3 Ways to Infuse Your Days With Magic and Meaning

3 Ways to Infuse Your Days With Magic and Meaning


Feel like you’re just going through the motions lately? Wish your days had a little more wonder … a little more magic and meaning in them? Hey, it’s been a CRAZY few years — I think we all feel that way. And, to help, we have a guest post from Minneapolis-based artist Liv Lane to help us all find a little wonder in the every day.

By Liv Lane

The return to work and workout routines still leaves something missing in the equation. Awe is essential to overall wellness, and after a couple years of testing our patience and endurance, it’s a great time to work the muscles responsible for appreciating the magic and meaning in our lives. A recent study by Lifeway Research shows 57 percent of Americans wonder at least once a month how they can find more meaning and purpose in their lives; a full fifth say they grapple with this question every single day.

The good news is there are ways to instantly start experiencing more joy, connection and purpose – and they’re easier than you might expect! Of course, if you’re experiencing frequent anxiety or depression, professional support is critical. The three tactics below can do wonders for one’s outlook, but they can’t replace professional assessments and tools.

Ready to get started?

1. Start choosing beauty.

After a traumatic birth with my firstborn son 19 years ago, I was blindsided by postnatal PTSD and postpartum depression. Instead of being excited about motherhood, I felt joyless, terrified, and alone. It took lots of therapy and medicine, and a daily practice I call “choosing beauty,” to feel like me again.

One of the unsettling things for me during that time was that I could no longer easily access the angels that I’d heard and seen my whole life. Self-doubt and despair blocked my connection to the Other Side. Then, one day after a therapy session, as things were beginning to feel brighter and better for me, I was sitting at a traffic light and a huge rainbow appeared right over the intersection. I adore rainbows, and it felt like such a sweet sign that I was going to be okay.

That evening, I excitedly told my husband about the rainbow and how magical it felt. I’ll never forget what happened next. Standing in our family room, I suddenly heard the angels’ voices again – just long enough to hear them instruct me to start taking a photo of something beautiful every day for a year and write about it. That’s all I got – but I knew I had to follow that guidance!

I started a blog in 2006 to keep me accountable and carried a camera with me everywhere. I began noticing so much beauty that I’d totally missed before – from a ladybug keeping me company at the gas pump to my son’s toy cars lined up neatly to welcome me home from a business trip. Choosing to find and describe the beauty I found in each day – even on days when I didn’t feel like it – opened my eyes and truly healed my heart. And all these years later, I still lean into that practice frequently.

2. Activate your intuition.

We all have intuition that shows up uniquely for each of us – from suddenly getting a strong feeling about a situation to thinking of an old acquaintance who suddenly calls out of the blue. It is an incredibly powerful tool — an inner compass that can help guide our choices and enhance our faith – when we know how to use it and trust it.

In my new collection of WingTips angelic art & guidance, there’s a set devoted to Finding Magic & Meaning. I transcribed the angels’ guidance for each art print, including one on intuition. For that piece, the angels said, “Your intuition is like a flower. It flourishes when you pay attention to it and ensure it gets enough light.”

I love the reminder that our intuition isn’t just an automatic superpower we can take for granted, but something we must lovingly tend to. For instance, if spotting an interesting object or natural wonder immediately feels like a sign from above – like that rainbow I saw after my therapy session – we get to trust that first inkling and not second-guess ourselves. If we feel inexplicably inspired to reach out to someone or take a different route home, we get to follow those nudges and trust there’s a reason for it.

On the back of the intuition art print, the angels further describe how to enhance this inner wisdom, including this: “Your ‘gut’ is the meeting place of grace, guidance and innate knowing. To access its wisdom, you must climb out of the shadows of your fears, opinions and assumptions, and trust the flashes of information that seem to come out of the blue and instantly feel true.”

The more you do this, the easier it becomes to trust this superpower and let it enrich your life.

3. Tell people about it.

That’s right. As you start choosing beauty each day and trusting your intuition more, tell people about it! We need to normalize talking freely about magic and meaning because it’s totally normal!

According to Pew Research, most Americans mix traditional faith with beliefs in things like psychics, reincarnation and a spiritual energy found in nature (from trees to crystals). In fact, 72 percent of Americans believe in angels – and yet I spent years hiding my relationship with them, worried people would think I was nuts.

The braver I got about sharing the magic and meaning in my life, from blogging about choosing beauty to sharing spiritual experiences with colleagues, I was shocked how many people were hungry to talk about it all. So many people are also hiding their own experiences, gifts and practices; they just needed to know they were not alone in order to start opening up.

Your life holds so much magic and meaning, just waiting to be uncovered. I hope you’ll start inviting it in by choosing beauty, honoring your intuition and shouting it from the rooftops. –Liv Lane

 

Liv Lane has seen and heard angels all her life. But she hid this gift from most as she built a successful communications career, nervous she’d be ostracized for revealing her unique abilities. But by her early 30s, a series of life-changing events convinced her she was meant to share the angels’ light and love to help and inspire others. Today, Liv paints artwork with their guidance and transcribes their wisdom from her studio near Minneapolis. You can find her work at LivLane.com and follow her and the angels on Instagram (@LivLane). 

 

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5 Things That Are Making Your Immune System Weaker –

5 Things That Are Making Your Immune System Weaker –


Immunity is on the minds of all of us these days, for all the reasons. If you’re looking to give your immune system a bit of a boost — in addition to getting your vaccine and following all of the current CDC guidelines — read on for a guest article from Laura May, digital editor at Just Another Magazine, about five things you might be doing that’s actually making your immune system weaker.

sick emojis

Cultivating a strong immune system is a smart objective, and the events of the COVID-19 pandemic have provided a sharp reminder of why you should make it a priority. The lower your body’s defenses are, the more easily you can have your life derailed by whatever ailment happens to be going around — and while COVID-19 has done an immense amount of damage, we’ve always been surrounded by diseases that have the potential to hit us hard.

Unfortunately, at a time when it’s more important than ever to be capable of fighting off infections, many of us have weaker immune systems than our ancestors. There’s no need to panic, though, because your immune system isn’t set in stone: if you address the issues that are making it weaker, you can shore up your guard and be ready for whatever may attack you.

In this post, we’re going to look at five things that are negatively affecting your immune system. If you can take suitable action, you can give yourself a boost. Let’s get to them:

1. Everyday Stress

Stress is something we all have to deal with, but to varying degrees. Light stress is fine: it challenges you to excel, keeping you motivated. But heavy stress, or stress that you go through on an everyday basis, is a different prospect altogether. That kind of stress can cause no end of problems, disrupting your bodily systems and leaving you struggling to get anything done.

If you can address the things that are causing your stress, do so. If you can’t, though, you’ll need to figure out ways to change how they make you feel. Learning to let go of what you can’t control isn’t easy (there are few things harder, in truth), but it can be done if you commit to the process and stay open-minded about things like introspection and meditation. Therapy is also awesome for this!

2. Insufficient Nutrition

During tough times, it’s easy to fall into bad less-than-nutritious habits, whether you’re regularly grabbing fast-food after a long workday or overindulging on alcohol at the weekend — those habits can impact your immune system. Try to work more fruits and vegetables that you like into your regular meal rotation. Nothing extreme: just do whatever you can manage. (Remember, all good things in moderation!)

And if for whatever reason you can’t get everything you need through your eats, consider supplements. You may largely have heard about vitamins and supplements for immune support in the context of providing supplements for school children (getting them to eat sensibly is often a major challenge), but they’re useful for adults as well. Even the occasional multivitamin will help, though you may want to see a nutritionist to find out if you have any clear deficiencies that need to be addressed.

3. Excessive Cleanliness

Due to the pressing need to keep COVID-19 at bay, we’ve all become accustomed to washing our hands very frequently (particularly when we’ve been in stores), so it might seem odd — and even dangerous — to consider dialing back your personal hygiene. But allow me to explain why it’s something you should take seriously (and, yes, you SHOULD wash your hands often). Our immune systems develop through exposure to the world around us: by fighting off numerous low-level threats, they become more well-rounded.

When you start making a concerted effort to avoid anything muddy or dirty, you prevent your immune system from getting the experiences it needs to develop. Then, when something big comes along, you struggle to fight it off. So what should you do? Well, let’s be clear: washing your hands is never the problem. You should wash your hands regularly. The problem also isn’t showering or bathing too often (though that isn’t great for your skin).

No, the problem is a lack of exposure to environments that aren’t mostly sterile (it’s particularly a problem for children these days). In other words, not getting muddy and dirty in parks and fields, or even developing germaphobic tendencies. So if you’re spending too much time indoors, find the time to get out, enjoy some exercise, and trudge through some mud (before washing off when you’re done). It’ll be a big help.

4. Poor Hydration

We need water. We are water to a great extent: over half of you is water, believe it or not. So if you’re not staying hydrated, that’s obviously going to have significant repercussions, affecting your health in general and reducing the efficacy of your immune system. Thankfully, and for clear reasons, this is the easiest problem to address.

Simply start drinking more water. Don’t pay any attention to trite assertions that there’s a certain number of cups of water you should drink every day, though. The amount you should drink on a given day will depend on what you’re doing and how you’re exerting yourself. If you feel thirsty, drink some water. Every time you eat, have some water.

5. Inadequate Sleep

It can be very tempting to burn the candle at both ends, and it’s unfortunately associated with success. How many stories have been told of how great entrepreneurs made their fortunes through working 120-hour weeks? But let’s not conflate success with health, because that kind of schedule is tremendously damaging both physically and mentally. And when the human body is pushed to its limits, the immune system suffers.

Now, you can’t guarantee eight solid hours of sleep every night, even with sleep medication. That just isn’t how things work. But you can improve your chances of sleeping well by doing things like getting light exercise in the evening, installing blackout blinds, and keeping the use of electronic devices to a minimum in the hour before you go to bed. The better you sleep, the better you’ll feel, and the more easily you’ll fight off infections.

What are some of the ways you’re boosting your immunity these days? —Laura May

Laura May is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine. At Just Another Magazine they write about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel, trends and anything else that matters to their readers. Name throwing you off? Don’t take it too seriously — they intend to stand out from the crowd whilst creating content in their unique style.

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4 Ways to Make Your Home a More Positive Space

4 Ways to Make Your Home a More Positive Space


Take a quick look around you home. How relaxed, recharged, and happy does your space make you feel?

Because we’re all still (groan, we know!) spending a lot of time at home these days, we’ve got some great ways to make your home a more positive space from Laura May, digital editor at Just Another Magazine.

woman in home smiling

Your home environment should be a sanctuary where you can relax, recharge, and be most at peace. But this isn’t always the case. Many home environments feel cramped, creating a negative atmosphere that induces symptoms of stress.

Not to worry though! In this article we explore the following four ways you can make your home a more positive place to live:

  1. Clear the clutter
  2. Embrace structured simplicity
  3. Make neutrals pop (and let in the sunshine)
  4. Bring the outdoors inside

Read on as we explore these tips and help you create a more positive home space.

1. Bring the Outdoors Inside

Caring for plants and flowers has lots of relaxing properties — but have you dabbled with the idea of creating your very own indoor garden? Bringing the outdoors inside is a chance to get creative and be at one with nature.

According to an article by Forbes, greenery in your home reduces stress and can make you feel better. This is because indoor plants improve concentration, naturally purify the air around you, as well as improve your overall mood.

Best of all, many plant species require little fuss to look after, meaning you don’t have to be an experienced gardener to experience the benefits. With simplicity firmly in mind, here are some popular and widely recommended house plants:

  • Japanese peace lily
  • Blue star fern
  • Fishbone cactus
  • Spider plant
  • Aloe Vera

While being aesthetically pleasing, these various options are well adapted to home living and are particularly resilient, which means you can create a positive, nature-filled environment without the stress or worry of a more difficult species.

2. Clear the Clutter

Clear space, clear mind — a mantra that pairs a clean home with living a stress-free life.

Sometimes decluttering your home environment is all you need to make a more positive space. After all, trying to do work surrounded by a mess or tucking into a good book amongst yesterday’s laundry is enough to distract anybody.

While organized mess might benefit some personalities, unwieldy clutter is claustrophobic and overwhelming to many others. Spending time clearing the clutter around your home (home office included) makes your space feel calmer and more purposeful.

With this in mind, it pays to be clever with storage, especially if you’re dealing with confined areas like a long narrow living room, given you have less space to hide the mess. Instead of sweeping it all under the carpet, however, you’ll find many interior decorator experts (as in this article from FurnitureBox, for instance) recommend you make use of vertical space — this is because bookcases, shelves, and other cabinets can store and display anything you want without taking up much surface area.

3. Embrace Structured Simplicity

Cleared the clutter and still feel restricted? After months of lockdown living and working from home, you’ve likely grown tired of the same old scenery.

Monotony certainly doesn’t nourish the soul or mind, so now is the time to redecorate while still being mindful of a stripped-back, minimalist style. After all, loud accents and busy furniture aren’t conducive to creating a positive space either. Instead, you should embrace a trendy approach to home-living known as structured simplicity.

Structured simplicity refers to a popular Nordic design that adopts one core principle: create a refreshing, positive space devoid of clutter you can proudly call home.

Hence the name, structured simplicity places composition at the heart of design; your space should not feel crowded or loud, but rather well-planned and heartfelt. You should look to incorporate personal, happy memories like family pictures, cozy sinking sofas, and faded tones to help create a positive, relaxing environment.

4. Make Neutrals Pop (and Let in the Sunshine)

The aforementioned structured simplicity is at the heart of a clutter-free, positive home environment. But that is not to say you shouldn’t look to add a splash of color to brighten your day. After all, experts such as Healthline document that natural color and light increase the release of serotonin in your body, otherwise known as the happy hormone.

Picture nature and what do you see? Crisp blue skies, lush green forests, and white-capped mountain ranges? Neutral and pastel colours are the best way to represent nature in the composition of your home environment — so do your best to make them pop.

You can achieve this by incorporating lots of greens and blues into your layout: paint the walls, embrace accessories like pillows and throws, as well as take inspiration from what you see outside. But don’t overlook neutral tones either. Whites and greys are fantastic neutral colors that open up space for a classic, clean finish — this provides the illusion of a larger canvas in what may otherwise feel like a small, cramped environment.

Moreover, you should also look to let in the sunshine and a little fresh air by drawing curtains and opening a window or two. Ample access to sunlight and fresh air can alleviate depression symptoms, helping you feel brighter and more positive at home.

Making your home a more positive space is a great idea, especially after months of lockdown living. From clearing the clutter and embracing structured simplicity to making neutrals pop and adding some greenery — this is how you reclaim your home and make it a more positive space. —Laura May

Laura May is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine. At Just Another Magazine they write about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel, trends and anything else that matters to their readers. Name throwing you off? Don’t take it too seriously — they intend to stand out from the crowd whilst creating content in their unique style.

 

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