Burning Candles with a Blowtorch
Hello friends, I’m Louis, Owner and Creator of Sleeping Monk. I want to give you some perspective on my history and the backstory on how Sleeping Monk got started and transformed into what it is today.
It all began in an effort to solve a problem…
My parents were not emotionally present during my childhood and I lacked love, nurturing and attention. I attempted to compensate by doing whatever I could to fill the hole in my heart.
Freshly kicked out of the house at 18, I went to Jr. College just long enough to learn how to play ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in Beginning Guitar class. I figured I was good and it was time to become a Rock Star.
By this time, I was using drugs on a daily basis in order to numb the pain I vaguely realized was there. My diet at the time, and for the next handful of years was terrible – it consisted mostly of coffee, rice and sunflower seeds.
In an effort to boost my self-esteem, I exercised obsessively to ‘look the part’ of a Rock Star. I worked multiple jobs, attempting to earn enough money to live somewhere other than my car and support my new daughter. I created and endlessly practiced the music we were writing to play shows and get a record deal. Meanwhile, my addictions worsened, as did my feeling of needing to be perfect to be loveable.
I felt like I was burning candles with a blowtorch.
By the time I was 30, our efforts got us a record deal. We got to live the dream. With moderate success, we toured the world and thoroughly enjoyed the last wave of rock stardom before the music industry was transmuted by the onset of digital file-sharing websites like Napster, etc.
Although things were looking pretty good on the outside, on the inside I was dying. I came to an unfathomable place of shame and self-loathing. It was right about this time that I gave up. I surrendered and got clean and sober. Shortly thereafter, I found out my dad was not my biological one and my longest standing girlfriend, ‘the one’, decided it was time to look for other options.
I was rendered raw, burnt-out, depleted, heartbroken and spiritually scorched.
My nerves and adrenals were fried and I became hypersensitive to caffeine and other stimulants- even green tea, chocolate and vitamin b12. I suffered insomnia and migraine headaches and my heartbreak manifested physically with pain in the center of my chest that would pop, crack and tear whenever I attempted to open my arms to the world.
I was in desperate need of relief, grounding and balance. I had to focus on the inside work to be done.
I started working for a renowned herbalist and became a Natural Healing fanatic. I used his herbal formulas and detox programs many times over. I constantly read, researched and experimented with the ways other than those of Western Medicine’s doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs in an effort to regain balance and restore the powerful health I once had.
During this time, my mom became a licensed acupuncturist and began treating me. I was impressed with the results and was inspired to investigate further, which eventually led me to the Chinese Tonic herbs.
I love the idea of treating the body as a complete system to help bring itself back into balance. I also love Chinese herbal medicine because of the folklore, the mystique, the history and the proven track record of efficacy for thousands of years.
There are metaphors for stories about wise sages that live to be 237 years and can fly, women with skin as silky smooth as a Jade Princess, couples with sexual prowess that endures generations beyond comprehension and well, you get the point. Most importantly though, I found certain combinations of herbs that would be the catalyst for what would change my life.
I completed a Chinese Superior Herbalist Practitioner course taught by Ron Teeguarden and continued to read prodigiously to deepen my understanding and experience. It was during this time that a renowned herbalist took me under his wing and taught me the art of Formulation.
For the next eight years, I developed and fine-tuned what was to become the Sleeping Monk ‘Immortal’ formula. At the time, I had no plans for bringing it to market; I was merely trying to heal.
I started with a base of herbs to heal my heartbreak, calm my anxiety, help me sleep and rebuild my core energy stores.
I added herbs, removed others, modified dosages and tried different methods of production until I had what I found to be a Supreme Longevity formula.
Both the short term and cumulative effects began to manifest- I was rediscovering myself. Physically, I became more grounded, more rested and naturally energetic. An increase in my athletic and sexual endurance was evident. My ability to handle stress improved, I could finally sleep again and I became far less susceptible to migraines.
My emotions began to stabilize and I was learning to see things from a broader perspective. I now take things less personally and am more apt to see the blessings hidden within what I once thought were problems.
I became motivated to improve other aspects of my health. I began a meditation practice, took yoga, went to the gym, ate more nourishing foods and have slowly eased on the self-deprecating internal dialogue, replacing it with a more accepting and loving attitude. I take to heart the phrase I’ve heard countless times, ‘Progress, not Perfection’.
Every so often, while brewing, various friends would ask me what the tree branches, weeds, berries and dirt were in the pot. I would explain what was cooking and share some with them.
It was only after repeatedly hearing the positive feedback from those that tried the original ‘Immortal’ formula, that I thought it would be a great idea to share it with the world.
It’s with a level of obsessive passion and commitment to your health and happiness that we present our line of Sleeping Monk products.