Monthly Archives: October 2018

How to Avoid Cultural Body Language ” Faux Pas”

Category : Life Tips

Lady in white looking down l@anthonytran

Traveling to other countries where you don’t speak the language can be fun and challenging. Trying to get directions is not always easy when neither you nor the other person speaks the same language. Sometimes you can end up saying things you don’t mean and cause confusion or laughter. Other times you can outright insult the other person simply because you said a word wrong or used the wrong word in the wrong context. You may end up lost or hungry simply because of communication barriers.

While trying to communicate with words is hard enough, when we add in body language, the soup of miscommunication can get even spicier. Gestures which may be acceptable and understood in our own culture may get you into hot water in another. It’s best to learn about these before you arrive at your destination

Hands @alnik

Fun Facts about Body Language

80 -90% of the meaning of our message is nonverbal.

Body language is culturally defined. Facial expressions are universal, but the rest really depends on the culture we are in.

The ability to read body language cues is linked to social/emotional intelligence or awareness.

It is exceedingly complex. Context needs to be our guide.

Most of the time, we are unaware of our body language because it happens at an unconscious level.

General Differences Between Cultures

There are some general guidelines to know about when dealing with different cultures.  Some cultures are”non-contact” cultures such as Britain, Northern Europe, and the Far East (Asian cultures). Others are “high contact” cultures such as the Middle East, Latin America, and Southern Europe. In these cultures, physical touch is integral to socializing.

If you happen to be of Northern European or Asian ancestry, it may be extremely uncomfortable for you when coming in contact with people from South America, for example, and feel that your physical space is being invaded. Understanding the differences between cultures can help to smooth over these uncomfortable situations and avoid difficulties.

Lady in white looking down l@anthonytran

The Eyes

In Spain, Greece, and Arab-speaking countries, there is usually strong eye contact between people. It can be intense and you may feel the need to divert your gaze. However, you need to hold your gaze because, if you don’t, it can be interpreted as disrespect, insecurity or lack of interest, or all three. In Arab-speaking countries, this practice is only applicable between people of the same gender. Strong eye contact between men and women is not acceptable.

Intense eye contact is extremely awkward for people from Finland or Asian countries who grow up with the habit of not meeting the gaze of the person they are speaking to. In the Carribean, children are taught not to look adults in the eye when they are being corrected. In Africa and Latin America, strong eye contact is seen as a sign of aggression or a challenge of authority. In Cuba, avoiding eye contact can be seen as a sign of dishonesty.

Crossing Hands @iankiragu

Hands and Arms

In Italy hands and words go together and sometimes Italians don’t need even need words because hand gestures say everything. In Northern Europe, Britain and North America, however, hand waving can seem annoying or downright rude. In Japan, hand waving to express yourself is considered very impolite. In Middle Eastern countries, people, like the Italians, are very expressive and tactile; and empathy is an important component of any conversation.

Lefties in Arab countries; The left hand is considered unclean in these countries. You should never eat or greet anyone with your left hand. Above all, do not accept a gift with your left hand as this would be seen as a huge insult.

The hand wave: In America and Canada, this simply means goodbye (and hello), whereas in Europe and Latin America it means “No”. In Italy, a good by wave can be interpreted as “come here”. In Japan, the hand wave is seen as an insult.

man waving @persnicketyprints

Shaking hands: In the West, shaking hands is a normal way to greet someone, to say hello or goodbye, whereas, in Romania, shaking hands takes place only between men every time they meet in a day. They can easily shake hands 20 times a day.

In England, it is very unusual to greet someone with a handshake. In continental Europe (especially Southern Europe), kissing is the normal way to greet someone (don’t be surprised when you go to shake an Italian’s hand and you get bombarded by kissing on each cheek). Bowing lower and lower is the norm in Asian cultures. who try to outdo one another with honor and respect.

In Fiji and Tonga, shaking hands is a long drawn out affair, sometimes lasting the entire conversation. In Morocco, a greeting can last up to 10 minutes alternating between shaking hands and putting your hand to your heart. Don’t be surprised by lengthy handshakes in most African countries.

The “A-Ok” Sign: In France, this sign means “zero” (and worthless – don’t use this sign when the French chef asks how you enjoyed your meal).  In Greece, Italy, Brazil, and Russia, this sign is an insult. So, maybe it might be a good idea to leave this signal at home.

The “Come Here” Sign: This sign indicated with a finger is very insulting to people of Asian background and in Asian countries; it is only used for their pets.

Pointing: Pointing is generally considered rude in most countries, but is particularly unaccepted in China, Japan, Indonesia, and Latin America.

The “Thumbs Up” Sign: Be careful with this one. It may mean “good job” in Western countries and “one” is some European countries ( France, Italy, Germany), but in other countries such as Greece, India, and Arab-speaking countries, this sign has a sexual connotation (so, don’t go hitchhiking in these countries). In Japan, it means five. In Thailand, it is the equivalent of sticking your tongue out at someone. Good to know!

V is For Victory and Two: When the palm is faced inward, it means two to North Americans and most Europeans (as in 2 please!), but to the British, the Aussies and the New Zealanders, it is quite offensive. An American might think a Brit is giving the victory sign, but the Brit might be telling him something rude.  A German bartender might be getting ready to serve a Brit 2 drinks whereas the Brit is, in fact, insulting him.

Crossing the Fingers: This sign means “hoping for good luck” in the West. And, originally it was a secret sign of the cross. But don’t make this sign in Vietnam where it is considered to be an obscene gesture with a sexual connotation.

Woman looking down @avnishchoudhary

The Head

Head nodding: Nodding of the head is not the same everywhere. In North America and most countries, head nodding up and down signifies agreement. In Bulgaria, Albania, and Turkey, the up and down movement of the head means “No”. In India, a side-to-side movement of the head means “yes.”

If you are in Japan, you may notice that people nod their heads a lot in conversation. Don’t take that to mean the person agrees with you; it simply indicates that they are listening.

Never touch someone on the head in Asian countries; this is inappropriate since Asians believe the head represents the soul and it is very sacred.

Woman laughing @janayadesniuk

The Mouth

Laughter usually indicates someone is happy and a smile is a warm greeting in most places – but not in Russia! Don’t smile or laugh in Russia. If you smile there, it will make you look suspicious and laughter makes them very nervous.

A smile is not always a smile in Japan. Sometimes the smile may mean the person is embarrassed or angry.

Lips: In Latin America, it is considered rude to point with your finger, but not with your lips. In Latin America, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and among Native Americans, lip pointing is common.

Kissing: Kissing on the cheeks is common in European countries and Latin America countries. But in Asian countries, it is not permissible and highly frowned upon even when greeting people.

Spitting: In the West, spitting in public is considered rude. However, in many Asian countries, spitting in public is considered healthy and acceptable. Snorting is also considered quite acceptable in Asian culture, whereas North Americans find it impolite.

Silence: Don’t be surprised by prolonged silence in a conversation or negotiation in Asian countries. It is not necessarily a bad thing and may simply mean the person is thinking about what you said. It could also mean (in a negotiation scenario) that the other person is strategizing. So, it could go either way.

The Nose

Nose Blowing: Blowing your nose in public is typical and acceptable in the West, but in Japan, it is considered unacceptable. Don’t go into a meeting or negotiation with a cold.

Tapping the Nose: In England, tapping the nose shows confidence, confidential or top secret, whereas, in Italy, it says “watch out”.

man holding ear @ratneshrai

The Ears

Touching one’s ears: Depending on where you are the gesture of touching your ears can be interpreted differently. If you are in Portugal, it is a sign that you like your food. Don’t be so quick to touch your ears in Italy, though as it has a sexual connotation. If a person touches his or her ear in Spain, most likely someone is not paying for their drinks.

The Feet

Touching with feet: Never touch any part of anyone’s body with your feet in Asia or Arab-speaking countries. Keep your feet solidly on the floor and never point your foot or feet at anyone (ladies – no crossing or swinging your legs). In Asia, when you touch another person by accident (such as accidental kicking), touch the person on the hand and then touch your head. In Arab-speaking countries, feet are generally seen as dirty. Always avoid exposing the soles of your feet as it is considered rude and insulting.

People at Festival @matthewspiteri

Body Posture

While we, in North America, are much more relaxed in our posture, other countries may see this as disrespectful. In Arab countries and in Asian countries, don’t slouch. Erect posture shows respect.

Conclusion:

Travelling can be a fun and educational experience. Knowing a little bit about the countries we are visiting ( the language, culture, and history) can make it even more enjoyable. Many times the most important words in a language are not even words. They are gestures and signs. Being culturally aware of body language can help you to avoid embarrassing and sometimes potentially negative experiences in other countries and help you to have a positive experience..

Have a great day!

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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Halloween: Harmless Fun? Or Is There More?

Category : Life Tips

 

This may not be an easy article for people to swallow, but…. here goes.

Halloween is embedded in our North American culture, in the British Isles and found in various versions in different cultures around the world. The basic theme is similar: a celebration of honoring the dead ancestral spirits, and chasing away “evil” spirits.

 Traditional celebrations around the world:

  1. Samhain (Ireland and Scotland)
  2. Dia de Los Muertes (Mexico)
  3. Day of Dracula (Romania)
  4. Kawasaki Halloween Parade (Japan)
  5. Pangangaluluwa (Phillippines)
  6. The Hungry Ghost Fest (Hong Kong)
  7. Pitro Paksho (India)
  8. Dzien Zadusny (Poland)
  9. Awuru Opo Festival (Nigeria)
  10. Pechum Ben (Cambodia)
  11. Ognissanti (Italy)
  12. All Saints / All Souls Day (worldwide)

History of Halloween

It is a ritual-celebration which began in the Celtic – Pagan tradition in Ireland but has since spread around the world. The tradition began more than 2,000 years ago with the belief that dead souls were given permission at this time (Samhain) to walk among and visit the living.

According to the tradition, people would go from door to door wearing costumes meant to scare away or fool the wandering spirits. Alternatively, they would prepare sweet food to appease the spirits. The people going door to door would carry a “lantern” made from a hollow turnip shell with a candle. This would represent a soul trapped in purgatory or would be another way to ward off spirits.

Samhain marked the end of summer and the start of winter, a time of the year associated with death. The Celtics believed that at this time the worlds of the dead and of the living became obscured and the dead would come into the world of the living. On October 31st, the people would celebrate the Samhain.

What is the Fascination with Pagan Traditions and Death?

Like most people, I did my share of “trick or treating” as a child. I believed that it was just an opportunity to get free candy. Nobody told me what Halloween was or where it came from, probably because they didn’t know. We just saw it as an evening of fun.

Like the medieval people of Ireland, children today dress up in scary costumes (and sometimes not so scary costumes), and go from door to door. Houses are decorated with themes of ghosts, skeletons, dead corpses and witches.  The “fun” atmosphere of Halloween gives them the feeling that all the “scaries” can’t touch them. Dressing up in scary costumes and decorating homes with death-related themes is a way of taming the fears and taming anything death-related. It becomes a game to scare themselves in a “fun” sort of way.

So, how is it that today, all over the world, we are still celebrating an ancient pagan ritual of death and appeasement of spirits? Why are we so fascinated by the dead souls (“ghosts”) theme? How is it that people all over the world, still lay out food for departed souls and try to scare off or appease the spirits? Clearly, we must believe in the existence of the spirit world, but maybe we do not feel equipped to handle its reality. Maybe that is why we try to “dilute” or “tame” the spirit world reality and turn it into something we can handle.

The Spirit World is Real

There is no question as to whether or not the spirit world exists. Quantum physics and other fields of science have demonstrated its existence. Quantum physics explores the nature of energy (waves and particles) of all matter and its fluidity.

The real questions are; what is the spirit world and what is the nature of it?

In our three dimensional world, emotions, thoughts, and opinions often cloud reality. Often, we are unable to distinguish between what is true and what is not, and between what is reality and what is not. We say that “my truth is not your truth”. The spirit world has no such blurriness. It is entirely real and focused. There are no “grey” areas in the spirit world. In fact, there are two clashing forces; a world of darkness and evil, and a world of light, love, and Truth. There is nothing in between.

Humans are affected and influenced by both of these worlds. The dichotomy is clear: our words, actions, choices, activities reflect either one or the other of the two spiritual sides. What is of the darkness, belongs only to the darkness and what is of the light belongs only to the light. There is a spiritual battle and the battle is over us, over our souls.

So, Where Does Halloween Fit In?

As mentioned above, the battle lines are drawn in the spiritual world. How does the celebration of Halloween fit into this dichotomy? To answer this question, we need to ask ourselves: “Which camp of the spiritual world would it fit into?” Is Halloween a celebration of love, of peace,  joy, and hope, or, is it a celebration of death, destruction, and fear? Our choices are always a reflection of the spiritual world. The spirit world mirrors itself in our everyday choices.

Is It Harmless Fun?

I think this question is the same as “Is making light of the spirit world fun or even advisable?” On the outside, it may look like harmless fun and games, but what game are we really playing?  The spirit world (invisible to our eyes) operates in multi-dimensions. It is not limited to time and space and certainly not to our 3-dimensional world. The spirit world is connected to our minds and our souls. We are connected to it. Activities involving themes of death and destruction (even if they are innocent on the surface) can mess with our minds, that is, the evil spirit world can use them to mess with our minds and eventually lead us down paths where we shouldn’t be going.

Spiritual Dangers Are Real

Yes, they are very real. You see, it really does not matter what our opinion is about the matter. The spiritual world does not ask for our opinion, nor does it care. What matters is who we are listening to and whom we are allowing to influence our choices, words, and actions. We are either making choices and being influenced by the powers of darkness or by Truth.

The powers of darkness will use anything and everything to influence us and lead us down a path of death and destruction. Given full reign, they can, and do, mess with our minds, our bodies, our health, our relationships, and our soul. They can, and do if we let them give us a false sense of reality, a warped idea of what is true and what is not. They split families, cause death, and send us down a spiral of hopelessness.

My Takeaway

I believe everyone is free to do what they choose. That is the blessing of freedom. My only purpose was to provide information for reflection and information is always good.  I hope that this post has been helpful to you. I understand that it is difficult to swallow and not everyone is ready to absorb this kind of information.

Please let me know what you think in a comment.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Illustrious Hearst Castle

Tags :

Category : Lifestyle

 

Where is it?

The Hearst Castle Estate, a popular tourist site, is located along California Coastal Route 1 halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (about a 4-hour drive from either city). It is high up in the hills overlooking the village of San Simeon and has a commanding view of the ocean as well.

Who Was William Randolph Hearst?

William Randolph Hearst was the only child of George and Pheobe Hearst, millionaire parents from the gold mining industry. William was raised primarily by his mother since his father was often away on mining business (he was a mining prospector and rancher). His father, George, was described as uncouth, preferring to hang around his mining buddies and dressing shabbily, despite his great wealth. As a child, Wiliam was overly protected by his mother and lived a very sheltered life. William is described as being a bit of a mischevious child who often pulled pranks around the house. He is described as being “difficult to discipline”.

When he was 10 years old, his mother took him on an 18-month tour of Europe. Even at this young age, Hearst was greatly impressed by what he saw in the culture, architecture, and art of Europe.

A lot can be said about William Randolph Hearst – that he was this and he was that,  that he had opportunities handed to him etc. etc. All the things that were written about him (and his character) may be legitimate, but let’s keep the focus on what he accomplished with a dream.  He was a man who appreciated art and was an eager student, despite not being a fan of formal education.

From Camping to Castle

The original plan was to build a bungalow (a family retreat) on ” Camp Hill” at the top of the family ranch. He wanted to build the main house and some guest houses to have something “more comfortable” than the platform tents they had. That is what he told architect Julia Morgan, with whom he would collaborate for 28 years building the castle. The family would regularly go “camping” at the ranch (probably more like “glamping” than camping) and he wanted to have a regular place to go to get away.

After the death of his mother, Pheobe Hearst (influenza epidemic), Willam Hearst became the inheritor of the family estate, including 250,000 acres of land.

Right from the beginning, William Hearst commissioned Julia Morgan (graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts) to start working with him on the project. They would work together over the next 28 years on what would become “La Cuesta Encantada” or The Enchanted Hill. The project evolved into a collection of luxurious buildings, the main one being Hearst Castle, inspired by European architecture and art.

The Main Building

The main building, Hearst Castle, was built in the Mediterranean – Moorish style. It resembles a Spanish cathedral complete with bell towers. There are 115 rooms including 38 bedrooms, about 40 bathrooms, a theatre, and a beauty salon. The main dining room served as an inspiration for the dining room hall in Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.

Guest Houses

There are three guests houses as well: Casa Del Mar, Casa Del Sol and Casa Del Montes. Below is one of them, though I do not know which of them it is.

The Indoor Pool

The indoor pool is a beautiful creation inspired by the ancient Roman baths. It is made from blue and gold colored tiles inside the pool as well as the walls and ceiling.

The Neptune Pool

The outdoor Neptune pool is surrounded by sculptures and collonades and has the facade of a Roman Temple at one end.

credit: Hearst Castle / California State Park/ V. Garagliano

The Gardens

All around the main building and guest houses are magnificent European and Californian inspired gardens,

William Randolph Hearst: Citizen Kane?

Much has been written about William Randolph Hearst possibly being the inspiration behind the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane“(Orson Wells). One thing is very clear, William Hearst did everything he could to prevent the movie from being released, from refusing to have it advertised in his newspapers, to using his Hollywood connections as leverage. Despite his efforts, he was unable to prevent the release of Citizen Kane.

There certainly were some striking similarities between the two men (Kane being fictional). Both built publishing empires, both built extravagant mansions, and both had relationship voids despite being surround by and entertaining many people. In contrast to William Hearst, who was born into wealth, Citizen Kane rose from a life of poverty to a life of wealth.

Whether or not he is Charles Foster Kane, many people associated William Randolph Hearst with the character in Citizen Kane and imagined him wandering throughout his massive estate alone, surrounded by opulence, driven by power, but starving for deep human relationships.

A National Treasure

Today The Hearst Castle Estate is now Hearst San Simeon Historical Monument and registered with California State Parks. There are daily tours to tour the premises.

Conclusion: Hearst Castle is definitely a worthwhile stop if you happen to be visiting South California. Despite the colorful history of its builder and owner, it remains, as well a testimony to the power of a dream. You will definitely be inspired as you travel throughout the buildings and the grounds.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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What I Learned about Yoga

Category : Uncategorized

 

Yoga – I’ll just put it out there, I was not too savvy about what yoga was before writing this piece. My only experience with yoga was a few classes I took a long time ago – I don’t remember much and I didn’t stay around to find out more.

Yoga seems to be the trendy, popular thing to do these days. Everyone is doing it. Yoga studios are popping up like mushrooms. Yoga is being taught, in schools, in hospitals, in the workplace, and in YMCAs. Yes. yoga is trendy and it’s everywhere. Yoga mats and Lululemon type clothes are in all the sports stores. It is very popular, particularly among women, though men do it as well.

So, I wanted to explore it and find out more, especially what all the terminology means and where it comes from. I set out to learn more about this topic – the origins, the philosophy, and the practice. I hope you will enjoy this journey of discovery.

Yoga – A Definition

The best place to start is with a definition.  The word yoga literally means to “yoke‘ or “unite“. It is described as the yoking or uniting of the jiva (our transitory self) with Brahman (the infinite Divine self). In other words, it is connecting the god within us to the universal and impersonal god (according to Hinduism)

Brahman is a Hindu word used to describe what the Hindus call their god. Basically, the belief is that Brahman is everything and everyone, and flows through everything.  It is a universal conscience – a kind of fluid reality.

Specifically, What Is Yoga?

Yoga, is, at its core, religious worship (according to Hindu yogis), but it is not a religion. It is a ritual that involves the mind, the body, and the spirit in order to connect these with the Divine. There are 4 intertwining aspects:

  • Postures and movements
  • breathing
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation

Traditionally, all four aspects must be an integral part of the ritual; each has a specific purpose.

The movements and postures: These asanas are very specific (each with its own name) and involve specific transitions from one position to another in order to attain a posture representing this name. The names of the postures can be names or movements of animals, constellations, the moon, the sun or anything else.

In Hinduism, there are over 330 million deities (little gods). If you were to take a trip to India, it would not be surprising to see people doing yoga in the streets. There are so many statues of “little gods” and the people assume these postures in front of the “deity” as an offering. Cows and monkeys roam freely since they are some of the deities in Hinduism.

The Breathing: In yoga sessions, participants are instructed to breathe consciously, which is the essence of yoga. The conscious breathing assists you in connecting with the subtle energy within. Through the practice of proper breathing, yoga adepts learn to eventually navigate the different levels of consciousness. Essentially you are letting go of the past and the future and focusing on the moment inside a breath.

Prana and Pranayama: Prana refers to the vital force – the energy that animates the lungs. Pranayama is the mode of breathing involving three phases: inhalation, retention, and exhaling. According to yoga practitioners, breath is also vibration and has a specific sound which, when emitted enables the flow of energy. One of these we are all familiar with – Om.

The Energy: like in the Martial Arts such as Tai-Chi or Karate, there is a free flow of energy. In the Martial arts, this energy is called Qi. In yoga, it is called Kundalini (potential energy). It flows through channels called Chakras (points of energy in the body). In acupuncture, these are referred to as pressure points or points of stimulation. There are main Chakras through which the Kundalini “serpent” travels from the base of the spine up to the pituitary gland (the 6th chakra) in the frontal lobe in a weaving fashion, opening up each chakra as it moves up. The 7th chakra is the crown (the top of the head), which is the ultimate destination for full awakening.

The Goal of Yoga: The goal of yoga ( according to yogi swamis) is to move toward an expanded state of consciousness or what yogis call: a Kundalini Awakening. The Yoga Sutras (the writings) explain that by moving the energy up through the chakras along the spine (through breathing and meditation chants) and into the pituitary gland, the practitioner can acquire special abilities such as divination, levitation, mind-reading, Astro-projection, and not feel hunger, thirst or the need to breathe.

As the yogis and the Yoga Sutras say, we can not separate the basic belief of Hinduism from yoga, which is reincarnation. This belief is that there is an eternal cycle 0f birth-death-birth when a soul moves from body to body. This process is based on the law of karma.  According to a former yoga instructor, Laurette Wills, (yoga instructor for 22 years), this means that yoga is essentially a preparing of the body for death in anticipation of the next reincarnation.

Professor Subhas Tuwari of the Hindu University of America. “Yoga is Hinduism.”

Meditation:  According to swami.com, we can not separate or isolate the physical postures and movements from the rest of yoga. Yoga is meditation, they point outIt is a process. Yoga,  involves the senses, the body, the breath, and the various levels of the mind in order to achieve a higher consciousness.

For this reason, meditation will necessarily involve, in addition to postures and movements, visualization, contemplation, following an object of focus, and mantras (speaking, hearing, feeling). The goal as, one former yoga instructor stated is ” to attain oneness with the universe – enlightenment through the emptying of the mind”.

Relaxation: According to The National Academy of Sports Medicine, the goal or purpose of relaxation is” to improve feelings of peace and calm and lower the pulse, blood pressure, and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body. Through time and training the mind can help the body calm itself and lower the heart rate and reduce stress levels, which promote calming and feelings of relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.”

In yoga, this relaxation phase is called Savasana. It is a crucial phase which brings the body back into alignment – a state of equilibrium and allows the brain to unwind.

So, What’s the Fuss over Stretching Exercises?

Yoga is very popular in all age groups. Yoga adepts say it is fun, relaxing, energizing and great for developing muscular strength and balance.  They say that it is a really great way to exercise. They say that after a yoga session they feel good all over and relaxed.

The Swami and traditional yoga practitioners’ (yogis) perspectives are very different, They state that it is impossible to separate the physical aspects (the stretching, postures, and movements) from the rest of the yoga discipline; they are necessarily intertwined. In fact, these traditional practitioners say that Westerners do not fully comprehend the complex metaphysical and spiritual nature of yoga. Yoga must be yoga; the mind, the body and the spiritual united with the Divine.

 So, Is It Healthy?

There are several types of yoga, but the one that seems to be the most popular is Hatha yoga, Hatha yoga is more physical and focuses on the breathing control exercises (pranayama). Some of the benefits promoted about yoga are:

  • Develops an inner awareness
  • Develops breathing control
  • Strengthens the mind and the body
  • Develops mindfulness
  • Balances weight
  • Lowers tension
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Lowers blood sugar

Are there Dangers Associated with Yoga?

Spiritual Dangers

“One often hears and reads about the dangers of Yoga, particularly of the ill-reputed Kundalini Yoga. The deliberately induced psychotic state, which in certain unstable individuals might easily lead to a real psychosis, is a danger that needs to be taken very seriously indeed. These things really are dangerous and ought not to be meddled with in our typically Western way. It is meddling with Fate, which strikes at the very roots of human existence and can let loose a flood of sufferings of which no sane person ever dreamed. These sufferings correspond to the hellish torments of the chönyid state…”   C. G. Jung, Introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead * – Carl Jung

Psychological Dangers

There is a strong interest in the correlation between yoga (especially meditation) and psychosis. Some reports have described: (1) appearance of psychotic symptoms for the first time after meditation, (2) precipitation of acute psychotic episodes in those with a history of psychosis, after meditation, and conversely, there have also been reports of psychotherapeutic benefits for psychotics…The overall impression is that for the 6 months duration of follow up studied, chronic schizophrenics respond to activity in the form of physical training. Also, the emphasis on relaxation and awareness of internal sensations which are an essential part of yoga may not be useful for schizophrenics. YOGA AND PSYCHOSIS: RISKS AND THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL

“We are bombarded with the idea that yoga is not only a healthy exercise for the physical body but the mind as well. Once again, the statistics show otherwise. 76% of cases experienced psychological disorders, 43% had to have psychiatric or medical treatments. Out of the psychological disorders observed 63% experiences tiredness, 52% experiences states of anxiety, 45% experiences depression, 39% experiences nervousness,  39% experienced regression [a childlike dependency], 26% experienced a nervous breakdown, and 20% expressed serious suicidal tendencies. These statistics are based on a study of the TM (Transcendental Meditation) form of yoga and was pursued by the German Government youth department (Ministry of Youth, Family, and Health), which was verified by the nations Supreme Courts after careful review.” Ernest Wood, Seven Schools of Yoga, Theosophy Publishing House, 1976, p.78)

Physiological Dangers

There actually are some concerns regarding the practice of yoga, Injuries do happen. In a study conducted at Sydney University, researchers found that the incidence of pain is more than 10% (which is comparable to most sports). It can also make existing pain worse.

In the interest of giving as much accurate information as possible, it is necessary to say that there is another side to what is promoted. There can be serious consequences (both physical and mental) related to certain yoga practices. Here is a link to a comprehensive site which contains many references to the side effects of yoga. There are too many to summarize, so I invite you to consult it if you so desire.

From Yogadangers.com:

Signs and Symptoms of a Kundalini Awakening:

  • Mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory problems
  • Severe emotional mood swings – anxiety, depression, rage, fear, and dread
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal problems, irritable bowel syndrome
  • Itching, burning, cramping, twitching of skin and  body
  • Electrical rushes and feelings of energy moving throughout  the body
  • Ego problems, grandiose and paranoid states
  • Psychic, trance states and out-of-body experiences
  • Sexual and hormonal difficulties
  • Uncontrollable vocalizations, chanting and body contortions
  • Ringing, rushing, and hissing sounds in ears
  • Paranormal activity – levitations, possession states, and spiritual assault
  • Inability to function effectively enough to work or care for children
  • Symptoms can last for years
  • For more extensive listings see: Signs and symptoms of Kundalini Awakening and Kundalini: Risks and Information

Conclusion

We all want to be in better shape physically and mentally. We all want to have less stress and more peace in our lives. Yoga seems to have been chosen as a means to achieve these goals as and has millions of adepts around the world.  To this end, I wanted to see what yoga was all about and provide information as accurately as possible.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Please let me know your thoughts in a comment.

Please click Share if you feel this post can be helpful to someone else.

Have a great day!

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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Cannabis – What’s it all About?

Category : Uncategorized

Well, there you have it – as of October 17th, 2018, Canada has become the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize cannabis. Canada took center stage and the world had its eyes riveted toward Ottawa’s decision. Most likely the world is looking to see what will happen next. Is this going to be a trend from nation to nation? Will other countries be stepping up to bat? And what does this mean for Canadians and, indeed the world?

Let’s look a little closer into cannabis, what it is, the health and social aspects to see if we can find out what this might mean for the future.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is derived from the cannabis plant which grows wild in tropical, temperate and pretty much any climate around the world. The main active ingredient is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is what produces the euphoric high associated with cannabis.  There are 3 forms: marijuana, hashish, and hash oil.

Marijuana: is made from dried flowers and the leaves of the cannabis plant. it is the least potent of the 3 forms,

Hashish: is made from the resin ( a gum) of the cannabis plant. it is then dried, pressed into a block form and smoked.

Hash oil: This is the most potent of the 3 forms. Hash oil is the thick oil derived from the plant. It is also smoked.

What are the Short-term Effects of Using Cannabis? (from Psychology Today)

(1) Impaired memory: While cannabis doesn’t actually seem to destroy existing memory, it can prevent us from creating new memory in our brain.

(2) Reduced anxiety: Many marijuana smokers tend to have higher incidences of anxiety than the rest of the population and they take it to lower their anxiety levels.

(3) Disruption of motor skills: so, taking marijuana could impair our ability to execute functions that require both a high level of concentration and high level of coordination together with fast reactions such as driving a car.

(4) Increased appetite; It seems that cannabis triggers the release of leptin and neuropeptide y, two appetite-stimulating hormones. So, bags of chips and marijuana appear to go hand in hand.

(5) Increased heart rate: Consuming marijuana can possibly increase heart rates per minute by up to 50% and studies have shown that heart attack risk increases by 4.8 times within an hour of consuming cannabis.

(6) Sleep patterns may be disrupted: The evidence is not clear-cut on this one. anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana may help with sleep, while some studies suggest the opposite. One thing studies clearly show is that the rapid-eye-movement stage of sleep decreases. This is the phase during which we do most of our dreaming.

(7) Pain reduction: Historically, marijuana was reportedly used to numb pain during surgery. It seems that the cannabinoid receptors in the brain are activated and make the person less sensitive to pain. This property of marijuana is the main reason why cancer patients turn to marijuana for pain relief during cancer treatment,

More Social and Health Effects

The National Institue on Drug Abuse states that:

(1) There is a decreased level of motivation and an increased level of absenteeism (school and work) associated with marijuana use.

(2) There is an increase in the number of work accidents ( and potential job losses)

(3) Social life is adversely affected because of memory problems, slow reaction times, anxiety and panic attacks.

(4) Perception and judgment difficulties cause low achievement problems in both work and study environments.

According to Drug.com

(1) Aggression, rebellion, and poor relationships are associated with increased and chronic marijuana use.

According to The Social Impact of Drug Abuse (Jean-Paul Smith):

(1) Marijuana use can cause severe anxiety and panic attacks

(2) Marijuana use is associated with psychotic illness such as schizophrenia and also depression.

Some Marijuana Facts

(1) Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States.

(2) The oldest reference to marijuana goes back to 2727 B.C. when it was discovered and then used medicinally in China

(3) Women are more sensitive to the pain killing abilities of marijuana than men, but they are also more likely to develop a dependency.

(4) Hemp plants are the same species as marijuana plants, but they do not produce THC.

(5) The fibers of the marijuana plant are called hemp – they are extremely strong and can be made into cloth fabric and even rope to pull… statues (!).

(6) Like wine connoisseurs, there are marijuana connoisseurs.

(7) Beer and marijuana are closely related and belong to the same family of flowering plants.

(8) The air of the Colosseum in Rome, as well as the cities of Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin, and Verona, have wafts of marijuana floating in the air along with nicotine, caffeine, and cocaine.

(9) The marijuana plant is not an eco-friendly plant. For every one pound of “pot”. 4,600  pounds of Co2 is released.

(10) Compared to cigarettes, heavily smoked marijuana does not increase lung cancer. it is actually less addictive than caffeine.

What to Think?

So, concerning marijuana, there is no lack of literature, studies, opinions and anecdotal stories. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has a concern. Many know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone that something happened to because of marijuana. There are stories of how it has helped people (with illness0 and stories of how it has destroyed lives.

One thing seems to be clear. It looks like there is no turning back, at least for Canada and Uraguay. It seems to be set in stone here. Only time will tell the real story of how it has impacted us for better or for worse.

As to the other countries of the world, it would be good to sit back and observe to see if that is the path you wish to take. Is it inevitable? I don’t have an answer to that question. It certainly is Canada’s decision for now.

What is your takeaway on this subject? How do you feel?  I would love to have your feedback. Please leave a comment.

Have a great day!

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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Change It up – Do Something Different!

Category : Lifestyle , Success

Have you ever found yourself in a rut where nothing seems to be advancing in your life? You wake up each with discouragement induced brain fog. No matter how hard you try you feel like your life is just spinning its wheels. Somedays you feel like a hamster going round and round, but not getting anywhere in particular. Sometimes it feels like the hamster wheel comes to an abrupt stop and you fall off and end up staring at the ceiling wondering to yourself “Is this all there is”?

There are different kinds of ruts. Maybe you are in a relationship rut. Maybe your dating life seems about as exciting as watching wet paint dry. Maybe your marriage life is in a drought and will need a firehose to revive it. Maybe you feel stuck in a job that does not inspire you, but you go in day after day because it pays the bills. We have all been there. Ruts just bring us down or put us into an automatic pilot mode.

Time for a Change?

Some of us just want something to change, but we have no idea how that will happen. We are looking for that magic bullet, that magic wand to just wave us out of the doldrums of our life and into a new life of something meaningful, something where we feel we are actually going somewhere and doing something of importance.

So, what can we do to change things? Is there any hope for us?. Well, actually there is. We can climb out of this “depth of despair”, as Anne of Green Gables famously and dramatically called her difficult life situations. We can change things up, we can make things happen.

Expose Yourself to New Things

Yes, that is right! We can show our brains all kinds of new things: new experiences, new ways of seeing things. We can take ourselves to new places, even within our own city. Why not go visit car dealers shops and take the cars for a test drive. You don’t actually have to plan on buying them. What you are looking for are new experiences. Why not go visit a million dollar house that is on the market? Go for a tour. Why not?  Try on new clothes (ones you can’t normally afford).  Go to a travel agency and get brochures of places you would like to visit.

What you are doing here is expanding, stretching your mind. You are giving yourself permission to dream again. Doing this – trying new things, seeing new things – will set your mind to believing that you too can dream and accomplish what you thought was too late for you or just for other people. And always make your dream bigger than your reality.

Decide

It really begins here, with a decision. That is really the first step. It is also the hardest and scariest step for most of us. But, really, nothing happens without a decision. It has been said that successful people are “quick to make decisions and slow to change their mind.”

What does this mean? It means that they get the information they need, they evaluate the data and make a decision. and once they have made their decision, they stick with it and manage it. They choose to ‘”stay in their lane.” The decision may not look like much and it may come with risks. Maybe they don ‘t have all the facts and most likely they can’t see the end of the road, but they stick to their guns and dive in.

This “making a decision” thing can apply to whatever we want to change, whether it be our financial situation, our parenting, our work situation or other. We simply have to decide to decide.

Change Your Thoughts

Any computer analyst will tell you that the output is dependant on the input. If good data goes in, then there will be good output on the other end. How do we get better input? Well, we need to change what information we are allowing into our mind. The fact is, the information we have received up until now is largely what has brought us to where we are in life. We need to get new and better information and throw out the baggage we have been used to, including the suitcases.

Whether it comes to changing your health, your fitness level or anything else in life, new information and new associations will change things for you. Get around new people who are going in the direction you want to go. If you want to improve your health or fitness, wouldn’t it make sense to get around people who are pursuing health goals? Now, of course, this doesn’t mean get rid of your friends and family; It just means associating with people who think differently and are getting the results you want.

Keep up the Momentum

Once you decide and are geared to make a change, it needs to become a habit. A habit takes 63 days (roughly just over 2 months) to solidify. so don’t give up. Stay on the path. Stay in your lane.

Find your motivation. Most of us have a 2-week motivation to go to work (pay check to pay check) and that is what keeps us going to work each day. It’s time to find a new motivation, one that comes from you, rather than a boss, whether it is a desire to change a situation you are tired of, or whether you are chasing a dream. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Ask for guidance from people who can help you. And most importantly, stay away from the “whiners and complainers” – they will only discourage you.

Finish What You Start

Winston Churchhill famously said:

Never, ever give up.

Don’t quit, don’t get distracted and don’t fall back. Be kind to yourself and take your new path in small steps. Every day, do something that is moving you forward toward your goal, whether it is reading a new book or talking with someone who can help you. Don’t sabotage the progress you have made by compromising or slacking off (a bit). Remember, the couch is not the best place to find motivated people.

No matter what, time will pass. Time is a relentless thief that will steal your time away from you when you are not looking. We need to redeem the time and make the most of the time we have to do what only we can do. Don’t let time take away the precious moments you could have used to change things in your life.

Know that You Have a Destiny

We were not born to just pay the bills and try to get by. We are worth so much more than that. We have so much to offer the world, but how will the world know what we have to offer if we don’t even know ourselves because we never believed we could do more and be more?

The economic world we live in loves for us is to stimulate the economy, pay our taxes and be “good” citizens. While none of these are wrong, we have greater contributions to make and a bigger impact to have on the world. There are people whose lives we can change and places we can discover. There are new inventions to create and books to write.

Be bold, be courageous. Don’t hold back from doing what only you can do. Have questions bigger than your answers. Always go deeper than what you know and remember that in the end, we will never know it all.

Have a great day!

Has this post inspired you? Please leave a comment below.

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How to Be the Person Everyone Likes

Be Flexible and Win at Life

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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Beer – The Incorrigibly Social Drink

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You never know where or how a blog post will end up when you begin. I had some ideas about where it was going, but as I delved into the subject of beer, I entered a whole new world, a fascinating world. There is so much to write about – too much for just one article. I hope you will enjoy this cursory exploration of the subject of the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic drink.

Beer Is Incorrigibly Social

More than any other alcoholic drink, beer has long been associated with everything social, from sporting events to holiday gatherings, from summer barbeques and beachside picnics to after work socials, beer is always an invited guest. It is cool, it is refreshing and it brings people together.

For as long as beer has been around and for as long as people have been around, beer has been a central player in fireside gatherings, storytelling, singing, and dancing. It usually goes along with a good feast (lots of food) and celebrations. It may not always have been the alcoholic drink we know today, but just the fact of consuming it and connecting with social bonding may have been enough to produce endorphins (feel-good hormones) in the brain: the power of association + good food + good drink.

Probably, as alcohol became an integral part of the beer brewing process (fermentation), this also enhanced endorphin production creating an even stronger need to bond with fellow drinkers. I think it is safe to say that beer may have been instrumental in building stable, interdependent communities.

Let’s Raise a Toast!

Beer drinking became an important social and highly regarded action as a way of showing loyalty to one’s monarch or state (toasting). Not drinking would likely set you apart as (1) someone who was not much fun to be around and (2) someone not to be trusted and potentially dangerous for refusing to toast your allegiance. The “not being much fun” thinking still holds true today. People are a bit wary of someone who never drinks.

And the Pressure Is On

Can we be real for a bit? Beer marketing is all about peer pressure, wouldn’t you agree? Of course, people also drink beer because they like to, but my point is there is a lot of heavy marketing going on too. Marketing campaigns for beer target social groups, age groups, and market to promote social values such as “fitting in”, adventure, risk, friendship groups, fun, success, respect from peers and others. Imagery, music, and ambiance all play together to promote these values and gather “membership”.

Status, personal identity, and personal style are other aspects that people look at when choosing beers to drink. What feeling do they want to have, what style do they want to embrace and what image do they want to portray of themselves?

And there are also cultural differences between countries. For example, in Brazil, beer drinking might be strongly associated with sporting events and perhaps social status, whereas in China, affordability and convenience might be factors that determine the market. In India, the beer drinking culture might be vastly different from the beer drinking culture in the West.

A Bit of History

The earliest evidence of beer making from barley goes back to about 3,500 – 3,100 B.C in Western Iran. During the building of the Great Egyptian Pyramids, workers were given beer ( 4-5 liters) as a source of refreshment and nutrition as payment for their work. Archeologists believe that beer was instrumental in the development of early civilizations.

Beer consumption later spread throughout Europe by Germanic and Celtic tribes, but most likely, the beer they drank back then would not be recognized by beer drinkers today. This “old type” of beer usually contained different combinations of fruits, honey, plants and spices and sometimes narcotic elements as well. They did not contain hops at the time; this was introduced later on.

It was only in 1516 that the Duke of Bavaria adopted the beer “purity law” ( an early ancestor of today’s nutritional safety regulations), which stipulated that the only ingredients permissible in beer were: water, hops, and barley-malt.

Up until the time of the Industrial Revolution, beer making was primarily artisanal and local. The Industrial Revolution changed this situation as it had changed many other small size industries as well. Beer making was launched into an industrial global market.

Fascinating Beer Facts

(1) The oldest known beer recipe dates back about 4,000 years to ancient Sumeria.

(2) Hops ( the bitter factor in beer) is closely related to the Marijuana plant.

(3) The strongest beer in the world, Brewmeister’s “Snake Venom” (from Scotland) has 64.5% alcohol,

(4) The most expensive beer in the world is Belgian’s “Vielle Bon Secours” sells for $1,000 US.

(5) Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass (no kidding!)

(6) In ancient Egypt (time of the Pharaohs) beer was the national currency.

(7) It was illegal for men to sell or brew beer in ancient Egypt.

(8) In the 13th century, some people in Norway would baptize their children in beer.

(9) The first professional beer brewers were women. In ancient Peru, the brewers had to be of noble birth or extremely beautiful.

(10) The ancient Babylonian King Hammurabi decreed that every person must have a ration of beer each day. He also decreed that if a woman served bad beer, she was to be drowned.

(11) Zythology is the study of beer and the beer making process, including the role of the ingredients in beer.

(12) Beer cans in Japan have braille on them so that blind people don’t confuse them with soda cans.

(13) In 19th century Germany, nursing mothers in Munich drank up to 7 pints a day because they believed it was necessary to be able to breastfeed their children.

(14) In Africa, there is a beer brewed from bananas.

(15) In France, Germany, Austria, and Spain, McDonald’s serves beer.

 

The Micro Breweries

The craft beer industry began in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with a desire to move out of the mainstream beer industry. The clientele of this industry was willing to pay more for better tasting beer than the mass-produced variety. Since then the microbreweries and craft beer operations have increased in number to into the thousands today.

Their image is different, their message is different, they speak a different language and their clientele is seeking quality, refined beer. These beers are different, – they are bold and edgy.  They make a statement and bring a freshness to the beer world. But the small breweries have to fight an uphill battle. There is and always will be a big market for beer. They have to be savvy about marketing their brand. Operational costs, distribution, and marketing can take big chunks out of any profit made. They can literally make or break the brewery.

My Takeaway

So, what have I learned from all of this?  For one thing, I have gained a new “observers” respect for this beverage (I am not really much of a beer drinker).  I have gained an admiration for those who struggle to make it in the microbrewery business. I admire their entrepreneurship and courage. I have learned a lot about the social and cultural history of beer and its impact on civilization.

Beer is not just beer; it is a revolution (or an evolution), an expression of who we are as a society – our values and our shared cultures. It is a barometer of where we have been and where we are today. So, next time you raise a toast, remember, as the Germans say:

“Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit!

Der Gemutlichkeit

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit!

Der Gemmutlichkeit

 

A toast, a toast!

To cheer and good times.

A  toast, a toast!

To cheer and good times.

 

Prost!

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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The Money Is in the Clutter

Category : Uncategorized

Read this post at inpeaks.com

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The Unforgettable Route 66

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Category : Lifestyle

Unforgettable and Fun Things to See on Route 66

Traveling along Route 66 is quite the experience. I really had no idea what to expect from this adventure or what we were in for. I hope that you will enjoy this post as we explore some of the fun and curious things we saw along the way.

The Beginning

It begins in Chicago, Illinois. This city is well known for many reasons, not the least of them is Al Capone (Scarface), notorious gangster and businessman during the Prohibition era.  Chicago has many beautiful treasures, one of them being its beautiful lakeside front and downtown water canals.

  

So, We Begin Our Journey

Illinois

Traveling through the cornfields of Illinois, we saw these – Follow the yellow – no, red, I mean the red brick road –

and visit the  Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois  Don’t forget to visit the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site – the final resting place of the 16th president.

Missouri

A stop in St Louis to get some perspective:

The Gateway Arch reflects the role of St. Louis in the opening up of the West (Thomas Jefferson). St. Louis is also famous for the Dred Scott Trial (Dred and Hariette Dred) where the Dred couple filed in court for their freedom.

and a bite to eat at Angelo’s taverna

Then we headed on our way toward, Missouri (Cuba) and stayed in this quaint hotel (The Wagon Wheel Hotel

And ate at this wonderful country restaurant Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q right beside the Wagon Wheel hotel.

Don’t miss this little outpost store, not far from the Wagon Wheel hotel and the “biggest Rocking Chair in the world.”

Kansas

Look at this cute little fire hydrant we spotted in a small Kansas town on our way as well as the cars that inspired the movie by the same name: Cars

Sometimes we hit a few obstacles:

But we were soon back on the road again.-

Oklahoma

And onwards toward Oklahoma

Stop in and visit the Will Rogers Memorial & Museum (Claremore). Will Rogers was an Oklahoma country boy (of partly Cherokee heritage) who began actin in Wild West shows and then later, Vaudeville and ultimately Broadway. Rogers was also a nationally known writer (social moral issues of the day).

Texas

Here is another quaint restaurant: Pedro’s Bar and Grill

on our way into Texas

They say everything is big in Texas – this is the biggest cross I have ever seen –

In Groom, Texas, you will find this gem measuring 190 feet and reputed to be the tallest cross in the Northern Hemisphere.

And there are wide open spaces for growing anything (Cadillac Ranch)

Cadillac Ranch is a living, dynamic artwork /sculpture that invites participation (bring your spray paint). It has a bit of a quirky past, but essentially represents the “Golden Age” of the American automobile. You can find this gem just west of Amarillo, Texas on Old Route 66.

The Leaning Tower of – Texas?

Also in Groom, Texas

New Mexico

And we are off.. again.. en route for New Mexico…

And Albuquerque

Albuquerque is located on the upper edges of the Chihuahuan Desert in one of the highest elevated regions in the United States. The Old Historic Town was founded in 1706 by Spanish families. The brown adobe architecture is a Pueblo-Spanish style.

Arizona

Now to cross the Continental Divide…. on the way to Arizona

Sometimes you can be on the wrong side, but don’t worry, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel –  on our way to Arizona.

Take a step back in time as you drive into Oatman, Arizona, an old mining ghost town that still continues to thrive. Come to walk among the donkeys that are regulars around town.

  

Here is what we encountered on our way into Oatman

Meteor Crater

This meteor crater is the world’s best-preserved meteor impact site. It is located along Route 66 in Northern Arizona, near Winslow. The crater is nearly one mile wide and 550 feet deep.

Grand Canyon –

No need for a bio on the Grand Canyon. It is simply massive and very beautiful.

California

Along Route 66, don’t miss the Bagdad Café – made famous by the movie of the same name.

In Newberry Springs, California, on Old Route 66, you will find the Bagdad Café – in the middle of nowhere, but somewhere in the Mojave Desert. There is not much of anything for miles around – just sand and heat and dust.

Sometimes along this lonely road, you may find it necessary to rethink your path-

But, you will know you are almost there when –

And, all of a sudden –  you have made it!!

 

Now to explore the destination –

 

A little bit of Los Angeles

And a little fun at Universal Studios –

and me with a couple of my buddies –

 

Cheers to Route 66

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

 

Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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The Breathtaking Magdalen Islands – A Summer Paradise

Category : Life Tips

They Are Breathtaking

The Magdalen Islands are absolutely gorgeous. Once you visit them, you’ll want to return again and again. The beaches with their powdery golden sand, rival the best in the world and the picturesque landscape will take your breath away. The islands are a paradise for beach lovers, cyclists and kite surfers.

The Magdalen islands are an archipelago of eight islands nestled in the Gulf of St. Laurence, a five-hour boat ride away from the tip of Prince Edward Island. These islands actually belong to the province of Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, but are separated from the rest of Quebec by two provinces: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Let’s Take a Tour

To get to the boat crossing, you will need to travel through New Brunswick, cross the Confederation Bridge over to Prince Edward Island (home of the legendary and loveable heroine, Anne of Green Gables), and then drive from one end of this island province to the other end where you can catch the ferry to the Magdalen Islands.

Approaching the Islands

As you approach the islands, you will a red-cliffed island coming up on the left side. This is Isle de l’Entrée (Entry island). The imposing red cliffs give the impression that this island is uninhabited, but as you glide by, you will see it slopes down and you will be able to spot little houses. During the year, there are about 100 people (of Scottish and Irish descent) living on the island. When you visit this island and speak to the locals, it is like stepping back in time. The locals speak with a quaint old-style Engish which is difficult to pin down. The island is completely rural with no paved roads and you will see cows freely grazing high on the slopes of the cliffs.

As your ferry nears the docks of Cap-aux-Meules (Grindstone) Island, you will be greeted with a stretch of red cliffs in both directions. This is the most populated of the islands, where most of the business, stores and government facilities are. When you get off the boat and begin your visit, you can turn left and drive toward Havre-aux-Maisons Island. This island boasts a fairly level and rural landscape with very few trees to be seen. Along your way, you will see many colorful, wooden houses which are typical of the islands – splashes of color all over the gently rolling open landscape.

If you go North on Cap-aux Meules island and then head East, you will find your self on the smallest inhabited island of the archipelago; Point-aux-Loups (Wolf Point) Island. This island is a long and narrow island flanked on both sides by two of the most beautiful sand dune beaches in the archipelago: la Dune du Nord (North Duneand Point-aux-Loups beach. They are beautiful, but also extremely dangerous during times of high tide and strong winds.

Continue along this island East and then head toward the South and you will find yourself on Grosse Isle, an island containing a wildlife reserve and most likely the most beautiful beach of the islands; La Grand Echouerie (The Great Shipwreck), but called “Old Harry” Beach by the English speaking locals. This is the site of the walrus (sea cow) hunts of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Going further, but West this time, you will leave Grosse Isle for Ile de la Grande Entréée (The Great Entrance). This Island is Quebec’s lobster capital. Here you will find marinas filled with colorful fishing boats ready to go out  or coming back with a haul. This island is also an excellent place to do kayaking excursions.

Now, you will need to head back and retrace your steps all the way back to Cap-aux-Meules Island. From here you can travel West over to Havre Aubert Island. This island, at the western extremity of the archipelagos, is where the first Acadians settled in La Grave (historical site). Here you will drive past colorful beach cottages and fishing boats. You may see kite surfers out in the water. There are quaint little shops, cafés, and restaurants to suit everyone’s taste. Don’t forget to stop in at the Museé de la Mer ( the  Museum of the Sea) during your visit.

There is one more island – Brion Island –on the most Eastern extremity of the archipelagos. Access to this island is not easy and it is primarily an ecological reserve.

Proudly Acadian

The Magdalen Islands are fiercely and proudly Acadian, for the most part, and all over, on homes and flag poles you will see their flag proudly displayed with its tri-color (red, white and blue) and a gold star. The Acadians have a long history of tears and of strength. As islanders, they also had a history of isolation and battling with the storms of winter and scarcity of food. If you happen to be traveling there around August 15th, you will see a proliferation of the Acadian flag since this is Acadia’s National day. Yes, they are a nation without a country, a nation with its own language and dictionary, but no physical country.

The Magdalen Islands are a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Kayakers and kite surfers are in paradise here. There are constant breezes blowing across the islands, which make them pleasant and challenging for both sports. Bikers will also love the ‘Maggies’ as they are perfect for a good bike ride – hilly, but not overly difficult and long flat stretches as well.

So Much Beauty

There is so much natural beauty to the islands – open spaces, beautiful beaches, high red rock cliffs looking over thunderous waves below.  There is the beauty of all the colorful homes and the haunting beauty of the lighthouses seen in various places along the coast.

There are beaches, beaches everywhere. And there are beautiful rock formations. Come and explore some of these:

There is something for everyone here. The quiet laid-back rhythm of the islands along with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet will leave you wanting to come back again and again. For seafood lovers, this is a place to stay for a while. For those who want to get away from it all, come here and relax. enjoy the breeze, the waves, the beaches, and the gorgeous sunsets. For sports enthusiasts, you will find your niche here whether on land or sea.

 Feel the Breeze

Listen to the waves and feel the island breeze. Come and listen to a storyteller spin tales of drama out on the ice floats. Be captivated by the fishing stories. Sit down with locals over a beer or a cup of coffee. Climb a hill and enjoy the setting sun over the water.

And, when you are back on the ferry taking you away from the islands towards home, you will know and feel that you have left a piece of your heart back on the islands waiting for you to return.

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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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