How My Business Started at A Festival On A Summer Day

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I am sitting here in the sun of my bedroom window, listening to the melody  of the birds and taking in the cool, cleansing air of the morning.

I have a lot to do today. I will be going downstairs to my lab to blend oils for an order that was placed by a local store that I would like to ship today. I will also be creating and organizing all of the products I will be taking to my first festival of the season!

When I received my certification in Aromatherapy three years ago, my daughter suggested that we launch out in business by offering my knowledge at one of my favorite Herb Festivals. I blended a bunch of products that I felt were successful through the case studies that I was responsible to conduct while in school, and she went to work on branding my business! I was hoping I would sell something, and was hoping I could engage someone with my interest and passion in holistic health, I was not prepared for what followed!

To date, The Herb Festival in Cook Forest, PA, is one of my most successful festivals! That first festival three years ago showed me that I had something people were interested in investing in, but there is a whole other perspective. I was not just an Aromatherapist, or business owner, I became a fellow vendor! It is an exciting and, at times, exhilarating position. I could not have considered what amazing networking would take place and the friendships that would blossom through this experience. This experience has been a whole new facet and extension of what makes Julia, Julia!

…And the Attendees! I have met so many people, heard so many stories, and connected in ways that have built a caring customer base and vehicle to teach the chemistry of Aromatherapy. I would not be able to sell things that I didn’t believe in, just for the sake of selling. I care about people and I want to help them in ways that I can, and that is the heart behind Honest Aromas.

This particular venue is my favorite. I love the woods, I get grounded in the forest, there is a part of me that awakens and becomes alive! I love the smell of moss and earth, the fragrance of silty creeks and rivers, and the utter calm walking under hemlocks.  And many of the people who attend the festivals that I participate in are just my kind of people! They are, by and large, interested in health, natural entrepreneurs and creative souls…my tribe!

So, this morning I have an anxious excitement! I have a lot to prepare for and a transition to make from school mode into festival mode. This season has less accountability and more flexibility, but I need to kick up my self government to get necessary things done! I thank you all for your support and patronage, thank you for contributing to my personal and business growth, and  I look forward to seeing and meeting you this summer at the Honest Aromas tent!

From Numbness to Feeling: My Return to the Church

Written by my daughter, Hannah, I am in awe and inspired by this<3

Hannah Kennedy

The room was filled with people. And the room was huge, so it was a lot of people. Hundreds of us were crammed in the black box room that had a stage and big screens in one corner. Lights in various colors flared. Upbeat music played. The crowd of people became a sea of heads and arms under the clouds of light and music.

It was my first time visiting this church. My best friend invited my husband and I along. He and I had been on an unfortunate streak of non-attendance, not because we didn’t think church was something we should do, and not because we had given up our faith or anything. The reason was simple: we hadn’t found a good church near school. The reason was also complicated: my heart was numb and suspicious.

Around the time Alex and I got married, the church I had grown…

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Add No Sorrow To it

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The Blessing of The Lord Makes One Rich and Adds No Sorrow To It…The Holy Spirit spoke that to me one morning upon waking. It was very quiet but definitely The Spirit leading me into all truth. I knew what He was speaking to me about. My flesh was tempting me in a completely different direction that day. I kept repeating what the Spirit was saying hoping that, that in itself, would keep me from making opposite choices. I even looked it up in the Bible (Proverbs 10:22) because, although I knew it was in Proverbs some where, I wasn’t sure which verse.  If only I had headed that still, small voice, but I eventually did not and it cost me enormous emotional pain unlike any thing I have yet experienced. Such Sorrow! Such grief! Months of mental anguish and a lesson learned in such an excruciating pain.

I was reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson this morning and it reminded me of this very verse. “Sin will complicate your life in negative ways. The blessing of God will complicate your life in positive ways.” “Blessings will complicate your life in ways God wants it complicated.”  So even though it Is truth that No Sorrow will be added to your life…it doesn’t mean it will not be complicated in all ways that bless!!

We have a very complex and complicated marriage!! But The Blessing of The Lord is upon it, and He most definitely is using these situations to expose the deep things He wants to teach us through it. When we try to make a left turn, or  make our own plan to get out of or around that “Blessed Complication”, we add so much brokenness and sorrow. I know, I have been there.

Do you ever read my blogs and think; she rarely shares on Aromatherapy?!! Well, although I am an Aromatherapist, I am holistic in the way I think. Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual all work together and we need to consider them all if we want to be healthy! I want to encourage you in the deep things of life! I want to remind you not to add sorrow to your blessed complexities!! And I want to keep encouraging you to move forward wherever you are in the process<3

 

Vulnerability

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I got to pray with some one this weekend. I spoke at a church and sang some songs I have written about my journey of forgiveness. Learning to forgive my self, others, and even God. This woman desperately wanted to forgive a particular person who has caused much pain in her life. I told her God can not bring the fruits of forgiveness until we forgive, even if we do not feel like it.

I have experienced forgiveness only works when you are vulnerable. Vulnerability can be painful. It is easier to be closed off and hard, but the rewards are only no pain (and I don’t really believe there is no pain in that.) But when we are soft and vulnerable, forgiveness and new life can flow, like healthy cells into a wound. Vulnerability in Forgiveness brings healing<3 Have a great weekend.

It’s A Bloody Battle

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I go to the gym three times a week and work out like a fiend to get all the happy hormones I can get in a morning! I listen to my playlist through my headphones, but there are TV monitors in the gym that I can not escape the view of. I have purposely quit watching and listening to news over the last few years to de clutter my mind and allow space for more peace in my life.

I blogged last week about the devastation in Las Vegas and the last few day, news has been about all of the perversion in Hollywood (not surprising there;-( Devastation seems to be on every side. Hurricanes, fires, scandal, the demise of families; this is a hurting world. I have been harmed by people in my life and I have also caused harm because of my selfishness.  I understand pain very acutely and I understand stumbling and making a mess of my life. From here forward, I want to be a healer and a light to others who are in darker places.

I wrote a song last year as part of a healing process that I want to share. I had this deep pain and I had to get it out. God gave me the ability to write this song and music and it was pivotal in facing the trauma and bringing healing. A friend of mine used the term “bloody battle” to describe her journey and I resonated with that. My heart is that I can comfort someone else by the understanding I have received  and the vulnerability to give it away. I believe there is only one face you can look into, one Name that has power to overcome the world, and one voice that you can listen to, to apprehend this healing. His Name is Jesus. You can click here to hear the song on YouTube. Many Blessings and Peace to you<3

Coincidence….

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Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying; Coincidence is God’s way of doing something and still remaining anonymous! I agree with that! When we visited a forest a few weeks ago, it was apparent there had been a significant storm in the park with an amazing amount of trees that had fallen over forest stairways and paths. I was pondering the timing of our trip, comparing  the trees that had fallen over all of the paths against those that had been sawed away for us to get through,maybe even just days before. I said; “it is not coincidence that this storm happened when it did and we chose the weekend that we did. If we had come any earlier, the devastated paths would have made it impossible to navigate.”

I felt a similar thing happened yesterday at a festival I worked, at attending my Honest Aromas booth. God had orchestrated certain people to be there at certain times in my day and I would even say He had prepared me a head of time through a dream the night before and a cell message on my phone from a friend sharing a spiritual insight. It didn’t feel like an orchestration while I was navigating it, it felt like freakish coincidence in the way we all normally define that word. But as I processed the entirety of the scenario through the evening, there was no doubt that HE is at work and that this was another step on the journey I have been on toward Him and His purposes in my life and in the lives of others.

It is easy to react. It takes patience and self-control to say; “God what are you up to? What are you doing in this situation?” But that is exactly what He gives us self-control and patience for!! I am learning (slowly, very slowly!) how not to be over emotional in my emotions! Yes, I have a lot of emotions and I have always been a very caring person, but I do not need to be ruled by my emotions. I can choose how to respond and that is truly all we have power to do. So this set of circumstances gives me and opportunity to feel a broad range of emotions and ask God what He is up to, and sit and rest in His Doing something in the situation! He is up to something in your life as well and it is no coincidence;-) Tell us what’s going on in your life, we want to hear from you today!

 

The Power of Your Thoughts

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Happy Monday….or is it?!! It doesn’t really matter how we feel per say about the day, what matters is what you tell your grey matter to think! We have a lot to do with the out come of our attitude and it is not based on our circumstances.

Dr. Carolyn Leaf, A neuroscientist, has spent a life time studying the brain’s ability to grow and renew itself based on the thoughts we allow ourselves to think and the things we say! I have read a few of her books and watched her You Tube videos (with my autistic son), and she has a lot of compelling data.

Here are a few of her quotes;

  • “You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. …
  • “Frame your world with your words.” …
  • “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

According to her research, your brain will actually grow flourishing “trees”, new neurons/brain cells, or diseased “trees”, abnormal brain tissue, much depending on what we speak and the thoughts we allow ourselves to think! Many years ago, it was taught that you were born with a certain amount of neurons and that it was impossible to grow new ones and this research shows, that just simply isn’t true.

So, this morning, I woke up kind of grumpy! I made a choice when I went to the gym (which is great for adding Happy Hormones!), to reject my stinking thinking and be thankful! I even watched a You Tube video on thankfulness by Malcom Smith. Of course Jesus said; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That is a scripture that has motivated me the last few years and that is truth! And Romans 1:21 says; “Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Emphasis added.) I do not want to be dark, or futile in my thoughts, or be conformed to this world! I want to shine exactly how I was created to, with positive life energy beaming out of my eyeballs and out through the words I speak to myself and others! I struggle…I think you may too. Lets choose life changing words and be a positive reflection to all we meet today, especially those who are closest to us<3

You can learn more about Dr. Leaf’s research by  clicking on this link. Mind, Body Connection.