Almost three years ago, I quit
my job to pursue my passion of becoming Software Developer which has been long
dream of mine since childhood. At the time, I had wife and two-year-old who
depended on me to support and any decision of quitting my job to pursue dream
was difficult. This is because I had to abandon my personal responsibility of
taking care my family, but I also knew that unless I take risk with my life for
the greater good nobody would hand me an opportunity unless I seek for it and I
will be saying what if for the rest of my life. It had been constant struggle
in mind for month until I read how Jeff Bezos left six figure salary to start
Amazon and it validated my inner thought of pursing my passion. Two months
later, I quit my job and signed up coding bootcamp called the Software Guild in
Minneapolis and after gruesome 4 months I landed my first job as developer and
I am excited that I took that incridible step of pursing my passion.
If I had not made that decision, I would be
stuck cubical somewhere in Minneapolis counting the hours when the day would be
This is my life! My life is embedded with the philosophy to helping society and giving back to humanity is what holistically defines me and I love doing what I do. As a community leader working with Liberian immigrant community in the Twin Cities, we gather each year at a designated state, raise funds and purchase instructional and medical supplies for under-privileged children in Liberia. As a person, I feel the world is meaningless IF we as human beings knowingly and unknowingly fail to be our brother’s keepers. We’re on a road to trip to one of our annual conventions in the state of Maryland and I leading this team.
My health rejoices!!
Have you ever felt really good when someone smiles because of what you’ve done for them especially when all hope is gone and you show up and put an unexpected smile on the person face? Have you ever? It’s fun and therapeutically benefitting.
The above picture may not be exciting to you, but to me it is – I’ve been working for a couple years to get Prairie Smoke plants to grow in a difficult space in my front yard and this spring they came back!! Yep – I’m THAT neighbor. While my yard doesn’t look like The Addams family lives here, you will immediately notice the front lawn has more than its fair share of dandelions and Creeping Charlie (excellent early pollen resources for the bees) and several spaces devoted to native prairie grasses and plants. If you were to look in the back yard, you would see even more native garden spaces (I’m excited to begin this year’s project – converting 50% of the remaining backyard green space back into its natural native prairie state).
If you speak to me one on one for almost any amount of time, my passion for pollinators (including bees and butterflies), the reestablishment of native prairie spaces in city spaces, and hatred of all things green lawn related will come up almost immediately. Things haven’t always been this way for me…it all started around seven years for purely selfish reasons. My divorce was complete, and I was stuck with a much too large house with an even larger yard. It was all too much for one person to maintain, so looking into ways to mow my lawn less was a priority. Almost immediately I found this article: https://healthylandethic.com/2013/11/17/why-prairies-matter-and-lawns-dont/
I bought into its message without hesitation: green grass
lawns provide no long-term benefits to our, or the populations of wild animals,
living experience. The article provides a great launching pad into this topic
that everyone should be informed on. It states the obvious – the overuse of
chemicals, combined with the overwatering of lawns is detrimental to our water
supply (did you know that 99% of all open bodies of water tested in the United
States contain common lawn pesticides?).
The article discusses how native prairies not only provide
vital habitat to native birds and pollinators, but how their root systems
extend up to 15 feet into the ground (as compared to the few inches that green
grass lawns due). Why is that important? All green plants pull carbon gasses
out of the air and store them in the ground. Native prairies are one of the
most efficient ways we can reduce carbon gas from entering the atmosphere.
Prairie root systems are also important for water filtration purposes (not to
mention, once established they take little to no watering or maintenance). Be
sure to check out the graphic showing different root systems compared to
standard lawn grass.
As mentioned, I started looking for ways to cut back on lawn maintenance and it has quickly grown into a passion. As such, I can go on about a variety of topics related to lawns but will stop here for now and ask one thing from you: If you have a lawn, please consider returning some of it to a native state, or at least include native plants in your gardening and landscaping – our world needs it. The more you do, the more you will see your ecosystem change and I promise you that once the bees and butterflies begin showing up, the native birds will as well (it sounds geeky, but it is pretty cool). While you aren’t solving all the world’s problems, you will be contributing to the solution in a tangible way. Who knows, maybe it will become one of your passions that you can spread along to others as well.
I have heard about essential oils for the past 8 years from various friends and family members but didn’t really put much thought into them myself. That is, until recently. I have battled a 6 week illness that continues to plague me. This effects my sleep, my energy level, my work, my school work and my interaction with people. Round 2 of steroids and round 3 of allergy medications along with 2 doses of anti-biotics had no effect on my illness but really wreaked havoc on my body. It was time to do something different. When I got to week 3 of my illness, conversations began to echo in my head about the natural healing effects of essential oils.
I started with the company Melaleuca as I am already familiar with their products. This is a wellness company that surrounds their whole business around health, preserving nature and overall wellness. We currently only use Melaleuca products to clean our house due to their commitment of using natural ingredients, most notably Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil). I their descriptions of the oils and learning what each can do for the body. I ordered some oils to try these for myself. For more information on Melaleuca products you can go to their site at https://www.melaleuca.com/
I next went to an essential oils “class” at a friend’s house to hear about the importance of the purity and potency of the oils we use. The most important tid-bit of information is that the oils should be 100% PURE Therapeutic grade. I also learned some oils are okay to ingest in small amounts, some oils need a “carrier oil” to ensure the oils will not be uncomfortable on the skin, some oils are better when diffused, and so on. With so much information to digest, Melaleuca recommended a reference book called The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness Paperback – by Nerys Purchon (Author), Lora Cantele (Author). This book is loaded with what each oil can do and provides information on how to blend oils to assist with increasing energy, enhancing sleep, calming an upset tummy, soothing a headache and so much more. Quick tip: Five oils I think everyone should start with and always have on hand are Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree Oil and Bergamot.
So far, I found I sleep better with oils diffusing in my room at night and I breathe easier. (For my night blend I use Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil.) I also found it helpful to diffuse oils in my office during the day for energy and clarity. (For this I use Lemon, Bergamot, Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint.) There are many websites and Pins on Pinterest to help guide your way into the use of essential oils. One site I find helpful in knowing how to use oils for specific needs is http://www.edensgarden.com/pages/health You can also ask your massage therapist, chiropractor or a local health enthusiast for recommendations on how oils can add to your health and every day life. (We are lucky to have Elise Pederson as a resident expert in all things natural health and wellness.) I hope you are intrigued and inspired to venture into the world of essential oils and benefit from what they can do for you.