Gratitude for my Reality

The dreaded ides of April… otherwise known as tax season in the U.S. 

Everywhere I go, seems folks are groaning about their taxes.  I know I have been lamenting just how much I’ve procrastinated on mine this year, but something funny happened… 

As I sat reviewing my year of work as an herbalist, I saw in one tidy spreadsheet where energy flows in and out, and how I can cultivate more of what I want in the year to come.  This year I spent a lot of energy on trainings in the first part of the year, a bunch of energy in the first three quarters teaching, and the middle through end of the year a lot of energy went into working with clients and herbal products.  

This snapshot of my year brought forth heaps of gratitude, and a feeling of being honored, to have shared so much with clients, students, colleagues, friends, and teachers this year, and every year, that I’ve been in this work that involves herbs and Chinese Medicine.  I have received support from so many people along this journey, and my wish is to provide that for those who work with me.  

I have to be honest: There have been many times that I have considered giving up as an herbalist.  

I realized that I may never be an herbalist full-time, or any time soon for that matter, and for a long time that really upset me.  Countless hours of studying, practice, writing, discussions, you name it (um, money spent on trainings?!), have been invested in this endeavor and the financial return is not exactly prolific at this moment in time.  I have felt this constant pressure (internally and externally) to somehow support myself, financially, through being an herbalist.  But that’s not why I got into this work in the first place.  I became an herbalist to learn how to help myself, and others. This is the payoff that is greater than financial reward (and sure, being able to live the life I dream while doing this work would be amazing.)  

The journey is the payoff.  

And, it is because of you that I keep sharing this work.  I am so grateful for you!  

It would be all too easy to slip away to quietly keep moving forward, and I know I’ve been rather silent in recent months.  I’ve been learning to make music with my violin (a seemingly never-ending frustrating journey), and writing up a storm about herbs and Chinese Medicine (stay tuned!), but really what I’ve been doing is integrating and embodying all that I have learned as fully as possible so that when the time comes for me to share with you I will know it in my bones to be true.  I’m in a place with this last bit where I may possibly be able to share it with folks in a way that makes sense – things have been rather muddy lately!

I’m here, doing the work, sorting what I want to keep from all that I’ve learned, and what I no longer find to be useful (then filing that away to retrieve at another time), and letting go what is not serving me or this “work” that is being human.  

This sorting brings me to the second part of this email: what would you like to see more of, from me and this platform?  

More food recipes, more herb recipes, more articles on health ailments, more everyday learning experiences and how they translate into and out of Chinese Medicine, or something else entirely?  I plan to give you all of these and more in the next few months, so if there is something that you are specifically hoping to see (or re-visit) now is the time to let me know! 

With many heartfelt thanks to all of you who I am sharing this journey with, may your growth be like an ancient tree: resilient and adaptable.

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