https://scentedbalance.com/aromatherapy » February 2018

Month: February 2018

Understanding Grace and Mercy

Living In Grace and Mercy, grace and mercy, friendship, empathy

When you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others. Rick Warren

 As in nature, as in art, so in grace; it is rough treatment that gives souls, as well as stones, their luster. Thomas Guthrie

What is living in grace and mercy? Grace is such an old-fashioned word and it really isn’t used very much an more. Someone said that to me the other day and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. 

Grace means many things to many people. For me, grace is something I want in my life – I want my life to unfold with grace and ease.

I have learned grace through harsh judgments, rough treatment, through forgiveness and by doing the right thing under extreme pressure – even when I didn’t want to. One of the affirmations I keep in mind is “my life unfolds with grace and ease.”

Defined in this setting, grace is goodwill, favor or pardon. Sometimes you must accept situations and people as they are and move on. Sometimes, you must change what you can and move on. Knowing the difference is the key to living with grace and ease. Defining grace as goodwill stands out to me the most in this instance.

Grace as Goodwill

A few years back, I was invited to a party where I would get to see a dear friend. I was so excited as it had been a couple of years since we last saw one another. This person hadn’t felt well during that time and when my phone calls didn’t get returned or acknowledged, I simply let things go. After all, I cannot walk in someone else’s shoes and even pretend to understand their pain.

By choice, I was no longer a part of the tightly-knit circle where we became friends; I understood completely that I would lose dear friendships with my bold and difficult decision. This person’s friendship (and moral support) went on long after I chose to move forward, which makes what happened at this event so bewildering.

By my very nature, I’m a hugging and affectionate person. When I went to hug my friend (as many old friends do), the reception  was cold apathy – not rude – just a basic absence of emotion and a few terse words. The lack of acknowledgement was stunning and like a knife in my heart. I tried to start a conversation, but quickly realized the goodwill wasn’t there.

Since it takes two people to have a conversation and only one of us was willing, I simply moved on, happily talked with other old friends and let it go.

Did it hurt? Yes. But I can no longer allow someone else’s actions (or inaction) and attitudes to dictate my happiness or how I live my life.

Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy

Although not always the recipient, I was taught forgiveness, grace and mercy. People change, move on, move forward; they do things that you may not agree with; they do things that you don’t understand – they disappoint you.

I understand and accept that people move in and out of our lives every single day. Some are around for just a little while, some appear for a particular reason, some become dear friends and stay for a lifetime. I believed that my friend and I would be true friends for a lifetime and I was wrong.

It’s called life.

When life intervenes, it’s best to remember grace and mercy. I believe I was graceful in accepting rejection. I kept smiling, hugging and interacting with everyone else. Later that day, I had time to process the situation.

I couldn’t remember saying or doing anything to cause hard feelings in the past and even sent a card occasionally just to say hello…what could have happened? There were never any hard feelings between us and this person was the one source of empathy, support and joy that I could count on during that very difficult time in my life.

Bottom line: people will disappoint you and you will disappoint people, too. It can’t be avoided. It’s how you handle the fallout that allows your life to unfold with grace and ease.

To this day and always, I wish my friend health, happiness and abundance. Maybe someday our friendship, when viewed through the lens of grace, can be renewed. I’ve long since let it go but I treasure the friendship we had even though I’ve moved on. I choose to surround myself with a very tight circle of people who are uplifting and supportive – the kind of friend that I choose to be.

Everyone you come in contact with is fighting their own personal battles, living with heartache and loss and trying to get through each day as gracefully as possible. We’re all human; grace and mercy are more abundant some days than others.

If we can simply see past each other’s foibles and warts and always keep grace and mercy in our hearts, life would be much more peaceful. Yes – easier said than done.

This incident alone is the kind of thing that makes me know I am a gifted and caring aromatherapist and holistic life coach. I’ve been through my share of hell and come out on the other side. It’s that very deep pain that provides not just grace and mercy, but also empathy. While I may not know your personal pain, I understand pain – the quiet, unrelenting, private pain that we keep close to the vest.

When you’ve been through something of this nature, it hurts. Aromatherapy is ideal for this type of situation and I make a blend to help you through the private heartache that we all experience at one time or another. This is the Releasing Blend which helps you process loss – of any kind – and find some comfort:

Release Blend

  • 8 drops  Cypress
  • 8 drops  Neroli/Petitgrain Co-Distill
  • 4 drops  Helichrysum
  • 3 drops  Lemon
  • 3 drops  Fragonia (TM)
  • 10 mL    Evening Primrose Oil

Combine all ingredients in a 10 mL rollerball. Gently shake before each use. Apply over heart, inner wrists and under nose up to 5 times daily. If you like, I have this rollerball available for sale for $19.99. To purchase, go to the Custom Blends product in the Aromatherapy Shop and add to the cart. In the notes, simply let me know you would like the Release Blend and I’ll take it from there.

I am at a point in my life where I’m more aware of what goes on around me (there’s a good reason I’m not a detective…) and I am getting much better at moving through life with grace and ease.

How have you handled this type of situation? Did it sting? Did it make you question yourself? Did you get over it quickly or did it take a while? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

As always, I’m grateful that you stopped by. If you are struggling to get to the other side of a particular issue in your life, I’m available for coaching sessions. Simply fill out the contact form and let’s set up something today.

Blessings,

Melissa

 

Coping With The Inevitable Bad Day

the inevitable bad day, tough day, bad day, you had a bad day, let go, let it go, compassion, angry

Yes, Margaret, we all experience the inevitable bad day. You’ve been there. A fender bender, a dressing-down by the boss, a relationship that went to hell in a handbasket – any number of things can make life veer wildly off the rails. And then, you feel angry because it seems like the bad day will never end.

Today may very well be an awesome day for you! I hope that’s the case. But if you’re searching for comfort after a bad day and landed here, please know that you have my deepest and heartfelt empathy. I so-o-o-o wish I could wave my magic fairy wand to fix what’s gone wrong or at least make the backlash and after-effects go away.

Just know that I hear you. I see you. Please be gentle on yourself.  Compassion for yourself is what you desperately need right now. Take a moment to count the times when you’ve come through in a sticky situation, when you’ve made the right decision or when you gave from your heart.

Any one who knows me well knows that I can go down the rabbit hole from zero to sixty in no time flat. (I wrote about that in a blog post and the compassion I received from you was nothing short of amazing – thank you.) Oftentimes, I can pick out the stupid stuff I did or said, but somehow the other ninety percent of stuff I’m responsible for that was really good completely disappears from my thought pattern.

And that simply makes a bad day worse.

Do you find yourself doing that same thing – going down the rabbit hole so fast that your head spins?

Over the last few years, I’ve had more than my share of tough times and when they hit, usually with a vengeance, I isolate myself, pour a tasty glass of wine and clean my apartment to process everything. Mindless activity is the best thing I can do for self-care during times of high stress – or pouting.

One time, I believe it was 2013, it was one of those days. Seriously. One. Of. Those. Days. As I look back, I can see now that life was about to come crashing down in huge waves and there was nothing I could do to change it or stop it. It was just a difficult day (and time) and I needed some insight to bring the light back to my heart.

During that bad day, I remember feeling angry and frustrated so I typed in “when your dreams don’t come true“. I was amazed at what came up on my screen!

The post that spoke to me was written by Tamara Laporte. She is based out of England and teaches mixed media art along with wellness. I’m not necessarily good at traditional art, but this post spoke to my heart. She writes:

Often, no matter what we do or don’t do: our dreams don’t come true. And you know what? Instead of feeling shitty and miserable about that; I want to be ok with that. No. I want to be ok before that. I want to be at a place in my life, even if I’m in a mess, with an overweight body, sleep-deprived, a few grey hairs, without a dream house, without quadrupling my business income, without a book or licensing deal, without a diamond-pooping-unicorn, a mermaid-shaped swimming pool, a jet, butler and baby leopard and still be blissfully, irrevocably, stunningly happy, just as is. With gratitude, with awe and with joy. Because life is just that: awesome, joyful, amazing without all the external stuff. I mean like, have you seen butterflies lately?!

Let’s get real here – at that time, there was nothing stunningly happy. Period. And it took me quite a while to find my happy.

I am still a subscriber to her newsletter to this day because I love her amazing talent and huge heart. Even though I’m not an artist, her writing and beautiful talent speak to my heart.  Actually, aromatherapy is my art and creative outlet – I’m proud to say this is my calling and gift. As a trained aromatherapist, I can help you with so much including emotional healing.

How To Turn a Bad Mood Into a Better Mood

One of the things I like to do on my Facebook page (https://facebook.com/scentedbalance/) is to bring some joy into your life. Not everyone has perfectly sunny days and I want you to know that I’m sensitive to that. You know, most days are good (ah, yes life is good) but some days are perfectly shitty and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

And I’m also not going to pretend for a skinny minute that I have all the answers of how to turn a bad mood into a better mood. We all have our times, okay?

When I feel annoyed and pouty, sometimes, I just need to be by myself. Other times, I really need to find something that speaks to my bad mood.

Sometimes, I post fun stuff on my facebook newsfeed just because it can brighten your mood, help you through a difficult time, or help you to let go of something that ‘s bugging you – a happy distraction if you will.

Then it hit me: Life Is Good – you know all those tee shirts and ball caps that you see everywhere? So I went to their website and found something awesome! They donate 10% of their profits to helping children in need – what a way to brighten your bad mood. 

A Couple of Ways To Let Go

How do you let go of a bad day? Obviously, I use aromatherapy – I work with 82 different essential oils, so you KNOW I create awesome blends to brighten your mood! Listen, if you don’t like the smell of one oil, I have 81 others that we can use.

What I’m trying now (ok, not right now) is meditation. For me, trying to meditate is like putting six cats in a cardboard box. You might contain the chatter, but the squirming and screaming will eventually get on your last nerve. Sigh…

If you would like to try meditation, Oprah and Deepak Chopra have a number of nice meditations to help you get started. They are guided to a certain extent – both of them have very soothing voices – and part of the meditation has soft music with no talking. Of course, I have a wonderful meditation blend that I offer at fairs and festivals for $14.95. Or you can make it on your own:

Calming Meditation Blend

  • 24 drops Grapefruit
  • 18 drops Lavender
  • 12 drops Frankincense
  • 12 drops Myrrh
  • 6 drops   Sandalwood
  • 6 drops   Cypress
  • 6 drops   Opopanax
  • 6 drops   Siberian Fir
  • 6 drops   Spruce
  • 6 drops   Melissa
  • 5 mL Blue (or Amber) Glass Bottle with dropper

Combine all essential oils into the bottle, gently shake before each use. Put 5 – 6 drops in a cold mist diffuser in the room where you meditate (or really, any room where you are). You can also put the same amount of drops with a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to your chest – either application will help calm what I call the “monkey mind”.

You know the monkey mind – that’s when you lay down for the night and you can’t let go because your brain goes haywire. Yep. That’s me. Now you know why I create these blends!

Aromatherapy (and holistic life coaching) are amazing to address areas such as anger, depression, frustration and the ever-present monkey mind.

You know what else is important? Stay strong and know that you have the strength to get through the next few moments, and the next few moments – and the next. Hold on as tightly as you can to whatever faith you believe in – I’m saying this as much for me as for you. Please don’t give up!

Fill out this simple contact form and let’s talk today – don’t wait – do it right now.

Blessings,

Melissa

How To Say No Without Saying No

Do you know how to say no without saying no? More importantly, do you know why you need to know how to say no? It’s something I’ve learned over the last few years and it’s a skill that will serve you well, especially in the business world.

There have been times in the past when I really wanted to say no but felt like I had to say yes. It’s all good as most of the time, it’s no big deal – I’m happy to help you out.

Ah, yes, I’m happy to help. Some people see that phrase as a license to invade your privacy and firmly step past your boundaries.

You see, I’m the proverbial middle child – blessed be the peacemakers. I grew up wanting everyone to like me and just be happy. When everyone was happy, I didn’t get in trouble, I didn’t get grounded – or worse.

In short, I had the people-pleaser gene on steroids. 

Many times, we feel like we have to say yes when it really doesn’t fit with our schedule or it’s something that makes us queasy. It’s even worse to say yes when it really is inconvenient – as in: people, I have deadlines, too!

You wanna be a nice guy; you wanna be cooperative; you wanna be part of the team. Amirite? But you’re already on three committees, have a bunch of meetings over the next few days and presentations out the wazoo or the organization (or project) that you’ve been asked to help with just isn’t in your wheelhouse.

Why Do We Find It So Hard To Say No?

Why do so many of us find it difficult – if not downright impossible – to say no? What is it about saying no that makes us feel guilty or even powerless?

Years ago, I was asked to spend the night in the hospital with a friend who had just had hip replacement surgery. If you know me at all in the slightest little bit, you know how grateful I am to be your aromatherapist and NOT your doctor.

Seriously. If I get within 50 paces of a hospital, I’m queasy, nervous, on edge and ready to run screaming out the door.

Anyway, said friend asked me to come spend the night with her in the hospital and even though the thought of doing this made my skin crawl and turned my stomach upside down, I said yes.

I didn’t want to be a lousy friend, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and I really didn’t want to reveal my shame!

So, I packed my bag and off I went to the hospital which was about 80 miles away, mind you. (Just so you know, I have cold chills running down my spine and arms while writing this.)

Anyway, I get to my friend’s hospital room and there is a cot set up for me to sleep on, she’s kinda sorta out of it (ya think?) and I’m pacing the floor because, well because I’m in a hospital for gawd’s sake!

It gets to be about 10 pm, she’s really off in lala land and an older gentleman who had broken some bones was admitted and he’s screaming – screaming in pain. I can feel the color drain out of my face and I’m trying desperately to breathe.

Just breathe.

I closed the door, I put the pillow over my head; I did everything I could to block out the madness in my midst. All the while thinking to myself:

Why did I say yes to this?

Listen, if you’re in trouble and need dire help, I can somehow manage to put it all aside, get you help and then fall apart.

I have given birth you know. I can deal. For a little while. Okay, for a moment. Then you really need to get some help!

The point of this amusing little story is that I really should have said no to begin with. I’m not a nurse (I honestly don’t know how nurses do it!) and I’m squeamish as hell!

I realize there are times in life when we have to say yes to something that we really don’t want to do. I completely get that we just suck it up and say yes.

How To Say No Politely Without Really Saying No

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re in your cubicle working away with your deadline looming and a co-worker wants your help. They waltz into your space, maybe a bit freaked out and sweetly ask:

“I really need some help with this project – will you help me?”

Now, this could go several ways including sideways. You could say yes, drop what you’re doing, help your frazzled co-worker, possibly miss your deadline, cause all sorts of problems for yourself and feel resentful.  How to Say No Without Really Saying No

You could simply say no and feel like an ass for not being part of the team. This approach may save your deadline, but now maybe you’ve made your co-worker (or sister or child or spouse) feel bad about even asking much less deflate their ego by you saying no.

OR you could ask one simple question:

“How?”

Now, by asking how, you haven’t said no, you’ve simply asked how the requester wants your help and what they want you to do.

What this does is put the burden back on the requester. It forces them to explain – in depth – what they expect from you. It’s essentially a polite way of saying “I’m happy to help, but what is your skin in this game?”

In writing for Lifehack.org, Anna Chui says this about asking “how”:

“This is less confrontational than “no.” It does not threaten their ego, and it places the ball in their court. “How?” holds them accountable for their role in the transaction. It forces them to spell out precisely what they want and need. If they are not able to willingly step up and engage with you, it’s easier to say “No.”

So many times, our boundaries get really loose and queasy at the thought of saying an outright no. C’mon – we all want to be liked, we all want to be accepted and we really don’t want to be the bad guy in the situation.

Once you ask them how they want your help, it’s a lot easier to say no without looking and feeling like a horrible person.

There is kindness in saying yes. Believe it or not, there is kindness in saying no as well.  And the world needs all the kindness we can muster.

But when saying yes depletes you, puts you in a bad situation or crosses your boundaries, what are the consequences for you?

Is it joy at taking on yet another project or is it simmering resentment because you’re the I’m-so-screwed-please-please-please-help-me person they always call on (for the umpteenth time)?

As a holistic life coach, I’ve had to learn how to create my fair share of boundaries so that I can help you learn them as well. I’ve had to learn how to say no thank you.

Allow me to inform you that “no” is a complete sentence. No, thank you is a complete sentence if you want to be polite. (I do want to be polite.)

Eventually, we all need help because we’re human and we get stuck. Ask yourself how often you reach out when you’re stuck and running on empty? Are you a people-pleaser like me who feels the need to explain, justify and defend the right to say no, thank you?

Where you do you see yourself in this post? Do you feel resentful – maybe really pissed off – each time you say yes under duress when you really want to say no? Automatically saying yes is a learned behavior and it takes practice to take care of you first. Speaking a polite and thoughtful “no” is also a learned behavior.

How can I help you learn say no? Please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today.

Blessings,

Melissa

 

Why Using a Plant-Based Decongestant Chest Rub Is Better For You

vicks vapor rub age, vaporub, Cold and Flu, Congestion, chest cold, chest congestion, natural remedy for chest congestion,

If you have the flu (I’m so sorry!) then you know you need extra care for your respiratory system. To help with the aches, cough and congestion, let’s talk about why using a plant-based decongestant chest rub is better for you than a commercial “vapor rub”.

When you have a nasty chest cold or the flu, your upper and lower respiratory system is compromised and in distress – and yes, I know – duh…

But a lot of people still believe that the flu is a stomach bugthat’s a completely different strain than what’s going around in 2018. This particular strain is H3N2 and is a subtype of Type A Influenza – the most dangerous kind.

Children and older adults are most susceptible to the flu and that’s why aromatherapy provides an excellent natural remedy for chest congestion. Congestion is miserable anyway, but chest congestion and having the flu takes it to a whole new level.

Of course, you should always seek medical attention from a qualified professional when you’re sick, but I know that’s not always possible. Especially when you have no health insurance.

Essential Oils Are Ideal for Congestion

Pure essential oils are amazing. They are plant-based and were used for medicine up until the pharmaceutical companies got involved in the early to mid 20th century. When used properly, there are no negative side effects such as the spacey disjointed feeling, light-headedness and dehydration nor will they affect your blood pressure. Many cold/flu medications will cause your blood pressure to skyrocket or spike which can be dangerous.

The American Heart Association published this finding about over-the-counter cold and flu medications:

“If you’re ringing in the holidays with a cold or the flu, you should know that over-the-counter drugs taken to control the symptoms can also raise blood pressure and strain the kidneys.

The culprits? Pseudoephedrine and other cold medicine ingredients that may increase blood pressure.

“The flu can have serious health risks for people with high blood pressure, and patients with cardiovascular disease are more likely to die from influenza than patients with any other chronic condition, according to the American Heart Association. While controlling the symptoms is important, so is knowing the potential side effects.”

This is a great time to talk with a certified aromatherapist – yes – I’m a certified aromatherapist. Pure essential oils are plant-based and when used properly, the chances of of any negative side effects are slim. There are precautions to take especially when children are involved. That’s why I make products for colds and flu for adults and children. Head Cold, ChestEZ Decongestant Rub for Adults, congested cough, home remedies for congestion, chest congestion, chest cold, natural remedy, CongestEZ Decongestant Rub for Adults,

The pure essential oils I use that are excellent for adults with congestion are:

  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia)
  • Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
  • Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
  • Peppermint (Mentha x peperita)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

Each oil has been scientifically proven to assist with healthy lung function, addressing a spastic cough, as an expectorant and to address congestion. The Lemon essential oil also aids in absorption of all the oils as well as boosting the immune system.

The added bonus is the amazing smell – you don’t smell like your medicine cabinet. While the commercial brands of chest rub are quite greasy and heavy, I use a base of plant-based shea butter which will absorb into your skin.

For children ages 2 – 10 years, there is a different formula as oils with the component 1,8 cineole are not good for young children (it can damage their central nervous system). 

  • Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia)
  • Sweet Marjoram (Majorana origanum)
  • Blood Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

Many of these oils also have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties which is what you want when you are fighting colds and the flu. Some of these oils such as Fir Needle and Sweet Marjoram help with the spastic cough.

Why Using A Commercial Vaporub Is Not A Good Idea

I realize the commercial vapor rubs have been on the market forever. Did you ever read the label?

Two of the ingredients are petrolatum which is a derivative of petroleum (it gives the rub its greasy quality) and turpentine oil which is toxic when swallowed. It’s the turpentine oil which gives it the signature vapor. It also has camphor which is dangerous for small children.

One physician at Brenner’s Children Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC recommends against using the commercial chest rub on children for this reason:

“The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway,” said Bruce K. Rubin, M.D., lead author of the study and a professor in the department of pediatrics at Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of Wake Forest Baptist. “Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely. (Source)

Seriously, why use that toxic stuff when you can use plant-based products that are so much better for your health and make you feel better? I believe because of all the television commercials out there advertising a million toxic pills has made us forget that plant-based products are so much better for you.

By the way, the next time you see a commercial for some pill that magically fixes what ails you, listen to what they say about the side effects. It’s for this reason that I don’t take anything more than what I have to in order to stay in an upright position and I make sure they are plant-based.

David Stewart, Ph. D., D.N.M wrote a book called The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple. In his book, he talks about why pharmaceutical companies make and sell drugs that they know are dangerous:

“It is illegal to patent any natural product. The way to big profits in the medicine industry is to create an unnatural substance that never before existed in nature, then patent it, and obtain a monopoly. Hence, the molecules of pharmaceutical drugs are all strange to the human body. In all the history of humankind, such molecules were never encountered or taken into any human body. Hence, the body does not easily metabolize them. God never made your body to accept and deal with these chemicals and antibiotics.”

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

I want you – and me – to be healthy and stay healthy. It’s one of the reasons I became a certified aromatherapist to begin with. There is a better way to stay healthy than by damaging your liver, kidneys and other organs with toxic compounds.

While I’m not a medical practitioner by any stretch of the imagination, I studied enough anatomy and physiology to understand how pure essential oils benefit the human body.

If you’re sick or if you believe you have the flu, by all means, please visit your doctor and stay home from work or school. There is nothing like expert medical advice to help you stay healthy. The whole reason I talk about aromatherapy is to let you know there is alternative and complementary methods available to you – especially for the uninsured.

How can I help you today? I have several products and methods that can help you stay healthy or get healthy. Fill out the contact form and let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any health concerns.