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Be Kind and Gentle

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

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

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

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

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

On Being Kind and Gentle

Why would I say such a thing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting Goals In The New Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year!

Melissa

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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

I Wish That I Could Wrap Up Christmas

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

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

Merry Christmas and Many Blessings,

Melissa

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Spoken From The Heart

Spoken From The Heart, Compassion, Helping Others, Mister Rogers, kindness compassion and tolerance,

I wish I knew what to write about this week. My heart is hurting at all the hatred that has been spewed in the United States. So, this week, my words are spoken from the heart not about essential oils, but about kindness compassion and tolerance.

Anne Frank was such an old soul who knew so deeply what the world has yet to figure out. Here are some of her wise words – spoken from the heart:

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.
No one has ever become poor by giving.
I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
And then, there’s Mister Rogers. He is sorely missed as Fred Rogers had a unique and kind way of looking at the world and helping us – especially children – process the most painful of times.
There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. 
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
Today, I’m simply reaching out to you with kindness, light and love in a world gone mad. We are the ones left behind to keep life going and to be kind to one another. We are the ones who can show kindness, compassion and tolerance to those who don’t look like us. 
There is beauty left in the world and each of us has a light to shine. Please, take time to shine your light today wherever you are. 
Sending you love and light,
Melissa
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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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Angel In Disguise

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

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

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

And it got me to thinking…

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

Normal? Relative to what? What is normal anyway?

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

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

Kindness

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

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

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

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

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

He disappeared into thin air.

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

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

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

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

My Own Angel In Disguise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melissa