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Navigating Grief & Mother's Day

Navigating Grief & Mother's Day

     On October 29, 2021, my mom took her last breath while I, her two other daughters, one grandchild, and one son-in-law held her hands.  One day prior, she had been rushed to the hospital while having a heart attack that landed her in the ICU; and then, she was just…gone.  I’ve experienced loss before, most notably my brother from a car accident, and my father from colon cancer.  Death visited quickly for one, and slowly drained the life from the other.  Each of these were in different stages of my own life and none was easier or harder than the others.  Death, grief, and loss is all incredibly layered and hard. 

      When these holidays that celebrate the person we’re missing arise, things become complicated.  I always think about you fellow friends out there that are also navigating these choppy waters.  The waves of grief come and go, and after years of trying to stand still and strong while they slam into my weary body, I’ve found some things that have helped.  And so, dear friend, I am sharing them with you to hopefully provide a little bit of peace, love, or a moment of breath.  Nothing is universal, so take what you need and leave the rest behind.

  1. Ride the waves, don’t try to stand up while they hit.  I mean this to say that when grief hits, don’t fight it, allow yourself to feel it.  Give yourself some time to cry, scream into a pillow, or punch your mattress.  According to Harvard Health Blog, crying, but specifically crying emotional tears, is actually healthy.  They say that it's the “emotional tears (which flush stress hormones and other toxins out of our system), that potentially offers the most health benefits. Researchers have established that crying releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, also known as endorphins.” (Newhouse 2021)
  2. Lean in to traditions.  Keeping up a tradition that you shared with your loved one can be comforting.  If this feels too fresh, try creating a new tradition that they would have loved or something that you feel honors them.  The important thing with this is to remember that it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.  It can be as simple as making a playlist of their favorite songs and dancing or cooking while listening to it; or writing them a letter with what has been going on with you that you would normally share with them.
  3. Share stories.  My family and I find it really cathartic to get together over zoom on my mom’s birthday (we’re all over the country) and share stories of her that make us smile, laugh, or cry.  Speaking about her helps us know she will not be forgotten and that we still love her and think of her every day.  You could even ask friends and family to share their favorite moment of your loved one either privately or over social media.  Stories heal.  
  4. Find solace in (or completely ditch) sayings you’ve heard about loss.  I have heard a LOT of different opinions and sentiments from people over the years as I lost loved ones.  Some of it was complete garbage that at some point, angered me.  For those, I decided to completely release them and not let the perceived unhelpfulness of them weigh me down.  I try to remember that these usually come from people with wonderful intentions who really are just at a loss of what they could possibly say to you.  With that being said, I have also been told some things that have hit me differently and actually helped with what I was feeling.  Here are a couple of those helpful sayings:
    1.  Grief is love with no place to go.  This made me feel like it was ok to grieve.  That it wasn’t this negative thing.  It had a purpose, and that purpose was to show the immense love I had for my people.
    2. For this blog, I asked my friend Katie (who also happens to be a Psychologist with her own practice, Stewart Psychological - shout out Dr. Katie!  Find her practice here - https://www.stewartpsychological.com/ ) if she had anything she wanted to share.  What she said resonated so hard with me and I couldn’t wait to share with you.  She said “I think it is important to acknowledge that grief is like a well…when we go to the well, all of our losses are there.  So, when we grieve, we are typically grieving everything, not just the specific loss we may have just experienced or been thinking of/reminded of.  That’s why it can feel so overwhelming and why grace and self-compassion are so important!”  Mic drop from Dr. Katie.
    3. Grief and joy can coexist.  This helped me so very much because there were times when I was experiencing something that was a joyous occasion, but I felt the stabbing pain of grief along with it.  At the time, I felt guilty over this, thinking maybe I wasn’t able to be happy anymore.  But the reality is, these feelings can share a space and coexist pretty naturally, and THAT’S OK.
  5. Find community and support.  Since I experienced my first big loss at such a young age, for several years, I felt very alone.  It was as if no one else on earth knew how I felt.  Once I found people who had shared experiences, I felt like I could breathe a little easier.  Going to therapy also helped with this as my feelings were validated by a professional; and let’s be honest, that felt pretty good! Look for resources that resonate with you and your experience.  I personally am a huge proponent of therapy.  There are a lot of different methods and resources out there for everyone.  For mothers who have lost a child, Dr. Katie recommends Mirabai Starr.  She shares her experience with Bereaved Mothers’ Day here - https://www.wildheart.space/bereavedmothersday 
  6. Give yourself Grace.  It’s hard.  Like so hard.  No one has all of the answers so be gentle with yourself as you attempt to navigate this seemingly impossible part of life.

     We’re all going through this particular life for the first time, at the same time so be patient with yourself and others.  Do what feels right for you and don’t worry about what others say.  Everyone grieves differently and this is YOUR journey, and yours alone.  My heart is with you and I wish you healing, peace, love, and light.




Newhouse, L (2021, March 1) “Is Crying Good For You” Harvard Health Blog https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-crying-good-for-you-2021030122020#:~:text=It's%20the%20third%20category%2C%20emotional,opioids%2C%20also%20known%20as%20endorphins.

Stewart Psychological - https://www.stewartpsychological.com/

Bereaved Mothers Day - https://www.wildheart.space/bereavedmothersday
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Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

By: Charlie Baron

While spring blooms are one of the best parts of spring, the allergies they bring are one of the worst. Runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing can make us feel crummy just when we want to play outside more.

Allergies are caused by our immune systems overreacting to pollen. Our bodies release antibodies to attack the “invader” pollens, and histamines release into our blood. Over-the-counter medications for allergies are typically antihistamines (which lower histamines in the body), decongestants (which relieve congestion and swelling), and steroid nasal sprays (which reduce inflammation but have negative side effects, especially with prolonged use). 

If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage allergies, read on for more information about herbs for allergies. Herbs can help with allergy symptoms, but they are gentler and slower-acting than over-the-counter medications, so be patient. If you can start taking your allergy herbs before your allergy season gets into full swing, you may have more success knocking back your symptoms.

While some herbal remedies for allergies work similarly to medications, they also have other approaches that medications don’t. For example, there are immunomodulating herbs, which help regulate the immune response to be supportive instead of over-reactive. Herbs are also typically free of side effects. If someone does have an unwanted side effect from an herb, adding another herb to balance it will sometimes fix the issue. For example, if one herb is overly drying, leaving you with dried out mucus membranes or constipation, adding marshmallow or licorice root to a blend will help moisten it and offset the dryness. That being said, if an herb really doesn’t agree with you, stop taking it and try something else.

Finally, this post is a great starting place, but if you have questions or need a custom formula made for your specific needs, it’s always a good idea to see a clinical herbalist.

Stinging nettle

  • Nettle is one of the most popular herbs for allergies, and for good reason. Not only is it a nutritional powerhouse, containing antioxidant compounds, minerals, and vitamin C, but it also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and can block histamine receptors, as well as preventing immune cells from releasing chemicals that trigger allergy symptoms. You may get some benefit from dried nettles, but the most effective way to take nettles for allergies is to consume them fresh or freeze dried (which you can buy as capsules). If using them fresh, make sure to cook them to deactivate their stingers. Freeze dried nettle supplements will give you the anti-allergy benefits of nettles in a convenient pill. 


  • Goldenrod often gets blamed for autumn allergies, but goldenrod isn’t actually the culprit. The allergy-triggering plant is usually ragweed, which has tiny pollen that gets dispersed by the wind, meaning it easily gets into our respiratory system. Goldenrod is insect-pollinated, so it has heavier pollens which aren’t flying around in the air, they’re being picked up by insects. While goldenrod’s showy flowers seem to give the impression that they cause allergies, goldenrod is actually a great allergy remedy. It is highly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine. It is a great decongestant, meaning it will dry out mucus-y, dripping sinuses. 


  • A traditional lung herb, mullein is soothing to the respiratory system, so it’s a good choice for people who have an allergic cough or other respiratory symptoms. Mullein contains tannins (also found in tea and red wine), which tighten up tissue. This can be helpful during allergy season to strengthen the barrier of your mucus membranes against the pollen-filled air. At the same time, mullein contains mucilage (a type of carbohydrate with a moistening effect), which contributes to its soothing action on irritated respiratory tracts. Mullein can make you cough, but sometimes that is helpful for moving stuck mucus and getting it out of your system. To round out mullein’s usefulness against allergies, it contains antioxidant and antiinflammatory bioflavonoids, which will help support an irritated and reactive immune system.


  • Lobelia is a bronchodilator, meaning it opens up the airways and relaxes the muscles of the lungs, making breathing easier if your allergies include a lot of coughing and lung congestion. Lobelia can make people nauseous, so this is one to use under the supervision of a trained herbalist, or just a few drops of tincture at a time to test how your body responds to it. If you are making a tincture formula for allergies, you could include a bit of lobelia with other helpful herbs, but make sure that each dose of the tincture will stay below the level of lobelia that you can tolerate. Cigarette smokers especially need to be cautious with this plant. Because lobelia opens up the lungs, it can make your body absorb more tar and chemicals from cigarettes. Lobelia also contains an alkaloid that is similar to nicotine, and can make you feel sick if you smoke a cigarette. So smokers should probably skip this plant unless they are under the supervision of a professional herbalist.

Tulsi (Holy basil)

  • Tulsi, also known as holy basil, has natural antihistamine effects and can prevent mast cell degranulation, which is one of the causes of acute allergic reactions. Tulsi has multiple anti-inflammatory mechanisms, plus amazing effects for the whole system, including stress management. It’s also one of the most delicious herbs in this list, so it could be blended in a tea with some local honey and other herbs for a tasty, allergy-relieving beverage.


  • While horseradish (or wasabi, which is in the same family) is not a long-term solution to allergies, it is one of the herbs that will have immediate effects. Horseradish is spicy and moving, and can make your nose run, clearing out stuck congestion. The feeling of relief if you haven’t breathed through your nose in days could be worth the burn!


  • Reishi is a medicinal mushroom that helps modulate immune reactions, among its other supportive benefits. Reishi also has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, like many of the other herbs in this list. I love to make an herbal coffee substitute from Dandy Blend (a powdered dandelion root product) and reishi mushroom powder. Not only is it a caffeine-free way to satisfy a craving for a warm, bitter, rich tasting drink, but it is also a great way to get some anti-allergenic compounds and support your liver’s clearance, as both dandelion and reishi benefit the liver as well.


  • Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, and is also spicy and moving, which can help clear congestion. One study found that 500mg of ginger taken daily for 6 weeks was as effective as loratadine (a common antihistamine medication) in improving allergic nasal symptoms and quality of life. Researchers found that ginger tended to have lighter side effects (such as burping), as opposed to drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, and constipation that can occur from loratadine. Cook with ginger or add it to your tea throughout the spring season.

Vitamin C

  • While vitamin C isn’t an herb, it’s a common vitamin found in many edible and medicinal plants, and it can be very supportive for combating allergy symptoms. To get a clear allergy-reducing effect, you can take high doses of vitamin C (around 3 grams, or 3,000mg, per day). But eating vitamin C in plants and herbs will also support your immune system and the tissue of your mucous membranes, which are usually affected during allergy season. Getting your vitamin C from berries will have an added benefit of the natural antihistamine quercetin. You could also eat citruses, which contain bioflavonoids that support immune function and tissue integrity. Eat your fruits and vegetables throughout the season to give your body the best chance of recovering!

Written By: Charlie Baron

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Self Love Meditation

Self Love Meditation

Enjoy this 5 min meditation to remind yourself of how worthy you are.


Self Love Meditation You Tube by Sarah Simone


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Healing Skin Salves and Balms

Skin Salve vs Balm: What’s the difference?

Salves and balms have a long history of use in traditional medicine all over the world. There are many reasons why you might want to add these natural skin remedies to your self-care routine.
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