Valentine’s Day is here and that probably means one of two things. Either you are excited for a fun romantic date out with your loved one or you’re preparing for Galentine’s. (My “Galentine’s” will be co-leading a book discussion on Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness.) Did you read my newsletter this month? Well, I talked a lot about self-care, so another thing you can do for Valentine’s is to simply love yourself. When I get home from the book discussion, after I put the kiddo in bed, after I get ready for tomorrow, I fully plan on turning on a favorite show and a favorite diffuser blend while I pamper myself. This is one of my favorite things to do. Here are more ways for you to explore “Pamper Days”:
Epsom Salt Bath: This will help detox and destress you from your everyday life plus it will help soothe your muscles. I gave my feet an Epsom salt bath last week after the kiddo’s birthday party.
Sugar Lip Scrub: Growing up, I had the most terrible chapped lips that were always peeling so this is something I like to do on a routine basis to help my lips stay smooth and soft.
Clay Facial Mask: This is made with Bentonite clay which has a ton of nourishing properties for your skin to get you back to glowing.
Strawberry-Lime Sugar Scrub: This is one that will make your skin as soft as a baby’s bottom. It also helps your skin feel bright and fresh.
Bergamot Foot Mask: Feet should not be out of mind just because they might be out of sight. Don’t forget to show them a little love too.
Let’s talk about research for a hot minute. It took me 12 years to get my bachelor’s degree. I ended my time, transferred to Portland State University, submerged in 400 level courses where we looked at primary sources for – well – everything. Something in my view changed, and I cared less about secondary sources, and now, whenever I read something, I’m scrounging for their primary sources where they formulated their opinions.
This thinking, now ingrained in my soul, was shaken to its core while helping my fifth grader with his homework the other week. He was working on a research project. (The fifth grade got a sink or swim project in research, you know, thrown in the deep end, then given a life raft.) We worked on this over a course of several weeks, doing research first, then weeks later putting it together in his presentation. My darling fifth grader, when I probed him for his sources, said, “I don’t know, I guess I just knew it. I don’t know how it got in my head.”
It’s moments like these that test my patience and help me grow as a person. I’m sure my deep sigh, intake of breath, is an alert that momma is not pleased. I tried so hard to say in the nicest way possible that he got the information from somewhere, though I am sure irritation and a little disgust eked through. He is surviving, and I think it’s okay to show our distasteful emotions so children know adults have them too. Showing these emotions also alerts both of us a boundary has been breached! After we worked through it, he remembered all the sources, and we were able to properly document his project.
That said, if you’re following me on Facebook, you may be wondering – where the heck is your sourcing Michelle? You say all these things, what did you just miraculously materialize the info? Short answer – no. Yet, I don’t make space to source my posts within the posts. So, I’m going to give you my annotated bibliography here.
The Sources I Use
I have curated this collection of sources for the last three to four years. Some of these are secondary, yet still useful. I am always on the hunt for primary sources to better describe how the chemistry works with our human bodies. Here is my list of current essential oil education research.
Emotions & Essential Oils: a Reference Guide for Emotional Healing, 6th Edition (Enlighten Healing, LLC, 2017)
Though I got into the oils because of how they can positively support my health, I turn to the emotional aspect even more. This concise book works through all the single oils and blends I use describing their emotional aspects with a short story, a summary of positive and negative effects, and handy tables and indexes to guide my research.
Essentials of the Earth, 7th Edition (EoEBooks, 2017)
This small, spiral bound book works like an encyclopedia of oils and issues. Everything is in alphabetical order, it’s concise, and gives a range of oils to use for any issue. This also has a corresponding app for your phone.
Fritz, Stephanie, Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies, 2nd Edition (Gently Born Productions, 2015)
In my oil community, this gem is the go-to resource for anything pregnancy related. Stephanie goes through the oils, how they can support all phases of pregnancy and postpartum. If you know someone expecting, definitely check out this book.
Gillerman, Hope, Essential Oils Every Day: Rituals and Remedies for Healing, Happiness, and Beauty (HarperCollins, 2016)
Essential Oils Every Day is new to me, acquired from my local bookstore (Powell’s). I am enjoying learning through this very different resource than I have previously acquired. She goes through different oils offering various blends and use ideas with some wisdom along the way on how to generally use essential oils.
Lawless, Julie, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism (Element Books, 1995)
I purchased this book at my local bookstore (Powell’s) while acquiring a few others. I chose to get this older version, Julia had a newer version, because I wanted to show that the way we talk about essential oils has a few decades of history under its belt. This book, this encyclopedia has beautiful drawings and images of the oils and their respective plants. She offers good summaries of a variety of oils and interesting ways to use them.
Mangandog, Desiree, LAc, MSTOM, I Am Fabulous: Blends for Emotional Well-Being (Bear Nature, LLC / DNA Essentials Inc., 2017)
Are you stuck? Feeling down? Hoping to get more magic in your life? Desiree, a student of Chinese medicine for over 13 years, has compiled this book of blends to address a myriad of emotions we experience daily. Check out her protocols and blends. For more information, see all her offerings at www.desireemangandog.com.
Modern Essentials: a Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition (AromaTools, 2015)
This was my first essential oil book purchase. I was drawn to its amazing summary of oil history, how they are produced and tested, and its beautiful index of issues, wonderfully cross-referenced. In between, the publishers go through all the oils I use starting with singles and then blends. This is by far my favorite book as an all-in-one reference for the oils I use daily, some background on their chemical makeup, and some amazing insights on how the oils can support my physical and emotional health.
Schnaubelt, Kurt, PhD, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy (Healing Arts Press, 2011)
This was my first purchase outside my oil community. This book does a great job of explaining why I’m okay with using oils internally, topically (and neat sometimes), and aromatically. Dr. Schnaubelt breaks up his book in sections where he discusses understanding the language of plants, exploring authentic essential oils, and healing with essential oils. The latter portion is great if you’re looking for general protocols and guidance.
The Essential Life: A Simple Guide to Living the Wellness Lifestyle, 2nd Edition (Total Wellness Publishing, 2015)
Total Wellness Publishing launched their first edition in 2014 or early 2015. I gave that copy away! This is an amazing compliment to the Modern Essentials book and offers more for those more motivated by beautiful pictures. This book breaks down oil use by body system and offers a lot of uses for around the house. It is an amazing resource and one of my go-tos as I conduct this “a year of oils” campaign.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (New World Library, 2016)
I picked up this resource to engage more third-party ideas of how to use oils. I wanted another voice to explain different ways of diluting, different use, and get a sense of oils not in my collection. I have not been disappointed. Valerie does an incredible comprehensive job of detailing all the many ways we can use essential oils and offering many blends and protocols for anything you could think of.
Monday night initiated the 2018 Empowered Life series. This event, unlike the others, was a paid event. We were blessed to hear the insights and knowledge of Desiree Mangandog. This was the first time I saw her live, though I finally acquired her book during the 2017 Convention.
Desiree has quite the loving, inspired reputation among my essential oil community. She is known to assess the energy of a room, immediately. As such, I loved how she started this “Healers Workshop” with diving right into our auric field.
Desiree walked us through various ways to shore up our boundaries, in a healthful, managed way, while being open to creating our own loving tribe just for us. All the while sprinkling in her wisdom gleaned from years of study.
She walked us through managing our auric field to learning about the energy hooks we receive and leave on those we encounter. We did a beautiful exercise of removing those energy hooks, repairing the cracks, and reinforcing our boundaries. We left with a three-week protocol to establish our boundary so we can share our gifts and love with the world. I applied this blend of petitgrain and melaleuca multiple times Tuesday.
In teaching us how to clear things – she went through the thinking that we need to 1) clear out the bad, 2) be open to the good, and 3) harmonize. The last piece, she repeated, often, was essential to support good rhythmic flow.
Desiree walked us through how the ego affects us. I loved that we spent a little bit of time here discussing symptoms to look for when the ego is bruised, such as: worrying about our bodies, time, or what’s going on around us (environment). She encouraged us to be mission-centered, believing in and staying connected with the divine (infinite love, wisdom, gifts). Previously when she presented here, she stopped addressing source as God because she sensed the attendees weren’t open to it. Monday, she simply said, “I don’t work that way, and I don’t understand that thinking.” I was endeared how she called the elephant out with her beliefs and how they might conflict with those in the room.
We also spent time removing limitations, though she cautioned we may have a tough time on Tuesday. I did do this protocol during the event, so was sure to apply helichrysum multiple times to offset any challenges. While discussing limitations, she brought up a common oil use of wild orange. We oilers often cling to its emotional properties, the oil of abundance. She cautioned us though – if we are submerged in limitations when we use wild orange, we may be inviting an abundance of limitations. So, clear your limitations first, then use your wild orange for abundance.
So many blends, and so many protocols for getting in touch with the divine, clearing residual energies, listening to our hearts, and more. This workshop was well worth the $30 (ish) price tag. (The event time/location is usually free). We walked away with so much information. After I finish checking over this post, I’ll be making my own labels to get my stash of rollers ready for when I need them.
In anything, especially network marketing, when you are a part of a thing, you are often a part of a larger thing. The larger essential oil community I belong to hosts monthly events in downtown Portland. On the third Monday of the month, we have free education to help us all learn more about essential oils. The 2018 topics and dates are set, and I am so excited. These events get better and better every year! Let’s live this empowered life, together!
I Am Empowered: A Healer’s Workshop
Desiree Manandog, MS
Natural Solutions for Empowered, Healthy Living
Aisha Harley & Josie Schmidt, ND
Taming the Tiger: The Trinity of Frankincense, Copaiba, Siberian Fir
Josie Schmidt, ND; Will Wan, MSOM, LAc; Micaela Coria-Carew, ND, LAc
Home Detox: Simple, Healthy Home & Personal Care Solutions
Stephanie king, BS, Exercise Science, Personal Trainer
Microbiome & Gut Health
Rachel Hess, LMT, ND
Cancer: Integrative Care for the Body, Mind & Soul
JoDee M Anderson, MD, MEd; Elizabeth McElligott, ND
Addiction & Recovery
Oils for Healing Trauma: From Stress to PTSD
Louise Rose, ND
Unlocking the Mighty Mitochondria: Enhancing Brain Health & Function
Jennifer Tufenkian, ND
Did you know that dōTERRA has built a new interface for buying the oils we love? Though it’s pretty easy to log in, change can bring a tinge of confusion. So, I thought I’d do a quick rundown in case the confusion rests with you.
If you find yourself with this email:
Then, congratulations! You are on the new system. Your login has been simplified, though I appreciate it might take some getting used to.
First, bookmark www.doterra.com. Second, when you want to order your next favorite oil, all you do is go to dōTERA’s main website and click on the word “login” in the upper right-hand corner. Enter your Member ID and password. If you need help with either of these, and you’re on my team, contact me. Or, you can always call ((800) 411-8151) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) dōTERRA Customer Service.
Next, you see the shop screen. You can edit your existing Loyalty Reward Purchases (LRP, our monthly auto-ship so you never miss your vitamins!).
Yes! I have three LRP orders right now. No, I don’t order all these things every month. Each “cart” serves as a placeholder for things I want (like an inventory check) or my monthly order. I touch these once or twice a month to make sure things are as they should be, but mostly I let them go until I am ready to buy my oils.
Just click “edit” on the order you want to change. The “quick add” box is below your existing items in your cart, now. The process buttons are on the right. Hopefully, you will enjoy the larger, cleaner interface.
I like to keep tabs of the points I have. If you do too, you’ll find that in “account profile”. You will notice that where the “login” link was, it has been replaced with your name and a down arrow. “Account profile” is one of the options to select, when you click on the down arrow.
That’s all there is to know about using the new system. Please contact me if you have any questions!
Do you read my essential oil newsletter? In it, I talk a lot about removing toxins. I talk about removing toxins from our bodies, from our homes, and even suggest removing them from our minds (toxic energy). But, why? Let me take you on a journey, starting with lunch with a friend, recently.
We were talking about our respective businesses in health, and she started to ask me about how to make laundry less toxic, and what essential oils can be used. I had to pause and take a step back. The oils are awesome, helpful, and can do so many things, certainly, but we must step backward first.
What kind of clothing are you wearing? Synthetics? Natural fibers? Both?
What kind of detergent are you using? Dye-filled, additive-filled, or natural?
Are you using dryer sheets? Did you know they have carcinogenic effects? Have you tried wool dryer balls instead?
Have you considered washing natural fibers separate from synthetics, keeping like materials together?
After those things are remedied, then the use of essential oils is a great compliment. Sure, you can use the oils beforehand, but their effect will be greater once the toxic-daily-routine is minimized.
Now, let’s take a look at how my awareness was raised. I was in my early twenties, living at home with my sister and my parents. We were all working adults. And, one of my favorite things to do with my sister was spending our limited disposable income at fun stores at the mall. We’d then, after collecting our purchases, race home, as much as we were willing to speed. No one wanted a ticket! One of our favorite things to do was get peachy-smelling lotions from a favorite store in the mall. A store, that in their title, was named after being natural.
Once home, I’d bathe as I normally do, and, then, I would luxuriate in this sweet smelling lotion. Soon, I noticed that I had a rash over my entire body! Little red bumps that were so populous, my whole body looked red. The last time this happened was when I prayed to God to be allergic to the nasty penicillin I had to have, when 5 years old. I powered through though. I wanted that sweet smelling lotion on my body. I noticed that after a day or two of doing the same thing, the rash lessened. But, triggers were going off in my brain – this can’t be right! Shortly, I abandoned the sweet smelling lotion because I did not like giving myself a rash to smell good.
A few years later, I was diagnosed with eczema. The doctor wanted to make sure my career wasn’t beholden to daily chemical use, like a photographer who develops film, because that would put my skin in a constant state of stress. That was my introduction to sensitization. Once you have eczema, an autoimmune disorder that creates flaky, irritated skin, you don’t go back. You don’t undo eczema. You only manage the symptoms.
So, how do you manage the symptoms? You remove toxins from your daily life. For me, it began with body soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap. Getting as pure as possible meant abandoning the brands that were on the shelf, and only if desperate buying the “free and clear” varieties. Getting as pure as possible sometimes meant making my own things. Though, now, I prefer to pay someone to make soap. (Check out my friend Kristina’s soap! It’s only the basics.)
What I was (and still am) experiencing is a term called chemical sensitization. Chemical sensitization means the more exposed to a chemical you are, the more sensitive (or reactive) your body can be to it. I saw the same thing when my slow-to-potty-train son broke out in the same kind of rash after a night of soaked pull-ups. This led to an UNKNOWN diagnosis for his allergies, because he didn’t check positive for eczema. And, for some reason, we cannot do all the tests for all the chemicals. (We have been exposed to more than 80,000 chemicals and counting, and we do not understand the ramifications of all these things.)
We are living a life of toxicity. So many inputs, every single day, and we don’t know how they all interact. It was all these thoughts and more that surfaced when my friend asked how she should deal with her laundry. If you need a first step, pick a natural laundry soap. My favorite oil company makes one. My second favorite is by Biokleen.
What is one thing you can do today to remove toxins from your home?
It is Monday, September 11. This is the 16-year “anniversary” of a terrorist attack on the United States when the World Trade Center came crumbling down after planes strategically smashed into it.
Today is also my first day back from an epic summer vacation and an amazing convention at dōTERRA. Upon leaving, careless teenagers threw fireworks into a canyon on a beloved hiking trail, which ignited over 34,000 acres. The speed at which the flames spread was alarming, sad, and scary. I could sit in the comfort of my Portland home and only be affected by the smoke, which made it very difficult to breathe. I was not affected by an evacuation order, but I wondered if it would come close. Just days before my husband and I discussed renewing our hiking along some of those very same trails. And, with a heavy heart, I reminded myself that everything happens in its perfect timing, no matter how sad.
I took that thinking with me to the convention last week, and it did not disappoint. Some funny, silly, frustrating, amazing things happened, and through it all, I reminded myself that everything happens in its perfect timing.
Space was combined because the Utah Jazz had an amazing season. So, the planned construction of Salt Lake City’s arena was delayed. That meant more lines, more waiting, and more patience required. The day we registered, I was hoping for quick lines, as was my previous experience. It took an hour to register, and I panicked that I would miss my scheduled and paid for tour. I did not miss my tour. An employee kindly guided my momentarily panicked being to where I needed to go and ensured I got to see what I got to see. I spoke my mind to someone who I deemed entitled (reminding people of boundaries). I gave suggestions for a smoother flow. I met a new friend, who I saw briefly every day afterward. I smelled the most amazing warehouse.
The next day, we missed hearing Rachel Platten sing Fight Song, but we spent time together, and we were reminded of how other people live very different lives than us. In a moment of desiring to stock our room with cheap wine, we were reminded, perfectly, of the need to ask, sometimes, “Are you safe?” (See dōTERRA’s partnership with Operation Underground Railroad.)
We, as a team, got to know each other a little better, we opened our hearts a little more, we learned a whole lot, and we reconnected with our purpose, just a little bit deeper. Together, we watched others be vulnerable, and we touched our truths one more time.
Are you thinking, seriously, all this at an essential oil convention? YES! All this at an essential oil convention. Stay tuned for more updates. Make sure you’re on my mailing list to receive a breakdown of the 9 new oils.
Much love to you my dear friends. Remember, everything happens in its perfect time.
I wanted Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president. I admired her grace and stamina since she was the First Lady of the United States. I never really understood why she was vilified so much in the press. I never understood the severity of the scandals like Whitewater. When it came to her husband’s more solicitous affairs, I chalked that up to what most politicians do, he’s just being vilified for it.
I find it interesting, now that Hillary served as FLOTUS, to being elected two terms as a senator in New York, and then serving another five as Secretary of State, that Politifact and other sources mark her as one of the most honest politicians. A few theories explain that this idea of her being a “liar” is basically the same lie being repeated so often that it felt like truth. 
So, we have a woman, unfairly caught up in scandals, made loud by the media, and trumped up as truth because the lie is repeated over and over. It’s hard not to see that as misogyny. And, when men tell you that it’s your imagination, it’s hard not to see that as more misogyny and “mansplaining.”
I feel pain for this. I am so sad that the greatest glass ceiling I know of is still unbroken. I am confused that 53% of white women voted for the candidate who was known for misogynistic comments throughout his celebrated career. I am heartbroken that this vilification continues. I am devastated that we can’t seem to come together to find a solution that works for all of us.
So, this is when I turn to my essential oils. Right now, I want forgiveness and peace. I firmly believe that President-Elect Trump deserves a fair shot. I believe in our constitutional democracy, and that we need to trust in the process, no matter how flawed and unfair it seems. I believe that we owe him respect as our future president. I believe we owe ourselves acknowledgement that he is smart and clever for having won this tough seat. I also believe that we must stand taller, prouder, and louder in the face of oppressions and interrupt them. We can do it with peace. But, we must do it.
We must interrupt women hating comments with a loud, “Ouch! Would you say that to your mother?”
We must stand up for our neighbors when they are being bullied.
We can find courage in our secret groups, but our courage needs to be outed and loud.
We need to talk about our beliefs.
We need to ask questions to others about THEIR beliefs. If we really want to affect change, we must first seek to understand, and then be understood. I have oils for that too. Start with Lavender, the Oil of Communication. You might be surprised at its calming effects while you find words you need to say.
We need to understand that we have far more in common than things that divide us. And, we need to find conversations around those commonalities. Then, we can pick apart proposed solutions until we find one that fits.
I envision a future where clean air and clean water are no longer fought for because we all agree they are inalienable rights to every single human on this planet.
I envision a future where we have robust gardens of nourishment in every food shed, so local places can support themselves.
I envision a future where we stop digging in our sacred ground and we turn to energies that move and shine all around us.
I envision a future where we bring up leaders who love learning and who are excited about affecting positive change for their own futures.
I envision a future where our basic needs are met so well that we can all work on our dreams and goals with fewer hurdles, barriers, and upper limits getting in the way. (I have an oil for that too… start with Wild Orange, the Oil of Abundance.)
I envision that we all honor the divine in you and the divine in me. That we all recognize life is precious and must be taken seriously, with light hearted fun to pepper things along the way. We all deserve to be here. We are all Children of God. We all have purpose, and we can do this together. We can do this with love.
I was “supposed” to be at convention. I was not there. I was home. My sister-in-law was there, and I was supposed to go and be there with her. And, I did not go.
The amount of guilt and concern that I was letting people down, no matter which party I chose, made me cry for three days.
I pieced together the trip, purchasing items as funds allowed. But, the last bit didn’t come through, and I chose not to discuss the full finances with my husband. Because of that choice, he didn’t know what significant amount I had already invested in my business trip. And, I chose not to go. And there was lots of sadness around.
Finally, after a few days, the husband told me he was sad I wasn’t going. I was shocked, as this was not an expected outcome. This was a breakthrough in our communication, where we opened up on some of these desires. We discussed the true cost. And, we set aside a plan for next year, that is budgeting the money as it comes in to forecast for the future.
This was and is an emotional time, for me, for many. And, with all the sadness and guilt over the choices I made, I am ultimately choosing joy for this decision. I am choosing joy for a lot of reasons. Mostly because, though the other emotions are informative and help me take responsibility, guilt doesn’t allow me to see and express love. Guilt gives me comfort in wallowing. Guilt pigeonholes me in a place where I regret and tell the same awful story over and over.
So, I would rather choose joy. I would rather recognize where I could have made different choices, and work really hard to communicate my needs and desires. And, I will work on asking for help.
Help was offered on loan. And part of choosing into joy in deciding not to go was to choose into getting ourselves out of debt. The company is a debt free company, and my husband and I desperately want to live debt-free lives. We want to pay for any future cars and houses in cash. We want my school loans paid off. And, we want any borrowed money from family repaid in full with extra for the burden carried.
Walking into convention with more debt did not feel like a joyful decision. And, that reason plus so many more, I sat at home as my plane took off with a group of women I longed to get to know better. I cried for three days until my husband and I had a breakthrough in communication. And, I worked on breathing into joy. I worked on breathing into love.