Why I shop online - sometimes
I am a huge fan of shopping locally and when I can or am aware of products made or sold locally, I will choose to purchase them, if I believe them to be affordable for me. Case in point: I recently needed a glass straw – that’s a whole other blog post, maybe for next time. Amazon had a large selection of straws, mostly in packs of 7 or 8 for about $15-$20, made overseas somewhere. I chose to buy a straw hand-blown in Vancouver and sold at a small retailer in Fort Langley for $7. I actually saved money since I didn’t need more than one.
However, when shopping for items that I am ingesting or putting on my body, I’ve become a little picky. I actually want to know what it is I am putting in or on my body. And it seems much of the ingredients listed in these types of products are foreign to me. So what I like about shopping online is the ability to search the ingredients and find out more about them. For example, I was just considering purchasing a Lavender Bath and Shower Gel from Young Living and noticed some chemically looking ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. I searched them up and satisfied myself that they were harmless, necessary for the product to be effective and in some cases, even plant-derived. If I had been standing in a store, I may have made assumptions about the length of their names and difficulty in pronunciation and determined that they weren’t safe ingredients.
Now if I could find a similar product made in Southwestern BC or even the Pacific Northwest US and sold in a local store, I might be interested. But I also don’t love the time-consuming nature of seeking such a product out. In writing this post, I decided to try to find out where Young Living makes its bath products. I’m still searching for that answer but I did find this little nugget of information:
“The terms of the Young Living Supplier Code of Conduct specifically requires all suppliers and/or subcontractors to verify/certify that no raw materials, finished product, etc. purchased by Young Living has been manufactured, assembled, and packaged through the direct or indirect use of forced labor, bonded labor, child labor, or unsafe working conditions.”
So that makes me happy, since my biggest concerns with overseas manufacturing is the treatment of the workers and potential lack of oversight in ingredient purity.
What information or factors are important to you in choosing the products you purchase?
What are you dealing with?
Having trouble sleeping? There’s an oil for that.
Brought down by cough and cold symptoms? There’s an oil for that.
Feeling irritable and crampy once a month? There’s an oil for that.
Finding parts of your life particularly stressful? There’s an oil for that.
Kids always fighting with each other? There’s an oil for that.
Allergies getting in the way of accomplishing your goals? There’s an oil for that.
Feeling weighed down by chronic illness? There’s an oil for that.
What are you dealing with? Are you feeling like you just don’t have all the resources you need to live your best life? You’re right, you don’t.
Yes, you need to drink plenty of water, eat a good diet, and exercise regularly. But do you? And what’s a good diet these days anyway? Balanced or minus gluten and dairy? Vegan? Low fat, low carb, low flavour? Who really knows for sure? Or is it different for you than for me?
How’s that water drinking going? Are you getting half your body weight in ounces? (If you weigh 150 lbs, you should be drinking 75 oz/day.) Or so I’ve heard. Or just 2 litres – who really knows? Is it hard to get enough water daily? There’s an oil for that.
This is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. That’s not what oils are for. They are tools to support your good bodily function. Would you try to race a triathlon if you hadn’t been drinking water for a month? That’s what living life without oils can be like. Your body is assaulted with toxins every day, from our environment, from the foods we eat, from the stress we live under. Oils help our systems rid the toxins and function optimally.
Contact me to find out what oils can do with your specific issue. Hint: the ones you need are probably in the starter kit, which, if you sign up and order one this week – there’s a bonus gift worth $50. Even more value! Yep, it costs $200, but if it changes your life, what’s that worth?
Go to the page titled Essential Oils (in the menu at the top of this page) to get started right away or contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to answer your questions. I want you to feel better and I know there’s an oil for that.
I’ve been transforming myself lately. Two years ago, if I had some time to myself, the TV typically came on. I liked a few primetime shows as well as a lifestyle show that has segments about décor and cooking which I’ve learned a lot from as I feed my family and design our new spaces. But watching TV was no longer life-giving – it was a way to check out.
I don’t think there were any big issues that I was checking out from. I was just living life in a comfort zone. But I also wasn’t growing and it took some serious navel-gazing to realize I wasn’t happy in my comfort zone – just comfortable. I wasn’t doing any of the things that give me real joy – like writing.
Getting to the point of realizing that I was accepting too little for my life was a journey begun because of some frank discussions with my kids. They were the ones that pointed out that I was underwhelming as an example of how to live. They were kind in how they said it, but they definitely said it. I appreciate their candor. I feel a little - in the past year or so - like I’m following their example. Which is ok. Maybe that’s what’s supposed to happen as they find their place in the world and reach for more and better things than we did. The point is that as I watch them, I’m not sitting back and feeling like its too late for me. I want to grow and change still. I don’t want to decide at almost 50 that its all downhill from here. I’m still good with some uphill climbing. Because when I get to each small peak, the view and the joy of accomplishment will be so worth it. I’ve already seen some of the benefits and although the journey can be difficult, my eye will remain on the prize.
So how have I been transforming? I’m learning different ways to pray and implementing those ideas. I’m writing this blog. I’m goal setting. I’m getting real exercise multiple times per week and pushing myself to do more than I feel capable. I’m reading books about learning methods and entrepreneurship and spiritual disciplines.
What is the prize? A better me for you. Doing the legwork of building who I am so that I’m a better citizen, a better Christ follower and a better friend to those who need it. Because when I hear and see others learning from my example that is the peak I seek. I’ll still fail. But I will fail because I try, not because I fail to try.
Allergies No More
I have suffered from seasonal allergies for most of the past 30 years. I did have a period in the early 2000s where I did not experience symptoms but that was due to a medication I was taking for an unrelated condition that somehow blocked the symptoms. However, when I stopped taking the meds, the allergies came back much worse than before. From 2011 to 2015, my allergies were so bad I frequently ended up in bed because the only way to reduce the symptoms was to sleep it off (no OTC allergy medication helped). I also sneezed at least 20 times every day all year and had full on cold symptoms for 2-3 days every 3 months or so. My immunoglobins in my blood were off the charts so my doctor sent me to an allergist. The allergist told me shots were my only hope. I was leary about that but it also required travelling 40 mins each way 3 times a week to begin and I just couldn’t see managing that with a full time job and kids (and a husband that worked out of town). Shortly after this I agreed to host an essential oil class taught by my friend. I was skeptical, but felt like I should support her and at least learn about oils since she was so sure about them and she gave me every reason to trust her judgement on the subject.
Predictably, I had cold symptoms the night of the class. She had each of us put a drop of peppermint on our thumb and put it to the roof of our mouths. My nose and sinuses were instantly cleared. That was enough for me to at least try these oils. I purchased a kit and started putting a drop or two of the oil blend they called Thieves on every day because of the stories I’d heard about immune support and I knew I needed help with that. This class occurred in late fall. The following spring, I was extremely surprised when my usual allergy symptoms didn’t appear. I had been fairly consistent with using Thieves but it took another year of no symptoms before I completely connected the two. About halfway through that year, I also began drinking Ningxa Red, a wolfberry blend juice known for antioxidant properties and immune support. This product is fantastic for supporting your overall health and I wouldn’t live without Thieves or Ningxa now. Contact me directly to find out more about these products or go to my events page to find an essential oil class.
What bothers me about my story is how we tend to live with issues that affect our ability to thrive because the medical system often only knows how to mask or treat the symptoms instead of supporting the body’s systems that are not functioning correctly. Finding products that support the system instead of the symptom has allowed me to thrive. What health issue would you like better answers for?
I spent last weekend overseeing the ‘prayer room’ at a youth conference. I’ve done this once before and this time was very different from the last. But each time, I feel like I was more blessed than those who came in for prayer.
It is an odd thing in our busy lives to devote a weekend to prayer. I approach it with a hesitancy mostly because I’m afraid I won’t be equipped for the prayers that are required of me. But each time I hear someone’s story, I’m so moved to stand in the gap for them and I can’t believe I would have ever considered not being there.
What I’ve learned about youth this weekend is that they don’t feel like they are doing enough or being enough for God. Which is heartbreaking. What pressure they feel! The God I serve loves each and everyone of them exactly where they are at, but somehow what they hear is – do more. It seems our busy world is sending the wrong message. I pray for them to do less and be still more – but even that feels like a requirement to them – something else to fit into their busy schedule.
I also learned that youth aren’t the only people I can pray with. I had just as many adults come in for prayer as youth. It is such a privilege to pray for their weighty concerns. And sometimes I really don’t have the words, but that’s ok too. Standing in the gap isn’t only about talking.
Which is the other thing I learned. I had someone come in and while I believed it was my duty to approach him and ask if he wanted me to pray with him, something inside of me said no, that’s not what he needs. So we began talking and I told him about the youth that had visited the day before. And I believe that impacted him more than any prayer I could have offered. So for him, standing in the gap meant telling him a story.
I love that. Because I love to tell stories. I hope this story has enriched your life today. Take some time to pray for someone or the youth I mentioned. And if you’re willing to tell me your story that needs prayer – I’ll be sure to stand in the gap for you as well.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Why We're Renovating
I am frustrated. I’ve heard too many stories lately that just make me so sad.
A 30 something woman who has struggled with feeling ‘unwell’ for years. She has removed many foods from her diet and eats mostly plant based. After a recent heart episode (for no diagnosable reason), the doctor casually mentions that she obviously has a chronic autoimmune disease. The way he said it, was as if she should already have known this and been relaxed about it. But he also offered no remedies.
A 60 year old woman who struggles with tiredness and pain since overcoming breast cancer a decade ago. She has made numerous visits to the naturopath with different recommendations of how to improve her health each time. She follows all the instructions but still hesitates to say yes to things and people because she may not feel well enough to follow through.
A young teen who suffered what should have been a mild concussion at worst but has been unable to attend school or participate in any activities for two years without extreme exhaustion and severe headaches. Doctors have suggested all sorts of medications and diagnoses and nothing has changed.
A teenage girl dies from heart failure – but the doctors don’t know why her heart failed. Her family believes she had lymes disease but the doctors wouldn’t confirm this and didn’t respond to all the times she said her heart didn’t feel right over a multi-year period.
Now I will freely admit that healthcare has never been my area of interest. I don’t love the study of science and have not concerned myself overly with my own health. I tend to be more interested in mine and other’s spiritual condition than their physical one. Its just always been more within my interest and gifting - until I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease myself.
15 years ago I was sitting at work one day (I was working part time as a bookkeeper) and experienced a bout of dizziness. I felt unable to drive home, so called my husband to come and get me. I did not drive a car again for 3 months. I was experiencing chronic neck pain and debilitating headaches which kept me in bed in complete darkness. The usual headache remedies did nothing. Numerous doctor’s visits resulted in comments of ‘you’re just stressed’ and various medications. The final medication which I was on for 8 years was a low dose anti-depressant, which I was told had ‘no side effects at that dosage’. Eventually I was told I had mild fibromyalgia. What improved my health more than anything was a chiropractor. The first thing he told me was that my visits would be pointless unless I drank plenty of water and walked 30 minutes a day. Part of me believes that the walking did more for me than the chiropractic visits, but I definitely improved. Those visits were the reason I was able to wean myself off the anti-depressant.
As it turned out, the drug was not free from side effects. I discovered a complete inability to lose weight while on the drug regardless of how much exercise I got. Before the initial symptoms I was doing pilates every day and between year 4 and 6 on the drug I was going to the gym 3 nce times a week using the elliptical, rowing machine, treadmill and lifting weights. I also began to need eyeglasses during this time. Before the drug I had perfect vision. Upon finding out which medication I was on, the optometrist informed me that deteriorating eyesight is a known side effect.
Since weaning myself off the meds, I’ve been doing ok. I still have chronic neck pain (I’ve had a few car accidents) and see a chiropractor regularly. I have random pain regularly that I can’t explain – don’t ever give me a light punch on the shoulder – it will hurt. But I have found how to manage it.
What concerns me is how we approach our healthcare as a society. Most of us go to the doctor whenever something is going on with our bodies that we don’t understand. And too many of us are suffering in ways that the doctors have no answers for. They don’t seem to recognize an underlying problem so they treat the symptoms. But that just results in a never-ending parade of symptoms. And although I like the idea of natural remedies that are typically prescribed by naturopaths, they too seem to be symptom based. And so we don’t solve the underlying issue.
And again, typically, I care more about our spiritual health than our physical health. Except that they are intertwined. The current wisdom for our spiritual health lately is to follow our dreams and live up to our potential and be your true self. My true self doesn’t have pain and weakness and my dreams require a whole lot of energy that I don’t have much of the time. My physical health affects my spiritual health because if I don’t feel well physically, then I don’t feel well spiritually. There are exceptions to this, I know. There are heroes among us whose spirits get stronger as their bodies get weaker – but the stories of those people generally end in death. Sorry if that’s blunt but its true – those are the ones whose diagnosis is terminal and death is imminent.
I’m talking about people who are still focused on living and working and raising a family or loving on our grandchildren. We shouldn’t be walking zombies. But that’s what a lot of us feel like. So what is the cause? Anybody’s guess I suppose, but I’m starting to think about all the chemical cocktails in my life. I’m reading about endocrine disruptors and how toxicity can affect our bodies. I am no expert on these subjects so I will not comment further but I do think we need to talk about these things more and commiserate about symptoms less.