Tag Archives: knowledge

BUTTERFLIES

I have, inadvertently, become a butterfly breeder. Outside my kitchen door grows a huge nasturtium where, a little less than a week ago, I saw some caterpillars and was delighted, I love butterflies 🙂 I invited more; “Welcome to breed here, chez moi!” They were quick to take me up on my offer and the next day the nasturtium was absolutely full of caterpillars. First they were just tiny babies and I have watched them eat and grow, it gives me great pleasure to watch nature do her thing. There is more nasturtium in the garden, but they live only on this one which is in the shade. Interestingly enough, there are these long-legged spiders that suddenly popped up as well…I do believe they feed on the poo from the caterpillars 🙂

Yesterday the first one migrated to the place for chrysalis, the time when they enter the pupa-stage. It climbed the outer wall of the house and in under the roof. Only that one. Today others follow and my facade is literally moving upwards, I have to be very careful not to step on any of them. They are amazing! I think they will become white butterflies and turn my beautiful garden into paradise. I have chosen not to check them out on internet or in literature, because I want to be surprised and learn by watching. But I did find this: The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, between 40–50 million years ago. (wikipedia)

It takes time to learn from nature. You need to slow down very much to see and understand what is right before your eyes. I am awed by the beauty and inspiration which is given me just by being in my garden and maybe this is where I acquire my greatest knowledge.

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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.

JUST LIVING LIFE

My last child just left home. I have had children leave home for 10 yrs and have gotten sort of used to it. But each time before, there was still another child there…or a few. I knew, for many months, that this last one was leaving and I also looked forward to being just me, after 27 years of living a life that revolved around my children because, when they came, I wanted to be next to them until they left me and I wanted it more than anything else. I have used these many years wisely; learning craft and trade, patience and experience. Upon taking stock of those years I realize the staggering amount of knowledge I have accumulated and I wonder how it happened 🙂 I was just living life.

The last weeks before the Little One left, we spent much time together in conversation about all things between heaven and earth. She is as hungry for understanding as I remembered myself to be and kept pushing for answers, irritated by how complicated it was to get them.

“This is life”, I told her. “This, all of this. The answers to your questions; Life is the answer. The time, the frustrations, the understandings, all this is life and it takes a lifetime, no matter how short or long it may be. By living life we are answering our questions, life is what happens when we are living.” As I heard myself speak I felt a deep satisfaction over my life, about all I have done, learned and accomplished. And most of all I felt that deep sense of peace that I was looking for in my youth.

Experience and knowledge take time to collect and all phases in our lives contribute to who we become. From feeling impatient about the time everything took, I am now deeply grateful for that time so that now, when I enter a new phase of life, I have the tools and the knowledge to succeed in what I undertake. I am glad for all my years, for the overview it brings me and I am glad to see that every single thing that happened to me in life, good or bad, taught me something valuable. I was just living life.

Eating Disorders on the Rise in Children

I just read this article that I would like to share with you. In this time of increasing obesity, much work has been done, especially in the USA, to spread awareness of the health-hazards connected with obesity. The message that kids are picking up is; “Fat is ugly, fat is bad” and this has created an ever-increasing wave of eating disorders among children under 12 years of age.

It takes information and knowledge to change the “obesity-habits” (i.e; nutrition and exercise) and not all people have enough awareness to be able to implement such changes, and the message gets screwed up, instead of “eat better” the message becomes “eat less”.

Here is a paragraph from the article:

“Overall, it is estimated that about 0.5% of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa, that about 1% to 2% meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa, and that up to 5% to 10% of all cases of eating disorders occur in boys.”

Eating Disorders on the Rise in Children.

CHILDREN

Children live and act from their hearts until they are told differently. A child is forever telling their world around them of their love; little physical gestures, a picture, doing a chore unasked… The list is long. If you pay attention to this, and see the child and her efforts, she will stay loving and generous. All children need to be seen, not because they are children, but because they are people who will become adults. Biologically a child needs to be seen to survive, not only on an emotional level, but also physical; a child who is seen will be fed and cared for. The worst thing that can happen to a child is indifference.

If you are indifferent to a child and forget to pay attention to their communication they will try another way, usually the opposite, by becoming obnoxious, loud and aggressive. This kind of behaviour always attracts attention, and the child got what it wanted – even though it is not positive: A seen child is fed and cared for. This stretches all the way back to our origins. We might have evolved but our basic needs are still the same.

Children are constantly hungry for knowledge; they are forever asking why, what is that, how does it function. They learn and remember easily and effortlessly, because usually what they want to know is connected to understanding their world. A child will always learn from her level of need. I have seen children teach themselves to read, swim, ride, count and much more, only from curiosity and need. Still society seems to believe that if children are not trained according to the “rules” of schooling, they will grow up to be uneducated imbeciles!

Often children are forced into a pattern of learning that does not fit with their development or skills and they feel stupid. A child who feels stupid either gives up or fights. A child learns while in movement, still we force them to sit still. A child can hold concentration for a maximum of 20 minutes, how many minutes does a class last? Children need to move constantly through the day, yet the sit and sit for hours.

We are guides for our children, our job is to back them up on their journey to becoming adults, not to tell them what to do. Children, more often than not, have a much stronger sense for right and wrong than do adults and their world is non-judgemental and caring.

I heard about this school: Sudbury Valley School where the whole learning process is built on children’s ability to “get what they need”. Take a look and prepare yourself to be most impressed by their work.

KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION about essential oils

lemon_pepper_oilOne thing I keep coming across is the ignorance about aromatherapy and essential oils.  On top of this, essential oils are very easy to find and actually not too expensive. Everybody has heard of aromatherapy and essential oils, many are using them in a vague fashion to scent their homes or help with minor problems, which is okay if you know what you are doing, but if you don’t know, you might be creating all kinds of problems.

To start at the top:

  • Essential oils are mainly used by the food- cosmetics- and perfume industry. Therefore they are easily found on the market. There are no limitations or regulations on producing and selling essential oils, since they are so widely used, except for some oils that are obviously hazardous to health and prohibited for all use.
  • Essential oils are also used by the pharmaceutical industry since they are pharmaceutically active agents. (Vicks vaporub & other cold-remedies)

Here starts the first problem: Since essential oils are pharmaceutically active, they should be marked as medicine, and regulated as such (as is the case with all other pharmaceutically active substances), making them unavailable for any other use. This would mean that the food- and perfume-industry (and toiletries and…) could not use essential oils in any way. Since this would lead to political and economical upheaval, it is putting the essential oils in a kind of “nowhere-land” where it is best not to create too much discussion.

So anybody can buy essential oils everywhere. The manufacturers and distributors of essential oils can claim anything they want and give advice on how to use essential oils. (Sometimes the advice is on a clinical level and the essential oil should not be used in this way without extensive knowledge.)

Essential oil components

do you understand above list?

Next problem is this: In England, America, Scandinavia and Australia you can train exclusively to become an aromatherapist. This education is a state-approved professional training. In these countries there is much more information pertaining essential oils and how to use them, since there are professional therapists that can advice you. As a professional therapist you study basic medicine, biology, chemistry and botany to understand essential oils and what they can do (or not do.).

In Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and other countries in Europe you need to be a Heilpraktiker or a doctor before you are allowed to work with essential oils in a pharmaceutical way. If you are a Heilpraktiker, that means adding  a year of aromatherapy and essential oil studies to your existing diploma.  Since very few people want to do this, only doctors are really allowed to use essential oils for medical (healing) purposes. There are some doctors who do this in France. For the rest, aromatherapy is used for beauty or Spa-treatments, and the therapist has no right to claim any healing attributes to the oils.

essential-oil

This means that the overall knowledge about essential oils in much lower in most of mainland Europe creating all kinds of problems. Essential oils and aromatherapy is widely talked about and people use more essential oils here than in informed countries. There are hardly any warnings or advice. For example: Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) became all the rave a few years ago because it was said to be good against acne. People started using it indiscriminately, causing all kinds of skin-problems. In Germany and France the oil was banned for a couple of years. All because of ignorance.

tea-tree

Since I started working with aromatherapy I have worked on spreading information and trying to get past all the red tape around what is allowed to be said or not. Sometimes lack of information is the very source of the problem. At the end of the day the essential oils will continue to be accessible to everybody and the information about these substances need to be up-to-date as with any other available substance.

Essential oils can heal and provide well-being. But they can also cause harm when used wrongly.

As I said before; quality is what differentiates essential oils used for aromatherapy as opposed to industrial uses. Quality is also about re-planting, fair trade and cooperation.

handshake

BEING PRESENT

meditateBeing present or being in the now, is something I have been working on for very long, and it is really not that easy. We think we are present most of the time, but we actually hardly ever are. As I already mentioned in another posting; we judge everything based on something we already know, keeping us in the past or in the future. The present is a constant moment – it has no time. Everything is fresh and new – a possibility of learning or enjoying or maybe even suffering – yes, suffering is also part of being. All emotions are a learning experience, and the now is constantly loaded with possibilities. Changes are now, learning is now, experiencing is now, tasting, touching, seeing, smelling is now. When we are in the past we feel regret and when we are in the future we feel fear.                                                                                                                                                                                 We are constantly searching for our future, looking here, looking there – and the future always seem to elude us since it never comes; Each future moment becomes the present, at which point we completely miss it since we are still searching for the future. In a way we are living like slaves to our emotions; constantly struggling to go forward without ever stopping to reap the rewards.

When my children were small they had their favorite movie which they would watch over and over again, days – even weeks – on end. Each time they watched this movie it was like they saw it for the first time. This is being in the present. I used to watch them, mesmerized by their intense joy over something – to me – “worn down”. I was always in the future; next meal, next day, next chore. I was so busy that I very seldom stopped only to exist. My children showed me how to do this. They were the reason I learned to stop, because the joy of watching them exist made me still. My children were always my greatest teachers.

The source of our creativity is stillness.

I am very good at handling horses, somehow I know inside what they are feeling, what they are about to do. I have never learned about horses and I am not a brilliant rider, but I do know how they tick. Why? When I was a child I had an enormous love for horses,  and on the farm where we lived summers and holidays there were horses in a field. I used to spend my days there, watching them. I would bring a book and sandwiches and just watch.  With time I started to move with the horses, being part of their flock and this is how I learned horses. I learned their “language” and I learned that every movement means something. I learned that horses exist only in the present and this is the key to good horsemanship – the present. Horses were always my teachers.

Everything in the Universe comes from within; every idea, creation, thought, knowledge. Each time I stay in the present I learn something valuable – priceless. The things I do, know and understand best were learned in these moments. I watch my surroundings while being in the present – this is how I learn. But I have to work on it all the time since I slide so easily into the future.

Merlin & Wolfie i hagen