7.20.2018

Three Ways to Cleanse your Sacred Space

Creating a safe and sacred space for yourself is one of the key parts in mediation.  You don't need to dedicate a whole entire room or do anything elaborate - you just need to create a safe space for yourself where you feel comfortable and calm.

As we go through our lives, emotions & energies can become attached to us.  These emotions and energies can also become trapped in our homes, bedrooms, & work spaces.  Any place we inhabit (especially with others) can build up stagnant or not so nice energies.  If you've ever come home from a long day of work and just can't shake the stress or have had a fight with a friend or companion and just cant get rid of the emotions you've experienced this energy attachment.  Sometimes it's not bothersome to us but sometimes it weighs us down.  Cleansing yourself & your space of these energies can often lift this weight from you and bring a sense of calm or freshness to your space.

You can find many clearing rituals online or you can create your own.  Often the best way to get started is to find a ritual that you resonate with and adapt it to your own lifestyle.  As you go through the cleansing a few times you may find yourself adding or subtracting parts as it suits you.

Since starting my meditation practice, I've found that doing a little energy clearing ritual prior to my sessions gets me in the right head space for what I plan to be doing.  Animals - and we are animals -are very sensitive to smell & to habit.  Think of Pavlov's dogs - when they were fed a bell rang.  Eventually the dogs associated the ringing of the bell with food and began to salivate at the sound of it.  This is how ritual can begin to affect us.  Our clearing rituals will begin to trigger in us an emotional shift getting us ready for the next task at hand.  As humans, we have a more complex understanding of our emotions and thus can begin to use the habit-turned-ritual process to tap into our higher selves and create a more mindful & spiritual bond with our actions & surroundings.

How to Cleanse your Space

There are three common ways to cleans your space but if you find that something else works for you entirely, then go for that.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to creating a safe and loving space from which to work.

Smoke

Most commonly you'll find references to Smudging.  Smudging has been misappropriated by those involved in New Age and NeoPagan circles.  Often those insisting on smudging are imitating what they believe to be sacred ceremonies from various First Nations and Native American culture.  It is common to see 'smudge sticks' sold commercially in new age shops around the country.  These ceremonies differ vastly between First Nations communities and the 'simple' energy clearing or blessing rituals seen as outsiders can not be replicated with in the homes and spaces of those not involved in these communities nor by those who have not been religiously trained.  Smudging and 'ritually cleansing a space or person with smoke' are at the core, not synonymous. (Read more about the misappropriation of smudging here.)

However, one can use smoke as a way to cleanse your space if done respectably. Using smoke in ritual and religious practice isn't limited only to First Nation & Native American traditions, cultures and communities across the globe use smoke & the burning of herbs in ritualistic practices.  Inherently, the use of fire (and thus smoke) is ingrained in us as our primal ancestors first saw into the darkness.  Smoke is mystical and smoke is magical simply because of the way it floats.

Using smoke to cleanse your home - specifically the burning of certain herbs - can be done by choosing herbs in correspondence with either the energy you'd like to banish and/or the energy you'd like to bring in.  Energetically something like Palo Santo smoke can be used for neutralizing a space.  The smoke of this wood is thought to simultaneously clear negative energies while creating a space of calm for mediation practice.  You can also choose to burn something like lavender to bring in good energies of communication or frankincense to bring in energies of abundance.

Sound

Again, most commonly you'll find references to Tibetan Singing Bowls in many new age shops.  From my personal research I can not find any one specific people, religion, etc that exclusively uses this object but approaching these singing bowls with respect is the key here.  The over all theme of this post is to encourage you not to imitate what you see but to interact with your own spirituality.  Using a singing bowl to clear energy is a very rhythmic way to connect in with your space.

Generically referred to as a standing bell or singing bowl. these metal (or crystal) objects resemble upturned cups and can be played either by striking the side with a mallet or by running the mallet along the rim.  The even tone created by these bowls is inspiring & grounding.  The benefit from these singing bowls comes from the vibration emitted.  Using these in your sacred space can create a place of calm & tranquility.

Another way to use sound that is easily available is clapping or banging.  While not a great way to create a tranquil space, you can pair clapping or banging (like with a spoon onto a pot) with your smoke cleansing or visualization.  By becoming more energetic and sending these sharp vibrations into your space you can 'break up' stagnant energy or a stagnant feeling and push it out of the space easier. This might be better for doing a full house cleansing rather than a preparation for meditation.

Visualization

Visualization is the perfect way to cleanse a space of energies because you're relying on yourself and your personal power.  And you don't have to spend any money to utilize this tool.  This is a tool that is also personal to you - you can develop your own colors, visions, etc - so I'm going to share how I use visualization. 

To cleanse my space I usually start by visualizing a ball of white light around me like a bubble.  I fill this bubble with love, positivity, happiness, calm, etc then I send it out in pulses around me getting bigger & bigger.  Sometimes I'll use this to cleanse an object and thus only need  small bubble.  Most of the time though I'll do this around a room - like my meditation space - to prepare for card reading or meditation.  This is an especially helpful tool when you're somewhere that you can't burn or spray funny things.

When it comes to cleansing energy I've only stuck with white light to drive out what I don't want.  You can, however, start to develop a way to bring in energies you do want.  One of the ways to do this is to work with the Chakras, or energy centers, of your body.  While the idea of the Chakra system & energy body heavily resonates with me, I also acknowledge that it is not my word or system to use or appropriate.  These Chakras or Wheels of Energy correspond to different colors and I've been playing around with making my own color library to bring in certain energies I want in mys space.  For example the color correspondence for the Root Chakra is red and if I'd like to bring in stability energy perhaps I could envision red filling the space.

Since visualization is a technique that is unique to each person, creating your own library is important.  The power of visualization comes from with in you.  If you feel that you can't hold the image in your mind well at first, pair this technique with your use of smoke or sound or even your practice with essential oils so that you can begin to bring this as your backbone into your visualization.  I have a whole post on getting started with visualization right here.

Now that your space is cleared you can begin your meditation practice or just continue you life with a little peace of mind that your space is safe for you.  As I mentioned above, the intention of this post is to help you to develop your own rituals and your own practices so that you feel most connected to your higher or best self.  We are creatures of habit and we are creatures of ease.  It is easy to sink into the belief that a certain ritual is the only way and thus we continue to imitate it.  It is also easy for us to say 'hey I like that, I'm going to do that'.  But we need to understand boundaries and the sacred space of ancient traditions that may not be our own.

I hope this post was a little bit helpful for you and that you learned a bit when it comes to cleansing your space & being respectful.

How do you cleanse your space? What rituals have worked for you?
xoxo, Moe

7.09.2018

Six Easy Ways to Live a Sustainable Summer

Its a journey I accidentally started and a journey I'm loving.  What journey am I talking about?  I'm talking about my accidental journey to being more mindful with what I use daily in an attempt to lead a more authentic life.  At the beginning of the year I decided to go cruelty free with my make up and that lead me down a spiral of trying to be more green with my living.  In this post I share how I've cut my reliance on paper towels & disinfectant wipes and now I want to share with you a couple of ways I plan to be more green this Summer.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

First off I want to say that it is all a journey.  I don't plan to live zero waste (yet I totally applaud those who do!).  I just want to be more conscious of what I do.  The fact that several cities have now banned the plastic straw and even more cities have banned the plastic bag has really pushed me to be the change I want to see.  But it isn't about being that girl who doesn't use bags and has her own straw its about genuine effort towards making yourself (and thus the world) a better place.  The easiest place to make change is in your own home right?  Then you can hope that your actions inspire others.

With that said, here are 6 ways to be more sustainable this summer: 

Reusable Aluminum Straws

I don't know about you but Summer often means a lot of drive-thrus and nights out.  I plan to refuse straws this summer as much as I can.  In addition to filling my reusable cup or water bottle for road trips, I plan to snatch up a pack of these to bring with me on summer vacation.  A lot of these reusable straws seem to be compatible with standard tumblers so you're not going to lose out on drinking from your favorite cup! 


Pack your own Travel Snacks

We all stop at the gas station or jump in the line at the airport for a quick travel snack, right?  Why not pack your own snacks?  I've got two reasons here - the first being sustainability and the second being its going to save you money!  Gas station and airport snacks can cost an arm & a leg so throwing some snacks in your bag prior to take off will mean you're saving your moolah.

You can bring snacks on a plane, no problem.  You might want to invest in these clear, reusable & resealable bags if you're bringing that sandwich in your carry on but for road trips (or a jaunt out on the boat) consider these super nifty beeswax wraps.  I am totally going to try to make some of these beeswax wraps in the future - Zach got some beeswax from a local beekeeper and we've been dying to try any & all projects with it!


Reusable One Cup Coffee Pods

This is something I've been doing for a while now when it comes to travel - using a reusable coffee pod for the Keurig.  Everyone I know has one so when I travel home I make sure to bring my k-cup and my coffee filters.  There is so much waste when it comes to these single use pods. I mean the whole body of that pod is plastic and you just toss it in the trash!  This is the brand I use and I can find them at Meijer or online from Amazon.  I also need to start using these at work instead of relying on the k-cups.

Compostable Cutlery 

We're all going to have a BBQ or two to go to this summer and there will be disposable cutlery galore.  I implore you this summer to invest in compostable cutlery & plates.  I purchased some for a small gathering but you can totally grab a giant box from Amazon.  This set is just under $30 for 100 forks, 100 spoons, & 100 knives.  Seriously, I think that is affordable!  Don't forget the plates & the cups, too.


Avoid Fast Fashion

Will that beach hat or cover up last through a few seasons of wear? Is it on trend enough for just one summer or classic enough for a couple?  This summer, avoid fast fashion like those dollar store flip flops or super trendy sun hat & opt for things that will last you a few summers.  Amazon has these amazing, natural rubber flip flops that look (and apparently feel) like your standard summer wear.  I know that LuLaRoe is technically a fast fashion brand but I've used the Lindsay kimono & Sara cardigan at the lake multiple seasons.  This means I'm getting both fall & summer use out of these guys!

Reusable Bags

Summer means outdoor markets and downtown shopping for a lot of us!  Heck even if you're just going to the mall consider bringing a reusable bag or two.  I like the ones that can fold up and fit right back into a smaller pouch so you can throw them into your purse.  Use them for groceries or for your handmade market finds.  Plus if you're going to the beach these guys can act as your wet bag form when you change from your swim suit.  The nylon often dries quickly so you can fold it right back up after you hang your suit to dry.


Like I mentioned above, for me this journey isn't about being perfect.  This journey is about realizing our impact & taking what we do seriously.  We can be mindful of our actions and make a conscious choice to change it.  These are just six ways to be more sustainable for the summer but I'm sure these guys can last you all year!


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My green journey started with my introduction to essential oils.  These guys are a great natural & sustainable way to help you with emotional & physical wellness (and there are a ton that are perfect for the summer!)  If you'd like to know more about the natural power of essential oils - use them in your cleaning routine, for your skin care, to boost immunity, etc - enter your email above to get a FREE copy of my ebook Getting Started with Essential Oils.

How will you live sustainably this summer?  What actions are you already taking?

xoxo, Moe

6.27.2018

The Ultimate Top 10 Essential Oils for Travel

Travel has become much more common in my life lately.  I've caught a lot of planes over the last few years - some to other countries but most were planes home.  I've also taken a ton of road trips and short weekend getaways.  Most of those trips, though, were with out my trusty essential oils!  It wasn't until about a year & a half ago that I started to use essential oils and now I can't imagine a lot of daily things with out these guys!
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Essential oils can offer a natural emotional & physical support system for us.  For the most part I like to focus on the way essential oils affect my emotional wellness but when I travel I also need some physical wellness support.  We're coming in contact with a lot of germs, we eat things that might not sit well with us, and we're under stress especially if we're on a tight travel schedule - and there are essential oils to counteract all the emotional stuff that goes a long with these physical things!  Here are my top 10 essential oils for travel

The Balance blend is a proprietary blend of spruce, ho wood, frankincense, blue tansy, blue chamomile flower, & osmanthus.  Known as the Grounding Blend, Balance truly does bring me back to balance.  This is one of the first oils I started to work with before joining doTERRA and it brings me into a meditative head space.  I think Zach picked this up at a health food store near us and I started to use it in my daily meditation practice.  Since scent is such a powerful connector to emotion, now when I inhale the scent of this oil I am immediately reminded of calm.
I use this oil in a travel diffuser but I also will just add a drop or two to my hands, rub them together, and inhale.  A few drops on your pillow with some lavender is a great way to drift into a calm sleep.

This blend is great to help boost your immunity while traveling since we're running into a lot of new to us germs & we're under a lot of travel stress.  I'm pretty sure half the reason we get sick sometimes is that we're just plain exhausted - so we need both physical & emotional support during travel to stay on top!  So I need to grab some of the On Guard sanitizing mist but right now I travel with both the On Guard beadlets (included in the Family Essentials + Beadlets enrollment kit!) and the On Guard touch roller.  
I'll use the beadlets as a daily boost while I'm traveling but I'll also apply the touch roller to my chest if I'm feeling a little tickle coming on.  This oil is a proprietary blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils so it's going to open your airways and it can help with a sore throat.  Now that it is summer time though, I'm thinking of just throwing a 5 ml bottle in my travel kit - since this blend contains a citrus oil I need to be careful not to apply it and then go in the sun.  Citrus oils are photoreactive and can cause serious burns if treated skin is exposed to UV rays.

Known as the Purification blend, this blend is great for year round travel.  Firstly, I use this guy to clear out yucky smells.  You can diffuse it to purify the air - like if where you're staying has a musky smell - or you can use this to get rid of odors on clothes.  I usually mix a spray bottle of water, Lavender, & Purify and spray on clothes as a fabric refresher.
Secondly, this guy is great - again with Lavender - to sooth irritations from bug bites!  It does have lemon & lime peel in it though so be sure be careful about sun exposure, might be best to apply this at night after a day of outdoor fun.

This is an oil I use for both emotional & physical support.  So Lavender can calm anxious feelings which I totally get before a flight.  Its not that I feel like something horrible is going to happen I just feel stressed about finding my seat, making sure my stuff fits in the over head bin, what if I'm in the wrong seat, what if I have to get back up, what if someone is in my seat....... I just get myself psyched out and that's not good for the nerves.
I travel with the touch roller of Lavender nearly everywhere (I use it on the daily) because of the ease of application.  The prediluted touch rollers make using oils on the go super easy.

The use of this one is many, many fold!  Firstly, I use this guy in my skin care.  I'll put a few drops in my toner, moisturizer, or even make up remover to sooth my skin.  It has cleansing properties so it's great to use to fight blemishes.  Skin care is the main reason I pack this guy each time I travel.
Secondly, it is also good to treat minor skin irritations - bug bites & small scratches.  This makes it a great replacement for the photoreactive elements of the Purify blend.  Add Melaleuca and Lavender together to sooth and calm any bug bite and treat those small scratches you may get from hiking or having fun in the sun.  

Thirdly, this essential oil is also great to purify the air and remove the stink from clothes.  I don't like how minty this oil smells sometimes, though, so I often choose Purify for this.


Citrus Bliss

This is my happy oil!  Citrus Bliss is the Invigorating blend - meaning its going to boost your mood and just give you the confidence to get going.  If ever I feel a bit down or I want to just get the heck up and actually go, I diffuse this plus a little bit of Peppermint.  Citrus bliss is a blend of all the happy citrus oils so it turns my mood around real quick.  

I use this oil on the daily as well.  Past Tense is in a roller bottle as well, however it isn't diluted with fractionated coconut oil like the Touch rollers are.  I don't separate mine into another roller bottle and dilute because I'm #lazy but you may want to do this especially since there are oils like Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Cilantro in this blend.  These 'hot' oils may cause skin sensitivity so they should be diluted especially on skin that is delicate - children or elderly.  So do as I say and not as I do...
But I use this oil to relieve tension in my neck and shoulders & to help with my headaches. The cooling sensation also makes it great for hot days.  PastTense is a blend of Wintergreen, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Cilantro, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Basil, and Rosemary so it's a good blend for all around wellness!

If ever I want to add pep to a diffuser blend I add a drop of Peppermint.  This oil just brightens any blend you add it to.  Need to get up & go? Citrus + Peppermint.  Need to relieve the stress of a long day? Floral + Peppermint.  Want to relieve tense muscles?  Tree/wood oil + Peppermint.  Digestive issues?  Herb oils + Peppermint.  Is it hot outside and you're hot too? Peppermint.
It's just an all around great oil to have in your arsenal.  Peppermint is one of the top THREE essential oils - along with lavender & lemon - that everyone needs to have!

Remember when I said that I get super nervous before a flight?  Well often that manifests as a tummy that is not very happy!  So I use a blend of Lavender and Digestzen to sooth my nervous stomach.  The Lavender helps me emotionally & the Digestzen helps me physically since a lot of the upset is all in my head!
When I eat something that may or may not sit well - like when we travel places with amazing food but I'm unsure my stomach will agree - I apply Digestzen topically to my stomach.  This blend contains Ginger which is a good way to combat nausea.  The other oils - Anise, Peppermint, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon, and Fennel aid in digestion.

In a pinch, like if you don't have Lavender, the scent of Digestzen can be calming as well...it's not a great scent but the chemical properties of this blend can promote relaxation.

Last but not least I use Frankincense.  The oils is an amazing oil!  If I need an uplift - Frank.  If I need some emotional support - Frank.  If I'm gonna put on my face moisturizer - Frank.  I have been packing the 5 or 15ml bottles that I have but I'm thinking of adding in the Touch roller for ease of application.
This oil can help with skin irritations, muscle soreness, sleep, and so much more.  It is such a versatile oil!


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Travel is an important & necessary part of my life and I plan to keep on keeping on so it's great to have a support system to bring with me.  When I travel by car, I usually just pack all of these guys together but when I'm flying I sort out the oils I may need while I'm at the terminal or on the plane - Lavender, Digestzen, On Guard, Peppermint or PastTense - and put those in a small plastic bag to comply with the TSA requirements.  The rest I'll pack in a make up bag in my checked luggage.  (ps I always check a bag because I don't want to have to lug it all around in the terminal! That relieves some stress for me!)

Want to learn more about essential oils?  Check out my Top 10 Essential Oils video here & find more oily posts on the blog here.

Ready to get started on your journey with essential oils? Click here to learn how to place your order.

What are your top oils for travel?

xoxo, Moe