At church today, the Gospel was from Luke and shared a story that Jesus told to teach people about the foolishness of greed. A hardworking man became very wealthy, and accumulated much more than enough to cover his needs. In fact, he didn't have enough room to keep all of his things, so...did he give things away to help others? Nope. He decided to spend money to build bigger barns to hold all of his riches.
Jesus called the man a fool, and told him that he would die that night. The sermon helped us understand that at the end of our lives...the amount of "stuff" we have doesn't matter. Instead of judging ourselves on how many material things we surround ourselves with, we should focus on how much we give away...how much we serve...and help.
We should also take some time to ask ourselves if we're really using all of the talents we've been given, as well as making sure that we give thanks to God for all his gifts.
It made me think about all of the time and energy we tend to put into earning more, buying more, and wishing for more, instead of acknowledging and appreciating all that we already have.
It also made me thing about taking just a few minutes every day check in with myself and ask, "What can I give today"? Sometimes, it's just a matter of keeping your heart open and looking for opportunities. I read the church bulletin when we got home, and there was a little story about a community donation center/thrift store that had all of its inventory destroyed in a flood. The center asked for donations of clothing to help them replenish their supply. My family was able to help with several bags of extra things. It felt good to help, but it also made us think about other areas of our lives where we have "extra" that could be put to better use to help others.
Even deeper than that, I think the readings and Gospel encourage us to take a hard look at how we measure happiness in our lives. Are we rich fools? Or are we tuned into understanding that giving and serving are the riches of Heaven?
My prayer for you today is that your heart and mind are open to feeling the true abundance and strength you have at this very moment, no matter what kind of a house you live in, what kind of a car you drive, no matter how much money is in your bank account...and that you choose to use your abilities and wealth to take care of your family and our world.
THANK GOD FOR WHAT YOU HAVE. TRUST GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED.
new blog feature
Sundays, I'll share thoughts from what I learn in church. We'll talk about the Gospel in a practical way, and invite God's teachings into our lives.
At mass today, we heard Gospel readings about Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray. Do you believe that God knows what we need before we ask? I do. The Bible tells us that.
Well then, why do we need to pray, if God knows everything that's in our hearts, and already has a plan for us? We are taught that prayer is an invitation for God to come into our lives through the Holy Spirit. He is with us always, but there's something very special about us actively...consciously...inviting Him to be with us.
We learned today that God always answers our prayers. Our priest told us we may not always get an answer we like, or expect, but we will always get an answer. And, when we pray, we should be BOLD, HUMBLE, and PERSISTENT.
Be BOLD. Don't think that there's anything "too small" or "too big" that you could ask of God. He wants a relationship with you, and wants conversation with you. He welcomes knowing your desires---and hearing them from you. Don't be afraid to ask for help and guidance. One of my favorite prayers every morning is, "Please God be with me today, and point me in the right direction."
Be HUMBLE. What does this mean, exactly? There are many references in the Bible about how we need to become "like a child" when we pray. So...simple but meaningful prayers with a tone of respect, and obedience. We are also told to ask for forgiveness for our sins, and for help in forgiving others, express gratitude, and make time for listening for His direction as we pray. Little children can have tantrums, sure! But, they can also be very honest, trusting, and loving. That child-like love of family is what God wants from us when we communicate with Him. Work on improving your communication with God---we're not "praying for show" or "praying to impress"...we have having a conversation with our Heavenly Father.
Be PERSISTENT. Again, if we believe that God knows what we want before we ask it, and that He will answer our prayers in a way that fits in with His will for our purpose on this planet. Why are we taught that not only do we need to pray but that we need to be persistent about it? It's not a game, and it's not for Him. Praying with persistence is for US. The more we pray, the better we're able to identify what it is that we truly want. It also helps us to figure out that in the end, we want GOD more than whatever it is we're praying for. That clarity makes us stronger, and builds our faith.
Now, if we practice, and learn to be bold, humble, and persistence in prayer...how might we hear God answer us?
"Basically in one of three ways," our priest said:
1. YES - you are ready, and your prayer request fits His plan for your best, abundant life.
2. NO - which actually is a YES to something greater.
3. NOT YET - more thought and more prayerful communication is needed.
Where you do need support? How do you need God's help? Pray and know that nothing is impossible with God.
Summer is about taking a break...making time to relax...and having FUN! You can take advantage of this time to re-focus on your own needs...and get some momentum going with your self-care to create a spark that will nourish and fuel you for a strong second half of the year!
HERE ARE 12 TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR A SUMMER OF SELF-CARE:
1. You are "summer-ready" just as you are! Summer can be a rough time for our self-esteem if we allow ourselves to get trapped in the idea that we need to "get our bodies ready" to enjoy the summer season. You are ready right now! Honest! Be gentle with yourself. Appreciate yourself! Put on that bathing suit. Wear the tank top...you don't need to change a thing to smile and have FUN right now!
2. Get Outside. Take advantage of the longer days and beautiful sunshine while you can! Make a break from your desk and go for a little walk. Eat outside...read...work...play outside. Your body and brain will love that extra dose of Vitamin D, and just being in nature is calming. Spending time near water helps to supercharge your self-care. The sound of water is soothing to the soul, and helps bring clarity to our thoughts. At night, have you ever just gone outside and looked at the stars? I will always remember the first time I was out on a boat at night and able to take in the night sky without any lights from houses, businesses, or towns around as a distraction. I looked up and that huge sky filled with stars and was hit with the magnitude of what's going on around us. We are part of something so big! Miracles are all around us. Give yourself permission to slow down and take it all in. It will give you a fresh perspective on your own life.
3. Take tech breaks. Set up a media-free zone for yourself, and hold yourself accountable. Choosing to manage electronic distractions allows you to focus on real life going on around you. I know people who do a regular Social Media Cleanse, and they tell me how GOOD they feel as a result! Analyze your time on line...has it become an addiction? Are you not getting things done because you get lost scrolling? Take a break! Set barriers, and stick to them. You could create a daily "shut off time" an hour or two before bed, for example. Or, you could go big and unplug during weekends, or on vacation. Use the time away from gadgets to connect with your friends and family the old-fashioned way---face to face... eyeball to eyeball.
4. Hang out with positive people. In a book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, a social psychologist is quoted as saying that the people you regularly spend the most time with determine as much as 95% of your success or failure in life. Read that again. WOW...right?! So....who are you spending time with? Are they people who you admire and lift you up to help bring out the best version of you? Or...well...not so much? Choose to be around people who inspire you and make you feel great. If you're looking for those kinds of people, join our private Take Care Tips Community Facebook group.
5. Allow yourself to relax. We all re-energize in different ways. Some people need to be alone, others need to be around people. Some need to be quiet - others; active. Chances are good you've been running so long you have trouble relaxing! Take some time to find what works for you...and do it!
6. Do something new. Stop waiting for "the right time" to get to that thing you've been wanting to try, and make it happen! Every day holds so many new opportunities for you to reconnect with what lights you up. Don't be afraid to get uncomfortable...make this your summer to try new things---whether it's something as small as a new recipe, or as big as a trip, or other adventure...there's big value in stretching yourself by doing something you've never done before.
7. Fill up with good stuff. Drink more water to stay hydrated in the warmer weather. Take advantage of the fresh, and often less expensive, fresh local produce at summer markets. Fuel yourself with fresh fruit smoothies, and healthy grilled vegetables for salads and side dishes.
8. Make a bucket list for the summer, and stick to it! What do you want to do this summer? Have you taken the time to think about that? Forget about time and money limitations - don't ask yourself, "is the possible?" Just get all of your ideas out of your head and into a list. Then, make it a goal to cross at least one thing off that list ASAP! Think of all the fun you'll have, and the memories you'll make!
9. Remind yourself of what your body can do. Instead of beating yourself up for the weight you haven't lost, or any part of you that you don't like...focus on appreciating your body for the all things it can do. You were created so beautifully, to laugh, love, smile... hug. Appreciate the things you can do, and...put yourself in situations that allow you to realize how strong you are!
10. Start each day with a "Thank You". As you're waking up, before you reach for you phone, or your coffee...take just a few minutes to check in with yourself. The action you take in the morning sets the tone for your whole day. If you keep a journal (which I recommend) jot down a few things you're thankful for. Acknowledging these things, and allowing yourself to focus on gratitude trains your brain to look for more positive things throughout your day.
11. Plan a Vacation/Staycation. Where you go isn't as important as just going somewhere because you want to...not because you have to! People want to work less, an live more. A change of environment can spark life, and it's so good for the brain! So whether you pack up and take a trip, or devote some time to exploring the sights and sounds of your own community--soaking up all the good things summer has to offer nurtures the soul!
Which one of these ideas is your favorite? What do you like to do for self-care in the summer?
Which one are you?
How do you normally start your day? Are you more like the person on the left or the right? There are plenty of things you can do to pump up your mornings---even if you feel like you never have enough time!
I have a 10-Minute Morning Routine I'm happy to share with you that will give you so much good energy when you first wake up. And, that good energy will spread out throughout your day. You'll have more clarity, be more productive, feel more in control, and happier! Sounds good, right?
the importance of a strong start
•Your first waking minutes are important for getting your brain focused and revved up for the day.
•How you prep your mind and body during those first minutes is key to putting yourself in the right mindset to take on anything that comes your way in the most positive way.
•By starting your day with intent, you can maximize your effectiveness, increase your positivity and form good habits that will have a strong impact on other areas of your life.
•Once you settle into a good morning routine, you’ll naturally begin doing it every day!
10-Minutes in the morning
GET HYDRATED: 1-MINUTE
•Even if your brain seems to be screaming for coffee as soon as you open your eyes, what your mind and body really need is some good old WATER! Water does wonders for your health and wellness.
•An adult body is made up of 55-60% water, so making sure you get enough is critical to ensuring your mind and body function properly. In the morning, your body will be a little dehydrated because you haven’t had anything to drink for eight hours.
•Dehydration leaves you feeling drained and sluggish, drinking water flushes toxins that have built up in your system overnight, and gives your metabolism a little boost. It also helps reduce stomach acid and can reduces any symptoms of heartburn.
•SUPERCHARGE YOUR SELF-CARE: Add a drop of Wild Orange or Lemon Essential Oil to your water. It acts as a detoxifying agent, and aromatically, will help clear your mind, and give you a positive energy boost! (***Make sure the Essential Oils are safe for internal use. The brand I use has that labeling on the bottle)
•Research shows that changing our breathing pattern to taking in six to 10 deep breaths per minute regulates our stress-response system. Proper breathing has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, an increase energy an focus. It also strengthens our immune system!
•This is pretty cool concept to think about: our mind and breath mirror each other. A quiet mind leads to quiet breathing. Think about how breathing picks up when we're nervous or scared. When we are conscious of our breathing, we can actually use it to influence our physical and emotional states!
•SUPERCHARGE YOUR SELF-CARE: Add one drop each of Peppermint and Wild Orange Essential Oil to your palm, rub your palms together, cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take a nice deep breath in, then let it out..it’s instant happy energy!
•Stretching after sleep works quickly to make you feel better, and helps your muscles wake up and function better. Stretching in the morning also eases muscle tension from the previous day.
•Besides helping with muscle and joint stiffness, stretching supports health circulation and flexibility.
•SUPERCHARGE YOUR SELF-CARE: Add a squirt of Coconut Oil and 1-2 drops of AromaTouch or Deep Blue Essential Oil blend, rub your palms together, then rub the mixture on any sore/tight areas.
GIVE THANKS: 3 MINUTES
•When we take time to give thanks and be grateful for all we have, we’re happier and less anxious, and our relationships improve. Take a few minutes every morning to write down at least one thing you are grateful for in your life.
•Take a minute to appreciate even the little things around you that are good in your life. When we feel burdened, it can be hard to see the positive things that are happening!
•Taking a few minutes every morning to remind yourself of how good your life is, especially during dark times, will help you connect with your faith. That connection boosts feelings of comfort, peace, and joy, and lowers stress levels.
•SUPERCHARGE YOUR SELF-CARE: Do a 3-Minute Gratitude/Planner Journal Exercise. Take one minute to write down three things you are grateful for. Take another minute to write down three things you can do to get you closer to a goal. Take one minute to write down something you can do to make someone smile. Gratitude and daily planning help set you up for a positive, productive day!
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS & VISUALIZATION: 3 MINUTES
•Before you get out of bed, walk through your day in your mind. What are all of the big and little things you nee to accomplish?
•As you run through your day in your mind, Imagine yourself working through everything beautifully! See yourself handling all situations effectively, and with a happy energy. Picture yourself crossing things off your To Do List, and being proud of your accomplishments.
•This way of thinking allows your brain to create a map for navigating through the day. Even if things don't always go exactly as you had imagined, you're still arming yourself with positive thoughts for a positive path.
•SUPERCHARGE YOUR SELF-CARE: Create a vision board! Find pictures of the things you want---what do you really want? Get clear on that. Get the pictures, and add them to a board or frame where you can see them often. Seeing those things will motivate you to work for them.
I'm so happy to share my new book with you! Essential Take Care Tips offers 101 Ten-Minute Self-Care Strategies that you can use to take better care of yourself while you're taking care of others.
The chapters cover all the things we need help with:
Each one of those 101 Tips includes an Essential Oil recipe, protocol, or suggestion that will boost your results. Is Essential Take Care Tips for you? Watch this short video to find out more.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH - CREATE A SEASON TO SHINE!
In celebration of the release of my new book, Essential Take Care Tips (Wooooo Hoooooo!), I created a 4-Week Wellness program---it's all online---all FREE, and you're invited!
Are you ready to...
As a mom of five and family caregiver, I've learned that it's really easy to become consumed by taking care of other people and things...so much so that we put our own health and well-being on a back burner. We're seeing so much negative fall-out as a result. The good news is...
WE CAN TURN THINGS AROUND!
I learned that although taking care of ourselves should be easy...it's not!
We throw up blocks:
"I feel guilty taking time away from my family for myself."
"I don't have enough time for self-care."
"I don't have extra money to spend on myself."
Let me try to put this to you kindly...
THAT'S ALL A BUNCH OF GARBAGE!!
It just is.
YOU ARE WORTH IT...and I can't wait to show you how committing to spending just a few little minutes on yourself each day will get you big, positive results!
What kind of benefits can you expect?
A new focus
Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally – it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.
Did you know that Mental Health America (MHA) founded May is Mental Health Month back in 1949? That means this year marks MHA’s 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month! This May is Mental Health Month is expanding its focus and raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme #4Mind4Body.
They are exploring the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions.
For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both physical and mental health concerns can be daunting – but critically important in achieving overall wellness.
Take a look at the mind-body links:
In Crisis? Call 1-800-273-TALK OR Text MHA to 741741
What can you do to help your mental health today? Which one of these suggestions do you think would work best for you?
When I hosted a TV Talk Show, I interviewed a professional organizer who said something that hit me hard and has stuck with me:
"Clutter represents unmade decisions."
We're too busy to go through the mail so it piles up...the kids' school papers sit, and then stack...we don't have the brain power to stay on top of things, and so it builds and becomes even more overwhelming.
Clearing the clutter is self-care! A cluttered physical space translates into a cluttered mental space. And....too much stuff can hold you back!
Think of clutter as stagnant energy that prevents you from creating the life you choose, desire and deserve.
Clutter comes in a variety of forms:
As challenging as it may seem to get rid of the junk...when we remove clutter from our lives we are free to discover our passions, and lead the extraordinary lives we are all meant to live and share our gifts with the world! We are literally clearing the space of things we no longer need or want, which allows more good things to come on in!
Essentials for clutter clearing
Favorite Clutter Cutting Essential Oils:
After your session: breath in Lavender
Many find it useful to begin by working to eliminate negative clutter: negative thoughts, negative people, negative media, negative music, etc.
Get to work!
To Help Minimize the Dust in the Air – Respiratory Blend, Protective Blend, Cleansing Blend, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree
To Promote Calm Feelings – The Joyful Blend, Frankincense, Focus Blend, Lavender, Peppermint, Serenity
To Assist with Clear Breathing – Respiratory Blend, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Protective Blend, Lime, Oregano, Peppermint
To Uplift Mood – Bergamot, Balance, Joyful Blend, Frankincense, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Serenity, Wild Orange (or any citrus oil), Ylang, Ylang
To Support Digestion – Digestive Blend, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Peppermint, Fennel
Enhance and sustain focus – Grounding, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Focus Blend, Lavender, Rosemary, Serenity, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
To Energize – Basil, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Invigorating Blend, Elevation, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Wild Orange
Create a sense of calm and well-being – Grounding Blend, Joyful Blend, Focus Blend, Lavender
Soothe Achy Muscles and Joints – Frankincense, Helichrysum, Myrrh, Basil, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Peppermint, Wintergreen
Improve Productivity – Focus Blend, Rosemary, Vetiver
Promote a Positive Outlook – Bergamot, Balance, any of citrus oils, Elevation, Frankincense, Lavender, Melissa, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Serenity, Ylang Ylang
Calm Restlessness – Basil, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender
Improve Sleep – Clary Sage, Frankincense, Lavender, Serenity, Ylang Ylang
Lessen Stress – Grounding Blend, Invigorating Blend, Clary Sage, Elevation, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Patchouli, Serenity, Wild Orange, Ylang Ylang
What kind of clutter do you want to attack first?