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A Thing Of Beauty

A Thing of Beauty, Take a Deep Breath, Kindness, Meditation, Unplugged

It’s been a hard couple of weeks, y’all. We’re all tired and I’d like to help ease the weariness today with a thing of beauty

Just take a deep breath. Rest your eyes on a beautiful scene and imagine yourself there just simply resting and at peace.

Think about kindness, caring, gentleness, compassion.

Unplugged, no phones, no internet, no social media, no anger or harsh words.

We’re all stressed to the max and if we just take a moment to meditate – or pray – whatever you choose, we can find joy and beauty in life.

Whether you believe it or not, we’re all connected.

I’ve had the word blessing on my mind a lot lately. I’m blessed to have each one of you in my community. You uplift me, you honor me with your kind words and your business. I’m so very grateful for you.

Today, in honor of my Irish heritage, I’d like to offer you the traditional Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back,
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

As always, thank you for sharing your inbox with me. Thank you for taking the time to open the emails that I send. Thank you for coming to the fairs, festivals and markets and hugging my neck and telling me that I’ve made a difference in your life.

It’s important to me that each person sees their own beauty. And in doing so, sees more beauty in the world. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spread the message that we each have our own special brand of beauty.

You make a huge difference in my life and I send love, light and deep gratitude out to each one of you.

Blessings,

Melissa

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Your Own Kind of Beautiful

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

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

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

Beauty has nothing to do with looks.

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

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

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

BUT.

You are so much more than your body.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love and many blessings!

Melissa

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

 

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The Mis-Education of Busyness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simply put: perpetual busyness.

Stop the Glorification of Busyness

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

Amirite?

It’s ridiculous! 

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

Food for thought:

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

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

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

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

We must stop the glorification of busyness.

Overstimulation

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

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

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

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

AACK!

Clutter

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

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

Deane Alban further writes:

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

What Is Stress?

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

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

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

Now What?

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Fearful or Fearless?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling Fearless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fearful or Fearless?

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

What are you afraid of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Set New Goals

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Which of your accomplishments stands out the most to you?

 

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

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

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

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

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

What lesson or frustration kept surfacing?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What personal strengths did you rely on this past year?

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

 

How well did you communicate in your most important relationships?

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

 

Set New Goals By Answering These Questions

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Twas The Night Before Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Book On Every Bed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start By Reading!

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

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

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

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

Holiday Diffuser Blend

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

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

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

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours!

Melissa

 

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5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

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

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

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

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

What Does Smiling Have To Do With Anything?

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

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

With a smile.

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

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

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

5 Surprising Reasons To Smile Every Day

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

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

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

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

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

The Human Touch of Smiling

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

 

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On Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Stress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diffusing the Stress During Thanksgiving Dinner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to Show Gratitude at Thanksgiving and Beyond

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

Here’s what PyschCentral.com says about learning true gratitude:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Blessings,

Melissa

 

 

 

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A Chain of Becauses

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

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

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

When you’re talking in a chain of becauses.

Because what?

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

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

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

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

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Times-to-Stop-Talking/5#ixzz2r95An7h2

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

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

Guilty. Yep. Real. Guilty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so do you.

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

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

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Staying Healthy – Advice From A Healthcare Renegade

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

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

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

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

Let’s dive in with Leigh today:

What is the meaning behind Healthcare Maquis?

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

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

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

What prompted you to create the Healthcare Maquis?

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

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

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

How has this experience impacted your own health?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be the boss of your own life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be free and be well.

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

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

Blessings,

Melissa

 

 

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Better Health With A Certified Health Coach

certified health coach, alternative medicine, what does a health coach do
Image By Freepic.com

During the summer of 2017, health insurance was in the news – a LOT. The insurance landscape is changing and the fight isn’t over yet. Many of us may yet find ourselves without insurance or be unable to afford regular traditional doctor visits.

So what are the alternatives to traditional medicine? I wrote the Uninsured series of posts where I talked about alternative and complementary modalities to help you stay healthy without insurance. (This is Part 1 of the series.)

Of course, I tackled many of the issues that I can help you address as a certified aromatherapist and holistic life coach. But I wanted to educate you about other wellness practitioners who also excel at helping you stay – or get – healthy. Over the next few months, I’m inviting practitioners from all areas to write about what they do and how they can help you get and stay healthy.

Today, meet Stefanie Draper, a Certified Health Coach in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. Stefanie explains how she can help you navigate all the options when it comes to your health.

How Can A Health Coach Help Me?

A healthy lifestyle in this day and time has lots of options in the way of health food stores, holistic helpers and healers, supplements, gyms and yoga studios, organic food options, and on and on. So why is it such a challenge to be healthy?! If we have all these support networks we should have healthy bodies and healthy lives, right?

The majority of us know what we should be doing, yet most of us don’t implement what is necessary to be truly healthy. Pile on top of that the issues our health care system presents, and we can find ourselves in a real pickle! If we are depending on the government, our primary care physician, or our prescriptions to keep us healthy, we really do have another think coming. Melissa has brought to us a wonderful discussion, because clearly it is time for us to begin seeing our health resources differently.

I am a Certified Health Coach. I received a B.A. degree in Exercise & Sport Sciences from UNC Chapel Hill and proceeded to become a Personal Trainer for many years after graduation. My heart always focused on the whole person though, their mind, body, and spirit. I realized that without addressing the entirety of a person’s life and mindset, change was difficult and short-lived. I became a Certified Health Coach (CHC) with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition so I could help people find the long-lasting solutions unique to their lives and personal situation.

My wellness journey began in high school when I was placed on a special diet via a homeopath to remedy systemic candida (yeast) overgrowth which could not be overcome by traditional medical remedies. It opened my eyes to another way of viewing health and wellness. Where traditional medicine could not help me, holistic “medicine” did. It was a little longer of a process, and I had to learn a lot, but my life has never been the same. I am not dependent on our traditional medical system, I don’t need or use pharmaceuticals, and I feel great!

What Does a Health Coach Do?

Certified Health Coaches are a fantastic alternative support system for people seeking a more energetic, vibrant, and stable way of life. Doctors of all kinds are necessary in society for acute issues and basic yearly check-ups. When we are in an auto accident, break an arm, or have a heart attack, we are grateful we have them! Yet I want to suggest that as you take responsibility over your daily routine and integrate healthy lifestyle practices, our bodies can heal, strengthen, renew, and sustain themselves to bring balance and wellness to us! It’s amazing what our bodies can do on their own; they want to be well!

As a CHC, my aim is to listen to your goals and desires and help you form a plan perfectly tailored to your lifestyle and needs. The key is fun, simple, and sustainable goal setting on bi-monthly basis to move at a pace which allows change to truly take root. This way you find yourself suddenly doing healthy practices naturally, without stress or frustration! Implementing a new lifestyle takes time and a little discipline, but the results are nothing short of inspiring and you have someone to help you every step of the way.

Alternative Medicine

So if you find yourself uninsured (I have been so myself more often than not these last few years) don’t feel stranded! Properly trained massage therapists, reiki practitioners, chiropractors, health coaches, personal trainers, Chinese herbalists, aromatherapists, and many other holistic wellness providers offer a wealth of information and knowledge to help you take care of the necessary components of your mind, body, and spirit. It may take some time, but once that wheel of wellness is set in motion, you can’t help but feel better and better until the thought of being uninsured is in the background.

So, barring catastrophic insurance, I see a world where preventative care providers are our ‘insurance’ and traditional medical practitioners become secondary. Sound like a crazy statement? Think of the issues that would be remedied if this were the case!

To learn even more about what I do, please visit my website (www.stefaniedraper.com). My blog has some wonderful tips and information you may find helpful as well as my Pinterest page (www.pinterest.com/stefaniepdraper ) which has recipes, exercises, and other wellness links to whet your mental appetite.

Also, I offer free consultations for anyone interested in taking the first step towards increasing wellness in their life. You may email me (stef@stefaniedraper.com) or send me a note through my website.

I look forward to meeting you and supporting your wellness journey. I never get tired of seeing a life transformed and am honored at the opportunity to do that with you!

Thank you Stefanie for your amazing approach to staying healthy. I hope Stefanie has opened your eyes to alternative approaches if you find yourself uninsured!

Blessings,

Melissa

 

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Wanna Look Good Naked?

Wanna Look Good Naked, self esteem, positive body image, how to be happy with myself, how to love myselfI always ask people who visit Scented Balance if they wanna look good naked and I usually get a hearty laugh. That tagline does get your attention and I’m happy it makes people smile. :0)

There are so many beautiful souls who visit Scented Balance and when they leave, I nearly always have a broken heart. You see, I carefully handcraft five amazing body butters that truly hydrate your skin. Hydrated skin looks and feels better than dry, itchy skin. When your skin is hydrated, it looks beautiful.

Hydrated, beautiful skin LOOKS GOOD NAKED.

So why is my heart broken? Read a few of the comments I get when I ask someone if they wanna look good naked:

“Nothing could make me look good naked!”

“Oh gawd – I’m way too old to worry about that!”

“It would take a LOT more than that to make me look good naked!”

“Honey, I need a miracle to look good naked!”

As a society, what have we taught people (mainly women) for them to feel so disgusted by their own naked body? Why do we get so self-deprecating when we talk about looking – and feeling – good in our own skin? It’s not just self-deprecating – it’s cruel! Why are we are so cruel when we talk about our bodies, especially women? Why aren’t we building self-esteem and a positive body image with little girls – the most vulnerable of all?

Several years ago, I belonged to a non-profit group of about forty to fifty women and we had speakers come to each meeting to talk about something interesting. One particular speaker asked everyone in the room to raise their hand if they loved their body and were happy in their own skin.

All two of us raised our hands.

You read that right.

TWO women said they loved their body and felt happy in their own skin. TWO.

I’m grateful that I was one of the two to raise a hand. I’m happy with my body and happy in my own skin – just the way I am and you should be, too. It took some time and introspection, but I knew I had to learn how to love myself and by the time I hit my mid thirties, I felt like I did love myself – and my body.

It doesn’t matter what size you are; it doesn’t matter how short or tall you are; it doesn’t matter what your shape is; it doesn’t matter about anything except that you’re happy in your own skin.

Did you know that 2/3 of women in America are considered plus size because they wear a 12 or larger? But wait – the only people we see on television and in fashion magazines are 5’11” and 110 pounds. WHY DO WE THINK THIS IS NORMAL – OR WORSE YET – REALISTIC?

WOW. When did we get so fixated on body shaming? How is body shaming any different than bullying? Why do we think that only tall, slender women are the yardstick by which all women must be measured? Sweetness – I ain’t tall – I ain’t slender – I ain’t a model. BUT – I am beautiful – at least I think I am.

What YOU think about my body is none of my business. And I refuse to judge you or anyone else based on the way you look. Because we’re all different. We’re all beautiful. We’re all unique. There’s a lot of folks who body-shame because if you are one extreme or the other, than they (whoever they are) think you’re not healthy or within the “norm”. Whose norm? And just who are “they” to think their opinion of a woman’s body is right OR important?

Screw ’em.

Please pay attention here. Now!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE AMAZING. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE SEEN.

JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.

It’s Important to Love Your Body

I really want you to find a way to be happy in your own skin – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Your mental health, your self-esteem, your very health depends on how you love your body. That’s where I can help as an aromatherapist and holistic life coach.

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, I have awesome and simple tools to help you be comfortable in your own skin. Do you get what I mean by that? Too many people (again, particularly women) are being told and shamed into believing that they are “less than” because they are a different body type. It’s time to STOP judging humanity based on pounds or shape or height or anything else but character.

It’s time for each of us to be the beautiful person we truly are because we are breathing. Period.

Please take time to move your beautiful body, if only for five minutes every day. Simply stretching your body is amazing and will do wonders. If you can do more, please do. Move, jump, run, walk, stretch, lift weights, breathe – do what you can. Every. Single. Day.

You will be amazed at how happy you feel about your body after just a few days.

The time for body shaming and self-loathing is over. I’m asking you RIGHT NOW – TODAY – LOVE YOUR BODY. If you can’t, then let’s talk. Let me show you how to love your body and be happy in your own skin through the wisdom of aromatherapy and holistic life coaching.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to love who you are in your own skin is to hydrate your skin with organic body butters. Let me show you just how beautiful you can look naked. #wannalookgoodnaked

I’m a phone call away or you can fill out this short contact form and I’ll take it from there. Let’s be kind to ourselves – love your own skin.

Don’t wait – let’s talk today!

Blessings,

Melissa

The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.

 

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Monkey Business

adult coloring book, stress relief, Burn Out, Summer Fun, monkey business, fun things to do, fun activities, what to do when you're bored, One of my favorite business gurus is Marie Forleo. She is self-made, silly, salty, wise, witty and believes in work-life balance and sharing your special gift with the world that only YOU have. (That’s Marie’s words – not mine!)

Each week, Marie films a short video to answer an interesting business dilemma. Her videos are fun and full of information to boost your self-confidence and knowledge in life and business. OMG, the outtakes are worth watching – just saying…

Over a period of two weeks in July, she unplugged from serious business and treated us to films of her magical monkey business in August. Which made me start to think  about my own work-life balance. Didja smell the smoke from all that thinking?

I’d like to be very honest here. Right now, balance seems non-existent.

Here I’m supposed to be this calm and centered aromatherapist and holistic life coach available to guide you toward getting unstuck in every area of your life and enjoy the process.

Right now, it feels like anything but balanced.

Has it been that kind of summer for you? Did it go by so damned fast that you barely saw the sunshine? Did you get any real down time or play time at all?

Nope.

Which is why I’m taking a short break from writing in my blog about such serious business to make time for a little monkey business. I’d like to share that little bit of monkey business in my personal life and in my practice with you.

We all need a break to recharge our batteries, to feel refreshed and to restore sagging energy. Even the strongest among us need a moment to catch their breath. And that’s where I am today as I write this.

I try to plan out my posts and research the information I present so that you receive something worth reading every single week. Have I hit it out of the park every week? Most likely – no.

So, in the spirit of not hitting it out of the park every single time, take a moment in your insanely over-packed, stressful day to enjoy a little monkey business with Marie:

 

 

Just taking the five minutes to watch Wisdom From Nanny gave my heart a much needed boost. I hope Marie – and I (by sharing) – brought a little bit of sunshine to your day, especially if you’ve been slogging through the summer. It’s a sweet primer on what to do when your bored, experiencing burn out or need some stress relief.

I’ve often heard that the new year begins when the kids go back to school and it’s that time (already?) again. So, let’s all take a moment in this “new year” to promise ourselves more play time, more time with those people who make us smile, more time to de-stress, more time to do whatever creative thing recharges our batteries and more time to love ourselves and our tribe.

Fun Things To Do When You’re Bored, Experiencing Burn Out Or Need Stress Relief

Tell me: what makes you absolutely glow – what are some fun things to do that make you happy? Is it making time to draw; taking a short camping trip or a trip to the beach (oh yeah!), swinging in the hammock under a tree; fishing; or is it sharing a bottle of wine and laughter with good friends? When’s the last time you had a water balloon fight? Why not get some colored pencils and an awesome adult coloring book and see what happens?

For me, right now, I’m making a book with my dreams in it. I’m not ready to share those dreams, but believe me, they are in living color and speak to my soul. My dream book is not just a private board on Pinterest, but a real live book with real pages filled with real dreams.

Think of the fun activities that recharge your batteries and take time to do that – today – right now. Life is short and precious and it goes by oh-so-fast.

Are you feeling stuck today? Do you have a sense of frustration that you just can’t put your finger on? Do you sometimes wonder if this is all there is? Is the mundane stuff of life biting you where it hurts?

That’s where I come in as your favorite (I hope) aromatherapist and holistic life coach. Let me help you get unstuck in every area of your life – and feel good about doing it.

You wanna know something? You teach me, too. I’m humbled by your kindness and trust; I’m grateful for your business, confidence and loyalty and I love helping you see what’s on the other side of your burnout.

Let’s work together, okay? It’s time to see the beauty of your hopes and dreams and reach for them.

Don’t wait – contact me and let’s get started today.

Blessings,

Melissa

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father's Day, Gifts for Dad, Gift Ideas for Dad, Father's Day PresentsHappy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Big props to all of the dads who protect, nurture and love their families.

Just in case you’re wondering, the London Telegraph has a nice article on when and why Father’s Day was created. Amazing – it wasn’t created by Hallmark!

While I was not close to my birth father, my step-father was so very kind to me. Dad married my mother when I was a young adult and boy did he EVER take on a handful! I can only imagine how many times he sat and shook his head over my younger sibling and me.

He treated me like a daughter and through him, I have an amazing sibling and blended family whom I love very much. When we are together, we always talk about dad and his funny quirks – he was a lean, mean napping machine – and when he was awake, he was ALWAYS involved in some project.

I remember asking dad to show me how to build a shelf for my living room. He was in the middle of something and was aggravated that he needed to stop and help me. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I were married, he wouldn’t have to stop and show me how to make the shelf (meaning that my invisible husband would know how to do such things – snort). I shot right back and said that most likely he would be showing both of us how to make the shelf. He grinned – and agreed with me.

Dad nurtured in his own way. He loved my mother – and the best thing a man can do for his children – natural or otherwise – is to love their mother. When they got married, he gladly took on the whole mess of us and as I look back, he cared very deeply for his family.

His wisdom, sense of humor and kindness pops into my head quite often and I get the giggles thinking about some of the goofy stuff that we did together. Not long after he died, I received a stuffed bear made from one of his shirts and my “dad bear” sits in my living space to remind me of those sweet memories.

It’s only been in recent times that we as a society have allowed men to nurture as well as protect their families. We teach our little boys not to cry, to be tough, be strong and in the process of doing that, I believe we send the wrong message. We teach children that they have to behave a certain way in order to fit in which is sad when you think about it.

I’m grateful for the role – and the void – that my step-father filled in my life. I’m most grateful for the blended family I have with my sibling and the many happy memories that I have with dad.

If you are looking for a gift with essential oils for dad, here is a aftershave blend:

Soft n’ Tough Aftershave for Dad

  • 12 drops  Cedarwood
  • 6 drops   Pine
  • 6 drops   Tea Tree
  • 12 drops  Sweet Orange
  • 1/2 tsp     Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1 ounce   Witch Hazel

Combine ingredients in a 1 ounce glass spray bottle with a fine mist closure, shake well before each use. I make this blend for $16.99 plus shipping of $3.95 and of course, it’s an awesome scent for dad all year round!

Some good – and useful – gift ideas for dad (or husband/significant other): if he has headaches, try Headache EZ. A cold mist diffuser is awesome if dad has sinus problems or even SinusRight personal nasal inhaler.

I wish for you on Father’s Day to have sweet memories and kind thoughts if your father has passed on and an awesome relationship if he is still alive. Thank you for stopping by – I’m blessed to have each of you in my life.

Blessings,

Melissa

 

 

 

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Do You Have Sleep Deprivation?

sleep deprivation, sleep deprived, insomnia, non-addicting sleep aid for insomnia, natural sleep aid, how to fall asleepDo you have sleep deprivation? I’d almost bet you are sleep deprived. We are a 24/7 world, always connected, always on, always awake.

Our bodies are wired to sleep when the sun goes down and rise when the sun comes up.

We have been sleep deprived since October 22, 1879. That is the day that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. After that day, it was game on for packing ever more into our busy schedules.

What is sleep deprivation and are YOU sleep deprived? I’m pretty sure I am, even though I try to get 8 – 9 hours of sleep every night. Just because you go to bed at a decent hour doesn’t mean you’re getting enough sleep. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers this definition of sleep deprivation (and deficiency):

  • You don’t get enough sleep (sleep deprivation)
  • You sleep at the wrong time of day (that is, you’re out of sync with your body’s natural clock)
  • You don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that your body needs
  • You have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting enough sleep or causes poor quality sleep

Even though I try to get into bed by 10 – 11 PM every night, it doesn’t mean I sleep the whole night through. Every once in a while, insomnia strikes and I get into a pattern where my body (read that my monkey mind) wakes up at 3 AM and it’s game on. At best, I toss and turn; at worst, I’m wide awake for the rest of the night.

Sound familiar?

One of the products I created for just this issue is Sleepytime Lotion. Put a squirt of it on your chest about 15 minutes before you go to sleep and drift off to lala land. Before you pop that sleeping tablet (and feel groggy and disjointed the next day), think about using a plant-based product like Sleepytime Lotion first. 

Sleep deprivation can cause car and workplace accidents as well. How many times have you been driving and felt like you could nod off any any moment?

Christopher Barnes of the University of Washington wrote an article for the Huffington Post on how stress impacts your sleep. Show of hands – who is NOT stressed?

Barnes wrote that work stress in particular plays a role in poor quality of sleep. Work is stressful sometimes, there’s no way to avoid it. Then, to make matters worse, lack of sleep makes you more stressed! He says that social support is good in stressful situations and having regular sleep patterns is even better.

I found an informational health website called YooHealth.com and found a wonderful article on the ins and outs of sleep deprivation. Here’s some fast facts about sleep deprivation from that article:

  • When you do not get the amount of sleep you require, you begin to accumulate what is known as sleep debt.
  • Teenagers need the same amount of sleep as small children, and those over 65 need the least amount of anyone. The average adult requires a middle amount.
  • It is estimated that fatigue is the cause of 1 in 6 fatal road accidents. (!!!)
  • It can damage your skin, causing bags and wrinkles that worsen over time. In addition to this, it can weaken your immune system so you become sick more frequently. (AACK!)
  • A lack of sleep can increase feelings of depression and anxiety.

Are you beginning to see why sleep is so important?

Breaking the Cycle of Sleep Deprivation

There are other ways to break this vicious cycle. I could go on and on about stress management, but really, how do you manage stress? The easiest way to manage your stress is to walk around the block. I’m not kidding! When you move your body (even if it’s only for 10 minutes), your body releases endorphins. When your body releases endorphins into your system, they act like sedatives. You feel calmer and less stressed.

According to WebMD.com, even a small amount of exercise makes a huge difference. Regular exercise is proven to:

Sleep deprivation makes life harder. The bottom line – make sleep a priority.

How Does Aromatherapy Help You Sleep?

As an aromatherapist, I use a number of essential oils to calm your central nervous system and help you relax. I use several of them to make a wonderful non-addicting sleep aid for insomnia to use at bedtime to help you relax and sleep restfully. Along with Sleepytime Lotion, here’s another blend you might like to help you sleep:

Good Sleep Blend

  • 10 drops of May Chang (Litsea cubeba)
  • 10 drops of Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
  • 10 drops of Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 ounces of Unscented Lotion
  • 2 ounce jar with lid

Combine all ingredients into jar and stir well. Apply each night to your chest and back of neck, preferably about 15 minutes before bedtime.

I get my essential oils from Aromatics International – a wonderful small business who goes directly to a network of small distillers around the world for pure essential oils. You can purchase directly from them, too, there’s nothing to join and they offer free shipping.

I know the frustration of not getting a good night’s sleep. So how to fall asleep fast? Please think seriously about moving your body, reducing stress and using the amazing goodness of essential oils. I use them every night just for this reason.

Please let me know what questions you have; I would love to talk with you about your needs and concerns. Simply fill out this contact form and I’ll take it from there. Don’t wait – let’s get started today.

As always, I am very grateful you chose to stop by.

Blessings!

Melissa

PS – the above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.

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Dare To Begin Moving Forward

Dare To Begin Moving Forward, speaking my truth, lifestyle changesDo I dare to begin moving forward on a new journey? At this age? Right now? Here?

As the old year winds down, I take time to ponder how I want to move forward into the new one. It’s hard sometimes to see just how far I’ve come in the past year when it seems I still have so-o-o-o far to go. And I know I’m not the only one guilty of feeling like I haven’t accomplished as much as I wanted to during the last 12 months.

There’s a really good reason that the rear view mirror is much smaller than the windshield. Look back just long enough to give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished. But use the windshield to move forward on the next part of your journey. And if you’re hesitant or nervous about the next part of your journey, take comfort in this quote:

Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy. Paulo Coelho

I absolutely love the power of this quote – it sure does say a lot, now doesn’t it?

Today, instead of talking about what essential oils can do for you, I’d like to be a bigolhonkin’ ray of sunshine in your life. I’d like to be the one who helps you begin moving forward if you’re feeling stuck. Let me give you a boost of confidence especially if you are considering a new path forward or making lifestyle changes in 2017.

So often, we allow fear to hold us back from what we really want – what our soul really wants. What is on the other side of your fear? Is it looking for a new job? Is it leaving the relationship that you’ve outgrown (or that’s painful)? Is it moving to a new city to stretch your comfort zone? Is it taking up a new hobby or pastime? Is it speaking your truth or shining your light on a situation that no longer works for you?

What’s on the other side of your fear?

Want to know a secret? I was scared to death of aromatherapy. Seriously. What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t understand chemistry? What if no one wants what I’m offering? What if everyone thinks I’m woo woo and “out there”? What if people get mad because I’m changing my business?

What if…

I’ve spoken my truth before and stepped outside of the box that people put me in with consequences I didn’t appreciate or fully understand. I got tired of saying “what if”. Meaning what if someone doesn’t like me anymore because of my choices? What if someone gets their feelings hurt because I’m making changes to my life? 

I’ve spent a lot of years trying to please everyone so that nobody gets mad. People tend to paint themselves and others into a box because it’s comfortable. And comfortable isn’t always good for us as human beings.

Y’all, we can sit in the box that other people have painted us into or we can stand up, speak our truth and say that this situation isn’t working anymore — it’s time for old endings and new beginnings.

I love Pixie Garden and Gifts and I absolutely love being the Chief Pixie – I’ve had so much fun and enjoyed your giggles when you read my title on my business card! But I had to let go of my charming boutique by the sea in order to make room for Scented Balance – a place where I really have gifts to offer to you.

Yes, I promise you that Scented Balance has its’ share of charm and whimsy (;-D) but I can do so much more to help you take charge of your overall health instead of simply offering gifts you might need to dust. My mission has become to educate people on how to take control of their health through aromatherapy and plant-based products. #wannalookgoodnaked

Have I struggled with and grieved this decision? Yes. Absolutely yes.

But it’s time to move forward. Dare to Begin. Why not begin along with me? What do you need to let go of in the coming year?

New Beginnings Blend

5 drops of Chamomile, German
5 drops of Lime
5 drops of Peppermint
1 ounce of Jojoba Wax (Organic)
1- 1 oz Dark Bottle with Dispensing Pump

Directions:

Add drops to Jojoba Wax. Rotate bottle to
blend well. Apply to temples, inner wrists
and inhale deeply.

If you don’t have the oils on hand and would like this blend, I have it for sale for $16.95 plus shipping. You can purchase it by visiting the Custom Blend section of Scented Balance.

Let’s start off 2017 moving forward – Dare to Begin!

Tell me what questions you have; I would love to talk with you about your needs and concerns. You can email me directly at balance (a) scentedbalance (dot) com or fill out this contact form.

As always, I am very grateful you chose to stop by.

Blessings!

Melissa

PS – the above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.