Tag Archives: Power

FireWalk

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I remember walking.

To the beat of my inner talking, and soul stalking. Every step is a detailed and ghostly psychic chalking of my past lifelines, present past-times and future fires.

Oh man. It was an intense time. Past tense. Future tense.

With every step, there was a kind of cleansing. Like walking on white hot coals of regrets. Brutal, but kind. The kind of intensity that happens only a few times in your life, like some greater power is trying to sell you on an old idea, that may be new to you. Who knew? Continue reading

From Intent.com: Forgiveness and Healing

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There’s an old saying that everyone knows that says bitterness is like a poison you take hoping it kills the other person. In our despair, anger and bitterness can feel like relief. It gives us a place to put all our feelings and emotions over something that has happened to us, when there might otherwise be nowhere, and these days it feels like there is plenty to be angry about. Continue reading

Dreaming of a Green Christmas : 3 Ways to Make Your Holiday Environmentally Friendly

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 9.10.28 AMBy: Elizabeth Eckhart

The holidays are a time of family celebrations, reconnecting with old friends, and celebrating all that we’re thankful for. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a time of stress, busy schedules, and worse of all, excess. No matter how frugal you may be, chances are you’re finding that extra cold weather and party hosting costs are eating into your budget. And perhaps, if you’re like many other Intent Blog readers, the idea of so much waste, with food and energy, may bother you quite a bit. In order to both keep our habits clean and green, and save some costs, we’ve put together a list of energy saving holiday tricks to get you through the season.

Decorating Tips

If you haven’t already, consider replacing all your holiday lights with energy efficient LEDs, which actually perform better in cold weather. For larger lights, switch to 5-watt bulbs, and place all your lights on a timer or just unplug, ensuring that they won’t be left on during the day when no one can enjoy them. When shopping for outdoor decorations for yourself or others, keep in mind the wide availability of solar powered options.

If you’re really feeling green, you can also decorate with candles. Many families already use luminaries along outdoor walkways on special nights. Consider holiday scented candles, which are a beautiful addition to any home. You can also turn off the lights inside when your brightly decorated tree is on and lit. This will not only save energy; it will immediately make your home feel full of holiday spirit.

Hosting Tips

It may go against holiday tradition, but you can cook some party dishes in the microwave. The typical microwave uses 75 percent less energy than a conventional oven, so even one dish can make a large difference. Using the same reasoning, look up recipes you can create using a slow cooker. Since you’ll still be using the oven for trickier dishes, check progress through the window instead of cracking open the door (which can make the temperature drop 25 degrees in less than a minute!), and feel free to turn the oven off before the food is fully cooked. As long as the door stays shut, your food will finish perfectly and on time. Using glass or ceramic pans also means your dish will cook more quickly, so turn the oven down 20 degrees to save costs.

To keep your fridge running efficiently no matter the number of guests, keep it as stocked as possible — an easy task if feeding a large group of people! You can also defrost items in the fridge instead of a watery sink. Both tips will result in the fridge keeping cooler with less energy.

If you do happen to find your fridge is full, hold off from hauling out the spare fridge, and instead keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in the garage or in the backyard. And as much as you’d like to clean up quickly following a large holiday meal, your fridge will thank you if you wait until all the food has cooled to room temperature before storing it away.

On the day of your party, turn down the thermostat to 66 degrees. Most people will find this is a comfortable range in a holiday sweater, and the increased body heat should take care of the rest. Keep a few blankets handy for older guests and chronically cold friends. If you plan on setting the mood by using the fireplace, install a tight-fitting set of glass doors and crack open a window nearby. Open-hearth fireplaces actually draw in the heated air from your home and send it straight up the chimney — a problem glass doors can stop. With increased holiday lights on top of heat usage, your bills may still come out higher than expected. If you haven’t already, start monitoring your light usage and reevaluate your energy plan using sites like Energize Connecticut and TexasElectricityProviders.com. Not only can you switch to less expensive plans, you can also choose to have most or all of your energy generated from green sources such as wind or solar.

Gift Giving and Shopping

Although many of us enjoy wandering around decorated stores during the holidays, perhaps even stopping to see Santa, before the perfect gift emerges on its own, you can save time and costs by planning out the gifts necessary for each person. Make use of outlets and strip malls, which mean you have less driving to do from store to store. You can also shop for products made locally or buy materials to craft gifts on your own, which not only supports local businesses but detracts overall from the amount of overseas transit costs and pollution that trucks, boats, and planes cause. The same goes for shopping online  — if you buy your gifts from one store instead of three, you’ll have lower costs associated with packaging and transit.

Regarding the actual gift, aim to buy fewer gifts that use electricity and batteries. An amazing 40 percent of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season, which means a lot of energy is used. If you must buy electronic gifts, definitely opt for the energy efficient versions, and maybe even throw in rechargeable batteries instead of singular usage batteries.

The holidays are the perfect time to show appreciation for those around you. Whether it be through gifts, parties, or decorations, the holidays can be exciting, albeit expensive. But, if you plan accordingly and shop wisely, you’ll find the damage to your wallet and the earth can be greatly reduced.

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Use the Power of Meditation to Create Wholeness in Your Life

beachBy Linda Lauren

Meditation is a powerful tool for making the connection with body, mind and spirit. In my practice, I meet a great many people who come to me with the desire for change. Many are in the throes of decisions regarding health, business and/or relationships and most are in distress as to how to handle what is coming their way. My first question to these people used to be “Do you meditate?” but I have come to know that chances are good that they are in distress because they don’t. So, instead, my question becomes: “You don’t meditate, do you?” And when they say “no,” I begin to share with them the light of mindfulness.

We all have that place within us that guides our mind and our body. For me that sacred space is the spirit, and it is the foundation and link for what the body and the mind experience. Separate, they are powerful, but together they are empowering!

It’s important, then, to bring them together to take us to wholeness.

The Body: The power to heal. The body has a plethora of ways to heal itself that we have only scratched the surface of discovering. I have seen meditation, when practiced over time, lower blood pressure to the point where an individual may not need to use pills for that same result. I have also visited healthcare facilities to teach them how to overcome physical pain, and I have experienced their joy at being able to manage that pain after years of discomfort.

The Mind: The power to see. The mind is where we may be holding negative thoughts that affect our emotions, especially if we aren’t seeing or dealing with our issues. Meditation helps us overcome the negative thoughts that hold residence within us. It presents us with clearer thinking so we are able to deal with discord in a more beneficial way. We begin to hear ourselves as well as others, and we come to a different, more positive resolution. We soon find the power to communicate and relate to others so that we see all sides of a situation. If you have ever said to: “I need to hear myself think,” then look no further than that first cleansing breath!

The Spirit: The power to feel. The spirit is the most important aspect and the strongest link of the three because this is where our life force begins. It’s where we feel and sense at the deepest level. If the spirit is suppressed, we become depressed and can undo a lot of the good that we achieve. Morale is everything to overall healing and through the spirit we restore our emotions so the body and mind can benefit. If you’ve ever heard anyone tell you their “spirit is down,” that is a good indication that they pay little or no attention to the one place where our soul connects with the rest of us.

So how do you go about it? Creating anything worthwhile takes time, practice, and patience. Here are some suggestions to help you embrace the power of meditation:

Make an appointment with yourself and set aside the same time each day/night to meditate for at least 10-20 minutes. (Increase your time as you become more comfortable with it.)

Alert those people you live with of your routine. Put your phone on mute and hang a sign on your bedroom door if you have to, as long as you have uninterrupted alone time.

Wear comfortable clothing and focus on your breathing. Be mindful of what feels good and make that your focus. Remember to relax and breathe slowly.

Write your impressions in a journal afterward and plot your progress.

Research meditation and learn as much as you can about it. Feel free to experiment to find what works for you.

So, if you haven’t yet established a meditation routine, there’s no time like the present to start one. Leave any preconceived notions of what you’ve heard about it at the door, and enjoy making a connection with yourself. But, be warned: after a couple of weeks of steady meditating you will become addicted…to feeling good! Enjoy!

***

Linda Lauren is a fourth-generation psychic medium, Color & Energy Consultant, Author and Reiki Practitioner, who connects with people who come to her for guidance through the color and energy she senses around them.  Linda, known as the ‘Travel Psychic™’, also uses that energy to guide her clients with their travel plans.

photo by: rseidel3

How to Green-Up Your Home to Live a Happy Healthy Life

greenvalentineBy: Elizabeth Eckhart 

It seems today that more and more Americans are concerned with the current state of the environment, and what we can do to help. Everywhere you look, companies are “going green” in an attempt to appeal to the demands of the increasingly educated public. Even electric companies in places like Texas, the oil capital of America, are touting their green energy options, and it’s all beginning to turn the tide: according to the EPA, in 2008 Americans were able to avoid releasing the equivalent of 29 million cars worth of greenhouse gases through eco-conscious living. This translated to a savings of $19 billion for Americans that year.

However, it’s not just our commercial goods we are wanting to be eco-friendly – many of us want to live greener and thus healthier lives defined by mindfulness of our place on the Earth, and making our home as green as possible is an undeniably important part. Our homes should be a haven, not a harm to us, and shouldn’t be reducing the quality of the environment.

So what exactly is a “green” home? Compared to an average American home, green homes are gentler on the environment because they use less energy, water and other natural resources while avoiding waste and negative environmental impact wherever possible. Standard homes consumes about 30 percent of total energy and 65 percent of all electricity generated in the US. By making plumbing, fixtures, landscaping and irrigation systems more efficient, greens homes can use 50 percent less water than standard American homes. Also, constructing a green home generates about 50 to 90 percent less waste than standard homes.

Based on these facts and simple observations, it should come as no surprise to see the rise in the number of eco-friendly homes being built, and for good cause. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that buildings in the U.S. contribute 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and residential buildings produce 20 percent of our total CO2 emissions alone. It is clear that our homes and offices play a major role in the environment, so it’s our responsibility to limit the damage we inflict with them.

Also, not only do standard constructed homes negatively affect the environment, but they are affect our wellbeing. Green homes create less indoor air pollutants than standard homes, which can enhance allergies and asthma and may lead to lung cancer.

There are many options for current homeowners to turn their homes into energy efficient ones. One of the most popular programs to help with this process is the Energy Star program, which was launched in 1995. Energy Star certified energy efficient products typically use 20-30 percent less energy than what is required by federal standards. While Energy Star certifications are for what’s in your home, LEED Certification, launched by the United States Green Building Council, is for the building itself. LEED-certified homes aim to reduce their negative impact on the environment by reducing their energy and water use by an average of 20-30 percent as well as maximizing fresh air within the home to reduce exposure to domestic pollutants.

The reality is though, that most Americans simply can’t afford to build a new LEED certified home, or buy new Energy Star certified products. Luckily, there are many steps all of us can take to reduce our impact on the environment that don’t break our bank.

The first step would be to get an energy audit — many electric companies offer these at minimal to no cost, or you can do it yourself. A DIY audit consists of checking for, and sealing, indoor and outdoor air leaks that could be driving up your energy bill by 5-30 percent a year. This is particularly important for older homes, since they are more prone to having drafts.

Next, compare home electricity providers to see which companies offer green products, such as solar panels. Many companies today are utilizing renewable sources from solar, to wind, hydro and geothermal to generate electrical power. If you live in states like New York, Maryland, Texas, and other parts of the South, you can try here to see which companies offer eco-friendly options for household electricity in your area and which would work for you and your household’s electricity needs.

The next step is to check your home’s insulation, which keeps the heat from escaping through the ceiling and walls. The attic is the biggest culprit for heat loss, so look there first if you have one, then consider checking and re-sealing the borders of windows and doors.

Your heating and cooling equipment should be next on your list. Cleaning or replacing filters, inspecting ducts and pipes for leaks, and replacing the unit every 15 years will ensure tip-top energy efficiency and will protect your lungs from breathing in mold and other harmful toxins.

The last, and easiest step is to monitor your use of electronic devices. Aside from using any electronic devices less frequently, make sure to unplug everything that isn’t being used at that moment, and definitely do so if you’ll be out of the house for a few hours or more. Unused, but plugged in, electronic devices are leeches of electricity and cost you hundreds of dollars a year without you being any the wiser – this includes power strips and surge protectors, so be sure to unplug these as well as they will continue to draw power. To get more tips on a do-it-yourself home audit check the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.

Other greener options for the home are to use less water, use fewer paper goods such as paper towels (opt for cloth towels instead and reuse them), get newer appliances that are more energy efficient and whenever possible buy green household cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals or toxins.

Not only will doing everything you can to make your home green reduce your impact on the environment, it will also lead to a happier, healthier life. Wellness begins at home, so make sure your house is part of your solution!

Have any other tips for making your house more green? Share in the comments below! 

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Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Change Your Inner Voice with Positive Affirmation

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By Simona Rich

I was staying in a guesthouse room in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, Nepal. I was preparing for the night’s sleep – I switched off my laptop and was about to go to the bathroom to remove my makeup and brush teeth.

A thought came as a response to my intention to go to the bathroom – “Wait a minute, I already removed my make-up and brushed teeth! I’m so lucky!”

The last thought caught my attention. Was it really lucky to have brushed my teeth and removed make-up? It wasn’t, but the most important thing here is that my mind is so used to positive affirmations that they come out naturally, even in situations they shouldn’t.

I completely changed my self-talk. I used to put myself down a lot when I was a child and a teenager. Children always thought of me as different and thus I was alone most of the time. It was easy for me to make up imaginary reasons why I had so few friends.

When, after finishing school, I moved out of the family home and out of my country (Lithuania) to study in England, I felt more empowered to change my behavior and my life. It was as though I gifted myself a blank page of life to write whatever I wanted on it.

I started using positive affirmations to heal my mind and self-image. Although it sounded silly to tell something about myself to myself that I didn’t believe in, I continued with the practice because something in me felt it was the right thing to do.

It worked. I’m a living affirmation now. I am lucky. I’m one of those bloggers who succeeded to make a living of this art and I only need to work a few hours a week.  I live wherever I want – now in Nepal; soon I will be going back to India where I usually stay. Early next year I’ll be settling in London to organize sound therapy sessions.

I feel so blessed and happy. Yet the being that blessed me was my own self. Affirmations made me into who I am today, so my own life experience tells me not to underestimate the power of simple words said regularly and with complete focus on them.

What’s the mantra you’re going to use to empower yourself with? What is it that you really want to manifest? A change in behavior? Material riches? A loving relationship? This you can surely do if you dedicate a few minutes a day, every day, to repeating words that already embody the change you want to experience.

***

Simona Rich lives in tropical South India, rides scooter, meditates, does yoga and helps people create fulfilling and unique lives. Read her story to find out how she changed her life. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

photo by: lednichenkoolga

Don’t give your power away.

take-responsibility

 When I say: “pain offers understanding, suffering happens when we lose ourselves in pain” do you think I am blaming suffering on people’s attitude towards pain?

Some do.

I don’t.

 I do not blame anyone for suffering, but – and this is a very big “but” – I do believe everyone is responsible for it. Everyone who suffers. Everyone who is in pain.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am a cold-hearted, apodictic bitch devoid of empathy and without an ounce of compassion? Possibly, but even if that’s the case, still there is more. There is that it is by taking full responsibility for the pain, the suffering, that we achieve the power and the freedom to heal it.

As long as the pain is something that happens to us, that has been done to us by others (whether other humans, faith, destiny, God) there is little we can do to change it.

And yes, sometimes the pain is overwhelming and sometimes it is excruciating and sometimes it is unbearable and even so – what’s so is what’s so. I can only heal and transform that which is mine to heal and transform.

Before I can affect it – I have to claim it. As mine.

Feel Reality

panther

The growl was rolling in my throat. A rhythmic, vibrating accompaniment for the movements of my body, the soft steps, the stretches and contractions of muscles. I moved a paw forward and my lips lifted over my fangs. Wild. I was wild. I was a wild cat. Another step crumbled a pile of dry leaves, I moved my paw, I moved my hand, I touched the soft, rumpled blanket. Bed. I was in bed. There was silence and soft breath near me, there were the heavy spots of warmth where dogs slept. I was in bed.

I was wild. I closed my eyes again. The forest was warm, pulsating with life. Life I could feel … I can feel it! I thought “I am a cat and I am the forest”. The thought brought others along, “I am the cat” I thought, and the cat became distant, distinct, separate. “I am being the cat” I thought, and stopped being it. I was thinking now, moving back into my body, back in my mind watching, observing, describing … “no!” I thought, “No! Stop thinking, stop thinking … be…”

I padded through the forest, with the forest, as the forest. I felt it on my skin. I felt it in my muscles. I felt the tension, the softness, the presence. I felt it as my body. I felt the trees and their silence, the buzzing of their flesh, of my flesh, stretching high towards the sky. I felt the water spilling over a damp earth. I felt pulled downhill with the rushing streams, I flew over rocks in the rapids with the dancing rivers. I felt the fear and submission of prey hiding nearby, in thorny bushes and earthen holes. I felt their timid presence. Their rapid, pulsating life was my own.

I felt another life, strong, powerful. Present. I felt it and knew I must meet and confront it. My authority against it’s. We must try each-other. The tension must be resolved. The strength must be tested. Hierarchy must be established.

I felt the forest, I felt being, I felt life. I was life.

“Now you know,” said the cat, “now you know how you can be wild in the world.”

“Yes. Thank you”

There was an acknowledgment. The cat left.

I lifted my head, I opened my eyes. In the midst of the night I was wide awake. “I was a wild cat!” I whispered to my husband. “Oh,” he said.

Oh.

There was nothing more to be said.

More by Pausha Foley:

I am that I am

Life After Facebook

You Create

Radical Responsibility

radical-responsibility

 

“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God have to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me pause. It gave me pause not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a hand-able one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called ‘your life’ not ‘God’s life’ for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently than humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?

Why Vulnerability Will Help You Access the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of

We get it. Vulnerability is probably the last thing you want to be feeling when you go in for that interview, or start writing that novel, or hold your baby for the first time. Most likely you want to feel strong, competent, and powerful. Every word must be direct, every action swift, every feeling resolute. But guess what? Those hard edges may be keeping you from experiencing the fullness of a life worthy of such strength and potency. Case in point: What’s the first rule of love? Open, soften, let love in.

One of the most poignant TED Talks out there – which you may have already seen because it’s just that darn good – is one by social work professor Brené Brown. In her research, Brown focuses on the relationships among authenticity, courage, empathy, and, you guessed it, vulnerability. These ‘virtues’, you might call them, come together in the following simple but intimidating formula:

accept imperfection + welcome vulnerability = banish shame and live authentically

Do you agree with Brown’s thesis? Are you ready to be vulnerable? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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