I have always loved Lavender. My whole life. I have been drawn to the vibrant color and intoxicating aroma of this flowering herb. One of my earliest memories with Lavender is from my childhood. In my hometown of Nevada City, CA there is a toy store (yes it is STILL there!) that had a full bush-hedge of Lavender under their front window. I can remember the blooms being taller than I was and they hummed from the swarming bees. Simply thinking about that place in time makes me feel better, makes me feel calm and happy. And maybe just a little nostalgic.
As an adult, Lavender and I didn’t really have a strong relationship, despite such a wonderful, loving start. I was drawn more to the dried flower then (what I thought of then) to the smell of “Lavender” in lotions, mists, and perfumes. And then I received Lavender essential oil.
At first, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way it smelled. It was just too strong.
I wanted to like it though. I wanted to reap the benefits associated with Lavender, particularly the increase in restful sleep. You see, I have struggled with insomnia my whole life. Sleeping through the whole night is not something that happens to me on a regular basis – in fact it is typically something that I celebrate, it happens so infrequently. So, I tried to put lavender on my feet. No. I tried to put lavender on my pillow and on my neck. No. The smell was so overwhelming to me that it actually made my insomnia worse!
Then I received my diffuser. It is a very simple diffuser that was given to me as a gift. It is simply a stone bowl that sits atop a stone holder that houses a tea light candle.
It is very similar to this one:
The I said to myself, Self, we have got to do something about this sleeping thing. Lets try diffusing Lavender. And diffuse I did.
The first night I tried it, I slept. I slept hard. Not long, but not once did I wake. But I thought it might have been one of those fluke nights when I would actually sleep. The next few nights I didn’t diffuse and, lo and behold! I didn’t sleep. Now, I am a full-time student, I work part-time, and I commute ~40min one way to said University and job. I need my sleep. So after not sleeping for a few nights, I reached for my sleeping pills (OTC generic Benadryl really) but thought, just for shits and gigs, let’s try the lavender again. And I slept. Hard. Not long, but I was fully rested. I average about 5-6 hours of sleep per night. This might not sound like a lot (because it isn’t I suppose) but I wake up before my alarm clock 9/10 times and I feel happy, rested, and ready to rule the world! Ok, maybe not rule the world, but at the very least I don’t feel like the world is ruling me.
Now, my nightly routine includes lighting my diffuser and placing my oil in the waiting stone bowl. While Lavender isn’t always my go to, it is a major contender. I also diffuse Balance regularly. I usually will do a check in with myself to see what I need most. Both are calming, but Balance is a grounding blend that makes me feel solid and safe. I know it sounds like a lot of hooey, but for me it works and I’m not about to argue with that (also I’m a bit of an earth child…).