Nature has so much to offer us. We walk hand-in-hand on this journey through life, and thus it goes without saying that when we are are need, we must look to nature.
Our skin is our protective barrier, and what, quite literally speaking, holds us together. Though we think most often about the appearance of our skin, the truth is, besides being our largest organ, our skin is also our temperature regulator as well as our encapsulator keeping the fluidity of our body in tact. It is an important eliminatory and sensory organ too. You can also rest assured that any emotional, physical and metaphysical imbalances in the body will with time (and often quite readily) leave its effect on the skin. By observing our skin, and that of others, we can truly learn a great deal.
We can deeply nourish our skin using simple, pure and natural plant-based ingredients (honey being an exception in this article). It is important to purchase products that are organic and/or wildcrafted (in a pesticide-free environment). Some companies are using organic methods and have very clean products, but have not spent the money on organic certification. If something is not organic, do some research and find out if it is still up to the right standards for your beautiful being. The better the quality of the raw ingredients, the better the results. We are not only what we eat, but we are what the food we intake ate before we consumed it too.
“Beauty is the translucence, through the material phenomenon, of the eternal splendor of the one”. ~ Werner Heisenberg
Now it is time to treat yourself with these amazing masks that offer far more benefits than one might imagine. We can feel empowered in knowing that we have the skills, and mother nature, to provide for ourselves that which we need. Let’s begin here by treating ourselves to vitamin-rich, toxin-free nourishment directly from nature, and learn about the beneficial beauty and rejuvenating properties of each.
These are great ways to support our skin and its process. Use any of these masks as you feel inspired. Even though these are natural and primarily plant-based masks, please test for sensitivity on a thin spot of skin before fully applying. It can also be beneficial to try one ingredient on the skin at a time before combining many ingredients into one mask.
Generally, packs and masks can be left on the skin for 20 minutes in order to provide for the necessary physical contact as well as energetic exchange. Your complexion will exhibit the results like the fine piece of artwork it is. Lukewarm water is a great method to rinse them off, and use of a light tapping method can be applied while the mask is on to help the collagen receive the nutrients. Now it is time to embrace your personal spa environment.
Avocado – Scrape the nut-like green pulp on the inside of the avocado skin (this is the best part for the skin as a mask. The lighter color can be put aside to be eaten), and apply to the skin using upward strokes. This is especially helpful for fine or dry skin. Avocado is the most oil-rich fruit on our beautiful planet. It is rich in vitamins A, C & E, and in oil including pantothenic acid, which is a natural moisturizer. This oil will continue to nourish your skin even after removing the mask. This application also makes a good makeup base, and protects the skin from any kind of unwanted pollutants. To reduce eye swelling and puffiness, place 2 avocado slices under each eye. Rest during this time (20-30 minutes) while the swelling goes down. (Cucumber slices work well for this too.)
Avocado with Carrot – Blend mashed avocado (again, dark green part close to skin is most valuable for a mask) with grated carrot, and relax while applying to face. Apply every other day or as desired. This will greatly improve the texture of your skin over time. Carrot is high in skin-brightening beta-carotene and antioxidants! (Coconut yogurt and raw honey can be added as well. See below for details)
Chamomile – Steep half a cup of blossoms with hot water, and apply mashed or blended when it is warm to lukewarm (test temperature to skin first to assure it’s not too hot). This re-hydrates the skin when it is really dry, and stimulates the nervous system aiding in circulation. The nutrition of calcium is added topically to the skin through this mask, and it can aid in reducing acne as well as lessening the appearance of pores. This is also a great mask for people who have lots of little broken capillaries too. Please note, if you have a ragweed allergy, this mask may not be for you as those with ragweed allergies often react to Chamomile. Remember to patch test if unsure.
Honey – (Raw, unfiltered and unheated) Re-hydrates, deeply nourishes, diminishes fine lines, and tightens skin. Over time it helps to smooth out wrinkles. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it hydrates the skin through its ability to draw moisture into it from the environment. Honey is also slightly acidic, which aids it in replenishing and protecting our skin’s acid mantle. This enzyme rich treatment assists in the repair of blemishes and the removal of blackheads as well.
Honey (2 tablespoons) & Nutmeg (1 teaspoon)– (freshly ground nutmeg works best) This is a helpful combination as nutmeg is a great gentle exfoliator. It removes dead skin, relieves pitting and scarring from acne, and deeply cleanses pores while refining smaller pores. Paired with honey it helps to re-hydrate, remove fine lines, and tighten the skin over time.
Molasses – (unsulfured is important) This softens and nourishes while toning the skin. It is also helpful for smoothing out fatty deposits under the skin. Due to its wide range of essential minerals and vitamins, it promotes healthy growth of tissues.
Oatmeal – (Steel Cut is best) Soften in hot water and apply. You can also add avocado oil, fresh avocado (the dark green part against the hard shell), banana and/or honey to create a paste to apply to your skin. This acts as a deep cleanser, removes dead skin while pulling deeply from the pores. Lightly massage in a circular motion into skin as you dampen and remove it. This acts as a skin-friendly exfoliant (many exfoliants are too rough on the skin, and harm the acid mantle). Oatmeal is high in silica, which is an important ingredient for skin health.
Coconut Yogurt – This is very beneficial for skin that is aging before its time, and especially when enzymatic action is low in the body (which generally occurs as we age). With usage over time, this aids in a more youthful appearance. Coconut yogurt is a great source of amino acids and probiotics, and you can apply this mask with as little or as much yogurt as you desire.
Honey (1 tablespoon), coconut yogurt (2 tablespoons) & ground fennel seeds (1 tablespoon) – This is a great combination that over time assists in releasing wrinkles, and is deeply nourishing and rejuvenating to the skin. Apply to face and neck as desired. Ground fennel seeds contain a number of important volatile oils, and is packed with beneficial antioxidants. Zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, cobalt, copper, phosphorus, sodium, silicon, and zinc are also present along with vitamins A, B, C, E, and beta carotene. It is anti-inflammatory and contains phyto-estrogen.
“Give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the inner and outer be at one.” ~ Socrates
Just as nature has its natural rhythm and cycles, our skin too has its own natural 21-day rejuvenation cycle. You can experiment by applying a mask or a variety of masks for a period of 21 days. An option could be to choose one mask for the first week, and then to switch to another one the next week (repeating this cycle). Observe how your skin feels and looks after applying, during the next week, and during the next cycle. I think you’ll be quite satisfied with the results.
“Get thee a skin of exquisite texture, of a soft and delicate bloom, and a complexion pure and clear.” ~Yoga Sutra
The intention of this article is to spread some food and plant-based knowledge on how to be empowered in your skin care. As with all things in life, these are guidelines, and the reader must take full responsibility for his/her own unique needs/conditions, and consult a healthcare provider when needed. When we take full responsibility over our own lives, we are fully empowered. Feel free to experiment on your own with a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains to make your own incredibly beneficial masks with the signature of mother nature. May you feel inspired, and keep learning and growing. Embrace the unique beauty that is you.
These masks were taught to me during my studies with Linda Burnham, N.D. They are a result of her and others experimentation as healers and herbalists. The following book serves as a great reference:
Burnham, Linda, N.D. The Natural Face-Lift: A Facial Touch Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Spirit
Ulonda Faye has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies, and studied Peace and Conflict Research during her Masters program in International Relations. She survived a Near Death Experience during an accident that led her into Mind-Body-Spirit studies. She is a certified Wellness Practitioner, Rejuv Miracles Practitioner, and holistic esthetician as well as an ordained spiritual minister. Her services are available in person or through Skype and are offered in English and German. For more information, please visit her FB page or fayenaturales.com
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include links to follow me — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.
This Clever & Controversial Artwork Will Help You Think Deeper About Society
True artists are what I view as the antithesis of entertainers…
You see, an entertainer is concerned with popular opinion and giving the public what it wants to see. They intoxicate us with mindless amusements to help us escape reality and the everyday stresses of life. But artists, on the other hand, they give us what we need to see; by challenging us to to think deeper about the nature of reality, and the society in which we live, and they do this through the transcendent language of art.
With that said, I decided to collect some of the most thought provoking artwork from around the internet and offered my own little commentary on them…
Some people are hungry for food — Some people are just hungry for attention/Artist credit: Sergio Ingravalle
We are all so blinded by our ignorance and rage, that while we blame each other for our mutual struggles like fools, we’re ultimately getting screwed by the same elitists/Artist Credit: Lubomir Arsov
Despite what they might say, most people don’t actually want to see a reflection of reality — and therefore the Truth — Most people just want to see a narrow minded illusion that comforts their sensitive ego and impulsive feelings/Artist credit: Angel Boligán Corbo
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” — Attributed to Pericles/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani
Is Facebook really fighting fake news or are they engaging in authoritarianism and censorship?/Artist credit: Luis Quiles
In a society as toxic as ours — where a climate of hatred, ignorance and fear insidiously infects the bulk of the population — In order to safeguard our health and wellbeing, we must stay connected to whatever it is that gives us an authentic sense of peace/Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)
In spite of overwhelming historical evidence proving powerful people have engaged in child sex abuse, and it occurs in the shadows of every element and class of society, many of us pretend not to see, which is a shameful betrayal of our children/Artist credit: Lubomir Arsov
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” — Attributed to John F. Kennedy/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani
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All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include my social media profiles — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.
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