Updated: May 26, 2022
My version of a mid-life crisis came as I decided to change my career and life path. I've always loved being outside in nature, cooking, learning new ways to stay healthy without medicine... all of this finally clicked in my mind - "I should become an herbalist!"
It wasn't an easy decision to leave the nonprofit and work family that I'd known for over 11 years. It was extremely anxiety-inducing to think about all that I would need to learn, all the systems of support I would need to call on, and just the unknown future. But I've learned to trust the wisdom of my intuition and the mysterious way the universe seems to respond to and support my intentions.
I talked over my new path with my husband, and he supported me in pursuing an education in herbalism and then starting my own practice as an herbalist. I knew it wouldn't be an easy journey, but it was one I felt prepared and excited for, especially knowing I had the support of my partner in life.
I mustered up the courage to let my boss know that I was leaving the nonprofit. Even through my fear I knew I was doing the right thing for myself. I should have known to trust in the continued support of my boss, and I was immensely relieved as he responded simply, "I love you and support you."
I have had such amazingly strong women role models in my life who have made their own paths; however, I had never reflected on how lucky I am to have these women to look to for guidance until I decided to set my sights on herbalism.
My grandmother started her own real estate business while doing all the traditional "homemaker" tasks -- making clothes for my father and his siblings, tending a home garden, cooking, cleaning, etc.
My mother raised three children while she went back to college and completed a master's degree in education. After a teaching career, she decided to create her own path of becoming a natural healer by starting a BodyTalk practice.
My sister-in-law is a chef, personal health and sensuality coach, and is an inspiration to so many people who want to rediscover the joy in the everyday activity of preparing and eating a meal through her business, Kiele-Jael Wellness.
All this is in addition to the amazing women practitioners that I've relied on to support my health - acupuncturists, MDs, chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths, herbalists, midwifes - and women activists, artists, friends, and colleagues I've had the honor of knowing in my life.
Creating My New Path
The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine came to me at the right time and provided such a wonderful online platform for learning at my own pace, that it just clicked. I signed up for their 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion course, and never looked back!
Now, I'm my own boss. I get to play in the garden, tinker with new herbal tea recipes (I like to think of myself as a kitchen witch!), continue to learn from amazing herbalists who have come before me, and spend time helping clients learn to improve their health with simple steps every day.
I gain so much inspiration from the people I get to call clients, and it brings me joy to follow a path toward health supported by the wonderful world of plants right outside our doors. I hope you'll join me!