Emotional Support

IMG_2362We have this beautiful ability to f e e l.
To have emotional responses which help us process whatever comes our way.
Here’s the thing though, even if we don’t acknowledge our emotions, or our stressors/anxieties, our body {still} has to process it and adapt to it.
Meaning our nervous system still has to acknowledge the stressors whether we acknowledge them or not.
Our brain is {constantly} analyzing everything we take in. Every single sensory input from smell, hearing, sight, tasting, etc – the body takes it in, analyzes it, and decides what is good or bad. If it goes to our brain and feels like it’s under attack it goes into flight or fight mode. We all react physically to stress differently – head tension, mood swings, overworked adrenals, discomfort throughout the body, digestive issues, etc.
The Limbic region in our brain – specifically the Amygdala – houses emotions and memories. It is responsible for how we experience emotions. Research has shown the Amygdala is activated through the sense of smell. Essential oils are small enough to pass through the blood barrier of the brain and activate the parts of the brain that are otherwise unreachable.
WHAT I LOVE – oils help to release stored emotions that may be negatively affecting your health. The Hippocampus plays an essential role in the formation of new memories of past experiences. I believe “renewing our minds” is so much deeper than we actually imagine. We can literally release, heal and recreate new pathways in our brains.

If you’ve experienced something traumatic in your life then you likely know, you can physically change due to the trauma – even if it wasn’t a physical trauma. Your body is affected overall- on a cellular level – physically from those things.

ACS_1161
I diffuse this blue guy overnight due to this. I actually can’t diffuse it during the day – it WRECKS me (it’s good but painful- it helps but MY WORD) so I diffuse it overnight. I’m almost through it in just a few months.

I hope to use oils to help me in the future with things I feel God has put on my heart for years regarding people who’ve suffered horrific trauma. Counseling (processing) and Jesus and PLANTS guy! I get literal chills thinking about the effects of these things colliding. I know the effects personally and it brings me to tears. Go gift your mind/emotions this oil!

Have you “listened” to your body? What does stress do to you? What ways do you deal with stress? 

 

 

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“Body in motion”

The song “Body in Motion” by John Mark McMillan about Newton’s First Law of Motion got Ted and I really talking today. It talks about when you’re headed in this one way, it would take an action or a force of energy to move you in another direction. What does it take for real change to occur? MOTION. Okay, maybe that seems so obvious but hear me out. But, how intentional are we? Every. thing. we. do. will either put us on a path of orientation or disorientation. img_1051

This got us thinking about our life, our journey and where we hope to be, too. But hoping doesn’t really get you far. It’s the DOING that does. Intentional living. Things that can seem overwhelming actually feel a lot less so when you apply this theory of motion. And instead of JUST thinking big picture, we narrow it down.

Recognizing that ONE tiny turn, one small step, can change your trajectory over time.

ONE little thing today. One thing this week, even though it may be tiny, it will make a difference 6 months or years from now.

For example, if you are wanting to run a 10k but you maybe haven’t ran in years. You’d start small and work your way up to 6.2 miles. Right? What if we did this with other areas in our lives? Start one small motion in the right direction.

If you’re wanting to eat better it could be as simple as picking the brain of a friend who you know eats well. Getting a handful of meal ideas from them and just starting small.

If you’re wanting to find more significance in your spiritual life, it could begin with spending small moments of time in your day reflecting on it.

If you don’t know how food affects you but you want to know, cut ONE area (i.e. dairy) out for a time and then reintroduce it.

If you’re wanting a degree (maybe even your Masters), taking ONE class a semester and working your way up.

If you’re wanting to begin a toxin-free journey, you could start reading labels and getting rid of one toxic thing at a time.

What if we JUST BEGAN. And we learned to celebrate the small acts that change the course. Learning to take joy in the small victories. And after a while, we look back and to see the ground which we’ve covered. And recognize how far we’ve actually come. Inspiring us to keep going, even one small change a day or a week or a month.

Our bodies, our minds get USED to the motions, to things that actually aren’t good for us. We may not be reacting negatively enough to notice we need the change. Or maybe our bodies/minds have actually hit a breaking point. Either way, it’s time to wake up. To be more intentional about the motions we ARE taking whether we recognize them or not.

I look back at a year ago and remember where we were. I now see how far we have come and while it hasn’t been easy or quick or all magical, IT HAS BEEN WORTH IT. Wellness is a journey that I’m finding doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.

One small change/step daily. Consistently.

Keep going, Friends.

One motion at a time, in the right direction, can drastically change your trajectory for the better.

(collaboration by Jami AND Ted this time ;))

“Unoffendable heart”

Unoffendable. Not really a word, but definitely should be. Feel through the offense, (work it out if you can), forgive and move on. I wonder what a world with “unoffendable hearts” would look like? Trying to raise my babies to understand this concept. Too many times I’ve allowed wounds to become bitterness. Instead of taking extra care, and letting it naturally heal. It’s almost like we constantly pick a scab. All consuming bitterness and lack of forgiveness can wound others but it actually deeply wounds those carrying them more. Even in the form of physical ailments!

Letting it go is so freeing for YOU, holding on is poison to your body.

P.S. “letting it go” doesn’t mean it makes what others have done to you right, it just means you’re no longer carrying that junk anymore! Perhaps one of the best places to start with #toxinfreeliving.

Lone Island.

(Me on a camping trip this year)

It’s easy to put ourselves on a lone island when we are hurt, letting our wounded-ness be all we can see. Wanting to curl up and withdraw from the world when we feel rejected, or ashamed, or misunderstood, etc. At least this is our nature. Unfortunately for Ted and I both. We have a tendency to pour in, give our all to people and it’s hard for us to live on the surface levels so we share our not-so-pretty stuff too. More often than not we wind up being left on the outside, seem to be forgotten, unnoticed, no longer invited. Feeling rejected. Feeling like we’ve failed, or let others down. (I’m sure a lot of that is actually our own assumptions too) Sometimes we let it get to us, and start to feel shame about who we are – that we are too broken or too much or not enough. As I’ve shared bits and pieces of our journey, I’ve realized A LOT of people relate.

I recently walked through my own season where I suddenly avoided the people whom I knew would care about how we were doing. The ones who cared to go beyond the “oh, we are good!” facades. Literally ignoring texts, calls, etc. and it made me realize… Truth is: while we long to be a safe place – a place we long for – we also make people hella uncomfortable. Because being “safe” tends to cause people to be vulnerable and to tap into areas that trigger pain, maybe grief, maybe areas they’d (me too) rather avoid.

It’s a fine line. And man I’ve misread that line at times and crossed it when others don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want everyone to run from us. But what I have found is that the ones who really need this come.

And perhaps our seasons of struggle with loneliness is actually the most beautiful gift we have to offer another soul struggling with these things as well. I had a dream recently that I offered a broken purse to a girl overseas. There was more to it but what I realized is we actually have something to offer even when we feel quite broken, or not completely whole ourselves. Perhaps relating to others in real ways in our/their state of joy or pain can actually be the most healing movement to propel us forward

and forward

and forward.

Own your story.

I’ve walked this sidewalk weekly for almost 9 month now. Tonight as I walked down this familiar path, it hit me just how far I’ve come. How far we’ve come. And also how I wish I had made this a habit years ago. Which is why I share with you right now.

I’ve found oftentimes the “altar” at which we bring my stuff to Jesus for me doesn’t look like the front row at a church service. Instead it looks a lot like a private little room with a leather couch and my counselor directly in front of me.

Being totally honest, breaking down walls, bringing it ALL. Healing happening in layers, each time.

Truth is I sometimes leave feeling more broken than when I’d arrived. Wondering if I’d ever find peace, ever work out all my “junk”. I never regret it though, even if the pain feels all encompassing and unbearable. Avoiding it hasn’t changed this for me. I’m learning facing it head on is transforming my life. The way I live and love.

I grew up “in the church” where people went again and again to the altar, “bringing it all”. I do believe God could instantly heal – physically, mentally and emotionally. But I also know that it’s not everyone’s story.

And that more often than not we need time to really work through whatever “it” is. That healing is a journey, a process and not always instantaneous.

I grew up learning all the “right” responses and behaviors. I memorized the scriptures. Spouted off shitty Christian clichés, without even thinking about where they came from, in response to other’s suffering and pain.

I believed I was failing/sinning when my life wasn’t going as planned. I strived for perfection yet failed always.

And then I was sexually abused as a teenager. This was my first of many things in life that really challenged what I’d been taught about God and suffering, and what it means when bad things happened to Christians. What I had learned deeply messed me up. I didn’t even know how to process trauma.

Fast forward to my parents sending me to do a Discipleship Training School at 18-years-old. I meet Jesus personally – the Jesus who wept. Who got angry. The Jesus who didn’t cause my pain, instead He wept WITH me. Jesus who FELT. My life forever changed, but it didn’t mean my thought patterns and years of belief systems instantly changed.

It’s taking {years} of breaking it all down, stripping it away. Learning who God really is versus who we’ve made Him to be.

I haven’t arrived in this perfect place of complete wholeness. I believe that like so many things in life “it’s a journey, not a destination”.

Things in life will trigger grief, anger, sorrow, etc. New life experiences good, bad and maybe even the unimaginable may happen.

We will struggle again and again and again… but it is what happens after those moments that shape us. Will we shut down, or deny our feelings, or build walls, or continue to be reactionary without digging deeper and asking the hard questions… or wrap up our pain with pretty packaging and a shiny bow and pretend.

OR will we face it all – the pain, the shame, the sorrow, the questions…

My challenge for you is this:

Take ONE hour a week or biweekly. Process through whatever it is you need to.

Let your pride go. (Or maybe like me it isn’t pride, it’s fear of pain as you process – in that case do it scared. Get ready for messy but get ready for healing too).

Let the fact that counseling didn’t work for {insert person}, go.

Let fear of man, go.

Let this shitty, messed up theology that Christians shouldn’t be in such states, go.

Reality is, we face hard things, we need to process hard things, not deny them.

Do it with Jesus, yes of course, and a counselor.

I also suggest reading Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brené Brown. Here is something that I found profound (I literally have most of her words underlined!)

“The Latin word for integrate is intergrare which means”to make whole”… If integrate means “to make whole”, then its opposite to fracture, disown, detach, or separate. I think many of us move through the world feeling this way. The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole and more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness – depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”

I’m knee deep in owning my story, past and present. It’s simultaneously painful and freeing. It’s hard digging deep, but it’s freeing getting to the roots. It’s freeing learning how to healthily process and move forward without denial or effed up belief systems that tell us feeling anything but happiness isn’t of the Lord.

You want to truly move forward? Own your story.

You want to relate to your loved ones or the world in a real way that changes lives? Own your story.

Jesus is a safe place.

(listen to Housefires II Come to the River)

It’s huge on my heart often. Today I’m being so bold to share it here. This is for one (or all) of you today.

Oftentimes in the church/body of Christ we are expected to have it all together or pray away our emotions and feelings. We like tidy and happy, anything more or less is too much, too heavy, too real.

Here’s the thing, sweet struggling Friend, HE can handle it all. Your “neediness”, your brokenness, your weariness, your hurt…

It’s okay to not be okay!

Let HIM help you through this.

He doesn’t think you’re too much, or not enough.

He doesn’t find your mourning, your struggle, your __________ too much to handle.

He won’t turn you away or ask you to pray away your very real feelings.

He won’t avoid you and your pain.

He will sit with you, weep with you, help you carry this weight and move you towards hope and lighter days.

Better days are ahead but NOT because we’ve denied they are sucky/traumatic/difficult now.

Because we FACE them and truly can only do this with Jesus.

It isn’t about denying ourselves these very real emotions. It is facing them WITH JESUS.  Here’s the thing, so many things come our way and we need to face the emotions of those things. WE HAVE TO.

How do we truly finding healing when we deny ourselves to feel anything… even Jesus wept. He was angry. He was grieved. He was happy. He was broken. He was afraid. EVEN JESUS.

These are very real emotions we need to face. But we do not need to face them alone. In fact, we can’t. We need Jesus to help carry the weight of all of these things. He has overcome this world.

We’ve been taught to brush aside our feelings which in turn, I believe,  ultimately creates this sense that Jesus isn’t safe or leaves us feeling as though we fail again and again and again when we feel anything but joy. DENIAL ISN’T JOY. We’ve also been taught He causes these (sometimes horrific) things in our lives so He can be our Rescuer.

That’s BULL SHIT. That isn’t even in His character.

He is our Rescuer but that shit you’re walking through, or the loved one who has died, or perhaps has left you, whatever it is that you’ve experienced or witnessed… He didn’t cause this in your life to teach you something or to be your rescuer out of it…

And He isn’t asking you to be unfeeling through it all.

He’s the safest place.

PEOPLE cannot handle it all – often times Christians can’t except that we live in a broken, fallen world where God relinquished His total control and that sometimes people do horrific things, or horrific things often times happen, that God DIDN’T cause.

The truth is people can’t handle brokenness.

But Jesus, HE CAN.

He’s the safest place for it ALL.

BRING IT ALL.

“Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Or one of my fave versions, The Message: “Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Taking back ground…

August 2017 it finally came to a head: I needed to take charge of my family’s health. I knew we needed a total reset. We were still “young” yet our health was rapidly declining to a point which was debilitating, specifically for my husband. 

I’ve actually known I needed to do this for years, but honestly, it felt so overwhelming. Where do we begin? I didn’t totally know the answer this time but I knew it needed to happen. So I began to research and soak in wisdom from those around me living out healthy lives.

I learned of an app called Think Dirty (which I’m not hearing rumors they’ve been bought out by P+G… for now just go with the EWG.ORG or the EWG app) and began to scan everything in our home- even those labeled “green” or “natural”. I. was. shocked. Things I had been putting on my babies from birth, things I bathed them in, brushed their teeth with, things I washed my face with, or Ted sprayed on every day. All with chemicals which impact our bodies in horrific ways… endocrine disruptors, skin conditions, allergies, even diseases, infertility and even cancer.

Watching those I love face horrible health issues has inspired me to wake up in EVERY area in my life. It inspired me to began to question everything that we had allowed into our home, and onto and into our bodies. Was this condition we/I was living with my genes or a direct byproduct of the chemicals I’ve put on and in my body for 30 years?

But I knew we couldn’t just throw it all out and start over. We had a super tight budget which wouldn’t allow us to do this. So when we would run out of something, we would replace it with a toxin-free version. We now have replaced almost everything toxic in our home.

HOW?

It isn’t cheaper but I’ve begun to see our wellness is an investment and perhaps an expensive phone bill or a faster internet speed or that amazing cup of craft coffee (or Starbucks) can be sacrificed to pursue wellness. We adjusted our lives to fit our values.

(pictured: Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit – 11 oils, a diffuser, and more)

In pursuing a toxin-free life I knew I wanted essential oils for all the things: sleep support, hormonal help, emotional support, wellness, fighting against seasonal irritants, etc. We’ve actually used oils off and on for 4 years but most often we were unable to afford them regularly. I didn’t make it a priority. But now I KNEW that we needed them every day. It wasn’t an option anymore if we were pursuing wellness. I also knew we couldn’t really afford them – my husband had just lost his job due to a newly diagnosed Panic Disorder. It felt like there was just no way.

Yet, I felt strongly that God would provide for us through me via a creative means, but I had no idea what that would look like. About the same time of all of this, a friend gifted me with the oil Valor and I watched again and again as it helped my husband. Then my sweet mom gifted me with a Young Living Premium Starter Kit. Soon after this, a friend suggested I start just sharing ways that I use oils and how they help our family and watch as it would cover the cost of my monthly oils order. Since October, my oils have been totally paid for plus now a couple of bills as well. (I’m still in awe of my “accidental business” blessing our family financially and health-wise).

(my “why” I won’t give up pursuing toxin-free living)

Here’s the thing: DON’T read all of this and feel defeated by what you’ve used over the years. I HAVE TOO. Let this inspire you! You have more control over this than you think you do. WE are the ones who decide what comes into our homes from here on out. Is there ground you can take back health wise?

I encourage you to do your own research. Read labels of what’s already in your cabinets. Start replacing things as slowly or as quickly as you can.

Get oils into your home. Oils have drastically changed our lives for the better. One example, I personally have struggled with respiratory issues since I was a child and oils have helped to support me as I fight this maybe for the rest of my life – but without all negative effects of things I have tried for years. I have finally found freedom in this area and I want everyone to experience their own freedom with whatever is holding them back from living their best life. (P.S. Being pro-oils doesn’t mean anti-modern medicine or anti-doctors – I’ll share a post on that sometime soon).

I’ve been doing on a journey the past 7 months for our own family and have also watched many other families join me, and take charge of their health and turn it around. I am now super passionate about getting this goodness into everyone’s home, helping everyone find the freedom we have and get the chemical laden stuff out. You’re worth it. Please reach out and I’ll help you, too, get started on this journey.

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I  have a great offer for you too, to lighten the cost for you. If you order a starter kit with me, I will give you $25 back and also will help you along the way. We also have an amazing oil education facebook group, truly it is like an incredible community of folks in all walks of life pursuing wellness too – you don’t have to do this alone. (Young Living also offers a payment plan via paypal $27/mo for 6 months with no interest – Message me for how to do this!)

 

Reach out and let me know via the contact tab if you’d like me to get you started, I’ll friend ya on facebook, celebrate with you and get this ball rolling! LET’S DO THIS!

Love,

Jami

P.S. Find me on Instagram @colourherhopeessentials…

Instagram

Atlas’s first birthday

Oh Atlas – our Wonder-boy.

YOU ARE SUCH A JOY.

So incredibly sweet, extra snuggly (especially with daddy), you’re quite inquisitive and tend to awkwardly stare at people until you figure them out and then give your best toothy little grin. You’re turning out to be a hilarious character and you’re shockingly soft spoken (so far 😉) whispering things like “what’s that?” And “oh yeah!”

I can’t wait to see what amazing things life has for you, little man! GOLLY, we love you!

Wrapping up a fun birthday “week”. This is our first time I didn’t have it in me to throw a big first birthday party. It was simple and just what we needed in this season.

Everly’s 4th Birthday

Ev turned FOUR this year. How?! Time is so crazy fast. She asked for a Beauty and the Beast party – which is funny because she doesn’t actually really like the movie – but she loves the book and just loves to dance. Chase made her cake topper – he still LOVES to help me plan and decorate for parties. Just like his momma <3We never have a huge budget for parties, so I thrifted a book and tore pages out. Then added sparkles because what 4-year-old girl doesn’t love a little sparkle!I found this idea for a “chandelier” on Pinterest. SUPER easy. We randomly stumbled upon this at IKEA and I thought it was perfect to hold the rose. Happiest birthday to our sweet, sassy, bold and courageous, fearless and confident, beautiful and smart, Evey-Bear.

Brokenness

Today was beautiful but also really hard and it got me thinking more about how I want to raise our kids. I don’t want to hide our brokenness (we actually can’t – it’s pretty much out here for them to see) but what I hope is that they someday accept others and their brokenness. They face their own brokenness and truly find freedom and life.

Brokenness makes us feel uncomfortable. Have you noticed that? I feel like there are many reasons for this but here are a couple. In order to meet someone in their brokenness it means we must reach into their own pain to be able to empathize (go watch @brene Ted Talk on … ) so instead we brush it off with “at least….” or we completely ignoring others pain, even our own.

Another big reason I see is actually due to twisted scriptures about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Messages on abundance, striving to live perfect lives in order to have a #blessed life. And that IF we do have pain, suffering, loss, trauma …those things are given to us by His hand they are given to teach us a lesson. Due to our sin or to refine us.

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” 1Cor. 1:3-5

That isn’t to say that “God will make us suffer so we are refined”. We often say this and many other scriptures mean that God causes or allows suffering so we can refine us, teach us something, etc. Think about that for a second, we are we saying? He hurts us so we can find hope in Him? He hurts us to rescue us? That’s just horrific, especially when you start putting context to it with things happening around the world or in our own personal lives. Instead, Ted and I actually believe it means as we suffer, and we learn to receive comfort from Christ we can be comfort to others. The refining comes because of his love for us, meaning He didn’t cause suffering so we’d be refined, it happened because we live in a fallen world, and His love came in and met us in our brokenness. That what’s makes the change.

I was thinking about our kids and what I didn’t want them to believe of the character and nature of Jesus. What if when our own human nature, or tragic or traumatic things happen and brokenness is inevitable, instead of trying to cover it up we shared truth with our kids amidst this? What if we shared that sometimes you may feel broken and grieved, that often these things are a part of our lives? Not to “lower the bar for them” – it’s actually setting them up for success when you say “it’s okay to not be okay sometimes”. In whatever it is you will face, FEEL through it.

That we sometimes do SUFFER and BREAK, and we need to FEEL, then we CARRY on. We offer this world a TRUE hope that is truly the only perfect thing we hold onto. An authentic hope that this world needs. The one Jesus came to the earth to give us. Not the life of “perfection”, abundant blessings or the one where we believe God would cause such horrific things to happen in this world. What message of hope is that? HE came to be our hope.

DAMN if we’d open our eyes and hearts. The Christ we need to proclaim is THIS one, Jesus: touched by suffering. Jesus: not too mighty to serve or love the least of these. Jesus… He saw and felt things as they were with the hope inside of the way things should be. THE JESUS WHO WEPT. What if we shared THAT Jesus, the one this broken, fallen world needs.

That’s the Jesus I want my kids to see and hold onto. That’s the Jesus who’s met me in the midst of tragedy, heartache and every day moments. He is our greatest hope. We should declare it with our lives. With how we live.