What’s My Secret Weapon For a Good Night’s Sleep?

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Posted by Judy Moon

Magnesium oil. That’s right, magnesium oil.

First of all, I feel that sleep is underrated. I think we don’t really put enough emphasis on getting enough sleep, and the health benefits of good, quality, restful, restorative sleep. Webmd explains nine reasons to sleep more.

I personally don’t have a problem falling asleep, it’s staying asleep that was my problem. There are lots of reasons why this can happen for people.

So I have made going to bed a real ritual.

Herbal tea, no electronic screens after nine, my bedroom is a sleep sanctuary – no TV etc.,  I do my best to go to bed at the same time every night, I turn the lights in my home down in the evening and start sending the message to my brain – “hey, we’re going to sleep soon”, I use some lavender essential oil on my feet and at the suggestion of a health coach, I started using magnesium oil on my feet at night.

Pure magic! I now sleep like a rock.

Dr. Mark Hyman, refers to magnesium as the “relaxation mineral”, and here is a GREAT post about all of it’s benefits.

Ancient Minerals was the brand recommended to me. A drop of DoTerra lavender essential oil rubbed in to the bottom of my feet, 3 sprays of Magnesium Oil on each foot, socks, Bon Nuit!

I will warn you that the Magnesium oil is a little drying, so I make sure I am also treating my feet by exfoliating daily with a pumice and lathering them up with a rich moisturizer. I’d choose something with some rich Shea butter.

Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

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Ch Ch Ch Changes

Change
Channeling my inner David Bowie today and focusing on change.
People don’t generally like change.
Change is the essence of our life.
The more we live in tune with the natural rhythms of change, the easier we flow. Just like the day turns to night and  the seasons change, so it is with us.
So stop swimming upstream and just go with the flow….
Speaking of change – we are super duper  excited about our fresh new website!
And the really cool part is that our blog is a real part of the website now. So if you want to be sure that you aren’t missing any Wellness Seeds from us, enter your email address in the “subscribe” field to receive our seeds in your email!
Go with the flow baby….

May Your Well Be Overflowing

Nightfall comes quickly in November during a time of peak foliage at Horton Creek.

Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

I’m watching a sparrow take a bath in a small puddle at the base of a majestic sycamore tree in one of my favorite parks in the city. This little spot is lush and relatively quiet with crepe myrtle and southern magnolia in full and heady bloom.

I’m filling the well in this moment (Thank you Judy Moon!). Observing, listening, breathing. Recently I’ve noticed that the well, also known as my reserves of energy, creativity and power, was severely depleted. I had given out all I had and didn’t have any back up, for myself or for others. Not a nice place to be.

I have always been one to give out more than I take in. I would get a bit worn down but back on my feet fairly quickly. Not this time. I knew it was bad when I realized I was getting angry with the people I love the most when they needed something from me, even the smallest request.

Red flags waving wildly now! PAY ATTENTION!

When a friend said she was going on a yoga retreat, every cell in my body said “I WANT THAT TOO!” Seriously.

So…I’ve quit my job and am off to Fiji tomorrow. HA! Sounds fun but not in the cards at the moment.

Not long after coming to terms with feeling totally worn out, I had a day long visit with a dear friend I have known all my life. She and her late husband were like a third set of grandparents for my brother and I. But the kind of grandparents who are really true friends. We had a simple, fresh lunch and talked for a few hours about life and art and meditation and “filling the well” did come up. And my friend said, “Oh yes! You have to feed and nourish your core! Otherwise you are no use to anyone, especially yourself.”

I gave her a massage and let the hour or so of deep quiet engulf me. Her home surrounded by thick woods, the mountain laurel in full bloom and a soft breeze gently pushing the trees back and forth was nourishment. What a gift.

Then on to an impromptu dinner with my brother, nephew and their three stellar dogs. Another gift. It was a short but so sweet visit as I had to get back to the city that evening. I had such a peaceful ride home, my brain and body softer and at ease.

The next day I felt as though my almost empty tank had been filled to the 1/4 mark. We can make it anywhere on a 1/4 tank! I had let the day before flow in whatever direction it would. I didn’t stress that I had to visit everyone or get back to do this or that. I just let it be.

While some days don’t flow like I wish they would, I’m doing my best just to catch those moments I’m always talking and writing about, the ones that feed me, but somehow I had been missing.

Sparrow is back now for a little drink, a gentle reminder that even the simplest things can fill the well.

Dirt Under My Nails

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

I love getting dirty!

Oh my, let me rephrase that…I love digging in the “dirt” and getting dirty. Always have, be it mud pies, finger-paints, playing with clay, cooking or gardening. There is usually a little dirt under my nails (except when I am doing massage, of course!) for most of the year as I inevitably stop by the garden no matter what season, to dead head a spent flower or two, pull out some unwanteds that are encroaching on my lettuce or just see what’s going on under the snow cover.

I was recently laying down some mulch in the flowerbeds on an unseasonably warm day. I was kind of drenched in sweat (which is always attractive!) so any and every bit of dirt I knelt in or mulch that I tossed around clung to me like crazy. I wasn’t paying attention to my appearance as I was focused on getting the job done, but suddenly I realized what I must look like to an innocent bystander in the garden. Like I’d been rolling in the mulch instead of distributing it! This of course made me laugh out loud and relish the feeling of being a little grubby. I’ve got a drawer full of “garden clothes” that I can wear when I know I’ll most likely be at least semi-covered in whatever medium I‘m involved with that day. And man, those are some of the best showers or baths after a day in the dirt!

For me, getting my hands (and whatever else!) dirty means I am really in touch with what I am doing; with the paint, the food, the earth. It makes me feel connected and grounded, pun intended. That tactile sense is one of the many ways we learn and absorb, literally, information. It’s the way I learn best, personally. I can read all about it in a book, but until I touch it and do it myself, it’s not really part of my skill set yet. Maybe that is part of why I enjoy providing massage; to touch the skin is to begin to understand what it is saying and might need. To be connected to the person I am working with. Nice way to think about all of these things I love!

Hmmm…”garden mulch” spa treatment anyone? “Just peeled beets” manicure? Just kidding Judy!

What’s your favorite medium for getting your hands dirty and connecting to the world around you? I’d love to know!

P.S. Since my massage clients would not respond well to sand paper hands, I wear gloves when necessary, but I can’t lie…I don’t like to. That energy I so connect with feels a bit cut off. Except when I work with roses or raspberries, then bring on the gloves that travel up to my elbows! No problem.

Let’s Just Kiss and Say Goodbye

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Posted by Judy Moon

It’s hard to say goodbye.

Especially when someone we love or truly admire transitions to the spirit world.

One of my favorite authors and mentors, Wayne Dyer passed away in August and my heart was so heavy. I can honestly say that he changed my life.

I had the opportunity to meet him at a Hay House, I Can Do It Conference. 

I stood in a very long line for a book signing. I would have waited forever to have the chance to meet him and thank him for shifting my thinking.

When it was my turn, he gave me a big smile, started signing my book and I said, “I want to thank you, The Power of Intention changed my life.”

He put down his pen, mind you, there’s a ginormous line behind me, and it was as if we were the only two people there. He was that present. He smiled, looked me right in the eyes and said, “Thank you, I hear that a lot about that book in particular, I don’t know what it is, but other people share your experience. Why do you think that book was so different?”

I said, “I’m not sure, I think it was timing for me, it appeared when I needed it, and the messages are simple, but huge.”

He handed me back my book, gave me another big smile, kissed me on the cheek, hugged me and said, “Thank you beautiful spirit, namaste.”

I ran to a quiet corner immediately and called my husband Joe, -“I just met Wayne Dyer and he kissed me!” My husbands response with a chuckle – “Wow, I guess your world is complete now”

Yes, I think it is.

Thank you Wayne Dyer for being such a big, bright, beautiful spirit and for the impact you had on everyone who encountered you.

I will leave you with my favorite Wayne Dyer quote~

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

Thank you beautiful spirit, namaste.

Cucumber Madness

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Posted by Judy Moon

I have been doing my best to squeeze the last bits left from summer. I know fall is just around the corner – the back to school supplies are out, the fall fashion magazines are arriving, the farmer’s markets are exploding with the abundance of the summer growing season.

I have a great soup recipe to share from Dr. Axe using one of my favorites- cucumbers! My love of cucumbers started as a kid. My mom would always make us cucumber sandwiches in the summer. Mary Moon would always start a sandwich, ANY sandwich with butter on one slice of the bread, and for the cucumber sandwich she mixed a little white vinegar in some mayonnaise and coated the other slice with that. She then piled on thinly sliced peeled cucumbers, a little salt and pepper and if we were being fancy that day, which we usually were, she would cut the crusts off and cut the sandwich into triangles. Pure heaven! I always channel Mary and make at least one of those sandwiches per summer and was really excited to try this soup recipe since I am such a fan of cucumbers.

When I tell you this is one of the easiest soups I have ever made, I kid you not! I made it before work, yes, that’s how quick it is and it was chilled, all the flavors had married and was ready to roll when I got home from work. Cucumbers are also crazy good for you – who knew?

This would make a great starter to a meal, or on a hot day, it was a perfect dinner for Joe and I with some guacamole and chips! Chilled glass of sangria optional.

Squeeze in those last beach days, eat some cucumbers, and savor those summer days that are left and memories of those you love.

Secret Cucumber Detox Soup Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes Serves: 4
1 cucumber (peeled and de-seeded plus additional cuke for garnish)
1 tbsp onion (minced)
1 avocado, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1 dash of Cayenne Pepper
1 cup water
Paprika for garnish

Throw avocado, cucumber, onion, oil, lemon juice, vinegar and water in vita-mix.

Puree on high speed until smooth.

Blend in salt, chili powder and remaining ingredients.

Serve, garnishing with extra cucumber cubes and smoked paprika if desired.

Beat The Flu and Keep Away The Vampires!

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Posted by Judy Moon

Since there are still some colds, flus and viruses floating around here in Philadelphia, I thought I would share a recipe that I received from my sweet sister in law who is a hospice nurse. I am not sure of the original source of this recipe, so thank you to whoever came up with it.

My husband Joe was recently down for the count and I pulled this baby out of the recipe file and was not disappointed.

It was quick, simple, smelled divine, made my hubby feel better and I think it may have helped me too! (I somehow managed to dodge the flu!)

It may sound intense, I know – 4 whole onions and 2 heads of garlic- it sounds like a lot but it definitely mellowed as it cooked.

The recipe instructs you to strain it and just use the broth, which I did since Joe just wanted broth, but I tasted it with the onions, etc, before I strained it and it was mighty good. I will be adding this soup to our regular repertoire of go to recipes.

Old Fashioned Garlic and Onion Soup 
For colds, flu, respiratory infections or for prevention especially in winter season
4 large white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 whole heads of garlic, separated and peeled
2 tsp. thyme
4 tbs. olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
2 tbs. honey
4 tbs. each fresh basil and parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
sea salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large stockpot sauté the onions, garlic and thyme in olive oil until golden brown. This step sweetens and mellows the intensity of the garlic and onions. (To peel garlic cloves, smash the individual cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife and slip out of the skins.) Add the vegetable stock, white wine, and bay leaf. Slowly cook for 2 to 3 hours. Strain liquid, and then add honey, fresh basil and parsley, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne.

Onions and garlic are both antibacterial in action, as in the herb thyme. Cayenne pepper is recommended if there is a fever present, while basil and parsley are detoxifying herbs.

This is an excellent soup to drink during any type of infection or cold, or to simply enjoy as a first course to a meal.

Enjoy and be well!