Essential Oils: I Swiped Right

Essential Oils: I Swiped Right

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    If you’ve been following me on social media, getting tattooed or receiving reiki from me, talking to me on the phone, in a coffee shop, or generally being in my presence, you know I am obsessed with essential oils. This is not just an obsession; it has been a life changing experience. I’m mind-blown by essential oils. I’m head over heals in a love affair with essential oils and I don’t know where she’s been all my life! You might be wondering where we met and about her personality. It’s a little complicated but I’m excited to share, just as I am equally excited to share her with you!

    It was a dreary Seattle afternoon and I was lamenting with a mentor about anxiety and depression, outbursts from my youngest and an over all tidal wave of emotions that seemed to be absorbing our days at home and bringing everyone in my family down. Her advice - you need to get Frankincense. Who is this Frank and where do I find him?! I want him now

    I immediately went to a local health food store where I thought Frank might be hanging out and sure enough, there he was. I was instructed to rub Frank all over my body with a lotion lubricant to assure safety. You might be wondering if we are still talking about essential oils and yes, we are and wait, it gets better! 

     I’m all into Frank and I start to get curious about what he’s all about. I begin to read the labeling to find out to my surprise, Frank is potentially very dangerous and I should use him with caution. What in the what? We were just getting along and he had me so excited, although he smelled weird and I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep him around. I was certain there was a legit Frank out there and I was determined to find him! 

    As I went down a rabbit hole of essential oil madness online I became even more confused by this impossibly illusive Frank and his mistresses. Every mommy blogger out there writing about essential oils was battling it out online, pointing fingers and creating major confusion. Do this, don’t to that, definitely never ever do this and you should never listen to them! This online research kept me up until 3-4 am - I’m not kidding - for two weeks straight. At one point in my adolescence I wanted to be a detective. I was using all of my secret spy skills to get to the bottom of who this Frank really is, but this was turning into a part time job. Eventually, it wore me down and I decided to do the unthinkable! I was going to ask someone for help. 

     Who do I know who knows something about essential oils? Immediately, I thought of my friend Julie! Julie is amazing! Julie is someone I’ve respected in business for years. She’s powerful, successful and she smells incredible. She owns, Olivine Atelier and I can’t get enough of her products made with, you guessed it, essential oils. Surely, she can help me! After speaking with Julie, she was excited to hear that I wanted to learn more and encouraged me to come to a class she was hosting with another essential oil goddess, Kim Camuso. 

    I left class with Frank’s wild friend, Orange. I could not stop inhaling Wild Orange, as I call her. She was my first mind-blowing experience. Every person who came into Altar (my studio), I would share her with and they too thought orange was wild. They all wanted her and wanted to know how to get a Wild Orange of their own. 

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    I decided dōTERRA was in alignment with all of my relationship needs - values, morals, ethics and the highest quality essential oils. Not only were they empowering their customers all over the world, they were empowering farmers, distillers, harvesters and communities in 46 different countries! 23 of these countries are under-developed nations where dōTERRA works side by side with the entire farming community, offering Fair Trade Pricing, ensuring Organic production and sustainable jobs with fair wages for local workers. dōTERRA’s non profit, Healing Hands Foundation, assesses what communities are most in need of to thrive, looking at everything from clean drinking water to building schools! Healing Hands helps provide all the tools these communities need to be self-reliant. I was in Awe! Because essential oils are not FDA approved, it was very important to me that there was some sort of testing going on to assure I was getting a 100% Pure Essential Oil and it was also very important to me that this testing be done by a third party, not just in house. From my understanding, since essential oils are not regulated, any company can label their oil 100% pure essential oil and it can be FULL of synthetics, fillers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic materials. This is the equivalent of using an air freshener and expecting a therapeutic affect. Not going to happen and gross! It is extremely important to purchase your oils from a reputable company that is doing third party testing and sure enough, dōTERRA was right there for me and had my back. This time, when I brought another Frankincense home, I knew it would be safe for me to apply topically and ingest for it’s incredible healing affects for not only me, but my children, as well. 

    Check out sourcetoyou.com. Instead of mass producing oils on large plots of lands, dōTERRA sources their oils globally to ensure the best growing conditions, working with committed partners. Working with farmers from across the globe, not only ensures the highest potency of oil but dōTERRA places great value on the expert knowledge of local farmers. Many of these farmers have nurtured their land and essential oil plants for generations. Every dōTERRA bottle has a batch number at the bottom. Type this baby in and you can find everything out about your heaven in a bottle of essential oil made with love from the global community of dōTERRA. 

    I decided to get my own account with dōTERRA, which was so easy and very much like a Costco membership. I chose the Home Essentials Kit, which has 15 mL bottles of the Top 10 oils plus a super cute petal diffuser. Since I ordered a kit, there was no registration fee, which is normally $35. I immediately started receiving wholesale pricing with no obligation to order or hidden fees. After my weeks of research I was sure this was something that was going to transform my health and home for not only myself but my family, as well. I also decided to join their Loyalty Rewards Program where I started receiving points back on everything that I purchased that was to the dollar amount of my essential oils. Now that I have been using dōTERRA for a while, I regularly place orders where I receive hundreds of dollars back in free essential oils, they even send me a free oil every month. It’s incredible! I have found dōTERRA to be such a generous company and have been blown away, literally, by the product, the effect of plant medicines and even their customer service is the best I’ve experienced. 

    I was so excited for my kit to arrive and it felt like Christmas when it did.  I finally got to experience Frank the ‘King of Oils’ and his friends Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint. There was a whole posse of them and they were my Top 10. These oils are the real deal and immediately I could feel and see changes in my family and myself - even my dog! To say that these oils have changed our lives is an understatement. Actually, that’s a pretty big statement... they have changed our lives! Even my husband is a believer! Insert gold star, pat on back, wife moment here. 

    Soon after I started using the oils, I was curing my family of seasonal illness, providing emotional support, curing skin issues, uplifting moods and providing boosts of energy, curbing my coffee and sugar cravings... I truly could go on and on. My good friend Oregano and Rose cured my dog with an issue that has lead us to the vet in the past and would require surgery. In 3 days of using Mr. Oregano and Mrs. Rose he was fine and months later, no issues. 

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    I was reading how I could also use these oils as a natural solution in cleaning my home! What?! After whipping up a few natural cleaning products, I was surprised to find that Lemon could make noise! She makes a high-pitched squeaking noise while I clean with her. I was totally in disbelief. I didn’t know where this squeaky clean term came from before, it had been Lemon oil all along and my floors never looked cleaner! Squeak away Lemon, squeak away. 

    I started wondering about the ‘natural’ and so called ‘green’ products I had in my home and the ones that weren’t so natural, like my expensive skin and hair care in the fancy bottles. My private detective skills where back in action and I began to look at every bottle in my home. What I found was disturbing.                                                                                      

    Chemicals, mystery ingredients and to my surprise the word “fragrance” could mean hundreds of chemicals and “fragrance free” didn’t mean squat. It could mean replaced with synthetic materials. This is disgusting. In fact, laundry detergents often don’t have to list their full ingredients and dryer sheets? - Forget about it! ...Google it!

     Did you know, or do you stop to think about the fact that your body can’t break down synthetic materials? We are ingesting and applying these toxins to our skin and children’s skin throughout the day. Just like these other essential oil companies out there that claim to be 100% essential oil, it could and - in my opinion, from my research - is most likely full of synthetic materials and unknown fillers. Just like natural food doesn’t mean organic or GMO free. Point being, do your research and check your labels. Sometimes that designer bottle that makes you feel good and is in your daily habit of purchasing could be wreaking havoc on your health and the health of your littles. Check out EWG ratings and Think Dirty online for product information on what could be lurking in the products you have at home. 

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    It wasn’t long before I had others in my life who wanted to experience the oils for themselves. The more I used the oils and stared seeing immediate results in my household, the more I was sharing. I could not stop talking and still can’t stop talking about dōTERRA’s essential oils. They are revolutionary in changing health care and the wellness routine and care for yourself and family. 

    I soon became a Wellness Advocate to help empower others to change their lives with natural solutions and to create a community to uplift, support and educate each other. It has been life changing on every level. I don’t know how I lived without these oils before and I only wish I knew about them sooner. 

    I continue to help others register for their own accounts and I empower my oil community online and in private groups. I hold regular classes and I am extremely proud to be a part of the movement that is dōTERRA. In fact, last year they broke ground on their first medical clinic. Hospitals across the country, including dentists and veterinary offices, are incorporating dōTERRA’s essential oils with amazing success. It is truly revolutionary and I want to help share that empowerment with you! 

    People often ask me what my daily oil routine looks like and here it is!

  • When my alarm goes off, I immediately grab my Peppermint oil, which is actually sourced from WA state. PNW life! Inhaling peppermint oil first thing in the morning helps me to wake up and get moving, gone are the days of hitting snooze... well mostly. ;) 
  • After I am up and moving, I brush my teeth with the most incredible toothpaste on the planet dōTERRA’s OnGuard! An actual natural toothpaste that tastes great and doesn’t leave me feeling like my mouth isn’t clean. Game changer! 
  • I set up my diffusers for my morning meditation with some citrus oils to help perk up the household and I generally grab Clary Sage and my BFF Frank to inhale and apply topically before meditation. 
  • I take the dōTERRA supplement line, their best-selling product, which has my gut health back in check and provides me tons of energy. Try these supplements out for a month and see how you feel. They have a 30 day money back guarantee! Seriously, you won’t regret it!
  • I use the Essential skin care and HD Clear line with amazing results. Plus I add a drop or two of Frank to my lotion for added anti-aging benefits. Never has my skin looked so good!
  • The kids and I use dōTERRA’s hair care, as well. All full of essential oils, it helps protect my hair from the coloring and damage that I do, keeping it strong and healthy. I also love this hair care line for the soothing scalp benefits the essential oils provide, providing a flake free result. An added few drops of Magic Melaleuca is a must in any Shampoo and Conditioner for scalp health. 
  • I drop 2 drops of Frankincense and Copaiba under my tongue 2x a day. Outstanding benefits come from this and I encourage everyone to do the Frank/Copaiba 30 day challenge.
  •  Off to work I go to set up my diffusers for my clients and myself. 
  • Depending on who I have coming in, I’ll diffuse a grounding blend, an inspiring blend or a blend to calm one’s nerves. If I have a client who is under the weather, I diffuse OnGuard to save the day! 
  • I am non-stop using oils in my car, applying roller balls on my skin for motivation, anxiety, inspiration, grounding, uplifting, you name it!... I could go on and on. 
  • I use the Metabolic Blend in my water to subdue sugar cravings. I’ll also use Lemon first thing in the morning and usually some Wild Orange in the day. 
  • I cook with the oils, which is so much fun to experiment with. Since Essential Oils are pure and highly concentrated extracts from plants; 50-70% more powerful than herbs, 1 drop of essential oil like, Mr. Hot Oregano, will take your pasta sauce to the next level! Your guests will be amazed!
  •  I love the whole OnGuard line of laundry detergent, cleaning concentrate and hand soap. Completely free of toxins, chemicals and mystery ingredients. These products are affordable, safe and since they are concentrated, last me forever! 
  • I load up our diffusers at night with a sleep blend for the kids and myself. Usually a blend of Vetiver, Cedarwood, Balance or Serenity. If we are not feeling well, I’ll put in some OnGuard and Oregano. 
  • I’ll use OnGuard beadlets and hand sanitizing spray when in large crowds or traveling to protect my immunity. 
  • I also regularly make oils to share with others to help support my friends and their families’ needs and even for strangers! You got what!? ...There’s an oil for that!

     I mean, it is seriously a lifestyle and it is so much fun! Plus, you and your home will smell amazing and everyone will be talking about it. 

    The most important thing when using essential oils is to use your essential oils. They have an immediate affect on your system and it is profound! 

 Photo Credit: Kim Camuso 

Photo Credit: Kim Camuso 

You may be wondering by now, how do I get these essential oils? 

 Contact me, come to a class at Altar or I can meet with you in person or online! 

 If you’re ready to dive in and want to be a part of my growing badass community, order oils here! http://mydoterra.com/altar 

  • Click ‘Join and Save’ then ‘Join doTERRA’ 
  • Choose ‘Wholesale Customer’ 
  • Add your chosen kit to the cart, or add the $35 registration fee and then add your items a la carte.
  • Check out! Your oils will be on their way to you! Within 24 hours I will email with further instructions!
  • Be sure to see my ID #5204181 when checking out. 

     Choosing a kit is the most intelligent way to get your oils. By choosing a kit, the $35 registration fee is waived and you will get a bundled savings in addition to the wholesale pricing on your first order! Easy!

    The most popular kit to join with is the Home Essentials Kit. It comes with the Top 10 oils plus a cute diffuser! There are 250 drops of oil in each 15 mL bottle that comes with this kit! These oils are so highly potent, pure essential oil, you are using 1-5 drops max. 

     Another popular option is The Family Solutions Kit, smaller than the Home Essentials Kit with the Top 10 oils in smaller 5 mL bottles, no diffuser. 80 drops per 5mL bottle. Awesome starter kit for single peeps or if you aren’t wanting to make as much of a financial commitment this is a great way to go! 

      The kit I wish I had joined with is the Natural Solutions Kit. I purchased all of these items in this kit my first month and would have received a bundled savings initially going with this option. I find this is true for most people. If you know you want to overhaul your health and home, this is the kit for you! 

      There are many more kits to choose from and if that all seems too overwhelming you can always pay the registration fee of $35 and choose your items a la carte. 

       Don’t forget to add a Fractionated Coconut Oil to dilute your oils with to help them last longer. There are oils you can apply ‘neat’ to your skin and others you will need to use with a carrier oil like, Fractionated Coconut Oil. This is for your safety and also to help slower and longer lasting absorption into the body, maximizing your health benefit. 

      I’m here to help you save money, educate you on your oils and be an overall support. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments! 

In love and wellness! 

XO

April 

 

Choose NOW

Choose NOW

I had a huge moment in my life the other night where I was suddenly viewing my life in an observatory state. I didn’t leave my body in an astral sense but I felt very aware of how I was getting in my own way. I was sitting in my favorite chair at home where I do most of my meditating and deep thinking and all of the sudden I had a pop in my ears. A tone became present that was like an air-locked constant dull vibrating sound. My reality shifted once hearing this sound to seeing my entire surroundings more alive than I’ve ever seen before, connected and pulsing with life. I felt out of body but I wasn’t viewing my body from above. 

I heard the voices of my children speaking in a completely different way. The reality that they would one day be gone and no longer living with me seemed minutes away. The walls of my home that hold the roof over my head felt taken for granted. The flowers on the dining room table, a gift from my husband to me and my kids on Valentine’s Day, felt achingly beautiful and starving for attention. I heard my husband around the house doing work and could feel the weight of to do lists and projects. 

In all of the work of creating a life that has yet to come to fruition, I was not seeing the work of the life that I’ve created and being present in that life. This is not to say that I am not aware or grateful, taking things for granted, but in my constant drive and motivation to see my dreams come to manifestation, I was completely missing what is.  

In the weeks leading up to this realization, I was feeling overwhelmingly foggy, exhausted and impatient about my intentions coming to be. Feeling stuck and causing myself more suffering and work than I even knew I was doing but most of all, I was missing the point. Missing the point of my life and missing out on all the moments that I am working so hard to create. Most of all I haven’t celebrated what I have created. 

Each day in my morning practice, I create an intention. An intention on what I choose to see in my day and what I want to create. Visualizing, affirming and writing down what will manifest. In addition to my morning practice, I have my new moon ritual I do monthly that includes writing down intentions and releasing by fire, burying in the earth or setting to sea. Some days, I use segment intention and visualization throughout the day when things are feeling particularly heavy. These are all practices I have found that have helped me cultivate the life and vision I wish to manifest. 

The present moment is a practice that I am very familiar with and one that I start my day with and come back to throughout the day. I even used to set several alarms on my phone to make sure I was in my body and grounded! 

We are all creating the dream of our reality in this playground matrix we call life. It is up to us to choose the reality and dream we wish to see and it’s supposed to be a lot more fun than I think most of us are having. Whether or not you take part in the mass consciousness dream is also a choice and one I choose to mostly not participate in, or at least be as conscious as I can in that paradigm.

In this moment of realization of seeing everything that is in the now moment I could so clearly feel, see and even hear the vibrations of life that was going on 24/7 around me that I was completely missing. It was in that moment that I was completely grounded and connected in the present moment. 

Being in the moment is not a new idea. ‘The Power of Now’ by Elkhart Tolle and ‘The Art of Living’ by Thich Nhat Hanh are amazing books on being present and in the moment. I read a lot and I love recommending books but sometimes we need this Aha! moment to wake us up, over and over again. 

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The practice of patience, it seems to me, and the instant gratification of our world is taking us further and further away from our now moments. Taking us away from truly appreciating what we have in front of us at this very moment is creating a reality of missing out on all the things that are so rich in our day- even the not so pleasant moments that are also rich in discovery. 

When I was getting ready to write this blog and thinking of what I wanted to write, I kept coming back to intention and manifestation. Those two subjects are so big to me that I was feeling overwhelmed in just keeping it to one blog post. I bring this up because as I choose daily to live an intentional life and manifest my reality, I saw that even still I am missing the point. Still feeling stuck, working hard and feeling overwhelmed.

How can we keep an intention and focus on manifesting the dreams and lives we wish to see only to see that as our dreams are becoming a reality we are so easily on to the next manifestation, want and need, never to be grateful for ourselves and celebrate what we have created and the life that is all around us? I was totally doing this to myself and my impatience for what I was wanting to manifest was taking away from what already is.

As my thoughts were swirling on writing about intention and unpacking exactly what I wanted to write about over the last two weeks, I had this epiphany in seeing myself out of the moment. In this moment of realization, it almost felt like a warning, that we can manifest the shit out of our lives and create the dreams we’ve always wanted and then what? If you’re not enjoying each and every beautiful moment in your day- from every single person you meet in your life, the ones who bring you joy and the ones who don’t. The walls that are holding up the shelter above your head, running water, heat, flowers on the kitchen table, the voices of your loved ones... These are literally the moments that are being missed as we are either future tripping on what we want or living in the past of what was or what could have been. Or is it that you’re sucked into your phone and into a completely different reality that has nothing to do with the one in front of you and ultimately one that doesn’t matter at all. We’ve all seen this, complained about it and know in our hearts that it’s pulling us away from the beauty of our lives. 

Time is infinite and the only moment we have is now. In fact, everything exists in the now. Your future self, your past self and your present self are NOW. Everything around you is a vibration of energy that is interacting with you at every moment. It is so easy, too easy, to completely miss the point and as aware as I am of all of these things, I had an experience in observing my self that was shocking. 

In being so hyper focused on my to do list and routines, I saw that even though I completely thought I was being present in my day, I was doing exactly the opposite. I was missing out on the moment of enjoying what I am doing in the present moment. Without being in the moment, you will ultimately end up sabotaging your life.

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Being thankful for what is and absorbing it with all of your senses, your being, hearing the sound of voices, nature or even traffic around you. Being thankful for your body, your appliances, heat, animals, plants, organic food, the sky, that you woke up today and have life and get to make the choice of how you live in your moment and what you will bring to manifestation and then enjoy it so much that it makes you cry because you’re so grateful to be alive and in the moment. 

Intention is everything and I invite you to hold the intention to be in your moment and to choose an intention for each day. Joy, Love, Beauty, Abundance, Miracles! Whatever energy it might be for you in that moment. I invite you to ground into the earth each day and throughout your day. To bring up earth energy and to bring down source energy, filling your body with light and feeling the vibration of the senses in and around you. Cocooning your body in a bubble of white light and holding the intention that you are held by Mother Earth, that you are protected and that you are present in your body and in your life.

For Your Practice:

  • Create an intention - Creating an intention in your morning practice is huge and can completely shift your life! State out loud, on paper, with your feelings and visualize how you want your day to unfold.
  • Practice - The present moment is a practice, you will have to revisit it throughout the day, but gets easier. Be present in your thoughts and aware of how you are choosing to feel. 
  • Choose the reality and dream -  Your thoughts and feelings matter!  Get clear about what you want and how you want to feel. Taking part in the mass consciousness dream is a choice. 
  • Practice of patience -  Be in the moment and practice patience.  Set your intention, get clear on what you’re wanting and know that it is coming to you, you are not going to it. Moving out of patience will create resistance and that is not a great feeling. 
  • The only moment we have is now - Your future self, your past self and your present self are NOW. Everything around you is a vibration of energy that is interacting with you at every moment. 
  • Celebrate what you have created - You are amazing!! Look how far you have come and all that you have created. Celebrate your success and enjoy the process.  

Love and Light,

April


 

 

Becoming sober, reprogramming my brain and manifesting a new reality

Becoming sober, reprogramming my brain and manifesting a new reality

On July 4th, 2015 I put down my last glass of alcohol. I knew when setting the glass down, I was done. I remember placing the glass on a marble island in a friend’s kitchen and staring at the glass thinking, ‘this isn’t serving me’. I wasn’t drunk, like you might suspect. I didn’t just make a fool of myself or regret something I did or said. I was at a at a friend’s house with people I knew and some I did not. I remember looking around the room throughout the night and seeing people completely disconnected from one another. Although engaged in conversation and laughter, the night felt empty to me.  At one point a woman at the party that I did not know was speaking to me and asking me condescending questions.  In her drunken and rather rude tone she spoke to me as if I was a party favor, a side attraction. I was the most tattooed person there besides my husband and although we were at a friends home, our presence and lifestyle choice in this particular crowd were not the norm. The way this woman spoke to me triggered something in me. It wasn’t what she had said but the observation of her behavior that made me look around and notice that this completely checked out behavior was something I didn’t want to engage in any longer. 

 Photo by  James Owen  on  Unsplash

Photo by James Owen on Unsplash

A couple months prior to this party, I had begun a twice daily meditation practice after a car accident. Once I began meditating the pain in my body became so much louder than I had known it to be in my active daily life. When I sat down and began to still myself, focusing on my breath, I discovered I was on fire. I literally felt like I was on fire. Parts of my back, neck, shoulders and legs were so hot and in so much pain. I was in disbelief that even though I felt pain in my daily activities, I had no idea it was this much pain. It wasn’t until getting still and observing that there is so much going on within and all around us that we are completely disconnected with, especially ourselves. If I was this disconnected from my body, what was going on in my mind, in my heart and who am I? I began a dialogue with the universe. Downloads I was receiving were becoming more frequent. I was becoming crystal clear on what was not serving me and holding me back, and alcohol was the first thing that kept coming up over and over again. I had to stop drinking. It was a knowing throughout my entire being- drinking alcohol was not serving me. 

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It had been on my mind for almost a year. I was internally coming down pretty hard on myself when I drank and I would be so disappointed in myself. I didn’t consider and I still don’t consider myself an alcoholic by society standards. I was drinking as much as most of the people I knew, which in my opinion now is far too much. Drinking in our society has become so acceptable that there doesn’t seem to be a place where you can not drink and often it seemed the entire point of coming together. You can drink anywhere - in movies, on planes, in parks, I was even seeing my local naturopath’s office having wine nights. I have a very busy life like most people but I don’t have the luxury of going home after work to relax, I have to continue to work drawing for clients. If I have one glass of wine or what ever drink of choice, it is enough to make me want to take a hot bath and go to bed but not before making a poor food choice. I was drinking less and less but even drinking one glass of wine was enough to affect my entire evening, my sleep and how I felt the next day. I felt that at that time that one glass of any alcoholic beverage shouldn’t be a problem, but to me it was. It was enough to take away any motivation to do what I needed to do and to be present. Alcohol is in fact poisonous to our bodies and I found that it affected me far more than I realized.  It wasn’t until the Fourth of July when I finally put down alcohol that I started to realize how much it was taking from me. Using me. Turning me into someone I wasn’t and stealing my life. A sleep walker. 

Now immediately after I quit drinking I began to feel a bit enraged with myself. I was so pissed off that I felt like I was missing out if I wasn’t drinking. I started to realize that I didn’t know how to have fun in the company of others who were drinking and not drink myself. That when I was with my husband or friends at a party, a concert, flying on an airplane, a movie theater, wherever, that everyone is drinking all of the time and that I did not know how to enjoy myself or not feel like I wasn’t missing out on the fun if I wasn’t also drinking. I also started to observe how quickly people checked out when drinking and I didn’t feel an authentic connection or presence with others in these environments. I used that anger as motivation. I didn’t want to feel this way. I didn’t want to feel that I needed to drink to belong. To have fun. To enjoy the company of my friends or to help me relax and unwind. Even though I was the only one not drinking most of the time, conversations began to feel pointless in these environments - without life. 

I started to observe how drinking is advertised to us. Its everywhere!The radio, the ads on television, street billboards, movies, music, movie stars, housewives - it all seemed to be about the party or how to let go. Stressed? Have a drink. Let loose, have a drink. Feeling bad? Have a drink. Bored? Have a drink. Hard day?  Have a drink. Celebrating? Have a drink. Need a reward? Have a drink. You deserve it. Treat yourself. 

In a bigger world view I saw how the propaganda of alcohol and the so called war on drugs was the perfect solution for those who want you to live for your weekend. Who want you to stay asleep. I also feel this way about many things we are being spoon fed - television, politics, pharmaceuticals. Tune out and don’t look within. Look outside of yourself and you’ll always be searching for the answers. 

All of these observations motivated me to stay sober. I found a sober app to use on my phone which also helped motivate me to see how many days I was sober and how much money I had saved. My relationships started to drastically change. Friends who I thought were friends didn’t invite me out anymore. I was told I wasn’t fun by some and it was really interesting to see who my friends actually were. 

The longer I stayed sober, the better I felt. I always thought that doing a 30 day sober challenge would detox my body of alcohol. It was shocking to me, that after 6 months, 1 year, 2 years... that I felt better and better.  I was in control of my life. I felt awake. The goals I wanted to achieve were happening. I was a better person, mother, wife, tattooer, business owner, leader. I started to realize that I had been numbing out what I didn’t want to hear inside. My knowing. My hearing, My seeing. My intuition. 

Drinking caused me to stay locked away and not face what it is I know to be true and what it is I am meant to do with my life. It takes courage to be sober. To go against the norm and stay conscious. Drinking is so much a part of our culture, this expected part of what you should be doing and if you aren’t drinking, you must be an alcoholic, you must have a problem. I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I could drink in moderation or not at all. Even the smallest amount of alcohol for me, or binge drinking on the weekend, was keeping me from achieving what it is I know I’m meant to do. I have a problem with the fact that turning my life and time over to spirits was controlling me, was making me sleep walk through life and keeping me from taking responsibility for what it is I was meant to do and how I wanted to feel.  What it is I believe we are all meant to do. To be leaders - to inspire others. To use our gifts as a service to others. To look within our selves and make change.

You will not see change in your outer world, your community, your country, or in your mind until you start to look within and take responsibility for the thoughts you think, the words you say and how you choose to feel and express yourself. For me this took quitting drinking and to start reprogramming my mind with what it is I want to see in my world. Turning off the television, news, radio and movies, being highly selective of what I let into my conciseness. The subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages of propaganda all around us. I believe this is all meant to keep us distracted and disconnected from our selves and our truth.  What is it that you want? How do you want to feel and what is it that you want to achieve?  Who is it you are meant to be? We have all of those answers within. Becoming sober and turning off outside noise that wasn’t mine was an important and necessary step in creating the dream I wished to see. What is your dream? 

Truth, growth and how a meditation awakening healed my life

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Today is the last day of 2017. On the eve of New Years Day I often feel liberated, free and like life will begin anew in the New Year. In a matter of a day, we get to start over, right? I know it’s just another day, a mark in the calendar year - and I really love to celebrate the energetic and renewing spirit of winter solstice - but 2018 feels special. It feels as though there is magic brewing in the air and that we will be making an energetic leap forward from all of the suffering and growth of 2017. 

The eclipses of 2017 pulled us back into our soul, reaffirming what we came here to do and for those who rose to the occasion it feels like go time. We received a golden ticket to expansion if we so chose to accept. Am I alone here? Maybe it’s all the growth I’ve experienced over the past few years. The workshops, books, meditations, energy work, expansion - 2017 was a big year for me. I manifested Altar into fruition. Actually, Altar came in my mind the year before and it started out as all things that eventually manifests into reality - a dream. I had a dream. A dream to create a sacred space where I could take my tattooing and the energy work I was doing with my clients behind the scenes and play them out fully, where I could live the life I know I was meant to live and help my clients in a more expanded way. A space that would match the vibration esthetically and energetically of the experience I want my clients to feel when they are with me. A safe space for them to work through any of the emotions and pain that comes up through the process of tattooing and energy work. A space where I could expand and grow energetically, as well. 

I thought this dream would be 5-10 years away but little did I know at the time, that the Universe wanted this dream to be, as well and it wanted to happen now. Less than a year of dreaming the dream of Altar I was signing the lease the day after thanksgiving of 2016. In December of that same year, we broke ground so to speak and construction continued until I moved over from my blessed home of ten years at Hidden Hand Tattoo and began working full time at Altar in the last week of February of 2017. I had a lot of reflection over the last year in the unexpected pain I felt leaving my home at HHT and the excitement and struggle of creating a new tattoo shop and healing space. With the ever expanding growth of my business and the connections I have with my clients I felt creating a blog on my experiences in life would be a wonderful way to stay connected with my current and future friends, clients and fellow humans who care to read of my adventures and join me on this path. 

So how did this all happen? Where did this journey begin? I truly feel I woke up in March of 2015. Although, I must say I can’t discredit where I had been before that. I saw the signs, like we all do along the way, but I didn’t want to listen to my inner knowing. I didn’t want to listen to the truth that I know things. I don’t know how I know them, I just do. I spent a large part of my life ignoring these intuitions and it got me in quite a bit of trouble. At that time in March 2015, my body was in pain. The universe kept trying to get my attention, but I felt like I was living my best life ever at this moment. I had rid myself of toxic relationships, I was feeling empowered like never before, I was in the best physical shape of my life, my business was thriving, everyone was healthy, my marriage was tops… But like life often does when we think we’ve got this life thing all figured out, it drops us on our ass and we get a major wake up call.              

My wake up call happened when I was hit from behind at a complete stop sitting in my car. I was on my way home from dropping four teenagers off at school. A woman driving to work was not paying attention and hit me doing about 40 miles an hour. I got hit and I got hit hard. Everything went black and after that moment of impact it took me several minutes to asses what had just happened. After making it home, I immediately began to feel pain in my body. My back was on fire and tensing up, my shoulder and neck were feeling hot and I started to feel panicked and in shock. I was already living with an unexplainable injury in my left leg. For 2 years my family Dr., physical therapist, acupuncturist, chiropractor and massage therapist were unable to tell me what was wrong. “Here are some pain meds and this is your life, kid”. That wasn’t going to fly. I wasn’t about to start taking pain meds to mask the pain in my leg so instead, I decided to ignore it. I’d work through the pain, I’d exercise through the pain, I’d pretend the best that I could that it wasn’t bothering me. Now a car accident?! How am I going to deal with this? My schedule is booked! I have clients who want appointments and I don’t know where to schedule them. I can’t cancel on people, they’ve been waiting! I have bills to pay! This isn’t happening!!! 

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If you know me, then you know that I am a very determined person and I am highly motivated. If I want something, I will make it happen and it usually will happen fast, like Altar for example. So I immediately called the clinic I was going to for my leg pain maintenance and scheduled to begin seeing the doctors for the pain that was going on in my back, neck, shoulders and the increased pain I was feeling in my leg. Of course, they didn’t even want to touch my leg since that was a pre existing condition. So all of the years of work I was doing to stabilize that issue just got worse. I began physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic work. I changed my diet to eliminate all the foods that were causing inflammation. I went from being in the gym 6 days a week, eating pre planned meals for the last year and being in the best shape of my life to not being able to walk for 5 min on the treadmill without pain. 

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To say that this felt defeating is an understatement. I had been working with a trainer for a year. I was in the gym for 2 hours a day, consistently. I was working my ass off to ignore the pain I had going on inside and I say that now because I didn’t realize it then. I was working really hard to make the physical manifestation of my outside cover up what I knew was festering inside (like the unexplainable leg pain - but more on that another day). I was receiving treatments several times a week for several months and it was becoming exhausting. The clinic that I went to was not near my home. It was draining to sit in traffic 3-4 times a week. Getting treatment, rushing to work, feeing pain, working all day, doing it all over again, barely getting any sleep because I hurt so bad. Meanwhile I had an overflowing abundance of clients that were booking with me and I wanted to do it all and be there for everyone but myself. I was ignoring so much pain in my physical and emotional body already and the accident brought it all to the surface. 

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You want to live your best life? It’s time to stop and see what is. One day like any other day in physical therapy I was going through new exercises with my PT. I was really annoyed by these tiny movements because I just wanted to get back in the gym and lift weights again. I was seeing all my progress over the year fade away. The muscle tone I had built up, although still present, seemed as though I was watching it fade away. As I write this I am realizing how lucky I was that I had built up so much muscle in my body, it probably really helped my injuries from being worse than they were. Back to PT- So I’m running through exercises, trying not to feel sorry for myself, but I’m stressed, I feel alone, I feel defeated, it feels like none of these things I’ve been doing for months are helping.  I have so much work to do and drawings to get done, my house is a wreck, I haven’t slept comfortably in months… and then out of nowhere I hear, “MEDITATION!!” 

Now, when I say I heard a voice that was so loud and booming that it sounded as if my PT yelled in my face, that would be accurate. As if from the heavens above, a voice that was not male or female but the loudest thing I’ve ever heard got my attention quicker than any fire alarm or siren or heavy metal show ever has. Startled, I jumped back and looked at my PT.  He looked at me confused and I looked back at him confused and then I realized, great, I’m hearing things. Although this voice in my head, my clairaudience, is always present it doesn’t usually speak to me with such a booming tone. It was almost deafening and at this point in my life I had gotten pretty good at ignoring it to the point of thinking it didn’t exist at all. There was no ignoring it. Meditation. That’s what it said and it was loud. In the moment of hearing this voice I can only explain it as also a download of information. I had a meditation awakening. Perhaps some of you reading this have experienced this and know what I mean. Perhaps some of you reading this have experienced this and are ignoring it - and some of you may have no idea what I’m talking about. This download told me, in the vibration of that one single word – mediation, that I could heal myself. It told me that we are super beings and that I needed to sit in meditation every day and focus on healing myself. Meditate on imagining light on my injuries and rebuilding my body from the inside. That we have all we need within. You are a super being.  This moment felt like something out of a movie. There was no ignoring this voice and there was no way I was not going to listen. So to meditation I go. 

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A few months prior to the accident, I was feeling stressed with work. I was attracting a lot of clientele and I was trying to find ways to keep up with all of the projects clients wanted me to do. I was so thankful and blessed-feeling that people wanted to see me, I had a hard time turning people away.  I had a family to take care of, a business to run, a marriage to nurture and an ever growing number of clients. I could no longer spend time with friends or create art just for the sake of creating art. I was feeling like I was missing out on my life and living for my clients and wanting to make everyone else happy. I found all of this rewarding, but I was feeling like I was drowning at times. I ran into a friend who owns several businesses and I asked him at that moment, “How do you do it? Are you on drugs? Like seriously, do you take uppers? Downers? How are you keeping up with your workload? What’s wrong with me that I feel all this pressure and I cant do all of these things? I see other people doing loads of work. You have a family, two business, you work out, how do you do it!?” 

He laughed and gave me a hug and he said, “You know, I was feeling just like you are now and as crazy as this sounds, I had the same conversation with a friend and before you laugh, I want you to just try something. Just try it. It will change your life and give you so much energy you will feel amazing!” 

     I said, “What is it? I want it! Give it to me now!”

    “ Meditation.”

     “ What?”

    “ Meditation. Yes April, start meditating. You will feel amazing.”

I did laugh and I shook my head and thought that was the craziest thing I’d heard and back to my after work decompression glass of wine I went. Until, you guessed it, a few months later a car accident and oh hey it sounds like God just spoke to me personally and I don’t even know what I think about God and… I’m supposed to meditate.  I’m a super being and I can heal myself.  All of the answers are within. Okay, here we go. Time to start meditating.

That was the beginning of my awakening, or rather the remembrance that I’ve been awake this whole time but have chosen to block out, numb out, ignore all of the signs and the messages and the knowing that led me to this moment of the universe crashing down and giving me the biggest gift I could have received – a car accident. A car accident that got me to start meditating and look within. 

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I often describe meditation as being like a telephone. All of our thoughts, the things that we say, our desires, wishes, prayers and dreams are the energetic messages put into vibration that we are sending into the universe, whether we are doing that consciously or not. But like a telephone, the messages and the information, travel both ways.  You can’t receive those messages to your prayers, wants, needs, intentions and desires - whatever you want to call it - unless you sit down and receive, unless you pick up the phone.