Posing with big cats isn’t cool. Here’s why.
With the newly popular Netflix series “Tiger King” being released and Karen Basket memes swimming through the internet, I figured this was an appropriate time to create a post like this.
Paying for one on one experiences with big cats isn’t exclusive.
Most of the people who partake in these kind of experiences do it with innocent intentions, however, the sad reality is that this kind of tourist attraction is cruel and inhumane.
The truth is…
Cubs, when not being unnaturally held by tourists, are shoved in small cages away from their mothers. The older cats are actually sedated with large amounts of medications to pacify them for tourists, and confined to small cages the rest of the time… not much of a life for a majestic creature who would normally spend its waking hours roaming across 60 miles of territory. Sounds mind numbing, right? It is. These poor creatures are visibly stressed behind the scenes and are often seen exhibiting unnatural behaviours to cope, like tail biting and restless pacing.
There are plenty of examples of animal exploitation for human entertainment. For example: lion taming, bull fighting, elephant riding, koala holding… the list is endless. Many of these places claim that they adhere to ethical standards, or perhaps that they don’t sedate the animals. The truth is, it doesn’t matter – these animals are in completely alien environments, in the hands of the world’s most terrifying predator: us. This causes them extreme stress. Imagine living your entire life in either fight or flight mode with your arms tied behind your back, been gawped at and groped by strangers. All in the name of a good selfie.
How you can help
Don’t pay for “exclusive” one on one experiences with wild animals.
Many of these places that exploit animals will claim that your money goes to support the nourishment of these animals. Instead, all it does is increase the demand for these soulless and harmful interactions.
Speak out against it, and don’t be afraid to be honest about the truth of these situations.
If you see someone doing it, don’t automatically assume they’re stupid and evil. The people who are partaking in these experiences usually have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes.
If you’ve done it yourself, it takes integrity and honour to honestly reflect on your experiences and voice your thoughts.
Sign a petition!
Many organisations around the world are working night and day to bring experiences like these to an end. You can help support the cause by signing a petition that’s taking a stand against these cruel acts.
Here is a petition by World Animal Protection that is asking trip advisor to stop promoting wildlife entertainment venues. https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.uk
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Anything you’d like to add? Comment below!
You Can Help Save Dogs While You Travel
Next time you’re travelling out of country, you might have the opportunity to change a life!
Organisations around the world are working day and night to create a better future for stray cats and dogs in need of support. Volunteers are needed on every level of the process, from rescuing and rehabilitation to transportation.
Cats and dogs all around the world are waiting to be homed with their adopters, and you can help make it happen. Flight companions are needed to help bring these patient puppers to their forever home. By connecting with an organisation you may be able to accompany one of these sweet souls… fully organised and paid for by the organisation. They make the process easy for you – all you have to do is get in contact.
The animals rescued by these organisations are given a second chance at life, usually being saved from meat farms or inhumane living conditions. If you aren’t a traveller, or don’t have the financial means to donate at the moment, one of the greatest ways you can make an impact is to share the existence of these organisations – especially with anyone you know who is a frequent traveller.
Before your next trip, search ‘volunteer flight companion’ to see if you can help support cats or dogs in countries you are planning to visit… you may even save a dog on your layover. Please try and contact these organisations at least a few weeks in advance.
These are some non-profit organisations that could use your help.
“If you have been staying in Thailand, or are planning a trip to Thailand in the near future, you may be able to help a dog or cat on their journey to their new home by becoming a flight volunteer! This just means that you would be letting a dog or cat fly with you to your destination (organized and paid for by Rescue P.A.W.S.)…”
Soi Dog Foundation
“Over 100 adopted animals are currently waiting patiently at Soi Dog’s shelter in northern Phuket to fly to homes in Europe, the USA and Canada…”
Dog Rescue Thailand
“We want to welcome you to join our team, for a shorter or a longer period of time. You are needed in the shelter to socialize the dogs, cuddle, activate and teach them to walk in a leash…”
Elephant Nature Park
“Being a flight volunteer doesn’t involve any additional costs for you and we will organize everything for you and meet you at the airport to help you check the dog in. At your destination you collect the dog, go through customs and the owners will be waiting there for you. You will be rewarded by a lovely reunion between dog and owner…”
Save Korean Dogs
“Traveling from Seoul, South Korea, to the US or Canada? You can be a flight volunteer!…”
CB Rescue Foundation
“We are in need of Flight Companions for the following DIRECT flights. (Air Canada, Air Transat, WestJet)…”
Pegadas e Bigodes
“We have an increasing number of dogs being adopted to other countries, in particular Belgium and the Netherlands. We need to fly them to their new homes but of course they can’t travel on their own – they need a flight companion!…”
No Dog Left Behind
“Thank you for your interest in volunteering with No Dogs Left Behind in China…” From emergency response to the dog finally being adopted and everything in between our team is working transparently to allow our followers to be a part of the mission…”
To add an organisation to this list, click here.
Alternatively, you can also help these organisations by working hands-on with the animals while abroad, or you can donate monetarily to help support rescues, medical rehabilitation, food, shelter, and costs of transportation.
Share this article with somebody you know who travels frequently!
What does it mean to be productive? The word often makes us think of things like the fast paced hustle and grind. As a society we have a skewed idea of what productivity looks like, which has led many people to burnout, anxiousness or depression.
There are two major energetic influences behind ‘productivity’: force and flow.
This ‘force-flow’ relationship is like the ebb and flow of the sea. Neither is better than the other, and both are necessary for Mother Nature to support life. This energy exchange is the current that keeps life afloat. Sometimes we are with the tide, other times we work against it.
The sea ebbs and flows naturally, as humans often we are caught up in the tide, and can find ourselves working against rather than with current circumstances.
We often use force, through hard work, to produce physical results in our life. And when we hear “go with the flow” we suspiciously picture a free spirited hippie floating through life in a daze. ‘Flow’ is usually viewed as counterproductive, but this isn’t exactly the truth.
Force and flow are in relationship with each other, and it is this synergy that yields results.
Productivity is subjective between person, place and moment. The seasons and cycles within our lives need space for this ‘ebb and flow’ relationship. Just as we sleep and wake, both force and flow are equally important to the process.
The most important thing is to simply ‘be’; to listen to our intuition, and do what feels right moment by moment, with each changing tide.
Here is a list of things that you can do in your spare time to help you be productive, whatever that may look like to you.
- Learn a breathing exercise – Sitali breath, Lion’s breath and Breath of Fire are all techniques that many people find beneficial
- Learn to bellydance
- Flow – Guided Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Kung Fu – Yin yoga is great before bed
- Practice mobility – There are plenty of free resources available to help teach you how to strengthen your joints and muscles. Try a quick Google or YouTube search.
- Experiment with your style – Try shaking up your wardrobe or hairstyle.
- Open your taste palette – Have you ever heard of an Indonesian Jamu? Or a Costa Rican Gallo Pinto? Chances are that you have ingredients laying around your house that could spice up your palette and enhance your health.
Mental, Emotional and Spiritual
- Learn a new language – studies show a 5 year delay in Alzheimers for people who can speak more than one language
- Watch a TED Talk
- Listen to a podcast
- Write letters to your loved ones
- Make a vision board
- Tune into a guided meditation – New to meditation? Try searching “mindfulness, visualisation or sound bath”.
- Play a childhood board/video game
- Learn to sing or play an instrument
- Write a short story
- Research what’s happening in your community – Chances are, recreation and leisure activities are happening in your neighbourhood. A little research could connect you with like-minded people who share the same interests or goals. Stuck indoors? Social media is your online neighbourhood!
- Start a video log that you can watch in the future – Daily, weekly, monthly or annually, a video is a beautiful way to collect memories of yourself and your loved ones.
- Play the wikipedia game – Pick two completely irrelevant words. Try and get from “A” to “B” by only clicking links within the articles. Fewest clicks win.
Positivity & Self Care
- Avoid your phone for 30 minutes – If stepping away from your phone is difficult for you, that’s a sign that you should be disconnecting more often. To disconnect is to retreat; to retreat is to reconnect.
- Detox your social media – Cleanse your newsfeeds by unfollowing people who don’t add value to your life.
- DIY body scrub, face cleanser, toner and moisturiser
- DIY conditioning hair/beard mask
- Soak your feet in warm water and sea salt
- Start a virtual movie night or book club
- Positive affirmation reminders – Set notifications to go off spontaneously that remind you to relax, rehydrate and smile. But most importantly, remind yourself how blessed you are.
Things to research
(In no particular order)
- Chinese Medicine
- Bloodline and Family History
- Ancestral History
- Ancient Egyptian Mythology
- Greek Mythology
- Norse Mythology
- Celtic Mythology
- Myers-Briggs Personality Test
- Ancient Worlds and Lost Civilisations
- Dark Matter
- Zen Koans
- Stoic Philosophy
- Growth Mindset
You are worthy.
The benefits of salt
Many cultures and religions from all over the world believe that salt has the ability to cleanse and purify. Since ancient times salt has been said to remedy ailments and ward off negative spirits.
Now that we are living an age of technology, we have evidence to support the rumours that date back thousands of years: salt really does have purifying properties. These natural crystals have incredibly rejuvenating effects!
How can you use salt to cleanse your mind, body and home?
Salt water is an eco friendly and powerful mouthwash. Gargling salt water kills bad bacteria in that live in our mouths and throats. Doing this has been practiced for hundreds of years, long before we understood the science behind its magic. Gargling regularly with salt water helps cleanse the body of unwanted and negative energy. Recent studies have shown that this practice can not only protect us from ailments like the common cold and flu, it even aides the symptoms and helps our body recover at a faster rate.
Salt bath detox.
If you don’t have access to a salt water sea, a sea salt bath is the next best thing. I don’t recommend taking baths frequently as the average bath uses 80 litres of fresh water, but soaking in a tub of salts every once in a while can be benefit the body. My favourite alternative is to do a foot bath! Fill a wash bason with warm water, add a handful of salt and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
Many cultures believe salt water has the ability to draw negative or stagnant energy out of the body and restore it to a pure state. Dermatologists recommend salt water baths to patients as it is widely believed that they help to relieve the symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema. Salt baths are also known to improve wound healing.
Sprinkle salt in your home.
It is believed that salt has the ability to absorb negative energy. Many cultures and religions practice sprinkling salt around their homes to protect them from unwanted energy. Take a small handful of salt and sprinkle a thin line under your windows, doorways entering/exiting your home, and if desired around the walls of your rooms. This is believed to absorb negative energy from your space, leaving it purified and rejuvenated. Let the salt sit for a few hours (or days) before cleaning it up.
Refresh your mattress.
Soda bicarbonate is a natural salt compound that works wonders on home cleaning and can be used for an abundance of purposes. Try cleansing your mattress by sprinkling ground sea salt or soda bicarb on it. Let the crystals sit for at least 3-4 hours before vacuuming off. This natural method helps deodorises your bed and kill bad bacteria.
You are loved.
Questions or Answers?
Often, we end up with the same goals and resolutions, year after year, without much success. What we don’t tend to realise is that the process itself is flawed. The process we use is functionally the same as if we were to choose a destination and try to get to there without any form of navigation. How are we supposed arrive without any sense of direction or mapped route?
Shifting our focus from attaining the result to asking the right questions gives us clarity. These insights help us understand the direction we want to move in.
Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.-Tony Robbins
We are the creators of our craft; the alchemists of our lives. We have the ability to take the mundane and transform it into something of awe. All of the tension in our lives can be woven into beauty, just as the beauty in our lives can crumble under tension.
Vision, imagination and discipline can make miracles happen. While we cannot control the outer circumstances of our lives, our mindset is within our control.
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.“ – James Allen
Remember that life is about the journey, not the destination. Simply having a vague goal of “get fit” or “make more money” isn’t going to make you happier now. Try not to get too distracted by obsessing over the ultimate goal – experiencing progress and investing energy in the process is what brings fulfilment.
Here are some valuable questions worth asking yourself in times of reflection and redirection:
What were your best and worst moments of last year?
What experiences have made an imprint on you this past year? What can you do to commemorate the beautiful memories? What lessons did the difficult times teach you? How can you apply these lessons to every area of your life? What would help you experience the most growth right now: strengthening your weaknesses or nurturing your strengths?
What do you want to change going forward?
Write a list of everything you would like to change in your life and separate them into two categories: things within your control, and things outside of your control. What are some small steps you can take to change the things within your control? What are some small steps you can take to surrender the grief that you hold, caused by things outside of your control?
What is your ultimate “dream”?
Imagine, you are what you would describe as happy, successful and fulfilled. What does happiness feel like? What is your definition of success? What does it take to be truly fulfilled? Are your values aligned with your ultimate dream? Are your actions aligned with your values?
You are limitless.
Refresh and renew the atmosphere in your space. Whether you are starting a new chapter in your life or leaving an old one behind, these tips will help bring some peace and tranquility to your space.
Why it’s important to nurture our space.
Enclosed spaces collect and retain energy. When we feel something negative or uneasy in our home, it is most likely an accumulation of funky energy that you are sensing rather than a ghost or spirit.
Energy cleansing is used to help rid the mind, body and spirit of negative or unwanted energy. Here are some practices that can help you reset the tone of your home:
When you look at the decorations in your home, how do they make you feel? Does the picture in your living room have a dreary undertone or an inviting presence? The art we have in our homes can influence the way we feel in a space. For example, if you hand painted the picture you have hanging in your living room, it will give you a different emotional experience if it was painted at the start of a flourishing relationship or in the midst of a heartbreak. Take some time to admire the artwork you have in your home and ask yourself how it makes you feel. If it brings you joy, dust it off and show it some love. If not, show it some love and gift it to someone who may enjoy it.
A heartfelt meditation can shift the most stagnant energy into something soulful and nourishing. When we mindfully connect with our space as we meditate, we act as a beacon of energy. This connection allows us to transmute the energy in our space and imprint it with our own light. The more love we can allow ourselves to receive and radiate while we meditate, the more we are able to nourish our space into something sacred. Make sure you are comfortable so you can allow yourself to release tension in your mind, body, and living space. If you have healing crystals this is the perfect time to let them work their magic.
Salt is a superhero when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. Many cultures and religions from all over the world have believed that salt has the ability to cleanse and purify. It is said that salt has the ability to absorb negative energy. Sprinkle salt around your walls, under your windows, in doorways, and even on your mattress. This will help detoxify your space; it’s almost like a deep sea spa treatment for your soul space. Let the salt relax for anywhere from hours to days before vacuuming up.
Smudging is an ancient practice where sacred herbs are burned to clear away negative or stagnant energy. The properties in these natural elements purify the energies of their environment, creating a warm and soulful space. Some sacred herbs you could use as tools to cleanse the energy in your space are: sage, lavender, cedar, eucalyptus & bay leaf. Incense can also be used for this purpose. While you are smudging make sure to mindfully use your own energy to brighten the space as you make your way around. Don’t forget to smudge objects that may hold stagnant energy, like wallets or pillowcases.
You are loved.
Positive affirmations are powerful tools that help us change the negative thought patterns in our mind. Most of our day to day thoughts go unnoticed, almost as if they run on autopilot. When we take the time to consciously think uplifting thoughts and put energy into affirming empowering beliefs, we begin to create transformational connections in our mind and massive shifts in our reality.
What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is anything and everything that we tell ourselves. If we tell ourselves something for long enough, we often begin to believe it as true. When our mind runs on autopilot and we aren’t aware of the thoughts that are passing through, we may be telling ourselves disempowering thoughts and limiting beliefs.
The effects of limiting beliefs
The human brain works in pattern recognition. When we say something over and over to ourselves, our brain recognizes a pattern and forms connections and pathways affirming what it is we have thought. These pathways directly influence every emotion we feel, decision we make and action we take.
A way to visualize this is to picture a small flowing stream of water. Each time we think a thought such as “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m not strong enough” we begin to pour more water down the stream. As the water begins to gain mass and speed it runs deeper into the dirt, eventually forming a river.
This analogy helps us understand the mind. The water flowing down the stream is the energy of our thoughts, and the path is the neurological connections becoming deeper rooted over time.
When our thoughts are limiting and disempowering, they affect what we believe about ourselves and influence how we interact with the world around us. Holding negative beliefs could keep one in a place of ill health, poor finances and unfulfillment.
Taking the time to consciously affirm uplifting and empowering thoughts has a huge effect on our reality. Through affirming positive beliefs we have the ability to transform our mental wellness, physical health, financial situations and much more.
How to get the most impact out of positive affirmations
-Don’t just think it, feel it. The more emotion we put behind our uplifting thoughts, the more of a snowball effect they will have. (Emotion = energy in motion).
-Say them out loud and write them down. The more often we repeat these affirming thoughts to ourselves in a variety of ways the more we instill these empowering beliefs into our reality.
Here are some examples of affirmations that you could use to help create transformational shifts in your life.
-I can handle anything that comes my way today.
-Everything I need is within me.
-Today I will be the most confident, courageous and decisive version of myself.
-I am grateful for the beating heart in my chest.
-I release any tension I am holding and surrender all of my worries.
-I am at peace. I am loved.
-I am aligned with energies that harmonize and heal.
-Every cell in my body is thriving.
-My soul is showering my body with health and happiness.
-I thank my body for loving, supporting and healing me.
-I am enough.
-I am exactly where I need to be.
-I am whole as I am.
-Everything I need is within me.
Wealth and abundance
-Money is energy and it flows to me effortlessly.
-I am open to opportunities of wealth and abundance.
-The more money I allow into my life, the more resources I have to share.
Love and romance
-I am deserving of a love deeper than the ocean.
-The universe is guiding me to people and places that fuel my soul.
-I am open to receiving a love full of passion and romance.
You are limitless.
Rhythm and song grace us with the ability to tune into ourselves and the universe around us. Listening to the sound of crashing waves, birds singing, or the voices of our loved ones can bring us a sense of peace, purpose and awe. Since ancient times, we have known of the benefits that sound and music can induce. To truly tap into the magic of music and sound in our day to day lives, it helps to understand why it is so important and sacred.
When exploring the world of sound, certain terms can be confusing. Words like “vibration” and “frequency” are used by mystics and scientists alike, which only goes to show how fascinating sound energy is to people from all walks of life.
Doctors and scientists measure these natural rhythms and vibrations to help to heal and balance the body. For example, MRI (magnetic-resonance imaging), ultrasound scanning and EKG/ECG (electrocardiograms) all work by measuring vibration, frequency, or natural electrical rhythms. In terms of physics, the atoms we are comprised of are pure vibrational energy. If we break down the atom, we find that 99.9999999999996% is empty space. You may feel like a solid creature, but you are in fact a vibrational energetic being comprised of a pulsing beat and constant fluctuating rhythms. Thinking about our bodies in this way can help to explain the feeling of euphoric oneness that we experience when at a concert, festival, or roaring sports event. It is as if the atoms of our body are syncing up with the energetic environment around us.
Physics aside, in the metaphysical world we understand and explore these rhythms in a different way, with the guidance of intuition, trust, and sacred ancient wisdom. Practices like deep meditation can help us “tune into” different frequencies and vibrations to induce different emotional states. Taking the time to mindfully listen to certain sounds connects us with our divine energetic nature, and allows us to unify our mind, body and spirit.
1. Standing bells and singing bowls
Found in temples and meditation halls across the globe, standing bells and singing bowls are known for their soulful sounds. These instruments originated from countries such as China, India, and Nepal, and have dated back to a little over 500BC. Used by sound healers and yoga practitioners all around the world, these beautiful instruments are said to purify and cleanse negative vibrations, and help up reach deep states of relaxation. I personally use my singing bowls before and after meditating, during reiki healing sessions and after smudging a space. I also love using them to cleanse my healing crystals.
2. Binaural beats
Binaural beats are streams of frequencies that are said to help induce specific brainwave states, encouraging different physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits. Tuning into these frequencies may help you reach deeper states of meditation, study more effectively, aid your sleep, reduce your stress levels, or even promote physical healing. You can find these beats on platforms like YouTube, Spotify or iTunes.
3. Classical Music
There is medical evidence to suggest that tuning into classical music has a huge range of benefits. A study held at Oxford University showed that people who listened to classical music after a stressful task had significantly lower levels of blood pressure compared to those who listened to other genres. Studies have also shown that classical or meditative music has proven effective for patients undergoing intensive medical care. Playing these tunes had greater effects on easing anxiety than midazolam (a sedative drug) for preoperative patients, and postoperative patients had significantly lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Classical music may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re skipping out on these soulful symphonies, you may be missing their grounding and healing benefits.
4. Chakra Chants
The chakra system is made up of 7 main energy centres. These energy centres play different roles in connecting and unifying our minds, bodies and spirits. Each chakra vibrates at a different frequency; below I have listed the different sounds associated with the different chakras. Connecting with these energy centres can help bring us contentment and promote overall healing. In a later blog post, I will go into more detail about each chakra and the role it plays, but for now I suggest that you allow your intuition to guide you to which chakras are needing attention. You may feel drawn to focusing on one particular area, or devoting time to connecting with each energy centre.
When chanting your desired chakra sound, I suggest you find a quiet place where you feel safe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and start your chant on your exhale. Try to focus on the vibration of the chant, and ideally stretch the chant over your entire exhale. It may help you to connect with the chakra of your focus by picturing its colour while you chant. You may chant to your heart’s content, but I suggest you commit to at least 5 mindful expressions.
7. Root chakra [Survival and tribal]
Location: Base of the spine.
Physical connection: Feet, bones, immune system.
6. Sacral chakra [Relationships and sexuality]
Location: Lower abdomen to navel area.
Physical connection: Sexual organs, hips, pelvis, bladder, bowel.
5. Solar Plexus chakra [Personal power and confidence]
Location: Solar plexus.
Physical connection: Stomach, middle spine, liver, adrenals.
4. Heart chakra [Emotional power, love and forgiveness]
Location: Centre of the chest.
Physical connection: Heart, breasts, lungs, arms, hands, diaphragm, circulatory system.
3. Throat chakra [Expression and communication]
Physical connection: Throat, thyroid, esophagus, mouth, jaw, teeth.
2.Third Eye chakra [Wisdom and insight]
Location: Slightly above the center of the eyebrows, mid- forehead.
Physical connection: Brain, pineal gland, eyes, ears, nose, nervous system.
1. Crown chakra [Spiritual awareness and universal connection]
Sound: OM (or silence)
Colour: Violet or white
Location: Top of the head
Physical connection: Provides universal/life-force energy throughout the entire body.
You are divine.