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Personal Responsibility Or Personal Investment?

Personal Responsibility Or Personal Investment, We’ve all heard about taking personal responsibility for our own lives. Based on a recent wonderful learning experience, I’d like to reframe that if I may.  What do you think makes a bigger impact: personal responsibility or personal investment?

The self-help movement has championed personal responsibility and to an extent, this is very good. To an extent.

Each one of us should take responsibility for every single action, thought, word and deed. Every single day.

But that same self help movement has turned taking charge of a messy life into a weapon to mercilessly beat ourselves up with when life goes sideways.

Truthfully? I’m done with being a big ‘ol punching bag for the self help industry.

So, when I talk about responsibility vs. investment, it’s not to abdicate my role in my own life. Not at all. Quite the opposite.

Responsibility Vs. Investment

I attended a workshop recently where I learned how to really tap into my soul and listen. It was a 8 hour workshop and I learned so much about being true to myself, understanding my inner judge/critic (gawd is she ever cruel!) and having a theme for my year instead of simply setting goals.

It’s a way for me to begin a new year differently than I have in the past. If I keep doing the same thing over and over again, I’m going to get the same result – which is insane! And I want different results.

One thing early in the workshop that made me snap to attention – especially when talking about well-being – is the difference between personal responsibility and personal investment.

Every self help book out there harps on taking personal responsibility: always being positive; fixing every perceived shortcoming, setting stellar goals and reaching them, have the perfect attitude every single moment…yada…yada…yada…

One of the ways we get off track with resolutions and goals is that we’re so focused on “fixing” (aka personal responsibility), that we forget our goals may take time. One thing I share with my aromatherapy clients is that the blend they purchase will not magically make their concern go away – poof – overnight.

You didn’t get to this point overnight and you won’t magically heal anything overnight – or make it go away. So instead of beating yourself up with the personal responsibility stick, think about it this way:

Every worthwhile investment takes time to bear fruit.

What’s the difference?

You’re (hopefully) investing in your future by saving for your retirement. Right? So why not use that same investment strategy when it comes to your education, your job, your home and your health? 

personal responsibility or personal investment, self help industry

I see it this way: taking personal responsibility, while commendable in theory, falls miserably short in reality. 

For instance, let’s say you begin a journey to change a habit or create a new habit because of a resolution you made on December 31st. Science tells us that resolution will last about 18 – 23 days and then…crickets…nothing.

You fall right back into old habits and patterns and feel like a failure – yes, I’ve been there.

Why do you fail so fast?

Because there’s no real investment.

But if you go at it from a different mindset, there’s much less chance of failing and feeling miserable. How about starting out with a better frame of mind by exploring a theme for the coming year and investing in you?

The theme you choose is your investment in yourself and tends to be far less rigid and stressful. You want to get into better physical shape? So, your theme is health and all the things you do to stay healthy fall under that theme. That can include eating well, exercising and self-care. 

So now you’re invested in your health over the long haul without jumping off the deep end that ensures you’re drowning in less than a month. And the subset – or bullet points – of your theme are fluid and can change as they need to.

A big part of self-care is knowing and believing that you are worthy of investment. (Psst…in case no one’s told you – you ARE worthy of investing in yourself!)

We’re coming up on the third week of January which is real close to do-or-die time for all those resolutions. How about investing in your whole well-being this year? 

Need a little boost to begin your investment?

Investing In Me Blend

  • 4 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
  • 4 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
  • 2 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • 2 drops Rose Geranium (Rosa x damascena/pelargonium x asperum)
  • 10 mL Rollerball
  • 10 mL Organic Jojoba Wax)

Combine all essential oils and Jojoba wax into rollerball. Gently shake before each use. Apply to inner wrists, temples and heart area as often as needed.

Need some help with this? Fill out this short contact form and I’ll be happy to share more! Start investing in yourself today!



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Wash Your Hands!

Wash Your Hands!, Avoid The Flu, elderberry syrupThe flu season is back in full swing again.  It bears repeating: to lessen your chances of contracting the flu, WASH YOUR HANDS!

Last year, I took a two-hour webinar on the flu virus, how to prevent it and what to do if you still get it – all that good information. You can read the post titled “Understanding Influenza” for full in-depth information about it.

For today, I’m going to give you a basic primer on the flu, how to prevent it and what to do if you are diagnosed with it.

The flu season in North Carolina will run from approximately October through May. Interesting little factoid: the flu begins in Australia and works its way over to the United States.

What Is The Flu?

The flu is a virus that can only reproduce inside a targeted cell – which is you. Antibiotics won’t do any good whatsoever to help you with the flu as they’re for bacterial infections, not viral infections.

It can take as little as a few hours for the symptoms to show up once you’ve been exposed. I always thought the flu included an upset stomach (and all the loveliness that goes along with it) but it’s actually a respiratory issue.

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

Here’s the information about the 2018-2019 flu virus from the Centers For Disease Control in Atlanta:

There are many different flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on vaccine) that research suggests will be most common. For 2018-2019, trivalent (three-component) vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus (updated)
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus (updated)

Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to contain:

  • the three recommended viruses above, plus B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus

Flu Symptoms

Here’s a quick rundown of flu symptoms. You may get all of them or a few of them.Preventing The Flu.

  • Moderate to severe cough
  • Fever, possibly high lasting for 3 – 4 days
  • Moderate to intense muscle aches and pains
  • Headache, sometimes intense
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat and stuffy nose are common
  • Generally lasts 12 – 14 days or longer

If you sneeze and have watery eyes, you most likely have a cold – it’s rare to have these symptoms with the flu.

Preventing The Flu

So what does that have to do with washing your hands?

As it turns out, a whole lot.

You know that doorknob you just touched? Someone else touched it with their hands and left germs. And those germs can last for hours on hard surfaces and for days on soft surfaces such as towels and handkerchiefs.

So the best ways to prevent the flu are:

  • Wash your hands with plain soap and warm water often, especially after using the toilet or coughing and sneezing.
  • Drink more water than usual – this will keep your system flushed out.
  • Get a flu shot – it’s a proven fact that getting a flu shot does NOT cause the flu!
  • Avoid touching your face – germs spread easier in moist mucous membranes (such as your eyes and nose).
  • Take Elderberry syrup at least 3 times every day during flu season. If you feel symptoms coming on, take a tablespoon every 2 hours.

I get my Elderberry syrup from a place called Norm’s Farms (NOT an affiliate link). They offer free shipping, too! To be honest, the flu vaccine is about 40% effective and the Elderberry syrup is about 80% effective against the flu. I actually take Elderberry syrup twice a day year round. 

What To Do If You Get The Flu

Even though you’re careful, you caught the flu. Now what?

Go. To. Bed. Now.

Seriously, go to bed and stay there for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. Don’t go around anyone to spread the germs – especially day care centers and nursing homes.

Get to your doctor as fast as you can for an antiviral prescription medication, if needed. The faster you get the medication in you, the faster you’ll feel better.

Drink more plain water than usual. Again – water is flushing your system and this is a good thing.

Keep a vaporizer or cold mist diffuser running to help stop the spread of germs. If you add a couple drops each of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lavender to your cold mist diffuser (or inhale directly from a cotton ball), you’ll breathe easier and feel better.

Sleep. Sweet glorious sleep will help your body heal.

Don’t go back to work for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. You’ll still be contagious!

I make a wonderful blend called Thievery which contains several essential oils to boost your immune system. It’s $14.95 for a 10 mL bottle and can help you boost your immune system as well as promote bronchial and nasal health. All you have to do is fill out this contact form or send an email and I’ll take it from there.

Be well, wash your hands and share this post!



Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to 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. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.





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Be Kind and Gentle

Be Gentle With Yourself, kind and gentle, self love“Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, a little more loving, and have a little more empathy, and maybe, next year at this time we’d like each other a little more.”
― Judy Garland

A little more gentle with each other really makes sense right about now, doesn’t it? But that’s not what I mean.

What I mean is for each of us to be more gentle with ourselves.

It’s that time of year when we look back to see what we’ve accomplished and look forward to new goals and bigger dreams. And if you haven’t accomplished as much as you intended or what you really wanted to, then today, I’m talking to you.

In setting your New Year’s resolutions, include one to be kind and gentle with yourself.

On Being Kind and Gentle

Why would I say such a thing?

Because I know exactly what it’s like to reach the end of a year (and the end of your rope) and feel like nothing’s been accomplished. And it makes for a less-than-stellar new year celebration.

This year, let’s you and I do it differently, whaddya say?

I’ve talked about this before – the world is a cruel and mean place to be. And absorbing all that negativity can add to your feelings of inadequacy and frustration. I truly believe that we’re all connected and when we’re angry and frustrated (especially with ourselves), it sends ripples out into the world.

If you’ve been a member of the Scented Balance community for any length of time (thank you!), then you know I wear my heart on my sleeve and I share my heart in hopes that I can help you through my experiences. I haven’t always felt like I had someone to turn to and I don’t want you to feel like that – it’s a lonely place.

One of the areas I struggle with is being kind and gentle to myself. Some of the things I’ve said to myself in dark times would horrify Atilla the Hun. Seriously. That’s a bad habit that I still need to break and it’s only through perseverance and patience that I’ve been able to slowly change my self talk. Am I there yet? Nope. 

Being kind to yourself is more than just self-care. It sets the tone for how other people treat you – and how you teach them to treat you.

Setting Goals In The New Year

I’m a big fan of Danielle LaPorte and use her daily planner. One of the things I’ve learned from using her planner is to be kind to myself and to send love and light at every possible moment. For me, sending love and light is the only way I can truly forgive someone – especially myself.

Using this daily planner helps me to focus on what I’m willing to do to feel the way I want to feel deep inside. Happiness, peace and joy come from within and if you’re so busy beating yourself up, how can you find peace?

Instead of saying “I didn’t accomplish what I wanted”, why not say “I’m focusing on what I did accomplish and moving on from there”. How about taking stock of your effort instead of your accomplishments? 

Isn’t it far more important to know that you showed up and did your best as opposed to counting “failures”? And some days, your “okayest” may be the best you can do. So be it.  Kind and Gentle, New Years Resolution, self love

Recently, I spent part of my evening with a trusted friend. I was telling her about all the clutter that I’m donating to a very worthy cause and (here’s where it gets painful) I have a stack of sweet little hopeful books and motivational journals that I wrote several years ago. Just sitting there taking up valuable space. What do you do with that stuff? You know what she said?

“You tried. You put yourself out there and opened your heart. Not everyone is that brave.”

Annie’s Hope Center is opening in early Spring 2019 and helps women who endured domestic violence to get back on their feet. I do believe we can all use a motivational and hopeful journal to begin our new journey. So, I’m donating all those books and journals to Annie’s Hope Center in the hopes that it will help someone who is struggling.

Ah, yes. The silver lining in the black cloud. self love

So, this year, let’s set some goals, dream some BIG dreams and be kind and gentle. Let’s make sure one of the goals we all set is to be kind and gentle, especially to ourselves. Are you with me?

Many blessings to each of you. I am so grateful for your continued support.

Happy New Year!


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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

My gift to you is a sweet and joyful Christmas poem:

I Wish That I Could Wrap Up Christmas

I wish that I could wrap up all the love and Holiday cheer
That comes along with Christmas and with New Year’s every year,
Pack it in a pretty box and put it on my shelf
And pull it down again each year and give it to myself.
I wish that I could tie up all my favorite carols with twine,
Wind around some ribbon, too, and for twelve months call them mine
Until the next Yuletide came when the sounds again could be unfurled
And untie every single one then give them to the world

With all the busyness, hustle and bustle around the Christmas season, my gift to you is a moment to relax and smile with a sweet poem.

Merry Christmas and Many Blessings,


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Clutter, Clutter Everywhere and No Place To Put It

decluttering, clutter, depression, minimalism, minimalistI think my head is going to explode. I went to a friend’s house to help out last week and there was clutter, clutter everywhere and no place to put it!

It’s the Christmas season and we’re all shopping like crazy to get the perfect gift on everyone’s list. So, where do you put all the new stuff when your closets are already overflowing?

Why Am I Writing About Clutter?

Yes, I know I’m a certified aromatherapist and what does clutter have to do with aromatherapy? Well, I’m also a holistic life coach and that means I’ve been trained to ask questions and look at situations with fresh eyes. And that’s important information for you to have when reading this post – and thank you for reading!

I visited my friend to help her move “stuff” (read that to mean clutter) around to make room for her Christmas tree. Sheesh!

Listen – how you live is none of my business – ever. But when you stand there and complain that you’re overwhelmed, depressed, frustrated and mad as hell while we’re rearranging a shittonne of junk, then don’t expect me to keep my mouth shut.

To make room for the tree, we had to move some of the clutter into her bedroom which already looked like a warehouse. Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex – NOT for TV watching, eating or as storage units! Period! 

I’ve been in minor minimalist mode for the last few years. I say minor because I have no intention of getting rid of everything I own.

But here’s what’s been on my mind lately: What happens if I get run over by a truck today? Then what? Who’s going to take care of all the stuff and clutter that I have everywhere? Just how much stuff sitting around collecting dust do I really need? minimalist, minimalism, de-cluttering

The bigger and better question is this: WHY are you hanging on to all this stuff – clutter? What does it represent to you? How does it make you feel to hang onto all this stuff? Better yet, how does it make you feel when you get rid of all that stuff?

I told you that the life coach thing would be important to this blog post. :0)

My Minimalist Approach

Here’s my idea of minimalism:

  • Have just what I need – maybe a bit more
  • If I haven’t touched it in 2 years, it’s time to get rid of it
  • If I haven’t worn it in 2 years, let it go
  • How much dusting do I really want to do (I hate dusting)
  • Analyzing why I need more stuff

Physical clutter equates to mental clutter pure and simple. Yet all the commercials we watch brainwash us into thinking we NEED more stuff! Have you noticed how many storage companies there are around your town? Why do think that is?

Listen, I love pretty things and lots of clothes as much as the next guy. I do. BUT – what am I going to do with all this stuff when I get old? All that money spent on needless stuff could have helped my retirement account get a little bigger and make me feel more secure.

Not to mention that we get busy busy busy and don’t take the time to put things away if there’s any room left!

The First Step in De-Cluttering

STOP. JUST STOP. Stop buying stuff you don’t absolutely need for your survival!

At this time of the year, it’s imperative to think outside of the Christmas box. Instead of buying more needless stuff for someone, why not have dinner together? Why not get you and your sister/friend/mom a mani/pedi and spend time together? Or get a series of yoga classes to take together?

How many more toys do your kids and grandkids really need? If they’re into soccer, why not get them a soccer lesson? Or tickets to a big league soccer game and go with them? It’s not things that make memories, it’s people we’ve spent time with.

And in all of this, you’re shopping local at small independent businesses where your dollars make a difference!

My second step was to clean out the junk drawer in my kitchen. Then it was a stack of boxes with stuff I hadn’t touched in five years – five years! If you haven’t touched it in that length of time, why do you need to keep it?

What’s your first step toward de-cluttering?

Where To Take Your Clutter

There’s a number of excellent places to donate your items, but one in particular touched my heart. Annie’s Hope Center For Growing And Healing. Annie’s Hope is a certified 501(c)3 non-profit and the Reverend Abby Catoe is the force behind it. Helping women who have endured domestic violence, this labor of love helps them heal and get back on their feet.

Of course, there’s always Goodwill, Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. You do help change lives when you give to all of these organizations.

Please think about de-cluttering this year when you do your Christmas shopping. Seriously give some thought to spending time with those who matter to you instead of buying stuff! Besides – I have some awesome products for you to give the gift of health this year for Christmas – let’s talk today!