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maja_kruseI was lucky to grow up in a beautiful area just outside Copenhagen, near the sea and close to forests and parks. It feels like my interest in herbs and natural medicine have been with me my whole life. I have many memories from my childhood involving herbs, making nasty witch-potions, homemade perfume, and collecting and pressing pretty flowers. Later on I discovered some books about natural healing in the library that made a big impression on me, and resulted in many simple brews and medicated oils.

Then I began swimming, soon as a competition swimmer with as many as 12 practices a week, which left little space for anything else besides school. I was told that I had a lot of talent and could go far, and I think those words kept me doing it for much longer than I should. I learned a lot about myself and my body though, and I enjoyed the pleasure of being in top shape for many years. I made it to the national team and the European Championships in 2007, and after that all joy of swimming had been sucked out of me.

A new life opened for me when I stopped swimming. I became friends with a totally new group of people, that really helped me reconnect with something I had forgotten for a long time.

To make a long story short, my family, a few friends and myself underwent some kind of shift in our values and perspective in the last five years. My parents sold their house and bought a small farm about an hour south of Copenhagen. We now live together: me, my boyfriend and my brother in one house, and my parents in the other. We all have a strong drive to become as self-sufficient and independent from “the system” as possible. We now grow our own vegetables, have 14 chickens, two pigs, a dog and two cats. I love living in the country and never looked back since. Besides herbs, I'm interested in metaphysics and philosophy, and I've recently dipped my toes into dance as a spiritual practice. I love music, travelling, walks in nature, and being with my loved ones.

I started growing some herbs in my garden when we moved in, and soon my interest in herbal medicine was reignited. I searched for information anywhere on herbs and their uses, but it was frustrating with all the contradictions. I wanted a deeper understanding and that is when I stumbled upon the East West school. It was exactly what I dreamed of, and much more. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to be a student here. Even though it sometimes has been tough with the language barrier, I feel like I'm finally getting most of it. I attended my first seminar in April, and that really boosted both my confidence and learning, but it also made me completely positive that I am on the right path. I enrolled in July 2012 and I'm currently working on the last lessons on the foundation track, and it seems like my excitement and passion about herbal medicine grows bigger and bigger the more I learn.

Honestly, my biggest dream is to live in a small self-sufficient community, and have a practice there. But until then I dream of starting up a small practice, gaining much more experience, and maybe teach others at one point. I work as a swim coach for children and I would love to do workshops or herb walks for children and teens.

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