Emotional Application of Essential Oils

This July,  I had the opportunity to listen to D. Gary Young speak at the Young Living Convention. He spoke about using the oils for emotional support. As I am on my journey of personal development, I have found myself going back to my notes again and again.  I thought I would share some of the highlights with you in hopes it will help you as much as it helps me.

One of the key messages when dealing with a difficult situation was to accept it, embrace it with gratitude, and then release it.   What better words to live by then this. Too often we do the exact opposite . We fight, we refuse to acknowledge the issue, or we hold on until the anger or guilt destroy us.   One of the great ideas he had was to use the bath as a place to meditate on any difficult thoughts.  He suggested to use Release oil in the bath water while diffusing Surrender.  The combination of these two is extremely powerful and a great way to end a stressful day or week.   Some other great end of the day suggestions was to use Clarity at night to help your subconscious determine the behaviors you want to change as well as Motivation on your pillow so that you get out of bed and get moving in the morning.

Another great take-away was Gary’s thought on change.  Again he had some great suggestions on using oils to support the emotional changes associated with great change.   These have been extremely helpful for me in the last weeks.  The first is to use Common Sense to empower you to make the right decision along with Forgiveness to prevent the guilt of change. I often diffuse Common Sense at work, especially when working on especially difficult projects.

Lastly, he spoke about giving yourself permission to expand your world and go for your dreams.  The first step was to get past the feeling of past burdens by using Present Time. From there, to find the balance of heart and mind, he suggested Aromalife and Clarity, Then follow this with Highest Potential to make a difference in your world before you can make a difference in the life of others. I have been applying this during my time of reading personal development books and during meditation.  Finally, to move to the next level, applying Galbanum and Gathering on your forehead and temples.

There were so many more words of wisdom that I likely did not capture. However, I hope that these bring you some ideas on using essential oils in conjunction with other personal development to live your best life.   I hope you find balance and learn to live your YingYang LIfe.

 

Learning to Live

Friends,

First, I apologize for being absent this last 6 weeks.  I will be honest and say I just didn’t feel like blogging.  I won’t however apologize for the raw nature of what I am writing today.  This is not an excuse but rather my attempt to rationalize my summer to date in my own mind and give some glimpses of how to move forward in any struggle. 

If you have read some of my past posts, you know I struggle with depression and anxiety.  And boy have I been struggling.   My recent car accident has thrown me into a period that is difficult at best and oppressive at its worst.  I, unfortunately, know now what flashbacks are like.   The sudden onset of what I can only describe as an alternate reality.  I re-live  the moments before, during, and after. The sights, sounds, motion, and feelings.  Thanks to my wonderful therapist, I am learning that I can mentally rewind these flashbacks and change them to something different and less traumatic. In essence, I am tricking my brain to make it more comfortable.

My family is also going through change. For the last three years I have been the working parent and we chose to have my husband stay home and be the caregiver for my son.  Now that he is older, an opportunity that my husband couldn’t pass up came forward, and he is now working as well.  This to has brought on what I can only call mommy-guilt about not being home and having a child who may have to go to child-care five days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely behind my husband’s decision to go back to work. It will likely give us the ability to move to a more ideal home in the ideal school district.   It will also give us the opportunity to pay off the rest of our existing credit card and loan debt.  All of the positives should outweigh my mommy guilt, they just don’t some days. I need to give myself more grace and remember we have chosen as a family both situations and that they are the right choices for us at this time. 

All of this has paralyzed me into NOT living. I have retreated back into myself and have been increasingly unhappy.   I literally looked in the mirror this morning and cried.   I know things have to change,   I don’t know what that means.  Then I looked at Facebook and a friend had posted this article. It spoke to me, and encouraged me to get this post out. To take step one in recovery, to accept where I am, but not accept staying here.   

I don’t have the answers but I look forward to finding them. Find your balance and live the YingYang Life!  

Knowing Your Cholesterol – Why Does it Matter

I went to my yearly checkup with my physician this week and he ordered lab work as well.  I’m always eager to get the results, just to make sure that there isn’t any warning signs of trouble even though I have been feeling great.  I was surprised when the results of my cholesterol levels.My triglycerides specifically, were in the borderline category, and my HDL was low.  So I did some refresher research to see what I could do to improve those numbers without jumping on the medication bandwagon.  Here are some helpful hints which I need to follow more closely:

  1. Diet – Easiest way to describe is whole foods diet.  Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like chicken and fish. Fish is also great for omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, you can also choose to take a supplement.  The one I like can be purchased here. Also boosting the healthy fats like those found in olive oil and nuts.
  2. Exercise – We all know this is a necessary step to healthy living.  My physician suggested 30 minutes daily and also stated that it didn’t have to be all at one time.  Several 5-10 minutes walks throughout the day work just as well.
  3. Additional supplements – Niacin (nicotinic acid) is available both prescription and over the counter.  It is found in many B-vitamins like this one.  Another great supplement is psyllium, especially if you are still working on increase the fiber in your diet.

 

Hopefully you are also regularly getting your lab work done and know where you stand.  Following some simple steps will keep you in the normal range and at lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

 

I hope you find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

 

 

 

Lessons Learned from Volunteering this Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at King Lincoln Park Day in Newport News, VA. It was a great day for a festival and being on the water we had relief from the heat due to a steady sea breeze.  We brought my three year old along as well hoping he would start to understand the meaning of giving back to the community.  Although he was more interested in playing in the bounce houses, I still feel like it was a successful day all around and it taught me a few things as well!

1.  Arts and crafts are still appealing

Something about being creative and walking away with a final product that is yours appeals to children and adults alike. We were stationed at the Color and Fly your own butterfly booth.  Which, by the way, was located directly next to the first bounce house.  Perhaps strategic in the hopes it would draw more participants, we truly has a steady line all day long. We used these Color-Me Magic Butterflies and they were a giant hit!  Toddlers to teenagers and even most of the parents got in on the action, creating beautiful and sometimes intricate works of art and then took to the grass next to us to make them fly. So much joy could be heard coming from our little corner.  Proof to me that the simple things can still bring fun if you are in the mindset to let it. 

2. Kids just need a little encouragement sometimes

There was one young man who truly touched my heart.  He came to the booth, iPod blaring in my ears, and quietly asked if he could make a butterfly. He was obviously old enough to walk around without direct parent supervision but wasn’t with a gaggle of other tweets or teens like some of the others.  He probably spent 30 minutes making a a very intricate design. During this time, he hardly spoke and when he did  finally I was surprised with his question, “Was middle school hard for you?”  Not sure how to answer I told him simply it was certainly harder than elementary and took some studying and work. My husband then asked his favorite subjects, “Science and math, but I hate reading”. He also said he “used to draw” and seemed quite upset that he didn’t any more.  I told him I could see his talent and he should continue to do what he liked. His face lit up, as if all he wanted was some encouragement and he had finally gotten it.  I do hope he follows his dreams and finds other adults in his life to encourage him as well.  

So my advice, go volunteer somewhere this summer. Go do for others and you’ll find it does something for you.

I hope you Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

Sleep Habits

I have horrible sleep habits. I know this because it’s 11:45pm and I am researching cures for insomnia and better sleep habits.  I have tried many techniques, mediation before bed, TV on and TV off, wedge pillows, sleeping in all kinds of positions, the list goes on and on.  I can’t blame just one thing for my bad sleep, I am sure it’s a culmination of things.  

For one, I am a worrier.  As in jump to worst-case scenario, something is always wrong, checking on my kid every half hour when he was a newborn, worrier.  So put me in a quiet dark room and all the what ifs come in to play.  I am also a light sleeper, perhaps more so now that I am a mom.  I wake up to the slightest noise and can be up for the next hour listening and worrying as above.  Next, my husband volunteers at the rescue squad night shifts. So often it’s just me and my kiddo at night. He is a night owl who would stay awake all night and sleep all day if I let him. We also have been co-sleeping for awhile which is fine when it’s the two of us but all three in the bed with at least two of the four dogs at any given time and someone is always bumping me, snoring, or otherwise disrupting my sleep.  So, I am setting off to find a better routine and I am finding that sleep training is not just for infants. Here are some ideas I have gathered and I am hoping they will work for me and you!

1. Low light, cool room, and ambient noise
It’s all about making the from match your natural body progress. Melatonin apparently is released by the pineal gland which is most active in low light conditions.  Similarly, your body lowers the core temperature at night so the room should be set to allow this to happen instead of trying to keep you toasty which can interrupt that cycle.  Lastly, using something like a white noise machine can help keep your brain from being distracted by the any number of sudden noises that could occur. 

2. Turn off the electronics 

It’s really about brain stimulation. The light from the  phones as well as the emotional response to the content of what you’re looking at can impact sleep.  Again the light shorees melatonin release which in turn keeps you from getting sleepy.  And who can sleep when they get around to reading that email that came in after hours that has major implications for the next day.  Your brain will want to get to work instead of letting you deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.

3. It’s self-perpetuating

The more often you stay up late, distracted by everything, you’re actually training your body that it’s normal.   Thus making it harder over time. Just as you have to work not to hit the snooze button at the beginning of the day, one must all retrain the brain to settle down earlier. 

I found lots of great info at https://sleepfoundation.org.  Check it out, Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

Lessons from a three year old

My son turned three this week.  Everyone says time goes so fast with a little one and before you know it they are grown.  I’m not sure I agree totally.   There are days and weeks that went by so slowly while he struggled as an infant with lactose and soy inteloerance, his second year when he struggled to walk, and his third year when he just seemed to consume and live off knowledge and understanding ( and peanut butter and jelly).  I know this is his formative years, but I have learned just as much as he has. Here are three life lessons from my three year old. 

1.  Love everything

Recently, anything new my son encounters is met with a “I just looooove ….” Be it broccoli, the moon, ducks, whatever it is he loves it. At least at first glance which is really a great way to look at life. It’s a don’t knock it till you it, glass half full kind of existence.  If only at work I could look at a project and say, ” I love a short deadline” instead of grumbling immediately.  Perhaps I would find a glimmer of fun and excitement in the challenge.

2. Laugh

Nothing melts my heart and puts me in a better mood than to hear my sons laughter.  It’s pure and honest and just a perfect reminder to not be so serious.  In fact, “seriously”‘is one of his favorite words.  He’ll look at me when I am hurrying him to get ready, finish eating, etc, start to giggle and just blurt out “seriously”! As if to say, “Mom, lighten up already!”  He laughs all day long and even his temper tantrums usually end in laughter over something that cheers him up.

3. Feel fully

There is no words like “just ok”, “mediocre”, “fine” in his vocabulary. Every emotion is shown on his face and through his actions to it’s greatest extent. He has been known to tear  up when he thinks he’ll “never see … Again”. Leaving the park, the gym, school, he just so fully invests himself in every experience. He feels for the characters in his TV shows and you can tell he is concerned when they are “in trouble”.  People and animals quickly become his best friend, best dog, etc.   He doesn’t hide his emotions, doesn’t feel the need to, and that is something I hope remains in his personality.
I know I will try to emulate him more and hope that he doesn’t lose his innocence too soon. I hope you Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

Pain and Treatment

Three weeks ago I was in a single car accident. I hydroplaned on the interstate and hit two guard rails before coming to a stop. I walked away with seatbelt abrasions and bruises and an incredible sense that I was lucky. In the ER, the physician offered me an anti- inflammatory or a stronger Opiod pain medication. I chose the milder option because I wanted to be able to make the best decisions and be able to talk to the state trooper investigating with a clear mind. When my husband arrived to take me home and I knew I could (and should) relax, I did take a stronger pain medication. The next day, I woke up in pain. I chose to go to the chiropractor, started on arnaca tablets, and committed to ice and rest. Over the next week, my options for pain control varied but I was cognizant of my pain level and adjusted accordingly. 

There are many options for pain relief on the market.  Let’s look at western medicine first.  The mildest is are over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve). They are used for mild to moderate pain and come in many forms including tablets, capsules, and  liquid. Even though they do not require a prescription,you should still be very careful and follow the recommended dosing careful. For acetaminophen, the maximum dose for adults is 4g per day. Exceeding this amount or chronic use can lead to liver damage.  Likewise for ibuprofen or naproxen, these non-steroidal anti-inflammatories carry a cardiovascular risk with chronic use. 

  For moderate to severe pain, the above medications may be prescribed in combination products that also contain narcotic components such as hydrocodone or oxycodone.  Theses also may have serious side effects with chronic use including dependency or addiction. Let me explain the difference between dependency and addiction. Dependency is a physical need for a medication and withdrawal can cause unwanted side effects. Addiction is uncontrolled craving and use and is a psychological condition. You can have dependency without addiction and vice-versa. While these products are very effective, one must consider their use carefully and be aware of these possibilities. 

There are also plenty of alternatives to traditional pain medications.   Simple solutions such as ice and/or heat are effective for many injuries.  Chiropractic care and massage are also great treatment options especially for those with chronic problems but can help in acute situations as well.

Essential oils may also be an option for treatment.  Peppermint oil  has a recognized component menthol. This is a common component in many over the counter pain creams and causes both a cooling and local anesthetic effect.   Wintergreen oil is also effective because of the methyl salicylate component.  This is similar to aspirin. Topically it also may be combined with peppermint and again can have a local anesthetic effect.  

There are many options for pain control and it can be a personal choice base on preference or pain tolerance.  Work with your health care provider to determine your best course of treatment.

Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

Just Do YOU

This week has been a mess, I will readily admit it!  My husband has been at a search and rescue conference since Wednesday.  To all you single moms out there, bless you.  It is hard work being everything to a toddler and getting no break! Plus add the joys of potty training and stressful work circumstances and it’s no wonder I’m an emotional wreck.

On the positive side, I started a new workout and diet routine, complete with a challenge group which I love for accountability.  My foot has limited some movements but even that is getting stronger by the day.

But enough about me and my life,  I want to talk about YOU.    Are you being your true authentic self?  Are you hiding behind your work, your spouse, your weight, your children, your friends?  Are the things you’re involved with and spend money on truly a reflection of yourself?  If not, STOP IT!  Seriously, just stop.  There is no shame in walking away from commitments if you’re not really committed.  There is no shame in walking away from friends who are dragging you down. I am not saying walk away from your spouse and children, but I am saying stop hiding behind their wants and desires.  Find one day a week, at least, to DO YOU.   Is that kickboxing?  Getting a massage? Holing up and reading with a glass of wine at your side?  Whatever it is go and DO IT.  Don’t feel bad or guilty, feel proud and strong.    Believe me, your relationships and your emotions will be better because of it.

Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.

Miracle Morning

So I read a new book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), by Hal Elrod, during a recent business trip and it really hit home. So I decided to give his 30 day challenge a try. For anyone struggling with motivation, relationships,positivity, direction, I would recommend trying it yourself. Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life.
Day 1: Felt amazing, maybe it has to do with the fact that the toddler stayed in his bed the whole night, or that my husband and I had connected emotionally in a way we hadn’t in awhile, as we stole those few hours before bed alone. I woke up earlier than the alarm ready to start the new adventure. While I still struggled with the meditation, I loves finding my affirmation (I am the healer and the healed) and visualizing where so wanted to be. I got my exercise in and felt strong. I started reading a great book I had been putting off, and came up with some ideas for this blog and my business (look for a new free gift soon).
Day 2: Up 30 minutes earlier due to work schedule. This was a rough one. The toddler climbed in bed around 3am but who can deny him when he brought his own “big boy pillow”. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep during meditation and affirmation time ( and may have dozed a moment or two). Leg day was a struggle due to my ongoing foot injury so it just made me mad. The book I am reading is really pushing me so I felt vulnerable and off after reading the chapter. Only the writing portion helped get my head back to a peaceful place. Of course, maybe that’s the intent in the first place, you can’t skip the messy parts or the reward isn’t as great. 
Day 3 Boy is change hard. I committed a miracle morning no-no and hit the snooze button for 8 more glorious minutes of sleep. Seriously, those 8 minutes were fantastic at the time, except then I felt rushed and off the rest of the hour I have set aside for myself. Funny how just the smallest snag can set the tone of the morning. My mind wandered more than normal during meditation leaving me unfulfilled. I just felt week during my exercise portion until I realized I had not yet had any water. Amazing how that first glass in the morning makes a difference. My self lesson is don’t get distracted from your goal. Sure in life you have to roll with the punches sometimes but there are plenty of times we choose to let ourselves get distracted from the things we really want and those are what hold us back. 

Day 4: Short day – early meeting and admittedly low motivation. But I made it count. Quick affirmation of my life purpose and a minute of silence followed by a quick writing in my wellness journal (www.amylatta.com) and this entry and I was ready to start the day. Yes I chose to make it a rest day for exercise but we all need those from time to time. Plus with physical therapy starting my foot was screaming at me anyway.
Day 5: Blessed Saturday, no alarm clock set. I know I wake before my boys so I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t get my morning me time in. Meditation and affirmation came easily. Pushed myself through my exercise to do just a little more. Ready for the day before 9am and feeling fabulous!
Day 6: Longer meditation today really centering myself for the week. I really think this morning routine is helping in all aspects already. I have actually gotten into good dream-inducing REM sleep the last two nights. I feel rested when I awake regardless of how many hours I am getting. I am motivated to get things done during the day and enjoy my stress free evenings.
Day 7: Focus on the workout today, starting a new round of 21 Day Fix. Tough workout but feels good to move and push. I won’t say getting up is any “easier”, especially with a two year old who didn’t sleep well but I keep doing it knowing I am reaping the benefits.  

It’s the Journey – Not the Destination

Yes, it’s a bit cliché.   It’s something we hear all the time, something we see all the time, but have you ever actually thought about it.  I hadn’t until I was sitting in the doctor’s office last week and he said it as he was examining my foot.  He said, you know, it’s not about running the half-marathon, it’s about the journey of training.  And if you try to train through the pain, you’ll only make things worse and spend many more months in recovery.   It hit me sitting there, he is so right, and it can be applied to many situations.

Weight loss is a great example. How many times have we started that journey with a firm number in mind?  That’s the destination and we want to be there as soon as possible, but what about the journey?  Have we truly prepared our mind for the road ahead?  Are we ready for those twists, turns, and work pot-lucks? I’ve also tried training through the pain in this realm too. Restricted calories, restricted foods, high-this, low-that. None of it is a long-term solution, and, at least for me, the time in recovery (or food rebellion) that happens on the upside of the yo-yo is not really that great either. Then my brain and gut is often just miserable. It can’t be all about the destination any more, it has to be about the journey.

Relationships can be the same way. There is always a journey to be had, rather friendship or romance, there is work to be done.   Relationships cannot be the destination, or they become stagnant and fall away. So schedule a date with your spouse, or call that friend you’ve been meaning to connect with. Don’t ignore the pain in these either and just keep going through the motions. You have to address it, treat it, get counseling if necessary, but acknowledge it. Otherwise the recovery may not happen and the damage may be permanent.

So yes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. In fact, the destination may change. What once was important may become less so as you move closer to it. Enjoy the journey, don’t take it for granted.

Find your balance and live a Ying Yang Life

 

photo credit: Fly By via photopin (license)