January 21, 2013 @ 4:07 PM

New Year Resolutions for Herbalists


Follow me this month while I try to clear out my own chaos and get a few tips on how to get your herb cabinet and/or business back in order! January is a perfect time for reflection and planning, but also, we have time for getting things done since the rush of garden season is still a few months away, the snow keeps us at home a bit more....as does the promise of a warm house and hot cup of tea. Each day, I am going to tackle something that needs constant care or attention, but that is often left to become dysfunctional as the year goes on. Will this be the year, I actually keep on top of things? Who knows...but if not, I will repost next year!

January 21 ~

Learn From Mistakes  

Nobody likes to dwell on failures, but facing them periodically, keeps us humble and keeps hard earned lessons fresh in our minds. Think back to what you consider to be your worst/most unhelpful/harmful Healing mistake. Maybe you think about it a lot already, but also try to look at what caused the poor outcome...what led up to it? Poor judgement? Pride? Fear?

Having been a Social Worker, Midwife and Herbalist (not to mention wife,mother, grandmother, friend, human being....), I can think of tons of things I would have done differently. Sometimes, there is a reasonable excuse (hindsight is 20/20). But, in my case, ignoring a gut feeling or being naive was the cause of poor outcomes.

As a midwife, I had a feeling that I needed to insist that a couple get an ultrasound. There was nothing in particular, just a feeling I had that I did relay to them. They decided to not get one. The birth outcome was very bad--and it would have been even with the ultrasound, but, handled quite differently. I later found that the couple actually were in disagreement about whether to get one--but I was never informed of that--because that information would have made me  withdraw as their attendant. None of the details matter at all--I should have followed MY gut and forced the issue.

When new to  herbalism, and having many successful healing experiences, there came a client who was equally enthusiastic and wanting to "only try natural remedies". After the  regular warning of the importance of compliance and that it is OK to use whatever healing methods work, i thought we were on the same page. People are people, however, and if a serious illness presents itself, and therefore a certain level of compliance is required for healing, healers need to be able to trust what a client is telling them about how things are going. I underestimated the importance of the "people are people" adage, and the client began to deteriorate....but was able to regain her health after some allopathic intervention in concert with a natural protocol. We BOTH learned some lessons.

It is sometimes difficult to discern "gut" instincts from fear--but it gets better with practice and intense self reflection. Naivte' is sometimes hard to differentiate from hope/trust....but, it is very unnattractive on older people--so, it is a benefit to everyone to learn to avoid that early on!