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Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

Honoring Diversity, Strength, and Contributions

As May unfolds its blossoms, it brings with it a vibrant celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This annual observance is a time to honor the rich cultural diversity, varied traditions, and remarkable contributions of the AAPI communities to the fabric of our society. Let’s delve into the origins, significance, and celebrations of this important month.

Origins and Significance of AAPI Heritage Month

The roots of AAPI Heritage Month trace back to the efforts of Congressman Frank Horton and Senator Daniel Inouye, who introduced resolutions in the late 1970s calling for the establishment of a week to honor the contributions of AAPIs. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a bill that expanded the observance to the entire month of May. Since then, AAPI Heritage Month has provided a platform to recognize the diverse cultures and histories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

What AAPI Heritage Month Celebrates

AAPI Heritage Month celebrates the achievements, struggles, and cultural heritage of AAPI communities. It shines a spotlight on their contributions to various fields, including art, science, literature, technology, business, politics, and social justice. From pioneering scientists and groundbreaking artists to trailblazing activists and innovative entrepreneurs, AAPI individuals have left an indelible mark on our nation’s history and continue to shape our collective future.

How People Celebrate

People celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in myriad ways, ranging from community events and cultural festivals to educational programs and art exhibitions. It’s a time for storytelling, sharing traditions, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Families come together to honor their heritage through music, dance, food, and rituals passed down through generations. Schools, universities, and organizations host workshops, lectures, and performances that highlight AAPI contributions and promote cultural appreciation.

Why AAPI Heritage Month Is Important

AAPI Heritage Month is not only a celebration of cultural diversity but also a call to action against discrimination, xenophobia, and injustice. It serves as a reminder of the resilience, strength, and solidarity of AAPI communities in the face of adversity. By acknowledging the struggles and triumphs of AAPI individuals, we affirm our commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice for all.

Significant AAPI Individuals and Their Contributions

The list of notable AAPI individuals and their contributions is extensive and varied. From civil rights leaders like Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs to groundbreaking authors like Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan, AAPI individuals have made significant contributions to literature, activism, and social change. Visionary leaders like Dalip Singh Saund, the first Asian American elected to the U.S. Congress, and Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to the House of Representatives, have paved the way for future generations of AAPI leaders in politics and public service.

Moreover, many AAPI individuals embody strong values of philanthropy and community service. Figures like Yo-Yo Ma, the renowned cellist and founder of the Silkroad Project, and Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, are committed to using their resources and influence to address pressing social issues and empower marginalized communities.

In conclusion, Humanist Beauty recognizes that AAPI Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, remarkable achievements, and enduring contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Given our founder Jennifer Norman’s AAPI heritage, it’s a reminder that our nation’s strength lies in its diversity. By honoring our heritage, we enrich the fabric of American life for generations to come. Let us embrace the spirit of AAPI Heritage Month with open hearts, open minds, and a commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

How To Turn Skincare Into a Sacred Self-Care Ritual

We’ve all heard of skincare as self-care, but in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, where time slips through our fingers like sand, it can be challenging to find moments of solace and self-nurturing. That’s where mindfulness steps in. Amidst the chaos, our skincare routine can emerge as a sanctuary—a sacred ritual that extends beyond surface-level beauty. In this exploration, we delve into the profound connection between skincare and self-care, weaving in mindfulness practices and ancient-inspired rituals that elevate the essence of our well-being.

The Ritual of Cleansing

As the sun gently kisses the dawn or bids adieu to the day, the ritual of cleansing becomes a mindful journey. In the morning, it’s more than washing away the night; it’s a symbolic act of shedding yesterday’s burdens. Embrace the sensation of water, the touch of cleanser on your skin – each motion a gesture of renewal. Drawing inspiration from ancient cleansing rituals, consider infusing your routine with intention. Perhaps envision the water carrying away any negativity, leaving behind a canvas ready for the day’s artistry.

A Sacred Unveiling

In the realm of skincare, the cleansing ritual stands as a cornerstone—an intimate dance between you and your skin, a moment to shed the layers that accumulate through the day or night. Let’s delve deeper into this sacred act, exploring the tools, products, and the transformative benefits it bestows upon the skin.

Tools of Purification

Consider your choice of cleansing tools as instruments of care. From the simplicity of your hands, a vessel of touch and connection, to the luxurious softness of facial cleansing brushes, each tool imparts a unique sensation. Ancient traditions often employed natural materials like muslin or bamboo for their cleansing rituals. Modern adaptations include konjac sponges, a nod to the Japanese tradition of using konjac root for its gentle exfoliating properties.

Products as Elixirs of Renewal

The products you choose for cleansing become elixirs, infusing the ritual with therapeutic properties. From creamy cleansers reminiscent of ancient milk and honey baths to oil cleansers inspired by the wisdom of double cleansing from Korean skincare, each product tells a story. Aromatherapy joins the journey with botanical-infused cleansers, awakening the senses and turning the act of cleansing into a sensorial experience.

The Alchemy of Cleansing

As the water cascades over your face, carrying away impurities, it is not just a physical cleansing but a symbolic act of purification. The gentle massage of the cleanser invigorates the skin, promoting blood circulation and oxygenation. Ancient cultures often associated water with renewal and rebirth—consider the Japanese Misogi ritual, a waterfall purification practice symbolizing a spiritual cleanse.

Benefits Unveiled

The benefits of a mindful cleansing ritual are manifold. Firstly, it sets the stage for subsequent skincare steps, preparing the skin to absorb the goodness of serums and moisturizers more effectively. Cleansing removes excess oil, sweat, and environmental pollutants, preventing congestion and supporting the skin’s natural regeneration process.

Moreover, the act of cleansing is an act of self-respect. It communicates to your skin that you honor and care for it, fostering a positive relationship with your body. Beyond the physical, the ritual holds the potential to be a moment of mindfulness, a pause in the chaos of life.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Nourishing the Temple

Our skin is a reflection of our internal well-being, and the importance of hydration and nutrition cannot be overstated. Beyond topical treatments, the foundation of radiant skin lies in nourishing from within. As you sip your morning herbal tea or relish a nutrient-packed smoothie, consider it a mindful act of self-love. In ancient traditions, the concept of beauty elixirs was revered—infusions of nature’s bounty believed to enhance vitality and radiance. Today, we echo this wisdom through superfood-rich diets and skin-loving nutrients.

Feeding Your Skin’s Soul

Once the canvas is cleansed, the sacred ritual of nourishing begins—a journey where skincare becomes a feast for the skin, a banquet of hydration and nutrients. Let’s explore the customs and practices of infusing nourishment into your skincare routine, drawing inspiration from ancient wisdom and modern revelations.

Hydration as Elixir

In many ancient traditions, water is revered as a source of life and pureness. The concept extends to skincare, where hydration is the elixir that quenches the skin’s thirst. Begin this nourishing journey with a hydrating toner, echoing the rituals of floral water spritzing in ancient cultures. Incorporate practices from Ayurveda, where the cooling properties of rose water or the rejuvenating touch of sandalwood water are celebrated.

The Art of Treatment

Treating skin with topicals and touch is not just a physical act but a symbolic embrace of self-love. Caress your skin with your hands, using salves or tools like you would anoint a sacred vessel. Consider the practices of facial gua sha—a Chinese technique that involves gentle scraping motions with a thin smooth stone, promoting lymphatic drainage and enhancing product absorption. Picture each stroke as a gesture of care, sculpting your skin with intention.

Ancient Beauty Elixirs

Explore the world of ancient beauty elixirs, where oils and potions were treasured as gifts from nature. In Ayurveda, sesame oil has been revered for its nourishing properties. Embrace the wisdom of the Egyptians, anointing your skin with the liquid gold of argan oil. Anoint your skin with the supernutrients contained in a precious bottle of Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil from Humanist Beauty. These elixirs are more than skincare; they are invitations to connect with the wisdom of the ancients, infusing your routine with timeless beauty.

Mindful Eating for Radiance

Extend the concept of nourishment beyond topical applications. What you consume reflects on your skin. In Ayurveda, the belief is that radiant skin comes from a balanced diet. Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens, and nuts into your meals. In the spirit of mindful eating, savor each bite, recognizing that what you ingest contributes to the radiance you seek.

Cultural Nourishing Traditions

Across cultures, there are unique nourishing traditions that go beyond skincare. In Korea, the practice of “hannamubi” involves applying the essence of boiled rice water to the skin for a luminous complexion. In Japan, the consumption of collagen-rich foods like fish and seaweed is celebrated for its skin-plumping effects. Integrate these customs into your routine, weaving a tapestry of global beauty wisdom.

As you nourish your skin, consider it an act of reciprocity. Your skin, like a sacred temple, deserves offerings of love, kindness, and nutrients. Let the practices of hydrating, moisturizing, and embracing ancient elixirs be more than skincare steps; let them be rituals of nourishment, feeding not just your skin but your soul.

Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

The Art of Mindful Moisturizing

After the canvas is cleansed and the skin is nourished, the journey of self-care continues with the art of mindful moisturizing—a deliberate and intentional act that transcends mere hydration. Moisturizing is more than just a step in the routine; it’s a gesture of self-preservation. In this section, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this ritual, exploring techniques, products, and the profound benefits it imparts to your skin and soul.

Rituals of Moisture

Imagine moisturizing not as a routine task but as a sacred dance, a symphony of touch and intention. Begin with a moment of mindfulness. Pause and appreciate the vessel that is your body. Acknowledge the journey your skin has undertaken from cleansing to nourishment. Let this awareness infuse the act of moisturizing with a sense of gratitude and connection. Consider incorporating specific gestures into your ritual. Picture a gentle pressing motion, like the petals of a flower unfolding, as you apply your moisturizer. Alternatively, indulge in a self-massage, taking the time to knead tension away from your face, neck, and décolletage. These deliberate movements elevate the moisturizing ritual from a mundane task to a transformative experience.

Techniques of Tranquility

Mindful moisturizing is about more than just slathering on a product—it’s about engaging with your skin in a way that fosters relaxation and tranquility. Begin with deep, intentional breaths. As you apply the moisturizer, synchronize your breath with your movements, creating a rhythmic flow that calms the mind. Explore the technique of acupressure, pressing specific points on the face associated with relaxation and rejuvenation. As your fingers trace these points, envision stress melting away, leaving room for a serene glow to emerge. Combine this with the use of jade rollers or gua sha tools, encouraging lymphatic drainage and promoting a sense of well-being.

Choosing Sacred Elixirs

Selecting the right moisturizer is akin to choosing a sacred elixir for your skin. Consider products with natural, botanical ingredients that resonate with your senses. Infusions of chamomile, lavender, or rose not only nourish the skin but also engage your olfactory senses in a sensory journey. Incorporate traditional beauty oils like jojoba, squalane, or rosehip seed oil. These oils, reminiscent of ancient beauty elixirs, provide deep hydration and lend a touch of luxury to your routine. The act of anointing your skin with these precious oils becomes a ceremony, a communion between you and the timeless wisdom of natural ingredients.

Benefits of Mindful Moisturizing

Beyond the surface-level benefits of hydration, mindful moisturizing offers a cascade of advantages. The intentional touch and massage can improve blood circulation, promoting a healthy complexion. The act of mindful breathing during this ritual reduces stress, contributing to a calmer mind and, consequently, a relaxed visage.

Emotionally, this practice nurtures a positive relationship with your body. It becomes a self-affirming act—a moment where you acknowledge the beauty of your skin and express gratitude for the vessel that carries you through life. Mindful moisturizing becomes an anchor, grounding you in the present and fostering a deeper connection with your inner self.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Serenity in Skincare: Face Masks and Meditation

Enter the realm of serenity by intertwining skincare with meditation. Applying a face mask becomes a meditative practice, a pause button for the mind. Picture the mask as a shield, guarding not only your skin but also your peace. Drawing inspiration from ancient mask rituals, where beauty and spirituality intertwined, let this modern adaptation be a bridge to inner tranquility. This section explores the profound connection between these two practices, each enhancing the other to weave a tapestry of tranquility for your skin and soul.

The Ritual of Masking: A Gateway to Stillness

Face masks are not mere skincare products; they are gateways to stillness—a pause in the daily hustle to indulge in self-care. Choosing a face mask becomes a mindful act, an intentional selection based on your skin’s needs and your desire for serenity. For the most conscious mask choice, opt for a rinse-off or leave-on formula—avoid ever using single-use sachets or disposable non-woven cloth masks.

Customizing the Experience

Consider customizing your masking experience to align with your emotional state. Opt for a calming lavender-infused rinse-off mask for moments of stress, or choose a brightening citrus overnight leave-on mask when you seek an invigorating lift. The selection process becomes a conscious decision to address both your skin’s requirements and your emotional well-being.

Application as a Ritual

Applying a face mask becomes a ritual of self-love. As you paint the mask onto your skin, visualize it as a protective shield, guarding not just your physical complexion but also your mental and emotional well-being. Let each stroke be deliberate, a gesture of care and devotion to yourself.

Meditation in the Mask: Finding Stillness Amidst the Clay

The application of a face mask is not merely a waiting period; it’s an opportunity for meditation. Picture the mask as a cocoon, a space of transformation and rejuvenation. As the mask dries or settles into your skin, enter a state of mindfulness.

Guided Meditation

Consider incorporating guided meditation into your masking ritual. Apps or online platforms offer short meditation sessions tailored to the time it takes for your mask to work its magic. Focus on your breath, the sensation of the mask on your skin, and visualize each inhale bringing in positivity and each exhale releasing tension.

Body Scan Meditation

Engage in a body scan meditation, directing your attention to each part of your body. As you move your awareness from head to toe, imagine the mask drawing out not just impurities from your skin but also stress and fatigue from your entire being.

Ancient Mask Rituals and Modern Adaptations

The practice of using masks for beauty and well-being dates back centuries across various cultures. From the renowned clay masks of ancient Egypt to the soothing yogurt masks of Ayurveda, these rituals have stood the test of time.

Modern Adaptations with Natural Clays

Incorporate ancient inspirations into your modern routine using different types of masks. Embrace the purifying properties of Bentonite clay, revered for its detoxifying abilities in rinse-off masks. Kaolin clay, a gentle option, mirrors the softness of ancient masks used in rituals of self-purification. Rhassoul clay, inspired by traditional Moroccan practices, provides deep cleansing while preserving the skin’s natural moisture in overnight leave-on masks.

Honey Masks and Beyond

Honey masks, while not a vegan option, have been used since ancient times for their soothing, antibacterial properties.  Aloe masks offer skin-soothing hydration that helps to calm and quench dry, sensitive skin. The choice of mask becomes a bridge connecting you to the timeless wisdom of beauty rituals, where each natural ingredient carries the essence of ancient traditions.

Benefits Beyond the Surface

Beyond the visible benefits of clearer, brighter skin, the combination of face masks and meditation offers holistic advantages. The stillness cultivated during the masking process extends beyond the ritual itself, fostering a sense of calm that lingers in your daily life.

As you remove the mask, envision shedding not just impurities but also the burdens of the day. This practice becomes a reminder that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity—a moment to find serenity in the sanctuary of your skincare routine.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

Timeless Beauty Practices from Ancient Wisdom

Ancient beauty practices are the threads that weave through time, connecting us to the wisdom of civilizations long past. This section delves into the beauty rituals of ancient cultures—Ayurveda, Chinese traditions, and Egyptian regimens—and how these timeless practices continue to inspire modern skincare routines.

Ayurvedic Wisdom: Honoring the Elements

Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, views beauty as an expression of inner balance. Central to Ayurveda is the concept of doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—representing the fundamental energies of the body. Embrace Ayurvedic skincare by identifying your dosha and tailoring your routine accordingly.

Balancing Act with Oils

Ayurvedic beauty rituals often involve the use of oils, such as sesame or coconut oil, to balance the doshas. First, take a test to determine your dosha, then incorporate suggested oils that align with your dosha into your routine. The Ayurvedic practice of oil cleansing or Abhyanga—a self-massage with warm oil—is a lovely way to infuse self-care into your skin care regimen. Picture each drop of oil as a nourishing potion, bringing harmony to your skin and spirit.

Ubtan: Nature’s Beauty Elixir

Ubtan, a traditional Ayurvedic mask made from herbs, spices, and grains, is a potent elixir for radiant skin. Customize your Ubtan based on your skin’s needs, embracing the therapeutic properties of ingredients like turmeric, sandalwood, and chickpea flour.

Chinese Elegance: The Harmony of Yin and Yang

Chinese beauty traditions are rooted in achieving harmony—both within the body and with the surrounding environment. Embrace the principles of Yin and Yang to cultivate balance and radiance in your skin.

Gua Sha: Sculpting Beauty from Within

Gua Sha, a Chinese facial massage technique, promotes lymphatic drainage and stimulates blood circulation. Incorporate a Gua Sha tool, often made of jade or rose quartz, into your routine. Envision it as a sculptor’s tool, shaping your facial contours and fostering a sense of inner balance.

Green Tea Elixirs

Green tea, celebrated in Chinese culture for its antioxidant properties, can be a powerful addition to your skincare routine. Use green tea-infused products or create your own green tea mask. Let the natural elixir revive your skin, mirroring the ancient reverence for this soothing beverage.

Egyptian Royalty Rituals: Gold and Essential Oils

Egyptian beauty rituals were extravagant affairs, especially among royalty. Cleopatra, the epitome of ancient Egyptian beauty, left a legacy of indulgence and opulence.

Gold-infused Elixirs

Channel the spirit of Cleopatra by incorporating gold-infused skincare. Gold is believed to promote collagen production and impart a radiant glow. Consider gold-infused serums or masks, envisioning each application as a nod to the regal beauty rituals of ancient Egypt.

Sacred Essential Oils

Essential oils, such as frankincense and myrrh, were treasured by ancient Egyptians for their aromatic and skincare benefits. Use these oils in your routine, perhaps during a calming facial massage. Picture yourself in the luxurious chambers of an ancient Egyptian queen, indulging in the scents that once graced the royal court.

Japanese Serenity: Embracing Simplicity

Japanese beauty philosophy is grounded in simplicity and respect for nature. The pursuit of “Kanso,” simplicity, guides skincare practices to enhance the skin’s natural radiance.

Double Cleansing

Double cleansing, a Japanese skincare staple, involves using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based one. This ritual ensures thorough cleansing without stripping the skin. Picture the oils lifting away impurities, leaving your skin pristine and in harmony with nature.

Sacred Camellia Oil

Camellia oil, revered in Japan for centuries, is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Use camellia oil as a moisturizer, appreciating its lightweight yet deeply nourishing nature. Let it be a reminder of the simplicity and elegance celebrated in Japanese skincare.

How to Turn Skincare into Self-Care

In the symphony of our daily lives, our skincare routine emerges as a harmonious melody—an intricate composition of self-care, mindfulness, and ancient wisdom. Let every drop of serum, every stroke of the jade roller, be a note in this symphony. As you unveil your radiant skin, remember that it’s not just about beauty; it’s about embracing the profound connection between caring for your skin and nurturing your soul. May your skincare ritual be a sacred journey, an ode to the beauty within, and a timeless affirmation of self-love.

The Proven Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

Essential oils may smell nice, but do they really offer any health benefits? That was the crux of a recent clinical study that showed how olfactory enrichment with aromatherapy essential oils can help boost memory and neural health in older adults.

The groundbreaking study took place this year with results published in July. It was aimed at addressing cognitive decline in older adults by exploring the potential benefits of olfactory enrichment using essential oils. Conducted at the University of California, Irvine, the study examined the impact of nightly exposure to a variety of scents on cognitive abilities and neural functioning in healthy older individuals.

The Study Method: Aromatherapy for Cognitive Well-Being

The research involved 43 participants aged 60 to 85, randomly assigned to either the Olfactory Enriched group or the Control group. The Enriched group experienced exposure to seven different essential oils per week: rose, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender. Using an odorant diffuser, subjects were exposed to a single essential oil for two hours per night. The Control group underwent a similar experience with a placebo made of distilled water and a negligible amount of odorant. Neuropsychological assessments and fMRI scans were conducted at the study’s commencement and after a six-month period.

The Results: Remarkable Cognitive Improvements with Aromatherapy

The findings revealed a significant 226% improvement in the Olfactory Enriched group compared to the Control group in the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, a measure of verbal memory. Intriguingly, the study also observed enhanced functioning in the left uncinate fasciculus, a brain structure crucial for learning and memory, as indicated by mean diffusivity.

The Olfactory Connection to Cognitive Health

The study builds on previous research showcasing the positive impact of olfactory enrichment on brain and behavior in laboratory animals. It highlights the unique connection between the olfactory system and the limbic system, a key player in memory and emotion. Unlike other sensory systems, the olfactory system has direct projections to the limbic system, providing a direct neural pathway for potential cognitive benefits.

Olfactory Loss, Cognitive Deterioration, and Neurological Disorders

As people age, olfactory ability tends to decline before cognitive functions. Olfactory loss has been linked to the reduction of gray and white matter in the brain. Notably, conditions such as COVID-19, chronic sinusitis, and various neurological disorders are associated with olfactory dysfunction and subsequent cognitive decline. The study emphasizes the predictive value of olfactory loss in determining cognitive decline in conditions like dementia and neurodegenerative diseases.

Olfactory Enrichment: A Natural Intervention

The study draws attention to olfactory stimulation as a potential intervention to counteract cognitive decline. Previous research has demonstrated that olfactory enrichment not only enhances olfactory ability but also induces structural changes in the human brain. Olfactory stimulation has been shown to increase cortical thickness, gray matter volume, and even alter neural pathways associated with memory and learning.

Nightly Aromatherapy: A Simple Approach to Cognitive Health

The researchers innovatively tested the efficacy of minimal olfactory enrichment at night using an odorant diffuser. Participants exposed to various essential oils at night experienced significant improvements in both cognitive performance and neural functioning. The study proposes olfactory enrichment as a cost-effective and low-effort strategy for enhancing brain health, particularly in older adults.

Essential Oils and Cognitive Enhancement

The essential oils used in the study, including rose, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender, were carefully selected for their potential cognitive benefits. Participants not only reported on the pleasantness and intensity of each scent but also underwent nightly exposure to these oils. This nuanced approach aimed to explore the impact of specific olfactory stimulation on cognitive outcomes.

Implications and Future Research

The study’s limitations, including a small sample size and the use of a single odorant each night, are acknowledged. However, the results provide a compelling foundation for future, larger-scale clinical trials. The potential of olfactory enrichment as a public health initiative to reduce neurological risk in older adults is suggested, opening new avenues for research and intervention strategies in the field of cognitive health.

In conclusion, the study underscores the transformative power of nightly olfactory enrichment with essential oils, offering a glimmer of hope for addressing cognitive decline in our aging population. As we delve deeper into the intricate relationship between our sense of smell and cognitive well-being, olfactory enrichment emerges as a simple yet impactful tool in the quest for maintaining and enhancing brain health in later years.

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Embracing A Spirit of Thanks: Gratitude and Its Transformative Power

As the leaves fall and the air turns crisp, the anticipation of the holiday season fills the hearts of many. It’s a time when families gather, and tables are adorned with a feast that reflects abundance and generosity. Beyond the delicious aroma of culinary delights and the joy of shared meals, the end of November is time that beckons us to reflect on gratitude—a powerful force that has the potential to transform our lives.

Gratitude as a Transformative Force

Gratitude is more than a fleeting emotion or a polite expression of thanks. It is a transformative force that can profoundly impact our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. Research in positive psychology has consistently shown the numerous benefits of cultivating a grateful mindset. Here are just a few good ways that fostering appreciation helps in our daily lives.

Positive Impact on Mental Health

Expressing gratitude has been linked to improved mental health. When we focus on the positive aspects of our lives, even in the face of challenges, it can contribute to a more optimistic outlook. Gratitude acts as a natural mood enhancer, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It serves as a reminder that, amidst life’s difficulties, there are always reasons to be thankful.

Strengthening Relationships

Thanksgiving provides a unique opportunity to strengthen bonds with family and friends. Sharing expressions of gratitude fosters a sense of connection and understanding. It deepens relationships by acknowledging the value of others in our lives. Whether it’s a heartfelt conversation over dinner or a simple note of appreciation, these gestures contribute to building a supportive and nurturing social network.

Enhancing Physical Well-Being

The benefits of gratitude extend beyond mental and emotional well-being to our physical health. Studies have shown that individuals who regularly practice gratitude experience lower levels of stress and improved sleep quality. The mind-body connection is evident, highlighting the holistic impact of cultivating gratitude in our lives.

Nurturing a Grateful Mindset

While the end of November serves as a reminder to express gratitude, incorporating this mindset into our daily lives is key to unlocking its transformative power. Here are practical ways to nurture a grateful mindset year-round:

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life and jot them down in a gratitude journal. Whether it’s the warmth of the sun on your face, the support of a friend, or a small accomplishment, acknowledging these moments can shift your focus towards gratitude.

Express Gratitude Verbally

Don’t underestimate the power of spoken words. Take the time to express gratitude to those around you. It could be a sincere compliment, a thank-you note, or a simple “I appreciate you.” Verbalizing your gratitude not only uplifts others but also reinforces positive emotions within yourself.

Practice Mindfulness

Engage in mindfulness practices that encourage you to be present in the moment. Whether it’s through meditation, deep breathing, or simply paying attention to your surroundings, mindfulness can help you recognize and appreciate the beauty in everyday life.

Volunteer and Give Back

An effective way to cultivate gratitude is by giving back to the community. Volunteering not only makes a positive impact on others but also provides a perspective shift. Witnessing the challenges faced by others can deepen your appreciation for the blessings in your own life.

Traditions of Thankfulness

As we delve into ways we can offer thankfulness, it’s worth exploring the diverse traditions that families and communities have adopted to express gratitude. From the classic Thanksgiving feast to volunteering at local shelters, these traditions foster a sense of togetherness and reinforce the values of gratitude and generosity.

The Thanksgiving Feast

The centerpiece of Thanksgiving traditions is undoubtedly the grand feast. Families come together to prepare and share a meal that often includes a succulent turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and an array of side dishes and desserts. The act of gathering around the table symbolizes unity, gratitude, and the joy of shared abundance.

Gratitude Circles

Some families have embraced the tradition of forming gratitude circles, where each member takes a turn expressing what they are thankful for. This ritual not only strengthens family bonds but also encourages everyone to reflect on the positive aspects of their lives.

Acts of Kindness

In addition to expressing gratitude within the family, some individuals and communities use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to perform acts of kindness. This could involve delivering meals to those in need, participating in charitable events, or simply spreading kindness in the form of small gestures.

Beyond Thanksgiving

May this time of year remind us that giving thanks is more than a one-day celebration; it’s a reminder to cultivate a mindset of gratitude that can transform our lives. As we gather with loved ones and partake in festive traditions, let us not forget the profound impact of expressing our gratefulness. By incorporating gratitude into our daily lives, we can experience improved mental health, strengthened relationships, and a greater sense of well-being.

Our hope is that the spirit of gratitude permeates every moment, fostering a deep appreciation for the blessings that surround us. As we reflect on the positive aspects of gratefulness and the traditions that bind us, may we carry the transformative power of gratitude into every season of our lives.

The Enigma That is Halloween

Every year, on the last day of October, children and adults alike dress up in creative costumes, decorate their homes with eerie symbols, and indulge in a plethora of sweets and treats. This widely celebrated holiday is none other than Halloween, a day when the boundary between the living and the dead blurs, and an air of enchantment surrounds us. But have you ever wondered how Halloween, with its intriguing mix of spookiness and fun, came into existence? The origin of Halloween is a tapestry woven from a rich history of ancient traditions, religious influences, and cultural amalgamations. In this article, we will embark on a journey through time to uncover the enigmatic origins of Halloween.

Samhain: The Celtic Ancestor

The roots of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, pronounced ‘sow-in.’ Samhain was celebrated by the Celts in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, a time when the boundaries between the living and the dead were believed to become blurred.

The Celts, who were deeply connected to nature and the cycles of the seasons, celebrated Samhain with bonfires, feasts, and the wearing of costumes made from animal skins. These costumes were not only meant to ward off evil spirits but also to honor the deceased. During Samhain, it was believed that the veil separating the world of the living from the world of the dead was at its thinnest, allowing for spirits to return to Earth. The Celts lit bonfires to guide these spirits on their journey and to keep them away from the living.

Roman Influence: Pomona and Feralia

The Roman Empire’s expansion brought about the merging of cultures and traditions, leading to the incorporation of Roman elements into Celtic celebrations. The most notable Roman contribution to Halloween’s heritage is the influence of two Roman festivals: Pomona and Feralia.

Pomona was a Roman festival dedicated to the goddess of fruit and trees. Apples, considered sacred to Pomona, are now a staple of Halloween in the form of bobbing for apples and apple-related games.

Feralia, on the other hand, was a Roman festival that took place in late October. It was a time when Romans honored the deceased by making offerings and performing rituals to appease the spirits. This tradition seamlessly blended with the Celtic Samhain, further emphasizing the connection between the living and the dead during this time.

Christian Influence: All Saints’ Day and All Hallows’ Eve

In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day, to honor Christian saints and martyrs. This annual celebration took place on November 1st. The night before, October 31st, became known as All Hallows’ Eve, eventually shortened to “Halloween.”

All Saints’ Day was originally celebrated in May but was moved to November to coincide with the Celtic festival of Samhain. The Christian Church sought to assimilate the pagan celebrations into its own traditions, hoping to encourage conversion. This fusion of Christian and pagan traditions gave rise to the modern Halloween, with its mix of sacred and secular elements.

Medieval Times: Souling and Guising

In medieval Europe, the practice of “souling” became popular on All Souls’ Day, which followed All Saints’ Day. It involved the poor going door to door, offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food, known as “soul cakes.” This tradition was a precursor to modern-day trick-or-treating.

In addition to souling, “guising” became a common practice during Halloween in medieval Scotland and Ireland. People dressed in costumes, often made from straw, and went door to door, reciting verses or songs in exchange for food and other treats. This tradition paved the way for the contemporary custom of children dressing up and going trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods.

The American Influence of Halloween

The celebration of Halloween was brought to North America by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 19th century. In the United States, Halloween gradually evolved, influenced by various cultural elements. The introduction of pumpkins as Jack-o’-lanterns is one such innovation, inspired by the Irish tradition of carving turnips or potatoes.

Throughout the 20th century, Halloween in America evolved into a community-centered, family-friendly holiday. Trick-or-treating, costumed parties, and the commercialization of Halloween goods, such as costumes and decorations, became integral to the celebration.

Modern Halloween: A Global Phenomenon

Today, Halloween is celebrated worldwide, with each culture adding its own unique twists and traditions to the mix. In Mexico, for instance, the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a colorful and vibrant celebration to honor deceased loved ones. This tradition involves creating ofrendas (altars) and decorating sugar skulls.

In Japan, Halloween has been embraced and commercialized, with the Japanese putting their own spin on costumes and decorations. Despite cultural variations, the essence of Halloween as a day to remember the dead, don costumes, and indulge in sweet treats remains a common thread.

Create Your Own Hallowed Ritual

The onset of fall is a time to pay homage to your spiritual essence and ancestors while shedding the heavy weight of your physical past. It’s a perfect time to create a new ritual that reflects on the abundance you have harvested and to clear the way for your passage into a bright new future. Enjoy anointing your skin with the Herban Wisdom Facial Oil and cleanse your surroundings with the Sacred Smudge Kit. Chant positive affirmations of your own extraordinary soul as you inhale in and exhale out deep, healthful breaths.

Parting Thoughts of Halloween

Halloween, with its unique blend of ancient Celtic rituals, Roman influence, Christian traditions, and modern American customs, is a holiday that has truly evolved over the centuries. Its enigmatic origins remind us of the rich tapestry of human history, where cultures, beliefs, and traditions merge and transform over time. Whether you are donning a spooky costume, carving a jack-o’-lantern, or handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, you are participating in a celebration that transcends time and place, connecting us with generations past and future.

As we celebrate Halloween, let us not forget its origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Roman influences of Pomona and Feralia, the Christian traditions of All Saints’ Day and All Hallows’ Eve, and the medieval practices of souling and guising. Halloween is a holiday that bridges the gap between the living and the dead, reminding us of the enduring human fascination with the mysteries of the afterlife and the joy of creating rituals to celebrate life, death, and everything in between.

Related articles: The Rites Of Spring

Hormones And Your Skin

In the intricate tapestry of human biology, hormones play an astonishingly vital role. These chemical messengers are instrumental in regulating numerous bodily functions, from mood and metabolism to growth and reproduction. Yet, perhaps nowhere is their influence more apparent than in the health and appearance of our skin. This delicate balance between hormones and skin health is a subject that continues to fascinate scientists, dermatologists, and skincare enthusiasts alike.

The Hormonal Symphony Within

Picture this: your skin is like a canvas, a reflection of your inner health and well-being. And the brushstrokes on this canvas are intricately guided by hormones. These biochemical compounds wield considerable power over your skin’s oil production, hydration, pigmentation, and even its propensity for inflammation.

The connection between hormones and skin health is particularly noticeable during periods of hormonal fluctuations, such as adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause. Let’s take a closer look at specific hormones and their impact on the skin.

Androgen and Acne

Androgens, a group of hormones often associated with testosterone and male characteristics, wield a significant influence over the health and appearance of the skin. These powerful chemical messengers are present in both males and females, orchestrating a complex symphony of biological processes within the body.

In the context of the skin, androgens hold a pivotal role in regulating sebum production. Sebaceous glands, scattered across the skin’s surface, produce this oily substance, which is essential for maintaining skin hydration. However, an excess of sebum can lead to clogged pores and acne formation.

During puberty, androgen levels surge, triggering the sebaceous glands to kick into high gear. This surge is why acne is a common companion during adolescence. As androgen levels rise, so does sebum production, leading to a heightened likelihood of clogged pores and subsequent breakouts.

It’s not just adolescence that sees the influence of androgens on the skin. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances can result in increased androgen production, contributing to persistent acne in adults.

Estrogen and Collagen Synthesis

Estrogen, renowned for its multifaceted influence on the female body, extends its reach to the skin, where it plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis. Collagen, often dubbed the structural scaffolding of the skin, is responsible for its firmness, elasticity, and youthful appearance.

As estrogen levels ebb and flow throughout a woman’s life, their impact on collagen becomes palpable. During periods of hormonal abundance, such as adolescence and early adulthood, estrogen’s presence encourages robust collagen production. This contributes to the suppleness and radiant glow of youthful skin.

However, as the natural aging process unfolds and estrogen levels decline, a noticeable shift occurs. Reduced estrogen availability translates to decreased collagen synthesis, resulting in skin thinning, sagging, and the formation of wrinkles. Postmenopausal women, who experience a significant drop in estrogen levels, often bear witness to these changes more acutely.

Scientific studies, such as those published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, underscore the intricate dance between estrogen and collagen. These insights encourage the exploration of estrogen-based therapies in the realm of skincare, aiming to restore and maintain collagen’s resilience and vitality, effectively prolonging the skin’s youthful appearance.

Cortisol and Skin Inflammation

Cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, conducts a complex interplay between the mind and body, with profound implications for skin health. Known as the “fight or flight” hormone, cortisol’s role extends beyond stress response to impact various physiological processes, including the skin’s condition.

In the context of skin health, chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to a cascade of effects. Stress-induced cortisol spikes disrupt the skin’s delicate equilibrium, triggering inflammation, impairing its barrier function, and exacerbating conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. This inflammatory response can also accelerate skin aging, leading to the premature appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.

Scientific studies, such as those published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, highlight cortisol’s intricate connection with skin health. Stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have shown potential in mitigating the negative impact of cortisol on the skin.

Thyroid Hormones and Skin’s Barrier Function

Beyond their pivotal role in regulating metabolism, thyroid hormones, like thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), extend their reach to impact the skin’s health and appearance. In fact, the skin can show noticeable changes when thyroid function is disrupted.

Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s moisture balance and barrier function. When thyroid function is compromised, as in cases of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, these roles come into sharp focus. Hypothyroidism, characterized by low thyroid hormone levels, often results in dry, rough, and scaly skin. The impairment of the skin’s barrier function can lead to increased susceptibility to irritants and infections.

On the other hand, hyperthyroidism, marked by excessive thyroid hormone production, presents a different set of challenges. Skin may become thin and fragile, with increased susceptibility to bruising. Excessive sweating and warmth may also accompany hyperthyroidism, adding to the complexity of its impact on the skin.

Scientific investigations, as documented in the European Journal of Dermatology, emphasize the intricate connection between thyroid hormones and skin health. The skin’s responsiveness to thyroid function highlights the integral relationship between internal hormonal balance and external appearance.

Addressing Hormonal Skincare Challenges

The link between diet and hormonal balance is an intricate one, as the food we consume exerts a profound influence on the delicate balance of hormones within our bodies. Nutritional choices play a pivotal role in supporting or disrupting hormonal equilibrium.

Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids act as building blocks for hormone production and regulation. A diet rich in antioxidants, found in colorful fruits and vegetables, can combat oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting hormonal harmony. Omega-3 fatty acids, prevalent in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, contribute to balanced hormone production.

Conversely, excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed foods can lead to insulin resistance, a condition that disrupts hormone regulation and may contribute to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Furthermore, the gut, often referred to as the “second brain,” plays a crucial role in hormonal balance. A diet that supports gut health through fiber-rich foods, fermented products, and prebiotics can positively influence hormones like insulin and cortisol.

Scientific research, as highlighted in journals like the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, underscores the intricate interplay between diet and hormonal balance. By choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods and maintaining a balanced diet, we can empower our bodies to maintain optimal hormonal equilibrium and support overall well-being.

Science-Backed Supplements for Radiant Complexion

In the pursuit of vibrant skin, science sheds light on a spectrum of supplements that hold promise for enhancing skin health. These bioactive compounds, when taken wisely, can complement a wholesome diet and skincare routine.

  1. Vitamin C: Renowned for its antioxidant prowess, vitamin C is a stalwart defender against oxidative stress, promoting collagen synthesis and skin radiance. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology highlights its potential to counteract photodamage.
  2. Vitamin E: Another potent antioxidant, vitamin E, works in harmony with vitamin C to shield the skin from free radicals. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests its efficacy in minimizing the detrimental effects of UV exposure.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Derived from sources like fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin and enhance its barrier function. Research in the Journal of Lipid Research demonstrates their potential in mitigating inflammatory skin conditions.
  4. Zinc: This essential mineral plays a vital role in skin health, supporting wound healing and regulating oil production. A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology explores zinc’s efficacy in treating acne, underscoring its potential as a skin-enhancing supplement.
  5. Collagen Peptides: As a building block of skin structure, collagen peptides have garnered attention for their potential in promoting skin elasticity and hydration. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology outlines their positive impact on skin aging.
  6. Probiotics: Gut health and skin health share an intricate connection. Probiotic supplements, as detailed in the Journal of Dermatological Science, hold promise in managing skin conditions through their potential to modulate gut flora and inflammation.

These science-backed supplements, when integrated thoughtfully into a holistic approach, have the potential to elevate skin health. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before introducing supplements into your regimen to ensure personalized suitability and dosing.

Herbal Remedies for Hormonal Skin Issues

While the domain of hormonal skin health often leads us toward pharmacological interventions, the realm of herbal remedies offers a natural approach. These remedies, grounded in centuries-old wisdom, have gained renewed attention for their potential to complement modern skincare practices.

  1. Tea Tree Oil: With its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil has emerged as a promising agent in acne management. A study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology highlights its efficacy in reducing acne lesions.
  2. Saw Palmetto: Derived from the berries of the saw palmetto plant, this herbal remedy has demonstrated anti-androgenic effects. A randomized trial published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery suggests its potential in addressing androgen-related skin issues.
  3. Licorice Root: Renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root extract has shown promise in reducing skin redness and inflammation. Research in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology explores its potential in treating various skin conditions.

Lifestyle Approaches for Addressing Hormonal Skin

Adopting a holistic approach of recognizing that your skin’s condition often reflects the underlying imbalances within underscores the importance of addressing overall well-being. Each individual’s hormonal profile is unique, necessitating a personalized approach to skincare. A personalized skincare routine can do wonders in maintaining skin health. Products containing salicylic acid can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. For mature skin, products containing retinoids have been extensively studied for their collagen-boosting effects. Chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, which may manifest on the skin. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can indirectly promote skin health. Hormonal changes influence skin over time and addressing skin concerns requires consistent efforts and patience. A consistent skincare routine coupled with lifestyle adjustments can yield gradual but lasting improvements.

Final Thoughts

The intricate interplay between hormones and skin health is a reminder of our body’s remarkable complexity. As we journey through life, our skin reflects the stories written by our hormones. By nurturing our skin with a balanced diet, supplements, and a mindful skincare regimen, we can empower ourselves to navigate the twists and turns of hormonal changes while maintaining a radiant complexion. While scientific research sheds light on the hormonal impact on skin, each individual’s experience is unique. Listening to your body and seeking professional guidance when needed will undoubtedly pave the way for healthier, happier skin—imbued with the wisdom of hormones and the care it deserves.

What Is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is a unique and fascinating phenomenon in which the dreamer becomes consciously aware that they are dreaming while still immersed in the dream world. In a lucid dream, the dreamer is not merely a passive observer but an active participant who can exercise varying degrees of control over the dream’s narrative, setting, and actions. This state of heightened self-awareness within the dream offers a profound and empowering experience for those who can achieve it.

Lucid Dream Characteristics

Lucid dreams are different from traditional dreams in their vividness and perceived realness. Characteristics of lucid dreaming include:

  • Awareness — Lucid dreamers possess self-awareness during the dream, understanding that they are in a dream state rather than experiencing reality.
  • Control — Lucid dreamers may have varying degrees of control over the dream environment and their actions within it. They can influence the dream’s storyline, manipulate objects, and even change the dream scenery at will.
  • Senses — Lucid dreams can feel vivid and immersive, engaging multiple senses similar to waking experiences. Vision, touch, sound, taste, and smell may be as clear and intense as in waking life.
  • Emotional Intensity — Emotions experienced in lucid dreams can be just as intense as real-life emotions. Lucid dreamers can feel joy, fear, excitement, and love with a similar level of depth.

The Physiology of a Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming is associated with specific brain activity patterns that distinguish it from non-lucid dreaming and other sleep stages. Lucid dreams typically occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is a stage of sleep characterized by vivid dreaming and rapid eye movements. During REM sleep, the brain exhibits distinct patterns of neural activity that contribute to the unique experience of lucid dreaming. Here are some of the key physiological aspects of lucid dreaming:

  • Increased Brain Activity — During a lucid dream, the brain’s activity is comparable to that of waking consciousness. Neuroimaging studies have shown increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with higher-level cognitive functions such as self-awareness, decision-making, and planning.
  • Prefrontal Cortex Activation — The prefrontal cortex is involved in self-monitoring and introspection. In lucid dreaming, this region becomes more active, allowing the dreamer to become aware of their dreaming state and recognize that they are within a dream.
  • Enhanced Working Memory — Working memory, responsible for temporarily holding and manipulating information, is heightened during lucid dreaming. This allows lucid dreamers to maintain their lucidity and cognitive abilities within the dream.
  • Decreased Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Activity — The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, involved in critical thinking and logical reasoning, exhibits decreased activity during lucid dreaming. This decline in rational thinking can contribute to the surreal and imaginative experiences within the dream.
  • Activated Visual Cortex — The visual cortex is highly active during REM sleep, giving rise to the vivid and immersive visual experiences of both regular and lucid dreams.
  • Suppressed Skeletal Muscles — Like in non-lucid REM sleep, the body experiences muscle atonia or temporary paralysis during lucid dreaming, preventing physical movements to protect the dreamer from acting out their dreams.
  • Variable Heart Rate and Breathing — Physiological measures like heart rate and breathing tend to fluctuate during REM sleep and lucid dreaming. These variations can be influenced by the dream content, emotions, and the dreamer’s level of awareness.

Techniques for Lucid Dreaming

Various techniques have been developed to help individuals increase their likelihood of experiencing lucid dreams. While not everyone may achieve lucid dreaming through these methods, consistent practice can enhance the chances of success:

  • Reality Checks — During waking hours, individuals perform periodic reality checks to determine whether they are awake or dreaming. Common reality checks involve looking at clocks or texts and then looking away and back to check if the text has changed, or trying to push a finger through the opposite palm. In a dream, these checks often yield unusual or impossible results, signaling that the person is dreaming.
  • Dream Journaling — Keeping a dream journal involves recording dream experiences immediately upon waking. This practice improves dream recall and may help individuals recognize patterns or dream signs that indicate they are dreaming.
  • Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) — Before sleep, individuals visualize themselves becoming lucid in a dream. They repeat affirmations like “I will realize I am dreaming” to set the intention of becoming lucid during the dream. Try meditating while gazing into the Humanist Beauty Self-Reflecting Mirror, breathing in the aroma of Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom Facial Oil, or rolling a Humanist Beauty Mini Crystal Mushroom between your fingers.
  • Wake-Back-To-Bed (WBTB) — This technique involves waking up after several hours of sleep, staying awake for a short period, and then returning to sleep. This method takes advantage of the increased likelihood of experiencing REM sleep during the second half of the night, enhancing the chances of having a lucid dream.

Common Lucid Dream Themes

Experiences from our past and desires for our future help shape the narrative of lucid dreams. Common lucid dream themes and scenarios include:

  • Flying Dreams — One of the most popular lucid dream experiences involves flying. Lucid dreamers often revel in the freedom of flight, soaring through the skies, and exploring the dream environment from a bird’s-eye perspective.
  • Exploring Unfamiliar Places — Lucid dreamers frequently find themselves in new or exotic locations. They may explore fantastical landscapes, ancient cities, or even fictional realms, enjoying the adventure and novelty of these dreamscapes.
  • Meeting Deceased Loved Ones — Some lucid dreamers use the opportunity to interact with deceased loved ones, seeking comfort or closure through dream encounters with people who have passed away.
  • Superpowers and Abilities — In lucid dreams, individuals often discover that they possess superhuman abilities like telekinesis, time manipulation, or mind reading, allowing them to bend the laws of physics and reality.
  • Interacting with Dream Characters — In lucid dreams, dream characters can become more vivid and interactive. Lucid dreamers may engage in conversations with dream characters, seeking insight or enjoying the dream’s social aspects.
  • Reliving Past Memories — Some lucid dreamers intentionally revisit past memories or important events from their lives, allowing them to relive moments from a different perspective or process unresolved emotions.
  • Meeting Famous Figures — Lucid dreamers may choose to meet historical figures, celebrities, or fictional characters, enjoying unique encounters with personalities they admire or find interesting.
  • Time Travel — Lucid dreaming can create a sense of timelessness and enable dreamers to explore different historical periods or future scenarios, blurring the boundaries of time in the dream world.

Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Beyond the novelty of conscious control within dreams, lucid dreaming offers several potential benefits and applications, including self-awareness, creativity, improved mental health, and skill enhancement:

  • Personal Growth and Self-Discovery — Lucid dreams provide a safe and controlled environment for exploring fears, personal limitations, and unresolved issues, enabling personal growth and emotional healing.
  • Creative Inspiration— Artists, writers, and innovators can use lucid dreaming to tap into their subconscious minds, accessing new ideas and creative insights.
  • Overcoming Nightmares — Lucid dreaming techniques can be employed to confront and transform recurring nightmares, promoting better sleep and mental well-being.
  • Skill Improvement — Some studies suggest that practicing physical skills in lucid dreams can lead to modest improvements in real-life performance. By rehearsing challenging situations, practicing sports or musical instruments, and focusing on abilities in the dream environment, one can potentially benefit waking life skills.
  • Spiritual and Transcendent Experiences — Lucid dreams can offer a sense of connection to something greater than oneself, exploring profound questions about the nature of reality and consciousness.

Lucid Dream Research

Studies have indicated that a significant percentage of the general population experiences lucid dreaming at least occasionally, while a smaller percentage may experience it more frequently. One of the landmark studies on lucid dreaming prevalence was conducted by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, a pioneering researcher in the field of lucid dreaming. In his research, he found that about 55% of people report having experienced at least one lucid dream in their lifetime. However, the frequency of lucid dreaming varied among individuals, with some experiencing lucid dreams more frequently than others.

Other studies have reported similar findings. A 2016 study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition found that approximately 23% of the respondents reported having lucid dreams at least once a month. Another study from 2017, published in the journal Dreaming, reported that 82% of the participants reported having experienced lucid dreaming at some point in their lives.

Although lucid dreaming can be a profoundly positive experience for many, it is not without its downsides. Intense lucid dream experiences can sometimes lead to confusion between dreaming and waking life, causing disorientation or dissociation. Focusing too much on lucid dreaming or attempting techniques too frequently may disrupt regular sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation and potential negative effects on health. And prolonged indulgence in lucid dreaming can lead to escapism and avoidance of real-life responsibilities and challenges.

Lucid dreaming offers a unique and valuable exploration of the subconscious mind, creativity, and personal growth. While achieving lucid dreams may require practice and dedication, the potential benefits and insights it provides make it a compelling area of study and personal exploration.

Unlocking the Extraordinary Benefits of CBD

CBD Empowers Holistic Wellbeing

In recent times, a remarkable gift from nature has captivated the world with its potential to elevate our health and overall well-being. This precious gem is none other than cannabidiol (CBD). Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD has gained immense popularity as a natural remedy, devoid of the intoxicating effects typically associated with THC. Today, I invite you on a journey to explore the extraordinary benefits of CBD and its potential to empower us physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Alleviating Pain and Reducing Inflammation

Imagine a world where suffering from chronic pain and inflammation becomes a distant memory. CBD has the power to turn that dream into a reality. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD showcases its ability to alleviate pain caused by conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia. Furthermore, CBD’s incredible anti-inflammatory properties offer hope to those affected by acne and inflammatory bowel disease, providing a natural and effective solution.

Embracing Peace and Conquering Anxiety

In our fast-paced lives, anxiety and stress can leave us feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. CBD can offer soothing solace to weary souls. By engaging with serotonin receptors in our brain, CBD gently guides us towards a serene state of mind. Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), find their match in CBD’s calming embrace. Embracing CBD allows us to manage daily stressors with grace and resilience.

Embracing the Restful Sleep We Deserve

Ah, the sweet embrace of sleep! Yet, many find themselves tossing and turning in a restless night’s pursuit. Fear not, for CBD offers a tranquil path to deep slumber. By addressing the root causes of sleep disturbances, CBD harmonizes our sleep patterns, diminishes anxiety, and alleviates pain. Whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, CBD holds the key to a natural and restorative sleep, allowing us to wake up refreshed and ready to seize the day.

Nurturing the Gift of Neuroprotection

Our magnificent brains deserve nurturing and safeguarding. Enter CBD, a protector of neurological health. Researchers unveil its potential to shield us against conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Through its anti-inflammatory properties and the promotion of new brain cell growth, CBD stands tall as a guardian of our cognitive function and overall brain vitality.

Illuminating the Path to Overcoming Depression

In the depths of despair, a flicker of hope can change everything. CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors ignites that very flame. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and happiness levels, finds an ally in CBD. Though it does not replace professional therapy or medication, CBD’s antidepressant properties offer a glimmer of hope to those battling depression, providing a gentle nudge towards the light of well-being.

Nurturing the Journey of Cancer Warriors

While CBD is not a miraculous cure for cancer, it does hold the power to support those on their heroic battle against this formidable adversary. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties ease the burden of symptoms such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite experienced by cancer patients. Moreover, preliminary research suggests that CBD may impede the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis in certain cases. While further exploration is required, CBD stands as a complementary ally in the arduous journey of cancer treatment.

Rejuvenating Skin Health with CBD

Our skin, the glorious canvas that envelops us, deserves tender care and nourishment. CBD, with its remarkable properties, extends its benefits to the realm of skincare, offering a natural solution for rejuvenating skin health. Let us explore the wonders CBD holds for our skin.

Acne Treatment and Prevention

Acne, a common skin condition affecting individuals of all ages, can be a source of distress. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to regulate sebum production make it a promising option for acne treatment. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD inhibited oil production and exerted anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes, suggesting its potential as an effective therapeutic agent for acne management (Oláh et al., 2014).

Eczema and Psoriasis Relief

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties have demonstrated potential in alleviating symptoms associated with eczema and psoriasis. Research published in the Journal of Dermatological Science showed that CBD reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines and exerted anti-itch effects in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis, indicating its therapeutic potential for eczema (Kozela et al., 2019). Another study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment reported that CBD-enriched ointment significantly improved skin symptoms and quality of life in patients with psoriasis (Palmieri et al., 2019).

Collagen Loss and Wrinkle Reduction

As we age, the signs of time leave their mark on our skin. CBD’s antioxidant properties and its ability to counteract oxidative stress make it an intriguing ingredient for skincare. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation revealed that CBD may help prevent collagen breakdown and protect against environmental damage, thus potentially reducing the appearance of wrinkles (Zhen et al., 2019). Additionally, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may help soothe skin and diminish redness and puffiness.

Soothing and Calming Sensitivity

Sensitive skin requires gentle care and ingredients that provide soothing relief. CBD’s calming properties make it suitable for sensitive skin prone to irritation and redness. Its interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin may help regulate skin sensitivity and promote a balanced and harmonious complexion.

Humanist Beauty Products with CBD

Woman Holding Herban Wisdom Eye Cream and Facial Oil

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom Facial Oil and Herban Wisdom Eye Cream are formulated with the highest quality CBD derived from non-psychoactive full-spectrum whole hemp. Each 1 fl oz bottle of Herban Wisdom Facial Oil contains 500mg CBD, and each jar of Herban Wisdom Eye Cream contains 125 mg CBD. The levels of potency are designed to offer benefits to the skin that are truly holistic — both visible and sensorial — to support optimal skin health.

Conclusion

The benefits of CBD are truly awe-inspiring, continuously unfolding through dedicated research and exploration. From alleviating pain and reducing inflammation to embracing tranquility, nurturing restful sleep, protecting our precious brains, overcoming depression, and supporting those on the path of cancer treatment, CBD gifts us a natural and versatile solution for holistic well-being. In the realm of skincare, CBD showcases its prowess as a natural remedy, offering numerous benefits for rejuvenating skin health. From acne treatment and prevention to eczema and psoriasis relief, anti-aging and wrinkle reduction, and soothing sensitivity, CBD holds tremendous potential. As we continue to explore the scientific evidence supporting CBD’s influence on skin, incorporating CBD into our skincare routines may open the doors to radiant and revitalized skin.

Remember, as with any supplement or treatment, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential before incorporating CBD into your journey. May CBD’s extraordinary therapeutic potential pave the way for a world brimming with health, happiness, and unity.

References:

– Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., … & Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(9), 3713-3724.

– Kozela, E., Lev, N., Kaushansky, N., Eilam, R., Rimmerman, N., Levy, R., … & Juknat, A. (2019). Cannabidiol inhibits pathogenic T cells, decreases spinal microglial activation and ameliorates multiple sclerosis-like disease in C57BL/6 mice. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 13(4), 631-645.

– Palmieri, B., Laurino, C., & Vadalà, M. (2019). A therapeutic effect of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. La Clinica Terapeutica, 170(2), e93-e99.

– Zhen, Y., Yi, Y., Zhang, Z., Zhao, Y., Xie, X., & Li, X. (2019). Cannabinoid receptor type 1 mediates 9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced autophagy against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury. Cell Death & Disease, 10(9), 1-13.

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20 Affirmations to Become Superhuman

The thing about affirmations is you have to believe them…

They won’t help, and may even backfire, if you don’t truly believe the words you are saying to be absolutely true. Why is that?

Because the Law of Attraction doesn’t respond to your words.

It responds to your vibration. If you speak words while vibrating in fear, or doubt, or hopelessness, chances are you will attract unwanted manifestations without realizing it. On the other hand, if you know with the very fabric of your soul that your affirmations are the truth of the Universe, then you will call them towards you with inevitability.

Many humans pray, meditate, or dream from their hopes, wishes and fantasies rather than their beliefs. For example, they may say to themselves, “I hope I find someone to make me happy,” while they doubt their own ability to ever be happy. That vibration of skepticism serves to work against the very happiness being hoped for. Instead, by starting from a place of knowing and building upon it with steadfast affirmations, the practice of self-confidence and positive reinforcement will serve to activate a higher vibration, calling a matching vibration towards it.

So, if you want to become Superhuman, step into the practice of knowing that you already are Superhuman. It’s only a matter of time when the manifestations of your Superhumanity will unfold before you.

Namaste.

20 Affirmations for Superhumans

  1. I have everything I need, and I attract everything I need.
  2. The Universe is on my side.
  3. My body is an amazing healer.
  4. I accept myself exactly as I am, and I keep getting better.
  5. I love how I am becoming more fully me.
  6. I love how I get to create my life.
  7. I’m grateful for all the good in my world.
  8. I am worthy of everything I want in life.
  9. People like being around me.
  10. I’m the kind of person who is a great friend to others.
  11. I always speak up for myself and others.
  12. I am resilient in the face of challenges.
  13. I overcome my fears and love trying new things.
  14. I always prioritize my well-being.
  15. I take care of myself, mind, body, and spirit.
  16. I know I’ll always make the right decisions.
  17. I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
  18. My ideas are worth billions.
  19. Things just keep getting better and better.
  20. Everything always works out for me, everything goes my way.

Makeup As Self-Expression

I recently came across a paper[1] by researchers Rosanna K. Smith, Michelle R. Vandellen, and Lan Anh N. Ton about a study they conducted to explore how makeup affects other people’s perceptions. I’m a big advocate of radical self-expression, and I love exploring all the different ways people express themselves whether through art, fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics, music, or language, to name a few. Makeup has long been used as a way for people to express themselves and enhance their appearance, and my decades in the traditional beauty industry got me curious about the study’s results.

To my surprise, the researchers found that when people wear makeup, they are often seen as more authentic by others — that makeup can actually enhance the way others perceive a person’s genuineness. This runs counter to the notion that people who wear makeup are ‘hiding who they really are’ or are ‘trying to be someone they’re not.’ It seems that the majority of people think that makeup helps bring out ‘the real person’, allowing individuals to highlight their best features. Certainly, as a person who has worn plenty of makeup in my day, I do feel the sense of confidence and self-assuredness that a well-made-up face can afford.

The study also revealed that wearing makeup can affect how people perceive others’ self-promotion abilities such as through social media or in public settings. When people wear makeup, they are perceived as more socially skilled and competent. This may be because makeup can boost an individual’s confidence, which in turn can help them present themselves more effectively to others. It may also be because makeup is a reflection of personal style and self-care.

The effects of makeup on perceived authenticity and self-promotion were more pronounced for women than for men, likely due to current societal norms, as women are still more often expected to wear makeup than men.

Because I’m a bit of a philosophical nerd, I started to think about the idea of makeup and authentic self-expression from the viewpoint of existentialism and essentialism.

In case you’re not familiar, existentialism is a concept that focuses on the idea that individuals have the freedom to create their own meaning and purpose in life. It emphasizes the idea that humans have the autonomy to shape their own existence and that life has no inherent or predetermined meaning. According to existentialism, individuals are responsible for creating their own values, beliefs, and purpose, rather than relying on external factors or societal norms to define their identity.

On the other hand, essentialism suggests that things or individuals have inherent, fixed, and unchanging characteristics that define their nature or essence. It emphasizes the idea that there are underlying and unchangeable qualities or attributes that make something that it is. Essentialism tends to view things or individuals as having intrinsic traits that determine their identity, rather than being shaped by external influences.

Existentialism emphasizes personal freedom and individual responsibility in creating meaning and purpose in life, while essentialism focuses on the idea of inherent and unchanging characteristics that define something or someone. Existentialism emphasizes the role of personal agency and choice, while essentialism emphasizes the idea of fixed and inherent qualities or attributes.

From an existentialist’s point of view, individuals have the freedom to create their own meaning and purpose in life. So when it comes to makeup, this means that individuals have the autonomy to wear cosmetics as an art form, to create a new identity, and to shape their appearance according to their personal preferences and values. Makeup can be seen as a transformative tool that allows individuals to express their unique transformation of self and create their own meaning in how they present themselves to the world. There are aspects of fantasy, exploration, and creative freedom in existential makeup use.

By contrast, from an essentialist’s point of view, there are inherent and unchanging characteristics of a person. As such, makeup is used to emphasize and clarify existing qualities so that ‘the real person shines through’. Cosmetics use is less about drama and distortion and more about nuance and natural enhancement. Makeup use represents a truthful projection of identity.

Which is right? Which is wrong? Which is correct? Which is conflicted? My opinion is…there’s no such thing. Makeup use is subjective, and only the individual wearer will truly know the underlying reason for wearing makeup on any occasion. Furthermore, I believe makeup colors, textures, types, and finishes don’t necessarily fall into the camp of existentialist or essentialist. Of course, it could be argued that long false eyelashes, bold colors, and glitter a la drag could be considered existentialist, but not necessarily. To any individual, drag could be essentialist, an expression of the realness that is hidden within.

Additionally, a person may wear natural makeup as a practice of conformity to more conservative social standards which may not necessarily be essentialist.

I’m curious about your thoughts. What’s your opinion on wearing makeup and authenticity? Do you wear it to transform, to enhance, to hide, to reveal, or all of the above? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

[1] Makeup Who You Are: Self-Expression Enhances the Perceived Authenticity and Public Promotion of Beauty Work, Rosanna K. Smith, Michelle R. Vandellen, lan Anh N. Ton, Advance Access Publication, January 26, 2021