It started with being stuck in a mutant traffic jam on the Jersey Turnpike. Four solid lanes of congestion, stretched out for miles. The kind of bumper to bumper red-lighted backup that could make you lose the will to live. To make matters worse, I was on my way to a voice over session for a national client. Working in radio & voice overs, I knew studio time - and clients - are not conducive to waiting.
Being somewhat of a 'type A' personality, a friend had told my wife Sheila and I about Kava root, a somewhat obscure natural calmative herb commonly sold in health food stores like Vitamin Shoppe. Out of curiosity, I bought a jar and threw it in the glove box. Being a cynical New Yorker, I had no real expectation the light brown powder in the giant clear capsules would have any effect at all.
By the time I crawled to Elizabeth NJ, I'd already exhausted my 'serenity now' affirmations and was well on to deep breathing exercises. All to no avail. Miles later, limping towards Newark and with nowhere else to go, I opened the glove box and broke the seal on the Kava bottle. The massive cellulose capsule strongly resisted going past my esophagus without water, but I was both bored and determined.
Slowly, about thirty five minutes later I noticed I had loosened the grip on the steering wheel. Of course by then it had divots dug into it by my frozen-muscle fingers, but I was feeling a sense of peace. Not seeing-the-walls-breathe or hearing Jerry Garcia's voice kind, but a meditative calm. I was still very alert, aware I may have blown the session, but felt way less stressed. Eventually the traffic started to clear - as did my anxiety - and I made it to the studio.
The universe smiled as the producers had been stuck in the same traffic. They arrived within minutes of me. The session went well, the spot went national, and I discovered an herb that would change my life!
For more info on kava: www.livescience.com/34497-kava-anxiety-treatment.html
NexZt Chapter - How I fused Kava into a chewing gum.