Creation Vs Consumption


Yep, I’m an internet lover/addict. I jump online pretty much the moment I wake up, intermittently during the day, and it’s usually the last thing I see before I fall asleep. Scary. Apparently I’m not alone, with around 53% of Brits checking their smartphones before they roll out of bed. But what I’ve begun to realize is despite the amazing potential to be inspired, motivated and re-energized by this tool, I’m feeling a little a bit drained by it all. Oversaturated with myriad endless images and words that have stopped part of me from growing and evolving. At the heart of it all, I think my insatiable thirst for information has converted me into a mindless consumer. Now, I don’t mean that in a materialist sense, but when you come to think about it, our modern lives are so driven by what we consume…the media we read, the blogs we follow, the music we listen to, the films we watch, the things we buy. How much do you really create in your daily life? So that’s really what my goal for the future has become. To sway the tide of how much I consume versus how much I create. I want to make something new every day. I want to try and fail, and be surprised at where the world leads me. By all means, internet browsing is still most definitely where I turn for inspiration, but the problem is, if the inspiration is not leading to action, then what’s the point? I think the key to reaching this goal is, as with many new endeavours, take it one small step at a time. Creating doesn't mean that everything you try becomes a masterpiece or that ever little effort has to change the world. The little things are often the most effective and the idea is to slowly but surely keep chipping away. Since having this epiphany, I’ve become a bit of a busy bee. I’m cooking more nutritious and exciting meals, I’ve enrolled in various classes, I’m back doing yoga, I’m writing a journal, painting and vision boarding (thanks for the great idea ladies!). Basically all things that I love to do that enrich the fabric of my life. I feel so much more fulfilled and grateful and the funny thing is, more and more “creation opportunities” keep coming my way. It’s a bit of a snowball affect I guess. Each step helps your momentum build. So, are you a do-er or a spectator? Are you waiting for the right moment to make things happen? The reality is, the perfect moment is now, not tomorrow. And as many amazing, beautiful, inspiring things are you may see/hear/read/watch, it can’t ever make you feel as good as making something that great on your own. Katerina Bacchiaz is a former Sydney fashion publicist living out a sea change in Mexico. Current addictions include coconut oil, morning meditation, skype, baking, airfreight magazines, MyYogaOnline and almond milk. Lover of all people and places. Facebook - Instagram - Tumblr - Image by Eliseo Torres Zuno (permission given)

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Philosophy, Psychology, Positivity, Career, College

Quick Snack: Toasted Chick Peas/Garbanzo Beans


This would have to be one of my favorite snacks through the week. When on the go, I usually have little snack bags of these I can just grab and run to class with. They are filled with protein not to mention unusually delicious. I often bake a batch on Sunday and season through the week depending on my flavor preference!

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Vegan, recipe, health, organic

“Trees and Twigs and Choices…”


I love hiking. I love the cliché wind in my hair feeling and the exhilaration that comes with each stride up and down. There’s a sense of direction and adventure that can only be found in a place that has no phone reception or outlet. There’s also things called choices.

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Inspire, Exercise, Personal Triumph, Natural Remedies

Give Your Life A Twist...


Most people, at some point, try to turn their lives around, many of them succeeding, and many of them not... Why? Well, there are many answers to that question, but the real question you should be asking yourself is… Why not give my own life a twist? A twist to start over, to have a chance at a clean slate, to open yourself new doors and opportunities, to a new beginning or to even make a small change in your life that will eventually make a great change.

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Positivity, Psychology, Philosophy, Inspire

5 Steps To Overcoming Perfectionism


A question I am often asked both in and outside the therapy room is, ‘what is so bad about being a perfectionist?’ Why this question is asked, is often the result of a misunderstanding of what perfectionism means and looks like. When I see perfectionism, I see the year 12 student who is crying because she received 98% on her exam. I see the man who didn’t chase his dreams because he was scared of not being the best in his field. Or the girl who is striving for the perfect body at the expense of her health and relationships. The perfectionistic picture is not a happy one. Perfectionism is perceived as being equal to happiness, success and achievement. Through society, the message that is communicated to us is that the more perfect you are, the happier you will be. Through obtaining the perfect job, car, test score, friends, house, body, and partner, you can achieve everlasting happiness. What we are not told about perfectionism, is that there is a difference between aiming to be perfect, and striving for excellence. Perfectionism is about wanting to meet your goals to please or impress others, whereas striving for excellence is about achieving your goals to please yourself. With perfectionism, you are setting yourself up for failure even before you’ve started putting in the hard yards. You are chasing what is essentially an unachievable outcome as being perfect is a concept, not an attainable destination. What makes us interesting are our flaws and the fact that we are constantly learning, evolving and growing. What is also problematic about perfectionism, is that one’s self-worth is based on the ability to achieve the unrealistic goals. This means that the perfectionist will place all their self-worth on their capacity to perform and achieve at this high standard. If these are not met, their confidence and sense of worthiness are considerably battered. I’ve also heard people with perfectionism say, ‘but having these standards works to motivate me.’ In reality, perfectionism only works to push one to keep up the unrelenting high standards they have set. This can cause a life-paralysis and result in demotivation. I have seen wonderful, talented people become paralysed by their fear of not reaching their impossibly high standards. Instead of serving as a motivating factor, perfectionism has actually worked to prevent them from excelling. In other instances, I have had clients who have managed to come close to, or have reached their lofty goals. What has resulted though has not been happiness or contentment. Instead I hear them describing feeling burnout, stressed, depressed and anxious about maintaining this standard. So what drives and underlies the perfectionist mindset? Inherently, there is a fear of inadequacy. There is an anxiety that their flaws will be discovered and that the ‘truth’, that they really are not good enough, will be revealed. There is an idea that to be less than perfect is to show vulnerability, which is ultimately a sign of weakness. While perfectionistic mindsets can be challenging to shift, there are strategies you can implement to reduce the hold of your perfectionistic mindset and behaviours. 1. Identify the downside of maintaining your perfectionistic mindset. Assess what areas in your life you are sacrificing in order for you to meet your perfectionistic goals. It may be impacting your physical and mental wellbeing, interfering with your relationships and preventing you from engaging in things you once enjoyed. Be clear on what you want your life to look like and what happiness means to you. Often my clients find that perfectionism has prevented them from achieving a sense of peace and happiness, opposed to bringing them closer to it. 2. Recognize which perfectionistic standards and beliefs are problematic and evaluate them logically. Is it really necessary to check your work four times before sending it through to your boss? And if there was a mistake, what would be the worst possibl

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Positivity, Psychology, Philosophy, Overcoming Depression

A Naturopath's Nutrition Guidelines – Part Two


By Renée Leonard-Stainton Avoid trans–fatty acids – Margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable oils not only raise low density lipoprotein and cholesterol (LDL is the ‘bad’ form of cholesterol, linked to heart disease), they also lower the protective high density lipoprotein (HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol), interfere with essential fatty acid metabolism, and are suspected of causing some cancers, including breast cancer. Tip – Keep the low-density lipoprotein intake low and the high-density lipoprotein intake high. Eliminate the intake of refined sugar – Refined sugar places stress on our blood sugar control and other body control mechanisms. When high sugar foods are eaten alone, blood sugar levels rise quickly, producing a heightened release of insulin, which can result in energy slumps as the sugar ‘high’ wears off. As insulin is actually a hormone, excessive amounts within the body can contribute to weight gain. Sugar also has a detrimental effect on mood, premenstrual syndrome, and many other health conditions, especially when combined with caffeine. Tip – If you are consuming small amounts of sugar in your diet, make sure that you consume protein in the same meal as this helps balance blood sugar levels Keep salt intake low and potassium intake high - Excessive consumption of salt, coupled with low levels of dietary potassium, greatly stresses the kidneys’ ability to maintain proper fluid volume. As a result, some people become ‘salt sensitive'; causing high blood pressure or water retention. Tip - In order to avoid becoming salt sensitive, you must not only reduce salt intake, but also simultaneously increase your intake of potassium by including foods such as bananas and avocados. Drink adequate water - Water is vital to our health. In fact, water is the most plentiful substance in our body, as it constitutes over 60% of our body weight. It’s an essential nutrient that is involved in every function in the body and helps transport nutrients and waste products in and out of cells while also being necessary for the control of body temperature, all digestive, absorptive, circulatory, and excretory functions. The tissue of the human body swims in a salty sea. The more salt there is in our inner sea, the more water is needed to dilute it to maintain the proper concentration of sodium which is why salty foods make us feel thirsty. When you know that the average person loses about 3 litres of water daily through excretion and perspiration, you understand why it’s vital to drink at least 2 litres of water daily to replace this fluid (the remaining quota is made up from our food, primarily from fruit and vegetables). Tip – Herbal teas count towards your water intake, so you get the chance to get two health hits in one – peppermint for digestion, chamomile for relaxation…so many to choose from – go wild! Avoid additives - Additives are placed in foods for a number of reasons such as to lengthen shelf life or make food more appealing by enhancing colour, texture or taste. Additives and artificial ingredients add little or no nutritional value to a food product. They can wreak havoc with many of the body systems. Tip – You can buy or download little guides to help you decipher the meaning of all those ridiculously long words or numbers on labels that indicate additives have been, well, added! Bring out your inner detective when you go shopping! Go organic where possible - The healthiest fruits and vegetables are those that have been grown organically- without the use of insecticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers, or growth stimulating chemicals. Organic is undeniably more expensive, so just try to make changes as and when you can. Tip - Maybe start with growing some veggies of your own – so satisfying and I swear they are extra tasty when you know you’ve nurtured them yourselves! Go fresh - When choosing your produce, look for fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of their ripeness. These contain more vitami

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Nutrition, Zen

5 Fun And Free Ways to Workout This Summer


Think back to when you were a young kid. You probably didn't think to yourself: I have to get my thirty minutes of cardio in. Why? Because, when we were younger we wanted to be active. Being active was fun, and a way to socialize. Chances are you were in either soccer or dance, baseball or lacrosse, and you spent your summer's swimming in the pool, or playing manhunt. These are all forms of exercise that as kids we never thought about as something we had to do, but rather something we wanted to do.

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Fitness, Health, Exercise, Weight-loss

Try Your Best


By An-Sofie To make a real long and complicated story short: I have had a couple of really rough and painful years. I am still not sure about the ‘how and the why’ of it all, and maybe I will never be. I spiraled down the path of depression and an eating disorder and in my fall I lost track of everything else. I was in the dark to the extent that I did not see my friends or family, I could not feel their love, even though it was absolutely there. But I wasn’t. I was empty and completely lost. And then, December 2012 happened. The world did not end, but my life changed in every way. It felt like my own personal apocalypse. It was the most painful experience I have ever known. My body took over and I gained the weight. It was not a choice. The choice came later: go back, or move on, fight. And I chose. I wanted to see what was on the other side. Very slowly things are changing. My dreams woke up again, I can feel the love and see the beauty in this world. I am still as lost as I was before, but now there is hope. The future doesn’t scare me as much as it did, it doesn’t seem hopeless and I don’t feel that desperate anymore. There is still a very long journey to make and it will probably take a lifetime. That’s okay. My fight has given me a huge amount of pain, but at some point I have to accept it as a part of me. In a way it’s also one of the most meaningful and most beautiful things in my life. It’s almost like I have found that bit extra that makes me think harder and feel deeper. And that is a very powerful thing . It can break you if you’re not paying attention. But it also has the power to make you great if you learn how to use it right. Like magic, it can be used for good or evil. My inspiration is coming back, and I can see it in the notebooks that I keep. They are filling up faster, more creative and positive. My attitude changed too. Yesterday I was thinking what it was that I could do every day to keep this going and keep my focus on my emotional well-being. When you read it, it may seem really obvious, but I thought it was worth sharing, because we all need a reminder sometimes… 1. Try your best every single day. After all that’s all you can do. 2. Go easy on yourself. 3. Be grateful and humble. 4. Accept the things that you can’t change and that are beyond your control. 5. Be honest with yourself and the people you love. 6. Be creative and look for inspiration: write, draw, read, watch movies, travel … 7. Maintain a healthy balance (in terms of eating, sleeping,etc…) 8. Respect your boundaries. 9. Be happy about every step you make. However small it seems, if it means something to you, it’s important. 10. Trust. It helped me to just write this and I hope these words can help others too. An-Sofie An-Sofie Mattelaer is a student in Belgium with big dreams of one day travelling the world as an anthropologist and doing humanitarian work. Besides exploring the world, I am re-exploring myself, reconstructing my soul and focusing on my health–mentally and physically. My goal is to inspire and be inspired.

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Personal Triumph, Philosophy, Psychology, Overcoming Depression

Finding Your Way Back To The Light


I would like to share a tip that has helped me in my own life. Recently, I found myself moving in a downward spiral, as I became flooded with negative thoughts about many situations, which lead to a depression. The content of my inner dialogue was consistently one of negativity. My attention was being pulled to everything that was wrong or “not good enough”. As a teacher of yoga, I was aware that where I placed the attention is where our power lies. In this moment, I was not the mover but the moved, and I realized I was not in control.

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Philosophy, Psychology, Positivity, Inspire, Yoga, Meditation

A Natropath's Nutrition Guidelines – Part One


Fat is essential! Avoid fat! Sugar provides no nutrition! Sugar is natural and provides energy. Confused? That’s understandable. There’s so much controversy about what actually constitutes good nutrition that it’s easy to lose perspective. And with a veritable smorgasbord of fad diets and health crazes to choose from, it can be refreshing to remind ourselves of the simple stuff and stick to basics. I don’t believe that any natural food is categorically good or bad. When we start looking at foods in such a black and white way, we can lose perspective and end up swallowed in a whole host of dietary dilemmas and dramas. Food shouldn’t be stressful, it’s to be enjoyed and embraced…just with a little bit of education under our belts…

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Health, Nutrition, Weight-loss

YourZenLife is an online scrapbook where like minded people from all walks of life can share their knowledge and passion for health and wellness. YZL offers an outlet for conversation, interaction, education and contribution. We want you to join us and encourage and inspire each other to live our happiest, best lives possible, and make an impact on the world. Welcome to YourZenLife!

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