THE HOLISTIC BEAUTY EXPERIENCE BY ANDREA ASHLEY
February 2018 I ISSUE no 16
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IN THIS ISSUE
The LISTEN ISSUE
May you be become aware of your mind, body and soul when it speaks to you. Use these signals to connect and grow more deeply into your true self.
Ingredient Spotlight:Peppermint Essential Oil Pg. 11
Listening to your intuition Pg.27
The Ears according to Ayurveda- Pg 15
10 Holistic Tips for dealing with chronic anxiety Pg.17
Intuition as healing medicine Pg.7
Interview with the formulator- Iremia Skincare for sensitive skin Pg.21
Finding Bodily Acceptance through joyful and intuitive movement Pg 13
SELF CAR E
Silencing your inner critic Pg.31
Yoga Strong - Full hour yoga video Pg 14
Ingredient Spotlight- St.John's Wort Pg.29
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"We are a holistic and positive lifestyle community that encourages natural healthy skin care, self care and most importantly, inspires self love."
- Andrea Ashley
Written by: Valery Brosseau
Listening vs Hearing
“Empathy is a choice and it is a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.”
- Brené Brown
Are we truly listening, or we simply hearing? Empathy is what makes the difference between the two. Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else is feeling and to share in their experience. It is what allows us to support each other in a way that is genuine and real. Sympathy is the feeling of pity or sadness we have for someone else’s misfortune. It puts us outside of their experience. The core difference between the two concepts is that one creates emotional intimacy whereas the other separates the listener from the speaker. With sympathy there is no true sharing. Meanwhile, empathy is making ourselves vulnerable to emotion in order to share an experience with someone else. As Brené Brown explains, “empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.” Brené Brown is an American research professor and MSW whose research centers on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.
In a 1996 Journal of Advanced Nursing paper, Theresa Wiseman, who is a clinical professor of applied health research, defines four traits of empathy:
1) Seeing the world as others see it
2) Understanding another’s feelings
3) Remaining non-judgmental
4) Communicating this understanding
These steps are what creates that connection, what promotes the building of emotional intimacy. Seeing the world as others see it is essentially taking on their perspective. It means to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see what makes them view the world a certain way or feel things a certain way. Understanding another’s feelings means identifying what emotions they are experiencing and connecting to that thing within ourselves that knows that emotion. Remaining non-judgmental is important, as it is what allows us to be supportive, compassionate and create a safe and open conversation. Communicating this understanding means letting the other person know we have understood their emotions and are seeing them through their lens.
When we incorporate these features into our communication style, we are truly listening. We are absorbing what is being shared with us and we are in turn feeling it with the speaker, analyzing it based on our own experiences and sharing back something that is meaningful. We so often fall into the habit of listening just to wait for our turn to talk. Empathy counters this.
Another skill that goes hand in hand with truly listening is active listening.
Active listening gets us to a place where we can provide an empathic response. It gets us to a place where we have a deep enough understanding of what the person is experiencing that we can relate to what they are going through. Active listening is more than the type of listening we do on a regular basis; it is deeper and creates more connection.
Features of active listening:
Taking silences to truly listen, and not simply waiting for our turn to talk
Verbal and non-verbal cues to show we are listening
Asking open-ended questions
Reflecting back what is said to us
Asking for clarification and paraphrasing what is said to us
Summarizing what is said to us
When we use active listening, our aim is to gain information, create connection and build trust. By using these techniques we can accomplish just that. It is important to get out of the habit of multi tasking in our heads as so many of us do. We live such stressful and active lives it can be difficult to turn this off but it does not put us in a place to truly connect with someone. For example, do not check your phone while someone is opening up to you. Many of us are guilty of this habit so often!
Empathy and active listening promote a true connection between two people. Both parties are sharing information, experiences and emotions and they find themselves in the same viewpoint. This is how we truly share, how we connect on the basis of human experience and how we experience feelings with someone else. Truly listening instead of just hearing is extremely rewarding. It will foster deeper relationships, give you a better understanding of any situation you are in and make you a more effective communicator. Like anything else, it is a skill! Don’t be afraid to start practicing.
Written by Corrina Choe, Medicine Journey Healer & Teacher of Shamanic Arts
Seeing and connecting to what you truly desire.
Intuition as Healing Medicine
A gift we were given to come to this earth with, a helpline, a blessing, compass and comfort.
It can not be seen, but it can be felt so deeply in us. It opens the doors to the unseen parts of us, it stops time for us to take a moment to breathe. It heals us, it holds us and freezes time for us to feel, to see things differently to know the truth. It nudges us quietly to direct us in our everyday lives.
Your intuition is the direct connection to the divine love that we can reach up to in the dimensions beyond this world.
Tons have heard of this word intuition and know the definition even, some have even experienced the gut feeling and called it intuition.
Many more have doubted it, pushed it away, and even disrespected it. This is you, the part of you that knows best for you, that unconditional love, that understands you even before your mind can process it.
Often we will listen even to strangers before we listen to ourselves, why is that? What is blocking us from this power that is a gift and a blessing.
Could it be we doubt ourselves so much, not trust ourselves, or maybe even afraid to know what we really need? Are we afraid to see the parts of us that are longing to be free? Have we repressed this part of us because we were taught to listen to others before ourselves?
What if you were to try and connect with your own intuition?
Perhaps you would be pleasantly surprised to discover a whole world within yourself. There is a world filled with wonder, answers, superpowers to see the invisible answers to guide you through life, to comfort you in times of distress, to guide you into your own self-retreat, to rejuvenate you.
Intuition is a compass we can use in this world to guide us into our deepest healing to mend our wounds.
It will guide you to walk the path that is authentically you, to keep you protected from danger, to know when to walk away from something that does not feel right and honour that.
We all have access to this part of us but may not realize it. Our intuition will not lie, it cuts through the illusions and provides the truth.
In terms of healing, there are many ways to practice getting back into touch with your intuition to provide insight and transformation that you are looking for. Know that this is the most loving, wisest part
of you so feel safe in that alone.
Practice for tuning into your intuition:
1. Find a place that is quiet, light a candle.
2. Light some sage and use a feather to fan the smoke over yourself from the top to the bottom of your feet. Put sage out.
3. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your nose. 3 times until you feel relaxed all over.
4. Then tap in the middle of your chest 10x while breathing.
5. Then tap on the top of your head 10x while breathing.
6. Feel or see yourself sitting in a lotus pose on mother earth in the forest. Hear the sound of the wind and the trees, smell the air.
7. Put both your hands on mother earth feeling her heartbeat.
8. Connect with her feel her heartbeat moving up your hands, into your arms, throat and into between your eyebrows (third eye).
9. Once you feel this connection ask questions you have been longing to receive an answer to, it could be a place where you feel stuck and need advice in your life, it could be what is your passion in life.
10. Once you ask the question just sit and wait for the answer to come to your heart, you may see images, words, or sense feelings.
11. The first thing that comes to you is the answer if you do not understand the answer ask for clarity, ask for a symbol to appear in your hand.
12. Do not over think this. Intuition does not come from our brain, but from the highest part of ourselves in the spiritual realm.
13. Once you have received the answer and symbol, give thanks.
14. Open your eyes and come back into the room and immediately write down what you experienced.
It will be hard to remember this since it came from a higher realm so it is important to write it out.
The more you practice the quicker the answers will come to you. You will be able to tap into your intuition at any time, even standing in line at a store.
You can also do the above exercise to ask questions to help speed up emotional and physical healing.
You can ask or tune in to be shown what you need right now, what type of healing is required.
When I tune in when I need some help around emotional healing, or just feeling stuck I often get images of what I can do for myself. Sometimes it is a bath with certain flowers or herbs, sometimes it is a self- energy healing. I am shown exactly how to do it.
The key is to keep your head out of it. I have learned that the healing that is coming in is from light and my higher good and I go with it.
It works all the time.
Remember when you follow your intuition you
are following the highest guidance of your self.
Continue next page
PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
This is where the practice of “Mindfulness Meditation for Stress Reduction,” can help us make all the “doing” effortless and full of ease. It’s as easy as 3 to 5 minutes a day!
Mindfulness is all about being present from each moment to moment with as little judgment as possible.
In Mindful Meditation we do not ignore distracting thoughts, sensations or physical discomfort, rather we bring focus and attention to them.
A very important part of Mindful Meditation is to look at, accept and actually welcome the tensions and stress. The purpose is to acknowledge present moment reality as it is. Even if it is unpleasant.
The following 3-minute Body Scan Script is to help you tune into your moment to moment experience, relax your body, and bring focus into your mind.
If you are new to the Body Scan it is recommended performing this practice with an audio version. However, you can also use the script below for guidance for yourself or for leading this practice for others.
Having a seat in a chair, on the floor, or on your bed, begin by bringing your attention to your body.
Notice your body, feeling the weight of your body on the chair, on the floor, or on your bed.
Take a few natural and light nostril breaths. And as you breath, only bring in as much oxygen as you need. As you exhale, have a sense of relaxing just a little bit more.
You can start to notice your feet, sensations of your feet. The weight and pressure, vibration, heat.
Notice your legs, the pressure, pulsation, heaviness or lightness.
Bring your attention into your stomach area. If your stomach is tense or tight, let it soften. Take a breath into your belly.
Notice your hands. Are your hands tense or tight. See if you can allow them to soften.
Notice your arms. Feel any sensation in your arms. Let your shoulders be soft.
Notice your neck and throat. Let them be soft. Relax.
Soften your jaw. Let your face and facial muscles be soft.
Then notice your whole body present. Take one more natural breath.
Be aware of your whole body as best you can. And then when you’re ready, you can return back into your day.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Mindfulness Meditation for the Holidays cont'd
Botanical Name: Mentha piperita
Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation
Parts of plant used: Leaves and Flowering Tops
Scent Profile: Minty, Fresh, Herbaceous
Properties: Antidepressant. Decongestant. Antimicrobial. Verucidal.
Peppermint is a fairly common essential oil, but what is not so common is the sense of its copious overuse. For starter's please do not take peppermint essential oil internally in any capacity including to flavour your tea or water- instead use actual dried herbs for peppermint tea and fresh peppermint leaves to infuse your water. And while it is renowned for it's indigestion soothing properties I would still recommend a herbal substitution that can be taken internally and get straight to the source of the issue (the stomach!) safely and in a form your body can recognize and break down.
However, when it comes to emotional and mental effects this is where I would turn to the essential oil as the aromatherapy method of application is via the olfactory system which will interpret the chemicals and is what connects the external environment with the central nervous system.
Peppermint is said to elevate the sensory system and therefore can induce positive emotions. The effects of peppermint, much like it's scent, can be invigorating, energizing. uplifting and clearing.
Notes and Contraindications:
Do not use if pregnant. Never use essential oils internally. Do not use on skin or in the bath, before bed or with high blood pressure. Peppermint essential oil is often adulterated, be aware of your source.
Joyful & Intuitive Movement
Body Positive Yoga; helping people FEEL GOOD in their bodies
Every day I’m learning more & more to listen to my body. The moment I stopped moving with the purpose of wanting to “change/fix” my body was when I truly and deeply fell in love with movement.
At the height of my obsession I used to exercise for a minimum of 4-5 hours a day with the sole intention of losing weight and shrinking my body. At that time, I was working as a full-time Law Clerk in a very high stress environment. Some days I would run before work or on my lunch break, go to the gym after work and then come home and throw on a yoga or pilates DVD. All while running on minimum fuel and ignoring my bodies signals to slow down.
My body. My rules. Would you believe me if I told you that 99% of the time that I move my body I genuinely feel excited about doing it! These days I move for joy! To feel alive, connected and in celebration of what my body is capable of. Approaching movement and exercise in this way has allowed me to tune INto my body and not OUT of my body. In the past the exercises I chose were always out of a feeling of obligation; “I must go hard so I can maintain this shape and size.” Fast forward to the present, moderate movement and exercise is something I enjoy. Something I look forward to.
The human body is meant to move regularly, and how we approach movement can make such a world of difference when it comes to accepting our bodies. Think “use it” don’t “abuse it,” Ask yourself daily, “what kind of movement would suit my energy level? Will it set me up to feel awake, alive, happy, confident and empowered. Will it help to regulate my nervous system so that I feel balanced?”
My passion is to get people moving in a way that feels good (strong, mobile, flexible, capable, functional, confident, fit etc.) in the body they have right here, right now. Change the focus of using movement as a means of punishment to moving for pleasure and really listening to what it is their body needs in any given moment.
I want to encourage others to use yoga & diverse movement options as a tool for finding bodily acceptance and appreciation for the amazing body they are in regardless of their individual shape and size.
I am so excited to be gifting you this class off my Online Studio. Not only does current science tell us that mixing up movement is good for the physical body and mind but when it comes to joyful and intuitive movement, having options prevents boredom and less obligation to do the same things repeatedly. We become empowered by listening to our bodies and responding honestly.
Article and Video by: Kristy Pisani,, Movement Expert
Written By: Mona L. Warner, ERYT500, CYA-E-RYT500, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist (AYT-NAMA)
According to Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, the ears are one of the five “organs of wisdom”. The ears - along with eyes, nose, tongue, and skin – are the sense organs that allow us to bring information from the outside world inward. Ayurveda places great emphasis on caring for the sense organs. There are a few very good reasons for this.
Ayurveda teaches us that there are three main causes of disturbance in our systems that are internal:
1. Change over time: this includes changes in the seasons and in our stage of life (like from childhood to adulthood). This one is out of our control. What we can do is learn to manage the changes. A great example is dressing more warmly in the winter, and not treating our body at 40 as though it was 20.
2. Mis-use of the sense organs: When we over use or under use our sense organs, the information we take in is not always accurate. A great example of this, in relation to the ears, is listening to loud music for a long time. When we turn it off, our ears are so sore and tired that they ring to tell us “wow, that was too much for me”.
If your sense organs stop functioning optimally, the information you take in about the world becomes distorted. Using the ears as an example, think of the ‘Telephone Game’. One person whispers something to the person next to them, so on and so forth down the line, and what started as “I love spaghetti” ends up becoming “what’s with confetti?” How can we make wise choices in our lives if the information coming in is inaccurate? Best to take care of the organs that give us this information so we at least have a chance of making a useful choice!
3. Mis-use of the mind: Ever do something you know wasn’t good for you (like eat a whole bag of chips while binging on Netflix)? Or not do something that you know is good for you (like skip a yoga class or workout or your meditation practice)? These are a misuse of the intellect, of our mental capacity. Every day we are faced with many, many choices. What we choose daily affects our health the most. Not choosing our health is the main reason we get sick.
Did you notice that two out of three of the causes of disturbance in our system involve the sense organs? One involves them directly. They are involved in the mis-use of the mind as well – how often to you collect information from outside of yourself before making a decision? Probably quite a bit. And if your sense organs aren’t functioning optimally, there is a good chance that the information coming in is not accurate.
So many ‘mis-uses of intellect’ happen as a result of faulty information coming in.
So, how to care for your ears?
Here are some simple techniques we use in Ayurveda to care for our ears:
1. Cover your ears when you are outside: If you’re going outside in the wintertime, which is imbued with wind and cold, cover your ears. Protect this sensitive and important sense organ from the harshness of winter. Ears prefer to be warm and function most optimally when they are warm.
2. Oil your Ears: Use an appropriate oil (appropriate means you aren’t allergic or reactive to it. If you aren’t sure, do a small test patch on the back of your wrist and give it three days to see if any reaction arises – if it does, do not use that oil!!! Also, if it’s from a food you are allergic to, do not use.) – seasonally we are looking at oils like sesame, sweet almond, or olive oil. Warm a small amount of the oil, remembering it still has to be easy to apply to the skin without reaction – warm, not hot. Then take a small amount of the oil in your hands and massage the outer architecture of your ears – whatever feels good works!
You can also add 2 drops of oil into the ear canal itself. For this, I lean my head to one side, and put 2 drops of oil in the top ear canal. I take 5 breaths to let it move through the canal and absorb. Then I lean my head to the other side and repeat. I do all my oiling before getting in the shower so that my shower washes off any excess oil, and keeps it from getting on my clothes.
3. Quiet Time & Nature Sounds: Since the function of the ears is to receive sound, basically when they are hearing or listening, they are working. Taking time of off work is good for us, and it’s good for your ears too. Give them a break by taking some quiet time. Since complete quiet is almost impossible to find in the modern world, the alternative option is to be in nature – nature sounds are supportive sounds for the ears to listen to (and the mind, and the heart).
It is through really being able to listen and hear others that our relationships grow and deepen. Caring for our ears is an important piece to this complex puzzle of human interaction – how can I connect and have compassion for you if I am unable to hear what you share with me? Care for your ears – not only for their sake, for everyone’s!
Being a Visual Learner cont'd
Anxiety is a widely used word in today’s society. It is referred to in conjunction with stress as well as mental health. But what does it really mean? Chronic Anxiety according to the Webster’s Dictionary is “a disorder marked by chronic excessive anxiety and worry that is difficult to control, causes distress or impairment in daily functioning, and is accompanied by three or more associated symptoms (such as restlessness, irritability, poor concentration, and sleep disturbances).”
The Canadian Mental Health Association states that “Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population.” Of this percentage the severity ranges from mild to severe impairment; which in turn has caused a need for modifications to their job, or job loss. It is noted that 25% of individuals suffering with chronic anxiety do not seek treatment from a doctor or professional.
So, what can be done? Are there any options? The answer is a resounding yes! There are
many avenues to explore, and what may not work for one, may work for another. In this article I will focus on the holistic tips, but I am not discounting the positive effects that pharmaceuticals have had for many who have suffered from this disorder and now have their symptoms under control.
There are various tools and options to assist in dealing with chronic anxiety holistically, with positive outcomes. Here are my top 10 tips:
1. Exercise. Getting your body moving is so important! This could be going for a walk, dancing to your favourite music, yoga, playing sports, aerobics, lifting weights. The list is endless on ways to get your body moving. When you begin to move, your body creates endorphins in your brain creating a positive outlook on life as well as help with pain management.
2. Light Therapy. There are a couple different treatments when looking at Light Therapy. There is Colour Light Therapy which uses various colour disks of crushed minerals, where a practitioner would shine specific colours on various areas of the body, depending on what is needed. Light Therapy Box/lamp where you would sit near the box/lamp which shines full spectrum light which simulates natural sunlight. Both of these treatments are helpful with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), as well as improving sleep.
3. Colour Breathing. This is an amazing tool for anxiety, as well as pain, self- empowerment, the list goes on and on and can be done almost anywhere! When breathing in the colour yellow during this exercise, clients have stated they have actually felt the warmth of the sun by just the visualization alone. Very helpful for SAD in addition to many other conditions.
4. Self-Reflection. This exercise is grossly overlooked, but is so important for everyone to do as a way to understand where we came from and where we are headed. There are many books, Cd’s, vidoes, etc. on the subject which you can research. My favourite when working with clients is; You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book is an easy read, and my suggestion is to read the book through once, then begin again and complete the exercises in each chapter. Louise Hay was a wonderful woman who helped shape the holistic movement and to demonstrate the power of the mind and its connection to healing the body. I have read this book numerous times and always find new tidbits of information to assist me on the path I am currently on.
5. Meditation. This word has multiple meanings and definitions. Meditation to me is focusing on one thing for a period of time. What I mean is, meditation could be colouring, reading, walking in nature, painting, any hobby you may have that allows you to focus your attention for a period of time, which shuts out all that inner dialogue, quiets your brain and just lets you “be.” Many times with anxiety we are in a fight or flight mode which keeps our body in a heightened state of awareness. Over long periods of time, this can create other issues within the physical body. By quieting your mind, your body is also able to relax and balance can be restored.
6. Journalling. This is a very important tool to utilize as well, as it enables you to empty your brain of all the thoughts, emotions, fears, etc. that are continually running around in your mind. When you write them down, you are able to acknowledge your thoughts which puts things in perspective. Overwhelm happens when our ideas and feelings are left to run rampant in our minds, creating crushing emotions, which, if not acknowledged can render a person feeling overwhelmed and powerless.
7. Essential Oils. There has been a lot of interest in essential oils in the past few years, even though oils have been used for thousands of years in every culture! They are very beneficial for all aspects of the body: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Breathing the oils in, is the fastest way to feel the effects of an oil. Breathing directly from the bottle, placing a drop on a tissue and breathing in, or diffusing the oil in a diffuser are all ways to experience the wondrous benefits of oils.
8. Nature. Nature is all around us. Step outside. Listen. Can you hear the sounds of the birds? Can you feel the peaceful silence enveloping the land after a snowfall? Taking a few moments each day to step into nature can do wonderful things for your wellbeing as well as your soul. Take your shoes off and feel the grass beneath your feet. Hug a tree. Feel the energy from the earth, the trees. Breathe in. Feel the energy within you, strengthen and connect with the world around you. Being in nature reduces blood pressure, stress levels and creates a sense of peace and calm.
9. Connections. Keep a connection (even if it is 1 close friend or family member). Talk to them. Let them know how you are feeling. Try to go out for coffee or ask them to go for a walk with you. It is very important to stay connected to others! This can be a lifeline at times, as well as a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board. Your friends are there for you, just as you would be for them if they were in a similar situation.
10. Gratitude. Begin a gratitude journal. It may be difficult at first to think of things to be thankful for, but once you give yourself some time, it will get easier! Some things to be thankful for if you are having trouble: it’s raining – the rain is nourishing the earth, the wildlife, plants, etc. It’s sunny – you can stand outside and face towards the sun, feeling
the wonderful heat on your face and soak in all the spectrum of colours, you are alive to experience another day, your family, etc. Once you get going the ideas are endless!
So, as you can see, there are many options to assist you in managing your anxiety. All of the above tips help to create a more peaceful sleep, can calm restlessness, and provide a more positive outlook for your life. Where to begin? My suggestion is to go to the library or purchase You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Get comfy and give it a read. Begin there and the others will fall into place as you continue on your journey.
You may want to consider connecting with a holistic practitioner, naturopath, Doctor of Chinese medicine (to name a few) who can also give you additional options. One parting note: You are in the exact place you need to be on this journey. You may have taken a side path for a bit to experience or learn something that will help you with your soul’s purpose. You Are Loved. You Are Worthy. You are an Amazing Person who is going to do Amazing Things! Believe and Love Yourself.
10 Holistic Tips for Dealing with Chronic Anxiety
Written By: Brenda Lanigan, Holistic Practitioner
HOLISTIC BEAUTY EXPO
MAY 30TH, 2019
LOVE CHILD SOCIAL CLUB
Interview with Founder and Formulator
Who is the creator of Iremia?
My name is Elaine, and I’m the Founder and Creator of Iremia Skincare. I was born in North York, Ontario and live in Mississauga with my husband, two young children (7-year-old, 14-month-old) and Labradoodle pup. I come from a corporate background and worked in multiple marketing roles (including Burt’s Bees) for 13 years before starting my own marketing consulting company 3 years ago. I have also just got certified as a yoga teacher! I love to travel whenever I can and have a healthy and ongoing obsession with desserts.
Why did you decide to start Iremia? What does it mean to you?
This brand was created out of a desperate need when I started my health journey about 5 years ago. It really was a holistic journey that I went on to figure out why I was lethargic and reactive to so many different things. I am extremely sensitive when it comes to my skin. My skin turns red, hot and inflamed whenever I am under stress, have anxiety, eat certain foods or when I get too much sun. At the time, there wasn’t anything that could calm it down when it would flare up. Since I couldn’t control the environment or when the flare-ups happened, I needed something to manage it, especially because I was pregnant at the time. I also had really bad eczema and was so frustrated with the steroid prescriptions and what was available on the market.
Iremia means ‘calm’ in Greek, and it is part of my ongoing journey to find calm in the everyday. The name is inspired by a little town on the ocean in Southern Greece where I had my honeymoon. Now every time I think of this place it evokes a sense of calm and stillness in myself. It also represents the peace I feel now and it is something I want to share with everyone.
What exactly is Iremia, what can we expect and why would we benefit from using it.
I value simplicity, quality, health, and honesty. My mission is to simplify your life, mind, and skincare. I want to challenge people to choose quality over quantity, minimal over excess, health over stress to live a calm, balanced life. I really hope to inspire busy, passionate women to evoke a sense of calm in their lives while encouraging them to make conscious decisions that will have a lower impact on the environment and be a healthier choice for themselves and their families. The products are formulated with my own, my husbands, and my children’s skin in mind. They are 100% natural, and the high-quality ingredients I can get my hands on are used. Everything has been personally tested on my reactive skin, never, ever on furry friends!
What is your favourite skin care regimen or ritual and why?
My routine is fairly simple. After cleansing morning and night, I use a few drops of the Restorative Facial Oil. In the morning, I’ll put on the Soothing Lotion, along with sunscreen and some concealer if needed. If it’s really cold or dry, I’ll layer on the Protective Cream. In the evening, I use the Protective Cream alone after the oil. I’ll exfoliate once a week, and mask once a week as well. I just love the simplicity of the routine, and my skin hasn’t felt better in years.
What is your self-care ritual-the things you do that make you feel the best?
Waking up early and taking a long walk with the dog really sets the tone for the rest of the day. I try to start the day at 5:30 am in order to have quiet time, walk the dog and count my blessings before I come home to get the kids up. Exercise is also important for me to maintain mental and physical strength. I aim for 2-3 yoga sessions a week and a 20-30 minute high-intensity workout every day. Some days can be a drag, but I feel so much more energy after I finish!
What is your biggest self-care struggle? (Past or present)
Eating healthy and setting time for myself to exercise. We run a really busy household with a lot of different activities for the kids, so (me) time is really precious. Without proper planning, I end up grabbing whatever is at my fingertips to eat, and I end up regretting it (my skin tells me within the hour!). I really have to plan ahead when it comes to meals and block of times to exercise in the family calendar.
Also, a busy house/schedule and two businesses are accompanied by being pulled into different directions. Some days, I do feel like I’m giving up too much of myself. It can come in different forms - being bombarded with emails, demands, questions, or just noise. That’s when I have to say “no” more often, or take a step back just to have 5-10 minutes to myself to recalibrate, and then keep going.
Self-love can be challenging- we want to know 5 things you love about yourself! Have you always loved those things or did it take time?
My ability to multitask - I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing! It’s amazing what I can juggle all at once, but it can be overwhelming at times.
My ability to forgive - I don’t hold grudges. This wasn’t always the case and it has taken me years to fully understand and learn this. It may take me a while to process a situation, but in the end, I’m always at peace with whatever happens.
My ability to love - it’s highly correlated with forgiveness. It came more naturally once I was able to forgive. Now, it’s boundless.
My patience - I’m pretty tolerant of people, situations, etc. I wasn’t always patient, with people or processes or myself even. I have improved over the years and is an ongoing work-in-progress.
A Risk-Taker - I don’t shy away from things that seem scary, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel fear. I just go in with complete faith that things will work out the way they are supposed to. The regret that comes with not taking a risk is something I don’t want to live with.
There are several natural skin care professionals out there that feel skin care should be individualized since our needs are all so different that they cannot always be limited to a particular skin type, what are your thoughts on this?
Your skin and how it is behaving or reacting is just one part of a whole picture. If the standard skin type categories that already exist do not meet the needs of an individual, there is an opportunity to create products to cater to someone's personal needs. However, the needs of our skin can change because of external elements, such as diet, stress, environment, etc. As a result of this, a custom solution may need to be included from time to time.
Iremia was created with the purpose to calm sensitivities and to strengthen the skin, yet it is highly adaptable and can be a part of an existing or new routine.
Need to know, what is your favourite essential oil and why?
It’s a toss-up between lavender, sage and peppermint, but I’ll have to go with lavender. I love how it smells and how it has so many incredible benefits. I have two varieties in my garden and the bees love it!
At Holistic Beauty we want to inspire healthy, holistic skin care, self-care and self-love- what are your skin care, self-care and self-love goals right now?
Skin Care goals - to take a ‘less is more’ approach by using high-quality products that fit my skin’s needs (and to also use up all the bottles on my vanity!).
Self Care Goals - always improving what I put into my body. I can completely derail at times when I’m stressed, but I know I’ll pay for it in the end. Taking time to prep-meals and keep healthy snacks around is key!
Self Love Goals - to be patient and kind with myself, and not feel guilty when I practice that.
What does Holistic Beauty mean to you?
Holistic beauty to me means that there is not one "fix" for skin issues. Any issues that arise are only a part of the bigger picture, and you must understand what is going on with your body that can complete the whole story. What else is going on in your body, in your life, the environment around you? Those all contribute to your overall health. By addressing all these different elements, you can achieve holistic health and beauty.
Any words of wisdom, healthy vibes or tips you would like to share with our readers?
With everything that is going on with our busy lives, we often don’t recognize (or our significant others don’t) how much we do and have done. We need to take a step back, and really appreciate how incredible we are. Each person is on a different path and at a different part of their lives so we can’t compare ourselves to the next person. It’s okay if you are where you are - feel good about that and the steps you have taken so far. Taking the time to honour that will give you more peace at where you are, where you will go, and be even more thankful for all that is around you.
Listening to your Intuition
We live in a world where what we do is governed by what we feel like we’re “supposed” to do. Especially now, when we face every detail of everyone else’s lives- what they do with their free time, what they wear, who they date, where they travel, what their career is- the list could go on. Even before, including now, we go through elementary school, high school, and college/university, where we are given a ranking in the social hierarchy governing who we should hang out with, what boys are in our social circle that we should date, and where we see which classes everyone would take and what they will be doing in the future. Ultimately, we are placed in positions where we gather ideas about what we are “supposed” to do, and we lose sight of what we believe we should do based on our own feelings, emotions, and beliefs.
As we go through these periods of life, we build our own experiences and stories. These experiences are so deep rooted, and we use them as a basis for future actions and we begin to rely on these roots instead of relying on our intuition. Really, the only way we can follow our intuition in the future is to find a way to break these bonds by releasing these attachments, and possible resentments, and shift our reliance to our intuition instead of our past.
Why? Listening to our intuition instead of relying on our attachments and resentments will help us ease stress and anxiety. Stress and anxieties that may stem from a basis of previous experiences.
Why? We are able to tune in and truly acknowledge what we, at our most raw and pure form, believe is good and what positively impacts our lives.
How? Meditation is a wonderful start. A time for yourself where you are able to quiet your mind, calm your thoughts, and return your body to its natural balance.
The more aware you are of what your intuition is guiding you toward, the more easily you can monitor challenges and further nurture your well-being. Whether it may be guiding you toward your true passion in your career, surrounding yourself with only those who bring you joy, or helping you find true love, taking control of what your gut tells you will allow you to live your life based on your intuition and breaks barriers of what you feel you “should” do.
St. John's Wort Oil
Macerated using flowering tops
St. John‘s Wort is a perennial herb with small golden bright-yellow flowers that secretes a red liquid when pinched and the flowers grow in early summer . The macerated oil should be a vibrant red colour and if pale or pink then the hypericum content is low and may ot be a good quality oil.
St.John's Wort has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. Known to heal wounds, bruises, injured nerves, and nervous imbalances with depression.
SJW is believed to help combat depression by increasing the amount of seratonin availability to the nervous system and raise levels of dopamine, however using the herb in a tincture may be a preferred method when using for soothing mood.
Anti-inflammatory, soothing on inflamed nerves, the herbal oil has been claimed to be an effective anti-microbial.
Some studies have shown that using SJW can cause sensitivity to sunlight. Should not be taken with pharmaceuticals as it can disrupt the effectiveness of medications and should not be taken especially if taking anti-depressants. SJW can act as a blood thinner. Seek your medical professional and meet with an experienced clinical herbalist before using to ensure it is safe for you.
Ingredient Spotlight: St.John's Wort Continued
I beat myself up all the time. I’m super hard on myself. I have been my whole life and people notice it. Since I really started paying attention to myself, I notice it too. I’ve realized it’s not a good habit to have.
When I get triggered and I start talking to myself like I’m my own worst enemy, I can’t control my emotions, I’m all over the place. I over react and make decisions without thinking or I scream or cry when I don’t know how to cope because it’s all just so overwhelming. It causes me anxiety and sometimes I can’t perform to the best of my abilities because of it. I’m always on edge and it makes me feel terrible about myself. There have been times when I’ve convinced myself that I can fight back but it knows my wildest fears, my deepest insecurities and exactly what to say to bring me down in a moment of weakness, setting the cycle of self-hatred on a torturous loop.
This is how my inner critic made me feel. When someone has an internal dialogue that is predominantly negative life can be very difficult. Chances are they are an insecure person who doesn’t feel confident in their abilities. They might suffer with anxiety or depression because the unknown is scary or past experiences keep them boxed into their current patterns and beliefs. They might say to themselves “this is the way life is. It has always been this way and will always be this way”. They look brutalized, defeated and like they are sleepwalking their way through life. They probably rarely feel joy and if they do, it usually doesn’t last long because the critic starts spewing its toxicity and before long they’re right back to feeling low and inadequate. It’s really easy to play the blame game and think of the critic as the enemy, a bully who won’t stop making your life hell, someone you desperately wish you could get rid of but feel powerless to stop.
If this sounds familiar then you are well acquainted with your own inner critic. I’m sorry to say that I don’t think it’s possible to silence your inner voice; it’s a crucial part of being human. It defines our character, demonstrates our individuality, gives us the ability to reason and reflect, highlights our sense of humour and reveals how we truly feel about ourselves and the world around us. However, the way we talk to ourselves and the language we use has a direct effect on our mood, self-confidence and self-esteem. It also dictates the kinds of people we draw into our lives, the relationships we have with them as well as the relationship we build with ourselves. We may not be able to silence it but we can embrace it and turn our critic into a live-in cheerleader. Here’s how I do it in 3 steps.
Step 1 - Recognizing the Voice. You can’t change something if you aren’t paying attention to it. Once you notice the habit (voice) you can take action to reroute your behaviours. It’s like the elastic band around your wrist when you want to stop swearing. Get really familiar with it. Notice the patterns in how it operates to manipulate you. Listen to what it says and when it says it to you. How does it make you feel?
If the answer isn’t “good” then that’s the perfect Segway to step 2.
Step 2: Finding you’re your bad habit indicator. This is really helpful when trying to retrain the voice inside. An indicator might be that you start sweating or stuttering. You could experience a wave of emotional overwhelm and burst out crying. An angry explosion might arise. There are usually physical or emotional responses that result from a critical internal attack so also paying attention to those can help you identify the behaviour in real time and retrain yourself in the moment.
Step 3 - Flipping the Script. You’ve noticed your inner voice is a trash talker. Now it’s time to turn it into a sweet-talker. This one is a bit tricky because you have to figure something to say that your pissed off, disappointed or upset self can believe in the moment. It may take some trial and error to figure this one out but write down what works for you so can reference it when you need to. For example when I screw up and the blame/guilt/ shame spiral begins, I say to myself “you are doing the best that you can”. I know I always lead with best intentions so that’s a phrase in find to be positive and believable. Another one I use is “Making mistakes makes us grow”. It’s kind, understanding and truthful to me. It helps me reframe whatever undesirable situation is happening in my life. I usually head right to blaming myself so that why this phrase is affective across the board.
You’ve got all my steps now. I know they are affective from exercising them myself. I won’t lie to you, its hard work and a practice that happens daily (for me, 7 times a day at least). A few last pieces of advice I can offer are journal, document everything because it’s really helpful in step 1 to be able to go back and read how you talk to yourself or about situations, it’s also useful in step 2 for noticing your habit indicators. You can use those Journal entries to do all kinds of self-love activities that will help you work through trauma and heal yourself. Come up with a self-care regime while doing this kind of work. It is exhausting and if you are anything like me, (a go-hard, perfectionist) you will focus in on this and could start neglecting yourself. This will only amplify opportunities for the critic to work its way back in but if you have your self-care tools in place and in an accessible spot, you’ll be armed and ready to ride out the waves. Finally, this journey is ultimately about getting to know yourself so get obsessed and explore the deep inner working of you so you can find out what works for you and how to move yourself into a place of acceptance and love. Embrace the things you love about yourself and change the things you don’t. Nothing is permanent and you’re much more powerful than you realize to be whoever you want to be, you just have to cheer for yourself.
Silencing the Inner CRITIC
Written By: Anya Farhina, Holistic Lifestyle Coach
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