So much of what we seek without, lies within. You are already beautiful. You have love and joy living inside of you waiting to be released. Be silent and listen!
Pleasurable sensory experiences signal to the brain that everything is ok. They help us to relax when we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, sad, or afraid. I plan to post simple pleasures for all of the senses. Check out simple pleasure sights here.
I may be fooling myself that you all care to hear about Auggie, our dog, but he’s quite the character. We take him for walks around town (Pacific Grove, Ca). I refer to him as the mayor of P.G. because he wants to greet everyone in town. He howls at passer byers on our walks hoping they’ll stop to pet him, hasn’t met a dog he doesn’t like (though the feeling isn’t always mutual), and wiggles his butt around in delight as we amble along neighborhood streets. I love my walks with this little guy. It’s often a family affair, all three of us traveling in our little pack. It’s simple. It’s lovely. It’s been a new way to experience the world and a new source of appreciation for our little town. For all of these reasons, our simple pleasure of the week is: a dog walk. Happy Weekend!
This rollerball is not only great for headaches, but also just tension in general. I love to roll it onto the back of my neck, the base of my skull, temples and shoulders. After a few minutes, the oil creates a cooling effect on your body that relieves tension, and helps you to relax. I made up a few of these and gave them as part of homemade gift baskets during Christmas. I made a couple of them for the house as well, because it’s always nice to have one of these rollerballs on hand. If you regularly use essential oils, chances are you have most of these ingredients already, however you may have to pick up a few items. Empty glass rollerballs are easy to purchase at your local health foods or Whole Foods store. I’ve seen them at our Pharmica for a few dollars. In bulk, on Amazon, is the best price to find glass rollerballs. These are the rollerballs I personally purchase and use. Below are the ingredients/directions for making headache relief rollerballs:
30 drops tension relief essential oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil
6 drops lavandin essential oil (what many brands call lavender)
Sweet almond oil to fill rollerball
Direction: This is the easiest set of directions I’ve ever written. You simply add the essential oils to your rollerball, then fill the rest with sweet almond oil. Shake rollerball before using and roll over your temples, crown of your head, base of the skull, down your neck or over shoulders. Avoid getting any into your eyes! After about 5 minutes, you should feel a cooling effect wherever this blend has come into contact with your skin. Enjoy!
To make these rollerballs extra special, print out the labels created on label paper with your home printer and attach to your bottles.
So often, I forget this when I’m feeling sorry for myself, or ungrateful, or angry at the universe that it hasn’t brought me something I’ve been wanting. If you’re reading this, you probably live in a free country, one that has access to the internet, and computers. This, in relation to the rest of the world, is evidence of a good life. This is evidence of something rare, and beautiful, something, most days I forget to acknowledge. How rare and beautiful it is to even exist. Happy Weekend!
New Year’s Eve/Day is a natural time for reflection, goal-setting, gratitude, and getting clear on where you want to head for the next year. In past years, I’ve written about how to set productive resolutions, create systems which support those goals, and then rituals which allow consistent energy towards your desires. Most of past year’s posts have been focused on gaining something, or achieving something, with no focus on the importance of letting go.
Much, maybe more can be gained from the letting go of that which does not serve you. “Letting go” feels so much gentler, less judgmental, less critical than “changing”. Often, resolving to “change” something, brings with it the feeling that you’re not good enough just as you are right now. It’s almost like a fighting against that thing you want to change, an opposition to it, or an opposition to yourself. Letting go feels so much kinder, like the letting go of a balloon string, only to watch it float away. It feels gentle, possibly loving. It feels easier “just let go” sounds easier than “change”. So perhaps this concept has the same results as making New Year’s changes, but perhaps with a different internal feeling, or maybe it’s simply just another road that leads to Rome, and for some people letting go is a road that feels easier to walk than the road of “change”.
Last year, we spent New Year’s Day with dear friends and over the lunch table, one friend asked all of us “What do you want to let go of this year?” For me it was letting go of guilt. Guilt is one of my go-to’s. I feel guilty when I make a mistake, or hurt someone’s feelings. I feel guilty when there’s not enough work to keep busy during my work day, and even when someone does something nice for me, or shows generosity. Guilt is something I definitely want to let go of, and simply by acknowledging this, I was able to spend 2018 more aware of when it showed up in my life. The fact that I had committed to letting go of guilt, helped me to pause when I noticed it creep up, and then decide how I wanted to react. This year, I still want to let go of guilt. I want to let go of self-criticism. I want to allow myself to make more mistakes without shame or embarrassment. Something shifts internally when you make a pact to let go of something. This is the first step.
Sometimes it’s not about the things you do to get you where you want to be, but more about the letting go of the things that are holding you back. Guilt has held me back from taking risks, or trying new things. It’s prevented me from accepting help from others, or asking for what I truly want. We all have barriers we’ve built within us, or barriers that were installed long ago in childhood. These barriers prevent us from fully loving, or feeling loved, accepting generosity, trying new things, taking risks, accepting ourselves, achieving success, feeling successful, dreaming, having hope, practicing gratitude, feeling gratitude, seeing the beauty of this world, being kind, and receiving kindness. So, just as you think about all the things you want to achieve, all the places you want to head in this world, and what steps it will take to get you there, don’t forget about the barriers in your way, the things you need to let go of, the loads you need to unburden. What’s blocking you from your truth? Is it beliefs, or thoughts, feelings, or behavioral patterns? Is it that you push yourself too hard or not enough? What do you need to let go of this year? My wish is that you all are able to unload something in 2019 that isn’t serving you. Happy New Year!
As a proponent of connection with others, I’ve stressed the importance of avoiding isolation for health and happiness, so it may be confusing to see I’ve included solitude as a simple pleasure. Solitude is different from isolation. Solitude renews, and refreshes the spirit. It’s a time for reconnection with self, nature, and the universal current that runs through everything. Solitude energizes unlike isolation which de-energizes. Solitude is intentional rather than reactional. There’s nothing nicer than an hour all to yourself, enjoying nature, reading a good book, watching your favorite movie, or creating some form of art. For this reason, solitude is the simple pleasure of the week. Get some! Happy Weekend!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Last year, I wrote a post on the importance of giving and receiving here, which focused mainly on giving and receiving with others and this year I have been thinking about the importance of giving and receiving with yourself. As discussed in my previous post, giving and receiving are about so much more than presents.
Gift giving traditions typically focus on giving to others. Giving can be a form of communication. It can symbolize a celebration or appreciation of the other person, an affirmation of the individual’s importance in your life, and a validation that you know them. When we give to ourselves, it’s often more important to give love, nurture, self-care, time and space. Material possessions, in excess of our basic needs don’t often make us that much happier in the long-term. Giving yourself material possessions is perfectly fine, as long as you are first giving yourself the love you deserve. Giving to ourselves is also a form of communication and affirmation of our relationship with our Self. It’s representative of how we feel about ourselves and validation that we matter. Giving also supports the development of our internal conversation, the way our bodies may communicate what we need, and we in turn act accordingly. Giving to ourselves is important. So many people feel undeserving of their own love and nurture, and in turn they neglect their own needs. Making a regular practice of listening to your needs, and then giving back to yourself can also help to improve your self-esteem because our actions affect our beliefs.
Receiving is equally important. Receiving is about accepting what’s offered, validating to the giver that they matter, what they have to offer matters and they are appreciated. In my last post on giving and receiving I wrote about how receiving with grace is actually a gift to the giver. Again, it’s all a form of communication and an exchange of energy. Are you able to receive love, and kindness, and compliments? Are you able to receive your own love and nurture? When you practice self-care, stop and take the time to thank yourself for the gift. Acknowledging the good things you do for yourself can encourage you to give more often. Plus, gratitude is always a good thing.
Most of us are better at either the giving or the receiving. Take time to reflect on how well you are able to give and to receive with yourself. While you’re focused on the giving to others this holiday season, don’t forget to include yourself in that tradition. Schedule in self-care time, or simply down time so you can have space to breathe. Thank yourself for doing so afterwards. Make this a regular practice. Happy holidays!