It’s early in March 2015 and I am exhausted. I’m pacing around the house, a crying newborn strapped to my chest in one of those stretchy fabric thingies.
At least he’s safe, he is fed and changed and not too hot or cold, and… yelling?
Why is he crying every waking hour now? He was easy and happy until a few days ago… I’m sleep deprived and confused.
I dig in my foggy memory to conjure back visions of Charlotte and David as babies, 6 and 4 years ago. I can’t remember them ever being so distressed, needing to be on my chest all the live long day and night, forcing me to sleep in a -super impractical- upright position.
So I end up taking Simon to his paediatrician, who finds a good ole case of newborn colic and acid reflux.
As a registered nurse I remember clearly explaining the exact same thing to tons of scared, sleep-deprived parents.
“It is normal, and simply due to an immature digestive tract. Nothing to worry about, and nothing to do but wait. Wait for organs to grow and mature, and power through as best you can in the meantime! But isn’t it great news, because it’s nothing serious! You can go home relieved!”
I want to go back and apologize to all those poor parents I patronised with my fancy science and knowledge.
I take the prescription for Zantac, but never give it to Simon… It reeks of alcohol when I open it, and I’m not sure I truly want to pump his tiny liver with alcohol just yet.
Back to the pharmacy I go, a backward turtle with a shell on her front, avoiding people, because they will loudly exclaim annoying niceties like “WHAT-A-CUTE-BABY-HOW-OLD-IS-SHE-AAAWWW-ADORABLE”. I’m keeping my head down, or I will hiss “Sssshhhh please shut up sssshhh can’t you see HE is sleeping?!”
I raid the natural remedies section, willing to try anything and everything to comfort my distressed child. I rush home with an armful of wonderful promises on boxes. As days go by though, nothing works. Not even a tiny bit.
Sanity frayed, self-worth as a mother slightly up in the air, greasy hair and dirty clothes, and we’re back to square one.
Simon is screaming at the top of his lungs, eyes closed, face red.
I’m done. I don’t even try to hold back tears anymore… I’m so sorry baby, mum doesn’t know how to help you.
Wait. Maybe… I have this bottle of Peppermint from Katie, maybe that can do something, anything? Quick a bowl, quick some olive oil, and hurry hurry a few drops of that thing.
Stir. Smells nice.
Simon is screaming the kind of helpless high-pitched scraggly scream that makes parents want to fix it, whatever it is. On his back he goes, clothes off, and slowly I start rubbing his tiny tummy, clockwise, carefully, singing over him.
After a few minutes his scream turns to a soft cry. Then no sound at all, just quiet breathing, like he himself can’t believe it.
Then, then… he falls asleep.
I can’t breathe. I cry -super quiet- tears of relief, and pray thankful things to God and the universe for what just happened. And I sit, not daring to move, listening to the profound, soothing silence, already planning to look up that stuff I just used…
That moment there was a game changer.
It’s the before and after for me, because it’s the before and after for him.
My thinking and perspective and reflexes about health and physiology and disease and remedies, all shaken in this small moment.
I have since researched essential oils and their origins, uses, benefits, grades, purposes. Where to buy and why quality matters. I have linked arms with other men and women on their quest for something else, for better, for another way.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the power of ‘regular’ drugs, and it is a fact that doctors save lives. But I equally believe there is a simple truth we need to dig for ourselves, search, and try.
It is a fact our lives have dramatically improved since we started opening tiny bottles of therapeutic grade essential oils 2 years ago.
We sleep better, we have more energy, my hormones are balanced, my skin has never been so smooth and glowing and healthy. My kids can handle a whole range of emotions with a lot more grace and love and patience. I don’t ever have to sit back and wait for everyone to get sick in my household if one has a cold or tummy virus, and we are almost rid of all toxic chemicals in our everyday products. I clean counters and floors and clothes and windows and the plates we eat off of with a clear conscience. Someone in our household who had always heard bad reviews from the dentist had compliments last time he went. And I cannot remember the last time I took my kids to the doctor apart from regular well-checks -and one ear infection for Simon that I didn’t catch in time.
My heart is full of thanks, as I cannot imagine for one second our day to day without powerful tools, so simple, so doable, so real.
Now you think “Well that’s good for her! What about me?”
You want to know where to even begin, what to start with?
First let me be absolutely clear: if you want benefits, you need to start with the best essential oils.
It’s just not good enough to get a cheap bottle of something called Lavender or Lemon from a health store and throw it away days later saying it doesn’t work. Or worse, that it was actually harmful. That’s money –and time- in the trash, so please don’t do that.
You and I need therapeutic grade essential oils, pure and organic, from a company so transparent you can actually visit their farms and distilleries and plant the seeds and help with the harvest – even watch the distillation process, learn about the chemistry of essential oils if you want to!
After much reading and researching, I chose Young Living. Gary Young founded his company in the 80s, out of passion and for a purpose, and he’s the only one to offer a Seed to Seal guarantee. Quality speaks for itself, so it makes sense they’ve become the world leader in essential oils. No marketing, no nonsense, just a lot of science and research and a desire to help and serve.
Good enough for me!
So if you are starting from scratch with essential oils, I would recommend starting with these:
– Plop a drop in your water daily, with or without Peppermint! It’s detoxifying to the liver.
– Apply on skin imperfections (don’t judge, some people are 40 and still have acne!)
– Open the bottle and breathe in, for a happy mood boost. Diffuse with Peppermint to help with focus!
– Apply on burns! Whether from the sun or hot surface, Lavender soothes immediately (powerful anti inflammatory!) and helps regenerate skin cells.
– Plop a drop on your pillow, or rub under your big toe for a good night sleep
– A drop in your water during long heavy Christmas meals!
– Inhale directly from the bottle to curb nausea.
– Apply to temples and back of neck against headaches, with or without Lavender.
Diffuse all 3 to curb spring discomfort symptoms!
What matters in the long run is your health, and the health of those you love. This can be achieved successfully one baby step at a time, one switch, one new habit at a time. Only then your choices are enjoyable and sustainable and make a true difference.
Here’s to a new year of on-purpose baby steps towards wellness.
Come walk with me!
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Image credits: Lesley Graham, Kristina Carter, Ashley Cribb, Brooke Mihalek and Keren Mabury