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    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    Natural Cycles of Sleep



    Rhythmic Rest

    When our bodies are attuned
    to the world’s natural rhythms of sleep,
    we can feel more energetic while awake.


    The human body evolved to fall asleep soon after the descent of night’s curtain and to wake with the appearance of the dawn. Sleep cycles were governed by patterns of light and darkness for thousands of years, meaning that for much of history, humanity has enjoyed nine of more hours of sleep each night. Our bodies are naturally encoded to respond to light and dark and sleeping with the rhythms of Mother Nature. In the present, artificial light has changed the way we schedule our day-to-day lives, and most of us slumber for less than seven hours at a stretch. It is possible, however, to come back to natural sleeping cycles by making a few small changes. When our bodies and minds are attuned to the world’s natural rhythms, we feel calmer, more centered, and more energetic while awake. Sleep is more satisfying because we afford ourselves more than enough time for restoration and rejuvenation.

    Our reliance on indoor lighting further compounds our disassociation from the natural cycles of light and darkness that would otherwise preside over our sleep. You can mimic the passage of the day by changing the quality of the light. Sleeping without heavy drapery or shades is best so you can wake up with the sun. If sleeping by a window without a curtain is not an option, a dawn simulator lamp imitates the sun by growing steadily brighter with the coming of the height of morning.

    You will likely discover that changing your sleep patterns to be in sync with the daily cycle of light and darkness is easy and that you feel more alive when your sleeping and waking rhythms are in alignment to those of the earth. Nature’s own phases will be your guide to wellness, granting you more waking hours in the summertime when you will benefit greatly from spending time outside and ensuring you get plenty of sleep in the winter when you likely need it most.


    Source: The Daily Om


    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    3 Keys To A Happy Marriage






    1. Be thankful

    It all starts with attitude. If you don't stay on the positive side, failure is inevitable.

    You cannot have a happy marriage
    without happy people.


    2. Express your appreciation


    Let your spouse know by word and deed that you appreciate them.


    Be specific and lavish in your praise and thanks.
    Nothing
    encourages people like encouragement.

    People love people who love them.
    If you want your spouse to
    love you,
    the best thing you can do is love them,
    and let them
    know it.


    3. Aim to please


    If you make them happy, you will be happy.

    True happiness is
    never found in trying to please ourselves.
    Fulfillment comes
    from accomplishment,
    and the greatest accomplishment is
    helping
    someone else in their life.




    Friday, January 1, 2010

    New Year Traditions




    10 Unusual Traditions for
    Ringing in the New Year around the World


    by David K. Israel
    December 30, 2009 - 10:14 PM



    In honor of 2010, here are 10 unusual traditions observed by different countries around the world.

    1. Romania

    In Romania, some believe that if you toss coins into the river, you’ll have good luck throughout the coming year. Even more impressive: some peasants use December 31st to predict the coming year’s weather by systematically peeling, salting and reading the skins of 12 onions. According to this source, “On St. Vasile’s Day or New Year’s Day, a person who is efficient in witchcraft and spells checks the level of the liquid left by the melted salt in each of the onions peels.” The level helps them determine the climate conditions in the new year.

    2. Spain

    In Spain, as the clock strikes 12, people eat twelve grapes—one for each month of the year, and for each toll of the bell. The tradition, which is believed to bring good luck, can be traced back to the year 1909 when there was a bountiful harvest in the town of Alicante and Alfonso XIII, the Spanish King, gave grapes to his peeps on New Year’s Eve.

    3. Switzerland

    Ever hear of dropping a dollop of cream on the floor to ring in the new year with good luck, wealth and peace? Well that’s what some do in Switzerland — it’s thought to bring a year of abundance. (Hey, don’t laugh… provided everyone cleans up his or her dollop, it’s a lot more civilized than screaming along with a trillion other people in Times Square.) Some Swiss also observe the tradition of dressing up in costumes to invoke good spirits and chase evil energies.

    4. Puerto Rico

    In Puerto Rico, they blast car horns and boat whistles, ring church bells and beat drums to drive away evil spirits and demons. In some parts of the country they also throw pails of water from their windows at midnight in a bid to chase away the evil eye. Puerto Ricans also have an unusual tradition for bringing good luck in the coming year: they drop backwards into the breaking waves as the clock strikes 12.

    5. Belgium

    Belgium might be the only country where farmers wish their livestock happy new year to ensure 365 days of good health and well-being. Well, outside of India, where they bless cows frequently, and, of course, Sesame Street, where Bert and Ernie are always wishing the animals a happy this or that. Belgians are also known to exchange gifts on New Year’s, which they celebrate as Sint Sylvester Vooranvond (St. Sylvester Eve).

    6. France

    The French mix health and wealth and usher in the new beginning with a stack of pancakes. (Note to self: get rich quick scheme no. 145: open an iHop in Paris) Another unique custom in France is kissing under the mistletoe as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, sorta like Christmas traditions elsewhere.

    7. Armenia

    In Armenia, a special kind of bread is baked with good luck and best wishes stamped on it. Traditionally, people conduct a ‘Ritual of Fire’ on New Year’s Eve where all troubles pertaining to the old year are symbolically burnt. This is not to be confused with the “Ring of Fire’ in the fish tank on Finding Nemo.

    8. Bolivia

    In Bolivia, dolls made of straw and wood are hung outside homes for good luck. Coins are also baked into sweets. Whoever finds the coins will be prosperous in the New Year. It is also considered auspicious to leave 3 stones outside the door for health, prosperity and love. Other Bolivians elect to wear yellow-colored undies to bring themselves a new year full of money. Red undies, on the other hand, supposedly bring love.

    9. Portugal

    In the northern parts of Portugal, children traditionally sing carols as they visit houses where they are given coins and treats. The songs they sing are called janeiros and are said to bring good luck. As in Spain, eating 12 grapes at midnight ensures 12 months of happiness in the coming year.

    10. Japan

    Not unlike what happens in Chicago after every Cub’s season, the Japanese have ‘forget-the-year’ parties and generally consider it a time to forgive and forget. They hang straw ropes across their homes’ fa├žades to ward away evil spirits and welcome good luck and happiness.

    I found this awesome list on a fellow Twitter's page . . . http://twitter.com/Axleuk

    SOURCE

    If you like these kinds of lists, there’s plenty more where this one came from. Follow me on Twitter: @resila – and follow mental_floss here to stay up-to-date.

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