I've always loved Christmas a lot. Back in the day when Christmas sweaters were trendy and cool before they became mocked and laughed at at ugly sweater parties, I had some really cute ones. I thought they were cute anyway and with my full 90's hair people often said I was adorable. Back then I could hardly wait for December 1st so I could start wearing my fun collection of Christmas sweaters, and I was always a little sad when it was time to put them away.
I was so excited for Christmas that every year I wholeheartedly decorated, shopped, wrapped, baked, and delivered treats to my neighbors. Mostly all by myself. On top of that I managed to work out and eat well. It was such a high priority for both me and my house to look good at Christmas that we were pretty much magazine (or cute house blog) perfect.
What's wrong with that picture is I was so busy DO-ing that I forgot to check in and see how things were FEEL-ing. Living in a picture perfect house wasn't fun for my family and looking back it wasn't really THAT MUCH fun for me either, mainly it was a distraction from what was seriously missing in my life.
These days there are no Christmas sweaters, my house has a much simpler look, and when it comes to shopping, wrapping, baking and delivering I've dropped the ball significantly.
Which means now, instead of being a wound up (to mask deeper depression) nutcase the entire month of December, overall I'm laid back and chill. Even when things get busy and a little crazy and I get off track (haha - I admit I DO still get a little crazy (a lot) because I have a big family and squiggly personality and can't help it!)... I'm good at recognizing that I'm off kilter and regrouping pretty fast ;)
I still love Christmas a lot, but the bottom line is this. I've come to value and crave FEELING good much more than looking good, and consequently I've chosen to simplify and let go of many things in my life, including draining Christmas traditions.
So here's what to do to keep Christmas simple and make it FEEL GOOD.
1. Remember what Christmas is all about and do something everyday (it can be little) that will make someone else's life brighter. Try visiting shut ins and people in nursing homes and taking a little Christmas cheer to them. Check in with the center ahead of time and see what they recommend.
2. Get comfortable with giving simple Christmas gifts. Give less presents and do more acts of kindness and service (try making coupon books to wrap). Before you go shopping do a little research and find out what the people on your list really want or need, and only buy that. Don't spend money on needless fluff.
3. Nurture and nourish your body, mind and spirit. This includes eating real simple food, drinking water, meditating (lock yourself in the bathroom if you need to), exercising (do whatever you can do), and getting enough sleep. Do grounding and soothing things, like making soup, diffusing and using essential oils, lighting candles, taking a relaxing bath, and listening to your favorite Christmas music. If you can fit it in, read a short Christmas story every day. I did that one year and it really brought the Christmas spirit to my heart!
4. Choose how you spend your time wisely. Stick to only doing needful things and things that make your heart feel good -things you enJOY doing. Choose to only spend your time with PEACEful people and only participate in Christmas activities that leave you feeling happy and renewed. Practice saying no to all the rest.
5. Do whatever it takes to be able to enJOY yourself. If that means saying NO, do it, and so be it. Refuse to get sucked into other people's expectations or drama. When there's drama going on around you, remove yourself. And if someone else is offended, oh well. Remember, it's not your problem. Learn to say this, "not my circus, not my monkey". Stop feeling like you owe people something, and they'll fall apart if you don't deliver - they wont, they might be dissapointed etc. (oh well) but they'll be ok. Use Cheer, Forgive and Peace (doTERRA's emotion blends) if you need extra support.
6. Continue to let go. As you get closer to Christmas instead of freaking out about what isn't done, start crossing things off your list. If it's not important, let it go. Don't do it and don't worry about it. Whew. That feels better already, doesn't it?!!
In short, give yourself permission to do less, and do things simply. If you don't have enough time or money to do something, don't worry about it. Do what you can and remember the reason for the season. Give generously from your heart. Gather your loved ones close (if you don't have loved ones gather with someone else in your boat) and slather on the love as you enjoy the magic of this beautiful season together.
Wishing you a most Peaceful and Joyful Christmas :)
HA. I said I was doubtful and skeptical because many brands claim to have "best quality" oils and I'd tried a lot of them and other than packaging I honestly couldn't tell much difference. I didn't expect the new brand of oils to be anything special.
The new brand was doTERRA and when I tried them and I was immediately blown away at the difference! It was obvious to me that they were much purer and higher quality than anything I'd ever used before. Naturally I was excited to use these new oils on my clients.
The first time I used doTERRA oils during a massage my client was laying face up with her eyes closed and I put a drop of Citrus Bliss in my hands, rubbed them together and held them over her face. Almost immediately she said, "Oh my gosh!! What is that?? You've never used that oil on me before! It smells AMAZING! It smells so fresh it's making me want to drink it! Where did you get it? Do you have more? How can I get some?" Then, throughout the rest of her massage she continued to ask me questions. Mainly she wanted to know how she could get her own doTERRA oils and how soon.
Ha, I'd been using and selling essential oils in my practice for years and until that day none of my clients had ever gotten the least bit excited about purchasing them! In fact they'd often complained about the smell, saying oils made them itch and gave them headaches. From the get go it was different with doTERRA oils. My regular clients all noticed the difference the first time I used them and said they smelled better and were soothing instead of irritating. They all gave them a big thumbs up. Most liked them so much they wanted to know how they could get their own to use at home.
Like me, almost everyone I shared doTERRA oils with with was drawn to them because they smelled so good, but the real and lasting love affair happened when we all realized how effective doTERRA oils are and how fast they work. doTERRA OILS GET RESULTS like crazy!
Before doTERRA I used a lot of other brands of essential oils. I had quite a collection that I'd spent a lot of money on so initially my (determined) intention was to keep on using them until they were gone.
But then I learned about the difference between pure oils and synthetic oils and after that it was easy to identify which was which. When I smelled my old oils (objectively with an open mind) what I noticed is I got a slightly pinched sensation and sometimes even a slight shooting pain in my head. At best they were weak, almost like they'd been watered down. Whereas all of the doTERRA oils I tried smelled strong (potent) and fresh like the plants they came from, and they had an opening and calming effect on my brain. Compared to doTERRA oils I had to admit my old oils smelt heavy, perfumy (synthetic) and yuck. They were definitely subpar and I couldn't bring myself to use them anymore. So I ended up throwing them all out after all.
Before being introduced to doTERRA I used essential oils in my massage practice daily. And occasionally I used them at home for therapeutic purposes. Still I dealt with reoccurring (super annoying) respiratory issues and regular aches and pains. After I started using doTERRA, and I admit I used them a lot more often because they smelt so good and made me feel so good I was kind of addicted to them... not only did my respiratory health clear up, I also stopped aching and getting sniffles. Big WooHoo!
It didn't take long for doTERRA oils to become the go-to at our house. Whenever we have a physical or emotional out-of-sorts thing going on, we go to our oils, and as a result we feel better almost immediately and very seldom need to go to the doctor. Which actually saves us a lot of money because essential oils are so concentrated and versatile that one bottle (which often costs less than a co-pay) can be used MULTIPLE times for a wide variety of conditions.
I'm not exaggerating one bit when I say these oils have blessed my life in so many ways I truly can't imagine what I'd do without them!!! If you've never experienced doTERRA I'm just saying you're missing out, but no worries cause you can get doTERRA oils here, and then be sure to download my free essential oils categories guide so you'll know the basics of how to use them.
To you and yours and, Happy Oiling :)
A week ago I set some little goals for myself. Eat cleaner (no sugar!), meditate and exercise every day, drink more water, get more sleep.... The first two days I did great. WooHoo ;) Then life happened and my schedule and plan got bumped. I got tired and someone left cookies on my counter, and I ate some sugar (not a lot, just one cookie) and immediately there was disappointment and then the temptation to keep going and eat more and entirely abandon the plan to take better care of myself. I kicked myself and entertained the thought that I was a failure.
Uggh. That's so not true and I know it! So why did I let those thoughts in again?
Because I'm human and its ok.
It's ok as long as I remember that beating myself up is hard on me and causes far more damage than eating a cookie does.
I KNOW THIS... so I got a hold of myself fast! I put a drop of Forgive essential oil on my chest and said some empowering solar plexus chakra declarations to reinforce the fact that I'm in charge of my life and I'm choosing to claim my power.
I said the ho'oponopono prayer.
I love the ho'oponopono prayer because it's so simple and yet SO POWERFUL. When you offend someone else and you wholeheartedly tell them, "I'm sorry, I love you, and Please forgive me", it clears the air and is healing.
When you offend yourself - like I did last week - looking in the mirror and saying the ho'oponopono prayer is good medicine for you too.
So by all means keep on setting goals and practicing taking good care of yourself, but when you mess up please don't kick yourself. Instead get in the habit of looking in the mirror and saying the ho'oponopono prayer. Get in the habit of repeating it to yourself over and over again, every single day. Get it in your heart and let it become your mantra.
If you do this you will be so happy because it will change you. And the results will be heartwarming and magical.
Today while I was driving I heard Kelly Clarkson singing White Christmas on the radio. And two thoughts instantly crossed my mind. First, I love her voice and think she does a great job with that song!
Second, I hope it doesn't snow because I'm really good if it stays this warm (60 outside). In reality the weathers supposed to turn cold in a couple of days. I know all the cold weather snow loving people will be happy about that.
It's good that we're all wired differently. This way everyone can get a turn to enjoy their favorite season, and all four seasons can be duly appreciated! Still, I think it's odd that some of MY kids prefer winter over summer. With me for their mom, how is that possible?
So here's my take on the four seasons. I like spring because it's so beautiful. What is prettier and more cheerful than budding fruit trees and bright colorful tulips! And there's something magical about watching all the trees pop out in vibrant green overnight ! Still, in spring there are still lots of windy chilly days which drops the thrill factor down for me. The best thing about spring is it mean's summers around the corner!
Summer is my season!! I absolutely love warm weather, going to the pool with my grandkids, having outdoor parties, taking long walks on warm summer nights, hiking, camping, going to rodeos, going on car trips, summer vacations, gardening and eating out of the garden, sleeping with a thin white sheet, open windows and a ceiling fan, birds chirping in the morning, always wearing flip flops and never needing to wear shoes - the laid back vibe in general!! Every day feels like a super FUN party to me! I really. can't. get. enough. summer.
Fall is nice because I love harvesting my garden and shopping at farmers markets. I like canning and dehydrating and making sure I'm stocked up for winter. I like that it's beautiful and the days are mostly warm. Still, even though fall is a really lovely season it means winter is right around the corner which (to me) makes it feel more like a funeral for summer than a vibrantly joyous season.
Winter. I have to psych myself up for it! My favorite thing about winter is I have a warm house with a fireplace and enough warm sweaters, boots and down comforters to keep me warm. And I admit I love lighting candles, making soup and diffusing Holiday Joy. I also love Christmas with all it's good cheer and sparkle and think it's comes at the perfect time of year. Just when it's starting to get cold, I get a whole month of Christmas to distract me. So I don't mind December so much. Then I get through January and February by taking as many trips to warm places as I can. And in March, we're almost to spring, which means summer's ahead and everything's going to be A-ok again!
Well there you have it. What goes through my head when it's the end of November and I hear a wishing-for-snow themed Christmas song. Don't know what that says about me, but I do LOVE Christmas so Merry Christmas ya'll!
The other day while reading "The Paper Bag Princess" and " Amelia Bedelia" to my granddaughter I realized these children's books contain 3 tips for a successful marriage.
The Paper Bag Princess tells the story of a princess named Elizabeth who was going to marry a prince named Ronald but a dragon came along and smashed her castle, burned her clothes, and carried off Ronald. So Elizabeth makes herself a dress out of a paper bag, tracks the dragon down and encourages him to wear himself out doing outrageous feats. When he's out stone cold, Elizabeth rescues Ronald.
At this point Ronald says, "Elizabeth, you are a mess! You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess."
To which Elizabeth responds, "Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum."
The book ends with "They didn't get married after all" and there's a picture of Elizabeth dancing off into the sunset.
Don't marry a bum. Allow yourself to be in situations where you can be the real you, and where you can see the real side of the person you're considering marrying. If there are any indications that they're a Ronald don't try to change them. Do yourself a big favor and walk away fast. When you're working with a Ronald there's little hope that things will improve.
The next bit of wisdom comes from the original Amelia Bedelia book. Mrs. and Mr. Rogers hire Amelia to clean their house but can't be there on her first day so Mrs. Rogers leaves Amelia with a list. Amelia takes the list literally and does EXACTLY what Mrs. Rogers has written. When Mrs Rogers comes home she's shocked and unhappy with Amelia, but just when she's ready to say "you're fired", Mr. Rogers puts a piece of lemon meringue pie in her mouth, and she forgets all about being mad.
Turns out that Amelia Bedelia makes the most AMAZING lemon meringue pies and that's her saving grace. So Mrs. Rogers learns to speak Amelia's language, Amelia cleans house to her satisfaction, and Amelia makes lots of delicious lemon meringue pies that both Mr. and Mrs. Rogers love. So everyone ends up happy.
Have an asset. Learn a skill that makes you irresistibly attractive. Or at least develop an irresistible (or at least pleasing) personality. Be the sort of person that other people want to be around.
Focus on what's right with your partner and learn to speak their language. Patiently work with them, and keep focusing on what you LOVE about them.
When I got pregnant and then married at seventeen I had NO IDEA what I was getting into. Basically I married a Ronald and I wasn't exactly an Elizabeth, or even an Amelia. I didn't bring a lot to the table. It was an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage from the get go, and when it ended after sixteen years (how we lasted that long baffles me!) I dove head first into second, and then third, equally ill-fated marriages. I don't share this with you so you'll think I'm an epic failure at relationships, but simply to assure you I have experience.
The good news is I learned from my mistakes. And for the past fifteen years I've been happily married to the man of my dreams. Now this doesn't mean our relationship is absolutely PerReCT because there are sometimes glitches. Sometimes we disagree and get on each others nerves. But overall, we are quite HApPy together. This is largely because by the time I met Craig I knew it was important to do the three things I've shared here with you. And because Craig, who's the polar opposite of a Ronald, does them too.
Good marriages take work. I know from lots of experience that once you're married it's easy to get complacent and in a rut, and when unpleasant stuff happens it's easy to stuff it inside and let unhappy (heart chakra shutting down) emotion build up (leads to painful blowups!!). That's why I'm going to add an extra tip.
Don't blame others and give them the benefit of the doubt! Be responsible for own words and actions and get really good at apologizing and saying I'm sorry. Be nice - act like you're dating and trying to impress, and dwell on the things you love. Say I love you and give sincere compliments often, and always work on improving your self!
No matter where you are in life (married or not), if you just work on mastering tips #2, 3 and 4 it will do wonders for helping you feel satisfied in all of your relationships! And BONUS, it will help open your solar plexus, heart, and throat chakras too!!
When someone unexpectedly passes it causes a huge wave that pulls people out of the woodwork.
Then after the initial shock dies down, neighbors and coworkers etc. drift back into their familiar grooves.
And the immediate family and close friends are left to adjust and deal with their grief in their individual ways.
My initial reaction to the news that Aubrey was dead was shock. How could this be possible?? Even when I saw the proof it still didn't seem real. Talk about a heart chakra whammy! Gradually my mind accepted the fact and I adjusted to the reality. I processed it, let her go, and felt peace about her passing.
My firstborn daughter was always my teacher. She taught me what it was to be a mom, even a not-so-popular one. She and I were like oil and water much of the time. We often each sat firmly on opposite sides of the fence. Eventually this became so uncomfortable for me that I ventured over to her side, sincerely yearning to understand what made her tick. And progress was made.
Dealing with my (challenging to me) daughter while she was alive taught me the importance of:
Looking for the good in others
Loving people unconditionally
Asking for forgiveness
Forgiving -others and yourself
Going out of your way to meet other people in their territory
The day I got the call, before I knew for sure, all I could think was, if this is really real I'm SO GLAD I put myself out there and made real effort with her, and that things had actually changed between us. I was so thankful my last year with her was good! I was so glad the last time I saw her I gave her a hug and told her I loved her!
Aubrey continued to teach me after she passed. She taught me what it's like to lose a child and even though I hope I don't have to ever experience that again, because of her I know I'm strong and faithful enough to handle it gracefully if it does. Even though she is gone I sense her nearness. I know without a doubt she lives on in spirit! She's become my angel and in her wordless angelic way she lets me know she's able to see me through much more merciful eyes than she could before. Through Aubrey's passing I've gained many beautiful insights and I'm grateful for this blessing.
Mainly what I learned from the experience of losing my daughter is this. Life is short and you never know when it's going to end, for you or someone you love. So don't waste it on trivial things like judging, blaming, holding grudges, and needing to be right. There's a lot of wisdom in Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dying.
When Aubrey died she taught me inside out to love and LIVE as fully, and happily as I can each day, and not let life pass me by, because (this goes for all of us!) unexpected things can happen. Because it is possible that this will be the last day or week or month or year that you or someone you love has left.
To be on the safe side, so you won't look back and have regrets, be your best self and love your life. Love all your dear ones mightily (even if it's just in your heart because they won't receive the love you offer -at least clean things up on your end!), and do your best to truly enJOY all your precious days. Like you would, if you knew, you were dying.
Hi. I'm Connie and I'm into chakras, essential oils, growing plants, eating real food, being a grandma, and creating a beautiful life. I like to write about random things including food, real life issues, and how to process through and deal with the messy and unsettling stuff that happens in life. I believe that life is too short not to live happy! I choose to follow the sun and dwell in love and light. Welcome to my raw real bright and colorful world,