All posts by Steven Bancarz

15 Reasons You Need To Drink Lemon Water Every Day

If you’re tired of drinking plain old water and want to take your physical, mental, and spiritual health up to the next level, here are 15 reasons why you should be drinking lemon water every day:

1) Clears Skin

One of the more convincing reasons to drink lemon water for most of us is that it can help keep our skin clear. Water on its own can help flush out toxins to keep skin clear, but the added vitamin C in lemons helps purge toxins from our blood to keep skin clear of blemishes and decrease fine lines and wrinkles!

2) Balances Your PH

There’s a lot of talk about balancing the pH in your body and lemon water does just that! Lemons taste and appear to be very acidic, but they actually have a very alkalizing effect on our bodies. Keeping your body in an alkaline state also prevents diseases and pathogens from surviving, so it’s a pretty important to drink!

3) Boosts Immune System

Another fab benefit of drinking lemon water is that helps boost our immune system. Who has time to get sick these days, right? The potassium in lemon juice helps control blood pressure, stimulate brain and nerve function and vitamin C helps fight colds. If you’re already sick, try sipping hot water with the juice of one lemon and some honey.

4) Weight Loss

Aside from helping our skin stay clear, balancing and boosting our health, lemon water also aids in weight loss! That’s right, drinking lemon water helps boost your metabolism, fight cravings, flush out water weight and curb hunger. Those are some powerful benefits from such a simple drink that we can have anytime!

5) Help a Hangover

What’s your go-to drink when you’re nursing a hangover? Save yourself a trip to the store and make yourself a mug of warm lemon water instead. Yet another benefit of drinking lemon water is that it can help soothe your stomach, which can be somewhat irritated or sensitive after a night of drinking. Drinking hot water with lemon can act as an antiseptic and help detox your system from all that booze!

6) Freshens Breath

We now know that lemon water has an abundance of benefits, and another one of my favorites is that helps freshen your breath! This is really effective for those times you want to freshen your breath after having some drinks, a spicy meal or if you smoke. All these things can dry out your mouth, which can lead to sour breath, so wet your whistle with some lemon water!

7) Boost the Brain and Nervous System

Another one of the impressive effects of drinking lemon water is that it contains lots of potassium. Low levels of potassium have been linked to depression, anxiety, forgetfulness and brain fog. As mentioned previously, lemons are also chock full of vitamin C, which gets depleted when you’re under a lot of stress.

8) Helps Respiratory Problems

If you experience respiratory problems like asthma or infections, lemon water is the ideal drink for you! Lemon water has antibacterial properties and helps get rid of infections of the chest and relieves coughs. Lemon water is also said to be a helpful natural remedy for allergies as it helps keep the body alkaline and more balanced.

9) Helps Digestion Problems

There are tons of different powers that lemon water has. Did you know that it can actually assist you with any digestion problems that you are having? Trust me on this one, if you are having a lot of stomach aches, start drinking lemon water and you’ll see a huge difference in how your stomach feels!

10) Powerful Cleansing Powers

While we might clean our skin and we might actually keep our faces and hair clean, did you know that we also need to keep our organs and our insides clean? That’s exactly what drinking lemon water can do! It’s a natural cleansing agent that will help keep you extremely healthy.

11) Less Mucus

If you are a dairy eater, especially drinking milk, you probably notice that you have a ton of mucus in the morning. Don’t worry, once your start to drink lemon water, you’ll notice that it cuts through the mucus and will leave your throat uncoated and unirritated!

12) Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation can actually really hurt, especially if you are noticing it all around your body. Well, one of the biggest benefits of drinking lemon water is that it helps reduce inflammation and it calms down any irritation completely!

13) Energy Boost

Do you need that cup of coffee in the morning and then around 2:30pm, you are crashing and burning with being tired? Well, if you happen to drink hot water with lemon in it instead of coffee, not only will you cut your caffeine, but you’ll notice there is absolutely no more crash!

14) Helps You to Stay Healthier

Overall, lemon water is a good way to keep hydrated and improve your health in all areas.  It’s not a taboo form of alternative treatment.  It’s a great way to up your health game on all ends of the spectrum.

15) Great Source of Potassium

Finally, the last benefit if drinking lemon water is all about that potassium I mentioned earlier! If you aren’t a huge fan of bananas, but are still missing those potassium levels, why not indulge in a few glasses of lemon water a day?

There you have it, ladies and gents, if those fifteen reasons don’t convince you to have some lemon water, I don’t know what will! Seriously though, lemon water has some fantastic benefits. It’s easy to make, it’s inexpensive and tastes great.

Note*: If you’re concerned about the effect of the lemon juice on your teeth, try drinking it through a straw.

Source: This article was written by Jesse Herman and was featured on Powerful Primates, and was used with direct permission from the author.


7 Common Spiritual Symbols. Do You Know Their Meanings?

Symbols are one of the amazing things that can leave a strong psychological impression in our minds just from their appearance.  Just from looking at some symbols, we feel love.  While others, we feel darkness just from being in their presence.

The list of symbols with spiritual significance is endless, but here are 7 commonly used spiritual symbols and their meanings.

1) The Hamsa

Hamsa is the Arabic word for “five” and represents the five digits of the hand.   The Hamsa is universal sign of protection, and is often combined with the Evil Eye to ward anyone who wants to harm you.  According to the history of this symbol, if anyone looks at you with evil intentions while you are carrying this symbol, they will be unable to cause you harm.

2) The Tree of Life

The tree of life has been represented by a number of different cultures and religions across the world.  In Christianity, it is seen as the tree in the garden of Eden that Adam and Eve picked the forbidden fruit from.  Generally, the tree of life is seen as a having a connection between the four earth elements (earth, wind, air and fire), and is a representation of the infinite connection of all things in creation.

 3) The Flower of Life

One of the main symbols of sacred geometry, the Flower of Life is seen to contain all of the patterns of creation within it.  Consisting of 7 or more overlapping symbols, the flower of life dates back to almost every ancient culture and is considered to be one of the sacred formations that creation arose out of.  Here is an awesome video Jordan made containing all of the information you need to know about the flower of life:

4) The Yin Yang

This signs represents the harmonization of duality.  It signifies the unity between masculine and feminine energies. The yin yang is a spiritual reminder that balance between the light and the darkness provides the most holistic approach to living a meaningful life.  The universe abides by the law of balance.

5) The Lotus Flower

A very important spiritual symbol in Buddhism along with several other religions, the lotus is generally seen as a sign of enlightenment.  The lotus flower has grown out of the dark, muddy water of materialism to open it’s petals to the sunshine of enlightenment.  This symbol represents the journey out of darkness and into transformation.  It is also a sign of the importance of detachment, as water droplets slide easily off the pedals.

6) The Ahnk

This is a well-known ancient Egyptian symbol of life.  The ahnk essentially looks a lot like a cross, but with a loop for the top arm.  It’s meaning is a bit debatable, but the most accepted meaning of the symbol is that it is a symbol of eternal life and regeneration.  It was often used in funerals and tombs in ancient Egypt.  Today, it is often carried by people as a sign of life and spiritual wisdom.

7) The Pentacle

This symbol is often used in the Wiccan religion, and is essentially a 5 sided pentagram with a circle around it.  This symbol is believed to be a protection against evil.  The top point represents the spirit, while the other four points represent the four elements.

Post any other spiritual symbols you can think of in the comments!

Steven Bancarz,

Team Spirit

20 Spiritual And Metaphysical Travel Destinations You Need To Visit

For those who are interested in travelling to spiritually fulfilling destinations, there are a variety of places to visit that are well within budget.  You don’t have to break the bank to get a taste of a destination with spiritual significance.

Here is a list of 20 spiritual and metaphysical travel destinations you need to check out.  First, let’s take a look at some locations within the United States:

1) Sedona, AZ

Sedona is known for it’s strong spiritual energy, and is the home of many psychics, reiki healers, and shamans.  It’s also a great destination for those who enjoy hiking and convening with nature, and is a perfect place to enjoy star gazing due to the absence of light pollution.

2) St. Augustine, FL

As the oldest city in the entire United States, St. Augustine has seen a lot of life and death.  Due to the long history it has, it is considered one of the most haunted cities in the US.  If you are looking to go on a ghost tour, this is the perfect city to do it in.

3) Savannah, GA

Another old city in the United States, Savannah is a lively destination with lots of fun and good food.  However, it is also home to many ghost tours and psychic phenomenon.  Similar to St. Augustine, it’s a good place to go to get a taste of the other side.

4) Roswell, NM

Roswell is the best place to be for extraterrestrial enthusiasts.  It’s known for being the home of the most famous UFO government cover-up in the United States history.  You can visit Roswell for tours and museums about aliens and UFOs, or to attend their yearly UFO festival.

5) Lilly Dale, NY

Lily Dale is a spiritual community known for it’s certified psychics.  Lily Dale offers many seminars and meetings throughout the year that focus on educating people on psychic phenomenon, mediumship, and metaphysical subjects.

6) Cassadaga, FL

Cassadaga is a small community of psychics and mediums in central Florida.  It’s a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in learning more about the religion of Spiritualism or Wicca.  It’s also a great place to attempt to contact loved ones who had crossed over.

7) New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is primarily known for Mardi Gras, but it is also another great destination for ghost tours and psychic phenomenon.  New Orleans is also one of the best places to learn more about Voodoo.

8) Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta in Northern California is considered all around the world to be a portal for spiritual discovery.   It is said to be associated with the 1st charka of the Earth (root). There have been many strange, unexplained occurrences that happen in Mt. Shasta, which is why so many spiritual travelers flock there each year.

Here is a list of other locations that are thought to be “Earth chakras”:

9) Lake Titicaca

The 2nd (Sacral) Earth Chakra, on the border of Bolivia and Peru.

10) Uluru-Katatjuta, Australia

The 3rd (Solar Plexus) Earth Chakra.

11) Glastonbury and Shaftsbury, England

The 4th (Heart) Earth Chakra.

12) The Great Pyramid and Mt. Sinai, Egypt

The 5th (Throat) Earth Chakra.

13) Kuh-e Malek Siah, Middle East

The 6th (Third Eye) Earth Chakra.

14) Mt. Kailash, Tibet

7th (Crown) Earth Chakra.

Here is a list of other places around the world that are of high spiritual significance:

15) Thailand

“The Land of Smiles” is often claimed to be one of the most inexpensive spiritual destinations, where you can visit beautiful Buddhist temples and archaeological sites.

16) Bali

Bali can be one of the most spiritually renewing travel destinations. Visit healers, practice yoga and enjoy the healthy organic eating that Bali is known for.

17) Stonehenge, UK

Considered one of the great mysteries of the world, this megalithic stone structure is one of the most energetically charged places on Earth.

18) Peru

Visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu to get a glimpse into the history of the Incas and their legendary connection to star travelers.

19) Japan

Home of many temples, shrines and zen gardens, Japan is a beautiful destination for spiritual travelers.

20) India

A hub of major religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, India is a spectacular destination for the spiritually-minded.  One place to visit in India is the city of Rishikesh, which sits aside the Himalayas, where many spiritual leaders have been attracted to to establish ashrams and yoga schools.

Are there any that are missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!

Steven Bancarz,

Team Spirit


9 Houseplants That Clean The Air And Are Almost Impossible To Kill

Pop quiz: which is more polluted, indoor air or outdoor air? 10 times out of 10, indoor air in your house, office or apartment is going to be worse than the air outside. Indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top 5 greatest risks to public health by the EPA, and stagnant indoor air allows pollutants to build up and stick to the things inside of your home.

The things in our homes emit some nasty toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde for example. You can also be impacted by pollutants like pollen, bacteria, mold, dust and various outdoor contaminants that find their way inside.

Fortunately, houseplants can help us solve some of these air quality issues. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, these houseplants are basically impossible to kill. Let’s check them out!

1) Garden Mum

This plant was found by NASA to be a real air-purifying beast. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your home’s air. It’s popular and inexpensive, plus they can be planted outside too.

2) Spider Plant

Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow, so if you’re a beginner, this is a great one to start with. It lights bright, indirect light and sends out shoots with flowers on them that will eventually grow into baby spider plants that you can propagate yourself. Before too long, you’ll have more spider plants than you’ll know what to do with.

3) Dracaena

There are over 40 kinds of dracaena plants, which makes it easy to find the right one for you. They remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. They are toxic to cats and dogs though, so if you have pets, you might want to think twice about this one.

4) Ficus

Ficus trees are a favorite of mine as they are able to grow quite large depending on the type of pot you have them in. They typically stand between 2 and 10 feet tall and have some serious air cleaning abilities. You can also keep it outside in the spring and summer. The ficus removes benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

5) Peace Lily

Not only does the peace lily send up beautiful flowers, but they’re impossible to kill and have great air cleaning abilities. They flower through most of the summer and prefer shady spots with moist but not soggy soil. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

6) Boston Fern

This plant likes cool locations with high humidity and indirect light. Bathrooms are a perfect spot for these little friends. They remove pollutants like xylene and formaldehyde from indoor air.

7) Snake Plant

I see this one all over the place in offices and restaurants – and for good reason. They’re pretty much impossible to kill. They need water only occasionally (about once per month) and prefer drier conditions. They don’t need much direct sunlight either. They remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from indoor air.

8) Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palms are most effective at filtering formaldehyde. They thrive in full sun and bright light. They grow as high as 12 foot too, making them an incredible presence indoors. They remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

9) Aloe Vera

Aloe is a multi-use plant for sure. It has health benefits when consumed in smaller amounts, helps relieve burns, and cleans your indoor air as well. It removes formaldehyde effectively from indoor air.

Having these plants inside your house will dramatically improve air quality, and will also provide you with an increases sense of being connected to nature.  You’ll be surprised how much life a single plant can add to a room!

Source: This article was written by Simple Organic Life, and was taken with permission from the author.

3 Ways Modern Technology Can Help You Achieve A Zen Mind

You would naturally think that Western technology and Eastern Zen meditation practice are as incompatible as they can get. In some ways this is correct but modern scientific research is finding points of convergence, most interestingly in using applied technology to hack into brain performance and optimal brain states that would otherwise be only achievable through years of dedicated practice.

The onset of these mind technologies was spurred by improved scientific instruments and tools such as fMRI, EEG devices and other latest brain scan technology that have uncovered a lot of data and information about the neurology behind ancient practices such as meditation.

Through these devices scientists were able to, for instance, examine brain scans of experienced meditators such as Zen Buddhist monks while meditating and literally see how and which part of the brain is being affected. Through this data and technologies, they can now understand which brain states can be stimulated to achieve focused and mindful states or ones in which the left and right brain hemispheres are in sync as experienced by seasoned meditators.

This is not Sci-fi technology but one that is available to the masses for under $300. Here is the what and how:

1) Bio-feedback Devices and Apps

Bio-feedback devices have been around for quite some time, but latest technology has brought this to a whole new level. In essence, bio-feedback devices are devices which give you real-time feedback of your state of mind so you can train yourself to enter into optimal states in relatively short learning cycles. Older bio-feedback technology relied on physiological cues such as heartbeat and skin conductivity.

With the latest EEG technology, bio-feedback devices are now wearable EEG headbands which detect your brain wave signals and hence your levels of brain activity (thus perhaps neuro-feedback devices would be more apt as a term). A predominance of Alpha brain waves, for instance would show that you are in a calm mindful state whereas higher frequency Beta waves would show you are somehow feeling stressed or anxious. This of course is an over-simplification. The technology makes use of various measures to accurately determine your overall mental state.

A trending EEG neuro-feedback device on the market is Muse. The product, a headband wirelessly connected to a mobile app, is a state of the art brain fitness tool. The headband measures your brain activity and the app monitors and gives you visual feedback in realtime. The app provides mental exercises which can be used to train yourself gain more focus, mindfulness, enter calmer states of mind and form positive habits with just a few minutes practice a day.

A great and sophisticated meditation tool. The enormous advantage of such feedback devices is obviously the possibility of reaching such mind states at an incredibly fast pace as against doing it by trial and error over a long period of time. And for those yoga/meditation purists – one word of advice: Do not downplay it or judge before you try it because you will be in for a surprise (it happened to me!).

2) Brainwave Entrainment Technology:

This is one of the simplest and most effective brain technologies and one which I have a great affinity to. I use brainwave entrainment on a daily basis. Once again the technology comes from scientific research in neuroscience. When clusters of neuron cells in the brain are activated and communicate with each other they give off an electric signal within a certain frequency range. Such frequencies are called brain waves. Different states of mind, such as when in deep meditation, or conversely when anxious and stressed, give off different brain waves.

The idea behind brain wave entrainment is to have audio tracks called ‘binaural beats’ that are in the frequency of a desired brain wave, say for example Theta waves (deep meditation, borderline wakefulness). Listening to such a frequency ‘entrains’ the brain to enter into that state – the Theta state in this case – over a short period of time (in my case deeper states are entered between 10 to 20 minutes approximately).

My favourite brainwave entrainment tool is OmHarmonics – one of the best on the market so far. I like the sound engineering and quality put behind this product. Other very good brainwave entrainment products I like are holo-sync  The advantage of the latter is the greater variety of specific programs they have.

3) Brain-Enhancing Nootropics

Nootropics are the hottest trend of the moment in both the personal development and health and fitness world. Nootropics are essentially a group of smart drugs that target cognitive and neurological enhancement most popularly memory, motivation, focus & attention and mood.

There is a lot of growing interest in these smart drugs from people who require top mental performance such as CEOs of multibillion organisations to every man and woman on the street who need to balance and sharpen their mental abilities within a demanding lifestyle.

Nootropics are approved and regulated smart drugs that can be bought over the counter or internet for under $50. They can come in normal capsule form or as a Nootropic drink as this innovative company does with Think drink. The latter product is basically a powerful attention and focus enhancer in a drink.

The main active ingredients are Piracetam and Oxiracetam ( a class of cognitive-enhancing Nootropics called Racetams), DHA and CDP Choline together with other amino acids and nutrients well know to aid in mental performance and overall health.

Another very popular and noteworthy Nootropic is Alpha Brain  which claims significant improvement in verbal memory, focus and mental clarity.

Once again as with the other technologies above, such Nootropics were made possible by research on the underlying neurology of optimal brain states such as those studied on Zen meditation practitioners. OK popping a Nootropic pill might not give you enlightenment but it certainly does help you achieve greater focus and attention which is a great aid alongside traditional mind practices such as meditation or Yoga.

So what is the bottom line? Can technology help you achieve a Zen mind? I think the verdict is a definite yes, controversial as it may sound for some. The way I see it is that these new technologies are power tools of the mind that have been arrived at by the combination of thorough scientific research and ancient practices refined over centuries and millennia. The result is certainly a sophisticated distillation of human knowledge put into practical use for the masses and this for me is a big achievement in itself.

Source: This article was written by Gilbert Ross. You can find him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and his blog Soulhiker. You can also take his course at Udemy.

This article was originally featured on SoulHiker, where it was used with permission from the author.

10 Common Habits Of Spiritually Conscious People

While no two people are alike, many people who are pursuing a spiritual path end up adopting similar habits and behaviours.  The spiritually-minded tend to do things differently than the rest of the world, and their actions and lifestyle end up reflecting their new level of awareness.

When it comes to habits, being able to relate to others on a level like this is important.  It allows us to see that we are not alone on our journey, and that we aren’t so “weird” after all.  It takes a lot of courage to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you someone else, so it can be comforting and reassuring to know that there are millions of others out there who can relate to you.  Don’t be afraid to allow your actions to be an extension of your free spirit.

Here are 10 common habits of spiritually conscious people:

1) They often practice meditation or yoga

One of the most important aspects of a spiritual path is having a deep connection with the universe through one’s own consciousness.  Many people use meditation or yoga to increase their sense of unity with the universe and to receive energy from Source.  Some use it to simply separate themselves from their thoughts and emotions.

It’s not uncommon to see them sitting on a park bench or at a bus stop meditating.  Or maybe even at their job.  Some people may think it is weird, but for those who are pursuing a route of higher consciousness, they see them in a much different light.

2) They often have organic, gluten-free, or vegetarian diets

Many members of the global spiritual community are up to speed on current nutritional knowledge.  It may rub some friends and family the wrong way, but speaking about GMOs, the danger of pesticides, and the environmental destruction of animal agriculture is something that should be of great concern to everyone.

Spiritual conscious people may find themselves sticking up like a sore thumb when going out to dinner with their friends.  The body is a vessel for Spirit.  It’s only natural to be super aware about what you put in it.

3) They typically reduce, reuse, and recycle

Another habit of spiritually conscious people is that they generally like to be resourceful out of their concern for the well-being of the Earth.  Using less plastic bags, recycling more often, and using natural cleaning products are some of the habits spiritually conscious people get in to that others may think are a bit quirky.

“Biodegradable” is a term they are most likely familiar with.  Some even go as far as to live off the grid.  I mean, who doesn’t dream about having a property that is 100% self-sustained?

4) They practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude frequently is something that stems from an open connection with the Universe.  Being grateful for life on a daily basis is something that never slips the mind of who is spiritually centered.  Thanking the moon, the sun, the food you are about to eat, and the universe are things which you may find yourself doing that others may find weird.

5) They might own gemstones and crystals

It’s not unusual for spiritually-minded people to be seen wearing a gemstone like clear quartz or amethyst.  Some have geodes in their home and even carry crystals in their pockets and purses.  For quite some time, crystals have been widely accepted as a took for working with energy, and many people feel they offer them a connection with something beyond the physical.

6) They have a positive attitude

Spiritually conscious individuals have their bad days, but generally speaking, they are much more likely to spread love over fear.  They don’t ignore the negative, they just choose not to dwell there.  They tend to avoid drama and fighting as much as possible.  This is why when people begin to wake up, they notice they have nothing in common with their old friends anymore.

7) They are less likely to watch the news and/or television

Many spiritually conscious people feel that watching television is a waste of time. Time is much better spent outdoors, reading, exploring, or researching.  It is a general belief among people who are awake that the media is a machine put in place to promote fear and consumerism.  Some people may not have cable or satellite, and some don’t even own a television in their house.

8) They prefer cooperation over competition

While many people in the modern world believe we live in a “dog eat dog” world, most spiritually minded people tend to disagree and adopt a “we’re in this together” mindset.  When the ego is less of a priority, competing with one another doesn’t really seem to make as much sense.

It’s unlikely that they will lie and cheat to get ahead.  Knowing that Karma returns to you what you give out, spiritually minded people are eager to cooperate and get along.

9) They sometimes use unusual greetings in letters, texts, and emails

“Namaste”, “Love and Light”, and “Blessings” are sometimes the sign-offs for people who are ending a discussion in email or letter.  If you see someone close a conversation like this, there’s a good chance they are a little more activated than the average individual.

10) They usually avoid clubs and bars

Getting wasted every weekend just isn’t something that interest people who are on a spiritual path.  While other people spend all week looking forward to Saturday night to get drunk and party, spiritually minded people may instead look forward to having group meditation or chanting.  Personally, I look forward to having deep conversations with good friends over some tea.

The choice of drugs also differs greatly.  Ayahuasca, psilocibin and other “medicine plants” are sometimes taken for the purpose of expanding ones consciousness, as opposed to just feeling intoxicated.  When drugs are taken, they are taken ceremonially and with purpose.

It’s important to note that not all spiritual people do these things.  The point of recognizing common habits of spiritual people is not to see how many you can check off, but to allow people to see that they are not alone on their journey.  For every quirk you have that other people call you weird for, thousands of others can relate to that same experience.  You are part of an entire community, although you may not always feel like it.

Some of these habits may cause you to be ridiculed by the general population, but don’t be apologetic for allowing your spirit to guide you where it needs to go.  These aren’t just individual habits, but community habits.  The more we can be true to who we are and allow our lifestyle to be extensions for our true essence, the more the world will begin follow suit.

Thanks for reading!

Steven Bancarz

Team Spirit