Community

I live in a community. That’s an actual thing, not just a state of mind. Actually, it’s both, but let’s not argue. I grew up in a decent sized town in Tennessee. It’s more of a city now, but when I was there it wasn’t quite as large. I never understood community outside of my church, which I never quite felt a part of. My parents understood it. They both grew up in small communities and their roots will always be there. People used to be more familiar with it. The world was bigger and we weren’t one big online place. Now the world tends to be one big anonymous hole. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for anonymity. But in hard times, you need your tribe.

When we had dated long enough to come home and meet the parents, I remember I was shocked. I had no idea places like this existed outside of the big park in East Tennessee. Beautiful, clear rock-bottom creeks. Cows and cornfields everywhere. Big green fields and trees. It was gorgeous. I knew I loved it almost immediately. But the longer I live here, the more I realize the people are what make this place so special. For the first time in my life I felt like I was welcomed in as one of the group with no need for insecurity. They love me and I love them. I love that my little one gets to grow up here amongst people who love him.

It is never more apparent how wonderful a community really is until tragedy strikes. Our little community survived a tornado thanks to friends, family and help from each other. This week our county lost two young women. Both left behind teen aged children and husbands. One from cancer and one from unknown reasons. It has hurt this community. Lots of questions. Lots of anger, I’m sure. I personally am still in disbelief. I saw one of the ladies the day before. It is hard to believe she is gone. A lady posted this picture on Facebook. These are students in the town where my son goes to school. They are outside praying for the families, who they all know well, and our community as a whole. They are comforting themselves and each other. That’s community. No one told these kids to do that. They know what community is. It is truly caring about each other, even strangers. It is about helping in whatever way you can. It is rare in this world today, so I cherish it. I am proud to live here and proud to raise my son here.

#waynecountytennessee #collinwoodtennessee #luttstennessee

Why “Essential” Oils?

These days everyone has seen or heard of essential oils. They are sold all over the place in a wide range of prices. But what are they and what is the price difference all about??

Essential oils are the lifeblood of the plants (trees, shrubs, seeds, etc.) from which they are extracted. They are essential to the growth and survival of the plant itself. For centuries man has taken the leaves and blooms of a plant, dried them, and used them in poultices and teas to help ease conditions and support a healthy body. Essential oils serve the same purpose, except they can be from 100 to 10,000 times more concentrated. This isn’t a new concept either. You can find references to oils in ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy and all through the bible.

So what’s the difference in different companies and prices? Oils have to be “harvested” from the plants in order to be usable by us in those convenient little bottles. There are fast ways and right ways. Correct ways take more time. They take years of experience and research to know the best way to harvest the oil and the peak time for harvesting to get the grade of oil required. It takes a great deal of time and effort to produce pure, therapeutic grade oils. It can’t be mass produced to lower the price of the harvest either, if done correctly. You can use two or three drops in place of sometimes 10 drops of a generic oil. And they are not therapeutic themselves, which means even if the oil can support your body, it isn’t strong enough to do that. That makes up a great deal of the price difference. In addition, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. Meaning, if the bottle has at least 10% oil, it can be labeled 100%. Organic, natural, all those things are advertising and not backed up by anything in most companies. Companies can make their supply go a lot farther and make more profit overall by “extending” their oils, but that is not helping their customers.

So what does all this mean? I can’t speak for those other companies, but I can speak for Young Living. When you purchase a bottle of Young Living oil you can be confident that the bottle is 100% oil. It was grown on a farm that is the natural, perfect environment for it to thrive. That farm follows strict protocol put in place by Young Living. The oil itself is tested in a lab to guarantee the quality meets Young Living standards. Young Living also employs third parties to test their oils periodically to insure their quality. This is called the Seed to Seal process and is copyrighted by Young Living. They are the only ones doing it. Although essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, Young Living has put their own rules and standards in place to assure you that you are getting what you pay for.

Gary Young founded Young Living 25 years ago. He did intensive research and studies abroad to learn the perfect process for producing therapeutic grade essential oils. At the time people called him crazy. Now millions of people worldwide use Young Living products. What started off as an essential oils company has grown into lotions, shampoos, supplements, makeup, health drinks and the list goes on. People are literally replacing everything in their home with these all natural products to get rid of harmful chemicals.

I firmly believe Young Living is the best company out there. This company cares about people. It wants you to thrive and be the best you. And if you’re not happy or satisfied, they will work with you to make sure you end up happy and satisfied. Yes, the price is often eye-opening. But it is so worth it.

Oils of Our Lives

I’m at a weird point. I’m doing something I really enjoy. Weird. Taking a hobby I’ve had for years and sharing it with a lot of people. Also weird. More people than I ever expected in a few short weeks. I find myself randomly recommending oils in conversation. Which is not me. Then there’s the whole “selling” thing. That is also not me. It’s like I’m a different person. I find myself struggling to balance my desire to share with my need to give people space and not pressure them in any way. Because even when they’re interested in what you have to say, there’s this suspicion that you’re going to trap them into something or force them to sell oils against their will. Or that’s how it feels from my end. I was wary too, so I get that. And let’s be real, you can wrap it up in whatever package you want to, but at the end of the day I do want you to use Young Living and it does benefit me. But whether you know it now or not, it benefits you, too.

The thing is I genuinely like helping people find a solution through oils. And they have other things, people. It’s more than oil. I love knowing that it’s the beginning of something that’s not only good for them, it’s fun. And I love the thought of sharing and talking about oils for enough of a living that I can get more serious with my cattle business. Cows require time and effort and I have neither after working full time.

I also know that there is no trap. I like to think that people know me well enough to know I wouldn’t get talked into anything I hadn’t researched and asked a ton of questions about. And as usual, I had lots of questions. I probably went through everything on the website looking for the catch. I never found it. All I found was a really cool concept that had spread worldwide. And I am confident in the knowledge that if I wake up tomorrow and think, “What was I thinking?”, I can make one phone call to an impartial person and I’ll be done. All the rebates and discounts are not coersion. They are only meant to get oils to more people. Really. And the membership that turns so many people off? Do you have a Sam’s Club membership? Do you pay a set amount each year and get the discount as a result? Do they use the word “membership”? Yeah, that’s my point.

Yes, at the end of the day it is a business for me. It’s a stupid, ridiculous dream, but I’m taking the chance anyway. Because I need a change and inspiration. But if I didn’t like it and believe it could help people, I wouldn’t be doing it. Period.

So the weird place is how do I balance that? I’m having a blast blogging and sharing my experiences with essential oils. That’s a fact. Had I known it would make me happy, I would have started this years ago. But at the end of the day, I do have a goal. I want to work less in an office and more on things I enjoy. I want other people to have that opportunity if they want it. It doesn’t appeal to everyone. I didn’t think it would appeal to me. And I despise being pressured or coerced, so I’m not going to do that for any amount of money. Well, maybe a million per head. That would be hard to turn down. But when you realize you enjoy something and could possibly get financial freedom, you take the chance. And even though I know the business part freaks people out, I do want people to know it’s out there and it’s a lot of fun.

So that’s where I am. I love it. I love sharing it. I hope you love it, too, and let me show you how to get awesome oils at a discounted price. But if you don’t want to, I’m good with that. You can order one at a time or none at all. It’s not for everyone and that’s ok. Please do not let the “sales” and “membership” keep you from trying something new if you want to. Be brave. Have a little faith in me. But most of all, take a tip from me and be true to you. That’s all I’m trying to do.