I just learned about something called Peak Week. It's the third week in September, where the highest number of asthma attacks are experienced and reported.
It's a perfect storm of ragweed season being at its height, kids being back in school and passing all the germs around, and the stress of the fall routine changes catching up to us.
Being a former asthma sufferer, this discovery hit home for me. The fall was always tough for me. I suffered from allergies and asthma from about age 14 to 34. I had a smattering of attacks throughout the years, spent a decade on inhaled steriods, daily allergy meds, and a restricted diet to help manage it.
I really didn't get a handle on it until I adopted a more significant lifestyle change recently which significantly reduced toxins and irritants in my daily environment and also addressed the role that unprocessed emotions were playing in the picture. I use natural products to support myself now, and I am happily able to have an unrestricted diet, no meds, and a lot of natural energy.
I am so thankful that this is no longer an issue for me, and if I do have a rare unexpected flare up I have a whole arsenal of natural, God-given tools to support myself.
Prayers for all people experiencing the stress of respiratory diseases. I know how scary and debilitating it can be.
Here are some things I did to get a handle on it.
1. Switch to non-toxic products: Look at the labels on the products you're using in your home. So many of them contain ingredients which are very aggravating to the respiratory system and the gut among others. There are apps and websites available to help you navigate this. Check out my Natural Living post for what to look for and what to do about it.
2. Examine your emotional health: Grief is stored in the lungs. Take some time to explore if there are things that have happened in your life, not limited to the loss of a loved-one, which you have not gone through all of the stages of mourning over. For example, if something turned out different than you always dreamed ,of, you might need to mourn the loss of that dream. There are lots of other trapped emotional patterns that can contribute. There are ways to help your body and mind release trapped emotions, and I have been amazed at the impact that this has had on my overall welless. If you want to dive deeper into this, send me a message, I am working on sharing more about this in the coming months.
3. Work on your gut health: Our gut is critically important for our overall health. When we are exposed to chemicals and bad thought patterns for a long period of time, our body accumulates this and makes adaptations to do its best to continue operating. But, we might not be efficiently absorbing nutrients, or have a good balance of flora, or we might have inflammation that inhibits normal gut function. To get back into balance, you need to remove the irritants (like those noted in step 1 and 2) through natural detoxification methods and then provide abundant nutrients to help your body heal. It is possible to heal your gut and it will have a huge impact on all of your body systems. I am proof-perfect: 4 years ago I was in rough shape and was diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Now, after concerted effort to do the things I am recommending, my gut is in great shape and it shows in my current health status; I'm in remission and feeling great, medication-free and happy!
4. Get a community of support: Loneliness can have a huge impact on our health. So can negative influence from those around us. It is so important to find a positive environment that can encourage you on your path to feeling well.
The best decision I made for my overall health was getting a Starter Kit from Young Living. I gained a supportive community to help coach me to make the changes I needed to make to feel better, and I gained hundreds of natural tools to support my body, mind and spirit for so many things. I cannot stop talking about this. If you have seen the change that has occurred in my life in the last 3 years, you know something is different, and this is one huuuuge factor in my ability to get a handle on my well being.
Breathe easy, friends.
I am so thankful for this journey. I’ve been doing this now for almost 2 years and what I’ve learned is that people get into oils for many different reasons:
🤧 To avoid days off from work and school 🤒
☠️ To get toxins out of the home 🕯🧼
😌 To help provide support for a specific thing they or a loved one is dealing with.
It is a beautiful thing to watch people go from addressing a couple of things in daily life to finding a deeper level of overall wellness in body and mind: myself included!
I got into oils for sleep. I had a 3 year old and we were struggling. What I quickly found was that I was able to climb out from the dark place I was in and find so much hope and light and freedom from so many things I had been carrying by tuning into my emotional wellness and the capabilities that essential oils have to offer.
The body and mind and soul are inextricably connected and I’ve learned so many things about the link between emotions and wellness.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without YL oils, Jesus, the tenacity in making the changes I needed to make to allow myself to let go of what wasn’t serving me, and this community and all of the resources that come along with it.
As a result of my life-changing experiences I have a passion is about emotional wellness, emotional release the body/mind/soul connection, and the healing power of Christ. I believe we cannot fully be well without balancing all of those things.
I have amassed a ton of knowledge on the subject and I am just leaning into where it will lead me next.
I recorded this video on Facebook to share my heart and gratitude for how far I've come, and rather than typing it all out, I just wanted to share with you here too.
it is a delicate dance with this boy. mustering courage to lead him where i am not confident myself, but also listening for him to lead me too; to show me what is too far, what is too much, and then taking the feedback and attempting to strike a compromise between fear and growth, not heeding too much of one or the other. in other ways he is racing ahead and i feel i am not enough to keep up with his interests and energy and high level of need. this is the daily push and pull and nuance with which our gifts beseech us. it is literally as if a new person is being birthed in me and i continue to labor - the expansion ever occurring in fits and starts over and over again.
it's a challenge to feel understood. he feel things more intensely than it seems others do, and in this rebirth, i am (re)discovering and learning to accept my sensitivities and the impact that his have on me as well, whether it is by empathetic exchange or epigenetics or just an awakening to something that has always been, it is real to me now as it is for him. regular activities need a great deal of planning, energy, and modulation. transitions are ripe with anxiety of anticipating and planning the next scene as i work to reassure him and answer for myself: do i know what to expect? have i been through this before? will the stimuli be too overwhelming? will i have a safe place? what will i do if it gets too hard? will i be accepted? will anyone understand me? why is this so hard for me? on the converse his passion and focus are unparalleled. he is an excellent communicator and he is exploring topics well above age-level.
in this journey i am being refined. i am being called to examine how outside opinions or perceptions affect my behavior and the choices i make. i am being challenged to be an advocate for myself and my family. to stand tall in my own circumstances and not look side to side. i must determine what we need and take action. make sacrifices. be courageous. no one else can do this for me. these are my lifelong weaknesses that are now in the spotlight. those are the things that my motherhood brings.
i find myself wishing for easier circumstances and envious of an alternate reality; feeling 'not enough' for this one. but that's not really the truth. of course there is no mistake in the way things are and we are given what we are given for a perfect purpose. i am blessed with this reality and just like labor, i shall ride the waves of expansion (contractions) and wait for a moment of rest before the next wave. in my "mindful birthing" training i was reminded that each moment in itself is tolerable, it is only overwhelming or scary or painful when we look too broadly. therefore, i shall follow each breath and call upon the spirit for guidance in each moment. and look back over the growth that we all are going through as the clock ticks by.
I am the mom of a Gifted 4 year old with Sensory Processing Disorder. we've known since birth that there was something special about him but it's been a journey of understanding and acceptance and navigating a challenging system where it's hard to get answers, hard to be believed, and hard to find support, and our life is unfolding with lots of grace from God as we are led just where we need to be, step by step. we don't have it all figured out and we don't need to but we are doing our best, and let that be enough.
Resources and more info:
Warning: Parenting a Gifted Child May Be Hazardous to your (Mental) Health Grayson School
It’s not just in your head: Self-care for moms of gifted children Not So Formulaic
I just love the adrenaline rush of a good deal. I am a consignment sale shopper and I always have to be there on the first day. I stalk all the deals for Black Friday and Presidents day. It's about frugality of course but it's also about getting in on something exclusive. It's a way to belong.
Truth be told I haven't always understood my own value. It is really really hard for me to justify buying things for myself. I would go shopping with friends and pick out things I liked but then talk myself out of them. Do I really need it? No? Probably not. While there aren't a lot of obvious flaws with this mindset-- I mean it's a great way to avoid overfilling your home with stuff, it also has some pitfalls. In the days when I was at my lowest, I even resisted going to the doctor because I didn't think I was worth spending the money on. I didn't think what I was going through was "bad enough". (Note - I had severe undiagnosed Crohn's disease at this point... it was bad enough.) I legit wasn't taking the needed care for myself because I didn't value myself and my needs.
The only reason I got myself to much-needed therapy was because of the EAP. This is a free employee assistance program that allows for several sessions of therapy. There, I started to realize that it's not healthy to have such low self-worth. It's not okay to hold yourself hostage. It's not good to put everyone first and neglect yourself. It IS OKAY to spend money on yourself, or to treat yourself, or to get what you need even if it seems "too expensive" or "frivolous."
All of this to say. I look at deal shopping very differently these days. Of course I am a pragmatist. One should always maximize the available to the best of their abilities, but I was literally denying myself any fulfillment of needs unless it was validated by a discount.
As if to say, I didn't feel "full price" I felt "discounted."
But, I was being too harsh in qualifying needs. I didn't consider self-care an actual legitimate need. It felt too indulgent to do things that could be more convenient if there was a cheaper (more challenging, harder, more time-consuming) alternative. It felt wrong to make choices that could improve my health or well-being, when those are literally the most important "things" to invest in. I had not considered how everything else is basically disposable but we have this one body and one mind and one family for this one life, and that its what really matters. And after going through that health crisis and coming out on the other side, I can finally see it. And now I am fanatical about it. And can't stop talking about it. Because when you discover a real truth, you can't hold it in.
The truth is, this is complicated. We have limited resources. We have lots of things to consider and prioritize. But the thing I am working the hardest on is recognizing my own worth, and the worth of others and practicing generosity to both. I think this can be a good rule to live by.
Ever get into a funk where you feel pretty lonely, unloved, or just down? I tend to have a few of these days every month, where it feels like no one is there for me and I am so weak and I crave connection and love to "fix me."
When I am in the middle of it, it certainly doesn't feel like a lie. I am convinced that everyone is selfish and doesn't care about me, and isn't tuned in to what I need. I fixate on all the things that aren't happening, or aren't there. Where I have fallen short, where others have fallen short. But. Reality Check: We are all imperfect beings in an imperfect world and nearly no one is purposely shafting anyone, especially in the love department.
I have wounds from the past which make me vulnerable to fall into the pit of feeling unloved. It's a program that my subconscious wrote a long time ago when I was in a situation that I didn't have the resources to navigate and so the pattern and the script I repeated was "I am not worthy of love", as a (flawed) logical deduction from the situation at hand. The true reality of the situation was much more complicated than that and I've since learned that it actually had very little to do with me, and certainly nothing to do with my worthiness of love. But, those programs take a lot of effort to deconstruct! In moments of weakness it is second nature to jump to them like a well-worn path that feels familiar and ironically comforting, if not also miserable. It takes vigilance to wake up from the automatic execution of these patterns and stop them from barreling forward into a pit of self-deprecation.
We all have wounds from some thing or another from the past that are connected to lies that we repeat to ourselves. These things can pop up in present day in odd places, in the midst of healthy relationships: a re-enactment of old footage in present day. Our subconscious doesn't like to let go of wounds, it likes to keep playing with them until they get resolved, aka proven to be false and replaced with a new reel of truth.
You can recognize a wound if you get angry or upset about something someone did and the feelings overtake you. Unless the thing that they did is enough to create its own new wound, it is probably a replay of a past wound that was triggered by something similar in the current situation. If you're able to take some quiet time to explore your reaction, you might find the theme and be able to link it back to the original wound.
To move past it, you need to retrace the wound, release unresolved feelings and work to find peace with it. This doesn't happen magically all at once, but each time the wound is triggered you'll have a new opportunity to call it out and work to replace it with truth.
The real truth, applicable to heal EVERY wound is that you are a child of God who is loved fiercely, unconditionally, and immensely and is wholly worthy of every bit of it. There is nothing you can do, or fail to do, that could ever reduce, remove, or even earn the love available to you every moment from the Father. We all are loved with this same love. No matter what. And it is available for us to share, and heal, and live joyfully within, without limits.
Ways to work to record new truth over the old wounded footage:
Our subconscious loves images. We have to work to engage our imagination to help create a new movie reel of good thoughts to overwrite the wounded images.
List all the people that love you.
Sit down and put pen to paper and think about all the people in your life who love you, care for you, support you, or would not wish ill of you. This is evidence that you are good. You are loveable. You are loved.
Fill your space with love.
Sit quietly and imagine all of the love on your list filling the room with you in it. Magnify it. It could burst open the walls. It fills all your cells, it rains down on you. This is God's love. It is even more immense than that. You are so loved by God that there is literally nothing else you need.
Now practice loving-kindness to yourself and imagine that love filling in your wound and healing it. Imagine that love overflowing to the source of the wound and onto any person or thing that was involved. You are safe. You are loved. You are healthy and strong. You are free from suffering. You live with peace, joy, happiness, and ease. (you can google Loving Kindness Meditation to go deeper here).
Now list out all of the things you are grateful for, especially surrounding the person or event by which you've been triggered. Look to find the good intentions. Attempt to see the situation from a higher perspective where they were not intending to hurt you, but managing their own situation the best they could. Finding things to be grateful for will help melt away those grievances you might still be holding on to.
Imagine your life free of this wound. Imagine your relationships without complication. Imagine your life full of love. What does it feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like? Remember memories from the past that are filled with love. Think about ways in the future you can fill your days with love. This sets the law of attraction in motion. Your subconscious will work to create a life that matches your dreams.
God has plans for all of us. He nudges us along on our path and gives us lots of opportunities to find our way to his path for us.
Do you feel lost? Do you feel afraid of what is before you and uncertain about all the steps ahead?
God is found in the stillness. It is sometimes really hard to decipher among the voices from outside, inside, and everywhere in between to find the true voice leading you to the next step.
We often want to know the whole path before us. We may have heard his call but have a hard time trusting how it will all unfold to get there. We stand frozen because we are afraid to go forward without all the information.
In surrendering to His plans for us and trusting the Spirit to guide us, we only need to listen for what the next thing is for us to do. Like a headlight on a foggy night, the light shines just far enough ahead for us to inch forward, trusting that the path will be made for us.
Hone Your Listening Skills
If you're having trouble hearing the Spirit, it could be that you've tuned too far into the future. God's grace is sufficient for us, when we stay focused on the present tasks ahead of us for the day, and not try to solve the burdens of tomorrow. Quiet yourself and ask, what is the next thing I need to do in this moment? Breathe and trust that each next moment will be provided to you if you faithfully follow the breadcrumbs. If you're still not sure, ask the Spirit to strike from your mind the things you are not called to do, and to bring forward the things which are best.
The key to walking God's path is to be in constant communication with Him. He might take a different route than you would choose, but the rewards are more than you could imagine.
Have a big decision to make and all the voices are jumbling in your head? Or do you have a big idea and you're not sure if it is yours or His? Here are some ways to discern the call:
Does it scare you and excite you? (Yes? - likely from God)
Does it feel like you would have come up with it on your own? (No? it is probably from God!)
Is it grounded in truth, love, and supported by scripture? (Yes-->From God!)
Stepping out in faith. When it is really scary.
But I'm not good enough.
I'm not worthy of success
What if ... ?
Spend some time thinking about the wounds from your past that might be holding you back from stepping forward. God leads us through things that stretch us out of our comfort zone and also challenges us to work through those things that can help us shed wounds from the past. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” Romans 8:28. You may have gone through some hard things in the past. God will take that pain and help you transform it into something beautiful. Your best use of energy is spent on finding your gifts, giving God control, trusting him, worshiping him, and leaning on Him. He's got the rest. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
You don't have to know all the steps. You just have to take the first one. Listen to the Spirit guide you one step at a time.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." —Psalm 37:23–24
Resources that have helped me with discernment
Acquiescing to God's Call Video on Brilliant Perspectives
She's Still There - Chrystal Evans Hurst
21 Days of Prayer Monique McLean
Jesus Calling - Sarah Young
Let me tell you, friends. Essential oils have done some pretty phenomenal things in my life. But it’s sort of intimidating and personal to talk about it.
The facts that are not terribly hard to tell and maybe only a little hard to believe: I didn’t have to replace the allergy meds when I ran out of them; I feel really comfortable with my son using the spray bottle to clean our windows; My house smells nice for the first time in 10 years since I gave up synthetic fragrances a decade ago; I have something to reach for if my head hurts or if I burn myself; My inflammation markers are low; We have a solid handle on everyday wellness and the yuckies that we might pick up at many kid-friendly places don’t like to hang with us anymore; We sleep better than we have in 3 years.
The big stuff though… what has changed my life, is how these oils have helped me climb out of a deep pit. It’s a pretty intense story. It’s hard to tell. It’s hard to believe. Sure, I wouldn’t be getting anywhere on this life’s journey without a lot of faith, perseverance, the right timing, a lot of encouraging voices, and the grace of God; but the grease that keeps the machine moving forward? That’s what these oils are. It was a pretty rough patch there. (check out my older blog posts for some insight). Self-care? None. Self-confidence? Non-existent. Anxiety? All-time high. And did I have a clue? Nope. I was driving along doing the best I could, all the while gnawing at myself that I wasn’t enough. (Spoiler alert. I’m enough. I still need to tell myself this many times per day, but I’m getting there!)
In my circle, I was late to the oils game. I mean I had used them, and many friends had been using them and had shared oils as gifts throughout the years but nothing had clicked for me and I didn’t know what I was doing with them. It was intimidating. I didn’t have the resources to know what to do with them. Then a friend mentioned she was having a no-pressure class about oils, and my interest was piqued. I was ready to get my hands on some information and ready to make some changes.
I started to gobble up information and I found the details about emotional support and emotional release to be fascinating. They gave me hope. I had been going to therapy, and that was helping but it was a slow, hard climb and it was really easy for me to get in my own way and stall the process. The thing with talk therapy is that it is really really wonderful for working through current-day problems, but is more challenging to release old trapped things, as they are buried deeper and have more barriers to being brought out and said aloud to someone. The science of essential oils is astounding. I learned that essential oils work at the cellular level and with the limbic system to make a significant impact with respect to bad patterns, emotional blockages, and cellular memory.
I learned about the other numerous blends that Gary Young had developed aimed at emotional support and I had real true hope; and, as soon as I got my hands on them, I had real true results.
Through an iTovi Scan I found Sacred Mountain. And in my research I discovered the Feelings Kit, Sacred Frankincense, SARA. I owe an immense amount of gratitude to these blends from the beginning of my journey with oils.
The journey continues, and I have found more and more blends that have been kind to me. I have been able to release of some significant baggage from the past. I have gotten a handle on some bad thought patterns. My outlook and self-confidence has grown. I have tools for almost any situation where I might be getting off track emotionally. My faith has grown. We have had the opportunity to heal as a family from the challenges we faced during the lowest points of my disease.
All I can say is Thank the Lord for oils.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
4 years ago I was preparing to become Catholic at the Holy Saturday mass. I was also 8 months pregnant. I was asked to carry forward the Chrism oil at the Holy Thursday mass as it would be the oil that I would be anointed with during my confirmation 2 days later, AND the oil that my son would be anointed with at his baptism.
Holy Thursday at St Elizabeth Ann Seton in New Berlin, WI was so incredibly beautiful, with Fr.Joe Aufdermauer and his moving singing voice and program. I made a point to pilgrimage back there last year to enjoy that special mass with my mom and son.
Tonight, back in FL, while the oils were presented at mass tonight I was overcome with emotion. First of all, how amazing Holy Thursday is. The washing of the feet. The Eucharistic celebration.
Second, how special it is that I got to carry forward the oil that my son and I were welcomed in to the church with. And third, how I miss that church. It felt so safe and warm and home. It was such a special time in my life.
And I’m not even bringing all of this up to talk about oils. I am just in awe of how special it all is. But then it hits me how this has come full circle somehow. The essential oils that I am so obsessed with really are about so much more than good smells, or even good health, or wealth. There is a spiritual connection here for me. It’s a pathway for me to feel God’s love and connect with Him. For Him to heal me. For Him to speak to me. And I believe for Him to use me and my gifts to bring this same thing to others. This is why I am on this journey.
I'm Lisa Yau, thanks for stopping by!