Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Maybe I Have a Different Definition of Freedom

On this Independence day, I'm thinking about Freedom ... Freedom means so many things to so many people. People have died that others may have freedom. Others have stood up to civil injustice to cultivate social freedom. Wars have been faught in the name of freedom. Political campaigns and slogans leverage the word. So much historical upheaval so that humanity could be... "free".
But what really is freedom?
None of the things on this image are bad. But on this day of celebrating our freedom, let us not pretend that freedom is just a military victory or a political position, or an American Dream. While I am honoured and grateful for the history of our country and sacrifices of so, so many that I will never take for granted... Let us not feed our children a life script that enslaves them, numbs them, and indebts them and then call it "freedom".
Freedom is not an external thing. It is truly an internal thing, that can in turn create an outward culture. It is a space we live in, a state of mind, an internal knowingness that we are. That is what our forefathers knew and that is why the Declaration of Independence was signed.
That is why Paul & Silas could speak with kindness and sing hymns while sitting shackled in prison. (Acts 16:25) They lived in freedom. That is why the family of Robert Godwin Sr. could say after their father was gunned down during a Facebook video that "each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer. We want to wrap our arms around him." They know internal freedom.
Freedom was our eternal, inner gift long before it was our country's motto. Freedom is an untethering from anger, guilt, shame, fear, and obligation. Freedom feels like Joy and acts like Love. Freedom is our natural state, because of Him. Christ came so that we may wake up and KNOW we are free. If you don't know that freedom, then move in a little closer to Him. Let us really BE. FREE. And may we teach our children the same, and continue to create a culture that knows the same.

#happy4th #independence #freedom #Himinus #love #joy

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Listen Mama... you've GOT. THIS. 

This motherhood thing is in your bones... you're born into it and with it. Trust yourself like you're a wizened sage in a new skin body. And breathe. All the time. Breathe really deeply. Your breath connects you back to the real you when it feels like you are spilled all over the house and puddled up in dirty diapers and messy sinks. Just breathe. You. Got. This.
Not sure who you are, but I know I needed to share this tonight. So take some deep breaths, quiet the chatter, let go of needing it you look a certain way, and get still with yourself. It's all going to be ok. 

You were born for this. 
#mothers #babies#motherhood #oilup #breathedeep

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mini Urban Farming in the Suburbs

We live in the suburbs, but we've turned our front landacaping shrub bed into a small vegetable garden. 

It took time. It was work, but wasn't expensive. 

The girls did all the planting and will follow the process of watering and harvesting. 

It's not big. It's not elaborate. But it's not even about the amount of harvest. It's about learning to live with your food and crafting a life-culture of seedtime, cultivation, and harvest. It's about understanding rhythms, and appreciation for the earth.

Honestly, I think it's a FAR better use of our landscaping shrub beds... what if we all began planting food and fruit trees instead of shrubs and decorative trees? What if we began to grow our life instead of decorate it?

P.S. My house is a mess, there's laundry everywhere, the bathrooms are at "this is gross" stage, and the windows are ... do people even clean those anymore?? But we decided to garden anyway. :)

#urbanfarming #suburban #minifarm#momlife #growth

Monday, September 18, 2017

Everything Educates

After more than a week of post-hurricane stuff... loss of electricity, church relief efforts, down to one car, antsy children... I left the house the other day for a run and cried nearly half the time. It was the emotional release I had been needing. Once I allowed myself that, more gratitude flowed, and my thinking cleared. And it was then easier for me to refocus on finding the gift....

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about." - Haruki Murakami

We cannot change anything until we change our own thinking. Once we realize that there is a gift... an opportunity for growth in every experience, then we can see that life is happening for us, not to us. Then we can soften a little and focus on receiving the gift, instead of resisting the discomfort.

Are you sick today? Then use your oils, rest, and appreciate the priceless, miraculous vessel you live in that is currently caring for you.

Are you in a tough spot? Then breathe deep, and widen back your lense. Imagine yourself five years from now and ask how willing you are to let this experience contribute to the future you.

Storms come and go. But how we experience them is our choice. What if we saw them as gifts to propel us forward, instead of obstacles that derail us?

#gift #gratitude #personalgrowth #oilup #breathedeep #hurricaneirma

Saturday, August 26, 2017


There was significant opposition to our marriage. I felt trapped. I felt that I knew my path, but the risk was great and I longed for confirmation.
As soon as I stood up next to her in the choir lines I knew she has something to tell me. It was unnerving because I knew it was coming, but I didn't know if it was going to be good. Half way through worship, she turned to me and said, "I keep seeing a vision of you as an arrow that is flying swiftly to the place God has for you... He is taking you there very soon... right now you have a few bends in your arrow, but God is going to straighten them out... and when He does you will fly swiftly to your destination. So God is telling you, 'Do not be afraid. Do not doubt.''
That seemed to be amazing confirmation for me. After worship, while the choir was walking off the risers and around the side of the sanctuary, I thanked her for being an obedient messenger. She stopped me. "There's more... I keep seeing a vision of a second arrow coming up next to you--but it doesn't come beside you, it pierces you right down the middle... coming from behind and going the same direction, it splits you right down the center and becomes one with you. The two arrows become one stronger arrow going to the same destination... And that's your husband."
Just like that my hesitancy was dispelled, and without a doubt I knew @kennethwclark was my husband. No more doubt, no more fear. I had broken free. Together, we would fly with intention and purpose. Together we would do exponentially more. 
That was 2002. Now it's 2017 and I'm 39 years old today. I drew this image of two arrows flying together to celebrate the strength, beauty, and intention of my life so far. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you're thriving in a life of strength, beauty, and intention also. You can never truly be trapped. You are free. Fly with purpose. Bless you!!
#birthday #purpose #thriving #arrow #tattoo

Monday, August 21, 2017

Getting Clear on What Matters

"What you do simply proves what you believe." - Simon Sinek

I've been getting really clear about what matters to me.

It's so helpful to really dig deep and find that out because if we're not careful, we could fill our days with things that don't really reflect what we truly care about, and what we're here to create. We get caught up in so many things. And then we can end up spinning our wheels for days or years in areas that don't actually align with our greater purpose.

And that just feels like wandering around in mud. As fun as that can be sometimes, most often I'd prefer some nice clean traction. ;)

So here's me practicing some clarity for myself.

I really care about the big picture.
I believe He gives us access to thriving.
I believe that when we find our way to thriving, we are better able to operate fully in and fulfill our higher purposes and callings.
I believe I'm here to find my thriving and to help others find their thriving.
I believe in a future where the light is getting brighter, where families are operating at higher and higher levels, and where joy, peace, and excitement are daily experiences.
I believe that joy and flourishing is available to us all in every single moment, should we choose it.
And I'm looking for people who believe that same thing and have set their course to find it and help others find it.

Because of what I believe, I chose doTERRA as my business. It is an incredibly effective tool to facilitate flourishing in any family. It is the most amazing organization I've ever seen for assisting us in finding and expanding our emotional, mental, physical, and financial health. It is now a 4 million member social movement, led by an incredible team of leaders, that is moving families into freedom on a global scale.

Because of what we believe, we chose Action Church as the faith-based community we could link arms with to inspire life change. We are so incredibly honored to be a part of this vision. We have never been a part of a more healthy, well-balanced, ego-less, mission-focused church leadership team.

If you believe similarly to how I believe, then I invite you to bring your gifts and talents to the table in whatever way you choose. Create, inspire, encourage, build up, restore, renew, and cultivate freedom.

If you live in the Central Florida area, I invite you to come visit Action Church and get involved. It might just change your life.

If you want to engage in a business that practically facilitates flourishing, then come link arms with us in doTERRA. It might just change your life.

My life has been changed, and still is changing. All of this is already happening. The mission is clear and the train is moving fast.
NOW is the time to get involved.

Can you envision your community, your friends, your city, rising in it's ability to flourish? Can you envision families experiencing more wellbeing, joy, peace, and excitement on a daily basis? Can you imagine yourself coming alive, flourishing, and impacting the world around you in a magnificent way? If you can, then it's time to become a part of it in some way. It's time to facilitate thriving.

Don't wait for "them" to do it. It starts with you.

#actionchurch #doterra #thriving

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Babies & Essential Oils: Swimming in Emotion

“Did you feel that?! Oh my goodness!”

Mothers and fathers tear up with emotion as they feel the tiny kick from the outside. Grandparents chuckle. Children squeal with excitement at the crazy unknown-ness of it all.

Our precious babies.

They grow, expand, contract, and explore from the womb even before their arrival.
And the messy, sometimes horrifying, gorgeous beauty of the birth. These little creations of ours come into this realm with a myriad of miracles already underway.

Sometimes they arrive with our coos and cries of joy. And sometimes they arrive with the beeping of machines and the yelling of voices. Sometimes they arrive later than expected, and are quickly cradled with energy-rich love in their mother’s arms. And other times, they arrive much sooner than expected, and are wrapped with IV’s, tubes, and sterile plastic for months. 

The tumultuousness of life is beautiful and fearful. And gloriously imperfect.

What role can essential oils play?
While I teach often about the many physical uses of essential oils, I’m finding that the benefits of truly pure essential oils for the emotional and mental health of us all is vastly undervalued.
Undervalued because as a culture, we have yet to realize that it’s our thoughts and emotions that make up most of our experience here. And even more so, for our small precious babies who live with practically no awareness of their body yet. They live in the thought and emotion space.

They feel everything.

From conception to late childhood, our children are experiencing their own thoughts and emotions about the world, all while swimming in the energy and emotional atmosphere that we create within our home.

Be the healer.
Kate Fox explains in the "The Smell Report",
"Our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion. Smell sensations are relayed to the cortex, where 'cognitive' recognition occurs, only after the deepest parts of our brains have been stimulated. Thus, by the time we correctly name a particular scent as, for example, 'vanilla,' the scent has already activated the limbic system, triggering more deep-seated emotional responses."
 We’ve even discovered that our babies develop the sense of smell before they leave the womb. This makes the plant-based aromatic compounds of pure essential oils the perfect tool to support ourselves and our little ones.
When we inhale the molecules of potent essential oils, those molecules actually travel to our olfactory bulbs and then transfer to the emotional regions of our brains, where decisions and feelings are created.
This is why our own personal use of essential oils to support our emotional, mental, and physical ups and downs, is of the utmost importance. We can intentionally improve our mental and emotional state by inhaling certain essential oils and allowing them to do their work.

It must start with us.

Put yourself first. Then tune in to the needs of your precious baby. We cannot give what we don’t have. Like they say on the airplane, we must put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others.
Only then can you clearly see what the needs are and address them with the depth of presence, care, and awareness they desire. It doesn’t matter if they are 24 weeks premature, or 14 years old uber-mature… They need you calm, present, and unconditionally loving.

Some essential oils that can help you both are:
-Lavender: all things calming, sleep, rest, the oil of communication
-Bergamot: emotional and mental stress, the oil of self-acceptance
-Frankincense: all things healing, cellular support, the oil of truth
-Sandalwood: grounding and balancing, skin, the oil of sacred devotion
-Ylang Ylang: reduces anxious feelings, tension, the oil of the inner child

Of course, be sure to dilute for young and sensitive skin. Do your homework. It’s also important to make a note of quality. Only use the purest, most tested forms of essential oils. They will support you best.

Most effective methods for use
There are three ways to use essential oils.

Aromatically. Place 1-2 drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, and then cup that hand over your nose and mouth as you inhale the aroma. Breathing oils can open airways, soothe your respiratory system, and benefit your mood.

Topically. Just one drop of essential oil can service every cell of your body. Apply it to your feet, ears, chest, back of neck, or troubled areas. For sensitivity, dilute the oil with a vegetable carrier oil like coconut oil.

Internally. While still somewhat controversial, the internal use of high-quality, pure essential oils is gaining in validity. Just add one drop to your water to cleanse and purify the body. Use only internal grade oils for this method.

Aromatic and diluted topical use will be the most common methods of use, especially when it comes to our children.

But it goes farther than our emotions
Numerous studies have shown how negative thoughts and stress adversely affect the immune system.
In the Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition by Phyllis A. Balch CNC, the author states:

“Researchers estimate that stress contributes to as many as 80 percent of all major illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, endocrine and metabolic disease, skin disorders, and infectious ailments of all kinds.”

So. It’s not just about using pure essential oils when you want to feel better emotionally. It’s about using them regularly to address the emotional and mental needs of your body, which in turn increases the body’s immune system and fosters overall system-wide physical health.

Next steps
Our children are coming wide-eyed into this marvelous, messy experience we call life. They will experience stresses. They will learn from us how to respond to those experiences. It’s vital that we cultivate a thriving, positive, hope-filled environment for them to swim in.  
Here are some next steps to help you take action.
  • Use pure essential oils daily to handle your own emotional, mental, and physical health so that you can be ready to help them handle theirs.
  • Find a trusted, well respected, essential oil source to obtain your oils from. One that does testing, proves their sourcing, and provides education.
  • Find a community of essential oil users to plug into. Doing and listening to others who are doing it well is the best way to experiential knowledge.
  • Know that you’re not going to get it right every time. Essentials oils have been used for thousands of years to support mankind’s wellness. It is an aged practice. But it is just that…. A practice. And you and your children are unique and different than any other human being. So go slow, and practice.
  • Get started now. Don’t wait for the melt down or the blow up. Begin today to create a thriving atmosphere for you and those you love. You can do it! #createhope
Hope Clark is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and leader, mother of three young children, and a recovering “Overwhelm Expert”. She mentors and teaches classes specializing in reducing stress & overwhelm and increasing whole life thriving, and she and her oil community can be reached online and at Facebook here

**This article was recently published in the July – August 2017 issue of Massage Message, the official publication of the FSMTA, Vol. 32, Issue 4.