Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families through Strategic Inspired Healing


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Something Stinks: Getting to the Root Cause

cropped-sshhlogoThinking about how so many of us get stuck looking at the surface, and forget to go deeper and heal the underlying issues, made me think of a classic Healthy Homes  question.

When something stinks: You need to get to the root cause.

The best way to keep a healthy home is to eliminate the problem at the source. It is very similar to how you keep your body healthy.

When you are renovating and investing a lot of time and money, that is a great time to do your research and make a safer and healthier choice for your family.

Let me show you how to have a healthier home and family, for less money.

carpet kitten

Recently, someone asked what to do about their old wall-to-wall carpeting that was making them sick from pet dander and dust mites since they could not afford to refinish the floors underneath. They were putting off removing the carpets since they had gotten a higher than expected price per/square foot estimate for professionals refinishing the wood floors and it didn’t fit into their budget.

So they were looking at these two options.

  1. Wait and spend another winter inside with the carpeting that exacerbated their allergies and asthma.
  2. Replace the old carpeting with inexpensive new carpeting. Give the carpets a really thorough shampoo with dust mite cleaners.

carpet puppy

But each of those options comes with its own risks that may actually outweigh the rewards and end up costing them even more money or causing even more health problems in the long-run.

I propose some alternative solutions that fit in their current budget and will get them feeling better fast.

  1. Remove the old carpeting now and see what you are really dealing with underneath. Give the floors a thorough cleaning. (I know someone who only had plywood subfloors underneath, but living with that for a season was better than breathing the toxins from the old disintegrating carpet and the years of allergens that had accumulated underneath.)
  2. Purchase higher quality area rugs. Removing the installation cost adds the money back into your budget and provides the opportunity to purchase rugs made with healthier fibers that won’t just repeat the problem. Check out carpets/rugs made from natural fibers. Wool carpets actually clean your air, while insulating from the cold. This also makes it easier to replace in the future. But if you buy better quality, it should last longer.
  3. If you need to surface treat the carpet, try these healthy ways to clean your carpet without dangerous chemicals. Even with regular cleaning though, every time that I have ripped out carpeting, I’ve found layers of debris underneath that were inaccessible by vacuum or shampoo.

carpet kitty.jpg

 

One day I got into my minivan and it smelled like something was rotting in there. I know most people would just reach for an air freshener to get rid of the smell. But again, that comes with so many health implications from adding those chemicals to your air, and it doesn’t eliminate the problem. So, the first thing that I had to do was look in every nook and cranny of the van to see where they had left food. It actually ended up being a bottle of juice tucked into the pocket on the back of my seat and it was so far gone that it was almost ready to explode. So I am glad that I don’t use a lot of chemicals in my home and my nose is still sensitive enough to smell it starting to go bad, because I can imagine how hard that would be to clean if it had exploded all over the upholstery!

So when you smell something rotten or moldy in your house, you need to eliminate the source of the problem. Just get rid of whatever is rotting or clean the mold. But then, you need to find out why it is there.

If it is your kids leaving snacks in strange places, then that is one thing. But if you have mold in your house, make sure that you find where there is unwanted moisture, and find ways to fix it at the root of the problem.

Don’t know where to start? Call me for a Healthy Home Consultation and I’ll start by helping you to find the source. Then, I’ll help with weighing your options, testing for what is the best solution for you, and preparing an action plan that fits in your budget.

For a small consultation fee, I can show you how to save thousands in long-term costs.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to just spray something to cover it up. Remove the problem, whether it is your old carpet or something gross.

Bad smells are just like our physical symptoms. Symptoms are simply messages from our body that something needs attention.

If you or your kids have physical symptoms that don’t seem to go away (or keep repeating seasonally) and you want to find the root cause and specifically target your strategy on how to start feeling better in less time, and for less money, call me to set up a free 15 minute consultation and to schedule your Healthy Home Consultation or Private Healing Session.

And make sure to check my latest promotions and ask about package pricing.

michelle2About Michelle

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our programs and/or services is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice from your physician, midwife, or other health care or mental health professional.

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Your Friends Tell you When Your Trauma is Showing

Just because everyone that you know has similar symptoms, does not mean that you are healthy. But it also does not mean that feeling like that is inevitable. Over time we become relatively unaware of our shared cultural trauma. And if we cannot see the forest for the trees (because we are too busy just keeping our heads above water with our daily challenges), then it is hard to know where to start with breaking patterns and finding healthier ways to live.

You can bring more awareness to this by beginning to notice how many times you say something like:

  • Everyone in my family has…
  • Everyone over 50 has…
  • All the women in my family get…. at this age.
  • I’m always sick at this time of year.
  • etc.

As we begin to notice how many symptoms we just accept as “normal” or inevitable, then we can begin to think about the bigger picture, and maybe think about making a different choice.

I always remember this one time when I went to see some acrobats, and my first thought was that there was something weird about them that they could move and bend their bodies like that. But then I shifted my thinking to the fact that maybe all humans are created with the potential, and if I had practiced and trained since I was little, then maybe I could move my body like that too. If I had come from a family of acrobats, then I would have had that belief in myself and in my own body. And then I saw some pictures of someone in their 90’s doing some amazing yoga poses, and I thought that maybe there was still time.

sport-1281608__180I had a yoga teacher once who would have us do a twist at the beginning of class and see what was the furthest point that we could see in the room, and then we’d do it again at the end of the hour and see how much more flexible we were already. Having that shift in perspective in a measurable dose really helped me to start seeing immediate results, even if I was still not quite an acrobat. And to be completely  honest, that yoga class was geared towards regaining mobility, and I was taking it with a room full of senior citizens because I was working my way to health and mobility after a few major abdominal surgeries. And being about 30 years younger than the others in the class, I appreciated having those role models to create a healthy vision for my future self.

Read more Scientific Studies about how our thoughts create our reality.

 

As a culture we are so used to this interesting paradox of a high daily dose of stress coupled with an easy, sedentary lifestyle that we don’t even second guess our own symptoms. As a society we have weight problems, cardiovascular problems, breathing difficulties, etc. that can all be attributed to our shared cultural stress and trauma. Sometimes I see kids at school that are suffering with multiple serious symptoms and their parents think that it is fine, or that there is nothing that they can do. I have learned to read my kids symptoms as messages about something that they need.

This stressful lifestyle of keeping busy, and the constant stream of bad news and drama makes us feel like it is normal to just list what is wrong, or label ourselves with our disorders, instead of listening to our bodies and making changes.

I have learned from trying to teach about health, that the hardest thing is to change a belief in someone who is set in their ways. I can almost visibly see someone batting away the information that I am telling them if it does not match their belief structure. For example, I heard someone who threw their back out talking about how they were going to pay the bills if they were out of work for two weeks. I mentioned that there is this amazing practitioner in town that does Myofascial Release and will have them feeling better in an hour, which it totally worth getting two weeks of your life back, even if it is not covered by insurance. But they just kept going with their story about how it is required to suffer for two weeks.

And before you think that I have it all figured out, I will share that I am still working on this myself. It is really hard to change your mindset because you are so used to your own habits and your own way of thinking. This is why I am thankful to have friends that are willing to tell me when my trauma is showing. I think of it like the friends who are honest enough to tell you that you have food in your teeth. They would rather tell me the hard truth than let me keep walking around with toilet paper on my shoe. They lovingly and patiently help me to see which habits I have that are no longer serving my highest good, and they help me to expand my thinking so that I can create an even better vision for my future.

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So, who do you have in your life that is helping you to notice your unhealthy behaviors or patterns? Sometimes we need to stop and realize that the person who is bothering us and making us really angry is just there to mirror our behaviors and thought patterns so that we notice them. It can be really painful, but in the end it helps us to break the pattern and shift to a healthier way of life.

michelle2

Contact Michelle for an Empowering Transformation Session if you are ready to start shifting your mindset, releasing your trauma, and breaking the patterns that are no longer serving you.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our programs and/or services is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice from your physician, midwife,  or other health care or mental health professional.

 

 


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The Tricky Business of Managing Risk

I was teaching about this concept called “Escalation of Commitment” in my Management class at the community college, and it applies not only to managing your business or your home, but to managing your relationships and your health.

Escalation of Commitment is defined as “an increased commitment to a previous decision despite evidence that it may have been wrong”.  (Robbins and Coulter, Management p. 47)

There are so many ways that I have seen this play out in my personal and professional life. For example, when you have a client that you have helped for a year, and they haven’t paid you yet (because you only get paid when the project is finished or the deal is closed), but if you work a little harder, if you give a little more, if you invest a little more time, maybe you will finally get paid and then that year will have been worth all the effort. But it is so easy for that year to turn into two and then three. And it is so hard to admit that you will never see a return on that investment. So you need to learn to see those clients and those projects more clearly in the beginning, before your commitment has escalated. You need to learn to calculate the risks and rewards of each project. But personally, I love how many times in the business textbooks, after they explain all the models and equations that you can use to create your matrix and do your calculations, that it all comes down to learning to tune in to your intuition!

“Although managers try to quantify a decision when possible by using payoff and regret matrices, uncertainty often forces them to rely more on intuition, creativity, hunches and “gut feel”.” (Robbins and Coulter, Management p. 53)

success business

So, let’s assume that we have already invested a lot of time and energy into a project, or a client, or a relationship. Now we feel that we need to protect that investment. There are a few ways that we do this, the same as with any investments like our property and our retirement accounts. We buy insurance, we manage risk, we learn to look at it from all angles and see the big picture, and just in case those don’t work, we need to diversify. So in both your personal and professional relationships, it is healthy to have a large support network, and different types of relationships that serve different needs. I like to make sure that I have a healthy mix of mentors that I look up to and peers to network and collaborate with, to support and encourage me so that I can teach and mentor others.

But how do you learn to see the big picture and manage risk when it comes to protecting your largest investment? And no, I’m not talking about your property or your retirement account. I’m talking about your health.

  • How do you learn to see your health from all angles (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and learn to diversify your investments of time and energy?
  • How do you learn to quit before you have given too much of yourself and admit that you will never get water out of that stone?
  • How do you learn to discern what you are doing just out of habit so that you can make the conscious choice to stop and turn around and look for another path?

The problem is that we have invested a lot of time and energy in our stories. We have generations of family values wrapped up in those stories that we have been told since we were babies. To unravel that takes time and attention. Often when someone comes to me because they are in pain, they want more attention for their pain, but they don’t really want to stop being sick or stop being in pain because they have invested so much of themselves into that story. That pain has been such a part of who they are, that if they removed it, they wouldn’t know who they were anymore. Many times, that pain is the basis of their relationships with friends and family. Being a victim, or being sick, has meant that the people in their life need to take care of them and need to pay attention to them. Changing that story changes their whole world. If they no longer need that help, their rescuer or protector may find themselves out of a job.

So, we continue to protect that investment that we have put into this lifetime, (or generations) of stories. I am often asked “how did you do that?” or “how did you get to this point?” and I want to give them honest answers so that they too can begin to heal and stop being in pain. As a teacher, I love to explain how things work and share my discoveries, but I’ve found that if I just give someone additional information or facts, they may not be able to hear me because they feel it threatening their perception of reality. They start to protect their investments, even if they are not aware that they are doing it. So, even though they know that their choices thus far, or their family’s way of doing things, or their belief systems, are causing them pain and heartache and misery, it is hard to walk away from that Escalation of Commitment to the story. This is why they say that it is hard to “teach an old dog new tricks”. Even when we don’t really feel old, we need to realize that we are carrying stories and beliefs from our ancestors as Red Flags in our DNA that are warning us to fear change.

In my management class when we do the chapters on Innovation and Managing Stress, I show clips from the movie “The Croods” which is about how the cavemen were afraid of leaving what they knew.They had created a society with rules and strictures that kept them safe. Trying new things and being innovative could get you killed. They told stories about how someone left home once, and they died. Someone tried a new food once, and they died. So all of those stories were passed down not only as legend, but in the DNA as warning signs. All these years later, we feel ourselves getting stressed out or fearful over things that probably won’t kill us in our current reality. We are more afraid of speaking in public than we are of crossing the street. We are terrified of sharks, but more people died last year from taking selfies than from shark attacks. And many of us do not live anywhere near the ocean, or where there are giant spiders and snakes, but we still feel the ancient influences as we jump into full battle mode whenever we see movement out of the corner of our eye. So we quickly react to these embedded fears, but then we forget to calculate risk when leaning over some balcony to take a selfie or texting while driving a car.

There are interesting laboratory studies about how a fear can be passed down for several generations. They say that we will not understand the rise in obesity, diabetes and psychiatric orders without looking at the influence of our grandparents’ environment. They also explain the science of how you can inherit a Memory. But if you are not interested in the science and you want to just start to feel better, that’s okay too.

  • So, what physical, emotional, or mental pain are you experiencing that is keeping you from living to your full potential or finding your joy?
  • What are you passionate about but you aren’t doing because there is some fear that is keeping you from taking the leap?
  • Is there an old story that is no longer serving your highest good?
  • Where are you wasting your time and energy?

If you want help in solving this puzzle, contact me to schedule a private session. My technique is strategic, and targeted to get you answers quickly and painlessly so that you can get on to more rewarding projects.

puzzle truth
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our programs and/or services is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice from your physician, midwife,  or other health care or mental health professional.