self-development & spiritual growth

We live in a world that breathes competition. In fact, we try so hard to keep up with its demands that we barely have time to really evaluate the things that matter to us. This is why self-development has never been more important than today.

 

In its essence, self-development is about taking a conscious evolution towards becoming a better person. To get to this goal, you must grow physically, mentally and spiritually. It is a journey that you must take, especially if you want to experience a new and more meaningful life.

 

 

Path to Spiritual Growth

 

The first and probably most important step to self-development is through spiritual growth. It is a journey that allows you to open up your heart and mind to the possibility of improving your life by changing your beliefs.

 

It’s about gaining an appreciation of what you already have and focusing on a better life purpose rather than living a life on material beliefs.

 

Contrary to what most believe, spiritual growth doesn’t have to mean being religious. Finding spirituality is, after all, a unique journey for each person and can only be done with the help of other people and several resources.

 

 

Path to Mental Growth

 

In such a highly demanding and fast-paced world, a lot of people break down because they don’t have the necessary tools to take control of their emotions, manage their relationships and maintain a positive perspective in life.

 

This is why mental growth is highly lauded in psychology because it allows people to enjoy life and avoid or manage the most common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

 

One of the best ways to achieve mental growth is to strengthen the mind. According to a study in Boston.com suggests that developing “a new skill” and participating in a “steady activity” are some of the ways to help develop and strengthen the mind. It also helps to “replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts,” according to a Forbes article entitled “5 Powerful Exercises to Increase Your Mental Strength.”

 

 

Path to Physical Growth

 

The connection between mental and spiritual growth is further strengthened with the help of physical growth. In fact, they are so intertwined that one improves the benefits of the other and the lack of one may affect the overall result.

 

For instance, the desire to grow physically begins with the mind and the result of your physical efforts will depend on your attitude towards achieving your goal.

 

The first step towards achieving physical growth is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Having a sense of direction will ultimately lead you to success.

 

Begin by defining wellness and what it means for you as a person. Each journey to physical growth is unique, so it makes perfect sense to understand what wellness path you want to take.

 

 

Self-development is a Journey Worth Taking

 

At the end of the day, the journey to self-development is something that should consciously be taken by everyone. After all, it’s only after we develop ourselves that we truly live the best life.

 

cosmic art

Astrology has always been a fascinating subject for many people around the world.

 

From cosmic art to horoscopes, the curiosity for what the stars and the phases of the moon has to say about the future has made astrology one of the most studied topics today.

 

But what exactly are the phases of the moon and how does it affect us?

 

 

New Moon, New Beginnings

 

The new moon is significant in astrology and all its aspects including cosmic art. This is a time when the sun and moon are on the same sign, which marks a time to make a mark in your life and re-evaluate your lifestyle choices.

 

The new moon is the perfect opportunity to make changes that reflect your pursuit of happiness.

 

 

Crescent Moon, Taking Charge

 

It is a time when the moon is halfway between the new and first quarter, and the crescent moon also marks the sprouting of new life.

 

With the new beginning taking place during the new moon phase, the crescent moon is the time to take charge, to actualize new objectives and get rid of the old ways to reach your goals.

 

 

First Quarter Moon, Building Foundations

 

With the moon waxing and the sun being square, it is time for great growth. During this time, you begin to build the foundation for your future and you work harder than ever to achieve your goals even if you are faced with huge challenges along the way.

 

 

Gibbous Moon, Reaping the Rewards

 

The gibbous moon is the time when the moon is halfway between the first quarter and full moon. This season signifies the beginning of your accomplishments when you slowly reap the rewards of your labor. As a result, you will be more inspired to keep on building the foundation of your dreams and break the status quo even further.

 

 

Full Moon, Clear Views

 

The time arrives when the moon and sun are in complete opposition to each other and it symbolizes your complete awareness of the effect of your work on the people around you.

 

Everything is becoming clear and you know exactly what you want but you’re still willing to accept the influences of those around you.

 

 

Disseminating Moon, Shedding Light

 

Just when the moon is starting to disappear halfway between the full and last quarter, you will find your purpose to shed light on others. You will finally see the fruit of your labor and realize your cycle coming into a full circle.

 

 

Last Quarter Moon, Breaking Down

 

As the moon starts to wane and the sun becomes square, you will also start to see the beginning of the end of your cycle. You have already harvested the fruit of your hard work and you are now ready to break down the old structure to make way for the new one.

 

 

Balsamic Moon, Coming Out

 

Finally, there is the balsamic moon, which is the time between the last quarter and the new moon. This is the signal of maturity where you now feel a bit of alienation from the existing social structure around you. You would want to make it on your own and you’re ready to come out stronger than ever.

spiritual self-development

For many people, the idea of self-development means exercising, eating right and getting enough rest. But not enough of us have heard of, or practice, spiritual self-care. For those who have, it’s easy to think that it is related to reading biblical texts, participating in worship services and observing rituals.

 

Spiritual self-care, however, encompasses all that. It is the practice of connecting to whatever is meaningful and holy to you. Spirituality can be found everywhere and with anyone and once you start embracing spiritual self-care as part of self-development, you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits in your life:

 

 

Re-Discover your Purpose and Meaning

We are all trying to keep up with this fast-paced world that we live in, don’t we? It’s so easy to get caught up in the middle of taking care of the family, doing well in a job and living up to other people’s expectations that you lose sight of what’s your purpose and meaning.

 

Spiritual self-care brings you back to that state of awareness and let you channel your energy towards things that matter most to you and not what the world is telling you to be.

 

 

Improve your Relationships

Do you often find yourself fighting with your spouse? Are you becoming more reluctant to spend time with friends? Stress and exhaustion can easily affect your relationships, but you can always turn things around by practicing spiritual self-care.

 

Taking the time to practice meditation can already do a lot to reduce your stress while doing yoga regularly aligns you with your inner self again, which can help you improve your relationships in the long run.

 

 

Identify the Things that Make you Genuinely Happy

You may be living in a huge house, driving a nice car and wearing the most expensive bag, but none of that will make you genuinely happy. Take time out of your day to go for a walk or spend the weekend outdoors.

 

Research shows that walking is beneficial to your mental health because it allows you to slow down and be present. You’ll also gain a sense of clarity on what makes you happy so you can focus your energy on them and not on material things that will only provide you fleeting joy.

 

 

Clear your Space

You meet a lot of people every day and you share conversations that can affect your energy at some point.

 

If you were to achieve self-development, you need to maintain a clear space around you through meditation and smudging, which uses cedar, incense or sage to clear your space.

 

 

Life is beautiful if you just let it be. While you’re surrounded by so many stressors and you’re living in a world that’s more fast-paced than ever before, you can still find that inner peace and good mental health by practicing spiritual self-care and taking the time to love yourself more.

 

By investing in self-development, you can also radiate your happiness to others and be able to love others better.

cosmic yoga mat

We all need a respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily life. We try to travel, dine out, spend time with friends or just be lazy at home. But none of these seem to give us that much-needed refresh from deep within.

 

Then, there’s yoga, an ancient combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in India.

 

Using a cosmic yoga mat from our store, and getting into different postures or “asanas” has got everyone from regular people to celebrities hooked on yoga, and for good reason. Aside from the obvious benefits of relaxation and even weight loss, yoga can also do these four things for your life:

 

 

Sense of Mindfulness

 

Living in this day and age can easily get you distracted because of everything that’s being thrown at you. But doing yoga on a cosmic yoga mat brings you back that sense of mindfulness where you can re-focus your attention on the things that are in the present.

 

Yoga has been known to increase mindfulness in all aspects of your life including eating habits. Mindful eating means enjoying your food rather than just eating for the sake of eating. People who practice yoga have been found out to have a deeper appreciation of food including its smell, feel and taste. They also do better at managing cravings, which help them stay healthy and fit.

 

 

 

Better Immune System

 

Practicing yoga is known to make you fit. But what you might not know is that being on that cosmic yoga mat can help stimulate your genes. According to a research study from the University of Oslo, practicing yoga for at least two hours stimulates 111 genes that help regulate immune cells as opposed to walking that only stimulates 38 genes.

 

 

 

An Appreciation of Body Image

 

The pressure to look good has never been more intense today, which is why a lot of people focus too much on physical appearance rather than inner beauty. But yoga changes that perspective completely by making you more aware of the strength of your mind and body. If you’ve ever been in a yoga studio, you’ll notice that there are no mirrors or the lighting is dark all to create an inner awareness rather than an outer awareness of how you look on your cosmic yoga mat.

 

 

 

Improvement in Cardiovascular Health

 

Several studies have proven that yoga can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. For instance, it helps regulate blood pressure in people who have hypertension and it improves lipid profiles in patients with coronary artery diseases.

 

Practicing yoga is also included in several cardiac rehabilitation programs because of its benefits.

 

Yoga has been practiced for hundreds of years because it works. Aside from offering you these amazing health and wellness benefits, yoga is also an act of self-care and self-love, which we all badly need in a time when the world seems to revolve so fast.

spirituality and health

Life has never been more fast-paced than it is today. And in the middle of it all, it’s easy to find yourself struggling to find your inner peace and wellbeing. Of course, your health also suffers in the long run, especially if you don’t make time to take care of yourself.

 

The journey to wellbeing through spirituality and health has long been a cause of discussion in the medical world, and studies have proven that spirituality has an important role to play in promoting health and healing.

 

 

Defining Spirituality

There is no one definition of spirituality because it can mean different things from one person to the other. Some may see spirituality as being part of a religious organization while others may treat it as a non-religious practice.

 

Still, others may look at spirituality as a combination of both religious and non-religious practices. But while definitions may vary, one thing’s for sure: spirituality brings a higher purpose into a person’s life.

 

 

Role of Spirituality in Health

With the debate on the correlation between spirituality and health, studies have been conducted to closely examine the impact of spiritual practices in boosting health and they revealed that:

 

 

Spirituality can help Depression

 

Depression is one of the most common and devastating mental illnesses in the world, and it is mostly triggered when someone starts to isolate themselves.

 

Most spiritual practices, however, encourage social engagement and being involved in activities such as volunteering or attending yoga classes pulls a depressed person out of isolation and offers them a more positive environment where depression cannot thrive.

 

 

Spirituality can Restore a Sense of Purpose

 

Sometimes, health conditions are just physical manifestations of spiritual problems. Proof of this is how stress is a common predisposing factor in many illnesses including hypertension and heart disease.

 

With spiritual counseling, a chaplain will help an affected individual to deal with the stresses of their life through acceptance and finding ways to turn their weaknesses into strengths. This helps restore their sense of purpose and thus, keeps them emotionally healthier, which in turn could lead to better physical health.

 

 

Spirituality Boosts the Immune System

 

The world is filled with a ton of stressors, most of which one cannot control. And when stress becomes too much, it takes a toll on one’s immune system and may lead to different health and mental issues that affect an individual’s quality of life.

 

However, it has been found that practicing spiritual activities such as praying, meditating or spending time with nature can help boost the immune system to fight illnesses or help an individual recover from an existing health condition.

 

 

Spirituality and health are at the end of the day, intertwined with each other. They are both important aspects of life and one benefits the other to promote wellbeing in an individual. This is why spiritual healthcare is now introduced in the medical setting because it has been proven that offering empathy and support to a patient has a huge impact to their prognosis and quality of life in the long run.

 

 

medicine bag

The Native American culture is as rich as its people. Throughout the centuries, Native Americans thrived because of how they value their traditions including the objects they use for everyday life.

 

One of the most important accessories in Native American culture is the medicine bag, which was used mostly by a Shaman or medicine man. Medicine bags are considered sacred and special by Native Americans because they hold different objects such as amulets and herbal medications that are used by the Shaman for healing the sick or offering protection and strength for soldiers who will go to battle.

 

 

The Shaman and their Medicine Bag

 

A Shaman is regarded in Native American culture as a person with access and influence in the world of good and evil spirits. Shamans are believed to enter an altered state of consciousness to interact with the spirit world and offer healing and good energy into the human world.

 

Medicine bags are considered an important part of a Shaman’s life because they serve as a container for sacred objects used in practice. This includes objects from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms as well as from human life. Medicine bags are usually made from the pelts of beavers, panthers, raccoons, otters or reptiles and are traditionally worn under the clothing.

 

Native Americans believe that the contents of a medicine bag are extremely private and should symbolize tribal identity and wellbeing. Paint may also be included in the medicine bag to be used by the Shaman to paint mystical markings on warriors that are believed to give them more power and make them invincible.

 

med bag

 

The Native American and their Personal Medicine Bag

 

Aside from being used by a Shaman, medicine bags are also given to boys who start their spiritual journey at the age of fifteen or as they enter into manhood. In a rite of passage, the boy enters a vision quest where his spirit guide will be revealed in the form of a power animal that has walked with him throughout his life.

 

After this revelation, the Shaman talks about the meaning of the boy’s spirit guide and provide him with a personal medicine bag that contains different symbolic items that are related to their spiritual journey and those that will protect him during his lifetime. This medicine bag is then closed and only very seldom opened.

 

It is usually worn around the neck and when the bearer dies, the bag is buried together with the symbol of his guardian spirit. This medicine bag is regarded as an important part of every Native American’s life because it is believed to keep them safe and offer them increased strength in battle.

 

 

The medicine bag is definitely a symbol of faith and tradition not only in Shamanism but also in the Native American culture in general. This is why this tradition has been kept alive for many centuries because it is believed to be one of the things that ancestors have passed down to the younger generations to keep them safe.

 

Lori Mennastanding.rock created her collage to support the movement’s environmental message, but also to express solidarity with the Lakota people. “I know that American Indians know our Mother Earth more than anyone. I have been sitting in Lakota Temezcal ceremonies for years. Their beliefs, their chants, their connectedness is powerful and meaningful and I respect their culture immensely.”