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I can’t believe I haven’t written to you since February.
I had big plans - plans about happiness, growth and love.
Now it's about survival, and for me, trying to find the silver lining in this cloud we find ourselves in.
See, the second week in March was huge for me, and I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it. That’s why I was quiet, I couldn’t wait to share.
Then the pandemic happened, schools started to close, countries and states starting to shut down, and priorities shifted.
The second week of March, I finished my Advanced Practitioner Training (APT), the hands-on clinical portion of my final steps of education. I had been anxiously awaiting these days because I knew it would be a hard reset for me. It would be life changing, would bring me self-growth, and put me closer on the path to happiness that I spoke about earlier in the year.
When you take these trainings, you are usually in a training group - meaning you travel in your studies with these people. I had a great group, and when you train like this, walls are broken down. It stops being teacher and student, peer-to-peer, hours of educating to hours of education. It becomes person-to-person. It’s heartfelt work.
See, as you go deeper into your training, you realize that being an Aromatherapist and Herbalist isn’t about “recipes” or “blending”. They are just tools to use.
The true purpose is to meet people where they are. Be there for them. Be a safe vessel of caring and activity for them.
The only way to be one of these people to others, is to be one of these people to others. Confusing? Let me explain.
There is an anecdote that my mother shared with me many years ago, “The right things happen the way they were supposed to.” Sometimes that's a hard pill to swallow. But this was the case the week of APT.
The first day of class, I was surprised to find two of my fellow classmates missing. Unfortunately, they were unable to make it, but that left our group with two teachers and two students.
For the first hour, we spent the time simply catching up. It ended up being a very sacred space for us to clean out our feelings and tell our secrets because after it's over, we all leave and go into our different realms of life. There were tons of laughter, hooting and hollering, tears and silence as we each held space for each other. These teachers stop being teachers, peers stop being peers, and they become your people.
Little did I know that it was divinely planned.
Once we started to settle into the actual class, we were told to pick a card from this deck, Earth Magic Oracle Deck. We each picked a card and had to read the meaning to the group. Each card and reading, one-by-one, settled us into a quiet solitude as we each pulled a card relevant to our current situations.
You become humble and realize that you are way smaller than you may give yourself credit for, and intuition and clarity are there all the time. So is God or Spirit, or whatever you lend yourself to.
Every day we would start by pulling a card and talk about the night before. Each time, it was an awakening way to start the day. Those cards became our guide and direction to what we needed as individuals coming out of this experience.
That week we learned distillation, took clinical cases, did blending labs, chemistry, Latin binomial game - we did all of it.
Those were the mornings.
The afternoons were for emotional and spiritual work.How can you bring your authentic self to others as a therapist, if you aren’t practicing self-care and looking at the good, bad and ugly of yourself? How can you assist someone in unbottling themselves, if you can’t do it yourself?
This is the true work of plant medicine - using the plants within yourself to be able to pay it forward with your clients.
At the end of the day, we would finish up at the tavern across the street. So many memories of awards given, conversations had, friends made, of favorite tables and craft beers.
At night, I would lay in bed and would just think.
Think about what we spoke about that day. Think about my plight of happiness I spoke about for 2020. Think about my future, about love and all its states. About my past and how I got here. Think about what I wanted for the rest of my life.
Certain times, I laughed out loud at my thoughts, sometimes I cried. It was a deep time, a cleansing time to think and process past mistakes and make them right, even if only in my head.
In short, it was one of the best weeks of my life. It was life changing and life altering. And those people, those circumstances, those places - it’s a moment that will never happen again. Those conversations, the love between us, teachers and peers to people and friends - nothing like that will ever happen in my life again.
But I can take that love, that laughter, that beauty, those parts that taught me about truly living life. Those things you can’t get in a text book, but that you can only feel deeply, and I can try to bring that to my clients now.
I can’t wait for you to continue with me on this journey, and to share with you all the great things yet to come.
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Juniper and juniper berries were one of the first plants I ever worked with as an herbalist. Juniper essential oil is also a great part of the plant to work with, and I’ve used it in many of my blends.
A lot of people may think of gin when they think of juniper, but the berries from this tree also has a deep-rooted history as far back as the Roman Empire (and probably even further back than that). They are also used in cooking, medicine, and in some cases, flavoring.
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