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The Throat Chakra for Beginners

Throat Chakra Affirmation
Throat Chakra Affirmation
Throat Chakra for Beginners
Throat Chakra Affirmation

A little while ago, I did an introduction to the 7 chakra system. We saw that having its roots in Sanskrit, an ancient language in Hinduism, Chakras are centers of energy that we find throughout our bodies. Translated, the word Chakra literally means «wheel» because it acts as a vortex, a disk of spinning energy where matter and consciousness meet. At the core of each of us, spin 7 main chakras aligned along the spine starting from the base up to the crown of the head. The Chakras are important for anybody on the Spirit driven path and so we will go deeper into our understanding of each one of these ever-spinning wheels of life energy. Our journey through the 7 chakras continues as we arrive to our chakra #5 : the throat chakra.

Throat Chakra Beginners The Path Provides

meditation yoga chakra spirituality Visuddha, the fifth Chakra

The Sanskrit name for the fifth chakra is Visuddha, which means ‘purification’ or ‘pure’. This energy center is all about self-expression, vibration, creativity and communication. As we enter the throat chakra, we find the energy center that controls, creates, transmits and receives communication, both within ourselves as well as between other beings. This can take many forms such as speaking, writing, chanting, telepathy and pretty much any other activity that is related to sound and language. Communication is when we transmit or receive information through symbols. These symbols can be written words, musical notes or even electrical impulses to the brain. Either way, Visuddha is the center that takes these symbols and translates them into information.

 

meditation yoga chakra spiritualityThe Throat Chakra : Location in the body

The throat chakra is located right over your left knee. Ha ! No, just kidding, it’s in the throat. What can I say, sometimes life is full of surprises and sometimes, well… not that much. All joking aside, the fifth chakra is located in the region of the throat, neck and shoulder and is related to the thyroid gland which regulates body temperature and metabolism.

 

Chakras Stones Jewlery

 

meditation yoga chakra spiritualityThe Throat Chakra Element : Ether

In nature, we can find five primary and subtle energetic elements. Earth, water, fire, air and Ether. The lower chakras each have their own element Root chakra : Earth Element, Sacral chakra : Water Element, Solar Plexus Chakra : Fire Element, Heart Chakra : Air Element

But the three upper chakras, all share different aspects of the same element. Indeed, as we reach the throat chakra, we approach the last element associated with chakras : Ether (note that you can find books where they will call it Akasha or even Spirit but it all pretty much comes down to the same thing).

Ether can be seen as space and represents both the space within as without. It is the carrier of sound and so the throat chakra acts like a container which holds the space for all the other elements to express themselves. That is why emotions and stresses get stuck there. Ever had a lump in the throat ? Well, now you know that it’s no coincidence. Stuck emotions and stresses need to be expressed and freed to create the space needed for energies to flow again.

Throat Chakra Affirmation

meditation yoga chakra spirituality The Throat Chakra Colour : Blue

Visuddha is represented by a beautiful light blue, almost like the colour of the sky on a bright sunny day. It is important to not confuse it with the indigo blue associated with the sixth chakra which we will see later on. Placed between the head and the heart, the fifth chakra links thoughts with feelings. In Buddhist philosophy, this shade of blue represents the colour of the mind, a mind that is still and pure such as the bright blue sky free of clouds. Uncluttered by thoughts. Hence, this radiant shade of blue connects you with the divine and helps you listen and express your own voice.

 

Our journey through the Chakras continues !

Our journey through our chakra system started at the base of the spine, home of the root chakra and brought us stability, focus and form where we experienced unity. We then moved up to the sacral chakra where we gained an experience of movement, emotion, desire and polarity. As we continued, we expanded beyond survival instincts and desire for pleasure and merging with another.  We then reached the solar plexus chakra, we grown in strength and found our power rising. Home to the element of fire, this chakra ignites the light of consciousness and pushes us away from inertia. Now, we leave the lower chakras as we arrive to the fifth chakra. In this energy center located in the throat area, we learn to voice our thoughts and communicate. We learn to express ourselves, connect with others but also to expand our awareness allowing at the same time our world to become larger.

 

Discover the 7 main Chakras

Root Chakra

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides

Solar Plexus ChakraHeart Chakrameditation yoga chakra spirituality

meditation yoga chakra spirituality

meditation yoga chakra spirituality

 

 

Love and Light

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What is Vipassana ? The 10-day silent meditation retreat everybody is talking about

Vipassana 10 day Meditation Retreat Goenka

I went to Vipassana in a moment of quiet desperation

I decided to attend a Vipassana 10-day silent meditation retreat in a moment of quiet desperation. I was 26 and was preparing for the Bar Exam. During that time, I was studying law somewhere around 10 to 14 hours daily although I knew deep inside that I really didn’t want to become a lawyer *let’s not talk about my decision-making process, shall we?*.

As a result, panic attacks slowly started creeping up on me, without anybody noticing. I didn’t see myself practicing Law, yet had accumulated such an amount of debt that changing my field of study at this point seemed financially impossible. I felt stuck. I was under incredible levels of stress and as if it wasn’t enough, I had just discovered that my partner of 2 years was cheating on me while he was in Geneva, interning at the UN (eyes rolling).

I was in a bad place, was having silent anxiety attacks, had a broken heart, was left with a big apartment to pay for all by myself and somehow still had to hold everything together and continue to study all day, every day. Not my best year.

The second I heard about Vipassana, I just felt it’s calling.

Then one day I heard about this silent meditation retreat that lasted 10 days, where man and woman were separated, food was excellent and … was free. Vipassana had entered my awareness. I knew that it was exactly what I needed. ‘‘This would solve so much of my problems’’ I thought. And so, without giving it much more thought, I decided to skip classes for 2 weeks, reassured my mom who thought I was about to join a cult and packed my bags. Vipassana was calling and I had to go.

So, what is Vipassana ?

SN Goenka Vipassana Meditation Retreat
Mr. S. N. Goenka

Vipassana is a word in Pali, an ancient language of India, that means to see things as they really are. Long lost to humanity, this very ancient meditation technique was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha 2 500 years ago and has been passed on from teacher to teacher ever since. The current Vipassana teacher, S.N. Goenka, was born and raised in Burma and who, after studying Vipassana for 14 years went on and taught tens of thousands of people across the world with no regards to religion, culture, age, gender. Although Goenka passed away in 2013, the Vipassana teachings continue. Indeed, today, Vipassana courses, are held at 310 locations in more than 90 countries.

Is Vipassana a cult ?

Rest assured tribe, contrary to what my mom and friends thought when I first told them I was going to spend 10 days meditating in total silence from dusk till dawn without any distraction nor contact with the exterior world, Vipassana is absolutely not a cult. It’s non-sectarian as Goenka explained that, “The Buddha never taught a sectarian religion; he taught Dhamma – the way to liberation — which is universal”. It’s not an intellectual nor is it a philosophical entertainment. It’s not a rest cure, a holiday, or an opportunity for socializing. And it’s certainly not an escape from the ups and downs of everyday life (as I initially thought, oups !).

Vipassana is just a meditation technique that requires dedication and hard work. You will learn to observe the sensations of your body in the present moment in order to learn how to let go of cravings and aversions to ultimately reach happiness and full liberation. By learning and applying this method, you will learn to purify your mind from old patterns which in return will allow you to face life with a calm and balanced state of mind. Simply put, Vipassana teaches you to be happy. Pretty sweet hu ?

How do you subscribe ?

Typically, Vipassana centers are far enough from big cities to not be in a very noisy environment, yet close enough to be accessible. On the website of the Vipassana center of your choice you will have to subscribe and I recommend checking the website frequently as the courses get full really really quickly ! If you are a beginner at Vipassana, meaning it is your first time, you will have no other choice than to attend the 10-day retreat. Only old student can choose to attend shorter classes because they already learned the technique.

What are the 5 precepts ?

During the whole Vipassana 10-days retreat, beginners will have to observe a Code of moral conduct comprised of 5 precepts which are :

  • to abstain from killing any being ;
  • to abstain from stealing ;
  • to abstain from telling lies ;
  • to abstain from all sexual misconduct ;
  • to abstain from all intoxicants.

What is the ‘Noble Silence’ ?

All Vipassana students will have to follow the rule of ‘Noble Silence’ for the first 9 days of the retreat. The Noble Silence implies the silence of body, speech and mind. That’s right, no talking for 9 days ! You’ll see, it’s like a facelift for your throat. But just know that if you have any questions, preoccupations about technical or material stuff you can always talk to the person in charge of the center. Same goes for any question you might have about your meditation practice, in which case you can schedule a moment to talk with the teacher. On the 10th day, you will be allowed to talk again as a way of re-establishing the normal pattern of daily life.

Vipassana SN Goenka Quote Art of Living

The crazy schedule

Each Vipassana center is said to have its own schedule of courses. But in my experience, (I attended Vipassana in Canada, Switzerland and Peru) the schedule is pretty much always the same. The day begins at the sound of a gong at 4:00 am (I know, I know. It sounds horrible, but trust me, it’s not that bad) and ends at the sound of a gong at 9:00 pm. During the day, you meditate somewhere around 11 hours, with regular breaks, lunch (the food is so delicious I still dream about it) rest periods and even time to walk outside. Also, every day, around 7:00 pm you assist to a videotaped lecture by the Teacher S.N. Goenka. During that teaching you will get information to understand better your meditation practice. You will also laugh as Goenka is the most adorable men ever. And after a long day of meditation, his smile will do you lots of good.

When I first read about the Vipassana schedule, I was like No way I’m doing that, it’s crazy ! But in reality, I was surprised to see that it was actually easier to wake up at 4 am than my usual waking hour. Plus, this schedule has proved workable and beneficial for hundreds of thousands of students for decades. So, I guess it must be doing something right.

How much does it cost ?

Vipassana is free. Yes, free. There are no fees for the course, not even for the food (which is vegetarian and soo delicious), accommodation nor teachings. The whole experience is based on donations from old students who believe that Vipassana has brought something valuable in their lives and who now want to help somebody else to experience it. Whenever I attend a Vipassana retreat, I always take a little time to thank the students that have come before me for allowing me to receive this beautiful experience. Without them, there would be no Vipassana.

Should you attend a Vipassana 10-day meditation retreat ?

Attending a 10-day silent meditation retreat is something I wish everybody would do. I feel like the world would be such a better place if we all knew about this technique.

For me, Vipassana turned out to be something very different from what I initially thought it would be. During my first retreat, my mind brought me to a very very dark place. And I mean very dark. And while it was a hard moment at the time, I now know that is what I needed to come to the understanding that I am not my mind. I am not my body either. I am so much more. All these tools that I have gained from this experience have helped me to go through life with more equanimity. As a result, this equanimity helped me cope with not passing the bar exam a year later, it helped me with my relationships to others and to myself, it helped me with my anxiety which doesn’t have so much power over me now, it helped me with finding my Self and my purpose. And most of all, it helped me to be happy. And for all of that and so much more, I am forever grateful. So, beautiful tribe, know this, although everybody has a different experience, Vipassana remains hard for all. But it is well worth it and I deeply wish you get to learn this beautiful technique and practice it daily.

So, will you give Vipassana a try ? Let me know in the comment section below !

Want to start meditating but confused about how to do it ? Read here about my 5 easy steps to mindfulness

 

May you all be happy

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The Heart Chakra for Beginners

The Heart Chakra The Path Provides

The Heart Chakra for beginners

A little while ago, I did an introduction to the 7 chakra system. We saw that having its roots in Sanskrit, an ancient language in Hinduism, Chakras are centers of energy that we find throughout our bodies.

Translated, the word Chakra literally means «wheel» because it acts as a vortex, a disk of spinning energy where matter and consciousness meet. At the core of each of us, spin 7 main chakras aligned along the spine starting from the base up to the crown of the head. The Chakras are important for any spiritual explorer and so we will go deeper into our understanding of each one of these ever-spinning wheels of life energy.

So far, our journey through the 7 chakras has brought us through the Root Chakra, followed by the Sacral Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra and now we enter the Heart Chakra, center of our chakra system.

Heart ChakraAnahata, the fourth Chakra

The Sanskrit name for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which translates into ‘sound that is made without any two things striking’ and can also be interpreted as ‘unstruck’, ‘unhurt’, ‘unbeaten’, ‘fresh’ and ‘clean’. The fourth chakra, central point of our chakra system, is our heart chakra. Here, we entered our spiritual center, our core where forces from above and below, within and without unite. This is our love center which, when free from old hurts, is opened, innocent and brings a radiant sense of wholeness that can be felt in the whole organism. It is within this sense of wholeness that lie the seeds of our inner peace.

As we will see, the love experienced at this level is very different from the more sexual and passionate love found at the sacral chakra level. At the heart chakra, love comes from within and is experienced as a state of being rather than being passionate and oriented towards a particular person or object.

Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra : Location in the body

The fourth chakra is located in the cardiac plexus, ruling over the lungs and heart. It is associated with the thymus gland.

Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra : Air Element

The element associated with the heart chakra is air. Air represents freedom, openness, freshness, lightness, simplicity and overall all things that are expansive and spirited. This chakra is our lest dense physical element so far.  While earth (Root chakra) is solid and rigid, water (Sacral chakra) sits still and fire (Solar plexus chakra) moves upwards but never leaves its fuel, air disperses.

Being a gaseous state of matter, air has the ability to disperse itself evenly through the space that it occupies. The same way that air fills the space it occupies evenly and with a sense of equilibrium, evenness and calm, the heart chakra mirrors a sense of loving equanimity.

Also, the air element represents our breath. Breath which the Hindus call prana is considered as a vital energy, a basic unity from which all life is made. Prana is viewed as being the vital link between the physical and mental world, the same way the heart chakra is the link between the lower and upper chakras.

Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra : Colour Green

The Anahata is represented by the color green. Equally composed of yellow and blue, green represents the energy of love and transformation. It is the colour of balance, tranquility and calm. Being the colour we mostly find in nature, green has a soothing power over us, the same way the grass under our feet can make us feel balanced and whole.

 Heart Chakra for Beginners Heart Chakra affirmation

Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra Consciousness : Love, relationship and unity

The heart chakra’s consciousness is without a doubt love, but it is important to understand that this kind of love is experienced as a state of wholeness and unity. At this level, love is not dependent on outside events but rather comes from within and radiates outwards. Therefore, it is very different from the passionate type of love we feel at the sacral chakra level, which is more of an extension of our desires. And so, unlike the sacral chakra’s passionate and ever-changing kind of love, the heart chakra has rather an enduring, eternal and pure type of love.

This pure love acts as a binding force and is the essence of equanimity. Through this chakra, we break the illusion of separation and learn to see the world through unity. With its gentle and pure loving energy, the heart chakra makes us understand that we are all one, that we are all made of the same essence, and that there is a beautiful force binding, uniting and holding everything in relationship. That force, you might have guessed, is love.

The heart chakra is at the center of our chakra system and at the same time, at the center of our bodies. This being said, you can easily imagine that when imbalanced, the heart chakra can throw off our entire chakra system as well as our bodies. That is why attaining and maintaining balance in our lives and in our hearts is so important. A life in balance will bring maintain us in a state of grace, equanimity and gentleness. Love is that what lasts, and likewise, all that is made with love will last. That which is out of balance will not endure. It is only by being balanced within ourselves and within our heart chakra that we can hope to balance the world.

Heart Chakra

Our journey up the spine through the Chakras continues !

Our journey through our whole chakra started at the base of the spine, home of the root chakra and brought us stability, focus and form as we experienced unity. We then moved up to the sacral chakra where we gained an experience of movement, emotion, desire and polarity. As we continued, we expanded beyond survival instincts and desire for pleasure and merging with another. We reached the solar plexus chakra, where we grow in strength and find our power rising. Home to the element of fire, this chakra ignites the light of consciousness and pushes us away from inertia. As we activate our power, we direct our activities toward a higher purpose.

We have now reached the heart chakra, ruled by the air element, center of our chakra system and body. Within this center, we gain an understanding of love as a balanced, gentle and unifying force between mind and body, inner and outer realms, self and other, giving and receiving.  We learn that love is not something that is attached to an object. Love is a state of being in harmony with oneself and others.

 

Discover the 7 main chakras

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* Link to source

 

Lots and Lots of Love

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5 amazing and free yoga resources for the travelling yogi

Over the last 3 years I have travelled to many places and have lived in 3 different countries. I am not a digital nomad (yet !) but my job in human rights brings me to travel a lot. And although I am blessed to be able to discover the world in this way, I must say that it affects my yoga practice. Constantly moving around like this makes it hard to attend regular yoga classes or even be part of a yoga studio. This is why, over time I have found these wonderful and free online yoga classes that I can enjoy from home, wherever home is !

If you too are a travelling yogi or perhaps a yogini-from-home, then you must check out these 5 amazing and free yoga resources for the travelling yogi!

Oh, and by the way, check out these incredible yoga mats made for travelling yogis ! They are my absolute favorite ! They have the best grip I have ever laid my sweaty hands on, do not contain any PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber and are environmentally friendly. And for every mat bought, a tree is planted ! I mean seriously, does it even get better than this ?

5 amazing and free yoga resources for the travelling yogi

Check out these 5 amazing and free yoga resources for the travelling yogi !

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#1 Boho Beautiful

This is by far my favorite yoga, pilates and overall lifestyle channel. Juliana and Mark are an amazing, kind and inspirational couple from Canada who one day took an incredible risk : They sold all of their belongings (except for their adorable dog, Prince) and have since been travelling around the world, shooting creative and class-based content. They also have a website that you can find here.

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#2 Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene welcomes all levels, all bodies, all genders, all souls! Find a practice that suits your mood or start a journey toward healing. Work up a sweat, or calm and relieve a tired mind and body. Create space. Tone and trim. Cultivate self love. Make time for you. Go deeper, have fun. I promise you will love this one.

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#3 FightMaster Yoga

Fightmaster Yoga has a mission to make yoga available to as many people as possible. They release free and amazing yoga classes every Monday.

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#4 Do Yoga With Me

This is the official channel of DoYogaWithMe.com, the web’s leading provider of 100% free, high-definition, streaming yoga videos. What I really love about this platform is that they have an incredible library of yoga videos through which you can browse to find exactly the practice that suits you the best.

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#5 Bad Yogi

Bad Yogi is not your traditional yogi. These guys are redefining the image of yoga culture and their mission is to remove the snobbery, pretence, and endless “prerequisites” to fit into this community.

 

Do you know which yoga style is best for you ? check out this article and this one to find the style that is right for you.

 

Lots of Love and Happy Travels

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Meditation for beginners : 5 easy steps to mindfulness

Meditation came into my life during a particularly difficult time

I was 26, and was preparing for the Bar Exam. If you guys have ever been through this or know someone who did, I am sure you will agree that it is a crazy stressful and insanely exhausting moment in one’s life. During that year, I was studying somewhere around 10 to 14 hours every day. I was under incredible levels of stress and as if it wasn’t enough, I had just discovered that my partner of 2 years was cheating on me while he was in Geneva, interning at the UN. I was a total mess, had a broken heart, was left with a big apartment to pay for all by myself and somehow still had to hold everything together and continue to study all day, every day.

It’s around that time that I started to hear about meditation. The more I heard about meditation the stronger I felt called to it. The call got so strong, like I felt it in my bones, that I decided to skip classes for 1 and a half week and attended a Vipassana 10-day silent meditation retreat. This looked like a very crazy idea at the time, my parents thought I had completely lost it and was joining a cult (which obviously I wasn’t). It was a crazy spontaneous decision, but I am so grateful that I did it. This retreat taught me so much on myself and also gave me a seriously solid foundation on which I continue to build my meditation practice.

Here are my 5 easy steps to mindfulness for meditation beginners

Today, few years and a couple of hundred hours of meditation later, I decided to share with you guys my best tips on how to start meditating, because I know that it can be confusing and hard to grasp at the beginning. But trust me on this one, it is so rewarding if practiced on a regular basis. If you are in this situation, where you feel called towards meditation but don’t really know where to start or what to do, then these 5 easy steps to mindfulness are for you. They will get you meditating, in no time !

Meditation for Beginners 5 easy steps to mindfulness

Step #1 to mindfulness : Create a sacred space

My first step to begin meditating is to create a sacred space for your practice. Start by finding a physical place where you will meditate. If you can dedicate an entire room to your meditation practice then that’s amazing. If not, use a corner of your room, in the salon or even in the garden. Really, any place where you can sit comfortably every day, not be disturbed and most importantly feel good, will do just fine. Then go on and personalize that space if you feel like it. For example, create an altar, put candles, crystals, pillows, really anything that will make that place your sacred meditation space. The reason you should create this space is that it is highly recommended to always meditate at the same place as it will fill that space with lots of energy that will help you in your meditation practice. So, first step to mindfulness for meditation beginners is to create a sacred space where you will build your meditation practice.

Step #2 to mindfulness : Find a comfortable position

My second step to begin a meditation practice is to find a comfortable seated position. It is true that posture matters, but in the beginning, let’s just not make such a big deal out of it. All will come in time. So for now, just find whatever is more pleasant for you. Sit down and be comfortable. Be it on a yoga mat (I highly recommend these #1 yoga mats), in the lotus position, using a meditation pillow or bench, or even on a chair. Sit with your back against the wall if you need support, extend your legs in front of you if having them crossed is uncomfortable. Really make the posture yours. Experiment with various postures and decide which one suits you best. Also try to wear clothes that allow you to stay in a seated position comfortably for several minutes at a time. The lotus position in skinny jeans might not be the most enjoyable thing. Trust me. The second step to mindfulness for meditation beginners is to find comfortable clothes and position in which you can sit for longer periods of time.

Step #3 to mindfulness : Observe the breath

Alright now that we have created a sacred place for our meditation practice and that we have found a position and clothes in which we can comfortably sit for longer periods, it is time to go within. So gently close your eyes, let them rest and bring your attention to the breath by simply observing it. Do not try to control your breath, simply observe it as it comes and as it goes. Observe without any expectation, any judgment. If your breath is shallow then it is shallow. If it is deep then it is deep. If it comes from the left nostril, then it comes from the left nostril. Simply be aware of your breath and observe it. No judgement. No expectation. Pretty simple, right ? But wait till you try it because you will see that although it is pretty simple, it is not that easy. At the beginning, try setting a timer for somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes. And then, as you get more accustomed to your practice, you can increase the time. The third step to mindfulness for meditation beginners is to start observing the breath as it is rather than how we would like it to be. Simply observe.

Step #4 to mindfulness : The wandering mind

Now that we have been observing the breath for a while, you will find that your mind will start to wander. One moment you will be observing your breath and the next you will be thinking about that one super embarrassing thing you said last week at work. As you will soon discover, that happens a lot especially in the beginning. Whenever it does happen, simply observe that your mind has wandered and bring it back to the breath. What I mean by ‘simply observe’ is that whenever you realize that you mind has run away from your breath, do not get angry, or disappointed or impatient or anything at all. Without any judgment, any expectation, simply acknowledge that the mind has wandered away and gently bring your attention back to the breath. At first you will find your mind wandering at every chance it has and that is normal because the mind does not want to work. But with love and patience you will find yourself able to bring your awareness to the breath more and more easily. Just keep going. The fourth step to mindfulness for meditation beginners is whenever your realize that the mind has wandered away, gently bring it back to the breath, without judgment. 

Step #5 to mindfulness : Sending love and light

When you finish your practice take a moment to thank yourself for taking this time to meditate. Thank yourself for creating time and space for you to practice mindfulness and grow spiritually. The fifth step to mindfulness for meditation beginners is to end your practice by sending love and light to yourself and to whomever you wish. Personally, I always finish my practice by filling my heart with love and light and saying the following :

May I be happy, May I be well, May I be free from suffering.
May all beings be happy, May all beings be well, May all beings be free from suffering.
Namaste

Let’s start meditating !

That’s it ! If you followed these 5 simple steps, then congratulation, you have started your meditation practice. I know that at first it won’t be as easy as it seems. Your body and mind who have been used to a certain pattern all your life will not give in easily. It is normal that at first you feel uncomfortable, want to move your legs or scratch that crazy itch. It is also normal that your mind will wander anywhere in the past or in the future refusing to be in the present moment. But if you give it some time, love and patience, you will see these initial obstacles slowly melt away as you become better at bringing your awareness to the breath.

Of course, there are a million other ways of practicing meditation and by all means, please try those that you feel called to. But I wanted to share these 5 simple steps for meditation for beginners because I truly believe that they will gently introduce you to meditation.

I hope that this has been helpful, please leave me a comment down below to let me know how your meditation practice is going or ask any question that you may have.

Sending lots of love
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The Solar Plexus Chakra for Beginners

Solar Plexus Chakra | The path provides

A little while ago, I did an introduction to the 7 chakra system. We saw that having its roots in Sanskrit, an ancient language in Hinduism, Chakras are centers of energy that we find throughout our bodies. Translated, the word Chakra literally means «wheel» because it acts as a vortex, a disk of spinning energy where matter and consciousness meet. At the core of each of us, spin 7 main chakras aligned along the spine starting from the base up to the crown of the head. The Chakras are important for anybody on the Spirit driven path and so we will go deeper into our understanding of each one of these ever-spinning wheels of life energy.

Our journey through the 7 chakras started with the Root Chakra, then the Sacral Chakra and now we arrived to the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Solar Plexus ChakraManipura, the third Chakra

The third chakra’s Sanskrit name is Manipura which can be translated into ‘lustrous gem’ because of how it shines bright like the sun. The third chakra is clearly the most radiant and glowing center of our chakra system. As its name implies, it is a fiery, sun-like chakra bringing us warmth, power, energy and light. It is home to our feeling of power, self-esteem, vitality and our will for transformation.

Solar Plexus ChakraSolar Plexus Chakra : Location in the body

The third chakra is located in the solar plexus, hence its name. It is over the adrenal glands, spreading out from just underneath the sternum down to the navel. In other words, it’s that place where we get those crazy butterfly feelings when there’s a threat to our survival or when we get nervous. This happens when our Manipura isn’t feeling that comfortable, confident or powerful.

Solar Plexus ChakraSolar Plexus Chakra : Fire Element

The element associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra is fire. By combining the solid matter from the root chakra with movement from the sacral chakra, we find ourselves with a third state: energy, home to our third chakra. Think about it, if you take two sticks (matter) and rub them together (movement) eventually with some love and patience you will get a spark that can ignite a fire. If we look at the physical world, this process is called combustion. But if we look within our body, then it is called metabolism. The Manipura rules over our metabolism, and so it is responsible for regulating and distributing metabolic energy throughout our bodies. This is obtained by taking food (matter) and putting it through our digestive system (movement) where it is transformed into energy (heat). You can now see that the digestive system is an important part of this whole process, acting as a solid indicator for the state of the third chakra. Health problems such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, stomach ulcers and even food intolerances are all directly related to the solar plexus chakra.

Solar Plexus ChakraSolar Plexus Chakra : Colour Yellow

The solar plexus chakra is associated with the colour yellow. Yellow is a primary colour composed of a single ray of light. It is the colour of the sun’s rays and is the core colour of our beings. Indeed, the solar plexus chakra is the center from where our ‘I’ radiates, it is the center of our power, strength and energy. As the petals of the solar plexus chakras unfold, we discover a fire that burns within each one of us. This fire gives us power, self-confidence, inner worth and the energy to assert yourself. This is the healing brilliance of the colour yellow.

Solar Plexus Chakra Affirmation | The Path Provides

Solar Plexus ChakraSolar Plexus chakra consciousness: Transformation

The elements from the first two chakras, earth and water, are very passive. They are subject to gravity, as they flow downwards and follow the path of least resistance. Fire on the other side moves upwards, changing whatever it touches, transforming matter to a new dimension – energy, heat and light. Fire being the element associated with our third chakra, this chakra’s consciousness is all about power and transformation. Power is dependent on energy, just as survival is dependent on matter, and sexuality on movement.  The same way that fire transforms matter into light and heat, the solar plexus chakra transforms the more passive element of earth from the root chakra and movement from the sacral chakra into energy and power.

This being, the solar plexus chakra’s main job is to overcome inertia. And of course, the hardest thing is to get started. But like when we were rubbing two sticks together with love and patience to create a spark, once you get the fire burning, its way easier to maintain it. You just need to continue feeding it little by little. Same goes for the Manipura. Once we manage to overcome inertia, and get to the point where energy is produced without too much effort, the third chakra kicks in and does what it does best, produces energy – with less effort that is. Isn’t doing something with ease and grace the true mark of power ?

If we want to successfully pass through this chakra and into the heart, we need to make sure that our concept of power is one that enhances, empowers, and strengthens rather than one that looks to dominate and diminish.

Our journey up the spine through the Chakras continues

What a journey this has been so far, passing through Earth, to water to Fire, from matter, to movement to energy.

Our journey through our whole chakra started at the base of the spine, home of the root chakra and brought us stability, focus and form where we experienced unity. We then moved up to the sacral chakra where we gained an experience of movement, emotion, desire and polarity. As we continued, we expanded beyond survival instincts and desire for pleasure and merging with another.  As we reached the solar plexus chakra, we grow in strength and find our power rising. Home to the element of fire, this chakra ignites the light of consciousness and pushes us away from inertia. As we activate our power, we direct our activities toward a higher purpose.

Love & Light

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Discover the 7 main chakras
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Why do I keep waking up at 3 am ?

For the past three weeks or so I have been having these strange experiences at night and can’t wrap my brain around why it’s been happening. And so I thought that I would turn to you, dear tribe…

 

3 am awakening

Maybe your guys know what’s going on.

See, ll my life I have had this particular relationship with my dreams and from that I learned to keep a regular sleep schedule, at least as much as possible. This enables me to avoid nightmares and helps me receive better guidance through my dreams. So typically, I go to sleep around 11 o’clock after doing yoga or meditation. Normally, I sleep pretty well all night and wake up to the sound of my alarm around 7:00 am.

Lately my night routine has been very different.

I have found myself to wake up once.. every night. Yes. Every night.  At first I didn’t really give it too much thought. Some nights I would wake up, quickly run to the bathroom and then jump right back to bed and fall asleep after a while of tossing and turning. But then it started to happen e.v.e.r.y night. After a week of this middle-of-the-night-awakening, I started to observe the experience more carefully and realized that several elements repeated themselves night after night.

Here’s what I’ve observed

First, I noticed that it always happens around the same time. I always wake up somewhere around 3 am. And it’s not your normal wake up where you gently drift out of your dreams and open your eyes slowly. No. It’s more like one second I’m deep asleep and the next my eyes are wide open and I feel this energy in my body which keeps me from going back to sleep. It’s as if my body is on a caffeine buzz … at 3 am. Not that cool.

Second, my electronic devices act strangely. This doesn’t happen every night but when it does it kind of freaks me out. For example, this morning, my phone just started to make all these notification sounds although my phone is always always always on silent. And guess what time it was when I finally managed to grab it and make it stop ? Sure, it was 3:14 am. Last Tuesday, when I woke up around 3:30, I found my computer on my desk across the room starting up… by itself. I had just opened my eyes when I heard the ‘Ahhhh’ my Mac does when it starts.. I just sat there in my bed staring at it, puzzled.

Third, these strange smells linger around. This element is new, I only experienced it a few times in the last days. When I wake up, I have this crazy energy in my body and simply can’t go back to sleep so, I usually go to the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. Lately, when I come back to my room I catch these smells that seem to linger in one place and that are completely unknown to me. Last night close to my bedroom’s door was this lemon smell mixed with something like tobacco which is so strange since none of my roommates nor I do smoke. Where was that coming from?

Am I going crazy ? Help !

Needless to say, that I’m a little puzzled by all of this. I have tried expressing gratitude for this experience which made me see more sunrises than I ever have in my entire life (hey, just being positive here). I have tried to meditate, do yoga and connect with Self in order to get some guidance about this situation, but nothing seems to help. I have seen my doctor about this issue and several tests later, I now know that nothing is wrong with my health.

I am turning to you guys

This is why I decided to share this with you guys hoping that some of you might have a better understanding of all of this. Perhaps you have experienced this before or someone you know has? or maybe you’ve heard or read about it or simply have a hypothesis as to why this has been happening to me. I would love to hear from you beautiful souls. I humbly reach out to you for help, any advice would be more than welcome.

 

Lots of love

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The Sacral Chakra for beginners

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides

A little while ago, I did an introduction to the 7 chakra system. We saw that having its roots in Sanskrit, an ancient language in Hinduism, Chakras are centers of energy that we find throughout our bodies. Translated, the word Chakra literally means «wheel» because it acts as a vortex, a disk of spinning energy where matter and consciousness meet. At the core of each of us, spin 7 main chakras aligned along the spine starting from the base up to the crown of the head.

The Chakras are important for anybody on the Spirit driven path and so we will go deeper into our understanding of each one of these ever-spinning wheels of life energy.

So let’s get into it ! Our journey up the spine continues as we arrive to the Sacral Chakra.

 

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides Svadhisthana, the Second Chakra

The second Chakra’s Sanskrit name is Svadhisthana which comes from the root sva and translates into ‘one’s own abode’. And if we look at the root svad, it translates into ‘to taste sweet’ or better yet ‘to taste with pleasure’. The second chakra is our center of pleasure, emotions, sexuality, sensations and movement. It is associated with the moon which pulls and pushes the oceans in a dualistic motion. The first chakra was all about our survival instinct, and if we watered well those roots, then the fruits will be sweet. That’s when the second chakra comes into play, as to open the second chakra is to drink in the sweet waters of pleasure.

 

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides

Sacral Chakra : Location in the body

The second chakra is located in our lower abdomen between the navel and the genitals. It corresponds to the nerve ganglion called the sacral plexus, hence its name, the Sacral Chakra.

 

Sacral Chakra | The Path ProvidesSacral chakra : Water Element

The element associated with the Sacral Chakra is water. This chakra represents the more liquid parts of our bodies such as blood circulation, urinary elimination, sexuality and reproduction. It also speaks to our water-like qualities such as flow, fluidity, change and surrender. Same as water, the second Chakra is dominated by movement which is its overall purpose in the chakra system. While the root chakra was all about getting grounded and become still, the second chakra’s purpose is more of letting go and creating space for flow.

 

Sacral Chakra | The Path ProvidesSacral Chakra : Colour Orange

The Svadhisthana corresponds to the colour orange which is composed of equal parts of red and yellow. This sun-kissed colour represents vitality, strength and duality as well as a more gentle, nurturing and positive side of ourselves. Orange is at the lower end of the visible light spectrum and is a very powerful physical and spiritual energy.

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides

Sacral Chakra | The Path ProvidesSacral chakra consciousness : Pleasure, sensation and emotion

The Sacral Chakra’s consciousness is oriented towards pleasure, sensation and emotion and is stimulated by the dance of polarities. Our bodies have this natural inclination to go towards pleasure and avoid pain. This reaction is an intimate biological pattern that is very closely related to the survival instinct we saw in the root chakra. While pleasurable things show us that the situation is safe, pain is more of an  indicator that something is a threat to our survival instinct. But, pleasure, as the seat of the second chakra, is a double-edged sword. You’ve guess it, it is an easy chakra to get trapped in. One can get trapped into too much pleasure or on the contrary avoid pleasure and not allow it into one’s life.

To balance the Sacral Chakra, we must learn to open ourselves to pleasure without becoming excessively attached to it. Although most of us are taught to repress our need for pleasure, we must learn to move away from this preconceived idea and dive more deeply into the temple that is our body and through our sense build a foundation for power, love and creativity. Those are all aspects represented by the Svadhisthana.  Pleasure and emotions are the root of desire. Through desire we create movement. Through movement we create change. And Consciousness thrives on change. This is the essence and function of the Sacral Chakra.

Our journey up the spine through the Chakras continues

When we began our journey through the chakra system, we started by the Root Chakra, going down to the beginning of the spine and also into earth, stillness and solidity. We saw that we needed to grow our roots in order to build a foundation of safety, health and warmth. By continuing our journey up the spine, we have now reached the Sacral Chakra and a new dimension. We have moved from the earth element to that of water, from solidity to liquid, from stillness to movement. We gained a degree of freedom but also of complexity. We have found the Sacral Chakra, center of our passion and pleasure, located in the pelvic area which teaches us to experience our lives through sensations, pleasure, and emotions.

 

Discover the 7 main Chakras

Root Chakra

Sacral Chakra | The Path Provides

Solar Chakra

Heart Chakra

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Love and Light

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Which Yoga style is best for you ? Part 2

Yoga Style | Bikram yoga Yin Yoga Iyengar Yoga

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There are so many yoga styles out there right ? Just last week one of my friends was sending me a link to a video about this new crazy hype called Goat Yoga. Literally, Yoga in a goat enclosure. Yes, with goats. I mean they’re cute and all but what about puppies ? I would definitely be a huge fan of puppy yoga ! Although, there wouldn’t be much of yoga going on and lots of puppy petting !

In the first part of my Which yoga style is best for you ? we saw 3 types of yoga : Ashtanga, Hatha and Kundalini.

We will continue today, with 3 new yoga styles that are Bikram yoga, Yin yoga and Iyengar yoga. May it shed some light on your search for the perfect yoga practice.

 

Bikram Yoga | The Path ProvidesBikram Yoga

What is Bikram yoga : Ever thought : ‘Hey, how about we do some yoga in a sauna ?’ No ? Well, Bikram Choudhury did. Bikram was born in India in 1944 and was introduced to Hatha yoga as a kid. At the age of 20, he had a serious weightlifting accident that left him injured in such a way that doctors told him he would never walk again. But, not about to give up, Bikram used his extensive knowledge of Yoga to create himself a sequence of 26 asanas combined with two breathing exercises and of course India’s stifling heat and ended up healing himself completely. Confident in the healing power of his yoga system, Bikram was ready to spread the good word to the world … and hopefully, make a lot of money in the process. In the 1970s, he immigrated to the United States where he opened various studios in California and Hawaii and introduced the Western world to his yoga style. To this day, Bikram yoga consists of a series of 26 poses derived from classical Hatha yoga that are performed in a cycle over an hour and a half in a hot and humid room.

Unfortunately, the eccentric, charismatic and narcissistic yoga guru Bikram has been faced with a number of lawsuits with accusations ranging from sexual violence, false imprisonment, sexual battery, fraud, sexual harassment, assault, racism, homophobia to fraud.  Today, at the ripe age of  70 the fallen yoga guru has allegedly fled the United States after a judge in California issued a warrant for his arrest, with bail set at $8 million.

*Eyes rolling*

What to expect : Bikram yoga is all about performing a series of the same 26 selected asanas derived from classical Hatha yoga that were handpicked and designed by Bikram Choudhury to move fresh and oxygenated blood throughout every inch of your body. The classes take place in special rooms heated up to 41 degrees Celsius (105 F for my American friends) with humidity somewhere around 40% and last anywhere around one hour and a half. Why the heat you ask ? The heat and humidity were added to the practice to kind of mimic the climate of Bikram’s native India. To the asanas are added special breathing techniques that frankly are difficult for most beginners. But don’t despair, everything comes with time. All official Bikram classes are taught by Bikram-Certified teachers who have completed a nine week long teacher training endorsed by Choudhury himself.

Bikram yoga is for you if : Bikram Choudhury may be a highly controversial guru but his yoga style remains very popular and full of benefits. This type of yoga might be just right for you if you are looking for a good sweat that will flush toxins, help with weight loss, improve blood flow in the body and help oxygen to reach muscle tissue making you more flexible.  If ever you decide to give Bikram yoga a try, please remember to drink plenty of water !

 

Yin Yoga | The Path ProvidesYin Yoga

What is Yin yoga : Oh how I wish I had discovered Yin yoga sooner. It’s such a perfect addition to my practice. This type of yoga is slow paced and has a meditative approach based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang opposite and complementary principles in nature. (You know, the symbol everybody was getting tattooed in the 90s.) in which Yin represents the more stable, solid, passive, unmoving, introspective side of things while yang is all about the ever changing, moving, revealing side of life. This duality aspect is reflected in all things our bodies included. Our muscles and blood represent the yang while the more stiff aspects of our body like tendons, ligaments and connective tissues are more of the yin aspect. And so, a Yin yoga practice is going to be focused on these solid connective tissues which respond better to a slow and steady load. This style was created by martial arts expert and taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink and introduced to the Western world in the 1970s.

What to expect : A Yin yoga practice is going to be very different from what you are already used to. Instead of a flow of asanas you will be introduced to a much more slow-paced style of yoga where each position is being held for longer periods of time ranging anywhere between 1 to 5+ minutes. While gently applying a moderate stress to the connective tissues by holding a pose for longer periods of time, you will increase circulation in the joints, improve flexibility all while the body reacts by making them a little longer and stronger.

Yin Yoga is for you if : In my opinion, everybody should add some sweet yin love into their regular yoga practice to balance the yin and yang aspect of our bodies and lives.  But more precisely, if you are looking for a more meditative approach to yoga that aims at cultivating your awareness and inner silence, all while getting deep into your connective tissues, improving flexibility, stress and anxiety reduction and greater joint mobility, then yin yoga is a must for you. Just remember that Yin yoga is not a practice of itself, rather a complement to a more yang practice. It all comes down to balance.

 

Iyengar Yoga | The Path ProvidesIyengar Yoga

What is Iyengar yogaIyengar Yoga is definitely for everyone. Nobody is too old, too stiff, too fat, too thin or too tired for this type of yoga that is based on the teachings of the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. Born in Karnataka, India, Iyengar, started teaching yoga at the young age of 18 until his death at age 95. He is the man responsible of yoga’s popularity in the Western world, and is universally acknowledged as the world’s greatest yoga teacher. Iyengar Yoga, remains till this day one of the world’s most popular forms of yoga. Iyengar yoga puts a lot of emphasis on alignment which brings students to develop precision while building strength, stamina, balance, flexibility and eventually –  a new sense of well being.

What to expect : Iyengar Yoga is taught by super qualified and rigorously trained instructors that will take you step by step through a safe and systematic progression of yoga postures. Beginners will typically start with standing yoga poses and as their practice progresses they will learn more postures such as forward extensions, twists, inversions, backbends and arm balance. What is really characteristic about Iyengar yoga is that it focuses a lot on body awareness and postural alignment in the execution of the asanas. Also, the students use many props to get the maximum benefits from each posture. This approach to yoga makes it easy for pretty much anybody independently of their age, levels of health and fitness to practice Iyengar yoga and enjoy the benefits a regular practice can bring.

Iyengar yoga is for you if : Iyengar Yoga is really for anybody no matter what gender, age, body type, health, religion and circumstances in life. One thing that distinguished Iyengar yoga from other branches is the use of props. Props have been introduced to yoga by Iyengar and although people may have mocked him for it initially, they have helped students of all ages and health condition to get into the pose and develop strength, flexibility and control. And so, if you are looking for a yoga practice that is accessible to anyone, emphasizes on precision and alignment, uses props and is taught by qualified teachers, then Iyengar yoga might be just what you had been looking for !

 

Alright tribe, this is all for this time. Now you have a better understanding of Bikram yoga, Yin yoga and Iyengar yoga. Stay tuned, in the next few days we will go through other types of  yoga. There is much more to learn !

Tell me about your favorite yoga style in the comment section below !

Lots of Love

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I gave Reiki to a Moth

Yesterday morning, I woke up as any other day, did my morning Ashtanga Yoga practice and went to my balcony to grab my towel (because of the humidity, nothing ever dries here in Lima so we leave everything outside or it gets moldy in the blink of an eye) before heading to the shower.

But when I set foot outside, I froze. There on my balcony ramp was this gigantic white insect, just chilling inches from my towel. Urghhh ! Guys the thing was huge ! I got shivers up and down my spine and slowly took my towel hoping the thing wouldn’t do anything crazy like jump on me or ya know throw flames or something. Mind you, I’ve been living in Peru long enough to know that they have all sorts of crazy bugs here. Anyway, I slowly took my towel, slammed the door and shook off this gross feeling I had and went on with my day. Hopefully that thing would be gone once I return from work.. Worst case scenario, I would never use my balcony ever again.

Reiki The Path Provides

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But of course when I came back home from work that night, the white monster was still there. It hadn’t even moved a bit. Urgh ! I told my roommate about it, he just rolled his eyes and went straight for the Raid. I followed him to my balcony and just as he was about to shoot some powerful insect repellent on the poor thing, I closed my eyes. That’s when I felt this overwhelming feeling of sadness. It was so such a strange feeling. It wasn’t mine for sure, maybe I had picked up on somebody’s vibration ? Or something’s ? STOOOP ! I yelled at my roomie as he was about to Raid the poor thing. I got closer and took a good look at the beast for the first time. As I was watching it, I realized it was a white moth. It actually looked beautiful and to be honest, it wasn’t scary at all. On the contrary I found it rather beautiful, impressive and even majestic. I know we’re talking about a flying no-no here but really, it was pretty.

And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t a monster that I was looking at, it wasn’t even a bug, it was nothing like that.. What I was looking at was nothing more than a soul like you and me except that this little fella had decided to come here on earth in the form on this beautiful white moth. And as I was observing it, I realized that one of its wings looked as if it was injured.

And that’s the moment that I knew exactly what I had to do. I took the Raid from my roommate’s hands and thanked him, today was not going to be the day we’d kill this creature. He looked at me strangely, probably rolled his eyes mentally and left my room. As soon as he did, I grabbed my candles, a few crystals and got ready for a reiki session. I went outside to my balcony and placed a big rose quartz as close as possible to the moth. You see, rose quartz is a stone that speaks to the heart, a stone of unconditional love. It has a vibration of tenderness, healing and comfort and is known for dissolving emotional wounds while filling the aura with divine loving energy. Because I had felt this heaviness of the heart moments ago coming from the moth, I instinctively knew that the soft and loving energy from this crystal would be perfect.

I placed my hands a few inches over the moth and started giving it Reiki.

As soon as I started, I felt yet again this sadness. It was so heavy and dense it almost brought tears to my eyes. A few moments into the session, this mantra popped into my mind «You are beautiful, you are loved, you are beautiful, you are loved… » I didn’t quite know where that came from, but thought it was beautiful and decided to  go on and use it. And so, I kept repeating it on and on in my mind while continuing the Reiki session. Time passed slowly, and after a while I noticed that the heaviness and sadness were gone from my awareness and I felt my hands becoming cold. The Reiki session had come to an end.

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When I did my Reiki training I would never have thought that I would one day be giving Reiki to a moth but here I was, sharing this beautiful moment with this little soul.  Hey, life is full of surprises isn’t it ?

At the end of the session, I decided to go get my camera to capture this really special moment. When I came back, the moth had moved from where it had been for the last day and was now on top of my rose quartz. It just stood there for a little while and then flew away.

Guys, I wish you could feel just how much of an amazing and deep moment that was. And although I didn’t get to take a picture of this white moth, I will nevertheless remember the lesson this encounter taught me. We are all one. We are all equal. Whether we are humans, animals, insects or trees. We’re just specks of consciousness experiencing this crazy place called earth and looking to be loved.

So next time you get shivers and run for the Raid, I hope you will stop a second and think about this, maybe even send the bug some loving. Because, that’s all we really need.

 

All my love to you guys,

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