World

A Short History of Essential oils

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Societies have been distilling plants for beauty, perfume, and medicine for more than 5,000 years. There is an undeniable energy, attraction and healing power in the aromatics of plants. Perfume is power and pure flirtation. I have often said that authentic distillations of essential oils are a way to hold, touch and play with the divine in our very own hands.

still

These libations have been used since the time of Christ and Cleopatra. They are ancient. Throughout history, sacred herbs and medicines were traded and exchanged along trade routes to create, distill and use in an aroma apothecary. There are documents of perfume production in ancient Egypt, Persia, China, India, and Japan. In fact, speciality pots have been found at 5,500-year-old Sumerian sites which are believed to have been used for primitive extraction of essential oils.

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Jungle Love

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Sweet sensual lovers,

I have been far. I am so sorry, my sweets. I want to connect, just been deep in the woods without power.

Here’s the juice. Carnaval, as far as I could see, is a government sanctioned booze and sex fest. As soon as Carnaval Thursday hit, I felt a discernible shift in energy to something rather dark and out of current. I am not a party pooper. I just don’t get off on drunk, mojo-charged Brazilian men shoving their tongues down my throat at random. It happens and it’s just not how I roll.

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Falling for a Favela

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Sweet sensual lovers, the Huffington Post recently wrote a detailed article about “What Brazil Can Teach us About Living Well”. I wanted to give my own account of Brazil in response. Brazil is a beautiful mess and the favelas are the glorious, ramshackle epicenter of that.

Vidigal Hillside

I recently moved out of the posh, yet soupy Copacabana. I needed inspiration to write ‘Be the Flower- the Aromatherapy Recipe for Sensual Living’ (out February 2015 by Skyhorse), and I found it in Vidigal. Vidigal is a favela on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea, right beside the most expensive real estate in Brazil. The views are breath-taking, as is the steep climb up. Favelas are Brazilian slums and rife with negative stereotypes. (I have been told that people in the favelas prefer the word ‘community’). Favelas are traditionally associated with poverty, gang violence, murders, and drug trafficking. It’s a tough image to shake. The favelas are also the cultural and community hubs of Brazil. Samba and Brazilian Funk were born here, and the community spirit is palpable and pumping every night of the week. (Confession: I did skirt the truth when I told my parents where I was living).

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Happy New Year from Sensual Living! May it be your best yet.

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Sweet sensual lovers! It’s New Year’s Eve. I am sitting in my apartment with glorious sun streaming through the windows, glistening in the heat of the morning, while sipping on my raw chocolate superfood smoothie. It feels so strange (and right) to be celebrating the turn of a new year without my Uggs, toque and soul tribe around me. I was supposed to be in the forest by waterfalls, drinking green juices and recharging for 10 days but a dear friend got very ill and the plans fell apart. Spirit has another plan for me. I am excited to find out what that is. Regardless, tonight I will go the ocean, give flowers and prayers to Yemenja and hold you all in my heart. I am stoked and honoured to have you along for this wild ride. 2014- Bring it baby!

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The Brazilian Bikini experience- Sensual living in Body and Beach

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My friends, I have arrived.

I am finally settled into my new apartment, two blocks from the beach in Copacabana, with some really lovely roommates. I have a place to cook, ground, and unpack. Yup, my Brazilian experience has truly begun.

To be honest, my assimilation started soon after I got here. My Brazilian friend Camila, who I met in Toronto 8 years ago, has been a god-send in showing me the ropes. She has taken me to farmer and hippie markets, tourist sites and even an amazing Samba party in an old slave trading yard. I promise to write more on her later. She truly deserves her own blog posting.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And the start of something magical.

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I am here. I have arrived. By the grace of god and/or by my own shear-force determination, I managed to move my life and my career to Brazil for the winter. I will be teaching Aromatherapy and Hooping, doing massage and energy work and a revealing a big secret reason very soon. I am currently in a friend’s apartment in Botafogo (which has similar energy to my home base in Riverdale) in a bikini and short shorts. It is hot, humid and sticky and only 9:10am. For the record, I am not complaining.

My first impressions of Rio are honestly still forming. I only got here on Friday and I am still working through jet-lag, fear for my safety, culture shock and resting from the ridiculous cyclone of energy it took to get here.

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Sensual Living is Moving to Rio

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A few months ago, it became clear that I needed to make a very serious life change. My once-thriving healing practice slowed down to a near halt, my first book didn’t explode in the way that I hoped and I received an unexpectedly intense punch to the heart from a man who wasn’t ready or able to meet me in love. The universe was screaming at me to change and the thought of spending another winter in the cold made me shudder, shiver and cower.

I sat down with myself and had a good, long, honest talk to figure out my next moves. What has been working is my deep, passionate love for hooping, teaching hoop and hoop dance performance, a profound connection to a Brazilian spiritual practice and an overwhelming love of essential oils, herbs, flowers, sensuality and exalted beauty. When I went down my list of desires, it became very clear that Rio de Janeiro is just about the best place for me to thrive during the bitter cold Canadian winter months. Rio has lush mountains, city indulgences, pristine beaches, waterfalls, botanical gardens, music, culture, and… Brazilian men; these are a few of my favourite things.

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