V-DAY

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I should be more prepared, but inevitably every year it sneaks up on me.  It happened this year on January 5th.  I was leaving the grocery store and on my way out something caught my eye.  A flash of pink…upon closer examination it was a lot of pink, like someone had poured Pepto Bismol all over a display shelf.  There they were…boxes and bags of pink, red, and white candies.  Valentine’s Day.  I was still wishing others “happy new year” and the powers that be decided it was time for the next big holiday.  Upon registering what I had seen, my first reaction was son of a…eye roll…already?

My reaction isn’t a new one and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has less to do with rushing to the next holiday and more to do with my history with this day.  When I looked back I see that up until adulthood, my experiences were mostly positive.  Picking out valentines for my classmates, the party at school, coming home with a box full of cards and if I was lucky, some of the cards had candy attached to them!  But, fast forward to adulthood and it is riddled with some success, but also loneliness, and unmet expectations.    My expectation for the day has always revolved around someone else or the absence of someone else.  Do I have plans? Do I have a special someone? Will they come through? Will we have fun? Will they get me something I like? If I go deeper beyond expectations though, because let’s be honest I could choose to let those go, I was hinging my happiness on something or someone external to myself.  This is a shaky place to reside in life.  I have learned this the hard way over the past five or so years.  My whole life, my dad always was there for me with a card, flowers, and his never ending support when an inattentive boyfriend wasn’t or when I was single.  When he passed away, I was unsure how to feel important or loved on my own.  I had to learn that.  A year and a half ago, I broke off a long term relationship.  Whatever I didn’t learn about knowing and loving myself when I lost my dad, I had to face through this experience.  Who am I? What do I like to do? What makes me feel good?  Life throws us all types of challenges: death, divorce, break-ups.  It is inevitable.  But, if you know yourself and love yourself, life’s changes and challenges can be moved through more easily.  

There is a saying that you can only love someone else as much as you love yourself.  Well, it is true.  

After interviewing people and listening to thousands of stories, Brene Brownwas able to develop a definition of love.  She proposes, “…love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them.  We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.” Brene Brown goes on to say that this definition was tough for her to accept because she didn’t want her level of self-love to “limit” how much she can love her family members.  Do you know why? Because loving others and accepting their limitations is much easier than doing that for ourselves. 

I always get resistance from my clients about this concept.  Love myself? Put myself first? Isn’t that selfish?  It is actually the opposite.  Here is why.  You have more to give if you give to yourself first.  On top of that, your relationships experience less pressure, less expectation if you are able to take care of yourself and supply yourself with your basic needs.  We get into trouble when we overly rely on others to make us feel loved, accepted, and worthy.  It sets up an unhealthy dynamic that might work at first, but ultimately, causes resentment, self-sabotage, and hurt among other things.  Louise Haystates that, “self-love is the most important gift we can give ourselves, because when we love who we are, we will not hurt ourselves, and we will not hurt anyone else.”  

My challenge to you is to set a goal this Valentine’s Day.  Vow to love yourself.  Think a loving thought or shut down a negative one.  Set a boundary.  Say no without supplying an excuse.  Sign up for an exercise or creative class.  Learn to get quiet or meditate.   Approach yourself with compassion, forgiveness and generosity on Valentine’s Day and every other day.  It will benefit you and your relationships will become easier, more peaceful, and loving.  If you can put these principles into practice for yourself, you will be more willing to approach others in your life this way.  

This year I have been able to make peace with Valentine’s Day.  When I really examined my thoughts and feelings after my initial reaction of dread, I felt okay about not knowing what Valentine’s Day or any other day will hold for me when it comes to love–from someone else that is.  I do know what it holds when it comes to loving myself.  The work I have done in this area has been challenging, but it continues to grow and no person, no bad date, no lack of a date can take that away from me.  And that is an empowering place to be.  

 

 

Annalisa is an education research psychologist, licensed professional counselor, and registered yoga teacher.  She offers counseling, life and professional coaching, and movement therapy using yoga practices.  Her philosophy is holistic and believes it is important to examine each part of life because she truly believes everything is connected when it concerns mental, emotional, and physical suffering and pain.  Annalisa feels truly grateful to be doing this work and believes her purpose in this life is to assist others on their journeys to self-discovery and healing. You can reach her via e-mail at amgramlich@yahoo.com or by phone at 816.916.9642

 

Sea Spray for Skin

 


At Hagoyah, we’re big fans of natural ingredients. And this sea spray for skin combines two of our favorites: natural sea salt and magnesium!  Together, they nourish the skin and strengthen the body.

 Both sea salt and saltwater have long histories of serving the body, in beauty recipes and skin therapies. This combination, when used in a therapeutic way, even has its own name: thalassotherapy. That’s the therapeutic use of saltwater, for short!

Many people notice reduced acne and a more refined, clear complexion when using sea salt for skin. Sea salt typically appears in salt scrubs, but this gentle sea spray can be left on to continuously nourish the skin. The minerals in salt can also tighten your skin and reduce wrinkles.

Aside from its beauty benefits, this sea spray leaves skin feeling refreshed and light. It can serve as a facial toner or as an all-over skin nourishing spray. If you’ve never tried salt on the skin, try this simple and inexpensive recipe!

 

DIY Sea Spray for healthy skin

 Try this nourishing sea salt spray for skin to reduce acne and firm skin. This spray leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add Himalayan or sea salt and Epsom salt/magnesium to the warm water and stir until salts are completely dissolved.
  • Add essential oils (if using) and store the end product in a glass jar or spray bottle.
  • To use: Apply to your skin by spraying or with a cotton pad as a toner. Great for use as part of a daily skin care routine of after swimming.

 

 

 

Notes

  • In place of distilled water, an herbal tea if it is made from dried herbs. Calendula or chamomile tea work well in this recipe — or mint tea can be used for a cooling spray!

Wellness Week – Detox Bath

In honor of Wellness Week I wanted to start with a simple question,  “What is wellness?” 

The true definition is the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health. “Stress affects every aspect of wellness.” Our world is full of stress relief remedies and detox being one of the most natural can be a great tool for us. Detox means to literally rid the body of poisonous substance and in this case that poison is stress. 

A detox bath will help your body in eliminating toxins as well as adsorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water.  

 

1. Prepare your bath on a day that you will have at least 40 minutes available. The first twenty minutes are said to help remove the toxins, while the second twenty minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water.

2. Fill your tub with comfortably hot water. Use a chlorine filter if possible.

3. Add Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Soaking in Epsom salts actually helps replenish the body’s magnesium levels, combating hypertension.

The sulfate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints.You can purchase Epsom salt at garden centers and pharmaceutical centers, I got mine at Walgreen’s.

4. Add 1-2 cups or more of baking soda. Baking soda is known for its cleansing ability and even has anti-fungal properties, also leaving the skin soft.

5. Add ground ginger or fresh ginger tea. While this step is optional, ginger can increase your heat levels, helping to sweat out toxins. However, since it is heating to the body, it may cause your skin to turn slightly red for a few minutes, so be careful with the amount you add. Depending on the capacity of your tub, and your sensitivity, anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 cup can be added.(Most people sweat profusely with the addition of the ginger, and if you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after getting out of the tub, you can continue to detoxify through perspiration for another couple of hours. This is especially beneficial if you are trying to rid the body of a bug of some sort, like the flu, or a cold.)

6. Add aromatherapy oils. Again optional, but many people love the fragrance of such oils and for many, the oils have particular therapeutic properties available. There are many oils that will make the bath an even more pleasant and relaxing experience (such as lavender), as well as those that will assist in the detoxification process (tea tree oil or eucalyptus). Around 20 drops is sufficient for a standard bath.

7. Swish all of the ingredients around in the tub, then soak. Again, 40 minutes is recommended (the longer the better), but aim for at least 20. You should start sweating within the first few minutes. 

8. Get out of the tub slowly and carefully. Your body has been working hard and you may get lightheaded or feel weak and drained. On top of that, the salts make your tub slippery, so stand with care.

9. Drink plenty of water. Any time your body detoxes (after this type of bath, a massage, or chiropractic work, for example), you need to flush out toxins. If you don’t, you will likely feel sick afterwards.

10. After the bath, you might like to rub down your body with a loofah or vegetable bristle brush. This can help to stimulate the lymphatic system, which can aid with the release of toxins. Use long, gentle sweeping strokes aimed toward the heart.

 Tips:

– It’s also a good idea to drink water before and during your bath, especially if you’re feeling overheated from the tub water.

– Don’t eat immediately before or after the bath.

– Have your towel nearby the tub and ready so that you can wrap up immediately and continue the detox.

– Eucalyptus essential oil in a warm bath helps open breathing passages.

– Make sure you don’t put water that’s too hot, you can pass out.

– Don’t wet your hair in this water.

– Turn off the lights. Light candles. Clear your mind, meditate & relax. 

 

Warnings:

– Before adding herbs not on the list to your bath, read what their effects are. – 

– Do not take a hot bath or a detox bath if you are pregnant, or have heart, kidney, or any other health issues.