Monthly Archives: May 2013

The magic pony

One day, 13 years ago, while driving through the countryside I saw a small black pony on a hill and I knew we belonged together…don’t ask me how or why. There were horses all around, but this one…he caught me. I spoke to the owners and they allowed me to buy him. I hadn’t ridden for 20 years, I had no money for a pony nor did I have a stable but I had some nice fields at home and a shed. It was crazy but there was no doubt in me. Now this pony was rather aggressive and I was a bit scared of him but we figured it out over time and became friends. More than friends, he protected me. Together we hung out on the fields and in the forest. I learned so much from him, not only about horses but about myself, movement and communication, about slowing down and silencing my inner chatter. Every morning when I woke up he would stand outside my window waiting for me.

The day came when I decided to leave Sweden. Everything was a bit chaotic and though he knew I was leaving, he didn’t know if I would bring him because I forgot to tell him. He fell ill for the first time in his life. I sat with him and told him that he would come with me. He healed and then came to Luxembourg after I was settled in my house. The first summer he lived in my garden until I found a stable. For the first time in his entire life he was in a bustling village with traffic, people and noise. He enjoyed it. After a few years I realized that I couldn’t keep him. I didn’t have the money to pay his rent every month nor did I have time enough since my life had changed so much. With a heavy heart I gave him up and he went to a family with children, he loves children. A friend of mine kept tabs on him and I made the family promise to contact me first if they ever decided not to keep him. I was seriously heartbroken, I would wake up at night dreaming about him, us, playing in the field and I cried. I hated myself for having to do this, but It was the only choice possible, I couldn’t give him what he needed. Still I had this feeling that we were not done, that I would see him again. My friend kept me updated on his whereabouts and how he was doing.

A couple of years later the people didn’t want him anymore. He was sick and sad. I had no possibility to take him back so a friend of mine took him, as sick as he was, to her riding stable (riding school). I am forever grateful to her. I treated him with oils and sat with him, promising that I would never again abandon him. but he didn’t want to either look or “talk”  to me. When he was young we created a game; he would take off my hat and wave it in the air and one day when I was sitting in his box, he came over to me, bent his head, took my cap and waved it in the air; I was forgiven. He healed quickly then and became his own happy self again. Now he works for his living, he has a wonderful life and a little girl that cares for him. I go visit him and ride him sometimes. We are friends and we’ll stay friends. Twice we were separated, twice he was ill…

Now he is 16 years old, he has turned all white, my little magical pony. He is in love with a pretty  mare. When he has holidays he spends his time on the field and I can see him more often then.

I am not surprised that he came back into my life. We are friends and connected in a very deep way. We don’t spend much time together as he lives in the other end of the country, but the moments we have together are wonderful and fulfilling. He doesn’t need me, he just wants to know that I am there, in his life. And I continue learning from this wonderfully clever and brave little pony.

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Today is my Birthday

Anna prof,bildToday is my birthday, I am 52 years old. Not that the age matters much but I feel so funky being past 50. I am more than half a century old, I have lived 2 lives already and still I have a whole life (or maybe more) ahead of me. Between the age of 24 and 33, I had 4 children and I made a commitment; “I will be there for you until you leave me”, and I was, I organized my life around them, to always be there. Now, as my last child is leaving me, I am free to make a new commitment and it is to me: “I commit to fulfill my wishes and make my dreams come true”. And boy, do I have dreams, big dreams!

gul ros i halvskuggaAs always with life, possibilities come when there is time and space for it, we just need to want it. My dreams were always there, but as my commitment was to something else, there was no space for realizing my personal dreams. Now, as life has shifted, once again, the possibilities are all there and opportunities flow onto my path.

Today is my birthday and I am celebrating the amazing path of life; both the pain and the joy. Every little thing that ever happened to me to bring me to this place and make me who I am today.

VETIVER the oil of tranquility

vetiver roots

vetiver roots

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) also called khus khus, is a perennial scented grass. It has a straight stem, long narrow leaves and grows in tufts, reaching a height of 2 meters. It has abundant white scented rootlets.Vetiver is native to South India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated in the Comoros Islands, Reunion, Java and Haiti. In India and Sri Lanka the essence is known as The oil of tranquility.

Vetiver handbag

Vetiver handbag

The fibrous grass is used for many different purposes; as protection against soil-erosion during the tropical rainy season, as pest and weed control in fields and to protect domestic animals from vermin. In 19th century Calcutta the rhizomes of Vetiver was manufactured into awnings, blinds and sunshades. During the hot season water was sprinkled over them which cooled the room while perfuming it. This made vetiver a very popular scent in Britain as it reminded the former British dwellers in India of the colonial times. At the time it was also used for perfuming linens and preventing moth. Ground rhizomes were used to manufacture sachet powders.

VetiverEssentialOilVetiver is widely used in perfumery. It has excellent fixative qualities (binding and stabilizing more volatile essences in a perfume blend). It imparts a woody, slightly earthy, green scent to the finished blend. The essential oil of vetiver is obtained by steam distillation of the washed, chopped and dried roots and rootlets. It is a viscous oil with an amber to brown, olive colour that deepens and turns reddish-brown with age, the scent is deep, smoky, woody and earthy with a touch of green freshness. The best quality oil comes from Reunion and is called Bourbon Vetiver.

USES.

  • Skin: Acne, oily skin, cuts and wounds
  • Muscle: Anti-inflammatory, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains and stiffness.
  • Nervous system: Depression, nervous tension, sleeping problems, stress, PMT.

Personal: I love this beautiful oil. It is safe to use with children, elderly or the very ill. It is deeply relaxing without being sopoforic rather, it brings you back into yourself and gives a feeling of calm assurance. I used it together with Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) for a nap when I was pregnant and to this day it was the most glorious sleep-time I ever had 🙂 I use it for clients mainly when they seem to be “outside of themselves” and can’t find peace and balance. Vetiver is deeply grounding and nurturing in nature. It is often well-liked by children and helps them to calm down when upset. I think the deep earthy scent reminds them of playing outside in the park or forest and it brings them to a happy place.

FOODS and some basic truths

Truth number one: EAT CLEAN. This means:

  • foodCook from raw materials (saves you a ton of money 🙂 )
  • Don’t eat prefabricated stuff
  • Stay away from anything that is not natural; fake sugars, weird taste-enhancers, low-fat and/or manipulated dairy-products (milk that lasts forever…), margarine, manipulated vegetable oil (usually called cooking or frying oil).
  • Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks
  • Don’t eat anything that has a number or a coded name; if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
  • Be careful with your intake of sugars and salt.
  • DO eat; protein, carbohydrates and fat…Real fat, like vegetable oils, butter and cream (if you do dairy).

I have found that when I eat the way my body dictates I am fine. I need to be careful with too much carbs such as flour, bread and pasta and I don’t handle sugar well. I can’t eat many little meals in a day and I need 1-2 days/week without food to stay in balance. For the rest, I’m good. Listening to your body is do-able if your basic diet is clean (see above). If not, you are a food-junkie and your body will be crying for sugars, carbs, manipulated fats and weird taste-enhancers. Then you can’t trust your body so start by cleaning up. An excellent (and easy) way to do that is with the new_elimination_diet_coverELIMINATION DIET from Dax Moy. It is free and you can find it HERE. (and you won’t have to be hungry or calory-count) Trust me, I did it. That’s how I found out that I can’t handle carbs. (While you’re at it, check out Dax Moy’s blog)

Now to the amazing research that has come up: If you fast 2 days/week you get healthier! You lose weight, your “bad” cholesterol goes down as does glucose. And here is the bonus: Your brain stays fitter and produces new brain cells continuously which lowers risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your body actually stays “younger” and healthier, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Check out the research of Luigi Fontana, Valter Longo and Krista Varady Personally I don’t agree with Krista Varaday about eating any crap on “feed-days”, I think you do your body a dis-favour. The basic of all eating is keeping it clean and natural.

My conclusion?  Going back to the times of our origins: Food was not always easy to come by and I truly think we are biological creatures, little changed physically from those ancient times. We are not made to constantly eat, nor are we made to deal with refined sugars or to eat meat every day or even every 2nd or 3rd day, it is a “sometimes-boost”. Our bodies like carbs in the form of nuts and grains. I also believe that we all have different rhythms, needs and patterns. I am not saying that my way is the right way for everybody, just that it works for me. And that makes me believe that if you find what works for you, you will be healthier and stronger as well. And remember; whatever food habits you have are probably set already from childhood, so if you are a parent, pay attention to what you feed your kids.

MAGNOLIA heart

Magnolia_on_parchment_t

Magnolia

Magnolia is a huge and rather confusing arena; researching it for the essential oil is like moving through a labyrinth, looking for clues to connect the dots. There are more than 200 different species and it is not easy to discern exactly which is which.  Over the years, hybrids, new species and sub-species have been found and created, making it even more confusing. The plant is considered to originate in Central Asia, the Americas and West Indies. In the Himalayas, China and Japan  it has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Later it was brought to many other countries and continents to finally be introduced to Europe in the 17th century. Magnolia is believed to be one of the most ancient flowering plants, fossilized specimens have been dated as far back as 95 million years! The tree existed well before the bee and pollination was, and still is to a degree, done by beetles.

The Magnolia was named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol in 1703. The sub genus Michelia was named after the Italian priest and botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli. The names Magnolia & Michelia are important to know as they define different oils.

Magnolia_liliiflora

Magnolia liliiflora

The most common Magnolia is a tree that grows to about 27 meters high with a greyish bark and dark green leathery leaves. In spring it blooms with large white or purple flowers. The flowers are single and situated at the end of branches. Michelia is smaller and bushier, the flowers, white (Michelia x alba) or orange (Michelia champaca) are clustered among the leaves. The flowers are highly scented and grow in profusion on all Magnolias.

The essential oil of Magnolia comes mainly from China. Michelia x alba (also called “White champaca”, “White Jade Orchid Tree”, “Bai Yu Lau”) and Magnolia fargesii are the main species, from which the flowers are distilled. The flowers are picked at night, when the scent is at its peak and the scent is absolutely divine; light, fruity-floral with sweet buttery undertones and a little sharp edge. There is also an absolute which is deeper and heavier in its scent.

Image from Wikipedia

Michelia Champaca. Image from Wikipedia

Champaca (Michelia champaca), which is fondly called “Joy Perfume Tree”, is sometimes called magnolia, but it is actually an absolute that is quite different from magnolia both in scent and action, so pay attention to the Latin name.

USES: Magnolia oil has an affinity for the heart on a vibrational level, instilling a sense of beauty and self esteem. It is of great help against anxiety, insecurity and fear. As an aphrodisiac it helps us to release inhibitions and increase sensuality. It brings joy and exultation.

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia_%C3%97_alba

Magnolia x alba/Michelia x alba. Image from Wikipedia

PERSONAL: I use this oil mainly for its vibrational and emotional properties to enhance the feeling of Self. Useful for people who have postural problems creating aches and stiffness due to inner emotional pressure; then I use the oil together with posture correction. It is also helpful for shy, quiet and insecure individuals who make themselves invisible.

As with other expensive floral oils, this oil is enhanced in lower doses, both as a perfume as well as therapeutically. I use only one drop to a full body massage. Too high doses can be cloying and overpowering, creating nausea, almost as if the scent “kills itself”. It is so gorgeous that it can be used on its own as a perfume, you will walk around with a smile, feeling fabulous.