Essential Oils, Faith, Lifestyle, wellness

What brings joy?

For me, joy is found in good books, good coffee, good company, my good God and the great outdoors. So when restrictions limited contact with people, entrance to church and travel over the borders, like so many others, it hit me hard.

As a result, we have all had to get creative in finding joy in our new normal, and I began to redefine the bare bones of what I (and maybe we) really needed to feel joy.

Merriam-Webster defines joy as; ‘the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires’, ‘Delight – the expression or exhibition of such emotion, Gaiety.’

Note that top definition – emotions evoked by well-being. I don’t think I realised quite how essential being with people, being in Church and being outdoors was to my wellbeing – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As an aromatherapist and wellness coach one thing I have always been proactive on is supporting my families wellness naturally. As so many things were removed from my control, this is one area where I did have control.

I could control what we listened to, what we watched, what entered our minds. Because what you see and hear on a daily basis affects your thought patterns, affects your emotional response, and affects your immune response. Increased stress hormone = lowered immune system, and at a time like this, that is one system you want running on all cylinders.

I could control what goes into and onto our bodies. By reducing exposure to toxins, (parfum, parabens, preservatives and the like) in food, soaps, detergents, cleaners and cosmetics, I can reduce stress on our immune system. This allows our bodies to heal, repair, restore on a cellular level, rather than fighitng micro battles on a daily basis.

Why is all this important to experiencing joy? Because when we feel well, we feel able to enjoy life more.

It’s hard to be joyful with an irritable bowel. It is hard to be happy with a throbbing head. It is hard to keep smiling with insomnia. When we aren’t well, we don’t want to be out or be with others, and this further depresses our mood and lowers our immune system.

Do I have all the answers for health and wellbeing? No, only Jesus does. But I do have an arsenal of natural remedies and years of experience that give us a good starting point.

If you are at a place where you want to explore how wellbeing supports your experience of joy the drop me a message.

R x

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Lifestyle, Mental Health

Chasing waves and wellness

There is nowhere I would rather be, than in the woods or by the sea. For as long as I can remember, I have loved the great outdoors, and been especially mesmerised by the coast. Dave and I have made some of our biggest decisions while walking in the woods or along the beach, and, despite loving our friends in the Midlands, we try to escape landlocked living as often as possible.

When I struggled with maternal mental health in 2013, and again in 2016, I found refuge in being outdoors. Wandering deep in the woods or walking barefoot in the waves is where I feel at home and able to breathe. There is something so soothing to my soul about the rustle of leaves in the canopy above my head or the sound of the ocean waves lapping at my feet. More than that, I feel closer than ever to God when I am in nature. When I gaze out at the kaleidoscope of colours in a sunset or feel the powerful tide surge beneath me, I feel connected more deeply to our Creator.

We have been on a huge wellness journey as a family over the past few years, with exercise, the great outdoors and essential oils. The effect of oils on my mental health initially and our family health subsequently was game changing. We have learned about toxins in our home and how they affect us and took steps to remove and replace them wherever possible.

The Bible says that Jesus came so that we might have life and live it to the full. For our family, that means living a healthy, active life outdoors, and it has long been a dream of ours to relocate to the Coast. God gives us desires for a reason; He wants us to fulfill them!

We have seriously explored moving to Wales for three years, and despite a prophetic word from a friend in 2017 confirming that we would indeed move, the timing wasn’t right. Anna told me that she had seen a picture of me in a boat, rowing towards a picturesque coastline but I wasn’t moving anywhere. God told her that I would get to where I wanted to go, but only when I stopped rowing the boat. True to form, (I am independent and stubborn) I kept rowing anyway. We explored the area, found a church but each time we pushed the door in 2017, 2018 and 2019, we felt them firmly close.

We finally began to settle again and and it was only when we stopped pushing for a move that God stepped in and made a way in 2020. Dave received an unexpected (but very deserved) promotion then Covid-19 happened. It was during lock down that we really got to thinking again where do we want to be? We committed it to prayer and asked God to make a way. Next thing we knew, Dave had secured a transfer to the Cardiff office, God gave us places for the boys at an oversubscribed school and we bought a house 1 mile from the beach all in the same week!

To say God has moved would be an understatement and we are incredibly excited about our new chapter, chasing waves and wellness in Wales. God willing, we will be moved by early August. Dave will continue working from home, for now, I will continue building my wellness community, educating others on the power of plants and we will keep chasing wholeness with Jesus. But this time, we get to do all this from our favourite place in the world – the coast. We hope you will join us on the journey!

R x

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Essential Oils, Lifestyle

New Year Naturally

We all know the dangers of pollution in our air, but do we pay much attention to pollution in our homes? This month we are taking a look at every day products that contain known toxins and how we can swap them to a toxin free alternative.

One of the biggest toxins within the home is fragrance. We love to smell good, we love our clothes to smell good and we want our homes to smell good. But the price we pay for our synthetic scents can be devastatingly high. Studies have shown that synthetic fragrance and other chemicals in perfumes and beauty products are linked to infertility as well as foetal development, asthma, eczema and more. It is perhaps no coincidence that the rate of increased miscarriage and difficulty conceiving is directly proportionate to the rise of the use of phthalates, parabens and other preservative in our products since the 1950s.

Since 2017, we have been on a journey to create a non-toxic home for our family and friends. One of the first things we got rid of was scented candles, and the difference this made to our children’s respiratory health was huge! We replaced our candles with essential oil diffusers, and for the first time in 8 years. that winter we didn’t have a trip to A&E to have nebulisers and steroids administered to our boys. We then removed fabric conditioner from our laundry routine and replaced it with essential oils on wool dryer balls or in our ironing water to naturally fragrance our clothes.

We began flipping over the bottles of products under our kitchen sink, in our bathroom cabinet and my make up drawer. So many of them contained SLS, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, parfum etc, and were literally poisoning us from the inside out. These toxins are endocrine disruptors that threaten to cause chaos in our bodies, disrupting and disabling our hormones. Our hormones are chemical messengers that tell our cells what to do, so when disrupted, our cells can’t get the right messages.

Discovering the hidden dangers lurking in your home can be a daunting prospect, but I am a firm believer in the saying, ‘When you know better, do better.’ Month by month, we began replacing our toxin filled perfumes, fabric softeners, air fresheners, moisturisers and make up with clean, green products. As we have gone further into our toxin-free journey, we have then begun to look at the packaging of our products and how this is affecting our planet. It has become important to us that looking good and feeling good should not be at the earth’s expense, so we are trying to replace plastic in our homes, create less waste and be more mindful about where are products come from and where they end up when we are finished with them.

If you want to know more about replacing shop bought, preservative filled products with clean, green, natural options, click here or drop me a message today.

R

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