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Lavender to Support the Challenges of Change & Intense Times


These photos I took of lavender in the International Peace Garden were some of my favorite and partnered well with the essence of peace and sense of calm experienced and symbolized by this place we visited and received clarity of direction in our journey. And with the intensities and transitions many are experiencing, I felt to share about lavender again as one way to support self-nurturing and help you to relax into the flow of life more with ease and embrace through the intensity of energies, over-stimulus of things in the environment, or the challenges of change.

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There are many ways you can use lavender, but no matter how you are called to you’ll find it’s nostalgia to bring to mind long summer days, nature’s magick, childhood memories, nurturing baths, tender moments, and of course our enchanting Faery friends.

However you bring some lavender into your experience, your life will increase in enchantment, you will find another way of connecting to nature that will heighten your sense of honor, gratitude, and partnership with Earth, and you will experience a greater sense of centered peace and calm.

If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety in life right now, try taking a lavender-infused bath, have a lavender massage, use an oil burner to fill your space with lavender breath, enjoy some deep breaths of lavender steam inhalation from essential oil placed in a bowl of hot water so you can breathe the vapor, soak your feet in lavender oil infused warm water, enjoy lavender body care and natural household products, tuck an aromatic sachet of it under your pillow, by your meditative altar, or in your dresser drawer, make a lavender compress, place some lavender in a beautiful vase on its own or added to a floral arrangement to enchant your space and remind you of nature’s miracle, or simply enjoy some lavender tea and infuse your foods with lavender essence.

I love baking with lavender and find that it takes you on an “Eden experience.”

Lavender’s natural uses include relief of anxiety, nervous tension, and stress, as well as good for aches, pains, muscle and joint stiffness. If you’ve ever gone to get a massage you’ll note how lavender is most always used in your session.

In general, lavender is a powerful plant remedy with both physical and uplifting emotional benefits that include being a good sleep aid (helps with insomnia), aiding fatigue, good for insect bites and stings, mild burns and cuts, nausea and motion sickness, skin problems, sunburn, dandruff, cold sores, earaches, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps, infections, etc.

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Stress, Communication & Relationships ~ A Glimpse Into My Life Processes With Each


I recently had the honor of answering some questions as part of a survey to provide insight for a friend’s book in process of being written.

The topic is such a prevalent and recurring theme that I thought I’d share my answers here to provide some perspectives that might support others, as well as give you a little window and inside look at me, as I share some insight into my own life and how I’ve learned to process it for myself and within my relationship.

What’s the topic, you ask?

Well…stress, of course!

So many are plagued by stress in their lives and it can be debilitating if you don’t learn how to manage and process it in your life.

There are many ways to support you with managing and shifting your relationship with stress like energy work, counseling, coaching, massages and body work, exercise, yoga, healthy releasing, crystals, self-nurturing, slowing down, etc.

I provide some of my own below.

Here are the questions and my answers following in red.

What is stress to you?

Stress for me is creating ideas of what I think I need to be doing rather than following the flow of what is in my heart. Stress feels to be a way that we self-sabotage ourselves and allow ego conditioning to override our intuitive nudges. Stress is the stories we tell ourselves and what we allow ourselves to believe. It’s foreign to our nature, which is why it wreaks havoc on our bodies to go against what we feel.

What’s the first situation that comes to mind that would make you feel really stressed, that you have to encounter regularly?

When I have a lot of things and stimuli coming at me all at once.

Are you able to pinpoint why these things make you feel stressed?

Because they over-tax my sensitivities and I get overwhelmed with the immediate reaction of “how will I get it all done?” from the place of conditioned ideas. The idea of feeling overpowered by external things in that moment, rather than immediately realizing I control my response by the perspectives I have and the choices I make. Once I remind myself and step back into observer mode, I’ve learned that my process is to then retract within and feel into my natural energy, which isn’t the “stuff” around me. And then focusing on just one thing at a time, only looking to the immediate in front of me, and asking myself what is really important and what really isn’t. Stepping back into my essence and power, knowing that what is important to do will get done and the rest simply wasn’t important.

What are your top things to do to relieve stress?

Time spent with my rabbits, in nature, listening to music, doing my own sound healing, dancing, stepping back and going within to remember what is me and not me – what is my energy and not my energy, talking through it with myself and understanding my processes, communicating with someone dear to me to allow my energy to move through me, writing.

 

Relationships – Questions for Partnered Ladies

What are your main frustrations in your relationship?

Actually most of the frustration will stem from stress that one or the other might feel and THEN we can get easily triggered. This used to be very challenging when we didn’t have good communication or didn’t understand in the heated moments of stress how to support one another through it rather than take it personally. Now we do realize this so when it comes up we are able to have a healthy dialogue once we take a moment and realize what is really happening and it’s not about either of us. But it takes stepping out of ego even when things could easily go another way.

What are the main ways you feel your guy does not understand you?

He tends to operate more logically and I’m more about intuition and feeling, with belief based on an inner knowing rather than proof. So it can be challenging for him to understand my processes with things or how I feel so strongly about things that can’t be seen, but it’s simply because this is something he, himself, is working on incorporating more of into his life, as he really IS very intuitive and is in the process of cultivating that. So it’s just that it isn’t a regular experience for him yet. Just as I’ve had to learn to harness the gifts of both sides of the brain in a healthy partnership that knows when each is valuable and can support one another, bringing in wise discernment. So it’s just another way for ego not to get in the way of taking things personally or feeling like one has to defend or prove something, and to continue to be compassionate toward the places we are individually, and learning from each other the value of each perspective and approach.

When you have a communication breakdown, what are your strategies for resolving that?

We have made commitments to working as a team and seeing the relationship as teamwork that has the same goals and so we focus on finding the connective thread with what each of us is feeling or wanting to accomplish or express. When we see that our intentions are shared, we can then find a way together to bring both of our strengths to the table to get there. We also make efforts to really listen and be more present rather than being in our heads and trying to come up with a reactive thought when the other is expressing themselves. If one person is upset then that’s when we take turns being the one to hold the center for the other. Doing our best not to allow ourselves to take things personally or attack back, which is a reactive approach of defense that has been learned. Instead, we communicate from a place of saying things from the perspective of the other person…like “this is what I’m hearing you say” rather than projecting our thoughts. It truly is a journey and commitment to do this and sometimes it’s easier and quicker than others. Definitely hasn’t always been this way, but we have come a long way and the result is an enriched and deepened relationship because of the work we’ve committed to doing together. Relationships that have gone through challenges and have been able to work through things together can be some of the strongest, most beautiful, and loving partnerships. Having things always smooth, easy, and looking like some idea of “perfection” doesn’t necessarily equate to that.

Moss Landing ~ A Soft Place To Put Stress To Rest


20160121_161331_resizedAs we continue our journey, for those who are following along or just interested in different areas as either an already RV nomad, intending one day to be, or simply curious about areas to travel to, I’ll continue to post photos and little tidbits about each spot, along with what inspirations and reflections come through where I am.

20160121_161211_resizedWe came to land yesterday in Moss Landing, just 19 miles north of Monterey, CA. The RV park is different than our previous ones with views, but still quaint, park-like with grass areas, trees, and shrubs, very roomy and quiet (likely since off-season), and very well-situated.

We can see the tops of boats in the marina, still hear sea lions barking, and sea gulls all around.20160121_160845_resized

After touching down yesterday and setting up, we decided to get the lay of the land, which revealed how lovely our location was with a bunch of things all within minutes of walking.20160121_171213_resized20160121_171249_resized20160121_160258_resized20160121_171123_resized20160121_171132_resized

There’s this eclectic, old little town (where Hawk greeted me), a few small galleries, the marina (where sea lions were swimming), a bird sanctuary reminding me of the Back Bay in Newport Beach (Great Blue Heron showed up along with a pair of giant white Pelicans and many smaller birds, Sand Pipers, and Cottontail Rabbits), and a wonderful wide sand beach looking out at the vast ocean that has a sand bar that breaks the waves far out.20160121_165157_resized20160121_170513_resized20160121_170630_resized20160121_162158_resized

We even came upon an area where it appeared someone/others had just recently done a little sacred ceremony with Pelican feathers.20160121_164120_resized20160121_164214_resized20160121_164228_resized.jpg

A long walk just taking it all in with gratitude ended with stopping at one of the two Mexican restaurants – The Haute Enchilada Cafe ~ Social Club & Gallery – that are on either side of the RV park, for some happy hour appetizers and refreshments.20160121_171232_resized20160121_171503_resized20160121_171546_resized

They had fun brussels sprouts, squash blossom flautas, and guacamole topped with pomegranate seeds to accompany the chips and salsa – all local organic produce and some vegan and gluten free options. They even had a very spicy ginger beer for me. Woo!20160121_172853_resized

Both the staff at the restaurant and the RV park were all very sweet.20160121_171823_resized

The other Mexican restaurant is supposed to have a fresh fruit and veggie stand outside of it, so I’ll be sure to check that out today. We’ll only be here through Sunday, so plan to get into Monterey tomorrow for a little exploring on the Full Moon.

Until then, it’s another on and off rainy day here, which means another great day for work flow.

It also lends to deepening in reflection, which began yesterday on our walk, about the theme around stress.20160121_161821_resized

I’ve become so aware of who I am naturally, which is not the stressed, easily overwhelmed, nervous anxiety sensitive I learned and used to allow myself to be.

If I get moments of stress now, I am SO aware of it being a foreign presence that has temporarily come to visit my natural, flowing zone. Whereas before I would think and feel as if it WERE actually me and allowed it to control my life.

Now, I’m the constant observer of my life and recognize the energies and triggers that float in and know how to quickly have them flow right through and out again – thanking them for their gift.20160121_163728_resized20160121_163906_resized

I’m navigating the boat I sail and know how to shift my sails to go with the currents and wind. It’s taken years of work, but it’s paid off.

Stress isn’t an invader or something I fear, repress, or try to run from. Stress has become a helpful friend that reminds me instantly of what truly is important, gets my focus back on the here and now, and allows me to see any healthy fears I can simply turn into the courage to be more of myself by embracing and embodying.

“How you think and act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. When you choose to connect with others under stress you can create resilience. Now I wouldn’t necessarily ask for more stress in my life, but you can see it as another access to your compassionate heart and to your pounding physical heart to give you strength and energy. You can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges and remember you don’t have to face them alone.”  ~Kelly McGonigal, Health Psychologist

No matter what it is, whether stress, how you feel about yourself, or any part of your life, beliefs will play an important role in repatterning. It’s not the only piece to the puzzle, but shifting perspectives is a huge key to revealing more ease, more answers, and providing more empowerment instantly.

Of course there are other parts to this that play a role and different ways to help yourself process the stress, including the importance of balance, not purposely taking on a crazy amount of things thinking that you’re invincible, nor taking on things out of unhealthy reasons like guilt, victimization, self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, or martyrdom, for instance.

Yet what Kelly shares can begin a new inner dialogue of holistic support that will help to promote reduction in unhealthy stress perceptions that will lead you to healthier perceptions and increased connection, which ultimately puts you on the track to overall well-being.

When you become aware of something, you take back your power to be the “whole” person that you are and realize the perfection inherent in the bigger picture.

Here are pieces of my own experiences and insights on the perception of stress working “for” me and the importance of it leading me to connect with others in my post from a couple of years ago:

Stress, Overwhelment, Anxiety…Spirituality Isn’t An Immunity Pass, But Does Seed You With The Alchemy Of Awareness To Shift It

20160121_162225_resizedThe more we’ve been RV living, the evermore I’m deepening into embodiment of who I naturally am and for that I’m grateful.

Every time we land somewhere new I’m retrieving parts of myself and brightening the heart light within me.

Life has increasingly become balanced, peace-filled, integrative, and natural.

The gifts I’m learning and embodying, I know will continue to live long after this adventure comes to closure.

But in the meantime, I’m seeing how it’s supporting me to the next level of living in natural harmony that I needed and desired.

As I see these beautiful environments, the animals, Nature herself, and the creative expressions and myriad of experiences around me, they are all reflecting what’s innately within me.

From there I know I have the power to do with them as they were intended….return to me.20160121_164437_resized

There’s a soft, but potent energy here – I felt it as soon as we arrived with energy in my Crown – which has softened another layer of my understanding “stress.”

I hope that in sharing the wonder I am seeing through my eyes, that your own collective eyes will find the pieces of your truth in their reflection too.

Add a Little Lavender Love into Your Life


lavender benefitsThe nostalgia of lavender can bring to mind long summer days, nature’s magick, childhood memories, nurturing baths, tender moments, and of course our enchanting faery friends.

Perhaps it was yesterdays’ “summer-like” weather while we enjoyed a beautiful hike, or maybe it’s just been my own faery craving, but I decided to make some little lavender muffins last night to add to the morning pleasures we’ve been enjoying.

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My vegan, gluten-free lavender muffins and lavender-infused dandelion “honey” drizzled cornbread

Be it biscuits, scones, or cornbread, they’ve been much more fun with the lavender-infused dandelion “honey” that a little faery friend of mine freshly brewed up for me. 🙂 Thank you!

I’m currently not much for putting lots of time into food preparations these days, unless inspired or having a gathering, but am so grateful to have access to the plethora of healthy food options where someone like myself that likes to eat organic, non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free foods can find so much to satisfy that is easy and quick. 

And, personally, I love lavender-infused foods. Maybe it’s the faery me, but I find flowers and herbs very tummy-and-taste-satisfying, not to mention add a fresh zest that takes you on an “Eden experience.” I also gravitate to the more exotic kombucha flavors (over basic ones) that infuse such things as lavender, elderberry, hibiscus, orange peel, chamomile, fresh-pressed ginger, bilberry, honeysuckle, and red clover. 

But, on the topic of lavender, it is not only beautiful, fragrant, and calming, but also extremely powerful with many natural remedy uses, along with the yummy baking, gourmet cooking, and tea infusions you can enjoy it in.

You can explore its many uses online or in books, of which some include in food and drink, in body care and natural household products, in an aromatic sachet, in flower arrangements, essential oils, and remedies, as well as you can create your own. I find that everyone is unique and there are different things that work in different ways for each person. So while you can find much information on lavender uses out there, it’s always good to find what works best for you.

For instance I love lavender in my food and drink, and the fragrance is very enjoyable to me, however when it comes to essential oils, I have personally found peppermint to be my go-to over lavender for soothing clarity and fresh relief that feels both calming and invigorating to me. There just isn’t a black and white guideline you must stick to except your own body’s gauge.

That being said, lavender is known for many to be most useful for relief of anxiety, nervous tension, and stress, as well as good for aches, pains, muscle and joint stiffness. If you’ve ever gone to get a massage you’ll note how lavender is most always used in your session.

In general, lavender is a powerful plant remedy with both physical and uplifting emotional benefits that include being a good sleep aid (helps with insomnia), aiding fatigue, good for insect bites and stings, mild burns and cuts, nausea and motion sickness, skin problems, sunburn, dandruff, cold sores, earaches, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps, infections, etc. 

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Everyday Miracles by Tania Marie

So if you’re feeling the need to nurture yourself a bit more these days because of the intense energies, over-stimulus of things in the environment, or the challenges of change, perhaps lavender may be one way that supports you to relax into the flow of life more with ease and embrace.

Try taking a lavender-infused bath, have a lavender massage, use an oil burner to fill your space with lavender breath, enjoy some deep breaths of lavender steam inhalation from essential oil placed in a bowl of hot water so you can breathe the vapor, soak your feet in lavender oil infused warm water, make a lavender compress, or simply enjoy some lavender tea. 

However you bring some lavender into your experience, your life will increase in enchantment. You will find another way of connecting to nature that will heighten your sense of honor, gratitude, and partnership with Earth.

Keeping Your Glow Rather Than Burning Out


Often, I’ve been guilty in the past of  blowing myself out energetically and hence, physically, by getting myself out of balance. Then it takes time to replenish, regroup, and start anew. I’ve been known for being an extremist, although I saw it as driven passion that didn’t let anything stand in the way. There’s nothing wrong with committed drive to do what it takes to create what you desire, however when the drive exceeds the natural flow and synchronous timing that comes from the presence of being in heart and divine alignment, then chances are a burnout will take place in some way.

We all have things we feel important and called to do, yet sometimes we get in our own way and contrive timelines and “shoulds” that might otherwise be “coulds” if we lessened up on the accelerator a bit. Staying very presently aware of, and taking time to integrate, the messages and signs both your Higher Self and Universe are supporting you with, would provide a healthier approach, fresh perspectives, and perhaps bring new paths to the journey that may void some of what you deem necessities, or lead you more quickly to intended results.

There is an insatiable desire to do all and be all, rather than enjoying each moment of the journey and realizing this is not necessary. And sometimes you create blinders to any helpful signs and nudges along the way, as well as forget to ask for help, or nurture your well-being. It’s wonderful to be focused; it’s counter-productive to inflexible.

It also isn’t helpful if you are working against yourself by having one foot on both sides of the fence, believing you can do it all. It’s silly to think this doesn’t catch up with you. It creates the feeling of running in place, since every step forward feels tugged by two steps back. If you decide to create new things, then you must make peace, at the least, with the old and find a way to see it in the light of a gift that has fostered this new to birth. When you make peace within, then you have more energy at your hands to utilize for all you intend, without it being eaten up by frustrated inner turmoil. You then also are not using up all of your energy needed to create the new while shifting the old into closure.

Equally important in all of this is to find balance in your life, which at first will have to become a disciplined practice to reteach yourself how to make it natural again, and avoid extremes that can deplete you. That doesn’t mean you won’t have times when inspiration hits in bursts, but if you maintain a balanced, natural, and more nurturing daily life the rest of the time, these won’t blow you out the way they would if you didn’t. They also then become a natural alignment with the ebbs and flows of your life, rather than self-created. Eating healthy foods, combined with time in nature, gentle exercise, good sleep, quiet inner time, some light fun, spiritual stimulation, creative expression, being open to new experiences and perspectives, and practicing presence, patience, love and compassion, all will aid in keeping you glowing rather than burning out. And this results not only in raised quality of life on all levels, including longevity and youthful vigor, but will support more magic and synchronous opportunities to manifest in your life.

I can personally share that my past experiences of burn outs are just that, in the past. It has taken a lot of discipline putting to practice all that I shared above, but now my life is naturally flowing in this regard and the daily stresses I used to feel, have dissipated. Stress is an unnatural pressure we self-create. The more I have stepped into my natural flow and “beingness” I am at a soul essence level, the more peace I experience not only in my personal experience, but in relation to outside experiences as well.

All this to say, be lovingly present with yourself, as often you don’t realize the risks of setting the world on fire until you get smoke in your eyes and you’re about to crash. And there is the tendency to not pay much attention to burnouts since they aren’t always dramatic like a heart attack or life threatening disease. However, you don’t want it to get to that point, so better to take heed of the warnings. Long periods of too much overwork, overload, self-created pressures, time restraints, going against your natural inclinations and intuition, minus creating balance with the things above, is bound to lead to disastrous experiences of physical, mental and emotional burnouts.

Here are signs of a burnout and a few words from Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy:

  • Sense of complete exhaustion at the end of a long, challenging and intense project
  • Illness including a bout of flu you can’t shake to chronic fatigue syndrome and usually accompanied by depression
  • Going to bed exhausted every night and waking up tired every morning and no amount of sleep refreshes you
  • Everything becomes too much effort: combing your hair, going out to dinner, visiting friends, even going on vacation
  • You can’t believe, under any circumstances, that you’ll ever want to make love again
  • You find yourself cranky all the time, bursting into tears, or going into fits of rage at the slightest provocation
  • You dread the next phone call
  • You feel trapped and hopeless, unable to dream, experience pleasure, or find contentment
  • Neither big thrills nor little moments have the the power to move you
  • Nothing satisfies you because you haven’t a clue what’s wrong or how to fix it – because everything is wrong – because something is terribly out of whack: you
  • You feel there is not one other person on the face of the earth who can help you

And you’re right. 

When you’re suffering from burnout, you are the only person on earth who can help because you’re the only one who can make the lifestyle changes that need to be made: to call a halt, to take a slower path, to make a detour. When you have no strength left, you have no choice but to rely on the strength of a saner Power to restore you to Wholeness. In the pursuit of our souls, Spirit takes no prisoners.

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