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Adrenal Fatigue – A Big Reason Why You’re Tired – Part I

adrenal fatigue, adrenal fatigue symptoms,

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about 5 sneaky reasons you’re always tired and I left out one major reason – on purpose – as I want to go more in-depth. It’s adrenal fatigue and adrenal burnout – it’s likely you’re not familiar with your adrenal glands and what they do for you.

Adrenal fatigue and burnout is very real as I went through this 12 years ago. I had to jump through a million hoops to simply figure out what was going on. Most physicians don’t believe in adrenal fatigue much less burnout.

There’s a lot of controversy and resentment over this issue because the main healing therapy consists of diet and lifestyle adjustments and the medical community doesn’t view these changes as “legitimate medicine”.

Hello – food and exercise are medicine!

Any doctor will tell you that all sorts of problems occur when your hormonal system is out of balance. I was frustrated, exhausted and told that I was fine – just get some rest. No fooling – so tell me again why I need a doctor?

I’m sharing my journey so that hopefully, through a little bit of information, you won’t have to jump through those same hoops that I did. You’ll have an easier time healing your symptoms and maybe – just maybe – you won’t get as far down as I did struggling to find information and help.

What Are Adrenal Glands?

Your adrenals are pea-sized glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Among other things, they regulate the fight-or-flight system of your body, the stress hormone called cortisol, blood pressure and how your heart works.

They’re very important in the grand scheme of your body, but most doctors don’t know enough about the adrenal system to be of any help. That’s where a naturopath, functional medicine physician, herbalist, aromatherapist and/or health coach can all be of assistance.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Dr. James Wilson created the website www.adrenalfatigue.org which brought the subject of adrenal fatigue to the forefront in 1998. He’s a naturopath and chiropractor and, at the time, one of the few physicians that delved into this issue. He describes adrenal fatigue as:

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger.

According to Dr. Josh Axe, in layman’s terms, adrenal fatigue is the over-stimulation of the adrenal glands through long term chronic stress. This could lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream, sometimes far more than normal and at other times, far too low. In addition to this overload or improper cortisol level, people with adrenal fatigue often don’t have enough DHEA, the “parent hormone” responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.

What Causes Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout?

At the time that I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout – yes, my adrenal system was completely burned out – I lived a very stressful life. I was a small business owner, I had just finished my bachelor of science degree (going full time at night) and had a very full life on top of that. I was always doing something, going somewhere, staying up late and getting up early, not eating very healthy and pushing, pushing, pushing.

In short, I wasn’t really taking good care of myself. Maybe not all of the above applies in your case; you believe you’re living a fairly healthy lifestyle, but you’re still bone-tired. Some other causes are:

Chronic stress in particular is a major culprit. For instance, anyone who’s a caregiver, has a stressful job, is a frequent flyer, or simply doesn’t handle stress in a healthy manner is prone to adrenal fatigue. 

That chronic stress keeps your body in a continuous state of fight-or-flight. When that happens, your adrenal system dumps a lot of cortisol into your bloodstream and if there’s no recuperation period, you ultimately burnout. That’s a very simplified description, but that’s exactly what happened to me.

I knew something was wrong – seriously wrong – but my doctor ran a bunch of blood tests and told me the results “were within generally accepted normal ranges”. She told me I was the picture of health and I was fine.

So why did I feel so depressed, lousy and exhausted?

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Here are some common adrenal fatigue symptoms:

  • Foggy thinking
  • Dependence on caffeine
  • Depression
  • Craving sweets and salt
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss

The biggest symptom that you may experience is the “wired and tired” feeling – all the time. You’re sleeping 8 hours a day, but you’re using caffeine in coffee or sodas to keep you going during the day. Maybe you feel really tired around 9 PM but you push through for just a few minutes so you can get more done and fall into bed at 11 PM or midnight – exhausted but unable to sleep. Or if you do sleep, you wake up just as tired as when you went to bed.

A contributing factor – for me – was a chronic yeast infection. I lived with this for over 30 years and doctors would simply give me that worthless OTC cream and send me on my way. Not once was I told that a chronic yeast infection was suppressing my immune system and a suppressed immune system is prime for adrenal fatigue.

To this day, I feel betrayed by the medical community – why didn’t they ask about this chronic issue? Are you that blasted busy that you can’t help me with something so simple as a yeast infection? Knowing that it makes such a difference?

The Test for Adrenal Fatigue

It wasn’t until 1999 when I found an integrative physician in a town about 75 miles away that I finally got the help I needed. There was absolutely no physician in my town with any real knowledge of the adrenal system.

I can tell you from experience that a blood test will not give true results. I took a saliva test – I spit into a small tube three times a day for 5 days. A blood test tells you what’s happening at that moment in time. A saliva test tells you what’s been going on over the last few months.

When those results came back, it confirmed exactly why I felt so lousy. A word of caution: chances are high that your physician won’t recommend or allow a saliva test.

My hormonal levels (including DHEA) were so out of balance that it’s a wonder I was on two feet.

Now What?

There are some simple things that you can do to help yourself if you believe your adrenal system is fatigued. Next week, I’ll continue my story of taking matters into my own hands and how I got healthy again. It’s much easier than you might think. In the meantime, if you see yourself in this post, there’s help now.

My blend Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball is made specifically for your adrenal system. The essential oils act as a tonic for your adrenal system to help enhance your vitality.

There’s also Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball to help you with chronic stress.contun

Is aromatherapy a cure? Nope. I can’t fix, cure or heal. You have to do your part and we’ll talk about that next week. In the meantime, aromatherapy can help you begin to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.

If you need more information, please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

These statements and products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Good Essential Oils For The Changing Seasons

Sinus Infection Remedy, Good Essential Oils For The Changing Seasons, Sinus Headaches, Sinus Pressure, Essential Oils for Sinuses, Sinus Infection Remedies, Essential Oils for Nasal Congestion,

Each time the seasons change, a lot of us experience sinus headaches, sinus pressure and breathing problems. There’s actually some very good essential oils for the changing seasons to help you deal with sinus problems – did you know that?

Why Do I Have Sinus Problems When The Seasons Change?

The biggest reasons people have more sinus problems when the seasons change are things like pollen, ragweed, change in barometric pressure, humidity and temperature. If you live in an area where it’s 65 degrees one day and 85 degrees the next, you know your sinuses take a beating!

All of these changes whether they are gradual or sudden, cause a build up of sinus pressure which in turn causes sinus headaches, sinus infections, sneezing, watery eyes and many times, trouble breathing.

If it’s windy, you know it’s going to bring in gawd-knows-what and of course, that will affect your sinuses.

According to WebMD.com, when your sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.

How Do Essential Oils Help With Sinus Problems?

Essential oils are excellent for sinus and respiratory issues as they can help open up your airways, act as expectorants and keep the fluid moving in your sinuses (possibly preventing a sinus infection). Many essential oils are also excellent anti-inflammatories, anti-virals and anti-bacterials. Use the same caution with essential oils as you would with any type of medication.

Here are a few essential oils for sinus problems that are excellent:

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is an excellent oil for opening up airways, supporting healthy lung function and boosting your immune system. This oil is often used in the presence of bacterial, fungal, or viral activity. The best way to use Eucalyptus is to put two drops in a steaming bowl of water, drape a towel over your head and breathe in as deeply as possible 2 or 3 times daily. This oil should only be used with adults and children over the age of 10.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia) is known as the workhorse of essential oils. It is often the first choice when looking to reduce infections caused by unwanted bacteria or fungus – especially sinus infections. Tea Tree essential oil is great for reducing minor inflammation as well. It supports a healthy respiratory system and is useful for treating coughs and other lung ailments. You can use Tea Tree the same way as Eucalyptus by putting a couple of drops in a steaming hot bowl of water and breathing in. This oil is safe for children over the age of 2.

Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil is respected for its many therapeutic properties and is helpful in reducing unwanted bacteria and viruses as well as reduce pain and inflammation. It’s also a popular choice for clearing the respiratory system and can be of great help with allergy relief. Take great care in using Peppermint essential oil if you are on blood thinners as this could cause nose bleeds. This oil should only be used with adults and children over the age of 10.

Oregano

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is another one of nature’s powerhouse oils. Along with helping to purify the body and surrounding environment from unwanted microbial activity, Oregano is a fantastic oil for healthy lung support, especially when one is dealing with a cold or flu.

It’s packed with potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and analgesic properties, and is ideal for treating a myriad of infections, both inside and outside of the body. CAUTION: YOU MUST DILUTE THIS OIL BEFORE YOU APPLY IT TO YOUR SKIN! Combine one ounce of olive oil and no more than 5 drops of Oregano oil and apply to your chest if you’re experiencing chest congestion. Use this oil very sparingly and not on children under 10.

Lavender

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is one of those oils that I recommend no matter what the situation. This oil is gentle enough for a two-year old, has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a very good analgesic.

If sinus issues are causing stress – they often do, Lavender is amazing for de-stressing!

You can combine one drop of each of the above oils in a cold mist diffuser and let it run for 30 minutes every 2 hours to help relieve your symptoms and to clear the air in your home.

Other Things You Can Do

Don’t forget to change the air filter in your HVAC unit – it makes sense to spend a bit more and get a good HEPA filter. Air purifiers will help keep the air cleaner in your home oh – and did I mention drinking more water will help?

I make some products that help you deal with sinus issues and have them ready for sale on the Scented Balance website:

If the sinus medication you use makes you drowsy or feel disconnected, why not give aromatherapy a try? I believe you’ll notice a difference and you won’t experience any negative side-effects.

How can I help you with your sinus problems? Please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk!

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. Know someone who suffers with sinus problems? Please do them a favor and share this post with them!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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New To Essential Oils? Here’s How To Use Them – Wisely

New To Essential Oils, Inhaling Essential Oils, Diffusing Essential Oils, Applying Essential Oils On Your Skin, Essential Oils On Your Pet

Are you new to essential oils? Here’s how to use them – wisely. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there and I’d like to help you get started with good information. It’s not hard to use these gifts of nature, but there is a right – and wise – way to use them.

Is this the end-all-be-all of aromatherapy? Nope. Not even close. But the information here is safe, ethical and sustainable. That’s important!

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the gifts of nature. They are derived from plants, trees, shrubs, flowers and fruits. The “essence” of the plant is most commonly distilled using steam, or in the case of citrus fruit, the rind is cold pressed to extract the oil. There’s several other ways of extracting oils, but these are the two most common ways.

Andrea Butje, the Owner of Aromahead Institute says this:

Essential oils come from aromatic plants. Not all plants are aromatic. If a plant has a scent, it is generally an “aromatic plant.” You smell essential oils in a plant when you breathe in the aroma of a rose flower, peel an orange, or crush basil leaves. Depending on the plant, the essential oil is found in different parts: the flower of a rose, the fruit of citrus, the leaves of many herbs, the resin of frankincense and myrrh, the roots of vetiver, the twigs of the bitter orange tree (for Petitgrain), the seeds of coriander.

So, How Do I Use Them Wisely?

Here’s the easiest and wisest ways to use essential oils:

  • Inhaling from the bottle or a personal inhaler
  • Applying essential oils to your skin
  • Diffusing them by using a cold mist diffuser

Through my classes at Aromahead Institute, I learned an ethical and sustainable method of aromatherapy. That’s important because prior to modern life, people used only what they needed from the earth – nothing was wasted. Since these aromatic plants come from the earth itself, they are a limited resource. Using only what you need for a blend and no more is wise and ethical.

Personally, I rarely use Sandalwood (Santalum album) because in order to harvest the bark of the tree to get the oil, you have to kill it – cut it down. There are sustainability programs in place, but I see it this way: if you have a hundred or more oils (and I do), you have more than enough to create your blend without harming the environment!

I’ll quickly talk about each method below. Please note that if you’re pregnant, on certain medications or under 10 years old, talk with your certified aromatherapist or medical professional first. Not all essential oils are safe for everyone!

Inhaling Essential Oils

Inhaling is the quickest and easiest way to get the oils themselves into your system. A few oils that are safe to inhale are Lavender, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood and Patchouli.

Simply open the bottle, hold it under your nose (don’t touch the bottle to your nose) and inhale deeply while keeping your lips closed. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds. You can also add a few drops to a personal nasal inhaler or on a tissue with the same effect.

If you’re experiencing a sinus infection, add two drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a bowl of steaming water, put a towel over your head and breathe in as deeply as you can.

Topically Applying Essential Oils To Your Skin

When you want to apply essential oils to your skin, it’s wise to dilute it first with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba wax or avocado oil. You can pour a small amount of carrier oil into the palm of your hand and add one or two drops of essential oil. Then simply apply to your skin always avoiding your eyes and ears.

CAUTION: NEVER PUT ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR EYES OR EARS! ‘Nuff said on that one.

For instance, to relieve an upset stomach, add two drops each of Sweet Orange and Peppermint essential oils to a dab of carrier oil – just enough to rub on your belly.

Congested? Add two drops each of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree essential oils to a small dab of coconut oil and rub on your chest. 

All of the body butters, lotions and roller balls that I create are perfect for applying to your skin. With the roller balls, especially for anxiety and depression, rolling the blend over your heart area is ideal. For headaches, you simply apply the roller ball blend to your temples, forehead and the back of your neck nearest your hairline. 

Diffusing Essential Oils Into the Air

Diffusing essential oils into the air is one of my favorite ways to use them everyday. I keep a diffuser going in my studio and in my home. Most folks who visit my studio always stop at the door and simply inhale. You never know what will be in the diffuser!

Make sure the read the instructions that come with your cold mist diffuser for proper use. For the most part, diffusers use a small amount of water. Simply add 5 or 6 drops and enjoy the scent! There are even some models that will fit into the cigarette lighter or USB port in your car!

What Method Did I Leave Out?

I purposely left out the subject of taking essential oils internally. Why? It’s a controversial subject and there’s a lot of folks who swear by it. So here’s food for thought. Would you drink 20 cups of peppermint tea all at once? Would you eat 10 lemons all at once? But that’s exactly what you’re doing when you internally take a drop of essential oil.

It takes 256 pounds of peppermint leaves for every quart of peppermint essential oil. For that precious bottle of Lavender, it takes 3,000 pounds of the flower for one quart of essential oil. Are you getting the picture of just how potent essential oils are?

Listen, I know there’s oil companies out there that advocate ingestion but I disagree with this practice because it can be downright dangerous. As in toxic. A clinical aromatherapist or naturopathic physician can safely guide you if that’s the method you need for a particular concern.

As a certified aromatherapist, my advice is unless you know exactly what you’re doing, don’t take essential oils internally. Ever.

Can I Use Essential Oils On My Pet?

If you have cats, the short answer is NO! Cats can’t metabolize essential oils in their liver and it could be very toxic to them.

If you have a dog, the short answer is it depends. My advice is avoid it. If you have a dog over 50 pounds, use them sparingly. If you insist on using essential oils on your dog, then treat Fido as you would a small child. You wouldn’t overload your toddler, so please don’t overload Fido!

Be Wise, Be Ethical, Be Sustainable With Essential Oils

You now have a thimbleful of information about essential oils – a drop in the bucket if you will. Do you see why a certified aromatherapist is important?

Since plants and trees are a limited resource, using just what you need from your essential oils is sustainable – and ethical. Using 50 drops when you really only need 5 drops is really kind of greedy and wasteful.

If you look at history, you learn that essential oils (along with herbs and botannicals) were used as medicine. In the case of essential oils, more is not better. You wouldn’t take 10 aspirins when all you need are two – so why overdose on essential oils? Treat them with care – treat them as you would medicine – with respect.

I want you to be safe and healthy in body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is ideal for your physical and emotional wellbeing. I would be very grateful for you to share this information.

As always, blessings,

Melissa

P.S. Want a custom blend or more information? Fill out this contact form and let’s get started!

 

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Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Your Own Kind of Beautiful, Self Confidence, Love and Acceptance,
(c) https://www.facebook.com/queenofmyowndamncastle/

Many days I finish a market feeling sad because I hear so many women say that they loathe their bodies. They don’t feel beautiful because society has drilled it into us that unless we look like 20-year-old models, we’re not beautiful. To that I say: be your own kind of beautiful.

If I do nothing else at Scented Balance, I want to make you think. My goal and mission at Scented Balance is to help help each woman I meet to know and accept her own beauty – and it always lies within. I want to help you love yourself from the inside out.

Beauty has nothing to do with looks.

I feel so strongly about this issue that I have the Beautiful You Manifesto as a separate page on my website. (Please read it!) When I make presentations, I have a laminated copy that I give away to one woman each time.

You are not your butt, or your breasts or your legs. You’re a beautiful soul making your very own special brand of magic that no one else in the world can offer.

We’re bombarded (under siege, really) with airbrushed images and anonymous online bullies who grind us to a pulp based solely on looks. They want us to think that we’re only as good as our body and outer looks and nothing else.

BUT.

You are so much more than your body.

You have a beautiful soul, a quirky smile, a wacky sense of humor, an interesting personality and a talent that is all your own.

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” 
― Judy Garland

I’m really not sure how we – women in particular – got to the point of being so abusive about our bodies. How did we get so brainwashed into believing that beauty is only skin-deep?

Maybe it’s all the fashion magazines with the emaciated models held up as the perfect woman. It could be that we’re bombarded with images of celebrities who have perfect makeup and super slim figures.

What if it’s Madison Avenue who’s convinced us that we’re not as happy as the people in all the beer commercials? Could it be constant access to the lives of “beautiful” people so that now we’re convinced we need to have the perfect outfit, perfect body – perfect life?

Sheesh…I’m exhausted just thinking about it. A few years back, I made a conscious decision to love me AND my body and work with the assets that I have. So I quit watching so much TV and got up off the couch. I decided it was far more important to love myself – quirks and all – than to be something that I’m not.

I won’t let a magazine or TV show tell me that I need to be tall and rail-thin because of some elusive, unreachable “ideal”. I want to be as emotionally and physically healthy as possible when I’m an old lady because happiness comes from accepting who I am – warts, foibles and all.

Worrying about a few extra pounds and laugh lines is not on my radar. My goal is to be the best Melissa I can be at 106 while being as independent and upright as possible.

The biggest challenge has been for me to accept my strengths, my virtues (yes, I do have a few), my flaws and my weaknesses because I know that I’m a beautiful soul. Self confidence comes from loving and accepting yourself and I’ve never been very good at that. Each day, I’m grateful for another chance to be the amazing soul that I am.

Part of my mission – and gift – is to help other women know that they’re absolutely beautiful just as they are. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes – and ages. Love and acceptance of all you have to offer is the real beauty and it shines through.

Please, please, please – love yourself. Love your body. Learn to love the assets you have instead of bemoaning the ones you don’t. I want to see your beaming smile – the smile that comes from self-acceptance and loving who you are. Be quirky – be unique – that’s who you are!

Much love and many blessings!

Melissa

P.S. Please take a moment to share this post with someone who struggles with their body image. 

 

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5 Sneaky Reasons Why You’re Always Tired

Why Am I Always Tired, Fatigue, Extreme Fatigue, Fatigue Causes, Always Tired, Tired All The Time, Too Tired To Sleep

Ever asked yourself why you’re tired all the time? Maybe you haven’t really noticed it or tracked it, but do you wake up refreshed or groggy and reaching for caffeine? Here’s 5 sneaky reasons why you’re always tired.

Sneaky Reason #1: You’re Dehydrated

Yeah, you don’t wanna hear this, do you? One of the first questions I ask of people who say they’re tired is “how much water are you drinking?” Ermagawd, you should see the nasty looks that I get!

GAH! YOU ARE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH CLEAR, CLEAN WATER. 

The folks at Health.com write about the many side effects of not drinking enough water including gaining weight, crankiness, muscle cramps and feeling tired all the time:

mid-afternoon slump may have more to do with hydration than you think. “When you’re dehydrated your blood pressure drops, heart rate increases, blood flow to the brain slows – all of which can make you tired,” says Luga Podesta, MD, sports medicine specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif. A lack of water to muscles also makes physical tasks feel more difficult and tiring.

Nobody said you have to give up everything except water. How about substituting ONE GLASS of water for ONE SODA. It’s a start!

To be truly hydrated you need to divide your body weight by 2 and drink that many ounces of water DAILY. 

Sneaky Reason #2: Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is when you don’t get enough oxygen while sleeping and your body “wakes” you up for a moment to basically get you to take a deep breath. WebMD.com explains it like this:

“The brain notices you’re not getting rid of your CO2, and it wakes up really briefly in an alarmed state,” says Lisa Shives, MD, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. You don’t even realize it, which makes it hard to figure out why you’re so sleepy during the day. “You don’t get into REM — the sleep that makes you feel best,” Shives says.

This is one of those times when you need to see a doctor about your fatigue. Your partner might be able to tell you if you’re not breathing properly especially if you snore.

Sneaky Reason #3: Yeast Infections

About the time I turned 50, I was an absolute hot mess and tired all the time. I was going into menopause, my adrenal system was burned out and I lived with a chronic yeast infection for over 35 years. (Sorry for the TMI!) I went to 5 – count ’em – 5 (!) doctors before I met a compounding pharmacist/nurse practitioner who told me that a yeast infection was suppressing my immune system and contributing to my adrenal burnout.

I was so angry that none of the doctors I saw talked to me about this. They simply gave me that nasty cream and sent me on my way. I wish I would have known about aromatherapy in my 20’s as my life would have been completely changed! 

According to the website YeastInfection.org, fatigue is the number one symptom of yeast infections. Now, that’s not to say that being tired means you have a yeast infection, but it’s a sneaky symptom for sure. If you think this might be an issue for you, there’s information on home tests on their website to check for an overgrowth of candida albicans.

Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils are ideal for addressing the symptoms, but you really need to get to the root of the overgrowth. (It’s usually stress and sugar.) I’ve put a recipe in the Tea Tree blog post to make a simple and effective remedy.

Sneaky Reason #4: Leaky Gut

According to DrAxe.com, leaky gut is something you probably don’t notice.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition in which your digestive tract becomes damaged and small holes begin to develop in your gut lining. Small particles that normally can’t pass through your gut wall begin seeping through into your bloodstream. When someone has leaky gut syndrome, some of the things that can pass through the gut lining include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles.

I’ll give you three guesses as to what the very first symptom is: chronic fatigue. Fatigue isn’t something you really associate with your gut, but it sneaks up on you!

Here’s what Dr. Axe recommends for healing your leaky gut:

  • The solution to healing leaky gut includes removing foods and factors that damage the gut (like gluten and sugar). Replace these with various healing foods such as fermented foods, bone broth, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, healthy sources of protein, vegetables and lots of healthy fats.
  • Also consider taking gut-healing supplements like probiotics, L-glutamine, pancreatic enzymes and quercetin.
  • Make sure to fix any nutrient deficiencies by including plenty of whole foods in your diet that supply zinc, iron and B vitamins.

Junk food is your worst enemy! It’s full of chemicals, sugar and empty calories that do far more damage than good.

Sneaky Reason #5: You’re Not Saying NO

Time Magazine has an interesting article that explores sneaky reasons why you’re always tired. People-pleasing is a big reason and always comes at the expense of your health.

People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. To make matters worse, it can make you resentful and angry over time. So whether it’s your kid’s coach asking you to bake cookies for her soccer team or your boss seeing if you can work on a Saturday, you don’t have to say yes. Train yourself to say ‘no’ out loud, suggests Susan Albers, a licensed clinical psychologist with Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. “Try it alone in your car,” she says. “Hearing yourself say the word aloud makes it easier to say it when the next opportunity calls for it.”

I’m not telling you to automatically say no in every situation, but it’s important to remember that you can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup. When you’re constantly saying “yes” to other’s demands, resentment and frustration build up which causes – you guessed it – fatigue and feeling tired all the time.

During my life coach training, I had to take part in case studies and practice sessions. While there’s a million reasons that people work with a life coach, one of the reasons is feeling put upon by family, friends and co-workers and a good life coach (including me) will help you learn to set healthy boundaries.

There are lots of ways to say no, protect your boundaries and still be polite!

Where do you see yourself in these sneaky reasons? Maybe you’re not completely worn out, but you don’t have as much energy as you once did and you haven’t connected the dots yet. It’s time to investigate – take a good hard look at your life and see where you’re leaking energy. 

Need some help? Just fill out this simple contact form and let’s talk – today!

Blessings,

Melissa

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Life Got You Stressed Out?

Life Got You Stressed Out, Stress, Stressed Out, Relax, Stress Symptoms, Chronic Stress

Life got you stressed out? Tell me how you’re REALLY doing. The automatic response I hear most is “I’m fine!” but in reality, you’re not.

Modern life tends to push all of us to our very limits. We’re bombarded non-stop with noise pollution, smart phones, social media, television (that NEVER stops), unhealthy food, schedules that would drive a saint to drink and on and on and on…

More than a few people in my life – friends, family and clients – talk about the stress in their lives. Y’all know I’m a trained aromatherapist and holistic life coach, so I’m always asking questions of anyone who wants “something for stress”.

I can’t tell you how many caregivers, medical professionals and teachers tell me that they’re on the verge of burnout because they’re constantly on the go and under stress. 

I’ll give you a hint to the effects of stress – my best-selling products at Scented Balance are Anxiety Ease, Peaceful Ease, Headache Ease, PainGenix, Flexatoid and PsoMaxx. What does that tell you?

What is Stress?

Stress is a physical response to change. That’s as simple as I can make it. It’s your body reacting to circumstances and events whether that’s momentary or continuous. Your stress response is based on your perception of what’s happening at any given moment.

When you feel “stress”, your nervous system goes into high gear involuntarily. Your body perceives stress from good experiences (weddings, awards, etc.) in the same manner as bad experiences (illness, work etc.). It makes no difference to your adrenal system – you’re still stressed!

How many times have you watched an action film or scary movie and your heart beats faster? How did you feel standing at your wedding in front of a room full of people? What about that near miss you had on the way to work? And the first time you gave a presentation to a potential client? That first moment of falling in love? Yep, your adrenal system kicked in without missing a beat.

Stress can be a good thing. You have a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat and is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction. Your adrenaline pumps through your system, your heart rate increases, your breathing is shallow and all of your bodily functions are on high alert. When a perceived threat happens occasionally, your body calms down after a few hours and your parasympathetic nervous system takes over again.

Adrenal fatigue and burnout are rampant in our society – all due to stress!

Sympathetic Nervous System Response

When you perceive everything in your life to be stressful, your sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of high alert – and I’m here to tell you from experience – that’s when the long-term damage begins.

I’m currently reading a book called Deadly Emotions by Don Colbert, M.D. and it is EYE-OPENING. In the chapter about turning off your stress hormones, he writes:

“Psychiatric diseases that have been linked to long-term stress include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as other more rare psychiatric diseases.

The manifestation of long-term stress may also be in the form of physical diseases or ailments. Playing games with chronic stress places nearly every organ system of the body at grave risk.”

Your stress symptoms can cause everything from headaches and migraines, stomach and digestive problems, heart palpitations, chronic pain, lung and breathing problems, eczema and psoriasis – need I go on to convince you what chronic stress is doing to you? It’s killing you!

The Mind Body Connection

One of the questions I ask of clients who have eczema or psoriasis is this: what do you need to cry about? You think I’m nuts, don’t you? There’s a ton of research in the medical field that shows stress is a major trigger of eczema and psoriasis. Those folks are the ones I ask about their anger, sorrow and stress level. With eczema and psoriasis, your skin is openly weeping because you can’t – or won’t. Your skin – or your headaches or chronic pain – is telling you that you just can’t take anymore of these stress-producing emotions.

Dr. Colbert goes on to say:

“While stress may not be a known cause of some diseases, studies have shown it to dramatically increase the pain or suffering associated with autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and Graves’ disease.”

Are you paying attention yet?

Did you know that arthritis is all about being angry and feeling helpless to do anything about it? Got digestive issues? What’s going on in your life that you’re you struggling to “digest”? Get the connection?

Sadly, many allopathic physicians don’t have time to talk about – or don’t really understand – the mind/body connection. They weren’t necessarily taught about this connection because medical schools aren’t teaching it. It’s much easier to prescribe a pill to dull your symptoms than it is to get to the root.

And the root is stress.

Reducing Stress

There are simple and effective ways to reduce your chronic stress level. But YOU have to want to help yourself. I don’t know how else to say that except for bluntly.

  • Move your body. You don’t want to hear that and you have a thousand excuses why you can’t stretch or walk or – the dirty word – exercise. If all you do is stretch for 5 minutes first thing in the morning, then you’re reducing the effects of stress. Set your alarm clock for 6:10 instead of 6:15 and simply stretch. Yoga is perfect for this. If all you have time for is 3 or 4 poses, then go for it!
  • Stop using any form of caffeine after 4 PM. All of you coffee drinkers who brag about drinking a cup of coffee and then go to bed are making a bad situation worse. You think you’re sleeping just fine, but your body is still processing that caffeine and you’re not getting the recuperative rest that you really need.
  • Unplug ONE HOUR before you go to bed. I don’t want to hear any excuses. (No, you do NOT have to fall asleep with the TV on. That’s simply a bad habit you started and don’t want to stop.) The blue light from your television, computer, tablet and phone disrupts the release of melatonin which is a hormone related to nighttime. Unplugging allows your body and mind to relax.
  • Get more Vitamin C. Eat an orange every single day or red and green peppers, kiwifruit, baked potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.
  • Stop eating junk food. They’re full of chemicals, sugar and empty calories and you’re simply stressing your system even more.
  • Take a few minutes every single day to practice deep breathing. Those long deep breaths will do more to calm you than anything and fills your body full of fresh oxygen.

I fully realize you have a packed schedule, aging parents, kids with soccer practice, a heavy work schedule – I get this. But tell me something. What good are you to anyone if you’re flat on your back? Eventually, your body will rebel and you’ll get sick. You just haven’t made the connection yet.

Your body is talking to you – listen!

How Does Aromatherapy Help?

HELLO PEOPLE, I’M A CERTIFIED AROMATHERAPIST! I HAVE STUFF TO HELP YOU! Okay, I’ll quit yelling now. Seriously, here’s some products I created just for stress and anxiety and how they can help you:

  • The Anxiety Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball helps calm you without getting drowsy. Roll it on your heart and inner wrists any time you feel stressed out.
  • Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball works with stress and mild depression. Depression is a symptom of stress. Roll it on your heart, under your nose and on the back of your neck as often as needed.
  • Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball. This acts as a tonic for your body to support your adrenal system – you know the fight-or-flight culprit. Apply this one to your adrenal glands (they sit on top of your kidneys) 4 times a day – but NOT after 4 pm.

Really – that’s just the short list – there’s all sorts of products in my line up that can help you with a myriad of concerns. BUT – and it’s a big BUT – I can’t heal, fix or cure you. YOU have to do that and it all begins with managing your stress.

Listen, I wrote this post as much for me as for you. I’ve been in your shoes and had to learn some hard lessons and new ways of coping. Dig deep and see how your perception of a particular situation is causing the stress. I know you care, I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re tired.

Let me help. Fill out this short contact form and let’s talk. Today.

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. You probably know 10 different people who are stressed to the max. How about sharing this post with them, okay?

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

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Cool Off With Peppermint Essential Oil

Cool Off With Peppermint, Peppermint, Benefits of Peppermint Oil, Peppermint Oil Uses, Peppermint Oil For Hot Flashes, Peppermint Essential Oil

Did you know you can cool off with peppermint essential oil? Summertime is my favorite time of the year but I do believe I’m the only one who isn’t hot. :0) For those who are sweltering, I have a simple and healthy way to cool off! The benefits of peppermint oil are many and not just for hot summer days.

Peppermint essential oil (Mentha x peperita) offers so much for one small bottle. In creating aromatherapy blends for adults, peppermint is one of my go-to oils because it has so many amazing qualities. It’s versatile in so many situations and you’ll love it because it cools you off!

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint is actually a hybrid of both spearmint and water mint. It has a refreshing crisp scent and is cooling to the skin. The most active ingredients include menthol (50–60 percent) and menthone (10–30 percent). CAUTION: Because of the high menthol content, peppermint essential oil is not safe for those on blood thinners or children under 10. Just so you know!

Here’s just a few of the uses and benefits of peppermint oil:

  • Analgesic. Relieves muscle and joint pain; simply apply 2 – 3 drops where you hurt. Especially good for headaches and migraines when combined with a few drops of Lavender essential oil.
  • Antispasmodic. When you have an upset stomach or feel nauseous, rub a couple of drops on your belly or simply inhale through each nostril directly from the bottle. It’s also excellent for those with IBS to relax the spasms in your digestive system.
  • Expectorant. Peppermint is known to relax nasal passage muscles. You can diffuse several drops of peppermint oil in your cold mist diffuser to clear out the mucous and you’ll love how clean the air smells!
  • Anti-inflammatory. Peppermint oil is proven to have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, which is why it is used in so many alternative treatments. Its chemical composition makes it resistant to certain dangerous bacterial strains like E. coli, salmonella, and staph infections.
  • Suppresses appetite. Take a few whiffs from the bottle through each nostril to help curb cravings.
  • Invigorating. Need to sit through a long meeting? Diffuse a few drops of peppermint in your cold mist diffuser, or if you can’t do that, then take a few whiffs directly from the bottle. It’s cooling and you feel perked up in no time!
  • Anti-itch. Peppermint oil is excellent at relieving the itch from bug bites, stings, eczema and psoriasis. It’s just one of several essential oils that I use in Skeeter-Off Mosquito Repellent for Adults and PsoMaxx Psoriasis and Eczema Salve. Not for kids under 10!
  • Cooling. Overheated? Mix several drops in a 3 or 4 ounce spray bottle and fill with filtered water. Spray on the back of your neck and your throat to cool off. peppermint oil for hot flashes
  • Improves circulation. Peppermint essential oil is stimulating which has been proven to help blood circulation. Increased blood circulation can prevent diabetics from complications they are already at risk of due to their glucose level imbalances.

By the way, if you have trouble sleeping, use your peppermint essential oil before 5 PM. You don’t want that stimulating effect right before you go to bed!

More Benefits of Peppermint Oil

Isn’t it amazing how one little bottle of peppermint essential oil can have so many uses? I’ve read about some other everyday uses:

  • Can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It can be used as a natural treatment for thinning hair, and it helps to stimulate the scalp and energize your mind. Just add a couple of drops to your shampoo and notice how your scalp tingles!
  • Acne trouble? Mix 2–3 drops of peppermint with equal parts lavender essential oil and apply the combination topically to the area of concern – BUT – you might want to test your skin if it’s sensitive!
  • Sunburn relief. To hydrate and help heal your skin after sun exposure, mix 2–3 drops of peppermint oil with a half-teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it directly to the affected area.

For all of you outdoor enthusiasts, keep a bottle of Skeeter-Off Mosquito Repellent in your golf bag or backpack – better yet, keep one in your cooler. Anytime you feel like you’re getting overheated, spray it on the front and back of your neck – you’ll cool off and keep the mosquitoes away at the same time!

If you’re going through menopause and unable to utilize hormone replacement therapy, Flares N’ Flashes helps relieve those hot flashes fast! Just spray it on your throat and chest area to cool off.

If you’d like more information, please fill out the simple contact form and let’s talk. Stay cool!

Melissa

 

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Itchy Skin All Over – AUGH!

itch, itchy skin all over, itching skin, itching, pruritis, essential oils for itching skin

GAH – I have itchy skin all over and it drives me crazy!!! Yes, it’s a short drive. One would think the itching could wait until winter. One would think.

Summertime humidity and heat are every bit as hard on your skin as dry cold wintertime air. Because you sweat in the summertime, you may not realize how parched and dry your skin really is.

What can you do for your itching skin? Well, you could go to the drug store and buy commercial lotions or creams that are full of phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates and parabens – chemicals known to disrupt your hormonal system, cause hair loss as well as damage your liver and kidneys. 

— OR —

You could use an aromatherapy blend which not only soothes your itch, it’ll nourish your skin as well. Oh – and your liver and hormones will LOVE you!

People come to my studio and visit my booth at fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets and talk to me about their dry, itchy skin (among other things) and how the commercial stuff doesn’t do them any good. When you use the toxic commercial stuff, your skin feels better for a little while, but in a very short time, you’re right back where you started with itchy skin all over.

What Causes Itching Skin?

The scientific term for itching is pruritis and it’s caused by any number of things:

The pruritis causes a sensation under your skin that makes you scratch. When you scratch your skin, you tear it – you may not be able to see it with the naked eye, but you’re tearing your skin which lets in bacteria and causes all sorts of problems. Especially if you’re diabetic. You can read more about diabetic skin issues in this post and this post.

Aromatherapy and Good Essential Oils for Itching Skin

Moisturized skin is beautiful and beautiful skin looks good naked! #WannaLookGoodNaked At Scented Balance, you’ll find products to nourish and restore your skin AND help the itch right away.

Stop using the drug store stuff because you’re actually doing more harm than good. Seriously.

There’s a number of essential oils that nourish and restore your skin. In almost all cases, you need to dilute them with a good carrier oil such as organic coconut oil. If you don’t like the coconut oil, get some Argan, Evening Primrose or Jojoba oil to help your skin. These are the top essential oils for itching skin:

  • Lavender is excellent for your skin. This is the one oil you can use neat. Lavender promotes skin healing as well as being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. This oil is safe for kids 2+
  • Patchouli is cooling, helps stop the itch and fleas and mosquitoes don’t like it! This oil is safe for kids 2+.
  • Peppermint is another cooling oil that stops the itch in its tracks. It’s also an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
  • Geranium is an anti-inflammatory oil that calms irritated skin while its regenerative properties encourage the growth of healthy new skin cells. Geranium essential oil also accelerates healing of wounds and skin irritations. This oil is safe for kids 2+.
  • Tea Tree is good for your skin and your respiratory system! It’s used to holistically treat many kinds of skin conditions and ailments. Loaded with anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil can address a variety of skin ailments. This oil is safe for kids 2+.

This isn’t a definitive list by any means, but it’s the most common essential oils that really make a difference for your dry itchy skin. Just for being a loyal reader, you can take 20% of PsoMaxx Salve for Psoriasis and Eczema, any of the Nakedly line of Body Butters and any of the Nakedly line of body lotions with this code:

ITCHYSKIN

Just apply the code when you check out through August 7, 2018. That’s my birthday gift to you!

Can you imagine how your life will change when you take care of your dry itchy skin? Look good naked and nourish your skin – let me know how I can help you. Just fill out this contact form and let’s get started today!

Blessings,

Melissa

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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If Everybody Wins, Who Really Wins?

If Everybody Wins Who Really Wins?, Law Of Attraction, Sense of Entitlement, Good Kid, Criticism

If everybody wins, who really wins? I had an eye-opening conversation with a friend recently about this very subject. We were talking about some of the people she works with that don’t do their job because “they don’t want to” and there’s no motivation to do any different.

She went on to say that these particular people are the first generation that got a blue ribbon just for showing up on Field Day. They received everything equally so that nobody’s fragile self esteem was damaged.

Needing to process that statement, I looked at her for a moment and then it hit me.

Everyone of them got a blue ribbon on Field Day at school so that everyone would win something and nobody walked away hurt and disappointed. Everyone is a winner – everybody is a king.

GAH!

This trend began some years ago because some “authority” told us that children need constant positive feedback to grow into self-confident adults. If someone wins, then someone loses and somebody might feel bad about themselves so let’s just make everybody the same and then everybody feels awesome! My friend’s co-workers are the first generation of “Believe. Achieve. Succeed.”. And it’s been taken one step too far.

I understand the premise behind it, but not the reasoning. Nobody wants to feel the sting of disappointment – especially when you really put forth your best effort.

But if you never learn the agony of defeat in life, then how do you learn to gracefully handle the thrill of victory? If everything is awesome, how can anything be awesome?

I remember the first time my son came home from school sobbing with disappointment because he didn’t win. Everyone in his kindergarten class submitted artwork for a contest at his school. He didn’t win anything at all – not even an honorable mention. The artwork was awesome (of course it was!) so I did what any parent would do, I called his teacher.

I explained the situation and asked who was judging the contest. The teacher told me that an art teacher from the high school was judging the contest – a person who didn’t know any of the children and was objective. Okay – thank you – got it – just wanted to check and make sure.

Then the hard part came – gotta tell my 5 year old that sometimes life just stinks. It’s not because he didn’t do his best, not because he was disliked.

He didn’t win anything because someone else was better at art than he was.

If everybody is a winner at everything, then how do you learn what your gifts and abilities are? How do you discover a passion for something when you get a gold star just for showing up and breathing?

If everybody gets a blue ribbon, does that mean everybody is going to be a doctor? Or lawyer? Or succeed at college life?

See what I’m getting at?

Healthy Self Confidence Instead of Over-Inflated Ego

Michael Sigman, in writing for the Huffington Post, says this everyone-wins-a-trophy mentality simply breeds a false sense of self-confidence:

“Grade inflation promotes ego inflation, the opposite of healthy self-confidence. “We want to encourage effort, especially among young kids,” says Jean M. Twenge, author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. “But the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality basically says that you’re going to get rewarded just for showing up. That won’t build true self-esteem; instead, it builds this empty sense of ‘I’m just fantastic, not because I did anything but just because I’m here.’”

By fighting to earn my blue ribbon (or A, or whatever the prize is) I learned good sportsmanship, motivation, self-confidence along with knowing what I was good at and where I was lousy.

I can tell you right now, absolutely NO ONE was concerned about building up my fragile self-esteem. It was all about doing better than you did the day before, studying hard so you didn’t get grounded for bad grades and finding (and fitting in with) friends you enjoyed playing with.

A Learned Sense of Entitlement

Mark Merrill writes about this learned sense of entitlement in a blunt way:

“It seemed to start in the early 90’s. Maybe it was in little league sports, maybe somewhere else. Someone came up with the idea that there would be no losers. Maybe they didn’t want to “damage the children’s self-esteem.” Thus, everyone wins. Everyone gets a trophy. Sure, maybe at a very young age it’s no big deal, but kids are smart cookies. As they get a bit older, they see what’s happening and it de-motivates them. The less talented kids have no reason to do better and the more talented kids have little motivation to excel. On the other hand, it’s also dangerous for our children to think that if you can’t win, you shouldn’t play. That’s a lie too. There is often incredible benefit in being on the basketball team even if you’re not the starter or to sing in the choir even if you’re not the star.”

Even if you’re lousy at something, shouldn’t you experience it just to be a well-rounded human? If you win at everything, does that make you a good kid? If you don’t win, then what?

I love this explanation about raising mentally tough and healthy kids by blogger Anna McAffee:

“We set them up for failure by not giving them realistic expectations. We do not prepare them for healthy criticism, nor do we allow them to determine their gifts and abilities. By telling them that they can do whatever they want, they never have the chance to figure out what they are good at and what they are not good at. Working to develop well-rounded and confident children is not a bad thing. The problem arises when we tell our children that they are going to be the very best at everything they set out to do.”

While I think it’s good to let children know they can attempt anything at all, we also need to temper this with teaching them to look for and hone their gifts and abilities instead of just expecting to be patted on the back for simply showing up.

How This Turned Into The Law Of Attraction

While this mentality of “you can have, be and do anything you set your mind to” is great in theory for motivation, it stinks in reality. I think this whole entitlement mentality paved the way for the huge “law of attraction” explosion. 

The Law Of Attraction basically says whatever you want, all you have to do is dream it, think positive thoughts and it’s yours. Whether that’s a million bucks, a fabulous job, the prettiest spouse in town – whatever. You want it, you got it because with the law of attraction, nobody loses and everybody wins!

Really?

So what happens when the dream doesn’t happen? How do you handle bitter disappointment when you’ve never known loss or defeat because, you know, everyone’s a winner? There’s this false sense of reality because the law of attractions says I’ll succeed at everything I try!

When it doesn’t happen, then what? If you’ve always gotten the blue ribbon for just showing up, then you really don’t know what failure and disappointment is.

What happens the first time your boss criticizes you because you could’ve done a better job on that project or you need to start showing up on time? If you don’t know any different, how do you handle that criticism?

There’s a real shock! My friend said people quit their job at her company because they just didn’t feel like doing the job they’re being paid for! When they were criticized for not stepping up, it made them so mad, they quit.

I swear my eyes are rolling right out of the back of my head. Jeez…

Healthy Self Esteem and Self Worth

We all need to receive positive feedback – especially as a child. I get that. And yes, if you work hard enough, you’ll probably get what you want or some semblance thereof. Maybe. But if you’re tying your self esteem and self worth to winning and losing, you’re screwed from the start.

Healthy self esteem and self worth comes from the inside. You’ve got to know in you’re own heart that no matter what people think or say, YOU are a worthy person. Not because you got a blue ribbon for showing up on field day, but because you’re a human being worthy of taking up space on the planet.

Some things, you just have to learn on your own – including disappointment and criticism. Or with the help of an awesome and compassionate holistic life coach. :0) Fill out this short contact form and let’s talk about this today!

Blessings,

Melissa

 

 

 

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The Mis-Education of Busyness

Busy, Busyness, Stop The Glorification of Busy, What is Stress, Stress Level

A dear friend of mine had a startling aha moment the other day and I’m calling it the mis-education of busyness. You know what I mean – you’re busy. Constantly busy. On the go. Hurry here. Hurry there. Hurry everywhere.

Let’s all take a big DEEP breath and just stop for a moment.

My friend called and said that her aha moment hit her after a few long stressful months. She feels like she is continually on the go, doing SOMETHING and going nowhere fast.

As it always does, a simple little incident was enough to blow the lid off. She was sitting at a stop light and someone behind her didn’t stop fast enough and tapped her bumper. It was basically a t-i-i-i-n-y little fender bender (no real damage) and she said she just sobbed. Got back in her car and sobbed. On the way to work where she had to be perky and upbeat — and she’s sobbing.

Her stress level was through the roof and she wasn’t connecting the dots. Then, after work, she went home and sat down for 30 minutes with a glass of her favorite white wine. And the heavens parted with a shocking revelation.

Simply put: perpetual busyness.

Stop the Glorification of Busyness

American society is all about the glorification of busyness. For most, busyness equals productivity. WE MUST BE DOING SOMETHING AT ALL TIMES. IF NOT, WE ARE LAZY.

Amirite?

It’s ridiculous! 

If you think about it, we never shut down. Our modern life provides – even encourages – sensory bombardment. We are constantly deluged by noise, traffic, music, television, social media, crowds and – the worst – electronic devices that are always ON.

Food for thought:

  • When’s the last time you turned your phone off overnight?
  • When’s the last time you went more than 20 minutes without checking your phone?
  • Do you fall asleep with the television on?
  • Do you watch the news while you get ready for work in the morning?
  • Is the radio blaring on your way to work?
  • At dinnertime, do you talk as a family or is the television on for distraction?

Oh – and the worst is running all over hell’s half acre to take the kids to every single after-school activity known to mankind. I’ve lost count of how many people tell me the inside of their car looks like a fast food dump because every single night is a different activity and they constantly go through drive-through windows just to stay on time.

If you think you’re stressed out, whaddya think all this busyness is doing to your kids? 

When you’re always busy, you’re basically keeping your body in a state of perpetual fight-or-flight which will burn out your adrenal system real fast. Just ask me how I know that. And what do you think it’s doing for your stress level?

We must stop the glorification of busyness.

Overstimulation

One of the biggest hidden culprits of anxiety and depression is relentless overstimulation. By perpetually being “on”, we’re teaching kids that simply sitting down and allowing their imaginations to wake up is lazy. We’re not teaching kids to learn how to sit quietly and to like their own company because we have a DVD player in the back of the van. Turn on the ignition, the DVD fires up and everybody stays quiet until we get to the next stop.

An interesting article written by Deane Alban for the website reset.me wrote this about noise pollution:

We undoubtedly live in a noisy world. We are continually deluged by sounds that did not even exist 100 years ago — vehicle traffic, television, leaf blowers, muzak, and smartphones. The problem has gotten so bad that a World Health Organization report labeled noise pollution a “modern plague.” While noise pollution does not cause mental disorders, it’s been found to contribute to anxiety, stress, emotional instability, mood swings, neurosis, and psychosis. Noise increases blood pressure and stimulates the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. It activates the brain’s amygdala, the part of the brain sometimes referred to as the fear center.

Um…did you just read that? Overstimulation contributes to anxiety, stress, emotional instability and all that other exhausting stuff? 

AACK!

Clutter

Don’t even get me started about clutter! I’ve written before about the effect physical clutter has on your mental state. The vacuum doesn’t get run, there’s dishes in the sink (certainly not from dinner!), last week’s mail is still on the (unused) dining room table, and of course, there’s no time to deal with all junk in your car. Not to mention the 400 emails in your inbox.

Simply put, physical clutter equals mental clutter. When you’re incessantly mentally “cluttered”, you open the door to exhaustion and all the other modern-day maladies. 

Deane Alban further writes:

Clutter robs you of mental energy, leaving you feeling anxious, tired, and overwhelmed. Your environment is a direct reflection of your psychological state, so if your living space is a mess, it’s likely you do not have your mental house in order either.

What Is Stress?

The Stress Organization – yes, there is such a thing – gives this definition of stress:

Stress is not a useful term for scientists because it is such a highly subjective phenomenon that it defies definition. And if you can’t define stress, how can you possibly measure it? The term “stress”, as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.

So, whatever may stress you to the max is no big deal to me. Stress level is all subjective! GAH!

Now What?

Y’all, we’ve just got to slow down! The bottom line is our mis-education of busyness. Unceasing busyness does not make you a hero. It simply exhausts you and drains you of your best gifts to yourself, family and friends. Please don’t even tell me you can’t possibly slow down. It’s a conscious choice you make to either take care of yourself or run yourself ragged by always being busy.

One of the concerns I raise with my coaching clients is the constant state of busyness. Part of my job is to help you learn to say no as a matter of self-care; to help you learn to be happy with your own quiet (read that: unplugged) company; to teach you that quiet time isn’t counterproductive, it’s essential to your very health!

Don’t know where to start relaxing? Each of my coaching clients purchase a custom aromatherapy blend specifically for their lifestyle concerns. I also have two separate blends that will help you get started in slowing down.

Have I struck a nerve? Fill out this very short contact form and let’s talk today.

Blessings,

Melissa

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Fearful or Fearless?

Fearful or Fearless, Overcoming Fear, Put Myself Out There, Be Afraid, What Am I Afraid Of, Speaking In Front of People

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Steve Jobs

Why does it seem that a life-altering event such as the threat of dying is many times the catalyst for change? We don’t often think about it but major changes in life sometimes just smack you in the face with no time to prepare or make any decisions.

You coast through life, never really challenging your beliefs, and then BANG – it happens. Life intervenes and we face new challenges; we become fearful of change. Usually, it’s fear of the unknown or someone’s opinion that’s behind all the panic. The above quote from Steve Jobs jumped out at me when writing this week’s topic.

What if you received the news that you would only have a year or so to live – maybe 5 years at the most? What then? What choices would you make? What dreams would you follow? Would failures matter? So what if you tried something new and looked a bit foolish? Would anyone care in the face of your remaining days?

Jeez – why does it matter so much about everyone’s opinions of us?  And why do those around us have to be so blasted judgmental? You can say you don’t give a rat’s backside what other people think but deep down – for many of us – there’s a deep fear of not fitting in.

Really? I think one of the biggest reasons more of us don’t truly listen to what our soul wants is plain old FEAR – fear of failing, fear of criticism, maybe even fear of looking really stupid to our family and friends.

It’s been my dream forever to be a writer and share my heart with readers. It’s okay if you want to snort and laugh hysterically. Who’s to say I won’t have a New York Times bestseller some day? Who?? 

That’s the whole point of making you think about being fearful or fearless – and overcoming fear.

Feeling Fearless

So, I’m going to share something with you that feels scary. I wrote a book. And a journal. And recorded the book on CD. And then I had an awesome coffee cup made with “LEAP FEARLESSLY” written on it. No really. I did!

This past weekend, I was busy cleaning out my space and getting rid of stuff I don’t use anymore. (I seem to do a lot of that lately.) I came across a box I didn’t recognize and it was full of the recorded version of Find Your Paradigm: The Art of Living With Grace and Ease.

I talked with a friend about what to do with this box full of CD’s that are only taking up space. The advice I got? Keep ’em! He told me that not everyone can say they wrote a book, recorded it and put themselves out there. He said that keeping them would be a reminder of my hard work and belief in myself.

Who knows? Some day, there might be someone who wants to hear the sound of my voice. Lemme tell ya – I got 25 CD’s with my voice on ’em – just for you. Sigh…

By telling you about my sweet little book and journal, I’m trying to say please don’t let fear stop you from putting yourself out there. Don’t let fear stop you from listening to your heart. Please, please, PLEASE don’t let fear of failure or criticism stop you from reaching for the stars!

How did that dream work out? Well, let’s see. I had 100 books, 100 journals and 72 awesome coffee cups printed up because it was the start of my dream 7 years ago. Today, if you come to my aromatherapy studio, you’ll see 80 of the books, 70 of the journals and 40 of the coffee cups ready for anyone who wants to buy them. In the end, that dream didn’t work out. 

The lesson from that dream is that even though it all fell flat, I still did it. I still put my heart and soul out to the world knowing there would be haters to blow my doors off. I didn’t let them stop me.

Fearful or Fearless?

What dream would you follow if you knew you couldn’t fail?  What dream would you follow if you knew it would come true? At the end of the day, what gets your juices flowing? What dream is so important to you – it’s all you think about – but fear holds you back?

What are you afraid of?

Don’t say you’re not afraid of anything – that’s bulls$%t. I won’t pretend that the big decisions and changes in life aren’t gut-wrenching. They are. Nobody said following your dream would be easy or that you would never be afraid of something. But if you allow fear to rule your decisions, then you lose. Period.

I’m not a fan of public speaking – but I know deep down in my heart that if I want to succeed at aromatherapy – and I do – I have to stand in front of people and let them see my heart and passion. I think I’d rather deliver an elephant than face a room full of people who are waiting for me to say something intelligent.

I’m in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

But it’s part of my dream and if I let what other people think hold me back, then shame on me. It’s important to remember that I’m not facing a firing squad, I’m simply standing in front of people and speaking in the most heartfelt way about my passion for aromatherapy. That’s what has helped me the most.

It’s irritating how people can be so harsh and judgmental – off the cuff – without really knowing who, what or why they are judging. I’ve been at the short end of the harsh judgement stick – sometimes fairly – many times unfairly – and I know what it feels like to be scared, vulnerable, and humiliated in front of people. It’s a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

I said as much to a friend of mine, and she said: “Before you walk into a room, you throw your shoulders back, hold your head up, swagger in and pretend you own the joint. You might be scared, but don’t let anyone see that.”

In a few short words, my friend just told you how to reach your dreams. So did Steve Jobs in his quote above.

I’m fairly certain the Nobel Prize was created when someone mistakenly thought Alfred Nobel had died so his obituary was printed in the newspaper. He saw what was going to be the sum of his life and didn’t like it. He was given a huge gift to change the end result of his life, become the person he wanted to be and leave a lasting legacy. He didn’t let fear of what other people might think hold him back.

I’m trying very hard to do the same thing. Whether you like me and my passion (or not) no longer matters and it’s an amazing level of freedom. What really matters is that I am moving past the fear to put myself out in the world. One day at a time, one step at a time. Each time I reach past the fear, I learn a little bit more about just how strong and determined I am.

For you today, please keep reaching through the fear to live your best life. Tell me how you reached through the fear by leaving a comment below – you’ll be an inspiration today for someone who’s struggling.

Blessings,

Melissa

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Keep The Faith

Keep The Faith, Perseverance, Inspiration, Motivation,

To have faith doesn’t mean you get any less frustrated when you don’t do your best, but you know that it’s not life and death. Take what you’re given, and when you continue to work hard, you will see results. That will give you the confidence you need to keep going. Tom Lehman

Sometimes, it’s hard to keep the faith. Every once in a while, the world just keeps coming at you with no end in sight. I hope I’m not the only one who feels like throwing in the towel upon occasion. 

It’s impossible to count just how many times I have felt that way. Do you ever feel that way? Feel like enough is enough? Feel like you’ve pushed so hard to make something happen and it fell flat – yet another time?

You’ve had a really tough day; seems like everything has gone to hell in a hand basket and it ain’t over yet. Not nearly enough aspirin – or red wine –  to fix that headache.

That’s exactly when you need to keep the faith. 

There’s a way to get back on track when life seems so overwhelming, it seems like it’s always something and you’re asking yourself: will it ever end already?

Somehow, somewhere, some way – there’s a gift in here. (Sigh…)

The Gift of Perseverance

I went through a really bad time some years ago where Murphy’s Law was in full effect. If it could go wrong, it did. Everything I said, everything I did, every single decision I made – all backfired in some form or fashion.

The fallout was devastating – I’ve said that before. I completely lost my faith and anything else that went along with it. You want to know the truth? I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered from that chapter of my life. Or do I mean healed?

I dunno.

All I can say is some of the things I’ve been through are what make me a very gifted and empathetic aromatherapist and life coach. These very events have shaped my character, my integrity and my heart.

But, I managed through the gift of perseverance. And guts. And grit. Real life ain’t for sissies, you know.

So, how can I help you get back on track? 

The Benefits of Deep Breathing (and Yoga)

Through taking a yoga class with an amazing instructor, I’ve learned even more about deep breathing. Take a deep breath – I know – overused and doesn’t seem to do any good, but it really does help your body especially during stressful times.

Focusing on your breath gives your brain a much needed break and gives you a moment to think about nothing. Breathing this deeply helps bring fresh energy to your cells and is very calming. 

Yoga is one of those practices that I didn’t understand until recently. You have to think about each pose while you’re doing them. Yoga isn’t hard and can be modified for all body types and levels of agility. When you practice yoga, you’re practicing deep breathing techniques.

Yoga (and deep breathing) are highly beneficial during times of stress – especially when you’re struggling with life events (and keeping your faith). I can tell you from experience, it works!

Mediating for Five Seconds

One of the things I’ve tried to do – and I’m not good at – is sitting still long enough to meditate for a few minutes. Sheesh! That monkey mind of mine goes off the deep end the moment I sit down. I’ve learned that full-blown meditation is not for me, but I can manage for a few seconds at a time.

It goes back to focusing on your breath. If you don’t care to meditate, but really need a break, just sit down and think about your breath for five seconds. That’s it – five seconds! All you have to do is pay attention to what it feels like when you take a deep breath and then let it out. How do your lungs feel when you breath deeply? What happens to your belly when you breath deeply?

By the way, while you’re thinking about your breath, make sure they are big, deep belly breaths. Meditating like this puts fresh oxygen in your system.

Okay, so maybe it’s not meditating, but it works for me.

Using Aromatherapy

I wish I would’ve known about aromatherapy a few years ago. I believe with all my heart that it makes such a huge difference in your life, especially during times of stress.

Using aromatherapy can be the catalyst that gives you the motivation, inspiration and strength you need to keep the faith.

Here’s my favorite blend that quickly helps when you need to find peace and tranquility, to find inner stillness and harmony and to move blocked or stagnant energy.

Tranquility Blend

  • 10 mL Glass Roller Ball
  • 10 mL Jojoba Wax
  • 10 drops Frankincense
  • 7 drops Myrrh
  • 7 drops Oppopanax

Combine all ingredients into roller ball, cap tightly and shake well. Use 4 times daily by applying to chest and inner wrists.

We all need a helping hand when life goes sideways. I want to help you keep your faith, get through the trying times and come out on the other side a much stronger and wiser human being.

Remember, faith is believing in something when there is no real proof of your belief. Faith comes from your heart and your guts (also known as your intuition). 

Ok, I feel better. What about you? How can I help you today? Please fill out the contact form and let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

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Angel In Disguise

Angel In Disguise, angels unaware, kindness, beacon of kindness, apathy, indifference

People are what you make them. A scornful look turns into a complete fool a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy a woman who, well treated, might have been an angel. Andre Maurois

When’s the last time you thought about an angel in disguise? I am a fan of motivational quotes. They always seem to trip a trigger in my brain. Lately, I’ve worked to keep my eyes open to all the “serendipities” of life and when thinking about this week’s entry, the above quote jumped out on my screen.

And it got me to thinking…

People walk around hoping to present to the world how they see themselves, but often we see them through the lens of our life experiences and judgments. I believe we make those harsh judgments of others based on our own personal notion of “normal.”

Normal? Relative to what? What is normal anyway?

Maybe what I see as “normal” is ridiculously boring and absolutely out of the question for you. Maybe I’m the really weird one in the world and everyone else is sane. Maybe your coworker or best friend is fighting a demon or struggling with a problem and it comes across to you as a snarky comment or contemptuous indifference.

It’s the contemptuous indifference that just absolutely makes me crazy. All of this to say: Kindness.

Kindness

We all have problems and we want them solved. We go looking for answers and – OMG – what if YOU are the answer to someone’s problem that day? What if just by showing up and being kind, you made them feel less alone and more “normal?”

Because of kindness, what if you give somebody a big smile in spite of the bitchy comment they just threw out? You become the angel in disguise because instead of biting back, you empathized with someone who might look and act completely different than you. You cleaned up someone else’s screw-up without telling the whole world and they know there really is good in the world.

Kindness really does matter. Kindness is very important. And many times, your kindness opens the door to marvelous serendipities.

Years ago, I lived in this tiny rent house in a cul de sac just off a very busy highway. One summer day, I was home alone as my son was playing at his friend’s house. Since I didn’t have air conditioning, the windows and doors were wide open.

I can’t remember what I was doing – just putzing around the house on a Saturday afternoon. An older man – who had seen much better days – knocked on my screen door and asked for a glass of water. I brought a glass of water to the door and he sucked it down and asked for another. I brought another glass of water and he quickly drank that, too. He asked for a third and so I went to the kitchen and poured the water, but when I got back to the front door, he was gone.

He disappeared into thin air.

I have no idea what happened to him. He was old and dirty and I didn’t have a clue who he was or where he came from. No one in the other neighborhood houses even saw him.

Was he an angel in disguise waiting to see what I would do? I don’t know. When I told my mother about the experience, she freaked out and started screaming that I could have been killed and what was I thinking and how could I have been so stupid?

All I did was give a glass of water to a thirsty man. I didn’t feel stupid and I didn’t feel threatened at the time that this event took place. Someone was thirsty so I solved a problem (albeit for the short term) and helped another human being.

I simply treated him with kindness instead of cold indifference or even worse — apathy. I don’t know if I really have a guardian angel but, in that instance, some force was watching over me very closely. Call it what you want – guardian angels or serendipity – it all comes down to the same thing – angels in disguise.

My Own Angel In Disguise

One time I dropped a box of business cards all over a downtown street corner. I was late, frustrated and near tears picking up a thousand business cards when a kind soul said “May I help you?” In my frustration I simply said a terse “no thank you” and kept picking up the cards. She said “are you sure?” and I uttered no thanks – then I looked up.

Here was a young woman with studs coming out of her nose, lips, eyebrows, tongue – you name it! She wore odd clothes and had really different hair – I will never forget her.

I wished now I would have said “yes, thank you so much for your help.” But I didn’t – I simply gave her a terse “no thank you.”

I still feel ashamed when I think back on that incident – what if she were struggling that day and by extending a hand of kindness to a stranger, she was trying to reach out as all “normal” human beings do?

Instead of letting her help me, my angel in disguise was promptly rebuffed. I was so uncomfortable allowing (and receiving) help that I couldn’t even say yes, thank you.

Jeez – what an impression I left that day. At best, I was rude and at worst, I was insensitive to another human being who was simply being kind. Boy, do my wings ever need adjusting…

You never know what serendipity will bring when you least expect it so I’m keeping my eyes open for an angel in disguise. What about you? I would love to hear about your angel in disguise. Were you the angel? Or were you on the receiving end of an angel in disguise? Please leave a comment below and tell me your story – I’d love to know about your lovely coincidences.

As always, I would certainly appreciate a like on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter. It helps the Google fairies find Scented Balance and makes you an angel in disguise! ;o)

Melissa

 

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The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect, Make A Difference, Andy Andrews Butterfly Effect, Butterfly Effect Full Movie

Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? I first heard about it years ago regarding hurricanes – “when a butterfly flaps its’ wings in Africa, we get hurricanes in the United States.”

That’s true if you think about it – how else would hurricanes form? The butterfly effect is the same in that every single thing you do matters. Every single one of us make a difference just by being here.

Surely I’m not the only one who has felt invisible at one time or another. Life simply plugs along and happens to us and it seems like very little matters outside of our little corner of the world.

Ah, but you do matter. Each one of us makes a difference with every breath we take. You remember It’s a Wonderful Life don’t you? Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey who sees his life passing before his eyes, always struggling, never really achieving what his heart truly desires.

And then, one day the world he endures totally collapses.

He’s finally at his breaking point – maybe you haven’t been there, but I have. George Bailey is standing at the edge of a bridge fully ready to jump into the icy rushing river below because it doesn’t seem his life has mattered in the least. Out of the blue, a kindly angel (Clarence) appears to be drowning in the river below and of course, George jumps in to save him because he’s a compassionate human being.

Clarence is earning his wings as an angel and to earn them, he must show George what the world would look like if he were never born. It’s a bleak world indeed. I’ve even thought myself who would notice if I weren’t there? What if I’d never been born?

Let’s see. How would life be if I’d never been born? There would be nobody for my father to call “yardbird”. The puppy I brought home in the 4th grade would have a different home. The Senior Choir would have missed out on a less-than-stellar alto (I absolutely LOVED singing).

Who would have been there to accidentally transfer $100,000,000 to an account in the Commercial Lending Department at Mercantile Bank? Yes, alas that really happened. It got fixed, but it was scary at the time. (Memo to self: please learn the difference between $100M and $100K. Just sayin…)

There would be no childhood with awesome cousins, no fabulous white go-go boots, no Christmas ornaments from Germany, no awesome son, no beautiful daughter-in-law, no grandchildren, no bike riding, no golf and a thousand other events I could mention. And who would drink wine with my sister on her back porch in 105 degree weather?

Seriously.

You see, our lives are intertwined. We DO matter because we touch more lives than we imagine.

How Your Life Matters

In The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews, he talks about how each decision we make (or DON’T make), the things we say, the things we do all make  ripples of difference. If you don’t do this, then that won’t happen and by making this choice, that happens – you get the picture.

In his book, Andy says that in 1963, a scientist by the name of Edward Lorenz presented his hypothesis of the Butterfly Effect to the New York Academy of Science. This hypothesis is:

A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air — eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.

He was laughed out of the conference. But guess what? More than thirty years later, the scientific community figured out that the Butterfly Effect was indeed correct.

It’s now known as the “Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.” I think Butterfly Effect sounds better.

Can you see how that works? When a butterfly simply flaps its’ wings on one side of the world, molecules change and we have Hurricane Maria. Make sense?

So what does that have to do with you and how your life matters?

In the end, how your life matters most is through kindness. Our world is cruel, inhumane and heartless. Yes, love matters, but no matter what, you can be kind. Each time you extend a kindness, you leave behind a sense of beauty which has a ripple effect. 

What if your small act of kindness stopped someone from doing the unthinkable? Can you imagine if you were the only one that was kind to some stranger today – what impact do you think your kindness might make? Even if all you have is your sweet smile – that’s all that matters.

I’m here to make a difference wherever I can be it through a listening ear, a compliment, a warm hug, aromatherapy – whatever. I choose to be kind and make a difference. Yes, sometimes I do feel invisible yet I know that my kindness leaves ripples wherever I go.

What about you?

How can you make a difference? How have you made difference? Please leave your comments in the space below and tell me. I want you to know that YOU make a difference to me and the rest of the world.

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. Leaving a comment below or sharing this post on your favorite social media is an act of kindness. Thank you!

 

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Aromatherapy Awareness Week

Aromatherapy Awareness Week, essential oils for relaxation, essential oils for stress, essential oils for pain, Scented Balance Aromatherapy

I’m so excited about Aromatherapy Awareness Week! If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know I have a heart and passion for aromatherapy. I believe it’s my gift and calling.

Over the last two years, I have learned so much about the amazing ways that aromatherapy can change your life. To celebrate this awareness week, I’d like to share just a few ways that aromatherapy can quickly and easily make a difference in your life – and give you a special gift!

For those who don’t already know, aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils and plant extracts to treat and address a variety of different concerns. Aromatherapy (done the right way) promotes harmony to your mind, body and spirit. Essential oils can be used for massaging, in creams, lotions and oils for applying to your body, in baths and showers, steam inhalation, aromatic spritzers, by diffusion and inhalation.

There are so many ways that essential oils can improve your quality of your life:

  • help you feel and look better
  • reduce stress, tension and trauma
  • assist with anxiety and depression
  • relieve chronic and occasional pain
  • support a healthy immune system
  • encourage sound sleep
  • ease digestive concerns
  • promote balance in your body, mind and spirit

Using essential oils is as natural as it gets. It offers an alternative to toxic pills, creams and lotions and reduces your chemical load (your liver thanks you!). While it’s quick, easy and simple, you do need a bit of guidance to use the oils correctly.

That’s where I come in. :0)

Being certified in aromatherapy assures you that I have lots of hours of training in chemistry, anatomy and physiology and botany. I’m trained to know how essential oils work with your body both energetically and physically. Currently, I work with 84 pure essential oils to help you in every way possible.

It’s so beneficial for you to use essential oils in your everyday life. The blends I carefully handcraft are a simple way for you to get acquainted with essential oils and to understand how they can help you.

That’s why I go to fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets because it gives me an opportunity to introduce you to the amazing benefits of aromatherapy and share my passion with you. You’ll find the products at Scented Balance are ready to use – right now.

In honor of National Aromatherapy Awareness Week, I’m offering a special gift to you – a 20% discount code to use with any product in the Scented Balance online aromatherapy shop. Simply use this code at checkout:

AROMA20

Thank you for your kindness, your support and your loyalty to me and Scented Balance. I’m so grateful to have this passion and to share it with you and help you feel awesome in body, mind and spirit!

Please do share the code with your friends – I’m happy to share my passion with them, too!

Blessings,

Melissa

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Change Your Future By Changing Your Past

Change Your Future by Changing Your Past, perspective meaning, put things into perspective, paradigm shift, shifting your paradigm,

In growing as a human being, I do a LOT of reading. For years, I was a punching bag for the self-help industry and it got old real fast. I was trying to change my future by changing my past without addressing the real issue(s). 

Do you ever wish there was an reset button for your life? Whoops – didn’t want to do that – Undo! Ooh – wish that didn’t happen – Do-over! AACK – bad decision – Escape!

I so wish for a do-over button for some of the goofy things I did, poor decisions I made, and a number of experiences that happened to me during my childhood. (The good news? I did most of my stupid stuff w-a-a-a-y before Facebook!)

Everyone has something they wish they could do over or experience in a different way.

The lessons you learned growing up have a huge impact on the way you live your life now and going forward; sometimes our past holds us back from a peaceful present and abundant future.

Don’t you wish you could go back and change some of the events of your past? I do and I believe I have found a small way to change my past! 

No, I’m not the master of time travel. However, I’m learning to change my perspective on my past to make my future brighter. That change in perspective is what allows me to transform the past – at least my view of the past.

One of my favorite radio personalities had a horrendous childhood with parents that couldn’t have screwed up their children any more if they tried. Sheri Lynch is warm, funny, self-deprecating and has a hilarious perspective about the insanity of her childhood family life.

What strikes me most about her is that she relates stories regarding the lunancy and terror of her childhood with grace and humor. I appreciate the way Sheri has put things into perspective.

Some of the things that happened to her would totally screw up a lesser person, but she used the heartache and pain as motivation to get a college education, become an award-winning radio personality, write a couple of bestselling books and be the best parent she can be.

How did she do that????

Put Things Into Perspective

She changed her perspective. (Ok, I don’t know her personally, so this is just my opinion.) When you look back at some of your painful childhood events, what do you recall? What comes up when you think about some of these events?

Some of my childhood experiences would qualify me for the platinum level at the local looney bin, but all in all, I believe I escaped the insane asylum in fairly decent shape. (I’m not sure everyone in my world would agree with that statement. LOL) 

Some years ago, I decided to write a little book called Find Your Paradigm: The Art of Living With Grace and Ease. The process of putting my thoughts on paper really brought a lot of childhood memories flooding back and not all of them are good.

I can clearly see how my paradigms were formed, what makes me tick and why I have certain beliefs and fears. While I share many life experiences in Find Your Paradigm, there are some that I just couldn’t share. I’m not ready to expose the entire underbelly of my childhood to the world just yet.

Over time, I realized I was carrying baggage from the past and it was getting heavier and more emotionally draining by the day.

Just like you, I am a busy person. We all have jobs, families, homes, friends, hobbies and chores. After awhile, I realized I no longer had the time or energy to carry around the bags of disappointment, blame, anger, mistrust and frustration.

Had I stayed the course, all of this baggage ensured a dark and miserable future – not something I want.

Because I worked hard to change my perspective (somewhat) on past events, I believe my future is bright and filled with abundance. A paradigm shift, if you will.

Shifting Your Paradigm

Past events leave a deep impression on you; color your expectations about the future and leave you feeling either happy and excited or fearful and angry.

As recent as several years ago, I looked back on certain life events with anger and humiliation.

Somewhere along the line, I became aware of the physical damage these emotions initiated. My emotional baggage caused blood pressure concerns, weight issues, aches and pains that I couldn’t explain, and, worst of all, a really hopeless attitude about life in general.

Through forgiveness and some deep self-acceptance and self-love, now if I think about the events that generated all those emotions, I’m better able to see how and why the events unfolded as they did (although let’s be real here – I don’t pretend to understand someone else’s twisted reasoning).

While it wasn’t any fun enduring the horrors at the time, I’ve worked hard to use that pain to help others who struggle with emotional baggage. As a life coach, I have a unique perspective on a number of issues because of my childhood.

I learned some horrifying facts about my childhood from various family members about five years ago, and again, my perspective somewhat changed. Whew! I don’t think my perspective softened, but I now know that we make poor decisions for several reasons:

  • when we don’t know any better
  • when we feel there is no other choice
  • based on what we want and not necessarily what is best for all involved
  • because maybe you’re a mean person!

Who’s to judge what options are available to choose from when someone has to make a decision? When you feel like a victim, your decision-making skills are distorted and tend to go from bad to worse. Although, with that said, the choice to be kind or cruel to another human being (particularly a child) shouldn’t be that difficult.

A change in perspective requires forgiveness and some level of tolerance of others’ poor choices. Looking back, I was disillusioned and betrayed by various adults in my life; many of their warped paradigms followed me into adulthood.

Change Your Future By Changing Your Past

So here is the million dollar question: do you choose to become a product of your environment (meaning that if your mother was an ax murderer then you’re destined to be one, too) or do you choose to move beyond whatever warped family values you have and change your perspective?

Changing your perspective on the past allows your life to unfold with greater grace and ease!

I choose to rise above my circumstances, live with grace and ease, and create a life that is fulfilling for me. I can’t alter the way events unfolded all those years ago, but I can adjust how I perceive those experiences.

In essence, it does change my past in some way and I know I have transformed my future for the better.

I’d love to read your thoughts about your paradigm shift and how you changed your perspective on some harsh events. Please take a moment to leave a comment below. 

And if you’re ready to make a paradigm shift – let’s talk. Simply fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. I’m very grateful when you share not only your comments, but this post with your friends!

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On Brain Farts and Having Fun

brain fart, on brain farts and having fun, how to be happy, nonsense, habit of fun

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescopeWhich is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.
Dr. Seuss

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.
Robert Frost

 

It’s Monday, y’all and…jeez…I’m having a brain fart. Sometimes, I’m just too busy putting out fires to go look for a new firetruck.

I’m sitting here trying desperately to remember what I was going to write about today and I’m stuck.

Really stuck.

What To Do When You Have A Brain Fart

So I started thinking about why I might be stuck and having a brain fart. Then it struck me – sometimes we all get into such a rut with life in general, that we forget to take time for the fun stuff. When you forget to do the fun stuff, your brain gets into cruising gear and that’s all you do – you move through life on autopilot.

We get so  caught up in making sure the laundry is done and getting dinner on the table (amongst other things), that we don’t think about having some fun – even if it’s about having fun in your dreams.

What kind of nonsense can you throw at your brain to shake things up? Why not:

  • skip the nightly news and give your doom and gloom factor a break.
  • wear two different shoes or a big funky hat to dinner with your kids (whether or not you leave the house looking like that is up to you – LOL). One silly action can make all the difference in the world.
  • dance and sing your heart out to your favorite song with a hairbrush microphone – c’mon – be a real diva! Singing actually stimulates your thyroid.
  • walk through a door backwards. Did you know that doors trigger “event boundaries” and that’s one reason why we have brain farts?
  • Just unplug. For one hour. UNPLUG. The world will not fall off its’ axis because you stopped staring at your phone.
  • find a cool coloring book, your colored pencils and go outside. Just color. It’s not wasting time to rest and restore your vitality.

Kids have the amazing ability to have fun; they know how to be happy with the simple things in life. There’s a wonderful coloring book that I found online called Happiness and Contentment, Color and Relax. I love to get my colored pencils out and just color. Nothing else going on except to give my brain a break.

So, are you stuck? Did you forget to remember how to have fun? Did you disremember your dreams and goals? (I call forgetting “disremembering.”)

Sometimes when you’re stuck, it’s because your fun and dreams took a back seat to everything else in life. Maybe you’re hyper-focused on reaching the next level? Just like any other routine, you got out of the habit.

Let’s get back into the habit of fun!

Your fun quotient is critical to staying young, soothing stress and clearing out the mental clutter. Having fun brings a smile to your face and that’s always a good thing!

Make it a habit to take care of your fun quotient – have a brain fart once in a while – look at life through the wrong end of the telescope! Have you gotten so wrapped up in everyday living that you forgot or misplaced your dreams and goals?

While I do appreciate where I’m at in life, reality can be grim – fun, sweet magic and dreams makes it easier to live with reality and laugh at life, if only for a moment in time.

I’m sure everyone has mental setbacks or reversal of brain cells at any given moment (gawd, I hope I’m not the only one!) and that’s when you know you need to take a mental break and have a moment of fun or play in your dreams – anything to get out of your stuckness. By the way – I’m making stuckness my new word of the day.

I started talking to a friend about my brain fart – and while she was trying to help me get back on track, we started laughing so hard about brain farts that it got me out of my daily what-do-I-need-to-be-doing-right-now routine and voila – blog! Ah yes, white wine does fuel creativity!

Raise your glass and let’s make a toast to brain farts! Now, back to that blog…what was I writing about?

I’m so grateful for your visit this week – please take a moment to leave your comments and share with your friends!

Blessings,

Melissa

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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 LifeExtension.com, 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 DiabetesSelfManagement.com 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. AnxietyHack.com 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!

Blessings,

Melissa

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!

Blessings,

Melissa

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!

Blessings,

Melissa

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…..it’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.

By the way, Aromatherapy Awareness Week is held annually during the second full week of June. You bet I’ll have something going on!

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!

Blessings,

Melissa

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.

Seriously.

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 to 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)

Blessings,

Melissa

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.

Blessings,

Melissa

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.

Blessings,

Melissa =)