Why

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I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I get discouraged. But whenever I’m questioning what I’m doing or where I’m going, I always go back and reconnect with my Why. Sometimes I journal, sometimes I text myself (does anyone else do this-probably not) and sometimes I just draw pictures of my hopes and dreams to remind myself of why I’m doing this Young Living thing, or as my brother Jeremy calls it, “Peddling my hippie oils.” Of course a big why for me is that I believe that these oils and products are life-changing and so needed in this world where toxins are so prevalent. But a big part of my Why is my dreams that I reach for every time I do what I do.

I know some of your whys, because you’ve shared them with me. I know some of you really want to stay home with your children because every second that you’re at work is time that you don’t get to spend with your precious little ones… I think of you.

I know some of you are doing jobs that are not only unfulfilling, but are downright soul-sucking; so much so that it is hard for you to even go to sleep some nights because you so dread waking up in the morning to go work another day doing something so hard…I think of you.

I know some of you have dreams of owning a home or having property where you can have guests and get-togethers. And some of you would like to foster or adopt a child but are crippled by the enormous costs associated with this and your dreams float through my heart. I long for those things right along side of you.

For me, this business of Young Living has allowed me to be with my husband in Hawaii while he was on sabbatical instead of us being 5,000 miles apart like we were during our engagement and part of our first year of marriage. I’m so grateful for this and I know that by sticking with this business I will be able to achieve even bigger dreams. Some of my big dreams are:

I desire to travel with my husband and see places I’ve never even heard of and meet with people who know things I’ve never dreamed of.

I desire to open a wellness center where there is space for people to gather and learn about physical, mental and spiritual wellness as well as rooms for resting and meditation and building community. I want to be able to give a platform for healers of all types to work and to showcase goods and artwork from hardworking local and Hawaiian artists and producers in this place. I imagine it having a space where people can drink healing teas and awa and have conversations about making the world a better place.

I desire to donate a large chunk of money to create a scholarship in my husband’s name so that someone who otherwise wouldn’t be able to earn an advanced degree in Social Work will be able to do so.

I desire to have enough money to start our own foundation in Hawaii to encourage people to study and practice Native Hawaiian cultural and healing practices. Native Hawaiians have the lowest life expectancy of any group in Hawaii; a place with life expectancy that is higher than other parts of the country. I desire to change that.

I desire to be able to help our children all to buy their own homes and to live debt free and independently in service to others. I desire to ensure that our future grandchildren will be able to go to college and not have to take on crippling debt to do so.

I desire to be able to help and give to each and every person that my heart feels called to bless. I want to live openhandedly and to bless and love on as many people as possible.

When I was a teacher, every year my paycheck would be smaller. Every year they would find another thing to take away from us while adding in more responsibilities and stress. No matter how hard I worked, or how many other responsibilities I took on, I was never going to make the kind of money that would buy me the freedom to live out my dreams. And when my friend introduced me to Young Living I decided to share because I saw the power that these little bottles held for healing and wellness. And as I learned more about the company, I saw the potential for an income that is literally life changing and I want that. I want to be able to do all the things I just mentioned and I want to take as many people with me as I can.

So take a minute to share your desires below. Writing out your dreams is a huge step in achieving them-it is taking the intangible and putting it in physical form. And we want to cheer you on and love on you as we all take a step towards achieving our dreams. And be sure to check out my new website, thealohalounge.com

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Packing

packing

Here’s an excerpt from my most recent blog post. You can find it in its entirety on my new website www.thealohalounge.com.

I hate goodbyes…they seriously suck. Whether it’s to a loved one, a job (well sometimes that’s easy), a place or a home, goodbyes are zero fun. For the past month I’ve been saying goodbye to many of my belongings as I prepare our home to be put on the market. To say this has been difficult would be an understatement.

I never really thought of myself as a hoarder but as I find myself going through pretty much every single thing I own, I have to say that maybe I sort of am. Shelly Bennett, The Hoarder. In our basement there are things that I haven’t used or wanted for years. But they were expensive and so I kept them. In my cupboards are dishes and glassware who’s usefulness, it seems, is nothing more than collecting dust. But they are pretty and so I kept them. In my closets are stacks of artwork and papers from when my girls were young. I haven’t looked at them since I put them there but I kept them because, well because they were given to me by two people who literally own my heart.

To finish reading, click here:

https://www.thealohalounge.com/the-blog/2017/10/10/packing

Sticks and Stones for All

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Here is an excerpt from my most recent blog post. I’ve switched formats so please subscribe to my new blog at www.thealohalounge.com Mahalo nui!

Perception is not truth. Let’s just get clear on that right now. If what we see, hear, feel, smell, taste and touch were all there is, than the world would be flat, dogs would only be able to hear what we hear and experiences would appear the same to each of us. The truth is that there is more to any situation than our senses can perceive. Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs color everything that happens to us. When we are mindful of this, it can open up a whole new world and literally change our lives.

Why?

why

I’ve been silent for a bit because I’ve been busy changing my blog over to a new format. If you’ve been following me here, please check out my new site and subscribe there.

https://www.thealohalounge.com/the-blog/2017/9/1/why

Here is an excerpt from my latest post:

Last weekend I learned about a tragedy that had befallen a certain family. I don’t know this family personally although I’ve heard the mother speak at an event once and I follow her on Instagram. I have thought about this woman every day since hearing about what happened and my heart breaks for her. And this tragedy has got me thinking why… why do horrible things happen to some people? And why are others spared?

Mahalo for your support and aloha. I look forward to communicating and sharing with you in the future!

 

 

Cleansing

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My husband Mike and I are attending a class on Native Hawaiian healing, or Lā’au Lapa’au. The theme of the class is cleansing. This has got me thinking about cleansing. While the class is focused on cleansing the physical body, I’ve been thinking about cleansing some other things. My home for one, but really I’ve been thinking about cleansing my negative thoughts.

I don’t know about you but I have been my own worst enemy. I have big dreams, I work hard, I love people hard and I take risks. But then I tend to have these really horrible thoughts. For example, I spent several hours writing my last blog post (First Step). As I got ready to publish it, the thoughts that went through my head went something like this: ” No one is going to read this.” ” This isn’t good enough.” “There are a billion other blogs that are better than mine. Why do I do this? Who do I think I am?”

That is so fucked up.

I know in my heart that I am no better or worse than anyone else. But, for some reason, I tend to beat myself up. And I need to stop that shit right now. If you’re anything like me, than you need to stop beating yourself up too. It is time for a mind cleanse. For the next several days I am going to really pay attention to my thinking. Every time I have a negative thought about myself I am going to sweep that crap right out of my mind and replace it with something positive: something I’m good at, something that I’m grateful for, etc. I am going to focus on lifting myself up because, let’s face it, most of us, myself included, have spent the majority of our lives tearing ourselves down.

When you want to build something, you have to do it one stone at a time, one, shovel-full at a time, one step at a time. This week, I am going to take the first step of building my authentic self one thought at a time.

Will you join me?

Heavenly Citrus

Today we have a post by guest blogger Laura Old, a resident of Peachtree City, GA and member of our oily team, The Aloha Droppers.

heavenly citrus recipe
Try this diffuser recipe to give your home a refreshing, summertime vibe.

Hot flashes aside, Summer seems such a happy fun-filled time to me. Everyone has different ideas as to the perfect pursuits – some crave adventure, exploring, adrenalin rushes; others simply wish to drift away, serenely relaxing on the beach, by the lake, wherever.

It’s impossible to think of Summer without citrus. How can you enjoy a meal without some form of it included – orange juice, lemonade or limeade, Citrus Fruit Salad, simple orange sections to clear your palate after dinner….

A favorite Diffuser Recipe is Heavenly Citrus. Each oil has benefits!

Grapefruit Essential Oil inhaled helps overcome things like hangovers (!), aching heads and blue moods. It is an appetite suppressant, air freshener, even a diuretic! It has antibiotic properties, supports endocrine function, assists in digestion.

Orange Essential Oil benefits include promoting feeling of happiness and warmth, elimination of toxins in the body, stimulating lymphatic action to promote balance in water processes, improving digestion, repelling insects!

Lemon Essential Oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and free-radical quenching properties, and is known to fight respiratory infections, coughs, sore throat, to lower blood pressure and promote healthy blood circulation, to detoxify your body, inhibit inflammation, soothe acidity and heartburn by balancing stomach pH level and more.

Bergamot Essential Oil boasts powerful antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and soothing effects. It helps reduce anxiety and stress, speed up healing process for cold sores and mouth ulcers, helps prevent or improve skin conditions from fungal infections.

Put all this in your diffuser and WOW, what a powerful combination of goodness! Best of all, it smells amazing and just plain makes you feel good all over! Try it out, feeling confident that positive molecules are clearing your air and helping your body and soul. Then come back here and make a comment on how you responded to this combination – we’d love to hear from you.

Click here to order a Premium Starter Kit from Laura (member number 11162020) and get started on the oily path of wellness!

All information relevant to properties of the essential oils mentioned found on www.mercola.com.
DISCLAIMER: The information here is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living essential oils. The statements made and the products mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

A First Step

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How we feel in our bodies is important because our bodies are the vehicle for how we perceive the world. They house our spirits. Imagine for a moment, that you no longer have your five senses. You can no longer smell, touch, taste hear or see anything. What are you without these things? Without your physical perceptions, what is left? Everything that we know and believe is based on something that we’ve perceived though our senses. Are we just the sensory images that we process?

Clearly we are more than just physical beings. We have minds with the ability to create as well as take in and process information. We have spirits that can connect to others and to God. We have feelings. We have ways of expressing who we are. We have hopes and dreams. We have desires. None of these things are physical however we need our physical bodies to express these things. How we feel in our bodies affects everything else about us…I have a friend who insists that she’s getting so old and worn out that soon she’ll just be an eyeball in a jar. Our physical self matters.

How are you feeling in your body right now? Do you have physical pain? Are you tired, cranky, angry, sad? Are you stressed out? Whenever I teach a class on healthy living, pretty much everyone has at least one of these things going on. And that’s just sad. I don’t want life to be like that for you, or me, or anyone else. So let’s do something about it-one small thing at a time. Starting now.  Here’s your first step. It’s small and it’s easy…baby steps are important, right? Are you ready…

Drink more water.

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Add a handful of fresh blueberries (crush them  with a wooden spoon), 2 drops Lemon Vitality, a squeeze of fresh lemon and 10-15 drops of liquid stevia to a glass. Fill with water and ice for a refreshing drink.

I’m not going to go into detail about why you need to drink more water. You know and I know that water’s important. If you want to know all the medical details about why we need to drink water than GTS (Google That Shit). Just drink a lot more water (filtered water is always a good idea). Get all those cells in your body plumped up and functioning properly. Something I do that encourages me to drink more water is to add some fresh fruit along with a couple of drops of Young Living Lemon or Lime Vitality essential oil and a dropper full of liquid organic Stevia extract. I love the refreshing taste and citrus oils have some cleansing and detoxifying properties as well. To learn more or to order click here.

I got so thirsty writing this that I had to hop up and grab myself a glass of water. I’m already feeling better and I know you will be too. This is just the first step of many that I’m planning on sharing with you so be sure to follow along. I’m so excited to be going on this journey with you… the path to wellness is more fun when you travel with others.

With much aloha,

Shelly

 

 

Wellness

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What does wellness mean to you? If you’re like many people, you believe that wellness is being fit; that is, you see wellness as needing to go to the gym and work out and run marathons and be buff and look good in your bathing suit. If that’s the case, I’ve got news for you…wellness is not the same as fitness. You can be fit and still be extremely unwell. You can also be well but not be fit. They are not the same thing.

Wellness is making choices that lead to a healthy and fulfilling life. To me wellness means feeling good in your own body, and with who you are. It encompasses your mind, body, spirit and emotions. It can also include your community and family; it is difficult to find wellness when you live in a family or community that is chaotic and unhealthy. Wellness is similar to peace in that it is freedom from disruption within your body, mind or spirit. Wellness means that everything in your life is working harmoniously together for the good of your higher self.

I think most of us spend a good portion of our lives seeking this kind of wellness. And if we don’t, we end up desperately searching for it after being diagnosed with some type of catastrophic illness. I’m a lifer when it comes to learning about and seeking wellness- I remember being unusually curious about it at an early age. I grew up on a small farm where my mom had many gardens. One of these gardens was an herb garden and I remember her pointing out different plants to me and telling me about the ways people used to use the plants for healing. I began reading books about herbal medicine when I was in middle school and books about Earth healing and Wiccan spirituality when I was in college. To me it made such complete sense that people would use nature to bring their bodies, minds and spirits back into balance.

I fell away from these types of healing when I got married and started a family because, although I knew that things like herbal medicine, Wicca and Earth healing are inherently good, they were misunderstood and shunned  by the people who I was around at the time (and continue to be so by many people). But everything comes full circle in life. The things that we are drawn to as children are often things that we are called to teach about later in our lives. I now have a business teaching people about using essential oils as natural tools to support wellness and I often find myself presented with new opportunities to learn about other forms of natural healing. Life is so interesting!

My husband and I were recently invited to participate in a series of classes that teach about Lā’au Lapa’au, or traditional Native Hawaiian healing. The class has just begun I am already inspired to learn, write and share about wellness and healing. To me, being a part of that class is just a reminder from The Universe that learning and sharing about wellness is something I’m meant to do. I hope that you will join me here at The Aloha Lounge over the next several weeks as I share with you some of what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn about wellness.  It is my prayer that the practices I share with you here, will help to transform your life and will put you on a path towards health and wellness. I look forward to journeying along this path with you.

With much aloha,

Shelly

Cool Like Detroit

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The Detroit River Walk was once lost but now is found.

It was recently brought to my attention that Detroit is now “cool.” The poster child for come back cities, Detroit is going through a renaissance. Money is literally being pumped into the city at mind blowing rates and it is nearly impossible to keep up with all the new projects, restaurants and retail locations popping up on a daily basis.

But it wasn’t always  “cool” to be from Detroit. For most of my life I watched people cringe whenever they talked about Detroit. Many suburban residents were terrified to go anywhere near the city and most of them, when asked where they were from when visiting other places, would give their suburban town name rather than just saying they were from Detroit- even though they lived within 10 miles of the city. They were too embarrassed to say they were from Detroit even though it would have clarified things geographically to people they would most likely never see again.

I’ve always known that Detroit was cool. My first blog, Little Miss Detroit, was dedicated to promoting the parts of Detroit that lived on despite what the rest of the world thought of our city. Detroit is and always has been a place of grit, vision and hope. It is not being reborn, regardless of what some might say, because it was never dead. I know this because I have been a part of Detroit my entire life. I was born in 1967, the year of the 12th Street riots and the beginning of white flight from the city; My parents packed up our house on Joy Rd and Southfield and moved to the suburbs when I was four-years-old; I watched as buildings were boarded up and vandalized and trash blew down the streets like tumbleweeds. And I volunteered in soup kitchens and shopping programs for elderly Detroit residents and blogged about people starting businesses and gardens and art projects while other suburbanites would repeatedly check the locks on their car doors anytime they were forced to cross the border into Detroit.

One of the things that I have always loved about Detroit is that it seems to breed creativity. At first the creativity was born from necessity- people started gardens and bakeries because all of the major grocery chains pulled their stores out of the city. They started schools and food banks and art installations because the government failed to provided adequate services for the people. Now that things are changing, creative people are coming to Detroit for different reasons. Detroit is one of the only large cities that is still affordable and creative types are coming in droves to set up shop. They are starting community letterpress studios and distilleries and non-profits. They are opening restaurants and retail stores and chocolate shops. I meet these creative entrepreneurs all the time and it nearly makes me cry to see what they are doing and the impact they are having on others and their communities. These are the people that make and have always made Detroit cool. Everyone should be able to live in a place that lets them have a chance to live their purpose and succeed-not just people with money. If you have and idea and a dream you should be able to make that happen. We all need to support these people and places-whether they are in Detroit or Honolulu or anywhere else- and in doing so make the world a better place.

Here are some places worth supporting in Detroit…

detroit pop shop
Samira Ray is a student at Detroit Food Academy.

Detroit Food Academy

A non-profit that works to give young entrepreneurs (ages 13-24) self-directed experiences and skills in the food industry. From learning how to cook to taking their artisanal products to market, they are growing and educating our next generation of community leaders. Samira Ray is a student at DFA. She was excited and proud to talk about all that’s going on at her school. She told me that The Detroit Pop Shop is a brand that was given over to DFA when the owners left the state. Now it’s run by students such as Samira. Learn more at http://detroitfoodacademy.com

 

 

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Local growers sell their produce at the Grown in Detroit stand at Eastern Market

Keep Growing Detroit

A non-profit concerned with food sovereignty, KGD has programs ranging from gardening classes to free seeds to their Grown in Detroit market program. This is one of the most comprehensive, versatile and down right amazing social justice agencies that I have ever come across. I have some serious love in my heart for this place. Learn more at http://detroitagriculture.net

 

avalon bakery
Just pick one…they are all delicious.

Avalon International Breads

This bakery opened its doors in Detroit when others were fleeing. When many saw only ruins and despair, they saw an opportunity to fill a need and be a proponent for change. Not to mention their breads are amazingly delicious! You can find them at Eastern Market on Saturday mornings or at their brick and mortar location on Willis St. in the Cass Corridor. Website: avalonbreads.net

 

Support places like these in Detroit, your home town, or wherever you may roam. Or better yet, live your purpose and change your own community by starting a business, non-profit or restaurant of your own. Be cool… Like Detroit.

 

 

Privilege

I am privileged. I accept and admit that. Being a white, middle class, educated woman has granted me access to people, places, situations and things that others do not have access to. I have never been asked to leave somewhere or been denied a job because of how I looked. I have never known what it feels like to be hungry and not have access to food. I have always had a place to rest my head at night. I can walk into nearly every establishment and be treated as if I belong there (even if I don’t). I often take these things for granted and forget that not everyone has these same comforts and privileges.

Living in Hawaii is a bit different than what I’m used to. I am not in the majority here. I have, on occasion, felt people’s anger and hatred towards me because of my color. I have been in places and situations where I am accepted only because I am there with my husband (who is Hawaiian). I have seen, first hand what complete assholes white tourists can be and I am embarrassed sometimes, many times actually, to be white.

But just like people of color cannot change their color, I cannot change my whiteness. Despite the fact that I have always gravitated towards people who are different than me, have always had interest in learning about other cultures and have a deep love and respect for those cultures, I am still white. At least on the outside, where, to many, many people, it counts the most. And that is sad because the inside is really where it’s all at. You can look one way on the outside and be someone completely different on the inside. I have to be reminded sometimes (usually by my children) that I’m white. Which is funny. Except not really.

Many of us “whites” have lost our own cultures through the process of assimilation into the American culture. My father’s family came from Poland and France but neither the languages nor any of the traditions that my great grandparents brought with them are remembered or practiced by any member of my family. I know people whose ancestors came from the Middle East or Latin America who see themselves as white now because they can pass as white. And they want that privilege of being white. They want the country club and the big house and the access and the stuff and they don’t care what they have to give up to have it. Some even vote for politicians who create laws that oppress the people with the same racial and cultural backgrounds that they themselves have. And they don’t even realize that they are contributing to the oppression of their own people by giving up who they are to have what they have. My ancestors did this too and I am privileged because of it… but at the cost of losing where I came from and, as a result losing who I am

So yes, many times I am embarrassed to be white: When I read about the atrocities committed here in Hawaii by people who look like me I am embarrassed. When I witness first hand the damage caused to the environment here because of the selfishness and greed of people who look like me, I am embarrassed. When I see white tourists appropriating the Hawaiian culture for their photo ops or enjoyment, I am embarrassed. When I am either ignored or greeted with hostility by people of color when I attempt to speak to them I am embarrassed. I’m embarrassed by that last one but I get it. I get why some people dislike me. People who look like me have been oppressing other peoples for hundreds, if not thousands of years. People who look like me have caused the near extinction of virtually every indigenous people on the face of the Earth. People who look like me have raped this land, poisoned its people and continue to do so because of pure greed. People who look like me continue to benefit at the expense of others and many do horrific things to insure that they continue to benefit and exert their power over others.

There is good reason for me to feel embarrassed for my whiteness; I continue to experience privilege from being white and I most likely will for the rest of my life. I did nothing to earn these privileges and I can’t give them back but I can acknowledge that they exist, I can give back to my brothers and sisters of color with my time, my talents and my resources. I can be an ally to people of color in how I think, how I speak, how I vote and what I do. And I can encourage other people who look like me to do the same. So I encourage you now (whether you look like me or not) to acknowledge the privileges that you benefit from and think about what you can do to be an ally to those who don’t benefit in those same ways.

Sending you much aloha,

Shelly

PS. I know this blog seems random…  one post on Hawaii, then some on energy and one on privilege… I just share what I’m experiencing and if that makes me random, so be it. I hope you’re enjoying my randomness, and if you learn something along the way, that makes me happy. Namaste.