I wear contact lenses.
I have glasses as well, but they never quite felt right on my face, so I mostly just stick with my contact lenses.
I also have chronic (life-long) insomnia.
If you wear contacts, you may know this already, but if not, I will tell you... insomnia and contact lenses do not mix. Wearing contact lenses for too many hours in a row doesn't allow the eyes to breathe, and wearing contact lenses for too many hours in a row for too many days in a row can lead to serious infection. I know this from experience. Painful experience. Painful experience I did not learn from the first time.
In 2000, I moved to a little town in New Mexico to study herbal medicine.
Soon after moving to town, I made an appointment with a local optometrist to get a new pair of lenses. One of my eyes was irritated at the time, but since a year earlier I had a severe eye infection, in comparison it seemed like just an annoyance.
My optometrist did not agree.
She not only found an infection, she also found significant scarring from the previous infection.
She prescribed me eye medication, but I was in the midst of my decade long anti-medication (not even vitamins) era and I refused to take it.
So, she refused to give me new contacts.
We settled on me using herbal remedies, and she would recheck my eyes a week later. She was skeptical of herbs, and was convinced that when I came back the next week, I would be asking for the allopathic medication. But, she was also interested in my experiment.
I made a fresh strong decoction (a "tea") every night, and put it in the fridge to cool to use in the mornings. Every day, 3-4 times a day, I'd soak a cotton pad the tea, lay it over my closed eye, and lay down for as long as I could. Sometimes it was only five minutes, sometimes it was 30 minutes.
Just a day or so into my experiment I felt relief.
When I returned to my optometrist the next week, she was surprised to see that my infection had cleared up, and was interested in learning more about calendula. She gave me my contacts, and we were both happy.
That day, I fell even more in love with calendula.
Reminder: I'm not a doctor. I'm just a girl who loves herbs, and likes to tell my stories of how I use them. This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease.
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"