Good morning beautiful soul!
May this classic nugget of inspiration brighten your Sunday!
PEOPLE | IDEAS | PURPOSE
Good morning beautiful soul!
May this classic nugget of inspiration brighten your Sunday!
The shortcomings of both poverty and riches is that we always want more.
“You can my love!”
If I had a dollar for every time I spoke these words to my stubborn English Bulldog, Desmond, I’d be a multi-millionaire!
Desmond taught me beautiful life lessons during his 11 years- in particular- how to let go of the overwhelming need to control, and how to choose surrender in the face of defeat.
After years of vacuum-cleaner battles, loud noises, and other oddities that set him off, I learned to look him in the eyes and endearingly tell him, “you can my love“.
The simplicity of reciting this phrase aloud brings an immediate sense of peace, calm, and surrender.
Next time feelings of contraction or resistance surface, try saying this simple phrase aloud or in your mind: “yes, you can my love” and bask in the peaceful wake that follows.
I don’t know what it is about the 4th of July that scratches my insatiable travel itch but I have my suspicions.
Perhaps a dose of nostalgia?
Or the undeniable truth that I have a deep-seated passion for global adventures.
I long to explore untraveled parts of the world in order to connect with locals, to communicate in unfamiliar languages, to discover new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and to collect incredible stories along the way to share with friends and family.
One of my favorite 4th of July travel memories dates back to the summer of 2000. I willingly agreed to join my dear friend Jesica in Israel en route to a volunteer job on a small kibbutz in the beautiful Negev desert.
Our assignment: Harvesting the world’s most plump, succulent, mouthwatering dates.
We connected at Ben Gurion airport in the wee hours of the night, completely jet lagged, yet buzzing with anticipation of the mysterious adventure that lie ahead of us. Our unairconditioned room was sparsely decorated and I specifically recall sleeping with the overhead light on to deter the scurrying cockroaches in search of a cooler oasis. Little did I know this wouldn’t be the last time I’d be sleeping with the lights on; The volunteer housing I would call home for the next 3 months had similarly sparse and buggy decor! Yikes!
The following morning, volunteer assignment in hand and typical overpacked backpack & acoustic guitar in tow, we traveled 4.5 hours south to our home away from home, a charming hilltop kibbutz named Grofit. Located in the Aravah valley of the Negev desert, this place would serve as a classroom of sorts, rewarding us with the kind of life lessons that only stepping out of your comfort zone provides.
A kibbutz is essentially a commune of people sharing land, resources, and the desire to enjoy a family friendly, relaxed lifestyle. Today, kibbutz residents represent only 2.5% of Israel’s total population and while current modes of operation are far from the pioneering days, they continue to attract tourists as well as locals seeking a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
What I cherished most from my experience was the daily community fellowship, the meals enjoyed together prepared by loving hands, and above all, the opportunity to experience multiple cultures, languages, and rich conversations daily. It was a chance to serve the needs of the kibbutz and in exchange we received the freedom to embark on once-in-a -lifetime adventures including an overnight hike up Mt. Sinai, lead by a team of Bedouins and camels, snorkeling in the Red Sea in Dahab, and the thrill of meeting a local Jordanian family thanks to our taxi driver who insisted we stop in for a visit at 11:45pm to meet his relatives! I will never forget that night!
Each day, I shared 10 hours with migrant workers from India & Thailand, as well as volunteers from Belgium, Poland, France, Denmark, and South Africa! Talk about the learning opportunities!
At dawn, our team drove into the date fields, feeling the coolness of night before the sun rose to the east over the Jordanian mountains.
The work was physical, the heat oppressive.
At times, I pondered the social injustices of the world as I placed nets around the unripened date fruits high in the sky. I marveled at the agility and fearlessness of my Thai and Indian teammates, and admired their fortitude despite the dire circumstances which brought them thousands of miles away from loved ones in order to make a living.
Freedom to travel is a gift.
Service to others is a gift.
Relationships are a gift.
Learning is a gift.
Curiosity is a gift.
and gifts….. well……
Gifts are meant to be shared with the world. Thank you for allowing me the gift and freedom of sharing this story with you!
What is your favorite 4th of July memory? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Until next time friends,
Stand In Love, Jen xo
Rub a little Spikenard essential oil on your temples and remember how loved you are this Easter.
Essential oils are precious natural gifts given to us for physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. I like to think of them as pure and potent aromatic kisses in a bottle!
Let’s appreciate our amazing hearts for just a minute! Our heart is the workhorse of our cardiovascular system, pumping blood to organs, tissues, and trillions of cells in our body. Now that is a tough job! Even more astounding is the fact that if we lined up all the vessels in our cardiovascular system end to end, they would extend for about 60,000 miles, which is far enough to circle the planet more than 2 times!
In honor of heart health awareness month, I invite you to learn about a few of my favorite essential oils that promote feelings of relaxation and reduced stress in our busy lives. The combined benefits of reduced stress along with balanced diet, exercise, and a reduction in our toxic load is great for our hearts and overall vitality!
This gorgeous conifer essential oil sourced from the branches of tall evergreen trees has been known to promote proper circulation and blood flow throughout the body*. I love to use a homemade blend I call no more veins to help promote blood flow and reduce the appearance of spider and varicose veins. (tip: it’s good for men too!)
Ylang Ylang essential oil is derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree and is used extensively in making perfumes and in aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang is used to lessen tension and stress and to promote a positive outlook, and we know that reduced tension and stress helps keep our hearts healthy!
Oh Bergamot, I love you so! This gorgeous citrus plant grown in Italy is known emotionally as the Oil of self-acceptance. It’s cleansing aroma combines a little bit of citrus, spice, and a hint of floral. The name Bergamot is derived from the town Bergamo, in Lombardy, Italy where it is extensively cultivated. I use this oil when doubts creep into my heart and I need to excavate limiting beliefs. Try rubbing a couple of drops directly on your chest over your heart and take a deep breath of gratitude for all your heart does for you every day. This oil has the powerful ability to turn our awareness to positive, hopeful thoughts.
This blend is simply irresistible! A blend of cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, ginger, clove bud, sandalwood, jasmine flower absolute, and vanilla bean absolute makes Passion one of my go-to oils when my heart needs a boost of excitement! This oil is great for rekindling romance and helps you recover your long-lost mojo to try that next big something new in life! Try it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!
These are just a few of my favorites of aromatic kisses in a bottle! To get yours, simply head over to www.mydoterra.com/standinlove and click Join & Save to get your wholesale account today! You will receive a welcome email from me with what to do next, along with an invitation to my private online support group with ongoing education, training, and mentoring!
My love and passion for BeadforLife began in the summer of 2009. I vividly recall the overwhelming emotion swelling inside my heart as I carefully unpacked my first sample collection of beautifully colored, handmade Ugandan jewelry in my first-floor office at local, family owned fine jeweler in Las Vegas, MJ Christensen Diamonds.
The intense afternoon sun beamed like a laser on the recycled-paper beads the way light strikes the table of a diamond and disperses an extraordinary display of rainbow colors . Many years came to pass before I understood how this journey would unfold, but I knew one thing for certain: we were destined to be together.
BeadforLife’s mission is to create sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.
B. A breakthrough in finding BALANCE in life.
Serving as a voice for the 1.7 billion people surviving on less than $1.95 a day undoubtedly introduces a more balanced perspective.
E. The gift of EXPLORATION.
Find hidden talents as you learn to advocate for the eradication of poverty by speaking to community groups, sharing the vision of entrepreneurial freedom, and creating marketplaces for their incredible handmade jewelry.
A. Go on an ADVENTURE of a lifetime.
As a Community Partner volunteer, every step of the way is an absolute adventure complete with new friendships, new ideas, and new awareness! Your journey will be unique, and your story unlike any other.
D. DISCOVER yourself, the women in the programs, and your true potential in life.
F. It’s FUN and FULFILLING to volunteer and join hands with like-minded changemakers around the world!
O. Receive and give the gift of OPPORTUNITY.
Not only will you be providing hope and inspiration to deeply impoverished women across the globe living on less than $1.95 a day, you will receive unlimited personal growth opportunities in exchange.
R. The RECOGNITION that we are all connected as global citizens.
L. Surround yourself in LOVE.
This is an organization oozing with love. From the moment I first met co-founder Torkin Wakefield, to the time I spent with her daughter, Devin, on the ground in Uganda, it was apparent: LOVE fills every space of the work they do. Love for serving others, love and honest appreciation for the volunteers and Ugandan staff, love for the bold mission that drives their work everyday. Love is rolled into each and every bead, and love is rolled into the hearts and minds of the women who are served by the numerous life-changing programs.
I. Realize the IMPACT your contribution makes.
Friends and family of the generous Las Vegas community have raised nearly $200,000 to date for BeadforLife, directly impacting over 40,000 women and families in Uganda and East Africa. This brings them closer to reaching their ambitious goal of providing 1 million deeply impoverished women worldwide with entrepreneurial training by 2017 via a 6-month mobile classroom called Street Business School.
F. Practice your FAITH, and FACE your FEARS.
Traveling to Uganda as a volunteer communications correspondent was the result of ground-breaking, fear-busting intention! After grappling with the inherent anxieties of a lengthy overseas journey, coupled with my personal struggle with anxiety disorder, I learned there was no way around it, only through it. I just had to do it and “do it afraid”. It took 6 years for me to take that step, and I am so glad I did.
E. EMBRACE your inner truth.
We cannot deny that to which we feel called. Are you longing to serve in a particular capacity, using your unique gifts and talents? What would you do? With whom would you like to share these gifts to serve a higher purpose? I invite you to ask yourself these questions and when you discover the initial answers, ask “why?” to each layer and you may just discover a little bit about your inner voice waiting patiently to be released to the world!
Stand In Love,
“Sustainability is a process, not an endpoint. I want to improve the biggest disconnect people have with essential oils- sourcing.” -Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo.
Far away in the northern stretches of the self-declared state of Somaliland lies one of the most biologically diverse forests harboring over 1000 plant species, 200 of which are endemic. This vast coastal wonderland rests on the edges of the Gulf of Aden, ushering in life-sustaining fog and mists.
Welcome to the Cal Madow, where the Frankincense trees grow.
Translated as Black Mountains, the Cal Madow is home to three of the most prized Boswellia species: Boswellia carterii, Boswellia frereana, and Boswellia sacra. These trees grow in remote rocky outcrops and on sheer cliff faces, making the harvesting dangerous work. To extract the valuable resins, the trees are first “cut” or “wounded” causing them to exude a viscous, milky-white liquid as a form of self-defense. This precious material is later collected, dried, sorted by quality, and distilled for numerous health and wellness applications.
With a variety of uses, there is no question why Frankincense was highly esteemed by ancient civilizations and used for the most sacred of practices. For some religions, Frankincense is correlated with one of the most prized possessions of ancient biblical times, as it was considered valuable enough to be given as a gift to Christ after his birth. Frankincense was also used during religious ceremonies for salves for soothing skin and perfume. The perfume or aroma that Frankincense emits promotes feelings of satisfaction, peace, relaxation, and overall wellness, which explains its unique value in ancient times.
Generations of Somalis and Somalilanders have harvested Frankincense trees preserving a rich cultural heritage passed down for centuries. In fact, the harvesting of Frankincense represents an income for over 300,000 people-roughly 10% of the population of Somaliland. This number continues to increase as the ongoing drought has wiped out 70-80% of the nation’s livestock forcing thousands of nomadic farmers to head north with their families in search of survival opportunities.
International demand for Frankincense essential oil is on the rise and according to Dr. Anjanette DeCarlo, scientific researcher and director of Conserve the Cal Madow, the Boswellia trees in the Cal Madow are under threat. Conserve the Cal Madow is a conservation and research project aiming to protect the Cal Madow forests and the frankincense economy. DeCarlo shared in a recent phone interview that “she has always had an incredible sensitivity to trees from a very young age, finding comfort and protection among them during uneasy times.” As fate would have it, Anjanette was approached with an opportunity to combine her talents in Ecological Economics, Sustainable Development, and Environmental Conflict Resolution with her passion for Social Enterprise. “Frankincense chose me, ” she said.
Anjanette’s first trip to Somaliland took place in 2010 to conduct a supply chain analysis of how and where Frankincense oil comes from and how it gets to market. CNN recently produced a 3-part documentary highlighting her work, which she says, ” is vital to the entire industry to let people know what’s happening in Somaliland, to educate international buyers and consumers, and to educate harvesters themselves so they understand the value of their product in the world market.”
Recent drone photographs taken by DeCarlo and her team confirm cross sections of the current Cal Madow forest conditions. Evidence of over-harvesting, double harvesting, bark stripping, as well as environmental threats like drought and wood-boring beetles demonstrate the ongoing need for international intervention to preserve and protect this biologically rich, old-growth forest from increased degradation.
At the heart of this open-source analysis, lies DeCarlo’s passion for partnering with the local chiefs, elders, landowners, and harvesters as well as international companies involved in the supply chain. “I want to work with companies who come forward because we need international buyer support.”
dōTERRA, the world’s largest essential oil company proactively accepted that call. On stage this September at an annual convention in front of a crowd of 35,000 Wellness Advocates, dōTERRA CEO and cofounder, David Stirling, announced the company’s latest sustainability initiatives including a 3.3 million dollar pre-investment into the communities of Somaliland. “We asked the local elders in Somaliland ‘what do you want?’ Their answer, ‘We want to build schools and we need access to health care.’ ”
Understanding the importance of investing in local communities through mutually beneficial partnerships, dōTERRA plans to open a regional hospital in the Sanaag region of Somaliland in Spring 2018 which will serve 400,000 people, and has already constructed 2 schools which provide much needed education for local youth.
DeCarlo’s heartfelt sentiments were eloquently expressed that same day on stage. “dōTERRA is making a commitment to include sustainability as a pillar to identify ways to protect ecosystems and to amplify ecosystem services.” She continued educating, “our health is directly related to the health of the Earth, and so we want to make sure that when we’re amplifying our health with essential oils, we ensure the ecosystems where those plants come from are as healthy as the oils that we put on our bodies.”
Simple ways to get involved include:
As I gaze out the kitchen window and fix my eyes on a beautiful Japanese blueberry tree in the distance, I feel summer’s end nearby. I don’t know about you, but my heart is eagerly anticipating the change of season, bringing with it cooler temps and lively conversations around a circular fire pit out back. Over the course of 8 weeks this summer, I had the unique opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of our back yard by a team of hard-working landscapers and talented masons. Not only did they endure sweltering hours of oppressive desert heat removing overgrown Mesquite and African Sumac trees, they skillfully and artfully arranged combinations of decorative flagstone into functional architectural features to be enjoyed by friends and family this fall.
The unanticipated gift from this experience was contemplating the importance of cornerstones and how their selection and level placement during the construction process affects the overall design and stability.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a cornerstone as: (noun) a basic element : foundation. Digging a little further, ( yes, I admit freely I have a bit of an uncanny obsession with language and vocabulary) I found this definition and enjoyed the depth of explanation:
cornerstone – the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; “the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture” . Synonyms: fundament, groundwork, basis, foundation, base.
It’s as though I had discovered this word, cornerstone, for the very first time. It is likely I have uttered it without fully understanding or assimilating its meaning. Sometimes it takes an experience to bring a word to light in our lives, and I just love the illuminating feeling that rises up within when that happens.
Cornerstones are used ceremoniously to commemorate people or moments in time we would rather not forget. They represent firm foundations and solid ground. The level, the steady, the shaping element, the framework, and the fundamental, whose underlying base of support is perhaps taken inadvertently for granted.
What comes up for you when you think about the word cornerstone? Is it a particular person or value? Faith or spirituality? In what are you placing your hope, your joy, and your trust? Who is your cornerstone? Who is your rock, keeping you on solid ground, providing for you a firm foundation on which to build your hopes and dreams?
Take a moment to think about these cornerstones and appreciate them. Allow your heart to swell with gladness and overflow into all you do, think, and say.
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”
– Wayne Dyer
What do you truly LOVE in this life? What are you certain brings you joy, happiness, and a reason to get up and begin a fresh, new day? What is that ONE thing that you just can’t bear to live without? Are you feeling it? Living it? Doing it? If the answer is not a resounding YES, ask yourself why?
Hi Stand In Lovers!
July is in full swing in the Mohave Desert of Las Vegas! We have been afforded a few days of cloudy, humid relief; a most welcome respite from the 100+ degree temperatures that fill our dry, scorching-hot, summers.
Yesterday, while enjoying a fun-filled early morning lesson with my incredibly talented and passionate horse trainer Callie Klein, I inadvertently took in some extra sun! The sky was overcast, the air cool and breezy, and the clouds hung low over the rugged Spring Mountain peaks rising in the Northwest. I was so immersed in my groundwork lesson learning the fundamentals of natural horsemanship, that I neglected to put on my usual wide-brimmed sunhat and sunscreen. It felt wonderful to be co-learning with King, my training partner and equine friend, that I even removed my long-sleeved sun shirt! (This is the kind of joy a cloudy day brings to a native Chicagoan!).
We had a ball meeting each other for the first time becoming quickly acquainted in the round pen playing Parelli’s famous horse games like friendly game, porcupine game, yo-yo game, and driving game. Our rendez-vous closed with several rounds of circle game in which I attempted to ask King to move in a particular direction of travel relying on nonverbal communication to do so. Seems so simple as a spectator: Ask your horse to travel in a circle in a small pen. However, all things seemingly simple are more complicated than they appear. It’s a talented horseman that makes it look so simple. What is absent in these magical displays is the PROCESS it takes to get there. I am just beginning to understand this process and have fallen head-over-heels in love. Now, I just want to slow things down, and work on becoming the best partner, communicator, and friend I can be to King. I am indeed in love and it feels so good.
P.S. You may get a sunburn in the process if you are having TOO much FUN! If so, try this awesome DIY that contains doTERRA’s pure CPTG grade essential oils. Soothing, and refreshing as a skin freshener in the heat of a summer day as well as for sunburns!
Stand In Love TIP: I sometimes just add the essential oils directly to the aloe vera gel and apply the gel in a thick layer on my face 2x a day until swelling and redness is gone. Of course, wear a hat and sunscreen until fully healed!
Until next time, stay cool out there friends! #standinlove