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My Roadmap for Surviving Hard Things

By Jodi Cohen

Two bottles of vibrant blue oils labeled "adrenal" and "parasympathetic" set against a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges and a clear blue sky.

I just got off the phone with my mom.  She is having a hard day.  As a super organized, super social extrovert,  sheltering at home, by herself, isn’t easy.  She misses her old life and my father who passed away last year.

My teenage daughter is also struggling.  Her sport has been canceled, her summer plans canceled and sitting alone in front of her computer is starting to wear on her.

I know we shouldn’t complain.  We’re fortunate enough to be physically healthy, but the uncertainty and social isolation is starting to wear on us mentally.   I’ve heard similar feedback from many of you.  That the uncertainty and fear are impacting your sleep,  your mood, even your energy levels.

I received an email  this morning asking about “the process in Jodi’s personal discovery of how to heal herself by stimulating the vagus nerve *in addition to the oil*”  The concern was that  “I won’t know exactly what to do in conjunction with applying the oil”.

So today I am sharing my roadmap for surviving hard things.   I have broken it into the following three stages, because what you likely need in the early stages of hard things is considerably different than what are you able to process after some time has passed.

Stage 1:  Surviving Shock 

The initial response to hard things – like the loss of a loved one, a job or a lifestyle is often shock.  There is a part of you that can’t quite believe this is your life.  You might keep thinking that things will return to normal soon or find yourself in a state of disbelief and shock over the current state of the world.  This is a fairly normal step in adjusting to any life shift.  When you are in stage 1, try to be kind to yourself and just focus on eating, sleeping and moving (more here). These tools to stay calm can also be helpful.

Parasympathetic blend was instrumental in helping me navigate the early stages of shock and Circadian Rhythm was my go-to oil for sleep.

Stage 2:  Practicing Forgiveness, including Self Forgiveness

The next step to releasing painful emotions is the practice of forgiveness, both of yourself and others.  This requires you to step into personal responsibility, which is the opposite of the victim mentality.  Personal responsibility gives you clarity over what part of a situation is your responsibility that you need to carry and what responsibility falls to others.

This critical step helps give you the clarity you need to clearly assess your emotional state so you can begin to transcend it.

Both blaming others and staying stuck in the role of victim or taking responsibility for other people’s actions and other practices of poor physical and energetic boundaries can negatively impact your health.   They are both are forms of avoidance, keeping us stuck in the role of victim, surrounded by negative emotions including anger, fear, resentment, shame, guilt which can contribute to physical and mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

The longer you stay stuck in these emotions, the longer these emotions stay stuck in your body, creating stagnation which can impede detoxification and contribute to inflammation.

Forgiveness begins with self compassion and essential oils are amazing tools for self nurture and care.  I detail how to use Essential Oils for Forgiveness HERE and HERE.

Liver Support helped me gently release anger, blame and if I’m honest some deep seated rage that dated back to childhood.

Small Intestine Support was an indispensable tool in helping me clearly discern and navigate healthy boundaries with others.  Many of my relationships have shifted in positive ways that I never imagined possible before intentionally stepping into my personal responsibility and clear boundaries.

Stage 3:  Release Your Pain

Once you have navigated your initial shock and taken personal responsibility for what emotions you own and what belongs to others, you are ready to dive into your pain.

Intense pain or trauma can be a powerful opportunity for growth if you are able to lean into, as opposed to numb or avoid the pain.  All of our strategies to avoid feeling pain – including over-working, over-exercising, over-scheduling so we are too busy to feel, distracting ourselves with social media or numbing ourselves with food, alcohol or drugs – are only temporary solutions.  They may numb the pain in the short-term, but can lead to long-term harm as unprocessed emotions lead to stuck energy in your body which can contribute to disease. Negative emotions like anger keep us anchored or stuck in the trauma.  They hold us back from healing.

I think the reason that most of us avoid working through our pain is because we don’t know how.  Essential oils are one of the best options to help unravel intense emotions as they help lighten the load and lower the intensity of pain,  Here’s why:  Low level emotions like blame, shame and anger have low level vibrations or frequencies.  Essential oils, especially Rose essential oil, has an incredibly high frequency.  Topically applying or smelling a high frequency essential oil immediately lifts your frequency and with it your fortitude in navigating intense feelings.

I detail how I worked through grief, fear, anxiety, overwhelm  and loss of control HERE. These other strategies have also been helpful for moving through intense emotions.

Adrenal®, Rose™ and Lung Support were my three favorite oils to help release sadness and fear.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.