Sitting here, sipping an herbal tea blend, serenaded by the glorious chatter of birds at the start of another beautiful summer morning, and reflecting on the tremendous personal transitions that have occurred over the first half of this year. All sorts of transitions. 

And as disruptive as transitions can be, at their core they nudge at personal transformation, a unique invitation to go deep and do the inner work required to shift, grow and flourish in the newly created reality. Healing.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 9.11.03 PM.png

But healing requires stillness, feeling, praying and breathing through the adjustments that come with change. When we ignore and ‘power through’ transitions, we are at risk of becoming stuck. Literally. Pain, stiffness, indifference, depression, anxiety, doubt, loss of joy, and isolation are stuck indicators. 

The summer season signifies the transition from slower (yin) energy to active (yang) energy, from inner reflection to outward experiences. It’s the season of graduations and weddings, vacations and impromptu activities. Quite naturally, constant sunshine and warmer temperatures translate to more social interactions, being out and about, and a tendency to shun planning, routine, and structure.

High activity can, however, serve as a distraction from the inner self work. Even in the midst of sun and fun, we must find quiet moments to rest, meditate, move and care for self in order to relieve stress and create pathways for emotional accountability and healing.

To help you maintain your self care, and to facilitate any healing you are working towards, I’ve turned to a few dedicated, holistic colleagues to share their tips for summer wellness ...

Tasha Edwards, The Hip Healthy Chick - FB | IG | Twitter

Summer can have us feeling light, easy and social. It’s usually when we break from the normal and vacation and stay out enjoying the late sunshine. Often times we forget about our exercise routine.

It is so important to keep up with some type of physical activity. Whether it is a nice, walk with friends, a few laps in the pool, a weekend yoga class or an at-home Pilates routine, it is vital to our overall wellness to not get so far away from taking care of our bodies that we enter into Fall with the promise to do better, only to fall prey to Halloween candy, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas celebrations.

For your heart’s sake, stay active during the summer.

Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari, Advanced Reiki Practitioner at Wellness Uprising - FB | IG

As a lifetime allergy sufferer, I have mixed feelings about summer. I love the sun shining on my body, brightly colored clothes, and lounging at the beach or park. I HATE the tingling nose, watery eyes, scratchy that, stuffiness and post nasal drip. At the first signs of allergy season, I do three things.
First, I reach for my lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils. I use this powerful combination in diffusers at work and at home.
Second, I mix one drop of each in the palms of my hands, and rub vigorously for a few seconds, and practice Reiki self-treatments, making sure to gently massage a bit into the back of the neck. I do this every morning and night through allergy season.
My third revolutionary anti-allergy act is to consume blends of lemon, lavender and peppermint oils in either a cup of hot water or in the form of doTERRA TriEase Seasonal Blend Softgels.
These three steps help remove airborne allergens, clear and align the aura and chakras, and provides the body with natural antihistamines without the drowsiness and other side-effects of over-the-counter drugs.

M. Hakikah Shamsideen, Holistic Home, Health & Spirit Coach - FB | IG

Most of us are overstressed and overbooked. Even though summer is considered a leisure season, it's filled with much to do: vacation travel, events, camp, figuring out what to do with the kids, the list is endless. Those endless tasks can fill you with unhealthy levels of stress, much of it undetectable. I have a solution. Whenever I fell overwhelmed or out of sorts, one of the things I can do anywhere and anytime and helps me and my clients enormously is taking a moment to just stop and breathe. Breathing heals. So I created, 21 Breaths: Self Care Through The Chakras. It's a gentle guided meditation through your 7 energy centers; its purpose, peace. You can download your copy here. Just like that, simple, accessible, self-care. And like breathing, it's free.

Adult coloring for fun and wellness

Last year I posted an article on Facebook about the benefits of my rediscovered hobby - coloring. The post sparked a wonderful, yet unexpected, response from my friends. Who knew that so many people were open to reclaiming this favorite childhood pastime?! It's no wonder that adult coloring is the new relaxation hobby.


Shortly after posting the article, I scoured several art supply stores (a very creativity-stimulating way to spend an afternoon!) to find just the right markers. I stumbled into Plaza Art, one block from VCU's Siegel Center, where the helpful clerk guided me to several suitable options. I already owned a beautiful coloring pencil set, so after some testing I selected the Stabilo Pen 68 and the Stabilo Pen 68 Mini. Once back home I looked through Amazon's extensive list of coloring books and settled on a few that caught my eye. All in, launching my new hobby cost about $30. 

 Vibrant results with Stabilo Pens.

Vibrant results with Stabilo Pens.

Now, a year later, I'm still at it with several more coloring books. I even found a lovely purse-sized coloring book at Five Below, so my trademark itty-bitty purses are on extended vacation! Seriously though, now I can color in between clients, while getting my hair done, waiting at the car wash or the doctor's office. 


Over the past year I've noticed that (at least for me) consistent coloring helps lower blood pressure, maintain hand-eye coordination, improve spatial reasoning, boost problem solving skills, relieve stress and anxiety, and promote good memories, plus it's heck-a-fun! Coloring's ease and affordability places it at the top of my self-care list. I'm even encouraging my clients give it a try.

 Filled using colored pencils.

Filled using colored pencils.

If you haven't started coloring because you worry about rules like 'staying in the lines' or 'using appropriate colors', you might be happy to know that regardless of whether you stay within the perceived boundaries or not, simply coloring is therapeutic. So go ahead, give it a try and discover how it enhances your sense of well-being. 

I'd love to hear ... do you color? why? and how is it benefiting you? I hope you'll share. To your health and wellness!

Are you positive?

It’s amazing how easy it is to spread negativity without even realizing it, or possibly even meaning to. Certainly, when our day begins with a lack of enthusiasm, we cannot be surprised when the day turns out to be unproductive. And one day turns into two, then three ... and boom, the result is an unfulfilled life.

But how to change the script? By embracing a new definition of radical self-care!

There is nothing wrong with pampering and treating oneself to spa treatments, mani/pedis, and healing sessions. In fact, I highly recommend them! But what about the internal work - the work that needs to place deep down in the soul, that space where no one else can go with you, the place we often cover up, gloss over and avoid because intuitively we know it requires some WORK and we are the only ones who can do it? Yes, THAT inner space.

The first (and most difficult step) is developing the habit of shifting the focus of the critical eye away from others and onto ourselves. When we are avoiding that inner work, it's easy to gaze outward and see all that's wrong with the world, as if we are somehow above it all - exempt, apart, better than.

The challenge is to accept that there will ALWAYS be situations beyond your control, that there will always be people who act contrary to what "I" think is right, and that more times than your care to acknowledge, you often create your own negative situation(s). In essence, the task is not to focus on others, but rather, on self, and create opportunities for BREAK THROUGH.

Begin by devoting the first few minutes upon waking to the planting of positive seeds that will continue to grow, manifesting compassion, humility, joy, peace and beauty throughout your day.

Give prayer, meditation, laughter, generosity and peace an exalted seat within your sacred internal space.

Check YOURSELF for behaviors of self-sabotage, manipulation, and divisiveness.

Commit to the intentional, conscious ushering out of negative energy by refusing to loiter in conversations and situations that make themselves known as energy drains.

Surround yourself with people who are continually working on self-improvement and moving toward greatness.

Count your blessings, literally - every. single. day. Maybe even write them down or say them out loud.

Hug a tree. Take a walk in nature. Or simply sit quietly and breathe without action or thought (or television or phone or music) for a few minutes each day.

Help someone just because you can.

Look directly in the mirror and tell yourself "I. Love. You." 7 times. Slowly. Do it.

Eat something that grows naturally from the earth (a fruit or vegetable) in it's raw form without any preparation, at each meal.

Give yourself 30 days of positivity and observe how you begin to naturally redirect and quell the rudeness, nay-saying, jealousy, sarcasm, indifference, and other negative attitudes.

Always remember ... positive energy flows abundantly in the universe. Open a pathway for it to come in and help you create a empowered and joyful life. 



Eating is always an adventure and I am continually amazed at the volume of lessons one can derive from food.

Over recent months, I’d gotten very good at listening to my body’s voice. People were commenting on how nourishing my food was, how healthy I seemed. And Ah! I had amazing physical energy.

Then Ramadan, a lunar month during which we abstain from all food and drink (as well as sex, gossip, anger, etc) between dawn and sunset hours, arrived bringing much needed spiritual recentering. As always, it is destined to be a life-affirming experience!


For me, the first four days are the most difficult. Not because of hunger, headache, weakness or thirst but due to the emotional energy needed to break free of habits centered around food, like going to the refrigerator out of boredom, random snacking, mindless eating and the annoying habit of leaving the grocery store with more than I ever intended to buy, only to get home and realize that my eyes are indeed bigger than the shrinking ability to stuff myself. We are so addicted to food.

But with consistency, transition doesn't take long.

Ramadan is about so much more than food. The word translates as “a burning off” – of greed, vanity, gluttony, lust, wrath, envy … those all-too-familiar desires. The fast requires daily self-imposed restraint from all that feeds the physical (lower) self, in order to elevate the spiritual (higher) self. When the physical things are removed, we are left with a sharper focus on introspection, reflection, charity, humility, positive productivity, gratefulness, worship, and the development of an environment conducive to inner purification.

It never fails that every year, at the very moment I am pondering this powerful integration, someone asks how I can go without food and especially water, all day long . Often the inquiry ends with them saying, “I just could never do it”. I’ve given this sentiment a lot of thought over the years. Oftentimes I’ve explained how it is not really difficult or how we have way more than we actually need or how I am used to it after so many years.

I am not saying that fasting for 30 days is a walk in the park. But the truth is that we are reminded of the Creator's promise that the fast will be easy. It is then, up to us to foster a mindset which embraces that truth. When the mind shifts, the body follows suit, adapting and solidifying a new consciousness of and appreciation for the the ability to self-regulate and choose how we move through this life.

10 Tips for Supporting Caregivers

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 6.56.59 PM.png

We all know a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor, who is a caregiver of an aging, ill or disabled parent, spouse, sibling or child. Unless you’ve done this work of caregiving, there’s no real understanding of the limitations, the complexity of difficulty, or the toll it takes on the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being of the caregiver. And although it’s extremely rewarding, it’s a very tough, never-ending job. 

It’s not uncommon for caregivers to give and give and give with little in return. Oftentimes the person being cared for is unable to reciprocate appreciation or affection, especially over time. As a result, many caregivers feel isolated, and for a number of reasons, are unable to ask for help. An elderly woman caring for a sick husband may fear losing her independence, the mother of a disabled child may worry about how she is viewed as a mother, a man caring for his demented mother may feel he’s not living up to his role as a son. There is an entire range of unspoken emotions and thoughts to deal with, none of them easy.

So, supportive interaction becomes critical to the stability and stamina of caregivers. Support must come from the heart, clothed in genuine love and compassion. There is no room for criticism or controlling gestures. Here’s how you can help:

1. Pick up the phone and call. Caregivers need human connection. More importantly, make the call about THEM. Ask how they are doing. Bring them some good news. Make them laugh. Do it often.

2. Give ample notice when extending an invitation. Attending something as simple as a lunch date or holiday party often requires advance arrangements to have someone ‘stand in’ to provide care. 

3. Learn about dementia, Aspergers, autism, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask/talk about these conditions in an appropriate setting. Pretending nothing is wrong is isolating. 

4. Be aware that caregiving is very different from (and often more challenging than) raising children. With childrearing there is an end goal in sight. Your children are growing UP and, at some point, moving on to their own lives. Even as our children lose their innocence, there is a lasting sense of pride and joy that comes from raising a child into adulthood. With caregiving, temporary illness care aside, the opposite is usually true. There is a deep sense of loss (of that person, of one’s personal life, of one’s freedom from the situation, etc) that accompanies caring for someone who will never be independent or who is slowly moving toward the end of their life. 

5. Be sensitive.  Some caregivers are on limited or fixed incomes, sometimes having had to give up their job/career to care for someone else or living on part time employment wages. Something to consider when asking them to go out or travel. 

6. Visit. Traveling with a sick or disabled person is disruptive, often requiring both the caregiver and the one being cared for to go without resources they rely upon for activities of daily living. Traveling without one’s charge means finding someone trustworthy or paying HIGH fees for their care in your absence. So if there’s a family gathering or special occasion in the works, consider bringing it to the caregiver’s home! Since those being cared for usually respond best to routine schedules, be sure to include the caregiver in all the plans … and be prepared to lend a hand when you arrive.

7. Help them locate community resources - home care aides, physical or occupational therapists, chaplains, social workers, hospice. See if they are interested in attending a caregiver’s support group. If so, locate one (or several) and perhaps offer to go with them. This can be especially helpful for long time caregivers who’ve never sought help but are exhibiting signs of caregiver stress.

8. Ask how you can help. The caregiver knows what they need but may need a little coaxing. Be prepared for anything from ‘would you sit with him/her while I take a bath?’ to ‘can you recommend a ____?’. 

9. Know the signs of caregiver stress (denial, frustration, anger, guilt, social withdrawal, depression, lack of concentration, loneliness, exhaustion, unchecked health problems) and how it affects health. Encourage and do what you can to make it possible for them to take better care of themselves, to get out of the house, and to enjoy life.

10. Reassure them know you are there for them. And really, really be there when they need you.

Managing Moods

1. Given to frequent changes of mood; temperamental.
2. Subject to periods of depression; sulky.
3. Expressive of a mood, especially a sullen or gloomy mood
 Image: Mood Mix by  Aqiylah Collins . All rights reserved.

Image: Mood Mix by Aqiylah Collins. All rights reserved.

Image: Blood Brain Barriere by Ben Brahim Mohammed is used here with permissions granted under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Osteoporosis: are you at risk?

Osteoporosis has been called the silent disease. As we age, particularly beyond menopause (for women), it's not uncommon for bones to thin, weaken and fracture without warning.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, those who meet the following conditions are at greater risk:

  • female
  • advanced age
  • Caucasian
  • a history of fractures
  • a small thin frame
  • alcohol and tobacco use
  • family history of osteoporosis
  • surgical ovary removal
  • early menopause
  • a low calcium diet or poor absorption
  • lack of weight bearing exercise
  • long term use of certain medications (steroids, anti-convulsant drugs, HRTs)
 Image:  Age and Bone Mass  by  Anatomy and Physiology, Connexions Website  is used here with permissions granted under the  Creative Commons   Attribution 3.0 Unported  license

Image: Age and Bone Mass by Anatomy and Physiology, Connexions Website is used here with permissions granted under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

But there's good news! Osteoporosis is preventable. Even though some factors can't be altered (gender, ethnicity, family history, etc), others can. Prevention begins with doing what you can to minimize the risks. Even if you've already been diagnosed, these steps can slow down the progression of bone loss. Start now and do what you can.

Get serious about giving up tobacco. See your medical doctor for advise. If traditional methods aren't successful, try hypnosis or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Calcium is crucial to building and maintaining solid bone mass and density. Up to age 50, the average adult needs 1000 mg per day. For women over 50 or at the onset of menopause, and for men older than 70, the requirement increases to 1200 mg per day..

Beyond dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), be sure your diet includes plant-based calcium-rich foods such as fresh leafy greens like collards and cabbage, sardines, salmon, soy, almonds, and pistachios. Vitamin D aids calcium absorption and may be lacking in certain regions or during winter months when sunshine is minimized. Also, salt intake interferes with calcium absorption, so lowering your intake may be helpful.

Begin a regular routine of walking, running, jumping rope, aerobics, take a Zumba class, or find a tennis partner and dust off the racket. Any exercise that requires you to use the weight of your body increases bone density.

Detecting Osteoporosis is as simple as getting tested. The test, called a bone mineral density scan (or DEXA) can identify early osteoporosis and monitor treatment. For convenience, many radiology centers can schedule a scan at the same time as your annual mammogram.

Best of all, the test lasts about 30 minutes and is simple, painless and non-invasive.

Image: Human Hip Bone by Patrick Siemer is used here with permissions granted under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Verbal energy

Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. -Pearl Strachan

A while back, a friend shared that she was about to receive her college degree. I asked what her major was and she replied, "Art History, but I could only go part time so it's just an Associates degree".  

Say what?! ONLY? JUST?? 

Uh last time I checked, earning a college degree was a huge accomplishment in and of itself, so it's a pretty BIG DEAL for a single 37-year-old mother of 2 with a full time job

I clearly remember a special day many years ago. My grandfather woke me early so we could shine our shoes before gathering round the dining room table for my grandmother's homemade breakfast. Then we donned our Sunday best and piled into the family car. Everyone was smiling as we headed to my mom's graduation from the local community college. I was 9.

Being present when Mom received that Associates of Science degree in Political Science remains one of the highlights of my life! For 3 years, I lived with my grandparents during the week so Mom could attend night school after working all day at her full time job, to earn that darn piece of paper. This day represented triumph over the history, obstacles, and the naysayers. Mom was the first in our immediate family to both attend AND graduate from college.

Yet the real success rested in reclaiming HER personal dreams and writing her own story rather than succumbing to perceived notions of a young single woman of color raising a child in a world that deemed her future as limited. That day, I learned many great lessons about being a strong, resilient, determined, goal-oriented woman, as well as the necessity of a powerful support system.

Today, I feel the impact of those two small words - JUST and ONLY - in diminishing the hard work and sacrifices we make to achieve a dream or reach a goal or shine from within or simply function. As a health coach, I personally witness people giving away their power, their energy: "I only ate 3 vegetables today" or "I'm only 23 so no one is going to take me seriously" or "I'm just a paralegal" and "I'm just working out 3 days a week". 

Using these two words, in this way, is an unconsciously learned behavior that is rooted in our history. The practice sucks the life out of our accomplishments, and all that went into achieving them. It's an unintentional dishonoring of how we've spent our time and our energy, which is the stuff life is made of, truly. 

The good news is that we can choose to energize our lives by honoring our efforts! And let me be clear that this is not bragging but rather stating what is AND not making excuses for it in the same breath.

My challenge to you is to take the 3-day Words Have Power Challenge by committing to:

  • being more conscious about the words you use
  • spreading the word about self-limiting vocabulary

Start whenever you want or whenever you can. If you forget, start again. Make it fun by engaging a partner. No rules. Just be more mindful of your own vocabulary and inspire others to do the same in a loving and gentle way. I hope you'll share how you are embodying this new verbal energy. Your words have power, so use them wisely!

Much ♥

9 natural UTI prevention tips

A urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection occurs when harmful bacteria take up residence in the bladder or ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder where it is stored until emptied via the urethra). Urination is a natural process that flushes bacteria from the body.

Although infection can be caused by many things, women are at greater risk for UTIs than men. A shorter urethra and closer proximity to the anus, making them more likely to develop infection following sexual activity. Women who use a diaphragm, are pregnant, or have entered menopause seem to be more susceptible as well.

Other risk factors include diabetes, loose stools, extended periods of immobility, bowel and urine incontinence, surgery, having a catheter, advanced age, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, problems emptying the bladder, or anything blocking the flow of urine.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning when urinating 
  • Foul smelling urine 
  • Cloudy urine or traces of blood in urine 
  • Frequent urination or inability to hold small amounts of urine 
  • Weakness 
  • Excessive tiredness 
  • Back pain or pain below the rib cage 
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum (men) 
  • Pain or pressure near the pubic bone (women) 
  • Mental confusion, refusal to drink water, or loss of appetite (elderly) 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fever or bleeding, if the infection has moved into the kidneys or bloodstream 
 Image:  lllu Urinary System  by  Arcadian  is used here with permissions granted under the  U.S. Public Domain  (original works of the Federal Government)

Image: lllu Urinary System by Arcadian is used here with permissions granted under the U.S. Public Domain (original works of the Federal Government)

Sadly, I've been down this road enough times with folks to know that the healing modality depends on the particular bacteria strain. A urine culture will reveal the strain of bacteria you are dealing with, and most doctors will tell you if a UTI can be managed without antibiotics. Something like ecoli (yes, you read that right) requires a remedy more powerful than what's discussed here. If you cannot take antibiotics or prefer not to, consult a qualified herbalist.

As for prevention or early first sign of UTIs, consider the following ...

  1. Practice good genital hygiene. Avoid unclean public toilets. Keep a squeeze (perineal) bottle with warm water by toilet and use to wash front and back after eliminating, and be sure to ALWAYS wipe front to back. 
  2. Always practice safe sex, exercise caution during sexual activities, and bathe afterwards. Be sure to properly clean intrauterine devices (IUDs). 
  3. Cranberries contain hippuric acid which create an acidic environment, making the urinary tract unattractive to bacteria, and helps to inhibit their growth. Use a pure cranberry juice or tablet. For recurring UTIs (aka RUTIs), select a high dosage cranberry tablet with a non-acidic vitamin C (I favor Ester-C with Cranberry by American Health). 
  4. A probiotic designed to reach maximum effectiveness in the lower intestine. (I highly recommend Ultra Flora Plus by Metagenics). 
  5. Drink LOTS of fresh water. 
  6. Avoid cheeses, carbonated and caffeinated beverages, chocolate, alcohol, yeast, and cigarettes to inhibit bacterial growth. 
  7. Increase garlic, tumeric, clove and other spices with antibacterial properties, prunes and plums (for their hip pubic acid), plus grains, corn, beans, lentils, walnuts, and peanuts for their acidic value. 
  8. Mix equal parts of tea tree, frankincense, bergamot, and juniper essential oils with EVOO or fractionated coconut oil and massage over bladder. Can also diffuse the essential oils into the air. 
  9. Eat foods high in Vitamin C. A list of the best choices can be found at World's Healthiest Foods

Note: A bladder infection is a serious condition that left untreated or improperly treated can lead to severe complications, kidney damage, and even blood poisoning. Please consult a medical or naturopathic doctor if you suspect or develop an infection.

Image: Pyuria by Bobjgalindo is used here with permissions granted under the GNU Free Documentation License

Life's not-so-little reminders

Funny how we plan, and then another Plan comes into play. You know the One. The One we never take into account when we are doing what we do. The One we conveniently forget about as we move-n-shake our way through life. Yeah that One. The Ultimate Plan.

While it is true that we can manifest what we want in our lives, it is also true that life is interconnected. And every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It's the domino effect.

So, in the words of my grandmother, "be careful what you manifest. Think it through, yet know too that there exists what you cannot see or know or plan for, so be prepared for life to throw you a curve when you least expect it, but most need it". Wisdom.

Recently, a bout of severe pain, chills, fever, exhaution, a trip to the emergency room, and a diagnosis of pneumonia, brought my Nana's words rushing back to me and everything of real importance into clear focus ... again, because we get off-track. And I am reminded of a few observations to share:

  • Slowww dowwwn
  • The healthier the body, the harder it fights to maintain homeostasis, and the faster it heals
  • After 3 days of self-treatment with no improvement, seek medical care
  • A strong tolerance for pain is NOT a permission slip for needless suffering
  • Allow those who love you and can see what you can't, to advocate for you
  • Doctors are great diagnosticians and symptom-solvers
  • Sometimes the immediate benefit of drugs outweighs the potential harm
  • 'Healing' is a personal commitment we make to ourselves every day
  • Strengthen the use of foundational wellness tools (like prayer, Reiki, healing affirmations, essential oils, fresh water, fruits and veggies) at every stage of dis-ease and every stage of wellness
  • Get with a health coach to improve daily wellness choices to cleanse properly, boost the immune system, and regain strength
  • Give thanks - good health is a precious, delicate, beautiful gift

Peace and good health!

Keeping bugs away naturally

Gardening? Camping? Playing? Spending time outside? Traveling to or through a mosquito-infested region? Then you are likely trying to avoid getting bit by any number of menacing mosquitoes this year.

Not only are mosquito bites annoying and painful but they can be a source of transmitting serious diseases like Lyme disease or West Nile Virus. So it’s important to protect yourself and your children from bites when possible.

Unfortunately, most bug repellents on the market contain DEET, a chemical with known toxic side effects. Research shows that certain essential oils like citronella, lemongrass, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus, are highly nontoxic and effective alternatives to DEET. Although natural remedies may require more frequent application, they are safer and effective, especially for children and the elderly. 

Choose a safe, effective, nontoxic  bug repellent

dōTERRA’s TerraShield Repellent Blend™ is one such formula. A proprietary blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils including lemon eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass and 12 other balanced oils blended in a base of 100% pure fractionated coconut oil, TerraShield can be used safely by the entire family, and reapplied every 4-6 hours for maximum protection without worry of harmful side effects or toxicity.

Users report the following uses for TerraShield Repellent Blend™

"A few drops mixed with water and sprayed on windowsills, prevents bugs from getting into the house."

"A great rub for the inside of horses ears."

"Spray around kitchen vegetables and fruits to prevent fruit flies."

"25 drops in a spray bottle of water with a drop of dish soap, sprayed on the counter will repel ants."

"Put a few drops in the water used for plants and flowers will eliminate bugs and flies."

"Add to homemade natural lotion and apply to skin."

"Apply to insect bite sites to reduce swelling and redness."


Order dōTERRA’s all-natural, concentrated TerraShield Repellent Blend™ today and discover all the ways it heals and protects you or learn more about the benefits of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils!

For more information on mosquitoes, read Mosquitoes: Natural Bug Repellents and Bite Remedies.

[Full Disclosure: Aqiylah Collins is a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate]

Nature as an Rx

I went for a power walk at the lake near my home. It was cold and damp after the low temps, cloudiness and rainfall of the past two days. I didn't really want to go but knew I needed to. So I did.

Somewhere between my pounding heart and burning gluts, I realized how much I crave this environment that naturally and simultaneously pushes my body to new heights, feeds my senses, clears my head, and calms my soul. It's the ultimate in stress reduction. And being present in nature opens the spirit to deep inner healing and inspiration. 

The peacefulness of the fog slowly lifting off the still lake, the beautiful carpet of bright green moss, the sweet aroma of randomly fallen trees, the rhythmic crunch of gravel beneath my feet, the silence of birds gliding effortlessly on the crisp air overhead, the energetic sound of water gushing through the dam, and the fresh scent of woods and earth stinging my nostrils are experiences absent at even the best of gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. 

So, I began thinking about why I don't come here regularly or exercise consistently. Ultimately, it comes down to:

FEAR. Not wanting to make the commitment to being physical. Even though my body screams (literally) to be fed in this way, I tend to live mostly in my head. 

LACK OF MOTIVATION. For me, this one comes from never having to be physical to maintain my health. For too long I've been 'getting by' on my good genes. Weight hasn't been an issue. Flexibility and mobility have been stellar. Stress has been manageable. Until now. Aging comes with a whole new set of rules.

PROCRASTINATION. Being too lazy to make physical fitness a part of my routine, always putting off exercise until 'tomorrow', distracting myself with non-essential tasks and convincing myself that taking care of self in one isolated area (like eating well) is good enough. 

COMPLACENCY. The lull of satisfaction with the status quo is probably the worst. The danger is that there can be serious consequences (actual dangers and deficiencies) that become unavoidable, even if one is unaware. Often I know know I'm settling but allow fear, lack of motivation and procrastination to paralyze me.

As a health coach, I know all too well how important regular movement, centering and stress reduction are to health and well-being. So here are 3 things I am doing to strengthen this part of my self care ...

  • I acknowledge that consistent fitness is a challenge for me
  • I am replacing excuses with action (read that: Just Do It)
  • I am working with a health coach for support and accountability

What are 3 things you know you could do for yourself today?