Author: Sarah Petruno

When purpose and path seem cloudy, this is a small daily practice you can use to realign, recenter, and find your purpose again.

How I Align to Purpose

In the beginning of the year, for the entire month of January, I was feeling the pressure of needing to be motivated, ready to go, and completely clear on my goals.

The truth of my experience was that I felt cloudier than ever, not sure what I was even doing, or how I was supposed to do it.

I couldn’t see my next step and I felt completely foggy on all things relating to my life and my business.

Then, I rediscovered the Prayer of St. Francis.

This is obviously not a new or novel idea, but I was listening to The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Berstein, and in it, she recites this prayer.

As she did, something within me lit up.

I knew I was foggy about my purpose, and something inside of me KNEW, that this prayer was what would help me realign to who I was and what I was here to do.

I got out a pen and wrote the prayer in my journal, in the pages where I keep my other affirmations and mantras.


Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are reborn to eternal life.


Now, I don’t align with any religion, but I am of the persuasion that it’s all different lexicons for the same thing, so I don’t take issue with using God/Lord/Divine Master language – it means what I need it to mean for me.

Saying this prayer immediately fills me with a rush of energy and sense of connectedness.

It makes me feel connected to my purpose, even when my purpose feels foggy.

And I add one extra element to this prayer that has really brought it alive for me.

If you’ve been following me on social media, particularly Instagram Stories, then you know I’ve started pairing my affirmations, mantras, and prayers with essential oils. I put a drop in my hands, rub my hands together, then inhale while speaking the words of the associated affirmation aloud and rub the oil on my body.

I paired this prayer with the Young Living essential oil blend, Humility.Use Humility Essential Oil to align to spiritual purpose

With the intention of placing myself in Divine Service and giving myself emotional strength.

Humility is a blend of Coriander, Ylang-ylang, Bergamot, Geranium, Melissa, Frankincense, Myrrh, Northern Lights Black spruce, Vetiver, Bitter orange, and Rose. (Get it here and learn more about Young Living here).

After completing this practice for just 2-3 days, I already feel a million times better. More connected. More aligned. And more secure that even if my purpose feels foggy, I’m still aligned to the greater Spirit and Universe.

Hope this works for you!

xo,

Sarah

Full list of supplies for using your essential oils

Getting Started with Essential Oils: Supply List

Woo-hoo! So, you just got started with essential oils or you’re looking for ways to expand your current usage and you’ve found this list.

To get the most out of your essential oils, it helps to have some supplies on hand so that you can start using them in all their magical ways right away!

These are the supplies I recommend having available to you.

Oil Supply List

1. Glass Roller Bottles

Roller bottles are great for storing pre-diluted oil blends for easy, mess-free application. I like to use fractioned coconut oil or grapeseed oil in these. I have lots of different blends in rollers all over my house, purse, etc: calming, immune boosting, seasonal support, happiness, digestive support, etc.

 


2. Home Essentials Cut Vinyl Sticker SetHome Essentials Cut Vinyl Sticker Set

Tackle your household chores in style and take those handwritten labels to the next level with these assorted cut vinyl stickers. Seriously, how cute are these?

 

 


 3. Amber Spray Bottles with Misting TopAmber Spray Bottles

These cute little spray bottles can be used with all sorts of blends for everything from facial mists to bug sprays to linen sprays and more!

 

 

 


 

 4. Large Empty Glass Spray BottlesLarge Empty Glass Spray Bottles: Essential Oil Supply List

Get rid of plastic in your home with these affordable and practical glass spray bottles. Great for mixing up all sorts of sprays like household cleaners, air freshener sprays, and more.

 

 

 


5. Oil Bottle Cap LabelsEssential Oil Supply List: Oil Bottle Cap Labels

Find your oils easily and make your bottles that much cuter with these cap labels that are color-coded to match each of the Young Living bottle labels.

 


 6. Fractionated Coconut OilEssential Oil Supply List: Fractionated Coconut Oil

Super easy to use liquid carrier oil that’s lightweight and comes with a pump. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and easy to use to fill roller bottles or for diluting in topical application of oils.

 

 


7. Organic Virgin Coconut OilEssential Oil Supply List: Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

This is my favorite carrier oil for making creams, rubs, balms, etc. It is certified organic & non-GMO, cold-pressed, chemical-free, unfermented, unbleached, undeodorized, nonhydrogenated, and unrefined.

 

 

 

 


 8. Custom Roller Bottle LabelsEssential Oil Supply List: Custom Roller Bottle Labels

These sticky labels will take your roller bottle blends from drab to fab! Great for your own personal collection, for Make+Take events, for sample giveaways or for gifts for friends. Customize your labels with up to 12 different blends per set. Labels come pre-cut to size so all you need to do is peel and stick!


9. French Aromatherapy: Essential Oil Recipes & Usage GuideEssential Oil Supply List: French Aromatherapy

An awesome book that covers Young Living’s model of essential oil usage – french aromatherapy, and includes suggestions for topical, aromatic, and ingestible use of your oils. Pages upon pages of recipes!

 

 

 

 


10. Essential Oil BagEssential Oil Supply List: Essential Oil Travel Bag

How cute are these bags?! Great for travel, or storing some oils daily when on the go.

 

 

 

 


11. Diffuser CaseEssential Oil Supply List: Diffuser Case

Take your diffuser with you to work, on the go, and while you travel! This case even has pockets on the inside to hold your oils!

 

 

 


12. Small Glass Sample BottlesEssential Oil Supply List: Sample Bottles

These little bottles are perfect for sharing oil samples with friends, or for travel use. Label the bottles with masking tape (or cute washi tape) and a Sharpie marker.


13. Lifefactory 16-Ounce Glass Water BottleEssential Oil Supply List: Glass Water Bottle 

Love this bottle for adding oils to my water to drink on the go. Remember: never ingest water in a plastic cup that has oils in it. The oils can leach toxins from the plastic!

 

 

 

 


14. AromaGlide Roller FitmentsEssential Oil Supply List: AromaGlide Roller Tops

Transform any of your favorite Young Living essential oil bottles (5ml or 15ml) into an easy-to-use roller bottle. Citrus oils can degrade plastic rollers.

 

 


15. Amber Euro Glass Bottle 5 ml w/ Dropper CapEssential Oil Supply List: Essential Oil Dropper Bottle 5ml

You can reuse empty Young Living bottles (5mL or 15mL) with the metal roller fitments, but if you don’t have any empty bottles, these can be used instead.

 

 

 


16. Blue 2 oz Glas s Dropper BottleEssential Oil Supply List: Dropper Bottle

Dropper bottles are great for storing carrier oils for filling capsules or for filling rollers. I also like to use them for making my own serums and moisturizers.

 

 

 


17. 4 oz Glass Jars Essential Oil Supply List: Glass Jars

These little glass jars are perfect for storing handmade EO products (i.e. lotions, creams, scrubs, etc).

 

 

 

 


Essential Oil Supply List: Carrying Case18. 30-Bottle Essential Oil Carrying Cases hold 5ml, 10ml, and 15ml bottles

Great for travel and to store your most frequently used oils.

 

 

 


19. Aroma Ready Keychain CaseEssential Oil Supply List: Sample Keychain Case

Holds 8 sample sized vials for taking your oils with you on the go, or having samples available when you’re out and about.

 

 


20. Vegetarian “00” CapsulesEssential Oil Supply List: Vegetarian Capsules

Use to make your own oil capsules!  Non-GMO, starch free and do not contain propyl alcohol.

 

 

 

 


21. Epsom SaltsEssential Oil Supply List: Epsom Salts

Detox baths with Epsom salts and essential oils are fabulous. If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time, you may know that baths are one of my favorite self-care tools. LOVE salt baths.

 

 

 

 

 


22. Essential Oils Pocket ReferenceEssential Oil Supply List: Essential Oil Pocket Reference

This book is the ultimate guide on Young Living essential oils. At 400 pages long, this is the most informative reference guide on how to use all of the various oils to treat over 300 different ailments.

 

 

 

 

 


 

That’s it! Welcome to the wonderful world of oils, and if you haven’t joined Young Living yet, but you’d love to get started, I’m your girl!

Visit this page to learn more and sign up

Have fun on your oily journey!

xo,

Sarah

 

(h/t: Joanna Malone for creating this list!)

How we can do activism and be an activist in our own way

Activism in Another Way

In the traditional sense, I don’t like to think of myself as an activist.

I have never been into activism, and for as long as I can remember, I have despised discussing or debating anything political.

I suppose that can be interpreted as my white privilege, but it’s also driven by my desire to not get into confrontational and intense conversations with anyone.

I just don’t like getting into it with people. I don’t like the way it feels so I choose to stay out of most political or polarizing conversations.

It’s why I write a blog with comments turned off.

It’s not that I don’t care, or I don’t want to get involved, or that I’m being lazy – in fact, that’s not, for the most part, why anyone chooses not to be a traditional activist.

There are different ways to activate than the traditional path of activism that involves protesting, signing petitions, and posting about political events.

There are other ways to turn a tide beside traditional activism as we know it.

Traditional activism is needed, without a doubt, but the truth is that we need people addressing the issues we care about from multiple different angles, and in multiple different ways.

We need change to happen at many levels.

The only way change can happen at many levels. . . is if it happens at many levels.

I’ve spent a long time thinking about activism, as the idea of it has been shoved in my face over and over again these past few months.

It’s hard to ignore the posts and calls to action that demand you STAND UP and DO SOMETHING.

And if you don’t, risk being called out for not using your voice in the way someone else wants you to use your voice.

Truthfully, it felt wrong and not in alignment with who I was as a person. But, then I felt guilt and fear of public perception if I didn’t use my platform to be more activating.

I worried what others would think. If I didn’t feel called to go to Standing Rock, or to participate in any number of protests, did that make me a bad spiritual person? Should I have been lending my medicine to these causes in the way everyone was telling me to? Should I be blogging and sharing about polarizing issues more than I already was?

If I wasn’t standing up and using my voice in this specific, prescribed way, as a spiritual teacher, was I failing?

Then, I thought about this blog and my purpose here in this time and space.

I am here, my mission, the reason this blog exists, is to teach people how to heal themselves using the principles of shamanism.

I provide tools for personal healing and growth, as do many spiritual teachers.

Isn’t the path to personal healing and growth where this all gets healed?

Personal pain and fear are the places from which this projected pain and fear arises.

Raising our voice and protesting is one way to activate, but when do we consider that there are alternative ways to activate?

There are thousands of people out there, right now, who aren’t in the streets and who aren’t organizing political movements, but they are caring for or providing support to someone who is hurting.

It could be themselves, and they could be healing their own pain and fear.

Or, it could be that they are providing support and pathways to healing for others.

This blog, for example, provides pathways for healing to about 135,000 unique visitors every month.

Activism can happen in many ways.

It doesn’t have to look like what you think it should look like. It might not even look like anything at all.

But just because you don’t see a person talking, posting, or sharing about what they’re doing, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing something to help.

If we want to see real change, it has to happen at multiple levels.

Starting from within, at the individual level, is truly starting from the ground up.

I leave you with this point of reflection.

If you look down into the dirt and can’t see ants working underground, does that mean they aren’t working?

 

xo,
Sarah

 

Footnote:

This article is by no means meant to be a dissuasion from activism, but rather, to raise the point that we don’t all have to enact change in the same way and that there are many ways to reach similar goals, even if some are not as overt as others. If you are called to social, racial, and political activism, PLEASE follow that path because help is needed in this area. We all have a responsibility to do something and to use our voice. We all have a responsibility to make our world a better place. Talk about the things you see and don’t like. Share your opinions. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Be a part of something greater. So long as you do something. It’s our job to find the path and message that resonates with us and do that. And lend our voice to that cause, whatever that may be. 

My cause for the last 4 years has been to make it so more people know about shamanism, to strip away the taboo, and to make it a household practice – so that everyone can heal the pain that causes intolerance, hostility, discrimination and so many more injustices. I have faced many dissenters and openly hostile critics. I have been called a scam, a phony, arrogant, a disgrace to the ancestors, and so much more. But this is my cause. Is it political or one of the major issues facing the country right now? Not by common standards. However, what I teach, I believe, helps people to be more compassionate and understanding, and less hostile, angry, and intolerant. With any success, as it spreads, we can move towards a more compassionate and understanding world where all people and paths are respected. This may not be your thing, but we all have a thing. You have to do something. I didn’t write this blog post to give you a pass. I understand that some may take this post to be a demonstration of white privilege, and at the same time, I know some of my readers don’t believe in white privilege or have never heard of it. It exists. And after writing this post an organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice, was shared with me. They are all about bringing white people into the struggle for racial justice and educating without shaming. I encourage you to check them out

Why I Do Not Recommend HostGator and Who I Use Instead

Why I Do Not Recommend HostGator for WordPress Hosting

This post is a bit of a retraction. I have previously written 2 blogs, here and here, in which I talked about setting up WordPress hosting using HostGator and that it was the platform I was using.

WELL. Things have changed. I eat my words. I made a mistake.

I paid in advance for hosting with HostGator awaiting my site content and hosting transfer from Squarespace to WordPress hosting with HostGator.

The transition went fine and dandy, until about 48 hours after my new site went live and I receive an email from HostGator at 8:30 at night while I was getting my daughter to bed. Here’s an excerpt:

“Your account has been abusing CPU resources for an extended period of time and has been disabled in order to ensure continued performance stability of the account and server. While we do limit each account to no more than 25% of a system’s CPU in our terms of service, we do not actively disable accounts until they greatly exceed that number, which is what happened in this case.

Please take a moment to review this email in full as it contains important information and resources to assist you in resolving this issue. Please note that this permanent restriction requires you take further actions to gain access to and resolve the issues on your account.”

One minute after the email warning, my site was taken down for using too many resources with zero warning and no chance to fix it before they took it down.

Their first option for resolution was that I purchase a dedicated server for my resource-hog website, which would cost $3200 for 36 months.

Their second option was to optimize and use fewer resources, which resulted in using removing two industry standard WordPress plugins – Yoast SEO and Gravity Forms – at their suggestion.

We removed the problem plugins they identified, and not pay the $3200, to get us back online while we formed a game plan on what to do next.

BUT, one of the main reasons I switched from Squarespace to WordPress was for the functionality via the Plugins, and both myself and my developer (Shannon Mattern of WP BFF, she’s a WP website angel) were shocked that HostGator didn’t support these standard plugins, yet they promote themselves as WordPress optimized hosts.

While we were in the process of finding a new host for my website after HostGator’s shut down, we received more warnings for using too many resources even after removing the offending plugins.

From this, we deduced that my site was receiving too much traffic (230,00 pageviews a month at the time of this writing) for the hosting that I had at HostGator, a hosting package that they recommended. So, it wasn’t the plugins anymore since those were gone, and now it was the traffic.

Maybe I should have purchased a different kind of hosting package with them from the start, one that supported more traffic. They could blame that on me, but when I wrote the post recommending them (find it here), they provided a series of steps that people should purchase/do if they wanted WordPress hosting. I didn’t consider myself a big website or a blog, compared to others that exist and I never had a problem on Squarespace.

I did and purchased exactly what HostGator recommended to myself and my readers.

And then, when my site went live with bare minimum plugins and on their recommended hosting package, it was “too many resources” and they shut it down with no notice.

Once we got it up, they shut it down 3 more times in the span of the 36 or so hours it took us to find a reputable hosting company.

This is why I can no longer recommend HostGator for WordPress hosting.

I purchased the hosting they recommended and we installed industry standard, minimal plugins, with not any super huge traffic numbers, and as a result, I violated their Terms of Service for usage and was shut down with no notice and no chance to resolve it before taking my site down.

My goal for moving to WordPress was to grow and expand, not be limited and experience poor customer service within 48 hours.

To be completely fair, they were prompt in working with us to help us optimize, find the problem, and remove the plugins – we were just shocked that they didn’t support those plugins, shut us down immediately, and that the choices were to limit the site or fork over three grand right then.

Who do I recommend instead?

I’m currently hosted by Flywheel.

Everyone at that company has been nothing short of amazing in working with me, even outside of business hours, to get my site migrated and set up for hosting on their servers really quickly and within about 3 hours of signing up with them. They do end up to costing a bit more over time than the $3200 requested by HostGator, but they’ll also never unexpectedly shut me down and they’ll support the Plugins that I need. I pay for a monthly service.

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to Shannon Mattern of WP-BFF, who has been handling the entire transfer from Squarespace to WordPress. Even after our project ended, when HostGator took my site down, she was on it late at night and early in the morning helping me resolve it – and really, doing it all for me and just telling me where to sign and pay for services. A friend called her a divine intervention. She’s amazing and I am so grateful for her.

If you need help with WordPress anything, Shannon’s your girl. From the basics of just setting up a site, to optimizing, to figuring out opt-ins and monetization strategies, her blog and website are an amazing resource.  She has a FREE 5-day course on her website for setting up a WordPress hosted website, too! Find her here.

In the end, HostGator did not work out for me and I was not pleased with their customer service. They shut down my site after only being live for like a day, with zero warning or notice, and do not support basic plugins or lower levels of traffic. I did have to eat the cost of the 3-year hosting plan that I pre-paid because they do not provide any refunds at all outside of the initial 45-day window. I purchased my hosting in at the end of November and my site didn’t go live until January 29th, so I was just outside that window and thus could not get a refund. Lesson learned, folks. Lesson. Learned.

HostGator: 

Flywheel, WordPress, and Shannon Mattern (WP-BFF)  

 

Happy Website Hosting!

xo,

Sarah

 

UPDATE February 8, 2017: This is the parent company of HostGator, and a list including all the companies that they own. Something to consider when searching for hosting in the future. (Thanks, Michelle!)

(Disclaimer: Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site).


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