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Post Event Recap

For the fourth year in a row, I have sold my wares at the Essential Wellness Holiday Bazaar. This bazaar caters to the essential oil community, which proves a pretty good platform to sell my essential oil holders. In other venues, people tend to scratch their heads. 

With all that was sold, we only have 15 oil holders left in stock. Here’s my plan: once those are sold out a redesign will happen. My husband and I have been crafting and creating these together for four years now. And, it is time that I learn the tools of the trade and bring them to you myself. I’ll still retain him for the heavy lifting, teaching, and quality control, but we need to shift our work structure. So, buy up those last remaining oil holders, because once they are gone, they won’t be recreated exactly like that. 

I also unveiled print versions of my “Leave ’em” cards. They have been for sale in my shop as a download for the better part of this last year. Some are clean, some have some vulgar language. The idea is that you get to spread a little joy to someone who you think needs it. All you do is leave them a card with the message you choose. I have some stock leftover last night, so the new cards will be $1 each, stacks of 8 are $7, and the downloads are still just $5. 

Finally, I showcased my brand new 2019 Celestial Planner. I am really excited about this workbook, and I think you will be too. If you are interested in aligning your life in flow with the moon, this workbook is for you. Follow the moon through the signs, use the guided phase-based journal prompts, and take note throughout the month, ending with reflective questions every month. I believe this tool will give you space to completely uplevel in this next year. An introductory price of $18 for a print copy and $15 for your digital download. Get yours today! 

Once you’ve downloaded your planner and your inventory, be sure to set aside 36 minutes and fill out the inventory with my guided video where I walk you through all 12 aspects of the circle. 

Download the inventory, block the time, and follow along! 
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Your Kids’ Pajamas

Encased in chemicals. Endocrine disrupting chemicals. That is your kids’ pajamas. And, if you are my age, my pajamas as a kid too.

I don’t often truly understand the Chemical Life we live. How those 80,000 approved chemicals truly affect my – our – day today. 

This came to light, for me, the other day when a friend shared an already viral video on Facebook. A mom was actually just shopping in your typical all-in-one grocery store, and she pointed out all the “flame resistant” pajamas. I actually never really thought about it before, what made these PJs so flame resistant? Another friend of mine noted how grossed out she had always been by these, and now considering their origin, I absolutely concur.

Here’s the thing – house fires are scary, and kids on fire is a scary thing. So, from what I can piece together with about an hour or two of internet research is that some time, long, long ago, we decided those were too scary to leave to chance. So, we started adding chemicals to all sorts of things – pajamas, couches, and more. But, like so many things with chemicals, we trusted in the chemicals ability to keep us safe rather than check to see if it interfered with anything else. That coupled with narrow sited choices and some choices just by chance that then became the norm, we went with these chemicals to keep us safe. In some cases, just because California did.

It’s like the story of the pot roast. It’s part urban legend and part truth (for example, this actually happened with my mom). Daughter cuts off the end of the pot roast and mom looks on, “Honey, why are you doing that?” “Because you did,” responds diligent daughter. “Oh, honey, I did that so the roast would fit in the pan. Yours fits as is,” responds clarifying mother. Granted, chopping off the end of a roast is far less daunting than ruining your health through ill-effects of chemicals. However, the point remains. How often do we do things because that’s the way another generation did? Too often I would argue, and it is now getting in the way of our health.

Video mom comes up with a great simple solution – avoid pajamas and buy loungewear instead. And, one final to-do: always read your labels. We read them when we discuss essential oils, regular “medicine”, food, and don’t forget your clothes too. 

Some References for You

  • Children’s Sleepwear Regulations: https://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Childrens-Sleepwear-Regulations
  • A Flame Retardant That Came With Its Own Threat to Health: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/us/a-flame-retardant-that-came-with-its-own-threat-to-health.html
  • Potential disruption of endocrine system: Flame retardants can mimic estrogens, 3-D images show: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130819102716.htm
  • Endocrine Disruption and Flame-Retardant Chemicals: PBDE-99 Effects on Rat Sexual Development: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367877/
  • Are brominated flame retardants endocrine disruptors?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12850103
  • How to find flame-resistant pajamas for kids, without toxic chemicals: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/how-to-find-flame-resistant-pajamas-for-kids-without-toxic-chemicals/2017/11/08/fe587216-c32d-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.b7f27121afde

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Crowdsource Our Candidates

Do you know who you will vote for in the midterm elections? The voter pamphlet will come out next week if you are in Oregon. Let’s get a jump on our candidates, the issues, and what various stances on the subjects are. 

Help me fill out this Google Sheet of Oregon Candidates. Together, we can help each other make informed choices when it comes to those who should be representing us in office. 

For a list of the issues, check out this sheet

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Not Blacking Out

I received a few requests by Facebook messenger last night to “black out” my profile. The last one I received was just a few weeks prior, and before that maybe a year. The thinking is that women, in solidarity, will simply black out their profile picture to show “men” what a world without women is like. 

I paused considering – first – where did this come from? Second, how many men on my friends list actually scroll through their friends’ list on any given day, and would they notice all the little black squares? I am not convinced… (Another thought on blackout days.)

So, what I chose to do instead was post an address to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that another friend posted. I figured a few of my like-minded women friends would appreciate the suggestion to act in a positive way. 

What I got was a triggering post, escalated by two family members staunch in beliefs friends and I have moved beyond, in conjunction with our own healing. And, those friends called out the staunch beliefs in polite and impolite ways – expressing anger, rage, frustration, and general fed-upness. 

So, why would any of this be triggering? Because we live in a rape culture. Triggering, maybe? Maybe. Consider this. A rape culture is defined as “a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse.” Consider this, when men come forward, 30 years after sexual abuse by a priest has been committed, they are considered brave. (*Caveat, more than 20 years ago, I recognize this wasn’t the case.) When women come forward that they were raped, abused, or any other sexual act done onto them without consent, they are called liars.

Do you see the double standard? 

Here are more examples. These came from Southern Connecticut State University.

  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
  • Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television (see Molly Ringwald’s take on Sixteen Candles)
  • Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
  • Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
  • Pressure on men to “score”
  • Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped

How can we move beyond a Rape Culture then? Let’s try two simple steps.

  1. Believe victims – I know we selectively honor “guilty until proven innocent”, and yes, the proof is important, AND we need to stop making the perpetrator the victim. Believe the women and men, and find corroborating evidence. 
  2. Teach and honor consent – stop making our kids hug and kiss relatives, honor how people want to be touched, and respect it. (Teach Consent breaks it down as: ask, listen, respect. They have a lot of great tools on their website.)

So, I’m not blacking out today. Today, I am going to say to you, “Stand up. Speak your truth. And, don’t back down.” Now, pardon me, I have to write my thank you note to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for doing the same. 

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Statistical Ramblings

“82% of women who earn over 100,000 dollars per year do it through a home-based business.” 

Friends returned from a network marketing conference, and they shared this ideal statistic. I love how sexy it sounds, and believable. I imagine corporate boardrooms, and I’ve seen a few, where the attendees are dominated by men. Women, while rising in the ranks, are still outnumbered. I don’t need a statistic to back up what I had perceived. 

As a mother, I found working the traditional 9-5 job very stressful. Not only was the job stressful with shifting management and culture, but the simple going to work and going home, with dropping off the kiddo and picking him up, added in ordinate amounts of stress. I know many moms who work crappy part-time jobs or defer to the home-based business to bring in extra money for their family or for themselves, one reason is to avoid all that stress! That is, a crappy part-time job is better than the commute, and fighting to have to be home for your kids.

So, when I was told this statistic a few months ago, I just believed it. Of course 80%+ of all those making six figures would be in a home based business. It just made logical sense. 

Except, there is one problem. I can’t recreate the statistic. I found a LinkedIn blog post (I am not calling it an article as an article suggests an editorial review) that sourced a quack “doctor” as the source. Near the end of the post, the author had many sources, but none tied directly to the statistic referenced. She did mention the Direct Selling Association and the Census.

So, I checked out both. 

Both have an amazing array of posters, statistics, and information collected. But, I could not pair down the occupations on the Census website to list “direct sales”, “home based”, or even “network marketing”. The closest I got was finding the sector choice between employed by other and self-employed. The interesting statistic here is that women outpace men in self-employment, by 200% with 1.4 million women claiming this sector. I also found that in 2016, Just over 6.6 million women made over 100,000 per year. Though, nothing tied the two together. 

I am ranting on this statistic because I am sad that the event organizer didn’t ask his attendees to fact-check their speeches. I am sad that my friends didn’t fact check it before sharing it with me. I’m sad it took me so long to fact check it! In an age of fake news and disillusionment, we owe it to ourselves to be vigilant in our constructive thinking. 

I will end with a toast to all the self-employed women out there keeping it real, doing their own thing, making their dreams come true. And, if they are a mother or mentor on top of that, cheers to modeling behavior for the next generation of people. 

Resources

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Daily Writing: A Summer Day

Today started with recording my essential oil master class, twice. I didn’t get the Zoom link sent to my attendee in time, so the recording would have to do. Zoom has a beautiful way of doing teleconferences, on the cheap. You can get up to 40 minutes free, and have most of the features that make that program great. And, you can do this without having some mystical Cisco account. 

Sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter, and I will send a gift to you - my balance tips!

I have found though, that Keynote does a much crisper, cleaner job of recording slide shows. So, even though you don’t get the picture in picture with my face, you get a better presentation. So, the morning and after lunch was spent tidying up the recording, making the actual video in iMovie, and uploading it to YouTube. Sign up for my newsletter (left or right) and get access to all sorts of fun things.

Once I got those things done, I was determined to go to the pool. Levi has been asking for this for a long time, and I just didn’t want to spend the money. Husband and I shifted some things around, and I made it a goal to go at least once this week. My desire to play and work on my money story at 1:20 pm PST was not lost on me. 

So, play we did. We are back home now, changed, drying, and enjoying some individual screen time. I am writing. The kiddo is playing a bumble bee game in Roblox. For an hour and a half, though, we played. We floated, practiced swimming, we looked for rings. We dodged fellow pool-goers, and we even swam some laps. 

Community pools fascinate me. I didn’t really grow up with one. I grew up with free swimming access by way of my grandparents, my aunt and uncle who live on Lake Superior, or the local beaches in my hometown. The idea that one pays to swim is a strange one, but in the city for quick access, that indeed is what we do. 

I’m okay with paying, as the pool is well-staffed with young lifeguards, and it is kept clean. The community pool dynamic, though, offers a slice of a microcosm that I think is fun to acknowledge. 

First, the diversity of people is wider than most places we frequent. There are varied ages, ethnic backgrounds, and maybe varied education levels. We all congregate in this shared place. Typically there is one or two obvious goals: play and exercise. Today, there were two or three groups of boys who looked like they were between 13 and 16 playing basketball in the water. There was a boy of about 10 and his sister of about 8 or 9 playing together by tossing a ball and splashing each other. There were several moms with babies, floating and playing in the water. And more. This brings me to point number two, there was no disagreement between parties. That is, the boy and girl didn’t interact with the basketball players. The moms and kids stayed to themselves. There was a quiet choreography as we all shared the shallow end, dodging, smiling and nodding, and playing nice. 

I’ve observed this trend, specifically in the pool, on more than one occasion. I’ve observed this at community ponds/lakes where sometimes there is a lifeguard on duty, and sometimes not. It’s probably a visible trend on the playground too, but I haven’t specifically noticed that. There seems to be something about pool play, where maybe because of the heightened danger, that people seem to be more respectful. Maybe it’s just our local pool that is walking distance to our house?

I don’t know what the answer is to my observable trend. But, on this day, this full moon, lunar eclipse Friday, I wanted to acknowledge how easy people were at being kind. And, I’d like to invite you to pass it along. Remember, kindness is free, so give it away. 

Deconstructing Privi​leg​e

Two people I love shared this dated opinion. So, now I feel like I must respond. It is an opinion piece called “What Has America Become“, and is written by a man named Ken Huber. It was printed in the Iosco County Herald on June 9, 2010. The current originating Facebook post shows it as being shared in 2013. I note this because the copied image is without the date, and by posting it three years later, and then being repeatedly shared 5 years after that, it has a timeless quality that isn’t actually wholly relevant to today.

Mr. Huber complains that America has become the land of the double standard, and he continues to list a series of ironies he feels are unfair. You must understand that I live on the “left coast“, where my progressive politics color my views.

He has a list of complaints, where he sees Congress and Progressives getting their way and ruining our country. He even goes on to claim that “communists” and “Socialists” threats are just rebranded progressives. He complains about unfair border policies and lack of God in schools. If I shall opine for a moment, this sounds like complaints from an old, angry, white man, whose privilege is coming under question, and he doesn’t like how it feels.

Well, if Progressives are so bad, what do they believe? Check out this “Progressive Manifesto“, where ThinkProgress defines four tenants of freedom, opportunity, responsibility, and cooperation. Progressivism has a history that goes back more than 100 years, with a definition more akin to “[an association] with science, rationality and an approach to government and society reliant on knowledge and empirical methods”. (NPR 2016)

So Progressives want to think critically, using verifiable facts to create policy? 

Mr. Huber essentially complains that he can’t be racist, we are letting too many people into our country, and we have to restrict personal liberties because he believes his God would want it that way. 

What Mr. Huber is missing is that he has lived on the top of privilege his whole life. What he is seeing is all people are created equal with unalienable rights coming to claim their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And, that means the white, property-owning male has to share the stage. 

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Astrology, Essential Oils, and Minerals

Sunday, my friend Marjan and I held a class in her home. The topic: astrology, essential oils, and minerals. Let’s back up a little bit… 

I have been interested in astrology pretty much my whole life. Knowing my sun sign is in Pisces, I’ve read, often, that I’m drawn to mysticism, and drawn I am. I actually believe that all beliefs hold truth, and our job is to in part make sense of it for us. There are lessons for us to learn. 

Many years separated my seeking out of astrology knowledge, however, until a friend found an astrologer she resonated with. And, I found myself clamoring back on the bandwagon. I have so loved this journey of planning in tune with the celestial bodies around us. It adds a dimension of connectedness to my world that I really cannot get enough of. 

That same friend said, “Michelle, you should pair astrology with oils.” I flat out said, “No.” Why? Because it’s too complicated. You can’t distill an oil for a person based on their sign. Each person’s astrological markup is as unique as their fingerprint. So, it would be doing a disservice to someone to say that they should use Lavender because they are Gemini and must like to communicate. 

I did, however, put it on my to-do list – for next year. 

Then, we went on vacation. And, we did all the vacation things. Which for me, it meant that I let my scheduled things go on social media. Engage in some soft touches with people regards to all the things I do. But, mostly, it was me trying to be present on vacation, something I think too few of us actually do (practice mindfulness). 

And, then, I got a text from Marjan – will you help do an essential oil and astrology class. I can’t figure out the oils, she said, but I can do the minerals. And, she fumbled through my schedule, which for some reason didn’t work the way it was supposed to, and picked a day one week from the text where I actually had other plans. Suddenly, we were doing this in sort of one of the most inconvenient ways possible! (Not really, but it wasn’t the scheduled flow I had “planned”.) 

So, we did it. I jump started my research. I got some inspiration. And, we packed about 20 lovely women in her little living room to discuss astrology, essential oils, and minerals. And, I finally made my blend. 

Because astrology is complex, quite simply there are a lot of influences at work, I decided to find a list of oils for each sign that would support the lighter qualities of that sign. Then, I thought we could build blends based on our sun, rising, and moon signs. So, this is what I had to choose from for me. 

I am a sun Pisces, Aries rising, with my moon in Libra. 

Pisces

Lighter attribute and keywords

Sympathy, compassion, universality, intuitiveness, inspiration, renunciation, sacrifice

Suggested oils

Passion, Lavender, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Rose

Aries

Lighter attribute and keywords

Leadership, self-esteem, initiative, activity, pioneering, ambition, enterprise, courageous, energetic, impulsive, optimistic, egotistical, innovative, original, strong drive, leader, enthusiastic, extroverted, competitive, self-reliant, self-assured

Suggested oils

Cassia, Bergamot, Jasmine, Slim & Sassy, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Lemon, Rosemary, Marjoram

Libra

Lighter attribute and keywords

Affability, balance, harmony, companionship, charm, social grace, justice, courtesy, hopefulness, artistic ability, attractiveness, fairness

Suggested oils

Balance, Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Melissa

My Process

So, when I went to make mine, which I had preloaded with minerals (Citrine, Tourmaline, Turquoise, Amethyst, and Aquamarine), I pulled out the oils for each sign I resonated with. I think I started with: Bergamot, Jasmine, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Basil, Melissa, Lavender, Sandalwood, and Patchouli. There was some doubling up of my chosen oils, for example, both Libra and Aries had Black Pepper as a choice.

Whenever I make an oil blend, at this point, I am largely guided by my intuition. What do I think would smell good? What do I want to feel? And, then I choose one, ask those questions again, and add, “What would go well with what I already have?” And, I proceed until I am done. And, I always hope I don’t overdo it. This is what I came up with: 

  • 33 drops Sandalwood
  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Black Pepper
  • 2 drops Melissa
  • 2 drops Basil
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • Filled the 10ml roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil and sweet almond oil 

Want to learn more about how I did this? Let’s connect in person and chat. 

Schedule Appointment

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Happy Belated Birthday, Cristi – Support a Domestic Violence Center Near You

cristi graduation

Domestic violence rudely entered our lives on July 19, 2007. Today, you would be 40, having had your birthday just two months ago. Eleven years ago, I hope I called you on your birthday. Ten years ago, I didn’t know that would be the last birthday you would celebrate. Eleven years ago, on July 20, I became educated on the reach of domestic violence.

A year ago, I spent the day with a new friend. She’s a PR professional expanding her local reach. The day ended with a light dinner at her sponsored table for an event. The event was “Roots of Resilience”, the annual fundraiser for SAFE of Columbia County.

Before that fateful day, I knew of domestic violence in abstract terms. I remember an SNL skit that laughed at Bill and Hillary’s relationship, suggesting that he was the victim. (1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. ) I knew of domestic violence with other bad jokes of men in “wife beater” tank tops, the illusion that only uneducated, poor, white men are the perpetrators of abuse. The truth is grayer. The truth shows us that domestic violence crosses all demographics: race, socio-economic, education. Though poor economies can raise the effects of abuse, economics is not a cause of domestic violence.

The Wheel of Power and Control

When I got home from your funeral, I spent a little time educating myself on domestic violence. Learning some of the harsh truths and taking the time to understand patterns of control. In a sense, I find I am hypersensitive to language when I hear things that sound like controlling behavior. I found this widely shared image that helped put things in perspective for me. I wish I had known about it before you died. Maybe we could have had a conversation about what you needed to feel safe in your relationships.

Wheel of Power and Control
From the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, www.duluth-model.org, shared by SAFE of Columbia County.

Help Us Really Hear

One of the reasons I think we didn’t talk about all those things is that the busy-ness of our lives – we let it get in the way. We don’t listen to each other. We don’t really hear each other. We allow bad behavior to be swept under the rug instead of standing up to abuses and intolerance. We all have our own lives to lead and live, after all. 

In honor of the 1 and 3 women and 1 and 4 men, I encourage you to stand up to oppression far and wide. Start saying, “NO!” You will not tolerate that racist slur, that minimization, that gas lighting. It’s not right, it’s hurtful, and it doesn’t help those we love. 

Sources

SAFE of Columbia County
The Gateway Center of Portland
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Statistics
Dispelling the Stereotypes
7. How does the economy affect domestic violence?

Other Notes

This post was started on May 13, 2017. That would have been Cristi’s 39th birthday. At the time of publishing, we both would be in our 5th decade. I will celebrate the lessons I’ve been gifted through this grief and awareness. 

Must Have​ Oils for Travel

Confession: when we drive, I take all of my oils. I simply cannot decide, when we’ll be gone for a month, what oils I need or will need in the off chance this crazy thing happens. When I fly, I have to pare down my list to a current list of necessities – which varies depending on where I will be traveling. 

So, choices sometimes have to be made, and if they have to be made, here’s a short list of the oils I would absolutely not leave home without. 

  1. ClaryCalm – because I need all the hormone support I can get
  2. Thyroid Support (Lemongrass and Myrrh) – gotta keep it in homeostasis 
  3. Rose – we all need more love
  4. Frankincense – the oil of truth is great for grounding, skin, everything
  5. Correct X – because sometimes you need a band-aid too 
  6. Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint (mixed in a 1oz spray bottle, and backups to refill as needed) – damned pollen count in varied places 
  7. Melaleuca – skin support! skin support!
  8. DigestZen – tummy support! 
  9. Forgive – we don’t always travel on our best behavior 
  10. OnGuard – when flying or driving, you come across so many different people, places, and things – so lets put the protective blend to good use

There are so many oils I am leaving off this list because I wanted to try and reduce it to 10. When I’m going out and about, when I am home, I carry a lot more than 10 oils on me. I carry more than 10 oils in ONE pouch. And, sometimes it’s necessary to pare down and use what you have to the best of your abilities.

One thing I absolutely love about using oils to support my home, my health, and my family, is there is literally an oil for “that”. So, when I do bring even just ten oils, I have a way to mitigate pretty much any scenario I or my family encounter.

What does your top ten list look like?