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10 Things You Need for Your Next Flight

10 Things You Need for Your Next Flight

Whether you’re an expert traveler or this is your first time leaving the mainland, there’s a good chance you’re going to forget something important. Or, you may not even think you’ll need it. Well, hold tight because while this may seem like “just another travel packing list” – it’s not. We’re here to be your Expert Packing Assistant. You just have to keep reading.

We’re going to list these friendly reminders ‘countdown style’ because chances are, you’re counting down to your vacation. Here we go:

10. Pets/Mail/Plants.

No, we’re not telling you to bring them. But more so we’re asking, “Who’s taking care of these while you’re away?” If it’s a friend-of-a-friend’s neighbor’s kid, pay them in cash. If it’s your bestie, tell them you’ll bring them something nice from your travels. Everyone wins.

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9. Bring your own headphones (BYOH).

Yes, your own ear-wax free headphones. (If you think about that for a minute, you’ll never forget them again. Some airlines ‘sanitize’ the rentable headphones, others let you keep the foam covered cheapies.) Our pick for under $100 (on a long flight, quality can come in handy without breaking the bank) are these easy-to-pack Shure headphones.

8. Small waste basket liner bags.

Yep, you read that correctly – use them for your dirty clothes!

7. Hydration items.

Think reusable water bottle + some Vitamin C packs to mix in-flight AND when you land. Flying seems to naturally dehydrate most people, so chug that H2O. Tip: Don’t forget about your skin. Bring a carry-on friendly moisturizer for your eyes and face!

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6. All the electronic pieces you’re likely to forget.

Phone chargers, camera and memory cards. Yes, we said “camera and memory cards” – ditch the phone camera and actually take quality photos on your next trip!

5. The eco-friendly reusable mug.

That little tiny cup of (sometimes free) in-flight coffee is never enough, let’s be real. Bring your empty mug and have the flight attendant keep the endless coffee flowing.

4. Snacks.

Trader Joe’s exists for a reason, so don’t overspend at the airport. There are also many airports with healthy food options that won’t break your beach body.

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3. Entertainment.

When’s the last time you held a book, became completely engrossed and couldn’t put it down? Well, combined with your headphones above and your endless mug of coffee, you can probably knock out a New York Times best seller and have expanded your vocabulary and imagination by the time you land. Read away!

Also, don’t forget to download your favorite movie or TV shows before you board.(Note:Just beware that some trans-oceanic flights may not offer WiFi for personal use, so check with your carrier ahead of time.) You may need your own screen. Examples: iPad, iPad Mini. Know ahead of time if your flight is fancy enough to have screens on the seat back in front of you. If not, don’t waste a carry-on with your company laptop.

2. Your in-flight travel attire.

Lay them out the night before for those early morning flights. With athliesure styles being all the rage for ladies this year, women can get away with leggings, tunics, maybe a scarf and booties. It’s not all about the ladies though. Men, don’t fret, there are plenty of comfy pants and loose fitting shirts for you too. If you pair them with some loafers or casual tennis shoes, you’ll be flying high in comfort and style. Tip: Compression socks for long haul flights. You won’t have swollen feet when you arrive.

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1. Cash/credit cards/ID’s.

Pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people forget their driver’s license or passport upon arriving at the terminal. There are other forms of ID that may get you through, but if you remember anything, be cognizant enough the day you leave to not lose or forget these items. Tip: Get a few hundred dollars’ worth of local currency ahead of time if you’re going international.

Another tip: Switch out your wallet and/or purse to something more efficient. This way, you won’t accidentally head to the airport with your pepper spray still on your key ring.

There are so many ways to find cheap flights and travel comfortably, so don’t fret! We hope this list helps you with packing and that above all, you have a fantastic trip. Now, go make some friends in the airport lounge. Sit back, relax and happy traveling!

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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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