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Beauty for Ashes the Oil of Joy for Canadian Wildfires

It’s so cliché, but truly, the most beautiful things like diamonds are formed under pressure. In my life, the most valuable growth has come from trials. I’m definitely not wishing for struggle, but I do recognize the transformative value and the depth of character that has evolved in me because of the struggles I have faced.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I do all that I can to keep toxins out of my life and home.

  • We clean with essential oils

  • We are very picky about the hair products, face wash, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, toothpaste we use.

  • We buy mostly organic meats, fruits and vegetables

  • We intentionally don't use air fresheners, most candles, most cleaning supplies etc.

I care immensely about what is coming into my family’s bodies.

The smog from the Canadian wildfires got to me physically and mentally. I got sore throats, headaches, brain fog, plus it makes me feel really afraid, anxious, and stressed on numerous levels but primarily the fact that we were breathing in toxic air was sending me spiraling.

The first time we had unhealthy levels of smoke in our area, I was a wreck. To me, it felt like an assault on my body and freaked me out that I literally couldn’t get away from toxic air. I definitely was not in the best headspace, and I was not functioning well with the fear and stress of it all. The second time it came around, I did a much better job at handling things. Not great, but better.

On a practical physical level, I decided to research what I could do to purify the inside air to keep my family as safe and unaffected as possible. As I researched, I gained knowledge about things like the importance of having quality cabin air filters in the cars, quality home air conditioner filters, cleaning these filters monthly, changing vacuum filters, not wearing shoes in the house, having air purifiers, vacuuming and dusting often etc.

On an emotional level, I made it a point to do yoga with Eli every morning. I practiced breathing into my gut and focusing on breath when I felt afraid, overwhelmed, or stressed as well as taking an extra focused approach to self-care and slowing down with myself.

Instead of trying to power through, I let myself feel all the feels and was compassionate with myself. I did my best to give myself the patience and understanding that I prioritize giving Eli. I sat with the scared little girl in me and re-parented a part of me.

If I wasn’t faced with a challenge, I never would have taken the time and effort to learn about things we really should have been doing regardless of Canadian wildfire smoke. I also wouldn't have been intentional about slowing down to a snail’s pace with myself and putting in the work to gain the muscle memory of being kind, compassionate, and tender with myself and my big emotions in difficult moments.

It got me reflecting on how change and growth is brought about. Particularly in my life, something difficult almost always brings forth the most progress.

  • Fights with Erik, while not fun at all, have brought about better understandings of each other leading to a deeper connection and ultimately a better relationship.

  • A tumor and cancer scare in my life, gave me a level of faith I’ve never had before and prompted me to start this blog.

  • A divorce got me into yoga which is one of my biggest passions and a tool used for healing and connecting with God in my life.

  • The divorce also spurred a crisis of faith which lead to my deconstructing all I knew about religion and God and rebuilding my relationship with Him deeper and stronger than ever.

  • The time when I was so low and depressed that I wanted to end my own life lead to me grasp the concept of how much peace and serenity there will be in heaven calming a lot of my fears of dying. It also me a firsthand understanding of this dark and hopeless feeling allowing me to relate, help, and connect with others who may feel the same way I felt.

  • Being practically left at the altar and having my heart shattered into a zillion little pieces spurred me to get therapy which was extremely eye opening and put me in the exact mental and emotional place I needed to be in to be ready when I found Erik.

“God is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Every single time I’ve been at my lowest, I’ve felt God’s presence the biggest. In our weakness, He is strong for us (Corinthians 9:10-11). He can and will turn our ashes including the Canadian wildfire ashes into something beautiful (Isaiah 61:3).

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