Sweet Freedom

Our family has lived through a weird five years. Some of it I’ve shared with you and some I’m still working up to sharing. All of this means every year by August, I am out of sick days and halfway through my vacation days. And I never, ever roll anything into the new year. I generally have a stranglehold on those last five days, that I haven’t even accrued yet, hoping for some sort of vacation. It is a stressful way to live.

On top of whatever craziness caused me to be off in the first place, when I miss work I worry all day. I fret over using another sick or vacation day that I might need later. I have left my son and my husband at times I didn’t want to because I was saving every minute I could in case of the inevitable heart attack, tornado, trip to the doctor, broken foot, ER visit, kidney stone, etc. I have never felt like I had the freedom to do anything differently. My husband would always say it was no big deal and people understand when you need to be off, but I always felt guilty. My job took up the majority of my life and I couldn’t afford to keep missing.

My husband doesn’t really understand my point of view, mainly because he doesn’t think that way, but also because he accrues time off like crazy. In addition, he has always had some side hobby that he used to make extra money. He could sell something or fix something. I only have my daily job. My hobbies are reading and sleeping and those don’t pay well…or actually happen now that I have a little one. It has been a sore spot with me for years that he actually has time off he can use and money to have a hobby, while I sit in my office with my ag degree staring out an office window. This was not the dream.

But this week something happened. My little one was sick. Pitifully so. Normally I would leave for work and his daddy or grandmother would hold him and pet him all day. He would cry, but I never felt like I had a choice. But this week was different. See I joined Young Living a few months ago. The people involved with this company showed me that there is a different way to live. That you can do something you enjoy, actually help people, AND even make money. And I’m doing it. And I’m loving it.

The freedom of knowing I have a goal date in mind where I will be living the life I want…it makes a huge difference in how I feel and face daily life. I couldn’t go to my daily job that day, but I could work on my oily job from home. It sounds stupid, even to me, but it is the truth. All of this makes a huge difference to me.

If you are out there suffering through another day of doing what you’re supposed to, listen to me. You can do something else if you want. You can change your life and move toward what you love. Set a goal and go get it. It takes work, but doesn’t everything? But you have to start somewhere. Go to youngliving.com and do some research. Contact me through this site. Find me on Facebook (katiesoilyjourney) or Twitter (@katiesoilyjourney). Join Young Living through my link. It is a worthwhile change. I promise.

This Oily Life

Since I started this journey, I’ve had multiple people say I seem happier. I don’t know if it’s the oils themselves or just the change in focus. The running joke is I told a friend one day in conversation that I liked talking to people. That is out of the ordinary for me. A lot. And everyone she tells laughs. A lot. I think it’s that I finally have something worthwhile to say and I feel a passion to share it. I literally hear myself getting excited when I’m talking to someone about Young Living. I feel like I can help people improve their life and I want to do that.

I honestly hadn’t noticed how much I had started using Young Living products personally. I don’t have a huge supply at this point. Mainly oils from the premium starter kit and a few other things I’ve purchased. I had a friend ask me a few days ago how and what I was using that I felt was helping me. When I started telling her, I realized how much my family uses them.

I wake up and wash my face with Mirrah cleansing oil or a charcoal bar. (I love that cleansing oil, by the way.) I use Cedarwood mint soap or Morning Start bath gel and lavender conditioner. I get out and use Progessence Plus serum on my face, Stress Away in my lotion and Thieves oil on the bottoms of my feet for immune support. I use Thieves on my little one who is starting school, too. Last fall and spring were rough on us. We hope to avoid that this year. I’ve also made my own lip balm, hand salve, foaming soap, and foot cream. At night I diffuse lavender in my room and spray Seedlings spray on my pillow. On restless nights, I diffuse Sleepyize in my little one’s room. I diffuse daily at home and work, rotating through different blends. My husband uses a Panaway mix every night on tired, sore muscles. I’ve treated bug bites and stings, cuts and scrapes, and pimples and who knows what else. I mean seriously, I’m using them more than I even realized. And they help my family. Is this a miracle solution? Of course not. Do I look crazy to you? Don’t answer that. We still take our prescriptions and have our recommended check ups. This is simply a way to naturally support what we are already doing to maintain our health.

I’m also using products with synthetic fragrance as little as possible. I just can’t make myself go back to it knowing it could be screwing with my health. I’m checking labels on everything. Also not me. My husband will tell you he’s having trouble reconciling this Katie with the Katie he’s known for 17 years. He’s happy that I’m happy, but that doesn’t make it any less unusual. I get that. But I maintain this is just a happier, healthier version of me. Still the same mean me, but maybe a tiny bit nicer. You can thank Young Living for that.

Smells Like Trouble

I love that one popular store in the mall. No, not Victoria’s Secret, the other one. The one with all the smellies and lotions and soaps, oh my! I seriously love it. I love my plug-ins that keep my house from smelling like dogs live here. I mean they do, but does that really need to be obvious when I open my door? I’m at a crossroads and I’m kindof in a panic.

I’ve been with Young Living long enough to see the articles and hear people speak about the atrocities of *gasp!* store bought products with, wait for it, fragrance in them. I’m like, “Seriously, if they were dangerous the FDA wouldn’t let companies keep selling products.” There would be news stories and class action suits on every major news outlet. I’m a logical soul like that. I thought, “This is a scare tactic and I hate those.” I mean I hate companies scaring people for profit. I could agree that we needed to go more natural for our well being. I’m with that. But fragrance is evil? Really?

Y’all. Have you ever Googled anything about fragrances in personal care products? Try “Are synthetic fragrances safe (or dangerous)?” Immediate response. And it is scary. And well researched. There are groups specifically lobbying for changes to perfumes and cosmetics. There are lists of the worst offenders. Oh, and they are getting by the FDA with a loophole. Those are always good for us, right? Every time I hear “loophole” I cringe. See at one time, back when these companies were using actual plant extracts, they had protected trade secrets in relation to those plants and extracts. They said “trade secret” and the FDA said, “Go forth and prosper,” or something like that. But times have changed. Now the scents are made with chemical combinations instead of actual natural product. And some unscented products are unscented because chemical are added to cover the scent of other chemicals. What in the world is going on? Studies indicate there are more than (that’s more than) 3000 hidden chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, that’s bad. As in it may be killing you bad. Because that’s code for “I’m not telling you what makes this smell awesome because I’m scared you will freak out and quit buying my stuff.” Petroleum is the source of one of the main secret ingredients. Yep.

I am struggling. I think, “I can’t throw all this stuff out!” I’m not a millionaire and I had just started stockpiling. I bought shelves and started filling them! The struggle is really real!! But can I keep exposing us knowing full well these chemicals cause cancer, infertility and all kinds of awful things? I have a family history that already has me set up for some doozies. I don’t need to help genetics along. I have a little innocent kid that I make decisions for. I’m not sure I can stand to use his soap on him now. And I am pretty far away from all natural and organic all the way. We use paper towels, disposable everything and drive gas guzzling monster trucks. And organic?Organic actually makes me laugh, but that’s because I know. I know what qualifies as organic in stores and it’s not always what you think you’re paying for. But I digress. The point is, if this freaks me out, other people should be screaming in the streets. For. Real.

I say all that to say this, take some time and look, really look, at the labels in your house. See how many list generic “fragrance.” You can’t claim ignorance now. That’s my problem. I want to use my smelly soap and lotion. It makes me feel pretty. But I literally can’t make myself use it now.

So pray for me. Because I’m a little panicky. So much to do. So much to switch out. I know for me it has to be a gradual process because, let’s face it, toxic is cheap and natural is not. But man, I’m thinking it’s worth it. And I feel like it’s my duty as a caring human being to share this information with you.

Find a company you trust. Like today. You know for me it’s Young Living and I encourage you to check them out. But to each his own. Find a company and start making the switch. You don’t have to do it all at once. Switch out as you run out. (I may put that on a t-shirt!) But make the switch. It’s worth it.

A Better Me (and You)

The past few weeks have been so much fun for me.  I set a goal to be a better me and to make better decisions for my family.  And I decided I wanted to share what I was learning, so I started a Facebook page (facebook.com/katiesoilyjourney) and a blog.  Feel free to look me up – I love sharing.

I’ve used essential oils for several years.  As a skeptical person, I continually look for stories of success and research oils for myself.  I don’t blindly believe things, but I will take your suggestions and try it for myself.  Oils were a road to stress relief for me and mine.  My main goal was a calmer home life.  When my mother-in-law began using Young Living this year, I was reintroduced to them through her.  I knew of the company and I guess most people do.  I even had a few bottles I used from time to time.  I also knew I was buying less expensive oils that were already helping me.  But me being me, I started reading about the company.  About how they grow, harvest and develop new blends.  About their mission to get essential oils into every house.  I read stories on Pinterest and on the internet as a whole.  My mother-in-law and I went to a meeting with about 50 super happy people who were using and selling it.   Happy people make me suspicious, so that was kind of a turnoff for me at the time.  Which is pretty funny now.

I got my starter kit a month or so ago and started experimenting.  The scientist in me loves to test things. I compared the YL oils to the ones I had already.  I can honestly say they are more intense than my less expensive oils.  I can use less drops and I trust that what I am getting is 100% oil that has been tested in a lab to verify that.  And YL hires third-parties to audit their products also, which I love.  Their farms, methods, and quality control is impressive.   I’ve since learned that there is no regulation of essential oils in regards to what is considered “100%” and “pure.”  As long as approximately 10% is oil, it can be advertised as 100% on the label.  But when you use YL, you know it has been tested and verified.  And YL is the only company that owns all of their own farms, which specialize in whatever will grow the best in that particular environment.  Their farmers have strict regulations from the company and their products are checked to insure they follow them.  And they don’t just sell oils, they sell all kinds of things: cleaners, shampoos, makeup, and the list goes on.  You should really check out their website.  Overall, it’s impressive and I feel comfortable using them on my family and sharing that with others.

And my husband is a very willing participant.  I’ve mixed things for sore muscles and joints, calming oils, and bug spray.  He uses them all.  I made my son a booboo roller and a calming roller and he likes to use those himself (he is four).  It’s funny how easily they accepted it all.  Easier than I did, I’m sure.

I never, and I mean NEVER, planned to try the business side.  I despise selling anything.  And I hate salesmen.   Three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my radar.  Then my buddy mentioned looking into it and we jumped in together.  I have loved every minute.  Because I’m not selling, I’m sharing.  Young Living sells things, not me.  And I love reading and sharing what I find.  I love answering questions. It’s one of the reasons I like my actual daily job.  I know most people don’t get a kick out of researching and experimenting,  but I do.  And I feel happy and productive for the first time in a very long time.  So I hope that I can keep on posting and sharing my journey and other people can benefit from it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun along the way.  You should really come with me!!

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