Friday, April 15, 2011

Small Steps

When I first came back to the US from Japan, I was dealing with reverse culture shock and a general feeling that I had no control over my life. There were a lot of extenuating circumstances like an extended visit by my in-laws that aggravated all I was feeling. I felt hopeless and I was sick to my stomach with anxiety. I kept thinking to myself, "Why did we come back here at all?"
During that time I also got a new android phone which allowed me to surf the internet as I nursed and as I held Ichigo in my arms for her nap time. All that internet surfing was perhaps not the best thing for my state of mind. I got really obsessed with all the "dangers" in America. No, I'm not talking about "stranger danger". I'm talking about pesticides, GMOs, toxic chemicals in my toiletries and the like. These are all very real dangers, but getting obsessed with them at a time like that caused me to feel more stress and helplessness. While that was not a fun time for me, I got through the reverse culture shock, and I was inspired to make a lot of positive changes in my family's routine.
I was already a fan of natural cleaning products, but I made a decision to start using fragrance-free, non-toxic cleaning products everywhere I could. The fragrance-free part was an important component, because I became highly sensitive to synthetic fragrances while I was pregnant. Now we clean our bathroom and wipe our tables and counters with vinegar, baking soda and Dr. Bronner's castile soap. Natural fragrance from essential oils doesn't make me feel nauseous and light-headed the way that synthetic fragrances do. This was a small step, but it has created cleaner air in our home and it saves us money. Those small steps add up quickly. Is there something small in your routine that you're ready to change?


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