January 26, 2011

{Ease the Stress}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Getting a headache from stress or tiredness during your busy wedding planning time? Aromatherapy consultants suggest that you place a few drops of peppermint essential oil on your fingertips and gently massage it in at the base of your neck for a bit of relief.

Here are a few other exercise suggestions...establish little practices during the day to assist the body in “letting go.” Perhaps you can indeed be tension and headache free!

•     Do gentle neck rolls throughout the day.

•     Roll your shoulders back three times, then forward three times.

•     Close your eyes and slowly rotate your eyeballs 360 degrees to the right, then to the left, relieving the eyes from that hard focus most of us do when we’re concentrating.

•     Practice soft focus whenever you can. It’s like looking at the world with “dreamy eyes”… your eyes will feel more rested, your face looks softer, and you’ll start seeing things from a broader perspective.

•     Relax the muscles in your face; stretch and rotate your jaw three times to the right, then three times to the left. (We hold lots of tension in our jaws!)

•     Go for a walk out in nature—snow flakes, green grass, misty rain, warm sun—whatever nature is offering, stretch the body and breathe it in!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Sarah Merians]

January 19, 2011

{Fragrance of the Heart}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Planning a wedding is more than just organizing people, places and things! It's a life changing rite-of-passage of your deeper self, an opportunity to discover something of your inner most essence and share that with your beloved.

No wonder that through the ages, fragrance and essential oils—the extracted essence of aromatic plants—were part of a bride's wedding preparations. Using aromatherapy was a way to assist the bride to tap into her own inner essence and bring the magic of nature into the celebration! A bride would be “anointed” with fragrant, soothing essential oils—so she was then wearing the heart of a flower.

Aromatherapists tell us that the inherent beauty and harmony of nature is exemplified in essential oils. They say that using natural fragrance encourages the link between the right and left sides of the brain, connecting how we feel to how we think.

Aromatherapy consultants Joan Clark and Michael Scholes teach that this is the first step to linking the body and mind, the heart and brain, even creating a balance between the female and male energies.

“It is through these realizations,” the experts explain, “that we start to heal our hearts, learn how to communicate our innermost feelings and to express compassion and the ultimate lesson—the ability to forgive.”    

Ahhh. Discovering the fragrance of the heart through essential oils.What a wonderful way to plan a wedding....a perfect way to be the bride you want to be....a loving way to begin a spiritual partnership!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: The aromatherapy series continues next week...keep sending your ideas and “fragrant” suggestions!

[Photograph: Courtesy of Little Winter Bride]

January 12, 2011

{Dreamy Lavender Bride}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
You know that getting rest -- like a good night's sleep -- is important during the busy time of wedding planning, yes? Here are some "dreamy suggestions" for using lavender essential oil from aromatherapy consultant friends of mine:

•    To support a restful sleep, put some flower petals in a pretty dish on your night table and sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on the petals for a soothing way to enter your dreams. (Perhaps use petals that are fading from a special bouquet of flowers you received!)

•    Scent your bed linens with lavender for a relaxing sleep.

•    Do you use an eye mask for sleeping? Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on the mask (on the side away from your eyes) to support a peaceful night’s rest.

Taking care of yourself is the most important item to have on your "wedding planning to-do list" -- don't leave yourself out!! Have various relaxation practices (light exercise; meditative breaks; walks in nature; burn lavender scented candles while reading; breathe deeply and slowly) be part of your daily routine. Be creative, be gentle, be natural (use aromatherapy fragrances, not artificial stuff*), be aware that real beauty comes from the inside, and be a dreamy bride....

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps:*Mountain Rose Herbs is one of my favorite essential oil sources because of their commitment to quality certified organic products!
pps: More from the series of "aromatherapy, brides and weddings" continues next Wednesday! Tune in...

[Photograph: Kristin Spencer]

January 5, 2011

{The Language of Flowers}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Brides and the language of flowers have a romantic and mystical history. Through the ages, romantics assigned meaning to flowers and herbs according to their innate nature—and a language was created!

Bridal folklore tells of maidens entwining creamy white, aromatic orange blossoms into a bridal wreath for their hair, to ensure fertility; or carrying a bunch of sweet smelling white lilacs, representing innocence; or tucking fragrant herbs into their bouquets, rosemary for remembrance and dill, believed to provoke lust. (And both herbs were often eaten for their supposed powers!)

Queen Victoria carried a nosegay of snowdrops, representing friendship (they were her beloved Albert’s favorite flower); and Princess Grace, after much thought, selected lilies-of-the-valley for her wedding bouquet, one of the many delicate flowers meaning purity.

Former Brides magazine editor-in-chief, Barbara Tober, tells us that the sentimental Victorians of the 19th century had a custom of arranging a bouquet of flowers and herbs “to spell out the groom’s name (baby’s breath, irises, limonium, and lilies for B-I-L-L.”) The little book, The Language of Flowers, is a reproduction of a Victorian’s floral inspiration that will help you create your own romantic language in flowers!

However, don’t wait for your wedding day. Be inspired, with or without flowers, to speak a language of love and tenderness right this very moment!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: To continue enjoying this series of "brides, weddings, aromatherapy" posts, join us here next Wednesday! (And by-the-way, if you’ve missed any posts, the series began on November 3, 2010.)

[Photograph: Matt Hakola]