Friday, June 1, 2012

My Journey, Thus Far

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love the west coast.  Growing up in British Columbia, I never dreamed I would move away from its peaceful serenity.  After completing high school on Saltspring Island, I moved to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia where I earned a Bachelor of Science with honours in Nutritional Sciences.  A true yogi, I strived for a life of balance and continued to nurture my passions throughout my university education.

The Chief, Second Peak - Squamish, BC

Life was amazing – however, I felt somewhat unfulfilled.  I knew that there was so much more to health than the nutrition I had studied thus far, and I had the desire to learn everything I could about the human body and all complementary and alternative approaches to health.  I had begun to appreciate the importance of nourishing not only the body, but also the mind and the soul.  I wanted to live a nourishing life not only for myself, but more importantly to evoke this passion in others.

I discovered The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine through family connections and personal experiences with naturopathic doctors, and ultimately my career path became clear.  I moved to Toronto in January 2010 to pursue another four years of education to become a naturopathic doctor, a profession which I have already found to be more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.   

When I initially made the decision to move here, I didn't realize how huge of a life change it would be.  It has been such a remarkable journey already, and yet I often feel as if I have hardly begun.  I have grown in ways I couldn't have foreseen three years ago; the amount I have learned about naturopathic medicine, and myself, is indescribable.

May 2012 marked the beginning of my one-year internship at The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto, and I couldn't be more excited!  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to provide naturopathic care to the community while gaining invaluable experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors.

Earlier this year while volunteering in Nicaragua with Natural Doctors International, I was reminded that we can nourish our soul, mind and body from wherever we are in the world.  A lagoon at the top of a volcano on the island of Ometepe; a yoga studio in downtown Toronto; running along Kits beach; exploring the nature trails of Ontario; connecting with patients in the clinic or a cashier at the grocery store; or simply having kale and quinoa salad for lunch.

Reflecting on these experiences and sharing them with you is what helps me to lead and teach a nourishing life, and I have come to realize that this is the theme of my journey.  I hope you will take part in my journey by checking back often for naturopathic news, health tips, and updates about the path I am on.  I would love it if you left a comment now and then - I appreciate so much all of your continued interest and support!

In the wise words of John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."  And so I wish for each of you health, peace and serenity, wherever you happen to reside in the world.

Ann-Scarlett Cooper, BSc (Hons), CCNM ND 2013

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