Laura Plumb, AP on Starting your own Practice and her Nine Recommendations to Get Out of Your Own Way
“As a child I had a recurring dream. I was participating in a fancy, colorful parade and throwing free money at people around me. Several years later, it dawned on me what my dream truly meant…”
Laura Plumb grew up in a typical American family. She didn’t know about the Vedic sciences at the time, but recognized the spark of deep curiosity about the interrelatedness between us and our surroundings that was ignited within her. Her parents and Lake Michigan were her earliest gurus, empowering her and teaching her about life, cooking, and the sumptuous bounty of nature and its healing properties.
As a young adult, Laura was unsure of her career path. She went from studying law, to art history, to translating for an Italian movie. She worked for the Discovery Channel in Europe and studied different healing sciences, meditation, Shamanism and Buddhism before she discovered Ayurveda.
She was enthralled and saw this as “the whole story in one system”. She felt that she had found her reason for being, to explore and teach others about this broad system that addressed physical, mental, and emotional healing.
Laura started her holistic health career as a yoga instructor and slowly in 14 years she transitioned completely to Ayurvedic Counseling. She sees Ayurveda as Yoga off the mat. By cultivating attention, Dharana, we can recognize the best diet, lifestyle, and environment for us.
Today Laura is the author of the best-selling book Ayurveda Cooking For Beginners, director of VedaWise, and creator of numerous courses and series on Ayurveda. She is an International educator on the Vedic Sciences, has a very successful Ayurvedic Counseling Practice and has been interviewed on several media platforms.
CAAM asked her for advice for setting up one’s own successful Ayurvedic practice and finding one’s niche. Laura says
Just like the Navgraha (nine planets) I have my nine recommendations…
Trust the Science.
Ayurveda is a huge, expansive science. In the beginning, when we, Ayurvedic professionals, start our own practice, we can feel incapable of helping others with our limited knowledge. But we need to remember to TRUST the power of Ayurveda.
Understand our role as a stimulator.
All living things have a regenerative power within themselves. Once we start helping the person sleep better, regulate their diet, aid their digestion, the body’s healing mechanism kicks in and the person is well on their path to wellness. So we, as Ayurveda professionals, just have to nurture it along in our client till it activates its own code of healing. Just stay the course one step at a time. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Trust the healing power of nature.
As Dr. Frawley says ‘We Educate and We Empower’.
People in the US have a deep yearning to reconnect to their roots and their original culture. When we educate them about Ayurveda we help them reconnect to Mother Nature, the origin of us all. Don’t be afraid to go out there and spread this ancient wisdom. For example, organize a community cleanse on a donation basis. Focus on Khichadi, vegetables, teas, and talk about what everyone is experiencing. As you get confident over time, you can charge a fee. Conduct several free educational workshops at community centers, libraries, senior centers, online etc. In my own educational courses, I share my slide deck as well as seasonal cleanses with my students because I want them to go out there and teach. The world is ready and open to learning about Ayurveda. We just need to show up.
Once we start getting clients, LISTEN to their needs.
Start small and as you start getting clients, form a dialogue with them. Listen to what they need and they will guide you on how to grow your practice. That’s how I grew. I kept hearing what they needed and provided it to them. My practice grew just like a conversation.
Find your niche.
Recognize your own longing and your inherent strengths. Whom do you want to help in the world? What problems/ health issues have you overcome? Ask yourself what is close to your heart? Is it women’s health or mental issues or addiction or something else? This introspection helps us find our niche. For me, I understood that my strength was in food. I wanted to reach people’s kitchens as it is the passage to their heart(h). I also had a long experience of being a vegetarian and I could answer people’s questions on vegetarianism easily. So I just felt like this was the perfect niche for me.
Develop the intuitive aspect of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the wisdom of more than 5000 years. The wisdom that recognizes that there is a consciousness in every human, every herb, every animal, every plant, every tree, and we are all connected. So, instead of trying to memorize every herb in the booklet, try to build a relationship with the herbs by bringing the herbs home in their living form. Once you have that relationship, the plants will speak to you and guide you with your clients. Try to build on your deep intuition via meditation so you can get guidance from the cosmos. That guidance is powerful because now we are also inviting our client to reconnect with nature in a very holy way.
Reach out to the lesser privileged.
When professionals make a decent living, they should support those who need their support. Think about how we can reach seniors? How can we reach children who are hungry? How can we reach busy working families? How can we reach these people who need Ayurveda just as much but cannot afford high charges? Make sure that Ayurveda doesn’t stay only for the rich.
Our own problems are the pathway to become better healers.
Don’t feel the pressure of having perfect health all the time yourself. We are not here to have perfect health. We are here to experience what others go through so that when they come to us we can help them. Yoga master Desikachar said “Don’t go looking for Buddha if you need someone to teach you yoga. Find an Acharya. An Acharya is someone who has been where you are now. Someone who knows what you are experiencing. But they are a few steps ahead of you. That is the person who can meet you where you are.”
We are the conduit for Mother Nature to spread wellness to our world.
Mother Nature is a stream that wants to pour into our world and WE are her soldiers. So RISE UP because she needs her soldier. Get out of your own way, trust the science, follow your deepest curiosity and passion. It’s not easy. You might not make enough money in the beginning but it will grow if you can stick to it. This is the moment.”
Coming back to Laura’s dream of throwing free money to people, Laura says “The dream was symbolic to me about my strong deep longing to rid people of suffering, in a very celebratory and joyful way. This dream has been realized via Ayurveda. I am eternally grateful to the wisdom keepers of India for preserving this ancient wisdom in its entirety and integrity. It can now help people all over the world.
Today, we need Ayurveda more than ever before. Our world is adharmic. Our world is upside down. Our world is in chaos, and people are suffering greatly. If we can remind people that in their breath there is healing, in their next meal there is healing, in the way we relate to the people that we love, in the way that we wake up, in the way we listen to the birdsong first thing in the morning there’s healing right there. When we remind them that inside of us there is a healing heart, our purpose is served.”
You’ll find out more about Laura at her website: https://lauraplumb.com/
Laura was interviewed by Anumeha Gupta. Anumeha is an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, continuing student of Ayurveda practice, and a CAAM volunteer.
Laura Plumb : Social Media Links
FB – https://www.facebook.com/VedaWise
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lauraplumb/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/lauraplumb/