Top 5 Hacks to Deal with Anxiety

Ever felt a little anxious? Or maybe a lot? I certainly have. From full-blown panic attacks to Generalised Anxiety Disorder and being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in my early 30s, I have had a long and illustrious relationship with anxiety. We are tight. And I know I’m not alone - in Australia, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition with 1 in 4 people (1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men) experiencing serious anxiety in their lifetime.

Anxiety can be crippling, it can bring you to your knees, stop you from leaving the house, driving your car or getting out of bed. It can turn you into a raging, paranoid Medusa who flips out at the drop of a hat, or you can be a what I like to call a “functional anx-aholic” - someone who lives in a perpetual state of low level anxiety, but who generally goes about life and looks pretty peachy from the outside. These folks have difficulty experiencing joy, being present, don’t sleep terribly well, go to yoga, drink green smoothies and eat clean (mostly) but wonder why they can’t shift their extra weight because the constant supply of cortisol is screwing with their hormones. Then they drink half (or a whole) bottle of wine every night, seeking comfort in their vices (hello chocolate, biscuits, social smoking, recreational drug use) because nothing is working anyway so might as well escape, just for a little bit. Right?

Note: neither of these scenarios add up to living your best life!

Either way, anxiety has a huge impact on your day to day wellbeing, both emotional and physical. Did you know that studies show the heart muscle physically degenerates in response to extended periods of negative emotion? So, it’s important to have some tools up your sleeve to help you think clearly and feel in control.

I’m a strong advocate for taking a well-rounded approach to everything in life, there is never a ‘one size fits all’ solution and your emotional health and wellbeing is no different. That said, as I’ve gone through my own journey I’ve come to realise that there are many more options available to provide me with the support I need than first thought. I spent 10 years on an off anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication. It never sat well with me to be medicated for my own mental health but I acknowledge and am very grateful that I had access to a tool that kept me out of psych wards, in a great job and helped me keep it together just enough to have a life. But it was murder inside my head. And to be honest, the medication may have taken the edge off but I was still anxious, and still depressed. Plus I had the bonus side effects of flatlining emotionally (I didn’t cry for two whole years at one point!), decreased (read zero) libido and weight gain. The lightbulb came when I was nine months into post-natal depression, wondering how the hell I would find my way out when I was ALREADY medicated. Clearly it wasn’t working, so I had to find another way.

Enter the world of ‘alternative’ medicine.

Alternative medicine encompasses a range of holistic health approaches including Nutrition, Naturopathy, bodywork, Energy Psychology and supplements. I’ve tried them ALL, and then some.

PS - don’t you find it weird that ‘alternative’ is applied to the field and practice of Nutrition? We all eat, and we all know that eating a whole-food based diet improves our health outcomes, so alternative to what exactly? Oh, all those over-priced, mass-produced, man-made goodies! And Naturopathy is the same. Why is an approach that supports clean living and reduces toxic load considered alternative? Alternative to what? Polluting ourselves and loading up on more man-made ‘goodness’ - oh yeah, mainstream, that’s right. Cue cynicism. I digress, sorry.

I have finally arrived at a place where I am happy, stable, able to cope with incredibly stressful circumstances and still find joy (sounds like winning to me!) so, in the interests of sharing the benefit of my trial and error approach, here are may favourite, tried and tested hacks for dealing with anxiety.

 
  1. Essential oils

Yes, I am a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate and you can get lost in the rabbit hole of what that means or not. My whole life I’ve been interested in essential oils and plants as the source of life and sustainable medical solutions. After all, plants are the origin of all biology and chemistry. Nature was the first medicine cabinet and it was only technology, industrialisation and the opportunity to make a profit that drove us into laboratories to start replicating what we found in our plants.. We thought we created products that derived the same benefits, at a fraction of the cost. Not so. We now know that synthetic medications require more work for the body to process, they interrupt natural systems and pathways and force chemical reactions rather than engaging in a partnership at the cellular level. This approach sends the body out of balance and does nothing to support it returning. Homeostasis - it’s a natural state that every living biological being is striving for, every moment, including you.

Essential oils (pure, unadulterated ones that is) do exactly the opposite of synthetic medication. They work at the cellular level, are made of the same biological stuff that we are so they are easily metabolised, and they are recognised by human cells (check out this research for more info). So, using them does not create any extra load for my body and they actively work to return it to balance - the natural state. My favourite oils for supporting anxiety are:

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  • Copaiba: 2 drops under the tongue (combined with 1 drop Frankincense), or apply diluted to neck and shoulders to relief tension.

  • Frankincense: one drop under the tongue, or pressed to the roof of the mouth (in the soft palette) for a few seconds.

  • Balance Grounding Blend: apply to soles of feet, spine, back of neck and wrists daily, morning and night.

  • Litsea or Melissa: diffuse or apply in a roller to pulse points to promote uplifting feelings

  • AND any of the following: Manuka (being upheld, use when you feel wobbly and like you have no support), Clary Sage (clarity and vision, when you feel like you need to see the truth and cut through the noise), Hawaiian Sandalwood (very grounding and calming, spiritually connecting), Patchouli (physicality, coming back to the body and out of the anxious mind), Wild Orange (uplifting, happy, joyous, expansive), Bergamot (self-acceptance, calming, soothing) and Neroli (calming, confidence boosting).

There are two ways I use oils to manage anxiety. First, consistently. Every day I use oils to continuously support my central nervous system to remain balanced, relieve tension, relax and ground myself (stop being so ‘up in my head’ and get back to earth). Morning and night, sometimes reapplied during the day. I am always choosing oils that help me to be calm, clear and open.

During intense circumstances (like right now where my husband and I are separating) and my anxiety skyrockets - I keep them on hand and inhale directly from the bottle, or with a drop in my hand. Take this example. When we first decided to end our marriage I was experiencing constant constriction in my throat and mild palpitations that escalated whenever I thought about my future on my own. At one point I as walking to work, I almost passed out because it came on so quickly and I couldn't get enough air in to relax and breathe. What did I do? I sat down on the nearest seat, pulled out my Neroli and applied it everywhere taking the deepest, slowest breaths I could manage until I felt it ease (about five big breaths). Then I pulled out the Copaiba and placed two drops under my tongue. A few more minutes of breathing and the constriction relaxed completely. I could get up and keep going.

There’s an important point to remember here. We are going to experience anxiety in life. It’s appropriate to have large-scale, emotional responses to big, adverse life events. How we support ourselves through those situations is important. I no longer criticise myself for my emotional responses. There is nothing wrong with having a panic attack at the thought of my family falling apart and being a solo woman / parent. Being prepared is my focus. Knowing what works for me and making sure I am equipped with tools is me being responsible for myself and managing my anxiety. I’m old enough. I know enough. It’s my job to look after me. Essential oils are portable (keep them in your handbag), accessible (I don’t need to see a doctor or get a prescription), cheap (cheaper by the dose than medication) and effective (biologically, aromatically and energetically).

 

Hack 1:

grab your favourite calming oil and make a roller to have in your hand bag all the time. Also keep a bottle of the pure essential oil so you can diffuse on the go, or take internally (if appropriate) whenever you need it.

 
 

2. Aromatic Anchoring

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The act of consciously pairing a specific aroma with an emotion to create a new emotional memory and rewire your neural pathways to have desired responses. Sound a bit complicated? It’s not. Just like your whole body responds when someone walks past wearing the same scent as the love of your life, or you are flooded with love at the smell of the fabric softener you used to wash your baby’s clothes in (before you had essential oils!), or racked with fear at the harsh chemicals that strip your senses when you enter a hospital. Our scented memories are some of the most powerful and they elicit whole of body responses when triggered. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get in front of that response? Get ahead of the game and hijack our automatic, very efficient and effective systems, directing them to give us a desired outcome?

Yeah, sounds good. That’s aromatic anchoring. It’s the process of taking control of your sensory processing, and making it work FOR you.

There’s a couple of ways you can go about this. First, you can recall positive times in your life where you felt happy, confident and in control and can choose any prevalent aromas from that time (perhaps your favourite perfume, a meal you used to cook, a certain place you went like a coffee-house or shop) and bring it back into your life. Go there again, make the meal again. Notice how when you smell those familiar smells your olfactory system kicks into gear and sends a message to your limbic system searching for records of events that match that particular aroma. Once the record is found it triggers the release of just the right combination of neuro-chemicals to create the same feelings you used to feel in response to that smell. Before you know it, you’re deep in the experience of those emotions.

 

Hack 2:

make yourself an essential oil roller that reminds you of happy, positive and calm experiences and carry it with you at all times. inhale whenever you need to be transported to your happy place!

 

OR, you can select a new aroma and create a new emotional memory and pathway to elicit a desired emotional response. It works really well with EFT, and it goes a little bit like this……

 

Emotional Freedom Technique

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EFT or tapping as it’s also known, is a brief intervention that calms the body’s response to distressing experiences, memories or beliefs. EFT works by sending calming signals to the brain while tapping on acupressure points AND exposing yourself to the event that is causing us distress. This process reduces the emotional charge associated with the event and allows us to think clearly, make better decisions and be more empowered, eg., less anxious. EFT is an amazing tool on it’s own but it becomes even more effective when paired with a specific aroma to create new, positive emotional memories. Aromatic Anchoring amplifies the effect by engaging the body’s sense of smell in the process. It’s like adding protein powder to your green smoothie. What you had before was good, now it’s better. Check out this research in the Journal of Evidence-based Integrative Medicine for more info.

 

Hack 3:

get tapping! Check out this video, come a long to an Essential Emotions class or book a session for some one-on-one time. You can master this technique in no time and your anxiety will be under control STAT.

 
 

Emotional Anatomy

‘To thine own self be true’. So much of our anxiety manifests because we are living out of balance wiht our true self. Making decisions that don’t line up with who we are drives us into a shit storm. We end up grinding against ourselves and the resulting friction is anxiety.

Understanding my dosha has enabled me to understand who I am more clearly, why I do the things I do, need the things I need, want what I want. I know why I respond the way I respond, why I seek what I seek. I know what angers me and what makes me anxious and more importantly I know WHY. Understanding why is incredibly helpful when working out what to DO to make it better and shift patterns of behaviour. I know that when I’m anxious, my Vata is out of balance. And because I understand the dosha’s and the nature of emotional anatomy, I know what I need to do to remedy the imbalance. Note that I am not looking for ways to remedy ME. I am not the problem. The problem is that my Vata is out of balance, once it’s back in balance, I won’t feel so anxious. So I do things that stimulate Kapha and Pitta energy to balance out the Vata. For Kapha that means getting back into my body, grounding myself, slowing down, being present. In practical terms that looks like yoga, getting out in nature, eating more earth bound foods and using grounding essential oils. For Pitta energy it means taking stock of my life around me, breaking it down into its fundamental blocks and building it back up again. I take stock and write lists so I can be efficient and focused. I can cross things off which gives me clarity and a sense of achievement and I can see clearly where I can make changes to do better.

The actual activities are not rocket science, but the understanding behind it is. Perspective, how we view what we are doing, the energy and emotion we bring to our experience plays a critical role in how successful we are and in the outcomes we create. If you come from a place of understanding your Self, you shift your inner dialogue to be far less critical (and in time, actually positive!). You are kinder to your Self, more gentle and more accepting of your Self. Life becomes easier because you stop viewing yourself as a problem to fix but rather a complex, unique and completely necessary and valued human. You are in this life to express your truth. Do it.

 

HACK 4:

get to know your Dosha. take this brief self-assessment Or book a one-on-one session with me for a full body reading and EFT sessions to target those imbalances causing your life to turn upside down.

 
 

Desire Mapping

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Have I saved the best for last? Hmmm, it’s a big call. What does desire mapping bring to my life and how does it contribute to reducing my anxiety? Short answer - CLARITY. For me, anxiety is driven by not knowing. Whenever I don’t know the outcome of something, or I am uncertain, that’s when anxiety creeps up. The process of desire mapping (the enquiry, exercises, reflections, distilling) is designed to bring clarity to what lies beneath, to give a voice to your your deepest desires and to connect the thoughts and feelings with the doing. Through desire mapping I can draw guidance everyday from a deeply internal place - even if I’m not feeling it. I can find that clarity in the midst of major upheaval and deep darkness. How? Because I’ve done the hard work in going through the process. The process delivered me my Core Desired Feelings which are unmistakable in their truth. Whenever I have a decision to make or a path to choose, I draw on my Core Desired Feelings and I measure up the options against them. Will choosing X support me to feel aligned, nourished, healed, intuitive, abundant? It becomes very simple. Yes or No. And for someone whose anxiety stems from the grey area, that kind of clarity is a godsend. A clear line of sight between what I am doing in my everyday, and how I am feeling allows me to take responsibility for my choices, and to choose differently. Et viola! Living a life I choose - that is way outside the boundaries of what I had ever expected my life to be!

 

Hack 5:

Desire Map. You can do a free online introductory course or sign up for a Desire Map workshop. Nibble at it, or dive in. Either way, just do it.

 

And there you have it. My top 5 can’t live without, tried and tested anxiety hacks. Five years ago I was in hell and never imagined I would be where I am today - medication free, empowered, running a business and choosing a new family dynamic that works for me instead of sticking with convention because I was too afraid of what everyone else would think. Life is not always easy. Curve balls come at us all the time. Controlling anxiety means that sometimes you’re gonna catch ‘em!

Anxiety is a major epidemic and if you’re struggling with it, then reach out to wherever you feel most comfortable whether that is your GP, naturopath, friend, sibling or someone like me. Most importantly, don’t suffer in silence. You’re not alone (remember 1 in 3 women!) and there are plenty of treatment options available xx

Jo DanseyComment
Online dōTERRA Pop-up for Friends & Family

Are you curious about how essential oils work? Or maybe you’re even a little cynical? Either way, you need a more information about these products that seem to be EVERYWHERE now, before you decide to give them a go.

Well guess what! This event is totally for you.

Five samples, five days of education and experience for five bucks. Reckon you can do that?

The idea here is to give you the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ in the comfort of your own home. For $5 you will receive five samples of the most versatile essential oils shipped directly to your home. Then, as part of a private facebook community we’ll share education, experiences, research, recipes, hints and tips so you can try them out for yourself! It’s really easy, there’s no pressure, just an open learning experience that gives you the opportunity to learn and experience the power of these oils for yourself.

Because let’s face it - essential oils are an experience. They’re something you need to use and smell in order to know right?

The event runs from Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th March. Once you’re part of the facebook group there will be daily discussions about one of the oils in your sample pack so you can really focus on learning about just one oil at a time. This is a perfect forum for busy people who can’t give up a whole Saturday morning or weeknight for a workshop.

The essential oils included in your sample pack are:

  • Lavender

  • Peppermint

  • Digestion (Digestive Support Blend)

  • Balance (Grounding Blend)

  • Wild Orange

So, if you’re interested in natural solutions for your family’s health and wellbeing particularly reducing toxic load, everyday health and emotional support, then register your interest by emailing me, or sending DM via facebook.

AND, as a bonus there is a Grand Prize on offer which includes hundreds of dollars worth of goodies such as TerraGreens, Mito2Max, DIY supplies, deodorant, body lotions and much more!! So what are you waiting for?

x

Get Your Soul on the Agenda

There are sssoooooo many reasons why I want you to come to these workshops. So many.

But they all roll up into one big one - because I want the best for you. Sounds cheesy right? But true nonetheless. I love helping others. I love lifting you up. I love helping you release. And I love, love, love helping you re-connect with yourself and FEEL your potential.

When I share the Desire Map work with people, their faces light up, they smile, I can see their hearts engaging. I can see their body being flooded with “I want this because I already feel good just talking about it!”. Every. Single. Time.

I want that for you.

Desire Mapping is a nurturing experience. It is the emotional equivalent of an all day spa-retreat. It’s the thing you do to care for yourself, to renew and rejuvenate and to send the message that says “I give a shit” about me, about how I feel and about how my life pans out.

The Get Your Soul on the Agenda workshop is an opportunity for you to get super clear on what you want, and how to make it happen. You don’t need any experience. Just turn up, ready and willing. I’ll bring the tools, the space, the guidance and the love.

The foundation of this work is the iconic Desire Map. A structured process of enquiry into five life areas, that draws out your core. Your deepest motivators. Your Core Desired Feelings. Wrapped around this process are Emotional Anatomy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Essential Oils, creating a truly unique experience that nurtures you with strength and focus. Aromatic anchoring is paired with EFT to create new emotional memories, making your Core Desired Feelings more accessible and creating visceral, powerful responses in your body. After all, it is the vessel that brings your desires to life!

Check out this sneak peek for a breakdown of the workshop and all that is included. Then head over to eventbrite and grab your ticket. The year ahead has never looked better!

Join me: Saturday January 12, 2019 @ Santosha Yoga Space, Paddington.

Introduction to The Desire Map

A five-day exploration in identifying your deepest desires. Based on the best-selling book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

You want it.

 Aspiring. Hoping. Reaching. So you make a plan to get it. The bucket list. To-do lists. Objectives. Goals.

 

Except…

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You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing a feeling you hope the goal will give you. So what if you first get clear on how you actually want to feel in your life, and then set your intentions? Game-changer.

 

Created by Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map is a tool for holistic living. It puts your Core Desired Feelings at the heart of your goal setting and life planning. And it all begins with YOUR FEELINGS.
 

Want a taste? Introduction to The Desire Map is a five-day digital exploration in identifying your deepest desires. It’s the first part of the Desire Mapping process.

 

Desire to Feel Better? Yeah, you do.

“Knowing how you want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerful thing you can do with your life.”

— Danielle LaPorte, Author & Speaker

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WHAT YOU GET FROM THIS COURSE:

    ‣ Daily exercises sent to you for tuning into your inner desires.

    ‣ Bonus recordings for some auditory love.

    ‣ Clarity on how you feel and how you want to feel.

Here’s to feeling MORE of what you want! xx

Courage, Chakra's, Emotional Anatomy and Oils

Practical tools to empower you to be courageous

COURAGEOUS. When was the last time you felt it?

I am working with women all the time who are brave, strong, intelligent and impactful - yet they regularly show up feeling fearful and anxious. Worried about who they are, whether they're doing the right thing, are they enough? It's crazy and yet it's so common, myself included!

Recently, I was reminded of the courage within. As our eldest took an enormous leap of faith in letting go of one her bedtime rituals that she has held onto for months and months - terrified of letting it go. She would tell me, "no, I'm too scared" and I would get so frustrated knowing how capable she was, and yet she didn't know it.

More recently I felt a shift in her. She's been more confident, taking more risks, being more independent so I decided to raise it again with her, and again she said "no, I'm too scared". This time though I guided her to focus on her body, walked her through some affirmations and drew the links for her about how she felt different depending on what thoughts and words she chose to express. We practiced using positive words to replace fear, and she noticed the difference in her body. So with a gentle nudge she chose to have a go, to trust in her body, to have faith in herself.

And her PRIDE. Oh my goodness! Heart explosions everywhere. Literally, I felt my heart expand both for how she felt about herself, and how I felt about her. In this moment she has conquered the world and she is masterful. And I thought "my goodness she's so brave!". Am I that brave?

Quite literally, the heart chakra is all about acceptance, self-acceptance.  Courage and pride are the most magnified expressions of self-acceptance.

It reminded me of how much courage we have as children. When the world is so big, new people, places, concepts, skills, feelings everywhere - and yet we ask them to be brave. EVERY DAY. And they are, repeatedly.

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Then we grow up and somewhere between then and now, we get full of fear. Our horizons narrow and we focus on what we feel we can't do, what could go wrong, what other people will think. EVEN THOUGH, everyday we ARE being courageous. Every day we are navigating new terrain, mastering new skills in life, growing ourselves, doing our best.

Courage is not something that you get from the store. It is within. And like any muscle, it gets stronger the more attention we give and the more exercise it gets.

Focus on your courage. Know that you are enough. You are capable. You can do it. Give your energy to that which serves you, starve the parts that don't.

NEVER STOP BEING COURAGEOUS.

What to do when you’re not feeling courageous? Well, first step is to tune in - what’s going on, what fears are surfacing? Getting clear about the fear supports you to be targeted in your response. Just blanket going hell for leather without understanding what’s motivating you is both dangerous and ineffective. Courage sits in the heart chakra, but fear sits in the root. So it is worth looking at long term fears that you hold regarding your security, foundations, your belonging and survival. Keep enquiring and exploring until you hit on the issue that feels right. You’ll know it, we all do. Sometimes we don’t want to accept it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know it. Challenge number one, don’t turn away ;)

I always use a rounded approach to working through growth because there is never a single answer. No all curing pill. No one inspirational quote. It takes a suite of tools and I’m passionate about empowering myself and others with a full hardware store in our back pockets! So, with personal growth and busting through fear in mind, these are my go to’s:

  • Oils, oils, oils: essential oils have been used for millennia to shift mood and feelings, and dōTERRA has the highest quality in the market. In order to get an effect from an oil it MUST be 100% pure, otherwise forget it, your human cells know the difference between mama nature and synthesis (check the research that confirm this here). For this kind of space I use oils that support a sense of safety, belonging and transformation and that ground me back to the earth, stop me from running away with my emotions. Manuka for being upheld and supported, Marjoram for connection, Cedarwood for community, Bergamot for self-acceptance, Arborvitae and Balance for grounding and reconnecting me to the energy of the earth and DDR Prime for transformation.

I hear you, you reckon it’s crazy. These oils can’t make you feel this way! On the contrary, these oils are your fast track to hijacking your emotions and taking control. As I said, millennia. These descriptions are derived from a combination of historical use (how people have felt in response to using each essential oil or plant), and biochemistry (what pathways are influenced by the essential oil chemistry, and what neuro-chemical changes occur as a result). Ancient wisdom meets, and surpasses modern science :)

  • Emotional Anatomy: lean into who you are. Develop your understanding of your over-riding mind-body type and use that insight to connect with your deepest potential.

So much of my personal story is tied up in my Base and Sacral chakras and the more I understand it, the more I can see it expressing itself, the more I can give it the space to be processed and let go, or integrated. I now use this information to choose what type of yoga I do, what kind of foods I eat, what time of day I do certain activities etc., so that I’m working with my unique expression rather than blindly adopting whatever is going in the hope that some benefit will rub off.

  • Desire Mapping: far from just being an awesome planning tool, identifying your Core Desired Feelings is another way of facilitating behavioural change. How many times do you commit to some goal, some new behaviour (exercise, saying no etc.) only to start out strong and then completely fall off the wagon? The way Desire Mapping happens, the guided process of enquiry, its deep. It gives you the opportunity to connect with what makes you tick, what drives you, in a truly heart-centred way. And once you have them, those Core Desired Feelings become your beacon, your talisman. Every decision you make, every move, every action is held up against these feelings and given a hell yes, or a no way! Your guidance system is dialled up to full throttle, and your intuition finally gets a permanent seat at the table. Do it.

And if I happen to uncover something that really stirs up my emotions, then I’ll use EFT and more oils, to support me to process and get to the root of the issue. Do you know what I love most about these tools? Anyone can use them. These are all totally accessible SELF help tools which is awesome, because taking responsibility and helping yourself is empowering. It is the very definition of empowerment. If you want to learn more about Emotional Anatomy, oils or Desire Mapping you can join my facebook group (search for Team Alchemy) - it’s free and there’s a bunch of resources, short courses and videos to guide you in your journey.

Big love to your bad-ass xx

Connection: why you're feeling out of whack and how to fix it

When was the last time you felt connected?  Like truly connected on a deep level, to something? As I journey through this part of my life, I am realising more and more the value of connection.  

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Humans have an innate need for connection.  We were designed as communal beings who lived and evolved together in tribal communities, connected to each other, the earth, the stars and universe.  We've come a long way, and yet despite our incredibly busy, autonomous and distanced lives (or perhaps because of) we still yearn for deep connection.  

Without connection we are isolated, alone, insecure, fractious - we fail to thrive.  Connection is as necessary as food, water and shelter.

There are many ways in which we can be connected.  We can nurture our relationships by spending time with one another - even if it's via FaceTime - celebrate each other's wins and birthday's, and be present when circumstance calls.  Acknowledgement of each other in the present moment without judgement or interference, embodies deep connection in our relationships.

We can connect in our workplace.  Take a few minutes to say hello to your colleagues, even the guy who is always staring at his computer and never says hello to you!  You have no idea what is going on in his life, he could be dealing with incredible adversity and a simple hello could be the highlight of his day.

Get out in nature.  Being connected to the earth's energy is incredibly important for our physiology and psychology.  The earth is negatively charged, we are positively charged.  Spending time barefoot and connected to the earth has a balancing effect on our otherwise polarised energy.  This grounding is hugely beneficial for reducing inflammation and supporting the immune response.  In addition to that (in case it needs to be said), nature is where all of LIFE resides.  Birds, trees, flowers, insects, water, earth and all living things are out in nature.  Spending time amongst the 'living' brings us closer to the energy that is ever-present and constantly exchanging between all beings, including you and me.  Connection with nature has demonstrated numerous benefits for physical and mental health including reducing cortisol levels and inflammation, and improving cognition.  So get outside, eat your lunch in the sun, walk barefoot on the grass or on the beach.  It doesn't matter what you choose, only that you do it.   

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And most importantly, connect with yourself.  'But what does that even mean?', I hear you ask.  At conception through birth and infancy we are connected with ourselves - we function on intuition, instinct and in the present moment.  As we grow we learn the idea of separation, that we are separate from each other, the earth, all living beings.  The medical model in which most western cultures operate, separates the body from the mind, treating both in isolation.  Traumatic events, traditional school systems, and the lessons and beliefs taught to use by our families reinforce separation of mind and body.  And in that separation, we lose ourselves.  We start to doubt, we look to external sources to validate our feelings and ourselves.  We adopt identities formed on the basis of expectation and belief, and we work hard, like really hard, to prove our worth.  We seek out more and more opportunities for external validation - building empires and acquiring all the accoutrements of a successful life.  And then we ache.  We literally ache, in the emptiness.

Despite having everything that apparently makes us happy, 1 in 10 Australians are on anti-depressants (the 2nd highest rate in the world).  Marriage rates are going down, as we insulate ourselves against imperfect relationships.  Children are living out the lessons of separation and comparative value, evidenced in bullying across the globe.  And more than 58% of all deaths, every year, are attributable to lifestyle choices.  Alcohol, tobacco, lack of exercise and stress.  All coping mechanisms for our lack of connection, to ourselves and each other.

So how can we shift the tide?  It's not rocket science, but it takes vulnerability.  And THAT can be scary.  Vulnerability is uncomfortable and in general, we go to great lengths to avoid it.  But it can lead to incredible rewards when we put ourselves out there, because that is where ultimate joy resides.  Think about the moments you feel closest to someone, it's when they are truly themselves with you and vice versa.  In vulnerability is where we find each other, we accept each other and ourselves.  Stop running from every moment of discomfort.  Turn and face yourself, there is much to be admired!  Emotional anatomy is an incredible practice for reconnecting to your true self.  Indeed it is not for the faint-hearted but the spoils are grand for those willing to go the distance.

What if every decision was....easy? THAT happened to me when I found my Core Desired Feelings. Learn more about yours.-3.png

The mind and body connection will support us in every way, if we allow it.  It is the future of medicine, where the physical will no longer be considered in the absence of the mental and emotional. There are innumerable ways to get into the practice of mind-body connection. Yoga, meditation, bodywork, dance or camping all work. Use essential oils to harness your natural chemistry and support you through fears and EFT to process your emotions, find clarity and redefine how you feel in life. And Desire Mapping? Wow.  That process will take you deep into connection with yourself, to find out what you truly want in your life. I find so much comfort in using these tools daily. Most importantly, I have a regular routine of using grounding oils on my feet because I have a tendency to be all up in my head, overthinking and analysing 24/7. So always, grounding oils on my feet and base of my spine to re-establish my connection to the earth. Generally I use Balance, Arborvitae or Cedarwood with a drop of Frankincense. Second, oils on the shower floor. I’m a morning shower person, you know? I am just not awake unless I’ve been under a stream of water! And a few drops of Aromatouch on the floor is a beautiful way to open my heart, awaken my body and senses through the energising and renewing properties of Peppermint, Basil, Cypress, Grapefruit, Marjoram and Lavender. I LOVE this blend. Consider all the emotional properties in this bottle - renewal, motion and flow, honouring the body, communication, buoyant heart and connection. Like hello, what a way to start the day! Throughout the day I use oils that support my physical and emotional needs, always with a view to bringing balance back to the body. And then comes the end of the day. I find the night a very sacred time, probably because it’s a rare opportunity for true quiet! I always choose my oils intuitively, tuning into the emotions of the day and what’s going on in my heart. I’ll diffuse oils that support me through those emotional issues, and therefore a good nights sleep. Rest is imperative to every system in the body and while I don’t always achieve it (musical beds and the demands of small children) my aim is that whatever rest I get is the very best quality it can be, so that it is restorative. I honour my body-mind’s need for deep, restorative connection at the physical, emotional and energetic levels.

Oils, EFT, Emotional Anatomy and Desire Mapping - yes these are all services that I offer, because that's what has worked for me. But connection looks different for everyone!  Maybe you adore rock climbing and you experience connection while you're hanging off a cliff face with your fellow rock climbing crazies.  Or maybe you need to dance naked around a fire-pit drinking cacao under a full moon!  What ever it is, you'll know it when you feel it.  It's blissful.  It's pure.  It's solid.  And it's easy.  Wasn't easy to get there, but easy once you are there.  You know?

I’d love you to share the ways in which you find connection, leave a comment below so we can all be a little more connected xx

The Value Proposition - the trick to making lasting change

What will I gain, if I do this?  Do I value that more than where I am right now?  This is the inherent question faced by many of us as we attempt to shift our behaviours.  'Trying and failing' is the ultimate self-sabotage.  We hand our power (and responsibility for it) to the external world and say, "oh well, I'll try harder next time".  Bullshit.  No you won't.  Not unless your value shifts before you create next time.

Everything is within our power.  Everything is a choice.  If there was a gun to your head, and you valued your self and your life, you would choose not to eat that chocolate, pour the next glass of wine, skip your next gym session.  You would CHOOSE you.  And it would be easy.

So why do we find it so hard?  Well, there are a few reasons.  Firstly, insight.  In-sight.  The practice of seeing into yourself.  Most of us are confronted by the idea that we don't value ourselves.  We turn away from the uncomfortable in favour of focusing on our strengths, creating glossy, insta-worthy moments to share for reinforcement and validation.  We live in a world where failures and shortcomings are sugar-coated and we consume positive reinforcement as if it's a food group.  The problem with this approach, is that it's not real.  The yucky parts exist.  They're not made up.  We just choose not to see them and in doing so we miss the whole picture.  Acceptance of the full-self, warts and all, is the first step in mastering your change.

Once you're ready to see, it's time to evaluate OBJECTIVELY.  What do you see?  What is serving you well and what is not?  Is that repeating pattern of succumbing to jealousy and raiding your partners phone really working for you?  How do you feel about yourself when you do it?  What about the way you constantly berate yourself about the unused gym membership or the over-used credit card?  Are you sick of having the same conversation with yourself over, and over, and over again?  Yes?  Great! Why don't you stop then?  And this is where it gets tricky......

You don't stop because you don't believe you can.  You don't really believe you have the capacity, the will or the worth.  And so you don't.  Then you prove yourself right, affirm the belief and keep on plodding with your "try better next time" approach.

Enter the Value Proposition.  The 'value proposition' is used in business strategy to clearly define the worth of a business.  It reflects the exchange of a cost for a benefit, and is inherent only to the individual.  For if we stood on opposite sides of the same transaction as giver and receiver, the value each of us derives from the same activity is different, and determined solely by each of us.

This beautiful woman is not me, but she looks like how I felt!

This beautiful woman is not me, but she looks like how I felt!

Whenever we are considering a personal change, we must understand the value proposition - what do we get from the effort, and do we value that enough to actually do it?  Let's use reducing alcohol consumption as an example.  For a couple of years I wanted to reduce my alcohol consumption.  I would regularly have a couple of glasses of wine every night, and I was sick of it.  Everyday I would tell myself that night I would either not have any or only have one, and every night, I would fail to meet that commitment to myself.  In the beginning I focused on all the external reasons like weight gain and toxicity.  But it was never enough to shift my behaviour.  Over time my motivation shifted.  I was sick of the constant self-criticism and failure, and I was sick of the hold that the issue had on my psyche.  I was thinking about it way too much.  In the end I raised it with my coach, who had a surprisingly unconcerned response, "oh, it's about value.  When you value something more than the wine, you'll stop".  

Ha.  Right.  So freaking true.  

Up till that point I had been talking about all the reasons why I should stop, but I didn't actually believe them to be true.  I didn't actually VALUE them.  I didn't value my body, so I really didn't care if I wasn't treating it well.  I didn't value myself, so I didn't really think that I was worth doing the right thing by, or keeping my commitments for.  And in that moment it became so clear.  No-one else could value me, for me.  My value has to come from within, defined by me, and exercised by me into creation.

Like a muscle, value is something you create with repeated action that sends visceral experiences to your body and mind, of value.  When you make a commitment to yourself and you KEEP it, you FEEL value.  When you consistently create experiences of value, you create a pattern, a habit, a neural pathway, a BELIEF in your value.  It becomes your default position, and as such you become really attuned to what makes you feel valued, versus what doesn't.

So if you're finding it hard to shift a behaviour, take a good look.  Do you really feel that you can do it?  Do you really feel like you're worth it?  And if the answer is no, well here's a bonus, that's ok.  It's ok and it's good to know.  Why?  Because you can't deal with something you don't know about.  You can't work with the reasons, or process the issues and pain to heal, if you don't acknowledge them.  So it's ok.  Stop, take a breather.  Do the work on you first, and the rest will follow.

Behavioural change is not easy, it's hard work.  But it is really simple.  Action leads to a felt experience.  Repeat those actions to build new behaviours and create new patterns.  Use every tool in the box to help you do that.  Essential oils are amazing for interrupting patterns because they have such an instant emotional effect.  You can chemically hijack your body's emotional response, to change the behavioural outcome.  Get a crew to cheer you on from the side-lines, whether it's family, a friend or a coach who can give support, clarity and empowerment for when the emotions suck.  And keep taking action.  No action is too small or insignificant, they all count because they all add to your Value Proposition.  Lo and behold, before you know it you've built enough experiences, to feel the courage, joy or mastery that you were aiming for, and now you have something to value.  You.

x

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Make your account work for you

So you've got your amazing oils in your hot little hands, what now?  You've made a fair investment, you're excited to know more and learn about how to get the most out of your oils, ditch the toxins and get on your way to your best health yet.  BUT - it's all a bit confusing!  Sometimes it seems that people are speaking in tongues - LRP, OV, PV, PoM - what does it all mean?  How do you make the most out of this smorgasbord of goodness you're now standing in front of?

Never fear, the answer is here :)

Making the most of your dōTERRA account is easy, it just takes a little planning, understanding a few basic principles and most importantly - using your product!

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First up LRP - Loyalty Rewards Program.  By far, this is the most intelligent way to get your oils and all the other goodies in dōTERRA's range.  Why?  Just like QANTAS, Woolworths or whatever your local airline or supermarket is, customer loyalty is rewarded.  The program functions on a monthly order which you can stop anytime you like, no contract.  The commitment from you is to purchase a minimum of one product a month, of any value.  In return, dōTERRA rewards you with points - all shipping costs plus a percentage of your total order.  Everyone starts at 10%, and increments every 3 months by a further 5%, up to a maximum of 30%.  Points pile up in your back office, and you can use these to purchase product - making your investment much more cost effective in the long run.

Basic rule - to increment you need to purchase a minimum of 50PV.  Here are some example 50PV orders that give great benefit to every household:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner (26PV, $39), Balance Grounding Blend (24.5PV, $27) + Shipping $7.95 (8PV).  Total cost = $73.95, you get 13 points. Your hair will look and feel amazing and you'll be calm, centred and grounded - very zen.  And, already enough for a free Lemon Oil!
  • On Guard Cleaning Concentrate (10PV, $18), On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste (5PV, $10.25), Clove Essential Oil (16.5PV, $18.25), Purify Essential Oil blend (21.50PV, $27).  Every thing you need to clean your house, keep mould at bay and treat your teeth and gums to an holistic overhaul.  Total cost = $73.50, you get 13 points. 

Spend Swap - Take advantage of the fact that dōTERRA has a full range of personal care, wellness, spa and cleaning products that caters for many of your regularly purchased items.  Consider items such as deodorant, laundry detergent, household cleaning products, toothpaste and skin care then swap them out for dōTERRA's low tox version.  By using your Loyalty Rewards Program to purchase these products you'll earn points regularly, which not only reduces the cost of your household budget over time but also drastically decreases the amount of toxic chemicals you're exposing yourself and your family to, every single day.  

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Do It Yourself - make your own roller balls, spray bottles and spritzers.  What for?  Because it's makes everything way cheaper!  In a 10ml rollerball bottle you're generally going to add 15-20 drops of essential oil.  With 250 drops in a 15ml bottle of essential oil, that gives you 12 - 15 rollers from one 15ml bottle!  By making your rollerballs, it extends the life of your oils by eons.  Making spray bottles and spritzers (small spray bottles) for cleaning products, linen or pillow sprays, hand sanitisers, room fresheners also makes sense.  Mostly these recipes are water and oils, and are again a great way to get the most out of your oils.

Product of the Month - freebie, freebie, freebie!  When you order 125PV and ship between 1 - 15th of the month, dōTERRA will send you free product :) This is a no-brainer, but also benefits from a little planning.  Put together a list of extra items, like a wish list, of things you might not ordinarily order but that would boost your total to 125PV.  Maybe it's a top shelf oil, or some spa products to treat yourself, or a gift for someone else.  Product of the Month is advertised on the 1st of each month, so you can check and see if it's something you lust after.  If it is, great! Add some of your wish list items to your cart to get your 125PV total.  If not, simply go ahead with your one or two products, and save your bigger order for next month.

Are you sharing oils?  Obviously the major benefit to be gained from your membership is income.  Sharing is the term we use for oil lovers who want to cover the cost of their orders, but are not actively building a business. You can do this by placing a 100PV order.  Be efficient by planning ahead - save your bigger orders (over 100PV) for the months where you are hosting a workshop, or someone you know wants to enrol.  That way your biggest expenditure will co-incide with the months when you earn income. 

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Purchasing with points - when you decide to use points to purchase product, choose the products that save you the most cash while using the least amounts of points.  For example, Peppermint Beadlets and Fractionated Coconut Oil both cost $16.50 when paying in cash.  However, the beadlets will only cost you 11.5 points whereas the FCO will cost 15 points - so it makes sense to pay for the FCO in cash and use your points to get the beadlets.  Value will differ for each person depending on your priority, so just remember to review both the Redemption Value and the cost when you are placing your order.

BOGO - buy one, get one free!  Again, who doesn't love a freebie!  If you're serious about getting value then DO NOT MISS BOGO deals.  By far the best value is buying one oil and getting another absolutely free.  When BOGO runs it goes for five days, Monday to Friday.  A new deal is posted each day, and is available only for that day while stocks last.  Yes, you need to ship each order individually.  If you use your LRP, you'll get all your shipping back in rewards points, so double bonus!!

Use your oils!  Seems silly to say right?  Behaviour is hard to shift though, so if you are new to using oils then make sure you use them, every day.  Build them into your daily and nightly personal care routines, use them for cleaning, set aside some for your medicine cabinet and get them into your kitchen.  Get them into your gym bag and hand bag.  Make some rollers up for the kids school bags.  Because guess what, you definitely WILL NOT GET ANY BENEFIT IF YOU DON'T USE THEM.  You won't be reducing your toxic load, you won't be feeling calm, balanced and sleeping well.  You won't have increased energy and focus during the day and your hormones will still be all over the shop.  USE. YOUR. OILS.

So, there you have it.  Some major tips for getting the most out of your dōTERRA membership.  Are there other tricks and pointers that you have that you'd like to share? We'd love to know, post a comment!

Don't Love Your Life Anymore?

how to shift gears for lasting change

Hey there high achiever.  How you doing?  Feeling a little tense?  Or maybe a little frustrated?  Being at the top of your game can be an incredible, empowering, energising and addictive experience.  It can also be depleting, destabilising and consuming.  And both can be true - welcome to the paradox of functional energetics in your career.

For many successful women, we find ourselves in positions of leadership based on our abilities and performance in the workplace.  We are dedicated, ethical, smart and engaged.  We deliver strong results, often in multi-dimensional ways and we are eager to please.  Life is great!  And then it starts to slow down, often due to two reasons.  

  1. Children
  2. The Glass Ceiling

Yes, both prejudices are alive and well in our modern organisations.  As much as the media would have us believe that the world is an equal oyster, but I'll leave that for another post.  So what do you do when you cap out?  You've been at the same level for a few years now and you're frustrated at either the lack of movement or inspiration.  Perhaps you took some time out to have children and returned to find that much of the talk about flexibility and support applied only in very narrow circumstances, and now you're staring down the barrel of part-time work in a role that's not your passion but you do it because it works.  What do you do now?

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The quality of your energetics effects your performance in all areas of life - time, money, love and health.  When you get clear on your purpose, what you were born to do, then you can make informed choices about how you implement that in your daily life.  Because 9 times out of 10, when you're unhappy, unfulfilled, frustrated or apathetic - then it's because you're not doing what you're supposed to.  Things change.  You change.  They change.  It's time to figure it out.

You might talk with some friends, you'll find yourself drawn to books written by people who are successful in your field, you could set some new goals outside of your career focusing on health, wellbeing or travel.  You'll get a little buzz for life, but when you return to work you're faced with the same sh*t, different day and before you know it, you're whinging away into your wine again!

So HOW do you figure it out?

There are loads of options!  Too many in fact, t's difficult to tell them all apart.  Here's my suggestions, for what it's worth.  

 

Get clear on your purpose.  

Purpose is EVERYTHING.  When we have purpose we are productive, feel meaningful and we value ourselves.  Note that I didn't say "we feel like we have value", no - we actually value ourselves.  We know WHY we are doing what we're doing, not just WHAT we're doing.  So often we feel really purposeful in the beginning, we create a vision and set some clear, quantifiable goals then we go hell for leather achieving them.  We get so fixated on the achievement, that lose touch with the journey.  We arrive at our destination only to move on the next one, often not stopping to consider how we feel, whether the path we chose is delivering what we had hoped, and whether we were still aligned with the vision. 

 

Open up your heart.  

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This may seem counter-intuitive, but when you are operating from your heart, then everything else falls into place.  The trick is that in most modern organisations, being heart-centred is not included in your job description.  Research from the Heart Math Institute confirms the presence of a unique neural network in the heart that sends far more information to the brain, than vice versa.  The 'heart-brain' as it is known, is one of three brains.  We also have the 'gut-brain' and the regular old cranial brain.  What we are just beginning to discover is the far more influential roles of the gut and heart-brains in emotional states and how we feel.  Feelings occur much faster that the cranial brain can process them, and yet they heavily influence our decision-making, our analysis and assessment capability.  So why do our feelings matter?  If you are not in touch with your feelings and emotions then you are not aware of the influences on your frontal cortex and executive functioning.  You're being run by your sub-conscious, which actually makes up 95% of our day to day experience - despite the fact that we think we're so in control!

 

Audit your life.

Where are you living in alignment with your purpose?  What parts of your life pass the test of your purpose?  Find the areas in which you must make changes to become aligned.  Then rank them in terms of how much impact they would have, if you did them.  Chose your own descriptors that make sense to you eg., 'totally doable' or 'not in a pink fit'.  Easy changes come first, and things you don't think you could do if your hair was on fire come last.  When you look at this list what do you see?  With some structured information you can start to target your efforts to make the changes that will have the most bang for their buck, in terms of getting you into the life you desire.

 

Get help.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.  You don't like asking for help.  It's one of your crowing achievements being able to do everything, be everything and put yourself last.  How's it working out for you?  Getting help is the ultimate in self-care.  Got a skin problem?  You go to the Dermatologist.  Not doing much at the gym?  You get a PT.  Worried about what will happen to the kids if you cark it?  You get an Insurance Broker.  Getting help to clarify where you're at and where you go from here is no different, and it's totally necessary.  Why?  Because ALL of what is holding you back is in your head.  ALL of it.  And the daft bit is, that you can't get away from your own head.  It's really a very difficult task.  Coaching comes in many shapes and forms, and yes, you need to do a bit of exploration to figure out what's right for you.  Do you want a clinical psych approach?  Or a bit of a Tony Robbins self-help, empowerment junkie approach?  Maybe your classic old school management coach tickles your fancy.  It's your choice and each of these are totally valid, you just won't find them here ;) 

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If you're reading this page, then I'm taking a stab in the dark that there is more to you than meets the eye, that you know deep down there is more to life than the STUFF you've been doing and you want to know more.  Employing your underlying energetics is the path of truth.  From an emotional anatomy perspective, all facets of life are seen through the lens of energetics.  Where is your energy flowing or not?  How do the blocks and imbalances relate to what is playing out in your life?  Our bodies manifest our energetics and reveal who we truly are, with surprising accuracy and simplicity.  This work does not take away from all your experiences, achievements and skills - it adds the missing piece.  The bit that you have not yet understood, and that sheds light on your true potential.  

Epic Alchemy was born out of a desire to deliver a service that facilitates true empowerment, at a radical pace.  In my coaching practice I draw on a range of tools to help you uncover your truth, hold you steady while you come to terms with it (there are generally some surprises), then help you master your reinvention.  This is therapeutic life coaching, founded in your underlying energetic paired with practical, daily action to create the life of your choosing.

If you've been seeking a shift, to shed the layers that have been weighing you down and really, truly step into your light, then lets connect.  You'll be lighter for it, I promise.

Jo DanseyComment
OMG you smell ahhh-maaaayyy-zing!

I often get complimented on my fragrance.  People say, "you always smell so lovely" and it's such a nice compliment to receive!  When they ask what I'm wearing I rattle off whichever oils I have applied that day, and a conversation is often sparked about how they've always been interested in oils but didn't know how to use them or where to start. 

When I started using essential oils one of the most foundational elements for me was that I could finally participate in the world of aroma.  My senses were awoken and I felt my whole body come to life and respond to the different oils as I opened each bottle, with each one evoking a new feeling and sense of being.  I was deeply moved, still am, every time.

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My whole life I have had both hay fever and been very sensitive to smells, so we couldn't have flowers in the house and I would often develop severe migraine headaches in response to the fragrances being worn around me.  It was torture jumping in the car to go to school with both my mother and my grandmother who were doused in Chanel No.5 or Christian Dior.  I would literally hang my head out the window all the way to avoid being nauseated before the day even started!  One day I was already in the sick bay with a headache waiting to be picked up when a teacher walked by wearing a very strong perfume, it tipped me over the edge and I ran out the door and vomited all over the bushes outside the school Secretary's window.  They took me seriously after that :)

So when I hit my teens and all my friends were discovering their favourite fragrances I was left out.  No matter what I tried it either gave me a headache or made me feel sick.  In the end I gave up and resolved that it was one less thing for me to spend my very limited 15 yr old wages on!  Unbeknown to me at the time, I have saved myself years of toxic insult as the harsh chemicals used to create fragrances are now known to be hormone disrupters.  Fancy spraying a whole bunch of toxins directly on your throat, every day, directly over your thyroid?  No thanks.

My decisions about which oils I dress in tend to be emotionally driven.  That is, I use the oils to invoke different emotions that support me through out the day.  So it's not a particularly technical blending approach, but I do honour the basic principles of blending because things work out better that way.

There are many resources available to guide you in the art of blending, but here are the basics.  Blending is very much like wine-making, part art and part science, and it is equally as personal as wine.  What you like will be completely offensive to someone else, and vice versa.  Whether you take a serious approach or a more intuitive one, you're looking to combine different characteristics that create a certain profile.  Each oil has two specific characteristics that you want to become familiar with:

 

Notes

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The concept of notes is extremely important in perfumery.  A good blend should be a balanced synergy of top, middle and base, in order of volatility- how quickly the oil evaporates - from very light (very volatile) to heavy (least volatile).

  • Top: first aroma experienced by the sense of smell, initial impact.  Usually fresh citrus and light, green, fruity notes.  These oils create the blend's initial impression, giving brightness and clarity.
  • Middle: second aroma experienced, sometimes after a few minutes, the heart of the bouquet.  Middle notes last longer, imparting warmth and fullness to the blend.  
  • Base: deep resonating aroma, lingering scent and acts as a fixative.  Base notes have a strong influence on the mental, emotional and spiritual plane and have a sedative and relaxing effect.

 

Blend Classification

Enhancer, Equaliser, Modifier, Personifier.  A great way to explain this concept is to imagine you are in a room blindfolded, and someone wearing an essential oil enters the room.  What does the aroma tell you about their personality, what kind of interests might they have and what type of clothes might they wear?

  • Enhancer: pleasant fragrance, will modify the blend without over-powering it.  Should be the predominant oil, enhances the properties of the other oils. Can be up to 50-80% of the blend (Lavender, Lemon, Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose, Lemongrass)
  • Equaliser: smooth out the sharp edges in the blend, they balance the blend and allow it to flow.  10-15% of the blend  (Lavender, Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Rose, Lemongrass)
  • Modifier: give the blend a lift and contribute to it's distinctive personality.  Mild, short aroma that adds harmony.  Use sparingly, not more than 4-8% of the blend (Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Rose)
  • Personifier: very sharp, strong and long-lasting fragrance.  Dominant properties with strong therapeutic action.  Use very sparingly 1-5% of the blend (Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Orange, Rose) 

Yes, some oils possess multiple classifications - just to keep it easy!  

 

My all-time favourite blend (so far!)

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Even though I choose my oils intuitively every day, there is a staple combination that I keep returning to.

  • Arborvitae (1 drop): Intense, medicinal, woody, earthy.  Enhancer and Equaliser. Top to middle note.  Grounding, calming, spiritual awareness, connection to truth.
  • Frankincense (3 drops): rich, deep, warm, balsamic, sweet.  Enhancer and Equaliser.  Base note.  Eases impatience, irritability, restlessness.  Promotes resilience and truth.
  • Geranium (1 drop):  Sweet, citrus-rosy, fresh.  Enhancer and Equaliser.  Middle note.  Eases tension and stress, very balancing, softening, nurturing.
  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (1 drop):  Soft, woody, spicy, sweet, earthy.  Heaven in a scent.  Modifier and Equaliser.  Base note.  Calming, harmonising and balancing.

In this blend you'll notice there are three Enhancers, that make up the majority of the blend.  The modifier is used sparingly and all four are equalisers (secondary to being Enhancers).  There are also top, middle and base notes in appropriate proportions.  But guess what?  I didn't plan any of that!  When I chose these oils I followed my nose and my heart, and put together something that felt good and smelt delicious to me.  Check out the emotional profile for each oil, I'm clearly aiming for calm, grounding and softness.  Tune into your senses and do what feels right and smells good to you.

Other combinations I love are Bergamot, Frankincense and Cedarwood for similar reasons to the above, it's just a lighter version of that blend.  And for those times when I'm wanting to bring forth the feminine then I layer the florals - Neroli, Jasmine and Rose.  Together these three create a bouquet that is floral without being fluffy, it's womanly as well as feminine, strong and soft, and those qualities come together to create just a hint of seduction, confidence and prowess.  You know, for THOSE kinds of days :)

So before you get all confused and stop yourself before you start, just have a go.  Play with oils that you like, that resonate with you.  Tune into how you feel when you smell different oils.  Do you feel elated, soft, strong, seductive, energised, focused - the list is literally endless.  Take 2-3 oils and hold the bottles together, equal distance from your nose.  Which aroma is strongest?  What would you like to smell more of ?  What is missing altogether?  You can move the bottles up and down to make one closer to your nose than the others, then do another pass to see how the blend has changed.  Once you find something you think might work just test it by adding the drops to the palm of your hand with some Fractionated Coconut Oil.  Try it on.  Apply it to your wrists and neck and see what happens.  Do you enjoy the scent?  Does it change after a little time?

Relax.  Enjoy.  These beautiful products were put in your hands to improve your life.  Let them!  I would love to hear about your blending experiences, drop a comment below to let us know!

 

Winter Wellness: EFT & Essential Oils

It's started already, people dropping like flies all around me with coughs, colds, fevers, tiredness, viruses and general winter malaise......be gone, I say!  As a mother of small children, I have spent the last few years trudging through the quagmire of winter coughs and colds.  Our first year with two children was particularly horrendous, I think the low point was presenting at the hospital emergency with an 8 month old with pneumonia, only to be followed by her 3 yr old big sister, the very next day.  "Weren't you here yesterday?", um, yes.  Mother of the year!  

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This inundation of germs and sickness really confounded me.  I had always been reasonably healthy, and I come from a family of women who are very strong and healthy.  Sickness just didn't feature.  I found myself observing this onslaught of illness, this constant cycle of snotty nose and respiratory infections, and people telling me 'they're building their immunity', and thinking that I must be able to to do SOMETHING to stem the tide not only of germs, but also of commercial and synthetic products that were so readily recommended by the medical profession.  Often with the caveat "we're not sure if it will make a difference, but it's worth a go".  

In the last 18 months, since we have been using essential oils, our immunity has improved drastically - for the whole family.  Last winter we got through with only two illnesses!  Two, for the whole season, with a 2 yr old and 4 yr old who were both at daycare.  The husband who is asthmatic and generally gets struck down with a chest infection that requires antibiotics at least once a year, has not required any!  That's pretty blood good result I reckon.  Now, taking into account that illness is multi-factorial, my own health has been markedly improved not just by the addition of essential oils, but also through reducing my stress response, and EFT has been a key practice in this space.  As a brief intervention tool, EFT has a remarkable effect on reducing feelings of anxiety, anger, nervousness within a very short timeframe.  I have made a conscious decision to take my wellness into my own hands and do everything I can to improve my health.  This means reducing toxic load (switching to all natural cleaning and personal care products), improving my mental and emotional wellbeing (essential oils, meditation, Qi Gong, EFT, emotional anatomy) and taking care of my physical health (regular movement, plant-based supplements, reduced alcohol, as much sleep as is possible with small children).

I don't believe in a single cure for anything, never have.  We are complex and connected beings, it does not take a single pill, exercise, diet regime, practice or faith to keep us in balance.  It takes a truly holistic approach - mind, body, spirit - on a daily, repeated basis, to keep us returning to balance, as that balance shifts with each passing moment.

Here are the ways in which we keep ourselves healthy through winter:

 

Essential Oils:  

  • On Guard: applied to everyones feet when sickness is around.  I keep an On Guard Hand Sanitiser in my handbag to prevent the spread of germs while out and about, and make all the hand soap in the house with it to improve the efficacy of all hand washing.  PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE.
  • Lemon: in my water daily to boost anti-oxidant levels
  • Frankincense, Balance, Lavender Peace:  to calm and ground the central nervous system reducing anxiety and stress
  • Easy Air:  to clear the airways and support easy breathing 
  • Tea Tree, Lavender, Oregano:  added immune support 

Supplements:

  • Life Long Vitality: celullar health, nutrition support, healthy fats (remember, dōTERRA offer a 30-day money back guarantee on this product so just give it a go, you've got nothing to lose!) 
  • TERRA Greens: nutrition support and leafy green intake when my diet is poor!

EFT:

Emotional Freedom Technique is an effective way to engage the body mind to work FOR you.  The body is always seeking to return to balance, and using EFT to reduce your stress and clear out negative emotions is an important part of achieving balance.  You can also use EFT to strengthen your connection with your physical self, focusing on tuning into specific body systems and organs, supporting their function and the role they play in your overall health.

  • Tapping to clear frustration, anger, resentment, tiredness (all present in abundance when parenting small children!)
  • Tapping into good health and intention, to support a positive frame of mind and build resilience to dealing with life stressors
  • Tapping scripts and audio - use these resources to tap along to guided EFT meditations that are specifically targeted towards supporting your physical and mental health through the winter months.  Enjoy!

If you're new to EFT tapping, check out this brief video for an overview of the practice before starting the meditations.  Private sessions are available in person or online.  If you'd like to explore this option please connect via email, or PM me on facebook and we can get you booked.  Leave a comment and let me know how you go :)

Stay the course. Live your truth.

It's incredible how life weaves its way around. In the moment we think we know so much, but rarely is that the case.

20 years ago I was finishing my undergraduate studies in Psychology. I recall the subject of one of my final assignments - to come up with my own personal theory of behaviour.  Why do people do what they do?  At the time I was confounded.  What a ridiculously large, looming, life question to ask of a final year student!  I struggled with the inquiry because it wasn't something I could research my way out of.  This was a quest to put myself, my thoughts and inner-most feelings out there.  I needed to connect with myself and my results were going to be judged.  Discomfort was an understatement.  Still, once I realised what had to be done I took a deep breath and dived in.  All or nothing.  Because I'm kinda like that.

And so.  When I dug deep down to see what I thought, I came up with this - everyone does everything to feel better.  Simple.  EVERYONE does EVERYTHING to feel BETTER.  

Sometimes that thing is genuine, heartfelt and totally right.  And sometimes that thing is heinous, or malicious, or self-serving, or back-handed and totally wrong - born out of pain, misguided blame or even good intention.  A man kills his wife because he thinks it will wipe out the pain of her infidelity.  A girl steals a pair of tights from the shop because she thinks she'll feel worthy as part of the group, like all the others.  A mother sacrifices her truth because she thinks she'll feel better working a 9-5 job to put food on the table rather than following her dream to be an artist.  A young woman commits herself to a violent relationship for years because she thinks her love will save the man from himself, even if she couldn't save her father that way.  You see where I'm going?  This stuff can get deep.  The idea that we are all driven by our desire to feel good, comfortable, centred, at peace.  That looks very different to each of us.  I loved my theory, it made sense to me.  Turns out the academic establishment didn't agree, and while I passed, it wasn't with flying colours like I was used to.  I was buuuuuurrrrrrnnnnneed.  Like in a charred kind of way.  I felt completely invalidated and thanks to my rather tenuous grip on self-esteem, I automatically accepted that I got it wrong and buried the idea.  Except that I couldn't actually bury it.  I just kept it to myself.  The concept kept coming back to me.  Through my work, relationships, children.  And as the universe goes, the idea was brought back to me.  Front and centre.  In the form of The Desire Map.

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Well ho-lee shit.  It's like my theory underwent a beautiful, articulate makeover and was gifted back to me.  The Desire Map, crafted from the heart, soul and womb of the supremely bad-ass Danielle LaPorte, is your guide to soul freedom.  Coaching you through the process of unfurling the veils of the carefully crafted script that is your life, The Desire Map opens up the space for you to BE.  To just BE.  In all your magnificently imperfect glory.  Dive deep and connect with what truly bubbles away inside, makes you tick.  The you that silently drives all your choices and behaviours but doesn't get a voice, over the analytical, logical mind - your 'should' brain.  I should follow my career path because I've worked so hard, it's a steady income and people will think I'm a flake if I leave it.  I should definitely not start up a network marketing biz in essential oils because my whole professional world will think I've lost the plot.  I should stay with my partner even though it feels like we're just teammates, because it will hurt too much to leave.  I should lose 10, 20, 30 kgs because society tells me I'm more acceptable, successful, worthy if I'm thinner.  How's it workin' out for ya?  Feeling a little weighed down?  A little apathetic?  A little un-inspired?  No shit.

Somewhere along the way we lost our innocent, curious connection to ourselves and our world.  We stopped wondering, dreaming, aspiring and got right into the doing of achievement, progression and maintenance.  Well it's time to step out and reclaim your life.  Desire has it's place in our hearts and in our energy.  When we connect to it, we forge a light that is so bright it cannot help but be a beacon.  Desire operates from the depths of our souls, so discovering our Core Desired Feelings and placing them front and centre of our lives, means we wrap all our energy, momentum, action and direction, around our Soul.  Cool, huh?  Beautiful in it's simplicity.  What does it mean?  Alignment.  It means that everything you do in your life will be in alignment with your true purpose.  And why is that important?  Happiness, bliss, ease.  Living your life in alignment with your true purpose brings happiness, bliss and ease.  Note this is not 'eas-y'.  Ease is about going with the grain, rather than against it. About leaning in when the earth tremors beneath you, and finding your balance as a result.  And we ALL need more of that.

I am psyched to be able to bring The Desire Map to you.  Buy the book.  Read it.  Grab your besties, book club, gang or family and come to a workshop.  This is the kind of work that is wonderful in communion, sharing the exploration of what desire means in your life, work, relationships, body, creativity and essence.  Laughing at the absurdity of some of our lies and marvelling in the warmth and honesty of truth, expansion and growth.  This work is so necessary right now.  In this moment in history when the feminine intelligence, wisdom and expression is being called to usher us into a new paradigm.  Connect.  To yourself, each other, your desires.  It's time.

Hosting a dōTERRA Event

Class.  Party.  Workshop.  Gathering.  Session.  Catch-up.  What do you call it?

I like 'event', do you know why?  Because lots of people have some weird-ass feelings about hosting what is essentially a product party.  I totally get it - I was one of them!

Up until two years ago I had been to a sum total of one (yes, singular) product party and hosted zero.  The reason?  Waaaaaayyy back in my early 20's I was invited to a friends BBQ and ambushed by her father into an Amway demo.   I was ropable!  Like seriously seething.  My trust in a relationship had been broken and I had been cornered.  Luckily at the time I was able to say 'no thanks', but only after spending a very uncomfortable hour in a place I didn't want to be, and losing a lot of respect and fondness for someone I had liked immensely.  Unfortunately this experience is common and many people have been put off the idea of getting too close to anything that remotely resembles network marketing or direct sales.

Fast forward 20-odd years.......whilst at home on maternity leave I discovered Norwex.  Family and friends raved about the products, and I respected their opinions so when I called their rep to get some info, she asked if I would host a demo for a few friends.  Whilst I felt a bit squirmy, I agreed.  When I met my friendly Norwex rep, I realised that she was just another Mum like me, who wanted a more flexible life.  She'd had a professional career but when she discovered Norwex, she developed a passion for the product and decided to give the business a go.  And she was great at it!  Our demo was very relaxed, not at all pushy, informative and a really lovely gathering.  Some women bought products, some didn't.  No awkwardness, just shopping on the comfort of our deck with a very informed personal rep.  Was I asked to become a member of her team?  Yes.  What did I say?  No thanks, not for me.  What did she say?  Ok, well if you ever change your mind you know where I am.  That was it.  No pestering, no convincing - just an offer of an opportunity and a respect for my decision.

When I joined dōTERRA I fell in love with the products really quickly, pretty much overnight.  And I decided to build a business straight away.  Having attended a sum total of two product parties by then (I bought a Thermomix), I wasn't what you'd call experienced!  BUT, it didn't matter.  Why?  Because I loved the products and I could see the potential in the business opportunity.  Flexible work, generous income, supportive and engaged community.

My first event was at a friends house.  She invited a bunch of her pals, laid out some nibbles and we gathered to talk and play with essential oils.  We kept it simple.  I think 5 out of 6 women enrolled on the night (the 6th has since enrolled later), everyone enjoyed themselves and we created a bunch of happy oil users.  No biggie and I could see the enormous value of the group dynamic.  People love being together, especially us gals!  We share stories and experiences, and create a community very quickly.  

Hosting an event is also the best way to get your oils for free.  Does that sound good?  Who doesn't want free oils!  Sharing with your peeps means that you can earn commissions to cover the cost of your order.  Easy peasy.  Here's how........

  1. Pick a date / time that works for you 
  2. Invite 10-12 peeps, knowing that at least half won't be able to make that date / time (all good, you can host another one later!)  I'll do up a cool digital invite for you to send out.
  3. Send a couple of reminders - people get busy and forget their commitments!  
  4. Get some nibbles and your choice of beverages (sparkling water is great to showcase your fave citrus oils)
  5. Relax, enjoy the company of your friends and soak up the oily fun! 

A couple of tips to make your event awesome :)

  • Inviting in person is always best, isn't that how you like to be asked to things?  Have a coffee, give them a ring.  Follow up with your social sharing / text / digital-comms so your peeps have a record of the all the details
  • Keep you nibbles simple and easy
  • If you're keen to share some drinks, leave it until after the info session is done.  That way everyone can relax, chat and mingle over oils 

So, next time you're asked if you're open to hosting an event, just say yes!  You'll nab yourself a host gift and could even cover your own order!  And your friends will be stoked.  I would love to know your host experiences, share your story in the comments and inspire others to join in the fun :)

Jo x

How You Can Bring Hope to Children Caught in Sex Trafficking
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$2500 to save one child from sex slavery.

That's a pretty small price.  Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) is a NON-PROFIT organisation that partners with doTERRA to undertake this most challenging, traumatic and necessary work. Setup by an ex-US Homeland Security Special Agent, OUR has rescued over 1000 children and assisted in the arrests of more than 400 traffickers.

doTERRA created the Hope Blend specifically to support this work, by donating all proceeds from every sale - that’s all $26 - not just the profit, to the organisation.  At that rate it takes 100 bottles of hope to be purchased, to save the life of one child.

I’m going to share a little bit of my story with you here. As a child I was subjected to violence and sexual assault. That only ended because friends ‘rescued’ us - in the middle of the night, and we got away. We had to live in a new place, and then we moved state.  When I think about this time I am reminded how traumatic it was, but I am also struck by how lucky we were.  We were enormously gifted to have people that both cared enough and were in a position to actually help, that we got out. These children don’t have that opportunity. They have nothing, except the work of organisations such as OUR that dedicate their lives, their freedom, their gifts, to helping those that can’t help them selves.

This is an incredibly easy solution for you to be a part of.  Purchase this beautiful blend of Frankincense, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot for yourself or gift it to a friend.  If you’ve got a monthly order going, make it a regular purchase - it’s five coffees a month and give it out everytime there’s a birthday, mother’s day, baby shower, bridal shower - the oils will help you feel calm, relaxed, soothed and uplifted.  Share the stories, share the work and we'll continue to rescue innocent children from depravity and give them an opportunity for a different life.  An opportunity to grow in safety, to be loved and valued and to grow up to not repeat the mistakes of their childhood.  To understand and experience a different way to live and create life.

At $26 it’s unfathomably inexpensive.  Five coffees a moth.  A couple of bottles of wine.  One bottle of reasonable bubbles.  All these gifts we share in our extraordinarily privileged lives, and that's coming from me, someone who could easily be bitter, consumed by my own story and perpetuating the pain.  Instead I choose to be part of the solution.  I choose to be the change agent.

Let's be clear - I will not profit from purchases of this oil. It has 0 point value, and all commissions in doTERRA are paid on point value.  doTERRA don't even cover their costs on this, they pass the full price, all $26, onto OUR so they can continue their work. 

It's just the right thing to do.

Please share this post far and wide, because every child is worth saving.

Jo x

MamaTap

Pregnancy.  The most sacred time in a woman's life.  To bear witness to new life.  To grow, nurture, harness, evolve.  I am so incredibly grateful for my two precious babies.  With one perfectly normal pregnancy and birth, and one completely horrendous one I can genuinely relate to most birth stories.  I've got a pretty well rounded experience.  My youngest is now 2.5 yrs and I am in a position to look back on the last 5 years of journeying into motherhood with a vastly different perspective.

Something I hadn't counted on was how much I would transform and grow.  The evolution of myself.  I honestly thought I would stay the same person!  It's laughable now, and such a reflection of how I thought I knew everything.  I had achieved great success in my career, completed two degrees, had a nice house, car, ate out at all the fancy restaurants and spent far too much money on clothes and wine.  Clearly I was in for some hard-core life lessons.

It's no mistake that life begins in the Sacral Chakra.  The centre of creativity, pleasure and freedom brings forth new life to the world.  Pregnancy is a time when we are most closely connected to ourselves, we are most open to being our true expression.  We can be liberated of all the armoury and revel in the feminine life blood, deep in the knowledge that you have a sacred role in bringing new souls incarnate.  It's wonderful if you are already in that space, but if you're not - say if you're an analytical, over-achieving, control freak like me - then it can become a pretty uncomfortable space.

Being pregnant, heading into birth, the whole motherhood gig can be pretty bloody intimidating.  

The physical transformation is one thing, but the mental and emotional is quite another.  As the birth inched closer I may found myself relating to others differently, questioning who I was and why on earth I thought this was a good idea.  Questions abounded about what kind of mother I would be, how I would know what to do, how I would feel about this new human, about myself, about my husband.  I changed my mind often - spending the last few months looking forward to holding my baby, then couldn’t wait for it to be over, then all of a sudden I’d rather baby stayed right where it was, safe and sound, well fed, happy and comfortable.  Fears came to the fore about losing my identity and failing at the new one, about loving something so much I would be consumed by it.  Genuine fears about birthing, tearing, pooing on my baby, drugs, emergency c-sections, and the pain.  And really deep, secret fears surface - the kind you don't say out loud - like what happens if I don't like being a mother?  ALL PERFECTLY NORMAL.  But not the kind of thoughts you want running the joint.

In this state of mind my first birth and entry into motherhood was exactly as expected - traumatic, overwhelming and confusing and in no time I ended up with Post-Natal Depression. Not really a surprise. While I navigated my way out of the depression at about 9 months, the after-effects lasted well into the birth of my second baby (which was again traumatic but for entirely different reasons) and it wasn’t until I became an EFT Practitioner that I started to wake up to what I had been carrying around in my head and heart, and released it. All the guilt, shame, worthiness issues and huge, huge fears I held about who I was and whether I was enough came to the surface and RELEASED. I was able to accept myself, forgive and move forward into my own skin - stretched as it was ;)

EFT is a secret weapon against the roller-coaster of motherhood.  

EFT can help you shift the emotional charge associated with what's going on, so you can get to the bottom of the fear that's presenting itself and work through into a calmer state.  Calm in what you want in pregnancy, birth and when you bring baby home.  Lots of calm :)

I was recently working with a lovely mama, late in the third trimester of her first pregnancy.  She was struggling with managing the relationships with both her mother and mother-in-law, trying to please them both and also stay true to herself and what she wanted for her birthing experience.  As we tapped, she realised that as a child she had felt responsible for her own mother in the family dynamic, that she had played small so as not to be a burden.  Now, at this incredibly important juncture in her own transition to motherhood, she was really uncomfortable with asserting herself, for fear of upsetting the relationship.  Through tapping she was able to recognise the story that was playing out, release the emotions and come to a place of clarity, that empowered her to have an easy conversation with both women because she was coming from a place of comfort - not fear, guilt, abandonment or misplaced responsibility.

During this period we are ripe for change.  The soul is so accessible and the opportunities are many if we are willing to be courageous and embrace them.  If you're pregnant, or just had a baby, or even if your children a now older - reflect on the feelings that surface during this period.  Don't brush them aside, really look at them, especially the ones that make you uncomfortable in any way because that's where the growth is.  Where are you feeling frustrated, not in control, ashamed, guilty, responsible, overwhelmed, scared or sad?  What can you feel in your body when you think about those feelings?  Write them down, rate their intensity and start tapping.  You can follow the basic sequence with your own words, or we can work together if you prefer.  

Share your story in the comments if you are willing, so more mamas can know they are not alone, and they are NOT crazy!  Better yet, share this post and tag your friend, declare your support. 

Jo x

What's in a face?

From the moment we open our eyes, we interpret faces.  We take in shapes, tones and structures and we form impressions, incredibly consistent ones, about the character of others.  Are they trustworthy?  Nurturing?  Will I be safe with them?  It is truly incredible how innately we respond to a persons physical characteristics.  

Face reading has its roots in the traditional Chinese practice of physiognomy and has been brought into a new practice by Mac Fulfer.  It is incorporated as part of the Emotional Anatomy training and is now a key element of the way I get to know and understand others. 

People get great delight in hearing what their features say about them and I often get asked to share insights with people as a bit of a party trick.  I'm obliging because people are interested, but my real passion for the skill applies to the way it can change relationships.  Helping people to understand each other better can have a very positive influence on relationship dynamics because it changes the way they see both themselves and the other person.

Let me share a little bit of my story here with you.  I'm a pretty emotional person.  I'm also very determined, I think a LOT, and I like to communicate. I bear some pretty significant scars from early childhood trauma, and I've had my fair share of professional 'growth' experiences.  My husband (bless his soul) is about as linear, logical and pragmatic as you can get.  He's a data guy.  You know, ones and zeros.  We are your classic case of opposites attract!  Which is great when it's just the two of you and you can focus intently on each other, you've got the extra energy that it takes to operate in close proximity with someone who is your polar opposite.

HOWEVER.  Cue the addition of small children and all that 'discretionary' energy you had is guzzled by the ever-demanding anarchy that comes with offspring.  All of a sudden you're both sitting in your default positions and the space between you is measured in light years.

It can be so easy to believe that you're too different, the distance is too big and you just don't have the energy to 'make it work'.  I get it.  We've been there.  Multiple times.

That is until now.  Being able to see someone's innate characteristics, who they really are and who they are meant to be, reflected in their physical features, is very revealing.  With cognitive approaches we tend to think that the other person is somehow more able to change themselves, that there must be some deficit that makes them behave a certain way and that if they just tried a bit harder they could make the shift and everything would be ok.

This is about revealing your true expression and leaning into that.  Uncovering the ways in which you process information, engage with the world, make decisions, feel your feelings and think your thoughts.  You are forced to work with who you are, as you are.  The key difference between this and other more cognitive approaches to understanding behaviour, is that the body can't lie.  It is the soul incarnate.  Emotions and experience manifest.  And you cannot argue with it.  You can however, take the insights and work with them.

So what are the key tidbits that helped us out?  Here are some excerpts from our readings:

Me.

"..Large, low ears which are left brain. You take in information carefully, you evaluate and analyze preferring wisdom over speed and do not like to be rushed.....Round, full forehead is right brain, you hate being micro-managed, rigid systems, procedures and mechanical approaches......access hairs at the start of eyebrows indicate an ability to tap into your unconscious data bank of prior experiences and get intuitive “hits” through unconscious pattern recognition, making you a good judge of character and quick to spot what others may have missed.....wide space between your eyebrows is a self-will pad. Once you make your mind up you are hard to stop, a freight train line …which would add that your focus is not just like a laser beam but more like a laser beam on the front of a freight train, once you focus on your goals, others should either get onboard or get off your track. You can be intense......large irises show an emotionally open and perceptive person.....full lips show a warm passionate disposition and gift of expression.....the line on your chin indicates that you are an over-achiever and believe you are good when you get feedback from external sources........"

Him.

".....very left brain and his face shows a left brain brilliance. His big ears tell me that he takes in information very carefully, can be literal in listening (listens to the words meaning more than the tone)......Big will pad between eyebrows…once mind is made up he is like a freight train…either get on board or get off the rails he is not going to stop....His angled eyebrows are also a left brain quality… mentally in control, thinks that he is right, may refuse to admit error, can be mentally intimidating, few people would be willing to cross a person who has them........ Analyzes carefully so often, he is right......Straight mouth with thin lips…reserved in speech, has more thoughts than he expresses..Eyes angle down…does not look at the world through rose colored glasses…anticipates problems and sees the problems that others might miss......Left brains can be brilliant but have a harder time establishing relationships that are more than transactional.....his round chin may be his saving grace in that he does consider others when he is taking action......curve line on his chin is a desirability line, also called an “over-achiever” line........ gets his feeling of worth from external sources.......However, he has such thin lips he may not talk about the experience, as he can have a tendency to keep things to himself and compartmentalise problems...."

So.  

We have me - emotional, intuitive, creative, intense, determined, warm, expressive and needing some validation.  

And we have him - literal, determined, analytical, mentally intimidating, reserved, sees risk everywhere, finds deep relationships difficult, keeps things to himself and also needs some validation.

There were no surprises here for either of us, in fact there was a lot of agreement.  The gems though, are these:

  • We both benefit from some external validation (which neither of us would have admitted before), so we now have a daily practice of telling each other three things we appreciate about each from that day.  It genuinely works wonders, because it meets both of our needs in a non-threatening way, that isn't driven by making up after a big fight beforehand.
  • Knowing that he anticipates problems is great, and is a very protective trait.  However, children are like walking risk magnets and they need to be able to take those risks and fail, in order to learn and grow.  He spends much of his waking time preventing risks from being realised, and it's exhausting.  Sharing this conversation means I can gently remind him to let it go, and he can know that I'm coming from a place of understanding his natural instinct, that it is not a fault but that it needs to evolve to adapt to the situation.
  • Oh my god the poor guy is literally surrounded by feminine essence!  Everywhere he goes is emotion, nurturing, sensitivity, communication, expression, creativity.  And that was his path to take in this life.  The universe brought him exactly what he needed to learn his lessons and grow, but holy shit is it uncomfortable for him!  Understanding how innately masculine he is softens my frustration with his lack of expression, warmth and emotion.  I know he's trying and that he will continue to try, even though it's pretty hard work :)
  • Knowing that I don't like to be rushed is great!  Now I understand why I get so frustrated by my children who are demanding something and I need a moment to figure out how I feel about it, and they don't get that concept, so they keep demanding!  My responses to them have softened and I can just say, "give me a minute". 
  • For him, knowing how innately emotional and intuitive I am, helps him to know I'm not just being 'needy'.  He softens and tries just that little bit harder to meet me in the middle.

Do you see?  There are so many ways to know someone, and this is just one of them.  It's fascinating to understand yourself and others from a place of physical manifestation.  What does your face say about you?  If you're interested in this kind of work then take a look at Emotional Anatomy and book a reading, you will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself.

Jo x

An Epic Take on Ditching Stress & Anxiety

Overwhelm - that sensation of being consumed and drowning.

When you're overwhelmed, emotions are running high and rational thought is running low.  Overwhelm is a key signal that you are in the flight or fight response.  When you reach overwhelm you have likely been feeling inundated with difficult circumstances, repeatedly.  Initially designed to get us out of short-term life-threatening situations, the stress response increases cortisol and diverts energy from your non-essential systems (eg. digestion) to your essential systems (eg. respiration, circulation) to ensure your greatest assets and strengths are primed for survival.  

Unfortunately, for many of us our flight-or-fight response is perpetually switched on due to the demands of today's lifestyle.  Let's review the list........

  • Financial burden: mortgages, credit card debt, 
  • Career pressure: am I successful / happy / aligned / contributing / achieving?
  • Parenting perfection: trying to be ALL things, to smALL people - present, nurturing, independent, boundary enforcing, engaged and involved without being a helicopter parent
  • Nurturing relationships with spouse / partner while maintaining indpendence
  • Respecting wellness: it is inordinately expensive to feed your body with organic, whole, sustainable and ethically sourced food and engage in exercise, yoga, pilates.  Have you seen the cost of yoga gear!!
  • Relaxing: finding ways to switch off and  but not with more than two glasses of wine or you're an alcoholic
  • Keep up with the latest research / news / entertainment / technology while switching off your device to limit exposure to wi-fi

Hello downward spiral.  Yep.  It's easy to see how we end up in overwhelm.

There is plenty of information available offering solutions to manage anxiety and stress.  However, I generally find an abundance of advice with limited practical application.  My offering to you is to give practical tools that you can use anywhere, anytime to clear your mind and body of the anxiety that limits us into thinking that we are somehow not enough, right now.

Tap out of Overwhelm-2.png

When you are feeling stressed, try essential oils that help to open the airways so you can breathe deeply.  Deep breathing is still the most effective, clinically proven method of reducing stress.  Adding essential oils makes it far more effective, particularly if you have trouble expanding your lungs - because you're so uptight!  Easy Air, Peppermint, Cardamom or Lemon all support deep, oxygenating breaths that slow your heart rate, body and mind.  Once you're breathing well apply some oils that ground, centre and calm the nervous systems such as Balance, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Frankincense or Patchouli.  Add some oils to uplift your mood such as Wild Orange, Bergamot or Melissa and you'll be feeling like your old self in no time.  Once you've taken some deep breaths and let your body and mother nature do their work, it's time to delve a little deeper into other ways you can support yourself.

Emotional Anatomy provides remarkable insight into your natural characteristics and tendencies.  For example, if you're a Vata type you'll need to regularly ground yourself to ensure your flighty nature doesn't succeed in running away with you.  Faced with a crisis or the pressures of consistent high load, Vata types can experience an excess of thoughts, darting around in their heads and creating a lot of noise.  Standard response is to take flight. Regular grounding using essential oils, yoga or getting out in nature with bare feet will work wonders.  Pitta types on the other hand thrive on high levels of activity, both mental and physical. But we all have limits and if there is too much rigid structure, and not enough flexibility and choice, then the Pitta will end up stressed, tense and likely have digestive issues.  So keeping options open and doing meditation to clear the mind and body of excess energy will support you in the day to day.  And ditch the coffee, you don't need it!  Kapha types tend to go a little more slowly, they take their time to digest and need to maintain close links to their tribe in order to keep on an even keel.  During times of high stress you need to take time to connect with loved ones, and slow down. 

EFT Once you understand where your stress and anxiety is coming from, then you can get into the nitty gritty about why YOU'RE CREATING the environment that perpetuates the problem.  Yes, we all do.  You have control over far more than you think.  Understanding your behavioural patterns will give you enormous leverage in changing your life.  Whose expectations are you trying to meet?  What are you trying to prove?  Why?  The questions and answers are different for everyone and shifting beliefs that don't serve you will position you for far greater success, and peace.

I find it extraordinary that we are killing ourselves with stress.  The World Health Organisation reports that more than half the deaths that occur worldwide each year are the result of lifestyle choices.  'LIFE-STYLE'.  As in, how you style your life.  Do you want to style a life for yourself that results in stress, disease and death?  

I sure as sh*t don't!

I want a life that is full of joy, abundance, heart-warming connection, humour, intimacy, beauty and wild success.  I want to leave this planet knowing I did everything possible to give the most I could, and live the best I could be.  I want to know that my children, future women of the world, know fundamentally that they are connected to the planet, the universe, each other, me and most importantly themselves.  And that they nurture those connections of mind, body and spirit.  My job is to model HOW to do that, enough so that they get the picture and then grow up to go out and find their own ways of doing it, and contribute that to their world. 

So I do the work everyday to improve myself, to better my practice, to lighten my heart and to share that with others.  Because we learn through experience, we must take action.  Ain't nobody gettin' nowhere sittin' around thinking about stuff.  It's called 'contemplating your navel' and it's an incredibly indulgent behaviour.  Progress, momentum, change, growth, expansion - all require action.  So get up, learn about what's best for you, grab some oils and start tapping.  I love to hear how you use these tools in your daily life, post a comment below!

Jo x

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils

How are you using your essential oils?  Sometimes I meet people who only use their oils in one particular way, are you one of them??  I find it crazy because you're missing out on a whole world of fun and benefits!  By using essential oils aromatically, topically and internally you can really take advantage of every benefit they have to offer and fully integrate them into your life.  The more you use them, the more benefit you'll gain and the more value you'll get.

I thought it might be useful to put the basics together for you in this neat little video, because you know, it's a nice change from all the writing!

What's your favourite way to use essential oils?  Post a comment, I'd love to know x

Weekend Alchemy: Saving Face

How's your face looking?

About 10 years ago I developed pigmentation all over my cheeks and forehead, almost overnight.  I remember it happened really quickly.  I consulted doctors and dermatologists and no-one could give me any solid indication of what caused the change.  Everything from being on the contraceptive pill to sun-damage, diet and genetics (or a combination) were proposed as possible reasons.  They offered plenty of products, all topical, all synthetic and all of which I tried to no avail.

Recently, I decided to turn to my essential oils to see what they could offer.  After doing a stack of research on different types of base oils and using oils for skin care, both cleansing and moisturising.  I decided to make the switch, and my skin has never looked better.

The first step was to remove soap based products from my skin care, which meant no more foaming cleanser.  That was a hard one for me to manage because I am so used to that squeaky clean feeling that I wasn't sure I could feel like my face was clean without some suds!  However, in the pursuit of benefit, I gave it a go.

Using oils to cleanse your skin is not new.  There are many resources available for you to do your own research on the ins and outs of the process, so here I will share with you what I chose, why and how I use it.

I chose to use Coconut Oil because it's anti-microbial, anti-yeast and makes a great makeup remover.  I could have used Jojoba Oil (expensive option, so I saved it for my serum) or Castor Oil (BAD childhood memories!) so I chose Coconut.  It's also relatively inexpensive for a good quality, organic product that I always have on hand anyway.  There are two ways I cleanse with coconut oil:

  1. Eye-makeup remover: gently massage PLAIN coconut oil over eye, without getting IN your eye, to remove make-up. Wipe off with a warm face washer or cotton pad.

  2. Face cleanser: add a drop of Lavender or Tea Tree oil and gently massage over your face for 2 minutes, paying particular attention to the oily areas. Take a hot face washer and hold it over the face to steam the pores, then wipe off. Repeat a couple of times until the residual oil is gone.

Note: do NOT use essential oils on the eye area.  That's why this is a two step process.  Plain coconut oil for the eyes, add Lavender or Tea Tree for added anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties for the rest of the face.

Cleansing with this method leaves my skin very clean and soft, not at all tight the way soap-based products have.  After cleansing I use a spritzer with filtered water, Juniper Berry and Lavender oils to tone and tighten the pores, then onto my serum.  This is where the magic happens :) 

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

Firstly, I decided that just as I would normally have a morning and a night a cream, I would create a morning and a night serum.  Our skin does most of its regenerating at night while we are asleep (if we're lucky enough to be getting any!), so I wanted something more intensive to maximise the natural healing processes, and a lighter one for the day that would nourish and protect, and still be a good base for make-up.  

Next, I considered which base oil to use knowing that the majority of the serum would be comprised of this oil.  I went with  a blend of Jojoba Oil (because it suits my skin type) and Rosehip Oil for it's regenerating properties (for both the pigmentation and my age).  To this base I added some super-concentrated Vitamin E to the night serum for its anti-oxidant properties and to protect against free-radical damage.  Vitamin E naturally occurs in the skin but is depleted with time and sun damage, and is clearly depleted in mine!  I only added the Vitamin E to the night serum because it is quite thick and creates a bit of shine on the skin, perfect for night time :) 

Time to navigate the essential oils and choose ones to target my pigmentation and deliver all the other benefits I want from my skin-care such as keeping the wrinkles at bay, creating a youthful glow, smoothing and evening tone etc.  Does Miranda Kerr come in an essential oil?? 

There are many essential oils that are beneficial for the skin and it really is a case of trying and testing which ones suit you.  These are the oils I started with: 

  • Arborvitae (promotes clear and healthy looking skin)

  • Blue Tansy (reduce appearance of blemishes, hydrates and soothes)

  • Copaiba (clears, smoothes, reduces appearance of blemishes)

  • Frankincense (reduces appearance of imperfections)

  • Geranium (smoothes and beautifies)

  • Helichrysum (revitalises, reduces appearance of wrinkles, promotes glowing, youthful complexion)

  • Lavender (soothing)

  • Myrrh (reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)

  • Patchouli (reduces appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, imperfections, smoothes)

  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (reduces imperfections, smoothes and promotes glow)

  • Spikenard (softens and smooths)

It's quite the list isn't it?  I narrowed it down by selecting some all-rounders for the morning and keeping the star performers for the evening, and by excluding oils that I don't love the aroma of (eg., Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli and Spikenard) - after all, they're going on my face!  I referenced my previous experiences with the oils - I have seen Helichrysum stop bleeding on a number of cuts, Frankincense reduce bruising and heal cuts, abrasions, bites etc., Arborvitae really ground and calm me, and Hawaiian Sandalwood just opens me up - I love it. I also considered the price of the oils and how much I would need for each batch, as I wanted the serums to be cost effective so that others could try them out too!  Here are the recipes I created:

A.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Geranium

  • 10 drops Arborvitae

Total cost to produce: $21.18.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 84 days, $0.25 per day.

P.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 20 drops Vitamin E Super Concentrate

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood

  • 10 drops Helichrysm

  • 6 drops Blue Tansy

Total cost to produce: $54.06.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 89 days, $0.60 per day.

AND, you've only used a small amount of your essential oils which you can use for all their other beautiful benefits or save and make more batches of your unique, tailor-made for your skin, perfecting face serum.

And look at the result! I'm really happy with it!!  And that's after 30 days. I'm looking forward to comparing my skin in another two months!  You may not think it's much but for me, this is a huge improvement.  Nothing has made an impact on this pigmentation for years, so to start to see it diminish is great progress.  

Before.png

 

Yes, I'm not the best photographer and yes the lighting is different, but you can still see the improvement in even-ness and reduction in pigmentation on both lower cheeks and above the eyebrows. 

Is it time to improve the appearance of your skin? Or even better, for all you young poppets with gorgeous skin - get in early before the damage starts and protect it. Imagine what this type of healing can do for your skin NOW instead of later!

Totally natural, 100% synthetic and toxin free. So simple to make and less than $1 a day, how good is that!  Do you use essential oils in your skin care?  I'd love to hear your story!  Leave a comment below so we can share and inspire others to ditch the soap and chemicals :)

Jo x

The Holistic Triad
Holistic Triad-3.png

Ooohhh, I was always fascinated by triads when I was a kid.  The organisation, effectiveness and efficiency appealed to me regardless of the crime!  They were focused on their goals, they utilised the tools necessary to execute them and they were successful.  Triads have an organisational structure that works.  Sure it's not very humane or pleasant but it remains effective over time, and I honour those fundamental characteristics.  And maybe there was a certain element of bad-assery about them :)  

Emotional Anatomy, EFT and essential oils are a match made in heaven when it comes to personal change.  The complexity of human behaviour is such that a single-focus approach will never, ever be the answer.  Think about it.  

Take the medical approach to managing depression, you get prescribed anti-depressants that block the re-uptake of ONE of your happy neurotransmitters so you've got more floating around in your system and you start to feel better, sure.  But you haven't identified the cause of the decline in neurotransmitter, you haven't dealt with the events or relationships that contributed to your despair and you definitely haven't engaged your innate energetic intelligence to release any blocks that are underlying your state of being, allowing you to grow, expand and receive joy.

You could take the psychological approach and seek therapeutic counselling for support.  You'll feel some improvement because you're engaged in a supportive relationship, and hopefully make some behavioural changes to improve life over time.  Standard psychological techniques take a considerable amount of time to work and generally rely on your long-term engagement in a therapeutic relationship.  In the meantime, your biology continues to influence your daily experience through it's reactive neuro-chemical conditioning (the chemical state of our bodies are constantly responding to external and internal stimuli, so while you are continuing to feel and behave in your depression, your body continues to operate in it's matching neuro-chemical soup).  Again, you haven't embraced and addressed the soul aspects of your experience, so you will continue to be confronted with the same lessons, over and over and over again.  Sound familiar?

Or, you take the energetic approach and seek the support of a healer and balance your chakras - you feel very zen for a short period until the root cause of your imbalance which is manifesting as depression reappears (because it will, until you address it) and bam, you're all out of whack again.

Don't get me wrong, each of these tools are a wonderful support and I admire every single person that takes brave action to help themselves improve their life, period.  Action is ALWAYS better than no action, even if it turns out not to be the right action, we learn and we keep taking more action, moving forward.

What I am advocating is a truly holistic approach.

Body. Mind. Soul.

Essential Oils. EFT. Emotional Anatomy.

The Holistic Triad.  Combined, these three tools address your biological state, your emotional baggage and your soul fractures.  In the form of completely pure, organic compounds that work in symbiosis with the human body (as opposed to synthetic drugs which are antagonists by nature), clinically proven psychological techniques that engage human energy systems and, the practical physical manifestation of your soul's developmental journey.

Whhaaaaatt?  I hear you say.  It's a lot to take in, I know.  But it's also really simple.  As long as you are open to to a couple of possibilities: 

  1. Everything is ENERGY
  2. Everything is CONNECTED

If you accept that everything is energy, and everything is connected, then it makes perfect sense that we can use these tools to change our lives.  If we take the example of depression above - using the natural chemistry of essential oils we can shift our mood, improve sleep, calm nerves and increase energy.  Using EFT we can identify AND process the experiences that lead to your current feelings so that you can release the related emotions that are keeping you in a depressed state.  Again, essential oils emotionally anchor your growth and provide stability through the process.  Using Emotional Anatomy we can uncover your innate characteristics and traits that help you to understand how and why you made the decisions you did, and change the way you relate to your Self, so that you make decisions that are better aligned from here forward.  When you act from a place of alignment then you make decisions that work for you, that add value to your life and allow you to serve your Self and others well.

What tools do you use to support yourself through growth and change?  Leave a comment, I'd love to know.

Jo x