swinging barefoot

I have been really feeling things today, good things, good emotions. Sweet, bring you to tears emotions. At work, there was a woman who was putting together a gift with such focus and creativity you would have thought she was the only one in the room. She was certainly only focused on her gift. The focus wasn’t selfish. I made a comment about what she was doing, and she explained that she was putting together a gift for her daughter, who was going to be celebrating her 6th wedding anniversary tomorrow. She explained that her daughter had been trying to get pregnant, but that wasn’t working well, and that she wanted to do something really special for her. The woman’s love for her daughter was so apparent as she moved through the store and pieced things together to create a tray with oil lamps, bowls, dish towels, wine, salsa, and so on. She asked me about napkins, and as I pointed some out, she said, quickly but kindly, that was not her daughter’s style. I loved that she knew her daughter so well to be confident of what was and wasn’t her style.

As I walked away to let her continue to shop, I almost cried. I told a couple of my coworkers about what the lady was doing, and one of them said, “Oh Kiersten, you’re so funny.” I don’t think they understood. I wish all retail customers shopped the same way this woman did. She was so intentional and creative as she looked for her daughter’s gift, and so kind to us in her speech. So many people come into the store and just want us to pick something. They are impatient and in a hurry. I want to ask why they are giving a gift if they don’t care what it is. They may have a good reason, I just want to know why sometimes.

Then I got home and began to make dinner. I cooked pesto and pasta and added some tomatoes on top. After I cooked my pasta, as I sifted the spaghetti noodles through my fingers, feeling their stickiness, I thought about how I learned years ago from my grandmother that if you cook spaghetti noodles, the way to tell if they are ready is to throw one against the wall. If it sticks, it’s al denté. That made me think of my sweet grandmother, always giving and giving. She’s like the giving tree from the book. She used to cook for us when we came to visit her, and then when we moved into the same city, every Sunday she would have us over for lunch. And she cooked. Nothing fancy. She’d of course set the table (or ask one of us to do it), and either cook stew or spaghetti. And she’d have caesar salads, because she knew my dad and I liked the salad. She would make corn because she knew my brother loved corn on the cob. Now, as an adult, I look back and think how that must have meant so much to my grandmother, as a woman living by herself, to have people in her home and to give to us, to care for us. I wasn’t very grateful at the time. But it means so much to me now. I’m so glad she did that. And after she cooked, she’d just sit back and watch the chaos of my family’s conversations. She’d watch our teenage attitudes, hear our discouragements, watch our apathetic looks, listen to our laughter, love our hugs, love listening the talks. But after she cooked, she was a watcher. She would just sit back and enjoy us enjoying the food that she made, enjoying the sweetness of having everyone together. She enjoyed the environment that she had created. That is so HER. She just gives and gives, not expecting anything in return, but simply loves knowing that we are enjoying the gifts that she’s given. It is so sweet. Honey-for-the-soul sweet.  I get that now. So I called her. Age and sickness have made her no longer able to cook for us. But I called her tonight and told her about my spaghetti noodle memory, and she laughed and said that she did remember that. I’m so thankful for my grandmother.

After dinner I went for a walk. I talked on the phone as I walked to a park nearby, and found out some great news in response to a prayer and concerns. I got to the park, I sat for a bit on a bench overlooking a field (valley) surrounded by trees, watching the sunset, and I was just thankful. I have to take times to do things like that. To play outside, to walk barefooted to my neighbor’s house, to swing, to pick fresh herbs from the garden. Tactile, earthy, real things.

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my grandmother, 2 years ago

my grandmother, 2 years ago

 

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update: essential oils

I’ve recently been asked about how I practically use essential oils every day. (Clarification: I use Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils.) Here is some information that will hopefully be helpful to you!

On a day to day basis, I use the oils for skin issues (eczema & dry/sensitive skin), anxiety, as a sleep aid, and for back pain. What made me take the leap was that I was taking Advil every night for at least the last year for headaches and muscle tension in my back and neck that was really painful. I just couldn’t keep doing that to my liver, and honestly it wasn’t helping that much, so I wanted to see if the oils would help with relaxation and pain. They have..a lot. I’ve only used Advil about 4 times since getting the oils in March. The PanAway and Deep Relief have really helped with muscle stuff, Lavender & Peppermint help with headaches, and Lavender and Peace & Calming really help with anxiety. I rub Peace & Calming on my feet every night and sleep really deeply….I’ve had sleep issues for the last 4-5 years and have taken prescription meds. I haven’t been brave enough to give up the prescriptions yet, but I can already tell that the Peace & Calming helps me have complete REM cycles because I’m dreaming a lot more and remembering my dreams when I use it.
I also get nauseous when I’m anxious about something. I never throw up, but to help the nausea I have been rubbing peppermint oil on my stomach occasionally. I haven’t had to use it recently…probably because of the Peace & Calming and Stress Away that I use on a daily basis that help with the anxiety.
I diffuse the oils for different things using my diffuser. At night when I go to bed, I diffuse either Lavender or Peace & Calming. For just a general good smell, I diffuse the blend called Joy. Many of the oils can be diffused with great benefits. You have to be careful when diffusing them and also using them topically with infants and young children. There are certain oils that can be harmful to children because of their strength…so do your research before using them on your kids.
Also, certain Young Living oils are blends of different oils. You want to be sure to read the list of ingredients in the blend to see if you are allergic to anything. For instance, some oils blends are pre-diluted with Almond Oil, so if you are allergic to nuts, that could be a problem!
I hope this information helps! Young Living just came out with a line of oils blends just for kids. Also, the oils that I have just mentioned, including the diffuser, come in the Premium Starter Kit. So if you were to wanting to get into the oils, I would recommend getting the kit so that you can play around with it and see what you use the most before you buy the larger 15 ml bottles. The kit comes with 11 different 5 ml bottles. I went through Lavender and Peace & Calming pretty quickly, so those were the first ones that I bought bigger bottles of. But the good thing is, when you get the starter kit ($150-$160 depending on which diffuser you want) and sign up as a wholesale member, you get 24% off of any future oil buys. And then you can sell the oils if you want to, or you can just use them for your family. Your call, no penalties.

I would love to introduce you to Young Living! Sign up with me before July 15 and I will send you a free copy of the Essential Oils Pocket Reference (on amazon for $28). Email me with questions at Kiersteneh@gmail.com.