Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Perfectly Imperfect being one of the key values at Bodylushious.
Rachelle is one human I have much respect and admiration for. We connect on many levels and she's one of those humans that reminds me that things always work out. We don't get to connect as often as i'd like to but I find comfort knowing that she's out there. She's one human I have much respect and admiration for. The world has changed somewhat, and this post leaves out alot of what has happened since the time of writing. I'm confident it will feed your soul as it has mine. Meet the delight that is Rachelle from Canada currently living in Aberdour x
Meet the delight that is Rachelle. Background of how our paths crossed:
In Aberdour park just before lockdown 2020 when our kids were allowed to play in parks, Poppit (my son) was captivated by your son (aged 9) who was both dressed and behaving like a ninja! It was the most exciting thing for my poppit, and one year on he remembers it clearly - along with going on to have a Ninja infatuation. We crossed paths a few times and I would make the following notes to myself, 'hmmmm, they look interesting, I think we could put in some effort with those guys, Bron it's time to get 'in there', ok the wait is over - we need to be friends - Facebook message her immediately. Turns out my perseverance paid off because now we are friends, and it turns out we have A LOT in common. Also, important to note at this point that my poppit is a VERY GOOD JUDGE OF CHARACTER, always has been. He very seldom feels naturally drawn to engage in social situations, so I knew from the outset it was a connection worth pursuing.
What do the words 'Perfectly Imperfect' mean for you in this moment, today? Being kind to others because it makes me happy!
In the frayed remnants of the strangest year most of us have ever lived through, the phrase 'perfectly imperfect' has never felt more appropriate- and more hopeful! So much of life as we knew it was altered and with it, all our attempts to create a rhythm, a routine, a LIFE that was as close as possible to our version of 'perfect'. So, we had to fight hard didn't we, to find joy and autonomy and contentment in a pandemic. For me, that meant releasing my idea of perfect entirely and CHOOSING to WANT what was available to me. Gone was the summer trip to Canada to spend a month with our family. Instead, I pulled my groggy bones out of bed on a random Tuesday morning and told myself cheerfully but firmly in the mirror that what I really wanted today was a walk along the stunning coast of the seaside village in Scotland I was fortunate enough to be "trapped" in. It was, to be frank, terribly imperfect. The sea did not get my positivity vibes in time so there was less of the sunshine sparkle on the water and more of the nondescript grey gloom of choppy waves under a dull sky. This wasn't a problem! It was PERFECT! Because I had just decided right then with only a slight strain of hysteria that what I actually wanted was exactly THIS. "This is incredible. This is why we moved to Scotland! The moody weather, the intensity- this! This is what I needed today." Now, perhaps this sort of thinking belongs more in a medical journal of a psychiatric ward than the Inspirational shelf at Waterstones, but it works for me, okay? ;) Henry David Thoreau said, "I make myself rich by making my wants few", and that was pretty much my battle cry during the pandemic. Nothing was perfect- it was all very, very imperfect. Which somehow (perhaps only in hindsight and with the buffer of trauma-induced forgetfulness) was PERFECT.
Your journey leading you to living in Scotland and your son playing as a Ninja in Aberdour Park is POWERFUL! You boarded a plane in Canada to visit the UK in 2018 with two children, one carry-on bag, $200CAD and a plan to stay one month - and yet you're still here. You're brave, courageous, hardworking and way back when, you had a hunch that you should stay. Global Pandemic aside, almost 3yrs on you're still here, and you're happy about it. What insights have you shared about this decision, the journey, the challenges, and life today.
Going back to my penchant for chaos, this was just about the craziest thing I have ever done. I realised something really important in it though. To some it seemed reckless, irresponsible, rebellious. But while I didn't have much in the way of a plan, what I have come to appreciate is that I did have a PURPOSE. There is indeed a method to my madness! I knew that I wanted to stay, and I knew that I was going to make that happen. It sounds fun and brave when I talk about the summer of bouncing from air bnb's, friends’ couches, housesitting with 2 kids and no guarantee of our next point of shelter or income. But it was also hard. Even for someone as chaotic as me :) But I had a purpose, and that's what made things okay- even when we spent a day hiding from the rain in a storage garage on a camping cot! There was no external guarantee of anything, but I was counting on me and that ended up being the most powerful gift and lesson. I actually still think back to those days with a bit of a horrific chuckle, seriously WHAT was I thinking and also my kids are absolute STARS, bless their dear hearts. You know what they say about children and trauma- give them just enough that they will be really funny. It is so far working! So, it hasn't been easy, even after finding a flat to do up, a job, and making loads of fabulous friends with Scottish accents. But- it has been worth it. We are not the same people that stepped off that plane with our carry-on suitcases in 2018. And I can tell you that the circumstances that drove me to that crazy decision will never again happen because I have changed and grown to the point that I would never be in that situation again. These are some powerful, heady gifts and I remain wildly grateful.
We've talked about a lot of things, including 'perfect children'. You yourself being a mum of two, parent them in an incredibly admirable and conscious way (according to my opinion anyway). Please share with me your thoughts on children in relation to being Perfectly Imperfect.
Speaking of things that are perfect, every mother knows her own kids are. Except for just about everything they do, say, choose and wear. But truly, so precious and perfect. Mothering is the most laughable attempt at having any sort of perfectly planned out life (or night...or even hour). These tiny souls come bursting out in a fit of rage at the unspeakable intrusion of Womb Eviction and they just wreck everything. No seriously, absolutely everything. Our bodies, our homes, our ridiculously expensive vintage rugs (AHEM looking at you avocado and sensory play loving child) our expectations and yep- our hearts. Totally and completely wrecked in the best possible way. I was the PERFECT mother. I felt pity and slight disdain for all the mothers with tantrum-throwing-tyrants who had to cancel every bit of a social life they ever had because they needed to be home by 7pm for bath and bedtime. I winced but also smirked at the gob smacked parent trying to convince a 2-year-old to come down the slide at the playground, resorting to all forms of bribery and threats. My children NEVER behaved like this! That was, of course, because they weren't born yet. Fast forward a bunch of sleep deprived years and you'd be likely to find me rotating between disciplinary methods of hissing quietly with a terrifying fake smile on in public, to begging and promising ponies and 4 hours of screen time if they would just, please stop running away from the childcare centre at the gym so I could get a workout in and feel half human again. I did it all, said it all and so did they. And I realised the best insider tip of all- those parents were only going home by 7pm for their OWN bath and bed because you can barely stand up past 6 on a weekday once you enter parenthood. SERIOUSLY. So, all my perfect parent plans were shattered in what I felt was an unnecessarily public way and I became a little softer, a little slower, a little less perfect. My kids aren't designing the next billionaire creating app. Neither of them followed the plan for being a piano prodigy. They mouth off and make unfortunate choices, and they really don't get the value of organisation yet. But man, they are good kids. They often rock me to the core with their depth and insight and tenderness. I don't want perfect kids; I want these kids. And sometimes, in these brutal ages of 10 & 12, I walk into their room after they have fallen asleep and I look at my sons’ filthy fingernails on the pillow, my daughter in that t-shirt I bought for myself but somehow became hers.... and in the midst of the carnage- socks all over the floor, dishes with crusted on cereal that is certainly NOT allowed in the bedroom- I see them as these beautiful, imperfect souls from an exhausted, imperfect mother, and it is all just so perfect.
When a day/a challenge/life throws a 'curve ball' your way how do you navigate your way through the imperfection to come up for air?
I think I am pretty good at curveballs. My therapist tells me it's from a childhood of living on high alert but I kind of thrive in chaos. I scoff at predictability, planning and anything resembling a solid routine. Okay actually admitting that in writing, I can see why we have been coming back to this in my sessions- ha! But truly it is a bit of a superpower because it means I am never REALLY derailed. Because I never got on the train in the first place, and have you SEEN these wildflowers off the tracks? Stunning, truly. Oops, that would be me missing another zoom call, OKAY I SEE THE APPEAL, stop the train, I want a ticket, I am ready to adult now. In alllll seriousness, life becomes a lot easier when you have 3 things: Faith- to believe that there is and will be a purpose to absolutely everything that happens to you. Freedom- particularly from the overwhelming pressure in society in regards to income, timelines, expectations. Go soft, stay flexible, imagine every shift as an incredible chance for adventure. And learn to love what you get because love makes things come alive and alive things can change and grow and blossom and it's freaking amazing. Lastly, get some Fight in you. It sounds contradictory to the Freedom part, but some things are really worth staying for, leaving for, FIGHTING for. Less things than my younger self thought, but still, there are some dreams that just should not be allowed to die. And actually, what is worth fighting for more than Freedom? Not much, that's what. There is a verse in the New Testament that says, "fight the good fight of faith" and I am grateful for the wisdom of getting older that helps me discover the GOOD fight worth my energy and then using my freedom and faith to do it.
You're an ambassador for Young Living Pure Essential Oils. I came across them a decade ago and my supply ran out a long time ago, and so I’m delighted to know you because it means I can replenish with that good stuff! One of the many things we share a passion for is natural/clean living & wellbeing. YLEO's play a big role in these areas and in your life. Bodylushious products also contain Pure Essential oils. You told me only last week 'there's an oil for everything'. Please elaborate a little on this, for someone who knows nothing about the benefits of pure essential oils, how could they benefit them and their families? And what links can you share to shed a little more light on these.
My fascination with wellness and healing goes way, way back and that naturally led me to Essential Oils and because I like to research things, that search led me to the best of the best- Young Living. I think this is such a great example of this theme "perfectly imperfect". My hippie heart would like nothing more than to only ever shop local and support small biz. Being the leading experts in pure, beyond organic essential oils, Young Living is NOT playing small ball. They are a global company with markets around the world. But I have learned not to be so dogmatic about things and to understand that BIG is not always BAD. In fact, it is sometimes very necessary to make the sort of impact needed! So even though my heart does a tiny little rebel dance at words like "corporate", the beauty is that within this massive company, I have been able to build my own small business in the intimate, connected, fun and FREE way that suits me and draws like-minded souls to this oily world! That is my perfect. I know you are deeply connected to the earth Bron, and we share so much love for land and people and community. What clicked for me with Young Living was their Seed to Seal standard. This incredible commitment to the soil, the land, the people, the plants- from the tiniest detail of seedlings they HAND plant (!!!) right up to the time the bottle is Sealed- pure, potent plant power in a sustainable, regenerative system of leadership. I will post a link here for you and your readers to peruse and if you get the same jolt as I did when you see something being done so WELL, then you can use my personal link below to order these plant potions for yourself! http://www.seedtoseal.com/en/3-pillars oilwith.me/rachelle
The opposite of natural is synthetic, is there anything you'd like to say in relation to synthetic Essential Oils?
JUST DO NOT DO IT is what I will say to that :) Plants are powerful, incredible medicine. Essential oils are made up of such tiny molecules that they can actually pass the blood-brain barrier. When we use them in aromatherapy, we are breathing them in through our olfactory system which has direct access to the amygdala. That is where all your memory behaviours, flight/fight/freeze and more happens. Now that's what makes essential oils so effective as a tool for wellness, including emotional support. BUT if you are mixing them with harmful solvents, fillers, other oils- you are bringing a toxic cocktail into your home, onto your skin, and even into your brain. Essential oils are lobbed into the beauty industry as far as regulations go so there are some pretty shady issues with honest labelling (in the US for example, a bottle can contain less than 5% actual essential oil and be labelled "PURE" essential oil.) Just no! We are the gatekeepers of our home and so it is worth doing some research to ensure you know that what you are getting is going to heal and not harm.... and sorry to break it to you, but that just will not be found on the shelf on a grocery store or off Amazon ;)
This is your space, tell me and our readers anything you like, it can be something random, your favourite childhood memory, or maybe share a quote that really 'does it for you'.
Thank you so much Bron for asking me to come on here and get to be a part of what you're doing. You are such an inspiration, the way you take life by the horns and wrestle it into something really incredible. What a thing, that our paths would cross.
-Love and Light.
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