Yearly Archive: 2017

Are You Considering a Cheap Website Hosting Service?

When you are a new entrepreneur, you want to save up on every penny, right? Of course, you want to succeed, so you try to cost-cut as much as you can at every expense.

Cheap does not mean trustworthyThese days, a website is crucial to have for any business. It is not optional anymore, unlike in years past. A site is the face of your business, so you must put in the effort to make it look professional and an extension of your brand. While some companies opt to take a free theme for their site, it is best to go with a responsive website that can cater to the marketing needs of your enterprise. A Search Engine Marketing company in San Diego put emphasis on having a website because it is like having a business card—but making it open for the world to see.

Before, there used to be just a few companies offering website design and hosting services. With the internet boom, there are now thousands of companies to choose from, each providing the same service but with slight differences in payment, add-ons, and most likely, quality. You can’t merely rely on what is being advertised on the web hosting business’ website because chances are, there are some things that the company doesn’t want you to know as you sign up with them. It is best to read reviews on forums and blogs and to get information from people you know who have tried the service. Online marketing can be very misleading. So you must always go on the side of caution and do not quickly fall over gimmicks because you are establishing online assets for your business.

You have done your research, and now you are considering a web hosting service that is 30% cheaper than the average market price. Of course, you take a closer look. You see that it is promising, given that many of its features are the ones you need. You also get unlimited professional emails along with the cheap hosting service. It sounds perfect!

If you decide to go with this cheap service, take note of the following and see if it’s worth signing up with:

1. What does the price include?

On the company’s website, there may be a line that says, “No hidden charges.” But, is that true, or is it just valid for the first month of signing up? In an effort to gain registrants, some companies offer super cheap services for the first month or year upon signing up with them, and then you are charged a regular price for the following year. You’d be surprised by the number of companies doing this, with the second year’s cost even more expensive than the average market price.

Most cheap web hosting services also have a lot of add-ons like website privacy and site protection (SSL) that you must pay for separately. Therefore, when you add everything in, you quickly realize that the initial cheap price is not that affordable as it touts itself to be.

2. How robust is the after-sales support system?

You don’t want to be dealing with a robot after you’ve purchased a web hosting service, so make sure that before signing up, you trust and have tested the company’s support system. An excellent way to see this is to send a query to the support team. You will see how prompt and professional the team is just through that initial contact. After-sales support is significant, so don’t let low hosting prices wear you down after you’ve signed up with the company.

24/7 customer support for web hosts is necessaryThere is nothing wrong with signing up for a cheap website hosting service; however, you should make sure that you know what exactly you are paying for. Do not let marketing tricks fool you. Make your inquiry before signing up, because going with lousy service is even more expensive compared to going with a high-quality—although pricier—hosting service.

Skin Types and Why You Should Know Yours

Taking good care of your skin is not an easy job. It may seem like our skin is meant for cosmetic purpose only but I’d like to tell you that it surely isn’t just about that. In definition, skin is the soft outer layer that covers our entire body. Do you know what the largest organ is in your body? If you have thought that it could be your lungs or something else other than your skin, you’d have just to accept the unpopular truth. As an organ, our skin plays a significant role in our lives and in our body other than being a tempting device to exuberate beauty. It also protects us from the smallest elements such as microbes, it regulates our body temperatures, and it also provides the lovely sensation of touch.

women are obsessed in improving their skinThe best way for us to be able to maintain a healthy skin is through knowing what we need and familiarize with the Peach & Lily K Beauty skin care routine. Take a look at some of these skin types and try to determine which one yours is.

Oily Skin

I think this one is more popular in terms of skin types. You might have already probably noticed if your face gets oily quickly and easily. The T-zone, for example, is the part that starts with a horizontal line in your forehead and goes down to your nose. If these areas in your face become shiny, greasy, and oily in no time, even if you didn’t put anything, then you have oily skin.

Sensitive Skin

Just by reading the first word, you’ve probably already determined that people who have this skin type surely has it the worst. It is quite difficult to find the right product for those who are of this skin type because using something too strong would already cause a risky irritation. If this happens to you often, especially if you’ve used a lot of products already and it seems like it itches and turns red most of the time, then you’re sensitive. You have to be a lot way more careful than usual because if you use something too strong and with the wrong chemicals in it, reversing adverse effects is difficult and may be close to impossible.

Normal Skin

People with this type of skin won’t have any evident characteristics like the other skin types. After they would wash their faces, it would feel fresh and clean without them being irritated or having any itching and redness. Being oily is also not that evident compared with those who are oily skinned. I guess we can say that people with this kind of skin type are the luckiest.

moisturizers are good for dry skinDry Skin

Does your skin feel flaky and just straight out dry? From what we’ve observed, dry skinned folks are the opposite of those who are oily skinned. After washing your face, you might feel like your skin is tight but somehow, even after putting on a facial product, your face remains unnourished. This kind of skin type is also prone to wrinkles and irritation, but luckily, they don’t experience redness. A good moisturizer is an absolute need.


Did you get confused along the way when you tried to figure out what your skin type is? If your skin seems to be showing characteristics of two different types, then you mostly have a combination of an oily-dry skin. Isn’t that like a cliché? This kind of skin type seems to change depending on the weather. It is also possible that your T-zone on the face becomes oily but other parts of your face seem flaky. Ouch. This is caused by different sized pores all over your face and therefore, giving you the dry and oily. Remember that the best solution to this is a good cleansing and exfoliating cream just to make sure that your pores aren’t clogged.


Top 5 Underrated Singers

Singing is something that cannot be easily earned or learned. Mostly, it takes years and years of practice actually to learn it, and some are even unsuccessful in doing so. However, singing can also come as a natural talent for a few. Some popular artists are truly gifted while others seem to have been dragged into it by being born into fame. Of course, popularity does not necessarily mean success and happiness. I really believe that some singers deserve more credit, not because of what and who they are but because of the joy that they have in singing, whether they are widely known or not as much. Here are the top 5 underrated singers that you may or may not have heard yet.

5. Tori Kelly

She has recently gained popularity because of the movie “Sing”, but it seems like everyone does not pay much attention to her. Sure, she’s had a few awards, and singles are out here and there, but nobody seems to realize how she sings amazingly like she had undergone a thousand hours of singing & voice lessons. She also writes her own songs, and she would even produce it herself. If ever you’d get to listen more to how she sings and performs, I definitely know that we’d all agree how she deserves more exposure.

4. Jennifer Hudson

Despite being a finalist during the American Idol Season 3, her name just doesn’t leave that much of a mark. Simple tunes and catchy phrases will stay on charts for weeks, but I guess, her singing skills were covered by all the new things that are popping up along the way. Luckily, Broadway has welcomed her quite well during her debut. She would be starred as the guest but it so far, nothing has been offered to her where she leads the role. We just wish she gets more of the love. Have you even heard that she just released a new album this year? We haven’t either, but you might want to take a look at it.

3. Nicole Scherzinger

nicole scherzingerYes, we know, she’s a bombshell. Being the leader of the famous group, Pussycat Dolls, the spotlight is surely not much far from her. Unfortunately, people seem to look at her like nothing else other than being a bombshell. She looks great, and she’s hot and feisty. The talent, however, goes beyond the crowd’s head. Did you know she dances really well? If you’ve seen her in Dancing with the Stars, you’d absolutely believe that she’s a pro. In singing, she’s not just a hot babe that dances to the tune because whether you believe it or not, her vocals are pretty strong. She even sings opera! Next time you’d see her on The X Factor, you should start thinking twice if she’s just there for display because she certainly isn’t.

2. Hozier

hozierWe’re not sure if you’ve heard of him but the song “Take Me to Church” is something that you’ve probably already listened or come across to. With all the cute guys and charming boys these days, Hozier is someone who won’t get much craze from the people just because girls aren’t going crazy over him. Rappers and boy bands seem more attractive to millennials for now, and a genuine musician who sings songs with deep meanings are way under-appreciated. Being a son of a blues musician, it’s not hard to see that Hozier has a unique aesthetic to his music. It’s almost as if, his songs are filled with soul. We’re just glad that he somehow got a bit of recognition because of “Take me to Church” but hopefully, people would go and dig deeper through his album and listen to the rest of his songs. You won’t regret it!

1. Lady Gaga

Most people know her as this popular but very unusual and borderline crazy pop singer. She might be very popular, but not everyone seems to appreciate or know her singing abilities. Her songs are great successes, and surely it has been gone through your mind too when it was at the peak. Lines such as “Po-po-po-poker face…Po-po-poker face” was such a catchy tune that you couldn’t seem to forget. However, Gaga is more than just a pop star. She is an excellent composer, and she understands music beyond what most people have expected. At a young age, she was raised in a Catholic family but was often seen as provocative or eccentric, even for a child. She started playing the piano at the age of 4 and started writing her first ballad when she was just 13. She then studied music but had to stop to focus on her career. It wasn’t very easy though because it took her years and years. Gaga has also been rejected and disappointed at times. Yet, she never gave up until someone finally discovered her.

Now, Lady Gaga is one of the most well-known artists not just because of her record-breaking songs but also because of her actual singing skills. She may have started with pop but in every genre; she nails. She has worked with Metallica and Tony Bennett. I mean, look at the difference between the kind of music. Gaga can sing really well, and she even sang a version of The Sound of Music as a tribute. It seems like not many have known this because she was famed for being outrageous in costumes and she sang songs that are almost hypnotizing. Even her vocal range is surprisingly impressive. From pop to classical, and even rock metal — Gaga is your girl.

Expand Your Fitness Capacity with Conscious Breathing

Would you like to take your physical fitness to the next level?

Perhaps you feel as if you’ve hit a plateau with your current exercise routine and you’re at a loss about how to move beyond where you are now. You’d like to increase the weight you can lift, the number of sit ups you can do or the pace of your run.

Maybe you are struggling to get started with fitness, but you’d like to. It may seem that every time you try to walk or use an exercise machine at the gym, it’s just too difficult and frustrating.

Breathing may be the key.

I know that when I’m walking on a treadmill or using a weight machine, I am not often thinking about how I am breathing.

My focus is usually on the amount of incline and resistance I have set for myself on the treadmill, the number of calories that I’m burning and the amount of weight I can move with my arms or legs.

The fact of the matter is, breathing in a conscious way can actually increase your fitness capacity. You can find yourself with more energy, focus and an ability to perform at a higher level than before.

And it’s all because conscious breathing helps your body more effectively spread enriching oxygen to more of you.

Breathing Basics
We breathe in and we breathe out. In between these two deceptively simple actions, a lot happens!

First, air enters the nose or mouth. Dust and pollutants are filtered out as air travels through the nose and down the trachea (also called the windpipe).

Next, the air– which has been continually filtered along the way– reaches the lung sacs called alveoli.

It is within the lungs and the alveoli that gas exchanges happen. Oxygen gets moved into the blood stream where it can travel throughout your body enriching and enlivening all organs, tissue and other parts.

Carbon dioxide (and other waste gases) is passed back into the alveoli where it can be expelled as you exhale.

The more consciously you breathe, the more easily oxygen travels throughout your body, the more toxic waste gases are released on the exhale and the more potent you are in whatever you are doing.

How to Use Conscious Breathing to Improve Your Fitness
Start out by noticing the way that you typically breathe while you exercise.

If you have taken a yoga or pilates class, you are probably aware of the differences between breathing from your chest and from your abdomen, i.e. diaphragmatic breathing.

Especially in the practice of pilates, deep breathing and breathing patterns are integral to the exercise movements. Deep inhales allow tense and tight muscles to release and equally deep exhalations activate core, stabilizing muscles.

From where does your breath come in general and when you exercise?

You can get a better idea of this if you place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Now, with ease, inhale. Which of your hands moved the most?

If you found that the hand placed on your chest seemed to float up with your inhalation higher than the one on your abdomen, you are chest breathing and you are not alone! This is very common.

When you breathe consciously, you become aware of the way that you tend to breathe. Information is power, after all.

You can practice altering your breathing to allow as much oxygen to flow to all of you as possible. The keywords here are: soften and open. Slow, deep breaths (through the nose if possible) that originate from the diaphragm are the goal– even when you are exercising.

There are specific breathing techniques that can be used when an exercise requires the abdominal muscles to tighten. There are also breath patterns and strategies you can use to better support weight lifting and other exercises.

In general, however, it is important to keep the belly soft to support optimal lung capacity (the lower lungs are where most blood circulates) and the diaphragmatic breath.

You can soften your abdomen by slowly expanding your belly out as you inhale and then slowly letting it come back toward your spine as you exhale.

Guide your attention to your abdomen and your breath. Allow the breath to do the softening and notice as you feel more open and your breath drops down into your abdomen.

You can do this while you run, do a push-up and especially as you are warming up preparing to exercise.

Even (and especially) those with asthma or other respiratory disorders can practice conscious breathing while exercising and in their day to day living and can vastly benefit from it.

Of course, please consult with your health care practitioner if you have questions or concerns before attempting these suggestions.

Things Women Do That Turn Men Off On First Dates

When going on a first date, you surely would want to impress the other person. Almost everyone in the dating world will do anything to make a good first impression. However, there are certain things that some women do which are usually considered as turn offs in the eyes of men.

If you are a girl going on a first date in NYC, you need to have an idea on what turns men off at that event. Here are some of these things.

dating tips for girls nyc

Being impolite

Men are often turned on by gentle and nice women. It gives them a sense of pride and warms their hearts whenever they see ladies who are being kind to other people, even if they know them or not.

Being rude to others, especially to your date, will not end up well for you. In this case, you should be as kind and as polite as possible. Do not ever think that your date is your servant and that he is supposed to do everything for you.

Attention seeker

There are usually some women who trick their dates into flattering them by saying that they do not look good even though they spent several hours trying to look beautiful before the meetup. However, a man usually knows whether a woman is putting on an act just to get his attention. Doing so actually annoys any person you will ever meet on a first date,

Do not let yourself be a drama queen, like what the NYC matchmaking by TV’s Project Soulmate recommended. Wait for your date to acknowledge the nice things about you and compliment you truthfully. You will feel better and more flattered when you receive compliments that are not forced. Do not forget to thank him for his compliments.

Easily distracted

Almost everyone gets annoyed if they are not getting the attention that they deserve. It is even more so when the other person is giving his or her attention to you during the date. This is most especially true if resources have been exhausted, but it would seem like such efforts are all in vain.

When a man puts a lot of effort into planning a date, even spending his money just to be with you for several hours, it is but right to give him your full attention. Do not use your phone or daydream especially when he is talking. If you are bringing your phone with you during the date, turn it off or set it to silent mode. When someone calls you in the middle of the date, you have to pick it up only when it is absolutely necessary.

Poor social manners

When going out with someone who is still practically a stranger to you, you should always try to show good social manners. Otherwise, your date will just be uncomfortable with others seeing you showing poor behavior, considering that he is your companion at that time.

Some of the social manners deemed to be poor are laughing hysterically in public places, unnecessarily talking out loud, and most especially, getting food from his plate. Being impolite to other people, such as to the elderly or the waiter can turn the mood sour too. These can totally turn off just about anyone.

Baby Talking

Baby talking is only acceptable if done with your boyfriend and in private. If you baby talk in an attempt to look sweet during your first date, that annoys men. Remember, he is not your boyfriend yet.

There are still other annoying things that can turn men off. Be careful and cautious with your actions during your first date if you wish to impress your date.

Meditation & Thinking

Over the years I have learned one thing for sure about meditation, and that is that everyone’s experience is their experience. In other words, never compare your experience with someone else’s. Your experience is as valid as anyone else’s.

Meditation is a form of self love, so watch how critical you can be with yourself, and then praise yourself for sitting down to meditate in the first place. Look at meditation as a new experience, every time you meditate it is the first time.

“I can’t turn off my mind!” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say they can’t meditate. The most common misconception of meditation is that we are supposed to stop our mind from thinking.

Meditation is not about stopping your mind from thinking. Meditation can take place whether thought is there or not. A state of meditative awareness exists beneath the thinking you experience in the mind, because the mind is always there, which means thought is always there.

The difference between meditation and the waking consciousness is what you give your attention to. Your awareness of thinking is what actually connects you to the meditative state.

To elaborate: when I sit down to meditate I may start by focusing my attention on the flow of my breath for a while in order to calm my body and mind. Naturally thoughts arise; perhaps I become engaged in my thoughts.

Then I realize I had become engaged in my thoughts, and I repeat to myself: “I am here to mediate,” and I ask myself a rhetorical question: “Who is aware that I was thinking?” So I feel the question and the awareness that I was thinking.

Meditation is really about cultivating awareness. Awareness that I am thinking, that I am sitting, that I am breathing. We learn to be aware of all feelings and sensations, like awareness of your feeling something to do with your job or partner or the tingling in your legs when you sit that way.

The most significant awareness is that of “I AM.” The key to cultivating awareness is to lovingly, and gently, (as opposed to forcefully) disengage your mind from judging and engage it with the act of observation and acceptance.

When you notice you have wandered off into thinking about something, then in that very moment of noticing this you have a profound opportunity to deepen your awareness and thus to deepen your experience of meditation.

In that moment the awareness arises, “I was sitting here watching my breath, and then I got caught up in thinking about something. Hey that’s pretty cool!” It’s in this awareness that takes you further into meditation.

Thinking while meditating can be seen as a gift.

Our awareness of our incessant thinking is the very thing that can propel us deeper and deeper into the still centre of our Being.

The next time you sit to meditate, see that session as the first time, you are just beginning every time. This will keep your attention fresh, alive and present to the here and now.

Simply BE here, now.

Passing or Passion?

Tony Robbins is one of the nation’s premier motivational speakers. On October 16th, 2000, Tony Robbins was in Atlanta speaking to a crowd of 14,000 people. I was in the front row. The rest of our staff was right behind me in the second row. Tony’s booming voice shook the floor and rattled the chairs. “I need a volunteer. Someone who has some enthusiasm and passion!! Let me see who has some passion and I’ll pick a volunteer!!”

I was among half of the audience on their feet, shouting and waving arms. For a moment, time seemed to slow and then stand still. I was aware of my own level of energy and then that of the people around me. We all pretty much looked the same, wildly jumping and waving. And then I realized that I was probably only at about 60% of what I was capable of.

Could this be a mirror of how passionate I am about my life in all of the other areas?

I continued to wave my arms and shout. I thought, “if most of us are only at 60%, who is going to stand out?” Tony was already pointing into the crowd away from where I was. My thoughts continued, “If I am only at 60%, who do I know that can go to 100% or beyond?”

He jumped about four feet into the air and wriggled like a giant fighting swordfish caught on a steel cable. “Pick ME! Pick ME! Pick ME!” Tony stopped and looked over with a look of surprise. He smiled and pointed just past me. Yep, that was the guy that Tony needed. 100% plus.

The guy behind me was my partner Vincent.
Vincent did a great job in front of 14,000 people. He had some fun and got an autographed leather bound journal signed by Tony Robbins. Inside the front cover was written, “Live life with PASSION! Tony Robbins.” If I had added forty percent to my performance, I could have been the one to go up on stage and win the prize. After all, I had the front row advantage!

So, what does 60% passion get you in the game of life? Second place to the quality you could have had? Safety in the crowd? Passable communication? Doing “OK?”

Why not have something better, something worth smiling about when the days of your life finally wind down? To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, “it’s better to really go for it in life and hazard the chance of succeeding brilliantly or even failing miserably, as opposed to being one of the cold gray souls who tried and got nothing special out of life.”

I’m often a slow starter in the mornings. The next morning I rolled out of bed and helped my five-year-old get dressed for school. My daughter put her hand on my shoulder “Daddy, I don’t want to go to school today. I want to stay home.” Without even thinking, I told her “Today is a school day. Your mom and I have to go to work, and you have to go to school.” That’s when I thought again about the 60%. And I looked up at her.

I realized at that moment that those times in my life when I have truly connected with people in a meaningful way were the times I was really tuned in to them and where they were coming from. Those were the times where I listened carefully and responded with a genuine part of myself. My best friendships and the best parts of my being a good husband and father also stemmed from that level of attention and caring. The best part of what I do as a communication coach also stems from that higher level of involvement and passion for communicating.

And today was starting out as a 60% day. The results would be second place fatherhood, safety with the fast pat answer, and passable communication. I stopped and looked into my daughter’s shining eyes and smiled. Sixty percent was just not good enough. “Of course you’d rather stay home. If we could all stay at home, we could swing in the yard and hike down to Rainbow Lake. I’d rather stay at home today, too. I have responsibilities at work, and today is also a school day. How about a hike down to the lake as soon as we get home tonight?”

We earn the benefit of good communication with every single interaction that we have with others. We have the opportunity to create passion with every thought. It’s easy to lapse into 60% thinking. In life, 60% is a passing grade. But passing is not passion.

Improving the quality of our lives and relationships is a function of going beyond passing to passion. Pay attention to the world around you, tune in and turn it up, and make a real difference for others and yourself!

5 Tips To Stay Fit While Traveling

After a recent trip to Tampa, Florida attending fitness seminars for 5 days and hanging out with guys like Craig Ballantyne of Men’s Health magazine and fitness icon Shawn Phillips, I started to pick up on some of the secrets these guys use to stay in awesome shape even while traveling.

1. Workout No Matter What. After a busy 5 days of sitting on my butt in meetings and seminars I still managed to workout 4 out of the 5 days while in Florida. Which is even more than I workout at home!

The first day I got together with some fellow trainers and we trained together in the hotel gym. It wasn’t very big but had enough to get a great workout using our bodyweight and a few dumbbells.

Then the next day along we all headed to the local Powerhouse gym to get a great workout in a more upbeat gym atmosphere.

Whether it’s a quick hotel room bodyweight workout, a hotel gym workout or a Powerhouse gym workout, just make sure you do some exercise while traveling to offset all the sitting down on airplanes and in meetings.

2. All You Can Eat. The great thing about traveling to new cities is experiencing new places to eat. But if you’re not careful you could be paying the airline’s extra weight on the way home, and I am not talking about your luggage…

So do what all the fit trainers did every morning to start their day off right; eat a nutritious breakfast. Even though our hotel served a FREE buffet breakfast every morning, most everyone who is in great shape skipped the bacon and breads and had a huge freshly prepared omelet stuffed with veggies with a little fruit on the side, me included. Keep lunch small with a salad or whole grain wrap so you don’t get sleepy during the afternoon meetings, and enjoy a nice dinner with some lean meat and veggies and even a glass of wine.

3. Drink Up. I don’t mean spend your nights at the hotel bar getting sloshed. I mean drink lots of cold refreshing water. It will keep you full and focused and your mind off the donuts and croissants sitting across the conference table.

It’s really easy to drink lots of H2O during these hotel conferences as they usually serve you pitchers of water in your meeting rooms and in the big conference rooms. Just to be sure you always have water on hand, pick up a couple of litres of spring water at the hotel gift shop and keep on ice in your room.

4. Ditch the Cab. If you are up for some sight seeing or heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner, ditch the cab fare, get some directions and walk there instead. Google Maps on your smart phone works great for this! Walking is a great way to see a new city and burn some calories. Strolling back to the hotel after dinner is a great way to end the evening and ease the guilt from that decadent dessert.

You can also try to find a park or gym a couple miles away and walk or run there to get your heart pumping and your warmup out of the way.

5. Recharge. If you’re traveling solo, staying at a hotel is a great way to get some extra rest and relaxation. You get the bed to yourself, and you have no worries of the kids jumping in the bed at the wee hours of the morning.

It’s also a great time to catch up on some work or read that book you have been trying to get through. A dip in the hotel pool and a hot sauna afterwards might be just what you need to recharge your batteries before you get back on the road.

So there you have it, The 5 Best Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling so you still recognize yourself in the mirror when you get home…

20 Meditation Tips For Beginners

Although a good number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, only a small percentage actually persist with it.

This is unfortunate, as the benefits are enormous. One possible reason is that many beginners do not start with an appropriate mindset to make the practice

The purpose of this article is to provide 20 practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation as an ongoing practice in their lives.

1: Make it a formal practice. Set aside a time in the day that is your meditation practice time.

2: Only meditate for as long as you are enjoying it. It is especially important in the beginning that meditation is not a chore.

3: Do yoga or stretch first. Firstly physical activity will draw your own awareness into the body and away from your mind. A practice like yoga loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit more comfortably.

Additionally, yoga opens the body not only at the physical level but also
at subtle level, which facilitates movement of energy in the body.

4: Pick a specific location in your home to meditate. Ideally the place you choose will be somewhere that does not have much activity at other times. Two reasons for doing this are, the subconscious is conditioned by repetition, so by going to the same place at the same time each day to meditate you can get in yourself to expect to meditate when you are there.

The second reason is that when you meditate you begin to create a particular vibration in that spot. With time and meditation and place will become increasingly attuned to this energy of meditation, again making it easier for you to meditate when you are there.

5: Make sure your will meditation time is respected. if you live with others make sure that they understand that you are not to be disturbed while you are meditating. Equally for yourself make the same commitment, for example if your phone should ring, be aware of it and continue your meditation.

6: Create some representation of sacred space in your meditations spot. This should obviously be what is meaningful for you, maybe an actual altar with pictures and objects, or maybe just a special rug and your meditation cushion.

7: Use ritual if it helps you. This doesn’t have to be elaborate it could be as simple as lighting a candle, or a lighting incense. The repetition of a ritual before you
meditate, is again conditioning preparation for your body and mind.

8: Commit for the long haul. When you begin with the clear idea in your mind that the greatest benefits from meditation will accumulate with time, and see it as an
ongoing process, you are less likely to give up in frustration.

9: Meditate with understanding. Get clear in your mind exactly what you think meditation is and what it will be like before you start. Invariably everybody does have ideas and expectations like this, it is very helpful to make them conscious before you start.

10: Be clear of your motivation to begin meditation. When you understand your reasons and objectives in beginning meditation you are more likely to find a practice or technique that will work for you at that time.

11: Begin with a particular practice that you have actively chosen and commit to doing it for a given time period. Many beginners are constantly jumping from one to type or technique of meditation to another. Your meditation practice is a relationship with yourself, it will not deepen if it consists of one night stands.

This is not to say that the practice or technique you begin with is the one you stay with for the rest of your life, but a relationship is best left when you know exactly why it is that you are leaving, and not done simply on an impulse.

12: Educate yourself. Confusion and misunderstanding is primarily caused by ignorance. Find a good teacher, or online community where you can get answers. Read some books on meditation and spiritual practice.

13: Notice if frustration starts to creep into your practice. If you notice this happening take some time to explore what is going on for you, what expectation is not being fulfilled. Then examine the expectation itself, what is it based on.

14: Be honest with yourself. As I said meditation is a relationship with yourself, you are the most important person you need to be straightforward with, and meditation
is a key place to practice this.

15: Be prepared for some discomfort. It is normal in the beginning to experience some physical discomfort when sitting to meditate. Most people are not accustomed to sitting still, other than maybe slouched on a couch. Your
body needs time to develop strength and openness in the right places to allow you to sit comfortably and alert.

Sooner or later discomfort will also be experienced at the emotional and mental levels. If you are not consciously prepared for this it is likely to deter you from continuing.

16: Until you are well versed in your meditation practice it can be very beneficial to use a recording to guide you. This will help your mind to let go of concern about what you are doing, and the recording can act as a guide until you no longer need it.

17: Start to look for moments of awareness during the day. Finding space to be consciously present during everyday activities is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation practice.

Take advantage, of the time spent waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting for anything, to become present to yourself and what you are experiencing within
yourself. Look for such opportunities in your day, however brief, simple as they are taken radically change or experience of life.

18: Do it together. Meditating with a partner or group can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. When meditating with others many people say that it improves the quality of their meditation. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin.

19: Don’t stress about it. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. Many people in beginning meditation become anxious about whether they are doing it right or not, or whether something they experience should be happening or not. The article, meditation is practice, goes into more detail regarding this.

20: Invest in a good, comfortable meditation cushion. If you need other things to allow your body to sit comfortably in without strain, get them. If you set yourself up with the things that you need, you are removing a future potential pitfall to your practice.

Meditation is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself, like any lasting and meaningful relationship it takes energy and commitment, it takes understanding and tolerance.

If you put these things in to your practice meditation will become your best friend, and powerful resource.

3 Reasons Why Your Personal Growth Can Make or Break Your Love Relationship or Marriage

Ellen feels as if her life is in pieces. Her relationship with her husband Rob is usually strained and distant. Her work is dull and doesn’t pay much. And her friends aren’t all that much fun to be around– when she actually makes the time to go out with them.

Even though Ellen knows it’s past time for her to make some improvements to her life, she can’t even think about how to begin. It seems that if she chooses to work on herself, her marriage will suffer. But if she focuses in on her marriage, what happens to her own personal growth?

Believe it or not, the improvements that you make on a personal and individual level can exponentially improve your love relationship or marriage.

The beauty of it is that your personal growth can soar along with positive changes that you make in your relationship too.

It’s all inter-connected…mostly because both of these relationships involve you.

You and you, as well as you and your partner.

Even if this isn’t news to you, it’s likely that some of the time you forget this important point.

Too often, people get overwhelmed. They see too many habits and dynamics that they’d like to work on in their lives, but they feel like they have to choose.

The quandary can seem to be: “It’s me or my relationship.”

How wonderful to be reminded that you truly don’t have to choose.

Here’s why some people feel torn…

Let’s say that Ellen has decided to take a self-empowerment class. She is hesitant to tell Rob because she guesses that he’ll react negatively– and he does. Rob tells her that he’s concerned about the money and the time that she’ll be away from home. This cramps his style because it means that he has to be home alone with their young children one evening a week for the duration of the class.

Inside, Rob is also worried about what being more “self-empowered” will mean for Ellen. Will she be angry all of the time? Will she make more demands of him? Will she eventually leave him?

Ellen and Rob have created a scenario in which neither of them can grow and neither of them can flourish.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Personal growth can and does have beneficial effects on love relationships and marriages.

Here are just a few examples…

*Self esteem translates into greater mutual respect.
What do most couples want from one another? Well, there are a lot of things. Among the complaints that many people make about their partners, one is that they don’t feel respected.

Guess what?

In the majority of relationships, not only is there weak communication of respect between the two people, but there is also lagging self-respect within each individual.

Notice that I said “weak communication of respect.” This is because no matter how much your mate might respect you, it’s impossible to hear his or her expressions of that respect when you don’t believe it about yourself.

You have to feel it about yourself in order to hear it from your partner. Conversely, you need to feel secure about your own self worth to not feel threatened or less than your mate.

In both cases, the stronger and healthier your own self esteem, the more aware you both will be of the respect that is felt for one another.

*When your partner isn’t your everything, you two are freer to be more to one another.
In her book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the virtual epidemic of dissatisfied married people in the U.S.

By comparing approaches to marriage in the U.S. with those of other cultures– particularly those in developing nations– Gilbert comes to the conclusion that women in the U.S. expect their husbands to be everything for them.

Lover, co-parent, best friend, emotional support, financial support, etc.: the expectations that American women have of their husbands (or long-term boyfriends) is huge when compared with the more limited expectations that women in other cultures have of their men.

I agree with Gilbert that not all heterosexual relationships in the U.S. involve such all-encompassing expectations. The constraints on women (and men) in some developing countries is not preferable to the relative freedoms that women in the U.S enjoy– particularly when it comes to marriage.

The point here is that when a woman or man expects his or her partner to be EVERYTHING, disappointment is sure to follow. Nobody can be your everything.

Make consistently connecting with your mate a priority. At the same time, be willing to reach out to friends, extended family, your spiritual community, your book club or your soccer team to fulfill particular needs.

This actually allows you to come to your partner already feeling filled up and more available to share in the joy and love that you have for one another.

*When you keep discovering yourself, there’s always something exciting to discover in your partner.
There’s a commonly held belief that after a period of time, a couple will settle in together and the passion and spark will die down– or die out completely.

Many people assume this to be true and they come to terms with this being a reality for them.

The real truth is this…

The spark between you and your partner may change and fluctuate over time, but it does not have to dwindle or die. You can keep the passion hot between you and your mate by staying open to your own personal growth.

Think about how exciting it can be when you happen upon a book, interest, technique or way of living that really resonates for you. It can feel as if the world is turned on its head, in a great way!

This new growth within you is a discovery– perhaps it feels like a new you has been born. Even if your partner has no interest whatsoever in this thing that has grabbed your attention, he or she can benefit.

If you can set aside any attachment you might have to your partner joining in with you and believing that this new thing is as great as you do, the spark will spread to your relationship.

Focus in on the feelings of renewed passion and excitement. Let those feelings carry over into your conversations, walks, chore-time, lovemaking and just hanging out moments with your partner.

Celebrate the spark that now glows in your eyes and see the spark in your partner’s eyes.