Monday, October 19, 2009

Renewal in Nature

By Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
Vice President, Quality and Education, Emerson Ecologics

Photo by walknboston via flickr, under the
Creative Commons license.

As I sit looking out of my new window, or rather, the window of my new home in New Hampshire, at the early splashes of fall colors, I am elegantly reminded of the beauty and grace in this wonderful world. Nature, in particular, is such a resplendent display of richness, vibrancy, and creativity. I think, deep down, it is this intense celebration of nature that inspired each of us to become naturopathic physicians, natural product manufacturers, or holistic practitioners. I am convinced, in fact, that our individual and collective respect for nature is the main twine connecting us to one another. When I think about Nature, I think about the dandelions forcing their way up through cracks in the sidewalk. I think about the collective sigh from a grove of fir trees bending in the wind. I think about the sweet stillness of the sun setting over gently rolling hills. These recollections bring me into immediate presence – the beautiful here and now of this world. What a joy.

I know, without a doubt, that my inspiration from, and confidence in, nature and the beauty of this world is due, in large part, to being a naturopathic doctor. The philosophy and community of naturopathic medicine built and then buttressed my connection to nature. Without this medicine, I can’t really imagine how I would maintain my sanity in this chaotic world. Where would I be without my weeds, trees and sunset as equalizers? This gift – rich and poignant as it is- is a gift that is meant to be shared. How does one share a confidence and inspiration in nature? Quite simply by remaining an active part of the naturopathic community, the very community that builds this inspiration. I swear to you, that there is a direct and pulsating link between active membership in the AANP and being an inspired naturalist. Admittedly, I am biased by my own experience. I have been an active member of the AANP and volunteer in the naturopathic profession since my second year of naturopathic medical school. When I reflect back upon my volunteerism, every action – as challenging as they may have been at the time – solidified my belief in, and passion for, naturopathic medicine. Out of this passion, my love affair with Nature intensified and my sanity remained (more or less) intact. That is, perhaps, the most compelling and selfish reason for being an active part of the naturopathic profession. I not only admit it, I encourage you to take your share. Join, volunteer, gain inspiration, feel the tremendous vitality of this profession and of the stunning natural world around us.

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