So I turned 35 years old a couple months ago and it feels pretty good. I feel like I have had some challenges these past two years that have really caused me to pause and reevaluate my dreams, my vision, my mission, and even look back at where I come from and what I may still carry with me that does not serve me.. That being said, I have never been so aware of how blessed I am to be here on this earth and take up space and live full of heart with passions, dreams and desires and be the best mama I can be to Selah and Grayson.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about Amy Christine, one of my longest and dearest friends. I have been reflecting on just how much she impacted my life and how her legacy lives on through the memories I share with my kids and the stories I tell them about her. Selah asks lots of questions about her and often asks me if, she hears us from heaven... What I wouldn't give to get to have one more hug, one more coffee date... one more text message... one more running date with my double wide jogger, chatting about fitness, dating, ( I am just listening to all her dating mishaps)... nursing, amazing trips, adventures unfolding, running races, and faith.. We had the best talks about life and we did not always agree but we always understood one another and honored each other with compassion even in our differences.. We laughed til we cried and we cried til we laughed... I have shared some of the most intimate and painful times with her and and she sat with me in it. Amy was so gentle, and had a quiet courage that let me be a mess, and grieve my guts out when life felt like it was going to swallow me. She never left.
There will probably be a book written about this young lady and all that she accomplished and all the mountains she conquered, and rivers she navigated... She had a contagious laugh that you couldn't help but we drawn too and laugh with. She had a sarcastic, witty humor that got me every time.. she was ridiculously stubborn, and oh so so bossy.. she thrived when she was in charge, especially charge nurse. She was an outstanding nurse, who cared for her patients and paid close attention to every detail. The elderly gentlemen loved her and loved to tease her, she was all business but would always give a half smirk and her blue eyes twinkled. This girl was the most loyal friend i have ever known. She loved people and she pursued people, like nobody I have ever known. She added value wherever she went and more importantly created community everywhere. She was always organizing, inviting, and connecting people together. She was never catty, or jealous. She spoke life and created a band of warriors... She would always tell me who my next friend should be and I am forever grateful for that. She gave with such an abundance of love.
One of my most favorite memories was where this picture was taken. We worked the same days at the hospital and had a 3 day stretch off.. She asked if I wanted to go hike and adventure I said, "sure" reluctantly... not knowing what this would look like... Amy liked to cram a lot in during her days off. So we headed down to Seward and we hiked Mt. Marathon this evening, For those that don't know this is a world famous Mountain race that draws the best mountain runners in the world to conquer her in less than an hour. This mountain is short but oh so so steep and no joke on the knees coming down. I am so glad I did this on a bluebird day, it was breathtaking and left an imprint on my mind that I will never forget. We camped that night and the next morning we did a 16 mile run to Lost Lake, which is a beautiful mountain run through the mountains around several lakes, and looks like where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. .It was epic and such a beautiful late summer day. We showered in town at the laundry mat and then went and had oysters and a beer... I think my legs were shot... and she looks up at me with a twinkle in her eye and says, " lets head down to Homer for the night HOlls, and go to Halibut Cove."... that sounded so perfect, as I was wiped out.. So we did, and we took The Danny J, an old wooden boat to Halibut Cove for dinner....it was magical. Everything is made from scratch and the menu changes depending on the catch of the day. Fresh seafood, fresh salads with edible flowers on top to add color and flavor... amazing wine and freshly baked pies.... It's seriousl the best food. The boardwalk path around the cove is blissful and the horses were out roaming the hill. I did not want to leave.. its truly one of my favorite places on earth. We headed back to camp on the Homer spit and sit by a fire til late in the night chatting about life, being married, babies, nursing, and travel... and of course lots of political chats... she loved to talk about her political options with me... the next morning, Amy is up early and says, "Holls, lets go for an easy jog and grab coffee and head back home"... I reluctantly agreed as my legs were so stiff but I loosened them up with a run... After we grabbed breakfast we jumped in my 4- Runner and turned up the music and headed to Anchorage... It was such a beautiful day as we started to drive around the cliffs on the Turnagain Arm, I could feel Amy shift and move and I knew she was about to suggest another activity... I was hoping she would let it go but she didn't... Amy says, "you want to do something really crazy?"
"What are you thinking, Amy....?"
"Lets hike up Bird Ridge and just see how we feel and how far we get, but no pressure"...
I never wanted to be the wimp, even though I was often the more timid one... but seriously, I am sore, tired and happy but I needed a nap...
"Sure, as long as we can be chill"... I said.
Well sure enough we began hiking this steep mountain but by the time we were half way up, we couldn't turn around... to miss the view at the top would be just wrong... so we hiked Bird Ridge to close out our insane 3 days off and it was my first time going to the top of Bird Ridge... Today I am forever grateful for that trip with her and will always remember how much she pushed me and got me to do crazy things.
I will never forget the moment I found out you left this earth. It brought me to my knees and felt guttural, I couldn't breathe... there was so much snow and I had to pullover and just grieve until I couldn't anymore. I am grateful for the grief and loss I felt because you matter and it honors how much you meant to me. I still cry driving down the road or listening to Spotify on my runs... I still talk to you like your still here.. and the most beautiful gift is that I have treasures from you.. a doll for Selah, my pottery dish for my jewelry.... house decor and art.. all beautiful reminders of memories with you and I get to tell my kids about you and who you were and how much I love you. Selah plays with her doll and says, "Auntie Amy gave me this and she is in heaven but someday I will see her again"... I know I will see you again. You left an incredible legacy that I get to share with my baby girl and baby boy. You rose to the occasion and you played big... You challenged yourself and faced your fear, you felt it, you owned it, you talked about it and you walked through it. You taught me so much about life and about myself.. You encouraged me and challenged me.. I am a better person because of you. Your memory and your strength and courage lives on. I share stories about you and your character with my daughter and know that because of you I am more willing to push through hard things and to face my fears, my little girl will learn to be brave, to have courage and to have heart.
Love you to the Moon and Miss you Long Time Amy Christine~
I have been contemplating a lot lately, about life, about loss, about growth, about pain, about change, about seasons, about relationships, about being a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, an aunt, and really thinking about what legacy I want to leave and how I show up in this life. I have been on a long journey of self discovery, acceptance, and love. It has taken many twists and turns, and entailed a lot of grieving losses, and coming around to acceptance, which has then lead to a new found freedom that has given me the ability to take new actions and celebrate all of life's joys.
I have had to get really honest about the tape in my head that plays all of the negative messages... There is something to be said when you look in the mirror at yourself and see that little girl looking back at you. When you tell her how valuable and precious she is, its deeply moving. I cried the first time I did this.
This year feels fresh, new, and free... 2017 was extremely challenging on so many different fronts. It does not mean that this year will not be full of challenges, but I am getting my physical health dialed in and really caring for my emotional and spiritual health.. When all three are in balance, I am in the sweet spot of life.
My Affirmations for 2018:
"I am perfectly and wonderfully made."
"I trust myself."
"I am healthy, whole, and complete."
"I forgive myself."
"I receive love effortlessly".
"I believe that anything is possible."
"Life is working for me, and not to me. "
"I am brave."
"I am beauty."
"I radiate Joy."
"I love fiercely."
" I love YOU."
"I am Her."
I have these affirmations on my wall, in my phone, and in my planner.. Each day I look at them and say them multiple times of day... I am shifting the way I see myself and really coming to a place of believing who God has created me to be.
To get to this point I have had to come to place of acceptance that I was stuck and felt frustrated and wanted change. In this place God met me in my heartache and has been so gentle with me as I have pursued change.
When I am so aware of what I need to address and change, there is so much room for different actions to be taken.. It can be hard and messy but so rewarding because of the beautiful growth that takes place. I look back with so much gratitude and have more grace and love for myself today than ever and am in an place of loving the journey and not in a hurry to get to the destination. The key for me is to have people in my life to do this with, that are loving and safe.
This pictures right here is a treasure. I loved my wedding day with my bridesmaids so much. They celebrated me with so much love and support. I felt like a princess and will forever be grateful for each of these women. Each of them played a significant role in my life and have left a huge imprint on my heart. I share this because its so important to surround yourself with people that love you, celebrate you, encourage you and see you when you may not believe in yourself.
Here is a beautiful blend that I call, "I am Enough Blend". I love to use it when I feeling down, or having negative thoughts and just need to pause and reset. I love to apply to the back of my neck, or my pulse points to support self love, and acceptance. I take a 10ml roller and add:
Grapefruit: 24 drops
Eucalyptus: 16 drops
Coriander: 10 drops
Ginger: 6 drops
Cinnamon: 4 drops
Lemon: 2 drops
Lavender: 2 drops
Spearmint: 2 drops
Fill the rest with Fractionated Coconut oil, and enjoy!
First I would like to thank the talented Miss Holly Luiken, who took these lovely pictures with my littles and I. She is ridiculously talented and you can follow her IG @hollyluik.
There are so many oils that I use all the time but I am often asked, "What's your favorite? What oils do you use the most? What are your mama go-to oils".... there are a lot of oils I use on a regular basis... But if I had to narrow it to just 5 of my most used... These would be it.. They are supportive to both me and my littles. So here goes.
Balalnce: This is my most used mood blend that supports me and my babies both physiologically and emotionally. The warm and woody aroma of the Grounding Balance blend creates a sense of calm and well- being. This is a blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile with Fractionated Coconut Oil make this warm woody fragrance a favorite. The Spruce wood has emotional profiles that promotes tranquility and relaxation. Ho Wood, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile can ease anxious feelings, while Frankincense provides a grounding, balancing effect on emotions.
Frankincense: This is one of my favorites!!! Known as the "King of the Oils", its one of the most prized and precious essential oils, Frankincense has extraordinary health benefits. Used for centuries for its healing benefits, the Wiseman brought baby Jesus Frankincense and Myrrh. The ancient Egyptians used Frankincense resin for everything from perfume to salves for soothing skin. This centuries-old knowledge contributes to the modern uses of Frankincense today. It's amazing calming properties to the central nervous system, healing benefits to the skin, and support of cellular health to promote your overall wellness are just some of a few reasons as to why its such an amazing oil. I love to put a drop under my tongue in the am for immune boosting, and add a drop to my moisturizer.
Lavender: This is known as the "swiss army knife" of oils for most mamas.
Lavender has been used and cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume. Its calming and relaxing qualities, when taken internally, continue to be Lavender’s most notable attributes. Applied topically, Lavender is frequently used to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. Add to bath water to soak away stress or apply to the temples and the back of the neck. Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet to relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Due to Lavender’s versatile properties, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times.
Onguard: This guy is probably one of the most popular blends of all. I often hear people mention this oil if they have limited knowledge of oils. doTERRA On Guard protects against environmental and seasonal threats with essential oils known for their positive effects on the immune system when ingested. This powerhouse blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Cinnamon Leaf make it super effective and supportive. doTERRA On Guard can be taken internally on a daily basis to maintain healthy immune function and support healthy cardiovascular function. It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaner. When diffused, doTERRA On Guard helps purify the air, and can be very energizing and uplifting.
Note: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.
Peppermint: this is the oil that grabbed my attention and I fell in love with for so many reasons and I enjoy using all the time. . Its so supportive to mood, alleviates tension headaches... aides in stomach digestion, and is perfect before a hard workout. It is frequently used in toothpaste and chewing gum for oral hygiene. Peppermint also helps alleviate occasional stomach upset and promotes healthy respiratory function when taken internally. I use Peppermint every single day multiple times for a variety of things..
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to minimize any skin sensitivity. See additional precautions below.
Note: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
This picture brings me so much joy and was taken by my Uncle Bob Vincent. This spot right here in Southeast Alaska changes all the time, depending on the weather, the sunshine, the boats, the wildlife and every picture of this exact spot will be different... there are so many layers and variables to its' beauty. I have been marinating on a quote for a while now.
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
~ Victor Frankle
This last year has been really full and really tough. Some very special people left this earth, which left my heart so broken.. Learning to find a new normal from transitioning to a new home... learning to be a mother of two toddlers, quitting my job of 10 years, and really pursuing personal development while growing my DoTerra business, all while battling some major health issues.... I don't say all of this to be pitied... I say these things out loud so that I see how much I have walked through and to validate that life is not easy, and I can pause, breathe it all in, let it all out and give myself grace. This life is a gift and I need to remind myself of that daily when I am living in the mundane, it is there that I change and grow and make the most progress.
I have wanted to grow in my DoTerra business, and inspire, educate and empire my tribe and my leaders, I have often focused on the wrong things, and really honed in on the results I want, rather then evaluate my process and where I need to develop and grow. I have wrestled this last year and been frustrated and discouraged and then passionate and joyful. Its like a roller coaster of emotions, however, the constant has been change.. It has been uncomfortable most of the time, but oh so rewarding. This last month was such a gift, to grow and encourage my team, push through some huge blocks and hit a goal I have had my eye on since I started. When I was reflecting on what it took to get there, I realized that it was not the title that mattered, it was the journey that brought the sweetest gifts, because it wasn't easy, it was hard, and it required me to become quite comfortable with being uncomfortable... I treasure this life and all that it has.
I leave you with a beautiful blend I call my " Abundant Blend" : 2 drops each of Peppermint, Wild Orange, and Lavender in your diffuser. These oils have amazing emotional profiles that can support and foster communication that is needed, creativity, abundance, and optimism.
" When it comes to growth and success, immediate gratification is almost always the enemy of growth. We can chose to please ourselves and plateau, or we can delay our gratification and grow. It's our choice. " ~ John Maxwell,
I have been thinking a lot lately about personal growth and reading a lot of books that I have loved. However, I am tired... the journey can seem long and I find myself questioning growth... I am really tired and I need to make some shifts in how I perceive things and how I do life. My mindset and head chatter has needed to change and shift for a long time... I have made huge progress.... but I am somebody who always wants to rush the process and "be fixed".... I have learned that life does not work that way.... It is not about the destination, it is about being present one day at a time, one moment at a time in the JOURNEY.....
Learning to be aware of what is going on inside of me and how that effects my actions and how I do life. Wanting to keep the commitments that I make to myself and really learn to honor my dreams and desires and take the actions needed to move forward and grow. There is an old saying that I love: "champions don't become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there." It's so true, if you want to see where somebody becomes a champion, then you need to look at there daily life.... when they are in the spotlight of winning a race, or a boxing match... that is just the place where they are getting found out and seen, but the real making of a champion is in the day to day life where nobody is watching.....
Cheers to the daily grind of life where we make shifts in the small things that become habits and lead to the big wins in life...
This morning I am winning at mom life... being present, loving well, reading books and connecting....
My Mission is Greater than my Fear has been my "mantra" for the past two years.... or maybe even longer.... You see, I have battled fear most of my life but in the last five years, I have learned how to welcome fear, acknowledge that its in my life and learn to do life with it there and slowly the powerful grip that it had on me dissipates in various areas... as I continue to walk my journey knowing that I am afraid. Embracing the things that cause fear and validating my discomfort, has allowed me to be able to overcome things that use to cripple me. It has been quite a journey but I have received more gifts than I had ever imagined.
Fear is powerful, it can take over and really fuel our lives, for the good or for the negative, depending on how we handle it. We all feel fear, we all know it's there... we all manage it in various ways and we can either welcome it and get use to it or we run from it, until it overwhelms our lives.
One of my favorite therapists and authors, Chip Dodd, is quoted as saying, "Fear brings us strength. It is the feeling that allows us to experience risk, trust, dependency, collaboration, and ultimately, wisdom because it helps us realize our need for help."
I love this quote because I have been learning how to use my fear as my strength, to lead out of my vulnerability and to not have to be "perfect"... My desire to really live fully, and be fully alive and present is far greater than my fear of failure or doing it "wrong".... I feel most alive when I am trying new things, conquering heights, risking in relationships, loving fiercely, speaking my truth, being bold, and also letting myself be seen.
I love this picture because I am fully embracing this bump, and the excitement of becoming a mother for the second time. You see, I had a long journey with fertility. My husband and I lost 4 precious babies and then I couldn't get pregnant for a long time. The fears that I experienced during my journey in becoming a mother were gripping, debilitating at times and caused me so much anxiety and pain. I grieved and I grieved and I grieved.. I feared I would never be a mama... I feared I wouldn't be enough... I feared that I would always get pregnant and then lose another baby.... I feared that the depression wouldn't leave me... I feared that I was broken.... Through this heartache I learned how to grieve, how to face my fears and validate them but continue to walk through difficult situations with grace and dignity. I learned how to be vulnerable, which I am still working on today. I learned how to love myself. I learned that I am capable of way more than I had ever thought possible. Most of all I learned that I have a passionate and HUGE heart and I love hard and I grieve hard, and I can fight for what I want. I can grow, I can laugh and I can cry.... and I will live.... I won't die and I am loved. Through the losses and challenges I do not take it for granted for one minute that I get to be a mother. It has been the greatest privilege. My daughter was one of the most precious gifts I ever received and then my son was the most precious unexpected gift that I ever received.
Life is full of peaks and valleys, and its the valleys that give me deep gratitude for the peaks. Through it all, My mission of living fully and being fully present, and loving deeply is far BIGGER than the fears that use to hold me back. Life is too short and I have too many things to live for and to experience and to love.
Blend for Courage and Growth:
1 drop of Wild Orange
1 drop of Sandal Wood
1 drop of Grapefruit
1 drop of White Fir
Note: this amazing photo was taken by Marilyn Jeffers.
So I have been thinking a lot lately about what my purpose is and where do I find joy..... I have made some big changes in my life that have shifted my thinking... it has been super scary but very exciting at the same time. One of the things is quitting my nursing job for this season in life. I want focus on being a mama and on my AK Essential Wellness business.... this was SO hard for me to do...
I have never quit anything in my life... all the previous jobs I have had either came to an end because they were seasonal and I was in High School and College or I just transitioned to a new department or position....
I have learned so much these past 10 years working as an RN at Alaska Native Medical Center, and really I grew up there.... so many huge life events and shifts from when I started as a new grad RN at 24 yrs. young. :)
I will keep my license current and will work with patients again but for now I feel that I had to chose my priorities and do them well..
It has been difficult though... I have found myself questioning my decision when I am feeling exhausted, haven't showered, have had no adult conversations in 12 hours.... and changed one too many poopy diapers...
I started writing gratitude lists first thing in the morning a couple months ago and have quickly found how many blessings I have and my whole mindset shifts when I focus on all the good in my life and look at even the most difficult of situations as opportunities to grow and learn.
HERE IS WHERE I FIND JOY and ABUNDANCE!!!!
I LOVE the BEACH!!!! I love to smell the salty sea air, and to beach comb at low tied in Southeast Alaska. I grew up on the ocean, and its my most favorite place.... I grew up walking the beaches at every low tide I could as a little girl with my two brothers... looking for treasures.... glass balls are the epitome of OCEAN TREASURES!!!! I love to find unique shells that have been vacated by beautiful sea creatures... I love the salty sea air on my face, and watching the waves crash, while seals and sea lions splash... I like to refer to these memories as my "Eden Memories".... its where everything is well, and I find so much serenity and joy.
I LOVE watching my babies play and giggle together... My heart nearly skips a beat when they hug each other, or when Selah says, "it's ok Gray, we can do this together"..... there is no better place I would rather be than with them.
I LOVE having my first cup of coffee in the morning and reading some news or turning on my favorite podcast and waking up in peace and quiet by myself... I look forward to that every morning...
I LOVE hiking mountains with my girlfriends or my handsome husband... I love being outside more than anything and love the fresh air and great conversations..
I LOVE splashing in mud puddles with my two littles and or blowing bubbles outside and watching them chase the bubbles and laugh.
I LOVE bedtime. For one, I know that I will soon get to have my own downtime in a matter of minutes... but more than that I LOVE to review the day with them, read books, talk about what we are grateful for and pray. Its such a gift to hear what an unfiltered, raw and so honest 3 year old has to say about what she feels, loves, is sad about and wants to pray for.
I LOVE having tea with my husband and chatting about life, goals, and dreams on the coach... Yes, we have more coach dates these days, but I love them.
I LOVE driving in the car and rocking out to country music with my kids and singing our hearts out... best time ever... or I often ask Selah, "do you want to chat or would you rather sing?" she always tells me what she prefers, and I tell you what this little peanut loves to chat just like her mama and I get more out of her in the car than anywhere else...
Yesterday in the car she said, "mama, do you miss your friend Amy?"
Me: "Yes, I miss her very much."
Selah: " She is in heaven and I think that she is having a good time... we can see her some day mom."
Me: " Yes, we will see her"...
This about made me run off the road... my eyes welled up with tears at her rawness and also I just miss my friend...
I am so grateful for all these little moments that create a full life. These are just a fraction of what brings me joy. My life is full and abundant and I get to live it well. I get frustrated at times, feel insecure, question decisions I have made, compare myself, and then I get to pause, breathe deep and connect to myself and I know that I am right where I need to be. This is what brings me joy.
Blend for Joy!
2 drops of Clary Sage
2 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Lime
Diffuse and enjoy,
Note: Both of these beautiful picture was taken by my talented friend and artist, Savannah Plank!
How do you start your day? What are your morning rituals? What do you do to really jumpstart your day and pave the way for a great day, no matter what obstacles or challenges you may face?
These are questions that I was asked 7 years ago when I was in a tough spot really having to reevaluate my perception of my life and how I showed up in life. I was sitting across the room from someone I really trusted and had shared much of my story with and was asked by this person some great questions that would altar the course of my life. There were hours and hours of deep conversation and connection, however I remember being asked about my morning routine... " I have no morning routine... I just get up and do whatever I feel like doing and see where the day takes me...." Oh boy have the times changed for me...
I now find it imperative that I have a morning routine, have a quiet time with my Higher Power, and am able to meditate, pray, and set my intentions for the day. The days that I don't do this go completely sideways.... I need to get up before my kids, have my time to get coffee going, wake up and just be still and quiet.
A big part of my morning routine has been the Serenity Prayer, it has really helped me with seeing what I can do in difficult situations and what I can let go of and trust my Higher Power with... I have learned to pause, and to be quiet and wait and that I don't need to have an immediate answer or react... I get to respond when the time is right... this was super hard at first because I was so use to getting instant results, and feeling in control , and felt the need to figure things out... I have now learned that most things are not that big of a deal and will sort themselves out.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference;
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
April Shower Blend is excellent to put in your diffuser when you are getting going in the morning and getting centered for the day.
2 drops of Lemon
2 drops of Sandalwood
2 drops of Patchouli
"6 Ways to manage stress & thrive!
As Americans, we are more STRESSED out than we have ever been and more medicated than ever…I remember describing my stress as "the Knot in my stomach", or the "pressure" I would feel on my temples.... like my head was in a vice... It seemed like my stress followed me my entire life... in one form or another... The need for perfection and control has had a crippling effect on my life and left me stressed out, unhappy, and in constant fear about the future. I had no tools to deal with my stress, my feelings and life in a healthy way… All I knew how to do was to perform, perform, perform, work harder and control all that I could… Let me tell you something, it is so EXAUSTING and there is no serenity in living like this.
I recently read an article from World Net Daily citing that over 70 million Americans are on mind altering drugs. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 75 to 90 percent of all doctor visits in the U.S. are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Now there is no shame in taking medications as needed, but I feel there is a huge gap... We are NOT learning and teaching healthy coping skills to manage our feelings, our thoughts and our lives... we are medicating...
In the U.S. today we have become the most unhealthy we have ever been, the norm is to pour our lives into work, and by that we Americans work longer hours on average then any other industrialized country. We skip out on exercise, and lead sedentary lifestyles and are constantly trying new fad diets as well as being addicted to our phones and social media. This does not make for managing stress well.
A few years into marriage, my life came to a screeching halt… I was working through some deep emotional pain and really wanting a baby. I had a long journey with fertility and loss, which is another blog post… I was desperate to find new tools to deal with my life. I felt like I was drowning and this began my journey of finding new daily habits to allow me to actually be the leading lady in my own life and live fully present.
Here are some of the daily rituals that I have been incorporating into my life that have reduced my stress and given me the peace and serenity that I so desire. By really nourishing myself with these practices, I am able to show up and be the wife, mother, friend, and person that I want to be. Self-care is imperative for my overall health and wellness.
6 Ways to Mange stress & thrive!
1. Meditation/Prayer: I have tried to start each morning with at least 10 minutes of stillness and paying attention to my breathing and relaxing my body and quieting my mind and spirit. By starting my day this way I am able to center myself, set my intentions and can start to feel my neck relax, then my shoulders and then I become in tune with my breathing. I begin to engage with my Higher power and feel peaceful all throughout my body. This practice has been such a huge tool for me. When I first started I could barely sit still for 5 minutes.. Now if my kids allow I can sit quietly and pray and meditate for 30 minutes and it feels like 2 minutes. It was not until I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue that I realized just how stressed out I was and how my "flight or fight" switch was permanently on. Having a quiet half hour calms my breathing, my heart rate and even shifts my mood and how I perceive the situations and people around me. It gives me such a positive boost.
2. Sleep: I use to struggle to fall asleep and would toss and turn and then end up looking at my phone for a couple hours and be just exhausted. I have learned the importance of creating a nightly ritual that allows my body to relax and fall asleep. For me that looks like turning off any electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, I usually put my phone on airplane mode. I start my diffuser with my favorite nighttime blend of Serenity, Patchouli, and Cedarwood. I then usually have hot water with a couple drops of lemon essential oil or herbal tea. I sit in bed and read a personal development book, and or look at what I have going on for the next day and set my intention for that day and I also review how my day went and if there were things in my day that I need to address or wished had gone better. I meditate /pray and or journal and then usually am ready to fall asleep. I also pay attention to when I am starting to feel tired and start moving towards bed then, rather than push through to stay up and get stuff done... Because if I miss my window its even harder for me to fall asleep. Getting 8 hours of sleep nightly has really reduced my stress and helped me maintain the serenity that I seek.
3. White Processed Sugar: , is highly addictive, like crack cocaine to the brain... and what is so hard, is that it is in so much of our food, hidden in high doses, causing us to want more and crave unhealthy food... It causes major inflammation in our bodies which leads to many chronic illnesses, cancer, chronic fatigue, altered thinking, stress, aging, and contributes to pain. All of these symptoms perpetuates the cycle of stress and compound it. Getting off of sugar can have a drastic positive affect on ones health. I had no idea how bad my relationship with sugar was… It was my crutch when my feelings were unmanageable and I binged on it till I was sick and then would exercise profusely to try to reverse what I had just eaten… not a good cycle to get into. Learning to reach for water when I am craving something, or using a citrus essential oil in my water to curb cravings and learning to be disciplined in what I ate and how I view food has been instrumental.
4. Exercise: I am that person that needs to move every single day. Whether its running for 30 minutes, lifting weights, hiking, taking an exercise class, I need to do something every day for ideally an hour. I feel dramatically better and the “runners high” is a real thing… I am a better wife and mama. I feel more grounded, focused, positive, and most of all PRESENT. I am way less distracted. Typically I try to get a work out in during the morning, which sets the tone for my entire day.
5. Essential Oils: These powerful plant agents have been such a game changer for me. Not only has my family and I experienced huge physical benefits but they have been amazing at therapeutically supporting mood in stressful times. When we inhale a bottle of Peppermint or Wild Orange, the essential oil molecules attach to receptor sites inside of our nostrils that then communicate with neurotransmitters that send information to the olfactory bulb in the brain. It is here where major brain structures are communicating and regulating hormone balance in the body, supporting mood, trauma, our sense of smell and our ability to process information. Every essential oil has a unique chemical profile that makes it dynamic and effective at supporting our body systems. Here are a few of my favorite ones to support mood. Balance, otherwise known as the Grounding Blend has quickly become a daily staple... I apply over my heart and on the back of my neck throughout the day. Wild Orange, Motivate, Cheer, and Peppermint are some of my favorites for uplifting the mood and giving me a "pep in my step". Serenity and Patchouli are very grounding and calming when I am feeling stressed and anxious. I love to apply over my heart and pulse points. I often put a variation of these in the diffuser throughout the day. Using oils aromatically is the fastest way to get the oils into the bloodstream and experience them therapeutically.
6. Re-evaluate your to-do list: Here is the deal, many of use have multiple lists a mile long of all these things we “think” we have to do in order to provide the “relief” we are seeking… I have learned to surrender to motherhood and that much of the things I thought I needed to do were not a priority.. So each night before I go to bed I look at what the next day has planned for me, I have a list and I quickly prioritize the top 3 things that I have to do… Everything else I let go of and if I end up having space or time to get any of those “extra” things done then that is an added bonus… if I don’t, oh well. You know what, I have quickly learned that most of the things on my list are really not that important at all. A lot of those things that I thought were so important was just busy work that was not really important at all… the important things are reading with my kids, playing tea-party, having dinner as a family…. Learning that my worth is not wrapped up in how many things I do, has been so liberating and greatly decreased my stress levels.
Note: I am not a physician and I do not advise changing any medication or health protocols without consulting your physician. The tools I have spoken of can compliment any health protocol you may already have in place.
So much Love and Smiles,
I read a very inspiring article from Sarah Kate Anderson, who is a mother, wife, DoTerra Leader, and Blogger that inspired me in this article, check out her blog post @Mariposa Moment.
My name is Holly Boyer and I am a life long Alaskan, mama of two of the most precious babies, and wife to my soulmate.