These have-to-have food and décor-of-the-season resources will get you ready in a twinkle!

Xmas – that time of the year when family from all over the world flies down to be together. When the food is not just filling but also soul-nurturing. And when the décor is a reminder of a beautiful birth that taught us to love all beings. So, get ready to make some memorable moments with your family and friends as you gather around the cheerful fire burning in the hearth (okay, we people in Mumbai can dream, no?) and have a blast. Food? Check! Decorations? Check! Check out these resources we’ve collected for you so you don’t have to waste spend precious time doing it! You’re welcome!

Are you ready to dive deep into it?


Without a doubt, Christmas won’t feel like Christmas without the pudding. The recipe is such a treasure that many families swear by their handed-down-
over-generations method of making this pudding. if you haven’t begun making it by November end, you’re probably late in making it (though instant pudding recipes abound on google, meh)! And what about gingerbread cookies, plum cakes and eggnog.

Stop, stop, we’ve got you covered. Here are links to some fabulous bakers of
an amazing Christmas foodie-goodies. You gotta hurry though as some of
them stop taking orders soon:

  • Mav’s Cakes & Bakes at Bandra West: call / message +91 9819873959
  • Katy’s Kitchen at Mazgaon: call / message +91 9820904694
  • American Express Bakery: call / message 022 26422857

Get your fill of Christmas treats and hampers at Sassy Teaspoon:
Bonus tip: Keep all those food delivery apps updated and be quick on the
finger when their exciting offers come up during this season.

Transform your home into a Christmas wonderland with these delightful decoration ideas: get a traditional Christmas Tree or then make your own, with books: Bring out those wreaths, those tree-toppers like angels and stars, the twinkly led lights, candy canes, mini santa claus figures, wrapped presents, candy canes and other baubles.

Check out these online stores for the decorations:

Looking for wider choices? You’ll get them all here, if you don’t mind giving your feet a workout (wear comfy shoes):
  •  Hill Road, Bandra West: THIS IS THE PLACE. Get all your decorations from the experts who’ve been doing it since years: Cheap Jack, Mota’s, Party Hunterz…they’ve got it all in this small Christmas town (at least in December).
  • Abdul Rehman Street, Crawford market: The place is the oldest & the best to shop for Christmas decorating items. The street is studded with shops stocked with a profusion of Christmas hangings, colorful lightings, and tiny Santas.
  • IC Colony, Borivali West: This place is a treat for Christmas shopping, be it for decorations or even food-goodies. Best time to visit is in the late afternoon to avoid chaos and crowds.
  • MMRDA Ground, BKC: Be the early worm and grab those fabulous offerings at Lil Flea and Times Fest where you can find some really unique homemade décor to give your place a cozy, Christmassy feel.
  • Off Prarthana Samaj & Park Road, Vile Parle East: Looking for Christmas decorations that are both easy on the eye and the wallet? Go no further than Vile Parle. Mini Santa dolls, Santa Claus Costumes and Caps, Xmas lights and baubles, you’ll get them all here.
*(all resources mentioned here are subject to change)

Is Your Relationship Giving You That Kind of Love You Crave?

Do these 10 things and you will surely get the love you deserve 
By Meenu Mehrotra

Aha! Got you there! Loving and being loved is one of our most basic needs (according to Maslow). But, believing that our happiness lies in receiving love from our relationship is a big error and can only result in unnecessary struggles and pain. Relationships play a crucial role in our higher evolution and love that we really crave is self-love.

Self-love is the practice of appreciating oneself, accepting all our weaknesses and strengths and having compassion for oneself as we often bumble along trying to find the meaning of our life.

Keeping that inner spark alive and the relationship hot is a challenge but here’s a quote which will surely give you a refreshing perspective on relationships- “Without you I am whole, with you I am more!

Here are some tips for keeping those love fires burning:

1. Do not make the relationship, the be-all and end- all of your existence. Relationship is just an important part of your life and NOT your whole being. So, aspire to be in an evolutionary love partnership instead of a co-dependent (read toxic) relationship.

2. Never underestimate the power of patience. Have faith in divine timing and allow the relationship to develop at its own speed. A fruit that was picked before it was ripe is of no use. Patience is a golden virtue. Use it to maneuver your way through the blind alleys of a relationship.

3. Know and understand yourself deeply. Work on yourself, especially your shadow self and bring the highest version of yourself to the table so you can know and understand your partner profoundly.

4. Gratitude begets more gratitude. Always look for positives and not focus on the negatives in your partner.

5. Nothing creates a deeper intimacy than being authentic. Be true to your feelings in a relationship. It can take your intimacy to higher levels.

6. Choose kindness always. Even at your worst, do not let anger or frustration make you disrespect your partner beyond redemption. Unkind/ disrespectful words uttered in a fight have the potential to destroy a relationship and nothing you do can redeem it.

7. To use my own quote- “Lust is the fire, Love is the fuel and without one the other doesn’t last for too long.”
Remember lust is cardinal to understanding love. You need to feel the fire between bodies; you need to feel attracted to each other- no matter what your age or the age of your relationship and that is the catalyst for experiencing love and yet you should be able to understand one from the other, even if they are finally meshed.

Lust is the physical desire -to be around someone, to touch, to feel their presence. Love is the soul; Body is the temple and lust is the expression of that divine temple.

8. Do not take everything personally. Most of the times, it is never about YOU but about the other person. Learn to look at the truth impersonally and let it refresh and enlighten you. Be soul-centric instead of being ego-centric.

9. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of heaven dance between you”- Khalil Gibran. Allow enough space for your partner to evolve and for you to grow as well. Allow the relationship to flow like a river. Meet people where they are. Remember, love meets us halfway.

10. Expectations are the biggest cause of all suffering and heartbreak. Work consciously on lowering them. Have realistic expectations from your partner.

Meenu Mehrotra is a Thriive-verified Intuitive Coach/Healer and a certified Archetypal Consultant as well as Angel Card Reader. She has written 6 books and is also a well-known fiction writer, poet, blogger and editor. You can get in touch with her here:

I’m A Thriiver: How Shikha Mehta found her perfect body weight

Shikha Mehta had a breakthrough when she realised it is not just calories that decides one’s body weight. Her journey, in her own words.

Two years ago, I was 30kgs. above my optimum weight. I’d have excruciating pain on my thighs and I couldn’t even sleep. A nerve in my leg got pulled and this made my lower body rigid. I could not move, almost became bedridden. I was listless and wasn’t energetic enough to do things for my kids. My obesity was causing difficulties in my intimate life. Thyroid issues began to plague me. The last straw was that my elder daughter who was around 14 years old began to experience the same issues I had with weight.

I decided that this situation had to change and I was the one who had to make the changes.

Judgemental patterns
As a child I was extremely skinny so my mom put me on homeopathy. Result: I couldn’t stop eating and by Grade 10, I was bloated up like a balloon. My mom suggested yoga and I also started Shiamak Davar’s classes – I’d walk from Walkeshwar to Taraporvala for yoga and back. After college, I’d walk to Shiamak’s classes at Gamdevi. That was a heck of a lot of walking. In 8 months, I’d released 20kgs.

My parents were extremely strong headed and judgemental of me. They were always pointing out things that they felt I had not done well or could have done better. I loved photography and wanted to be a glamour photographer. But my father didn’t want me to be one. I even got a 70% scholarship from an international design school but my parents did not allow me to take that up.

By the time I got married, I had done a catering course and a diploma in commercial art. My in-laws were a patriarchal family and they too were the dominating type.

I began to understand that I was attracting this energy because I had very fluid boundaries – it was difficult for me to set borders. I also realized that all these judgements that were being thrown at me were holding me back from doing what I loved and what I was good at.

Soon, my creativity found an outlet in baking, in organizing birthday parties from scratch, designing handbags and even educational board games for kids. These were partnership ventures which soon fizzled out. This began to get very frustrating.

How not to feel invisible and unwanted
My body weight fluctuated depending on my mental state - whenever I was happy I was skinny and when I was allowing others to bother me I became obese. For most of my married life I have been obese. At that time, I’d have no self-confidence and people would not acknowledge me or respond to my greeting – I felt invisible and unwanted.

It has been one and a half years, I’ve worked on myself and have released all the excess 30kgs – Now they see me through a completely different eye. They call out to me, want to get in touch me. I was talking to a friend and a person I don’t know just came over and introduced himself.

It is all about how you present yourself – What you show the world is what they see. And this is exactly what energy does – it’s your vibe and what you feel about yourself is what your energy will be and that is what you will attract.

Holistic Healing with Alternative Therapies
The journey has been holistic. I started theta healing but realised that my body and energy was more attuned and responded well to Access Consciousness or Access bars.

Access bars has a lot of body processes that change the molecular structures - I also practice energetic facelift that access. While working on the face it also releases the clutter of deeply-entrenched false beliefs about ageing such as the idea that one cannot lose even a pound after the age of 40 and suchlike.

I even practised Pranic Healing. It has something called body sculpting and also Pranic facials- it can be done whether the person is far away or sitting next to you - good thing is you don’t have to touch the person.

Next was Mantra Healing which I self-learnt. By then I had realized that all the weight I was holding mainly on my lower area was all the anger and frustration that was there and I released it through the use of different mantras.

Very recently I launched an unblocking meditation mantra with Bhaktamar - it’s a Jain mantra. It has 48 staznas which are 48 keys to 48 locks. So, I get the person to meditate to prepare the body to receive the mantra which I facilitate to circulate within the body. After the entire process is completed, the body is at rest to allow the energy to settle down.

Eat to live
Foodwise, I’ve experimented with keto, no carbs, naturopathy and so on. They have their plus points but I wanted something that I could adopt as a lifestyle. For over a year, I did not eat outside at all. I cook my own food. I have 2 rotis, veggies, dal, rice, sometimes, bajri, jowari rotis, thalipeeth. I use ghee in my food.

Gary Douglas always said your body needs only homeopathic portions of food - In Indian culture, we say one should eat only what fits on a tulsi ka patta, it sufficed then so it can suffice now - you don’t need food, your body needs food. How much does it need? Are you eating only for yourself or for everyone else? Or are you feeding your emotions?

Everything has actually been like a stepping stone to reach where I need to be, even those people who have taken up roles to trouble me. They have given me the wisdom to understand that I don’t need to buy into their POVs.

At one point, I was aghast to realise I was emulating my parents and being judgemental with my kids. But ever since I went on this path of change, my elder daughter has become proactive about her own health. She now goes jogging in the mornings and is aware of what she is eating. Becoming aware of one’s own actions and asking oneself questions brings us in touch with ourselves. This brings clarity.

Follow this mantra: DESTROY YOUR REATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS! This will give you a chance to create a new relationship with yourself and the permission to leave behind whatever’s not working.

Can Intermittent Fasting Reverse Diabetes? Test Results Say Yes!

Endocrinologist Dr. Roshani Sanghani shows us how this small lifestyle change can give you huge benefits in health

India has become the Diabetes Capital of the World. This disease is a silent killer and can cause loss of eyesight, foot problems, as well as organ failure. It has no cure and till recently, it was being managed with pills and insulin injections (in advanced cases). Endocrinologist Dr. Roshani Sanghani has helped many of her patients to reverse their Diabetes with Intermittent Fasting (IF).

We grilled Dr. Sanghani about her success with IF and how by making a small change in the way and what we eat, can benefit both diabetics as well as those wanting to avoid diabetes:

THRIIVE: Diabetes is said to be a lifestyle disease. What sort of lifestyle does one need to follow to avoid getting Diabetes?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease. Agreed, there are genetic traits we can inherit from our families to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but, many people are able to reverse type 2 diabetes when they change their diet and lose weight and none of them refunded the DNA they got from their parents!

In a nutshell, the lifestyle changes that help are:

  1. Low carbohydrate diets
  2. Avoidance of snacking
  3. Avoidance of regular intake of processed, artificially sweetened foods, sugar substitutes
  4. Exercise 5-6 times a week (a mix of cardio, strength training and flexibility)
  5. Proper sleep routine (which means minimizing blue wavelength light pollution which spoils our late evening melatonin release: think tubelights, LED bulbs and LED screens)
  6. Stress management
  7. Intermittent fasting helps keep insulin levels low. This helps reduce insulin resistance which is the starting point of type 2 diabetes.

THRIIVE: You have said elsewhere that Type 2 diabetes is case of too much insulin. How can one control this other through the use of medicines?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: The lifestyle changes mentioned above all are effective at reducing insulin levels. As a doctor, I have always emphasized lifestyle change over medication because I want to address the disease at the ROOT. Most medication does not work to reduce insulin levels. That’s often why you often hear that once a person starts medication or insulin for type 2 diabetes, the prescriptions don’t stop! If I have to prescribe drugs for a short period, I use medication that does not raise insulin levels. After learning about intermittent fasting, my prescriptions of insulin for type 2 diabetes have dropped by more than 95%. A fasting C-PEPTIDE test helps me show the patient that their body is still making it’s own insulin so why give insulin from the outside when a lifestyle change is what the patient really needs at the root level?

THRIIVE: How did you discover that Intermittent Fasting could help reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: I was invited to a diabetes reversal seminar in the fall of October 2017. That was the first time I came across Dr Jason Fung’s work. I was already insisting on lifestyle change with my patients but did not have fasting in my toolkit till then. Always curious to learn new ways of approaching diabetes, I went ahead and read all three of his books and watched all his YouTube videos. Everything I came across in his approach made scientific sense! I was in fact a bit upset as to why I hadn’t come across this approach earlier in my career! Once I was convinced about the clinical benefits, I started prescribing fasting. Also it’s important to say here that I have personally never fasted for religious or spiritual reasons but this logic made me embrace fasting for myself as well!! The fasting prescription differs from patient to patient. That is why when using it for Diabetes, it has to be medically supervised.

THRIIVE: I read somewhere that diabetics must eat the same amount and kind of food at the same time every day to keep the blood sugar stable. Also, diabetics are advised that fasting could be dangerous for them. If those statements are true, IF contradicts them so how can it still be beneficial for diabetics?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: You are right in observing this contradiction. Patients who are given medication that INCREASE insulin, cannot fast without medical supervision because they are at risk of low blood sugar. The biggest misunderstanding is that people think the low blood sugar is happening because of Diabetes. It is not. The low blood sugar is happening because of the type of PRESCRIPTION that has been given. That is exactly why I don’t use the medications that make it dangerous to change lifestyle!

THRIIVE: How can the diabetic person get started with fasting?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: To increase our patients’ chance of success we look at many factors simultaneously. An airplane can’t be flown safely by just making sure the windows are okay. The brakes, the fuel, the engine and all aspects of the aircraft have to be checked for flight-worthiness to ensure safe takeoff and landing. So, we first get patients started with a low carbohydrate diet all through the week. No particular food is banned or off limits but we encourage the patients to realize how certain foods affect their blood sugar levels. This means they need to start checking levels with a personal glucometer. A lot of patients have a phobia of needles and would prefer to just go to the lab and supply a sample to check fasting and PP blood sugar levels. This is not enough because we need the patient to directly understand how various aspects of their lifestyle are affecting the sugar levels on a day-to-day, moment to moment basis.

THRIIVE: Can IF help prevent diabetes in those who are pre-diabetic? How?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: We have to understand that Diabetes and pre-Diabetes start initially as insulin resistance. In simple words, you don’t start off with high blood sugar. First, the lifestyle that promotes Type 2 Diabetes starts putting a high carbohydrate load on the system, and maybe there is additional family history, stress, lack of exercise and/or poor sleep. All this makes our insulin less effective at keeping blood sugar levels normal. So the body needs to circulate higher insulin levels to keep the blood sugar levels normal. 

It’s time for us to increase our understanding of diabetes at the root: the first step in the disease is your body is forced into making too much insulin to cope with the lifestyle. That’s why intermittent fasting is an excellent way to reverse pre-diabetes because it lowers insulin.

Dr. Roshani Sanghani is an American board certified Endocrinologist. After practicing in Chicago for two years she relocated to Mumbai with her husband and two daughters to be closer to family. After a 4-year stint at Hinduja Hospital she left to start her own center for a holistic approach to diabetes and other hormone related conditions like obesity, PCOS and thyroid imbalance. Her goal is to help her patients reverse their medical conditions through a holistic lifestyle & lead by example by living a low carb fit lifestyle despite being a busy working parent.

To know more about her, visit

“Knowing our shadow self shows us where we block our light” ~ Prof. Kaya

Studying our shadow self reveals inner blocks and conflicts that dim our true light By Nikita Jhanglani

For the last five years, G has had a very troubled work life because of her aggressive and authoritative boss. She feels diminished, unimportant, and disrespected. One night, G has a dream in which she sees herself in a time many centuries ago, as a man who is the leader of a group. He is very aggressive, negative, authoritative, and doesn’t treat his people right. When she wakes up she is shocked to realise that she had been behaving exactly like the boss she so despises.

Getting her dream interpreted made G realise that she herself was attracting the aggressiveness from her boss and earlier, from her father, on account of her own behaviour in a past lifetime. This was in accordance with the Law of Resonance (two things that are alike will resonate with each other).

This incident was related to us by Prof. Kaya, who is a global expert on Dreams, Signs & Symbolic Language, as an example of how knowing one’s shadow self can help us overcome challenges in our life.

We're very intrigued to know more about the shadow self and we're thrilled when Prof. Kaya agreed to throw more light on this very interesting subject.

What is our shadow self?
We may practice positive affirmations several times over, but sometimes, a negative situation gets the better of us. More often than not, we push ourselves to look at the positive to not let the negative affect us.

Think of a child excessively pampered by its family. She becomes so used to getting only positive adulation that she cannot deal with a ‘no’. She becomes capricious and cannot handle rejections.

Similarly, when we condition ourselves to look at only the positive, we cannot deal with the negative—we forget that the world is made of positives and negatives.

Our shadow self is the negative part in us that we need to transform so that we can reach happiness and enlightenment.

Ignoring or not acknowledging the shadow self leads to becoming over-positive. This is a trait that the spiritually-inclined often indulge in and can lead to depression.

Coming face to face with our shadow self
To visit our shadow self, we need to study our behaviour with regards to the things that disturb us. This helps us to find the lessons hidden in our emotional suffering and transform them into awareness. And knowing what makes us sad and suffer emotionally, we are better able to change our behaviour to one that will bring us happiness at a deeper level.

Going back to G, the aggressiveness from her boss disturbed her work life. But she investigated and asked questions about his past life. She learnt that his aggression stemmed from his childhood. He had grown up in great poverty and had to face a lot of difficulties. He didn’t want his company to be in the same situation, poor and without funds, so he became authoritative and aggressive, in the belief that it would work in favour of the company and the employees.

G began working on being compassionate towards her boss and other difficult situations at work. She did not need to go out of her way to show her goodwill. Being neutral and detached about his outbursts served the purpose. In this way, she maintained a positive outlook but at the same time, addressed the negative energies and emotions within her as well as those reflected by others. And, this brought her a wholesome solution to her problems.

Not facing the darkness within us, it can become a huge roadblock in our emotional progress. Facing our shadow self can trigger great release and freedom. Working together with a trained life coach or dream analyst can help. Connect with Thriive to find verified therapists who are just right for you:

About Professor Kaya:
Professor Kaya is a best-selling author and international speaker. His notable work includes Dictionary Dreams-Signs-Symbols and The Source Code. A global expert on Dreams, Signs & Symbolic Language, he co-founded with his wife Christiane, the University / City Mikaël (UCM) that is established in several countries of the Americas, Europe and Asia. UCM is recognized by the Government of Quebec, Canada and Switzerland. It also holds a scholarship from Google.

Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.

Give yourself a 'light-boost': This simple guide will teach you the right way to meditate NOW!

Here is all that you wanted to know about meditation but didn’t know whom to ask 
By Nikita Jhanglani

The word meditation is bandied about so much that we often feel EVERYONE knows everything about meditating. But wait! We have had many requests to start at the very beginning. So, we’ve got a quick back-to-basics meditation “cheat sheet”. Veteran yogis or curious newbies will all find something here.

Scroll down and dive right in:

When should one meditate?
Anytime, anywhere. Really. There is no ‘correct’ time to meditate. Anytime you feel the need, go for it. Just make sure you’ll have ‘undisturbed time’ without vegetable vendors, courier folks and sundry other doorbell-ringers creating distractions.

How should one sit to meditate?
In a comfortable position. If that means sitting on a chair, so be it. Your body needs to be relaxed to fully support you when you meditate.

Sit with your hands clasped and feet crossed. This posture forms an energy circuit when you meditate. If you’re sitting on the floor or on the bed, you can meditate in the sukhasana pose.

How should one meditate?
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing: the inhalation and the exhalation. Just observe it. That’s it.

Your head will get filled with a thousand different thoughts. But every time that happens, simply bring your focus back to your breath.

Here’s an interesting fact: This technique, discovered by Gautam Buddha, is called Anapanasati (ana: inhaling; pana: exhaling; sati: mindfulness). Buddha taught that becoming mindful of the way one breathes significantly helps to empty the mind of thoughts.

Who can meditate?
Anyone and everyone.

Can children meditate?
Yes, they can. Children below 3 years of age are mostly in a mindful state that is free from thoughts. For kids older than this, just 5 minutes of meditation is enough. Using guided imagery meditation works beautifully for children. Have you tried this meditation for kids?

As one grows older the mind gets filled with more and more thoughts and so the time varies from person to person.

For how long should one meditate?
Meditation duration (in minutes) = your age (in years).

Do it in one sitting to get the best benefits.

What does one feel during meditation?
Meditation is a very personal experience. Different people are known to experience different things and emotions when they meditate. Some feel happy, lighter; some see a light or even colours.

Some are also known to experience headaches. But this is merely an indication that you are paying more attention to your thoughts, which increases the body temperature, causing a headache.

Does meditation help to manifest things into reality?
Yes. Meditation gives power to your intention. A modification to the Anapanasati technique is setting an intention (visualizing something you want to manifest) just before you start meditating.

How do you learn more about meditation?
Meditation is not just a technique. It is a way of life. The more you practice it, the more calmness and fortitude you will experience, besides many other benefits. An urge to have a deeper knowledge will rise within you. Reading will help. Anapanasati, a book written by Brahmarshi Patriji, who has spread the message of meditation extensively in India and the world through the Pyramid Spiritual Society Movement, gives a beautiful, easy to understand information about meditation. Patriji also advises the seeker to begin her search by reading “Autobiography of a Yogi”.

Did that answer your questions? Yes? Great! If this inspires you to explore more, then check out our YouTube page for more guided meditations. Or better here sign up to get the latest updates for a meditation event near you today

We thank Mr. Raghavendra for providing his inputs for this article. Mr. Raghavendra is a software engineer from Bangalore and on weekends he teaches meditation to the visitors at the Pyramid Valley International as part of his voluntary service.

Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.

Ignite your passion for life with these fire rituals from indigenous tribes

Have you ever tried burning away your past? Be prepared to be amazed. 
By Susan Hough

Fire is one of the most powerful elements of nature and sparks us with the passion and energy to take action. Who can know this better than the indigenous tribes of Africa who live by the rules of nature, and worship the elements? But even within the city, we can use fire rituals to empower our lives. Here’s how you do them:

Calling out to Fire Spirits & Ancestors
Before you start, sit and take a moment to call in the Fire Spirits and your Ancestors. Those Spirit allies have come before you and know what your Spirit needs the most. They also know how to help you in the best way to align with your vision, dreams, passions, gifts, intuition and inner knowing. Remember that our ancestors can be anyone that is deceased that you believe gives you support from the Spirit World. An example could be Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi etc. as well as your family ancestors.

Ask the Fire Spirits/Ancestors to help you let go of what no longer serves you and to end our attachment to it. This is a ritual you can use at the end of a year, at the ending of a job or career, at the ending of a relationship. You can also use this to help you when you are feeling stuck and stagnate. You may find it powerful for releasing old habits, ancestral patterns, fears, and emotional baggage.

The Letting Go Ritual
Write out on a piece of paper all that you wish to release. Think about each item and feel if there is any resistance to releasing it. You can also put attachment on the list as a behavior to be done with. Beliefs that no longer serve you, resistance, blame, and limiting thoughts or programs are some of the best things to put on the list.

Once you’re list is done, find a thick can, like a coffee can. Next you’ll need a little extra fuel to make sure your list burns completely. Thin paper like napkins, paper towels, tissues, or toilet paper work well. Crumple up your list and put it in the center of your burn container, then fill in around it with the extra fuel paper. To get the fire started I like to light an incense stick and place it among the paper. Any stick that burns well will do. Select your fire source. I use a lighter but matches work, too. Also get a container of water. Take the burn container and water outside to a safe and private location where there is no risk of the fire catching onto other flammable materials and smoke will easily dissipate.

Thanking the Ancestors
As you light your fire, declare that you are surrendering everything you’ve listed. You’re done with it and letting it go now. Watch the flames devour the paper and the smoke rise into the air. Know that what you’ve chosen to release is disintegrating and you are burning free from those patterns. When the fire is out completely pour the water over the ashes. Through this letting go, you know a deep transformation has occurred. Make sure you thank your ancestors and fire spirits for their support and guidance.

It is good to meditate after this ritual to be still and silent in the space you have just created. You have unburdened yourself and become available to new inspiration and new opportunities. Be in that open space for a little while and enjoy.

Susan Hough is a Ritualist and Life Coach as well as the founder of 'Living Your Gifts'. After 20 years of working in very traditional mental health, Susan knew that wasn’t her path and her search led her to a Daraga Teacher named Sobonfu Somé. Susan became one of a handful of Westerners to get initiated into the rites, rituals and healing wisdom of her tradition. Through the combination of Western and Dagara Wisdom, Rites and Rituals, Susan helps everyone from teens to adults discover how powerful they are.

How to be your kid’s best friend

… because, it is about more than just ‘loving’ your family
By Nikita Jhanglani

We live in a time where the proverbial generation gap between parents and children (millennials, mostly) is the most intense. Children have issues that are difficult for the parents to understand and vice-versa.

Within these chaotic times (and temperaments) can we create a stress-free, harmonious parent-child relationship?

We have a few hacks for parents that, in millennial slang, could up their status to their kid’s BFFs! These hacks may work on any age! A kid can always use a friend!

r ‘em hearts out
Open communication is the key that can help filter all the masses of information the internet age children process on a daily basis. . They need a balanced, non-judgemental, and experienced sounding board. A parent that chats about even taboo topics with a casual calm and funny attitude can notch up those friendship points fast! These are the bonds that will always glue a family together.

Date nights are the best nights (and days, too)
Plan dates with your children. Discuss your schedules and together decide on a time and place; don’t just announce that they have to be somewhere on your time. Do something you love, and something they love. Experiment with an activity they never thought you would be “cool” with — eg. rap music. But make it about you too — take this time to give them tools that will help cope with their stress -- like any kind of fun meditation, or dance & art therapies. Figure out fun ways for gratefulness and forgiveness activities!

Be their safe space
Create a safe space for them where they can talk to you about issues like anxiety and stress, not because you are their parents, but because they know that you won’t judge them.

Children today have a lot of options/issues when it comes to their personal and professional choices. When they approach you with an idea/problem, hear them out. Understand where they are coming from. Explain your viewpoint to them. Help them find a solution rather than giving them one. Foisting your decision on them can be counter-productive. Discussion will yield better results. If they are right about something, tell them about it and compliment them on their right thinking.

Sharing is caring (when it isn’t one way and isn’t just limited to stuff and food)
Tell each other about your day. Share your struggles with them: the big ones and the day-to-day ones. Tell them your problems and how you are attempting to solve them. Ask them for their opinion and help.

Indulge them
Encourage them to indulge in hobbies. Try out new things together; learn with them. Let them gorge on the junkiest of foods at least once in a blue moon. Become a kid with them again, and remember what fun it was to break a few rules! Forming a connection with your children is key. Being friends with your children is easy. Just a little bit of effort is all it takes.

Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.

Are you seeing 11:11 everywhere? There’s a special message for you!

11 is a Master number and these are the reasons you could be seeing 11:11 everywhere 
by Nikita Jhanglani

You have a new message from the Universe!

Nature, Universe, or whatever you call it has its ways of communicating with us. One of them is through numbers. Our strengths, weaknesses and life purpose are encoded within numbers and we often receive messages from the Universe through them. 11 is the Master Number that comes with a special message. 11:11 is an angelic number and if you’ve been seeing it every time you look around, then it’s a sign that angels are close by and are bringing to you some much needed guidance.

Wondering how to decode the message? Here’s a quick guide to your 11:11 sightings:

Go for that long overdue transition

11:11 is a revelation that either a long overdue transition is about to take place in your life or that you need to bring about a transition you are contemplating. Take it as a go-ahead from the Universe to rearrange your circumstances.

Say hello to new beginnings

11:11 is also believed to signify activation. If you’ve been thinking of starting something new, this could be the Universe’s encouragement for you to take that first step.

Manifest your thoughts

It is believed that when you spot 11:11, the Universe has created a very powerful moment in which you can manifest your thoughts into reality. It is also a way of the Universe telling you to turn your current plans into reality. Choose your thoughts carefully in this moment; focus all your energy on what you want and not on what you don’t want.

Make a wish

This is probably the most common interpretation of 11:11. An 11:11 sighting is believed to be a moment of divine intervention. Like a shooting star! Ask for you what you desire and chances are, the Universe might hear your heart. Remember to be realistic and grateful.

Acknowledge your blessings

11:11 is the Universe telling you that you are on the right path and that you have its blessings. On a 11:11 sighting, acknowledge the gifts you’ve received from the Universe; say a quick thank you and work towards your goals with renewed passion.

Listen to your intuition

The master number 11 is believed to be the most intuitive of all numbers. A 11:11 moment could be the Universe directing you towards your intuition.

Keep your hopes up

Believe a 11:11 moment to be one full of opportunities. It is believed that in this moment the portal of possibilities opens up and you have a better chance at manifesting your thoughts and ideas.

The best way to figure out how the 11:11 moment works for you and what significance it holds in your life is to write down your thoughts, ideas, and experiences that you had in the 11:11 moment. In a while, you’ll see the pattern and understand it better.

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Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.