Posts tagged Using essential oils
5 Parenting Tips to Keep Harsh Chemicals Away from Little People
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There are a couple of really poignant moments I remember from those first few weeks of motherhood.

First one I was still in the hospital, it may have been the second night and I heard the rescue helicopter (we were right next to the main Children’s hospital). I was gripped by the realisation that somewhere a parent was getting some very distressing news and my whole mind and body zeroed in on my little bundle - I wanted to protect this little person from EVERYTHING. In the same moment I realised that in reality it would be impossible and I would have to make choices about where I put my effort to try and control their environment. It’s amazing how much can flick through your mind in an instant right?

The second one, I was standing in the baby aisle at the chemist in complete analysis paralysis - how could I choose between all these products?? They all said ‘natural’ but when I read the labels, the ingredient list was pretty much identical to their out and proud toxic counterparts! For a little while I was bewildered, then I got angry. I was revolted by what was being sold to me as ‘safe’ when it clearly wasn’t. I was pissed off that commercial companies clearly thought I was an idiot by assuming I would just accept their marketing, that I would accept their product because there was no alternative, that their pursuit of a profit at the expense of my baby’s health was ok!

F*ck you, I said and walked out.

And so began my departure from mainstream health and wellbeing. I studied up on whole foods and nutrition, and started experimenting in the kitchen. I avoided all commercial baby products, opting for either simplicity (water only baths) or 100% natural products like coconut oil and essential oils.

These babies of ours are the purest they will ever be when they are born but even then, thanks to our lifestyles they’ve already been exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals which have made their way across the placenta and into their tiny systems. Check out this research that found more that 200 chemicals in baby cord blood. And why should we care?

Because……

  • Sperm counts in men have decreased 50 per cent since 1940, and one in six couples has difficulty conceiving

  • Endocrine-disruptors affect multiple systems that contribute to early-onset puberty, endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid disregulation, testicular cancer and breast cancer

  • One in three women will experience a major anxiety episode in their lifetime

And all these issues are linked to the presence of synthetic products in the body.

It is a mission of mine to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of synthetic fragrances and empower you with easy to use, cheap options that are better for you, baby AND the planet.

Here are some super simple ways to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals for your special little people:

  • DIY Wipes: there are many recipes available on the inter webs for DIY Non-Toxic Wipes. Here’s my two cents (given that we use an absolute crap-load of them, even when we are waaaaayyyy past nappies). Baby skin is thin and sensitive, I personally wouldn’t be putting essential oils in wipes going on bottoms. Essential oils are never recommended to go on genitals, and babies are no different. But, if you’re making wipes for grubby hands and faces, different story! I would still stick to gentle and inexpensive oils such as Lavender, Cedarwood or Geranium. These oils add anti-microbial power, smell great and are soothing for skin. This is the easiest no-fuss recipe I have found for DIY Wipes, plus she’s Aussie (via NZ) and keeps it super simple.

  • DIY Insect Repellant: I love, love, love this recipe from Shannon at Purely Thriving! Living in South-East Queensland we have mozzies, midges, ants, spiders, bees EVERYWHERE and pretty much all year round (because you know, Winter is a figment of Disney’s imagination!). I have full confidence that I can apply this blend to my children and they will get nothing but goodness out of the application and in addition, they are protected from those pesky bites that just get scratched, and scratched, and scratched, and scratched………….until someone wakes up at 3am complaining of an itchy leg. I adapted the recipe and topped it up with Fractionated Coconut Oil instead of water, and put it in both a spray bottle and a 30ml roller ball bottle (similar size to a Rid roll-on) because that works well for application for my children. You do whatever works for you.

  • Fennel, Digestzen, Peppermint for upset tummies: “Mummy, my tummy’s sore” EVERY morning! Does anyone else have that? In general, children are more prone to tummy aches and issues as their little digestive systems get used to new foods, build tolerance to irritants and their immune system (housed in the gut) cranks into gear every 30 seconds to fight off the next virus. There are innumerable reasons that a child may have a tummy ache / pain / funny feeling, and of course it is important to seek medical attention for ongoing or significant discomfort. However, for everyday issues such as wind, bloating, digestive upset, response to virus or even nausea due to fears and anxiety, then essential oils provide completely natural and effective support. For wind and bloating try Fennel for young babies, or Digestzen for older children (diluted in carrier oil). For digestive issues due to irritants / intolerances use Digestzen (diluted in carrier oil) and for nausea use Peppermint inhaled straight from the bottle.A

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  • First Aid: adventure is such an important part of childhood for so many reasons. Exploration builds resilience, problem solving, confidence and physical capability, not to mention the fact that it’s fun and they get an enormous amount of joy out of discovery! The joy can evaporate before your eyes with cuts and scrapes though, so i always have essential oils for first aid when out with my children. And they’re pretty simple - Tea Tree, Lavender, Frankincense. Just three oils can save you a whole lot of heart ache. For cuts and scrapes, wash off any debris with a little water (usually a bottle of water or a bubbler nearby), dab dry around the wound then apply around the wound, never over broken skin. Tea Tree’s anti-microbial properties reduce the chance of infection from microbes in the ground / gravel / bark / play equipment / concrete. Lavender is analgesic so relieves pain and heals skin. Frankincense is anti-inflammatory so reduces redness and swelling. Combine these three oils in equal proportions in a 10ml roller and top with carrier oil to make your own on the go ‘Owie Blend’. Joy restored!

  • Immune Support: children are petri dishes. They are! It’s part of the gig, and that’s ok. Exposure to viruses, bacteria and microbes supports the development of a healthy immune system. But, sometimes the load is too much and when they come into contact with a bug that is bigger and better on the day, they succumb to the latest cold, virus, tummy bug that is going around. We’ve all been there and we all went through it as children. Essential oils can help provide incredible support to the human immune system via important biochemical pathways. There is much evidence that exists to confirm the therapeutic effects of essential oils on the immune system such as the On Guard Protective Blend. Oils such as Lavender and Frankincense are wonderful supports to bring the immune system back into balance, as well as blends such as On Guard and Easy Air which contain oils specifically formulated to provide protective effects and support clear, easy breathing when noses are stuffy and congested. These oils can be diffused or applied topically, diluted with carrier oil.DIY Hand Sanitiser: prevention is ALWAYS better than cure, and hand washing remains the very best preventative mechanism we have. BUT children don’t always do an amazing job of hand washing, or even if they do, within 10 seconds they’ve touched every other surface or child near them and those dirty little fingers end up in their mouths again! Hand sanitiser has become incredibly popular in the fight against spreading germs but unfortunately, most hand sanitiser is loaded with particularly nasty chemicals such as Triclosan (known……..and banned in the US in 2016, still good here in Australia though!). So every time that anti-bacterial hand gel is applied, we are ingesting thousands of toxic chemicals through our skin and into our blood stream. One alternative is to make a simple spray on hand sanitiser with essential oils and water. Take a 30ml spritz bottle, add 10 drops of On Guard Protective Blend and top up with water. Shake well and spray over hands. Done. DONE. And I am completely comfortable licking my child’s hands after they have been sprayed and air-dried with On Guard Hand Sanitiser. Essential oils react with bacteria, viruses and microbes on contact. What’s important is that they enter those little bugs at the cellular level, neutralising threats immediately. Synthetic molecules don’t get in at the cellular level because they’re too big and made of the wrong stuff. Biochemically, humans and pure essential oils work together, it’s pretty simple, nature = nature.

These babies are my world. Every day I do my very best, to do my best - and that means making decisions that support me and them now, and into the future. Reducing toxic load is a critically important factor in supporting long term health outcomes - remove the crap so the body can do what it needs to do, instead of working so hard to fight foreign and harmful chemicals.

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 8th to Sunday 12 May. 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:

  • On Guard (Protective Blend)

  • Lemon

  • Tea Tree

  • Easy Air (Respiratory Support Blend)

  • Cedarwood

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 Rose Gold Train Case to carry all your fave oils, Correct X Ointment, Mood Management sample kit, DIY supplies and much more!! So what are you waiting for?

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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.

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.

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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

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!

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 :)

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.

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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

The Holistic Triad
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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

Low Tox Cleaning

Glamorous?  Nope.  Sexy?  Nope.  Spiritual?  Not in my world!  I doubt that cleaning is a the top of any of our 'favourite pastimes' list, but at the end of the day we all have to do it AND household cleaning products are one of the easiest ways you can get rid of a bunch of harmful toxins, without even trying.  Plus, I can never clean without thinking of the incredible Freddie Mercury cavorting around in fishnet stockings and a patent leather mini while vacuuming - so at the very least it can bring a little cheeky humour to my day.  If we're not in the same vintage and you have no idea what I'm talking about, do yourself a favour and check this out - you get that bonus for free!

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Why use essential oils to clean your home?  

Think about it.  You have do it anyway, and you have to spend the money anyway - so why not swap out your toxic junk for 100% safe, natural and effective products that do the job, keep you healthy AND give you greater value by earning points for you.  Win win.

There is so much info, it’s hard to know what to leave out.  To avoid overwhelming you, I’m just going to stick with the basics…..

Oils

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  • all oils have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties but they vary in strengths and composition which is why you might use one oil for one purpose, and another for a different purpose
  • my go to cleaning oils are Lemon and Wild Orange (citrus is a great degreaser, sticky residue remover), On Guard Protective Blend (shown to be resistant to MRSA), Clove (mould inhibitor) and Tea Tree (anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial).
  • I also use Lavender, Lemongrass, Cedarwood and Purify Cleansing Blend, in the laundry - because they boost the germ killing power of a cold wash, and I like the way they smell :)

 

Other products

  • dōTERRA's On Guard Cleaning Concentrate - made with the uber-popular and effective On Guard Protective Blend, this concentrate can clean your dishes, bathroom and laundry or be combined with bi-carb of soda for an all natural cleaning paste.  A great item to add to your monthly order so you earn points for cleaning, yay!  Again, win win.
  • Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner - super concentrated, only need a small amount in a spray bottle with essential oils and it does a great job.  It may seem expensive but it literally lasts months in our house…….maybe that means I don’t do enough cleaning???  I find that when I clean using this with EO’s, it takes longer for the mould to come back - more winning!
  • Spray bottles - use glass if you are using citrus oils, plastic is fine otherwise.  I have a glass one for the Kitchen Counter Spray because it has citrus oils, the other ones are plastic.
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Some people like to use vinegar and bi-carb, I just find a soap-based product cleans better and I don’t have to work so hard.  Plus, I hate the smell of vinegar. 

I should add, each dōTERRA essential oil bottle is 15ml and contains 250 drops.  In a standard spray bottle from Woolies (your local supermarket!) I use 1-2 tbsp of either On Guard Cleaning Concentrate or Dr Bronners, and about 10 drops of oils.  And then that cleans the bathroom about 4 times.  So they go a long way when used efficiently! 

What are your go-to recipes for DIY household cleaning?  Or maybe you'd like to know more specific recipes?  Let me know in the comments and I'll put together a post with your favourites :)

 

Jo x 

Weekend Alchemy: Chai Spiced Raw Chocolate
Nutty Chocolate with a batch of Wild Orange Jellies!

Nutty Chocolate with a batch of Wild Orange Jellies!

Do you have a little pull to creativity?  That little spark that nourishes as you collect ingredients in your head for a meal, or as you re-design your living room to usher in a new vibe?  Essential oils provide endless opportunities to create and weave passion into your life.  Gifts, self-care, nourishment are all contained in these little bottles of magic.  I am often inspired by things I see around me that I want to create my own version of - face cleanser, body wash, bathroom cleaner, fabric softener, bliss balls, salad dressings, green smoothies, ice creams.

Recently I have been loving the Peppermint Black Bean Brownie's and Black Pepper & Lime Raw Chocolate.  I tend to mix up the oils for chocolate recipes to match whatever is taking my fancy on the day - things like Wild Orange with Cardamom, Ginger or Black Pepper have been regular features.  However, since ditching coffee I have been enjoying the world of chai, and was inspired to make a raw Chai & Nut Chocolate!  Don't you think that sounds amazing?

With small people in the house it's important to me to create healthy versions of all the sweet things, so that they can learn to appreciate the difference in flavour of whole-foods rather than their synthetic, factory made, toxic impersonators (feeling the love there!).  A small piece of raw chocolate is a great dessert / after dinner sweet, and highly treasured in our house. My recipe is from Jo Whitton and Found Kassab's Life-Changing Food cook book.  It's loaded with healthy protein and fats, you can adjust the amount of honey for sweetener and the textural element of toasted nuts makes it extra special.  For this version, I've added some of my 'chai' spice oils and used pistachio nuts to give the chocolate a gorgeous exotic nuance.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Chai Essential Oil Blend

If you're looking for a recipe you might get a little freaked out here!  I like to experiment with my oils (and cooking in general), so I'm going to share the foundation oils with an instruction to go forth and play.  We are all so different, and Chai is no exception, some people prefer more Cardamom or no Ginger, or less Cinnamon.  It's completely up to you.

Start with Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger and Black Pepper.  You may like to add other spices such as Fennel, Coriander or Wild Orange for a unique blend that speaks just to you.

Have all the bottles in front of you, remove the lids and then just pick two.  What do you most like when you get a Chai latte?  Pick your favourites and hold them equal distance from your nose.  Take in the aroma, how does it make you feel?  Does your mouth start to water?  Do you back away from it?  Move one a little closer to your nose, then wave them around so you get a sense of what the blend will be like if you add more or less of one oil.  Keep doing this until you have hit the perfect balance.  You may have 4, 5 or 6 oils in your hands all at different heights!  Take note and then mix up a blend in the proportion that fits.  More of the oils that were closest to you, less of those that were further away.  Start with a half batch so you can tweak it as you go.

Enjoy xx

Important:  When using essential oils in cooking, only use those that have been GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) rated.  This standard is issued by the FDA and means that the product has met strict criteria to ensure it is safe for human consumption.  In addition, remember that doTERRA essential oils are incredibly potent so only add 1-2 drops to start with and go from there.   

Bringing ease and grace into your new year
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The new year is often a time of reflection and planning.  We assess our selves, try to understand the unfolding of the past so that we can make some sort of shift in the year ahead.  It’s a perfectly natural cycle.

For me, 2017 was all sorts of crazy.  So much growth, expansion, healing and so much sickness.  It didn’t actually make sense to me until now, that during a year when I was ‘doing’ the healthiest things of my life, I was also the sickest I have ever been in my life.  But when you’re clearing out your garbage, debris, emotional and energetic dead wood - all that stress makes it’s way out of the cells of your body so that it can be expelled, and in the process your immune system fights the good fight but it’s a big, heavy load.  Three sinus infections, influenza twice, two separate respiratory infections that required steroids and antibiotics and two tooth extractions that ended up with dry sockets.  All issues of the heart and throat chakras - think unexpressed emotions and true self finally coming to the fore and the inner struggle that ensues when your soul wakes up and forces you into transformation!  It’s actually quite comical when I look back.  

So, when I started looking towards 2018 I attuned to this vastly different landscape that I find myself in and asked, where am I going now?  As these waters settle into gentle waves, what do I hear, see and feel for the year ahead and which essential oils will support and safeguard my journey?

  • Frankincense and Geranium:  I find myself being called to nurture, to soften into the love I have for myself, my children, loving husband and broader family as well as my business.  These oils are very comforting in the resilience and calm of Frankincense, and the soft, feminine and balanced nature of Geranium.  Both oils blend beautifully with each other and other oils, and are perfect for aromatic dressing.  Taking the moment to self care, 
  • Blue Tansy:  to reinforce the call to action, to keep moving and not get side-tracked by the million distractions that are ever-present!  This oil is amazing for overcoming vacillation, avoidance or procrastination.  As an Aries with a predominant Pitta dosha, I don’t tend to procrastinate!  But I can vacillate and avoid with the best of them, so a drop of Blue Tansy on my solar plexus does wonders for committed and purposeful action.
  • Lemon, Zendoncrine and LLV:  I feel this year is going to be a lot cleaner.  A few years ago I made some reasonably drastic nutritional changes to support my health and it worked wonders.  No dairy or gluten, included fermented foods and low alcohol - it worked wonders for my physical and mental health but it was hard to maintain during my second pregnancy (not the alcohol bit!).  My youngest is now two years old, so it’s time to clean up my act again.  Lemon is a wonderful detoxifying oil, it supports the liver and kick starts metabolism, so Lemon up everyday!  Zendocrine is specifically formulated to cleanse and purify but I don’t love the flavour, so I’ll be applying it over my liver each day.  And, the Life Long Vitality keeps my metabolic processes running optimally to combat oxidative stress, provides the antioxidants of 12 serves of fruit and vegetables in a bioavailable format and includes a balance of EPA and DHA fatty acids.  These are my go-to life support!  You can read more about these quality supplements on the dōTERRA blog here and about some of the research behind them here
  • Clary Sage, Forgive and Motivate:  These oils are all about maintaining alignment with goals and vision.  Clary Sage has long been used to dispel darkness, clear creative blocks and encourage openness and expansion.  Forgive makes the list because I have a tendency to be critical and get caught, pretty quickly, in a negative, snarky mindset.  Forgive is amazing at softening the heart, returning to compassion and objectivity.  Motivate - do I really need to explain?  Two small children, a business, a job - tiredness can be overwhelming.  A drop of Motivate on my pulse points and in 15 minutes I am uber-functional and effective.  Don’t leave home without it! 

Essential oils are a part of my daily life combined with fave practices whether it be a yoga class, a brisk walk, an EFT session, a green smoothie or a 20 minute meditation on the bus on the way to work.  This is what I’m doing for 2018.

What will you do differently this year?