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career guidance?  RSS feed

 
Cynthia Hobbs
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I really didn't know where to put this topic, I'm not even sure if it relates to permaculture enough to be on this forum. I just thought you seem like a nice bunch of people and I don't know who to ask.

I've been thinking about my life a lot lately and I don't have a lot of direction. For fun I started fantasizing about what my dream job would be, would I be able to pursue everything that I'm passionate about.
I've thought about doing a permaculture course, but although it is something that interests me greatly, it's not something I've been able to implement a lot as I rent in town, and I honestly don't have much gardening experience.

I've thought about my passions and what I would like to do. I am interested in nutritional medicine (food as medicine), holistic counselling, sustainability and ethics behind agriculture (including permaculture), ancient or traditional cultures, spiritual connection to nature, natural therapies. I am passionate about preserving biodiversity, animal rights and essentially allowing the planetary organism to continue as nature intends, I would like to act as a healer/facilitator/educator - to help people reconnect to nature in mind, body and spirit, and heal themselves naturally. Perhaps through mindfulness and through a natural and ecologically aware diet, exercise & spiritual practice. I want to coach people on how to live in harmony with the planet - how to live a more sustainable life, go beyond recycling, what choices can be made as a consumer, and what can be done at home. I am also very concerned with how we produce food and all products and the impact that industrial growth has on our planet, our only home, and all its creatures. I am concerned that the modern lifestyle is making us all sick and stressed and I want to counteract it somehow.

I don't know where to start.
I think I might want to study nutritional medicine. But I feel like this is lacking the spiritual aspect and the sustainability. I feel it is all connected - healthy foods grown in unhealthy soil means less nutrients. I don't think there are any professional courses out there that lead to a qualification as a "sustainable living counselor" and "earth relationship facilitator". I want to help people too and the earth, I think it is a mutually beneficial relationship that should be explored and cultivated.

Just wondering if anyone knows any routes I could follow or have any tips for me?
 
Nancy Sinclaire
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Although I may not be qualified to answer your questions, you post was so well written, and your questions so well thought out I felt compelled to post upon my experience. "nutritional medicine" you mention wanting to study. I think following a traditional route for that will not be satisfying due to not meeting hardly any of your interests.

Maybe check out many bulletin boards, especially at local community colleges, or other colleges as are available to you. Also check out newspapers including alternate papers at local health food places. Right now you are in an information collection time. What groups or organizations or professional organizations might have meetings in your local area? Usually these are once a month. Some months are good speakers, some months not so much. The speaker is not your prinmary interest but going early and lingering a bit late are so as to maximise your conversation time with other participants. Try sitting at a table of people who look the least like you. Chat, chat, chat. Ask all your questions. Have a business card. Ask for cards to follow up on conversations not completed. Smile, smile, smile. After the speaker there is question and answer time. Have a question. Or if someone asks an intersting question walk up to them after and say, "That was an interesting question you asked there." Smile. Chat.

Visit farmers markets, visit farm stands, visit what ever is around that interests you. Smile. Chat. Arrive early. Linger. Smile. Chat.

You wil be heartwarming to them because your idealism will remind them of their own youth.
 
Clarissa Logsdon
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I feel nearly exactly the same as you, although you have a MUCH better sense of direction than I do. I really like the answer above, because that's really all I can think of that we can do.

I recently went to my local farmer's market with a friend (the sign said sorghum, how could we pass THAT up?? )... While there, we got to talking with a lady who was working there while the owner was away. My friend and I discovered she needed someone to sell her some herb starts in the spring, because they were a popular item and she never had enough of them. So now my friend, who has more resources then I do, is going to sell herb starts, and I'm going to attempt to sell produce only for now and see where it leads me.

Just goes to show that you never know what you'll get into if you don't get out there and mingle with like minded folks!!
 
Cynthia Hobbs
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Thank you so very much for the reply and the complements! I really do appreciate your honest feedback.

I am in Australia, I don't think we have community colleges here, not quite sure if we have an equivalent as such. I will try to keep an ear out for events or speakers that relate to the topics I'm interested in. I know you said the speakers were not the focus but I would love to go to one of John Seed's workshops as his ideals interest me, but I can't see myself getting to any of the ones in the near future as they are too far away and travelling is not an option.

I have found this website which seems very interesting, it is online learning that is very much centered on the themes I was thinking of. Other people may find it of interest http://www.ecopsych.com/
From looking over the website it doesn't seem like a course that will give me a qualification on its own, I think it is meant to supplement other study/life experience.

I wonder if there is any courses I can do on sustainable/natural living? besides the permaculture route? It seems all courses that cover environmental sustainability are very sciencey - which is logical really. But Science was one of my worst subjects in highschool! And I don't know if those degrees are more about measuring and researching than doing and acting. I suppose I want a more practical route, that can be implemented by individuals, I don't want to be working for the government or for research organisations, I want to work with everyday people. Does that make sense at all?

I know I am idealistic, perhaps a little too much so. I am not overly young, but I feel I am lacking in life experiences.
 
Cynthia Hobbs
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Ah mingling. I should do it, I feel I don't get the opportunity much because of where we live and I have 3 young kids that seem to take over my life but I will try harder
 
Cynthia Hobbs
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good luck with the produce selling! that's great. People always say "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Really seems to be the truth.
 
Rion Mather
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Clarissa Logsdon wrote:I recently went to my local farmer's market with a friend (the sign said sorghum, how could we pass THAT up?? )... While there, we got to talking with a lady who was working there while the owner was away. My friend and I discovered she needed someone to sell her some herb starts in the spring, because they were a popular item and she never had enough of them. So now my friend, who has more resources then I do, is going to sell herb starts, and I'm going to attempt to sell produce only for now and see where it leads me.

Just goes to show that you never know what you'll get into if you don't get out there and mingle with like minded folks!!


The same thing happened to me! I have met the greatest person (at a farmers market) who has introduced me to the artisan food world. His business supports and promotes organic and sustainable agriculuture. I am now pursuing a life through this new avenue. I enjoy this adventure so much that I wouldn't even call it a career.
 
Clarissa Logsdon
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Rion Mather wrote:The same thing happened to me! I have met the greatest person (at a farmers market) who has introduced me to the artisan food world. His business supports and promotes organic and sustainable agriculuture. I am now pursuing a life through this new avenue. I enjoy this adventure so much that I wouldn't even call it a career.


Oh gosh! I could only DREAM to be so lucky!!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
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A passing thought on the nutrition and healing part: Western nutrition science is not very holistic (note Michael Pollan's comments on "nutritionism" in his book In Defense of Food). Health and nutrition as practiced in some Eastern traditions might be much more holistic, or even spiritual. I'm thinking of 5-element acupuncture or Chinese medicine/herbalism as one that has a very interesting view of how foods interact with body systems and also ayurvedic medicine. Though I'm not sure how much (if at all) these traditions might incorporate where and how the food is produced.

Additionally, I took a class from a folk herbalist (I think that's what she called herself) who views herbal medicine much more body-mind-spirit than perhaps a "modern" herbalist.

Maybe others have some additional thoughts or ideas for more holistic nutrition and healing resources.

Great thread and great ideas! Sounds like some positive shifts are a-happenin'! Congrats!
 
Cynthia Hobbs
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I found a course that pretty much covers everything, and it has an optional specialization in Deep sustainability.

http://www.jfku.edu/Programs-and-Courses/College-of-Graduate-Professional-Studies/Consciousness-Transformative-Studies/Programs/MA-Consciousness-and-Transformative-Studies.html

Just a few problems. its on the other side of the planet, is a post graduate course, and its university (yuck, been there, don't want to the stress again). Don't even want to contemplate fees.
I was just surprised to find something that seemed to cover everything. So decided to share. It's not happening though

I am feeling clearer now
 
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