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5 Important Reasons Why You Need Magnesium Oil

Low Magnesium Levels, Calcium, Magnesium Side Effects and Warnings, Magnesium Chloride Benefits, Magnesium Oil Uses, why you need magnesium oil, Magnesium Oil, Magnesium Benefits, Zechstein Seabed, magnesium benefits

I’ve spent the last few weeks learning about magnesium chloride. To say I’m shocked at what I found is an understatement. Here are 5 important reasons why you need magnesium chloride.

What Is Magnesium Chloride?

First, let’s have a quick chemistry lesson. Magnesium chloride is made up of 1 magnesium and 2 chloride ions. It’s a salt, highly soluble in water and is very important for the normal functioning of your cells, nerves, muscles, bones and heart. If you’re over 50, an athlete or simply exercise moderately every day, most likely you are deficient in magnesium.

Magnesium chloride is so critical to your body’s proper functioning that your blood will leach it from your cells. A healthy magnesium level is crucial for approximately 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Chances are when you take a magnesium blood test, the results will show being within a “normal” range. 

So, let’s talk about why you need magnesium.

Reason One: Better Heart Health

Who doesn’t want a healthy heart? Magnesium chloride is essential to healthy blood pressure, vessels and tissue function. Jennifer Dawson, in writing for, talks about the research between heart health and magnesium chloride:

Even a moderate magnesium deficiency can cause profound changes in how the heart, blood vessels, blood cells, intestinal tract, and other tissues function.6 This is because magnesium is critical for tissues that have electrical or mechanical activity, such as nerves, muscles (including the heart), and blood vessels.5,7,8

In addition, low magnesium levels make platelets “stickier,” increasing the risk of a destructive or fatal blood clot forming, and thereby increasing the likelihood of a dangerous heart attack or stroke.61

Healthy levels of magnesium decrease your chances of heart attack and stroke and promote a properly functioning cardiovascular system.

Reason Two: Managing Diabetes

As in the case of heart health, low magnesium levels can lead to obesity, high triglycerides (cholesterol) and a high percentage of body fat. Low magnesium levels seem to raise insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes. Amy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN, CDE writing for says the evidence points to preventing diabetes through magnesium supplementation: 

More and more evidence points to the role of magnesium in helping to prevent Type 2 diabetes. In fact, results from  three very large studies—the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study, and the Iowa Women’s Health Study (which together involved over 150,000 men and women)—indicate that people who consume a diet rich in magnesium have a lower risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. While most of the studies looking at magnesium and diabetes risk have involved white women and men, a new study of approximately 41,000 African-American women enrolled in the Black Women’s Health Study showed that those who consumed a high-magnesium diet were less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

She goes on to say:

So, what if you already have diabetes? Is there a link between magnesium and diabetes? Magnesium helps control blood glucose levels in the body by regulating insulin secretion from the pancreas. While there’s no evidence that magnesium from food or supplements will help lower blood glucose levels, there is evidence that people with uncontrolled diabetes tend to have low magnesium levels in their blood. High blood glucose levels can cause magnesium to be lost in the urine. Furthermore, low magnesium levels can lead to high blood pressure, which is more common in people with diabetes than in people without. And people who have heart disease or who have had a heart attack often do better, clinically, when given magnesium supplements.

Reason Three: Reducing Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Some of my top sellers at Scented Balance include aromatherapy products for stress, anxiety and depression (pain is also in the mix). So when I read about magnesium deficiency and these three concerns, my antennae went up!

Since so many clients live with these concerns, the more information I have available, the more I can help you live more gracefully. has an interesting take on magnesium deficiency:

Interestingly, research has found that magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) has negative effects on feelings of well-being and can even induce anxiety.[7]

The mechanisms behind how magnesium plays a role in anxiety remain unclear at the time of this writing, but preliminary data suggest it has ties to the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis.

The HPA axis is a key regulator of stress hormones (i.e. catecholamines) production, thus making it a major factor in anxiety and depression.

It is plausible that magnesium promotes proper cortisol rhythms, as irregularities in the secretion of this particular hormone are associated with panic attacks and high levels of anxiety.[8]

When you live with any long-term or chronic concern, I have found (very unscientifically) that stress and depression are usually in the mix. I’ve learned a lot about stress, anxiety and depression simply by asking questions as a holistic life coach

If you’re on medication for any of these concerns, do NOT stop taking them without talking to your qualified medical professional. Yes, magnesium is amazing and you need it, but don’t depend on it to be a miracle cure!

Reason Four: Workout Recovery

Anyone who exercises, whether moderately or strenuously, loses magnesium through profuse sweating. You know how sometimes you have the after-effect of feeling achy and tired and you can’t seem to recover as quickly as you should? That’s a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Whenever you sweat, you’re losing precious magnesium through your pores and by urination. If you’re magnesium deficient to begin with, then it’s even harder to replenish. Any time you have physical exertion, high levels of energy expenditure and profuse sweating, you increase the magnesium requirements in your body.

Magnesium is critical for producing energy in your body. If you’re like me, you practice cardio and strength training every morning. When you change routines (I do quite often), muscles ache and maybe you’re moving j-u-u-s-t a bit slower.

Handy dandy magnesium chloride to the rescue! I use magnesium oil and spray it directly on my sore muscles after a hot shower. The soreness goes away and I have more energy. 

If you have leg cramps (especially at night), try spraying magnesium chloride directly on the cramp and gently massage the area.

Reason Five: More Reasons to Use Magnesium

There’s so many good reasons to use magnesium chloride that it would take up more space than we have. Here’s the short version:

  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis by making calcium work better
  • Aides in preventing kidney stones
  • Assists digestive regularity
  • Optimizes brain, nerve and muscle function

Magnesium chloride does so much good for your overall health. 

Possible Magnesium Side Effects and Warnings

Magnesium is not without its cautions. If you live with constant diarrhea, experience kidney disorders (in particular renal failure) and ulcerative colitis, you need to stay away from magnesium – talk with your medical practitioner before you do anything.

Other side effects can be:

  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • upset stomach
  • severe diarrhea

While you can take magnesium chloride orally, think about this: who really needs to take yet another pill? Wouldn’t it be easier to simply spray magnesium oil on your skin? By spraying it directly on your skin, your absorption rate skyrockets. Spraying directly on your skin is called transdermal absorption. That means you really need to know where the magnesium chloride comes from. 

Scented Balance Magnesium Oil is handcrafted with magnesium chloride flakes mined from the ancient Zechstein Sea located in the Netherlands. They are pure and unadulterated – perfect to spray on your skin!

I use magnesium spray every single day (usually 2 or 3 times). It is odorless and it’s really not an oil, but a “brine” that feels a little slick. It absorbs super quick – one more word of caution: don’t spray this on your freshly shaven legs. It tingles BIG TIME – just trust me on this!

Thank you for stopping by this week! If you have any questions about magnesium chloride, please fill out the short contact form and let’s talk!



P.S. Please take a moment to share this article with your friends!

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Easy Summertime Essential Oils

Easy Summertime Essential Oils, essential oils for sinus and allergies, essential oils for cuts scrapes and bruises, essential oils for sunburn, essential oil bug repellent

Finally – it’s warm and sunny in central North Carolina! I thought warm weather would NEVER get here. This summer, use aromatherapy to help you enjoy the outdoors. Here’s some easy summertime essential oils to celebrate the warm weather.

Aromatherapy offers so much in the way of caring for summertime concerns such as:

  • bug repellent
  • stings and bug bites
  • bruises
  • minor cuts and scrapes
  • after sun care (especially for sunburns)
  • allergies

Bug Repellent

Since I use 84 different oils, you might not have all the ones I use in the Skeeter Off Bug Repellent for Adults and Kids. I have both of the repellents readily available on my website and at markets and festivals. If you only have a few oils on hand, here’s a simple blend for adults:

  • 4 ounce dark spray bottle
  • 4 ounces Witch Hazel (or filtered water if you prefer)
  • 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Combine in the spray bottle and shake well before each use. If you don’t have Rosemary essential oil on hand, just increase the drops of Lavender and Peppermint. Honestly – I’ve researched and blended oils that bugs don’t like – the Skeeter Off works better, but the above blend will work in many cases as mosquitoes don’t like Lavender and Peppermint. 

If you are blending this for a child under 10, just use Lavender. Children under 10 shouldn’t use Peppermint or Rosemary. Both oils have certain chemical components that aren’t good for a child’s developing central nervous system.

Bug Bites and Stings

If you have a lot of carbon dioxide in your breath, love to drink beer and/or have stinky feet, you’re a prime target for mosquitoes. AACK! Lisa Jo Lupo of The Spruce, an online lifestyle blog, wrote an easy-to-read article about this very subject:

There are a number of things that mosquitoes like, and what may be attractive to one species may not be an attractant for others.

Additionally, human skin produces more than 350 odorous compounds, and many of these attract mosquitoes as well as other biting insects. But what has been found to be most attractive to mosquitoes are our breath, sweat, blood type … and smelly feet!

So you got bit – now what? Put a few drops of Lavender essential oil and rub it directly on the bite or sting. It will soothe the area and may help keep it from getting infected. If you’re an adult or child over 10, use additional drops of Peppermint with the Lavender to stop the itch. Make sure the Lavender you use on children under 10 has the Latin name Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis – they are both safe for use on children.

(Instead of sitting still all summer, just use Skeeter Off! ;>)

Bruises, Minor Scrapes and Burns

For bruising, first things first – apply a cold compress (ice is even better) to help with the inflammation and swelling. Then, apply a few drops of Lavender essential oil directly to the bruise – do both at least 4 times a day. You can also take a teaspoon of Olive Oil and add 3 drops each of Lavender and Tea Tree and gently massage it into the bruise.

When it comes to bruises, minor cuts and scrapes, here’s a wonderful blend to keep on hand for use all year long:

  • .33 ounce dark rollerball
  • .33 ounce of alcohol-free Witch Hazel
  • 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Shake well before each use and apply directly to the cut or scrape. This helps to prevent infection from setting in as well as nourishing to the affected area.

After Sun Care

Mmhm…you sat out in the sun too long, didn’t you? Skin feeling hot and dry? Aromatherapy to the rescue!! Here’s an awesome blend to spray on your parched skin after a long day in the sun:

  • 8 ounce spray bottle
  • 4 ounces Lavender Hydrosol
  • 4 ounces Aloe Vera juice
  • 1/2 ounce Vegetable Glycerin
  • 30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Combine and shake well before each use. Liberally spray affected skin as often as needed. Reputable essential oil companies such as Edens Garden and Aromatics International carry the Lavender Hydrosol. This blend is safe for adults and children 2+. If you have a small child with a sunburn, you can safely spray the Lavender Hydrosol on their skin to soothe them.

Sinus and Allergies

It’s been a horrible year so far for sinus and allergies! – yowza! This is another instance where I have a lot more oils to work with than you might have on hand, so here’s a simple way to help with your sinus and allergy issues. 

Make a “stock” bottle of the following essential oils – for my personal use, I keep a clean empty essential oil bottle on hand to mix the oils together:

  • 20 drops Lavender 
  • 20 drops Tea Tree
  • 20 drops Lemon
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus (not for kids under 10)

Combine all the essential oils into the stock bottle and gently shake to blend. Then add 2 drops from the stock bottle to a large pot or bowl of steaming water. Put a towel over your head and breathe in deeply for about 10 minutes. Do this at least three times a day. It helps with any infection and opens your nasal passages. Caution – with Eucalyptus, this blend is for children 10+ and adults – not meant for kids under 10!

If you need something stronger, I have SinusRight Personal Nasal Inhalers with several other oils to help with congestion and infection.

Summertime Fun

Well, there you have it – simple and effective ways to enjoy the outdoors this summer. I’ll be at several different markets, fairs and festivals over the summer and you can find me through my Facebook page.

Be safe and enjoy your summer! As always, I’m very grateful you took the time to stop by!



P.S. Please share this with your friends! Thank you!

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Happy Mother’s Day To All Women

Happy Mother's Day to All Women, Mom Song, William Tell Overture, Mother's Day

This week, I simply want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all women! Whether you have two-legged babies or four-legged fur babies, moms make the world go round!

In a certain sense, all women are mothers. We gave birth to civilization and we are specialists in nurturing those in our lives.

Not every woman has the ability to have children and not everyone wants children. So, on this special day to honor our mothers, whatever your choice or circumstance, I say YOU ROCK and you deserve to be honored.

Thank you for inspiring us, for pushing us to be decent human beings and for sharing your special love for us. Anita Renfroe is a comedian who wrote the “Mom Song” sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture. She hilariously condensed into 3 minutes EVERYTHING a mom says to her kids every day:

To those whose mother has passed on, I hope you have sweet and fond memories of her. For those who have a beautiful relationship with your mom, it’s an extra special day to let her know how much you appreciate her. If you have a less-than-stellar relationship with your mom, I hope Mother’s Day provides an opportunity for you to send love and light to her.

One of the most amazing mothers I knew from my childhood could not have children. She chose instead to care for three adopted children who deeply loved and admired their “mom”. She also deeply cared for my siblings and me as if we were hers, too. She made a lifelong impression on me and that’s really what moms do.

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws. – Barbara Kingsolver

Mother’s Day is also a wonderful time to show yourself the same love reserved for moms. 

My wish for you on Mother’s Day is that you enjoy peace, love and kindness – sending sweet love and light to you!



P.S. Leave a comment below and tell me a memory you have of your unique mom!

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I Am Thankful For You

Thankful, I Am Thankful For You, National Small Business Week, Small Business

I am thankful for YOU – very grateful for each one of you who are kind enough to support small local businesses. In particular, my small business Scented Balance.

Owning a small business isn’t as easy and breezy as it looks. There’s the really fun stuff like creating aromatherapy products that help make life easier; being at the markets and shows to build relationships with you and researching different essential oils for even more products. I absolutely love sharing the many ways aromatherapy provides a viable alternative to everyday products to decrease the chemical load on our bodies.

Then, there’s the less fun stuff. Like accounting. Sigh…’s not my strong suit, but it has to be done. Ah, but I digress.

This past weekend was busy with two big shows – the kind that takes lots of preparation and forethought. If you’re anything like me, there’s worry about being prepared. Worry that I have enough supply on hand so I don’t run out. Then I worry if I have the RIGHT product that you want or need for your particular concern.

Yes – I’m a worrywart…

It’s been lonely not having markets and shows to go to – I miss talking to you. I’ve missed the camaraderie, talking with you about your concerns and showing you an enhanced way to feel and look better through aromatherapy. There are times when I’ve felt invisible – or is that obviously visible but painfully ignored?

I’m very thankful and grateful for your support; for the opportunity to help ease your headaches, eczema, pain and indigestion. You give me a few minutes of your time and I do my best to make the most of it so you walk away with honest information – whether you buy anything or not.

When you stop by here to read my blog, search for products or visit the various and sundry Scented Balance social media pages – I feel grateful and blessed.

I’m grateful that my calling found me and that it’s my passion. Do I wish I aromatherapy would have found me a lot sooner? Yes. However, I’m simply grateful that it found me at all.

You see, when I’m in my studio creating and replenishing products, my heart sings. SINGS!

I work with 84 different essential oils – each with their own unique physical and energetic qualities. It’s a joy for me to research how particular essential oils will benefit any number of your concerns. In every way, these research expeditions give me a wonderful sweet sensation in the pit of my stomach – and my heart.

Several times this past weekend, people stepped into my booth to say that you remembered me from a previous show. Three of you told me you were so happy to find me at the shows because you love my products and how they make you feel better.

Thank you. From the bottom of my toes – thank you.

Why am I sharing this? Maybe if you knew just how hard it is to own a small business, you might be more inclined to support those who have taken the leap of faith to live their dream.

You make a difference in someone’s life each time you shop at a small business. I realize you have to go to the superstores to stretch your dollar and take care of your family in the best possible way. I get that. But please consider shifting just 10% of your shopping dollars to a small independent business that’s near you.

There’s lots of ways to easily make a small shift.

The next time you go to your local grocery store, look around in the shopping center. I’ll bet there’s a small coffee shop, boutique or restaurant that you could explore. Better yet, get to know the owner – you’ll see firsthand how a few dollars makes a huge difference.

The farmer’s markets are back in full swing beginning this month. These hardworking farmers support their families and earn their livelihoods through blood, sweat, and soul. Buying your vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese and meat from them directly supports their dream of working the land – they’re small business owners, too.

I can tell you from the past few years working at farmer’s markets that they truly appreciate your business. Working farms are disappearing at an alarming rate. Small businesses are fighting giant big box stores and online behemoths with deep pockets.

Some days, it feels like a losing battle.

This week is National Small Business Week (April 29 – May 5, 2018) and what better time to take a few minutes and explore a local business? If you live in a small town, then some of your neighbors are small business owners who would be deeply grateful for your loyalty and patronage.

Maybe you’ve dreamed of starting your own business? For those in the Piedmont Triad, North Carolina, Hustle Winston-Salem is a great place to talk to someone at no charge to learn the ins and outs of small business ownership. Fay Horowitt is an amazing entrepreneurial expert who can answer questions to see if it’s right for you.

I’m asking you to please take a moment and share this message on your Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram feed – or whatever social media platform you use. If you’re not on social media, please take a moment to talk to your friends and family about supporting small independent businesses – please and thank you!

Thank you to each one of you who have helped support my dream of entrepreneurship.  I am deeply grateful for you – sending you BIG hugs and many thanks!



P.S. How can I help you today? Fill out this short contact form and let’s talk!


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How One Silly Action Can Change Everything

be true to yourself, discouraged, disenchanted, in a rut, reach for your dreams, goals in life

I had an interesting conversation last week with a client who is feeling very disenchanted with his life. Do you ever feel like you’re the fire hydrant and the world is a dog? You feel so discouraged about the direction your life is (or isn’t) taking and as each day passes, the black hole appears to get bigger and bigger.

*Cue sing-song voice* It’s easy for someone else to say “don’t let it get you down – keep at it – your time will come” especially when it seems like you’re falling behind in the reaching-my-dreams department.

I understand how you feel. So let me encourage you today that life has NOT passed you by.

My dreams haven’t come true by a long shot, or I would have a totally different life.

Maybe you’re surrounded by those who would keep you painted into the box that they want. Do you feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t rise above the level where you are now and you’re just banging your head against the wall?

Could it be a troubling sense that the-supreme-being-of-your-choice isn’t cooperating (or even paying attention)? Truthfully, the whole concept of divine timing just stinks.

“Just be patient, it’ll all work out!” Oh and then there’s the ever popular “there’s a reason for everything”. Seriously? That’s the worst thing anyone could possibly say and I swear the next one who says that may get their clock cleaned. Yes, I know you mean well. You’re not helping.

There’s a whole lot of people who are very grateful that I’m not in charge of the world. If I were in charge, we’d move the clock by 30 minutes and never touch it again; life would be fair for everyone; there’d be far more good than bad in the world and we would all get a nap every day at 1:30.

That nap thing is getting more important the older I get especially when I have to change the blasted clock by one hour twice a year.

Ah, but I digress.

Feeling Stuck In A Rut

While I absolutely refuse to be the rah-rah-hang-in-there phony cheerleader, it’s important to know that even the most accomplished earthly beings have felt discouraged and stuck in a rut at one time or another.

  • What language would the world speak today if General Eisenhower became so discouraged that he didn’t follow through with D-Day? (German.)
  • How dim would the world look if Thomas Edison stopped inventing after 999 failed attempts (we’d still be in the dark)?
  • Can you imagine if Martin Cooper said “meh – never mind”? If he did, we’d all be living with a twisted 30 foot phone cord attached to the wall.


When it gets really bad and you’ve had it up to your eyeballs and beyond, please just take a moment.

During those stressful times that you’re just DONE and your blood pressure is sky high, try screaming every expletive you can think of into a pillow, bang your head against the wall and have another glass of vodka. So how’s that working for you?

Breathe. Deep.

Truthfully, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer because there isn’t one. I know what it’s like to be stuck in the box that everyone else puts you in. Honestly, you’re the only one with the answers you need to get moving again. (I just help you dig for the right answer.)

It’s exhausting and frustrating when you feel left behind and disenchanted with how your goals in life have (not) worked out. You have my deepest empathy.

Is there any tiny, minute shift you can make to bring about a more bearable day? Anything at all?

I read something the other day that gives me just the tiniest bit of hope. I read that putting a live green plant in your personal space creates a sense of joy and prosperity because it’s alive.

If that’s the case, I’m creating a jungle.

Getting Your Groove Back

All it takes is one seemingly insignificant (and possibly silly) shift to make all the difference in the world and get you moving in the right direction.

What motivates you to keep moving forward? Anger? Fear? Determination?

For me, anger, fear and determination keeps me moving toward what I want. I’m determined not to stay in the box that everyone else has created for me. I’m determined to live my life in a manner that’s right for me. I’m determined to let go of the fear and move forward.

What keeps you motivated and focused to reach for your dreams?

If you’re feeling stuck and can’t seem to move forward, maybe it’s time to talk to a life coach – one who really gets it and understands what you’re dealing with. Fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today.

In the meantime, I am off to create my own personal green space. :0)



P.S. I’d love to hear how you’ve overcome the frustration of feeling stuck, so please do share your experience in the comments below!

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Why Loyalty To Yourself Is So Important

Loyalty, Loyalty to Yourself, Be True to Yourself, Stay True, Define Loyalty, Loyal Friends


Do you get the feeling that there’s no loyalty left in the world? Sometimes we wince at that word because it doesn’t mean the same thing that it did “back in the day”.

The lack and confusion of real loyalty is palpable especially when we’re continuously bombarded with the constant political upheaval.

Loyalty defined is faith to a cause, person, organization and/or to your government. Who or what are you loyal to? Are you loyal to your family? Your employer? What about your friends (close and not-so-close)? How do you define loyalty?

The biggest question is – are you loyal to you AND your passions?

I believe everyone needs to have a passion and a dream; something that really stokes the fire in your belly; something that gives you a reason to get up every day. That passion translates into loyalty to yourself as well as hearty, healthy boundaries.

What is your passion? Have you thought about it lately?

Part of what I want to accomplish in my blog each week is to provide food for thought about your life and how it unfolds. I want you to think about what’s in your heart – where do your loyalties lie?

Be True To Yourself

First and foremost, I believe you should be true to yourself. (For all you martyrs out there, what good are you to anyone else if you don’t feed your own soul first?)

Over the last few years, I’ve had to do some real soul-searching about my dreams and goals. I grew up in a family where you were guilted and shamed into putting yourself last over everyone.

To a fault.

The religion I grew up with taught (brainwashed?) this theory. To a certain point, this is a wonderful premise as it promotes service over selfishness and you should always find a way to give back instead of continually being a taker.

What I find disturbing about this “theory” is that it pushes your dreams and passions out of view – loyalty to yourself was never allowed as that was considered selfish (and you dared not mention your dreams – those got shot down real fast!).

How dare I want something more than what I had? How dare I believe I could “rise above my raising”?

Now, I’m not saying that my upbringing was totally wrong – I believe I am a decent, productive human being with a robust work ethic and very strong loyalties.

But, that warped sense of duty wasn’t – and isn’t – right for me. To some extent, I chose not to continue that line of thinking when raising my own child.

I believe we should fuel our dreams and passions and especially those of our children. When children are taught that they can love themselves and be of good service to the world, they flourish.

Did I do a good job of that with my son? Allow me to hem and haw for just a moment…snort…no…not really.

I wish I would have told him how important it is to dream, to feed his soul, to understand and appreciate his very special gifts and to run with those gifts to make his life as enjoyable as possible.

Okay – part of the reason I didn’t do much of that is that I didn’t have the skill set to deliver the goods. By the time I figured out that being true to yourself, that you really can do anything you put your mind to and being my child’s cheerleader is awesome, it was a bit too late.

Luckily, he is a kind, decent and productive citizen who’s done very well for himself and his beautiful family. I know I had a small part in that outcome.

Being Loyal and Setting Healthy Boundaries

What I believe now (and it’s never too late to learn) is that I choose to be loyal to those who truly care about me, I choose to be loyal to my country, and, most important of all, I choose to be loyal to me and my dreams!

Today, I hope you will take time to nurture your dreams and goals and know that what’s burning deep down in your heart is truly worth your loyalty.

Not sure you know what’s burning deep in your soul? Not sure how to set healthy boundaries? Complete this short contact form and let’s talk today.



P.S.  Please take a moment to leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your belief about loyalty – how has loyalty affected your life? How do you stay true and loyal?

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The Ugly Truth About Trying To Please Everyone

please everyone, please, you can't make everyone happy, boundaries,

Ever have a day when you try to please everyone and you can’t do anything right no matter how hard you try? Cranky kids, hubs isn’t real happy and your boss didn’t like your last report. You try to please everyone and the ugly truth is, you end up pleasing no one. I’ve had my share of those days.

For many years, I moved through life trying to please everyone in my path; trying with all my might to be all things to all people. It’s an exhausting way of life to be sure. There are responsibilities everywhere and, of course, being the strong person that I am (snort), I can do everything and make everyone in my little world happy.

When everyone is happy, I can relax for the day. If said happiness comes at 9:00 am – great. If it turns into 9:00 pm – we’re in for a bumpy ride, so fasten your seatbelts!

If someone is not happy, I must find out why and fix it – NOW!

Could this be approval issues? Growing up, it was difficult, if not impossible, to make some folks around me express the tiniest bit of approval. It seemed like no matter what I did, it was wrong. If I did something right, then I did it in the wrong way and next time I should try harder. You tend to grow up with a sense of helplessness and fear – which is not good for your confidence (or your digestion).

It’s taken me a lot of years to grasp that there are people in the world who will never be happy. Period. Chronic complainers, always seeing the glass half empty – ain’t nothing you can do to fix this. So, with that realization in hand, I set out to make my own glass half full. At least as much as possible.

Several years ago, my glass was basically empty. I was exhausted, irritable, moody and a generally unhappy person. Sounds like a lot of fun to be around, doesn’t it?

 I started seeing things around me – an awareness if you will – that made me think. Have you ever heard someone say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? That’s where I was. I realized there was a pattern of trying to make everyone happy and misery was my reward.

What if I said no to a request that didn’t fit my schedule or skills? What if I simply said “no I can’t accommodate your request at this time” and left it at that? Would I die? Would I be the object of hatred and scorn? Would I be fed to the wolves? What if I tried to stop being all things to all people and find my happy which in turn might make others around me a bit happier, too?

I finally figured out that I would survive as well as or better than the one(s) who were more unhappy than me, even if I couldn’t or wouldn’t please them.

Now, before you jump off the cliff and swear you’ll never try to please anyone again, take a deep breath. There is a balance between exhausting yourself hoping for approval and setting boundaries so tight that you become a grinch.

I’ve actually had to step away from obligations before because every time I tried to do something good, it just wasn’t enough. Really? I volunteered with kindness and a can-do attitude and all you do is bitch?

Um…just no.

Yeah, somebody is probably mad at me, but I can’t take on everyone’s problems and solve them. I can’t and I no longer will try to be Atlas and carry the world on my shoulders.

Middle children tend to be peacemakers and yes, I’m a middle child. Sigh… Chances are, you have a full time job, kids and parents who aren’t getting any younger. You already have your hands full.

What about you?

Bottom line, you need to please yourself sometimes without suffering over it. The world will not go into a holding pattern if you don’t take on more than you can physically and emotionally handle. In case you didn’t know it, you can’t make everyone happy, so stop trying.

Give yourself a break, learn to say no when it’s right for you and your sanity. Be strong – the takers will respect you more in the long run for setting your boundaries and maybe learn to help themselves. 

The next time you do need to say yes, you’ll have more energy and a brighter outlook. Honestly, when YOU are happy, those around you (who want to be happy) are happy with or without your assistance. And those who leave your life because you aren’t doing anything for them? Maybe it’s time to let them go.

Maybe you’re stressed out at this point and not sure what to do? Try Stress Support Aromatherapy Rollerball. Simply apply it to your adrenal glands (just above your kidneys) 3 to 4 times daily for support during stressful times.

This has not been an easy lesson for me to learn. How did you handle a situation like this? Were you able to let it go and move on or did you keep suffering (and because someone was unhappy?

Please leave a comment below to let me know how you handled this issue. Need help learning how to say no gracefully? Simply fill out the contact form and let’s get started today.


Melissa =)


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How To Have a Good Day Every Day

routine, how to ensure a good day every day, good day, great day, peaceful mind peaceful day, peace of mind, peace

Do you know how to ensure every day is a good day? Is that even possible? Yes, Margaret, it’s possible and really easy to do.

The beauty of a good day is in its’ simplicity. To be really productive and accomplish something that makes you feel like you’ve had a good day comes down to just one thing: what can you do every single day to start and end on a good note?

Life has a way of coming at you with curve balls that smack you right between the eyes and throw the best of us off our game. All those self-help gurus tell you to ALWAYS be positive and have a cheerful attitude and say it’s all good and…oh, please. Just stuff it.

Now, I know there are folks who really are cheerful and happy people all the time. They have a great day every day. That’s awesome and I take my hat off to you! There’s magic out there somewhere and you found it. Honestly, I think people who are happy and cheerful all the time are few and far between (and they’re hiding something).

But what about the times when the shit hits the fan and there’s nothing you can do to change it? What happens when your car breaks down, your child is sick, you get some really awful news, the dog ran away – any number of things to derail your day?

Turning a Bad Day Into a Good Day

In the midst of learning how to always have a good day comes gratitude. Yes, I know there’s always something to be grateful for. But when you’re standing on the side of a highway on a rainy day with a broken down car, it’s hard to feel grateful in the moment. And honestly, that’s not what I’m getting at here.

What I’m getting at is that no matter what, if you have a short list of things that you do every single day come hell or high water, you can assure that the day is good and productive.

Here’s an example of what I do every single day:

What’s important to note here is the tasks I’ve accomplished every day – even if nothing else gets done or the day goes sideways. I can go to bed knowing I’ve accomplished something positive even if my to-do list got totally derailed.

This daily routine also means – for me – that no matter how badly my day got screwed up, I’ve been good to myself which is big part of self-care. There’s no way to control what happens around me; I can only control my actions.

This routine is the lynchpin of every morning, day and night. It gives me peace of mind and a way to look back and be grateful before I fall asleep. Without my routine, I’m blowing in the wind and subject to the whims of fate. Personally, I can’t handle that. I need to feel like I have some control over my life.

None of this guarantees that you have the best day every day but it does give you a measure of control over your peace of mind. Peaceful mind peaceful life.  And don’t you think peace of mind is the most important point in every good day?

I believe peace of mind is the definition of success. When you can remain peaceful in the midst of chaos, you have attained an amazing level of freedom.

Are you in need of peace today? Try this beautiful meditation music for starters:

Aromatherapy For a Great Day

Part of my daily routine is aromatherapy. I love how essential oils help me to find my own peace of mind, keep me sane and boost my positive energy even when life gets out of hand.

Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Rollerball is ideal for every day use but especially when you’re looking for peace of mind. If all you have on hand is Bergamot Essential Oil, take a big whiff of it several times a day to relax, restore and reduce anxiety. Bergamot also diffuses feelings of anger and frustration which often accompany an off day.

How can I help you find your peace of mind? Fill out this contact form and let’s talk today.



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Aromatherapy and Life Coaching: What’s In It For You?

body chemistry, aromatherapy and life coaching, what do life coaches do, coaching, toxins in body, metabolism,

I realize when you visit my website (, the combination of aromatherapy and life coaching seems rather odd. But there is a method to my madness and I’d like to share my passion and just what’s in it for you.

In searching for a way to feed my creative soul and be useful to the world, aromatherapy and holistic life coaching came into my life. When something starts pounding on your soul, you don’t find it, it finds you. Is that something you believe? 

I knew I was meant for aromatherapy while researching why my thyroid and adrenal system were totally messed up. There had to be something going on that I wasn’t aware of (besides stress). 

Enter chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals, Your Body Chemistry and Metabolism

Sometimes, I don’t believe I’ve experienced serendipity, and yet in this instance, I believe that’s exactly what it was. I could have spent years chasing information from doctors that weren’t properly educated on the adrenal and endocrine system, but I got lucky. Well, no it wasn’t really luck. It was serendipity.

One Friday night, I was talking to a friend about how lousy and emotional I was feeling; the exhaustion and hot tears were always just under the surface. Yes, I feel things more deeply than most people and I absolutely refuse to apologize for that. What I hated was constantly feeling burned out and completely out of control. Throw in peri-menopause and you have critical mass.

The information my friend gave me was life-changing. She said she had experienced the same exact thing and went on a “wild goose chase” looking for answers from doctors, books, organizations – anything she could get her hands on.

The more I read the more frustrated I became. I will write a full article about your adrenal system in the next few weeks, but suffice it to say that my eyes were opened to adrenal burnout, thyroid and metabolism problems and the role that chemicals play in all of this. Your metabolism may not be perking along at optimum levels because of all the chemicals.

Women are far more susceptible to damage from chemicals found in our everyday products mainly because we use more of them than men do. Many of us wear foundation, eye shadow and blush; we use soaps and body washes, shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, creams and – the absolute worst – perfume.

Roddy Scheer wrote an  interesting article for Scientific American about all the toxic chemicals in perfume and how a loophole in the 1973 law allows companies to withhold the most toxic ingredients:

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports EWG, which analyzed the Campaign’s data. “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

Johnson and Johnson was the first major company to be transparent about all the toxic chemicals they use in their products. Amy Westerveldt wrote an article for The Guardian about this very issue:

“When we [at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics] tested products back in 2010, we found a number of allergens and hormone-disrupting chemicals in fragrance,” she said. “Many of those chemicals are still being used, but as more information is readily available, consumers will take a closer look and NGOs will push for improvements.”

The biggest complaint I hear from someone about using essential oils is that they are sensitive to smells. Actually, you are sensitive to chemicals. Pure essential oils are plant-based and your body knows the difference between man-made chemicals and plant-based chemicals. Before you freak about about the word chemicals, remember everything is made up of chemicals. The world runs on chemicals. While everyone’s body chemistry is different, it’s usually the synthetic (man-made) chemicals (toxins) that are causing all the problems.

Hello – my calling found me! Aromatherapy allows me to research and create products that are good for you, help you look good and feel better. You know what? I found out that I’m really gifted at aromatherapy!

Aromatherapy allows me to be creative, help you cut down on chemicals and make a difference in your life.

Scented Balance products are all plant-based which means there are no synthetic chemicals, no parabens, sodium laureth sulfates or phthalates. Because they plant-based, they are vegan-friendly.

How does that help you? The body butters (and a new lotion line coming out this spring) is healthy for your skin and your body. The aromatherapy roller ball products help you with headaches, migraines, indigestion, menopause, chronic pain and lots of other everyday concerns. The custom blends are made specifically for your unique needs and are healthy and safe for you to use.

I have painstakingly researched and created each product and you won’t find anything else like them on the market.

Wait – How Does Life Coaching Fit In?

Okay – so how does holistic life coaching fit in with aromatherapy? Again, here is a bit of serendipity. When you choose to use my services and products, I want you to get as much good as possible for your time and money.

One day, a free webinar popped up on my radar to learn how to quickly get to the heart of a client’s concern during an aromatherapy consultation. The faster I get to the real heart of your concern, the quicker I can help you feel better.

Who hosted this free webinar? A life coach. Yep. A life coach. Think there’s some serendipity there?

You’re asking what do life coaches do? I ask questions when you’re stuck in a particular area of your life. Those questions help you gain clarity when you can’t seem to fix the issue or the same issue keeps appearing in your life.

A lot of issues weave together in aromatherapy and life coaching. Whether you want to believe it or not, every single physical malady begins in the six inches between your ears. For instance, you come to me about your migraines (and yes, Headache Ease really helps) and I will ask you about anger or maybe resistance to change.

Yes, I know you’re rolling your eyes and you think I’ve lost my mind.

Whether or not you believe your body, mind and spirit are connected, they are. And when one area of your life is out of balance and goes unchecked, it will show up in another form. Listen, I completely understand that stress, gluten, dairy, sugar and a million other things trigger your physical issues. And it’s absolutely true.

But I also know that your inner dialogue plays a huge part, too.

Aromatherapy and Life Coaching: What’s In It For You?

How do I bring these seemingly unrelated professions together? Both aromatherapy and holistic life coaching found me and are my calling. When you come to me for an amazing product to help you look and feel better, I want you to know just how much thought and care has gone into it. I want you to know I don’t take your trust and your concerns lightly.

I spent too many years feeling stuck and miserable and absolutely no one would listen to me. In the process of earning my certification for both aromatherapy and holistic life coaching, I learned to ask questions that make you think. Maybe you don’t link your eczema to a lack of self love or maybe you’ve been hurt so badly that you don’t want to open yourself up to anyone else.

Each person is unique and everyone brings their own world view into play. If you simply want the aromatherapy product to ease your suffering, so be it. No problem. I want you to be heard, listened to and find a safe, effective way to feel better.

The bottom line? With Scented Balance, you have an honest and viable resource for a complementary method of getting and staying healthy. Simple, easy and effective. 

That’s why I am a gifted aromatherapist and holistic life coach. Now you know the rest of the story.

How can I help you today? What physical concerns are sapping your joy? Where in your life do you feel stuck? I have a gift to offer so take a moment, fill out a very short contact form and begin feeling better today.



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Cleaning With Essential Oils to Disinfect After Illness

Essential Oil All Purpose Cleaner, Cleaning With Essential Oils, Disinfectant, Cleaning With Essential Oils to Disinfect After Illness,The flu season is still in full swing and you may have already been sick or still trying your best to avoid getting sick. If you, someone – or everyone – in your household has been sick with the flu or a bad cold, cleaning with essential oils to disinfect after illness makes a big difference in your home and office.

Cleaning and disinfecting your house may not be at the top of your list of things to do when you’ve been sick. BUT, cleaning and disinfecting goes a long way toward preventing a relapse or even keep you from getting sick at all. There is so much information out there that could be right and could be wrong. So how do you know what to do?

I’m all for using the KISS method – keep it super simple. Once I learned about the power of essential oils, I stopped using commercial cleaners. If you read the labels (and you should) there is a long list of chemicals that not only can you not pronounce, they are toxic to your lungs.

Seriously, it’s best to stay away from any chemical that has more than 6 syllables. Just sayin…

Essential Oils For Cleaning

Since essential oils are plant-based, they are so much safer to use than the commercial disinfectants that you get at the grocery store. Many oils have properties that are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. That pretty much covers a whole lot of nasty germs floating around in the air and on hard surfaces such as countertops and door knobs.

The most common oils used for cleaning purposes are Lavender, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Oregano. Each one of these oils packs a powerful punch to your cleaning routine.

If all you have is Lavender, Lemon and Tea Tree essential oils, you still have a powerful cleaner on hand. Both Lemon and Douglas Fir are great disinfectants and boost your immune system while you’re cleaning. Here is an excellent multi-purpose cleaning solution:

Essential Oil All-Purpose Cleaner:

  • 22 ounce Spray Bottle (you can get one at any dollar store)
  • 10 ounces White Distilled Vinegar
  • 10 ounces Filtered Water (don’t use tap water)
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Lemon
  • 10 drops Douglas Fir
  • 10 drops Tea Tree
  • 10 drops Oregano

Pour vinegar into the spray bottle, add all the essential oils then add the filtered water. Shake well before each use. You can use this on hard surfaces such as windows, faucets, tile, bathtub, countertops (NOT on marble or granite), mirrors, doorknobs and sinks. 

The reason I said not to use tap water is that it contains too many bacteria and it will mold after a couple of weeks if you don’t use all the cleaner at once.

This recipe makes a lot of cleaner so if you need to make less, you can cut it in half to keep it fresh and use it quicker. This is also an ideal cleaner around your house if you are prone to migraines and headaches. Another caveat – don’t use a lot of essential oils around cats. Their liver doesn’t metabolize essential oils so use this cleaner sparingly around your cat!

Wash Your Hands!

In late January, I wrote a post on the flu explaining what it is, how you spread it and how you can avoid it. Touching your face is not something you think about on a normal basis. But when you have been exposed to a cold or the flu, it’s really important to keep your hands away from your face. Washing your hands with plain soap and water on a regular basis is huge in keeping the germs at bay. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) writes about how you transmit flu germs, but this is also good information for how to avoid spreading germs of all kinds:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the flu is primarily transmitted from person to person via virus-laden droplets that are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Another way is touching a contaminated object such as a door knob or grocery cart handle and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

That’s why it’s important to clean and disinfect your space after the flu and even a cold. Surfaces such as countertops, door knobs, glasses, cups, dishes and grocery cart handles can remain contaminated for up to three days after exposure.

If you’ve just recovered from the flu, then you are still at risk for infecting those you come in contact with for up to 5 days after your initial exposure. Children can infect those around them for up to 10 days. That’s why the flu is so dangerous in nursing homes, hospitals and day care centers.

Clearing The Air In Your Home

The other way to clean your home or office space after illness is to diffuse essential oils into the air. Here are some really good oils that clear the air:

  • Douglas Fir
  • Siberian Fir
  • Juniper Berry
  • Cypress
  • Cedarwood

Combine 20 drops of each in a clean 5 mL glass dropper bottle and blend well. Add 5 to 6 drops of the blend to your cold mist diffuser and let it run for at least two hours to clear the air of germs. It has a very refreshing scent and will help boost your immune system while you’re at it. You can also add in some Lavender and Grapefruit as well for a really lovely and clean scent.

You ought to smell my studio – I diffuse the Fresh Start blend almost every day. The scent is clean and fresh and makes a difference with your sinus issues. Everyone who smells Fresh Start loves it. 

I absolutely love aromatherapy. It is insanely powerful to use in every single area of your life. How can I help you get and stay healthy? Fill out this contact form and let’s get started today!



Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your medial professional for any and all health concerns.


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5 Reasons Why Aromatherapy Should Be Part of Your Healthcare Routine

5 Reasons Aromatherapy Should Be Part of Your Healthcare, Why Aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies, certified aromatherapy, essential oils for,

Aromatherapy and “doing essential oils” seems to be a huge fad all of a sudden. Part of this is really good and part of it is really concerning to me. Today, I’d like to educate you about aromatherapy (the real profession) with 5 reasons aromatherapy should be part of your healthcare.

Honestly, you don’t need to be a certified aromatherapist to wisely and carefully use essential oils for your health. To earn my certification, I took over 300 hours of training in anatomy and physiology, chemistry and blending techniques to understand how pure essential oils react with your body. What that means for you is that you don’t need to spend so much time digging for honest and safe information because it’s right here on the Scented Balance website. I thoroughly understand the health benefits of essential oils and how they can help you.

My spirits sink each time I hear someone proudly proclaim “I do essential oils!” when in reality, they don’t have a clue what they just said. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation floating around which actually does more harm than good.

I learned a conservative and sustainable method of aromatherapy. I’m not here to push oils on you that you don’t need; I’m here to help you safely and wisely improve your well being and to help you take charge of your health. There are companies out there that recommend using a huge (and unnecessary) amount of essential oils as well as taking them internally – seriously – STOP! It takes a clinical aromatherapist or naturopathic physician with a lot of training to guide you through safe internal dosing. Truthfully, more is not better.

Why Aromatherapy Should Be Part of Your Healthcare

Using essential oils in your daily routine improves the quality of your life simply and easily. Let’s see how.

  1. Essential oils have chemical properties that are anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, wound healing, expectorants (great for congestion), immunostimulants and analgesic – just to name a few. What does this mean for you? Instead of reaching for yet another pill with negative side-effects that can do lasting damage to your body, talk to a certified aromatherapist about your concerns first. Essential oils were used as medicine many years ago up until the big pharmaceutical companies got involved in the mid-twentieth century and created a toxic cocktail of chemicals.
  2. Aromatherapy offers a complementary method that works well with your current healthcare regimen. Most essential oils will not interfere with your doctor’s prescribed medication. Be aware that some oils can interfere especially if you are on anti-depressants or blood thinners.
  3. A certified aromatherapist can guide you with solid knowledge of essential oils (and how they work) to help you physically, emotionally and mentally. Each oil has its own chemical makeup that addresses physical issues and also has energetic properties that help you with such concerns as stress, anxiety, depression, anger and grief. This is another instance where it makes sense to talk with a certified aromatherapist and use plant-based products before you reach for that chemical cocktail.
  4. Essential oils – used correctly – can help you with little health concerns that you and your family deal with before they become full-blown issues that require a trip to the doctor – or worse. Concerns like headaches, sore muscles, mild depression, sinuses, colds and flu, indigestion, eczema, psoriasis – these are all areas where essential oils are a viable solution.
  5. Essential oils offer viable alternatives to a myriad of chemically-laden products we use on our bodies and in our homes. Why does this matter? Try reading a label on your shampoo, body wash, facial cleanser, insect repellent, bath/tub/tile cleaner and room sprays. If you aren’t scared of these ingredients then you aren’t paying attention. The chemicals found in these products are toxic and damage your organs, sap your energy and make it harder to stay healthy. Maybe you don’t think it’s important right now because you’re healthy, but even 10 years from now, these products will slowly sap your health. You haven’t made the connection yet and neither has the medical world. (Actually, the medical community has made the connection, they just don’t want you to know about it.)

People come to my studio and my booth at the markets and talked about their fear of not having health insurance. You talk to me about losing your insurance; about how to stay as healthy as possible when you can’t see your doctor on a regular basis; you ask me about affordable alternative methods to keep you out of the doctor’s office. You also ask me about your headaches, indigestion, stress, anxiety, depression, eczema, chronic pain and many other concerns you have.

It bears repeating that I am not a doctor or healer. I cannot heal you and neither can your doctor. Only you can heal you – period. What I can offer you as a certified aromatherapist is my knowledge, compassion, empathy and the amazing wisdom of nature to help you help yourself. The aromatherapy tools I offer give you a choice in how you heal yourself. The health benefits of essential oils have clinical trials to back them up just like traditional prescriptions do. 

Aromatherapy and Traditional Medicine

Yes, we need traditional Western medicine but, I believe the medical system has failed us miserably. Sometimes, aromatherapy is not the answer and we need modern medicine to help with major health problems. Essential oils cannot address seriously advanced diseases such as heart disease and kidney failure. 

Sometime, traditional medicine is the only answer. BUT, there are many times when homeopathic remedies such as aromatherapy work perfectly well without all the negative side effects. That’s when a skilled certified aromatherapist (like me, for instance) can make a real difference. 

Think about this example. Many times when you tell your doctor you’re experiencing depression, you’ll get a prescription for anti-depressants that can possibly make you feel sluggish, affect your sex life and numb your thinking (not to mention the increase of suicidal thoughts). If you don’t get the prescription filled, you take a chance on being labeled “non-compliant” and that’s when the insurance companies get cranky.

What a prescription anti-depressant does is treat the symptom and not the cause and how does this really help you? Do you really want to give up a glass of wine and good sex to walk through life in a foggy, disconnected state? Wouldn’t you rather get to the  root cause of your depression with some sensible aromatherapy and life coaching and function clearly at the same time?

It is a proven fact that by taking the chemical prescription drugs, you have to heal twice. Once from the malady itself and the second time from the toxic treatment you took.

We’re watching more television than ever and being bombarded with commercials for the latest and greatest drugs. All you have to do is go to your doctor, tell her that you saw this drug advertised on TV and now you can miraculously cure 40 years of poor lifestyle choices with a magic pill. What no one wants to hear about are the side effects of that pill. Swelling of the throat and tongue, tears in your stomach lining, skin rashes, numbness in your limbs, increased chance of stroke and heart attack and the possibility of death are just a few of the many side effects of chemicals. 

Several years ago, aromatherapy found me (yes, that’s called serendipity) and I realized the power of helping people feel better in every area of their life. Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching both spoke to me so deeply that I had no choice but to train in these amazing modalities. I am so grateful when people tell me that the product I painstakingly created has made a difference in their well being. More than that, I am proud to offer a sensible tool that doesn’t wreak havoc with your health or your pocketbook. 

I want to help you help yourself. The best way you can take charge of your health is by looking for answers – honest answers to your concerns. That’s where I come in. Fill out the short contact form right now and let’s get started today.



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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.




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Coping With The Inevitable Bad Day

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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 writings 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 ( 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 It 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.

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



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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. So I had the people pleaser gene on steroids. 

Many times, we feel like to 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 feel 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 something 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 are in your cubicle working away with your deadline ever closer 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.

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 get their ego deflated by you saying no.

OR you could ask one simple question:


Now, by asking this question, 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 is expected of your help. It’s essentially a polite way of saying “I’m happy to help, but what is your skin in this game?”

In writing for, 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 boundary, what are the consequences for you? Is it joy at taking on yet another project or is it simmering resentment at being the I’m-so-screwed-please-please-please-help-me person they all call on for the umpteenth time?

As a holistic life coach, I’ve had to learn how to create my fair share of boundaries as well as 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 my 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.




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

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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.

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 vaporubs 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 pills that are all chemical-based 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!



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.

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What’s Important Is Usually Highlighted In Yellow

Highlighted in Yellow, life choices, good choice, kindness, generosity, pleasures

I was cleaning out more boxes (!) last week and came across the book “Highlighted in Yellow A Short Course In Living Wisely and Choosing Well“. It’s a sweet book with lots of quotes on kindness, generosity, simple pleasures and making the right choices in life. We could all use a refresher course on any of these subjects. The title is perfect because what needs our attention is usually highlighted in yellow.

Immediately, I stopped cleaning, sat down (I needed a rest anyway) and began thumbing through this little gem.

Highlighted in Yellow was written in 2001 with lots of quotes and stories to help you make good life choices based on decent human qualities. And sometimes, a book just falls off the shelf and lands at your feet which is a sign that I need to read that book.

Quotes just began jumping out at me and filled my heart with gratitude and hope. This time of the year is tough for many of us because of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Highlighted in Yellow kept me company at just the right time. I hope it’s exactly the right time to share with you, too.


Kindness- or the lack thereof – has been on my heart a lot lately. If you watch television (especially the cable news) or hang out on social media, you know the world has gotten to be a tough place to stomach sometimes. There’s so much hatred and vitriol and nastiness – just because we can – and it hurts my heart.

Some years ago, I took a leap of faith and created a gratitude journal with quotes from all kinds of people to inspire and uplift each day. One of my favorite quotes that I found comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and I used it as the introduction to the journal:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”

To me, this is the perfect definition of kindness. We can all aspire to greatness through a random act of kindness.

Henry James said it best when he commented:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.

The gift of a kindness extended out always returns to the giver. You may never know how your kindness has touched someone, saved their life in a dark moment or by simply passing forward a blessing to someone in need.

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore, if there be any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.”  – William Penn


Many people believe that generosity has only to do with money. That’s not necessarily the case. You can be generous with your time, you can be generous with a sincere compliment and you can always be generous with your smile.

Not everyone has a lot of disposable income to show their generosity and I understand this all too well. Where I believe one of my gifts of generosity lies is in sensing when someone needs a warm hug at the right time.

“Let’s set aside our political and ideological differences and take a moment to love our families, hug our children, parents and grandparents and through love and respect, strengthen the bonds that made us the greatest nation on Earth.” – James Lankford

One of the ways mentioned in Highlighted in Yellow to practice generosity is to “contribute something to each Salvation Army Kettle you pass during the holidays”. Yes, I know it’s past the holidays. And I know not everyone has spare cash lying around but every single time I went to a store during the holidays, I always took ones and fives to put in the red bucket. I do it as much for the person ringing the bell as for the good the Salvation Army does in taking care of those less fortunate.

The good people of Puerto Rico are still suffering months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island – these are American citizens who could surely use your generosity. If you’re not sure where you can safely give, Time Magazine has a list of agencies that are legitimate and could use your help.

“Wherever tragedy or disaster has struck in any corner of the world, the American people have promptly and generously extended hands of mercy and help. Generosity has never impoverished the giver; it has enriched the lives of those who have practiced it.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower

You can donate time and money to your local pet rescue shelter, to H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem to help feed hungry local children or simply look and ask around for a special place that could use your generosity. You’ll get much more than you give.

Simple Pleasures

Modern life means being connected 24/7 via smartphones and social media, hurried, harried and packed schedules from dawn until dusk and a dizzying pace that can wear down the best of us. Have you noticed how fast people drive these days? Everyone seems to nudge and push the speed limit as if there is only a destination and not a journey.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in the Gift From The Sea:

“It is not the life of simplicity, but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of. It leads not to unification, but to fragmentation. It does not bring grace, it destroys the soul.”

Our schedules and our children’s schedules are so tightly packed that we barely manage a meal together anymore. We grab a burger from the drive-thru window and eat on the way to the next stop. We drop off kids at one practice session, cram in homework and the ever-present video games, fall into bed exhausted only to do it all over again the next day.

One of my biggest selling products is Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Rollerball for anxiety and depression. The very first time I handcrafted this particular product, I only created 12 roller balls in hopes that I could sell them at a festival – I didn’t want too many left over! I was stunned to sell out within the first 2 hours of the festival. I see now that anxiety and depression are huge issues that society lives with. How much of it has to do with never slowing down long enough to draw a long breath, much less relax?

Thornton Wilder wrote the amazing play Our Town that explores simple, everyday life in small town America. In it, the character Emily Webb says:

“…clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

By packing our schedules so tightly, we are constantly on the move, filling our brains with noise, commotion, errands and chaos. We rarely take time to smell the roses along the way, enjoy the journey or explore our own hearts in peace and quiet.

“When we cannot bear to be alone it means we do not properly value or appreciate the only companion we will have from birth to death — ourselves.” – Eda LeShan

Take time this spring to plant a pot of flowers. Better yet, plant a garden with fruits, vegetables and flowers. Digging in the garden is one of life’s little pleasures and allows you to get your hands in the earth’s bounty and not only feed your family but your soul as well.

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home-grown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

I hope today that I have inspired you to take a moment for kindness, generosity and the simple pleasures of life. In this way, we all make a choice through the goodness of gratitude to send out our own special brand of magic and light up the world.

Please let me know in the comments below how you spread your joy in the world – I would love to hear from you.

As always, I’m grateful you stopped by.



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Understanding Influenza (The Flu)

Understanding Influenza, type a flu, flu symptoms, h3n2, signs of the flu

In understanding influenza (the flu), I took part in a webinar that explained what it is, how it spreads and how to help prevent it. Type A Influenza is highly contagious, so the more you understand it, the more you can do to protect yourself and prevent it as much as possible.

The flu can be dangerous if left unchecked and since so many of us do not have access to regular healthcare, it’s important to have sound ways to fight it off. If you are diagnosed with the flu, there are some things you can do to help yourself in order to lessen the severity and duration.

Jessie Hawkins, PhD(c) is the executive director and an instructor at the Franklin Institute of Wellness and hosted the webinar. They are a fully authorized post-secondary natural health institution founded in 2013 and based in Tennessee. They are a leading resource for scientific essential oil research. Science-based research provides proof that the therapeutic use of pure essential oils are helpful in addressing a wide range of health issues.

What is Influenza?

Influenza is a virus which can only reproduce inside of a targeted living cell. Antibiotics will not help the flu, and they may actually worsen viral infections because they kill off both good and bad bacteria. Your immune system needs bacteria to be strong.

The most dangerous and serious strain is Type A Influenza. In 2017/2018, nearly 90% of all reported cases are H3N2 which is a subtype of Influenza A. It infects the lining of both the upper and lower respiratory tract. Once you’re infected, it can take as little as a few hours for the symptoms to incubate.

The actual influenza virus spreads by killing cells in your respiratory tract, triggering a cough reflex which propels the virus in the air to infect those around you.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the flu is primarily transmitted from person to person via virus-laden droplets that are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Another way is touching a contaminated object such as a door knob or grocery cart handle and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

The virus spreads quickly especially in close circumstances such as day care centers and nursing homes which is what makes the flu so dangerous among small children and the elderly. Adults can transmit influenza anywhere from the day before symptom onset to approximately 5 days after symptoms begin. Children can transmit influenza to others for 10 or more days.

Flu Symptoms

How do you know if you have a cold or the flu? Symptoms of a cold are:

  • Mild to moderate cough
  • Mild aches and pains
  • Sore Throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Generally lasts up to 7 – 9 days
  • Typically does not involve a fever (occasional exceptions for young children)
  • Rarely involves a headache

Flu symptoms are somewhat different but do have some indicators in common:

  • Moderate to severe cough
  • Fever, possibly high lasting for 3 – 4 days
  • Moderate to intense muscle aches and pains
  • Headache, sometimes intense
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat and stuffy nose are not uncommon
  • Sneezing and watery eyes are a rarity
  • Generally lasts 12 – 14 days or longer

Notice you don’t see nausea and vomiting on the list as that is the norovirus which affects your stomach and intestines. This is different than Type A Influenza.

Interesting Facts About Type A Influenza

We all know that Type A Influenza is highly contagious but here are some facts that I didn’t know:

  • The flu virus on a contaminated tissue only last about 15 minutes.
  • If you shake hands with someone who is infected, don’t touch your face and immediately wash your hands with soap and water. The amount of time that the virus lasts on your hands is about the same for the tissue.
  • The flu virus on contaminated non-porous objects such as plastic and stainless steel can last for up to 2 – 3 days (think countertops, door knobs and toys)!
  • Influenza outbreaks tend to occur between October and March in the United States. The outbreaks usually begin in the Southeast and shift towards the Pacific Northwest.
  • H1N1 outbreak in 2009 was considered a pandemic; prior to that the last pandemic was 50 years ago.
  • The Australian flu vaccine was only 10% effective due to “antigenic drift”. When modified for the US market, the vaccine became closer to 30% efficient.

Who Is Most At Risk for Influenza?

While all of us are at risk of the flu, there are some groups that are more vulnerable. If you are in one of these groups, please take extra precautions.

  • Infants
  • Children under 5
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Adults 65 and older
  • Individuals who are compromised by asthma, heart disease, metabolic disorders and immune disorders.

Preventing H3N2 or Any Strain of the Flu

One of the best ways to avoid getting the flu is to keep your immune system in tip top shape. We all swear that’s what we do on a daily basis but seriously, I don’t think we are! Here are some basic ways to keep your immune system strong:

  • Stay hydrated with plain filtered water. (No, energy drinks, coffee, beer and wine do NOT count – sorry.)
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet, sneezing, coughing and eating.
  • Do not use antibacterial soaps – use plain soap and water. The antibacterial soaps kill off both good and bad bacteria which will actually make the virus worse.
  • Eat food that is clean and right for you – junk food such as chips, etc. doesn’t count.
  • Get more rest than usual in the wintertime. Even forgoing one hour of sleep every night has seriously detrimental effects on your health.
  • Aged Garlic extract and North American Ginseng supplements have been shown to help prevent and lessen the severity of upper respiratory infections. But here’s the thing – you have to take them every single day during flu season – not just when you’re sick!
  • Whether you use natural remedies or pharmaceuticals from the doctor or drug store, the key is early intervention. Get treatment immediately after exposure or at the first sign of illness. The longer you wait the worse it will be.
  • There are studies showing Elderberry Syrup is helpful in lessening the severity and duration of colds and flu. Be aware if you make it at home that Elderberry must be sufficiently cooked to avoid toxic effects. If you are taking Elderberry Syrup for prevention, take 15 mL 4 times daily. If you are actively infected, take 15 mL every 2 – 4 hours. Natural remedies address the underlying cause where drugs from the doctor or drug store address the symptoms
  • Pure Eucalyptus essential oil when mixed with a carrier oil is very helpful with breathing – this is not for use on children under 10. If you would like a chest rub of blended essential oils to help with the flu, ChestEZ Decongestant Rub is available for both kids and adults. 

Warning Signs of Type A Influenza – H3N2

Not all cases of the flu require a visit to a healthcare professional. Those who are at a higher risk absolutely need to see a medical professional as soon as possible after experiencing symptoms. Warning signs that you need medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or quickened breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Extreme irritability
  • Reduced oxygen intake such as bluish skin

If you find your flu-like symptoms improve and then return with a fever or worsened cough, you need to get emergency treatment as soon as possible.

It’s important to take care of yourself year round, not just during cold and flu season. Aromatherapy offers lots of excellent essential oils to use that help boost your immune system.

According to CBS News, The CDC is recommending that everyone who can get a flu shot as it will lessen the severity and duration if you do get the flu. I’m on the fence about flu shots. I wish I had good advice on what to tell you if you’re not sure about getting one, but I just don’t know the answer. You need to listen to your heart about this issue and do what’s best for you.

When Can I Go Back To Work?

When you have the flu, your body is screaming for rest.  By staying in bed, you’re giving your body what it needs to heal on its’ own. Each person is different when it comes to the flu, and Self Magazine published an article about how long you’ll be contagious, even after you feel better:

Unfortunately, even once you stop feeling rotten, you might still be contagious.

You’ll actually still be contagious for a lot longer than you might realize. According to the CDC, most healthy adults are able to spread the flu to other people for a day before they even have symptoms, and they’ll be contagious for up to seven days after they become sick. (Kids can be contagious for even longer than that.) But “everyone is different,” Dr. Adalja says. “There’s no set number of days everyone is contagious.”

Doctors usually say that you can go back to work five days after the onset of symptoms and 24 hours after your fever has cleared (provided you feel up to it), Kenton Fibel, M.D., family medicine physician at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Anaheim, Calif., tells SELF.

However, even then, you might still be a little contagious. “Are you perfectly safe at this point? Probably not,” William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Nonetheless, your chances of transmitting the virus are greatly reduced.”

So, if the option is available to you, ask your boss if you can work from home for a few days for the sake of your colleagues. And if you absolutely have to go in, make sure to be very on top of your hand hygiene to prevent getting anyone else sick, Dr. Fibel says.

How can I help you aromatherapy during flu season? Please fill out the contact form and let’s talk today!

Be well!


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5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Set New Goals

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In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was giving myself permission to set fluid goals this year instead of making resolutions that tend to bomb before the middle of January. I’m sticking with that permission, but what if you’re one of those who needs a plan? Awesome! Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you set new goals for the coming months.

When you think about 2017, what is the first thought that comes to mind?


Is your first thought uplifting or a real downer? Or is it no big deal – simply meh? This question gives you insight into the big picture of 2017 from either a personal or professional standpoint – or both. What does your word focus on? Don’t filter this word – let it flow and you’ll see exactly what happened last year. By investigating why this word came up, you know where to start with your plan for the coming year. 

Did your word relate to family, friends or work life? What wore heavy on your mind? What can you do differently to make improvements?

If your word describing last year is not as positive as you had hoped, then digging deep can help you see what didn’t work – and let go of it. Letting go of something that isn’t working can be downright intimidating. However, letting go of what isn’t working makes space for something new that gives you an entirely new perspective on the situation.


Which of your accomplishments stands out the most to you?


This is especially important to ask yourself as it says you did indeed accomplish much more than you give yourself credit for. This question is best asked and answered with a trusted friend. So many times, we don’t think we’ve accomplished much at all in the past year when in reality, we’ve done a lot.

I am my own case in point. Last year felt frustrating to me as I didn’t see the progress I thought I would. A glass of wine and a good friend to point out a few things made my year a whole lot better.

Make sure to count the times you said NO when you really didn’t want to do something and you were being pressured to say yes. Remember to count the times when you took good care of yourself because you can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup. Please count all the times you kept your mouth shut and picked yoru battles wisely. 

All those times you really wanted to stay in bed but you got up and exercised anyway? That’s huge!

Life would be so much easier if we could just give ourselves the attaboys that we give to our best friend.

What lesson or frustration kept surfacing?


When we’re not paying attention to the lessons we’re supposed to learn, the message keeps coming at us but it gets stronger every single time.

How are your finances – are they in order or do you resort to retail therapy on a regular basis? That co-worker of yours that is ridiculously annoying – there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Keep missing deadlines? What does that tell you?

Perpetually running late? This is frustrating for those left constantly waiting. We all run late once in a while – everyone does. When you consistently run late more than 15 minutes and more than twice a week, there’s something deeper going on that you need to address. Constantly running late has more to do with a measure of self-worth and control more so than laziness. There’s a passive-aggressive tendency in there, too. 

Michael F. Formica, MS, MA, EdM in writing for Psychology Today says this about being late:

The chronically tardy, in large measure, have a perception that others do not feel them to be important, so they operate in a way so as to impose themselves on a situation – exerting control to feel in control – while in reality they are silently validating their own sense of unworthiness, whether consciously or unconsciously.

I bring up running late as a frustration (or lesson) that keeps showing up as this is a very common irritation that causes more fights than I care to mention. Years ago, I had an elderly aunt that could not show up on time for anything if her life depended on it. She was invited to Thanksgiving and was pointedly told several times that dinner would be served promptly at 2 PM. When she arrived at 2:30 and everyone was already eating, she was shocked! She and my mother had words over that one.
And that brings up another important point. My aunt and her opinions were regularly “dismissed” as unimportant by many family members. By imposing herself – always showing up late – she made sure that these family members paid attention to her – it made her feel important.

What personal strengths did you rely on this past year?

I ask this question because we often downplay our strengths to ourselves. How many times have you been told to keep educating yourself so that you are a well-rounded person? Okay – to an extent, this is good advice. It is good to be well-rounded as it opens you up to different perspectives. Besides, who wants to be a one trick pony?
Knowing your unique strengths (and opposing weaknesses) allows you to let go of the need to be good at everything. It also allows you the opportunity to really know who you are and accept yourself – strengths, weaknesses, warts and all. Once you know your own personal strengths and weaknesses, you can turn that into a passion to feed your soul instead of simply wandering aimlessly through life.


How well did you communicate in your most important relationships?

Your most important relationship could be with yourself, your spouse, child, boss or anyone who is significant in your life. Why? Because good communication is the key to healthy boundaries, for expressing what you need and enjoying deeper connections with those important people (including yourself).
If you’re struggling to express your desires and needs, then your life may not be as satisfying as it could be. I’m guessing life can even be frustrating at times because you can’t get your point across or your needs met. I’m a firm believer that speaking your truth (in the kindest way, mind you) always brings the right people into your life. Yes, it may well get rid of a few, too, but isn’t that the way it should be?
A good communicator can solve problems quicker, build trust and respect easier as well as establish an environment where creativity can thrive. If you don’t believe good communication skills are important, simply look at Capitol Hill. Seriously.


Set New Goals By Answering These Questions

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you have a good indication of what makes you tick. Why is that important? Knowing all these answers allows you to set smart goals and put a plan in motion that feeds your soul – when you’re lit up by your plans, you’re motivated to stay the course through the tough times.

Write your goals down in black and white. Keeping a list of goals where you can see them daily is an excellent way to stay on track and keep up your motivation. You don’t necessarily have to share your goals, but simply keep them close – and remember, your goals can change! If something isn’t working the way you expected or you absolutely hate the goal, stop. That’s what I mean by fluid goals. Now – with that said – don’t be a quitter. Every action plan has less-than-lovely tasks to reach your goal. Keep the prize in mind!


Aromatherapy school was really overwhelming at times. I felt stupid and frustrated because I’ve never had chemistry (no, really, I didn’t!) and I felt like I was behind before I ever got started. Some days, my goal seemed out of reach.
Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching both play to my greatest strength – that of compassion. I absolutely love helping people see their beautiful aha moment in a loving and supportive atmosphere. So when the learning became overwhelming, I kept the end – and the passion – in my view to keep me going.
How can I help you with your personal goals this year? Let your light shine brighter than ever in 2018! Fill out this contact form and let’s talk about your goals and an action plan to reach them – today.
While you’re at it, please click one of the social media buttons below and share this with someone who can use a boost.
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Magic, Dreams and Good Madness

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

― Neil Gaiman

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Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Magic, dreams and good madness. It’s a new year and many of us are busy setting harsh and idealistic resolutions for the next 12 months to somehow better ourselves with as little pain as possible.

Many times, I believe we’re setting ourselves up for guilt, shame and a whole box full of shoulds/needs/supposedtos. We make these unrealistic New Years Resolutions that are usually shot down by the third week in January.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Because we see new years resolutions as difficult and as a punishment for living our lives. AACK!

This time last year, I had my shiny life and business planners all filled out. What do I want to accomplish in the new year? Is there something that I no longer want to do – what is that? How do I want to feel in the coming year? Who do I want to help? How many goals can I cram into each day? 

Um…these are all awesome questions we should ask ourselves every once in a while because everyone could use a good dose of soul-searching. I think we’d all be kinder and more satisfied as human beings if we aimed to listen to our heart and set fluid goals versus harsh resolutions.

I absolutely knew that every resolution would be fulfilled if I just worked myself into complete exhaustion making everything happen.

Here’s where I stop on a dime. By making a list of resolutions that is longer than a tree is tall, we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure. And then we feel like we’ve screwed up the whole year and it isn’t even February yet.

So why bother?

This year, I’m changing my mindset to do things differently.

Leaving Room for Magic, Dreams and Good Madness

This year, I believe I will give myself permission NOT to make any resolutions, permission NOT to set myself up for failure, and permission NOT to feel like a total loser.

Don’t get me wrong – setting realistic (and yet lofty) goals and writing them down is a very good thing to do. Putting pen to paper (or electronically) gives you a tangible road map for accomplishing that which your soul longs for.

Instead of setting harsh resolutions, a better way to go about this is to give ourselves permission to follow our dreams. Yeah, I know. That’s sounds j-u-u-u-s-t a little on the woo-woo side.

Hear me out – okay?

By setting resolutions, we’re already in a mindset that this “change” is going to be hard. We don’t leave any space at all to go with the flow of life. When we set new year goals, you’ve already given yourself permission to reach for your dreams.

Now, I’m not lazy by any stretch of the imagination nor do I fear attempting a new challenge. (Scented Balance is the fourth business I’ve built.) Where I’ve made the mistake – and maybe you have, too – is that I/we don’t leave any room for magic, dreams and good madness.

What if we go at this self-improvement with a different perspective? What if, instead of difficult and punishing resolutions, we set a goal to do something different than what we’ve always done?

Getting Ready to Change Your Habits

During my holistic life coach training, I learned an excellent tool when attempting positive changes. So, maybe you think you’re ready – BUT – you’re not really ready yet. Instead of setting yourself up for failure because you’re not r-e-e-e-a-l-l-y ready, maybe the better question here is what can you do to get ready to get ready to make a change?

See the difference?

Let’s say your resolution is to get up every single morning and run 5 miles but you haven’t exercised in over a year. How long do you think that’s going to last? It would be better to set a goal of walking around the block at least three mornings a week to get ready for the bigger goal of running 5 miles a day. In that smaller (and much more realistic) goal, you’re getting ready to set a larger goal and you’re not setting yourself up for failure. The beauty of the smaller goal is that you can pick any three days you want – or more – without feeling like you’ve failed yourself if you decide to lay in bed one morning.

By letting go of the rigid resolutions and opting for fluid goals, you are opening yourself up to magic, dreams and good madness. You’re also giving yourself permission to change course if something isn’t working without feeling like a quitter.

I’ve said in other posts how hard I am on myself. My inner critic and I grew up in a household where nothing was ever good enough and the thought of the day was always “you can’t do that – it’s not possible.” So the thought of magic, dreams and good madness never entered my mind. Therefore, I set staunch, rigid resolutions that were punishing because I must do better and of course, I failed.

A Different Way to Approach New Years Resolutions

This year, I’m doing things differently. I’ve experienced a lot of failed resolutions because I didn’t make room for the flow of life. The change in my attitude is to set goals allowing for them to be fluid and change them if need be. I no longer see resolutions that didn’t pan out as a statement of my poor character and lack of hard work, but more of the ability to go with the flow and change course when something clearly isn’t working out.

I subscribe to The Elephant Journal which is a roundup of writers who write about living a mindful life. One of the articles talks about New Years Resolutions and a different way to approach them:

Most New Year’s resolutions are predicated on not be happy enough or not having what we want, or needing to be prettier, or thinner, or more organized. But what if we began with accepting ourselves with maitri, or loving-kindness, and extended that genuine happiness outward?

This makes sense to me because it sets me – and you – up for success right out of the gate. And I don’t know about you, but I want to feel more like a success than I do a failure.

The other thing I learned? Just because something failed doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. Huge difference in that mindset! I’m not a failure even though my resolution (or dream) didn’t pan out.

My wish for you is this: I hope your new years resolutions become your beautiful and achievable goals and that you are successful beyond your wildest imagination.

It’s time for a new dream and to keep following my heart – resolutions be damned. Let’s resolve to be open to magic, dreams and good madness in the coming year.

I am so grateful for each one of you and I look forward to serving you in magical ways. If you’re ready to get ready to change your habits, fill out the contact form and let’s talk – do it today!




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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.

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.”

How I wish I was as insightful as Sharon. That’s probably why she is an award-winning columnist and I’m not.

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.



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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. It always evokes a sense of magic in my heart.

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 It’s an enchanting website dedicated to the poem and author!

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

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 that will 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 $12.95 plus shipping and handling. 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!



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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 is an entitlement mentality out there 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?

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I have no problem whatsoever telling someone that their 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 am 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 ( 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.

The 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 and 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 given you a tactful way 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!


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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 are 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. According to MSN Lifestyle, 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.




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What Is Self Care?

what is self care, self care, self care activities, why is self care important, self care ideas, take careDo you ever ask yourself what is self care? You hear a lot about it and also a lot of “oh pulleeze” right behind it.

It sounds fluffy and egotistical to talk about self care, but please hear me out.

You can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup.

How many times have you felt bone-weary? Is there a sense of fatigue so deep that sleep doesn’t help? Maybe you’re stressing over a work project that’s not going well, a child that is acting out more than normal, or you’re a caregiver for both children and parents.

You’re stretched thin. And now we’re in the midst of the busy holiday season which adds even more stress. Something’s got to give and so you give up exercising, an hour of sleep at night or skip your lunch altogether.

As selfish and extravagant as it sounds, neglecting your own well-being is the worst thing that you can do. Can you drink from an empty well?

Why Is Self Care Important?

We’ve all heard the saying about burning the candle at both ends and yet this is ingrained into our lifestyles. We pack our schedules like crazy and then fall into bed exhausted at night only to get up and do it all over again the next day.

Simply put, self care is fundamental to your well-being from a physical, mental and emotional standpoint. When you keep going (because you think you HAVE to or the world will spin off its’ axis), you don’t focus as well, your energy lags and your skills may suffer – you’re just not on your “A” game.

Eventually, you reach the point where your well has run dry and that’s when you get sick. Dealing with a nasty cold or even worse – the flu? How much rest do you get? What’s your stress level like? Are you running on empty?

Sitting in front of the television watching all the cable news doesn’t count as rest or relaxationit actually stresses your system more. Think I’m kidding? Watching a steady diet of the latest outrageous news on television or social media tends to make you feel like the world is going to hell in a handbasket. 

Mary McNaughton-Cassill is a professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio and a leading researcher on the connection between media consumption and stress. She says:

“In addition to a burgeoning sense of helplessness, she said, cognitive shortcuts triggered by the news can also lead us to gradually see the world as a darker and darker place, chipping away at certain optimistic tendencies. “

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying to unplug and be a Pollyanna – not by a long shot. What I am saying is that a steady diet of the worst the world has to offer really adds to your stress and who needs that?

What Is Self Care?

The University at Buffalo teaches the students in the School of Social Work that self care is their personal responsibility. They plainly explain that self care is a survival skill and why:

“Self-care is an essential social work survival skill. Self-care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being. Self-care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honoring your professional and personal commitments.”

So, the first thing I hear from clients about self care is “I don’t have time!” Actually, you do have time. You’re simply not making self care a priority. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it’s your priorities that determine how you spend it.

Don’t get me wrong – I know you have 3 kids, a full-time job, laundry, meals and homework. I’m well aware of that. What happens when you are sick in bed for three or four days from the flu?

By making your own wellbeing a priority, you’ll be stronger and less stressed in the long run. You can’t be effective as a parent or employee if you don’t take care of you!

Self care isn’t something you can do once in a great while. Practicing self care on a daily basis reaps major rewards! The easiest and best way is to practice small little habits every single day.

Self Care Activities

Here are some ideas for self care that you can do anytime and anywhere in a short amount of time.

  • Take a few seconds several times a day to breathe slowly and deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Stand up and stretch. If your co-workers look at you funny, why not ask them to join you? Stretch your arms, legs and back every couple of hours.
  • Ask for help. You can’t do everything alone (just ask me how I know this one). When you ask for help, you give someone an opportunity to give back which is good for their self care!
  • Laugh. Read a comic strip, listen to a comedian (I love Jeff Dunham for just this reason) or anything that will make you laugh. Laughing releases the feel-good endorphins which make you feel less stressed!
  • UNPLUG. No really. Unplug from everything for one hour every single day. I actually unplug nearly every Sunday when I’m not at a market or festival.
  • Walk up and down the stairs three times. This little bit of exercise is surprisingly effective!
  • Take a break when you need one. Pushing through without a moment to rest is very hard on your adrenal and immune systems.
  • Replace one sugared beverage every day with a bottle or glass of water. I didn’t say give up your soda, I said replace just one with a bottle of water.
  • Learn to say no. If you find yourself overscheduled and pushed to the point of resentment, saying no will give you back your power. If you’re not sure you can do this, let’s talk. As a holistic life coach, I can show you how to set healthy boundaries.
  • Aromatherapy does wonders for your body, mind and spirit through the use of essential oils. Take a big whiff several times a day of any essential oil that is uplifting to you such as peppermint, lemon or sweet orange.

If you need a bit of extra help especially through the holidays, use Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball. Apply it to your adrenal glands that sit on top of each kidney 3 or 4 times a day as a tonic for your system. Aromatherapy is an amazing tool to help yourself stay – or get – healthy.

A huge part of self care is setting healthy boundaries. Remember – no is a complete sentence. And if you need help with this area of your life, I can help.

As a certified aromatherapist and holistic life coach, I’m here to help you, support you and show you how to make self care a priority. Fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.