Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Flower Essences for Self-Nurturance Instead of Self-Soothing and Self-Sabotage

Soothing the Sensitive Soul

There’s been a need for a lot of self-soothing going on lately! (post-Trump election 2017). If some of us were inclined to act like small children, we’d be clutching our blankies or favorite stuffed animal and rocking back and forth while watching the evening news these days! We could shut it off. . . but no! We have to know what’s going on!!!! So rock we will, with our soda cans or beer, our cigarettes or big bowls of ice cream. 

And, ya know what, a little bit of that won’t kill us! 

On the other hand, this can be trouble if you are a person for which this behavior is inclined to get out of hand—and all of us fall into that at one time or another. (If you’re obsessively working out at the gym these days, lol, don’t get all superior!) We all grab our comforts when we can.

That said, how do we take care of ourselves in a way that won’t end up hurting us somewhere down the line? Self-nurturance with a mindful perspective could hold the key.

What makes you feel better in addition to these potential pitfall behaviors? Well, sitting on my porch with the TV, cell phone and computer turned off, drinking a cup of tea and watching the people, birds and squirrels passing by does a lot for me. Going for a swim, walks in the park, meditating, yoga, a nice hot bath with some soothing essential oils or flower essences, healthy food that also tastes good! Those are a lot of my old standbys. . . when I commit myself to doing them!

A friend online asked for help sticking to a similar commitment by using one of my flower essence or flower essence aromatherapy formulas. I was stumped so I asked for a little guidance and dowsed for the flower essences most applicable (I always start with flower essences):

Saint John’s Wort was the first to come up. Famous in tincture form for depression, as a flower essence it also addresses emotional or spiritual darkness and the need for light in one’s consciousness and soul. It helps reduce one’s vulnerability to negative outside influences and soothes over-sensitivity.

Rock Rose was next, one of the strongest Bach Flower Remedies I know for transcending terror, anxiety or fear.

Larch—one I get guided to in the formulas I make a lot—was third. It’s for self-confidence and a more positive belief in what is possible. It’s future oriented in the sense that we need to have positive beliefs about what’s possible or we won’t pick ourselves up and even try.

I’m making this available as a formula that I’m calling Mama Love for Soothing the Sensitive Soul. It’s available now as a conventional unscented flower essence dropper bottle or spray. 

I can also offer the spray with essential oils added: I’m using a combination of Rose Geranium and Lemon. I don’t have standard labels made yet. I’ll be making these on demand and using the labels I use for my custom formulas and handwriting the name on them. You’ll have the choice of either a spray or oil, already diluted to ready-to-use strength.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Awesome Recipe for Hot Chocolate Elderberry Spice -- Healthy Drink with a Twist

By masatoshi_ from Kyoto, Japan (ホットチョコレート)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Well, it starts with a healthy enough drink! Elderberry tea is a traditional tool for supporting the immune system. As soon as cold and flu season hits I make pots of my Elderberry Licorice Spice tea blend and store them in mason jars in the refrigerator so all I have to do is reheat a cup in my microwave whenever I want some. I use 16 teaspoons for a 2 quart pot of water, simmer 10 minutes, strain the liquid into a clean mason jar, add more water and simmer again. I get 3 pots full before the ingredients really get tapped out.

Start with pre-brewed Elderberry Licorice Spice tea, prepared as described above. Then I add 1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon (or a little less) of granulated sugar to 1/2 cup of the tea, directly in my largest mug (I think it holds 15 oz). I put that in my microwave for about 20 seconds to get the liquid warm enough to mix the cocoa powder and sugar in. (Don't bother mixing when the mixture is cold -- it won't work.) Then I add enough milk or half and half to fill my cup and heat it up to drinking temperature. Actually, I usually leave a little space in my mug to add a bit of brandy after it's hot, but that's optional, of course. Then top it off with whipped cream. SO GOOD!!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Flower Essence Aromatherapy for Emotional Resiliency and Inner Strength

Mama Love for Emotional Resilience
As I mentioned in my last blog post, people on my Facebook friends list have been sharing what kinds of flower essence aromatherapy formulas they could use right now post-election 2017. The age of Trump has been hitting people HARD, and one of the issues that came to mind first for me as I was listening to them was the need for emotional resiliency.

This article by Mira Curzer, sharing advice from long time activists, is SO good I recommend it to everyone. Dealing with emotional overwhelm is the key to keeping strong and staying well, and it's not just about sleeping and eating well, it's about emotional refreshment and self-care.

So, in that vein I offer this formula. I've been using it myself and it is doing me a lot of good!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Flower Essence Aromatherapy for Post-Election Stress

By Victor Bezrukov [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], 
via Wikimedia Commons
In case you haven't visited my blog before, I make flower essence aromatherapy products infused with Reiki for emotional support. I make them for myself, then gave one particularly effective one away to friends, and they insisted I sell it and make it available to everyone else.

A number of people on my Facebook friends list (and my partner Paul's friends list), who are reeling about the results of the election and the aftermath, recently helped me think about needs they have right now in regards to emotional support. It was interesting and I am grateful for their feedback. I am hard at work following through on their suggestions. 

But A LOT of people wanted things I already make! So here's a link to my Mama Love Organics shop and links to the requests people mentioned most that I currently have available.

#1 request: Help for shock, trauma, extreme stress and grief. Sounds like it could be more than one formula but I actually have one pretty much made for these times -- the first formula I mentioned above that put me into business: Support for Troubled Times.

#2 request: Relief for worry, anxiety and fear. My most popular formula of all addresses this issue. It's called Releasing Worry and Fear.

#3 request: Help for being able to calm down enough to focus. One of my newest formulas is actually very good for that: Calm Focus

It was not requested but mentioned that an issue related to not being able to focus was having trouble sleeping. I've been using one I make for that myself! Restful Sleep (soon to be called "Restful Nights").

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Finding your Inner Calm and Ability to Focus on Something Besides Politics

By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Meditation)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Well, typically, I would say make time to meditate, but there are times when that is just not going to happen! Perhaps you're at work or really ought to be getting something else done. Perhaps the feeling of distraction is so intense that feeling unable to concentrate even when meditating is the problem. Whatever it is that brought you to this blog post, I feel your pain — I just had to remind myself to use a product I made specifically for times like this BECAUSE I COULDN'T CONCENTRATE ENOUGH TO REMEMBER TO USE IT even when I was about to write this post about it! It's Trump, Trump, Trump and OMG, what are they up to with all these bizarre cabinet appointments, what's going to happen to my health insurance, and . . . you know how it is! That's why you're here!

Okay! First, one thing that came to me first thing upon waking up this morning is that we need to take the longer term view and imagine the possibility that excesses created by either party's ideology creates hardship. And sometimes things need to come apart so we won't just sit back on the laurels of past success for our side and continue to do nothing about the mistakes. What mistakes? Well, I guess we'll need to listen better in order to work it all out. But that's not what this blog post is about. What I'm trying to say is breathe deep and strive to think about the longer view. Think of our problems like a hand that you're holding up close to your face. You can't see around it and it feels like that's all you can focus on. Try it! Put your hand right up close in front of your face! Then pull it back until you can see your hand in the context of the room or whatever else is around and beyond it. Notice how much more relaxed you feel? It's because you naturally breathe easier taking in a wider and longer view.

Second, know you are so very not alone. I asked my Facebook friends what they would want a flower essence aromatherapy formula for in terms of their emotional well-being since the election, and the ability to be calm enough to focus was one of the things that came up multiple times. And that woke me up: my most recent product that I haven't been telling people about is called "Calm Focus."

And it works!

I use Rock Rose and Indian Pink flower essences for inner peace, strength, and the ability to focus despite overstimulating influences. I combine that with Vetiver, Sweet Orange and Lavender essential oils for emotional stability, release of nervous tension, balance, and grounding. I make this formula in multiple forms but my favorite is as a spray that is fast, easy to use and can be shared with people in your environment. I just used two or three spritzes around my head and shoulders and felt instant relief.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Immune Support Tea from Mama Love

Elderberry Licorice Spice Tea
Paul and I have been drinking -- and loving -- this tea so much I decided to add it to my Etsy shop. Elderberry is a traditional approach for dealing with colds and flu. It seems to be great for supporting the immune system to do its work. To that I add Rosehips (for its Vitamin C content), Licorice (also for immune support and sweetness), Star Anise (famous as an antiviral key ingredient in Tamiflu, also DELICIOUS), and Cinnamon (for its tasty warming effects). It has so many healthful qualities, but, honestly, once you taste it, you'll want to drink it just because of that!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Soothing Organic Oatmeal Bath with Flowers from Mama Love

Soothing Organic Oatmeal Bath Soak with Flowers
Brand New in my Etsy shop!  Have you ever taken an oatmeal bath? Colloidal oatmeal (finely powdered oats) are so soothing to the skin. It's great for people with sensitive skin, diaper rash, sunburn, or dry itchy irritated skin conditions. People with psoriasis, eczema or shingles also might benefit. 

My Soothing Organic Oatmeal Bath is made with organic oats, baking soda (to make the water less acidic, which is also soothing to the skin), and organic Lavender, Chamomile, Rose and Calendula petals. It has NO perfumes or added scents and it is infused with Reiki.

I package it in a tin tie paper bag with two muslin bags of oatmeal bath (8 oz in total -- enough for 2-4 baths) inside. Just pour the desired amount into your bath or toss the whole muslin bag in (so you don't have to clean up the flowers afterwards). Just be sure to squeeze the water through the bag to disperse the oats. You could also squeeze it directly on your skin while you're in the bath.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Carob Marshmallow Organic Herb Tea Delight

Carob Marshmallow Delight Organic Herb Tea Blend
The newest addition to my Etsy shop is Carob Marshmallow Delight. I originally wanted to create a tasty blend that might be helpful as an after dinner tea for people who suffer from heartburn— Marshmallow Root and Nettles are an old folk remedy. But my chief tester and heartburn sufferer Paul refuses to even try it! He says that he was emotionally scarred for life by people trying to convince him that Carob tastes like chocolate!

Okay, this blend does not taste much like chocolate, maybe a little like milk chocolate, but only if you stretch your imagination a bit. But, even though I don't tend to get heartburn, this is now one of my favorite after-dinner drinks! It's really yummy, especially with honey and half-and-half! Try it and see!

Abundance as an Intention Even in the Age of Trump

Abundant Prosperity Flower Essence Aromatherapy from Mama Love

I hate to be political but. . . I can't help but notice that a product of mine, "Abundant Prosperity," that was a moderately good seller, has pretty much fallen off the charts. It's like "abundance" has become a dirty word. And it certainly feels that way to me because now, maybe forever more, I associate it with the worst form of greed and horrific excess: the Trump residence all gilded in gold along with disgusting Trump behavior -- tweeting on his golden bathroom throne as just one example. It's no longer "fashionable" to want abundant prosperity. It's the antithesis of what many of us want to be associated with right now!

Of course, "Abundant Prosperity" isn't really about any of this! It was created when I was feeling poverty-stricken. I wanted more money -- I will admit that! But I always ask for guidance when I make a flower essence formula and the guidance received was intended to be for the highest benefit of all concerned. So it contains flower essences to heal blockages in the second chakra. And it contains essences and essential oil for lightening up and having more fun. It also contains essences for creative inspiration and focus.

Why? Because when you want to get out of poverty, you need to be creative. You also need to be less desperate, to feel positive enough to be able to let go and have more fun, allow for possibilities and still have the focus to take it further. For example, you get this great idea: wouldn't it be awesome to get to go on a cruise ship to some wonderful part of the world you've always wanted to see and get paid to do it? A friend of mine does this for a living now. He always wanted to make his living as a musician. And now he plays the piano on a cruise ship. Last I heard, he loved it! He's made friends, he travels the world, he gets paid to do what he loves, and has money building in his bank account besides.

But would a person ever do that if they couldn't believe it was possible in the first place?

That's what my "Abundant Prosperity" formulas are for! It's about feeling more prosperous in your own life--like you have all you need and more (or the way you would feel if you knew this was true)--and being able to manifest (create) from a healthy-feeling place instead of from feelings of abject poverty, fear and despair. This matters because we tend to attract what we focus on. We need to focus on how we want to feel. To say: "Yes! More of this, please! Thank you, [Universe, God] so much!" And it's so much easier to manifest good things when you're having fun!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flower Essence Aromatherapy for being Energized and Focussed

I've heard this request twice in the last two days: "I need a formula that is really energizing and will help me to get going on a positive note for the day. What would you suggest?"

Well, I never think of it this way but my "Focussed Attention" formulas are better than one might expect for this. (Maybe it needs a new name.) What it does is bring you into your body and stimulate the senses while getting you focussed and motivated to act on what you want or need to get done. It doesn't jolt you awake--but I have found it tremendously useful any time I need more energy to follow through on things. Use it regularly -- 3 times a day -- for best results. Results accumulate over time.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New in my Etsy Shop--Bagged Herb Teas!

Rooibos Orange Spice, Organic Herb Tea Blend
I've been experimenting with selling tins of tea for some time but I've always imagined my teas in bags. More homey and homemade-looking, less expensive, easily recycled packaging just seems to fit the Mama Love aesthetic. But I thought reusable tins were kind of cool. And they are! But why not give people a choice? You'll find all my herbal blends (and some black tea blends) in this section of my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Protest Trump and Paul's Ryan's Plan to Replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts!

I used to work in the field of senior services, helping people who were taking care of a family member with dementia. I heard MANY MANY stories of people inches away from bankruptcy. One major medical emergency sent people over the edge -- and most of these were people WITH health insurance. Medical emergency is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country. THIS is the issue I am most able to gather the anger and courage and strength to stand up for: affordable healthcare for all and preservation (if not expansion) of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I'm sharing the next part of this post from a friend because it is essential that people understand what is going down if we don't fight for it. PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!
In case you're not aware of what a Health Savings Account (HSA) is or how it works, please read:
When Trump or Paul Ryan say they want to replace the ACA with "Health Savings Accounts" (HSAs), they are saying they want to replace Obamacare or Medicare or Medicaid with YOU paying for your healthcare. That means YOU pay for chemotherapy... YOU pay for all surgeries and hospitalization... YOU pay for all your family's doctor visits, urgent care, ER visits, and prescription drugs out-of-pocket.
A Health Savings Account is just a tax-free way for you to save up money to pay for your own medical bills. So if you are paying off college loans, or saving for a house down-payment, or simply living paycheck to paycheck, guess what -- a Health Savings Account does you no good, because you have no discretionary funds to deposit into it. And even if you manage to save five grand or ten grand in an HSA, that could all get wiped out in one hospital visit for you or a family member. Then you are back to square zero again.
Even if you can supplement your HSA with affordable health insurance, you will be eating away at money that you should be investing for your retirement or your kids' college tuition. Only the top 3-5% of Americans can save enough for retirement, college AND their own out-of-pocket medical expenses. Therefore, the tax benefits of HSA's only help those people. Please call your Congressperson to protest this. And share the information to everyone you know.

New Gift Sets in my Mama Love Etsy Shop

One of my New Year's resolutions is to bring Mama Love to as many people as I can by trying things I wasn't open to in the past. In particular, I've started to think more seriously about how to make my products more attractive as a gift. I always have thought Mama Love products would be a wonderful healing gift for people going through challenging times. In fact, that's exactly how I wound up starting this business. I was giving away Mama Love Support for Troubled Times to people who I thought could use it and they all wanted to know how to buy more! One of my friends finally insisted that I bottle it and would not take no for an answer.

So in a way, I'm going back to my roots! I'm just getting started with a couple of new gift sets in my Etsy shop but I'm sure the next few weeks will bring several more.

And I'm loving what I came up with as a gift-wrapping idea: white paper tied up with string with a red silk rose and pretty greenery. So pretty!

Symbolism of the Vine for the New Year

The Pendulum Swung Clear Off the Clock, © 2017 Sheryl Karas

I just finished this painting. I call it "The Pendulum Swung Clear Off the Clock. . . And For a Period of Time it Seemed Like Nothing Else Mattered" and it expresses the way I have felt since the pendulum swing of the recent election. For a period of time it has felt like nothing else matters. Art? How could a person do something as "trivial" as art at a time like this?

But, bit by bit, I've been calling myself into action. At least break the paralysis, I tell myself, if nothing else.

And it's been helping my outlook a bit.

This is the first painting I felt called to do. There I sit, shocked and still in my chair, with vines growing off the wallpaper, over the windows, and all around me. Vines can be a symbol of oppression, and that is certainly how this election has felt to me. But look! The vines have flowers and berries.

Vines have a great deal of positive symbolism, as it turns out. The first source I found when looking into this was about vine tattoos, not something I'm interested in having on my own arm . . . but I must admit to being fascinated when I see them on someone else. To summarize this article, the symbolism of vines matches their way of operating in the world. Vines are sun-seeking and tenacious. They survive in the most seemingly inhospitable environments. With a great will to survive—and even thrive—they anchor themselves into whatever foothold they can find and climb to their source of light / Light. Vines were considered a sacred plant in ancient times. They were symbolic of growth, regeneration, perseverance, faith, and life.

Vines are mentioned in the bible several times but in particular in the context of words that have since become part of a popular song: "May everyone beneath their vine and fig tree live in peace and unafraid." I'm planning to write that on the back of this piece as a prayer because in a sense that is the desire behind this piece. Make shock and grief be transformed into hope, regeneration, love and peace.

January Newsletter

Our Healing Communication and Mama Love newsletter is now online. Sharing our thoughts about keeping a positive mindset in 2017 and some Mama Love announcements.