In the late 1980s and 1990s, health food stores smelled strongly of a mix of carob buds, senna pods and patchouli oil.
I recall back then psyllium husks were considered a superfood and sold by the scoop, spirulina was a cure-all, and brands like Vogel's, Natures Own, Hilde Hermes Herbals and Rainbow Remedies dominated the shelves.
I stepped into my naturopathic career when it was not considered popular, but something only eccentric older "hippie-types" appeared to be interested in. My parents were not proud of me. They thought I was mad and wanted an excuse to smoke herbal cigarettes - the “funny kind” (really!).
I had never been to see a naturopath, but knew that I wanted to be one when I was introduced to naturopathic principles described in a self-published book written by a local herbalist. The concept of "first do no harm" and "taking self-responsibility for one's own body and health" made so much sense to me.
I now believe it was intuition that called me to the path and the wisdom of elders that led me here.
Many of my lecturers and teachers from my college days did not teach from textbooks, but through their own experience. I had no idea then what a blessing this really was, as the academic side of the wellness profession would become rather sanitised and standardised over the years.
After more than 20 years in practice, now as an "elder" and keeper of wisdom myself, it is an interesting place where I now find myself as a naturopath. I hardly recognise myself within the wellness industry as it has now evolved now. Everyone seems to know someone who is either studying naturopathy or nutrition, or writing a wellness book, or making a motza off their own brand of herbal tea!
Knowledge can be collected, technology can advance, and social pages can become all "jazz-hands" - but what of wisdom? Is it still valued?
Wisdom (in my opinion) can only come through experience, through seeing a multitude of complex cases and trying and failing more than once. It comes through seeing familiar patterns arise and fall, trusting in time-worn processes, and having the patience to wait and watch and listen and observe without moving to fix or change.
Here a six key pieces of wisdom gifted to me through my naturopathic practice that I am so very humbled and grateful to have received:
There is a right place and a right time for everything.
My clients have taught me to be patient with the process of healing and that everyone gets there in their unique way and in their own time. There is such a thing as "divine timing" in all things, and when reached, everything falls into place with free will and without effort or force.
2) Healing Is Not A Commodity
True healing can not be coerced, manipulated, bought or sold.
It arrives subtly and unannounced, often by surprise, with ample time after being planted and given the space to bloom.
This is often a great disappointment to many! Wouldn't it be great if silver bullets were a real thing? That we could simply buy health and healing in a bottle on the shelf?
No... alas, it is a process, a gentle unfolding, an activation from deep within, only when the time is ready and the body and mind have been fully prepared.
Relationship building is everything.
If you are working with me as a client, you may be surprised to hear that I often encourage you to be led by curiosity. I trust that if you need a break or need to explore other things, you will eventually find your way back.
I invite my clients to connect with their deepest desires and trust that they intuitively know what's best for them. We must allow ourselves to explore all options and learn new things, enabling the health and healing journey to become an adventure.
I'll be here. I understand, and I'll be waiting, ready to pick up wherever we left off whenever you are ready.
4) A Little Support Goes A Long Way
Everyone is just a better person with the proper support. Better to themselves, better to their friends and family, and better at doing life.
There is natural ease when you feel the safety and security of someone partnering with you on the journey.
I love seeing someone's forehead de-wrinkle, their shoulders drop and the settling feeling that becomes obvious when they know that everything has perfectly aligned to get them to the right place so they can finally get their health sorted.
5) There Are Many Paths
Healing comes in many forms, and no one way is better than any other.
I've learned to let go of expectations of how I think it will come about (it's rarely from the most expensive or most sophisticated supplement or diet!).
Healing is waiting to connect with those who need it in the "penny drop moments" of personal connection and when self-realisations are invited to infuse their benefits with self-love, patience and time.
6) Mutuality Is Key
It's essential that I love and enjoy working with my clients as much as they enjoy working with me.
I intend for my clients to feel a very natural, professionally guided and yet informal ease in our consultation flow.
That's when I know we are in the groove and they are going to love the outcomes and full benefits of working together as much as I am going to enjoy facilitating them!
Let wisdom guide you on your path to health.
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