Mike Murphy pulled off his ear phones, lit a cigarette and looked at me through the smoke as a commercial was playing to his thousands of KCMO Kansas City listeners…Taylor, I'm going to cut you off if we don't get some more callers. I had been on the air with Mike for over an hour and a half with about twenty minutes to go.
Mike tried to look serious, but I knew he was kidding because I had been a guest on his twenty-year call-in show several times and always kept his switchboard lit up for two hours straight with callers who wanted to discuss Synergetics and how to fix their physical problems.
I smiled through the tangle of mikes across his studio table and asked: What would you like me to say? Tell me a story, he answered. Want a good luck story or a hard luck story? Tell me a hard luck story.
So I told Mike and his audience a hard luck story that was still fresh in my mind after more than ten years.
By the late nineteen-seventies I had built a fairly large real estate brokerage firm, a custom home construction company and was developing a high-end residential community east of Louisville, Kentucky.
I was about to close out the last section of the development, which would have meant a fair return for the years of work I had invested. But the Federal Reserve had different plans for Americans’ record savings including mine.
They raised the interest rates so high that no one could afford a house. And they stole the hard-earned savings of millions of Americans with these same interest rates, and literally shut down the national real estate industry for more than a year.
So instead of having the financial security to support my large family, I was now deeply in debt, having lost the remaining lots in my development and my home to a bank.
By the time I finished my hard luck story, Mike’s switchboard was lit up with callers wanting to tell me their own hard luck experiences and get advice on how to survive their stressful lives.
After the show as Mike and I walked down the radio station hall he put his arm around my shoulder and exclaimed with a big smile, Taylor, that exact same thing happened to me!
But since the two-hour call-in show with Mike was over, I couldn’t tell the rest of my story…the story that changed my life for good!
Everything I had worked to build over twenty years was gone. I had to start over. But my body was overweight and almost worn out from eating the wrong food, drinking too much and overdoing conventional exercises like jogging, weight lifting, machines…you name it and I overdid it.
So after getting a hernia trying to lift too much weight I got sewed up, packed my little red Porsche, and drove to a deserted Atlantic beach where I rented a shack on stilts and began rethinking my up and down life.
After filling a couple of legal size pads with notes on how to salvage my life I realized I had to first get back in good physical shape.
I needed the strength and energy to do what I needed to do. And that was to earn enough money to support my eight children, three in college and the rest still at home with their mothers, my two ex wives.
So I tried to exercise. Every move I made hurt at least one part of my beat-up body! Not only did the stitches from the hernia operation burn but every bone of my fifty-year old body ached. I already had two knee operations, a crushed nerve in my neck, and inch-long spurs growing on my backbone. So I truly did not know what to do.
I remember lying alone on a cot in the shack on stilts with tears welling in my eyes and a lump in my chest…praying for help.
In the middle of that night I sprang out of bed, turned on a bare light bulb, looked into a little cracked mirror, and repeated the graceful motions I had just seen myself doing in my vivid dream.
At this moment I can see the smiling reflection of my face in that dimly lit mirror as I whispered…Thanks, God…
For the rest of the night I stood on my favorite sand dune repeating motions that I had just seen in my dream. Motions that began releasing the pain and anxiety that was stealing my life. Motions that ultimately gave me the strength and will to do things I never dreamed possible!
I remember seeing a spark of light followed by golden sunbeams reaching across the morning-calm sea as if God was saying:
What you just experienced in your dream will change your life forever.
And I do believe that spark and sunbeams that shined on me thirty- five years ago have continued to light up my life that was indeed changed by that blessed dream.
Ten years later, after rebuilding my business, seeing all of my children through college, and helping their mothers the best I could, I sold my real estate company and devoted the last twenty-five years to sharing what changed my life and has changed the lives of countless others all over the world.
So the hard luck story that I told my late great friend, the Kansas City radio icon, Mike Murphy, was actually the luckiest experience of my life!
If I hadn't lost my home and savings in the early 1980s I would not have driven to a deserted beach to rethink my life and discover in a dream, what is now Synergetics…and come to think of it, rethinking my life was not the key to my good fortune.
I unlocked the door to my healthier, happier, and now quite active, long life with a prayer.