cold & flu season = oil of oregano time


I’ve used oil of oregano on & off for at least five years. It’s an amazing antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, stomach helping, allergy reducing oil. Studies have actually shown it to be as effective as prescription antibiotics without the negative impact on your stomach or the beneficial probiotics in your gut. In fact, instead of killing probiotics, oil of oregano actually augments the proliferation of helping gut flora. 

Oil of oregano has two very effective components in it, carvacol and thymol. They are considered extreme potent so research and caution are important. The doTerra website has a great run down on usage and caution when using oregano essential oil

Personally, I have used oil of oregano internally via purchased capsules such as Gaia or putting the oil into an empty capsule. I have also take it in some water to help candida thrush. 

The usual reminder that I’m not a doctor, so read reliable sources and make informed choices. With that said, oil of oregano is definitely a great cold and flu fighter. 

Here’s to a healthy flu season! 

why lavender is quickly becoming my go-to remedy 


I’ve been busy lately, but more than that I been emotional. Maybe it’s a midlife thing, the changing hormones – *sigh* – that are leading me from one life stage to another. 

As I gear up for that new hormonal shift, I’ve become so aware of how much news and views 😉 have influenced my perception of what happens now. As girlfriends begin to hint at not feeling quite like themselves, I’ve been especially struck by, and concerned about, how inevitable misery is seen as an unavoidable guarantee. 

This time I won’t discuss hormone replacement, or, more importantly, bioidentical hormone replacement, but I can’t not 😉 mention that hormones aren’t awful things in the least. What I want to share is how lavender is helping me soothe already frayed emotions that are seemingly jarred by the aforementioned changes. 

Lavender is soothing for two reasons. First, it promotes GABA, which is incredibly relaxing without being sedating. I have used GABA and gaba-promoting supplements and herbs as needed for years, but after reading research about a lavender pill, I learned that lavender has a secret weapon, endorphins. 

While GABA calms, endorphins comfort. Taking supplements that promote endorphins compensates for the fact that endorphin-release from exercise is so short lived. 

I think of endorphin-boosting supplements or herbs as a warm blanket curled up on the couch. 🙂 They’re the fuzzy bunny slippers I imagine wearing all day when I just need to be soothed.

Of course lavender doesn’t need to be taken internally. GABA and endorphin augmenting benefits work even through inhaling the soothing herb, so whatever way works for you will work for your brain chemicals too. 

If you’re fried and have that “I want my mommy” kind of feeling ;), give lavender a try and you may find you are easily able to comfort yourself. ✨✨

More info:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19962288/?i=2&from=/20512042/related

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23808618/?i=4&from=/20512042/related

Now Foods Lavender Oil, 1-Ounce https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009RSP38/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_HsneybVZJZCAN

Nature’s Way Calm Aid Nature’s Way 30 Softgels https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007TYY2JA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Htneyb8GAX2MQ

Reminder: I’m far from a doctor. I’m just someone who has researched any tried herbal supplements and amino acids for self-care for more than a decade. Do research with reliable sources and feel free to share you experiences. 💕

practicing the art of authenticity 


When we’re young we follow. We follow directions, siblings, friends and parents. When we finally emerge and begin to wonder what we want and what we think, it can be quite a shock that we don’t really have much of a clue who we are. On the surface we know, but are these what we actually believe, or are they other people’s ideas about us that we came to believe we’re true? 

Growing up, everyone told me I was creative. I loved to write stories, but it was figuring out the plot and planning the story that I enjoyed more than finding the exact words and flowery descriptions. I believed that I was creative so deeply,mint impacted the activities I chose, my college major, my first internship and first post-college job. When I finally found myself doing technical writing and market research for work, I finally really enjoyed what I was doing. I also realized how plan-obsessive I was and how little patience I had for anything but efficiency. Getting in touch with a new and authentic part of me was liberating. 

At any age, it’s worthwhile to check in on what we believe about ourselves not only to see whether or not it is authentic to us, but also to see whether or not it’s what we want anymore. Here are some ideas on how to best manage honing in on your true self and staying focused on it thru life’s copious distractions:

  • Ask yourself some questions: What do I want? What do I spend most of my time reading, doing & thinking about – other than my to do list ;)? Looking beyond milestones like birth of a child, marriage, graduation, what are the top 3-5 happiest times in your life? Consider who you were with, where you were and what you were doing. 💕
  • Assess your priorities: Run through each area of your life, work, family, friends, hobbies, free time. Estimate the percentage of time placed on each. Now write down the percentage you wish you were able to spend on each category. This is your list of priorities. Now ask yourself what you can do to shift your time accordingly. You may not be able to change things entirely now, but think creatively and ambitiously. It may be more realistic than you think. 💕
  • Manage your time & your thoughts: So obviously this is how any changes truly happen. And it can be hard to focus when we are crazy busy. If you’ve written down your priorities, look at them at least once a day. Check in with yourself a few times a day, even set an alarm. Ask yourself what you want time for and what can wait until later. Remember which tasks are easy to do and quick. What can you do in line at the store? What takes the most energy and is best done in the morning? Create mantras and reminders to center your thoughts on your new priorities. Soon enough, you’ll have created new habits and begun new plans. 💕

If you exercise or meditate, this is obviously a great time to revisit your true self. If you are stuck in traffic or in the carpool line, it’s just as effective. Either way, stopping even for a minute to consider how authentic the life you’re living is is already a worthwhile accomplishment. ✨✨✨

powerful tools to balance your mind


Over a year ago, I read an amazing book called “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. Whenever I begin to stray from the advice I learned in the book, I always regret it. The basic principle is that what we think is our personality, most of the things that follow “I am” is actually not a static, ingrained or inherited thing, at least not entirely. 

As she clearly lays out in the survey on her site, certain fears, sensitivities, habits and motivations are dictated by four brain chemicals: serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine and low endorphins. In her books, she sets out high protein diet suggestions, and primarily amino acid supplements to balance out deficiencies. 

When I first took the survey, I scored high scores in all categories. And, when I forget or choose to stop taking one or more of the supplements, I feel symptoms creep back in. 

For more than a decade I have meditated daily, practiced mindfulness and turned my natural panicked mind into a much more positive and faith-filled one. 

But I still need the brain-balancing support of amino acids. And, I much prefer the natural path. 


Serotonin

According to Ms. Ross, low serotonin symptoms include but are not limited to: fear of crowds, flying , heights, public speaking; inflexible, irritable, impatient; pessimistic, anxious; fibromyalgia, SAD.

Serotonin supplements include: 5-htp, tryptophan, St. John’s Wort or Sam-e.
GABA

Under GABA, symptoms include but are not limited to: tense, uptight, trouble falling asleep, pressured, overwhelmed; sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, easily frustrated.

GABA is a useful supplement for this category. There are many opinions on its efficacy. I find it works. Some people, including me, have a strong reaction to too much of it at one time. It is quite extreme and includes not being able to catch my breath for at least 30-45 seconds. If you try it, start under 500 mg. 

You may also want to try other amino acids like taurine and glycine instead. There are clearly herbal options too such as chamomile, lemon balm or passionflower. 


Norepinephrine

These symptom have mostly to do with feeling blah, apathetic and unmotivated, a lack of adequate dopamine (low cats). More than this, low “cats” mean you have trouble focusing and finding energy. Some symptoms are: low motivation, trouble focusing, concentrating, depressed in a flat & apathetic way. 

Supplements include: tyrosine and dlpa. She also suggests herbals to raise cats and get your brain going. They include pycnogenol and grape seed extract. 


Low Endorphins

This equates not only to physical pain, but also emotional pain. If you’ve been called sensitive, have a hard tme getting over emotional hurt, and tend to cry at lots of things from commercials to emotional slights, this isn’t your fault. You likely have a low endorphin level. It’s like we are missing the ability to comfort ourselves without this  tool. But there are options.

If you are interested in this path of mental balance, check out the survey and look into her ebook. The survey is a great first step to understand what you may need to balance. Feel free to ask me questions about it, but remember I’m not a doctor. 😉 I believe we have a great power to self-heal in many ways, but ensure you look to your intuition, legit web sources and medical resources as needed. 

For me this was a key step on my journey to peace of mind and body, engaged relationships and increased productivity. I hope it is for you too. 💕

how to be spiritual & successful at the same time

Though learning how to live in the real world while maintaining a bliss state takes time to master, being assertive, successful and/or ambitious isn’t incongruent with living a spiritual life. We just need to apply some spiritual guidelines to real life practices. 

Here are some guidelines while we assert our boundaries & attain our goals:

  1. There is enough for everyone. 
  2. We can reach success while supporting others. 
  3. If we speak kindly and respectfully while considering the feelings and opinions of others, we can still voice our needs. We should always consider compromise. 
  4. Our needs are equally important. We don’t always have to put others first. 
  5. If our goals are consistent with our highest self and don’t infringe on the happiness of others, we may proceed. 
  6. When possible, we should seek to support & uplift others on their path. 

Reality and a mindful state can coexist with practice. Feel confident that you are worthy of all you seek. ✨✨

how to save yourself from the destructive pull of negative vibes


When I lose focus on the practices that have gotten me to the greatest personal space I’ve ever been in, the same things happen each time. First, I lose faith in myself and then I lose faith in everything. 😉 The slide from bliss to ordinary is triggered each time by the same three things: 

  1. too little gratitude
  2. too much venting 
  3. & too much unfiltered media

Now that I recognize the pattern, it is much easier to reign in before I careen off track. Here’s what I mean, followed by three ways to avoid the pitfalls. 

When my gratitude becomes inauthentic & rote, I am not filled up with any feelings of gratitude. And it isn’t what we say or think that truly has the energetic power to manifest more goodness in our lives, it’s what we feel. We need to ooze peace, happiness and thankfulness. So when I’m not doing that, and I get caught up in talking too long about what I haven’t gotten done and what is annoying me to no end, my energy begins swirling in the wrong direction. Add the temptation not to be worldly or aware, but rather to feed my “things aren’t right” feelings with mega media and I’m little mini-tornado wrecking my day… 

So how do we stop whatever creates our own vortex of negative energy?

  1. Check your energy.
  2. Reinvigorate your thankfulness practice.
  3. Connect with the moment, anytime, anywhere, by checking in with your five senses.
  4. Feed yourself only positive vibes.

Our feelings are our greatest creative tools. They impact our day and the people in it. Taking little moments to recharge creates simple practice for lasting and life-changing habits. 

Shine on, goddesses.

3 little things about relationships 

We are obligated to fulfill roles in our lives. We may be bosses, co-workers, daughters, father, teachers, wives and/or moms… We enter into each of these roles with a set of ideas about what they mean, how we are supposed to behave, speak, stand, look and give. But in how many of these roles and relationships are we authentic? 

Between the preconceived parameters we enter into our roles with and whatever dynamic we develop within or relationships, we can easily lose sight of who we are. This can case serious tension in relationships between the unspoken expectations we have (like we may expect a husband to do things our father did) and the pressure to perform our role perfectly (think Pinterest-worthy males, flawlessly dressed and behaved children, manicured yards and airy white houses that are forever Oxycleaned). 

So what do we do? Here are 3 little things on relationships:

⭐️ Enter into each relationship aware of your expectations. See what you are brining into the role and relationship. Decide what’s really important to you. Decide what you can let go of. The less your expectations – beyond essentials of respect, commitment, etc. – the more the roles & relationships can evolve naturally. 

⭐️ Reject the role. Ever had a boss who doesn’t really seem like a boss at all? Ever met that relaxed parent who doesn’t seem to be teaching her children anything and yet her kids are well-adjusted & happy? Ever wanted to be like that? Things work better when we are real. When we act from a place of presence & authenticity, we are much more likely to be right and to be listened to. Like with parenting, consistency is supposed to be so vital, but rigidity and inflexibility lead our child to be disempowered and ourselves to feel like dictators damaging the bonds we spend so much time strengthening. Yes, we have to set and keep rules, and we should coach, but most likely it’s a lot less often than we think.

⭐️ Don’t enter martyrdom. Don’t work your roles like they’re your identity, handing your self-worth over to endlessly fulfill your jobs flawlessly. Your relentless self-sacrifice is both damaging to you, enabling to others & often the kiss of death for your relationships. Seek balance, truth & wellness in all that you do. 

Light & love. Xo, Liz ✨💕

the one thing that’s in the way of you & your dream life and how to fix it

  
Things are so much harder when we don’t believe in ourselves fully. Doubt is so destructive,. Self-doubt? Debilitating. 

We all know we need to be confident, but, when we aren’t, how do we fix it? 
Do you have an area of your life where you feel totally in command, a place where experience has taught you you are invincible? 

What about an area where it seems like everything falls apart, a place where experience has lead you to do believe you can’t possibly succeed? 

What if you could be in complete command of that thing too? 

You can. 

Been unlucky in love? Tell yourself you have nothing but happy, loving, respectful, exciting relationships. 

Don’t believe it? 

That is where your work begins. 

⭐️ Take the top thing on your wish list and either think about or write about EXACTLY what you want. Explore and define all the details. This is your vision. You want it to be crystal clear.

⭐️ Once it’s defined, recite it to yourself a few times. Notice which parts of it you resist and then explore what’s behind that resistance. Spend a set amount of time working through what’s holding you back. We’re not looking to ruminate, but rather to identify the block and let or awareness dissolve it. 

Here’s what I mean. If you have a financial block and are conditioned to feel like you always run out of money, but behind that you feel guilt because you had a lot of money but wasted it, that’s useful information. Yet staying in that guilt space over money only means that energetically you will create more experiences to match that feeling. 

⭐️ So THIS is where most people get stuck. They feel bad about past mistakes, guilty over past hurt, etc. 
The most important part of this process is moving on after 30 minutes, two days or a week. Create a ritual through which you throw away an old habit or honor yourself with the gift of forgiveness. Talk to yourself in the mirror. Crazy, I know, but effective. 😉 

So after you identify, process and then move on, you are now ready to create, create the imagined thing and manifest it into your reality. 

⭐️ Now, go back to your vision. Memorize it. Associate whatever emotions you would have as if it were happening already. If you can’t easily attach to those feelings or calling them up gets complicated, stick to love. Love is the purest and most powerful way to create anything in your life. 

⭐️ Meditation is a powerful place to create, but we don’t always have blocks of time for it. When you know your vision by heart and can easily connect feelings to the reality of your wish, access it anytime, anywhere, the more often the better. 

You can do this with anything. My daughter and I like to do it for parking spots. I recently did it t extend my lease so we didn’t have to pack up and move. 

While living in Atlanta, I spent half my time appreciating what I had, and the other half visualizing a reality where I was living in California. In my mind I was saying goodbye to places and people, and felt excited about the move. In two weeks, my hubby got a call with a job offer in California. Not a coincidence. 

The key is to know without a doubt that this will absolutely work for any and all things in your life. Usually the bigger the dream, the harder it is to believe in the process, but that is exactly when you need it the most. 

Happy creating! 

sometimes positive thinking just isn’t enough

imageWhen I moved from a semi-happy existence in suburban Atlanta to the warmth, sun & gorgeous beaches of SoCal, I thought I’d finally be “there,” you know, that place of peace, happiness & eternal equilibrium that we are always seeking? Yet, I got to Cali and, once the novelty and excitement began to dwindle, there I was, back “there,” in almost the same place & the same me I was in ATL.

Sure I’d spent a successful decade improving myself and my life in a myriad of really helpful ways over the years through meditation, yoga, positive psychology & nutrition, but it wasn’t enough for me. No matter how happy I thought I was, I knew my real bliss remained untapped.

My body was exhausted again with the stress of the cross-country transition. I was frustrated and, honestly, deeply hopeless. I kept thinking how could I have spent all this time working on myself only to end up back in despair & dis-ease. It was a discouraging awakening.

But, unlike all the moments of awakening that came before, this one was “the one,” the final step in a long & hard-fought journey. It taught me how valuable I was, how worthy I was. It taught me to forgive myself and heal my mind in a deeper, more lasting way.

Here’s the revelation. Sometimes we really can’t fix it all ourselves. Sometimes, it isn’t our fault.

In my 20s into my early 30s, I’d been to doctors seeking help. I got a bunch of suggested illnesses but no solutions. I am not at all implying doctors aren’t amazing healers. I just didn’t like giving someone else control over my healing, and with four out of state moves in nine years, I really didn’t want to have to keep beginning again with each transition.

Staring at 40, I finally found the two resources I needed, two professional who take mental & physical health and blend it with what I found to be great nutritional advice. Along with years of reading research studies, I educated myself with Julia Ross’ The Mood Cure & Dr. Mark Hyman’s site and decided to embrace my approach to being my own healing coach. I began with the really eye-opening survey on http://www.moodcure.com and scored ridiculously high in nearly each category and thus began we climb out of my remaining health chaos and into my final stage of healing.

I completely know that without doing the personal work I did over the last ten years, balancing brain chemicals and healing nutritional deficiencies still wouldn’t have been enough to give me all the skills I have to know without a shred of doubt that I can handle anything, but without the final drive to bring my body together with my mind, I would still be on shaky ground.

I am not a doctor, naturopath or even a health coach, and each person knows in which direction their path is leading them, but I feel that to fully own and share my story in hopes of helping others stay connected with their path, I have to say that being my own health advocate for the past 18 months has been the icing on my cake.

If you have connected all the pieces to your puzzle already, thank you for being an inspiration to those around you. If you are still working on your puzzle, you are not, and you are never, alone.

how to tune in to your dreams

image

I’m analytical. So absolutely analytical. I plan, too. I dissect flawed experiences so that I can retrain myself to do things in a new way. I always thought it was a good path because my goal was self-improvement.

But then it all got so tiring.

All that time spent rehashing was taking energy away from actually living, let alone achieving my goals. One problem remained, I still didn’t know what to do instead.

Then one day, I started doing something hugely different. And, it worked.

Here’s what I started doing when facing adversity, either small or big:

  1. spend time getting clear about what you want. you can start with anything, small things (I.e., an awesome parking spot at the grocery store) or your biggest dream.
  2. focus on it a minimum of twice each day, especially before bed.
  3. cultivate a feeling of pure love. when you feel negative emotions as you go through your day, switch to extending love & gratitude to everyone you encounter.
  4. set a cue to access your bliss by doing something subtle like touching two fingers together or putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth or whatever feelings perfect to you.

Trying to cue a peaceful feeling when faced with adversity might feel funny at first, or ineffectual. It takes practice. If you have trouble accessing your bliss space, think of a person or experience that filled you up completely.

I meditate & do yoga. When I put my hands together at heart center or sit in and form of crisscross applesauce ;), I feel bliss. When we’re inundated with life looking to distract us from our pure energy, sometime wrestling with our thoughts is futile. If you set a trigger while feeling blissed in, it will be easier to shift your energy faster.

We run into so many situations each day that attempt to change our focus onto to frustrating things, so there is plenty of time to practice. And a bunch of times you’ll forget what to do and end up off on an emotional tangent. It’s ok. Just try again when you remember, & soon you will feel in tune with the universe and living your vision all the time. ⭐️💕