You Have The Ability To Change

This is the Holiday Season, it is exciting and exhilarating in many ways, but for many it is filled with anxiety and depression.

I happen to be a person who loves the notorious, Hallmark, picture- perfect, movies because they always turn out the way I want them to! But that is seldom true of real life.

When there is so much going on and so much expected, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and focus on stress. It takes intentionality to be aware of the subtle blessings in life and cultivate gratefulness, especially during times of overwhelm. But that is exactly what we need to do.

We do have the ability to change. We do not have to say yes to everything that others ask us to do and we can take extra measures to carve out self care during this bustling time of year.

Here are a few suggestions:

Be intentional about eating food that makes you feel light and healthy. Start with three days this week that you will intentionally eat well and take notice of how it makes you feel physically.

Drink more water than usual. Add some lemon, lime or cucumbers to it, for an uplifting change!

Take the first 10 minutes or more of your day and pray or journal. Focus on the things you have to be thankful for. We take for granted running water, warmth, food, technology and the ability to think.

Make the decision to stretch or exercise every morning for 15 minutes and see how you feel later on in the day because of that decision.

Break out the essential oils you have laying around and pick out 2-3 that you love! Put a few drops of each into a spray bottle, fill with water, shake well and use as a room deodorizer. Remember that most essential oils are anti-viral and anti-bacterial- so it will not just brighten your mood, it will also support your immune system!

Pick out special cards for those people in your life that you need to say, “I love you”, to. Writing is very therapeutic.

Surround your self with positive music that has encouraging lyrics.

Take a walk for 10 minutes in the fresh air.

Take a bath or hot shower. Put Epsom salt in the bottom of the tub for added stress relief. Better yet, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil into the Epsom salt first. A few drops of Eucalyptus will open up the respiratory and refresh you! (In Epsom first, not straight in water as it can irritate the skin if it lays upon water alone)

Choose to say,
” I am thankful to be alive today”, even if your not feeling it, choose to focus on the gift of life.

There! Those are some ideas to jump start you and get you thinking! You have the ability to change and make this day, and everyone to follow, better than the one before!

I am right here, journeying along with you and I would love to hear from you today! Happy Holidays<3

Aromatherapy Shoppe!

 

Check out our products at Honest Aromas and juliaallman.com  !! Remember, we also create custom blends for all of your therapeutic needs, by a Certified Aromatherapist!

We had a loyal customer contact us over the weekend to tell us that she lent her Arthritis Pain Blend to her husband while they were traveling. She reported that, he slept soundly all night with out pain waking him up! This is one of many positive testimonies we receive at Honest Aromas!

Aromatherapy can be a great way to start implementing self-care and margin into your life. The measures you take toward health or choose not to take affect you! We care about you: Spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally and we are walking this path of wholeness with you. We want to hear from you today!

The What and Why Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm5Gx1NfWmo

 

 

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Remember to Keep Going!

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If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been on a personal journey the last few years. Through that time, my husband and I were separated and every thing in the fabric of my life seemed to be pulling apart.

The way we parented, or did not parent our youngest, autistic, son together, was a definite strain on our marriage. You have these imperfections in marriage and parenting, but you can slough them off easier, I think, with “typical” children. But these inconsistencies will glare in the face of a special needs child and cause you to grow together or apart.

So, as we came to the bottom of everything we thought we had, and I personally was in the lowest place a person could be- I relinquished control. I told God, if He cared about me, and about this Holy Union He named Marriage, He was going to have to make something out of broken pieces. It has been a painful process, dying to self usually is! For if we are going to make something beautiful out of broken, it has to be sorted out, cleaned out, rebuilt and it won’t happen with resistance.

In the process, I approach my children differently. I am approaching my special needs son slower. I am more conscious of my being just a “vessel”, and I can pour out love to him, or frustration. I am in his life (and everyone’s for that matter) to pour out love, power and a sound mind. This is a work of The Holy Spirit- I do not have this kind of supernatural-ness!

Last night he asked me to pray for him and read the Bible to him, he was troubled in his mind. I was so blessed that he would even ask me to do that! At one point, he started kissing my hand, I asked him why he was doing that and he said; “your awesome”. Taken aback, I asked, “why?” He said; “because you are trying to help me!” How beautiful, how simple, how divine.

I was reminded of my friend buying me this Keep Going mug and how I would use it every morning and read it’s truth. When you  bottom out in life, it is not the time to quit and give up! It is the time to ask for supernatural help and run with endurance. There are Always second, third, tenth, hundredth chances. God NEVER gives up on you! Even if others do, and they will, you are there to be awesome for some one else. Keep Going- I am right here with you cheering you on!!

It Takes A Little Time…

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Beautiful things do not happen by chance! There is a process…a seed, a sprout, and eventually a flower. I planted this Clematis last year, and it was so small and spindly, I didn’t know if it would make it. I was so presently surprised to find this flower blooming on the arch of my patio yesterday!!

It reminds me of the journey I have been on over the last few years. Broken relationships, little life and then, slow-but-sure, signs of life here and there. Giving my self up to God’s will, soaking in the truth of who I am in Him, letting His Spirit water me, lead me, and guide me and watching it grow and reach out to others.  It has taken time, but some deep, beautiful things are blooming.

There are so many wide and shallow….it takes time to be deeply beautiful- and then turn and give that beauty away to some one else! I am right here with you on the journey and would love to hear from you today<3

 

What “Weeds” Do You Have In Your Back Yard?

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The other day, in Do The Next Thing, I touched on using local “weeds” for medicinal purposes. I found a great article about  Creeping Charlie written by Connie Korstens that goes into detail on that very subject!

Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

*Soothes inflamed mucous membranes

*Sinusitis

*used for inner and middle ear remedy

*tinnitus (ringing in the ears

*kidney and lung disorder

*head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes

*bronchitis and viral pneumonia

*cough remedy

*bladder infections

*indigestion

*may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)

*traditional cancer remedy

*Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

*Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

*Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

*Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

*Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea.

Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…

Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie. Place the plant material in a quart jar. Fill to top with boiling water. Cover jar and steep for one hour. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint

Reading this article re energizes me to gain some more knowledge on my back yard “weeds”! When our older children were younger, I often dug up dandy lion roots or clipped other leaves and flowers for medicinal teas. It is all right there, free for the taking! I went out side this morning and collected some of this lovely plant, and I am making this tea as I type!!

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What “weeds” do you have in your back yard? Identify them on the internet, or buy a book on the subject. I am right here, learning along, and becoming holistically healthier with you:-)

Lettres, Ladies, and Libraries

 

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This past weekend Honest Aromas was a vendor at the Oil City Belles Lettres Club bazaar. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why the Belles Lettres started. I mean, I used to take my children to their building downtown to perform for the Jr. Schubert club, and my husband and I held formal youth group dinners there, but I was not sure what the ladies at the Belles Lettres actually did.

Well as it turns out, the founders of this club were amazing!

The Belles Lettres Club was formed for the purpose of studying literature and maintaining a library (the name Belles Lettres comes from a French phrase for fine writing, and is a general term for a type of well-crafted literature). An active member of Belles Lettres, Cora Hull Ramage, began corresponding with Andrew Carnegie of Pittsburgh. She requested that Mr. Carnegie donate money for a library. He agreed to donate $44,000 to build the library, provided that the citizens provide a site and guarantee $3,000 annually to maintain it.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Over his lifetime, Mr. Carnegie contributed an estimated 150 million dollars to nearly three thousand libraries in the United States and Great Britain. Oil City was fortunate to be one of the recipients, but the library hasn’t received any Carnegie money since.

CarnegieLibrary-300x199The women of the Belles Lettres Club went to work and raised over $11,000 to purchase the present site at the corner of Central Avenue and West Front Street.

On July 6, 1904, the Carnegie Library of Oil City opened its doors with five thousand books that were donated by the Belles Lettres Club.*

WOW! You go ladies!

 

*Information from http://www.oilcitylibrary.org/index.php/information/history/