The spring has swept me up in its sudden bursting, but now that I’ve got most of the gardens planted and the humidity is contributing to a slower pace, I can find my thoughts again. There’s just been so much to keep up with–like the Solomon’s Seal that sprouted from nubs barely poking through the surface of the soil into 3 foot tall fronds in the matter of two weeks.Now that I’ve caught up with myself, with the season, and with all of the newness, I’m excited to announce a few upcoming classes that I’ll be teaching.
First up is on Saturday, June 6 in Somerville, MA at HERBSTALK, an amazing urban herb festival with classes for beginners to advanced practitioners. You can check out the full schedule here. I will be teaching a class called “Herbal & Earth-Centered Practices for Activists.” This class grew out of my own experience of activist burn-out because of the frustration that arises when the system isn’t changing quickly enough. I had a lot of passion, a lot of anger, and a lot of despair. I started meditating. I found some tools to deal with my intense feelings and I felt some comfort in the truth of impermanence. But that was not enough to keep me from going out of my mind when I looked around and saw only the broken places, the areas where no one was tending.
I feel like my outlook really started to change when I was completing my permaculture design certificate in 2011. Something major shifted. I began to see possibility in a way I had never been able to see it before. I found more comfort in the idea that we could build resilience into our systems, and that those systems began internally and went outward. Same idea as in meditation, really–our world begins with perception, and how we perceive shapes our responses and reactions. So permaculture shifted my perception. I started eating with the seasons very seriously, studying the five element cycle/five phases from Chinese medicine. I found my ground in a very visceral way through the experience of chronic illness. I began working with Sandra Ingerman’s book Medicine for the Earth and studying the ways of transmutation. Seemingly suddenly, I found myself in a place of hope–sometimes hope coupled with despair, but hope never left my heart. I have been able to live in joy more fully.
All of these experiences and influences are providing the background for the class I’ll be teaching at HERBSTALK. I will be talking about supporting the heart and the nervous system with herbs and flower essences. I will be sharing some practices that are based in meditation and earth connection, and I will be speaking from the heart–for the benefit of the earth, for us all.
After a wonderful weekend of connecting with other herbalists, I am looking forward to teaching a sweet community class at the Portland Food Coop on Wednesday, June 17 from 5:30-6:30 pm called “Supporting Wholeness: Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Wellness.”
In this age of “busy,” our stress levels are steadily increasing and our physical wellness is impacted. If we maintain healthy boundaries around our psychic space and nourish our nervous systems, we are much more present and available. Flower essences are especially adept at supporting our emotional and spiritual well being. I will discuss a variety of flower essences and talk about the process of making and using the essences.
If you are interested in attending this talk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot. The class is $5 for members and $8 for non-members–class size is limited, so grab a space if you are so inclined!
I look forward to sharing information and the love of the plant world with you this summer!