Sweat

Sweating is one of those unpleasant body functions no one likes to talk about and we all try various ways to not do it , including the use of anti-perspirants which use aluminum to block the sweat glands from sweating. This differs from a deodorant whose function is to eliminate the odor caused by sweating. So, let’s delve into what sweat is and why it’s important.

Sweat is mostly water along with ammonia, urea, salts, and sugars and it is by sweating we control our internal body temperature. Sweat, and urine, are the most important body functions to remove toxins from our system. By itself, sweat does not smell. It is the bacteria on your skin and horomones that cause that awful public embarrassment of body odor. Some people sweat too much caused by low blood sugar, thyroid disorders, or nervous system disorders. Some people don’t sweat enough caused by burns, dehydration, and some nerve or skin disorders. This brings us back to the use of anti-perspirants and how aluminum is used to block the sweat glands. The question is, is this a good thing? If it isn’t a good thing, what can we do differently?

Products we use with aluminum in them are believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s. This study suggests that aluminum levels in the urine are negligible, however, so many of us aren’t willing to take that chance. It is suggested that breast cancer risks go up but, the studies don’t back this information. For me, I question everything and for studies I follow the money and who is backing the study. There is a lot to be said for scientific studies which have advanced our medicine greatly. I think our choices should be personal based on how we feel and we shouldn’t expect others to follow along nor should we just blindly read all the information and accept it without understanding it’s credibility. What it boils down to, in my opinion, is what are you comfortable with? For me, if I wear commercial anti-perspirants or deodorants, I find I can wear them for short periods of time before I start reacting to them. I also ask myself if I am willing to take the risk of introducing additional substances to my body. I am fully aware I am already exposed and I will never reach a level of no exposure. My goal is to reduce the level, not eliminate. It also involves life style changes on my part.

First, the lifestyle changes. I can’t control the weather but, I can control my diet. Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine all affect the odor of your sweat and this is called gustatory sweating. Certain medications, illnesses, and emotions cause sweating. There are eccrine sweat glands which are all over your body and produce a light, odorless sweat and there are apocrine sweat glands which are found in your scalp, armpits, and groin area producing a more fat-laden sweat. Some of these you can control and some you can’t. One way to help flush toxins from your system to reduce body odor is the age-old adage, “Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.” Water is your friend. Second, it’s not to say you shouldn’t eat problematic foods, maybe just be mindful how much you are taking in.

Other ways to manage your sweating are to wear several layers of light clothing you can take off as you heat up, washing dried sweat off your face and body as often as possible, change out of sweaty clothing which reduces the chances of bacterial and yeast infections, and using deodorant. This brings us back to my journey to find a deodorant I could use and I tried using natural deodorants with no success. Some just didn’t work, others stained my clothes, and some were just plain messy.

This is when I stumbled upon the idea of an armpit detox to remove the aluminum plugging the sweat glands. Of course, I have to research everything before I try it and I couldn’t find any validity in it. On the other hand, what did I have to lose. So, I dove in just for the hell of it and I was pleasantly surprised. Now, to be fair, the first couple weeks are brutal. While your body is detoxing the obvious side effect is increased body odor and I used essential oils to bring that down. If you haven’t used, or rarely used, commercial anti-perspirants/deodorants, the detox only takes a few days however, long term use requires a detox period of 2-6 weeks. What I did was a nightly armpit detox for 2 weeks, stopped for a couple days to see how it affected my sweating, and than decided it had been quite effective. I did indeed also notice that a low intake of water and my diet affected my body odor so my sweat let me know when I needed to make some adjustments. I did also notice I sweat less.

Final order of business, a natural deodorant that works. I did find out baking soda was a mixed bag. It did help absorb odors however, it caused me great irritation. Even more so than an anti-perspirant. I broke out in a rash that burned and I found I needed another solution. Also, the much loved coconut oil is problematic because it doesn’t really absorb into the skin causing yellowing of your clothes, can increase probability of ingrown hairs, and isn’t as anti-bacterial as is claimed although to a small degree it can target this. So, my search continued and it led me to this recipe which has some exotic butters in it but, I was game. For those of us less adventurous people there are commercial natural deodorants that would work well. Some of these I have tried and found they didn’t work but, that was before my discovery of the armpit detox. Since I was already knee-deep in this adventure I figured I may as well finish off with a bang and make my own deodorant.

That is when I found this recipe and I will post it after I have made and tried it. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to know whether something works or not. Currently, I am awaiting the arrival of the exotic illipe butter which touts moisturizing capabilities. It also involves sage which has been used for eons as a natural deodorizing. Now, it does have some alkaline baking soda in it but, with the addition of acidic lime or lemon juice it seems they react to create the powders mixed together. So, I’m willing to see if baking soda would not create irritation in this context. I will keep you updated.

Alkanet

Alkanet, the moodiest plant in the botanical kingdom, (thus far). Alkanet, formally known as Alkanna tinctoria. promises a light purple to your soaps and delivers… well, as you’re trying to come to trace a pale green and after a couple of days while you are cutting it looks like a cookies and cream colour. Maybe, just maybe, it will cure purple and if you are an antsy soaper, like me, you get concerned at the green and throw in a couple of tablespoons of the nearest clay to get… what??? red???. The second time you promise yourself you won’t panic and just throw clay in so you make the soap exactly the same way and again you are thrown off by the light green colour, throw in some Bentonite clay to get a purpley, albeit beautiful, grey so you haphazardly throw together a woodsy mountain scent to make it something else entirely. Finally, you carry out your promise, slog your way through the recipe one more time, don’t panic, follow through, and get a cookies and cream colour. Oh alkanet, why do you mock me so! One good thing is I loved the grey so much I am trying to replicate the panic I felt and create a lovely grey soap that looks like a mountain and smells like cedar woods. We will see :).

Alkanet is also called blugloss and is a Mediterranean plant. which is rather pretty and unassuming.

Alkanet Plant

The actual part of the plant that gives colour to wines, wool, vegetable oils, and varnishes is the root.

Alkanet Root

And, look at this lovely soap that drove me to harness it’s elusive purple colour.

Alkanet Soap

While it apparently has many health benefits for issues like high blood pressure, it’s astringent taste leave it more desired for it’s ability to be used as a dye in a variety of products. Apparently it works for some rather well and there is a ton of information on whether to infuse it in oil and use at full strength or partial strength or whether to make a tea with it and use it as your liquid. Either way, it remains forever moody, and depending on the day may or may not decide to be purple. As for me, I will either use Brazilian Purple clay (which I am finding is hard to source), or throw the dice to see if blackberry juice as my liquid will give me the desired purple. At least, and cross our fingers here, the alkanet infused oil at full strength with Bentonite thrown in will give me my purple mountains majesty.

Alkanet Soap? Maybe?

Can I replicate the experiment gone wrong to make this colour again?

What’s Important to You?

The other night, around 3:00 in the morning, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up and started listening to Mark Manson’s audiobook, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Now, in this society of instant gratification most will see, “…Not Giving a F*ck.” Guess where that got Pinocchio on Pleasure Island. That’s right, it turned him into an ass. The real point of this book is the Subtle Art… It is a brilliant way of Mark Manson getting the attention of a reader who is used to an overwhelming amount of information at his fingertips, can’t possibly process it all, and winds up not learning anything. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is actually about learning what your personal values are and where to give your f*cks.

This made me really think about what my personal values are so thank you Mark, goal achieved on making the reader figure out what and why they give a f*ck. It made me think about an earlier blog I wrote on why I make soap and I realized that I described very well all the practical and logical reasons, all the reasons why it was a good idea. It was an article written from my brain space and I needed to write about it from my heart space. The reality is, it doesn’t matter if I feel compelled to find products I can use. I have free will. I can continue to choose products that irritate me and make a decision to go about life without questioning anything. The thing is, I was born questioning everything, I have never been content with the status quo. Now, the real question is, why? Why am I not content with the status quo, why am I a wild woman, and why do I make soap as a wild woman and not a domesticated one?

Before I answer that question, let’s break down this idea of personal values and the idea of what we believe our values are but, in reality, are external ideals we have been told to value versus internal values, abstract nouns that in our heart of hearts are extremely important to us because that is where we find joy. I am of the opinion happiness is society dictating what we should value and it is external and fleeting. Joy, on the other hand, is internal and promotes a sense of spiritual and psychological well-being. In order for me to understand why I give a f*ck about soap, I had to really dig deep and find the intrinsic, personal values that made me love soap in the first place. I then realized it wasn’t necessarily the soap, it was the creating of the soap. With the understanding that online tests and quizzes can be quite arbitrary, I found an online personal value test that seemed as close to legit as I could get. It confirmed what I knew in my heart.

I value honesty. In today’s consumeristic society what we see is not necessarily what we get. There is no transparency in what ingredients are going into our products and we are being told that they have minimal risk. As an example, let’s pick the controversial topic of pasteurized milk. Contradicting information flies around everywhere. Again, an overwhelming amount of information to be found freezing us into a state of paralysis where we make no decisions at all. For me, I just know as a kid I drank raw milk with no adverse side effects and today, lactose intolerant and I have to take lactose pills to consume my dairy. My personal value, honesty. Could we possibly get an unbiased study not paid for by interest groups? Even putting that link in makes me think twice because I cannot attest it is a credible source. I leave that up to you as the reader.

I value wisdom in a society where they say we are not smart enough to make our own decisions and they are made for us at the governmental level. Our government has become our bubble wrap, helicopter parents and in doing so have taken away our freedoms, one of my other values. Of course, with the pandemic over the last year I have seen people take that to the extreme and in a quest for their personal freedom have taken away mine. An example of this is not to wear masks or follow protocols. Yeah, maybe there has been a lot of hype and inconsistent requirements, but can’t we just use our common sense to get through this. If you’re out in public, just try to be considerate and respectful. If an establishment requires you to wear one, wear one. People who don’t question wearing a mask can make the choice to frequent places where it’s not required if they want. People who do question wearing a mask can wear one where it’s required and not wear one where it isn’t. It’s really that simple. Which brings us back to wisdom, the ability to use knowledge and life experiences to objectively assess the situation and make right choices. It’s about using common sense and interacting with people and the world in a mature way.

That being said, it is the three values of authenticity, freedom, and creativity, that make me want to create soap. I have always had the soul of an artist, I just had to dabble in various mediums and outlets before I found my heart song, a way to live my truth. A way to be authentic. It all started out as a journey to heal my inner child and learn to play again, to be my authentic self with no apologies. I always loved chemistry, I just didn’t do well in chemistry in high school. Since then, I have circled back and it makes way more sense now than it ever did. I love being in nature where I feel grounded and centered. I love creating things that other people can use and feel confident and comfortable in using. I love creating soaps and sundries with products from nature and names we can pronounce. I love the simple life.

And it is here where I learned what to give a f*ck about. Yes, I should respect people and my environment but, not at all costs. Within the boundaries of my personal values, that is where I give a f*ck and if I have to compromise any of those values for you to be in my life, I don’t need you in my life. I don’t give a f*ck. I didn’t need to learn how to be more assertive, or how to hold my ground, or avoid confrontation and live a life of unicorns and rainbows. I needed to know what my personal values are and defend them without apology. I needed to learn how to confront anyone or anything that would put me in a position of compromising those values. I needed a whole paradigm shift.

Now, I give a f*ck about what is most important to me with the understanding it is a process and I won’t always get it right. As mentioned in an earlier blog, it’s been a year since I chose authenticity over attachment and that’s what I need to give a f*ck about. The result, inner harmony. Finding balance and self-fulfillment. Learning the only person I can control is myself and being able to go inward to self-reflect and to work on my self-awareness every day. Not expecting everything and everyone around me to be drama free and live simple lives. Just working on being drama free and living my own simple life. Finding peace where I’m at by going inwards. Holding myself accountable to obtaining my own personal values. So, when I dig really deep, making soap isn’t just about the logistics, it’s about living an authentic life, a life of freedom and creativity, a life of inner harmony. A life of the wild woman.

It Was the Best of Times and Worst of Times

There is a lot of discussion lately on The Great Reset at a government institutional level. There is an element of truth in this as there is in all things. Last year the transition from The Age of Pisces to The Age of Aquarius began. Now, here in our physical form in a world of instant gratification we assume this will be instantaneous however, this is not the case. It is a rather long process so we are in what is called the dawn and the transition will actually take 200-300 years according to sources familiar with this subject. To be fair, as much as I try to follow astrology, it is a rather heady topic I am still trying to wrap my brain around. It did get me thinking of Charles Dickens and the quote in his book, A Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Doesn’t that sound familiar? Last year we witnessed a global shut down of society due to a pandemic and it doesn’t look like it will open up soon. It was the worst of times. Yet, within a pandemic that inspired fear most found their humanity. It was the best of times. In our great scientific age we believed in finding a way to combat, not end, combat, the pandemic. Scientists around the globe worked together to find a vaccine that would bring the pandemic into check. It was the age of wisdom. Yet, it seemed to us the world leaders intended to instill and inspire fear. Big Pharma jumped on board and companies competed to get a vaccine on the market, even, it seems, at the risk of proper testing. It was the age of foolishness. To start, we wanted to believe that our best interests were being watched out for. Isn’t that what our leaders are for? It was the epoch of belief. As restrictions and mandates were put into place about wearing masks, self-isolation, businesses and schools being opened and closed, misinformation swirled around everywhere and we didn’t know what to believe anymore. It was the epoch of incredulity. For those of us aware of the universal energy shift, we were aware old systems are being broken down to bring in a new age of a higher vibrational energy. We pulled together to stand in the higher energy of unconditional love and push back the lower energy of fear. Lightworkers united across the globe via the internet. It was the season of light. However, the self-isolation and travel restrictions challenged even those who understood the larger purpose even from their limited human experience. If those of us working together to raise the vibration of the earth and humanity were struggling to stand in their truth with love and light, how could we possibly expect the rest of humanity to do so? It was the season of darkness. It was in our challenges we found ways to overcome the obstacles of isolation and travel restrictions. Communities were built on line and ways were found to support each other and raise each other up. It was the spring of hope. Sadly, we also face a mental health crisis on an unprecedented scale that far outweighs the concerns of the pandemic. We have reached a tipping point in society where people have realized, especially seniors and those at high risk, they would rather die of the pandemic than of loneliness. It was the winter of despair.

I guess there are no immediate answers to where we are at now. Charles Dickens wrote, A Tale of Two Cities, in 1842 and it was the best of times and the worst of times. I have to wonder if we moved through that or are we experiencing a continuation of that time? Regardless, it is hopeful and inspiring to think that 179 years later we are still forging ahead. Is this not a testament to the human spirit to continue? In our pursuit to understand our life, our purpose, our existence, we would like to believe and romanticize times past. We want to believe it used to be better however, through studying history, literature, music, and other art forms we come to understand that we experience the march of humanity no different than those who went before us. Knowledge, technology, and understandings may create the appearance ours is a different existence but, strip away all that and we find our challenges remain much the same. The most important understanding we can have is that we can control no one else but ourselves. Our biggest and most important challenge remains to choose love over fear and to be light. The only way through, is forward and if we can’t be light in the darkness to see our way, and hopefully lead others, than we will remain in the winter of despair.

Quantum Entanglement

It is true the idea of vibration and frequency in all things is a fringe science at best and a pseudoscience at worst. Just imagine, at one time in history so was the idea the sun was at the centre and the plants orbited around the sun, the idea the earth was flat, and the idea of being held in place here on earth not by gravity but, by a natural state of things. By far, my most favourite example is the Higgs boson (God particle) hypothesized 40 years ago putting its theorists at the edge of the scientific community. Imagine how Peter Higg’s felt watching the Hadron Collider prove the existence of a theory he established 40 years earlier.

That brings us to quantum entanglement and the idea that vibration and frequency are all around us in the plants, the crystals, the waters, the animals, and, in us. Quantum entanglement is when two atoms can be across any distance small or large, and when one atom is disturbed, the other exhibits the same reaction at the same time. This idea suggests we are all indeed connected and there is a oneness in the universe. I think by far the best book I have read on the topic is Joseph Selbie’s, The Physics of God. So, if everything is made of atoms and these atoms vibrate, than it would be reasonable to assume there is truth in the idea of long distance energy healing, crystals, essential oils, and yes, even our words whether we call them spells, prayer, meditation, or chanting. It is a heady thought.

There will always be naysayers. In my life I have learned you don’t need to convert the converted, you can’t convert the naysayers, but, the ones in the middle who are truly open-minded and willing to listen, they are the truth seekers, the ones who are willing to hunt down what resonates in their soul regardless of what others think. Once the idea of quantum entanglement and spirituality has resonated with your soul, the real journey begins. A journey where you have to dismantle everything you ever knew and everything you ever believed and form new ideas. You must suspend your reality to be open to this journey and that is the mark of a courageous soul.

Frequency and Vibration

In my biography, on the About page, I mentioned the conscious decision to choose authenticity over attachment. So, there are nights I have problems sleeping and my mind rambles down the rabbit hole. This is one of those nights, and I pondered why I chose attachment over authenticity. The answer was so simple I am surprised I didn’t come to this conclusion sooner.

I had equated attachment to love and that is a limiting belief. One has nothing to do with the other and attachment is a tool, a biological function, that ensures our survival, just as Gabor Mate says in his words. Love, on the other hand, is an energy and our understanding of it allows us to see how we are all connected to the greater whole. This YouTube video sums up the two energies love vs fear, love being a high vibration and fear being a low vibration. They cannot co-exist, so you either have fear without love or, you have love without fear.

Love vs Fear

I hung onto attachment because of fear. Fear of abandonment, fear of being lonely, fear of being rejected, fear of not being good enough, unworthy, and unloved. It meant I didn’t have faith in the bigger picture. When you invite in the Divine, the angels, and the ancestors, you’re never alone. The abundance of the Universe is unlimited and it is yours for the having. However, like the video says, we are programmed, and some of us can’t see past the program, so they stay in fear. It does not mean we have to buy into their fear, all we need to do is be an example of love. Also, bear in mind, self-love is the ability to stand in your power and your truth and set healthy boundaries so their fear doesn’t invade your space of love. In understanding I am never alone, abundance is mine. When I realize I have everything I need, I am able to have faith. Faith the Divine will lead me where I need to go on my soul path in love. Understanding this is a freeing concept as it more fully allows me to choose my authenticity.

And this brings us to a myriad of topics on vibration and frequency to include sacred geometry, colours, sound, energy healing, memories of water, the healing energy of plants, quantum entanglement, and the physics of God. Each one of these topics will be a blog post here over the next few weeks. So, if you’re interested, keep coming back and follow me down and through the rabbit hole. The only requirement to go on this journey is to suspend everything you thought you never knew and be prepared to shed limiting beliefs you probably don’t know you have.

Why Soap?

So, why am I a soap maker? Actually, making soap is part of a bigger picture. I am a highly sensitive, empath and I find that makes me so in tune with my environment anything artificial can be quite challenging for me.

Being an empath is not scientifically studied or acknowledged however, I can assure you it is very real as I live with it. They say you can develop empathy and that may be true to an extent but I believe you either are born an empath or you’re not. I think compassion and empathy are often confused. Compassion is being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and empathize with them. Being an empath is considered largely science fiction and is defined as the psychic ability to tune into the emotional experience of people, places, animals, and/or plants. Since this is a relatively new understanding in the world, many empaths have soaked up the emotional energy of the global environment, been overwhelmed and often finding themselves sick and struggling with mental health issues because they haven’t understood or learned how to navigate their experience. Now that is entering the global consciousness, empaths can find information and learn how to be more of a filter than a sponge and in doing so can tap into their innate healing abilities without compromising their own experience.

If you happen to also be a highly sensitive person, since being an empath and a highly sensitive person don’t always co-exist, you have another layer of sensitivity added to your experience. The highly sensitive person is scientifically understood and studied. This term was coined by the psychologist, Elaine Aron. She says highly sensitive people are high in a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity. It is believed 15% to 20% of the population are highly sensitive and they are more easily disturbed by violence, tension, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Highly sensitive people also have four primary brain differences:

·  The brain responds differently to dopamine

·  The mirror neurons are more active

·  The emotions of others are experienced more vividly

·  The ability to be more alert and “more conscious” in social contexts

On the upside, these individuals are also known to be more creative, have richer personal relationships, and a greater appreciation for beauty.

So, how did that dive me into a world where “all-natural” is a loosely defined term slung around to hype up products and environmental awareness? I have struggled with health problems and food sensitivities most of my life. I went from doctor to doctor for answers, none were found, and I was labeled a hypochondriac. Imagine my relief when I stumbled onto the concept of being a highly-sensitive person, which is a finely tuned nervous system, and how it affected what I could eat, what I could use on my body, and environments I could live in. I become a self-taught expert at diets, personal hygiene products, and cleaning products. This led me into a journey of self-discovery and what worked for me. I also learned we are all individually wired and that requires a very individual approach. I refuse to advocate any one way is better than another. You have to find that out for yourself.

So, my empathy created a need for me to balance my time with people versus my time spent alone and my high sensitivity contributed to my journey for healthier ways to live and a creative side. Soap making was a perfect solution to intertwine all these elements. You will even find I am very limited on my internet time as I don’t have any extensive interaction with social media. This may be counter-intuitive to doing business in today’s world however, I trust and have faith this is the way I need to do it. To me, it is like the movie, Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come.”