Solar Power: The Sun Sign in Astrology

Astrology is something that has always interested me. Having studied it since childhood, I find it a fascinating way to get in touch with ourselves and those that are in our lives. Of course, the Sun signs – defined by the zodiacal sign that was occupied by the Sun at the time we were born – won’t tell the whole story as far as our intricate personalities are concerned, but they certainly can offer some invaluable insight to the inner workings of these complex, celestial bodies and minds that we call home.

First and foremost, astrology is truly about you. It’s as much about concrete biological humanity as it is about the spirit. It’s about both the eccentricities and generalities found within something as complicated and intricate as human nature. It can be described as the bridge leading you to your deeper self; yet it still holds the promise that you can, within limits, direct your own fate and in the process, reach a richer understanding of the self and those around you.

My infatuation with astrology began when my mother bought me a pop-astrology book when I was young — it was just a watered-down, beginner-friendly Sun sign handbook that was geared towards tweens and young adults — I’ll never forget flipping through it together and reading off all the traits of my friends and family members while giggling at the accuracy, my mind sparkling with a brand new sense of wonder. How could something so broad connect so many people that are so different? That book would quickly escalate to being a guide — helping me to better understanding my teenage crushes, how to better relate to new friends, or how to help me understand someone I just couldn’t seem to get along with. From that point on, I was hooked. I quickly accepted hand-me-down books from my mom (the Linda Goodman books were passed down to her from her mother, and now they sit atop my bookshelf — no matter how tattered they are, I can never seem to replace them) and learned as much as I could on my own. To this day, my studies are ever-growing. One thing I love about the science of the stars is its constant newness — there is always something new to uncover.

Of course, to really get the most from astrology, one is advised to study a full birth chart based on the exact time, place, and date of your birth. It’s best to get this determined by a trained professional, but nowadays with online sites like astro.cafeastrology.com , it’s somewhat easy to read about it for yourself. Of course, proper study will only enhance your aptitude to reading charts and drawing meaning, but as with most things, receiving guidance from an actual pro is always preferred. A birth chart can be pictured in the mind as a photograph of the exact moment in time that you were born. You could also think of it this way: there are 12 signs of the zodiac, each one taking up 30° in your chart, making a complete 360° circle (12 signs x 30° = 360°) However, I’m a visual person, so I like to think of it like a personal snapshot — your own cosmic Kodak moment. Nevertheless, your chart shows the positions of the planets, aspects formed between planets and luminaries, as well as the Sun and Moon, and how they interact with each other – a fascinating dynamic which can usually be quite revealing. The Sun however is usually the star of the show, possibly because it’s the only literal star in the whole chart — and it’s often the first place one would begin in their studies in astrology.

To quote the aforementioned Linda Goodman (author, astrologer, Aries, and poet): “the Sun is the most powerful of all the stellar bodies. It colors the personality so strongly that an amazingly accurate picture can be given of the individual who was born when it was exercising its power through the known and predictable influences of a certain astrological sign. An individual’s Sun sign will be approximately 80 percent accurate, sometimes up to 90 percent… but if you know a person’s Sun sign, you’re substantially better informed than those who know nothing about them at all. True, Sun signs can be misleading if they’re used with the wrong attitude. But in the absence of a natal chart, they’re far ahead of any other known quick, reliable method of analyzing people and learning to understand human nature.”

Ultimately, your Sun sign represents your personal identity. Think of it as a bright ray of light illuminating your entire chart — it can light up or cast shadows on various planets or aspects, but undeniably, it’s always there. The Sun is your potent, solar life influence, signifying the very essence of your self, your will, your individuality, your vitality and will power. More than any other planet or point in astrology, the Sun represents who you are. It also symbolizes yang energy, or masculine energy in general. From our earthly viewpoint, the Sun travels around the earth once each year. During that time, the Sun moves through all 12 signs of the zodiac, spending around one month in each sign. The Sun in your birth chart paints the very first brushstrokes that make up the Portrait of You.

So often, I hear people say, “Astrology is FAKE! I’m a Capricorn, but whenever I read about my sign, it’s nothing like me, and whenever I read my horoscope, it’s nothing like what I’m going through.” Remember, the Sun is just the beginning of your portrait. You are composed of several identities, astrologically or otherwise. You also have a moon sign and several other planets and aspects that make up this grand and complex portrait. Always use your common sense when you read your daily or weekly horoscope and realize it’s merely a prediction for each Sun sign alone, not you personally, what with your beautifully unique personality. They might be accurate more than they’re off, but they’re far from infallible. I find that studying current transits and placements of the planets is really the best horoscope, because it applies to everyone instead of just using the blanket-effect for Sun signs.

To avoid making the mistake of skimming the surface in astrology, it’s crucial to note that not all Leos will be extravagant extroverts, and not all Virgos are virgins, not all Aries are outwardly domineering. Because a natal chart is so complex and so unique to each individual, it can sometimes be difficult for people to resonate with their Sun sign immediately, and that can turn them off to astrology as a whole — say you meet a more subdued Leo who happens to have several planets in say, Pisces — the energy from Pisces could water down this fiery sign, therefore making the Sun sign more difficult to identify at a glance. Always be careful when only considering Sun signs alone — their expressions and stereotypical personas can easily fall out of their archetypes very quickly. But make no mistake, there are bound to be at least a few undeniable Sun sign traits in everyone that may manifest in their own unique ways, and getting to know the traits of each sign can most certainly help you.

Some people may demonstrate their Sun sign quite easily, not even giving you a chance to reason to second-guess, and for other people it may be more difficult to uncover. I’ve encountered people where I instantly can feel their sign intuitively, or at least their element, and I’ve also met people that really caught me off guard at first. A fun way to practice honing in your astrological wit is by studying people in the media: politicians, performers, famous people, even fictional characters. Try to guess their Sun sign or at least the element you think they represent. Once you have a grasp on the ways that some deeply ingrained patterns may dominate a personality, you become more sympathetic to different people’s behaviors. Through a better knowledge of Sun signs, you might be more understanding of your Virgo friend who fusses about having everything in the exact “right” place, or you might not judge your Gemini brother so harshly when he shows up with your birthday gifts 3 days late — after all, he’s got a busy brain, things can easily get scattered up there! And if your Cancer wife nags and worries about everything, you’ll know she’s only doing it because she loves you, and that’s just her personal way of showing you she cares. Everyone has something to gain from studying the Sun signs — the knowledge there will only make us more tolerant of one another.

 

Owning Your Emotions: 5 Signs You’re an Empath

An Empath is a highly sensitive person – not necessarily sensitive as in water works all the time, or so caught up in their emotions that they are unable to get anything done, but sensitive to surroundings, to people, to subtleties that may go unnoticed by other people. Technically speaking, an empath is someone who has the ability to feel the emotions of others as their own.

Realizing you’re an empath is a milestone in anyone’s life – at least it certainly was for me.

It’s like suddenly you realize that how you’ve felt every single day in your life has a name, and even better, that there are more people out there just like you. This realization brings clarity and purpose to how you might live your life.

Being an empath isn’t easy, but it’s absolutely not a bad thing!

I’ve sort of always known I’m an empath on a certain level, but I guess I just brushed it off for many years. Many people who are close to me and really know me well have remarked on my “sixth sense” or even “creepy” intuition, and this is true (although I promise I really do try not to creep anyone out!!), but it goes deeper than that. It’s about being connected with everything around you, everything in the earth and in your life.

Like I said, I didn’t realize there was a name and definition for how I identified, I just went about my life and pretty recently became aware of the term. Knowing this was a fairly common thing brought me comfort and coherence and helped me get one step closer to actualizing who I really am, because we’re all on that journey and we really are all in it together.

So if you’re wondering whether or not you might be an Empath too, chances are you might be if you clicked on this article in the first place, but below are the some classic signs.

1. You frequently feel emotions that you can’t quite explain

Say you’re having a great day when all of the sudden you get hit with the yucks. Maybe you entered a place, somewhere small like a café, and you begin feeling things like sadness, anxiety, or aggression, without having the slightest clue why.

Well, the reason why is because you’ve stepped in what someone else has dragged in. You’ve picked up someone else’s energy and emotions and you’re processing them as if they’re your own.

Another example of this is when you can clearly read the emotions of someone you’re around, even without knowing them well, or even at all. When you meet someone for the first time, you can pretty much instantly tell whether or not they like you, whether they’re anxious, etc. Of course, many people can do this. It’s as simple as paying attention to your surroundings, but it can just come more naturally to some, and if it comes naturally to you, you might very well be an empath.

Wanna know something creepy? Some empaths can even feel other people’s pain in their own bodies. Real talk: the night before my cousin’s appendix burst, I actually had a terrible pain right where my own appendix is. It lasted for hours and caused enough pain that I even wanted to go to the doctor and get it checked out, but it passed before too long. We got the call that she was in the hospital the next day, and she recovered quickly after her surgery, but wow! I almost feel guilty I didn’t say anything…

2. You find yourself in challenging relationships

Going your whole life as an empath without knowing it can be hard. When life knocks, it doesn’t tend to knock gently.

I’ve always been a sensitive person. For some odd reason, the majority of the world thinks being a sensitive person = having no back bone. Where does this insane logic come from?! (Oh right, the patriarchy.)

Because of this asinine mentality that sensitivity is concomitant with being weak-minded, fragile, or incapable, the majority of empaths find themselves in a powerless position. Since they are deeply sensitive to the emotions of others, all too often this can lead to a dangerous kind of Savior complex – the desire to help or bend for others in a way that doesn’t serve you.

The calling to help others is definitely not inherently bad. It’s good, even, but when you as an empath try to help someone that doesn’t want your help, or is not ready for your help, you may find yourself in some violently negative relationships.

Abusive people, manipulative people, narcissists, or people who just want to feed off your energy without giving back (emotional vampires, as I like to call them), can all creep into your life if you’re not careful about it. This can happen in any kind of relationship: family, friends, romantic relationships, work, etc. You don’t have to put walls up, but it’s so important to recognize someone’s bad energy vs the energy that you yourself put out. Of course, it can be difficult to do this when you’re highly sensitive and so naturally attuned to what’s around you. Difficult, but not impossible.

Challenging relationships will follow you around over and over again if you don’t take charge and finally decide when it’s over. Yes, you have the power to determine when it’s over, because the minute you close off a toxic relationship is the same minute you make honoring yourself a priority. You can’t save the whole world, but you can save yourself.

3. You need to withdraw to recharge

Empaths that tend to feel powerless can quickly turn into a slave to their social lives: saying yes to drinks when really they just wanna curl up in bed with a book, or dreading the plans they made last week but feeling guilty for wanting to cancel in order to score some solo time. Hey, you’re not alone.

Constantly being present, even when you feel incapable of it, can do more harm than good. It’s okay to take some time for yourself, especially if you’re an empath – you probably really need it! Empaths need time alone to recharge. It’s when they get to lay their burdens down and relax.

When you’re so used to going against what you really feel you want, you’re coming from a place of powerlessness. And when you come from a place of powerlessness or start to feel more like an emotional sponge and less like a human being, you feel desperately in need of some re-connection with the self. You may feel that being vulnerable to all kinds of energy is out of your control, but it’s not. This is where the fun begins.

Your mindset changes when you begin to focus on you. When an empath realizes their power and potential, they’re coming from a place of being whole and grounded, not powerless and drained. Only then are you able to help others without losing yourself in the process.

As an empath, you will probably always highly value your alone time because that’s a time to recharge your batteries no matter what kind of situations you may find yourself in. This is true for introverted people as well. “Me time” is crucial – don’t put yourself on the backburner! Develop a self care ritual that is entirely your own. Carve out a good chunk of time when you know you won’t be bothered and do something you love! Start that book you’ve been meaning to read, or treat yourself to a face mask, meditate, create some art or journal, or just get in your old pajamas and binge-watch your favorite show.

4. You are highly intuitive

Empaths have more than just sensitivity to others and the ability to “feel” energy – more often than not, they also tend to have heightened intuition.

Using your intuition is major. Your gut is where the truth lies, don’t brush it off, don’t ignore it, don’t even think about tuning it out. Listen!

Your intuition is your #1 guiding system – it never fails. That’s not to say that choosing to follow the mind instead of the intuition will always steer you wrong, but if your gut feeling is saying “HELL NO” when your mind is saying “Well… maybe…” I sincerely hope you go with your gut. Especially for empaths, intuition and gut feelings can feel less like subtle hints and more like blaring car horns sometimes. You know what’s best for you. All you need to do is trust yourself.

Strengthening intuition is a life-long process, and something that’s extremely beneficial for anyone. In this case, empaths may already have a sharp instinct, but listening to it and trusting it is the challenge.

5. You sometimes have a hard time knowing how you really feel

Empaths have the tendency to openly feel what is around them, sometimes more so than what is within them. Since they may be so tuned into the external, focusing on the internal can be uncharted territory.

Empaths may sacrifice their own needs or even ignore them. They may withhold their emotions or thoughts, but doing so only results in frustration, blockages, resentment and even bouts of depression.

If you relate to this, don’t feel guilty! But do make it a personal mission to do some inner work in order to better distinguish between your own emotions and the emotions of others. Ground yourself often, if you have to. Whatever it takes to get in touch with yourself and become increasingly familiar with your own personal energy. You will become much more in tune with how you feel and your wellbeing will become a priority, as it should be.

You will learn to say no, you will learn to take your time when someone or something doesn’t “feel right”, you will learn to trust yourself over anybody else.

Your own emotions are the motor that runs your life. Only when you commit to feeling and recognizing your own energy can you begin manifesting a new reality that is perfectly aligned with your inner truth. Stop the cycle of giving yourself away to others! Think of yourself as being tied to a weightless but unflinching anchor – you can float and you can swim, but you’re still locked down in the sands of who you really are.

 

Many people, especially those who are rigid or insensitive or intuitively inexperienced, feel the need to deny empaths or write them off as if they have some kind of curse. People who are insensitive or unaware of their gifts are simply disconnected: disconnected from the world around them, from the people who love them, and most importantly who they truly are.

Being an empath is no curse. It’s all blessing.

It can be difficult to navigate through life and through emotions as an empath, sometimes it can be downright overwhelming, but it’s a beautiful gift that you’ve been given – one you should honor. I truly believe that being sensitive to others is our natural state, because everything and everyone is connected.

If any of this information resonated with you, I’m so pleased. Honor your growth and know you’re valid as an empath, and above all that you’re not alone! Enjoy your journey to empowerment and if you’re already there, you’ve done a hell of a good job.

Welcoming Spring: Houseplants for Spiritual Wellness

 

March is for thinking spring. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve definitely had a less-than-languid month as a whole. Sometimes it can be grueling to weed out things in your life that just have to go, but it’s necessary change that’s usually fruitful despite the pains of transition. And spring is all about transition! Lately, I’ve been finding the solace I need in plants.

Did you know plants, herbs, and flowers have the capacity to help you grow spiritually and mentally? The very act of caring for a plant promotes wellness, nurturing, and a higher awareness of the world at large — after all, you are looking after another living thing. Simple household plants not only aid in physical health, but are also believed to bring forth energy to help you achieve a more balanced life.  There are several correspondences to draw from when choosing which plant might suit your needs best — perhaps you just like the way it looks, or maybe the symbolism and mythos behind the plant itself interests you as well.  Here’s a list of some house-friendly plants to enhance your personal space in various ways.

These plants are known to provide luck and good fortune in different ways, depending on the color of your flower. It’s helpful to know a bit about color correspondences when choosing which plants to display and where to display them, but not absolutely necessary. Red geraniums are good for vitality, courage, and strength, while pink geraniums correspond with love, friendship, and personal harmony. Choose white for fertility, safety, and transformation.

Roses are of course known for their properties of love, healing, and companionship — they’re known as one of the highest-vibrating living things on earth. While growing full on roses in the house might be a little intense, it is possible to grow mini roses indoors. They grow to be about 6-12 inches in height and are fairly low maintenance. Of course, be mindful which color rose you want to grow! Another plant that exhibits the same benefits is the maidenhair fern, corresponding to the planet Venus, just like the rose.

This plant, ruled by Mercury and often labeled “busy lizzie” does exactly as you’d expect: encourages movement, travel, and newness in your life. Impatiens are perfect for those stuck in a rut or just wanting to shake things up a bit.

Ruled by Saturn, this plant encourages tranquility and safety in the home, also known for calming fears and warding off nightmares or unwanted visitors. Another plant that achieves the same unique nightmare-warding effect is the cyclamen, which has been used throughout history to protect against evil spirits.

I don’t know why, but I love the name of this plant! The word “thistle” is so fun to say. Thistle thistle. The thistle (sorry, last time) is actually part of the sunflower family, though you wouldn’t really know looking at it. They are most often found in a beautiful purple hue, symbolizing a transcendent and calming introspective nature. Combined with green (stability, trust, nature) it’s a true meeting of the minds: a blend of stable ground and a higher power. In the old days, thistle was also believed to ward off thieves.

Yellow or orange plants embody the lively energy of the Sun. Both of these vibrant colors, no matter the plant, bring forth an increase in creativity, inventiveness, prosperity, and new opportunities. Simple flower magic, like positioning a few bright yellow flowers in front of a mirror is believed to reflect the positive energy of the plant back into your space, therefore dispelling any negativity and encouraging growth.

Taking care of plants can be increasingly rewarding for the soul while providing a little bit more freshness in your life and personal spaces. Welcome spring by going to your local greenhouse or florist and picking up plants that speak to you, then watch the good vibes pour in!

Crystal Collecting: A Guide for Beginners

 

By definition, a crystal is a solid whose atoms are arranged in a highly ordered repeating pattern, known as a crystal lattice. There are seven different types of crystal lattices and more than 3,000 (!) types of distinct crystals on earth, all forming in different ways. Aside from being complex and beautiful gifts from the earth, crystals and gems are also known for their healing properties.

I’ve noticed crystal collecting come back into the mainstream in the past year or so, which I’m loving. I owe much of my crystal knowledge to my mother, who insisted on teaching me about different kinds, taking me to metaphysical shops and enriching my life with beautiful stones. My ears were pierced with my birth stone when I was only 5 years old, and I wore those aquamarine studs proudly as a little kid! My black onyx ring was passed down to me from my grandmother, who was also a collector and seeker of crystal knowledge and enlightenment. There are many reasons one might want to surround themselves with these beautiful things. Maybe the molecular structure interests you, or maybe using them along with meditation is more your thing — or even just decor. Whatever your reason for wanting to collect, crystals can be enriching in so many ways.

 

In my opinion, the best way to start collecting is to simply seek out a shop around you. There are tons of fantastic local businesses that carry a wide variety of stones and crystals. Some of my favorites in the Rochester area are The Purple Door and Archimage, but do some exploring for yourself and see what you’re drawn to. Once you get there, it can be really exciting to see all the different varieties, but you’ll usually feel a pull to a certain stone or at least a color that resonates with you — and that’s a good sign! Use your intuition when crystal shopping. Most small crystals and stones are extremely affordable; a small chunk of a geode can be around $4-$6, and single stones can go for as little as $1 a pop. Some places even carry smaller geodes that you can crack yourself!

Whether or not you just want to collect the crystals you deem the prettiest, there are also several ways to use them for maximizing your good vibes. If you’re still unsure on how a rock can help you add some serious zen to your life and you’re eager to explore the topic, I suggest you go the old-fashioned route and dig into some books. Crystal Enlightenment: The Transforming Properties of Crystals and Healing Stones by Katrina Raphaell is one of my personal favorites. The most important thing to remember is that like all matter around us, crystals are made of atoms and they still give off vibrations and energy, no matter how subtle.

Want to start building your collection? Collecting is entirely based on individual preference, but below are some suggestions to start with.

 



This is probably one of the first images that popped into most of your heads when you read the word “crystal.” Nevertheless, there are several different types of quartz, each more stunning and interesting than the last. Clear Quartz is one of the most common types of crystals on the planet, therefore easy to come by and utilized frequently. This baby is a must! The color can range from crystal-clear (pun intended) to milky white, excluding the colored varieties. It’s great for building a collection because it’s known as an amplifier, or something that boosts the energy it’s surrounded by, whether that’s another type of crystal or just your own good mood! It’s also a favorite of holistic healers and energy practitioners because of it’s high healing vibrations, ability to clear negativity and enhance spiritual receptiveness.

 



Tourmaline, like Quartz, has many different varieties, but I wanted to include Black Tourmaline because it’s known for being very protective. When building a crystal collection, you’re bound to want at least some stones that resonate with protection. It is safe and grounding, so if you know you’re going to be somewhere with heavy energy and possibly a negative circumstance, it may be helpful to wear some Black Tourmaline jewelry or carry it in your pocket. If frantic days and high stress has gotten the best of you, this is definitely a good stone to have!

 



Citrine is a variety of quartz, but the healing properties associated with Citrine are a little different. In color, it ranges from champagne to golden brown (that’s actually from heat, as most Citrine stones you will find in a store are actually just Amethyst that has been heated up). It’s really easily accessible and a good crystal to have in your possession whenever you’re feeling a little blue or if you have any kind of creative blockage. Citrine is known for adding a dose of cheeriness to your life, and I keep several pieces around my bedroom since that’s where I’m at my most creative. This crystal beams pure positive sunlight directly into your life — who doesn’t want more of that?

 



Boom, more quartz. Rose Quartz is one of my absolute favorite stones. It’s light pink in color, hence the name, and is associated with the heart, positive self image and all things love: a good gift for a significant other or friend, or just nice to have in your own space to cultivate love and ease negative vibes. My mother actually just gifted me a beautiful Rose Quartz wind chime set that I hang from my window, plus I always keep a piece on my nightstand, my dresser, in my purse… plus two gorgeous Rose Quartz bookends sit atop my bookshelf. Needless to say, it’s a very special stone. Powerful yet soft, comforting yet strong, it’s truly an essential whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been collecting stones for ages.

 



I know what you’re thinking… more quartz? YES! Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz that is absolutely lovely, and it’s also a stone that I find a lot of people are automatically drawn to. It’s calming and peaceful and is even known to promote better sleep and dream recall! I always keep a chunk by my bed & even gave a tumbled Amethyst stone to my boyfriend for his bed as well. Amethyst is highly spiritual but like all of these stones, it’s very easy to find which in turn makes it easy to utilize in your daily life. Keep some Amethyst on you if you’re feeling a bit spiritually drained or when the world demands too much of you.

 

Collecting crystals is the easiest way to add a little magic into your life. It’s a highly personal activity and can be so valuable once you commit to building your knowledge. Besides all the different healing properties they offer, they also act as a visual and tactile aid in working towards solid solutions. Above all, it is a personal experience that can offer insight in very unexpected ways, so get out and see for yourself which crystals work best for you 🙂

Simple Ways to Live a More Spiritual Life

We live in a very superficial world, but you don’t have to govern your life based on the unfortunate default setting of our culture. Spirituality can be for everyone – it’s not just reserved for the yogi or aroma therapy healer, it can be as simple an act as monitoring your attitude and actions in a way that aligns with your true Self. But as simple as it may sound, taking the proper care to remain attentive to your spiritual needs requires work and commitment. Even though it can sound like something you don’t think you “need,” it’s one of the best improvements to your wellbeing that you can invest yourself in.

 

We learned back in preschool to always treat everyone the way you’d want to be treated, and it’s even more valuable in adulthood. Treating others with utmost respect will not only make you a kinder, more approachable person, but it will almost guarantee that respect back to you. It’s all about sending out the kind of energy that you want to attract, and why wouldn’t you want respect? Bad manners and negative attitudes will only result in people in your life bringing in more negativity. Close that door and only welcome the positive. Be mindful of what comes out of your mouth, since you never really know what someone is going through. This is also where the three-fold law comes in, meaning what you give will come back to you in some way or another. Take charge of your desires, greet others with a calm smile and always be kind and considerate.

A key to living a more spiritual life lies in harmony with self-awareness, meaning pop that bubble you’re living in and look at life from someone else’s perspective – probably a perspective of someone completely different than you. Remain objective in your life and open yourself to being empathetic, non-judgmental, and totally unblocked. You can also use this objectivity to take a good look at yourself: see what needs changing and improving through your new non-judgmental eyes! We are often too hard on ourselves, but observing your life from a new perspective can bring refreshment and rewards.

Sometimes we all need a social media detox. Keeping up with news, tweets from your favorite celebrities, and Instagrams from your high school buddies can all be well and good – living digitally is practically our way of life now, after all. But is it necessary for personal betterment, honing your spirituality and your psychic self-defense? Absolutely not! I urge you to turn off your smartphone and spend some quality time with you. Get comfortable with centering yourself in peace and quiet – light some candles, relax, spend your time journaling or doodling, try a recipe, explore your town, or simply just be. You’re bound to have some hobbies outside of connecting through social media… at least I hope you do. Taking a break from technology will quiet your mind — making you quicker, healthier, and more spiritual.

As the old adage goes, “change is the only constant.” It’s because our lives are fluid and some change along the way is only natural. Some people really stress out about changes and think of them as inherently negative – not true! When you begin to accept change as a positive thing, more doors will open to you. It can be difficult to accept certain facts of life, since some things are really tough and life isn’t always fun or simple. But realizing change is a part of life will give you a kind of closure that allows you to dwell on moving forward, not remaining stagnant. You’ll see more opportunities flowing your way once you refuse to see change as a necessity to life, not an obstacle to your optimism.

Mantras are positive little reminders just for you, something you can recite and repeat throughout the day when you feel you need it. You can write them down, put them in your phone, or just repeat them in your head. Anything from “I can do this!” to something deeply personal and catered to whatever you’re working through. Chanting a mantra repeatedly will force it to stick with you. If you’re constantly repeating positive affirmations, you’ll really begin to believe it! Some examples:

“I do my best, and it’s always enough.”

“I am deserving of everything I desire.”

“All that I have I give away, all that I give away comes back to me.”

These are some I think can work for everyone, but mantras and affirmations are meant to be personally uplifting — meaning go with the one you think suits you best, or modify some of the examples listed to better suit your needs. Whatever works for you!

Living spiritually in a superficial world doesn’t have to be difficult. What are some ways you add spirituality to your daily life?