Cancer… I Can’t Stop Thinking About It

All these people with cancer- friends, family… it’s breaking my heart on a most personal level and I know it is breaking yours too. We all know someone… I don’t know if it is 100% avoidable with all the radiation floating throughout our world and the hidden ingredients in our food and products. Labeling lies, false advertising, even the healthiest shoppers can unknowingly fall into some junk because of it.  “Organic” used to mean something important. Unfortunately, that word means less and less to me everyday. Companies interested in making money, not making a pure, healthy product, saw that they could charge more for the label and if you’ll follow this through to DC, you will find lobbyists and changes in what “organic” now means.

So many things in our food and in our products are linked to cancer and it’s still being sold and purchased liked candy in our stores (speaking of candy… huge linkage). Why? 1. We don’t know what we don’t know.

2. Affordability; yeah, we may know that the $20 bottle of shampoo is the best for us and will keep us the healthiest, but sometimes that price just isn’t feasible. But I promise you, we don’t “look smart” like one cheap shampoo company boasts, when we settle. No one looks smart when they settle for less than what’s best for them and their family. And lastly is:

3. We know and we JUST. DON’T. CARE. This one is the hardest for me to see, personally. We bury our heads in the sand because it is temporarily easier but the long term effects of that decision can be catastrophic. It’s the last one that breaks my heart the most.

If we don’t know, we can learn; if we don’t have the income, we can still find ways to live as healthily and affordably as possible. But if we don’t care? If we choose to ignore it because it is easier in the moment…. (or tastes better)….well, there is nothing that can be done for that person, except to keep loving them and hope for the best.

I get it. The junk in food makes the food taste way better. It does. That’s why companies use it- to sell more cheaply and get more sales. I get it. There is no tasty, healthy replacement for some of the foods we have grown to love because they don’t come from any natural source. These companies aren’t playing fair. 

It’s a lot of work to figure out what is and isn’t good for you, all the way down to your toothpaste and toenail polish. I get it. I do. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

And then another question comes to mind, “How do we know who is lying to us and who isn’t?” I totally see where the confusion lies. Advertisements and amazingly cute packaging consume us from all corners and it’s hard to believe that the list of ingredients doesn’t have to list the actual ingredients, right? I know. From someone who truly wants to believe the best in everyone, it is hard to hear about what is really happening because WHO WOULD DO THAT TO SOMEONE?! How do they sleep at night? Girlfriend, I have no idea. But I do know that there are thousands of chemicals in our food and toiletries that do not have to be listed on the “Ingredients” list in America.

This past week was an extremely hard week for me. And during this week, I fell off my farm-fresh, sunshiney. non-GMO wagon. And it tasted pretty good. I mean, I had one of those PB Squared Snickers… and some of those sugar-laden organic treats and… you know what? They all tasted pretty DANG amazing. But you know what else? I am paying for it with my health at this very moment. 

It started as a headache yesterday that just would not go away, no matter what I tried. Then overnight, it turned into a migraine that woke me out of my sleep. Then throughout the day, it hurt so bad I had to stay hidden in the dark with my eyes closed, etc. NOTHING would knock it out. And I still have it but it’s back to a just a bad headache again (thankfully). And you know what? Suddenly those unhealthy things that I chose taste like dust in comparison of how I have been feeling for almost 48 hours. My mood was way worse this week too. Tie together the up’s and down’s of sugar crashes and harmful chemicals that my body isn’t used to anymore, and it made for one crappy mood on top of an already difficult week.

The more detoxed you become from toxins, the quicker your body responds when they re-enter your system. Because it is foreign to our bodies and they actually don’t know how to process it. Because it’s not something natural that our body was created to recognize. Most of us don’t even realize how crappy we actually feel because we have accepted it as our normal. But what if it isn’t?

I’m just a normal person, guys. (In case you thought anything different! LOL!) I LOVE the taste of Reese’s (now switched for Justin’s brand) and I had to do A LOT of research to figure out why on God’s green earth  I would pay that much FOR A BOTTLE OF SHAMPOO!! All I am is somebody who- because I was getting sick from everyday products- took my head out of the sand and figured out what was happening. And now that I know, it would be nothing short of wrong to not tell you too. …Even though I keep kind of wondering if some major company is going to come by and pop my tires! LOL! (Which, granted, would seem far-fetched if this little fish in a big pond hadn’t already received a 6-page letter from a huge company trying to dish me an [ineffective] rebuttal).

Ok. Well. I have already written a ton today and I know most of us don’t enjoy reading huge blogs and just skim for the “good stuff”. 🙂 I will share in my next post and also in  my class this Saturday the most affordable and doable ways to make better choices in the land of things so tasty, they kill. So next time you eat something and think, “This is to die for”, ask yourself… is it really?

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN……. (but seriously)

 

Patiently Waiting…

Are you good at waiting? … I will admit… I’m a work in progress. 🙂 On a good day, I’m a trooper. 2 hour line for a rollercoaster? No problem, I’m here all day. 1 hour delay in Pennsylvania? (it’s always Pennsylvania…) Still, not a problem when I’ve got my trusty, rusty good mood cap on.

But change to the bigger stuff… yes, yes, I know, you’ve read or heard of the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff).” It’s a fantastic book- I’ve read it too. Actually, I listened to it on CD (before Audible, people!) because I wasn’t patient enough to sit down and read it! Just tell me what I need to know and I’ll be on my way, buddy… 

Under what I consider the perfect circumstances, meaning people are waiting the way I think they should wait, no one is rude, everyone is fun to talk to, the weather is beautiful, I’m not tired, hungry, thirsty, in a hurry or in pain… when I have everything I need to wait comfortably, I’m a trooper. (That’s probably what I should have said in the first paragraph… 🙂 )

But give me someone running their mouth, CUTTING THE LINE, or taking what I think should be mine and Houston, we have a problem. Especially the latter. AmIRight?! 

So how do we remain (or go back to) patience in a world that is so high paced and instantaneous? I mean, my kids think that boxed mac & cheese takes “too long” to cook and will be like, “Ah mom, don’t you have something you can microwave for us?”  (They are 4 and 6!) Seriously?…

Now that I’ve admitted to being a work-in-progress, I will tell you how I work on making progress:

  1. Let it go. Yes, you know that book that irritates me because it is so RIGHT? …yeah, he’s on to something. Don’t’ sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff. So let it go. If you feel inspired, sing the song from Frozen while you release the stress 🙂
  2. Relax. We don’t take enough time to do that, do we? Especially not true relaxation. Sometimes we binge-watch Netflix and think we are relaxing but if we end the experience going to bed and feeling stressed, we didn’t relax.
  3. Shut it off. Huh? Yup, this is mandatory from time to time. You have to give yourself a day to be Amish (that’s what I call it anyway 🙂 ). Turn off your phone, your Apple watch, your fitbit, the TV, laptop, tablet, radio, etc. All of it. The only things you can keep on is your electricity/heat/AC. 🙂 The serenity that will come having a day of social media silence, of being disconnected, will actually help you RECONNECT- to yourself, your family and to what really matters. (And I don’t know how to break it to you, but the new heels your acquaintance wore out on her date night out, WHEN YOU KNOW she just told you yesterday that she sprained her ankle and now she’s in 3 inch stiletto heels!! really doesn’t… matter. Nope. It doesn’t.
  4. Which brings me to my next point: Avoid the drama. I get it. It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of ranting and raving to your girlfriend about that girl and her “sprained ankle”. But what’s the point? Something I always ask myself is, at what cost? What cost am I paying to do this (whatever it is!)? Am I shelling out precious commodities like peace of mind and trading it in for frustration? If so, it’s not worth the purchase.
  5. Decide what matters. Not everything in  your life gets to be a big deal, an urgency or an emergency. Sorry. In fact, if you constantly live in that state, it can cause physical health issues as well as mental health issues. You have to pick a few top values (I suggest 3) and live by those. Then weigh your decisions (including how you are going to respond to what happens) based on those values. I think you will find that it is in the best interest of your core values to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. 🙂waiting

 

From a Counselor’s Desk: The Secret to Motivating Yourself

This is how my husband won my heart. He traveled from Virginia (where we met) to Massachusetts where I was running a camp for the summer to see me – a 15+ hour drive. This was in 2008 when the economy was doing a plummet. He paid huge prices at the gas pump, tolls, housing, etc. And since the camp was in the middle of nowhere, he ended up staying at a campground- yes, camping so he could stay near where I was because there were no hotels!!! He had creative dates planned and though it was July and 100 degrees, that goof (<3)  wore the sweatshirt with the camp logo on it that I bought him all the way home But he got what he wanted – me! We were married 6 weeks later and will soon be celebrating year 10 of marriage.
Moral of the story? If you want it, you will do what it takes.

What is something in your life that feels impossible but you really, really desire?blog pic

I am practically positive that if I asked my husband right now what gave him the motivation to drive all the way to see me, when I left Virginia as his friend, he would tell me that he wanted that kiss LOL. But how was that motivation strong enough? As a counselor who loves CBT and Motivational Therapy, I am going to offer a few quick ways to motivate yourself to pursue your dreams.

  1. Believe you can. It ALL starts in the mind, my friend. It is said that motivation is like a shower, you need to do it daily. It is also an “inside job”- no one can do it for you.
  2. Envision it. This does not have to be some weird type of yoga-meets-meditation kind of thing lol. It can literally be you, on the elliptical or folding laundry, picturing in detail what it would be like to have the thing you desire. Use your imagination! Engage all 5 senses when you’re in there! How would it feel when you have it? What would you be wearing the day you receive this thing? Who would be with you when it happened? How do you see it coming together? Where are you when it happens? What does it look like there? What are you smelling? What are your emotions when this happens? What would you say to people? What would they say to you? How would your significant other, children, friends, family, pets, career, home life, etc. be affected by this change? What would your closest friends say about this change? How would life be different from here on out? …you get the picture… spread out this dream on the canvas of your mind. Paint it, photograph it, write it, sing it- whatever works for you!
  3. Vision Boards. In today’s day and age, this could simply be a Pinterest board that puts pictures to your dreams. For example, I could make a Pinterest board called, “Jo’s Trip to Hawaii” and then post in there pictures of the ocean, waterfalls, the landscapes, hula dancing, hiking trails, people sitting on the beach drinking a cold lemonade, etc. Then whenever you need some extra inspiration to keep earning the money to get there, open up that board and envision yourself on the beaches of Hawaii!
  4. DECIDE. Yup. It’s that simple. Make the decision that you are going to go after it. No matter what. Then, don’t provide yourself any other options. When there is a tough day, don’t start thinking about and romanticizing the idea of quitting. NO. You made that decision for a reason, so those types of thoughts are NOT ALLOWED. Change the channel of your mind and get to envisioning your dream and opening up that Pinterest board!
  5. Write. Yes. Write your dream down. Then write your goals. When you are finished with that, write the steps you plan to take in order to reach this goal. Because a dream without action is just a wish. And we are not wishing- we are pursuing.
  6. Try, try again. It is very rare to succeed the first time you try something. In fact, it is so unheard of that people listen to these Unicorn Life Stories in awe. So maybe we’re not a unicorn. So what? Why not be like Thomas Edison who has over 1,000 patents that belong to him and had at least that many attempts to create the light bulb? This was no easy feat. He didn’t wake up one morning, walk out the door to the lab and go home that evening with his light bulb. Some things things don’t come easy. And because of that we can more fully appreciate them- because we know all our hard work and sacrifice involved! Our founding fathers of America had to leave their family for YEARS AT A TIME, missing out on seeing their children grow and snuggling their wives at night for their dream of freedom. Imagine if they stopped. Imagine if they were like, ah man, I thought when I got here I would be a unicorn but since I’m not… I’m staying home.
  7. JUST DO IT. 🙂 (I probably have to write that this is a Nike slogan, since I’m sure they patented those 3 words. 🙂 ) If you would like a free pdf showing you an easy and effective way to use aromatherapy for goal setting and motivation, simply send quick text to (540) 765-7881 that says “goals pdf” ❤ Bobbie-jo

Is Summer Threatening Your Sanity? 5 Tips for a Serene Summer- Without Stressing Your Wallet!

We are officially into week 3 of summer vacation at the Hurt Household and my LEAST FAVORITE thing to hear my very blessed children say is, “I’m bored.” Did you know that if you make over $20,000 a year, you are in the top 10 income earners IN THE WORLD? And if you make over $30,000 a year, YOU ARE A TOP 5% INCOME EARNER IN THE WORLD?! So when it comes to things to do, hearing “I’m bored” gives this mommy one of those famous head spin, eye popping, mom moments. Because the fact is, there is PLENTY to do but sometimes our creativity falls in a rut. Let’s see if I can help you out 🙂  I have compiled my top 5 favorite idea to keep the kiddos busy and having fun, while YOU are still able to get stuff done!

  1. Let your kids help with the chores. I mean hey, they actually think we’re having fun doing them, so why not use this as a way to teach them good work ethics and responsibility? The chores they participate in with you is going to be something decided based on your individual child’s ability. For instance, my 4 year old likes to water the plants and feed the pets. And he likes to get the water himself. (Yes, typically that means I am mopping water off the floor 🙂 But when I weigh out what this is teaching him vs. my extra work, I view it as invaluable. My 4 year old likes to fold blankets (I think because there aren’t as many of those 🙂 ) and my 6 year old likes to fold all the washcloths and towels while I fold the other laundry. Sometimes we put on music (since they still think my music choices are cool)  and I also give the kids my ears to let them chatter away while we fold 🙂  (And if you’re wondering if those folded towels and blankets look good? Nope! But that’s why we have linen closets- put them in and shut the door!) 🙂
  2. Create incentives. Perhaps when they finish helping you fold the laundry then you all get to go swimming or run through the hose- whatever they love to do with you!
  3. Go to the library. (What is this lady talking about? It’s not 1992 anymore.) Yup, I totally get that. However, this resource is actually a GEM. Libraries aren’t just books anymore like when I was a kid (and it was still my favorite place to go!). Now they have places for kids to play with new and different toys, computer learning games that are somehow exotic to your child since it is different from what they have at home, new movies that they can rent AND books. It’s a kid paradise! Some of them even have playgrounds outside and coffee/snack shops inside. Man, we mommies are living the life! 🙂
  4. Take something ordinary and make it funHow?? Ok, so I know if you are following my blog, you are either already super creative or you would like to add more creativity into your life. How do I know this? Because I’m the DIY Diva- we make stuff- really cool and creative stuff. And I also know that you are smart. How do I know that? Because you took a minute to actually look into what today’s foods and products are doing to our bodies, our DNA (future generations), our families and our environment. So yeah, you are smart and creative. Pat yourself on  the back 🙂 As an example of taking something ordinary and making it fun, one of the things my boys love is when we go for a walk and we look for “fossils” and other cool finds (animal tracks, weird bugs, broken trees, different leaves, cool flowers, etc.). Tailor it to what your kids like! When I was a kid, I would watch the TV show Wishbone (anyone else???) and my sister and I would go outside with a notebook and a pen, pretending to solve mysteries- like the case of the missing cat (and we didn’t have a cat LOL). When you engage your imagination with the kids, anything is fun. The other day in the pool, the kids were having one of their “mama duck” days where they trail me around. So I made up a game. I was “Queen Stinky” and if they came over to my side they would become stinky! LOL! So my oldest went to the other side and was “Prince Smell Good” and I wasn’t allowed to bring my stinky self over there. My youngest decided to join the stinkies and was “Stinky Jr.” Ahhh serenity… I got to sit on float and relax a bit while my youngest was trying to sneak into the Clean Castle and every once in awhile I would pretend to try and sneak in too. The kids had a blast. I wore a smaller round Nemo float as my “crown” and grabbed a fun noodle as my “scepter” 🙂
  5. I know you have heard this before but our kids don’t want our presents as much as they want our PRESENCE. So how do we do that when us moms are all so busy? Whether we work solely from the home or from home and office, moms are swamped. So here’s how we do it: We create precious space. For instance, my kids knew that mommy was going to be in that pool, playing with them, but after the few hours in the pool, mommy was going to read a chapter of her book in the living room while they played a game on their own. I established this beforehand so it wasn’t a surprise when we came inside and they were totally good with it because they just had mommy all to themselves for the past 2 hours. Sometimes I will tell them that mommy has to do work until ______ time. But after that, we will ______. And then I write the time down so they can check it whenever they forget. 🙂 Of course they can come to me at any point because I work where they play, but they know to let mommy do her thing because after that they are going to do something super cool and awesome with mommy 🙂 PS. This won’t work with ages 0-3. At those ages, we are pretty much their person and they need us 24/7. To create a breather during those ages, get a coffee (through the drive through!) on your way home and go the long way when they are napping or relaxing in the car 🙂 And when they fall asleep on your lap when lounging on the recliner, try to leave something you enjoy nearby that you can do with one hand (I found the Kindle to be invaluable at the point, as turning pages was near impossible! Of course, it IS inevitable that the moment your child falls asleep, you will have to pee. Every time. 🙂 ) Also, forget about the laundry at those ages. Wash. Dry. Divide it up in baskets by person, unfolded, and call it a day. 😉  Even a mommy can only do so much and as the country song says, “You gotta know when to hold ’em [and] know when to fold ’em.” 🙂

    beach beautiful bridge carribean
    Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

The Early Bird Gets The Worm…

Or in this case the better deal! I slashed ticket prices for our Beauty DIY class on May 19th, 2pm-4pm for a few weeks but the early bird tickets end TONIGHT!! After that the tickets will go back to regular price, so please save yourself 10 bucks and get your ticket NOW! There are only a few left as I limited the class size due to the interactive fun and so that I can give you personalized attention without being pulled in so many different directions 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you, DYIng, and making our faces shine like the stars we are, using items that are natural and safe for our bodies!! We don’t need to compromise our health for Beauty 💜

Link Below 🙂 You’re not going to want to miss this! 😉

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/natural-beauty-diy-tickets-45633526105?aff=es2

 

What You Need to Know About The Natural World

 

My family jokingly calls me “Bill Nye the Science Guy” for good reason- I can appreciate some good research and more importantly, scientific evidence that leads to RESULTS. I love results! I love working in my “lab” and making all sorts of natural goodness and therefore I go by Bill, Bill Nye. 😉

Today as I am doing some CEU’s (continuing education units) for my state licenses, I am doing one called, “Herbal Medication: An Evidence-Based Review.” (Don’t shut me off yet- this is important- I promise!). I want to knock out these units, but it was more important for me to stop and talk to you guys for a minute. So do me a favor and just read it, ok? 🙂

The article discusses some extremely important things you need to know if you live, or want to live, a natural, “crunchy”, “granola”-ish lifestyle. It talks about what makes one natural health product different from another.  (Keep reading!) Here is why this is important: If you don’t know the quality of your product, you have no real way of knowing what you are taking into your body and/or how it may effect you based on what is or isn’t in the product!

So what’s your point, Bobbie-jo? Well my point is, if you are living naturally to avoid toxicity, you can’t just pick up something from a health store shop and think it is good for you just because it is there. It CAN hurt you.

Here is what the article says:
“The concentration of active ingredients in HMs [Herbal Medications], however, is affected by numerous factors, including [9,24,25,26]:

The correct identification of the botanical source
The presence of contaminants or substitution of the intended source for other plants of lower cost with potential toxicologic consequences
Growing conditions, including temperature, geography and time of harvest, and possible contamination with micro-organisms, heavy metals, pesticides, or prescription drugs
Collection of the appropriate plant part (e.g., leaves versus root)
Preparation of specimens (e.g., drying, grinding)
Laboratory processing (e.g., solvent used for extraction of active ingredients)
Storage
Formulation of the final product (e.g., liquid versus solid pill)
These processes vary considerably among manufacturers and influence product quality and concentration of active ingredients in the final product.”

Do you see how serious this is?? Especially if Joe Smohe from Idaho is making your products in his mom’s basement – and he could be!!!

Allow me to summarize in bold font: IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE USING AND FROM WHOM YOU ARE USING IT, YOU ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE.

To quote again from the article, “Toxicity may also occur as the result of adulteration in the composition of HMs. This may occur by contamination with toxic plants or molds due to improper selection or storage. Toxicity may also occur as the result of adulteration in the composition of HMs [Herbal Medications]. This may occur by contamination with toxic plants or molds due to improper selection or storage. Adulterations of the intended product may occur either accidentally or deliberately when unscrupulous suppliers replace the intended plant for a cheaper one.” (Emphasis added by me).

To summarize: Manufacturers are coming out of the wood work right now to capitalize on this natural living “trend” (and for many it is a trend). Such manufacturers are interested in making money, not making you healthy. They are treating your life like pocket change.  It is proven that many suppliers are doing this, so what I say, I say with love. You better hope to God that your product was put together by scientists and doctors in a legitimate lab; scientists and doctors with medical degrees, pharmaceutical and physiological training and integrity, who keep all their practices and procedures out in the open for the public to be aware of. You better hope your company tests and retests their product and then sends it to multiple 3rd party testers to verify the purity of their product. Don’t take their word for it on a FB ad or fancy wording on the back of the bottle- go to the source.

Oh Bobbie-jo, isn’t that extreme? … Well, I don’t know; how much do you like your life?

If you think the FDA is doing this checking for you in the natural field, you’re wrong. If you think most of these companies out there are doing it for you, you’re wrong. When shady suppliers pop up, all sorts of toxicity has been found – lots of heavy metals, mold, synthetic products AND SYNTHETIC DRUGS have been found and proven (by real studies- not snoops.com hahahah).

What I say, I truly say with love and care for everyone. I want to help people live their best lives possible, to empower people and to speak the truth with love into people’s lives.

I have researched many different herbal/wellness/natural companies. There is only one I trust. I trust them so much that I modified my career for the time being so that I can help you all. I have made my business natural living so that I can show you a way to avoid, to the best of our ability, the pitfalls of this “microwave it and make it fast and cheap!” society we live in. And do I get paid to help? Absolutely. I have to!  Just like in the counseling office, or teachers in the classroom, or police officers out protecting people. We have to eat to live and our families need a roof over their heads. Just like you get paid to do your job. There is no shame in providing for your family through a service or product you wholeheartedly believe in. Please don’t run blindly into the natural world. A lot of companies are dimming their lights so that you can’t immediately see what they are doing.

 “These examples illustrate the need for an increased public and professional awareness, the implementation of appropriate quality control and exhaustive testing of supplies, adherence by the manufacturers to good manufacturing practices, and selection of products manufactured by reputable companies.” (Bold emphasis was added by me- the rest is from the article 🙂 )

 

Not sharing the truth when I can- to me would be like seeing someone getting hurt and not rushing over to help. Just wrong.

Below are the hundreds of resources used by the article I referenced 😉

 

RESOURCES
MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch
1-888-INFO-FDA
MedEffect Canada: Adverse Reaction and Medical Device Problem Reporting
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/report-declaration/index-eng.php
1-866-234-2345
Natural Medicines Watch: Adverse Event Reporting Form
https://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/adverseevent.aspx
1-209-472-2244
Complete for Credit

Works Cited
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311. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Statement from Susan Mayne, Ph.D., on Proposal to Revoke Health Claim that Soy Protein Reduces Risk of Heart Disease. Available at https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm582744.htm. Last accessed November 2, 2017.
Evidence-Based Practice Recommendations Citations
1. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder. 3rd ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2010. Summary retrieved from National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=24158. Last accessed June 22, 2016.
2. Greenlee H, Balneaves LG, Carlson LE, et al. Clinical practice guidelines on the use of integrative therapies as supportive care in patients treated for breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst Monographs. 2014;2014(50):346-358. Summary retrieved from National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=49481. Last accessed June 22, 2016.
3. Snellman L, Adams W, Anderson G, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Respiratory Illness in Children and Adults. Bloomington, MN: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement; 2013. Summary retrieved from National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www.guidelines.gov/content.aspx?id=43792. Last accessed June 22, 2016.
4. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Kava extract for treating anxiety. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1):CD003383. Abstract available at http://www.cochrane.org/CD003383/DEPRESSN_kava-extract-for-treating-anxiety. Last accessed June 22, 2016.
5. Qaseem A, Fihn SD, Dallas P, et al. Management of stable ischemic heart disease: summary of a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians/American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association/American Association for Thoracic Surgery/Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association/Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(10):735-743. Summary retrieved from National Guideline Clearinghouse at at http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=39254. Last accessed June 22, 2016.

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Never Wasted

I wish I had gotten a picture, but I was so captivated by the magnitude of the intricacies of life and the Creator of it all that I just watched.

This tiny little bird with blue jean colored feathers, alert black eyes and a crisp little fo-hawk landed about 3 feet away from me. At first it grabbed my attention because we don’t tend to have brave little visitors near our house due to our dog and cat, so a little birdy being so close was actually a rare sight to behold.

Then I noticed where the bird hand landed – on a pile of Hattie’s dog hair that I had groomed and brushed away in the busy fashion that is my life.

The bird landed, looked around- for safety precautions I imagine, and then began pecking at the soft hair tufts. As soon as he had what he could carry in his beak, he swiftly flew away, off to make its nest.

So what amazed me about this seemingly every day scenario? Well, I had a week. I mean, quite THE WEEK. Or maybe month. Months? Something like that 🙂 During this time, I have been reminding myself of Romans 8:28, that all things work to the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. I have been telling myself and my husband to get on our dancing shoes, because something GOOD is around the next corner- it has to be!

So when I saw that beautiful, tiny bird land and grab up some discarded treasure to use to build its castle in the sky, I was reminded with astounding clarity that God does not waste anything. He will take all the muck and the mess of our life – all of the, “how is this even happening?!” and “Oh, not again!!” moments and turn them into something good- beautiful even.  He won’t waste an opportunity to turn things around for you. Wouldn’t you do the same for your child? I know I would be chomping at the bit for the chance to go make things right, to help, to instill justice, to protect my children and to bless them beyond what they can even imagine.

So maybe even now, at this very time, God is picking up the tufts and saying, “We can use this.” Maybe it will be to build my castle in the sky, too. 😊💜

I don’t have all the answers. I never will. I will always have a pile of “why’s” on this earth. My heart yearns for kindness, for people to think of others and beyond themselves and what they want, sometimes my heart yearns for a break from all the trials and sadness and “why’s” here. But as C.S. Lewis said, we yearn for more because we were made for more.

….

Well, though I’m signing off from tonight’s ponderings, I’m sure the bird will come back – after all, we have the best hair fluff in town – all organic and totally DIY 🙂

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Rainy Monday Mama Thoughts

 

Over the past 5 or so years of being mostly home with the kids and working mostly from home, I took them all sorts of fun places: parks, beaches, picnics, bike riding, walks, to play with friends and more. Then Daddy and I also went on many vacations with the kid’s where the destinations when we arrived were always about what would be fun for the kids. In fact one hot summer, I spent an entire day at Dollywood Amusement Park, holding my youngest ALL DAY- it was a loooong, sweaty day of looking for the shady spots for me and the baby while daddy took our oldest on the kiddy rides (my youngest had a very hard time in loud, crowded places as a baby and would SCREAM unless I was holding him, so I held him for many years straight- until I found a natural alternative that helped him – now he is a social butterfly and non-stop talker! NON-STOP! lol 😊!)

So today, my oldest found a pressed coin from one of our trips to Amish Country that had a horse and buggy on it. I asked him if he remembered going on those rides, as it has been a year or 2 since we have been that way. I tell him about how when he was younger, he LOVED buggy rides and we would look for them wherever we traveled so that he could enjoy them… He doesn’t remember.

*Mom rant thoughts!* But, but, but…all that time! All that effort! All the money! The physical stress of holding my little one 24/7 in my arms so we could go and do all those things!

Now ask him if he remembers the time mommy threw out an old, broken toy that no one ever played with and the memory is as crisp as an Autumn apple! LOL!

I read a book several years ago by Dr. Kevin Leman, a psychologist, that basically says, tell me your first 3 childhood memories and I will tell you about your life.

You see, the memories WE hold onto and HOW we view those memories shapes how we see the world… And being a counselor mommy, I think about these things. And I am always wondering which memory we are creating that he will remember for the long term, though I know that every moment we have with our babies shapes them into the people they will become- whether they remember or not 💜

Just a few thoughts from my rainy Monday…

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Broken Trees Still Bloom?

I live in the country. Like… The country. Let’s just say that overalls are normal here (no, I don’t own any- I’ve always had a splash of Hollywood in my veins😊) and we may or may not have some people in our county that use old comodes (aka toilets for the northern folks!) in the front yard with their house number proudly displayed on it.

It always makes me smile and shake my head just slightly in bemusement when I drive by but hey, if you’re ever in a pinch… 😂

I love the country- in fact, I am currently on my porch swing enjoying the rain. That was one of the things my dad and I had in common- we both liked sitting on the porch and listening to the rain. 💜

I also love being in nature and I try to make it an everyday practice that the kids and I go for a walk around our family mountain for outdoor time and physical health.

Something that has really been sticking out to me this past month on our walks is how many of our trees are almost completely snapped in half due to the strong winds- and yet there are beautiful flowers blooming on the broken side- and ONLY THE BROKEN SIDE! Rather astonishing, I think.

After our walk today, I grabbed my phone and headed back down to get a pic of a tree that has been on my mind. When I got to it,  it began to pour down rain but I did the best I could in the few seconds I had 🙂

There’s a life lesson in this. A MAJOR one. Have you figured it out yet?

Think about it. A tree limb. Snapped in half. Hanging by a literal thread of wood. But there it is, blooming and producing beautiful flowers. Meanwhile on the other side, the unbroken side, there is just branch- no new growth, no flowers. Is anyone picking up on this? Get my drift?

No matter what image people try to portray, I can tell you as one who studies the mind (and lives in one!) That no one has their life perfectly together- and that’s good- and normal! Because if we did have everything ‘perfect’, there would be no growth. It is the adversity, the suffering, the literal snapping in half of our lives where we are left hanging on my a mere thread that the growth happens. Because it is in those moments that we can either fall over, play possom and call it a day, or we can use these challenges to make something new and wonderful, overcoming the odds and choosing life over despair- no matter how dire the situation. Wow. Those are some big words. Some tough words. I am almost cringing as they come to me to write down. Because what I’m writing, what I’m suggesting, is hard. Hard. Hard.

But it’s worth it; to throw in the towel on the things in our lives that we think are broken and don’t have a chance is to deny our God-given capabilites, strength and resilence. No, we can’t undo a shattered tree limb. But God can. And sometimes it may be His plan to fix your situation for you and make things comfortable again for you. And other times, most of the time I think, He see our brokenness. He sees our tears, our torn limb and the mess we find ourselves in. And instead of turning away and ignoring our pitiful state of need and despair, He comes along side us and helps us grow beautiful flowers. He helps us bloom in the midst of our pain – maybe even because of it. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted (the broken limbed) and if you are willing to let Him, He will help you turn that obstacle, that stressor, that suffering into something beautiful. Something that can not only help you and your branch, but also inspire all who walk by, seeing your glorious flowers and thinking, how did THAT happen? ….I thought she was just a broken limb.

💜 Bobbie-jo

 

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Is There Time to Pick a Flower in Heaven?

That’s what my youngest child thoughtfully asked me as he was riding in his car seat on the way home from church today. I told him, yes, I think there will be time to do that- to which he replied, “Ok, I am going to bring one to Jesus.”

What a precious thought of a 4 year old- to bring Jesus a gift- a flower. Imagine if for a minute our adult minds could slow down and think about bringing Jesus a flower. You know, when I put it that way, thinking of this is way more exciting than my to-do list constantly running in my head. (No wonder I give myself so many headaches!)

Not only do I have a constant “to-do” list in my mind of things I need to do for the family, the house, the careers, the wallet, the vehicles, friends etc., I also have a list of things “I need to do” to help everyone in the world. No wonder I am overwhelmed so much! Because last time I looked in the mirror, I did NOT suddenly discover I was Superwoman and though I may wear sandals, I am NOT Jesus. 😊

You know what I become when I try to be SuperWoman? Super Stressed, Super Tense, Super Tired and Super Migraine, to name a few. That’s *probably* proof that I’m not meant to do it all. And though it’s great to have goals, to want to help others and want to have a well-kept home, we simply can’t have it all in this world-  Not in a Debbie Downer way (don’t start flushing your dreams down the toilet!) – but in a ‘we have to pick and choose what’s most important to us’ way.

I went to a work conference yesterday and one of the speakers was right up my alley in terms of my personal 2018 goals – “Simplify.” She spoke about life being like a balance beam; you can only put so much on it before things start toppling off. So you have to choose. And for every “item” you put on your balance beam, that makes some thing else that cannot fit on your beam. I know for me that’s hard because this self-admitted NOT SuperWoman still has this silly belief in her head that she can do it all – or that she HAS to do it all (enter Super Migraine).

I hope today you can examine your balance beam and say “yes” to what’s most important to you and “no” – or simply “not yet” to the things that just won’t fit. I hope you save some wiggle room on your beam for time for baths and walks…. and thoughts about bringing Jesus flowers.

💜 Bobbie-jo

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What Do You Want Out of Life?

I absolutely love this; if you’re ever wondering what I’m thinking about at any given moment, it probably sounds something like this. I think existentially and laugh loudly. Every day I look at my life to make sure I am truly LIVING.
Are you?

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Do you like breathing?

Many of you know that my husband and I started down a new career path about 2 years ago. After becoming extremely sick with migraines when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I started researching like crazy.  I wanted to figure out what was causing this response in my body and what could be done. The migraines would begin anytime I would smell a perfume, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.

I had assumed my sensitivity would wane after having my son but it did not. I still get awful headaches from people walking by me or the stores with all their smells.

I became really passionate about helping others learn natural living when I studied what happens to your body as you wear, breathe and pile up these posions in your body (come on, did you think the supermarket was selling you something good for $1.97?)
Do you like your lungs? Your heart? Your brain cells? How about your blood stream? Do you enjoy breathing?
Just curious.

In April, I am starting a 30 day toxin detox program for those of you who want to see how good you really could feel. You may be quite surprised!

Please, please, please hear my heart. I didn’t stop providing full-time mental health therapy after 3 different college degrees just because I thought it would be fun to play in Shea Butter all day (even though that is fun 😊). I added a natural living career to my life because I want you to experience life to the fullest- to feel and function at your best- to enjoy life because you feel good!

Providing therapy lets me help people clean out the gunk inside so they can function healthily again. Providing natural living training lets me help people clean out the gunk on the outside so they can live their best life.

(*note* I cannot provide both for you- I can be your therapist OR your natural living coach but I cannot legally provide both- and I don’t want to!!! Lol!!! 💟)

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