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    Pure People Blog

    10 STEPS TO ZEN

    As these erratic and stressful times make it increasingly difficult to find tranquility and relaxation in our lives, one of the few options left is to create a peaceful haven in the comfort of our own home.

    This is the reason why Zen principles applied in interior design have increased in popularity and become a trend of modern days. But what does zen actually mean? In Japanese, Zen refers to meditation. In interior design, it reflects balance, harmony, and relaxation.

    Although Zen is not a proper design style and does not come with a book of strict rules, it is often associated with minimalism, simplicity, and purity of lines. It is rather a way of arranging your home and creating an atmosphere that offsets the stress and hassle of your daily routine. Fancy achieving that in your own home? Consider these 10 simple steps to turn your home totally Zen.

     1. Eliminate clutter by keeping accessories and ornaments to a minimum. Clutter inhibits relaxation and distracts the mind. Keep only the essentials in clear view.

    2. Remove Electronic Disturbances - and yes that includes your TV! More and more people are moving away from their brainwashing machines and opting for a media player that can be used to play music, watch documentaries or google, but that mindless TV watching is the first thing that needs to stop to Zen your mind! 

    3. Enhance Your Room With Scent  - I am personally a huge fan of incense, but a homemade linen spray, scented candle or essential oils work just as well to add a calming atmosphere to your space.

    4. Add Greenery - plants have an unexpected calming effect on your energy- add a pop of nature to your space but avoid flowers or anything that needs maintenance. 

    5. Choose Neutral Colours Furniture, accessories and artwork - keep them neutral to avoid a cluttered feel. 

    6.  Play With Light For a fully relaxing space, replace harsh fluorescent lights with calming, nature-inspired or candle lights. Place different sources of light which will allow you to control the intensity and the areas to be lit. Salt lamps are also a great addition to any space needing Zen.

    7. Incorporate Zen Elements When we speak of Zen, it would include the five elements of Fire, Earth, Water, Metal and Wood. These are classic elements from various traditions but are usually incorporated to get a Zen look. Fire includes the fireplace, fire bowls and candles. Earth includes stones, pebbles and plants. Water can be added by placing images of water scenes or a water fountain. Metal can be seen in materials used for the furniture, frames and sculptures. Wood can also be seen in furniture or you can get that from bamboo and tree decorations.

    8. Add Texture - In the form of rugs, candle holders, pillows or lighting, use texture to break a monotonous feel. 

    9. Display Serene Artwork - after all, art is about emotion, so channel peace and serenity with a simple and natural peace of art! 

    10. Keep It Tidy - from time to time we all feel a little rushed and we whirlwind through the house rushing off from one appointment to the next leaving a trail of mess behind us! The easiest way to handle mess is to ensure everything has a "home". If it is out of place, put it back. The more you practice this, the easier it will be to maintain a beautiful zen home space.

    Have any tips you would like to add? Comment below!

    RECIPE: 20 Minute Granola, Voila!

    RECIPE: 20 Minute Granola, Voila!

    Homemade granola can be a healthy, comforting, and delicious treat. Most of the store-bought stuff is high in sugar, contains unhealthy fats and oils, and is packed full of fillers and unnecessary ingredients.

    Whipping up your own at home is super easy, quick, and allows you to control the amount of sugar and quality of ingredients, while also changing things up and adding in the flavors that you love.

    • Prep Time: 10 min
    • Total Time: 20 min
    • Serves 4-6

    INGREDIENTS:

    Use raw, organic ingredients whenever possible. These measurements are flexible; don’t worry too much about being exact.

    • 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats (aka old fashion oats), preferably organic
    • ½ cup raw nuts, chopped
    • ¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great)
    • ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional)
    • 2-3 tablespoons grade-b maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)
    • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil or other healthy cooking oil
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
    • 1 large pinch fine sea salt

    RECIPE

    • Preheat the oven to 145º C.
    • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat; it will be sticky and messy but that’s the fun part.
    • The coconut oil might be liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room you are in (it has a melting point of about 24ºC.) Your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left.
    • Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted. 
    • Cool before serving or storing.
    • This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator at home.

    My advice is to get creative! This recipe is flexible and easy to modify. Use any combo of healthy ingredients to make it your own flavor. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    HEALTHY HOMEMADE MAPLE ALMOND GRANOLA

    • 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
    • ½ cup sliced raw almonds
    • ¼  cup coconut shavings
    • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds 2 tbsp maple syrup (100% real maple syrup)
    • 1 tbsp raw honey 1 tbsp
    • 1 tsp coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 large pinch fine sea salt

    HEALTHY HOMEMADE CHERRY PECAN GRANOLA

    • 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
    • ½ cup raw pecans, chopped
    • ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries, chopped
    • ¼ cup raw sliced almond
    • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds 2 tbsp maple syrup (100% maple syrup, preferably grade-b)
    • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil (aka coconut butter)
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract 1 large pinch fine sea salt

    P.S. Homemade granola will taste like burnt popcorn if you overcook it; keep it at a low temperature just for a 8-10 minutes to let it come together.

    Morning Rituals To Super-Charge Your Day

    Morning Rituals To Super-Charge Your Day

    How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. So if you want to be productive, feel energized and happy, incorporate these practices into your daily life.
    Personally, you can find us on the beach at sunrise with our poochies and our tea embracing the new day with gratitude and awe before we begin our busy days, so for us, being in nature is day-kick-starter 101 followed by a few other rituals that will set the tone for a magical, energized, in-the-moment kind of day!
    • Wake up Earlier - Not only does this give you a a few moments to ease into the day, but it also avoid panic-mode, which can send your entire day off course. Setting some time aside for yourself everyday is key to living a balanced and positive life. 
    • Lemon Water - There are endless benefits to having hot lemon water first thing in the morning, (before tea, coffee or breakfast) but the major benefits that stand out are most certainly the immune boost from the vitamin C and the flush of your digestive tract giving your body a clean slate for the day.
    • Practice Mindfulness - "Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” Sylvia Boorstein.  Find mindfulness in the form of a daily yoga practice or meditation but we would recommend something slow before you start your work out routine. Calm your mind, ease into your body, slowly awaken your muscles and just give yourself a moment to ground and breathe before you kick off your to-do list for the day. Try to practice this mindfulness throughout your day!
    • Exercise - Start with 20 minutes if that is all you have time for, but starting your day with a quick exercise routine is a great to get your happy hormones flowing freely. Take a quick beach walk, light jog, strong yoga session, swim or whatever you can that can get your juices flowing!
    • Music - While you are getting ready for work, put on your favourite jam to inspire and motivate yourself to make a success of your day ahead. It's all about tapping into those feel good moments and holding onto them throughout your day.
    • Fuel your body - Personally, I used to skip breakfast, but since I have included a healthy morning routine, I find my energy is far more sustained through the morning and I can easily sit down and focus when I need to work. Fuel your body with a peanut butter & banana smoothie, or a nice clean green juice if that works for you,  but whatever you do, DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST! Here's a quick link for healthy smoothie recipes.
    • Set a Positive Mantra - Set an intention or positive mantra for your day. Whether it's a simple "I can do this" or "Today I choose peace" - whatever you do, walk out the door with a positive thought and it will change your entire day!

     

    3 THINGS TO AVOID THAT CAN SEND YOUR DAY OFF COURSE:
    • Morning News – While it’s good to stay up to speed with the latest happenings, you’ll do yourself a huge favour by missing out on the more upsetting things that have happened overnight. By lunchtime the biggest news will have made it to you, and if it’s something really big you can catch yourself up on the Internet in a matter of minutes.
    • Stimulants – Many of us reach instinctively for a cup of coffee in the morning to get us going, or need an energy drink before we consider the day started. But these are just crutches that could be masking a lack of sleep or nutrition. Drop the stimulants and continue to make positive changes until you don’t feel you need them anymore.
    • Sleeping In – These are morning *rituals* we’re starting here, and you can’t expect them to change your life unless you stick to them religiously. Taking the weekends off of your routine is a sure way to disrupt the good habits you’ve formed during the week, and regress to your old ways. Stay the course, even on the weekends, and you’ll reap all of the benefits.

    Tell us about your top morning rituals that keep your body, mind and soul in check.

    VIDEO: Mother Nature

    VIDEO: Mother Nature

    Of all the mothers that need adoration and respect, Mother Nature needs the most. Our actions as a human species is taking its toll on Mother Nature and this video is a little reminder of how powerful she really is! Take some time this month to be mindful of your impact on this earth.  Are you prepared to evolve?

    Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, Robert Redford and Ian Somerhalder all join forces to give nature a voice.

    “Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature
    I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years
    Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you
    I don’t really need people but people need me
    Yes, your future depends on me
    When I thrive, you thrive
    When I falter, you falter or worse (?)
    But I’ve been here for aeons
    I have fed species greater than you, and
    I have starved species greater than you
    My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,
    they all can take you or leave you
    How you chose to live each day whether you regard or
    disregard me doesn’t really matter to me
    One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine
    I am nature
    I will go on
    I am prepared to evolve

    Are you?”

    Harnessing The Power Of The Full Moon

    Harnessing The Power Of The Full Moon

    How often do you go outside and look at the moon? You probably spend most of your waking hours enjoying the light of the sun, which is influential in its own right, but did you know that the energy of the moonlight holds its own special power?

    A full moon is always a powerful time for meditation, energy healing and recharging your energy field and chakras. That is why so many cultures have rituals and ceremonies that take place during full moons—the full moon shines down so much pure energy that anything it touches can’t help but feel its radiance and love. 

    Energy healing during this potent time can yield incredible results. The illumination it provides is not only physical, but on the soul level as well, lighting up corners of your subconscious and giving you access to insights about your emotions, yourself, and your path, so you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this next week’s lunar energy!

    Here are my top 7 ways to do just that:

    1. Get in touch with your emotions.

    Emotions are magnified during the full moon. Have you ever heard people say, “It must be a full moon,” when things start to go crazy? Since emotions are so easily accessible during this time, it’s a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and release them. This will help clear your chakras, and allow for the healing energy of the full moon to work its magic. Journaling is especially beneficial right now, and in addition to expressing your inner truths and feelings, it’s a good time to write out your intentions, make decisions about what you really want, and fully embrace your truest self.



    2. Take a moon bath.

    The moonlight is cleansing to your mind, body, and spirit, so spending time under its vibrant white glow is like a soothing bath without the water. Take a walk under the moon, preferably with some of your skin bared to the light. Gaze up at the brilliance of the moon for as long as you can, basking in its energy and love. What do you feel in your body and in your chakras? What messages is the moon lighting up inside of you? A moon bath steeps your body and spirit in purifying light, washing away negativity and leaving you fresh and renewed.

    3. Manifest your desires.

    Harness the positive energy of the moon by envisioning your goals and dreams. Spend some time picturing your life as you wish it to be. What are your intentions? The full moon will magnify any energy you send out, and help guide it into the welcoming embrace of the universe. Be clear and specific about what you wish to manifest and don’t be surprised when your intentions come true.

    4. Release negativity.

    The moon’s light is so strong, it’s hard for darkness to stand up in the face of its glory. The moon can reach the deepest parts of your soul and pull out the things you’ve been hiding or trying to ignore. The moon illuminates any negative emotions stored in your chakras or your body and reflects that knowledge back to you so that you can begin the process of clearing those blockages through meditation, healing courses, or other means.

    5. Be creative.

    What is your special talent or hobby? Do you paint or cook or act or sing? Maybe you enjoy decorating or gardening or a sport. The full moon is the time to do whatever creative activity makes you feel joyful! Any creations you make this next week will be imbued with the light and energy of the full moon, and can even act as special tokens or talismans that will allow you to recall the moon’s energy whenever you need it in the future.

    6. Sleep outside.

    I try to sleep outside in summer, and especially during the full moons. So this warm summers night, why not give it a try? Grab a sleeping bag or blanket and head out under the canopy of sparkling stars and the glowing full moon and just bask in the light. Meditate or even say a little prayer, and let the peace and beauty of the moon soak into your body and soul while you sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.

    7. Boost your feminine energy.

    Women, take note: you, in particular, need the feminine lunar energy of the moon in order to keep your energy field vibrant and strong. This is not to discount the men, because they need feminine energy as well—remember everything is about balance—but the female energy of the moon is absolutely essential for women to maintain the health of their field. Of course, all energy healing efforts are boosted by a full moon, but gals may find this time especially fruitful.

    I hope that you’ll try some or all of these techniques during full moon periods. At the very least, make an effort to get outside and enjoy the benefits of spending time lovingly enveloped in the soft white glow of the moon!

    Share your moon-loving rituals in the comments section below!