US Nuclear Target Map. Do You Live in The Danger Zone?

Ever wondered if you live close to a potential nuclear target?Even if you live in a small town or rural area... don't think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas. Find out if your county is close to ground zero.

Sovereign Survival Contributor

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10 Wild Plants You Can Eat

10 Wild Plants You Can Eat

Take advantage of what nature has to offer and discover which wild plants you can eat!

Being able to identify edible plants is a great resource to have…whether youre on a family camping trip or you find yourself in a survival situation, youll be able to utilize your natural surroundings to find food!

To view the full list, head over to survivalathome.com…

10 Wild Plants You Can Eat

10 Wild Plants You Can Eat

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http://www.selfsufficiencymagazine.com/

Why Simple Living Is The Forgotten Key To Self Actualization

 

Key To Self Actualization

For the past ten years I have been pretty much into personal development. Well, as a teenager I was already a bit interested in not-so-mainstream topics such as the power of the human mind, psychic phenomena and plenty of other metaphysical topics. It comes to no surprise that my peers thought I was a bit weird, you know how it is. So when I got hooked on to personal development topics later on in life, I was already primed for certain ideas and insights. It came easier for me to hop on from one book or one topic to another without needing a stretch of time to digest certain ideas. I got pretty sucked into it. I read heaps of books, started off my blog Soul Hiker and wrote a few hundred articles to share my insights and experiences with others following the same path.

In those ten years of learning and practice, I did come a long way with a wealth of inner growth but also many pitfalls. What is more relevant is that I have also arrived at a solid practical realisation a kind of a key that unlocks some doors without having to knock them down really. That key is Simple Living or the idea of simplifying life in order to shed away what is unnecessary, inauthentic and a hindrance to your life purpose. The concept might seem obvious but somehow hidden none the less.

Personal growth, or rather actualising your highest potential and becoming the best version of yourself, requires shedding off and letting go of things which are not authentically in line with your Soul agenda rather than putting in a lot of effort to learn or acquire something else. Its energy-wasting spending hours, days and weeks trying to relearn habits, boosting your confidence, visualising your goals, improving your creativity, doing soul searching, etc without first simplifying your life. Yes all these things and others are important personal development tools but I have realised that by doing one thing engaging in a path of Simple Living will make everything else effortless. This is particularly true to your goal of self-actualisation or becoming the best You.

So in a way, if we only tried to make life simpler and nothing else, its already a hundredfold better than trying hard to do other self-improvement stuff some of which perhaps fail, we give up on or take us a lot of persistence and struggle to achieve. I strongly believe that the message of Simple Living is a very important one and here are some of the reasons why:

Less Noise & Clutter:

In an online course I created about Simple Living, one of the most important lectures is one which has to do with clearing and decluttering spaces. Not just physical spaces around us (although this is also important) but our inner spaces too. In a way living a simpler life means managing your time and space better. Very often our spaces become cluttered and disordered, making life more difficult than it has to be.

On a physical level, this can be seen in cluttered living or working spaces, rooms in our homes or perhaps disorganised drawers, closets and desks. On an emotional and psychological level, this manifests as mental noise, unclear paths of action, conflicting ideas and lack of a clear purpose. So decluttering our inner and outer spaces will literally clear the obstructions for us (or others: hint) to move freely through them and this will resonate on all other levels of our life. Clearly there is much more to decluttering than routine it is a way of opening up to life.

Understanding what is Relevant:

Another important concept of simple living is understanding what is necessary vs. what isnt. It is about distinguishing between our real needs and socially suggested wants. Of course everyone is able to distinguish between the two but we dont most of the time because we live in a collective trance of consumerism and mass media.

When we start becoming more aware of how much our actions and decisions are influenced by society and culture, we start standing back from it all. It becomes more and more clear that a lot of the things we were made to believe were needs are nothing more than wants and we can do without because they are not authentic to our purpose. This clarity brings with it a sense of power and freedom. In itself it is the spirit of simple living.

So in a nutshell living simply involves being clear about what is relevant, necessary and needed rather than living in a haze or worse living out a social program just like automatons.

Finding Authenticity:

The last point naturally brings forth a more interesting topic that of living an authentic life. But what does living an authentic life really mean? In my view, living authentically means not being limited or confined to live out someone elses life or a social template laid down to us through our socialisation. It means being free of the fear of being judged or disapproved of by your peers and authorities. It means being free to follow your passions and purpose without being infected by those fear-based thoughts transmitted by others.

Creating Space for Inner Creativity:

Of course authenticity walks hand in hand with creativity. It is natural that creativity requires a degree of freedom from constraints and limited thinking. Free-thinker, artists and bohemians are considered to be creative because they live outside the norms and behavioural rules of society. They are often nonconformists because of this reason. But more importantly, creativity arises when there is enough space for it to flow through and also here I mean inner and outer space.

So having a simplified and clear environmental and inner spaces is conducive to more creativity. The reverse is also true. Try to work in a messy store room with machinery noise going on and see whether creativity comes knocking on your door!

Life Purpose in Focus:

People often ask me how is it that they can find their life purpose. Many times I jokingly reply that they are asking the wrong person since it took me a long while to discover mine but I know that a good part of the answer lies in simplicity. In other words, the less physical, mental and emotional obstructions one has in life, the more clear his or her life purpose comes into focus. There is no real mystery here. The perfect analogy to vision is obvious. If you try to look for something say your TV remote control in a disorganised and overcrowded room it is going to be more difficult then if there was nothing else in the room besides the remote control. In this scenario, the more you start shedding away the junk and stuff in the room, the better are the chances that what you are looking for comes into view. Same thing with your life purpose. If you are trying to be approved by others by living other peoples goals and standards, the less chance you have of coming close to understand what is authentically your life purpose.

On the other hand, with less obstructions along the way, what genuinely drives you becomes clearer, which brings me to the next point.

Understanding Yourself and Motivations:

Finding your life purpose might not always be a direct result of simplifying your life although a lot of times it is. Sometimes simplifying life brings us first closer to understanding ourselves and our inner motivations which then sheds more light on our true purpose.

Sometimes our motivations and drives are not clear because very often the mind and heart are in conflict or out of sync. With simplicity comes less noise and conflict which in turn makes it easier to have a better understanding of ourself and our motivations.

More Time or Better Management of It:

The natural companion to decluttering spaces is managing our time better. Admittedly, I was always at a loss when it comes to managing my time. But then I found that time is much easier to manage when you take away all those things, chores, pressures and activities which server no purpose. In reality when you are living a simpler life, time management is not so much of an issue anymore. Time management is more relevant when you are bombarded with a thousand chores and activities, the hallmark of a complicated and stress-laden modern lifestyle.

Simple living is moving in the opposite direction to this. So when you are doing only those things and activities which springs out from an authentic sense of passion and belonging, time management is simpler. Of course some time management skills still apply even in simple living in fact in my course I have also reserved space for this but it is not the rat-race time management sort of thing; its more of a further optimisation to an already focused and simple life.

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Soul Hiker

 

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How I Learned To Fall Asleep In Under 1 Minute

 

Fall Asleep In Under 1 Minute

Sleepless and Stressed

It was the week before my best friends wedding, and my anxiety (nerves, plus excitement) had reached epic levels. I wasnt sleeping, to say the least. Part of that had to do with the maid of honor speech I would be giving. I was terrified and could not shut my brain off to fall asleep at night.

After day three of lying awake until the wee hours of the night, I sheepishly admitted to her that I was too nervous to fall asleep, and shethe bride, who was sleeping like a baby the week before her own weddingtold me I needed to try the 4-7-8 breathing trick.

She happens to be a licensed wellness practitioner who studies meditation, stress, and breathing techniques, and told me it would change my life. You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. She explained that the studied combination of numbers has a chemical-like effect on our brains, and would slow my heart rate and soothe me right to sleep that night. It works, she told me. Its crazy.

 

How it Works

I couldnt wait to put the trick to the test, and to my complete disbelief, I woke up the next morning unable to even remember getting to the eighth second of the exhale because it knocked me out that fast. For the next four nights leading up to the big day, even as my stress increased, I was able to fall asleep the minute I tried the 4-7-8 trick. I also used it to relax in the moments leading up to the speech.

When you feel stressed or anxious, adrenaline courses through your veins, your heart beats at a rapid rate, and your breathing becomes quick and shallow. So before I get into the specifics behind how the 4-7-8 breathing trick works, I wanted to explain in my own words what it feels like when you try it. To me, the effect of the breathing technique feels almost like a sedative drug, because in order to hold your breath for seven seconds and then to exhale for eightwhen your breath is so shallow and shortyour body is forced to slow your heart rate. It has no choice. Holding your breath, and then slowly, deliberately exhaling for eight seconds, causes a chain reaction. It feels like going from a mad-dash sprint to a finish line to a slow, leisurely, calming stroll through the park.

When you first start, youll be desperate to just take in another breath, or youll want to speed up your counting, but if you stick to the numbers (or at least try to), and dont take any breaks (in other words, consecutively repeat the 4-7-8 without resuming regular breathing), you can literally feelyour heart rate slow down, your mind get quieter, and your whole body physically relax. It washes over you like a calming, relaxing drug. I can never remember getting past the first set of 4-7-8.

Do you know the feeling of being put under by anesthesia, where you are conscious, and the next thing you remember is waking up? Thats what this is like for me: As soon as I start the practice, the next thing I remember, Im waking up in the morning and cant even remember beginning the 4-7-8 count the night before. Crazy.

Now to the more technical details: People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronicallyunder-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to a count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen in your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short, shallow gasps of air.

How it Can Work For You

 

Mindful breathing practices have been a part of yoga and Eastern wellness modalities for centuries, but arent as popular in Western culture. The most well-known champion of the 4-7-8 breathing technique in the U.S., who is somewhat responsible for the prevalence that the technique does have amongst integrative medicine practitioners, yogis, and those in search of stress reduction and overall relaxation, is Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil.

Though Im not promising or claiming (nor does Dr. Weil) that practicing this breathing technique can fight disease or provide clinical benefits, I can tell you one thing: If it affects you like it did me, it will help you fall asleep way faster. Not only is it free, it also works for a number of different instances. In addition to using it to fall asleep in a pinch, you can practice it if you wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself thinking about something you have to do the next day, in order to fall back asleep; if you are nervous before an event (like a wedding, or giving a speech); if you are angry about something and want to calm down.

My friend (the bride-to-be who slept like a baby the week before her wedding), who gets nervous to fly, uses it before flights and during if the plane encounters turbulence.

It is now what I use to fall asleep every single night, and each morning, Im amazed at how well it worked.

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10 Excellent Ways To Start Your Day

 

start-the-day-motivated

We live in busy times when most of us have to work around 40 hours a week. In order to lead this kind of lifestyle, one should sort their time and energy properly throughout the whole day. Healthy morning rituals can really have a positive impact on the way you spend your day. Not everyone realizes that what you do and the way you think in the morning can affect your mood, motivation, energy and the way you do things throughout day.

It is of great importance to start your day the proper way in order to grow, feel happier and to be more productive. Read on for ideas on how to make the best of your mornings.

1. Early to bed, early to rise…

If you really want to improve your mornings and work on building some new healthy morning habits, you would probably need more time. Getting up earlier is a way to add an extra hour or so to your day. But if you love the peace and quiet the late nights provide you with and you have turned into a night owl, you would probably love the peace and quiet that the early mornings offer, too. Getting up before others gives you not only a feeling of satisfaction but also provides you with extra time to follow your morning rituals before you leave the house for work/school.

 

2. Stretching

Most people experience a feeling of stiffness right after waking up. This can be dealt with really easily by following a stretching routine every morning. There are so many benefits to stretching but you can only feel them if you stretch regularly. If you are not sure how to stretch properly, you can find tons of them on YouTube. Choose the ones that you think will suit you best and just do them every single morning. You will sense the change yourself.

3. Listening to music or an audiobook

Listening to your favorite songs in the morning is a great way to uplift your spirit and get prepared for an exciting new day. It sets a positive mindset and gets you pumped for an active day. Depending on the responsibilities and plans you have for the day, you can adjust the genres of music that you wish to start your day with. If you have planned a day for relaxation, music that is not too loud would be best. But still, it is a matter of choice. Another great source of inspiration in the morning is a good audiobook. Listening to one is a great option for a start of the day because it stimulates the imagination, works on your abilities to focus and can inspire you in a variety of ways. Plus, songs can often be catchy which can affect your work during the day, but audiobooks are less likely to influence your day in a negative way.

4. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water

Every day when you wake up your body is dehydrated because you havent drunk any water for about 8 hours while you were sleeping. This is why it is so important to rehydrate your body first thing in the morning. Avoiding that and having breakfast right after you have woken up isnt a good idea because the first thing your body really needs at that time of the day is water. Drinking a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice is a perfect start of the day. This beverage helps your digestive system to prepare for the meals you are about to take during the day. Plus, the lemon makes water tastier. You can also add a spoon of honey to sweeten the sour taste of the lemon water.

 

5. Scraping Your Tongue

Along with brushing your teeth, scraping your tongue is a great way to improve your mouth hygiene. Once you try it, you wouldnt want to give it up. It does not only help you get rid of the unpleasant morning breath, but you would also taste your food better as it rids you of that film over your tongue that stays there even after you have brushed your teeth. If you dont know what to use for that purpose, you can either buy a toothbrush that comes with a tongue scraper on the back or a plastic triangle-shaped scraper. If you cant find either of these, you can simply use a spoon.

Nourishing, your body with fresh food that contains essential for the body minerals and vitamins, is a must if you want to start your day in a healthy way. That is why a green smoothie is one of the best choices for breakfast. It helps boost your immune system, boosts energy and satisfies your hunger. Making a green smoothie is an easy job. You just throw some spinach, kale and other green vegetables or fruit in the blender and voila! It is an easy way to provide your body with the much needed fiber, phytonutrients and minerals. Just remember not to eat anything else at least 30 minutes after you drink the green smoothie. Try this out and notice the change in the way your body feels during the day.

7. Rebounding on a mini trampoline

Rebounding 100 times is an excellent start of the day. Some of its benefits are that it wakes up your whole body, you train your balance, stimulates lymph movement, works every muscle group of your body, helps the functioning of your thyroid, reduces stress and so on. By the end of the 100th jump, you will feel your body tightened and your mind- awake.

8. Smiling in the mirror

It is amazing how smiling at yourself in the mirror in the morning can change your whole day. This sends signals to your brain that stimulate the release of hormones that make you feel happier. It also boosts your confidence and you feel more determined to go after your goals. It is a simple way to encourage yourself to do your best every day. Once you make it a habit, you will feel amazed of the way it changes your mindset. You become a more positive and happier person. Yes, that simple trick does wonders!

9. Dry brushing your body

This is an old Ayurvedic practice which can help the circulation and sloughs off the dead skin cells. Choose an exfoliating brush that is not too rough but also, not too soft, because otherwise it wont be able to do its thing. The way to do the brushing is to start from the area where your heart is, then move to the limbs and the rest of your body. After you have finished with this process, take a shower and apply body lotion in the end in order to keep that suppleness. Dry brushing your body can make your skin smoother, and you will feel it much nicer.

10. Todays top 3

Leading a busy lifestyle can trick you into forgetting which the most important things you need to do for the day are as you have so many responsibilities to do and plans to follow. Making it a habit to do a list of the top 3 most important things that you need to do before anything else will help you avoid the confusion when you do your tasks for the day. If you succeed with following the list of these three things every day, it will give you the feeling of fulfillment and it will become easier for you to differentiate the important activities from the others. Also, you would like to start small as it will be easier to follow that habit every day and after you make progress, you will simply feel more confident to replace the easier tasks with some bigger and bigger goals for the day.

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Off-The-Grid Easy To Build DIY Refrigerator

Image Credit: Knowledgeweighsnothing.com

Off-The-Grid Easy To Build DIY Refrigerator

This incredible invention is widely used in countries where electricity isnt available to help keep food fresher for longer. These simple to follow instructions will guide you through all the steps leaving you with a DIY refrigerator for when you are without electric.

Perfect for camping in the wilderness, or when a power-cut leaves you without power, this DIY is a skill worth learning. With only a few materials and simple instructions it couldnt be easier.

Head over to Instructables.com for complete method….

Off-The-Grid DIY Refrigerator

Off-The-Grid DIY Refrigerator

Source

http://www.selfsufficiencymagazine.com/

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