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10 Household Luxuries You Appreciate More In Your 30s

10 Household Luxuries You Appreciate More In Your 30s

Just over two months ago, I moved back to my hometown. Despite having lived on my own since my junior year of college, I quickly discovered that setting up house in my 30s was an entirely different process than setting up house in my early 20s. Weeks before the move, I began stock-piling Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, taking inventory of kitchen items I needed to replace, and daydreaming about stepping out of the shower into a towel that didn’t have holes in it. Apparently, such are the joys of being a real grownup. Here are 10 household luxuries you appreciate more in your 30s.

1. You get really excited about cabinet space

I’ve come to realize in the last two months how much cabinet space increases the pleasure of cooking, and there’s an art to setting up a kitchen. I felt like I deserved a gold star when I took the time to arrange an entire cabinet for oils and cooking wines, and another for spices (organized by ethnic food group. Because that’s not insane at all). Having more room to spread out means having more space to organize your life just the way you like it.

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2. Your wall art is actually framed

Gone are the days of poster tape and push-pins. Now you use a hammer and nails. (And, side note, you actually own a hammer. And you know where to find it. Congratulations)! That picture of your favorite actor—not that you still have one—has been upgraded from fan art to conversation piece because he’s been lovingly ensconced in a frame that matches the decor.

3. You own a complete set of dishes

That’s right. You can actually entertain more than two people without having an anxiety attack about what everyone will eat out of and rushing off to purchase a pack of paper plates that will just generate more trash in the environment and, let’s face it, look totally tacky.

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4. Your wine glasses match

Not only that, but you actually have a separate set for red and white. Clearly, you’ve come up in the world. Eventually you might even afford to purchase decent wine to fill said glasses. All in good time.

5. You own more than one coffee pot

Living alone means you can probably subsist on a single-cupper and a box of K-cups, but you’re a grownup now, and this means offering people coffee. You may never use the gargantuan 12 cup pot, but it’s best to be prepared. Being a real grownup is all about preparedness and the ability to accommodate guests.

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6. Your bed is, well, actually a bed

Not a couch. Not a futon. Not a pile of laundry. I’ts an actual bed. With actual sheets…and maybe, if you’re really grown-up enough, you’ve sprung for a headboard, but let’s not get too fancy.

7. You have intelligent debates about the merits of tile over carpet

You know you’ve grown up when you look at your tile floors and think, “These will be such a pleasure to clean.” Because you’re actually going to clean your floors. Appreciating the difference in the maintenance level of tile versus carpet is just another one of those rites of passage into true (and admittedly boring) adulthood. I’m trying to tell myself it isn’t pathetic to have a really close relationship with my Swiffer mop.

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8. You appreciate energy-efficient lightbulbs

The electric bill isn’t going to pay itself. You have to work to pay it, and you’d like to be able to get ready for work in the cold, gray dawn with sufficient light to see that you’re putting on matching shoes. When you can save money and feel sanctimonious about your good stewardship of the earth’s resources, congratulations. You’re a responsible inhabitant of the planet.

9. You own a coffee table

And maybe even matching end tables, if you can afford to splurge. You now have proper glassware and a proper set of dishes, so people need a place to set them that preferably isn’t their knees, or the floor, or a packing crate draped with a Hello Kitty sheet.

10. You have a “guest set” of sheets and towels

If you have the space to entertain, you might as well do it properly. Roll out the red carpet—or the fluffy towels, as it were—for your guests when they visit. Just don’t have anything too luxurious on hand or they’ll expect monogrammed bathrobes, chocolates on their pillows, and complementary breakfast.

Featured photo credit: Girl in her living room via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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