Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: January 2016

Gratitude Review: January

fire-690944_1280     I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I came close to not writing a Gratitude Review this month. With the loss of so many of my musical and film heroes, and then a close friend,  January has kinda been a cold bitch. It’s times like these though, that gratitude can uplift us and carry us though sadness and periods of loss. For that reason, it felt critical that I find something that I could be happy about.

It also felt important to speak candidly. There will be times where you will look around at a series of heartbreaking occurrences and feel more like lifting your middle finger than raising your vibration. I think that’s totally okay when times get really hard as long as you make yourself a promise not to stay there. That said, as I looked back over the month almost gone, I did have some moments I do feel truly grateful for, and I’m going to share them with you.

leonie workbooks

I woke up to the news of David Bowie’s passing on Monday morning. His music was such a huge part of my twenties, when I was just starting to figure out who I was. There’s a beautiful hand painted version of his Aladdin Sane cover on the wall above the booth at the bar where I spent most of that decade of my life. Even when I wasn’t actively listening to him, it felt like he was that friend that was always there.  When I got home later that night, I played everything of his that I own and sat on my sofa and sobbed for a while. When I was done crying, I lit a candle and sat down on the floor in front of my coffee table with all of my colored Sharpies. I took out my Leonie Dawson 2016 workbooks with inspiration flowing through my veins and I wrote, colored and drew like a madwoman for a few hours. It felt appropriate and cleansing, especially since it had been quite a while since I had a rush of creativity like that. It’s an odd thing to say, but the joy was so pure I’m tearing up now just typing about it. I’m incredibly grateful for it.

cute space heater

Sometimes when it’s hard to find something to feel thankful for, it helps to go back to basics. It was really cold here last Sunday. I decided to go out for a little while to brave some of the January mega-sales, so I was in and out in the cold for a good chunk of the day. When I got home with my clearance finds, I was bone cold. I turned up the heat a few degrees and snuggled in with the dog and every blanket I had in the apartment and just felt truly grateful to have a warm, safe place to call home. Sometimes we need those reminders of the things we typically take for granted. Also, I’m always insanely grateful for Harrison. I mean, come on! Just look at that face! Okay, I’ll stop now.

sweater coat

I finally and really heard myself saying something toward the end of last year that I’ve recently started repenting for. I’ve had a nasty habit of holding out on myself by saying things like “I’ll get that haircut when my face is a little thinner” or “I really love that sweater, but I should wait until I’m down a couple of sizes”.  What was that all about?!?! That kind of punishing self-talk totally sucks! Well, guess what? I bought that damn sweater (actually, I bought two!) and I got that damn haircut and I’m not withholding from myself anymore! I’m not perfect, but I do deserve to be happy! I’m super grateful for the lesson and even more grateful for the opportunities to correct myself. If we all waited until we were perfect to be happy, we’d spend our whole lives waiting to really live. (That photo above is the next little number I have my eye on!)

I want to know what you were grateful for this month! Leave me a comment below with the thing that made your heart go zing! If it was a rough one for you too, there’s some love and light from me coming your way. Let’s look forward to February together, Darling Heart.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,


Essential Oil Spotlight: Steal Back Your Health with the Four Thieves

winter walk    Winter is wonderful, until that illness circling the office finally catches up with you. There are things you can do with essential oils to control germs and keep sickness at bay when it does come calling, though. If you’re a fan of aromatherapy already, it’s likely that you’ve used a version of the Four Thieves blend at some point, or have at least heard of it. If you’re not versed in essential oils yet, this awesome blend has an interesting history.  Back in the middle ages when the bubonic plague was killing off people in droves, it’s believed that spice traders who were unable to support themselves during these tough times, began robbing the bodies that piled up in the street to keep themselves afloat. Because they knew about the medicinal properties of their spices and used them, they remained healthy.  When they were caught, they were brought before the King who gave them a choice to either hand over their secret or be punished by death for their crimes. Once the recipe was shared, it spread throughout the land and helped contribute to the end of the plague.

While the recipe has been altered over the years, the common oils in most commercially available blends seems to be mostly the same. For the purpose of this post, I’m listing the recipe I use because the oils used are both easy to come by and relatively inexpensive. You may already have a lot of these at home, and even if you don’t, they are good go-to oils to have on hand for a variety of other uses. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 ml Essential Oil Bottle with a Dropper Top
  • Clove Essential Oil (45 drops)
  • Cinnamon Essential Oil (25 drops)
  • Lemon Essential Oil (35 drops)
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil (15 drops)

empty aroma bottle

Remove your cap and dropper top on your empty bottle and add the above oils one at a time. Once you’re done, you’ll put the top and cap back on, shake well, and you’re good to go. You can also add Rosemary to this blend, if you like.  I usually don’t, only because I use rosemary for so many of my other blends that it’s usually the one I’m always close to running out of! Around 10 drops should do it, if you’re feeling so inclined.  Leave it out if you’re pregnant, however. Now for the disclaimers: Because essential oils are highly potent, this blend should never be applied directly to the body without the use of carrier oils or creams, especially on children or the elderly. Please consult the literature accompanying your oils for proper dilution ratios or check with an appropriate healthcare professional for further advice. Though certain companies claim essential oils are safe to consume, please leave this practice to certified aromatherapists who have experience with this process and can take all of your medications and possible side effects into consideration. Essential oils are lots of fun and safe to use as long as you follow these basic rules. 

First things first, stop a cold from catching up with you by washing your hands often and wiping down your desk and common areas, like bathroom countertops, doorknobs and telephones with a simple antibacterial spray you can whip up at home. In a 2 ounce spray-top bottle put together the following ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 oz Filtered Water
  • 1/2 oz Vodka or Witch Hazel
  • 15-30 drops of your Four Thieves Blend


Then you’ll just spray this like a multi-purpose cleaning spray and wipe down with a soft cloth or a paper towel. That’s it. Easy peasy lemon (and other oils) squeezy!


If you’re already sick, this blend diffuses well in bedrooms and can also be inhaled on a tissue. If you’re going to use the tissue method though, less is more. One to two drops will do it. You can always add more as needed. Follow the directions that came with your diffuser as to what amounts of your blend to use.


If you’re feeling deeply congested and looking for relief, I also like Eucalyptus steam treatments for my lungs. Since you’ll already have some on hand for making your immunity blend, it’ll be easy to just boil some water on the stove (a kettle works great for this), carefully pour the water into a sink you can plug, then add one to two drops of Eucalyptus oil. Then you’ll create a steam tent by holding your face over the water. Leave  plenty of space so you don’t burn yourself, and cover your head with a towel to trap the vapor underneath. Breathe deeply for about 5 minutes, coming up for cool air as needed, then drain the sink and repeat daily as symptoms persist.

I hope this tutorial helps you and that you enjoy making this well-known blend for yourself, and for your friends and family. Let me know how this recipe treats you and if you have any other wonderful uses for the Four Thieves blend that you’re already using. I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve created another blend that’s doing the trick! Happy blending!


Wishing You Total Well-Being,


Loving Your Liver: How to Help it Bounce Back After Overindulging

champagne     With all of the spiked eggnog, mulled wine, and champagne toasts at parties this past holiday season, it’s hard not to have overindulged at least a little. When we do, one of the organs that works overtime to compensate is our liver. Sitting in upper right portion of our abdomens, just above the stomach, our livers perform the vital function of filtering everything we consume and inhale . When we tax it with excess alcohol and overly fatty foods, the 3 lb organ can really benefit from a little TLC.

How can we help a liver out? Eating a clean diet, drinking plenty of fresh water, and utilizing support herbs and supplements can be just the ticket to fixing our filter. Many of these helpful practices can be performed with little to no added expense, making them especially valuable, but not necessarily costly.


One of the best things you can do to help your live function better is to eat well. Garlic is a great addition to nearly all savory meals, and with high levels of allicin, it aids in the cleansing of the liver, too. Want an excuse to add some guac to your burrito bowl? Avocados are rich in glutathione, which assists the liver in filtering harmful toxins. Get in some leafy greens, as well. Adding an extra leaf of romaine to your sandwich or using collards for your wrap can give you a good dose of chlorophyll, which will help purify the blood of heavy metals and pesticides, which also burden the liver.


Staying hydrated is one of the best ways we can maintain health in all areas of our body, but drinking plenty of water helps the liver specifically by keeping the liquid content of the blood high. When we don’t drink enough of it, it can change the viscosity, which makes it harder to filter and makes the detoxification process more difficult. If drinking plain water isn’t your cup of tea, try actual tea. Green tea, known for its antioxidant content, is especially rich in catechins. These highly potent flavanoids are known to improve liver function. Not a tea-toataler? Adding lemons to your water not only adds Vitamin C, but it also aids in cleansing the liver, as well.


If you’ve been taxing your liver for a long while, reaching for some support herbs and supplements could be helpful for starting out the year with a clean bill of health. Many supplement stores carry liver cleanses that take all of the guess-work out of the detoxification process. They can be pricy however, so if a kit isn’t in the cards, look for singular herbs like milk thistle and dandelion root to assist with liver congestion. You can also look for the amino acid N-acetylcysteine, or NAC. NAC also increases glutathione synthesis, so if the avocados don’t do it for you, this is a more than suitable substitute. As always, it’s wise to consult with your physician before introducing any supplements into your daily regimen. Making sure there aren’t any interactions with anything you may already be taking, and that you’re healthy enough for supplements in the first place, will do more than just help your liver. It could just keep your alive.

When our diets include healthy foods, we get enough water to stay hydrated and flush out toxins, and we know what supplements to reach for when we’ve had a bit too much fun, it’s not hard to get our livers back in tip top shape. With the over 500 vital functions it performs to keep us going, giving it a little love now and again means it gets to love us back a little longer, too. Next time you raise a glass, do it to good health.

2016 Word of the Year

love note     This week I put up a post on my personal Facebook page about choosing my Word of the Year. It’s the first time I’ve done this,  as I’m a recovering resolution-ist. Last year I participated in the Desire Mapping process to declare some Core Desired Feelings to pursue, but having a theme for the year never felt relevant or important to me until this year. Holy cow, did ever feel critical for 2016!

I took one of those goofy, but fun quizzes that was circulating in my Facebook feed. I’d seen several of my more soulful friends posting their word and thought, “Shoot, what do I have to lose?” Ohmyfreakinggoodness, did I LOVE my result! My soul went zing! Not kidding, it fit me like the perfect little black dress. My word? Love.


Love is such a wonderful way to describe what I had planned when I made my 2016 To Do list. First, it will remind me to see love in what surrounds me. It’s a gentle nudge to actively see love in all of the living things in my life, in all of the people I interact with daily, in my pets, in nature. It’s a reminder to see love in the little things that make up my day, but usually go unnoticed. Things like my morning drive, that first cup of tea, or that great song on that new playlist I’ve discovered. It also reminds me to be love. It’s a sweet little invitation to give love to all of the living things in my life, too . To spend a little longer rubbing the dog’s belly, to stay on the phone with my bestie just a little longer, to offer up some extra attention to my plants. It’s a call to be loving to the planet in action and in thought, by recycling, cleaning up litter and sending up love and light to the world daily. It’s a reminder to spread love to the situations that don’t go as planned, because they are opportunities to learn something. It’s also a call to practice self-love by crossing awesome things off of my dream list, like finishing aromatherapy school, spiff up my home and wardrobe, and get out there in the world and travel! It means showing myself loving kindness by making it a point to participate in personal development and creative projects daily and to launch and grow my practice.

It isn’t too late to think of a word for your year and I’d absolutely love to hear about yours and what lead you to it! There’s power in declaration, so let’s lovingly support each other this year. Leave your word in the comments below, and if you can’t think of one tell me about some of the things you want to accomplish this year and maybe I can help! Hope your new year is absolutely lovely!


Wishing You Total Well-Being,


Gratitude Review: Goodbye to 2015

winter-654442_1920     Is it just me, or was December a tough month? I was sick for most of it, and got some sad news that’s affecting someone very important to me, then capped it off with not-so-fun quarrel that had me pretty stressed and heart-sick for a few days. I’m certainly not sad to have been able to set the counter back to zero at midnight. Since I missed my usual Gratitude Review last month and I want to give January a fighting chance, I thought I’d actually start the month with some of the highlights from my 2015 and share them with all of you. So Duke, roll that beautiful bean footage…

yoga meditation

I started my year accomplishing something that I still sit in total thankful awe over. In January of last year I completed my Meditation Teacher’s Certification. It was the best experience, and one I’m so proud of.

busted ankle

In June I slipped and seriously injured my ankle.  I know that isn’t really a thing most people jump for joy about, or in my case hobble, but a mighty good lesson came out of it.  Rest. I started out the year thinking I was going to get sh!t done. If anything, I was overeager about it. When I fell, it forced me to take a looooong look at my schedule and do some serious soul searching. What it did is teach me to slow down and learn to say no when saying yes was really not in my best interest. I also got to heap a lot of self-care on myself because, dang yo, it really hurt. I’m better now thankfully, and I have been applying this lesson ever since.

aromatherapy school

In July, I started aromatherapy school. I’m still at it, albeit after changing schools and finding an instructor that was a better fit for me, but I’m on track to finish early this year. The timing of this is perfect, as I was blessed with about a thousand ideas this week that I want to bring to life in the form of classes, books and products in 2016. Cannot friggin’ wait.


I caught two shows this year that made me pretty dang happy. I went to see Janeane Garofalo and Stevie Wonder within a week of each other and I’m still riding that high. If you were a teenager in the 90’s and you tended more toward alt-rock than pop, you know why Janeane is important. She was really my first foray into feminism and I’m glad of it. If I need to tell you why Stevie Wonder is important, than I feel I should give you my personal phone number so we can have a little talk. I’m a concert-goer. I love a live show. I’ve seen everybody from Aerosmith to Tori Amos. This one was the best one. The talent in that man will bring tears to your eyes. It also came with a soulful sermon about how we all need to be nicer to each other that I really appreciated. Go see him if you can. The words living legend fit him like a glove.


In November, I also did a 30-day photo challenge to up my game in the thankfulness department and boy, am I ever glad I did it. I practice gratitude daily, choosing at least 3 things that I’m thankful for and committing them to paper, but this wasn’t just picking an item and jotting it down. It was hunting for or taking a photo that represented the feeling, which allowed me to be creative regularly. It was taking several minutes to describe to a stranger why that item had importance to me, which gave me the gift of truly and totally getting into that space of thankfulness about it so that it translated to others. It let me share feelings with others that helped them feel gratitude in their own lives.  It was basically a big old love fest, and I will be doing it again this year and at least once a week on my social media accounts. Such a worthwhile activity!

This week, I challenge you to take the time to sit down and write your own year in review. You don’t have to share it, but do make sure you get real. Not all of it will be good, but it is good to be honest about what went weird on you so you can make positive changes and it’s also a great tool for looking back and seeing where there were lessons in the things that started out rotten, but helped you realize something great by year’s end. Hindsight is always 20/20, after all! When you’re done with the not-so-fab, more on to the things that really lit your fire and gave you goosebumps and shout that stuff from the rooftops. Happy reviewing and share some of your highlights in the comments!


Wishing You Total Well-Being,


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