Why I stopped practicing as a naturopathic doctor

I get asked all of the time why I am not practicing as a Naturopathic doctor or seeing patients in a clinical setting anymore. I mean, who voluntarily goes to school for an extra 4 years and spends an obscene amount of money for the sole purpose of becoming a doctor, and then doesn’t …doctor? If you clicked through this blog, I assume that you want to know, too! So, pour yourself a cup of tea (or wine!) and let me take you on a journey.

It’s 2011. On paper, it looked like I had my life together. I was going to be a doctor twice over. I’d lived all over the world. I had a wonderfully supportive partner (with a cute accent to boot), close family, friends and two rescue cats who were obsessed with me. But then, my previously healthy, vibrant Dad was diagnosed with cancer and died two weeks later. All of a sudden I was forced to feel, more deeply than I’d ever felt before. But the thing was, I wasn’t a feeler. For my whole life, I’d prided myself on being “keep calm and carry on” Laura. That was my role. I was even-keeled, rational and independent. Nobody had to worry about me. I had been told my whole life that I was smart, and my brain was the thing that was going to get me ahead in life. I’d gone as far as I could go in academics to assure my ego that they were right. But why did I always feel like I was faking it? What was I trying to prove? What if I died tomorrow, like my Dad? Two weeks had unravelled almost thirty years of certainty. I suddently felt that none of my achievements mattered, because none of them felt like ‘me’. I craved connection to something so much deeper. I wanted to feel that this life on Earth, which could be so sad, was all worth it. I wanted to embrace my inner storyteller and imagination. I wanted to be turned on.

Comitting to four more years of school to become a Naturopathic Doctor after my PhD was the first time in a long time that I made a decision that didn’t entirely make sense, and that felt good. At a time when most of my friends were settling down in adult jobs, buying homes, and having children, I was investing all of my time and money to go back to school (again) at 29 years old. At first I revelled in the philosophy of the medicine, but instead of being the answer to all of my problems, it started to shine a mirror. What good was the healing power of nature if I was ignoring so many parts of myself? I was ashamed to be a PhD trained scientist and admit that I also believe in energy healing, spirit guides, and intuition. I was being taught to treat the whole person, but I thought people would laugh (or worse, think I was lazy) if they knew that when I came home from clinic each night, I was working on a time travel romance novel instead of writing professional articles. I didn’t know how to reconcile all of the different parts of myself, because I’d spent so long letting society and other people’s beliefs mould me. The worst part was, I felt guilty and ashamed for letting my ego win. On the surface, keep-calm-and-carry-on Laura was alive and well. But underneath, a constant level of anxiety churned.

Then my Dad started visiting me in dreams. I knew with every fibre of my being that it was him, it wasn’t just my mind playing tricks on me. He would hang out with me for awhile without saying anything, like he already knew what I was thinking and didn’t have to ask. But before he left, he would tell me he loved me and that he was proud of me. I would wake up in tears, because although those were things that were definitely implied in real life, he was a man of few words. Suddenly, I was a crier, but it woke me up. I was tired of living in fear of what people would think about my decisions. I was tired of not being me. I was tired of being the good girl and fitting into moulds. It was time to be free. Around the same time, my patients were showing me the same thing. The ones who came to me wanting more than a band-aid for their health problem were the ones who made the most miraculous transformations. I couldn’t unhear what was calling me any more, even if it meant shifting paths again.

So, like a true research scientist, I hit the ground hard. I became a self-help junkie. I devoured books on meditation so I could figure out how to still my mind (still a work in progress!). I followed lectures on law of attraction and manifestation. I stalked YouTube for resources on the new paradigm I felt earth was shifting into. I consulted with other naturopaths, homeopaths, mediums, astrologers, tarot card readers, quantum physicists…basically anyone who would be able to tell me how to fix what was wrong with me and help me hurry-up-and-enlighten. But, I was spending so much time trying to connect to this mysterious source of elusive light, that I was floating away. The more I sought, the more I expanded and understood what was possible, but the more frustrated I got with my lack of arrival. And then I realized that I was doing exactly what I’d been doing my whole life– seeking external answers, trying to prove myself worthy through brain knowledge alone, thinking instead of doing, and hiding my light until someone else gave me permission to shine.

When I surrendered to the idea that everything I ever wanted to feel, experience and become was already inside of me—that it has ALWAYS been inside of me, the universe led me to the amazing tools, mentors, coaches and sisterhoods that have held the space to help me figure out how to express it. It required grounding down, digging in, opening up, messy cries, exhalted highs, turning off my brain, opening up my heart, and rewriting my story. It involved embracing my feminine energy, giving myself permission to fail, loving my bad moods and anxiety for the gifts that they bring me, and travelling each day with intention. It is a practice that encompassess moon cycles, essential oils and intuitive wisdom. It has me saying outloud and for the whole internet to hear that I believe that women are magic. That we are so much more powerful that we’ve given ourselves credit for. That we are complicated for a reason, and that when we connect to ourselves and each other, the world will change. That was the birth of Quantum Luminosity.

Although this was all super empowering, it left me at a crossroads. I passed my board exams and had my naturopathic license virtually in hand. There was a list of clinics that I had been eyeing for years. And… I didn’t want to do it. Any of it. I didn’t want to sit in an office all day interpreting lab reports and making treatment plans (super, super important jobs! Just not for me). I just realized that personally, I didn’t want to treat people. I know that my most potent medicine comes from leading, motivating, inspiring, and setting an example of what is possible. I know that the purpose of my journey wasn’t to be come a doctor in the clinical sense; it was to awaken so I could build my toolbox and share what it means to live an abundant life.

So, now I serve people like you. And, if you’ve made it this far, I think you are in the right place. You know there is more, too. You know how you want to feel, and what you would do with your days if you weren’t afraid to start. Or, like me, you’ve tried, but you keep getting caught up in the same old stories and patterns. I’m here to tell you that it is okay. The future is bright. Our world is bright, and quantum leaps start with tiny changes.

I have never felt more free, alive and excited as I have since I decided to build my business through coaching and essential oils. While it’s not a career path that I ever envisioned for myself, it’s soul-aligned like I’ve never felt before. So, if you woke up this morning with a tug in your soul…a niggling feeling that you want more/better/different/other… let me be the first to show you that it is never too late to re-write your story.


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