Presence, Not Presents!

holiday celebration

As the holiday season gets into full swing, what is more valuable is “presence,” not presents!

Many of us live like a speedboat skimming across the surface of a lake, unaware that life is unfolding in the depths of that lake.  The demands of life in 2017-2018 accelerate and distract our minds.  We have to slow down and be fully present to derive fulfillment.  The alternative is a list of to-dos that never get to-done!

Wherever you are, be there.  Don’t be a skimmer, a shopper, a material being that, when all is said and done, and the wrapping paper has been torn open and revealed the treasures within, feels duped and disappointed.

Ceremonial occasions are important…the gathering of “tribes” in our lives is part of tradition.  Don’t mistake the ceremonial for the authentic and try to bring as much authentic to the ceremonial as you can.

 Christ’s birth symbolizes a transition in consciousness, another step in the evolution of humankind.  We can celebrate that by being conscious rather than by devolving!

May you invite into your life the blessings of abundance, both material and invisible!

With love,  Rosanne Bostonian

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9 things you didn’t know about Myrrh essential oil

myrrh

There was a time when Myrrh may have been more precious than gold. People have sought after this precious botanical since biblical times for its use as a perfume, incense, spice, and to beautify skin. A gift fit for royalty, travelers carried myrrh across desert and sea to be delivered to kings and queens of old.
Today, people still revere Myrrh essential oil for its rich, earthy aroma and skin-benefiting properties. Myrrh oil is also often used during yoga, meditation, and religious practices to promote feelings of spirituality. There’s plenty “myrrh” to know about Myrrh oil uses and the benefits of Myrrh oil. Become a Myrrh master with these nine fun facts and usage tips.

1.  Origins
Myrrh was extremely valuable in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Today, it’s popular all over the world.

2.  Name
The word “myrrh” comes from the Arabic word “murr,” meaning bitter, because of its sharp taste. In other words, you wouldn’t want to add this oil to your morning smoothie.

3.  Plant
Myrrh essential oil is steam distilled from the red-brown resin of the Commiphora myrrha tree, identifiable by its knotted trunk and white flowers.

4.  Aroma
Its earthy, sweet, and slightly spicy aroma can help promote feelings of spirituality during mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga.

5.  Bath time
In need of a little TLC? A few drops of Myrrh in a warm bath can create a luxurious, spa-like atmosphere. Combine it with Lavender or Lemon, sit back, and breathe in a warm, uplifting aroma.

6.  Hair care
Shampooing your hair might leave it squeaky clean, but it also removes important oils that help hair stay strong. Add a couple drops of Myrrh essential oil to your shampoo to help keep your hair and scalp hydrated.

7.  Skin care
Myrrh is a common ingredient in luxury beauty products, especially products that go on the skin. Just a couple drops of Myrrh essential oil can make even drugstore products feel high-end.

8.  Home and family
There’s nothing like a home filled with a relaxing and uplifting scent after a long day. Diffuse Myrrh essential oil in the evening as you and your loved ones unwind together.

9. Holiday Cheer
Myrrh has long been seen as a symbol of sharing during the holiday season. Fill your home with the essence of the holidays by diffusing Myrrh with Frankincense and Orange.

Happy holidays!

Actively Listening to Yourself

Active listening

More than ever, we are pulled into the area outside of our skin with high levels of stimulation and distraction.  Bombarded with seductive and interesting energy, the more subtle, internal voices are drowned out.

The complex biological being upon which our heads sit has a voice.  Its messages are drowned out by the “louder” stimuli that bombard our eyes, ears, taste buds and noses.

Our body connection, our sense of material being, connects us to every other form.  The fact that molecules came together to form you and me underscores the fact that the very same molecules form everything else.  To ignore our bodies, our inner experience, or to minimize its importance, is to miss the sense of unity of all forms.

So how do we actively listen?  The brain can only process one message at a time.  We can move rapidly among messages, but each impulse is discrete.  This is why slowing down, breathing and some of the currently touted relaxation methods make sense.  When we slow down, we’re making space to listen to ourselves one internal stimulus at a time. Quieting the mind and its mischief is a big part of hearing the body and making friends with yourself.

What does it feel like to occupy your body?  What is it asking for? What is it trying to communicate? When we’re able to have this empathic connection with ourselves, it opens the door for profoundly different relationships with others.

With love,

Rosanne

R.I.P. – Mickey Mantis

Praying Mantis

If you’ve been following my blogs you know that I was visited by a Praying Mantis that I named “Mickey.” (I’ve always been a Yankee fan and always will be!)  Seeking advice from my local Petco, I created a Mantis Spa, complete with vegetation and live prey.  Alas, Nature rules the day despite a human’s best intentions.
Mickey’s job was to find a safe spot to deposit her egg case.  She did so, producing a “whipped cream” mound that hardened into a protective structure about two days after she arrived.

Several days after producing the egg case, I found her in the vegetation having completed her life cycle.  I’m amazed at how moved I was.  I had been fascinated, watching her small triangular head follow my movements, and sparring with her through the glass of the terrarium. The whole episode was a humbling glimpse into the efficiency of Nature, the endless cycle of Life.

So now there is the egg case.  Mantises produce from 50 to 200 babies… I’m watching to see the culmination of the story, not sure if the egg case is still viable. Mickey received a proper burial… Am I too sentimental? (Smiling)

Probably due to our incredibly advanced brains, we see ourselves as separate from the Natural Order.  It’s no accident that we are refreshed and energized by walks in the woods and strolls on the beach. The rhythms of Nature guide every form of life, including humans.  When the rules are violated, such as genetic alteration of foods, excessive use of antibiotics and use of artificial household products, we suffer.

Quietly, inexorably, the rules of Nature prevail whether we are aware of them or not.  My choice is to be more aware… How about you?

With love,
Rosanne Bostonian

Heroes

Helping hand

When I watch documentaries on 9/11, war and other catastrophic events, I’m moved by that moment when people know that the odds are stacked against them.

I wonder what people are feeling.  Are they paralyzed with fear? Do they rise about their fear and transform into heroes, putting others ahead of themselves?

There are stories we’ve read and seen about heroes.  Most of them are lauded for courage in high octane moments, such as the first responders who run toward danger when others are running away.  I’m in awe of those people.

On the other hand, there are small heroic gestures that can go unnoticed because the events are “ordinary,” and not so high profile.

In my work as a professor, I see students who struggle financially putting themselves through school and maintaining families and work.  Exhausted, they still have time to show kindness and generosity to each other, and sometimes to their professor.  These are heroes.

In my work as a psychologist, I saw people face their demons, their darkest fears, and bring light and awareness to their challenges rather than running away.  These are heroes.

The one common denominator in all heroes is the ability to overcome fear with love.  Heroes are able to move beyond material danger to a sense of connection to a level of truth that becomes visible through the eyes of love.

Here’s to all of the heroes, recognized and anonymous, who carry the banner of human nature to its highest peak and claim that territory for us all.

With love,

Rosanne Bostonian

Feedback

AdobeStock_128825327 resized.jpg

Most self-awareness books instruct us to value feedback from others.  Those of us who are insecure may take one comment and agonize over it, magnify it into truth.  A better plan is to identify patterns of feedback.  We usually need objective help not to personalize everyone’s random, sometimes self-serving comments.

Patterns are instructive.  They show us a mirror image of what we’ve created as a ‘self’ in the world.  The good news is that we can recreate, reorganize and reevaluate that image if we have courage.  Make no mistake that looking in the mirror of our lives requires courage and maturity.  The tendency is to project blame onto the mirror and find external distortions to justify what we don’t like in that image.  For lack of that skill, we can numb ourselves and refuse to look too closely.

Just because we don’t acknowledge what’s happening doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.  With those who are avoidant, by the time what’s happening is acknowledged, it’s late in the game and harder to fix.  Better to sensitize our GPS systems to identify “off course” decisions while it’s early in the journey.

Mindful, conscious self-awareness is the ultimate GPS system.  The corrections can be done just as Garmin does them…”Recalculating” in a non-judgmental, compassionate voice.

From the center of our being, may the gentle, forgiving voice of instruction be the patient teacher and may the guiding hand of Universal Wisdom protect us along the way.

Rosanne Bostonian

Thanksgiving…

Happy Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving upon us, I remember my American History lessons about the Native Americans (referred to as Indians in those days) showing conciliation to the settlers in “the first Thanksgiving.”  What happened after that wasn’t exactly a reciprocation of good will, as white settlers pressed on to the West and left mayhem in the wake of their Conestoga wagons.

Gratitude for blessings is a no-brainer, even though many of us take abundance and ease for granted. Few of us experience gratitude for the hardships in life.  In fact, the previous sentence seems counterintuitive.

I can paraphrase the words of the great Brene Brown and say that nothing I’ve accomplished in life was the result of pleasure and ease.  In fact, the most challenging episodes contributed most to the strengthening of my character.  I will confess that as these events were unfolding, I wasn’t jumping for joy… nor would I have picked them off a menu and put them on my “to-do list.”

Yet Life comes to us with opportunities hidden in some pretty dire costumes.  Once you’ve been through enough of these scenarios, you “disrobe” the monsters quickly and look for the opportunity hiding beneath the disguise.

I’m grateful that I know this because it keeps me from feeling like a victim.  Now that you have read this, look deeper into the “misfortunes” in your life and see what may be revealed.  Assume that Life is expressing Itself through circumstances and be still in Its presence.

Finally, be grateful that a collection of molecules gathered to be you, a conscious, reflective you, capable of the full range of experiences…all designed to grow awareness and gratitude.

Joyful Thanksgiving!  Rosanne Bostonian