Essential: Love the Flaws!

I decided to share one of my “secret shames” today. I hope it helps someone to become free from any shame, big or small.

I read somewhere recently that you have to accept the complete story of “You”, not just the parts that you like. To me, that simply means that you must release yourself from shame surrounding ANYTHING in your life that others may see as undesirable.


As you may know, I make All-Natural Skin Care products. You probably don’t know that my skin is very far from flawless. I have dark areas that were caused by trauma and by medications that I took to treat my acne that have been on my face for well over 20 years. I also have chin-area drama every single “my time of the month”. These are things that I have just come to terms with; they have to be managed in the best way possible.

Although I have had some remarkable improvement since I started using my own skin care line, I can still sometimes hear the voice of my secret shame asking me: “who would want to buy skin-clearing products from someone who has their own skin problems?” That little nagging voice would creep in when I least expected it until I started expecting it. It started whenever I would look at myself in the mirror with admiration of the improvement that I have noticed, like it wanted to take me down a notch or two. And sometimes it did just that.


One day, I heard my spirit say to me “If it were not for your skin flaws, you would not have a skin care line.” I heard it so clearly that it stopped me from whatever I was doing; I had to let that sink in. All of the years that I have cursed my acne and problem areas, I was actually cursing my own blessing. Once I let that sink in for a moment, I heard my spirit say “If it were not for your recurring problem areas, you would not be able to create something to help other women with the same problems.” When I realized the complexity of the plans that the Universe goes through to bring our dreams to reality, I felt extremely humble. Even though my prior instinct would have been to feel bad about cursing my skin, I replaced it with gratitude. I love to help people, but when I can help people from the lessons of my own personal journey, it feels like more than helping. It feels like sharing the gift of my soul’s journey- it feels like inspiration and connection. It feels like a gift that transcends the talent and enters a greater language that we all know but none of us can speak.

So, I am grateful for the Universe and how it works tirelessly to make it all work. Even when I did everything possible to ruin my own blessing, I was still blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Namaste.


So, here it is! Me in a selfie that I took today on Al Gore’s internet without any makeup or filters. My hair is running wild and free and my eyebrows clearly reflect the current lack of access to a beauty professional. I do like how white my teeth are though.

The other day, my 10 year old son said to me during a car ride: Mom, you look so pretty in the morning before you put on makeup. I thought to myself, what does he want from me, money? an X box 10,000? But I knew that he really meant it. Now, I kinda think so too Nicholas. Namaste.

Essential: Keep Moving Forward

Things have come to a complete stand-still in ways that I could never have imagined. I spent my fair amount of time in denial, but when the schools closed, I could no longer deny that things were changing in a historical way. Once I saw the situation with some clarity, I realized that the majority of what was happening was out of my control and my only option was to keep moving forward.


I am so very grateful and fortunate for the position that I found myself in prior to the shutdowns. I have worked from home for the past year and a half, so I did not have to transition from a work aspect. I can never over-express my gratitude to the Universe for allowing me to weather this shift so far. Namaste.

As a small business owner however, I was perplexed. Right before the crisis came knocking on America’s door, I made the decision to go for it; to put more money and effort into my business. I successfully recruited personal investors. I spent thousands of dollars on marketing, products and materials. I scheduled events through the summer. I event thought about bringing on a part-time assistant to help things go smoothly. I was so ready to hit the gas pedal and change my life. I can almost hear the Universe laughing playfully in my ear as I write these words, because other plans were in place for me and for society.

I have never lost sight of my blessings compared to what others are going through, but I had to acknowledge my own personal disappointment. I had to wonder if I had been crazy for attempting to start this business. All of the things that I had put into place, all of the items that I had purchased, all of the investment money that I had spent seemed like foolish trinkets now. As the dates for my previously planned events passed, I felt a little bit of shame. Why would I invest so much into my little dream? I could have put those funds safely into my savings account for a rainy day (more like a hurricane in our current climate). I realized that it was okay, maybe even necessary to walk the lengths of my feelings. Although I try hard to be optimistic, I am also human, and as long as I am human, I cannot separate myself from human emotions. When I finally allowed my feelings of disappointment and shame to come into focus, it felt natural to acknowledge and accept them. I found that much like people, feelings and emotions just want to feel validated. I had briefly caused a blockage by not facing my feelings as they were, but the Universe reminded me not to lose focus on my passion by over-attending the current side-show. The Universe told me to just keep moving forward.

Pay Gratitude

I for one am extremely grateful to be alive during this time of transition. This time of intense human connection makes me excited to see how the human paradigm is changing and shifting. It is acutely ironic that human connection is happening due to social-distancing, which proves that the Universe has a gentle sense of humor attached to it’s Great and Infinite wisdom. What else would cause all races and nationalities to come together other than an intense fight for our collective survival? Things are changing, but there is no need to be afraid. Change is change.

I am grateful that teachers are getting a paid “break” from having overcrowded classrooms. There are days when my kids test my sanity to the limits. On those days, I think of the teachers who have my kids plus 20 others in their classrooms, plus disengaged parents and impossible demands from school districts. I know teachers are still working and they miss their students, but I appreciate the opportunity to know more about my kids’ learning styles along with their learning gifts and challenges. I think this will make me a better parent and partner to the school system.

I am grateful that the Earth is healing. I notice how much brighter the sun shines in my window each morning and how much easier the air is to breathe. I look at pictures from around the world showing how clean and clear and beautiful the rivers and skies are. I love to see and hear about how animals are coming out of the shadows and re-entering their kingdoms of grass and trees and clean water and community. The weight of all of our traffic and unconscious usage and consumption of everything possible has greatly reduced, allowing the Earth to balance our human existence. Namaste.

I am grateful for the opportunity to spend more time on the “little things”, which are actually pretty big things. I’ve spent hours dancing and singing and laughing with my kids lately. They are hilarious to the extent of needing their own reality show. Then we videochat everyone who will answer (even more than we did before things came to a halt) and laugh some more. I am grateful for the chance to get to know myself better, to re-dedicate myself to the things that I want to accomplish in life. I am grateful for the additional time I can spend on expanding my product line and upgrading my business practices. I am grateful for the opportunity to become more clear, more focused and more organized. Things are not always all laughter and organization; some days are a real challenge, but every day has an opportunity for increased gratitude.


I think about the suffering that many people and families are going through right now because of job loss and financial insecurity. I think about the young man that I talked to the other week who was working in the grocery store, wiping down carts without gloves because they simply did not have any available. I think about the people who are afraid to go out at all and about the people experiencing increase hunger or physical abuse because of the lockdown. It can be difficult to find the love in any of these situations. It does not seem like enough to send thoughts of love and light to others, but it is enough, it matters, and it counts. Being kind and courteous, thinking of others before over-purchasing supplies, calling to check on a neighbor or friend all count as love. Love is a rare resource that increases as it is used and given. There is never a shortage. Love is the fuel that we need to keep moving forward. Namaste.

Essential: “What-If” Questions

On the Instagram page of Inspirational Teacher Michael Beckwith was a post that changed the course of my manifestations. It was early one morning just after my 6:20am alarm went off. I did a quick social media check and came across the post that asked a simple, powerful question: “What What-If questions have you asked yourself lately? “. I contemplate this question almost every day now. Challenging myself to dream big has faithfully paid off.


This particular morning when I saw the post from Teacher Michael Beckwith, I was thinking about ways to make things better or move faster. I wanted a way to tell how things were manifesting for me in the Spiritual realm. Did anyone even use the samples that I sent? Do they read my posts and messages? Are my products making a difference to anyone?

This simple post on Instagram challenged me to ask a different question. Instead of obsessing over the past with “did they” questions, why not empower myself and my vision with “what if” questions?

So, that is exactly what I did. I began training myself to ask more “what if”(empowering) questions and less “did they” (obsessive) questions. There is no benefit and no glory in obsessing over the past, but there is greatness in living in the present while imagining a brighter future.

The thing that I love about what-if questions is that they automatically draw you in to the vision. If you were to close your eyes right now and ask yourself “What if I could take a vacation this summer?”, your mind will start to formulate a picture of you in the vacation getaway of your dreams, living with total happiness and freedom. There is no place in a “what-if” fantasy for limitations or suffering. The other thing that I love, is that you dream bigger and bolder within a “what-if”, sub-conscious vision than you do in the ego generated conscious vision. The what-if question is like a secret button to automatically start the manifestation process. I am learning to trust it; to fall backwards into the newly forming reality with trust, love and gratitude. The first time that I intentionally asked myself a what-if question, I was surprised by how quickly the vision manifested. It was something simple, like “what if I could have a day off soon?”. I entered the vision of myself getting organized, catching up on tasks, maybe even taking a nap in the middle of the day for absolutely no reason. Within a day or two came a reminder email that our company was closed for President’s day. Lucky strike I figured. Soon the effects of my what-if questions could not be denied. I asked myself “What if I had the money to upgrade to a Business Site so that I could properly display and offer my products for purchase?” The money very soon appeared from a source that I could not have imagined. It is like the “what-if” question is some sort of secret button that automatically starts manifesting the desires of my soul. It is such now that I know the support for my passion is being manifested within every second of every day. There are so many signs along the way, so many nudges and clues from the Universe that it has my undivided attention, and I am a willing and obedient student.

Pay Gratitude

Once I realized that I have the power to manifest the life of my dreams, I find moments of gratefulness even when things are extremely hard. It must be a part of the automatic manifestation system, because it just happens. Whenever the focus is on the low-vibration (self-pity, anger, frustration, etc), the higher vibration chimes in (thankfulness, service, happiness). One day I thought about how it would be nice to have a few updated appliances to make it a little easier to make my products; almost instantly I heard, “but I am thankful that I am able to make them at all”. I thought about how far I had come from this time last year, about how much my process and my products have evolved and how much I enjoyed the time I spent making things for people. It took some time for me to learn to shift focus to the high-vibration, and sometimes it takes a bit longer than others, but I am grateful that I am getting the picture a little more each day.


I really love making products that make people feel better. I love getting the text, or the call or the instant message saying I helped someone. I’ve heard that those things are not supposed to effect us, but sometimes I indulge. It feels like a little burst of heaven when something that I made has touched another life, and I like it. I could live lifetimes from that rich, concentrated feeling of joy and human connection. It makes me want to make things even better. It makes the wait for full manifestation bearable, because there is no wait- the journey is the real treasure, and it is littered with diamonds and gems. When you are doing what you love and concentrating on your passion, the Universe has no choice but to support you in all ways possible. Your passion is needed; it is required to promote Universal healing. “What if I had the support that I need” turns into support, and it does so quickly, because your presence and your talents are needed to heal humanity. When you are about your business that comes from a place of love and obedience, you are supported by the Universe.


Essential: Acts and Energies

One of the lessons that I continue to pursue is the quest to reduce egocentric drama.  Although I have successfully made some relationship adjustments, I often wondered how I could reassign a person’s significance in my life without judging him or her.   During a late-night meditation, the answer was revealed to me.  It is all about alignment.

balance beach boulder close up

Photo by Danne on


The word alignment is one of those words that used to cause me to roll my eyes because it seems to be everywhere.   I try very hard not to fall into the traps of the overused and trending sections of societal beliefs, but I thought maybe this word alignment has real roots and value.  I recently finished reading a book called “The Vortex” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and the text definitely filled some gaps in my personal understanding regarding the importance of alignment.

I recently made a decision in a matter of minutes that would have probably taken me months or even years in the past.  I felt good about the decision; it felt right and I felt lighter once it was made.  The fact is that the situation was no longer working for me, and I made the decision to put myself and my well-being first without a second thought.  I did contemplate it later, just to be sure that I received the lesson that was intended from this particular situation.  I wanted to look for signs of my ego and one of it’s more infamous tools- judgement.  The answer that I received from The Divine Universe was this:  “There is a difference between an Act and an Energy.  You know the difference!”

Pay Gratitude:

The truth is, I have always known the difference, even if I did not put that knowledge into action.  Knowing the difference between someone’s Act and their Energy but neglecting to put that knowledge into action on behalf of one’s own benefit can lead to years of complacency and suffering.  For example, if your boyfriend, who is loving and kind 29 out of 30 days every month, says an unkind word to a waiter on day 30 of month 11, that is probably a regrettable act.  He probably feels horrible, apologizes immensely  and then tips the poor guy 30%.  If your boyfriend is loving and kind 29 minutes out of every 24 hours and is impatient and coarse the remainder of the time, that is likely an energy.  He may have gone through 3 or 4 girlfriends this year who know the difference and acted upon it accordingly, or he may have 1 girlfriend who knows the difference but is not aligned with herself enough to act accordingly.  This girlfriend may endure some needless suffering indeed.  Don’t be this girlfriend.

When the Divine and Infinite Energy reminded me that I knew the difference between an act and an energy, I was grateful beyond words for having the self-love to take action on that knowledge.  There was a time when I did not value myself enough to act.  There was a time when the physical and emotional red flags of mis-alignment nearly killed me, but my need to please others was apparently stronger than my will to live.  Instead of listening to the wisdom of Spirit, I hopped on the emotional wave of my ego and was swept away to a destination that I had no desire to visit and stayed way longer than I ever wanted.

brown framed light bulb

Photo by Skitterphoto on

I have noticed  that when I am acting upon Spiritual guidance, a small act such as a change in my thought pattern, a walk outside, a deep breath, or just saying “no” is all that is required.  The ego on the other hand likes to flail about and display acts that draw attention from all corners of the earth.  This is how I now know the difference between judging someone versus mis-alignment.  When I judge someone, it usually results in things like anger, confusion and gossip, and physical symptoms such as increased heartrate.  When I am mis-aligned  with someone, it usually results in me saying “no” to their invitation to change my vibration to one that does not serve me.  The act of correcting my mis-alignment feels good and I feel at peace.  I even feel grateful and  excited to see what is next.



affection board broken broken hearted

Photo by Pixabay on

The other thing that I am grateful for is that Love conquers all.  Even when things are difficult and when energies are off, it is all part of the plan to bring us all into alignment.  All things that are done in the Spirit of love serves a purpose even when it feels uncomfortable.  We are strong enough to ride the wave of emotion without becoming attached to those emotions.   There is no real separation between any of us, only re-alignment, purpose fulfillment and journey progression.  Namaste.



Essential- One

I started my own business about a month ago.  I help small business owners manage their day to day business tasks. I help with sending emails, managing social media pages, and scheduling just to name a few.  Whatever they need, I am here to assist.

One of my clients requested help with coordinating some of  the events that she has been unable to complete due to her busy schedule.  It is exhilarating  to be a part of everything and to see it all come together, but I hit a mental obstacle the day of the first event that I coordinated.  After all of the outreaching, coordinating, posting and promoting, what if no one actually attended?

white and blue come on in we ere open signage

Photo by Tim Mossholder on



Part of me felt confident in the work that I had done, but another part of me was in a small panic.  I resolved to the fact that I did my absolute best while I waited for the call saying the event was a disaster.  Thankfully that call never came, but I did receive a message from the Universe.  I guess it was my ego that wanted the place to be standing room only with people fighting to get into the building.  I felt a little sad inside thinking that it might not be that way, but the Universe had a different message for me.  The message was- it only takes one.

It only takes one person to change everything.  Would I have rather had 100 of the wrong people to show up or the 1 right person?  It reminded me to be grateful for the individuals instead of the crowd.  It reminded me to stay in the moment and to appreciate everything and everyone and to resist the hype of my ego.  So indeed, I learned something profound, and I paid gratitude for every person in attendance.

Pay Gratitude:

During the process of starting my business, I realized that the journey to  Essential Her started it all.  I thought about giving up the blog and the whole idea of what I wanted Essential Her to become, but again the Universe stepped in and showed me how to revitalize what I started.  The Universe showed me that the time lapses when I was not active were part of the journey.  Indeed, it showed me that although I may not get a lot of traffic, it only takes one.  Maybe there is one person who will read one of my blog entries and connect with the message.  Maybe one person will re-invest in themselves as I did, or think about things differently than they did yesterday.   I am grateful that the message came through just for me, and that I listened.


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on


I love my new path.  I learn something new about myself and my community every single day.  If I am not working on a project or developing my product line, I am reading or listening to something motivational or laughing with my kids.  These things seem simple, but the value that they add to my life is priceless.  I am learning to live in the moment, to resist the stories that my mind creates about how far-fetched this whole thing is, and to realize that every single moment is valuable.  If indeed journey is the destination, then I made it.  Namaste.

Essential- Journey to All Natural


It’s amazing to think of all of the transformations that have taken place in my life over the past year.

Pay Gratitude:

One of the things that I have been most drawn to is using and making my own natural products.  I’m not sure how this started, but I am grateful that I  have become passionate about the entire process.  I love finding new natural ingredients, discovering their magical properties, then putting them to the test.  I have noticed some personal positive changes, including smoother skin with less acne outbreaks, stronger healthier hair and less “unsavory” mood and body changes surrounding that special time of the month.


I love my Rosewater, but now I am thinking about offering Rosewater infused with Hibiscus.  I have been intrigued with Hibiscus Flowers for awhile but more for the nutritional properties.  After reading about Hibiscus’ reputation for rapid hair growth, I decided I had to try it.

So, here is a picture of me on day one of using Rosewater infused with Hibiscus.  I also made a Hibiscus Oil that I added to a bottle of my personal oil blend.  I’m going to give it 3 months to see if there is a significant difference.  I will post pictures every few weeks for a time lapse.  Here goes!  Namaste.




Essential- Inspiration

There seem to be countless upon endless inspirational speakers all over social media.  You can tumble down the rabbit hole of “you can do it” videos on the tube, never to be seen or heard from again.  I have watched them…lots of them.  At one point, I even thought I wanted to be one of them, to represent a different type of inspiration from a different point of view (and still, you never know).  You can imagine my surprise when my greatest sources of inspiration were two people who were not shouting into microphones or selling a three-part dvd series; they were just living their lives authentically.

photo of people gathering in room

Photo by Luis Quintero on



As you may be able to tell from the *ahem* sketchy consistency of my blogging, I may have temporarily lost my motivation.  I had a ton of great ideas and projects that I wanted to put into play, however I usually found myself lying around playing candy crush or some other mind-numbing activity.  It was as if the connection between my brain and my body was severed, which happens to be one of the side-effects of not taking my anti-depressants for 6 months.  So the first step was to attempt to return to humanity by getting my brain chemicals back on track.  After a few weeks, I found the drive to do something about all of the ways I wanted to change and improve my life.  Not that sitting in front of a computer all day repeating the same soul-draining tasks is a bad thing, however I just want a little more life in my life.

Pay Gratitude:

The Universe has this way of bringing people into your life who mirror a part of who you are and who you could be at the precisely right time.  The person who inspired me the most  during this transitional time did not enter my life in a grand fashion; there was no long stare across the room or instant moment of “knowing”.  It was quiet, like when you’re waiting to see the doctor for 40 minutes and finally he knocks softly and comes right in (knocking of course is just a formality).  This person did not come in quoting great philosophies or regurgitating rhythmic clichés.  In fact, they were shocked when I told them that I admired them.  They had the courage to go against the  status quo 9-5, 2 fifteen minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch lifestyle.  They took the risk to start their own business, to make their own hours, to go on vacation without the dreaded time-off request battle.  (Seriously, why do we have to ask permission to take time off from our own lives?)  I am forever grateful to the Universe for bringing us together, and to my friend for living authentically and out loud.  Namaste.

adventure boy girl idyllic

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on

I was not nearly as close to the second person who inspired me, but like my dear friend she too seemed to lived life on her own terms; she dressed authentically and wore her hair and jewelry in a way that represented her culture and beliefs.  One of the things that I loved the most when I first started working from home was the freedom to wear whatever I wanted and not having to cover my body art.  It’s like having layers (or letting your layers show I should say) is looked down upon in mainstream society.  To see this successful female minority  business owner paving her own way was the final straw.  I was looking at what I wanted to be, and I was kind of over not being that.  Again to the Divine Universe and to this brave trailblazer, Thank you, Namaste.


I re-evaluated and updated all of the soul-searching and growth that I have done over the past year and realized that even though I fell apart a little, there were still some pretty good pieces to work with.  I took the parts of Corporate America that I loved and started my own business earlier this month, and I signed my first paying client within a week.  I then realized that there are so many other things that I love, and that I can do most of them like, right now.  I am nervous and some days I wonder if I really have what it takes, but I love that too.  If I’m going to be nervous, why not be nervous about something that could change my life and give myself and my family a better future?   Why not be nervous on my own behalf instead of the behalf of fickle supervisors and companies?  So here I am, standing in front of an opened door that I have never approached, ready to start a new love and a fresh live on my own terms while I still have time within the Earth School.  Stay tuned (and wish me luck!)   BUSINESSLOVESART.COM



Figuring out how to be in love is a daunting task.  One thing seems to be certain; the way that we view love in this collective human consciousness could use some refreshening.

I am a strong believer in doing what is right for oneself.  Following the crowd or doing what has been done in your family for generations can lead to needless suffering.  So I set out to obtain a better understanding of who I am and what I really want from a romantic relationship.  The Universe recently sent me some lessons to refine my understanding of love.  When those lessons came to an end, I came away with three new understandings.



It is all bout the Spiritual Connection

I came to realize that my ultimate goal is to be in a relationship that provides a dope Spiritual Connection (Spiritual High).  Of course a Spiritual Connection can be obtained individually, but it is enhanced when you combine your experience with someone who wants the same things out of life that you do.  You can see the impact of combined spiritual experiences all around you; it is the hype at sporting events or the vibe during a jam session.  A Spiritual Connection allows you to see more of God, more of the beauty of nature; it allows you to be loved and free at the exact same time.  It allows you to see and understand things with clarity.  A Spiritual Connection allows you to be the best version of yourself.

Access Points

There are countless access points (people, substances, situations) to the Spiritual Connection/ Spiritual High and each access point will give you something different.  I briefly dated a guy (access point) but I recently ended things with him.  In the past, I would have either held on to  (or married) this limited access point in hopes of changing him.  Thank goodness I am no longer that girl!  I simply realized that this access point is not the one for me.  Sure there were some good things; the attention and affection were nice, but there were too many contaminants.  I did not want to corrupt my Spiritual connection with blaming, inconsistency or constant disappointments, so I let go.  Thankfully, it only took me 2 months to recognize the obvious this time instead of 9 years.  This was not the access point meant for me, and that is okay.  I hacked in for a brief time but I moved on when it was necessary.

I also came to realize that I am an access point as well.  There is someone out there looking for my exact qualities; it would be a shame if he could not find me because I am  “connected” to the wrong outlet or trying to fix something that does not belong to me.  My time is better spent upgrading and maintaining my Spiritual access point (myself).

Set Your Intentions

The connection that you are seeking belongs to you, so you must figure out exactly what you want.  Some people want to be married with 2.5 kids, others want to remain single, travel the world and have a boyfriend in every city.   Both choices are valid, but imagine if the world traveler somehow ended up with the 2.5 kids living a stationary life of endless soccer games and potato salad.  There could be some misery in her future after the honeymoon phase wears off.  Taking the time to set intentions allows you to see what you don’t want from 10 miles away so that you can duck into an alley and save yourself.

Our desires tend to change over time and that is okay too.  The point is to be sure that they are your desires, not what society or your mom says you have to do.  Look around; the Universe allows everything to go on, even things that we consider bad.  Rules are self-imposed, so set your own rules and boundaries.  Set your own love intentions.

Pay Gratitude:

Although things did not work out with the guy, I am grateful for him.  He will be the perfect access point for someone, but not for me.  He allowed me to put my new and improved boundaries to the test in real-life.  I communicated more effectively than I think I ever have in a romantic relationship.  I am thankful to the Universe for sending him my way and for nudging me to end it when it was clear that this was not my access point.

I am also grateful for what I have learned about myself.  I can be in a relationship and still be an individual.  I can commit without giving myself completely away.  I can say what I want and what I need, and it is okay if the other person cannot give me those things.  It does not make my needs invalid nor does it make me needy.  It makes me a human looking for the access point that is right for me.


For me, love means letting him be.  If I love him, I won’t want to modify him, cut him down, make him stay, cancel his plans or make him dress a certain way.  To love him (for me) means to respect his beauty and his gifts.  It means to be honored by his presence and grateful for the time we spend together.  To love the person (access point) is to pay gratitude to all of the ways that he connects me to the Spiritual Realm.

I don’t subscribe to the “love takes work” theory.  Love is love; you do not have to make it or do anything to it.  Learning yourself takes work; commitment and compromise takes work but not love.  If you love someone, you just do because love is just love.



Essential- YOUR Mental Health

*Disclaimer- I do not advocate stopping any medications without consulting your primary care provider.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-8255.*


I was diagnosed with Depression at the age of 21.  For more than 20 years I took antidepressants, however I weaned myself from my medications at the end of 2018.  This was not really planned; it was a combination of loss of insurance, the retirement of my primary care physician, financial limitations and a desire for a higher spiritual connection and less prescription drug toxicity.

There are many factors (financial, spiritual, ethical, etc.) that may cause people to venture into alternative mental health management.  It is not for me to judge myself or anyone else in their choices.  There is always another side of the story that none of us are necessarily privy to.  Although mental health is a concern of the collective human consciousness, it is also a very personal phenomenon .  There is no one-size treatment or cure, and we all share in the responsibility to love one another without judgement.

This is a very small excerpt of the story of MY Personal mental health.





For a while after stopping my medications, I felt amazing for months on end.  Sometimes I still feel amazing, and sometimes I struggle to open my eyes, let alone get out of bed.  I specifically titled this blog “YOUR Mental Health” because every journey is different.  Depression is different for a 45 year old single mother of young children (one of which has his own behavioral diagnosis) than it is for a 65 year old man recovering from a stroke.  Although my own journey with depression helps me to recognize some of the signs of depression in others, I can never presume to know what is best for another person.  I can however give some tips based on my own experiences that may help you relate to someone who you suspect may be suffering from depression.

  1.  Don’t Take It Personal.  People who know me well know that I have a tendency to go silent sometimes.  I don’t always answer calls or text messages in a timely manner, and leaving a voicemail is like burying a student loan bill in the sand- I have no desire to retrieve it.  There is almost a physical inability for me to engage in conversations sometimes because it simply takes more energy than I have available.  Even if you don’t get a response, sending a text that says “I’m thinking of you” may be exactly what your loved one needs.  It doesn’t require a response and doesn’t require any action on their part.  It is simply a gift of love and light.
  2.  Listen.   This one seems simple enough, but yeah, not really.    I probably don’t want your version of a solution to my problem, I just want to get it off of my chest with someone who I can trust with my vulnerability.  Life is a complex set of challenges and solutions are rarely simple.  Childhood and adulthood experiences, nature, nurture, financial challenges loneliness and isolation are among the many factors that shape my perceptions. Advise such as “Just don’t worry about it”  or “You’re just going to have to…” for a person like me sounds invalidating and uncaring, although I am sure that is not the intended effect.  Listening for me means entering that uncomfortable space of not knowing what to say or do to make me feel better.  It means you being vulnerable with me as I am being vulnerable with you.  It means being okay with not having a solution.   It may mean not responding verbally at all, or it may mean responding with ” I feel helpless because I don’t know what to say to make you feel better.”   It is hard to listen to someone who just needs to pass through the negative energy of the moment, but if you love them, please give it a try.  You may be surprised to find that you being there is enough (and by enough I mean everything they ever wanted).
  3. Recognize the cry for help.  Depression has a funny way of filtering my cries for help.  I think it has something to do with my sense of pride.  I never want to bother people and I definitely do not like to be rejected, so most of the time I will not come right out and ask for what I need.  Instead, I will hold it in and  further isolate myself.  It is a flaw that I recognize but have not quite figured out how to overcome.  You just have to know the person that you love that suffers from depression.  If you truly know them, you already know where they struggle- just offer to help them in those areas.   The old adage “you have not because you ask not” doesn’t always work with depression.  Sometimes I don’t even know what to ask for or I’m too exhausted to care, so I just deal with it.  It is indeed a vicious cycle, however knowing is half the battle.   If you know your friend is going through a period of depression, just go ahead and bring their trash can in that’s been sitting on the curb for 3 days.  It is a small gesture, but sometimes that is all we need.
  4. Don’t Judge.  Over the past few months, I have really opened myself to non-judgement especially of myself.  Judgement creeps in so subtly and causes so much harm and damage to self-esteem and to relationships.  For example, if I say to myself “I should not have eaten that ice cream”, I have basically condemned myself  to shame without having all of the evidence.  Food is medicine and is especially good medicine for depression.  Maybe my body knew that having that ice cream would provide me with a much needed emotional boost; I simply do not have enough information to make a negative judgment.  If I gain weight from eating ice cream,  whatever.  I hope you can love me anyway.
  5. Feel the feelings.   I have found that walking through my feelings  during a period of depression helps me much more than avoiding them.  I am here on Earth  to have a human experience and to explore every feeling that comes my way.  There is a difference between walking through a feeling and living there.  A 2 or 3 day bitterness event is probably harmless. Giving in to the seduction of bitterness and living there permanently is a different story.   I have become less afraid of negative feelings; I embrace them because I know they are here to teach me something or to force me to look at the good side of a current situation.  Gratitude allows me the safety of exploring my negative feelings; it tethers me to the surface when depression drags me down.


Pay Gratitude:  

I cannot express enough how much cultivating my own circle has shifted my personal growth.  I challenge you to evaluate those closest to you (including yourself) and ask how they are adding to your happiness.   My inner circle is small- like it’s probably more of a dot.  These are people, situations and events that I specifically choose; they are not handed down or joined to me due to heredity or obligation or guilt.  I am grateful for my circle.

When I wrote my intentions for my life some months ago, people and situations began to shed almost immediately.  Healthy distancing from familiar people and situations is  scary business.  Walking through the dark tunnel that connects your past life and the brightness of your future is full of ghosts and crickets and creepy noises.  There are times when I feel invisible and isolated.  There are days when I wonder if I even have a purpose or if I even exist.  Today, because of my circle ( and a little blind faith)  I know that I do have a purpose, and maybe I am coming to the end of this dark tunnel

My cousin asked me a couple of weeks ago to start posting again; she said she felt that I helped people and that my posts helped her.  She knows about my struggle with depression, but she also knew when and how to say what I needed to hear (see #3 above).  Earlier this week, my six year old daughter took her thumb out of her mouth (this usually proceeds some profound remark on her part) and asked me “Mommy, do you still write in your journals?”  I took it as a sign.  Today I was cooking some breakfast and thinking about writing my blog for the first time in a long time.  As I was thinking about it, my nine year old son randomly walked up behind me and handed me my laptop (again, maybe it’s a sign).   I definitely think that my circle has help from my Spirit Guides.  I am thankful that we all listened.




As I have asked several times throughout this blog, I ask again for your love, but not just for me.  I believe strongly that we can only make it together, and love always brings us together.   There are countless ways to express your love for those around you.  It can be as simple as extending grace to someone who has slighted you.  It can be putting a quarter in an expired parking meter (you never know when someone is literally down to their last dime).  It can be reading a blog about a personal account of mental health challenges and beginning to empathize with someone who has been labeled “lazy” or “Debbie downer” or “weirdo”.

I love that I can be vulnerable with the whole world right now.  I love that I have a voice, and that maybe my story will connect with others.  I love that I can help shed the negative stigma surrounding depression and mental health challenges.  And finally, I love all of those (not just the people mentioned here) who gently encouraged me to take my medicine (to write again).  Namaste.



Essential- Money Consciousness

When I was without a steady source of income, I had to re-evaluate my life’s essentials (hence the name Essential Her).  The perception of lack of financial resources will trick you into looking outside of yourself  for the answers if you are not careful.  It will trick you into things like getting a second job (that you probably don’t want) or going into business for the wrong reasons.

Of course money is necessary for survival in our world, but often we look to the physical manifestation of financial abundance (dollar bills, debit cards, etc.) as the source of our problems instead of examining the lack that lives within our own souls.  I discovered that there were many things that I had incorporated into my lifestyle that were just fillers.  These fillers were attempts to satisfy the empty spaces in my soul.  They obviously were not working, otherwise I would not have been so emotionally and financially empty.


Many of the things that I did, utilized, even purchased were out of sheer adherence to old paradigms, and paradigms are always tied to finances.  For an example, I now realize that my grocery shopping paradigms (beliefs) manifested in my finances.    In the past, I made a long list of grocery items that we would need for the week based on four or five meals (one for each day with room for leftovers).  I previously believed that it is cheaper to shop for groceries for the month instead of “eating out” several times per week.  In hindsight, this belief likely led to food waste.  I thought about how many times I had to “clean out” the refrigerator, tossing unused vegetables, meat that had freezer burn, outdated  milk, milk that was no longer milk, etc. because we had not used the food items in a timely manner.   It was really more of a throwing away hoarded food as opposed to cleaning out.  Hoarding is an expression of the perception of lack, which is contrary to abundance.  Hoarding  in one area will manifest as lack in another, so it is very possible that hoarding in my kitchen was showing up as lack in my bank account.

This eventually led me to re-evaluate the products that I use around the house.    After doing some research, I realized that many of the chemicals in personal products and cleaning products are there to fill the need for more; more color, more suds, more smell, more shelf-life, more convenience.  Oh yea, and they cost more money too.  The addiction to more (especially more convenience in my case) had contributed to my perception of financial lack.  Money unfairly took the blame for my adherence to old paradigms.  I believe that money is a consciousness, so I think of money as a person.  Not many people will show up in your life if you falsely accuse them of something that they did not do, so now I can understand why money was not showing up for me.


Now that I am back working, I have continued to make more efficient purchases.  Once per week, I make cleaning supplies and personal care items for my family.  It is easy and cost effective and fun.  There are essential oils and herbs that can be purchased and utilized to get creative with aromas, textures and colors.  My son likes citrus scents and my daughter likes lavender and roses.  Imagine how much easier it is to get them to use their deodorant or moisturizer when it is made especially for them.  Imagine the love payment that I receive from them and the happiness that my soul experiences knowing that I made something for the people that I love.  It is priceless.

Pay Gratitude:

The revelation that I wasted a lot of time, money, food and creativity is another reason that I am grateful for the event that triggered my awakening.  Now instead of pouring my money into things that I eventually end up throwing away, I pour that money into myself, my family and my community.  What is even more amazing to me is that most of the things that I love to buy (essential oils, natural soaps, herbs, roses) are relatively inexpensive but extremely useful and long-lasting.  My love for shopping now has a meaning.  I am grateful that the Universe found a way to balance my human side (acquiring stuff) with my spiritual side (creating stuff) in a way that is meaningful and purposeful.



I love to share the things that I have made with my family and friends.  Even when I attempt to give some things away, people want to pay me for my creativity.  The point is, when you create something that comes from the soul that is made with love, the Universe supports you.  Your love is returned in the form of financial support.  Money is a form of love!  It feels amazing when people want to give you love (in the form of money) vs. having to ask for love (in the form of money) for the things that you have created.  It is a blessing indeed- it is a motivating force and the ultimate multiplier because love creates more love.  Namaste