(this is part 10 of a 10-part series, a life's journey to become an herbalist observing gail faith edward's article on the subject. you can find part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.1, part 4.2, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8 and part 9 here.)
gail's tenth step in her ten-fold path is to practice learning. she says:
"Practice learning. Talk to others about your interests. Keep company with others who share your passion. Exchange ideas freely, share your knowledge. Ask others what their experience/observation is. Listen and learn.
As an elder and a teacher I can tell you that some of the people I learn the most from are my young students. They continually keep me fresh and on my toes with their new ideas and information. They inspire me. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something. We are all learners here. Practice learning every day."
who here is on facebook, raise your hand!
how about herbmentor?
yeah, i belong to them all! and my partner used to make fun of me for being on facebook (i have since converted him and he's on there just as much as me, if not more!). what he didn't understand at the time was the wealth of networking, friendship and knowledge of obtained from being on there. even though i don't know half my list 'in real life', i love being part of the herbal facebook community. being able to read, comment and discuss my herbal interests has been a godsend. there isn't much of an herbalist community in real life so i had to go online to seek it. i am honored to call the people i'm connected to on facebook friends and happy that i've been able to meet a bunch of them thanks to kiva and wolf's hard work of creating the traditions in western herbalism conference!
most of my friends are herb nerds just like me so whenever we get together, talk usually turns to herbs at some point during the visit. there's not a day that goes by i don't think of herbs in some form. heck, there's not an hour that goes by at that!
my monthly study group is a great way to get together with people who love to talk herbs. sometimes people who study as much as i do come sharing their knowledge too and we all get to learn even more!
i read articles, blog entries, monographs, plant healer magazine and anything else i can get my hands on. i seek out conferences where i can learn and study and teach. the more i learn, the less i feel i know! this is a lifetime pursuit of knowledge and when i die, i still won't be satisfied that i've learned all i want or can.
every day, i make a point to read something about herbs, herbalism, medicine, the human body, a disease or anything that has to do with learning in general. it may only be a 3 minute article or an hour absorbed in a great book such as 'invasive plant medicine' but every day, i'm here, learning.
practice learning. practice herbalism. practice life.