It’s  about this time of year that I really start to feel winter. Yes I know we live in Canada and we always have winter so it shouldn’t be a surprise.  True, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take when it gets so cold out that your nostrils freeze 30 seconds after you go out the door and you waddle down the street hoping you won’t slip on ice and break something.  There are many beautiful parts to winter like skating, skiing, building snowmen and drinking hot chocolate. There is also something that comes with the not so nice part of winter called  SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it’s real. I’m sure many of you are familiar with it. I think most of us have experienced it at one point or another, they say even kids and pets get it.

For many this is the time of year when you might be feeling more tired, lethargic, unmotivated and  generally crusty. You also might find you are catching more colds and flus or that they are lingering longer. One thing I like to use to help me get through this blah time are essential oils. Depending on the oil you use they can uplift your spirits, boost your immune, clear you head and give you a bit more zip to make it through the rest of winter.They are all natural, inexpensive and pretty easy to find.

Here are some winter power oils I like:

Lemon – Lemon smells amazing, reminding us of summer sunshine and that alone can make you smile. Lemon helps to defend the body against infection because it stimulates the production of white blood cells. It can help with bronchitis and flu.

Sweet Orange – Orange is an anti -depressant. It is incredibly uplifting and also can help against colds and flu.  Orange can be used around the house as a deodorizer. It also can help calm nausea.

Ginger – Ginger keeps you warm and cozy. It is great for arthritis and rheumatism. This oil is great for travel sickness, cold, flu and fevers. It can also help with cramps and muscle spasms. *Ginger is a very strong oil so you need to make sure you mix it with a carrier so it doesn’t irritate your skin.

Thyme – This oil works with the  immune, respiratory and muscular systems. It can help with coughing, bronchitis and pneumonia. It is a stimulant that helps boost the immune system. It helps reduce feeling of fatigue and can boost the energy of people who are recovering from illness. * This is a very strong oil which should not be used during pregnancy, if you have high blood pressure or very sensitive skin

Remember pure essential oils are powerful and need to be used properly. Here are some safe ways to use your oils:

  • A few drops on a tissue and inhale as needed
  • Mix a few drops into an unscented body lotion or carrier oil like grapeseed and apply to the body
  • Add water and 10 drops of oil to a room diffuser ( the kind that has a tea light in the bottom, or the plug in kind)
  •  Add some oils to all natural unscented cleaning products and use around your house. Baking soda and vinegar are great all natural cleaning options.
  • Make a room mister with essential oils.  Mix the oils with  grain alcohol or glycerin and add filtered water. Shake well and spray.

I leave you with the thought that spring is less than 2 months away. Yay!

 

I read an article this week that I loved and thought I would share it with you as we start of off this new year. It is the speech zen buddhist monk Norman Fischer gave as his Baccalaureate address at Stanford University in 2014. I like it because it is so simple and so true. It brings it back to basics, yet fills you with hope and excitement about moving forward at the same time.  It is about being present, being of service and bringing it back to love.

Here is a passage I really liked:

“Your life isn’t and has never been about you. It isn’t and has never been about what you accomplish, how successful you are or are not, how much money you make, what sort of position you ascend to, or even about your family, your associations, your various communities, or how much good you do for others or the world at large. Your life, like mine, and like everyone else’s, has always been about one thing: love.”

Click here to read more

May this year bring you closer to love on all levels.

Enjoy!

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This week I did a guest post on the CureDiva blog. Last week the hospital I met a woman who even in just 15 minutes added some happiness to my day. She inspired a little blog post.

You can check it out here: http://www.curediva.com/blog/all-get-inspired/a-little-bit-of-grace/

Cheers,

Jasmin

 

 

This past weekend we turned the clocks back and with that usually comes a shift in energy. As fall is fully upon us the days are now darker and getting colder. You might find your energy changing a little too. Some people feel more tired, or sluggish, others begin to feel the need to draw inwards and we get closer to ‘hibernation’ season.  Autumn is a good time to do a check in with your chakras  (the 7 main energy centres in the body) and try to clear and balance them a little. Maintaining free flowing energy through the chakras can help get you  through the transition to winter with a bit more mental and emotional strength and clarity.

 

“Every thought and experience you’ve ever had in your life gets filtered through these chakra databases. Each event is recorded into your cells…”, in effect your biography becomes your biology. – Carolyn Myss

Here are the links to my previous posts on each chakra. Each one comes with an explanation of what it is and some ways to balance it.

What are the Chakras and why will being aware of them help me? - read more

1. Root Chakra – your connection to the earth, your roots, sense of stability -read more

2. Sacral Chakra – centre of sexuality as well as creation on all levels – read more

3. Solar Plexus Chakra – centre of your will and self power - read more

4. Heart Chakra – your centre of love both for others and yourself – read more

5. Throat Chakra – area of communication, speaking your truth and creating your truth- read more

6. Third Eye Chakra – centre connected to your intuition, sixth sense, third eye - read more

7. Crown Chakra – connection point to universal energy , the thousand petalled lotus – read more

Happy energy balancing!

 

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I emailed my long time yoga teacher Amba Stapleton a few weeks back and mentioned to her that I was in cancer treatment. Her response was “ I didn’t know you were having a momentary health crisis. I don’t like to name things. As you know the body is constantly in a fluid state, in balance , off balance, it’s a constant dance.

Those words resonated with me on a deep level and got me thinking. We so often push or pull against what we want to move  towards. We force what we want to have, be it health, love, money, happiness – the list in endless. What if we slow down and remember that we are all made  mostly of water – so our natural state is fluid – like water.  Water moves, sometimes in waves, sometimes in ripples. Even when it seems perfectly still there is always a tiny minutia of movement as the water breathes and holds life within it.

I have been playing with that idea for the past few weeks. When I feel anxious or tight I think ” be like water” and I breathe into it. Its softens me, lets go of the edges. To increase my connection with water I made sure I was around water a lot this summer. Lakes, rivers, ponds whatever I could get near. Even just putting my feet in and feeling the calming energy of the water was enough. Listening to the waves and staring out as far as I could along the edge of the horizon seemed to create a feeling of ease within.  I feel that something has shifted in me since I’ve been consciously incorporating water energy  into all that I do.

Since surgery my spine had been tight and sore and it affected my entire body. I stayed stiff to protect my spine for fear it would fracture again – but I have let go of that fear a little bit . Wow what a difference. I can feel my strength returning just by softening and allowing my body to find it’s fluidity and it’s own organic movement. The “constant dance” as Amba put it.

This idea of being open to movement and change and being fluid applies not only to our physical bodies but to our thoughts and emotions as well. Sometimes we get fixated on things, ideas or ways we want something to be. We get so wrapped up that it’s hard to unravel even it we want to. That is where you can apply the idea of being like water again and finding a flow. Try letting things move and transition in a softer way in your mind and in your daily life. Allow a sense of wonder and possibility, a grey area instead of just black and white. The qualities of water are seamless, flexible, continuous, variable, open and of course life giving.

A few ways to play with the concept of discovering a softer more fluid side of yourself in the everyday:

  • Allow  your breathing be fluid and not sharp, notice when it is getting stuck and give yourself a few moments to just breathe.
  • Allow your movements be fluid – notice it you are grasping your hands, your neck or your jaw.
  • Try and let  your thoughts be fluid and not fixed – discover mindfulness, be in the moment without resisting.
  • Let your meditation and yoga practice not be rigid but instead let it flow in a way that feels good for you.
  • Allow your health goals to  be open to change,movement and all possibility.
  • Allow  your career path to  be open to change and  transformation – even thrive in it!
  • Be near water as often as you can. Lakes, rivers the ocean – they each have their own healing energy.

…….and of course drink water – hydrate your vessel from within.

 “Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”  - Margaret Atwood from the Penelopiad