Susan Leopold is a magical creature / executive director, ethnobotanist, PhD, and environmental activist.
We’ve swooned at the way she conjures, creates and builds bridges between worlds. Susan is a creatrix, the director of The International Herbal Symposium, United Plant Savers and oversees United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary.
A bit more on UPS:
United Plant Savers’ mission is to protect native medicinal plants, fungi, and their habitats while ensuring renewable populations for use by generations to come.
We asked Susan how Self Care and care for plants are interconnected to her:
“Well plants are so much more forgiving than people… that is my mantra lately. I am an ecofeminism - acknowledging the cultural struggles of women around the globe and the awareness of the interconnected relationships between women access to basic rights and the biodiversity crisis; if we as women can care for ourselves and advocate together for world change for women’s equality and thus be empowered to tend our environment around us- one can only imagine how quick we would heal the planet. Of course that is big picture stuff!"
Susan continues, "On the most simple level of watering and caring for a house plant can be pathway to nurturing the way we treat ourselves… I am no saint in this regard…. I burn the candle at both ends. I hold the grief and sadness and I take to heart hurtful words and emails. I have to ground myself and just stare at a beautiful flower to let it go. At the sanctuary in Ohio is the heart pond (if you know you know) when that feeling of overwhelming sadness and anxiety gets a hold of me I can just imagine myself swimming there and when I am at the sanctuary I try and stop and take the time for a dip. Self care is critical because if I can’t take care of me then I spiral. I am not graceful - I am clumsy but I can step out of the darkness to be grateful and that safe transition space is a bath tub a dreamy pond with a dragonfly on a flowing hibiscus.”
If you missed this year's International Herbal Symposium, or just want to expand your Herbal Knowledge, IHS has created the IHS Learning Center for plant lovers and herbal enthusiasts of all levels. Browse through digital bundles with over 100 hours of herbal lessons taught by 47 esteemed herbal practitioners, including Fat and the Moon’s very own, founder Rachel Budde.