Happy Sunday Everyone. I have been reading Brene Brown's new book; Braving the Wilderness. Let me first say what an important book it is, especially in the times we are living in right now, and that everyone should read it! I just finished reading the chapter entitled Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart. In it Brene talks about this concept that she learned from Roshi Joan Halifax while they were doing an event together at the Omega Institute. She describes a moment when between scheduled events, Brene tells Joan that she would much rather head up to her room to rest, but feels bad saying no to going to the next event on their schedule. Dr. Halifax responds to her by saying "Tonight we will exhale and teach. Now it's time to inhale. There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it's easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale".
This quote is everything. How often do we feel like we are on a constant exhale? Outputting to the world our effort, our time, our focus and even our love. I especially love that she points out how it is easy for us all to believe that we must exhale all the time. It truly is the culture in which we live, where its all about what we are doing and creating that defines us and therefore is so easy to continue to exhale our way right through until we are running on fumes. I think especially in this time of year, as we enter the season of giving, we forget to return some of that effort and attention back to ourselves. So, on this beautiful Sunday I invite you to just think of how you can take time to inhale this week. For me, its every time I meditate, or get on my yoga mat, or pour a couple of drops in my hand of my favorite essential oil and literally take a few deep inhales. It's also in just quietly sitting and reading really good book! As always, I welcome you to any of the tools that I can offer as a way to make time to inhale. Head on over to my Online Classes page if a yoga class every Sunday and Meditation every Wednesday (all from home) is something that interests you and my DoTerra page to learn more about using essential oils. If you are in NYC then please come take a class with me in person at Lyons Den, see my schedule here!
I am very quickly becoming super passionate about this box of oils and what they can do (In case you haven't already noticed from my social media posts). Recently I have learned that we are now in a time where more people suffer from chronic illness than don't. The CDC states that as of 2012, half of all adults - 117 million people - had one OR MORE chronic health conditions...and that number is from five years ago! That is a crazy and frightening fact! It means that if we don't start taking action to improve our own health and wellness, we will only gain in that unhealthy number.
Something that you may not know about me is that I have Celiac Disease aka an allergy to wheat gluten. It's not super severe, as it is for some, although it has gotten worse and more acute over the years. I know pretty quickly when I have been "glutenized" as I call it. It's no fun. My back hurts, I get really tired and I even feel my mood shift downward. I stop feeling comfortable in my own body and I'm not sure if there is anything worse than that. Thankfully compared to other chronic conditions, I am easily able to manage it with what I eat, or rather don't eat. Since what essentially happens when I do eat anything with gluten is that it damages the part of my body that absorbs nutrients from my food, any food, I have to be extremely careful that I don't let it enter my system. And while I have never had it scientifically proven to me, I think that because my body has an issue with sensitivity for wheat and gluten, I often feel like it doesn't always process other foods well either specifically dairy and of course, sugar. Sad for a major lover of cheese like myself. But again, not feeling comfortable in my body is just not worth it.
The way that most chronic illness is dealt with is with prescription medication. As advanced as modern medicine is and the wonderful things it CAN do, and truly I do believe there is a lot of good, the tendency to allow for long term use of prescription medication is definitely not one of them. My Grandma was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My mom, who now takes her to all of her doctors appointments, has told me that that the quickest and most common thing her doctors do for her is write prescriptions. It's actually quite angering when I think about it. Thankfully my Mom, brilliant nurse, yogi and advocate for integrative medicine and therapies, often steps in on her behalf. Not everyone has that.
I noticed the other day while watching a commercial for a new drug out on the market, all of the listed side effects. Some of them were just so severe and awful sounding that I couldn't really believe my ears. I have no doubt that the majority of these side effects would require even more medication to help with their symptoms, and so on and so forth. It's as if we are just piling crap on top of crap and shoveling it into our bodies.
The good news is that we can change this and create a new normal if we just start taking better care of ourselves physically and emotionally by making conscious choices every single day. For me, these little bottles of oil offer a pathway into my own conscious thinking. For example, if I wake up one day feeling slow and sluggish, I reach for a bottle of an oil that will help uplift my mood. I will diffuse it, use it topically or even take it internally, as all of them are high enough quality and most of them safe to do so. This leads me to thinking about other ways that I can help support myself with what I need that day. I have, in just the past month of using these oils, gotten on my yoga mat more often, meditated even more often than usual and become extremely more aware of what it is that I am feeding myself with, both nutritionally and environmentally. This has also led to a shift in how my family is thinking and taking care of themselves. My husband now reaches for peppermint oil when he has a headache or backache and my daughter asks for Lavender every night to help settle into sleep.
One of the most fascinating facts that I have discovered about these oils is that they are actually LIVE. Because essential oils are made up of pure aromatic compounds that are found in plants and trees that are recognized in nature, our bodies are also able to recognize them more readily. Many medications are not and instead are synthetic and generated in a lab. What is most interesting about this is that because our bodies don't actually recognize the drugs, the drugs themselves can't actually penetrate the cell walls. Therefore, while they can work to help numb the pain receptors in the body, they don't actually effect a change at the root cause of an issue. Oils however have the ability to go beyond the cell walls and be absorbed by the cells themselves. Since our entire body is essentially made up of cells, this is incredibly important. They offer a chance to help our bodies return to homeostasis naturally, which truly is where all of our bodies want to be. None of our bodies and cells actually want to be out of balance with itself, which is why they work so hard for us every single day.
So basically, I'm pretty passionate about this new tool in my life. I am extremely grateful that I have a team of amazing women, and men, who are supporting me and mentoring me in this journey. Especially to Elena Brower and Amy Kurtz for being so incredibly inspiring and encouraging. I truly don't know if I could have better team leaders and examples to follow as I take this journey. It is my supreme hope to do the same and to inspire as many people as possible to become their own advocate for whole, proactive and preventative health and wellness. It's not a new concept, having taught yoga for so many years, I know so well the natural ways that we can empower and uplift ourselves through movement and breath. This is just another tool in my toolbox to help keep myself, my family, my students and YOU healthy. If you have made it this far, I encourage you to contact me with any questions you have, let's chat! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also head to my DoTerra website at mydoterra.com/sarapackard
or head on over to my DoTerra page on here. It's time to tip the scales back to where we are more healthy than not, as a nation and as individuals. Like so many things in this world right now, big change must occur, but it all starts with small, daily choices. It starts with ourselves.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.