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Launching Soon!

It’s been over two years that I’ve been working diligently with NH Vocational Rehab and taking their business course with success coach, Dr. Deborah Osgood, who has been an enormous support.

There have been so many trials and tribulations during this journey. It took me six months of therapy to work on feeling worthy enough to even begin.

Then when I thought I was close to being ready, I learned about the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s). It took me another chunk of time to reformulate my lotion recipes to include all-natural preservatives so I could offer a safer product and avoid bacteria, yeast, mold, etc., I also changed the packaging from jars to pump bottles, because constantly putting our fingers into a jar of product can increase chances of bacteria, especially if water gets into it.

Not only did I need to reformulate recipes and packaging; but, I had to change my business direction as well. I originally wanted to include tea blends, herbal extracts, and salves; but according to FDA, those fall under the Supplement category, and my herbal chest rub under the Drug category, which has very rigid rules and regulations. Firstly, I would need a commercial kitchen and that just isn’t plausible presently. This discouraged me for a while and I struggled with depression, but I redirected myself to work under the Cosmetics and Aromatherapy categories which are a tiny bit more lenient, and I am able to make them from home. (I ranted a bit more in my post, GMPs, FDA, and reformulating)

All the while I was still studying herbalism and completed four herbal apprenticeships with Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals, to build on the foundation I learned at Misty Meadows Herbal Center. I also took some online classes on Cosmetic formulation and preservatives.

Last month, I finally finished the course at VR and submitted my business proposal. I was congratulated and commended on a job well done. I felt such a sense of accomplishment, having persevered through my anxiety, fear, depression, family problems, health issues, etc.,

There were times I felt stupid for taking so long, and times I wanted to just give up, wondering if I was even capable.

Last week I received the email saying that NHVR has approved my proposal and they will begin buying supplies needed for me to launch my business over the next 3-4 weeks!!!

Tears of joy and relief were wept.

I signed the contract saying that I have ‘cashed in’ my Social Security ticket to work and I will submit profit/loss reports monthly.

If you would’ve asked a former me, I would have never thought I’d be here.

Sometimes I held a vague vision or a daydream of where I wanted to be.

Now I am living the daydream!

I have moved from being severely disabled, broken and unable, to an able person, functioning, and moving forward, still struggling with disabilities but also still doing the work and healing.

Disabled but not broken.

I am excited and I am terrified, but no matter what happens from here, I am proud to have made it this far.

Practicing my GMP’s ๐Ÿ™‚
Working on Packaging!!!

Christmas Spirit (&struggle)

Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you are all enjoying this time, and are surrounded by light, love, and laughter.

It was a quiet Christmas here, just me, my daughter, and our four furbabies. We will gather with extended family as soon as possible.

On my social media and in real life, I am an optimist, always trying to post positive and inspiring messages. When I am in pain, I am a bit more quiet and subtle.

(Except here on my Labeled disabled blog where I explore my darker feelings and mental illness)

In an effort to be authentic, (or to beyouthentic๐Ÿ˜‰) I think it is important to not only share the good stuff but to also take a moment to share the struggles as well.

The truth is my family has been through the wringer as of late. These last few months have been the most challenging of an already difficult year.

We’ve had four family members with Covid, one did not survive and one was quarantined through Christmas, two others with the flu. Two family members were hospitalized for mental health and one fam member had a concussion. This was on top of an emotionally triggering custody battle that was thankfully dismissed. Personally, I’ve been struggling with my depression which has been pretty severe lately. I even have had self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and I had a day trip to the ER for an asthma exacerbation and bronchitis.

As I reflect on all of this, I still only feel gratitude, because I know that each of these could have been (and have been) much worse.

On Christmas eve, I wrapped gifts and counted my blessings.

I listened to my Christmas playlist with all the classics that I’ve listened to since I was a little girl, and I felt the spirit&magic of Christmas& the light and love of Jesus.

While it’s true I am a witchy, hippy type of gal who celebrates the Earth and her plant friends, I also carry the compassion of Christ in my heart and have had a relationship with him since I was a child. His picture near my bed was my light through the dark. I conversed with him and my guardian angel each night before sleep.

Christmas Spirit is never without some struggle.

Just as healing and growth are not without pain and change.

As a collective, we have all been through the wringer the last couple of years, and I know there are many people much worse off than me or my family.

I am sending big hugs and blessings out to the Universe.

I pray that with hope, love, faith, and kindness, we will all persevere and come out a brighter world on the other side.

Cheers to the magic and spirit of this time of year, along with the struggle that if we try, we will find healing and wisdom in.๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™

My Gifted Garden Space

Grateful this summer a dear friend gave me the best gift ever…garden space! Living in an apartment I don’t have much room to garden and what I do have is pretty shaded from the large lovely Pines we have growing here. It fills me with joy to have the opportunity to develop my gardening skills, and to deepen my relationships with these sacred plants. I love spending time with them, giving them offerings, and talking to them, and it makes me so happy to please the bees, though I think I annoy them by trying to take their pictures, I back off when they tell me to!๐Ÿ˜๐ŸIn this post, I thought I’d share some pictures of my babies, like any proud mama!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’š

Pictured are St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis), Nettles (Urtica dioica), Greek mullein (Verbascum olympicum), Tulsi kapoor (Ocimum tenuiflorum), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac), and a row of kale and a row of pot marigold for pest repellent.

Sometimes you get a little sh*t with your roses!

Last month I had the opportunity to go wildcrafting with my teacher and friend, Jessica from Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals. We headed to the ocean to gather wild roses (Rosa rugosa). I was really excited because I felt Rose had been gently calling for me to work with her.

Immediately I felt rose was teaching me boundaries. A needed lesson in my life. We had to drive to a few different locations to find any worth picking, it was raining down on us and when we finally found some, we had to harvest gently with awareness of the prickles. We had to work for her medicine, she wasn’t going to just give it away. I took this lesson into my heart.

We had a wonderful adventure and geeked out on the Botany of each plant, even the ones we found in the parking lot, and there were many!

While we were filming dog roses, I noticed a big pile of poo, stepping around it to film my teacher. I don’t know how I forgot it was there, but when I stepped back, I stepped in it! The runniest, ickiest pile of poo squished under my sandal.

Disgusted but laughing at my own dismay, I blurted out, “Sometimes you have to have a little sh*t with your roses!” I felt my mama speaking through me and I could feel her presence with us. She always added humor and optimism to any ‘crappy’ situation.

We ran to the ocean shore to wash my sandal and my foot, and as we approached we saw a bunch of little baby ducks! We would not have witnessed them if I hadn’t stepped in it. We then giggled and indulged ourselves with foot scrubs.

According to Bach’s Wild Rose Flower essence, wild rose encourages the positive potential for enthusiasm and a lively interest in life. Reigniting our passion for life, and enthusiasm for the world in general, work, and those we care about.

I definitely felt this, despite the rain and the poo, it was a magical day. After we parted, I visited a few sacred spots of mine and gathered some petals that are now infusing in oil for my Ageless cream!

There are over 10,000 species of Roses and they have a long history of healing, used to treat cold, flu, depression, grief, the immune system, digestive system, and used in skincare to name a few!

Thank you Rose for your beauty and magic, for more on Wild Rose medicine, see my Wild Rose Monograph post!!๐Ÿ’š๐ŸŒน