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Ikigai: Secret Formula For Happiness And Longevity

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Is there a secret formula for longevity and happiness? The Japanese have an answer to this question, and it is called Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy). This Japanese concept can be translated as “a reason for being”. It refers to having a direction or purpose and motivation in life that makes one’s life worthwhile. In other words, it is a reason to jump out of bed each morning. According to psychological research, if you have a purpose, a motivation, and a reason for getting up in the morning, you become happier and live longer!

Let’s take a deeper look at how this works!

What Is Ikigai?

The word Ikigai consists of two words: ‘Iki’ (to live) and ‘gai’ (reason).

This philosophy originated on the island of Okinawa – home to the largest group of centenarians in the world.

Could the concept of Ikigai contribute to health and longevity?

National Geographic reporter, Dan Buettner, believes it does. According to Buettner, Okinawans have less desire to retire, as people continue to do their favorite job as long as they remain healthy.

Searching for Ikigai is a long process that requires a deep understanding of your desires and needs in all areas of your life.

Unfortunately, most people don’t even know what their purpose and greatest inspiration in life. Not having a reason to jump out of bed each morning leads to a meaningless life, depression, apathy, and even health problems. While some people feel their calling and love for their work, many spend most of their lives trying to figure out what makes them happy.

Four Primary Elements Of Ikigai

what is ikigai image

The Ikigai concept consists of four primary elements:

  1. What you love (your passion)
  2. What the world needs (your mission)
  3. What you are good at (your vocation)
  4. What you can get paid for (your profession)

According to the Japanese idea of self-development, each of us has an Ikigai. All we need to do is just to reveal it to make life meaningful and fulfilling.

If you want to discover your Ikigai you need to ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?
  4. What does the world need?

Element 1: Your passion

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What is that you love doing? This can be your hobbies: music, dancing, drawing, swimming, cooking gardening. Try to understand what gives you real satisfaction.

These things will motivate you and help you choose the career that suits you best.

If you make enough money, but you are bored and uninterested in the work you do, even if you are successful in it, it may be time to reconsider your preferences.

Element 2: Your mission

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What are you good at? Knowing what you love to do and understanding what you are good at are two different things. You may not like your current job, but you can do it perfectly with a high level of professionalism.

You may enjoy drawing, but your paintings won’t be worth a damn. You may be passionate about one thing, but skilled and talented at something else.

Try to find what you are good at and find out what skills you need to improve.

When you are confident in your abilities, you can build a career and make money by doing what you love. This will help you find satisfaction and feel the meaningfulness of life.

Element 3: Your vocation

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Let’s say you can cook delicious meals. It’s wonderful! However, if you do not share your skills and talents with the world, and do not do what is valuable and what others need, you will not be able to achieve your goals based only on your skills and hobbies.

If you are a good cook, you can work in a restaurant, run your own cafe, or help feed the poor.

Helping others gives us a sense of belonging, and the lack of this element can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Element 4: Your profession

ikigai elements image

Although it is important to think about three other elements, you must not forget about make enough money for living a joyful and comfortable life.

True Ikigai can be achieved when all four intersect at the center of a balanced and happy life.

For example, you can do what you love and what others need, but it may not make you money. Or Vice versa, you can choose what is well paid and what you are strong at, but you will feel empty and unrealized.

Striving for Ikigai is a challenge and requires dedication, but it will make your life happier and more meaningful.

10 Ikigai Rules

Ikigai rules Image

The essence of Ikigai can also be represented in the form of 10 rules that were written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles in their book “Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life“:

  1. Stay active and don’t retire;
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life;
  3. Only eat until you are 80 percent full;
  4. Surround yourself with good friends;
  5. Exercise daily;
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you;
  7. Live in harmony with nature;
  8. Be grateful for everything that makes you happy;
  9. Live in the moment;
  10. Follow your passion and listen to your heart. This will lead you to Ikigai.

Where Should I Start?

Searching for Ikigai is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. The purpose of your life will become clearer to you over time, but this does not mean that you just need to relax and wait. Here are the steps that you can take already now.

1. Ask questions

Ikigai philosophy image

Start with asking yourself the main questions:

  • What do you like to do most?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do others need and what can you offer them?
  • What can you be paid for?

Take your time with the answers, you need clear and detailed answers. But at the same time, it is not necessary to puzzle over questions. Write down your answers.

Trust the natural flow of thoughts. Note all your thoughts and possible answers that you come up with for a few weeks. Some of them may seem crazy and absurd to you, but you should continue to remember or better write down everything that comes to your mind. But most importantly, try to be honest with yourself.

Take into account your experience and important life moments, both personal and professional, to understand what makes you happy, what fascinates you, and what you value the most.

Once you find honest answers and are satisfied with them, try to find the intersection between the four elements. Even if you can’t do it right away, don’t worry. Over time, you will see the picture clearer.

2. Make a plan

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If you find it difficult to answer the above questions, you may want to make a list of all possible answers and draw up a diagram.

Try creating a diagram of four overlapping circles-elements to find your ikigai, and have a clearer picture.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. The main thing is to write down your thoughts and organize them.

The more thoughts and answers you have, the clearer the picture will become.

For example, start by writing what your typical day consists of, and then make a picture of what your ideal Ikigai day should look like. See what you can add or remove compared to your typical day. Perhaps some things will be a discovery for you.

As you improve your picture, you will get closer to the life of Ikigai.

3. Experiment

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Once you have created a plan and started searching for ikigai, you need to check it in action.

You will learn from experience whether you have really found Ikigai and whether it works for you. It’s not enough just to think about it, you have to live it!

If you want to experience the fullness of life, you need to constantly take some actions. Moreover, you will need to constantly adapt and make some adjustments to move on and develop.

You may need to be ok to prioritize some things more or change the direction you’re moving in. For example, if you change your job, you will need to change your habits and lifestyle, learn to multitask, and be a patient learner.

Ikigai will bring certain changes to your life so that you can create the life you want. This may cause some discomfort during the transition period, but as soon as it is over, you will realize that you have come to what you were aiming for.

4. Find support

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While you are working on your Ikigai, it is important to take care of the support you may need during the transition period.

For example, if you plan to change a job, talk to those who have already made progress in similar activities. Don’t be shy to ask such questions as:

  • What did you do to achieve your goals?
  • What difficulties did you face?
  • How long did it take you to make the changes?
  • What was the experience like?
  • What reward did you get?

When you have someone to guide and inspire you, you will be highly motivated to move forward even in the most difficult and desperate moments.

It is worth understanding that on the way to the finish line, you will have to meet certain difficulties and overcome obstacles. This is why it is important to have support that will help you on your way.

5. Follow your own path

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Finding your passion and your ikigai will be the best achievement in your life. However, this may require you to be patient, introspect, and take positive action.

Ikigai is not just about living a healthy and happy life. It’s about opening yourself up and accepting the path you’ve chosen.

It means enjoying life and understanding what really makes you happy and gives meaning to your life.

Ikigai And Longevity

Japanese philosophy image

And in the end, I would like to say a few more words about Okinawa – the Japanese island where Ikigai was originated, and where an incredibly high percentage of centenarians live.

In Okinawa, people try to develop close and meaningful relationships with each other. Friends and family members support each other throughout life, and no one is left abandoned or alone.

The old take care of the young, the young take care of the old. Such connections help not only reduce stress but also provide the necessary support in everyday life, where everyone can count on the other.

In terms of nutrition, most Okinawans eat fruits, vegetables, and tofu. They almost don’t eat meat, fat, sugar, or processed foods, which protects them from cancer, heart disease, and excess weight.

Residents drink a lot of green tea, and also consume ginger, various herbs and chili peppers.

They also exercise regularly – walking, dancing, working in the garden and spending time outdoors.

Many of them do not measure quality of life by wealth and success, but rather by being at peace while living an active and meaningful life.

Scientists have found that Okinawa has the lowest death rate from age-related chronic diseases, as well as one of the highest life expectancy.

There are other places in the world where conditions are similar, but there are not as many centenarians. Perhaps the secret lies in Ikigai.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to share with you one Japanese parable about the the concept of Ikigai in Japan:

In a small village outside of Osaka, a woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Voice of her ancestors.

“Who are you?” the Voice asked her.

“I am the wife of the mayor,” she replied.

“I did not ask whose wife you are but who you are.”

“I am the mother of four children,” she replied.

“I did not ask whose mother you are, but who you are.”

“I am a school teacher,” the woman answered.

“I did not ask what your profession is but who you are.”

And so it went. No matter what she replied, she did not seem to give a satisfactory answer to the question, “Who are you?”

“I am a Shinto.”

“I did not ask what your religion is but who you are.”

“I am the one who wakes up each day to care for my family, and nurture the young minds of the children at my school,” she replied.

She passed the examination, and was sent back to earth. The next morning she woke at sunrise, feeling a deep sense of meaning and purpose. She tended to her children’s lunches, and planned fun lessons for her students that day. The woman had discovered her Ikigai.

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Personal Development

The Flower of Life: The Meaning & Symbolism

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the flower of life image

The Flower of life is seen every day on jewelry, wall art, altars, etc. It is a two-dimensional geometrical illustration composed of 19 overlapping circles of the same size. The overlapping circles are perfectly arranged to form what look like flower petals. The image starts with two overlapping circles before the rest are added on.

If it was possible to imagine perfection, it could be done through the Flower of Life. It is this symbol that perfectly represents the mechanism by which the universe works.

Leonardo Da Vinci and The Flower of Life

Many ancient-time artists have been fascinated by this symbol. One whose interest and works stand out is Leonardo Da Vinci, who was majorly interested in it for its mathematical implications.

Leonardo was a fanatic of geometry. It is not difficult to see why he was impressed by the Flower of life; it was very much in line with things that caught his attention. Most of his artwork also has aspects of sacred geometry in it.

One of Da Vinci’s famous works, the Vitruvian man, was inspired by the Flower. The Vitruvian man is shown to have multiple limbs, which are believed to imitate the Flower’s pattern of life.

The Significance of Flower of Life

sacred geometry flower image

When we see it on our jewelry or as wall art, we are impressed by its beauty. However, the significance of the Flower of life goes beyond its elegance. This Flower signifies that everything originates from one primary source. The geometric pattern is sacred and depicts profound spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Many religions hold on to the belief that God created life. He is the higher being, the giver, and the taker of life. For some, God is a divine being, while for others, God is the universe. However, like all 19 circles in the Flower beginning from a single dot, God is the source of life.

The Flower also shows how all aspects of our lives are connected. The pattern shows that all aspects of life are rooted in a geometric plan with an origin in nature. The 19 circles in the Flower are perfectly arranged to create a six-fold symmetry, resulting in borderline hypnotic. Many spiritual practitioners use this pattern for their meditation, and you can also learn to apply it to your spiritual practices.

The Flower and the Origin of Life

The pattern of the Flower of life can be seen in different aspects of nature, such as real-time flower petals. This is evidence of how intentional the creation was. It shows that everything originates from a higher being, both people and nature.

The Flower also shows how everything originates from one source and expands its wings to the universe. If you look at the pattern carefully, you will notice the repetitiveness. This aspect represents the interconnectedness of life and the planet’s existence as a whole. And for the repetitiveness to occur, the first circle has to happen, which signifies the source. 

In real life, the source is the Divine creator.

Symbols such as vesica piscis show this repetitiveness and a sole source aspect. This symbol evolves from the seed of life, which then graduates to become the Flower of life. These are the ultimate building blocks of life and our entire existence.

The Flower is universal. Even if you are not a believer in higher power and beings or divine creators, the Flower of life still shows how it is deeply rooted in biology and science.

The Benefits

Many ancient civilizations, including the Egyptian and ancient Rome, have applied this symbol in different ways. You, too, can tap in to explore what it brings to life. These are some of its benefits that can transform your life.

#1: Reminds us of unity

We consider the Flower of life the most significant symbol of harmony and unity. This symbol has no beginning or end, unlike many other symbols. You can incorporate this into your spiritual journey.

When we get into a journey, we often forget our goals and fall back. For instance, if you start doing yoga today, tapping into the energy of the Flower of life can help keep the cycle going. To achieve the best, you need to keep that consistency going. The never-ending cycle of the Flower of life can help you keep pushing even if the barriers become overwhelming.

#2: Supports our sacred space

You can use the symbol to create a peaceful space for integrating the body and mind. Consider such a space where you go back over and over to find yourself. You can use that space to manifest yourself to your full potential. 

The Flower of life will help you stay in serenity for longer. The unified circles will forever remind you of the quietude that comes with the circle of love and success. 

#3: Can be used for meditation

flower of life meditation image

 Many people have trouble focusing their attention while trying to meditate. The Flower of life can help you focus on the moment and take your meditation practice to the next level.

One way people do this is to gaze at the flower of life painting hanging on the wall as they meditate. However, as you gaze at it, ensure you’re relaxed. Besides, gaze at more than just a specific fixed point. Breathe in and out gently to ensure your lower lungs are filled with air

These meditation techniques will help keep distractions at bay. If you are distracted, feel free to run back and focus on the Flower of life. This meditation can be very successful for people mesmerized by the beauty of the Flower of life.

Many people have also improved their focus while drawing the Flower of life. You can draw it as a form of mediation to help expand your awareness.

The Bottom Line

The Flower Of Life is one of the most fascinating symbols of Sacred Geometry. It represents a perfect order and the cyclicity that occurs in our lives. Use this symbol as a talisman to always remember balance and beauty, as well as to ensure a harmonious flow of energy.

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Personal Development

What is Ego Death? How and Why Does It Happen?

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What is Ego Death Image

Humans associate death with darkness, sorrow, and pain. It is just something many people are scared of. However, ego death goes the opposite way. The death of your ego comes with enlightenment, self-exploration, and going beyond the glass ceiling.

In simpler terms, the ego is the sense of self typically developed in earlier ages. It is a biological tool that helps us understand ourselves as separate beings. The problem appears when the ego takes on a level of programming that begins to impede the quality of life we live. This is why many people believe it needs to die.

But first:

What is Ego Death?

Many people think that ego death happens when we strip ourselves of the ego and live without it. No, the ego cannot die. What happens is that it becomes submissive to the awareness and direction of our higher selves so that it no longer controls our lives. The experience temporarily and instantaneously goes beyond and above our identities. By shifting your awareness above the perspective of the ego, you begin to realize that you are not the things you have identified with before.

The death of your ego comes with much self-awakening and peace; you want to experience it. It is one of the most beautiful experiences you could have if you truly understand your spiritual path. Such an experience, however, may feel horrific for people who do not understand their spiritual path or people who resist the experience.

Why Seek It?

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People are now going out of their way to experience ego death. It has become part of the spiritual journey for many people.

Here are some reasons to seek an ego death experience:

#1: Improved self-control

People often think that ego death is just for people unsatisfied with their mental wellness. Even if you are confident with your state, its demise can change your perception, eventually leading you to much clarity and success.

#2: Easier time breaking even

Our perception and identification limit us from going to other levels. Our ego keeps us in a mindset that limits us. It may feel like we are living in an unknown shell. Detaching yourself from the ego or shrinking it will allow you to crush your current sense of self that limits your abilities.

#3: Acquire a new you

We often have a rigid way of identifying ourselves. You will easily break even if you realize you differ from the sum of the labels you previously put on yourself. You will be in a much more powerful position to question things you believe in and go out of your way to seek peace and clarity. It is an excellent tool for breaking world constructs such as race or religion, which are often deeply rooted in mind and consciousness.

Stages of Ego Death

The death of the ego is different for everyone. This all starts from the triggers of the first stages and later the intense stages before you fully settle into the awakening. The first triggers may differ, but as the experience progresses, the stages become identical.

 Here are the stages you will most likely go through:

Stage 1: Spiritual awakening

The ego is deeply rooted in your spiritual being. The first step is your awakening from the ego’s power over you.

Stage 2: Dark night of the soul

In this second stage, you seek to understand things. This is after you accept the awakening that comes with the first stage. This stage is characterized by questioning things that now appear different from what they did before. It can be a confusing stage as many things now start revealing themselves to you.

Stage 3: Exploration and curiosity

In the third stage, you explore more to fill the void in your soul and being. This stage allows you to live in a space of more peace and enlightenment.

Stage 4: Soul growth and enlightenment

This stage allows you to settle in your newly found peace and awakening. Here, you have explored yourself profoundly and now know more about your true self. You will realize that you have already let go of many of your old patterns and habits. This stage has no fighting and battling with your ego, as you already have your new true identity.

How to Achieve Ego Death?

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You need to understand some things before you seek to kill your ego. For instance, why do you want to experience it? Understand that a spiritual ego is not something casual. You want to go in entirely understanding why you want to do it and the consequences of taking the path.

Many people intentionally seek ego death. Deliberately seeking it can be dangerous; proceed with caution. Ensure you are ready for it before you dive right in. If you are sure of your intentions, you can take the paths that lead to the death of your ego.

With all this imperatively said and done, you can proceed and trigger an ego death. Here are some of the ways people do it:

  • Attending spiritual retreats and workshops that guide you through it;
  • Performing specific types of breathing exercises and meditation practices;
  • Following the teachings of spiritual teachers rooted in spiritual awakening;
  • Entering altered states of consciousness, which may involve meditation, dancing, chanting, and other mystical paths; 
  • Getting involved in mystical, spiritual traditions that offer pathways to ego death.      

What Does the Death of Ego Feel Like? 

You might want to know what ego death feels like before you go for it. Your feelings will definitely be intense. It may feel horrific or exciting, or an alternation between the two. People often experience both extremes while undergoing this death.

What Next? 

After an ego death comes rebirth. A new you will be born with no barriers that limit your journey and abilities. Such death powerfully awakens the mind making your life change forever.

Ego death is not the end of spiritual awakening but rather a new beginning of deeper purpose and meaning.

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Personal Development

Self-limiting Beliefs: How to Overcome Fear and Break Our Limitations

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self-limiting beliefs image

Earlier in life, I was always afraid of senior career positions. I used to apply for junior and entry-level jobs even after many years of employment because I didn’t believe I could handle the senior ranks. Yet each time a senior position became vacant, I was the first person the boss would contact. They saw my potential, but I could never see it because of my self-limiting beliefs. 

Eventually, I would find a reason to decline the promotion. What are you struggling with?

Believe it or not, we all battle with self-limiting beliefs. Are you fearful of signing up for that mortgage because you’re so scared you might not pay it fully? Or is committing to a relationship an uphill task for you?

In this article, I will discuss this fear within us and share practical tips for overcoming these self-limiting beliefs. 

What are Self-limiting Beliefs?

Fact: There are no limits to what you can achieve except for the limits you set in your mind. And this is what sets humans apart. Some people become iconic leaders while others amass massive wealth, yet some still struggle in life. This is one way of looking at it. For you and me, think of the small challenges you encounter in life. Are you truly incapable of handling them, or are you just afraid of trying and failing? 

Self-limiting beliefs are self-developed thoughts, consciously or subconsciously, that we use to convince ourselves that we can’t do something because we are afraid of failing or getting hurt. Consequently, we don’t even allow ourselves to try. Such limiting thoughts are one of the biggest preventers of achieving our goals. And that’s why we need to learn to control and eventually overcome them. So how do we do that?

Practical Steps to Overcome Self-limiting Beliefs

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#1: Identify Your Limiting Belief(s)

What are you so afraid of and why? 

  • Are you scared of getting married because your father abused your mom? 
  • Are you afraid of getting kids because your parents abandoned you when you were little? 
  • Are you afraid of management positions at work because you feel voiceless?

Identifying your self-made limits is your first step to overcoming them. You will need to use your intelligence and accept vulnerability, more like healing your inner child.

#2: Work On Your Confidence

There are several ways to develop self-confidence. The easiest is the use of positive affirmations. The idea is to re-condition your mind into believing what you had otherwise categorized as impossible. You could also apply the law of attraction. Anything you focus your mind on without a shred of doubt eventually comes to be. If you constantly think about boldness, confidence, and assertion, you eventually become bolder, more confident, and more assertive.  

Self-confidence enables us to move out of our comfort zone. We are no longer afraid to try because we believe in our potential. And even if you fail, you believe you can win tomorrow. Besides, you become your own cheerleader and no longer seek approval from others. That’s how powerful we become when we are confident from the inside.  

#3: Set New Goals

Be realistic and set achievable targets. However, always have one clear goal at all times that you’re working towards. That goal should be the most significant on your list. Also, note that big goals are good, but they can demotivate you. Divide these goals into smaller tasks that you can easily achieve. 

For every achievement, your mind registers a win and naturally handles the next task with ease. This way, you find yourself accomplishing tasks you never imagined were possible and consequently become unstoppable in achieving your lifelong dreams. 

#4: Challenge Your Thoughts

Why do you give yourself bad labels such as “I am stupid, slow, worthless, ugly, useless,” etc.? Is it because someone in your past called you that? Did they really have a solid basis to give you that label? How well do they know you? Have they seen the woman or man you have become lately? 

Asking your inner self such questions helps you to look at the other side of the coin. For example, just because my skin has acne doesn’t mean I’m ugly. It’s just one of the many stages in life. And just because I have mobility challenges doesn’t mean I am useless. I still have the brain and hands to write my next bestseller. Challenge your thoughts, whether good or bad, and you will realize that not every gospel you hear is factual. 

#5: Develop an Alternative Plan

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We don’t have control over our limiting beliefs because they provide a soft fallback. We don’t take risks because we fear getting hurt or hurting others. Say, for example, you’re afraid of getting kids because you’re scared you’ll never be a good mom. Instead of dwelling on being single for the rest of your life, how about you start accommodating other kids in your home and see how well you nurture them? 

You can request your siblings or friends to drop off their toddlers over the weekend and dedicate your energy to looking after them just as if they were your own. After a few months, your natural motherly instincts will start to kick in, and who knows, you might start looking at kids differently. 

If you’re afraid of public speaking because you feel invisible or you’re afraid your voice is not good enough, how about you start by recording podcasts?

Or, if you constantly feel worthless, how about starting a small project that gives you a sense of belonging? Like donating your coffee to a homeless person every morning. Or helping an elderly neighbor water their flowers every weekend. 

The Bottom Line

It’s very easy to develop self-limiting beliefs, especially with a rough childhood or a traumatic past. Our mind is constantly working to protect our fragile ego from getting hurt again. However, the sooner you realize how much you have been missing in your quest to play safe, the sooner you need to break these limiting thoughts and redefine yourself. Your potential starts and ends in your mind. Dare to dream again and develop unshakable confidence because only you can do it. 

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Sigma empaths are quite rare. Many of them do not even realize that they are sigma empaths. This personality type consists of...

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Spirituality2 weeks ago

Spiritual Transformation: 6 Signs You Are Experiencing One

Human beings are spirits inside a physical body. However, most people live their lives like bodies inside the spirit. Spiritual...

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Abundant Living2 weeks ago

What Are the Lucky Colors In 2023 (According to Feng Shui)?

According to Chinese metaphysics, each year vibrates at its own unique frequency and resonates with particular colors. Each color has different strengths and...

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Astrology3 weeks ago

Predictions for 2023: Social Unrest, New Opportunities, Natural Disasters, Economic Instability

According to the Chinese calendar, the new year starts on January 22nd, 2023, and will last until February 10th, 2024....

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Astrology3 weeks ago

Make Sure You Protect Yourself From These 3 Types of Energy In 2023

Like any other year, the year 2023 carries both positive and negative energies. These energies do not stand still; they move and flow...

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Awareness4 weeks ago

Starseed Types: What Star Race Do You Belong To?

The Earth is an ever-changing multidimensional world with a blend of physical and spiritual concepts and experiences. The Starseed experience...

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