Plants were my first immersion into what it felt like to be in my body. I’ve studied (been learning from) herbs unofficially since I was 7 years old, grinding up Basil and Rosemary from my mom’s garden in my mini mortar. My uncle told me how people would use herbs as medicine and I was awestruck. One of my favorite things in the world was the way the oils from the plants infused into the wooden pestle and became part of the magic of whatever I ground up next.
It wasn’t until much later in college that I started realizing why I had been so enamored with herbs as a kid:
Working with my hands, whether it was in the garden or picking flowers or herbs to imagine using them as medicine, brought my body in direct contact with my soul. The time I spent learning about herbal medicine was always a respite from the reality of my life at the time: a college student struggling with (and drowning in) a severe eating disorder and anxiety.
My story is like that of so many others, but my path may be a bit different.
I think I reclaimed my Self through the magic and mystery of what it is to be human. Through walking amongst my light and my shadows. Through learning about how to exist in a body that hadn’t always been a safe or comfortable place and find joy through embodiment.
After majoring in Medieval History, I went on to get my first certification to teach yoga through YogaWorks in Boston. In my practice is where I discovered the healing potential of the human body/mind/soul. I went on to study Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shiatsu, Visionary Craniosacral Work, and totemic arts, searching for answers for which I wasn’t quite sure how to formulate the questions. I needed to understand why there was such a strong impulse for so many of us to escape and how to transcend it.
Answers continue to come in bits and pieces. In profound sessions with my clients and potent medicines gifted by the plants. After getting advanced training in yoga therapy with Scott Anderson, I realized it’s simply a continuous process, a journey back home, in which you make small, sometimes microscopic movements to integrate and align with your soul.