Article in Happiful- Mindfulness & Aromatherapy to feel calm

calm - breath meditation

How scents can help root us to the present moment and help us feel calm

I am interviewed about how I blend Aromatherapy and Mindfulness together to help me feel calm. I also find this is the most popular meditation when I teach this to participants in my 8-week Mindfulness classes.

Here is the article – A short-cut to mindfulness

Meditation is the usual go-to mindfulness technique, and is highly recommended, but it can also be helpful to find quick ways to anchor yourself throughout the day for those moments when you can’t really drift off into a meditative state.

A tool that’s been helping me recently is so simple, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner – scent.

Why does scent help us feel calm?

The reason aromatherapy can be so powerful in helping us feel calm is because it triggers our limbic system, the part of the brain linked to emotions and memories. Speaking to Cosy Owl following their survey results, clinical aromatherapist Geraldine McCullagh expands on this.

“When we breathe in a scent such as an aromatherapy oil it triggers a reaction in the part of our brain  and sets off a reaction in our bodies such as feeling calm or energised.

“The limbic system also associates smells with emotion and memories. For example,  the smell of Lavender can trigger a memory of a summer holiday in France and associate that memory with feeling relaxed.”

Geraldine goes on to say that because of this link between scent and memory we can effectively train ourselves to associate a certain scent with feeling calm.

“The next time we are starting to feel anxious, we can smell the essential oil and our minds will associate the smell with feeling calm. It means that we can stop the anxiety from escalating.”

So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with worry, find a scent you adore and breathe it in for a few long, slow breaths. Focus on the scent and being exactly where you are.

You can read the full article here – 3rd March 2020 in Mindfulness/

Here is a short meditation using Aromatherapy & Mindfulness to feel calm

For more information on the 8-week Mindfulness class, click on this link – Mindfulness Course for Beginners


East Lothian Gift Card accepted by Me Time Therapies

East Lothian gift card

I can now accept the East Lothian Gift Card for

  • Therapies: Reflexology, Aromatherapy Massage & Indian Head Massage
  • Mindfulness: 8-week Mindfulness for Beginners classes in Musselburgh
  • Therapy courses: Aromatherapy course, Hand Reflexology course, Indian Head Massage course & Make your own natural Skincare course
  • Products: Make your Own Body Butter & Lip Balm kit, Relaxing Massage/Reflexology Balm, Citrus Invigorating Massage/Reflexology Balm & Vegan Body Butter.

What is the East Lothian Gift Card?

The Gift Card is the perfect present for friends, family and colleagues. The  Gift Card is a MasterCard-based gift card which can be used across East Lothian.  The East Lothian Gift Card is accepted only at independently owned businesses throughout East Lothian. Me Time Therapies can found  inthe Health and Beauty category (Where to Spend heading)

The card works in the same way as department store /shopping centre gift cards but for the whole county of East Lothian. East Lothian is the first county in Scotland to launch a dedicated gift card.

Read more about the East Lothian Gift Card »
(look for Me-Time Therapies under the Heading ‘Health & Beauty’)

How to use the Gift Card?

Presently, you will need to be present to use the Gift Card as it is swiped through a card reader. You are unable to purchase therapy courses or products online but that may change in the near future. You can pay full or part payment for the therapies, courses or products.


Glasgow Herald feature ‘Pamper yourself with these wonderful beauty products’

Glasgow Herald -amper yourself with these wonderful beauty products

The Glasgow Herald online has featured Me-Time Therapies as one of the five Scottish based skincare companies. The ‘Make Your Own Body Butter & Lip Balm’ kit is included as a 100% natural beauty product.

The ‘Make your own Body Butter & Lip Balm’ kit is a wonderful starter kit in learning to make your own 100% natural skincare. The ingredients are 100% natural so that they are kind to your skin. By making your own skincare, you are also being kind to the environment as you are cutting down on single-use plastic beauty products. This also leads to saving money.

As I stated in the Glasgow Herald feature, the kit is proving popular with:

  • Eco-conscious – they are cutting down on plastic waste by making their own natural skincare. They can also re-use the jars, bottles & box.
  • People with sensitive skin – they are making fragrance free Body Butters & Lip balms and which are also free from toxic chemicals.
  • Vegans – they are making their own Lip Balms without using Beeswax.

The Lip Balms and the Body Butters are easy to make. Recipe cards and video tutorials are included with step by step instructions. Options are also provided if you wish to fragrance your Lip Balms and Body Butters with Aromatherapy oils.

Amazon review: This little kit came with lovely ingredients and clear instructions. The body butter we made has worked really well, leaving us moisturised. It’s all natural stuff, so great for our sensitive skins and it’s eco-friendly. Best of all, now we know how to do it, we can continue to make our own toiletries and experiment with different oils etc. This part of being eco-friendly is very easy!

10% of the profits of the ‘Make Your Own Body Butter & Lip Balm Kit’ go towards buying more medical equipment and beds in a Medical Centre in Ghana.

This kit allows you to make their own natural Lip Balms and Body Butters in your own kitchen hence the Motto ‘Created By Me, Made By You’.

The Make Your Own Body Butter & Lip Balm Kit can be purchased and shipped by Amazon. The cost is £20 plus free delivery from Amazon.


East Lothian entrepreneurs

East Lothian female business owner

I was delighted to be invited by East Lothian Business Gateway to be on the panel of East Lothian entrepreneurs. At the “Talking Business” event, we shared the good and also the challenges of running your own business with the audience. Members of the audiences also got the opportunity to ask questions on our experiences as East Lothian businesses.


Create your own skincare

Create your own skincare

Create your own skincare is proving popular as consumers are trying to ditch using so many plastic bottles and jars. We can start reducing our plastic waste by making your own natural skincare course. The other added benefit is that you know what ingredients go into the skincare products. There is also no need to add any harsh chemicals or preservatives which is kinder to your skin.

Create your own skincare Podcast

I featured in this podcast where I spoke about how to create your own natural skincare can lead to a more toxic-free lifestyle. -Episode 16 Essential Oils, Homemade Skincare and Tips to lead a more Toxic Free and Fertility Friendly Life – (from 21mins into the podcast to 60mins)

Learn to make your own natural Aromatherapy Skincare

I am teaching a course on Saturday 22nd February 2020 where you will learn to make 6 skincare products. We will make

  • Intensive Hair Repair Conditioner
  • Anti-ageing Aromatherapy Face Night Cream
  • Aromatherapy Body Scrub
  • Aromatherapy Skin Repair Body Butter
  • Foot Bath Himalayan Salt and Seaweed Soak
  • Refreshing Foot Gel

After the class, you take home your own 6 personalised skincare products. You can create your own spa experience by pampering yourself with your own natural Aromatherapy products. It will inspire you to keep making your own eco-beauty skincare products.

Aromatherapy oils course
Selection of Aromatherapy Essential oils

More information about the Make Your Own Natural Skincare course

  • Cost:      £75 (includes all plant-based products, Aromatherapy oils and homemade nutritious lunch)  
  • Dates:    Saturday 22nd February 2020
  • Time:      10.00am – 4.00pm
  • Venue:    26 Eskview Road, Musselburgh EH21 6NZ

Limited to 6 spaces.

If you wish to e: mail me for more information, click on Contact

If you wish to book a space on the course, click on Make Skin Care Products Class: Sat 22nd Feb 2020

Credit card payments accepted.

If you wish to organise a 1-day Make your own Natural Skin Care Products, click on Contact. I can create a tailored course where you can enjoy the experience with your friends.


Mindfulness Training Completed

mindfulness training joyful

The Mindfulness Training class has come to an end. We spend some time reflecting on changes that the participants have observed since starting the 8-week class.

How has the 8-week Mindfulness course changed your life?

  • Feeling happier and calmer. Feeling less fearful about the future.
  • Noticing more sensations/feelings in my body when I start becoming anxious. I now pause and let the anxious thoughts pass by.
  • Enjoying my food by slowing down and recognising when I am feeling full.
  • Feeling less guilty when I take time out now for myself to sit to do a Meditation or go for a Mindful walk.
  • Walking slower when out with my dogs and taking in the beauty of nature.
  • Better sleep patterns. Focusing on my breath to get me to sleep and also if I awake in the night. No longer lie awake at 5 am worrying about the day ahead.
  • I am being kinder to myself and more aware of the ‘tone of my voice’ when I make a mistake at work.
  • By completing 1 task at a time, I am getting more done at work and less flustered.

5-star reviews on the 8-week Mindfulness course.

Geraldine runs a well planned and interesting 8 weeks of Mindfulness. It gave me the most peaceful 2 hours in the week which passed very quickly. Geraldine explains everything really well and the course is supported with really good audios and notes. I can thoroughly recommend this course.
Lynne. East Lothian

Geraldine is a wonderful teacher! Taking part in her 8-week Mindfulness classes has taught me great deal about how to handle my emotions better and learn to be more mindful during the hectic stresses of everyday life. It has really helped to reduce my stress levels and think a little more when stressful situations do occur. She is compassionate, kind and easy to talk to. Geraldine’s classes are a wonderful escape during a chaotic week and I highly recommend to all who are struggling with stress and feel they need to re-charge and have some “Me-time”.

Geraldine’s Mindfulness classes focus not only on being mindful towards others but also towards yourself. One of her sessions focuses around being kind and loving to yourself, which can really resonate when you are the kind of person who does everything for those around you but can often forget that you sometimes need to put yourself first!

I also really enjoy how, unlike many online apps, this mindfulness class is interactive and allows you to go on a journey of mindfulness exploration and learning with others who you can share this experience with and in addition meet some lovely, like-minded people. Overall, a fantastic experience!
Bianca, Edinburgh.

Mindfulness Training Continuation

All participants are now invited to Mindfulness Retreat Days throughout the year. Each Mindfulness Retreat Day has a different theme based around the Mindfulness Meditations learned in the 8-week class. The last Mindfulness Retreat Day was based on Self- Compassion, and Kindness. The Mindfulness Retreat Day allows participants to have a Wellness/Self-care Day, a day to rest and be peaceful.

5***** Google review on Mindfulness class and Mindfulness Retreat Day.

I got so much out of the 8-week mindfulness course with Geraldine, and have since attended a couple of her Mindfulness Retreat days. Would highly recommend the course, it gave access to really useful resources and guided meditations which I use to this day.
Claire. Edinburgh.

I attended the 8-week mindfulness course (twice). Due to personal circumstances, I missed 3 of the first classes but as the remaining 5 had been so useful, I decided to attend a second course to get the full benefit Geraldine’s compassionate and gentle guidance makes the process incredibly easy to follow and the recordings of each meditation sent out after each class allows the student to practice the teachings. Geraldine also offers wellness days, where the mindful practice can be explored in more depth. I have found these relaxing, informative and very useful This course has enabled me to navigate my way through some difficult times recently and I find I use the practice every day in one way or another. If you are thinking of doing this class – stop thinking – just do it. You will never look back.
Fiona. East Lothian

Final Mindfulness Meditation as a group

We finish the Mindfulness class with a Meditation that I have created that incorporates what the participants have learned during their Mindfulness training. I compare it to the ‘Show Dance’ On Strictly Come Dancing as the dancers create a dance around the steps they have learned on their ‘Strictly journey’. So my final words to the group are ‘Keep Meditating’.

For the next 8-week Mindfulness course details and venue – click here – Mindfulness Course for Beginners


Self-Compassion in Week 7

Self-compassion - hand on heart

In Week 7, we look at offering Self Compassion to ourselves by using the 5-minute Self-compassion Break. It was devised by Kirsten Neff and Chris Germer. The Self -Compassion Break is an exercise that we can practice informally thorough out the day (pressing the pause button) for e.g. maybe in moments of feeling under stress, overwhelmed by ‘our to-do list’ or anxious about our health or health of a loved one.  We can pause for 5 minutes and be with the discomfort or distress and show kindness towards ourselves. It involves treating ourselves with the same kindness and warmth that we would show to a good friend.

The Self Compassion Break

The Self-Compassion Break is broken down into three main elements: Mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness. Three phrases have been created around these elements.

  • For the Mindfulness element, we will say silently to ourselves ‘This is a moment of difficulty or ‘This is a moment of suffering’
  • For the common humanity element, we will say  ‘Difficulties are  part of everybody’s life’
  • For the kindness element, we will say ‘May I be kind to myself in this moment’. To also help with this, we can place a hand over our hearts or belly region to soothe and comfort ourselves.

Feedback from the 5minute Self-Compassion Break

Doing this Meditation has made me feel a lot better within myself. I notice that a lot of people often think about themselves only after putting everyone else first. Geraldine really helped show me that regardless of the situation you are faced with, it is important to always remember we need to be kind to ourselves. I have noticed that by practicing the Self-Compassion Break meditation, it reminds me to be actively conscious about being compassionate towards myself. This meditation is really fantastic and has made me feel less stressed and even more generous. It really has improved my confidence and personal happiness in my day-to-day life. 

If you wish to check out how compassionate you are to yourself, then here is a link to Kirsten Neff’s ‘Test how self-compassionate you are?’

R.A.I.N. Practice

In this week’s Mindfulness class, we also do the R.A.I.N. practice which is associated with the Mindfulness Teacher, Tara Brach.

R.A.I.N. stands for

  • Recognising (a difficult emotion is present)
  • Allowing (this difficulty to be here and give it attention & space)
  • Investigating (where we feel this emotion in our bodies)
  • Non-identifying (understanding that this emotion is passing through and not permanent)

For me, I use the R.A.I.N. practice when an unpleasant emotion/feeling is with me for a couple of days. I see the unpleasant emotion/feeling like a child wanting attention. By doing the 20-minute RA.I.N. practice, I am giving attention to the emotion. By spending time with it, the emotion then passes on like a cloud in the sky.

Learning about the R.A.I.N practice was very interesting. Understanding each of the different components has really helped the way I look at different situations. It has also has taught me to reflect on the way I treat myself and becoming aware of my negative beliefs about myself.

Geraldine is a kind, patience and understanding teacher. I have really enjoyed learning about R.A.I.N practice meditation. Her sessions have taught me that when negative situations arise you just need a little R.A.I.N to help get through it. Recognition has let me understand what is happening. Sometimes it is best to just Allow the emotion to be here and give it space. By Investigating the emotion with a gentle approach and also feeling where I am holding the emotion has given me some clarity . This has allowed me to move into the last stage of Non-identifying. The emotion no longer feels so big and knowing that like everything in life it is passing through and not permanent.

Read  Week 8 Mindfulness course


Loving-Kindness Meditation – Week 6


Loving-Kindness Mindfulness Meditation

The Loving-Kindness Meditation this week is including ourselves and offering goodwill wishes to ourselves. By starting the Meditation by offering goodwill wishes to a friend or pet it helps to open the ‘Meta Muscle’. We then offer loving-kindness to both our friend and ourselves at the same time. This then makes it easier to offer Loving Kindness to ourselves.

During the Loving Kindness Meditation, we keep repeating phrases silently to help us offer loving kindness. The phrases that I work with are

  • May you/we/I be safe
  • May you/we/I be happy
  • May you/we/I be healthy
  • May you/we/I live with ease

I also ask the participants to observe the ‘tone of their voice’ especially when saying the phrases to themselves. Are they saying the phrases in a kind gentle voice or in a harsh,  judgemental voice? This also helps them observe how they speak to themselves throughout the day when they make a simple mistake.

The benefit of the Loving Kindness exercise

By offering Loving Kindness to ourselves, it is opening the door into Self-Compassion which we explore next week in the class. Some participants who have a harsh ‘Inner Critic’ struggle to receive kindness from others and from themselves. By practising the Loving Kindness meditation, they can start to notice within their bodies how kindness feels. If they feel resistance to offer love and kindness to themselves, they come back to being aware of their breath.

Feedback from Loving Kindness for self & other
This week’s Loving kindness for yourself and others was really insightful. Geraldine was able to help me understand how something as simple as the way you talk to yourself can really improve your everyday way of dealing with life events. Keeping track of how you treat yourself is sometimes quite the challenge. However, with the Mindfulness Meditations that Geraldine has taught us, it has really helped me to actively watch how I treat and speak to myself. It is extraordinary how actively remembering to be loving and kind with yourself can be really useful when a situation doesn’t go to plan. I have absolutely loved this exercise. Geraldine is very patient, and she really helps you to understand why remembering to treat yourself and others with love and kindness can go a long way. Spreading love and kindness can be something one forgets to do in times of tension and stress. It is amazing what a difference it can make and how much lighter you feel afterwards!

The Observer/Undercurrent Model

We revisit the Observer/Undercurrent Meditation and this time, we focus on the Observer. It is the Observer that we train in Mindfulness. I ask the participants to notice their ‘attitude’ to what arises in their undercurrent (thoughts). Do they have a preference or dislike in what is arising? What is their attitude now when they notice they have become distracted? Do they gently guide themselves back to their Mindfulness support in a kind way or a harsh way?

Read  Week 7 Mindfulness course


Observing our mind, Loving Kindness & Breathing Space with a smell-Week 5

observing our mind

Observing our mind

As we are half-way through the Week 8 class, we are now ready to start observing our mind. When we start noticing that thoughts arise by themselves, we observe that we have no control over which thoughts arise. Our thoughts are self- displaying and if we do not engage with a thought, it will pass on and become self- liberating. The Mindfulness Association use a model called the ‘The Observer and the Undercurrent’. By using this metaphor, we can sit on the river bank as an Observer and observe/watch our thoughts pass by. When we engage with thought and become lost into thinking, we (Observer) fall into the river. When this happens, we bring ourselves back to sitting on the river bank (to be in the present moment) and watch our thoughts pass by.

Loving Kindness for other

We introduce a Loving Kindness practice at this stage of our Mindfulness training. The participants are becoming aware of negative inner chatter towards themselves and speaking to themselves in a harsh, critical voice. We can struggle to offer kindness to ourselves. The Loving Kindness practice is offering goodwill wishes to a friend or pet that we have an easy relationship with. As we do the practice, the participants are asked to notice how that feels in their bodies. Next week we expand the practice by offering loving kindness to ourselves.


Mindfulness Breathing space incorporating a smell

We re-visit the 3-minute Breathing Space but this time I introduce a smell when we are focusing on breathing in and out of the body. Coming from an Aromatherapy background, I have noticed when you ask someone to smell an Aromatherapy oil, they breathe in deeply. This is the favourite Meditation in the class and at Retreat Days so I am sharing it with you.

Feedback from Breathing space Meditation with smell 
Breathing space with smell was an interesting twist to Geraldine’s Breathing Space meditation. I found that having a smell to use as something to focus on allowed me to focus better on my breathing. I found that using smell was a good way to bring myself back whenever I got lost into thinking. This meditation is a lovely way to take a short break in tense situations. It really allows you to bring yourself into a relaxing state that will leave you feeling a little more refreshed and at ease.

Read  Week 6 Mindfulness course


Breath Meditation & Mindful Movement/Walking-Week 4

mindful WALKING

Breath Meditation

This week, I introduce the group to Breath Meditation i.e. using the ‘feeling of their breath’ coming and going in their body. The participants bring their awareness to the ‘feeling of their breath’ when the notice they get lost into distraction. I also ask them to notice where their mind goes when they become aware of being distracted. They can label ‘past’ ‘daydreaming’ or ‘future’ and they can start to see the habits of their own minds.

An important message is that we are ‘being Mindful’ when we notice we get lost into distraction. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up when our minds drift off during a Mindfulness Meditation. The ‘noticing’ is an important aspect of our Mindfulness Training. The participants are also starting to be aware of how they respond to themselves when they notice they are distracted i.e. in a kind voice or harsh voice. They can also bring this in their daily life and also at work when they get distracted.

Feedback from 20-Minute Breathing Mindfulness Meditation

The Mindfulness Meditations are fantastic and they are allowing me to break the habit of my wandering thinking. Geraldine has taught me how to use my breathing to help to bring me back to the present moment. I am noticing that my mind has a tendency to become distracted by future problems. This is teaching me to recognise my habitual patterns about trying to predict future outcomes. After participating in the Breathing meditations, I experienced myself feeling less stressed and more positive.

Being halfway through the course, I am noticing a significant change in the way I think and I definitely feel more mindful. This allows me to feel more relaxed in my day to day living.

Over the course of these 4 weeks, I have really enjoyed being a part of a group. I like how we are supporting and encouraging each other. We are also sharing our experiences our Mindfulness Meditation practice at home and also being Mindful in our daily life.

Mindful Movement and Mindful Walking

As an alternative to a Body Scan, we can do Mindful Movement or go for a Mindful walk. This is also helping us to connect with ourselves and checking in on how are bodies are feeling.

breath meditation - mindful walkWhen we go for a Mindful walk, we can intentionally slow down and become aware of our surroundings. It feels good to stop and smell the flowers. This photo is of me smelling Orange Blossom in Seville. We can use our Mindfulness practices even on holiday.


Read  Week 5 Mindfulness course

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