These days we talk about issues like a popcorn machine. Today there is this this and this. Tomorrow it's something else. Social media has connected us to EVERYTHING, and we cannot support that weight. I've faced the issues head on, it started when I was 17. I remember a turning point, where I was exposed to something I could not ignore. All of a sudden I was handed this thing and I had to decide what to do with it. I brought it to the forefront of my life and I tried to spur others to see it the same, and not just see it, but do something about it. No one came along side me and it was the beginning of my discontentedness as well as my fervor to push forward. These two feelings have always co-existed for me, I try hard for a season, burn out and then feel lost again till inspiration finds me.
As many of you know, we have been in the process of trying to buy land for a year now. The vision started 6 years ago because of "the weight of it all" this was my answer to the question, "what can be done?" and we've been working hard toward it ever since. For the first 3 years we worked hard in tangible ways, ways that didn't make us any money but gave us the experiences we needed to make this decision. We remodeled a house, hosted hundreds of guests, cleaned up after people, gave people money, shared space, started a community garden, traveled to South Africa to work on farms, and much more. For the last 3 years we have hunkered down with jobs and worked hard to make the money we need for our land. Our work has never been conventional, and I've always given too much of my self and money away. because of these two things, we really don't make that much money, although we work hard. Our work isn't appreciated by the modern culture. (besides Johnny's barista job and my floral design) Day to day we are working hard studying and learning everything we can be successful in the future. This doesn't make us any money, but it's what matters the most to us.
I didn't go to college. I didn't see the point of being in school for 4 years plus and being in debt to do something I ultimately didn't want to do. I was told, "you have to do it this way, this is the way it's done". Instead I started my own business and went to trade school for 3 years to study plant medicine and Nutritional Therapy. If you've read any of my other posts you know how important these things are to me. And I know how much they can help people, but still, it's not a job that is going to make me a millionaire. These were my choices, yes, but I've never understood why I needed to waste time doing something I didn't want to do in order to accomplish my dreams. Unfortunately, I'm at this crossroad, where I realize my dreams will never come to fruition without the help of others. In this culture it seems everyone wants me to work "hard" according to the typical system (9-5 job) and earn what I have. It's a depressing system.
My dream is to start a retreat center on a piece of property where I can do week long Nutritional Therapy workshops that truly give people the time to relax and change their habits. I imagine cabins people can stay in, saunas, salt water soaking tubs, space to do cooking classes, and of course space to grow true nutrient dense food. The world operates on such a high frequency, I want to create a space people can come and have no obligations. We've lost this ability as a culture, and we feel that weight in many ways.
I want a different life than the stays quo, and I want to share that with people.
Honestly, I am at a really weird place right now. I'm suppose to be feeling this excitement of completing school and being a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner but the day after I graduated was the day I was told we weren't approved for enough money to buy anything. (well only one property, which was sold later that week) And since then it's been a cluster of mixed emotions, stresses and let downs. I don't know how to start my business while I'm in limbo and we have to move out of Portland within the next 5 months. (because of our living situation). I stay positive most days, but I miss having a community of support. It's been mainly Johnny and I on our own through all these processes and I honestly don't know what I am doing half the time. I've been really happy and content for the last year and sometimes there is a time and place for feeling sadness when faced with the unknowns. I haven't lost hope, I just can't see the light yet.
Trying to balance doing things that matter with doing things that make money is a hard thing to do. And trying to respond to the weight of issues being put on us daily is hard. And continuing with a positive attitude is hard. Overall, I know things will work out. Just let me wallow for a moment.
As Wendell Berry says,
"To make public protest against an evil and yet live dependent on and in support of a way of life that is the source of the evil, is an obvious contradiction and a dangerous one. If one disagrees with nomadism and the violence of our society, then one is under an obligation to take up some permanent dwelling place and cultivate the possibility of peace in it. If one feels endangered by meaninglessness, then one is under an obligation to refuse meaningless pleasures and to resist meaningless work, and to give up the moral comfort and the excuses of the mentality of specialization."
That's what I'm trying to do…it's not simple.
Let's talk about something that has dumbfounded me for years; Pre-Conception Planning. How often does it happen? And how often does it happen to the extent that it should? Obviously some couples get pregnant on accident, so no planning can be done in that case but having a baby is a BIG deal and if we're planning on it, shouldn't we really PLAN it? We need to make sure our bodies are ready to create another person, after all. You'll never see someone who breeds race horses breeding their sickest horse, they breed their healthiest of course! So why don't we treat our own reproduction like this? Why don't we make sure we are at optimal health before we try and conceive? For most people, maybe it's the length of time it takes to prepare your body.
-If you've been eating the Standard American Diet then I recommend 2-3 years of a nutrient dense diet before conceiving.
-If you've been eating well I still recommend 6 months to a year of preparation.
I’ve spoken of health for a long time now, well a long time for one who is 26 years young. Now six years into my journey to discover what true, radical health looks like for me, I am utterly floored by what I’ve found. This weekend I accomplished the impossible, I graduated as a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. And I say impossible, because as my story goes, I was a child put on the back burner in school. While others boiled with high heat, I slowly simmered, unsure of why my brain just didn’t work the same, why no matter how hard I tried I could never pass with what they call “flying colors” which is interesting, because I am chocked full of color. Instead of honing in on what they said made a balance human adult who could “make it” in this world, I stuck to the quite life of my own heart where I wrote endlessly, sang and played music, thought deeply and somehow laid out the framework for where I would be now.
Money has never fueled my decisions, and thankfully I am good with the little money that I do have, but I never wanted to decide my future based on what would make me the most money, I also never wanted to go into school debt. Once I left high school behind I knew my next few years would look different than attending college; it wasn’t made for me. I began with attending The Floral Design Institute, for creativity has always been where I feel I thrive. It was the “safe” option for now and over the last 5 years I have built up quite a nice business, but alas, I needed more, I needed something that rocked me hard. Something that could double as a passion and a “job”.
I’ve shared this journey before, and I don’t know for sure when it happened, but at some point I remember watching people fall around me, with cancer, heart disease, autoimmunity, allergies, depression; the list could continue forever. I was also struck with my own ailment, 2 years of intense allergies which I have now almost entirely healed with natural methods. I felt like people couldn’t fully be themselves, they were all bogged down by their bodies and even their minds were locked up. I watched some of them die, and some of them barely able to live. I knew this wasn’t how it was suppose to be, and I knew, from my own experience, that the medical industry wasn’t truly helping people HEAL, they were helping people just stay alive, adding a plethora of side effects to their already hurting bodies.
I thought to myself, how can I, this uneducated woman who never got exceptional grades, dive into the “medical” scene. I had a deeper driving force than just helping people heal, I wanted to see people’s souls align with their bodies. I don’t know if people realize just how controlled they are by the health or lack of health in their bodies. I don’t know if people know that their bad moods, rollercoaster emotions, depression, anger and so on are sometimes more than just emotional wounds, they are biochemical.
My journey began with plant medicine. I wanted to take health into my own hands and feel empowered, plants grow everywhere for anyone to use, I wanted that knowledge. I never expected to make money with herbalism training, I just wanted to be able to use plant medicine in my life and with friends and family. After 2 years of herbal training I felt I had found my place within holistic healing and knew I needed to continue. This is where nutritional therapy came into play. I realized if I didn’t know how or what to eat then my journey would stop there. Plant medicine is amazing, but I felt it needed to go hand in hand with nutrition. It was then and there that I decided to forgo my 3rd year of herbal training in order to jump into nutritional therapy. This also came into play because of the intense allergies I was dealing with. The doctors gave me no hope of ever going back to normal and I was given pharmaceuticals to deal with my symptoms. I did not accept their diagnosis, though, and I went on an intense journey to heal myself. A year later I was enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification program through The Nutritional Therapy Association.
This was a huge step for me. Studying Nutritional Therapy was way out of my comfort zone. I had deep passion about healing with foods but to actually dive into the science behind it was daunting. I didn't know if my brain could work this way. I signed up for the course in the winter last year and slowly felt the anticipation creep into my bones. I knew I was making the right decision, I just had no idea what to expect. February soon came into view and I was on the phone for my first conference call with my class. It's weird to meet all your classmates and teachers over the phone and complete most of your homework online and by yourself. A month few months into the program I headed out to Bend, Oregon for my first in person class. All the voices and online profiles soon became real people and a tribe of healers was formed. I don't know if you've experienced being in a room full of people who all care so deeply about the same thing, but it truly is a magical experience. Tears were flowing from the moment we sat down because we all had stories that brought us to this place, something that doesn't happen often in the college scene, I did my entire 9 months with these same people and we journeyed together. To create a web of support is something I seldom see in other ways of learning. In college you take many classes with many different people, there is something really special about the trade schools I've been a part of and I know that this is the way I was meant to learn. It goes beyond "you need to pass your tests to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner" it becomes a support group where we all want to succeed because we know we are meant for greatness and we know we are meant to be healers and that's why we pass our tests. I'll say right now, I was a "C" and even a "D" student growing up, my Nutritional Therapy Final grades: Written Test: 101% Functional Evaluation Test: 100% Client Folder: 100%. Why is it that I can't pass a test in traditional school? Well, traditional school doesn't feel like a community, it doesn't feel like a support system, and I feel lost in it; alone.
Over the last 9 months I worked my butt off. I mean really, I completed hours and hours of homework, listened to lectures, read over 15 different books, completed a community project, learned the functional evaluation, went to Bend on three separate occasions for weekend classes, practiced on 15 people, and passed both my midterm and final. I didn't have time to think about anything else in the last 9 months, I was thrown into a tornado and whirled around. And this weekend, I was thrown out of it, at least that's how it felt. Once I completed the course, it took me a moment to gather my bearings. I was in shock. Something I never thought I could do, I did. And I didn't just scrape by like I always had in school; I thrived. I don't know what the next steps looks like, but for now I can say:
I am a healer.
I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David