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Green Witch
by Jennifer Erwin

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Lammas 2004, Vol 3-4
MatriFocus, a Cross-Quarterly Web Magazine for Goddess Women Near & Far
flowering branch in vase on dining tableEmbracing Peace and Harmony

We are constantly under stress in our lives, not just from normal things such as family, jobs, money, and so on, but from everything else going on in the world today. Chronic stress can have a number of adverse effects on our health. It can lead to physical tension, which leads to a weakened immune system, which leads to illness, and so on. However, simple relaxation promotes better sleep, clearer thinking, more energy, and better health.

In these days of global instability, it is more important than ever that our homes be a place of balance and harmony -- a refuge from all the anxiety in the world. But how exactly do we go about doing this? Of course, there are the obvious things, such as making your home a place full of love and happiness, but there are also more tangible approaches we may use.

First, I would recommend making the physical environment more peaceful and relaxing. Use colors that promote balance and harmony in your home. It is not necessary to repaint the walls. You can simply add colors as accents, such as pillows or wall hangings. Add cool colors such as blues, greens and purples. For rooms such as bedrooms or meditation spaces, you can use softer shades. In rooms with more activity, use bolder shades. If you are already set on the colors in your home, you can also simply add more greenery. Nature is a wonderful stress reducer. Of course, it is not necessary to cover your home with live plants. Not all of us can have live plants in our homes due to small children, animals, or simply having black thumbs. Luckily, even good quality silk plants can make a big difference in the energy in your space.

Now for the general ambiance in your home. For soothing background sounds, try adding tabletop fountains throughout your home. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, but the sound is very calming. In the evenings, don't rely solely on the harsh glare of light bulbs. Add candles to your home for both the soothing light and the nice aromas they can give off. It is not necessary to buy expensive candles. Local discount merchandisers have quite nice candles at reasonable costs.

Aromas can also make a great difference in how we feel. Aromatherapy may be one of your best tools for alleviating stress and tension. You can use single blends such as Lavender or other florals, or you can try a blend of scents. Good combinations include Lavender, Bergamot, and Ylang ylang to relieve stress, or Lavender, Marjoram, and Mandarin to promote deep relaxation. For any combination, use a total of seven to ten drops, and, for relaxation blends, use Lavender for about half the drops. Of course, there are many other blends that you can create. Try adding a little Chamomile, Clary sage, Neroli, or Sandalwood. Part of the fun is finding your own personal blend.

Once you have created your home sanctuary, you may want to take a bit more of a personal role in staying relaxed. There are many herbs and homeopathic remedies that can help. But first, let's look at the benefits of hot tea. Not only does the warmth soothe and ease away the day's stresses, but using the right herbs in your tea can help you go a long way towards relaxing. I prefer a tea with about two parts Chamomile flowers, two parts Lemon balm, and then a combination of some of the following, depending on my mood: one part Catnip, one part Lemon balm, one part Lavender flowers, one part Peppermint leaf, one part Rose petals.

If you prefer homeopathic remedies, try Ignatia amara for acute anxiety. It can be quite helpful to keep some handy when you are at work for those unusually stressful moments. In cases of oversensitivity and restlessness, you may wish to try Arsenicum album. If stress is a frequent problem for you, it may be a good idea to invest in Boiron's Stress Care Kit. It contains Argentum nitricum (hurridness), Gelsemium sempervirens (nervous anticipation), and Ignatia amara (irritability, hypersensitivity) -- all in a handy plastic carrying case.

Of course, it is not necessary to have all of these items to gain personal peace and relief from stress. Visualization is very helpful, easy to do, can be done any where, and does not require anything other than your imagination. There are many different tactics you can use. You can imagine a balloon, small ball, or just about anything else to represent stress and simply imagine it floating away. You can also imagine a peaceful place to visit in your mind and just allow the tension to drain out of you. Try a beach with the tension draining into the sea, or a meadow with the tension draining into the ground. Whichever method you choose, make the commitment to yourself and you will reap the many benefits of reduced stress in your life.

Sources
+ Cooksley, Valerie Gennari. 1996. Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils. Prentice Hall: Paramus, New Jersey.
+ Dannheisser, Ilana and Penny Edwards 1998 Homeopathy: An Illustrated Guide Element Books Limited: Boston MA
+ Gottlieb, Bill (ed.) 1995 New Choices in Natural Healing Rondale Press, Inc: Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Disclaimer
The information contained herein is not intended to replace the services of trained health professionals. You are advised to consult with your health care professional with regard to matters relating to your health, and in particular regarding matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Graphics Credits (old)
+ flowering branch in water, on dining table, courtesy of Mali Veith and visipix.com.
Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without permission. All other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.
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