Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Bark Recipe

We got this recipe in an e-mail and it sounds really good.  I haven't tried it yet, but I wanted to share it with you in time for the holidays.

  • 12 oz. of high-quality white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
  • 5 regular sized candy canes, crushed up
  • 3-4 drops of Peppermint
1 Break up peppermint candy into little pieces. Melt the chocolate according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once melted, add the peppermint oil and stir.
2 Pour the melted chocolate out onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and spread out with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle the peppermint candy chunks on to the chocolate and gently press them in with yours hands.
3 Place in the freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Great gift for friends, teachers hair dressers, neighbors, anyone you'd like to give a sweet treat to.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From Holiday Stress to Holiday Peace

Stress can adversely affect our health.  It can raise blood pressure and blood sugar, it can make our bodies store up cortisol, causing us to gain extra weight, and, stress can make us crabby.  Stress is not created by just those things that we perceive as negative.  Your body reacts to positive things as stress as well.  Any change can be perceived by the body as stress:  a touchdown by your favorite college team, or a burned souffle. To our bodies stress is stress is stress.  There are varying degrees of stress, but good or bad is not really differentiated by our neutral, nonjudgemental cells and nerves.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice, or the football bowl season, the holidays are “supposed” to be one of joy and love, fun, love, caring and family.  The stressful crabbies can overtake the holidays in a moment and turn a party into a chore.  We want to share some ideas with you that may help to reduce stress and make your holidays more enjoyable. 
*If you are planning on entertaining a houseful of guests:  make as much ahead of time as you can.  In this wonderful modern age of freezers, refrigerators and even coolers, we don’t have to cook everything in one day.  Cook ahead of time, do prep ahead of time.  Slice your cheeses and veggies a day or two in advance, have casseroles put together ahead of time, ready to just pop into the oven or microwave.  Minimize the amount of time that you are tied to the kitchen while everyone else is having fun!
*Speaking of chilling-don’t forget to make time for yourself throughout each day.  Even a minute can help you through the chaos:  pause and breathe at least 3 long, slow, deliberate deep breaths in a row.  This helps to lower blood pressure and oxygenate your brain.  This is a quick, instant stress reducer.  Use it often.
*Diffuse your favorite essential oils as you are preparing for your holidays, and even during your celebrations.  Smell goes directly into the limbic area of your brain, which affects emotions.  I like to use uplifting scents like “On Guard”, “Balance”, and citrusy scents like lemon or wild orange.  
*Another scent-filled stress reducer, is to smell the food you prepare.  The smell of fresh bread or simmering soup does wonders to reduce stress.  Enjoying the smell of food is a great part of enjoying a meal, and meal preparation can be a treat instead of a chore.
*With family or friends, drive or walk around your town, looking at holiday lights.  
*If you are feeling really edgy or stressed, when you shower or do the dishes, envision the water washing you with peace and love.  Allow ally of your stress, anger and frustration flow down the drain, washed away by the water’s love and peace.
*Put a bit of “Balance” or lavender oil on your earlobes, wrists and behind your ears to help you stay calm, balanced and relaxed during those stressful holiday moments.
Whether you are a parent or an adult who knows someone with kids, spending time with kids is a great way to reduce stress.  During the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, sometimes kids can seem to be a hinderance to getting things done in the way and in the time that the adults want them to be done.  But really, kids are great teachers of how the holidays can be done.  They know that playing is always a priority.  What better time to re-learn the priority of play than the holidays?
*Read them a story (or have them read to you!).  See what kind of outrageous voices and faces you can make for the characters as you read their lines.
*Get a coloring book and crayons and color together.  
*Wrap gifts together.  Kids love to help with this super-secret rite.  Let them put their finger on the ribbon as you tie the bow.  Let them hand you the tape, and teach them how to make neat creases.  You can even let them in on a secret by letting them wrap some of the presents that are not for them!
*Make your own wrapping paper together.  Cut up paper grocery bags and decorate them with rubber stamps, crayons, markers, or apples cut in half and dipped in paint.  Use your imagination.  You can also use the comics section of the newspaper, or, for small gifts, beautiful magazine pages.
*Make snow angels or snowpeople together.  Then go inside and make hot cocoa or “candy cane tea” (see the recipe in an earlier post about recipes).
*Cook together.
*Sing together (maybe even sing while you cook).
*Play video games together.  There are great dance, sports and exercise games to play together on systems such as the wii or xbox kinect that are fun and will get you up and moving, physical activity is a great stress reducer!
*Watch a holiday movie together. 
*Don’t forget that kids (and adults) are not perfect.  They won’t do things the way you do them, or in the time frame that you do them, but teaching them and allowing them the space and time to learn can be a great stress reducer.  Letting go of the expectation of perfection allows space for joy and creativity.
No matter what you celebrate this season, enjoy yourself and be safe.
Happy Holidays.  Merry Christmas.  Blessed Solstice.  Happy Hanukah.
Aimee & Deb

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thanksgiving Blessing of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for all of my friends in Flesh and ether. I am grateful to the ancesters who came before and paved the way for all of us to be here today. I am grateful to my family of origin and my family of choice for loving me even though I am flawed. I am grateful to all of the beings, flora, fauna and fungus who have given their lives for today's feast. I am grateful for the Mother Earth who sustains us and for Father Sky who fills our lungs with his breath. Blessed Be. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tasting Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs

I am bound and determined to cook something irresistible with essential oils.  Not just a recipe from someone else, but my very own recipe.  Here are some of my concoctions:
Invisible Gelatin: 
(I don’t recommend this one, it was okay, but not something I would look forward to eating even though I like the idea of it.  If you can figure out how to do it right, I’d love to know how you did it!)  
2 packages unflavored gelatin
⅓ cup agave nectar
A few drops of lemon, lime, wild orange or grapefruit essential oil (not too much, but enough)
1 tablespoon juice (lemon, orange, lime or grapefruit)
1 cup cold water
1 ½ cups boiling water
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let sit for a few minutes, until it dissolves.  Add boiling water, juice and agave.  Stir until blended.  Add essential oil, stir again and taste.
(This was good, but was missing something.  I don’t think I added enough salt.  Let me know if you perfect it) 4-8 servings
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomato
Dash of garlic powder or clove of fresh crushed garlic
1 jalapeno, grated or chopped fine
½ - 1 fresh banana pepper (pickled may work)
1-2 drops lime essential oil
1-2 drops cilantro oil
Salt to taste
Mix together.  Adjust amount of oil, peppers and salt to your taste.
Candy Cane “Tea”: 
(This is especially good when you don’t feel well**) 1 serving
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup hot (or boiling) water
1 drop peppermint essential oil
Put honey and water in a cup and stir until honey is incorporated.  Add oil.  If this is too strong, add a bit more water.  (It feels great to breathe the steam into sore or clogged lungs before drinking.  It also makes my face feel good.**)
Rosemary Olive Butter: 
(This is really good on bread, a little goes a long way.  I want to try it on chicken next, I’ll let you know how it goes):  8 servings
4 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lightly salted butter
1 drop of rosemary essential oil
Cream together and enjoy!
Tart Sweet Fruit Dip:
(You can adjust the sweetness by adjusting the amount of agave.  A smaller amount of honey may be substituted)
1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 drops lime oil
Mix together and serve with sliced fresh fruit, or try as a dressing for fruit salad.
I hope you enjoy playing with your food, whether it is with my recipes, your own, or some of the delicious looking ones that I found on a website called “Cooking Essentially”.  You can also find holiday inspired recipes in doTERRA’s holiday brochure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yummy Hot Cocoa for a Cold Fall or Winter Day

(serves 4)
1 Cup Water
5 tsp. Cocoa Powder
Sugar, agave nectar, or Stevia to Taste
1 1⁄2 tsp. Vanilla
3 Cups Milk
Heat water, cocoa powder, and sweetener on stove until ingredients are smooth. Add vanilla and milk and bring to a simmer. Pour into your favorite mug . Introduce flavor by swirling a toothpick dipped in your favorite essential oil.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Essential Goals

Goals!  Okay, this is a new word for me.  I rarely use that term.  I usually say “I hope to…”, “I plan to…”, “my dream is…”.  I think, as part of living more MindFully, I need to be honest with myself.  Those statements all equal goals.  GOALS GOALS GOALS GOALS!  As a writer, I know words are very powerful and important, as well as often inadequate and clumsy.  I’m not sure why words like “goal”, “commitment”, and “I will” are so much scarier than “plan”, “loyalty,” and “try”.  
I will try (oops)...I plan to (oops)...I want to (oops)..  I am Committed to my new Goal of being firm in my confidence to succeed in whatever I choose to succeed.  I Will keep reminding myself of this one.
Someone in one of my classes half jokingly told me that if I were to ever run for office, he would definitely vote for me.  A few others chimed in with agreement.  I don’t want to run for office, but I do want to be more MindFull of how I influence people.  I want to be as encouraging as possible, and empower others with as many tools as possible to make their lives, and this world, better.
Years ago, I worked in a bookstore and in a fabric store.  I loved those jobs, not because I brought home a paycheck, but because I was helping others to find just what they needed.  I did that not our of obligation to sell to them, but out of a genuine human connection and excitement for them.  I learned as much from them as they did from me.  My best days were the days when someone returned to the bookstore, glowing with excitement over a book I recommended that was just the right one.  Or, the best days in the fabric store were when a customer enthusiastically brought in a finished project I had helped them plan.  Those were not moments of selling, but of genuinely touching another life in a positive way, and in turn, they touched mine.
That is how Deb and I feel about doTERRA Oils.  We actually did buy membership in another essential oil company once.  Those were good quality oils as well, and we liked them, but we didn’t love or believe in them enough to sustain our membership or share them at every turn with our friends, coworkers and strangers.  We knew they smelled good, and there were some remarkable stories of how various people were positively affected by this oil or that.  With doTERRA, we’re hearing the stories, but we are also learning about various scientific studies that support the anecdotal evidence as well.  And, even in our short time with doTERRA, I have already felt amazing, transformative results in my own life, with the application of a single oil blend.
I have had chronic neck and right shoulder pain for around five years.  Some days it is so bad I can’t fully turn my head or lift a gallon of milk or turn a key or a doorknob without excruciating pain.  I started dropping things and having trouble pouring myself a cup of coffee.  I found that acupuncture helped for about one to two weeks.  The one time I had a Thai massage, I was pain free for two weeks.  Doing yoga on a regular basis helps to lessen the pain, but if I am already acute, I can't get into position to stretch the right muscles and my shoulder and arm are too weak and painful to get into certain positions safely.  So I have lived with pain pretty much every day for five years.  (I forgot to mention that NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin give me nosebleeds and acetametaphine doesn’t touch the pain.  I take NSAIDs cautiously and they rarely work completely or for more than 2-3 hours at a time- after the 30-60 minutes that I wait for them to kick in.)
One night I was sitting at work, unable to turn my head very far because of neck, upper back and shoulder pain.  My trapezius muscle was so tensed that when I tried to reach back (with my left hand) and press on it for relief, there was no give.  It was literally as hard as a rock.  I had taken my ice pack out of my lunch bag to try to numb the pain a bit.  I was in so much pain that my stomach was upset, I was clenching my jaw from pain and I had a headache starting at the base of my skull and quickly spreading.
In the past, as I said, oral NSAIDs were ineffective and troublesome for me, but had always been my goto solution.  My doctor didn’t seem to care much that I was in pain, and all he did was give me a prescription for a topical NSAID, which had minimal effect, for a very limited amount of time.
This particular night, I was chilly (I work midnights), so I put on my fleece jacket.  In the pocket was a vial of “Past Tense” oil that our niece, Gini, had given me on her visit about a month earlier.  I had forgotten I had it.  I knew it was good for headaches, and, I reasoned, that I did have a headache from a reaction to pain originating in my neck and shoulders.  So I uncapped it and slathered it over the base of my neck and my shoulder muscles.
Within five to ten minutes, the ice pack came off, opening a door ceased to hurt, and I could turn my head without pain.  I was pain free for the first time in weeks.
Sounds like snake oil, right?  Well, after that experience, Deb and I were converted into essential oil believers.  Specifically, believers in doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, which only get this designation after every batch in every bottle gets put through a “mass spectrometer” to make sure everything that is supposed to be in there is, and nothing that is not supposed to be, isn’t (herbicides, pesticides, contaminants from other plants or pollution, etc.).  Few other companies can make this claim.  With Deb’s multiple allergies and sensitivities, it is essential that in our household we be MindFull of potential contaminants of any kind, and we have faith that what is claimed to be in these oils is there, and that there is nothing else.
I have long combined natural remedies with allopathic medicine, but I have always approached natural and homeopathic remedies as slow-acting treatments that I have to be patient and wait for the results, keeping an eye toward easing pain and illness over time.  I have always paired them with over the counter drugs.  
I am beginning to realize that some natural remedies, like certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, can have an instant, transformative effect on my quality of life.  I like it, and am excited to keep exploring the possibilities.  Let us know if you want to learn more!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In every human life, there is at least one "AhHa" moment, a moment when something becomes clear.  At that point, we are often presented with a problem, an answer, an insight, or a choice.
When I say an "AhHa" moment, I don't mean a profound truth read on a blog or in a book, or learned at the feet of a guru, preacher or teacher.  I mean some moment when those things you may have known intellectually become infused with your whole BEING-body, mind and spirit.
Sometimes the truth of those moments lasts a lifetime, and sometimes that truth is as fleeting as a dandelion seed on a windy day.  Either way, those moments can be transformative.
We want to hear about your "AhHa" moments.  There can be great value in sharing our wisdom stories.  Someone else may need to hear about your "AhHa" to use it as a stepping stone toward their own.  (Even dandelion fluff has to land somewhere.)  The more "AhHa" moments there are in the world, especially those rooted in love, the better off we will all be.  (When I say rooted in Love, that means any Love-based feeling or action:  gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, laughter, hope, grief, generosity, peace, etc.)
We ask you to share YOUR AhHa moments in the comments section of this post.  (That’s where you will be able to read ours as well.)  
Share your wisdom.  Share your love.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lingering Scents of Peace

I promised to write a post about my first AromaTouch treatment, which I got on Tuesday.  I’m not sure whether to begin at the end or at the beginning.  I think, perhaps, the beginning.
Deb put on relaxing music.  Together, we chose the “zen” music channel on TV.  There were beautiful, yet soothing sounds made by unexpected instruments floating in the air, yet not so ethereal as to be distracting or intrusive.  Rather, the music seemed to ground and center me, getting me to focus on the moment.
Both dogs and the cat decided that this was a party for them as well.  As I lay face down on the massage table, wearing my pajama pants, I could see Biddy Kitty through the sheer headrest cover, looking up at me expectantly, waiting for a rub.       Indigo had positioned herself well out of the way, on the rug by the front door.         But Pippin laid right in Deb’s way and would not budge.  She had apparently decided she was a vital guest at this meditative party.        (If you ask Deb to do a treatment on you and you are at our house, rest assured that the animals will not be allowed to so freely invade-unless you choose to let them.  I did.)
Before beginning, Deb explained that she would be putting eight oils on me, one at a time, in a specific order.  The oils would be dripped along my spine and on my feet one at a time, and would be activated, also one at a time, through light touch- lighter than massage.  (I have to confess, I was hoping to get a massage out of this-but I think I actually got as much or more benefit from the Aroma Touch treatment, without the pain that comes from having muscles worked by firm hands, although I will always love getting a good massage.)  
Because my skin was so dry, in order to make the oil application go smoother, Deb began by preparing my back with a slick of fractionated coconut oil.  There is virtually no scent to this smooth oil.  She explained that depending upon the person and situation, the fractionated coconut oil is not always used.
Then, Deb got down to business and my complete sense of contentment in the moment rolled in as I relaxed into the smells and gentle, methodical movements incorporating the oils, one at a time.  With each layer, my groundedness, contentment and relaxation grew.  I realized, after the third or fourth oil, that all of my muscle soreness and chronic itchy back were resolved and dissolved.  I occasionally reached down to rub on Biddy Kitty purring below the headrest.  As I said, I was totally relaxed into the moment, and Biddy was part of that present moment, so her presence in the present seemed right.
With each layering of oil, I experienced new smells, but not overwhelming smells.  As each new drip drip drip splashed to my spine and each new scent wafted toward my nose, I felt a new layer of strain fall away, replaced by a sense of “settling”.  My breaths lengthened and slowed, but I maintained an alertness, aware of my surroundings (including Pippen on the floor at my feet and Biddy focusing those big yellow eyes on me).
Before the treatment, the bottoms of my feet had had been very tender and slightly swollen, making it painful for me to walk (I suspect plantar facetious, but I haven’t gotten them checked out).  As Deb moved to my feet with the combination of Wild Orange and Peppermint oils together,  she worked down toward each toe from the heel, along each of five lines, which stimulated various reflexology points to create a balance among my organs and bodily systems.  
As she methodically worked along those five lines, I pictured the plowing patterns made by the tractor in the field behind my childhood home, readying the spring Earth for sowing.  The plow went over the fields three times.  The first tractor pass was to break apart he compacted soil and to uproot the first growth of weeds.  The second pass was to break down the big, hard dirt clods and to uproot the second growth of weeds.  The third pass was to soften the Earth into a rich loam, perfect for a young girl to run in barefoot or for an old farmer to bring to life with seed.  Deb traced each row of my foot three times, like the tractor of my memory, gradually loosening the compacted pain buried there until it was broken up, perfect for a middle aged woman to stride barefoot without pain.
Once Deb had finished the final stage of the treatment, to create a state of homeostasis,   applying the final two layers of oil along my spine, she told me to take my time getting up.  I was aware of my surroundings, not tired, but very relaxed.  I began by rising up on my hands and knees, transitioning into a yoga position known as the child’s pose while still on the massage table.  I slowly sat up, dangling my feet over the edge before slowly and carefully making contact between my feet and the ground.  I felt relaxed, at peace, and pain free.
For the rest of the day, I kept getting different whiffs of scent at different moments.  Was it orange?  Was it peppermint?  Clove?  Lavender?  “Yes.”  Each time I experienced that aroma sensation throughout the day, I was again relaxed, alert and balanced.
The eight oils used in this treatment are available in an Aroma Touch Kit.  I highly recommend experiencing this treatment for yourself.  You can contact Deb if you have questions or want to schedule a treatment.  Allow yourself about an hour or so, about 35-40 minutes for the treatment and a bit of time to re-orient.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A New Technique in the Tool Box

When Aimee told me she wanted me to blog, I said "what?  You know that's your thing.  I don't do that."
Well, as you can see, after gentle arm twisting, here I am, with my first portion of the blog.
I went to the Aroma Touch class held in Troy, MI on September 24.  When I left, I was certified in the technique, but more than that, I experienced the most fantastic "relaxed intensity" after the technique I gave and received.
This technique involves layering a series of oils on your spine from the waist up, then on your feet or hands.   You do this by dropping a specific pattern of a series of 8 oils on the spine, which ends by placing the body in a state of homeostasis [the natural balance of body systems and health].  This occurs by working with the meridian points on the back and reflexology points on the feet and/or hands.
There are four areas that Aroma Touch addresses, in order they are:
  1. Stress Management
  2. Immune Enhancement
  3. Decreasing Inflammation
  4. Homeostasis
The aroma layering is truly magnificent.  The person giving and receiving the treatment are both benefitted.  You are both left with a “sunshine face and spirit”, as seen on all that participated in the class.
Aroma Touch is a technique that can be shared with all of your friends, family, pets, etc.  Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section if you want to learn more and I will get back with you.  Try it, you’ll like it!
Aimee gets her first treatment tomorrow.  She can fill you in on her experiences after that.


Transitioning with Tomatoes and Aroma Touch

As I sit here, writing longhand with my purple pen, I can smell a fabulous aroma of clove, cinnamon and oranges.  I can even taste the flavors faintly, even though I haven't eaten anything with those flavors in it lately.
With cold and flu season gearing up for its first punch of the season, I rubbed some On Guard oil on the palms of my hands, and dabbed a bit under my nose.  With all of the sneezing and coughing going on around me at work, I don’t want to risk carrying germs home.
I must say that I am TOTALLY excited.  Within the next few days, I get to experience my first Aroma Touch treatment!  Deb just earned her certification in this technique of applying layers of certified pure therapeutic grade doTerra essential oils.  (The amazing orange-spicy scent on my hands is one of the 8 oils used in this technique.)  I wasn’t able to make it to the training because of other commitments, but at least I get to get a fabulous treatment soon, and I am learning the basics with an eye toward certification soon.  I’ll let Deb tell you more.
This has been a busy couple of weeks in our household.  With the cold weather barging in suddenly, dropping temperatures almost to the frost point, there was a scramble to load up o as many tomatoes and peppers as possible from our beautiful organic garden.

Once they were harvested, we had several different types of peppers and tomatoes, washed and taking up residence in various colanders, bowls, buckets, and even in the dish drainer!  We spent a couple of days up to our elbows in dripping juicy tomatoes as we peeled, blended, chopped and canned mixed vegetable juice and beautiful salt free tomatoes to use over the winter.  (Of course, we made a huge pot of amazing Pepper Sauce too, but that has been frozen by the quart this year, instead of being canned.)
To use up some of the bits that either didn’t make it into jars, or from jars that didn’t seal during processing, I made a delicious beef vegetable soup.  When I put all the ingredients into the My Fitness Pal database, my soup was only a little over 200 calories per serving!  It was even better when I warmed it up for lunch at work a couple of days later.
The garden is still not done being put to bed.  After a couple cold nights, the temperatures perked back up.  We still have some tomatoes ripening, peppers growing (and blooming) and some herbs waiting for harvest.
Between the two of us, Deb and I have lost 80 pounds in the past 6-8 months, divided evenly.  When people ask how we are doing it, although we each have different approaches, the primary thing has been that we are both PAYING ATTENTION to what we eat.  I log all of my food and exercise (yes, gardening counts, just as well as yoga and walking) into a phone app called My Fitness Pal.  It calculates my calorie needs for the day based on my goals, activity levels and current weight/height  This app and website helps to keep me focused and committed to paying attention, and I have met new friends along the way from all over the world- Hong Kong, Russia, England, and all parts of the United States.  We are all working toward getting healthier-each in our own way.
vegetables.html.jpgDeb has been using the “plate method”.  She doesn’t log anything, but as a rule of thumb (or plate), she mentally divides her plate into quarters.We bought 7” plates with funny blue monkeys on them to use most days instead of our 9-10” stoneware plates that we had been using.  One quarter of the blue monkey has protein on it, one quarter has a carb and one half (2/4)  is covered in vegetables (potatoes and corn don’t count!  They go in the carb corner).
This summer has been beautiful in terms of the food we’ve been able to grow or find at the Flint Farmer’s Market.  Eating a rainbow of foods is one way to insure a wide range of nutrients, so we have been eating a rainbow:  red cherries;  orange carrots;  yellow tomatoes;  green onions;  blue blueberries;  purple mulberries;  white garlic and black beans.  (We’ve even slipped in an occasional brown brownie or golden butter pecan ice cream along the way.)
Neither Deb nor I is perfect in any measure of the term, but we are humans In Process of becoming better through Living MindFully in the present with eyes wide open to the world around us.  Each day is a new opportunity to learn and grow, no matter what challenges or ruts we face.


Being MindFull of our Vision to Promote Healing

Our Vision is to create a healing and retreat center where all kinds of people can come to experience a sense of community, healing, self awareness and peace.  We hope to offer different paths toward wholeness for those who come, with a variety of complimentary healing modalities, including aromatherapy, Reiki and massage; classes including meditation, diversity training and yoga; and places to be at peace with oneself, such as an on grounds labyrinth, retreat cabins, gardens and walking trails.
We envision that this center will be a non-exclusive community where healing can occur on many different levels- certainly the mind/body/spirit levels, but even beyond that.  We hope to nurture a community where we pay attention to environmental concerns, personal growth and community building.  
Humans and their animals will have the opportunity to utilize the skills of those at the center.
We believe that everyone who comes for healing and solace also has something to offer to the community, be they there for a day or for a month.  Children and elders alike have gifts to share.  
Although we have held this vision for several years, there have been many road blocks to reaching this dream.  We have each had serious health challenges along the way, which seemed to crop up and steer us off track for a while, before we take hold of the reins again and get back into view of our chosen path.  We have even found that these roadblocks tend to be more like classrooms along the route, where we learn new things about ourselves and new ways to be in the world.  Of course, as with any endeavor, money is always an obstacle as well, but thus far it has been more about health issues and time constraints.  We believe that it will happen in the time and place that it is meant to be.
Even hough the healing center is not yet a physical reality, we are both committed to empowering people to help themselves through learning to live MindFully.  We hope through this blog to nurture the spirit of the healing center, even if the physical reality has yet to manifest.  Through this blog, we will offer various meditations, book and music recommendations & internet links that may be of interest.  (We have recently become enamored with DoTerra essential oils, and have become independent product consultants, so you will see several links to various parts of our website there, but also many other resources that we find useful, informative or interesting.)  We will share some of our stories of moments, people and places that have helped us grow in our journey toward health and Living MindFully, a journey we are still on and a journey we invite you to take with us.  We also want to hear your stories, with the hope that we will grow from your experiences as well as ours.

Deb and Aimee