Eye Creams Versus Moisturizers

Ever wonder if you need an eye cream just because the skin around your eyelids is thinner, more sensitive and lacks oil glands? Modern marketing certainly would make you think the answer is a resounding “absolutely.” And that would be an accurate response if your moisturizer didn’t consist of emollients that help hydrate the drier skin around your eyes and contained harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance that can cause irritation to the delicate skin around your eyes.

Eye creams are basically moisturizers that are modified to be more gentle on the skin.

But if your moisturizer contains quality ingredients that are sensitive on your skin, especially if those ingredients are plant based like the ones we use, the chances are quite good that the moisturizer you use on your face can also be used as a bona fide eye cream.

The whole reason eye creams are a “thing” is because of their marketing claims that they will reduce puffiness, fix dark coloration, and eliminate wrinkles. Some may accomplish this to a certain extent. But if you are looking for an eye cream to work overnight, you are going to be disappointed. You have to use an eye cream regularly for 4 – 6 weeks before results can be seen and again they will only be seen if the ingredients you are using are good ones.

Some key natural ingredients you can look out for are 1) calendula which can fight under-eye puffiness (so can tea bags and cucumber slices); 2) Vitamin A and the antioxidant Vitamin C help increase collagen production which helps fight wrinkles; and 3) hemp seed oil which contains anti-inflammatory properties due to vitamins A and D in addition to being able to improve moisture and skin elasticity from its balanced amount of essential fatty acids (omega 3s and omega 6s).

The four moisturizers we make are a good place to start your search for an effective moisturizer for your face. And if you get adventurous or want laugh in the face of eye cream hype, you can try a small dab around your eye but ONLY IF you read the ingredients first. That’s because there is still a chance your eyes and skin could be sensitive to them even though they contain natural plant based ingredients. After all, poison ivy is a natural plant and nobody wants to put that anywhere on their skin.  So while our formulas are based on herbal traditions and designed to be safe and gentle, we want you to understand that allergies and sensitivities exist.

One last thought on eye cream hype: in addition to applying an eye cream or a moisturizer, remember to stay hydrated and wear sunglasses and/or wide brim hats.

Stay Natural,


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

Three vital components your moisturizer needs

When it comes to skin care, moisturizer was the first item I used. This is mostly because there is no difficulty when it comes to figuring out how to use a moisturizer. On the surface it seems super easy.  However, it turns out you can’t just grab a jar off the shelf and slather its contents on your face. Well you can, but the chances of picking up a moisturizer that works and also contains safe ingredients are slim.

So what makes a moisturizer work? So glad you asked. You’ll want your moisturizer to contain these three vital components to ensure it is doing its job:

  1. Humectant – attracts water Fun Fact Final REV
  2. Emollient – softens skin
  3. Antioxidants – fights free radicals

It is easy to see why these are much needed components to a moisturizer. This is why we have made sure our moisturizers contain all three. Plus, they are safe because they contain natural ingredients sourced from reputable businesses like Mountain Rose Herbs, Camden Grey, and Starwest Botanicals.

One example of a moisturizer we make that has all three vital elements is our Age-Fighting Moisturizer with Hemp Extract. It contains safe natural plant ingredients as well as the three necessary components that make a moisturizer effective:

  • Beeswax: humectant and emollient
  • Grapeseed Oil: emollient
  • Hempseed Oil: humectant, antioxidant, emollient
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil: humectant and antioxidant
  • Hemp Extract: antioxidant
  • Aloe Vera: antioxidant and emollient

Added bonus: All of our moisturizers contain great natural oils, so you don’t have to spend your time (or money) super-sizing your moisturizer with a special facial oil.

Beauty plastic containers on a wooden shelf in bright studio. 3d renderingSince knowing if your moisturizer is safe is an area lacking Federal regulation, the brunt of knowing this rests on your shoulders. That means you must research a company to see if they support a philosophy of making ingredients that don’t contain toxins or endocrine disruptors.

Definitely also check out the ingredients on the label. If you can’t pronounce some of them and the words are unfamiliar, take the time to google them. You can also check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to see the health concerns an ingredient may have.

Stay Natural,
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.


Does Your Moisturizer Give You Separation Anxiety?

Years ago, before Kaiya Naturals was formed, my Aunt Sue gave me a moisturizer she made. I used it once or twice and then after over a year[1] I discovered that the oil had separated from the cream part.

Toasted cheese sandwich on beige plate
Why is my moisturizer melting like a grilled cheese?

This perplexed me. I had never seen this before and was inclined to throw it away. I officially had separation anxiety. I didn’t know what to do with it. Part of me thought it had gone bad. After all, none of my other moisturizes had ever done this. So I did what any normal person would do: I smelled it.

Smelling the moisturizer did nothing to help me solve my problem. Nothing. That’s because it still smelled like the moisturizer did when I first received it – hints of lavender and other stuff I couldn’t identify but knew to be from the natural world.

Since this moisturizer had been a gift from my Aunt, I kept it. I didn’t use it. I just kept it on the shelf until she visited and I showed it to her. She took one look at it and said it was fine. I looked at her like she was an alien. Then she used her finger to stir the oil back into the creamy part. It reminded me a lot like what I do to peanut butter when the oil separates from it.

But I was still skeptical. I eyed that little glass bottle of moisturizer for a couple more months before deciding to use it.  And use it I did. I used all of it. Especially on my elbows and feet. It was glorious. I chided myself for having doubted the moisturizer and my Aunt’s knowledge.

These days I find myself explaining away the same “separation anxiety” I had to my friends who use our products. As such, I thought you might have the same questions and concerns.

Imagine living in the bathroom year-round. Imagine the heat that fills the room for each shower. Now add the humidity factor. Next, we need to account for the fact that our moisturizes aren’t diluted. There are no fillers in them. There are no synthetic emulsifiers, thickeners, or stabilizers. Just real ingredients like olive oil, calendula, vitamin e, tamanu oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, etc.

This means that the separation of the natural oils in normal. Especially if you store your moisturizer in your damp, hot, humid bathroom. Simply use your finger (or be diligent about germs and bacteria[2] and use a Popsicle stick, flossing stick, or utensil) to stir all the ingredients back together. It will only take a second.

Fridge with Note

You can also store your moisturizer in the refrigerator. In addition to helping prevent the oil separation, the added advantage of this is it will give you a cool burst and help wake up your face. If you’re into that kind of thing (I’m not) and don’t mind applying your moisturizer in the kitchen (I do) or explaining that not everything in the refrigerator is edible to your family (I say skip the explanation and see what happens).

All this is my long way of saying that I hope your moisturizer gives you separation anxiety! That means the ingredients are natural! At least it does if the label on it says Kaiya Naturals.

Stay natural,

Jessica Rick


[1] You are not supposed to keep our moisturizers for this long. We suggest using them in six months or less. Don’t be like me.

[2] I’m not diligent (aka anal) about this stuff; I use my finger, but I respect people who use an implement to stir their moisturizer.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Do You Know What is Growing in Your Pores?

I’ve never been a “girly-girl.” It’s just not in my DNA. So once I finally got around to actually wearing makeup on a daily basis, I seldom took the time to wash it off before I went to bed. That’s right. During my twenties and early thirties, I slept with my make up on.

Sleeping woman in bed
This woman has NO IDEA what gunk is lurking in her pores as she sleeps in her makeup.

Mostly it was for two reasons: First it seemed like one more chore to do before I could actually go to sleep. Second, I don’t like it when water drips down my arms at the sink. Truly, it bothers me. I’m certain it’s got something to do with the parts of my personality that lean towards the obsessive compulsive end of the spectrum.

These days I seldom wear make-up more than three or four times a year. But when I do, I am adamant about washing it off before I go to bed.  Here’s why:

  • There are small, itsy-bitsy tiny little oil glands that line your eyelashes. The lubrication they provide keep your eyes healthy. Not removing makeup can clog and/or inflame these glands due to makeup particles like wax, pigment, minerals, and particles.
  • Makeup can cause oxidative damage which affects collagen and elastin negatively resulting in more wrinkles and saggy skin (something no one wants, but we all must address).
  • Makeup  most likely contains irritants like dyes and/or perfumes that can be especially harsh for people with sensitive skin. But even without sensitive skin, makeup residue, particles, dyes, and perfumes won’t do your pores any favors. Dermatologists have been known to find makeup products in pores and between dead skin flakes. Sometimes when they do facial skin biopsies (which sound like zero fun), they discover mites, yeast, and bacteria in the pores. Ick. And more ick.

However, I am just now learning that I need to wash my face twice a day regardless of whether or not I am wearing any makeup. Apparently, at the end of the day, your face is full of oil, dead cells, airborne chemicals, dirt, and allergens. Plus, these things can cause oxidative damage, which can result in wrinkles.

Are you thinking what I am thinking? That everything results in wrinkles? Because it sure seems that way.  And now in less than four paragraphs you have learned that I have completed two beauty blunders (i.e. wrinkle makers) in my skin’s history – not washing my face at night when I have makeup on and not washing my face at night when I don’t have makeup on it.  Sigh.

Woman washing her face in the bathroomSo the moral of the story is to wash your face twice a day. When you do this make sure you use a cleanser, not a soap, that is suited for your skin type and needs (i.e. oily, dry, normal, acne-prone, etc.).

At the very least, use a toner. This is especially helpful for people like me that think washing my face at night gets too messy (i.e the water drips down my arms to my elbows!) or takes too long. Toner is my best friend. Plus, I think it’s cool to see all the dirt and debris on the cotton ball after I’ve splashed toner on it and run it over my face. (I can’t be the only one that enjoys this, can I?) (In case you are wondering, I also get a kick out of looking at my used pore strips.)

Once your face is clean, apply a moisturizer/serum so it can do all things good. Use a moisturizer or serum that assists you in the areas that you want to target (i.e. wrinkles, acne, dark spots, dryness, dull skin, irritated skin, rosacea, oil-balancing, etc.). Your skin’s health and appearance depend on it.

Stay natural,

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.


Natural Antioxidants to the Rescue

The words “antioxidants” and “free radicals” are thrown around all the time. I’m even guilty of doing some of that throwing, which is why I thought it might be a good to talk about what these words mean with regard to your skin. Put simply –  free radicals are bad and antioxidants are good.  Let me elaborate.

Free radicals are unstable incomplete atoms that are always trying to stabilize
themselves. They do this by stealing electrons from your other atoms. Sometimes the atoms they steal come from your skin which results in the following elements familiar signs of aging skin:

  1. Brown spots
  2. Broken blood vessels
  3. Loose and saggy skin
  4. Wrinkles

You may  think the best way to avoid this type of skin damage is to eliminate your exposure to free radicals. The problem is free radicals are unavoidable because they result from pollution (i.e. smog, dust), cigarette smoke, stress, and the sun (UV rays are so bad!). You can’t get away from them.

The best course of action is to arm yourself with topical antioxidants. portrait of woman in bathroom applying moisturizing creamObviously, a diet rich in antioxidants (i.e. tomatoes, grapes, green tea, citrus fruit, etc.) is a smart companion solution too. That way your body is rich in antioxidants from the inside out and the outside in.

The reason you want to make antioxidants a part of your skin regiment is because they are givers. They literally donate their own electron so the free radical doesn’t have to steal one from an atom in your skin.How Antioxidant Works Against Free Radicals. Antioxidant Donates

The natural antioxidants to look for in a moisturizer or hand cream are vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.  When talking about topical antioxidants it is important to be aware that just adding them to a cream doesn’t mean that they will penetrate through your skin. The carrier oils used as a delivery system are very important because they’ll determine whether the antioxidants can get through the outer layer your skin and permeate to where the living cells reside.

Plus, you need make sure the delivery system ingredients are not synthetic chemicals that can disrupt your hormones or cause other ailments. The goal is to get as much good stuff into your body as possible while avoiding any bad stuff.

One of the moisturizers we make that is effective at delivering antioxidants to skin so you can preserve your youth just a wee bit longer or at least slow the aging process is our Chickie Gold Moisturizer for Dry and/or Mature Skin.

It is chock full of antioxidants and the delivery mechanism ensures they break through the skin barrier to get to your cells. We use olive oil and tamanu oil as the transporters. Olive oil has squalene in it which enhances the ability of other emollients and humectants to penetrate the skin. Tamanu oil is known for its rapid absorption qualities.

natural antioxidants.jpgThe natural antioxidants in this moisturizer are plentiful:

  • Chickweed has vitamin C in it.
  • Shea butter is loaded with vitamins A and E. Psst…it also offers UV protection right around the SPF 6 level which is great since the sun causes free radical damage.
  • Coconut oil is also chock full of vitamins A and E.
  • We even have straight vitamin E (tocopherols) as an ingredient because it’s so powerful when it comes to protecting cells and making collagen and elastin.
  • Lavender essential oil adds these antioxidants to this powerful moisturizer: glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase.

One of the benefits of using natural ingredients is being able to take advantage of their complementary nature which often boosts their benefits. In this case, research has shown that vitamin A and vitamin E are more powerful when used in tandem; their antioxidant properties are stronger together than apart.  And when it comes to signs of aging, I think we can all agree that we’ll take any boost we can get. Especially if it’s an effective and natural one.

Stay natural,



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver

Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver
Vetiver, essential oil label, aromatic plant Vector illustrationScientific Name: Vetiveria Zizanoides
Scent: Pleasant, mild, earthy, woody, smoky, and musky
FYI: Vetiver is a tall perrenial grass (that kind of explains the scent, doesn’t it?) native to India
Color of the Oil: Amber brown and rather thick
How They Get An Oil Out of Grass: Via steam distillation of its roots
Plant Constituents: Alpha vetivone, benzoic acid, beta vetivone, furfurol, vetiverol, vetivene and vetivenyl vetivenate
Skin Benefits of Vetiver:
  • Antioxidant, which means it helps prevent cell damage from oxidation (i.e. the development of free radicals which damage cells) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  This results in slower aging and healthy skin. A study in 2005 at Clemonson University showed vetiver oil was better at killing free radicals compared to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and alpha-tocopherol.
  • Cicatrisant, which means it promotes skin tissue and cell regeneration. The result is an increase in the ability to heal scars and remove dark spots.
  • Antiseptic, so it kills bacteria and helps prevent infection.
Our Products that Contain Vetiver:
Skin Tip: Because of vetiver’s natural healing benefits, we put it in products that people with “troubled” skin (i.e. acne, rosascia, psoriasis) find helpful.
Knowing This Could Help You Win Jeopardy!: The dried grass and the roots of Vetiver are often used in homes during the summer in countries like India during the hot summer because it helps to cool and scent the room and keeps insects away.
Stay natural,


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Take a Walk on the Phytoncide

Pytoncides: Essential Oils From Trees

So many of my friends who hike often say, “I  don’t know why, but I just feel better when I’m hiking.” We’ve always chalked this strange spiritual calm up to endorphins, but it turns out there’s another reason: phytoncides.

Phytoncides are aromatic compounds (i.e. essential oils) produced by trees (and some plants) that help protect them from insects, fungi, and germs. Turns out phytoncides may protect humans too. All you have to do is breathe them in.

Below is a bit of the science on exactly how phytoncides interact with us:

SCIENCE BIT #1: Spending 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest lowered levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and created a state of relaxation.

SCIENCE BIT #2: Changes in blood “associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure” were seen.

SCIENCE BIT #3: Blood pressure was lowered because phytoncides suppress the body’s fight or flight response and decrease the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

SCIENCE BIT #4: Pytoncides increase the number of natural killer (NK) cells which are a type of white blood cell that supports the immune system by destroying cancerous cells in the body (i.e. anti-cancer proteins like perforin, granulysin, and granzymes A/B increased).

SCIENCE BIT #5: NK cells also decrease inflammation which can lead to ailments like heart disease and diabetes.


The majority of the studies done on Phytoncides have originated out of Japan whichmakes sense since they coined the term, “Shinrin-yoku,” which means “forest bathing” or taking a walk in the woods.

You are probably thinking that you need to get yourself to a woodsy forest. Fast.

However, you may not have time for “forest bathing” every day. We understand. After all, most of us are in cars, houses, and offices for most of the day. The good news is that you can reap the benefits of phytoncides without a daily nature walk according to several studies:

STUDY #1: Determined that people who took two long walks through forests on consecutive days increased their NK cells by 50%. Even better, the increase in NK cell activity levels held steady at a 23% higher activity than usual for the month following the initial walks.

STUDY #2: Hinoki cypress oil and humidifiers were used in 12 males who stayed in a hotel for three nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. The results from blood and urine samples indicated NK activity increased.

STUDY #3: Pine and cypress essential oils were used on 60 college students, and both their blood pressure and cortisol was decreased.

The link between nature and health goes beyond just phytoncides. For example, in 1984 Richard S. Ulrich found that patients with rooms facing a natural setting had shorter hospital stays and took less pain medicine than patients whose windows faced a brick wall.

When you think about it some more, it just makes sense even though the science behind it is not yet fully understand.

Obviously, there’s a plethora of benefits nature provides. While more studies need to be done on phytoncides and the nature-health connection, it doesn’t take a scientist or a slew of indisputable scientific studies to know that nature is always a good idea.

If simply seeing or actually being in nature has the power to heal and affect a positive change at a biological and physiological level, then imagine the healing that happens when you use products made from nature. So go forth, take walks, immerse yourself in nature as often as you can even if you just take a moment to look outside because that moment is wholly yours. You’ve earned it. Breathe it in.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.



Approaching Forty

I’m nearing 40.  As in the age. I’ve seen two close relatives die from cancer and it wasn’t pretty. Lately I have been hearing stories about the parents of my friends who are not aging well. It scares me to think that I could be unable to walk because I’m obese. It frightens me that I could end up needing an assisted living facility or nursing home. I’m flummoxed when I think about hip and knee surgery that may be required as the result of a fall. I’m hyper aware of the wheelchairs and stairs conundrum.  I guess you could say my desire to age well is big. But this desire of mine didn’t happen overnight.

ostrich burying head in sand ignoring problemsAbout four years ago, I learned I had high cholesterol which I later found out runs in my family. I didn’t do anything about this. That’s right, I just dug my head in the sand and left it there. Like an ostrich. For over a year.

Then I woke up one day and realized I needed to actually do something about my cholesterol. I chose to eat healthier and exercise. These are difficult things to do when you love cookies[1] and Netflix as I do.  Alas, I began my slow crawl towards wellness. Then I started telling my friends what I needed to do and they invited me hiking and shared vegetarian dishes with me. It helped when my best friend decided to take a trip to Machu Picchu and I vowed to help her train; for several months I hiked two or three days after work and then on the weekends with my friend and our hiking buddies. I even managed to summit Mt. Baldy which is really f*****g hard due to the oxygen deprivation and the steep inclines.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I borrowed my neighbor’s bike and started riding to work once a week. Okay – that’s not really what happened. Mostly I watched as my neighbors, Jeff and Gwen (henceforth they shall be known as Gweff), biked to/from work every day for years without getting hit by a car. I live in Los Angeles so commuting by bicycle was scary to me; drivers are insert-very-bad-expletive-here. However, my desire to be more active and tackle my cholesterol had grown to the point where I wanted to bike to work. So Gweff lent me their extra bike AND found a route that used back roads so I would feel safe. They even calendared a group bike ride[2] to my office on the weekend to build my confidence. When Monday rolled around, Gwen rode to work with me in the morning to make sure I was good to go. I was. I even declined her offer to ride home with me that night.  I figured there was no time like the present. And yes, eventually, I bought my own bike.

That was over two years ago. Then a little over a year ago I sold my car.

My BicycleDon’t be misled. I’m not super in shape, nor am I super skinny. I’m not even mildly skinny. Part of why I bought the bike I did was because 1) it’s pretty and 2) I’m not an athlete-I’m just a commuter. My bike looks like a daydream and helps me feel like I’m not in a rush. Overall, bicycling has slowed down my pace of life – something that I feel helps me age well because I’m less stressed and more in tune with my city than ever before. The exercise I get on a daily basis feels life changing. Biking has also altered my relationship with nature. In the past nature meant a hike. I didn’t see the “nature” available to me on a daily basis. How could I? I was in a car. With the windows rolled up and the air conditioning turned on. On a bike, my feet touch the road at stoplights. On a bike, I can say hello to people I pass – and I pass a lot of people from nannies, to gardeners, to joggers, to moms with baby strollers, to people watering their lawn. I’m more connected to people and my environment than I was with my car and I like this.

Organic Just Makes Sense

Once I started looking at my environment differently, I also started to look at the chemicals in my food. Again, this was a slow moving boat at first, but after time I grew more informed and concerned. GMOs and endocrine disrupters are my second and third least favorite words in the English language[3]. So I started buying organic food and frequenting the local farmer’s market. As I continued my dive into overall wellness[4], I also realized the pores in my skin were susceptible to chemicals. The more I looked at my cleaning supplies and moisturizers and soap, the more horrified I became. I couldn’t pronounce half the words in the ingredient list and I still don’t know what “natural fragrance” means let alone what the chemical makeup of such an ingredient could be. When I checked out what the FDA says about ingredients I was alarmed. A couple examples:

  1. The use of chloroform in cosmetic products is prohibited because it causes cancer in animals and is likely to be harmful to human health, too. The regulation makes an exception for residual amounts from its use as a processing solvent during manufacture, or as a byproduct from the synthesis of an ingredient (21 CFR 700.18).
  2. Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic problems. The use of mercury compounds in cosmetics is limited to eye area products at no more than 65 parts per million (0.0065 percent) of mercury calculated as the metal and is permitted only if no other effective and safe preservative is available. All other cosmetics containing mercury are adulterated and subject to regulatory action unless it occurs in a trace amount of less than 1 part per million[5] (0.0001 percent) calculated as the metal and its presence is unavoidable under conditions of good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 700.13). http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm127406.htm

When I checked out the ingredient  in one eye cream, I found the below items. Actually I found more, but I didn’t have the heart to list them:

  1. Methyparaben (https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703937/METHYLPARABEN/)
  2. Polysorbate 80 (https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705142/POLYSORBATE-80/)
  3. Chlorhexidine Digluconate (https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701318/CHLORHEXIDINE_DIGLUCONATE/)

And so, five or six years after I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, my entire life has changed to where I am now a co-owner of Kaiya Naturals. Trust me when I tell you, the products we make are from natural ingredients that don’t contain trace parts of anything that may cause cancer or neurotoxic problems.

Co-Owner, Kaiya Naturals



[1] I like cake too. A lot.

[2] Okay, we stopped at Bob’s Big Boy on the way home. Big life changes should be made slowly.

[3] “Chronic” is my first least favorite word. There are reasons for this, but a footnote isn’t the time or place to expound on it.

[4] Overall wellness sounds much better than “fear of aging poorly and pooping myself”, doesn’t it?

[5] I want no parts per million, thank you.

Today I am Strong

Hello to the Kaiya Naturals Fam!

This morning is full of potential. I get a chance to be grateful of the blessings that I have received, and be mindful of the opportunities that lay at my feet. My health is good. My spirits are rising. My problems don’t have such a strong grip on my psyche today.

But, there are mornings where I wake up and I am weighed down. Heavy is the burden that I feel.  A feeling that I am being dragged along by the current that is my life and I don’t have the strength to swim against it.  But, that is not today.

Today I am strong.

And so are you.

Luxury yachts. Boat in sailing regatta (with space for text)
Captain  your ship.

It’s like a boat sailing in the water. Behind the boat it leaves a wake. Waves rise and fall, churn and splash. Those waves are like our past. They are the consequence of our actions. They are real. But even though they are real they don’t affect our course. Only we, the captains of our ships, can do that.

Sometimes, we start to pay too much attention to the wake that we leave behind. Sometimes, we start to guide our ship by it.  But, just as simply as the captain of a ship can turn around and steer by the opportunities that lay ahead, instead of what she leaves behind, so can we.

Today, I steer my ship by the calm seas ahead of me that bristle with potential and I invite you to do the same.

Stay natural my friends!

Farmer Ked

What’s in a name?

Will your name make you or break you?  What if your name was Loser Lane?  Would you go on to live a happy life? It turns out that Loser Lane, born in New York City in 1961, has a happy family life today.

While Loser, who goes by Lou, is quite happy with his tragic name, his friends are not. First impressions with a name like that make for an awkward introduction. So, is it that a name makes no difference on who you are and how far you can go -you are the captain of your soul- but makes a big difference in how you are perceived in a Malcom Gladwellian “Blink”?

Thich Nhat Han, a Vietnamese philosopher, delivers us great wisdom when he says:

“The path is the goal.”

Beautiful Green Forest In Summer. Countryside Road, Path, Way, L

Does he mean that all paths lead to the same destination?  (Death)  That instead of toiling our lives away to reach our end as fast as we can – we should instead focus on the path itself that we take to our end?  Do we really want to take the shortest path?  After all, it is the roughest terrain and we travel it alone.  Do we choose a different path not because it will take us to the end with great speed, but because this path will give us great adventures and romance?  

You are the greatest influence on which path your life takes. But can a name make a difference?  If people are always furling their brows upon the utterance of my name then that would most certainly give me a complex, or at least make it necessary for me to arm myself psychologically to combat a complex. If I had a beautiful  name that made all weep to hear it whispered on the breeze then I think I would rather enjoy my complex.

A name holds the power to color your life but it doesn’t write the script. Only you can do that. So write your life into a beautiful story.  I give you permission.

Stay natural my friends,

Farmer Ked