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Essential Oils Quick Tip – Air Filters

Ready for about the fastest essential oil tip ever?

Take an air filter, add some drops of your essential oil of choice and bam – instant house fragrance without the use of candles or synthetic sprays/plug ins/etc.

drops

Reapply as the scent fades and depending on the oils you use, less is often more.

We are a huge peppermint and lavender house but to each their own.

And of course, research oils before use.

Interested in essential oils and unsure where to start?  Message me and I would be happy to get you more information.

air filter essential oils

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Dear Depressed Friend; I see you

My Dear Friend… I see you.  I hear you.  I read your words.

And because I have been there, I understand you wake up to an all consuming battle and it takes more strength and self determination than anyone knows to simply get up and do the everyday. There are times you don’t have the energy to actually take any of the suggestions you know would help you.  And sometimes, your mind convinces you that you are not worth it.

THAT IS A LIE.  That voice is trying to kill you.  That voice is full of manipulative bullshit that wants to overcome you.  But I get it – those who haven’t been there will say “don’t listen to it,” but IT IS YOUR MIND.  How do you not hear your own mind?

I recall putting a name to the critical voice that replayed over and over again.  It was easier to feel it, name it and separate that from my purpose.  No, it didn’t cure me … but it helped to recognize it as untruth. Once, prior to re-vamping my bedroom, my mom and I painted words of strength (and anger) at this voice.  I clearly remember writing “fuck you, ed” on my wall.

You are not the convincing lies of that voice.

You are a kind-hearted person.  You post pictures of helping animals and getting to know others who are not like you – to spread acceptance and love.  You share beautiful art, dance, music.  You inspire with stories about seeing beyond the surface.  And you do more than that…

You tell your story.

Do you know how much courage that takes?  You let the world in and say, “if you can’t accept me in my worst position, you are not worthy of my friendship.” You invested in yourself.

There are people out there struggling silently. You said, “I will be your voice.  I will let you know you are not alone. I will love you regardless if you are made up and smiling or not and if you are smiling, I will not assume your eyes are also.  I will search for your hidden truth and I will let you know I am safe to talk to if you are not as you appear.”

My friend, I want you to know I see you.  I see your heart.  I see your fight.  I see you trying.  I see you expose your hard days and reach out.  I see the courage it takes to expose the vulnerability.  That is extremely brave – it is so much easier to hide it and let it gobble you up.  I see you stepping beyond that.

And my friend, I want you to know I hear you.  I hear your cries and your pain.  I hear your voice and it is beautiful and real.  I hear your care and it touches all types. I hear your frustration. I hear you picking yourself back up off the ground.  I hear your work.

Above all of this… there is one thing I really, really want you to know.

YOU ARE WORTH IT.

You are worth this fight.  You are worth the battle.  You are worth overcoming the critical voice in your head.  You are worth the tears.  You are worth the frustration.  You are worth the mess.

Life sucks sometimes.  Life can be overwhelming and feel like quicksand, engulfing, suffocating and pulling you under.  And life can be beautiful.  Life can be mesmerizing and inspiring and supply a depth beyond the encasing of the body and world.

In the drowning parts, try to remember it can be impossible to see through a storm but that doesn’t mean it won’t end.  Just as we wouldn’t judge a person who happens to live in an area an earthquake hit, your storm doesn’t make you less than or unworthy.  It means that for this moment, it sucks beyond a level that can give any justice in words.

It also means there is a side after the storm.  As we see time and time again, there are people who will hold out their hands and through the clean up, a stronger, more unified and connected bond develops. This is true for you also. Yet, I know, the after-matter doesn’t help to make the pain less of living in that moment…

Get it out of you, put it on paper, meditate, create, run, do anything to let it out.  Acknowledge it.  Tell the fucker in your head “not today.  I got your number.  I hear you trying to kill me and not today – jackass, not today.

And every time you brush yourself off, every time you reach out, every time you recognize it – allow yourself that victory.

Your mind will tell you you failed because you slipped.. please, let me repeat – THAT IS A LIE. That is the voice..that is the one that hates you.  You wouldn’t tell your child who fell learning to ride his bike that he failed.  You are that child. Every time you get on the bike, despite if you fall or not, you are learning and succeeding and growing in mind and body.  Allow yourself that humanity.

And know we are here.  We are here even when we don’t know how to help.  I had to decide a million times over again I was worth the fight; no one else could convince me that I was – I had to decide it.  When I read your words, even when they are just saying “depression sucks,” I see you making a choice to call this out as what it is.  This is Depression.  This is not You.

You are beautiful.
You are worth it.
You are strong.
You are loved.
You are needed.
You are important.
You are helping others by shining light on the dark.
You are inspiring.
You are generous.
You are caring.
You are supportive.
You are open.
You are a safety net for others.
You are kind.
You are true.

I am thankful for your words.
I am here if you need to just talk.

;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And because she is one who seems to get this message…

 

 

Crisis Text Line

Mayo Clinic – Depression

Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Open; Be Real; Be You

A few days ago, as I scanned a school hallway to make sure I knew where my daughter, her friend, and my “get-away” second child were, a friend stopped me. She had read my blog.  To my surprise, what I assumed would be small talk turned out as first glance to be praise.  She said she loved it (thank you!!!).  Then it got a little deeper.

“Thank you. I know it probably can be a bit much,” I giggled out.  I have never been really great at just letting the compliment settle in.

“No, really,” she went on.  “It is just that my friends always tell me I am too real; too honest.  I wear what I am feeling too much on my sleeve.  It was refreshing to read it.”  This I was not expecting.

“Well, I just think… there are plenty of perfectly made up people playing the part.  I just…” sometimes searching for the right words in the moment fail me miserably…so I tried again. “I just, I think people need to know that others feel what they do.  They need to know they relate.

What she said replayed in my mind for the last few weeks. In our most poignant, telling moments, life can paint the memory.  True to this, when I think about that moment, her face is clear as the day she stood in front of me. A sign I should be listening to the lesson.

So what purpose and meaning did this brief interaction pose that made is so prominent? For me, there is one solid lesson it came to – we need to be real.

The battle of a facade and the exposure of depth.  To reveal what is true is to risk criticism.  To blend, be pleasant and likable is to feign perfectionism.  The balance is to recognize the tug-of-war between both sides and yet, I repeat, we need to be real.

We need to see the pain.
We need to share the tears.
We need to laugh so hard we snort.
We need to expose our insecurities.
We need to show ourselves overcoming.
We need to let the wounds breathe.
We need to allow the compliments.
We need to ask for help.
We need to be the first to give it.

Know, please know, I don’t care what shape you come to me in.  I want your heart; I want your truth.  The good, the bad, the deep, the contemplative, the confused, the happy, the everything.  We were given emotions, truths, pain, and strength.  It all can get so mixed up when we are trying to fit what the molds say are best.  Don’t be the mold. Be who you are.  Be YOU.

Truth bomb – this year has sucked. 2017 has delivered it’s share of punches and many others have it worse.  Despite it all, I get up.  I put on clothes. I drive to work. I put one foot in front of the other. I move forward.

It isn’t always easy.  What makes this possible is knowing I do not have to be perfect. If I don’t have makeup on, those that matter don’t care. If my hair is in a ponytail for the third day, no judgments are made. When my nose is bright red from crying and I am doing all I can to type, a message will come through saying “I’m there for you.” During the times I spend three hours on a bed because a new item has brought me to tears, hugs are given and books are read together under the covers.

Life isn’t made for the weak but it is a lie that weakness is showing what you feel. To show your breaking points, to show your excitement, to expose any part of your inner self is strength because in a second someone could tell you how wrong it was for you to do just that.  Be brave.

Find those who allow all of you, that relish in who you are..the real you. Perhaps at one time, the carefully placed perfect walls were needed. In those times, we grew, but find those individuals that don’t require them. Invest in those people. Those are your crew, your tribe, your besties, your people.  They will fail you from time to time, as you will them. Allow that and allow the make up. Realness comes with risk and pain but the payoff is worth it.

Perfection isn’t the answer; you are.
Be you.

 

 

 

 

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Nine Years Old

Face reddened by emotion,
her eyes scoured the gym for her mom.
As obvious as the pipe cleaner hanging from her ear, she
was trying to keep it together.

Just as she spied her sanctuary,
her waterlogged eyes met mine
and carried the weight of a crushed spirit,
perhaps not yet broken, but pierced.

Mending a soul now became her mother’s work
deepened by the words of the scratched record
repeating over and over to be heard by
her daughter’s ears alone.

What biting, damning secrets did those silent
knives carve into her?
Did he even care?
Would his parents?

Youth shapes and shifts the course….and the
best taught lessons are privy to the
unobserved voice of a stranger.
Does its owner recognize another’s suffering?

Empathy is lost to anger when words
no longer are recognized as power.
Or is this Survival of the Fittest where
the winners learn the lesson of becoming Hard?

Intentional or not, a day will be where the one
in tears causes another’s.
Youth is a playground to entice away from
the known, the safe, the kind.

Today’s tears to be used, in time, as medicine or venom,
for growth, creation or drowning.
To be swallowed in self loathing or
to be welding to a new, protective tool.

The impossible task of ensuring a masterpiece
still be created, with brushes missing
bristles and half used dry paint,
now is handed to the mother.

But broken walls and ripped canvases can
hold Beauty.
Fallen trees can be used to build houses
or to light the darkness.

At nine years old, an unfolding subconsciously begins.
Will it lead to a shell, an exterior so
tough that in time a human connection
seems trivial and a luxury of those untouched?

Or the opposite…to forgiveness and the recognition
to Love, to Live, encompasses and understands
pain… and scars are bi-products
in sorting out Experience.

The choice begins and we are all responsible
Do we wrap our arms around the invisible wound,
allowing it to seep out until time to heal…
or stare at it and ignore the very essence of being human.

Humanity is not found in the unfeeling, the numb.
Alcohol can serve that purpose.
Strength is found in the engulfing,
uncomfortable and welcomed connection.

At nine years old, her eyes met mine.
With pursed lips and sad eyes,
I gave her the only gift I could, an understanding smile.
We are the Survivors of Youth.
and it’s Ours to teach her how to be.

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I’m Failing

I am failing my kid.

Without question, this is how I feel… and I am not alone.  At least two other moms have said this same phrase to me in the last 48 hours.

Those who have followed some of my story know I have an incredibly sweet, high energy child.  He is beautiful and bright and a boundless ball of blinding, beaming bounciness.  He is Joy.

Imagine Joy. What does it feel like?  What type of child would Joy be?  If I close my eyes and see joy, I see a child spinning, arms out, wind flowing through hair.  I feel the sun on me and laughter in my soul escaping through my open, giggling mouth.

This is the spirit of the child I am entrusted to turn into a capable, controllable, considerate adult…and I’m failing.

Socially-speaking, the logical way to control joy is to put it out… but despite my understanding of expectations, I cannot extinguish my child’s spirit.

Socially-speaking, the logical way to control joy is to put it out… but despite my understanding of expectations, I cannot extinguish my child’s spirit. Because he yearns to please, he is aware of his inability to conform, and in little kid language he expresses it.

“I’m bored.”
“My brain is going crazy.”
“The focus oils are wearing off.”

And now lately his clues to his inner world and struggles are changing to these…

“He says he hates me.”
“He hit me.”
“I had a bad day.”

And here we are into a hard week at school where I am starting to hear that he isn’t being himself at all.  He even hit a kid.

This is not Joy.

After hearing he hit a child, he got the mean-mom lecture on our expectations and was sent to his room.  He felt bad for most the night and walked with his head down, eyes sad.  Before he left the next day, we reviewed who he needed to apologize to and that we do not hit.  It was going to be a good day.

Before noon, it was clear from school reports, it was not a good day as he had already pushed and hit a child.  How?  He is my kind-hearted child.  What is going on with him? Why can I not help him control this?  How can I not find what he needs?  I am failing him… again. One step forward, two back.

Like we all do with WebMD when we believe we are dying of an unknown ailment, I instantly googled a few articles (Psychology Today and  Dr. Sears), took in as  gospel-truth considered their insights and talked with far too many friends who humored me by assuring me it would be okay – my child was normal.

Yet, it didn’t feel normal.  I felt like I was the worst mother in the world because I couldn’t help him and now he was going grow up to be a punk/bully who hit other children, wouldn’t be liked and would probably end up completely adjusting his personality to be recluse, with no spark. Joy, suffocated.  Hardball was not working.

Joy, suffocated.  Hardball was not working.

Two hours of a conversation condensed now into a sentence, essentially, a kid told him he hated him and that my son was stupid/dumb because his skin/hair were not the color said child preferred.  When questioned, my son said it made him feel “sad” and he hit the kid because, well, at five years old, what other way would he respond?  At thirty-five years old, I was not sure how to respond to this.

This all leads to a which-way-is-up-or-down type situation.

Although my son did not respond in an appropriate way, he heard a person state that based on color, he was hated and it caused a reaction. Something inside of him said, “that is not okay,” and a response took over when the words failed. Please do not misinterpret; I am not condoning physical assault as a response.  More conversations will follow but that is just it – more conversations will follow. This is growing; this is teaching; this is creating a dialogue and not shutting him off to stew on feelings and be confused on the fact he called out hatred (yes, in not the best of ways…remember, five years old not thirteen) but was now in trouble for it.

So are we failing?

Are we failing when we research?  Are we failing when we talk to friends to try to figure out an alternative approach?  Are we failing when we take a look inside to see what it is we need to do differently to solicit a new response? Are we failing when we are teaching five year olds that skin color doesn’t dictate if a person is a friend and how we react appropriately to statements that judge based on an appearance factor outside of a person’s control? Are we failing when we sit down with our children to talk about the why’s… why the child maybe said what he did; why we don’t use our fists to solve the issue; why skin color is not a friendship factor; why…why…why?

And if we are failing, if we are screwing up on the way to attempting to get it right, if we notice our approach was poor and our technique needs adjustment and we do just that… doesn’t that follow the Mickey Rooney quote “you always pass failure on the way to success?

You always pass failure on the way to success.

There’s no manual made just for your child and even if you had one, it probably wouldn’t work with the next.  What we hope is the lesson will make its way into their mind so they can think through situations and come to the best response possible.  When I told my daughter the situation, she instantly said, “that is stupid.  Skin color doesn’t matter.  It is just skin – it’s a thing.  It isn’t a person.”  About a year ago, she made me an apology card after being especially hyper that read, “We will figure it out.  We are family and we will figure out what works for us.”

Maybe that is the lesson – maybe that is the success.  Figuring it out.. figuring out what doesn’t work for your family and what does.  Figuring out what shuts down the conversation and what grows the dialogue/person.  Figuring out what allows someone to look at a situation and say, “I am going to respond to this with Love.”

You see, my child is Joy; he feels like summer and just like the intense summer storms that roll in, so can his reactions.  Our job is to teach him how to respond with the best tools to ride out the waves of energy – positive and negative both – so in the end, his soul remains a portrait of joy.

In doing so, I am going to fail him time and time again.

And that is okay.