Deepening Self-Care and Care for All.

Illustration by Kelly Basford.

When I first completed my aromatherapy training, I treated a lot of pregnant women. It was a true pleasure and privilege and I noticed how willing they were to bring a much deeper level of care to themselves, something that I did not see as abundant among women. Of course, it is a time when in many ways a woman is at the mercy of her body and has to adjust many things in the way she lives her life. But I did note, that many chose to do more loving things for the sake of the baby they were carrying, that they would not have made solely for themselves. For example eating more carefully, not pushing themselves, cutting out food and drink that wasn’t supportive, such as alcohol and coffee.
There were things that I was choosing for myself back then, even though I wasn’t pregnant, nor had been. The overriding reason for making these choices was still the messages I received from my body that I chose to respond to, although perhaps not as obvious as when someone is pregnant, they are still there. I was more focussed on health generally due to having entered a career in the healthcare industry. The more I did listen to my body, the more I became aware of my body’s messages and the more deeply I began to care for myself, with the results being many amazing and sometimes quite unexpected unfoldments, change and opportunities.

Art by Kelly Basford.
Now, more than 10 years later I am pregnant myself and a realisation dropped in. Even though I feel I do take care of myself, without perfection and listen to my body, as the realisation of carrying a child and preparing to bring them into the world began to feel real, I had a thought: my choices were now, not just about me, they were about me and one other. As this thought came, I immediately realised that I still, in the main, live my life for myself, and that really it should not take having another being inside me to make me consider more than myself in any choice I make – it was a bit of a shock and felt horrible to admit. True, building a self caring way in my every day means I am able to support myself and others more so than if I didn’t, so self care is still a priority, infact my foundation. And true, there is a huge impact on my child whatever I do, especially when I’m pregnant and in the early childhood stages, so the child will naturally be considered. But, the question that came was: is that really any different to the impact that the way I live every part of my life has on all others?
 
Painting by Kelly Basford.
What if we all truly understood that every choice, action, movement, even thought, actually does have an impact on everyone? There is a huge ripple effect that comes from each of us, and that can be felt by all on some level.
 
If we were fish in the sea, each movement of our fins, tails, mouth, etc. would have a tangible ripple effect in the water, that all the other fish and sea life live in and would feel. Just because we don’t see air in the same way as the water they live in, it is surely just another medium that our movements will ripple out and touch others by…
So, this mini revelation really highlighted to me that every choice I take, every move I make, counts for all.
 
For more writing on the philosophy of life, I recommend checking out the following fabulous blogs:
 
 
 

Face Masks and Essential Oils

If you need or feel to wear a face mask, you may like to use essential oils to enhance the experience:

  • simply drop your favourite essential oil onto the mask and enjoy the scent on your journey;
  • if you need to go out and you feel vulnerable, choose an essential oil to help with feelings of anxiety, eg. neroli or lavender.
  • use an essential oil to give your immune system a little boost, eg. tea tree or thyme.

You can either sprinkle a drop or two of the essential oil onto the mask, but be careful if the mask is precious and the essential oil has a colour to it that might stain.

Alternatively, you can use a roller ball blend of essential oils to apply to the skin above your lip and below your nose before you place your face mask on. Click here to order a blend designed to your specific needs or send an email to laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk with your request. The blend contains essential oils diluted in a carrier oil (I usually use apricot kernel oil as it is very gentle), so it is suitable to apply to the skin.  Note that undiluted essential oils are not suitable for skin application as they are too concentrated but they can be dropped onto the mask.

These are the most beautiful face masks I have come across, made from silk so they feel divine on your skin, designed, hand printed and hand made by Sophie Darling in Brighton, UK.

www.SophieDarling.com

Self Care For All

‘Nature’s confetti’ by David Pearce.

In any situation we face, we are always offered space to surrender and to bring focus to deeply caring and supporting ourselves.  Right now, in the midst of the corona virus outbreak, you may be considered a ‘key worker’, in which case, likely under huge pressure, or on ‘lock down’ and unable to leave your home, either way, there are many challenges at play.

Making self-care our natural way in our every day life, not only supports ourselves, but naturally then supports all of those around us – therefore there is a great responsibility in attending to this.

As you know, I love to share how essential oils can simply nourish our health and wellbeing, they can be particularly helpful for supporting the respiratory system and for moments of stress and duress, so here’s a few blogs that spring to mind with this focus in mind:

‘Autumn fire’ by David Pearce.

Click here for ‘Unimed Living’  website for more support and inspiration on bringing self-care into your natural way.

Any purchases from the web shop will come with a FREE inhaler stick until end of May 2020 (or while stocks allow). You can request the scent/blend or I can make one to suit you. Inhaler sticks are also available to purchase for just £2.50.

Click here for an informative article on Essential Oils and Coronaviruses from the Tisserand Institute.

The Importance of You in a Relationship with Essential Oils

When we think of relationships most of us will automatically refer to the one we have with an intimate partner, but actually we are having a relationship with everything all of the time, even with inanimate objects such as a chair, or with our computer. We have a relationship with our environment, with sleep, with work and with food… so of course we can have a relationship with essential oils too. And, in all cases, we are either having a healthy, harmonious relationship or not.

Essential Oils and You is about bringing awareness to the relationship we have with ourselves and how that can be reflected in how we use the oils.

Essential Oils + You = Relationship.

The question is though, what kind of relationship is that?

The quality of your ingredients will play a part in the quality of the outcome, so using quality essential oils is important but what is the quality that ‘you’ bring to the relationship?

Whatever it is that you are having a relationship with, ‘You’ are the common ingredient, and the relationship you have with yourself will have a great impact on the outcome. And so, ‘the way’ you relate to you and the quality of care that you bring to you is really important.

When it comes to using an essential oil, I have had many clients who ask for an oil to ‘fix’ back pain, or an oil to ‘solve’ sleep problems. It is possible to use them in this way, i.e. to match the symptom with an essential oil with properties to address that symptom.
For example, lavender essential oil has pain relieving and calming properties, so it can support back pain and sleep problems. But, what about the affect of ‘you’ in that equation?
What if it is the quality of our intention behind using the oils that matters most? Do we just want relief from a situation so we can continue living in a way that has contributed to those ailments? Or do we want the true healing on offer?

What if your purpose in using the oils was more like this:

I have back pain, there are lots of things going on in my life that I think may be causing it, and some that seem to make it worse, how can I support myself best to change or address these things that are resulting in back pain?

When we ask ourselves these questions, then there is the potential for true healing to be the result, rather than bypassing the issue that caused the symptom and just addressing the outcome. The more honest you can be with yourself, the more you get to discover about yourself and the quality of your relationship with yourself deepens. You then bring a different intention to the way you can use essential oils (support rather than relief) and a different quality to all your relationships.

So the equation has the potential to look something like this:

Essential Oils + You = an unfolding relationship with more honesty, more care, more awareness, more understanding, more nurturing, more love… in relation to everything in life, and hopefully along the way the symptoms will improve or pass as you deal with the root causes.

Your most important relationship is the one you have with your self, because you are the key ingredient in your relationships with everything else in your life, whether it be the way you use essential oils, the way you express with your colleagues at work, or the way you put yourself to sleep each night… You are the most important ingredient in every relationship.

Rose Oil and Real Men

Rose Essential Oil is one I often choose to use with men.

When I first began studying essential oils and aromatherapy, I carried out a lot of practice massage sessions on friends and family and I immediately noticed that when I chose the blend of essential oils to use during the treatment, rose oil was making a lot of appearances – it didn’t make a difference if the client was male, in fact I realised that I almost always used it with men.

Rose oil has a deeply nurturing quality to it, and using it can support us to bring more of this quality to the way we treat ourselves. So, when I considered how much I was using it with men, it felt important not to shy away from it, because surely men deserve to be nurtured, cherished and adored just as much as women? In fact, it may be more important for them to feel that, because in many cases, they will not have been shown that quality by society. At heart breakingly early ages boys have their sensitivity crushed, by being told to ‘man up’, ‘don’t be a baby’ and that real men don’t cry – before they’re even born their baby grow is picked out in ‘baby blue’.

There are so many stereotypes swamping our society of what a man should be like, even the perfume industry dictates what men should smell like, there is a certain style of scent that is always marketed towards men – with more woody, spicy, musky, ‘manly’ notes – compared to a classic ‘feminine’ fragrance which would be light, delicate and floral, and definitely not seen as masculine.

Rose is one of my favourite essential oils by far, but I always choose the oils to support the client and why wouldn’t I use one of the most divine, delicate, sweet, lovely essential oils with a man? When a man is naturally himself he is absolute love, tenderness, and so deeply caring. Even the hardest, toughest man is as sensitive as a new born baby under that bravado and given a new born baby to hold he would surrender to this natural delicate tender way in an instant.

When I have experienced a man expressing that natural tenderness, it has blown me away, and far from being pathetic or soft, it is truly powerful and either melts me, or makes me feel uncomfortable because it shows me when I’m rushing and not being delicate in the way I move. There is so much more beauty for us to appreciate in men and this is why I have such a tendency to use rose with male clients, wether it be to celebrate that quality in them or to support them in letting it out.

You can buy two of the most exquisite rose oils here at Essential Oils & You’s online store: Rose Otto Essential Oil & Rose Absolute, (click text to view) or…

Order a Bespoke Rose Perfume or  Bespoke Rose Blend that’s ready to use on your skin and in the bath.

Read more on exposing our stereotypes of ‘real men’ and how they affect us…

Men Are Only After One Thing – by Leonne Sharkey

Men – Are we set up to fail? – from Unimed Living

Men and expression – a video talk on how men grow up as boys in a society determined to encourage competition and to harden our natural tenderness -from Unimed Living.

Face Oil Beauty Rituals

This week I tweaked my beauty ritual and have started to use just pure, organic, cold pressed seed oils on my face and I’m so surprised at how amazing my skin feels – I can’t stop touching it.

In the morning, after a bath or shower, I apply a few drops of raspberry seed oil to my face and neck. It smells a little like cucumber which I find fresh and pleasing and it sinks straight in -there is no shine or oily-ness left behind and my skin still feels so soft and silky, even at the end of the day. I haven’t even wanted to put foundation on my skin afterwards because it feels too good.

In the evenings I’ve been using black currant seed oil (after cleansing with a little coconut oil and a few drops of lavender and water in the basin). The scent is just like black currants, which is unusual for the seed oil to smell like the fruit, but very delicious.

I’m feeling so precious when I spend this time nurturing my skin and appreciating it when I touch my face throughout the day. It has made me consider how many more daily acts of self care there are that I can bring a deeper awareness, appreciation and simplicity to. Things like washing my hands, dressingpreparing a meal – there can be so much joy in it.

Do you have a daily self care task that becomes a precious moment because you cherish yourself as you do it?

There are many other nourishing oils that can be used to support your skin, including jojoba, apricot and sea buckthorn…

Click here to find out more about natural skin care oils.

Click here to find out how to infuse your own oil with rose petals for an exquisite face oil treatment. 

Click here to see the full range of base oils available from Essential Oils and You.

Alternatively you can get in touch to request a Bespoke Blend of oils designed especially for you.

For more tips and inspiration on Self Care click here.

Connection, Rituals and Nurturing – How to use Essential Oils in Daily Life.

Essential oils are a potent tool to support health and well-being, from chronic illness to the common cold. There are an array of oils to choose from, each with powerful properties that help ease many symptoms both in the body and the mind. There are a myriad of ways they can be used too, which can actually be a little overwhelming, but no matter what my symptoms may be, or what essential oil I feel like using, there are three main ways that I incorporate them into my daily life:

Esoteric Healing Eye Pillow
Taking a moment to reconnect with a scented healing eye pillow.

Connection

– to support a consistent connection with my body and to reconnect to myself when I feel out of sorts;

 

 

 

Simply lighting a scented candle when taking a shower makes all the difference to my morning.
Simply lighting a scented candle when taking a shower makes all the difference to my morning.

Rituals

– to use the oils in daily rituals that support me to live with a steady rhythm and stay connected with what’s around me;

 

 

Feeling what part of my body I want apply cream to.

Nurturing

– to use essential oils in a nurturing way that supports developing a deeper relationship with myself.

 

 

 

 

These ways can look quite different for each individual person, so here are some practical examples of how it can play out for me:

Using myrrh essential oil on my wrists.
Using myrrh essential oil on my wrists.

Connection – If I’m feeling a bit stressed, tired or distracted, I may take five minutes to sit and massage my wrists with some hand cream or massage oil blended with myrrh essential oil. This area feels particularly delicate to me and this action allows me to feel how tender my body is, so quite quickly it brings me back to myself which gives me a chance to address what ever is going on that resulted in me feeling out of sorts -hence the re-connection.

 

Appreciating the lavender bags in my wardrobe each morning when I choose what to wear.
Appreciating the lavender bags in my wardrobe each morning when I choose what to wear.

Rituals – In my daily tasks I like to bring a little touch of magic to what I do, I might add a sprinkle of lavender oil into my laundry powder or a few drops of lemon oil onto kitchen surfaces when I’m cleaning. It’s a way of bringing my innate quality to every day life and recognizing each moment as precious.

 

 

Adding a little rose oil to my face cream & cherishing myself as I apply it.
Adding a little rose oil to my face cream & cherishing myself as I apply it.

Nurturing – The more I build the connection with myself and the daily rituals in my life, the more deeply I feel I naturally nurture myself. It seems that if I care enough to commit to the other two, the nurturing builds by itself. It’s like I have more respect and time to care for myself. Rose is my favorite oil to use in this way, at the moment its in my face cream which also gets applied to other areas of my body that need attention, it’s likely to be in a perfume that I make (that I quite often just wear to bed) or a few drops in my shower gel which means my skin gets massaged with rose each morning –very delicious.

These are all simple ways that I use the oils and they don’t take too much time up. Everyone could use essential oils in their day to day life, perhaps in different practical ways depending on what they like and the practicalities of their day. But by bringing the focus to connection, rituals and nurturing, it tends to avoid the oils becoming just another quick fix for ailments and supports addressing the route cause of the issue. It also allows me to appreciate the real beauty and power in the oils, but also how important my part is in supporting my health and wellbeing.

If you would like to discuss how essential oils can support you or request a Bespoke Blend you can email me directly at laura@essenstialoilsandyou.co.uk.

For more inspiration on how to use essential oils read Nurture, Cherish, Adore – inspired by Natalie Benhayon.

Click here for more tips on developing Self Care Rituals.

To Nurture, Cherish and Adore – inspired by Natalie Benhayon

Do you nurture yourself every day? Have you ever cherished yourself?

Could you even allow yourself to adore you?

When I first heard Natalie Benhayon say these words a few years ago at a presentation, I couldn’t even say that I had a real understanding of how to nurture myself, let alone cherish (and adore was not even on my radar), they were literally just lovely words to hear.

Natalie Benhayon
Natalie Benhayon

Since then, Natalie has inspired me to discover very deeply what these words: ‘nurture’, ‘cherish’ and ‘adore’ mean, how they feel in my body and this has ultimately allowed me to begin an intimate relationship with myself, as a person and especially as a woman.

Over the years I have had support from Natalie in many forms, including her presentations at Universal Medicine Retreats, True Movement classes & other Esoteric Womens Health projects, including Women in Livingness Groups, the Women in Livingness Magazine and her ultimate app –Our Cycles. These are just a few examples of the work she has presented and put together -at just 26 years old she is an incredibly inspiring woman who is asking all the right questions about what is going on in world, about the state of women’s health, our relationships and so much more and what’s more, she’s actually making changes.

Natalie Benhayon presenting
Natalie Benhayon presenting

One thing that really struck me early on when I met her was her confidence, she is completely at ease with herself, so steady and committed, and with it very humble. It’s obvious that she does her own thing and does not let others hold her back, she certainly doesn’t hold back her beauty, sense of humour or sexiness. But what I observe and continue to appreciate, is that everything in her life, the way she lives, what she continually discovers and develops is openly shared with everyone, so that all have an equal opportunity to find that confidence in them selves and show it with that same ease in their own way.

Today when I consider the words nurture, cherish and adore, I have a tangible relationship with all three that is continuing to develop and deepen.

To NURTURE for me means to look after myself in all aspects of my life, to ask myself questions about what I actually would love to do right now, to make space to be playful with my daily chores, to not choose to do things that will overwhelm my day, to decide I’m worth taking an extra moment for -whether to light a candle before I take a shower each morning or to breath in the scent of a flower as I pass by. It means not giving myself a hard time when I inevitably make mistakes, noticing the self bashing commentary in my mind and letting it go, moving in a way that doesn’t push or strain my body. Basically, it’s making choices to truly support myself and my body throughout my day to day life.

One of the difficulties I see is that we’ve created a life that doesn’t allow the space for nurturing and we don’t regard ourselves enough to make that space for ourselves. Using essential oils has been a way that I have been able to experiment with nurturing and making that space, but it’s not about the physical act of putting some massage oil on my skin or sprinkling essential oils in a burner, I see them as moments that I can use to learn more about myself. Much of what I have been discovering is shared on these blogs with the purpose of inspiring others to experiment with what nurturing is for them and helping to develop a connection with their body -one of my favourite blogs on this is ‘Myrrh Essential Oil – Supporting Connection with myself‘ -it’s a good example of how it’s not about the oil but about you and the way you use the oil.

rose and neroli face cream

To CHERISH is to really appreciate myself, to know and value my natural qualities and strengths, and know with out doubt that they are worth sharing with others and can support and inspire them too.  It’s also to cherish my weaknesses and flaws, to embrace them, to allow time to focus on them to support myself and allow the support and inspiration from others. It’s knowing that all parts are just as precious, from running a perfume workshop to flossing my teeth.

cropped-cropped-img_07041.jpg

To ADORE is to fall in love with myself. This is absolutely not an arrogance, the more I get to know myself, to ask myself what I’d love to do right now, the more I can feel a loving way of being with myself -I’m letting go of the auto pilot and constant rushing. Some times I take a second to look into my eyes in the mirror, and connect to all those things I cherish and know there is so much more to come… as I work on the others I feel this one more, sometimes it’s as simple as climbing into bed and feeling my feet under the bed sheets.

Natalie Benhayon eyes
Natalie Benhayon

I actually feel that we all innately know how to nurture, cherish and adore; we just need a reminder of how awesome it feels and that we are so worth it.

So, huge thanks and appreciation to Natalie Benhayon for reminding me to truly value and actually love myself, to feel confident in showing myself with the world and know that I have something precious to share.

Natalie Benhayon talks about 'True Sexy'.
Natalie Benhayon talks about ‘True Sexy’.

Listen to Natalie Benhayon interviewed on this audio: Are you deeply nurturing yourself?

Watch Natalie Benhayon speak on True Sexy:

Images of Natalie Benhayon courtesy of UnimedLiving