Visionary #18: Teachings of the forest with Wild Alchemy

Home for me is my parents property. It’s my safe place, it’s where I go when I want to disconnect with the busy city and reconnect with myself. I love to lay under the big old Pohutukawa trees with my dog.
When did you first find out what a Naturopath was? 

I had a friend studying it at a local school here. I had just come back from a wellness retreat in Thailand, and had a complete change in my life. I was drawn to reconnecting with my roots of being nature and helping people, so I decided to study Natural Health.

Where did you first get interested in nature? 

I was a sensitive child and grew up in the land, so I would often spend a lot of my time out in nature fascinated with the my surroundings. I think my intimacy with nature grew when we moved to our family home in Waiwera north of Auckland. I had a horse and would roam the land here, I spent so much time learning the land and the forest, slowly messages would enter my dreams and I would experience things that I didn’t quite understand. We later found out that the land is a sacred site and was once a Pa (which means village). I’ve now been with this land for 25 years of my life, so it was a daily immersion for me over this time.

What lessons did you learn when you first launched your business? 

To value myself and my time, I think this is a real pain point for any healer, helper or person who works in this industry. I use to find money really hard to receive. There have definitely been times where Wild Alchemy has just been left due to my own growth of self and sometimes when you’re moving through personal healing you have to surrender up your work. It was hard for me to do this but the lesson of surrender allowed me more space to clearly understand how I needed to work.

What favourite homemade potion are you currently enjoying? 

A drink made from Houhere (LaceBark). It’s part of the Mallow family so tastes a little bit like cucumber that is known for being soothing, cooling, healing and restorative. It has such light energetics when it’s drunk, and feels uplifting and clearing to the energy field. It encourages us to be more open, and to be open to the light that it brings. It is amazing at reducing inflammation and soothing the digestive tract.

Who are your biggest inspirations in your community? 

My main teacher is the Whenua (the Land) and Te Ngahere (the forest) up at my home and around New Zealand, as I feel like each tree is a person that has slowly given me little bits of wisdom. I LOVE all of Jamie Sam’s books especially Earth Medicine. Pa McGowan (a man here who teaches Rongoa (New Zealand Native medicine) is so inspiring and wise. He shares his wisdom through talking and it feels like a precious privilege to learn from him. My friend Geoff Reid; a passionate activist for the environment. He lives and breathes his work, and is one of the most inspiring and game-changing people I know. Sophia Rose from La Abeja Herbs; she’s such a passionate woman. I love what she has created with her work and how deeply she connects with plants and the bees. Lastly, the story tellers that I have met on my walks or out in the forest; I have learnt so much from just talking to people, the lady in the forest that was counting every flower of one specific species taught me how one particular bird needs to be present for it to bloom and the man on the beach with the walking stick who taught me the history of the land where I live.

How can busy people or people living in cities embrace nature? 

Find nature wherever you are, if there is one tree that is calling out, get to know it, spend time, ask questions. All areas have history, and by knowing the history of a place we can honour what has been before us. Lay out on the grass, find a place in the sun, drink spring water (this is the most amazing health tip) spring water is the first medicine, put your prayers into it, it carries the medicine for the plants. I would also recommend finding a local garden or a person who can help you identify plants and making time to get out to the wild places on the weekend.

What is the first thing you do when you visit a new place? 

Introduce myself to the land and let it know who I am and why I’m there, I like to think that it makes it more welcoming for me to respect the place that I am going.
What are your home rituals? 

My home environment is filled with meaningful tools and beautiful things that I have collected over time. I try to have a clear space and an altar where I can put words and prayer. When I have time in the morning I do yoga, and since I’m a night owl so I drink tea (cha doa) in the evening, which Baelyn from All Matters of Spirit taught me. I play soothing music to wind down, light candles or play my singing bowls. I like the idea of play and feeling into what is right for the day. I will cleanse my space with prayer and my own smudge sticks that I have made from the land up at my parents. At the moment I’m using Kanuka it has such an amazing clearing smoke and a sweet scent to it. I’m only just learning how it’s energetics work but it feels so good to use smoke medicine that I have crafted myself.

What do the words self care mean to you? 

Stopping and checking in with my higher self. I often float around and connect with people, so sometimes I have to practice self care in the form of boundaries or having time alone. I also think self care is connecting with action and witnessing your thoughts, giving yourself the tools to rewrite the story and evolve. Being out in nature and finding a plant ally. On a real practical level, self care for me is going to bed early and making yoga a daily practice, looking after my skin and laughing with a good friend.

Do you incorporate any other holistic aspects into your lifestyle? 

I’m 100% a massive fan of holistic personal care. I manage an Autoimmune condition of my thyroid, so I take the supplements Elemental Selenium, Magnesium, Hydrochloric acid (for digestion), high quality Omega 3 and then herbs and native medicine as needed. I have a daily green juice to help keep my body alkaline. I have acupuncture with an amazing TCM practitioner twice a week. I also do boxing and weights with my friend at the gym, walk and do a lot of yoga; exercise really helps my mind and my health. I also see a heart-healing mentor.

What is your beauty routine? 

I cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night using a vitamin C serum, plant-based face wash and a vitamin C toner. I have started using a crystal roller and a crystal massager, I think focusing on lymphatic system is really important for the skin, if you can massage your face it promotes blood flow and collagen production. Spring water is another beauty routine must. I love the ocean for my skin and saunas.

How do you stay connected to Mother Nature?

It’s like my religion and my temple. I realise I’m very present with it, reading up about the earth and environmental issues. I look around at the flowers that are blooming, the ocean and what the weather is doing each day. I think about the season and the animals I see in the day and what they mean. I walk barefoot with my dog over the land, or sit connecting with the trees that are my guides. I stay connected with ceremony. I gather a lot of medicine from the forest that I will work with depending on what is happening for me.

Find more about Fleur via her website and Instagram, and see more about her rituals, workshops and offerings here.
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