Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Anniversary Weekend at the Cabin

All I can say is ...we RELAXED. As soon as we walked in the door of our oh so generous friends' cabin, we both let out an AAAHHHH...this is nice. Begin..unwind. I think it's important to note that I didn't have to try to unwind, like I might try to meditate, or try to relax and focus when I'm at home in my daily life..No, this was completely different. It has happened before and I've been paying attention. It happened here. Something beyond my mind, my trying......just let go. This is what I pay attention to, to listen to my inner guidance. Where I relax, where I tense up, where I feel free and expressive, where I feel held back....I say where and what I mean by that is where, when, around whom, etc. When it is beyond ME...I pay serious attention.

Right before we came here, I had been stressing myself out. Some things have been happening and changing in my/our life and I had let it go too long. I know this about myself...I need to get out of town and go somewhere quiet to rejuvenate..but don't we all just get too busy! We're supposed to be being productive and successful and achieving all of the time..ALWAYS ON. Doesn't work for me. I remembered this over the weekend.

My body relaxed, and let go. Ongoing muscular tension relaxed, I slept really well, my mind calmed down and in all of that, I was able to understand some things a bit more clearly. I was able to receive clarity and some answers. During the time I was there, I knew that if I could just maintain this sense of inner calm that I could actually work more productively and more in alignment with myself. That is what I am currently working with.

At home.....we're IN IT. Everything that has to be done, emails, text, work, name it. Minus the down time to harness peace and clarity = recipe for destruction. I have been able so far to remember and trust what became clear over the weekend and rely on that to help me manage myself better. And I know more than ever that getting out of town, in nature and quiet is ESSENTIAL to my well being.

We all need different things that rejuvenate and refuel us. Help us go into the parasympathetic nervous system and out of sympathetic, or fight/flight response. The important thing is to know what it is you need and give yourself that gift.

It works for Keith and I both to be in NATURE and QUIET, so that is a bonus for us as a couple. We do different things in other areas, but to unwind, we take the same medicine. It was very healing. We read, walked outside with Lady, talked about what we loved about each other (I know, maybe silly, but we liked it), had a fire was simply divine.

My experience with listening to myself keeps evolving. But here are some things that have been very helpful for me that maybe will help you understand your signals as well.

One thing that happens for me is that I get pictures in my mind. They aren't things I "think up", or conjure, or try to visualize, they just appear like I am looking at something but it is above where my eyes actually are, it's literally a screen in my mind. I actually love it when this happens because it's such a reminder to me that we are all given guidance. I simply utilize the knowledge of the picture to the best of my ability. For example.....a couple of years ago I kept getting this picture of me in a beach house, I had on a specific color green tank top, my hair was pulled back and I was really happy, glowing and healthy. Now, when this started to come in, it was so refreshing as I had struggled with my health in the past. The way that I used this is every day when I would shower and get ready, I would just tap in to that visual and how it made me feel. I would get ready for my day with that picture and how it made me feel. This may be a little woo woo for some, but this is what I did. Not too long after this was happening, I ended up meeting a woman who lives in Florida and she became my coach and a friend. Keith and I had several trips to Florida is the next almost 2 years and I had drastic changes in my life and health.  And then this happened.....a photo...of what I had seen, but it was in my house. After spending time in Florida and around the beach and having some breakthroughs....the picture I had been seeing.
My best friend and I live 2,000 miles away from each other. We take selfies and send them to each other to connect, be silly or whatever. When I saw this, it was the first realization I had that I had been given guidance, followed it and came to have fruition of things I had been working on. This was a big deal to me.

Another thing that happens for me is that I get very strong feelings in my body. Tension in my neck, nausea, comes in different forms but whatever form it comes, it's strong and doesn't go away until I act on whatever it is I'm getting a message about. This is not my favorite way of listening to myself as it is uncomfortable. But, I have also noticed that the things I've had to take action on during these times, is usually pretty uncomfortable and I don't want to do it. So, if it were just a nudge or pretty picture suggestion to myself...I may not do it. It's my way of getting my own attention.

Another thing that happens is that I just simply hear myself. I have immediate answers, Yes, or UH-No...or I don't like this, or this isn't where I need to be. This is the one that I am still learning to act faster on as one of my patterns is to question myself. It's getting better. But still an area that needs work.

In situations such as the cabin, or when we've gone to Florida and spent time at the beach....I simply unwind without any conscious effort. It's like magic. And it's necessary for me to stop, let things clear out, and be open to receive clarity and new guidance again.

These are all ways in which I have learned to listen to myself. The cabin was a good reminder of the importance of caring for ourselves so we can stay tuned in and connected.

What form does your guidance take?

Monday, March 9, 2015

10 years to Chaturanga! Chatu--WhaT?!

What the heck is a Chaturanga?? Well, it is the yoga "push-up". If you practice yoga, you know this and if you don't, you may not even know how to pronounce it..but you're probably trying right now. tee-hee. : ) I wanted to write about this because of my personal journey with this one pose. I hope to share with you a broader view of what all is possible with just one single movement.

I have written before about my journey with my health and I have touched on pieces of the whole picture here and there. I do believe in a holistic way of living and being and this one pose alone showed me a whole lot about that. I guess we are to learn first what we may teach later. As I have been on my journey of health and wellness, I have discovered that there is a WHOLE picture and sometimes we are only focused on one piece. The issue with this is that it can create frustration when this one piece won't budge. With the understanding that "everything affects everything", you can participate in creating a healthy lifestyle in all areas and let them all come together in their due time.

Now, back to the pose. I went to my very first yoga classes when I lived in Colorado, in 2000. That was my beginning. I remember vividly what felt like some sort of twisted way of being with my body and my teacher saying, 'now just reach back and grab...."whatever. I couldn't move. The words she spoke, I heard, but they hadn't yet found their way from my brain, through the twists and turns my body was not used to being in. The mind/body connection was just beginning.

Once I moved to Little Rock I began going to a local studio with truly amazing teachers. I feel grateful that I had the teaching/training that I had in my beginning. I was starting to do things I had only read about and seen pictures of. I also found this interesting connection between what I was learning and doing in yoga and what was happening in my life. Amazing. Well, there was this one movement that looked so easy and so ..I don't know..Strong...and I could not, for the life of me, do it. This Chaturanga thing. People who could do this just flowed through it like it was no big deal. I wanted to do this.

This particular movement utilizes your whole body but predominately arms, shoulders, and core. I got to where I could do it in proper alignment staying on my knees. Which is where you start, and stay until you create the strength for the full pose. It felt good once I knew I was in proper form, even if I was still on my knees. I had no idea it would take me so long to work into this full pose and I had no idea what all it would take for this to happen.

Rewind to when I first moved here and felt like a fish out of water. Out of place, and ultimately I was scared. My body went into a fight/flight response within a year of my being here and my digestive system shut down. What does that mean? Well, to be blunt, one day I just didn't go to the bathroom like normal. I was locked in and it wasn't going anywhere! This was the beginning of my actual physical body symptoms and my health. So, here's the correlation..this pose takes tremendous core strength and this is precisely where my body was showing symptoms. I did not know at that time what "core" really meant and what all could be affecting it. I did know, however, that when I attempted to do this pose, I would collapse in my lower back and belly.

Before things got better, and stronger, they got worse. I thought learning about nutrition and moving my body would yield me these results I was after. After several years, and a complete physical breaking down, discovering celiac disease and hypothyroidism, I was so frustrated. How could this be happening? I went through a stage where I hated to do yoga, because I hated what was happening in my body. I had even lost some strength and capabilities of things I could do for a while. Did I go through this gracefully? Probably not. I didn't know what was happening and eventually I just felt completely disillusioned by it all. It wasn't just my physical body, it was this overall sense that something about me just wasn't in alignment.

Fast forward to 2013 when I finally began to have some major breakthroughs. Yes, 2013. I guess that is more than 10 years but anyways...I went on a major self inquiry and overhaul. I began following my intuitive nudgings again, I began speaking more honestly and breaking down my people pleasing tendencies, I began setting healthy boundaries..and then...I began to, you know, poo again. Yes, my system was waking up, my symptoms were clearing, and my thyroid was stabilizing (speaking more honeslty, throat chakra) and then and only then did this chaturanga thing finally happen! wow!!!

I share this story as something to offer you if you have something in your life that just won't seem to budge. Be it a yoga pose, an olympic lift. a relationship, a career upgrade...could be anything. I had to do the work, I had to do the best I could do in the moment, while having a vision, while not giving up but also letting go.......It was a rich, rich experience, and life continues to be . You hear and see suggestions about "stepping into your power, being who you are, etc.." I feel through this journey I am getting a taste of what those statements mean.

So, when or if you find yourself stuck somewhere, or you are witness to someone else, remember, you/we/I don't always know what all is going on. Be gentle, be loving, be willing to explore and expand.  Finally making it to being able to do this Chaturanga, for me, was so much more than the pose, I just didn't know that going in to it. : )

Friday, March 6, 2015

Important Step That Many Forget

What if I told you that you are neglecting the one very thing that could allow you to live the life you always wanted? What if I said that we are brought up to believe that this aspect is greedy, selfish, or being too egotistical? I am talking about the fact that you have to take care of yourself.  Sounds simple, I know, but chances are you are reading this saying in the back of your head, I do... But, do you really? I mean think about it.............  The fact is this step is the bedrock of making yourself better, feeling the best you possibly can, and making lasting change.  This MUST be a priority.  I am proposing you be a bit selfish, you take care of you 1st, and carve out time for yourself in that busy schedule you keep each and every day. 

Self-Care is the foundation for improving one's physical, mental, spiritual, emotional health.  You neglect this, you feel it, it may even hurt, and it's hard to even feel fulfilled in life. 
Please understand that this is not me pointing a finger at you and condemning you, I'm trying to drive the message that deep down we all know:  You truly can't take care of another person unless you can effectively take care of yourself.  Sure, you can get by, but what you may be doing is distracting yourself from the things you truly should be doing for yourself. 

How does this happen? Well, we live extremely busy lives, always trying to keep up, do it all, care for those around us, not wanting to let anyone down and in this process- We come last.........

The reality is here in the US that there are entirely too many unhealthy people (overweight, sleep-deprived, over-stressed, and dehydrated).  Again, I'm not pointing a finger, and God knows I have my flaws with things to work on, but the statistics show that frankly, as a whole, we Americans just don't take great care of ourselves.  I'm not ok with this and believe why one of my passions in life is working with people to improve their overall Health and Wellness.
Bottom-Line, It's up to YOU.  People like me and Jami, we can help, and we love to, but we put the plan in place and you work the plan.  That's the KEY... You have to have a routine, a plan, a template you can default to and have on autopilot each and everyday. 

Here's some General Guidelines we use for ourselves and with Clients:

1]  Work quality sleep into your schedule, 6 to 8 hours.  This may be a challenge for some, but you may have to get creative with naps even.  You cannot skimp on this, lack of sleep will catch up with you.  Neurologically, you will not be the best you could be.

2]  When you eat, eat until you are full.  For most this means smaller portions.  Please don't be a calorie-counter, eat sensibly, listen to your body, and make sure you are working plenty of quality green veggies in your diet.  Nutrition is all about balance each and every meal (protein, carb, and good fat). 

3]  Exercise at least 3 times a week.  Move your body some way some how... We have written about the numerous benefits of moving in other blog posts.... Bottom-line, if you aren't using muscle tissue you lose it, especially as we progress in age.  If you live a sedentary life, you probably have imbalance in your muscle and joints which will lead to many of the common injury, aches, and pains that a lot of people experience and some even view as the price of old age.  I don't get that; you can do something about that.

4]  Develop a form of Meditation or Quiet-time in your day.  It can be 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even an hour.  Studies have proven this will lessen daily stresses and hopefully increase happiness. 
Sit in the quietness comfortably, and develop this practice that will help slow things down for you a bit.  It's truly healing.

5]  Drink more Water throughout the day.  Water is cleansing and even gives you energy.  Dehydration brings with it many side-effects like fatigue, headaches, and even kidney problems.  Drink at least 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces each day.  If you're active, drink you bodyweight in ounces each day (for me, that's anywhere from 80 to 160 ounces of water daily).  Sorry, water in soda, coffee, and tea doesn't count here.

6]  This is a HUGE ONE.....  Please pay attention....  stop being so Critical of Yourself.
Fact is that we are our biggest critic.  We are tougher on ourselves than anyone else.  Cut yourself some slack, take it easy, and take a step back.  Realize all the great things you have done.  See how valuable you are.  Remember to celebrate your accomplishments.  Usually we blow past things we accomplish to see what's next.  Slow down, celebrate, and Love yourself with a Self-Five!

7]  Check in with yourself throughout the day.  Look at your emotions and how you feel about the things that go on in your life.  Let your guard down a bit if you have to, pull the armor down and see what you care about or even what angers or disappoints you.  This is a call for you to feel what's happening in that brain and heart of yours....Let's LIVE and not get trapped in the mundane habit of sometimes functioning as a damn robot.  Feel, Live, Love and Thrive!

These are some helpful guidelines that I hope will give you a template on how to attack your day and take care of your most precious commodity, YOU.

As always, we are here to help.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Focus and Distraction!!! Something I'm learning about!

There's been one really good way for me to see myself a little more clearly lately....Working from home! WOW. See the picture above? This is what I'm learning about right now. BIG....TIME. So, in order for me to do something different, I'm sharing here and creating a plan to help me to learn how to focus. The irony is...I just left a program that was teaching me about focus. Even more ironic, is that I had signed up for several programs, all of which where distracting me from some things that I needed to deal with. I had to disengage briefly so that I could get a handle on some things.

The things I tend to get distracted with are all good, positive (in my opinion) things. And, they are my go to's because it's very convincing to me to always be involved with "healthy", transformative, self developing things...because I love those things, because they are necessary, because it's what I do and share with the world, and because it's my nature and on that note, it's EASIER than doing the hard things that I really need to do..the things that I don't know how to do well, the things that are uncomfortable for me, the things that will yield the results I'm actually seeking but I'm unfamiliar with the steps to get there.

It's a VERY uncomfortable place to be in right now. But...this is part of me, and it's happening and it's front and center...I probably would do well to seek some guidance from someone who has mastered this. I am actually learning about this at my yoga studio. One thing I noticed recently though, is that I would go to my yoga class because of this anxiety I have because I know I'm not focused and taking action where I need to. So, here is a prime example of where one of my very helpful and positive habits, is being used by me, to distract myself. Why do I do that? Because I know I can go there and move and breathe and sweat and then feel a little more confident about things. I can be with people who inspire me and share in an environment that is purposed for our empowerment as people and creativity and fun. I love it.

When I get home though, I am here with me and the things I need to deal with. So, how can I use what I am learning there, and apply it here? How can I use what all I have learned about creating health in my body and apply in these areas that need my attention now? I know that if I can create in certain areas, I can create in others. It's just new territory.

It's interesting to me to be here. One thing I noticed in this particular yoga practice, which is Baptiste Yoga, is my focus. It is called 'drishti' in the yoga practice. It was being taught in one particular class in great detail. When you move from one posture (asana) to the next, you have a drishti, or a focus point. You will go where you are focused. I noticed that my eyes were all over the place! It has become much better on my yoga mat but it is showing up loud and clear in other areas.

My particular areas are unique to me. We all have areas we need to pay attention to, to focus on, to do something different with. What are the areas you need to focus more on?  I am going to do some inquiry and maybe even enlist some advice and work with this. My hope and plan is to write again about this and have some helpful hints and good results to share with all of you!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Not taking any chances..for fear of making a "MISTAKE"?

Have you found yourself not taking action on something that calls to you...for fear of making a mistake??? Maybe it's a class you've wanted to take, a career change, a relocation, having a child, not having a child...could be a million different options here.

Keith and I have been contemplating a huge decision for a long time. One of the resounding fears that would come up was "what if we make a mistake?'.

And then it hit me one what! What does that mean to me if I make a mistake? What am I showing to the world if I think I cannot do anything unless I don't make mistakes. And..who the heck doesn't ever make mistakes?? I am not even sure I even believe in mistakes at this point because of all the juicy lessons that are created that only propel us more into our growth and evolution. One thing I know for sure.....I would feel like I had made a mistake if I never tried.

Sometimes getting clear about what is scarier, the thought of it not working out quite right, or not like expected, or the thought of living your life full of regret for not going for it and give life your best shot. Acknowledging that fear will be there......with any next big adventure (until it's perceived as excitement..instead) we can just learn to expect it's presence and see it for what it opportunity to let it stop us, or enliven us.

What is your next adventure???

Thursday, February 19, 2015

One day something clicked! Self Love and Self Acceptance and what came from that...

Over the past, almost 2 years now, I've been doing some deep cleaning in my Self. It was 2013 when I chose to really dig deep and make some changes. Many great insights and, although challenging, I took steps in a new direction for my life. As things shifted in me, my ability to squash my desires or callings became less and less. Why did I even learn to squash them in the first place??? Well, we all have our reasons for doing what we do but it was time to ditch the old ways and just give myself and my life the best I could. The most recent step I've taken is in my choice to be a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. It is my passion to learn about, experience and share with others how to be healthy and vibrant in a Holistic (whole life) way.

As I embarked on this journey, I quickly became aware of some distracting habits that were hindering me. I once heard my own coach say, "owning your own business is the fastest way for personal growth." Geez! you ain't kiddin'!

I found myself on a mission to make all these things better about myself. Now, understand this, personal growth and development is a must and I love it. Something else was happening here. I was signing up for all these different challenges and had unfinished books everywhere (not that there's anything wrong with reading more than one at a time) and it got to the point where I was full of stuff to do and not doing any of it, and none of it was REALLY towards working on my new endeavor.  What had happened? I had stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and I was getting scared. Out of that I was looking for things to do to better myself and one day, after signing up for yet another thing....I was starting to crack. WHAT am I doing???  Truly...WHAT am I up to? It came over me one day.......I just felt this great opening and I said, " I just want to love and accept myself EXACTLY as I AM right here, right now even if I never ever change again." It was a realization I had never had in this way before. It felt so nice to relieve myself of so much pressure. Accept me, all of me, exactly the way I am right now. Wow.

There are caveats to this of course. To become healthy and whole (an ongoing journey), to become healthy and whole enough to get to this point...I had to do the personal growth and development to get here.

I took my dog out for a walk later that day. There's nothing like the love of a dog. Pure, perfect and joyful. As we were walking about and I was feeling this major relief it occurred to me that in order to totally love and accept me, there was one HUGE thing I needed to let myself admit to.

I .... WANT... TO ... MOVE.

I moved here to Arkansas in 2002 and have had a lot of great experiences here but I knew from the very beginning that it just didn't feel quite right for me here. Something has been amiss. The good part about moving somewhere that didn't feel like home,  is that it sent me on a journey to find home within myself. Not an easy task, but worth every bit of it. Anyone that knows me here, knows that I have wanted to move. But, not only was it part of me, it has been part of Keith and I as a couple. I met him when I first moved here. The interesting thing is, he and I both moved to Colorado the very same year! We did not know each other then obviously, but we were in the same state at the same time. We met each other right after we both had an experience of living somewhere different and had been greatly affected in a positive way! We shared this understanding of what it was like to go somewhere new and feel connected and inspired and influenced by the environment. From the very beginning, we always said, "let's go back!" "What if we just went back?"

Through the years here I was told many things...."Well, you just have to bloom where you're planted.....Wherever you go, there you are.....Why can't you just be here?"...And the messages about being grateful for what you have, of course, which I am.

I worked really hard to bloom here, to make sure I was really really grateful and to make sure that I just simply wasn't missing anything or just not doing something right, or good enough or whatever. I was afraid it was me and I was messing up somehow. I did  a lot of introspection and work to make this feeling go away.

Well, on this day, it arose again. Only this time, out of a great desire to fully accept me, I accepted this too. I have a desire to move somewhere else. Yes, I'm grateful, yes, I'm thankful, Yes, Keith and I have each other and that is amazing and YES...I also, have a desire to move. There! I said it! That is part of me and that is a truth inside me that no longer needs to be rationalized away. I am choosing to allow myself to say that with no harsh, critical judgment on me.

I am finally willing to take a chance on myself. After many years of ground work, I am ready to step out there and take steps towards a dream we've both had. I am willing to face the fear, I am willing to go find out what it's all about. And not just that, I am willing to create it. : ) Finally.

SKIN Health and .....7 steps to get you started on your beauty path!

Having healthy, clear skin is something that was once just a dream for me. Starting in about 6th grade I had issues with breakouts on my skin. Probably some of it back then was due to "bangs" and hairspray, but even so, some gals didn't have the issues I had. This went on and on and on even into my early to mid-twenties. I had sensitive skin, on top of the hormonal changes that come with adolescence and also the standard american diet, even though I thought ate healthy at times, my knowledge back then was minimal. One summer I was visiting a dear friend in Austin, Tx and my skin was so broke out, her mom let me try her topical anti-biotic. It was that bad. When someone offers you their own prescription medicine to help your skin, that is a sign your skin is really broken out. I tried it that night and my skin looked a lot better the next morning. So...when I arrived back home my dad ordered the prescription for me. This kept my skin clear. There were times I didn't have the prescription for whatever reason and I would break out again. It was all over my face, it was painful and it was embarrassing. I remember praying that if God would clear up my skin I would never do anything bad again. : ) Well, that didn't happen! I must have faltered on my end. 

I moved to Colorado when I was 23 and the dry air was really, really good for my skin. For the first time ever....I was having good results. A few things were happening...the dry air helped a lot, I had started to use natural skin care, AND I had taken a sabbatical from imbibing any alcohol. First lessons in what you put on your skin and what you put in your body..makes a difference.  I did use natural things prior, or, I had begun to. I would go to the Natural Health store and try different things but I didn't really have a change until I moved to Colorado and made some of the other changes as well. I worked for Origins Cosmetics and started gettin' my learn on.

A couple of years later when I moved to Little Rock, I began to have issues again. Here the air is very humid and I had started to imbibe once again and was having issues. Now a new friend shares her Pro-Activ with me. This helps, so I use the peroxide serum for a while to keep things clear. Still not addressing the underlying cause yet.

Shortly after that is when I started training and working as a colon hydro-therapist. The beginning of my diving into digestive health, nutrition, and my own experiences of figuring out what works for me.

Nutrition, hydration, elimination processes of the body, exercise..all of it. But, here's the trick....what works for one, may not work for another. When I was eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables, and really low protein and saturated fat, my skin was not good at all! Surprising isn't it?? While fruits and vegetables are a huge part of my diet now, I am also an advocate for proteins and fats from pastured animals, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, etc. Ratios for each person are individual and something everyone needs to try on for themselves and see what works.

My skin now stays clear and healthy. If something is out of balance with me, it will show up in my skin..along with other things, but I can definitely see what's happening inside me by looking at my skin.

Here is how I care for my skin...

1. Good clean water. Filter on the tap and we keep 5 gallon containers of reverse osmosis water for drinking. Add a tiny pinch of celtic sea salt to put minerals back in. Keep your water with you however and whenever you can and you will remember to drink it.

2. Warm lemon water in the morning to start your day and if you follow that with coffee or tea, make sure they are organic. Too much coffee or tea will be dehydrating so make sure to know your limits. Always opt for organic, especially with coffee as it is one of the mostly highly sprayed crops with herbicides and pesticides. White, green and some herbal teas can be great for healthy skin!

3. For me, my diet consists of organic meats from a local farm, organic unrefined fats, yes, saturated also, fruits and vegetables and some nuts and seeds. This is my primary focus and this keeps me stable, healthy and feeling good. I am human so obviously there is no perfection here. Traveling, eating out and gluten free treats do have a place in my life and I know how to get myself back in balance if I get out of balance. The gelatin from real bone broth is amazing for collagen production in our skin.

4. Exercise and sweating is a must!  Dry brushing your skin before will help move the lymphatic fluid and get it ready to push wastes out. Elimination of bodily wastes feels great physically and mentally as well. Overall, each habit affects everything.

5. Organic, natural skin care. I love beauty practices and make up but for me it is mineral and plant based. What we put on our skin, we absorb and take in to our body. This is something I feel strongly about and is definitely part of my routine.

6. Facials at home and at the spa. You can do your own facials at home and of course, if you can go to the spa, treat yourself and let the professionals massage the lymph and ease the stress. You will see an immediate change! I would suggest a spa that uses Eminence Organic Skin Care and the Eminence massage techniques.

7. Plenty of rest. It's called Beauty Sleep for a reason. We all know we can see it in our appearance when we do not get enough rest. We rest and repair when we sleep. Make sure to make this a priority.

Make yourself feel like a Beauty Queen!!

This is my bestie...of 23 years! She owns Hygeia Holistics and will blend me my very own herbal teas for my health and beauty. How blessed am I?? Very!