Becoming Present

This post is my fourth installment from my series Grief and Essential Oils. The topic for today’s post is becoming more present and finding joy and gratitude in the present moment.

Staying present takes work. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s much easier to float back to memories that can often take us to the dark side of grief. As griever’s we spend a great deal of time early on the journey remembering our loved ones and missing them with our broken hearts. We spend time in the multiple stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Remember that we all experience this journey differently. Sometimes, we spend time in one or more of the stages longer than others. That is ok. It’s normal. What we must try not to do is spend too long in one and not moving forward.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is how to become present in my life. When I connect with the present, I find I can look around and see many reasons to be grateful. That can be a big pill to swallow when you are grieving the loss of a child or loved one. If someone mentioned gratitude to me in the early days, I would have thought they had lost their mind. But for those of us who are what I call “seasoned grievers”, we can accept and when we are present, can find gratitude. Gratitude is the air that fills our lungs and allows us to experience the miracle of life. Gratitude experiencing the love of others in our lives. Finding gratitude in the simplest of things can be the start of finding joy again.

Present TimeThe fragrance of Present Time™ can be used aromatically to bring you into the present moment and create an atmosphere of empowerment.

I like to apply Present Time™ when I feel the need to be present in a particular moment. For example, preparing to write this blog post; or attending a conference call. There are many times when we need to be present for ourselves, our loved ones and Present Time can be a great tool to help you be more present.

When diffused, Present Time™ helps you focus on the here and now, so you can get beyond the past and move forward.

How to use Present Time™:

Topical:Apply 2-4 drops directly to desired area. Dilution is not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed.

Aromatic:Diffuse up to 30 minutes 3 times daily. You may also use one drop on your hands and create a cup from your hands and bring to your face to breathe in to help connect with your inner self.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.

When you begin to incorporate essential oils every day you will notice subtle changes in your thoughts and emotions. Becoming present can help you move along your grief journey and find moments of joy and gratitude again. It takes time, practice and lots of patience, but with consistent application of meditation, essential oils and journaling, you’ll begin to experience more frequent moments of joy and gratitude.

Until next time,

M

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Connecting with your inner child.

This post is my third installment from my series Grief and Essential Oils. The topic for today’s post is connecting with your inner child.

Grieving is hard. It’s a daily chore. It’s a walk down memory lane each and every day. Sometimes the memories are positive and joyful and sometimes memories are negative and painful. The goal is to transition your thoughts and memories to joyful and positive ones hence creating an atmosphere of healing. It takes hard work and a lot of support from those who stand with you on this journey.

I remember so clearly the day my daughter passed. It was a horrific 12 hours that I’d like to never recall again. The pain of watching your daughter slip through the hands of seasoned medical professionals knowing all you can do is pray and yet, still she dies. My heart took a hard blow and broke into a million pieces. It’s taken me a long time to go from negative feelings to positive feelings but most importantly from negative memories to more positive ones. It’s not a one stop shop to move from one level to another. It’s more of a life long journey to support your heart and mind by releasing negativity and memories and creating a space where you can remember the wonderful things about your loved ones. To release the negative energy and accept a more positive self is the goal. And you can get there. It’s not a race but rather a marathon.

Inner ChildInner Child™

The sweet fragrance of Inner Child™ can be used aromatically to encourage you to connect with your authentic self and for emotional balance.

I like to apply Inner Child™ when I’m feeling sad or during times of reflection and meditation especially when I want to connect to my inner child who loved life and enjoyed just being a kid. Meditation is a big component in the grief journey. I use meditation prior to writing in my journal. It allows me to collect my thoughts before I write.

When you’re feeling disconnected, or have negative thoughts bringing essential oils like Inner Child™ into your daily or weekly routine can be an effective way to enhance your day. Creating a sense of emotional balance can be vital to bringing the type of atmosphere that can be helpful to you as you navigate all the emotions that come from experiencing grief. By allowing feelings to bubble up to a present moment as you smell the oil, you are in control of the thoughts and energy you give to that feeling or memory.

How to use Inner Child™:

TopicalDilute 1 drop with 1 drop of V-6™ or olive oil and apply to desired area as needed.

AromaticDiffuse up to 1 hour 3 times daily. You may also use one drop on your hands and create a cup from your hands and bring to your face to breathe in to help connect with your inner self.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.

When you use essential oils every day you notice subtle changes in your thoughts and emotions. It’s important acknowledge the memories that create a negative response and reconnect the memories with something positive. Reconnecting with yourself is truly the first step in moving beyond the past. With consistent application of meditation, essential oils and journaling the negative thoughts and memories can be replaced by positive thoughts and memories. That’s not to say you won’t remember or have negative thoughts; however, they should feel reduced and short lived so that you are able to move towards positivity and light.

Until next time,

M

 

Grief and Essential Oils – Forgiveness

I began my journey of forgiveness at an early age. I’ve learned that forgiveness is not easy; in fact, it’s the most elusive and most misunderstood process that I’ve ever known. The pain that had a hold of my heart led me to understand the importance of forgiveness and I had no choice but to learn how. Like my journey of grief – my faith in God keeps me on the right path. At the times when I choose not to follow my faith or my belief that God is in control – that is when I feel lost and alone with no map and no guide to get me through. In 2011, I wrote about Forgiveness and my opinion on this personally has evolved over the last seven years. A link below to that original post is below for you to review as it was related to a book I was blogging through at the time by Jerry Sittser.

This post is my second installment from my series Grief and Essential Oils. The topic for today’s post is forgiveness. I’ve written about this topic many times here on this blog because it is an important component to healing.

Shortly after Brittany’s death I was struggling with how I felt about the medical professionals who were involved with Brittany’s care. I was angry at them because I felt they gave up on her. Not once did I, her mother, ever give up on her. But they didn’t seem to care or so it appeared by their lack of persistence on finding out what was wrong. To me it just seemed as though they took the short way out and covered it all up with medication. I knew it wasn’t the right decision. And I felt powerless to fight it.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness™ can be used for emotional support and energy balance.This essential oil blend contains an aroma that supports the ability to forgive yourself and others while letting go of negative emotions, an important part of personal growth and is EarthKosher certified.

I like to apply Forgiveness™ especially during times when I’m feeling sad or during times of reflection and meditation about how I’m feeling. Meditation is a big component in the grief journey. I use meditation prior to writing in my journal. It allows me to collect my thoughts before I write.

When you’re feeling down or need to refocus your thoughts bringing essential oils like Forgiveness™into your daily or weekly routine can be an effective way to enhance your day. Creating a sense of balance can be vital to bringing the type of atmosphere that can be helpful to you as you navigate all the emotions that come from experiencing grief.

How to use Forgiveness™:

TopicalApply 2-4 drops directly to desired area. Dilution not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed.

AromaticDiffuse up to 1 hour 3 times daily.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.

Forgiveness is a life long journey, and just as grief washes over you at times so does the process of forgiveness. We may have to forgive again and again when those special occasions arrive like when I go to a wedding of a couple Brit’s age or when some of Brittany’s friends begin to have families of their own. I must relive that again. That moment of anger shows up and I must choose to forgive all over again. Because you see my loss is eternal there will always reminders of the magnitude of my loss.

Forgiveness is hard, but a necessary for your own healing and growth. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you have forgotten what happened to your loved one. I will never forget what happened to my daughter on October 13, 2006. The flashbacks still occur. Thankfully the nightmares don’t happen as often now. The pain in my heart is always there. But in forgiving those who were involved, I have been able to move forward and replace those bad memories with good ones of my daughter. This story, my story is an on-going process and our faith in God is how the story gets re-written.

God changes everything. Faith gives hope in the midst of grief.

until next time,

m

https://mysoulspeaks.blog/2011/03/07/forgive-and-remember/

 

 

 

Essential Oils and Grief

For the next few weeks I’ll be discussing how essential oils can be helpful along the journey of grief. Incorporating essential oils is just one component of working through the healing process after loss. Journaling your thoughts and feelings is also a very component part of your journey and I would encourage you to write about your experience through this process should you decide to incorporate essential oils. There are many different types of oils to choose from; however I’m using Young Living Essential Oils because of the high quality and Seed-to-Seal promise. Not all essential oils are alike. Many on the market are not of high quality and won’t provide the results you are looking for AND you cannot be guaranteed it’s quality.

The experiences I write about below are based on my own experiences and may be different for you or someone you think may benefit from this because we are all uniquely different and experience grief differently.

My blog going forward will focus on how do we help ourselves through the various mediums available to us. There are so many options for us to use and create a customized plan to help navigate the muddy and sometimes unclear waters of grief. Many times I’ve written about the dark side of grief. But it’s time to help us move out of that, albeit slowly or at whatever pace you need and move to a place where we can enjoy the life we have and remember there is still much to do and experience in this life we have left.

I know for some this might seem like a stretch. But I know from experience that loss cannot nor should not define who you are. It is part of you, but not the definition of you. Please know I’m not a counselor. I’m not a therapist. What I am is an experienced griever who believes that we have two roads to choose when faced with heart-breaking loss: one of constant pain and sorrow or one of personal growth (still being able to honor your loved ones) that allow you to recognize, forgive and have inner peace with where you are now.

If you have any questions about these future posts, or the essential oils, please post them below and I’ll be happy to continue to dialog to support you in whatever ways I can. My hope is that you learn how to incorporate the oils below in your life today to create a space in your life for inner peace and forgiveness. This will allow you to honor and celebrate your loved ones who’ve passed AND; honor and celebrate you.

Feelings Kit

The Feelings™ collection from Young Living features six essential oil blends that inspire feelings of emotional well-being when diffused. Use in the morning and evening to promote peaceful thoughts and spiritual harmony.

The Feelings Collection Includes:

  • Harmony™, 5 ml
  • Forgiveness™, 5 ml
  • Inner Child™, 5 ml
  • Present Time™, 5 ml
  • Release™, 5ml
  • Valor®, 5ml

Today we will focus on Harmony™. Harmony can be used for energy and balance.  It’s a blend of pure essential oils that contains scents to provide an uplifting aromatic experience and is EarthKosher certified. I like to diffuse Harmony especially during meditation time or when I just need a little harmony in my life. Meditation is a big component in the grief journey. I use meditation prior to writing in my journal. It allows me to collect my thoughts before I write.

When you’re feeling down or need to refocus your thoughts bringing essential oils like Harmony into your daily or weekly routine can be an effective way to enhance your day. Creating a sense of balance can be vital to bringing the type of atmosphere that can be helpful to you as you navigate all of the emotions that come from experiencing grief.

How to use Harmony:

Harmony can be applied topically or diffused several times daily. Dilution with a carrier oil is not required; however if you have sensitive skin, you may dilute with a carrier oil like sunflower oil. Just make sure it’s organic. Young Living does carry carrier oils; however there are many available in local health and wellness stores in your area.

Topical Application: Apply 2-4 drops directly to desired area. Dilution not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed.

Aromatic Application: Diffuse up to 1 hour 3 times daily.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.

Ingredients

Santalum album (Sacred Sandalwood)† wood oil, Lavandula angustifolia† (Lavender) oil, Cananga odorata† (Ylang ylang) flower oil, Boswellia carterii† (Frankincense) oil, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel oil, Angelica archangelica† (Angelica) root oil, Pelargonium graveolens† (Geranium) flower oil, Hyssopus officinalis† (Hyssop) leaf oil, Salvia Lavandulaefolia† (Spanish sage) leaf oil, Picea mariana† (Black spruce) leaf oil, Coriandrum sativum† (Coriander) seed oil, Citrus aurantium bergamia† (Bergamot) peel oil (Furocoumarin-free), Citrus limon† (Lemon) peel oil, Jasminum officinale** (Jasmine) oil, Anthemis nobilis† (Roman chamomile) flower oil, Cymbopogon martini† (Palmarosa) oil, Rosa damascena† (Rose) flower oil 

† 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil

**100% pure absolute

The Battleground of Grief

The battleground of grief can be internal or external. Internally all I could visualize was how I saw all of the things I could not control just strewn all around me. A wild fight where everything was on the line. Everything was left on the ground. The only thing left was a casualty of war. A prisoner of war. Me.

The powerful surge of sorrow and grief and the magnitude of the empty space that resides in my heart and in my life since Brittany died is real. It’s not some story that happened to me. As October 13th approaches, I am reminded my journey is far from over. Some days it feels like I just started this journey yesterday and other days it seems like a lifetime ago.

Externally, it can look like how your relationships with your family, your friends, perhaps your marriage or your loved ones. Some relationships struggle after loss but make it through and unfortunately some don’t. The grief is so powerful. It takes ahold of you and plows through you like a wrecking ball. And the unfortunate truth is those who love you feel the brunt of grief too. They grieve who you used to be or who they want you to be.

Grief, it changes you and the people you connect with. Even 12 years later, my grief, my loss impacts those close to me. My close relationships suffer. And although I try to ignore it or “fix” it; grief has no timeline.  I find that I keep to myself, my thoughts and feelings because seriously who wants to hear over and over again how badly I miss my daughter? Who wants to be around me during these months when I’m distant and moody? I don’t even want to talk about it. It opens up old wounds. The scars of a battle I lost; one that I didn’t even know how to fight. But each year I try and I’ll keep working at it. I’m a warrior.

Everyone’s response to grief is different; their ability to manage the battle internally and externally can be vastly different from your own experience. Because everyone is different; the help you seek or the therapy you receive may look different too. That’s ok. Just get help. Talk. Write. Mentor.

Until Next Time,

M

Vision Board – 101

Hello Everyone,

I’ve included a powerpoint for you to review and it includes an audio message from me on what to expect while you prepare to create your very own vision board.

Please review and should you have any questions or would like to make a comment, please do that below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

I’m looking forward to this project and I hope you find it an enjoyable process.

Vision Board – 101

PDF – no audio vision-board-101

Until next time,

M

 

Vision Board. Phase One

A while back I mentioned that I wanted to take this blog is a slightly different direction. There is so much light, pain, sorrow and joy baked into the words that rolled into stories to dilute it down. Grief will always be a part of who I am. My daughter will always be a part of who I am. Where we go from here is to model for you how I got where I am today.

Next week I will be posting how to create your vision board. There is a little homework that needs to be done before next week. There are several tools and prep work which have been listed below. If you are interested in creating your own vision board, here are the steps to completed phase one:

Obtain once piece of poster board (black or white)

Glue Sticks

Scissors

Tape

Magazine/newspaper clippings (the most time consuming): These will be used to create your vision board. As you browse through magazines or newspapers, focus on words or sentences that resonate with you. Let your creativity flow. Don’t over think it. Go with whatever moves you. Clip them out and keep them handy for the post next week.

I challenge you to think about your vision board as a place to create a goal of something you want to achieve and from there we can begin to build the interventions (clippings) that you will want to follow to complete your goal.

Again, don’t overthink it. When I first started building vision boards, they were superficial and somewhat materialistic. Now I’ve moved into more depth and soul searching. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of material things on my current vision board.

Disclaimer: there is NO wrong way to do this. Just follow your heart and be creative – and most of all – HAVE fun!!

Until next time,

M