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The story goes that in a far-off Asian country, there was once a king who drank special elixirs that kept him healthy, beautiful and young for a long time. The royal court and only the royal court could partake of these secret formulas or bbong formulas. Bbong formulas translate as secret formulas in the Korean language. These formulas were kept under lock and key by expert formulators and handed down from one generation to the next, in a lineage of herbologists over many centuries. The Empire abolished and the special elixirs remained under lock and key.
An empire fell, but the special elixirs remained a secret, and those that were responsible for protecting these formulas continue the tradition in their lineage. Dr. Jenelle Kim is one such guardian and the last living descendant of a lineage who has been entrusted with guarding these formulations. She was the first woman to be entrusted with such a precious heritage and royal honor. Dr. Kim was well-groomed for the serious responsibilities, and like her ancestors, she did not take it lightly. She studied traditional Orient’s of medicine and excelled in herbal medicine. She was mentored by her father, who taught her the secret ancient science of bbong herbal formulas.
However, unlike her ancestors, who were dedicated to keeping them under lock and key, she had something different in mind, something impossible. She wanted to share these secrets with the entire world. Who was she to change a millennium-old tradition-steeped and unchangeable culture? You can imagine that her modern female intention of sharing the valuable history of this priceless knowledge would not go over well in her culture. Yet, she was encouraged by her mentor to work towards accomplishing something special and achieve the impossible in her lifetime. She had to be bold in being different, and he implored her to keep moving when everyone else is sleeping. He reminded her that “it only takes one match to light a thousand.” Who was her mentor? It was her father.
Before her father passed away, he taught her key lessons to help her be the match to fight a thousand. One of the most important things imparted by him was that she had to set her mind, her intention and plug into the Dow. What is the Dow? How does one plug into the Dow? The Dow is simply the universe. All of the answers are within you and around you. You have to surrender to the Dow and have complete faith in the universe, and look within yourself. You will always find the answer. The answers will arise from deep within you. Dr. Kim’s intuition connected to the Dow, the universe – a universe filled with a consciousness that helped to guide her along her authentic, correct path.
In order to be the guardian of these secrets, she’s had to sacrifice a lot and grew up very quickly from a young age. She knew it was her destiny to see a lot. Her mentor lived during a time and place where there was a severe lack of diversity, acceptance and discrimination existed in a strong way. She walked by his side and watched; she saw that these secrets led to people who were very good, but she also saw the very worst in people. She stood next to something so powerful and unique, something that can affect people’s lives. It was so different from what this society understood. Some people wanted to get close to the secrets for good reasons, but also for reasons of greed.
She experienced the betrayal of trust and misunderstanding of the principles of my medicine and philosophy. She had to fight for her Asian heritage while making a clear stance that she is also American.
Her experience has taught her that the unknown can cause people to act in ways that are unkind. She introduced these principles when she was at the forefront of herbal medicine and when she first decided to introduce these principles, she was told not to bother because no one would understand or believe in her medicine. This 5,000-year-old medicine has drastically changed the mental and physical condition of so many people over the centuries and was not a belief. However, she also knew that, as part of her mission to help people see this through, instead of becoming hard, bitter and insecure, she had to find ways of communicating the power of her medicine and philosophy that would bridge the gap between cultures and age differences.
These secrets hold a humble power, which is the strongest kind of power that runs deep. How do you apply this to your reality? You stick to the mission and not let the resistance take hold of you. Dr. Kim didn’t let the fact that she was a woman limit her goals and she listened to her ancestors with her heart. She also had a deep feeling of gratitude for being entrusted with such an impossible pursuit.
By expanding upon the herbal formulas that have been handed down with research and development of stellar health and beauty blends that are changing the face of our chemical-filled world, Dr. Kim is fulfilling the legacy of her lineage. She encourages her sons, like her mentor and father did, teaching them that they can start their impossible because “it only takes one match to light a thousand.”