Who Is this Guy?
My name’s garliq.
You see garlic was the first plant that taught me that plants are medicine, so my friends named me after it. (the ‘q’ is another story).
My mother named me Kyle, but most people call me by my nickname.
This path for me began in 2002 when I did a 14 day fast (just water and herbal tea). I finally heard my heart’s calling and knew I needed to make some big changes. I quit both my jobs and hitchhiked to California looking for someone to teach me “healing.” On the road, I found my first herb teacher.
My life took a huge leap down this path when I realized that plants can heal, while studying at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. But more than that, I could find, gather and even make my own medicines. My eyes opened to the reality that this planet is covered with food and medicine. My heart opened and my passions flared.
Then I became a Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner, and it drove my connections with plant medicines even deeper. It showed me that plants are not only alive, but their intelligence and wisdom can reach into our hearts and spirits. It gave me simple, practical tools to connect with, learn from and be healed by plant spirits. I began to understand the role of Nature Connection must play.
I started teaching herbalism and treating a few clients, but I had a problem. I became obsessed with Nonviolent Communication, “nvc” and studying empathy. I didn’t want to, but I was so thirsty that I couldn’t stop. Then, for the first time ever, in my early 30’s, I finally discovered that I could navigate emotions without being ruled by them.
I thought I needed to choose between healing with herbs and the emotional awareness work. It seems funny now, but I had a real crisis trying to decide. Like so many of us, I really could’ve used an Elder to help me.
Eventually, it became clear that my clients needed support beyond herbs. People need more than just knowing which remedy to take. So, I began doing more emotional awareness work with clients while they took their herbs.
I have treated hundreds of people for everything ranging from tummy troubles and scraped knees to chronic back pain and allergies. I’ve shown many parents how to use simple herbal remedies to keep their kids healthy. I’ve helped people avoid stitches, treat antibiotic-resistant infections, and recover from major surgeries quickly.
My non-healing background is a mix of community organizing around social/environmental justice and street performance as a juggler (yes, fire too). This is where my passion for healthy community first bloomed and I learned what it means to have too many balls in the air.
Fast forward to today. I’m a papa to two boys. Parenting them has lit up my life and further opened up my nurturing side. I want our children and their children to live in a world that’s beautiful, healthy and just.
The lineages that come together in my work…
Western Clinical Herbalism –
Spiritual Herbalism –
Eliot Cowan – Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner Program
student of JR Worsley, 5 Element Acupuncture – Worsley Institute
apprentice to Don Guadalupe Gonzalez Rios, an eminent Huichol Tsaurirrikame (shaman)
Stephen Buhner – Gaian Studies‘ Direct Perceptions Course
Empathy & compassion
student of Inbal Kashtan, Marshall Rosenburg
Sara Payton – EmpathyBrain
student interpersonal neurobiology,
Jean Claud Catry - Wisdom of the Earth, Art of Mentoring
student of Jon Young and others in the 8 Shields’ community
author of Coyote Mentoring
expert tracker and cultural repair visionary
student of Tom Brown Jr.
Mark Tolefson - Art of Mentoring
expert tracker and co-founder of Wilderness Youth Project