healing

PLANT REMEDIES, + MORE

Rose + Rosemary Smudge

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Hurricane Lane is close to hitting - so we all have a couple days off at home. It's a bit stressful when everyone is freaking out, buying an entire Costco worth of water and bread... We just bunkered down at home with candles, movies and tons of snacks.

To calm myself I decided to get creative and make some rose petal and rosemary smudge sticks.

I love getting flowers, but I really love reusing flowers and making them into pretty bundles, bath salts or tinctures. A "smudge" is typically a tied bundle of plant material that you would hang to dry and then burn for ceremonial or sacred purposes. There are a ton of different blends for smudges, but I'm a fan of using what you have on hand - for smudges, pick any herb that’s safe to burn or smoke.

What does a smudge do? Like other ceremonial practices, this isn't a hard fact based cure or fix - this is a physical and visually beautiful way to draw attention to something you are trying to accomplish.

As with anything in life, what you put attention on is what you will receive - that is nearly a fact, because it's your perception. Physically working with plants brings energy, and if you can plan what your intention is - you can help redirect energy to that place
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I chose Rose + Rosemary to open myself up for healing, strength, energy and to start a new path. After struggling a couple of weeks with a bit of depression, leading to lack of exercise and a bad diet - I'm ready to revitalize my self-love and respect. It's something I used to put myself down for - having an unhealthy couple of weeks, instead understand that you needed that time, and now my intention is to focus on self-love more.

Here's a pretty basic list of my favorites for smudging (and if you know any native Hawaiian plants that can be used please comment them below!!!): 

  • Mugwort: this plant used to grow invasively everywhere around where I grew up in Staten Island New York (I know, it's a strange association, Staten island and wild growing medicinal plants). It brings on lucid dreams that can be used as a way to direct thoughts or meditations, or to bring an intention to fruition - it also helps to push you to listen to your intuition - a great smudge or smoke blend for full moon ceremony or intention setting.
    *** warning - if you choose to keep the mugwort close to where you sleep to induce lucid informative dreams, they can sometimes be very vivid dreams so just be aware :) ***

  • Mint: smells soooooo good and it's energizing.

  • Lavender: for calming, setting a calm mood, reducing anxiety.

  • Sage: for clearly the energy in a space and more.

  • Rosemary: smoothes the mind and prepares a space for creativity by helping to remove bad energy.

  • Lemongrass: purifying and cleansing - also helps to keep mosquitos and flies out of a space for a little while.

  • Rose: healing, grief, acceptance, for heart strength.

 

WELLNESS, + MORE

Grief + Health

June 6 1949 - my fathers birthday and May 26 1999 - the day my father disappeared and October 2008, the day we sort of found out what happened to him.

An almost 20 year battle with emotional trauma and the death of my father left me broken and grieving for most of my life... until this year. At 28 years old I have finally learned that closure is the cure to grief, for me at least. Throughout my life I have been embarrassed to tell this story - and now, I am not. My father, William Cutolo, was an amazing man - and I finally am able to honor him.

Emotional pain can cause many health conditions - it's overall devastating for the body. We are essentially in a 'fight or flight' mode, and as a result our body cannot heal itself, absorb nutrients, allow for proper rest or balance your hormones correctly. Adrenal fatigue is a real thing - and before we change our diet and introduce herbs or medication, we must confront the root of the problem because it will continue to show up in every area of your life.

So - in essence, to mitigate stress, declining health or to clear your energy you MUST start with confronting the root. This doesn't have to be a long or difficult process, but here's what I did.

Last year, May 2017, I decided that I needed to change my life, and I moved to Hawai'i with the most amazing, caring, loving man I've ever met. This was a leap of faith, but I knew that if I didn't trust him, and myself and just take the plunge - I would forever regret it. Along the journey from New York to Hawai'i, I made another damn bold move - I contacted my brother, who, up until a couple of months prior, I haven't seen or spoken to since I was nine years old. 

That was an incredible experience. Having my whole world implode at nine wasn't easy - but hiding this pain was worse. Reaching out to him may have been difficult, but it was the best way to confront my past and enjoy the great parts - like how damn similar we look, and act, and think - who knew family had such similarities - joking!

Fast forward a year - May 26 2018, my good friend made a simple comment to me "we should get Italian food and celebrate him" … WELL DUH. Why is it that we assume things have to be a dramatic thing? A simple celebration in a beautiful place - why haven't I thought of that?

… so my amazing fiancee' bought my father a royal lei - and we went off to China Walls to toss it into the madly waving pacific ocean at sunset. So freeing. The water went from calm to violently bursting crashing waves when I threw the lei in, that was my father, I know it.

…. I feel so free, so calm, so connected to his spirit - and finally, I can start to heal in an effective way.