Energy Centers

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Energy Centers : The Seven Chakras

The chakras are wheel-like, spiraling energy centers of the subtle body. The seven major chakras are aligned along the spine. They connect the body and mind to higher awareness and are physically associated with various plexuses of the body and the endocrine system.

chakras, energy centers

Chakra One

  • Muladhara- Root center
  • Color- Red
  • Element- Earth
  • Location- coccygeal/pelvic plexus at the base of the spine, lower back, and the perineum
  • Chakra one relates to self-preservation, survival, grounding, and the action of elimination. It stores the Kundalini.

Chakra Two

  • Svadhisthana- One’s own abode
  • Color- Orange
  • Element- Water
  • Location- hypogastric/sacral plexus of the lower abdomen, genitals, ovaries, testes
  • Chakra two relates to your emotions, self-esteem, sexuality, feelings, and pleasure. It rules fertility, reproduction, and creativity.

Chakra Three

  • Manipura- Lustrous gem city
  • Color- Yellow
  • Element- Fire
  • Location- Navel, abdominal region, the solar plexus, pancreas and adrenals
  • Chakra three relates to your will, ambition, personal power, self-esteem and it rules the action of digestion.

Chakra Four

  • Anahata- Unstruck
  • Color- Green
  • Element- Air
  • Location- Heart, the cardiac plexus, and thymus gland
  • Chakra four is associated with love, gratitude, forgiveness, and your relationship to others and yourself. It rules circulation and respiration.

Chakra Five

  • Vishuddha- Purification
  • Color- Bright blue
  • Element- Ether
  • Location- Throat, pharyngeal plexus, thyroid, and parathyroid.
  • Chakra five relates to your creativity, self-expression, communication, and speech.

Chakra Six

  • Ajna- To know, perceive or command
  • Color- Indigo
  • Element- This chakra is beyond physical elements
  • Location- Center of the head in the space between the brows and the pineal gland
  • Chakra six relates to perception, intuition, and imagination.

Chakra Seven

  • Sahasrara- Thousand Petaled Lotus
  • Color- Violet
  • Element- This chakra is beyond physical elements
  • Location- The cerebral cortex, crown of the head, and pituitary gland.
  • Chakra seven deepens our connection to our higher self and higher frequencies of consciousness.

Plant Based Nutrition

Plant based Nutrition

As a professional dancer and actress, being conscious of the food I put into my body is an important part of my job. Early on, I discovered a whole food plant based diet works best for me. Subsequently, I went on to study nutrition with Dr. T. Colin Campbell and earned a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from his school, The Center for Nutrition Studies.

Over the years, I shared my nutrition tips with many of the dancers and artists I worked with. I truly want to help people end their struggle with their weight.

It’s about turning up the volume on body positivity and making healthy choices that raise your vibration!

I truly want you to know, “Eating more whole plant based foods can set you free from trendy diets and endless calorie counting!”

You may be thinking, do plant based diets have all the required nutrients?

Yes!

Whole food plant based nutrition is nutrient dense, low in fat, high in vitamins & minerals, high in antioxidants, high fiber, and supports overall health. In addition, whole plant foods do not contain cholesterol or high levels of saturated fats which are linked to disease and obesity. Current research conducted by T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., supports that consuming a diet rich in whole plant foods has been shown to lower your risk of disease and is endorsed by the American Dietetic Association. Learn more about the American Dietetic Association’s stand on Vegan diets here.

Can I lose weight on a plant based diet?

Absolutely!

As mentioned above, plant based diets are low in fat and provide your body with optimal energy derived from complex carbohydrates. You will lose weight safely and naturally, while consuming delicious, healthy foods. Overtime, you may notice that you no longer are driven by unhealthy food cravings.

How does it work?

As you begin to detox your body from unhealthy food, you will begin to notice you have more energy and your digestion improves. As a result of the weight loss, your body will feel lighter. Your physical endurance will improve and your workouts will be more effective. Additionally, many people who have blood sugar issues find that plant based diets help stabilize blood sugar and aid in establishing a healthy metabolism. Also, you may notice that once you stop consuming meat and dairy your skin clears up and has a healthy glow.

Why buy Organic Foods?

When shopping for whole plant foods, try to buy organic when possible to avoid pesticides which have been linked to disease. The list below names the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticides, therefore try to buy these foods organic.

Buy organic to avoid pesticides in the following foods: Apples, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Grapes, Hot Peppers, Nectarines, Peaches, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweet Bell Peppers, Kale/Collard Greens, and Summer Squash.

Transitioning to a Plant Based Diet. – An article we wrote for Natural Awakenings

Free E-Book

Grace Spirit Beauty – Free E-book!

Clean Beauty Tips

Clean Beauty Expert CT

Clean beauty tips

Many conventional personal care products contain chemicals that may be harmful to your health, cause allergic reactions or respiratory issues. While many of us think about detoxing our bodies from unhealthy food and substances, we may not think about what we are putting on our skin each day. To help get you started on cleaning up your skincare routine, I listed ingredients to avoid in my free eBook, Grace Spirit Beauty.

You may download it here Download my Clean Beauty Book

A few chemicals to avoid are:

  • Aluminum
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hydroquinone
  • Parabens
  • Talc
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Animal based ingredients

Once you toss your old products out, you will probably need to purchase new, clean beauty essentials.  Below is a short list of skincare and makeup basics.

Skincare:

  • Makeup Remover
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Exfoliator
  • Eye cream
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Serum

Makeup:

  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Blush
  • Powder/Bronzer/Highlighter
  • Eyeliner
  • Eye Shadow
  • Mascara
  • Brow Pencil/Gel
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Gloss

For a lovely selection of clean beauty products, visit credobeauty.com!

 Makeup Expiration Dates

Your makeup and skincare does not last forever! To keep your skin healthy and vibrant, pay attention to expiration dates and throw away your expired makeup and skincare.

Below are the standard expiration dates:

  • Foundation: 1 Year
  • Concealer: 1 Year
  • Cream Blush: 1 Year
  • Powder Blush and Pressed Powder: 1 Year
  • Gel Eye Liner: 3 Months
  • Liquid Eyeliner: 3 Months
  • Pencil Eyeliner: 2 Years
  • Eye Shadow: 1Year
  • Mascara: 3-6 Months
  • Lip Gloss: 1 Year
  • Lipstick: 1-2 Years
  • Nail Polish: 1 Year

HOW TO CREATE YOUR BEST ACTOR SELF–TAPE

best actor Self taping and audition

Actor self-tape – Create your best impression

Congratulations! You have submitted yourself for a project or your agent did and the casting director is interested in meeting you! Your next step is to submit your actor self-tape! For the beginners out there, below are few ideas to improve your self-taped auditions.

Script analysis:

It’s important to know as much about your character and the plot. Thoroughly read the character breakdown and sides or full script if it’s available. Determine the arc of the story for your character and the arc of the individual scene. For shows that are currently airing, watch a few episodes to get a feel for the show. Once you have a better understanding of the project, refer to our blog on Script Analysis to further refine your choices.

If your scene includes speaking to multiple characters, make sure you have a specific place and eye line for each character.

Memorize your lines:

We realize sometimes you do not have enough time to memorize multiple pages, but if possible, try to be off book. Obviously, having your lines memorized allows you to be more relaxed and prepared.

Appearance:

Present yourself in the best possible way. In general, a natural makeup and hair look for woman. Yes, you guys may need a little foundation to even out your skin tone for the camera.

Of course, you want to look like the character you are auditioning for. This does not mean you need to dress in costume, but wear something that makes sense for the scene and gives the essence of the character.

Lighting:

Casting directors need to see you clearly. A properly lit acting self-tape can also add to the professionalism of the end product. In addition it conveys to the viewer a sense that you are a serious actor committed to your craft.  By going to a professional self-taping video establishment you can benefit from multiple lighting sources which presents the actor in an attractive three dimensional look.

If you choose to create your own acting self-tape at home you can purchase all-in-one lighting kits that, while not ideal, is a definite upgrade over general room lighting. Here is a link to B&H Photo, an excellent online photo and video resource, of a kit that includes a light, stand, cell phone holder and accessories for less than $70  

Background:

Choose a solid color background. Grey looks great on all skin tones.

Stay away from patterns as they are distracting and draw attention away from you.
If you are shooting at home you can also shoot against a plain painted wall. You can also invest in inexpensive backdrops; either paper or fabric.

Sound:

Casting Directors also need to hear you. Similar to lighting, sound is equally important to the overall quality of your actor self-tape. Professional studios usually offer high end microphones placed on boom stands to ensure that your lines are clear and loud enough. A great vocal recording enhances the overall self-tape and will draw the viewer into your video and performance.

Creating a self-tape at home with a phone is a typical choice. If you have editing capabilities to improve the video quality and enhance the audio your end product can be quite adequate. Remember that audio coming from a cell phone can often be very low quality to the small, digital internal microphone. Another home option is to use a separate audio recorder placed alongside your phone/camera. You will need to import the separate audio with some editing software. Adobe Premiere Elements involves somewhat of a learning curve but is inexpensive and allows you to improve both the video and audio elements of your self-tape:
B&H Photo – Adobe Premier
B&H Photo – Zoom Recorder H4n

Doing self-tape production yourself is a definite option however it does involve an initial investment, learning curve, and will likely produce a good product but not to the level of a professional studio.

Slate

Slating is often uncomfortable. Try to think about it as if you are introducing yourself to a new person. Smile; say your name and any other details that were specified. Relax! Be pleasant! Be yourself!

We hope that helps!

Audition Preparation Tips

audition preparation tips

Audition Preparation and Script Analysis

Breaking down a script for a project or an audition can be a daunting task for beginners. It requires refining your acting technique in order to create realistic characters and to serve the story you are telling.
To get started, it’s a good idea to answer a few simple questions, listed below, that will help you discover the truth behind the words and create full, rich moments.
Truly knowing what your characters are talking about and why your characters need to do what they are doing will bring urgency, life, and reality to the scene. Each moment and choice must be specific. Give this process 100% of your energy and you will uncover clear and unique choices.
Once you have broken down your script and are ready to rehearse with other actors, be sure to stay present and open, moment by moment, and actively listen to the other actors. Truthfully connecting to other actors in the scene is the key to organic authentic human behavior.

Audition Preparation & Script Analysis I: Begin by answering these questions:

  • Who – Who is the character? What are their beliefs, philosophy, and career? You are going to use your voice, body, and truth to discover and create each character you play.
  • What – What is going on in the scene? What are the circumstances? What does your character want? What is your character doing?
  • Where – Where is the scene taking place? Be very specific about the place that the scene occurs. What are your surroundings?
  • When – When is the scene happening?
  • Why – Why is your character performing the actions in the scene?

Audition Preparation & Script Analysis II: Add more specificity by integrating the following:

  • Overall Objective/Needs/Desires– The overall objective has to do with what the character wants and needs in life. Their deepest desires.
  • Scene Objective- The scene objective has to do with what the character wants in the scene.
  • Actions/Intentions/Goals- The action steps the character takes to get what they want.
  • Unit- A unit is a large segment of the script that may contain smaller “beats.” Units change when a major action happens in the story.
  • Beat– A beat is a smaller action or thought that changes when new thoughts or actions arise.
  • Emotional Life- The emotions the character feels throughout each scene.
  • Moment Before– The events that just happened before the scene starts.
  • Activities– Activities involve handling props or doing things like getting dressed, tying your shoes, eating, playing a game.
  • Commit to Activities– You must really do any activity your character is engaged in.
  • Present Moment Awareness– Always stay connected to the present moment. Truly listen “moment to moment.”
  • Use all of your senses– Acting demands that you use your total body and senses to stay present. That means, see, feel, hear, smell, taste.
  • Stay true and spontaneous– Acting requires the actor to be open to every emotion and feeling that spontaneously comes up in a scene. Be available to your acting partners.
  • Obstacles– Internal and external blocks that get in the way of the character’s ability to accomplish their needs or desires.
  • Back Story– The back story is the character’s personal history built by the key facts and phases in the script.

For tips on actor self-taping best practices see our recent Blog Post