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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Do you lie about your age?

For years my middle son though I was 28. Years ago he tried to guess my age and when he guessed 26 and I just said "Oh yes!" (fib fib) not wanting to tell him the truth because admitting my age out loud was too scary.   Some years later he was talking to me about my birthday saying I must at least be 30 by now. Lol.  Again I just smiled and agreed ;)

They say age is just a number and we certainly do put a lot of emphasis on being young and beautiful even though that is more a spot in time and genetic luck than the accomplishment we treat it as - as Carie Fisher so eloquently stated. 

That being said many of us do take a lot of pride in taking care of our skin, body and mental well being and love being told we look younger than we are.  It's a nice feeling when people are surprised to find we're older than they thought we were.  It's also fun for those who are able to get away with saying they're younger because it's believable (may as well enjoy it while it lasts).

It is important for many to age well and not let ourselves go and many people are afraid of ageing because ageing is seen as a bad thing for a woman to do even though: 
1) it is inevitable and 
2) it is perfectly acceptable for men to age.  
Take Carie Fisher and Harrison Ford for example, he's aged and that's ok, while Carie aging is a big fat No No!

How about you?  Do you lie about your age?  Are you comfortable with ageing?  What scares you about ageing and what do you look forward to?

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Bad Service - Reiki Practioner

  1. a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

This article is not so much about bad customer service and more about how certain things business owners do inadvertently sabotage their success. 

When I first heard about a lady in my area who was a reiki masseuse I didn't really know what that meant or entailed.  I knew reiki was about hovering hands above a patient and trying to heal them via energy passed from the healer to the patient, yet was unsure what the massage component would be like. 

At the time I was pregnant and having difficulties walking due to bubs pressing on nerves in my hip.  I hobbled into the reiki massage session and lay down on the table and when the lady began, she hovered her hands above my belly and I felt the baby move away from the area that had been causing me grief.  The massage continued and I walked out of their with ease, feeling very relaxed and content.  Prior to going I did worry that having the massage while pregnant might not be good for the baby and yet it was a really pleasant and relaxing experience. The practitioner was good.

She worked from home and had a massage table set up in her study.  It was a beautiful and peaceful setup with water running, soft music playing, she even used her Tibetan singing bowl which was so beautiful and powerful (the first time I'd ever heard one played before).  There was also a small chime hanging in the room which she randomly pumped into each time I had a session with her which I loved because I love the sound of chimes.  The practitioner told me she never bumps into the chimes with anyone else, must be something I need to hear.  

Her downfall was: she did not have regular days or times she saw people so I couldn't, for example, see her every second Tuesday at 5pm.  Her availability times and days varied so much she was often hard to pin down. Also getting a hold of her was hard and would often taken days to get in touch with her.  She also moved her massage area from the library (because she didn't like mixing her favourite place in her house with business) to her bedroom upstairs which felt like an invasion of her privacy, and also so open that I felt exposed when undressing to hop onto the table.  The room simply didn't have the same warmth or peacefulness as the library.

The last time I saw her was after I'd had a car accident.  I'd bruised and injured my joints in the collision and wanted some urgent healing because I was struggling to walk.  It took her two days to get back to me and then another two or so days before she could fit me in to her busy schedule (she had another job outside of her reiki). By the time I saw her it was almost a week after my accident and my body was already healing itself - my bruises were now a yellow green.  To add to frustration she advised me after treatment that the price had gone up $10.  This was not a big issue except that, as expected, I didn't bring enough money with me and she didn't advise me prior to the session. 

In the end I found it too difficult to see her and she gave off a subtle vibe of not really being committed to being a reiki practitioner.  There was no steadiness to her service or her way of being in relation to being a reiki practitioner.  It was all wishy washy and higgledy piggledy, and she would talk about how difficult it was to get customers and how she couldn't leave her full time job until such time as the practice was bringing in more clientele.  She would also talk about the universe and how it must be telling her the time isn't right.  A pity because she was very good at what she did and could have been successful if only she'd decided to commit fully.  

If only she had set days and set hours she worked on her reiki patients.  If only she had a committed room / space to perform her massages.  If only she was easier to get a hold of and response times were quick.  If only she had a newsletter or pamphlet of some sort to advise customers of her availability and prices / increases.  If only she'd stopped putting her potential in the hands of the universe and believed in herself more.  

Have you experienced or known someone who is not quite committed to the success of their business? Leave a comment sharing your experience with us.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Healing The Body Naturally

Lately I've written a number of posts about aches, pains and ailments (yes I've been having a good old Aussie winge).

Around the time I wrote the post Aches, Pains and Migraines it dawned on me that doctors and other medical professionals don't really have an invested interest in whether I'm well or not.  None ever do a follow up phone call or anything to see how I'm going, to see if I'm better or well.  After I've paid them my money (in some cases $220 for a measly 10 minutes worth of their time) they forget all about me.  There seems to be little duty of care among our health professionals these days.

I've always know the body can heal itself.  My dad taught me that as a teenager when he used to show me how he would meditate to cure his headaches.  I've used the technique of 'body healing itself' on illnesses (such as cold and flu) yet never really put my energy towards healing my body of its physical ailments.

So I began a journey of self healing.

masculine and feminine sides of the body (for both male and female)
Most of what ails me is occurring on the right side of my body.  [The masculine side: this is same for everybody, both male and female, regardless of which hand you write with.]  Therefore I predicted the masculine side of my body is really suffering.  Perhaps from burn out, mental exhaustion and physical fatigue due to the amount of conflict I've had in my life over the past number of years.  That conflict has since come to a close and the right hand side of my body "sighed" and collapsed in exhaustion.  It needed a break!

This may sound foolish to some, however, I began using the left side of my body more but not just picking up the kettle with my left hand instead of my right (because my tennis elbow was worse on the right), but also by having a conversation in my head between my right and left whenever I did things.

My left would say "Let me help you with that."
My right would say "Thank you."

I began treating my body as though the left and right have been separate all this time and have just now decided to come together, work together, and support each other.  Most likely my masculine / feminine sides have been apart, certainly working independently from each side, because I have relied on different sides to do certain tasks.  Now I'm getting into the habit of having my body work together.  For example: when I stand I engage both the left and right thigh muscles and glutes to get me up, whereas before I predominately relied on my left leg to do the lifting (because the right side aches).

What I'm finding is, in addition to the essential oil rubs I'm using as well as flower remedies, this joining of sides and having right and left work together is having an amazing effect on my body.  The weaker side is slowly becoming stronger.  The dominant side is getting a break and muscles are recovering from exhaustion. I ache less which is, of course, the main result I'm after.  I'm on the journey to wellness and it feels inspiring :)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

DIY Natural Fire Lighters

natural fire lighter ingredients
These natural fire lighters work well because citrus peel and beeswax are flammable while smoldering enough to keep the flame going.

stuffed citrus peels
  • orange or lemon peel quarters or halves (any citrus fruit will do)
  • small dried twigs, leaves, bark - crumbled up into small bits
  • old newspapers / shredded paper - ripped into small bits
  • beeswax (about a quarter cup)
  • medium pot that can be scrubbed with steel wool
  • metal spoon
  • rubber gloves
  • tray
place in fire and set alight
  • melt 1/4 cup of beeswax in your pot over low heat
  • when wax is fully melted remove from heat and allow to cool to the touch (but not cool enough to go hard again)
  • add about 2 handfuls of crushed leaves / twigs / bark
  • add about 2 handfuls of ripped up paper
  • stir with a metal spoon to coat everything well (if you need to, melt more beeswax in a separate pot and add to the mix)
  • put your rubber gloves on and scoop out a handful of mixture and squash down into your citrus skins
  • set on a tray allow to cool and set
To use:
fire begins to grow
nicely smoldering hours later
Place a citrus peel, stuffed with beeswax and burnable materials, at the bottom of your fire.  Add kindling and wood then set your beeswax peel alight.  It will burn nicely helping to get your fire started naturally.

Clean up:

Working with beeswax is messy and it sets hard.  You'll find your pot and spoon need to be scrubbed clean, along with your rubber gloves.
You can either use an old pair of gloves or wash your gloves with detergent while wearing them, as though you're washing your hands as usual. 
Scrub your pot and spoon with steel wool and dish liquid.  

Love this recipe?  Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below :)

[recipe from my amazing cousin - thanks]

Monday, 8 August 2016

Healing A Chest Infection Naturally + DIY

You can feel a chest infection coming on.  It starts off with a little tickle in the throat and builds up to a rampant heaving cough that wracks your body.

That was me one Saturday afternoon about 3 weeks ago.  I noticed a small tickle in my throat and by the next day I was coughing to the point of vomiting.  As usual I didn't want to go to the doctors and be given medication, most likely antibiotics, because I know the human body has the capacity to heal itself.  Also, I strongly believe that allowing my body to heal itself from illness builds up it's natural immune system.

natural home remedies for chest infection
Usually when I have a cold, flu or tonsillitis I sleep it off for as many days as it takes, making sure to keep my body warm (within reason) because high temperatures kill off viruses.  I've noticed since dealing with illnesses this way I am getting sick less often (my last bout of tonsillitis was over 2 years ago - touch wood).  My last chest infection was over 10 years ago.

As soon as I felt that first tickle I got out the usual home remedy supplies: garlic, ginger, honey, peppermint tea, eucalyptus and peppermint oil, lemon; and did as much healing as I could each day.
  • A good dose of fresh garlic and ginger in my meals.
  • Eucalyptus and peppermint oil in a bowl of hot water, breathing in the steam with a towel over my head - a least once a day.
  • Eucalyptus and peppermint oil on a handkerchief that I breathed in regularly.
  • Rubbed eucalyptus and peppermint oil on my chest during the day and on the bottom of my feet before bed
  • Heat back on my chest almost all day (because cold makes it worse).
  • Rug up.  Keeping warm keeps the cough at bay. 
  • Peppermint tea with a teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon throughout the day (i'm not a fan of sweeteners and yet I went through an entire jar of honey in a matter of weeks).
  • Natural cough syrup made with ivy leaf extract - even though over the counter cough syrups are reported to be placebo I still took my syrup three times a day when the cough was at its worst. 
  • I did take the odd lozenge (3 times) but I have to confess they made the cough SO much worse!   After taking a lozenge my cough would be wracking to the point I'd almost wet my pants from coughing uncontrollably.
  • Sleep, lots of sleep, especially during the early stages.  Sleeping helps the body heal itself.
  • Sleep sitting up.  Laying down makes the cough worse.
  • Very little talking or laughing, both made the cough worse.
Three weeks later the cough is still lingering by way of a small tickle in the throat, yet it has been gradually dying since day one.  I can feel my body healing and getting better each day.

Natural cough mixture #1
Mix one tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, one tablespoon of pure honey and one egg white (optional).  Take one teaspoon every two hours.

Natural cough mixture #2
Grate a piece of ginger and squeeze out the juice into a small bowl.  Mix one teaspoon of ginger juice with one teaspoon of honey.  Take that dose three times a day. 

Natural cough drops:
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 drops of eucalyptus oil

Mix ingredients together and warm over low heat.  Pour mixture into a buttered tray, leave to cool, then break into small pieces and store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Why Go Green? JOLI Natural Skin Care Guest Blog

JOLI Natural Skin Care
Q1: Tell us a little about your business.

JOLI Natural Skin Care have their own unique brand of skin care products that can be tailor made to suit individual needs.  JOLI sell genuine natural skin care as apposed to companies who claim to be natural and organic yet aren't.  

JOLI wanted to offer the public a skin care range that truly does not contain hazardous, nasty ingredients, many of which are the cause of skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, skin irritation, rashes etc. 

JOLI have been making genuine natural skin care since 2005 with tried and true natural skin care formulations, and are Australian Made and Australian Owned.  JOLI are also approved by Choose Cruelty Free and are part of the Safe Cosmetics campaign (which means they're animal and human friendly).

Skin irritation / rash
Q2: When did you decide you wanted to go green?

After my second child was born I noticed a pattern; that my children were unable to use mainstream skin care products without developing rashes and skin irritations.  I, myself, was also suffering from overexposure to chemicals in my skin care and makeup.  Upon investigating this I found that many products on the market contain certain ingredients known to cause allergies and skin irritation, plus a wide range of other side effects

This was around 2003 to 2005 when my research into the way corporations use chemicals and toxic ingredients began.  I started looking into greener options, primarily for my family, and this grew into wanting to go bigger and larger and help many more people aside from my beautiful children and other family members and friends.  

Q3: What prompted you to make the move to go green?

The move to go green was almost accidental.  After researching skin care ingredients and realising they can be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting and cause young girls to bud and bring on puberty I realised there is something drastically wrong with modern day skin care companies / corporations - who are more concerned about making millions than the care and wellbeing of the population, animals and our earth.  

JOLI with her beautiful baby boys
From there I learned these chemical additions also affect our food, our water, our clothing, our cleaning products, our farm animals, the earth etc. and I knew I had to do something very special (I had a calling you could say) to help save our earth and people from these harmful ingredients.  By creating a product range that does not contain nasty and hazardous ingredients JOLI reduce the amount of chemicals people (who use our products) come into contact with on a daily bases. 

Q4: What difficulties have you found with going green?

Family support, primarily my husband.  Whilst he is very supportive of my endeavors to save the world he just isn't as passionate about it as I am.   From time to time he will still come home with some awful chemical filled product that he is convinced does a better job than green brands (i.e. washing powders, liquid soaps).  Educating him has been one of my biggest challenges because hubby is yet to realise my expertise on the subject.  

Also sharing my 'green' message with the public (especially when it comes to natural skin care vs mainstream products) has also been difficult.  Many consumers love their chemical filled products purchased conveniently from shopping centers and don't want to hear the truth about how damaging those products are to them and the environment.  Though the good news is awareness is growing :) 

Q5: Is there one area you’re still yet to go green?

Packaging!  I have found plastic packaging almost impossible to get away from entirely.  For example we can't purchase a loaf of bread that isn't wrapped in plastic (that flimsy, non recyclable plastic).  Although I have made major reductions over the years by using fregie sacks at the supermarket, purchasing fresh foods instead of packaged or frozen foods, making our own produce at home when we can, I still find (non recyclable) plastic a hard one to avoid. 

Luckily our council offers a great recycling program so much of what we use gets turned into reusable products. 

Q6: Can you list some of the benefits / positive effects going green has had on your life?

JOLI Natural Skin Care products
Family health would be top of the list plus the savings - never having to go down the cleaning or beauty isles in the supermarket.  What we save on money there we are able to put towards organic food choices.  My children's skin, with their lack of skin irritations and rashes, plus the bonus of having great skin and looking younger because natural is so good for our skin.  Gotta love that! 

Q7: What suggestions would you make to those wanting to go green but not knowing where to start?

Going green is a process.  There are so many areas to go green: skin care, makeup, cleaning products, food, clothing, packaging, menstruation, toys, electronics (not consuming or purchasing things you don't need to survive).  Start small and take one step at a time.  You can try to do it all in one hit, however, I find it's easier to tackle one area at a time.  For example start with skin care (or what you feel is most important to you) then move onto cleaning products, then food etc. 

Consult experts and read and follow green, earth friendly, natural blogs.  A vast many people are making moves to go green and have infinite knowledge to share.  

Q8: Any other advice / comments regarding going green you’d like to share?

The face behind JOLI
Don't think going green is not important and can be put off.  The truth is 'our earth depends on you making good, green, eco friendly choices'!  You can be one of the masses, burying your head in the sand and pretending that purchase you made has no ill effect on the earth or other people... but you'd be wrong in your thinking.  Start now and spread the word.  GREEN is the new black ;)

Author BIO

Jodi is the lady behind JOLI and when she's not busy working on skin care products or pampering people in her salon she is joyfully tending to her garden and veggie patch, teaching and educating her children on sustainable ways of living. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Bad Service - Masseuse

Massages, we all love a good, enjoyable, relaxing massage!  The more enjoyable the better right?

Over the past few years I've been indulging in massages because as I get older I find my body is becoming more stiff and sore.  What better way to unwind than someone working away tension from the body. I've tried a few masseuses: some were very good but too chatty and spent the time talking and talking while I wanted to have peace and quiet; others were outright painful, leaving me feeling more sore and stiff than when I'd first arrived.

One lady seemed promising.  She had advertised her business in a women's networking group and I'd been on the lookout for a new masseuse.  Phoning her I found she charged $90 for a one hour massage which is fairly pricey.  She also did not have a claim number so I could not claim the massage as part of my health care.  Still, I decided to give her a try.

Upon meeting her one of the first things she said to me was a statement about how my husband and I must have a lot of conflict because men like a feminine woman and I'm not feminine enough.  This left me feeling incredulous thinking "Wow, you're going to lead a conversation with an assumption and an insult".  I said nothing about her remark, neither confirming nor denying any potential relationship conflict because I wasn't there for that.  Instead I talked to her about my requirements, a gentle relaxing massage, making sure to point out I wanted no pain.  I got a painful massage.  One of those digging into the knots and working them through thoroughly and painfully to the point where other body parts start to get pins and needles.  Randomly I thought maybe it just feels painful because I've got so many knots and tension.

When the massage was over the lady spent over an hour (I wish I was kidding) talking to me about her husband's new charity work in an attempt to get me interested in supporting his work.  It was like some maddening Seinfeld episode where I'm there trying to cut the conversation short, trying to get a word in that I need to leave, and simply being talked over, and me wondering how I got into this situation, how is this happening and how come she can't see I don't wan to be hearing this?  It was so unprofessional!

She sent me a follow up email during the week (using the title to her email "Awesome *insert her name*" which truthfully made me cringe, feeling like it should be about the customer, not her and her debatable awesomeness) asking me how I was feeling.  At least that is good customer relations.  Again I reiterated wanting a more gentle relaxing massage. 

Call me a sucker for punishment but I continued receiving treatments... briefly...

In between my next visit she found out I run the network meeting group she had joined (where she advertised her services) and realised I manufacture and sell my own skin care brand, requesting that I bring some samples and information at my next session.

The next time I saw her she told me she is also a medium and mindset coach and asked me if I'd had any miscarriages because she was sensing a lot of female spirits around me.  Again I was speechless thinking how inappropriate that statement is.  As a mother of boys how awful would it be to know that any miscarriages I might have had were potentially girls.  Again I neither confirmed nor denied the statement, thinking to myself "This lady really needs to learn some tact and she also needs to learn to read body language".  Again the massage was painful and I lay there deep breathing, thinking "I've had children, I can do this".   She remarked how strong I am compared to her male customers who complain about her rough massages.  At the end of the massage while we were going through product samples she talked to me about what physical activities I enjoy doing, I said dancing, and she said I should go out dancing with her.  The look on my face must have been interesting because she told me she realises I don't trust her yet.  Um, more like we're not friends and I'm there to receive massage treatments, not medium readings, not mindset coaching, not support your partner's business, just massages!

After my third painful massage I reiterated that I wanted a gentle non-painful massages and she said she had been feeling I'd be better suited to that and didn't know why I'd requested a hard massage in the first place.  Groan.  For a mindset coach she isn't all that good at listening to people.  How can you truly help people if you don't listen to them, both verbally and via body language?  After my third (painful) massage we talked about her skin care requirements and what product she'd like to purchase.  On that occasion I paid $100 and she didn't have change, saying she'd give me the $10 next time.

In the meantime, she came along to one of the network meetings I run to collect her product and meet other women in business.  She had told me she would bring the $10 she owed but when she arrived she only had enough money for the product she purchased - so I had to wait longer to receive my change (even though she had my bank details and could have deposited the money).  I know it's only $10 but it's the principle of the thing.  While at the network meeting she spent a great deal of our time talking about herself and her partner's business and other guests were feeling quite frustrated because she didn't pause for breathe or stop to listen to what other's had to say.  We all tried to get her to take a pause, to interrupt her, to have her listen to others... but it seemed she was not overly interested in sitting back, quietly listening to what others had to say or share.  In her mind it was (or is) all about her.

She sent follow up corresponded thanking me for inviting her to the network meeting and placing an order for additional products and we bantered back and forth via email.  Until I sent an email saying I would not be able to make my next appointment for personal reasons.  I sent her details for her order saying she could pay the $10 she owed me via that order.  She did not respond.

A day before my next appointment was due she sent a text saying she looked forward to seeing me and I reiterated that, as explained in my email, I couldn't make my appointment.  She asked if would like to reschedule and I said I needed to hold off (by now I was starting to feel she's not the right masseuse for me).  No response.  A few weeks later I sent her a message asking if she still wanted to go ahead with her order and reminding her she still owed me $10.  Days later I received a random email saying she was unable to access her emails and would I like to schedule another massage.  Nothing about the order she placed (not that I minded by this stage) and nothing about the $10 she owed.  Of course I'm wondering how she is emailing me from her email account if she cannot access emails?

I never responded, I never returned to her for a massage and I was never paid my $10 change. 

Again another well meaning business woman who is skilled in her profession, and no doubt a friendly, passionate person, yet not quite able to relate to customers - and not quite dedicated to one specific area e.g. is she a masseuse, a medium, a mindset coach or promoter of her husband's work?  In this case where she is having face to face conversations and interactions it is not good enough to not listen to what the customer is saying or requesting or look for signs (facial expressions, body language etc.) and see the customer is uncomfortable with her monopolising the situation and making it all about herself instead of the customer.  It could have just been me though I did wonder if other customers of hers had had similar experiences and reservations.

Have you had situations where you've felt the person serving you is thinking mostly about themselves and not you? Are you the type of person to be forward and speak up or do you (like so many of us) simply not return?