Sometimes destiny steps in, taps you on the shoulder and everything changes.
That’s happened a few times in my life and maybe in yours, too.
This radio interview is about that… and a couple of other things as well.
Kelly Ruta is founder and CEO of FierceChick counseling and also hosts her own weekly radio show. She helps others find their way to a purpose-driven and empowered life. Plus she’s an awesome interviewer and has a cool Fierce Chick Guide that you can download on her website.
Kelly: Maia is a guide for women on an Earth-based, spiritual, and healing path. She has what she calls “muggle credentials”—which I love—including being on the faculty at West Chester University in botanical medicine and teaching as a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania hospital.
But “medicine”, as Maia learned it during her apprenticeship in Ireland, was broader than simply the healing of the body. It included not only the gifts of the botanical kingdom but also the shadow-play of the soul and the practices that align us with earth and sky. This is the medicine that Maia brings to students in her Witch Camp and Make Your Own Medicine programs […]
A lot of what I talk about here on the show is about finding your purpose and being a leader in your own life, because if you don’t lead it, somebody else is going to. So, can you tell everybody how you ended up doing this and following your passion?
Maia: Absolutely. You know, Kelly, when we were talking about doing this interview, one of the things you and I were both kinda grooving on was this idea that the Universe sometimes taps you on the shoulder and points you in a different direction than the one you were cruising down, and at that point you always have an option, right? You can ignore that little tap or you can drop what you’re doing and grab your backpack and go.
I’ve had a couple different moments where I got tapped…. And I might have missed a couple, too.
But the ones that I know about: the first one, that started me on the very beginnings of this journey, was about 20 years ago. And I got really sick. And I was lucky, actually, because I had a medical doctor at the time who was studying Chinese Medicine.
M: Yep. I was living in New York City, where there’s room for just a little more funkiness than in a lot of other parts of the world—and she [my doctor] was really flabbergasted [by my symptoms].
She finally said to me, “Look, I can tell you are sick, but Western medicine isn’t gonna to figure this out.”
K: Wow. That was brave of her.
M: It was really brave, right? I’d gotten to the point where I was so exhausted on a daily basis that I would get to my desk—I was a teacher at an elementary school—and I would sit down and cry. I had no idea how I was going to get through the day. I was so tired just from getting to work.
So I started doing the rounds.
The rounds of the homeopaths and herbalists and Chinese medicines practitioners.
I was advised to change my diet pretty severely and this was before gluten-free was a popular thing to do. I was down to veggies and grilled meats. And that’s it.
It was a really restricted diet… and within a week and a half I started to feel better.
K: Oh, my goodness, that’s huge.
M: It was huge.I felt like I got my life back. It was really a journey into thinking about self-care differently.
I grew up with a family therapist for a mom and a lawyer for dad- very conventional, mainstream; if you got sick, not only did you go to a doctor, but you went to the best doctor in the area. So, I really thought that all this other stuff was hogwash.
K: Right, right—which I think a lot of mainstream society thinks, because we’ve been—I guess brainwashed—to fear some of what you do. Which is a shame because it paralyzes people and it makes them believe that they can only, you know, really go the mainstream medical route. But it sounds like you really stood up and decided to go against that and even kinda go against your family norm.
M: I was sent to find other things by my doctor, so it’s like I had permission in this weird sort of way, and yet at the same time, even the dietary choices I was doing—everyone thought it was so strange!
Then it was a long, slow journey exploring food, exploring herbs. Arguing with myself a lot: “This is b.s.” — “but it works!” [laughter]
And, eventually, many, many years later—I think…about 8 years later, so, a long time to kind of assimilate this information—I got my second tap on the shoulder.
To listen to the whole interview, and hear about the second tap, just click on the audio above.