Nope, I'm not talking about fighting with your loved ones over the holiday. I'm talking about fighting germs and viruses at home with natural products. Lately, I've gotten lots of questions about how I personally use essential oils. Since my devotional book was published, many have looked to me for essential oil insight. And, while I do have a passion for and experience with oils for myself, I am not an aromatherapist. I do, however, have a trusted team I turn to for my essential oils. There's a small family company called Imani Naturals in Minnesota. Brian is the founder and he was so kind to take the time to help me edit the aromatherapy section of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit. I love not only their products but also their hearts at Imani Naturals.
Their Infection Fighting Kit includes oil blends that have already been diluted and are likely safe for use on your person or in your home (I say likely safe because people can be allergic to anything, always test any new oils or blends in a small place on your body before you slather them everywhere!). As of this post, this kit is on sale for $99 and if you use my blog code, "exploringpeace" Brian will send you a free oil too! So what is in this infection fighting kit and how do you use it?
Also in our home, I have the Guardian blend diffusing constantly this season. We're washing hands, taking our supplements, and will be getting a vaccine when it's available. While there's no guarantee for avoiding COVID-19 (our son has had it already), we're doing our best to stay well and essential oils are part of that regimen. While there are tons of diffusers on the market, I've found I like a larger capacity diffuser with varied settings. I set mine up to diffuse intermittently and that means filling it less often (and yes, you do need to wipe out and clean your diffusers when not in use).
How did I learn about essential oils? Well, for one you I looked to trusted sources, like this information and education from companies I know, as well as aromatherapists and their books. I also use my oils regularly to discover what supports my body and my spirit. Aromatherapy is more than just "smelling good" it is an embodied experience that offers natural benefits such as infection fighting, something I'm leaning into to support my body and spirit in these challenging times.
What essential oils are your favorite for infection fighting?
We're in unprecedented times, challenging times. We're amidst a dark season of national discord and a worldwide pandemic. No matter what you're personally feeling, there is uncertainty and there is fear all around us.
And, guess what? There is also an invitation for joy! This is the third week of advent and we're moving rapidly toward Christmas. How can we experience the challenges we've faced this year and embrace JOY? I keep thinking of Mary. What challenges she faced and what joy she delivered!
Our advent retreat in thePeace Seekers community has featured weekly playlists taking us from Advent to Christmas. Music has a way of helping me slow down, listen, be present, and enJOY whatever activity I'm amidst. In tough times, music helps me contemplate, pause, and feel companioned. In joyous times it helps me celebrate and savor. What does music offer you?
Our Peace Seekers on retreat are enjoying the weekly playlists and I thought I would share this one with you! I pray it's an invitation to ponder joy this season. May it carry you from the waiting and the unknown to the joy of the coming of Christ. May the music be with you in the highs and in the lows. May it help remind you that the joy of Christ's coming is not only near, it's for each of us. It gives me joy to receive and share that gift!
A Christmas Prayer
WHEN LIFE FORCES US TO WRESTLE with what's difficult, give us courage.
Teach us that there is a purpose in everything we experience, and everything is more than it appears to be.
This world is permeated by your Presence, and is your Presence in form.
May we be drawn to your Voice above the other, competing voices.
Great and Holy one, we pray for Peace.
Take us to the abode of Peace for which all hearts long.
WE PRAY TO FIND STILLNESS WITHIN our busyness, and
Rest in the midst of our celebrations and activity.
Show us how to walk more gently, more patiently, on the Earth.
Let kindness be born within all hearts.
Teach us to draw together as one people.
May our prayer rise up like fire and be Light for a troubled world. This we know, Something is trying to be born in us.
Take our hand as we set out anew.
From Advent: A Time of Hope by Paula D'Arcy.
Did you notice the Exploring Peace Meditations podcast offering more and more Yoga Nidra practices as the year went along? That's because you kept asking for more! And, I heard you when you said you were amazed that it brought so much peace into your body. I've been studying and practicing Yoga Nidra more in this past year and I'm glad to hear your response to the practice. My body and mind love Yoga Nidra and my spirit loves offering it in ways that help me (and your) connect with our Creator.
What is Yoga Nidra? Also known as yogic sleep, this conscious relaxation and meditation practice offers space for your body and your mind to unwind. It feels good all over! Clearly, this is an oversimplified definition but it's the best way I know to explain the practice...until you have practiced it for yourself!
When I shared that this practice would be a bonus in our online advent retreat, I had multiple messages from those of you who were concerned you didn't know how to practice Yoga Nidra. Here's the great thing... You don't have to be able to know anything about it, you simply need to have a willingness to listen and relax!
Yoga Nidra is often practiced in a reclined resting position (think savasana pose in yoga) but can be practiced sitting up as well. It's a form of meditation, body awareness, and true relaxation. Richard Miller (yoga teacher, author, researcher, and psychologist) teaches that "in yoga nidra, we restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function and awaken a seventh sense that allows us to feel wholeness, tranquility, and well-being."
It's a practice that has helped me connect body, mind, and spirit and I hope you find it helps you too.
Have you practiced Yoga Nidra?
Ready to unwind? Click here or listen below.
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC