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The Mis-Education of Busyness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simply put: perpetual busyness.

Stop the Glorification of Busyness

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

Amirite?

It’s ridiculous! 

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

Food for thought:

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

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

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

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

We must stop the glorification of busyness.

Overstimulation

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

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

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

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

AACK!

Clutter

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

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

Deane Alban further writes:

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

What Is Stress?

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

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

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

Now What?

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Fearful or Fearless?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling Fearless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fearful or Fearless?

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

What are you afraid of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Keep The Faith

Keep The Faith, Perseverance, Inspiration, Motivation,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gift of Perseverance

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

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

I dunno.

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

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

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

The Benefits of Deep Breathing (and Yoga)

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

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

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

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

Mediating for Five Seconds

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

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

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

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

Using Aromatherapy

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

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

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

Tranquility Blend

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Angel In Disguise

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

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

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

And it got me to thinking…

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

Normal? Relative to what? What is normal anyway?

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

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

Kindness

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

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

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

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

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

He disappeared into thin air.

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

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

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

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

My Own Angel In Disguise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melissa

 

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The Butterfly Effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously.

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

How Your Life Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What about you?

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

 

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Aromatherapy Awareness Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s where I come in. :0)

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

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

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

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

AROMA20

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Change Your Future By Changing Your Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did she do that????

Put Things Into Perspective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shifting Your Paradigm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change Your Future By Changing Your Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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On Brain Farts and Having Fun

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

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

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

 

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

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

Really stuck.

What To Do When You Have A Brain Fart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get back into the habit of fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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5 Important Reasons Why You Need Magnesium Oil

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

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

What Is Magnesium Chloride?

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

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

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

Reason One: Better Heart Health

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

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

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

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

Reason Two: Managing Diabetes

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

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

She goes on to say:

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

Reason Three: Reducing Stress, Anxiety and Depression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reason Four: Workout Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

Reason Five: More Reasons to Use Magnesium

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

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

Magnesium chloride does so much good for your overall health. 

Possible Magnesium Side Effects and Warnings

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

Other side effects can be:

  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • upset stomach
  • severe diarrhea

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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Easy Summertime Essential Oils

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

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

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

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

Bug Repellent

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

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

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

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

Bug Bites and Stings

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

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

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

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

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

Bruises, Minor Scrapes and Burns

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

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

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

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

After Sun Care

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

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

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

Sinus and Allergies

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

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

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

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

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

Summertime Fun

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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Happy Mother’s Day To All Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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I Am Thankful For You

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

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

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

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

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

Yes – I’m a worrywart…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some days, it feels like a losing battle.

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

 

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How One Silly Action Can Change Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, but I digress.

Feeling Stuck In A Rut

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

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

Seriously.

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

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

Breathe. Deep.

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Your Groove Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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Why Loyalty To Yourself Is So Important

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be True To Yourself

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

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

To a fault.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being Loyal and Setting Healthy Boundaries

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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The Ugly Truth About Trying To Please Everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Um…just no.

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

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

What about you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa =)

 

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How To Have a Good Day Every Day

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

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

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

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

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

Turning a Bad Day Into a Good Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aromatherapy For a Great Day

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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

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

Enter chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals, Your Body Chemistry and Metabolism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait – How Does Life Coaching Fit In?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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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!

Blessings,

Melissa

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.

Blessings,

Melissa

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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.

Blessings,

Melissa

 

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Coping With The Inevitable Bad Day

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

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

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

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

And that simply makes a bad day worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Turn a Bad Mood Into a Better Mood

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

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

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

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

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

A Couple of Ways To Let Go

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

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

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

Calming Meditation Blend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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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:

“How?”

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

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

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

There is kindness in saying yes. Believe it or not, there is kindness in saying no as well.  And the world needs all the kindness we can muster. But when saying yes depletes you, puts you in a bad situation or crosses your 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.

Blessings,

Melissa

 

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

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

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

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

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

Essential Oils Are Ideal for Congestion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Using A Commercial Vaporub Is Not A Good Idea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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

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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

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

Generosity

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.

Blessings,

Melissa