Full Moon in Cancer January 2017

We’re feeling the emotional ocean of the first Full Moon of 2017 in the sign of the Mother: Cancer. She brings us warm feelings of home and empathy, spiritual ascension, motherhood, and mood swings. You may find yourself redefining your sense of home and comfort, while old emotions surface. Embrace the wild way you feel. Bring it all to surface to heal.

~♡~

This Full Moon is called the Wolf Moon by North American tribal tradition. The spirit of the Wolf teaches us the Call of the Wild, opening us to lessons in teamwork and inner freedom. What has been calling your heart that you may be ignoring? How can you expand your sense of inner freedom? You are being challenged to let go of old habits to explore something new.

~♡~

Don’t worry about making an action or final decision this Full Moon. Allow yourself to feel everything that comes to surface. Soak it up. And like Cancer the crab, pull back into your shell, your home, to process it all. Now is a good time to journal, bake delicious foods, and spend time around the home.

~♡~

Recommended Crystals for this Full Moon in Cancer

Rose Quartz Moon Stone Amethyst

Work with soothing crystals this Full Moon. Moon Stone and Rose Quartz work exceptionally well with Cancer energy. Rose Quartz is emotionally stabilizing, opening our hearts to greater depths of love and compassion. Moon Stone creates space for emotional growth, enhancing our personal intuition and filling us with stable guidance. I also like to work with Amethyst, for the soothing and relaxing qualities that radiate from this lovely purple crystal. Amethyst is a third eye chakra stone, opening our eyes to see clearer the emotional realm within us. Bathe these crystals under the light of the Full Moon tonight, possibly light a white candle and ask your guides to release whatever is holding you back. Be mindful of the visuals or words you receive when working with these crystals. These are important messages for you from higher planes of consciousness. Write them down in a journal, and keep it with you for reference. Crystals channel with them ancient Earth wisdom, and if you are open to receive these messages you will!

Wishing you luck, love, and comfort this Full Moon. I hope wherever you are, you are warm and with people you love.

xoxo
P

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Sweet Trick, no Treat: The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Sweetener, Sugar Free
I am writing this for anyone out there struggling with unusual symptoms, and worried about their health, when no source of disease can be pin-pointed for your symptoms.
If you struggle with dizziness, fatigue, reduced cognitive functioning, trouble thinking, spacing out, blacking out, confusion, tinnutus, depression, out of control anxiety…
If you have developed MS, systemic lupus, or any other neurodegenerative disease…
If you are experiencing ANY of the above, and you consume any type of artificial sweetener- stop taking sweeteners right now!
This is my experience with Artificial Sweeteners. It starts, like many horror stories, in middle school. When I learned about the ethical and environmental impacts of meat, it motivated the 11 year old me to become a vegetarian.
Naturally, I lost some weight. People noticed, and complimented me for the weight loss. Some people even told me that skinny me looked more “white”. This triggered me and I became obsessed with weight loss. Being seen as mixed was a source of pain and sometimes danger for me. I felt ashamed for not being fully “one race”, because people of all “races” have bullied me for it. I often felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere.
And so to ‘fit in’ imo, I began a game of control and starvation called the Eating Disorder. A part of this self-inflicted torture was abusing artificial sweeteners. Even though I was warned numerous times by friends (who watched me down pints of the powdery poison everyday) of the dangers, I continued to consume this ‘guilt-free’ chemical treat because I had an eating disorder… with a self restricted 400 calorie daily limit- WTF!
I began to experience bizarre health issues. I felt myself ‘disconnecting’ randomly, around friends or in crowded shopping malls. I would space out and not be able to pull myself back into my mind. It felt as if my mind, brain and body stopped communicating. Sometimes it felt like being underwater- where I couldn’t speak or understand what was going on around me, but I was still “there” somewhere.
In High School, I developed cysts in and around my left thyroid that grew big enough to affect my ability to breathe. I had surgery and half of my thyroid was removed. My mom said “Stop all the Splenda- scientists say it has caused tumors in rats!” But I chose not to listen, because the scale said 105lbs and I needed to be 90…
In college, I fought hard to end the game with the Eating Disorder. But the habit of reaching for “diet” and “sugar-free” was engrained in my being. Sophomore year, I noticed that my memory and speech issues were becoming progressively worse. Sometimes it was hard to speak, like my tongue wouldn’t work properly. Words came out garbled and nonsensical. But I just laughed it off and spoke less…
I started to have increased difficulty with normal motor skills. I would drop things- my hands felt “dumb” and they were difficult to control. My anxiety became so severe that I stopped leaving my apartment for anything beyond work or school.
It’s an ego check to write this- but I chose to ignore all of these issues because I felt ashamed to be damaged in some kind of way. Booking a doctors appointment for random symptoms was complicated with my insurance, and to be honest, after the surgeries in high school, I didn’t really want to know what else was up.
Fortunately my symptoms weren’t TOO severe- just noticeable enough to be puzzling to my friends, family, and lover, who saw me space out, struggle with speech, and frequently forget details of things we would do together. It became a joke to everyone, something they labeled as ‘cute’, and a ‘Passion thing’ – so I accepted the problems.
After I had a seizure in my apartment my last year of college, I decided the solution was to cut back on drinking, eat better and get more sleep. I promised myself that if something “more severe” happened, then I would get checked out- WTF pt.II !
Later that year, on a car ride through Vegas, I listened to my friends boyfriend describe symptoms of his Mother’s, which he attributed to artificial sweetener abuse. I listened in a sort-of a daze as he described the same frustrating issues I was experiencing. It was like he was reading my mind.
The next day, I immediately started Googling and I learned that most artificial sweeteners are loaded with toxins– and many are excitotoxins, a type of neurotoxin that literally kills brain cells. My Psychology-degree wielding mind cringed. Ouch. These are chemicals who cross your blood brain barrier, enter into your mind, killing neurons and cutting connection pathways in your brain.
These were chemicals that release methanol and dioxin into the blood, mimicking formaldehyde, penetrating into our muscle tissue- wreaking havoc throughout our bodies nervous system. I read so many horror stories describing symptoms that mirrored my own. I was overcome with guilt and shame for what I had done to my brilliant, unique mind.
And so, on that day in September of 2014 I cut out all artificial sweeteners and I haven’t been back since. I wanted to post this as a warning to anyone who loves their #Splenda or #DietCoke. You are killing yourself slowly. Please stop.
Do not wait another day. Do not listen to the corporate machine paid to tell you sweeteners are safe. Do not wait for things to get worse. Do not settle for the pain that you are already in. Make the switch to living sweetener free. It’s easier than you’d imagine, and you will feel so much better. It has been a little over two years since I have consumed ANY artificial sweeteners, and I weight less, I am happier, and the symptoms have mostly disappeared. Anxiety is now manageable, and I am in the best shape of my life. All I do is eat a mostly vegan diet with lots of fruits and veggies, and stay active.
How To Heal Yo Self:
It has been a little over two years now since I completely cut artificial sweeteners out of my diet. I no longer experience the heavy, disorienting brain fog. I remember events lucidly. I feel turned all the way back on. It has been a battle, but now I am stronger, I am more aware of the foods I eat, and I am fiercely passionate about co-creating a healthier and safer world for people.
I want to share with you what has helped me heal from artificial sweetener abuse. What worked for me may not work for everyone because we are all made different. I spent a lot of time researching and testing out different ways to improve my brain function and health. Quitting the sweeteners and detoxing had the greatest affect by far. Experiment with different methods to see what works for you. Do your own research, then come back and share in the comments what you’ve learned. I hope this helps!
The Most Important Step:
Stop consuming all artificial sweeteners. You must stop taking the chemicals to start healing. Avoid EVERYTHING that is reduced sugar, low sugar, sugar free, AVOID IT! Even Sugar-Free GUM. Anything with these chemicals, do not consume. These chemicals are addictive, but you WILL do it if you believe in yourself. I’ll say it again: You Must Stop Taking The Chemicals To Start Healing.
More Tools That Support Healing:
1. Taking It Easy.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to take your healing slowly. If you are coming off of decades of artificial sweetener abuse, more than likely, your brain will need time to build connections back up. It’s okay to admit to yourself that things are really different in your mind space than what they used to be. Don’t try to move at 300% or even 100% of your capacity. You have permission to slow down. Take your time at work. Take your time cooking. Take your time driving. Slow everything the fuck down. And breathe. Deeply.
2. Eating Nutrient Dense Foods
It is now crucial to make sure you are getting enough nutrients to encourage healthy brain development. Eat nutrient dense foods every day. Load up on your veggie game, and drink cold pressed juices. Forget about the cost. This is your health. It is worth more than all of the moneys in the world.
Eat foods that contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Our brain uses these magical amino acids to enhance cognitive functions like memory and mood. There are 3 different types of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and after years of artificial sweetener abuse, our brains will benefit the most from a dose of DHA Omega 3’s. DHA Omega 3’s cannot be found in plants – their Omega 3’s are ALA. Fish, Shellfish, and Algae have the essential DHA Omega 3’s that our brains crave. Fresh wild caught Salmon contains a very high dose.
DHA aids cognitive development- repairing neural tissue to help with memory loss, cognitive performance, and learning. For this reason, I do occasionally break my vegan diet for wild caught Salmon. I can feel the difference in my cognitive functioning when I go months with no fish, vs when I’ve eaten some fish. (NOTE: I always thank and bless the fish before I eat it, because I believe the energy exchange is sacred. I am currently looking into algae for a cruelty free solution. I will update this when I’ve tried it out.)
3. Sleep. Sleep. Sleeeep zzzz
Sleeping is a natural process that heals the brain. Our brains are like super complex mini computers. When we sleep, they run a program that heals brain matter. Researchers believe that sleep reduces levels of oxidative stress– and the toxins from artificial sweeteners have been linked with creating more oxidative stress in the brain!
So after you’ve quit hitting the powder, take those naps you always avoided! Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours a night, and don’t be ashamed to cancel plans with friends so you can sleep more. You are literally rebuilding your brain. They will understand. Heck, invite them over to nap with you! Cuddle parties rule. And cuddling releases oxytocin, which is a natural healer for the body.
4. Yoga and Meditation.
Practice yoga and meditation. Your dexterity may have been affected by the artificial sweeteners- I know mine was. Yoga will help retrain the connection between your mind and physical body. From my experience it has been a necessary tool in my healing. It helped me ground back down, when I felt lost in the spacey blankness of my disconnected mind. Research shows that meditation literally changes structures in your brain, increasing neural connections and more!
I hope this helps anyone who is suffering like I was. Don’t lose your sense of hope. It’s takes work to heal, but you can do it. When I found out, I actually became very depressed and distrusting about the world for a few months. If this hits you hard, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am here to support you on your journey. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or reach out to me on Instagram @TheCyberWitch.
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Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. This time of the year always brings with it the feelings of mystery, the occult, and magic. I love dressing in costume, assuming an alternate identity, and using my imagination. Our imaginations are powerful. When I create something, I am reminded that everything we see today is here because someone imagined it was possible. Our imaginations craft our reality. And adorable Halloween costumes!

Chi Chobits Halloween Costume

This year, I thought it would be fun to dress up as Chi, from the manga Chobits. Chi is a persecom, a humanoid robot designed to assist people in everyday tasks. In the manga, Chi tries to figure out where she came from and what she is, as she has recurring dreams about an empty world with no people, where everyone stays inside entertained by computers.

Sounds about right?

Chi Chobit Cosplay

The costume was fun to make, and a simple DIY.

DIY Chobits Chi Ears Tutorial

To create Chi’s ears, I used white and pink foam sheets from Michael’s and hair clips from Sally’s. I cut out the pieces like in the image above, and glued them together with hot glue. Next, I cut out circles for the ears and a rectangle piece for the hair clip. I glued on the circles, and the hair clip on the rectangular foam piece onto the ears. Then I put on a blonde wig, and Viola!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I’d love to see your creative costumes!

This week I’ll be posting more Halloween FUN on my Instagram (@TheCyberWitch), so check back here for updates with new costume ideas!

Check out my adorable “Wake Up Flow” by Chi:

"A person's heart changes a little bit everyday… because that is their nature. It can be different. It doesn't always have to be the same.” ♡ A City With No People Wake up with me! Let’s F L O W~ Chobits style! 🙂 This mini flow was adapted from one of my favorite scenes in Chobits, where Chi teaches a human how to wake up looking “genki”. “Genki” is Japanese for “energetic"- and #ForwardFolds + #TrianglePose will definitely get your blood flowing in the morning. Does anyone else love to watch anime? Are you excited for Halloween? What are you going to be this year? I had so much fun making this costume! I have a few more costumes up my sleeve this week, so check back later this week to see more character inspired yoga 😉 Check out my blog to see more pictures, and a quick DIY for these ears! Linked in Bio! www.Cult-Intuition.com

A video posted by cyberspace is the place (@thecyberwitch) on

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Do You Sit Too Much? 6 Beginner Yoga Poses To Fix Your Posture

Do you feel uncomfortable after standing for a long time? Do you have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position? These aches could be a sign that you are sitting too much! While sitting feels relaxing, when done for long periods of time, it can tighten our hips, hamstrings, and lower back- leading to an imbalanced, uncomfortable posture when standing and walking. Sitting can also lead to a number of short and long term health issues, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, varicose veins, weight gain, poorer mental health, and more! (yikes)

When you think about it, our entire society is geared to the preference of sitting. We sit to eat. We sit to drive. We sit to work. We sit to play. We sit to shit. It never ends. It’s quite rare we stand to do anything nowadays… Our posture (and pelvis!) are trained to be stuck in this tight, little ball. Let’s loosen up with targeted yoga poses (called asanas). It’s wholly therapeutic! Our pelvis not only stores the tension from sitting- it also stores our negative emotions- like stress, guilt, shame, sadness- and so when we work to release the tension in our pelvis, we also release these negative emotions. Incorporate these asanas into your daily practice, and you will feel happier, refreshed, and re-centered.

When I’m opening my hips, a rush of information will flood my senses. For instance, I’ll be deepening my flex in pigeon, and suddenly catch a whiff of cafeteria pizza- transporting me back to elementary school. Or I’ll smell the intoxicatingly familiar scent of someones cuddle. Both bring up vivid memories. And so I breathe. I open the space. And I clear it. I imagine a white light filling these memories. And I let go of all thoughts. I open myself to bliss. In this way, my body physically relaxes, and so does my mind. It’s mind-body therapy- and boy is it healing!

These asanas are literally miracles if you work at a desk. After incorporating these stretches into my practice, I experience less back pain and I can stand longer. It’s also extra helpful to practice standing while at work, if it’s possible. Standing for even just a few minutes at work every day can dramatically correct your posture, and improve back pain.

Good luck, beautiful human- I hope these help you!

Warm up with a few rounds of Sun Salutations. Limber up so that you may get the most benefit from this practice. Please advise if you have any prior injuries or contraindications that may effect your practice! If it hurts at any time- stop, release the pose, and walk away! Yoga should never cause you any pain.

Pigeon Pose
Pigeon

My favorite hip opener. This classic beginners pose opens and aligns our hips and pelvis, lengthening our hip flexors with a deep, comfortable stretch.

Start in a Downward Dog.
Bring your front foot forward, and turn it inwards toward opposite wrist, so that your calf is perpendicular to your arms.
Gently lower yourself down, sending the back leg all the way back and down.
Come down onto your forearms. If it is comfortable stretch your arms forward and come all the way down
Bring your chest forward over your bent leg, and send the tailbone back and down.
Relax, breathe, and hold for up to two minutes.

_______

Frog Pose
Frog

This is a gentle, yet powerful pose. In this comfortable position, you should immediately feel a deep stretch in your inner groin and hips.

Start in Child’s Pose.
Come onto your forearms.
Rock your hips back in line with your knees.
Widen your knees until you feel a stretch.
Take deep breaths. Hold for 15-45 seconds.
Rock hips forward. Walk knees together.
Come up into Table Top.

_______

Lizard Pose
Lizard

A wacky way to transform your lunge into a hip opener. This is a great stretch for the groin, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

Start in a lunge.
Widen the front foot.
Come down onto your forearms.
Breathe and hold for 15-35 seconds.

_______

Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Puppy Pose

The first time I did this, I could feel the section of my back that is usually strained from looking at my computer screen straighten, and open up. I love this simple, restorative pose.

Start in Table Top.
Walk your hands down in front of you, mindful that your head and neck are aligned with your spine.
Forehead touches the ground.
Breathe and hold for 30 seconds.

_______

Seated Forward Bend
Forward bend 

A deep stretch that relieves the lower back, the lumbar region- while stretching the hips, spine, back, and leg muscles all at once. It also massages all abdominal organs.

Sit with your legs out, hips even.
Sit up tall with your spine in line with your pelvis.
Hinge forward at your hips, extending your spine over your legs.
Grab your feet or use a strap reach your feet.
Hold for least 10 seconds, taking slow deep breaths.

_______

Wide Legged Forward Bend
Wide Legged Forward Fold

A magnificent, relaxed hip and shoulder opener. Use gravity to lengthen lower lumbar regions and undo damage from sitting.

Legs should be slightly farther than shoulder width apart.
Lean forward, hinging at your hips.
Fold all the way forward and grab toes, ankles or shins with your hands.
Pull your body toward itself and the ground.
Hold for at least 10 seconds.

_______

Let me know in the comments which pose did the trick for your back pain! If you have any questions, leave it in the comments or DM me on Instagram! @TheCyberWitch
xoxo
Passion
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Autumnal Equinox Crystal Grid

Autumn Equinox Grid

Last Thursday, the Veil lifted and we entered a new season, a new space in our revolution around the Sun. In honor of this powerful transition, I created an Equinox crystal grid to channel ancient Creator wisdom and Sun energy. Sealed with the intention to attract an abundant harvest, unlock personal transformation and growth with our connection with the Earth.

I like to grid in a clear, open space (post-saging is best) with light music playing. I like to meditate first, and write my intention down on a small piece of paper. This creates a focused space to start working with energy.

Crystal grids work by channeling the intention of the Creator through the energy of crystals placed in sacred geometric patterns. The combination of crystal, intention, and geometric energies amplify each other, which is why a crystal grid can be more powerful than working with a single crystal.

For this grid, I am working with Quartz, Tibetan Quartz, Peridot, and pinecones from two National Forests (Yosemite and Yellow Stone). I’ll list the properties of these materials below.

Properties

quartz
Quartz: One of the most common (and powerful) crystals, Quartz is an amplifier. The points are arranged to channel and disperse energy outward from the center of the grid, and back into the grid.
Tibetan Quartz
Tibetan Quartz: An ancient stone of dark, smokey honey wisps and clear rainbow white crystal. It holds a deep, resonant vibration. Tibetan Quartz transmutes negative energies, and channels divine wisdom from the Ascended Masters. One stone is placed in the North and one stone in the South spaces on the grid.

Peridot
Peridot: A powerful, high vibrational Heart Chakra crystal. This is a stone full of sacred Sun energy, cutting through Darkness with the holy Light of our Sun. It is great for breaking addictions, and setting someone on the right track of their life path.

Pinecone
Pinecones: Pine is a symbol of Nativity and health. Their energy is cleansing, warding off negative energies. Pinecones are great for redirecting focus back to your Soul Path. A symbol of the Third Eye, the Seat to the Soul, our Pineal Gland. This is our centerpoint for the grid. Usually center points are crystals, but for this season, we are building a special connection with Earth, so it makes sense to use something sacred from the National Forests.
Did you create a crystal grid to celebrate the Equinox? Let me know in the comments what stones and crystals you’re working with!
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Bad Beauty Habits (we’re all guilty ok)

Hello dolls,

Not to be a drag but I want to dedicate this post to bad beauty habits. A bad beauty habit can be the difference between not aging past 25 or looking like you’re 45 at 23. It’s okay if you mess up occasionally, but just remember that a beautiful body begins with health. So make this important. And I’m not numbering this post because this is not Buzzfeed. MWA :*

BAD BEAUTY HABITS

THOU SHALT NOT: 

Rip on your hair when you brush it. You should brush small sections of your hair at a time to avoid breakage, yet I see people take a brush and start pulling at their hair like that want it all to come out. Have you never played with a barbie doll? When you rip through your hair, your cause breakage up the entire shaft. It’ll make your hair look like a troll doll. Instead- gently brush through small sections of your hair, starting at the ends and making your way up to your roots.

Touch your face throughout the day. Our hands are cesspools of germs and nasty shit that we’ve touched. Why oh why do we touch our faces nervously and spread dirt to our clean skin? It’s a terrible habit. It causes acne, not to mention it exposes your skin to germs and bacteria that do not belong there. Instead- wash your hands every time you want to stroke your beautiful face.

Sit all the time. Humans were never meant to be sedentary beings. It compresses our spines and turns our core into a pudgy dough ball. We are supposed to go forth and explore our environments. Instead- Get the fuck off your big bum and go find an adventure. Touch random objects, climb on public buildings. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say you’re playing a real game of hide and seek and invite them.

Miss flossing your teeth. New research suggests that flossing could be more important than brushing. There is nothing less attractive than a mouth full of swollen gums and rotting teeth. PEEEYEW~ Instead- Tell yourself anytime you think about flossing, that you must floss! I started doing this a few years back and it’s now a habit of mine to floss my pearly whites.

Slouch while on your tech devices. You all know how much I hate slouching!! It ruins your sexy ab muscles and shortens your back. It can make you feel less confident and you don’t even know it! Instead- take breaks from your device and practice a few easy yoga moves. You’ll feel refreshed.

Talk shit about people in public. We’ve all done this before and it’s obnoxious. Your beauty starts within your heart, radiates out in your health and finishes with what comes out of your mouth. Nothing is uglier than a bitch who picks on those less fortunate than her. Be kind, please rewind.

Frown all day, everyday. If you have resting bitch face, work on it now! I suffer from RBF because I usually fill my spare mind time thinking about conflict on this planet and our terribad allocation of natural resources. Frowning trains the ugly muscles in your face to stand out. So poke your cheeks and flex that smile muscle. Instead- Think of happy things and never worry. Think about your part in this world and how to make it a better place.

Skip on the Sunscreen. The Sun is your biggest enemy when it comes to aging. Sun exposure causes wrinkled skin, dark marks, and even cancer. You should wear an SPF on your entire body – including your hands. If you’ve noticed premature wrinkling, it’s probably due to sun exposure. For those of us who do not burn, sunscreen is so easy to forget about. Instead- use an SPF of at least 30 – I use SPF 50 on my entire body, and an SPF 65 on my face.

That’s all I’ve got for todays post, loves~ I hope you can laugh at these bad habits and support leading a beautiful life.

xoxo
Passion

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5 Simple Hair Care Ideas

Hello lovely,

I hope you’re all doing swell as it gets colder It’s the perfect time to update your curly hair routine as the months transition from hot + humid to cool + dry. These tips will hopefully inspire you to try some new things in the coming months.

Simple Hair Care Ideas


1. Use a Wide-Tooth Comb
              A wide tooth comb will break up any knots in your hair without disrupting your natural curl pattern. How often should you brush depends on your needs, but I recommend brushing daily. You take small sections, starting at the tips with gentle strokes until you work your way to the root. If you’ve seen girls with big luscious hair, you’d better believe they tame that mess nightly. It’s good for you if you are gentle and have the right tools.

2. Get some Root Booster
              The bigger your hair the closer you are to heaven, or at least you look like a sexy beast. I rely on root booster in the fall, when there’s no humidity to pump up my curls. I use Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus Humidity Control; it costs about $18 at Ulta. It’s great for volume without frizz.

3. Pin it Up
              ANY season is the BEST time for cascading curls down your shoulders. Try out some new hair styles pinned up hair styles. They’re more likely to stay in place while looking good all day. Some of my fave curly hair tutorials are on youtube here and include tips for how to pin your curls.

4. Be a Bun Head
              I think buns are an elegant and fun way to express your hair. Buns can be tamed or messy, and curls add some extra texture to the mix. Sometimes I’ll pull my hair up into a big messy bun with a sock, which is traditionally for a neater style bun with straight hair buuuuttt idgaf. I like it curly because it makes it a big mess, and looks voluminous and girly.

5. Get a Spray Bottle
              I like my hair best when it is hydrated. So, I make sure to have a spray bottle filled with my special mix for my curls. I mix 4 parts water, 1 part leave in conditioner, 2 drops of Moroccan oil. I will spritz my hair with this when my curls need a midday pick me up. I find that it keeps them hydrated and tames the frizz.


I hope these tips help keep your hair refreshed and beautiful <3 Do you have anything special you like to do with your hair in the winter? Comment below and let me know!

xoxo
Passion

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The Secret To Reducing Your Stress

Life is a struggle.
Modern tech pushes our minds to the brim with so much to keep us running – cell phones, friends, shopping, bills, work, personal projects, o-m-g it goes on and on. Even when I’m sleeping, I’ll jolt awake at 3AM to write down an idea I had during a dream. 
When I felt like I hit my breaking point this time last year, I found an article on mindful meditation. My first thought was, “I already know what that is, it’s baby stuff I can clear my mind this won’t help.” And I put the article away. I’m stubborn haha. It wasn’t until I joined a yoga group that I felt the impact that five minutes of meditation has on your mind. So…

What is meditation?

Meditation is focused thought on the present and deep breathing. It starts the processes of refreshing your mind so that it’ll reload faster. It does for your brain what emptying your livingroom before cleaning it does. It makes more sense to empty the room first or you won’t eliminate all the clutter. Same goes for your mind. You have to focus and put your thoughts away. 

The benefits of meditation are supported by modern research. 

In a recent study by the University of Siena and Harvard Medical School, scientists sought to gain empirical evidence that meditation improves brain function. The experiment went a little like this:
48 participants were divided into two groups- one that practiced meditation through training for 8 weeks and one that didn’t.
All of the participants took some tests and MRI exams before and after the training. These tests measured for anxiety, depression, mindfulness, excessive worrying, and emotional connectedness. The MRI tests also measured brain mass in different areas of the brain.
The results showed that decreased levels of worrying, anxiety and depression in the group who practiced mediation. Participants reported feeling happier and more relaxed. The MRI results also showed increased densities of gray matter in the brains of the meditative participants. The control group, who did no training, showed no differences before and after the 8-weeks. While we’re not 100% sure what to make of this, I believe meditation is a wonderful practice to pick up to improve your life.
This study only covered 8-weeks; imagine the goodness a lifetime could do…
Our minds can become our own biggest cages. Life shucks stuff in our path and if you don’t have a strong support group, you’ll fall down and have trouble getting back up. It’s true that the way you handle stress goes a long way to show how you’ll handle true success. 
By approaching life with an open and nonjudgemental attitude, you can handle the bumps with finesse. After I meditate, I feel more energetic and I have the motivation to finish what I set out to do. I don’t feel so limited inside of myself. I’m still working on my social anxiety + the deep-breathing techniques I’ve learned help lessen my attacks. I feel like I can influence my anxiety to make myself less awkward and more relatable ;] If you feel like you have trouble connecting with other people or you feel like it is a struggle to relax, you probably need to meditate because your mind is overloaded. What do you have to lose?
If you’re looking on how to meditate, check out the articles I’ve found helpful:
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
xoxo
Passion
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7 Must-Have Holiday Gift Ideas for the Magical Girl in your Life

Hello loves,  I’m enjoying the moderate chilly weather on the West Coast with maple infused hot cocoa and coal leatherette shorts. You have to pretend it’s winter over here to get the holiday appeal. Christmas is coming up fast! I’ve spent the last few weeks scouring Etsy for the best things to give to my loved ones.

There is nothing like a gift that channels energy and the imagination. I look for things that exude the essence of the occult and bring a sense of forbidden desire. When I’m buying a gift for a friend, I focus on how they’ve made me feel, their energy and spirit, and then purchase a gift that I think resonates with that vibe. I want to share these gift ideas, along with a few of my favorite shops that sell them.

Holiday Gift Guide for Magical Girls

1. Original Prints

A print can bring together a whole room and define the feeling of a space. I think art is the most important thing that you can give someone.

The natural beauty of a pose with a lunar cycle in a beautiful mandala. Ayla hand draws mystic symbols and strong women, focused on the universal truths in kindness and peace.

2. Crystal Jewelry

Crystals bring forth the feeling of emotion, love and connection. I usually use a stone guide to pick a stone that channels the vibe I’m looking for. When I’ve found the type I want, I look for jewelry on etsy that uses the stone in a style I like.

Lotus Fairy has a huge selection of beautiful crystals at amazing prices. If you buy more than one, you get a deal on shipping.

3. Comfy Scarves

While the weather is cold, give your loved one something that will give them warm thoughts about you. A scarf will do this for you and more! On Etsy you can find more than just basic knitted scarves and pick one with an artistic flair.

This scarf will perfectly wrap up your young witchy friend and keep them safe in the winter. I love how it turns the wearer into an owl.

4. Nail Decals

Most of my friends paint their nails by themselves. As nail decals become more common, I find that surpising a friend with a set of nail stickers can be a huge hit. Etsy has the best selection of original nail decals; you can find any design you’re looking for. Music friend? Get them some A$AP decals. Fashion friend? Get her a set of Chanel logos for her nails. They’ll thank you!

These are some of my favorite decals. I love the iconic donut symbol and ice cream! Sweets are best on your hands not in your tummy.

5. Air Plants

The gift of life keeps on giving. I got my first air plant this year and he hangs around my apartment. Air plants are like cactuses because they don’t require much more then sunlight and the occasional spritz of water and minerals. 
The geometric shapes that house air plants merge science + beauty + nature to give you a plant that will inspire your thoughts while it hangs out. Nature is life, life is math, math is nature.

6. Graphic Tee

You can find rare vintage graphic tees on etsy. When I can’t think of what to get someone, I think of their favorite show from when they were young and buy a tee or hoodie. It shows you were really thinking about them.
Twin Peaks was the original Pretty Little Liars back in the day. This hoodie by BurgerandFriends celebrates the vintage teen drama in a pullover.

7. Vintage Cards

Instead of buying fun junk, give your loved one the gift of your own words. You can buy pretty stationary from Etsy and craft your own message by expressing your gratitude for people who support you. 
This adorable card comes with an encouraging statement for your loved one. You never know how your words could impact someones life. Spread love!
When you buy from Etsy you’re supporting a network of creators who have made their dreams a reality. It’s special when someone has spent hours working on a beautiful gift for you to share with someone else. 
xoxo
Passion
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3 Easy Stretches to Correct Smart Phone Posture

I feel like everyday I’m reminded about the drawbacks of our modern technology. “It’s killing us!” “It’s making us less social and more conceited!” “People who use instagram are weird!” (lol iamtho ;3)

I just try to ignore it. I think everything is okay in moderation and you have to live a little to flex your life force.

That being said, there are definitely some negative consequences from smart phone use. One of those is posture. That dreaded slouch is harder to fight everyday when you need to look at your tiny phone screen. And if you work at a desk you’d better kiss your precious straight posture goodbye. I’ve spent the last five years working a desk job, so the neck strain is real with this one.

Stretches for Your Posture

I cannot stress how important stretching is to the longevity of your health and beauty. Stretching should be meditative and relaxing. It’s easy to mess up too; I watch people “stretch” to their stress point and push hard for 5 seconds. >___< If you’re looking to rip up your muscles, do that. If not, do some of these with me:

Stand up straight by curling your tailbone in and letting your spine straighten to follow. Relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath, count to five and let your shoulder blades slowly come down to a comfortable position. Now, look to your left and hold it for 5 seconds. Slowly return your head to center. Look to your right and hold it for another 5 seconds. Return your head to center. Now shrug your shoulders like you want them to touch your ears. Hold this for five seconds and let them slowly fall back into place. 
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bring your hands together in the center of your chest like you are praying. Gently push together on your palms and raise your arms above your head. Hold for 10 seconds while looking up. When you’ve gone as far up as you can go, make a gun with your hands, lower your arms and point your fingers forward. Now point your gun to the left, keeping your body upright and straight. Then turn and point your gun to the right. 
Lie flat on your back. Feel your shoulder blades rest on the ground and straighten your neck. Place your palms under the back of your head for support, as if you are about to do a sit up. Tuck your chin in and gently lift your head a few inches off the ground to stretch your neck. Hold it here for 5 seconds and slowly lower your head back to the ground.

Repeat these stretches for at least 30 minutes a day and you should feel less pain and strain. You should also practice sitting up straight. Sit criss, cross applesauce against a wall to feel what straight is. If it feels like a challenge to sit up straight, you probably need to strengthen your lower abs. Look up tutorials for some exercises, it might change your life!

Three Useful Tips

Do not walk and use your phone, unless it’s a bluetooth call. You’re throwing out your balance when you try to look down and type while in motion. We weren’t made for that.

Cup your phone with one hand and type with the fingertips of  your other hand. This protects your joints from carpal tunnel.

Practice awareness. Team up with a close friend and warn each other when you start slouching. I always ask someone I am close with to let me know what I am letting my posture go. It’s helped me notice certain trends in times when I slouch, and it helps me to stop.

I hope these tips and stretches make your day a little nicer. If you’re like me and you always need to take it to the next step, join a local yoga group. Yoga is amazing for the mind and body. You won’t understand until you go!

xoxo,
Passion

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