Defining My Path

In September 2016 I began the Entrepreneur Herbal Course through the Herbal Academy, and I will be finishing it soon. It is always bittersweet when I finish one of their courses, but at least I have a lot of notes and sweet memories to hang on to each time. I hate to say goodbye, but I’m ready to move forward.

Never, in a million years, would I have imagined I would learn as much as I have thus far. I have learned about herbal history, herbal traditions around the world, plant identification and taxonomy, plant chemistry, wildcrafting, drying and storing herbs, defining my path, using essential oils in my herbal products, making and storing herbal products, advanced formulation, Good Manufacturing Practices, labeling my products, all the legal requirements, and SO much more.

I am so thankful for each one of the Herbal Academy’s courses, especially the Entrepreneur Herbal Course. This course has really made me think about my path as an Herbalist and which direction I would like to go.

Below is my essay from Unit 4. After four wonderful years of studying through the Herbal Academy and praying about it, I now know the path I feel called to take. I just have to create some baby steps to get there…

Entrepreneur Herbal Course, Unit 4

Define Your Path Essay

“When I first began my herbal journey in 2008, I didn’t really have one certain path that that called out to me, I just knew I wanted to help people. Since I began studying with the Herbal Academy in 2014, I have had several paths call out to me.

In 2016, while working on the Intermediate Herbal Course, I felt called to become a Clinical Herbalist. At that time, I felt that would be the best way to help a lot of people, but since then I have learned how herbalist can help people in other ways as well. Now, the path I feel calling out to me the most is the Community Herbalist path.

As a Community Herbalist, I plan to teach my fellow Oklahomans about all of the amazing plants growing wild here, in our beautiful state. I want to share the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years by offering herb classes, hands-on workshops, wildcrafting walks; and by writing and illustrating a book about the plants of Oklahoma. I also want to open a café that offers herbal teas, fair-trade coffees, wildcrafted foods, herbal foods, and other herbal inspired creations. I want my community to not only learn about these amazing plants, but learn how to use them to nourish their bodies.

The first reason I want to start my own business is to bring my husband home. He currently works away from home half of the year, so it would be really nice to have him home every day. The second reason is because it would bring my family closer together. Since we homeschool already, it would be a wonderful way to teach my children even more about herbs and what it means to have good work ethics. The last, but definitely not the least, reason is to help people. I plan to employ some people, and help feed even more.

My business will positively impact my community by offering events to bring us all together, by setting a good example, and by helping people. I feel that communities need good leaders, individuals who will organize and plant events that are not only good for the people, but good for our planet. My plan is to gather up other like-minded individuals and plan some amazing events. We will offer classes, hands-on workshops, community picnics, wildcrafting walks, arts + crafts festivals, classes for kids, hands-on workshops for kids, and so much more. We will also get a community garden and community compost going. These two things will not only help our community, but help our planet as well.

I feel that my ideas support preservation, conservation, and sustainability. Through my classes, hands-on workshops, wildcrafting walks, and other events I will be able to teach my community about the preservation, conservation, and sustainability of our planet. Through my café I will be able to set a good example by offering recycling bins and rewards for recycling; and by using glass and metal dinnerware/silverware, cloth napkins, fabric tablecloths, recycled and 100% biodegradable to-go boxes/cups, solar panels for electricity, eco-friendly kitchen appliances (large and small), and upcycled furniture. I truly believe that if we show people how easy it is to be eco-friendly and teach them why it’s so important, then they will eventually come around to the idea.

I am beyond excited to turn my dreams into a reality, but I am also really nervous. I am nervous because I have never owned a business by myself and I will be on my own until I can bring my husband home to help me. I am also nervous because I do not really know how my community will react in the beginning. Will they accept me with open arms or call me crazy behind my back? I have faith that this is what God has called me to do though, so I know – without a doubt – it will all be good in the end and that makes my heart happy. Helping people and helping our planet will bring me great joy because that is exactly why I am here!

In five years I see myself in a field of southern Oklahoma, teaching my fellow Oklahomans about the wonderful plants covering the land we call home with an array of colors. I see myself sipping a cup of herbal tea, as I read from a book about herbs to a group of children gathered all around me. I see myself making a loaf of artisan bread, enjoying the aroma of herbs as I gently fold them into the dough, and loving every moment of my life.”

-Cheyenne Anderson

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