Self-care is not selfish

There are a number of ways, and reasons, to take care of yourself! It is not an indulgence, splurge or selfish to engage in an act of self-care. These little breaks allow us to be our best, for us and for those around us. Has it been so long since your last act of self-care that you don’t know what to choose? Check out this list:

134 Activities to Add to Your Self-Care Plan

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.

What is Alpha-Stim

The brain works on an electrical and chemical process. The chemical process comprises only 2% of the brain’s activity, leaving 98% as electrical activity. Alpha-Stim treatments are safe and effective therapy to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device delivers a natural level of microcurrent, using small clips worn on the earlobes, through the brain to stimulate and modulate specific groups of nerve cells. The microcurrent so gentle and small, just millionths of an ampere, most people don’t even feel it.

Alpha-Stim treats patients with microcurrent technology using two protocols: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) and Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET). CES process uses a microcurrent of less than one-half milliampere, delivered directly into the brain with ear clip electrodes for 20 to 60-minute sessions and treats anxiety, insomnia and depression. MET used the Alpha-Stim Smart Probes or self-adhesive AS-Trodes to deliver a microcurrent of less than one milliampere through the body with a two to five minute protocol for peripheral pain.


Research shows that the Alpha-Stim waveform activates certain groups of nerve cells located in the brainstem. The nerve cells produce the chemicals serotonin and acetylcholine, which in turn can affect the chemical activity of nerve cells located nearby and at distant sites in the nervous system. These cells control the activity of afferent nerve pathways into the brain and efferent nerves that course down the spinal cord. The Alpha-Stim appears to strengthen activity in some neurological systems and neutralize activity in others, creating an increase in Alpha rhythms. These alpha rhythms are accompanied by feelings of calm, relaxation and increased mental focus. While in an alpha state, the neurological mechanisms appear to decrease stress effects, reduce agitation, stabilize mood and regulate both sensations and perceptions of specific types of pain.

4 Scientifically-Based Benefits Of CBD

1. CBD Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Did you know that the use of marijuana for pain dates back as far as 3000 years ago? However, the exact components responsible for its pain-relieving effect have just been discovered a few years ago. CBD is one of these compounds.

Our body is composed of a specialized system known as the Endocannabinoid System (or ECS). This system regulates various body functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The human body produces endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) that naturally bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.

According to studies, CBD may help remedy chronic pain by either, interacting with neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation, or impacting the normal functioning of endocannabinoid receptors. Several studies have shown that a combination of THC and CBD can help treat pain in multiple sclerosis and arthritis patients.

In a study involving 47 multiple sclerosis patients, it was discovered that those who received Sativex (a combination of CBD and THC) experienced considerable improvement in walking, muscle spasms and pain as compared to those who received a placebo.

In another study involving people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it was discovered that Sativex helped improve sleep quality, pain at rest, and in the movement for all the 58 participants.


2. CBD Helps Reduce Anxiety And Depression Symptoms

According to the World Health Organization (or WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression. According to WHO, more than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Further, WHO states that depression is the largest single contributor to disability across the globe. Anxiety disorders are the sixth-largest contributor to disability.

These simple statistics show that anxiety and depression are common medical disorders. You should therefore not feel alone since, as you have seen, more than 300 million people have gone through the same or similar things that you are experiencing right now.

Although most people still rely on pharmaceutical drugs to deal with these conditions, some of these drugs are not only ineffective but may also have severe side effects or lead to substance abuse. It is for this reason that most people have opted to take relief in medical marijuana.

A group of 24 people suffering from social anxiety disorder was either given a placebo or 600 mg of CBD just before a public speaking test. It was discovered that the group that received CBD experienced less discomfort, cognitive impairment, and anxiety in their speech performance than their counterparts who received a placebo.

Several animal studies have also shown CBD to have antidepressant properties. Researchers credit these properties of CBD to its ability to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood changes.


3. CBD May Help Reduce Acne

According to research, more than 9.4% of the global population suffers from acne. This is a skin condition that can be caused by several factors such as underlying inflammation, bacteria, genetics, and over secretion of sebum.

Researchers believe that due to its ability to reduce sebum secretion and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help treat acne. According to a study on the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, it was discovered that the compound helped prevent the secretion of excessive sebum.

It was also discovered that the compound inhibited the activation of pro-acne agents such as inflammatory cytokines. Scientific research has highlighted the antifungal and antibacterial effects of the cannabis plant. It is believed that these properties may help reduce or prevent infections from pollutants or dirt on the skin.

Although the initial findings are promising, more study is still needed to verify the effectiveness of CBD as a natural remedy for acne.


4. CBD May Help Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms

We can never talk about the health benefits of CBD without mentioning its effects on cancer symptoms. It is still too early to make claims about CBD for cancer, but preliminary findings show that the compound can help alleviate the side effects of various treatments associated with cancer treatments.

Another way through which CBD can help cancer patients is through its pain-relieving properties. Both cancer and its treatment can lead to severe pain, mainly due to the inflammation, nerve injury, or pressure on internal organs. Too much pain can become resistant to powerful pain relievers such as opioids.

A study was conducted to find out the effect of both THC and CBD on cancer-patients who could not react to the standard pain-reducing techniques. It was discovered that those who received a combination of both THC and CBD experienced improved symptoms than those who were treated with THC only.

By indirectly acting on CB2 receptors, CBD may help reduce inflammation, hence reducing the pain. Another common effect of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. Although you can always use pharmaceutical drugs to treat these symptoms, some of these drugs are ineffective hence prompting people to seek alternatives such as CBD.

In a study involving 16 people undergoing chemo, it was discovered that a combination of both THC and CBD helped reduce chemo-related vomiting and nausea better than the standard treatments alone. Some animal and test-tube studies show that CBD may have anti-cancer properties.

In one of the test-tube studies, concentrated CBD helped castigate the death of cancerous breast cells in human. In another study, CBD was seen to inhibit the growth and spread of aggressive cancerous breast cells in mice. However, more studies and research are needed.

If you are a cancer patient and planning to use CBD for the symptoms, it is crucial that you talk with your doctor first as he will be able to advise you appropriately. Other health benefits of CBD include improved heart health, a remedy against arthritis, muscles spasms, Crohn’s disease, etc.

Indeed, CBD can benefit human health in different ways. Pet owners are also turning to CBD for the health and well-being of their dogs and other pets. Whatever you use CBD for, make sure to follow the right dosage instructions, this compound is, after all, a drug like any other.

Seek professional advice if you have concerns about side effects of adding CBD and finding the right dosage to your treatment plan.

Let us know what you think.


Oxytocin Spray

Oxytocin Spray is a mysterious treatment surrounded in a superfluous maze of hopes and anxious inquisitiveness from researchers and clients alike. But whatever is this strange substance that has become one of the primary focuses for researchers of mental health and certain genetic disorders.? It still is surrounded by plenty of unknown questions, and countless variables. After decades of research, we still somehow only manage to glean a light understanding this strange hormone known as Oxytocin, and how it affects our thinking and judgements.

The chemical of Oxytocin is still mostly misunderstood by researchers and readers alike. The hormone, thanks to an exorbitant amount of press and speculation, has been dubbed the “love hormone”. This simple, binary perspective of the hormone is not quite accurate, and leads to potential for misuse. However, before research into negative effects had been undergone, the chemical was quickly administered as a medicine for various issues such as marital problems, lack of understanding of social cues, and any other issue involving a lack of desire to associate with others. The hormone, according to Beth Azar from the American Psychology Association, is found within high concentrations inside mothers and children, adults romantically interested with one another, or in individuals within a detrimental relationship, theoretically influencing them to find connections elsewhere.

The potential positives of Oxytocin are interesting, and promising. According to researchers and supporters of the treatment, it empowers thinking processes that promote general connection, romantic interest, understanding social cues, a desire to be social, and more. It is something that can effectively aid in a number of treatments for genetic disorders, and aid one in reaching outside the comfort zone, in order to grow more and expand their perspectives.

However, there are certain negative factors that may endanger or promote risk in an individual’s wellbeing from this treatment. Oxytocin may promote desire for a relationship, however this may form into hasty decisions that result in grievous relationships. Another consequence may be the complete opposite from expected, as some patients, according to Azar, have been observed to isolate and avoid social connection as a result of the treatment. The only conclusion that can be certainly draw is that the Oxytocin Spray, much like any medicine that remotely affects the mind, may affect different people in dramatically separate ways.

Although the research may be premature, the potential benefits of Oxytocin spray are plenty. If you are interested in attempting to use the treatment, speak with your physician about using the medicine and any possible side effects it may have upon your daily life

Five Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Mental Health

Five Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Mental Health

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say ‘travel’ – Vacation? Meeting new people? Or maybe, Instagrammable sunsets? While traveling can be exciting and exhilarating, it’s so much more than sipping margaritas on a sun-soaked beach.

It’s no news that travel is good for your physical wellbeing, but a significant amount of scientific research suggests that exploring a new place can do wonders for your mental and emotional health as well. Read More on


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Best Single Travel began in 2007 and has been growing ever since.

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Best Single Travel is located in Scottsdale and incorporated in Arizona.

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No fees or club to join – just book a singles vacation or trip and go. Read More at Never Fly With Jim


Looking to get the best out of your holiday? Let us help by getting you a great guide; someone who will help you navigate local language and culture barriers, show you hidden gems and tell you stories that only a local would know!

TourHQ is an online platform that connects travellers with tourism service providers. Guides and tour companies register their profiles here, providing detailed information about themselves, their skills, services and experiences. Travellers who visit tourHQ can chose from amongst thousands of these guides and tourism providers, to find the one most suited to their requirements.They can directly interact with their guides to seek travel advice and customise their itineraries, hence enjoying their trip on their own terms. By engaging locals, travellers more so help support the local communities in the areas they visit.

With over 27,500 guides, in over 5,000 locations from 208 countries globally, tourHQ is today one of the largest and widest communities of guides in the world, providing travellers with a vast selection of guides in even the most remote areas of the world. Whether it’s a city guide, safari guide, scuba diving instructor or even a cruise ship shore excursion guide, you will find the right one on tourHQ! Read More at Tour HQ

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Political Read: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cosmically defining the title of Social Justice Warrior: What's inside ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ's Astrological & Human Design charts that makes her such a game-changer in American politics?

Astro: What’s my Story? HD: Why am I like this? :: Want to go from Astro-curious to #AlignedAF? Check out THE ASTROMIND! ::

Talking to the Shadow

A topic was brought up briefly today and I want to explore it a little further in this blog post. Everyone has many facets to their personalities, different selves. One being the “dark side”, the dark passenger, or shadow self. In the Wiccan traditions, I have worked with getting in touch with the shadow self is essential to growing as a magickal practitioner. No, I did not spell magick wrong. Magick is different from magic. Magic is the stage show and slight of hand tricks. Magick refers to energy exchange, spell-work, and ritual work commonly found among Pagan religions.  Speaking from my personal experience if I did not work on my shadow self I would not be able to connect fully with myself, others, or the spiritual planes. We all think dark thoughts and we are all capable of dark things. Dark does not mean bad; when I say dark I am speaking of things like violence and death, which is not necessarily bad. Violence and death can be bad under certain circumstances like mugging and be killing someone for no reason. Violence and death can also be a blessing like if a police officer is stopping a domestic violence situation. Also, death is part of the cycle of creation and destruction. So to me, everything is on a spectrum, everything is gray, there is no black or white. To understand my higher self I need to explore my lower self. Exploring your shadow self or dark passenger can be scary and uncomfortable at the same time it is therapeutic to understand all parts of you. Once you understand something some of the fear goes away. Notice I said some fear goes away; it is good to have a healthy fear and understanding of the darker side of your being.This is a form of respect and acknowledgment of the power the shadow self-does have and is capable of if/when released out into the world.  It is healthy to meditate and have rituals of connection with all parts of your being (especially the darker parts) because if you can connect with yourself you have a greater chance and understanding of how to connect with others. In the sense that my weirdness understands and accepts your weirdness. If you would like to know more about connecting with your darker parts please feel free to contact me at 678-964-4739 or [email protected]

Book recommendation for rituals of connection with the Shadow Self:

Dark Moon Mysteries: Wisdom, Power, and Magic of the Shadow World  by Timothy Roderick


Handling Authentication Requests with Selenium – Part 2: Using a Web Proxy for Basic Authentication

As I mentioned in the immediately prior post in this series, the way to avoid having the browser prompt for credentials while using a Selenium test is by supplying the correct information in the Authorization header. Since Selenium's focus is automating the browser as close to how a user does so as possible, there's not a built-in way to examine or modify the headers. However, Selenium does make it very easy to configure the browser being automated to use a web proxy. A web proxy is a piece of software that stands between your browser and any request made of a web server, and can be made to examine, modify, or even block requests based on any number of rules. When configured to use a proxy, every request made by your browser flows through the proxy. Many businesses use proxies to ensure that only authorized resources are being accessed via business computers, or making sure that requests only come from authorized computers, or any number of other legitimate business purposes. How do you configure your browser to use a proxy with Selenium? The code looks something like this: Since we're Selenium users, we'll be using a proxy that allows us to programmatically start and stop it, and hook into the request/response chain via our code, and modify the results in order to interpret and replace the headers as needed. Any number of proxies could be used in this project. Many Selenium users have had great success using BrowserMob Proxy, or there are commercial options like Fiddler. Since I personally prefer FOSS options, and don't want to leave the .NET ecosystem, for our examples here, we'll be using BenderProxy. Here's the code for setting that up. Now, how do we wire up the proper processing to mimic the browser's processing of an authentication prompt? We need to implement the addition of an Authorization header that provides the correct value, for the authentication scheme requested by the server. BenderProxy's OnResponseReceived handler happens after the response has been received from the web server, but before it's forwarded along to the browser for rendering. That gives us the opportunity to examine it, and resend another request with the proper credentials in the proper format. We're using the Basic authentication scheme in this example, and once again using The Internet sample application. Here's the code for the method: Running the code, we'll see that when the Selenium code is run, the browser will show the authorized page, as we intended. As you can tell from the implementation code, Basic authentication is pretty simple, sending the Base64 encoding of "userName:passsword". Its simplicity is also one reason it's not used very often, as it sends the credentials across the wire, essentially in clear text. There are other, more secure authentication schemes available, and they can be automated in similar ways. The trick is knowing how to specify the value for the Authentication header. In the next post in the series, we'll look at another authentication mechanism, and how to handle something a little more complicated.

Dr. Harmony’s Sample Relationship Contract

Sample Monogamous Relationship Contract

The purpose of this contract is for the documentation of negotiated expectations between both parties and by singing this contract, both parties are agreeing to the commitment to these expectations. This is not a legally binding contract. With this are negotiated expectations that will be named below. The Parties will be known as ________ and ________. Either party, only in the event of breach of contract, may terminate this agreement at any time before the below named date. On the below named date this agreement will be reviewed, renegotiated and rewritten, or terminated. I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner A for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________.   I __________________, do of my own free will, and being of sound mind and body, do hereby offer myself in consensual partnership to __________________, hereinafter referred to as Partner B for the period beginning ___________________ and ending ____________________.

Section 1: Contract Definitions

1.1. Requests A request is for one partner to do something for the other partner. There is no obligation for a request; it is simply a desire of one partner from the other. 1.2. Bid A bid is an action, behavior, overture, request, etc. for connection from one partner to another. 1.3. Rules A rule is a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within this contract. 1.4. Boundaries Boundaries are negotiated hard limits in this relationship. 1.5. Ritual of Connection A ritual of connection is a ceremony, consisting of a series of actions, performed according to an instructed order, that are geared towards connection between partners. 1.6. Protocol A protocol is a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in this formal contract. 1.7 Repair The act of reconnection and apology following conflict. 1.8 Love Mapping The act of connection through learning new things about one another and truly understanding who your partner(s) is.

Section 2: Basic Commitment Agreement

2.1. The partners commit to taking responsibility for one another within healthy boundaries. This includes but is not limited the partners’ survival, financial needs, health, and physical and mental well-being. 2.2. Both partners will do everything within their power to facilitate and support growth, education, and making life dreams come true. Partners agree to connect annually in order to discuss this particular topic and establish goals together. 2.3. Both partners agree to a sexually monogamous relationship. 2.4. Both partners agree that there are no secrets in their relationship and that difficult conversations may be addressed in counseling or with one another. 2.5. Both partners agree that they will share their true feelings even if they know it may hurt the other partner. This is under the expectation that both partners agree that they are committed at this time to work through any and all issues. 2.6. Whereas both partners believe that family is important, neither will keep the other from staying in touch with their family, nor will unreasonably withhold trips for each other to visit their family. This expectation covers both chosen and biological family. Should either partner be concerned that a friend or family member may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, will reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration. 2.7. Whereas the partners believe that friends and a social support system is important, neither partner will keep the property from staying in touch with their friends and family support system and will not unreasonably withhold trips or social time for either partner to visit their friends and support system. Should either partner be concerned that a friend may be toxic to the other partner or the relationship, they agree that they will discuss this, and if unable to come to an agreement, with reach out to a neutral party (counselor or elder in community) for arbitration. 2.8. The basic foundation of the contract is trust and commitment. The rituals and protocols are designed to help nurture our mutual trust and commitment.

Section 3: General Expectations of Partners

3.1. Both partners agree that at public events, they will check in with one another to make sure that they are both doing okay. 3.2. The partners accept full responsibility for informing each other of any real or perceived dangers or safety concerns. This can include interference from family or friends, work issues, legal, etc. Both parties agree to voice concerns to one another and accept one another’s influence on these matters. 3.3. Both partners agree that they will make mistakes and will be kind to one another when communicating these errors. 3.4. Whereas both parties will be working outside the home, the partners agree to distribute household tasks through a negotiated role system. Please attach the system to contract. 3.5. If a partner is ill, it is the responsibility of the other partner to care for them. The ill partner will be clear on what those care expectations look like. If unsure, defer to making sure that they are able to 1) access medical care and 2) have all the items they need for self-care.

Section 4: Build Love Maps

4.1. Both parties agree that they will strive to learn new information about each other on a regular basis. This is done through daily dialog and unplugging at least 30 minutes per day for partner focused connection. 4.2. Recreational intimacy is important for connection, thus both parties agree to plan two dates nights each per month and will establish a regular schedule for date nights.

 Section 5: Share Fondness and Admiration

5.1. Both partners agree that nurturing commitment and love require an active process thus; both parties agree to mindfully express gratitude regularly for their partner’s behaviors, seek outside professional help during challenging times, and commit to working towards repair during difficult times. 5.2. Everything both partners say and do is a reflection of one another. In a larger scale, it also represents the family as a whole. This means that the partners must be mindful of their behaviors and sharing of personal information or relationship conflict to others. This includes, but is not limited to, participation of disrespectful talk about one another to friends or on social media, participation in gossip, and inappropriate behaviors while intoxicated in public. 5.3. Both parties agree to share with one another their admiration for one another weekly through verbalization, text, email, love letters, social media etc.

Section 6: Turn Towards Bids Instead of Away

6.1. Both parties agree to learn how one another makes bids for connection and to let each other know when the other partner misses a bid. 6.2. Both parties will work hard to turn towards as many bids as possible.

Section 7: Building Positive Perspective

7.1. Both partners agree that they have each other’s interest at heart and will give one another the benefit of the doubt when there are communication errors and mistakes. However, should there be a question of poor intent, they agree to ask one another for clarification prior to assuming poor intent.

Section 8: Managing Conflict

8.1. Both partners understand that they will get flooded and upset when they are triggered. The color code system of Green, Yellow and Red will be respected and used when either partner suspects that they or their partner is flooding. However, the topic must be readdressed within 24 hours or with the therapist. It is the responsibility of the partner who called red to follow up on the topic. The follow up may be in writing if it is more comfortable or face-to-face. 8.2. Both partners agree not to start difficult conversations in front of others; past 9 pm at night or while the other partner is ill or hungry. 8.3. Both parties agree to listen to the other’s opinion and accept their partner’s influence on matters, even when it is difficult. 8.4. Both parties agree to not call each other names and avoid contempt, defensiveness, criticism, and stonewalling. 8.5. Both parties agree to attempt a soft start up when having difficult conversations.

Section 9: Repair

9.1. Following conflict, both parties agree to attempt to turn towards repair attempts. 9.2. Repair will vary based on the conflict and needs of each partner and may include:
  • Special date
  • Alone time
  • Letter of apology

Section 10: Create Shared Meaning

10.1. Both parties agree to check in at least quarterly and discuss life goals, needs and plans.

  Section 11: Make Life Dreams Come True

11.1. Both parties agree to support one another in their life dreams and work as a team to make them come true. 11.2. Both parties agree to share life dreams with one another and discuss meaning behind them as they come up.

Section 12: Signatures

Partner A_____________________________________ Partner B_____________________________________     Sample Monogamous Relationship Contract