From our Director

From our Director

BOUNDARIES ARE BEAUTIFUL

meshot01.jpg

Your highest Self Care priority should be learning how to set clear and healthy boundaries that will allow you to live in alignment with the truth of who you are, and the way you want your life to generally unfold. Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships, a healthy body and an overall healthy existence. They can protect you from toxic people, maintain your energy levels, keep you safe and strong, and help you manage your feelings. Boundaries are truly beautiful, and good ones are the cornerstone of your wellbeing.


What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the energetic and physical space between you and another person. They are the line of where you end and another begins, and where you begin and another ends. Boundaries are also the parameters we set for ourselves within relationships. They can include physical, intellectual, emotional, material, energetic and time boundaries. 

A person with healthy boundaries will have no trouble saying “no” when they want to, but also feel comfortable opening up to close relationships and intimacy. A person who always keeps others at a distance (whether emotionally, physically, or otherwise) is said to have rigid boundaries. Alternatively, someone who tends to get too involved with others has porous boundaries

Healthy boundaries are balanced, and are defined by respecting your own opinions, staying true to your values, knowing and communicating your personal needs, sharing information in an appropriate way (not undersharing or oversharing), an ability to say “no”, and also accept “no” from others. Most people have a mix of different boundary types: for example, someone could have healthy boundaries at work, porous boundaries in intimate relationships, and a mix of all three types within their family unit. 


Why boundaries?

Boundaries are the way we take care of ourselves. Boundaries define a healthy emotional and physical relationship between you and another so that you do not become overly enmeshed, smothered, attached, detached, or feel pressure to be something you are not, as well as maintain your personal identity and uniqueness. At the same time, they protect your right as an autonomous and free individual who has freedom to be a creative, original thinker and live life on your terms.

Healthy boundaries create happy and harmonious working relationships. If you don’t set boundaries, you are giving yourself away. By setting boundaries, we tell people in our lives who we are and what we need. We value ourselves and take a stand for what truly serves our highest good. We stop resenting or blaming others for doing things we don’t want to do, and step out of victim behaviour or toxic relationships that drain us.

People may feel boundaries are obstacles to connection, but healthy ones are the opposite. They enhance relationships and allow you to be, and to honour, who you really are. Boundaries allow you to show up in the world authentically, in your full truth and power. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.

The added power in living like this is in how it can inspire and give permission for others to do the same – a ripple effect of people taking a stand for their own self care through clear and healthy boundaries. Bliss.


Types of Boundaries

Having an awareness of what is appropriate to you in different situations is important. The main types of boundaries to consider are:

  • Physical Boundaries: Personal space (your body, your environment) and physical touch.

  • Emotional Boundaries: Yours and other’s feelings, and when and what to share.

  • Intellectual Boundaries: Thoughts and ideas — respect for others as well as your own. Discussion topics (eg politics, religion).

  • Material Boundaries: Money and possessions, including what you will share and with whom.

  • Time Boundaries: How you use your time for work, hobbies, self care, relationships. Who you will share with and how much.

  • Energetic Boundaries: Your psyche and spirit, or spiritual borders. When, how, and with whom we share our energy.

How to create Healthy Boundaries

Most of us don’t know how to set boundaries. We’ve been taught to put others ahead of ourselves, or grew up in households that didn’t teach healthy boundaries. When we move past ingrained habits or fears, we can act from a clean, clear space, so we can enjoy what we want, rather than always reacting or responding to someone else. This can be scary or feel foreign at first, but in time, learning to set boundaries will be the best thing you have ever done.

Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Although new and challenging, with intention and practice, you can learn effective boundary setting to enhance every part of your life


A 5 Step Exercise for Setting Effective Boundaries 

I invite you to follow this activity I created to more effectively establish healthy boundaries between yourself and others. 

    1. Taking several pieces of paper and pen, and identify the boundaries in your life that are rigid or porous that you can improve: Physical, Emotional, Energetic, Intellectual, Material, Time or all of the above. If you are happy with your boundaries in that area, good! Congratulate yourself. Write a heading for the other boundaries in the centre of each paper and draw a large circle around them, leaving some space to write outside the circle too.

    2. For each category, identify and question the irrational or unhealthy beliefs or thinking by which you allow your boundaries to be ignored or violated: eg. “I’m not good enough”, or “I must do everything I can to spend as much time together with my family/partner/business”. Write them in small writing outside of the big circles.

    3. Look at these beliefs: Are they true? Turnaround those beliefs: think of three real life examples you have where the opposite is true: eg “I am good enough because I have lots of friends who love me, I am good enough because I am a great parent, I am good enough because I have a heart that loves deeply” . Or “I’m allowed to take time for my own self care, my needs are important, my family/partner/business benefits when I pursue my own interests”. Write them inside the circle. Thank the old beliefs on the outside for their service to you, and lovingly retire them with a strikethrough.

    4. Identify new behaviours you need to add to your repertoire in order to sustain healthy boundaries between you and others eg: saying “no”, keeping information to yourself, respecting your body, not lending money, asking for more time. Write them at the top of each page as a commitment: “To protect my boundaries I will…”

    5. Hang your pages in a place where you will see them every day, or take photos of them to review each morning. Implement the new boundary building beliefs and behaviors in your life so that your space, privacy and rights are respected and you can live in your powerful truth.


Remember, it is not enough to just set boundaries, it is necessary to be willing to do what it takes to enforce them and honour them. Stay strong, don't give in. When you stand up for yourself, you teach others how to treat you. If people are unwilling to respect your boundaries, ask yourself if they are true friends or people you really want to spend time with. Setting personal boundaries and limits can be very important in how you lead your life and the quality of the relationships you have.

As you begin to set boundaries, remember that each time you set a healthy boundary, you say “yes” to self care and “yes” to more freedom. Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious, respect them and start a revolution.

— Victoria Lucille Fox, Founder, MISS FOX Melbourne

You can follow Victoria @victorialucillefox or join her online Self Care discussion here.


References and further reading:

TherapistAid.com

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2015/07/the-four-kinds-of-boundaries-how-to-build-them/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

https://www.yogiapproved.com/life-2/exercise-no-muscle-set-boundaries-stand/

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/great-self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13719/how-to-set-boundaries-even-if-you-think-you-cant.html

http://yourzenlife.com/working-with-energy-7-creating-energetic-boundaries/

From our Director

CULTIVATING PRESENCE AND RITUAL FOR SELF CARE

At this week’s Mystic Women’s Circle, we spoke of the Virgo Full Moon calling us to enhance the rituals and the routines we have, and the idea of being in meditation, grounded and present in our activities.


Presence is that rare and remarkable feeling of being simultaneously relaxed and aware — being totally ‘in the moment’. Some people call it flow, and it’s the kind of high-performance state that is needed to achieve mastery — of tasks, and of your self. Being present is being “attuned” and “mindful” to what is being experienced by yourself and others, with acceptance and non-judgment — letting things come and go with compassion and understanding. It’s like an eyes-open meditation.

We can cultivate presence in our daily lives by engaging in activities that promote moment-to-moment awareness, such as art, creativity, music, meditation, breath work, yoga, or being in nature, which help to release the natural presence within. 

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love — even the most simple action.” –Eckhart Tolle

Rituals have been used since the beginning of humankind, from self care routines to major life ceremonies. Differing from “habits”, rituals involve the execution of conscious and deliberate actions. They are mindful acts, generally with repeatable sequences, with focused energy, intention, and full attention.

The power of ritual is that it allow us to shut off the endless chatter around and within us, and be here now, so we can access a state of presence and fully enjoy life. Ritual turns an everyday or ordinary practice into something sacred. It is through intention that an act becomes a ritual — when you add reverence, elegance, sanctity and meaning, you elevate it to a moment of devotion, and divine connection to something greater, within and without.

“A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.” – Joseph Campbell

There is no better way to cultivate a relationship with yourself than through ritual. The power of self care and grooming is that it becomes a ritual offering to yourself. Whether you choose to have your nails manicured, your brows shaped, or you feet massaged — by you or someone else — you are making an offering of time, energy and space to yourself. It’s like putting fruits and precious gold on the altar or your soul, but perhaps more relevant for todays’ modern world.

Ritual can be created in all parts of your life, from the way you start your day, to the way prepare food, to the way you put yourself to bed. Every time you choose to honour yourself and the present moment, you show the world how much you believe in your worth and value. Think of all the time that you might be wasting in worrying about the future, following other people’s lives, or unconsciously rushing through tasks and routines. Imagine how life might be different if you changed the way you used your time, and the intention behind your activities.

Presence and ritual allow us to fully immerse and enjoy the beauty of our human experience, as well as the unexplainable, and remind us that we have a choice with how, when, where and why we expend and dedicate our precious energy.

Here are my top tips for cultivating presence and ritual:

  • Pausing and Slowing Down : Slowing down to create space around an experience. Noticing more of the subtle aspects of each experience . 

  • Walking Slowly: Helping you to be open to what is present inside of you and to notice what is present in your environment. 

  • Breathing deeply into the moment: Taking deep and slow breaths to create a calmer, healthier environment in the body, for a more alert and attuned state of being in each moment.

  • Setting an Intention for presence: Prime the brain by setting an intention to be present upon waking in the morning, or before an act eg. inhale and say “I arrive into the present moment” and on the exhale say “I let go of the busy-ness”

  • Pay attention to thoughts: Instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, focus on the present moment. Instead of focusing on what isn’t, have gratitude for what is. Instead of seeing the negative, be optimistic and ready to see the good.

  • Love your work: Find something that you appreciate about your current career, your industry, the current task at hand, the person in front of you. Cultivate a loving connection with every action.

  • Listen: Pay attention to what is happening around you. Listen to the sounds, and observe the people. Really listen to what people are saying, and respond with authenticity and love. Avoid small talk, embrace conversation.

  • Give yourself the best you can: Honour yourself by giving yourself the best choice you can. Do not scrimp, do not shortchange yourself, give yourself the very best.

  • Make the ordinary extraordinary: Find a way to add specialness to the things you do. It might be using a beautiful cup, adding flowers to your space or lighting a candle. Start small, it all counts,

  • Smile: Appreciate the beauty of life. 

RITUAL

From our Director

SELF CARE: BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND BE KIND TO OTHERS

What is self care?

You will hear us talk a lot about self care at MISS FOX, but what exactly does this mean? To me:

Self care is a commitment to yourself — to nurture your mind, body and spirit.

It involves intentionally engaging in behaviours and practices that promote your own well being. Self care means putting yourself on the list of beings that you take care of, and putting yourself at the top of that list — not at the exclusion of care for others but ensuring that you get as much as the other people do in your world. Taking your own wellbeing into account as you evaluate choices is critical for many of us that tend to always put others first. Your wellbeing isn’t your only priority, but by practicing self care it is your top priority — and that’s important.

Self care is about taking full responsibility for your own care, and not expecting others to care for you. As adult human beings we have a responsibility to society that we will care for ourselves. Self care requires that we pay attention to ourselves, sensing our inner state and taking action where required to be healthy and happy.

It is important to note that self care has to do with the intention behind your activities — self care comes from a place of love: it’s about feeling good, healthy, and self-confident and honouring yourself. It’s for pleasing you, not anyone else.


Why is self care important

The golden reason for self care can be summed up with this mantra:

“I am my best me when I am taking care of myself”

Self care sets you up to succeed in life. People who engage in good self care are more productive, satisfied and happier. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and is key to a balanced and fulfilled existence, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. It helps cultivate a real, positive relationship with yourself, and because the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for all other relationships —including people, career, money and the environment — your self care becomes a foundation for a deeper, authentic connection with the world.

Self care is your responsibility — not someone else’s. We all have an individual responsibility to grow and be responsible for ourselves. When you effectively take care of yourself it allows acting authentically with other people, and removes any need to manipulate others to take care of you. Putting your needs and priorities first also allows us to put forth our best efforts in life. By having strong boundaries and saying no, you can show up in in the world from a place of inner alignment and truth — and when you feel good, you do good.

It is important not to label self care as selfish. Self care has far reaching benefits for you and everyone in your life. When we are nourished, then we are better able to help others from a stronger foundation. It allows you to make a contribution to others from a place of health, wellbeing and abundance. We have a responsibility to help others grow in their lives too, and helping others starts with helping yourself.

SELF CARE

What if I don’t take care of myself?

If you don’t practice taking care of yourself, you can fall into victim behaviour: someone unwilling to take responsibility for your self and actions, and bringing down those around you with a “poor-me” attitude.

This disempowered state sees one blames others as the reason for their unhappiness, and position themselves as someone who needs “rescuing”. Whilst this may be attractive to some, the pity-party is generally a drain on colleagues, friends and family and the world as a whole.

Not taking care of yourself can lead to feelings of resentment, as constantly placing others before you slowly starts to build anger and bitterness. It is important to remember that putting yourself second (or last) on an ongoing basis is your choice, so meditate carefully on who you should really be angry at, and consider learning from it and letting it go — both the resentment and the behaviours that led to it.

Getting unwell on a regular basis or being constantly run down is a sure sign that your self care commitment needs to be improved. If you are unhealthy and unstable, you are not only robbing yourself of the best life has to offer, you are also unable to take care of others. Self care is an investment in the wellbeing of all.


What self care isn’t:

Self care is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness or self-serving behaviour is lacking any consideration about others and profiting by this. Self care is about making sure that we are well and healthy so that we are actually more available to help others — replenishing your resources without depleting someone else’s. A selfish action is motivated by “me-first, me-only”, whereas self care has the message “me-first, me-too”.

Self care isn’t about self indulgence or to be seen as a luxury. Whilst it can include pampering, it is about surviving and thriving. Sustainable, small and frequent self care functions are also certainly more valuable than occasional decadence. Like any relationship, someone showing kindness every day means more than one grand gesture a year, so apply that same principle to your self.

Self care isn’t about activities that are a chore. They should fill you up, not be a burden. It is important that you find the type of self care that works for you — yoga, drawing, running or bubble baths might be lovely, but if it doesn’t feel good to you, it isn’t your truth. Self care isn’t guilty pleasures either… cakes, holidays, shoes or reckless behaviour can be enjoyable and bring some temporary relief, but real self care activities contribute to your long term health and wellbeing.

Self care doesn’t come from practices or activities to impress or please others — it’s about meeting your own needs, not society’s. But it also isn’t an excuse to break commitments or be lazy or irresponsible. Self care is about honouring your authentic needs, not your ego.

Self care isn’t about caring for everyone else and leaving yourself out, and neither is it making yourself your only priority. Self care essentially means that there are two truths sharing the same place — be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

—Victoria Lucille Fox @victorialucillefox

Beauty Tips, From our Director

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALTH

Throughout history, herbal medicine in the form of herbs, plant aromas and essential oils have been revered as sacred — both for treating ailments and disease, as well as providing life-enhancing benefits. In most ancient cultures, people believed plants to be magical, and for thousands of years herbs were used as much for ritual as they were for medicine and food.

Essential oils have an effect that is more than just a pleasant scent. Essential oils have the ability to trigger emotions and memories, and are therefore very powerful when it comes to wellbeing, on a physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual level. Every time that you hold a bottle of essential oil, you are holding the pure “essence” of botanicals (hence the term “essential” oils). It can be said that essential oils are the “soul” of a plant.

Pure essential oils are powerful. They are about 70 times more concentrated than the whole plant, and work more deeply than dry herbs, delivering potentially very fast and effective results for holistic health and wellbeing. From scientific studies, we know that essential oils comprise a powerful blend of antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties, just to name a few. But they also vibrate at particular frequencies that may effect energy and activate certain altered states of wellbeing and consciousness.



How Essential Oils work

Whilst an aromatherapy massage or bath can be a beautiful once-off treatment, essential oil “aromatherapy” can be integrated into your daily lifestyle in a holistic way, for ongoing wellbeing of mind, body and soul. 

Oils enter the body via three delivery systems:

1. Through aroma, following the olfactory nerve pathways from the sinuses into the central glands of the brain (the Amygdala and Hippocampus), which control emotional, neurological, hormonal and and immunological functions. Bypassing the reasoning brain altogether, the smell is processed according to emotion, memory and learning.

2. By massaging them into the skin, which allow the oils to become absorbed into the bloodstream dermally via the hair follicles, and to have a systemic effect.

3. Through the respiratory system as you inhale the aroma, which has a direct effect on the sinuses, throat, and lungs. 



Passing the Blood / Brain Barrier

The blood brain barrier — the barrier membrane between the circulating blood and the brain — is very selective as to which substances it allows to pass through it. Essential oil compounds are extraordinarily small, making them uniquely suited to cross the blood brain barrier, and postively impact the brain and overall health. Once crossed, essential oils can rapidly absorb and interact with receptors in the central nervous system to help support healing and normalisation of stressed or dysfunctional cells.



Aromatherapy as Vibrational Medicine

Each essential oil has its own frequency — and since our bodies vibrate at certain frequencies — if our bodies are out of balance, then essential oils are a modality that can help us to regain homeostasis. Some research claims that, of any natural material, essential oils have the highest measurable frequencies —which are measured in Hertz, a measure of cycles per second — creating an environment where disease, bacterial, virus, and fungus cannot live. The average frequency of a human body that is healthy will measure a frequency of 62 to 68 MHz whilst essential oils have been measured at the following high frequencies:

Rose (Rosa damascene).....................320 MHz

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)........118 MHz
Blue Chamomile (Matricaria recutita).....105 MHz
Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma)............98 MHz
Peppermint (Mentha peperita)..............78 MHz

The higher ranges are said to affect spirit and emotions while the lower frequencies have more effect on all areas of the physical body. It is theorised that a stronger frequency will entrain a weaker frequency, and this is how essential oils work as vibrational medicine: their harmonious high-frequencies overcome or neutralize imbalances and dis-ease in our beings – physical and otherwise.


Quality & Organics

The quality of your essential oils is important. Oils need to be chosen for being extracted through careful steam distillation and cold pressing, which preserves the integrity and power of the extracts.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and enter the body quickly, therefore look for a trusted producer that makes quality, pure oils without anything added. You’re more likely to have an allergic reaction to oils that are of lower quality or have synthetic enhancement added.

If pesticides have been used in plant production there may be concentrated residue in your product, which will enter the body at the same time. Essential oils — as with other products applied to the skin — are ingested by the body like a food. And like foods, 100% organic certified products or ingredients are worth the higher price if you care about truly safe, natural products.

IMG_6985.JPG



How to use Essential Oils safely

For daily use, oils can be diffused, inhaled, applied topically (chakra points, behind the ears, the neck, wrists or directly on to an area of concern) and incorporated into massage. Or you might simply carry them with you as you would a crystal.

Essential oils are usually lipophilic ("oil-loving") compounds that are not miscible with water. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil. This can be a quality vegetable oil such as jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, or olive.

Its important to note that just because it is derived from a plant, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to rub on your skin, or breathe, or drink, even if pure or organic. Natural substances can still be irritating, toxic, or cause allergic reactions. Like anything else you put on your skin, it’s best to test a little bit on a small area and see how your skin responds.

Always use oils on the skin in a dilution of 1-3%, versus applying the neat oil to the skin or hands. That means if you have one teaspoon of carrier, you would add 1 drop of pure essential oil to make a 1% solution. Young children and the elderly may be more sensitive to essential oils, so you may need to dilute them more. Alternatively, find an aromatherapy roll on or body oil that has been pre-blended in the right quantity. In baths, add a little milk to help disperse the oils through the water, otherwise they can end up sticking to your skin.

Taken by mouth, many essential oils can be dangerous so be sure to seek the medical advice of a qualified aromatherapist or integrated medical professional before ingesting oils. Pregnant women should seek specific medical advice before using any oils, topically or internally. Avoid direct sun exposure or use on a non-exposed area with all essential oil concentrates and dilutions as some oils may be photosensitising.



Summary

Aromatherapy is holistic and enjoyable, with benefits for body, mind and soul. It is the art and science of using botanical extracts and their physical, energetic and vibrational properties to create and maintain emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. When used correctly, essential oils are a beautiful addition to daily life and mood.

MISS FOX has created a collection of 7 high vibration, skin-safe oils based on the Chakras that makes working these wellness wonders into our daily routines impossibly easy. Available from November 1 at MISS FOX Melbourne. To pre-order email us at enquiries@missfox.com.au


References:

Battaglia, Salvadore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, The International Centre for Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003

Lee, Myeong Soo; Choi, Jiae Choi (2012). "Aromatherapy for health care: an overview of systematic reviews". Maturitas. 3 (71): 257–260.

Keville, Kathy, Aromatherapy for Dummies, Wiley Publishing, 1999

Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 1991

Ryman, Daniele (1984). The Aromatherapy Handbook: The Secret Healing Power Of Essential Oils. Century Publishing CO. Ltd. pp. Chapter 3. ISBN 9780852072158.


 


From our Director

PRETTY BOTTLES, UGLY INGREDIENTS: ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE AND YOUR WELLBEING

Take a bottle from your bathroom cabinet, from your laundry, or take a look at the ingredients on your expensive scented candle.  “Fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list represents a trade-secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of hundreds of synthetic chemicals. What is in those air fresheners being auto-sprayed on us in a restroom? What gives that pervasive air diffuser it’s “forest fresh” scent? And what effect do the consumption of these fragrances though the skin, nose and mouth have on our health and wellbeing?

Fragrance was originally derived from flowers, leaves, fruits, resins and barks, captured in a precious glass bottle and used sparingly. Ancient texts and archaeological excavations show the use of perfumes in some of the earliest human civilizations. But post World War II, scientists found a way to synthesise natural aromas that was much cheaper and more commercially viable than the natural version. This was the birth of “Modern Perfumery”, and thousands of hidden chemicals and artificial substances being added to not only perfume and cosmetics, but room fragrances, cleaners and countless other common household and luxury lifestyle products.

 
THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE
 

Chemicals and Health
I personally became interested in this topic after rapidly becoming sensitive to the chemical fragrances in my home, which were frequently setting off migraines. Today, most perfumes and fragrances contain synthesized odorants or “nature-identical” synthetic copies. Synthetics can also provide fragrances which are not found in plants, for instance, mimicking a sea breeze or cotton candy. Whilst synthetic fragrances can smell delicious, they also might be causing you ill health.

Whilst most of us grow up associating perfume with elegance and beauty, the self-regulated fragrance industry selects from over 5000 synthetic chemicals to concoct fragrances, most of which have never been tested for their health and wellbeing impacts. Because the formulas are a ‘trade secret’ they are not required to disclose those ingredients. 

Over the past 2 decades, an array of studies have been published worldwide on the negative health effects of some chemicals used in fragrance, including allergic sensitisation, and confirming some are carcinogens. A recent study published by the University of Melbourne on “Health and Societal effects from Exposure to Fragranced Consumer Products” was based on a national survey where 33% of respondents reported adverse effects such as headaches, migraines, nausea and asthsma attacks from exposure to fragranced products, from air fresheners and deodorisers to cleaning products. Other reports link artificial fragrance with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption due to the presence of toxins, endocrine disruptors and phthalates.

 
IMG_4461.JPG
 

Fragrance in the new “second-hand smoke”
Workplaces, restaurants and public transport are now all spaces where we have the right to be free from breathing someone else’s cigarette smoke. However few rules apply when it comes to strong fragrances that can aggravate the senses. For those who do suffer from the effects, like headache and asthma and allergies, being forced to breathe in fragrance fumes from a co-worker or a public area is a vertiable invasion of personal space. In Europe, the USA and Canada, “fragrance free” workplaces are becoming more common post a few landmark court decisions. 

The purpose of manufacturer’s use of perfume or fragrance compositions is to affect consumers through their sense of smell and entice them into purchasing their perfume or perfumed product. Synthetics are pleasant in smell and relatively inexpensive, as such they are often employed in large quantities to cover the unpleasant scent of laundry detergents and many personal beauty products.

Despite the known effects of artificial fragrances, the vast majority of Australian consumer products contain them. Today, our society is suffering from over-saturation of synthetic fragrance in almost everything we use, from our beauty lotions (even those very expensive department store ones), designer perfumes, cleaning and laundry products, and countless other home and lifestyle products from luxury candles to toilet paper, panty and bin liners. Even washing clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances releases toxic chemicals onto the skin and into the air all day long, and as you sleep.

 

Mindful Fragrance

It is only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive ones from our environments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a beautiful fragrance, if it is a genuine and authentic plant-derived, unadulterated essential oil, or an organic, wildcrafted scent oil.

Although the areas are under active research, much remains to be learned about the effects of synthetic fragrance on human health and the environment. In today’s world we are already exposed to so many chemicals, so it is therefore vitally important to be mindful of the types of products we use on our skin and in our homes. Our body absorbs what we put on it as well as the airborne molecules from the environments we frequent. 

The Case Against Artificial Fragrance

The words “fragrance” “perfume” or “parfum” on any product indicates it contains a compound or addition to create the scent. Almost all of these are 100% synthetic, with a rare few high-end brands including trace amount of natural extracts. Reduce or avoid products with “Fragrance”. Invest in fragrance-free non toxic products and when working with essential oils, chose organic or wild crafted that have not been grown or extracted with pesticides or chemicals.

Practice self care by being ruthless about the quality of your products and environment, and enjoy a breath of fresh air and peace of mind.

We’re proud that MISS FOX has always been a “fragrance-free” workplace as specified on our recruitment policies, and our spa has a gentle, pleasant smell due to our strict standards of chemical-free cleaning methods and certified organic essential oil diffusions. We continue to seek ways to offer services that are botanically-based and organic, or with reduced chemicals. At this time, our entire skincare, makeup and spa ranges are artificial fragrance free. All tanning and nail services offer fragrance-free options, please ask your therapist. We welcome your comments and feedback to management@missfox.com.au

Article Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726844/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-chemicals-fragrences-cosmetics-pthalate-attention-deficit-womb/

http://www.national-toxic-encephalopathy-foundation.org/fragsmoke.pdf

https://branchbasics.com/blog/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/toxic-perfumes-and-colognes/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein/toxic-chemicals_b_625648.html

https://www.mamavation.com/featured/toxic-perfume-chemicals.html

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-case-against-fragrance-review-kate-grenville-raises-a-stink-about-scent-20170216-guelwq.html

From our Director

THE POWER OF SELF CARE

Ancient texts and modern philosophers speak of our universe as a totality — an organic whole.

The parts are not separate, we are all existing in a togetherness: the trees, the mountains, the people, the birds, the stars, howsoever far away they may appear - don't be deceived by the appearance - they are all interlinked, all bridged. Even the smallest blade of grass is connected to the farthest star, and it is as significant as the greatest sun. Nothing is insignificant, nothing is smaller than anything else. The part represents the whole, just as the seed contains the whole” (Osho, Philosophia Ultima).

Today, this holistic vision is not one commonly embraced or understood, and I believe it is why self care is often so mistaken, and under-appreciated.

As a busy corporate 10 years ago, I was juggling multiple and competing priorities, none of which were ever my own self care. Self preservation, possibly, but self care wasn’t part of the narrative when I had deadlines to meet, travel schedules to manage and targets to achieve. In many cases, even leaving my desk for lunch felt "wrong". Taking work home was standard and I got great at multitasking — which really means doing a lot of things not well. “Me-time” looked like takeaway food, and Friday drinks were the only de-stress after a hectic week of corporate life. There were the occasional health kicks or gym spurts, but these were usually fuelled by fear related to a special event where I needed to “impress”. I couldn’t see the return on investment on self care, yet I was barely surviving, and certainly not thriving. 

Fast forward to today: I see self care as so critically important, because I have learned that everything starts with — you. Your entire life starts with you, and within you, and revolves around you. This isn’t a self-absorbed view, because the reality is that if you cease to exist, your world ceases to exist. You are the centre of your own universe. And in appreciation of the “interconnectedness” of all things, it is the relationship you have with yourself that sets the tone for every relationship you have: that is, the part represents the whole.

Although it might seem as if this article is escalating quickly, I believe it is only possible to connect with life as deeply as you have connected with yourself. But how do you build a relationship with yourself? That’s where self care comes in. Self care is a platform for cultivating a connection with yourself. Think of self care as a date. It is a chance to have a conversation with yourself, to get to know yourself a little better, to vibe yourself out. It’s getting to know your body and form, and your inner essence. Whether it be over a picnic for one, or a pedicure, self care is an opportunity to dive between the inside and outside of who you are. Self care is the way you get to know yourself.

Here’s where things get more interesting: self care is related to the relationship you have with yourself, but then becomes an expression of your relationship to the world. Your relationship with the world shapes your reality. A positive, loving relationship with yourself can be reflected in an outward experience of life that is positive and loving — "so within, so without" — meaning that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. It informs your entire experience. So you certainly want to get that inner relationship right.

Self care is how you take your power back. The practice of self care brings your attention back to your self, so you can analyse your feelings, pay attention to the sensations in the body, feel your breath, engage in self-examination and survey your situation and surroundings from a higher perspective. It helps you take back control of your thoughts, actions and behaviour. It helps you create new stories and new patterns. When you truly honour your needs through self care, you step into your authentic self. Through self care, we connect with out truth, our values and our identity. By connecting with our truth, we step into the driver's seat of our lives, we can start curating how we wish to feel, what we wish to show up in our lives, and what we wish to give our attention to.

Beauty is a byproduct of a healthy self care routine. When you start taking care of yourself, you start feeling better, looking better and you start attracting better into your reality. Beauty comes from being aligned with our authentic self. Through self care we connect with this inner wisdom, and we can channel our truth, our highest nature, the very best version of who we are. This is how we shine. This is also how we tune into a higher state of living. Your inner world sets the dial for what kind of reality you are tuned into. Have you experienced being in a state of flow, where things going on around you become easy and light — it’s as if everything is coming up roses, and nothing can bring you down. On the other hand, have you experienced “one of those days” that starts off crappy, and found yourself frustrated over crappy thing after crappy thing that kept showing up? Your personal frequency is like a radio station, and is — despite what we might wish to blame on others or external factors — completely selected by you. This “tuning in” is essentially set by the relationship you hold with yourself and the world. It tells the world what level you want to play and, it tells others how to treat you. It informs your entire experience. Are you starting to see why self care is so important?

Self care is a also divine responsibility for those around you: you must take good care of yourself if you wish to be of service to others. The better you care for yourself, the more you are able to be a light for those around you. The greatest gift that you can give those around you is the best, happiest and most authentic version of you. Self care isn’t selfish. If everyone was able to start with caring for themselves, and effecting their internal environment and external environment, this has a ripple effect on the people around them: their community, their city, their town their country. People will start benefiting from it, seeing it and being inspired by it the more you practice your own self care. Self care creates a distinct difference in you, and the people in your life will feel it. 

The result of your self care are your communication with the world. Through self care, I believe our planet can experience a huge positive shift. Life is better and more beautiful. And that all starts with you.

— Victoria Fox

THE POWER OF SELF CARE