What's "The Challenge"?
"The Challenge" is a concept of bringing life back into balance ... of getting away from chemical-laden and mass-produced items and replacing them with natural products that can dramatically reduce environmentally-induced issues, such as allergies, and even (we believe, based on our own experiences) things such as ADHD and similar problems in not only adults, but children and even pets.
It's about learning to think for yourself when it comes to pharmaceuticals - do you REALLY need that prescribed medication, or are you just being made to feel that you do? Are there other, less harmful options available to you? (we believe that there usually are...)
It's about understanding the HUGE impact that food plays in our overall health and how incredibly simple it is to make changes that can result in positive and dramatic results such as weight loss, reduction or elimination of various common ailments, healthy aging, and countless other things.
It's learning that you are a bioenergetic being, and the fascinating implications of that fact, such as how energy affects our overall health, how to determine where you encounter detrimental energy sources in your everyday life (and how to "fix" them!), how to keep your own energetic system in balance, and most exciting of all (at east for us), how to help others heal.
In a nutshell, The Challenge is about understanding existence from a wholistic perspective - everything you do, everything you ingest, everything that you are exposed to - these things all make up the WHOLE of who you are. Unfortunately, over hundreds of years, we have been taught to believe in Newtonian principles, which basically look at the body and it's place in the world as mechanical and compartmentalized. In other words, when you have an ailment, a series of steps are undertaken to diagnose that issue, and then something is prescribed to treat it, as if it existed independent of everything else. Does this approach work? Well ... yes ... and no. It usually works in the short term, but only in so much as it alleviates the outward symptoms of the ailment, not to mention that it usually comes with it's own unique set of additional malaise-causing effects which throw both the physical and energetic body further out of balance.
One might assume that this is referring to things such as widely prescribed mainstream medical treatments and prescription medications (which it most certainly can), but it also applies to everyday things that we make decisions about completely on our own. For example, let's say that the "ailment" in this particular case is mold in the corners of your shower. You don't like that - it's gross, and you want to get rid of it. You've also got some stubborn soap scum in there that you don't feel like scrubbing on, so you go to the grocery store and look for something to treat your problem. Among the vast array of brightly labeled products, you find one that seems to fit your needs - it claims to eliminate both mold and soap scum with virtually no effort on your part. All you have to do is spray it on, wait a few minutes, and rinse it off. The bottle looks fairly innocuous, with a very environmentally-friendly looking green color and cute characters on the label, so you take it home and blast the crap out of the offending invaders in your shower. 15 minutes later, you rinse it off, and yep - your tile is sparkling clean - and, as a bonus, your newly purchased spray smells bright & clean, and has freshened up the air in most of your home! Wahoo! It's a good day, and so you make this wonderful product part of your regular routine, spraying copious amounts of it around your shower stall once a week.
Then, three weeks later, your dog starts to scratch himself, and your five year-old starts having temper tantrums. You have no idea of the cause of either, and the conditions both worsen. You make a trip to the pediatrician and the vet, and come home with medication for both the dog and your child. The medication has some side effects which are slightly alarming, but you and your vet/doctor decide that the risk of those outweigh the benefits of "curing" the scratching and the temper tantrums. So, for a little while, both issues seem like they might be improving, and then, the dog's hair begins to fall out in clumps and your child progresses from tantrums to beating his bedroom walls with his fists. You make more appointments, bring home more medications, and all the while, you continue to spray your shower with that wonderful bottle of miracle-cure for mold and soap scum, without ever realizing that it is a contributor to the declining health of your family.
Is this real? Yes, it is.
And it's only the tip of the iceberg - this is an example of ONE product that is in millions of homes and used by people everyday. What about all of the other ones, things we take for granted, like laundry detergent, shampoo, soaps, air fresheners, and a thousand other things that we use without giving them a second thought? Once you really begin to understand the situation and what's really in those bottles, you become empowered to make changes and smarter decisions, and that's what The Challenge is all about - learning to think for yourself and just say "NO" to the things that so many people blindly accept as being okay (or worse yet - necessary and "healthy").
And this isn't just about household chemicals and personal care products - it's about foods, environmental stresses, lack of contact with the natural world, and all of the other things that make up your wholistic existence.
It's also not about "purist tendencies" - you don't have to start dressing in only raw cotton clothing that you wove together yourself, eat only raw exotic foods, drink only pure mineralized water, and breathe only bottled air - this is about balance. It's about replacing as many harmful things and tendencies in your life as you can with things and tendencies that are beneficial to you, but with the understanding that, if you really, really want to keep your favorite shampoo, your favorite toothpaste, or your favorite perfume, that would probably be okay, so long as the other 95% of the problem-inducing elements are removed from your life. It's about eating healthy, but understanding that a trip through the McDonald's drive through on a hectic day or a six pack of beer and a gooey pizza on a Saturday night isn't going to hurt a thing so long as it's occasional.
It's about learning WHO and WHAT you really are, and how critical energetic balance is to your existence, how to achieve it, how to maintain it, and how to help others do the same. It's about understanding that when you are able to do this, it doesn't mean that Nirvana is at hand and that you will never experience anger, sadness, grief or loss - it means that when you do, you will be equipped to handle them with strength and grace.
It's about being whole and awake, pure and simple.
Everything that we do here at Earth Goods is geared toward allowing folks to complete The Challenge, one step at a time. Participating in any of our workshops or replacing harmful products in your home with ones that you make yourself (or purchase from us) brings you one step closer to taking control of your environment, your health, and your life balance.
If you are interested in learning more about The Challenge, email us ...