Cleanse Your Space with Essential Oils – Prepare for a New Year

Orange And Lemon Peels - pic via www.mindbodygreen.com

Orange and lemon peels help cleanse and clean your space – pic via http://www.mindbodygreen.com

As we are coming to the end of another year on earth it is a wonderful ritual to do some cleaning and get organised, so new energy and abundance can flow into your life in the new year. Even if it’s just cleaning out the kitchen cupboards it can have positive flow-on effects. I’ll be cleaning and tidying my bedroom in detail, and doing a good tidy-up all around.

And what better little helpers to employ but essential oils? Once your tidying is done the most fun part starts – the cleaning (ugh)! I add essential oils to warm soapy water to do all the surfaces and objects, and do the same with the water for mopping. It’s like having an aromatherapy treatment while you clean. Most essential oils will work well but there are a few that are standouts when it comes to cleaning. These oils will have an energetic cleansing effect as well as a great scent, and will help dissolve dirt and collect dust.

To a bowl of soapy water just adds ome essential oils - pic via mossymossy.com

To a bowl of soapy water just add  some essential oils – pic via mossymossy.com

Eucalyptus – a good oil remover, dissolves sticky stuff, helps you breathe deeply and works against stuffy sinuses. It breaks down unwanted, thick energy and has a clarifying and stimulating scent.

Tea tree - pic via www.eranurseries.com.au

Tea tree – pic via http://www.eranurseries.com.au

Tea Tree – wonderful for an anti-bacterial wash on surfaces. This fabulous Australian native as an enlightening cleansing effect on the soul, and has been used by some Aboriginals in smoking ceremonies, which purge the bad spirits.

Juniper – a light, spicy oil to clear teary emotions and any type of sadness hanging around. I love using this oil for surfaces in the bedrooms because of it’s enchanting and clear scent.

Lemon – can be used from kitchen benches to the bathroom to give you a bright, happy feeling to your home. It is such a simple oil but has so many great qualities for cleaning, including a lightness and sweetness that appeals to everyone. Or you could just use the lemon rind or whole lemon with some bi-carb soda or salt for benches and bathrooms.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Lemongrass – another lemony scented oil to wash away the old. It’s a lot stronger than lemon but when you mop and clean with this oil you’ll be keeping away the insects too!

Grapefruit – pink or white grapefruit will work but the scent is very subtle. It’s hard to vapourise this scent well too, as it is so light it will fly away. Remember the energy is still there and grapefruit is the classic cleanser oil. I use grapefruit mostly in body oil blends for this purpose – when someone needs a gentle cleanse.

Pine – fresh, clean and a little herbaceous too this oil is a great cleaner, and makes room for more inspiration to come flooding in. To be creative in your new life next year you’ll need to allow inspiration to come to you, and when you have a clean home you have a clean mind too!

Thyme

Thyme

Thyme – when you need the big guns of anti-bacterial oils thyme is your friend. Along with oregano these oils are a great disinfectants but beware  USE WITH CAUTION  because the scent is so strong. Mix a little thyme with some lavender and orange and you are in business baby! In fact I’m going to use that combo this arvo (Australian slang for afternoon. “This arvo”, or even “s’arvo” mean “this afternoon”).

Lavender – use it liberally as it will work as a cleaner and will also bring a sense of solidarity and calm to your space. In the wars of the past some hospitals in France used lavender and thyme to clean everything. And of course they worked amazingly!

Don’t worry too much about quantities of oils to soapy water I just chuck them in. You really only need to be careful when you are using them on your body and for those ratios see my latest article here.

I was speaking with a cleaner at a wedding last month and we got talking about essential oils and cleaning. She wanted some advice about how to use them in her work with the specific intention of her clients being able to smell the essential oils when they arrived home from work. She was particularly interested in orange oil because she had seen it in supermarket brand cleaners. I explained to her that they may disappear before the client comes home – just because they are natural doesn’t mean they will be long-lasting – in fact it’s the opposite. The citrus oils will tend to disappear first as they have simple molecular structures so it’s good to mix them with a heavier oil like lemongrass or even cedarwood. Don’t be afraid to use lavender either that will work well with the citrus oils.

Happy New Year my friends and thanks so much for connecting!

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are cleansing your space. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Are you Living Your Dharma? Countdown to a New Year!

The Buddhist Dharma Wheel - pic via rceezwhatzmore.blogspot.com

The Buddhist Dharma Wheel – pic via rceezwhatzmore.blogspot.com

What is dharma and why is it important?

“In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with the natural order.

In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”, but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena”.

In Jainism dharma refers to the teachings of the Jinas  and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings.

For Sikhs, the word Dharm means the “path of righteousness”. Wikipedia

I’ve been fortunate to hear many spiritual people speak on this subject and I interpret dharma as living your true purpose. Are you in a job you don’t like just to survive in this world? Are you in a job that you love where you don’t make much money at all? Do you work for yourself? It’s actually not really about your “job” but it’s definitely about your “work”. What it is that you have been brought here at this time on earth to do to help the evolution of the human race?

Meditating in NYC - pic via www.wellandgoodnyc.com

Meditating in NYC – pic via http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com

You don’t have to give up all your worldly goods and meditate all day, but if it’s part of your dharma, then to fulfill your purpose in life that’s what you’ll do.

For those who are unsure about this topic or who have never considered it, it’s about asking yourself the question – “What is my purpose in life?”. It may take you years to work it out whereas others around may know exactly from a young age. Remember it’s not about your job, it’s about how you are going to help the world evolve.

Change is a good thing pic via wix.com

Change is a good thing pic via wix.com

Come on people there’s no time to dilly-dally it’s almost 2014! It sounds so futuristic but the future is now! We need to get more pro-active on this subject and each person has a duty of care to the rest of us to live and breathe their true purpose in life.

Essential oils will help you in your quest because they have a magical way of moving through the ether, your physical and energetic bodies and your mind, to help you access the fundamental truth of the universe. It is in this field of quantum potential that we can find the answers to that which we are seeking. What are you seeking and how can you help others achieve their dharma too?

Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

Take a huge whiff of essential oil from time to time to open the emotional energetic gate in your mind, to open your third eye and crown chakras, to expand consciousness. See my article Change Your Focus in 3 Seconds for more about sniffing essential oils.

aaahhhhh essential oils

aaahhhhh essential oils

What oils? Here’s a few to get things rolling –

Frankincense – the scent of truth, induces calm and slows the breath

Sandalwood   – both Indian and Australian Sandalwoods –  grounding, spiritual, see the oneness of the universe

Black Pepper – stimulating, go out into the world and seize your destiny

Sage               – wisdom, speak the truth

Orange           – innocence, happiness

Cinnamon       – loving what you do, ding what you love

Petitgrain        – potentiality

Palmarosa      – flexibility

If you are not sure how to start your quest, then try motivating others and you’ll be amazed at what a great effect this can have on your soul.

Go for it! Thank you.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Festivus for The Rest of Us!

Festivus for the Rest of Us! pic via thewordzombie.com

Festivus for the Rest of Us! pic via thewordzombie.com

I’ve always loved Seinfeld (the comedy show), and its whacky way of looking at the world. This is one on the hundreds of moments that have stayed with me, and Wikipedia sums it up perfectly:

Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 which serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season.

Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O’Keefe working on the American sitcom Seinfeld, the holiday entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the program.The holiday’s celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength,” and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles.”

The episode refers to it as “a Festivus for the rest of us”, referencing its non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a “parody holiday festival” and as a form of playful consumer resistance.”

So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or any other tradition that I don’t know about; or you prefer not to celebrate any of these,  there is always Festivus to bring us all together. It’s nearly the end of the year so basically let’s all come together and celebrate that.

So here’s a few essential oil recipes to scent your home and which I feel reflect the true meaning of Festivus.

Scent Your Space – In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

The Festivus Pole

The Festivus Pole

1. The Festivus Pole

Inspiration: clean lines, modernism, clarity

Petitgrain                   10 drops

Black Pepper               8 drops

Clary Sage                   2 drops

Cedarwood Virginian    5 drops

Happy Festivus! pic via

Happy Festivus! pic via thewildheartrocks.wordpress.com

2. The Airing of Grievances

Inspiration: truth, honesty, flow of energy, detox, communication

Frankincense           10 drops

Sage                          4 drops

Cardamom                 4 drops

Orange                      7 drops

Feats of Strength - festivus isnt over until someone gets pinned. pic via zazzle.com

Feats of Strength – Festivus isn’t over until someone gets pinned. pic via zazzle.com

3. Feats of Strength

Inspiration; strength, fun and games, masculinity, flexibility

Sandalwood Australian        8 drops

Geranium                             5 drops

Lemongrass                        5 drops

Palmarosa                           7 drops

I hope you have enjoyed this year on earth and you better get ready for 2014 because we are called to make a difference, to evolve. In the words of the great Bob Marley:

“One world, one love, let’s get together and feel alright”

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas – Essential Oil Recipes for Your Home Part 2

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

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The 12 Days of Christmas – Essential Oil Recipes for Your Home Part 2

The 12 Days of Christmas folk song - pic via wikipedia.org

The 12 Days of Christmas folk song – pic via wikipedia.org

We’ve covered the first 6 days of Christmas so strap yourself in for the last 6 days! And I’ve just realised that I haven’t used the classic Christmas oils of frankincense and myrrh. As with part one I’ve taken each verse and created an oil blend for you to scent your home. To scent you own space I recommend 25 drops of essential oil, and you can use a traditional oil burner with a candle, an electric vapouriser, or for a quick and easy result put 25 drops of oil into a bowl and pour boiling water over it and leave it to stand – instant aromatherapy!

The song continues …..

7 Swans swimming by Tracy Watt - pic via www.redbubble.com

7 Swans swimming by Tracy Watt – pic via http://www.redbubble.com

7. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans-a-swimming serenely in a lake. I’ve always imagined the swans to be black, regal, beautiful.

“Seven Swans a-Swimming”

Inspiration – serenity, flow, calm

Frankincense       12 drops

Lavender               6 drops

Clary Sage            3 drops

Bergamot             4 drops

8 maids milking - pic via staceyreid.com

8 maids milking – pic via staceyreid.com

8. Then on day eight the maids finally got some fresh milk so we could all have coffee and hot chocolate and make cakes and Christmassy things. These gifts from my true love just keep getting better!

“8 Maids-a-Milking”

Inspiration – nurturing, warmth, sustenance, compassion for our animal friends

Fennel          7 drops

Myrrh           4 drops

Nutmeg        4 drops

Rosewood   10 drops

Ok this is where it gets tricky. Some versions say its 9 drummers drumming, others say its 9 ladies dancing so I’m going to go with the majority of all the English versions and say it’s the drummers. Most of the American versions seem to have the drummers up last but it makes sense because the drummers are starting to call the tribe to dance. From verses 9 – 12 it’s all quite different. My Mum also thought it was 9 drummers drumming but my Dad didn’t know. As Janet Jackson says in Nasty Boys – “Give me a beat”. The party has started!

Wikipedia says

The gifts associated with the final four days are often reordered. Most often, this involves placing the ladies and lords earlier (on days nine and ten), and the musicians later (on days eleven and twelve).

So I reckon the music must come first!

The Drummer - was there 9 or 12? pic via www.krinklesonline.com

The Drummer – was there 9 or 12? pic via http://www.krinklesonline.com

9. Clearly my true love wanted to dance because the drummers came along to start the party

“9 Drummers Drumming”

Inspiration – rhythm of life, coming together as one

Tea Tree                      6 drops

Clove                          6 drops

Cedarwood Virginian   6 drops

Mandarin                    7 drops

Pipers are piping - pic via stmatthewsyear5.wordpress.com

Pipers are piping – pic via stmatthewsyear5.wordpress.com

10. And now that the drummers have given us a beat, come in pipers! (Even though the American version says it’s 11 pipers piping, I’m sticking with the English version).

“10 Pipers Piping”

Inspiration – harmony, party, fun

Lemon         15 drops

Geranium        6 drops

Peppermint    4 drops

11 ladies dancing - pic via www.ffmcontheweb.com

11 ladies dancing – pic via http://www.ffmcontheweb.com

11. Ok it’s all gone haywire now. The ladies have hit the dance floor (or is it the drummers or the pipers or the lords?)

“11 Ladies Dancing”

Inspiration – femininity, celebrating the sisterhood, release of the old

Petitgrain       15 drops

Spikenard       4 drops

Thyme            2 drops

Rosemary       4 drops

Lords are leaping -but how many? pic via www.neatoshop.com

Lords are leaping – but how many? pic via http://www.neatoshop.com

12. And once again it could be 10 lords that are leaping, but I’m going with 12 this time around. At any rate – let them leap! Let’s all leap into a wonderful end of year celebration, so whether you’re into Christmas or not, please be thankful for this interesting life. Bring on 2014 (sounds SO futuristic).

“12 Lords-a-leaping”

Inspiration – carefreeness, freedom, comradeship

Basil            8 drops

Citronella     8 drops

Lime            9 drops

Get your essential oils working for you this festive season, they will bring charm and kindness into your life. They will allow you to open to the infinite wisdom of the universe and help others to do the same.

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Natural, Scented and Flavoured Christmassy Things to Make

Oranges and cloves a classic Christmas goodie - pic via jessicalozanointeriors.blogspot.com

Oranges and cloves is a  classic Christmas goodie – pic via jessicalozanointeriors.blogspot.com

Christmas is not always cold! It’s hot in many countries so here’s a list of “cold Chrustmas” and “warm Christmas” things to make.

Hot and Cold Christmas

1. Hey I love the cloves-in-the-orange decoration! It’s an old classic and works for both a southern and northern Christmas. If you’re in a hot Christmas climate this works really well if you hang your orange in a window so the stinking hot southern sun acts as a vapouriser for the cloves and orange rind – instant aromatherapy! If you’re having a cold Christmas hang them near a fire or a heater for a similar effect.

Method: get an orange and stick lots of cloves in the rind. The more cloves the better!

2. Use some the whole spices as a decoration on your Christmas tree – nutmeg (use fine jewelry wire to tie them on), star anise, cinnamon sticks and cassia sticks. Or layer them all in a slim vase for decoration.

Star Anise pic via es.wikipedia.org

Star Anise pic via es.wikipedia.org

Hot Christmas

1. For a summer Christmas try using fresh herbs in a vase instead of flowers – you may also be more inclined to use them in your cooking if they are out on display. Corriander and mint are cooling herbs – isn’t nature marvelous?

Gorgeous herbs in vases pic via lornaslist.com

Gorgeous herbs in vases pic via lornaslist.com

2. For a refreshing, hydrating drink try cold sparkling mineral water, a pinch of sea salt, a piece of lemon and a good splash of rosewater or even orange blossom water. It tastes wonderful!

Add a splash of rosewater to a gin and tonic too – yum! Rose oil and rose water help the body deal with heat – have you ever had a rosewater lassi in India? Why not try and make a rosewater lassi yourself?

Rosewater lassi - pic via ayurvedicwellnesscentre.com.au

Rosewater lassi – pic via ayurvedicwellnesscentre.com.au

Cold Christmas

1. Eggnog – I never really got into it but, not only are you having a nutritious and warming drink, you are also having an aromatherapy treatment at the same time with all those lovely spices! Your house will smell fantastic when you make this traditional drink.

Eggnog - a warming drink best with all the great spices! pic via www.localnomad.com

Eggnog – a warming drink best with all the great spices! pic via http://www.localnomad.com

2. Mulled Wine – same as above. Spices and fruit rinds in wine – doesn’t get much better than that! All the essential oils will infuse into the wine to give you a scented home and a lovely beverage.

Mulled wine - pic via winemonger.com

Mulled wine – pic via winemonger.com

Both these drinks are traditional winter drinks that have been around for a long time. They are cold tonics for the body and all those lovely spices and foods combine to act like medicine. Remember our medicine today is a far cry from the original medicines from centuries ago that were all natural substances!

So this Christmas wherever you are remember to gather all your natural herbs and spices, and flowers, and use them in your cooking so you are creating a culinary AND scented extravaganza!

Aromatherapy doesn’t have to be difficult – scented delights are all around you!

The 12 Days of Christmas – Essential Oil Recipes for Your Home Part 1

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK


The 12 Days of Christmas – Essential Oil Recipes for Your Home Part 1

The 12 Days of Christmas folk song - pic via wikipedia.org

The 12 Days of Christmas folk song – pic via wikipedia.org

Thought to be of French and English origin this little ditty is called a cumulative song where we build a verse on top of another verse. Its origins lay in France but it was popularised in England in the 1700’s. There is all sorts of information attached to where the lyrics came from and they are all very different but what I know is that even though I might not remember all the 12 gifts my true love gave to me, I sure do know “a partridge in a pear tree”. There also seems to be a lot game birds in this song too but I’m a vegetarian …..

I’ve taken each verse and created an oil blend for you to scent your home. To scent you own space I recommend 25 drops of essential oil, and you can use a traditional oil burner with a candle, an electric vapouriser, or for a quick and easy result put 25 drops of oil into a bowl and pour boiling water over it and leave it to stand – instant aromatherapy!

Partridge in a Pear Tree - pic via www.pspassociation.org.uk

Partridge in a Pear Tree – pic via http://www.pspassociation.org.uk

1. On the first day of Christmas I got a partridge in a pear tree (lucky me).

“A Partridge in a Pear Tree”

Inspiration – contentment, attuning to nature, simplicity

Orange                10 drops

Black Spruce         8 drops

Cedarwood Atlas   4 drops

Patchouli                3 drops

2 Turtle Doves -pic via blupenny.com

2 Turtle Doves -pic via blupenny.com

2. On the second day of Christmas I received 2 turtle doves.

” 2 Turtle Doves”

Inspiration – love, partnership, courtship, romance

Petitgrain           9 drops

Ylang Ylang        8 drops

Rose Geranium  4 drops

Fennel               4 drops

3 french hens - pic via www.booksillustrated.com

3 french hens – pic via http://www.booksillustrated.com

3. On the third day of Christmas I was fortunate to have three french hens come into my life.

” 3 French Hens”

Inspiration – creativity, working together, friendship, loyalty

Lemongrass    7 drops

Lime                8 drops

Cinnamon       6 drops

Sage               4 drops

4 Colly Birds - pic via nostalgicallyyours.blogspot.com -

4 Colly Birds – pic via nostalgicallyyours.blogspot.com –

4. Then unexpectedly on day four, four colly birds swooped me! Those naughty French thrushes!

“4 Colly Birds”

Inspiration – lots of choice, abundance, laughing with friends

Palmarosa                         8 drops

Sandalwood   (Australian)  6 drops

Mandarin                          11 drops

5 gold rings - pic via www.beverlybremer.com

5 gold rings – pic via http://www.beverlybremer.com

5. Here’s the good present – five gold rings (or is it golden)?

“5 Gold Rings”

Inspiration – infinity, universal love, wishes coming true, prosperity

May Chang      6 drops

Cardamom      6 drops

Cypress          13 drops

6 Geese laying - pic via ronwalls.blogspot.com -

6 Geese laying – pic via ronwalls.blogspot.com –

6. I’m running out of room in my backyard for the six geese who are laying eggs!

“6 Geese a-Laying”

Inspiration – happiness, maternal love, caring for others, willingness to share

Peru Balsam   10 drops

Spearmint        8 drops

Lavender         7 drops

Get your essential oils working for you this festive season, they will bring charm and kindness into your life. They will allow you to open to the infinite wisdom of the universe and help others to do the same.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Buy Handmade this Christmas and Pop Down to The Pop Up Shop (If You’re in Sydney)

Support locals- pic via bluechairfruit.com

Support locals – pic via bluechairfruit.com

So many people in Sydney are really into local growers markets which I think is fantastic. A couple of my friends even have stalls and sell quality handmade and locally sourced foods.

It’s all about knowing where your food comes from and even being able to ask questions about it too. It’s a good feeling when you know those radishes were picked yesterday or that the apples from a farm a couple of hours away don’t have any pesticides and have not been stored for a year in a massive fridge.

Organic apple - pic via esmmweighless.com

Organic apple – pic via esmmweighless.com

(oh by the way apple does not make an essential oil so if you have an apple scented something your fragrance comes from a lab)

But I’ve found when it comes to skincare and natural scent most of these amazing people who buy organic and local, will only use name brand skincare. Or synthetically fragranced candles. Or toxic mass-produced perfumes. I just don’t get it. The same rules apply to mass-produced perfumes and cream as apply to food. If you are health conscious and are making an effort to eat well, why would you then spend money on a cream that is full of toxins, made in big vats in a huge production facility somewhere?

And then there’s the fact that when you buy a perfume, for example (according to master perfumer Luca Turin), only 5% of the price of a perfume represents the cost of the actual liquid stuff. The rest is marketing, packaging and other bullshit. And of course there’s the issue that many (a generalisation) luxury brand companies are all owned by a few, who serve to deliver the best profit to their shareholders and owners. Many big companies just absorb little companies (in all types of business) and we are finding out we are being ruled by these huge companies who are driven by one thing – money. Even war is a business.

Money! Why not use your dollar to suport a local?

Money! Why not use your dollar to support a local?

So why wouldn’t you buy a cream or an oil blend or a natural perfume from a local specialist at your local market? They will be able to tell you where all their ingredients are sourced from and other info about health and toxicity in our world. You will be directly helping them pay their rent, buy food and live! Go on, have a look around, you may be surprised at what you can find. Be brave and go beyond a handmade soap. If you are willing to buy artisan with your bread and hand-reared pigs, then be willing to do the same with your skincare and even cleaning products too.

I make fantastic body washes!

I make fantastic body washes!

So having had my little say on the state of the world, if you’re in Sydney why not visit The Co-Op Pop Up shop which is open until Christmas eve and possibly the week after Christmas. There are about 8 artists and we are selling handmade items which include –

– framed original photography

– handmade cards

– swimwear and resort fashion

– framed original stitch art

– light sculptures

even little frogs, and much, much more!

Cute little Australian citrus oils

Cute little Australian citrus oils

I am selling

– organic linseed and lavender eye bags made with vintage scarves and washable covers $30 ea

– all natural body washes ( 2 different scents “Pink Marshmallows in the Morning” and “Into the Woods”) $30 ea or 3 for $70

– Face Mask Kits (limited edition be quick) $30

– Essential oil blends (3 scents “Vivify!”, “Persuasion” and “Cinnamon Twist”) $25 ea

– Hydrating Aura Cleansing Mists (rosewater, jasmine water and orange blossom water with added Australian Bush Flower Essences) $20 ea or 3 for $60

– Organic herbal teas (“Ginger +” and “Minty 2”) $15 and $10

and a few essential oils.

Come and visit from Tuesday to Sunday 11am – 7pm at the corner of Golburn St and Crown St Surry Hills (next to Route 66).

Eyebags made with vintage scarves with washable covers too

Eyebags made with vintage scarves with washable covers too