Don’t give up! You’re on The Edge of a Precipice

20180618_133059I 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!

The definition of precipice is this:

Precipice

[presuh-pis]
noun
  1. a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
  2. 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:
  1. Go back the way we came and deny it.
  2. Find other routes to escape it.
  3. 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 Pearl of Great Price; Being Fully Loved.

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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.

 

Arthritis

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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;

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

  • joint redness,
  • joint swelling,
  • joint tenderness,
  • joint warmth,
  • limping,
  • locking of the joint,
  • loss of range of motion of the joint,
  • stiffness,
  • weakness.

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 with arthritis. 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

 

Juniper Berry!

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Yesterday, I posted on the use of Juniper Berry for UTI’s, but Juniper Berry has a lot of fantastic properties and I am offering a sale on it through the end of the week!!

This is what Pompeii Organics has to say about the amazing berry:

Use Juniper Berry for muscle/joint pain. It is analgesic (pain numbing), rubefacient (encourages circulation), useful for acne
Cultivation:

Certified Organic, Hungary

Properties:

Analgesic, astringent, warming, diuretic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectioous

Chemistry:

a-pinene (40.82%), b-myrcene (11.55%), b-pinene (10.39%)

Steam Distilled:

January 2015

Shelf Life:

3-4 Years (approximently)

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.

PROPERTIES
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
Warming

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!!

Not Just for Sneezing

Chances are, you use pepper daily to season your food.

Did you know, though, that black pepper (Piper nigrum) 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!!BlackPepper_15ml_USDA_WEB__56833.1456168736.215.215

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:-)

Birch

One oil that doesn’t get much fanfare is birch (Betula lenta). This sweet, minty essential oil is in our popular Arthritis Pain Blend, which fights joint and muscle pain and restores the body back to full strength.

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According to Eden’s Garden, birch is excellent for the muscles because it’s a natural muscle relaxer. When paired with the warming qualilties of oils like clove bud and cinnamon, we have the perfect recipe for pain relief.

Birch is also known to strengthen the mind and emotions, contributing to mental health.

Interested in trying this oil? Contact us, and check out the new and improved Athritis Pain Blend, one of our most popular products! It’s great for any kind of pain, from the aches of getting older to the soreness of an active lifestyle.

Yarrow

Many essential oils come from what we would consider common plants or even weeds. Today’s oil is one of these. Meet yarrow (Achillea millefolium)!

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Although this plant is common in many applications, the essential oil (our favorite comes from Pompeii Organics ) has some very helpful benefits.

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Yarrow is great for small wounds, because it relieves pain and stops bleeding. It’s also anti-inflammatory and rebuilds skin tissue.

Yarrow helps clear respiratory passages in the event of a cold or flu. It’s antispasmodic, which makes it great for muscles and coughs.

The essential oil is a lovely blue color and has a soft flowery scent. It’s a great oil to have around the house, as it’s helpful for a variety of uses while still being pretty cost-effective.

Are you interested in trying delightful yarrow? Contact us! We can give you an exclusive deal as an Honest Aromas customer.

Don’t forget to come find us from 9am-4pm at the Oil City Farmer’s market in front of the library!