Posted February 1, 2020 – –
Leanne – I’ve traveled to an unlikely spot to track down the subject for this interview, Karen Chism, despite the fact that she lives just outside of Tulsa. We’re here in the snow near Naples, Idaho, at a tree farm known as Highland Flats.
Karen – Welcome, Leanne! I’m so glad the station let you come up for Winter Harvest! It’s an experience like none other!
Leanne – So I hear! Tell me what Winter Harvest means and why you come back every year.
Karen – In a nutshell, Winter Harvest is the time that we harvest trees, chip them up, and distill them into world class essential oils. I’m SO passionate about this, it is going to be hard not to talk for days on the subject! (laughs) Let me see if I can keep this brief… I was initially introduced to essential oils just after 2000 and was NOT impressed. I’d been told about some properties of lavender and peppermint oils, so ran down to the health food store and got some. They did not do anything like what I’d been told, so I chalked it up to just another unfounded health claim.
Leanne – Yet here we are harvesting essential oils in the snow? (laughs)
Karen – No one could be more surprised by that fact than the me of 15-20 years ago! (laughs) A very dear friend, Carrie, started using essential oils in about 2007 or so. She’d been chronically ill as long as I’d known her – and I watched her health and life transform. I was STILL a huge skeptic, however, because of those oils from the health food store that were 0% effective. I figured she must be having some sort of placebo effect. My tendency was to sort of pat her on the head and say “how nice for you”… all the while mentally rolling my eyes. (rolls eyes and laughs) But eventually, my then-chronic migraines made me ask her one day if there might not be something that would work for the migraines. She invited me to a class. The rest, as they say, is history.
Leanne – So you got relief from your migraines?
Karen – I did! But not only short term relief – eventually the migraines stopped for good! I can’t say how or why, but I have not had a migraine in many many years. What I learned was that God designed our bodies to heal themselves – but environmental toxins often “clog the works”, so to speak. Essential oils don’t necessarily heal or treat medical problems, but when you use 100% real deal essential oils, they do help cleanse cell receptor sites and support our bodies while our bodies heal themselves. Wow… there is so much more to say on that, but I promised to be brief as possible! (laughs) The problem is – MOST essential oils on the market are distilled incorrectly, or are “synthetically enhanced” (uses quotey fingers and laughs) or are flat out adulterated. So many companies sell oils to make the highest profit possible – and that means cutting corners! The trick is finding real oils that are truly 100% pure from a source you can trust – and here I am watching and helping as these oils are made. What better way to assure they are 100% pure! (laughs)
Leanne – but didn’t those oils from the health food store say they were 100% pure?
Karen – Oh my, Leanne! You didn’t just open a can of worms, but what I call a “keg ‘o worms”! (laughs) Even IF you find real oils, if they aren’t distilled at the right pressure, the right temperature, and for the exact right amount of time, those oils will be ineffective as they will be missing large numbers of components. But even if they say “100% pure” or “thus and such grade” it means absolutely nothing. Suffice it to say that our illustrious FDA allows labels to say “100% pure” even if there is only 5% pure oil in the bottle. The other 95% could be literally ANYTHING including synthetic chemicals toxic to the body. So, in this 5ml bottle (holds up a bottle of Blue Spruce), which holds roughly 100 drops of oil, there could be only FIVE DROPS of oil and the label is allowed to read “100% pure essential oil”!!!
Leanne – that’s really shocking!
Karen – Yes, it is! Which brings us back to this farm. The company whose oils I use has a “Seed to Seal” guarantee. Meaning they guarantee their oils through every step, from the seed that is planted, to the oil being sealed in the bottle. Not only that, but they are the only company that both has their own farms and is totally transparent. They have farms all over the globe where they grow and distill oils…. and I’ve now visited every one of them! Every one of the farms, just like this one, is open to visitors and you can plant, harvest, watch distillation, even sit in a hot tub full of the oil-infused water left after the steam distillation process! I visited my first oil farm in Mona, Utah, in the summer of 2014 and the “Seed to Seal” promise came alive for me. My next goal became coming to winter harvest here at Highland Flats. The use of horses in the
harvest process really sang to my soul – my family logged with teams of horses more than a century ago! I sooooo wanted to experience that, but that didn’t happen right away. I just didn’t have the funds to make it happen. We were literally living paycheck to paycheck.
Leanne – but now you’ve been here 4 harvests in a row and visited every one of their farms on four different continents? What changed?
Karen – Something really unexpected! I had been a distributor for years and had built a group that gave me enough income to pay for my oils, but not much more. I was constantly self-sabotaging, and my bad habits, like my tendency to procrastinate – did I say “tendency”? Seriously? (doubles over with laughter) Oh, sorry, that just struck me as hilarious!! Like I was saying, my bad habits and negative self-talk really impaired my ability to move forward. I had the knowledge I needed. I knew my product and loved it! I had listened to and read a bazillion “self help” gurus and experts on network marketing. They all pretty much said the same things – set goals and take “massive action” to get going. Riiiiiggghhht. They make it sound SO easy. I’d start, but it never stuck and before long I was stuck in the same old rut…. with more ammo for the negative self talk. In my search for a solution, I’d heard about a course in 2014, known as MKMMA, or the Master Keys Master Mind Alliance. However, at the time I first heard about it, the course was full. So I signed up to be on the early notification list for the 2015 class.
Leanne – Did you end up taking the class?
Karen – By the time I got notified of the 2015 class, I’d really forgotten all about it. (laughs) But I clicked the link and read that scholarships were available. That intrigued me. As I read further, I learned that actually the ONLY way to get in was to receive a scholarship! The fee to apply was $1…. but the skeptic in me said, “They are going to get your credit card info and then rip you off!” Such a trusting soul, right? (laughs) But a long-time internet friend had been in the 2014 class and I found out she was going through training to be a Certified Guide for 2015. I trusted that Patty would not be involved in a credit card fraud scheme – so I filled out the application, paid my $1 fee to apply, bought the materials required for the course (two copies of an inexpensive paper back book, some colored pencils, index cards, and a couple of 3 ring binders) and I waited. Impatiently. Within a few days, my name appears on the scholarship list!! I was thrilled!!
Leanne – And this course was somehow instrumental in getting you to your goals?
Karen – It was! One of the first things I learned was that some of my goals weren’t really MY goals, but goals I thought I should have. We also learned that 90% of our mental activity is subconscious – and that was where my self-sabotage was happening. We learned to re-program our subconscious, or “Subby” as it’s referred to in class. Even though the course was 26 weeks, I started seeing changes in the first month. The exercises were EASY – things a ten year old could do, but that doesn’t mean the journey was not without struggle. That old blueprint that had been running my life for my adult life did not want to let go. I’d occasionally fall back into procrastination and a few times thought about quitting. But Patty’s words from one of her blog posts, rang in my head… “This course is life changing, IF YOU DO THE WORK!”
Leanne – did you finish the course?
Karen – Boy, did I! One of my goals was to be at Winter Harvest in January 2017, along with my
husband. Cliff loves driving tractors and other heavy equipment, so I knew that parts of this would be right up his alley! As for me, there was the draw of using teams of horses as well as being part of the distillation process for two oils that I’d used daily for years – Idaho Balsam Fir and Idaho Blue Spruce. We learned quite a number of ways to get our goals and “pivotal personal needs” into Subby. Some of them didn’t make much sense at first, but they assured me that there was science and a method behind the madness! (laughs)
Leanne – How long did the changes take?
Karen – Like I said, within the first month I started seeing changes. I’d set a small goal with a date attached and hit every one of them! In fact, I was early on them every single time! Not once did I procrastinate on one of those small goals. As my Subby started to get the message that there was a new thing happening, bigger goals started happening, too! Bottom line, as I set goals that were aligned with my real needs and reprogrammed Subby, my life changed radically!
Leanne – Is the class still available?
Karen – It is! As a matter of fact, I’ve been a Certified Guide for all the classes since 2016! It’s a great way for me to pay it forward! Tens of thousands have now taken the MKMMA and I’ve loved being able to watch them learn to follow their own bliss! I highly recommend the course to all of my team leaders – and many of them are now attending Winter Harvest with Cliff and I each year. It’s not only an oily reunion, but a chance to Master Mind with people who share my vision.
Leanne – Can we go play with the horses now?
Karen – OF course! And then we’ll go relax in the hot tub – which today is filled with the “floral water” from distilling Blue Spruce – and that alone will rock your world!