About lsattar1

I'm a mother, a writer, a creator of art. I worked as a journalist for the better part of my life. I'm looking forward to finding out what my role will be in the next half of my life.

Essential Oils

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For the past couple of years I have leaned to use essential oils as a way to keep the people I love stay healthy. At first, many family members, including my husband, were skeptical, but eventually they came around.  They saw the benefits of using essential oils first hand.

I was recently asked to share what I know about how to use essential oils, so from now on, I will be sharing what I know one essential oil at time every week. I’m not an expert, just a mom who has spent many hours researching the benefits of essential oils. I would love to help you learn from what I know.

More people, especially parents are turning to more natural & holistic approaches when it come to healthcare. By using natural remedies to heal ourselves we can be free of the worries of unwanted side effects.

My use of essential oils began over a decade ago when I got into meditation, to help my anxiety. The person guiding the class applied Lavender essential oil on our temples to help us relax.  Lavender has a wonderful smell and it really helped relax me. I used it every night before bed for a long time, I still do but now I tend to alternate oils, not just Lavender. I loved it so much I started to seriously look into essential oils more.

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Also, I grew up with an amazing, magical mother who always used natural remedies for us. She would have us gargle with salt water for a sore throat, massage sweet almond oil once a week into our scalp and hair to keep it healthy. She taught my sister and I how to use yogurt as a face mask, put cold cucumbers on our eyes to bring down any puffiness, toothpaste for our burns and a million other holistic remedies. She would even make ridiculous faces and claim she was exercising her facial muscles so she would not need a face lift. She was brilliant and beautiful with such class, strength and impeccable manners. She had a heart of gold and a smile for whomever crossed her path. She and I started writing a book together that included all her beauty and health remedies, but then my dad got sick and then he passed away and then she left this earth and left us.

Today is the first anniversary of her death, she has always been the wind beneath my wings, and she continues to be even in death. I know she would want me to be strong for my family. I’m doing just what my mother would want me to do, helping others like she always did. Thank you mom, I love you so much and will miss you all of my life. She was the first to want to learn and then use my essential oils. I hope to pay it forward and help you help yourself.

So the first thing you need to know is that you should always use pure essential oils, that way you avoid any pesticides. Do your research, I prefer to use Doterra, but there are some other companies that use pure essential oils as well. There are a few ways to use the oils, you can inhale them, diffuse them, use them topically and there are a few that you can actually ingest. It’s a lot to learn but if you take your time and do your research you will use them without even thinking.

When I use essential oils topically, I aways dilute it with some sort of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, a heat pressed refined oil. Using essential oils straight or neat is usually too abrasive and can sometimes harm you, even burn your skin.

This week’s essential oil is Peppermint oil. It’s one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can  help with muscle aches, seasonal allergies, low energy and digestive problems. Its also used to boost energy and improve both skin and hair health.

The next time you have a headache, instead of taking a Tylenol or an aspirin,  use a teaspoon of a carrier oil with two or three drops of peppermint oil. Apply it to the back of your neck, to your temples and your forehead. I usually make a roller , most of it is filled with fractionated coconut oil, with a few drops of peppermint oil and I roll it to my temples and back of my neck. Be careful not to get any in your eyes. Wash your hands after handling any essential oils.

For fevers, you can rub it down the spine on the hairline and the neck. To help boost energy, rub peppermint with some lemon essential oil on the back of your neck,  you can also put a drop or two in your water.

To help relieve seasonal allergies symptoms, diffuse peppermint and eucalyptus oil at home, or apply 2–3 drops of peppermint oil topically to your temples, chest and back of neck.

To boost your energy levels and improve concentration with peppermint oil, take 1–2 drops internally with a glass of water, or apply topically to your temples and back of neck.

You can put a drop on your toothpaste to freshen your breath and kill bacteria. Add 2–3 drops of peppermint to your shampoo and conditioner. It’s actually used in many high-quality hair care products because it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. It helps  stimulate the scalp.

There are so many other ailments that peppermint essential oil aids, here is a list of a few,

  • Relieves itchiness
  • Relieves sunburn
  • Reduces nausea
  • Repels bugs
  • promotes healthy skin

Let me know if you want to know about a particular oil and it’s benefits. Next week I’ll tell you all the benefits of Lemon essential oil.

Happy Holidays, enjoy the ones you love.

 

 

 

 

YOUR WORDS GIVE LIFE TO YOUR LIFE

“What we speak becomes the house we live in.” ~ Hafiz
“Words are things, I’m convinced. You must be careful about the words you use or the words you allow to be used in your house.” -Maya Angelou

Think about how profound that is, especially if you are a parent. 

Words bring out the best or the worst in us. You can uplift people or tear them down with words. You can empower or disempower both yourself and those you share words with. And that is why it is so important to pay close attention to our words.

Words are seeds that do more than blow around. They land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.-unkown

We are all human and lose control of ourselves from time to time but for the little humans we are raising, it’s imperative that they hear words that encourage, uplift and even heal. So the next time you have something to say, speak with intention. It all goes back to being mindful.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” -Bill Keane

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There are mornings when I wake up and the reality that I have lost both of my parents hits me hard! My heart falls into my stomach, I feel sick and so lost. To be without them always feels like a punch in the gut. It still takes my breathe away. My father is gone a year and four months, my mother passed away almost a year ago. It’s a pain that I would never want for anyone to experience, yet we all will. Some morning  I feel completely paralyzed, unable to accept that they are both gone, until I hear my 12 year-old call out to me. Her voice helps me to  refocus and be grateful for her existence.

It’s not easy to deal with loss, especially when you suffer multiple losses. Regardless of my pain, I put a smile on my face and try to begin my daughter’s day on a positive note. We chat as she gets ready, some mornings we are frantic, trying to get out the door.  After I drop her off at school, I return and often find myself unable to leave the couch.

I try to enjoy and be mindful of my first cup of coffee. It always puts a smile on my face. I thank God for my husband, who almost never leaves the house without making me coffee. That’s love.

As soon as I allow myself to feel gratitude,  my heart gets lighter. I am grateful for the people I have in my life. Today is a present.

Mindfulness

You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn

The past few weeks have been difficult for my family. It was our first Thanksgiving since my parents passed away. We decided to skip it this year, it was too difficult. Instead, we sat in our pj’s and watched movies. I took some time to think of all that I had to be thankful about, there are boundless things and people whom I am thankful for. I am mostly grateful for my parents and their gifts of discipline, faith, compassion and their love of family. We will forever cherish one another because of how they raised us.

So while I mourn my parents, I also need to honor them by being the best wife, mother, sister, friend that I can be. So I sit, I reflect, I am mindful of the pain, but I’m also mindful of all they have given me. I am grateful for their love and that will never leave me.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a mindfulness expert, uses the ancient metaphor of the ocean to describe how mindfulness works. The entirety of our mind is deep, it’s vast and intrinsically still and quiet, like the debts in the ocean. There are times in life when the waves are dangerously rough, but if we learn to sit still and get a hold of our thoughts, we can ride through the waves.

Mindfulness is a practice, it’s all about being. Mindfulness helps you find your way, it allows you to listen to your heart, listen to your own yearning. Just begin by paying attention to your mind, really get to know it, be present, so when you are stirring the pot, or washing the dishes, just do that, be mindful of it. Whatever you are doing, do it with awareness. Dive underneath your pain, your anxiety, your anger and you will find awareness capable of holding it all and knowing “this is anxiety, It’s going to be ok”. When we actually believe our negative thoughts we spiral into anxiety and depression. Change your thought pattern and you can change your entire life. When you become aware of your negative thoughts, you have power over them. Zinn says that mindfulness is the gateway into the full dimensionality of being human of being alive. Without it you miss a lot.

I try to be mindful as much as I can. I often find it easier when I walk in nature. Mindfulness is not meditation, you don’t have to sit still for a period of time in order to be mindful. It’s just the practice of being present. Try it and you will realize that you are not your thoughts, but the awareness of your thoughts. It will change your life.

You can learn more by picking up Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Mindfulness for Beginners.

Your Path in Life

Do you like the path you have chosen in life? Maybe it took you years of getting your education to become a lawyer or a doctor, or a teacher. Maybe you are a stay at home parent or an advertising executive or a postal worker. It doesn’t matter what you do. Have you ever just given it some thought? Does it fulfill you? Does it make you proud? Does what you do contribute positively to anyone or any cause? Does it make you a better person? Does it bring you some sort of satisfaction? Maybe it challenges you, if it feels right then good for you!

There are many who are not feeling especially positive about their work. Maybe it does not bring them joy or satisfaction. It pays the bills but why just settle for paying the bills? Why not spend some time and thought on what will make you happy and pay the bills. Many of us just grow up expecting to find our way to the perfect vocation. We go to school, then to college, then to a good paying job that will support us. Some of us are happy, others start off being challenged and satisfied but something changed, their jobs no longer makes them feel good. That is just a little nudge from the universe telling you that it’s time to do something different.

Human beings are ever evolving. The one constant in life is that there will always be change. If we listen to those uncomfortable feelings and we try new things, we grow and blossom. If we cling onto something that is no longer serving us then we become stagnant. That is a foul place to be. We are always evolving, always growing, always learning something new. Even in grief, especially in grief.

Life is short, stop looking in the past and stop worrying about the future. Just be in the present, be thankful.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,   
  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   
I thank whatever gods may be   
  For my unconquerable soul.   
   
In the fell clutch of circumstance 
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.   
Under the bludgeonings of chance   
  My head is bloody, but unbowed.   
   
Beyond this place of wrath and tears   
  Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years   
  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.   
   
It matters not how strait the gate,   
  How charged with punishments the scroll,   
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

 

Invictus means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for Pott’s disease.

If you are fighting some sort of battle be it depression, loss, divorce, just go inward and feed your soul. Be kind to yourself, take it slow, meditate, pray, surround yourself with people who love you and want to listen to you. This may be a painful time but know that you are strong and you are never alone. And remember to count your blessings, that in itself is a way back from the dark.

Until next time……

Dear God, what happened to my family?

If you follow my blog you may have wondered where I’ve been for the last year and a half. I’ve been dealing with illness and loss. Let me start by saying how grateful I am to have been blessed with loving and present parents, unfortunately, they both passed away just four months apart from one another. My father passed away in August, my mother in December of 2017.

They were the heart and soul of my family and quite frankly, my siblings and I are having a difficult time navigating life without them. In fact, it’s the most difficult thing we’ve ever had to endure. I honestly don’t know how we are functioning but we are taking it one day at a time. I’m thankful for my siblings and although we try to be supportive of one another we are each handling grief in our own unique ways. After all, we each had different relationships with our parents. In the end, we all mourn alone, that’s just the way it is. Grief is an emotion that needs to be felt alone.

I’m not quite ready to share any more about the passing of my parents, it’s too raw and painful, but I do want to share my journey with you. I’m not sure how but I know that I will survive this loss and thrive. Partly because I have no choice, I have a beautiful little girl to raise and partly because I come from resilient stock.

In my blogs, I’ll share things that I’ve learned, things that inspire me. pacify me and keep me sane. I know that there are so many of you who have gone through difficult times and that perhaps there are some who are going through it now, just like I am. I just want you to know that I’m here to be your sounding board, your virtual friend, maybe even your lifeline, or perhaps you will be mine. I’ll leave you with this little inspiration, from one of my favorite poets……(I know it’s so cliche..all the Persians/Afghans claim Rumi as their favorite poet because he is the greatest but also because he is one of us. I guess that’s natural, to have pride in someone so knowledgeable, beautifully poetic and so connected to God who comes from your part of the world. }

“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”

— Rumi

Live Life Now!

In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity.  Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned

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We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!

The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!

  • Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
  • Use your best china
  • Go on that vacation
  • Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
  • Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
  • Be kind, serve others
  • Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish

Do it now, this is not your practice life!