Working towards Gratitude…

With the New Year, there are lots of blogs about releasing negative patterns and feeling canstockphoto19853169Gratitude all over the internet.  Everywhere you look on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, there are well-meaning yogis, life or fitness coaches who #hashtag about gratitude. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but what if all of this gratitude stuff isn’t resonating with you right now?  Before you dismiss me as being all negative, let me explain…

If you have been going thru a transition, whether by your own choice or not, it can bring up a lot of different feelings and some of these may be the ones that No One Wants to Talk About…THE NEGATIVE ONES!!!! (Cue the music here). Read More

Small Magics & Essential Oils…

This is what Rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place – Elizabeth Gilbert…                                                                 

The wheel of the year continues to turn, and in our busy world, many have lost touch with the small magics in life. We need to take a moment, take a breath, observe a perfect canstockphoto16014219tulip in April or the geese flying south in October. These small moments become our daily reflection or our daily rituals.

Humans have been doing rituals for thousands of years. Whether it is in a temple or in the forest, it could be honoring God, the Goddess or Mother Earth, it’s still a ritual. Taking time to connect to your own inner wisdom and belief system helps to make sense of what is happening in our lives. It can be something as simple as lighting a candle.

Essential oils have been used in rituals and ceremonies for close to 6000 years by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Persians. They have been used to celebrate love, fertility, the changing seasons as well as honoring the dead. 

You too can use essential oils in your daily rituals. You may want to: 

-Add Essential oils to a ceremonial bath before starting a ritual or meditation. (Use a carrier oil to properly dilute them first)

-Make a space clearing spray to cleanse and bless a new home, or to clear the energies in your room before shamanic journeying, meditation or doing yoga.

-Diffusing essential oils when you are setting your intentions, during meditation or prayers. (Using a candle diffuser would work for the ambiance as well as diffusing the essential oil).

-Make an anointing oil. A blend diluted with Jojoba oil could be used for your body or for anointing candles for your altar when doing a ritual to honor the changing seasons or a special moment in your life…

When using essential oils for spiritual practices it is still important to check the contraindications. Essential Oils have many different properties; some you may want to consider:

canstockphoto4680461Honoring our Ancestors: Essential Oil: Cypress, Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood.

Mediumship/ Connection to Afterlife: Essential oil: Cedarwood, Cypress, Fir, Myrrh, Myrtle, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Rosemary, Sage, Yarrow. Candle Color: Purple,

Dream Work: Essential Oil: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Orange, Rose, Ylang Ylang. Candle Color: Blue.

Psychic Abilities:

canstockphoto1274262Clairvoyance: Essential Oil: Bay Laurel, Birch, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Nutmeg, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary Spruce. Candle Color: White & Yellow

Intuition: Essential Oil: Bay Laurel, Birch, Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemongrass, Pine, Rosemary, Yarrow, Ylang Ylang. Candle Color: Lavender, Purple & Brown.

Divination: Using Pendulums, Tarot Cards & Crystal Balls: Essential Oil: Bay Laurel, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Frankincense, Lemon, Patchouli, Thyme.
Candle Color: Violet or Gold

 

Read More

Sleep Part 1 – Tired of Being Tired…

“3 o’clock in the morning & it looks like it’s going to be another sleepless night,”  (“Talking in Your Sleep”, by Roger F Cook & Bobby Wood)

And yes, these are the words to a country song, circa 1978, but it also seems to be the canstockphoto8773353story of my life. My friends know that I am often up at 3 am. Most of the time I’m reading a book, but I will admit to posting on Facebook, writing emails or writing this blog because I am wide awake and I can’t sleep. This has been happening since my early 20’s, & I have to admit that I’m tired of being tired.
Research has shown that a lack of sleep can seriously impact our health. Sleep allows the body to recharge our immune system so we can fight off colds & infections, and it gives the body a break from all of the stress in our daily lives. When you have ongoing sleep issues it may be time to look at the body’s natural timekeeping system or your circadian rhythm, which affects:

  • your body temperature
  • your sleep and wakefulness cycle
  • your  blood pressure
  • releasing hormones into your body.

For most people, the length of a complete circadian cycle is very close to 24 hours.”So it makes sense to pay attention to and follow your bodies natural schedule as much as you can. (like being exposed to sunlight and darkness at the appropriate time of day).

Some ideas to consider…
In the morning:

  • try to get outside, go into your backyard or on your deck, and take a deep breath or two. It will help to ground you. Being exposed to the sunlight gets you into the wakefulness part of your circadian cycle.
  • The morning is a good time to use an uplifting essential oil either in your diffuser or just doing a quick inhalation from the bottle. Try a Citrus like Grapefruit or Lemon, or maybe consider Sweet Basil or Spearmint.
  • Limit your caffeinated beverages to one in the morning and one around 3 pm.
    If you have the time, try to fit in your daily workout.

Lunchtime:
The are foods that you can eat that may help you sleep better. Ones to consider:

  • Hummus, Turkey, Tuna or Shrimp & Walnuts, all contain tryptophan a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps the body make  melatonin,
  • Kale & Spinach have a lot of calcium which helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin.

2 – 4 pm in the afternoon: 
Our body temperature lowers between 2 pm & 4 pm (just like it does at night) which tends to signal to us that it is time for sleep. This is the time of day that most people want to take a nap (I know I do). Now would be a good time to:

  • Get up and move around, and if you are able, take a short walk preferably outside for a few minutes.
  • Have your last caffeinated beverage of the day.
    snack on Almonds, they are rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for quality sleep

In the evening:

  • Limit the use of electronics to earlier in the evening. (There are apps that will dim the lights on the screen as you are winding down for the night.)
  • Put a  relaxing essential oil or blend into your diffuser and take a moment to enjoy the scent.
  • Start a ritual of self-care & unwind before bed. Take a bath, dim the lights, put on some soft music, whatever will help you to relax.
  • Switch to drinking Herbal teas like Lemon Balm, its good for stress.

And at bedtime:

  • lower the temperature in your bedroom if at all possible.
  • find a good pillow (I’m still searching)
  • Turn off the notifications on your phone. I hate being woken up to the Mario Brothers coin sound when I got an email notification at 4:10 in the morning for something that I don’t want.
  • Run your diffuser for approx 30 min, as you are settling down for the night and use a blend with relaxing or sedating properties.

 

Essential Oils to use for Relaxing: Some people think that if less is good, more would beNeroli Petitgrain, orange sweet marjorambetter. This is not the case with essential oils. Some essential oils like Lavender & Sweet Orange are relaxing in small amounts & stimulating in larger amounts. With essential oils, less is always better

Here are a few of my favorite Relaxing Essential Oils:

Lavender:  one oil that most people know and a good place to start if you are new to essential oils. It is relaxing and can be diffused for children and adults alike.
Chamomile, Roman: is a gentle relaxing essential oil, perfect for children when used in small amounts.
Sweet Orange: this oil is extracted from the rind of the fruit, smells amazing and most people, especially children really like it. (You can also use  Mandarin)
Neroli & Petitgrain:  both are part of the Bitter Orange Tree, with Neroli being extracted from the orange blossoms and Petitgrain being extracted from the leaves. Both are comforting for anxiety and depression, but of the two I like Petitgrain better because it is not as sweet.
Sweet Marjoram:  a relaxing favorite that I really like. It has a green herbal scent.
Cedarwood: a sedating oil that helps to calm the mind so you can sleep.
Frankincense: an oil that calms your breathing. Helps you to relax if you are stressed or anxious.
Patchouli:  a base note essential oil that is grounding, meditative and relaxing.
Vetiver: a base note that is meditative with an interesting scent. Really! It smells like dirt. But I love its relaxing feel and I’ve grown to like the scent.

The easiest way to use essential oil at bedtime is to diffuse it in your electric nebulizer that has a timer, so you don’t have to worry about it. You can also dilute essential oils in a carrier oil or milk and add it to your bath. But always dilute before topical use.

So take a moment for yourself, make a few small changes in your lifestyle & your environment, it can go a long way to helping you have a better night sleep.

My Blog is for information only & is not meant replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

References

 

  • Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2004. Print.
  • Davis, Patricia,  Aromatherapy: An A-Z. London: Vermilion, 2005. Print.
  •  Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-being. London: Thorsons, 2002. Print. 

http://www.quinessence.com/blog/essential-oils-for-insomnia
http://sleepcenter.ucla.edu/circadian-rhythms
http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/biology-of-sleep-circadian-rhythms-sleep-stages.htm
https://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/free-information/articles-archive/conditions/insomnia/
http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/foods-that-help-you-sleep/
http://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/arianna-huffington-better-sleep-tips
“Talking in your sleep” by Roger Cook & Bobby Wood.

All Hallow’s Eve…

Dispel the darkness. transcend between the worlds and journey beyond the veil’s edge.  ~ Unknown

All Hallows Eve (or Halloween) and Samhain are both celebrated on or around October canstockphoto468046131st, and while there are a lot of similarities, there are also some differences. Samhain (Irish pronunciation: SOW-in) means “summer’s end”. For our ancestors, it was a time to celebrate the 3rd and final harvest. They would preserve and store fruits and vegetables, and dry herbs before the onset of the cold, dark winter.

In Celtic traditions, Samhain is the start of the New Year. Many would Celebrate to “defy” the coming winter by dressing up and feasting. Private family celebrations were a time to honor our ancestors and our loved ones who had died during the past year. It is said that thecanstockphoto10979303 veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest on this night. People would put food offerings on altars and doorsteps and leave a lit candle burning in the window to guide our departed loved ones as they moved beyond this physical world.

Samhain is also a time to look inward, to reflect on all of the changes, and transitions that have happened in your life in the past year. Changes and transitions can be very stressful; especially the “not knowing” what comes next.

Meditation can be very helpful at times like this; it can quiet your mind, slow your breathing, and ease any anxiety that you may be feeling. Meditation helps you to be “in the moment” and to get in touch with your inner wisdom.

The best part about meditation is you can start right now. Take a couple of minutes, do Candle diffusersome deep breathing, and find that stillness inside you. Don’t worry if the mind chatter starts up or if you have trouble sitting still. This is common. We live in a busy world and it may take some time before our nervous systems start to calm down.

You may wish to meditate to start your day to be more centered, or at the end of the day so you can relax and unwind.  When I meditate, I  like to add a few drops of essential oils to my candle diffuser. My candle diffuser is quiet and I can focus on the candle flame to still my mind. The essential oils with relaxing and sedating properties can add a lot to the meditation experience.

Some essential oils to consider are:

PatchouliPatchouli- an exotic fragrance, that is both calming & grounding; it helps to relieve stress & anxiety.  It is a good alternative for the more expensive Sandalwood.

Sandalwood-  this smooth, balanced exotic oil is a base note with grounding properties, that is helpful with reducing stress & getting in tune with yourself.

cedar buds-183508__480Cedarwood- a deep woodsy, earthy scent, that helps to relieve stress, ease anxiety  & appeals to the senses. There are many varieties of Cedarwood, but I personally like the Atlas variety.

Vetiver- an earthy essential oil, that smells, well like wet soil. It is calming, relaxing and is helpful for anxiety, stress and especially insomnia. When using Vetiver, it is better to use it as part of an essential oil blend and use very small amounts due to its stronger scent.

canstockphoto18302577Frankincense- long been used in churches due to its calming and meditative qualities. It quiets the mind and calms anxiety by helping you breathe easier.

Myrrh-  a thick resinous essential oil that has a spicy, warm scent. Like Frankincense, Myrrh has long been used in churches as incense and it has similar qualities. Myrrh can help to calm your anxious mind and is helpful for insomnia.

If you like a lighter scent, or if you want to sweeten the earthier essential oils, you may want to consider adding Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin,  or Sweet Orange essential oils to your blend. As always it depends on your scent preference.

I really like this Pema Chodron  quote,” Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are…”

With meditation, don’t be hard on yourself; there is no right or wrong way to do it, there is only your way. This is a time of self-care, not self-judgment. As always, take baby steps and do what you can…

My blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

  • Never leave a candle unattended

References:
Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy,
Australia, 2003   (3)
Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/samhain.asp
https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm
http://www.cherylrichardson.com/store/the-art-of-extreme-self-care/
http://pemachodronfoundation.org/
http://www.artofliving.org/meditation/meditation-for-you/benefits-of-meditation
http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-history-of-meditation
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/19/meditation-benefits_n_5842870.html

*** You may want to use guided meditation CDs or downloads. Some of my favorites are
Kelly Howell’s “Guided Meditation for Healing”, Cheryl Richardson’s “Tuning In, Listening to the voice of your Soul.” and of course Pema Chodron Books and CDs.

I couldn’t find the author of the quote that I used at the start of my blog. If you happen to know who it is please message me. I always want to give credit for authors and artists work. Photos are from http://www.canstock.com – CP

Midsummer Magic…

 

canstockphoto3207862The Summer Solstice is a time of renewal, to celebrate creativity, passion, and rebirth.

The scents are lighter and greener; it comes from the herbs growing in my garden, the freshness of citrus & the scent of the sun-warmed earth. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and is considered the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere; it usually arrives on or around June 21, and it is when the sun is at its furthest point from the equator.

Ancient cultures all around the world celebrated the sun, the changes in nature and of the seasons, as well as the planting and the harvesting of the crops. Many of the ceremonies would include drumming, singing and praying. During Solstice celebrations, the Celts would dance around balefires that were lit on their land and some people would leap thru the flames as a purifying rite.

Monuments were built to honor the sun & this sacred time. Stonehenge, (the large “megalithic” circle of stones) which is located in Wiltshire, England, was built around 3100 B.C. & was considered a sacred shrine for worshipping the sun.  The Egyptians aligned the Sphinx so it gets enveloped in sunlight, as the sun sets between two of the largest pyramids, on the evening of the Summer Solstice.
Read More