Wednesday, June 8, 2011

21 Small Habits That Will Help You to Live a Simpler Life

 
 

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Make Life Simpler this Summer
Image by Sanna R (license).

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"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Leonardo da Vinci

"The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity."
Ludwig Wittgenstein

I love simplifying my life. It makes me more effective and life less stressful. It makes me calmer and happier.

But where do you start? Or continue if you are already on your way?

In this article I'll share 21 small habits that help me to live a simpler life. I hope you'll find something helpful here and that you get started with one of these suggestions today and continue doing it until your new habit sticks (that usually happens after about 30 days).

  1. Breathe. When stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
  2. Do one thing at a time. You'll get better results and feel better and less stressed while doing those things.
  3. Write it all down. Use your mind for better things than remembering what to do. And the mind is often like a leaky bucket. So write down all your great ideas, insights, and thoughts before they go missing somewhere and add what you need to do to a to-do list.
  4. Do all your food shopping once a week. You'll save time, energy and possibly money.
  5. Stop doing what you don't like doing anymore. Life changes and so do you. If you you don't like doing something anymore then stop doing that (even if it may take some time before you can do so by for example switching jobs).
  6. Stop trying to please everyone. There will always be people who you don't get along with or that do not like you for some reason.
  7. Stop trying to do things perfectly. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Get things all the way to done this way and then move on to the next thing.
  8. Pack your bag before you go to bed. Then you don't have get stressed out by that in morning and you are less likely to forget something.
  9. Throw out the things you haven't used in 1 year. Go through what you have and ask yourself if you have used it in the past year. If not, give it away to charity or a friend or simply throw it out.
  10. Ask yourself simplifying questions every day. Questions like "What is the most important thing I can do right now?".
  11. Keep everything in its place. If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. This also helps you with your inner stillness as the outer environment affects how you feel on the inside.
  12. Cook more food than you'll eat. I usually make two or three servings of what I am about to eat. This cuts down on time that you spend on cooking and you'll have to do less washing up in general. Plus, it's good to have portions of food to bring to work to save some money.
  13. Write shorter emails. I tend to write emails containing only a few sentences, usually between one and five. If you focus on keeping it short and focused then you'll probably discover that this is a good solution in most cases.
  14. Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is hard. So, instead ask questions and communicate. This will help you to minimize unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings, negativity and waste or time and energy.
  15. Use a minimalistic workspace. My work space is just a laptop on a small black desk made out of wood. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That's it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water.
  16. Check everything just once a day. I check my email inboxes, blog statistics, my online earnings, Twitter and Facebook just once a day. I combine all that checking into one small daily ritual at the end of my work day so I don't slip and go checking it more during the day and waste my energy and attention.
  17. Choose small daily acts of kindness. Instead of small acts of judgment and criticism towards the people around you.
  18. Don't make mountains out of molehills. Before you you start thinking too much about something and building it up something big in your head, ask yourself "am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? And if you get lost victim thinking in some way then ask yourself "does anyone on the planet have it worse than me right now?".
  19. Spend 15 minutes each Sunday to plan the next week. Write down your plans for the week, organize your prioritized to-do list and get ready for the week before you are in the middle of it all. This will help you to find more clarity, get more of the most important things done next week and minimize stress.
  20. Cancel subscriptions for things you rarely get around to watching or reading anyway.
  21. Spend more time with people that help you to keep things simple. And spend less time with people that drag you down into overcomplicating everything and creating unnecessary drama.

If you thought this article was useful, please share it with someone on Stumbleupon, Facebook and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)

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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Revolutionary 100% Effective Birth Control For Men

 
 

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via PSFK on 6/2/11

The Revolutionary 100% Effective Birth Control For Men The RISUG injection lasts for ten years, is completely reversible and has no side effects.

 
 

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Faking Out Your Fears

 
 

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via T. Harv Eker's Blog by T. Harv Eker on 6/3/11

iStock_000009827346XSmall

Our lingering resentments and unresolved conflicts derail what is otherwise a universe that's waiting to put us on track for success. We just have to open to the awareness that what we say we want and how we unconsciously operate often contradicts one another. If the universe were able to feel, it'd be just as frustrated by our blocks as we are.

Once we open up, we can start resolving past hurts, realizing that the pain may have been understandable for that time, but it's only going to cause further damage if it's not attended to immediately. So we mend, sometimes bending to meet another halfway, even if nothing about them has changed. We forgive them not for their sake, but for our own good. We can't control who they are or how they'll respond, but we can be effective through our sincerity. If our forgiveness releases them from pain too, bonus!

As important as all of this is though, the root of it all is as natural as our ability to breathe. It's fear. It's a part of us. We'll never get rid of it. No amount of wisdom or experience will ever be enough to prevent it. We just get better at faking it out.

When you really think about it, the mind isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's useful for sure, but only after we've attained a certainty degree of emotional maturity. I would go so far as to say also a level of spiritual maturity, but that's not even the main point. There's got to be something else within us aware of its control over our mind and emotions. If we let either of those control us, we're not much better than self-trained apes or temperamental drama queens!

The brain is a tool, but it's also got … a mind of its own. Its mind is not to make us successful. It's not concerned about us thriving. Its purpose is for our survival at a base level. Its job is to anticipate what's coming and preserve our basic needs within that anticipation. In other words, the mind lives in a future reality that doesn't even frickin' exist yet! Our mind creates the greatest soap opera script. It makes up incredible stories, usually dramas and disasters that never happened and never will.

The secret to freedom is to realize that you don't have to believe your mind. You don't have to believe your story. You don't have to believe that voice in your head. You don't have to believe your own thinking. You can simply observe it and say, "Thank you for sharing," and then take the necessary action you're scared to take anyway.

One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is waiting for the feeling of fear to subside before they act. It's not necessary and it's impossible anyway. Rich and successful people have fear, worries, and doubts. They just don't let those things stop them.

Don't resist taking chances. Take them like vitamins. Let go of the brakes. Don't worry about the bumps and bruises. You can take them. Don't steer around what scares you. Go over. Go under. Go around or go through. Do something others would be terrified to do. You will feel your chin rise up from your chest and there will be one less thing you can't do. Just freaking do it!


 
 

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Can a Jell-O Shot Be Classy? Jelly Shot Test Kitchen Says Yes

 
 

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via The Bride's Guide : Martha Stewart Weddings by Erin Wylie on 5/26/11

The last party you attended with Jell-O shots is probably not one on which you want to model your wedding. But I'm seeing a resurgence of kitschy gelatin ideas (punch jelly, aspic) that are updated in sophisticated ways.

The biggest proponent of this trend is Michelle Palm, the blogger behind Jelly Shot Test Kitchen (whose book by the same name was just released). Palm reinterprets classic cocktails (French 75, margarita, old-fashioned) in jelly shot form, using only fine ingredients like fresh fruit and quality liquors.

The idea appeals to the kid in me, and they're surprisingly beautiful. Take a gander.

Back Next
1 of 8
Cucumber-lime margarita shots tied with cucumber ribbons

1 Cucumber-lime margarita shots tied with cucumber ribbons

Bramble cocktail shots with blackberries

2 Bramble cocktail shots with blackberries

Paloma shots made with grapefruit soda, tequila, lime, and gelatin

3 Paloma shots made with grapefruit soda, tequila, lime, and gelatin

Tom Collins shot garnished with orange and maraschino cherry

4 Tom Collins shot garnished with orange and maraschino cherry

Mandarin and mango Cosmopolitan shots

5 Mandarin and mango Cosmopolitan shots

Molded French 78 shots

6 Molded French 78 shots

Washington apple shots

7 Washington apple shots

Oasis breeze shots with coconut and pineapple

8 Oasis breeze shots with coconut and pineapple

  • Cucumber-lime margarita shots tied with cucumber ribbons
  • Bramble cocktail shots with blackberries
  • Paloma shots made with grapefruit soda, tequila, lime, and gelatin
  • Tom Collins shot garnished with orange and maraschino cherry
  • Mandarin and mango Cosmopolitan shots
  • Molded French 78 shots
  • Washington apple shots
  • Oasis breeze shots with coconut and pineapple

Palm shows them served on plates or individually in paper or spoons. What do you think about this idea for weddings?


 
 

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

bath salts

I used 1 cup of epsom salts, half a cup of sea salt, and a few tablespoons of baking soda for this recipe, adding 8 drops of lavender. (This one was for me, and I adore lavender - it made the bathroom smell heavenly!) Adjust the fragrance, just adding one or two drops at a time until you're happy with it. Lavender is a difficult color to achieve with food coloring, I found, but I managed to get a lavender color that I liked by using far more red than blue.

To decorate the jar, thread lavender ribbon through the openings in an ecru doily, tie in place and make a bow. If this isn't possible, use a rubber band to secure the doily in place, then tie the ribbon over it. Print and cut out our free Lavender Bath Salts Labels then glue in place to finish the jar.

Salt Glow Recipe

Salt Glow

Mix the bath salts together and set aside. Mix all of the oils together and pour the mixture into a glass or PET storage jar (container should have an airtight seal). Slowly pour in the bath salts and mix well.

Your salt glow should be stored in a cool dark place to maximize the shelf life. Adding a drop or two of Rosemary essential oil will help to preserve your scrubs.


Bath Tea Recipe

Bath Tea mixture

Add essential oil to the bath salt and mix well. Add dried herbs and stir to combine. Fill each tea bag with approx 4 ounces of the mixture. If you are packaging the bath teas, pack them individually in plastic to seal in the scent.

To use, simply toss one bag into warm bath water. As the tea bag seeps the salts will melt and the fragrance from the essential oils and herbs will disperse. Dispose of the tea bag after the bath, or the organza or muslin bags can be re-used.


Dead Sea Salt Scrub

Salt Glow

Salt scrubs are incredibly easy to make at home, and a Dead Sea salt scrub will bring you all the benefits of skin exfoliation along with the therapeutic benefits of Dead Sea salt and it's very high mineral content.

Pour salt into a mixing bowl and slowly add the oil, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Add the essential oil and continue mixing. This recipe should provide enough Dead Sea Salt Scrub for three at-home treatments. To use, simply rub into the skin before showering.


Salt Crystal Potpourri

Salt Crystal Potpourri

Making Salt Crystal Potpourri is a simple process—the trickiest part is the coloring of the crystals. You have 3 choices for colorings: liquid-based, glycerin-based or Mica powders. The liquid based colorings will dry the best, glycerin will be a nice translucent coloring and Mica gives you opalescent options. You can also simply rinse the crystals for a "glass like" look (see the Rio Salt Crystals page for more info).

Add the fragrance and color. Crystals out on Parchment to dry. If you're using liquid or glycerin colorants, an easy way to color the crystals is by wearing rubber gloves and rubbing the color on the crystals. Mica's you will have to sprinkle than mist with your fragrance.


Bath Bomb Recipe

Bath Bombs

Mix all dry ingredients. Prepare molds by sprinkling dried herbs on the bottom (if desired). Using a spray bottle, moisten the dry mixture with the witch hazel and essential oils. As soon as the mixture holds its shape, pack into the molds. Use caution and do not over mist! Allow to dry overnight, then remove from molds. Package in airtight plastic bags.



Bubbling Bath Salts

And you thought that bath salts simply disappeared into nothing. Well, these salts certainly don't... they smell great, look all sparkly and they bubble too.

2 cups of kosher salt
1 cup table salt
2 T cosmetic grade glitter
a few drops of sandalwood scented oil

1/4 cup of baby shampoo

Combine the top four ingredients and stir until the texture is smooth. Drizzle with the baby shampoo and then spread onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet until you have an even layer. Allow to dry. This could take up to 24 hours depending on the humidity.

Package in a decorative jar... mason jars will do fine and include instructions for use if these salts are to be used as a gift. (About 1/3 cup should do the average bath).


Scented Salt Scrub

To date, I have provided lots of bath salt recipes for your gift list, but what if everyone on your list prefers showers instead? Bath salts would not be a welcome gift, but a salt scrub certainly would. And it is just as easy to whip up. Here's what you need.

  • 3 cups of salt. You will want different textures so choose a combination of fine to course. These will be layered, so keep them separated.
  • 1 T. cosmetic grade glitter
  • enough light oil to cover the salt
  • food coloring or drops of soap colorant
- Layer the three salts into a decorative jar.
- Combine the oil with the glitter and the coloring agent. Stir to combine.
- Pour into jar until the oil reaches the top of the salts.
- Tightly close lid and you are done.

Directions for use...

Scoop out salt mixture and apply to damp skin, using circular movements. Rinse throughly. All the dead skin cells have been washed down the drain, leaving soft skin in its place.


Relax:
1 Cups Epsom Salt
2 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
15 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
 
Soothing:
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup baking soda
3 drops Jasmine essential oil
3 drops Rose essential oil
 
De-Toxify:
1/8 Cup unsweetened cocoa butter
1/8 Cup powdered milk
1 Cup Epsom Salt
2 drops Lavender essential oil
 
Golden Goddess:
1 Cup Pacific Salt
2 Cup Dead Sea Salt
½ Cup grape seed oil
¼ cup avocado oil
 
Sensual:
1 Cups Epsom Salt
4 Cups Pacific Sea Salt
10 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
5 drops Lemon essential oil
 
Fizzing:
2 Cups Dead Sea Salt
1 Cup Baking Soda
½ Citric Acid
20 drops Jasmine essential oil
*add citric acid last
 
Re-relax:
1/4 Cup Epsom Salt
1/4 Cup Dead Sea Salt
2 Cups Pacific Sea Salt
20 drops Lavender essential oil
 
Uplift:
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
1 Cup Pacific Salt
20 drops Rosemary essential oil
 
Revitalize:
2 cups Dead Sea Salt
4 drops Avocado oil
4 drops Jojoba oil
 
Feel Good:
2 Cups Dead Sea Salt
10 drops Chamomile essential oil
 
Refresh:
1 cup Dead Sea Salt
1 Cup Pacific Salt
5 drops Neroli essential oil
10 drops Lavender essential oil
Calming:
2 Cups Epsom Salt
2 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Sandalwood essential oil
2 tablespoons baby oil
Orange:
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
5 drops Orange essential oil
 
Lemon Zest:
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
3 drops Lemon essential oil
 
The Tropical:
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil

Romantic:
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
2 Cups Epsom Salt
10 drops Sandalwood essential oil
10 drops Rose essential oil
5 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
 
Sensual/Fizzy:
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
1 Cup Baking Soda
½ Citric Acid
8 drops Neroli essential oil
8 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
15 drops Lavender essential oil
*add the citric acid last

 Uplifting:
2 Cups Epsom Salt
1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
8 drops Orange essential oil
6 drops Neroli essential oil
6 drops Lavender essential oil
3 drops Lemon essential oil
 
Aches/Pains:
1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
1 Cup Epsom Salt
1 Cup Dead Sea Salt
5 drops Lavender essential oil
 
Energizer:
2 Cups Epsom Salt
1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
6 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops Rosemary essential oil
15 drops Peppermint essential oil
 
Dead Sea Scrub:
2 Cups Dead Sea Salt
5 drops Lemon essential oil
5 drops Orange essential oil
¼ cup Avocado oil






Warmest Regards,


Pamper yourself with out balms and body butter
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Top 5 Tips for Building the Life You Want

 
 

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Bodybuilding world champion numerous times. One of the most highly paid actors in the last few decades. And now the governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger's resume sounds more like the resume of three men rather than just one. How did he do it?

Here are a five clues, success habits and tips from Arnold himself.

1. Believe in yourself.

"I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will."

"We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There's really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer."

"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent."

A very strong belief in yourself can be ridiculously useful.

Corny as it may sound, your belief in yourself determines a lot about your journey and your results. But the problem with statements like "Just believe in yourself, man!" is that they don't come with any practical instructions on how to actually believe more I yourself. So you have a hard time getting anywhere.

I have found a few things that have been helpful.

  • First, by realizing that you are able to handle negative stuff that comes your way your belief in yourself and your capabilities grows.
  • You can also work on a similar process voluntarily. By setting goals and achieving them your belief in yourself increases. And by facing your fears and finding that you can indeed survive such experiences your belief in yourself goes up too. None of these options may sound that glamorous, fun or quick. And a lot of the time they aren't. But like with so much else,you have to put in effort to get good results.

But there is also another side to this challenge. Quite a bit of the problem with a lack of belief in yourself comes from internal self-sabotage, self-limiting beliefs and resistance within your mind. It's you holding yourself back.

I have found that reading Eckhart Tolle's books like "A New Earth" – or books on mindfulness in general I guess – to help you realize that you are not your ego, thoughts or emotions and rereading to strengthen and deepen that belief can be very helpful to reduce the inner struggle, over-analyzing and self-sabotage. Over time you can get better control over your mind and you´ll stop listening so much to your own negative inner voices and emotional resistance.

Having a reasonably good handle on that part makes it easier to see yourself doing what you want to do. Because, as Arnold says, you have to be able to envision what you want to do or it will be very hard or just impossible bring that vision into reality.

By getting better control over your mind it becomes easier to hold this vision in your mind day after day, week after week. You'll be less prone to self-sabotage. And your belief will waver less when being questioned or worse by other people or just society in general.

2. See struggle and failure as something positive.

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."

Failure is seldom the end of the world. It's a part of the journey, a part of the learning curve. The problem is just that if you have a scarcity mentality then every failure or potential failure may seem as the sky falling. This can hold you back from performing well. Or from taking action at all. The key to overcome this is to develop an abundance mentality that tells you that there are always more opportunities. This allows you to not take the setbacks too seriously.

One way to help yourself to develop such a mentality is to replace some of the usual input – news, advertising – with information and the vibe from personal development authors/speakers. Another way is just to hang out more with people with an abundance mentality. Or just people that are positive and enthusiastic about life.

Now, most of the time you only really fail when you give up and surrender. If you keep going you'll build your inner strength to live and move through rough patches. And if you are able to look at your setbacks and learn from them you can also deepen you knowledge, perhaps avoid some mistakes and find a better course towards your goal.

Remember that to succeed you need those failure. They make you stronger and smarter and that build-up of yourself is vital to success.

3. Go the extra mile.

"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens."

Going the extra mile. It's not easy. Personally I think this has often been because I have just thought too much. Overthinking often leads to negative thought spirals where you use your mind to decrease your own strength through self-doubt. And if you add up all the overthinking you can waste months or perhaps even years of your life.

It's more useful to just stop thinking when all then thinking that is needed is done. And to then just go and do what you choose to do. And then to learn from your experiences and to keep going.

4. Go work out.

"Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body."

Yep, working out is very useful in more than one way. I have found that one of the best ways to turn an anxious, negative or weak mood fully around is simply to go exercising. It is also reliable because it is not so dependent on your mind. You just have to drag yourself wherever you need to go and make your body do certain movements to get the desired result.

And, anyway, how are you going to be able to go the extra mile without extra energy? Over the last few years I realized that many problems are simply based in a lack of energy. So working out or not isn't much of a choice really. If you aren't naturally a bouncy, high energy person then you have to exercise in some way to create that energy you need to achieve whatever it is you want in life.

5. Go and help others.

"Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life."

Helping others is valuable in so many ways. Beside the wonderful upsides that Arnold brings up – like the fact that you are helping people out and at the same time enriching and adding meaning to your own life – you also create a lot of relationships.

And the Law of Reciprocity, the urge to give back is strong in people. If you provide value and help to them then they will often be inclined to give you a hand when you need it. Or feel the need give back by paying it forward and helping other people.

This creates big, expanding upward spirals of positive actions and thoughts. And that can be very useful for us all.

Image by d_vdm (license).

If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone on Facebook, Twitter and Stumbleupon. Thank you very much! =)

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Copyright 2006-2010 Henrik Edberg.


 
 

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