You know how sometimes, when you're growing in some way, even if you're not aware of it, you start to hear the same words in songs, or perhaps a certain message, coming from multiple sources? The universe usually starts by acting quietly, but if you don't pay attention, it gets louder. If you have any fear of what's to come, or the route to get there, you tend to ignore it as long as possible. Wait long enough and you might just get a slap in the face!
If you've been reading my blog, you might know I tend towards a holistic lifestyle. That includes emotionally and psychologically. I try to practice patience. I'm usually a positive-Polly kind of gal. I seek out people, experiences, and opportunities that fill my cup & bring me joy. I rarely say no (for better or worse!). One of my best friends since Kindergarten described me be saying: "...you welcome people into your home and your life with open arms" and she knew who to call when she "...wanted to do something that bent or broke the rules".
I always thought of my mom like that: a bit fearless. She passed away in 2007. When I was growing up I remember our door was always open to anyone who needed a friend, a meal, a bed, you name it. It wasn't always easy, but it was great. My mom was anincluder. She wanted in on everything and wanted to bring everyone along. She made friends everywhere she went, wasn't afraid to talk to anyone about anything, and was steadfastly loyal. She seemed to have no social fear and a lack of self-consciousness. I always wanted to be like her in that regard so when one of my besties thinks that I reflect those qualities I loved most about my mom, I take it as a huge compliment. It made me feel really, really good. It also made me think that perhaps I come across as rather fearless to others. And to be honest, that thought surprised me, because I don't tend to think of myself that way.
Or at least I didn't...
Fear is definitely an emotion I wish I had been better at managing in my early 20's. I wasn't always so proactive or even positive about life and my role in my own life. I had a lot of social fears and was overly self-conscious. I've come a long way, yet I've got some more to go. I tend to think it all started back in 2004 when I did a yoga teacher training through Core Power back in Minneapolis. Maybe it started even earlier than that, back in undergrad. I wasn't as good about dealing with emotional things back then, but I was learning. Looking back now, so much of what is coming into my life now echoes what I was learning then.
Funny how it all comes full circle.
I recently posted a webinar about emotions and how they affect our every day. As I researched and prepared for the webinar, I learned and revisited ideas of how to become aware of, and change, your beliefs; suggestions for essential oils that can help you manage emotions, take care of your brain health, and ultimately start creating the life you want to have. Then one day, when I was working on something, I can't recall what now, I came across the website of woman named Jen Mavros. As I read through the site and listened to some of the free meditations, I had this feeling that I was supposed to work with her in some fashion. I wasn't sure what exactly that was, so I just kept exploring. Then I kept seeing her pop up in different places and I knew I had to contact her. Fear crept up and told me not to.
But I did it anyway...
And we spoke...and e-mailed...
And she generously agreed to let me interview her and share it with you all!
You'll see that same saying above "Believe there is good in the world" on the wall behind Jen. I love it. I've adopted it as my second life motto, right next to "What you put in, on, and around your body matters". As I learn more about various topics and passions of mine, I like to share and pass them on. I like to think that I'm sharing and being the good I want to see and experience in the world. You never know who is ready for it or needs it, right now. So, I'm sharing this interview because there are so many gems, including:
If you are in a place in your life where you are experiencing fear or are ready for change, perhaps you are starting a business, or contemplating what comes next, or perhaps you've just got a hot minute...watch this one. It's a good one! So you know, Jen is pretty straight-up, so there are a few four-letter words thrown out in this one. I like a straight-up approach, so that's why Jen's my jam. Oh, and this is about 30 minutes, so grab a glass or a mug of something and cozy up!
Getting to back to fear, which is where this post began, I'm a believer that speaking a fear out loud, even typing it, can help you get past it. Once it's out there, you can recognize it, give it hug, punch it in the face, and get on with it. That hug part is pretty darn important. If you can't sit with it and understand it, then you can't get to the root of it. Recognizing the root of it allows you to pull it out. Then you can punch it in the face :)
Most fear is probably a fear of pain of some sort; the pain of rejection, the pain of disappointment. We all have it. Les Brown says, "You are either going to feel the pain of growth or the pain of regret". I love that. I mean really, if we are all going to experience pain anyway in some fashion, why not experience the pain that will get you the most mileage in your life? Releasing fear and worry allows you to love and put your best self out there, which the world needs. We need you and your best, inspired self.
So here's my fear. Ready? I definitely have a fear of not being perfect and of failing.(maybe a teacher thing?) Sometimes that leads to inaction...which leads to feeling even less perfect and even more of a failure. I also have a fear of success, as weird as that sounds. I worry that I won't be able to handle it, maybe I'll mess it up or push it away.
When I look at my life, all 37 (almost) years of it, there is little evidence I've failed horribly or wasn't able to handle my own success. So, since I don't have any proof otherwise, I'm going on faith that those fears really are false, False Evidence Appearing Real. I'm done with that. I'm ready to embrace that fear, give it a knuckle sandwich, and move the heck on.
How about you? What are you afraid of?
I love making my own cleaning and beauty products. It makes me feel good about what I'm putting on my body, and I LOVE that I get choose the yumminess!
Here's a quick video on how you can make your own DIY body wash.
Easy peasy, right? Here's the recipe for you and some ideas for essential oils to add.
1/2 cup castille soap (scented or unscented as desired)
1/4 vegetable glycerin
3 Tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
10-12 drops essential oils of choice
Blend all ingredients in a pump bottle, give a good shake to integrate, enjoy!
Essential oil combos:
1. Bergamot and Clary Sage
2. White Fir and Lime
3. Ginger and Tangerine or Lemongrass
4. Peppermint and Orange
5. Douglas Fir and Grapefruit
6. Lavender and Spearmint
If you’re just starting out with essential oils, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. I truly believe that the biggest hurdle to getting started is your own learning curve.
To that end, my goal is to provide resources, tips, information, recipes and how-tos to help you lower your own curve and help you get oily! In this post, we'll look at what I think are the top five oils to have on hand and where to keep them in your house.
Now, that last part might seem silly, but I've found that having certain essential oils in my kitchen, my laundry room, or my medicine cabinet makes it so easy to grab them when I need them.
Whichever oils you decide to buy, please take care to get only the best quality. They may seem expensive but, with essential oils, you really do get what you pay for. Cheaper oils may be synthetic, or may be padded with synthetic oils or diluted with a carrier oil and won’t have the beneficial effects of pure oils. They may also contain fillers, pesticides or artificial ingredients that you don't want to be putting in, on or around your body. If you are interested in the brand of oils I prefer, you can contact me here.
Ready for my top ten? In no particular order, here they are:
1. Protective Blend
2. Respiratory Blend
6. Tension Blend
9.Monthly Blend for Women (sorry guys)
10. Digestive Blend
It's winter. For most of us that means that someone in the house, or perhaps everyone, has some sort of crud gumming up their chest or coming out their nose. Nice visual, right?!
But, it seems that's just the way it is. What's a momma to do? Make your own essential oil inhaler of course! No, this is not like albuterol. It actually kind of looks like a tampon. Another nice visual? Sorry, I guess it's just that kind of day ;)
Check out my video below to learn how you can make your own inhaler.
See? I told you it looked like a tampon! But guys, don't be afraid to carry this with you. Really, it's a god send when you need it. Here's a recap of the recipes for you and some links on where to find the inhalers themselves.
To support the respiratory system:
1. Respiratory Blend
2. Cardamom, Frankincense & Myrrh
To support focus, learning, attention and memory
4. Clary Sage
6. Encouraging Blend
7. Uplifting Blend
To support feelings of anxiousness or stress
7. Renewing Blend
8. Comfort Blend
9. Reassuring Blend
To support head tension and pain
3. Tension Blend
And here is where you can aromatherapy inhalers :)
I've been a yoga practitioner & teacher for a long time. I've been a licensed teacher for even longer. I've also always been into the more spiritual side of life and a true believer that we choose our health, and our happiness. That's not to say that I've always been great about choosing health or happiness for myself. But, I do think awareness of the possibility of choice is a step in the right direction.
I've been getting a lot of messages lately from the universe. That may sound corny, but you know how sometimes you just keep hearing a certain phrase or idea from various sources? It's like the universe starts by gently poking you, and slowly, if you're not getting the message, the pokes becomes more obvious until you finally register what's going on. If that's never happened to you, I'm going to wage a guess that you may not have been listening, or perhaps you don't buy into the whole idea of it, so you missed out. Don't miss out!
So, the messages I've been getting? It all started many moons ago when I read an article in Yoga Journal all about Samskara. Yup, this was from 2007. I read it when I was fresh out of my teacher training at Core Power. It has stuck with me all this time. It popped into my head again after I started seeing articles and webinars all about emotions, belief and the brain. I started researching and learning more about how the essential oils I use can have such a powerful effect on the limbic system, our moods and physical response, our beliefs, and how all those things together can help us or hinder us to manifest what we want in our lives. I learned so much from Danielle Daniel, Natalie Ledwell, and Jen Mavros. Suddenly, all these things started to tie together for me and fall into line.
I wanted to share what I've learned and what has been so powerful for me, so I created a webinar to do just that. It's available this Thursday 8pm MST. I'll be sharing the science behind emotion, belief and aromatic molecules; exploring how essential oils can help you manage your emotions, mood, and ultimately change your beliefs and, therefore your reality; and giving you some tools and ideas to maintain a healthy body chemistry and empower you to make the changes you’d like to see in your life.
If that sounds like something you'd be open to and you'd like to join me, you can register
If that's not something you're ready for yet, that's totally okay, too. I still want you to read my blog and we can still be friends ;)
There seems to be a bit of a coconut oil craze lately and, I'll admit, I've drank the kool aid. I love the stuff! I use in my kitchen, on my girls bums, to blend my essential oils, and even to wash my face. Yes, though it seems completely weird and wrong, oil is a great option to cleanse your face, and body for that matter. Now, not all oils are great for cleansing, but a few really do a fantastic job.
Why? If you have ever taken a chemistry class, you've probably heard at some point that like dissolves like. But what does that actually mean? When chemists say that 'like dissolves like' they mean that substances with similar chemical characteristics will dissolve in each other. Specifically, polar solvents tend to dissolve polar solutes, and non-polar solvents tend to dissolve non-polar solutes, while non-polar and polar substances do not mix.
Ready for more chemistry? Some examples of polar substances are water and salt. Polar means they have a partially positive charge and partially negative charge in bonds arranged asymmetrically, which gives water molecules that Mickey Mouse look. Since both water and salt are polar, water will dissolve salt. Oils, on the other hand, are non-polar. This means there is either an equal sharing of electrons between the atoms of a molecule or because of the symmetrical arrangement of polar bonds. So, water will not dissolve oil. Hence why we need to shake up our vinagrette before putting it on a salad, and why oil floats on water. Because water molecules are electrically charged, they get attracted to other water molecules and exclude the oil molecules. This eventually causes the oil molecules, or lipids, to clump together. (source)
Too much? Well, if I can't teach you something new, (or perhaps remind you of something you haven't thought of in a while) what good is a blog?!
What does this have to do with face wash you might ask?
Cleansing oil uses "good oils" to remove the "bad oils" on your skin. No matter your skin type, cleansing oil mixes with the preexisting oils already on your face. These can be naturally produced sebum, or other oils that may be in your makeup and other beauty products. When you massage cleansing oils into the skin, they pull out dirt without clogging pores, and you can comfortably rinse them away leaving the skin clean, soft and hydrated. Bonus!
It's really a win/win situation. You're not stripping your skin of oils it needs and naturally produces, which means its not overcompensating and overproducing natural oils. Also, most of the cleansing oils, like coconut oil, are naturally antibacterial, so you're cleansing your skin at the same time you're hydrating it. Bonus!
My favorite oils for making DIY face wash/skin cleanser are coconut oil and argan oil.
Lets go back to the ubiquitous coconut oil. Why does it make such a great cleanser? Coconut oil is one of those antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-aging properties due to the fatty acids that make it up. It also naturally contains Vitamin E, so good for skin. Fractionated coconut oil is ideal for any kind of skin cleaning. As the name implies, Fractionated coconut oil is a "fraction of the solid coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very, very long shelf life and greatly increased stability.In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect." (source)
Argan oil comes from a little nut produced in the fruit of trees in Morocco. One of the main reasons that argan oil is so healing, is that it is "rich with vitamin A and vitamin E. However, argan oil is also packed with anti-oxidants, Omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid. Research shows that when applied to skin, it eases inflammation while moisturizing the skin" (source)
So, these two oils together create a nourishing, hydrating, cleansing face wash that you can tailor to your skin!
Here's my basic recipe:
1 part argan oil
3 parts fractionated coconut oil
Essential oils of choice
I say 1 part to 3 parts because the quantity you may want to make, or the size of your container, can determine how much you use. In general, I tend to use about 1/4 cup FCO (fractionated coconut oil) to a little more than a tablespoon argan oil. Then I add 4-6 drops of essential oils.
Here is a quick video of how I make my face cleanser, with some of the chemistry included. (Why does Youtube always pick the worst possible still shot to lead with?)
Essential oil options
Need some ideas for essential oils? I got a few to share! You could use one to three essentials to make your own blend based on your needs, and your nose.
So how do you use this new cleanser you've created just for you?
1. On dry skin, use about a quarter size amount of the oil and blend massage into your skin for about a minute or so, or until you are sure that the oil has saturated your skin. FYI, this cleanser will also remove make-up very effectively, so there is no need to remove make-up first. You can even leave the oil on the skin for up to 10 minutes to really deep clean pores.
2. Soak a wash cloth with hot water and then ring it out. Open it up and lay it over your face. You get to give yourself a little mini-facial! The steam helps to remove the oils and any impurities in the skin. Leave the wash cloth on until it cools. Rinse and repeat if needed, then use the corners of the washcloth to gently remove any remaining oil. A thin layer of oil on the skin will remain on your skin. This is good!
3. You most likely won't need any moisturizer on top of this, but you can use it if needed.
FYI! You're skin may react a bit to this new way of washing as it is adjusting its production of natural oils. This is normal and please, try to resist going back to harsh cleansers. All new things take time. Also, if you use it in the shower, or any oil-based scrub or cleanser, make sure you're cleaning the floor regularly so you don't create a slip and slide.
Which essential oils do you like for your face? Share your recipes in a comment!
Do you brush your teeth? And floss? Every day, twice a day? That's what we've been told and trained to do, isn't it? I can remember back to elementary school the giant tooth that we all marveled at as we learned the importance of oral care, promptly thinking we are going to lose another tooth, and promptly forgetting to floss that evening.
We also learned about fluoride.
Then, and up until recently, I, like most people, thought that flouride was a good thing. I mean, it's in our toothpaste, you are offered flouride treatments at the dentist office, and most of our water is flouridated. Why? Because flouride can help prevent tooth decay and therefore cavities. Curiously, flouridation of the water supply started back in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By 2008, more than 72% of the US population has flouridated water. You can check if your water source is fluoridated here.
Oddly, according to FluorideAlert.org, the US stands alone in this. "In Europe, only Ireland (73%), Poland (1%), Serbia (3%), Spain (11%), and the U.K. (11%) fluoridate any of their water. Most developed countries, including Japan and 97% of the western European population, do not consume fluoridated water." Some countries, like China, India and parts of Africa where high levels of flouride naturally occur in the water supply, make an effort to remove flouride because of the health issues it can cause. And, in 2010, Time magazine listed fluoride as on the top ten hazadous household chemicals. Time people! So even if you are not into holistic medicine, Time is a pretty agreed upon reputably source. And this was back in 2010!
Why is fluoride problematic? Here are just a few startling facts from fluoridealert.org:
If that wasn't enough to get you thinking, check out this short film by Jeremy Seifert.
Oh man, right?!?! Definitely got me thinking...hard.
Now, are you ready for some amazing toothy tidbits?
Did you know that each of your teeth has a direct correlation to an organ, joint, system and more in your body? There has long been research and discussion about the role of the gut in our physical and emotion health, but our oral health has something to do with it, too.
So here is where good oral health, and good dental practices, really start to make an impact on our whole body health. Things like fillings and root canals can really wreak havoc with your oral health, and your whole body health, depending on the materials used, and how well the tissue in your tooth socket is taken care of and cleaned after root canals.
The good news?
There are many good natural options out there to avoid fluoride and take great care of your teeth
and your whole body while you're at it!
1. Coconut oil pulling - coconut oil is naturally antibacterial. It's a great way to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. Swish for 5-10 minutes every 2-3 days. It literally pulls toxins out and creates a clean, antiseptic environment. Adding essential oils to your oil pulling makes it an even better option! Essential oils contain some of the most potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on the planet. Additionally, essential oils will absorb into your tissue as you pull, so your body gets the antioxidant and medicinal powers inherent in these potent compounds. Do not swallow your pulled oil. You want to get any bacteria out of your mouth, not into your body ;)
** for every day pulling try adding 1-3 drops of any citrus oil such as lemon, graprefruit or wild orange.
** for extra fresh breath, try peppermint
** for tooth discomfort or possible infection try adding a drop of immunity blend essential oil or clove
2. Non-fluoridated toothpaste - You still need to brush and floss your teeth. However, you can do that with toothpaste that is not upping your fluoride intake. Here are a two great options:
On Guard toothpaste - this fluoride-free Natural Whitening Toothpaste combines the protective benefits of the proprietary immunity blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils with other natural ingredients that help clean teeth, reduce plaque, and whiten teeth with gentle polishing agents. Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils provides an extra cleaning boost, and are also antibacterial oils!
Make your own toothpaste - Make your own blend of coconut oil, baking soda and any essential oils you prefer. Mix oil and baking soda to make a light paste, stir in a drop or your oil of choice, and brush away. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive to help with cleaning and can also help whiten your teeth.
3. DIY mouthwash - This one is super easy to make. You can even do it on a daily basis! All you need is water and your favorite essential oils. Make it as needed by filling a small cup with water and adding a few drops of your oil of choice. Alternatively, make up a (glass) bottle of 2 cups of water to 5-10 drops essential oils. Shake before you your pour it out. Some great oils for mouth wash are melaleuca (tea tree) and peppermint, immunity blend, spearmint, or blend spearmint and tangerine, peppermint and lemon. Get creative and see what feels good and tastes good to you!