Greenwashing. I’ve been a victim. Have you?

 

Have you ever heard of Greenwashing before? I bet as soon as you see the example below, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Greenwashing is when a company spins their marketing, or the look of their product, to appear more environmentally friendly and/or “natural” than they really are. How do they do this? It sounds ridiculous and way too simple but they make the packaging green. Or clear. Or white. It gives the appearance of a clean look.

They add flowers or plants to the label. They use words like “bio”, “natural”, and “pure” which literally mean nothing. Anyone can write that on a label. There aren’t any regulations in place to stop them.

This isn’t a new concept but there has been significant growth in recent years as people are becoming more aware. We’re starting to pay attention to the number of toxins accumulating in our daily products. We’re starting to pay attention to the state of our planet and that we each need to do our part.

Have you ever visited a hotel and seen a placard on the nightstand asking you to reuse your towels to reduce energy waste? It’s been proven that this practice hasn’t reduced any waste. But wait for it. It HAS increased the profits of those hotels because the guests begin to perceive them as a better option over hotels that aren’t making an effort to reduce waste. It’s brilliant on their end. It really is.

Here’s a product example of Greenwashing.

herbalessence

Herbal Essences. The greenwashing starts with the name. The green packaging. The flowers. The stamp with the leaf and the words “bio:renew”. No parabens, gluten or colors. Cucumber and green tea fragrance. Made with antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp.

I’m tempted to run to CVS and pick this up right now! Except. Except this is the ingredient list.

Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Histidine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Silk Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Fragrance, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Glutamic Acid, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Here’s how I feel about this new bio line. It’s better than the old stuff. Ha! I’ll give them that. However, the fragrance and the methylisothiazolinone rank 8 and 7 on a toxicity scale of 1 to 10 put out by the Environmental Working Group. Benzyl Alcohol (which I touch on later) is a 6. Many of these ingredients are fine but at least 5 are known to attack the immune system, reproductive system and are straight up toxic to our environment!

That goes directly against the message they’re trying to convey.

Herbal Essences isn’t exactly known for being a “natural” company so let’s talk about one that is. Tom’s of Maine. Oh Tom’s. I want to love you. I really do. But I can’t.

These are photos of a toothpaste that I purchased on a whim a few years ago.

toms.jpg

Ok, so fluoride-free and natural. Arginine is fine. I’ve used Calcium Carbonate in my homemade toothpaste so I know that’s good.  Fresh mint. White, simple packaging with some green to let me know that they use plants and care about the planet.

Now let’s flip it over.

toms2.jpg

Benzyl alcohol. The amount of this ingredient that the FDA has deemed safe doesn’t take into account the fact that it’s in almost ALL of our bathroom products and we’re using them daily. Long term use can cause dermatitis, wreak havoc on our livers and is damaging to our central nervous system.

How about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate? It’s super cheap to make and it’s the ingredient that causes the product to lather and make beautiful bubbles so that we think everything is getting nice and clean. However, The Journal of Toxicology provided a safety assessment and recommended that no more than 1% of this should be in a product that is going to be used on a regular basis. Disturbingly, however, most of the products containing SLS have 10-20% of it and some even up to 30%.

It’s been known to inhibit proper eye development in young children and cause major skin/scalp issues in a select few. “But it’s just in their toothpaste”, you think. “It’s not going on their eyes.” Not true. The body absorbs it all. It’s going into the bloodstream. Our skin is a sponge. Our gums. Our mouth. You’re not avoiding these ingredients by brushing and spitting them out.

Here’s the good news! You don’t have to use these products!! What about our government banning these ingredients. Europe is doing it, so why are we so far behind?

Personally, I lean Conservative. I hope we can still be friends. I’m not a big fan of slapping government regulations on everything. Know what I am a big fan of? Knowing the facts. Educating myself. I can read a label and I am in charge of where I spend my dollars. I don’t get to blame these companies for deceiving me. I’m a big girl.

So what do I choose to do about it? I respond by spending my money on a company that isn’t deceiving me. I purchase all of my household and bathroom products from Young Living. They are the real deal when it comes to environmental impact as well as toxin-free products.

Someone helped me a long time ago and I can’t express how happy I am that they did. Now I want to help you. I really do. There isn’t a product in my house anymore that contains any of these ingredients. BUT we’re still clean, we still smell good and we’re saving a bunch of money. And I want to show you how.

Check out my Young Living page here. There are several kits and one contains cleaning products, mouthwash, toothpaste and all sorts of toxin-free goodies. Shoot me an email with questions at livefreeandoil@yahoo.com

It’s ok if you didn’t know any of this. I didn’t either. Those pictures of the toothpaste are of my hand in my bathroom. But now I do know and you do, too. So what are you doing to do about it?

 

An Open Letter To My Crunchy Friends

I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile. Honestly, I’ve been nervous to write it because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

First, I want to say this. You are my people. You, over there, soaking your rolled oats. You, crunchy mama, letting your kid ride out their fever. You, homesteader, raising all of your own food. If you are reading, learning and researching ways to make your life less toxic then you are my people! I love that you’re being proactive about your health and taking your future into your own hands.

I feel like there are a lot of people out there who love to hate on anyone who is going against the grain. Healthy living is no exception. I want you to know that I’m with you and this post is intended to help and not criticize.

We get enough criticism, don’t we? It seems as though just questioning societal norms can cause an upset. Some people see, hear or read information that lights a spark. They want to know more.

GMOs. EMFs. Fluoride. Vaccines. Antibiotics in our meat. Hormones in our dairy. Heavy metals in our deodorant. Food dyes and cancer causing ingredients in our medicine. Hormone disruptors in our dryer sheets. I could go on all day.

Just pausing to ask questions about these issues has caused people in my life to tell me that I’m “anti-science”. That confuses me because I feel like wanting this information actually makes me even more pro-science. If that’s even a thing!

Anyways, so you’ve got the haters who already think we’re crazy, stupid, anti-science moms with our Google degrees who are endangering ourselves and everyone around us. Amiright? We don’t need to give these people any more ammunition than that. But then we do. And we don’t even know we’re doing it. We’re writing or saying “chemical-free living” about everything!

Guys, I love you. But this is basic science and it only discredits the person saying it. Anything that takes up matter is a chemical. Oxygen is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Our bodies are chemicals. Complex materials like your phone, your dog and even the vegetables you’re growing in your backyard are all chemicals.

Apple cider vinegar. Essential oils. Colloidal silver. Elderberry syrup. Norwex rags. Turmeric. Whatever “earthy crunchy” thing you swear by is a chemical. And I say “earthy crunchy” in the nicest possible way as I include myself in this group!

Not chemicals? Heat. Gravity. Light. Simply put, things that don’t take up space. (It’s more complex than that but we’re keeping it simple here today.)sticker,375x360.u1

I also believe that we can gain a broader audience by using the correct terminology. Whenever I’m sharing a recipe or talking about my beloved oils, I say “Toxin/Toxic-free living.” And that is a stretch, too, because it’s impossible to avoid toxins even in your own home. So maybe I should say, “Toxic-less living.” Ha!

So please take what I’m sharing in the spirit that it’s intended. I am really trying to speak the truth in love, friends. You don’t know how much I want you to keep sharing what you believe in. I want you to ignite your passion for healthy living in the people that you care about. I also really believe that we’ll gain more traction and credibility with our listeners if we make this one, easy change.

Who is with me?!?

Messy Worship Is Better Than No Worship

I grew up going to a pretty charismatic church. Of course I didn’t know it at the time. I thought that everyone went to church for a minimum of 3 or 4 hours on Sundays. I also thought it was common for worship through music to continue for the entire service and even take priority over a sermon.

To this day I wonder if my love of worship and singing is a result of those services as a child or if those services just fostered a love that God had already placed in my heart. I like to think it’s a beautiful combination of the two.

Anyhow, fast forward to today. As an adult, my relationship with God goes through ups and downs. At times, we are talking constantly and I’m feeling so close to Him. Other times, I let things get in the way and we’re a little more distant. I wish it wasn’t that way but it just seems to be how it is for me.

Even during those times where I’m not spending as much time with Him as I should or that I want to, He always meets me in those songs of praise. I can physically feel Him. He usually speaks to me during those times, too. I know He can speak to us anywhere and anytime but for me, worship has always been more significant and extra special somehow.

So now I have my 3 kids. And the 2 youngest are just all about mom all the time. On a regular basis, I feel the Holy Spirit kind of nudging me in the back saying, “Go up front. Bow down at the altar. Lean in. Get close to Me.” Meanwhile I have at least one child on a hip and one sitting on my foot and I wonder if I heard Him right.

He can’t possibly want me up there right now. My kids will follow me. They’ll cry. They’ll be a distraction to everyone else. I won’t be able to really focus on Him. Then I’ll hear Him again, “Come on. Let’s go.” And I’m sure that I’m imagining things. He obviously can see me. He can see that my husband and I are struggling to contain them in the row and keep them as quiet as possible.

About 2 years ago I couldn’t ignore the pull and I did go up front. I pushed aside my reasons not to and just knelt down and worshipped and prayed and cried my eyes out. Honestly, it felt so good. One of the teens came over, knelt down beside me, asked if I was ok and if I wanted her to pray with me. “I’m fine!” I said. “Just worshipping.” I thought it was so sweet that she was checking in but it bothered me. It bothered me that she thought the only time I would weep at the altar would be during a time of crisis.

I wanted to say, “It should be the opposite. You should be asking me if I’m okay if I’m not up here. When I think about Jesus suffering and dying on the cross I want to just sit at His feet and cry and thank Him for hours for what He’s done. Not to mention what I have turned around and done with this gift He’s given me.

I’m selfish and lazy. I’m impatient and snarky. I’m not even close to being a Proverbs 31 wife. He did what He did and I’m not honoring Him with my life as much as I could. Not even close. I could be sprawled out on this floor for a week and not even begin to scratch the surface of how much I want to thank Him for the grace, protection and blessings He has poured over my life.”

So this morning was one of those mornings. I literally had a child on one hip and was trying to keep the other one from being too much of a distraction. I felt the Lord pulling, pushing, asking, whispering, encouraging me to go up front. And I said, “But God. They’re going to follow me up there and I won’t be able to focus on You.” And then I went anyways.

And you know what happened? They followed me. My hands were in the air and tears were falling down my cheeks. My 1 year old was in my lap but eyeballing the drum set. My 3 year old wanted to know why I was sad and was trying to pull me back to our seats.

I’ll tell you what I think He’s trying to teach me in those moments. He doesn’t care about the mess. In fact, I think He loves the mess. I think He simply wants me where I’m at. He wants me to be closer. He wants me to just be willing to give Him what I do have. Even if it’s not what I think He deserves.

I don’t have the best offering to bring to Him right now. I can’t pray without distraction. I can’t even get through a whole song without making sure my youngest hasn’t escaped out one of the back doors. But He loves them more than I do. He called me to be a mom. He knows better than anyone how tired I am and how much I need to rest in Him.

Guys, I’m not qualified to be writing to you about the goodness of God. I don’t have anything figured out. I’m here today to tell you that He doesn’t want you to get it all figured out before going to Him either. He wants us now. He wants to carry us. He wants us any way that we show up.

And the bonus? My kids get to see how much I need Him. I tell them I’m crying because I’m happy. Because God loves me so much and He’s given me all of them. He’s given me their Daddy. He’s given me freedom through forgiveness. He’s given me an eternity with him. And He’s given them the same thing if they want it.

The Creator of the Universe has fulfilled and will continue to fulfill all of His promises.

He promises that He has plans for each one of us that include HOPE and a FUTURE. Jeremiah 29:11

He promises that if we go to Him when we’re exhausted and burdened, He will give us rest. Matthew 11:29&29

He promises that He’ll give us strength when we feel like we have nothing left. If we trust in Him, He’ll lift us up on wings like eagles! Is 40:29-31

He promises that He WILL supply all of our needs. Phil 4:19

He promises that absolutely nothing can separate us from His love. Not Satan. Not death. Nothing. Romans 8:37-39

He promises that, as His children, we will never be overtaken by temptation. He will always provide a way out if we ask Him for it. 1 Cor 10:13

He promises that everything that happens to us will work out for our good as long as we focus on being faithful to Him. Romans 8:28

This is the big one. He promises that if we simply confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior then we will be saved and get to live with Him forever. Romans 10:9

Just typing out that list makes me want to kneel where I am and say, “I know this isn’t enough but here it is anyway. Thank you Lord.”

My goal moving forward is to have my sweet friends at church wanting to know what’s wrong when I DON’T go up front and cry my eyes out. That’s when I’ll know I’m close to doing something right.

 

worship.jpg

#WAHM

 

The irony of all ironies is how long I’ve had this post written in my head. As a work at home mom, whenever I have a spare minute, I switch modes from my House/Family To Do list to my Work To Do list.

This blog is marked in my luxury category right alongside taking a solo trip to Target and getting my hair cut. Those outings don’t happen as often as I’d like and neither do these posts. 

However, I got some time away today and I want to address 2 major topics.

1) MLMs aren’t pyramid schemes despite how much people love to hate them.

2) Work at home moms shouldn’t be getting eye rolls. They should be getting big old high fives. I’ll tell you why later.

Let’s tackle #1 first. I think know that the public consensus is that Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies are unethical scams and you should run from them as fast as you can.

The following has happened to me more than a few times. Well-meaning person: “Are you a stay at home mom or do you work?” Me: “Yes and yes. I am home with my kids full time. I also teach free workshops about essential oils. Why you want to use them, how to use them and how to do so safely.” Well-meaning person: “How do you get paid?” Me: “When people purchase their starter kits and enter my referral number.” Well-meaning person: “Oh, it’s a pyramid scheme.” Insert fake smile here.

Multi-level marketing is not a pyramid scheme. According to our friend, Wikipedia, a pyramid scheme (which is illegal to do in the United States) involves recruiting members with a promise that once they’ve recruited others, they will be rewarded with money or services.

I’ve never once told someone to give me their money and then they would receive their essential oils or a check once they recruited 2 more people. In fact, I assure people that the distributor status doesn’t require anything of them at all. The opportunity is there with zero obligation.

The other comment I get a lot is that the price of the product is inflated because the company has to pay a percentage to all of the distributors. This just simply isn’t true either. The price of the product is the price of the product that the company has determined is fair. The money to pay the distributors comes from the budget that they’re not spending on Sales and Marketing departments.  

Advertising campaigns can cost millions of dollars. Are you more likely to purchase a product from watching a commercial or because your sweet Aunt Susie used it, loved it and shared it with you on her old gingham couch that you napped on as a child? It’s actually pretty brilliant. I think the haters are just mad because they didn’t come up with the idea first.

Now for #2. Momming is hard, guys. It’s hard enough without a side hustle but a lot of women are like me. Yes, they want to be home. Yes, they want to be with their kids *almost* all the time. But they also want to use their other skills in a tangible way. They want to provide supplemental income without sacrificing time with their family. They want to buy their beloved product at a discount and cover their own purchases because they believe in it and want it in their home.

You know when we’re working? At naptime. After the kids are in bed. In the early morning hours. Maybe we’re answering emails while the kids are eating dinner. Maybe we’re paying for babysitters out of our profits. It’s a grind and definitely not a get rich quick scheme. It’s a work your butt off behind the scenes when you could be watching TV because the kids are asleep scheme.

Not only that, it takes some serious skills to run and organize a home while loving and raising littles from bell to bell. Being able to run a profitable home business on top of that is nearing Superwoman status. I find that during the times that my business has grown significantly, my kids took far less baths and ate a lot more Chick-Fil-A. During the times when I neglect my business a bit, my kids are living on fruits and veggies and my house is spotless. Just as in anything, it’s a balance. 

Here’s something else I’d love for people to consider. Did you ever wonder why so many of these women are giving up every second of their very limited free time to work their business? It’s not because they want to guilt their friend into buying a crappy product so they can make a measly $25 check. I promise you. It’s because they used the product, they loved the product, and they want the people they care about to have it in their homes, too. I’m not making this up. 

Think about a work at home mom that you know who does MLM as her business. Shoot her a message and ask her if she would keep using the product if the company stopped offering the business opportunity. My guess would be an enthusiastic yes 10 out of 10 times.

Here are a few quick numbers for you. 2017 was a $167 billion dollar year globally for all MLMs.  More than 38 million people in the U.S. are involved in direct marketing this year. That’s probably why you could personally name 5 or more people selling several different products. 77% of these are women and 1 out of every 5 of them is grossing 6 figures annually.

More than 16 million people are making a salary large enough to allow them to stay home and make their own schedule. Kids. Vacations. Doctors appointments. Pets. Unforeseen circumstances or emergencies. Not an issue. What freedom!

Also, despite what most people think, the vast majority of these companies are selling extremely high quality products. Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Plexus, Noonday, and obviously Young Living. 

When I first started using my beloved essential oils, I had a serious need and they filled them. I looked my friend square in the eye on the night that I ordered my first kit and said, “I will never sell these oils.” And I didn’t. For a whole year, I just used them and loved them.

As time went by, I told a few family members and friends about what I was using them for and how they were working. A couple people asked me to host a workshop and that got the ball rolling. For about 4 years I had enough people on my team to cover my order each month. That was good enough for me. Especially because I had 3 children in those 4 years.

Around year 5, the friend who taught my first class came to my house to give me a gift and she looked around and saw my Young Living products everywhere. She told me I was doing half the “job” simply by using them for every dang thing. I decided to stop using my kids as my excuse and start using them as my why. Now I’m hustling a little harder on the side and am slowly but surely creeping my way up the ladder.

Here are just a few of the reasons I love MLM:

In the beginning, you’re paid based on how hard you work. Or don’t work. As an intrinsically motivated individual, I love this model. 

The average traditional business won’t turn a profit until its 7th year. A distributor can turn a profit on day 1.

Once I hit a certain rank, I can will my checks to my family. I’ve also added my husband’s name as a co-applicant. If I got hit by a train tomorrow, he would keep receiving checks.

Along those lines, I could stop working tomorrow and the money would keep coming forever as long as my team kept growing.

And there’s no income cap. Debra Raybern, who wrote one of my favorite books, is making well over $2 million/year with YL and growing. Obviously this is the exception and not the rule but you get the point.

Before you brace yourself for the sales pitch, I’m not here to convince you to become a MLM distributor or even to begin using essential oils. I have simply been wanting to shed some light on the subject from the inside. If you and I are friends and you do not want to learn about essential oils, we can still be friends. I am not hanging out with you just because I want you to purchase from my company. I also don’t make new friends with the idea that they’ll be a future prospect. There are more of us out there that think like this than you realize.

As I come up on year 6 with Young Living, I can’t imagine not continuing to teach and share what I know. I have had the privilege of helping too many people experience major health improvements and successes to stop now. But from time to time, I get discouraged by the naysayers and have to refocus. So I ask this of you…wahm

The next time you see a FB post from a work at home mom, will you resist the eye roll? Pause briefly and think about the long hours and the hustle that she’s pulling off when nobody is watching. Consider that just maybe her motivation comes from a good place. A place from truly wanting to share about an amazing product that has changed her life. A place from thinking your family could be blessed by the supplemental income, too. A place where she would seriously love “working” with a good friend. I am that mom and those are the things that I think.

So let’s give those moms a polite, “No thanks,” but then a hearty high five and a “But good job! I know you’re working so hard to stay home with your kids and work a job that you really love and believe in.” It would make a world of difference to us.  ❤

 

My Definition Of Old Keeps Changing

I was 12 the year that my dad turned 40 and I will never forget his birthday party. He was is a stinker and would try to sniff out surprises and ruin them. My mother had a big old cookout planned but he wouldn’t go where we asked him to so that the guests could arrive.

As a result, at the last minute my mother had everyone meet at the convenience store near our house (Lord only knows how they pulled this off without cell phones) and drive up the street together. It was literally a parade. I remember so clearly that it was such a fun day and everyone was cracking up at how much effort it took to trick my dad into thinking there wasn’t a party.

But the part I remember most was thinking about how old my dad was turning. 40!? Holy cow. “It’s all downhill from here,” I thought. “He had a good run and now it’s just a matter of time.” It’s worth mentioning that my dad was a fit and active 40 year old which makes all of that even more hysterical to me now.

It’s also funny how my definition of old evolves every 5 years or so. When I hit 15, I thought 25 was headed straight for a nursing home. At 25, I thought 30 was the beginning of the end and 35 was ancient. I just knew that somehow time would freeze before I got there because how could I possibly ever be 35?

Guys. Tomorrow I turn 35. Literally how did this happen?

It’s easy to feel the crunchy knees and look at the wrinkles and dread the aging process. Most people catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and wish they could rewind the clock if only for a little while.

I joke a lot about my “fun” years being behind me but I’m here to tell you something. The fun years are whatever years you want them to be. I’ll tell you something else, I believe the reason time seems to fly as we age is because we start looking outward instead of inward.

The world stops revolving around ourselves and we see people who have greater needs than us. We see places that we can serve. We see those who have been dealt a tough hand and others who have lost their life too soon.

This is when I get mad. Not at the crappy stuff in life. We were never promised a life free of troubles. I get mad at myself for wasting even a second wishing I wasn’t getting older. You know why? It’s a privilege. Truly. I get to feel the crunchy knees. I get to play and laugh in the sun as new wrinkles settle in. I get to watch my kids grow and grow like weeds. I get to marvel at how my husband magically becomes more handsome as he ages.

There’s nothing wildly profound in this post. I just wanted to share in the hopes that maybe somebody needed to hear this today.  In my world, 35 feels good. So will 55 and 85 if I’m privileged enough to enjoy that many years this side of heaven. Bring on the candles, experiences, joys and struggles. Thank you Lord for this beautiful ride. Growing-Older-Button-(0091)

 

 

The #1 Reason I Love The Beach Might Surprise You

After growing up on Cape Cod, I have unrealistic expectations about how much time should be spent in a beach chair during the summer months. I swear the ocean calls to me and pulls me in. My body subconsciously knows about ALL the amazing health benefits from the sun, the air, the cold water and even the sand.  Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that the beach can improve mood? Where was I when the sign up sheet for this study was going around?

Even as a kid, whenever we had a bad scrape or some ailment, my mother would tell us to ride our bikes to the water and go for a swim. I don’t know if she knew at the time how spot on she was.

saltwater

Now that I live in Southern NH and it takes us an hour to reach the shore, my husband has had to bring me back to reality a little bit and explain that we can’t be making that trip more than once a week.

As much as I love all of those things, my #1 reason to just adore beach days has changed as I entered the momming phase of my life. It’s this simple: the only activity options are lounging or playing.

There isn’t any laundry in the dryer to be folded and put away. There aren’t any bills to pay. There’s no dishwasher to be emptied or dust in the corners nagging at me to be wiped up. There’s no pee on the bottom of the toilet seat (ok there might be but it’s not my toilet to clean). There’s no dinner to start prepping or grocery lists to update.

There’s no point in checking my enormous To Do list because there’s nothing I can check off while at the beach. As a #wahm I’m guilty of checking my phone a lot in case one of my tribe has a question. But at the beach, I can’t do that because the 3G doesn’t reach past the parking lot. At first that frustrated me but now I think it deserves an amen and a hallelujah!

Because you know what there is plenty of as a result of that?! Unlimited time to just play with my kids. They don’t have to wait for me to finish what I’m doing to start building a sandcastle or go splashing in the waves. I’m just there. Want to go for a walk? Sure, let’s go. Want a snack? Help yourself to the cooler! Want to wrap up in a towel and cuddle? I’m your girl.

During a typical day, I’m so guilty of not playing with my kids enough and getting caught up in the tasks that keep the wheels of our home turning. But on beach days, there are no distractions from those beautiful faces. We’re also in that sweet spot with #3 where he’s old enough to play and run around but still needs to nap to make it through the day. I put him in the baby carrier, walk until he falls asleep and then just sit and hold him and stare at the water. It brings to tears to my eyes if I’m not careful.

Meanwhile, #1 and #2 are getting full on dad time. And I’ll tell you right now, kids need their dads. Boys and girls alike need that love, security and model set for them.

I’m so grateful for these beach days where we get to focus on what really matters.  “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.” -Abigail Van Buren

IMG_2706
Holding my youngest on Cape Cod (7/2017) about 200 yards away from where my husband and I got married. ❤

The 6th Love Language

I find myself joking a lot about my 6th love language and I wish I could explain all of what you’re about to read to everyone I pour that love into.

But in order to share that with you, we first need to talk about the original 5 compiled by Gary Chapman. He is a pastor in North Carolina who is best known for his book, “The 5 Love Languages”.

Imagine that your loved one speaks Spanish and you keep telling them over and over how much you love them in English. You are expressing it and feeling it but they’re not receiving much. This idea that Gary proposes is much the same. He says that there are 5 love languages and most people have 1 or 2 dominant ones through which they feel and receive love the most.

Love-Languages

The 5 languages are gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch. Gifts can be a material item or something free that requires some thought. Quality time could involve uninterrupted one on one time with good eye contact and no distractions. Words of affirmation are unsolicited verbal (or written) expressions of praise, encouragement, love, kindness or respect.  Some good examples of acts of service would be cheerfully taking on a chore that you know your spouse really does not like doing or planning a date and taking care of all the details. Physical touch can be sitting close together on the couch, holding hands, hugging and kissing.

Discovering your own primary love language can shed light on so many things. You may find that you express your love in the way that you feel it most. For example, if my love language is words of affirmation then I’m probably going to spend a lot of time telling my husband how much I love him and leaving him little notes in his lunch bag. However, if his love language is physical touch, then my words are not wasted but the output of my efforts could be tripled if I focused on hugs and kisses instead.

Chapman has written several other books around the same concept and I especially love the one for children. It makes a lot of sense that your kids would receive love differently from each other. There’s a quiz here to find out which love language you primarily speak! It’s a fantastic activity to do with your spouse and kids.

Very often lately I’ve been finding myself saying that my 6th love language is sharing my essential oils. I usually laugh when I say it and it sounds silly but it’s actually quite serious and important to me.

If you read my blog, then you know that I have a passion for healthy living. The very first step of this path started with essential oils and even with all of the other pieces I’ve picked up over the years, the center point is still my oils!

On a seriously regular basis I find myself speaking to someone who is sharing a struggle of some kind with me. They themselves or someone in their immediate family would like to see a positive change in a certain area of their life. They’re in pain. Their digestive system is not functioning well. They want to switch to organic home products but money is just always tight. Their sleep is not restful. Their stress levels or anxiety are through the roof. They just can’t seem to get through a winter without being sick 3 or 4 times. They’re embarrassed by their skin.

The resounding theme is always a quality of life issue. Meanwhile, I’m yelling in my head, “I have an oil that may help with that! It’s just a plant. Truly God’s original medicine. Let me teach you. Save you money. Remove the toxin that you’re currently using that isn’t working the way you hoped. Help you experience true wellness instead of repeating these steps and hoping for different outcomes.”

In most cases, I bite my tongue and wait/hope to be asked but not always. Sometimes I share anyway. I ask if I can give them a sample or guide them to a better, healthier, safer option. These are the times that I leap out of my comfort zone, ignore the fear of sounding like my motivation is coming from anywhere other than wanting to help and pour out that 6th love language.

I didn’t want to go to my first class. I didn’t know what the oils were and I didn’t have any knowledge about what they could do. But I had a need. A BIG need. I began to know better and do better… for myself and for my family.  And now I just genuinely want to help others know and do better, too.

I wish I had kept a tally of how many times people have said to me that their only regret with the oils is that they didn’t start earlier. This is what keeps me going. Every drop of oil used is one less toxic product poisoning your house or body. Truly. It sounds dramatic but it’s not.

So if I’ve ever given you a sample, taught you a class, texted you back about the proper usage, then friend I LOVE YOU! If I’ve ever encouraged you to consider seeing what the heck I’m doing, gently reminded you that what you’re using could be causing more harm than good or offered information to start making small, manageable changes then I LOVE YOU! (With most people I can be reserved but I swear I can’t hold myself back when it comes to pregnant women because I just love those tiny babies more than I can bear.)Essential-Oils-Are-My-Love-Language

When my oil mentors teach and encourage me, man oh man does that fill my cup. And I get it. It’s their 6th love language, too even if they don’t know it.

So try me out. Ask me some hard questions. If I ignore you, I don’t love you. Kidding!! I love you all because we’re sons and daughters of the same King. I wish that essential oils had been added somewhere in 1 Corinthians 13. Ha! Come to a class so I can love on you. Let me come to your house and love on you and the people you love. If you’re far away, I’ll mail you some love. Just know that if I share with you, it’s coming from the best place possible.  ❤

Here is a link to a pdf of the 5 Love Languages book if you want to check it out. And you should!