Taking the Giant Leap of Faith

18723602_1850488221878310_8856108507200487424_nI have been thinking about it for months….years even.  After 14 years at my desk job in the corporate world of insurance, I had reached a point where I just wasn’t fulfilled.  Each day was met with “what am I doing here?” and “how did I get here?”  But the truth is, I was in it because of the money.  A steady paycheck.  Regular vacations to nowhere too extravagant, but getaways nonetheless.

I’m an artist.  I do illustrations and I make metal clay and eye bead  jewelry.  I love helping people, and when I learned about essential oils and how we can empower people to support their wellness, I was sold.  I started an oils business along with my already established jewelry business.  I have been juggling a full-time job, taking care of our mom who lives with us, teaching oils classes, and then, in the late hours of the day, doing what is most fulfilling to me – creating either jewelry or art.  Even though I’d have to start my day at 4:30 to be at the bus stop by 5:45 a.m., those late night hours of creativity were the only things that kept me going.  Without creating, I am not happy.  Pair the lack of sleep with the hour-plus bus commute and work-drama/personalities and it just added fuel to my fire.  I needed out.

It seemed that each time I showed my artwork or my jewelry, I would get supportive comments that helped fuel me.  I knew I was good…but am I good enough?  Good enough to make a living with my art and oils?  That little voice inside me would say YES! but the louder voice of self-doubt and limiting beliefs would reign me in.  “What are you thinking?”  “How will you pay the mortgage?”  “What about steady income.”

Still, as the time went by this dream kept surfacing.  “Quit your Day Job,” it said.  So I started by talking about it.  I discussed it with my big brother, who is my voice of reason, yet a limitless dreamer as well.  “Do it!” he said.  “Your health is not worth the stress if you’re not happy.”  We are both cancer survivors and working on decreasing the toxic loads of our lives.  I had his vote.

I discussed it with my husband.  “I’m not happy, ” I said.  He was worried.  We discussed the obvious:  the mortgage, what if we lose the house?  It’s scary when you think about it, right?  But when it came down to it, he didn’t close the door on my dream.  For that I am grateful.  And so it was back in November that I made the decision.  In six-month’s time, I would be done.

I discussed my exit with other artists, life coaches, and family.  I created a “Countdown tounnamed Freedom” in my bullet journal “x”ing out the days as they went by.  My best friend was in on my plan.  Each day she’d call or text asking me, “how many more days?”  The months went by.  I prayed for doors to open to me that would allow me to succeed at supporting myself with my art.  The prayers continued.  And then, shortly before Easter I decided  it was time to give notice for an end-of-May departure.

It wasn’t as hard as I had imagined.  Simply said, I had been at this job for 14 years.  A job that was never meant to become a career.  I was grateful for all it afforded us, but it was time to move on.

It seems that since I made the announcement of my intention, suddenly jobs have been popping up.  I was commissioned to make bracelets for a charity fundraiser and posted them online.  A friend asked if I could make bracelets for her organization.  I received a commission to draw a portrait.  I found a builder – a massage therapist –  who wants to build an essential oils business under me.  It’s like all of a sudden, the stars have all aligned.

On Friday, May 26, I left my job in the world of insurance.  I left the security of steady paycheck.  I have taken this giant leap of faith in myself/my ability and a creative, fulfilling future.  I have realized in this last month that I had been praying for these doors to open for me, but that the doors had always been open.  It was me who was afraid to step through to the other side.  I’ll be honest.  It’s still scary, but in an exciting way.   And prayer is nothing without faith and a belief that those prayers are being heard… so I have decided to put the limiting beliefs aside, work hard while enjoying the ride, and JUMP in with both feet!

Welcome to the  beginning of a my journey!

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram as “Essentially Anush”.

 

 

Managing Arthritis Pain…Naturally? I’m giving it a try!

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my father’s mortar and pestle

I have never liked taking medication.  We didn’t grow up that way.  My father was a very wise man, a pharmacist.  And just as you’ve heard that the shoemaker’s children have no shoes, so it was with us.  The pharmacist’s children had no meds.  We’d try.  We’d call dad up at the pharmacy and let him know we weren’t feeling well.  Be it cramps, a cough, congestion, an ear ache.  Instead he’d come home and take us down to the herb shop in Chinatown.  We were lucky to live on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, so Chinatown was about 20 minutes away.  Once there, my dad would ask for a few ounces of this root, or that flower or leaf and off we go back home.  Once there he would do one of three things:

  1. He would boil the herbs/flowers and have us breathe and steam
  2. After boiling, he would have us drink the “tea”
  3. He would put the plants in his mortar and pestle, grind them up with an ointment or oil and apply it to our bodies topically.

I always was in awe of how he knew which plant was good for what.  But he knew.  Sadly, my father died young.  And though I don’t possess the knowledge that he had, I do share his desire to learn.

Two years ago, I was introduced to essential oils to support my health and wellness.  When I learned that DoTerra’s essential oils can be used aromatically, topically, and even internally, I felt that I had been giving this “gift” from my father.   I plunged into building a business with these beautiful gifts from the earth and I have to say it’s been so rewarding because I get to help people and empower them with knowledge on how to help themselves.

Okay, so as I was saying, I don’t like taking medication.  But my arthritis in my knees has gotten so bad.   My doctor says knee replacement is somewhere in the future.  And along with the xrays and the diagnosis came a prescription for NSAIDs one every 12 hours.  And for several months I didn’t take them regularly…just here and there “as needed” until the need was pretty great.  So I started taking them as prescribed.  And guess what?  They really work well!   The pain was manageable with the meds.  All was good.  Until…

Last week I had my annual endoscopy.  I knew something was up because my stomach has not been feeling well.  The endoscopy revealed multiple stomach ulcers, biopsies were taken, and I was advised to immediately discontinue use of my medication.  Just three days after, once my system had gotten rid of the meds, my knees were complaining…seriously.  And not good timing, I might add, because I just started training to walk the 39.3 mile Avon walk for breast cancer (my 12th year).

So now what?  How am I going to manage this pain without meds?  Well, I’m going the natural route.  And I wanted to post this today because I want to log the journey because I know there are others that are suffering with this pain as well.  I’m planning on reporting back in on this post and updating it with my progress (or lack thereof).

There are four things I’m going to try to help me manage my arthritis pain:

  1.  High dose curcumin (turmeric) supplements as anti-inflammatory.  Thankfully, my GI doctor is open to natural solutions.  He took me off the Naprosyn and told me to start taking 3000 – 5000 mg of curcumin daily.  I found a good quality Curcumin supplement.  Two pills are 1800 mgs.  I’m taking a dose in the morning and evening.  3600 mg to start.
  2. He also told me to take Frankincense, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.  I already take DoTerra’s Lifelong Vitality supplements daily along with their DDR Prime soft gels.  Both have frankincense as well as other essential oils/vitamins/minerals which my doc is happy with.
  3. Use essential oils topically to help me manage pain and inflammation.  I am using a carrier oil and then layering Marjoram (antiflammatory and good for circulation); White Fir (cartilage inflammation, muscle soreness and fatigue); and Peppermint to bring heat and blood flow to the area.  white fir marjoram peppermint
  4. Lose weight.  This last one is the most difficult of all and something that I have been working on for a long time.

I have started with all four at this time.  I took a 3 mile training walk on Saturday morning and I have to say that yesterday my knees were very painful and sore.  Today, I am much better, and I’m not sure if it’s just time, or the curcumin/frankincese and oils….but I’m hoping that tomorrow will be even better.

I am following Susan Peirce Thompson’s Bright Line Eating plan because it’s structured and unlike most diets, there are plant-based vegan options.  I am committing my food the night before, staying on plan…and acknowledging that I am human and not perfect….so I’m not going  to give up if the unexpected comes up.

So there you have it.   I wanted to put it out there so I can commit to myself and to you as well.  I’m hoping to check in weekly and report my progress.  Wish me luck!

 

P.S.  If you are interested in learning more about essential oils and how to use them to support your health and wellness, please email me at anush@esssentiallyanush.com

 

 

 

 

The Journey of 39.3 miles began a long time ago…

handsI am a survivor.  Not only once, not twice, but three times.  I was only the 34 the first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  My children were young.  My son was 12, my daughter 6.  We had no health insurance. My husband was working freelance, as was I.  We simply couldn’t afford it.  We were young and didn’t ever think of cancer as something we’d have to deal with.  But there it was.  The disease is difficult as it is.  Add in young children, the fear of the financial aspect of it and feeling a burden on the family(they wouldn’t even admit me to the hospital for surgery until we put $2K down on the credit card) – that’s because I didn’t want to go to the county hospital.  And a few years prior we had adopted our son whose bio mom had died of cancer – imagine how he was feeling.  Emotional and scary stuff.

The second and third diagnoses –  breast cancer and colon cancer – was 19 years later.  My children had grown, and I had moved on to another job where insurance was provided.  My “pre-existing condition” was far enough in the past.  I was diagnosed after my first colonoscopy….and while recuperating from surgery went for my annual mammogram.  The very day I went back to work I got the call that I needed to come in for a biopsy.  The found cancer again.  The following week we scheduled the mastectomy and reconstruction.  It was still scary, and stressful, but only this time I had insurance.  And just having that made it so much easier to bear.  It was easier to breathe, easier to heal.

After my first 5 years of being cancer free, I celebrated by walking in the first Avon Walk.  This was back in ’98 when it was a 3 day.  We walked from Santa Barbara to Malibu a fundraiser for breast cancer.  The following year, I did it again….and again. I took a break from fundraising for a little while..and for a few years I worked on the crew.  But this year I’ll be walking again.  It’s my 12th year participating.  I can’t stop walking.

In September, I’ll be walking 39.3 miles…again in the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer.  I do this because the money raised helps those who have been diagnosed and have no insurance (just like me back then), or have no access to mammography.  It puts food on the tables of underprivileged cancer patients and their family, and it funds the necessary research to advance ourselves toward a cure.

Each of us who walks has  committed to raising $1800.  I started my fundraising 2 days ago with my Avon 39 fundraising page.  Please check it out and read who I’ll be walking for.  I hope you’ll consider partnering with me.  Any amount is truly appreciated and if you have been touched by cancer, send me the name of your loved one and I will carry them with me every step of the way.

This year’s 39.3 mile journey began for me back in 1993 when I was first diagnosed.  I have been blessed with a full life, with children and now grandchildren.  I’m walking in memory of those who have lost that battle; in honor of those who are battling ALL CANCERS; and in celebration of those who have survived.  Walk with me!