Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~
How have you been? Feeling a bit more centered and relaxed? I hope so! A few weeks of claiming sacred time for myself and practicing conscious thoughts of gratitude upon waking have done so much for me.
This third pursuit of the Nourishing Mama Mission promises to be my favorite so far, the art of bathing.
I love baths. I love water and how it has the power to wash away everything, absolutely everything. Stress, dirt, illness, concerns and on and on... One of my teacher's at herb school told us that water is very accepting and healing. He said that when sitting by a stream you can ask the water to take away your worries, and it will. Having tried this, I can attest that water will do this for you, even when you are in the tub. As the water drains from the tub ask it to take away your pain, your cares and give thanks to the water.
All the Elements are present in the bath ~
Surrounding, cleansing and supporting, it is truly magical and healing.
It is Fire that heats the water and the soul.
Our plant allies become part of the bath whether in the form of herbs or essential oils, they add their special properties and healing.
A deep breath is instigated by the deep warmth of water and by the fragrance of the plants.
Breathing deeply centers and calms the spirit.
This is you, this is me, bringing ourselves to the moment. To be healed and nourished.
Most of the mammas I know would agree that taking time for a bath is really taking out some time for yourself. It means a lot to close that door on the world, slip into a warm fragrant tub and rest there undisturbed. Can you find sometime to do this for yourself? At least once a week? Give it a try and see how you feel.
Here is my favorite no fuss recipe for making a healing, relaxing bath ~
Fill your tub with warm to hot water and add:
- 1 to 2 cups of relaxing Epsom salts, depending on the size of your tub
- 6 to 10 drops of beautiful cleansing lavender essential oil
Have a big glass of cool water nearby to sip and bring a good book with you to read, if you so wish. Get in and relax, let go and know the water will wash away anything you no longer need or want.
More essential oil blends for the bath ~
- Awakens the brain while also providing relaxation: 4 drops each rosemary and lavender
- Great for easing stress and fatigue at the start of menstruation: 5 drops of clary sage and 3 of lavender
- Soothes mental fatigue and anger, plus smells divine: 4 drops cardamom and 4 drops ylang ylang
- For easing stress and when you need a bit of happiness: 5 drops rose geranium, 3 drops orange & 3 drops lavender
Note: Whenever possible add a big handful of Epsom salts to your bath which help to relax muscles and draw out toxins plus so much more, they are magical!
Look for more delicious bath recipes in the coming days. I know it will be hard for me, but I will research and try every recipe to give us all more wonderful ways to enjoy the art of bathing.
Blessings and Love!
Bath Blends To Try:
More Nourishing Mama Mission...
Image Credit: Morgue File (photos 1 -5)
When I hear "a sniffle and a sneeze" coming from one of my kids, my brain starts to spin with questions about what action if any I should take in regards to the sounds/signs their body is making.
"Is Violet getting sick or did she just inhale a bit of something that is making her sneeze?"
"Nyssa has coughed five times this morning, how is she doing?"
I try not to be an alarmist because I know the innate vitally of my kids is strong and that they will be fine. And further, that sometimes, we need to be sick. We need a break and that is ok too.
Everyone has their own protocol for how to help their sick kid. For my family I do try to catch things early if I can. I have a general idea of what my kids' normal is.... how does their tongue normally look? Are their eye's sparkly and their cheeks rosy? What does the temperature of their skin usually feel like when they wake up? I pay attention as best I can and when things begin to look/feel a bit off, I take measures to help them right away and I start to give my kids things from the following list. This is my first line of defense for my kids. If a cold or flu settles in we move on to other remedies.
Here is what I have found works well for my kids and my family.
- Elderberry Syrup ~ Click Here to learn all about elderberry and how to use it.
- Catnip Tea ~ When my kids need catnip tea, they suck it down like soda pop. Great right before bed to aid sleep and fight infections. Brew one tablespoon in a big cup of just boiled water for 10 minutes. You might want to sweeten it with honey or agave.
- St. John's Wort/ Lemon Balm Tea ~ Blend together a small handful of each, cover with just boiled water and steep for at least 20 minutes. These herbs are great antivirals and relaxants. My girls have their own little personal tea pots and they love having a special pot all brewed up just for them when they are feeling crummy.
- Umcka ~ I found this product recently. All I can say, is that it really works! My kids love the taste of the syrup so it is really easy to give it to them.
- Vitamin D ~ Wonderful for prevention during the winter months. Check out this video from one of my amazing teachers, Paul Bergner, for info about using vitamin D.
- Essential Oils ~ Lavender & Spearmint for kids age 2 to 6 years with the addition of Ravensara & Eucalyptus for older kids. Use any of these in the bath and in a humidifier, are great. But my favorite thing to do is to dilute a couple of drops of essential oil in a generous teaspoon of carrier oil and use this mixture to give my child (or myself) a nice firm foot massage before bed. Follow up with snuggly socks and sweet dreams.
- Homemade Soup ~ Chicken is my favorite with lots of veggies, garlic and medicinal mushrooms.
- Increase Liquids ~ Lots and lots, really anything they will drink as long as it is not sugary, though I will give them diluted juice, if that is all they will drink
- Hot Apple Cider ~ Speaking of juice... I make this with diluted apple juice, cinnamon chips and fresh ginger. I just combine about a cup of juice, a cup of water, up to an inch or so of chopped ginger and a tablespoon of cinnamon chips in a pan. Simmer for at least 20 minutes and serve. Warming, immunostimulating and yummy!
- Oscillococcinum ~ for flu exposure. My homeopathic doctor friend told me that taking a third of the tube through out the day is the best way to take it rather then taking the whole remedy at once.
- Eliminate ~ refined sugar, dairy, and citrus.
- Promote Rest
- Love ~ the most important part!
- For Parents ~ Raw Garlic is great. I mince it up with a bit of salt and add it to whatever we are eating or putting it on a piece of toast with olive oil. Everything else above is great for mom and dad too.
Note ~ There are a lot of wonderful products on the market for helping us to stay healthy. When the above measures don't stop illness in its tracks, I move on to Wish Garden Herbs formulations, they have some wonderful formulations for both kids and adults. All of their products are amazing. I have tried many for myself, my kids and recommended them often with consistent wonderful feedback. My favorites for kids are their Ear Combo for ear infections. I keep this one on hand. It is really effective and helpful when you are awakened in the middle of the night by a kid in pain. Also, their Kick-It products and Cold Season Symptoms are wonderful. I had many parents give me rave reviews about the Cold Season remedy when I worked retail.
What do you do to keep yourself and your family healthy? I am always looking for great tips and suggestions!
Art inspired by Aromatherapy and Emotional Awareness with Children
Breathe deep and what do you feel? Taking a slow deep breath relaxes mind and body bringing clarity and calming anxiety. Now take a deep breath of a high quality aromatic essential oil and all the therapeutic benefits of the oil are added to the experience. Um, I am feeling more relaxed just thinking about it!
We conducted our own little experiment to see how different essential oils made us feel. Seated in a circle on the floor I passed around smell sticks I had made from card stock. Each stick had a number on it which corresponded to my list of essential oils. I did this because I didn't want the kids to know what oil they were smelling but then I realized, silly me, they can't read yet! I got a good chuckle at myself for that one. Anyways, we passed around the sticks one at a time having fun sniffing. After everyone had their fill of smelling each stick, we tried to figure out how what we had smelled made us feel. We took the smell stick and placed it on a wheel I had drawn with the emotions calm, happy and refreshed.
It was so very cute to watch the kids smelling and feeling. When we passed around the stick with orange on it the kids got giggly and wiggly. We decided that orange made us happy! Lavender produced a group of peaceful, relaxed and quiet kids; still where they sat and reflective. We decided that lavender was a mix between refreshed and calm, but "mostly calm." We also investigated cedarwood, spearmint, cardamon and rosemary.
Here is a chart of our results:
- Lavender: calmingly refreshed
- Orange: happy
- Spearmint: happy and refreshed
- Cardamon: calm
- Cedarwood: very, very calm
- Rosemary: refreshed
After all of our sniffing and feeling was done, I asked the kids to each choose their very favorite oil to create a piece of art work with.
Can you guess what oil was the most popular?
Isn't it wonderful how children just want to be happy? What a gift it is to be around such joy. A few kids wanted lavender and one chose cedarwood. Apparently, none of them needed to be refreshed!
Next I gave them piece of paper with a drop of their chosen oil in the corner. I asked them to create a piece of art work with the emotion and smell as their inspiration.
The kids were very creative and had a blast!
Shared on: Kid's Co-op
Just Me, Myself and I
This is important. This is something many of us forget. This is something we need to remember for ourselves and the other people in our lives. Each of us has a responsibility to care for ourselves. When feeling depleted and frustrated it is hard to care for others and more over, we deserve to take care of us, to feel good and happy. As a mom I find it so easy to forget about myself and get caught up in the everydayness of life; all the things each day that come and go pulling my attention. It is easy to become overwhelmed and depleted at a very deep level.
Well, today it was time to take care of me!
We had a fun and exciting holiday season topped off with four birthdays in our immediate family. That is right four! We are all Capricorns and have our birthdays from December 29th to January 11th. With two little girls eager to celebrate their special day and with the excitement of Christmas, the last six weeks were a whirl wind of planning and activity. I always try to make their birthdays a bit extra special because, let's face it, having a birthday close to Christmas and New Year can be a big bummer. So this year, true to form, they each made special plans and we carried them out to the best of our ability. So, for me, today really feels like the first day of the new year, like the holidays are finally over and I can get on with life. But instead of feeling ready to go and grab the bull by the horns so to speak, I found myself feeling grouchy and tired. Previous life experience gained from ignoring signals from my body told me that I must stop, truly, and take sometime for just me. Just me, myself and I. With the kids at school and nothing immediately pressing in my day I decided to seize the morning and after a bit of ponderous deliberation settled upon a good old fashion spa day. As a young woman I used to relish in a custom, homemade spa day for myself once a week. Unlike in my youth when I would do hair masks and rinses and multiple different facial masks while soaking in a herbal bath, today's spa day needed to be easy while also feeling decant. I would say that I hit upon the perfect balance because now that I am done not only does my skin feel fabulous but my soul is peaceful, my mom brain is refreshed and clear, and well, I smell really good too!
The components of a luxurious, nourishing and simple mommy spa day
For this easy and relaxing morning I chose to do a honey mask, milky salt bath, shea butter foot rub and to finish off by brushing my favorite essential oil lavender right into my hair. Each time I move my head I am still surrounded by drifts of calming lavender being liberated from my hair. Um....
This spa day was simple with hardly any preparation required and easy to execute.
Here is how I did it...
- Honey Mask: I put a spoonful of honey into a bowl then added 3 drops of helichrysum (great for skin health and encouraging fresh new skin cell growth) and 2 drops of lavender essential oil to the bowl along with a sprinkle of mild soothing kaolin clay. While I am super lucky to have all of this in my bathroom, simple honey alone would be excellent because it is so very hydrating and nourishing for the skin. Before getting in the bath I applied this mixture to my whole face. It is important to put honey on dry skin as it kind of dissolves away when exposed to water. I left this mask on for my entire bath and throughly enjoyed the scent of honey and helichrysm wafting up to my nose! After rinsing the mask off at the end of my bath I followed up with a small amount of rose infused coconut oil from my favorite herbal apothecary Rebecca's. This oil was dreamed up by none other than oil making goddess Rebecca. So amazing!
- Milky Salt Bath: Epsom salts always find their way into my baths nowadays but today I wanted something special. So I filled a large glass to the brim with milk, took it into the bathroom and dumped it into the tub along with about two cups of epsom salts (this amazing salt relax muscles). Milk bathes, reputedly used by none other than Cleopatra, hydrate and smooth skin. Then when I got into the tub I added 8 drops of lavender and 4 drops of cedarwood (encourages a meditative mind and releases stress) essential oils and gave the water a good whooshing to mix in the oils. Now, I admit it, I take baths pretty regularly. I consider it one of my rights as a human being. But this bath was special. I think the milk really held the essential oils in suspension so that the smell from oils permeated the water for the entire length of the bath. It was so luscious!
- Shea Butter Foot Rub: After my bath I got all dry and toasty and then I gave my feet a nice rub with some rosemary lavender shea butter that I have on my nightstand but don't use often enough. My feet were thanking me as the dryness and tension melted away. Then cuddly warm socks topped my feet and kept the moisture where it needed to be.
- Lavender Hair Brushing: Last but not least, a few drops of lavender on my brush and some kind strokes through my hair topped off this wonderful experience. Lavender essential oil is a great conditioner for hair and the aromatic benefits of brushing essential oils into ones hair is profound because the oil is placed so close to the nose!
So here I am. Happy and calm again. So glad to be sharing my beautiful morning. It always surprises me that with a little intent and attention things can readily change. Feelings become clearer and thoughts settle. This was a fun adventure in self care using what I had on hand so that I could really focus on me. Now, when my kids come home from school, they will find a happier mom. A mom who is ready to listen fully and play and cuddle with her whole self!