In my own personal life, I have fallen prey to a belief that I could “handle” stress regardless of the situation. I found myself to be a decent multitasker and prided myself on always being like a straight line that is never too far up or down. With this, I found myself adding stresses to my life often that were very much unnecessary and without benefit. I could handle it.
Well, at the age of 35, I found myself with 7 health food stores, 3 wellness clinics, a natural products manufacturing company, 4 homes, two kids, a wife, and traveling around 1500 miles per week not including flights and international travel. I was on the cover of magazines, writing articles, doing radio shows, and was speaking for groups and often never knew at the start of a day where I would end up by the end of the day. I would wake in the morning and need a couple of minutes to identify where I was even waking up. I remember once waking up while losing altitude in a Cessna 172 above the Appalachian Mountains that I was the pilot of!
I once fell asleep at the wheel of a 4×4 Ford Excursion Diesel while driving down the road, in a town, WHILE DOING A RADIO SHOW ON THE PHONE! I trusted people that I shouldn’t have, was not there many nights when my girls were laying down to sleep, and woke many nights wondering what I was doing and why. I knew that the message that I was teaching was important, however, the message was all but slipping away from my own life.
I had car accidents that were near fatal, once being knocked unconscious, upside down in a sports car, laying in the bottom of a ravine in North Georgia, in the woods at 3 in the morning. I was covered in blood, upside down, and fumbling around for guess what? My cell phone. It had been thrown 35 feet into the woods. Once I kicked my way out of the car that was burning, I got my phone and climbed the ravine to call for help.
Needless to say, it was at this time that I was finally admitting that I needed to reevaluate my life, that I was not indestructible, and that I by myself could not manage everything on my own and by myself. It was time for a dramatic change.
The interesting thing is that around 20 years prior to this life changing event, I had been handed over a formula that was available to help me.
As a young teen, I met an herbalist who lived only miles from my school, but who was internationally renowned as one of the world’s top folk herbalists.
Tommie Bass lived in Leesburg, Alabama and was featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal in 1985, and who was the subject of over 5 books, while never having any formal education, taught at Duke University and was the subject of a Master’s Thesis.
The day that I met Tommie was one of the most important days of my life. He taught me about simple herbalism, using what was created for us to use as our medicine, about people and how to help them when they didn’t have the strength to do so themselves, about simple living and being close to nature. I am sure that he didn’t mean being in the woods at 3am crawling out of a Jaguar XKR that was burning.