Sustaining the Gift of Frankincense

 

 

Sustainability is a process, not an endpoint.  I want to improve the biggest disconnect people have with essential oils- sourcing.” -Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo.

Far away in the northern stretches of the self-declared state of Somaliland lies one of the most biologically diverse forests harboring over 1000 plant species, 200 of which are endemic.  This vast coastal wonderland rests on the edges of the Gulf of Aden, ushering in life-sustaining fog and mists.

Welcome to the Cal Madow, where the Frankincense trees grow.

Translated as Black Mountains, the Cal Madow is home to three of the most prized Boswellia species:  Boswellia carterii,  Boswellia frereana, and Boswellia sacra.  These trees grow in remote rocky outcrops and on sheer cliff faces, making the harvesting dangerous work.   To extract the valuable resins, the trees are first “cut” or “wounded” causing them to exude a viscous, milky-white liquid as a form of self-defense.  This precious material is later collected, dried, sorted by quality, and distilled for numerous health and wellness applications. 

Frankincense History

With a variety of uses, there is no question why Frankincense was highly esteemed by ancient civilizations and used for the most sacred of practices. For some religions, Frankincense is correlated with one of the most prized possessions of ancient biblical times, as it was considered valuable enough to be given as a gift to Christ after his birth. Frankincense was also used during religious ceremonies for salves for soothing skin and perfume. The perfume or aroma that Frankincense emits promotes feelings of satisfaction, peace, relaxation, and overall wellness, which explains its unique value in ancient times.

Generations of Somalis and Somalilanders have harvested Frankincense trees preserving a rich cultural heritage passed down for centuries.  In fact, the harvesting of Frankincense represents an income for over 300,000 people-roughly 10% of the population of Somaliland.  This number continues to increase as the ongoing drought has wiped out 70-80% of the nation’s livestock forcing thousands of nomadic farmers to head north with their families in search of survival opportunities.

Frankincense Sustainability

International demand for Frankincense essential oil is on the rise and according to Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo, scientific researcher and director of Conserve the Cal Madow, the Boswellia trees in the Cal Madow are under threat.  Conserve the Cal Madow is a conservation and research project aiming to protect the Cal Madow forests and the frankincense economy.   DeCarlo shared in a recent phone interview that “she has always had an incredible sensitivity to trees from a very young age, finding comfort and protection among them during uneasy times.”  As fate would have it, Anjanette was approached with an opportunity to combine her talents in Ecological Economics, Sustainable Development, and Environmental Conflict Resolution with her passion for Social Enterprise.  “Frankincense chose me, ” she said.

Anjanette’s first trip to Somaliland took place in 2010 to conduct a supply chain analysis of how and where Frankincense oil comes from and how it gets to market.  CNN recently produced a 3-part documentary highlighting her work, which she says, ” is vital to the entire industry to let people know what’s happening in Somaliland, to educate international buyers and consumers, and to educate harvesters themselves so they understand the value of their product in the world market.”

Recent drone photographs taken by DeCarlo and her team confirm cross sections of the current Cal Madow forest conditions.  Evidence of over-harvesting, double harvesting, bark stripping, as well as environmental threats like drought and wood-boring beetles demonstrate the ongoing need for international intervention to preserve and protect this biologically rich, old-growth forest from increased degradation.

At the heart of this open-source analysis, lies DeCarlo’s passion for partnering with the local chiefs, elders,  landowners, and harvesters as well as international companies involved in the supply chain.  “I want to work with companies who come forward because we need international buyer support.” 

Answering the Call

dōTERRA, the world’s largest essential oil company proactively accepted that call.  On stage this September at an annual convention in front of a crowd of 35,000 Wellness Advocates,  dōTERRA CEO and cofounder, David Stirling, announced the company’s latest sustainability initiatives including a 3.3 million dollar pre-investment into the communities of Somaliland.   “We asked the local elders in Somaliland ‘what do you want?’ Their answer, ‘We want to build schools and we need access to health care.’ ”

Understanding the importance of investing in local communities through mutually beneficial partnerships, dōTERRA plans to open a regional hospital in the Sanaag region of Somaliland in Spring 2018 which will serve 400,000 people, and has already constructed 2 schools which provide much needed education for local youth.

DeCarlo’s heartfelt sentiments were eloquently expressed that same day on stage. “dōTERRA is making a commitment to include sustainability as a pillar to identify ways to protect ecosystems and to amplify ecosystem services.”  She continued educating, “our health is directly related to the health of the Earth, and so we want to make sure that when we’re amplifying our health with essential oils, we ensure the ecosystems where those plants come from are as healthy as the oils that we put on our bodies.” 

Join Us

Simple ways to get involved include:

  • purchase your Frankincense oils from a company like dōTERRA, with a proven track record of developing long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas.
  • share this post with friends and family to promote on-going education.
  • follow Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo’s work on Facebook.
  • Visit Conserve the Cal Madow to see photos of these amazing trees and gain more in-depth analysis of the projects and how you can help.
  • Learn more about the vast therapeutic benefits of Frankincense essential oil.

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, speaker, and marketing consultant.  She volunteers as a Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife marketplace or essential oil party this holiday, please email:  deboughjl@gmail.com .  

 

 

 

 

Answering the Call of October 17th

On the 17th of October 1987, defenders of human and civil rights from every continent gathered on this plaza. They paid homage to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence. They affirmed their conviction that human misery is not inevitable. They pledged their solidarity with all people who, throughout the world, strive to eradicate extreme poverty. “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”  – Father Joseph Wresinski

ONE voice matters.

YOUR voice matters.

We all have unique gifts for sharing love and compassion in the world.   As humans, we are wired for connection, and long for a sense of purpose while on the Earth.   We want to matter.  We want to belong.  We long to be part of something larger than ourselves.  What is that mission for you?  What do you want to be part of?  How do you want to make a difference in this life?

Father Joseph Wresinski declared 30 years ago, on the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris before 100,000 people, that to live in poverty is to be denied basic human rights.  His voice inspired the observance of October 17th around the world, and resulted in the United Nations recognizing this date 5 years later.  Eradicating poverty is now at the helm of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

Would you like to help eradicate poverty in our lifetime?  Get involved in one of two ways today!

Host a BeadforLife Marketplace

Want to share the beauty of handmade Ugandan jewelry with your friends and family? This holiday season marks the final chance to order your own Marketplace and raise funds and awareness to end global poverty.  As this international NGO strives ambitiously to lift 1 million people from poverty by 2027, they recognized the importance of re-evaluating their own business model, just as they teach the women in their entrepreneurial training programs.   As a result, their innovative 6-month Street Business School Program is replacing the 18-month Beads to Business model.  They discovered they could reach more women and families at a lower cost per participant teaching the core of the original 18-month model.   This proven and effective program teaches the fundamentals of launching a small business and puts deeply impoverished  women to work faster.

Join dōTERRA’s global community.

dōTERRA, Latin for gift of the Earth, is more than natural health and wellness.  This 2-time Forbes Best Companies award winner wants to help people live lives free of disease and poverty while empowering communities with the tools needed to become self-reliant.

Through the  Healing Hands Foundation, launched in 2012, the company is making unprecedented progress with on-going partnership projects in Bulgaria, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Madagascar, and Somaliland.   dōTERRA harnesses nature’s most powerful elements and shares these gifts through a global community of Wellness Advocates.  As a community, we empower people to advocate for their own health, and we contribute to the global mission of helping others live outside of disease, poverty, and dependence.

Want to join me in this deep dive into your life’s purpose? Learn more here.

Sending love to all the heavy and burdened hearts in the world,

Jennifer

P.S.  Bonus video to learn how the oils you use make a difference in the lives of people around the globe!

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, speaker, and marketing consultant.  She volunteers as a  Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife marketplace or essential oil party this fall, please email:  deboughjl@gmail.com

 

Cornerstones

As I gaze out the kitchen window and fix my eyes on a beautiful Japanese blueberry tree in the distance, I feel summer’s end nearby.  I don’t know about you, but my heart is eagerly anticipating the change of season, bringing with it cooler temps and lively conversations around a circular fire pit out back.   Over the course of 8 weeks this summer, I had the unique opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of our back yard by a team of hard-working landscapers and talented masons.   Not only did they endure sweltering hours of oppressive desert heat removing overgrown Mesquite and African Sumac trees,  they skillfully and artfully arranged combinations of decorative flagstone into functional architectural features to be enjoyed by friends and family this fall.

The unanticipated gift from this experience was contemplating the importance of cornerstones and how their selection and level placement during the construction process affects the overall design and stability.

What is a Cornerstone?

Webster’s Dictionary defines a cornerstone as: (noun) a basic element : foundation. Digging a little further, ( yes, I admit freely I have a bit of an uncanny obsession with language and vocabulary)  I found this definition and enjoyed the depth of explanation:

cornerstonethe fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; “the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture” . Synonyms:  fundament, groundwork, basis, foundation, base. 

It’s as though I had discovered this word, cornerstone, for the very first time.  It is likely I have uttered it without fully understanding or assimilating its meaning.   Sometimes it takes an experience to bring a word to light in our lives, and I just love the illuminating feeling that rises up within when that happens.

Who or What is Your Cornerstone?

Cornerstones are used ceremoniously to commemorate people or moments in time we would rather not forget.    They represent firm foundations and solid ground.   The level, the steady, the shaping element, the framework, and the fundamental, whose underlying base of support is perhaps taken inadvertently for granted.

What comes up for you when you think about the word cornerstone?  Is it a particular person or value?  Faith or spirituality?  In what are you placing your hope, your joy, and your trust?  Who is your cornerstone?  Who is your rock,  keeping you on solid ground, providing for you a firm foundation on which to build your hopes and dreams?

Take a moment to think about these cornerstones and appreciate them.   Allow your heart to swell with gladness and overflow into all you do, think, and say.

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”

                                                                                                            – Wayne Dyer

What do you truly LOVE in this life?  What are you certain brings you joy, happiness, and a reason to get up and begin a fresh, new day?   What is that ONE thing that you just can’t bear to live without?  Are you feeling it? Living it? Doing it? If the answer is not a resounding YES, ask yourself why?

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer, speaker, and marketing consultant.  She works as a  Community Partner volunteer for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million women globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife marketplace or essential oil party this fall, email deboughjl@gmail.com

 

 

 

4 Back-to-School Tips to Increase Focus

Summer is coming to an early close for Las Vegas valley students.   Back-to-school ads fill the airwaves, while anticipation fills the thoughts of eager minds ready to begin a new school year.   As I write this, Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 fills my ears with relaxing melodies steadily soothing my mind.

I am often asked by friends and teachers for advice on how to help children increase focus both in the classroom and at home.   No matter what your age, these easy-to-implement natural solutions help support increased concentration, mental clarity, and alertness when you need it most.

Frankincense

Renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils, Frankincense promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness when inhaled or diffused.  In addition to its notoriety in the New Testament, the Babylonians and Assyrians would burn Frankincense in religious ceremonies and the ancient Egyptians used Frankincense resin for everything from perfume to salves for soothing skin.

I love using this highly aromatic essential oil sourced from Somalia because of its inherent ability to awaken feelings of enlightenment, wisdom, discernment, and a connection to the truth.  Rich in sesquiterpenes, this oil has the ability to pass the blood-brain barrier for almost instantaneous transformative effects.  Simply inhale from the bottle, or rub a few drops of this comforting oil directly on your temples or behind the neck for direct access to your brain.

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Peppermint

The peppermint plant is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint and was described by Carl Linneaus in 1753. A high menthol content—like that found in the dōTERRA Peppermint essential oil—distinguishes the best quality Peppermint from other products.

According to a published study by the US National Library of Medicine, “Peppermint aroma caused improvement on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response. “

USES:

  •  Diffuse with Wild Orange during homework / home study.
  •  Place drops of peppermint in palm of hand, rub hands together and cup hands over nose and inhale deeply.  (avoid direct contact with the eyes!- ouch!)
  • Use during test preparation to promote alertness and active learning.
  • Bonus:  calms upset stomach (think pre-test jitters or classroom bullies)

 

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Rosemary

Rosemary is known as the Oil of Knowledge & Transition.  According to Emotions & Essential Oils, a go-to reference book for the emotional properties of essential oils,

 “Rosemary assists individuals who struggle with learning disabilities.  It brings expansion to the mind, supporting individuals in receiving new information and new experiences.  Rosemary aids in times of transition and change.  When a person is having  a difficult time adjusting to a new house, school, or relationship, this oil can assist. “

USES:

  • Diffuse while studying to maintain concentration.
  • Take internally to help reduce nervous tension and occasional fatigue.
  • use aromatically to support increase memory function.

In Tune-The Focus Blend

In Tune is a proprietary blend of essential oils carefully selected for their ability to enhance and sustain a sense of focus. No matter your age, staying focused on the task at hand is sometimes difficult. This is especially critical during the formative years when learning and growing create habits and a foundation for life.

The carefully selected essential oils in doTERRA’s In Tune Focus Blend work together, supporting efforts of those who have difficulty paying attention and staying on task. Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Lime promote a sense of clarity, while the benefits of Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, and Roman Chamomile are calming and soothing. The pleasing aroma of In Tune makes this essential oil blend an easy and delightful one to use.

USES:

  • Apply to the temples and back of neck when doing tasks that require concentration.
  •  Apply to wrists or back of hands and inhale deeply to promote a sense of clarity.
  • Use In Tune at work to stay on task or when feeling tired mid-afternoon.
  •  Dispense In Tune on a clay pendant and place on a desk or in other key areas in a classroom.

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CHEERS!  to a GREAT start of a new school year for students, teachers, and parents!

P.S.  Wish I had the In Tune Blend during my formative years…. maybe I would not have been tied with ropes into my desk in 2nd grade for wandering around the classroom.  😂

Stand In Love,  Jen

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: Serving people, Inspiring ideas, and Living your purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

The Best Sunburn Ever

Hi Stand In Lovers!

July is in full swing in the Mohave Desert of Las Vegas!  We have been afforded a few days of cloudy, humid relief;  a most welcome respite from the 100+ degree temperatures that fill our dry, scorching-hot, summers.

Yesterday, while enjoying a fun-filled early morning lesson with my incredibly talented and passionate horse trainer Callie Klein, I inadvertently took in some extra sun! The sky was overcast, the air cool and breezy,  and the clouds hung low over the rugged Spring Mountain peaks rising in the Northwest.   I was so immersed in my groundwork lesson learning the fundamentals of natural horsemanship, that I neglected to put on my usual wide-brimmed sunhat and sunscreen.  It felt wonderful to be co-learning with King, my training partner and equine friend, that I even removed my long-sleeved sun shirt!  (This is the kind of joy a cloudy day brings to a native Chicagoan!).

Meet King.

We had a ball meeting each other for the first time becoming quickly acquainted in the round pen playing Parelli’s famous horse games like friendly game, porcupine game, yo-yo game, and driving game.   Our rendez-vous closed with several rounds of circle game in which I attempted to ask King to move in a particular direction of travel relying on nonverbal communication to do so.  Seems so simple as a spectator:  Ask your horse to travel in a circle in a small pen.  However, all things seemingly simple are more complicated than they appear.  It’s a talented horseman that makes it look so simple.  What is absent in these magical displays is the PROCESS it takes to get there.   I am just beginning to understand this process and have fallen head-over-heels in love.   Now, I just want to slow things down, and work on becoming the best partner, communicator, and friend I can be to King.    I am indeed in love and it feels so good.

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P.S.  You may get a sunburn in the process if you are having TOO much FUN! If so, try this awesome DIY that contains doTERRA’s pure CPTG grade essential oils.  Soothing, and refreshing as a skin freshener in the heat of a summer day as well as for sunburns!

Soothing Summer Skin Spray

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix together everything except the distilled water. Stir until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into the spray bottle, and add distilled water. Shake to combine.
  3. To use, mist on skin as needed.

Stand In Love TIP:  I sometimes just add the essential oils directly to the aloe vera gel and apply the gel in a thick layer on my face 2x a day until swelling and redness is gone.  Of course, wear a hat and sunscreen until fully healed!

Until next time, stay cool out there friends! #standinlove

Jen

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

Bringing HOPE to the World

Thank you so much for joining Stand In Love today!  I am honored to welcome you if you are a first-time guest!  This is a place to connect with like-minded change-makers around the world intent on sharing light and love in order to serve humanity.

 Serving People.       Inspiring Ideas.      Living Your Purpose.  

I recently caught up with a girlfriend from my hometown of Chicago whom I befriended during my college days as a waitress in an upscale Italian Steakhouse.  She is currently traveling through India and Nepal as a missionary, delivering hope to victims of sex trafficking.   I sent her essential oil vials to take on the journey, in order to support both her emotions as well as those of the women and children she encountered on the streets.

Sex Trafficking Defined

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex or forced labor. A 2011 Department of State report revealed the geographic locations with the highest percentages of sex trafficking victims include: Thailand, India, Mexico, Philippines, Honduras, and Nepal.  This is not to say that sex trafficking doesn’t exist in the United States, it does.   International travel-hubs like California and Texas host higher concentrations of immigrant populations and subsequently, have higher sex-trafficked victims.

Alarming statistics

According to research, over 20 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor, and bonded labor.  Almost 6 in 10 identified trafficking survivors were trafficked for sexual exploitation-98% of which are women and girls.

This is a criminal act in over 130 countries, yet sex trafficking is reported to be one of the fastest growing enterprises in the world.   This is unacceptable.  We must create awareness where there is none, and increase awareness where it is stagnant.

Why Share?

Last night while listening to some acoustic recordings by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, I reflected on my decision to join doTERRA as a Wellness Advocate earlier this year.  Why do I share essential oils with others? Why did I choose this journey?

The short answer is this:  People matter to me.

I learned that nearly 2/3 of the nations where these precious, potent, and pure essential oils are sourced are developing countries.  For me, the opportunity to share oils with the world is an educational platform.   My heart beats for the deeply impoverished, the lost, the forgotten, and the voiceless.  I am passionate about connecting with people and creating global bridges of understanding, and doTERRA gives me that incredible opportunity.

Each time I share a bottle of these highly aromatic oils, my mind is instantly transported to the British Columbian forests where Arborvitae trees stretch towards the sky, the vast Bulgarian lavender fields, and to the dry, dusty, and desolate stretches of Haiti where the Vetiver root is sourced and distilled.  The benefits of using these oils goes beyond personal health and wellness.  It is about coming into relationship with the human beings who helped in the arduous processes of harvesting, farming, and distilling.

Operation Underground Railroad.

doTERRA’s philanthropic arm, Healing Hands Foundation, has already made a huge impact in so many lives around the world.  The most recent partnership of the Foundation is an organization created to rescue children from slavery and from sex trafficking- Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R. Rescue).  Founded in 2013 by Tim Ballard, the rescue team is composed of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that work together with local law enforcement to rescue children.  To date, O.U.R. has rescued 693 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 300 traffickers around the world.   Read about his undercover and emotional journey in Haiti here.

Spreading HOPE.

You may be thinking, “How can I help?” or “How can the sale of one essential oil bottle help put a stop to sex trafficking?” 100% of the proceeds from the sale of every bottle of HOPE Touch essential oil are donated directly to the mission of Operation Underground Railroad.

Let’s join together and help spread HOPE to a world so desperately in need of our love, caring, and voices.

Learn More.

To learn more about Operation Underground Railroad and how your donations through the purchase of the HOPE Touch essential oil are helping children around the world, click here.  To purchase this oil, please click here.

For more information about the Healing Hands Foundationclick here.

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@standinlove on Facebook

 Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

 

 

 

 

 

Pillar 6 of Brain Health: Medical Health

“Every time you learn a new fact or skill, you change your brain; This is called neuroplasticity”- Lara Boyd, Ph.D

Welcome back Stand In Lovers!  It’s a gorgeous overcast morning in Las Vegas, and I am writing to you from a chic, local coffee shop in Las Vegas called Sambalatte enjoying a decaf espresso with a toothpick swirl of Italian-sourced lemon essential oil on the rim, European style! (One of many fringe benefits of running an essential oil business!).  The owner of the shop is Brazilian, and has incredible passion for coffee!   Enjoying some Balance essential oil on my wrists to keep me focused, grounded, and ready for the day!  My friend and memory expert Jim Kwik always reminds me: “When you win the morning, you win the day!”  

Congratulations for making it to the 6th Pillar of Brain Health!  Your brain is an amazing supercomputer, and my goal of sharing this 6-part series with you is to inspire you to think differently, challenge you to question the origin of your thoughts, encourage you to replace a habit that is no longer serving you, and to open up your mind to the endless possibilities this life has to offer right now if you simply allow your mind to accept the invitation.

Subconscious Mind

Did you know your subconscious mind controls nearly 90% of your thoughts?  I recently attended a mind-challenging Breakthrough Belief Training with master NLP practitioner Roger Webb  and this point stuck in my head:  Your subconscious mind is a genie who says, “Your wish is my command” to every thought we feed it.  Translation:  Be mindful of your thoughts, because your subconscious mind will happily and automatically capture them and respond with “Your wish is my command!”.  Make your thoughts work for you, not against you!  #yes #youcan.

If you are joining Stand In Love for the first time, welcome!  We are SO glad you joined the community!  Over the past 5 weeks we have been exploring the Cleveland Clinic’s 6 Pillars of Brain Health learning tools to support our 3 pound universe.  While today is the final post in this particular series, I challenge you to go back and commit to considering a tiny behavior change in any one of the pillars!

Risk Factors

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a variety of medical conditions are strongly linked to the decline of brain function.   Below is an overview of the 7 Risks to be managed for increased vitality and overall  health and wellness:

( For my essential oil tips, please note: The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.” )

Hypertension

• Cut down on salt (less than one teaspoon a day).
• Check your blood pressure regularly.
• Keep active.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Take your medication.
• Aim to keep blood pressure under 120/80 mmHg.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try using essential oils like Ylang Ylang to help reduce the affects of daily stress and provide antioxidant support. * Massage a few drops onto the back of your neck or rub directly over the heart.  Bonus: this intense and incredibly complicated oil is part of a co-impact sourcing initiative helping create capacity for farmers and distillers in Madagascar! My husband enjoys this oil daily!

Diabetes/Obesity

• Avoid white sugar, white flour and hydrogenated fat.
• Eat more fiber.
• Eat some protein with every meal.
• Control portion size.
• Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.
• Include aerobic, strength, flexibility and balance

  • Stand In Love tip: Try Slim & Sassy- the Metabolic Blend to help you manage hunger cravings, promote healthy digestion, and calm your stomach.*  I like to place a few drops in water daily to help manage undesirable cravings.  (I am an emotional eater, so this is SUPER helpful for me, and I think you will find the same to be true if you or someone you know struggles with this.) More on this topic in future posts, I can’t wait!

High Cholesterol

• Take cholesterol lowering medications when prescribed.
• Control other risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity as advised by your doctor.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Consider supplementing to get the proper nutrition, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant support commonly missing in the standard diet–even one that is based primarily on whole foods.   My husband and I have been using the Life Long Vitality program for over a month now and are enjoying the multitude of health benefits including increased energy, and an overall sense of wellbeing.   Truly amazing how supporting your body from the inside-out effects everything you do!

Head Injury

• Protect yourself from falls.
• Prevent injury from vehicle crashes by wearing your seat belt.
• Wear a helmet when biking or playing sports.

  • Stand In Love tip: Roll on some In Tune- Focus Blend before a hobby or activity that may have inherent risk.  The mix of Amyris, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood, and Roman Chamomile help sustain a sense of focus, and supports those who have difficulty paying attention and staying on task.  (confession: This is me 150%- I should really consider showering in In Tune- ha!)

Depression

• Stay socially connected.
• Seek medical treatment.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try one of the Emotional Aromatherapy oils. I absolutely ADORE these oils as they contain proprietary blends that target emotional health benefits.  Safe for the entire family and daily applications.  The best part of these oils is that they help balance and brighten your mood and help you change your state of mind.  Available in a convenient roll-ons diluted with fractionated coconut oil for easy on the go application, or in pure essential oil 5ml bottles.  I like to wear Peace- the Reassuring Blend daily as perfume.  Once you try these oils, you will have a hard time returning to perfumes or artificial scents.  They are truly gifts of nature for our enjoyment! The collection contains Cheer, Motivate, Peace, Console, Forgive, and Passion: They are expertly combined blends to support specific emotional needs. (Did I stress how much I LOVE these oils?).

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Smoking

• Quit.
• Cut down with a goal of quitting.
• Seek medical treatment or group support.

  • Stand In Love tip:  try a drop of Black Pepper essential oil under your tongue daily.  Not only can this oil be used in cooking applications, it contains important antioxidants, helps maintain healthy circulation, and soothes anxious feelings when diffused or inhaled directly. *
    *The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

Neuroplasticity Defined

Did you know that your brain actually changes when you learn something new or try something different?  Watch this super short 11 second video below to see for yourself!  This is neuroplasticity in action! How cool is that?  Simply changing a habit or finding a new way of thinking actually creates new neural pathways in your brain and is GOOD for you! Please allow me to repeat this:  Switching the way you think, the way you work, the way you eat, the habits you have allowed – can all be changed, AND are good for your brain!  Behavior change is a SKILL and you can acquire it!  Want to know your brain health, take this quiz to find out!

 

Thanks for joining the conversation Stand In Lovers!  It’s so great having this community available for all to connect around the world!   #standinlove #share #love #together

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

Pillar 5: Sleep and Relaxation

“There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome back to our continuing series on the 6 Pillars of Brain Health!  To date, we have explored the benefits of  Mental Fitness, Food & Nutrition, and Social Connection and how they impact our brain health.  Today, we will take a slow, deep breath and float effortlessly into the 5th Pillar of Brain Health:  Sleep & Relaxation.  

I asked memory expert and accelerated-learning guru Jim Kwik, to share his top 5 tips for Sleep & Relaxation to promote brain health based on his research.  Jim is passionate about teaching others how to maximize brain health, increase learning speed, and improve memory retention.  His client list ranges from A-list Hollywood actors to learning challenged students, to NASA space engineers tasked with memorizing enormous amounts of data.  His ambitious mission is simple:  to reach 1 billion minds with his brain-training platforms.  Jim shared 5 tips for the Stand In Love community;  To help us remember them, let’s use this simple acronym:  FS MOM.

Float Tanks

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The idea goes like this:  Enter a light and sound proof chamber filled with Epsom salt and water matched to your body’s natural temperature and float for a period of 60-90 minutes.   Commonly used by athletes, creatives, and jet-setters alike to aid in recovery, inspire new ideas, and help offset the effects of extensive travel.   A few benefits include: intense relaxation, increased energy and circulation, as well as the balancing of the left and right brains.   The closest thing I have experienced to a float tank was a float in the Dead Sea during a taxi-cab foray into Jordan with my kibbutz volunteer pals in the early 2000’s! (It was hardly relaxing given the 110+ degree heat, zero shade, and fear of heat exhaustion!)

Sleep

Yes, just get those z’s.   We all know we need them.   But how?   Is there a magic number of hours of sleep we should be getting every night? One thing is certain, people are continuously looking for solutions to their sleeplessness.   In best-selling author Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution, she sites:

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Try these sleep tips:

  • diffuse calming essential oils like Serenity,  Bergamot, or Patchouli to promote restful sleep.  I start my diffuser an hour before bed so the air is filled with gorgeous aromatic compounds to relax and restore me at the end of the day.
  • set the temperature cooler to promote reduced body temperature.
  • leave cell phone, laptop, and electronic devices in another room.  These emit frequencies that disrupt our circadian rhythms and our ability to fall and stay asleep.
  • develop a bedtime ritual.  Ex: Start the winding down process by changing from your work clothes, lowering lights after dinner, and having an herbal tea.  I place a drop of Vetiver essential oil behind my ears and on my wrists every nite. ( I am secretly obsessed with this oil, and cannot imagine life without it.)

Meditation.

Intentionally calming the mind and focusing on the breath is highly restorative, relaxing, and is beneficial to induce sleep.  I rarely sit still, so my meditation practice is of the  moving variety and ranges anywhere from praying while jogging, to counting my blessings at night when I get in bed.  There is no perfect way to meditate.  When trying something new, remember that intention, practice, and patience are your allies.

I love using  Frankincense, Arborvitae, or Hawaiian Sandalwood aromatically and topically to aid in this process.   Aromas have a profound effect on our emotions and psyche.  The sense of smell is the only one linked directly to our brains.  It’s not always easy to calm the mind, the thoughts, or the body; however, using essential oils is one practical tool that will help you to ease into this practice.

Outdoors/ Nature

The circadian rhythm is a natural, internal system that is designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period.  This complex timekeeper is controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light, which is why humans are most alert while the sun is shining and are ready to sleep when it’s dark outside.  Exposure to sunlight helps promote rest and sleep.   Try exercising outdoors,  enjoying a walk on your lunch hour, or reading outside in the morning.  When time allows, escape to the nearest wooded area or park for the calming benefits only nature can provide.  Did you know that the color green (most commonly found in nature) relaxes the rods and cones of your eyes?  Amazing how natures is designed to provide comfort and relaxation for us.

Massage

Before essential oils became a routine part of my life, I used to dread getting a massage.  I knew I needed them to mitigate stress in my life, yet I did not like the idea of staying still on a table with the fear of an attack of anxious feelings coming on.   These days, I can’t get enough, and look forward to the wonderful benefits of massage.

To enhance these benefits,  I recommend using oils like Aroma Touch, or Deep Blue as they help promote circulation, while providing soothing relief to sore, stressed muscles.   Aroma Touch contains a lovely blend of Cypress, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Grapefruit, and Lavender essential oils.  Not only is this blend great for self massage, but it is also great to soothe a variety of tension related issues.   Deep Blue is my favorite to apply when massaging my legs after exercise.  The mix of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile will elevate your relaxation as your muscles receive the benefits of these powerful essential oils.

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pillar 4 of Brain Health: Social Interaction

 

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” – John Lennon

Welcome to Stand In Love!  If you are a first time connector, I am SO thrilled you joined us! 

Today, we are exploring Pillar 4 in our 6-part series on Brain Health.    To dive deep into this topic, I called up my girlfriend and friendship expert Shasta Nelson.  In case you missed the post featuring Shasta’s 3 core components of friendships, you can read it here.  So how does social connection promote brain health, and how can Shasta’s years of research on this subject benefit you? Read on!

Shasta’s personal mission: “Friendships can save the world!” 

Shasta Nelson, M.Div., is the Founder of GirlFriendCircles.com, a women’s friendship matching site in 65 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Her spirited and soulful voice for strong female relationships can be found in her books Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness and Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends.

Here’s our girlfriend chat!

Q:  Shasta,  in your book Frientimacy, you share the importance of positivity in the cultivation of friendships and social interactions,  What role does positivity play in connecting socially?
“Positive feelings are the foundation for every relationship we have!  At the end of any interaction, whether we are conscious of it, or not, we are determining how much we want to interact with that person again, and we’ll base it off of how we felt in their presence.  In fact, research shows us that for a relationship to stay healthy, our positivity-to-negativity ration has to be at least 5:1, meaning that we need five positive emotions for every negative one.  So while we can never do away with all negative qualities, life stressors, or relational disappointments; we can always add more positivity: more kindness, empathy, laughter, acts of service, affirmation, gratitude, pride, etc.”
Q:  According to your extensive research, what would you say is the biggest obstacle to social connection?  What would you say to someone who feels they just don’t have the energy or mood to connect socially? 
The most common self-reported obstacle is “lack of time.” I hear it repeatedly.  And unfortunately it’s a vicious cycle in that the less frequently we see our friends, the less meaningful it can often feel, and so then the less often we want to make the time to see them.  On the contrary, the more we spend time with each other— the more we feel like we know what’s going on in each other’s lives, the safer we feel sharing, the more we feel supported, and the more relaxed and positive we feel.
Consistent time and interaction is one of the three requirements of all relationships that I teach in my book Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness; and without interaction we can’t do the other two requirements: positivity and vulnerability. It is time together that provides us the chance to share our lives and feel supported.  So, while some friendships can survive less consistent interaction now if they have a history of time spent together, we simply cannot create new friendships without the gift of a lot of time together.
Q:  Let’s talk about the  “8 Vital Friends Role “ … a part of your book Frientimacy I really enjoyed!  What is the benefit of having friends who play different roles in our lives, and how does that help contribute to our ability to connect socially? 
Those 8 Vital Roles come from Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends, and I agree: they are so enlightening!  It reminds us that we all have different strengths and roles that we play for our friends which means that we can’t expect any one person to be all of those things.  One myth that we’ve had to slowly let go of is this belief that 1-2 relationships can do for us what our tribes and communities used to do for us.  When we have healthy expectations of who our friends are, and what primary role they can play in our lives, we then, for example, know whether to reach out to a Builder, Collaborator, Connector, or Energizer.
Q:  Everyone who has read your book and those who will want to read it (it’s SUCH a GREAT read) will want to know :   What are your favorite ways to connect?   And would you mind sharing a time when you connected with someone and it resulted in a deep, long-term friendship or relationship?  
My favorite ways to connect are through long conversations where both people are feeling seen— which means both people need to feel safe sharing (vulnerability) and feeling supported (positivity).  My temperament bonds through conversations, especially conversations about things like ideas, feelings, and psychology.  To feel close, I ultimately want to feel like I can say anything and that you will, too!  For some people, this would sound exhausting! ha!  But put me in my living room, with a glass of red wine, a couple of friends, and a long evening ahead of us— and I am one happy girl.
And in answer to your second question— the secret to that wasn’t having a long and meaningful conversation with someone as that can happen somewhat often, but what turned it into a long-term friendship was the fact that we repeated it, which helped give us the consistency needed to get the friendship off the ground.  For example, a couple of my more recent friendships come to mind and what helped them turn into friendships instead of a friendly interaction was that they were in some monthly group I was a part of which allowed us all to keep getting together and build some shared history.
Q:  If you were to leave us with a few lasting thoughts on why it is important for our brain health to connect socially, what would you share? 
The research is staggering on this but in a nutshell: feeling supported buffers our bodies from absorbing the impact of stress.  How we answer the question, “how loved and supported do I feel?” will tell us more about our future health than almost any other factor including our diet and exercise.  Our immune systems are stronger, we live longer, we recover from surgery and sickness faster, we feel more optimistic, and we report greater happiness when we feel connected to others.  The best thing we can do for brain and body health is make sure we develop supportive relationships.

Thank you Shasta for sharing your passion and expertise with the Stand In Love community! Let’s continue the conversation… please share in the comments any thoughts or feelings that arise when reading this interview!  Stand In Love is a welcome place for serving PEOPLE, inspiring IDEAS, and living your PURPOSE!  


Extra Credit Readers:  Check out this video on Ginger: The Oil of Courage!  Goes hand- in-hand for social connection!!!

Pillar 3: Food & Nutrition

Hello Stand In Lovers!

How was your week of Mental Fitness?  Anyone try Linda’s Tiny Habit suggestions from last week’s post? SO many nuggets of goodness in that video interview!  Today we are diving into the topic of  Food & Nutrition, the 3rd pillar in our 6-part series on Brain Health.

It’s important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to how and what we should or should not eat.   What we do know is that by integrating plant-based, whole foods into our daily routines, we are practicing Hippocrates’ sage advice, “Let food be thy medicine.”  

Primary Nutrition

According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, it is vital to look at the full spectrum of our lives, outlined in the color wheel below.   Take a look at each area and see where you may be hungry for something deeper than you are currently experiencing.

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How to make your Circle of Life

Place a dot on the line separating each section on the wheel to see how satisfied you are with each area of your life.  The closer the dot is to the center of the wheel, the more dissatisfied you may be in that particular area.  Dots closer to the outside circumference of the wheel suggest you are more satisfied in that category.  After you have placed a dot on each of the lines dividing the areas, connect your dots and see what your Circle of Life looks like.  Perhaps a couple of areas are super awesome, while others may need a little TLC.  That’s perfectly ok… our lives are in constant change, and there is no right or wrong here, just insight.

Nutrition for Brain Health

Along with the Primary Food listed above, let’s take a look at some key foods noted for their support in brain health and function.

What To Eat

  • Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach–  Try this green smoothie recipe with a touch of Wild Orange essential oil!  It’s fast, healthy, and SO delicious!
  • Dark-fleshed fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with polyphenols– antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
  • Sustainably sourced fresh fish rich in Omega 3’s like salmon, tuna, or halibut.
  • Walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybean are great alternatives for Omega 3 fatty acids if fish isn’t your thing.  Another great option is supplementing to ensure you get the required amounts.  Here’s a fantastic Raw Coco Bite recipe with walnuts and Wild Orange.
  • Whole grains such such as oats, barley, and quinoa, are rich in many of the B vitamins that work to reduce inflammation of the brain.
  • Avocado– try this amazing Lazy Avocado Sushi with Ginger recipe or replace your butter with avocado on your morning toast for something new! (mental fitness practice at the same time- way to go!)
  • Dark chocolate– a great source of antioxidants that potentially improve blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation.  I like to mix a drop of Black Pepper essential oil when making my own for some spicy punch and extra benefits!

Spice Up Your life

  • Herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger are packed with antioxidants that may help decrease harmful inflammation in the brain and elsewhere.  I like using a touch of Ginger essential oil in my herbal tea, and add Cinnamon essential oil to my homemade granola recipe.  There are endless ways to incorporate the benefits of doTERRA’s gorgeous CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils into your foods for brain health.  Here are additional  recipe ideas using essential oils!

Hydrate

  • Water-  This is one of the simplest ways to keep your brain healthy and fluid. Need help drinking more, it’s simple! Try adding a drop of Lemon, Grapefruit, or Wild Orange essential oil to your next bottle (stainless steel or glass due to the volatility of the natural aromatic compounds).   I love using Slim & Sassy in my water to help fight off cravings throughout the day.

Tools are designed for use.  May these help guide you on your brain health and wellness journey!  Stand In Love is a community, and all are welcome to join!  Please feel free to share, comment, tag, or like this post, so we may help others on their path to wellness!

P.S.  For those of you following me on Instagram @standinlovejen,  as promised, here is my favorite breakfast bowl recipe:

Jen’s Breakfast Bowl:

  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1 whole egg + 1-2 egg whites scrambled with turmeric
  • top with grated purple cabbage and sliced tomato
  • drizzle fresh vinaigrette made with herbs and a drop of your favorite essential oil on top!

season with S & P. and ENJOY!

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Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, DoTERRA wellness advocate, and BeadforLife Community Partner.  She is the founder of StandInLove.org  ,a platform for sharing her passions: Serving People | Inspiring Ideas | Living Your Purpose
Do you desire more freedom, flexibility, and want to empower others? Join me today!