Heart Power – Transforming Stress and Anxiety

Heart Power – Transforming Stress and Anxiety

 

Stress and Anxiety – Synonymous with life in the current culture.  Sometimes we are oblivious to its impact on our very lives.  At other times we minimize or rationalize it, “normal” for  living in today’s world.  As a therapist for many years, I have a unique perspective of how this all works – on our beliefs, attitudes and relationships.  Emotions, real and perceived have a powerful effect on our lives and lifestyle we choose to follow.  One way humans are unique in the mammal world is that we can create stress with a thought.  Compare that with a deer.  When they perceive a threat, they go into high alert with all the stress hormones working together to assess and deal with the threat.  When the threat passes, they quickly return to their regular routine, all body systems operating at the parasympathetic level – meaning relaxed and ok.  We have an 18 yr.  old cat that reminds us daily of these differences.  For many years, I lived the life of worker bee with the passion to help others and a desire to be seen in a positive light from others around me and in the community.  When I did take time for myself, I tried to manage a marriage, exercised, went to church and tried to create the best home life for my children.  In other words, time was at a premium and stress levels were high.  As life would have it , there were more bumps in my life than I had anticapated.

Get ready.  I hadn’t intended to get divorced or co-parent and found myself coping with the stigmas of relationship failures and parenting challenges.   In my 20’s I went through 2 divorces and had one child.  In my 30’s I had another marriage and another child and later in my 40’s I had another divorce.  I couldn’t figure out why my life wasn’t going according to this grand plan that I had dreamed up.   I was filled with anxieties that I had no vocabulary for.  I was educated in the realm of social work, had spent many years in service to helping others have a better life, yet didn’t have the answers or understanding to tune into what I needed to change.    From a young age I was passionate about helping and relationships. Unfortunately, the road to understanding was long.  Despite theses  failures life did take some wonderful turns after the decision was made to find the way in to understand myself and tap into the wisdoms of my heart.  My son introduced me to this quote from Samuel Beckett that is now a tatoo of character:  Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. 

I walked the walk and tried to fit the mold and still wonder why I missed the many flags along the way.   I sometimes ponder the life that would have been if I had really understood the ways of anxiety, mood and thought.  I walked around with chronic anxiety and didn’t even know it. Now, I am realizing new perspectives of hardships and challenges that all humans have in one way or another.  Joe Dispenza refers to genetic destiny as the path that many will follow based on the learnings and conditionings of their earlier life, sometimes way earlier life.  We bring into this life emotional DNA which is related to the physical DNA characteristics we are born with.  Some refer to these energies as karma or perhaps past lives and there are many theories about this phenomenon.  My focus keys into the choices we have at various times throughout our lives.  These choices involve questioning ourselves and learning lessons we need to learn given our soul essences.  We can make changes and are not locked into our genetic destinies if we make the choice to do so.   “Be all you can be” or “Live up to your potential” or “You have to go through the fire to get to the gold” are some of the phrases that come to mind related to these critical times in our life.  Failures can turn into successes beyond our knowledge at the given time.  The key here is intention.  What do you really, really want.  I really wanted healthy love relationships.  Later on in my life path I met my husband; the one I had envisioned in my heart but not been able to realize until I had made significant changes and learned the lessons life was giving me.  Other positive and supportive  relationships have evolved and hopefully will continue.  Learning is a life long pursuit as they say…and very good for brain health…challenging the status quo and stepping into the unknown.

I recently returned from a conference in Sedona, AZ where the energies of the earth are particularly strong.  I was reminded again of the importance of stepping out of the comfort zone to “Embracing Bliss” (the name of the conference) where many new and creative ideas were shared and experienced.  Prior to this conference, I had decided to read and implement some of the practices of one of the presenters.  Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza was the book that tapped into my mind.  Learning ways to quiet the mind and be in the zone of No-thing the goal.  To design the life you desire and taking the steps on this path to see it manifest are highlighted in the book.  Mind blowing, yet I was open to experiment and work the steps so to speak.  Sometimes we are drawn to things – books, experiences, opportunities etc. that make us Feel.  This is the time for questioning yourself and following up on the draw of emotion in the response to whatever grabbed you.  I learned that about 60% of us humans have addictive behaviors that cause us suffering and that the keys include knowledge about ourselves and practices to tap into this self…and the better we know ourselves the less we fear change.

A primary job of a therapist is to help others tap into that inner self that really does know what to do and release those negative beliefs/emotions that have caused untold havoc.  We all have the secret knowledge and keys to a good life underneath all the stress layers formed over time.  The puzzle is how to tap into it without having to retreat from life and meditate/pray for long hours.  Greg Braden, researcher, scientist and spiritual teacher spoke about the heart brain – that our hearts contain 40,000 sensory neurons that are active in affecting our behaviors.  It’s where the wisdom lies in a sense.  You may have heard the phrase, “Listen to your heart”; now there is science to back this up.  Heartmath’s website indicates that “the heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes—actually serving to reinforce the emotional experience of stress. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect – it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that learning to generate increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.”  I purchased a bio-feedback tool that connects with your heartrate, measures the variability of the beats and lets you know when you are “out of coherence”.  It works with a smartphone and an app.  Finally, a gadget I could figure out!

When you learn how to tap into this inner wisdom, there is the potential to access deep intuition on demand.

Heart/brain coherence practice: 

The best part is the ease of this practice.  There are 3 steps.

  1. Touch your heart with your hand of fingers, whatever feels comfortable.
  2. Breath into your heart and slow down your breath just a little.  Maybe count to 5 on the inhale and the exhale.
  3. Think/experience gratitude, thoughts of appreciation, compassion or love for at least 3 minutes.
  4. Notice how you feel.

This has been powerful as I have worked with this practice and have seen the benefits in with those I teach it to.  I encourage you to research this and practice yourself.  It does involve closing your eyes from the environment that is so seductive with all its constant distractions.  We can easily succumb to the addictions of stress hormones of the daily grind but the power of really getting our heart’s desires is to create this quiet state; to really listen to what it is your heart – true self really needs to create happiness.  Couples that can enter this practice together have the potential to bypass trouble and create the life best for each other.  I am excited to experiment and see the results.    Let’s get to work!

 

 

 

Wake up and Change – The Search for Inspiration

 

 

A book ran across my screen last week…. and for some reason I paused and read the summary.  The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry MD is about the “hidden dangers” in healthy foods.  These types of books don’t normally stick but I started reading immediately and just finished it.  Audio books, for me, are a great invention as I can walk around, be active and still read.   I was immediately inspired.  There is no logical answer as to why.  I felt my body engage – motivation to keep reading was on and I felt “obsessed” to understand it.  This is a book about change – how to change your body by changing your gut.  I frequently see adds and info on products, weight loss strategies, and ways to improve health and usually skim through them.  I haven’t made significant changes to my diet for a couple of years and that was only because I had to when my husband decided to be a vegan; meaning no dairy, meat or animal products.  I adjusted to a moderated diet and considered myself a vegetarian that ate fish.  I chose not to be rigid or restrictive in my choices because for me, being flexible felt healthier.  Nevertheless, it was a change.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed changes in my body related to resilience, joints, muscle pain and energy.  I’ve tried to “figure it out” and find ways to reverse these symptoms.  I’ve had some successes but problems remain.  Pain on any level is a motivator so if you are a positive thinker, there it is!  Soon, another type of change is coming….one that will significantly alter the way I think about food and the way I consume it.   Some time back, I wrote a blog on “My fat story” which highlighted my journey as an obese child/teen and how I came to grips with it, made changes and moved forward.  I needed to be strict with myself for some time as that was the only way my mind could think of to lose weight. My memory of these major diet changes connects with the original Weight Watchers program in the 70’s.  Yes, I ate cans of french style beans and tuna fish, the ones where you could run your finger around the can’s edges and see the gray residues.  I was allowed 2 slices a day of Sweetheart white bread, hot dogs with mustard (no ketchup) once a week and lots of chicken, iceberg lettuce and weight watchers salad dressing sold in tiny packets filled with preservatives.  This was followed by diet soda, artificial sweeteners and an array of sugar free jello desserts.  You may be getting the picture of how much I was influenced by the culture – far removed from healthy human development but capitalism and the ads of the 60’s were in full swing – the power of the spin.  We all continue to be onslaught by media only far more and most people’s minds are spinning – which is part of the increased anxiety symptoms seen and high demands for mental health care.  More and more I am seeing the urgency to wake up from the culture spin and find truth an as I find strategies to coax myself out of this culture coma I experience many rewards.  When I started my study of essential oils, my knowledge was limited – basically started from scratch.  This relationship with the oils of nature has evolved and grown to include an even bigger perspective.  Now, on to repairing and finding ways to support my gut buddies as Dr. Gundry calls them.  His book is filled with knowledge of our guts chemistry and alchemy to keep us humans going.  He also has a history of being obese and trying all kinds of things to find a healthy weight and body.

Greatness begins with inspiration.   Now, I’m ready to sweat a bit and do the research needed to begin this life change.  First, it’s understanding to a reasonable degree what the science is and since I’ve “felt” it to be worth doing now, to balance this felt sense with logic.   Remember the Logic of Love and Emotion?  That is one of the central themes of creating healthy love relationships –  love is a feeling and creating a healthy relationship is work.  Tools are the communication skills.   In positive relationships this work has many rewards vs in unhealthy relationships this work may feel endless, discouraging or frequently frustrating.   I refer to the spin couples can find themselves in as emotional allergies.  Over time, we’ve all seen the impact of these emotional spins.  Creating a healthy body while in a healthy relationship – consider the potential!

Loving ourselves is where the power is yet we need the power and gifts of nature to help.  I am beginning to see a human-plant relationship in my thinking!  Dr. Gundry states, “My philosophy centers around the fact that the human digestive system is a very complex and very sensitive machine. It needs key energy sources that you’re not getting in your diet… and at the same time, it’s damaged by a vast number of foods that are a big part of our “Standard American Diet.”  What I’m learning is the importance of Polyphenols, the negative effects of lectins found in many types of processed and unproperly cooked foods, and finding the balance of bacteria in your gut.  As a therapist I am more keenly aware of the brain and the need to take care of it.  Its health is intimately entwined with our digestive system.  This isn’t new information but like I said I was inspired to take a closer look at what I was feeding my brain/body.  I want to feel better too!   I want an intimate relationship with my own body. The more we understand about our bodies the better we will be able to control what’s going on with it.    This will require some changes to my daily routines and have already spent a few days discarding foods like peanuts, cashews, breads and crackers, processed salad dressings and paying close attention to the labels of things to avoid additives.  Just in the few days that I’ve tried some of the changes my body has given me “I like you” signals. I’m happy about the dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee part.  Red wine can keep its place from time to time as well.  The book identifies lists of say yes to foods and say no to foods that seem handy enough.  I ‘m gathering my materials.  He reminds people that one can start where they need to start and only gives suggestions.  I’m excited and will keep you posted.

Winter is a challenging season for many reasons we are all familiar with.  Foot soaks with dead sea salts and essential oils soothes and provides vital minerals and magnesium that most of us need more of.  Earlier this month, I participated in a health fair sponsored by Natural Grocers in Fargo.  The individuals I visited with had genuine interest in essential oils and the holistic concepts of health.  Let’s keep the awareness going.  Maybe I should have added that to the Women’s march agenda last weekend.  My sign may have read -Support Natural Health Care NOW!  Somehow, my inspiration didn’t coax me out the door into the cold of Fargo.   Finally, Green Organics has a new line of hemp products which I am excited to try.  The hemp is grown in Kentucky and is organic.  It is naturally rich in Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids.  It comes in drops which you place under the tongue.  BTW it is 100% legal.  HBNaturals, the sister company of goDesana highlights the same strict quality standards as how essential oils are chosen and tested.  It’s marketed as a full spectrum oil and aids the brain/body in regulating sleep, appetite, pain modulation, mood enhancement and libido through the introduction of hemp-derived cannabinoids like the CBT oil.

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. Cannabinoids are designed to promote homeostasis at every level of life.

The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease.  This information was gleaned from HBNaturals so I will be searching more sources as I become more aquainted with it.

Don’t worry, no getting high here – just all the other benefits.  For more info check it out at  http://www.hbnaturals.com/newpath

This will be interesting to study and see the results.  I’ll keep an open mind.  For now, learning and experimenting will be on my schedule.  Inspiration can come to you at any moment.  Set an intention to invite this inspiration to come into your life in a surprising/unexpected way.  Take time to mediate or reflect quietly in prayer and get familiar with your thoughts – the ones that are important and the ones you want to send down the river.  Have a great month.  As always, please let me know if I can help you in your health journey.  Life loves you!

 

Essential Oils and Family Wellness

Greetings!
Fall is the season of preparation.  Rich, autumn colors abound here in the Red River valley….so many lovely pictures of the trees, the colors and spending precious time outside before the transition to winter.  I am busy in preparation for the family wellness class at Natural Grocers/Fargo on October 19th from 7-8 PM.     Here are some of the highlights and topics to be addressed.
The information comes in part from my training with Alexandria Brighton at her Institute for botanical studies in Idaho.  There is more and more interest in using natural means of treating illnesses, diseases, and pain,as we hear way too much about the consequences and side effects of synthetic drugs and OTC medicines.  The symptoms may be relieved temporarily but the person is often left in a worse condition.  Being able to help yourself and others with more natural options is one way to love and care for  yourself and nurture others.
I will be referring to topical and inhalation forms of using essential oils.  These are the most common and are safe for all age groups.
There are two terms to be aware of in topical usage.  Penetration is the actual entry of essential oil molecules into and through the skin.  Permeation is the subsequent absorption or uptake of the substance into the body and available to the body systemically.  Using oils on the hands and feet are the fastest way to get them into the body to help and heal.  It was once thought that using essential oils on the skin didn’t get through.  We now know that essential oils can reach the basil epidermal cells.

Diagram of the Human Skin

It’s so amazing how intricate and cooperative our bodies are with each other.  Our bodies want to be well and in sync but as we know there are many things that can throw it off balance.  Stresses of life are everywhere and life has given us the  job to manage them. We all handle and process stress differently depending on our temperaments and experiences.  A reaction on our skin may indicate an imbalance in our hormones, or internal organs which reflects there.  I had a spot of excema recently and learned that this can be a sign of that imbalance so I made some dietary shifts, hydrated my body and skin more, used some essential oils  and monitored it.  The Dr’s have limited knowledge in many of these conditions beyond the dysfunction itself.  Cedarwood is known to help with eczema so will add that to a carrier oil and use that.  Fall brings dryer air and all things related to that – skin, respiratory, and flu viruses.
The oils I will mention in the Oct. class will all be ones with a high level of safety to use in pregnancy, with children and elderly.  My mother recently told me taking a bath with rose geranium oil was rejuvenating.  She now has the habit of looking up the essential oils that are useful with whatever symptom she or my father are experiencing.  One caution  – never put essential oil in the ear canal.  Ear relief oil is wonderful to put around the outside of the ear but is not safe to put inside.  This happened recently to my father who was unaware of this and put a drop of Ravintsara in the ear canal.  It caused burning and some irritation for a few hours.   He was able to dilute olive oil on a cotton ball and remove any of the excess oil there.  Avoid using water to wipe away essential oils.  It doesn’t work.  Use any type of quality carrier oils such as almond, sesame, olive or grapeseed.  The following essential oils/blends are selected ones for each topic area.  There are many variations to use as you become more familiar.
Family Wellness  – Protect the environment
Protector Blend which is a blend of Sage, Ocean Pine, Eucalyptus globulus, Lemongrass, Juniper Berry, Spruce, black; Eucalyptus citriodora, Tea Tree, Cypress, Frankincense, Thyme ct. linalool, and Jojoba.   This mighty blend can do almost anything in the fighting germs department.  Diffusing 15- 20 drops when there is sickness in the house prevents germs from spreading.  Dr. Jean Valnet, MD, a well known aromatherapist reports that the oils in Protector can eliminate 70% of step bacteria when diffused.
HOUSEHOLD • Add 30 drops to washing machine or dishwasher to prevent the spread of germs. • Add 5 drops to soap dispensers to prevent the spread of germs. • Add 5 drops to water when hand-washing dishes. • Add 60 drops to goDésana Spray & Wipe Cleaner (16oz) to increase germ fighting properties. • Keep a misting bottle in every room of your home for a quick clean and disinfectant wipe.   The Spray and Wipe Cleaner referred to here is also very effective on wood.  It’s so much better than “Lemon Pledge”  which I used for years and believed it to be healthy for the house.  Logically, we now know all the chemicals/synthetics that are there and all absorbed by us!  Let’s help our livers in our bodies all we can and decrease it’s workload.
MISTING • Mix 15-20 drops into 4 ounces of distilled water in a cobalt blue glass or PET plastic spray bottle. Shake vigorously and mist into the environment to cleanse your surrounding air.
MOLD & BACTERIA • Use misting spray on surfaces where mold or bacteria are growing. • Diffuse Protector in rooms where mold and bacteria are known to be present.  This blend can even kill bed bugs so when you are traveling take a 2 oz cobalt blue spray bottle filled with distilled water and add 12-14 drops.
Colds/Flu 
 
Prevention, knowledge and do the best you can seems to be the words as we usher in the cooler season and indoor living.  Less sunlight means a change in how our bodies operate so be aware of that and adjust Vitamin D and key nutrients of life such as magnesium and anti-oxidants that fight viruses and bacteria.  Plenty of clean, filtered water and eating an alkaline diet are important keys. To supplement our “sunlight needs”  a sun box that mimics natural light of the sun is worth considering.  I have mine out and when it’s cloudy will use it for 20-30 minutes in the mornings.  Do your research on best one to purchase or let me know as I have information I can send you.   Stress management is the another key to preventing illness.  It’s important to understand how you have learned to react to stress.  Habits that are unhealthy can be changed…not so much our temperament..    We all have our own personalities that play a role in how we take care of our own health and immune system.  If you have a chance to learn about your personality this will help you manage your health.  Tests such as Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram are a couple of good ones.  When we do get sick, essential oils can help fight the germs and feel better about the whole process.  The go-to oils for children and seniors (adults are included)  at times of cold and flu are:
Breathe blend, Ravintsara
Eucalyptus radiata, Spearmint
Eucalyptus globulus, Thyme ct. ,inalool
Lemon, Tea Tree
Protector, Wellness for Kids
 
It is wise to keep on hand at least 2 bottles of Ravintsara for every child in the house, as well as Wellness for Kids, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus radiata, Lemon (especially for diffusing) Eucalyptus globulus and Protector for washing machines, dishwashers and disinfectants. A very effective nighttime treatment (when cold symptoms are often the worst) is to diffuse Eucalyptus radiata while sleeping. You can also diffuse several drops each of the following oils combined: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint.
At the first sign of a cold get the oils out.  Wellness for adults or kids depending on your age.  This oil blends contains Organic Eucalyptus Radiata, Tea Tree, Ravintsara, Oregano, Cinnamon Bark, Organic Clove Bud, Organic Palmarosa, Peppermint or Eucalyptus Radiata, Ravintsara, Thyme ct. linalool, Lemon, Tea Tree.  
The wellness for adults blend is a little stronger so it depends on your life stage which one you choose to use.  I’ve got mine on the nightstand ready for the season.
Emotions and Mood
The wellness of any family is related to how they cope with the ups and downs.  Humans were designed with powerful emotions.  When they are not expressed in an open and healthy way, they get swallowed or stored in the body and manifest in another way.  When kids have temper tantrums, we see the beginnings of this power.  In an ideal situation they would gradually learn ways to get their needs met and express emotions in a positive way and learn the lessons they need to be happy and joyful.  We all deserve to  experience this joy – as has been said,  “it is our birthright.”
Essential oils can aid in this process.  I invite you to have some faith in the plant world.  As always, it is important to look for organic, and therapeutic grade oils.  Alexandria Brighton, the formulator for the oils I use is committed to this and has put in a rigorous testing protocol for all the essential oils they order.  In past classes, we have targeted depression, anxiety, mood swings and grief as well as everyday life stresses.  Each day I assess my intention or challenge and choose an appropriate oil for that day.  Here are some of the common ones:
Calm – Primary Uses: Relaxation, Calming, Sleep, Addictions
Children and adults alike find this blend very relaxing, particularly if they are over-stimulated and cannot fall asleep. This sweet-smelling blend can assist the nervous system while breaking life-draining addictions. Its beautiful fragrance helps one’s nerves to remain calm when feeling over-tired or stressed.  It has tangerine, orange, grapefruit, rose and Ylang Ylang in this blend.  It has been called “Angel Mist” when you combine 20 drops of calm with 4 oz of distilled water in a spray bottle.
Dispel Fear – This blend combines Organic Vetiver, Geranium, rose; Rose, Organic Palmorosa, and Neroli.  A note about Neroli;  it’s one of the best to decrease anxiety and strong emotions/panic attacks.  Geranium and Rose has a powerful impact on depressive symptoms – one of my mother’s favorites for a sad mood.  
Tangerine – We can also include other citrus oils such as Lemon, Orange and Grapefruit.  They are all uplifting and good for focus and mental clarity.  Tangerine is especially noted for helping with anxiety.  I often diffuse these oils to cleanse, freshen and help focus!
Bergamot – This is also considered a citrus, blood orange fruit.  The special properties of this single oil is it’s anti-depressant properties.  This oil in referred to as “Nature’s Prozac.”  
Dragon Fire – Dragon Fire is a proprietary blend, uniquely formulated to target negative energy of the most profound, insidious, and damaging nature and transmute that energy to life-affirming, life-enhancing energy.  Dragon Fire is of great benefit when used topically and/or environmentally in areas where major trauma has taken place, such as abuse, divorce, bankruptcy, violence, or death. Emotionally supportive and strengthening, it can create an energetic shift, powerfully and effectively, without one having to re-live the original trauma.
An important component of this blend is an essential oil known as Dragon’s Blood, which has been extracted from the resin of Daemonorops draco Blume, a palm indigenous to marshy regions of southwest Asia with a long history of use in neutralizing negative energies.  This is the oil I call “the big gun” because there are times in life when we face the fires so to speak.  I suggest putting this in a misting spray (12-15 drops) and spray it in the environment of the “fire” in your life.  I sometimes put several drops on a cotton ball and have clients hold it as they talk about difficult topics.  
Frankincense – Has a long history of healing on many levels.  It has been shown to slow down and deepen the breath.  It has been used in many ways, to calm anxieties, deepen meditation and prayer times as well as aiding in other ailments of the body.  This is one of my go-to’s in helping calm the nervous system.  
Focus –Primary Uses: Focus, Concentration, Mental Sharpness – Basil, sweet; Lemon, Organic Rosemary 1,8 cineole, Geranium, rose; Peppermint
This blend is wonderfully supportive when increased mental alertness is required such as when driving long distances, studying, doing book work, or taking tests. It is of great benefit when mental performance is required and extra concentration is needed. Focus blend helps to stimulate the logical left-brain thought processes, while preventing mental fatigue.
Diffuse, use in a personal inhaler, dab on the temples or brain reflex points of the feet
Grief Relief –Primary Uses: Grief, Sadness, Depression  Organic Bergamot, Cedarwood, atlas; Clary Sage, Cypress, Rose, Spikenard
When one is unable to process grief, it remains raw and even years later can feel as though the experience happened just yesterday. Grief Relief helps keep the heart center open and processing sadness or grief at the speed of life, so that the source can actually resolve, and not just fade into unconsciousness. This blend resonates with the heart and acts as a soothing balm, allowing healing to take place.
Prosper- 
Primary Uses: Inspiration, Abundance, Finances, Depression, Anxiety, Environment –  Patchouli, Organic Orange, sweet; Cinnamon Bark, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Spruce, black; Nutmeg
Energize your surroundings with the radiant and magnetic energy of prosperity. Prosper blend contains essential oils from spices which, in ancient times, were considered more valuable than gold. This blend represents prosperity and abundance in all its forms—increased opportunity, financial gain, abundant friends, and increased health and wellbeing. It has been one of the top-selling essential blends over the past 20 years.
Prosper blend has, as Alexandria Brighton has taught, spices that in ancient times were considered more valuable than gold. It represents prosperity and abundance in all forms, and is used to energize our surroundings with the radiant, magnetic energy of joy and prosperity. This is a marvelously supportive blend to aid in expanding the energy of abundance in one’s personal life.
This class will focus on some ways to to help you and your family in everyday life as we learn and explore ways to integrate healing essential oils in a safe and healthy way.  As always, don’t hesitate to contact me for additional information.  I also provide the services of  personal aromatherapy consultations and chakra assessments incorporating the chakra blend essential oils.  

Emotions/ Lifestyle and Upcoming Classes

 

Summer in Fargo, ND is embraced by most of us who live here as a gift that is time limited. Trees and vegetation are lush and happy; the gardens are growing and the markets are outdoors….like the farmers markets of the city.  The topic today is related to nature, balance and some of the bumps in the road.    I continue to be amazed at the workings of the relationships in the  body.  In my own healing journey I am realizing more and more the power of knowledge and discernment.  Scents that hit our noses are packed full of knowledge in the chemical molecules.  In recent studies from Science AAAS, humans can distinguish up to 1 trillion scents vs the 10,000 that had previously been thought to be our human capacity.  Even those with rather poor sense of smell had the ability to distinguish 80 million.  Our immune network is a vast combination of interactive cellular communities, chemical potions of molecules, and the individual’s daily experience: attitudes, emotions, stresses, and happiness.  The immune organization is truly a body-mind experience.  In one of my classes with Alexandria Brighton, the aromatherapy formulator, we explored the system of the white blood cells defense/types of immune cells and was in awe of the different classes of cells and how they can learn to detect and protect.

 

NK “Natural Killer” cells are the earliest defenders against viral infections, killing virus-infected cells directly within hours of attack, even before the rest of the immune collaboration takes place.  These cells are sensitive to lifestyle and emotions.  This has been measured in the labs: If you are feeling lonely or depressed, your NK cells may become sluggish.  Meditate, find something funny to watch and you pep up these cells. (This validates laughter Yoga and comedy) Previously, I have referred to Candace Pert’s research in emotions and health.  A series of experiments performed in the 1970’s isolated minute chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are used by the nervous system to transmit information, including thought processes, throughout the body.  Scientists were excited to find that these neurotransmitters existed well beyond the physical boundaries of the brain.  They have been found in the adrenal glands of those with anxiety and in their blood as well.  We now know that our immune system does not exist in isolation from our emotions.

 

Alexandria Brighton has developed a line of essential oil blends that target the imbalances of life.  It is called the Release and Restore or Dispel and Restore – they are referred to in both those ways. There are 20 blends targeting fear, victimization, anger, unhealthy relationships, fear, judgement and self-sabotage.  Each negative emotion connects with its positive emotion such as courage, independent self, unconditional love, empathy, prosperity and reality check.  Changes have been observed.  They are a great tool.  I encourage you to research them.  goDesana.com/newpath

 

Google has been in the news lately with the controversial memo about how men and women perform in the workplace: that men may perform better and could handle more work stress.  Women tended to less driven to work insanely long hours and live the good life in corporate America so to speak.  The ability to power work is still glorified.  The series of Mad Men is recalled and the image of those skyscrapers, bars in the offices, and chain smoking and sex on the couches with the secretaries.  Science has not transmuted to our everyday culture yet.  Living a healthy lifestyle is still not the norm but is becoming more popular.  One of the positives of this memo was the response by so many.  People are standing up and noticing.  We are evolving despite what the news, governments and others may say: and this evolution is positive.  Let’s get to work then.  There is a man employed by Google called the Happiness officer.  His job is to teach others the practice of mindfulness and balance. I hope the author of that memo finds his way there.

 

Developing healthy lifestyles is a choice.  The question:  “What is best for me?  What is best for me?  What is really, really best for me?”  These are the questions I pose to those I work with to help the wheels start turning in a creative way.  When there is high stress, there is usually rigid or polarized thinking. (It’s either this way or that) It’s often hard to get out of our usual ruts of thinking and making up things.  Our brains make up solutions if we don’t have them, and sometimes these “solutions” are negative and not in the best interests of our whole self.  Anyone that is challenged with depression or anxiety knows the power of negative and critical self-talk.  These are some of the made-up solutions that I’m referring to.  I created my own business some years ago, It started as a leap out of the employee status motivated by a businessman who frankly told me I shouldn’t do it…that I didn’t have the skill set.  I was after all rather sensitive and with that some of the side effects of focus, anxiety and insecurities.  Still, in my 40’s I ventured out of my own box into the world of creativity and shades of color.  There have been many twists and turns but long story short, it was one of the best decision I ever made.  One common “solution” that my brain came up with was “I won’t have enough money” when my business would slow for some reason and “You must not be a good enough therapist.” When we hear things like this our bodies take it seriously and react in some way.  You may not notice it but it is recorded.   As time passes the jug fills up so to speak and the body has symptoms…all sorts of emotional or physical problems you have heard about or may have experienced.   This is a similar process in relationships.  You can run but cannot hide from your emotions.  The best way is to decide to be open to whatever they are and do something about them.

 

5 Steps to Transformation  (insights of the day)

  1. Decide to live more authentically and set that as your intention.
  2. Hydrate – drink lots of fresh, filtered water and use 1/2 of an organic lemon/lime in the mornings.  You can also add a drop of lemon essential oil and a drop of peppermint to cleanse the liver during high stress times.  Do this for a week and see how you feel.  It can be energizing.  My husband does this periodically and has noticed significant decrease in allergy/asthma symptoms.
  3. Wellness plan – Develop one…find good support from trusted friends/mentors/professionals.   Striving for your own excellence is a not done in a vacuum.
  4. Nutrition/complementary/medical care – Seek to understand your own body, use the best essential oils/herbs for healing and be check in on your medical Dr. to get the numbers so to speak on your internal health.  Medical school doesn’t educate doctors to understand personalized nutrition.  There is a product out called Gene SNP that is used by mental health professionals to assess DNA and best lifestyle practices.  It’s the science that we have available now although it is still in the early stages of being utilized.
  5. Think in abundant terms…You are loved on this earth.  Even though all these things may happen remind yourself in front of the mirror each day that You are Loved.  Google mirror work and see some of the results.

 

 

Classes:  I have 2 classes coming up on Friday, August 25th  that I am doing with Veronica Ortega.   Emotions and essential oils is from 11 AM-12 PM.  Healing with whole foods and introduction to Mind, Body Soul anti-inflammatory nutritional products is from 12 PM-1 PM.  For details about Veronica or the classes,  please refer to my facebook page – Tina M Johnson, MSW 

Location:  1321 23rd St So.  Ste H  Fargo, ND    Cost:  Free!  

 

As always, please contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

 

 

Scammed – the Trauma, Tragedy and Repair

Being scammed is more and more the norm of this technologically based culture.  I hear about it all the time, have seen its effects with others, myself in a few situations and clients who have shared their stories.  I do not consider myself scam naive and have done my best at keeping up with security issues.  The rug was jerked out from underneath my feet recently when I found myself the victim of one of the “old” scams.  The computer freezes, commands you not to shut it down and puts on a reputable Microsoft logo underneath the pop-up urgent request to call the Microsoft helpline which I did. I was simply buying movie tickets for that evening, looking forward to some leisure with my husband and within moments was hearing all about how my network wasn’t protected by the appropriate security.  I let this unknown person take control of my computer to “fix” the problem which led into the cost of the security products I was buying.  I kept going!  My intuition was sending me warning signals but the panic which I was not fully aware of was running the show.  It gets worse.  The fees for all these fixes were $375 with all the “fees” and “taxes’ that were applied in the end – even with the “senior discount.”  He wanted my checkbook account/routing numbers and I had it out before I stopped yet quickly he said, “No problem, we can go through your Amazon account.”  Sounded somewhat legit (not really) so I did it.  Amazon sent back an email questioning this purchase on Gold Coins, which is apparently a way to send money to a third party.  He then told me to go back and change my password on Amazon to validate the charge.

I finally felt the sinking nausea of what was really happening.  I put myself on hold and called the “real” Microsoft company which confirmed my body’s reactions.  They told me to turn off my computer immediately and that I could be helped by them if I paid the fee of $149 for a year contract of service.  It seemed I had no options and I paid it.  I was referred to the New Delhi computer techs to trouble shoot my problem and hopefully fix it.   Unfortunately, the language and background noise of his co-workers and the slowness of the process, it took me another 2 hours to hear that I needed to take it “into the store.”  I assumed this meant the computer repair shop.  I didn’t think there was a Microsoft store in Fargo, ND.  He couldn’t clarify this when I asked him.  By this time, it was 7 PM.  I had started my movie ticket purchase at 2:30 that afternoon and was mentally exhausted not to mentioned full of muscle tension.

As the evening progressed, I became more aware of what happened on another level.  I had let myself be victimized and was self-critical; chastising myself for being so stupid.  Then I felt the anger – what right do people have to hurt others all in the name of control and money? Then, the awareness of past traumas experienced in my life…. When I was a teenager, when I was hurt and taken advantage of in my life.  Slices of childhood memories before I had to grow up meander through with the mixed feelings of longing, joy and sadness.  The real world keeps you on guard.  Watch, always watch.  I have the scenario of what I would have said to this perpetrator when I saw that his call was coming in after I shut down the computer and his cold reactions of ruining my system.  Of course, I thought of his mother and what she would think of him doing this to someone.  I wish I could have grabbed the call and give him a piece of my mind so to speak.  I don’t think I’ve ever really done that.  Mid-westerners act with the most reserve…. that’s the world I grew up in that anyway.  As a therapist and one trained in critical incident debriefings, I knew the material.  Living life assertively and with maturity is a life worth striving for. Faking that is difficult.

Recovering from this trauma began almost immediately. Knowledge helps for sure but it didn’t save me.  I went to my stress tool bag and reached out to a few support people via text.  Just knowing that they knew and were sending love made a difference.  Next came my thoughts and focus on the bigger picture….my responsibility for panic and forgiving myself for not being perfectly composed/logical.  Positive, positive and even more positive thinking about any good that could possibly be gained from this ordeal. In this phase I would suggest thinking before speaking to loved ones…. emotions can be easily projected. I tried to keep the excess negativity away from my spouse.  He didn’t do anything.  Venting is great, dumping all your complaints isn’t.  I practiced one of the most powerful self-healing techniques that I use myself and teach to many of my clients and friends.  It is called Ho’oponopono which is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.  It consists of four statements:  I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, Thank you.  These energetic words, when said from the heart can be healing if not transforming.  There is some quality You Tube videos that take you through the practice to use whenever you create stress for yourself.  I do this practice along with EFT, a tapping strategy to use to help calm the body.  There are certain points on the body that when stimulated help the body calm, when you combine tapping with emotion awareness and positive affirmations one can significantly lower stress levels in the body.  These are practices that are easy to learn and have a long track record of benefit.  I use one of high frequency essential oils while I’m doing the tapping which only makes the practice better.  Transform is one such oil blend.

I got a call from Microsoft the next morning and they went through the process of refunding my $149 given the circumstances.  They were proactive on this and I am grateful…haven’t seen the refund on my card yet but I felt good about the effort.  I also attended my church, shared my experiences and did some singing…these activities were good for my soul and a great positive distraction which is another tool in the bag.  I also reached for my healing essential oils such as Lavender Vera and others supportive for the nervous system.  It’s always good to have some basic essential oil knowledge when you can really use it!  This afternoon I got a good walk in and went to the movie I had hoped to go to yesterday. Therapy for the mind.  My computer is non-functional and I assume it will be a rather big fix not to mention any other fall out from being hacked.   Even though things aren’t back to normal, I feel hopeful that they will be soon.  The computer repair man reiterated how easy it is to fall victim and how clever they can be to dupe the public.  “They keep doing it because people pay them money.”  He said if there are no global regulations of the internet these kinds of activities will continue.  Bottom line – Be aware, do your best to keep up be logical and Be Kind to yourself if it happens to you.  Still, I wonder about the hackers and how they reconcile their behaviors.  I’ll send them the Ho’oponopono message energetically.  That, I can do.

Six months later – I have retained the awareness of my experience and been able to assist others caught in the same computer trap.  I’ve worked on the emotion of frustration and learned that this emotion connects with many other negative feelings.  How have I worked on this emotion?  I regularly visit my own stress tool bag and look around for any new ones that might be effective.  The one I found for this emotion was a book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza.  He highlights specific steps one can take to be who you were born to be, not taught to be.  Powerful and transforming if that’s the tool you choose.  I challenge readers to create their own stress tool kit.  Let me know if I can be of assistance.

 

 

 

Self Healing – Finding your path

Spring is making its appearance into the Fargo prairie land.  I am grateful for the sun.  Today I will focus on developing a healing relationship with yourself – mind/body/spirit that is and share with you the positive healing news in the plant worlds.    Many of us were brought to separate our thinking selves with our physical bodies and our spiritual nature.  The old adages such as :

  • Work hard
  • Be Serious
  • Don’t feel too much (once in awhile a little happiness or anger may be seen)
  • Be guarded or wary
  • Don’t be ……..this could be any number of things such as show off, too loud, too quiet, too emotional, too fat, too skinny, too smart and the list goes on depending on the family you grew up in.

…. are beliefs we have internalized with more power and influence than we may realize.  I was talking with a young girl in grade school recently.  I asked her what her 3 wishes were.  She responded by saying ” I want to be great in gymnastics, a top horse rider and not be fat.”  I tried in my own way to “positize” the last wish and said, “You mean you want to be in good physical shape?”   Even at a young age we start training ourselves in what “should be the best” rather than what is best for our own self.  Since I have my own “fat story” (see website blog, relatecommunicate.com)  and am sensitive to this subject, senses reacted strongly. Each person embodies what we believe to be true and we store some of these beliefs in different areas of the body.  Cells contain emotional energies.  There are books and research on this subject that proves this connection within our bodies.  In other words, we need to find the language that the body understands and that most often involves releasing all the old negative beliefs we carry and replacing them with more positive messages.

  • I can be productive and aware of myself
  • I cooperate with myself and others
  • I love and approve of myself
  • I trust the process of life and learn lessons when problems arise
  • Do be yourself

There are many healing practices that I practice myself and many that I teach to clients to help them find their own strategies.   I am beginning to realize at this seasoned age that we can always do something, regardless of age number, to free and strengthen ourselves from what didn’t balance with our heart self…. or the authentic self.  I have been doing chakra assessments for others over the last 6 months and continue to be impressed with how each of our body energy centers operate.  They each have their own missions so to speak yet they work intimately with the whole.  When there are problems on any level of functioning these energy, centers react.  We may feel fatigue, pain, mood issues, interpersonal problems or other challenging symptoms.  Awareness of these balances empowers us to act and understand.   Usually, we will find the chakra essential oil blend that corresponds to the part of the body or chakra and test to see if this will help remedy the imbalances.  This is a link to the chakra essential oil page to give you more information about how these oils are used.  goDesana.com/newpath  Scroll to the bottom and hit the chakra tab.

 

​​​Personal Revelations​ – This last few years have been challenging for me physically.  I experienced some hip/back related injuries that impacted my whole torso and tried many treatments to ease the pain/inflammation that developed.  I tried to ignore it for the longest time, being that I was a “hard worker” and did most things “seriously”.  One thing about pain, it usually succeeds in getting your attention which then decreases the attention you have for things you enjoy doing.  Being a somatic person by temperament, meaning the body feels the emotions more easily than some, I was keenly aware of the physical symptoms which increased anxiety symptoms which let’s just say didn’t make things better.  Interestingly, this came at the same time I felt healthy in my love life meaning that I felt my emotional needs were being met.  Remember, determining if your emotional needs are me is a “felt” sense.  Do I feel loved? and am I able to give love?  This is in relationship to your loved one.  Since I had known unhealthy relationships in the past, I could experience the difference firsthand.  All I can say is there is a difference.  Now I needed to focus on finding ways to support and meet my body’s needs, releasing old patterns that didn’t help and finding new ones that did.  Still on the path, I have some new perspectives and am gradually getting stronger with all that I’ve learned.  Here are some paths I’ve sought out in the process.  All have been important in some way:  Chiropractic, Emotion Code, ( healerslibrary.com )  Physical Therapy using postural restoration techniques, Yoga and Pilates, Nutrition testing to target specific nutritional needs that your body has, Prolotherapy to strengthen ligaments and Mindfulness and self-love  strategies including Qi Gong, (Spring Forest techniques out of Eden Prairie, MN) and studying Louise Hay books/mirror work exercises.  Recently I’ve gotten training in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) that is also effective in helping the body release and restore the energy flow by tapping on certain acupressure points of our body.    I have explored many areas in the last 8 years and am beginning to develop perspective.  “What do I really need?” Most people may not need to make the same colorful journey that I have chosen but the important pearl here is that we all need something to help go within and heal. Basically, finding the way back to loving and accepting oneself even though…. life happens and lessons are put in front of us.

My Recent Essential Oil Favorites

I traveled to Nevada last week to visit family and found that the most used oils were tea tree, (sore on body) Wellness for Kids, (helps with immune…roll on your feet in the morning) ​ Ravintsara, (for congestion) I Connect, (foot chakra blend that helps ground and stabilize body) Lavender Ice and Trauma Relief, (back pain) I always carry a Lavender Vera, and one of the Spiritual oils such as Mary or Ruth if I need extra support.  Lemon is another effective travel oil as you can cleanse water when you are out with one drop. I use the lavender-lemon blend to put in the wash machine for a clean and nice smelling wash.   My family sometimes relies on me to suggest one essential oil or another depending on their issues.  I also travel with Protector spray and mist it around my space or other areas that need cleansing – to disinfect and emotionally clear negative energies.  You can use a variety of oils in mister sprays.  Use distilled water with 10-15 drops of oil, depending on how big your spray bottle is.  Bergamot is nature’s Prozac, Orange and Tangerine to ease anxiety, Peppermint for refreshing and more.  goDesana.com/newpath  You can search for detailed information on individual oils in the search bar.

Recipe of the Day – clean your shower to prevent mold/soap films:

2 oz. water

1 Tablespoon Vinegar

4 drops lime

2 drops peppermint

2 drops lemon

Use a glass or PET plastic bottle.  Pour water and vinegar into the bottle and then add the essential oils.  After your shower, shake the shower spray and spray tile, floor, shower door or curtain and faucet fixtures.  You can leave it on or sponge it off it desired.  This is best made fresh every couple of weeks.

 

MIND, BODY, SOUL NEWS

Alexandria Brighton, the formulator for all the goDesana essential oils and my teacher, has formulated 3 Ayurvedic superfoods that have been on the market for a couple of months.  I have tried them. followed people who have tried them and observed feedback from others on social media. There are many positive testimonials and it is EXCITING!  Essentially, Alexandria has blended a formula of raw concentrated superfood which targets inflammation.  MIND focuses on cognitive, mood and brain health, BODY targets the circulation/heart system and SOUL supports the immune/liver system.  I use MIND and SOUL together.  Some combine a shot of all 3 and others do well with one.  I have noticed “on the top of my game” thinking and less fatigue as well as decreased sinus congestion.  I look forward to the daily “shot”.  This is a sister company of goDesana called HB Naturals.  If you are interested in the research and other information about them check out the website or contact me for more information.   The company offers free sample packs with the cost of shipping. ($4.95)  The aroma of each one is good energy as they say.   healingtrilogy.com/newpath


As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

​Enjoy your Day,

 

Tina Johnson

Singing – Another Secret Finds Freedom

A few years ago I started singing in our local church choir.  I had been a visitor at this church for a few years and had imagined what it would be like if I were to sing with them.  The whispering mother-voice in my mind would replay the phrase “You should sing in the choir.” or “You should play the piano more.  You have such talent.” She did both – played the piano and sang in the choir. In some ways she was a remarkable role model, in others  she was restricted in her own expression as was the way of the culture in those days.  Turns out, she started studying the piano in her own way at age 69.  She has now done 15 annual piano concerts in Las Vegas and is planning her next.   Growing up in the 70’s in the small mid-size ND town of Jamestown, cultured music appreciation meant community concerts who presented various musical performers from “far away.”  Or, for me, the night the Cowsills, the 70’s family group who came to our High School auditorium.  I really wanted to go.  After all, it was just across the street from where we lived.  For some reason I was a wanna be as I just knew they were there and not in the audience.  Sometimes groups would come to the big city of Bismarck and our church group organized a trip to some of these events like Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and 3 Dog Night.  Performers and those in the entertainment business seemed like another world far away from my own.   Desires for performing budded within during those middle school years.  For many reasons, these desires were unfulfilled and were filed as not that important.

I am reading  Amy Poehler’s new book  called “Yes, Please” and her highlights in growing her passion for performance and making people laugh.  It started early as did her confidence. One event at a time, Amy Poehler tells her tales of life experiences that motivated her to write this unique and funny audio book.    Despite the “Demons” of negative thinking she visualized her performing career and went into it with gusto and a positive spirit.  She takes care in not underestimating the impact of the inner demons who are you; just in a strange voice whispering or shouting out all kinds of put downs and sarcasms one could only find in the mud pools of the dark mind.   I was as reserved as she was “out there” yet I related to the desires for expressing myself in a creative way and wanting lots of love in my life.   With today’s transparencies and medias it seems that everybody out there is hard at work being an impressive  person and are at varying phases in this pursuit.  Impressive to me is thought about with a positive spin.  I have observed in my many years as a therapist that most people want to feel good about what they do, who they are with and what they want and along the way there is inevitable messiness.    

Today,we sang the song called “My Prayer”.  This is one of those powerful songs sung by Andre Botticelli and Celine Dion.  Unfortunately, we had a small turnout and had to create something beautiful with 8 voices….9 with the choir director.  We pulled it off as I imagined the duet by the artists joining us in my fantasy.   Interestingly, during the children’s sermon, the pastor posed the question to the kids:  “Does anyone want to sing a song?”  A young teenager who happened to be the pastor’s daughter got up, took off her jacket, revealing a snazzy black top with cut out sleeves that sparkled which incidentally matched with the silver sparkles of black boots.  She started to sing and it was may I say magical?  What was amazing was the moment.  It wasn’t a star being born moment yet it had the feel of that.  She was expressing herself and you could feel it.  This felt bigger than an audition or an amazed Simon Cowell reacting to a performance on America’s Got Talent.   That’s the way the mind can work – with comparisons and expectations.  That demon mind can live here.  This event appeared to me to bypass all these old ways of thinking and celebrated the authenticity of the gift of self expression…. something that was lost in me for so long.  I enjoyed imagining myself at that age doing something similar and it made my heart sing.  Now, that’s impressive.

Let’s return  to the business of finding love, self acceptance and expression of our own gifts and talents however diverse they may be.  I resisted artistic expression because I believed I wasn’t all that good and had been told that in various ways throughout my life.  Consequently I avoided any search or effort to develop these talents while minimizing any positive impacts for these pursuits.  This was easy to do in this work focused world.  I simply just worked a lot and gave lip service to the importance of creative pursuits.  In this same church service, the pastor opened the sermon up with the story of her own disappointments in “‘Being” recalling her love of just wanting to sing out loud as a child, joining various choirs and eventually un-joining them as events unfolded in her life that discouraged her from singing; from doing what she had originally loved to do.  ‘I stopped singing.”   The words hit me personally and sounded oddly familiar.   I had  desires and a love of singing and dancing and if I have to be honest, the fantasy of mastering the balance beam.  If I had to honest again I would include well known writer and author.   I imagined myself at a young age being asked to sing and dance, actually stepping out (in a prepared way) and looking good.  Looking good because it was genuine not because of it’s “talent”.   Looking fantastic because it was celebration of the “inner ding” as Louise Hay has coined it.  At a meeting one day,  Louise happened to hear these words:  “If you’re willing to change your thinking, you can change your life.”  For whatever reason she heard this with her Being and chose to do something about it.   She went out and created a legacy of resources for healing and self acceptance.  This inner ding is where power resides and I only wished I could have bottled some of it.  Perhaps I did as it provided the muse for exploring my own creativity in writing this blog.  Who knows?  One thing we do know is that there are many beliefs that we carry within that keep us from that inner well-being and happiness; beliefs that need to seen and transformed into action.

Despite challenges we all have the capacity for seeking and recognizing that inner ding.  Benefits do outweigh the costs so to speak.  I encourage you to set the intention for this new year; that 2017 will provide opportunities to manifest positive experiences and paths to travel.   The essential oil that I often suggest at these times is called Transform  http://www.godesana.com/transform.asp?sponsorsite=newpath   It is a unique blend of Sage, Balsam Fir, Black Spruce, Elemi, Clary Sage, Inula, Rockrose, Patchouli, Spikenard, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Marjoram, Pink Grapefruit and Rose Geranium.  The frequency of these oils can help increase your own energies setting the stage for positive changes.  I wish you well in your  journey and  appreciation for the synergy of today’s events. Continue reading

How To Stay Sane On Election Day and Beyond

 

November 2016

stress-2-people-imageOK, It’s coming and I have some “Inspirdrive”, to coin a phrase, of how I feel at this moment in this country’s history.  Being in the mental health field for 30+ years I am bamboozled by this election season’s long and snarly road.  I’ve heard more frustrations, rage, confusion, depressive and anxiety symptoms that I can remember in the past.   Our mental health is stressed!  (As if you didn’t know) The impact of stress is well documented in research.  More than a little stress in our lives impacts our bodies and health and most of us have been told that at one point or another.  We are designed to deal with stress on a short term basis.  Our bodies are marvelous machines made to solve problems and get our needs met and once that’s done, calm down.  Our animals have this figured out.  I talk to my cat about all that is going on here, the political media blitzes, the polarizing of social media, the Protest in western ND, you name it.  He lifts his head up while I get activated, assesses that it’s not going to hurt him and sinks his head back down on the rug…. although when the vacuum cleaner is brought out, he freaks out and disappears until its quiet again.  This political season has brought out the low drone of a constant vacuum cleaner that follows us around and as much as we may want to avoid any fallout it is almost impossible.

Many of the clients I see have reported significant impact in their lives, whether it be work, social or family relationships.  It brings out the Stress in them, meaning that when we are triggered by anything either in our external or internal environment that creates a negative emotion, a resulting reaction occurs.  Research suggests 4 Stress Styles that are most common.  The first one is Placator/Peace at any price style.   If we are unaware, this can be rather automatic such as “I think Clinton should win” comment to a Trump supporter.  “What, are you crazy?  Can’t you see she’s a crook?”  The response here may be related to what style of stress that is carried.  Let’s just say the Clinton supporter was brought up to be agreeable and not to rock the boat.  Her response may be…”Well maybe you’re right, I’ll have to check it out or Yes, she did do lots of things.”  The second one is the Blamer/I’m right, You’re wrong  style which would trigger a different reaction.  “What? You’re the one who’s crazy.  Have you seen that video?”  The third approach is called Super Reasonable/Computer style which downplays any emotion.  “Well, it says in the polls that there is a slight lead for Clinton.  Let’s look at the statistics.”   The fourth style is called the Distractor/Ignore and the problem vanishes.   Responses may be completely unrelated to the issues at hand.  “Hey, let’s just forget all this and go out and play cards/shop/clean the house/work/drink…you name it.”    These reactions to stress triggers are usually tied back into our childhoods and that software is pretty tightly woven.  In order to bypass these automatic reactions, we need to first be aware and understand the power that they have on our everyday behaviors.  Once you do this then comes the good part.  You can take parts of each of the styles and integrate them into your own style for a positive outcome.  For example, the positive aspect of the Placator is being sensitive and compassionate to another’s emotions; the good part of the Blamer is the assertiveness it brings to the table; the ability to speak our truth without blaming.  The Super Reasonable/Computer can remind us to use logic and reason when managing a situation and with the Distractor, comes the reminder to play and take breaks…. but we will get back to the problem.

stress-imageEven though we can’t eliminate our negative tendencies to react in these certain ways, we can transcend them with practice.  After the election will come all the waves of uncertainty of “what’s going to happen” until the dust settles in January.   Then, it’s likely to resurface again given the roller coaster media ride we’ve all been on.  What I’d really like is to feel a sense of stability and trust.  One way to keep sane is to focus on things we can control.  Look at your hands and for most of us we can move them.  Let that be a reminder for the moment that what may be most important is self-management or as I like to call it Mindfulness.  How am I going to cultivate stability and trust in myself given that I’ve just heard or seen someone make a triggering comment?  The goal here is to catch your style going into action and allow yourself the chance to create the mindset that is best for you.  Is this easy?  It gets easier with practice but the rewards are great; one being the expression of your authentic truth rather than the automatic stress style dribble.  The more you practice the more dribble you can experience which leads to a stronger sense of self and a better outlook which of course is a stress reliever.  Although this is not the immediate “keep yourself sane” technique but it is one to work on daily.

Some of the best strategies for this season relate to catching yourself, breathing deeply and evenly and repeat to yourself 10 times “All is well”.   There is a great mirror exercise written about by Louise Hay that confirms the power of positive affirmations to yourself daily.  Check out the mirror exercise on You tube if you are interested.  Even though you think all may not be well on the outside, this exercise calms the mind. If you want excitement and drama go for it.  Media will be hyping it all up but keep in mind the balance of nature and the power of small practices to keep yourself sane.   Don’t forget to add the water, herbal teas and lemons/limes.  These are detoxing for any type of stress you are facing.   One of my favorite essential oils to calm anxiety is Frankincense or Lavender Frankincense which combines two calming essential oils.  Just make sure they are of therapeutic grade and organic.  For more information on that check out  http://goDesana.com/newpath   In the short term, do-nuts, diet coke, a good stiff drink or any number of mind medicating substances may be calling your name   What your brain really needs is care!   Finally, on Tuesday let’s not forget that we are all in this together.  Let’s do what we can – in our own ways – one task or practice at a time.   Good luck!

 

Tina M Johnson, MSW, BCD

1321 23rd St So, Ste H

Fargo, ND  58103

https://www.relatecommunicate.com

tmjohnsonmsw@gmail.com

 

 

 

What’s New With Essential Oils?

Greetings and Welcome to Fall!
This is the season to prepare and plan for the colder weather and all that comes with that.  I just re-started my Vitamin D and making it a priority to step outside to take in and experience the outdoors.
This morning I heard from a young mother that the goDesana lavender chamomile she was diffusing in her room was really helping her sleep and feel better; that she wished she could find a way to use the essential oils more often.  That inspired me to review the literature on children and essential oils which once again reminded me of the importance of each oils complex synergies that are vital for therapeutic vs fragrance oils/preparations.  A typical Essential Oil will have 100 or more different constituents containing an elaborate mixture of chemical compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, lactones, phenols, terpenes, and sesquiterpenes.  It is this unique and complex combination of chemical compounds that determines if an oil is therapeutic or not.
” The power of living plants (Herbs and Essential Oils) lies in the combination of their compounds, and the trace constituents are as important as the main compounds.  In fact, it seems to be that the minor constituents have a synergistic (controlling and strengthening) effect on the main compounds.  Many of these trace elements enable the herbs or oils to assist the body more efficiently and without the nasty side effects experienced when using the synthetic reconstructions (drugs or oils) that do not contain the trace elements.”
This information is from Alexandria Brighton and was written to help educate others about the importance of understanding the healing properties and safety precautions when using Essential Oils for wellness and healing.  OK!  These are the times when I wish for one of the great scientist minds to create the blueprint of understanding for my mind.  However, I keep in mind that even the most advanced scientists or Doctors can tell you just exactly how anti-depressants work.  The Great Mystery is one of terms used by Native Americans; often using their astute intuitions at how to use herbs and plants to heal our bodies and minds.  This summer I walked one of the bog trails in Bemidge, MN.  Throughout the trail was pages of the story of a young Native American  girl who traveled across the lake to get the healing herbs for her people during a crisis.  The story perhaps inspired MN to name the pink and white lady slipper as their state flower.   The experience reminded me of the impact of our modern culture away from nature and how mainstream healing was in the form of pills and painkillers.   More than 20% of kids in the US take prescriptions on a regular basis and nearly 7% are on 2 or more drugs.  Few of us had mothers and grandmothers  or grandfathers for that matter,  who knew the art of natural healing remedies.  In our family, we avoided the doctors and relied on antibiotics and the grin and bear it approach.
When using essential oils with children always know something about the oils or blends you are using.  Alexandria Brighton uses the 4 Safety group approach.
 Group #1 can be used in pregnancy, while nursing and on your children. (lavender, lavender vera, Mandarin, red, Niaouli, Neroli, Ranintsara, Rose, Spearmint, Tangerine, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang complete)
 Safety Group # 2 is the essential oils that are safe with children over the age of 3. and while pregnant starting the 2nd trimester. ( Basil, sweet, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Geranium, rose, Ginger Root, Grapefruit, pink, Lavender, spike, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, sweet, Patchouli, Peppermint, Palmarosa, Sandawood Myrtle, green and Thyme ct. linalool)
 Group# 3 is never recommended for children or while nursing when used as a single oil.  They are considered safe when used in a blend and diluted. (Some listed are Eucalyptus Radiata, Fennel, sweet, Grapefruit, pink, Jasmine, Lime, Orange, sweet, Patchouli, Pepperint, Rosemary ct 1. 8 cineole, Sandalwood and Hyme ct. linalool)
Safety Group # 4 is the essential oils never recommended for children, pregnancy or while nursing.  For example, Basil, holy, Birch, Cassia, Cilantro, Cinnamon Bark, Whit Fir, Oregano, Sage and Eucalyptus Globulus are some in this group.
This is not a complete list but it gives you a good idea of how important some basic knowledge is.
Useful Stomach Ache Nausea and Colic Blend
* 2 drops Lavender, fine
*  1 drop Ginger Root
*  1 drop Mandarin, red
*  1 drop Dill Weed
*  1/2 oz Grape Seed Oil ( 1 ounce under 1 yr old)
 
I traveled to Idaho in October  for a 3 day Chakra II training.  I have completed my 10 practice sessions and am excited to prepare this new assessment tool  in my practice and offer Chakra Evaluations as a service on my website.   www.relatecommunicate.com   I will be updating soon.  I have observed these sessions to “dive deep”, find the imbalances that need some care and offering some remedies using the Essential Oils created for each Chakra energy system in our bodies.  Feedback has been positive and all have had “learnings”  from the experience.  As always, feel free to call or email with questions you may have or if you want to schedule a session.   goDesana.com/newpath  for shopping or more information.
Enjoy this beautiful fall month!

The Body and Love Relationships

 

hug imageCan the type and quality of your intimate relationships affect your health?  You are probably wondering, “What doesn’t affect your health?”  There are many studies that indicate stress as a trigger for most of today’s ailments and problems.  Emotions and the stress we feel are intimately connected.  We can’t control our emotions but we can learn to be aware of them and  the good news about managing these emotions is  that love is the big winner here.  So, how does love affect our health? It has a lot to do with it!  I’ve really only been tracking this with intention over the past 5-10 years  after I met and married the most authentic love of my love and, might I add the best teacher of myself.  The other factor was turning 50.  Nothing like a little age factor to wake up to the physical body.  Glasses and menopause came on the scene and life changed again.

Menopause in most women enters their lives in the 50’s….give or take a few years.  I entered this decade relatively naive – despite “education” I had little experience in the process of menopause in the women of my family history.  I grew up in the era of “grin and bear it” or “It’s not a subject worth mentioning” or “It’s not that big of a deal”.  Each woman has her own set of beliefs for this life stage too, and hand them down to our family, we do.  I often encourage women to examine the women in their lives for information to unearth their own guiding rules.  What does menopause have to do with love and health?  For me, these transitions melded together.  Other transitions include the birth of a child,  moving, caring for parents, or others that require major shifts.  I won’t speak to men’s mid life transition to this decade here.  That will be another piece to work on with my husband.  It’s a big deal too!

I have  worked with many couples in my psychotherapy practice over the years and noticed patterns of stress management depending on the stage of life, stressors experienced, and family history – meaning here the  family dynamics and biologic/personality traits inherited.  Humans generally have a huge capacity for doing what they believe they want.  We’re designed that way. We have strong defense systems.  Denial, minimizing, avoiding and blaming/projecting are examples of how we deflect our stressors.    How else are we going to survive?  I remember the drive I had earlier in my career to make a living and do something good for the world.  I choose a traditional path of social work and walked the way I was taught at home, school and at work.  I got married when I thought I was supposed to and ….well that’s when life’s twists and turns really started showing up.  Negative emotions fuels stress and if you don’t have the emotional skills, they will erupt into depressive or anxious periods, self- medication with any number of addictive substances or things and physical illnesses.   I’ve experienced divorce in all its complexities and traumas, been a single parent twice and all the while still believing that I would someday find the trail of happiness.  I eventually realized that it is usually not the most trodden one.  I had to find my own path outside that “box” of what I thought life was supposed to look like.  When I realized that it was OK to go outside the box, life changed dramatically.   It lined up with finding a healthy love relationship.   Interestingly, I needed to learn that before I was ready to begin that relationship which reflects one of those wise truths about tending to yourself first.

baby imageThe body is your first intimate relationship.  I was spending time with a baby this weekend:  Lucy, her 7 month old body in hand, reacted to impulses and stimuli with her whole body.  Her ear hurts, her fists try to go in, her curiosity aroused, she observes intently, tired, she reacts with fussiness.   She responds in relationship to how she is treated when she reacts to her body.  Much is written about child development and there are various theories of why we learn to behave in the ways that we do.  The point here is that our body is our best guide…always.  We just have to evolve back and integrate our first true and authentic relationship.  How does that relate to love relationships?   When you give your partner a hug next time, just notice what happens to your body.  Notice what happens in your mind.  That’s all you need to do to get started on a new path.  Your body won’t lie.  Notice if you are feeling any tensions, sensations, especially in your stomach. (the second brain)  If you can communicate what you are observing and your partner understands what you say then you have practiced a core communications strategy called Confiding.  Confiding is the ability to communicate what you think and feel and feel safe with your partner. Confiding is not complaining.  It is stating your reality of the moment.  If you find yourself rehearsing what you should say, then you are filtering and feeding your stress.  For more information on this skill I will refer you to www.pairs.com.

Another way into your body is a technique called muscle testing.  There are simple strategies to access your own body’s wisdom.  One easy one is called the sway test.  Stand with balance and a calm mind.  Make a statement that you know the answer is Yes.   For example:  I like chocolate.  Then, watch the way your body moves without intentionally moving it.  Make a statement with a No response and observe your reaction carefully.  Practice for awhile and soon you will notice a pattern.  When the answer is Yes, your body will sway one way and when the answer is no, it will sway another.  Once you have it mastered, you can use this technique whenever you want.   Anyone can learn it if they want to.  I suggest you don’t use it when you are emotional – wait until you are calm and able to focus in on yourself.  website couple image

My husband and I recently organized a workshop called Re-Awakening Love Relationships.  One of the main experiences of the day was learning to do just that –  are at any given time.  If you can master that one, you will never be one of those couples that sit in a restaurant with nothing to talk about.  You can always go back to your body and ask it what it is noticing and share these observations with your partner. It can be very sensual!  See where the conversation goes and you will be surprised.  Our bodies can talk and we can listen!  Loving our own selves is the best investment for a long and lasting love relationship.

If you are interested we will be doing the workshop in the near future.  Info on my website at https://www.relatecommunicate.com