Yesterday, Audrey and I had one of those wonderfully epic days. We got up early, went to our Saturday morning theater class, from there headed out to the new neighborhood playground and proceeded to stay outside for the next several hours, meeting up with friends and enjoying the sunshine. The fun continued well into the afternoon, just before bedtime however, Audrey was spent. Her energy began to unravel and we entered into a full emotional meltdown. Anyone who is a parent knows exactly what I am talking about and how that moment feels. Your incredibly overtired, highly emotional child is just losing it before your very eyes as you sit there, trying to piece together every ounce of your own sanity. Then comes the moment when out of her own anger, frustration and confusion she swings her arm and kicks her feet at you. She gets physical. And all you want to do is match that energy and scream and yell back at her to stop hitting you...
And yet, I did the exact opposite. I am proud to say that I have been strong in my own practices lately, and this entire time I remained mostly silent, calm and centered. I calmly dodged her efforts to hit, simply saying it wasn't ok to hit me and after a while was able to help her get into her pajamas and into her bed. Still incredibly upset, and protesting sleep, I got up, walked across the room and grabbed our two nighttime oils, Calmer and Steady from the Kids Collection. As I approached she yelled out “NO! I don’t want oils!” Now, I am committed to never forcing my tools on her. I want her to have complete autonomy when it comes to how she uses any self-care tool and technique. When it comes to oils especially, I want her to have choice over how she uses them, when she uses them and if she uses them. Even when I know that they could help, if there is any kind of resistance, I refrain from force and guilt.
Even so, I sat on the bed next to her and unrolled the top of Steady. As she was protesting, I took the oil and turned it towards my own heart. I drew the shape of a heart over my chest, just as I normally do to her. I took the Calmer blend and rolled it over my own feet. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and sat quietly. In a moment or so, everything stopped, everything was silent. I opened my eyes and there she was staring at me. I smiled, I lay down next to her and she immediately rolled right into me and buried her head in my chest (perfect as that is where I rolled the oil, thought unintentional on my behalf). Her tears of protest turned into tears of release. There was a vast energetic difference. And then, I swear to you on all that is sacred, she said “I am so sorry that I hit you Mama. I am so sorry I wasn’t listening. I was feeling ‘riled up’, angry and confused”. I have no idea where she learned the phrase “riled up” but I was floored at her ability to tell me that. Next, I asked her “How do you feel now?” to which she responded “Sad, but ok”. I then asked her, “What can you do to help yourself right now my love?” and she said “I need to go to sleep”. My 4.5 year old, the very same one who was protesting for her life the idea of ending our wonderfully epic day, then rolled over, closed her eyes and calmly went to sleep. She was able to clearly communicate to me, and most importantly to herself, how she was feeling in a moment of emotional intensity, take ownership over it and pinpoint what it was that was going to support her in moving through her own sadness and emotional upset. And then she took action.
I have an incredible child, I know that. But she is not some magical unicorn that does something more or different than any other. I show her a lot on social media in her best moments, but I promise you, there is more to the story. She is human, she screams, she yells, she gets shy and she goes through phases of hitting me when she is angry and upset. We work incredibly hard at emotional intelligence...but here’s the thing, we don’t do the work on her, we do it on ourselves. In that moment that I visibly took care of my own impulse and energy, I gave her permission to do that same. She sees Justin and I on the regular, take moments throughout the day to take care of ourselves. She doesn’t just see it in our joy, but she sees it in our pain and discomfort too. If we argue, we do it (respectfully) in front of her, not behind closed doors as long as the content is appropriate. She watches us take deep breaths, use oils, meditate, take breaks and then come back together to make up with love, kindness and respect. We try hard for her to know that conflict is not a negative thing, something to run from, but something to learn from, mostly about ourselves. She sees if we are sad, or overtired ourselves and we clearly talk about what it is we are feeling.
But here is why I want to share this most of all...I talk a lot about Self-Care and Self-Love. In my work, I teach these practices daily, to my coaching clients, my challenge groups and my yoga students. I genuinely want anyone who works with me to find the benefits of this work and have it work for themselves. However, that is not my why. My reason for teaching this is so that we have the ability to pass this important work down to our children and the generations that come after us. This is legacy work. It is how we will teach our children because they do not do what we say, they do what they see. We are all handed things from our ancestors, from our parents, not just in the form of things, but also in the form of emotional patterns and habits. How we handle our emotional states and self IS our legacy.
In that very moment that I simultaneously listened to my daughter’s protests, didn’t force her to bend to my will and directed my efforts on my own needs, I gave us both permission to soften, to be present and to take ownership over self. I too am not some magical unicorn who has always known how to go about this. In fact, there was a long time in my life when I was completely unable to take ownership and would have flown off the handle at a moment’s notice. Motherhood itself has been the strongest test to those patterns and habits and in an earlier time in my life, I would have railed right back at my child. Anger seemed to give me some sense of sanity in the moment. But the hangover that I got from it and the wake that it left were too great of a consequence for me to continue in that way. And while it wasn’t completely my fault, it was what was unconsciously passed down to me, my choice in whether or not I continue it is 100% mine to own.
We are living in an incredibly stressful time. This past week has been especially heavy. And we can be certain that if we are feeling it as adults, so are our children, little empaths that they are. And in all honesty, this is a profound opportunity to change the pattern and habits of how we deal with this kind of collective stress, by being more intentional with our personal stress. Our children are looking to us to show them how to respond. We can either continue down the path of the work that was created in a different time and space, when there were completely different circumstances at play, or we can create new pathways. One that makes more sense for the present moment and serves us, our children and each other better. How you care for yourself, is how you teach others to care for you, how you teach them to care for themselves and it is your legacy.
Tomorrow, I am launching some new, regular ways to get into and remain in your own work. I absolutely want to inspire you to think about you when considering signing up, but I also want you to think about what doing this kind of work will mean, for generations to come.
In the meantime, here are two links to purchase the Kids Collection Oils and the Emotional Aromatherapy Oils. If you want my help in a more personalized purchase, send me an email.
Love Yourself Today,
One of the reasons that I LOVE using essential oils with Audrey is that they give her the tools and autonomy to take care of her emotions and her body with great intention. It matters greatly to us that she remains in constant self-inquiry and every day practices of self-care and love, while maintaining her natural love for learning about all kinds of things.
When I saw this Science for Kids Workbook, I fell even more in love with doTERRA for creating something that engages our kids in their natural curiosity and love for science, using essential oils! It's actually super fun to work through as an adult too!!
In doing a bit of research for a bigger piece I am working on, I came across this word and these thoughts. I thought I would share them candidly here as I believe this represents a bigger issue in our culture...
Let's talk about the first definition that addresses psychological benefit vs. physiological benefit. This completely separates the mind from the body as if one is oil and one is water. Your mind IS your body and studies are now really showing that what we think, how we feel, effect how we function on a physiological level. Not to mention, if you feel motivated, upbeat, positive you are more likely to treat your physical body much differently then when you feel sluggish, sad and unable to cope. To me, that completely disputes the underscored definition of it offering "no therapeutic effect". And lastly, I love how the word "merely" is placed before calm and please as if they are secondary in some way. We have to stop thinking of mental and emotional health as something that is "merely". HOW YOU FEEL MATTERS. And even more importantly, your ability to intelligently navigate how you feel, that you have tools, support and encouragement to do so, matters. Because as of now the most used tools to navigate such waters have been things like drugs, alcohol, sex, food and social media. Things that numb and keep us from our potential rather than allow us to move through our feelings with love and grace towards our potential.
Let me be clear, I am not saying that we should ONLY address matters of the mind when it comes to how we treat disease. Medicine is a wondrous thing that saves many, many lives when appropriately used. I am grateful that doctors were able to save my brother's heart twice in his life and that he had pain medication to help through the pain. I am grateful that there ARE antibiotics available in this country should my child or anyone I love need them. This is NOT an argument for one or the other, alternative healing vs. western medicine. To be quite blunt, that is a bullshit argument that only creates divisiveness among practitioners of all kinds. But we have also so greatly disconnected our minds, the power that we have over our entire system that we have completely written it off as "merely" or "non-therapeutic".
I am also not advocating that we start embracing this word placebo. I am actually advocating that we knock it off all together. We have to better integrate mind, body and spirit and if we are going to do that, we have to become less obsessed with proving everything all the time and TRUSTING our own brains more. We have to be more willing to get to know ourselves rather than look outwardly for how to "fix" ourselves. The solutions to so many issues actually live within our own minds and how we relate to the human experience that we are having. "It's all in your head" should not be something that we brush off, but something that we embrace and welcome in as a real and felt experience. Our anxiety, our stress, our worry, our fear, all of it is calling our attention back to ourselves for a little more one on one time than we tend to give.
Today is the first day of a brand new month, this means that you can begin again. Whatever winter has weighed you down with, today you can decide it's time to begin the process of emergence. Begin to peel away the layers, the weight, the worry, the doubt and begin to put your face to the sun. Allow what needs softening to melt away and simply remind yourself that in this beautiful process of your life, it is never too late to begin again. Today. Right now.
Happy March my friend. Your spring is coming.
And I want to invite you to begin a new journey this month...
Meet the Healthy Essentials Kit!!doTERRA has been revamping a lot of their kits and collections and hands down, this one is my absolute new favorite and I will tell the very important reason why:
While it still has all of the important oils for keeping your body healthy such as:
OnGuard - to keep the Immune system running well and efficiently
Breathe - to keep the respiratory system strong
Lavender - to help with the ever important good night's rest
Peppermint - to help with headaches and pain
DigestZen - to help with keeping your digestive system running smoothly
DeepBlue - to help your muscles feeling healthy
Lemon - to help keep your entire body feeling cleansed
it ALSO comes with 3 incredibly important oils and blends that address our emotional and mental health and function:
Copaiba - a cannabinoid that helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and calm down the nervous system. A drop under the tongue does WONDERS. It also supports healthy immune system function.
Apaptiv - an incredible blend that has been specifically formulated to help with our emotional state of being when things get heightened with stress, worry, doubt and fear. This blend lights up the brain in a way that helps us adapt rather than react.
Balance - A grounding blend that brings us back to earth and our bodies when the air of overwhelm hits.
The kit also comes with a Petal Diffuser!
This is an incredible kit to bring into your home and your daily ritual. If you follow me at all, you know that I wholeheartedly believe that we must care for our minds, our hearts and our spirits just as much as we care for our bodies. It's not that its all connected, its that it all IS the same being. How we feel emotionally informs how our bodies function physically. What's so incredible about this kit is that it really addresses it all!
When you purchase this kit this month, you will get a free coaching call with me so that we can come up with a plan designed just for you and how to put these tools into action!
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!