Seasonal Health and Transitions

Seasonal Health and Transitions

Essential oils were made for easing anxiety, depression, heaviness of spirit, and sadness, all of which can creep into our lives during the change of seasons. Essential oils are at their most effective for these times of transition, when we need an infusion of brightness and grounding. Comment below with which oils have worked for you, or with questions about how to use the ones I’ve suggested in the graphic. Have a wonderful autumn! Download the full Seasonal Health & Transitions...
Blending Musically

Blending Musically

I struggle mightily with expressing my vision and approach to healing work in a way that adequately represents it. To me, essential oils are the essence of Nature’s beauty and spirit, and deeply associated with God’s love and care for us. My healing work with essential oils comes through me, from a place both inside and outside myself. There is a rhythm to my process and a strong connection inside me to what I can only describe as artful creation. One day I may be gifted with the best words to explain what my work means to me and how I feel while creating it. Kandinsky to the rescue Meanwhile, Wassily Kandinsky, in his 1914 book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, has found a way to express something that has helped me understand myself and the world. Isn’t it great how art and literature can do that? He writes about how different forms of art are getting closer to each other, closer to harmonizing and utilizing the strengths of one to augment the message in another. He is particulary focused on the powerful role of music in this merging. With few exceptions music has been for some centuries the art which has devoted itself not to the reproduction of natural phenomena, but rather to the expression of the artist’s soul, in musical sound.1 He goes on to say that in order for this borrowing of method to succeed it must come from a place of internal, fundamental understanding of the borrowed form. The adoption of musical methods to painting in the late 1800s and early 1900s (the time period about which he...

Home remedies for battling mosquito bites

Mosquitoes! Those vampiric little demons, sucking out our life blood and replacing it with itchiness, welts, and about a thousand other plagues, have ruined my ability to go into my backyard from May through October. Who cares if you have cool names like “Asian Tiger” and “Cattail,” mosquito? You make puppies sick! You kill around one million people EVERY YEAR! You’re just no good. Experts say that one in 10 people are super attractive to mosquitoes. As a member of that 10%, and someone who is averse to putting highly toxic chemicals all over the skin, I’ve been conducting a one-woman experiment in natural, safe mosquito repelling for over 10 years. Here’s what I’ve figured out for me and my family that keeps mosquitoes from finding us delicious: To fight our foe we have a 3-pronged battle plan. Preparation. About 20-30 minutes before we go into a Potential Mosquito Situation (PMS – ha!), we take a B Complex vitamin. I discovered this completely by accident one summer, when I noticed a mosquito approach my arm, hover over it, and then fly away. It clicked in my brain (call it intuition) that I’d just taken a B Complex, which does make pee smell really weird. Maybe I smelled weird to the mosquito! Through trial and error (the error mostly being me forgetting to take the B complex, then getting eaten alive), I figured out that B Complex keeps mosquitoes off of me. It works for my daughter, too. “Well,” you may be saying, “perhaps you have some sort of mutant genetic makeup that causes this to work.” To that I...

Neko Case Flings Me Into Space

Oh, that Voice! That VOICE!! And to hear it in Radio City Music Hall, the pinnacle of good acoustics… it was truly magic. Neko Case and her aggressively-bearded band dazzled and amused with a performance that included a smattering of selections from each album and some hilarious banter with her sidekick/backup vocalist/stand up comedienne-in-residence Kelly Hogan. She’s touring to support her new album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. It’s yet another album from her where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and its parts are utterly glorious. Neko Case is known for the force of her voice, and the beauty of her lyrics. Seeing Neko live was every bit as spiritually and auditorially fulfilling as I had hoped it would be. It was a beautifully wrapped and beribboned present. The impact of her voice and poetic lyrics in such an acoustically blessed venue was pretty damn powerful. When an artist like Neko Case unleashes her voice and taps into the power of music as a means of transcension, it is a vehicle that takes you to the top of the mountain and then catapults you into the heavens. [Ed. note: This used to be an embedded video of her performance of Night Still Comes on Jimmy Fallon a couple weeks ago, but the video has been evaporated for what I’m sure are nefarious reasons.] From Night Still Comes: Did they poison my food? Is it cause I’m a girl? If I puked up some sonnets, would you call me a miracle? I’m gonna...

A rose by any other name would still be … squid

Flowers are pretty. They smell good (most of the time). They symbolize emotions like love, joy, and friendship. In aromatherapy the essential oils from flowers are used to promote health, wellness, and harmony. The same cannot be said for stomach of bull, duck tongues, deer eyelids, or chicken combs but somehow Heide Hatry brings out the beauty and emotion in these unlikely objects. I caught her exhibit “Not a Rose” at Stux Gallery this past weekend by happy chance. The photograph shown above caught my eye as I walked by in search of gelato. “What a gorgeous photograph of delicate blossoms,” thought I. Then I caught the caption, and I was hooked. There were maybe 40 photos on display, each one showcasing grotesque parts of animals shaped into lush, exotic, and gorgeous “flowers.” I had a huge smile on my face as I moved from print to print, equal parts amazed and delighted at Hatry’s ability to pull beauty out of what most people would think gross. To me she’s proving that beauty and art are truly everywhere and in everything, from a deer esophagus to a sliced sheep penis. Take a step back and her “flowers” are as gorgeous as anything found in nature. Take a step closer and find the beauty in the disturbing. Heide Hatry is a New York based artist from southern...

Best of 2012

Confession: I didn’t do a great job of staying on top of new music in 2012. There was a three-month miracle where we had a really good indie radio station in the NYC area but as quickly as it appeared it converted to sports radio. One evening I’m grooving to the Wombats, the next morning it’s two guys yelling about the Yankees. A few bands that stood out in 2012 (in my admittedly limited experience) are Atlas Genius, the Wombats, Grimes, and Azealia Banks. I was supposed to see Grimes but the show got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. I was also supposed to see Azealia Banks but got in a car accident earlier that day and was soaking in a hot tub that night instead. Not really a stellar music year. However, 2012 is the year I met in person one of the members of my Holy Trinity: Kristin Hersh! Behold: She performed an all-acoustic night at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York in April. I was in bliss. First off, it’s a gorgeous space. Secondly, she was amazing in every way. She alternated reading from her book Rat Girl with performing songs and being utterly and smartly charming. She played a lot from her early Throwing Muses days, and I was so happy I was just about levitating off my chair. Fish, Hate My Way, Vicky’s Box, and so many more, all done with just her voice and her acoustic guitar. After the show she talked to every person lined up to meet her, including me. I was so starstruck when I met her that...

Southern Comfort

One of the many awesome songs played on the indie station here in Southern Virginia I grew up in what used to be a small-ish suburb1 called Newport News, tucked between Williamsburg and Norfolk, Virginia. I worked summers at Busch Gardens, exchanged mix tapes with friends, drove to Buckroe Beach, or Croatan, or down to Kill Devil Hills and Hatteras to watch the cute surfers, and led a life I judged completely boring. I left for college and never lived in Newport News again. I needed edge! I needed clubs and concerts and art and a city vibe! I needed black clothes and bad attitudes! So I eventually made my way to the New York City metro area. One thing leads to another and here I am several2 years later back in Newport News for a week-long holiday with my daughter. As we are approaching Newport News I’m flipping around the radio stations for something to listen to, and to my utter shock I hear Atlas Genius coming out of the speakers. The next song was something equally indie3 – Battleflag by Lo-Fidelity Allstars. And so was the next. Way to go, 96X! How unbelievably cool to have an indie station here, when there isn’t an indie station anywhere near NYC, a town where you can barely get tickets to shows before they sell out. I had told my Mom I wanted to catch a yoga class while I was in town, and her yoga instructor arranged for me to have a week-long free pass at her studio. So I rolled into town in time for the 5:00 class...

The Art of Scent at MAD is fascinating and fun

I had the serendipitous pleasure of catching The Art of Scent 1889-2012 at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City a couple weeks ago. A friend and I were having lunch there (the museum hosts a sweet little restaurant called Robert’s that offers treats like parsnip and cherry sorbet1, and truffle grilled cheese sandwiches) and as we’re browsing the posters in the elevator I noticed one advertising the exhibit. I was, of course, immediately hooked just by the name. Instead of traveling back down to the lobby level after lunch we stopped at the 4th floor to see what the Art of Scent was all about. We walked into a white room with round indentations in the wall at about head level, each with a screen that would slowly phase in the name of a perfume, the year it was created, and the name of the creator. As you put your head into the indentation a puff of the fragrance would waft up at you. A little startling at first, but so cool. The artistry of the exhibit itself supported the idea of fragrance as art beautifully. What struck me most about this part of the exhibit was how fragrance has changed over the past 100+ years. The first fragrance featured is called Jicky, created by Aimé Guerlain in 1889. My friend and I hated the smell of it, which I can only describe as bitter grass. My favorite is Prada Amber, a fragrance I’d never smelled before that day. It was created in 2004 and is warm, sensual, and I’m guessing has some sandalwood...

Keeping New Year Resolutions

TV is wonderful. It has taught me about law and order, has tormented me with outrageously delicious food that I can’t smell or eat, and has shown me how to build, fix, or buy absolutely anything. TV recently even provided a brilliant idea from a personal trainer to the stars1 on how to keep that most popular of New Year Resolutions, getting in shape. She said most people keep that one for about three weeks before life gets in the way. Her advice: go to bed in your workout clothes, and wake up to energetic music that motivates you to move. As soon as you’re out of bed you’re halfway there! And by getting yourself moving around you’re that much closer to exercise. Music and Bacon as alarm clocks I know for myself that if I don’t have to remove cozy warm articles of clothing in exchange for freezing cold articles of clothing, a huge barrier is removed. I’d have to be careful with the music selection, however. It’s a delicate balancing act between motivating me to get out of bed at 6 a.m when it’s dark and cold, and skyrocketing me into a synth-y, Nicki Minaj-induced2 rage. In fact, I can’t think of a single song that would get me out of bed to exercise. I’m certainly open to suggestions because I can’t even imagine what that song would sound like. It would have to have persuasive lyrics, like “If you get out of bed I’ll make you a nutritious, healthy breakfast that involves bacon.” How badly do you want it? No matter what the resolution, or how...

12/12/12 12:12

We’re all a little crazy about the number 12 this week, and the hype peaked at 12:12 today. At that precise time I was in my car driving to Starbucks for a lunch-replacement cafe mocha (grande, decaf, no whip) with a beloved colleague recently back from 5 months of disability. We had a lot of catching up to do out of earshot of anyone else, and I was desperate to get out of the office for about a thousand other reasons. Off to Starbucks we flew. We put our conversation on hold at 12:12 to create a positive thought for our futures. I was able to surround myself with a little bubble of happiness, and expanded that out to include my daughter and our family and friends. I wished for happiness for everyone connected to me, which means I wished it for everyone. We both had a collective deep sigh, and then resumed our story swapping. On the drive back to the office we came up with a brilliant idea that could help her career. She put that plan in motion as soon as we walked into the office, and was back at my desk an hour later saying that our plan was working! Thus is the power of Starbucks, positive thoughts, and getting out of the office for some...