From Gabriella B., Cape Town, South Africa
Arriving at the decision to study homeopathy has been an organic, natural, albeit slightly challenging and unconventional process. After a small journey of self-discovery, synchronistic events, detours, and life lessons I am a little awe-struck that I can finally find myself here - following my passion and calling to become a homeopath.
Homeopathy has always been an integral part of my life. Growing up with homeopathy - the systems, principles and values upon which it is based - has both essentially shaped me into, and inspired me to become, a healer.
I have both seen and personally experienced the miraculous healing brought about by homeopathic remedies. Over the years homeopathy has helped me and my family on almost every level of the treatment spectrum from acute to chronic - surface level to ailments deeply rooted in the psyche. Personally, homeopathy has seen me through countless colds, insect bites and stings and seasons of hay fever amongst others. It has held my hand, reassured and supported me through all my nerves, anxieties and fears and, most importantly, has helped me to overcome them. It has seen me through my teenage years and all the messy bits that come along with them - from moodiness to insecurities to acne-prone skin and the regulation of hormonal cycles. It has been one of the constants in my life - the foundation upon which I base all my healing and treatment paradigms - natural, self-healing - and to-date it has helped me avoid ever having to take antibiotics. Not to mention our family homeopathic practitioners - Dr David J Lilley and his son Dr. Dorian Lilley - true inspirations, role models and confidants throughout the journey.
As such, I have always been drawn to and intrigued by the field - especially the concept of “like cures like”. However, the opportunities and resources to study Homeopathy in South Africa are limited. In addition, more conventional modalities of medicine are advocated, prevalent and accepted and, as such, after matriculating I chose to apply to become a Medical Doctor which, due to the political climate of the country, was also not a route I was able to follow. So I chose to proceed with the alternative - BSc Human Life Science (Human genetics with majors in Physiology and Psychology). These three core subjects taught me how truly integrated and complex the human body, mind and soul are. How each one influences the next and how one cannot exist without the other. An individual is a whole entity - complex and unique - and the treatment of any ailment should take this into consideration because each individual’s disease experience, root cause and manifestation is different to the next. Yet, the conventional scientific approach as taught in this degree continued to isolate and segregate these systems into parts - treat them separately and prescribe treatments to suppress the symptoms rather than to dig deeper, find, solve and treat the root cause from which the manifestation of the illness stems. Even the departments themselves- Human Genetics, Human Physiology and Psychology operate as separate entities - treat cases in an isolated manner and focus only on their singular, specialized field of study rather than integrating their knowledge and treatment modalities with one another. Which, due to my background in homeopathy, made little sense to me. Often I would find myself attempting to find a natural remedy or solution to a problem or completing assignments highlighting an integrated approach to try bring awareness to the mental, emotional and physical congruence at the forefront of the illness presented in case studies. Once again - a little tether pulling me back to the homeopathic field.
Upon graduating from the 3 year degree course at Stellenbosch University, Cum Laude, I made the choice to not continue with studies as there was no field or direction that I was overly passionate in pursuing. Also, finances at the time made it difficult to warrant committing to another degree course. So, instead, I chose to take a step towards finding a new career in which I could use my scientific knowledge while gaining some work experience. I had been offered the opportunity to work for New Harbour Distillery - a micro distillery specializing in the development and production of unique craft spirits. Although quite different from my original direction - I thought that it may be beneficial to pursue something outside of my comfort zone. I was interested in exploring the creative and alchemical aspect of distilling and was excited by the prospect of potentially learning how to distill and blend essential oils as I had previously read about their healing properties. While working in the distillery I was introduced to numerous botanicals and their flavor combinations - from roots to flowers, exotic teas and herbs, bulbs, berries, barks and seeds. My mind - almost subconsciously - flew to their potential natural healing capabilities and the positive impact they could have if used in the correct application. A chance encounter at one of the monthly Gin Classes I had the opportunity to present, seemingly sealed my fate. This encounter especially stood out for me as the women whom I met had also originally studied a Bachelor of Science with the intention of pursuing allopathic medicine only to find her way into following her passions and studying complementary medicine, that is, herbal and oriental medicine. Truly inspired by her story, I arrived at a crossroads. A choice - not just about pursuing a certain career path, but rather about finally choosing to take a leap of faith and wholeheartedly follow my passions - no longer procrastinating and debating when the time would be right to do so.
I later sat and quietly considered my motivations for wanting to pursue homeopathy and soon realized that I have many dreams and aspirations for becoming a homeopath. I hope that I can one day help others to become the truest and most authentic version of themselves. To be an advocate for change towards choosing natural, self healing treatment modalities and to encourage people to choose a field of medicine that can be used safely and effectively for the whole family. To highlight and create awareness of the great potential homeopathic remedies have to heal all spectrums and manifestations of illness. It would be a true privilege to be part of a holistic system of medicine where every patient is treated as a unique individual whose mental, physical and emotional well-being are prioritized and all taken into consideration when prescribing remedies. Where the root cause of the problem can be found, treated and solved instead of just suppressing and numbing the symptoms at the surface level - only to have the imbalance worsen and manifest in an alternative manner. To be the catalyst of change and truly make a significant difference in people’s lived experiences (perhaps my greatest motivation for choosing to become a homeopath).
So, ironically, as much as I am now choosing to finally pursue homeopathy, homeopathy has seemingly always chosen me. Albeit a long, slightly complicated journey - the answer has always been part of me and has brought me to this very moment - finally arriving - full-circle - to this point where my dream to become a homeopath may soon become a reality.