Meet Marisa, a community herbalist, yoga teacher, and co-founder of Queer Healers. She provides democratic access to holistic healing through free, small batch herbal medicines, yoga practices on a sliding scale, and tools to find information and practitioners with ease. We sat down with Marisa to hear more about her holistic approach and how to get involved.

How would you describe healing?

As an epic and abundant journey with no set destination. A milestone can also be a starting point, and there's this cascade effect that is not linear at all. I think of 'healing' as the process of becoming and evolving.

What is self-care for you?

Spending time in places with people that I love, and treating myself to decadent experiences. I am all about doing what feels good, so I try to do everything with care which means free of shame, with patience, and gently. Self-care is giving myself permission to slow down, recharge, and move in ways that feel sustainable, changing course if I need to.

What continues to uplift and drive you forward?

I read to stay inspired and try to pay close attention to where I'm at mentally, emotionally, and spiritually on a daily basis. Being attentive to my own needs keeps me moving forward because so much of the work I hope to do is about sharing tools I've found for sustainable healing. It's an ongoing practice, one that has helped me feel less weighed down, especially over the last year.

What are few items or tinctures you swear by that we should know about?

☺ I love Sleep It Off from 69Herbs in my nightly routine. ☺ Fire Heart from Moon Mother Apothecary has been so healing and grounding. Great on days when I need a boost of confidence and inspiration. ☺ Shea Butter from Hanahana Beauty has been my go-to for a decadent moisturizer after epsom salt baths which is a ritual that always leaves me feeling lighter and more embodied.

Best advice to share coming out of your own discoveries this past year?

Don't shy away from pleasure. I think we're conditioned to let things be hard all the time. Continuing to grind for the sake of being able to push through a hard thing or feeling without pausing to consider whether or not it really needs to be that way. Joy doesn't have to be a luxury, it can be fuel and can also exist alongside grief and anxiety and exhaustion. I learned a lot about sitting with that nuance this year and it's been a really illuminating space to explore one day at a time. I was reading this from Adrienne Maree Brown about this exact thing and felt like I was able to exhale reading it.

How can we support you?

I run an ongoing medicine-making project that provides free herbal medicine to black people. Every couple of months I hand make small batch tinctures and herbal remedies to send out to folks and support it via community donations. My hope is to expand [the program] to include guided meditations and workshops. Anyone interested in supporting can donate via venmo or find out more by emailing me here!

Photos by Justin J. Wee

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