“There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.” William James

Growing Up Spiritually

If you are familiar with my writing or follow this blog, you are aware of my penchant for spiritual things. I like to think of myself as a Contemporary Mystic. Unfortunately, mystic is a word that has been misused and maligned in the modern era. If someone says “she is a Mystic”, usually they are thinking in terms of occultism, delusion or psychotic episodes! This is an unfortunate fact. This causes many who are growing spiritually to be uncertain about sharing their experiences and growth for fear of being judged or misunderstood.

Mystic as defined by Oxford Dictionaries is; a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.
‘the poetry of the 16th-century Spanish mystic, St John of the Cross’

As a Christ believer, I have had more than a few heated conversations or rolled eyes when sharing my growth. It is what it is. The ancient writers like St. John of the Cross, who fervently sought after The Lord through meditation and contemplation experienced the same incredulity or worse, among family and peers. Many of these seekers were priests, rabbis, learned men and women of theology, yet their descriptions seemed out there or other worldly to some. They desired intimacy, to know God for themselves. To know that they knew what they knew. Or something like that!

For example, you meet someone and you are attracted to them. You decide that you would like to get to know them better and you seek to spend time with them, to develop a relationship. It’s all surface knowledge initially but the more time that you spend together, the more you learn about them. However, during this “get to know you” period, that individual’s true personality-who they are- is somewhat of a mystery. Even though, you have looked up there info on the internet and paid for the background check (lol), this is still surface information. The only way to truly know them is through personal experience.

Growing up spiritually is similar. We read the Holy Scriptures, attend church, temple or other designated place of worship to hear and learn so that we may experience God for ourselves. Much of what we observe is a mystery, at first. It is our seeking, though prayer, meditation and taking the personal time to ”get to know “that we begin to develop a relationship that leads to intimacy.

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1

The question is; How far down the rabbit hole do you wish to go?

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Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. Hippocrates

Beauty and wellness is the main objective at So Beautiful Ministries International. Spiritual practice such as prayer, meditation, mindfulness, all these are components to living a happier and healthier life.

Healing is a component of spiritual practice or as I call it “Beauty from the inside out”! Last year, I incorporated Aromatherapy into my beauty practice and I am impressed with the positive impact of essential oils on my clients emotional and physical health. Emotional health has a direct influence on beauty. When you are anxious,stressed or depressed-it shows on your face! Anxiety and depression also affect your health, such as high blood pressure, headaches and a host of other maladies. Prayer and meditation enhances mental function and supports physical health.

This year, I decided to go deeper into Beauty from the Inside Out and it has been awesome! I have completed training in Reiki and by combining it with Aromatherapy, it has increased the healing benefits from stress reduction to increased happiness!

What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It can be administered by palm healing or non-touch methods. It is described as “life force energy” that flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. My personal practice has helped me to understand this energy as the same flow of the Holy Spirit that I experience through personal meditation and prayer.
The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words – Rei which means-God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power and Ki which is life force energy. This is the energy that flows through all living things. Reiki is defined as “spiritually guided life force energy.” A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that relieves stress and helps the body return to homeostasis thus promoting physical healing.

When you feel good, you can’t help but look good!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


So Beautiful Ministries International is all about Beauty from the inside out!
The idea of Beauty from the inside out is not a new concept. Its all about looking inward and finding the inner voice or awareness. Truthfully, developing your inner life is the key to creating your best life!

Meditation, prayer and gratitude are the building blocks for health And beauty. These practices help alleviate stress which is one of the major risk factors for disease. Stress also ages your body as your nervous system activates the fight or flight response which initiates the release of stress hormones like cortisol-the Fat Producer-among other things!
Studies have proven that meditation can also help sustain focus and improve performance.

However, the benefits of spiritual practice appear to be more than just the result of enhanced focus and concentration. Ken Pargement of Bowling Green State University instructed one group of people who suffer migraines to meditate 20 minutes each day repeating a spiritual affirmation, such as “God is good. God is peace. God is love.” The other group used a nonspiritual mantra: “Grass is green. Sand is soft.” The spiritual meditators had fewer headaches and more tolerance of pain than those who had focused on the neutral phrases(Huffington Post blog March 2012).

Now, for Beauty inside and out-

Early in my career as a beauty specialist, it became obvious that cosmetic ingredients can only go so far into the dermis for beautification and cosmetic surgery has its limitations as well. Later, I began working for an Aveda Salon, which trained their skin care specialists on the use of pure essential oils, by adding them to skin care products to customize treatments for clients. Viola!  The results were amazing.

You see, essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man, creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus and fungus cannot live.

Essential oils can help us to raise our body’s frequency=Health!

Fast forward to 2017, I’ve completed Aromatherapy training and earned my certificate as an Aromatherapist. I am so excited to share all that I have learned and still learning with you.

My mission is, as always, to help you Discover Beauty from the Inside Out!

“To shift your life in a desired direction, you must powerfully shift your subconscious.” Kevin Michael

Do not limit your ability to create by your desire for it to happen!

What do I mean by this statement?
When it comes to creating our life by our thoughts, expectation is important. Once we “think on these things”, we set the thought in motion to manifest. The seed is planted. Our expectation is the food that our thought-seed is going to feed on.

We are meant to be creators in this world. The universe is available to us, The Lord has given us this creative ability. It is built within our minds via neurons, electrons, etc. All these respond to our thoughts. It is enhanced through visualization and positive affirmations.

However, if we are full of fears and doubts, our creative functions will respond to these as well. Be mindful of what you are thinking about, even random thoughts. Protect your spirit by avoiding negative conversations, or people who tend to have negative conversations! Protect the seeds you are planting. Fear, doubt, worry, anxiety are like bugs or fungus growing on our sprouting thought-seeds. Take the time daily to water your seeds with joy and hope. Encouraging yourself in The Lord!

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

You are wired for love!

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philipians 4:8 KJV

Free your mind!

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Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5

The other day, I sat listening to an inspirational speaker in my quiet time, which usually helps me to get my creative juices flowing for writing.

It has been a busy week, with everything from bills to personal commitments-due today!
I was not feeling very inspired.

Then the speaker began to share a personal story of how his father had died at 48 years old. The speaker described how his own life had been held in the balance because in his mind, he believed that he would suffer the same fate. It was not until he had reached 49 years old that he was able to truly dream and go after the desires of his heart.

How many of us suffer from this mental malady?

Sometimes the bad experiences that we had growing up or words that were spoken over us as children can still cling to us today. We may have buried them deep within our psyche but deep down is alive in our subconscious. We may not even realize why we do the things we do or why we might sabotage our good. However the catalyst may be something from long ago, hiding in our hearts.

The Prayer of Reflection is a type of prayer that allows us to see these things (through the help of the Holy Spirit) and consider them as they pertain to our daily lives or future goals.

St. Ignatius called this the Examen prayer. Ignatius was a Jesuit priest and he developed spiritual disciplines to assist his priests and other followers, to grow in understanding of the things of God and to discern His presence in their lives.

Do not be afraid to reflect. Rest in God and the protection of His holy will.

You may find treasures that only you can provide which may help shape the world!
The world desperately needs some shaping up. Wouldn’t you agree?

As always, seeking to help you discover Beauty, from the inside out!

“Delay not to seize the hour!” ~ Aeschylus

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“For with You is the source of life, and in Your light we shall see light.
Extend Your kindness to those who know you
And your righteousness to the upright of heart.”
(Psalm 36: 10:11)

The Light is in us. When we are in prayer we are connecting to that Light in us. This is why prayer is so important. It is an intimacy like no other. When we think of intimacy, it is usually sexual union. Yet, the union between a man and a woman pales in comparison. However it is the marriage union that mirrors intimacy with God, as in a prayer filled life.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. Gen. 2:24

That word “cleave” is the Hebrew word dabaq, which means cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit- to abide.

Prayer is how we can abide in The Lord; to dwell in God.

We abide in our homes. Our homes are protection from the elements, how we protect our possessions from thieves and how we provide a safe haven for our families. Prayer is like living in him every day!

With that in mind, how good is your housekeeping?

Are you taking the time to keep house? Or are you so busy that when you are home, it is only to sleep and eat? Many of us live to work and work to live, but never truly enjoy the benefits of all that working.

Sure we buy things, but so many times we are off to buy something else while our last purchase is still in the bag!

A life without prayer is like that. We are blessed beyond measure, though we seldom realize it. First of all we are alive! It’s only when the sh*&t hits the fan that we remember to call on the name of The Lord.

Let’s not wait.

Forgot about J?

Lately, I have been focused on Beauty ‘outside’ , skin care, cosmetics, etc. It is all about healthy skin and toned bodies at this time of year. The summer season is underway! You can’t help but think about looking good at the beach, on picnics or just laying out at the pool!
However, I would be remiss to leave out the main ingredient, the One factor that makes Beauty possible- Christ in you!
I was in my prayer closet the other day and I got a little nudge in the spirit-“Isn’t your byline-Proclaiming Good News through Beauty”? So what about Beauty Inside?

So what about it?

Prayer is the key. We have so much on our minds these days, like what to wear, where to go this weekend, what to eat, what Not to eat, how many vacation days do I have left,…the list goes on.
Just under the surface we may begin to feel a little antsy or we are on edge and we can’t figure out why.
I am reminded of a lyric from “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre-

Nowadays, everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say.
But nothing comes out when they move their lips.
Just a bunch of gibberish.
*You look at their life and they forgot about J.
*my artistic license

Prayer is our opportunity to get the latest downloads on what is really happening in our lives and the world around us. That edgy feeling, feeling overwhelmed or confused, it could be the Holy Spirit telling you to stop by for a chat.
Peace is His specialty.

Be Blessed!

“The art of healing comes from nature, and not from the physician”. Paracelsus

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What ails you?

Aromatherapy has gained new interest over the past few years as consumers are becoming more health conscious and interested in organic or natural products.

Essential oil therapy, as I prefer to call it, has been a staple in skin care products for many years. It has been used for thousands of years by various cultures to heal the body, calm the mind and many other uses.

My 1st introduction to essential oil therapy, was via the many salves, compresses and tonics created by my Caribbean grandmother. Growing up, I never thought much about steam baths or the little drops of oil she would place on my chest or other body parts, as I always felt better and most of the time her concoctions smelled really good.

My 1st job as an esthetician, was working for an Aveda salon, where I was taught to add various plant and flower oils to masks or creams to treat skin conditions such as dryness, acne, etc. I remembered my Grandmother’s potions and began to use some of her recipes on my clients. It was then that I discovered the mental and/or spiritual benefits as well.

Unfortunately, aromatherapy has been lumped in with other “New Age” categories, like Reiki, Tarot, Energy work, and so forth. As such, many of my Christian clients initially shied away because of misinformation.

However, research studies and the Organic/Natural trend has opened that door and opened the minds of many skeptics. I have since added essential oils to my current beauty practice and I am currently studying to become a Registered Aromatherapist.
I am excited to share the knowledge from this new path and I hope you will share your feedback on the upcoming topics.
As always, I seek to help you to discover Beauty, from the inside out.

Interesting Reading:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566

Choose Wisely!

Heart
14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:14-15 ESV

When on a path of spiritual growth, we will encounter obstacles. At the start, we may be very enthusiastic to enjoy the abundant life and we have every intention to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit in us

However, we live in the world. We watch television, we’re on the internet, we listen to music, read books, etc., etc. Imperceptible, at the onset, we may not recognize the compromise going on.
Society, cultural and peer pressures influence us. We do not wish to appear odd or fanatical, so we bend a little around our friends and colleagues. We begin to compromise, just a little a bit. Until finally, if we are not careful, we find ourselves repeating those acts and having those thoughts that are contrary to living in the Light.

The admonition of Joshua is something to bear in mind as we seek to grow in the spirit. What am I suggesting?

Practice the presence of God daily! Listen to your heart. Think thoughts of gratitude throughout the day, thankful for what The Lord has done. Whle you are listening to a lecture in class or consulting with a client, think of God’s presence with you at that very moment.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7