Student Patti Shimokawa

I spent my early years in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. When I was 5, my family settled in State College, PA. That was a magical and formative place and time for me-we had a sandbox my dad made out of big oak logs, swings hung between two maple trees, and acres of forest to explore. My mother loved to garden and our yard was filled with mountain laurel, lady’s slippers, and violets she collected from the forest. We knew all the names of the plants, trees, birds, and animals, and to me, they were like my extended family. We moved to California when I was 12, and I got acquainted with a whole new botanical, animal and avian clan.

In my 20s, I taught Montessori preschool and kindergarden. My 30s and 40s were focused on raising my children: daughter Shawn, 28, is an organic farmer and CSA owner in Ojai; daughter Lauren, 22, is studying at Wilderness Awareness School near Seattle; and son Eric, 19, who started his freshman year at the University of Denver on August 31!

Now I’m turning my attention to my third career, combining nutrition, herbalism, SoulCollage®, and “Inner Permaculture.” I am a certified Permaculture designer, Natural Chef, SoulCollage® Facillitator, Level 1 Subtle Energy Healer with Luminous Body, currently studying Radical Forgivness coaching, and herbalism with East West. I got my inspiration for my new “company” on an herb walk with Candis Cantin at this year’s seminar as she spoke to us about the importance of teaching people about living a “tonic” life, a life that supports health and vitality of body, mind and spirit, and have been working on “The Tonic Life” business concept and website. When not doing all that, I enjoy gardening, beekeeping, hiking, sewing and quilting, and reading.

I started with East West last August, after seeing Michael Tierra give a presentation at a Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo on “Your Local Botanical Pharmacy.” What an awesome way to reclaim personal power for our health, I thought, by knowing how to cultivate healing and wellness with the plants that grow where we live!

When I first signed up for East West, I would read the bios of the students of the month, I was sure I would never be student of the month cause I didn’t think I was “accomplished” enough. Now that I’ve been in the program for a while, I know so much more about what an amazing community we have here in East West — it is such an open-hearted, inclusive, encouraging, and inspiring group of people at all levels on the path of herbalism! I am proud to be part of it!

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