True Self

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I have been on a journey the last few years. I had been calling it a healing journey, but Kelly Flanagan in his book, Lovable, has challenged me to call it being wholed. I resonate with that because I often pray Shalom over myself and others. The Hebrew word, Shalom, is often linked to the word peace but it is so much more than that, it is wholeness, integrity, completeness, perfection.

I am not writing from an attitude of wholeness today. I feel anything but whole, complete or perfect. But it does not really matter how I feel about it! My true self is whole, complete, full of integrity and perfect!

“In the first act of life, we begin to overcome the disunity at the center of our self, which was wrought by our shame. We embrace the confused and lost little one in us, we return to our worthy and good-enough soul, and we come back into union with the divine spark underneath our underneath. We coalesce around our true self.” KF

I started painting with my daughter during the time my husband and I were separated. We have continued this activity together and it has been wholing. I painted this the other evening. I have been intensely wrestling with God concerning my purpose and my passion. It feels like there is nothing left to squeeze out of me, nothing else to burn, waiting for the “who I am on the inside and what I do on the outside to become one”.

The separateness we feel is truly an illusion and I am easily convinced by it when I see how I behave sometimes or when I look at my circumstances. But the truth is, I am whole and complete and perfect. I have a life full of meaning that is repeatedly being pulled free from shame and into my divine purpose. That is my true self.

A Beautiful Heart

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My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3

“O-O-O”

Hello everyone! Hannah here. Today’s post is about the essential oil that scarred me for life: Oregano (Origanum vulgare).

I say this a little tongue in cheek, but it’s a little true too. When my siblings and I were little, Mom (Julia), in an effort to do the best for our health, would put oil of oregano in our orange juice, and then proceed to pretend it was normal.

Little six-year-old me would look at the oily film over the surface of my juice and refuse to drink it. I knew what she’d done, and I knew that oily, pizza-smelling orange juice wasn’t normal.

But oregano’s health benefits overruled my palate, and Mom made me drink the pungent juice every morning. I grew to hate oil of oregano, so much that I hated to even hear the name. I insisted that everyone refer to it as “o-o-o” in my presence.

One day I gagged while trying to force my orange juice down. After that Mom never made me drink it again, and my thought was “wow, I should’ve started gagging a lot sooner!” I was a devious little thing.

Now we joke about it with Mom, who is a little embarrassed that she made her children take such a strong oil internally! Knowing what she does now, she does not recommend ingesting oils, with a small exception (which I’ll get to later).

Humorous childhood stories aside, there are many health benefits to oregano. According to Pompeii Organics’ information on the essential oil, oregano is a disinfectant, antiviral and antibacterial, making it helpful for wounds.

It’s also an effective pain reliever, warming and numbing to the skin. It’s great to stimulate the digestive system and boost the immune system.

This last property is why Mom sneaked oregano into our orange juice all those years ago – in her defense, we never got sick! Of course, given the chance she’d do it a bit differently.

Ingestion of essential oils can be extremely dangerous for children. Many in the field of aromatherapy advise against it for adults, too, and here is where Mom (as an aromatherapist) will make a small exception. She’s found that for herself, ingesting a few drops of oregano essential oil in a capsule can totally eradicate the first signs of cold or flu. Any time sickness is going around and she starts to feel off, she takes a capsule and is back to normal in no time.

Of course, it’s important to do your research and find what will work best for you. If you are sensitive or have an allergy to oregano, this will most likely not work! This is where a consultation with an aromatherapist (I know a great one ;)) can help: she can get an overview of your health and tailor a remedy to fit your particular needs!

Have you ever tried “o-o-o”? Do you have ever tried it in orange juice? (don’t, it’s disgusting 🙂 ) Happy weekend to you all!

In addition to writing for Honest Aromas, Hannah blogs at .hannahallmankennedy.wordpress.com  while she works on her Master’s in English.

Learn Something….

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As our culture is gearing up to start “classes” again, Julia is also gearing up to teach a class tomorrow morning!! I am encouraged to continually learn and grow and I hope you are too!

What could be more helpful to learn than some thing that benefits your health? I often take free online classes week to week on everything from Aromatherapy to Speaking to Spiritual Classes just to keep myself sharp. I pay to learn new fitness routines, dance and voice lessons because singing is part of my calling and I can’t do anything I am called to do if I am out of shape!!20170505_205545

So, heading into the weekend, I encourage you to take my class tomorrow at the Oil City YWCA, open to men and women, from 9-11 AM. And if you are out of the area, take a few hours to look up an interesting on line class to learn and grow!! And a shout out to all the teachers heading back into the class rooms for another new year! Strength, Grace and Peace to you<3

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How to Build a World

Showing up….she said it so well, I am just going to share😊

Hannah Kennedy

I’ll be honest.

I’m staring at the screen right now, and I’m supposed to crank out something for what is to me tomorrow morning, and I don’t know what to write. I usually come up with an idea for my blog posts a few days in advance, and then all I have to do the night before is polish what I’ve built so it’s smooth and pretty. But this time I feel tired, and I don’t really want to string together some cohesive thoughts, and the thought of taking “just a little break” from blogging this time around sounds so good.

But I’m showing up anyway, because if there’s anything I’ve learned about writing, it’s that you have to keep showing up. All the training and reading and technique and talent in the world isn’t worth a thing if you don’t show up, if you don’t write little by little…

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