A ritual worth practicing, daily, all year long

Posted by in Self-Care

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“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we are witnessing the change of season and can now really feel Autumn is here, I am ready to slow down a bit and create some time to relax , curl up on the sofa by the fireplace with a blanket, a cup of tea and a good book. This is a time when we tend to gather as a family around a board game, a craft project or at times, a movie. I am beyond thankful for my husband and my two children as they are what makes my life so rich and full. They are always there to support me on  any crazy endeavor I decide to jump into.

I am sure with Thanksgiving celebration here in the  United States, we are more attuned to what we are grateful for. But what happens during the rest of the year? I was introduced to a  daily thankful practice a few years ago with this work of mine in doTERRA. You see, this business is really more about self-development than merely using, educating and sharing oils. This is true on our (Wellness advocates) part and on our customers and partners too. To me at least, it is about evolving and growing together into our full potential. When this does happen, we vibrate at a higher level and hopefully, we tend to stay healthier and happier.

There are many ways to practice thankfulness. You can find a lot of articles or posts online that talk about it so there is no point for me  to repeat the ‘’10 ways to’’ you can find someplace else. In my  humble opinion, practicing gratefulness starts with adding some mindfulness into our lives. When we are in the present moment it is easier to be in awe with what is. The sunrise, the smell of the grass after the rain, your other half preparing your lunch because you woke up late. All these easy to miss and sometimes mundane things are the ones that make life very special. They are here and present whether we notice them or not. I am sure we all have more things to be grateful for daily then we realize. It is just about being present and noticing them.

The good thing about being grateful is that the more we practice it, the less we focus on our little problems and the happier we are. I found, from this website this list of benefits quite interesting. It is said that people who practice gratitude consistently report this host of benefits:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated.

Some people like to fill pages of a gratitude journal. Some others like to state what they are grateful for out loud or in their heads. I am sure you have or will find your own way too. Lately I found it helpful to do it first thing in the morning and then go back to my day as I lay in bed on the weekend or as I close my work day and go over my agenda. It is so easy to see what we did not have time to do, what got in the way: kids’ sickness, interruptions, no more ink in the printer, red light when we are late…

When we  realize we get another day healthy, with a roof over our heads, having people we love and care for in our lives, warmth, light, air to breathe, clean water to drink, a smile when we need it, how can we not be thankful for it all?

If you made it until this last sentence, you will know I am grateful for all of you  (whether you are reading this post or not) for being part of my life. Every encounter, every discussion, words of inspiration, like on FB makes my day brighter.  What makes me even happier is to know I can have a positive impact, even if a small one, in your life.  I truly hope the way I serve is adding to your thankful list as well. If there is any more or better way I can serve you, please let me know!


Confession of a bra user

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On this beautiful fall afternoon I am taking some time to write to you about  breast health tip #2. I went back to my file to get to know the subject I had set up for this week. Suddenly the underwire bra I was wearing became quite unbearable. You see, I  was meeting clients this morning; so wearing a bra was the way to go! However, I am surprisingly happy to realize that the uncomfortable physical feeling of wearing one is happening more and more in the last few months. I feel constrained, itchy and if I try to ignore the situation it does not help. I am so happy to be working from home as I can surrender to the need of being braless at any point in time.

THE Confession…

I have to confess I was a bit  judgmental  in my head when I saw women without bras. ‘’C’mon, we are in the 21st century!’’ I had a hard time feeling good when not wearing one, hence my discomfort even when seeing others embracing their freedom of choice. Of course I did not know all the health implications either! I remember one day having a conversation with a breast cancer survivor selling bras in a store telling me about  being cautious with underwire bras. It was too short of a conversation for me to really understand the deal.  And because my features tend to disappear dramatically when I don’t wear a thing… I was not mentally ready to do the leap and change this habit of mine.  So this was my reason to wear a bra: enhance my features! Of course the padding plays a major role too! There used to be a time when such a thing did not exist. This is all marketing to make us feel like we are not good enough the way we are.The standards are inconceivable: Only those of us  with a boob job seem to meet them. This is such a shame!

A wind of change

Ten or so years later: I am ready because I know my health is of greater importance than the way I look. Little did I know about the impact of constricting the lymphatic system 6 months ago. Now I do and I cannot pretend I don’t. Now that I know I may as well embrace the knowledge and take corresponding actions.

Which type are you: Underwire,  Wire-Free or Braless?

Doesn’t if feel like one of those personality tests? Have you ever stopped to think about where you are on that scale? I can tell you I am a little bit of all of them. I have not yet removed the wires from my bras (shame on me), and I  have not taken the time to find other great fitting bras. Who likes to shop for bras anyway? Still, as I am writing this, I thought the way to make things happen is to take the time to think and make a plan…and then act on it. Are you ready? Here is my suggested plan of action.

5 step transition from underwire to braless

  1. To convince yourself of the uselessness of bras, please read this article.

Understand that bras act pretty much like a crutch, preventing your body from building itself to the challenge of holding on to your features. I can attest I  never had an issue in this department  so I am not here to judge. However, knowing this can affect the way you look at the need for a bra.

2. Schedule more frequent braless time

Notice when you are home if you think about removing your bra right away. This is by far, the easiest and simplest part of any plan. It costs you nothing and no time. All you need to do is to take off your bra as soon as you take off your shoes. Hooking a new habit to an old one makes it easier  to remember, and thus succeed! It is suggested to remove your bra after 8 hours or so in order to help the breast tissue relax.

3. From underwire to wire free bra

Right there you are doing a good thing to lessen the impact of bra wearing to a minimum. Schedule a girlfriend bra shopping and lunch outing. Bringing along a friend will help to make sure that you do not come home discouraged or empty-handed. As you take on this challenge with a friend, it will be easier to stick to it. Like having a friend to motivate you to go to the gym. Another option is to simply remove the wire from your existing bras. This is a fast, cost effective option you can do right now. I bet this is almost as freeing as when women were getting rid of their bras in the Freedom Cans in the 60’s.

4. Dare to go braless

I can guarantee you that you will crave more freedom as time goes by. What are your options then? There are a lot of  shelf camisoles and tops, nowadays, offering some support but still giving  you more breathing space.  Some others like to add an extra layer to wear so it is not as obvious that they are not wearing bras.

5. Embrace your body as it is

This should have been on top of this list. Once we understand the role marketing plays in all of that, how our health is as stake, and change our perception of what we should look like, this is quite easy to transition. Increasing our self-acceptance is key as those marketing lies do not have the same impression on us then. We are building a stronger sense of self and can easily affirm and act on our deepest values. For me it starts with health.


Show your breasts how you care !

Posted by in Self-Care

Not so long ago I shared with you in total humility how I felt about my breasts. I  think at some point I got caught up with the self defeating negative inner talk about aging and my body changing accordingly. Well, this is part of life and once we accept what we cannot control or change, we can move on and do the best we can with what we have. This is probably one easy tip for a happier life for sure.

After having this thought that I could lose my breast from cancer, I had another look at them, for real and figuratively, and decided to fully embrace who I am. I found that the lymphatic  breast massage,  the #3 breast health tip I’m sharing with you today, is an amazing way to reconnect to our breasts with love rather than fear or disgust. I tended to forget to do my monthly self exam probably in part because there is a fear connotation to it. You are touching  your breast to feel if there is anything wrong or abnormal. Now, that is looking for trouble!

To the contrary, the lymphatic breast  massage is an act of love towards our body and ourselves. It is really easy to do and there is more than one way to do it. You can certainly Google lymphatic breast massage or click here and watch Renee as she guides us through her version of it.

It is one thing to know how to do it but, if you are like me, you may wonder what the lymphatic system is all about. (I knew little about it before writing this post and I am sure I still know just a tiny bit more. This is why I will eventually have someone vlog about it with me as it is a well needed system that is underestimated in my humble opinion.) What I know for sure, though, is my deepest appreciation for its work to keep us healthy.

The lymphatic system is our second circulatory system working alongside with the thymus,  spleen and liver to remove any excess waste from our bodies. A healthy lymphatic system  helps purify the blood through the largest mass of lymph tissue in the body, the spleen. This system is also amazing at keeping our immune system strong, fighting bacteria on our behalf.

Other than the breast lymphatic massage there are a few others easy things you can do to get your lymph moving for your greatest health. Here are a few:

  1. Get moving: Unlike the cardiovascular system the lymph does not have any help to get its fluid moving.This is another great reason we all need to exercise daily!
  2. Breathe deeply: As you breathe more consciously, the breath will get deeper and it will oxygenate your body even more, which helps to support the lymphatic system.
  3. Try Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a deeply restorative practice where the poses are held for at least 3 minutes, and up to 10 minutes. The pressure of your own body in these prolonged holds can help release areas of lymphatic congestion.
  4. Practice this one yoga pose: One easy way to move the lymphatic fluid and thus help it get rid of toxins, is to adopt this pose called Viparita Karani or leg up the wall pose. Not only is this pose helpful to the lymphatic system, but it may also help you to sleep better. Try it tonight!

When performing your  lymphatic breast massage, I suggest using one or a  combination of these oils to enhance the process and support the body at the cellular level:

  • Roman Chamomile: Cleanses the blood and helps the liver to reject and discharge poisons
  • Lavender: Eliminates waste from the system
  • Helichrysum: Stimulates the liver
  • Geranium: Assists the body in dealing with environmental stress
  • Cypress and Grapefruit: Both oils aid lymphatic decongestion and Cypress increases circulation
  • Lemon: Cleanses and increases lymphatic functions
  • Lemongrass and Helichrysum:  Both oils promote lymphatic drainage
  • Marjoram : Supports the spleen
  • Protective Blend:  Supports the thymus and the immune system

Because I want to support my cell function and am constantly working to remove toxins, prevent cancer and reduce environmental stress to my body, I  decided to add the DNA blend to my breast massage regimen.

One side note on the emotional component: The lymph is often associated with flow,  love and joy. Hence, the organs part of the lymphatic system have also been  targeting some of the same emotional qualities. Isn’t it funny how our body is definitely talking to us and is such a messenger to guide us to look at our emotional issues?

As you can see, when it comes to lymphatic system support, there is a vast array of options. This is a great self-care activity to add to your evening ritual, especially if your breasts are constricted by a bra all day long. I invite you to take a closer look at your lymph system and treat it well.  We should be grateful for this system which was designed to get the trash out for us! Let’s keep it moving!