Essential oils through grief and loss.

Today marks the one year anniversary of losing my Granny. I’m so glad I listened to that still small voice in me that evening, after Pearl’s first ballet recital, and made the drive to be with her and my mom at the dementia facility where she spent her last months. She passed that evening with my mom and I there at her side, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to spend those last moments earth side with both her and my Pop before they left this world.

My Pop and Granny gave me so many fond memories and experiences that I will always be grateful for. They were always so generous in their care for all of us, spoiling the ever loving heck out of my sisters and I. They took me along on several of their travel adventures over the years, providing me beautiful memories of places I may have never had the opportunity to see if it weren’t for them. They were the best of grandparents and are deeply missed.

Thinking back on a year ago is not easy for me. I think, aside from my divorce 12 years ago, last spring was one of the hardest times of my life. Not only did we lose one grandmother, but just a month later, my dad’s mom also passed- my last living grandparent. So many friends and family experienced loss during that time, I was 9 months into my hardest pregnancy, on bed rest a lot of the time barely able to walk, walking through a painful time in my marriage that triggered a lot of emotional trauma from my past, and so on. It was not pretty. We all know these seasons at one time or another. Those hard seasons make me so completely and utterly grateful I have a God who sees and knows me… Who keeps my heart and is ever present when I am not strong and need to lean into Him. If you don’t know the Lord, I’ll be honest, I don’t know how you go it alone. There is no life apart from Him.

Another big tool in assisting me through grief and loss has been essential oils. You all know I love my oils, it’s no secret. If you know me at all, you know that I talk about them often. People turn to all sorts of things to help support them in times of sorrow, deep pain and loss. For me, that’s oils (and a whole lot of Jesus). It’s one of the biggest reasons I do what I do and why I’m so passionate about these plant juices.
Therapeutic grade Essential Oils distilled from aromatic plants possess therapeutic qualities which may assist us with our grief. I’ve used Young Living Essential Oils every day since experiencing loss last year- both physical loss, as well as emotional loss. The oils became my aromatic friends and companions. They helped soothe my broken heart and mind assisting me to release, accept, forgive and heal from grief and trauma from my past.

I combined essential oils with other therapies and used them every day to help me to process my loss and find peace from the traumatic triggers that were haunting me from past hurts I had experienced that had never properly been addressed. I found many oils calming and relaxing- helping to relax my tortured mind. At times I needed to employ uplifting oils such as Bergamot and Lime to lift me up when I was frozen with symptoms of PTSD. At other times I needed oils to improve and deepen my sleep such as Peace and Calming or a combination of Lavender, Frankincense and Orange. As I peeled back the layers of my grief, pain and hurt, I worked with the Young Living essential oil blends such as Forgiveness, Joy, Release, Inner Child, Harmony and Valor.

The Olfactory System or our sense of smell is quite amazing – As we inhale a fragrance the tiny molecules of essential oil hit the olfactory bulb which is very close to and influences the Limbic System of the Brain where emotional memories are stored.

Here they exert different influences on the Brain – Calming, Relaxing, Centering, Sedative, Grounding, Balancing, Uplifting, Releasing, connecting, etc. Here are some ways to care for yourself while grieving using therapeutic grade Essential Oils:

  1. Pamper yourself a relaxing candle lit epsom bath and add 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts, 1//2 cup of baking soda, and stir in 10 drops of  Young Living Bergamot Essential Oil  – A gentle citrus Aroma specific for relaxation, uplifting mood yet deeply calming and relaxing. Some other Young Living Essential Oils to try in your bath – Lavender and Orange, Valor, Peace & Calming or Release. Stir in and add to a warm bath.
  2. Anoint with Frankincense Essential Oil  – a powerful antidepressant oil that uplifts and if traditionally known to enhance spiritual connection.
  3. Apply Valor Essential Oil Blend over your heart – it instills a sense of courage, strength and valor.
  4. Make a Valerian Valor Roll-On – A powerful sedative and anti-depressant blend to assist you to Sleep containing Lavender, Valor and Valerian Essential Oils for insomnia. Combine 10 drops each in a 10mL roller bottle and top off with Fractionated Coconut Oil. Apply as needed to the wrists, neck, spine or bottom of your feet.
  5. Joy Essential Oil Blend – is a beautiful fragrance that is uplifting and mood elevating. Invite joy back into your life.
  6. White Angelica – a very special oil blend that assists in creating a positive atmosphere and helps inspire feelings of security and optimism—no matter what life throws at you. Apply to the shoulders and crown.
  7. Stress Away and Peace and Calming Essential Oil blends are wonderful for their calming, soothing and relaxing effects. Dab on wrists, back of the neck, and behind the ears.
  8. Diffuse Essential Oils in your home with a diffuser from Young Living to assist in keeping the atmosphere of your home loving, calm and supportive.
  9. Forgiveness Oil on the heart combined with prayer directed towards the healing of yourself, God, and others who may have ignorantly contributed to your pain.
  10. Gratitude Essential Oil – While we are grieving we often forget to be grateful for all we still have in our lives and for life itself. Gratitude is a powerful healer. At times I was simply grateful for the pillow for catching my tears and a new baby to hold… and that’s ok. Choose joy in whatever little things you can muster until your heart is full.

*Due to the Pure Therapeutic Quality, I only use Young Living Essential Oils in my daily routine.IMG_9743

 

The power of a choice.

IMG_8205Change. It starts with just one small choice. Eventually all those small choices add up and you start to see change in your life. Eventually that change becomes habit and an area of strength in your life (assuming you’ve made positive change, it swings both ways). Once you’ve grown strong in one area, you’ll find you’ll oftentimes have more time and energy to work on other areas of your life that could use more discipline. Each goal is a process, and the process almost always takes time and even a lot of work on our part. But I find 100% of the time that the work, time and efforts are always worth it in the end, and often define who we are in the process.

As we head into another week, maybe you’re looking at the big picture and what seems like the monstrosity of the battle or task that lies before you. I get it. How easy it can be as wives and mothers in the thick of raising littles to feel the pressure to be and do better. Maybe you’re playing the ugly comparison game, wondering how in the world your life will ever be as seemingly balanced as the ones you see on social media. Or maybe you have that person in your life that seems to excel in an area you so desire to master, but you just can’t seem to get there. Maybe your mountain doesn’t look like  loads of housework, financial struggles, challenges in child rearing or a low time in your marriage. Maybe your struggle has rocked the very core of your being, causing turbulence or trauma to your emotions or maybe your mountain seems downright unsurpassable.

No matter where you’re at, or what your situation is, I challenge you to make a positive choice in just one area of your life today. Don’t look at tomorrow, or the coming week, or the coming year. Take a deep breath and focus on today. Are you like me and have a goal weight you want to reach? Make a healthy meal choice today or maybe take a walk. Feeling down? Diffuse an uplifting essential oil (Bergamot + Lime is a favorite go-to here) and get out in the sunshine for a bit today. Drowning in debt? Make a simple choice not to buy out of convenience today and take a day or two to decide if you really need it. Discouraged in parenting? Search for a good parenting podcast, YouTube video or support group to encourage your heart today. Feeling lonely? Reach out to someone you love to setup a coffee or dinner date. Need a miracle in your body? Start speaking it forth all throughout your day and see how God moves. There’s so much power in your thought and the words you speak forth.

What is your motivation today? Let’s determine to make those goals and dreams a reality in our lives one baby step at a time until good habits are formed. Let’s determine in our hearts to conquer the fear that holds us back and break the cycle that binds us one day, one small choice at a time.