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The Oil Spill and the Art of Self-Care

January 27, 2019

Last year my word(s) for the year was self-care.  And this for me personally does not look like bubble baths and massages although I do love both of those!  What I need from myself mostly for self-care are good boundaries around my time and energy, asking for help when I need it, and utilizing my resources.  These have been some of my biggest struggles, that I have been aware of, since my early 20’s. I’ve gone to therapy to work on these and have worked hard to honor myself with these.

And still, I stink at it.  But I am getting better with very conscious efforts!

So, this year my word(s) for the year, again, is self-care. In fact, if I am honest about it, probably these will be my words for several years to come. I have lots of work to do around this.

Luckily for me I have this friend who is a wonderful role model for intentional self-care. She knows how to do it!  She’s good at it.  And its pro-active!  And she does it in the most kind and gentle way for herself. She reminds me how important it is to take care of ourselves in the best way we know how.

Last year she had an unhealthy experience, and she was relaying to me how she handled it .  And Wow!  I asked her if she would write about it because I needed and wanted to read this, and remember it.  Self-care doesn’t happen haphazardly or without a plan but sometimes when you proactively work at self-care, the Universe gifts you an added bubble bath, or massage for good measure.


This is her story.  Thank you so much, Marsea Spiegel for being such an amazing role model and friend and being willing to share your story.

Oil Spill    

“A few weeks ago, an old defunct oil tank in the basement of the house where I live (I occupy the first floor) started leaking oil.  I woke up one morning, and the smell was so powerful that I immediately opened windows and headed downstairs with a scarf over my mouth and nose.  It was all over the floor and just a stinky, nasty mess.  The following day a haz-mat team cleaned the floor, siphoned the remaining oil, cut up, and removed the tank.  They did a great job. The smell, however, remained and actually got worse.  It permeated everything that was, well, permeable.  My throat, head, and chest were not spared.  Boy, did I get sick.

For the first week I couldn’t sleep in my own apartment.  I had a constant headache and had to take serious action to clean both my house and my body.

The house was a relatively quick fix; two days of deep cleaning with a purifying blend of essential oils (and a good friend) did wonders to improve the atmosphere and lift my mood.  I smudged with sage and ran a diffuser with lemongrass oil.  It was unseasonably warm, and I was able to leave windows open day and night.

Detoxing my body would be more of an ongoing process.  I put a lot of trust into the wisdom of my body to handle this assault and did all I could to support it.  I drank lots of pure water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice; coconut water straight from the coconut; fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice; simple meals of antioxidant-rich vegetables, greens, fruits, and berries; roasted dandelion root and other detoxifying teas; long walks on the beach; daily sauna; oil pulling (coconut oil swooshed around in the mouth); dry brushing; visualization; positive affirmations (“My body is a brilliant detoxifier, and I am cleaner than ever before”); and was grateful for the opportunity to take purification to another level.  It was a nice reminder that there are gifts in all things.

I had planned a weekend at Kripalu Yoga Center before this happened.  To take full advantage of my time there, I decided to gift myself with a relaxing massage first thing upon arrival, prior to the start of my workshop so I could be in tip-top shape.  They had one opening at the time I requested.  In fact, it was the only opening all weekend!  As luck would have it (luck? hmm…) the session was an Ayurvedic Detoxifying Skin Treatment.  I said yes!  It was phenomenal.  The most enjoyable, relaxing, restorative, blissful, and invigorating bodywork experience I’ve ever had.  To say it was exactly what I needed would be an understatement.  It elevated my concept of health, life, joy, you name it.  I decided right then and there that I would bring Ayurvedic Skin Care to my future healing center.  All I could think of was, we all need this.

This transformational session began with a very soothing dry skin exfoliation from head to toe. The therapist wore thin gloves that were at once silky smooth and slightly rough.  My skin tingled, and I could sense my body responding to the invitation to release any and all lingering substances that were not serving me.  The message was clear, and my body’s response was immediate.  My intention of purification was getting full support!  Looking back, I can see how it was, in fact, running the show.”

–Marsea can be found at Aon Wellness Center in Falmouth, Maine practicing therapeutic massage, and energy healing though Attunement.  She is also certified in Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.  Marsea is a certified holistic health practitioner.


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