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Category: Inspirations

Take time out to reflect on your abundance

Hello friend, I would like to ask you to take a moment today to appreciate this wonderful life of yours and to be grateful for the abundance that surrounds you. If you are reading this, it means you have access to the internet which probably means you have access to clean water, food, and shelter. Essentials such as water, food, shelter and electricity are easily taken for granted when there is no immediate threat of their availability. Most days we overlook these blessings and shift the focus to wants instead of needs. This takes us on a downward spiral in pursuit of things we don’t really need and in many cases can’t afford. Today I encourage you to reflect on the abundance in your life. Take a moment to appreciate the luxuries we often take for granted.

To help you do this, consider a few world facts*:

• 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat
• More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water
• 1/4 of all humans live without electricity — that’s approximately 1.6 billion people
• Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

Being grateful for what we have is a sure path to reaching inner fulfillment and emotional balance. Furthermore, by being aware of our abundance we can begin to positively affect the world around us by contributing to others in need. There are a million ways to give back to our communities and to the world at large. Here are some practical and effective ways to contribute to your local communities:

• Donate new or gently used clothing to local homeless shelters
• Donate time or supplies to animal shelters
• Volunteer at a senior citizen’s home
• Start a fundraiser to support your cause of preference
• Become a mentor through the Big Brother Big Sister program
• Volunteer your time or supplies to a local soup kitchen or food bank
• Donate to a charity of your choice

It’s important to note that you don’t have to break the bank to give back. Mother Theresa once said, “It’s not how much we give but how much LOVE we put into giving.” Give from the heart, give love and it will come back to you tenfold.
When setting off on this journey, think about what excites and moves you then build your contributions around this passion. If you’re unsure where to start I welcome you to contribute to a holiday fundraiser I created in order to provide e-book readers to a group of homeless youth living in temporary housing. I am on a mission to light up some smiles this holiday season and to give the gift of reading. Click here to learn more about this fundraiser. Join me in sharing love and light this holiday season.
Whatever you chose to do, do it wholeheartedly and be sure to share your story with the world, you just never know who you might inspire.

Sending you so much love and good vibrations
Sincerely, Alyana

*world facts provided by

Cold showers provide healing benefits

Cold showers are incredibly beneficial to our health. To many even the thought is uncomfortable, but you might reconsider it after reading this. If you, like most people, are a fan of hot showers, you probably find them relaxing and soothing. This is true, they can be. Cold showers however have very different effects, they are energizing and stimulating. Cold showers wake up our senses, invigorate our bodies and nourish our hair and skin. Furthermore they are a wonderful time saver and a great way to conserve water since you won’t find yourself wasting 20 to 40 minutes in the cold. Believe me, you get straight to the point.

Cold showers are believed to have many healing benefits. Some of which include:

  • Increases alertness
  • Decreases depression
  • Builds resilience and endurance
  • Relieves stress
  • Refines hair and skin
  • Improves mood
  • Improves immunity and circulation
  • Stimulates weight loss
  • Stimulates muscle recovery & eases muscle soreness

There are several articles that go into details of how cold showers yield to these benefits. This is not one of them. (Although I do provide references below so that you can dive deeper into research if you wish.) The main purpose of this article is to show you that a hot shower addict like myself can and has accepted and embraced the power of a cold shower.

I began my cold shower journey after watching a motivational video where the speaker raved about how well cold showers work for his body and mind. Inspired by his energy I too decided to take the plunge. After this day my cleaning ritual will never be the same. I am living and breathing proof that cold showers are worth the effort. After a little practice and some getting used to, cold showers became a must for my daily routine because feel absolutely invigorating, energizing and motivating.

There is something magical that happens when we allow cold water to embrace our skin. It’s as if it transfers a power that energizes, awakens and shakes up our sleepy cells. When I take a cold shower I feel my eyes widen, my skin soften and most importantly I feel new and fresh energy flow through my entire body (I may or may not be confusing that with goosebumps).

As a recovering hot shower addict I can attest that I noticed a big difference in myself when taking cold vs hot showers. After a hot shower I find myself feeling relaxed but also weary and a little umm unmotivated. While a cold shower on the other hand leaves me feeling alert, refreshed and ready to go. For people with busy lifestyles this is a big advantage. So next time you’re feeling down, unmotivated or overwhelmed, take a cold shower and let it rejuvenate you.

In summary, I am a strong advocate for cold showers. It’s important to note that you don’t have to be Rambo to take cold showers. I recommend starting out gradually, begin with warm water and reserve the last 5 minutes for the cold. Moreover, try rinsing out your conditioner with cold water, it helps soothe hair follicles and provides increased alertness when in contact with your scalp. I hope you give cold showers a chance and if you find yourself enjoying them or not, please let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts.

For more information on the benefits of cold shower visit these resources:


As always sending you lots of love and good vibrations 

With Love, 


Mother nature has something to say…


Conservation International created a powerful star studded public awareness campaign that personifies nature in an effort to inspire people to take action to help deal with pressing environmental challenges of our time .  The Ocean, Forests, Earth and Mother Nature speak out, each boasting about their remarkable power, reminding us how much we, the people need them and not the other way around.  Their indifferent tone and chilling message sends goose bumps down your spine while your eyes feast on the vast greatness and beauty found in this visually stunning production by Lee Chow, director of media arts for global advertising network TBWA Worldwide.  The “Nature Speaks” Series are moving and motivational, lets help CI spread their powerful message around this wonderful globe of ours.

Click here to view Mother Nature starring Julia Roberts.  For more information about Conservation International and their mission visit their home page.

Healthy Body & Happy Mind


I am a strong believer in the power of positivity. I believe it can cure bad moods and even some illnesses, but the truth is, a positive attitude can only take us so far when it comes to our health. By choosing to eat healthy and nutritious food we give our body the fuel that it needs to support our physical and mental activity. I don’t believe in diets. There are no tricks or short cuts that help us loose weight and stay healthy. The most effective way to be healthy is by learning about nutrition as well as recognizing that there are many harmful chemicals hiding in the foods of our supermarkets today. This is why I care deeply about purchasing locally grown produce and preparing it at home for my family. This is the best way for me to know and understand the ingredients in my food, unlike the 12 syllable ingredients (that I cannot pronounce) found in most prepared foods on the shelves of our grocery stores. Did you know that eating well does not have to be bland or boring? There are many websites designed to help you prepare quick, healthy and delicious meals for your family. One of my favorite go to sites is Here you will find an array of mouth watering recipes that not only give you the tools you need to cook up a plate of goodness but also educates you on why certain foods are good or bad for you. This site is full of vivid images that will inspire you to cook healthier meals and to do it more often. Visit today to begin your journey to inner positivity and be sure to sign up for their newsletters so you won’t miss a recipe! Because healthy is addicting.

Love Campaign

blue flower

Lately, when a tragedy takes place the internet starts to overflow with negative conversations, bashful discussions and hateful remarks. A dark disastrous cloud rolls over our eyes and we feel the need to react and retaliate. It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing that the actions of one person can cause so much physical damage and that those same actions create ripple effects of hate and division within our communities. While some sense of unity could be found in empathy toward victims and their families, there are far more instances of finger pointing and accusations. Many focus on finding someone to blame while politicians and the media take advantage by playing on our emotions and fears. Many people blame organizations, some blame laws, others accuse politicians and too many focus on race. Meanwhile the only true perpetrator is the offender who actualy committed the crime. Why do we allow for the focus to shift elsewhere? Why does our focus go anywhere else than on the one who committed the crime? That heartless person, that sick, depressed and damaged being. One way we could be more productive during these difficult times is if we channeled our anger into positive energy. If we counteracted hate with love. Blame with compassion. Division with unity. What if we used these incidents to remind ourselves that there is a dire need for more love and a dire need for more acts of kindness. What if we realized that a person capable of such horrific acts must have been lacking love, support and affection in their life? That no one is born a monster? What if we considered that the most effective way to prevent future acts of hate is by fostering and sharing love, not only within our own families but with colleagues and strangers alike.

So while most people play the blame game and ask the government for more useless laws, I ask you to join me in a different kind of campaign. Here is something we haven’t tried. Lets take our inner fire of anger and use it to ignite our desire to change the world, to change the future of our children, to fill this planet with love and watch it come back to us ten fold. Because if we all radiated love, the world would be a better place.

Love, peace and unity
Love Paper Pen