Fishing: Lost Lures & Life Lessons

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Brother + Sister | Lake Lahontan | circa 1999

Some of my earliest memories include fishing with my family. When I was little, we would stop by this little store to pick up a small, Styrofoam cup of worms on our way to go fishing at Lake Lahontan. Every single time, I would name each of the worms and make up little stories about their lives. While my younger brother refused to touch the worms (and he still does to this very day), my dad had to convince me to stop playing with the worms so that we could bait our hooks. Unless we are on a backpacking trip, we usually practice catch and release.

Pyramid Lake Sunset

Yesterday, my family celebrated my dad’s birthday with a quick fishing trip to the Truckee River. There is something so peaceful and calming about being near water. Just being outdoors and away from technology has a way of clearing your mind. However, getting my dad to stop fishing is like trying to pull a ten-year-old boy away from his favorite video game. Near impossible. This is literally how the end of the fishing went yesterday:

Mom: “Okay, Russ–it’s time to start wrapping up…”

Dad: “Alright, let me catch just one more fish.”

*Next cast, catches fish*

*Dad continues fishing*

Me: “I thought that was the last one?”

Dad: “Okay, okay. Just one more fish.”

*Repeat scenario a few more times*

Dad in his happy place | Pyramid Lake

I am thankful I grew up fishing. Fishing teaches you a few very important and valuable life lessons.

Patience: We all interact with people on a daily basis who have zero patience. I have gone on fishing trips with dad during which we spent 8 hours on the lake and caught nothing. Literally–we wouldn’t even get one bite. We have also had days, like yesterday, when we caught fish every few casts. There are some days when things will go your way. However, you will also have days when it feels like nothing is going your way. That is just a part of life. We can’t control everything–sometimes we have to wait a really long time for something we want more than anything. Whether you have patience through faith, or by training yourself to change your mindset–even just a little bit of patience will take you far in life. I was not going to say it but I know it crossed your mind–patience is a virtue. 

Time with family is never wasted: Some of you might be laughing at the fact that I have spent many 8-hour days fishing on a lake, catching nothing. Why waste so much time? Well–none of that time ever felt wasted. I was able to spend valuable time with my dad, brother, grandpa, uncles, and cousins, making memories that will last a lifetime. 

Nothing is perfect: During yesterday’s fishing trip, the following happened in just a few brief hours:

Fishing lures lost: 8 (sorry dad)

Fishing pole malfunctions: 1

Trying to find a parking spot: near impossible

Fish caught and released back into the river: 9!

Life’s not perfect and you’ll make things much easier for yourself if you learn to laugh at the small things and appreciate life’s hiccups. 

Commitment: When we go fishing at Pyramid Lake, we bring our waders and dress for the weather. Yesterday’s trip to the river was not supposed to involve getting in the water. On a pathetic cast, I got one of dad’s favorite lures stuck in the rocks. Oops. Without a second thought, my dad jumps in the river (in his gym shoes) to save his precious lure. If you are passionate about something or someone, it’s not difficult to be fully committed. Commitment is something that does not require contemplation–it’s effortless. Oh, and let’s recall those 8-hour long fishing trips I mentioned earlier…complete commitment.

learning to fly fish in 50 mph wind | Pyramid Lake

What are some of the activities you experienced growing up that taught you valuable life lessons? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Running Essentials

“Running teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments.”

I enjoy running. Okay – maybe I should rephrase that sentence. I enjoy running in nice weather, on flat courses, when I am in the “right mood.” I am a picky runner and I am perfectly content with that. I love 5Ks and I can handle 10Ks. However, after my last half marathon, I made a promise to myself that would be my last half-marathon without more than a week’s worth of training.

I struggle with training consistently because my schedule is just a tad crazy right now, so there is always some excuse to go running on a different day. I will be running a 5K in the near future, so tonight I had to have a serious talk with myself and start training. The first day back is always the hardest. My legs started aching about 1/8 of a mile in. Pathetic, right? I have to remind myself that what matters is that I am being active. At this stage in my training, it does not matter how fast I go – all that matters is that I am out there moving.

The wonderful thing about running is that once I get back into it, I remember that even though my body will experience some aches and pains, running makes me feel GREAT.  Living an active lifestyle makes me feel more energized and improves my emotional dimension of wellness. Running reminds me how important it is to set goals and work my hardest to achieve those goals. My first short-term running goal is to be prepared for my upcoming 5K. Baby steps. One day at a time. Progress matters. 

Thankfully, essential oils can be incorporated into your pre-running and post-running routines to improve both the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness.

Before Running:

  • Apply a few drops of Peppermint or the respiratory blend to your chest and/or wrists a few minutes before beginning your run. Peppermint will clear the airways and enhance alertness.
  • Inhale or apply the grounding blend to stabilize emotions and clear the mind of outside thoughts.
  • Did you know Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties? Apply a few drops to your legs to reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Apply 1 drop of Frankincense and 1 drop of Peppermint to the bottom of each foot for energizing and cooling sensations while running.

After Running:

  • There are a variety of essential oils that are wonderful to soothe muscle tension. Apply Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, White Fir, or Frankincense to your calves or other sore muscles to relieve tension.
  • Rehydration is essential! Add 1 drop of Lemon to each 8-ounces of water you drink to benefit from its uplifting and cleansing properties.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath with Lavender to soothe sore muscles and experience ultimate relaxation. If you missed my post on the importance of a detox bath, you can read it here!
  • Cypress supports circulation! Apply a few drops to your legs after running to promote blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Blisters? Apply 1 drop each of Lavender, Melaleuca, and Chamomile to speed up the healing process!

What are some of the natural solutions you utilize to enhance your running or workout experiences? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Emotions, Essential Oils, & Escaping Anxiety

“The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness.”

Nearly 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. Social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, just barely tap into the range of anxiety disorders people struggle with every single day. Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness in the nation?  What is even more astonishing is that the majority of individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders do not seek any type of treatment. Even if you do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, it is likely that you too have experienced anxiety at some point in your life.

I frequently struggle with anxiety because I tend to overthink things, I put a lot of pressure on myself, and the idea of change can be frightening. When I let my anxiety take control, my chest gets tight making it hard to breathe, my stomach feels like it is tied in a bunch of knots, and my mind races with all sorts of fears. I find it extremely difficult to verbalize how I experience anxiety and I know that I am not alone in feeling embarrassed to talk about my anxiety. Even more, it makes me feel weak knowing that I continue to battle with balancing my emotions and taming my fears. Discussing anxiety is not easy and that is why I believe so many individuals try to function with their anxiety and allow their symptoms go untreated.

When essential oils were introduced into my life, I was completely unaware of the immense emotional support this natural health option could provide. Now, I am no brain expert – I knew after a frog dissection in my biology class freshman year of high school that I had no aspirations to end up in med school. However, I do have a basic understanding of the brain’s limbic system. I promise to keep the science of this short and sweet, but if you want more scientific evidence you should check out this website. The limbic system is responsible for our emotions, memories, thoughts, and hormone production. So, why is this important? Essential oils directly impact the limbic system. 

I hesitate in using the word aromatherapy because a lot of people associate aromatherapy with “patchouli” and “hippies” and then they quickly begin to lose interest in the conversation. I wholeheartedly believe you will not truly understand the potential power of aromatherapy for regulating emotions until you experience the aromatic benefits of essential oils. When I start to feel extra stressed, experience low energy, or have difficulty sleeping – I reach for my oils. Essential oils have provided me with the opportunity to regulate my anxiety and uplift my emotions.

The moment I took control of my health and began to regulate my emotions with essential oils, I began to feel more optimistic and inspired. I have learned the hard way that I am unable to control everything that happens in my life. However, I do have complete control over how I choose to react to what happens in my life. Proactively approaching the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness will provide a sense of empowerment that will seep into other aspects of your life.  I was able to harness that strength and confidence to raise my expectations. I then began eliminating toxic people and activities that were creating negativity in my life and ultimately, bringing me down.

In case you missed it, you should check out my blog post here on the seven dimensions of wellness!

As we begin to explore the many types of essential oils available, I will emphasize which oils specifically help improve our many emotions. What natural health solutions have you found to be successful in combating anxiety and regulating your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

-Thomas Edison

How do you define wellness? Overall wellness is comprised of seven dimensions – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual, and occupational. It is critical that we give equal attention to all dimensions of wellness in order to pursue a state of holistic health.  

Now you might be thinking – how can each of these dimensions of wellness be equal? Have you ever noticed that when you experience the loss of someone who greatly impacted your life, that you begin to struggle in other aspects of life beyond your emotional state? Your mourning period stemmed from the emotional dimension, but it also had varying levels of impact on your physical, social, and spiritual wellness – as well as the remaining dimensions.

The seven dimensions of wellness are completely intertwined. When you begin to focus your energy on enhancing the relationships between these dimensions, you will truly begin to thrive. Let’s take a quick look at each of the dimensions!

Physical Wellness: involves making more informed lifestyle choices. Engaging in physical activity, improving nutritional choices, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep will benefit the physical state of your body.

Emotional Wellness: focuses primarily on improving how you feel about yourself and your life in general. This is the dimension that can often be the most challenging to regulate.

Spiritual Wellness: expands beyond the scope of religion. This dimension emphasizes finding purpose in life, understanding your personal values, and being open to developing connections to things that are much bigger than yourself.

Social Wellness: encompasses all types of relationships – family, friends, and significant others.  This dimension allows us to fulfill some of our deepest needs – to feel connected and supported by other human beings.

Environmental Wellness: incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment.

Intellectual Wellness: includes mental stimulation and pursuing creative outlets to challenge and open our minds to new ideas.

Occupational Wellness: promotes searching for a meaningful career and engaging in professional organizations and hobbies.  It is essential to prioritize the expansion of one’s skills and seek opportunity to help others.

Essentially, holistic health requires you to view your health from the broadest perspective by focusing your energy on prioritizing each and every one of the seven dimensions of wellness.  It is vital you learn to understand your body, as well as the connection your physical being has with your mind, spirit, and the world around you. Trust me – this is quite the challenging feat and I continue to struggle with maintaining balance in my life through all seven dimensions of wellness. What matters most is that you make the decision to continually work to improve yourself.  

I welcome you to join me on this journey and together we will explore how a holistic health approach and essential oils can bring you pure, personal empowerment. How do you balance the seven dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!