"Try many things . . . . . When you find something you really love, you will know it."
Miriam Carl, 28
Occupation: Professional Aromatherapist
College Major: Contemplative Psychology
Ruth: Welcome, Miriam! How long have you loved what you do?
Miriam: I've been captivated by scent for as long as I can remember. I started making fragrant soap when I was twelve years old, and continued doing so into my twenties.
In 2011, I had my first healing encounter with essential oils. I had a stubborn foot injury that was not healing well. Conventional treatments weren't working, so I decided to try acupuncture. I was skeptical that it would work, but I had to try something different. The acupuncturist made an essential oil blend to help heal my feet. It worked amazingly well, and I became very curious about aromatherapy.
R: How did you feel and what did you do before now?
M: Before I really discovered aromatherapy, I was living in Austin, Texas, and I was trying to teach myself option trading. Even though I put in a lot of effort, I did not enjoy learning about option trading, and I felt very lost.
R: When was the first time you realized that you love what you do?
M: I realized I love essential oils when I first smelled the blend the acupuncturist made for me; I knew I was experiencing something special.
R: Describe what you do now and what a typical day looks like.
M: I spend my time doing personal aromatherapy consultations and making custom blends. I also spend time working on my website and blog, re-stocking and reordering supplies, packing orders, and shipping them. During my aromatherapy training, I learned a lot about living in harmony with the seasons, so my average day also depends on the time of year. I always try to integrate yoga, meditation, and herbal teas. And I'm always studying the latest research.
R: What were the steps you took that got you to loving what you do?
M: I think the key moment was when I decided to go to my first ever aromatherapy intensive in North Carolina. At the time, I was experiencing a flare of up chronic illness, and I felt too sick to travel. I had canceled my trip for the intensive, but felt very torn up about it. At the last minute, I contacted my instructor and asked if I could still make it. She said yes and that she had set aside a binder for me in case I changed my mind. I decided I would take a leap of faith and go.
R: Is there something about your work that makes you feel like you're contributing to a greater good?
M: Definitely. Essential oils are so healing and rarely cause sides effects when used properly. Aromatherapy improves quality of life, and it also brings beauty and a connection to nature (and therefore ourselves). I also like to know that I can be a gentle, supportive presence for my clients. Deep listening is so important.
R: Do you have any advice for others on their way to loving what they do?
M: Try many things. Think about what books you reach for in your free time; the ones that really excite you and bring you joy. There is possibly a clue there. When you find something you really love, you will know it.
R: If you could whittle it down, what was the ONE most important thing you did to begin loving what you do?
M: I didn't have to "do" anything to love this field. I really feel that it's my calling.
R: Thank you, Miriam!
Miriam is a Certified Professional Aromatherapist through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and The East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies. She has completed over 400 hours of formal training. In addition to helping others by creating custom blends, Miriam also loves yoga, cooking, art, poetry, and spending time with her family, friends, and two beloved dogs.