Women We Admire With Dr. Jacqui, ND of Xalish Medicines June 09 2021


How do you ground yourself (during the day)?
I often will take moments throughout the day to just notice sensations around me. Maybe it is the warmth of Spring Sun on my Body, or the fragrance of Sweetgrass + Elderflower tea, or the taste of my favourite chocolate. Just coming back into my body and experiencing interacting with everything around me. Often coming back to my breath & going outside for brief walks to the ground + reconnect as well. Again, that practice of coming back to my body and just feeling, noticing, experiencing Life.

How does your work as an ND impact your herbalism practice?
Hmm, this is an interesting question as it was actually my Indigenous Roots, my connection to Plants, that led me to become an ND in a roundabout way. I think of myself as a Plant Medicine person {herbalist} first. Being a Naturopathic Doctor has taught me so much about the Human body, physiology, the ‘western’ Medical system, etc. The foundation of my work though is Earth-based, coming back to the Land. This has so many healing impacts, physical as well as emotional & Spirit. Returning to the Land may balance things such as blood glucose, cortisol, hormone balance, gut microbiome, inflammation, sleep, stress, anxiety, etc. which are foundational to so many illnesses as well.

Where do you get your power from?
I get my power, or Medicine/Strength would be preferred words, from my Ancestors, from Creation, the Land, Fire, Water, Air, from working in Community to create a more just and harmonious World. If I’m ever feeling lost on my path, or questioning my purpose, I look to my Ancestors, Spirit, the Land for guidance on how to move in a good way. There have been many times where I almost quit or wasn’t sure if I had the vitality for a certain path, and my Ancestors or the Plants stepped in to hold me up and remind me to keep going.

Where do you find daily/creative inspiration?
Through so many places! Being on the Land and tending to Plants in the Xálish Medicine garden are big ones. Canoe camping and just being out away from people often leads to creative insights. Though inspiration also comes through experience, maybe my own experiences such as a loss, or hormonal imbalance. Sometimes through tapping into collective energies to feel both what people may be needing extra support in, as well as hearing the Plants step forward in a certain way {this is often how new formulas are birthed}. Oftentimes inspiration to write will come from people in Community asking for me to share something, so filling a need so to speak. I feel most inspired when surrounded by beauty, so creating a simple + sweet environment for my work life is also important {minimal clutter, lots of Plants, natural light, delicious tea, beautiful scents, soft fabrics, silence, etc}.

How have you developed your connection to the plant world?
My connection to the Plant world is innate to my identity as we are not separate from the Land, from Nature, from the Plants. Before I could speak aloud I was speaking with Trees & Plants. I remember as a little one sitting with Cottonwood + Sagebrush and sharing stories. I could hear the Mountains and Rivers. My first word, ironically perhaps, was actually Tree. So, I think it is just part of who I am. That being said, all relationships require commitment, tending, nurturing & love. So in that way, I strengthen & honour my connection to the Plants daily by being in a good relationship with them. Listening to what they need, or just listening in general. Other ways may be physically tending to them in the garden, picking up garbage in the park, spiritually connecting through Dreamtime, or redistributing funds + supporting fellow Land & Water Protectors. For folks longing to (re)connect, I think the simplest way is to just be with the Plants. Introduce yourself, learn the names of the plants growing in your Community already, learn who’s Land you’re connecting on. But it can be as simple as just setting the intention to deepen your relationships with Plants & making it a priority <3

What's the best advice you've ever received?
One of my Elders & Mentors, James Greycloud, shared something so simple with me “All you have to do is remember to be who you are.” It is so simple. Yet so powerful. To me, it means ‘be who you are in alignment with your Spirit.’ In remembering my Medicine, my Blood memory, my most authentic self, I am embodying all I would wish to share with the World. It helps rid any doubt, any comparison to others, any questions of if I am enough, etc. as truly we are each so unique and carry our own aligned vibration. If we can just let go of anything that blocks us from being who we truly are, in all ways, we will be on our path ~ we will be our most authentic selves & embody our highest potentials. {*A note that this also means removing systemic barriers like racism, ableism, colonization, transphobia, etc.}

Dr. Jacqui Wilkins, ND is a mixed Indigenous {Yakama, Irish, & East German} Plant Medicine person, and Naturopathic Doctor, with a passion for helping others (re)connect to their Medicine, Ancestors, the Land & Stars for deep healing. 
Xálish Medicines weaves the Spirit of Plant Medicine & Ancestral Reverence into each offering to bring us back into good relations with our Plant kin, ourselves, our environment & all of Creation.
Connect with Dr. Jacqui and learn more at xalishmedicines.com/.
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