Commitment&Consistency

Amazon.com: If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you  can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving...  Martin Luther King Jr.

If you follow this blog, you already know that I lack in the latter of this post title. Consistency has definitely not been my strong suit. Then again, being a blog of someone who struggles with mental health, I suppose it isn’t a surprise. Consistency is an important element for mental and emotional well being, yet it can be challenging as all hell! To add to the dilemma I never had a firm routine growing up, being a daughter of a single mom. Therefore, it is yet another tool I have to learn or relearn as an adult.

I have been working with a success coach through Vocational Rehab for a little over a year now, her name is Dr. Deborah Osgood and I think I would have given up a long time ago if it weren’t for the support and encouragement from her and my VR caseworker, Lisa Beck, and of course, my therapist and family/friends. The goal is to start my own herbal business; but it is not a simple journey for someone with so many triggers.

The first trouble I had was responding to a “See, Hear, Experience, exercise called Challenging Reality. The worksheet asked you to visit your early life experiences, with questions like, 1) What did you hear about money and rich people early on in your life? 2)What did you see about money and rich people early on in your life? 3)What did you experience with money and rich people early on in your life? I might write a separate post about my answers; but, if you ever read my Being poor post, then you can imagine the feelings these questions brought to the surface. I held a deeply ingrained belief that I would always be poor and unworthy.

FinerMinds - Timeline Photos | Be gentle with yourself, Self talk, Words

It took almost a year to work on rebuilding my lack of abundance&worth mindset. Talk therapy and daily affirmations helped me slowly become more aware of how my thoughts and beliefs affected my reality. Believing you are always going to be poor and unworthy will keep you poor and unworthy. I had to retrain my brain and introduce new thoughts and ideas around money and self worth. Fortunately, the second step of the aforementioned exercise helped challenge those old beliefs and create current views.

I have been working diligently on reforming my routine and trying to ‘do it all’ I am still in herbal school and it is a lot, especially for somebody who has physical limitations and still in mental health recovery. I am learning to juggle, schoolwork, Voc rehab, building a business, health appointments, housework and self management. I have come a long way from my post on My daily battles which were basically just to get up, get moving, get outside and get to sleep!

I get discouraged that I am not further along; but I remind myself that I am doing things every day toward my goals. I often feel I should be doing more, but I know that I am honestly doing my best and mustn’t beat myself up.

Here are some pearls of wisdom and encouragement from Dr. Deb in our email correspondences;

“Congratulations on realizing that you “are and have been” productively working on multiple things all along that are contributing to defining and growing your business.”

“As you shared, homework and intern work definitely counts <smile>. While personal appointments, errands, and housework will also always be part of everyday life, this new perspective and practice simply ensures that your business goals remain a priority as well. 
…and not just a priority, but something to definitely celebrate as you also touched upon – excellent!!!

And I love this last one when I expressed to her that I was worried I wasn’t being consistent enough.

“As for your comment about “having to stay consistent,” I’d like to introduce a different perspective. 
I think I get what you mean in terms of you “have to stay committed to your goal…”, correct?
Even then, I invite you to be true to who you are. You do not enjoy mundane details and routine work. 
You are a loyal and devoted individual to people and causes you believe in. You also thrive on continued growth and are creative and inspirational. (this info is based on the Meyer Briggs personality test that I took on my first appointment with her, I am an INFP) By continuing to create and operate a business model that allows you to leverage these inherent strengths, you will be happy and you will not “have” to force anything.”

This really resonated with me. I realized that while I am still working on improving my ability to be consistent, I can celebrate the fact that I am committed, to my recovery, my health, my family, my goals, my blogs, my business, my education and so on. I can be gentle with myself and allow the flow of life.

Thanks for bearing with me readers, your support means everything! If you have been following long enough then you know that I do always come back. I am committed to this blog and my visions for it. I will be slowly tweaking this blog while building my Beyouthentic blog. Hoping to post at least monthly on both.

If there is anything in particular that you would like to know more about, please let me know.

I hope you are all well during these challenging times!💜

Be gentle with yourself

Meeting White Pine

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I sat before you and closed my eyes
introducing myself in my mind.
Inhaling your essence
Exhaling love in exhange.
One continuous flow our breath became.
I felt the chill of the soil around my feet
where your roots lay range.
Feeling the nutrients rise
up from Mother,
I felt your feminine power
and started to cry.
Missing my mom who had died.
A daughter’s tears
of failure and grief.
My heart met yours
and green and gold colors
swirled through and around us.
You held me, and filled me with love
My sadness relieved.
Our hearts beating,
our synchronized breathing,
I continued to follow the flow,
upward and out.
Arms reaching,
Branches in the sun.
Our spirits connected,
There was no doubt
We for a moment were one.
I opened my eyes
and my mind.
Lost track of time
Was a pleasure to meet you
My dear friend White Pine

Global Trauma

mental-health-awareness-month

“You have to remember, we are all experiencing a global trauma right now,” my therapist reminded me after I shared that I was feeling off, disconnected, spacy, and slightly depressed. She assured me that these were not only normal trauma symptoms but that many people are feeling the same way right now.

I had to sit with that information for a few minutes to wrap my head around the fact that worldwide we are ALL affected and experiencing trauma. It helped me understand the reactions I see in the media, the protestors, the fear, anger, and general confusion.

I thought about my own history of trauma and how I had to heal my PTSD with EMDR and other therapies. What are people going to do that don’t understand trauma or how they are affected?

It took me 15 years of therapy to be able to sit with my feelings and process and calm my own anxiety. What about people who don’t know how to do this? People, who bury themselves at work and are home now? Or people who go to church to seek solitude or the bar to escape. They are suddenly immobilized and confronted with their own space, thoughts, and feelings.

And what about the people at the front lines? How are they ever going to recover? I read about the poor NY doctor, Lorna Breen that committed suicide after she treated so many Coronavirus patients in the Manhattan ER. Terribly sad.

According to Psychology Today, when trauma reaches a level where it negatively impacts entire societies or groups of people, it is called collective trauma. Situations that may lead to collective trauma include war, mass violence, genocide, and pandemics (Aydin, 2017). “Our society is definitely in a collective state of trauma,” said Jonathan Porteus, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist who oversees the crisis and suicide hotline in Sacramento, CA.

It’s not just the initial emergence of the Pandemic that has affected us. It is the fact that every day things change. The virus mutates. People die. There are protestors and conspiracy theories and disagreements. Every day our foundation is shaken a little more. Say nothing about the people who are stuck with abusers and stressors in their very home. These are just the present facts. “Unlike posttraumatic stress disorder, which surfaces after a trauma has ended, the country is only starting to grapple with the pandemic’s psychological fallout,” Jonathan Porteus, PhD said.It is expected that there will be long term affects and an emerging mental health crisis. In a recent opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, warned of an upcoming wave of mental disorders because of coronavirus.

He noted that “large-scale disasters, whether traumatic (the World Trade Center attacks or mass shootings), natural (hurricanes), or environmental (Deepwater Horizon oil spill), are almost always accompanied by increases in depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder, a broad range of other mental and behavioral disorders, domestic violence, and child abuse.” “The COVID-19 pandemic would likely produce a similar “overflow of mental illness,” he said. From isolation to anxiety to excess drinking, coronavirus has touched almost every area of life, said Lan Nguyen, a suicide and crisis services program manager for the hotline in Santa Clara County in Northern California.

When I posted Coping with Pandemic Anxiety, it was at the very beginning of this rollercoaster. It was easier to be optimistic. Hours after I posted, my sister called and was very sick. She tested positive for a strain of Coronavirus but finally learned she was negative for COVID-19. Those few video calls watching her struggle to breathe were terrifying. I have a few friends with family members that tested positive for COVID and my heart goes out to all of the families affected. Now, it’s been almost two months since Trump announced the national emergency. And even though some parts are beginning to reopen, people are frightened and there isn’t any real safety or assurance available.

There is also a question about our personal rights. Should/will they force us to take a vaccination? There is the word of an App that records everyone you come in contact with, and news of possible home arrest devices on the ankles of people who test positive. There are conspiracy videos and YouTubers being banned because they say something else is happening. What about freedom of speech? All of this only adds to the current state of anxiety.

Personally, I am staying as safe as possible for the present. Both my daughter and I have asthma and that puts us at higher risk. I understand and even believe some of the conspiracy info out there, but I feel it is irrelevant at this point because the virus is actually real, I’ve seen it, it doesn’t matter where it came from or if it is being blown up. I don’t think I will get it but I don’t want to test my luck. I don’t think I will die in a car accident, but I am not going to go racing around dangerously to test that either! In addition to remaining cautious for myself and my family. I also will continue to wear a mask if it keeps the elderly safe and/or feeling safer.

I am doing a lot of grounding and tuning into my higher power. I try to take in all the info from different sources and integrate it with my own intuition. I am very grateful I have the ability to be aware of the trauma and not let it control me. I feel for people who are struggling and I plan to let my desire to help inspire my posts.

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. This post’s purpose is to acknowledge that we are experiencing a global trauma. If you are feeling off, give yourself a break. A therapist, Jennifer Yaegar wrote an article for Business Insider,on how to handle stress during a Pandemic. She says, “When experiencing trauma, we are limited in our ability to process many other experiences at the same time, as so much of our energy is going toward surviving our current situation. We should accept we don’t have the energy to do everything we think we should be, and that we have to alter our expectations of our physical, mental, and emotional capacities. Because trauma immobilized our bodies, it is vital to burn off negative energy and calm our bodies and therefore our nervous system. Lastly, she recommends sharing our experience. Connection is so important and even more so during social isolation.”

I hope in sharing I am helping. Blessings to all humans of Earth. You are not alone.

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National Sucide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Resources:

Psychology Today, WebMD, Business Insider, pics healthyconnections.org and campussafetymagazine.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bark Reflection

I started my Intermediate Sacred Gaiian Herbalism Apprenticeship a few weeks ago with Blackbirds Daughter Botanicals via Zoom. One of the things we studied was the bark of a tree and how it compares to our own skin.

The purpose of bark on a tree is to protect that tree’s essential living system from temperature extremes, storms, diseases, animals and insects. The bark also conserves water and transports food and water throughout the tree. The five layers (heartwood, sapwood, cambium, phloem/inner bark& rhytidome/outer bark) continuously work together to not only survive but live in a state of renewal and harmony. A tree also sheds it’s bark much like we shed our skin.

Part of our homework assignment was to write a reflection of how our own bark serves us. The following words came flying out of me.

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Mother Earth’s Quilt

In honor of the 50th Earth Day, I wanted to share a poem I wrote when I was in college. It was an assignment on Diversity and was published in the Vanguard Book of our school. During this Pandemic our Earth has been healing. I hope when this is over, we can focus on how to keep our Planet healthy. Peace and Love 💚

Mother Earth’s Quilt                                                      earth day Sylvia Plath

In a Secret Garden beyond twilight,

they gathered round in a circle.

Father Sky, Mother Earth,

and creatures of the night.

The Great Sun and Grandmother Moon,

All the Gods and Goddesses

would be there soon.

The Fairies danced for they knew

what they were about to witness.                                unity

Never before and Never again,

would there be a creation quite like this.

The circle formed and they all held hands.

Everyone…from Goddess to Gnome.

All equal, all One, no one left alone.

A miracle transpired, colors filled the Earth.

Their Unity and Love created a birth.

The human race was born.

Mother Earth loved all of us.

Her Quilt kept her warm.

Rainbows of people, innocent and new,

lived harmoniously together, it was all they knew.

Each patch unique, each a different color.

Yet connected with a thread of Gold,

woven from the Gods and Goddesses,

giving us our Soul.

Created in Gods image with Love in the heart,

but we were only human and fear set us apart.

The Quilt became tattered, the colors faded,

hopes were battered.

Trial and tribulation,

War and segregation.

Mother Earth wept, naked and cold.

She prayed her children would find again,

their common thread of Gold.

Slowly and deliberately, many lifetimes later,

more and more awaken to the memory of their birth,

Unity, Freedom, and Love for Mother Earth.

One by one, the patches renew with all their glory.

This is Mother Earth’s Quilt,

her children, and her story.

by Maria Fairbrother

 

 

DIY Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant Spray and Wipes

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I absolutely love DIY projects. Being broke most of my life has forced me to look for ways to save money and making my own items helps so much. Not to mention they are usually healthier and cruelty-free.

I thought these, in particular, would be of use coping with the current pandemic.

I scoured the internet and composed the following. I hope they are helpful.

Ingredients you will need:

Disinfectant

Note: CDC recommends at least 60% Rubbing Alcohol to kill Coronavirus. 

CDC(1) and Rudgers (4) recommend three basic disinfectants for use against COVID-19.

If using a 60% Alcohol base, and mixing with aloe then it lowers the percentage of alcohol. Therefore it is recommended by one of my herbalist teachers, Jessica @Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals to begin with a 99% Alcohol base. Click here for her recipes, (including a throat soothing tea!)

If all the stores are out, and you can’t find Alcohol, then you may want to use the following but remember that it isn’t recommended by the CDC for killing COVD-19.

Vinegar is an antibacterial agent that kills 99% of bacteria.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide oxides bacteria causing it to decompose.

Alcohol-Based Witch Hazel

140 proof or higher drinkable grain alcohols (not recommended for use on skin)

Bleach (not recommended for use on skin)

Essential Oils

These are optional and people usually add for scent, but many essential oils have antibacterial properties. If using a disinfectant that isn’t recommended by the CDC, then I would suggest adding one of the following for an extra boost of germ killers!

Tea Tree, Lavender, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Thyme, and Peppermint Essential oils are all Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal.

Lemon and Orange Essential oils are Antiseptic, Antifungal and Antiviral.

Skin Softeners

To keep your hands from drying out or getting irritated, use one of the following in your hand sanitizer and use gloves when working with your disinfectant sprays, cleaners, and wipes.

Aloe Vera Gel or liquid

Glycerin

Vitamin E

Recipes

Hand Sanitizers

1/3 cup of aloe vera or glycerine, 2/3 cup of alcohol and 8-10 drops of essential oil

or

3 TB alcohol, 1 TB aloe, 1/2 tsp glycerin, few drops essential oil

or

6 TB alcohol, 2 TB aloe, 5 drops vitamin E oil, 8-10 essential oil

or

1 cup 60% (or higher) alcohol, 1 TB peroxide, 1 TB, glycerin or aloe, boiled/distilled water, enough to make mixture 1 1/3 cup

or

5 oz aloe vera gel, 1 oz witch hazel, 8 to 10 drops of any 8-10 drops essential oil.

Mix and put into a suitable container. Use when handwashing with soap isn’t available.

Hand Sanitizer Sprays

1/2 tsp glycerin, 20 drops tea tree, 10 spruce essential oil, 6 lemon essential oil, 3-4 TB alcohol

or

10 drops of tea tree essential oil and 1 teaspoon castile soap in 6 ounces water.

Mix and put into spray bottle to carry with you. Use when handwashing with soap isn’t available.

Disinfectant Sprays and Cleaners

Notes: Vinegar should not be used on granite or marble because the acid may etch the surface, Bleach and Peroxide may discolor fabric and carpet

Caution! Never mix ammonia or other cleaning product or cleanser with bleach! Also, Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide should not be combined in a single container as they make a peracetic acid which can be hazardous. Instead, add undiluted white vinegar to one spray bottle and 3% hydrogen peroxide to another.

To Use: Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth.

1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup 70% Rubbing Alcohol
1 Cup Boiled/Distilled Water
5 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

or

2/3 cup high-proof vodka
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
3/4 cup distilled water
30–40 drops tea tree essential oil
30–40 drops lemongrass essential oil

or

1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup Alcohol
15 drops peppermint + lemon OR lavender + lemon

or

3/4 cup distilled water
1/4 cup white vinegar
7 drops lavender essential oil
7 drops tea tree essential oil

or

¾ Cup of Water
¼ Cup of Witch Hazel
10 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

or

1 ¼ Cup Water
¼ Cup White Vinegar
¼ Cup Vodka
15 Drops Peppermint or Lemon Essential Oil

or

¾ Cup Borax
1 Cup White Vinegar
10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

or

10-30 drops of thyme essential oil or another essential oil of your choice into an 8- ounce spray bottle. Add 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol, then fill the spray bottle up with water until it reaches the top. Shake to mix

or

1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
1 cup of water

or

4 teaspoons household bleach
1-quart water

Floor Cleaning Disinfectant Recipe
2 Cups Warm Water
½ Cup White Vinegar
¼ Cup Rubbing Alcohol
3 Drops Dish Soap
5-10 Drops Essential Oil of choice, such as Tea Tree Oil

or

1/3 cup of bleach
1 gallon of cold water

Disinfectant Wipes:

If you want to make disinfectant wipes rather than a spray, you can follow the same recipe but instead of putting the ingredients in a spray bottle, put them instead in a large glass jar or other container, and swirl them to combine. Cut 10-15 pieces of cloth in 10-inch squares and place them inside the container of cleaner.
Press down the cloths so that they are submerged and can soak up the cleaner.

or

1 Cup Boiled/Distilled Water
1 Cup Vinegar
½ Cup Alcohol
15 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
8 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
4 Drops Bergamot Essential Oil
1 Mason Jar
15-20 Pieces of Pre-Cut Cloth or Small Washcloths

or

1 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1 tsp. Dawn dish soap
2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)

or

1 cup warm filtered or distilled water
1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
5 drops tea tree essential oil, optional
5 drops lavender essential oil, optional

Recipes I used in the picture above: Hand sanitizer, 1/3 cup glycerin, 2/3 cup 91% Rubbing Alcohol (I was lucky to have some left!) 6 drops Lemon Oil and 4 drops Tea Tree Oil, Disinfectant Spray, 1/3 cup 50% Alcohol (all that was left at the store), 1/3 cup Hydrogen Peroxide, 10 drops Tea tree oil, 10 drops Orange oil, Disinfectant wipes, 1/2 cup Alcohol, 1 cup Vinegar and 1 cup distilled water, 1 tsp dish soap, 10 drops Bergamot Oil, 10 drops Tea tree oil, 10 drops Lemon Oil, 10 cut cloths, I used an old salad greens container.

Resources:

Healthline.com, Livesimply.com, Mom.com, Truemoneysaver.com, Oneessentialcommunity.com, Draxe.com, Cleanmama.com, DIYnetwork.com, Tipsbulletin.com, Wikihow.com, Livingonadime.com, Homemadelovely.com, Wholefully.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coping with Pandemic Anxiety

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You don’t have to have a mental disorder to be feeling anxiety over the current Pandemic of the COVD-19 virus. We are ALL affected.

Personally, I went through some rough ups and downs of anxiety, fear, and emotions before grounding and affirming my own capability.

I first read about the Coronavirus about a month ago and saw it was in China and thought to myself, Ok, I don’t have to worry, it isn’t here.

Then about a week and a half ago, a friend of mine had to cancel his flight because his layover was in Seattle and they were quarantining there and he didn’t want to get stuck. Quarantine, what a scary word!

Obviously, my prior lack of concern was immediately erased and a very heightened awareness began. My sister and her son came to visit last weekend from Pa, to celebrate my nephew’s 7th birthday! It was held at Chuck E Cheese, and I couldn’t help to think, this may not be the best place for germ prevention! Then last Wednesday, March 11, I had to go to physical therapy for my back, which is located in our local hospital. Security was stopping people at the entrance to ask if we were sick and/or if we have traveled out of the country recently. This naturally made me even more nervous, say nothing about being in a hospital and being around people who were potentially sick. I used the hand sanitizer they had on the wall before, during and after my visit. I had two more appointments last week, family therapy and my own therapy, and in the back of my mind, I decided that this was it. I am canceling next week’s appointments and began educating myself.

Last Friday, I sat at my computer with the intention to learn more. In a few hours, I was in tears. So many people sick, many dead. The fear took over. I decided a long time ago because of my anxiety to not tune into the news and media too much because they are designed to instill fear. However, one does have to know what is happening around them. I was scared but decided to keep going. I had to learn as much as possible. I read my local news and learned someone tested positive in the town next to me, then I read posts from C.D.C and W.H.O. I scoured over Facebook and Instagram and my emails.

Meanwhile, my classes were changed from in-person to digital. Gatherings were being canceled and then Trump announced the National Emergency. Later that day the announcement of all local schools were being closed. A Friday the 13th that will not be soon forgotten!

It was a weekend of rollercoaster emotions. From sadness to fear to panic and then to reality and action, and heartwarming as I watched the videos of Italy singing on their balconies during their quarantine and read about families getting closer as they were spending more time together.

I had to ground myself and prepare to reclaim my own power. I can not afford to be swept away in panic. I went out Friday for groceries and was shocked to see that people had bought out the toilet paper and many other supplies were wiped out as well. I had already gone to the food pantry at the beginning of the month since paying for classes takes from my grocery money,  I also buy tp, and other supplies for the month at the start of that month, thankfully!

It upsets me that some people go into extreme hoarding and don’t think of their fellow human beings; but, I guess panic makes people do crazy things. It has been interesting to see the reactions of people. Some go into a panic and selfish preservation and others are in denial and laugh. I have seen these reactions in times of panic in my life and recognize them.

It is crucial that we all find a happy medium between these extremes. To remain calm, be responsible, take it seriously, (though comic relief here and there can be healing), take action and don’t forget to reach out to those in need.

I am writing this post hoping to help others reach this calmness during the storm. I have organized the following guidelines;

  1. DONT PANIC, We already know to panic is to lose our shit, and therefore lose our power. It’s extremely important to keep calm. It’s time to practice all the tools you have to center; Deep breathing, Meditation, Grounding, Earthing,  spending time in Nature and Praying. Whatever you have to do to keep yourself from being swept away in the chaos.
  2. GET INFORMED, Education is power. Learn the facts about what is happening, so you can take appropriate action. Here are some links; CDC Key Facts, Myth Busters from WHO,  A Guide from The Verge. Here is a link to a Facebook post that I found helpful, it has a math equation to figure out how many will be affected in your area and how quickly, The Sobering Math. Remember, while you are researching to take deep breaths in between. I found while I was educating myself it was hard not to get caught up in the fear.
  3. PREPARE, After you have the facts, you will naturally want to prepare if you haven’t already. This is kind of tricky, I am still wondering what kind of time frame to prepare for, I have read anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months. Use your own discretion. Here are some lists I read, How to Prepare from CDC, Get Your Home Ready CDC, Social Distancing, Grocery Rules from CNN  Here is what I have done so far; besides the rice, pasta, canned goods and peanut butter I got from the food pantry, I used my credit card to stock up a little more on these things, some paper goods, water, antibacterial soap, and cat food. I refilled prescriptions and still need to get Tylenol and Vitamin C, I bought lots of garlic and ginger, for the immune system, and I gathered pine needles for steams and tea as they are an antibacterial and contain Vitamin C. (I will be making separate posts on foods, plants, and DIY items that can help during this time).
  4. ACCEPTANCE, After I grounded, informed myself and prepared, I found myself in a state of acceptance. Ok, this is real and it is here. I have the ability to cope with this. I am practicing social distancing. I am making a list of projects and things to do during this time inside. I will make sure to get outside for walks and deep breaths, and I will stick to a routine so I don’t end up in a depression. This is a time to catch up on reading, cleaning, writing, painting, and spending time with family and/or housemates.
  5. REACH OUT, Even though we are socially isolating please make sure to reach out to people who may be in need without compromising your own health. If you happened to panic and bought more than you needed, put some items in a bag and leave it for an elderly neighbor. I saw my neighbor post she was out of toilet paper, so I spared a roll. Reach out through the internet to see if there’s anything you can do for others, or if you need something, use your voice. This post is my way of reaching out and hopefully being helpful.

I know this is a scary time, but it is also an opportunity, to slow down and reevaluate what our priorities are. This could be a reflection of our own inner selves. Have we been isolating ourselves and distancing ourselves from others because we are afraid or angry? This is a good time to contemplate what it all means for us personally and globally, and what can we do to change. I hope this post finds you well and I am here to do my part. I will be sharing my insights, recipes and herbal knowledge. If there is anything you would like to ask, please feel free. I have seen in the past how emergencies bring people together. It’s my hope that even during social isolation we will be sending love and peace to our neighbors, and to the world.  I leave you with this touching video of how Italy is handling their shut down:

PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL

 

 

 

Catching UP!

 

Happy New Year, Valentine’s and almost Spring of 2020!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s time to catch up!

My last post was in July, hard to believe that it’s been that long. I was coping with grief with losing my soul kitty to cancer. Cry, clean, create became my mantra to work through it. The loss of my furbaby triggered a bunch of stored grief for my mom. Having lost her to cancer also.

I am happy to say that even though I carried my grief like a wet blanket, sobbing and heavy, I continued to keep moving forward, another mantra I repeat in my mind, Deep breaths and baby steps!

I have been actively moving forward for years through my mental health recovery, with long breaks and pauses in between to process and release trauma and feelings. Those pauses reflect in my blog, unfortunately, I haven’t reached the point where I am organized enough with my thoughts and emotions to share them regularly here and while it’s happening; but it is the goal.

Last year I really didn’t post much but I feel like so much happened. The year began with that crazy lump sum of money that I found on unclaimedmoney.com. What a blessing! This money allowed me to buy us bedframes, our mattresses had been floor-bound since our whole bedbug adventure a few years ago. I also bought another car so both my daughter and I have one now. Then, I stocked up on groceries, paper goods, and bought a printer and supplies of herbs, essential oils, and a massage/reiki bed, in hopes of beginning a business at some point.

Speaking of business, I began working with Vocational Rehab. I am taking a Self Employment program and am lucky enough to work with Dr. Deborah Osgood as my success coach! I started the blog/site Be YOUthentic. Check it out if you are interested@ BeYOUthentic.blog. Though I have some catching up to do on that blog too! It is a shared blog with my daughter and soon will have some herbal products created by yours truly!

I also completed a mentorship with a coven after completing The Witch’s Path class at Misty Meadows where I did my herbal apprenticeship. I will write more about this in a separate post. I am so grateful to have had this spiritual and magical addition to my life! And speaking of herbal apprenticeship, I just started another one at Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals!  I am so excited to be continuing my plant journey!

2019 was a year of extreme ups and downs for me, with reunions, losses,  endings, and beginnings. It was a year of letting go of people and behaviors that no longer serve my highest good, to make space for the new and emerging life waiting to be born in 2020!

I guess that’s enough catching up for now.

Thank you for being here and allowing me to share my journey!🥰

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Cry, Clean, Create

melting tearspic from pinterest

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday, then you know my furbaby, Max crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He lived 16 weeks after his cancer diagnosis despite the veterinarian gave him only 1-2 weeks. I was in awe how long he fought and grateful for every moment, but, the last week he began hiding under my bed and hardly had the strength to hold himself up, not to mention, he wasn’t eating again, and this time he wasn’t bouncing back. I had to make the almost impossible decision to assist him with a visit to the vet. They were extremely compassionate and supportive. He went peacefully with a final rest of his head on my arm. 

It is a big loss for me as he came into my life only a few months after my mom passed away, and was by my side for almost 14 years. It’s been three weeks and I have yet to get through the day without crying. 

My mom’s death anniversary just passed also, and my dad’s is coming up in a few weeks, adding to the weight of my grief, but for the first time, grief isn’t swallowing me whole. I can allow my feelings without falling to bed for days. This is a huge progress for me, I have never been a functioning depressed person before!

I created a little mantra to help me cope with my emotions during this difficult time.

Cry, Clean, Create.

Cry. When I have to cry, I stop everything and sit and let it flow, until it feels like I can move again. I stop distracting myself from the pain and allow it to be felt.

Clean. Then I will clean something.  Anything from the top of a dresser to mopping a floor or putting clothes away, whatever is in front of me to be done. I lose myself in the act of cleaning and let my system process. It helps me feel productive and proactive.

Create. Creating a nice space on the dresser I just cleaned off. Journaling, or painting, where ever my spirit needs to go. I started working on a scrapbook/journal of Max, a painting, and refurbishing some plant pots. I have been working on trying to open up to my creativity and am finding the value of catharsis through it. It really is a beautiful healing tool.

This mantra has helped me stay grounded and focused enough to not lose myself in the grief and depression. I am also taking some herbal extracts and essences and practicing lots of self-care. Most recently, that self-care includes the gym or a walk. Physical movement helps break up the heavy energy and gets the endorphins pumping.

Grief feels like an old familiar friend these days. With the losses I have endured, I have somehow become stronger each time. Learning to navigate through the pain instead of running away from it. The bellyaching grief is slowly subsiding and giving away to smiles, love, and remembrance.

I close my eyes and I can see all the people and pets I have ever loved. I get sad and may cry because I miss them in the physical sense; but, I know deep within my heart that the bond of love lives forever and that is where we are always connected.

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