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When you push a feeling away, it controls you.

When you deny a feeling, run from it, try to numb it, pretend it doesn't exist, it pursues you relentlessly.

But when you stop running, and turn towards a feeling,

When you stay present with a fear, sorrow, anger or confusion,

And you embrace it in your arms,

And you let it move through you today,

Well, now you are not a slave to the feeling.

Now you are an adult to its child.

You are its capacity, not its captive.

You can say to the feeling:

“I love you. I acknowledge your presence.

I allow you to move, today.

But you are not my master.

You do not hold me. I hold you.

You do not have the power. Presence is the only power.

You are free to express yourself, yes.

But you will not control me. I am free!”

In presence, your unhealthy relationship with a feeling shifts to a healthy one.

You are a YES to its existence now.

A YES to providing it with compassion and sanctuary.

A YES to the present moment.

A YES to life itself!

But you are a NO to being controlled by this feeling.

A NO to confusing the feeling with who you truly are.

A NO to losing your power to something smaller than you.

A NO to self-abandonment.

There is a natural energetic boundary created when you ‘allow’ a feeling to move in you.

In presence, you are protected, empowered, and free.

- Jeff Foster

Notes on Castor oil packs

by ANA

Today, I want to talk about how to do an herbal castor oil pack

They’re really simple and they offer so much healing and nourishment to all of the belly and reproductive and digestive organs. I’ve even used them on my breasts when they feel especially fibrous.

First of all, you need flannel. Heritage is the brand I get mine from. It’s pretty much in every single health food store you’ll ever walk into, and you can also buy it online.  It’s unbleached and natural, which is extremely important. If you use cloth that has chemicals on it, those chemicals will seep into your tissues You’ll also want a heating pad.

Castor oil itself super healing. It’s an oil pressed from, castor beans. It’s high in something called ricinoleic acid which is easily absorbed by the small intestines and has anti-inflammatory and stimulatory effects- meaning it can act like a laxative, helping relieve constipation among other things

I get my castor oil from the same company- Heritage. I personally prefer to buy it in the glass bottle.

When you infuse herbs into castor oil to help with whatever it is that you want to heal in your belly area, you get that added benefit as well.

One of my favorite herbs to infuse in castor oil is mugwort, which I’ve talked about before. As a reminder, she’s got a special affinity for lady parts. As an antispasmodic, she’s great for menstrual pain as well as increasing circulation.

If you need a refresher on mugwort, you can go back to our blog history on “Awake’

I’ll attach a link to a video by Kammi McBride showing how to infuse mugwort in oil- she uses olive oil, but you can use any herb you like in any oil you like.

If you tend to get constipated around your cycle, it’s a great time to use a castor oil pack

Also, if you feel bloated, congested, or if you feel like you may be coming down with something.

It’s a great preventative measure as well- you can do it weekly or more, if you like.

People also use castor oil packs for cysts, tumors, or any other kind of growth. An infusion that I like for this use is violet leaf, which I use in my Breast Friend Salve and which I will talk more about next week.

Other herbs that I love to infuse for packs are rose and dandelion. The sky’s the limit.

What’s important to know is that castor oil assists in delivering the medicine of the herbs deep into the tissues.

Unlike other herbal body oils, you’re not just rubbing this on, rather you’re allowing it to seep deep into tissues  over time with heat

So, what you’ll do once you have your infused oil, is take a piece of flannel, fold it so it’s at least a couple layers thick, and pour the oil onto it.

I like to heat my oil up a bit by putting the bottle in boiling water- but you don’t have to.

A little bit of oil goes a long way, so you don’t have to overdo it.

You want to set aside at least a half hour to relax. Light some candles, but on some chill music, get a book, and turn this into a self love ritual. It’s optimal to keep the pack on for an hour. So… if you don’t or can’t just lay there for an hour- if your nervous system is a little too wound up- then put on some Netflix :) That’s cool too. Whatever will help keep you down for at least a half hour.

You’ll want to lay down. Make sure the position is comfy enough for you to stay in for whatever amount of time you’ve decided to use the pack.

Where you set the pack down depends on what you need. You can put the pack on your lower belly for menstrual related issues.

I like to put it on my liver to help move congestion of bile and open up my detox pathways.

So, set the pack down- oil side down, put another, bigger towel over it to protect you from the heat and the heating pad from the oil, put the heat on top of that. If you want, you can put a pillow or something with some weight over that, which can feel extra cozy and help the heat and healing soak in more deeply

One last note, you may get oil on your clothes, so make sure you wear something that won’t bum you out if you do.

Happy Healing

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