Running Lessons: Planning

The school year is upon us and our family schedules are changing.

During vacation months, I enjoy the time with my kids but simultaneously want more order and structure. So, the end of the summer is generally both sad and exciting for me. See, the fall quickly provides that structure in which I thrive, but it also creates an empty house.

As my family heads back to school, my daily company becomes Willow our black lab. I see clients on weekends and attend classes for my doctoral program in the evening, making my schedule opposite to that of my people.

Wellness will require some planning. Less sugar for healthy bodies, warm potted meals due to less produce and prep-time, and supporting immune systems and spirits with warm scents of Young Living Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Thieves. Even when I’m gone I can leave these investments for my family.

Running during this season is a perfect reminder for how to adapt.

The trees lead by example and remind me to change gracefully, conserve energy, and shed unnecessary attachments. The cooler temps remind me to add useful layers and purpose to connect with others to stay warm. Rising heat in the afternoons, remind me that the summer will be back sooner than I expect.

Time.

Next week, I will begin taking later morning runs and eating earlier dinners. Both will be alone, as I we all complete another semester.

I am preparing my heart for this gift. I know it’s exactly what we need. Still, I am grieving another summer, another year with my small but growing boy and the young lady who is no longer little. Meanwhile, celebrating and still missing the oldest whose away at college. I know time can’t stand still, but I wonder if has to go so fast?

Gratitude and praise.

Here’s to another school year. May it bring friendships, knowledge, health, opportunities for service and a gentle practice of training through change.

How are you preparing for fall?

In Memory of Gary Young

My words have been in a muddle since I found out about Gary but here is an attempt to share my heart:

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On May 12th Gary passed away due to complications following multiple strokes. Saturday was a bittersweet day. We had just completed our team’s third Spring Expo as the news came through on our phones.

Spring Expo is our team’s way of coming together and sharing the knowledge we have with our members. It is a celebration filled with friendship, fun, giving, sharing, dreaming, and wellness. I share these details, because the idea for the expos was sparked by Gary’s modeling of care and concern for his members and the value he placed on teaching and learning. He took great pride and responsibility in teaching us all as much as he could about everything he knew.

After meeting him once, I knew he was the “real deal” as my husband calls him. Gary was humble and warm and filled with knowledge that he gained by being available, observant, and receptive, to every detail his life had to offer. With his hands in the dirt, he learned. With a passion for more, he sought after plants and farms and lands that could provide us with the best oils in the world.

My favorite memories of Gary were not from the flashy conventions when he came in on a trapeze rope, or when he was dropped by helicopter, nor when he jousted with a dark night; however, those are some good ones too! Still, my favorite memories are the simple ones.

Listening to Gary tell stories at the farm was a gift. I remember one hot day, his birthday in fact, we sat from lunch until way past dinner time and listened to him teach about how to use oils and what his work entailed, and on to details about the new Northern Lights Farm in Canada. I wrote and listened and wrote and listened.

Those notebooks are my treasures. His teachings are precious to me, and I am grateful to have been one of the lucky ones who got to sit at his boots and learn.
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Today is Gary’s memorial. This is not just an end of a precious life, but also an end of an era. Young Living has grown exponentially in the last few years. Growth is a beautiful thing for this means that Gary’s vision for reaching the world with the amazing benefits of essential oils is taking place. However, with that growth, less personal contact with the original YL teachers is a sad reality. With Gary in heaven, I know the times at the farm will be different too. This is where my sense of loss begins.

I pray that those of us who had the chance to learn from Gary will continue to share his wisdom with every willing ear. I hope we will continue to tell our stories of Gary, our journeys, our oily testimonies, and our victories.

I have few regrets in life, for with each mistake came a lesson; but, I do wish I had stepped forward sooner and joined Young Living the first time my dear friend shared Thieves oil with me. This would have meant more days at the farm learning from the only person in the world who could tell those important life-giving stories. Still, I am eternally grateful for the time and experiences I had in the presence of this amazing teacher.

Rest well, Gary. Thank you for providing so well for us! You will be greatly missed.

To honor Gary with a gift to the YL Foundation, click here.

Medicine: the good, the bad, and the ugly.


I have been off the grid a couple of weeks dealing with a strange but semi-serious issue. I have also gone back and forth about sharing this issue with our Young Living community. Mostly, because it’s personal, but also because the nature of the issue isn’t generally appropriate for social media. With that said, you have been warned, this may be TMI.

13 years ago, after the birth of my daughter I had an IUD inserted. Immediately following insertion, I knew it was a bad idea. I wanted it out, but I waited until the 6 week follow-up appointment, to see if I would change my mind. I had not.

However, when the doctor attempted to remove it, she could not find the strings. I was scheduled for a procedure to locate it in the uterus; it was not in there. The doctor’s final word was that the device must have fallen out.

I still felt like something was not right, but had no medical proof or means to do anything about it. I had discomfort, even through another pregnancy, and hormonal irregularity, for years to follow.

Last week, 13 years following that procedure, I went to the ER with pain in my right side, that had replaced the previous discomfort. A CT scan revealed that missing IUD attached to an inflamed appendix. The doctor removed both. A few days later, I was re-admitted with further complications, and had a 3 night stay to correct the situation.

Yes, really.

So why am sharing all of this?

I regularly teach about the importance of listening to our bodies. This is a great example of why this is so very important. I didn’t know enough thirteen years ago to advocate for myself or demand better answers.

I do now.

Every step of the way, this time, I have asked questions and been involved in my care. I am using my oils for my immune and emotional support. Overall, I am just really relieved that the discomfort in my side was not in my imagination.

I am puzzled as to why my medical professionals, dismissed it for so many years. But I am absolutely more confident in my ability to assess when something is not right with my body.

At one point, I even began avoiding the doctor and finding alternative ways to heal. I’m glad this happened, because I have learned a lot about nutrition and supplements to support my body. However, there are times when I need a doctor and the fact that I hesitate to seek treatment is probably unsafe.

So, I write this post to urge you to always listen to your body. As an oiler, I am not anti-medicine. I have been surrounded by good caring medical professionals the for the last two weeks and I am grateful beyond measure.

I do believe we should all be educated consumers, who work to find doctors who will value our questions and requests regarding our healthcare. We need these professionals on our sides.

However, I will never blindly trust any food, drug, or FDA approved medical device. Anything I put in my body or in my family’s body will need to be researched and ultimately approved by me. If you’re wondering if my issue is a rare one, just google IUD lawsuits. It’s a sad but real problem. These devices are still on the market and used by people I love.

I can also tell you that it is very easy to get medication in hospitals and at doctors offices. But the benefits long-term are not always what we need. With each prescription, I sit pen in hand, asking about the side effects and necessity of each. I have said no to several drug suggestions that were not pertinent to my recovery but merely for resting. I replaced my resting meds with my oils and have done well.

Over the years, I had to learn to discern the difference between healing meds and symptom stoppers. I am grateful to be a part of a community that makes wellness and education a priority. Otherwise, I may have accepted the false diagnosises, meds, and side-effects, for my condition which was actually a foreign object.

I appreciate your prayers as I heal and get back out there!