Feeling

I had a conversation with someone recently.

It was said that feelings and emotion are nonexistent, unnecessary, and debilitating. That there is only action. That you cannot simply love someone from afar, but that the only way to make that love true is through a physical representation of it; a phone call, hug, visit, etc.

What followed in my mind can only be compared to throwing moss into an open flame. Anger. Sadness. Fire. Passion.

FEELING.

It is my belief and experience that it is not what we do that is remembered, but the feelings we evoked.

For instance, I don't remember much of the day-to-day or even month-to-month happenings of my very first love as nearly a decade has come between then and now. I don't remember exactly what we did on the weekends or what movies we saw. But I do remember feeling a weightlessness in my soul, carried by new love, bubbling, fluttering, blushing, bursting at the seams. And then I remember the heartbreak, the feeling of utter destruction, the devastation of deception, darkness.

You see, emotion is the pulse of our being. It is derived from our consciousness and our connection with all living beings. Our human experience is all about those that hold our hearts, and riding the waves of a broken one. If you've ever owned a dog, you know the power of feeling. If you are sad, your companion offers extra cuddles. If you are angry because they tore a hole in your favorite pillow, they cower and their head hangs low. That is not because of an action. That is because your aura, your person is emitting a frequency that carries information, that displays your present state in the form of energy. It can be light and bright and jubilant or it can be dark and low and painful.

We are like conscious, walking satellites, emitting energy or signals and absorbing the frequencies of those we choose to surround ourselves with. Likened to the proven notion that you are what you eat, if you continuously absorb hate, jealousy, ignorance, negativity, judgement, and narcissism, you will eventually embody and emit those emotions, those feelings.

Actions and spoken words fade. They become fuzzy overtime. Sentences break down to key words and eventually even the key words crumble into dust; and what is left is the message written on our hearts and souls.

Unless injury occurs, we are incapable of forgetting how we felt at a particular moment in time. It's embedded into who we are. Whether it's a shutter of embarrassment, or a smile of remembrance, you know the feeling.

What a potent reminder to teach Fallon to follow how she FEELS.. Because, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes in Women Who Run With The Wolves, "There is no greater blessing a mother can give her daughter than a reliable sense of the veracity of her own intuition."

I will teach her that life will not cease in crossing paths with those who test your true self. Sinister, dark forces will always lurk in the shadows, coiled and ready to strike at moments in which our guard is down and passion is high. Those whose sole purpose is belittlement and backing you into corners of imperfection and insignificance. Those that hide behind bibles, beliefs, and other masks of avoidance, slinging rocks and pointing fingers, claiming that they're simply obeying the instructions of their "all-forgiving" god.

The God we honor is LOVE, the first feeling to ripple through the hearts of human beings. Our deity has a water-like fluidity, taking various shapes, giving life, and all the while, ever so gracefully, carving into hardened hearts, like water smoothes the rough surface of stone. Our lord is soft in approach and forthright in acceptance. The One we honor, lives within each and every one of us and we know so because of our capacity to feel.

xx

S

The Nontoxic Mama: Soap and Moisturizer

When I was pregnant with Fallon, I spent an embarrassing amount of time binge watching Netflix documentaries (what else is a girl supposed to do without wine??). I had finished nearly every health-related film available when Netflix recommended The Human Experiment.  This documentary exposes the chemical industry's lackadaisical attitude towards testing and regulating potentially harmful products we use or come in contact with every single day. A saddening light is shed on the blatant disregard for the safety of the citizens of the United States.

I was unsurprisingly enraged and set out to de-toxifiy my life, starting with my beauty and bath products. I devoted countless hours to researching and understanding each questionable chemical and their impact on my health. After tearing through my cupboard and medicine cabinet, I ended up recycling everything but organic tea tree oil.

I was shocked.

We trust our federal leaders and organizations to protect us and keep us safe ... right? It seems perfectly reasonable to expect that the products available to us over-the-counter, that have been approved by government associations and organizations, were evaluated for not only their efficacy, but more importantly, their safety. Unfortunately, this is not our reality. Chemical monopolies and their not-so-subtle ties with government officials greedily dictate the products we can or cannot purchase based on profit, not potential risk.

So, I invite you to take your health into your own hands. I know it's overwhelming and discouraging, but I'm here to answer any questions you may have. We're going to kick off this blog series with my recommendations for face wash, soap, and moisturizer.

If you have sensitive skin, attempting to live a toxin-free life in regards to what you slather on your face is absurdly challenging. I'll be honest; pregnancy and motherhood completely destroyed my complexion. I worked for a dermatologist for several years in college and I desperately wanted to reach for the products filled with parabens, petrolatum, preservatives, and phthalates that I used back in the day.

If I'm going to recommend products solely based on what's is or is not in their list of ingredients, I would recommend two companies: Beautycounter and ACURE. Both companies are devoted to quality ingredients that won't disrupt your delicate hormonal balance or clog your pores. I use Acure's Yummy Baby 4-in-1 wash on Fallon and I LOVE the way it feels and smells and the ingredient list is pleasantly small and completely non-toxic.

I have always used and will continue to use organic cold-pressed coconut oil as a moisturizer for myself and Fallon. Slather it on in the shower for ultimate absorption and to prevent the oily, slick feeling. I also use it as a shaving barrier and if you're not shaving with coconut oil, what the heck are you doing with your life... I digress. I've tried several products from both Beautycounter and Acure and my postpartum skin still had me shying away from the mirror. To be fair, I'm not sure any cleanser or serum can remedy low estrogen, so I will retry the products once I stop breastfeeding and post my results. 

With all of that said, I am currently using the Zero Oil line from Origins. Some ingredients I'm not super satisfied with are: sodium cocoyl sarcosinate (cleansing agent/surfactant), polysorbate 20 (emulsifying agent/surfactant), linalool (deodorant), limonene (scent ingredient/solvent), peg-6 (added to preserve moisture), peg-150 (binder/added to preserve moisture), potassium sorbet (fragrance related/preservative), methylisothiazolinone (synthetic preservative), and methylchloroisothiazolinone (synthetic preservative).

This is a VERY short list of just SOME of the toxins (chemical irritants, hormone-disruptors, eco pollutants, etc.) that can be found in our everyday beauty products... even what we use on our babies. If you're ever curious about a product or what's in it, my go-to site is www.ewg.org/skindeep. They have a huge database of products that are stringently rated by levels of toxicity. You can search the brand, product or individual ingredient. 

If you're a bar soap kind of person, Nubian Heritage is my go-to. BUT, I don't use bar soap on my face. Just my body. I've never had luck with using bar soap on my face - but that's just my experience. Either way, their soaps are a great, nontoxic alternative to your typical big-name competitor.

Bottom Line:

1. Our skin is our body's largest organ. What we wash with, moisturize with, protect with matters. It's a direct line into our bloodstream, so if we slather poison on our skin we're essentially poisoning the very thing that is meant to protect us. 2. I get it. Sometimes the "natural stuff" just does't cut it. Acne and other skin conditions are emotionally-taxing and can snowball into mental dis-ease such as depression and anxiety. If you've exhausted all efforts (i.e. changed your diet, used the most organic, purest products available, etc.), it's OKAY. If you can't achieve the gorgeous, glowing skin you deserve, see a dermatologist and use the damn products they recommend. Your mental health matters too. I was on Accutane in high school - talk about toxic. Everything in moderation, right?

xx
S

Conscious Parenting

Bringing life into this world is not to be taken lightly.
You've heard jokes about "poppin' 'em out quickly" but what's not so quickly discussed is the giant responsibility of mentally and emotionally molding this BRAND NEW human being.
Everything they do and say, especially as they begin to own their individual human experience, affects the world around them.
These tiny humans contribute in a big way to our universal consciousness. They will be an integral part of the collective heart, mind, and soul of all living beings inhabiting our planet.
And I witness the damage caused by unconscious parenting all too often; parenting without an emphasis on love or a lack of "parenting" all together.
News flash, raising children is not just keeping them alive until they're 18 and then washing your hands of them. Being a mom or dad is forever. It is a continuous learning experience.
You learn from them and they learn from you.
They are listening to the words that you speak.
And more importantly, the way that you speak them.
They are watching the way you treat others.
The way that you hug.
The way that you cry.
The way that you eat, clean, lose your temper, dance like no one is watching, roll your eyes, make scribbles in the book you're reading.
They feel the energy you emit.
Leading by example isn't even the correct phrase...
They literally do what you do as you do it.
Because that's all they know.
Our children are the mark we leave on this world.
Can we make every decision for them?
Hell no (ask my mom).
But we can give them the tools to make the right ones.
We can provide direction and stability and love and encouragement.
Because when you're surrounded by the right people with the right values,
There's a good chance the right things will happen.

Support

Support is important. Surrounding yourself with individuals that are diehard advocates of your happiness and fulfillment leads to abundance in all aspects of life; financial, spiritual, emotional, and professional. Doing the work is only part of the equation of success. We need our people, our tribe to lift us up in times of sadness, hardship, or perceived failure. We all know that Love is a basic human need; as well as appreciation, acknowledgment, affection, words of affirmation, and respect. If you don't have the respect and adoration of the ones closest to you, you'll never survive the winding, treacherous road to conscious, enlightened, and high vibrational achievement. Find the humans who believe in you unconditionally. Find the humans that, when necessary, fight for your dreams harder than you do. Find the humans that recognize your light and want to hold your hand in hopes that they can help you shine brighter. There will come a time when those humans need your hand too. Reciprocation is pivotal. Sometimes we are low and in a state of lack. We walk with our shoulders slumped and our confidence shattered and we need our tribe to prop us up, in the light, on our feet again. And the right humans will. Have the right people around you and be the right person for the people you're around.  We're only as fulfilled as the least fulfilled soul in our individual circle. A single soul in your circle is also a part of their own unique circle. These points of connection create a butterfly affect that is the foundation of universal responsibility. Abundance is contagious, but it doesn't come without support. Give it wholeheartedly, accept it humbly, and success will be inevitable.

Support is important.

Surrounding yourself with individuals that are diehard advocates of your happiness and fulfillment leads to abundance in all aspects of life; financial, spiritual, emotional, and professional. Doing the work is only part of the equation of success. We need our people, our tribe to lift us up in times of sadness, hardship, or perceived failure.

We all know that Love is a basic human need; as well as appreciation, acknowledgment, affection, words of affirmation, and respect. If you don't have the respect and adoration of the ones closest to you, you'll never survive the winding, treacherous road to conscious, enlightened, and high vibrational achievement.

Find the humans who believe in you unconditionally. Find the humans that, when necessary, fight for your dreams harder than you do. Find the humans that recognize your light and want to hold your hand in hopes that they can help you shine brighter.

There will come a time when those humans need your hand too. Reciprocation is pivotal. Sometimes we are low and in a state of lack. We walk with our shoulders slumped and our confidence shattered and we need our tribe to prop us up, in the light, on our feet again.

And the right humans will.

Have the right people around you and be the right person for the people you're around. 

We're only as fulfilled as the least fulfilled soul in our individual circle. A single soul in your circle is also a part of their own unique circle. These points of connection create a butterfly affect that is the foundation of universal responsibility.

Abundance is contagious, but it doesn't come without support. Give it wholeheartedly, accept it humbly, and success will be inevitable.