Archive for January, 2009

Creating Wonder with Creativity – Get those Juices Flowing

Posted by Staff Writers | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-01-2009

If there’s one thing I wish I had, it’s a creative streak. I know I do have a way with words, but when it comes to being artistic, I’m as dead as a dodo. My home is clean and neat, but that’s all one can say about it. Compared to the homes of my friends, it’s a barren space with no sign of personality except for a whiteboard that I use to jot down random thoughts and to-do lists. I hardly have a photograph on display or a picture to hang from my bare walls. Deciding that it was high time I rectified this situation, I called a very creative friend and picked her brain for ideas (I wanted to design my space on my own terms, without help from anyone else). Here’s what she suggested I do to get my creative juices flowing: 

•    Inspirational Ideas: The trick is to observe carefully – if you have an eye for detail, you’re likely to have the knack for getting things done. And so I began to look, really look, at friends’ and relatives’ houses; I started poring over design magazines; and I began visiting furniture and accessory stores to see the displays they had. Slowly but surely, I could visualize the way I wanted my home to look, and I had more than a few ideas as to how to go about the decorating.
•    Individual Ideas: One valuable piece of advice my friend gave me was this – it’s best to develop your own style rather than ape someone else’s. My sister loved the formal look for a living room, but I preferred to go with comfort as my USP. After all, I was not decorating a home, not a showpiece that had to be kept spic and span and photographed for the glossy pages of a magazine.
•    Irrational Ideas: Just because it’s never been done before, there’s no reason to not do it. Going boldly where no one has before seems to work well for me, in most areas of my life. I chose to remain single when all my friends and siblings tied the knot one after the other; I chose a different career path from the traditional ones my mom and dad would have preferred; and I live life on my own terms. So why must I choose to decorate according to someone else’s idea of beauty? Even if it was irrational, it was all mine, so I did it.
•    Ideal Ideas: And finally, there are some ideas that are ideal for a home. These are the practical ones that help you maintain a clean home (I’m a cleanliness and order freak, a sort of Type A personality) without too much of an effort each day. If you think in terms of easy maintenance, there are some ideas that come to mind, but only if you clean the house on a regular basis.

The experience of decorating my home has taught me a lot – first and foremost that home is where the heart is, and last but not the least, that just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, creativity lies in the mind of the designer.


Why We Meditate – Benefits of Regular Meditation

Posted by Staff Writers | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-01-2009

Meditation is something that more and more people are beginning to practice, and for good reason – meditation benefits its practitioners in many different ways.  Practicing the techniques of meditation on a regular basis can help improve body, mind, and spirit, ultimately helping you to live a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life in the process.  What follows is a brief list of benefits that result from the regular practice of meditation. 

Strengthens the Mind

Focusing your undivided attention on a particular mantra or stream of consciousness helps you to learn to train your mind and strengthens it as a result.  Gaining control over your thoughts and the ability to experience a lack of thought helps you to take control of thoughts and recognize them for what they are – just a natural process of the mind.  Learning to take charge of you thoughts helps you to attune to your physical body, making it more effective in its execution of tasks as well.

Improves the Physical Body

In addition to the strengthening of the mind, meditation can be used in conjunction with the practices of yoga to focus on particular parts or areas of the body.  Increasing attention and focus on specific body parts sends more oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the focal areas and helps overall health and well-being in the process.  With proper attention given to various parts and systems, those who meditate regularly feel their bodies strengthen along with their minds.

Experience Deeper Levels of Relaxation

Regular practice of meditation allows you to experience deeper levels of relaxation for more and more extended periods of time.  There are many benefits of being able to induce relaxation for oneself, including the overall reduction of stress and anxiety in practitioners of meditation.  Mediation also helps to increase serotonin levels, which truly helps with these ailments as well.  Experiencing true deep relaxation simply by using one’s mind is a wonderful benefit of regularly practicing the art of meditation.

Feeling of Centeredness

Overall, the practice of meditation helps individuals to feel centered, or balanced, which is quite helpful in all areas of one’s life.  Balance and harmony through mindful living is something that can be felt on an increasingly more meaningful level through the regular practice of meditation.  Living mindfully can almost be described as “walking meditation,” in which all things one engages in are deliberate and focused; living mindfully is a true art that can be honed through the practice of regular meditation.