Social Sandpaper 

Recently I have solicited the advice of a few friends about the ethics of navigating both discipleship and relationship marketing with grace. In each, I have determined,   I must create boundaries and heart lines lest I recklessly, albeit unintentionally, destroy relationships in the pursuit of my goals of  empowering others and setting them free. 

I don’t believe anyone intentionally sets out to be the seedy person who consciously peddles something unethically, or who lacks integrity in their message, or who doesn’t care about the goals of the people they’re attempting to persuade. Although there are people of ill will, I do not believe most network marketers or disciples of Christ mean to be self-centered or destructive. 

I do believe that people, who in their zeal to share their passion with others about what they’ve discovered to be life-changing, alienate those who have different beliefs or seemingly closed minds.

Lest you wonder why I’m grouping together network marketing and discipleship, I truly have found much overlap between educating people about essential oils and educating people about true happiness in Jesus Christ. 

Therefore, the finger I’m shaking in the shame-shame manner is actually directed at myself. I recently read, “eccentricities can be charming if accompanied by competence, but are pretentious and annoying when they precede it.”

 As I am a rather eccentric person with strong convictions, I appreciate the grace and patience extended to me by true friends as I gain competence. Those that know me know I like to make a decision, jump in with both feet, and adjust as necessary as new information is presented. I believe in right and wrong, and will always (sometimes ferociously) defend what I believe is right. I am very direct and I don’t apologize for what I believe in. 

This propensity, when unchecked, ends up acting as social sandpaper — you know, the pretentious and annoying part. I think I sometimes accidentally convey that if someone differs in opinion from me that we can’t get along, that I don’t respect them, or worse, that I think I’m better than them. 

Originally as I was writing this post, I followed my last thought with “Even if that is not how I see myself, if that’s the message people are picking up then it’s me who is erring in some way.” But upon reflection I think I disagree. As much as I enjoy being an inclusive, harmonious force of good, there are people out there who have belief systems that don’t merit my respect, “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.” by definition. 

 If you are trying to convince me and others about a harmful agenda that, in its nature, is not “good or valuable”, I cannot respect or go along with what you are saying. I also have a hard time respecting those who obstinately refuse to stretch their boundaries, to learn and grow, as if what they know in their limited knowledge is the end all be all. I find it egotistical and delusional. And I especially have a hard time respecting anyone who judges a sojourner as ‘weird’ or ‘uncool’ or as a blemish on their social standing. These are people who don’t allow the eccentric room to expand. I don’t appreciate the feeling of intellectual or creative claustrophobia. 

Don’t get me wrong. When I am confronted with someone who tells me I am “anti-medicine”, or “hateful” or any other attribute that I most definitely do not want to be perceived as, it gives me pause to reflect. What methods of communication am I employing that aren’t being well-received? What language have I used? Was there a more tactful way to say that? Did I really need to share that — what was my goal? But another part of me asks whose responsibility is it — am I responsible for how people encounter me? How much of that is in my control? What would I have to sacrifice to gain their approval?

When I began my Mama B vlog one of my greater fears was rejection… that people wouldn’t like what I had to say, that I would be misperceived, that I would lose the respect of my peers and that they’d — gasp! — delete me from Facebook, etc. I took the leap, however, 1) because I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to do so and 2) because no one benefits from my fear when it keeps me from sharing Truth. I have always, from a young age, been in positions of leadership. When I abandon myself to fear of rejection, I don’t lead well. 

That, and I can’t control people’s ignorance. Either they will verify their assumptions, or they won’t. 

However, when the Facebook deletions came along it still stung. I didn’t like being gossiped about. I didn’t like not having the opportunity to make it right. All of this just really made me squirm. It was the proverbial grit to my pearl.

For the ones who were willing to bat ideas back and forth with me both in private messages and public forum, I was so grateful. I learned a lot about respect, constructive dialogue and boundaries. I gleaned a different perspective of myself. I’m still not really sure how to reconcile the uncomfortable parts, like “if you’re pro-this, then you’re anti-that”. Well, yes. I can’t be both on both teams and I won’t try. If there’s a war between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies, I want there to be zero equivocation about which team I’m on. That plight seems to hurts some people’s feelings.  

I believe humans are multidimensional, resilient and made for higher thinking. I think deleting someone from Facebook is a cop out. I imagine the great Greek thinkers, gathered to discuss ideas, when suddenly one idea presented rubs a person the wrong way and in turn he says “Oh yeah?! Well… I delete you from Facebook!” And storms off.  Developing our minds is not as tidy or cut and dry as we’d sometimes like it to be. It requires community, a give and take. Backing out from the discourse entirely is cowardice, in my opinion. 

“Although sometimes backing out is also self-preservation,” the little voice in my head protests, “there is a time and a place for everything.”

(For the record, I’m about as anti-medicine as is one of my great heroes, Dr. William Osler.)

Emotional Release, A Story of the Heart

I have an excellent example of emotional release in action, so I thought I’d share to give anyone reading some insight as to how it can manifest.

Recently I had been scanning for Aroma Life — a blend of Cypress, Marjoram, Helichrysum and Ylang Ylang — which I don’t yet have in my oil cabinet. Using the only similar oils I do have, I’ve tried to recreate the effects of Aroma Life with what I have on hand: Joy — a blend containing Ylang Ylang — and Marjoram. Inhaling them, wearing them topically on my wrists and neck, etc.

I’ve also been scanning for Lime. So I’ve been making FANTASTIC cherry-limeade dupes using Knudsen’s juice, purified water and 3 drops of lime. Delicious.

And lastly I’ve been scanning for Idaho Blue Spruce. I love the smell of this oil, so I put a few drops in my hands, rub them together and inhale deeply. I’ve also been applying it to my wrists.

But even after a few days of this routine I kept scanning for these three oils. I knew what this meant. Once before I kept having a repeat oil on my scan until I used it on specific reflex points for emotional release. And then I didn’t scan for it any more.

I’m talking about Transformation, by the way. I had diffused it, anointed my forehead with it, put it on my body for a couple months, but I kept scanning for it. Finally, after I had been on an emotional release kick during an intense detox, I was in the middle of a conversation with my husband about being on the verge of giving all this oily stuff up when my right hand began to hurt. It was a specific point in the middle of my palm that I could point to. I had noticed it recently but didn’t think much of it. This time I decided that it couldn’t hurt to look at the alarm points in Dr. Carol Mein’s emotional release workbook, which I had next to me on the couch. The spot that was throbbing was “ego”.

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That didn’t mean anything to me. Ego? Huh? So I flip to another page, look at ego. The emotion attached to it is “commitment”, and the oil to use is “Transformation”. I was stunned. I was literally mid-conversation, bawling my eyes out about that very topic. And as soon as I worked on the alarm point with the oil, resolved to commit myself to the things that work and guide me to the goals in my life, my hand stopped hurting AND I stopped scanning for Transformation. I kid you not.

Anyway, I digress.

I had been told by another oily friend that Idaho Blue Spruce was a particularly powerful essential oil to use for handling toxic emotions involving trauma. Just do a Google Image search on the oil to see some of the graphics other users have made. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The problem is that it’s not in Dr. Mein’s emotional release workbook. So there is no specific emotion attributed to it and therefore no affirmation to resolve whatever the IBS is working on. The best I could find was to apply it to the center of my forehead near the hairline and on the top of my foot underneath my big toe and second toe. And then just pray and let its super megahertz powers work their magic.

As I was applying the IBS, my right hip began to hurt while I was bent over. Like right on the bone. So, what the heck, I go ahead and look that up to. The emotion is “rigidity”. The opposite side of “rigidity” is “amusement” and the way out (that you say aloud) is “it’s a cosmic game”. The alarm point I was feeling in my hip, where you apply to oil (peppermint) was “heavy metals”. I literally laughed as I applied it and let rigidity go. As I was heavily medicated with psychotropics such as Lithium — and ultimately suffered a medication-induced seizure because of improper diagnosis and overmedication — this seemed appropriate and necessary.

By the way, lest you think I am some gullible weirdo with zero intellectual capacity, your assumption would be incorrect. Well, I most certainly am a weirdo, but only in the best ways — that is I live my life authentically and unabashedly. I wish I didn’t care about your opinion but that’s a lie. It scares me to be thought of as anything less than what I am, or to have my intentions misconstrued, even by strangers in a faceless audience. I just want to reach through the screen and tell everyone reading this “YOU MUST BELIEVE ME! THIS IS NOTHING SHORT OF MIRACULOUS!”. But alas, you will have to believe what you want at the right time.


The alarm point for Lime is the lung, and it dealt with being unmotivated, something I was most certainly ready to let go of. I said aloud the night before that I have found my true calling and passion in life: to be of service to everyone around me in any way I can, and to follow the way of Christ. Period. Everything else either falls in line with that, or it doesn’t.

It was the emotion connected to Aroma Life that really hit home: aloneness. The alarm point is the heart protector. Sometimes, when life literally takes me aback, or a friend is telling a heart-wrenching story, I naturally place my open hand over my chest, right where the alarm points for the heart protector is. Your physical heart and all of the symbolism attributed to hearts (think Valentine’s Day, love, romance, vulnerability) and the spirituality attributed to hearts (look up Sacred Heart) are not as disconnected as you would think. Matthew 15:18 reminds us “the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.”


So, I worked on all of those points last night, prayed about them and then went to sleep.

Today I woke up in a funk. One of those take-it-easy kind of days, where I let Jackson nurse for his entire nap while we snuggled on the couch and I read. I had planned on a playdate with a good girlfriend who I haven’t seen in a few months, which I thought about canceling but I knew I should keep my word. We met through Bible study and have a lot of the same interests (and dietary restrictions — meaning she made sugarless, gluten-free cookies for me that I could eat!!! Good thing I went, right?!). She was with me at the beginning of this transformational process and wanted to know how the story has unfurled.

At some point she mentioned navigating a relationship with someone who she can’t fully trust, who is manipulative and self-centered, and how difficult that has been for her because she’s never been in this situation before. I was floored. “Wait. You mean.. you haven’t encountered these kinds of relationships? Never before? In your whole life?”

They were the only types of relationships I had ever known amongst friends and family until just recently. Toxic, hurtful and/or unstable relationships. Within minutes my heart was showing it’s colors through my words, and I was telling her random bits about my past that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Very personal, very hurtful situations that if I watched a stranger undergo in a movie, I would shed tears over. I said it all in a quite removed fashion, however, very matter of factly. There were no tears shed. I’ve become good at distancing myself from the emotional reality of my story, and the story itself. Compartmentalizing has been my survival.

But as I pondered them in my heart on the drive home, this cloud descended upon me. I tried to focus on my work, on upcoming events, burying myself in the tech world of Facebook, but it wasn’t fulfilling. Something was amiss.

That evening, over dinner, I spilled my heart out to my husband who patiently listened as I cried into my mashed potatoes and roast chicken. I would jump from scene to scene from my life, mostly reciting times of intense betrayal and rejection. Some lamentations were generalities, some memories of elementary school, some from teenage years. Some of it was cliche (which is a fear of mine) but all of it was valid. I cried for the little girl who didn’t deserve any of it. I cried for my tender heart who, in my nature, only wanted to love and be loved, and was met with cruelty. I cried for who I might have been, all of the painful, self-destructive decisions I made that could’ve been avoided, if I had someone, especially a father, who would have reaffirmed my worth to me every day. Or if I would’ve been taught from day one that my self-worth is not rooted in my physical beauty, my accomplishments, perfectionism, school grades, social status achieve or any other worldly ideal, but in the simple fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully created by the King of Kings who calls me His beloved. How different it all could have been if I had known God from the get-go.

My heart broke so early on in my life that I didn’t even recognize it as heartbreak until tonight.

Now was not the time to say “but everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t be who  I am today if it weren’t for my hardships”. My intellectual brain knows that. Now is also not the time to nitpick my own responsiblity in these situations, or how they could have been avoided, or how people across the world over have it worse, or to just get over it. This wasn’t the time for my intellectual brain to take center stage. Now was the time to allow my limbic system a safe space to breathe, to release, to feel deep pity for the injustices I suffered as a child, teenager and young woman… and for how things should’ve been, could’ve been if heaven were on earth. But alas, this is the world and it is sadly fallen. And tears are most definitely appropriate for that reality.

Almost immediately I felt relief. My shoulders dropped. I could smile. I took a few big sighs. I finished my mashed potatoes and ate some greek yogurt with frozen blueberries to help me overcome a craving for ice cream (any time I experience emotional distress I crave ice cream. Can someone explain it to me??). I moved on.

Might there be more still to release? Probably. More and more will come to the surface. I have many years of trauma to work through. I might scan for Idaho Blue Spruce and Aroma Life for months! Who knows?!

Update: today, the morning after writing this blog post, I woke up feeling refreshed and revived, wanting to pray, listen to music and dance. I love these mornings. My heart is filled with such gratitude!

This is what I want for everyone. The way there might seem weird or unconventional. But the fact of the matter it works — the oils, the alarm points, the way through Jesus Christ. It all works. How badly would you seek freedom from pain? To what lengths would you go? To the depths of substance abuse or self-harm? Promiscuity? Suicide? Because I tried that end of the spectrum. There is nothing but death and destruction there. There is relief. I have found it. Now I will spread it to the ends of the earth, no matter what it takes. Truth is truth, friends. And these are truly life or death matters.


Life After Antidepressants, The Other Side – 2 Months

I’ll admit, I feel a little ashamed about the thoughts I let loose a few days ago. Not because they happened, but why they happened. 

I am currently helping ease my husband’s poison ivy outbreak using essential oils. What it has taught me is that consistency is key. Although these are powerful substances, reapplication up to four times a day has been necessary to see and feel improvement. 

When I wrote my last follow up, I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I wasn’t doing what I knew I needed to do to keep myself elevated, even though I was writing about it. I had been slacking on abstaining from sugar since Easter; I wasn’t applying my oils regularly; and I was in the throes of PMS, something that I’m still becoming aware of as the symptoms change each month and even at a year post-partum I am still getting to know my ever-changing body.  

This month I was hit hard with hunger, lethargy, irritability, and feeling down. I like to be a motivated, go-get-um kind of person, so when I feel defeated or stuck, everything else becomes a little darker. Instead of responding proactively, I took no action. In fact, I let fear creep in. I wondered if this was the return of depression — all I wanted to do was sleep and eat! — and I started to feel like a failure. 

Instead of countering it how I mentioned in my last post, in ways I know concretely work to alleviate these burdens, I gave into despair and complacency. You know when you should do something but you don’t.. and you know what the outcome will be but you (irrationally and delusionally) say to yourself “well, maybe it won’t be like that”, but it always is? Yeah. That was me, on the merry-go-round of insanity. 

When I realized this I redoubled my efforts to be proactive — not to write about it, but to do it. I packed up the honey nut bars I made that, when sitting on the counter I was tempted to pick at all day in my hungry state  (I justified making them because it’s one of Kelly Brogan’s recipes and relatively healthy… but the honest truth is honey still wreaks havoc in me as much as cane sugar does. I know. Sad.). I reached out to my upline for Mineral Essence, which she had on hand, because I had been scanning for it on the iTovi (read what I’m talking about here). I redoubled my efforts to learn about what successful oily people, and certain saints do to up my inspiration which resolidified my faith in the amazing collection of knowledge, armor and arsenal I have built over the past few months. I had even stopped my daily prayer! That’s where it really takes a toll. Then I listened to my intuition about which oils I should be using and used them. 

For the past two days, I am happy to say, I have been chipper, optimistic, energized and back to go-gettin-em! 

I want to pause and say a word of thanks. The gratitude in my heart is sometimes so overwhelming no words can convey the sweeping emotion behind it. If it weren’t for people like Jan Collins, Mollie Moses, Laura Hopkins, and Debra Raybern — my upline Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Royal Crown Diamond respectively — and those cross lines who are so generous that they open their knowledge to “team Young Living” instead of hoarding it for their downline alone — I’m talking about you, Sara Wallace, Kari Friedman, Kari Rae, Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton — I wouldn’t have any of this information to empower myself with. They have all held my hands and showed me the ropes. The resources God has laid at my feet have been truly astonishing and he’s done so in the most unsuspecting ways. 

I was telling my husband last night that as I read more about my religion and more about Essential Oil, and the respective lifestyles of each, the more they validate one another. Those people I just mentioned above walk the talk of each and are liable to the misunderstanding and ignorance of onlookers for both their vocations in faith and in their line of work. I am here to tell you that God is working within these people and within these products. It is a beautiful, edifying dance that has been so validating, so encouraging, that my heart just sings. And yes, at times it too is hard for me to believe it all. But I must — and must share about it — because I have seen and experienced it all first hand. You can have this too. 

So. Back to solutions. One of the greatest things these oils have offered me is phytoestrogens. My entire life I have been testosterone-dominant. I could never seem to tap into the feminine energy that came to other women so effortlessly. As I have learned more about true, internal woman strength through my religion, I have yearned to transform into the woman I am called to be. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

(Interesting side note… as I looked up that Bible passage, my phone slipped and clicked the arrow backward, to the passage before it:

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” -Mt. 7:6

It leads me to pause and reflect about how much I really should share with you all regarding my walk, which truly has been sacred. Nothing is coincidental!)

Ever since I began using the EO blends Lady Sclareol and Joy I have just felt… ladylike. I have been drawn closer to the things that appeal to the feminine mystique inside of me: daydreaming about future babies and writing their names down, decorating the house, playing hostess, tending to my husband, managing my home well, and, to put this politely, embrace my prowling tigress. ­čÉ» 

A friend sent me this saying her Venezuelan grandmother could have written it. Even a  couple months ago I would’ve been repulsed at these tips, as if women were subservient and bent to the beckon of their men. Today I am grateful for these tips and I employ them in my house. Why? Because it takes a strong woman to be a servant. Because I love my husband and I want peace for him. Because the state of our home really matters to him. And because he would suffer silently, but never say a word about what he needed — a wife to tend to him — because he wouldn’t want to burden me. Okay, okay there might be a pride issue hiding in there too. 

I’ve always wanted to be this woman. Fear kept me away from my goals as I sneered at others who recognized what they truly wanted and went for it. Never again! 

A few books I would recommend that snapped me back into my daily routine:  

  • Gentle Babies by Debra Reybern
  • Conquering Toxic Emotions by Rhonda Favano
  • My Life With The Saints by James Martin 

What are your reminders that keep you walking the good path? 

The Breadcrumbs and iTovi 

I have said before that I do my best to follow the breadcrumb trail God leaves for me. I come to him daily — sometimes hourly — for my daily bread, and He has not led me astray yet. 

As I yearned for deeper understanding, and as He’s readied me to receive it, the doors have been opened effortlessly. I no longer feel like I’m clawing to get what I desire. When what I desire is aligned with His will, who He has called me to be and what He has called me to do, it is like the universe opens up and delivers to me the right people, circumstances, invitations and resources. It has been nothing short of miraculous to witness. 

I have shared with you about my iTovi scans before. I marveled over the accuracy at which the results conveyed my lifestyle choices, emotions, thoughts, physical needs. As I used the products it suggested I was even more awestruck at the results I was seeing because they were truly tailored to the frequencies my body was emitting. It was like the ‘bespoke fit’ I’ve mentioned that was the catalyst for this blog! 

In fact, I was so impressed that I purchased my own iTovi, not to build my YL business but for personal use on myself, friends and family. Since it has arrived I have witnessed some truly amazing results when working with people on their scans. 

Most people want to debunk why they’re scanning for what. And I enjoy that aspect too. The more awareness we can cultivate, the more education we can seek, the more growth we can sustain. So I wanted to give you all a peek at three scans and play a “why the products correspond with the person scanning” game — this is NOT medical diagnostics, just some deductive reasoning done with the friends and family requesting scans!


This is a scan of a 21-year-old male. His work schedule fluctuates but tends to include night shifts so his sleep patterns are off. His diet is mainly composed of fast food and soda. He spends the majority of his waking hours, when not at work, secluded, playing video games, and he has mysterious open sores on his legs and other uncomfortable areas. He has a very sweet but nervous demeanor, a sheepish smile and deep circles under his eyes. He also struggles with blemishes. 

It is always a little saddening when I see SARA come up in the results, especially when it could resolve the most biopoints. SARA stands for “Sexual Abuse Ritual Abuse”, and was created with the specific intention of clearing toxic emotions surrounding abuse. This friend is carrying around so much extra weight with whatever emotional traumas he has encountered that it is all he can do to function. When all of your energy is sucked up by something like that, you have little reserves left over to truly thrive — to pursue your dreams, or creative endeavors or friendships. I can speak about this competently because I too have lived it. By scanning for SARA, iTovi is telling me that if we worked on emotional release using that essential oil blend we could potentially resolve 53 biopoints — energy blockades — that would be finally be freed up. 

The result for Elemi wasn’t too surprising because of the skin difficulties he’s been having. Elemi is traditionally used for supporting healthy skin function, especially in areas that are difficult and not responding to other oils. It is in the same family as Frankincense and historically was used as an ingredient in ointments for hundreds of years. 

Many of my recent scans have been popping up with both Elemi, Ledum and some sort of EO or product related to rest — like Valerian, RutaVala or SleepEssence. Ledum is very supportive of the lymphatic and endocrine system. Diet, lifestyle and discomfort all point to a lot of built up toxins and imbalanced hormones which you can see manifest in a myriad of ways but not uncommonly in acne, problems with weight management, sluggishness, brain fog. To top it all off, many lifestyles today aren’t restful, and don’t allow for the time it takes to heal and rejuvenate the body. We’re overtaxing our bodies and then surprised when they start to protest! 

Cypress is wonderfully supportive of the circulatory system. You should do some research about the benefits of this one. 

Lastly I thought it was so sweet that he scanned for Valor II. This young man is at the prime of his life! His biopoints are literally requesting aide in what his heart longs for — what every 21-year-old male could use: confidence, courage, self-empowerment, self-esteem, inspiration, balance. 


This scan is from a bubbly, intelligent 15-year-old girl who plays music in an orchestra. She buries herself in her phone often, but it takes little to coerce her to be social. She makes off remarks about things being lame but hopes you don’t agree with her. Her diet is high in sugar and junk food, including pop. 

Why is Dragon Time so significant? Because it was blended for her! Do a google image search for Dragon Time essential oil and you tell me what woman wouldn’t want to give their 15-year-old selves a bottle. Hint: the name of the blend is a reference to particular times of the month women turn into dragons. Not only teens benefit, of course. I love Clary Sage, Fennel, Marjoram and Jasmine as a postpartum mama. 

Not only is there already Marjoram in Dragon Time, but she’s scanning for it separately as well. That’s some major Marjoram! Excellent for endocrine support, the Romans called Marjoram “the happy herb”. Remember, your endocrine system is responsible for monthly cycles as well. 

How sweet that she’s scanning for Friends. If you haven’t heard of the Oola wheel yet, today is your lucky day. We won’t go into in depth here, but it’s all about balance. The Infused 7 kit of “oola”-enhancing blends help support whatever area in your life — Family, Faith, Friends, Field, Fitness, Finance, and Fun — needs it most. Of course a 15-year-old girl would scan for Friends!

The next three oils are toxin-battling warriors. I use Cistus on my lower back to support my urinary system while drinking lots and lots of water. Spearmint and Melrose work on behalf of the lymphatic system. 

Lastly, Relieve It is great for lower back discomfort. Hmm, when, as a woman do I feel lower back discomfort? It’s also a great blend post-workout. 

 This scan is so feminine and age-appropriate. I love it. 


This is a scan from a friend in her sixties whose mother sadly just passed away. This is a prime example of what Rhonda Favano exemplifies in her book “Conquering Toxic Emotions“, where emotional distress is undeniably linked to our physiological responses. 

The other two scans we looked at predominately showed oils that support specific body system functioning — and this one does too, as you see the Elemi and Ledum once again. Most even more important for this friend is an emotionally supportive oil: Forgiveness. Like SARA, the blend Forgiveness was made to support healthy emotional release. The singles list in this blend are staggering — rose, Angelica, melissa, sandalwood, bergamot… do some research of your own about the individual oils that make up Forgiveness. It’s truly a special, and powerful blend. 

My friend then scans for two supplements made by Young Living. Oh, you thought we only had essential oils?! YL is a lifestyle, friends. We want everything back in harmony. Many of the supplements do have essential oils within them. CortiStop is particularly supportive of the glandular systems in women. What do our bodies produce lots of when we’re under stress? Cortisol. CortiStop. Hmmmm. 

PD 80/20 — pregnenolone and DHEA, two substances that decline naturally as you age. Look em up, especially you women readers. 

If you haven’t been following my blog at all, you’re probably thoroughly confused. Scan? iTovi? Oils? Huh? 
Hopefully you’re also intrigued. Curiosity is what got me where I am! 

iTovi is a biofeedback scanner built around bioimpedence technology. Like the FitBit bracelets or any other device that gives you real time info about your body. I have synced my device with my Young Living inventory and your body responds to which product it shares a frequency with — and therefore would most likely benefit from. It’s proven, accurate and so much fun. My 11-month-old son, husband and myself hey scanned daily. 

If you’re a YL member and interested in getting one of these bad boys for yourself, please consider using my link! If you’re not a YL member yet, head over to their website and use my sponsor/enroller number (3690470) to sign up. 

Whoever Has Ears Ought To Hear

One emotion I’ve been working on is outrage. We are called to peace and outrage is anything but peace. 

In order to work on it, I needed to reflect more on what inclines me toward outrage. Injustice, maltreatment, immorality… but it wasn’t the big blocks that would unhinge me. It was when people wouldn’t listen to me or take my advice, or when what I believed would be mocked or scoffed at. I would just get furious because I knew what I was saying was true and I wanted them desperately to hear it. 

Well, I’m done being desperate. 

Jackson and I are working our way through the book of Matthew and I was really struck by the parable of the sower. If you aren’t familiar, look up Matthew 13:1 — the original parable — and Matthew 13:36 — the explanation of the parable to his apostles. I would especially encourage you to do so if you are a non-believer, because Jesus is talking about you. 

A parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding. Only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. God gives further understanding to those who accept the revealed mystery, and for those who reject it he takes understanding away from them.

So if in your own earthly wisdom you think you’ve sussed it all out, or you have disregarded us believers as sans raison, think again. We may walk by faith but we are grounded in reason. 

Another time I would succumb to outrage  is when people would obstinately refuse to reflect, especially about grave decisions — the big stuff. Instead of mulling it over they have made up their minds in minutes! Or they are so comfortable in their everyday that the impending decisions can wait. 

As you can tell by my blog, reflection is utterly ingrained in my nature. In all of our natures, really, if we make time for it. Look at all of the great thinkers throughout history and their accomplishments. You simply can’t achieve what you alone are called to if you aren’t taking the time to develop who you are. If you are a slave to your own schedule or what other people demand of you or to productivity or to your paycheck, you’re not living out your unique story. I just wanted to shake people and yell “you’re not just a cog in a wheel! Snap out of autopilot!”

If you are indeed created by a Creator for a specific purpose, you won’t function well without acknowledging your Creator or getting to know him and his plan. Once you acknowledge him, worship comes easy — you are so overwhelmed and ingratiated that you want to give him thanks any way that you can. It’s just a natural unfolding. 

What the Bible reveals to us is that anything that irks us Christ encountered first. And he handled it with grace, charity and peace. Here in Matthew he has empowered his listeners to make a decision and he accepts their decision. There is, therefore, 4 types of listeners:

1) Those who never accept the word of the kingdom

2) Those who believe for awhile but fall away because of persecution

3) Those who believe, but in whom the word is choked out by worldly anxiety and seduction of riches 

4) Those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly

He doesn’t then despair. He also doesn’t become outraged by the people that refuse to hear what he’s saying — and what he’s saying is truly a life or death matter! He just keeps doing what he came to earth to do: heal the sick, instruct the ignorant, love people, spread Truth. He wants people to have his peace and life in abundance, but if they refuse to hear, repent and change that is not his burden. 

I become frustrated because I was once one of the very people I’m talking about! A complete nonbeliever who decried the Bible as “one of the greatest fiction books of all time”. I was angry. I was ignorant. And anyone trying to teach me about Truth, their words fell upon deaf ears. I didn’t understand what shame was or how it manifested. My conscience was unformed.  And I was so utterly unhappy and alone; anything but peaceful. I was in true pain, mentally, emotionally and spiritually… but I didn’t know how to articulate that. In the past few years as I have come to know Christ — who He really is and who I believe He is — everything has changed. Truly, as it is said in Matthew “to anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” It isn’t mean or retaliatory. It just is the way it is. And I have truly experienced it. 

That’s why it is so important to me to try to share what I have found with other non-believers. Open your minds, let down your defenses. Us followers have nothing earthly to gain through your exploration. The original disciples believed in their convictions about the risen Christ unto death. And we’re not just talking about their martyrdom — they were mocked, beaten, and persecuted throughout their entire lives and then died painful deaths in a refusal to betray their Lord and God. That’s really saying something. 

What do you believe in so strongly that you would give your entire life for? For me, that is the peace, joy and understanding I have found in Christ’s Church. I never want to live without Him again. 

A really simple, easy-to-read book about who Christ is is “Made For More” by Curtis Martin. Martin helps you determine for yourself who Christ was and what exactly went down.

These questions are really worth setting aside some time to reflect upon and make a decision about. But ultimately it’s up to you to determine which of the four listeners you’ll be. 

Life After Antidepressants – 2 months

In three words: messy, overwhelming and unrelenting. 

The Problem:

Lest someone think I am sitting here playing my own pity ballad with a tiny guitar, I mean “problem” in a mathematical sense, that there is an equation here that needs to be solved. It is workable. It can be frustrating. It is not going to solve itself. But first we need to deduce what exactly the problem is. 

It could be the torrent of rain that we’ve had all day that is making the blues appear; any other day I might have written a jubilent comeback post, about how beautiful and redemptive Lent was, about the amazing celebration in my heart over Easter, having truly experienced the desert with my Lord and savior before rejoicing over His empty tomb. I have learned and experienced so much. The gratitude is abundant.

But, today is what it is, and journaling is cathartic. So, unfortunately, you get the shadowy side of my life first and we’ll talk later about the positives. (Update: I took a break to eat some lentil soup and put Jackson to bed, and I am already in much better spirits.)

Here’s the thing: I can’t wear a sign around my neck that says “be gentle with me, I’m recovering from years of psychotropic medication and learning how to truly live”. I can’t convey to each person I interact with the hardship of detoxing and rebuilding my immunity; how I went from an 11+ in energy and mood to -3 as my body takes the slow path of healing from rest. I want to explain it all! My mind races as I consider how on earth to articulate the massive story in my heart. But the words are sparse. And I feel like no one truly has time to listen to my plight. 

When I tried to convey this to my husband — how no one seems to be empathize with the boulder I’m rolling up a hill — he asked me if it felt like people were basically saying “we all have it hard, get over it.” I said no. Because to first shake your finger at someone going through a trial, to tell them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, you have to understand their trial. I told him it feels like loneliness, solitude. That no one truly sees what I am up against, nor do they truly want to understand it. I have been offered no help. And even when I meekly try to articulate needing help — “my love tank is on empty”, or “I’m not sure I can physically handle all of that this weekend” — I am expected to keep on keeping on and figure out how to get what I need. It’s okay though because for the first time in my life I have knowledge that if no one here on earth sees my struggle, God does. And He is moved with pity and love; He walks with me, guides me, grieves with me and rejoices with me. That’s not loneliness, friends. 

But I’ll try to explain what’s going on when I’m in the throes of it. I am experiencing and learning about real, messy emotions for the first time in a long time. I am learning how to interact with them in a healthy way: not repressing them, not unloading them on others, not escaping them. I am learning what they look like and how they manifest. And the spectrum is VAST! It’s not just sadness, happiness, anger. Emotions are so nuanced.  It’s defenselessness, feeling crushed, feeling betrayed, disappointed, vulnerable, giving my power away, frightened, flustered, incapacitated, bored, confused, choked, cheated. They all look a little different, and are brought on by different situations. 

Hardest of all, interacting with people creates emotions. And the longer you have a relationship with someone, the more you see their blemishes. The more necessary it becomes to navigate the sea of emotions with tact and grace, something most of us aren’t taught. 

And on top of this, it all takes so much energy and effort. A Herculean effort. If every person and every interaction brings up new emotions, I just don’t have it in me to be as social as I once was! Which is sad. I love being the contagiously happy, socially bubbly girl. But I can’t be her right now. 

The effort is particularly doubled while staying within Christian boundaries: to die to self, love God above everything and love others without reserve. To sincerely forgive. To practice patience and self-discipline. There is so much learning. It’s not like I get a practice arena to spar in. I am thrown into the coliseum, given a few tools and told to make do. 

This is what Theodore Roosevelt described in his quote about “daring greatly”. And I have come to find out that there aren’t many of us gladiators willing to enter the arena anymore. There is a lot of heel-digging into the ground, obstinate clinging to excuses, rationalisations, doubt, “I don’t have time” or just plain apathy. A lot of “fuck it” flags being flown, if you will. I wonder if there was ever a time where gladiators abounded; where courage reigned and people lived honestly, daringly. Our modern conveniences make it so easily to hide in the recesses, away from the chaotic, dusty, sweaty, bloody work. I suppose when those conveniences weren’t there people had no other way. But I digress. 

As I stumble to walk this path, I realize life doesn’t slow down as you’re learning and falling and getting back up. My 11-month-old and my marriage and my responsibilities within the two businesses I run, my friendships and my family relationships don’t wait. None of it waits. And it all requires mastery of the very things I’m just now confronting. Plus vocational mastery! I assume many people would say they just don’t have time to actually work on these root problems because their everyday takes priority. But it just takes renegotiation. We are a flexible, resilient people. It is possible. 

The thing is, when I was on antidepressants, I just didn’t have to bother with any of this. I stayed high. Like nothing really brought me down. I thought I could feel a range of emotions but really they were buffered through the rose-tinted glasses of a little pill. Confrontations or snaggles in relationships I could overloook so easily. I didn’t feel the splinters turn into infected wounds. It was like it turned off the pain receptors to the splinters still occurred but if I didn’t feel them, it was like they didn’t exist. But the infected wounds grew in number and in severity. 

So that said, a lot of strange memories have been cropping up. People from the past, situations I thought were long forgotten or at least forgiven. My dreams are near-lucid and small, everyday encounters will take me back to 8th grade, or cologne wafting in my store, lingering from a customer who just left, will take me back to a hospital setting with a man I let go of years ago. The memories are so real I can taste and smell them. I have had to learn to be non-reactive to these visiting memories, hoping my peaceful response will allow for some sort of healing. 

Because that’s another part of the “problem”: I am still in complete trial and error mode for what will work naturally and holistically for me, what will nourish my mind, soul, body and emotions. What will qualm the distressed little girl in me who still hasn’t been comforted… What will heal the cellular damage within my body after years of (self-inflicted!) neglect and abuse. There is no prescription pad with these answers, no guru to tell me exactly what steps to take. 

Oh, and the energy. I mean, truly, compared to what I have to work with now I was an energizer bunny living the standard American life. Tons of activities and responsibilities, juggling it all frantically but manageably. But now? I cannot multitask like I did. It takes a lot of effort to focus well on one task (like raising my son, or cleaning my house). I have come to serious terms about my energy being finite. 

This all sounds like one big complaint. I don’t mean it to. It just is what it is, and what it is is certainly not easy. Truly I wouldn’t go back if I could. I’m learning to navigate. It feels real. It feels like productive pain, kind of like during labor. The work and suffering is not all for naught. Beautiful new life will spring forth from this redemptive refining process. I just know it. 
The Solution:

Do you all remember mathematical proofs during school? It is essentially an argument which convinces other people that something is true… using numbers. It shows them how you got the answer. Somehow the way I’ve set this blog post up makes me think of my current situation as such, like I’ve found a solution and I’ll now work backwards to show you why it’s solvent. 

First, I will say that the inclinations to do what has always worked (ahem, gotten me barely scraping by) are still there. I battle them daily. Sometimes it looks like self-harm. Sometimes, spending hours in the mirror picking my face. Sometimes overeating or oversleeping or drinking or using drugs or sex. Sometimes it’s the yearning to listen to violent music like I did in my metal-loving days. Often it’s negative self-talk, defeatist thinking, despair, comparison, judgment. I battle it every single day. This time, however, I put on the armor of God and I see these impulses for what they are:

1) I know they aren’t leading me to what is true, good and beautiful. 

2) I know they won’t help me reach my goals. 

3) I see them as distractions from the Truth and roadblocks to real happiness. 

4) This is the most important point: I now recognize that I have a choice to act on them — I am not a slave to their whim. 

Sometimes, I kid you not, it honestly feels as if Satan is whispering in my ear — “see, they don’t actually care about you or know you. If they did, they’d give you what you really need.” I perk right up and say, like Christ did in the desert when Satan tempted him, “I lie in verdant pastures, I shall not want. I have everything I need in the Lord. This earth doesn’t fulfill me, but He does.” And like that, I cast the demon away from me. I slay like Joan of Arc. You can’t battle if you don’t recognize first that you are at war. 

So it’s not like my depression is just “healed”. That’s not how this works. I am so very careful to be selective about what I let my five senses feast upon. One bad decision and it creates a domino effect of badness. So another part of warring and slaying: keep yourself away from temptation. They tell recovering addicts this as well. Don’t spend time around the things that will “trigger you”. It weakens your moral, wears down your armor and resolve. It’s just more prudent to choose the sunlit street than the dark alleyway. And we are scripturally called to prudence! 

Other ‘recovering addict’ gems: get back on the turnip truck when you fall off (because, yes, sometimes I give in and eat a cupcake or pick my face… and then I suffer the consequences, realize it wasn’t worth it and move on), adopt positive coping skills and of course the Serenity Prayer. 

Others ways I am navigating the thick of it all:

  • NUTRITION!! I cannot stress the importance of this enough! All it takes is one piece of chocolate cake or a couple cupcakes and my next three days are total sloth-like downers. Sugar is my body, mind and emotion’s arch nemesis! I even took this one step further and paid for Dr. Carolyn Mein’s body type assessment, where you answer a few questions and she sends you a 60+ page e-book on your specific body type and the diet that will help its systems function best. It is amazingly, wonderfully accurate and has been a key tool in my arsenal. (Warning: her website lacks trendy aesthetics and fonts but has wonderful substance.)
  • Journaling. Working through thoughts logically but giving yourself space to really bat the ideas around and play a little. Don’t judge what you write for fear of what future readers will think. Just get it out. 
  • Rest and contemplation. Time being still has been crucial during this period. I have to really reflect about what is going on within me. I have to be okay with it all, make sense of some of it, let go of a lot of it. I have to forgive a lot of people as I realize they aren’t everything I need — simply because they’re flawed human beings like me. Prayer has been essential; mass has been essential; staring into the eyes of my baby while he nurses peacefully has been a moment to cherish. 
  • Seeking out life-giving experiences and not forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do. I’m not talking about foregoing the chores and responsibilities. I’m talking about learning and enforcing boundaries. I recommend the book “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud if this is an area you struggle within. 
  • Learning about time management and priorities. Another great book, especially if you’re a parent, is “Teaching From Rest” and “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives”. 
  • Essential oils and emotional release. Since I mentioned Carolyn Mein I would be replete not to offer her workbook “Releasing Emotional Patterns Using Essential Oils”. It has not only helped me but many of my friends. You can read about my Herxheimer Reaction and how this method of using essential oils relieved me from the discomfort and immune-response cycle here
  • Being so gentle with myself and others. Instead of judging myself or panicking when I don’t have an answer, or instead of feeling rushed into having to solve something immediately, I slow down and give myself space. Instead of feeling ashamed about how I look, I remind myself — ├á la Thoreau’s “Walden” — that if my appearance is good enough for God, it is certainly good enough for man. I remind myself that this world isn’t enough, but we’re doing the best we can while we’re here. I do my best to extend the same to the people around me who, too, have been battered around by life.
  • Singing and dancing! What a great expression of energy! These acts can really transform a room or a mood. Remember when friends and family used to gather around a piano and sing? I’m bringing it back, y’all! 
  • Surrounding myself with loving, supportive relationships; staving off (or at least altering) toxic relationships. These are people who share a similar perspectives with you. They have the same goals, so they’ll keep you true to yours. The women I have spent a year with in Bible study have been an integral part of my journey. They are safe, they are loving and they lift me up in prayer. They are the opposite of vanity or judgement. The mystical is not impossible to them; we believe in the transubstantiated body and blood of the Eucharist, and in heaven and sainthood (Saint Hildegard of Bingen, pray for us!). Miracles are real and available, and my friend group believes that. Now is not a time I want to be surrounded by doubt, skepticism, judgment and fear or excuses and rationalization. I need faith, optimism, honesty, and a beautiful surrendering to God’s will.
  • Learning. Instead of escaping through Facebook or Instagram or phone games or movies and TV, I seek to empower myself with knowledge. I read a lot of non-fiction books. And then I listen to e-books. I take notes and read actively. I use workbooks to help me stay accountable to my goals. I reach out to people smarter than me and humble myself in front of them with my ignorance. Every now and then I allow myself a movie — like I had to revisit The Matrix Revolution because it reminds me of Easter (that’s a completely different blogpost that my fellow nerds can get down on with me), or when I was newly postpartum I gave my mind a break while reading ALL of the Harry Potter books back to back (took me less than a month ­čś«­čĹî­čĆ╝) — but for the most part I avoid mindless entertainment. 
  • Learning to play the guitar. It helps to concentrate my mind and my body at a difficult task. I began learning the guitar at age 12, but abandoned the plight when my guitar teacher died. I now use the Tabs app to help teach me fun but challenging songs. I also play the piano this way. 
  • Practicing other languages I’ve learned. I read Les Trois Mousquetaires to Jackson and speak to him in French (Le Petit Nicolas is also great, especially if you are at a beginner’s level). I work on my Spanish casually and if I was really on point I’d be taking on German or Russian. There’s a great video out there of a guy explaining why learning new languages is an excellent hobby to stretch the mind (neuroplasticity!) and keep things fresh. I really, really agree with him. 
  • Listening to beautiful music.  Now that I’m off of my medication I can truly feel the song, the words, the passion of the melody and what the artist is trying to convey. 
  • Taking quiet walks in nature. The other night I could smell fresh honeysuckle during a moonlit walk on my property. It was just divine. This will sound random, but bear with me. Recently I have really been contemplating Native Americans — the plains indians to be specific: the hardships they faced, the knowledge they passed from generation to generation, the special skills they possessed, the warriors, the basket-weavers, the tribal dances, the medicine men. I think when you pursue folk medicine you can’t help but think about the cultures that did it right, and the communities that teemed with true life. I think about our recent ancestors and what life must have been life journeying in covered wagons with such little amenities, braving the elements and facing their mortality daily. It really makes me greatful for what I have, and hopeful that I can make it. Somehow nature helps me tap into that well a little deeper. 

I’m sure this list is perpetual, that the equation will never quite be solved. But now I have created a resource of ideas for when I’m not feeling quite like myself, to say “oh I haven’t danced in awhile!” or “oh, I miss good music!” to try to bring myself back up — because it’s no one else’s responsibility. 

Thanks for following along on this journey. I hope you, too, will pursue wellness regardless of the obstacles that might lie ahead. You will overcome them and your life will be changed, radically, for the better if that’s what you truly want. I’m here to walk with you, too! 

The Herxheimer Reaction

Because I jumped in to holistic health with both feet, without looking back and with complete resolve of pursuing renewed health in a completely natural way, my body kind of threw a fit. 

When I came off of my antidepressants it took my immune system about two weeks to totally crash. Not my mind or emotions; I’m not talking about a relapse. I’m saying with drastic diet change, using detoxifying essential oils and creating the most toxicant-free possible environment, my body started to respond. Granted I weaned in February, braving the cold & flu season with a 10 month old, but this was unlike any sort of sickness I’ve experienced. 

It began with catching colds. I wrote about it earlier in the blog. Colds that seem exacerbated to the nth degree. I would recover, seem to be doing alright and then BAM another bout of something would hit me. When things really went south was when I visited the pools at Lifetime Fitness and did in-and-outs from the dry sauna to the frigid lap pool, to accelerate the detox. I guess I got my wish, but detox doesn’t look like what you think it would. Our bodies heal top down, inward to outward and detox manifests as all the ways you’ve been ailing at some point in your life, most recent maladies to those from the past. So any illness you’ve had — mono, herpes, sinus infections, chronic pain in specific areas — will come to light in an intense way, and then, hopefully once evacuated, will finally leave you alone. 

Well I didn’t know that at the time. So I wrecklessly tried to induce the detox without knowing what I was doing and just tanked my immune system. My main symptoms was coughing up all of this thick, lumpy crud. I felt like I was getting kicked while I was down. Headaches, lethargy. I was spending copious amounts of time in my shower and bath, taking detox baths nightly and waking up at 4am for random steam showers because the shower head pressure felt good on my tight sinuses. Anything I could do to loosen up the internal gunk, I was doing. Lots and lots of tea. I was craving Raindrop therapy but didn’t have the finances for it. A friend would let me borrow her Raindrop kit — a group of oils known for their powerful immune enhancing and antiseptic qualities including oregano, wintergreen, marjoram; a true Raindrop is done along the spine in a very specific manner — and I would do a mini-Raindrop on the bottoms of my feet, and feel better. But if I became inconsistent or ate sugar, all of my hard work would be undone. 

Then one night I drew a detox bath using powdered ginger, Epsom salts and baking soda. I closed the shower curtain and kept the water as hot as I could stand it. I stayed in there for 40 minutes sipping on a tall glass of water the entire time. Sweat poured from me. I rinsed with cold water ├á la Su├ędoise when I should’ve kept my body temp up. This was the catalyst my body needed for a complete “healing crisis”, also known as the Herxheimer Reaction. 

First, I couldn’t sleep. At all. I was freezing cold even after piling dryer-heated blankets and robes upon me. My lower back started hurting — my kidneys — and all I wanted to do was stay up and drink copious amounts of water and apply Cistus (Rose of Sharon) oil to my back. When I did lay down my whole body hurt, especially areas that had been prone to injury, like my right hand that was in danger of developing carpal tunnel because of all of the rose pruning I’ve done over the years. My head throbbed, like a big whooshing in and out. And when I would finally fall asleep, I would wake up shivering, covered in sweat. 

It sounds miserable but it was also fascinating. I had never seen my body work this way. I knew powerful things were happening internally, and that toxins were being released. Like all of the other avenues of this walk, it felt like productive pain. I knew the best thing I could do was to stay calm and rid myself of the “take something to treat this” mentality. I needed rest, easy nutrition (soup, fresh juice) and water. My body would resolve the rest on its own. 

But a few of the symptoms lingered. So I reached out to an oily friend of mine and admitted that I was thiiiiis close to throwing in the towel. I didn’t want all of my hard work and suffering to be for naught; I didn’t want to reintroduce foreign chemicals via conventional medication back into my body when it had worked so hard to expel them! But I was getting desperate after nearly three months of being immunosuppressed. 

She simply said “Have you looked at the emotional roots of those symptoms?”. I balked. Of course I hadn’t! Who thinks of doing that?! Well, a lot of oily people, actually, and with good reason. 

See, the conventional person undergoing illness or chronic health problems doesn’t consider their very real, physical symptoms to be linked with anything other than their broken body. They know they should eat well and rest (will they truly allow themselves that?) but they don’t consider what emotions hav been internalized and become toxic. “Normal people” just don’t think that way. 

I am here to tell you that a new way of thinking is becoming the new normal, friends, because it is the unequivocal truth. When my Oily friend suggested emotional release, I was grateful for another friend who had gifted me with Dr. Carolyn Mein’s workbook “Releasing Emotional Patterns With Essential Oils”. I had flipped through it and found it fascinating but didn’t take the time to start applying it to myself. It takes effort to teach yourself from the workbook, but it’s not rocket science. You can figure this out without someone holding your hand. 

I’ll quickly try to summarize how this works. Hold on to your knickers because we’re about to delve into the woowoo realm for some of you. 

Dr. Mein is saying that “emotions are powerful and provide momentum initiating action”. They have energy, and our bodies can either release the energy of an emotion or hold onto it. If we release it, and it’s a negative emotion, we feel badly afterward — like when you blast your spouse with all of the anger you’ve pent up after a rough week, or you lash out at your kids irrationally when they spill some milk. Who hasn’t experienced the shame of handling negative emotions poorly? When it’s a positive emotion and you release it, it feels good — like laughter, or understanding or receptivity. 

When we hold onto emotions we either stuff them or redirect them. When we redirect them we channel the energy into positive expression, like work, play, creativity, exercise. You know, like the angsty or heartbroken artist makes their life’s work during a period of immense trial. But when we stuff emotions, the energy becomes blocked and it creates either emotional or physical pain. Dr. Mein argues that emotions have a negative and positive polarity and that we must be able to access both polarities of ALL emotions (and there’s a lot of them!) to be fully alive. And therefore that when we try to avoid emotions it can cripple us, either by limiting our life experiences so that we avoid situations that could cause emotional pain, or via unresolved emotions manifesting in physical or mental pain and strife. 

We were wonderfully created for more than those last two options. 

So using her workbook we are releasing emotions mentally, by recognizing and understanding the lesson/pattern; spiritually, by increasing awareness; emotionally, by identifying and feeling the feelings; and physically by clearing the cellular memory stored in the body. 

You should seek out more research about the physical storage of blocked emotional energy in DNA, and the amygdala’s ability to release emotional trauma only through the sense of smell. The science seems supernatural, but is very real. In her workbook we are working with alarm points throughout our body that connect specific points — like acupuncture — to the function of an organ or gland that is storing the cellular memory of the blocked emotion. I said we were gonna get woowoo, folks! But if you’re willing to try anything you’ll be amazed at what results you can find when faith and resolve drive your motives. 

So after making peace with the theory and practice, and after knowing many people who successfully use this method, I went for it. What did I have to lose? I was miserable, sick and very aware of the many years of trauma I had been through. It made sense that some of it, maybe a lot of it, was still unresolved. 

Beginning, what I did was really consider what it was, symptomatically, that I needed to resolve. What came to my first was my immune system and second my sinuses. 

As an important side note, I also combined my emotional release routine with prayer, never wanting to elevate oils over healing from God, where my faith truly lies. My mindset was if this technique is to work, how much more could prayer work symbiotically with it. I found this to be highly effective. 
Focusing first on my immune system, I went to the back of the workbook and looked up “immune”. There it was on page 76, nestled between “ileum” and “infection”. In the adjacent column it read “Melrose” and in the second further column it read “Impatience”. 

Melrose is then the Essential Oil I would use to on the alarm point (we’re getting there) and “impatience” is the emotion that’s gone wayward. So I then flip to the Emotional Reference section and find “impatience” on page 43, in between “illusion” and “inadaptability”. 

At this point, if you’re following along to do this for yourself, the emotion will oftentimes be blaringly obvious in the way it manifests in your life. “Impatience” means so many things to me that I can’t get into it all here or we’ll spend the rest of the blog post psychoanalyzing my life. But the emotion will often mean something very particular to you and your life. What someone else derives from impatience — like the frustration of dealing with impatient people in their life — is completely difference with how I interpret “impatience” and why I’m being called to examine it. 

So once again we see columns. First is the negative side of an emotion — impatience. Then we are shown “the other side”, or the positive polarity to the negative emotion. For impatience, that is adaptability. Here I will sit and meditate on what both of those look like in my life. How do I reach adaptability? What is keeping me from it? When do I feel most impatient? How does that manifest? I want to really delve into the pattern that has been created somewhere along the way, increase my awareness of how these emotions work within my life and prepare myself to let go and move forward. I’ll also offer up a prayer, asking to be released from impatience, reminding myself that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus and a slave to nothing and no one. I pray for adaptability and maybe even ask for the intercession of specific saints who were proficient in dealing with these types of situations (lots of saints were very adaptable and very patient during the most arduous of times). I sit quietly and still. 

In the next column we read “the way out”. This is the affirmation we will say aloud to let ourselves know that we’ve found the solution — we no longer have to keep searching; we are safe and able to finally deal with this. I find these great too when impatience flares back up in the future because I can walk myself through dealing with it by saying “I am flexible” mid-moment. I take a few deep breaths and continue to say aloud “I am flexible”. I feel strong and confident. I believe what I am hearing myself say. Once again I offer up more prayer. 

The last three columns are how to deal with this emotion and the cellular memory where it is stored. So I will use Melrose on the alarm points for my immune system, and I am given chart C to look up where that physical alarm point is. I flip to the back of the book and see a chart of a body; I find immune “1 inch lateral to Lymph on lateral upper chest”. I search for the spot on my own body and to my utter amazement I find a tender spot exactly where the alarm point is. So I take a drop of my Melrose, apply it there, keep some pressure on it and say aloud “I am flexible”. I breathe deeply. I have zero skepticism. I feel grounded and in control. More prayers. 

I create list of what my immediate complaints are and commit to working on emotional release every night before bed for at least a week. It only takes one attempt when I experience relief in my sinus cavities. Is it like the drugstore-bought medicinal sinus relief that we’re used to? No. But by being still and tapping into my body I feel the small shift. And I am filled with hope and excitement… and a newfound patience! It feels proactive to carve this quiet time out for myself every evening. And alas within about three days my plague has abated, each day markedly better since the Herxheimer Reaction, which only lasted a few hours. 

Maybe even more interesting is after working on these alarm points, as I sit there listening to my body’s reactions, I’ll feel certain spots on my head or body that begin to ache. I mean I can point to exactly where they are. Fascinatingly enough, one of these times I used the body charts to look up what emotion might be attached to that ache, and found myself staring at the emotion “depression”. It was jaw-dropping. Through overcoming the initial emotions causing upheaval, it opens pathways for the underlying symptomatic problems to finally be let go of. Depression, guys. Looked up by looking at a body chart of where my head was hurting after doing emotional release. I couldn’t make this stuff up. That’s not coincidence. My body was finally ready to let it go. 

I am still in a fragile, newly healed body, not nearly up to the functioning ability that I had even a few moths prior. Maybe the most difficult part about this is that it isn’t evident on the exterior. If anything because of my dramatic weight loss (happy side effect of a life well nourished!) I look healthier and able-bodied. But I am still very much in the recovery stage, and as it isn’t evident, I have to set the boundaries to protect my own well being by limiting activities and responsibilities, resting when I can, cultivating quiet times throughout my day and week and being gentle with myself. There will come a time again when I am strong and thriving. I have no doubt. But right now is a special time that I’m being asked to live within this space, cultivating empathy for people who suffer from chronic illness and silently bear their burdens. !

There has been so much good that has come from these courageous changes. They may not make sense to everyone and this might not be a walk everyone’s willing to take, but it is where I have been called to. I am just doing my best to follow the bread crumbs.