2019 was by far the toughest year of my life – Jo here. 

It started off with some of the toughest news any person can here – Cancer.  Mum was diagnosed with leukaemia just before Christmas 2018 and spent the first six weeks of 2019 in the hospital, where her treatments continued for six + months.  It all happened so fast, one minute we were packing the car with camping gear due to head off on a family trip. We were actually leaving right after Mum’s doctor’s appointment.  But that idea ended pretty fast as Mum went from the doctor’s office directly to the hospital and that’s where she stayed for about 6 weeks.

That very day the cars got unpacked and 2019 looked so different.

I kept it tough.  I didn’t cry in front of anyone much, I kept on working and didn’t have any downtime.  I tried to keep up a strong front but the truth is I was suffocating.  At times I felt like I couldn’t breathe and so I started to see a life coach.  I initially saw her to help me lose weight, which didn’t happen, but what did happen was, she kept me sane.

I started journaling, something I’d never done before in my life!  I’d just write down things I was grateful for.

“Shane for being my husband”
“The sun today”
“My essential oils”
“The car I drive which gets me to the hospital”
“My business which allows me to work from home”

The whole time I mostly cried by myself, mainly when in the car driving.  But I just kept telling myself that Mum would get through it, I kept telling the kids she would be ok, and most of all I kept telling Mum to just keep fighting.  Even when she was diagnosed terminal, when she had a bleed on the brain, when she said “I can’t do it anymore” I said “FIGHT!  You’re going to be ok”.

We used oils, I researched every holistic thing I could find along with Tracey and Dad, even when people judged and when Mum doubted it would help, we did it anyway.  We diffused oils, Dad rubbed oils on her legs and spine, Dad even bought a juicer and started juicing!  No stone was going unturned.

During that time we started to write our book, Everyday Additive-Free.  When sitting in the oncology ward we’d take our laptops and write.  It kept us going I think, and Mum wanted it that way.  I remember only a couple of days after she was diagnosed I was sitting in her hospital room and she said: “are you going to make Presidential Diamond yet?”.   For those that don’t know, Presidential Diamond is the highest rank in the doTERRA business.  We were way off that, but I made her a promise.  I promised her that if we made it she needed to be alive to see it.  We shook hands on it, but as yet we haven’t help up our end of the bargain.  A fact of which Mum reminds me of, haha!

In February, Tracey and I placed second in the doTERRA incentive trip.  We had won a trip to Vietnam, mostly all paid for.  We had an opportunity to hang out with 100+ other Wellness Advocates, two who were in our direct team.  We toyed up going but Mum pushed us onto the plane, so off we went.  The trip was awesome but of course, my mind wandered back to home most of the time.  We were also launching another round of Additive-Free Made Easy while we were there and was busy with that.  Looking back now, I wish we could have just stopped and been in the moment.

Shane, the kids and I had a cruise booked for March which we had already booked and paid for before Mum got sick, so we questioned going on this too.  We did end up going and we met some lifelong friends on the cruise, we loved the islands but to be honest, we didn’t like cruising and will never do another one again 🤢.  I really just couldn’t wait to get home.

Our cookbook was, by now, in full swing.  We worked hard on this, my gosh was it a lot of work! We really underestimated just how much work it would be.

In May we cooked on stage at the doTERRA 2019 convention.  I shared my additive-free story with over 5,000 people and then, with Trace, we whipped up a range of dishes using the oils.  It was awesome and a highlight for sure!  Just before we flew out to Sydney Mum got the great news she was officially in remission!  Everyone’s prayers were answered!

In June we closed down our retail store.

In July we attended the doTERRA leadership retreat.

August was full-blown all about the book, nothing but the book, cooking, and more cooking, we needed to meet a deadline and we were struggling!

In September we attended the AusMumpreneur awards and won first place in the  ‘Making a Difference’ category and 2nd place in the ‘Influencer” category. We were also nominated for AusMum of the Year and made it all the way to the finals. Which we were super excited about!

October we held our first-ever Lifestyle Wellness Event in Hobart.  People flew in from all over the country for it!

November we went to Guatemala and Mexico City with doTERRA’s Co-Impact Sourcing Team.

December had the normal rush of school concerts, carols, dance concerts, gymnastic displays etc.

And I lost my mind…

As I scrolled through my photos of 2019 I just cried.  I have so much to be bloody grateful for, yet here I am having a mini-mental breakdown!  I couldn’t move, I didn’t want to get out of bed, I watched Netflix for two days, nobody was allowed to talk to me.  I’m heavier than I’ve been in a long time (even though I’ve ‘dieted’ all year) and I seriously even started to wonder if I wanted to do this job anymore.  This broke my heart the most, a business Tracey and I have put our whole heart and soul into, and here I was questioning if I wanted to do it anymore.  A business that helps thousands of people every year, and I was thinking about quitting?

Was this really the life I wanted to create?

After a lot of soul searching and digging deep I did a couple of things…

I remembered a Podcast I recently recorded with Gemma from The Manifesting Mum (airing January 2020) and she said something along the lines of ‘we have the power to get ourselves out of any situation’.  So I started thinking of ways I could get out of this mess I’d put myself in.

  • First thing I did was I listened to that voice inside my head.  The one that keeps telling me “put down your phone Jo, you are just scrolling”.  So I deleted the Facebook and Facebook pages Apps and told myself that it’s ok to respond to notifications on my computer only.
  • I am going to set my working hours in January around the kids and take a bit of a breather, but, more importantly, NOT feel guilty about it!  For years I’ve felt guilty for being at work, but then also felt guilty for being with the kids and not at work.  Fark the guilt!
  • I’m going to breathe in and out more.  In 2020 I’m going to learn how to meditate properly and do it regularly.  I’m going to try and meditate every day with the help of the Calm App I’ve just purchased.
  • In 2020 I promise myself to lower my cortisol levels and when I feel stressed, figure out why and then do something to alleviate it.
  • I’m also going to get myself into a healthy BMI.  I can hand on heart say I love my body, but it’s about how I FEEL.  And right now I feel slow, bloated, uncomfortable and I don’t want to live like this anymore.  This WILL change in 2020 and by my 40th in November 2020 I’ll be the healthiest I’ve ever been.

Why am I telling you all of this?

I don’t know really?  Maybe to make you realise that you too have hope.  That maybe by me sharing my struggles you’ll realise that you’re not alone and that no matter what, we all have the power to get ourselves out of it.  This isn’t going to be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

In 2020 I cannot wait to hit Presidential Diamond along with our cracking team.  I can’t wait to make an even bigger impact on the nation by sharing this additive-free message.  I’m looking forward to inspiring schools to ditch the Zooper Doopers and Quelches and I’m looking forward to being more present in each moment and taking the time to smell the roses.

So bring on 2020, I cannot wait!  That fire inside my belly is back and it feels soooooo good!

Blessings to you.

Jo x