World Book Day & My Upcoming Spiritual Book Group

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As today is World Book Day and my Spiritual Book Group starts next week it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share with you about my new group and the books we will be discussing.

Most of the books that I read are about spiritual or personal development and this has been the case now for a while, however they are definitely not the only books that I read! I recently finished ‘The Penguin Lessons’ by Tom Mitchell and utterly loved it!

I have always been a bit of a bookworm, even as a child and decided late last year that I wanted to set up a book group so that I could share my passion for books with others.

My aim for the group is to be able to bring together like minded individuals for an hour, once a month to discuss books that inspire spiritual and personal development in a friendly and informal setting. The monthly meetings will be held at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa and numbers will be kept small, I will also be making a cake to share and cups of tea will be available too!

The first few books I have selected for the group are books that I have recently read and really enjoyed:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Material Girl, Mystical World by Ruby Warrington

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

There are still a few spaces left if you would like to join us next week for a slice of cake, a cup of tea and a chat!

Rachel x

 

The Benefits of Ayurvedic Tongue Scraping

tonguescraping

The ancient Ayurvedic recommendation of tongue scraping is often overlooked, but there are many benefits to this daily practice including oral health, physical health, mental and spiritual health. As your mouth is one of the main gateways between your mind/body and the environment, maintaining the health of this connection is crucial to overall well-being.

Scraping your tongue daily removes any build-up, which, if left untreated, can lead to bad breath and may house a significant number of bacteria. This simple practice is a direct way of removing Ama from your physiology. In Ayurveda, Ama refers to any accumulation of toxic residue in the mind-body. This can result from poor diet, poor digestion or can be a sign of an imbalance somewhere in the gastrointestinal system.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, by removing this coating you improve your ability to taste your food, which makes it more satisfying. By increasing your taste reception, not only do you eat less, you also eliminate the need to add more sugar, salt, or excessive spice to the food to make it more flavourful. Many of the beneficial phytonutrients and “body signals” that your food contains are first interpreted by the mind-body upon contact with receptors on your tongue. You want to improve this communication between your food and your body by removing any coating that is interfering with that connection.

Keratin Balance

Western medicine is also beginning to acknowledge that a coating on the tongue is a sign of poor health. According to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP), a coated or hairy tongue is a sign of imbalance of keratin on the tongue. Under normal circumstances, the amount of keratin produced, and the amount that is “knocked off” by eating, is balanced. When the diet is too soft or the mouth is irritated in some way keratin can accumulate. When bacteria grow on this layer of keratin, it can lead to discoloration of the coating, which many people notice.

It’s easy to see how a healthy diet that consists of plant roughage and fibre and where food is not overcooked or too soft, will help maintain this balance. It’s therefore important to get healthy “textured” food in your diet, such as fibre from fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as well as nuts and seeds. While the AAOMP does recommend tongue scraping to address this issue, they also regard the coating as “harmless.” However, when you incorporate an Ayurvedic view of health into this picture, you have an increased awareness of how this coating can ultimately affect many aspects of your physical and emotional well-being.

What Kind of Tongue Scraper to Use

The Charaka Samhita (an early Ayurvedic text) states that “tongue scrapers should be made of gold, silver, copper, tin and brass and should be non-sharp and curved, so as not to injure the tongue”. I personally use a copper scraper, but stainless steel scrapers are widely available and are just as effective.

How to Scrape Your Tongue

The tongue should be gently scraped from back to front for 7 to 14 strokes. The scraper can be rinsed off between strokes if there is a lot of accumulation. Some people might find scraping stimulates their gag reflex, which may indicate that the scraping is too aggressive. If this occurs with gentle scraping then begin slightly more forward on the tongue to avoid the gagging reflex.

A Daily Practice

From an Ayurvedic perspective, tongue scraping should be performed on a daily basis. This ancient practice helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body, improve digestion by increasing your sense of taste, and cleanse the body by removing Ama and bacteria from your mouth. In addition, it increases clarity of the mind by reducing heaviness and Ama from the head. When your physical and emotional bodies are balanced, it allows you to expand your spiritual awakening as well.

The tongue is the mirror to all the organs of your body and a daily look at your tongue prior to scraping gives you a clue to your general health. In Ayurveda, a good tongue examination is a useful way of evaluating the health of your entire body. When you examine your tongue, it’s an opportunity for self-awareness, where you can reflect on the choices of the last several days, months or even years and see how those choices have affected your health. If a thick coating is noted, you are accumulating toxicity. By noting this, it gives you the opportunity to become more self-aware and make new, healthier lifestyle choices.

Rachel x

 

A Basic Guide to Meridians.

Following on from one of my previous posts talking about Acupuncture I wanted to share with you a little bit about Meridians and Meridian points as these are what Acupuncturists work with and talk about.

Qi-and-Meridians

Meridians

The Chinese discovered the meridian system approximately 3000 years ago. Meridians are an energy force that can be felt but not seen. They can be described as channels of energy, or pathways through which energy moves through the body. They have been described as containing a free-flowing, colourless, non-cellular liquid that may be partly actuated by the heart.

These meridians have been measured and mapped using modern technological methods, electronically, thematically and radioactively. With practice, they can also be felt. There are specific acupuncture points along the meridians, upon which the practices of acupuncture,acupressure and reflexology are founded. In all these techniques, pressure is applied to specific points to clear blockages from the energy channels. These points are electromagnetic in character and consist of small, oval cells called Bonham corpuscles, which surround the capillaries in the skin, the blood vessels, and the organs throughout the body. There are some 500 points that are most frequently used by acupuncturists and therapists practising acupressure and reflexology; each point is worked upon in a definite sequence depending on the action desired.

Meridians are named by the life function with which they are associated. In most cases this name is similar to the name of a body organ with which we are familiar, for example, the liver meridian and the stomach meridian. Chinese physicians can detect imbalances in meridians by feeling the pulses, but this is a sensitive touch and it can take 10 to 20 years to develop proficiency with it.

Meridians are classified yin or yang on the basis of the direction in which they flow on the surface of the body. Meridians interconnect deep within the torso, but therapists work with the part that is on the surface and is accessible to touch techniques. Yang energy flows from the sun, and yang meridians run from the fingers to the face or from the face to the feet. Yin energy from the earth flows from the feet to the torso, and from the torso along the inside of the arms to the fingertips.

Since the meridian flow is actually one continuous unbroken flow, the energy flows in one definite direction, and from one meridian to another in a well-determined order. Since there is no beginning or end to this flow, the order of the meridians can be represented as a wheel. A blockage in any of the meridians will have a knock-on effect on all the other meridians.

When this energy flow in unrestricted, the body harmonises the flow to optimise body functioning. Sometimes, however, the life we lead and the abuses we heap upon our bodies cause stress, and sometimes the stress is so intense or so constant that, in effect, it overloads the circuit, and a blockage occurs this has an effect on all the other meridians.

The six main Meridians  are those that actually penetrate major body organs

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Gall Bladder
  • Bladder
  • Kidney

The other six meridians are situated in the arms and do not actually penetrate specific organs 

  • Lung
  • Large Intestine
  • Pericardium / Circulation
  • Triple  Warmer / Endocrine
  • Small intestine
  • Heart

These 12 meridians can be subdivided into six main meridians that actually penetrate the major body organs and six other meridians that are situated in the arms and do not actually penetrate specific organs.

Closer study of the meridians reveals that the six main meridians are found in the feet, specifically the toes. Thus, massaging the feet is, in actual fact, stimulating and clearing congestion in the meridians. When congestion is cleared, energy is able to flow freely and the body is able to achieve a state of balance.

Rachel x

My favourite vegan pancake recipe.

Since it’s Shrove Tuesday I thought I would share my favourite quick and easy recipe for making light and fluffy vegan pancakes.

vegan-pancakes-blueberry-e1454500755194

 

Ingredients

  • 5oz / 150g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method

  1. Sieve all dry ingredients together into a bowl and mix.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, in which you add the water and oil. Mix thoroughly until all blended – folding the mixture will create more lightness.
  3. Heat up a lightly oiled frying pan before dropping the mixture, in small balls, onto the pan. Cook until lightly browned on underside then flip the pancake over and repeat on the other side.

 

Rachel x

 

 

 

Recipe taken from BBC Good food, no copyright infringement intended.

 

 

 

 

 

How to ease anxiety with the ‘54321’ mindfulness trick.

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When anxiety threatens our peace of mind, it can be difficult to stay in the moment. But one mindfulness tool has the ability to pull our brains free from anxiety by grounding us back in the present.

The “5-4-3-2-1” tool is a simple yet highly effective method for regaining control of your mind when anxiety threatens to take over – and it consists of a little more than just counting backwards from five.

Rather, the tool helps bring us back to the present by relying on our five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.

The first step encourages those suffering in a moment of anxiety to look around at their surroundings and identify five things that they can see at the moment.

Next, identify four things you can hear, three things you can feel – which can be anything from your feet in your shoes to the sun on your face, then two things you can smell.

And lastly, one thing that you can taste – which can even be your tongue as long as you can taste it.

The steps can be done quickly – and the effectiveness of the tool has been widely backed by many psychologists

The trick, which relies on sensory awareness, brings your attention to your senses grounded in the present and counting the items interrupts the spinning of your thoughts. Apart from anxiety, it can also help treat depression and relieve stress.

So the next time you are feeling anxious, focus on what you can see, feel, and touch – and ignore the insecurities that exist inside your head.

Rachel x

 

Liebster Award Nomination: About The Award & A Bit About Me.

liebster award

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award, to be honest before my nomination I had never heard of the award, however I am so very touched and grateful that Isabelle thought of my blog and nominated me!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that gives bloggers the power to recognize and nominate other blogs to gain exposure and increase blog traffic. Nominations are given all year, starting in January, and a winner is declared in December. This is an opportunity for bloggers to support one another as well as a chance for bloggers to gain recognition and a shout-out for their amazing content and hard work.

The Rules

  • Link to the following post in your post: https://theglobalaussie.com/liebster-award-2018/
  • Answer the questions given to you
  • Add questions for your nominees to answer
  • Comment on this post with a link to your Liebster Award post– Entries start January 1st and end December 25th 2018. The winner will be picked on December 31st.

The Instructions

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nominations. I choose to nominate as many people as I want. I also want to give my nominees this freedom, too.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

My 11 Questions from Isabelle 

Q: If you could be living in a different time period (like the Victorian era, the 70s etc.) what would best fit you?

A: 1960’s London because of it’s counterculture and revolution against social norms such as clothes, sex, music and other formalities.

Q: What is your favourite comfort food?

A: That’s a tough one! I love food but for comfort I would have to say Indian food. I love all the flavours, spices and being able to mix and match so many different dishes.

Q: What is a country that’s still on your bucket list and why?

A: Too many! But Australia probably tops the list because I like the laid back vibe and I think Australians have been more switched on to health and wellness for a longer period than here in the UK.

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: The 5 languages of love by Gary Chapman. Highly recommend the book, even if you are not currently in a relationship.

Q: What’s one of your all-time favourite movies?

A: Probably ‘Untouchable’ directed by Olivier Nakache. It is based on a true story and depicts an unlikely friendship. Very uplifting and funny!

Q: What’s your favourite way to wind down (yoga, meditation,sleep etc.)?

A: All of the above mentioned! I also find gardening very therapeutic, I love walking along the sea front, which I am lucky enough to be able to do in Brighton. I get a huge amount of enjoyment from cooking and I like curling up with a good book.

Q: What’s the last picture of yourself you’ve taken? (paste here)

Daz & I

A: This photo was taken last December and it is of myself and one of my oldest and dearest friends, Daz.

Q: Do you feel your age, younger or older?

A: Sometimes older, sometimes younger. I think in many ways age is irrelevant.

Q: What song are you listening to right now?

A: Set the tigers free – Villagers.

Q: Had you heard of the Liebster Award before I nominated you?

A: No, I read your blog post and then Googled!

Q: What’s some life advice you want to give anyone out there that’s reading this?

A: Always and unapologetically be yourself. Life is too short to be anything but and by being your authentic self you will attract like minded people to share in your journey.

11 Random facts about me 

1 – I am a very curious person and love learning new things.

2 – As clichéd as it is, I would love to travel more! I visited Colombia a couple of years back and would return there in a heartbeat and then make my way across Latin America – just for starters!

3 – I am a vegetarian and I am also dairy intolerant.

4 – I am currently re-watching and slightly obsessed with Gossip Girl.

5 – Right now I am training to become an EFT Practitioner.

6 –  I have always wanted to learn to ride a motorbike.

7 – I have two sisters and a brother – all are younger than me.

8 – I love dogs and would love to have my own. I would rescue one from a shelter, as that is what my parents have always done.

9 – I love plants! I have so many houseplants and enjoy gardening.

10 – I have very eclectic music taste. All eras and genres and have even been described as a music geek!

11 – I wear glasses to help my eyes focus.

My Nominees

– https://veganandherbooks.wordpress.com
– https://fulfilledwellness.com/
– https://wendyjennings1610.wordpress.com/
– https://pinkiebag.com/
– https://staceybnaturalhealth.co.uk/tag/stacey-beattie/

Questions for my Nominees

1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

2. Who’s the last person you called?

3. What country is still on your bucket list, and why?

4. What’s the last movie you watched?

5. What’s one of your all-time favourite books?

6. What’s your favourite way to relax?

7. What’s your favourite food?

8. Do you feel your age or do you feel older or younger?

9. Had you heard of the Liebster Award before I nominated you?

10. What’s the best or most helpful piece of advice you have been given?

11. What advice would you give to anyone that’s reading this?

Rachel x