Let me tell you a story.
I didn’t always know I wanted to be a doctor. I knew that ‘when I grew up’ I wanted to be working with people, and working with food, and hopefully combining them in a way that shared my deep love and respect for how the foods we eat can heal us with all the bounty nature provides.
Somewhere along the line of finishing my undergrad, travelling for four months, and working a job as I bided time to figure out my next steps, I came across Naturopathic Medicine. Looking at my list of pros and cons to help direct me where to go next, this somewhat mysterious profession seemed to hit all the marks (except for my childhood dreams of swimming with dolphins on at least a weekly basis, but anything is possible right?).
So off I went to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine to see what it was all about. I took me, myself and I on the subway for just over an hour, and found myself in a building flooded with natural light and an indescribable sense that SOMETHING was happening there. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly, but as we were given a tour I just knew that this was the place I needed to be.
So, in I went. I didn’t end up enrolling until a year later though, as I’ve come to learn that some of the best things in life take time.
This was it. I could feel my heart expanding and my soul beaming with the knowing that I had found my calling. Through all of the long days and endless exams, I knew it would be worth it. Everything I was learning made sense out of the things I always knew to be true. My education added a depth of science to what my intuition had been telling me all along.
The human body is a miraculously orchestrated instrument, intrinsically linked to its environment, fuel, stressors and community. I learned how herbs can heal most anything. I learned the way our nervous system corresponds to symptoms in ways I was grateful to be learning. I came to know that at the heart of it all, we each have the power to heal ourselves. But most of all, I learned who I was.
The four year graduate program has its share of intense moments (13 exams in 10 days anyone?) Luckily for me, I found a group of women there that supported each other then, and supports each other now. Sharing in the common curiosity in bettering humanity and connect back with the innate capacity of the human body, we found a community. We stayed up late studying, questioned the way things have always been done, added in a bit of magick, and laughed and hugged all the way through.
I was given a gift in the friendships of these women.
After all was said and done. I was TIRED. More tired than I think I’ve been in my whole life. I slept a lot. I chased the moon and basked in the sun to refuel my spirit. I found the person I want to spend my life with. I ventured my way to a retreat centre in Hawaii where I got to learn the ins and outs of running a place where people came to get well. I arrived back home and desperately wanted to be ready to finally share all of my healing gifts with as many people as possible.
But. I wasn’t ready yet. As much as it pained me to sit in this in between, I had to learn to honour the necessity of that space. And so, I waited. I put a few toes in the water, letting them warm in the intentions of putting myself out there. Almost. Not quite yet, but almost.
I saw my incredibly talented classmates make it look so easy to share themselves and start their businesses. I admired their tenacity and courage and Insta-worthy quotes. I’m sure they encountered more than their fair share of challenges that didn’t make it onto the highlight reel of their online lives, but still, I found myself in the dangerous game of comparing their successes to mine. It took time to realize, but that just wasn’t the way for me. I needed more time. The space to remember who I was amidst the flurry of transition that comes with parting from student life and creating something from nothing. The journey I am on looks different from theirs, and different from how I thought it would be.
It took time for me to accept that that was not the way my story would be written. I slowed down more than I ever have. I connected with my partner. I let myself feel years of emotions that I hadn’t had space for. I cried oceans and loved myself tenderly. I let go. Made space for the depth of my self to emerge. Knowing that that was the only way I could truly show up for others AND for myself. I am different now. A version of the woman that came before, inspired by all her accomplishments, experiences and struggles.
I look forward now with fresh eyes, ready to embrace what the future has in store for me. Ready to make shit happen. Ready to serve with my open heart and grounded feet. Here to help YOU navigate this journey of life, and find your way to your most empowered self. This is what drives me now. Supporting others through times of change, and reminding them of how very powerful they truly are.
We all have stories. Some of them have come to an end. And some, are just beginning.