The Posse is one of those wonderful places where a lot of people, myself included, feel comfortable baring some of our most personal challenges and sharing in a lot of our more personal joys. This year started out in particularly challenging fashion – I lost my beloved stepsister and then, hard on the heels of it, lost my father to a ripe old age. Health and other issues have plagued me, as they have so many others…and I have been feeling that sense of ‘quiet desperation’. I felt weird sharing that info, then I thought ‘waitaminit. It’s The Posse.” So I’m sharing, so I can tell you about some stuff that is helping me get through it.
In these weird times, I always turn to aromatherapy. I scent my sheets with ylang ylang and clary sage and I dab a bit of bigarade on my lightbulbs. I place a drop of eucalyptus on a washcloth in the shower in the evening and a drop of spearmint in the morning. I’ve worked with EOs for a long while, trying to perfect a blend that would calm my anxiety and quiet my incipient rage – some blends have been more successful, some have simply put me to sleep …and one, where I jammed a boatload of clary sage, had me twirling around the house, vacuuming in giddy madness! I’m no chemist – I just throw things together and as Marla, who occasionally guest posts here, has cautioned, EOs are not to be trifled with!
So I was delighted to be sent a sample of Geraldine Howard’s blend, Inner Strength, from her company, Aromatherapy Associates. She has been creating aromatherapy products, found in a lot of upscale spas, for 35 years. Then she was stricken with cancer. Which, let’s face it, is a mega-stressor. When she was at her lowest ebb during cancer treatment she sought refuge and protection in her arsenal of essential oils.
Cancer. Man. Kinda makes me want to step back and smack myself. Right now, the worst thing I have going, besides the garden-variety aggro, is a pulled hamstring that makes me walk like a duck and a busted rotor cuff that means I have to watch it when I move my shoulder. And a headache. Every day I learn of friends, IRL and virtual, who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses, fighting to keep their children whole, experiencing challenges that make mine look so ..paltry. But you know what? My challenges are the only ones I can struggle through, and so I do. And this gorgeous blend really has bolstered my own Inner Strength, to help me through my own Drama. And it’s helped me pull myself together enough to be able to give others a hand as well! And, in that weird way of the world, Helping Others helps calm myself right the heck down. I can see Geraldine showering with this, or dabbing it on her wrists, before going for whatever godawful tests they had next in store for her. Or dabbing it on a handkerchief and huffing like mad during treatment. And wearing it like a suit of armor, to keep herself strong. I would. I do. Even for my little weird issues.
In my opinion notes are particularly important in aromatherapy. Each essential oil has its own healing properties and while one could mix up any old thing and probably not blow up the kitchen, it seems they work best when used in appropriate harmony. And with respect. I am thrilled to let Geraldine work her magic with these notes:
Clary sage and frankincense which help focus the mind and calm the thoughts
Cardamom and rosemary to help fortify physical strength (did you know the Romans used rosemary under mattress bedding to calm nightmares?)
Rose and vetivert to calm and heal
and Geranium (one of my favorites) for emotional balance and stimulate circulation.
I wore this all day today. I wore this all day yesterday. It is keeping me out of Stateville. I love that. It’s a bath/shower oil but can easily be worn as a perfume, though I tend to prefer my EOs in the spa-like setting that water always invokes. I have a friend who is undergoing some serious challenges right now…we had lunch a few days ago and I dabbed a bit on her – but I didn’t tell her what it was. All through lunch she kept huffing her wrist, saying “wow. this makes me feel so………calm!”
Mother’s Day is coming up. I would’ve gotten this for my mother in a nanosecond. She would’ve loved its beautiful, calming nature – perhaps she could’ve used this instead of Nervine and scotch, but that was in another time. But my mom’s time has come and gone these 20 years. So I’m going to give a sample to one of you! Tell me what you do to calm yourself. Aromatherapy? Scotch? Exercise? Scotch? I confess to doing all of those! LOL !! Carmine, who is adding to my stress by trying to kill the chickens, will pull a feather out of random.org’s hat and the winner will get a carded 3ml sample!
My samples were provided by Aromatherapy Associates. the Bath and Shower Oil is $63/55ml at Aromatherapy Associates and 10% of the proceeds will be given to The Defense Against Cancer Foundation that is helping pioneer new treatments. Geraldine is currently a patient in this program. You can read more about it here.
I think it’s what’s on tap for my shower tonight. Maybe tomorrow, too!
And by the way, in addition to the Aromatherapy, exercise and Scotch (just joking about the scotch, really. I’m a bourbon gal)………one of my greatest joys and sources of strength are my friends. I have some amazing friends who have cared for and looked after me as I go through my challenges. Beautiful flowers, lovely books, a (very) patient ear. A shoulder to cry on. Folks to giggle with. It’s gotten me through so much. And you. The Posse. The Posse is definitely a (collective) ‘friend’. You’re a friend to me and to us all as we, each and every one of us, traverse Life. I wish all of us: you, me and Geraldine the very, very best!