Sleep is absolutely essential to both the body and mind as impaired sleep, altered sleep patterns, and sleep deprivation can severely disrupt mental and physical function. It’s often debated, but exactly how much sleep an individual needs does vary from person to person. Sleep needs tend to decrease with age, for example, a one year old requires about 14 hours a day, a five year old about 12 and adults, about 7 to 8. In addition, women actually tend to need more sleep than men.
I love animals, always have and always will. It doesn't matter to me whether they are pets or wild creatures or the poor animals suffering in testing labs for the products we use and farms where they become our food and milk we drink. Animals need and should be treated with respect, dignity and love no matter what. Animals have feelings. Animals have emotions. Animals feel pain. Anyone who says different is lying and using it as an excuse to for their behavior.
Recently a few things happened which really stirred my emotions for animals well-being and treatment. First I witnessed a dog beating in the community where my mom lives and I was absolutely horrified and attempted to intervene, to the extreme dismay and anger of the man. But I was not going to continue letting him beat his dog because it got off of its chain and sat outside an establishment he was in, waiting for its owner.
All the dog wanted was love, but instead it got something else. The police were called, by my wife, the man got a verbal warning and that was it. Days later I watched a program on the treatment of animals at dairy and slaughter farms across the country. Disgusting, Heartbreaking. And the fact that the defenders of this kind of abuse view it as not real and what we see are just rare cases of mistreatment. What a total and utter lie.
Human abuse of animals extends into the wild also. Many don’t hunt to put food on their table, but instead to take antler and horn trophies, furs, tusks, ivory, organs and the list goes on. Humans also fear any wild animals that are a threat to us or our livelihood. These animals are predators in the wild and humans being the biggest predators of them all fear those animals that may potentially harm us: Sharks, wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears, snakes, alligators, crocodiles, lions, etc. No matter what animal it is, humans have a ‘reason’ to kill them.
The human abuse of animals across the world has become so out of control it is truly sad. We even pollute our planet with no regards to the species extinctions we are creating and what long lasting effects that has on us and the delicate balance of the environment. Humans are supposed to be the most intelligent of all living things on Earth, yet most often we act more barbaric than the creatures we kill and abuse.
Does it give a person a high, or a sense of power to beat an animal into submission or kill them? Does it give pleasure to watch an animal suffer with no way to protect themselves? Aren’t we supposed to be the species that knows better, understands right from wrong?
Yet daily we act out in more barbaric ways towards animals than any animal ever could. What they do is out of instincts while we should be acting out with complicated thought and decision making processes. No matter how a human mistreats any animal, it is wrong, and if a person shows no emotion for the deed they have committed then they have no conscious, empathy, compassion or love. Wild animals have at least a chance of escape, but pets and those in the food/product industry have no way out.
Pets simply love unconditional and it makes me angry that anyone who can’t take care of an animal, or isn't going to treat them with respect and love has one. It just makes no sense how or why someone can treat living creatures with so much disdain and hatred. Whenever I see meat in the store, or at a restaurant, or anywhere, my mind always go to what that animal suffered through so a human can have a meal. We never think about it and don’t care as long as our bellies get full. Luckily for animals in the food industry, current exposure of the abuse has caused many, especially young adults and teens, to adopt vegetarian or vegan lifestyles. Unfortunately many states are trying to implement laws that make it illegal to secretly film this horrific practice going on at these “meat and milk” factories.
I could go on forever about this subject. It is something I care about deeply and hurts me to the core w
We spend a lot of time discussing how to better our lives with health, exercise, finding peace and being better individuals. Well, having said this, I would like to discuss how to turn that discussion onto dogs.
I have two female dogs, one is Kida; a Chesapeake Bay Retriever she is 5. The other is Seraphina aka. Sarah; a German Shorthaired Pointer, she is 7. They are the world to me and I take care of them in that manner.
I was born in England. When I was a few months old we moved to Northern Ireland. When I was two years old we moved to Canada where we lived for seven years. When I was nine we then moved back to Republic of Ireland and settled there. So…from a young age I was travelling a lot! I was given great opportunities at a young age to travel. I went to places like California, Paris and Malaga on family holidays. But I think I took all these travelling opportunities for granted as they were handed to me on a silver platter. But I was very lucky to have them.
At the age of 20, I started to buy my own plane tickets and go off on little adventures with my friends. Living in Ireland, the air fares to other European countries were pretty cheap! We travelled to Edinburgh for a weekend…gaining many stories! Went to Berlin for a few days, even more stories! The first time I flew by myself was when I went to Vienna for the first time to visit my boyfriend. Now, I’m not great at flying, but I made myself do it. Travelling around Europe really made me see the world differently. And gave me a travel bug for more!
When I graduated from University, my friends and I were looking into travelling for a year before we continued with our studies. We had our sights set on New York but it didn’t seem realistic to find work. Then we considered Canada but we didn’t want somewhere so cold. Then one of the girls suggested Australia. I immediately said no. I couldn’t go. Panic set in me. There was no way I was going to move that far away for a year. It seemed like another planet away. The others had decided to go, but I still wasn’t sure. A few months later I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t go now, when was I ever going to go? So I booked a ticket to Australia! I lived in Melbourne first, which was amazing, then moved to Northern Australia near Airlie Beach and then moved to Perth. I lived in Oz for 18 months in total, living and working. And it was the best time of my life! I would never regret it for a second.
Currently I am living in Vienna, Austria. I think I’ll move back to Ireland eventually, but at the moment, the travel bug is still going strong. I want to travel all over Asia, America, Africa, and South America. It’s so important to travel, and moving to Australia taught me that. It gave me a new lease of life and a new perspective on things. So, my advice?….book a ticket somewhere and learn about the world!
Catherine is a psychology graduate, with a love of singing, acting and dancing. Loves travelling. Loves writing for YourZenLife, loves being healthy and is a major dog lover.
All the practices of yoga focus strongly on the idea of utilizing our will. Our will and desire is truly the source of all creativity. Upanishads are collections of philosophical texts that form the basis of Hinduism. This notion of ‘will’ is put eloquently in these texts as they state:
Three weeks ago I turned the switch in my eating habits. I decided, when I was feeling ill and queasy once again, to finally make a change. Because I don’t have a predisposition to obesity, I always thought I could eat anything; but that didn’t turn out to be true. Due to my bad eating habits, I was frequently ill and if I was not ill, one time of cycling in the rain would give me a nasty cough and a sore throat the day after. The changes I made helped me become a healthier person and I would like to share the changes, to illustrate that these few changes can have a great effect.
Chiseled biceps and toned quads may look great, but the real key to your fitness regime is in the core. This is just fitness lingo for abs, obliques and lower back muscles. If you compare yourself to a wheel, we often focus on the spokes when we should be paying attention on the centre to get the most effective functional movements. The strongest and most efficient movements spring from a sturdy centre. A strong middle will make your Frisbee game invincible and your body resistant to injury. To get a sculpted midsection, do a series of abs, obliques and lower back exercises in super slow motion and mix up the order of your moves. Adding these exercises below, as part of your regular routine, will put you on the right way up the core-porate ladder.
By Alexandra Valle
More and More these days people feel stressed and feel that they don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. Stress and fatigue reinforce feelings of unhappiness, impatience, and frustration. Stress also affect our health.
People are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate, but meditation can actually give you more time by calming your mind and giving you more focus. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help you overcome stress and find some inner peace and balance. Meditation can also help to understand our own mind.
We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.
The purpose of meditation is to make our minds calm and peaceful. When our mind is peaceful, we can become free from worries and mental discomfort, experiencing true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, it can be very difficult to find stable happiness, even if we are living in the very best conditions.
If we train in meditation, our mind can gradually become more and more peaceful, and we can experience more stable forms of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to be happy whenever we want, even in the most difficult circumstances. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency.
Benefits of Meditation:
When we meditate, gradually our distracting thoughts subside and we can experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Our mind can start to feel fresh and spacious. This feeling of contentment and well-being can help us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. When we practice breathing meditations for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we reduce our stress. We experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems change in appearance from significant, to superficial and easy to release.
Alexandra Valle: meditator, animal lover, healthy food, exercise, love nature, walk on the beach, friends and family and I am studying at high school, I live in Spain.
A little more than two years ago I met my fiancee on a first date like dozens of others I'd had before. We met through an online dating service, the way many people do these days. The part of the story I love to tell, however, is that she had signed up for this site just as an experiment. She was unaware that when you get a membership to a site like that, you have to actively cancel the subscription or they renew it automatically. After her trial month was over, she noticed she'd been charged for a second month and was furious. She'd only wanted one. It was during that second month that we began to e-mail back and forth and eventually went on our first date. If the site hadn't renewed her automatically, we never would have met.
Tonight I talk about my own journey with this and what it means to find clarity. Clarity means living the best life we can lead, the life we desire and a life we can manifest. Connecting to the deeper levels of our being helps us to find this clarity which in turn opens up pathways to leading the life we dream of.