Friday, September 25, 2015

Honouring where you are at different stages

Have you ever felt frustrated? Are there times when you tried everything you could but somehow nothing would happen the way you wanted?

Frustration originates from the non-acceptance of situations, things or people as the way they are. If we were to truly receive life as it is given to us, then we could flow with more grace and ease.

A couple of weekends ago, I took time out of work to attend a workshop called "Discover Your Sacred Gifts" with Monique MacDonald. It was a big deal for me to attend as I haven't taken any weekends off of work this summer, not even to go do fun stuff with friends such as camping or attending music festivals. Whenever I was telling people what workshop I was attending, I noticed that I had a funny way of enunciating the title. Maybe a part of me thought it sounded a bit new age-y. It was mainly a personal development seminar that helps identify your gifts and find meaning behind them, so that you could feel more on purpose instead of finding your purpose. As this was referred to me by a colleague, I decided to sign up as I hadn't done any workshop for awhile and figured it would be a good idea to do more self exploration which would build on my work and purpose.

The seminar turned out to be a mix bag of new age, spirituality and motivational style. Perhaps it was because of where I was at in life and the different kinds of personal work that I have already done in the past, I wouldn't say that I came away with earth shattering breakthroughs. However, I usually remind myself to trust in getting what I need to get at any given time, so I would say this workshop has helped confirm my knowing (or not knowing) of self. Aside from that, there were some new and interesting information. I am not going to get into the details of the workshop and what I have learned, but one of the her ideas which I am writing about here is something called "the chaos cycle." Like the four seasons, there is a natural cycle of 4 stages in life- chaos, creativity, rest and relaxation, and action.

Here are the 4 stages of the chaos cycle:

1. Chaos

Things are chaotic, busy and overwhelming. Projects pile up and strange incidents would be thrown at you from left and right. You might be losing your job, partner or home, and have no idea of how things would work out. If there is time to take a breath, you would ask yourself, "what more could happen?

At this time, best is to not make any important decisions,  simplify as much as you can, cancel commitments, declutter internally and externally, learn to have a lot of trust, and hold on for the ride meanwhile.

2. Creativity

This is the time to collect and write down ideas and inspirations, which need to be patiently brewed before they can be manifested. Continue to be still and hold space for the visions to come alive at a later time.

3. Rest and relaxation

Most people neglect this part: the being/non-doing stage. There is a tendency to feel guilty if you usually like to be productive. You might think nothing is happening but your non-doing is an important part of the doing. This is a necessary stage to be rejuvenated and strengthened which would prepare you for the next one- action!

4. Action

Things are happening in the blink of an eye and everything seems to flow seamlessly with ease. It's a busy time and smart decisions happen here because you feel good and aligned.

Then the cycle repeats itself. It is common for people to go from chaos, creativity to action, while skipping rest and relaxation. There are also some who tend to get stuck in one stage most of the lives.

Looking back, I could see how I would tend to force myself into creativity and action when I was in the chaos stage, and usually things would not flow nor be easy. Now that I have an understanding of such cycle, I can let go more and become more accepting as I honour life's natural rhythm.

For instance, as much as I love the sun, warmth and fun activities in the summer, I am also happy to have cooler and cloudy/rainy weather. Instead of needing to soak it up at the beach, I find myself getting more accomplished at home and on my projects, also more time to do spiritual and self care practices such as yoga, qigong and meditation. I find that organically this is a time for introspection and learning.

On the other hand, I feel that I am in the action stage. Things have been flowing and manifesting with ease and without expectations. I feel aligned and am surely grateful for that, but I also have to be thankful for all the difficulties at other times. As much as I was grinding my teeth down to my gums or raining tears like a tropical storm, deep down I had the understanding that everything that shows up is there to help and teach me. We can learn to appreciate every environment and situation that we are put into as they all have values.

Maybe the chaos cycle is just another belief system, but no matter what, trusting life is huge. It's good to strive for what you want, but constant struggle and going against the stream can be exhausting. Perhaps keeping your visions alive, relaxing and believing that anything is possible, would eventually lead to where you are destined to go.

What stage are you at in life? How do you cope with chaos?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Search for the Right Canadian Essential Oil Company

I have recently gone down the rabbit hole of the amazing world of essential oils (EO). It was overwhelming, educational and drove me a little crazy, but it has lead to rekindling this old passion of mine. On top of their therapeutic effect and pleasant scents, perhaps I romanticize the idea of a mystic carrying little bottles of powerful plant essences and mixing alchemical magical healing potions with them.

* FYI, I am not affiliated with any EO companies. I am just writing about my own experience and research. I hope this gives the readers some insights as to what to look for if they were interested in finding a good aromatherapy company.

This all started when I went over my collections of EO and figured that I needed to do a general restock. Most of it was from the set I have gotten from my massage/ spa therapy school from about five years ago. The brand of the set is Essential Aura, along with other labels I have acquired from SajeAromaforceDo TerraNowGaia GardenNew DirectionsSongs of India and one from Australia with a worn out label (from 7 years ago during my trip in Australia).

I started doing some online research for a good EO company and it was rather overwhelming. I decided to get help from the trusty social media and threw out a question on my personal facebook page for some suggestions. I was surprised by the vast interests and responses, which added onto the abundance of knowledge and opinions from my own internet research.

There are the companies that were suggested to me from friends which might be useful for others who are interested as well:

As you can see, the list of companies can be ENDLESS so I had to create some criteria in order to keep my sanity. Just a note, I live in BC Canada. Most of the research articles I have found are US based. Eventhough all EOs are sourced from around the world, I figured that I didn't want to pay US dollars or any weird unpredictable border taxes and would much rather be able to smell the oils in person, which lead me to look exclusively into Canadian companies.

It would be mostly for personal use and a little for my private practice, so I am not looking to buy bulk or become a retailer at this point. I am also not interested in a MLM business, even though it has been suggested many times as it can be a supplementary income to my healing services. I am not too keen on paying and selling overpriced products, and wary of some of their questionable claims and EO usages. Maybe I am not open minded enough but for now I am not eager to join the bandwagon of this type of business model.

To check out one of the above local suggestions, I went into Gaia Garden in my Kits neighbourhood but was not too stoked with their oils. Perhaps it was the smell test, the minimal option of lavender available, the lack of information on sourcing, and/or even the conservative packaging design. Although I have been a happy customer with their teas and herbs, I believe I could find a company that is more devoted to EO.

I also didn't have a good experience with Now's 20% frankincense. It left a weird residue in my nebulizer which never happened with other EOs. Perhaps it was the grapeseed oil they use instead of the commonly used jojoba oil. I believe Jojoba oil is the proper choice since it is more high end and has the longest shelf life out of all carrier oils.  I have never tried their other oils but Now is the past for me (pun intended).

I looked online and checked out a Canadian/ Quebec company called Divine Essence. First of all, I liked what I saw in their company ethics, mission, story and general vibe. I went through their products catalogue and was impressed with their choices in 10 different kinds of lavenders, which tells me that they go deep in their work. I vaguely remembered seeing it at Pure Pharmacy in the past so I popped in and there they were!

It took me awhile and I ended up taking these babies home: bergamot, camphor, cedarwood, citronella, frankincense, jasmin 5%, lavender supreme (blend of different lavenders), orange, rose otto 5% and sage. Smelling lots of oils again brought me to a state of love. No, it's not just from the nice smell- the potent essence of natural plants is therapeutic and powerful!

The new members of my EO family

More reasons why I picked Divine Essence:
  • 30 ml bottle of organic lavender supreme for a decent price of $16.99
  • Canadian
  • first Canadian company to get ECOCERT
  • fair trade
  • provides good information on EO
  • artisan distillation quality

What I have learned about EO:

  • There is no overall regulations in the world of EO so look beyond the terms- therapuetic grade, nature, pure, etc.
  • Some MLM companies recommend risky usages.
    - Using undilutated EOs on skin directly (except for some oils such as lavender) and internally are risky business. Please consult with a qualified practitioner on such practices. I personally wouldn't go there if I don't have to.
  • good companies have latin names and origins on EO labels
  • artisan vs industrial grade
    - artisan grade uses certified organic or wildcrafted plants and distills at a longer distillation process at the lowest pressure and temperature. People who take their craft to heart like your grandma's cooking.

    - industrial grade uses conventional plants with chemical products and cut corners at the distillation process with shortest distillation time, high pressure and high temperature. Something like fast food and mass production.

Now that my interest in EO has been re-sparked, this might lead me to a new path if I choose to. I have been seeing some new possibilities in this field for me which are all possible. I will see how life happens and what I want to create- dream you life to live your dreams.

Any other cool information, experience and discussion about EOs and EO companies are welcome below.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Earth is Changing so Why Shouldn't You?

Most people I have talked to have had big changes, crisis or turbulent times during the recent years. Are you one of them too? 

There is no doubt that the earth is changing big time as we can see it globally in weather and nature. I just read an article this morning about the Inuit elders informing NASA that "the sky has changed." The sun doesn't set at the same place anymore, and airplanes have to recalibrate their runways since the magnetic north has moved. That also affects how the wind blows, weather, animal migration, etc. The earth has seriously shifted! So since we are all connected, especially to the ground that we reside on, we are all surely affected somehow, internally and externally. It can feel very unsettling yet exciting at the same time with so much unknown and upheavals.

I am always reevaluating, reinventing and confirming myself in my work and service for humanity. I believe what people need these days is INTEGRATION. Many people are becoming more conscious, whole and "themselves" as they go through a series of expansion and contraction. My gift is to hold compassionate and non-judgemental space for others. It is an art of transformation, integration and liberation to come into your true being.

YOU are the secret ingredient to all your deepest desires in life. That bigger YOU (God, consciousness, love, etc.) is the only thing that is constant. It somehow seems to come through more when things get shaken up or in complete stillness...

Happy seeking/ being :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Birth of This Blog

This is it. I am writing again.

This blog has been on my to-do list for awhile, and taking action is usually the hardest part. I have been caught up with figuring out on how to approach this whole thing, but EFF IT- I'm just gonna write, right now! Let the river of content flow already!

For those who don't know me, I have been facilitating healing, massage and bodywork for a number of years. After experiencing work + travel for the last three years within BC Canada at some rather interesting places, I have returned to my hometown, Vancouver BC, to settle down and get established.

The reasons why I want to write are:
  1. For people who might be interested in or already have received my healing sessions to know who I am as a person.
  2. To find balance as my healing work can be mostly mindless and meditative. That means I need to have a cerebral outlet of some sort. I also need to make sure that I still feel somewhat smart, or at least S-M-R-T?
  3. So I have been told that I am good at writing. It was hard to believe since I didn't do that well in school writing essays. Maybe I can give my parents some credit for their genes since they used to be writers.
  4. To explore woo-woo-ness in a grounded and articulate way. There is much that is beyond our capacity to understand. This can be a way for me to do my best to analyze and understand what is happening around us. Hey, what is really real anyways?
  5. To write clear and useful content. I like to be practical in that sense. There is more than enough crap to filter through on the internet.
  6. To share with others from the heart and create community.
I am intending to share with others my wisdom, insights, interesting experience, useful tools/ideas, flexible beliefs, authenticity, humour and quirkiness.  

Please feel free to leave comments (no spam please) and connect with me. We are human creatures which are meant to connect to make the world a better place, so find me online, subscribe, etc.

Love and blessings!

~ Constance