https://scentedbalance.com/aromatherapy » December 2017

Month: December 2017

Beautiful Messes

Beautiful Messes, going with the flow of life, go with the flow, spending time with family, essential oils for balance

Messy isn’t always a bad sign; sometimes it’s just a sign of life. – Sharon Randall

It’s now the day after Christmas. Lots of family, food and presents – and hopefully – your presence during the moment. The Christmas holidays offer beautiful messes that are gloriously unruly, loud and chaotic.

And then the quiet.

After all the wonderful bedlam of the holidays, the silence can become deafening.

In that deafening silence, take a moment to revel in the beautiful messes of life. These beautiful messes are all too infrequent these days and there’s a sadness in that.

I savor the moments of pure insanity that make up the beautiful messes of my life.

Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of reading the op/ed section of the newspaper and one of my favorite writers is Sharon Randall. She has this way of seeing through all the beautiful messes of life.

It used to be that families remained in the same town most of their lives; children really didn’t move away when they grew up. Oh, indeed they went off to college but many times moved back to the same city.

We were family units then.

These days, family units are more likely to be spread around the country and sometimes around the world. We live all over the place, lead parallel lives and expect to know one another through short albeit intense visits.

My extended family lives in no less than 12 states across America. And one more that is currently living in Europe.

The Beautiful Mess of Life

Anyway, back to the op/eds in the newspaper. I came across a sweet piece several years ago that Sharon Randall wrote and it resonated very deeply with me then (and now) about the beautiful messes she has after her family visits.

She writes:

“We visit often but not often enough. That’s how it is with people who own your heart. Enough is never enough.” Then there’s the mess your house becomes while everyone is together.” 

I know exactly how she feels especially when there are small grandchildren involved. We all love our children – or so I hope – but being a grandparent is a very special and completely different love. The pressure is off and you can simply have fun.

My job as a grandparent (they call me Shan) is to hop ’em up on sugar and caffeine and then leave ’em with mama. :) 

I don’t get to see my family very often due to busy schedules, distance and whatever else gets in the way. I always loved having family come to visit and with all the extra people in the house, sometimes the place was just chaos.

A good chaos mind you, but chaos nevertheless.  Beautiful Messes, Chaos,

Many times in the pandemonium of the moment, it’s hard to see that messy isn’t always a bad sign; sometimes it’s just a sign of life.

I hope you’ll take 5 minutes to read her entire column. But if you don’t, here’s the part of Sharon’s wisdom that really speaks to me:

“Life, at its best, is messy and chaotic and unpredictable and basically beyond control. Especially with children…A little order can do a lot for your peace of mind, and even for your sanity. But creating order should never be more important than finding joy – if only the joy of survival.”

I’ll never earn the Perfectly Clean House of the Year award – never. It’s a really good day when there’s little or no dust, I’ve run the vacuum, there’s no dishes in the sink and I’m caught up on laundry. For the most part, I’m okay with that.

My motto in life has become “If you want to come see me, come any time. If you want to come see my house, make an appointment.” Although, I have learned that a cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind and I’m doing a much better job of keeping up with the clutter!

Going With The Flow

The important lesson that I’ve learned is that when family is together, simply go with the flow and know that the house will be quiet and clean all too soon.

Enjoy the chaos while you can. Savor the moment while you can. Those beautiful messes are few and far between and the memories of the last mess will keep you going until the next mess.

The last time I saw my family was Thanksgiving. Life moves along; there are things to do, places to go and people to meet. Children and grandchildren grow up fast, go off to college or simply become way too cool for spending time with family and beautiful messes.

In this context, I treasure the beautiful messes of my life and joyfully wait for the next one.

It’s an important lesson learned to let go of what we expected and hoped for and trade that for simply embracing the beautiful mess that is family, holidays and whatever may come next in life. I do believe that was my lesson to learn in the past year.

In the spirit of beautiful messes, I created a blend of essential oils for balance to help uplift and calm you in the midst of disorder and confusion:

Beautiful Mess Blend

  • 5 drops Clary Sage
  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • 5 drops Neroli/Petitgrain Co-Distill
  • 5 drops Davana
  • 3 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 3 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Peppermint
  • 10 mL   Organic Jojoba Wax

Combine all essential oils into a 10 mL rollerball and add jojoba wax. Gently shake to combine before each use. Apply to heart and inner wrist area as often as needed. If you don’t have all the oils on hand, I make this blend for $16.95 plus shipping (and tax if you live in NC). Send an email to me or this contact form and I’ll take it from there.

Sometimes, we all need help chilling during the amazing madness of the holidays. I use this blend during the holidays to stay balanced and I use it every day – just because.

How can I help you through this last week of 2017? Need a helping hand? Go ahead and fill out the contact form right now and let’s start off the new year together.

Blessings,

Melissa

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Christmas activities for kids, Twas The Night Before Christmas, A Visit From St. Nick, A Book On Every Bed, stories for kids,

Twas The Night Before Christmas (written by Clement C. Moore) is one of my favorite Christmas poems. Legend has it that he wrote this poem for his children on Christmas Eve of 1822. 

Can you imagine the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve with the enchanting words of that poem dancing in your mind’s eye?

It’s such a magical poem and even though I no longer have small children in my life, I still read it every single year on Christmas Eve. And just for the sake of magic, I always set my illustrated book under the tree.

Twas The Night Before Christmas

This year, I am reading Twas The Night Before Christmas (or, more traditionally A Visit From St. Nick) on Christmas Eve at 6 PM on the Scented Balance Facebook page. Clicking this Event link will take you to the event page.

I found this old print of Twas The Night Before Christmas courtesy of NightBeforeChristmas.biz. It’s an enchanting website dedicated to the poem and author!

A Visit From St. Nick, Twas The Night Before Christmas,
Photo Courtesy of NightBeforeChristmas.biz

Children love for grownups to read to them. My mom and older sister often read to me when I was a small child. To this day, I absolutely love to read and I can still remember when I was very small – 4 or 5 years old – how much I enjoyed someone reading to me. 

This is a sweet photo of me holding my newborn grandson and reading a book to him. stories for kids, You never know what a child’s brain will pick up much less retain, so I chose to read sweet and silly books to him from the time he was a few weeks old. I miss that!

I hope if you have small children in your life, you’ll take some time this holiday season to read a book to them – a real book – not the electronic kind!

A Book On Every Bed

Amy Dickinson is a daily newspaper advice columnist (yes, newspapers still exist) and every December 18th, she dispenses with her column and honors the anniversary of her mother’s birthday. Her mother loved to read and passed her passion on to Amy.

In her column of December 18, 2017, Amy devoted her entire column to the beautiful life lessons she learned from reading books and how her mother’s passion left a lasting and positive impact on her life. She writes:

Today, in memory of my mother on her birthday, I share a simple idea that adults can easily adopt in order to give the children in their lives the gift my mother gave to me, by putting “A Book On Every Bed.”

Here’s what to do: On Christmas morning (or whatever holiday you celebrate), make sure that each child in your household wakes up to a book at the foot of their bed. The gift could be a new book or an old favorite from your childhood.

The best part of the “A Book On Every Bed” tradition? Sit down on Christmas Morning with your child and read the book you gave them. Not only can you enjoy a few tender moments with your child but you instill the love of reading in them – a love that hopefully will last a lifetime.

If you don’t have small children in your life, you can donate to charities that promote reading and provide books for children who might not otherwise be exposed to the joy of reading. In an older article, Adweek Magazine provides a list of reputable charities that you can help and one in particular caught my eye: United Through Reading which helps military families who are separated read aloud together. 

By the way, I clicked on every single link in that article to ensure they are all good and still valid – they are. Each link will take you directly to the charity’s website with all their information.

Start By Reading!

There are lots of stories for kids and your local library or local bookstore is a great place to start.

Why don’t you think about writing a children’s book? How? Just start writing and see what happens! 

Make a child’s life magical this year and instill the love of reading. It can be a wonderful new tradition that you start to ensure your legacy.

It makes me smile every time I read Twas The Night Before Christmas and I hope it makes you smile, too. Please join me on Christmas Eve at 6 PM on the Scented Balance Facebook page.

Let’s add to the spirit of the season with this beautiful diffuser blend:

Holiday Diffuser Blend

  • 10 Drops Balsam Fir Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops   Tangerine Essential Oil
  • 4 Drops   Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  • 4 Drops   Clove Bud Essential Oil
  • 2 Drops   Peppermint Essential Oil

Blend together and add 5 – 10 drops to a cold mist diffuser. If you would like a small bottle of this blend, I make Christmas Magic in a 5mL bottle for $14.95 plus shipping. Simply send an email to me or fill out this contact form requesting this custom blend and I will make it for you!

Please take a moment to share this post about reading with those you love on your personal social media – thank you!

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours!

Melissa

 

How To Cope With #metoo During The Holidays

#meetoo, How to cope with #metoo during the holidays, taking back my power,I learned an amazing tool in the last week about how to cope with #metoo during the holidays.

The #metoo movement is reaching fever pitch – as it should be. If you’re not sickened by all of us who have posted #metoo, then you’re not paying attention. I am a survivor of both childhood and adult sexual assault, so this issue strikes a particularly tender chord for me.

In case you’re not aware, there’s an entitlement mentality in the world as evidenced by all of the women who have come forward in the last few weeks and months on the news and social media.

They – we – are tired of feeling fearful for our jobs and families, tired of being groped – and worse – and done with feeling powerless to do anything about the situation.

Yes, that feeling of powerlessness spills over into holiday parties and sometimes you get talked into going to them. An evening at a small party where I know most everyone is a welcome part of the holidays; going to a large party where I’m unfamiliar with the guests can be daunting.

Especially since I’m an introvert. (No, really.)

It seems the holiday spirit makes some people feel entitled to have one adult beverage too many and that’s when the situation can get uncomfortable. And inappropriate.

It’s the entitlement mentality that turns off the filter (especially during the holidays) in mostly otherwise decent human beings.

That third or fourth adult beverage doesn’t give you a license to say or do things that aren’t appropriate to your best friend much less to an acquaintance.

By nature, even as an introvert, I appreciate a hug when I haven’t seen someone for a while. Men, women, kids, dogs – it doesn’t matter. But I’m here to tell you, that sweet hug does NOT give you license to let your hand wander to my hips or other body parts.

I’ve been in situations where a man’s hand has lingered j-u-u-u-s-t a little longer around my waist than it should. Or someone makes an off-color comment that makes me shake my head and wonder why (s)he would say such a thing.

I’ll just be real blunt here. Most of the time, it’s men who make the off-color comments that leave me feeling anxious and speechless.

Yes, speechless. But not anymore.

When Does It Become #metoo?

I have no problem whatsoever saying someone’s dress is pretty or asking someone what they do for a living. (Or you saying the same to me.) If I’m not familiar with your particular calling, the least I can do is ask you “what do you do as a <fill-in-the-blank>?” I don’t like to judge what someone does for a living or make a snarky comment – even after the third glass of wine.

And I’m certainly not a prude!

The whole reason I say this is because it’s usually a woman’s appearance or profession that elicits the speech-defying comment.

More often than not, the comment comes from a man who’s trying not to come off as condescending, but that’s really how it’s meant. If you mention that the comment was inappropriate, well, you’re just being “sensitive.”

Or somehow, with your hand on my ass, I’ve “misunderstood.”

Let me just tell it like it is when it comes to this kind of entitled behavior – empowered women empower women.

Women are not here for your pleasure – to be consumed as it were. I’m a human being and entitled to be treated with decency and respect without your snarky comment or hand on my ass.

Deflecting A Rude Comment

Life coaches are fascinating to me and not just because I’m one of them. Holistic life coaches shed light on the stuck places in your life and are a huge help when you can’t seem to reach the next level. It’s what we do best and everyone can use the wisdom of a well trained life coach at one time or another.

But that very profession has elicited more eye rolls than I care to count. Add in aromatherapy, and some uninformed souls think you’re positively woo-woo.

Always on the lookout for a new perspective, I found the ever awesome and wise life coach, Susan Hyatt (shyatt.com). I love her style, her wit and her wisdom. 

She is NOT fond of the aforementioned holiday parties nor is she willing to remain speechless when it’s appropriate to speak up.

Like many of us, she would far rather be at home with a good book and a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. Ah, but the things we do for our beloved. As in going to a holiday party when we don’t want to.

Her formula for how to cope with #metoo during the holidays came about from her own experience at a holiday party. She reached her tipping point and blessedly, Susan simply couldn’t hold back during a recent Facebook live video.

If you have delicate sensibilities, you probably don’t want to watch this video. But if you’re ready for a real, honest and forthright way to let someone know they’ve crossed a line, watch and rejoice!

I just happened to be on my Facebook page when she went live with this and I was mesmerized. By the end of the video, I was sending Susan Hyatt mental high fives. One thing she said that stood out to me is that when people drink, they often say what they’re really thinking. And their normal filter has taken a holiday because they hide behind those adult beverages.

I’m not going to tell her tipping point story because it isn’t mine to tell. But, the way Susan lets someone know they have crossed the line of decency is to simply say: “why would you ask me that question?” Or “why would you say something like that to me?” Then, here’s the best thing to do next: be really quiet and let them absorb your question.

What’s happening here is that you’re not accepting the inappropriate comment but throwing it back to them and let them feel awkward about being so rude and crossing the line of decency.

It allows you to take back your power.

Now, don’t feel like you’re being negative to think that this will absolutely happen and talk yourself out of going to a holiday party. Susan simply advises to be aware that this type of behavior is coming and be prepared for that smart ass comment; claim your power and throw it right back to the perpetrator.

I don’t want to put a damper on your holiday celebrations – I really don’t!

I’ve simply been in too many situations where I felt powerless to protect or assert myself. Because of Susan Hyatt’s wisdom and forthrightness, I won’t feel powerless ever again. The holidays just seem to bring out that crass, entitled mentality in some folks and I’m no longer willing to silently endure that behavior.

This is one time when subscribing to someone’s Facebook page and weekly newsletter really paid off. I feel more powerful and I hope – through Susan Hyatt – I’ve shared a tactful way for you to feel more powerful in a disconcerting situation.

If you need just a bit more boost to feel calm and powerful at your next party, here’s an awesome blend that smells amazing and helps you to feel empowered:

Empowering Blend

  • 5 drops   Neroli/Petitgrain Co-Distill (Citrus arantium var armara)
  • 3 drops   Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
  • 3 drops   Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
  • 3 drops   Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
  • 3 drops   Davana (Artemesia pallens)
  • 3 drops   Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
  • 10 mL     Organic Jojoba Wax
  • 10 mL     Rollerball

Combine essential oils into the rollerball first, then fill with jojoba wax. Gently shake and apply to heart, wrists, throat and back of neck. I make this blend for $14.95 plus shipping and tax. Not only will you feel powerful, but you’ll feel calm and balanced as well.

Stay safe, be well and find your power by asking a simple question when you feel someone has crossed your boundary. Please help the women in your tribe by sharing this post. It’s that important!

Merry Christmas and blessings!

Melissa

5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

Sense of touch, Smile, 5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day, Smiling, the human touch, random acts of kindness

I like surprises. Good surprises. Surprises that make me smile as in 5 surprising reasons to smile every day! I’d like to give you another reason to smile today.

Does a smile count as a random act of kindness? How can you show compassion when you don’t know what to say? Can one person change the world? Yes – to all of these questions.

What Does Smiling Have To Do With Anything?

When I was a kid, I wanted life to be fair, for life to be simple and for everyone to be happy and smiling. I really thought that it was possible. As an adult, I want life to be fair, for everyone to be happy and for life to be simple.

I want to live with elegance and ease. Where do I start?

With a smile.

We all can give a smile and still have some left over to share. I can smile at the next person I see – who is fighting a battle that I know nothing about – and maybe soften their pain. I can smile for no reason and be considered a cheerful sort.

Personally, I believe the digital age has made us a cold and angry world. We know everything about everyone – or at least we think we do – via our computer screen.

We constantly stare at our cell phones out of boredom and we’re frowning. In reality, we are drowning in information and starving for wisdom. And I believe we’ve forgotten how to touch someone’s life simply by smiling.

It’s the small random acts of kindness that really make us human. Smiling is an act of caring, an act of selflessness and has the power to touch a human life in the best way possible. We seriously underestimate the power of the human touch – whether by your sense of touch or by touching someone’s life. You never know when your smile just might turn someone’s life around.

5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

There are a lot of unhappy people in the world (I swear they’re ALL on social media!) that could seriously benefit from a genuine smile every day. We all know that smiling makes us feel better, so why don’t we do more of it?

Here are 5 surprising reasons to smile every day and how it benefits your whole life.

  1. According to the Huffington Post, smiling influences your mood. Even fake smiles trick your brain into believing you are in a better mood.
  2. Smiling is usually contagious. About half the people you smile at will smile back at you. Notice how this brightens your day?
  3. According to Reader’s Digest, smiles have a morphine-like action that helps relieve stress and reduce the perception of pain in the brain. Children in hospitals who are exposed to comedies and comic characters often report less pain compared to those who don’t have those experiences.
  4. It helps your heart. Smiling releases endorphins which increases your blood flow and lowers your blood pressure.
  5. You look about 3 years younger. I love that! Smiling naturally lifts your facial muscles and who doesn’t want to look a few years younger? 

Have you ever noticed how the energy around you changes when you’re around people who smile? The stylist who cuts my hair has that effect on me. I can have the roughest day EVER and by the time I walk out of her shop 30 minutes later, my mood has changed. Loretta is always smiling and it shows. The energy of both she and her shop is always bright and welcoming.

Smiling is also self care. When you are stressed beyond the max, smiling at yourself in a mirror (even when you don’t feel like it) can help boost your productivity and lighten your mood.

The Human Touch of Smiling

There are times when smiling is simply painful. We all experience those times. It’s precisely during those times when a friendly smile can make all the difference in your life.

When stress gets to the point where you feel annoyed or frustrated, maybe it’s time to take a break. You’ve heard me say it before, but unplugging from every electronic device for a short time can make a huge difference in your outlook on the world.

No matter where we go, we are bombarded with bad news and worse news. It’s so noisy in the world that even while pumping gas you are forced to listen to the fresh hell of the day (or sports – same thing).  It’s overwhelming and enough to make you frown.

Today I would like to give you an extra reason to smile. Please take 2 minutes to watch this sweet video and to savor the grin it brings to your face. It lifted my spirits and I hope it does the same for you.

 

There are times – days – when I feel invisible as an aromatherapist and holistic life coach. It feels like the message I bring to help you with your overall wellness falls on deaf ears.

Your smiling face makes a huge difference in my world.

When you call or email to say what a difference I’ve made in your life – please know that I beam and feel deep gratitude. Your very real sense of touch through random acts of kindness means the world to me and keeps me going.

When you can’t seem to find your way, simply take a moment to smile. When you don’t know what you can do to help, random acts of kindness as simple as smiling at strangers will fill your cup. The human touch when you make an effort in someone’s life is huge for the giver and the recipient. 

If you think you have nothing to give, think again. You do. You can give your smile to someone who needs it. Hang up, unplug and smile! Be the magic in someone’s day. Today. Right now.

We all need an extra smile – please share this article on Facebook by clicking below to see how far and wide we can share our smiles today.

Blessings,

Melissa