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.
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.
Balance, Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Melissa
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.
I love staying up late. Everyone is in bed. My obligations for the day are complete. I am listening to a playlist where nearly every song I can sing to, sway to, groove to. This is my time of the night. I live for this time of the night.
And, this time of night gets in the way of my desires of waking up at 6 am, and “getting a good start to the day.” I look longingly at my neglected journal, where I love penning my thoughts with my TWSBI ECO Fountain Pen, inked in Noodler’s turquoise. But, the time to write is before the kiddo gets up, with a cup of coffee. And, when I stay up late, where I also thrive, I do not have the capacity to get up at 6 am.
Alas, I sit here at 1:02 am, keying these thoughts into my blog in my newly updated website. This was actually a struggle! I refuse to pay a monthly fee when I can get the same function for free. The challenge I am facing is which theme works with which plugin, without error. And today, I struggled to find it.
I think I have something that will work. I have ditched the landing page (I hated this interruption before getting to my site. And, besides, isn’t that what this static front page is for anyway?) In this theme, you can have “sliders”… it’s been so long since I used these header sliders! So, I chose to create custom images that linked to the thing I wanted to “advertise. The sidebar seems to to be working, on all the page, so that will remain with a permanent newsletter sign up.
I am thankful for Canva and its ability to keep my branding consistent, so creating images is quick and succinct … and on brand.
I invite you, now, in these wee hours of the evening, take a look. What do you think? I pay for hosting with my site, and not much more. So, what you get is the time I spent researching, dabbling, and trying things until I think they work.
And, my hope – that I can squeeze in a few hours of sleep AND rise at 6 am. Let’s get these journal pages written!
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.
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.
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.
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.
ClaryCalm – because I need all the hormone support I can get
Thyroid Support (Lemongrass and Myrrh) – gotta keep it in homeostasis
Rose – we all need more love
Frankincense – the oil of truth is great for grounding, skin, everything
Correct X – because sometimes you need a band-aid too
Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint (mixed in a 1oz spray bottle, and backups to refill as needed) – damned pollen count in varied places
Melaleuca – skin support! skin support!
DigestZen – tummy support!
Forgive – we don’t always travel on our best behavior
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.
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 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.
[March 28, 2012, I wrote… ] To take care of those we care about. That’s what we want. I know this to my core. Yet, growing up (my twenties and younger), it’s as if no one I knew talked about this. All I heard was Left v. Right. Conservative v. Progressive. Democrat v. Republican. No one, except college professors, talked about how the terms can be interchangeable and that there are no longer hard and fast definitions. We went to school. We went to work. We did our homework, our jobs, we played our sports, and we talked about who we had a crush on our silly jokes. A few friends and I were concerned with the environment and curious about government, but although we might have learned the rote mechanics — we didn’t talk about what we believed. We didn’t talk about our core values.
[Today] Six years later, I have defined and redefined my values with the help of a local business consultant, Michelle Gay. When I wrote this post, I was noticing that our labels don’t work and our society is shifting, sometimes uncomfortably. Something I have noticed for a long time now is that we need to come together and retell our stories. We need to rehash what is important to us, and what we hope for. Assessing our values, together, is one way of doing that.
Michelle argues that before you bring your values to your business or to a group, you should get in touch with who you are first. She has started opening up her values exercise to the masses, with the first such workshop held at the beginning of June. I have now taken a look at my values three times with Michelle. Watching her evolution of teaching this workshop is remarkable. It started as a sit-down, reflect activity – which I found very beneficial. Michelle likes kinetic moving, though, and she had to move it up to the wall, so she did. In a few hours, with guided steps, participants dig deep in their values, writing, pasting, and tearing down. Then, we defined what those words meant. I often write “love” or “heart-centered”, and each time I carve away at the definition a little more – so even my own two definitions aren’t alike!
Michelle argues we must define these words we use so we can have a better chance at understanding where people come from. The exercise does not stop at defining the terms, however. Next, she pushes us to consider how we lead with these values, writing down three different ways for each defined value. We finish with a power statement. (See one of my power poses above.)
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,
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.
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.
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.