Monthly Archives: February 2012

Am I unlucky or am I lucky?

Three days ago, in the late evening, I went to the airport via winding, dark mountain-roads to get my daughter. The drive is about 100km one-way. The very next day I took my car to go see a friend and got as far as the next village when my car hit a pothole and started screeching and scraping. I pulled over to the side, called the automobile club and my garage (owned by one of my darling Bosnian boys). One hour later the car was en route to the garage and my friend came to pick me up and take me home.

So far, so good. Today I called with my friend, the garage-owner, who told me the car is finished – for good; the engine had loosened and was about to fall out. So here I am; no car and not enough money for a new car. Bohoo, right? I am so unlucky! Poor me, what do I do now…? I asked my friend to help me find a car that I could afford, even if it is a crappy one held together with string and chewing-gum. He knows my situation and I trust him blindly. “Give me a couple of weeks” he said “I will see what I can do”.

Another view: The car could have broken down on the mountain-road and we would probably have died, me and my daughter…It didn’t, it waited until I was going slowly through a village in daytime. The very next day I was about to buy 4 new tyres for the car and since that is not going to happen I now have that money.  A friend of mine has an old car that he loaned me indefinitely, so I do have wheels, which is absolutely necessary. I am so happy and grateful!

So far, so good. A little while ago my friend from the garage called me to say he has found a car for me. He will give me a very good price for my dead car (she has some good bits and pieces in her) plus I have the money for the tyres and when I check my budget, this is do-able. The “new” car is nice, well-equipped, has no points from the technical controle…actually it is worth a lot more than the asking price…

I am so lucky!

Moral? What looked like a catastrophe at a bad time turned into a blessing. And we are still alive, my child and me. Everything gets sorted effortlessly and I am, again, the receiver of a miracle. IF I would have seen this only from a negative point of view, it would have gone from bad to worse and I would have been in a crisis now. You have to believe that miracles happen and trust them, only then can they happen...And they do – Every time!

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ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY for home use

Sometimes I meet people who are either very afraid of using essential oils, or very careless. I think essential oil safety is an issue that needs addressing. The bulk of essential oils are used by the food, cosmetics and toiletries industry. It is mainly used as a taste-enhancer in foods or as a scent in different household and cosmetic products. Therapeutic grade essential oils are used by aromatherapists, natural perfumers, natural skin-care manufacturers and laymen (anybody who enjoys using oils around the house). Therapeutic grade means either ecologically / traditionally grown or wild harvested.

Essential oils are concentrates which means that they are strong. You don’t rub the entire content of a 10ml bottle into your skin or put it in your bath; you use some drops. There is a huge amount of information on how to use EO’s around the house and if you follow the advice given, there should be no problem. An aromatherapist has received in-depth training on EO’s; how, why and when to use them (or not). Often they use the oils in different dosages or ways than you would find in a book. This doesn’t mean that the oils suddenly become dangerous, it just means that with training you learn to use EO’s therapeutically for specific problems. You won’t find this in books, it is not for laymen to play around with and if using EO’s would be that easy there is no point with professional training.

Popular literature give people access to these wonderful oils without causing themselves harm. That’s why the dosages are kept low, administration routes are safe and many oils have warnings. When your therapist uses any of the “dangerous” oils, the ones with warnings, she/he has a reason. It’s like medicine; you can buy aspirin over the counter but not antibiotics… Essential oils are widely available and if people would use them in a seriously therapeutic way without knowledge there would arise so many problems that the oils would become restricted.

In the early 90’s Tea tree was banned because there were many reports of skin irritations, subsequently Tea tree was deemed hazardous and taken of the market. We know today that Tea tree is a very safe and useful oil but at the time popular belief said you could use the oil for any skin-problem, mainly acne, but there was no information on dosage or how to use it, therefore careless use was what created the problem, not the oil itself. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an EO that should be used with caution yet it is a cooking herb. It’s all about concentration and dosage.

Do enjoy these gorgeous oils carefully and when you are not sure or you are facing a serious problem, contact a professional. You won’t find the answer in a book or on the internet.

It says more about you than about me…

Preconceived ideas. How many of them do we carry around and do we realize that we have them? I have been experimenting with this…Naughty, I know. Fun? Oh yes.

3 different experiments; 1) clothes 2) my company 3) walking with a bad limp. Results?

  • Clothes: I go to a hardware store all dressed up in a pencil-skirt, heels, make-up and nail-polish and ask about really “macho” things. (Here you need to know that I am a very capable woman; I clean my own chimney, change bits and pieces on my car – if I have to – and repair things around the house. I am the total Macho woman 🙂 ) When I am dressed up, the people talk to me like I am stupid, telling me to get a handy-man or they ignore me. I LOVE setting them straight…
  • Company: I spent a day going around town with a young male-friend of mine. We are very close friends and intimate in our bantering. He’s 24, I am 50. More often than not we are greeted with leers and outright rudeness. They think he’s my lover…People have really dirty minds.
  • Walking with a limp: Now this is tricky. It is not to make fun of disabled or handicapped people, it is about testing reactions and understanding how it would feel. People move aside, pretend they do not see, whisper and point behind my back. I feel like a pariah.

All these people probably consider themselves to be upstanding citizens, even pillars of society but the moment the “picture” doesn’t fit with their preconceived notions they draw their own conclusions without even stopping to check. They become rude, obnoxious and out-right nasty. Do they ever excuse their behavior? No, they get even angrier for being “found out”.

Moral? Don’t ever think you know what is going on with people, more often than not you might be wrong, so be very careful in your judgments. Keep an open mind and learn something from the world and the people around you.

(Pic: Denis Tombal)

ROBIN HOOD is a taoist…

This post is from another blog I’ve been writing and some of you may recognize it. I like the picture.

Take from the rich and give to the poor – this is the way of the Tao…And Robin Hood. This is a basic idea taught to us already when we are little children and as we grow up we slowly come to realize that these are but sweet words that carry little or no importance in most people’s lives: The way of man is to take from whomever (rich as well as poor) to amass great wealth and, true to the nature of programming, we do what we are shown, not what we are told.

What is interesting is that those who have little seem more ready to give or share that which they have, no matter how little it is, while in society the ones who have much usually don’t give at all. Those who do share are called “philanthropists” and are highly revered by others.

If you have more than you use, you have too much. How full is your attic? Do you know what is in the back of your closet? Maybe now would be a good time to share your excess, all that which you don’t need or want? Most of my friends have stuff squirreled away, stuff that they will never use but still drag (at great expense and work) from place to place. Liberate yourself from that load and do a good deed in the process! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The invisible child

If you don’t know Mumin, check it out. The author is Tove Jansson and the original stories of Mumin are by now well-known. In one of the stories an invisible child shows up on the doorstep of the Mumin-house. She excuses herself for her invisibility, explaining that she is very frightened, but can she please live with them? The family (being a very loving sort of individuals) naturally says yes and invite her in to stay with them. Only problem is that they can’t see her, so they have to be very careful not to step on her. Surrounded by all this care and love, the invisible child starts becoming visible. At first, all you can see are her feet which is helpful to the family as they can now locate her. Little by little the invisible child becomes visible to the great pleasure of the Mumin family.

The moral? Children who are in fear or carry some kind of trauma feel invisible; the shadow children. When they are carefully seen and loved they heal and become “visible” again. Children are amazingly resilient and can bounce back from almost anything, given the right circumstances. Why do we seem to lose that ability as we grow older, hanging on to traumas and fears as if they were our raison d’ĂŞtre?

Illustration: Tove Jansson

IN THE DITCH

Every now and then things go wrong in life – c’est normale! Question is how we handle it. Do we berate ourselves (and others) or do we look for solutions? “In the ditch” is about that; how we handle the negative stuff in life. This story was the first AHA-moment in this arena for me back in the 90’s and that’s why I want to share it with you:

My hubby and I were in the car going somewhere on a dark and icy winter-evening. For whatever reason we ended up in the ditch. I suppose we were both rather shocked at first and then angry. We got into a heated argument about why we were in the ditch and who’s fault it was. (sounds familiar?) I think we probably spent more than 30 min arguing until we were so cold that we could hardly move. Cold is sobering and at one point we realized that this squabbling would not solve our dilemma, so we put the argument aside and managed to get the car out of the ditch with some nice team-work.

The morale of the story is this: When things go wrong, you can either spend your energy and time on finding excuses and “something to blame” or you can cut your losses and get back on track. It is always good to understand the reason why something doesn’t work because it is a learning experience for future use, this is a forward moving action. But crying about something and looking for blame is paralyzing. Then you stay in the ditch until you die.