The purpose of this blog is to connect with other (wiser than me) women, who are also attempting to live their best (not perfect, not one size fits all) life, and share the journey. I am a planner. Perhaps you’ve noticed. So, the concept of living intentionally is affirming for me. I can say, “See, I told you we needed a plan!” The plan part I’ve got. It’s the actual purpose, I’m still working on. Oh, I get “The” purpose (at least for me). First Corinthians has that covered. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
But, how do we simplify living intentionally and infuse it into our daily lives? How do we shift our focus back to the important relationships in our lives rather than the functions of the day?
For me the key is the simplify part. That is why I’m hell-bent on decluttering every aspect of my life. When daily life and routines are simplified, then the mind can rest and the heart can be free to be more generous. Does that make sense? Marie Kondo could not have sold millions of books across the globe if she hadn’t struck a chord with so many.
So, we’ll talk about technology, shoes, pantries, photo storage and free time. But let’s start with the idea of detoxing and what it means in our homes and habits. I hope we can agree that it is one of the essential simplification processes that will help our state of body and mind.
Ten years ago, I read a book (Mr. Man finds reading to be a very dangerous habit for me ; ) about the health impacts of bioaccumulation, also referred to as “body burden”. Fancy words to describe the layering of toxins in our bodies, too great for our natural detox system to handle. Our bodies are amazing and they filter toxins in a variety of ways. They are equipped to handle a reasonable level of toxins. They are not equipped to handle the enormous amount of man-made chemicals entering our systems through the soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, makeup, we put on our skin…..or the chemicals we inhale while cleaning our homes or doing something crazy like sitting on the couch or laying our head on our pillow….or the chemicals we ingest when we eat processed food. Shall I continue? I think you get the point.
So, I read some more. What struck me about each study I read, was that the two main issues, as a result of personal bioaccumulation were hormone disruption with relation to infertility and carcinogens linked to breast cancer. Well let’s see, I spent the better part of my twenties and thirties being treated for infertility issues and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Fast forward 8 years to when I am diagnosed with breast cancer and go through significant genetic testing to learn that I do not carry a gene for breast cancer. It is my belief that environmental factors adversely impacted my health and still do. As these toxins are linked to many more issues that just these two.
Now, I am part of what I like to call the “P” generation. I grew up with polyester, pesticides, petroleum-based products, perfume, plastics and processed foods. To summarize: The Poison generation. Nobody set out to poison America, but just watch the movie, The Human Experiment, and you will see that once some folks realized they were, they didn’t see fit to stop. I can’t completely reverse my own body burden, but I can absolutely do better for my children. I am not a doctor, a scientist, a researcher, or a dietician. I AM a woman, wife, mother and a reader. Here was my initial take-away.
Um, this all just makes sense. Why overload our systems with toxins they can’t handle?
So let’s talk solutions. I initially attacked the issue in three steps:
- read labels and purge
- read/confer (regarding replacement)
I did this in three areas:
- cleaning/home care,
- personal care/beauty
I do enjoy a good forward-slash, don’t I?
Lately, I’ve noticed some bad habits resuming (I act as if I have no control over my habits. Oy vey!) and less than natural products sneaking back into my home. (Are you picturing a bottle of Lysol hiding under my porch waiting for a chance to get into my house?) . So as I “reboot the detox”, I will share my process, tips, products and resources. Then, I would love to hear your detox success stories or issues.
To avoid, information overload, I will break it into multiple posts. So if you would like to join me, we can do this one step at a time. Trust me, no judging here. Any step to detoxify your home or habits is a victory for you and your family.
*To get you pumped and ready to take your personal environment back, consider reading (Click the Actionista button) about one of the amazing women highlighted by Women’s Voices for the Environment, for their work to make our world safer. Then take a look at your calendar and intentionally set some time aside in the near future to make a positive change in your life.
WVE is an outstanding organization whose mission is to amplify women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities.
Toxic Free Future is also a great organization established to help ignite change.
*If you are ready to be your own Actionista, and you are a DIY’er, here is a list of some of the ingredients I will be using to make natural homemade products. You probably have the most important ones in your pantry right now. I get almost all of my products locally from the grocery store or I order from Amazon. I will make all these products on a regular basis, so I have all the ingredients. It may seem like a lot but it is far more economical (and safer-that’s the point) than purchasing commercial products. If you aren’t all in yet, I highly recommend at least making the spray cleaner. There are other (non homemade) options that I will share too, so don’t panic. Lots more specifics to come!
Green Cleaning Product Shopping List:
- white vinegar
- spray bottle (I prefer glass)
- essential oils (optional)
- liquid castile soap (citrus-but any scent will do)
- vegetable glycerin
- soap flakes
- Castile bar soap
- washing soda
- oxygenated bleach (optional)
Wonderful Whipped Body Lotion:
- pure unrefined coconut oil
- pure unrefined shea butter
- pure unrefined mango butter (optional)
- carrier oil (almond or grape seed)
All Purpose Spray Cleaner: white vinegar, spray bottle, essential oils (optional-lavender or lemon)
Soft Scrub: baking soda, liquid Castile soap, vegetable glycerin(works as a preservative)
Dishwashing Soap: Borax, soap flakes or grated Castile bar soap, essential oil of choice (optional)
Laundry Detergent: Borax or baking soda, soap flakes or grated Castile bar soap, washing soda
Dishwashing Detergent: Borax, washing soda, citric acid, kosher salt
Body Lotion: Pure unrefined Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Carrier Oil (almond or grape seed work great)
Many of you are probably way ahead of me, so I look forward to hearing from you along the way!