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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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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. 

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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? 

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Add a Little Harmony to Your Day

It started out as any typical endeavor… I grabbed the necessary materials, and I arranged them just so. I propped up the tools and arranged them just so. Then, I began mixing, matching, showcasing. When I was all done, I reviewed. And, oh boy! You couldn’t see anything!

I got ready to film! Look at those neat rows and piles.

I love watching videos of people making things. And I haven’t yet figured out my set up yet to be able to adequality film me working in my journal or making oil concoctions or changing out my facial toner recipe. You see, I got all set up to do the video, but I didn’t have the tripod nor my phone angled just so. So you got to see this desk the whole time, rather than the making of the blend. So, instead of a video, you’ll get a blog post!

The Harmony Collection is an adorable collection that was unveiled as a gift for Mother’s Day. They still have some in stock! It comes with three oils you cannot order wholesale regularly, two 10ml steel roller bottles, pipettes, labels, and a book of blends. 

The spicy, fresh, uplifting oils are Green Mandarin, Star Anise, and Pink Pepper. You can read more about the oils and the kit here. I flipped through the recipe book and stopped on the Harmony Signature Blend. I could go no further, I had to make this beautiful blend. It includes a range of oils, many of which are not included in the 3-oil kit. So, I pulled from my oil collection and got to work.

The recipe book guided to add drops slowly and smell as you go. You may want to revise if you do not like the direction of the scent. I had no problems, so I made it accordingly. The recipe is:

  • 45 drops Copaiba
  • 32 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood
  • 15 drops Green Mandarin
  • 5 drops Arborvitae
  • 2 drops Black Pepper
  • 1 drop Blue Tansy
  • Fill with FCO in a 10ml roller bottle

Sometimes I smell the arborvitae first, sometimes sandalwood. I love how these oils constantly surprise. So, not only have we made a beautiful “perfume” to wear whenever… this “perfume” supports my cellular function, uplifts my mood, and connects me with the divine. I’d encourage you to check out this Harmony Kit if you haven’t already. 

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Vitamins

My mother told me, when I was selling books door-to-door, to take my vitamins. I spent 20 minutes staring at the options in the aisle to the chagrin of my friend who I had just told, “I’ll be quick.” 

I had no idea what to buy. I had no idea what one thing was good for over the next. I knew I needed something to aid my diet that consisted largely of peanut butter and jelly. But, I had no idea what. The supermarket certainly didn’t have educational signs telling me how to assess my diet! 

Fast forward several years, and I worked to clean up and improve my eating. And, still, things didn’t feel quite right. Well, when doTERRA was introduced to me they were holding an amazing promotion, and that promotion has come around again. (Seriously, if you don’t have a wholesale account yet, every month is a good month to sign up!)

The promotion is: buy 100pv, spend 100pv, and get the vitamins. Why would you even want doTERRA’s vitamins? Because the same quality doTERRA puts into sourcing their oils they put into the supplements. Why do you even want a high-quality supplement? The bottom line is the Standard American Diet just isn’t good enough. And, our bodies need support to edge towards their optimal life. And, a good quality vitamin can support that path. 

Here is a list of some things the supplements support:

  • General wellness and vitality,
  • Antioxidant and DNA protection,
  • Energy metabolism,
  • Bone health,
  • Immune function,
  • Stress management,
  • Cardiovascular health,
  • Healthy hair, skin, and nails,
  • Eye, brain, nervous system,
  • Liver function and digestive health,
  • Lung and respiratory health,
  • Gentle on the stomach, and they are
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free!

Are you with me? This either sounds amazing, or crazy, I’m guessing. Well, let me tell a little story. When I sold books door to door, I was walking for 13 hour days. After that adventure, I had pain in my feet when I would wake up. After a while, it would go away. And, it would return if I sat for long periods until my feet got used to walking again.

After I was on the supplements for just 3 weeks, I no longer had that feeling in my feet. My body was so supported overall, that whatever deficiency was aggravated by that stress 20 years ago, it was counteracted by these beautiful vitamins. 

If this sounds like a great deal, let me tell you that it is. Join with a wholesale account today, add to your collection next month, and get your vitamins at no charge. Want to learn more? Great, let’s meet.

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Amavi

Amavi, the 2018 doTERRA Father’s Day Collection

It’s from Latin (and Spanish), and it means, “I love.”

So, what better way to show Dad you love him than with the doTERRA Amavi Father’s Day Collection. It is universally appealing, highlighting the unique aroma of CPTG essential oils like Buddha Wood, Hinoki, and Litsea along with the doTERRA Balance blend. The collection includes a 10 mL Amavi Touch, Amavi After Shave Lotion, and doTERRA Onyx Balance Bath Bar. Each product is expertly crafted to evoke the feelings of a hero’s heart while supporting the fearless in spirit. Not only does this collection help uplift and refocus your mind throughout the day, it also creates a simple daily regimen to clean, soothe, and hydrate your skin.

Order today, and get two-day air… when you ship on your loyalty rewards order (and you can have more than one), you get the points back next month. Two-day air should get it to you by Sunday. 

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Spotlight: Frankincense

This is the “king of oils”. Sourced from Somalia and Oman, doTERRA actually created a cooperative with existing farmers of Frankincense. So, why do we even call it the “king of oils”? Because this complex oil can support the whole body in a variety of ways. Frankincense essential oil supports a healthy immune response, promotes overall skin health, and supports a healthy inflammatory response in skin cells.

Frankincense oil blends well with citrus oils like Lime, Lemon, and Wild Orange – among others. One of my favorite blends is for after school grounding and focus. I will take 1-2 drops vetiver and frankincense and add 4 drops of wild orange. The uplifting citrus pairs very well with the whole grounding of vetiver and frankincense. Often, study time is much calmer when this is diffusing!

Frankincense can be used for a variety of things. Here’s a short list: 

  • Add to your DIY facial toner to support healthy, glowing skin
  • Apply after your morning shave to provide relief to razor bumps 
  • Diffuse on your car ride into work for a calming, relaxing fragrance to set you in the mood for working 
  • Use in your prayer or meditation, as it is the Oil of Truth, to help you get into alignment with your truth
  • Take daily under your tongue or in a veggie cap to support overall cellular function (pro tip, try it for a month and report back any findings)

Click the links below for more! 

Below is a doTERRA video on the sourcing of Frankincense and why their Frankincense is so different. 

A video that tells a little bit about doTERRA’s Frankincense 

Resources

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Introducing Master Classes

You’ve probably seen a lot of “master classes” floating around. Famous people like Maclom Gladwell and Gordon Ramsey are sharing their craft. Experts in writing, cooking, or acting are sharing their knowledge widely. 

I’ve been teaching “master classes” for a while, but they went by another name. So, we are calling them what they really are – a master class on essential oil use. I have been an expert in natural remedies for almost 20 years, with the last four focused really on using essential oils in our homes for our health and well-being.

So, each month, starting with June, the master classes will coordinate the theme with my newsletter. This month, we’ll talk about “summer play”.

What is included in this master class? We’ll go over at least 10 ways to support your summer with essential oils. The class will be 30 minutes. Plus, we’ll have 10 more minutes for questions. Know that space is limited. Each person who registers will receive the recording to listen to, as long as you need!

Register for this month’s class now. And, I’ll see you on Friday, June 15 for our first essential oil master class.

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How Green are You?

More than ten years ago I co-authored two green guides with a colleague. And, then she moved and I remained, and life kept coming. At that time, I had the itch to know more green stories. 

I am resurrecting a ten-year-old idea: the green interview to ask, “How green are you?”

I am inviting you, to come talk to me about all the ways you are green in the world. Then, your story will be showcased on my blog in the fall. 

I’ll take as many stories as I can get! And, for now, I’ll highlight the top eight. My goal is that this will be a repeating feature on my blog. Who knows? Maybe I’ll wrap it up into a new guide for a new age of going green. 

Click here to get started. 

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The Right to a Green Life

Here, Levi is 3 years old. He is stirring a homemade batch of liquid laundry soap in a 5 gallon container. It’s simple. It’s toxic free. And it’s friendly to the pocket book – no matter the budget.

I was talking to a friend recently, and she was helping me dig deeper into why going green is important to me. I found it was hard for me to describe, as it’s kind of like breathing. In my writing the other day, I was able to clarify for myself. Going green is like teaching our kids not to hit. We do this because we accept and agree that our kids hitting other kids is wrong. It hurts the other child, physically and emotionally, and that’s not right. Going green ensures we have a lifestyle that doesn’t hit each other. That’s the grossest way I can think to describe why this is important. So, going green is the safest, kindest way, we can ensure we don’t hurt each other and future generations.

What does this mean? We know that all sorts of chemicals in our daily use increase the risk of cancer. We know that our industry, our car driving, our polluting the air causes breathing difficulties. We know that industry and agriculture that runs off into our waters causes our drinking water to be contaminated to the point it is not healthy to drink, that is, we get sick. We know that contamination sometimes contains lead which stunts the growth and brain development of children. Sometimes that contamination contains chemicals that cause cancer or other illnesses.

We know that cancer is expensive to treat, sometimes fast progressing, a disease that cripples the people who have it and the families that support the people with it. We know that making people sick prevents them from living their best selves.
I believe that we are given certain things in our lives that help makes us stronger. I believe we all have lessons to learn. I also believe that once we learn those lessons, we have a responsibility to (attempt) to teach others (peers or future generations) our lessons so they can make new, different, and more interesting mistakes.

Causing cancer, or illness, in others is a mistake and we know how to solve it – at least part of it. When, as a society, we do things – use chemicals in our home that runoff in the water, make the air hard to breathe, deplete living things in the water, and ruin our soil – we are making a mistake. We are making a mistake that kills people and makes their lives hard to live. We are the child hitting the other child to the point the other child is in tears and can no longer have fun playing a game.

This game, this game is the game of life, and I believe we all deserve to be able to show up as our best selves with our best feet forward to play our best. When, as a society, we intentionally make choices that cripple other people’s choices, we are ruining their chances of playing the game. We are hitting those people, just as the child who hits another.

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the American Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Our social contract says it’s not okay to hit other people. Clearly, when you hit me, you are infringing upon my right to life and my right to the pursuit of happiness. To clarify that boundary, it has been said by many that, “Your rights end where my nose begins.” In 1882, John B. Finch orated on this matter when discussing prohibition, that is we have the right to eat and drink what we please until that drinking causes us to hit another.

There are so many things in our world that permeate our beings, things that go beneath the surface of our physical bodies, beyond a fist to the nose. As such, we need to expand our understanding of our social contract to include breathing clean air, drinking clean water, and growing clean food in the clean soil. While it is not another person directly hitting us, when these things enter our bodies – beyond our noses – they cause damage. For example, an industry making a thing and polluting our environment causes us to get sick, their right to commerce conflicts with my right to life. That can be reduced to barbarism. You do not have a right to step into my right to life.

That’s why I promote a green life – because it is our right to life, our right to our pursuit of happiness.

Resources