Should we keep murdering, polarizing, hurting, hating, and tearing each other down? We are destroying ourselves and each other instead of valuing each life as a gift.
Giving in to the darkness of hate-of anyone- no matter what our political, social, ethnic or religious background is, is the recipe for demise. We do not have to fear a foreign enemy or a virus. We are doing an excellent job of destroying our own selves. The problem starts in the unseen heart of each of us.
So, where do we go from here?
“Having resentment in your soul is like drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die”- Nelson Mandela
So, where do we go from here?
“The fastest way to change you is to change me.” -Tony Robbins
So, where do we go from here?
“Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love.- The apostle, Paul.
Change….it’s hard. There is so much to it. Overriding uncertainty and fear, being courageous, taking a step, acceptance that you may not be where you want to be, but how are you going to get there if you never begin?
I bought myself a curriculum suggetsted by my therapist called, The Artist’s Way. It is written by Julia Cameron, a screen writer, and it is somewhat of a hands-on classic for blocked artists. Cameron suggests writing three large amounts of “pages” everyday to get un stuck. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a musician a painter, a dancer, what ever your art form, the writing is a necessary means to a desired end.
The curriculum was suggested because I needed time to, drain my brain, as my therapist said, but it has been so encouraging to me as I have stepped out in many areas of creativity lately- I highly recommend it to anyone who is afraid to develop those deep desired aspirations.
This is what Cameron says to affirm those afraid to take themselves seriously in any realm of creativity.
“In order to move a way from the realm of the shadows into light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.”
This statement is so true of me! On one hand, I take myself way too seriously, on the other, I haven’t taken my desires, gifts and talents serious enough. On one hand, I have spent literal hours and years, alone, practicing, writing, singing, playing, taking lessons to improve, on the other hand, I have so easily hidden in my fear and have not wanted to step onto center stage using the excuse, “someone is always better than I am.”
A lot has changed in my life over the last four years. A cataclysmic event in my life, cloaked in the appearance of a “bad” thing, actually turned out to be an open door of hope and change in my life. I do not want to discount how, in many ways, it was a hurtful event, to many people because it was. But what are we supposed to do with the shadows of our life? Hide in them? Blame them? Avoid them at all costs? I don’t think so. I think we are to, as Henri Nouwen says, in so many ways, embrace the shadows and the light together. Life is full of both and both are intended to be lessons to us.
The event in my life was a glaring signal that something needed to change. Many things infact needed to change…first, me. I was living a false-self life. I had desires and dreams, but I had for years stuffed them so far down to my toes, thinking they were selfish instead of, ‘desires of my heart’, God had perhaps placed there.
Allowing myself to say, I do not want the next 25 years to be the way the first twenty-five were, was very new for me. It was liberating. I didn’t go about it all the right way, for sure. But when we take actions to grow and change, ripples occur and affect those we surround ourselves with.
I have decided I want to take positive actions that affect myself and the ones I love in a positive way- those are my perimeters after trying to change in a destructive way. It is not easy, change never is, but it doesn’t have the negative ramifications surrounding it like bad choices to change, have.
Just one aspect of this change is found in our new hobby of playing as a family band in local venues. My family has played in worship settings for years, and still continue to. But we have recently created a set list of music, that is meaningful to us as a family, and stepped out to share our love of music together with the community.
We play rock classics, pop songs, jazz and originals that give a back story of the things we have been through as a couple and a family and it has been met with encouragement and huge support. I, for many years, was a drummer for bands. Although I would still sing from, ‘behind the band’, even lead or sing my own songs, I always had the comfort of the first layer of musicians in front of me to keep me in the shadows. I couldn’t see the faces of those we were playing to very easily and that was fine with me!
Coming out of the shadows right now for me means, stepping out in the courage that I have been given something important to say and share. That my life counts, that I have a message and that there are others who need comfort from hearing it. Ultimately, Jesus continues to use my life, bring me out of the shadows and in to all that He has destined for me to be and for me to do. In the process, I am empathetic to others and can comfort others with the comfort I have received. Ultimately, that is what I think shadows were created for. When shadows are exposed to light, you see all the beauty, life and detail that was always laying quietly there all along<3
I wrote out scriptures and quotes for months. On walls I pasted them, I walked by them, looked at them, spoke them, swallowed them and thought on them. God uses people to change the course of your life.
Shut up and off from the world with the truth surrounding me.
The day came when I took them down, I was ready to fly on my own. As each one came down, I said, this is a book waiting to be written.
And write I did. Here a little, there a little. Then the day came when people started asking me if I had a finished book to read. Taking notice, I said not quite yet. God uses people to change the course of your life.
Then the day came when exposed pain emerged and I was aware that it became a useful tool for me. The writing flowed out of it, the date was set to finish the writing. God uses people to change the course of your life.
There have been days lately, that I cannot get to my keyboard to write. It has been 4 days now and I find myself being agitated and single eyed in my pursuit to get to my file and start a fresh page. I have missed you. You are warm, creative and inviting and let me be my complete, true self. Writing, you have become a close friend.
My son is autistic. It has been one heck of a ride! Mostly the ride has been within myself, learning to accept, be flexible and be open to a new normal. It has taken almost fourteen years and I have by no means arrived.
Having a birthday party for him was something I swore off a few years ago…and Oh Buddy, how I did swear!! One does not always know what is going on in that beautiful mind and if you go left when he wants to go right, watch out! I couldn’t take any more tantrums in front of friends, leaving his friends sitting at the table because they ate their cake before he had the first bite or rude comments about the presents he didn’t like and the list is endless. It is just too stressful….for me. Does that sound selfish? Maybe it is but I think I have a better grasp on my humanity and what I am able handle peacefully.
He started planning his party 2 months ago. I see him maturing in many ways. He has no problem communicating his need for more freedom and less parental control. I didn’t handle that very well when our oldest son communicated the same things to us at the same age, but I see my error in that now. I want to help raise confident, think for your self, respectful and God fearing men-so I can appreciate his hormones and intrinsic make up better than I used to appreciate his brothers’!
No person on earth has more tested, tried, exasperated or challenged this writer, than this particular son. He makes me want to hit the escape button on my emotional hand held and I sometimes ponder if space from each other would’n’t be a good idea. I don’t know the answer to that but I do know, he is exposing many things within myself.
As I grow deeper in union with Christ, I have found this to be true. That the people and the situations in our lives that are cataclysmic to us in someway, are the very doors of hope that God has purposed. That can look a lot of ways, can’t it? It can look like the accident,the unplanned pregnancy, the lost dreams, the divorce, the illicit relationship, the addiction or the communication break down, just to name a few. God is standing there, purposing good through it, what ever it is. His hope and future for our good, in the pressure, in the refining and in the heat. When you are aware of it, your eyes are opened! He wants to do something in us and through us. Ultimately, He wants us to so know how loved, accepted, forgiven and pleasing we are to Him- so that knowledge is given freely to others no matter how they behave, acknowledge or appreciate us.
I am getting ready for a big Aromatherapy event this weekend and in my busyness, I made a mistake while blending some inhalers. I see that I am maturing a bit too. I just looked at the cartridges and asked, what shall I do with you now? Ginger, Lavender, Frankincense and Bergamot…. the blend lent itself to calming anxiety and reducing stress…perfect! I will give one to each of the special boys who are coming to the birthday party tonight and give one to my son and myself! A mistake turned into a blessing! That is what they are all intended to be. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone who surrounds us as well.
Thank you for reading, I really do appreciate it. I am right here walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today.
I have two friends who, right now, are going through tremendous times of pain. It is excruciating for me to watch, there is nothing….well very little, I can do for them.
My one friend has lost her closest brother to suicide. He was a highly decorated Marine in our United States Marine Corps. He went on from there to become a highly distinguished Navy Seal. He literally gave his life for our country and it’s people. For all of his post trauma, he could not re enter life when he got home. My heart breaks and my eyes swell even as I write. What do you do with this kind of pain?
My other friend has just given birth to a child with severe Spina Bifida. The baby’s back never closed while she was growing safe and snug in her mama’s womb. The amniotic fluid that serves as safety to typical babies became a daily threat to her nerves and muscles that were exposed to it every minute of every day. Before she even had a chance to suck at her mother’s breast, all six pounds of her was taken into life threatening surgery. The details of how you manage three other children and recover from your own, less than perfect, surgery while trying to care for this new life, is more than any one can communicate- but this is my friend’s life right now.
I know something of pain myself. I have had a lot of it in fact. Maybe that is why I can so deeply feel other’s pain when they experience it, which is a silver lining in living through a lot of distress. It is a silver lining because I can relate, be understanding and unselfish in terms of what I get out of that particular relationship. Many times people tend to want you to “snap to it” and “be yourself”, grieve quickly and move on. I am not a grieve quickly kind of person, but the flip side is that I can love in a deeper and more gratifying way too.
This was my prayer to my friend this morning who did not sleep because the baby had become swollen and was draining liquid from her brain and the doctors did not know why.
The brokenness is over whelming we can scarcely stand it, we want to jump out of our skin and flee! Give strength in the pain God and be the rock of salvation, the cornerstone, the hiding place of peace in the storm. Be the light in the darkness and the hope. You are our all in all. You are life. Give, be and have life through us, through the baby. Be somehow glorified and magnified in this and every situation. Amen.
F.B. Meyer ( Author and English Evangelist, working in Inner Cities around the turn of the century) said;
Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal If only you will get alone, where the disturbance of self will does not intrude, where human opinions failed to reach- and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, through all around you insist on immediate decision or action- the will of God will be made clear: and you will have a new name in addition, a new conception of God, a deeper insight into the His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone- a rapturous experience, to abide as your precious possession forever, the rich reward for those long waiting hours.
There are times in life when we simply have to wait and while we wait, we have to endure and press forward in the moment. We all experience pain and the degree we measure our pain cannot be against the pain of another human being. We can run… I have done that. We can mask…I have been there as well. Or we can run and hide into wholeness. Into The One who takes the pain in real time and brings shalom in the waiting hours.
I am right here walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today.
I have a message burning deep in my heart that I want to share. When darkness closes in all around you and it feels like you are going to suffocate from lack of hope, don’t give up—you are on the edge of a precipice!
a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
a situation of great peril: on the precipice of war.
I have been on this precipice many times in my life. Sometimes I found myself there from choices I made, but many times I found myself looking off a cliff from situations that simply presented themselves.There are a few choices we can make when we find ourselves here:
Go back the way we came and deny it.
Find other routes to escape it.
Face and accept the seemingly impossible challenge.
I have tried all three! I can say, without a doubt, facing and accepting our challenges is the only choice we have to growing healthy and moving forward.
I have had situations all my life in which I had to choose not to give up. I was born to overcome; nothing in my life has been easy for me. I was the youngest of five, born into a turbulent time. My mother had given up and over to alcoholism, and my dad was an oft-absent traveling salesman. I got a lot of attention early on for being the “baby”, but that soon lost its luster, and I usually felt like I was just in the way, the third (or fifth) wheel, and definitely not preferred over anyone else in the family. Although I now see everyone was trying to do the best they could, the attachments at home were not secure for me. I was abused in different ways, which further lead me to finding my own ways to detach and protect myself.
Elaine Aron, in her book The Highly Sensitive Person, says:
All childhoods are not equal. Some are truly horrible. And they can differ within the same family. Statistical analyses of the influence of family environment on different children in the same family show no overlap. Your brothers or sisters lived a totally different childhood. You had different positions in the family, different early experiences, even in a sense different parents, given how adults change with circumstances and age.
When I was in middle school and high school, I had the potential and some outside encouragement to really excel in music or writing, but I think the lack of concern at home made me lose motivation to exert any effort. I regret, yet accept not having the wherewithal to take advantage of those opportunities better. I felt unnoticed by my family whether I did something really well or not, so I took the path of ease. There was no support or excitement about what I might become; I only felt the annoyance of others if I asked for help. I have in recent years recognized when those feelings resurface as an adult, and have seen the same scenario play out in my marriage at times.
It has required a lot of dependence on God, prayer, and therapy to work through these deep wounds that have affected my person, marriage, and my own family. First and foremost, I have to believe that I am loved, accepted, pleasing, and forgiven by God. This is where all of my significance lies. I have found Robert McGee’s book Search for Significance to be authoritative on this subject and extremely healing to me.
When you find yourself stuck in life or turning to things you never thought you would engage in to get relief, you owe it to yourself and others to take the time to find out why. We deceive ourselves when we think we can leave one bad situation and move into another one that will magically be healthy without any work. It is a process and a journey that is lived one healing minute and hour at a time.
When you find yourself with your back against the wall, suffocating in the hopelessness, what are you going to do? Remember the three choices from the beginning: we can go back the way we came or stay in the same old ruts and familiarity, but I challenge you that is not the way of healing. We can find other routes and escapes. Again, this is where dependence or addiction to drugs and alcohol, and idolatry of every kind comes in. We can choose it, but it will take us in to a greater bondage than the momentary relief it brings. I have made this choice in a variety of ways, I have been destitute, shed many tears and almost completely lost hope for choosing this way.
The third choice, however, is facing and accepting that our situation is hard and taking that challenge. This is difficult, but healthy, because it is walked out in truth. Of course, I am not suggesting that you should remain in a state of hopelessness or receive any kind of abuse. God came to set the captive free and loose the chains of bondage. We are not living healthy lives if we are enabling others to abuse us and perpetuate the cycle. God calls us out of darkness and into His light, and sometimes it is a bloody battle to get there.
I am saying that when we find ourselves in desperate situations, that is usually an alarm that there is something to address. This alarm contains the perfect opportunity for healthy change. The thing about precipices is that there is something vast waiting on the other side, a lively and healthy adventure that you will never know unless you decide within yourself that this is the way of peace, even if it is difficult.
Whether you are in a circumstance of your own making or have done nothing to deserve your position, do not give up! Take courage! Forgive yourself, love yourself, realize that you are accepted and pleasing to God and that that is more than enough, even if others are rejecting you.
I bought a plaque to hang on my wall. I bought it after I had caused a great disturbance in the lives of many because of some of my behaviors. It says: Let your courage set you free! I still look at it and am strengthened by it. I am weak, but Jesus says, “When you are weak, I am strong in you.” That gives me courage. I do not have to muster something that I do not own, but I can let Him do it through me as I am a container pouring out. He can supernaturally change situations if we are open to Him and have faith in Him to change us and change the situation.
You have to believe that you were created for something greater than you can imagine. Maybe you have been climbing up a sheer cliff for many years; you haven’t reached a plateau or a resting spot in what seems like forever. I understand! My husband and I have gone from one hard or devastating circumstance to the next. Even if I chose to escape for a while, I eventually had to return to the place that I needed to accept the situation and see how I could change or grow while going through it.
It’s like being in labor with a baby; at the point that you think you cannot go on in labor, the baby is just ready to emerge. Every single time I was reaching a precipice, it felt excruciating, like I didn’t have the energy to go on. But every single time, there was freedom and a higher understanding on the other side. Just over the crest is where new life begins; there is no turning back when you keep that perspective.
So, the message that burns within me is this: You are not alone! Do not give up! You are only on the edge of a precipice.
The following is an excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s, The Inner Voice of Love, titled, Stay With Your Pain.
When you experience the deep pain of loneliness, it is understandable that your thoughts go out to the person who was able to take that loneliness away, even if only for a moment. When, underneath all the praise and acclaim, you feel a huge absence that makes everything look useless, your heart wants only one thing- to be with the person who once was able to dispel these frightful emotions. But it is the absence itself, the emptiness within you, that you have to be willing to experience, not the one who could temporarily take it away.
It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing.
God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart. The person who was able to touch that place has revealed to you your pearl of great price.
It is understandable that everything you did, are doing, or plan to do seems completely meaningless compared with that pearl. That pearl is the experience of being fully loved. When you experience deep loneliness, you are willing to give up everything in exchange for healing. But no human being can heal that pain. Still, people will be sent to you to mediate God’s healing and they will be able to offer you the deep sense of belonging that you desire and that gives meaning to all you do.
Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.
I was asked to speak at our local Arthritis support group! The facilitator was telling me that the group has embraced finding alternative methods of treatment for their arthritis, I think that is fantastic!
Did you know that there are over 100 forms of arthritis? And aside from the pain of it, there are a host of other issues most people who have arthritis deal with. Depression and insomnia and grief are just a few.
Medicinenet.com wrote a helpful article on the subject and here is a bit of what they say about arthritis symptoms;
Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) and infection, and extremely rarely it can be a cause of cancer of the joint.
Symptoms and signs associated with joint pain can include
locking of the joint,
loss of range of motion of the joint,
There is good news! Of course there is no silver bullet, but there are a lot of life style adjustments that can be made to help support the different facets of this debilitating disease and aromatherapy can definitely help.
There is the matter of the pain. Honest Aromas has created a blend that has been very helpful to people who deal witharthritis. We have picked some “heavy hitters” as far as essential oils go, such as; Clove (which is diluted well as it can be irritating to skin because of it’s high Phenol content)It is pain relieving and warming to sore joints and muscles.Birch, Helps support the uncomfortable parts of getting older such as tired limbs and joints. and Cinnamon leaf (Not Cinnamon Bark which irritates the skin);Cinnamon Leaf is numbing, warming, and anti-infectious. . They are extremely potent and have long lasting analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. We have blended those into an Arnica infused oil for added muscle- pain relief and they all are blended in an easily absorbable unscented lotion. We have many customers who benefit from this particular blend and it is one of our most popular. (Essential Oil information taken from Pompeii Organics and Eden’s Gardens.)
Arthritis sufferers, like we said, deal with a myriad of other symptoms such as, insomnia. Essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile can be very supportive in the relaxation of the nervous system and we make blends for this issue as well.
Stress, anger, and grief are all very real manifestations of arthritis. Bergamot can be a very helpful essential oil for it’s mood lifting and calming properties.
Diet changes have also shown significant help to cut down in inflammation that occurs with arthritis and the Keto Diet has been helping a lot of people, including 2 friends of mine, by reducing inflammation and pain and getting them back into the daily routines they nearly lost.
Arthritis can be a life-altering issue and I have seen the effects of it first hand after taking care of my mother-in-law, who had RA, for four years. The loss of mobility was hopeless for her. She pushed herself to get into the shower to get some warm water on her joints and she did some arthritis pool classes that would help her mobility and depression- but it wasn’t easy. I noticed it was very easy for her to become isolated and that of course is the worse thing for any of us to do. I also noticed that there were some medications that seemed to help her and some that seemed to make matters worse. I encourage you to be aware of your body and how you are feeling, and make the best choices you can to make your life it’s fullest. There is a lot of support out there, like this local group I am going to speak at. There are others who understand what you are dealing with and who have been helped by alternative methods that your physician is unaware of. Gather information, seek help from more than one source, you have a lot of life to live and give! We want to encourage you on your journey<3
Use Juniper Berry For Muscle/Joint Pain (Including Gout). It Is Analgesic (Pain Numbing), Rubefacient (Encourages Circulation), And Useful For Acne.
ORIGINS Latin Name: Juniperus communis Plant Origin: Hungary Botanical family: Cupressaceae Plant Part: Berries, Organic Processed: Steam distilled Chemical family: Monoterpenes Aroma: resinous, woody, with a slight turpentine note. Note: Top/Middle
CHEMISTRY & SAFETY CHEMISTRY: Overall, the main chemical family in Juniper Berry is Monoterpenes, meaning the essential oil consists of smaller molecules which will absorb faster into the skin. It also means that it is a less stable oil with a shorter shelf life. Store Juniper Berry oil in a cool dark place and in a container with little air. The most prominent monoterpene in Juniper Berry is alpha-pinene, a molecule responsible for actions such as the following: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, antiviral, and the prevention of bone loss. Alpha-pinene is followed by Myrcene (a monoterpene with analgesic properties). Terpinen-4-ol and alpha terpineol are also part of Juniper Berry’s chemistry and contribute to the slight terpentine note.
SAFETY: FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid use near eyes or mucous membranes. Always dilute before applying to the skin and use within the “Best By” date. There are no safety issues that have been found with the species Juniperus communis, but Juniperus sabina should be avoided during pregnancy.
Analgesic – numbs pain
Anti-infectious – protects against infection
Anti-inflammatory – alleviates redness and inflammation
Anti-rheumatic – prevents arthritis pain and swelling
Antiseptic – assists in fighting germs or infections
Antispasmodic – relieves spasms and cramps
Astringent – contracts and tightens tissue
Decongestant – reduces nasal mucus production and swelling
Diuretic – helps reduce swelling and excess fluid
Rubifacient – helps generate circulation and blood flow to applied area
HOW TO USE Sports Massage: add 5-10 drops to 1 ounce of jojoba oil.
It definitely is not an oil I would choose for it’s aroma, but the properties of the oil are amazing! Our 15 ml bottle is usually $34, but through the end of the week I am offering it for $17 . Contact us today- we want to help you with your health goals!!
Chances are, you use pepper daily to season your food.
Did you know, though, that black pepper (Pipernigrum) essential oil also has amazing health benefits?
It’s true! According to Pompeii Organics, black pepper is an amazing pain reliever! Like the related cayenne pepper, black pepper has a warming effect, making it effective for joint and muscle aches. We use it in our Athlete’s Blend for any kind of soreness. It stimulates blood flow and encourages circulation, taking away pain.
Apart from its pain relieving properties, black pepper also fights infection and inflammation. It reduces fever and clears respiratory passages.
Emotionally, Pepper can help reduce fear and motivate change, which pairs well with yesterday’s blog on doubts!!
Because this is a warming oil, you shouldn’t use black pepper in a bath or anything where you want a gentle, cooling effect. Mixing it with mint or citrus oils can help balance the warmth.
So you see, pepper isn’t just good to make you sneeze. 🙂
Interested in trying black pepper? Let us know! We usually stock a few bottles. We also have it as an ingredient in several products, so send us an email or visit us this week at the Oil City Farmer’s Market on Thursday! It is National Farmer’s Market Week! Come and support your local vendors:-)