This is our very first full-time school year. There has been a lot that has already come with it and we are only three days in. However, one of the tools that I the MOST thankful for is that we have our oils to help guide us through and lean on this year. We will use them for both our physical and emotional needs this year and I wanted to share some of the ways we will be doing so...
For Physical Health:
Our #1 tools to help support immunity and have a healthy year are by far the OnGuard Oil as well as the OnGuard products.
Every single morning before Audrey heads out the door, we roll her little feet and along her spine with the OnGuard Roller.
Now that we are also coming into a season where more germs are generated, OnGuard will be in our diffuser almost daily. But on top of that, we also use the other OnGuard products so that our system is continually supported by these powerful oils and the benefits they offer. These include the OnGuard Toothpaste, the Hand Soap, Cleaner Concentrate and Laundry Detergent. I also love that these were things that we were using and purchasing anyways, except now instead of the chemicals that can make us sick, we are actually making ourselves even healthier through our daily, necessary actions!
Because sometimes viruses and colds can't be avoided, these are our favorite tools for when we need to support our respiratory health. The Breathe Oil and Vapor Stick. The first goes into our diffusers or even a few drops into the shower steam. I have even boiled some water on the stove, poured it into a bowl and with a towel gently draped over my head, breathed in the steam with a drop of Breathe Oil. It can be quite intense, and I don't recommend it for the little ones, but it works wonders on myself and my husband! The breathe stick is what we use on Audrey, especially at night if she is congested. It goes right on her chest, and often her back and she sleeps like a babe...which is strangely much better than a 4 year old sometimes! There is also a pre-diluted Roller as well as Cough Drops for those old enough to use them!
These are probably some of my favorite tools for keeping Audrey healthy this year. Every single morning after her breakfast she takes a spoonful of IQ mega which is filled will Omega 3's a rich fatty acids for brain health, the a2z chewable vitamin that is filled with B vitamins combined with important nutrients, vitamins A,C, E and botanical extracts. And finally, her favorite, is the PB Assist Jr Probiotic Powder. It includes 5 billion live cells of a unique blend of six different probiotic strains, specifically selected for their benefits among children. You can mix it in water or a smoothie, or as Audrey does, pour the entire contents straight into her mouth right from the packet!
For Emotional Health:
In all honesty, I could list Oil after Oil in terms of emotional health. They ALL have some kind of benefit, but for us, we really go straight to the Kids Collection when we are looking to support some of the less tangible, more felt needs of beginning a new school year. We have been using them long before school, but with a new routine in place, it offers an opportunity to implement them in a new way. Each morning Audrey chooses her oils. Today she decided that she needed Calmer and Steady in fact. She then chooses where to wear them on her body, and this often leads to us "drawing" hearts on each other, either on her hands, her arms or right over her heart. Sometimes it's her belly and feet as well. She then puts her oil(s) of choice in the front pocket of her backpack and knows that they are there throughout the day, should she need them. These six oils in particular are incredible tools for teaching our children how to care for themselves in honest and powerful ways. There is so much that comes with a new school year, and it's equally as important to care for those little minds and hearts as much as their little bodies. We are helping to grow, nurture and inspire a brand new generation and I wholeheartedly believe that teaching our children that what they feel and think matters, we will create an earth shattering change that will be felt for generations to come!
Stay Tuned for some recipes on how to create other tools that will be useful for the school year ahead!
A couple of weeks ago I was getting dressed for the day and really wanted to wear my gold and copper bracelets...but I also wanted to wear my Ganesha necklace which is silver. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I got it in my head that you don’t mix different metals when wearing jewelry. I thought that either you wore gold or you wore silver, but not both and certainly not at the same time. As I was standing in my bedroom trying to decide between the two, an inner voice spoke up and said “wait, WHO made this rule and WHY are you following such an arbitrary belief?”
This post isn’t really about jewelry of course, but the bigger picture that we all go about our daily lives adhering to made up rules and beliefs because at one point we attached ourselves to it as if it is truth. Some of them are big but many of them are so small and seemingly insignificant. However, I wonder if we started to challenge them a little bit what would happen? I know that in this instance I put every single bracelet on that I had, wore my silver Ganesha AND my gold chakra necklace...and it brought me such joy that day and every day since. It’s tiny, but it matters because the smallest amounts of joy add up. And sometimes in order to call joy in, we have to remove the old blocks that keep us stuck in beliefs that no longer serve us.
In so much of the work I do with people, this is the number one thing to be done. Yoga asks us to get into the space of discomfort and notice what our default choices are and then gives us the opportunity to choose differently if it isn’t serving us. Using essential oils means that we are willing to try a new way of caring for ourselves and each other that offers us the opportunity to trust our experience and intuition. Choosing to try coaching means letting go of an old belief that you may not be worthy of spending such time, money and attention on yourself and instead offering yourself some time and space to see yourself clearly so that you may live more awake and aware in your life. All of the above challenges what is "normal" and mainstream in ways that break through beliefs that have most likely just been handed down to us.
Be like Ganesh and remove the obstacles that stand in your way of pure joy in living your life. Do the work to cultivate your inner wisdom and intellect, not what is based on someone else's belief's or one time truths. It happens in the smallest, most minute moments of our day. It happens in the moment we choose to breathe in the yoga pose instead of leave it. It happens in the moment you choose to reach for the bottle of essential oil that you love to smell. It happens in the moment you decide that you are worthy of your own time and attention. It happens in the moment that you put on your bracelets and necklace and smile at yourself in the mirror.
Our next OM Collective sessions will be all about this. Together we will lovingly challenge our beliefs and learn how to harness our intuition. I hope that you will join me, not because I say you should, but because that inner voice is guiding you here. You are worthy of all the joy in the world, in the smallest nooks and crannies of your life. Together let's remove the obstacles that keep it from coming in.
Join The OM Collective. One week left to take advantage of the summer special.
Yesterday, I read an article in the NY Times called “When did Self-Help become Self Care?”. It offered me an interesting perspective, as I have been struggling at times with using the terms “Self-Care” and “Wellness”, while doing it anyways for lack of a better term. A struggle that has also been stirred up after the last week of controversy in the fitness and wellness industry. The article described how Self-Help for so long as been about conquering, whereas Self-Care is about nourishing. It suggested that perhaps this is what Marianne Williamson means when she says it is a “Return to Love” rather than working out of fear. My favorite part of the article however is as follows: “Self-Care is often critically characterized as a market for purchasable experiences like massages, manicures and ‘me time’. But its origins are in a series of loose, secular rituals meant to calm the nervous system, and are informed in part by the work of feminist writers of color, including Audre Lorde and bell hooks, both of whom wrote about caring for one’s self in oppressive conditions. In “A Burst of Light,” Lorde writes, ``''Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”
This is the Self-Care Support that I am interested in providing. There is a reason that I often put Radical before the words Self-Care and Self-Love. I am not interested in creating work that just looks good and is pretty on Instagram. I am interested in being a stand for a revolutionary kind of self-care that serves a higher purpose to the world. I am interested in breaking the chain that self-care and “wellness” is only for those who can afford it in the capitalistic landscape it currently lives in, but for all who wish to take part in it. Those who wish to be radical in their approach for caring for and loving themselves because for so long we have been told that we are not enough or that what is required to help ourselves is to work from fear and hard discipline.
I don't have a lot of answers right now, mainly questions and a longing to learn more and do better. What I know for sure is that I don’t wish to perpetuate the privilege of “wellness” in a way that is destructive, a word that in itself suggests that those of us who get to think about are able to do more than simply survive. I acknowledge my own privilege in being able to have the experiences I have had. And I mean no shame to any of us who are in that position, truly. Let’s really honor it by being grateful for it. And I also fully acknowledge that I too, having chosen this as my work and career MUST make money in order to support myself and my family. There needs to be no shame in that truth either. But I do want to help open the door and conversation around how I can be an advocate for all and for Self-Care that is not self-indulgent, is about self-preservation and is a LOVING act of political and social selfcare (perhaps instead of warfare)...I know I’m not alone.
For reference, article is linked below:
New York Times article "When did Self-Help become Self-Care?"
I remember that it was a beautiful afternoon and we were staying in Cambridge, MA for the week. My husband was in the cast of the national tour of Matilda the Musical and we were just about a year into being on tour. I was also almost a year into being a Mama. My daughter was down for a nap, my husband at his matinee and I had just downed a giant meal of god knows what because I ate it too fast to remember. I was standing over the toilet in the gorgeous bathroom, of the gorgeous house that friends had let us stay in while they were away and I proceeded to stick my fingers down my throat. Not only did I throw everything I had just ate up into the toilet, but I also peed everywhere. Yes, that’s right, peed. Since giving birth a year ago, every time that I would throw up, I would also pee. I first discovered this when I got a terrible stomach bug several months earlier. This was no stomach bug, this was intentional. I knew what was going to happen, but I did it anyway.
So there I was, pee running down my leg onto the beautiful bathroom tile, smelling like vomit and the entire contents of my stomach in the toilet. I stood up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the very same moment that I heard my daughter cry out from the bedroom. In an instant, it hit me...the lengths I was going to, to abuse myself. I looked myself square in the eye in the mirror and asked out loud “What the FUCK am I doing?”. This is not how I wanted to live my life. This is not how I wanted to teach my daughter to live hers. And no matter how quickly I could clean up the floor, wipe down the toilet seat, change my clothes and brush my teeth, I could never actually tell her to love herself because I didn’t, I wasn’t, loving myself. It wouldn’t matter what words I used, what stories I told her of other brave women. I wasn’t actually BEING the example, so why oh why would it matter what I said.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? Why now am I finally sharing this story both publicly (and privately) for the first time? A few days ago after I shared my post on the Nike Mannequins, I was watching my social media feeds light up with comments and shares about the post. Tons of people messaged me privately to say how awesome it was and how much they resonated with it. A few hours after sharing, this memory came rushing back to me, as if it was being delivered purposely in that moment for my own remembering. That day in Cambridge, was the very last day I practiced binging and purging, the very last day I was active in my bulimia. It has been 3 years of working hard to make different choices after 19 years of making that one incredibly destructive choice, over and over and over again. I am sharing it because everything that I wrote in my Nike post is true about being the healthiest I have ever been and to show openly, honestly and vulnerably where I was then to where I am now.
It's also important that I share this for another reason. When my job this past year was scaled back and I knew I was going to have to find other work, there was this incredibly strong pull to create my own business, to go into coaching. In total transparency, I had no idea how I was going to do it, if anyone would sign up or what exactly I was going "coach". But every time I sat with myself, I heard that inner voice say to just begin. I heard the voices of all of my teachers over the years say the same "Begin before you are Ready" and "You are Ready Now". I felt the calling so strongly and I decided to just trust it, I asked very few questions and simply took action. So over the last several weeks I rolled out my business, I consistently put myself out there and I started to get some clients. Then last week, when that moment standing in the Cambridge bathroom came flooding back, I knew. This story and my journey from that moment to right now, is My Why. As a coach, I am asking my students to trust me to hold space for them, for their vulnerability and to let me see them. So, it's important that you see me too. That I be vulnerable and willing to let you hold space for my story too. It's only fair.
The work that I have done these last three years is the work that I am sharing with my clients. It is the work that I continue to do, every single day myself. It is mostly the work of showing up, being willing to be vulnerable, to sit with ourselves and to raise ourselves up each day to our highest self, vibration and inner knowing. Up until that moment three years ago, I was only willing to believe in and see where I was falling short, and that ever circling story of not being enough. Today, I only choose to believe in my own abundance and grace and light and love so that I may be the example for as many people as possible. So that we may all know the most brilliant love that is unconditional self-love and that our time spent here on earth, for however long it may be, is filled to the brim with it. Mostly, it matters to me that I be the example of that for my daughter. So that I don't have to tell her to love herself, it is just known to her because she sees it in practice. And it is a practice, but the more we show up each day and do it, the better we get. Sharing this story, these practices, inspiring others to be in and of their own practices and choosing to believe in their ability to love and heal themselves, that is my work, my calling and my why.
To coach with me, click HERE.
This week is Mental Health week and this month is Mental Health Awareness month. As you know from my previous post, mental health is a big conversation in our household. When my husband went through his struggle with depression, it wasn't just his own mental health that was at stake, but also my own and that of our daughter. This week, I want to share with you some of the ways that I helped myself through that challenging time, and not only survived, but honestly thrived. I am now truly grateful for the struggle of the past year because I learned lessons that shifted how I treat myself, my husband and our life together as a family.
The very first and most potent practice that I put into play was a daily mediation practice. When that overall atmosphere of our home was filled with the energy of sadness and depression, I knew that I had to calibrate my own energy from within. Meditation is a powerful tool that puts us in touch with ourselves so that we may know where we stand in our own minds and hearts. You cannot change what you aren't aware of and so from these sittings with myself, I was able to cultivate awareness around how I was focusing my energy and my thoughts. I discovered the ways that I was really serving myself well and the ways that I was not. Having that information allowed me to create a shift in what I chose to focus on and how I hold my inner space.
When I moved off of my meditation cushion, I began to notice in the daily moments of my life where I was able to be more intentional with what I thought, said and did. This was incredibly helpful because while I had absolutely no control over my husband's mindset and the disease of depression, I was able to take control of my own and this truly created an overall shift in the entire household. As we both got healthier in how we treated ourselves, we were able to raise the energy of our home as individuals, in our marriage and as a family. Creating a regular meditation practice is truly one of the most potent and practical things we can do to expand our consciousness and raise our mental health. When once there was a time that it seemed designated only for yogis and the crunchy granola type (myself included), meditation is now something that more and more people are embracing as a daily self-care tool.
And meditation doesn't have to look the same for everyone. There are literally hundreds of ways that you can meditate and one way that works for someone may be totally different for someone else. With my coaching clients, I record personalized meditations for what they are experiencing and we work together to create a plan to make it a daily practice and habit. Having someone to check in with and offer accountability also gives us the ability to implement the practice efficiently. For me, it was working with my own teachers and mentors that supported me to keep going, even when there were moments when I couldn't see past the fog of my own mind and circumstances. I am grateful to each of them for their wisdom and inspiration and grateful that I now get to pass it on in my own work.
If you would like to set up an initial coaching call to see how we can make my offerings work for you, click HERE.
This weekend, I had the honor of teaching 25 students in Boston, a brand new workshop that I created based on some very personal experience. The workshop is called The Essential Self, and we spent an hour and a half diving into some very powerful self-inquiry work using Essential Oils, Breath work, Yoga, Meditation and Journaling.
Part of the inspiration for the experience came out of one of my favorite quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. The quote goes “It is not with the eyes that one can see rightly, but with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye”. I was reminded of this quote earlier on this year, and it resonated so much that it has been making a rather long appearance on our chalkboard wall in our kitchen. To me, this quote represents the "unseeable self", the one from which we make all decisions; not our physical body, but our emotional heart. It is a constant reminder to me to turn inward for what is really essential in life and that I am the greatest source of all that I create and experience.
The other inspiration for the workshop came out of what has been a very challenging year. Exactly a year ago at this time, my husband experienced a pretty strong anxiety and depression. At the beginning, I had absolutely no idea what to do or how to support him. It was difficult to watch and have absolutely no control over, admittedly. There were many moments when I wanted to be able to snap him out of it, (sometimes by telling him to do so), and there was so much that I wanted to “fix” for him to help make him happier, because I thought I could and I was desperate to make it happen.
I don’t remember the exact moment that I got it, but eventually I had the realization that none of it was mine to fix. And that by consuming myself, my time and energy in trying to “fix” whatever it was that seemed broken, I was going to be wandering aimlessly down a dead end road. I had to do two things: the first, was give up the idea that I had any control or cause over what was happening with him. I remember writing in my journal one night, the words “I surrender”. I knew in that moment that it was exactly what I had to do if we were going to have any hope of surviving. The second thing I had to do was realize he wasn’t broken, nothing was. This was in fact a disease that he was struggling with. The trick of depression is that it’s symptoms mask itself in behaviors that appear to a healthy minded person as something that can just be changed. Especially that of a yogi who believes so strongly in personal power and self motivation, it was incredibly difficult at times not to place judgement on him and what seemed like choices that he could just stop choosing. In that moment, he couldn’t do that and it took me a bit of time, but when I finally realized that, I was able to be there for him with compassion and love rather than judgement, disapproval and anger.
Instead, what I knew was imperative for me, for him and for our daughter, was that I get even stronger in my own self-care practices. This didn’t mean heading to the spa and getting a massage or treating myself to regular manis and pedis. This meant diligent, daily rituals that kept me in check with who I was, and in my healthiest mindset, so that I may be able to hold space for my husband while he was not able to do that. It meant that every single day I was on my meditation cushion before my daughter woke up. It meant that I was on my yoga mat as often as possible. It meant that I was treating my body well with good food, and using essential oils to keep my mind uplifted and feeling well loved. It meant writing in my journal daily, so that I could get out of my head and onto paper what it was I was feeling and cultivate clarity. It did mean the occasional “Treat ‘yo self” moment or weekend away to the beach to give myself some relief with childcare and get some needed space. But mostly it meant being kind and loving to me, the one person in this scenario of which I had one hundred percent control.
One of my biggest realizations that came from these daily practices was how much of an impact, caring for oneself has. As time passed and each day I held strong in my own care, I noticed that my husband was able to breathe a little easier and put focus where he needed it in finding his own care. He sought out therapy, specifically CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, so much of it aligned with my own work the last decade in yoga. He had the time and space to get healthy without the pressure that he had to do it for me or even for our daughter. While of course, we missed our guy and desperately wanted him “back”, we were doing ok because at that time, I was able to hold us up. As I described to someone recently, I was able to live at the vibration that I wanted our entire family to rise to each and every day. And there were days when that just wasn’t possible and that was ok. I was at peace with knowing that we were both doing our work, trying our best and trusting the process. It was scary to be sure, but also incredibly freeing. Our reality was that neither one of us knew exactly how it was all going to turn out, and instead of hustling to “know” we embraced the not knowing and just went one day at a time.
It was hard. I certainly don’t want to downplay that or give all of the credit over to myself and say that my self-care is solely what saved us. But I do want to give it a lot of credit, much more than I believe we tend to as a society who likes to measure success. It is so easy for us to write off how we treat ourselves each day, because we can each probably name five to ten things that we must actually do in the course of a day to make our lives run smoothly, or run at all. The illusion being that if we don’t get A,B and C done or we can’t measure progress, we aren’t doing well.
Self-Care is often not something we can see, at least right away. It cannot be measured and there is no definitive amount or answer to how much is enough or what will work for us. We have to continue to check in and listen to ourselves and feel how we feel, thoughtfully and mindfully. If only there was a bell and whistle that went off when we were fully charged and ready to go. The reality is that there isn't and the knowing of when and what must come from inquiring within, every day.
That is exactly why I am stepping out and advocating for a shift in mindset around how important small daily acts of self-care are. It is not in what we can see, or the things that we do that hold the most essential value to our lives. We first make the decision to do anything from the invisible space of how we feel. When we can consciously connect to that space regularly, we can make decisions about what to do with more clarity and integrity.
We can certainly care for others better when we first are cared for by ourselves. To me, this is no longer negotiable. It is also at the forefront of how our family operates now. Whenever one of us finds that we are drifting away from a strong self-connection, we purposely take time to do what will bring us back. Even our three and a half year old, has tools to help herself calm and find center. My husband too has adapted this mindset for himself, in his own ways. His meditation is often going for a walk in the park or out into the city, listening to music. That was another big key for me, not putting my practices that worked for me, on him. My practices are powerful, but they are powerful for me because they are what I connect to. My aim is to share them with others who also may connect to them, but it is not my job ever, to force them up on anyone, including my husband or my child. So much of our work is in discovering what works for us.
A year later and we are much better partners for each other because of what this last year offered us. I look back now and I am grateful. We were given a gift after 17 years of being together to break everything down to what was essential and now build around that. The depression isn’t always gone, it may never fully go away. He once described it to me like that last scene in A Beautiful Mind. The people that John Nash was seeing didn’t go away, he just learned how to live with them there. And we now have tools that help us navigate it, both individually and as a couple.
In the coming months, I plan on sharing even more around what it is like to be on the other side of depression, to be the space holder for it. And you can guarantee that most of what I have to say and offer will be based on how the one giving care, cares for themselves. Active, daily self-care is as essential as the air we breathe, the money we make and the health of our physical body. There is nothing selfish in the ways of self-care and in so many ways, it is the most essential work for each human being to do.
Check out a brief video of the workshop this weekend below and to connect with me one on one about self-care using yoga, mediation or essential oils, email me: Sara@OneOMatatime.com I am able to be here for you because I am here for myself. It is an honor and a gift.
April Showers Bring Us Growth
And in order to grow we must be willing to step outside of what we know and go for the things that scare us. They scare us because they seem so big and far away. They scare us because we know that what will be required of us in order to make it happen is a commitment to continued growth throughout the entirety of the process. This means that we will fail and triumph over and over and over again.
I recently heard Deepak Chopra say something that profoundly changed me. He said "If we have the desire in the first place, it means that it's possible". For our deepest desires to even come into our consciousness it means that we, our self, called it in. It means that it began as a thought and then evolved into a desire because we made it so. Desires aren't just floating around waiting for someone to catch them, we create them. If something, a thought, as itself was a desire, we would all want the same things and we all know that isn't true. And because we create them it means that we also have the power to see them all the way through. Not just some of us, but all of us.
One of the steps of taking a desire and moving it into our physical worlds and making it real is by asking for what you want. With clarity, with humility and with love. We take the thought, turn it into a desire, turn it into words, spoken and written, so that we may turn it into action and ultimately the physical manifestation whatever it is.
So what is your deepest desire for your life? What do you wish to see for yourself? Speak it into existence and ask for what you want. Then watch as a series of events and opportunities in collaboration with your actions make it happen.
Here is what I want:
* To Grow my business as a yoga teacher and wellness advocate
* I want to lead a team of leaders who go out into the world and advocate for self-care and self-love through practical action and practices.
To get even more specific:
1. I am asking for people to join my doTERRA team. People who want to build a business or enhance their current one by taking mindful action through essential oil education and advocacy. If this is you, this is the moment to say so!
2. I want to teach more workshops and retreats. If you practice at a yoga studio, own a yoga studio or have a connection to one, I want to come to you! I wish to travel more this year and do it through my teaching, so no place is too far! Bring me your way!
Whether it rains on us or shines on us this month, my wish for all of us is that our deepest desires make their way from being a thought to a part of our life through asking for what we want and then taking action!
What do YOU want? I dare you to write it in the comments below, not so I can read it, but so you can speak it and ask for it!
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Also Join Me in Boston Next Weekend!
Beneath the layers of the physical body lies an energetic body. This is the source for all feeling, intuition, creativity and growth. Using tools such as essential oils, pranayama, asana, meditation and journaling, we will tune into our subtle bodies, align our heads with our hearts and plug in to that deep inner knowing and wisdom that each of us walks around with. * Each student will walk away with their own journal and essential oil sample*
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And finally...will you SHARE THE LOVE?! In the spirit of asking for what we want, I am asking for you to share this blog and anything that resonates with you that you see here! In our world today we need more hope, more positive action, more light, more love, more people wanting to lift themselves and each other up! Follow and share on social media!
How I am taking action to fill myself up, be diligent in self-care and align my heart and my head...
My beautiful teacher, Elena Brower, recently spoke about this in her New Year Practice You video. The importance of daily ritual is something that can keeps us regularly checking in with ourselves in mindful ways. A ritual can vary in length and activity, what matters most is its consistency of practice. For me, morning meditation is it. However, what I am desperately wanting to add in is a physical yoga practice that leads into meditation. For a while I thought this meant that I have to be up and ready, in my yoga clothes and sweating by the end. Elena pointed out that for her, there are days when she wakes up tired, so this could mean a Yoga Nidra practice which leads into meditation. When she said this, I had a moment of realizing it’s more about tuning into my physical being rather than pushing myself physically. Perhaps it is because I come from a power yoga background, but I have long associated a formal “yoga practice” to be one that is more physical in nature and closer to traditional exercise. This is not in alignment with my heart. Instead, my daily ritual will be to arise around the same time each day, unroll my mat, move my body however it feels necessary and then sit for my mediation. And, in my pajamas, no yoga pants (or bra) required. My hope is that this will take the expectation out of it and open the doorway for exploration and inquiry to come in.
I of course recognize that the difficulty of this, is as a mama whose child’s wake up time is unpredictable, things could have the tendency to waiver. So, I am also making a commitment to myself to wake up a little earlier and go to bed a little earlier. And, if Audrey wakes up first, so be it. I will remain flexible in both how I practice and how long it happens. I also maintain that in order for my daughter to truly know the value of self-care she must mostly see it in action.
And while there will also be daily mid-day rituals I am looking to cultivate, my next focus will be end of day. Shutting down intelligently and mindfully. Turning off all input and sitting with myself to ask the simple question "How did I do today?" Not to judge but to simply observe. Journaling will be a big part of this time and it is my goal to leave each day with my own words in my head.
Clear Boundaries on Time
The other day Justin and I set a clear and precise schedule for how we will be spending our time each day. This is something that neither of us have been great at in the past, but recognize our need to be better organized and have stronger clarity of time spent. Ange Peters talks about this a lot, and has taught me to recognize that time is in fact currency. We get to choose how we spend it, who we give it to and ultimately what kind of return we are looking for with how we invest it.
This also includes only spending time doing the things that feed me and that I love. No longer do I believe that we must fill our time doing things because it is what we are "supposed" to do. I understand fully the requirements of obligation and being an adult, however I am going to only seek ways to do that while also nurturing my inner child.
I have always wanted to make space and room for anything to happen but I am now realizing that by setting my own clock, I am actually offering a kind of freedom where my life truly belongs to me. So, there will be boundaries on my time, how I spend it and what I spend it doing. Which leads right into the next…
This is something I began to talk about at the end of this last year, and am continuing to cultivate. That small computer in my hand takes up so much more time and offers much more distraction than is healthy. I am a firm believer that to some degree, the majority of us are addicted to our phones. I am. And while I often need it for my work, I admittedly spend a lot more time scrolling and browsing than is necessary.
For me, I am realizing more and more that I must balance my consumption with my creation. Our phones give us this false sense of relief without realizing that we are continuing to consume and consume and consume, thereby depleting our own inner resources and attention. Instead, it is my mission to be continually mindful of how much I am creating vs. how much I am consuming. So, I am setting hard boundaries on my social media and screen time and making sure that I have more to to both create and put out into the world more than what I take.
One of the things I have been realizing lately is that I am hungry to learn. It’s not that I have not always loved learning, but the past few years I have definitely done more of the teaching and I am including mothering in this. I haven’t had a thirst to push past my own boundaries of what I know in quite a while, and I am ready to get back to my studentship in a much more profound way. I am not yet sure what this looks like, but I know that one of my biggest interests of late is in looking back to the tradition of yoga and studying some of the older lineages. Rod Stryker has been a big presence in my practice lately and so it may mean going to study with him, or at the very least continuing to make him, and other areas of yoga where I am not so familiar, a regular part of my practice.
I am also continuing to explore and delve into essential oils, aromatherapy and integrative and holistic practices. This is an area that makes my heart soar and I plan to continue to honor it throughout the course of this next year. I also firmly believe that the greatest teachers are first students and so I plan on this being the strongest course of action in terms of growing my business, both in yoga and essential oils. I am going to invest in my own wisdom and knowledge.
In all honesty, this is something I have not been very good at in my life. It’s not that I don’t have friends or people I love, but I am extremely comfortable being alone. However, the older I get and the more I think about what I want for Audrey and for our family, I truly want a community of friends to surround ourselves with in the best of times and the hardest of times. My effort in reaching out has always been something I struggle with, so this year I am being much more concerted in my efforts to both make new friends and continue to be in contact with old ones. I am just now at 36 beginning to understand that none of us can do this on our own and that we all need each other to be in regular contact with one another so that we can learn from one another.
Justin and I have specifically set aside time each month for each of us to have friend time as well as a time to gather with community. Two Mondays each month are dedicated to an evening where one of us goes out to hang, as adults only, and with a friend. So...expect a call!
Open Sky Mind
This is another takeaway from Elena’s Practice You webinar. The idea that once or twice this year, we will take time to travel alone, to cultivate open sky mind where we are with ourselves and only ourselves for a while. This ties perfectly into both diligent studentship and my entire reason for doing all of this work. We must be able to fill ourselves up from the inside, readily, lovingly and wholeheartedly. For a long time, the thought of leaving my family for even a weekend to go explore on my own, or attend a retreat, was just too scary. My heart truly longs to be with them each and every day for as long as my life exists. However, I am now realizing the clarity that this kind of daring will bring me and it is now one of my top priorities to, within the next few weeks, book a solo trip somewhere. Likely it will be in the form of a retreat, perhaps starting with just a weekend in time, but it will a place that I travel to and from alone and give myself the freedom to have an open sky mind.
With all of this in my sights, my work this year is in aligning my head with my heart and to continually fill my cup, over and over and over again. One of my friends said recently “Humanity is an experiment and we can make it beautiful”. I am choosing to make mine beautiful by experiencing the joy of my own inner beauty, so that I may better share it with the world. This is my new year, this is my work.
Passion - Inspiring Blend
balances spice and herbal essential oils. Included in the blend is Damiana, a very rare essential oil rich in 1,8-cineole and alpha pinene, which is renowned for its renewing properties. Combining Cinnamon Bark, Ginger, Cardamom, Clove, and Damiana creates a chemical profile with high concentrations of phenols and ethers to provide warming and renewing benefits. Diffuse doTERRA Passion at your work desk to help spark creativity.
Passion is a blend formulated to assist individuals who are lacking inner passion and perhaps need to find the motivation to take risks and confidently face their fears. We often feel a lack of passion when we feel limited in our work and creativity. This blend helps to ignite the heart and the spirit towards moving for what uplifts and inspires creativity and joy, both in work and in life.
Cardamom - The Oil of Objectivity
Cinnamon - The Oil of Sexual Harmony
Ginger - The Oil of Empowerment
Clove - The Oil of Boundaries
Sandalwood - The Oil of Sacred Devotion
Jasmine - The Oil of Sexual Purity & Balance
How to Use:
* Diffuse in the morning to start the day feeling energized and enthusiastic
* Apply to pulse points and heart throughout the day to feel inspired and passionate
* Diffuse at work to spark creativity, clarity and wonder
Stronger - Protective Blend
Stronger Protective Blend evokes feelings of wellness and vitality when needed most. Featuring Cedarwood, Litsea, Frankincense, and Rose in a gentle and convenient format combined with Fractionated Coconut Oil, this uniquely supportive blend is perfect for sensitive skin and provides a sense of resiliency when needed most. Litsea, one of the main ingredients in Stronger, helps to keep skin healthy looking and clean while promoting positive feelings. The bright and uplifting aroma of Stronger is refreshing to the senses and works as the perfect blend for daily resiliency or when you are not feeling your best. With the powerful rejuvenating benefits of wood and floral oils, Stronger works as the perfect every day skin health essential oil blend.
Cedarwood - The Oil of Community
Litsea - The Oil of Manifestation
Frankincense - The Oil of Truth
Rose - The Oil of Divine Love
How to Use:
* When environmental threats are high, use Stronger to promote feelings of wellness and vitality.
* Roll onto hands, knees and feet after a long day of activity
* Soothing to occasional skin irritations, Stronger is a great blend to have on hand during play and extensive activities.
* Because of the Rose and Frankincense oil in it, Stronger is great to help soothe and comfort distressed skin.
Both of these blends are available HERE
Hands down, one the most important things to me as a mother is helping my child navigate her own emotions, intelligently, honestly and lovingly. It has taken me a long time to come into my own emotional awareness, and while I wouldn't change anything about my experience, I would love to be a steady guiding force for my daughter when it comes to cultivating her ability to be with her emotions in a healthy way.
It is my belief that we don't think or speak about emotional integrity and intelligence enough in our culture. We often regard feelings as secondary or attatch shame to emotions that are, in reality, incredibly human. How we feel is always changing of course, and it requires a ton of work to stay present with ourselves in this way, but I believe it is necessary work. In 2018, several studies showed that depression and anxiety are on the rise, often in teens and young adults. According to a report by ABC News, "The CDC says one in five children ages 3 through 17 — about 15 million — have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year. But only 20 percent of them get diagnosed or receive care."
Emotional Intelligence is the "capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically". I am on a mission as a mother and as a human to help all people of all ages become more Emotionally Intelligent.
For me, essential oils are one option and tool to help create that intelligence. Since our emotional state has the power to affect how we perceive the world, I believe in the importance of having tangible tools and techniques on hand to help navigate our emotions. Having the ability to take action, reach for a specific blend of essential oils and take the time to do some deep breathing is a seemingly small act of self-care with big impact.
When we do this, we say to ourselves
A. I am having some big feelings right now
B. We take a moment to name those feelings and
C. We can take action.
Perhaps we take a few deep breaths and utilize the aromatherapeutic benefits of an oil or blend, or combine the act of reaching for an oil with another act of self care such as yoga, meditation, exercise, journaling, etc. By even taking the time to do any of this, we are saying to ourselves that our own emotional awareness matters and is important. What and how we feel is integrative and directly connected to our physical health.
So you can imagine my joy when doTERRA came out with a collection designed specifically for children and young adults. My daughter is only 3.5 years old but has her own Kids Collection already. She knows which oils are for calming down at night, which are for when she feels sad and which ones help her body. She is now beginning to say out loud when she is sad, or angry or frustrated or happy. We celebrate all of her feelings with her and we help her take action when she is able to articulate what she needs and wants. My hope as her mom is that she will grow up with the freedom to be aware of, control and express her emotions so that she may be able to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically...aka have strong Emotional Intelligence.
So this week, I will be featuring the Kids Collection in my Free Online Oils Class, this Thursday at 11am EST. I will also be posting each day about two different Emotional Aromatherapy blends: One for the adults, one for kids. I hope that you follow along with me this week. My hope as a wellness advocate and as a human is to help each of us, myself included, cultivate our own emotional intelligence so we may be stronger for ourselves and stronger for each other.
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!