Website: Reiki Rays, 2019 Reflection & Intention Workbook

If you are into Reiki, Self-healing or a Reiki practitioner, this is a useful website of free articles, downloads and more.

To know more about this website, visit this link: https://reikirays.com/about-reiki-rays/

In addition, they have a free download for welcoming 2019 with reflection and intention: https://reikirays.com/thank-you-newsletter/create-your-year-reiki-workbook.php

There are also many other articles by various Reiki Masters and Teachers. I am sure you can find something useful here.

Blessings,
Esther

close up photo of person holding crystal stone
Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

Manage Stress

stress

Ayurveda offers simple and easy to follow ways to reduce stress at any time. It is important to do regular self-checks for stress. If we ignore the stress symptoms, our body slowly develops illness and/or other negativity. The more we delay self-checks and self-management of stress, the harder and longer it becomes to achieve a balanced and calm state of mind and body.

Banyan Botanicals has shared an article telling ways to control stress. Do take time to read…to benefit your body and its systems.

An Ayurvedic Guide to Stress Management by Banyan Botanicals
Click here to go the article

In addition, Banyan Botanicals also has a page where you can take quiz to know your Ayurvedic compositions, etc. Feel free to visit the other pages for information on herbs, yoga and more.

Let us spread love and joy not only this holiday season, but all the time! And let us begin with ourselves…

Peace and Blessings.

peace

Be gentle and loving to your own good self

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
~ Margo Anand ~

Many times, I am the worst critic of myself. At times I get so hard on myself that I find it impossible to believe that I am doing it!

In the past, it has always taken much effort to love myself. Often, I was critical and even annoyed with myself over many aspects of my life and its happenings. Often, I took on the blame for other people failures. It took me a while or should say many years to realise that I do not need to carry all the burdens of everyone around me. It also took me awhile to love the person as I am. I lacked confidence in a number of aspects, for example in the way I look, dress, speak and more. While it does not need anyone to say anything negative to me, I could instantly, in a snap be very critical of myself that it brought me down in terms of emotions to negative thoughts and feelings. Often, it took plenty of courage on my part just to love myself. Afraid that I might look like a failure, I kept all of these to myself not wanting to discuss these aspects with anyone.

I am in my 40s now. Looking back, I could see many moments of life wasted just by being a critic of myself. That not only brought more bitterness to me but it also did not let me enjoy life and its moments. Spiritual knowledge or just to love myself is what I needed. While it is easy to go out to the world and proclaim, “I am the worse critic and I lack self-confidence,” I did not want to do it as society had its own expectations of me and most importantly, I had my own expectations of myself. I was afraid to talk about it to humans. Nevertheless, I turned inwards many times to my inner self and to God and his guides for direction and assistance. I am quite sure I received some kind of help from the inner self. At the same time, my self-critical voice was too loud to hear the inner voices. I wasted my life moments going around like a self-negative bomb, ready to burst on anyone that triggered it unknowingly.

The good thing to know is that your inner self NEVER gives up on you. My inner self made me search – search endlessly wanting to put an end to this very negative and dark areas. My inner self lead me to music, books and poems. The music piece that triggered in me a positive self-change and wanting to love myself more was “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. One day many years back in my dark negative self, I just played the CD (I had purchased the inspiration moments 1 collection of music), “Adiemus” piece came. I just closed my eyes and drifted away – in peace, in love and in bliss. I was so peaceful that it is now impossible to explain in words. As of now, I play that piece of music and I can get goosebumps! Another music piece that will offer me peace and love anytime will be “Nightingale” by Yanni. This music piece brought about a closer connection to Nature or Mother Earth. It was as if it was erasing my negativity and replacing it with pure love (like a mother cradling a child with love). I wanted these peaceful and positive feelings to persists and wanted to carry it with me always and forever. I was silly not to realise that those wonderful positive feelings was always there – in me and in everyone too. We put a mask over it – by our expectations and societal expectations. Once the mask is up, we forget our true beautiful and lovely selves.

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

My search went on and then I stumbled upon Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)” and I was just so inspired and felt more loved and worthy by reading this book. It seemed that Parahamansa Yogananda was speaking directly to me on all my issues.

(The links to the music pieces and books are at the end of this post)

Another great mystic whom I love and respect is Rumi. He changes the reader with his beautiful poems. Rumi woke me from my negative sleep. He together with other Masters and Teachers made me see the positive value of my life. As Rumi puts,
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”

Slowly, but surely I made progress. Now, my critical self is quieter these days as I spend by being in Zen (by conscious living and living in the moments). However, my critical self is not totally “dead” or gone. It comes on and off making me think negatively over something or someone. I suppress the negative self-talk by focusing on my breath, nature (if I am outside), mantra, meditation, prayer, writing, coloring, drawing and more. I gently “kick” my negative thoughts and feelings away, replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.

Often, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making ourselves look vulnerable and self-pitiable for so many negative and unhappy happenings in our life. The first step of remedy is to realise that we brought upon ourselves these negativity. In addition, we also need to realise that we are the Masters of our own life. Therefore, it is right that we erase it and replace it with positivity by our own efforts. It is not the responsibility of the world, society and family to get it done for us. We need to act like a Master and correct it.

These days there are many options out there to get it right. Books and music are easily available in electronic versions. Music is one way to find peace and unity with your own self. The only thing is that you just need to search for the right one to lift your spirits. Written works or books allow us to get in touch or connected with Ancient Masters. If you rather have people comfort, there are many support groups out there. If you are determined to get things right and / or sorted, the options will be available to you in many forms and ways.

The biggest mistake anyone can make is to waste his / her life precious moments in self-pity and negativity. To counter that, one need to love himself and be gentle at the same time. In fact it is so very easy to start loving our own self. We can start immediately without having to getting any clearance, approval or not doing much. After all, it is about us and life.

My friends, the year is ending soon. 2019 will be here soon. Take this opportunity to do a “self-check” and get rid of any mental clutter and negativity. It is now or never. You might not make great progress at a start. A small step is what one needs. Indeed, it is a big favor one will be doing for himself.

Imagine yourself as a positive bubble. There will be no one out there who will be able burst that bubble if you do not let them do it. If they try to burst your bubble, you can always tape it up with self-worth and self-love. I have done it and I am still doing it. Many others, who have experienced similar or different ways of negativity, have overcome it.

Let us all welcome 2019 with a big hug and wave a big bye to 2018, with gratitude…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the various music pieces that made a difference to my life

Link to Adiemus by Karl Jenkins
Video (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLjDAxHiDQ4
Audio (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX__4aHwYzM

Link to Nightingale by Yanni
Video1 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPc5kMrStkY
Video2 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inWzjwLmiPo

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the books that has made a difference to me and is continuing to make a difference to many others in the world…

Link to the Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)”
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6604259-journey-to-self-realization

Link to Man’s Eternal Quest (Collected Talks & Essays 1) by by Paramahansa Yogananda
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/648109.Man_s_Eternal_Quest?from_search=true

Link to Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit by Rumi, Maryam Mafi (Translator), Azima Melita Kolin (Translator)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14343182-rumi-s-little-book-of-life

Link to Dancing Into the Light: An Inner Journey Guided by Rumi by Rumi, Omid Arabian (Translation), Shilla Shakoori (Illustrations)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32165751-dancing-into-the-light?from_search=true

and more…

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

 

Drinking Water from Copper Cups

You will know the benefits of copper vessels if you happen to be in the Yoga and / or Ayurveda line. Alternatively, if you have had Indian traditional upbringing, you will also be aware that drinking water from copper vessels is important.

I spent my younger days with my great grandmother, grandmother and all the elders. In those days (that is in late 1970s), silver ware and copper ware were the most used by Indian families. The elders in my family taught me the benefits of drinking water from copper vessels and eating from either copper or silver wares. Come to think about it right now, those days glass wares were not common and so was plastic wares too. The most common types of plates and utensils were usually made of copper, silver or wood.

As days passed and modernization took place, Pyrex glassware were the trend and so was forgotten the copper and silver wares. Nowadays, I try to make changes to my daily life based on what I learnt in my younger days. One of the many things that my elders taught was to drink water early in the morning out of a copper cup/mug. I re-started with that practice and I should say it rather makes a slight difference to my body systems. Benefits are not major and visible immediately. As with any healthy changes to food and lifestyle, the results will be visible or experienced slowly. The results I experienced was a better “feel” of the inner systems mainly in the digestive system. Other results are not visible to me, but I do believe it does well for my body systems one way or another.

While Indian elders and traditions tells of benefits of drinking water from copper, there are always reports contradicting that. I am not here to debate which theory is correct. I am sharing what I have learnt in my younger days and a practice I am putting back into my life and influencing my family members at the same time too. Moreover, drinking water once in the morning from a copper cup is not much work or something to debate about. It all comes down to how much you believe and trust what has been said (or learnt) or passed down from generations.

Below are some articles on drinking water from copper cups:

From YogaDigest.com: 6 REASONS TO TRY A COPPER WATER VESSEL
https://yogadigest.com/copper-water-vessel/

From OneWorldAyurveda.com: Health Benefits of Drinking Water in Copper Vessel
https://blog.oneworldayurveda.com/health-benefits-drinking-water-copper-vessel/

From Wholesome Ayurveda.com: Correct Way To Drink Water From Copper Vessels And Its Health Benefits
http://www.wholesomeayurveda.com/2017/02/27/correct-way-to-drink-water-copper-vessels-health-benefits/

From Vasantihealth.com: Are You Using Your Ayurveda Copper Water Vessel Correctly?
https://vasantihealth.com/blogs/news/are-you-using-your-ayurveda-copper-water-vessel-correctly

From Today.com: Drinking from a copper cup: Good for health or the latest health fad?
https://www.today.com/health/drinking-copper-cup-good-health-or-latest-health-fad-t86946

From DrCopper.in: Various Information such as cleaning, benefits, etc
https://www.drcopper.in/

copper cups esther neela blog

 

Dim Sum

One my favourite “light” dishes to fill tummy will be Dim Sum. For those who are not familiar with Dim Sum – it is actually “small bites” of dumplings, pao (steamed buns), spring rolls and more.
While some Dim Sum items tends to be steamed, some will be deep fried. As with any food, over indulgence is not advisable. Always eat light…not eat till you are full!

Check out some articles that can open your eyes to the world of Dim Sum:

From HerWorld: These are the healthiest dim sum to order
https://www.herworld.com/lifestyle/food/these-are-healthiest-dim-sum-order

From SmooDiaries: Dim Sum guide for beginners
https://thesmoodiaries.com/dim-sum-guide-beginners/

From TheSpruceEats: Chinese Dim Sum Menu Translator
https://www.thespruceeats.com/dim-sum-menu-translator-694589

Happy Dim Sum!

dim sum esther neela blog

Nudo: Adopt an Olive Tree in Italy

I just received my first set of olive oil tins from the olive tree farm that I adopted from Italy. The farm, Il Fico is owned by Nicola who is dedicating his time and efforts to take care of his family lands producing olive oil. 
 
Taken from NudoAdopt website,
 
“Nudo Adopt is a collaboration of small scale, artisanal producers. The programme is a platform for these micro-producers to bring high-quality, speciality food to a wider audience. Each farmer keeps responsibility for the care of their olive grove and Nudo helps give security to the farmers by making the link with the customer. This in turn helps to keep traditional farming practices alive and protects the countryside from intensive and destructive modern farming methods.”
 
More details on Nudo can be found in the below links:
 
Happy to do my small part in supporting a family small scale business of Nicola in Italy. 🙂

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My Tree Friend, “Joy”

Riitta took some amazing pictures of my Tree Friend, “Joy” in March adorned with peanut “necklace”. Wanted to post those pictures then. But was busy with my new job and settling in that job. Now is the time.

Isn’t Joy a beauty? 🙂 🙂

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Other links:

Program called “Halipuu” (https://www.halipuu.com/)

General Information of the “Halipuu” initiative…https://www.halipuu.com/what-is-halipuu/
Who is behind this whole program? https://www.halipuu.com/who-we-are/
Terms and Conditions: https://www.halipuu.com/terms-and-conditions/
Tree as a gift: https://www.halipuu.com/gift-trees/
Tree Selection Process: https://www.halipuu.com/how-to-select-your-tree/
Visit Your Tree: https://www.halipuu.com/visit-your-tree/

 

*Not only that, we humans tend to fuss or worry about this and that. Trees do provide a “listening ear” to all our worries. Huolipuu (the worry tree) takes care of this. Head to this link: https://www.halipuu.com/worry-tree/ and write down your worries. No one reads your worries, but your worries will be brought into the Halipuu forest and they get burnt on the Seita-stone. The burned ashes are then scattered to the roots of the Worry tree. You have now brought your worries down to our earthy friend….nothing to worry about!!