When I am feeling like a (good) witch, I stir and stir and create these!

Its barely the end of January and I am all pumped up with a renewed passion. Truth is, I know I should’ve pick this up again some time ago already but oh well, the Horse year favors the movers and shakers and the get-up-and-out individuals so it is never too late.
I am truly humbled by the requests I am getting to whip up some more handcrafted skincare and personal care items from my very own cute little island kitchen. It all started with a body lotion, then a facial oil and then my son had a stubborn cough and I simply refused to use chest balms that has turpentine and other too hideous to mention ingredients on him.
So I made my own. I made a small batch enough for my son, my nephew and niece. I have yet to name it, but my cousin is adamant about calling it “sniffles balm”. He he. So it shall be, for now. The above pic is courtesy of my cousin’s order and it is a trio of blended face oil elixir, Dead Sea Mud mask with gorgeous extracts and essential oils, and the little round jar is a sample of my sniffles balm that I gave away. All these products were blended with much love and Reiki-ed too. 🙂
So it turned out my aunt kidnapped the balm away from my cousin to nurse her respiratory issues. So that worked out well! Ha ha.
I am receiving a few interested enquiries too, from other circle of acquaintances on Facebook so I am really psyched. A colleague is requesting 1 kilo worth of the sniffles balm because her whole family is dependent on chest balms from the popular company that begins with the letter ‘V’! A kilo! Yikes. 🙂
Coming up, a special batch for one of my bestie’s (I have 2 Aquarian best buds) *20th* birthday! (No, she is not 20 years old, I am just being kind) Woohooo. She doesn’t know this yet, will meet her later. It IS her birthday today, and she deserve some goodness gracious lovely products! Hope to get good pics and testimonials from her later!

Toodles!

The benefits of massage and its absence..

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That's not me but it's alright!

Ok I bet the title is a misleading one..

Worry not, I am still a preacher and practitioner of massage therapies and I am still waxing lyrical about the various benefits of touch.

Its September now. I have been out of work in the spa for a good 2 months and few days. Yup, I clearly remember that. But what I do not for the life of me remember, is my last full body massage! Horror horror.. I make sure to have a well deserved massage at least once a month, preferring always to have more deep pressure focus on my back, head & feet. And oh I love to have these loving hands massaged too, truly a luxury! Its receiving time after lots of giving.

But no really, I cannot figure out when was my last massage. To think about it through, I discovered a streak of rainbow peeping out of this dark cloud. Like a well meaning easily missed secret message behind this uneventful episode of mine in the body/mind/spirit dept..

I think my body just did NOT need a massage that badly as always. Why? I wish I can say that I have converted to become a zealous health nut and working out daily but no. Neither have I been doing any much dieting. In fact, diet has been thrown out of the window since it was the festive Eid season.

It’s a mystery no more. The miraculous and almost magical oils from Young Living are the ones creditable.
My daily ritual:
1. Consume 3-5 drops of Lemon in water twice daily to balance alkaline in the body, cleanse the body inside out and really energizing my system.
2. Diffuse oils depending on need, mood and weather.
(a) Thieves oil purifies air powerfully, supports immune system.
(b) Peace & Calming calms not only my 2 yr old boy, but his parents too!
(c) RC is what we reached for A LOT these days, due to the haze and also my chest infection and son’s stubborn cough.
3. Inhaling the oils anytime through out the day. I bring a small bag of them anywhere I go. If I have to pack light, I will take 2 bottles only. And the 2 would normally be Lavender and the Breathe Again Roll On which works not only for respiratory issues but helps a migraine and nausea episode too.
4. Applying the oils when needed. This includes a variety really!

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My cutie essential oil bag!

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They work hard everyday for us!

So I think its fair to say these oils are taking care of me while I live my days without my quintessential massages. I may feel the normal exhaustion and still lament about lack of sleep but I get by. I just have much lesser body aches and tensions, plus I am free from period pains! Hurray! And if I were to feel any discomfort after the usage of the oils, it would just be a part of the healing crisis.

Case in point: After days of eating rich festive goodies, my body went on complete ‘rubbishing out’ mode after I continued consuming Lemon. My skin broke out and I went into thirst overdrive! My eczema flared up because the skin being the biggest organ is expelling out my accumulated toxins.

I would not complain to have both oils and massages though, but I am just grateful to have these precious oils with me. I know that the day to need that massage will come verrrry soon but for now lets slick the oils on.

Happy oiling!

What price, dignity?..

If you read my last blog, you will know that I had a meet up or ‘interview’ with an ex colleague. I looked up to her because she mentored me during my 1st years in the spa industry. Gosh, I was a teenager still. But yes, you read right. I used past tense on ‘look’. That’s probably because I will not know where to look anymore when I see her next..

The rate she offered me was lower than abysmal. This, even after she knows of the experience that I have collected in almost 15 years as a therapist, head therapist, trainer, executive, manager. I have worn several hats and I have tasted life as a fulltime staff with complete benefits, permanent part time staff with pro rated benefits and also the life of a carefree freelance therapist. I have been ALL that, and I am aware of the differing pay structures and rates. Heck, I sooo gotta know because one of my duties were to help hire, interview, train and also amend commission rates based on current industry rates. Now, I cannot be telling on the most basic hourly rate here but I can tell you that what I was offered in a ‘take it or leave it’ mode was lesser than what I saw in the employment poster in a fast food joint. My girlfriend and I were having pre-movie dinner there and I was aghast to realise that they offer higher hourly rate than my ‘high and mighty’ ex co! My gf was disgusted too upon hearing the harrowing experience I had. And I thought she needed the help and was looking forward to have my experience onboard her spa biz because she approached me and asked me a couple of times! I was of course just offering temporary help till I get clearance from a work contract, in all honesty.

10 or 15 years ago I would have given her some of my disgusted and shell shocked piece of mind and then some.. And oh, I would so love to that day in her cubicle of an office! But I left politely, after saying I shall consider her proposed rates. I managed to tell her though, of how freelance/part time therapists are paid normally and currently. To which she bluntly and abrasively exclaimed- (yes, she can be both blunt AND sharp, and it can be a good thing sometimes but not at this moment) that “It’s too high!!” Wow. I cannot find my tongue, so I looked at her in her challenging eyes and smiled. Then it was all the niceties of goodbye (should there be any?) and I left her establishment without looking back.

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The thing that struck me 1st was how she didn’t change at all. Never listening, solid, rash, firm and blunt. NOBODY has escaped arguing with her because she picks them often. The 2nd that surfaced was how much I have changed. I would like to believe that it was for the better. Because I do not see any good in replying her insults with mine which I know neither of us will want to sleep better with.. I also contemplated kicking her teeth in after bashing her overdone coiffure with my lime hobo bag but naaaah. I shall keep that contemplation within the perimeters of my tortured mind. Gandhi said:
“An eye for an eye makes the world go blind”.
Either it was him or a hopeful optometrist, optician or an eye specialist..

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Gandhi, the quote sage..

I am brought to a renewal lesson in this episode. That it was not my ego that rejected her, but it was my older and amplified dignity that will not take unjustified and underpaid crap like this. I know it is not my ego because I walked away with a smile that got even wider as the distance between us drew.

As I sat and have a cuppa to recover in the midday sun, I realised too that perhaps she thought I was the one being unreasonable. And perhaps she also realised that she too has dignity and it will crumble if she depended on my accounts of what is current and present. And perhaps she felt that it was necessary to stay firm in giving me the entry level rate because it was justified.

I only know of one difference though in all our probable discoveries of similar but polar things.

I am not cheaper.

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Blessings of family, love and the very air that I breathe!

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

That’s what they say.

The holy and blessed month of Ramadan passed us by and now, we are living through Syawal with still a lot of festive mood left for family and friends house visitations.

I have been a housewife/SAHM/fulltime therapist at home/freelancing therapist for almost 1.5 months now. Turned down a job that I have already gotten in hand to agree to take another that was more promising in the long run with more responsibilities and creative space. BUT look what it has got me to, now? The favored job is facing a shocking and somewhat temporary delay. So, I wait. And wait.. Le sigh.

I am sure things will work out OK in the end, just like it always does. Insyaallah.
Tomorrow I am meeting an ex colleague from a loooong time ago, basically 1 of my 1st 2 mentors. I can offer temporary help to support her therapists (she owns spas now). Lets see how it goes. Keeping my mind and heart open, as always. The ONLY way to receive (good) things, I believe!

Aside from that all, my darling son turned 2 on 18th Aug!  Yayyyy!

On this blessed day, my son was born.. Love this Colorstrology!

He is such a wordsmith already, really.. He amazes me with what I didn’t have; the gift of outspoken gab when I was his age. I was sooo timid and shy. I still am. Gosh, how I am so proud of him. Even though they don’t call it the terrible 2s for nothing.. Urrrgh. He can be the trickster, the sullen, the joker, the precocious wild child, the hippie who kisses and says hello to his plush toy ginger cat, teddy bears, bugs, ants and flowers and wishes goodnight to his fav clock tower, the precious loverboy kissing and hugging his cousins.. And many more. But to me, he is THE better part of me that will be made visible for this awe-filled eyes to witness, every day of my semi-charmed life. I thank God for him. Err, and to my husband too of course. 😉

The 2 to prove that he's been terrible!

The 2 to prove that he’s been terrible!

 

Family portrait.. Check out Shaq's non-conforming pose. he KNOWS we are taking a pic. Hummmph.

Family portrait.. Check out Shaq’s non-conforming pose. he KNOWS we are taking a pic. Hummmph.

We were blessed to have good air after the weeks of terrible haze in June, a yearly result from forest fires in Indonesia. But guess, who’s back? Yup. I started my day with an almost familiar shudder when I opened my doors and windows to a picture of a fog, and burnt smell. I thought it was just the burning of incense and joss papers for the Hungry Ghost month from my fellow flat dwellers. It was actually THAT plus the haze bitch. Dang! My mind went “Diffuse, diffuse, diffuse!!” Off I go and diffused my darling Myrtle essential oil from Young Living.

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A huge relief came wafting through the air for me. Positive vibes and amended mood too. But when it was 5.30pm and I set out to fetch Shaq from his toddler school, I began to feel nauseated. Maybe it was the heavy garlic from my chicken rice. Or it’s just the air, really. Thank heavens I have this in my bag!! :

Breathe Again roll on

From Young Living’s website:

“Breathe Again™ Essential Oil Roll-on is a proprietary blend of oils specially formulated to support respiratory wellness. Breathe Again contains four powerful eucalyptus oils: Eucalyptus staigeriana, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, and Young Living’s original Ecuador single, Eucalyptus blue. Eucalyptus oils contain high amounts of cineole, which has been studied for its potential to support healthy lung function. The essential oils peppermint, myrtle, and copaiba also play an integral part in this blend. Breathe Again is available in a portable roll-on applicator, making natural relief available anywhere.”

I went crazy with it and rolled it generously on my throat, temples and nose! Less than 10mins, I burped out thrice.. Ewww. I felt better after all that. Phewwww. Behold, my new good friend- apart from the roll on for the pits! Lol.

Truly blessed that I have all these help form Mother Nature, alhamdulillah.. Now, if only I am persistent enough to follow through with helping myself with the bouts of eczema with these oils. I tried a couple of times and it gets better, and then I will forget/take for granted because I am better. Sheeeesh. I must must persevere.

Blessings are what you get and deserve when you work and build yourself towards it, no? I am perpetually counting mine. 🙂
Right now though, I could do with a deep tissue massage! 😉

Smoke gets in your eyes… (and chokes you)

Singapore is being hit  badly by the yearly haze that’s coming from Indonesia. The worst so far coming from the forest fire in 7 years.

Just looking through my tightly-shut window and witnessing how hazy, cloudy and smokey it is makes me wanna tear up and cry. Really. Not because I am getting emotional, but the sight is definitely and utterly torturous especially on the respiratory system. Just going down to throw out the rubbish at work yesterday left my eyes so dry and sore!

It feels, smells and looks like the whole of Mother Earth is chain-smoking and chugging away dear old Mr Tobacco.. urrgh.

Smoking hot is a whole new term here in SingSing..

Smoking hot is a whole new term here in SingSing..

Funny thing is I have been having the sinusitis and allergies complaints since a few weeks before. And now that the (haze) bitch is back in town, I am not too mentally disturbed about it, I seem to be in a ‘bring it on’ mode. I guess when the mind is fit, the rest will follow. Although my husband and I are being very very vigilant about applying oils on our darling son through out his day. We diffuse the oils whenever we are at home too.

Here are some that we use through and through:

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Young Living’s Purification is a wonderful blend of : Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis).

“Purification™ can be used directly on the skin to cleanse and soothe insect bites, cuts, and scrapes. When diffused, it helps to purify and cleanse the air from cigarette smoke and disagreeable odours.”
(http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oil-blends/Purification)

When we diffuse this oil at home, I always visualize that the air went ‘poof’ and all the bugs, bacterias and little dusty vermin scurries away! Its an excellent air purifier.

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Thieves is a blend of: Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis).

“Thieves® was created based on research about four thieves in France who protected themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims. This proprietary blend was university tested and found to be highly effective in supporting the immune system and good health.”
(http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/thieves-essential-oil/Thieves)

We rub a drop of it on each of Shaqil’s foot before he goes to school, to guard him from being susceptible to the myriads of bugs that goes around in childcares and also at night before bedtime. This is a daily routine that he is used to already, and will also co-operate by giving us his feet willingly.

Right now in Singapore, we are hearing cases of all time high records of dengue, HFMD and now the haze is wreaking havoc with more people rushing to the nearest hospital with complaints of tightness in chest, wheezing, lung infection and sore and itchy eyes. We are not stingy with Thieves, really. 😉

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“Myrtle (Myrtus communis) has a clear, fresh, herbaceous scent, similar to eucalyptus. Supportive of the respiratory system, skin, and hair, it has been researched for its effects on glandular imbalances and its soothing effects when inhaled. It is also helpful for meditation and lifting the spirit.”
(http://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/essential-oils/Myrtle)

I purchased this earlier this month together with another oil from Young Living, a blend called Lady Sclareol. I intended to use them both to support my 1 thyroid gland. But I am beginning to be a new fan of this herbaceous and uplifting oil. The 1st time I ingested 3 drops of it neat on my tongue and with a gulp of water, I felt a nice comforting relief that clears my throat and my left sinus blockage. And goodness me, it was yummy too! Since the PSI level is hitting 155 as of 17th June, I am carrying this in my pocket. Along with 7 other oils that I have in my cutie patootie essential oil bag! Haha..

I can only hope that the forest fires will stop very very soon. It is maddening to see a big blur every time I peer out the window. Pun intended.

But till then, these oils are our little warriors- the last drop will depart from the bottle sooner than expected but they will serve us well. Insyaallah..

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Lessons I get paid to learn

As a holistic spa therapist, I get to meet many different people from different walks of life. The socialite, the politician, the royalty, the self-made millionaire and of course the streams of celebrities. Not only do I meet them, but I am entrusted their sacred temples, their tired bodies that comes with hundreds of knots and tensions.

They disrobe, lie spread on the bed and they are all mine. Sounds provocative, but far from it-  its an honorable job really- according to a recent client that I had the good fortune to meet. That day, 31st January was really a day that deserves a place in my heart and soul. Its memory is worthy of a blog post, really.. But then again, there were just so many days in the span of my life as a therapist that’s worth remembering and retelling.

So in comes this very nice-smelling Indian gentleman, one whom I shall just name Mr SG. Really, he smells so good, musky and all peppery with a sandalwood tone. The air in the spa wafted and clung with his aroma. This guy really has a presence- with his thick and long black hair, full grown beard and Gandhi-like glasses rimming his very soulful sympathetic eyes. He asked for a massage, and yours truly attended to him and assisted him with his arrival, consultation, gathering his medical info and selecting the massage for him like any good and caring therapist would. Ahem.. 🙂

Normally, during a treatment I would refrain from chatting- unless I am asked a question. Its best to just be relaxed, immersed in the oils and music, enjoy the treatment ritual, be it a simple 1hour massage or more. But he was very friendly and very interested to know more of my job and how much I enjoy it. He shared with me that he is a very seasoned spa-goer, as his work-based travels brings him to different countries and continents that has spas in idyllic locations.

He shared an episode in a spa  he visited in Goa.. His Thai therapist was complaining about her job there and how she longed to just pack up and leave! When asked why was she there if she hated to be, she answered: she cannot stand serving Indian people because they are all smelly! Oh my! I was so shocked to hear that.. Awkward too. I asked then what was his reply. He answered, “With all my heart, I apologized to her on behalf of all the smelly Indian people that she had to come across, and I felt really really sorry for her!”..  Ok, my jaw dropped then. One would’ve thought that he would’ve clubbed that silly arse Thai therapist, but he was really very sorry for the Thai therapist’s work ordeals and his compassionate nature is truly most exemplary!

As we ended the 90min massage, he asked for recommendation for his next visit. I recommended him a herbal heated treatment that will help to comfort his arthritis and spine issues. He gave me a $20 tip, very rarely do we get tips. As he left, I told myself I will not forget this aromatic-smelling and very kind Indian man!

The end of this day came about as my husband and I were parked outside the supermarket, buying stuffs for my son. I waited in the car with Shaqil, feeding him his milk. I suddenly saw a figure of a heavily-build man lumped and hunched over at the kerb, shivering and and trembling in tremors of pain. It must be a lot of pain, because his face was wincing!
I wanted to go out and reached out to him as fast as I could, but I couldn’t with feeding child in tow and car parked illegally too. As my husband came back to the car, I commanded to him to go to that man and help him in any way. My husband went to him and spent a good 10 minutes talking to him, and after that he helped the stranger into our car. Turned out that this elderly Malay man was scheduled to have a kidney operation the very next morning, and he has several medical conditions apart from his kidney disease such as heart failure and Parkinson’s too. And he is homeless. And hasn’t eaten the whole day too… 😦

I suggested that we drive him to the hospital he was bounded to go to, and to assist him with admittance. Funny thing was, the nurses and administrators in the hospital have to repeatedly asked me if I was related to this man. I hated to say no, because I am really not related to him by blood. The staff there were giving me dirty looks, as if I was abandoning my father/uncle/relative as quick as I can to the nearest hands able to take over. It pissed me off, really. I don’t think they buy our help-a-stranger story!

Anyway, we got hold of his identification details and promised to call him the day after to check on him.
He was very grateful, and we were only too happy and humbled to help.. My dear son was way past his bedtime but its all worth it. Before we said goodbyes though, I remembered that he hasn’t eaten.. I asked my husband for some cash but unfortunately he used up the cash in the supermarket earlier. With Shaqil still firmly planted on my hip, I rummaged through my battered wallet and found $20. Yes, the $20 that I got from Mr SG earlier that day as a tip.

I almost cried! The hairs on my hands stood on its ends. I am not inclined to carry a lot of cash, preferring to just withdraw money whenever I need it. That’s the only $20 I had really! It’d be another fuss to go looking for an ATM. And Mr SG had personally came all the way to the spa, booked and paid for a treatment and handed out this tip to me so that I can help this homeless, ill and hungry elderly man.. I was so humbled and lost in the magical moment..

I am so grateful for this lesson. What have I learn? I learned that I have a new answer to the skeptical hospital staffs who badgered me on my relation to this pitiful man. The answer is: YES, YES, YES. We are all related. We are all interconnected, and we are all responsible and rightful to the connection. Blood connection is merely a poetic way of introduction, but we are all related through unseen webs weaved by higher reason.

Another lesson: I learned that this nice-smelling Indian gentleman deserves a retelling of how his presence affected my whole day, and also for others whom he wouldn’t have a clue about. But I suspect that he has a clue, for a kind man like him deserves a clue and so much more!

My prenatal oil

My beloved prenatal massage oil blend..
Missing those prenatal days, surely.. 🙂

Ok. So, I am an ITEC & IFA qualified aromatherapist. So I am 7+ mths pregnant for the 1st time and I should be worried about the nemesis by the name of “stretch marks” or striae (singular stria), as they are called in dermatology. So I should be doing my very own blend of skincare right? And not scramble to the nearest pharm AGAIN for creams, lotions & potions right? SO… This is what I’m up to then.. Wheeeeeee! 🙂

I’ve been mixing my own facial oils, massage oils, hair & scalp oils for my family and both for me and husband’s usage so now I’m gonna STOP giving credit and profit to Palmer’s and its lovely cocoa butter and make use of my lovely (and expensive) essential oils for my belly, breasts and wherever that this baby is stretching me and my largest organ out to! (basically everywhere!)

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