Who doesn't love the colors, crispness and celebrations of fall? It is a delightful time of pumpkins, jumping in leaves and focusing on gratitude and loved ones. Staying healthy to enjoy all the richness of fall is a priority for me. That's why I am extra generous at this time of the year with my favorite essential oils, immune boosting supplements and healthy foods that are ripe for the picking and fresh in autumn.
Essential oils that are on hand for me in this season are the immune boosing Thieves and Immupower oil blends (rub on soles of the feet or diffuse) and Thieves vitality (add a drop to warm water with peppermint and lemon vitality oils for a delightful "tea") I love the way Raven , RC and Breath Again oil blends feel when rubbed on the chest and under the nose. Delightful and soothing.
Once a month I drive 20 miles to visit my sister's RV camper which is parked forelornly in a storage lot waiting for my sister to return. I kick tires, check for invaders and assure "Belle" that she has not been forgotten. One year ago, my sister retired as an educator, gave away most of her possessions, and moved her entire life into a 32 foot Winnepago camper. It had been a lifelong dream for her to travel the country, visiting nieces and nephews, and live with a carefree spirit.
Only six months after she began her adventures, family needs invited her to postpone her dream and put Belle in storage for an unknown period of time. Without hesitation, she unselfishly embraced the change in direction and the detour to her plans. She lovingly embraced the new adventure and the unknown territory. I am so blessed and grateful for her choice. Her willingness to serve has enabled me to embrace my own detour.
Recently our pastor shared a story about a man who had three sons. They had a close knit family but one by one each son went off to find his way in the world. Over time each got seduced by the glamour of the world and forgot about their loving home and father. The father consulted a wise man to learn how he might get his sons to return to the love of the family. The holy man instructed him to bring to each boy something that would remind them of home and the love they shared. The father decided to bring a bowl of rice. When he found each boy, he placed a few grains of rice on his tongue. As soon as the boy tasted the rice, scales fell from eyes. He recognized his folly, could hear the longing of his own heart for home, happiness, and love, and returned to the father.
I was struck by the central truth of this story. We forget the love of the father. We try to find our way without him and often get lost. How many of us have gotten distracted by the glitter and sparkle of this world. We get caught up in wanting to please others, in the desire to accumulate belongings or the plethera of options for food, drink, clothes, and activities. We get discouraged by the pain, hardships and struggles we face in our lives. We lose sight of our real home, heaven, and the Father who loves us.
This past weekend, the world lost a courageous man who impacted the lives of millions of people. This impact was possible because he did not let circumstances dictate his vision, his choices or his success.
Do I have a vision for my life, one that will cause people to say, “She was a remarkable person whose life and choices positively impacted the lives of many people.” Do you? We can learn much from Gary Young.
D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils, was born in poverty, in the northwest USA, and lived in a one-room log cabin. Although he graduated from high school, he was unable to read. He went on to become a farmer, rancher, and logger in southwest Canada.
At the age of 25, with a wife and 5 children, he was struck by tragedy as a tree he was felling landed on his head, crushing his skull and back in multiple places. He was in a coma for many weeks and, when the doctors had done all they knew to do, was told he would be paralyzed for life. He had use of only one arm and a quarter of his body.
Falling into despair and hopelessness, he tried to commit suicide three times and failed. In his anger, he lashed out at God. Over time, he realized that God was still with him and had given him the ability to dream. Every day he dreamed of walking again.
Believing that God had spared him for some reason, he began searching for his purpose. With the help of one of the nurses, he learned to read. He sought out alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and herbs. Thirteen years after his accident, he was able to leave his wheelchair and walk.
Gary had every reason to give up, make excuses and settle for a mediocre life. No one would have faulted him, but he did not give up or give in.
So what is stopping me from reaching beyond my limitations and hardships? What is stopping you?
After his recovery, his vision changed, and he wanted to share what he had learned with others who were physically suffering and give them hope. He went on to become a doctor of natural medicine and to open a clinic.
Through his connections at the clinic, he learned about the studies being done on essential oils in Europe and was fascinated by what he learned. He made the decision to travel to Europe to study with these doctors. He began traveling the world to learn about essential oils, the distillation process, cultivating the plants needed for essential oils and talking to the oldest people he could find.
Gary could have let his background and the voices of others dissuade him from attempting to become a doctor. He was a man just learning to walk again, he could have decided that travel was not wise. He could have determined that he was just a country hick. Who was he to study with prestigious doctors? Luckily, he did not let any of these things stop him from reaching for his vision.
Who are we letting discourage us from reaching our goals? What voices are we listening to that cause us to give up?
Gary started his own lavender farm, just a few acres, from seed he smuggled home from France in his boots. He welded two pressure cookers to make his first distillation chamber. Over time, the farm grew in size and plant varieties, his studies continued, his clients were seeing amazing results, and his knowledge increased. His own health continued to improve with the use of the essential oils he was experimenting with.
He was encouraged to share the blessings of essential oils with a wider audience and so he chose to create a network marketing company so that education could be an integral part of what he could offer. He wanted to share what he was learning and studying with those who would use and share the oils.
The company grew slowly with handwritten labels on each product, a one room office and warehouse. A handful of people joined the company and the oils began to be shared, slowly. There were days that they would pray the phones would ring.
His vision crystalized into the desire to see essential oils in every home of the world, benefiting everyone on the planet as they had blessed him. Gary could have listened as people told him he would never succeed; essential oils were a fad; he knew nothing about business. He pressed on and did not give up.
Do we persevere or do we give up when our vision is slow to take shape or seems unattainable?
Gary’s fascination with and belief in the value of essential oils propelled him to travel the world looking for the rare plants that people on each continent had used for generations. He was now hiking through the Amazon jungle searching for plants, traveling through deserts looking for frankincense trees and visiting remote regions of China to discover wolfberries.
Over time, he created key relationships with scientists, farmers and leaders around the world. He began building additional farms and the company grew. The products went from a few dozen to hundreds, and he eventually closed his clinic to focus on Young Living essential oils full-time. As he and his family traveled to Ecuador to build their first international farm, five of his most trusted employees decided they wanted to begin their own essential oil company and proceeded to steal recipes, contacts, equipment and distributors from Young Living.
Gary could have let this betrayal destroy him or make him bitter. He could have allowed how he handled this situation to disintegrate his still young company. Instead, he chose to promote a vision of forgiveness and excellence. He stated that “eagles just fly higher” and encouraged everyone to focus on the positive of what was ahead.
Do we let disappointments or the poor choices of others define our actions? Do we persevere in the face of difficulties?
Throughout his travels, Gary came in contact with villages and areas of the world where people were suffering due to lack of food, resources and hope. He started the D. Gary Young foundation (now the Young Living Foundation) to meet the needs of peoples around the world. Through this organization, villages have been transformed, schools have been built and Young Living distributors from around the world have been able to partner with the foundation to raise money, sponsor children or physically be present to rebuild homes, remove chiggers or bring food and resources to those in desperate situations. Gary’s vision included changing and improving the lives of the people anywhere that Young Living has a presence.
How will my vision change the world?
Gary was a dare devil, living life to the full. He jousted competitively, even after being seriously injured in a match. He learned to fly an airplane and continued to fly even after crashing several small planes. He rode a dune buggy in the desert and injured his back again when it flipped over. He worked for several months, in the dead of winter, in northern Canada, to build a farm and distillation chambers that were desperately needed so that members of Young Living would have specific oils.
In 2016, Gary almost died several times. He had a heart condition, complications from a heart procedure, the recurrence of a rare virus that he had originally battled after returning from the Amazon jungle years earlier. Despite being weary and even depressed at times, he did not give up. At the beginning of 2017, after only a few weeks of training, Gary completed a 200-mile dogsled race through Alaska’s frozen terrain. He was again inspiring his family, his company and challenging all of us to live life to the full and never give up.
How many times do we let hardship, trauma or just inconvenience keep us from reaching for our goals, setting our vision, making a noticeable difference in the world?
Gary could have easily said he was too poor, uneducated, sickly, accident prone or wounded by friends to continue toward his vision. Instead, at each crossroad, he took the next step, eventually creating a multi-billion-dollar company with over four million independent distributors worldwide, and a foundation that is consistently improving the lives of the less fortunate on every continent.
Let's follow his lead and set our vision to leave the world a better place. We can do it!
Recently, I read about Marie, a 59 year old woman, who was cleaning an area in her spare bedroom and her belongings collapsed on her, suffocating her. It took her husband, and the police several hours to locate her body.
While you may not have a hoarding problem like Marie, you may be suffering from stuffocation. According to the Macmillan dictionary, "stuffocation" is a buzzword that describes "a feeling of stress caused by having so many things that you do not know how to use or store them all".
Is stuffocation a problem? Consider these quick statistics.
This over accumulation of stuff causes us to feel guilty, frustrated, anxious, and depressed. We beat ourselves up because we have not used that item that we just had to have. We feel guilty about the amount of money we spend on new purchases.
Too much stuff also creates physical risks from dust, mold, animal dander, not to mention the danger from tripping or falling over items. Quite simply, all this stuff robs us of our joy, our time with loved ones, our ability to relax and and our comfort in offering hospitality to others.
The More of Less by Joshua Baker describes Johua's realization that he was missing time with his kids because of the hours he felt he needed to spend cleaning up the garage, organizing belongings, cleaning around possessions, picking up toys. How would you spend your time if you did not have to manage your stuff?
Mother of three, grandmother of four, and mentor to many, I am passionate about sharing natural ways to help the body do what God designed it to do, mend, grow and thrive!