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Absolute Face & Body Medspa

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The Single Most Important Factor In Creating Joy

There are so many ways to heal, and the miracle of the Internet brings them all to our fingertips. Whether it's meditation, journaling, or yoga, we know what it takes to feel better and we can easily sign up for a course to help us learn to implement these time-honored tools.

Yet the accessibility of information and tools comes at a price that we all have to fight against. The Internet is a great magnetic force that lures us into its endless labyrinth of possibilities. This pull — this torrential wave of ways to distract and avoid — is the polar opposite of the energy we need in order to heal.

The first step of all of these tools is to slow down and turn inward. You can't meditate while zipping around your life at light speed. You can't journal if every free moment is spent clicking on news feeds. You can't slow down into yoga if you're filling every time slot with social media.

The single most important step to finding joy is to stop. And yet this is what most people resist like the plague.

When we slow down, we have to feel the pain that we may be avoiding. We have to confront the demons that we think we're keeping at bay through the addiction of busyness. The illusion is that we can avoid feeling our life. But the reality is that when we don't slow down, turn inward, and spend time walking the landscapes of the inner world, the inner world finds us through anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, insomnia and somatic ailments.

It's astonishing how profoundly we resist turning inward. Our externalized, rationalist culture judges time turned inward in quiet reflection as a frivolous and selfish waste of time. We value efficiency, achievement and productivity, so any endeavor that doesn't result in a tangible product is deemed unworthy.
But all habits can be changed. If you want to find more joy, take these steps to help create a new habit of slowing down and doing inner work:

1. Remind yourself that you can handle your pain.
When you stop, the lava of emotions that you've been staving off will come bubbling to the surface, and the only way you will allow this is if you know that you're strong enough to handle big feelings. It's the child-self that believes you can't handle it. Your inner adult knows otherwise.

2. Ask yourself on a daily, and even hourly basis if the way you're living your life is bringing fulfillment, meaning and joy.
We tend to operate on autopilot, going about our days in the fog of habit. When you stop and ask yourself if what you're doing is bringing joy, you're already creating the new habit of punctuating your days with potent pauses.

3. Pause morning and night.
Waking up and getting into bed are liminal zones, times when the rigidity of our conscious, ego-minds loosens up and we're more primed to be able to change a habit. If you turn inward during these times instead of reaching for your phone, you'll be more likely to create a new habit.

4. Remind yourself that turning inward is a gift to the world.
To challenge the belief that turning inward is a selfish waste of time, trust that in order to be of service and live a meaningful life you need to find out who you are and fill your well of Self. This is not a luxury; it's a necessity.

5. Stop and stay still.
Stop in the shower. Stop at the light (resist the urge to reach for your phone). Stop at work. But don't just stop; initiate what Tara Brach calls "a sacred pause." Close your eyes (if you can) and turn inward. Take one full, conscious breath. Notice what's happening inside.
Simone Weil said, "Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer." When you pay attention to what's happening inside — which can only happen when you slow down and turn inward — small miracles bloom like flowers beneath your gaze.

by Sheryl Paul

#happy   #happiness   #health   #wellness   #healthyliving   #lifestyle  
#healthcare   #tbt   #vip   #seo  

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5 Thoughts That Will Make You Instantly Happier

I want to be happy, you want to be happy — everyone wants to achieve this mysterious state of bliss.

Happiness binds the entire universe together. The actions and motives of every living human being are driven by our desire for it. But what sets apart the truly happy tribe from others is that they've made the conscious choice to be happy.

Happy people have learned that happiness starts with ourselves; specifically, it sprouts from our thoughts. With just a couple thoughts, you too can join the tribe of happy people all over the world! Start with these five:

1. This too shall pass.

When we're in the throes of a powerful emotion or situation, life can feel bleak and hopeless. When life pushes you down — whether you're dealing with a broken heart, a bruised ego, or an embarrassment — you can counter any thoughts coming up with this one thought:

This too shall pass.

This thought takes the permanence out of the negative emotion or situation and creates space to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Grow your wisdom: Life is in a constant state of flux, and everything will pass.

2. You are not alone.

It's common to get our feet stuck in deep and dark mental places. In dealing with disease, divorce, death or downsizing, it's easy to become consumed by your grief, and it's easy to feel like no one has ever felt as bad as you might feel right now. Guess what? Someone else has — practically every living being has felt that exact emotion at one time or another.

You are never alone.

Emotions are like storms; no matter how dark and turbulent, they'll clear and sunny skies will rise again.

3. Other people have good intentions.

It's easy to think the worst of others. I'm guilty of this, but really it's just my own mind being pessimistic and negative. This pessimism set me off into an unpleasant mental spin.

Try thinking of others in a positive light.

Assume that they have good intentions. Appreciate and savor your relationships and the love you have to give and receive from others.

4. There's a bright side to every situation.

Changing your perspective can do wonders for your mood and for the mood of those around you. Let's say you begrudgingly must spend the day driving to a distant appointment; instead of grumbling the entire way there, look on the bright side. It might be a beautiful day for a drive! Enjoy the fresh air and listen to some music.

There's always a bright side.

So find it and drive out those negative thoughts. Happiness is here right now. In fact it's never been anywhere else but here. Clear the dark storm clouds and rediscover the bright blue sky waiting underneath.

Now smile. It’s not so bad.

5. Slow down and breathe.

Actually, say this aloud in your head over and over throughout the day.

Slow down and just breathe.

We need this constant reminder. Focus on one thing at a time try to infuse each moment with your attention and presence. Without conscious breathing your life will become riddled with anxiety and turmoil. Make your day a moving meditation.

#health   #wellness   #lifestyle   #happy   #love   #life   #wisdom   #tips  

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8 Delicious Ways To Fight Sugar Cravings

Oh no…the sweet treats are luring you…again! 
You're at your weakest at 4pm and 10pm. And, if you're honest, you give into them more than you'd like too. You've tried the dark chocolate thing…but, you know, the entire bar somehow goes in two days. You've justified cacao dusted almonds - they're just almonds with a superfood, right? And you've gone cold turkey on all sugar, including fruit, only to find yourself eating nut butter straight from the jar (it's sugar-free)! And now you think you have a nut addiction. What's a sugar-craving person to do?

Think raw food! I've got eight delectable substitutions to turn off your physical cravings for sugar.

1. Green vegetable juice

The most power packed of them all. Cucumbers are naturally sweet when juiced and they'll trick your taste buds into thinking you've had something sweet. If green vegetables juices are new to you, add 1/2 an apple to sweeten it. And if you don't have time to juice, pick up a cold-pressed juice on the go or, better still, keep them in your refrigerator at work and at home for when a craving strikes!

2. Vanilla chia seed pudding

Make this by soaking 3 tablespoons of chia seed in 12oz of unsweetened vanilla almond milk for 15 minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon and ground vanilla bean to sweeten the pudding. Vanilla is known for decreasing sugar cravings while cinnamon helps to regulate blood glucose levels so you're not looking for another sugar hit 30 minutes later!

3. Coconut water with squeeze of lime

Pour coconut water over ice then add a touch of lime juice. 
This is a refreshing option that not only abates a sugar craving but also provides hydrating potassium and mood-boasting magnesium.

4. Pear slices dipped in tahini

Cut the pear into slices and serve it on plate with 1 tablespoon of tahini. Dip the pear slices into the tahini. Fruit is a simple way to cut through a sugar craving and if it's just one serving (about a cup), it won't spike your blood sugar levels.

5. Chocolate almond milk with a cinnamon stick

Pour unsweetened chocolate almond milk into a glass and serve it with a cinnamon stick. This is a very low calorie option at 40 calories for 8oz.

6. Rose tea with raw honey

This is ideal for a 10pm sugar craving. Making tea helps to soothe the mind while the honey gives a hint of sweetness. While some people put honey into the same category as sugar, I don’t. 
Raw honey is an alkaline food (sugar is acidic) and it contains enzymes and phytonutrients while sugar does not.

7. Two fresh apricots

Take two fresh apricots, which are loaded with skin nourishing carotenoids, and slice them into 1/4's to serve on a plate. 
Be present when you eat and notice how deliciously sweet the apricots are.

8. Raw flax crackers with manuka honey

Choose raw flax crackers (raw means they are gluten-free) and top them with manuka honey. The fiber in flax seeds helps to decrease the appetite while the manuka honey sweetens them and boosts the immune system.

If these substitutions don't work, then your craving is likely to be emotional and driven by a desire to suppress a subconscious emotion.

#life   #happiness   #fitness   #beauty   #health   #tips   #wellness   
#sugarfree   #sugars   #diet   #organic   #healthyliving   #healthyeating   #healthyfood   #lifestyle   #SEO  

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Finally! America Now Has An Official "GMO-Free" Label For Food

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Agriculture Department has developed a new government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.

USDA's move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of the genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The certification is the first of its kind, would be voluntary — and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a "USDA Process Verified" label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the new certification in a May 1 letter to USDA employees, saying it was being done at the request of a "leading global company," which he did not identify. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

A USDA spokesman confirmed that Vilsack sent the letter but declined to comment on the certification program. Vilsack said in the letter that the certification "will be announced soon, and other companies are already lining up to take advantage of this service."

Companies can already put their own GMO-free labels on foods, but there are no government labels that only certify a food as GMO-free. Many companies use a private label developed by a nonprofit called the Non-GMO Project. The USDA organic label also certifies that foods are free of genetically modified ingredients, but many non-GMO foods aren't organic.

Vilsack said the USDA certification is being created through the department's Agriculture Marketing Service, which works with interested companies to certify the accuracy of the claims they are making on food packages — think "humanely raised" or "no antibiotics ever." Companies pay the Agricultural Marketing Service to verify a claim, and if approved, they can market the foods with the USDA process verified label.

"Recently, a leading global company asked AMS to help verify that the corn and soybeans it uses in its products are not genetically engineered so that the company could label the products as such," Vilsack wrote in the letter. "AMS worked with the company to develop testing and verification processes to verify the non-GE claim."
Genetically modified foods come from seeds that are originally engineered in laboratories to have certain traits, like resistance to herbicides. The majority of the country's corn and soybean crop is now genetically modified, with much of that going to animal feed. GMO corn and soybeans are also made into popular processed food ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil.

The government says GMOs on the market now are safe so mandatory labels aren't needed. Consumer advocates pushing for mandatory labeling say shoppers still have a right to know what is in their food, arguing that not enough is known about the effects of the technology. They have supported several state efforts to require labeling, with the eventual goal of having a federal mandatory label set by the Food and Drug Administration.

An Associated Press-GfK poll in December showed that two thirds of Americans support the labeling, while fewer said genetically modified ingredients are important in judging whether a food is healthy. Some of the respondents said their support of labeling was more about accountability in the food industry than the safety of GMOs.

Vermont became the first state to require the labeling in 2014, and that law will go into effect next year if it survives a legal challenge from the food industry.

The USDA label is similar to what is proposed in a GOP House bill introduced earlier this year that is designed to block such mandatory GMO labeling efforts around the country. The bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., provides for voluntary USDA certification and would override any state laws that require the labeling. The food industry has strongly backed Pompeo's bill, arguing labels would be misleading because GMOs are safe.

Pompeo said USDA's move shows his approach is gathering support.
"I look forward to working with the secretary and with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that we come to the best possible policy to provide families in Kansas and America with clarity at the grocery store affordable and abundant food supply," he said.

Consumer advocates who are pushing for mandatory labeling say the voluntary USDA labels aren't sufficient to help consumers know what is in their food, arguing that labels that are on some foods but not others could just lead to more confusion.

Gary Hirshberg, chairman of the Just Label It campaign and co-founder of the organic yogurt company Stonyfield Farm, said the labels were a small step in the right direction but more is needed.

"Mandatory labeling of GMOs would allow consumers to vote with their dollars and have a say in the type of agriculture they would like to see in this country," Hirshberg said.

#gmo   #gmofree   #diet   #health   #cancer   #processedfood   #wellness   #organic   #healthyliving   #vip‬   #food   #tgif  
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