time. Once you convince yourself that it is “no big deal,” you are less likely to be triggered.

Remind Yourself That It May Not Be Real

Because of the social media-saturated world that we live in, it is easy for everyone to make their lives seem better than they are. No one is going to post a photo that doesn’t paint them in a positive light. Even in the real world, everything is not always what it seems. Your friend getting married? Maybe they are struggling with something else, like a health condition or money troubles. That co-worker that seems to get all the credit? Maybe they are going through relationship issues at home.

Most of the time, you will only see what people want you to see. You never really know what is going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. So, when you start comparing yourself to someone else, pause for a moment and remind yourself that no one’s life is perfect. You don’t know what other people are going through, and you may actually be doing better than they are in other areas of life.

Practice Gratitude

When you compare yourself to others, you lose sight of everything you have and everything you can do. Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to stop making comparisons. Think of at least five things you are grateful for every morning to start your day on a positive note.

Alternatively, carry a small notebook around with you and write down something that you are thankful for every time you think of it throughout the day. The best part about this method is being able to look back on your gratitude moments, especially if you are feeling down. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the wonderful things in your life.

Use it as a Motivational Tool

Sometimes, comparison can be a healthy thing. If the thing that you “want” is something that you can work towards, you can let your comparison motivate you to get it. For example, if someone in your life is incredibly kind and charitable, why let their generosity make you feel less important? You do not have to be extremely wealthy to give back. Try volunteering, or donate what you can. If someone at work seems to be getting all the glory, use that as a motivational tool to work harder and get your achievements noticed too.

When you start to work toward the things that make you admire others, it becomes less about comparison and more about who you really want to be. When done “correctly,” comparison can actually push you to be the best possible version of yourself.

So, don’t waste anymore time scrolling through social media and wishing for a different life. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think you will never have as much. When you use comparison in a negative way, it will make you feel negative and envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let certain people inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more.

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

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