Lifestyle, Health & Wellness

5 things NOT to do in the morning

You’ve seen them all: “10 habits for a successful morning” “My [perfect] morning routine” “Productive morning routine” “Morning routine hacks” 
 just to name a few. And yes, these are all great.

But when do you see people discussing things you shouldn’t do in the morning? Uh, never (in my case anyway)! So today, I present to you a comprehensive list of five things you not to do in the morning – either don’t do them at all, or schedule them in for later in the day.


Hit snooze

If you rely on an alarm in the morning, the worst thing you can do is hit snooze. By waking up (to snooze the alarm) your body thinks it’s time to get up, but you’re then confusing it when you go back to sleep. This results in grogginess and drowsiness for the next thirty minutes – which is why you find it even harder to wake up after hitting snooze on the first alarm.

So I challenge you: for the next seven days, don’t hit snooze.

And Samantha, come at me if this doesn’t improve your mornings. Come at me.

Check your phone

Checking your phone right when you wake/get up in the morning is THE worst thing you can possibly do to impede a productive and happy morning. Scrolling through boring emails, horrifying news articles and picture-perfect Instagram accounts can have an extremely negative impact on how you start your day.

Instead, opt for the rule of checking your phone at least one hour after waking up. If you need the alarm, fair enough (but try to get a proper alarm clock instead); or if you’re working out with a YouTube video, go ahead, but resist the urge to check your notifications and emails.

A good tip for this is just to not to have notifications
 at all. Have them in the app/site itself, but don’t have those device notifications that you can see just whenever you turn on your phone. After all, if a random person in China has liked your photo of a sunset, it’s not going to change your life.

Plus, with no notification, you won’t really have an incentive to open up anything. Stay focused – turn on your phone if you must, but otherwise shut it down the nigh before and keep it in a drawer in another room.

Drink coffee

While you may think that your morning caffeine kick is the only thing that will wake you up, believe me, it’s ruining your life without you even knowing it. If you’re the type of person who lives in coffee, chances are you’re becoming addicted – it’s not good for you.

A coffee every second day is fine, but the rate that I see some people drinking coffee is just unhealthy. You shouldn’t be relying on a caffeinated drink to make you alert; this trains your body into thinking that you “need” coffee every morning. You don’t.

Instead, get some fresh air, exercise, or splash some cold water on your face. In fact, have a quick cold shower – you don’t even have to wash yourself, but just getting under the icy water is enough to make yourself wide awake!

Wander around in your pyjamas

I find that if I get up and go about my morning in my pyjamas, I’m less likely to be productive. There’s just something about getting dressed into a proper outfit that makes you feel somewhat “official”, resulting in me actually getting my sh*t done if I’m dressed in a shirt and trousers.

Besides, pyjamas are just that: pyjamas – i.e. meant to be slept in. If you’re like me and always feel cold in the morning when getting dressed, just do it as soon and fast as possible. You’ll be thankful you did it and got it out of the way!

Since we’re on the topic of clothes, I’d also like to add: don’t dress in a hoodie and sweatpants. Unless you’re going to the gym/exercise. Dressing in a smart, yet comfortable outfit gives you confidence; what’s more, if the outfit is a little business-like, you’ll be more inclined to be productive (rather than hang out on the sofa and watch TV).

Rush

If you have school, work, or just somewhere to be in the morning, it’s easy for things to get out of hand and result in you rushing around trying to gulp down a coffee while doing your makeup.

This is the last thing you want. Life goes by too quickly for you to be running around trying to get a million and one things done. Instead, relax. Enjoy life. Be grateful.

Acknowledge that today is unique, because no day is ever the same. Smile and take your time. Get up a little earlier and make time for yourself to journal, read, meditate, bathe, dress, etc.

Remember: life’s too short for rushing around. Enjoy the moment.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post! In the comments, let me know: what’s one thing you try not to do in the mornings? But what things do you like making time for?

thanks for reading!

P.S. I’m hosting a book giveaway for In The Shadows. To enter, all you have to do is like this post, and subscribe to my blog (sidebar). Giveaway open internationally. Ends March 10th 2018.

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Travel

5 things to know before travelling to… palestine

I’m back!

If you’ve been following my most recent posts, you’ll know that I was doing a series called Minimalist Travels, as I was about to head off on holiday for a few days. Well, I’m back now!

I went to Palestine! I’ve been before (twice), and this time was just as good. I went with my family, and we spent a day wandering around Bethlehem, and flying/hanging around the airport.

I decided that as part of Minimalist Travels I should write something about actual countries. So here you go: [number] things to know before travelling to… – a sub-series of Minimalist Travels.


Since I’ve been to Palestine a few times, and had to go through Israel too, I thought I would start off with those countries. So, let’s just jump right in!

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Security, borders, and conflicts

In case you didn’t know, Israel and Palestine have a big ongoing conflict over land. According to Simple Wikipedia:

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is a battle that is still going on between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. It is a dispute between two groups of people with claims over the same area of land. Many attempts have been made to make a two-state solution, which would create an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

At present, the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, according to many major polls, agree a two-state solution is the best way to end the conflict. Most Palestinians view the West Bank and Gaza Strip as constituting the area of their future state, which is a view also accepted by most Israelis.

A handful of academics advocate a one-state solution, whereby all of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and West Bank would become a bi-national state with equal rights for all. However, there are significant areas of disagreement over the shape of any final agreement and also regarding the level of credibility each side sees in the other in upholding basic commitments. The conflict started in 1948.

And then of course, there’s the issue with Trump and Jerusalem. But let’s not go into that!

Anyway, because of this, the two states don’t look kindly upon each other. And the surrounding countries such as Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon & Iraq have gotten involved too – if you’re an Israeli travelling to Egypt, it’ll be hard for you to get past the borders.

Basically what I’m saying is this: if you’re going to fly out to Tel Aviv (Israel) and travel from there to Palestine, you can’t advertise that you’re just passing through Israel. I mean, of course if you’re taken in for a security check or something, please give the information, but at the passport control, it’s best not to advertise you want to go to Palestine.

Expect to be quizzed at passport control in the airport –

  • where are you going?
  • how long are you staying?
  • why are you there?
  • what do you intend to do for the duration of your stay?
  • where are you from?

When my family and I came to Tel Aviv, we were intending to just pass through because of the airport and go to Palestine. But at passport control, we just said that we intended to see the sights of Israel – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, etc.

This is essential, because you need to be issued your stay permit (ransom example from the internet below). Israelis and Palestinians aren’t yet best friends, so they don’t take it very well if they find out you’ve been to their “enemy’s” state.

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Plus, when you drive through the borders of Israel and Palestine, there are checkpoints. Don’t be alarmed, though: if you’re in a taxi, your driver will speak to the soldiers, or the bus driver if you’re on a bus. Just make sure you have your passport with you at ALL TIMES – even if you’re only going out for a couple of hours.

Soldiers are the norm!

Speaking of soldiers, don’t be worried if when you see soldiers in full military gear, and armed. Again, it’s because of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Just be polite, show that you have nothing to hide… and have all your documents with you.

People will try to sell you #allthethings if you go out for a walk in the streets.

Taxi drivers, shop owners, and people just selling little bits and pieces – they know a tourist when they see one. And they have no qualms about walking up to you and offering you their products/services “for a discount.”

Girl, there ain’t no discount.

My family and I visited a few souvenir shops in Palestine – the first bad sign was that there were almost no prices to be seen. And then a shop owner told us that a somewhat large yet not massive wooden crib (Nativity) was one thousand euro. That’s $1226.81 for you Americans. And apparently there was a “20% discount” or something to the effect.

So here’s my advice: don’t go to tourist shops; go to the small local ones instead. And make sure the shop has prices stated, because if there aren’t any, shop owners can name the most extravagant prices just because you’re a tourist.

As well as that, if people offer you things in the streets, just say a firm “No thank you” and walk on briskly. Don’t stop, and don’t make excuses.

Pretty much everyone speaks English to some degree.

Terrified about learning the seemingly impossible language of Arabic? Relax, every person I met spoke English. And not just “hi, how are you, turn left” but you can hold proper, in-depth conversations! Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn a little Arabic – I’m all for learning new languages, and plus, it’s nice for the locals when they see you’ve made an effort.

Dress appropriately if you are visiting religious places.

Whilst in Bethlehem, my family and I visited a mosque. We were just about to step in when a man informed my mother, sisters and I that we had to cover our heads. I got away with just putting up the hood of my jumper, but ideally, if you’re female wear a headscarf/shawl of some sort.

Take this is a reminder to remember Muslim customs while travelling through Palestine – especially my fellow females. Wandering around in tiny shorts and a vest is frowned upon, so please be respectful to Muslim culture.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Let me know in the comments what other posts in the Minimalist Travels series you’d like to see – would you like me to do something about Ireland?

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Photo © Happiness Is Natural 2018

Minimalism, Travel

what’s in my suitcase + carry-on?

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my series Minimalist Travels – part two! In today’s post I’ll be showing you what’s inside my suitcase, for a three/four-night trip – plus, what’s inside my handbag (i.e. carry-on bag, because Ryanair have changed their baggage policies again… but that’s a whole other story).

By the way, if you’re new to my blog, Minimalist Travels is a series I’m currently doing here – what’s in my bags, packing tips, airport advice, etc., but from a minimalist’s perspective. You can check out part one of this series here.

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The suitcase

To start off, here’s a quick look at the suitcase itself:

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It’s from the brand Snowball – unfortunately, I was unable to find where you can purchase the exact model I have (it’s my parents’, and several years old, so it must be an old model).

Also, a little disclaimer: my stuff takes up about half of the case, so ideally I would’ve brought a small bag instead. However, there are things I need to bring back from the trip, which will account for the extra space.

So… what’s inside?

A minimalist never overpacks.

  • 2 crew tops (one dark purple + one navy)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of leggings (greyish blue)
  • 1 light long-sleeved top (i.e. “dress shirt”)
  • 1 pair of shorts (for sleeping, but in case of the beach)
  • 1 plain white t-shirt (for sleeping/beach)
  • 1 pair of multicoloured Converse

You’ll notice that all of my clothes can be swapped with each other and still form matching outfits. This essential for travel: don’t pack any items of clothing that can’t be worn in at least two outfits. It will eliminate the need of having to bring extra clothes – as well as that, you won’t have to be digging through your suitcase to find that one shirt that matches your trousers.

My handbag (carry-on)

As mentioned earlier, Ryanair (the Irish airline company we’re flying with) have new baggage policies, which means that unless you have Priority boarding, you can’t bring your “cabin bag” on board with you – it goes into the hold free of charge. Only a small personal bag such as a handbag or laptop bag are allowed.

So, it was great fun trying to find a bag big enough to fit several things in it, but small enough for the bag policies (not). Presenting the bag:

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It’s from the brand California Leash Co, but I couldn’t find my exact bag. However, their other bags are quite similar.

Inside, I have:

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  • Glasses – eight-year-old self, why did you read in dark places?
  • Charger – for my Kindle.
  • Camera – technically my father’s, but he has nowhere to put it!
  • Pen + notebook (not shown) – phrases in different languages, my mini habit tracker.

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  • Kindle – my book of choice for travel.
  • Tissues – nothing worse than feeling a sneeze coming and having no tissue!

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  • Mirror – I know I showed it in my previous post, but I decided to put it in my handbag instead.
  • Lip balm – obviously.

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And that is all I have for now! I hope you enjoyed reading this post – let me know what you think of Minimalist Travels so far. And don’t forget: subscribe so you don’t miss the next post in the series, coming on Friday.thanks for reading!

Minimalism, Travel

what’s in my toiletry + makeup bag?

In a few days I’ll be heading off on a short holiday, and I decided to bring you all along with me. Thus, the Minimalist Travels series has been born – packing tips, “what’s in my — for –“, airport advice, plus some stories and photos of my travels!

I thought I would start this series with what’s inside my toiletry/makeup bag. Well, I personally don’t wear makeup (unless you count a little lip gloss here and there), so really it’s my toiletry bag.

Anyway, let’s have a look!

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Presenting the bag:

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So, this is the toiletry bag I use. It’s from the “Babyliss For Men” range – I believe it was my dad’s, and he got it with some Babyliss products? Anyway, he didn’t want it, so I took it as it was exactly what I wanted. It’s about the size of your average pencil case, and just has a zip and the single pouch (i.e. no extra small pockets)

And then inside it, I have…

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  • A pack of facial wipes – I normally don’t like to use wipes, as they create so much waste, but I figured I would use these up instead of just discarding them.
  • Travel-size mouthwash – also fits into my handbag. Ideal for travelling, as sometimes you’re on a time crunch and just don’t have a chance to brush and floss.
  • Deodorant – I took the label off, which is why it looks so plain.
  • Toothbrush cover – nothing worse than packing your toothbrush, and (a) it gets everything else in your bag wet or (b) fluff and bits of crap get stuck to the bristles.
  • Aloe vera oil – moisturizer. Although rose water is better; I’m not able to get some right now.
  • Lip gloss + lip balm + homemade lipstick – the only “makeup” products I have. Because lips are everything.
  • Hand mirror – it’s slightly embarrassing to examine your face at the mirror in a public bathroom, so I carry this with me most of the time.

I also pack, but didn’t include in the pictures:

  • Toothbrush – since I use an electric toothbrush, I just take the head off, and voilĂ : a travel-size toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste – as this is a family trip, someone else always has toothpaste, so no point in bringing extra.
  • Hairbrush – the only thing that doesn’t fit into the toiletry bag. I just pack it separately with my clothes, but so it’s easily accessible.

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And there we have everything inside my toiletry bag! I know it’s not exactly exciting, but come on, I am a minimalist. It’s in my nature to pack as little as possible.

Let me know in the comments your toiletry/makeup essentials for a trip! I’d love to improve my toiletry-packing skills, so give me all your tips.

Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss part 2 of this series – clothes I’m packing for my trip.

thanks for reading!

Minimalism

lessons from minimalism

It’s been so long since I wrote something about minimalism!

Welcome back, everyone. Today I was in the mood to write about minimalism, and since I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of months now, there seemed to be no better time to do it.

Sine discovering minimalism in March 2017, my life has been transformed. My attitude to life has been turned around, and I’ve never felt so free and happy.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned from minimalism, which will stay with me forever.

Experiences > things.

Ultimately, this is the core of minimalism. To have possessions you love, but at the same time, remember that they are just objects. Experiences are far greater than things, as they create memories which can last a lifetime.

Only own possessions that make you happy.

The first step to a minimalist lifestyle is to declutter, which I did, and with great results. As I now look around my living space, I see only things that make me smile, which is what everyone should aspire to.

Get out of the consumerism cycle.

Since becoming a minimalist, I have no interest in shopping. Not that I ever really did in the first place, but anyway!

Minimalism teaches you to break the consumerism cycle – stop constantly buying and consuming items that in the long run, will only take up space in your life and contribute to the destruction of the planet.

Quality over quantity.

You know those cheap Primark clothes, or really anything mass-produced in countries like China? Well, those are the type of items that minimalism strongly discourages to purchase.

Instead, invest in good-quality items that will last you a lifetime – and that aren’t produced by children in sweatshops.

Notice the little things in life.

I’ve never lived in such a vibrant and beautiful world. Full moons, evening sunsets, the smell of baking… I’ve begun to notice all the little things in life that make me smile.

Maybe it’s not minimalism that teaches that, but it certainly helped.

Let go of negative beliefs and people.

When decluttering, people usually just think about their stuff. But minimalism isn’t just about stuff – it’s about discarding everything that doesn’t serve you in life. This includes negative beliefs, toxic friendships, broken romances, prejudice… in short, strike out your own beliefs, and let nothing and no-one stop you.

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Those were just some of the many lessons I’ve learned from minimalism. If you’d like to write a part two to this post, let me know! And please leave a like – it lets me know that people enjoy reading what I write.

thanks for reading!

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

My Reset Routine

Whenever I’ve been feeling burnt out, come back from a trip, or have been sick, I like to take a weekend for my reset routine. It’s a chance to get my act together, both physically and mentally, so that I can come back to my usual commitments feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Since we’ve just hit February, I figured that this would be a good time to send out this post, as mid-term breaks are coming – plus, we’re all feeling exhausted from the stress of January.

Who’s ready for some GYSTing?

Get your space together

Of course, I start by getting my space in order. “A cluttered room is a cluttered mind” in my case, so I take about an hour just to unpack (if I’ve been away), tidy and clean.

If you’ve been away, empty your bag/suitcase(s) and put everything back where it’s supposed to go. If there’s nothing to unpack, just head straight to doing a quick declutter of your space and get rid of things that may have been accumulating for the past while.

Clean + organize

Make sure to give your space a thorough clean! This means:

  • Wipe down surfaces
  • Give your bathroom a good scrub
  • Change your bedsheets
  • Air out rooms (open the windows)

Then replace all your belongings in their proper “homes” and put everything back in order.

Clear your schedule

Chances are, if you’re feeling frazzled from being away, sick or just having a lot on your plate, you need to sit down and reprioritize things.

First off, your to-do list.

  • Is there anything you can put off for a few weeks or so?
  • What can you deal with now? (those little tasks like phone calls, emails, taking out the trash, getting something out of storage…) Do these things immediately.
  • What will you schedule for later today/this week?

Next, your commitments. Meetings, nights out with friends, cinema trips, etc. Reevaluate your events and social commitments – is there anything you can:

  • Cancel?
  • Do now?
  • Reschedule?

Remember: right now, you need to give time to yourself to refresh. If there are any commitments you can get rid of, do so. After all, your time is precious, and what’s more important than looking after yourself?

Mini spa night

Your space is in order and your scheduled is cleared. Now it’s time to relax for a couple of hours, and treat yourself.

Usually I’ll start, of course, by taking a shower. A face mask, hair mask and a body scrub are the key to feeling refreshed. Afterwards it’s moisturizing and a quick nail care. Of course, you can then tailor this to however you like by using your favourite products and methods.

Get back to grips with food

If you’ve been out of kilter recently, I can guarantee that so were your eating habits. It’s time to get back on track and resume your regular diet. Of course, hydration will be key to restoring your body, so make sure to get down a glass of water every hour or two.

Get rid of all the junk/processed food you have around – this will eliminate any temptations. Make fruit smoothies, have granola for breakfast, and make healthy treats for dessert.

Set yourself some targets

There’s nothing worse than giving yourself, coming back feeling so prepped… and then falling into a slump because you don’t have any purpose.

Decide what you want to accomplish in the next 21 days – three weeks. Give yourself some realistic goals and work towards them constantly. Give a purpose to your life, and head towards that wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

What next?

Feeling refreshed? I know I am! Once you’ve got yourself back together, start getting back into the swing of things. However, take note: don’t rush yourself back into everything all at once. Start going back to your regular schedule little by little, because the last thing you want to do is burn yourself out.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this! Let me know if you like these type of get-your-shizz-together posts, and I’ll do some more.

In the meantime, drop a like, and I’ll see you soon!

thanks for reading!

Witchy Things

WITCHY THINGS: how to set up your own altar

Hello, witches 🙂

Welcome to my segment Witchy Things. After posting about the fact that I was a witch, I decided to try and get at least a bi-weekly post for witches – after all, I want to embrace who I am, and if you’re also a witch, all the better!

One important part of being a witch is having an altar – a small area where you keep all of your spiritual items e.g. candles, crystals, herbs, etc. and you can commune with your deities. 

And just a quick note: because I am a witch, I have an altar, but if you’re an atheist or have different beliefs from me, you can call your “altar” a sacred space. This can work for whether you’re a witch, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Jewish. And you don’t even need to believe in anything. Perhaps you’re an atheist who just wants a small space with good vibes and peace ☟

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Where?

The first, key step to creating an altar is to designate an area. There are no hard and fast rules about where your altar should be, so here are a few suggestions:

  • An area on your desk (if you happen to have a particularly large desk)
  • The top of a dresser
  • A small table
  • A shelf (on a bookshelf, for example – this is where mine is)
  • A clear floor space in your bedroom, out of the way (i.e. in the corner)

Or, if you’re lucky enough to have this option, use a space somewhere outside! Personally, I live in the middle of an expanse of fields, and our garden has just grass, so there isn’t much option for an outdoor altar.

But if you happen to live near a wood, for example, find a secluded area and keep your things in a little spot beside a tree, or something similar. If you have a nice greenhouse or shed this can work too.

Really, experimentation is of utmost importance. Find what feels good – your altar should have a positive vibe to it. As well as that, try to keep it as private as possible; your altar is for your eyes only.

If you don’t have the option of setting up a permanent altar, you’ll need to make a portable one. Designate a bag or case to store your supplies, and whenever you’re in the mood for some Crafting, you can set up as you please.

One thing to remember if you have a portable altar: keep a cloth/blanket/mat or something for the ground for when you’re setting up. It’s nice to keep things sacred, but if you don’t have anything, no worries – after all, witchcraft is based in Nature.

What to put on your altar

There are no hard and fast rules about what to put on an altar. But if you’re looking for some ideas, here they are:

  • Crystals
  • Broom
  • Essential oils
  • Herbs & flowers
  • Herbs & flowers
  • Candles/tealights
  • A representation of your deity/ies
  • Seasonal decorations for the Sabbats
  • Your tarot cards, or supplies needed for other forms of divination

The basic criteria is to keep things related to your practice of witchcraft on your altar/in your portable altar. Don’t stress if you haven’t got certain tools or items – your deities don’t care if you haven’t got a fancy athame or rare herbs. Neither will spirits.

Ways to use your altar

Size matters here, because obviously if you just have the top of a dresser for your altar, you can’t exactly do ritual dances. But anyway:

If you have a large space to move around in:

Practice yoga, hold ritual dances, cast big spells and maybe try hosting an Esbat (gathering of witches)?

If you have space to sit/stand but not move around:

Cast spells and do your usual work, but also meditate.

If you just have a surface:

Cast spells, say prayers to your deities, meditate in front of the surface.

Protecting your altar

If you’re someone who communes with spirits, or has enemies, you’ll need to protect your altar. Apart from physical protection such as dividers/screens/etc., try casting a protection spell, or inscribe protection runes into the wall/surface.

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Hopefully, making an altar has become a little easier for you to do! If you have any questions (about anything!), please comment – I see and answer all comments.

It would mean a lot if you could like this post. As well as that, are there any witchcraft-related posts you’d like me to write in particular? I have some ideas, but I want to make sure I’m providing quality information for you all.

thanks for reading!

Beauty, Feminism, natural living

why i stopped shaving

Until recently, I shaved frequently – “down there” and under my arms. Once a week, less if I forgot. I was never too pushed because i’m not that hairy.

And I didn’t shave my legs, because after an incident at eleven years old, my mother warned me of the dangers of shaving your legs at an early age – “the hair will grow back faster, so put off shaving your legs as long as possible. At least until you’re sixteen or so.”

However, being pulled into a natural lifestyle towards the end of 2017, I ended some common practices and made replacements for others. One of the things I cut off completely was shaving.

Here’s why.

We have hair for a reason.

If humans weren’t supposed to have hair, we wouldn’t. So where’s the sense in removing it? It must be there for a reason, and it is.

A little story of my own: after shaving, I used to experience a lot of itchiness wherever I shaved. Since I stopped shaving, the itchiness is gone. Look out for little signs like these, because your body is probably trying to tell you something.

Treat all hair the same – keep it clean and trim it. Don’t shave it (unless, of course, you would want to shave your head as well. Then I completely support you).

Shaving “down there” can lead to infection.

Hair down there is actually protecting your vagina. By shaving, you’re creating a breeding ground for bacteria, because it’s not prevented by hair from entering your vagina.

As well as that, the area will become moist because the hair can’t keep it dry, which also contributes to bacteria. And bacteria means UTIs and yeast infections. Not exactly my idea of fun. The hair is preventing bacteria from going inside you, so don’t remove it.

Shaving doesn’t make you “clean.”

Society has conditioned women into thinking that shaving makes us “clean,” which in turn is why we all feel “cleaner” after shaving.

Big news: shaving, if anything, will introduce bacteria (see previous point). It certainly doesn’t make you clean.

Think in terms of the hair on your head. By shaving that off, are you “clean”? Not necessarily. It’s the same for shaving.

Shaving produces a lot of waste.

Think about how many razors you go through in a month. Now think of a year. Multiply that by at least thirty and I’d wager that you have at least 100 razors going to landfill in your life.

This is hardly great for the environment. The plastic won’t rot away, and the blades are extremely dangerous as they’re – well, blades. Not exactly safe.

Shaving is society’s idea.

My question is this: why don’t men shave? We females are wasting hours of our lives shaving, while men get to dictate society. By rejecting societal norms, we can start change, and get rid of this patriarchy.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this! Just a quick disclaimer: if you choose to shave because you enjoy it and experience no bad side effects, I completely support you. However, if you shave just because you feel that you “should”, then stop. Please.

And if you have any questions such as how to hide underarm hair, or something like that, don’t hesitate to comment! I’ve been not-shaving for a month or so now, so I think I can safely say I know what it’s like.

Make sure to also drop a like!thanks for reading!

Witchy Things

embracing the blue moon – january 2018

Welcome, sisters and brethren. 🙂

It’s January 31st. The final day of the first month in 2018 (I don’t say New Year because the witches’ calendar is different, but anyway). And it’s a full moon – but not just any full moon.

It’s the second full moon this month, which means it’s a blue moon. So if a regular full moon is a time of results and illumination – anything you have been working on will now have results, and the solutions to any problems, worries or concerns you have will become clearer – then a blue moon is extremely powerful.

The witches’ calendar is measured according to the moon, so esbats fall on the nights of the full moon (an esbat is a coven gathering at times other than the Sabbats, i.e. full moon nights).

Tonight, acknowledge the Goddess and your deities. The old year ends and the new one begins as tomorrow marks Imbolc, the first day of spring and the witches’ new year. Give thanks for everything of the past twelve months, and decide what you want to manifest in the year ahead.

In matters of spellwork, now is the time to cast spells to get rid of something – removing hexes, getting rid of unwanted friends or admirers, or negative beliefs. Cast with purpose and as the moon decreases, the negativity in your life will decrease until it is gone.

(For those types of spells, make sure to repeat the spell at regular intervals, such as when there is a half/quarter moon.)

Remember also, that this moon is in Leo. As a Leo myself, I know and understand their qualities – bold, brave, curious, daring, outgoing, fierce, passionate. Even if you’re not a Leo, channel these qualities today and take the plunge to be bold.

As for all my Leos, embrace your true spirit. If you think you’re too loud, too quick-tempered — stop. Tonight fall in love with your soul, and let your characteristics shine through – be loud, passionate and fierce. Let nothing stop you.

I hope the Goddess will bless you tonight.

Merry part.

Lifestyle, natural living

how i meditate + a little inspiration for YOU

My story

At the beginning of 2017 I was hoping to meditate frequently. And yes, it started out well. I was meditating at least four times a week and was feeling wonderful. Then I got lazy. It became “I’ll do it tomorrow” – and every day I said this to myself. Until from about May to December, I meditated on average once a month.

Then at the beginning of 2018 I didn’t start again, simply because I didn’t know what to focus on for 2018. However, in the past couple of weeks I decided what I intend to do this year, and one of these things is to meditate three times a week. Starting this past week, I’ve been meditating and I feel much calmer and collected.

How?

I’m not one of those people who can sit still in silence. So I lie down on my bed, and play this Gregorian Chant to focus. It’s extremely relaxing – I close my eyes and focus on my breath until I feel centered, and then just drift away with the music.

One visualization technique I use is as follows: because the Gregorian Chant is church music, I picture myself in a sunny field with the breeze blowing. There’s a church nearby (if you live in Ireland you’ll be able to picture this) and I can hear monks singing (the Gregorian Chant). This vision is extremely calming for me, and I love the peaceful feeling I get.

When?

Typically, I meditate for five to ten minutes. Ideally I would do longer, but I often leave meditation until the end of the day when my little sisters are running around as they get ready for bed; inevitably, there’s going to be a knock on my bedroom door, so I’ll get pulled back to reality whether I like it or not.

I’m trying to work out when would be best for me to do it, so I’ll make sure to update this post when I find a good time. As fro frequency, I’m aiming to meditate three times a week.

Why?

I’m the type of person who tends to get stressed over everything, especially little things. Meditation is a way for me to ground myself – I always finish meditating with a feeling of focus and knowing-what-I-need-to-do.

As well as that, I find meditation very calming. I do it at the end of the day, so I have a chance to think about what happened in the past twenty-four hours. I can then go to sleep without worrying over things and thinking about the next day.

So… is it for you?

If you don’t already meditate on a regular basis, you’re probably thinking “Hmm, should I have a go at meditating?”

Of course! Meditation can seem a little daunting at first – sit in silence for several minutes? Deep breathing?

I’ll say this to you: forget everything you’ve ever heard about meditation, and let me give you some advice.

Meditation will transform you completely. It allows you to focus on the present and yourself, as opposed to what’s happened or what will happen later. Often, our worries an fears are imagined or exaggerated, so in today’s times, grounding yourself is extremely important.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this! If you’d like me to write a post about how to meditate (tips + advice), please comment, or just like this post.

thanks for reading!