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The Awakening

“Here is the crux of the matter, the distilled essence, the only thing you need to remember: When considering whether to say yes or no, you must choose the response that feels like freedom. Period.” – Martha Beck

It was a long way to get here. Sometimes, it still feels surreal. But here we are – and it feels like freedom.

 

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I had this calling card made on September when I launched my book. By this time, I was already on my countdown to leave my promising corporate job by end of 2019. After 15 looooong years of hustling. I had a plan. I don’t know how I would make it happen. I trusted the Universe and prayed hard that everything will work out fine even if the stable corporate pay would be gone. The goal was clear: I had to try to make it work outside of corporate so I can spend more time with the kids, to do what I love to do and not accepting that “this was it.” I still do not know how long this would last. I still do not know if I can really make it outside of the corporate jungle. I did not even think I can be a consultant but God answers prayers. In the meantime, I promised myself to live in the NOW. Just make NOW work. Write my articles. Catch up with clients. Blend some oils. Play and teach Santi and Lucia. Do some home errands. Stretch here. Meditate there. When friends ask, so where are you now? I am here. Hi, I am Balot. I am an author of Lost but Found, a certified aromatherapist, Smart Parenting contributor, Brand Love Strategist at BAD Brand Consultancy (that’s Balot A. Del Rosario, by the way, haha), and the CEO (Chief Essential Oiler) at @lanalaneph. By the way, I am also a work-at-home mama. 💚 Nice to meet you. Wish me the biggest of luck!

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It is roughly a month ago when I quit my corporate job. 15 years. It has been a long time. The decision to quit came as an epiphany – when my soul started shouting:

THIS COULD NOT BE IT!

My soul longed to do what it wants to do: make a difference. It sounds crazy, I know. More like messiah complex. But it is what it is. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to spend more time with my kids. I wanted to spend more time with me. I wanted to do sooooo many things.

There were whispers prior to that shout.

It started December of 2018. I repressed the feeling because I did not want to act like a “millennial”. No offense and pretty much, I AM A STILL A MILLENNIAL so I kinda get a hall pass. But that was how it was perceived, haha. Mumimillennial kalang eh! My friends said.

But it was an emotionally and psychologically mind-effing journey that started with that “soul scream.”

It all came too sudden when Edzel and I came back from Cambodia June of last year. I don’t know what happened really. Maybe it was  the ruins. Maybe it was reconnecting with nature. Maybe it was — God.

I needed to do something else. What that something is I did not know.

In fact, I still do not know but where I am now is something that I could have only daydreamed.

And then, coming from Cambodia, I met kindred spirits when I did my Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training in August of 2019. Next thing: my world exploded.

I knew by heart that I could do something more. Outside of the four walls of the office.

I wanted to write. I wanted to teach about aromatherapy. I wanted to help women with APAS find alternative modalities in curbing their stress. I wanted to spend more time with my kids. I wanted to spend more time with my parents and sisters back in Bacolod.

And so, the plans were cemented in my heart. It was almost six months in the making until I would leave my corporate job by end of 2019.

While this may seem a hasty decision, I sort of planned a little for it. I had to establish my writing opportunities. I had to save some moolah so the husband would not be burdened too much. I had to rev up my business.

It was a really scary time before THE JUMP.

Roughly more than a month after, I could not be any happier. This new ME would be someone that my old ME would have scoffed at.

My old ME loved corporate. She loved the boardroom hustle. She had a love/hate relationship with office politics. She loved meeting powerful people. She loved wearing high-heeled shoes and putting on makeup and dressing up. She loved gulping Starbucks and Coke. She even mildly loved traffic because she gets to listen to her Audibles.

But that was the old ME.

The new ME metamorphosed into something my old ME would have never recognized.

The new ME still wakes up like the usual time. But while the old ME would have been frantic in choosing what clothes to wear or putting on some makeup before heavy traffic looms, the new ME sits cross-legged on my meditation mat and utters a short prayer. Or if it is a weekend, I would be running to my 7am yoga class. She loves to fix the bed they slept in. She loves to spend time with the kids before her day starts. She loves writing articles, creating marketing plans for clients that she resonates with (this was something that was totally unexpected but you know, God has a lot of surprises), and blending oils for clients. She may not be a mama still 24/7 but she loves the extra hours spent with Santiago and Lucia painting, or playing with blocks, or watching Cocomelon. She loves that she has the time to read books, engage in her spiritual practice, or take naps when needed. She loves that she can do the chores the husband asks her to do or simply the chores that she wants to do. And most of all, she loves doing all this, barefooted (except when going out of course) and in her yoga pants.

It is a humble day. But for the new ME – this is freedom and I love every bit of it. My Mama’s passing has even brought greater gravity to my decision; with me realising that really, we could be taken away in an instant and we have to make the most out of our life while we can.

And so, here I am. And I pray to God that it will last.

Martha Beck made me cry.

I was first introduced to Martha Beck when I was scouring books from Book Sale. There was this interesting title, Finding Your Own North Star.

To say that it called out to me is an understatement.

How can it not – with a subtitle of claiming the life you were meant to live, this was totally in my zone. I was on the crossroads of leaving my corporate job and books like this one just seemed to “find” me.

My soul sang reading the book.

Later on, I found out that Martha Beck is one of the first life coaches (to her words, she did not even know that life coach was what she was called) and to Oprah at that. She has a BA, MA, and PhD from Harvard University and a mom to Adam, her son with Down Syndrome.

Then I went on a Martha rabbit hole. I listened to her Steering by Starlight and Follow your North Star audiobooks. My Audible library was full of Martha Beck.

Yesterday, I have started on a new Audible, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. I am just on Chapter 2 and my soul vibrates so wonderfully at what I am hearing.

When Martha Beck described the MENDER in Chapter 1, I literally cried.

I have been struggling to explain to myself most of all, what I was feeling.

When I resigned from my promising corporate job, my boss asked me why. I could not answer her without sounding like what a lot of people would “brand” millennials (sorry!) –

“I am looking for my real purpose in life.”

“I just know I am not happy.”

“I don’t want to believe that this is what I am meant to do in this lifetime.”

How can these statements not sound crazy??!

Truth is, there is nothing wrong with what I was doing. Many people would want it. I loved working with the people in the office who have become my close friends, family even.

But deep inside, I know that this was not what my soul was seeking.

My husband has been supportive although I am pretty sure that he has just given up understanding my “episodes” because maybe he just succumbed to the idea that this is just how writers are – lunatics (haha! I don’t take offense because I sooo love the moon.)

Truth is, I still do not know what I want. Until Martha Beck slapped it on my face (or ears)!

This is ME through and through and I know not a lot of people would understand because it is sooo OUT THERE. But as I said, I cried hearing this because every cell in my body reverberated the words I was hearing.

• A sense of having a specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but being unable to articulate what this change might be. Geez, Balot. Your bio on Facebook says: I dream of making a positive impact in this world. 

• A strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time. – Exponentially so when I realized how short our life is after my mom’s death and Kobe’s (yes!). You just go to work and there is a possibility that you may never come back. 

• A compulsion to master certain fields, skills, or professions, not only for career advancement, but in preparation for this half-understood personal mission. – This started, I don’t know when. Maybe when I was diagnosed with APAS. Maybe when I promised Doc Gloria that I would write a book. Maybe when I took a leap to invest in an aromatherapy certification because I was appalled by so many misinformation out there that could endanger young kids. I DON’T KNOW.

• High levels of empathy; a sense of feeling what others feel. – I cry watching sad cartoons (and the husband would totally laugh at me). I take in a lot of emotions from other people. 

• An urgent desire to lessen or prevent suffering for humans, animals, or even plants. – The Foundation that is still somewhere out there. And even if I am not totally fond of cats, I want to cry when I see one killed on the road. 

• Loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, despite generally high levels of social activity. One woman summed up this feeling perfectly when she said, “Everybody likes me, but nobody’s like me.” – Sigh. I don’t really think that somebody would understand me. I don’t even understand myself! LOL

• High creativity; passion for music, poetry, performance, or visual arts. – Yeah?

• An intense love of animals, sometimes a desire to communicate with them. – I had mice, rabbits, a monkey named Bor, dogs, cats, fishes, chickens, pigeons and lovebirds when I was growing up. And yes, maybe I have talked to them, too. 

• Difficult early life, often with a history of abuse or childhood trauma – Not so much because I had a pretty good childhood but if it is trauma in general, maybe my APAS journey?

• Intense connection to certain types of natural environment, such as the ocean, mountains, or forest. – Oceans, mountains, forest. Anything.

• Resistance to orthodox religiosity, paradoxically accompanied by a strong sense of either spiritual purpose or spiritual yearning. – Well, well, well. Here we are.

• Love of plants and gardening, to the point of feeling empty or depressed without the chance to be among green things and/or help them grow. – It is a good thing that the husband shares the love for greenery. But yes, we love our plants. 

• Very high emotional sensitivity, often leading to predilections for anxiety, addiction, or eating disorders. – Oh yes, yes, and yes!

• Sense of intense connection with certain cultures, languages, or geographic regions. – Mystified and yearning to know more about people from different cultures.

• Disability, often brain-centered (dyslexia, retardation, autism), in oneself or a loved one. – Maybe I am a little bit in the spectrum, too! I don’t know… 

• Fascination with people who have intellectual disabilities or mental illness. – I am drawn to them, yes. I remember in high school (or was that college), I kept on researching about multiple personality disorders and all these mental illnesses. The human psyche is pretty interesting. 

• Apparently gregarious personality contrasting with deep need for periods of solitude; a sense of being drained by social contact and withdrawing to “power up” again. – I “grok” well, a friend said. But I like my solitude, too. 

• Persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuated inexplicably – Does my autoimmune disorder count? Recurrent migraine?

• Daydreams (or night dreams) about healing damaged people, creatures, or places. – Yes, yes, and yes!

So you see, Martha just pulled the trigger on this one. Made me even resurrect this blog with this post but I think I am on to something here and what’s more fascinating about it is that –

I am excited beyond measure. Beyond reason. That even if I don’t know the road ahead, I know I am meant to be here. And this is where He wants me to be.

 

Is Tea Tree Essential Oil Antiviral?

While it is H1N1 that is studied to be addressed by Tea Tree essential oil, it would not hurt if you’d want to diffuse or create a blend with Tea Tree for preventive measures with all the virus talk looming upon us. Tea Tree is one of the gentler oils with antiviral activities and works on a more similar flu-like type of viruses.
 
The previous article I wrote on oregano counters noroviruses, symptoms of which are more on the digestive system:
https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/symptoms.html
 
I think Tea Tree essential oil has a lot more potential but as mentioned, we don’t have much evidence on its activity on coronaviruses, much more to say it can cure or treat. But we can certainly hope and because we need all the help we can get in terms of prevention!
 
PubMed articles on Tea Tree and H1N1:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19843…
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23966…
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21095…