On August 21st, following two days of intense testing, I completed the first year of the Naturopathic Doctorate program (yay!!!) and had the honor to address my class as part of graduation.

This is such a proud moment for me that I wanted to share with you, dear friend.

After I thanked my class for choosing me to say a few words and thanked the amazing and talented instructional and support staff, here’s what my soul had to say with the beautiful women of my class:

“You know – Each of us graduating today, came here with a different story. A different why… A different timeline that led us to this moment right now.

At one point in our timeline, something was sparked inside of us. For some of us, it was facing tremendous hardship and loss, for others it was becoming a mother and wanting better for the future of our children and for others it was a seed of hope that someone planted along the way to gently push us to seek truth.

Whatever it was… it was that moment in our timeline that stirred something inside of us.

I know for me, I’ve been dreaming of coming to this school ever since becoming pregnant with my son. And I would just keep pushing the idea away… that it was just too much…. Too much commitment. Too much stress… Not the right time… Another expense.

But every time I pushed it away, it just louder. And I knew – after a while – that it wasn’t going away.

I know you ladies can relate.

And what I didn’t realize then, but I realize now – By simply saying yes to school, to coming here, to showing up – we said yes to our soul. We said yes to our life’s purpose.

After my first class and first weekend here, I was a ball of mixed emotion. I had no idea of what I was getting myself into… And I quickly realized this is a school for the big leagues. We go deep. We go fast. And the only way to keep up is if you show up and you own it.

Each of us have made a lot of sacrifices, said no to a lot of things we DID want to do like weddings, family gatherings, baby showers, etc – and we showed up to class every month, pushed through every test, we stretched through really uncomfortable learning times and truly unforeign territories… Show up to our homework… to our research paper. We showed up to our tears of self-doubts, and I can’ts and I won’ts and times when we just didn’t feel that we feel worthy to be here. We showed up to this weekend of an intense two days of testing that pushed us beyond our limitations. And through it all – We showed to ourselves – time and time again.

And when we wanted to quit – and questioned if it was worth it (I really started to choke up here)… there was someone in the group to pick us up and remind us of our why – and our world today.

51% of our children are now on medication
Every 7 minutes a child is diagnosed with autism.
Every day 40 children are diagnosed with cancer – and that’s just here in the US
Cancer is the number one disease causer of children deaths
1 in 7 Women are expected to die of breast cancer
1 in 2 Men of cancer

And the list goes on…

And it’s in that startling reminder – that we snap out of it. And remember, we were born to do this work and born to help empower people to take their back their health.

But none of this would even be made possible if it wasn’t for our support system. It’s you amazing people here with us tonight… that made this happen. Because it’s not just our sacrifices… It’s yours too.

It’s you –picking up the pieces, being moms and dads to our children, cheering us on, giving us encouraging words – without making us feel a bit of guilt – just so we can do this work.

Thank you for making this all possible. We would not be here celebrating this moment, right now, if it wasn’t for your love and support.

Well ladies … we started as strangers. And we leave here tonight as sisters and friends.

And now having had the honor to know a piece of your story… a piece of your why… I have been truly so moved by all of you. So many of you could have easily chose to be broken… Surely the world would have understood, but instead you chose to Rise. And it is so darn inspiring.

I challenge you to own your story. Every part of it. Because it’s in telling your story that you are going to help heal someone else… and make their journey easier… and it’s by telling your story that you are going to attract the people you are most meant to serve.

Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Just show it. Do it. And keep Living to inspire.

I can’t wait to see your picture on that wall.” {Referencing a wall of all the graduates throughout the school’s history.}

Year two starts in October… I am ready! The more I know, the more I am. It’s an absolute honor and privilege to help make a difference in this world and the health of others.

tonya_holcomb_graduation
Me with Dr. Baker, founder of Naturopathic Institute of Therapies & Education

Love Yourself Fiercely,
Tonya

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about my schooling, please don’t hesitate to connect. I love helping mama friends, like you, follow their dreams and ultimately, say yes to their soul.