My Health Journey

The Emotional Side Of Healing

Getting healthy is a lot more emotionally involved than you may think. But let me just start off by saying that I am not perfectly healthy now, and honestly never will be.. our bodies are imperfect. But I have, like many of you, struggled with something for years and am finally at a point in my life where my body looks and feels it’s best. It’s been a long journey but I wish for nothing more than to share all that I have done in order to help some of you.

The Beginning

I remember the first time I knew something was wrong.  I had just eaten a meal that I had eaten probably 100 times, and suddenly my stomach started to cramp, I got really cold, chills all over my body. It had gotten so bad so fast that I began writhing on the floor. I felt so nauseous, and tried making myself throw up but wasn’t able to. It would start to go away then immediately come back full force. I was crying out in pain. It was honestly the worst pain I had ever experienced, even worse than awful period cramps because of the fear of not knowing what was happening to my body. I literally felt like my stomach was going to burst through my skin.

It thankfully passed after a few hours, but I was really, really scared.

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The Healing Process

Physical Side

Over the next few years I became extremely cautious with my food. I kept making little changes in my diet, always eliminating food that gave me problems.

My symptoms included: sharp, excruciating pains in lower and upper stomach, chills and goosebumps covering my body, nausea, rash from chest to stomach, unintentional weight loss, continuous breakouts, various food sensitivities, and feeling totally and completely helpless.

But it had gotten to the point that even healthy foods began to give me these problems. And foods would one day be fine, but then another day suddenly cause me to drop to the floor and curl up into a ball. It felt like my body was continuously rejecting all of the food I tried to give it.

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March 2, 2017. It wasn’t until later that I had realized how thin I had become. My body wasn’t absorbing any nutrients.

I signed up for Dr. Axe’s Leaky Gut Program after watching a webinar because I knew my disease was at least partially caused from my gut being damaged. It is a magnificent program that helped both my husband and I, but I knew I needed further attention.

When we were in Florida for a holiday I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor I used to go to. And with the normal testing- blood work and hormone test, he gave me something I never heard of before- a breath test. To test my level of bacteria in my body.

When the results came back it showed that I had super high levels of bacteria which gave me the diagnosis of Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth aka SIBO.

I was ecstatic. The fact that there was a name for my condition meant that there were certain steps I could take to help heal my body. I had gone so many years,slowly giving up hope and this was the first sign that showed the light at the end of the tunnel.

So I went on the specific SIBO diet- cutting out a lot of different vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sugar, protein, etc. And although this helped a little bit.. I am sorry to say that it did not heal me. My body was still weak, I still felt like my stomach was always upset. I went back to the doctor but never quite felt like he had my best interest in mind, something about how he spoke just didn’t show the care that I needed. So back to square one.

*small lesson: You do not need to see a doctor you do not love. You are your own best health advocate. Trust yourself and your feelings.*

I started seeing an acupuncturist, and after our consultation she gave me such confidence again that I started tearing up and gave her a huge hug. She is actually a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor so she was able to help me more than the typical acupuncturist. She first put me on high dosages of natural antibacterials to help kill the bacteria, high doses of probiotics to bring back the balance, and a shake to heal the gut lining and give my body the nutrients I wasn’t absorbing through food.

She also ordered a stool test which was by far the NASTIEST thing I have ever done but it is the best test to see how your body is doing. It tested my nutrient absorption, which bacteria levels were high, if I had any viruses or parasites, etc. This allowed my doctor to personalize my treatment even more.

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September 22, 2017. I was far along in my healing protocol and my stomach was doing better, but I was still really thin and dealing with a lot of emotional baggage.

Emotional Side

But it wasn’t until I tested my hormones through Delgado Naturals and saw how high my cortisol was that I also began to work on my emotional stress. If you read my other posts on my story on healing. ways to deal with emotional stress, and how to reduce cortisol, you’ll know that I have had some pretty hard years.

And you must know, this is so very important, that all stress manifests itself in physical ways. So my constant low level stress was causing my stomach to get all twisted up inside. I was constantly on the verge of tears, I was extremely lonely and heart broken, so I took the path to begin seeing a counselor. Having that outlet and a source of calm wisdom helped heal my heart and mind.

The Finale

Through persistence and patience, I am now at a point in my life where my body is absorbing nutrients, my gut is strong and healthy, my energy has dramatically increased, and I am, without a doubt, so much happier. I still go once a month to my acupuncturist to keep my body aligned. I don’t really take many supplements besides ones to balance my hormones, and I have kept up with the lifestyle changes to reduce my stress.

Now, I’ve been told that SIBO never truly leaves your system.  You can help it go into recession, but it may never fully go away. And that’s okay- I have accepted it. Through this health journey I have discovered various natural ways to help my digestive system whenever I do have a flare up. I am just so thankful that I never gave up trying or looking for a doctor that I truly felt was looking out for ME.

my healing journey, sibo, emotional side of healing.www.awellspringoflife.com

September 26, 2018. This is me now. With a little extra love all around, and a healthy, strong body

my healing journey, sibo, the emotional side of healing. www.awellspringoflife.com

Your health is not determined by a number on a scale. It is only defined by your happiness.

 

What are you currently battling in your health journey?

xxjoannaxx

How To Handle Emotional Distress

Help Yourself Heal 

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Yes, like many of you I have had my fair share of days where I cried at least once and always felt like I was on the brink of sobbing my eyes out.

But through those hard times I have learned that there are ways to help ease the sadness so it doesn’t seem as suffocating.

Ways to handle emotional distress. take time to heal yourself and release emotions. www.awellspringoflife.com

Ways To Deal With Emotional Distress:

Let yourself cry. Yes, I said it. Let the emotions flow as strong or as weak as they are. Stop trying to put forth a version of yourself that you feel is better or stronger. You need to be you, and by pushing those feelings further down you will only make yourself more miserable. I learned that there are times when I needed to cry to heal- I could not become whole again until I let go of the things which made me ill.

Begin a gratitude journal. Write down the things for which you are thankful. Write down those which are not related to humans because relationships can and probably will at some point disappoint you. Write down the things that are inherently and purely good, that will never wrong you.

Talk to someone. It is okay to speak out your troubles. Let your mouth run with all of the thoughts you have been bottling up. If you cannot talk to a close friend or family member, find a counselor. They are 100% there for you and have no ulterior motive. You are their concern and they want nothing more than to help you. Speak your heart, speak your thoughts, speak your truth.

Pray. One can never fully heal without fully letting go. Give it to God. Give the pain, the stress, anxiety, guilt, sadness. You are imperfect and were not meant to go through life alone. He is there with you and constantly a place to rest your soul.

Take deep, deep breaths. Once you have released everything you had locked up inside, take the time to realize that you are okay. There is more to life than what is happening at this moment and you will be okay. Put your hand on your heart and your belly and fill up your stomach with slow long inhales. Then with intention and gratitude, let it slowly flow back out from you. You will become calm, your mind still, and you will slowly be able to regain the strength to continue. I did a video on how to breathe deeply on my instagram page- click here to watch.

Yoga poses. There are certain poses that cause inward reflection and surrender. A favorite is child’s pose, you are bent over your knees with outstretched arms. You cannot help but feel all of the emotions you have been hiding from.

 

Be aware of you. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you need to run 3 miles, run. But just make sure that you aren’t distracting yourself too much. Even though you be able to fill your thoughts will daily tasks, does not mean anything is being resolved. Be gentle with yourself and give your heart what it needs.

Use healing essential oils. There are essential oils that have the ability to support and heal your emotions. Using frankincense will calm your mind, wild orange will uplift your spirits, the forgive blend will help you release, and many more. Doterra actually has multiple blends for specific emotional needs, and they all come in a kit if you wish to have them for all situations. The kit includes all of the oils, a diffuser, and an informative booklet. There are times when you need a natural support for your emotions. Click here to view the kit which can actually be your enrollment kit to become a wholesale customer for 25% off plus all future orders. If you wish to enroll click here.

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These all helped me, and I know they will help you. Crying does not make you weak, remember that.

have you found other ways to help with emotional distress?

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xxjoannaxx

 

How A Garden Is Healing for Your Body and Mind

Becoming a Steward of the Earth

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IT’S SPRING!! Like a whole beautiful month into it. I don’t live in the northern part of the US, but I can still enjoy the new flowers blooming, all of the birds chirping while building their nests, the warm afternoon hugged by the cool mornings and nights.

Living in Florida I can grow food all year long, but the spring is especially fruitful. And it hit me the other day how wonderfully healing gardening is.

A garden not only allows you to grow your own food and save money in the process, but it also offers a variety of physical and mental benefits.

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A garden gives you something to tend. to care for. to check up on.

The nurturing side of humans, I believe, is very important. Especially in the age we are currently living. We constantly rush, have pressure placed on us from others and ourselves, we stress, we worry, we become angry, hurt, exhausted. It is difficult for us to slow down and take care… of anything. Even when we do take the time to take care of our food or clean the house, or even taking care of our bodies, it somehow turns into a chore. Something that has to be done, not something you are thankful for the ability to be doing. It seems the only area in our “lives” that there is room for nurturing is when we have children. But what about those who don’t have children? What about those who can’t? Women are especially created to be nurturing, and we need to nurture that side of ourselves.

Waking up in the morning and checking on your seedlings, seeing if they’ve arisen from the ground. Checking the leaves for bugs that may harm it, or fungus that make kill it. Taking the time to water, talking to them to help them grow. Keeping a watchful eye on your little plants so that they may grow big and strong. This long, yet extremely rewarding process feeds not only our stomachs during the harvest, but our souls as well. You put your heart into your garden. As you tend your garden you also tending to and taking care of yourself.

A garden requires you to put yourself in the elements.

If you’re like most, you live in a city. You’re surrounded by buildings, concrete, cars, pollution, noise. You must drive far and long to achieve a state of peace and calmness. But in our fast paced society, many don’t have the time or resources to really take the time off of their normal life and go do something in nature.

With a garden, you have managed to create your own little space of peace. You may still be surrounded by other houses or buildings, but in this space, you have brought nature and made it fit into your home. You are then able to experience the sun on your face, back, and shoulders. You can feel the wind brushing across your cheeks, filling you with gratitude. The scents of the flowers and trees that rush into your lungs, expanding your body and breath until you are at peace with yourself and your life.

You are cooped inside for probably 90% of your life and being outside in the fresh air is extremely beneficial for your physical health; increases brain function, raises vitamin D levels, reduces stress, reduces inflammation, fights fatigue, boosts immune system, protects eye health, etc.. There is scientific proof that being in the fresh air, surrounded by plants can help you live a happier and longer life.

A garden demands your thoughts.

We all have things we are worrying about, struggling with, suffering for. No one has a perfect life, and too often these feelings can consume us until it’s all we can think about. It can be hard some days to distract yourself, and many people use mind-numbing devices and activities to forget. Drinking, TV, phone, social media, drugs. None of which actually offer any benefit to you and your healing. Having a garden is an activity that benefits not only your body, but also your mental and emotional health. You are forced to forget, even just for a little bit, about your troubles. And you can let yourself be consumed with the joy of taking care of something. of nurturing.

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I am no master gardener, I am only in my mere second season of growing. And while it can be sometimes difficult or disappointing, remember that these too are all part of the cycle of life. You must make mistakes to learn from, you must go through the motions to have a grasp on what it is you are trying to accomplish.

So if you have ever dreamed of having a garden, or even if you haven’t until now, I urge you to take that leap. Even if it’s just one pot with one tomato plant. Pour your heart into it, and feed it with the love and attention that all of us crave.

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Wishing you a beautiful day, and that you are taking the steps to become a WellSpring of Life.

xxjoannaxx

3 Easy Ways To Detox Your Skin

Detox and Be Merry

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I’m sure you’re aware of how many toxins we come into contact with daily.

Please just read this excerpt from Natural Society :

Modest estimates have suggested that we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals on a daily basis, and this doesn’t include the crazy poisons that GMO companies are pumping into the food supply…. There are chemicals in our food, our water, the air we breathe, the clothing we wear, the carpet we walk on, and the plastics that surround us.”

This should totally freak you out. Because it is so, so, so freaky. And think of children who’s immune systems are still developing, how can they possibly fight off all of those toxins?

There’s not much we can do in one day to stop the amount of toxins that are in every inch of our life, but there are thankfully a few things we can do daily to get rid of those toxins.

Epsom Salt Bath

This is one of the easiest and most luxurious ways to detox. They’re extremely easy to create and you can make it as fancy or simple as you please. No need to drop a ton of cash at a spa when you can enjoy the same thing at home! The Epsom Salt Baths flush all of those impurities out from your system. You can also add in various essential oils for added anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial benefits! Honey and Bentonite clay can be added for extra detoxing power! Here is my blog post featuring two of my faaaaavorite bath blends. Check it out!

Clay Mask

Even if you’re a religious skin cleanser, you still need to apply a deep cleansing mask at least once a week to really get all of the dirt, makeup, and impurities out from your skin.  Clay acts as a magnet and attaches itself to the impurities, so when you wash it off you wash off the dirt as well! I have a great blog post giving you the super easy instructions! Its cheap and hella effective. check it out here.

Dry Brushing

I have a previous blog post written all about dry brushing! You can find it here. It’s a really simple way to detox your skin before a shower or bath, it is especially beneficial for the lymphatic system.

 

And that’s it! And you can combine all three for a totally awesome detoxing extravaganza!      

  • Step one: Dry brush the body.
  • step two: Cleanse skin and apply a clay mask.
  • step three: Lower yourself into a luxurious, relaxing bath.

So good for both your internal and external body. Make time for yourself! It isn’t vain or selfish, it’s healthy.

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chillin like a villain in a clay mask 

forever detoxing. 

 

xxJoannaxx

Achieve Your Dreams with Mantras

‘Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All?’ 

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Yeah, I got jokes.

Alright babes, lets talk about mantras.

A mantra is a phrase or idea that you repeat either out loud or internally to help keep you focused on that thought. This is especially useful if you’re struggling with something and need to stay positive. Of course this could be used for any area in your life, but I’m going to focus on how to use it in your perception of your beauty. I know many of us may struggle with how we look, and always think of things we wish we could change. This isn’t healthy. And with specific mantras we can train our brain to think differently, starting the healing process.

Begin by setting your intention- what do you desire? What problem is it you wish to resolve? This will help set the foundation for your mantra, keeping you motivated and focused.

Repeat the mantra as many times as you can.

This can vary depending on the person, but the most common practice is to repeat it to yourself a couple times throughout the whole day. Maybe when you wake up, get ready for work, look in the mirror, before you sleep, etc. Always make sure to try and repeat them to yourself especially when your mind starts to turn negative. This will help reinforce those positive thoughts. Consistency and repetition is key if you really want to see any improvements.

Mantra Examples

I am enough. 

May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be creative. May I be at ease. 

I am thankful for everything I have

I am fulfilled. I am fearless. 

Today, I will choose happiness.

I am bountiful, blissful, and beautiful; bountiful, blissful, and beautiful I am. 

I honor that which I am capable of becoming. 

I am loved. 

I am beautiful.

 

I hope this information helps you with any areas in your life you may need healing, confidence, or support. Let me know how it works for you!

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xxJoannaxx

How to Create a Magical Bath

this is for you

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You gently lower your tired body into a porcelain tub; letting your mind and body slowly relax and unwind as you become enveloped in the comforting, warm water. You let go of the stress from the day, your body releases the pent up and stored tension, you are taking time for you. This alone is a mighty healing act, but there are ways to take you deeper into your world of rest, peace, comfort, and utter stillness.

Increase the Magic in Your Bath Time Ritual

Depending on the feel you wish to accomplish, there are various things you can add to your bath. Whether you want something detoxing, moisturizing, calming, soothing, the list is endless. Listen to your body and heart and see what it wants. You can add one or a combination of the following items to create your dream bath.

  1. flowers
  2. greenery
  3. citrus
  4. carrier oils
  5. essential oils
  6. powdered milk
  7. himalayan salts
  8. oats

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Here’s two blends I’m currently enjoying:

Heaven on Earth Bath

  • Slices from various citrus (lime, lemon, orange)
  • Fresh/Dried Eucalyptus
  • Powdered Milk
  • 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Release and Detox Bath

  • 1 large himalayan salt block
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 10 drops Patchouli Essential Oil

I hope this inspires you to take the time for yourself to make yourself feel special and worthy of magic. You work so hard and have so much to worry about, let this one act of self honoring be something you prioritize. If not a magical bath, what are other ways you practice self care? How you do take care of yourself in ways other than eating and sleeping? 

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xxjoannaxx

What Are Intentions & How To Use Them

Staying On The Path of Your Dreams

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I realize at first glance this topic may seem a little “out there” for some of you. You may group it together with crystal healing, card reading, mind reading (ha)…. but intentions are super applicable for everyone no matter their beliefs.

Intentions are basically the fuel to reach your goals and dreams. They help keep you on that path, focused on where you want to go and who you want to be. Where goals are your end destinations, intentions are the path. We often get caught up in day to day life and lose sight on what we really want. Intentions are really great at keeping us centered on the right path.

For this month, I focused on relighting that fire of joy that I once had. No lie, I had a couple people nickname me “Sunshine” because of that palpable happiness. But with life and age and responsibilities, that light had dimmed. Thanks to some recent self questioning, I realized how much I had changed and made it a priority to get back to who I used to be.

Although you probably don’t have the same intentions as me, what are yours for this month? Is there anything in particular you see in your life as holding you back instead of pushing you forward?

I really encourage you to try this exercise. Take some alone time and think about what you really desire, and what you need to get you there. Try taking the paper and post it somewhere you always go; kitchen, bathroom, closet. Remember that you are in charge of your life, and you only have one.

Do all that you can to become a WellSpring of Life.

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xxJoannaxx

‘A Gift’ Meditation

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So every morning before I start the day, or sometimes after yoga, I take about 10-15 minutes to get centered, and take deep, slow breaths. There are days when I have a phrase/thought/verse I continuously repeat to myself to help keep my mind focused and not drift.

I started doing this about a month and a half ago because:

  1. I have a tendency to stress myself out by constantly filling my day with too many things and feeling guilty if I don’t accomplish it all, and taking time to be still helps counteract that.
  2. I have a compromised gut and digestive system, and deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which increases healing.
  3. Deep Breathing is great for increasing lung capacity and reorganizing your cells for optimum use and health (especially for the brain.)

The other day was an especially special time for me though. I had just finished yoga out on the dock. It had been breezy and cool when I began, but the sun suddenly came out and it got really hot. So I was sweating.. big time. But I sat on my mat, closed my eyes, and tried to focus on my breath. Deep, slow inhale, deep slow exhale. Really gentle.

But of course my mind kept returning to that fact that my back was on fire, and I had sweat dripping down my thigh.

But then all of a sudden, my mind started drifting to these thoughts of “This is a gift. Your family is a gift. Your mother is a gift. your father is a gift…” etc. And it was so beautiful, so natural, and totally not of my doing. I did not think about this beforehand, didn’t read an article about it, it just came about in my mind.

I moved from the gift of my family and home to the gift of my body. I began from my toes and repeated how this and that were g i f t s. And if I came across a part of my body that I was self conscious about, I would just repeat it until I felt whole again.

This practice was extremely therapeutic and needed, as I have been going through some difficulties lately. God wanted to remind me of how everything I own and everything I am, is a gift. From the breath in my lungs to the simple thoughts in my head.

I would love to share this meditation with you so that you can also feel complete peace and gratitude. Of course, please alter it to fit your personal life and current situation. I am simply providing mine as a starting point.:

Get comfortable, if it’s too strenuous on your back to sit up straight, lean against a wall, sit in a chair, or even lay down.

Close your eyes, quiet your mind, and gently ease into a slower, deeper breath.

With each inhale and exhale, repeat this to yourself.

“My family is a gift.”

“My father is a gift.”

“My mother is a gift.”

“My sister is a gift.”

“My brother is a gift.”

“My husband is a gift.”

“My house is a gift.”

“My creativity is a gift.”

“My intelligence is a gift.”

“My drive is a gift.”

“My health is a gift.”

“My past is a gift.”

“My future is a gift.”

“My present is a gift.”

“My toes are a gift.”

“My feet are a gift.”

“My legs are a gift.”

“My stomach is a gift.”

“My thighs are a gift.”

“My curves are a gift.”

“My fingers are a gift.”

“My hands are a gift.”

“My arms are a gift.”

“My chest is a gift.”

“My neck is a gift.”

“My face is a gift.”

“My hair is a gift.”

“My skin is a gift.”

“My beauty is a gift.”

“My mind is a gift.”

“My thoughts are a gift.”

“My self is a gift.”

“This is a gift.”

and wherever you wish to end, slowly return to normal breath. Focus on your breath, on your body. Feel the heaviness and sink into the earth, into yourself. Slowly open your eyes and acknowledge this beauty of life you so often overlook.

If you really listen and understand what each phrase means, you get struck by how powerful it is. How it is not by what you have done, or your capability, that you have been blessed. It is all a gift.

There is so much beauty, and endless room for thankfulness. Maybe today take some time to realize it. You are a gift.

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Hope you are consistently filled with love and light.

xxJoannaxx

Loving Your Skin, Even As It Ages

Endless Search for Eternal Youth

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Women fear getting older. We won’t be as attractive by society’s standards, things will droop, sag, wrinkle. We fear becoming less desirable. We fear the comparisons. We fear losing our ‘prime’ in our youth and then going downhill turning into an ugly and unwanted human being.

It sounds ridiculous, but it is so true. We put so much emphasis on how we look, and what we think we should look like that it has quite literally poisoned our minds.

Why else would women stick huge needles in their face? Or put balloons in their chest? Or go under surgery to have a doctor cut and sew their face so it looks like barbie?

This is Crazy! Madness! Insanity!

We hurt our physical bodies to try and tame our internal beast of self destruction.

 

Women go to such lengths to try and save a few years. What have we become? Are we above nature and time? Are we really trying to win so many battles, but know eventually we will lose the war?

 

It is time we try and stop fighting time and aging, but rather embracing it.

 

The french women, no matter their age, have this air of sexiness and beauty and class that has somehow alluded the americans.

What is it that they have? Better doctors? Better plastic surgeons?

No, my dears.

They have confidence. Confidence in themselves and their beauty. They welcome age with open arms instead of trying to slam the door on its face.

“Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”

Be happy and thankful for your life. Treat yourself with care and love, that is the most beautiful thing a woman can possess.

 

There is beauty in age that is not found in youth, remember that. 

Everything in the natural world ages and grows old, remember that.

Embrace change and be kinder to yourself, remember that. 

 

Hope this helps you, my dears. maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But maybe someday something will click and you will remember.

 

You are beautiful. 

Then. Now. and Always. 

 

xxJoannaxx

Common Causes of Acne

Power to the Pimple

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image via www.drterry.com

Now this is one heck of a topic. The majority of people, men and women alike, have struggled with acne. If you’re one of those people who have miraculously avoided the common curse, well forgive me as I silently praise but also become increasingly jealous of you.

Our skin is an organ, just like your liver, spleen, and lungs. It is the mighty organ because it is exposed, first hand, to all of the external attacks- i.e. toxic fumes, sun rays, bacteria, etc. It can handle a lot, but it’s not a saint. Any sort of issue on your skin is a sign that your body is out of balance. There is something going on that isn’t right, and your body is telling you that through- you heard it- the dreaded, cursed, loathed, pimple.

External Causes

Dirty Phone

Dirty Pillowcase

Your incessant touching and picking of your skin

Incorrect Cleansing

Stress

Clogging Makeup

 

Internal Causes

Hormone Imbalance

Poor Diet

Food Sensitivity

Digestive Issues

Genes

Toxic Buildup

 

Yeah.. so pretty much anything can cause a skin flare-up. It can be a quick fix for some, or a long, long journey for others. My number one tip is to don’t stress out over it, that will only cause more skin problems.

 

Your skin does not define you. 

You can and will conquer it. 

Be patient. 

Love your skin. 

xxJoannaxx