Making a “GO” of It: Essences to Support Moving Forward & Announcements

I recently had a consultation with a client that was replete with insights and information that I think all of us can benefit from…getting “off the dime” and moving forward toward goals and dreams we have been thinking about for a long time.  Whether that requires that we “get past something” or “move toward something” (what stops us from moving forward is often a bit of both!), the essences are there to help us take that first step toward the vision of ourselves we hold in our heart.  First, let me make a few announcements and then let’s get to it!


NEWLY ADDED LEVEL 1 CLASS IN SANTA FE:  I have scheduled a private Wisdom of the Earth Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class for Thursday and Friday, December 3-4, 2015 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy studio in Nambe.  The hours will be 10 am to 5 or 5:30 pm both days.  The client is open to having a few other students join us, so if you were one who was disappointed that my next available class is next May…this may be an opportunity for you!  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Please let me know ASAP if you want to register.

NEWLY ADDED  LEVEL 1 CLASS IN ARCATA, CA (Humboldt County, northern CA):  I will be teaching at my son’s aromatherapy practice in Arcata, Northcoast Essentials, Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, 2016.  Times will be the standard times, 9:30-6:00 both days.  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Please let me know ASAP if you want to register.

The SUMMER/FALL Words of Wisdom newsletter was recently posted on my site.  It is a beautiful issue with articles on Davana (the featured “Medicinal Angel”), Laurel Leaf, St. John’s Wort, Hyssop, Blue Yarrow, Mugwort, Eucalyptus Mint and Goldenrod.   Here is the link…happy reading!  Words of Wisdom Summer-Fall 2015 color

SANTA FE AREA AROMATHERAPY MEET UP:  I have two Aromatherapy Meet Ups scheduled to close out 2015.  The November 17th meeting is about the extremities of the body…the arms/hands and legs/feet.  These are areas of the body that get lots of use and abuse!  So, we will focus on caring for them with the oils.  December 8th we will discuss the skin…the largest organ of the body….and how essential oils can maintain the health and vitality of the skin, and also address many common skin problems.  Here is a link to our Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up page:  We meet from 7-8:30 pm at my friend Peter Murphy’s APG office, which is near the Community College of Santa Fe. There is a $10 meeting fee.  Details are in the Meet Up posting.  Hope to see you there!

Making a “GO” of It

confused womanSo…maybe you are not where you want to be at this point in your life.  Or, you have held a dream in your heart for years…but don’t seem to get any closer to realizing it.  Or, you seem on the brink of “something”…but you don’t know exactly what it is, or how to actually bring it about.  Or…something similar.  Several “themes” came up in this particular consultation that seemed to be themes many of us deal with and find difficult to move beyond.  Maybe some insights and some essences will help you make your dreams a reality.

The client came with two key issues…motivation and confidence.  As we delved into each of them, we found that part of the issue with motivation was lack of clarity on the actual goal, or steps to get there.  With regard to confidence, it was revealed that she had been criticized throughout her childhood for not being good enough, or doing well enough, so, although she feels called to a certain profession, she has not been able to muster the energy or vision to make the change from her current work to her calling.   She stated that she felt somewhat trapped in her current job, which is not very interesting or fulfilling to her, because she has a lot of debt she feels she needs to clear before she can really feel justified in embarking on creating her own healing practice, with, at least initially, a less predictable income stream.  The two words that kept ringing in my mind as she spoke were CLARITY and COMMITMENT.

We talked about getting clear on the multiple goals of career change and debt reduction/elimination.  Did one havemultiple goals to occur before the other could be realized?  Was her approach of trying to move forward on all of them part of what was keeping her stagnant?  I felt that clearly defining and prioritizing her goals would be beneficial, that is, clarifying them and and their order of priority, and then deeply, honestly committing to that decision.  I feel that commitment drives action (and lack of commitment drives inaction).  I suggested Fragonia and Mugwort for getting clarity around her multiple goals (importance, confirming her continued interest in/passion for each goal, etc.) and letting go of any goals or interests that did not directly support achieving the chosen goals.

I suggested Marjoram and Laurel Leaf to help strengthen and anchor her commitment to these goals.  I stressed the importance of keeping our word to ourselves!  That, if we say something is a top priority, then we have to stick to the steps it will take to make it happen.  What do they say…Fortune favors the prepared “?  (L. Pasteur)  Well, Marjoram and Laurel Leaf motivate us through the sometimes tedious process of preparation/laying the groundwork, and hold us accountable for the commitment we made.  Over the heart or over the solar plexus…great places to apply “encouragement” essences!

The other themes that came to me were SILVER LINING and PERSPECTIVE.  With goals clearly envisioned, even the things we have to do that we would prefer NOT to…such as staying in a job that no longer motivates us because of the income and benefits it provides…can been seen and experienced from another perspective when we look at them in the context of their role in getting us where we want to go.  We can transform the “I no longer love doing this”, negative feeling, to “Before, I would have done this job for nothing!  I no longer feel that way, but I do love that it is a means for paying off my debt, which will free me to do what I love!”  Same situation, different perspective.

all or nothingOne additional point on this…I reminded her that by prioritizing goals, that didn’t mean that one had to be accomplished 100% before addressing another.  Since the financial goal was a key one for her, I suggested that substantial progress should be made on that before bringing other priorities into the equation.  But, as she made solid progress, she could begin introducing efforts and choices to begin to move ahead on her other goals.  All or nothing is one way to look at things…or you can set milestones on the most important goals that, when reached, signal that you are ready to broaden your approach.

Finally, having observed this client interact with her peers, I had seen, first hand, how supportive and encouraging she is.  She demonstrates a true compassion for uplifting those around her and cheering them toward their goals.  I mentioned to her that this is the “silver lining” of the difficult and hurtful experiences she had as a child, because her mother’s style was not to encourage, but to belittle.  While that type of feedback motivates some people (“I’ll show her and succeed!”) for many, it is discouraging and ends up eroding their self-confidence, making it hard for them to silver liningtry new things or take other types of risks.  The positive result (silver lining) it DID have, was for her to naturally and lovingly offer others the support she did not feel she received as a child.  What a gift!  So, with that perspective (and also the help of Miss Mugwort), she could begin to let go of the hurt from her childhood, and acknowledge and embrace the gift of her experiences.   I suggested Violet (over the heart) for helping release the hurt and find her strength and the silver lining in it all, and Mexican Lime, for the comfort and encouragement that she desires.

So, whether you need to get past something to move forward, or just “get off the dime” and become more active and persistent in pursuing your goals and dreams, I hope these snippets from a recent consultation will offer some ideas, direction and encouragement for you.

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I welcome you sharing it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.




Ready, Set, GROW! Expanding Your Horizons with Essential Oils Plus, Important Announcements

 What a fitting title for this Essential Thought…Ready, Set, GROW!  Pure Plant & Tree essences have the inherent ability to not only help us to grow…but for some, they literally serve as a springboard to exciting new levels of thought, experience and accomplishment.  In this Essential Thought, we will discover essences that are particularly adept at getting us to take that first step, or helping us to see the bigger picture…or helping us transform our lives, if that is what is called for.

It is fitting because I was shocked when I began to write this post and realized that I had not published an Essential Thought for over three months…but what a three months it has been, LOL.  I and both of my businesses…Shining Sun Aromatherapy and Wisdom of the Earth Essential Oils…have really been in a growth mode!  So I will take a few minutes of your time to make some important announcements…and then we will delve into those incredible personal growth coaches…the essences.

Shining Sun Aromatherapy’s NEW E-commerce feature is up and running! 

If you have been on my siteaudre ssa sign recently, you may have noticed that there is now a shopping cart function for my customers and Level 1 Students.  We were still working out some “kinks” over the last month, so I didn’t formally announce it until now.  This feature will allow you to order any time of the day or night, if you are familiar with our products.  If you haven’t ordered from me before, I would encourage you to contact me if you have any questions before placing an order.  Email is best, but sometimes you can catch me in my office, too!  Email:; office number is 505-438-0855, and my cell is 928-300-5090.

Please Note:  If you are a retail customer already ordering WOTE essences from one of our Distributors, I want to honor that relationship, and would ask that you continue to place your orders as in the past.  In the same vein, WOTE Certified students who took their Level 1 class from one of our other WOTE teachers should continue to order through their teacher.

If you are planning to place an order for oils, hydrolats and/or AromaKits, please visit the site and give our new ecommerce feature a try!  For those of you who prefer personal communication, you are always welcome to call or email me with an order, just like before.  My Level 1 Certified WOTE students can get their discounts by contacting me via Email for Product Discount Codes that can be entered at check out.

September 12-13,  I will be teaching the WOTE Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy at my Studio in Nambe, NM, just north of Santa Fe. Early Registration Discount expires midnight, August 11th

The tuition is $450 if you sign up before August 12th; it is $475 after that.  Also, the full tuition amount will be due at the time of registration for any student registering on or after August 12th.  Before that, you will be able to register with a $225 deposit, with the balance due the first day of class.  I accept credit cards, checks and PayPal.  Please visit the Classes section of my website for details and a registration form you can download.

Talk about personal growth…this has been a life-changing experience for many, many people.  If it is YOUR time tolevel 1 class large pic go deeper with the Plants & Trees, experience their transformational power, and arm yourself with the knowledge of their medicinal properties and ancient wisdom, this may be the class for you!  I would also invite other WOTE Level 1 students to consider auditing with me…I still have room for one or two more auditors.

For those long-term planners in the audience…here are the 2016 dates for the classes to be held at my studio in New Mexico:  May 21-22 and September 10-11.  Please note:  Starting in 2016, all tuition monies will need to be paid in full by 30 days prior to the class date.


Last but not least, I am excited to announce that “Books Abound at Wisdom of the Earth!”  

Early this month, Barry released the updated version of the Wisdom of the Earth Reference Guide.  It is now over a hundred pages, spiral-bound, and includes all of the new essences that we have added to our portfolio over the past few years.   It is $25 and can be ordered under the Books & Services section of the Shopping Cart.

Also, we are in the final writing/editing stages of the new book that Barry, Cynthia and I are writing about the essences.  We are hoping to have it available by the end of the year.  What a beautiful, expansive journey to meditate upon the essences to be included, and then to read all of the papers submitted by our students on those essences for the past decade, and then to share excerpts from many of those papers that allow you to hear the voices of the plants and trees as they generously shared their wisdom and insight with our open-hearted students.   I will keep you posted as to a final title and release date!!

Essential Thought:  Ready, Set, GROW! Expanding Your Horizons with Essential Oils

A student recently submitted her Level 1 Certification paper on Blue Yarrow.  It was thoroughly and beautifully done…and it left me with the indelible feeling and understanding of the power of these beautiful essences to expand our personal world in ways we can hardly imagine.  Let me share an excerpt from her insightful and inspiring paper to give you a better idea of what I mean.

In my first meditation, I had the experience of seating into my body and a settling and opening of my chakra channels down to my root chakra.  I felt both expanded and grounded.  I had the vision of the yarrow stem growing until the top of the florescence was up in the cosmos, as though the umbels were reaching for the stars.  I could see her roots wrapping about the Earth’s circumference.  I experienced these phrases:  “extension and expansion”;  “astral exploration”; “above and below”; “reach, reach, reach”; “seated and grounded”; and “open”.  In subsequent meditations, I was the being that grew and extended between Earth and the cosmos.  Always, I would see my legs and feet on the earth, and the rest of me would grow and climb until I was looking down from the cosmos.  I felt spacious, grounded and expanded.  The following sensations came forward as what Blue Yarrow offers:  perspective, a sense of your never-ending capacity/your ability to expand and be bigger.  She does this for all plants/beings.  She offers the experience of growth potential.                    ~Robin, Level 1 Student from MT

So, that is Blue Yarrow’s gift, if we are open to hear and receive her guidance and encouragement.  Other essences that help us to expand and fulfill our purpose and potential are Spikenard, Frankincense, Angelica Root, Blue Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, Myrrh/Sweet Myrrh and Neroli.

Technology and IndustryIf you are still at the “Ready, Set” stages of personal growth, there are essences that are wonderful to lay the important foundation that allows us to “reach for the stars”.  To ready us, to assure us that there is more, way more, than we may currently be experiencing, I would suggest Cistus (Rock Rose), Geranium, Exotic Basil, Oak Moss, Fragonia, Spearmint, Black Spruce and Champaca.  These help us attain the spiritual awareness and clarity, soul alignment, and grounding in our true self through the heart/mind connection that provide that foundation.  To take those first steps, or perhaps to continue on the journey after setbacks or disappointments, essences like Mugwort, Clary Sage, Tangerine, Texas Cedarwood, Ginger, Eucalyptus (Mint) and Laurel Leaf give us the courage, stamina, energy, encouragement or will necessary for the next step…and the step after that.

Thank you for being on MY personal journey with the Plants & Trees.  This month (July 29th) I celebrated 66 wonderful years on this planet (where did the time go???), and I can honestly say I have treasured every moment, good and bad.  I feel that what lies ahead is exciting — a combination of the new and the familiar/loved.  The essences have expanded and blessed my world in ways I could have never imagined and I look forward to many more adventures with them!

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I invite you to share it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.


Our Body, The Doctor: EOs that Help the Body Heal Itself

Welcome to another Essential Thought!  Before we delve into the role of essential oils in helping Dr. Body do what it does best…heal itself…let me mention a couple of quick announcements:

Upcoming SantaFe Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy:  Still time to register for the Wisdom of the Earth (WOTE) Level 1 Certification Class I will be teaching at Shining Sun Aromatherapy, May 9-10.  The Early Bird discount ($25 off of the $475 seminar fee) expires April 9th, so please contact me soon if you would like to be a part of this life-changing exploration into the beautiful and profound world of natural Plant Medicines.  During this full, fun weekend, we will look at the practical, spiritual and deeply personal ways in which we are blessed by the Plant Kingdom, via pure essential oils, with health, healing and wholeness.  Please visit my website for a full description of what the weekend (, and the certification by WOTE, entails. I can be reached at or 928-300-5090 for questions or to secure your place with a 50% deposit.

Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up:  Thursday, April 2nd, I will be holding my Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up at the APG office, 50 Oshara Blvd., in the southern part of town (near the SF Community College).  We meet from 7-8:30 pm, and explore a topic related to medicinal aromatherapy with 10-15 like-minded, lovely people!  The subject this time will be “What’s Eating You?”…factors affecting digestion, including stress, diet and digestive system disharmony.  I will bring a number of essential oils for us to explore and learn more fully about.  Hope to see you there if you  live in, or are visiting the Santa Fe area!  Call me to register, or go to      $10/person, payable by check or cash at the meeting.

Helping the Body Heal Itself via Pure Essential Oils

tree woman“If anybody in the world can heal you, it is your own body.”  Most of us know this at some level, but do we really, deeply understand it?  And, importantly, do we give our body the tools to heal?  This quote is from a spectacular book by Victoria Boutenko, Green Smoothie Retreat…a 7-Day Plan to Detox and Revitalize at Home.  The title gives insufficient indication, I believe, of the wealth of profound information it contains on the body, what we put into the body, and the consequences, good or bad, of that.  She is a straight talker, and highly knowledgeable and passionate about the effects of the sea of toxicity we live in on our health and happiness.  I want to share just a few definitions and some of her wisdom with you, and then talk about essential oils that can give the body the tools it needs to heal.  The emphases shown in the points below are mine.

  • Toxicity (from the Greek toxicon, meaning poison) is the ability of natural and synthetic chemical compounds, in doses exceeding normal pharmacological levels, to induce the disruption of normal, vital processes.
  • The natural balance when all parts of the body work in unison is called homeostasis.
  • Similar to every living organism on our planet, the human organism is programmed to repair itself on a cellular level according to its intricate blueprints.  
  • If you are deficient in vital nutrients, it might be challenge for your organism to heal itself. For example, to heal any bone disease, the body needs magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins D,C, & K, and other nutrients.
  • Another major problem is the high level of toxicity in the environment and inside the human body.  Toxins interfere with the normal functions of organs (see first point!) and make the process of healing hard or even impossible.
  • There are only two main underlying causes for all illnesses in the world, toxicity and deficiency.  If your body is poisoned with toxins and deficient in necessary nutrients, it simply cannot maintain homeostasis.
  • People inevitably develop stress if they do not follow their dreams.  For those who do not know how to manage it, (or who refuse to make the necessary changes to alleviate it – AG) stress can become the third cause of disease.  
  • Our bodies are dedicated to our survival, not our death.

If we go back to the point that the key components that negatively affect the body’s ability to heal itself – toxicity, deficiency and stress – we can look to the Plant Kingdom for essences that detoxify, nourish and reduce stress.

Detoxification:  I could go on and on about the essential oils that support detoxification, there are so many…and you will see a common thread that many of them are also digestive healers.  Here is a short list, with a brief notation if they are noted for a particular type of detox: Vetiver, Patchouli (heavy metals), Red Pine (emotional toxicity), Santolina (kidneys, gall bladder, liver), Ginger Lily (liver), Fennel, Rhododendron, Ginger, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Cypress, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint (liver, intestines), Balsam gurjun, Calamus (liver), Sweet Basil (liver) and Turmeric.

Nourishment (physical):  This is an area we rarely see discussed with regard to essential oils.  I will mention several that are known for their nutritional components, but I expect that there are MANY more that contribute to the body on this level as well.

Black Cumin (nigella sativa):  We use this as a general tonic…I personally take about 30 drops a day, and can black cuminREALLY tell if I forget to take it.  Black Cumin is wonderful for increased energy and stamina, as well as mental clarity.  Black Cumin contains 21% protein, and is an excellent source of EFAs (essential fatty acids), which are necessary for cell maintenance and the stabilization of class membranes, and help metabolize cholesterol and fat in the blood.  The EFAs’ linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid are used by the body to produce prostaglandins, vital hormone-like substances that regulate many body processes. (Nutritional information from the book Black Cumin, the Magical Egyptian Herb for Allergies, Asthma and Immune Disorders, by Peter Schleicher, MD and Mohamed Saleh, MD.)

Rose Hip Seed Oil (rosa rubiginosa): The dried form (rose hip fiber) contains Vitamin C, with about 1700 to 2000 rose hip seedsmilligrams per 100 grams in the dried product. In contrast, an orange contains 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams and a kiwifruit 90 milligrams per 100 grams.  Rosehip seed oil contains retinol (vitamin A). It is also high in the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3), as well as the antioxidant lycopene and beta-carotene. Wisdom of the Earth offers two types of the oil – “regular” Rosa rubiginosa, and Rose Hip Lycotop, which is made from only the red seeds (which contain greater amounts of lycopene).  We also have the Rose Hip fiber (mentioned above) which is great to put in smoothies, and some people make a tea of it.

cucumber seedCucumber Seed Oil:  Rich in Vitamin C and B1, cucumber seed oil is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent the onset of premature aging caused by free radicals. Cucumber seed oil is also high in Omega 6 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.  I love to use this to calm and soothe my skin after using a mild exfoliant (our Rose Hip Seed exfoliant).  When chilled, it is very cooling and soothing to sunburns, along with Lavender essential oil.

Stress:  I loved the author’s simple observation that “people develop stress if they do not follow their dreams”.  The way we usually describe it at Shining Sun Aromatherapy and Wisdom of the Earth is that people are not being their “authentic selves”.  Something that is rarely discussed with regard to how pure essential oils affect humans, is that they bring you to your authentic self.  Period.  Sometimes this happens after one occurrence (hard to believe, but I can vouch for it personally), but usually it occurs over time, once someone is using pure essences on a daily basis with  consciousness and intention.

So, my point is that, simply using the essences will bring you to your authentic self…minimizing stress greatly (though the process of getting there may initially cause a great deal of stress!).  However, there are some individual essences that are also excellent at reducing stress:  Violet (fear, vulnerability), Vetiver, Blue Chamomile, Blue Yarrow, Lavenders (particularly Highland and Albanian), Wild Chamomile (anxiety, worry), Scotch Pine (overwhelm), Red Spruce (confusion, consumed by “what ifs”), Sandalwood, and White Spruce.  As my dear friend Uqualla, a Havasupai wisdom keeper says, “Let Heart Lead,” which, to me, is another way of saying “follow your dreams”.

So, to supplement your efforts to eat fresh, whole foods, minimize the toxins in your environment (e.g., laundry products, cleaning products, yard care) and secure pure drinking water, the Plant Kingdom has provided these wonderful essences that support the detoxification and the healing processes…all the while bringing you to a much healthier, calmer place in your life…living as your authentic self.

Until next time…

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I welcome you sharing it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.


Blue Spruce, Nutmeg & More…Making New Year’s Resolutions “Stick”

framed clean slateIt is a bright, shiny new year…definitely one of our culture’s most enduring symbols of a “clean slate”. It is a great time to rededicate ourselves to self-improvement, more commitment to others (partner, family, friends, community), and goals such as having more happiness or contentment in our lives.  Some, however, have given up on this “exercise” of creating New Year’s Resolutions, as they never seem to be able to make them “stick”…that is, they fail to follow through on manifesting them in their life, even though they sincerely believed in the value of this new direction, attitude or behavior.

So, what happens between formulating a resolution and allowing it to fade into oblivion?? In my experience, I see a few things contributing to this…some may resonate with you, some may not be so pertinent, as I think that has a lot to do with our personality, our situation and our path. But, it might be helpful to consider some of the factors, and essences that can help us stay true to our New Year’s intentions.

Clarity of Intention

 Sometimes, we have a general notion of what we would like to accomplish, or what we would like to change in our raindrops on stemlives. Now, this is where my corporate background helps me a little…when I used to teach goal-setting to executives, one of the things I stressed was how important it was to be clear and specific on what we wanted to do, and to have some behavioral component to it. I found that, if people did those two things, they were much more likely to be successful in achieving their goals.

So, for example, you might wish to be healthier in 2015. It is good to break that down into more specific goals, such as eating healthier, exercising, losing weight. Any one of those, then, can be brought to a behavior level, like (for eating healthier)   buying only organic food, eating at home at least five nights a week (you can see where MY weakness lies on this one!), reducing sweets, going gluten-free, etc. This will depend upon what would represent “healthier eating” for YOU, but you can see where I am going with the action-oriented nature of clarity.

An essence that really helps us to be clearer is Fragonia…I love to apply her to my crown chakra and over my heart. For being more action-oriented, I especially like Nutmeg or Juniper Berry (Berries Only). Nutmeg is a great chi warmer and mover. She supports us in finding a “new way of being” and staying the course, until it is “our” way of being. As far as Juniper Berry is concerned, berries are seeds…the drivers of creation, the beginnings of things. So, Juniper Berry essence carries that energy and sense of new beginnings.

 The Power of Voice

power of voiceI, personally, have found that, if I speak my intention, resolution or goal to others, that is, share them publically, I am more likely to follow through with them. Maybe it is a “Leo” thing, but once I have committed publicly to something, I feel more compelled to accomplish it. It works so powerfully with me, that I remember, years back, announcing to friends and family that I was going to get a Masters’ Degree, so that I would actually follow through and do it (and I did!).


An excellent essence for supporting the speaking of our goals is Blue Spruce, applied over the throat chakra.

 Clearing out “Old Baggage”

And, something you hear a lot, but may not have considered relative to keeping New Year’s Resolutions is “you need let it go in pinksto clear out the old to make space for the new.” As I think about it, the old adage concerning the New Year — “Ring out the old, ring in the new”– is quite apropos!   So, rather than layer new commitments, in the guise of New Year’s Resolutions, over old ones, this may be the time to let go of responsibilities that no longer serve you.

A good “trick” to discern which you wish to let go of and which you wish to keep, is thinking about your current commitments and identifying the ones which “feel” like obligations. That means your heart isn’t in in. Maybe you need to let them go or delegate the responsibility to someone else.  Another “clue” as to ones to let go include those where the “energy” seems to have gone out of the commitment. Maybe you and a friend decided to be “weight loss buddies”…but recently, she never returns your calls, or takes days to answer your email or FB post about your weight loss efforts…maybe this is a commitment whose “time” has come…let it go.  Once you have created additional “space” in your life, you will find honoring your new commitments much easier.

A great essence for clearing things out is Kanuka. She helps you honor your past decisions and actions, but motivates you to let them go, and clear the way for new ones.

Honoring Boundaries

 Last, but not least, is the important idea that many of us resist change…and many times, those close to us resist lady in boundaryOUR changing in any significant way. I was shocked, when I chose to lose weight some years ago, how many of my friends and family tried to pressure me, via guilt or camaraderie, to eat something that wasn’t on my diet. “Oh,” a friend would lament, “I made this just for you!” Or, ‘Oh, everyone is having dessert! Don’t be a party-pooper!” Luckily, Weight Watchers had warned me about this, so I had practiced my “boundary setting” replies to such pressure!

And, that is what it is all about. Boundaries. Whether we have trouble honoring our OWN boundaries (“I know I said I wouldn’t eat “fast food”, but I am in a hurry this afternoon, and I don’t see any other option.”) or setting boundaries with others, this is a very important aspect of keeping our New Year’s Resolutions, because, after all, what are they about but change??

Our beautiful new Cork Bark Fir essence is a gem when it comes to helping us honor boundaries. She reminds us that boundaries do serve a purpose, and that it is important to clarify what ours are…and to honor them.

So there you have it…my thoughts on barriers to keeping (or even setting) some powerful intentions to take advantage of the hope and new beginnings represented by a new year.

Upcoming Events

Wisdom of the Earth Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class ($475; early registration (30 days in advance) $450

January 17-18, Arcata, CA (Northern CA) at Northcoast Essentials.  Only room for 1 or 2 more students.  Thank you for the great response!!

February 7-8, Sedona AZ (with Cynthia Olivera de Kapp, WOTE Education Director)  Focussing on students from  Arizona, as we seek to build a stronger community in our “home” state!

May 9-10, Santa Fe, NM   One of two classes (other is September 12-13) I am offering at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy Studio this year

Monthly Aromatherapy Meet Up Gathering in Santa Fe

January 6, February 17, March 17, April 2, May 5, June 23.

We meet at the APG office in 50 Oshara Blvd., 7-8:30 pm

Topics to be announced via

Hope you can join us…it is a wonderful, warm group of people who believe in the plant essences and enjoy learning with and from each other!


Happy New Year to you, and thank you for your interest in and support of Shining Sun Aromatherapy!  Please share this Essential Thought on your FB page, with your mailing list, or your friends, if you feel they would benefit from and enjoy the content.


Audre Gutierrez, Shining Sun Aromatherapy

EOs: Bringers of Light – Essential Thought from Shining Sun Aromatherapy

Pure Essential Oils – “Bringers of Light”

In her certification paper, one of our students described our Mexican Lime essential oil as “the light bringer”.    She went on to say that Lime, for her, had been a “light through the clouds”, and had lifted the cloud of depression.  I thought about her observation over the next few days, in the context of something we impress upon students in our Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy…that the essences imbue us with light, as they, themselves, are filled with light.  With darkness arriving earlier and earlier these days, I am also sensitive to those who find themselves depressed and/or confused, due to the dearth of light during the winter…those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  I often suggest that they try using Bergamot, a beautiful, light-filled essence, to reduce or eliminate those symptoms, and I have received excellent feedback on Her effectiveness.

The concept of light is a powerful one in our culture, especially for those who pursue a spiritual path.  Light & Dark…Good & Evil.  The “light bulb turned on”…creativity, new ideas.  Light Workers. Enlightenment.  The light within.  Light as “Truth” —  As St. Thomas Aquinas observed, “Intellectual light is nothing else than a manifestation of truth”.   I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the point.

So, how do these precious representatives of the Plant Kingdom, the essential oils, bring light to us?  While mostascension teaching of photosynthesis would bore us to tears, the transformation of light into glucose (sugar), and then ATP, the “fuel” for all living things, by the Plant Kingdom, is nothing short of alchemical magic.  We also acknowledge the significance of all of the light taken in by the plants…not just sun light, but the light from the moon, the stars — the cosmos.  So, Plants have a special role to play as they are the light messengers of our planet…and we experience the light not as just physical/corporeal food or fuel, but also as spiritual food or fuel.

While the citrus oils…such as Mexican Lime and Bergamot…are some of the most “light-filled” essences available, orange high aldehydeothers, such as Helichrysum (any of the varieties we offer), Mugwort, Melissa, Mimosa, St. John’s Wort and Lemon Verbena are also very powerful in this regard.  Because the citruses can be skin-sensitive for many people (with Grapefruit being, typically, the least skin-sensitive and Lemon being one of the more skin-sensitive), I would suggest applying them, neat, to the soles of the feet, to access their light-giving properties.  Helichrysum and Melissa are amazing over the heart and/or crown chakra.  Mimosa brings light to a heavy heart…a few drops over your heart in the morning or before bed will begin the process of bringing joy to your heart again. St. John’s Wort is also very effective over the heart or on the solar plexus.  Lemon Verbena might be another best applied on the feet, due to the citrusy chemotypes that contribute to her characteristic lemony aroma, but you can definitely do a test patch on yourself, to determine what works for you.

So…how might you benefit from more light in your life?  Are you experiencing emotional heaviness or darkness?  Lack of mimosainspiration or creativity?  Seasonal depression or confusion brought on by reduced daylight?  Spiritual struggling or lack of clarity regarding purpose or direction?  Difficulty manifesting your desires?  All of these situations will benefit greatly by applying essential oils with intention.  And, if you find that such issues have been a pattern with you, or are difficult to transform, try some of the essences I’ve listed above that are especially powerful Light Bringers.  Use them with intention, positivity and consistency, and I know you will see nothing short of transformation in your life.

Enjoy this beautiful winter season, which offers us a time to go inside, literally and figuratively, and begin creating your vision and plans for a light-filled life!


Upcoming Wisdom of the Earth Certification Classes

Level I – Taught by Audre Gutierrez, co-owner of Wisdom of the Earth.  Tuition $450 early registration (30 days prior to class) & $475 regular registration

Arcata, CA (at NorthCoast Essentials) – January 17-18, 2015

Santa Fe, NM (at Shining Sun Aromatherapy) –  May 9-10 & September 12-13, 2015

Level II (Advanced Retreat at Wisdom of the Earth, near Sedona, AZ) – Level 1 Certification is a pre-requisite.  Taught by Audre Gutierrez, Barry Kapp and Cynthia Olivera de Kapp.  Please contact Wisdom of the Earth, 928-649-9968 for details.

April 8-12 & October 7-11, 2015


Audre Gutierrez, Shining Sun Aromatherapy

audre file pic



EO Quality: Is it Real? Or is it Memorex?

Maybe you remember the old Memorex advertisements (in the days when people still “taped” things)…where theshattering glass  singer’s high vibratory tone shatters the crystal glass.  The question was…was it his singing that did it, or a tape of his singing?  The message was that a recording on Memorex-brand tape was equal to the live performance, at least as far as vibratory resonance was concerned. Scientists and engineers (and marketers) often want us to believe that a man-made version of something is as good as the real thing.  I personally doubt that this is true in any situation, but I know it is not the case in medicinal aromatherapy.

I remember many years ago, when Kurt Schnaubelt (owner of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy), an organic chemist and a wonderful mentor of ours, announced to a class I was in that he had been fooled by a batch of Birch that had been synthetically produced in the lab.  Because of the distinctive aroma of birch essential oil, it has long been an easy target for those wanting to create a man-made version of the oil.  Kurt began to dig deeper into the quality of that batch once he began hearing from his healer client base that it wasn’t working like the “old” (i.e., real) birch did…that is, it wasn’t reducing pain or inflammation.  I always gave Kurt a lot of credit for telling his clients about the synthetic essence he had unwittingly acquired…it ended up being a great “teaching moment” for all of us.

The truth of the matter is that, once humans start “monkeying” with the perfect composition of an essential oil that Nature has created, the profound healing ability of that essence is negatively affected.  This desire to modify nature’s creation may be motivated by greed…that is, “watering down the soup”, or passing off a less costly, adulterated  version of an essence as “the real thing”, and charging for it as though it was.  It can also be motivated by the desire to minimize the variation inherent in Nature…offering truly natural products often requires an education of one’s clientele so that they will accept the “real thing” without lots of questions or concerns.  A good example is the use of natural fabrics in the production of clothing.  They often prominently display a notice or label that says something to this effect:  “The variation in this sweater’s texture is due to the natural variation in the hand-made yarn used to make it and is part of the natural beauty of the material.”  Basically, “Don’t worry, it is supposed to be like this because we did not alter the raw materials!”   It takes a lot of education to help people programmed to think that sameness equates to quality  to expect and appreciate the variation that is inherent in all things natural.

egg-carton-whiteI can hugely identify with the consternation that can arise when presented with Nature’s variation!  Ten years ago, I looked at commercially produced eggs, totally uniform in size and color, as an indication of purity and nutritive value.  Variation spoke to me of lessened quality…this box of eggs was the epitome of quality control!


Today, as the proud owner of 18 beautiful chickens of numerous types, I look at the incredible variety in color, shapeNambe eggs and size of the eggs gathered daily as indicative of the rich flavor, high nutritional value and natural environment in which my chickens are raised.  I now know that those white, “perfect” eggs are most often produced via hormones, antibiotics and cruel and unnatural living conditions for the chickens, and I shudder when I look at them.  No amount of marketing in the world will ever convince me that they are natural, because I now know better.

I want to close with an example I recently saw on the Internet, when I was researching essences for Lyme Disease for a client.  There is a protocol we have often used with positive results, but I thought I would look to see if there was any new thinking on oils that alleviate this condition.  What I found on one woman’t site literally stunned me.  I will not mention the name of the company that she was representing because, believe me, there are many, many companies that think and act this way.  But, I will admit, I have never seen it used so prominently as a marketing tool.  Here is what it said:

“I do not recommend the use of any other essential oils other than “Brand X”.  Only “Brand X” certifies every liter of their oils to ensure their purity, consistency and potency, which is all extremely important when trying to manage your Lyme with essential oils.  ”

OK…I can handle this so far…except for the “consistency” claim.  That is causing me to raise my eyebrows a little.  Then the “zinger” sentence appeared.  “Every single bottle is certified to be exactly the same as the bottle you used last or the ones you will use in the future.”  (emphasis, mine)

This claim, if true, is basically announcing that these essences are chemically stabilized…another way of saying that humans have intervened to mitigate Nature’s variation…another way of saying that they are not natural.  As we say in our Level 1 Class:  Only the chemist can attempt to produce certain essential essences which remain the same from year to year.  Nature changes always.  No essential oil is the same all of the time.   We always acknowledge the wine industry for the great job they do of educating the public that every vintage is different…even if the wine is made by the same winery, using the same grapes, grown on the same land, using the same process…it will vary from year to year (sometimes even substantially) because of weather conditions and the variety inherent in Nature.

So, the bottom line is, if you are turning to Mother Nature for your healing and to enrich your life through pure essential oils, you must embrace the change, the variation, that is part of her DNA.  It is proof that the essence is “just as it came from the plant or tree — no additives, no subtractives”…something we always are proud to say about our Wisdom of the Earth essential oils.

Love Mother Nature as she is…not as some humans think she should be!  As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Addiction Recovery: You’re Not In It Alone! Plus, Announcements

While pondering the question of which essential oils would support someone recovering from a drug addiction,  I realized that almost anyone, including me, sometimes engages in behaviors that are “against my better judgment”.  It is when these choices begin to dominate your life, and cause problems in your relationship, your job or your health that you have become addicted.  Wouldn’t it be great to recognize these behaviors for what they are before they get to the addiction stage?  The question was also a chance to look at the situation as aromatherapists always look at physical or emotional  issues…what are the underlying causes?  If you don’t address those, you are just putting a bandaid on the situation instead of truly addressing it.

So I answered her question with some essential oils that would not only address the drug rehabilitation aspect (e.g., physical withdrawal, toxicity, anxiety, to name a few), but also some typical underlying causes (feelings of emotional and/or physical pain, feelings of isolation, fear, anger, a need for comfort…again, to name a few).

sandalwoodThe initial question also posed whether Sandalwood would be helpful in addiction recovery.  It was not an essence that immediately came to my mind, but upon reflection, I felt very positive about it.  Sandalwood is very grounding and centering…calming without being sedating.  When you feel that you are out of control, these are properties that could be very beneficial to bringing you back to yourself.  Sandalwood is also gently analgesic…she addresses PAIN.  While that initially means physical pain, to most people, we always tell our students to look at the physical and apply it to the emotional and spiritual.  So…Sandalwood also helps to assuage emotional or spiritual pain…pain that we may not even be aware of on a conscious level that is driving our addictive behavior.  Sandalwood also helps to align our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies…an integration that is critical to someone who is addicted to a substance or feeling.  When we are truly “in” our bodies, feeling our feelings, experiencing a level of grounded awareness of our physical sensations, not sugar-coating anything, but honestly being fully in the moment — good or bad –we are much more able to withstand the allure of the things we are addicted to.

The other essence I suggested was Laurel Leaf…her ability to help us find our strength, our courage, when the goingsandalwood yasi is tough, is something that will benefit the person going through rehab, or the person individually confronting an addiction.  Laurel Leaf’s detoxifying properties will also help the body flush out the toxins associated with substance and food addictions…and as we just discussed…flush out the energetic toxins associated with emotional addictions.  Laurel Leaf is also hugely about being our authentic self…and so many times, the addicted version of ourselves is not our authentic self, and may be the result of not knowing who we truly are or not accepting or loving who we truly are.    Coming to that place of self-acceptance and self-love can represent years of inner work for some people, and Laurel Leaf can be a guide and an mentor on that journey to self.

inner childCitrus essences are wonderfully helpful to address addiction or “pre-addiction” choices:  Tangerine helps clear the drug residue from the energy field; this powerful essence also helps clear anger and trauma to your Inner Child.  Lemon helps you move through your pain to a deeper spiritual connection. Orange supports renewal and purification…physically and emotionally.  Grapefruit gives you hope when you have felt hopeless, and direction when you have felt lost.  She is an incredible comfort to us, renewing our optimism and helping us to see the silver lining in the cloud.

So, these are some thoughts on essences to support behavioral & cognitive change…essences that facilitate making different choices, even when old patterns are deeply established; essences that deal with the physical challenges of making that change; and essences that address the underlying emotional and physical issues.  There are, of course, many, many more essences for this purpose; years back, we put together a list of essences that address dependence issues for a conference in Flagstaff, AZ.  If you would like a copy of that list, please just email me, and I would be happy to send it to you.

I will close with a story about a student of mine who, after decades of substance abuse, told me that the final step in her recovery process had been to get off of prescription anti-depressants.  She had accomplished this formidable process with the help of our essences, the Twelve Step Program and yoga.  I will never forget her words: “For the first time as an adult, I will be looking at life through my own eyes…not the chemical filter of alcohol or of pharmaceutical drugs.  I have not done that since I was 14 years old.”  It was truly like she was being re-born.  It gave me chills to hear her say that, and an incredible sense of gratitude that we have the support of the unseen world and the natural world to aid those on this difficult, but transformative, journey.


Level 1 Wisdom of the Earth Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy – September 6-7, 2014 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy Studio in Nambe, NM (just north of Santa Fe)  $475 (early registration $450)  PLEASE NOTE:  The early registration cut-off has been extended due to my extensive travel this summer and the resultant lack of communication about the class :).    If you register and pay your 50% deposit by AUGUST 15th, you will receive the $25 early registration discount.

It is our belief at Wisdom of the Earth that the connection between human beings and the natural world is an ancient, vitally important one, and that separation or isolation from nature has a deleterious effect on the human psyche and health. The use of pure essential oils for health and well‐being is an important component of natural health remedies and aids us in deepening our relationship to the natural world. 

May 2013 Level 1The Level 1 Certification Seminar addresses topics related to the production of pure essential oils; their use for common ailments and for maintaining physical and emotional well­‐being; an in‐depth discussion of over 35 foundational essential oils; the production and use of hydrolats; discussion and demonstration of numerous  application methods; toxicity issues; and a “hands‐on”, closing exercise where students work on each other using the essences and hydrosols, and incorporating the essence information and application methods introduced in the class.  It is truly a life changing experience that opens you to a whole new way of thinking about and experiencing the plants and trees, and empowers you to take greater responsibility for your health.

Please contact me at or 505-438-0855/928-300-5090 for information or to register.

SSA: What if you applied a couple of oils….and your pain vanished?

grey haired lady with shoulder painThat is exactly what happened to me last night!  My left shoulder, and the muscle from my neck to my shoulder joint, had ached all day.  Did I take a few minutes to put some oils on?  Nooooooo!  Too busy!  But, just before bed, I checked out the tray of oils on my bedside table and found Albanian Lavender and Sweet Birch. I was looking for Cornmint, but couldn’t find it.  I put about 5-7 drops of each on the shoulder area, and got into bed, ready to read to my hubby…a practice we began about a year ago that we really look forward to each night.

A couple of minutes later,  Leonardo announced…”I found the Cornmint!” and he handed it to me, so that I could use it, as well.  Funny thing, though….I honestly had to stop and think…”Now, which shoulder was it that was hurting?”  The pain had completely disappeared…so I literally had to stop and reconstruct my day to remember that it was the left shoulder that had been bothering me so much.  Of course, like the good Cornmint addict that I am, LOL, I put a little over the area “just for good measure”.

This experience came to mind twice today, first, as I answered a woman’s email about pain and inflammation, and then later, when a caller asked which oils would be good for joint pain and inflammation. Seems like a topic that is of interest…maybe it is the gardening or summer outdoor activities causing the flareups.  Maybe, but for some people, it is pain they have lived with for a long time.  One of the women who contacted me said that she could not use over-the-counter pain medications, and was seeking a natural solution.

Birch (Sweet) Essential Oil

That comment hit close to home, as Leonardo absolutely cannot take Tylenol…it makes his blood pressure soar.  So, he is truly happy that we have Sweet Birch back in stock again, to layer with a lavender, conifer and/or Cornmint.  Yes, you heard (read) right!  Wisdom of the Earth has Sweet Birch essential oil again!!  Our new Birch is absolutely beautiful…a little more subtle than our previous one, but equally effective and more gentle on the skin.  The aroma is delicious! And, we are able to offer it for the same price as our previous Birch…$47 for a 15 ml.

So…to get back to the caller’s question about pain and inflammation…those mentioned above are great to address these common problems.  I shake my head when I think of all of the people on anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers; all they need is beautiful Lavender, and essences like Red Pine, Black Spruce, the “Blues” (Blue Chamomile, Blue Tansy), and Cajeput (White Tea Tree).

So there you have it…10 drops of two essential oils and my shoulder pain disappeared and has not come back.  Now, that is a happy ending!


Certification Training:  I will be holding my last Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy for 2014 on September 6-7 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy studio just north of Santa Fe, NM.  The “early bird” tuition is $450 for the two day class, and after August 7th, it is $475.  We ask for 50% down to register, with the balance due the first day of the class.  We also offer a discount when couples or two or more family members register together.

“Audre has the ability to transcend any preconceived notions about aromatherapy and essential oils.  Audre is masterful in her story telling. Her students explore and experience in such a way that the innate healing and healer emerge. Audre’s respect, guidance and heart-felt intelligence is a gift to anyone who finds her/himself within her community.”  Lynn Getz, Integrative Medicine Institute & recent Level 1 Student

Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up:  Santa Feans!  Join us this Tuesday night, July 8th, at 7:00 pm for our monthly Aromatherapy Meet Up.   Topic – Aromatherapy’s Fire Crackers!  In other words…we will be exploring the “hot” essences, such as Oregano, Ajowan, Thyme and Mt. Savory.  Should be a lot of fun!  We have a great group, with one or two “new-comers” each time.  The suggested contribution is $10, but all are welcome, even if they cannot afford the fee.    Here is a link to the Meet Up site for information about the meeting, or to join Meet Up and register for the meeting:

Thank you for your interest in Shining Sun Aromatherapy!  Your feedback, as well as suggestions for future Essential Thoughts topics, is welcome.

Warm regards,  Audre

SSA Essential Thought: Abundance & Aromatherapy…A Perfect Fit! Plus, Announcements

Essential oils not only can help us expand and deepen our understanding of abundance, but they can also help us create more abundance in our lives.  The meaning of abundance varies considerably, depending upon whom you ask!  Recent conversations about the energy of money, and the importance of an energy exchange between people when transactions are being made, caused me to think about abundance in all of its many aspects.

I realized that, as I mentally enumerated the many facets of abundance, I experienced a sense of gratitude with each type of abundance I considered.  Money; Health; Relationships; Experiences; Happiness; Plants; Animals; Creative Endeavors; Natural Phenomena, such as mountains, the sky, the clouds, rivers, oceans, etc.  Each of these brought a smile to my face, a remembrance of my own experience with them, and a deep sense of gratitude for their existence in my life.

abundanceArtwork:  Copyrighted, Cynthia Niklas,  Used with Artist’s permission.  To see more of Cynthia’s beautiful and varied work, please go to

So, I thought about essences which help us to recognize abundance in its many forms, and, by so doing, deepen our gratitude for them.  These are the ones that came to me:

  • Thyme (White) – This essence takes us from the purely material or numerical concept of abundance (i.e., “lots” of something…especially things like money, clothes, shoes, cars) to one based on love (i.e., the ability of something to bring happiness or touch your heart).
  • Geranium – She speaks to the desire to experience abundance from a place of trust.  That is, we don’t desire abundance because we have feelings of scarcity, but we desire abundance because we trust that there is enough for all us to be sustained and well cared for.
  • True Sage – She dispels any emotions or beliefs that hinder abundance.  She opens our mind and heart to a more inclusive understanding of what true abundance is…and it is not involved with “keeping up with the Joneses” out of competition or ego.
  • Rosewood – This wondrous essence speaks to the abundance found within relationships…our loved ones, our friends & acquaintances, our colleagues.  She also helps us to understand that abundance may be found, not in numbers, but in the preciousness of things.  That a small remembrance of a loved one who has passed…the small, delicate evening bag that my Aunt had in the 1930s is so dear to me; the last days or months of an elderly or very ill pet…you know the end is coming, and those last times together are cherished.
  • Niaouli – This modest, unassuming essential oil has the power to stimulate heart-based creativity…and what speaks more to abundance than creative flow from a conscious, loving heart?  Whether it is our words, our actions or our thoughts, She brings them into being from the most powerful source possible…the depths of our heart.  Mental blocks hold no sway here…Niaouli accesses the brilliant font of creativity that pours endlessly from our hearts…if we will but listen and acknowledge.


In my next Essential Thought, I will share my thoughts on essences that help us create more abundance in our lives.


Upcoming Level 1 Wisdom of the Earth Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Classes…the last two offerings in 2014.  Early Registration (30 days or more before the class date):  $450   Regular Registration $475

June 7-8, Arcata, CA   There is still room for a few more students or auditors in the Level 1 class I am teaching at Northcoast Essentials.  Due to some local advertising “glitches”, we have extended the Early Registration discount through the end of May.  For those of you unfamiliar with Arcata…it is in Northern California (Humboldt County), nestled in the Redwood Forest, just minutes from the Pacific Ocean.  Please contact me (928-300-5090) or my son, Brian Griffiths (707-502-4883) for information or to register.

September 6-7, Santa Fe, NM  This class will be held at my Studio, just a few minutes north of the city.  Empower yourself to take control of your health; augment other modalities that you practice or receive; reach a level of connection with the Plant Kingdom via the essences that you did not realize was possible; and make giant strides toward discovering/being your authentic self…and all that implies for your life.  Bring an open heart and a desire to more deeply connect with the natural world, for healing/wellbeing of body, mind and spirit.  Please contact me at 928-300-5090 for information or to register.

level 1 outside

Details about the Level 1 Certification Class can be found at my website,

Thank you for listening!!   And, I would welcome any comments on your thoughts about the nature of abundance!

Much love, Audre