Travel & Mini Vaca in Mayan Mexico

Cancun, Mexico

Ancient Mesoamerican Culture & Dreams 

Surprisingly this trip was rather impromptu unlike my attempt to visit Costa Rica a few months before.  The night before my flight,  I had found an AirbnB in Quintana Roo, Cancun, Southeast Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.  And honestly didn’t plan very well for this mini vacation which I wrote an article about my first night (I still have to publish). But first, I had to give humility and thanks for this very sacred and spiritual pilgrimage. I had dreamed of Mexico almost all my life with small dreams that linked Mexico to many states in the Americas and to many tribes of various shades of cinnamon, copper, and even black.  This last dream showed me Tulum and Coba pyramids. I had no plan to climb a pyramid with its 120 steps nor swim in a 130 feet deep cenote (sinkhole) deep into the earth. But I did and even conquered some fears! I know longer have ANY fear of planes and find pleasure in sitting at the window watching “serpent clouds” and other images I wrote about in my journals.

 

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Mexico is mysteriously not considered either North American nor Central American but quite honestly both because of its controversial history that predates the arrival of the Spanish and Christopher Columbus including the later American Spanish Wars and many other caste wars which both annihilated and erased the African face out of Paleo-Indian conversation I believe this territorial confusion to remain a hot debate. However, refutable evidence prove that the African Nubian presence in the Americas included the Mayan, Aztec, Inca (Ynca) and other merchant kingdoms of Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua as tribal royal and merchant territories of the Ancient Mayan Americas which expanded into North America, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Canada.

 

Where I Visited

My first travels to Mexico was on 27-September 2018 and included a very short tour through the temples of the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico (Coordinates:20°29′41″N 87°44′10″W) of the ancient Mayan temples of  Kukulcan in Tulum, the tallest pyramid temple in Coba (Nohoch Mul, is the ancient name of this group of tallest pyramids; Ixmoja (also known as  Nohoch Mul and the Spanish word variant Coba)  and Calakmul  or  Kalakmul “the Snake Kingdom”  (k’uhul kaanal ajaw, Divine Lords of the Snake)  located in Campeche, Mexico), Ceynote or Cenote (Multum Ha one of three) and Playa Del Carmen.

*note: searching for meaning of Ixmoja which sounds very much like Yemoja (“Our Lady of Navigator”)! Also searching for Nohoch Mul true Mayan meaning.

 

Tulum

Tulum, Tulu’um the temple of the Wind is a Mayan city which served as a major port for trade, ritual and astronomical observation of the ancient Mayan navigators. This port was central and vital to the Ancient Olmec Mayans as it overlooked the Caribbean Sea and was a point of the natural African South American winds used to sail to the Americas. Tulum was a port city for the Mexican State of Quintana Roo along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico with coordinates 20°12′53″N 87°25′44″W. One of the largest cities constructed by the Ancient Olmec Maya, also known as the Zama City of the Dawn was a major trading hub its temples made of Limestone which keeps cool under the hot sun. Tulum is a fortified site housing three structures, El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God which dominated the coastal trade and land routes through Central America and the Americas.

Tulum is a very popular tourist sites in close proximity to Cancun and the Maya Rivera.  The third most viewed ancient ruin sites after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza. Tulum is considered a tropical savana climate. And is part of the Sian Ka’an (biosphere reserve), archeological center, hotelera zone, and pueblo town.

It is home of cenotes (sink holes) Maya Blue, Naharon, Temple of Doom, Tortuga, Vacaha, Grand Cenote, Abejas, Nohoch Kiin and Carwash cenotes and cave systems and the Tulum site houses a sacred lizard sanctuary while the beach houses nested turtles.

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Tulum, Kukulkan facing East, on the Caribbean Sea of the Yucatan Peninsula

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Naturalselfgoddess Travel 2018 Tulum Quintana Roo , Kukulkan September 29 2018 Olmec Temples Mexico Mayan

 

I had dreamed of lizards two distinct types both I saw at Tulum. The green grey ones all over the temples and temple grounds and the iguana orange striped one at the very entrance of the Tulum grounds was about 2 feet clinging to an indigenous Mayan descendant. I didn’t take a picture because I wanted to respect his space! I couldnt believe how these lizards seem to be ‘guarding’ the temples and seeming to point toward sacred directions toward the see or parts of the temples. I was very humbled and thankful.

 

 

Lizards everywhere on the temples and temple grounds!

 

 

Coba,  Ixmoja

Coba Ixmoja is located as part of the Ancient Olmec Mayan sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico off the Caribbean Sea at the coordinates20°29′41″N 87°44′10″W. Located around two lagoons, Lake Coba and Lake Macanxoc, known as sacred waters that guarded the sites and elevated roads called sacbe or white road. The tallest temple pyramids in the Coba region are Nohoch Mul and  Ixmoja. Imoja  is 138 feet high and 120 steps descending and ascending and the tallest temple pyramid in the Olmec Mayan pantheon temple sites of the Yucatan Peninusula.

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Xaibe

Xaibe meaning “crossroads” part of the Coba Mayan city settlement and temple pyramids is also a city located in Belize. The Belize city was made up ancient Mayan settlers.  The Belize city was occupied by the indigenous Mayans after the Yucatan Peninsula caste war with the Europeans and known to celebrate the Day of the Dead as food for the souls as Hanal Pixan  a Mayan tradition. Xaibe in Coba is a watchtower made of limestone as an illuminated path for travelers in the night.

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Ixmoja

Ixmoja (Ximoja or Xaimoja) was an intense climb for a person like me afraid of heights! At an impressive 138 feet tall, and 120 ascending and descending steps, this pyramid is taller than the famous, Temple of the Sun, Chichen Itza.  Of course, I forgot to wear the correct shoes and had on swimming footwear but my adrenaline was on overdrive and with the rest of the tour group I couldn’t back down. Even half way up the pyramid I got cold feet, paralyzed for about 4 minutes to catch my breath, but I was cheered on and couldn’t turn back so I kept going!

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By the time i got to the top I was huffing and puffing and dripping in sweat, mostly out of managed fear and disbelief! My virgo moon about to spin out of control questioning how I’d get back down without falling to my death, but to manage the fear of overlooking the tallest tree, I didn’t take a picture or think more than 15 seconds, I just started to descend slowly with a 10 to 15 lb backpack keeping me as steady as I could plant my footing.

 

Top of Ixmoja (Ximoja/ Xaimoja or Coba Pyramid) — Over Coming My Fears 1 Adventure at a Time 

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Top of Ixmoja ( or Xaimoja /Coba) pyramid in utter fear of heights and wondering for a second how I was going to get back down! But I did descend as fast I could; adrenaline in full throttle limiting my thinking or rather managing my fear! What a triumph!

Riding through the Mayan Jungle

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After descending 120 slippery steps from the Coba (Xaimoja, Ximoja pyramid) I jumped back on my little turquoise bicycle. I hadn’t rode a bike in 20 years. Me and my 15lb backpack was flying through the jungle.

 

Such an amazing adrenaline rush produced such a harmonious healing experience for me coming from the states from so much racial turmoil into re-centering of my mind, body and spirit!

 

 

 

Ceynote MultumHa 

Cenote Multum – Ha is an underground sinkhole located in the Xian Ka’an  (Sian Ka’an) Mayan for “Origin of the Sky”region of Tulum. This is under the ground descending some 84 winding stairs to the cave made of dolomite and limestone as well as other cave rock. Such organic materials increase pH levels and add calcium and magnesium to purify the water.  I can admit I have NEVER felt water like this. It is soft and strong (potent) and completely alive, so clear you can see the 130 foot bottom of this basin.  I am not the best swimmer but again I didn’t let this stop me from experiencing the magnificence and majestic beauty. I rented a tiny life jacket and threw it over my Speedo and waistbeads and swam out to grab the rock with my tiny fingers.  Backstroked, floated and butterfly swam back and forth kept a smile on my face! Yet another fear I over came this day! Victory!

Many years ago, I had dreamed of what I learned were called ‘Cenotes’ or Sinkholes. In my dream the lakes would come alive in the night appearing to glitter under the moon. In one dream there was a home in a cave, that lead to a door where one could swim from one side to the larger lake it was healing medicine for the people of the community and had many powers. I didn’t realize until I arrived to Mexico that these cenotes were in my dreams! There are many cenotes in Mexico

 

 

Playa Del Carmen

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Playa Del Carmen shopping district and free Mexican Tequila Shots!

 

Hip Hop is Universal! Mexican Bboys in Playa del Carmen

I was amazed to find this Hip Hop Bboy show in Mexico. I was smiling from ear to ear listening to this African American music and witnessing these dancers for theirs in this arena as the crowd cheered and watched. For a second I felt like I was blasted onto a New York street corner in the 80s. It was fun, exhilarating, and made me giggle knowing that hip hop is truly an art loved and respected throughout the world bringing many tribes and races together under the umbrella of the music, dance, art, and culture.

 

We also had free tequila shots! I had coconut tequila, Mexican chocolate tequila, traditional tequila with lemon and salt, they were all amazing! Our group had a great time laughing, cheering each other on and chatting about our day and next travel plans.

 

Back in Cancun (KanKun) “Land of the Gold Snakes”

I spent a few days in Cancun and finally realized I was in walking distance to everything, major stores, shops, restaurants, bus stations that would take you to Chichen Itza, Mexico City, or Merida, banks, and supermarkets. The weather was amazingly perfect. On my last day it rained while the sun still shown above and cleared up as quickly as it started.  I also realized I was close to the Cancun hotel strip and party district!

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Coconut Trees are everywhere in Cancun! They are so plentiful no one pays them attention. I was blown away and wanted to climb the trees!!

 

Travel – My Fears and Dreams

My Fears overcome and  my Dreams realized…

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First time on a hammock, Cancun, Mexico

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A few notes on my mini vaca to Mexico…

 

My travel to Mexico was a long awaited pilgrimage where I have had so many dreams and visions for many years. I really did not know back then that it was Mexico that I should visit or why, but it was a truly healing and magical experience.

 


 

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The Heart of Transformation – My Fitness Journey in Progress

I don’t allow society or the ‘norm’ whatever that is to dictate my health, mind, or body – “She” belongs to me! ~ Ria

 

Seeing Your Hard Work Take Shape

So I woke up this morning no alarm slightly sore but glowing! Last night was an emotional day. I was releasing some unacknowledged pain and sadness I thought I’d already released during this New Moon, Full Moon, Moon Eclipse, Equinoxes, Blood Moons (- smirking- ) these past few months have been eye-opening and full of personal truth and resolution. Spiritual transformations and physical transformation!  I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, when I decided to pick up my bags (literal and metaphorical) and head for a swim.  Surely that water would help clear my head and aid my spirit.  I looked at my app and realized I had another work out before my Rest Day.  Yesterday being Leg Day, I was still slightly sore but in need of some transformation. Day 9, Chest and Triceps!

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Expanded Facility

This facility I hadn’t been to in months (maybe a year aside from the pool) had expanded. I was so surprised and excited once I discovered they had added new equipment even though tiny in room size, this gym was equipped with everything and more. Kettlebells, dumbbells, free weights, olympic bars, curl bars, tricep bars, hex bars, smith machines, mats, medicine balls, Bosu balls, exercise balls, weighted balls, massage balls! :‑O
It was an athletic dream aside from the Marine base gym I visited last year. This gym for the local public was dope! And I’m thinking how to make this a permanent gym while in the area because Planet Fitness is “ehhh!”

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September 4, 2018, Chest, Triceps, (added Abs, Calves and a Swim!)

I’m so amazed at how this transformation is taking shape- literally! ~ Ria

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Knowing What You Need and Listening to Your Body

In addition to the workout above, I added an abdominal routine! That left me sweating before my swim and jacuzzi session.  I will do this routine at least 4-5 times a week because it made my total routine complete. My abs are the hardest for me to loose and I realize that if I don’t focus on their development “it aint gonna happen!” After twin boys and a daughter and several C sections my abdominal wall split from its natural anatomy and unfortunately my pregnancies left me with extra skin that never stretched back to shape. Something like a Kate and 8 the mother (Kate Gosselin) who had the 8 babies and had to have an abdominoplasty to return her stomach to its original size, look, and aesthetic.

My Secret Body Shaming 

I was told by plastic surgeons I have a 6 pack under my extra skin! “Yuk,” “Yikes” and “Wow!” all at the same time. I was blown away at their comments “We had another very young women your age who did quite well! You have a fit body type.” This was at my 150lb body-weight at my initial consultation. I’ve pretty much been in a secret self body shaming cycle for the past ‘few’ years since taking on fitness and gave up a few times because my abdominal section just wouldn’t budge beyond the rock hard underneath the childbearing scaring.

I kept this in dire secret never telling a soul and its affected so much of my life including my sexuality and intimacy! I’ve since decided to say “Fuck it! I‘m gonna keep going no matter what and see what happens to the rest of my body!”  I have to see how far I can go. No, I have no interest in competing professionally or turning into a professional body builder! I just want to be REALLY FIT for my body type and my ideal look and feel, sorta like a  Jada’s-mom-fit, Angela-Bassett-fit aesthetic look! I have to defy my “age” and the societal norms that say being over 40 is old, and being ‘old’ means out of shape and struggling with dis-ease. (Especially in the Black community!) I say “NO” to the mental programming. I am choosing a lifestyle that is serving my highest good and the rest will follow and fall into place. This is for no one else but me – I owe myself this opportunity to shine!

 

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Ab Workout Routine: 2-3 Reps to Failure. Russian Twists (Weighted), Alternate Heel Touchers, Bottoms Up, Plank, Cocoons, Air Bikes, Side Planks, Elbow to Knee, Repeat, Repeat! This should leave you feeling an ‘ouch’ on your tummy – now you know you’ve got it in! (smile)

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September 4, 2018

 

Finding the Right Facility for Your Goals

I usually try to cover up during my workouts, I wear hoodies and zip up to my neck! While at Planet Fitness this week around 11pm (after work) I was surrounded by group of young Arab men who continuously commented on my physical “attributes.” Their comments made me so uncomfortable I gathered my water bottle and exited the gym. This new facility, however, was safe and well equipped for the novel fitness person as well as for the school athlete or military veteran all of whom were present yesterday evening.  It’s important to find the right facility for your goals and comfort level- not all are created equal so be objective, envision, and plan for your workout sessions accordingly.

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Friday,  August 31, 2018 – 122.7 lbs

I say “NO” to the mental programming. I am choosing a lifestyle that is serving my highest good and the rest will follow and fall into place. This is for no one else but me – I owe myself this opportunity to shine!  ~ Ria 

The Heart of Transformation

When I woke up and looked in the mirror my arms looked like well-sculpted parts of someone else’s body!!! I was blown away at how I had changed since January being closer to 150 lbs at 5 foot 0 inches. I don’t have a morning pic but a photo from last week I will share (pictured above). I’m so amazed at how this transformation is taking shape- literally! I am determined to be 50 and fabulous (in just a few short years ahead!) I really didn’t mind my 150 lbs body to be honest, “thick” is trendy and desirable these days so women at almost any size feel appreciated, loved, and happy with their body type and weight. For me, however, I wanted to simply ‘see’ what transformation looks like on me. I am proving to myself that I can go all the way to make significant gains on my own terms and in my own “time.” Plus I have a goal (image) in my head that wont disappear no matter how lazy or non motivated I get from time to time. I get back up and get back in and keep it moving. I keep hearing the voice “You can do better! You’re more than this!” And its this voice that keeps me on this focus of self-transformation and consistency.

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January 2018 at 150lbs

 

I really didn’t mind my 150 lbs body to be honest, “thick” is trendy and desirable these days so women at almost any size feel appreciated, loved, and happy with their body type and weight. ~ Ria

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January 2018 Collage as the Thick Ria

 

Fit in Progress Pics

I can actually see the difference in my body shape taking form. I was afraid my arms would get too muscular and have me looking like a little man woman but they are actually looking good, still feminine, but slightly defined and toned. I love ♡  it! A few more tweaks and it’s all maintenance from here!

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From Thick Girl to Fit Girl – Progress Pic- August 2018

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122.7 lbs – Slowly but surely, hard work taking shape! 08-31-18 as the Fit Ria

If I can inspire just one person to eat healthy, exercise, and continue to learn (mentally and spiritually) then I’m doing my job here on this planet Earth!

Be Happy, Be Abundant, Be Empowered! 

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Ria

Wisdom of the Elders – recognizing and making sacred kinnections on your journey

making sacred kinnections on your journey

Neuroplasticity speaks to the ability to rewire the brain through forming new connections via stimuli (expanded environment) activating synapses to strengthen cortical organization systems, synaptic (neuro) connections, and even cortical remapping.

Today,I choose to embody the now!

 

“Pushing our self past our boundaries of limitation and extreme, sometimes to something that knocks off our comfort zone, it creates new neuro pathways with our brain, we become smarter, wiser, more clarity, our life becomes more fulfilling. Only because we have a totally new experience. We get a new brain with that. Neuroplasticity” ― Angie Karan


wisdom of the elders

As  I was walking from The Mall (Washington, DC) to the metro, I was approached by an older woman with a mix of glowing goddess, mother wisdom, and dingy crone. Ironically, she looked eerily like an older sister (or cousin) to Jada Pinkett Smith so much so that I not only asked if they were related, but insisted that they being from Baltimore had to be secretly related! Her mannerisms, her voice, eye color, facial features, finger pointing, head rolls, foot stomps, and satirical laughter all told my spirit this was a far off cousin to sister Jada (and it spooked me when she said they had no family ties). I still don’t believe it! I will call her Jada’s Twin and Tridevi (interchangeably throughout this story).

She looked like she had walked a few miles covered in body sweat and with a shirt unusually dirty for just a walk or jog around The Mall. Initially, I mistook her for a homeless woman, but what she afforded me was one of the most priceless spiritual encounters I’ve had to date!  When you begin to elevate your life in such a way that you start living on a higher vibration those encounters with people take on a whole new meaning; impressions, experiences, and the people you meet speak to you very differently than the norm. Messages are strongly felt. You wonder how in the hell she knew exactly what you were going through or where you are in life. You can’t believe this person is offering you the best advice and wisdom you’ve ever received for right now in the now. And you realize it’s not only coming from her, but through her from a higher source. That you are indeed experiencing a magical moment in time.

Jada’s twin soul  spoke to me the way a mother speaks to a child with respect, nurture, and strength! When I revealed my age, she laughed, “Girl imma have to get your ID, on that one? You remind me of my younger days with the hot pants and the head-wraps of the 70s! You looking like you stepped right out the 70s!” Her stories were examples of what a woman must live up to (at any age), the power we posses, how it our duty to give back to our community creatively – to reach and teach the young, to connect with the generations after us to fill the void that social media and fake news has programmed and socialized human behavior.

She spoke of our unique struggle in America from her days in the 60s of the Civil Rights Movement to what is happening to our collective psychology and women’s self esteem, identity, and distorted perception of self.  She reinserted the need for our activism in the beautiful struggle we are born into while residing in America and as global citizens around the world, the responsibility and accountability we must continually be winning no matter what challenges we face. We are to get back up, strategize, and play our part with love in our hearts, carrying our deep sense of knowing within us, stand on our square, and speak for our Ancestors and Children’s children.

In our short time together we spoke of grace and she reminded me that walking with humility and empowerment is also surrender to god, the higher force within us all. How to listen and obey god and the art of surrender was necessary to balance our spiritual and emotional well-being, physical health, and maintain success.

What was so remarkable to me was her way of speaking and teaching through a story of example. She never said “this is what you should do” or asked” what role are you playing Sis?” She only referenced her personal history, her daughter’s struggle in the corporate fashion world and how (because of her mother’s and grandmothers strong beliefs and teachings) she continues to stand firm on her square to be a voice for those who don’t either have a voice or the consciousness to understand.

As we walked from the gold sandy dirt off the National Mall grounds, she led me South West to the edge of a beautiful outdoor garden I had never seen or known to reside. It was unlike the other gardens I had been that week, this one was not only appealing to the eyes, but allured with the most inviting aromas which I wanted to taste as I did as a child when I’d pick flowers to eat while in the woods alone. This Tridevi had afforded me with a luxury of wisdom to chew on as I made my way to the metro and driving back home; i ate and pondered, ate and agreed, ate and released, ate while reconciling, ate and gave thanks that this magical meeting occurred at just the right time, on just the right day, at just the right moment in my life. I am forever grateful and realize the power of making sacred kinnections (connections) while on your journey. And look forward to when I can be of service and pay it forward to a younger sister in need of Tridevi ageless goddess wisdom. 😉

In Love! 

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Ria (Daria) 

 

Ria Sweetraw | NaturalSelfGoddess ™♥ Blog travels to Washington, DC to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Annenberg Hall of Geology, Gems, & Minerals. In awe of the massive gemstones and minerals from around the globe, particularly the amount of stones from Brazil (Brasil), Mexico and South America, this montage pays hommage to those Ancestors. The autochthonous tribes of the Ancient MesoAmerican Indigenous cultures and ancient Mayan Inca Aztec tribes in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama whose origins and bones are buried deep within the land of those regions. Feeling compelled to not only remember but to share their memories with everyone. I am another You! xo ~ Ria ( Daria)

Travel – Smithsonian Gems Exhibit – Ancestor Montage

Herbal Healing Hacks – Thyroid Support Herbs, Everlasting Life, and SunGazing Immunity

Vegan Soul Food at Everlasting Life

Who doesn’t love vegan soul food? The tasty indulgence of childhood Southern favorites with the shedded guilt of pulling heavy meat industry resources from the planet. Ahh, biting into a buffalo-sauced, meat-free wing is as close to extravagance. Although hard-core vegans would argue “why fake a meat dish at all?” I get it and lived that life as well. Today, I’ve embraced the middle road. Less inclined to be dogmatic about my diet but strict enough to stay within the imaginary lines of remaining consistent on the organic, natural path.

“Excuse me Sis, but you need to teach a tutorial on how to stay fit.” – 30 something guy in white suit, Everlasting Life Restaurant, Maryland  

08-26-18_Everlasting_Life_MD_Store.jpgI have to admit the last time I’ve been to Everlasting Life was probably shortly after their opening on Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC almost two decades ago! The DC restaurant was since bought by Woodland Vegan Bistro in 2013. It was the first time after Queen Afua’s class (2000) near Howard University where Pyramid bookstore was housed so many moons ago, I had the sensual pleasure of tasting (for the first time) mock tuna, mock egg salad and seaweed salad that bursted with so many flavors my taste buds still anticipated its memorable suggestion.  So after hitting BWI Airport and the gym out in Laurel I was famished and in need of some nutritional healing. I remember hearing Brother Red Pill and Professor Griff speak so highly of Everlasting Life this past August during their lecture circuit and since I was within driving distance I had to check them out. The line was long enough for to me figure out what I was going to sample by the time my turn came and I chose cabbage, mock mac and cheese, and various buffalo and barbecue meat-free wings. I admit I was searching for more dark green raw veggies (as I follow a half raw food to cooked food ratio in almost all of my meals). I almost picked up the seaweed salad but thought I haven’t had ‘soul food’ in so long I’d give it a try. After all, I am always eating raw greens and salads so why not?  As I strolled to my car to tear open the container,  before I was approached by a 30-something year old man in a white suit who had been on his phone talking real estate money moves and appointments, “Excuse me Sis, but you need to teach a tutorial?”

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” A tutorial?” I laughed questioning in amusement exhausted emotionally by the turn of events in my personal life. “Yes, a tutorial on how you keep yourself so fit!” I was shocked at his comment. For one, he had come off to me as — lets say someone I thought uninterested in women, secondly, he was hella young (lol, oh Stella!), thirdly, I hadn’t been to the gym (seriously) in a few weeks and felt super guilty for my lack of motivation and allowing my personal life events to dictate my schedule and energy.

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August 25, 2018 – Ria Sweetraw aka Daria, me at 122.7 lbs (shocked face)

Everlasting Life Food Review

The food was pretty good, although I personally would have incorporated more various green foods – light green, dark green, blue-black, and purple foods with more “alive” energy that activated and nourished the melanin of its predominate customers. Everlasting foods were more mock soul food items that appealed to its demographic community. What struck me, further, was the amount of black people who were in those lines, some looked like your traditional ‘woke’ brothers or sisters while others did not. That struck me as how things have really changed where more blacks had embraced a more healthy lifestyle and seeking being vegan and vegetarian as a very real way of life. This awakening was transparent in the lines and popularity this store has in the community.

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For my years of being vegan and vegetarian, however, I enjoy many different types of eclectic foods from many geographical origins of the world that are vegetarian and vegan based. I prefer raw veggies, greens, bitters and sweet fruits, and cooked beans with fresh, spicy or herbal dense tasting flavors. Overall, I loved the buffalo meatless wings and the cabbage was slamming. I’d frequent this vegan soul food spot in a heart beat!

Restaurant Rating Review

Everlasting Life,  9185 Central Ave, Capitol Heights, MD 20743, (301) 324-6900
Menu: 
Veteran vegan cafe/coffee shop providing cooked & raw soul-food dishes in a casual space.
Rating: ♡♡♡♡ (4 out of 5 hearts) 


Ripley’s Garden, Washington DC – Sun Gazing Copper Immunity Boost 

Ripleys Garden (Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, located  is located at the Smithsonian Museum grounds, Outdoors, between Arts & Industries Building & Hirshhorn Museum, has more than 200 plants, hanging plants, borders, raised beds, seasonal annuals and exotics.

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Garden Rating Review

Ripley Garden,  Smithsonian Museum Grounds Outdoor Garden, between Arts & Industries Building & Hirshhorn Museum
Attraction: 
Seasonal Annuals, Raised Flower Beds, Exotics, Herbals, Hanging Plants, Bees/Butterflies
Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡(5 out of 5 hearts) 


I truly needed some healing sun! My weeks had been difficult emotionally and spiritually and the pentacle came Sunday morning when I had to cancel my flight to Costa Rica where I had planned on an Ethnobotany conference at Hidden Garden Sanctuary. I felt defeated by the forces and felt burnt out emotionally, physically and even spiritually. I found myself finding free parking near the Smithsonian and walking into a garden.

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In my own personal experiences with Sun Gazing, Agnihotra (AM and PM Sun Rituals), Surya Namaskara Yoga practice, Sun Bathing and Sun Meditations, there is a powerful alchemy that takes place during the sun interfacing with the skin (integumentary system)  receptors and our cellular molecular chemistry which boost immunity, organ health and functionality,  and longevity.  ~ Ria Sweetraw

The sun was beating down igniting and warming my skin and I embraced this kind of healing I was desperate for it. I roamed through the beautiful garden finding rosemary, varieties of sage, edible flowers, exotic shrubs,  and their sheer beauty adorned and visited by bees and butterflies. I melted into this green space absorbed in the world of plants, water fountain sounds, and beauty looking at all the names and shapes of the trees, shrubs and perennials from around the country and world.

 

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As the sun kissed my caramel skin it soon roasted my flesh into a reddish dark copper complexion which made me feel a natural high (probably from mere mental exhaustion) and lack of sleep. Nevertheless, the sun penetration did its job by the middle of my video I was feeling happiness fill my being and some rejuvenation. I  was reading Jeff T Bowles,The Miraculous Results Of Extremely High Doses Of The Sunshine Hormone Vitamin D3...” and in my own personal experiences with Sun Gazing, Agnihotra (AM and PM Sun Rituals), Surya Namaskara Yoga practice, Sun Bathing and Sun Meditations. I can assure you the Sun energy is one to be studied with reverence and an open eye and heart. Sun gazing, Sun bathing and Sun meditations have enormous benefits especially for people of darker hues aka melanin. There is a powerful alchemy that takes place during the sun interfacing with the skin (integumentary system)  receptors and our cellular molecular chemistry which boost immunity, organ health and functionality,  and longevity. Perhaps I will share more on this in a later post. 😉 In any case, I was rejuvenated both physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually!

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Herbal Healing Hacks w Ria Sweetraw | NaturalSelfGoddess™ Blog♥


Quick Herbal Remedies Hack

I was approached a week ago by a coworker who insisted I give her remedies for her thyroid problem. I was shocked because I didn’t remember telling anyone about my years of herbal medicine practice. But for years I studied herbs and healed my children (and myself) with herbal remedies I got from books and healers in the community. I still wouldn’t call myself an herbal healer. I’ve listened to cutting edge researchers who are up on melanin, chemistry, ethno botanical herbs and foods and use scientific terms with skill and expertise. I am a fan of these teachers in the field of natural health, botany, chemistry, and melanin studies.  I’m still learning and expanding to include in my own personal practice. I smile though when I share basic healing remedies I’ve personally used on my self or my children (who are long gone from home).  What I gave her were some rather basic remedies and lifestyle changes (I stressed lifestyle changes) because dis-ease does not happen by chance or over night. Disease or imbalance is really maintained by poor habits; ignorant eating choices, poor exercise habits or lack thereof,  and negative, self-limiting emotions.

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Sample Meals for Meat eater or Transitional Meals 

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Thyroid Support 

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Turmeric, Ginger, Ashwaganda, Gotu Kola, Ginseng, Licorice, Echnacia, Bladderwrack (Seaweeds), Selenium, Vitamin B12

Liver Flush Juice for Liver and Kidneys

Raw Juices, follow eating a healthy diet heavy in green raw vegetables and leaves, avoid caffeine, alcohol, Replace Coffee with Green Teas such as Matcha Tea, Yerba Mate, Sencha Green Tea 

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Im not a fan of carrots as they are a hybrid vegetable so I will omit that from raw juicing but you can add if that is your taste.

I am fond of Beets and use them to also cleanse the kidneys and liver as a raw juice.

Ingredients: //apples, beets, ginger *optional dandelion leaves

  • 1 beet, rinsed, lightly peeled and quartered
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 Tbsp size piece of fresh ginger (skin removed)
  • can add dandelion leaves

Blend and strain.

Kidney Flush 

Ingredients: //celery, cucumber, parsley, limes

  • 1 celery 
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1/2 bunch of celery
  • 3 limes (or lemons)
  • 1-2 cups of water

 

Water Tonic

Ingredients: //lemons, ginger, turmeric water

 

Fresh Water and Coconut Water (Electrolytes) 

Hydrate your body! Your body (organs, cells, etc) need water and are made up of over 65% water so keep the circulation of water recycling in a healthy way, your kidneys will thank you!

Exercise

3-5 days per week devote to some form of exercise such as yoga, stretching to increase flexibility, weight training such as lifting iron weights in repetitions to increase muscle strength, walking (if choosing this as the ONLY form of exercise is valuable to reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol, and body fat), swimming known to work the whole body (whole-body workout for all sizes and ages, great for people with injuries and asthma), dance

Sleep, Rest, Relaxation from Stress 

Breathing practices, intentional breathing helps to regulate, relax and strengthen the Spirit, practice Pranayama (science of breath) techniques, Sleep (8 hours deep sleep) preferably in a dark room with no electronics such as phones, wifi, tvs or computers to reduce EMFs (Wifi/Radiation) that effect and interfere with brainwaves, nervous system, and depress immunity,  melanin, hormonal health, Meditate – practice mindfulness 10-30 minutes a day, take some time to go into Nature to get grounded, breathe, go bare foot on the earth

Sun Gazing meditation and other meditations for Love (open hear chakra), Healing & Relaxation

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Aromatherapy

Essential Oils used for thyroid (hypothyroidism)
** note: please research carefully to choose the right essential oil for your condition

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  • cloves
  • myrrh
  • cedarwood
  • lavendar
  • sandalwood
  • spearmint
  • lemongrass
  • peppermint
  • frankincense
  • rose geranium
  • pine

Hope this helps! and I hope you injoy my video. It took me all  day as a learning curve getting around Adobe Premiere and working around certain obstacles in the application along with YouTube but my first video! It will only get better!

Peace, Love, Wealth, Wellness and Empowerment!

Ria

 

Forms of Gratitude & Love!

Peace Global Family!

Happy August! That Blood Moon ( Full Moon Eclipse) has provided some powerful shifts and I’m so thankful for this growth, wisdom, sight, and the myriad of opportunities! So much has been happening since my last post (so much I don’t post). I am working on creating a blog post schedule to keep up with my daily life, what I’m doing, eating, writing, studying, etc. Everything brand new! (Wink) I’ve been beading making new waistbeads with greater gratitude and intention, beaded anklets, men’s bracelets (from some requests), and getting back on my fitness routine for the ending of summer into the autumn time.

I know I’m late to the party, but I just discovered the delicious Oyster Mushroom (Fake Fried Chicken) dish! Oh heaven (haha!) I also have fallen in love with Sunwarrior plant based protein adding this to my green drinks! Chlorella is my best friend (the supplement of choice). I’m crazy over Wolfberries aka Goji Berries as a snack! I’ve been studying vibrational medicine and the vibration of Essential Oils in healing through my Aromatherapy Practitioner certification course! Im also retaking some earlier alternative healing courses like Herbalism and Wild Harvesting, Crystal Healing, Nutrition and Vegan, Plant-based courses, Yoga, as well as, new courses like REBT Life Coach certification, Reiki 1, 2, and Master Certification, and others,  to explore, discover, and retouch upon knowledge and recertification.

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Oyster Mushroom (Fake Fried Chicken), Sweet Plantains, and Salad! (notice my aromatherapy addiction; Clove Bud, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Orange – not shown but worn almost daily!! High vibration energy oils! )

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Ahh the BEST Green Drink ever! Just when I was craving Green Matcha Tea, I used the Pukka as a Smoothie Base, added a table spoon of Raw Honey and Whoa! Sooo delicious! xo

 

I will be able to offer some of these services and create classes for community as a way of giving back (Karma Yoga). What other form of gratitude could one have but to give gifts of healing, love, and creative abundance!

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Summer 2018 – 48 years young!

 

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Always Love, Empowerment and Freedom!

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Ria (daria)

NaturalSelfGoddess

lavender essential oil – diy mosquito repellent

So I was playing in the woods yesterday! Getting some rest, meditation, and rejuvenation when something didn’t quite feel ‘right.’ I rushed out of the woods only to look on my arm and brush away a mosquito that was fully engaged in my skin. To my surprise I had in a very short time over 6 bites. Just a few days prior, I laughed at my son for escaping getting bitten while he had fallen prey to mosquitos in Washington, DC during dinner.  I had run out of lavender oil the week before and was too lazy to get fresh bottles.  I’m a natural advocate knowing that everything in nature is here for humanity to heal and prosper. I’m also in the midst of getting certified in Aromatherapy for healing (and its magical properties)!  You can make your own natural bug repellents and keep mosquitos, ticks, fleas, and other pesty creatures at bay.  Here’s why and how:

 

 

Lavender Essential Oil 

Lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) oil is a carminative, mild sedative, anti-stress, depressant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory. Not only does it relieve anxiety, and soothe nerves but it heals wounds, burns, cuts, pimples, eczema, even as a hair tonic for hair growth and to relieve sore muscles.

Lavender keeps the bugs (mosquitos) away acting as a natural, safe bug repellent. It also soothes insect bites acting as insecticidal and antiseptic reducing inflammation and itching. Apply the essential oil in a spritzer or drop some in hand to apply to skin prior to entering nature.  You can apply to skin undiluted.

Natural Repellent Oils

Some natural repellent oils include Citronella, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Basil, Catnip, Garlic, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Pennyroyal. I’ve chosen to combine some of these oils with Lavender essential oil. For decades, I was a Cedarwood (and Frankincense and Jasmine) wearing gal until I realized that it just wasnt strong enough alone for mosquitos and wearing Lavender oil (for me and my chemistry) really worked better. I saw and felt better results! Here are a few DIY (Do It Yourself) recipes.

Essential Oil Spritzer Spray

Supplies: 2 oz  spray bottle, a carrier oil (avocado/almond/rosehip seed/olive oil/evening primrose oil), 10-20 drops of Essential Oils, distilled water, organic witch hazel

EOs (Essential Oils)

8 drops Geranium

5 drops Rosemary

5 drops Lavender

Add 1/2 tbspn (table spoon) distilled water, 1 tsp (teaspoon) carrier oil, 1 tsp witch hazel, 15-20 drops essential oils (blend). Shake well.

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Bug Be Gone Cream

  • 8 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 6 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 4 ounces of (liquid/fractionated) coconut oil

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Bath Water 

5 drops Lavender Oil

More Oils to Blend DIY Recipes

Other oils include; Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Basil, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Spearmint, Peppermint, Thyme, Cloves, Geranium

Cautions: some oils not advised for pregnant women

 

 

Seeking Fitness in Nature – Fitness Vlog June 2018

How about Fitness in Nature?

Going for a lake swim preceded by yoga in the park? Sounds amazing right, that’s what I thought. I got dressed headed to Fredericksburg VA to a park I had visited last Indian Summer where everyone was either tubing, swimming or fishing in the Rappahannock River. I was excited with yoga mat packed and Speedo-goggles ready! When I got there however I was met with a half closed park gate, complete empty park, and what looked like an overflowing muddy river. I was heart broken and frustrated that perhaps I was in the wrong state or country. Then I thought about Sweden.

So Glam

When you are in Sweden you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. We call it the Freedom to Roam.

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I recently completed an International Business course and was blown away at my findings. First let me share, I’m a kind of bohemian indigenous artistic geek, I’m a Sagittarius who loves just about everything I can sink my teeth into physically and mentally,  i love research and learning. It doesn’t feel right if I cant research something, try it, then report about it.

I’d love to be able to go to a local park with speedo and googles and jump into a lake but living in America the thought of lake swimming in my location is damn near impossible for many reasons.

06-26-18_ClosedPark_Sign_OldMillsVA-NSGCopyrightWell one of my classmates was focusing their project on Sweden so me being me I responded with ‘some’ knowledge of not only business economic statistics and a few political views but dove into what makes Sweden, Sweden. What I found astounded me! For short, I’ve been a Nature lover since I was a child running through the forests learning all I could about berries and flowers to ingest and absorbing the beauty and serenity of trees and cloud watching. I developed a love with Nature and all her healing gems.  I’d love to be able to go to a local park with speedo and googles and jump into a lake but living in America the thought of lake swimming in my location is damn near impossible for many reasons. Uh, not the case in Sweden!

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Not only do Swedes have a “Right to Roam” with passports that open doors to them across countries and freely visit other nations without scrutiny, they have what is called “Right to Public Access” or ‘Allemansrätt’ (Outdoor Access Rights) which is a right to national parks and nature that would otherwise be forbidden or heavily limited. That’s right, Swedes can swim in public lakes, park lakes and rivers, roam mountains, and coastlines,  andarchipelagos! Learn more about Swedish EPA Right to Roam policies.

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What a huge contrast to the policies and laws here in the United States, especially where I currently reside in Northern Virginia, but then I’m thinking I probably just need to travel. See what other American’s are doing, roam the parks, country sides, coastal regions, get a passport and hop across the country into jungles, hike foreign trails, seek refuge in sacred temples. Okay, Im dreaming and intending! (smile) Here’s to your adventures, fitness and fun! 

Stay Fit, stay Love, stay Empowered! 

xo 

Ria (Daria)

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Fitness Vlog | June 27 2018

 

 


Shop  with us on Etsy | High Vibration Goddess Bands

EVERYTHING

To Snap or Simply Do, Social Media Blues

It’s sometimes difficult to stop and journal your life in social media.

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Ah Spring 2018 – Green Juice and Salad

I’ve been looking through my photos and cataloging them from my phone. There’s quite a “few” food images (over a hundred), gemstone pics (over a hundred) of new jewelry, nature pics I captured and yet haven’t posted. I’ve been wrapped up in doing that I haven’t had the time to share! Even right now, I’m heading out the door to get in some Yoga in the park and river swim! Yesterday at the gym I was reveling in how easy my burpees are compared to a year (years) ago! At this very moment, I feel guilt of not being ‘on time’ by writing this (smile) I just want to get ‘there’ and experience the water, the sun, take in the breath and energy of wherever I choose to be in the moment. I choose to be present!  

So how does this translate into social media? There are two very different contrasting sides to me, one demands complete privacy and autonomy, while the other side wants to snapshot, click and capture every moment of life, the key is balance. Which I am most definitely seeking and embodying.  I’ve heard and seen serious YouTuber Influencers speak on this subject and express how they are torn between the world of Social Media and their personal lives. There followers are in the high thousands and millions so I cant even imagine the pressure they must feel and yet I can relate on a much smaller scale.

Just a reminder_

Waistbeads By Riasweetraw visit the NaturalSelfGoddess Shoppe Etsy store

In fact, I just finished (wrapping up) my International Business course which I got an A! My next class  is Social Media and this very subject will be discussed and explored (at least by me)! Nevertheless, we must press on and I want to express extreme gratitude, love, and thankfulness. 

Have a Beautiful, Bountiful, Beast Summer! 

xo 

Ria (aka Daria) 

Aromatherapy + Essential Oil Healing: Myrrh

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Complimentary Medicines

Aromatherapy and essential oils have numerous potent healing benefits documented in the ancient healing texts of the Ebers Papyrus from the medicinal healing priests of Imhotep (Father of Medicine, Khemet, Egypt) and Bast, goddess of Perfume (aromatherapy). Also throughout Greece, China, ancient India, and the Middle East. Today these healing modalities are packed with healing the senses (smell) and (touch) skin, the largest organ of the body, the integumentary organ. Essential Oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants (Wikipedia). Whereas, Aromatherapy uses aromatic volatile oils like essential oils to vaporize a room or environment to engage the senses (smell) to induce healing effects on the body, mind, and spirit.

Origins

This ancient Near East African resin from the Commiphora myrrha or (Commiphora molmol) thorny-bush tree has been used as aromatherapy, incense, perfume, essential oil and healing medicine since Antiquity. Myrrh is found throughout Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands (Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Soma, et. al), Vietnam, India, and Arabia.

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Wine and Waistbeads

Did you know Myrrh can be mixed with wine? This resin from the wound of the tree “bleeds” sap in the form of a gum. Myrrh gum is sold as incense in hues of amber, deep orange, musky topaz browns, and are worn in West Africa (Mali) by women as waistbeads.

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Myrrh resin Beads from the Danq Tree. Photo credit from the BeadChest.com

 

Uses and Legend

The essential oil of myrrh is extracted from the resin. Both the crystal resin and essential oil can be burned to purify and is a smell of mysterious enlightenment drawing out negative spirits and cleansing auras much like sage in Native American saging ceremonies.  Legend says Myrrh is sacred to the goddess Ast (Isis) deriving from the dark mysteries of the Moon and mastery of the  Underworld.  Myrrh is used to purify, consecrate, and bless as a guardian against lower-level negative entities (energy). It helps to uplift, clear, redirect, enhance, anoint, break black magick, and bring peace and clarity of the body, mind, and spirit.

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Myrrh essential oil Commiphora myrrha,  Commiphora molmol, Somalian myrrh, Origin: Somalia, Size: 2ml, Composition: 100% Myrrh essential oil, certified organic by USDA and EcoCert, to Purchase visit Veriditas

Healing Benefits

Myrrh is an antimicrobial, astringent, expectorant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, stimulant, carminative, stomachic, anti-catarrhal, diaphoretic, vulnerary, antiseptic, immune booster, circulatory, tonic, anti-inflammatory, and an antispasmodic.  The essential oil prohibits bacterial growth,  acts as immune booster, fights against infection, colds, coughs, fever, heals wounds and skin disorders including herpes, measles, eczema, and pox, stimulates blood circulation, the nervous system, the heart, and digestion.

Myrrh oil can be used to strengthen the gums as a mouthwash against periodontal disease,  lowers blood pressure, muscle sprains and spasms, acts as a sedative and carminative, antidepressant and fades scars.

Aromatherapy Essential Oils Blends 

Amber,Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus,  Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood, Rose Oil, Rosemary, Sage, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang.