Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I love a good pun. I am my father's daughter after all.
Anyone else miss Salt n Pepa?
image courtesy of merchdirect.com
But seriously, stress is real yo.
Whether you're a mom at home with kids 24/7, a mom working outside of the home and trying to keep it all together, not a mom at all and simply overwhelmed with work, life, relationships, what have you, sometimes it's just too much. Over-worked, over-tired, over-committed = overwhelm.
Stress, in everyday terms, is that feeling we have when we are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands.
Stress is really important. It triggers all these amazing hormones that work to keep us safe. Maybe they encourage us to run away or fight, whatever their result, it's our bodies effort to keep us going. Part of this is physical. We feel our heart rate increase, we're more alert, we might sweat or feel our muscles ready to move. Part of this is emotional. We might feel scared, nervous, anxious, even excited.
Fun fact: when those stress hormones are running through our body, our normal bodily functions, such as the digestive and immune systems, are slowed down.
Stress can be really harmful to us as well. From chest or back pain, muscles spasm, high blood pressure and heart disease to low immunity, trouble sleeping, headaches and digestive problems, stress can wreak havoc on us physically!(source) Stress can have an emotional impact too. In fact, for us women, it may likely be the emotional impact of stress that we notice first. It could be just a general feeling of dis-ease within ourselves, or we might be able to name it. Some of us get angry, others anxious. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate or we forget things more than we normally would. Stress can leave us feeling drained, tired all the time, irritable, sad, depressed, insecure and burnt out. Which is hard because we're supposed to have it all together, right?
The thing is, we often assume there is something wrong with us when we feel these emotions,
that's it's all in our head,
instead of understanding our body's chemistry
and learning to manage our stress.
Emotions, especially "negative" emotions, are not just you being weird. They're not just in your head or you being a crazy lady. Our body bodies send and receive these chemical messages ALL THE TIME. They effect and often determine our emotions, reactions, and responses. When you have those moments of stress, anxiousness, or feeling out of control, it's not just in your head. You're not crazy, you're normal.
The thing is, often in these moments we start to create habits of behavior to cope. Maybe we bite our nails, eat too much or too little, withdraw socially, lash out in anger, grab a drink, or simply feel restless. Whatever it is that lessens your stress response, it's serving your needs in that moment. If it's a healthy response, keep it! If not, I've got some ideas for ya.
This image. It cracks me up and yet, it's kinda my goal. The calm in the chaos.
We can get there. We just need some tools to help us access our parasympathetic nervous system, our rest, digest, relax and heal part of our nervous system. Instead of letting fight or flight take over, lets take a little control back, take a little perspective back, and make a decision about what's coming next so we can respond rather than react. This is great for us as adults, and for our kids. If we want our kids to be able to do these things as well, they need us to model what it looks like and sounds like. As we get better at it, we're better able to verbalize what we're doing in the moment, and our kids can then translate that to their bodies and in their language.
First, lets talk about four essential oils that support grounding and calm. All can be used topically and aromatically. For topical use, consider diluting them in a roller bottle and rolling over pulse points, bottoms of feet or over the heart. Aromatically you can place a few drops in a diffuser, onto diffuser jewelry, in the palms of your hand and cup to inhale. Use them before you get triggered into stress reactions. And get to know your triggers! They are different for everyone:
Our triggers are both unique to us and not so unique. Getting to know yours will help you to proactively manage stress before it even starts.
Balance: Fantastic for re-centering, Balance is the oil of grounding. It is blended of mostly from tree and root oils. It's wonderful for calming minds that have trouble calming down, and helps us reconnect with our roots, especially when the mind has taken over. It helps to bring us back down to earth and reconnect with our bodies, which we can feel really disconnected from at times of stress.
Console: also called the Comforting blend, contains resins and florals. It is really good to use in moments of grief, as well as moments of transitions and change in your life. Console can help us to release burdens. These can burdens of feeling a lack of agency or power, feelings of guilt, for example.
Peace: is helpful for bringing our awareness from the outside, in. This Reassuring blend contains florals, mints and resins. It is great for those moments of stress that are provoked by fear, vulnerability, or lack of control. Instead of trying to control our environment or relationships, we can take a moment to respond to our fears and control our response.
Serenity: the oil of Tranquility, is a blend of flowers and herbs. It is uniquely calming and supports quieting the mind and body agitation. Serenity is uniquely blended to promote restful sleep, though it perfect for moments of anxiousness and nervousness as well. For sleep, try putting a few drops in a diffuser or applying it topically 30 minutes before going to bed.
Adding these oils to a breathing practice is a great way to manage your stress. Often in those moments, our breath moves up into our upper chest or throat and gets really shallow. Sometimes we even hold it. To activate that parasympathetic nervous system, we can use the breath in a simple pattern to make our exhale longer than our inhale. Here's how to do it:
1. Bring your hands to your ribs. Inhale through the nose for a count of 3-4. Fill the rib cage first, then let the breath fill up the belly as your diaphragm drops down
2. Exhale through the mouth for a longer count of 5-6, emptying the belly first, then feeling the ribs contract back inward.
3. Take 5-20 of these breaths anywhere you happen to be to come to a place that is more centered and calm.
Want some more info on these oils and this breathing technique? Check out my youtube video below, and while you're at it, subscribe to my channel! Don't you love the freeze frame moment? Couldn't be better for this topic ;)
So, tell me. Where is your stress coming from these days? How do you tend to handle it?
"I just need to lose 5 pounds and then I'll try online dating", Susan, Uber driver.
It's kind of amazing what people will share with you, the little clues they give you into their psyche. In a 25 minute drive I learned a lot about Susan. I got a glimpse into how she views herself, her body, and how that affects what she allows, who she allows in, what she allows herself to experience.
We have a lot of societal baggage around bodies, weight, beauty standards, and as a result food, in the US. The way we move through the world, how we let people treat us, the relationships we seek out, and the experiences we choose to allow ourselves to have are often influenced by this baggage. It's hard to NOT let it affect you.
image courtesy of theodyssyonline.com
TV, Instagram and other social media, magazine covers, the ridiculous amount of weight loss quick-fixes, just to name a few. Who we hang out with, the messages we got from our family or friends growing up, these also serve to create internalized messages of what is acceptable, expected, enough.
It's really easy to blame the body, especially for negative emotions. We look out into the world to determine where we belong. If we don't see people like us, we translate that into a feeling or sense of being other. I know I would stick out like a sore thumb in a biker bar, but maybe you would totally be in your element. This is normal. The thing is, we as women often blame our bodies for not fitting in OR we use negative comments about our body to fit in.
In blaming our bodies we say things like, "I feel fat today"or "I can't do (fill in the event) because I'm too (big, small-chested, skinny)". Once these comments start, it's difficult to stop them coming up again.
To fit in, we say things like "I hate my (insert least favorite body part here)" and then nod in agreement as our friends pick themselves apart too. When others make these comments it's really hard not to start thinking about our own bodies. It's a lot easier to join in.
You know what? Fat isn't a feeling. There certainly are a lot of emotions wound up in those negative phrases above, but fat ain't one of them. Figuring out exactly what they are and naming them, rather than blaming your body, is the important work. Learning how to sit with them and be uncomfortable so you can move past them, that's the good (and the hard) stuff.
The crazy thing is that whether you're unhappy in general has a lot do with how you feel about your body than what your body actually looks like. And let's be honest, our own perceptions are the most skewed anyway. Our mental health isn't the only thing that suffers. Research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, suggests that "women who obsess over their body and diet have chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol (even when their life is not otherwise stressed)—and, as a result, may suffer from elevated blood pressure, lower bone density, higher amounts of unhealthy belly fat and even menstrual problems". (source) We're hurting ourselves physically here too!
You are here to experience your life, not to wait until you lose x number of pounds, look a certain way, or fit into a pair of jeans. You could do all that and it still won't change what's in here.
Whether it's feeling vulnerable or scared, unhappy with something physically in your body or in your life circumstances, it's not your BODY that's the problem.
If there are poses you can't get into in a yoga class, it's not your body that needs to be changed, it's the pose. Your body will evolve into harder poses as you practice, work through foundational poses, and build strength. If no one in your exercise class looks like you, it's not your body that the problem. It's the mainstream perception of what a healthy body looks like, who it excludes, who it attracts to the class, and who it leaves out.
Dear Susan, if you're not ready to start dating or you've got some fears about it, I promise it's not those 5 pounds. I'm not going to pretend to know exactly what it is, but I sure as heck know it's not your body. And I do know it's your perception and blaming of your body that is holding you back.
It's OK to start speaking kindly to yourself and not feel like you LOVE your body every single moment. Heck you can not like certain things, thank them for getting your through the day anyway, and move on. At least your moving in the right direction.
It's OK to choose to spend more time with positive people so you don't get sucked in to negative patterns.
It's OK to opt out of a yoga pose or to talk to the instructor after class and let them know you'd really like suggestions to make a pose more accessible. It's OK to seek out a yoga teacher or studio that welcomes and teaches to all bodies.
It's OK to embody your body.
It's OK to take up space.
I'm curious, how does this land for you? What resonates? How do you blame your body? Share a comment below and help us all take steps toward a more positive relationship with our bodies!
Who doesn't love a good flower? I don't know about you, but having something alive, colorful and gorgeous in my home always makes me feel better. Surprise me with them and it's like Christmas morning!
There is something to having flowers in the home, and to using floral essential oils. Floral scents can evoke all sorts of emotions & memories. While the scents of flowers have strong physiological effects, the color and even the shape of flowers can have psychological healing effects. Usually, less saturated and brighter colors tend to be more relaxing, while bold saturated colors will energize you. A bunch with colors that fall near each other on the color wheel will also be more calming, kind of like in home decorating. If the colors are opposite each other, they tend to have a stimulating effect.
There is a lot of power in plants, and in the florals particularly. As a group, floral essential oils are calming and harmonizing. Floral oils have a huge impact on our emotions. They are widely used in aromatherapy because of their ability to invoke positive thoughts and feelings of joy, happiness and hope. Floral essential oils can boost self esteem, confidence, and mental strength, while fighting feelings of depression and anxiousness. They can also support us during times of grief, irritability, stress, and anger, creating instead a feeling of calm, happiness, and peace. All that and more from a little flower!
Here is a quick dive into the floral essential oils and how you can use them!
Lavender is probably one of the best known, and most widely recognized, floral scents. It is best known, and most used, for it's calming and relaxing qualities, though it is truly a versatile oil. it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times! Lavender is the oil of Communication, aiding in verbal expression, encouraging emotional honesty, and unlocks fears of being seen and heard.
You can use it Topically, Aromatically or Internally to:
Clary Sage is an amazing oil for women especially as it is helpful during any stage of our cycle. The main chemical component of Clary Sage is linalyl acetate, part of the esters group, making it one of the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing essential oils. It is the oil of Clarity and Vision, assisting us in changing our perceptions, opening and clearing creative channels, and re-aligning us with our intuition.
Clary Sage can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Geranium essential oil use dates back to ancient Egypt when Egyptians used Geranium oil to beautify skin and for other benefits. In the Victorian era, fresh geranium leaves were placed at formal dining tables as decorative pieces and to be consumed as a fresh sprig if desired; in fact, the edible leaves and flowers of the plant are often used in desserts, cakes, jellies, and teas. It is the oil of Love and Trust, facilitating trust, softening anger and healing the heart.
Geranium can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Chamomile is a floral you might be familiar with from the tea made from it's flowers. Roman Chamomile can also be found in face creams, drinks, hair dyes, shampoos, and perfumes. Roman Chamomile has a calming effect on the skin, mind, and body, and it soothes body systems. It is also a super gentle oil, making it perfect for the youngest and most sensitive in your family.
Roman Chamomile can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
Ylang Ylang essential oil is derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree and is used extensively in making perfumes and in aromatherapy. Similar to Jasmine, Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries in religious and wedding ceremonies. It is considered the oil of the Inner Child, allowing for freedom, playfulness, heart healing and joy to be more present. Ylang Ylang blends well with Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, and Vetiver.
Ylang Ylang can be used Topically, Internally, and Aromatically to:
The name “Helichrysum” is derived from the Greek “helios” meaning sun and “chrysos” meaning gold, referring to the color of the flowers. Helichrysum has been used in herbal health practices since ancient Greece and the oil is highly valued and sought after for its many health benefits. It is the oil for Pain, both physical and emotional. It can be helpful during times of loss, trauma, or addiction as it promotes courage, healing, transformation, perseverance and determination.
Use it all three ways to:
Melissa is also known as lemon balm, received the name “Melissa” because of its sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance, which was known to attract bees (Melissa is Greek for “honey bee”). It is one of the rarest and most expensive oils, Melissa has a wide range of health benefits and uses. Energetically, Melissa is the oil of Light. It can help to awaken the soul and remind who we truly are by re-connecting us with our inner voice. Melissa promotes feelings of liberation, optimism, spiritual connection and integrity.
Use it all three ways to:
Now that you know a bit more about some of the florals tell me, which could you most use right now? Comment below and let us know! And as always, if you would like to bring doTERRA essential oils into your home, contact me for a personal consultation or, if you already know what you need, check out my Getting Started page today!
How often to do pay attention to your breath?
You probably notice it when you feel out of breath, or you've got a good scare and suddenly you take in a big rush of air. Perhaps when you get caught in those contagious yawns! All of the sudden our breath becomes extremely apparent and we can be almost hyper aware of it. But, most of the time, we just breathe (or not) without really paying any attention to it at all. Yay for the automatic functions of our bodies!
image courtesy of yogabliss.me
A big part of yoga, arguably more important than all the poses and postures we often see, is Pranayama.
Prana = life force, energy, or the breath sustaining the body. On a deeper level, it's the energy that moves and sustains the universe, or dare we say, it IS the universe.
Ayama = to extend or draw out.
Pranayama = control / extension of the breath.
It's the third limb of the yoga tree, represented by the leaves below, which makes a ton of sense really, since plants breathe through their leaves.
image courtesy of benoityoga.com
We probably know that our breath changes based on all kinds of conditions. Sometimes it's shorter, deeper, more labored, shallow. We even hold it without realizing it! All kinds of conditions can affect our breath: our environment or change to it (shock of cold air anyone?), our mood, the people we're with, whether we're walking through a haunted house at Halloween or hanging at the beach sipping an umbrella drink. These changes and fluctuations of our breath tend to follow the changes and fluctuations of our minds, our thoughts, our reactions.
Pranayama is a practice to channel the breath or internal stores of energy. If we even out, or control, the breath, we can then even out, or control, the mind (thoughts, emotions, reactions). When we feel nervous, we can intentionally deepen the breath and send messages to our nervous system that we'll be ok. When we get overwhelmed by anger, we can tune in to our breath and slow down to respond rather than react.
Whether you're already practicing yoga or not, you can easily start to practice pranayama. It's actually probably better to start it apart from a yoga class or home yoga practice. When you're focused on the movement of the body and getting into postures, your attention is definitely NOT on the breath!
Taking 10-15 minutes to start a pranayama practice helps you to focus on the breath, the inner self, and experience fully stillness and steadiness in both mind and body. I think you'll find that once you take time to practice pranayama on it's own, you might have a spontaneous awareness of it during a yoga class, or you might be able to start intentionally adding it into a home yoga practice.
image courtesy of fitstylelife.com
Here's how to get started:
Bring in some essential oils!
So many essential oils can be really useful for a pranayama practice, not mention your overall physical, mental and emotional health. Here are a few to try:
How to use your oils for Pranayama:
Whether you're teaching a pranayama class or practicing on your own, there are some easy ways to start to use essential oils to strengthen your experience.
Want to add some essential oils to your pranayama practice? Check out the great resources I have to help you! You can learn more about doTERRA oils, how to use them, and even find some great suggestions for a custom yoga starter kit.
Tried some pranayama yourself? Let us know how it went, what you noticed, and which oil you used if you tried one!
That's how much time most people spend...
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of their life is indoors, then another 6% of their life in car. That's only 7% of your entire life outdoors. That's only one half of one day per week outdoors. Ouch! So, if we're not getting much fresh air outside, our inside air is fresh, right?
Maybe not so much.
Indoor air pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. These are things like:
While most of use don't heat our homes with wood or use oil lamps anymore, most of us do turn on the AC in the summer, the heat in the winter. I'm pretty all of us clean our homes with something. Everyone uses at least one personal care product each day, and most of us use anywhere from 3-12!
And don't get me started on candles or air fresheners!
While one source probably isn't enough to make a significant health impact, most of our homes have more than one source that contributes to indoor air pollution. Some things that can heighten the effects of this are poor ventilation, increased temperatures and higher humidity.
What's a gal to do?
Actually, there are a few great options to help you breathe easier, and more healthfully, in your home.
1. Take your shoes off before you come in the house. Shoes pick up all kinds of things in all kinds of places. Leave them outside, along with any bacteria, pesticides, or chemicals they may have collected during the day.
2. Green up your home. Some plants are perfect for purifying the air in your home, bringing the outside in, and providing a more relaxing atmosphere. The top 5 easy-to-care-for NASA-certified are:
3. Vacuum regularly. Dust mites can hold on to bacteria and not-so-nice smells. Get that vacuum running once or twice a week! Try sprinkling a mix of baking soda and essential oils first, letting it sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuuming for extra stink-busting.
4. Change your air filter every 3 months. Seriously, write it on your calendar, put a reminder on your phone, whatever you need to do to remember this! Not only will this keep dust mites and bacteria away, if you've got pets your filter might get extra wear and tear and get so filled it could cause your furnace to switch off...in winter...I might have experience with this...just sayin...Add a few of Melaleuca to your filters to combat allergens too.
5. Switch out your cleaners for a greener version. So many commercial cleaners contain chemicals you do NOT want to be inhaling. If the bottle tells you to be in a well-ventilated area when using (and you never open a window when you clean) you want to ditch that stuff. It's not good for you or anyone in your home! You can find some easy DIY cleaner recipes on this blog. You can also find great ideas HERE. We also love doTERRA's On Guard Cleaner Concentrate. It's perfect for those who don't like to DIY, want to keep it simple and get great value for their dollar.
6. Diffuse essential oils. Yes, there are oils that can help purify the air in your home! Some of our favorites include:
7. Open up them windows. If you can't get outside due to work, illness, or other reasons, at least open up them windows and air out your home. Sure, certain times of the year that's easier than others, but when you can air out the house, make an effort to do so.
8. Get outside. If we spend 87-93% of our time inside a building or our cars, it's time we make it a priority to get outdoors! Working in an office or out of your home? Put time in your schedule to take a walk. Even 15-20 minutes can make a world of difference. Use your weekend to spend a larger chunk of time outside. Do you live within a mile of your school, library, grocery store or park? Walk there instead of driving. The average person walks a 15 minute mile. That's 15 minutes of fresh air PLUS exercise! Way better than a 3-5 minute car ride.
Which is these suggestions is one you could put into practice today? Comment below and let us know!
Look familiar? I think most of us women, whether we're momming our kids, our partner or ourselves, feel like this sometimes...if not most of the time!
I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of women. The past few years I've really paid attention to who shows up in my life. And I've met some amazing women and moms. Women who have been through shared journeys of domestic abuse and came through the storm stronger and more whole than they could have imagined. Moms who show up every day with a fierce love and advocacy for their children with atypical needs, even though they get weary from the struggle. Women who lift up and support other women, helping them achieve their goals, make changes in their lives, or simply spread love and joy where ever they go.
Many of these women I have met because of my journey with doTERRA. I have been fortunate to meet or get connected with so many truly awesome women I probably never would have met otherwise.
Women are the drivers of change, especially in our homes and our families. We tend to be the primary decision-makers for our household. Just take a minute to consider what that means for you and your family when you look at these statistics:
Not only do we rely on and support each other, we tend to influence, and more importantly, DECIDE what goes in, on, and around our bodies, & those of our family. We are more often than not the gate keepers to what comes into our homes, what goes on our family's plates. You guys, that is POWERFUL!
What an awesome opportunity we have to truly make positive choices for ourselves and our families! We have the power to:
We have such a vibrant community of women here, on this blog, my A Life That Glows health and wellness group, nationally and even globally! Just look at the past few months: #metoo, #timesup, #leanin, not to mention the amazing, strong women and girls who have stepped up to speak out against school violence. So much of the positive change that is happening is led by women, of all ages.
We all have our own little corner of the world, our small sphere of influence, our own ways to connect. We are so powerful because we connect, we care, we give, we pay it forward, we lift each other up. I am so honored to be a position to share and partner with so many amazing, powerful, like-minded women.
I am so thankful for all the women in my communities, the communities that we are creating together, the positive changes we are bringing to our own selves, our families, and those we touch.
So I wanted to give a shout out to the ladies, the mommas, and doTERRA. doTERRA is truly women-driven. It is built of moms helping other moms, women sharing health solutions, women building businesses, moms making better choices for their families and sharing with others how to do the same.
If you aren't an essential oiler, that's ok. I get that it's not for everyone. We can still be friends. If you are, thank you for joining me. If you want to be, I can help you get started. And if you are one of the few who want to be part of a women-centered, change-agent, health-loving business, we should chat!
Happy weekend to you all,
Washing your hands. It's the best way to stay healthy and keep germs away. According the the CDC, many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Why? Well, consider this:
Now, we are NOT germ-a-phobes. In fact, quite the opposite. We want our girls to go bare foot, get dirty, play hard, and have fun. We know that most germs will stimulate your immune system and make you stronger. We know that over-sterilizing a home can cause a hyper sensitized immune system, leaving kids open to allergies, asthma, and more. The Huffington Post did a great article on ways for kids to get dirty and importance of germs. It's a good read and you can find it HERE.
Germs and bacteria make up more of our bodies than our cells, so they play a HUGELY important role in our lives. And while we want to ensure we aren't over-sanitizing ourselves, we also know we can stay healthier, and fight the germs that do more than just stimulate our immune system, so we can be getting dirty more of the time!
When our kids start going to school a lot changes. There is so much that happens or they learn about that we might not realize or even think about. From noticing what other kids bring for snack or lunch, to what they wear to school (I finally agree with my dad about uniforms), to how they interact with each other, or what products they use on their bodies, there is a whole lot of information being shared! We want to take a more natural approach AND make room for the fun of being a part of the social experience.
We have a Kindergartener and she is really into little trinkets, pretties, things that light up, and cute objects like this hand sanitizer mermaid tail. So when she brought home from school a store-bought sanitizer, complete with artificial fragrance, colorants, and sometimes chemicals like triclosan, I knew we had a new DIY project on our hands!
These little bottles are super easy to reuse. Simply pop off the top, clean well, and allow to dry. Peel off any stickers and get out your Lemon essential oil for any really stubborn goo! Then grab your ingredients:
Aloe Vera Gel
The recipe is a easy-to-make hand sanitizer gel. It isn’t as sanitizing as commercial versions, but it works great, and is all natural. I wouldn’t use it after visiting a hospital or other place where there are resistant strains of bacteria, but it's perfect when the kids have just been playing outside, or you want to send something to school with them.
I use aloe vera gel and an essential oils that are naturally germ-killing. I personally use doTERRA essential oils as I know the integrity of the company and the quality of the oils. Another benefit to this herbal hand sanitizer gel is that it doesn’t dry the skin. The aloe vera makes it more nourishing. You could add in Vitamin E as well.
Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl. You could also mix them in the container you plan to use, but I found this method easier. I used:
2 Tbs aloe vera
1 small squirt vegetable glycerin
1 tsp rubbing alcohol
8-10 drops essential oil
On Guard, Purify, Arborvitae and Melaleuca are all great options for this hand sanitizer. They provide added natural bacteria killing oomph. You could also try other oils simply for scent such as floral oil, citrus oils, herbs or woody oils, or make your own favorite blend!
Use a syringe to transfer the gel into your container, especially if the opening is not very large. It just makes easy. Then pop the container back into the cute holder (if you have one) and voila! Natural hand sanitizer you can customize and make again and again.
What it even more fancy? Try adding in a bit of mica powder for a bit of sparkle!
Did you try this recipe? Comment below, and add a picture, to let us know which essential oils you added!
If you've ever heard of essential oils you might have wondered what they're all about, what they're good for, and how to even use them. Taking a different approach to your family's health usually comes with some kind of learning curve, as do most new things! The good news is that natural health can be easy and fun! Let me explain.
Each month I lead an essential oil Make & Take Workshop. I love to do this at Mind Body Life Transformation Center here in Highlands Ranch. It's a fantastic boutique yoga studio focused on small classes and big community. Yes, I'm biased. I teach there.
Psst! Come do yoga with me!
But really, it's great space for these workshops. Why do we do them? Great question!
1. Help people lower their learning curve
We all know how to use Tylenol. Most of us grew up with it. We saw our parents or other family members use it. You can find it pretty easily. Doctors suggest it. We're comfortable with it. Not the case with essential oils.
Most people start to look at natural options for a few reasons:
So, we fill that gap. We take the time to help people learn, connect them to a community where they can ask questions and learn from each other, and we help them feel better, more of the time. We help people make the blends to support their needs and understand how to use the essential oils to address what's most important to them. It seems overwhelming when you've never done it, but trust me, it's not that hard!
2. Learn how to become their own best health advocate.
Our health doesn't have to be one big mystery. What’s going on in our bodies and our minds is every bit of our business, and we can actually do something about it! We are all so unique and our health is impacted by many factors such as our genetics, personal history, diet, lifestyle, stress levels, and more. No one doctor is going to have the vast amount of knowledge that we have of our own bodies. You are the only one that possesses that wealth.
We see commercials telling us to ask our doctor about some such drugs, but really, what does it mean to be your own health advocate? For me, it means knowing how to listen to your body, tuning into yourself (through meditation, journaling, being aware of your diet, mindful breathing, yoga) so you can accurately describe & understand symptoms, and feel more connected to what’s going on in your body & your mind. It means being willing to ask questions, to learn, to experiment, and to know your own limitations. I am by no means against Western medicine. However, I am completely for taking a natural approach first, & then working in conjunction with our health care providers when needed, adding our own expertise to theirs.
So what do we do?
Sound like something you'd like to do too? If you're in the Denver metro, you can always attend a monthly Make & Take! Our next one is all about Emotions. Here is the link to the evite.
Not in the area, but really want to come? Message me! We'll figure out the best way for you to get oily too!
Truth Bomb: (n) A fact spoken in clear, easy to understand terms and without bias; A fact or piece of knowledge that, when told to a listener, is devastating to the listener's argument or world view.
image courtesy of imgur.com
We're all taught early on that lying is bad. As kids we learn to do it anyway. I see my own 3 and 5-year old lie. I mean I hear it too, but really, let's be honest, we can see it. It's usually for one of a few reasons:
1. They know they been told they should NOT do/have something, but their desire to do/have that thing is way stronger than their ability to control or postpone their desire.
2. They don't want me or my husband to be upset with them, so they do what they can to avoid that outcome and those feelings of us being sad or disappointed, them feeling sad or ashamed...while still doing/having what they shouldn't.
Lying really is just a tool, isn't it? It's a tool we use from early on for self-preservation. We want to continue with the status quo (what people think of us, what we think of ourselves) while shaking it up at the same time. And it takes many forms:
When I was little I adored the series Anne of Green Gables. There is a moment when Anne, walking with her teacher Ms. Stacey, find herself in a pickle and wrongfully accused. She struggles with how to deal with it, and Ms. Stacey tells her, "No matter what anyone accuses you of, in the end, the truth will set you free". And it's true, the truth will set your free.
It just might hurt a little first.
Because truth can be both liberating and painful. It often starts as a flutter and we can take a long time to acknowledge it. Other times it hits hard and fast, like a freight train. If we pay attention to our bodies when we speak, hear, or read a truth, we find it is very much a visceral feeling. It might be a pit in our stomach, a nervous twitch, a headache, likely accompanied by a shallow breath, or even a holding of our breath if it's the painful variety. The liberating truths tend to feel light, effervescent, warming. I think we all agree that feels so much better!
We can think of Satya, or Truthfulness, in two ways:
1. Speaking our truth
2. Living our truth
Speaking our truth means we have a strong sense of integrity. We mean what we say and say what we mean. Think of the phrase "she's a straight shooter". We often appreciate our friends and family who don't mince their words. They're not rude, they are just honest. In Spanish this translates as "Tiene palabra" literally "she/he has word", figuratively "her word is good, solid, and has truth". We trust these people because they are consistent with their word, they follow through on it. They don't just say "it's fine" when it really isn't. They trust their thoughts, feelings and words completely, so they express them, even when it's a little scary. They don't lie because it creates a gap or separation from their inner self.
Living our truth means integrity too, but across all areas of our life. We mean what say, and we act and think in agreement with our truth. We trust our choices, we choose our thoughts. We live out our truth and it fits, it feels good. When we go along with something that doesn't feel right, or do something for someone else's sake that doesn't sit well with us, when we try to fit someone else's map onto our own, it's like a tight shoe. It pinches, hurts if we wear it too much, and sometimes causes damage.
And we know, right?
We know when something doesn't feel right. Our gut doesn't lie. With good reason we say things like "trust your gut" or when someone asks us for advice we say "what does your gut tell you?" That's the seat of our Emotional Guidance System. It is literally our second brain, influencing our mood and mental health, determining the strength of our immune system, feeding our bodies in every sense of the word.
Listen to your gut, both on and off the mat.
How do you apply this on the mat?
Listen to your body throughout your practice. Become aware of your breath. Stop and take a resting pose or water break when you need it. Push when it feels right to do so. Be truthful with yourself about your limitations, whether that day or longer term as you're working on challenging poses.
How do you apply this off the mat?
Essential oils to try:
What about Satya resonates the most for you? Share below and let us know! Together we thrive.
Today we needed a break. Our little bean was not feeling so hot and desperately needed some down time. Whether you're home bound due to illness, winter weather or just a need to stop the busy, this is an easy way to have some fun together. You don't need much and I've got an easy recipe to help teach your littles how to cook AND keep them playing for a while.
Our girls like to cook and help in the kitchen. These kinds of recipes lend themselves to conversations about measurement, states of matter, and change of states, and basic kitchen safety (that's hot when it's red!). Here's what you need:
1 cup Flour
1 cup Water
2 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cream of tartar
2 Tbsp Cooking oil
1 3oz pack Jello (weird I know, but makes great colors!)
Glitter if you like
Essential oils to choose your scent!
1. Measure and add all ingredients (except glitter and essential oils) to a pot
2. Heat on medium, stirring consistently, until it starts to form a ball
3. Remove from the heat and let it cool (stick it outside for a bit if it's chilly)
4. Turn on a floured surface and knead, adding in flour, glitter and 5-10 drops essential oils, until it's no longer sticky
5. Pull out the cookie cutters and rolling pins and play!
Did you make some play dough this holiday season? Comment below and let us know, and be sure to post a picture of your fun!
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!