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Master the Mountain

We all have mountains in our lives – things that seem insurmountable. Challenges.

Maybe it’s something from the past that needs to be overcome. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe a current problem that came up in life.

We moved across the country this summer. We’ve moved a lot over the years. This move was by FAR the most peaceful move we have ever done. But moving is still stressful. There’s a lot to do to get settled. Add in excited children who need a lot of entertaining – that’s been my mountain. Getting us settled and moved in while caring for four elementary aged kids without losing focus. IT’s been quite a struggle. So, I focus on mastering my mountain. Watch how I do it and why it works.

Queer Eye and the Church

I don’t get to watch a lot of TV for myself. We recently got Netflix. I found Queer Eye. Now I’m in love.

Today, I am watching the God Bless Gay episode. Driving to the town, the Fabulous Five start discussing their feelings of the church – the hate they have endured, the pain, the hurt, the disconnect between those claiming to be Christians and God, how they have made peace – very eye opening. Hearing Bobby talk about the pain and hurt caused by his church – wow. He wouldn’t set foot inside the church. The son, Miles, sharing how community members shout at him as he walks by as a gay black man – heartbreaking.

I think back to how I saw similar situations play out when I was in the church. How I contributed. Love the sinner, hate the sin kind of crap. That’s not truly loving a person. That’s showing love to a part of a person and condemning the rest. I see my gay friends. My lesbian friends. My trans friends. My friends who live outside of the gender binary. And I see how they are hurt on the regular.

Through the episode – love and forgiveness are forefront.

This. This is what we need. This is why I do what I do.

Here’s my goal. My dream.

To provide space for those hurt by churches to be loved and to work toward healing. A space to learn tools to find yourself. To set healthy boundaries. And to choose what faith and religion looks like for you moving forward – equipped with tools to stay emotionally healthy and safe.

A space for those who have been in cults. In fundamentalism. In toxicity. Those ostracized for their orientation or lifestyle. Those who have been hated and pushed out.

Healing and forgiveness. Love. Those things are what change the world. Through healing, we can change the face of our communities. Our churches (for those who choose to return).

It’s time to move toward the world changing love. Starting with loving ourselves. Healing wounds. Forgiveness. Forward motion. Walls breaking down. Bridging disconnect. Changing the world with love.

Are you ready?

Join me in my free Belief Exploration Group. Let’s start there. It’s a safe place to start finding yourself. Reclaiming the parts of yourself that have been silenced, erased, or covered up. Come as you are. Where you are. No judgement. Only acceptance and love. We’ve all been through shit. We can work through it together.

Guided Meditation: Healing the Child Within

What happens in childhood lasts into adulthood. But, we can connect with our inner child and work toward healing. Return to this and repeat this meditation as often as needed. Soon, you will be able to quickly connect with your child self and meet those needs and move forward. Practice makes perfect!

I was erased. I’ve re-drawn myself.

My story.

Essential oils have changed my life. As in – the doTERRA oils I had just started using after trying all sorts of oils for many years brought me back to myself. I spent 10 years in a fundamentalist christian cult. I thought it was a good church. It wasn’t. It erased me. I became nearly robotic in my pursuit of being the perfect Christian wife. I read only the books they allowed. I interacted only with those in the church. As my husband and I moved around, we gravitated to similar churches everywhere we landed. I had lost the ability to think for myself, to connect with others, and to trust intuition.

One day, many years ago, an online friend had a fundraiser with oils. I had only met her online in a parenting rights advocacy group. I’d used oils before – all sorts of other brands including THE big brand. I hadn’t heard of doTERRA. I bought an intro kit. The oils worked better than any others I had used. A couple months later, I got a wholesale account to get the free frankincense promotion. There was no WAY I was going to sell. But… close friends SAW them working for me and asked me to help them. So, I did.

The oils were helping with physical issues left and right. But something else was going on. The oils were working on my emotional and mental state. I had just given birth to my third. My marriage was not good. Our church was falling apart. Life wasn’t the best. Money was super tight, but thankfully, the oils were getting close to paying for themselves.

Fast forward three years. I was sharing oils. My friend helped me get to my first convention where I caught the true vision of doTERRA. My personal life fell apart as we moved and were building our dream home. My husband and I separated as I was pregnant with my fourth child. There were lots of factors that I won’t elaborate on, but at the core – we were both waking up from the cult mindset. Everything about our relationship, worldviews, personal interactions – everything – was turned on its head.

My oil family, alongside my family and friends, helped to carry me through the turmoil of waking up, giving birth, moving across the country, and putting life back together.

I have a clear vision for the future. We have new trials that have come along and new adventures. My path will not look like any others – nobody travels the same path. We are presented with challenges as lessons and keep having these challenges present until we learn the lesson. My husband and I didn’t learn the lessons we needed to that first time around. Our separation lasted about 6 months and then we decided to try again. Four years later, we divorced. Over the months it took for the divorce to happen, we started learning lessons. A month after the divorce, right before the paperwork was finalized by the state, we chose to try again, much better equipped. We got un-divorced.

Thanks to these oils, I am in a place now where I am emotionally and mentally healthy. The cult no longer has a grip on me. I can move forward, seeing clearly.

My greatest success? Finding myself. My true self. That means more to me than any rank or income. Now that I have found myself, nothing can stop me.

I have redrawn myself. I am no longer erased. Oils are a passion of mine to be sure. BUT, they have enabled me to discover my true passion – helping others who have been erased to redraw themselves. Oils are one of the amazing tools in my arsenal.

If you have been erased, let’s talk. I’d love to hear your story. If you are oil-curious. Let’s talk. There might be something that’s a good fit for you. Not really sure about any of it? Let’s talk! I enjoy conversation! Here’s to living our best lives and re-drawing ourselves! Cheers!

How I Was Supported by Cedarwood Essential Oil

When I left the church, I floundered. I had just moved 1,000 miles from “home.” I knew nobody. My marriage was crap – we had decided to try again after a separation. I had just JUST given birth to our fourth baby (moved when she was 7 weeks old).

My community was gone. The church was the center of my community for most of my life and now it wasn’t safe. I had recognized the trauma it had caused. Toxic fundamentalism was the root of so many of our issues.

I turned to my oils.

Cedarwood was speaking to me. The oil of community. Cedarwood was one of the oils that helped me work through the crap, put up good boundaries, and build a loving community again – one based on true connections rather than propriety (not the easiest thing to find in the south).

It wasn’t easy. I felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in. In an area where an introduction goes like “Hi! I’m so-and-so! What’s your name? What church do you go to?” Yeah – not many people had the emotional ability to hear my truth. And that’s ok. Not my tribe.

Cedarwood helped me be open to those nos and to wait for the yeses. Bonus – cedarwood helps our bodies with appropriate melatonin production which has been helpful with four little ones at bedtime. It is also our tantrum buster as it can support the fight/flight response.

If you’d like to get your hands on some cedarwood oil, feel free to email me at audramichellewrites @ gmail . com (without the spaces) so I can help you save the most money. Or simply use the shopping cart I have set up in this link to get yours to try.

Easter Is Coming

Easter is coming. How are you doing?

Holidays after toxicity can be difficult. Many times, we struggle with emotions that pop up that others just simply don’t understand. We find ourselves putting a smile on our faces and going through the motions all while screaming inside.

You don’t have to do this alone. Come and join the community in the Belief Exploration Group. Dig in to aspects of church toxicity and fundamentalism and take steps to healing those wounds.

Join me. We are stronger, together.

Return That Negative Energy

I hate shopping for myself. I hate it. HATE. IT. I get overwhelmed very easily and get stuck in the cycle of perfection or freeze. I go round and round about what if the outfit I’m choosing isn’t right? Or doesn’t fit the same after it’s washed? Or doesn’t look as good as I think it does? What if I’m wasting money? Why are there no clothes made for someone as short as I am? What if I gain weight soon? Lose weight? Should I just wait until I’m stable?

Hate. It.

So, I sent shopping back. I started doing clothing subscription boxes. I can select styles I like and try a few selections in my home. I can wear that pair of jeans for an hour to see if they will end up baring my ass or not. I can try that blazer on with other pieces in my wardrobe to see if it actually goes with anything. And then I return what I don’t like.

Our emotions and energies can be overwhelming, just like shopping is for me. Up until age 12-ish, kids have a very hard time distinguishing whose emotions they are feeling. They are sensitive to energies – moreso than adults who have been taught to silence that part of themselves. But as adults, we can re-learn how to sort through the emotions that are sending us off kilter. Having tools to deal with what we uncover is crucial.

Here is a very short guided meditation exercise to help with just that. Once you do it with me a few times, you’ll be able to do it on your own any time you are feeling off. You can teach your children how to do the same. It’s amazing how much other people’s negative emotions can affect us – especially those of us who are empaths.

Take 10 minutes and return that negative energy.

Am I a Satan Worshipper?

Am I a satan worshipper because I question churches? I actually had someone ask that. I have had many people tell me that what I went through didn’t happen. The fact that I have healed and am shedding light in dark places makes people uncomfortable. Makes them mad.

It’s hard for people to wrap their brains around how some place that is supposed to be safe can hurt people. Sure, the sex scandals make sense, but not much else. Our trauma is minimized.

I’m here to talk about choices and healing. We can’t heal the world until we heal ourselves.

Let’s have a conversation. How can I help you? The conversation is the first step toward reclaiming yourself and finding freedom.

I Started This Business Because….

What a fun prompt! But as I started working through it, can opened – worms everywhere!

When I talk about humanity and people being treated well and loved, I tend to get fired up. The whole reason why I started Integrative Religion Recovery was to help people who had not been loved in the very place that should be loving all – the church.

Religion should not be used as a weapon. Religion should not be used to hurt.

I am here to help. Let’s have a conversation about how to get your power and identity back. Fill out the form below to schedule a 15 minute connection call to start your journey toward healing.

My Kids Are Loud

loud kids

Growing up, I heard a lot about how kids should be seen and not heard. I didn’t get that from my parents. They encouraged us to be ourselves. It was ok if we got loud. We weren’t expected to always be quiet or anything like that.

Our worth lies in more than our salvation and the ability to “get others saved.” Those who may not be “saved” or who others may deem “unsaved” still have worth. Have gifts. My daughter likes to sing like Buddy the Elf. And that blesses others.

I was told recently that unless someone is saved and others agree that they are saved, then they cannot have a moral compass. That only “tried and true christians” have any sense of morality. I call horseshit on that.

Everyone has something to offer to humanity. Everyone.

Let’s shine as the amazing people we are! #humanityrising

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