This month the Dragonspit Apothecary blog turns 3. I had visions of a celebration of this milestone. It represented thousands of words, thoughts, compelling ideas and personal perspective. It represented me. I should feel proud of this accomplishment and all that it has evolved to be. Yet that wasn’t how it felt when I started to plan January and what will become the 2021 blog strategy. It wasn’t fanfare or recognition that crossed my mind but rather a deep need of my own that was becoming increasingly hard to ignore.
Three years ago I set out to share all I was learning about using essential oils and natural products in my home and life. It was a tale of my experience sprinkled with recipes, DIYs and admission of things not to try again. I quickly saw readership climb as this seemed to be something many people were interested in for their own life needs or just random entertainment. I was new to blogging at a time when people were telling me the written word was dead. No one reads blogs anymore as it’s all in video and podcasting these days. I persisted on though sharing my corny tales and growing wisdom on this topic of natural living. It was a journal in many respects to my own need to write and share what was going on in my life.
In year two I did add some vlogs and started a YouTube channel, finally catching on that maybe I could still write but add in some of the techniques that was trending. My writing also matured into more reflection and personal insight to what it meant and felt like to live natural. I was no longer just talking about how I used the oils but what doing so was doing in me and my home. By this time I had passed the need to just share my latest recipe and go deeper into what living like this was doing to me from the inside. I felt at peace and thought I was on to something that spoke to many, who like me were searching for a better way to live.
Sitting at the entryway of 2021, I feel another change coming to me through this blog. I feel like I’m entering a new area of this living natural topic based on where I again find myself. See, I naively thought at the beginning it truly was just about using some oils, getting rid of chemical products and poof my health would improve. I realized after that excitement of discovery it was also hitting my heart of what this represents and the connection we have to Mother Nature on a much larger scale. Now I feel great white space filling my thoughts of what’s next? Is there truly nothing more to say about what is perhaps the most misunderstood, underused and underappreciated way of living? Is there really just a finite set of lessons that teaches us how to do it well?
For weeks, I wrestled with this challenge. I wrote blog posts and trashed them. I outlined vlogs and actually recorded them only to hit the delete button. Nothing seemed to be tapping into the deep need I knew was there but I lacked the navigation to reach it. There was more to living natural than a few household recipes to make your own cleaning products. There was more to feeling your best than diffusing oils to clear your thoughts. There was more but I couldn’t touch the words to bring them to the front. Instead, I sat looking at my planner for 2021 with white space. Searching for ideas I returned to the basics of where I started, thinking I may have missed something important in my journey. I looked back at my trusty old notebook full of ideas and revisited each to see if I had thoroughly explored them. I wrote down new ideas including a nicely threaded year long theme with individual topics but nothing was hitting home. The entire notebook ended up in the trashcan, pulled out and trashed again.
Maybe blogging truly is dead and I’m without anything else to share on this topic of natural living. I considered calling it quits to the blog and focusing on other things like maybe quicky videos of me living daily life showing you my messy hair and how disorganized but incredibly calming my home is. I considered following what others were doing and seeing them be wildly successful from things that didn’t seem like me but what was the in thing on social media. Maybe that truly is the way to reach people and let them into my world. I wanted to cry about it. Maybe I was wrong all this time and had just wasted my time the past 3 years pursuing something that was as easy as a 30 second video.
It was a random Sunday evening and I had just finished cleaning out my cabinet where my winter sweaters and hoodies are kept. I sorted through things I no longer needed or didn’t fit. I looked at old favorites seeing the wear and created a pile of things to donate or trash. It was the most basic of tasks that I periodically do and for some reason right then was the time to tackle this small area. Sitting among my clothes folding them to put into a bag for donation I realized what was missing. It wasn’t that I had run out of things to discuss for how to live more naturally. Oh there is so much more to say on that subject but rather I had lost touch with how it is done. I had gone through time only dusting the surface for what is possible when you transition your life to being more simplistic, aligned and natural.
I realized that I had once again evolved in this journey and come to a point I was ready to learn new basics in what it meant to live naturally well. It was more than just the general practice of living naturally but now I was at the point of making it an art so it was luxurious and comfortable too. I was no longer a weekend warrior whipping up DIY aromatic play-doh and cute soaps. I was transformed into a new level of wisdom for what it looks like to live not only natural but naturally well. The distinction being I had taken the basics of just using essential oils and understanding how they work and had made them my own. They worked in my life because I had explored the depths of them and went past the general user knowledge of why it was important.
In so many situations in our life we think the end is just that, the end. We make it there and then we celebrate, go home and do something else. The difference with living naturally well is it keeps evolving as we go past the finish line that so many just stop at. We see there is always something new to learn and some new way we can benefit from the magic, beauty and grace of nature itself. We evolve what we have learned and take it to the next level. We push the limits of the general knowledge and create wisdom that becomes the information passed down generationally to guide others. This is more than a gently worn recipe book of favorites but rather the secret ingredients that make those recipes long remembered and traced back to their very original author who took the time to create them.
That’s when I found what I needed for this blog. I reached deeper than I had before and the words started flowing onto the screen. Ideas I had were scribbled quickly like I had hit a flowing stream of fresh water. When I get like this I find myself up at 4 or 5 in the morning anxious to write, craving the time to present ideas, think through paragraphs and see blog posts come alive word by word. It was no longer just a blog about natural living but a guide and source to living it well, feel it deeply and see it come alive in my own life and others as well.
This year I invite you to share your own experiences with what this means in your life and how it continues to shape what happens next. Share how this blog is helping you find your way through living naturally and doing it in your own way with intention that leads to wellness. If you still think it’s just about applying an essential oil and waiting for magic to happen, my friend that is only the beginning. Beyond that oil drop is a whole new world of beauty with nature and you at the very epicenter of life itself.
Follow all of this year’s blogs, vlogs and special guest posts at dragonspitapothecary.com