As you might have heard, The Essential Way team just returned from Young Living’s 2018 International Grand Convention. Convention was a new experience for us this time, even though we have been going for years. It seemed as though we spent the entire time maneuvering our way around 30,000 people going to different workshops at the same time, running between the basketball arena and the convention center, and waking up at 6 am to stand in line for two hours so that we could get good seats. Nonetheless, underneath all that superficial stuff, we learned a lot of things that we would like to share with you. In the following paragraphs, we will each share what we learned from our week at convention. Be warned, most of the stuff we learned, actually has nothing to do with the products, but rather personal development and growth. May you be blessed by the things we have learned.
From Zyrek: Brain Health
One of the surprising benefits of going to the Young Living Convention this year was actually the events and resources outside the convention itself. A couple days before the convention started, there were many people already gathered together, putting on a trade show of sorts that was focused on essential oil accessories, business resources, and just general health & wellness.
The scope and scale this year were quite impressive (for me at least), and vendors included everything from cookbook authors to magazine subscriptions, from niche T-shirt makers to tax consultants, and from exercise equipment to oil-diffusing jewelry. There were also classes running throughout the day where we could get to hear from some of these experts, if we could find a place to stand in the classroom! It seemed like it was almost always packed and nearly impossible to find a seat.
One of the vendors/speakers that I was most intrigued by was the author of Mind Your Brain: Optimizing Your Life and Health Using Essential Oils. If you know me, you probably already know that I’ve been fascinated with brain health for a while now, so I definitely tried to find a way to squeeze into the classroom for this one.
I greatly enjoyed getting to hear author Elizabeth Erickson briefly explain the basics of brain function, and the beginnings of her research on using essential oils to support healthy brain function and emotional well being. While I have known about some of these things for a while, a lot of my experience has just come through picking up ideas from people by word-of-mouth and general intuition, more commonly known as good guessing. I was very encouraged to find someone actively pursuing these topics, not only from the science & clinical research side of things, but also someone who regularly works with children “on the spectrum.”
From this brief session, we learned about how effective lavender essential oil can be in supporting a healthy brain. There are five distinct areas of brain function — perception, attention, cognition, emotion, and memory — and lavender can affect all five of them. We also now have access to clinical research that shows that lavender can increase beta and theta brain activity, increases drowsiness (leading to better sleep), and can help unlock what Elizabeth refers to as the “fire alarm” in the brain — when a major emotional trauma has caused the brain to be stuck in fight, flight, or freeze mode.
We learned more about how emotional trauma can actually have a physical impact on the brain. One notable example that we discussed was that Parkinson’s disease usually is rooted in a deep emotional rejection, often through a childhood abandonment, and it might be passed down from a parent epigenetically — it may not necessarily be an emotional event that happened in the patient’s life.
After the class, we went back to the Mind Your Brain booth, where we found that her books were already sold out after 2 days! So I had to order my copy to be shipped later, and I am looking forward to getting into the material soon. If any of you are interested in these topics as well, just let us know and you can learn along with us!
From Jeanette: Gary Young’s Legacy
The 2018 Convention was special in quite a few ways. I was not sure how I was going to handle it with Gary Young not being with us, but somehow there was a sense of momentum and patient urgency to reach even more. From the talks and tributes paid, the underlying theme hit me in a deeper way than ever before.
Of one man. A vision and dream which we are living out, carrying out, and practically living out! That vision is now reality in almost all continents, 41 countries (represented at Convention), but still more in other countries that were not represented.
I ask this question of myself. What is my vision? Have I and can I make that reality? Gary started out with a heart to help people be in a state of wellness so they can enjoy health, family, and business. His great desire was to see people reach their highest potential and and use the gifts God bestowed on their lives — free from any encumbrances. Gary’s wife, Mary said, “Were it not for Gary’s fight for freedom, for his adventurous personality, and for his fight to help people of the world, you and I would not be here at this moment.” Mary continues to carry that vision forward and urges others to use the extra (of anything) to bless others.
Just as Gary started out with a “thought”, we can follow the same footprints too, to help others. Lives have been touched and will continue to be touched and helped. I was one of those that needed to move “out of state” (of very poor health/dying state) into a “state of wellness” but didn’t know how. But God in His faithfulness brought essential oils in my path.
Do you know of more people out there like that? Many more don’t know that their present state is not where they belong, but they have accepted it as “normal”! Can you and I do something about it when we have seen results ourselves?
Inspiration starts by being an example that you would want to follow yourself. When Gary first started out, there were no essential oil books or clinical research on therapeutic grade oils. But he never hung on to the coattails of excuses. On the other hand, it challenged him to provide solutions not just for himself but for others! It challenged him to research, learn and record his findings over the last 30 years, which are still being used today!
Gary inspired many and his example continues to do so: his seeking God in all things (knowing when to pull away, seek God for solutions to tough situations in his quiet time alone), his integrity, his many sacrifices, his commitment, his determination and passion, his wisdom, his attitude, his genuine love for people regardless of background, and most of all his humility in success and forgiveness toward offenders (the jealous, the greedy, and the ungrateful). It was a fulfillment for him to see results through stories from real people with real problems. His passion kept him going; he knew there were many more waiting or praying to God for a way out of their problems. He worked very hard at both work and play! He involved his family in everything he did.
When I was in line chatting with people it was touching to hear amazing stories of people with changed lives (like me) who NEVER wanted to do the business, but it “accidentally” evolved as they helped people! The Lord, through Young Living has stretched me: me, speak? In public? To strangers? Yes, it is worth it all when I focus on the Lord Who brought me here and provided all, including His strength and wisdom. Mary’s example of courage (to continue the dream of her husband) and humbleness in success gave me some food for thought. When she was given a plaque from one of the D. Gary Young Foundation partners honoring Gary, she said, “This is just a spark Gary started, but together you ignited a flame!”
So I have come away inspired with this, to have:
- Determination – a resolute higher purpose
- Passion – driving force, unstoppable regardless of circumstance, and
- Humility – to have it especially when successful
- Courage – to be like Gary who gave the world what is valuable and pushed aside that which is a hindrance to fulfill my higher calling.
- Balance – work hard at work and play and enjoy both with family! There is a season and time for everything.
From Gabriel: Workshops
The 2018 Young Living Grand Convention had the usual mix of General sessions, Workshops, Expo, Farm experience, and independent vendor events. The rapid growth of Young Living is quite apparent by looking at the crowds of people trying to get into a workshop venue or the Vivint arena for a General session. Young Living did a great job of organizing the events to accommodate the large crowds.
While the Farm experience and Expo — where we got to experience all the new products, and also many of the old products — are always highlights of any convention, I was particularly impressed by one of the workshops entitled “The 4 Tendencies: Why We Do What We Do.” This workshop was presented by Vanessa Romero, a Crown Diamond in Young Living, and was based on the work of Gretchen Rubin (see gretchenrubin.com).
The 4 Tendencies are classified based on expectations and how we respond to them. An expectation is a belief that you will or should achieve something. Expectations can be our own (inner expectations) or those of others (outer expectations). The 4 Tendencies are:
- Upholders: those who strive to meet both inner and outer expectations.
- Questioners: those who meet inner expectations but resist outer expectations.
- Rebels: resist both inner and outer expectations.
- Obligers: resist inner expectations but try to meet outer expectations.
While there is some overlap, we are all hard-wired with one of these tendencies being predominant. Understanding our tendencies and those of our family and friends will go a long way towards building successful social and business relationships. To determine your own tendency take her four tendencies quiz.
From Nirel: Farms
One of the main features that sets Young Living apart from all other essential oil companies is their farms. Honestly, though, I had not given much thought to the importance of the farms until this convention. At different times in the week, several different executives stated that the farms are Young Living’s foundation and emphasized the importance of each of their farms and partner farms. In fact, the entire Seed to Seal team of Lauren Walker (Chief Supply Chain Officer), Dr. Mike Buch (Chief Science Officer), and Matt French (General Counsel), spoke at length about their latest findings on their quest to acquire new farms.
For a long time Elemi essential oil has been out of stock, so the sourcing team went in search of a good source of it. On their travels they came across the intriguing story of the pili tree. The Pili tree is a nut tree indigenous to the Bicol region of the Philippines and is known as the “tree of hope.” Underneath the bark of the tree is a resin which can be distilled to produce elemi essential oil. It is in the same family and has similar properties to that of Frankincense and Myrrh.
In the past several decades the nuts and resin were in high demand, but the harvesters abused the trees during the harvesting of the resin, causing the pili tree to almost become an endangered species. The farmers of that region did not realize the value of the pili tree to their community, and so deforestation became an issue. But one Filipino lady, Rosalina, was determined to grow a sustainable organic pili tree farm. She noticed a discrepancy between the value of elemi oil and the meager earnings of the local pili tree farmers, and decided that a change was needed.
Rosalina eventually co-founded the Happy Pili Tree Farm, but she did not have the resources to distill the resin on site. She had to send her resin out of the country for distillation, then had to buy it back at a higher price.
Through much hard work, Rosalina learned and taught her fellow farmers how to distill the resin in order to keep the resources and profits in the community.
Young Living reached out to the Happy Pili Tree Farm and gave them a grant to help them build the first commercial-scale distillery on their farm, in turn helping the economy of that area through the creation of new jobs. The Happy Pili Tree Farm is now Young Living’s ninth and newest partner farm!
What impressed me the most about this story was the heart of Young Living to listen to the stories of the local people and make a difference in their lives. They worked with the people to help them produce high quality oil and taught them sustainable farming practices. Young Living was concerned about the lives of the people of the Bicol region, and did what they could to improve their economy.
From Zyrek: Mel Robbins & The Five Second Rule
In our last general session, we got to hear from Mel Robbins, author of The 5 Second Rule. At the outset, she had all the hallmarks of traditional, high-powered, motivational speaker, but within just a few minutes, her talk became one of my favorite presentations of the week. Her quirky style, deep passion, and personal transformation all came together to make her very relatable and enjoyable, even though she happens to be the most requested female speaker in the world.
Her message begins at the point in her life where she was in a complete tailspin, but through ridiculously simple techniques, she was able to regain control of her thoughts, and change the course of her life completely. She explained that normally, “We don’t intentionally choose to make a mess out of our day. What actually happens is really scary.”
The scary thing is that for most of our daily life, we kind of let our brains run on autopilot, as she describes. While autopilot is really good for routine patterns that don’t require any active thinking (like driving home from work, etc.), it’s really harmful for areas that need work in our lives.
Mel uses the example of going through the cafeteria at school, or attending a workshop at a seminar to illustrate this concept. We might be fully intending to make new friends or network with other professionals, but she asks, “What do you do when you go into an open room? You look for your friends, right? That’s triggering autopilot. You have to catch yourself and interrupt your own behavior.” If we simply become conscious of our own brain’s behavioral tendency, we can overcome so many things in life that happen because we’re usually letting ourselves run on autopilot.
Freedom is becoming the kind of person that is not triggered by life. There’s always a gap in your life — it’s between what’s happening to you, and how you respond to it.”
Mel Robbins also gave us a really interesting challenge on procrastination: “Procrastination is a form of stress relief. The only way to fight procrastination is to understand it, and then override it.” While I haven’t fully been able to see this in my own life yet, I think there’s a lot of truth to the connection between stress and procrastination that I will be exploring more, as I’m a chronic procrastinator.
Now, I realize that all of these things may not seem like they can have a tremendous impact on our lives, but what amazed me is the realization of how simple and easy it is to overcome major struggles just by regaining control of our thought patterns. Mel Robbins shared that she was aware of at least 47 people who were on the brink of committing suicide, but avoided it using the simple, 5 Second Rule techniques — and many others who overcame smoking addictions or chronic anxiety struggles. Right after the talk concluded, we had to rush off to catch our shuttle to the Young Living Farm, but this had lasting impact on us all, and we were still discussing elements of the 5 Second Rule all through lunch!