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Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Pets, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Supporting Your Aging Dog: Diet and Supplements, Part 3

*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

**UPDATE- some reason this post was deleted from my blog, so I am reposting.  Sadly since the first post of this blog, Daisy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge**

Diet: As your dog ages, his/her diet needs will change. He/She may become less active, weight gain is always a concern with older dogs.  Extra weight can cause tremendous issues on old bones and joints.  Making my sure my dog’s diet is clean and nutrient dense is extremely important to me.  It also helps me manage her allergies.  I have been making her food for the past 7 or 8 years, with great success.  Be sure to speak to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

  • Bone broth.  This has been the key to encourage my girl to eat some days. And so easy to do. I usually give Daisy about a cup of warm bone broth every morning with her breakfast.
  • Steamed veggies.  A great source of vitamins and minerals.  Steaming them is best for older dogs, because it aids in easy digestion.
  • Organ meats. Be sure they are from grass-feed, antibiotic free animals.  Organ meats are the most nutrient dense part of any animal.  Again with older dogs, it’s best to boil the organs before they eat them, unless your dog has been on a RAW diet all along.
  • Wild Game: A great addition to a dog’s diet at any age.  Most wild game, depending where it is hunted/fished  will be the cleanest source of proteins and healthy fats you can feed your dog (and yourself).  Again, the organ meats from wild game is a great additions.
  • Collagen and Gelatin. I use Collagen every day in my coffee, “healthy” lattes or smoothies.  I also using it in Daisy’s dog food.  Collagen and gelatin helps maintain healthy joints, tissue, skin and can aid in skin allergies.  Collagen can be given at any stage of a dog’s life, and the sooner it’s given, the better.  My favorite brand is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Vital Proteins Gelatin
  • Grain free foods. Dogs were not designed to consume grains. Just like humans, grains can cause inflammation in a dog’s body. This can be especially harmful in an aging dog that may have arthritis. Many times grains can cause itchy skin and yeasty ears.  This is the case for my girl.  For most of her life, I have either made her food or choose a grain-free dog food.
  • Turmeric Paste aka Golden Paste: Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, an effective anti-inflammatory, can help prevent and even treat cancer and protects the liver from toxins, along with many other benefits. Here’s a link to the recipe I use Turmeric Golden Paste for Dogs

Herbs: Herbs are a great way to assist in supporting your aging friend.  A group of herb known as Adaptogens, which are a diverse group of plants that contain substances that help the body adapt to various life stress.  Some examples of adaptogens are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, a variety of mushrooms, and many others. Again be sure to do your research before giving you pet any herbal supplements.  I would strongly suggest working with a Holistic Veterinarian or a veterinarian that is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Cannabis Oil: I was never a strong believer in the healing power of cannabis oil, until I has suffered extreme flank pain.  I thought it was kidney stones, I had x-rays, MRI, blood test, chiropractic adjustments, nothing helped.  I did not want to take pain killers or antibiotics, because the source of the pain was unknown.  So I tried cannabis oils.  My pain went from a 10 plus, to a 2 within the matter of 15 minutes.  Since this worked so well for me, I thought it would help Daisy and began researching it. I have used it in small doses when her pain is really bad.  Since her mobility has declined dramatically over the past several weeks, I’ve been using it on a regular basis, with great success.  Be sure to be working with your veterinarian before giving your dog cannabis oil. This is a great article explaining the use of cannabis oil on dogs Cannabis Oil for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know .  And this article list places to purchase cannabis oil, along with another great explanation of how it works Cannabis For Your Dog: How it Can Help.

Epsom Salt Baths: I added Epsom Salt baths to this part of the series, because magnesium is a mineral that is missing from not only our pet’s diet, but ours as well.  A great way to get magnesium into the body is through Epsom Salt.  Epsom Salt baths are just as beneficial for your dog, as it is for you.  When Epson Salt is added to water, it breaks down to magnesium and sulfate, which is absorb into the body via the skin. Epsom Salt Baths aid in arthritis pain, swelling, sore muscle and helps cleanse and soften the fur.

Some dogs, won’t be so excited for this one. However my girl doesn’t mind taking baths.  Be sure the water is warm and the tub full enough so that the water covers most of your dog.  Allow your dog to soak 10-15 minutes.

For Small Dogs under 10 lbs: 1/4-1/2 cup of Epsom salt
For Dogs 10 lbs-40 lb: 1/2 cup-1 cup of Epsom Salt
For dog over 40 lbs: 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt

Rescue Remedy: Is a liquid of flower essences that can be given to your dog, via a dropper into the mouth, in your dog’s water, applied to their gums or even rubbed on their paws.  The most common brand is Bach’s Original Flower Remedies.  Bach’s brand contains the essences of 5 different beneficial flowers.  It assists with their emotional support and is helpful for dogs that are hypersensitive, fearful and have a hard time adjusting to new situations.  I’m not sure how helpful this has been for Daisy? I haven’t seen a dramatic change in her behavior during stressful situations, but each animal is different.  You might find this very helpful for your pet.  I know when I was the kennel manager at a Humane Society, we used in every dogs water. I found with some dogs it was super helpful, while others it had no effect on them.  For more information: Rescue Remedy for Pets

Check out my other post in this series. Supporting Your Aging Dog: Body Work Modalities and Supporting Your Aging Dog: Using Essential Oils

 

Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Pets, Healthy Spirit

Supporting Your Aging Dog: With Essential Oils, Part 2

*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

 

Essential Oils (ESOs) are used everyday in our home.  I have been using ESOs for well over 15 year, and use them on my girl regularly.  Be sure you do your research before using oils, and talk to your vet or an aromatherapist about using oils on your pets. When using ESOs, be sure to dilute them in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut or olive oil, or diffuse them with an ESO diffuser. I don’t ever recommend having animals ingest ESOs, although you will find a lot of Wellness Advocates with ESOs businesses that advise otherwise.  Make sure your information source or the person your getting advice from is well trained, preferably an aromatherapist.

Animals metabolize ESOs differently than humans, therefore some ESOs that are safe for humans to use, may not be safe for your pets.  And always take extra precautions if using ESOs on cats.

The other thing to be aware of is being sure when using ESOs is that you are using a therapeutic grade, that does not any contain synthetics, additives, or artificial ingredients of any kind.  Organic is always best, so the oils are not from plants exposed to pesticides and/or herbicides or grown in soils containing toxins.

I like to diffuse the following blend next to my dog’s crate. It’s not only beneficial for dogs, but for their humans as well.

Daisy’s Dream Blend

20 Drops of Frankincense: Healthy Cognition, Reduces Sadness
20 Drops of Lavender: Reduces Stress, fear and sadness
10 Drops of Ylang Ylang: Reduces Anxiety
10 Drops of Bergamont: Reduces Sadness and Stress, Calming
5 Drops of Vetiver: Supports Cognition and is calming

This blend should give you approximately 3-4 mls, which you can add 1-3 drops to a diffuser.  You can also as 3-4 drops to a 4 oz glass spray bottle of distilled water and spray on blankets and throughout the environment.

One of my favorite sites that has great resources for ESO use for pets is The Dog Oiler.

Many times I will just put a drop or 2 of Lavender oil in my hands, and give Daisy a good massage.

Check out the other blogs post in this series:

Supporting Your Aging Dog: Body Work Modalities

Supporting Your Aging Dog: Diet and Supplements

In Love, Light and Magic
~Jen and Daisy~

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Pets, Uncategorized

Supporting Your Aging Dog: Body Work Modalities, Part 1

My Daisy has been by my side for the past 12 1/2 years.  She is truly a gift from heaven. Even though I rescued her, her mother, and her siblings from a horrible place, I was the one rescued that day. We’ve been on many adventures together, several moves, boyfriends, the loss of our beloved Great Dane, a pregnancy and so many other milestones.

This past year has really been hard on my old girl and I know her time on this earthly plan is limited; as it is for all of us.  I am so blessed to have this girl grace my life with her companionship, devotion and deepest love. This past few month has been extremely hard watching my best friend struggling through the day.  I know her time to enter the spirit world is drawing close, but until she takes her final breath, I will support her any way that I can. I have created this blog series to provide the details of how I am supporting my sweet aging girl.

*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Supporting Your Aging Dog with Body Work Modalities

Body work is a form of alternative medicine using manipulative or energy work.  There are many forms of body works and most are used on both humans and animals.

This blog outlines some of the most common forms of Body Work used to support aging dogs and what I have been activity doing to assist my own girl.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is the use of thin needles inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body where there are areas of high concentration of small blood vessel and nerves.  The needles stimulate the nervous system and causing transmission of signals through the nerves, spinal cord and into the brain with the result of changing the neural output to the body.

Benefits of  Acupuncture helps restore normal blood flow, which in turn caries oxygen, nutrients, hormones and neurotransmitter throughout the body.  In dogs, acupuncture is extremely helpful in treating arthritis, hips dysplasia, intervertebal disk disease, weakness, paralysis, seizures, kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease and skin problems.  It can also be used to aid in the treatment of behavior disorders, urinary disorders, upper respiratory infections.  It’s also a wonder adjunct to cancer treatment.

Acupuncture Laser Therapy: Laser Therapy is another great options, especially for dogs that might not be able to lay still with needles for an extended period of time.  Laser therapy uses light to stimulate healing at the cellular level by increasing blood circulation and decreasing nerve sensitivity and pain.  The laser is applied to the acupuncture points. Some of the benefits of Laser therapy are it aids in healing wounds, decreases inflammations, and reduces pain.

Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care addresses various physiological and biomechanical aspects including structural, spinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, and vascular. Spinal adjustments are used to correct these misalignment and restore proper function to the nervous system, helping the body to heal naturally.

Some signs that chiropractic treatment may be beneficial for your dog are back or neck pain, joint stiffness, poor performance and an altered gait. Benefits of Chiropractic care are aids in correcting alignment, addresses joint degeneration, pain reduction, and improves neurological function.

Hydrotherapy:  Hydrotherapy is great way to exercise your aging dog. The buoyancy and resistance of the water make it a safe and effect method of exercise and rehabilitation.  The use of an underwater treadmill or swimming can be extremely beneficial to your dog.  The warmth of the water if using an underwater treadmill helps to increase the flexibility and mobility of muscles, tendons, ligaments that surround the joints as well as enhance circulation.

Some of the benefits of Hydrotherapy are  provides comfortable movement, muscle strengthening, increased Cardiovascular stamina, Neuromuscular Re-Education and weight loss.

Exercise: As Daisy has aged, we can no longer go on our 5 mile hikes.  Walking down to the mailbox, can sometimes make her lame for the rest of the day.  Exercise is important for old dogs, gentle and appropriate daily exercise helps keep an older dogs joints, ligaments and muscles strong and supple, improve blood flow, reduce pain and/or inflammation, boosts mood and improves overall quality of life.  Swimming is a great exercise for older dogs, it’s low impact exercise and can be used for both cardiovascular benefits as well as muscular development/maintenance.

I am not currently using hydrotherapy for Daisy, but during the summer months, we do swim.

Massage: Massage utilizes soft tissue manipulation to achieve different goals such as relaxation, stimulation, and relief of muscle problems. Massage increases circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Benefits of massage are increased circulation & oxygenation to the cells of the body, decreases pain, soreness & stiffness, restores muscle tone, improves muscle function, increases flexibility & range of motion and relaxation and stress reduction.

I usually spend 10-15 minutes a day doing a massage and Reiki session, which I have found to be very helpful for Daisy’s mobility and reducing her anxiety.

Reiki: I was introduced to using Reiki on animals when I was a kennel manager several years ago.  The humane society had several practitioners that would come in to work on the animals on a regular basis.  I saw first hand how it calmed down stressed dogs, lifted spirits, and just added to the dog’s overall well being.  In 20015, I became a certified Reiki Master.  I practice Reiki on my girl regularly.

Reiki is an energy healing modality that aids in the reduction of stress and promotes relaxation and healing. The technique was developed in Japan and is administered by the laying on of hands. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. It is based on the idea that all living things have a special energy flowing through them called life energy.

My girl really enjoys Reiki sessions.  I’m not so sure if it’s for the healing properties, or more for the touch.  But either way it’s a great way to connect with you dog and really tune into their body.

A dog at any age can benefit from any combination of these modalities and so can YOU!!! Creating a wellness practice for you and your pets can have powerful benefits to on your overall health and well-being.

 

In Love, Light and Magic
~Jen and Daisy~

Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Pets, Healthy Recipes

Turmeric Golden Paste for Dogs

Daisy 2009

My little Golden Healer Daisy, will be 13 this year.  Over the past year she has been really slowing down.  In her prime, she loved to do agility, nose work training, hiking, swimming, running, pretty much anything as long as she is with me. (It’s amazing to be adored so much.) With age, has come some serious arthritis.  I do a lot of supportive modalities to help ease her pain and keep her comfortable.  One of the things I do to help support her aging body is give her Golden Paste.

Golden Paste is a concoction of turmeric, water, fresh ground pepper and coconut oil.  Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial plants that grows 5 to 6 feet high in the tropical regions of South Asia.  It has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wound treatment, for well over 4,000 years.  It’s well known for it’s powerful antioxidants, effective anti-inflammatory properties, study have shown it is helpful in preventing and even treating cancer, aids in protecting the liver from toxins, and so much more.

When turmeric is ingested on it’s own it has poor bio-availability in the body, which is believed to be a result of being rapidly metabolized in the liver and intestinal wall.  Studies have shown that combining turmeric with black pepper increases the bio-availability of turmeric by 2,000% in humans and 154% in rats, according to the October 1992 issue of the journal Clinical Pharmacokinetics. 

How To Make Turmeric Golden Paste For Dogs

Australian veterinarian Dr Doug English has seen great results with a turmeric recipe he developed called Golden Paste.  His website provides a lot of supportive documentation on the benefits of turmeric. Here is his recipe:   Dr. Doug English

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Organic Turmeric
1-1 1/2 Cup of Filtered Water
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup of Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

Directions:

1. Add turmeric and water in a pan (Start with a cup of water, add more if needed)
2. Stir on medium/low heat for 7-10 minutes, or until paste consistency (if too watery add more turmeric)
3. Add pepper and coconut oil, stir well
4. Allow the mixture to cool, then store in an air tight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

*If the mixture doesn’t mix well, you can put it in the blender for 1-2 minutes and it will incorporate the mixture.

Giving  Golden Paste To Your Dog

You can add the Golden Paste directly to your dog’s meals by mixing it with some water, raw goats milk or kefir. Some may even lick it off a spoon. Most dogs don’t mind the taste at all, however my girl does!  Mixing it with goats milk or bone broth, has been helpful to get her to eat it.

Start with about ¼ to ½ tsp, depending on the size of your dog. You can increase the amount from there, up to about a Tbsp for larger dogs.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making the Golden Paste, Primal Pet Foods carries a Golden Raw Goats Milk that offers the benefits of the turmeric, and probotics from the goats milk, along with good health fats.

In Love and Magic,

~Jen and Daisy~

*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Healthy Body, Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit

March 2017 New Moon in Aries: Healing and Creating Ancetral Relationships

New moons are a great time to plan, manifest and create. March 2017 new moon is in Aries.  Aries energy is all about taking action and starting fresh. It is time to turn over a new page in the book of your life.

The theme that has been present for me recently, is the need to create space for cultivating a new relationship with my deceased paternal grandfather. He has been very present in my life lately. Most recently, this past week at a Shamanic Plant Spirit Journey class. The plant that was chosen for us to journey with was tobacco. Tobacco makes me think of Gramp, who passed away in 2003 after a long battle with lung cancer. I happened to bring the blanket from the camp, my grandparents owned and I spent many summer at. As I laid wrapped in the embrace of that blanket, listening to the beat of the drum, I could smell his cigars, and feel his essences. I was able to take home some tobacco seeds, and I planted the seeds in his honor. This gives me the visual representation of how I am changing our relationship and only holding space for love.

Even when our loved ones pass, we can still maintain and heal our relationships with them. Dr. Steven Farmer wrote Healing Ancestral Karma: Free Yourself From Unhealthy Family Patterns.  A wonderful book on healing the relationship not only with our deceased loved one’s, but he explains how to hereditary traits and characteristics effects your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  It offers practical steps and exercises to help clear emotional baggage that is carried from generation to generation.

How we learn to be in the world, including how we love and interact with others, is shaped by the behaviors that are modeled by our caretakers and loved ones. As I became an adult, I found it difficult to express love, emotions and NEVER risked being vulnerable with others!  The unspoken philosophy in my family was that you never asked for what you needed, you just accepted was was given and be thankful for that.  Over the past 3 years, I have worked on finding my voice and speaking my truth. What I have found in this journey, is that my relationships are deeper, meaningful and connected.  I FEEL safe in asking for what I want and need. My goal is to change my family’s philosophy for my own children and for myself.  So that we can feel safe and supported in life, speak our truth, and be our authentic selves. Something we ALL deserve.

My Gramp was a hard man to love, and to receive love from. He had his own way of showing it, which was usually loud, rough, harsh and full of relentless teasing. As a child I was scared of him, but loved him so deeply. When I was around him, I did my best to keep my myself small, shrugging my shoulder to protect my neck, or whatever I could do to keep him from grabbing my ears or nose, or throwing hurtful comments at me.  That impulse to protect myself is still so present in my body today.  I often find that I shrug my shoulder when someone walks behind me, and my ears are probably the most sensitive part of my body, and do not tolerate sound or touch well.

Over the past several months of reflecting on our relationship, what I have come to realize, is that we are all doing the best that we can with the skills and copping mechanisms that we developed through the course of our lives. Each generation tries harder for the next generation. I know I was loved by my grandfather, maybe it wasn’t the way I needed to be loved. I was a child and not able to advocate for what I needed. Even if I could, I would have been to afraid too. It was the best he could do, the best I could do, and that was enough!

So for this new moon, I am creating space to love openly, unconditionally and without judgement.  Accepting what is, and let go of the expectation of what could never be. I wrote a letter to Gramp, letting him  how much I love and miss him.  I let everything out in that letter.  I burned my letter to Gramp, and released the sadness, fear and unfilled expectations I had.  My focus is to create a space for love and peace, to honor Gramp’s memory, for all his hard work, his version of love and his devotion to his family.  I am letting go the disappointment of needing or wanting him to be someone different. During his life, he did the best he could, and that was enough!

After burning the letter, I planted the tobacco, while thinking of all the good memories of my grandfather. Only holding love and compassion in that space.  I had a little gnome figurine to hang off the side of the planter, which I accidentally dropped and broke the arm off.  I was going to throw the gnome away since it was broken, but realized it was a lesson.  He was not perfect, but still functional and his sweet face smiling hanging off the planter, made me smile.  He was also a reminder that with his imperfection, he was enough.

New Moon Prayer:

Under this new moon, I release the pain that I have been carrying in my heart, soul, and body. I let go of the agendas and expectations of how I expect others to show up in life. I release the harsh judgment give myself and others, and live with a compassionate heart. I allow forgiveness to grow in the place of the resentment, and love in the place of heartache.

~Let it Be~

 

New Moon Blessing,

~Jen~

Healthy Family, Healthy Recipes, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Gluten Free Yogurt Protein Pancakes

My youngest boy is obsessed with pancakes! He wants to eat them morning, noon and night! I wanted try something a little different.  I picked up some Maple Yogurt at my favorite farm Swallow Tail Creamery. I figured using yogurt instead of milk, would make a more dense and delicious pancakes…. and I was RIGHT!!! I also wanted add some protein to punch up the nutrition in them, so I add my favorite collagen product, Collagen Peptides from Vital Proteins. I wasn’t even finished cooking the 4th pancake before Elliot was screaming for more!!!

Yogurt Protein Pancakes.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1 scoop of collagen powder (I used Vital Proteins)
2 tablespoons sweetener (I would have used honey, but was out, so I used coconut sugar)
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 ounces) plain yogurt or I used Maple yogurt from my FAVORITE local farm Swallow Tail Farm
1/4 cup water

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt and water. Stir into dry ingredients and mix together.
Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with coconut oil. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the second side is golden brown.

Add butter, maple syrup, your other favorite toppings,  and ENJOYED!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light, Love and Magic!
~Jen

Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Spirit

Twenty-one years ago…

birthTwenty-one years ago may seem like a lifetime, but it went by so fast.  I was just barely nineteen, and scheduled for a C-section, because my baby, the one that I was so desperately tried to find out his or her gender, was breach and measuring over 10 lbs.  Like I said, I was nineteen. I knew NOTHING about birth or life for that matter.  I was still a child myself. It was recommended that I have a C-section because he was breach and big.  I remember being so angry that I would not be the first person to hold my baby.  And as sweet and loving as my family was, at nineteen hearing them brag about how they were the first to hold him was a slap in the face to me.

The way he came into this world, was in no way an indication of the man he has become.  He can be stubborn, I’ll give him that.  He gets that from his Mama.  In all the chaos, drama and uncertainty, he is the most laid back person I know. Growing up he has always been that way, which was a blessing for me.  He took all our moves, our struggles, our adventures, everything in stride.me-and-evan

We grew up together. It was just us.  I think of it now, when I turned twenty-one, he was 2 years old. Our life was tough, there was no doubt about that.  I struggled financially, working as many as 3 jobs at one time and going to school,  but we always seemed to manage.  I made my fair share of mistakes, but not once, did I ever not have his best interest at heart.favorite-evan

Over the past few years, it’s been an interesting transition in our parent/child relationship.  One that I really cherish.  To see him with his own life, making his way in the world and how successful he is at the tender age of twenty-0ne, I am beyond proud.  He has a strong work ethic, incredibly intelligent, and the deepest compassion for all living things.  He dreams big, and when others around us doubts his thinking, I say go for it! Not without my logical two cents of course, I am still is Mama after all. 🙂 There is a great big world out there, and if we live in fear of “what if something goes wrong?” We will never have the experience if it goes right.  And if it does go wrong, beautiful transformations happen out of that. The universe has a plan, everything works out the way it suppose too.  This is a lesson I have learned many times over, raising this boy.  Whenever I doubted myself, my parenting abilities or my ability to provide for us, I just trusted that things would work out the way it was meant to be.

counting-crowsOur relationship has bloomed into this amazing friendship.  I love him so deeply and am so proud of the man his is.  He is such an amazing human being and someone I would choose to spend time with, even if he wasn’t my child.  I guess that’s when you know you’ve done an ok job at parenting.

In honor of Evan’s birthday, I always post a poem I wrote back when he was 10-11 years old.  This is the way I will always see my boy.  I wish for you a beautiful life, full of love, magic and fulfilled dreams.  Dream big and go after whatever it is you want in life.  And always know that Mama will save you if that puddle is ever too deep!  I love you Bud!!! xoxoxo

Puddle Jumping

Rubber boots

Cover chubby knees

Freckles dance

On apple cheeks

Wagon full of rock and mud

Trudging through the driveway flood

Giggles explode at worms in hand

I laugh at you from the porch where I stand

Wagon pulled with dirty hands

Scooping mud into coffee cans

One last time

In the puddle you leap

Knowing mama will save you

If it’s too deep

Brown eyes twinkle

With a devilish stares

Puddle jumping in your underwear

puddle-jumping

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Creating Sacred Space…..

After a 2 year journey to become a surrogate, I’m finally in the midst of hormone injections and on the eve of the doing the embryo transfer. This has been a journey of magic meets science. Pregnancy is a magical rite of passage for a woman, and this is an extraordinary situation that not many get to participate in. I had to honor this very special event by doing a ritual, a Yoni Steam. Not only was this a physical creation of a scared space in my bathroom, it was also creating a sacred space in my womb.

sp4I turned my bathroom into a scared temple of fertility by setting up an altar, adorn with flowers, candles, a sacred turtle fertility statue, a small birds nest with a moon stone sphere, and other crystals.

I began the evening by lighting candles and starting the slideshow I created with photos of fertility goddess set to the music of Nina Lee’s Sacred Pregnancy: The Deep Drink. I discovered this powerfully beautiful album when I was pregnant with Elliot. The music made me feel so powerful and connected to the great creator.

sp5

I saged the room and myself, boiled water and filled a bowl full of herbs. A beautiful mixture of lavender rose petals, chamomile and yarrow. Once the water was hot, I added it to the bowl of herbs. I ran a bath and filled the tub with lavender, chamomile, rose petals, and then a few drops of vetiver essential oil.

sp2I wrapped the bowl with a towel, so I that wouldn’t burn my legs, and straddled the bowl. I allowed the steam to enter my womb. I began to mediate. I envisioned that my womb was full of love and lush with fertility, waiting for baby magic to be placed there to grow and thrive for the next 9 months.

sp6

After about 20 minutes of the Yoni Steam, I got into the tub and breathed in the delicious smell of the herbs and oils. I let the warm water hold me and absorb any fear, anxiety, or doubt that may have been lingering around this journey. As I soaked in the loving embrace of the water, a little voice began calling my name. My 3 year old was looking for mama and thought it was exciting that I was having a bath in flowers. He climbed into the bath with me. His innocent and curious energy was a great addition to the divine feminine energy overflowing throughout the room.

Once we finished with the bath, we sat on the floor, breathing in the energy that was created. Energy that overflowed of love, devotion, feminine divinity, strength, power and magic. Then we closed with a prayer.

I felt an incredible openness in my womb. As if it expanded, and double its size. My womb was now a sacred space to create magic, love, and to complete a family.

Love, magic and fertile wombs,
~Jen~

sp3

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit

Lesson Learned from Owl Medicine

This surrogacy journey has been a very long and winding road.  Things haven’t felt real until this past month. My journey began with this family, back in December of 2015.  After months of  health clearances, paper work and waiting, I began taking birth control a few months ago. This was to regulate my cycle and to allow the doctors to time everything precisely.  In January, I began Lupron injections, which consisted of little tiny needles, injecting a watery solution into my stomach. These were painless and easy.  I have never had a fear of needles and  have given myself injects before.  So I wasn’t really worried about doing injections.

On Thursday, I received the instruction that I was going to start Progesterone injections.  Throughout the day I thought of doing these injections. During my drive home the fear began welling up inside. Once home, I distracted myself by making dinner, playing with my toddler, and check emails. Finally came the time to do the injections.

I prepared the needle, drawing the thick liquid through the long needle, and then changing the needle, in case it had dulled when drawing up the Progesterone. I laid on my bed, exposed my right butt cheek, I wiped it with an alcohol swab, then another, I rested the needle on my skin. Then another alcohol swab.  I’m not even sure how many time I counted to 3?  “Ok, I can do this, One…. Two… Three…” I just couldn’t do it. I got up to look in the mirror to get a visual, to ensure I had the right spot for the injection. In the mirror I could see 7-10 little spots of blood where I had rested the needle on my skin. I laid back down on the bed. I wiped my bum with another alcohol swab. The panic set in.  I became angry at myself for feeling so weak and for acting like a child. It was just a needle after all, just do it already!  I’ve had dozens of shots throughout my life, it’s not a big deal!  The tears began to flow… I began to sob, not sure I could do it? Where was this fear coming from?  I’m not afraid of needles or of pain.  I’ve done things more challenging than doing an injection.  Maybe it was the reality of the situation.  I was going to be carrying the most sacred thing for this special family.  What if I miscarry…what if I get sick… what if my body doesn’t cooperate and it doesn’t work? Or perhaps it was shoving a long sharp object into my body goes against any logical part of instinctive survival my brain possesses… maybe it was the fear that I may not be as strong as I think I am?  What  I found out…I am stronger!         img_0748.

After many attempts and an hour later, I was about to surrender and call a relative that could do the injection, I looked down and the needle was in.  It was a like an out of body experience. I felt as though I was looking down on my body. My own hand had not pushed that needle into my skin, yet it was my hand pushing the liquid into my body. I felt the presents of my Gram surround me, and the smell Winton light and Avon’s Soft Musk drifted around the room. The spirit of my very own Grandmother Owl came to support me through a challenging time, as so often does. I then realized why I had received the gift of Owl Medicine earlier in the week. Thank you Grandmother Owl, for your medicine, to allow me to navigate through the fear and bring back my intuitive knowledge that I can do this.  My body is strong.img_0526

Now on the other side the injection, it wasn’t bad at all. I realize there was a lesson to be learned, to not live in a place of fear and to welcome the unknown. Beautiful things can happen when you remain open. I can also truly empathize with women who struggle with infertility. They are reminded everyday when they draw up the needle, of their struggle of not being able to conceive naturally, and the obstacles they faced on their  journey leading up to doing fertility treatments.

After lying on the bed for what seemed like an eternity, relishing in the power I felt of letting go of the fear, trusting my body to work the magic it needs to, I took a long hot shower with candle light and incense, with Nina Lee on repeat!

Standing at the edge,
Clinging to my innocence
One more tiny step,
At my back the wind blow
Beauty all around,
the beating of my heart echoes
Time is here and now,
Diving into the unknown

And I believe in me,
Yes, I believe in me,
I do, I do
I believe in me,
I believe in me,
I believe in me,
I do, I do

Thank you all for your kind supportive words, through my intense night. I truly value all the love you surrounded me with.

In light and magic,
~ Jen ~

 

 

Healthy Home, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Sacred Owl Medicine

This week broke me open.  It was full of spirit, fear, love, and rites of passage.  I planned to do a lot of self care during the week to prepare for the upcoming embryo transfer.  Sunday was spent doing my usually meal prep, cooking and cleaning. I wanted to make sure I had the most nourished dense foods to help my body accept the embryos and allow them to thrive. Monday, I had an amazing massage. Tuesday, a relaxing float and on my way to pickup my son from daycare, I spotted an owl in the road.  My heart sank, the owl is one of my power animals and a beautiful mystical creature.  I couldn’t leave her in the road.  I turned around, hoping that she was just stunned or injured, but sadly she was dead.  I scooped her up and carried her back to my car. img_0526 As I starred at her trying to find meaning in finding a dead owl, I knew that I had to honor her with a ritual. Grandmother Owl is know to possess very powerful hearing and vision.  Those that have been blessed with this medicine are usually gifted with the ability to see into the human psychic and are clairvoyant listener.  Grandmother Owl is often believed to come to those who need to let go of some part of their life that no longer serves them. She teaches us to see past our shadow, push through the darkness and fear, into light, love and knowledge. Once my little guy and I got home, we set to work in creating a sacred space. Elliot arrange the jars of herbs, as I laid out some muslin.  “Looks like a tree, Mama.”  I laid Owl on the muslin. She was a magnification specimen of wisdom, strength, and magic.  Elliot was mesmerized by her feathers, and stroked her wings gently.  Now mind you, my wee one in only 3 and doesn’t completely understand the meaning of death.  But he was delighted to participate in celebrating Owl.   We lit candles, saged the room and ourselves, and Elliot did some drumming as I called in the Directional Elements South, West, North, East, Mother Earth, Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the Brother and Sister of the Star Nation.’

 

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We anointed Owl with Essential Oils: CEDAR: Prosperity, Purification SANDLWOOD: Purification MYRRH: Healing, Purification, Protection CYPRESS: Endings Karma cycles and spread herbing over Owl: BASIL: Protection, Love COMFREY: Healing LAVENDER: Memories, Peace MISTLETOE: Protection MUGWORT: Inner Sight ROSES: Purification SAGE: Wisdom THYME: Purification FRANKINCENSE TEARS: Purification, Spiritual Transformation.

 

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After dressing Owl, I asked Elliot if we should sing a song, “Yes Mama, Free Falling” Oh my sweet boy.  I guess that was the most appropriate song out of his small song repertoire.  I was just glad he didn’t choose “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” After singing some Tom Petty, we wrapped Owl gently in the muslin and tied multi-colored ribbons Owl’s body.  Each ribbon we said a little pray for Owl.  We laid Owl to rest on my alter. We are planning to release his body on the full moon, in a fire ceremony.

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Prayer of the Owl By Ron O.

Mighty Santa Muerte I Call Upon You, to Ask Your Permission to Summon Your Wise Owl Santa Muerte You Who Know All the Secrets of the Universe I Seek the Knowledge of the Owl Who Is Ever Present With You

My Mighty Queen, I Need to Open the Pathway to the Secrets of Your Mantle I Need Help of the Wise Owl to This Plea……….. Show Me Santa Muerte, Who My Enemies Are, Who Is Harming Me and My Loved Ones, Mighty Owl Grant Me Your Eyes, That See All to See the Right Way in Life to Follow, Teach Me Mighty Owl How to Be Closer to the Santa Muerte, Grant Me Mighty Owl, Your Great Hearing, to Hear All the Rumors and Lies, Being Said About Me and My Loved Ones Behind Our Back Teach Me Mighty Owl Patience, to Be Always Patient and Humble to Help Those Who Are Need of Help

Santa Muerte I Thank You for the Use of Your Owl Thank You Owl for Use of Your Gifts

Santa Muerte I Humbly Thank You for Your Kindness

Amen.

Brightest Blessing, Love and Magic to you all!