5 Healing Benefits of Palo Santo

5 Healing Benefits of Palo Santo

Palo santo, which means “holy wood” or “wood of the saints,” is a fallen wood from a tree that grows on the coast of Ecuador in South America. It belongs to the citrus family, and is related to both frankincense and myrrh

For centuries, the Incas, Shamans, and Indigenous communities in South America have used this powerful form of tree medicine for energy clearing, healing and spiritual cleansing.

Here are some of the benefits you can reap from using this magical wood:

Spiritual Cleansing

If you don’t already know about palo santo, I strongly advise you try it. When burned, the smoke released emits negative ions that can uplift your mood and help with anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s used for clearing negative energy in the same way as Native Americans in North America have used sage.

 

Sleep Aid

Palo Santo has been used in many practices as a cleansing agent, and can act as an aid for sleep disorders. I’ve started to burn a little bit of this at night as I get ready for bed, filling my room with calming smells before I tuck in for the night. Soothing aromas such as palo santo, lavender, frankincense, and myrrh help to calm your brain from overstimulation.

 

Healing & Pain Relief

Traditionally, palo santo has been used for remedying various conditions, such as common colds, flu symptoms, stress, asthma, headaches and inflammation by smudging and making teas and tinctures with the wood and essential oils. In concentrated oil form, palo santo is effective in fighting free radical damage, and helping to relieve arthritis pain, stomach aches, and other ailments.

 

Natural Insect Repellant

When lit, palo santo releases a purifying smoke that repels mosquitoes and other insects, which is one of the many ways people all over South America have used the smoke from this sacred wood.

 

Purification & Detox

When used as an herbal tea, palo santo assists in supporting the immune system and shuts down inflammatory responses caused by diet, pollution, environmental stress and illness.

How To Make Tea Using Palo Santo

  1. Cut one stick of palo santo into four separate squares.
  2. Place one square into a pot for every four cups of water.
    3. Bring the water to a boil.
    4. Turn off the stove and let the hot water simmer with a lid on top for another five minutes.
    5. Use a strainer to transfer the water into your cup.
    6. Let the tea cool for three to five minutes, depending on how you take your tea.
    7. Add any extra elements to enhance the flavor (honey, cinnamon or fresh herbs; rosemary, eucalyptus, mint, lavender)

 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

If we don’t change we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. Growth demands temporary surrender of security.” Gail Sheehy

Do you ever think to yourself; “That person must never feel uncomfortable?” Truth is, everyone gets uncomfortable – but the difference is that some people are comfortable with being uncomfortable. They don’t fear it, they look at it as a way of learning and being open to possibilities.

The word doesn’t have the same connotation for everyone. For some people, an experience could be new and exciting, and for others, petrifying and seemingly impossible. But here’s the kicker – it’s going to take you a lot longer to get what you want out of life living in this fear.

The people who start their own businesses, make awesome things happen for themselves, and travel the world don’t let fear hold them back.

We are the only ones holding ourselves back.

Stepping out of your comfort zone requires you to extend your personal boundaries in order to create (what could be) a more fulfilling life. The successful people whom you look up to and inspire you have pushed past their comfort zone in order to reach their current position.

Being comfortable keeps people from pushing past their limits because they’re incredibly happy with where they’re at. Think about it – if you’re feeling comfortable with your average job, why would you push yourself to start your own business, creative project, or travel the world?

That same comfort keeps you from experiencing everything life has to offer. Being uncomfortable may feel, well, uncomfortable. But this un-comfortability pushes you to new adventures, stories, and journeys meeting new people along the way that make you a more evolved and compassionate being.

It must not be forgotten that contained within every effort, every step, and every so called failure draws you closer to your dreams. Nothing in life is wasted, for it is all a learning experience.

But staying in your comfort zone will prohibit you from experiencing any trials or tribulations at all. You’ll simply stay put for the rest of your life in the same familiar bubble of comfortability. 

With that in mind, stepping out of your comfort zone may be paralyzing to some, since there is a level of anxiety associated with uncertainty.

You become so accustomed to the familiar routine and lifestyle that to rock the boat, debilitates you and knocks you off track. You must be willing to take risks, whether big or small in order to gradually move in the direction of your dreams.

This is not to say that you must always be pushing yourself out and up in terms of success, this is merely a guide on how to push past the dehibilitating fear and uncertainties in order to achieve your deep down desire that you never thought possible for yourself.

So, how do we come to find success?

“We surround ourselves with what is better or see other people as role models. You go, ‘If they can do this, so can I.’” – Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins has always been a very influential person to me. He holds so much knowledge about how to become the person that you’ve always wanted to be.

But what’s more important than the knowledge, is the positivity. Everyone gets knocked off track. Life will always throw you curve balls. Bad things happen all the time to good people.

What’s the secret to success, you might ask?

The key ingredient to being highly successful and happy is being happy and optimistic. Not letting yourself stay down, but to be able to continuously pick yourself back up. This isn’t an easy feat, but it can be learned, and it will be an extremely powerful skill to carry with you throughout your life.

This may look different for everyone, but my go- to is to always have a “Plan B”; an alternative route if my initial plan crumbles. This plan can’t be ignored, because a lot of time, you’ll end up having to fall back on something.

It’s always better to have spent the time mapping out realistic options instead of putting it off in the hopes that Plan A doesn’t fail.

These are a few initial steps to take on your journey of self-improvement. It takes time, but most of all – a change in mindset, and the willingness to let yourself feel uncomfortable. Good things will come if you let them in.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Harmful

Why New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Harmful

Do you find yourself feeling extremely motivated around the holidays to write down a list of everything you want to accomplish for the upcoming year? Most people do.

This is because most of the time, the list is just a page full of mental blurbs. Many of the goals and resolutions stay on the list.

You might look at the list and attempt a few of the resolutions, but then another month or two goes by and you still aren’t feel satisfied.

The reason that these lists of resolutions can be harmful is because a lot of the time, they’re not properly put into effect. They’re just an idea or aspiration that you wrote on paper, but something you don’t actually know how to implement into your life.

The list ends up haunting you by the time summer comes around because you haven’t gotten around to the third resolution, and by the time fall comes around, you just push them off until the following year.

This is something that I did for years, not understanding the pressure that I was putting on myself by writing down my goals. I thought that I was being healthy and proactive by making a clear note for myself to see and be constantly reminded, thinking that the pressure of the clock ticking would help me to accomplish my goals.

What I wasn’t noticing was that as I was getting older, it started affecting my self- confidence by watching these aspirations get brushed under the rug; noticing that I wasn’t accomplishing any of them.

It makes sense that resolutions don’t stick when you stop to consider what a “resolution” is: the solution to a problem, a decision or determination.

Here’s the kicker.

You are not a problem to solve, a determination to make, or an opinion that needs voting on. It doesn’t matter what you didn’t accomplish last year. You can take a step in the direction of accomplishing goals when you feel ready. Months may pass by, but one day you’ll decide that you’re ready to make a plan. Your aspirations might change over time. What may have seemed important six months prior may no longer serve you by the time the end of the year rolls around.

Rather than list a series of resolutions, I’ve begun to determine the ways in which I intend to live for the next year. Instead of seeing what resolutions I did or did not succeed in maintaining, I take in the progress I have made since the previous year, and see how, despite setbacks and unexpected challenges, I have persevered in creating my intended life.

”We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” – Ellen Goodman

Setting Intentions

 

Instead of the pressure of checking off resolutions throughout the year, try setting intentions for yourself.

There may not sound like a huge difference between resolutions and intentions,  but there is a world of difference. 

What is the difference between making a resolution to go to gym 3 times a week, and setting the intention to live a healthier lifestyle? A lot.

The former is a command that doesn’t come with much wiggle room. If you make it to gym, great. If you don’t, then what? People tend to beat themselves up over their inability to maintain the resolution, or they may say “I don’t have time” and give up on the activity altogether.

All of this leads to a cycle of negative thinking and the resolution dissolves.

The solution?

Setting one powerful intention. Instead of a slew of resolutions, set an intention that you can work towards cultivating by the end of the year. We may not always be able to meet our needs and desires immediately as they arise, but we can still tune into the messages that our body, mind, and heart send to us, and honor those. This is the blessing of self-care. Being able to make choices accordingly for your life when it feels best for you.