Let The Truth Of Who You Are Be The Foundation Of Self-Care
Self-Care Requires Self-Understanding...Some Tips to Enhance Personal Well-being
Looking Inside for the Key to Self-Care
The words "self-care" seem to appear in almost everything I see in my "inbox", on TV, in publications, podcasts...you name it. It is understandable, with the turmoil, loss, uncertainty and upheaval so many of us have experienced over the last few years. What I haven't seen as much is an emphasis on the "authentic self" being in the driver's seat in this process. So, I would like to share my approach to self-care, which is characterized by a few key concepts: Authenticity, Nourishment and Generosity. Of course, at the heart of the process is Nature, starring our beautiful essential oils and the nourishment provided by Nature, both emotionally and physically.
First, I want to acknowledge a poem by Donna Ashworth which several friends have shared via Face Book...this poem helped me to crystalize the above concepts for self care, and why they are so important to a life well-lived. It is shared in its entirety at the end of this post.
1.Authenticity - Prioritize the uniqueness that makes you, you.
I cannot stress enough how much authenticity is core to good mental, physical and spiritual/emotional health. Knowing who you are... why you are on this planet at this time, why you have had the experiences in your life -- good and bad -- that have made you the one and only you, and what makes you happy, what makes you sad and what inspires you...these are the keys to self-awareness and the deep understanding of "how you are doing" at any point in time. Something that is rarely ever discussed is the incredible ability of pure essential oils to bring you to your authenticity. Consistent use, with intention, creates a clarity within your body and soul as to what resonates with you and what does not. What you are in harmony with, and what you are not. I think the latter point is the key to why essential oils support us powerfully in this regard.
Essences that are my "go to" ones for authenticity (though they all contribute mightily to this concept) are Laurel Leaf (solar plexus), Rosemary verbenone (crown chakra), Fragonia (base of the spine), Spikenard (Third Eye) and Rose (over the heart). With these applied to the suggested areas of the body, I would invite you to begin a frequent process (2-3 times a week) of noting experiences that stand out at all stages of your life as things that you clearly loved and things that you clearly disliked. It can be people, places, things, experiences...but you are looking for a DISTINCT reaction of "I love this/I do not love this (or, I dislike or hate this). The memory can be little or big, old or new, but it cannot evoke lukewarm feelings within you. You are looking for Clarity and Specificity. Don't worry if the process doesn't yield anything immediately; over time, you will weed things "in" and "out", and you may begin to see patterns develop of what deeply resonates with you.
2. Nourishment -- What do you put into your life, your body? How is your instinct for knowing what and who are worth your time...and do you honor it?
Every day, every minute, we make decisions about what to eat, what to drink, and what to expose ourselves to in terms of people, places, information, entertainment, etc. Some decisions are driven by habit; others are driven by goals we have set, others are governed by people in our space, both intimately and transactionally. Some choices may be influenced by others important in our life, or cultural norms or trends. Some choices are dictated by budget or convenience or prioritization. But, how strong are the questions "what feeds my soul", "what nourishes my heart" in making those choices? Do you surround yourself with those who love you and inspire you to be your best? Or do you ignore your intuition? Are your intimate relationships fulfilling or do they fall short of satisfying your desire for acknowledgement, love and companionship? Do you look forward to performing the work you do in the world...does it satisfy or frustrate?
The closer we get to living a truly authentic life, 24/7, the more the decisions we make about nourishment will align with what we love and value about ourselves and our life. Some of my "go to" essences for making decisions about who we surround ourselves with, who we spend quality time with, and what we feed our mind and body are Rhododendron (abdomen), Ylang Ylang (physical heart), Tamarack or Norway Spruce (wrists), Frankincense or Palo Santo (Third Eye), and Ginger (soles of the feet). These are essential oils that I have found help to clarify decision-making, help to "get us off the dime" if we are having trouble making or honoring a decision, and to help us balance our heart wisdom, intuition and mental wisdom in making wise decisions and sticking to them.
3. Generosity -- Giving/sharing of your self/your resources, born of an open, willing heart which expects nothing in return, opens the floodgates of the Universe to allow your heart's desires to manifest in your life with ease and grace.
You might wonder how generosity to others influences self-care? As a child, I remember a fairy tale called "The Plain Princess". I loved that story so much...it told of the King's daughter, who was in some peril, being hidden at the home of one of their servants and her daughters for her protection. Torn from a sumptuous life to one which was much simpler and modest in nature, the story recounts the lessons she learns through her relationship with the sisters in the areas of creativity, mastery and generosity. She develops new-found skills, she takes pride in her accomplishments, and she feels joy in the adoration of the littlest sister, who looks up to her and loves her unconditionally. For a young girl who had everything, now in an impoverished setting, she was forced to create something out of nothing so that she could give the youngest child a gift from her heart. These experiences bring out her inner beauty...a joyful twinkle in her eye, the glow of accomplishment, and the look of love that transforms her.
Each act of Generosity, giving without expecting anything in return, opens our heart a little more, broadens our mind a little more, and helps us to have even more gratitude for what we are able to share with others. I think of it as reflective of the well-known parable from the Christian Bible...the story of the disciples' small supply of loaves and fishes, which multiplied every time they were shared with those in the immense crowd gathered to hear Jesus. Regardless of your spiritual persuasion, the belief that generosity begets generosity/abundance appears in many different accounts and teachings. One of my favorite sayings is that "You can't out give the Universe."
Each day, look for a way you can uplift another with a word, a contribution, a helping act, etc. If you get to the end of a day without this having occurred, say a prayer for someone in need, donate to a worthy charity that is personally meaningful to you, or add a loving/encouraging comment to a friend on FB or Instagram. Paying it forward is also a beautiful practice, and is in total keeping with the generosity begets generosity principle.
Essential oils which are helpful in supporting generosity of spirit and resources include Violet (over the heart), Geranium (solar plexus), Bergamot (soles of the feet) and Grapefruit (inner wrists or soles of the feet). These reduce the fear of scarcity, which can impede generosity; help generate feelings of good will and the desire to assist others; surround the giving experience in light and high vibration; and support optimism that the act of generosity was purely intentioned and aided the recipient.
4. Self-Care in Action
Actions and perspectives such as those outlined above that help to define and reflect who you truly are are all stepping stones to living an authentic life, consistent with your own true Nature and in harmony with the Natural world. Self-care which revolves around your ever-deepening understanding of who you are and what gives you joy and meaning means more than the latest fashion trend and or the newest anti-aging cream. It is your evolvement, moment by moment, with the guidance and support of the Natural world and your own knowing. You will know that it is working when your uniqueness is "the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit".
The poem on aging shared numerous times by my FaceBook friends that really spoke to me:
Don't prioritize your looks, my friend,
They won't last the journey.
Your sense of humour, though, will only get better.
Your intuition will grow and expand
Like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles,
Will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment,
And your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time will grow and flourish
like ivy on a castle wall.
Don't prioritize your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore.
That pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritize the uniqueness that makes you, you
and is the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.
Upcoming Class Offerings taught by Cynthia and me....
Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class (in person) offered October 27-28, 2022 in Cornville, AZ.
Pricing and details are posted on the Wisdom of the Earth website. For questions regarding discount opportunities, class content, please contact Cynthia Olivera, our Education Director, at [email protected] or at the office, 928-649-9968. You can register on the website or through Cynthia.
An "in person" Wisdom of the Earth Level 2 Advanced Sacred Aromatherapy Retreat will be offered December 4-9, 2022.
Please be aware that you must have attended a Level 1 class and have been awarded Level 1 Certification by WOTE to be eligible to attend the Advanced Retreat. Cynthia and I will be joined by some excellent and inspirational guest speakers. The Retreat will be held at a lovely property in Cottonwood, AZ, just a few minutes' drive from the WOTE office in Cornville, AZ. Please contact Cynthia Olivera, contact information above, for details on discount opportunities, class content, accommodations at the Retreat property, or to register. You can also register on line for the Retreat.
Some quotes from recent Level 2 participants (You will see the theme of "self-care' throughout):
- This work makes me feel more deeply and more purely "myself!"
- A precious opportunity, so many wonderful teachers sharing thoughts, experiences and wisdom.
- Today was another powerful day! The meditation was full of light and very refreshing...it took me a while to "get back"!
- I felt the passion of the teachers; it was truly amazing.
- I was attracted to Audre's teaching in the East (in the Medicine Wheel) and I cried. I meditated in the East about giving up my long-awaited job and restarting my life.
- Channeling work. The message from my class partner was really a match to my needs, even in detail. It was my first time to channel or receive messages like this, and I was so surprised that we can do this and also I really enjoyed it. Receiving the message itself was healing for me, and I loved the time we spent.
- It was really great to have time to feel my heart connect with others. I was really looking forward to participating in this level 2 and feel that the transformation I was seeking is happening.
We look forward to being with you in these very exceptional experiences, which have been life-changing for so many, including us, each and every time.
Thank you for reading this e-news; would love to hear your thoughts or experiences re self-care and/or any of the suggested oils or approaches in this post.
Love, Audre Gutierrez
Owner, Wisdom of the Earth