Many days I finish a market feeling sad because I hear so many women say that they loathe their bodies. They don’t feel beautiful because society has drilled it into us that unless we look like 20-year-old models, we’re not beautiful. To that I say: be your own kind of beautiful.
If I do nothing else at Scented Balance, I want to make you think. My goal and mission at Scented Balance is to help help each woman I meet to know and accept her own beauty – and it always lies within. I want to help you love yourself from the inside out.
Beauty has nothing to do with looks.
I feel so strongly about this issue that I have the Beautiful You Manifesto as a separate page on my website. (Please read it!) When I make presentations, I have a laminated copy that I give away to one woman each time.
You are notyour butt, or your breasts or your legs. You’re a beautiful soul making your very own special brand of magic that no one else in the world can offer.
We’re bombarded (under siege, really) with airbrushed images and anonymous online bullies who grind us to a pulp based solely on looks. They want us to think that we’re only as good as our body and outer looks and nothing else.
You are so much more than your body.
You have a beautiful soul, a quirky smile, a wacky sense of humor, an interesting personality and a talent that is all your own.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” ― Judy Garland
I’m really not sure how we – women in particular – got to the point of being so abusive about our bodies. How did we get so brainwashed into believing that beauty is only skin-deep?
Maybe it’s all the fashion magazines with the emaciated models held up as the perfect woman. It could be that we’re bombarded with images of celebrities who have perfect makeup and super slim figures.
What if it’s Madison Avenue who’s convinced us that we’re not as happy as the people in all the beer commercials? Could it be constant access to the lives of “beautiful” people so that now we’re convinced we need to have the perfect outfit, perfect body – perfect life?
Sheesh…I’m exhausted just thinking about it. A few years back, I made a conscious decision to love me AND my body and work with the assets that I have. So I quit watching so much TV and got up off the couch. I decided it was far more important to love myself – quirks and all – than to be something that I’m not.
I won’t let a magazine or TV show tell me that I need to be tall and rail-thin because of some elusive, unreachable “ideal”. I want to be as emotionally and physically healthy as possible when I’m an old lady because happiness comes from accepting who I am – warts, foibles and all.
Worrying about a few extra pounds and laugh lines is not on my radar. My goal is to be the best Melissa I can be at 106 while being as independent and upright as possible.
The biggest challenge has been for me to accept my strengths, my virtues (yes, I do have a few), my flaws and my weaknesses because I know that I’m a beautiful soul. Self confidence comes from loving and accepting yourself and I’ve never been very good at that. Each day, I’m grateful for another chance to be the amazing soul that I am.
Part of my mission – and gift – is to help other women know that they’re absolutely beautiful just as they are. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes – and ages. Love and acceptance of all you have to offer is the real beauty and it shines through.
Please, please, please – love yourself. Love your body. Learn to love the assets you have instead of bemoaning the ones you don’t. I want to see your beaming smile – the smile that comes from self-acceptance and loving who you are. Be quirky – be unique – that’s who you are!
Much love and many blessings!
P.S. Please take a moment to share this post with someone who struggles with their body image.
Ever asked yourself why you’re tired all the time? Maybe you haven’t really noticed it or tracked it, but do you wake up refreshed or groggy and reaching for caffeine? Here’s 5 sneaky reasons why you’re always tired.
Sneaky Reason #1: You’re Dehydrated
Yeah, you don’t wanna hear this, do you? One of the first questions I ask of people who say they’re tired is “how much water are you drinking?” Ermagawd, you should see the nasty looks that I get!
GAH! YOU ARE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH CLEAR, CLEAN WATER.
The folks at Health.com write about the many side effects of not drinking enough water including gaining weight, crankiness, muscle cramps and feeling tired all the time:
A mid-afternoon slump may have more to do with hydration than you think. “When you’re dehydrated your blood pressure drops, heart rate increases, blood flow to the brain slows – all of which can make you tired,” says Luga Podesta, MD, sports medicine specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif. A lack of water to muscles also makes physical tasks feel more difficult and tiring.
To be truly hydrated you need to divide your body weight by 2 and drink that many ounces of water DAILY.
Sneaky Reason #2: Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is when you don’t get enough oxygen while sleeping and your body “wakes” you up for a moment to basically get you to take a deep breath. WebMD.com explains it like this:
“The brain notices you’re not getting rid of your CO2, and it wakes up really briefly in an alarmed state,” says Lisa Shives, MD, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. You don’t even realize it, which makes it hard to figure out why you’re so sleepy during the day. “You don’t get into REM — the sleep that makes you feel best,” Shives says.
This is one of those times when you need to see a doctor about your fatigue. Your partner might be able to tell you if you’re not breathing properly especially if you snore.
Sneaky Reason #3: Yeast Infections
About the time I turned 50, I was an absolute hot mess and tired all the time. I was going into menopause, my adrenal system was burned out and I lived with a chronic yeast infection for over 35 years. (Sorry for the TMI!) I went to 5 – count ’em – 5 (!) doctors before I met a compounding pharmacist/nurse practitioner who told me that a yeast infection was suppressing my immune system and contributing to my adrenal burnout.
I was so angry that none of the doctors I saw talked to me about this. They simply gave me that nasty cream and sent me on my way. I wish I would have known about aromatherapy in my 20’s as my life would have been completely changed!
According to the website YeastInfection.org, fatigue is the number one symptom of yeast infections. Now, that’s not to say that being tired means you have a yeast infection, but it’s a sneaky symptom for sure. If you think this might be an issue for you, there’s information on home tests on their website to check for an overgrowth of candida albicans.
Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils are ideal for addressing the symptoms, but you really need to get to the root of the overgrowth. (It’s usually stress and sugar.) I’ve put a recipe in the Tea Tree blog post to make a simple and effective remedy.
Sneaky Reason #4: Leaky Gut
According to DrAxe.com, leaky gut is something you probably don’t notice.
Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition in which your digestive tract becomes damaged and small holes begin to develop in your gut lining. Small particles that normally can’t pass through your gut wall begin seeping through into your bloodstream. When someone has leaky gut syndrome, some of the things that can pass through the gut lining include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles.
I’ll give you three guesses as to what the very first symptom is: chronic fatigue. Fatigue isn’t something you really associate with your gut, but it sneaks up on you!
Here’s what Dr. Axe recommends for healing your leaky gut:
The solution to healing leaky gut includes removing foods and factors that damage the gut (like gluten and sugar). Replace these with various healing foods such as fermented foods, bone broth, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, healthy sources of protein, vegetables and lots of healthy fats.
Also consider taking gut-healing supplements like probiotics, L-glutamine,pancreatic enzymes and quercetin.
Make sure to fix any nutrient deficiencies by including plenty of whole foods in your diet that supply zinc, iron and B vitamins.
Time Magazine has an interesting article that explores sneaky reasons why you’re always tired. People-pleasing is a big reason and always comes at the expense of your health.
“People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. To make matters worse, it can make you resentful and angry over time. So whether it’s your kid’s coach asking you to bake cookies for her soccer team or your boss seeing if you can work on a Saturday, you don’t have to say yes. Train yourself to say ‘no’ out loud, suggests Susan Albers, a licensed clinical psychologist with Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. “Try it alone in your car,” she says. “Hearing yourself say the word aloud makes it easier to say it when the next opportunity calls for it.”
I’m not telling you to automatically say no in every situation, but it’s important to remember that you can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup. When you’re constantly saying “yes” to other’s demands, resentment and frustration build up which causes – you guessed it – fatigue and feeling tired all the time.
Where do you see yourself in these sneaky reasons? Maybe you’re not completely worn out, but you don’t have as much energy as you once did and you haven’t connected the dots yet. It’s time to investigate – take a good hard look at your life and see where you’re leaking energy.
More than a few people in my life – friends, family and clients – talk about the stress in their lives. Y’all know I’m a trained aromatherapist and holistic life coach, so I’m always asking questions of anyone who wants “something for stress”.
I can’t tell you how many caregivers, medical professionals and teachers tell me that they’re on the verge of burnout because they’re constantly on the go and under stress.
Stress is a physical response to change. That’s as simple as I can make it. It’s your body reacting to circumstances and events whether that’s momentary or continuous. Your stress response is based on your perception of what’s happening at any given moment.
When you feel “stress”, your nervous system goes into high gear involuntarily. Your body perceives stress from good experiences (weddings, awards, etc.) in the same manner as bad experiences (illness, work etc.). It makes no difference to your adrenal system – you’re still stressed!
How many times have you watched an action film or scary movie and your heart beats faster? How did you feel standing at your wedding in front of a room full of people? What about that near miss you had on the way to work? And the first time you gave a presentation to a potential client? That first moment of falling in love? Yep, your adrenal system kicked in without missing a beat.
Stress can be a good thing. You have a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat and is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction. Your adrenaline pumps through your system, your heart rate increases, your breathing is shallow and all of your bodily functions are on high alert. When a perceived threat happens occasionally, your body calms down after a few hours and your parasympathetic nervous system takes over again.
Adrenal fatigue and burnout are rampant in our society – all due to stress!
Sympathetic Nervous System Response
When you perceive everything in your life to be stressful, your sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of high alert – and I’m here to tell you from experience – that’s when the long-term damage begins.
I’m currently reading a book called Deadly Emotions by Don Colbert, M.D. and it is EYE-OPENING. In the chapter about turning off your stress hormones, he writes:
“Psychiatric diseases that have been linked to long-term stress include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as other more rare psychiatric diseases.
The manifestation of long-term stress may also be in the form of physical diseases or ailments. Playing games with chronic stress places nearly every organ system of the body at grave risk.”
Your stress symptoms can cause everything from headaches and migraines, stomach and digestive problems, heart palpitations, chronic pain, lung and breathing problems, eczema and psoriasis – need I go on to convince you what chronic stress is doing to you? It’s killing you!
The Mind Body Connection
One of the questions I ask of clients who have eczema or psoriasis is this: what do you need to cry about? You think I’m nuts, don’t you? There’s a ton of research in the medical field that shows stress is a major trigger of eczema and psoriasis. Those folks are the ones I ask about their anger, sorrow and stress level. With eczema and psoriasis, your skin is openly weeping because you can’t – or won’t. Your skin – or your headaches or chronic pain – is telling you that you just can’t take anymore of these stress-producing emotions.
Dr. Colbert goes on to say:
“While stress may not be a known cause of some diseases, studies have shown it to dramatically increase the pain or suffering associated with autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and Graves’ disease.”
Did you know that arthritis is all about being angry and feeling helpless to do anything about it? Got digestive issues? What’s going on in your life that you’re you struggling to “digest”? Get the connection?
Sadly, many allopathic physicians don’t have time to talk about – or don’t really understand – the mind/body connection. They weren’t necessarily taught about this connection because medical schools aren’t teaching it. It’s much easier to prescribe a pill to dull your symptoms than it is to get to the root.
And the root is stress.
There are simple and effective ways to reduce your chronic stress level. But YOU have to want to help yourself. I don’t know how else to say that except for bluntly.
Move your body. You don’t want to hear that and you have a thousand excuses why you can’t stretch or walk or – that dirty word – exercise. If all you do is stretch for 5 minutes first thing in the morning, then you’re reducing the effects of stress. Set your alarm clock for 6:10 instead of 6:15 and simply stretch. Yoga is perfect for this. If all you have time for is 3 or 4 poses, then go for it!
Stop using any form of caffeine after 4 PM. All of you coffee drinkers who brag about drinking a cup of coffee and then go to bed are making a bad situation worse. You think you’re sleeping just fine, but your body is still processing that caffeine and you’re not getting the recuperative rest that you really need.
Unplug ONE HOUR before you go to bed. I don’t want to hear any excuses. (No, you do NOT have to fall asleep with the TV on. That’s simply a bad habit you started and don’t want to stop.) The blue light from your television, computer, tablet and phone disrupts the release of melatonin which is a hormone related to nighttime. Unplugging allows your body and mind to relax.
Get more Vitamin C. Eat an orange every single day or red and green peppers, kiwifruit, baked potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Stop eating junk food. They’re full of chemicals, sugar and empty calories and you’re simply stressing your system even more.
Take a few minutes every single day to practice deep breathing. Those long deep breaths will do more to calm you than anything and fills your body full of fresh oxygen.
I fully realize you have a packed schedule, aging parents, kids with soccer practice, a heavy work schedule – I get this. But tell me something. What good are you to anyone if you’re flat on your back? Eventually, your body will rebel and you’ll get sick. You just haven’t made the connection yet.
Your body is talking to you – listen!
How Does Aromatherapy Help?
HELLO PEOPLE, I’M A CERTIFIED AROMATHERAPIST! I HAVE STUFF TO HELP YOU! Okay, I’ll quit yelling now. Seriously, here’s some products I created just for stress and anxiety and how they can help you:
Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball works with stress and mild depression. Depression is a symptom of stress. Roll it on your heart, under your nose and on the back of your neck as often as needed.
Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball. This acts as a tonic for your body to support your adrenal system – you know the fight-or-flight culprit. Apply this one to your adrenal glands (they sit on top of your kidneys) 4 times a day – but NOT after 4 pm.
Really – that’s just the short list – there’s all sorts of products in my line up that can help you with a myriad of concerns. BUT – and it’s a big BUT – I can’t heal, fix or cure you. YOU have to do that and it all begins with managing your stress.
Listen, I wrote this post as much for me as for you. I’ve been in your shoes and had to learn some hard lessons and new ways of coping. Dig deep and see how your perception of a particular situation is causing the stress. I know you care, I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re tired.
P.S. You probably know 10 different people who are stressed to the max. How about sharing this post with them, okay?
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Did you know you can cool off with peppermint essential oil? Summertime is my favorite time of the year but I do believe I’m the only one who isn’t hot. :0) For those who are sweltering, I have a simple and healthy way to cool off! The benefits of peppermint oil are many and not just for hot summer days.
Peppermint essential oil (Mentha x peperita) offers so much for one small bottle. In creating aromatherapy blends for adults, peppermint is one of my go-to oils because it has so many amazing qualities. It’s versatile in so many situations and you’ll love it because it cools you off!
What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint is actually a hybrid of both spearmint and water mint. It has a refreshing crisp scent and is cooling to the skin. The most active ingredients include menthol (50–60 percent) and menthone (10–30 percent). CAUTION: Because of the high menthol content, peppermint essential oil is not safe for those on blood thinners or children under 10. Just so you know!
Here’s just a few of the uses and benefits of peppermint oil:
Antispasmodic. When you have an upset stomach or feel nauseous, rub a couple of drops on your belly or simply inhale through each nostril directly from the bottle. It’s also excellent for those with IBS to relax the spasms in your digestive system.
Expectorant. Peppermint is known to relax nasal passage muscles. You can diffuse several drops of peppermint oil in your cold mist diffuser to clear out the mucous and you’ll love how clean the air smells!
Anti-inflammatory. Peppermint oil is proven to have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, which is why it is used in so many alternative treatments. Its chemical composition makes it resistant to certain dangerous bacterial strains like E.coli, salmonella, and staph infections.
Suppresses appetite. Take a few whiffs from the bottle through each nostril to help curb cravings.
Invigorating. Need to sit through a long meeting? Diffuse a few drops of peppermint in your cold mist diffuser, or if you can’t do that, then take a few whiffs directly from the bottle. It’s cooling and you feel perked up in no time!
Anti-itch. Peppermint oil is excellent at relieving the itch from bug bites, stings, eczema and psoriasis. It’s just one of several essential oils that I use in Skeeter-Off Mosquito Repellent for Adults and PsoMaxx Psoriasis and Eczema Salve. Not for kids under 10!
Cooling. Overheated? Mix several drops in a 3 or 4 ounce spray bottle and fill with filtered water. Spray on the back of your neck and your throat to cool off. peppermint oil for hot flashes
Improves circulation. Peppermint essential oil is stimulating which has been proven to help blood circulation. Increased blood circulation can prevent diabetics from complications they are already at risk of due to their glucose level imbalances.
By the way, if you have trouble sleeping, use your peppermint essential oil before 5 PM. You don’t want that stimulating effect right before you go to bed!
Can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It can be used as a natural treatment for thinning hair, and it helps to stimulate the scalp and energize your mind. Just add a couple of drops to your shampoo and notice how your scalp tingles!
Acne trouble? Mix 2–3 drops of peppermint with equal parts lavender essential oil and apply the combination topically to the area of concern – BUT – you might want to test your skin if it’s sensitive!
Sunburn relief. To hydrate and help heal your skin after sun exposure, mix 2–3 drops of peppermint oil with a half-teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it directly to the affected area.
For all of you outdoor enthusiasts, keep a bottle of Skeeter-Off Mosquito Repellent in your golf bag or backpack – better yet, keep one in your cooler. Anytime you feel like you’re getting overheated, spray it on the front and back of your neck – you’ll cool off and keep the mosquitoes away at the same time!
If you’re going through menopause and unable to utilize hormone replacement therapy, Flares N’ Flashes helps relieve those hot flashes fast! Just spray it on your throat and chest area to cool off.
If you’d like more information, please fill out the simple contact form and let’s talk. Stay cool!