Saturday April 25th 2015 was the day that I graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition earning a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and the Designation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner.
It was a beautiful occasion filled with friends, family, and a shared vision for a healthier, happier, more vibrant world. This world is that which we create by learning, sharing and integrating the knowledge we have been taught into our lives and then the lives of those around us.
It was quite a juxtaposition for me compared to the graduations many of my friends underwent from university which were described to me as “boring and a waste of time”. For me this ceremony really meant something, it meant that I had finished something which I really wanted to be a part of and which connected deeply to my passions and interests.
Holistic Health, re-discovering nature’s wisdom and abundance, learning to understand how the body speaks through symptomatology and using these messages to address the root cause of an issue, these are all things which I value and which keep me excited and engaged. In the past I never would have imagined that a place would exist where I could get access to all of these things through formal education.
I still remember the day I was sitting in my first class of the Psychology of Disease – a course which serves as an introduction to energetic healing and explores the mental-emotional basis for health and dis-ease – and listening to my teacher Kathrin Brunner (a beautiful and empowering teacher I must say) describe what we’d be learning in this course. The Chakra system, the power of the mind to influence the body, how to discover the mental-emotional root of certain issues.
It was surreal.
Here I was having spent the last 4 years taking in this “underground” knowledge through watching documentaries online, reading articles and books about eastern mysticism, yoga, plant medicine, nutrition etc and now I was finally in a real classroom with students and a teacher.
It felt like a true education that was focused on providing us tools for life rather than facts to be memorized.
It served to empower us and foster a greater awareness and appreciation for health and life which will be with me forever.
And it was this type of intensive, practical education that was consistent throughout the courses.
Assignments helped us to integrate and practice what we had learned and then apply it to ourselves and then our family and friends.
We created in depth case studies and protocols ranging multiple months in duration and focusing on different levels of healing in a step wise fashion.
Even though some of these assignments caused us sleepless nights and taxed our adrenal glands they were still (for the most part) a very valuable part of the learning process.
I began to record my nutrition and bio-hacking experiments during times of increased stress and found that with large doses of anti-oxidants, nootropics, amino acids and adaptogenic herbs I was able to function quite well with very little rest. This is not to say that I advocate sleep deprivation. If you choose to miss some sleep because you’re working on a passion project and it just needs that extra time or you’re having an amazing time with friends or an intimate night with a partner then go for it! Work hard, do what you love and then consciously recover in order to maintain a sustainable balance.
I have to say it’s quite ironic that within a Holistic Nutrition program many of the students end up burnt out and over stressed throughout the program because of the difficulty in maintaining balance between class hours, readings, assignments, tests, jobs and the rest of life. But hey, what better way to learn how to restore adrenal function and hormone balance than to have to do it for yourself.
Now that this stage of my education is complete I feel excited to shift my balance from consuming and studying information more to integrating and teaching the best tools and practices I’ve discovered in my own journey to others who are seeking better health and wellness.
I am currently getting set to “officially” launch my coaching practice by getting a website face lift, business cards, and creating a couple talks and workshops to offer value to those interested in optimal health and wellness. At the same time I am helping to create Broya – a bone broth start-up that is super exciting and has been a great learning experience so far – as well as working part time in the Whole Body section at Whole Foods where I seek to be of service to our customers through providing education and context around natural health products in order to contribute to the success of our team.
Planning how I want to practice is one of the most exciting parts to all of this and what I’m feeling is that I want to do in home intensives that serve to create an environment in which improved health must result.
Your environment – meaning your physical space, the food, water and air you ingest, the radio frequencies and electro-magnetics you live within, the people you spend time with and the media you let into your brain – determines so much of how you think, look and feel so that when looking to create change what one has to do is change their environment so that they themselves will adapt and evolve in accordance with those changes.
This means turning your home into your sanctuary, a healing oasis you can return to in order to be nourished, recharged and re inspired after venturing out into the world to do whatever it is you do each day.
I also have future plans of having a mobile bio-hacking and optimal nutrition van that I can outfit with a blender, juicer, herbal tinctures, supplements, a PEMF machine, a zapper and an ozone generator so that I can do house calls and attend events with all my favorite healing gadgets and gear.
This transition is one that is bringing me into contact with many of my limiting beliefs around money, support and faith that I can be successful. The comfort, and perceived stability of a steady pay cheque can be a challenging thing to give up when getting started as an entrepreneur and I have definitely noticed that my mindset is needing to shift to more of a founder / owner rather than an employee if I am to take charge and move forward in offering my gifts and services to the world.
And so as I write this I am affirming that I am supported, that the universe is abundant and that life conspires to fulfill my desires, whatever they may be.
I am affirming that I am here to help optimize human health and bring more fulfillment into my life and the lives of those around me.
I am forgiving and accepting myself for being human and for struggling with these things and it is by this power that I free myself from the self imposed prison of limited possibilities and fears.
I accept that there is truth in what Ryan Holiday shares in “The Obstacle is the Way”. Rejoice in the face of challenges because it means you have the potential to overcome, ascend and grow stronger.
I’m understanding more and more that I have to act my way into a new way of thinking rather than thinking my way into a new way of acting. Habits, behavior, routines, these are what make up our lives and they are the reinforcement of my discipline, without which I am unable to take control of my life and move consciously in the direction of my choosing.
I’ll wrap here and just say to anyone thinking about embarking on a new path or committing to going back to school that if you feel alignment within your head, heart and gut about what it is you want to do then it’s your responsibility to answer that call and move forward with great expectations, curiosity and passion.
It will take you to where you never imagined and will increase the quality of your life beyond measure.
Celebrate the milestones, savor the small victories, learn from the challenges, and be present with what is.
If you’re a student at IHN North York campus and you’re reading this then do yourself a favour and find the apple trees beside the Japanese Cultural center and pick some when they’re ripe. I must have gotten over 100lbs of fresh, free, organic apples for FREE last year. Some of the best apples I’ve ever tasted no doubt which live on in a fermented sauce and cider that is still in my fridge that I break out for special occasions. Nature truly is abundant!