You Are What You Desire

You Are What You Desire

Desire is a strong emotion that can pull at us mentally, emotionally – even physically. As living, breathing creatures we are often at the mercy of our wants and needs, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In our hyper connected society we are often spoon fed the things we should want or need in order to be happy, productive individuals in this world.  A curious thing happens when you follow the crowd and allow yourself to be tricked into believing the advertisers and corporations. You become more and more unhappy each day.

The sheer act of trying to keep up with everyone around you is exhausting. And it’s not just the stuff you must accumulate to keep up. Now you must also have meaningful, Instagram worthy experiences to feel normal. You are judged by the vacations you take, the concerts you attend, the innovative couple weekends you contrive – it is never ending.

One of the best things I have ever done was sit down and make a list of the things I truly desired in my life. Then I worked toward the things in life that would bring those desires to me the quickest.  Here are a few of the things on my list:

  1. Have happy, healthy, well-adjusted children
  2. Be financially comfortable
  3. Have fewer responsibilities
  4. Take more family vacations that are simple and relaxing

I took specific steps for each desire and felt energized because my time and efforts were being laser focused on the desired outcome.

When I looked at the list I made I realized the person who achieves those desires is a happy, calm person – and isn’t that what we all crave?

All the material things and accomplishments we all chase are trying to achieve that perceived happiness at the end, right? Why not take a shortcut on the road to happiness and pursue the quickest route to true joy?

Our desires define us, whether we like it or not. Do we want to be people who chase materialism or meaningful things in life?

You are what you desire.

Crystal Deodorant Review

crystal deodorant review

Lately, I have become more serious about finding healthier products for my body.  Over the past few years the variety and quality of the offerings have definitely improved. For the past two weeks I have been using Crystal Deodorant in Vanilla Jasmine scent (invisible solid).

I had been using Green Tidings Deodorant (Unscented) just before that, and I thought it worked okay. I did feel like I got slightly smelly a couple of times, but that might have been in my head since it was one of my first attempts at using natural deodorant. My main issue with it was the consistency. If I swiped it on, then went on very thick and sometime left globs under my arms. I learned to slightly swipe it, then dab it around to cover the whole area. Since it is a beige colored pasty consistency, it was easy to apply too much. I frequently had to dab my underarms with a tissue to remove the excess. With that being said, the stick didn’t last as long as I expected. Having to remove the excess felt wasteful since this deodorant was not cheap to begin with. See the complete review here.

Crystal deodorant is a little different. It is made from mineral salts, is a solid, and it glides on smoothly. I have found that three side by side swipes under each arm does the trick. I get an evenly applied film of deodorant on each side. So far, none of it has noticeably streaked any of my shirts. And best of all, I have not smelled bad one time yet.

Here are the ingredients:

Propanediol, Water Aqua, Polyglyceryl-10 Caprylate Caprate, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexlglycerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Hydroxycitronellal, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Leaf Extract, Viola Odorata Flower Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Blossom), Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Fragrance (parfum)

It also comes in many scents: Freshly Minted, Mountain Fresh, Chamomile & Green Tea, Lavender & White Tea, Pomegranate, Vanilla Jasmine, and unscented. It also comes in various forms of application such as mineral enriched, roll on, mineral stick + stone, spray and invisible solid stick.

But this is where I must put in my disclaimer. I live in the South. It get REALLY hot and humid here, and at the moment we are at the end of April. With our unpredictable weather, we already have had several days when the temps reached 80 degrees or above, but that is nothing compared to what’s coming in July and August.

I will need to test this deodorant further into the summer months before I can make a final decision on it, but for right now I love it!

See complete information for Crystal Deodorant here.

 

Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant Review

Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant

 

Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant Review

I have been trying to slowly switch all of the products in my house to healthier versions with various levels of success. Sometimes we get so used to the formulations of certain products that it becomes difficult to adjust to something different. I have found that especially hard with scents. I really like the synthetic scents put into detergents, fabric softeners, shampoos, deodorants, etc.

However, one of the biggest challenges I have found has been to find a natural deodorant. I have tried a couple different ones that were quite sticky, and that, of course, defeats the purpose of wearing deodorant. No one wants to feel sticky under the arms!

While looking for some natural shampoo and conditioner options I came across Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant on Amazon. I started reading the reviews on this product (there were 7,712 reviews at the time of this writing) and decided I really had to try it.

First of all, let’s start with the ingredients:

  • ONLY CLEAN, PURE, VEGAN INGREDIENTS: Coconut Oil, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate (aluminum-free), Organic Shea Butter (Fair Trade), Wildcrafted Candelilla Wax, Magnesium Oil, and 100% pure essential oils.

 

  • WHAT MAKES GREEN TIDINGS DIFFERENT: Non-toxic, Organic, Vegan, Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free, Paraben-free, Free of Mineral Salts (crystal deodorants, and mineral salts contain aluminum!), SLS-free, Aluminum-free, Propylene-glycol free, Perfume-Free, Petroleum and Petrolatum-free, Pthalate-free, Paraffin-free, Mineral Oil-free, no artificial colors, No Silicone Oil, No Menthol, Phenol, or Salicylic Acid, Certified Cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, & made in a solar powered facility.

Sounds good so far, right?

It comes in two sizes: 1 ounce and 2.7 ounce. It also comes in unscented and lavender scent.

I tried the 1 ounce, unscented version because I really wanted to know how well it worked without being swayed by the scent. It comes with a screw on lid but twists up like any deodorant.

I had read on one of the Amazon reviews that it could be difficult to spread on and it could be held under your arm for a few seconds to warm it up before swiping it on. I have found this to be good advice. However, I have also found that I do not need to actually swipe it on. Instead, I hold it there to warm it up, then I dab it on.

The Amazon sales site says that if you have residue on your clothing, then you have applied too much. So far, I have not had that problem.

So Does Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant Work?

First I must say that it is a deodorant, but not an antiperspirant.That means it WILL allow you to sweat, but it hopefully will not allow you to get stinky. This was a new concept for me because I have always used products that did both (like most women). Most people in this day and age DO NOT want to be sweaty in any situation besides a work out, right?

However, sweating is a natural process and it is not a good thing to completely stop any natural process in your body.

I started using this deodorant in February, which is not the best month to find out how well it works. But I did go on a long walking tour the other day and got quite hot. I am happy to say that I DID NOT smell badly after the tour. A couple hours later I came home and asked my husband how I smelled. I can count on him for a truthful answer as I know from previous deodorant trials. He reported that I smelled perfectly normal – not bad at all.

Due to our weird weather this winter, we have also had several days that were near seventy degrees. I have also smelled fine on those days.

So I can happily report that I am happy with this deodorant right now.

*  I will update this article in a few months when the weather is warmer. *

Pros: all natural, relatively easy to apply, readily available through Amazon

Cons: Can’t buy it at locals stores (at least not around me)

See complete information on Green Tidings Organic All Natural Deodorant here. 

See a review for Crystal Deodorant here.

Note: Some people get  “armpit detox” symptoms when switching to a natural deodorant. I have not had this problem so far, but I have only been using it for a couple of weeks now.  This reportedly happens to people when your body realizes you are no longer spreading harmful ingredients under your arms and decides it is safe to rid your body of the ones already there. You can read more about that here.

 

 

 

Kinky Curly Curling Custard Review

Kinky Curly Curling Custard

There’s not doubt that natural products are in these days, and I am one of the many people experimenting with the different options out there for eliminating chemicals and harmful substances from my daily routine.

I accidentally stumbled across Kinky Curly Curling Custard on Amazon while searching for a natural shampoo and conditioner combo. Of course, the first thing I did was check the reviews. However, Amazon reviews cannot always be trusted these days since people often place false reviews on products to boost sales. I also checked some Youtube reviews. Many people claimed that it gave them waves and/or curls they never had before. I decided to definitely give it a try.

Here are the ingredients: Botanical Infusion Of Water, Horsetail, Chamomile, Nettle And Marshmallow, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Agave Nectar Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Pectin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Natural Fragrances.

This gel should be applied to soaking wet hair, as with many products intended for curly hair.

First of all, this product is like a slime. I have a difficult time getting the right amount of the product because it slides off my fingertips when I try to dip it out. I kept scooping too much in order to keep it from sliding off, but then I found it is easier for me to scoop it with a spoon and then place it in my hand. Kind of weird, but it works.

Second, the act of working it into my hair was quite a chore.  No matter how much I tried I couldn’t get it to distribute evenly, which was evident after it dried. So I tried mixing it with some leave in conditioner before I applied it. This helped to certain extent, but still not as well as I wanted.

Third, I learned quickly that I was not using enough of this product, so I increased the amount each day for about three days. I never got the even smooth curls that others seem to get. Instead, I got some wet looking curls with flyaway frizzes here and there. (I know this sounds like I still didn’t distribute the product, but I worked on it FOREVER!)

Now, I have used many products that left crunchy curls when dry. I am well aware of how scrunch the hair to get nice soft curls afterward. However, I could never get the crunchy look out of my hair with Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

After about a week of having terrible hair, I finally decided it just was not the product for me. It just looked too messy and unfixed.  I have no doubt that some other people have wonderful results from this product, but my search for perfect curls continues. So sad…….

Hope this review helps you!

How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

If you asked most adults in the United States about their biggest source of stress, I would the wager the most frequent answer to be overwhelm.

The number of things to do on most people’s “to do” list is staggering and it seems most people add more things to it than they accomplish on a daily basis. In fact, the dreaded “to do” list has become an affliction that weighs us down and steals our joy, year in and year out.

There are even rules now about how many things you need to have on a “to do” list on any given day, along with arguments about how large a task has to be in order to be written down. People are literally stressing over the lists that are supposed to eliminate stress!

I, too, am one of the many people who suffer from this affliction.  If my list gets too long, then I get anxious. If it is too short, then I feel sure I am leaving out something important. One way to overcome this is to focus on your most important task (MIT) each day. There are lots of books and websites that touch on this concept. Here is an article by Leo Babauta that I really like.

With this being said, here are some other suggestions on how to stop feeling overwhelmed:

You Don’t Have To Keep Score Anymore

Sometimes we need to be reminded of even the most basic things in life. I read this quote today on Courtney Carver’s blog Be More With Less. She had posted an article about feeling overwhelmed that made several wonderful points, but this one especially stood out to me. (Read the whole article here.)

Although no one ever comes straight out and says “You are in competition with ever other individual on the planet” we all know that we are, or are expected to be.

Our well-meaning parents set us up for this when we begin school, or sometimes even before that. After all, academics are important, right? Then there’s sports, sibling rivalry, college entrance exams, job interviews, salaries, house size, retirement accounts, etc.

What’s even worse is that people now even keep score on social media. Who has taken the most lavish vacation or had the most elaborate wedding or baby shower?

And what’s worse still, we often compete through our children as well. It’s all about whose child makes better grades, is a better athlete, got into a better school, etc.

Well, guess what? You don’t have to keep score anymore. And we all do it to some extent, whether we realize it or not.

But we can all recognize it as something we do and then make the conscious decision to stop right now.

Is all competition bad? Of course not. Be we need to keep it in perspective. Then we can better allocate our time, energy and finances accordingly.

Working Part Time (Or Not At All) Does Not Make You Lazy

In the United States, we live in a society that is very accomplishment driven. People who do not possess the killer instinct to work excessive hours and ruthlessly climb the ladder of success are often deemed lazy in the eyes of others. Stay at home mothers catch a great deal of this judgement, but tell someone you are a stay at home wife with no children and people go nuts!

Why would one family’s personal lifestyle decision matter to anyone else? Especially f it doesn’t affect them at all?

As of February 27, 2019, there is a documentary on Netflix called Happy that I highly recommend everyone watch. It details what makes people happy in various walks of life, and it turns many conventional ideas upside down. It will literally change the way you think about everything in life.

But back to working – it is okay not to work full time, just like it is okay to want less possessions and more free time in your life. These things usually come together as a package deal for most people.

Never allow the judgments of other people rule your life. Your happiness matters, not their opinions.

It’s Okay To Be You

I know this one sounds simplistic, but most of us have still not learned this lesson no matter how many times it is taught. You should make the decision today that you will be yourself no matter what it takes. You should always:

  • love you
  • like you
  • spend time with just you
  • understand you
  • believe in you
  • be kind to you
  • see the beauty in you
  • take care of you
  • appreciate you

Until we all learn to do these things, we will never be truly happy. You must be happy in your own skin and your own head. Stop trying to do so much and spend some time just being.

Do Something For Someone Else

Nothing puts life in perspective so much as helping someone else. Many times this brings real issues to the forefront and allows insignificant things to fade to the background of our lives, allowing us to focus our time and attention on what truly matters.

Selfless acts of love and generosity are the root of many wonderful things in life. This happens because we are thinking of someone else instead of ourselves. Just think what would happen if everyone on the planet did that for one whole day!!!

Mother Teresa was quoted as saying:

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

Meditation

Not so very long ago people who practiced mediation in the United States were considered to be a little “out there” in many ways. Thankfully, those days are long gone since people of all ages and walks of life have discovered the wondrous benefits of turning everything off for a few minutes each day and learning shut out all the noise.

It can literally change the structure of your brain.

If you have never tried mediation, here is a guide on Zen Habits to get you started.  Also, there is a resource by Bob Proctor that I use virtually everyday, somethings multiple times a day. I often listen to it in the background using headphones while I am working at the computer during the day. It is a guided meditation that I absolutely love!

And last, but not least:

Practice Gratitude

You knew this would be on the list, right? Because it is on every list of everything that makes our life better. Your brain actually changes when you practice habitual gratitude for an ongoing period of time (much like meditation, which makes these two a winning combination).

Begin each and every morning by thinking of all the good things in your life and saying “thank you” for all of them. Be sure to include small things in your list as well as the big things. Right now I am thinking how grateful I am for my sight, so I can see to type this blog post. I am also grateful for my computer, my internet and electricity, my desk and chair, the heater at my feet, the time to do this, etc.

It is especially helpful to practice gratitude when things are going wrong in life or when you feel discouraged or down. Gratitude can turn your disposition around in a matter of seconds if you allow it.

Wishing you an abundance of happiness!