Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

chamomile3

Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

IMG_4029

So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

Comparison Can Bring You, Joy, Too!

goodcomparison4Sometimes we watch people “come up” and the green-eyed monster shows up on our shoulders making us wonder why they are getting the things that we have been longing for. Friends are getting new jobs, new lovers, getting engaged or married, having babies, buying nice things, becoming famous, getting promoted and/or getting recognized.

We can look at what is going on in their lives and not feel negative emotions. It’s possible! You can admire what you see happening in their lives without questioning your own success. Economists and psychologists call it downward comparison.  If you compare upward about things you can’t change, then you’re just going to feel stuck. No Bueno!

Comparing ourselves to others does not have to be an unhealthy, negative practice. It doesn’t have to be self-loathing or full of jealousy. Comparing yourself can be goodcomparisonproductive…say whaaaaaaat?!

There are pros and cons to this thing right? It is not good if we are trying to gain a sense of superiority or avoiding challenging yourself to do better. Or comparison can remind us of our own fortune…it serves as a reality check.

It can motivate us, give a different perspective, and make us appreciate our lives.  Comparison can lead to some incredible breakthroughs.

I know this sounds completely unusual. The internet and popular opinion say that we should stop comparing ourselves to others. There are so so many articles out there that tell you why you shouldn’t compare…and I agree with their points. This is just another way to look at a comparison.

goodcomparison1Honestly, we should definitely delight in the success, well-being, and growth of our loved ones. A little comparison can cause a light to go off in your head…your life and motivate you to not only aim higher but to put some action to it. Celebrating others and comparing may help us see where we are,  how far we have come and that we should be celebrated too. It can show us that we are worthy of more and push us forward.

When you see others win, you realize that you deserve more too, that you can grow as well, your time may come later but you are still worthy of your heart’s desire if it lines up with your destiny.

This is something that I have been working on for a while and it really has kept me on goodcomparison3track. I do not have envy in my life. I feel good about who I am becoming. I spend less time being self-deprecating (not all the way there yet- this will be a long journey for me) and it feels good to have less negative emotions flowing through me.

After comparing yourself, you may look yourself in the face and affirm your values, your own worth, and even bigger, what you want out of life.

In the book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holidays says, “Stare at it until you can. Only then you will understand what matters and what doesn’t. Only then can you say no, can you opt out of stupid races that don’t matter, or even exist.

goodcomparison5Stare at it…

Look at it…

Soak in it…

Own your feelings! The more we look at other people and compare our movements with theirs, we will look at where we are and where we wanna be. You will understand what matters to you and what doesn’t. You will learn your worth and act accordingly…

Why Your Squad May Be Hurting You

SquadgoalsOk, so let’s talk about your squad. I am proud to say that I am an introvert but I am a timely social butterfly when life calls for it. At the same  time, I would love to have a squad like that show “Girlfriends.” They had a little bit of everything and that is what friendships are all about.

We do tend to have a wide variety of people in our lives. I have some people that I have communicated with since younger than high school days, people that I have worked with (past and present) that I still talk to, family/friends, and church associates that have squadgoals3become more. I mean, we all should have that one friend that you should never put on speakerphone (this would be me), the one that is always down to eat or shop, and the spontaneous one who is always down to do something crazy.

One thing on the list of changes that I wanna see in my life for this year was having a positive vibes only circle. I mean truthfully, we are all going to have experiences that are trying and cause not-so-positive feelings, but having a squad that you can count on to bring you out of depression and add value to your life is a gold mine.

Consider who your people are…and what you actually need. Then think about this… yousquadgoals2 are a reflection of the people that you surround yourself with.

That means you need to think about who you want to be…Do you want to be positive? Driven? An entrepreneur? A go-getter? Empowered? That means that you need to get around those that are where you want to be or are working on going in the same direction so that you can motivate each other and hold one another accountable.

Take stock. Look at your closest friends and ask yourself if they challenge you, elevate you, listen to you, hold you accountable, or add value to you. Remember that the people squadgoals4that you are spending most of your time with are the ones that will impact your mindset so you have to make sure that you are on common ground for the most part if you are ready to grow and have that positive mindset. Do not invest your time in people that drain you or drag you down. Do not listen to people that tell you that you are dreaming too big or that you cannot do something. Weed those suckers and dream-killers out of your immediate circle.

Positive Vibes Only!!!!

Sometimes it is hard for us to see the ones that are draining us. Check on yourself after you have spent a little time with your friends/family or after a phone conversation. How do you feel? Are you drained, sad, worrying? If they are one of those people that you roll your eyes at when their name comes across your phone..they are one of THEM!

squadgoals1We have to stop allowing negative thoughts to set up camp in our brains. They are going to come but that does not mean they can stay. And that means the negative people as well! If it or they are not going to add to you and help you be your best self…they need to keep their distance. Spend less time with them! Don’t answer every call, especially when you are having an excellent day. Do not get me wrong, none of us is perfect, but we can work toward having what we need in order to be who we desire to be. Paying attention to who is surrounding us is an act of self-love and self-care so do not feel guilty for creating a space between you and them.  We want to spend most of our time with people who inspire us, encourage us and enrich our lives.

IMG_2120I need a squad around me that consistently build me up and add value to me. I deserve that because that is the kind of friend that I am. I truly want to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful badass women! There are so many of you out there and you deserve the same. Choose wisely. There is no rush. Where you are going, not every friend you presently have is equipped to go, know that. And that is ok!

You should want your friends to be whole and happy and they should want the same for you. You should want those same friends to not be afraid to call you out on your BS because you would give them the same. They should be ready to celebrate with you, mourn with you, and push you when you get lazy. When you have friends that support you and check on you, and even tell you when you are being an ass, you have everything…Congratulations!

5 Things We Need To Stop Saying

mindset4“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” -Buddha

This is something I have really had my mind on lately! I have been working on thinking about what I am thinking about. It really makes a huge difference in my day…my attitude about what is happening for me, what I am doing, how much I am actually getting done. I work on not spending much time with what Joyce Meyer’s calls “stinkin. thinkin'” daily.

So what mindset shifts have I been working on to get things rolling so I can feel more fulfilled in my life? These can actually happen without physically changing anything in your life.

STOP Saying…

  • I will do/be (blank) once I have (blank)- We have to stop thinking that we will mindset2change once we have the results that we want. I don’t know about you but to me, that is almost backward thinking. To get the results we desire, we have to change the way we are thinking, our words, and our actions first. So we should change this statement to I need to do/be (blank) so I can have (blank). It is truly our beliefs and actions that create our circumstances, not the other way around.
  • Everything is either negative or positive- We have a habit of polarizing situations. In reality, everything is really balanced. Every situation that we experience is neither positive or negative until we attach our emotions and feelings to them. We do not want to be super negative, but we also don’t want to be overly positive either. That will make us overly naive and we can miss some warning signs, and maybe even attract negative situations to our lives in order to balance things out. I have been working out looking for the benefits and lessons, also the drawbacks in each situation and trying to understand that everything is really neutral.
  • mindset1I can’t- The quality of our lives can be determined by the quality of our questions. We need to stop looking at our skills a being limited and start framing our thought to be “how can I?”. Don’t say “I can’t afford that…”. Instead ask yourself, “How can I afford that?”. We have to work on rewiring our brains to ask how things will be possible instead of focusing on what is lacking. Speak opportunity!
  • This is happening to me- This was actually a hard one for me. I threw myself pity parties a lot in my earlier adult years and looking back, I would have been so annoyed to be around me back then. I have been to counseling a few times since then and I can remember one of them telling me to change the “to” in that phrase to “for”. This is happening FOR me! When we say it the other way, we are giving our power away and victimizing ourselves….WOW. When we change it to this is happening FOR me, we are showing gratitude for the experience (even if we do not like it) and we look for the opportunity and blessings in the experience. As soon asmindset we hear ourselves saying something that puts us in the victim role, we have to reframe our thinking about how the event is serving our well being.

These are really simple things that I am working on and I know that it is going to take some time. We have to train our minds and when we stop working on it, we will see ourselves slipping back into our old habits. We have to work daily to rewire our thought patterns. I am constantly reading books, listening to podcasts, talking to like-minded people, saying daily affirmations, and meditating to reinforce the mindset that I want to have. Work on one at a time. Knock one down and work on the next. Slow and steady wins the race. Life is not a race but a marathon; rushing through may cause you to quit before you see the real benefits.

And GO!

 

 

Happy Birthday To Me!

happybirthday

This year has been all about me trusting myself. I was really bad at doing that. I have to confess that I did not trust myself and I was a severe overthinker. I am using year 46 to trust myself and use my time doing as opposed to thinking about doing.

In other words, I am saying “F” it!

img_1584.jpgI am going to do it, say it….travel, wear, write, fly, love…do whatever it is that I am always thinking about doing.

I know that I am not the only one over here that rarely takes immediate action. No…I know better! I overthink and overthink and overthink…you probably do too!

When we overthink, we are letting ourselves know that we do not trust our gut. If we are not listening to our gut, we end up paralyzed by things we do not have or characteristics we have not developed yet, the things you have yet to win or receive, and the happiness that you have been hoping for. Overthinking makes us focus on what we do not have and what we are not. Not cool…I quit! Know what else? It leads to nothing getting done…even worse.

When I finally decided, on Christmas Day, that I was gonna say “F” it to overthinking and start listening to my gut, I pay more attention to what I can control and what I already have. I have become more positive, more grateful, and life seems so much more simple.

How am I learning to trust myself more?

First I listen to podcasts! One of my very favorites is Having it A.L.L by Michael Bivens.

IMG_2120

He recently did a Trust Challenge and I joined it. I had so much fun and it was more than an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about myself and I have been continuing on and trusting myself even more now than I ever have. Look him up! His podcast is awesome and you will not be sorry.

I am learning to act when I come up with an idea. Research something, do something that supports the idea so that it does not just sit there and fade into the background. The more time I wait, the more doubt sets in…I question myself and start to focus on what I do not have and how I fall short. Not happening anymore!!! “F” that!

When we put actions to our thoughts, the experience itself will trump everything else. Experience will replace the thoughts of coming up short. When you get an idea..act!! The more we practice, the more tools we gain to add to our tool belt of experience. Doing this, happybirthday1you find out how right your gut can be. I know that since I have begun this journey, I have to stop wasting time worrying and just do what I feel will add to who I am. No more limits!

I have to tell you that this season of my life had been so freeing! I am liberated and have lifted the burden of overthinking and I am in the process of being free from it. I have so much more positive energy and I absolutely love who I am becoming. I am no longer wasting time on things that I cannot control or scenarios that do not matter.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!XGJI6585

 

 

 

Trying something new! Crystals

pink gemstone

Photo by Erin Profaci on Pexels.com

So I told myself that I would be trying a lot of new things this year. I want to conquer my fears and answer some questions this year. I want to learn as many things as I can learn and stop saying the words “I’m sorry” because it’s not true (I will go into that one on another day).

Crystals have been used throughout history as a source of healing power. The ancient cultures have used crystals and precious stones for clearing and transforming energies, spirit, and physical, along with the alignment of the body. The Mayans, the Egyptians, and the Sumerians were some of the ancient cultures that used crystals as adornments for the body and buildings.

close up photo of person holding crystal stone

Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

It seems like the information about the healing properties of these crystals and stones have been forgotten by many but there has been a recent surge of interest in them again.  I am always down for a little more ancient education so this is one of the new things that I am going to try.

How do they work? Ok, so the entire universe is made up of energy. Even solid objects, like this chair I am sitting in, and the hair on our heads, at the most basic levels, are vibrations of energy. That means that crystals are made up of the same kind of energy.

Crystals are in a lot of things like our quartz watches, the components in our computers and smartphones, even in our medications! The crystals and stones are used to heal everything from migraines to anxiety and more. I read in my research that healing crystals can accelerate your medication practices, align your chakras ( we will be visiting this one soon as well) to name a few things. There is no limit to the healing you can get with the right crystal or stone and the right application.

There are 3 ways that crystals and stones can transform your energy and resolve your

accessory amethyst birthstone bright

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

imbalance

  • Clearing. This happens when the crystal absorbs and removes certain types of energies from your body.
  • Energizing. They can also push energy into your body, mind, spirit through inducing resonant frequencies, the way electricity works…except crystal healing does not cause pain and is not dangerous.
  • Balancing. Sometimes our energy is out of balance, and certain crystals help to balance out areas of energetic disharmony.

There are a few ways to use healing crystals. You can wear them, meditate with them, Sleep near them, place them in your home or car, or using something called a healing grid (I don’t know about all of that).

Now I did also read that because the crystals were somewhere absorbing energy before you received them, it is good to “cleanse their energy” and align it with yours by soaking then in purified water, salt water, or holy water. And be sure to clean your crystals after each use.

Now for some samples…..

White/clear crystals are very absorbent. They are perfect for learning and cleansing any type of energy. Examples are Quartz, Moonstone, and Selenite.

Brown crystals and stones are grounding, meaning they guide, protect, and clear. Use them when you are trying to make room in your life for a new job or relationship. Some examples are Tiger’s Eye, Halite, or Petrified wood.

accessory art beads beautiful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Blue healing crystals are all about openness and communication. These can be used when you are looking for truth to be revealed or finding your own truth. Some examples are Sapphire, Sodalite, Angelite.

Violet is one of the most powerful colors of our color spectrum. It combines warm and cool and vibrates at a very high frequency (of course, it’s my favorite color!). Violet crystals are perfect when you need uplifting and can induce a spiritual experience or call on a higher power to guide you. Examples are Amethyst, Iolite, and Sugilite.

Pink makes us think about romance and love. It can bring about loving energy and compassion.  Pink also deflects anger, which helps to draw in romance or just cause you to feel the love.

Black is for protection. The black healing crystals deflect everything. They are strong so if you want to repel any kind of energy at all so you can use them to drive all negativepexels-photo-682952.jpeg energies away from you.

Indigo is calming and brings soothing energy your way. It will help you to cool out when you are carrying anxious, fragile energy. Some examples are Kyanite, Azurite, and Lazuli

Green is for balance. These have been used for physical healing. Too much of anything can cause illness in our bodies and green healing stones are said to redirect our energies and balance them out…hence balancing your body. Some examples are Jade, Emerald, and Malachite.

Orange is soothing and energizing. The healing stones release negative energy and clear out a room for a boost of energy. They are best used when you are feeling down. Examples are Copper, Sunstone, and Aragonite.

Yellow is great for reorganizing your energy patterns. When you are thinking about trying to instill a new habit or even breaking an unhealthy one, think of using these sunny gems. Some examples are Amber, Sulphur, or Mookaite.

Red healing crystals have a lot of energy. I guess if you think about red warning signs or stop signs. The color red invokes a surge

red candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

of energy. SO when you need a pick me up, reach for your red gem instead of that caffeine.

 

I don’t know which ones I am going to try first but I definitely want to find out how well they work. If you have already tried them or are currently using them, please leave a comment on your experience and I welcome any opinions of course about the practice. I can’t wait to find out how this ancient practice can help this girl and her mind, body, and soul get lined up…….

to be continued………