Everyone has a story. This morning, I was thinking about how thankful to be right here in this moment, in this day, with these people and doing and planning for life. In particular, another Essential Oil 101 class tonight. It then brought me back to the journey. This isn't just an overnight thing for me. Oils aren't just something that I decided, hey, these look cool, and maybe I can make some money. Nope. Not even close. This story starts in October 2007 with the birth of my daughter.
When I held my little one in my arms for the first time, it was breathtaking. I had just endured one of the hardest physical events of my life, and already, it was gone. My thoughts were only on her and what was best for her. Fast forward about six months. My sweet little girl was perfect, in every way possible, with those big bright blue eyes and a smile that melted my heart. However, she felt miserable. She had began developing eczema that covered her little hands and arms. In the mornings her sheets would be speckled with blood because she had scratched throughout the night in itchiness. So, we brought her to her pediatrician, and a steroid cream was prescribed.
I was not impressed, or willing to accept that the only way I could help was to put a steroid on my six month old. There was something wrong and her body was not happy. (I now know it was inflammation.) So, it began. I started making changes. Thankfully, I started with food. I quickly realized that foods, in particular I thought gluten, seemed to have a direct correlation with the severity of the eczema. Was it easy changing her diet up? No! It was hard! However, I did not want to continue with the steroids. Applying it to my child, in a generous lather, but make sure to quickly wash off my own hands. What?!? This made no sense. There was something going on in her body, I was supposed to just cover up the symptoms with something that seemed to be worse?
Fast forward about a year. I now have two littles, and my second is turning six months. Hello eczema! With two tiny beings to be responsible for it was hard being strict on the diet. Then my daughter had an immediate skin reaction to peanut butter frosting. Uh-oh! Into the pediatrician we go.
I will never forget that day. I am thankful my sister was there with me. Quickly discussion began on the eczema and he again started writing out the prescription. Bravely, I stated that I truly believe it is food related. When the diet was closely monitored, the skin would clear. Abruptly, my idea was pushed aside as ridiculous. It wasn't possible. It was just eczema, not a big deal. It would go away... someday. Here is the steroid to but on your kids. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after application.
Nope. I wasn't having any of it. That was the day. The day that I realized I would stand up for my kiddos, even if it wasn't the popular thing to do. Even if it wasn't the "normal" "acceptance". I wasn't going to accept it. I never went back.
My kiddos have what are considered to be intolerances. The intolerances cause delayed reactions, which show themselves in the form of eczema. Is it immediate? No. Is it life threatening? No. Is it worth changing their diets, their home, and the things I put on their skin? Yes.
So the journey began. My home got a makeover. Starting with the things we were putting on our bodies. I read the book "No More Dirty Looks" and took out trash bags full of hundreds of dollars in body care. Our skin is our largest organ. Every thing that was apply on our skin, affects our body. Period. Think about that. Would you eat what you put on your skin? Why not? Probably because it wouldn't be good for you. So then I wasn't putting it on my skin.
Next, I began the transition of cleaning products. No more bleach. Gone. Those fun, good smelling wall plugs, gone. The need your windows open bathroom cleaners, gone. We even started washing fruits and vegetables with a good organic cleaner, BEFORE it was cool.
Then, my last thing to go were my candles. This was the hardest one for me. I love candles. I love their ambience and the smells. However, the toxins they were pouring into my home, were not worth it.
I wanted more for my family, and I still want more for my family. I am willing to take the risk to learn what might be considered unconventional. I would rather know, than not know. I refuse to accept blindness to these issues. We are unhealthy because we do and use unhealthy things.
Fast forward to today. So much has changed. We are replacing things in our home with essential oils. I no longer burn candles and instead use a cold-air diffuser that scents my home and provides health benefits. We are making our own lotions and creams, using ingredients that are safe enough for us to eat. We are cleaning without the chemicals and the ick. I am also a strong advocate for breastfeeding and successfully nursed my kiddos 9 months, 12 months and 14 months. The recipe cabinet is full of recipes that are free of eggs, soy, peanuts and sometimes recipes without gluten. We also try to eat organic whenever possible. Up next, this year, is a garden. A successful organic garden. Plus, I just made it through day three of my 20 minute walk on the manual treadmill. (Earth friendly but geeesh- I think I would rather go run 5 miles.)
Meanwhile, I am working on helping my kiddos feel better and healthier. They still have eczema flare ups because I can't control everything that goes into their systems, even if I really, really wish I could. However, I always have an idea of what is causing it, and I apply a cream on it that helps with the itch, and works to heal it, without the icky ingredients. It is a work in progress. Do we live in a completely "clean" house and eat perfectly "clean"? No! Not even close. But we definitely are making the effort for change.
Has this been easy? NO! Not at all. It is really hard when everyone thinks you are crazy. This was over 5 years ago. If I was starting this exact journey now, it would be a whole lot easier because our eyes are being opened to these ideas of getting rid of toxins, and alternative health. I definitely didn't have a line up of people rooting me on. Actually, I was partly scared to tell my story, because I was afraid of what people would think. So I sat as quiet as possible. (If you do know a lot of this story, and I have talked to you about clean, natural, organic, know that I love you.) However, I was determined and I am determined. I am determined to do what is best for my family, with the resources I have available. I am determined to learn as much as I can, so that I can be informed. I am determined to help others who are ready, open to learning and willing to try their best. I am determined to share. I am determined to have a voice.
I am a human. An average human. I am just determined to make the effort. Now I am off to continue preparing for tonight's class. Off to teach others, give them knowledge, help them along their journeys, and give them the hope for another option.
This is my story, and I am excited to keep writing it.