All posts by Kirsten Cowart

Kirsten is a writer who loves to practice vipassana meditation, yoga, travel, and learning about nature, consciousness, and how to make the world a better place. Her current interests involve studying and practicing flow, staying In Flow, and recognizing the natural flow of the universe. Kirsten loves to learn about the holistic healing arts. She is also interested in ancient cultures and practices such as Druidism. Kirsten is honored to be apart of such an incredible movement of love and heart centered living in this world.

Blue Lotus Flowers: The Sacred Way Egyptians Got High

There is a mysterious image that has appeared time and again in thousands upon thousands of pieces of ancient Egyptian art. The blue lotus flower looks almost fan-like across many of the images found in tomb paintings, papyrus scrolls, sculptures, and even on headdresses.

For decades it remained a mystery – what did it mean? Why was it appearing in these scenes? It seems we finally have an answer. They were getting high.

Flowers of the Gods

blue lotus egyptian drug

Though technically waterlilies, the flowers, known as blue lotuses, were very important in ancient Egyptian society.

They had godly associations, thought to be where Ra, the Sun God, went during the night, before re-appearing in the day.

This is because the flowers are closed during the night, and open again every morning (bringing the sun with them).

The flowers also symbolize the god of perfume, Nefertem. It was thought that Nefertem brought the flowers to the Sun God Ra to ease the suffering of his aging body. But how could a simple flower have such restorative powers?

Where the Flower Appears

The mythical stories surrounding the flower and its powers are just the start of its prevalence in Egyptian culture. As mentioned before, it surfaced time and time again in paintings and carvings and Egyptologists noticed a link between the scenes. This flower was incredibly sacred and prized above all other plants in ancient Egyptian culture. Continue reading

This Indian Village Plants 111 Trees In Honor of Every Baby Girl Born

The birth of any child is celebrated around the world in a variety of ways, ranging from the giving of gifts in blue or pink in many western countries, to the giving of red-dyed eggs as a symbol of happiness in China. However, there is one village in India that has the mother of all new-birth traditions.

In Piplantri, Rajasthan, India, the community of 8,000 comes together every time a baby girl is born to plant 111 fruit trees in her honor and over the past six years alone, they estimate that they have planted a quarter of a million trees.

How Did The Tradition Start?

Indian village trees tradition

Former village elder Shyam Sundar Paliwal started the tradition to honor his own daughter, Kiran, who passed away when she just a young child. The tradition has continued, even though he no longer leads the village.

Historically, the birth of a girl in India was considered a burden on the family – they would have to pay a dowry when she gets married, which would cost the family a lot of money. As such, female children were regarded as lesser than their male counterparts, they rarely got a proper education, and would often be married before their eighteenth birthday.

Piplantri’s tradition does away with this and makes the birth of a baby girl something to celebrate, spreading joy and positivity to all the village’s inhabitants.

What is the Tradition in More Depth?

When a girl is born, the village comes together with the parents to create a trust fund of sorts. The village donates 21,000 Rupees, and the parents put forward 10,000 Rupees, for a total of 31,000 Rupees (approximately $500). This is then untouchable for 20 years and ensures she won’t be a financial burden on the family. Continue reading

6 Things That Happen When You Let Guilt Control You

Everyone can relate to guilt. Whether it’s from lying to a loved one, insulting a close friend, cheating on a partner, or making a wrong decision, it cuts more deeply than any other emotion.

We agonize over the misdeed, replaying it over and over in our minds, trying to rationalize it, planning what we would have done differently if we had the chance to go back to that crossroad. Yet we know there is no time machine to fix the action. We are stuck in the present, wringing our hands in angst. “I wish… should’ve… could’ve… would’ve… if…” become mainstays in our vocabulary.

When we resolve we had enough of this pain, we bury it. In other words, we throw a sheet over a big, ugly vat of guilt. The torment still exists, but we banish it so we can cope.

The guilt may be out of sight, but it is still in our subconscious mind. Then the real trouble begins.

Sign 1: Strained Professional Relationships

Suppressed guilt ruins your self-image thereby tainting your interactions with people. When stigma is flared into your psyche, you become aware that you are hiding something shameful, and you feel as if your essence is on display for others’ judgment.

The key to a professional relationship is consistency. If one employee is off his rocker, yet lovable, his peers will adapt and accept him.

However, this is not the case if you are composed on Monday, moody on Tuesday, manic on Wednesday, and anxious on Thursday.

This behavior stimulates mistrust since no once in business will interact long-term with an unpredictable associate.

Sign 2: Tired, Distracted, and Late

Subduing guilt scorches a lot of mental energy. As a result, you become disconcerted. A wide-eyed “wait, sorry, what?” becomes increasingly often until you cannot attribute this haze to a bad night’s sleep, an oncoming cold, anxiety about politics, or stress about a future zombie apocalypse. Continue reading

3 Key Signs Your Friendship Is Toxic & Draining Your Energy

‘Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival’.

C.S. Lewis

Friendships are crucial to the shape of our lives. Finding someone you enjoy spending time with, without a hint of romance, can lead us to new experiences and give us a sense of feeling understood. A true friend has your back through any crisis, holds your hand through any tragedy and applauds your every achievement.Toxic friendships

However, friendships can feel the same stresses and strains as any of the other relationships in our life and can turn sour over time. The difference between friendships and other relationships is that they can be particularly difficult to identify as being negative.

Often the dynamics of a friendship change because two people have made different decisions in life, leaving one happier than the other or they just become two entirely different people. Sometimes these differences can be worked out over time, but for others, it’s a sign that the effort of maintaining the friendship is just dragging you down.

Identifying a toxic friendship and letting it go is crucial to your emotional well-being. If you are unsure that a friendship has gone beyond saving, check for these three signs.

They cause you embarrassment

Being embarrassed on purpose is one thing, but when the genuine behavior of your friend leaves you cringing whenever you’re in public together, it’s a clear sign that the relationship has turned toxic. Dr. Patricia Leavy, the author of American Circumstance, a novel that explores female friendship, sees it as a clear sign that ‘you’ve outgrown the friendship.’ Continue reading

Healing Trauma: How Your Brain Hides Painful Memories

Childhood trauma always leaves its scars. Children can experience or be exposed to violence, mental abuse, neglect, vehicle accidents, natural disasters, rape, or other circumstances of extreme fear and shock.

As a result, they change for the worse. Their play becomes repetitive and often involves their trauma. They can’t sleep by themselves or be alone at any time. They distance themselves from people, have a low self-esteem, and have difficulty with trust. Aggression is a common symptom, as well as self-harm and abuse of drugs or alcohol. (1)

However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the trauma is blocked by the child’s brain and cannot be remembered. An adult may become disgusted or terrified when smelling a particular type of liquor, or inexplicably angry or afraid when touched by an older person. The brain could have blurred a memory about being raped by an older individual who was drunk.

The adult wonders, “Am I crazy?” (2)

Traumas Hidden by the Brain

Many people suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety as a result of their childhood experiences. However, it’s difficult for them to receive the phycological counseling they need if they cannot recall the incident that is causing all this hardship. This seems like a lose-lose situation for trauma victims. Continue reading

4 Explanations of Deja Vu That Explain It Better Than Science

Maureen was sitting with her friends in a park. The weather is sunny, and the girls are relaxing after a busy day at school. Suddenly Maureen declares that a boy with a very funny haircut will appear. Her friends stared at her in amazement as that particular person walked by their bench. They asked Maureen how she had known he was coming. She couldn’t explain. She didn’t understand it herself.

Derrick was ecstatic, as any seven-year-old would be to see a medieval castle for the first time. His parents were shocked as he described every detail of each of the twelve rooms.  Before they entered them.(1)

Deja vu is a curious phenomenon that almost everyone experiences at some point in their lives. It only lasts a few seconds when an experience or dream feels eerily familiar. It comes from the French meaning ‘already seen.’

Who Gets Deja Vu?

About two-thirds of our population have this experience at least once in our lives. Studies found that gender makes no difference, yet age is significant. It seems the older a person is, the less likely he will have an episode of deja vu. In fact, the majority of these reports were issued from 15-and-25-year olds. It is also more common with those who watch movies or travel often. (6)

1. Mercury

Mercury is the messenger of the ancient Roman gods, and was also known as the Bringer of Dreams. He can assume any human form and enter the dreams of gods and man alike to relay messages, insights, and premonitions. Perhaps he delivers a hint of the future for the dreamer. When you experience his prediction, you cannot fully remember the vision of Mercury from your dream, and it is quickly dismissed. (2) Continue reading