A Soldier’s Journey to Social Consciousness

By Lynda Dell

Originally posted in January 2107 BOLD + magazine

Corey Taylor’s journey to mindfulness began with his own investigation of his painful, irritating episodes of psoriasis and eczema that made him feel so self-conscious and socially isolated as an adolescent.

Throughout high school, Taylor tried every popular skin care product that his dermatologist suggested. But everything exacerbated his skin condition—until he experimented with natural products that had such remarkable results.

“Often in society it is very easy for us to go take a pill for something,” explained   Taylor.  “ So instead of putting a Band-Aid on the issue, I really wanted to see if I could figure out the root cause of my problem.”

After doing research, Taylor realized that commercial skincare products are detergent-based and loaded with preservatives to extend their shelf life, which led him to explore holistic products and practices. This not only broadened his perspective, but also it has transformed his life.

Within days of switching to naturally-based glycerin soaps, there was a significant reduction of flare-ups and symptoms. Taylor discovered that the preservatives, not the fragrance, were irritating his skin. That “Aha!” moment led to years of experimentation and research, at first just to help out his neighbors, family, and friends from Atlanta. Several years later he developed a line of natural bath and body products that promote health and wellness.

So how did a soldier in the Air Force become a yoga convert?

While serving, Taylor became self-disciplined, self-aware, and focused, but not completely from his military training. When his basic needs were met—food, lodging, work (financial operations for the tent city in Kuwait), during his down time, he became well versed in multiple forms of yoga and meditation from other Corpsmen.

Experts say that today millions of American holistic health converts realize the value of mindful practices to relieve chronic pain and anxiety, for heart health and reducing high blood pressure.

Meditation and yoga have huge benefits that are often discounted believes longtime PA yoga practitioner/holistic health therapist Leah Weisman Bruner—namely stress reduction, smarter decision making, and enhanced coping skills.

“Meditation is being witness to what is, noticing the thought, noticing the sensation in our bodies without trying to fix it or do anything to it,” Bruner said. “So when I meditate consistently, it gives me the opportunity to, instead of jumping in and making quick decisions, step back and observe then go within to feel the inner guidance.”

Bruner likens meditation to “turning off the switch of the fight or flight response” in response to stressful situations. “When tension comes into our being, our adrenals go into fight or flight, and they send out cortisol and flood our system with all of these toxic chemicals.” But when practiced regularly, she said that we are calmer and move through difficult situations more easily.

 “There is a sense of calm and feeling energized that meditation, yoga, and Tai chi give me,” noted Taylor. That’s why for him meditation is a lifestyle choice. “I practice daily the fundamentals of relaxing, breathing deeply, being clear, so that I can access them in all of my day-to-day activities.”

Taylor established Mindful Methods, LLC, with the core philosophy of providing holistic products and services that are good for us, the environment, and the  community–with preservative-free products, organic cotton apparel, eco-friendly rubber yoga mats, and monthly give-back programs.

“I believe that Anna Lappe` says it best ‘every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world that you want,’ explained Taylor. “So we believe now, more than ever, everyone should be taking a claim into making this a better world for us to live in.”

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My hope is to encourage the dreamers to take the risks and learn from the  dream seekers  who are  reaching for their dreams and want to guide others to discover their purpose and realize their dreams, too.

Check out my  other stories. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and share them with other dreamers or dream seekers!

 

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