Jump! Announcement

Jump! Announcement
If you get my blog updates (or want to get them), you may remember I wrote a little while back about that feeling you get when you're wading out into the unknown or trying something new that scares you a little bit but you know it's a good thing... That feeling you get that is slightly overwhelming but more exciting than anything else? I'm standing at a crossroads, at the beginning of something amazing and wonderful and challenging and awesome all tangled up together.

First, some sad news: I resigned my teaching job at Hayes Elementary. I will dearly miss some wonderful colleagues and equally wonderful students, particularly the 30-some singers in the before-school Early Bird Choir. But once a giraffe, always a giraffe!

Now for the exciting news! I am greatly looking forward to teaching on my own as Orem Music! I will be teaching for a few homeschool groups in the Twin Cities -- as of right now for Wings and CHAT -- doing ukulele classes, a choir/general music type class, co-teaching band, and leading low brass sectionals. I am also going to be teaching private voice and ukulele lessons. I already teach beginner and intermediate ukulele classes for adults through various community education districts in the area, and will continue to offer these options as well as private lessons for adults. For a current list of events that are already scheduled, check out the events page.

I am also continuing to intentionally grow my wellness business with Young Living, focused specifically on serving those who struggle with sensitivities, are Highly Sensitive themselves (HSPs), but also those who deal with TMJD or other chronic issues. I love problem solving with people, walking alongside them on their journey to fuller wellness, and empowering them to think critically about how God has made them and made His world and plants to support our growth and healing. God is opening doors for me to serve others, including creating a welcoming space for others to learn and grow, and I am so grateful and humbled to love people and walk parts of life with them that they sometimes don't wish to share with others. I want people to feel hope rather than fear about their health!

Embarking on this adventure has been a bit nerve-wracking, but also quite exciting during such a season of uncertainty in our world. While the details are not final, given our somewhat lack of knowledge of what this fall will bring here in Minnesota still, I trust God to continue providing the right places and people for me to connect with and offer my enthusiasm, joy, and skills in service. I know God has made me to teach music, and more fully to train up young people in understanding how God has made us all as musical beings, gives us music to worship Him, and allows us to connect with and serve others through music. I am very excited to begin teaching music and training up young people with this more focused vision in mind, and I can't wait to see whom else God brings across my path to serve in the ways He has gifted me.

3 Non-Musical Ways to Maximize Potential and Increase Confidence

Do you struggle with performance anxiety or mindset and confidence? You are not alone. Sometimes addressing non-musical things can really help the issue at hand, speaking from a teacher and performer lens.

Here are a few non-musical ways to help you (or your child) experience success in addressing performance anxiety or general confidence and anxiety. Read on to the end to get a free recipe for my concentration and focus blend.

1. Encourage a Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is not a new concept, but it is especially important when tackling difficult tasks or subjects. Studies show that if people believe they can do something, even if it is difficult and they may not get it right away, they learn it better, retain it longer, and stick with the hard task longer if they have a growth mindset.

Encourage your inner self to use phrases such as "Mistakes help me grow." or "My intelligence can be developed." or "I keep trying and never give up!" instead of "I'm not good at it." or "I give up easily.'

2. Get Good Sleep

“Daytime thinking is a building process, whereas nighttime thinking is a sorting process.”

― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health 

Did you know that people with sleep issues are often misdiagnosed with attention or learning issues? This is because our brains make sense of and sort our experiences at nighttime from during the daytime. When we don't get enough good sleep at night, our brain isn't able to "download" and synthesize what we took in from the previous day. So maybe you did a lot of great learning and made progress the day before, but if you didn't sleep well or long enough, that learning may be lost. There are so many other reasons sleep is vital to health and wellness and learning! Read a scholarly example here.

Set a bedtime routine and stick to it! If you need ideas, I shared 11 tried and true ways to get better sleep here that can be adapted very well for anyone, including kids.

3. Strengthen Left- and Right-Brain Connections

Do you enjoy some activities that are completely unrelated to performing? Of course you do! There are many studies that show certain activities (like purposeful cross-body movement) strengthen the pathways in the brain between the two hemispheres. What does this have to do with performing? Well, music often requires that these pathways be strong. When practicing using these pathways, it's like exercising a muscle and will get stronger with use. The stronger you build a muscle, the stronger you feel when something heavy comes along that you have to pick up. By building strong pathways with something different -- like movement -- you can come back to it feeling stronger, like it is a bit less heavy than last time.

In the
 middle of a moment of anxiety or performing (or perhaps even right before it!), do 
this active listening + movement piece to activate those multiple areas of the brain.

"I Can Do This!" Focus & Concentration Roller Blend

10 drops Peppermint essential oil

10 drops Frankincense essential oil

15 drops Lemon essential oil

15 drops Stress Away essential oil

Add these essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with carrier oil. 

Roll on wrists, collar bone, bottom of feet, or the back of neck before tackling a difficult task.

Need more ideas for grounding, calming, and uplifting options?

It is very important to know that not all essential oils are created equal...

You can’t just go out to a big box store (or anywhere online) and trust that you’re getting the good stuff. Lucky for you, I’ve got a source I trust – want to know more? Click the button in the top corner to contact me.

*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. All things I love and use, of course!



So you know that feeling when you were little and you were at the top of a water slide and you'd never been that high up before? Or maybe as an adult at the top of a cliff? I imagine that's the same feeling you'd get when bungee jumping (though I don't know if I'm brave -- or crazy! -- enough to try that...)

I'm just going for the feeling right now. You know that feeling, where you're threatened with feeling overwhelmed? Or you're at a fork in the road?

That's where I'm at now.

I'm standing at a crossroads, at a door, at the precipice of something amazing and wonderful and challenging and awesome all tangled up together.

I have that small knot in my stomach, or butterflies, if you will, but it's not paralyzing me like it used to usually do.

For the first time in a VERY long time (if not ever!), I feel empowered in this uncertain, not-quite-sure-what-is-about-to-happen moment. I used to only make "safe" decisions, even if I was trusting God in them. This decision definitely doesn't feel as "safe" or as predictable. But I feel like I have resources and friends and tools that I've grown to use well, and a network to support me. I feel God's guidance and wisdom in the direction I'm headed, even if it feels scary and new.

I've grown SO MUCH in these past 2 years. And I can't wait to keep growing: emotionally, relationally, musically, physically in wellness, professionally, spiritually...

Who's with me? Ready to jump?

How I Personally Dealt With TMJD Naturally

How I Personally Dealt With TMJD Naturally

Jaw issues can be a tricky thing... Many people (specialists included) don't know exactly what causes it, and for different people there can be different root issues or things that exacerbate it.

I personally believe that the body is inter-connected. We were made to be holistic beings and to care for our body, mind, spirit, and heart as whole beings!

So with that in mind, it took much trial and error for me, but with some changes to lifestyle and positive natural additions, I'm finally in a place of being physically well, emotionally well, relationally well, and spiritually well. There's always room for more growth, but I feel better than I have ever being on this wellness journey of discovery and progress.

5 Things That Have Impacted My TMJ For the Better

1. We cut out all sugar & caffeine, most dairy (esp. husband for his IBS), and most processed foods. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. And einkorn for grain mostly. Part of our diet change also included some supplements that support joint health and overall wellness including energywhich has even helped my hair and nails grow longer and thicker and be less brittle. Who knew? More positives, I guess when you're going for naturally supporting the body. 

2. We also see a specialized chiropractor, and utilize something that helps us stay in alignment longer. I wear a custom splint on top at night so I slide instead of clench, though I personally think that mostly just protects my teeth than stops clenching.

3. Working on mindset and run-away emotions, as well as balancing hormones. I used to be a really anxious person, worrying about every little thing and blowing smaller worries out of proportion. If I went to a dr for that, maybe I would have been diagnosed, maybe not. But I have consciously worked REALLY hard to help myself focus on affirmations (truths rather than lies) to help me when I feel like it's harder than it should be.

4. Supplement where the body is deficient. This one may seem obvious, but I don't think it is! This includes joints, gut health, and ear/detoxing issues such as tinnitus. We live in a world that is broken, and with bodies that don't always do as they're supposed to -- but it wasn't meant to be this way! By providing our bodies high quality, bioavailable options to support where our bodies are lacking, we can live full lives more as we were created to. I've been able to do that very well, but the body takes TIME to heal. (This process can take months of consistency, so be patient. It didn't get "messed up" in a day, so it won't get "fixed" in a day either.)

5. Get good sleep. Sleep is foundational for so much of our health and wellness.

Curious about the specific things that have worked for me in each of these categories? Check out some of the links above, for starters, or contact me via this blog or FB or Instagram @oremsabundantlife. I don't believe there's a one-size-fits-all for health & wellness, but I'm happy to be someone you can bounce ideas off of while on this natural wellness journey, or a listening ear to see what I can do to help you thrive rather than barely survive. I wish I'd had someone like that when I first started this journey. Happy to be that for you if you need it! Feel free to contact me. I run a natural wellness challenge group for those on this journey. We'd be happy to include you! Let me know if you'd like an invite. I pray wellness and relief and abundance for you, friend. Be Blessed.

Why TMJD Can Feel So Lonely... But Doesn't Have to Be

Why TMJD Can Feel So Lonely... But Doesn't Have to Be
Having TMJD (or temporomandibular joint dysfunction/disorder) can be really lonely... 

I know.

I dealt with it for over 5 years. Each day, I would go to class (during college). I would sing for 20 minutes, only to be in intense neck/shoulder, jaw discomfort for the whole rest of the day. On those precious weekend days when I chose not to do any singing for my studies (I was a vocal music major), I relished each hour of less issues (though still using an ice pack on my face to fall asleep), dreading the coming of Monday when my week of tension and aching and pain would return. I sometimes cried just thinking about it. (And at the time, I hated crying... I still don't enjoy it, but now, I've learned it's okay and good to cry.)

I even tried little tiny magnets taped to my face to bring some relief on those worst days. And they helped... a tiny bit. It was worth a try anyway.

Honestly, it was awful.

Why? Not just because of the hurt...

But because I questioned the career I was so passionately pursuing, the career I felt called to with every fiber of my being, the career where I could share the joy of making music with others.

Not just because of the hurt...

But because no one else understood. I was deeply lonely.

Most people didn't even know I was hurting at all! It's not visible... it's not even a disability or something for which you can get accommodations. I felt alone in this.

My closest friends and I named my jaw "Doris," so we could blame the cranky day on Doris. So we could say, 'Doris doesn't like the rainy weather,' or 'Doris went on a roller coaster today...' And I could share a sliver of my experience with those few close friends - without feeling like a big whiner and complainer, because that is just not who I am!

TMJD is not well understood even by most doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons. Again, I felt alone in seeking help, because they tried to give me shallow bandaids rather than digging to the root of the issues.

How can this be in 2020?

Well, because many different things can cause it or aggravate it or bring it to the surface. Root issues look different for many different people.

So now I sit and watch the conversations in the online support groups happen... how so many people feel jaded and lost and lonely and frustrated and having horrible days, spending thousands of dollars on treatments professionals claim will work, because it is such an evasive issue.

TMJD is much like a snowflake -- a bit different for everyone, and no two manifestations of it look identical.


But what I've come to realize as I sit here 4 years later, in my place of privilege regarding what almost feels like a distant nightmare now, from the other side...

Is that people really just need joy. They need light. They need HOPE! They need to know there IS light at the end of the tunnel, that hurting does not have to be the end of the story. They need to know that freedom is possible.

If you, friend, are dealing with this beast, please know you're not alone. If you have a family member fighting this daily battle, they are not alone. You need to know that there ARE other options, there ARE natural, safe, non-invasive options. Will they be guaranteed to work? No. Is it a quick fix? In my experience, no.

Whether you have insurmountable amounts of hurt or just some tightness and a little discomfort...

I want you to feel seen and heard and known. I don't want you to feel alone.

What I do know, is that this journey to wellness, to physical and mental and emotional wellness and change of mindset is WORTH it. If you would have told me 4 years ago that I'd feel better today than I did when I was 17, I'd have laughed at you! Really?!


There is hope.

If you need a listening ear... if you need to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.... if you need to hear of other options because you feel jaded and alone and frustrated...

I am here. ❤️ You are not alone.

I cherish the opportunity to be that listening ear and light for those around me. I'd love to be that for you, too, really. Truly! You are welcome here. I've also shared more of my TMJD journey here if that would bless you. That's my goal -- love and blessing!
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