This is in response to the question, “What happened to your essential oil company?” I launched this company in December 2016 and closed it one year later, in mid January 2018.
I value transparency in my communication with you, as well as vulnerability in sharing my own healing journey with you. That has always been a foundation of Empowered Sustenance, and will continue to be.
So, here is what happened.
I closed the essential oil company I began with a business partner, who was a highly-regarded clinician and instructor at The Nutritional Therapy Association.
This relationship began when my nutrition and bodywork practitioner, 38 years my senior, seduced me when I was his 21-year-old client. I was vulnerable for many reasons, including a lack of any prior relationship and sexual experience. I also deeply trusted this man, who was a paragon in my community. I naively entered a relationship with him. And, shortly after, I naively agreed to start a business with him.
Eventually, I discovered I was one in a long series of his clients, students, and assistants who had been similarly manipulated, psychologically abused, and threatened while vulnerable to his position of power and “Healer” persona. When I realized this pattern, I decided to close the business.
I also reported him to the appropriate authorities. Investigations, with more than 10 other women coming forward, eventually led to his termination of his teaching position.
When I shared my story publicly in my community, many colleagues supported me but many tried to vilify me for revealing the reality of their guru. However, deep healing happened as I connected with other women who had also been severely abused by him, as well as other women who have had nearly parallel experiences with other people.
I determined I would use every ounce of this experience to shed light on cultural victim-blaming biases, and support other women in identifying and then speaking out against their own abuse.
I shared my experience in my book, Stronger Than The Master, in order to create positive change in our culture. I am also sharing spoken word poems at LaurenGeertsen.com. My soul is calling me to share ruthless truth through poetry, and so I will.
I know significant cultural change needs to occur, as I watch other women in my life go through parallel circumstances. They are also extricating themselves from manipulative partnerships — in business and marriage — and then experiencing the same pattern of escalated harassment, threats, false accusations, and legal challenges. And then there is the painful realization that many are afraid of the truth, and will choose to believe the abuser.
I have learned that the one with the truth always has more power than the liar. I am now dedicated to helping women trust their truth, speak their truth, and live their truth.
At Empowered Sustenance, I share what empowers and sustains my healing journey. This means that I am vulnerable and honest in sharing my own journey. And this entire experience has been a significant part of my healing journey.
I am glad I could support you with this essential oil company.
I know that I will support your healing in new ways in the future.
I trust that doors close so new ones can open.
Thank you all for your support.