"There can never be peace between nations, until peace is first known within the souls of men."
Now is the time for peace.
And I don't mean now as in today. Or as in "enough is enough, it's 2017, it's time for peace already"
I mean now, as in right now, in this moment. And in all the moments that have come before and are still to follow. Now has always been the time for peace. In fact, peace should be the only option in all moments and all times. There simply is no other sustainable choice. If we cannot live in peace, then we risk not being able to live at all.
And that's true literally as well as figuratively. If we cannot achieve peace within, then we cannot live our best and fullest life. If we are not at peace within our hearts, within our minds, then how can we hope to be at peace in our actions? And if we cannot be at peace in our actions, then how can we hope to live in a world at peace?
Thankfully, the physical practice of yoga (asana) was created to prepare to body to achieve just that. We move the body in all these odd, twisted and backwards seeming ways, in order to prepare the body to sit in meditation. For it is only in meditation (in some form) that we find peace. Sculpted shoulders, a strong core or being able to put our legs behind our heads are nice side effects. But the real purpose of asana is to prepare the body to find true peace within.
The poses we practice on our journey towards peace depend on the type of peace we are seeking. For a rooted, grounded peace, tadasana (mountain pose) with the hands in Anjali mudra (heart offering), channels the powerful, earth based calm of the mountain. If we crave a more cerebral peace, or a quieting of the mind, inversions like headstand (sirsasana) or shoulder stand (sarvangasana), or a simple bent knee uttanasana (forward fold) will take you there, delivering a fresh flow of heavily oxygenated blood to the brain and nervous system. And of course lotus pose (padmasana) and sitting cross legged (sukasana) are the ideal seats for meditation.
Similarly, the best use of doTERRA's Peace oil will also depend on the type of peace you most need. Seeking a calm and quiet mind? Place a little Peace on you third eye (center of your forehead) and temples before meditation. Craving a more nurturing sense of peace, or perhaps just a good night's sleep? Rub some Peace onto the soles of your feet and wrap them up in some cozy socks.
doTERRA's Reassuring Blend is a mix of the roots and flowers that provide the greatest capacity for relaxation. Vetiver, Lavender, Clary Sage, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense, when used aromatically or topically, encourage the release of fear and anxiety and promote feelings of peace, contentment and reassurance. When used in tandem with a meditative practice, Peace can help bring about a release of excessive earthly attachments, and instead foster a connection to something beyond the self, something intangible, which can bring true and lasting inner peace. And that's the kind of peace this world so desperately needs. And we need it now.
"Peace is a divine quality. One who is united to the Peace of God is like a lovely rose, spreading around him the fragrance of tranquility and harmony."
"It's so much darker when a light goes out, then it would have been if it had never shone."
Anyone who has ever experienced grief, knows how intensely it can collapse you. How it can pull you down so deep that you cease to see the light, and begin to question whether it was ever really there.
Grief comes in waves. Like the ebb and flow of the tide, grief comes in, shatters your world, and then it dissipates. You put the pieces back together, only to see the wave return, sometimes even stronger than before.
Grief come in different forms, just like loss. It can be obvious or it can be subtle to an outside observer, but inside it feels the same - devastating.
And grief hurts, it physically hurts. The knot in your chest or the lump in your throat, an intense feeling of tightness or heaviness, these are the very real physical manifestations of grief.
In the language of Yoga, we might describe these as blockages in the energetic body (Chakras) that stop the flow of Prana (life force energy).
In the language of Science, we recognize that the brain translates the stress of grief into a chemical reaction in the body. Just like the feeling of love correlates to an increase in the "feel good" hormones, like dopamine and oxytocin, the loss of love causes a dramatic drop in these, and an increase in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
And while it's true that only time will heal a fractured heart, there are some beautiful ways in which we can help it along.
In Asana, we can find gentle backbends in low lunges (anjaneyasana) or on the belly (salabasana) to encourage the heart to re-open. Or we can find a supported paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) if it needs a little more time.
Adding a few drops of doTERRA's Console to your chest and pulse points can increase the healing capacity in these asanas. As can diffusing Console while you mediate or sleep
Console, doTERRA's unique blend for comfort and reassurance, is made with some of nature's most fragrant trees and flowers. Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Rose all contain chemical components that provide grounding and renewing elements to aid in releasing the emotional burdens of past or present hurt and to facilitate rest, patience and hope.
And remember... "The pain of grief is just as much a part of life as the joy of love. It is perhaps the price we pay for love."
~ Dr. Colin Murray Parkes
Geranium is known as "the poor man's rose," but, as a self professed "rose expert" and Shakespeare fan, I can honestly say that which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.
Used by the perfume industry for centuries, (and used by women since ancient Egypt) it is easy to find sweet smelling Geranium oil in lots of natural (and not so natural) stores. But it's important to know that the quality and purity of all of doTERRA's oil supersedes anything you may find in a store. (https://doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-doterra-living-spring-2014-testing-for-quality) There is nothing in this little bottle but pure geranium essence. And when an oil is this pure, it's uses multiply exponentially.
Geranium oil is my go-to oil for all things skin care related. I add a couple drops to some coconut oil every morning and night, and apply over my face and heart. My skin glows and is so soft to the touch. And Geranium is such a gentle oil, one of the safest to use on the sensitive skin of babies, that breakouts and clogged pores are never an issue. You won't find a more cost-effective facial moisturizer.
Bonus...Geranium is the oil of love and trust. It can help restore confidence in the goodness of others and bring about forgiveness and restore trust that's been lost. Inhaling the sweet scent of Geranium can help heal a broken heart, soften anger and release grief, and how could you not want that in your facial moisturizer? Geranium leads us away from the logical, thinking mind and into the warmth of the nurturing heart. Does your fancy skin care do that?
Plus, it diffuses very well with the herbal or citrus oil families to release stress and bring a sense of peace and hope.
And when added to massage oil (doTERRA AromaTouch anyone?) Geranium oil can make for a sweet aphrodisiac for you and your lover. You can also add it to your natural deodorant routine because nothing kills the romance like BO.
The scent is strong, and at first, with my imagination clouded with promises of roses, I wasn't crazy about the smell. It was like roses, but not. But I knew Geranium did wonders for the skin (and hair when added to your shampoo) so I pressed on. And I am so glad I did. I've grown to love the smell, mostly because I feel instantly happy after using it, but also because I came to appreciate the difference between Geranium and rose. It doesn't smell "kind of like roses," it smells like geraniums, and geraniums are delightful.
And while these little flowers can no doubt grow most anywhere, doTERRA has found the ideal harvest location for their Geranium oil on the island of Mauritius. Now I'll admit I had to look that up, only to discover that this tiny island nation off the coast of Madagascar is my idea of island heaven, so I will be spending my next vacation in Mauritius, with my Geranium oil of course.
(If you're interested in my claimed rose expertise, check out my line of rose petal bead malas and rosaries: The Rose and the Lotus www.etsy.com/shop/theroseandthelotus)
Coming from the majesty of the Pacific Northwest, doTERRA Peppermint is like no other peppermint I've tried before.
The perfect blend of bite and delight, it's no wonder Peppermint is the oil of buoyant and joyful heart. One whiff and the world is yours. You are focused, invigorated, and freed from fear and doubts. Super helpful during any sort of challenge or exam, and a big help on long drives across country!
I literally use Peppermint oil everyday. It's almost always mixed with my lemon water in the morning, (remember, one drop Peppermint to 3 drops Lemon, Peppermint can get intense quick!)
And my doTERRA Peppermint beadlets go with me EVERYWHERE!
I won't leave home without them. I pop one the instant I feel a headache or tummy trouble coming on, or of course for a quick breath freshener. (again, 1 is enough!)
And diffused with Lemon and Lavender during the worst of the mid-Atlantic's allergy season? Literal sanity saver. (same blend works dabbed behind the ears too, and smells delightful)
I'm looking forward to making a mister for the summer months - Peppermint mixed with Lavender, Frankincense and distilled water - and attempting a natural bug spray - mixed with Lemongrass. And adding a couple drops to my shampoo for an invigorating scalp massage? Yes please!
Mamas, good to know - while Peppermint is great for congestion and respiratory troubles, the high menthol levels make it unadviseable for littles under 6. At least as respiratory support, as it can slow breathing. I DO use it on my little one as a fever reducer. One drop diluted with coconut oil and rubbed on the soles of her hot little feet instantly cools the body. Good for sunburns too, just always dilute with a carrier oil, and one drop at a time. Even for all you mint lovers out there!
Working direct with local farmers, doTERRA sources it's Vetiver from some of the poorest areas of Haiti. Unlike other grasses, the root system of Vetiver grows downward, making it an ideal crop to prevent soil erosion and assist in soil stabilization.
And this unique growing system is also why Vetiver is the oil of descent. It helps you go deep and uncover the root of a deep seeded, emotional issue. Vetiver helps bring relief, but not through avoidance. It challenges ones need to escape and instead assists in a deep connection to the physical world and the emotional body. Vetiver is a key oil in fostering self awareness and aiding in recovery.
As Vetiver is the oil of grounding and depth, it is also a wonderful tool to help with sleep, making it deep and restful. But a little Vetiver goes a long way! One drop diffused with lavender while you sleep, one or two drops in a warm bath, or my personal favorite - rub a drop of oil on the bottoms of my big toes. (in reflexology, the big toe is the key to good sleep https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21028/diy-foot-reflexology-for-your-best-sleep-ever.html)
But what makes doTERRA Vetiver so unique is the system of sourcing, known as Co-Impact Sourcing. Vetiver thrives in some of the poorest regions of Haiti, where soil is at its worst. But high quality oil is very labor intensive to produce, and the Vetiver roots take 16-18 months to mature. Not ideal for a impoverished family. The need for quick payment often means farmers will harvest the Vetiver before its ready, which can lead to sub-par product, which then leads to sub-par payout for the farmers. doTERRA has formed growers collectives on he ground in Haiti to not only provide training as to proper harvest practices, but to implement a favorable payment schedule and offer incentives for superior quality product. That in turn encourages more sustainable farming practices and provides a better quality of life for those who are struggling. (https://doterra.com/US/en/difference-co-impact-sourcing-vetiver-haiti). And as the consumer, we end up getting the best quality Vetiver possible.
So everyone benefits. Corporate Compassion...it can actually exist!
Grown in the scenic, dreamscape groves of Sicily, the doTERRA Lemon oil is definitely one of my most used daily oils.
So the juicy stuff first: Lemon is the oil of focus. It nourishes the mind and helps you stay mentally present in the moment. It dispels confusion and brings clarity, and can be helpful with learning difficulties, as it calms fears and insecurities and inspires curiosity and playfulness. Lemon oil can bring a buoyancy to the heart and it infuses the soul with energy and light. Plus, it never fails to make me smile, and has become an important part of my daily self care rituals.
Every morning, before I leave the house, I fill a mason jar with water and add 3 drops of Lemon oil. It wakes me up, lifts my spirits and jump starts my metabolism. And it's so refreshing. Sometimes I'll add Peppermint or DigestZen to start my ever cranky tummy off on an extra positive path.
And every evening, I mix one drop Lemon with a drop of Frankincense and some coconut oil and gently (and carefully) dab under my eyes in an attempt to brighten the dark brown circles under my eyes. *As Lemon oil can make the skin photosensitive, I only do this at night.*
(Side note: It's definitely an experiment at the moment. Lemon oil is known to have skin brightening properties, and Frankincense can help rejuvenate the skin. After two months, I have seen some lightening, or maybe the skin is just healthier now. Either way, I have noticed I am willing to go with little to no makeup much more frequently these days.)
Some great other uses I'm pumped to try:
Mixed with coconut or olive oil, it can be used on scratched wood floors.
Added to a wet wash cloth and tossed into the dryer with a forgotten load of laundry.
I'm not "pumped" to use it to get gum out of hair, but real glad to know that it's a great anti-sticking agent.
"It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health."
~ Maud Grieve, noted herbalist
So I have discovered the essential oils path to ultimate bliss - in savasana, in mediation, in life! It's a grand claim I know, but hear me out...
For the last month, I have been using doTERRA Frankincense oil on my students during savasana, and the effects have been palpable. Everyone walks out feeling more relaxed than usual, and it's generated a great deal of interest in essential oils from my students. Frankincense is like the "gateway oil." It's so unique, so special, so powerful - it's effects are felt almost instantly, and stay with you every time you get a hint of it's fragrance throughout the day.
Khalil Gibran said it best: "Frankincense...though fashioned of dreams...is food for your soul."
Trouble is, as we use it pretty liberally at home too, I'm going through my Frankincense really quickly. And as expected, given it's all around specialness, it's an expensive oil, even at the super generous doTERRA wholesale prices. And this mama is on a budget.
So I was trying to sort out a way to extend the life of my supply, without depriving my students of it's potent and powerful qualities. And I started thinking - Lavender is also a delightful oil to aid in relaxation. And while it might not be as "exotic" as Frankincense, it's effects are just as powerful.
But what do I do...should I mix the two and just do a straight blend? Should I alternate each week? Or is there a better option?
Well, with a little reminder from high school biology and I came up with my answer - use both, together but separately.
The left side of the brain is the center of cognitive reasoning, logical thinking, and all around smarts. But that also means it's a hotspot for stress, overthinking and obsessive thoughts. Lavender would do wonders there!
While the right side of the brain is the home of creativity, imagination, intuition and holistic thought. Frankincense would be just the ticket to inspire us towards our most open-minded selves.
So with my students comfortably resting in savasana, I went to each of them with a drop of lavender on my left thumb,* and a drop of frankincense on my right. Starting at the third eye, right in between the eyebrows, I swept my thumbs across their foreheads, along the browline to the temples, then back again and up and over the crown of the head - touching on both the 6th (intuition) and the 7th (divine light) chakras. And wow, what a bliss followed! In fact, I let them out a little late because I didn't have the heart to rush the savasana and final meditation. Not with a combo like that in the air and on the mind.
So come to class and give it a try. And tell me I'm wrong in my promise of absolute bliss...at least for a moment. Because sometimes, a moment is all we need.
*solo advice - use your index finger instead of your thumb
I love incorporating doTerra essential oils ~ and all things holistic and natural ~ into my life, my home, my practice and my classes.