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

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

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

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

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

Enter chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals, Your Body Chemistry and Metabolism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait – How Does Life Coaching Fit In?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s why I am a gifted aromatherapist and holistic life coach.

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



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Cleaning With Essential Oils to Disinfect After Illness

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

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

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

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

Essential Oils For Cleaning

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

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

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

Essential Oil All-Purpose Cleaner:

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

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

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

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

Wash Your Hands!

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

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

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

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

Clearing The Air In Your Home

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

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

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

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

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



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


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5 Reasons Why Aromatherapy Should Be Part of Your Healthcare Routine

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

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

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

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

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

Why Aromatherapy Should Be Part of Your Healthcare

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

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

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

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

Aromatherapy and Traditional Medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Understanding Grace and Mercy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace as Goodwill

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

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy

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

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

It’s called life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Release Blend

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

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

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

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

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




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Coping With The Inevitable Bad Day

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

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

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

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

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

And that simply makes a bad day worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Turn a Bad Mood Into a Better Mood

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

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

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

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

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

A Couple of Ways To Let It Go

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

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

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

Calming Meditation Blend

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

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

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

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

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



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How To Say No Without Saying No

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

There have been times in the past when I really wanted to say no but felt like I had to say yes. It’s all good as most of the time, it’s no big deal – I’m happy to help you out. Ah, yes, I’m happy to help. Some people see that phrase as a license to invade your privacy and firmly step past your boundaries.

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

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

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

Why Do We Find It So Hard To Say No?

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

Years ago, I was asked to spend the night in the hospital with a friend who had just had hip replacement surgery. If you know me at all in the slightest little bit, you know how grateful I am to be your aromatherapist and NOT your doctor. Seriously. If I get within 50 paces of a hospital, I feel queasy, nervous, on edge and ready to run screaming out the door.

Anyway, said friend asked me to come spend the night with her in the hospital and even though the thought of doing this made my skin crawl and turned my stomach upside down, I said yes. I didn’t want to be a lousy friend, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and I really didn’t want to reveal my shame!

So, I packed my bag and off I went to the hospital which was about 80 miles away, mind you. (Just so you know, I have cold chills running down my spine and arms while writing this.) Anyway, I get to my friend’s hospital room and there is a cot set up for me to sleep on, she’s kinda sorta out of it (ya think?) and I’m pacing the floor because, well because I’m in a hospital for gawd’s sake!

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

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

Why did I say yes to this?

Listen, if you’re in trouble and need dire help, I can somehow manage to put it all aside, get you help and then fall apart. I have given birth you know. I can deal. For a little while. Okay, for a moment. Then you really need to get some help!

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

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

How To Say No Politely Without Really Saying No

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

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

Now, this could go several ways including sideways. You could say yes, drop what you’re doing, help your frazzled co-worker, possibly miss your deadline, cause all sorts of problems for yourself  and feel resentful.

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

OR you could ask one simple question:


Now, by asking this question, you haven’t said no, you’ve simply asked how the requester wants your help and what they want you to do. What this does is put the burden back on the requester. It forces them to explain – in depth – what is expected of your help. It’s essentially a polite way of saying “I’m happy to help, but what is your skin in this game?”

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

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

So many times, our boundaries get really loose and queasy at the thought of saying an outright no. C’mon – we all want to be liked, we all want to be accepted and we really don’t want to be the bad guy in the situation. Once you ask them how they want your help, it’s a lot easier to say no without looking and feeling like a horrible person.

There is kindness in saying yes. Believe it or not, there is kindness in saying no as well.  And the world needs all the kindness we can muster. But when saying yes depletes you, puts you in a bad situation or crosses your boundary, what are the consequences for you? Is it joy at taking on yet another project or is it simmering resentment at being the I’m-so-screwed-please-please-please-help-me person they all call on for the umpteenth time?

As a holistic life coach, I’ve had to learn how to create my fair share of boundaries as well as help you learn them as well. I’ve had to learn how to say no thank you. Allow me to inform you that “no” is a complete sentence. No, thank you is a complete sentence if you want to be polite. (I do want to be polite.)

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

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

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




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

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

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

When you have a nasty chest cold or the flu, your upper and lower respiratory system is compromised and in distress – and yes, I know – duh… But a lot of people still believe that the flu is a stomach bugthat’s a completely different strain than what’s going around in 2018. This particular strain is H3N2 and is a subtype of Type A Influenza – the most dangerous kind.

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

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

Essential Oils Are Ideal for Congestion

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

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

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

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

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

This is a great time to talk with a certified aromatherapist – yes – I’m a certified aromatherapist. Pure essential oils are plant-based and when used properly, the chances of of any negative side effects are slim. There are precautions to take especially when children are involved. That’s why I make products for colds and flu for adults and children.

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

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

Each oil has been scientifically proven to assist with healthy lung function, addressing a spastic cough, as an expectorant and to address congestion. The Lemon essential oil also aids in absorption of all the oils as well as boosting the immune system. The added bonus is the amazing smell – you don’t smell like your medicine cabinet. While the commercial brands of chest rub are quite greasy and heavy, I use a base of plant-based shea butter which will absorb into your skin.

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

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

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

Why Using A Commercial Vaporub Is Not A Good Idea

I realize the commercial vaporubs have been on the market forever.  Did you ever read the label? Two of the ingredients are petrolatum which is a derivative of petroleum (it gives the rub its greasy quality) and turpentine oil which is toxic when swallowed. It’s the turpentine oil which gives it the signature vapor. It also has camphor which is dangerous for small children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

I want you – and me – to be healthy and stay healthy. It’s one of the reasons I became a certified aromatherapist to begin with. There is a better way to stay healthy than by damaging your liver, kidneys and other organs with toxic compounds. While I’m not a medical practitioner by any stretch of the imagination, I studied enough anatomy and physiology to understand how pure essential oils benefit the human body.

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

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



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

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What’s Important Is Usually Highlighted In Yellow

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Henry James said it best when he commented:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple Pleasures

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

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in the Gift From The Sea:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, I’m grateful you stopped by.



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Understanding Influenza (The Flu)

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

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

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

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

What is Influenza?

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

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

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

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

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

Flu Symptoms

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting Facts About Type A Influenza

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

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

Who Is Most At Risk for Influenza?

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

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

Preventing H3N2 or Any Strain of the Flu

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

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

Warning Signs of Type A Influenza – H3N2

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

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

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

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

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

When Can I Go Back To Work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well!


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5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Set New Goals

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

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


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

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

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


Which of your accomplishments stands out the most to you?


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

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

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

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

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

What lesson or frustration kept surfacing?


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

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

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

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

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

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

What personal strengths did you rely on this past year?

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


How well did you communicate in your most important relationships?

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


Set New Goals By Answering These Questions

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

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


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

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

― Neil Gaiman

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

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

Why do we do this to ourselves?

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

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

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

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

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

So why bother?

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

Leaving Room for Magic, Dreams and Good Madness

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

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

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

Hear me out – okay?

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

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

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

Getting Ready to Change Your Habits

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

See the difference?

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

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

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

A Different Way to Approach New Years Resolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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Beautiful Messes

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

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

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

And then the quiet.

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

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

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

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

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

We were family units then.

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

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

The Beautiful Mess of Life

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

She writes:

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

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

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

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

A good chaos mind you, but chaos nevertheless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going With The Flow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful Mess Blend

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

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

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

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



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Twas The Night Before Christmas

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

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

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

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

Twas The Night Before Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Book On Every Bed

Amy Dickinson is a daily newspaper advice columnist (yes, newspapers still exist) and every December 18th, she dispenses with her column and honors the anniversary of her mother’s birthday. Her mother loved to read and passed her passion on to Amy. In her column of December 18, 2017, Amy devoted her entire column to the beautiful life lessons she learned from reading books and how her mother’s passion left a lasting and positive impact on her life. She writes:

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

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

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

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

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

Start By Reading!

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

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

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

It makes me smile every time I read Twas The Night Before Christmas and I hope it makes you smile, too. Please join me on Christmas Eve at 6 PM on the Scented Balance Facebook page. Let’s add to the spirit of the season with this beautiful diffuser blend:

Holiday Diffuser Blend

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

Blend together and add 5 – 10 drops to a cold mist diffuser. If you would like a small bottle of this blend, I make Christmas Magic in a 5mL bottle for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. Simply send an email to me or fill out this contact form requesting this custom blend and I will make it for you!

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

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours!



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How To Cope With #metoo During The Holidays

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

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

In case you’re not aware, there is an entitlement mentality out there in the world as evidenced by all of the women who have come forward in the last few weeks and months on the news and social media. They – we – are tired of feeling fearful for our jobs and families, tired of being groped – and worse – and done with feeling powerless to do anything about the situation.

Yes, that feeling of powerlessness spills over into holiday parties and sometimes you get talked into going to them. An evening at a small party where I know most everyone is a welcome part of the holidays; going to a large party where I’m unfamiliar with the guests can be daunting. Especially since I’m an introvert. (No, really.)

It seems the holiday spirit makes some people feel entitled to have one adult beverage too many and that’s when the situation can get uncomfortable. And inappropriate. It’s the entitlement mentality that turns off the filter (especially during the holidays) in mostly otherwise decent human beings.

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

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

I’ve been in situations where a man’s hand has lingered j-u-u-u-s-t a little longer around my waist than it should. Or someone makes an off-color comment that makes me shake my head and wonder why (s)he would say such a thing. I’ll just be real blunt here. Most of the time, it’s men who make the off-color comments that leave me feeling anxious and speechless.

Yes, speechless. But not anymore.

When Does It Become #metoo?

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

The whole reason I say this is because it’s usually a woman’s appearance or profession that elicits the speech-defying comment. More often than not, the comment comes from a man who’s trying not to come off as condescending, but that’s really how it’s meant. If you mention that the comment was inappropriate, well, you’re just being “sensitive.” Or somehow, with your hand on my ass, I’ve “misunderstood.”

Let me just tell it like it is when it comes to this kind of entitled behavior – empowered women empower women. Women are not here for your pleasure – to be consumed as it were. I am a human being and entitled to be treated with decency and respect without your snarky comment or hand on my ass.

Deflecting A Rude Comment

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

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

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

She is NOT fond of the aforementioned holiday parties nor is she willing to remain speechless when it’s appropriate to speak up. Like many of us, she would far rather be at home with a good book and a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. Ah, but the things we do for our beloved. As in going to a holiday party when we don’t want to.

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

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

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

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

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

It allows you to take back your power.

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

I don’t want to put a damper on your holiday celebrations – I really don’t! I’ve simply been in too many situations where I felt powerless to protect or assert myself and because of Susan Hyatt’s wisdom and forthrightness, I won’t feel powerless ever again. The holidays just seem to bring out that crass, entitled mentality in some folks and I’m no longer willing to silently endure that behavior.

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

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

Empowering Blend

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

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

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

Merry Christmas and blessings!


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5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

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

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

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

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

What Does Smiling Have To Do With Anything?

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

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

With a smile.

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

Personally, I believe the digital age has made us a cold and angry world. We know everything about everyone – or at least we think we do – via our computer screen. We constantly stare at our cell phones out of boredom and we’re frowning. In reality, we are drowning in information and starving for wisdom. And I believe we’ve forgotten how to touch someone’s life simply by smiling.

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

5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

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

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

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

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

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

The Human Touch of Smiling

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

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

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

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


There are times – days – when I feel invisible as an aromatherapist and holistic life coach. It feels like the message I bring to help you with your overall wellness falls on deaf ears. Your smiling face makes a huge difference in my world. When you call or email to say what a difference I’ve made in your life – please know that I beam and feel deep gratitude. Your very real sense of touch through random acts of kindness mean the world to me and keep me going.

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

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

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




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What Is Self Care?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Is Self Care Important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is Self Care?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self Care Activities

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

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

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

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

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



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On Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Stress

on thanksgiving gratitude and stress, gratitude, stress management during the holidays, gratitude list

In the United States, Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. What was once a day of gratitude and counting blessings has simply become the day before Black Friday. What used to be a day of relaxing and enjoying good food, good friends and family has for many become a horror story full of stress and anxiety.

Many families are now blended and with that blending comes new faces, different traditions, traveling and learning to cope with change while trying to make dinner look like a Good Housekeeping photograph. Not easy, eh?

Ah, but as Oscar Wilde said: “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

My client book is full most of the time (I’m VERY grateful for you!) but especially beginning in November. I can literally feel the tension coming through the phone from some clients. Here’s a sampling – with permission – of the comments I hear:

“My sister insists on having EVERYTHING her way – right down to the toothpicks!

“Uncle Ned and my father rehash the SAME argument every single year.”

“AUGH! I just can’t sit there and listen to politics over dinner anymore – this is my holiday, too!”

“Why bother fixing a nice dinner? Everybody has their nose in their phone or the football game. Sigh…”

How do you handle all of these diverse personalities at one small table? It’s all about stress management during the holidays which is never easy, but it’s not impossible.

Diffusing the Stress During Thanksgiving Dinner

One Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a condo at the beach where none of us were family. The hostess shooed all of us out of the condo so she could prepare dinner – that’s her forte – so the rest of us went outside. Before we had dinner, our hostess asked each of us to name one thing in the past year that we felt grateful for. It set a wonderful mood and the rest of dinner – TV off – was spent sharing the events with each other that we were thankful for. That was one of my favorite Thanksgiving holidays ever.

In the face of a pending Thanksgiving dinner argument, a well placed inane question about seeing a movie after dinner and what movie it will be may be just enough to head off the next family explosion. What if the explosion is inevitable? Make different plans next year. Just because you’ve always celebrated the holiday in a certain tradition doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.

I come from a large extended family and as a child, we were expected to attend the traditional holiday gatherings. Inevitably, my uncles and aunts got into a fight about something. (Back in the day, a woman’s opinion about anything at all was discounted which made the situation even more volatile.) These gatherings went on for years until my mother decided she’d had enough. We began visiting some of her friends on different holidays and it was much less stressful. I honestly don’t know what kind of backlash she faced for not attending these family gatherings, but she was in a much better mood before, during and at the end of each holiday.

How about seating Uncle Ned at the kids table? Or for that matter, why don’t YOU sit at the kids table? I’ve learned to ask children open-ended questions and engage them in a conversation. I’m telling you, the kids table is far more entertaining than Uncle Ned and Dad going at it. At the very least, seat them at opposite ends of the table.

When the adults get too annoying, spending time with the kids outside can give your perspective a swift kick in the pants. One year at my son’s home, one couple brought their 9 year old granddaughter. She’s a great kid, but seriously, sitting inside on a beautiful day can get very boring for a child. I asked the her if she wanted to go outside for a walk and move around and the look on her face was priceless! We had a very nice walk and asking her about things that she liked to do for fun turned into a delightful conversation.

By the way, be prepared to have your eyes opened when talking with kids. Absolutely nothing is the same as it used to be and they know w-a-a-a-y more then we did at the same age. Just sayin…

Can you set a time limit on turning off the television during dinner? Thirty minutes to enjoy food is not that long and in the scheme of all the football being aired on Thanksgiving, they’re not missing much.

Same thing goes for cell phones. Have everyone put their phone face down in the middle of the table. The first one who checks their phone during dinner does ALL the dishes (alone) or you can threaten to leave the television OFF for the rest of the evening. If nothing else, it makes them think twice – slows ’em down if you will.

Ways to Show Gratitude at Thanksgiving and Beyond

Not everyone is a positive optimist who sees the glass half full. If you are, kudos to you – I want to sit next to you and absorb your joy and optimism. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. Trust me when I say we put the “fun” in dysfunctional! Feeling grateful throughout the year has been a life-long lesson for me.

Here’s what says about learning true gratitude:

  • Be mindful of your self-talk. You can’t be a positive person and beat the everlivin’ snot out of yourself. This has been my biggest challenge as I can truthfully say one thing: you can’t beat me up mentally any more than I can. Once I realized how badly I spoke to myself, I began to change my language toward myself. Yes, this is a daily struggle to change a lifelong habit, but it makes a huge difference.
  • Acknowledge yourself. “Most published books include a page or two of acknowledgments, where the author cites all the persons who helped shepherd her book to production. It’s like the Oscar moment, when the actor is up on stage and is rattling off every name he can think of and hopes to God he didn’t forget anyone–especially his spouse. The truth is that most people, and especially those who suffer from low self-esteem, do forget a very important figure: themselves. Which is why I think a healthy activity is to write a page of acknowledgements to yourself.”
  • Keep track of your gratitude. Easier said than done. Taking time to write in a journal every day is a major chore for me. You may absolutely love it, but it’s another should/need/supposed to situation that simply causes more stress. If you enjoy journaling, then by all means include 5 things every day that you’re grateful for. If journaling is NOT for you, get a great big jar or vase and keep some small note paper and a pen next to it. Every day write down one thing that you’re grateful for. This doesn’t make it so much a chore but an exercise that stretches your mind.
  • Spend five minutes meditating. AACK – I didn’t say twenty minutes! If you can’t sit quietly for five minutes, can you meditate for one minute? This is another area where my monkey mind goes haywire. I’ve learned to sit quietly for five minutes and simply focus on deep breathing which has amazing benefits for your whole body, mind and spirit.
  • Get some extra sleep! Seriously, being sleep-deprived simply makes you cranky. When you’re cranky, your buttons or “triggers” get pushed a lot quicker. Does every single detail have to be picture-perfect? Not in my book. If I don’t get everything dusted perfectly, so what? Let some things go in order to get enough sleep. You and your family will be glad you did. (Sparky, if you’re going to criticize, get a dust rag while you’re at it. Capiche?)

Holidays in and of themselves are immensely stressful because we get this idea in our heads of how they “should be” instead of how they really are. When it comes to the holidays, what I want and what actually happens are always two different things. It’s okay. Really. Give yourself permission to let the holidays flow and let go of expectations.

Remember, the holidays are supposed to have an element of fun in them. They aren’t supposed to be stressful and serious and head-busting. Taking a few moments for “monkey business” of some sort can take an immense load off of you.

If you need some extra help to manage your stress during the holidays, please get Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball. It’s made with beautiful pure essential oils to help you manage anxiety and depression as well as the short-term stress that happens during the holiday season.

For long term stress, get Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball. This is the exact same thing as Traveler’s Tonic, but I realized that calling it Stress Support made more sense. Same thing – better name. It’s meant as a tonic when you endure chronic stress.

I am so very grateful for each of you! You share your heart and soul with me and allow me to share amazing tools to help you live a fulfilling life. If you need some extra help managing your holiday stress, please contact me and let’s talk today.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!






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How Does Reiki Work?

Reiki, Reiki Healing, Reiki Practitioner, Reiki Session, Reiki Work, AttunementOne of my goals for Scented Balance is to offer simple and effective tools to help you guard your health and take charge of your overall wellbeing. This week, in looking for alternative ways to stay healthy (especially since I’m uninsured), I explore the question: How does Reiki work?

I continually seek ways to protect and enhance my health without taking yet another pill. I’ve heard so many good things about Reiki over the last few years, but I don’t really understand it as it pertains to health care.

Today, my guest is Tressa Krenzer, a Reiki practitioner in Clemmons, NC and she provides insight and answers into just how amazing Reiki can be for your body, mind and spirit.

Reiki, Divine Intervention and Finding My Way Home: by Tressa Krenzer

Why did I become a Reiki practitioner 8 years ago? For me it came down to the desire I had to help people.

I had been helped so many times, up to that point, that I felt like a cat on my 6th or 7th life. I really wanted to return some of that kindness somehow, although I had no clue on how to do that.

At that juncture in my life I was looking for a way back to myself. I even started practicing yoga around that time. I was still very lost and my priorities were backward. I lived to work and spent way too much energy trying to prove myself and in the process climbed over others to rise above.

I am really not sure what provoked me to look to Reiki and the offering of training with Spiritual Care at the hospital I worked for in Syracuse.

I truly believe it was divine intervention. I was attuned to my first level in 2009 with a small group of individuals. I still remember that feeling of the gates of my crown chakra being expanded and filled with light as Reiki was downloaded into my being.

With the traditional training of Usui Reiki there are three levels of attunement. An attunement is exactly what it sounds like, you are tuned into the spiritual/God/higher-power (Rei) frequency of life force energy (ki). Once I was attuned I was able help myself and others. That is one of the really cool aspects of Reiki, when you are working with a client, that healing is also benefiting you.

Self-Reiki is a recommended maintenance tool for practitioners as your body and mind begins to re-align with each level. My sensitivities increased astronomically after my Reiki II attunement so I had to find ways to protect myself from being bombarded by the energies of those around me.  

How Reiki Healing Works

Reiki isn’t directed; once it is invoked, it flows and goes where it’s needed. For example, a client might come in for an issue with their knee, but in reality they might have just started a new job or are in the process of moving. The real issue, which they are probably not aware of, might be they are feeling ungrounded; therefore the energy could be directed by spirit to their 1st or 2nd chakra.

For the first time in my life, I could help folks and not be in charge! When I worked at the hospital I was on call with the Spiritual Care Department to offer Reiki to patients who requested it. At first I was very nervous that I would “do it” wrong. I can tell you one thing, Reiki cannot be done incorrectly because I was never driving the bus, which was probably a really good thing at the time.

I like how one of my instructors described the Reiki process:

“You are just the toaster, if you are not plugged in…no toast, just bread”.  

I remember one lady in particular that I worked with who was very close to her final journey in this life. I recall that she was so grateful to just spend some time with me and talk about her rose garden as I shared Reiki with her. She described her garden in such vivid detail that I could smell the fragrant blooms, see the brilliant colors and sense the joy that they brought to her life. She had a recording of blue bird song in her room, which added to the imagery and I think we were both transported to that time in her life. I believe she was open to the experience of Reiki at that moment because she was so close to her creator. Sometimes, I wonder if I got a glimpse of heaven through her eyes.

Then some weeks passed and I received a request to work with a woman who was very angry and agitated with the care she was receiving at the hospital. I really had a sense that she was hurt and scared because she had been just left there by her family. They never visited or inquired about her and she was really lonely. From the moment I cradled her head in my hands she instantly began to relax. I remember getting an image of dominoes falling one by one through her body as each muscle began to surrender to ease. After my Reiki session was completed she was sleeping with a big smile on her face, snoring like a boss! These experiences firmed it up for me: somehow this is what I wanted to do in my life.

How Reiki Helped Through My Own Tough Time

Just 2 years later I completed my third level/Master Reiki training and lost my job, all in the fall of 2011. I am so grateful that I had started my Reiki journey before this loss happened, otherwise I would have completely lost my mind. I was furious that I worked so hard at my job, spent countless weekends working, earned my degree and performed numerous other amazing feats of self-perceived awesomeness and I was still being thrown out with yesterday’s newspaper.

At that time, losing my job seemed to be a complete injustice, but was it? I know now that I was meant to leave that position and that city. I had hit a ceiling and I didn’t even know it. I was in a toxic relationship with what I thought I was and I was attached to it with super glue. Spirit had another purpose for me and I had to let that part of my life die away so I could be reborn and flourish.

That has happened here in North Carolina, my true home. Currently I have such a robust network of kindred souls in my life that it feels like my vibration is always humming. I spent 41 years in Central New York and never came close to finding my tribe.

Some days the gratitude I experience is overwhelming and there are tears of joy. I am still working in the corporate world but I have learned to leave work at the office. I am grateful for this full time job as it helps me prepare for my full transition into the work of my heart’s desire, yoga and Reiki.

I am starting to find my way and only fall off my path every so often when I start believing all the stuff that floats around in my head. Fortunately I have many tools to help me re-center and re-balance. If I can’t do it myself, I reach out to my network and ask for help.

Community is so important especially as you get older. I cannot stress that enough. My husband and I don’t have children and my family is still in New York so I really need my tribe. I believe loneliness can be fatal for some.

My business is Lovingkindness Reiki & Yoga and my studio is in the lower half of my home. I can also be reached through my Facebook page of the same name.  This space is dedicated to providing a comforting container of healing light and love for all who visit.

My mission is to continue to learn and grow. I am currently in Yoga Therapy Training with East Coast Yoga Therapy. I do offer Reiki sessions in the evenings and on weekends.

All blessings to each and every one of you for allowing me to be part of your journey.


Tressa, thank you for sharing about the benefits of Reiki. Please do contact Tressa to explore more about how she can help you get and stay healthy – especially if you’re uninsured. I love reading the “why” of someone’s calling especially since Reiki is not considered “mainstream” yet. I’m so grateful to Tressa for sharing her “why”!

As always, I’m so grateful you stopped by. Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching go hand in hand with Reiki. Start your journey today by filling out this contact form. Do it today!



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Essential Oils To Boost Your Immune System

white blood cells, Stress and Your Immune System, Essential Oils To Boost Your Immune System, how to boost your immune system, immunity boosting foods , Winter is sneaking up faster and faster and today, I’d like to show you how to use essential oils to boost your immune system. With all the germs flying around during the late fall and winter months, along with using essential oils, there’s several simple ways you can avoid colds and the flu.

White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, make up approximately 1% of your blood but they are warriors! Leukocytes are your first line of defense against illness and disease and when your immune system is perking along nicely, you’re able to fight off much of the bacteria and viruses that you’re exposed to.

The University of Rochester Medical Center has a great explanation of how your white blood cells protect you:

Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells. In a sense, they are continually at war. They flow through your bloodstream to battle viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health. When your body is in distress and a particular area is under attack, white blood cells rush in to help destroy the harmful substance and prevent illness.

Each time you are exposed to a virus or bacteria or even when you cut yourself, your white blood cells rush to fend off the invaders and help you stay healthy. The cool part? They have a memory and the next time you are exposed to something they’ve already fought off, they’re even better at it because they “remember” what to do from the last time. Cool, huh?

Staying Healthy During The Holidays

Everyone knows that with the holidays comes stress, junk food and an ever expanding to-do list. Here’s how to boost your immune system simply and effectively during the holidays:

  • Eat good clean food – stay away from the junk food as much as possible
  • Sleep – I know it’s a busy time, but sleep helps maintain your health
  • Hydrate – I want that extra glass of wine too, but get lots of pure water.
  • Exercise – if nothing else, move your body for 10 minutes by stretching
  • Say no thank you – you can’t be everywhere and sometimes saying no is the healthiest option

Even if your schedule is full of parties, there are a surprising number of ways to eat immunity boosting foods and still indulge. has a list of 15 foods that are excellent to boost your immune system and here are just a few:

  • Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and clementines
  • Red bell peppers – they have twice as much Vitamin C as citrus fruits
  • Broccoli – raw is best, but steamed is good, too
  • Garlic – helps fight off infections
  • Chicken (or turkey), especially chicken noodle soup
  • Almonds – full of Vitamin E which is important for a healthy immune system

Many of the holiday party trays have red bell peppers and broccoli that make it easy to eat immunity boosting foods. If you’re asked to bring something to a party, why not be a hero and bring a healthy snack instead of sweets? I know we all want the fudge and rum balls, but overindulging has its’ price. Here’s a simple recipe with some of the ingredients listed above for a unique and tasty salad:

Fast Chicken and Broccoli Salad

  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or goat cheese if you prefer)
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil + one extra tablespoon
  • Salad Greens of your choice

Chop up the broccoli and red bell pepper into bite sized pieces and set aside. Saute the chicken breasts in the olive oil until cooked; let cool. When cool enough to handle, chop up the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Combine broccoli, bell pepper, minced garlic, chicken, slivered almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and the extra tablespoon of olive oil (or a bit more to taste) into a large bowl and toss well; add chopped greens and toss again. Serve cold. You can always substitute your favorite salad dressing instead of the extra olive oil. You can also add other things like tomatoes, red onions and chopped raw cauliflower if you want even more taste.

This makes a big colorful bowl of salad to take to holiday parties and dinners!

How To Use Essential Oils To Boost Your Immune System

Aromatherapy is a simple and effective way use essential oils to boost your immune system. Here is the blend I make for boosting your immune system:

Immune System Tonic

Combine all ingredients into a 2 ounce glass bottle with a pump dispenser. Shake well before each use and apply to your neck, throat and chest 3 or 4 times daily. If you want me to make this for you, simply go to the Scented Balance website to purchase it using the Custom Aromatherapy Oil Blend link for $19.95 plus tax and shipping. Simply mention in the notes that you want the Immune System Tonic and I’ll take it from there!

I created a Facebook Live video about your immune system and how you can stay healthy during the holidays and you can see it here. By the way – Facebook rewards business pages each time you watch and share a video, so please do watch and share! You’ll help a whole lot of your friends stay healthier this holiday season and I can always use the Facebook brownie points!

What else can you do to stay healthy this winter? Wash your hands with plain soap and warm water. Don’t use the antibacterial stuff – you’re killing off the good “germs” along with the bad ones and it makes you more susceptible to sickness. Do your best to keep your hands away from your face – especially your eyes. I wrote a post earlier this year about staving off colds and flu – it’s still good information!

Stress and Your Immune System

I can tell you from experience that stress wreaks havoc on your immune system. Constant stress wears you down and it’s ever present during the holiday season. I managed to completely burn out my adrenal system two different times and yes, I’ve learned my lesson about stress! I lived with chronic stress for way too many years and it’s hard on your whole body. has some suggestions for managing your stress:

  • Get enough sleep – yes this is the second time I’ve mentioned this – it’s that important!
  • Learn and use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation daily
  • Exercise – even if it’s only for a few minutes, your body is meant to move
  • Take time for yourself to decompress
  • Build your support network to keep in touch when you’re stressed
  • During times of high stress, consider counseling. I’m a holistic life coach and I can help you!

I know a lot of this information seems like something we should already know, but it’s good to be reminded every once in a while to take care of yourself first – all through the year – but especially around the holidays.

Please let me know how I can help you – I’m grateful for you and happy to be your aromatherapist and holistic life coach! Fill out this contact form and let me know how I can help you today!



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How Physical Clutter Affects Mind Clutter

physical clutter affects mind clutter, declutter, negative emotions because of clutter, how to declutter your life, clear your mind, emotional toll of clutter


I’ve been reading a lot lately about how physical clutter affects mind clutter. This past weekend, I came face to face with the connection. Seriously. emotional toll of clutter  declutter

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing for a big day-long market to showcase my products. Along with that one large show are the weekly markets that I attend. I’m grateful to have lots of people who purchase my products which means I have to make more products to ensure I have enough with me at any given market. 

When I have a larger show, I make extra of everything – I don’t want to run out of something you want! With the extra products comes extra boxes of supplies BUT I don’t have extra space in my studio. Which means that there has been clutter everywhere I’ve turned over the last few weeks. 

Now, I’m not a neat freak by any stretch, but I do appreciate an orderly and tidy space and having things in their place. I learned the hard way that not having a regular place for something I use infrequently causes me to waste time looking for said object. And it’s always at the most inopportune time that I can’t find what I need. GRRR…

The time leading up to the big shows can be stressful and we all know that stress causes crankiness. And cranky isn’t fun for anyone involved. But I could feel this sense of crankiness sitting in my chest and at first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the source. And then it hit me. 


My small space was just cluttered and I felt like all I was doing was spinning my wheels and not accomplishing anything. I was stressed and frustrated and cranky because I couldn’t put my hands on anything that I needed without a major search expedition. That’s when I knew I needed to declutter.

The Definition of Clutter

A cluttered house is not necessarily a dirty house and a clean house can be incredibly cluttered.  The definition of clutter is lots of things lying about in an untidy mess. Here’s how to know what is clutter:

  • Ever spent more than 15 minutes searching for your keys?
  • Can you run the vacuum or dust mop without having to go around something besides furniture?
  • At tax time, how long does it take you to prepare your documents for your CPA?
  • Are you considering a storage unit to handle the overflow of all your stuff?
  • Have you thought about what will happen to all your stuff when you die?

My dad was something close to a hoarder. He was also of that generation that survived the Great Depression. Which means nothing was ever thrown out because not only was that wasteful, but you might need that very thing 20 years down the road.

But then he passed on and my mother left all that stuff sit in the basement. Which is fine. Then the septic tank backed up into the basement. Guess what? All that stuff that he hoarded over 50+ years was ruined and had to be thrown out.

How To Declutter Your Life and Clear Your Mind

Several years ago, I moved from a 2,300 square foot house to a 725 square foot apartment. The shock of not having room for my “stuff” was overwhelming but in that instant, I had an “aha” moment. I could either look at a stack of boxes and trip over endless junk or I could take a few minutes every single day and analyze what was really important.

When I think back to that time, I was under a lot of stress and couldn’t think clearly. Major life moments tend to do that to us. Coming home to clutter was even more stressful than moving itself. Because I could only make so much stuff fit into 725 square feet (with ridiculously small closets) I was at a crossroads.

I gave myself 45 minutes every evening to look through ONE box. If I had the energy and time, I looked through more. But the minimum goal was simply one box – not overwhelming, not enough to exhaust me – simply one box. With glass of wine in hand and a charged up iPod, I set to work. I’ve often heard that you spend the first 50 years of your life collecting – or nesting, if you will – and the second 50 years giving it all away. It was time.

Want to know something embarrassing?  I moved a big (HEAVY!) box of college textbooks from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau to Winston-Salem. And then I moved the same box – still packed – two more times! WTF???????

It was boxes of stuff that I struggled to part ways with and I felt like this stuff was a security blanket – securing what, I don’t know. I needed a fresh start and looking at boxes of old stuff that I never touched was weighing me down and creating more stress that I ever could have imagined. All the clutter in the boxes was simply clutter in my head and heart.

I needed to declutter and just couldn’t face that fact. emotional toll of clutter

Clutter is stuck energy

When you’re stuck in any area of life, it’s hard to move forward; to see new ideas; to move on to the next project or make a fresh start. I’ve now had to declutter two more times because each time I’ve moved, it’s been to smaller quarters. And because I see clients in my studio, my space needs to be clutter-free, welcoming, neat and tidy. I want you to feel welcome and comfortable in my space and clutter makes that impossible.

At times, I’ve felt really stuck in my life and now I see just how closely physical clutter equals mental clutter which equals an untidy mess. You’d be surprised (maybe not?) to learn just how much physical clutter has to do with your mental clutter.

The emotional toll of clutter can be devastating. Maybe you find yourself running late all the time because you can’t find the shirt you wanted to wear or the mate to the pair of shoes that matches your outfit. negative emotions because of clutter

Negative Emotions Because of Clutter

Jessie Sholl writes for about the emotional toll of clutter:

Professional organizers, who are hired to help with everything from decluttering closets to restructuring entire homes, routinely see their clients reap emotional rewards. “It’s hard for me to even imagine talking about clutter without talking about the emotional benefits of decluttering,” says Hazel Thornton, professional organizer and owner of Organized for Life, a consulting service in Albuquerque, N.M. “There’s no one who calls me who isn’t stressed out, frustrated, or feeling inadequate, incompetent in their job, or guilty. It’s all about emotions — definitely it’s more about emotions than it is about the stuff.”

It was cathartic to declutter by going through every single box. I looked at some things and shook my head – what was I thinking when I got that? Other things, I kept because I’m not about to give away my life simply because of space constraints – I truly savor that piece of my life in that box waiting to be unpacked. negative emotions because of clutter

Do you have a lot of clutter? Do you feel stressed sometimes for no good reason? What about all those negative emotions because of clutter? Do you ever think about the emotional toll of clutter? While you’re looking at what no longer serves you physically, what clutter are you hanging onto that no longer serves you mentallyphysical clutter affects mind clutter

What’s keeping you stuckphysical clutter affects mind clutter

If you see yourself hanging onto things, people, ideas and general clutter that no longer serves you, let’s talk. I can easily show you how to declutter your life. emotional toll of clutter

Fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today clearing out the clutter and freeing you up for better opportunities in life.

Don’t wait – let’s talk today!




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Advice on Taking Unsolicited Advice

It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and rebuke the sufferer. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

unsolicited advice, Advice on Taking Advice, To Thine Own Self Be True, good advice, I need advice, advice, word of adviceHave you ever endured unsolicited advice? It’s not fun. In fact, it makes me scratch my head and wonder. Why would someone offer advice that you didn’t ask for? word of advice on taking advice

Just who the hell do you think you are to tell me how I should manage my life – when I didn’t ask you in the first place?

I’ve always heard that we easily see the foibles and warts of others while being blind to our own. There’s a bit of truth in that wisdom. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and see with clear eyes what your life really looks like, but it can be done.

The reason I say this is because I was blindsided by some really misinformed advice and what’s even worse – I took the bad advice. AACK!

Yep. It’s my fault completely; I take full responsibility. Had I known what my life would look like a few short months later after acting on what I thought was good advice, I would have politely but forcefully declined. Who knew?

Putting someone in the position of having to explain, justify and defend themselves because you think you have a clearer vision of what is wrong with their life makes you egotistical and narrow-minded. It only adds to the confusion and says a whole lot more about you than it does me.

Don’t you think I realize something is amiss with my life? Don’t you think I’ll come to my own conclusions eventually? Don’t you think I’m smart enough to reach out for help when it’s the right time?

Obviously not.

Again, I ask – unless you’re a certified advice professional, who the hell are you to tell me how I should run my life?

Who knew that well-laid plans would completely crumble? Who knew that haughty, condescending and sadly misinformed advice would completely knock me off my feet?

To Thine Own Self Be True

I initially saw the “advice” as a sign from the Supreme-Being-Of-Your-Choice that it was time to make changes in my life. Was that really the case? I sincerely doubt it. I find dependence upon some unseen celestial dictator with a major control complex utterly wrong for me on every level.  I just knew that if I worked hard, believed in myself and took inspired action that it would all work out.

It hasn’t. That’s really hard to sit with when I truly did believe that hard work, belief in yourself and inspired action would ensure that everything would work out!

That advice brought on a time of fear and uncertainty. Unfortunately when I spoke of the fear surrounding said advice to the advice giver, I was soundly rebuked. No matter how I framed my fear, I was rebuked and lectured with even more haughty, cruel advice. After all, the same advice worked for someone else, so I should take the same words of wisdom and skip merrily into the future. Oh, by the way, suck it up, sweetie!

You know, it’s easy to offer guidance when you don’t have to swallow the same bitter pill. It’s easy to tell someone else how to run their life when you’re on the outside of the calamity. It’s easy to dispense words of wisdom when you wouldn’t dream of taking the same road – or you don’t have to.

My Aunt Adele used to say that offered advice was like three day-old fish – it stinks.

The next time you think you know how to manage someone else’s life, I want you to stop, put your hand over your mouth and leave it there.


Unless you’re a psychic, you have absolutely no clue about the mindset of the person you think you’re helping; you have absolutely no idea of the inner workings of their heart or their life. You have no idea what is best for them. You might think you know what’s best and that you have a clear view of the situation, but you don’t. Period.

Instead of Dispensing Advice, Do This Instead

So, you think you know everything and you should counsel your best friend because: yes. Seriously? Do you really think I’m going to change my mind because you think you know better? There’s a better way to go about changing someone than giving your advice.

Thomas Plante, PhD, ABPP, author of Do The Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World says this about giving advice:

“If we really want to encourage behavior (or belief) change in others we actually need to move away from advice giving (especially when our advice is unsolicited) and toward modeling. In other words, we need to be an example for others rather than telling them what to do.”

Class, what have we learned from this moment of weakness and stupidity?

If there is anything I have learned throughout this whole debacle it’s that I know I am smart enough to take my own counsel. I have learned that I am smarter, wiser and stronger than I give myself credit for. I have learned that I know best how to run my life even when it doesn’t make sense to those around me. I have learned that my life is in my hands and I shouldn’t think that anyone else has a clearer vision. I have learned that just because you don’t like how I live my life doesn’t mean I have to change course or accommodate you and your opinion. I may make some bad decisions (or blindly act on some really b-a-a-a-a-a-d instructions), but that doesn’t make me less knowledgeable than you.

It makes me human. word of advice advice on taking advice word of advice

The situation that I endured has made me tougher and far more compassionate to anyone going through rough times. Even if you were to ask me for insight about a tough situation, I would ask you what does your gut tell you? After all, your heart/guts/intuition will tell you everything you need to know – eventually.

You may not know what to do right now but eventually, you’ll get there. The best part is when you do reach your goals, it will be through your own wisdom and hard work and not on the advice of some smarmy so-called friend who thinks they know what’s best for you.

This is where self-acceptance comes in handy. Learning to love yourself with all your warts, foibles and fears truly gives you clarity on how you want your life to unfold. After all that, I did manage to send love and light to the perpetrator, but I had to set some pretty tough boundaries which means that person is no longer in my life.

Far be it from me to tell you how to run your life, tell you what’s best for you or – worse – make you feel bad when you’re scared. Life is scary and hard enough as it is! What I do as your holistic life coach is to ask the right questions to help you see your own situation with clarity. I’m not here to dispense unsolicited advice; I’m here to help you see your own vision. After all, the only vision that you need is the one that’s right for you.

Listen, when it comes to investing or health or legal issues – absolutely get professional advice! That only makes sense. My point is when it comes to what’s best for you and how you live your life, YOU are the best judge. When it comes to your definition of living with grace and ease, YOU are the best judge. Even with professional counseling.

Allow me to give you a word of advice when it comes to advice – take your own advice. Trust me on this one. :) I’m happy to help you get clarity in your life – simply fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.



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Look For The Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Fred Rogers

helping hands, thoughts and prayers, people helping people, serving others, how can I helpSeems like the world has gone mad over the last few months. All the talking heads do is spit out bad news and worse news. It’s overwhelming as an adult to absorb all the hatred, nastiness and cruelty coming at us from every direction.

It’s even harder to absorb as a child when you don’t yet understand how the world works. It looks and sounds horrifying especially when the grown ups turn on the 24 hour news channels and never turn them off.

We watch, we listen, we absorb all this bad news and I don’t see a whole lot of understanding to help us manage all the stuff that’s coming at us. Can you imagine how a child feels seeing all this carnage and having no way to process it?

My heart breaks every time I hear yet another instance of the human race being so incredibly cruel to one another. Then, you have to see it, hear it and read about “it” for hours and days – burning this horrible information into our souls.

And yet, it continues day after week after month. Neither side of any issue is willing to give an inch for fear of having to give a mile. And if nobody will give an inch, how do we expect to have any honest conversations?

Seriously, no conversation will take place in the current political climate. We have a reality-TV-star-turned-politician purposely encouraging violence, legitimizing racism, declaring a war on women, spewing nastiness in every sentence (and tweet) and demonstrating such an incredible lack of dignity that it’s beyond the pale. How is this setting a good example for future generations?

Daily we live with the threat of nuclear war, hurricanes, fires, shootings, countries wanting to “break away”, terrorism (both abroad and here at home) – the list just goes on and on and it becomes more difficult to explain much less comfort whoever is watching.

How do you deal with all the bullshit? How do you absorb all the vitriol and retain your sanity? Where does it all end?

Ellen DeGeneres went to work the day after the Las Vegas massacre and decided there was too much good in the world to let it go by unnoticed. I love her explanation of how she chooses to come to work and give you good television in the midst of all the heartache.

Take a few moments to watch “the helpers”, the good people of the world who selflessly give their all every single day to make the world a better place.

I watched this in the days after the Las Vegas shooting nightmare and it brought me to tears. Hopefully, it moves you as much as it moved me.

We have to look for the good in the world. There are helpers everywhere – those who see the beauty – and the sadness – all around them and do something to add kindness and hope to the world.

When it all seems too much to endure, please just stop. Turn off the television, sign out of social media and, for the love of sanity, STOP checking your phone every twenty minutes.

Just stop.

Technology is a wonderful and amazing thing to make life easier, to keep us connected and to overwhelm us. Every time we hear more bad news, we take to social media to offer up thoughts and prayers to whomever was affected this week.

How many times a day do you check your social media? And if you’re not checking your email you feel frantic and disconnected. Let’s not EVEN talk about forgetting your phone when you walk out the door – it’s enough to cause apoplexy.

Am I close here?

We’ve gone from having a simple answering machine to check every night after work to being joined at the hip to our smart phones so we can be the first to know and the first to offer up useless thoughts and prayers for victims of whatever disaster because we don’t know what else to do.

How’s that working out?

As a society, I believe we are overwhelmed at all the of the information relentlessly coming at us. Knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom. We have to know the difference between the two and to know when to act on that wisdom. Clearly, we are not doing a good job of teaching wisdom to each other and definitely not our children.

How Can I Help?

Yes, there are ways you can help – there is something you can do besides constantly stare at a television or phone.

If you are looking for a charity to help out Project Hope does an amazing amount of humanitarian work with very few dollars. If you can’t send money, simply send love and light to those affected. If you can’t find it in your heart to do that, then look for the helpers.

Because there’s always helpers.

Please be a helper today. Someone needs your smile, your kindness, your compassion, your hope. Open your heart and be a helper.

There are indeed good people all over the world. Good people of every color, every faith, every nationality. Good people that give of themselves and do what they can to help those who have so much less. People helping people in need.

I choose to bring my love and light to the world because I believe I have a special gift to give. You have a special gift to give the world, too.

How can I help you shine your light? Fill out this contact form and let’s talk today.




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A Chain of Becauses

A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about. Miguel de Unamuno

Chain of Becauses, because, word, only, easy, forever

There are times in life when it’s a good idea to just stop talking. I found a wonderful article from Leigh Newman on the five times in your life when you should simply close your mouth. There was one particular time she wrote about in her article that stood out to me like crazy.

When you’re talking in a chain of becauses.

Because what?

When every sentence you speak begins with the word because, you need to step back, take a deep breath (as in at least two minutes) and then be kind to yourself.

I am such of fan of Leigh Newman’s writing because (whoops – there’s that word!) she has such insight into the human condition. Not the boring college textbook-type of insight, but smart, witty and always on point. Here is the part of her article that really hit home for me:

Something dark happens when I wake up early in the morning. I begin to talk to myself. That me-to-me discussion goes a little like this: Because I didn’t save x dollars this year, my son won’t have enough money for college. And because of that, he will have to take on huge, crushing loans. And because of that, at age 21, he’ll have to take a job he hates to pay off all that debt. Or, worse, he won’t be able to get a job. And because of that he will have to declare bankruptcy by age 30. Then nobody will ever hire him. He’ll have to move to India to live cheaply off the grid and I’ll never see him because I’ll be retired and broke and won’t be able to afford the airfare. And so the becauses continue until I feel so guilty and horrible, I can hardly get up to make breakfast, which my son needs me to make because…he is 7 years old.

There are all kinds of ways to silence that chain of becauses that leads to panic and self-loathing. You can meditate. You can go for a run. You can read a book. Or you can go in and look at your sleeping child and realize you have more than a decade to figure out this problem, because what comes after a because is not up to fate, but up to you and the future that you build out of your actions and decisions—not your words.

Read more:

Whew!!! The chain of becauses can go on forever and forever and forever. Why? Because your mind goes down the rabbit hole when you aren’t paying attention or because it’s early in the wee hours of oh-dark-thirty and your sleepy mind has already begun to race or because you just know because of one action, another action will or won’t happen because

Jeez – how many of us have dealt with this issue? How many times have your becauses spiraled out of control because of guilt, shame, frustration and anger – all aimed at yourself? How many times has needless worry over a simple decision sent you on the endless because trail? It only gets worse.

Guilty. Yep. Real. Guilty.

Sometimes I wake up at 2:30 AM for a bladder call and I simply cannot fall back asleep. It is then that my drowsy, half-sleeping/half awake mind goes berserk with all the minutiae stored away for moments just like this. The more I try to fall back asleep, the faster my brain rolls through all the becauses and then goes back for more. I have had nights where I watched the clock tick through every single hour and by 6 AM, I’m exhausted from all the horrible becauses going through my mind.

I’ve tried testing Leigh’s advice on silencing the deadly chain of becauses with varying degrees of success. Reading and meditation (or is that medication?) have their place. Reading a book makes me drowsy. (However, reading a college textbook will make you fall asleep in twenty seconds flat.)

Anyway, I’m working on the meditation part but with a brain full of becauses, meditation is difficult at best and usually an exercise in futility. I believe Louise Hay said that meditation is easy – simply focus on your breath. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve tried – and failed – to simply focus on my breath. I am an absolute pro at focusing on my breath while my mind is racing through all the becauses that could take place at any moment – oh, and along with concentrating on whatever affirmation you’re supposed to think of while meditating and focusing on your breath.

It makes my brain go completely off the rails. :/

Most of the becauses we imagine will never happen, so why do we do this? I believe we’ve been taught if we worry about a because then we can somehow keep it from ever happening. Or even worse, if we go through our endless list of becauses, we are actually doing something instead of doing nothing. And doing nothing makes me crazy.

It is my goal from this day forward to attempt to try to resist the endless becauses residing in my brain. Why? Because the becauses simply make me old before my time. I’m exhausted from trying to avoid all the pitfalls of life. I know in my heart that life will simply happen and take care of itself if I simply stop becausing myself to an early grave.

Because you read my blog, I get to keep writing. Because of a full heart, I live a life of grace and mercy.

And so do you.

I’m so grateful for each one of you who click through my emails each week. I’m so grateful I get to share my hopes, dreams, fears and joys with you – because you are very important to me and I wish each of you grace and ease in your own life.

What becauses are you dealing with? It’s because of those becauses that I am a practicing aromatherapist and holistic life coach.

Please take time to fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today.



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Staying Healthy – Advice From A Healthcare Renegade

nature medicine, healthy eating for beginners, food as medicine, clean eating, How To Stay Healthy, Advice From a Healthcare RenegadeToday, I’m honored to introduce M. Leigh Johnson, also known as the Healthcare Maquis who talks about staying – or getting- healthy in a system that is stacked against you. I’ve been looking for everyday people who see the Western healthcare system for what it is – a system of creating customers, not cures – to educate us on alternative and complementary therapies.

Leigh and I met through a private Facebook group that helps its’ members become better writers and bloggers to make our personal message relevant and interesting. Leigh has had her share of ups and downs with the medical community and – like me – wants you to know that there is a better way to help yourself get and stay healthy.

The healthcare debacle is not over yet – not by a long shot. The latest is yet another round of politicians convincing Americans that massive cuts to healthcare are good for us and it’s on life-support, but not dead. I am frustrated and angry that we have to fight this hard for a basic human right. Until access to healthcare becomes a basic human right, I choose to turn my anger into something positive so that we can all benefit.

You may (or may not) know that I’m a certified aromatherapist and holistic life coach. There are many concerns that I can help you address through the use of essential oils and coaching. If you would like to read the original Uninsured series, HERE is Part One.

Let’s dive in with Leigh today:

What is the meaning behind Healthcare Maquis?

Briefly, I wanted a name that alluded to a revolution and being a renegade. The Maquis were part of the French resistance against the Nazis during World War II. It’s an interesting story and it really is worth your time to learn more about them.

Here is something that I want you to think about. The Maquis were a small group of fighters that resisted the Nazis while so many other people all across Europe just allowed what happened without a fight. Think where the world would be if a small group of fierce people did not fight the system – what if they didn’t fight against the status quo?

I have a full explanation of where I got the name Healthcare Maquis on my blog in this article, and in this video on YouTube.

What prompted you to create the Healthcare Maquis?

I have several reasons why I started my business. Health and wellness is my life. Even outside of my educational and professional experience, it is my passion. To give you a comparison, in other cultures I would be considered a medicine woman. I am the person that people in my life look to for medical advice. I want to share my knowledge with the world, and also to have a repository of information for anyone to access.

My authority comes not from the alphabet soup behind my name, but the years of real trial and error. Experience is a better teacher than any professor.

What I talk about on my site and in my videos comes from my real life experiences. I don’t tell you to use Apple Cider Vinegar if I don’t do it myself. I would never suggest Lavender for sleep if I had never used it before.

How has this experience impacted your own health?

I have been on my health journey for a quite awhile. So, often I speak in retrospect on my blog about past experiences. However, health is a journey, not a destination. I am still working toward my goals and sharing what I am doing online helps me be accountable.

Also, I hope in the process, I inspire people to get healthy – if I AM doing it, they can too. For example, I was inspired to do a 28 day challenge where my family and I did not eat out for the month. The challenge was born out of two issues:

  • First, even with my commitment to clean eating and wholesome living, we do eat out. The irony is that the better the choices you make with your food at restaurants the more it’s going to cost you. So avoiding fake burgers and phony potato products was costing me a pretty penny.
  • Second, there were two people in my life who had a terrible eat-out habits. They were going to restaurants daily…drive thru, carryout, gas stations…you name it, they were eating it. You cannot be in control of your health when you are not in control of what you eat.

I created the challenge to inspire them and others that it is possible to eat delicious food at home each and every day with no excuses. I have a family of seven with five of us in the house on a full-time basis. We have different food restrictions, preferences, etc…so there are two different schedules running in my house.

I work from home and homeschool my kids. All while my husband attends college and works 50-60 hours a week. I am absolutely the definition of “busy”. Our life is full, but I manage to keep it together to ensure we live a healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to see what I ate during the month, you can go to my Facebook page where I posted my pictures daily.

I also have compiled an eBook chronicling what I did on the challenge and how you can reduce the amount of restaurant food in your life. The book – entitled 28 Day No Eat Out Challenge –  will be released in October, 2017. I am offering it for free for those who sign up for my email list. You can get on the waiting list for the book here.

Beside diet and exercise, what is your advice to someone who is looking to stay – or get – healthy?

I ran across this quote from a 100 year old woman that made me laugh, but sums up my sentiment. “Stay away from doctors.”

What that means for me is a mindset switch. Doctors and the Western “healthcare” system are not about making or keeping people well. You are a slave to the little pills they give you. You are a slave to the high cost of their ineffective procedures.

Be the boss of your own life.

When you adopt what is called an internal locus of control…meaning you believe that you are in control of what happens to you…you will experience a radical shift in your life.

I have not been to the doctor in over a year. I would tell you how long it has been for other members of my family, but I literally fear the consequences of my truthfulness. nature medicine

At this point, I have no plans on going back. I do see a dentist because he performs an actual function. I see the optometrist because he helps me perform a life function called vision. Outside of that, I have no intention of ever engaging the system again…(p.s. I do pay for that mandatory health insurance EVERY month…I never use it.)

So my advice is start learning about your own body and its needs. Take charge of your own health. Seek out real help when you need it. People like myself and Melissa want to help empower and educate you!

What direction are you taking the Healthcare Maquis in the future?

I will continue to offer the highest quality information on health and wellness that I possibly can. As I develop relationships with other health warriors like Melissa, I would like to partner with people who can offer their expertise/experience to my audience.

The Maquis was not a person, it was a movement. The Nazi philosophy was larger than Hitler. The Nazi ideologies still exist to this day. Imagine if we could create the same kind of positive, lasting legacy for health, wellness and freedom?

To learn how I can help you own your wellness journey, visit me at The Healthcare Maquis website or find me on social media on Twitter @maquishealth and Facebook @TheHealthcareMaquis.

Thank you so much for taking time to learn about me and what I do. nature medicine clean eating recipes

Be free and be well.

Wow! Thank you Leigh for sharing your wisdom and for being so fierce about healthcare! Being healthy doesn’t have to mean continuous doctor visits and taking yet another little pill. Simply starting with good clean food from your local farmer’s market will go a long way toward feeling your best. The way I see it, medicine is sickcare – good food is healthcare!

I’m so grateful you stopped by today. What can I help you with? What questions do you have? Please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today!