Tag Archives: relax

Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Meditation Station

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Meditation Station

Hi there! Something that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is meditation. One of the libraries in my area has been hosting the two founders of a local nonprofit organization Health, Happiness, & Chan to teach meditation classes to the public. I have been going since the spring time, and found it to be really difficult. Dare I say, I even found it to be completely ineffective.

Then, we had a hiatus for a few months until the summer session began. Upon returning to classes, I had a total turn around during our hour together. I was able to complete the entire forty minute process when, before, I couldn’t even finish five minutes. It felt awesome and I left class feeling so uplifted and accomplished.

Unfortunately, but fortunately, one of our two amazing teachers (Both of whom are professors at Akron U.) has accepted a position at Harvard and is no longer with us. But, our other guru, Joanne is simply the best. I have such a strong connection with her and it was such a delight to be welcomed back to class by her with a huge hug.

Joanne has quite possibly the most beautiful voice known to mankind and, after all of us insisting on it for months, she has finally made a YouTube channel! The quality of her first few videos is not the best, but there will certainly be more to come so I wanted to share them with all of you, anyways. Joanne has such a gentle, kind, and nurturing spirit and you can literally feel it just by hearing her speak. So, subscribe and enjoy as she walks you through all different types of meditation!

Who else practices meditation? What are some of your meditation tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman’s Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask & Scrub Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman’s Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask & Scrub Edition

Hello darlings and welcome to a riveting new edition of Face Mask Festivities! Today, we are going to be discussing another Freeman mask, which consisted of charcoal and black sugar. We all know that I love all charcoal everything, so this gel mask was an obvious hit for me! Take a look and let’s get to it:

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^^^ Peep that freshly dyed hair! 😀

In my humble opinion, charcoal products have been the most major game changer since Vitamin C skin care. It detoxifies, it cleanses, and it leaves the skin simply glowing after all of the gunk that’s been clogging your pores has been rinsed away. And, of course, this Freeman mask did all of that, which left for a really satisfying face mask experience.

The best part about this mask is the texture, because it isn’t your standard clay mask. This Freeman gel mask is a sugar scrub, too, so you got to exfoliate your skin while you were washing it off. And, speaking of texture, this mask literally never over dries. I had my mask on for the entire forty minutes that my hair dye was setting and it stayed the same consistency as when I first applied it until I washed it off. So amazing!

After giving my face a good scrub when rinsing my mask off, my skin felt so good. This Freeman mask gave my face such a deep clean and it was nothing short of invigorating. My pores feel like they can breathe, my blackheads are gone, and I would happily use this mask again.

Who else is a charcoal product fan? How do you keep pesky blackheads at bay? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman’s Anti-Stress Clay Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman’s Anti-Stress Clay Mask Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to the newest edition of Face Mask Festivities. Today, we are going to be discussing Freeman’s Anti-Stress Clay Mask. Delightfully reminiscent of Lush’s Don’t Look At Me mask, this blue baby definitely was a hit and was a fraction of the cost at only $3.29. Plus, no refrigerator to keep this mask fresh is required! Check it out:

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If there’s one thing that the ballin on a budget lifestyle has taught me, it’s that drugstore brands are equally, if not better, than name brands. This mask by Freeman’s was essentially the exact same thing as Don’t Look At Me by Lush for so much less. And, this made me enjoy it even more, because I felt so pampered completely guilt free.

Using Freeman’s Anti-Stress Clay Mask was the perfect treat after a long day of working and getting caught in the rain during a hike. I ran a bath, applied the mask, and was instantly transported to Relaxation Station. This mask smells awesome, for one. It is so minty and invigorating with the slightest touch of an ocean breeze, thanks to the dead sea minerals in the formula. It also was the perfect texture. It wasn’t too light or too thick, but right in the middle, and it didn’t over dry when my bath took longer than the wash off time.

Because this mask didn’t over dry, it left my skin feeling amazing after washing it off. My pores felt like they got deep cleaned and all of my blackheads were removed, to boot. Once my face was nice and clean, I applied my Vitamin E Sleep Mask from The Body Shop and drifted off into the Land Of Nod feeling like I just spent my evening at the spa. Except this spa costed me less than ten dollars to enjoy, and I can definitely swing that!

What is your favorite face mask to use? How do you create a spa experience at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Over & Over Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Over & Over Edition

Hello! This past weekend, I finally got to enjoy a nice, long soak in the tub with one of the bath bombs from Lush that I received for my birthday. I was feeling so worn out, so I decided to go with the Over & Over bath bomb, because of its bright yellow and orange color to see if it might help energize me. And, after watching it take off in different directions in my tub like a little rocket, it surely did! Take a look:

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This is so bad, but my first thought when this bath bomb hit the water was “great, it’s going to look like a tub full of pee”, because of the initial pale yellow color. But, shortly after, I was proven wrong, because the pink coloring from inside the bomb began fizzing out in full force. So much so, that it literally made the bomb whiz off in the opposite direction of the tub like a shooting star. It. Was. Awesome.

From then on, the bomb began fizzing its vivid yellows, oranges, and hot pinks for a solid ten minutes, all the while it was filling my bathroom with a scent that was like freshly squeezed pink lemonade. The swirling colors left the final shade of the water a really pretty sunset orange and it felt like laying in a bubble of sunshine once I finally got into the tub.

Not only was the bath bomb display gorgeous but, because it’s made with cocoa butter (My favorite!), it left my skin feeling so hydrated and good – especially after shaving the Woolly Mammoth legs! 10/10 would use this bomb Over & Over again!

What is your favorite bath bomb from Lush? What is your favorite non bath bomb product from there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

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Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

In recent years, awareness of anxiety has come to the forefront. Aside from making you nervous, a full-blown case of anxiety can leave you on edge and unable to calm down. It feels as though you’re about to face something frightening every second of the day, and it can leave you on the brink of breaking.

If this sounds familiar, you should speak to your doctor and seek treatment which helps you to get on top of this. But, we aren’t focusing on treatment today. Instead, we’re going to address something few anxiety sufferers speak about: the fact that symptoms often get worse in the evenings.

In many ways, this seems strange. Surely anxiety should abate when you get home and let loose? But, often, the situation worsens once you get home. In many ways, this could be because you’re no longer distracted by work. As such, you’ll feel the full effects of the condition. But, this is also, in part, down to how we spend our evenings – so we’re going to look at a few every day habits which can make matters worse:

The Television Trap:

While television usage has dropped in recent years, many of us still put the box on the moment that we get home. It’s a comfort, and it helps a lot of us to relax. But, what you might not realize is that television can also boost anxiety in some ways. Even if you avoid anxiety-inducing programs, advertisements fill us with worries about what we don’t have. They also lead to comparisons with those on screen. On top of which, television eats time like nothing else. It could leave you feeling as though your evening’s over before it’s begun.

So, for at least a few hours, turn the TV off. Rely, instead, on board games like Scrabble. These still take complete concentration but without comparison. You can even avoid disputes by using tools like this word.tips word finder to check anything you’re unsure of. If that doesn’t appeal, you could always turn to hobbies like reading or coloring to see you through. The chances are, that you’ll feel much better after an evening of doing these.

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There’s nothing better than a good book!

You’re Too Hung Up On The Day:

Many of us also make the mistake of overthinking our days once we get home. And, we still wonder why we have anxiety-induced headaches by the end of the night. In truth, you should avoid thinking about work during your evenings. Draw a line under the day with a quick walk around the block or even a meditation session to ease your mind. Then, turn your attention to something else every time work crosses your mind. Getting this distance could work wonders for helping you to relax. Bear in mind that it may take longer to adjust to than you expect. After all, you’ve spent years thinking about work all evening, every evening. But, if you focus your attention here, you could soon find that your mind is much calmer when you need it to be.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

The Busy Girl’s Organization Guide

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The Busy Girl’s Organization Guide

Heyyy! We live in a world where everyone is super busy and on the go constantly. With phones ringing in your ear, emails to answer, and appointments to get to, it can sure seem hard to balance it all. Believe me, I get it. As a woman on the go myself, I would be nowhere without the organization techniques that I have used throughout the years to keep me on track. And, now, I’m here to share them with you! Check it out:

Invest In A Desk Calendar:

With my work appointments growing by the month, a normal wall calendar just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I needed something that was nice and big so that I could fit my daily tasks into each day comfortably on paper. Now, not only do I have plenty of room for work scheduling, but I am able to really see how much time I have left in the day to work with for the side hustle or drinks with friends. Whereas, with a wall calendar, your space is so cramped that you can’t see any free time at all. I paid seven bucks for a large desk calendar at Target, and I scoff at the fact that I used to use anything smaller.

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This would do nicely!

Color Coordinate:

The best part about a big desk calendar, though? THAT YOU CAN COLOR COORDINATE!! I have had a blast assigning a highlighter color to the person that I’m meeting with and using colored pencils to add in anything extra that I need reminders of. It makes planning your week or month a little more bright and fun, and sometimes you really need that extra boost to make your work schedule less stressful.

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That’s what I’m talking about!

Take Notes:

I am constantly taking notes throughout the day. Whether I come up with a new blog post idea in my head or hear about a new restaurant that I want to try, god knows that I will forget it minutes later. You can definitely carry around a notepad for such findings, but I prefer to just send texts to myself so that I always have my little reminders handy in text message form for when I need it again.

Have Backup Plans:

One of the worst things is having a meeting or an outing with friends cancelled and feeling like your time for the day is just going to be wasted. So, it’s always nice to have a Plan B. This could range from just having some you time and going for a walk or trying out the new restaurant that you text reminded yourself about. It’s good to have something to fall back on if you have something scheduled with a flaky friend or you have a work appointment that isn’t mandatory.

Take A Break:

It might seem like the best thing ever to spread yourself too thin during the work week and on the weekends. Extra moolah, potential for raises or promotions – I totally get it. But, don’t forget to schedule in some time to take a break, too. Going nonstop is a great way to fatten your wallet, but you also get very burned out in the process. Schedule a pedicure during your lunch break or dedicate your Sunday to finishing the book on your bedside table. Just make sure that you’re working in some R&R somewhere!

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On the go lifestyles are the norm, now. But with some top notch organization skills, you can make the most of your time whether it’s for work or play!