Environmental Wellness

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

-The Lorax

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to focus on one of the seven dimensions of wellness-environmental wellness. Environmental wellness incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment. Ultimately, all of our decisions, whether it is the foods we consume or the products we buy, will impact our lovely planet and home.

As much as we should enjoy the beauty mother nature has to offer, we must also take responsibility to protect our planet’s limited natural resources. I believe our decisions should encompass sustainability measures to ensure that we are not creating impossible problems for future generations. At the very least, we should be working towards identifying solutions for the environmental problems we are currently creating. The good news is that are many organizations who are investing in economic research and working towards solving some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems. These organizations are led by individuals who exhibit growth mindsets and are future-oriented through their commitment to a better future for all people.

Food Choices: Did you know that more than 30% of the available food in the United States is thrown away every year? I won’t even get started on my “American food portions are WAY too large” rant. But honestly, I think we have a lot to learn from some of the healthier nations around the world.

  1. ReFED: a nonprofit organization that utilizes a data-driven approach to address the many inefficiencies in our food system. I started reading their report-A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20% and the first paragraph left me completely blown away…

    “By 2050, it is estimated that the Earth’s population will top 9 billion. This growing population will undeniably stress our food systems, natural resources, and ecosystems. But consider this: Currently, we waste up to 40% of our food globally. In the United States, this equals roughly 400 pounds annually for every American. Meanwhile, one in seven Americans are food insecure.”

    ReFED has developed a roadmap to address food waste because economic analysis has revealed this is a solvable problem. The necessary resources are available, but we need policymakers and consumers to get involved in order to achieve widespread change. A strategy to solve global food waste has been developed. Now it all comes down to the execution of the strategy, as well as global participation.

  2. The Better Buying Lab: this initiative was launched by the World Resources Institute to develop strategies to enable consumers to purchase and consume sustainable foods. Did you know that different proteins can impact the environment in a variety of ways? Meat and dairy production are more resource-intensive to produce compared to plant-based foods. Check out the World Resources Institute’s Protein Scorecard to learn more about how your diet impacts agricultural resources.

“The world’s population is expected to grow to nearly 10 billion people by 2050, requiring 70 percent more food than what’s available today. If we’re to meet the demands of the future, we must develop a sustainable way forward for food production and consumption.”

The three core focuses of the Better Buying Lab include transforming how the food industry communicates about plant-based foods, popularizing dishes rich in plants, and identifying the right environmental metrics, methods, and targets.

These organizations are operating at a global level, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved and bring about change as well!

  • Plant your own small garden! Backyard veggies always taste better and this is a great way to increase the plant-based food consumption in your household!
  • Start your own backyard compost bin! This activity will save you money and make the plants in your garden extra happy!
  • Purchase canvas bags and ditch those plastic bags! But really…it is time.
  • Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle! Once you start identifying simple ways to become more environmentally-friendly, you’ll be amazed how simple switches will transform into larger lifestyle changes!
  • For more simple ideas, check out the United Nations’ “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” and get to work!

Product Choices: Businesses are aware that as the “going green” trend continues into the future, they must engage in sustainable practices to appeal to consumers. As consumers, we must acknowledge that many large corporations are not actually committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations. We call this “greenwashing” and it occurs when a company spends more money on advertising that they are “green” than what they are actually investing to implement green initiatives. How crazy is that?! Fortunately, the Social Age has forced companies to become more transparent and this sneaky strategy will not lead to long-term success. There are methods to identify which companies are actually committed to reducing their environmental impact, you just have to do your research. The companies who truly care about their long-term impact on the environment are the ones I want to do business with.

How do you engage in sustainable practices? What are the methods you utilize to achieve a balance with nature and how does this impact your other dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit is known as the Oil of Honoring the Body. This uplifting essential oil “teaches true respect and appreciation for one’s physical body. Grapefruit combats negative emotions like anxiety by promoting self-acceptance and encouraging integrity through acknowledgment and respect for one’s physical needs. This essential oil encourages “a positive relationship with one’s body based on love, tolerance, and acceptance.” The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some background information in order to establish a basic understanding of Grapefruit essential oil.

Grapefruit comes from the Rutaceae botanical family, which is the fancy, scientific word for citrus. One of the main chemical constituents found in grapefruits is d-Limone, a natural compound which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The extraction method for Grapefruit essential oil involves the cold pressing of grapefruit rinds. If you are interested in learning more about essential oil extraction, check out my blog post here, which covers the basics of essential oil extraction and the importance of quality.

The primary uses for Grapefruit essential oil include appetite suppressant, bulimia, cellulite, dry throat, edema, gallbladder stones, hangovers, mental stress, obesity, overeating, performance stress, PMS, stress, and withdrawal.

If you would like to do some additional research and learn about the studies that have been conducted on the primary uses of Grapefruit, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is a fantastic resource!

Grapefruit essential oil can be applied via three application methods­—topical, aromatic, and internal. Topical: Grapefruit essential oil can be applied directly to the skin on the area of concern or on reflex points. Aromatic: Grapefruit essential oil can be inhaled directly or diffused. Internal: add to a drink or take using a veggie capsule!

Everyday Uses:

  • Are you having trouble studying or focusing on an important task? Add a few drops of Grapefruit and Peppermint essential oil to your diffuser for the perfect concentration blend!
  • Looking for a natural way to boost your metabolism? Add a drop of Grapefruit to a glass of water before eating a meal!
  • Need an early morning pick-me-up? Add a few drops of Grapefruit to a basic body wash for an invigorating shower!
  • Dealing with cramps because it is that time of the month?  Massage a few drops of Grapefruit to relieve symptoms! 
  • Struggling to drink enough water throughout the day? Add 1 drop of Grapefruit to 8-ounces of water for a refreshing drink!
  • Why is it that blemishes always show up right before an important event? Add a few drops of Grapefruit to a cotton ball and dab the affected areas! 
  • Need of an afternoon pick-me-up? Inhale Grapefruit directly from the bottle, or apply to the wrists for an energizing boost!

Where do I get most of my information from? The sources I completely rely on and fully trust are Modern Essentials and  Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing. Check out these books if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Grapefruit essential oil!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Grapefruit essential oil? How do you incorporate this essential oil in your daily routine to regulate your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.

Turquoise Roots

“Remember your roots, trust your wings.”

I come from a long line of turquoise lovers. My great-grandmother lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and she absolutely adored her turquoise jewelry. Over the past few years, I have also become quite fond of turquoise. There are very few days you will find me without my turquoise rings because going “ringless” makes me feel as if I am missing a part of myself. It is hard to explain, but somehow, my turquoise rings bring me a sense of safety. It was not until a few months ago that I came across some interesting information regarding the history of and meaning behind turquoise.

Turquoise is a purification stone–it dispels negative energy, acts as a mood stabilizer, and instills a sense of inner calm. For thousands of years, this “fallen sky stone” has brought protection, strength, and power to cultures across the globe.  Did you know that King Tut’s burial mask was adorned with turquoise stones? Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but turquoise will always be my soul mate.

The United States is currently the world’s largest producer of turquoise. Nevada, New Mexico, California, and Colorado all have mines in which dissolved copper has combined with aluminum and phosphorus to create beautiful turquoise stones.

Turquoise influences my emotional, spiritual, and environmental dimensions of wellness. If you missed my post on the importance of balancing all seven dimensions of wellness, you can check it out here!

Here’s how these tiny, precious items contribute to my overall balance:

  • Emotional Wellness: Each time I glance at my turquoise rings, I am reminded of my strong roots– the independent women in my family who I am proud to call my role models. These turquoise rings allow me to feel grounded and have become a unique component of who I am as an individual.
  • Spiritual Wellness: I believe you attract the same type of energy that you release into the world. Think about it for a moment…when you have a positive mindset, you tend to focus more on the wonderful things in life and you attract people who possess a similar mindset and vibe. Turquoise instills me with positive energy and I am therefore able to release positive energy back into the world. Simply put, energy is constantly flowing.
  • Environmental Wellness: We all need the occasional reminder that the world does not revolve around ourselves. Rather, we are part of a much larger interconnected web. The turquoise in my rings spent hundreds (if not thousands) of years in the earth. These specific stones were stationary for the majority of their lives, but now that turquoise travels with me around the world. I find that to be a pretty amazing concept,

I do not believe it is materialistic to have tangible items that remind you of who you are. Maybe you have a little momento from an amazing trip or a photo that reminds you of a lost beloved one. Whatever that object is for you, hold onto it. Let it serve as a constant reminder of your core being. Allow it be a window into your heart and soul.

What item serves as a reminder to your roots? What dimensions of wellness do you believe this reminder brings balance to? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano is known as the Oil of Humility. This empowering essential oil “dispels materialism and attachment that hinders an individual’s growth and progress.” Oregano encourages true spirituality and the elimination of toxic relationships and activities. Additionally, Oregano promotes humility, the willingness to be strong, and clears negativity. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some background information in order to establish a basic understanding of Oregano essential oil.

Oregano comes from the Labiatae botanical familywhich is the fancy, scientific word for mintThe main chemical constituents found in Oregano are phenolswhich contain antibacterial properties. The extraction method for Oregano essential oil involves the steam distillation of the herb. If you are interested in learning more about essential oil extraction, check out my blog post here, which covers the basics of essential oil extraction and the importance of quality.

The primary uses for Oregano essential oil include athlete’s foot, calluses, canker sores, carpal tunnel syndrome, fungal infections, immune system support, inflammation, intestinal parasites, MRSA, muscle aches, parasites, pneumonia, ringworm, staph infection, viral infections, warts, and whooping cough.

If you would like to do some additional research and learn about the studies that have been conducted on the primary uses of Oregano, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is a fantastic resource!

Oregano essential oil can be applied via three application methods­—topical, aromatic, and internal. Topical: Oregano essential oil should be diluted before it is applied directly to the skin on the area of concern or on reflex points. Dilute using a 1:3 ratio (1 drop of Oregano with 3 drops of fractionated coconut oil). Aromatic: Oregano essential oil can be inhaled directly or diffused. Internal: Oregano essential oil is great for cooking! Tip: 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil with 1 drop of Oregano essential oil = 1 teaspoon dried oregano!

Everyday Uses:

  • Are you starting to feel a little under the weather? For a quick immune boost, add 2 drops of each of the following essential oils to a veggie capsule: Oregano, Lemon, Frankincense, and Melaleuca
  • Looking for an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner? Add 10 drops of Oregano to a 16-ounce spray bottle filled with water to clean your sinks, showers, and bathtubs!
  • Struggling with rough cuticles while you are trying to get ready for sandal season? Mix about 6 drops of fractionated coconut oil with 1 drop of Oregano and rub on cuticles/toenails!
  • Are you one of those people who always has cold feet? Right now I am raising my hand. Mix about 6 drops of fractionated coconut oil with 1 drop of Oregano and massage onto your feet to instantly warm your body!
  • Is your throat starting to feel a little scratchy? Add 1 drop of Oregano to a shot glass filled with water and gargle to soothe your irritated throat!

Where do I get most of my information from? The sources I completely rely on and fully trust are Modern Essentials and  Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing. Check out these books if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Oregano essential oil!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Oregano essential oil? How do you incorporate this essential oil in your daily routine to regulate your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: this website is for general health information only. This content is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. You should not rely on this information for your own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own healthcare provider.

Pursuing Peace

“To find peace, you have to be willing to lose your connection with the people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life.”

It is interesting to consider that as technology has simplified components of our lives, it has also overcomplicated our lives in the process. Technology has made routine tasks easier, but we have taken advantage of this increased efficiency. As human beings, we believe that when we have more time available, we should pile more responsibilities on top of our already busy schedules. Somewhere in this rush, the importance of human connections has begun to fade as we are consumed by what is going on in our own lives. Don’t worry…I will save my whole “I think I was born in the wrong decade” rant for a later time. I frequently find myself caught up in the rush as I scurry from home to work to school. Where do I draw the line?

A recent Luke Bryan song says “sixty seconds now feels more like thirty…sand through the glass sure falls in a hurry.” We have made it much easier for ourselves to believe we always need to be hurrying from one place to the next, constantly overwhelmed by a range of responsibilities. Why do we continue to accept the glorification of being busyIn order to change the pace of our lives, we must first learn that being a busier person does not automatically makes you a more important person. Now, I do not want that to be misconstrued because there is nothing wrong with being involved in a variety of activities. However, we also need to prioritize our wellness–specifically, focusing on balancing the seven dimensions of wellness.

The instant I begin to feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities, I practice living in the moment. Regardless of where I find myself in that moment, I stop whatever I am doing and become truly present. I really take in the details of my surroundings and observe the interactions taking place around me. The world is not revolving around me and I give myself a simple reminder that the stresses associated with my busy schedule are ultimately meaningless compared to the much bigger picture in life. Next, I take some deep breaths. I might take a few minutes to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, or maybe I will notice the way the leaves on the trees dance in the breeze. As I begin to regain a sense of certainty, I also reevaluate my responsibilities.

When I reach those overwhelming moments, I know it is time for me to engage in one of my “pursuing peace” activities. These brief activities are just enough to restore balance to my overall wellness by addressing my emotional dimension of wellness.

Soak Up Some Epsom! Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) is a natural mineral compound which provides a variety of health benefits. When you place Epsom salt in a warm bath, the salt will quickly dissolve and the magnesium and sulfate will easily be absorbed by the human body. As a result of this absorption, you will begin to experience relaxation and thanks to our little friend reverse osmosis, toxins will be removed from your body.

  • Tip: for the perfect detoxifying soak, add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath! For enhanced relaxation, add a few drops of Lavender or Eucalyptus essential oil and soak for at least 15 minutes! This is the perfect way to end a long, stressful day!

Sip on Calming Chamomile! If you are in need of a quick, yet calming activity before bedtime, sip on a steaming cup of chamomile tea! In addition to its soothing properties, chamomile is a great source of antioxidants, it relieves headaches, and calms an upset stomach. I love that loose-leaf chamomile tea has actual chamomile flowers and I enjoy the process of steeping my own tea! I buy my loose-leaf chamomile tea from a small, local business that supplies spices and tea. If you live in Northern Nevada, you must check out salty-savory-sweet!

  • Tip: for an extra hint of chamomile, add 1 drop of Chamomile essential oil to your cup of tea! Spend a few minutes breathing in the aromas from the steam and clear your mind of the day’s stresses before you slip into bed for a great night’s sleep!

Incorporate Essential Oils! Did you know there are essential oils that can provide calming benefits and bring you a sense of peace? When I begin to feel anxious and completely overwhelmed, I grab my “reassuring blend” for an instant boost of composure and contentment. This peaceful blend includes Spearmint, Vetiver, Lavender, Yang-Ylang, Clary Sage, Frankincense, and Marjoram essential oils.

  • Tip: apply this blend to your wrists, the back of your neck, and temples! Don’t forget–you can always inhale the aromas straight from the bottle as well!

What are some of the ways you bring peace back into your life when you are feeling overwhelmed? Are there any specific essential oils you incorporate into your daily routine to promote feelings of reassurance? I would love to hear from you!

Managing Motivation

“She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans.”

My name is Kayla and I am a motivation addict. I currently work full-time in addition to attending grad school as a full-time student. I have a hard time remembering what “free time” feels like and my planner is my lifeline (yes, I still prefer to physically write down my schedule despite the pressures of the digital world). Even though I usually feel completely drained by the end of each day, there is this tiny part of me that continues to feel both encouraged and empowered by my overwhelming schedule.

What really motivates me? I love achieving my goals because the feeling of accomplishment provides me with a sense of purpose and pride. Regardless of the task at hand, I always pour 100% of myself into every single thing I do. I do not believe in minimal effort or creating the illusion of hard work. Most days, I love that I have a motivated mindset as it leads me to feel very productive and accomplished. However, there are days when I wish I had a just a few extra hours to cross a few more things off my never-ending to-do list. As a result of my busy schedule, I do occasionally experience burnout. Therefore, I must continually remind myself that it is of the utmost importance I work towards balancing the seven dimensions of wellness for the sake of my sanity.

If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated, here are some tips to get you back on the motivation train:

Identify your Motivators: It is vital you understand what motivates you. Are you motivated by money or recognition? Or maybe it is the pure feeling of accomplishment? If you are having a difficult time identifying your motivators, ask yourself what encourages you to get out of bed each morning? Once you have identified your motivators, structure your goals around these triggers. When your goals align with your motivators, it will be much easier to pursue your goals.

Scale your Goals: If you find yourself feeling discouraged, break down your goals into smaller, clearly defined actions. As you begin to accomplish these attainable goals, you will feel further encouraged to continue working hard towards your long term goals. Do not forget to reward yourself when you reach your milestones. Rewards are a great reminder that you are accomplishing BIG and meaningful goals.

Etched in Stone: Okay, okay…you can call me old-fashioned, but I refuse to give up my planner. I love writing down my schedule and the tasks I need to accomplish because it feels more permanent. If I make a quick note on my phone, it is so easy to delete that note when I feel strapped for time. Writing in my planner also gives me a visual of the total workload I am facing. Additionally, a planner is a great visual reminder of all the things you have accomplished, and the fun you were able to squeeze into your busy schedule. Plus, who doesn’t love writing with different colored pens and using fun sticky notes?

Incorporate Essential Oils: Did you know there are essential oils that can lift your spirit and revive your intentions? When I begin to feel worn out and unable to press on, I grab my “encouraging blend” for an instant boost of energy, confidence, and motivation. This motivation blend includes Peppermint, Coriander, Clementine, Basil, Yuzu, Vanilla, Rosemary, and Melissa essential oils.

Interested in reading more tips for staying motivated? Check out this post here for additional strategies!

What are some of the ways you motivate yourself to reach your goals? Are there any specific essential oils you incorporate into your daily routine to promote feelings of encouragement? I would love to hear from you!

Emotions, Essential Oils, & Escaping Anxiety

“The body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness.”

Nearly 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. Social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, just barely tap into the range of anxiety disorders people struggle with every single day. Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness in the nation?  What is even more astonishing is that the majority of individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders do not seek any type of treatment. Even if you do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, it is likely that you too have experienced anxiety at some point in your life.

I frequently struggle with anxiety because I tend to overthink things, I put a lot of pressure on myself, and the idea of change can be frightening. When I let my anxiety take control, my chest gets tight making it hard to breathe, my stomach feels like it is tied in a bunch of knots, and my mind races with all sorts of fears. I find it extremely difficult to verbalize how I experience anxiety and I know that I am not alone in feeling embarrassed to talk about my anxiety. Even more, it makes me feel weak knowing that I continue to battle with balancing my emotions and taming my fears. Discussing anxiety is not easy and that is why I believe so many individuals try to function with their anxiety and allow their symptoms go untreated.

When essential oils were introduced into my life, I was completely unaware of the immense emotional support this natural health option could provide. Now, I am no brain expert (I knew after a frog dissection in my biology class freshman year of high school that I had no aspirations to end up in med school). However, I do have a basic understanding of the brain’s limbic system. I promise to keep the science of this short and sweet, but if you want more scientific evidence you should check out this website. The limbic system is responsible for our emotions, memories, thoughts, and hormone production. So, why is this important? Essential oils directly impact the limbic system. 

I hesitate in using the word aromatherapy because a lot of people associate aromatherapy with “patchouli” and “hippies” and then they quickly begin to lose interest in the conversation. I wholeheartedly believe you will not truly understand the potential power of aromatherapy for regulating emotions until you experience the aromatic benefits of essential oils. When I start to feel extra stressed, experience low energy, or have difficulty sleeping–I reach for my oils. Essential oils have provided me with the opportunity to regulate my anxiety and uplift my emotions.

The moment I took control of my health and began to regulate my emotions with essential oils, I began to feel more optimistic and inspired. I have learned the hard way that I am unable to control everything that happens in my life. However, I do have complete control over how I choose to react to what happens in my life. Proactively approaching the physical and emotional dimensions of wellness will provide a sense of empowerment that will seep into other aspects of your life.  I was able to harness that strength and confidence to raise my expectations. I then began eliminating toxic people and activities that were creating negativity in my life and ultimately, bringing me down.

In case you missed it, you should check out my blog post here on the seven dimensions of wellness!

As we begin to explore the many types of essential oils available, I will emphasize which oils specifically help improve our many emotions. What natural health solutions have you found to be successful in combating anxiety and regulating your emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

-Thomas Edison

Did you know there is more to wellness beyond the physical and emotional components? It is critical that we give sufficient and equal attention to all dimensions of wellness in order to pursue a state of holistic health.  Overall wellness is comprised of seven dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, intellectual, and occupational.

Now you might be thinking-How can each of these dimensions of wellness be considered equal? Have you noticed when you experience the loss of someone who greatly impacted your life, that you begin to struggle in other components of life beyond your emotional state? Your mourning period stemmed from the emotional dimension, but it also had varying levels of impact on your physical, social, and spiritual wellness, as well as the remaining dimensions.

The seven dimensions of wellness are completely intertwined. When you begin to focus your energy on enhancing the relationships among these dimensions, you will truly begin to thrive.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the dimensions!

Physical Wellness: involves making more informed lifestyle choices. Engaging in physical activity, improving nutritional choices, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep will benefit the physical state of your body.

Emotional Wellness: focuses primarily on improving how you feel about yourself and your life in general.  It is essential to learn how to regulate your emotions to create balance. This is the dimension that can often be the most challenging to regulate.

Spiritual Wellness: expands beyond the scope of religion. This dimension emphasizes finding purpose in life, understanding your personal values, and being open to developing connections to things that are much bigger than yourself.

Social Wellness: encompasses all types of relationships–family, friends, and significant others.  This dimension allows us to fulfill some of our deepest needs–to feel connected and supported by other human beings.

Environmental Wellness: incorporates learning how to engage in sustainable practices and understanding how our daily decisions impact the natural environment.

Intellectual Wellness: includes mental stimulation and pursuing creative outlets to challenge and open our minds to new ideas.

Occupational Wellness: promotes searching for a meaningful career and engaging in professional organizations and hobbies. Furthermore, it allows for the expansion of one’s skills and provides an opportunity to help others.

Essentially, holistic health requires you to view your health from the broadest perspective by focusing your energy on prioritizing each and every one of the seven dimensions of wellness.  It is vital you learn to understand your body, as well as the connection your physical being has with your mind, spirit, and the world around you. Trust me, this is quite the challenging feat and I continue to struggle with maintaining balance in my life through all seven dimensions of wellness. What matters most is that you make the decision to continually work to improve yourself.  

I welcome you to join me on this journey and together we will explore how a holistic health approach and essential oils can bring you pure, personal empowerment. How do you balance the seven dimensions of wellness? I would love to hear your thoughts!