To commemorate Women’s History Month, we asked several of our women teachers who was the woman who most influenced them and what is the hope they hold for women of the future. We talked with Stephanie Boucher, certified Clinical Herbalist and owner and head herbalist at CannaBotanicals.
NY Open Center: Who is a woman who has influenced you in a major way?
Stephanie Boucher: Larken Bunce, one of my teachers at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism.
NY Open Center: Can you tell us a little bit about her work and what it means to you?
Stephanie Boucher: Larken has a beautiful way of weaving together scientific knowledge of plant medicine with traditional ways of understanding herbalism (especially Traditional Chinese Medicine), not to mention her ability to integrate somatics, spirituality, and social justice activism. I believe this is the kind of approach we need right now—a truly holistic lens through which to see ourselves, our bodies, and the plants, and our future. I also appreciate her ability to captivate the attention of her students, and make each class not only informative but also fun and inspiring. As a teacher, I aspire to be able to do the same.
NY Open Center: What is a piece of advice you would give, in retrospect, to your girl self?
Stephanie Boucher: You are enough. 100%, absolutely enough. I would tell her to not worry so much about how she looked, and what other people were thinking, and to fully embrace herself and her dreams. My clients are primarily women with anxiety and I see over and over again how thinking that they are not enough is affecting their lives in pretty dramatic ways, and so many of them can trace it back to early childhood experiences. I would also tell her to reconsider her relationship with cannabis! As a pre-teen I had a very unbalanced relationship with cannabis that in retrospect was disrespectful of the plant and really harmful to myself and those around me. I think this is why I feel so strongly about helping others find “right relationship” with the plant and develop a holistic approach to working with it.
NY Open Center: What is a hope that you hold for the women of the future?
Stephanie Boucher: That we can collectively step into our true power. The female flower is the most powerful part of the cannabis plant, and women hold a larger share of leadership positions in the cannabis industry than most other industries. In many ways it feels like the rise we are seeing with cannabis is riding a similar energetic wave as the rise of feminine power. If we are able to overcome our fears and insecurities, imagine the world we could create! I seek to help women harness the power of this plant (and others) to get closer to that possibility.