I was an elementary school teacher for sixteen years before we made the decision for me to take a leave to raise our boys. While I may return to the classroom one day, right now I teach about living an authentic, clean and home-centered lifestyle.
My teaching mission statement was simply, Maslow over Vygotsky. I had it written down on an index card that hung in my room. I tried hard to help the kiddos in my class to feel loved for who they were created to be because if they felt loved… the grit, perseverance and hard work would flow easier and in turn, grow their test scores and improve data.
In my last few years as a teacher, data collecting and the need to cram EVEN MORE into busy school day, took away the time I was “allotted” for empowering the kiddos. Disheartening, I know. But, knowing this as a parent, I felt a strong passion to make time at home to build up my kids to BE A CHANGE to the world, rather than have them believe they should change for the people of the world.
With all that being said above, kids (adults also) are dealing with many negative thoughts and feelings these days, compared to the past. Many kids are dealing with strong negative emotions these days such as sadness, fear, anger, unworthiness, negative self image, hate, etc…
Did you know when we allow ourselves to feel a negative emotion often, that negative builds up in our nervous system and fires more often, basically creating roots in your brain of that negative emotion? Deep negative roots, like a weed that kills the flowers. When those negative roots are formed it becomes easier and easier for your body to feel the negative emotion over the positive alternative.
So, now that we know this… what if we could help grow positive roots in our children and release the negative? What if we could build our kids up now so they can have the positive mindset and perseverance to handle big, tough, negative stuff as they grow older? I believe I found a connection. Let’s talk about the emotional brain.
The olfactory system includes all physical organs or cells contributing to the sense of smell. When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs and almost immediately, the brain. The olfactory sense could have unbelievable attributes if we consider its’ capacity to modify human behaviors. It has determinant roles in the evolution of human habitat, in the way of preparing food and, most important of all, in the social behavior. (Credit: NCBI)
During inhalation of essential oils, molecules travel through the nose and actually have an affect on the brain through different receptor sites, including the limbic system. The limbic system is referred to as the “emotional brain” which is a powerful connection!
The limbic system is directly connected, yes directly, to parts of the brain that control blood pressure, emotions, flight or fight, stress levels, and hormone balance. This connection helps explain why smells often trigger an emotion or emotional response. (Credit: QBI) Do you see the connection between smelling essential oils and physiological and psychological effects they can support?
Let’s talk about this simply. Some smells remind us of happy memories. Other smells bring up emotions we have not released yet that are still holding us back, weighing us down, stopping us from being who we were meant to be and preventing us from reaching our true potential. By releasing these emotions, we can have a healthy balance of emotional and physical well being. This helps us to be free to be the best version of us we can be!
See the connection? See my excitement? See my why? I want to build up my boys so when they face challenges, they can rise to the challenge with a positive mindset. I want them to be empowered, strong and confident being their unique selves.
One last note, I will be adding many different book themes and oils pairs to this post, but so many of you couldn’t wait to start this, so here is my first theme and essential oil pairing suggestions.
Be-YOU-tiful: Finding the Courage and Being Proud to Be You
For this theme, there are many choices of oils to diffuse or use. Acceptance, Highest Potential, Inner Child, Harmony, Release, Patchouli, Geranium, Rose, Jasmine, Frankincense, Awaken, Forgiveness, White Angelica, Joy, Northern Lights Black Spruce or Valor are all choices. Depending on what you are hoping to release or build up, the essential oil choice would be up to you. Acceptance and Highest Potential are the oils I used the most with this theme. Diffuse or dilute according to the age of the child. You can get the essential oils here.
By: Linda Kranz
This cute and colorful story reinforces that there is only one you in this world. Make it a better place. Adri’s mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their son to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world.
The second book, You Be You, that I adore also! It teaches the themes of diversity, individuality, and acceptance. Can you see why I thought, Acceptance essential oil paired nicely?
By: Maria Dismondy
Lucy was picked on by Ralph. This cute story empowers children to always do the right thing and to be proud to be who they are, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.
I highly recommend this book and many others by the author, Maria Dismondy. I was gifted this book by my old neighbor and have been blessed to see her speak.
By: David Shannon
This book I have read so many times it is falling apart! This is a colorful story of a little girl who is afraid to admit she loves lima beans. Eventually, she realizes that once she admits that she loves lima beans, she is cured of the stripes. She teaches us all to be proud of what makes us different.
By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
What a cool metaphor for being yourself. I think this was such a cool twist on something most kids see each day, so it is a clever reminder daily to be proud to be yourself. This story follows an exclamation mark’s desire to be like everyone else to fit in, but he learns that standing out is who he is, which is actually better and pretty amazing.
By: Michael Hall
This book discusses how one may not know themselves or who they are, yet and feeling like a failure because of not quite knowing themselves. Red and the others around him expect him to be what his label says, the color red. When his friend asks Red to draw a blue ocean for him, Red discovers the truth, he is more than just the label. It shows us in this cute story that knowing who you are makes all the difference in the world.
By: Nancy Tillman
This is a sweet little board book that reminds us we are here for a reason even if we don’t quite know why we were created the way we were created, yet. It is a gentle story that reminds all of us, kids and adults, the importance of being ourselves.
By: Patty Lovell
For real, this book is a keeper. In the story, Molly’s grandmother gives her support for all the tough things she is experiencing. Molly, soaks this advice up and walks proudly even though she is short and even smiles big when she has buck teeth. Even when the bully teases her, she finds the courage to be proud of who she is.
By: Todd Parr
Be who you are!
Be proud of where you’re from.
Be a different color. Speak your language.
Wear everything you need to be you.
This book encourages readers to embrace all their unique qualities through bright pop art type pictures. It is a great pair with the book It’s Okay to Be Different, also by Todd Parr. Another one I recommend.
By: David McKee
This is a cute story about a patchwork elephant who by the end of the book, learns that being himself and being one of a kind is better than being like every other elephant in the herd. Although this book may not seem like something to read to a middle schooler, but sometimes they really do need to hear a simple tale about being themselves.
More themes to come.
TO BE CONTINUED…