10 Ways to Show Self Love

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection.

Love is exchanged in many different relationships in our lives. There’s the love between a parent and child, love between significant others, the love between trusted family and friends. The list is endless. Perhaps the most important relationship to offer love is that in which you have with yourself.

Below are 10 ways you can show yourself some love by doing a little self care

  1. Sleep Well: Since your body does most of it’s healing when you are sleeping having a restful night will do wonders for your body both on a physical and emotional level.
  2. Fuel Your Body: When I think about his concept I always think about my Suburu. Hang in there I do have a good point. I promise! Your vehicle needs fuel to run properly. When you think about it your body is your vehicle in this life. Just as you would purchase good fuel for your car, truck, ect… you should  nourish your body with good clean healthy food to give yourself the fuel to get through the day.
  3. Relax and Recoup: Taking time out of your day to provide yourself with some relaxation will help to regeneration your energy levels.
  4. Declare Your Love: Sometimes it maybe easier said than done but telling yourself everyday something that you love about yourself is a great way to show self love.
  5. Spend Time in Nature: Spending at least 5 minutes out in the beauty of nature is proven to change your energy levels and lighten your mood.
  6. Be Present: Take time to be present in the moment. Using your senses tune into your surroundings as well as your body. This is still a work in progress for me.
  7. Take Stock: Think about the people in your life. Do you have a group of people you can truly turn to for support?
  8. Build Your Tribe: If you find that you do not have a group of people to turn to start to build that tribe around yourself.
  9. Express Gratitude: Thinking and expressing how grateful you are for things that happen in your everyday will go a long way in being kind with yourself.
  10. Go Beyond: Going beyond to me is stepping outside of your comfort zone. When you do it creates an opportunity for so much growth to occur.

I invite you to join us  for a self-care challenge in the Momassage Community Group on Facebook.

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6 Steps To Sticking To Your Personal Commitment

As I am sitting here listening to my daughter play I can’t help but think about everything I have achieved thus far. My mind naturally wanders to what I still want to achieve. This has brought me making my Commitment List for 2017. This list includes the 2 major area of my life that I feel needs some work.

Commitment to Myself

As a single mother I have found it very difficult to make time for myself the last 4 years. Luckily, in the last few months I have seen the light at the end of a very long tunnel. I have started working towards improvements in the following areas:

• Fitness (personal training sessions, Karadio class)
• Meal planning and water intake
• Journal more
• More quality time with Vivienne
• Releasing emotional road blocks

Committing to My Business

I made a huge commitment to my business at the end of 2015 when I ended a 10 year run working at a local spa and put my focus solely into my business. Before I knew it the year has passed and I am sitting her sharing my commitments for the next year. I look forward to working on the following areas this year.

• Make myself more present
• Conduct a live Consciously Conceiving Workshop
• Conduct Coming of Age Workshops
• Teaching Momassage Continuing Education Classes
• Be more consistent

You may be asking yourself why I’m sharing this with you. Well, it’s simple really if I share it then it holds me accountable. In many ways who better to be accountable to than YOU my clients. Also, more importantly I am committed to sharing more of myself with you. In doing so I hope to give you a glimpse of the type of person I am and how that has molded me into the massage therapist I am today.

Below I will share the 6 simple steps I use to help me stick to my commitments.

1. Write it down: Writing down your goal or commitment adds validation to your idea. After you have written it down I recommend placing it in a place where you will see it everyday so the energy of wanting to commit to your goal will be there every time you see it.

2. Make A Plan: Once you have your goal in mind make step by step plan of how you are going to achieve that goal. Again write it down and place it somewhere you will see it everyday.

3. Find A Partner: Find someone that will hold you accountable to your goal.

4. Check In With Yourself: How do you feel about this particular goal along your journey. Ask yourself if there is anything that may be emotionally blocking your from keeping your from your commitment?

5. Revise When Needed: Know that even though your goal may not change sometimes that path to get there may need revised.

6. Celebrate Your Success: Remember to celebrate the small successes along the way as well as your success in reaching your goal.

Join me here on my Facebook page so we may share our 2017 journey together.

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Bride Honoring Ceremony

When you think of the long list of things that need to be done when preparing for a wedding it can become very overwhelming. Although I have yet to be the bride I have been in my share of weddings to see this first hand. There’s the dress, location, flowers, invitations…. Finally, towards the end comes a bit of fun with celebrating the bride. Last weekend I had the pleasure of performing a Bride Honoring Ceremony that I created for a dear friend of mine. It was very heart warming to see a group of women come together to praise, care for and honor another as she prepares to take the next step in her journey.

The ceremony started with the guest of honor receiving a half hour massage. She was under a lot of stress with how everything was coming together and had never had received a massage before.  When she came out of the relaxing massage she was presented with a lovely floral crown made by the other ladies. Wearing the crown of flowers Resized_20160724_152851symbolizes the feminine goddess that is in each of us.

Each of the girls then presented her with a message stone; explaining why they chose that word for her. They shared a memory of themselves with the bride. Some were funny while others were sentimental but what made them special is that they were uniquely personal. At the end of the presentations each girl give the bride to be a blessing to accompany her as she continues her journey.

The next part of the ceremony is something just for the bride. I performed a fear release ritual for her. For this she wrote dowPART_1469471442891_Resized_20160724_154903n whatever fears or stresses she had in any area of her life. It didn’t have to be wedding related. After she was done writing we then burned  the paper while visualizing the stress and fear releasing with the flames.

The end of the ceremony unites the girls with strings. We created a web of yarn the connected each girl as they wrapped it around their ankles. Once every one was connected, stResized_20160724_160728(1)arting with the bride, they one by one cut the yarn and tied it to create an anklet. The ladies will stay united with the anklets being wore until the day of the wedding to symbolize being their for her on her journey.

I am so thankful I was able to offer this to my friend. One of the things I am very passionate about is bringing ceremony into every occasion. Often times we get caught up in what is expected of us that we lose sight of the real meaning. A Bride Honoring Ceremony deeper level of celebration to a woman’s journey.

If you are looking to add ceremony to your everyday check out my post about tea ceremonies here

 

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Letting Go to Welcome Something New

Before starting the next series on welcoming a new baby into your home I wanted to take a moment to touch on the aspect of letting go of things that are no longer serving you. I would classify 2015 as a year of letting go for me. I made the decision to let go of a job that I had been at for 10 years. Although they had been great to me the job itself was no longer serving in the sense that I was not passionate about my work anymore. I was also able to release some of the emotional baggage centered around the relationship Vivienne’s father and I have/had. There is still a lot of letting go to do but I feel really great about the place that I am in.

Is there anything you need to release? How do you go about letting go? One of the things I have done in the past is to have a letting go ceremony timed with the Full Moon. As women our natural body cycle is synced with the phases of the moon. Releasing with the Full Moon opens up our body’s energy for the new cycle with the New Moon.

My favorite way of releasing is to burn it. How do you do this?

Write out whatever is bothering you. EX: fears, negative thoughts, emotional situations. Set fire to your paper and as you watch the flame burn release everything that is associated with what you wrote.

I personal goal of mine for 2016 is to do this when every full moon of the year. If this is something you would like to do I have listed the dates of each full moon for 2016.

January 24, 2016 – Wolf Moon
February 22, 2016 – Snow Moon
March 23, 2016 – Worm Moon
April 23, 2016 – Pink Moon
May 21, 2016 – Flower Moon
June 20, 2016 – Strawberry Moon
July 19, 2016 – Thunder Moon
August18, 2016 – Sturgeon Moon
September 16, 2016 – Harvest Moon
October 16, 2016 – Hunter’s Moon
November 14, 2016 – Beaver Moon
December 14, 2016 – Cold Moon

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Honoring Your Birth With Ceremony

In many societies birth has become a little misguided- babies are conceived, carried and birthed but the beauty, power and significance of these stages become hidden. In our American culture this is very much the case. Women often times are rushed back into the work force. Some even as early as 4-6 weeks postpartum. Through this rush to get back to the routine the holistic significance of what a woman has endured for the past 9-10 months gets devalued and side-tracked. Often times this can leave in its place a broken path and sense of trauma.

 

It is through ceremony that many cultures have used for generations that we will find honor, respect, and nourishment for the whole birth process. The most important aspect of this process being the vulnerability  of a woman as she transitions into motherhood.

Honoring and closing one’s birth process is critical for many reasons.

  • Energetically it finishes the birth process
  • Physically it heals  the body
  • Spiritually is prepares the for the step into motherhood.

 

What does an honoring ceremony look like?

In the co1432924490097mfort of the woman’s home the ceremony will begin with a ceremonial cleansing bath to honor and recognize the mother’s strength and sacrifice she endured birthing her child.

Once she has emerged from her bath A therapeutic massage will be performed with warming oils. The massage will end with an abdominal hot stone press massage. This is performed with a hot stone and healing herbs. With the massage complete the mother is now ready for the Tuck In Sealing Ceremony.tuck in

After resting comfortably the honoring ceremony finishes with an application of a belly Firming paste followed by a Bengkung Belly Binding Session. Once the woman is bound and feels adequately supported she will walk a path lined with rose petals and be presented with her baby. She is now ready to fully step into her tole as a mother.

The mother will be left witbelly bindingh a special journal in which she may write her birth story. At a date of her choosing a tea ceremony will be prepared as a backdrop to listen to yer birth experience.

Remember we all deserve to be honored for our unique experiences. Weather you are preparing to be a first time mother,  have had multiple children, or perhaps your children are grown. It is never to late to honor your body for the service it has provided. tea time

 

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Closing Birth Through Tucking-In

As I have mentioned in previous posts  a woman’s body separates in various places. The rib cage separates to accommodate the abdominal organs as they move upward, the abdominal muscles separate to give the baby more growing room, and the pelvis separates as the baby positions  ittuck inself for the birth journey. This separation plays a important role during pregnancy. After the birth has taken place it is vital to seal and close the separation both spiritually and physically.

 

In the Latin culture  a  “tuck-in” ceremony  is preformed to symbolically  close a woman’s birth. In this tradition the woman receives:

  • A warming  oil application
  • A placement of warm flax seed packs over key points to of the body
  • The warming packs are held in place by lightly tied scarves with a blessing given at each point
  • The woman will rest in the warm c acorn while the “closes”.

 

A tuck in sealing ceremony is typically performed in the days/weeks following birth. Although it is never to late to seal one’s birth experience.

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Cleansing Your Body Through Ceremonial Bathing

In many ancient cultures ceremonial bathing plays a large role in closing the birth process. Baths are typically performed 40 days after a woman gives birth. By this point the woman has finished shedding her lochia.

 

A traditional Maylay Floral Bath consists of a few factors.

  • A variety of flowers are used as a symbol of washing away the smell of blood and restoring a feminine fragrance
  • Citrus limes are used for cleansing the body and spirit.
  • Rose water is used as a symbolism of achievement, completion and perfection.

 

Another option for a bath your be the Milk and Honey Cleansing Bath.

  • Almond milk is added for richness and honey is used to soften and moisturize the skin.
  • Citrus limes are you for cleansing the body and spirit
  • Roses water is used to symbolize achievement, completion and perfection.

 

When performing a ceremonial bath at home remember to keep these tips in mind.

  1. Cleanse the space in which you will be taking your bath. I like to burn a bundle of sage.
  2. Choose whatever music relaxes you. I am partial to Enya.
  3. Prepare whichever bath feels right to you at the time.
  4. I recommend adding candles and a bouquet of fresh flowers to the room.

 

Once your bath is prepared I encourage you to turn out the lights. As you are soaking in

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the bath take in the smell of the limes, the fragrance of the flowers, the soft lighting from the candles and the relaxing music. Thank your body for the service it has provided in carrying and bringing a new life into this world. Visualize your body releasing any lingering physical and emotional stress associated with your birth process. Remember you are a strong loving and beautiful mother to a very special little person.

 

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Support Your Abdomen Through Binding

I was on a mission to find something that would support my belly enough to close the separation. That is when I was introduced to the BengKung Belly Binding. This is the Indonesian style of belly binding.  A long piece of Batki fabric is used to wrap the abdomen from just below the hips to just below the breasts. The fabric is typically 13-14 yards long and 8-10 inches wide. In Japanese and Taiwanese culture women have used a Sarashi as a bind. In American culture women will often receive a stretchy elastic band to use in the mediate days following postpartum. Many women will then  use a girdle-type garment of stretching supportive material.

 

belly bindingRegardless of the style of binding used they all have common goal. That is to provide support to the abdominal area after delivery. For nearly 10 months a woman’s body is changing to accommodate the baby growing inside. Strain is being put on the joints,the organs are being shifted, and the abdominal muscles are being stretched and begin to separate.  These are all necessary changes needed for the baby to grow however what happens when the baby is now outside the body? The muscles of the abdomen are weak, the organs start to shift back, and there is a large amount of muscular discomfort.

 

Benefits of Binding

  • Provides constant, steady pressure to the pelvic area
  • Abdominal support helps to close the abdominal wall and heal Diastatis Recti. (Separation of the Rectus Abdominal Muscle)
  • Relieves back pain by supporting the abdominal muscles during the postpartum healing process
  • Supports correct posture and spinal realignment
  • Provides back support during breastfeeding.
  • Constant pressure encourages the organs in the torso and pelvis to shrink back and return to their pre-pregnancy size.


A wrap is traditionally worn for 40 days during the postpartum period. The sooner you start to wrap the more support you will receive. If you have experienced a C-Section you may want to consider waiting until your incision is healed.

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The Art of Tea Ceremonies

I have always preferred tea to coffee. Waking up with a steaming cup of Earl Greyer or relaxing in the evening with a cup of Chamomile tea is my favorite way to start and end the day. I have to admit that I would drink my tea without giving it much thought. It just became another thing in my routine. Earlier this year I was introduced to the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This got me thinking about what rituals various cultures have with tea.

China: (The Art of Tea) the ceremonial preparation of tea leaves in  clay pots and cups served in bamboo boxes.

Japan: (The Way of Tea)  the tea ceremony in meant to bring people together. It may last several hours and also may be paired with a light meal.

England: (Afternoon Tea)  in addition  to the tea this ceremony includes sandwiches and pastries. It is often prepared and served in the afternoon. Hence how it got it’s name Afternoon Tea or sometimes referred to as High Tea

When performing a tea ceremony at home I always keep the following in mind.

  • Clearing the space both physically and energetically. I will burn a bit of sage while preparing get my tea.
  • Pick your favorite tea. I prefer a loose leaf tea.
  • Use your prettiest tea set or mug.
  • Most importantly is to savor the flavor of the tea as you drink it.

A large part of the tea certea timeemony is to be mindful within each step you perform. Heating the water, pouring the water over the tea,  letting it steep and finally enjoying the tea are all important steps. Making these adjustments to the way you prepare and drink your tea can create a whole new experience. If you choose to try the Tea Ceremony I would love to know your thoughts on it.

When clients wish to share their birth story with me I will always pair it with the tea ceremony. It make for a beautiful setting for releasing and sealing one’s birth experience. You can find out more about how journaling my help to heal your birth experience here.

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Healing Birth Through Journaling

I think we can all agree that the act of giving birth triggers all sorts of reactions. There’s physical, emotional and mental strain that takes place. In the weeks that follow; a mama’s body is healing and processing all of these changes. In the upcoming posts I will be sharing an in depth look at ways of healing the various aspects of birth.

 

This post is dedicated to journaling. Particularly, journaling one’s birth experience. Below are my top 3 reasons to journal your child’s birth story.

 

  1. Processes the emotional aspects of birth
  2. Aides in recovering from giving birth
  3. Makes a beautiful gift for your child.

 

You may be asking how does the simple act of writing help a woman physically heal from giving birth? It is quite simple really. Studies show that emotions are often stored in your body. Your body has memory. When something happens such as giving birth your body will mentally and physically remember it. When you put your pen to paper and write out your emotions your body starts to release what is stored. Here are a few tips to remember when journaling your story.

 

  1. Write all aspects. The good, bad and ugly. Birth is an amazing and beautiful thing but let’s face it sometimes it can be an amazing beautiful hot mess 🙂
  2. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar.
  3. Include pictures (pregnancy pictures, birth pictures, most importantly pictures of your little one)
  4. Write in 10-20 minute spurts. It’s OK if you don’t get your whole story out in one sitting.

 

When you havbirth journale finished writing your birth story I encourage you to share it with someone. While the act of writing the story works to release emotions. Giving it a voice will help to emotionally close the birth experience. You can view my birth experience here.

 

If drinking tea is your thing then you may want to consider sharing your story over an afternoon tea ceremony. Check back in two weeks for the upcoming article dedicated to various tea ceremonies around the world and how to use it as the perfect back drop for sharing your birth experience.

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