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Danielle LaPorte is one of my favorite gateway drugs.

Let me explain.

As you know, I have 2 retail herb stores.

In our early days, my husband and I took some time to tour around and visit other herb shops. We made careful notes of what was succeeding and what wasn’t. And, as time went on, we noted which shops stayed in business and which didn’t.

What we learned was this:

There is only a small group of people who identify themselves as wanting botanical medicine…

… but there is a very large group of people who like soap.

So we put our soaps right up front when you walk in, a rainbow of packages, scents, and shapes that tantalize the senses. They smell wonderful, are at a low price point, but most of all, they feel safe.

Despite the fact that we aren’t going to make a whole lotta money selling soap, we gently engage with everyone who shops at the soap display.

They comment on scent: we explain about essential oils.

They’re charmed by packaging: we talk about hand-made with natural ingredients.

Before you know it, they are milling around the rest of the shop asking questions. Maybe they buy a little something else “just to try.” Maybe they remember their visit to Herbiary as a lovely experience and return again.

Either way, the soap becomes the gateway into thinking about their wellness a little bit differently.

Danielle LaPorte is like soap:

she’s a gateway into a world that people might not even realize they’re curious about.

Some of you have might have heard of Danielle, read her blog, gotten her twitter blasts. Others are probably thinking Okay, Maia, so why are you telling us about this Danielle LaPorte chick?

Last week a friend of mine wrote a blog post in which she questioned whether folks like Danielle– who have a big public persona-  need to stick to a stricter code of conduct when talking about the spiritual because she is also selling products.

Herbiary came before this blog. You can imagine that feeling constrained in my writing-  because my company also sells products which can support a spiritual life- would be something that I would want to think about deeply (especially since I already need to be exceedingly careful with writing anything that could be perceived as medical information).

In thinking on it, I keep coming back to this:

Danielle is not the Dali Lama, nor does she claim to be.

She is a woman living out loud and allowing the rest of us to witness her evolution, personal and spiritual.

Not everyone will agree with everything she says and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want them to (who, after all, enjoys a roomful of sycophants?).

But she says it:

She works with a spiritual advisor and she tweets about it.

She uses essential oils and she blogs about it….

…. to tens of thousands of people who might never have thought to consult a spiritual advisor or use an essential oil.

Danielle makes it safe, she makes it almost mainstream, to take a few steps out of Mundania.

And here’s the thing:

In speaking her truth out loud, she silently encourages all of us to speak our truth too.

Danielle is an invitation, a gateway drug, an exquisite bar of soap. Her Medicine is to beckon us deeper in to the mystery of being human.

And that is Medicine this world needs.

Big hugs-





P.S. If you’re in the Danielle LaWho? Camp, you can check out her writing here.