My Dreams Are So Big They Scare Me

My dreams are so big that I get scared. I get so scared that I’m immobilized at times. I develop anxiety while speaking to others about my dreams. I get lost and confused and I procrastinate because I have no idea where to start or when too. I end up putting off work because I get too scared about starting the process, fearing how deep I will be involved. Will it be too late to turn back once I start? What if after declaring, to the world, of my intentions I am not capable of accomplishing my dreams? What if everyone is right about me being incapable? My dreams are so big that I don’t even want to share it with others because I fear that I will jinx it somehow. Even speaking to others about my dreams alienates me. Others often look at me with pity because they “know” I won’t make it. Well, you know what? I have lived in this fear for long enough and I want to finally break free from this trap.

Today, I want to share with you for the first time what my dream is. My dream is to change this world. I have a fire in me that wants to change this world, for the better. I imagine drastic changes taking place in the future that will help change the way we view ourselves, each other and how we live our day to day lives. This change cannot happen until it happens within my very soul. So, for the past 5 years I have been on a spiritual quest toward self discovery. My spiritual quest is helping me discover my own potential so that I can eventually help others find it within themselves. Seems simple enough right, it’s not such a big dream when you really think about it, right? LOL.

Have you ever dreamt of achieivng something that is SOOOO BIG that no one seems to understand what you are talking about, including yourself at times? Have you ever dreamt of something so big that people actually look at you like you’re nuts? Have you ever been put down because of your big dreams? I have, countless number of times. Each time I opened my mouth to try to explain my dreams to others I was laughed at. People would actually burst out laughing telling me to let go of such foolish dreams. I have been judged and ridiculed and even told that I will NEVER achieve my dreams. I have been told this by those closest and dearest to me and one would think this would’ve discouraged or hurt me. Actually, the exact opposite occurred.

Being laughed at and told that I could never accomplish what I wanted too, fuelled a fire in me. It has forced me to look inward to see what it is about my dreams that others can’t seem to understand. While trying to figure this out, I realized some inevitable truths.

Number one: Trust in yourself and in your dreams.
Even if no one else seems to understand, care or support you, I want you to be your own believer. You have to keep in mind that your dreams are YOUR DREAMS, no one elses. No one has a right to put your dreams down, no one has a right to laugh at your dreams or to make you feel like you cannot accomplish your dreams unless you give them the power too. There will always be people, even those closest to you, that will never understand the scope of your dreams and in their world it will seem completely impossible or unattainable. My advice to you on how to deal with them…let them be. Let them think and act whatever way they want too because at the end, it’s not their dreams, it’s YOURS.

Number two: You do not need permission or validation from others to dream your dreams. Can I tell you how many times I looked for validation of my dreams in others. Oh my God, I looked toward everyone else but myself to validate those dreams. Doing this is a waste of your time and energy. No one will validate your dreams for you. You have to wake up one day with the decision to dream your own dreams and take ownership of said dreams. You have to make a conscious effort to tell yourself that you will validate your own dreams through appropriate actions.

Number three: Don’t allow your ego to distract you from your dreams. Do not allow your ego, that voice in your mind, to steer you away from your dreams. The ego will play tricks on you and play on the negativity brought on by others. Do not give power to that voice and have it control your actions or thoughts. Our ego has a tricky way of playing games with us and convincing us that we are not good enough or we don’t deserve whatever we are striving for. We have to learn to hush that voice and not allow it to distract us from our vision.

Number four: Do no fear the outcome, go for it and take a risk! Don’t allow fear to paralyze you. Fear is the one illusion that our ego plays with on a day to day basis. The fear of not achieving your goals may seem like a lot but what if you DID achieve your goals? The fear of being embarassed might prevent you from taking action, but what if you were applauded instead? The fear of the unknown often stops many of us from pursuing things because we, as humans, want reassurance or confirmation that what we are about to do will pan out results. This fear of the unknown has made many greats fall to mediocracy. Stop putting emphasis on the what ifs and go for it and take action before time runs out. It’s better to risk it all and live with no regrets than wondering for the rest of your life, “Why didn’t I just try?”

If your dreams are so big that you are afraid of them, that is the universe telling you, you’re on the right path. If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. By dreaming small, whatever you are hoping for will eventually come true, it’s just the reality. Studies have shown that humans who have set “realistic goals” have 9/10 times achieved those goals. So, if you’re gonna dream, might as well be SO BIG that eventually, it will come true!

mindbodysoul

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Do You Drink Enough Water?

Do you drink enough water? Because I know I don’t! In fact that is one of my goals this year, to drink a lot more water. Did you know that the human body is made up of 80% water? That’s right, 80% of our body is made of water which means we really need to improve our water intake.

One of my many problem is that I don’t consume enough water. What this is doing to my body is actually not helping me age gracefully. By not drinking enough water I am not flushing the toxins in my body properly and I’m not giving my kidneys the right tools to help it work effectively. Also, by not drinking enough water I’m noticing my skin is getting exessively dry and not looking as nice and youthful anymore. I know some of you ladies and even men may share my pain and that is why I am reminding you all to drink an adequate amount of water.

Typically, we should all be drinking approximately 8 glasses of water a day. I know this sounds like a lot, but, remember we are made up of 80% water. So, shouldn’t we put back into our body what we are made of? Lately, what I’ve been doing is drinking a bottle of lemon detox water first thing in the morning when I wake up. The taste was definitely something I had to get used too, but, it definitely made a huge improvement in flushing out harmful toxins. Throughout the day I drink 2-3 extra large green teas and by the evening I’ll consume about 2-3 bottles of standard spring water. This routine has definitely been difficult to get used too, as I am constantly running to the bathroom, but, they say anything good for you will not be easy. So, I urge you all, take a look at your water intake and see how you can improve your water consumption.

Here are some of the main benefits of drinking water:
Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
Water Can Help Control Calories.
Water Helps Energize Muscles.

Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.
Helps Purify and Stimulate the Liver.
Water Helps Your Kidneys.
Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function.
Recipe for Lemon Water:
3-4 lemons, cut into thin slices
1/2 cucumber, cut into thin slices
10-15 mint leaves
5 quarters of warm water
Mix all the ingredients together and let it sit overnight to create a natural detox!
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Sleep Deprivation

I’m such a night owl. I hate going to bed early and most importantly I hate waking up early. But, with age I’m realizing that sleep is a very important thing and that it’s critical we monitor our sleep patterns and understand how to develop healthy habits especially when it comes to sleep. Otherwise, with age you will begin to notice a plethora of health problems because of inadequate sleep.

Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs when a person lacks a proper amount of sleep; it can be chronic or acute. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause many problems to a persons health as he/she ages. In fact, studies have connected lack of sleep with a deterioration of the brain causing the brain to show signs of Alzheimer’s. Lack of sleep drastically affects the brain and its cognitive functions. Sleep deprivation causes the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that helps with working memory and logic and reasoning, to work on overtime. Studies have shown that the prefrontal cortex works harder in sleep deprived patients versus patients who slept a proper 8 hours of sleep. This proves that lack of sleep makes your body and mind work on overdrive to compensate for the negative affects caused by sleep deprivation. Many studies have also linked lack of sleep to serious health issues such as weight gain and loss, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and mental illness.

It is very important to get into the habit of sleeping early or on time to avoid dealing with some of the crippling effects of sleep deprivation. Primary school children need about nine to 10 hours sleep ensure proper functioning while at school. By increasing your childrens sleep schedule by only 30 minutes to an hour proves to dramatically improve performance in school. Teenagers require 9-10 hours of sleep. I know it’s especially difficult to convince your teenage children to sleep early, trust me, I was once a teenager and many nights I stayed up all night online and chatting on MSN or ICQ (I know I am really old now). It’s critical that teenagers get the proper amount of sleep due to the many societal pressures of making the right decisions during their youth. Finally, adults need about 8 hours of sleep.

With age, we naturally tend to require less sleep, however, you should be mindful of getting the required amount of sleep to avoid serious health issues. Avoid taking sleeping aids/pills as they form an unnecessary dependence and ultimately affects your natural biological clock. There are many things that you can personally do to help yourself fall asleep naturally. I find the best thing that works for me is having a late evening gym session before dinner. By the time I get back home, eat food, and then shower I am so exhausted that as soon as I lay my head on the pillow I am up the next morning at 7:00am without an alarm clock. Help yourself get into a better routine with your sleeping patterns. Find ways to get a better nights sleep and witness an overall improvement in your health.

mindbodysoul

My Yoga Journey

If you know me personally, you know by now that I have embarked on a personal journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher. My best friend introduced me to hot yoga back in 2009 and the rest is history after that. After my very first class I was hooked. I found an outlet for my passion and for the first time I felt like I was headed in the right direction. The choice to start this journey so late, while “competing” or more like being compared to so many others who have been doing this for decades, was a very difficult one. I had to muster up all the courage inside of me to start and not fear any judgement while giving it my all even if my progress wasn’t up to par with every one else in this profession. You have to start somewhere right? I also figure, if I’m going to compete with others it might as well be with the best.

For the past 6 years I practiced yoga on and off but really implemented daily and weekly practices 2 years ago when I got fired from my previous job. Getting fired forced me to look at myself and realize that I had to make changes and take action in order to take my practice further. It was during that year that I realized how strongly I felt about yoga. Yoga helped me deal with the loss of my job by keeping me healthy and distracted. I couldn’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on yoga classes (as we all know yoga has become quite expensive) so I started yoga hopping. I would go to a different yoga studio every month and buy a new student introductory unlimited pass. This gave me an opportunity to try different styles of yoga to see which style best suited me and I also got to learn from different teachers and get accustomed to various teaching styles. After all that I learned I started applying the lessons to my own practice at home and mastered quite a few postures and actually taught myself more advanced postures.

After realizing the benefits of yoga and that many of the teachers today are not equipping students with the right tools to practice yoga properly, I thought it was important to share my knowledge with all my family, friends and my community. By becoming a yoga teacher I will have the expertise to explain the science and health benefits of yoga and be more credible. I will also gain valuable contacts by networking with industry professionals thus, allowing me to gain a foot in the door into the alternative health care industry so that I can eventually pursue my real dream. I still have quite a way to go, but, I promised myself that I’m going to embrace every moment of this journey before it’s over. So, wish me luck, I can’t wait to become a certified teacher so that hopefully I can see you in one of my classes!

mindbodysoul

Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in everyday Personal Care Products

Read about the ingredients to avoid in our everyday personal care products.

For the past month or so I have been attending various seminars, discussions and group events held by The Big Carrot, all related to health awareness. Some of the events allowed me to gain valuable insight to products and ideas that I never knew existed and also educated me on topics that I knew little about, but, wanted to expand my knowledge on. So far, I’ve attended a movie night which featured a documentary called, Living Downstream on cancer survivor and ecologist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.. This documentary outlined topics related to cancer and its environmental links. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who wants to know more on the effects of chemicals in the enviornment. Did you know that there are certain chemcials in our environment, like in trees and soil, that are unable to be broken down by natural means because they are so potent and keep accumulating over time? Well, that’s not all, there are many issues that our enviroment is facing thus, ultimately affecting us and our well-being.

Another seminar I am hoping to attend is on how to change the brain while allowing new chemicals to be formed to help produce healthy thoughts. This is especially important to me because this is something I am working on personally. The most important discussion I did attend to date, is on the Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products. After learning about this, I knew I had to share this with you all. Basically the most important thing I took away from all of this is, if you can’t pronounce it, it doesn’t belong on or inside of you. Take a look below at the list of all the chemicals that are used in every day products that we should avoid in order to live a healthier life. READ ALL YOUR LABELS!

  1. PARABENS – METHYL/PROPLY/BUTYL – Parabens are the most widely used preservative in personal care products, they stop fungus and bacteria from growing in creams and cosmetics. Especially if kept in a moist environment such as a bathroom. You will find them in almost all products such as shampoos, conditioners, mascaras, foundations and body lotion.
  2. FORMALDEHYDE – OR FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING AGENTS DMDM HYDANTOIN DIAZONLIDINYL UREA, METHAMINE, QUATERNUM-15 AND MANY MORE – These ingredients are a concern because they are a slow release formaldehyde which continously release small amounts over time into the product.
  3. PHTHALATES – Are a group of chemicals that are used to make plastics but is widely used in perfumes and nail polishes as well. These perfumes can also be used to scent body care products such as lotions, deodorants and body sprays.
  4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL – Is an ingredient widely used in products from brake fluids to snacks. It is commonly used as a solvent in most body care products mostly found in lotions and deodorants.
  5. ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL – Is used in many products as a solvent in perfumes and many other personal cosmetics. It can be used as an antiseptic and in oils to make them quick drying and fast absorbing.
  6. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE – Used as a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier in shampoos, body wash, face wash and toothpaste, a variety of personal care products.
  7. PETROLEUM – MINERAL OIL AND PARRAFIN – These all come from petroleum and fall under the same umbrella. They are widely used in many personal care items along with cosmetics.
  8. ALUMINUM – ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS – Found mostly in deodorants and cosmetics where it could become a potential health risk.
  9. OXYBENZONE-OCTINOXATE – Most commonly found in sunscreen and moisturizers that contain a sunscreen.
  10. ARTIFICIAL COLOURING – Widely used in cosmetics and nail polishes, or any personal care products that add artificial colouring to help with the cosmetic appearance of a product.

Here are some additional great links to look at for more detailed information on these ingredients and certain products;
www.Mercola.com
http://www.womenshealth.gov/
http://skinplicityofcary.com/

mindbodysoul

Food As Medicine

I want to talk to you about the importance of food and how it acts as a medicine to help us prolong our lives and cure ailments. Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions have, for thousands of years, been fascinated with the beneficial and healthy properties within specific foods. Did you know that certain foods are considered energizing, while others are considered detoxifying or cleansing? It’s true, different foods have different beneficial properties that target specific problems.

We live in a time where we have become so accustomed to taking prescription medication for almost every itch, sneeze or cough. Medicine not only costs a lot of money, but, we also risk enduring harmful side effects because of these medications. Wouldn’t you rather ingest something natural that’s produced by mother nature instead of something chemically based and man made in a laboratory? Don’t get me wrong, I respect and understand the value of medication, however, I don’t believe we need to pop a pill for every minor health issue.

Did you know that ginger is a natural remedy for nausea? Or how about honey, which is an effective medicine for coughs. Saffron contains antioxidants that protect us against age-related vision loss. Garlic helps thin the blood, thus, lowering the potential risk of stroke. Or nuts, they support heart health and even men’s fertility. There are many beneficial health properties in foods, we just have to take the time to research and understand. And that’s where I come in, to help remind you of how awesome nature really is. Below are a few foods that you may want to look into to help you target specific problems. Take a look and share with your family and friends, because I know, we all could use a little reminder every now and then.

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Stop the negative self-talk

For most of my life I’ve dealt with negativity, as I’m sure many people have as well.  The negativity that I’m speaking of is constantly being told that my actions are never good enough or that my performance was just ok.  I hardly ever heard any words of encouragement or appreciation for what I did or tried to do.  I was never told that I made someone proud until my 30th birthday, I am now 31.  I was always compared to other people my age or within my culture and even though I was more successful than others it was never acknowledged.  So, those of you reading this might think, “Well, ok buttercup, just suck it up and move on because life could be worse”.  And yes, you’re right life could definitely be worse.  I could be living in Syria right now and witnessing my family and friends being blown to pieces because of false wars.  But, the reason why I am writing about this is because this negativity that others deal with has now spilled over into my own personality.

I have always been the type of person to look for the best in every bad situation.  I am an encourager and I understand that in order to motivate others and myself you have to build people up, not break them down.  I am fully aware of this, however, after years and years of being spoken to in that manner, I started speaking to myself negatively.  At first, I reasoned with myself and convinced myself that being insulted is a good thing.  In fact, if you go back to my previous blogs you will see I even wrote about how being broken helps push me to make better decisions in life.  However, as I’m noticing my own negative self-talk I am seeing how it actually affects me.  It’s one thing to be spoken to in that manner by others, but, why would I want to speak to myself that way?

I got into a bad habit over the last little while where I would literally stand in front of the mirror and talk down to myself whenever I slacked off or didn’t accomplish a desired goal.  I would tell myself horible things like, “Bitch you don’t deserve this business because you’re lazy”.  Now, I’m not saying this to myself in a derogatory way, whereby, I’m yelling at myself and being condesending.  I’m talking to myself like I would a friend and use the term “bitch” to mean bad ass girl not that I’m actually a bitch.  But, as I kept doing this I realized how negatively this was impacting my emotions.  Instead of walking away feeling uplifted after my pep talk, I felt defeated and be flooded with doubt.  This negative talk was something I had just gotten so used to that talking to myself in a loving manner seemed super foreign and abnormal.

Once I realized the negative implications of negative self-talk I changed my habit and started showering myself with compliments.  I would look at myself in the mirror and tell myself things like, “You are beautiful and you deserve the absolute best” or “You are so talented and you should be proud of yourself for how far along you’ve come.”  The simple choice in talking to myself in a loving manner drastically improved my life and my perspective of myself.  I no longer look at myself with pity or regret, instead I see infinite potential.  I finally don’t need any validation from anyone else because I’m providing that to myself.  The feeling is great, to be told you are amazing, even if it’s you talking to yourself.  So, going forward, I have decided I will forever STOP the negative self-talk and be my own cheerleader.  There is already so much negativity that exists in this world, don’t add to it by being your own worst critic.  Learn to love yourself and speak to yourself in the same manner you would to a boyfriend or girlfriend.  This change in language and attitude will make a huge difference in your life and give you the confidence you need to tackle anything and everything.

mindbodysoul

“By reinforcing negative thoughts, I am giving up on self-worth.” ~ Andrea Marti