Self-Care with Essential Oils

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I recently did a ZOOM presentation with several colleagues to introduce participants to essential oils and some self-care uses. I am now sharing that with you. Check out my presentation at the following

Self-Care with Essential Oils.pptx

Watch to the end and receive a link to a free e-book: 100 Uses for Essential Oils.


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There are numerous reasons to consider Forgiveness. Health benefits are only one. Forgiving someone does not mean you condone their behaviour or words. Forgiveness means you are choosing to put the hurt aside and move on with your life. Forgiveness does not mean you forget the hurt, again it means you are putting the hurt aside and choosing to live a happy, healthy life.

Forgiveness is a powerful act that extends beyond mere words and is often difficult. When we have been hurt, we often seek revenge. However, hanging on to hurt only affects us not the person who has inflicted the pain. Research suggests forgiveness can significantly affect both physical and mental health, leading to a more harmonious life. Let’s examine some of the remarkable benefits:

  1. Reduced Risk of Heart Attack: Forgiveness has been associated with a lower risk of heart attacks. By releasing grudges and resentment, you ease the burden on your heart and promote cardiovascular health 1.
  2. Improved Cholesterol Levels: The act of forgiveness positively influences cholesterol levels. When you let go of negativity, your body responds by maintaining healthier lipid profiles 1.
  3. Enhanced Sleep Quality: Forgiveness contributes to better sleep. By freeing yourself from emotional weight, you create space for restful nights 1.
  4. Lowered Blood Pressure: Chronic anger and resentment elevate blood pressure. In contrast, forgiveness calms stress responses, leading to healthier blood pressure levels 1.
  5. Reduced Pain Perception: Letting go of grudges can alleviate physical pain. The mind-body connection plays a significant role in pain perception 1.
  6. Less Anxiety and Stress: Forgiveness reduces anxiety and stress levels. As you release negativity, your mental well-being improves 1.
  7. Counteracting Depression: Holding onto grudges increases the risk of severe depression. Choosing forgiveness fosters emotional healing 1.
  8. Strengthened Immune System: A forgiving attitude positively affects immune function. It helps your body maintain resilience against illnesses 2.

Remember, forgiveness is an active process—a conscious decision to release negative feelings, whether or not the other person deserves it. Reflect, empathize, and allow compassion to guide you toward better emotional and physical health 1.


On Guard: Essential Oil

On Guard has become my essential oil of choice, day in and day out. Its robust and invigorating blend is not just an aroma—it’s an experience. With its sophisticated fusion of Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary, doTERRA has mastered the art of comfort and serenity in a bottle. The fiery zest and sweet undertones of this oil cocoon me with a profound sense of warmth, grounding, and undisturbed peace. On Guard isn’t merely an oil—it’s a sensory powerhouse that captivates and soothes with every breath. There are several On Guard products for you to check with numerous uses.

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  • Skin cleanser – add a few drops to Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  • Cleanses surfaces – add to water in a spray bottle.
  • A few drops in the laundry will boost cleaning and add a fresh scent.
  • A few drops in your diffuser freshens the air, and creates an energized, uplifting home or work atmosphere.
  • Add a few drops to warm water with honey for a flavourful tea or add to your morning smoothie.

On Guard is also reported to support healthy immune and cardiovascular systems.  As with most essential oils remember, research is limited. ( As I have said previously, one size does not fit all and like food, wine, and art – you choose what works for you.  I wish I could share the aroma with you via this blog – one day, maybe. More about how this oil can be used beyond the physical.

According to one of my sources, Essential Emotions: Process, Release, & Live Free (12th Edition) (, On Guard will “shield individuals from harmful threats”.  It is claimed to have protective properties extending beyond the physical level.  On Guard is also reported to be “helpful for strengthening the inner self”.  You can give this oil a try if you need help in setting boundaries, breaking away from unhealthy connections, and in learning to stand up for yourself.

Wrap Up

As you can tell, I am enamored with this oil. I am moved by scents: they lift me up, calm me down, can play with my emotions as I remember past experiences, and sometimes they cause nausea, sneezing, or I just don’t like them. My taste might not be the same as yours, but I suggest you give this one a whiff if you like spicy, warm aromas.

How What You Do and Say Affects Others: The Butterfly Effect

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”Leo Buscaglia

The Butterfly Effect, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Science have fascinated me for several years.  I believe everyone and everything is connected and whatever we say and do can affect everything and everyone.  Keeping that in mind, we must pay attention to our choice of words and to our actions. 

I have created a couple of stories to help explain what I mean. 

The Stories

Two stories about how what we say and do can affect others.  We are all connected, and our words and actions have a ripple effect.  Small actions can have large effects.  Read more on the Butterfly Effect at

The link below will provide additional information for you on how our actions affect others.

The Bird

Characters in The Bird

JB – the driver who cut off AZ.

AZ – the driver who flipped JB the bird.

CD – the receptionist.

DE – JB’s spouse

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JB accidentally cut someone off driving to work – that person AZ) flipped JB the bird. JB was already feeling bad because they’d had a disagreement with their spouse. They knew they hadn’t been paying close enough attention to their driving and they were sorry. But JB couldn’t apologize, the person was gone. Now JB felt bad for two reasons – the disagreement with their spouse and cutting someone off in traffic.  

JB wondered how the other driver felt. Did that person feel bad or just angry, probably calling JB a menace and horrible driver?  Of course, in that instance, JB was a horrible driver, and could have caused an accident.  All because they’d had a disagreement with their spouse. 

Let’s look back and forward on this situation.

AZ was now angry and had been given a fright.  AZ was now a bit distracted as they continued their way to work, which could be dangerous.  Once at their destination AZ angrily shared their experience and anger with others explaining how this idiot cut them off.  AZ had trouble concentrating on their job and spoke harshly to the receptionist. 

The receptionist, CD, unaware of the driving incident, didn’t know what they had done wrong, and concluded AZ didn’t like them for some reason.  CD has been struggling with self-esteem issues and this has been a setback.  They are now telling themselves they are unlikable and can’t do anything right.  With those feelings calls are not being answered in a cheerful manner, and messages weren’t all taken accurately.  As a result of one message not being delivered accurately a callback was missed costing the company money. CD was severely reprimanded; their day had just deteriorated. 

At the end of the day CD went home feeling down, their self-esteem at the lowest it had been.  Their thoughts were toward ending their life. They had these thoughts in the past and managed to work through their concerns, but though this was not the worst thing that had happened, the timing was the last straw. This world was not one they wanted to be in, and they could no longer stand the pain and suffering.

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That night CD ended their life.  The obituary read CD left behind a loving mother, father, sister, brother, and grandparents.

AZ, the driver who flipped JB the bird has a long history of not anger issues which have not been resolved. When AZ went home, they were in a foul mood and became verbally abusive with their partner, TC.  This resulted in an argument that turned physical and sending TC to hospital for stitches. 

Now let’s go back to the beginning, the disagreement between JB and DE.  What was that all about?  It turns out that DE had been regularly having coffee with someone and had not shared this.  There had been no infidelity, but they had formed a strong bond and were developing a close relationship.  When JB confronted DE about their suspicions DE initially played it down stating they were friends just having coffee to discuss work, and there was nothing wrong.  However, JB was not convinced this was the full story.  As time went on and the regular coffee meetings continued and though DE didn’t openly share about these, JB discovered through mutual friends, and some sleuthing that DE was not being forthcoming.  On the day of the “cutoff” JB confronted DE with their findings.

An intense argument resulted.  JB felt hurt, angry, disrespected, and lied to.  Unfortunately, the issue was not resolved when JB had to leave for work.  Thus, the distraction. 

To expand on DE’s actions and how JB was affected.  JB had been working on self-improvement for quite some time.  Now they were feeling very down and wondering if all the positive self-talk, learning to love oneself, and thinking positive thoughts was doing any good.

What would have happened if DE had been open about coffee with their friend?  Was it innocent? Was something missing in the relationship between JB and DE?  Were JB’s feelings of betrayal, hurt, anger, disrespect, being unattractive, and unworthy legitimate?

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A Smile and a Kind Word

Characters in A Smile and a Kind Word

EW – the shopper

ED – the cashier

At the grocery check-out the cashier was quiet, non-smiling.  Though efficient there was no friendly chatter.  As EW was paying for the groceries, they took an extra second to say, “thank you, and I hope your day gets better.”  At that moment, the cashier finally smiled. 

EW felt good that they had added something positive to the cashier’s day. 

What about the cashier, ED?  ED went on break and was able to smile and chat with co-workers.  When ED had gone into work they were feeling quite down.  ED had overslept because they had stayed up working on a paper for their university course.  They were worried about the paper because they didn’t feel they had a good handle on the subject matter.  Though they had spent hours on the topic they just couldn’t get a good grasp.  So, they were tired, anxious, and feeling low.  ED had consumed several cups of coffee and a couple of doughnuts which had left them feeling wired and nauseated.  Now, coffee break time they realized some healthy food might be a good option.  A bowl of vegetable soup, and a salmon sandwich helped settle the nausea and curbed the coffee jitters.

As ED chatted with co-workers about their paper and where they were stuck.  A co-worker piped up that their partner had taken this same course and had a good understanding of the topic and would be willing to help after work.  In fact, their partner was looking for ways to be of service to others, to do some mentoring and even some tutoring.

ED got the help needed and did well on the paper with a clearer understanding of the topic. 

As ED continued their day, they were pleasant, chatting, and smiling with customers; spreading positive feelings to those with whom they came in contact.

I found another source I am sharing – by Tony Fahkry and am sharing that link here:


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Though the positive story doesn’t share as many connections because we don’t know for sure how the pleasantness of ED affected the numerous customers, we can feel quite sure that it had a positive effect that wouldn’t have happened with the sad and sullen ED prior to EW’s kind words.

Whether your actions and words are kind and caring, or harsh and demeaning they will influence others.  That effect will then be shared with others – it could make or break someone’s day and could go as far as stopping someone from ending their life, or making someone realize how much they have for which they can be grateful.

Where the mind goes, the energy flows.  One smile and kind word at a time.  Taking time to choose actions and words carefully, not just for how they make us feel in the moment, but how they will affect others only takes a moment.  Align your actions and words with your values – do you know your values?  You might not be able to bring world peace overnight, but you can bring love, kindness, caring, and calm to those with whom you interact.  One step, one action, one word at a time can change the world. The Butterfly Effect is quite powerful.

Lavender Essential Oil

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Lavender oil is one of the first oils I used. I love the smell and something about the colour – lavender and purple – has always attracted me.  One of my own theories about essential oils is that they are like wines, food, and art – we all have our favourites, there is no right or wrong – use and explore what works for you.  Of course, a bit of guidance is always useful when learning about new oils, foods, wines, or art.

A Bit of Science

Lavender “has been known to have anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, *antinociceptive, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. Herbal products like lavender essential oils may offer a solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance, invasive treatments, side effects, or even drug addiction.” (Kajjari S, Joshi RS, Hugar SM, et al. The Effects of Lavender Essential Oil and its Clinical Implications in Dentistry: A Review. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2022;15(3):385-388.,%2C%20antioxidant%2C%20and%20antimicrobial%20effects.&text=Herbal%20products%20like%20lavender%20essential%20oils%20may%20offer%20a%20solution,effects%2C%20or%20even%20drug%20addiction.)

*(Definition -Antinociception: the action or process of blocking the detection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons).

My Take on Lavender

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I first heard of lavender as an aid to sleep and would sprinkle it on my pillow. I have since learned that it is reported to be calming and reduces anxiety.  It can also be used to help relieve headaches, hmm – maybe the headaches are a result of stress and worry.  I have not tried it for relief of cough or colds but will give it a go the next time I experience a cold or cough, anything that might make me feel better. I have often used Eucalyptus oil for congestion associated with a cold.  Lavender has also been reported to relieve joint and muscle pain related to sprains, strains, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Lavender has been reported to reduce anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant (inhibits oxidation) antimicrobial (kill or slow spread of microorganisms) and block the detection of pain.  Could such a product be a solution to such things as antibiotic resistance, some invasive treatments, side effects of medicines and treatments, and even drug addiction?

Lavender and Emotions

Emotions are part of our life all the time.  We feel happy, sad, so-so, angry, excited, and the list goes  on.  Emotions are normal, not good, not bad, they just are.  However, we can learn to respond to our emotions rather than react without thought.  That short moment between stimulus and response provides us with the opportunity to choose our response.  Nice, you say, but get to the point.  Lavender can calm the mind, especially insecurities when you choose to take a risk and express your true thoughts and feelings.  Do remember the power of your words and actions on others – everything is connected.  If lavender helps with expression I wonder if it would benefit the opening of the throat chakra – something more for me to investigate.

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Emotional honesty is encouraged by lavender.  As you learn about your emotions and hopefully strive to become more Emotionally Intelligent, lavender might be helpful in learning about your true emotions, labeling them, and choosing the best way to respond.  Address your emotions as an aid to becoming self-aware and have peace of mind.

Much of this information is from DoTerra and a new book I purchased Essential Emotions: Process, Release & Live Free 12th Edition

You can check out more on my website at:

To order lavender essential oil directly go to:

Rose Essential Oil

The beautiful rose. I am drawn to the rose for several reasons. I was born in June and the flower of June is the rose.  June is also my middle name.  And my chosen last name, that of my husband.

I believe the essential oils we choose need to be scents that make us feel good, calm us, inspire us, help us feel better when we are ill, and I encourage you to keep that in mind as you choose oils for their many purposes. As I begin to incorporate essential oils into coaching, I will be providing information on various oils and their uses. Rose is the first.

Some Uses

A few drops of rose oil on your wrists or other pulse points makes a beautiful personal fragrance.  Add a few drops to a carrier oil for massage.  You can also experiment combining with other oils to create your own signature fragrance. Add a couple drops to your moisturizer or make your own with a carrier oil to help balance skin moisture levels and enhance the healthy appearance of your skin.  A few drops (3 – 4) can be added to a diffuser to give a calming effect to your home. “Just inhaling the unmistakable scent of rose oil is said by many to be relaxing.” (Faith in Nature)

Faith in Nature web site also tells us that rose oil may benefit regeneration of cell tissue which would be beneficial for aging skin.  This site also refers to the calming effects of rose oil and its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.  

Another site stated that in a 2015 study, children who inhaled rose oil reported a significant decrease in their pain levels.  Researchers believe the rose oil stimulated the release of endorphins.  This site also reports that in a 2013 study, patients with menstrual pain received abdominal massages to relieve their pain – one group massaged with rose oil (in a carrier oil) reported less cramping pain than the almond oil alone group.

A Bit of History and Scientific Info

Rose is often called the “Queen of Oils”.  We all know the beautiful flower and aroma of the rose, but did you know in medieval Europe “rose juice” was used medicinally as a cure all.

There are numerous uses for rose oil. Cosmetically rose oil is said to be good for all skin types, especially sensitive and aging skin. It reportedly aids in soothing inflammation and treating eczema and herpes. Of course, the fragrance is a popular perfume and can be combined with other oils. I combine it with neroli in a roll-on in a sweet almond or coconut carrier oil.

Rose oil has also been reported to aid with menstrual discomfort and post-partum depression.  There are also reports of rose oil toning the digestive system, stimulating, and strengthening the liver, stimulating bile secretion, and relieving liver congestion. May be beneficial in relieving nausea, vomiting, and heart palpitations.

The sensual nature of the rose encourages us to be loving, caring, and compassionate to ourselves and others.  The rose is also reported to reduce stress and tension – a hug when we need one, it is calming when anxious.  (N. Purchon & L. Cantele, 2014).

Some scientific research has been conducted, though much more is suggested and recommended.  Mohebitabar, et al. (2017) present numerous findings.  In the study “physiological and psychological relaxation, analgesic and anti-anxiety effects” were observed.  

Persian medicine has also alleged rose oil to have anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and wound healing properties.  It has also been used for headaches, hemorrhoids, GI inflammation and muscle pain (Shirazi, 2008, Sina, 2005, in Mohebitar, et al.).  Note that there have been no human studies related to these alleged properties.

Mohebitar, et al, (2017) also report some pharmacological studies that have suggested effects on the central nervous system – hypnotic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and analgesic activities plus lessening of morphine withdrawal signs. (Mohebitar, et al.).  Reportedly it is suggested that rose oil has wide-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal properties against some pathogens.  Refer to the article by Mohebitar, et al for more detailed information.

Areas of investigation in human studies have suggested analgesic and anti-depressant properties with no reported side effects (Mohebitar, et al).


Faith in Nature.,it%20for%20this%20purpose%20today.&text=Rose%20oil%20is%20known%20to,skin%20healthy%2C%20lubricated%20and%20elastic.

Mohebitabar, S., Shirazi, M., Bioos, S., Rahimi, R., Malekshahi, F., & Nejatbakhsh, F. (2017). Therapeutic Efficacy of Rose Oil: A Comprehensive Review of Clinical Evidence.In Avicenna Journal of Phytomed. 2017 May-Jun; 7(3): 206-213.,properties%20reported%20for%20rose%20oil.

Purchon, N. & Cantele, L. (2014).  The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for  Everyday Wellness. Toronto, Ontario. Robert Rose Inc.

The Benefits of Rose Oil and How to Use it.

Managing Your Mental Health: An Insider’s Perspective

How can we manage our mental health if we don’t talk about it?  The media has been encouraging us to talk about mental health and reminding us that “it is ok to not be ok.”  But is that the reality?  How well do any of us understand what it is like to live with any disease or disorder?  I don’t think we really understand until we have had the experience.  Nonetheless, we can do our best to learn and to have empathy.  One of the ways to learn is to share stories, facts, and read scientific literature.  With that in mind I am sharing a small part of my story.

I have had depression for over 60 years.  I didn’t get a diagnosis till I was in my late teens, following the birth of my second child.  I have always continued to function, though sometimes with great difficulty, and while in the work force, I never missed a day of work.  To be honest, I deserve an Oscar.  For many years I have been successfully treated with anti-depressants.  Over the last couple of years, I have been weaning myself off the antidepressants, with some guidance from my family doctor.  I don’t want to get off my anti-depressants but to get off as many of my prescribed medications as possible. It is a slow process and sometimes I have had a backslide. But that isn’t the purpose of what I am about to share.

Though I am officially a senior citizen I am not old and believe I have many more fulfilling years to live.  With that in mind I am on a journey to improve my health and my life.  With a background in nursing, I am aware of the basic behaviours and lifestyle choices we need to have a healthy, vibrant life.  I am an avid reader with a wide range of interests and like to keep up with the latest information. 

I wanted to refresh my memory and explore any new options about what is recommended for personal care of my mental health. The National Institute of Mental Health provides these self-care guidelines:

  1. Get regular exercise.
  2. Eat healthy, regular meals, and stay hydrated.
  3. Make sleep a priority.
  4. Try a relaxing activity.
  5. Set goals and priorities.
  6. Practice gratitude.
  7. Focus on positivity.
  8. Stay connected.

These eight basic tips are the basics of all self-care.  Remember, self-care is not selfish. They are not just for mental well-being; they are for overall well-being.  Our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health cannot be placed in silos.  What is happening in one area has an influence on all other areas.  Just as each being on earth is connected, each area of our individual health is connected.  You can’t have one without the other.  These tips are a good start to overall good health.

 There are several Toolkits available from I recommend you look because health is important to having a beautiful, joyful life.

As I go through a period of struggle with my mental health, I reflect on the eight self-care guidelines I shared above.

  1. Regular exercise: This is good but not always possible.  I have some physical issues that have left me severely fatigued. Over time I learned to very slowly increase my activity so that I can do 30 minutes most days. I had been in the habit of extended periods in the gym giving it my all only to find that my physical health was deteriorating.  Eventually I found the reason – autoimmune diseases.  It took me years to figure out how slow I had to go to be able to build up my strength and endurance.  I could not comprehend doing only 5 minutes of exercise to start and work up slowly.  I could not grasp eliminating a second day, just because my body hurt, and I felt exhausted.    I couldn’t comprehend that pushing through was not the way to go.  But after getting downright ill with infections, and fatigue and pain so bad I could barely move I started to see the picture. I didn’t like it and I did not adjust well.  These physical limitations played havoc with my fragile mental health.  Though I have learned how to pace myself better, I still need to be incredibly careful as something like Christmas or putting on a dinner party can take all my energy and leave me fatigued and in severe pain for days. But I am figuring it out. I am learning to be gentle with myself and to rest when necessary, and to ask for help, or order food and skip cooking.  I don’t like not being able to do everything I once did. But if I want to do some of what I once did I have to put limits on my choices.  I often need to take 2 or 3 days to do what I once did in 1 day.
  2. Eat regular healthy meals and stay well hydrated. I have always been a fussy eater, but I know what is healthy and I learned the importance of hydration many years ago.  Despite having a better than basic understanding of a healthy diet I have found that I must remain diligent at reading labels – packaged foods have become so over processed with salt, sugar, and other preservatives it is hard to stay on top. Once again though, I have learned to be gentle with myself and make adjustments one at a time and not rush.  Did you know it can be easier to add one additional good thing to your healthy meal routine than to eliminate something? Add the good thing and have less of the not so healthy item seems to work for me.  Small, consistent changes can lead to long-lasting improvements. When you are struggling, remember it is ok to just do your best, eat what appeals to you.  You can get back to the healthy stuff when you get back on track.  You might not feel much like cooking if you haven’t slept in days and are exhausted and crying – order in – aren’t we fortunate that food can be delivered.  Or popcorn is always good.
  3. Make sleep a priority. Just try this when you wake up in a panic every hour.  A night or two of not being able to sleep because of anxiety and panic can tip you over the top into a spiral of weeping, sadness, and depression.  Keep sleep a priority but know that sometimes our bodies sabotage us. When that happens, call for help and do what you need to do to get turned around and bring the downward spiral to a stop.  If you are having anxiety and panic when you try to sleep, do whatever you have to do to let your body rest.  Then when it is ready, you will sleep.  This might be a set-back for you on your journey to mental wellbeing, but you will get back on track.  I can’t say this enough “Be gentle with yourself.”  And remember, you don’t have to do everything alone – get support.
  4. Try a relaxing activity.  You can meditate, paint, garden, do yoga, read, or even watch tv – you know what you find relaxing.  Make time to do this daily.  If you find yourself in a flare this becomes even more important.  You might have to do the activity or activities for shorter periods but then do more of them. I don’t know about you but when I am going through bouts of anxiety, panic, and depression I can’t concentrate for more than a few minutes.  I can only read a few pages, when watching tv I need to watch something I can rewind to catch what I missed when my brain wandered.  During meetings I speak up and let others know that I’m having trouble concentrating and ask them to be patient with me – you don’t need to go into detail as it isn’t always appropriate to do so.
  5. Set goals and priorities. I encourage goals and priorities to be set in alignment with values.  This has been my practice for several years and I find by doing so my life is aligned with what is important to me.  We can set long-range goals, goals for the year, the month, the week, and the day.  When life is challenging, we can set goals for the next three minutes or the next hour.  Examples: I will drink one eight-ounce glass of water every hour while awake. I will get up and move for two minutes every hour while awake.  Be gentle with yourself when you are being challenged; set yourself up for success. And when you succeed, celebrate.  Today I had two small scoops of ice cream and will stay within my calorie goal.  And if you or I should not succeed at reaching a goal today, that is ok, we did not fail, tomorrow is a fresh start.  We can start over as many times as we need to.  We can also re-examine our goals and priorities.  If you are having trouble achieving what you have set up for yourself, maybe those goals aren’t for you, re-examine what you genuinely want and need to be doing.
  6. Practice Gratitude.  Though it is 40 below be grateful your car started or that you can stay inside beside a fire in the fireplace. Be grateful for food to eat, clean water to drink, your loving family – we all have much for which to be grateful.  Write down three to five things for which you are grateful. Example: today I am grateful that I was able to talk to my doctor and they helped me choose my next steps to getting through this difficult period.
  7. Focus on Positivity.  This is similar to gratitude.  But you might need to work on this a bit more.  Not everyone is a glass half full type of person. How can you reframe your negative thoughts?  A good starting place might be how you talk to yourself.  Example: “I’m such a loser, I don’t know how my partner puts up with my depression.” Change that to “I am so glad I have someone who loves me even when times are tough. Afterall, we both know this will pass and I will be happy and smiling again soon.”
  8. Stay connected.  Humans are social beings; we aren’t meant to do everything on our own.  Some of us are homebodies and don’t relish the thought of big parties, even so we need to have other people in our lives with whom to share our lives.  Whether this is in person, over the phone, or with the use of social media, find a few people with whom you connect regularly.  It can be hard to reach out when you are down.  If you are like me trying to talk leads to tears.  However, I attended two positive online meetings today where I turned my camera off, and just put a quick note in the chat that I was having a rough day, but wanted to listen in.  I got great well wishes with love and hugs sent to me.  I truly value those relationships. If there is someone else in your home with you, ask for a hug or to have them just sit with you and watch a show or listen to a song. Just be with someone for a brief period – let their positive energy flow into you.

Staying healthy is a work in progress.  There is always more to learn and do.  As I said earlier, each area of our health is connected, when one area is suffering the other areas will be influenced.  Make yourself a priority.  You do not have to do any of this alone.  I am a life and leadership coach who loves to help guide others to a joyous and beautiful life.  I also have several coaches who help guide me to have a joyful, beautiful life and I value their wisdom, compassion, and empathy. 

When I first saw the list of eight self-care tips under the “Caring for Your Mental Health”  ( site I was a bit taken aback till I gave it further thought.  My first thought being “this is too general.”  Expanding on each of the eight tips has helped me to understand something clearly at last that will shine again and has helped me recognize the importance of taking each tip and figuring out how that tip can work for me. You can do this too.  Though one size does not fit all, each tip gives you the power to adapt it to suit what you need at various times of your life.  A day of rest, rather than your usual work out, comfort food instead of green, extra sleep, or a day to wallow and feel your pain and hurt so that you can move on tomorrow, or a day to just ignore everything you usually do, knowing you will figure out what you need tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.  Be open and accepting of yourself.  You will figure it out.

Who Am I?

Do you ever ask yourself “Who am I?” A big question, but what is even more important is your answer.

I am a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a retired RN, and a dog owner. I am a bit of an old hippie at times.  I am a complex being, more than what you see on the outside.  I am a body, a mind, emotions, and feelings.  At times I am strong, at other times I am weak.  At times I think I am crazy, but at other times I think everyone else must be crazy.  I often don’t fit into any group or clique; I am often on the sidelines. What about you?

Where and how can we discover our true self, or as the popular phrase goes our “authentic self”?  Is this something we can do on our own or do we need to involve others?  If we need to involve others, we need to find those we trust.  I’m not about to reveal my deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings to just anyone. 

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I’m no longer considered young, yet I don’t feel old.  Well, most of the time I don’t feel old, but some days I feel ancient.  I wonder what causes those different feelings.  I coach others to improve themselves in a variety of ways.  One thing I tell others is to start by setting small, easily achievable goals.  That way you will ensure your success, have something to celebrate, and boost your self-confidence as you set another goal.  After all, we want to succeed. That brings me to another question: What is success?  That varies from one person to another.  Heck, it can even vary from one day to another in the same person.  I consider myself successful when I wake up – I am alive.  But some days that isn’t enough.  I want more to feel successful.  Is that what defines me?

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What do other people see when they look at me?  What do other people think of me?  Are either of those things any of my business?  I have read that what other people think of you is none of your business.  Maybe I need to take that to heart.  On the other hand, maybe it is important to know the impression you are leaving.  Is it worthwhile to ask if what others are seeing and thinking is the truth of who we are?

As you might be noticing there are more questions here than anything else.  I have always been that way – full of questions.  I taught nursing for several years and always encouraged my students to ask questions.  As a life and leadership coach, I encourage my clients to ask questions.  Be curious, it is how we learn.  In my pursuit of who I am, I do think about what I will leave behind, and what kind of a legacy will I leave.  How will I be remembered?  Will I be remembered?

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Are you the same person at home as at work or at play?  If not, why?  Does it have to do with focus or interests?  Have you established goals for yourself?  What about values; have you given any thought to what matters most to you in this world, in this lifetime? 

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Are you content with who you are and what you have in life?  Or does this ebb and flow?  Some days you are totally content and other days you are floundering wanting more or something different.  If someone were to ask, “What is your purpose in life”, would you be able to answer without hesitation?  Have you even given any thought to your life’s purpose? 

I am sure there are people who do not need to go on a journey of self-discovery, people who are happy and content with the way they are and the life they have.  I think about my grandmother.  She died when I was 14.  She had given birth to 15 children.  Her life could not have been easy.  She arrived in Canada from France and married a Scottish man.  They lived on the prairies in the early 1900s, through two world wars, the Great Depression, the “dirty thirties”, and even the Riel Rebellion.  Yet I never thought to ask her any of these types of questions, they never occurred to me.  I remember seeing my grandma sitting quietly listening to the radio, possibly crocheting, or just sitting.  She seemed content.  I can’t help but wonder if she was just relieved to not have all the family to care for and housework to do.  Have we changed over the years expecting more of ourselves and others?  Has the change been for the better? 

I saw a question that made me curious:

If today were my last day, would I want to do what I am about to do?  If not, why?

Jordan Tarver –

A worthwhile question – maybe – what do you think?  What I am about to do is have some food because I am starting to feel nauseated from not eating.  If this were my last day, yes, I would still eat.  But beyond that – I am writing this blog – would I still write this blog?  I think I would, though possibly if I knew this was my last day the blog might be different.  I would add something more important to me though – I would add in time with my family.  I can’t always choose when to spend time with them – they are all adults and have their own lives, but, if possible, I would spend time with them.  If I couldn’t be with them, I would at least talk to them or send them messages of love.  I do that anyway – sometimes I haven’t any news to share but I send a note just telling them that I love them, and they are important to me.  When I think about what I have just written here, I think that might say a lot about who I am and what is important to me.  With that in mind the question “If today were my last day, would I want to do what I am about to do?” is an important one.  Maybe because it makes you think about what is important in your life. 

I have done more self-development courses and programs than I can remember.  Everyone has been of value in one way or another.  The value of some has been in learning what not to do.  Learning what not to do is as important as learning what to do. 

We are surrounded by a beautiful world (yes, I am aware there are wars, hunger, droughts, but there is more than those things) full of beautiful people with beautiful thoughts and ideas, full of love and kindness and if we open our hearts and minds, we will see the beauty.  Don’t be blind to negativity but be open to all that is positive and beautiful and seek it out.  The more you recognize and embrace the love, beauty, and goodness in the world the more you will be rewarded with more of the same.  

If you want to explore who you are give me a shout; I have a wealth of resources we can tap into to discover the best you.

What Are You Thinking?

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You Can Control Your Emotions

Our minds are always working. Many of us meditate and can focus on our breath, or something specific such as the sounds around us, or the feel of the air on our face. But our minds are always at work. Some of our thoughts and emotions drain our energy and some can boost our energy. Ideally, we will learn how to respond to our emotions in such a way that they aren’t draining our energy.

Monkey Mind

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Do you pay attention to your thoughts? Do some thoughts overtake your mind and keep you from focusing on your current task? Do you have trouble focusing on what you are reading or a show you are watching? Would you like to control your monkey-mind? We all have monkey-mind from time to time. When this happens, it is ok to let it happen for a short time, but we don’t want that to be our normal mind. We want to be able to get the racing thoughts settled so we can be productive and do the things we want, and to be the person we want to be.


Emotions are neither good nor bad; they are all valuable and natural according to Dr. Jamie Rabin in the Chopra Newsletter. However, we do not want our emotions to control our lives. We want to control our emotions and our lives. We want to have a healthy relationship with our emotions. Let’s get started!

Some of the more common emotions we experience that intrude on our thoughts and enjoyment include:


A powerful emotion, anger, can often lead to other emotions, to uncontrolled outbursts when released, or to illnesses such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, or inflammation when suppressed.

When we have learned how to manage our anger it can be beneficial as a motivator. We can use our anger to direct us to create positive changes such as setting appropriate boundaries, letting go of unhealthy habits, or starting new healthy habits.


Anxiety can lead us to feel restless, have trouble concentrating, and feel agitated. Anxiety can cause us to have trouble sleeping, which in turn can lead to more anxiety. Over time, chronic anxiety can cause health issues such as increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, and a weakened immune system.

On the positive side, when we learn to manage our anxiety, we can choose to make necessary changes to improve our self-awareness. Anxiety can also be a warning system to potential threats to our well-being.


We have all experienced worry at some times in our life. Worry can take over all our thoughts and keep us from being productive. In addition, worry can cause us to have problems with memory and concentrating. As with other feelings for which we do not find positive coping mechanism worry can lead to physical illnesses including a weakened immune system.

When worry is balanced it can give us the boost needed for problem solving. Worry informs us that something is not right and that there is an issue to be resolved. Worry can also inspire gratitude and encourage being present.


Fear, another powerful emotion that when not addressed can lead to us to becoming insecure, to panic, to withdraw, or to avoid other people or situations. Unresolved fear can lead to sleep problems, chronic pain, a weakened immune system, or even adrenal fatigue.

On the other hand, fear warns us of danger and risks. Fear might also lead to the exploration of spiritual growth.


This emotion can cause us feelings of sorrow, exhaustion, and apathy. Once again if sadness isn’t addressed our appetite can be affected and we eat too much or not enough. Additionally, ongoing sadness can lead to lethargy and increased risk of illness.

On the positive side, sadness can be the stimulus we need to make necessary changes in our life. Exploring the reason for our sadness, learning about ourselves, and identifying things for which we are grateful can all be of benefit to our well-being.

Positive Coping

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All these emotions drain our energy. Most of us don’t have an abundance of energy. Our busy lives use up what we have, and we tend to search for ways to enhance our energy. One way to increase energy is to halt the drain caused by our unhealthy coping methods.

Of course, there are many more emotions. But let’s not overwhelm ourselves. One way to begin is to set aside a few minutes each day to look after your feelings. This is part of your self-care plan along with adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, and appropriate activity.

The Plan

Heart-Focused Breathing® is a HeartMathTechnique that I recommend. This is a technique that can be used no matter where you are, at any time.

Focus your attention in the area of your heart.

Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area.

Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual.

Suggestion: Inhale for a count of 5

Exhale for a count of 5

Or whatever rhythm is comfortable for you.

Repeat 5-10 times at least once per day.

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kathleenport / Pixabay

Another practice is one suggested in the Chopra Newsletter, by Dr. Jamie Rabin.

Select an emotion you want to work on – one that is causing you concern.

Identify how that emotion influences your mind and body.

Honour selected emotion by identifying ways that emotion has been of benefit to you, now or in the past.

Thank the emotion for how it has served you.

Use your breath to release the emotion. Inhale naturally. As you exhale, imagine you are releasing any attachment to that specific emotion. On the next inhalation imagine you are breathing in fresh, clean energy.

Suggestion: Repeat 10 times for best results.

This is a start toward you becoming the best you can be. Self-improvement is an on-going journey toward the life you want.

Touch: Might it Be the Key to Our Well-Being?

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Touch, One of Our 5 Senses

Touch is essential to our well-being. A June 2022 edition of National Geographic includes an article The Power of Touch by Cynthia Gorney. This article updates us on the importance of touch and what is occurring in the development of touch sensation in artificial limbs, among other things. Touch is one of our five basic senses, and one we cannot live without. Though scientists are suggesting more than five senses. I’ll leave that for another time.

Why is touch so important to our well-being? Science explains a lot. However, I think the important thing is the positive feelings we have with pleasant touch, even if we do not know the science, we know the feeling. We also know unpleasant touch and the associated feelings. Touch sensation warns us of dangers; hot, sharp, hard, cold, or sticky. What happens when we are deprived of touch?

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Isolation, Quarantine, Solitary Confinement

As a nurse I often cared for people in isolation, and as a patient I have been in isolation more than once. What does that do to our ability to heal? What happens to our mental and emotional health? What happens to the health of criminals or prisoners of war when put in solitary confinement? Hospital isolation and quarantine allow for some interaction with humans, and some touch. In prisons isolation does not offer interaction or touch. How does this affect us in the long term?

I know when I was most recently in hospital isolation, and extremely ill, my mental health suffered greatly. I was completely aware of this and despite how ill I was, I just wanted to get out of that tiny room and be home with people I loved, and my dog.

The United Nations has proclaimed solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture.

Long-term Effects of Touch Deprivation

Our skin is our largest organ. The skin sends touch sensations to our brain. Pleasant touch sends a signal to our brain causing the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is the ‘feel good’ hormone, or ‘bonding’ hormone and stimulates the release of other ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. (Reference)

What happened during COVID with the decrease in touch that most of us experienced? I know at one point I decided I just didn’t care, I needed to hug my son. I hadn’t seen him in months and wasn’t going to see him again for months. I needed to hug him and be hugged by him. How many other people have had similar experiences?

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We have been hearing about the mental health concerns resulting from the absence of human interaction over the last two-plus years. Considering what I have been reading about touch, this is not surprising. I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection between lack of touch, isolation, and long COVID. Afterall, we have been told about the effect on the immune system when we go without positive touch.

Lack of touch can cause stress, anxiety, or depression. When we are stressed the body releases cortisol, another hormone. Cortisol release causes our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate to increase, and can also cause muscle tension.

Human Development and Touch

Touch plays a significant role in our developmental well-being, both mental and physical. The importance begins from before we are born and continues throughout our life. Research has suggested the importance of touch in bonding with our babies. When my daughter was born, very prematurely in 1967, weighing only 2 pounds 4 ounces, we were not allowed to touch or hold her for 3 months, when she was nearing the time to come home. I have no idea how this might have influenced her ongoing development, but I know it was heart-breaking for me. Today, even very premature infants are held, skin-on-skin. Ferber, Feldman, and Makhoul, 2008 stated “Skin-to-skin contact [in] [sic] even in the first hours after birth has been shown to help regulate newborns’ temperature, heart rate, and breathing, and decreases crying”.

Research, as far back as 1915, identified the correlation between death under the age of 2 was ‘due to failure to thrive, related to lack of touch and affection (Chapin 1915; cited in Montagu 1986, p. 97).

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Seniors Need Touch Too

Seniors often live alone and as we age many of our friends are no longer with us. Thus, seniors can go for lengthy periods of time without human touch. I have been told by friends in Massage Therapy and Acupuncture Therapy there are many senior clients who come simply to be able to enjoy human touch. Think about how much that was decreased during COVID? I’d love to see some stats on the mental well-being of our senior citizens during that period.

Research indicates touch is important for the elderly, especially those with dementia. Compassionate touch has been deemed important for quality of life and for the elderly suffering with dementia, and at end of life. Touch is a form of communication we all know.

Touch boosts the immune system, improves physical health, and benefits emotional health, and is a social interaction connecting one person to another.

Get Consent

Our culture has limited the amount of casual touching deemed appropriate. As we consider the importance of touch let’s consider how we can increase touch in our life, without running into sexual harassment charges. One of the main things to remember is the importance of consent.

Some of the ways we can increase touch in our lives is by getting massages, manicures, pedicures, or having our hair done. We can make a point of shaking hands, if both parties are ok with that, even if it means using hand sanitizer following. Ask friends if it is ok to hug them, or to hold their hand while talking.

Is it ok to lay a hand on another person’s hand, arm, or shoulder? If unsure ask. These are gestures among friends that I consider important to the relationship. My husband and I make a point of hugging and usually hold hands while watching a moving or sitting visiting with others.

Touch and the State of the World

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While reading for information about touch I also discovered a proposed correlation between lack of touch and violent crimes. An affectionate society tends to be a non-violent society according to an article in Humanism by Joe.

As mentioned earlier, touch causes the release of oxytocin. Some studies suggest that oxytocin leads us to feeling more generous, empathetic, nurturing, more collaborative, and more grateful.

Do you suppose if we spent more time hugging, we might have a more peaceful world? But don’t forget to get consent before you hug.

Being In the Zone

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“In the Zone” or “Flow” is a state I enjoy. Or thought I did until I read that to get into ‘Flow’ I ‘should’ set a goal. Maybe what I thought was “Being in the Zone” or in a state of “Flow” wasn’t really what I thought. To me being in the zone is a pleasant state of being totally absorbed in what I am doing, to the point that I lose all track of time. I always thought of being in the zone as something that occurs spontaneously. If I set a goal that isn’t flow, to me that is focus. Nothing wrong with focus, but it isn’t the same as “Being in the Zone”. Obviously, I need to do more reading and gain a better understanding.

A bit of history. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is the psychologist who identified the ‘state of flow’ or ‘in the zone’. Csikszentmihalyi outlined his theory as follows

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“a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation.  It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter”

This is a state that I enjoy.

As I searched the terms “flow” and “zone” I was surprised to find works suggesting that to get into a state of ‘flow’ setting a goal was the place to start. I don’t think I have ever gotten into the zone when I have set a goal. I can certainly be entirely focused when I set a goal, but being focused is different from ‘in the zone’ as far as I am concerned.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests that we get into the zone or state of flow by being completely absorbed in an activity just for the sake of enjoying the activity. You lose all track of time – oh what a glorious state. The hours have flown by as you have been completely engrossed in what you were doing. If you set a goal, the state doesn’t occur spontaneously, and I have always associated that spontaneity with being in the zone.

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There are things we can do, or that are needed, to facilitate this state. Ensuring you are not interrupted is the prime one for me. Afterall, as soon as you are interrupted the state is broken. Enabling a state of flow requires loss of oneself into an activity. Have you ever gotten so absorbed in reading a book at bedtime that the next thing you know you only have a few hours until you must get up to start a new day? This has happened to me numerous times. Gardening is another activity which takes me to that other place – the zone – time doesn’t apply when I get playing in the dirt.

What things make you lose track of time? How often does this happen? Would you like it to happen more often? I would love to get into this state more often. I love losing myself in my activities. Though Csikszentmihalyi does recommend ‘clarity of goals’ I only agree with this in a very general sense. The goal is often simply to read, plant, weed, or work in the garden, bake or cook, or sew or knit, etc. But if I was doing a SMART goal I would have to be Specific (is gardening specific enough), Measurable (I don’t tend to decide how many seeds I will plant, or weeds I will pull), being in the zone doesn’t require me to think about whether I am able to Achieve what I am doing because what I am doing is what is I plan to achieve. I don’t need to think about whether it is Realistic – it just is. If I get in the zone while reading, there is no sense of Time (being in flow a sense of time is gone). So, I just can’t link goals and being in the zone.

I find being in the zone happens spontaneously. However, there are a few things that we can do to help us get into the zone if we don’t want to wait for spontaneity: 1. Clear your mind. Don’t be thinking about other things, be focused on the task at hand – mindfulness. 2. No interruptions – turn off your cell phone, ask others to leave you alone for a while and to just let you be. Prepare snacks and have them with you, have something to drink handy, and go to the bathroom. If you are outside put on your sunscreen and insect repellent ahead of time. 3. Prepare your brain with a few deep breaths to help you relax and let go of the clutter in your brain and put the squirrels back in their cage.

Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, called ‘being in the zone’,

“doing without doing” or “trying without trying”

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Being in the zone has been likened to a “runners high”. That is the experience I associate with zone and flow. It is an ethereal experience at times, like being on a different plane of existence. I find the experience other worldly. I think I will try some of the above suggestions for getting ‘into a state of flow’ because it is a state I enjoy. I think a few minutes of meditation before starting some projects would be enough for me to wind up in a state of flow. I’m not sure about the meditation or the earlier suggestions so I will be doing a little experimentation over the next while to see if I can get “in the zone” more often.


Essential Oils for Personal Use

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I have many memories associated with a variety of scents and aromas. So, it is not surprising that I decided to take an aromatherapy course and become an Aromatherapy Practitioner. Smells bring back many pleasant memories.

Are there scents that remind you of special people or occasions? I remember how my grandma and my mom smelled, I loved them both and when I come across those smells the memories are pleasant and precious. The first perfume my husband gave me early in our relationship is a scent I still love. The smell of logs burning in the fireplace makes me feel warm and cozy, and a bit like I’m in a fairy tale world or romantic story. A walk in the forest results in a calm, serene state, and reminds me of early mornings camping with my girlfriend and her parents when we were in our teens – super great memories.

There are also memories I have of odours I experienced as a nurse. I learned what certain odours suggested, some not so nice. But being able to identify some odours could help in diagnosing specific infections and medical problems. The smells of some medicines also bring back a variety of childhood memories – Buckley’s White Rub when I had another bout of strep throat and chest infection.

With this great interest in aromas, it is no wonder that I have been drawn to essential oils for a long time. Several years ago, I took a course that I enjoyed very much. Since then, I have used many oils and made occasional products for myself, family, and friends. Then a few months ago I embarked on an Aromatherapy Practitioner Course. The course was excellent, and I have learned a great deal. But there is still so much to learn. Dabbling with a wide variety of oils has been great fun: I love combining and experimenting.

Both courses have stressed the importance of getting quality oils. They can seem to be expensive, but so little is needed, and I get such pleasure, and benefit from them that I don’t mind. Now to share with you some information about using essential oil, some of my favourite oils and their uses.

Get Started with Essential Oils

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As you start using essential oils, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Follow any label and packaging instructions.
  • Determine the specific uses and benefits of the oil you intend to use. Product Information Pages and shop pages are great sources of information.

How to Apply Essential Oils

There are three ways to use essential oils:

Through smellAromatic use of essential oils includes any application method that helps you experience the aroma of the oil. You can use essential oils aromatically by:

-Diffusing in an essential oil diffuser

-Applying a drop to your hands and inhaling

-Wearing as a personal fragrance

On your skin. Topical application of essential oils allows the oil to absorb into the skin. You can use essential oils on your skin by:

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-Incorporating them into a massage

-Applying to targeted areas

-Adding to lotions or moisturizers

By Ingesting. Internal use of certain essential oils can be beneficial to the body and add unique flavours to dishes and beverages. *First, make sure the essential oil is safe for internal use, and then try taking essential oils internally by using one of these methods:

-Add to a glass of water, milk, or juice, or to a favorite tea or smoothie

-Include in recipes

-Take in a veggie capsule

-Put a drop under your tongue

Here are the 10 most popular doTERRA Canada essential oils:

Frankincense essential oil: Called the “king of oils,” Frankincense is one of the most prized and precious essential oils. For centuries, Frankincense has been used for its beautifying characteristics—particularly for rejuvenating the appearance of skin and promoting an atmosphere of relaxation. When used topically, Frankincense can help soothe and moisturize dry skin, promote a clear complexion, and can help maintain healthy-looking fingernails.

Lavender essential oil: Lavender oil has been cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, cooking, and as a perfume. Today, Lavender is a must-have oil because of its rich, versatile uses. Topically, Lavender oil has a cooling and soothing effect and can improve the look of healthy skin. Aromatically, Lavender produces a powdery, floral scent famed for relaxing qualities.

Copaiba essential oil: Copaiba has a calming, woody aroma. Copaiba has a thick, soft consistency and is soothing to the skin. Copaiba is widely used to improve the appearance of skin.

Lemon essential oil: Cold pressed from the peels of the bright, yellow lemon fruit, it is a favourite because of its versatility. Lemon oil is frequently added to food to enhance the flavour of desserts and main dishes. When added to water, Lemon oil gives a bright taste that helps encourage hydration throughout the day. Lemon can be used as a naturally sourced cleaning agent in the home or diffused to brighten a room with its invigorating aroma.

Wild Orange essential oil: Wild Orange amplifies the sweet, citrus aroma and taste of orange. An uplifting and refreshing aroma, Wild Orange enhances any essential oil blend as a bright, refreshing addition and is a naturally sourced cleansing agent.

Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint oil has a wide range of benefits from freshening breath to its energizing aroma. Peppermint essential oil is always useful to have handy.

Tea Tree essential oil: The Aborigines of Australia used the leaves of the Melaleuca tree for centuries. The oil promotes feelings of clear breathing. This makes Tea Tree ideal for using in aromatherapy to relieve coughs and colds.

Ginger essential oil: Ginger has a hot, spicy flavour that can take the place of whole ginger in recipes or add a warm, sweet taste when added to your favourite herbal tea. Ginger oil can also be applied topically or inhaled for a soothing aroma.

Grapefruit essential oil: Known for its energizing and invigorating aroma, Grapefruit oil helps create an aromatically uplifting environment. Grapefruit essential oil is also renowned for its cleansing properties and is frequently used in skin care to promote the appearance of clear, healthy-looking skin.

Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus is a refreshing, airy aroma, with topical cleansing benefits. The invigorating qualities of Eucalyptus oil can be enjoyed by rubbing a drop between your hands or adding several drops to the bottom of the shower and inhaling the energizing, earthy aroma. When applied topically, Eucalyptus oil can provide a cooling sensation and helps to clean and revitalize the look of healthy skin, especially when used during a personal massage.

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The following are some oils I like and use quite often:

Bergamot: Bergamot essential oil has a calming yet uplifting aroma and is packed full of cleansing properties. Sweet yet bitter in taste, soothing yet joyful in scent, and delicate yet strong in nature, Bergamot oil is a delightful contradiction in the citrus world.

Capsicum: Capsicum is commonly used for nerve pain and other painful conditions. It is also used for many other purposes, including digestion problems, conditions of the heart and blood vessels, and many others.

Clary Sage: Clary Sage oil is known for its calming properties and benefits to the skin. The main chemical component is linalyl acetate, part of the esters group, making it one of the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing essential oils. In the Middle Ages, the Clary Sage plant was frequently used to soothe skin. Inhaling Clary Sage essential oil adds to a relaxing environment, and internal use promotes a restful night’s sleep*.

Wintergreen: The main chemical component in Wintergreen oil, methyl salicylate, is used in topical creams and massage blends because of its soothing properties. In fact, Wintergreen and Birch are the only plants in the world that contain methyl salicylate naturally. As a flavoring, small amounts of Wintergreen oil are used in candies, toothpaste, and chewing gum. When diffused, Wintergreen oil has a refreshing aroma that’s uplifting and stimulating.

The following information is taken from doTerra website.

If you have specific concerns about the essential oil you intend to use, consult with a healthcare professional first.

I will share more information about essential oils and aromatherapy as time passes.

How does this align with leadership? Anything that brings pleasure, calmness, and good feelings are important for leaders to understand as they work to build teams, provide support and guidance, and encourage both personal and professional development.

Order Out of Chaos: Bringing Care Back to the World

I first learned about order out of chaos, during my doctoral process.

The current state of the world and behaviour of the people demands action to restore or create new order.

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My doctoral studies, in management and organizational leadership, revealed concepts I liked, Complexity Theory, Chaos Theory, and Complexity Leadership. What I have learned from these theories gives me hope for our world despite the current state of chaos.

I’m starting with some definitions/explanations to lay the foundation for my thoughts.


1. a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.

2. any confused, disorderly mass

Complexity Theory

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Jason Collins explains complexity theory this way:

While chaos theory is not complexity theory, it is closely related. It was in chaos theory where some of the analytic tools used in complexity science were first explored. Chaos theory is concerned with the special case of complex systems, where the emergent state of the system has no order whatsoever—and is literally chaotic.

Keeping these theories in mind and believing humans are intrinsically good, I plan to share my hopes for the future. Complexity theory can be understood, in part, by considering the Butterfly Effect. Collins goes on to state:

[A] contribution of chaos theory is demonstrating … dynamical systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions. …sometimes referred to as the butterfly effect. This refers to the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil might precipitate a tornado in Texas. This evocative—if unrealistic—image conveys the notion that small differences in the initial conditions can lead to a wide range of outcomes.

The small behaviours and actions of each of us can lead to many bigger outcomes. Thus, we can hope our behaviours and actions can adapt in a way to ensure a beautiful world of love, peace, caring, and respect. Every choice you make is important and can make a significant difference. Change will happen. We need to decide what change we want and make the appropriate choices to ensure our wants and needs are met.

Maybe our leaders do not understand this concept, or maybe they understand, choosing to take actions that will not result in the beautiful world I believe we can have and deserve. Let’s ask ourselves what the driving force for the events that have us in this current state of war, crime, killing, and unrest.

scraping the earth
Photo by Julia Fuchs on


I say it is greed. Everyone seems to want more. More of everything – money, power, stuff – without thought to costs. Health concerns are in the forefront because of the pandemic. This might be good. Why, you ask; because the pandemic has forced us to examine health and health care. The pandemic has also forced us to recognize the importance of social contact. However, like an iceberg, many of the problems lie beneath the surface.

Have you heard the phrase treat others as they would want you to treat them? This is a paraphrase of the Platinum Rule. This might be a new concept for many. This rule takes into consideration the different values, beliefs, expectations, and preferences of the individual. Though we are all the same, we have our differences, and those deserve to be recognized. Can you imagine what that world would look like?


Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York

Imagine a world where we recognize and respect differences in beliefs, values, principles, and expectations though we don’t agree. There are benefits to differences. An example that comes readily to my mind, having just adopted a mixed-breed dog, is what has unfortunately happened to many purebred dogs. The flaws in a specific breed become predominant to the point of being a detriment of the dog: for example – bad hips, such a smushed in nose that the dog can’t breathe properly. This happens within organizations when there is a practice of only promoting from within. As nice as it is to know that if you put in the time, you will be rewarded, it is also a limiting factor for the organization and all members. Disagreements, different beliefs, different values, and different expectations, when discussed respectfully, can result in creativity, new ideas, and changes allowing growth and development in positive ways. ‘This is the way we have always done it’, is a phrase that needs to be retired. We want to always be open to examine and consider a better way. Sitting back and doing nothing is a choice, consider the action you will pursue.


gray newton s cradle in close up photogaphy
Photo by Pixabay on

We must act. We have a job to do, and it needs to be done now. Our world is in turmoil, chaos, a state of depravity. Our world is also beautiful, full of wonder, magnificence, caring, and miracles.

We need to choose the future.

From chaos we can achieve order.

Don Brown (2016) wrote:

As a leader of others, your job, too, is to create order out of chaos for others, every day. If you sell, serve or lead, you influence others for a living. You are responsible for helping others make sense of what swirls around them every day…to help them create order out of their chaos. And the best way to do that? Figure out your rules of engagement.

Brown, (2016), goes further suggesting the establishment of a new set of rules of engagement to set your standards of excellence. Leading has changed, he says, but new rules will help us create order out of chaos. These are his suggested rules:

Discover what your people want you to know and do.

Master today’s #1 leadership competency: being present with others.

Learn to ask more and tell less.

Target your influence where you can make the most of every leadership moment.

Learn to follow an influence protocol to calibrate need and create positive movement in others. Discover what your people want you to know and do.

https://trainingindustry com/blog/leadership/to-create-order-out-of-chaos/

These rules might not suit everyone. However, they provide you with a starting point. Afterall, we don’t all have to agree. We can look for other rules or choose to add to or subtract from what is presented here. We do, however, need to act now to influence the future in ways that are positive and sustainable.

I don’t know if what I write, state, and share with others will have an enormous influence on anyone, I hope it will. But I can and will continue to share my thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and what I learn so that everyone can consider their own actions and behaviours. We can have a beautiful world and a beautiful life. What you choose to do is up to you, but I beg you to do something.

pondering female secretary picking folder in workplace
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

You Are Enough: 7 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

7 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

What is inadequacy and how do you work through it?

Have you ever struggled to feel good about yourself? Do you wonder if you’re good enough? Do you question whether you’re competent enough? Then you may be dealing with feelings of inadequacy. Many of us go through this at some point, some of us go through it a lot of the time. You are not alone. Remember, You Are Good Enough!!

Feelings of inadequacy are when we feel we’re not enough or not good enough. These feelings usually have nothing to do with our actual performance or abilities. In fact, these feelings may have a lot more to do with low self-esteem or low self-confidence than any fact-based measure of ability or competence. This sounds like there might be a bit of a connection to Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome: this is when you doubt your ability and feel like a fraud. Do you see the similarity? I can’t say this enough You Are Good Enough!

The American Psychological Association defines an inadequacy complex (more commonly known as an inferiority complex) as a feeling of inadequacy or insecurity coming from actual or imagined physical or psychological deficiencies. This feeling of being “less-than” or “inferior to” others can often cause us to shut down (withdraw) or act aggressively depending on our coping styles.

Feelings of Inadequacy, Imposter Syndrome, Inferiority Complex, Lack of Confidence – these seem to all relate to the feeling that we need to be more. Of course, we can always learn and improve ourselves. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with how we are now. What is important is that you address your fears.

How do you know if you are feeling inadequate, or are lacking self-confidence? If you are experiencing the following six (6) signs they are suggesting, you might be feeling inadequate:

  1. Withdrawn/shy/quiet
  2. Insecure
  3. Negative
  4. Unhappy
  5. Angry/hostile
  6. Unmotivated (Guindon, 2002)

We all feel these emotions to some extent. Some of us just feel more inadequate than others (Heidbreder, 1927). We all have a wide array of feelings and emotions and there is nothing wrong with any of them. However, some of these feelings and emotions cause us to react in ways that aren’t beneficial. That can be changed. Having become a Certified HeartMath Trainer and Coach I am very aware of emotions and how we can learn to respond rather than react. In learning these skills, you also save energy. Fear, anger, guilt, self-loathing, frustration all sucks our energy. If you are like me, you don’t need anything draining your energy.

7 Tips to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

If you’re feeling inadequate in general—or about something specific—below are approaches that research shows can help you to feel better:

  1. Modify your expectations and ideals. If we’re constantly falling short of our expectations and ideals, it may be that we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and what we would be able to accomplish. Though I don’t like to suggest you worry about what others think, in this case you might want to ask someone what they think. Or you might want to turn your thinking around – if you were assessing someone doing what you are doing what would your thoughts be? Would you think that person was inadequate?
  2. Seek help from others. Identify areas where you feel inadequate and seek help with those. If you don’t feel capable and you know someone who could teach you what you need to know, reaching out to them can be helpful. Asking questions to help you learn and understand is one way to boost your confidence. You can also seek out a life-coach to help you through these feelings and emotions. I’d be more than willing to have a chat and coach you myself or refer you to someone who addresses your specific concerns.
  3. Build skills and expertise. I encourage life-long learning. If you’re feeling inadequate at a particular task, take time to build your skills in that area. You didn’t learn to walk or talk overnight. We keep trying, we fall, but always get up one more time than you fall. Eventually, you’ll feel more competent and capable. No one is good at something right away, so try not to get down on yourself for being a beginner at something (Lindqvist, Weurlander, Wernerson, & Thornberg, 2017). Be kind to yourself and be patient.
  4. Cultivate emotion regulation skills. We often feel most inadequate in difficult situations (Lindqvist, Weurlander, Wernerson, & Thornberg, 2017). But we can learn effective ways to respond to our our emotions in these difficult situations. I love the HeartMath approach, the skills are easy to learn, they do, however, require practice. With time you will learn to respond rather than react and feel good about yourself. Remember, there is nothing wrong with our emotions and feelings, but we can learn to make them work for us, rather than against us.
  5. Practice self-compassion. Regardless of how competent we are at a given task, we have value and are worthy of self-kindness. Practice showing yourself self-compassion and using loving-kindness meditation to grow your love for yourself and others. Practicing self-love, self-compassion, and kindness are things we all need. You Are Good Enough! Also check out my blog to learn about being in charge of your emotions.
  6. Build a growth mindset. A growth mindset is when we believe we have the ability to grow and improve. If you don’t have this mindset, I once again encourage you to seek out a coach with whom you can work to create this mindset and help develop your self-confidence. This growth mindset will help to overcome skill deficits more easily. In many cases, depending on the skill, all that is needed is practice. We know we can improve so we put more effort into improving ourselves. As a result, we can end up more skilled than we ever imagined.
  7. Focus on your strengths. We all have strengths. By finding your strengths and capitalizing on them, you focus your attention more on what you’re good at than what you’re not good at. Plus, you can put your strengths to work and succeed in areas that rely on these strengths. Identifying our strengths is something many of us find difficult. Once again, a life-coach can help you uncover your strengths. There are also online quizzes you can take that will help you identify some. If you go for the online approach, I encourage you to also seek out someone to help you dig a bit deeper to uncover some strengths of which you might not have been aware. Check out this link to help you identify your strengths

Putting any of these ideas into action can help you feel more competent and comfortable in situations that have produced feelings of inadequacy in the past and teach you to approach similar situations in a more positive manner.

It’s normal to feel inadequate from time to time. If we work at it, we can reduce the amount of time we spend feeling this way and we can leave more room for self-confidence. Give me a shout and I will be happy to guide you in a direction that will work for you.


  • Guindon, M. H. (2002). Toward Accountability in the Use of the Self‐Esteem Construct. Journal of Counseling & Development, 80(2), 204-214.
  • Heidbreder, E. F. (1927). The normal inferiority complex. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 22(3), 243.
  • Lindqvist, H., Weurlander, M., Wernerson, A., & Thornberg, R. (2017). Resolving feelings of professional inadequacy: Student teachers’ coping with distressful situations. Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, 270-279.