Self-Care: Digging deeper into emotional health

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I guess that because we are made of flesh,we tend, as human being, to think about physical health first. I believe that there is a strong, if not huge, mind-body connection and that what we think and how we feel influence greatly what happens on our physical plane. Self-Care is an inside job.
What comes first? The chicken…


or the egg?


Are the thoughts managing our emotions or our emotions dictating our thoughts? Does this work both ways? Whatever the process is, we are still the one to be accountable when it comes to creating the reality we put ourselves in. I tend to think the mental (i.e. the thought) is the one tricking us into associating a specific emotion with a circumstance, but who knows? Still, the emotion remains. Fortunately, we can utilize the emotion of love to be able to care better about ourselves.
This is why we can really tackle Self-Care in all its beauty when, and only when, we are in Self-Acceptance and Self-Love mode. Otherwise we will be able to keep certain routines for a while but we will easily fall back into the old habits as fear predominates. If love is the main player, self-acceptance will be there and then self-Care will become a long lasting lifestyle. If you add presence, you will even turn these routines into rituals.
Some emotions might come to the surface every time we live a similar situation in the present moment that triggered some specific reactions and emotions in the past. As children, we have interpreted some events in a way that served us. Oftentimes, it was our only way to understand and conceptualize what was going on in our lives. It may have been a defense mechanism, a way to emotionally survive. As adults, we may not have revisited these events and reasons to evaluate if they still are of service to us. When they are no longer serving us, they are hurting us… and probably others as well.
When will we know what needs to be changed? It starts when we have inner conflict, when we get irritated, annoyed, impatient, angry, sad, tensed, anxious, depressed, and the list can go on and on. Any negative emotion is here to teach us and by the same token, if we accept the challenge, help us grow. This is when we need to make time to reassess the needs from the past, versus the ones form the present, forgive, let go and create a new paradigm for who we are as adults.
Some of those ah-hah moments can come so quickly that we are able to resolve them easily. Others, well, may linger for a longer time. This is mostly because we are not ready to look at it in the eyes. We unconsciously know the truth will be difficult to hear. Chances are we think it will create a lot of movement in our lives and the fear factor create paralysis.
As mentioned above we may have had circumstances in our childhood where we came to the conclusion that we were not enough. This happens a lot. We may have felt abandoned, rejected, humiliated, treated unfairly, or betrayed. If we have not felt loved it is hard to turn around and accept ourselves.
As we age, we accumulate experiences that leave emotional scars. We can also feel the transformation in our physique, or see our limitations, the real ones and the ones we create for ourselves. This can initiate a cycle of non acceptance.
As a child, I wanted so badly to have my mother’s love and affection that I would have done anything for her in exchange for some positive attention. Nowadays, I have dealt with most issues related to this fact. I can attest though that, for the longest time, I was not able to say no, I easily felt guilty, I went overboard and overdid it a lot in order to get some attention and love.
For those of you who know me, you will not be surprised to learn that in these circumstances, this is where my essential oils come into play. If I had to make an essential oil kit for someone who is ready to embark on a self transformational journey into emotional health, bergamot would be the first one in. This is the oil of self acceptance. It is said to relieve feelings of despair, self-judgment and low self esteem, and to have a cleansing effect on stagnant feelings and limited belief systems.
There are multiple facets of personal growth and some other oils as well as some other tools, professional help are worth exploring too. Journaling is also an amazing way to bring up to the surface those emotions we need to deal with. There are many more ways we can open our hearts to all of this. Each person has a different experience and each of us has the key to find what works. When we are ready and open to transformation, the solutions will come easily and effortlessly. Still, it starts with love.
When feeling unworthy of love you can add a few drops of bergamot in your hand, take some deep breaths and use an affirmation you create (a positive statement made in the present tense, or as if it had already happened) and say something similar to these two examples:
• I love and accept myself unconditionally and this self love radiates out my entire being and manifests as proper self-care.
• I am opening my heart more to give and receive love.


As you consciously give yourself time to do this daily, observe how things start to shift in the direction you need. Even when things do not seems to be going where you want to go, be open to the lessons and messages Life is sending you, and trust that the universe or God, that higher power however your beliefs are, has a grand plan for you living the life you were meant to live.


Self-Care Sunday

Posted by in Self-Care

As I thought about how I would share my new love for, and adventure in self-care, I came up with the idea of sharing with you some insightful information on my Facebook business page under the Self-Care Sunday event. Sunday has been the rest day for some religions for quite some times, hence, most of us have this conception of rest on that day, even though we may not be practicing it consistently. It seems to me that it is ingrained in my family culture as I have been raised with the idea that Sunday was a day to do the pleasurable stuff: socialize, play, practice your hobby, rest etc.

As I take action toward a more sustainable life for myself, I know journaling and inner reflection will be needed. Of course, sharing my self-care journey  with you is something I am thrilled of doing! I truly want this to have a positive impact on you as well, as I know we are all going too fast, doing too much, and not saying no enough.  If my life experience can serve others to be more proactive with their health, that makes my day.

This is why I am inviting you to click here now and like my Vidyessence Facebook page and accept my invitation or join the FB event as this is where I will share articles, thoughts, quotes, posts, and videos. Exceptionally, today’s  post will be all about self-care, and starting next Sunday, December 20,  you will be able to get some WOW (Word Of Wisdom) from connecting with me on this particular day.

What is self care?

Of course it is in order to really understand first what we are talking about. Self Care implies the care of one’s self.  I am not revealing to you a big truth here. It is a very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. What is the most revealing aspect of this is that it requires accountability and being proactive.  There are a lot of things in life that require us to  take actions in a positive manner. We have more choices than we can think of, meaning we are more in control of our lives than we realize. As an example, joy and forgiveness are choices and to a certain extent, health is as well. Most of the time, it is a matter of training our brain to choose what we want in life and creating new habits to make it happen. I know, easier said than done. However one cannot succeed without even trying…

Back to Self-Care. Most experts agree that focusing on the following five areas will create the greatest impact on our lives: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social health. I was aware of the first four as they are  the four aspects of what comprise our entire being. Now that I think about it, it make sense that, as social beings, we need to create social  health as well. We are interdependent species so we need not to forget that interacting with others in positive ways is part of caring for our very own needs.

So where do we start? By understanding what self care is all about, and maybe recognizing what it is not. Then, cultivating  awareness of what we do in terms of self care, and finally, adding some well needed and deserved self-care time and rituals into our routines. Over time, we will come back to each of these five components in more depth, but let’s go over them briefly today so you can make your own self-care list.

Physical health:

We do not need to look that far to find enough for us to care for.  Nutrition, sleep, exercise are some of the key elements to greater health. We often don’t think about removing toxins from our environment though. Since the industrial revolution more and more chemicals are entering our lives. Consciously creating healthy habits to remove any of these harmful products will also greatly impact our physical health.

Emotional health:

Enjoy the company of those you love, be playful, allow yourself to cry. Do things you love just for the sake of it like reading a book or watching a funny movie. Anything that can help you access your emotional self and live the emotions as they arise is good!

Psychological health:

Engaging your mind as a muscle is as important as physical exercise too! Trying out something new, being curious or attending a cultural event are just a few ways to do it. Taking care of calming the mind with meditation is also something worth trying. Same for therapy. If there are some mental-emotional blocks in your life, or relationship or situation you need help with, there is no need to try to do it all on your own.

Spiritual health:

We often forget to nourish our spirit, as if it doesn’t need our attention. When we do so, we are unknowingly dimming our inner light. We need this vibrancy to be fully alive and to live every moment with grace and gratitude. Living your purpose in life is the one amazing way to acknowledge your spirit. Denying our calling can cost us our health. I can tell you a lot about that!

This may sound like a long journey and sometimes we may feel as we will never get there. Rest assure that the best way to live your calling is by starting living your dream, one day at a time. Listen to your inner voice, journal about what makes your heart sign and add more of that joy list in your life. Maybe you can find a like minded community of people to spend some time with? My all time favorite is spending time in nature. This is my sanctuary: always free, always giving and forgiving. Just pick one and block your weekly schedule to make it happen!

Social health:

We are interdependent being. We were not meant to live isolated and yet this is what we are doing more and more. We  live in a culture of competition rather than collaboration, in  a culture of individuality rather than community.  It is about time to reverse this. Offering help but even more having the courage to ask for help is something we all need to work on more. Spend time with ourselves is important. Same apply with our meaningful relationship: one on one time with each of your children? A date with our spouse? An  impromptu call to a friend? How much rejoice this can cause? The giver is also the receiver. I know you have felt this, at least once in your life….Keep doing it!

We live in an amazing  time where there is a plethora of professionals to help us on our path to joy.  It is a matter of researching and evaluating which type of workers will be best suited for your needs. Creating a team of expert to guide and help you on your overall well being is not a bad idea. We will come back to that at another time.

If you read this article until now, it shows you are ready for an authentic change. I want to be your first act of self care kindness witness, fan and accountability partner. Post here your #Self-CareActOfKindness so we can all inspire each other on this path to Joy and health!


Breast Cancer Prevention at its best !

Posted by in Self-Care

I am like a kid today…Really! Yes I have been waiting to share with you the number 1 tip for breast health for more than six long weeks. I do not know if you are as excited  as me; probably not, because you have no idea of how this could impact your life in a positive manner. This was such a revelation to me that it totally shifted my world around this summer. And it still does. Yet this is so simple and easy…and yet so hard to do all at once.

When Renée handed me the pink breast health tips card and said to me: ‘’MJ, tip number 1 is the most important tip of all. If you are not willing to do it, I might as well keep the card’’,  I knew she was damn serious! I made a promise to myself to give it my best, to go slow if need be but stick to it. Change one thing at  a time but start. I also knew exactly where to start…


Yes this is it! These two  words are at the cornerstone of the tip number 1, but this is not all! And this is where the secret sauce is. Tip number 1 is  Balance stress with self-care! Aim to give to yourself at least 30 to 60 minutes of self care each day. If you are a mother like I am, well, chances are you may be the least person on your list. BIG mistake!  Have you ever realized that a Happy Mother makes Happy Kids? Also if you are living through a difficult  or stressful situation, you need to add some extra self-care in there. Remember that the idea is  to balance your level of stress with your level of self-care. As North Americans, in general, we are already deficient in self-care time. It is not rare to eat on the go, sleep less than needed, skip exercising here and there or altogether, etc.  It is as if we need to learn how to care for ourselves again.

Imagine if on top of that you have to deal with a stressful situation like a sick family member, a divorce, job loss, a child with issues at school, or you need to care for an elderly parent. Those situations are the ones where we need self-care the most… and what do we do instead? We cut the little bit we had! This is why I think when we are in a difficult and stressful  time in our lives it can look like it is an eternal downward spiral. When you have more stress you also cause more acidity in your body.This is in turn causes inflammation and creates a PERFECT environment (terrain) for more disease! You see, the spiral already, don’t you? This is why self-care is the foundation to health!

Processing stress the healthy way

When it comes to stress, I am right here! I have a certain way to  build up stress when some people don’t. My husband could probably write a book on this…poor guy! For me it is manifesting when I feel the urgency to finish something: a deadline coming or any type of performance stress like sales goals, being on time,  etc. If you couple this with working from home and having kids around from time to time..this is often a disaster! It is important for our health to be able to realize what triggers stress and as part of the tip number 1, to learn how to process our stress in a healthy manner. Spirituality, journaling, therapy, physical activity and even 12-step work are a few suggestions.

Testing the water

Life is all about trial and error. By journaling, we are able to notice patterns and discern what is best for us. Personally, I realized what helped and added this to my rules to live by. To make it work better for me, I have two rules to make it happen more effortlessly.

  1. Early morning: I plan my self-care time for early morning. I do meditation for 30 minutes before the kids get out of bed—I need absolute quiet time not to end up grumpy rather than peaceful—and then the rest of my Self-Care time  happens after they leave for school and before my work day starts. This way, there are no excuses that can be made, like I had no time. Also, when I do  start my days like this, they are so smooth compared to those where my Self-Care is neglected.
  2. DO IT no matter how long: I used to wait for the perfect timing, length of time, etc to do my yoga home practice. I felt that, as a yoga instructor, I needed  to do at least an hour a day. Well, with young children, this did not work at all! It took me so long to realize that it is more important in any kind of Self-Care, to create the habit rather than doing nothing at all!  Once a practice or habit is established, the want and desire becomes stronger, so that eventually, you really want to do it, no matter what and you find and create time to increase your practice as it becomes like a drug. YOU NEED it to feel good. Now I have changed my expectations and relationship with my yoga practice. Some days I just stretch for a few minutes, sometimes I attend a local yoga class. Some others days, my yogic practice is my meditation or simply conscious deep breathing.

If you apply this last tip you are in for success as it is more about intention than punishment. We need not to be hard on ourselves. TLC applies to us first!

This Self-Care idea has taken such an important role in my health that I decided to make it part of my mission! Stay tuned as I reveal the way you can take a stand for yourself by caring more for yourself and unite with other women about the importance of creating self-care in our lives.