Our Need For Community and Love

Where one or more gather, life will flourish and give rise to communities. Our human nature is wired to have a natural urge to find common grounds among those we associate in our day to day interaction. The need to build communities is stronger than ever in our culture today. By bringing people of different backgrounds together and using groups as a vehicle to help and encourage one another gives a sense of cohesiveness and peace that can transcend to other aspects of our lives. Reaching the ultimate goal of belonging and being loved makes life worth living and sharing.

Finding ways to be part of a community is easier than you think. It is choosing a community that will flourish you physically, spiritually, and mentally is the challenging part. A social group that values all three aspects is worth investing your time and effort. Once we start to flourish by engaging our mind, optimizing our body, and feeding our soul, we will begin to become stewards for one another. Our perspective of thinking of “Me” only will change to “We” and “US” and the greater good.

Here are some ideas for you to gather and flourish your community.  Engagement and conversation are always warm and welcoming with a cup of warm tea or coffee.

Marriage and Millenials

Are marriages disappearing like the old brick and mortar retail stores that are being replaced by the efficiency and convenience of online shopping? Commitment and love are not immune to this social dilemma and are getting replaced with contentment and cohabitation. Getting married is frowned on as being a waste of money and too much hassle.

To the older generation, marriage is sacred and beautiful. Some say that the younger generation may not appreciate marriage and the sanctification of marriage, therefore why get married? Marriage is culturally and religiously viewed as a vow taken between two people, announcing their love and obligations for one another publicly until death. Getting married is not only about the one big day but about a lifetime of sharing and growing together and building a family. A millennial YouTuber that goes by the name PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberghas) stepped outside his generation’s way of thinking and married his long-time girlfriend of 8 years. Felix and Marzia Bisognin got married at the beautiful London’s Kew Gardens.

Source: PewDiePie on Instagram

Source: PewDiePie on Instagram

Source: PewDiePie on Instagram

The wedding was picturesque with Marzia wearing her “dream dress” in light blush with an embroidered long train and Felix looking dashing in all-black attire. (Business Insider) The couple was beaming with joy as they posted snippets of videos and photos from their wedding on Instagram. It goes to show that the younger generation can still appreciate marriage. They need to see more of their peers do the same, and we could see a new wave of millennials heading down the aisle to say “I do!”

Source: PewDiePie on Instagram

Source: PewDiePie on Instagram

Life begins when we can commit and say Yes!

Healing Powers of Nature

Nature has a way of bringing out the best in us despite what we may be going through in our personal or work life.  A short trip to the mountains can be a refreshing detour for our body, mind, and soul to collect our thoughts and let us see life from a different perspective.  Megan Delaney, an assistant professor in the Department of Professional Counseling at Monmouth University in NJ, says that our current culture is spending 90 percent of our time indoors.  Urbanization and technological advances have disconnected us from nature and the natural world (Counseling Today, 2018). This disconnection and distance humans have put against nature have affected the increasing rise in our stress level in our day to day living.  As humans, we were meant to be one with nature. 

Through the natural world, we see what is impossible, made possible. The smallest of details are somehow aligned and built among one another, creating a magnificent landscape that encompasses all parts of the senses.  It is through this perspective that nature subconsciously can shift our mindset and let us reconnect with it.

Going out to the mountains just for a hike or a weekend camping trip can help us incorporate a type of “ecotherapy/green therapy” into our lives.  Ecotherapy can help improve our mental well being and set us up for a positive mood adjustment. Nature’s healing power is more powerful than we think.  It awakens our sense of hearing, vision, and smell, letting us experience nature’s music therapy, color therapy, and aromatherapy. We hear birds chirping, natural running water, the rustling of leaves which gives way to solace, peace, and concentration.

Color therapy seen in nature such as the greens in the trees, the colorful faunas, grasslands, the rise of the sun, and sunset across the sky with the different hues help stabilize our mood by offering an aesthetic landscape.  The smell of nature further uplifts our spirits, with its aromatherapy effects. Fragrances of flowers, wet soil, evergreens, and woodsy scents encircle the air. These smells enhance our sense of creativity, motivation, inspiration, and self-awareness.  With all our senses heightened, our mental health can only be improved. With all the benefits of going outside and experiencing nature, it is no wonder that outdoor enthusiasts have more energy, spirit, and a kind of radiance about them. Try taking a trip away from the city and into the mountains this coming weekend and experience it for yourself.  You will discover a kinder, calmer, and more energetic side of you that is waiting to express itself.

Beauty Inside Out : The Collagen Story

In the age of high technology, we can sometimes get away with looking tired, not rested and unhealthy.  There are filters in almost any apps you can download in your phone that can transform you to look alert, flawless, full of life and a couple of pounds lighter.   Sometimes we cannot just put on a filter in real life to look our best, we actually have to put in a bit of work to looking and feeling great inside and out. There are more than enough resources at our disposal online and in stores for us to start living a healthy and balanced life.  It begins with educating ourselves with what is out there, second by knowing ourselves (our behavior and lifestyle) and third, by taking action to commit to it by creating a daily wellness routine.

A great overall start to a well balanced lifestyle is finding something that promotes overall health.  It may be the easiest way to start first because the learning curve is shorter and starting with something that is easy will increase a better follow through.  When we think about overall health, “collagen” is at the forefront. Collagen is the vital building block of our bodies including skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints. Our bodies cannot synthesize enough collagen on their own and our diets today contain minimal collagen (VitalProteins).  It is a type of protein that is the main structural protein that makes up 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein (Wikipedia). Collagen is a particularly a great way to get more conditional amino acids, like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline (Draxe.com).  Collagen is behind the elasticity in our skin, helping it to give its youthful appearance, it is the main structure behind tissues in the bones, ligaments, tendons, and skeletal system that help with our movement.  With better flexibility in our movement, we feel less aches and pains and can be more active in our life. 

As we age, we tend to lose more collagen, therefore the effects of sagging skin, more joint pains and less mobility.  

How then can we increase collagen consumption to maintain youth and vitality?  The answer can be found in an odorless and flavorless powder form called “collagen peptide” powders.  Vital Proteins has a great collagen peptide product that can help start your daily wellness routine to an easy start.  Like many morning risers just before eating breakfast, we will often brew a hot cup of coffee to wake ourselves up. Add a scoop of this protein into your coffee, you won’t even notice it.  Your coffee’s taste and texture will not be altered in any way. If coffee is not what you reach for in the morning, add it to just plain water or a smoothie. Mix it into any hot or cold liquid.  It is so versatile that you can easily follow through, even for those that lack much will power to remain on any health regimen. Commit to this every day and start to notice changes in your hair, nails, skin and overall health.  Adding this one element to your wellness routine can be a catalyst to other healthy habits to start. All it takes is changing one habit for other good habits to follow along. It is the overall health of our mind, body, and soul that makes us beautiful inside and out.

“We hammer wood together to make a house
But, the usefulness is in the emptiness that provides the liveable space”