By Anita Kalnay, RA®, EOT®
What’s your story?
As an aromatherapist, the journey to developing skills and professional recognition has been like travelling around the world in a hot-air balloon. You must rise up, see the terrain below, and float gently. We’ve had to invent the industry from scratch. I know this as I have been in it now for more than 30 years!
In the beginning, the enthusiasm for discovering and using essential oils was like jet fuel. We just took off with the excitement. Distilled oils became available and books were written, many of which just copied each other. I know, as I have lots of the originals that were written. People shared their discoveries, and we became somewhat of a garden of those who love scent.
As I read through some of the old journals on my shelf, I realize how naive yet enthusiastic and authentically interested we all were in what aromatherapy had to offer.
Leap to 2022
Now we are in a very cultivated garden, and each one of us can choose our role. Yes, it is still an aromatherapy garden, if you want to use that metaphor, but now we are challenged to take it to the next level and choose what we personally want to tend and cultivate as a member. As a gardener of plants, I know that they take lots of work! And that the reward comes from patience and where we put our focus.
Are you just beginning your studies as an aromatherapist or have you cultivated your interests and generated a livelihood from your love of scent?
Wherever you are, that’s okay. We are here to serve you as your professional association!
However, there is also a big scope of practice and a lifelong commitment to the joy of learning.
Getting your professional recognition as an RA® and EOT® is the starting point of opening the door to the journey itself.
As your professional association, we have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s regarding the paperwork of creating a stable foundation for your professional journey. This year, we have decided to take a closer look at just where you can go now that you have the ticket, so to speak.
Where can you go with your skills and interests, also known as scope of practice?
How can we offer CE credits and supportive programs that will be as interesting as a ticket to your next destination? How can we communicate and create community around our successes and find supportive ways to evaluate failures, which really ask us to identify and solve problems? How can we communicate and educate others and how can we continue to be life-long learners ourselves as our industry evolves and grows? These are just some of the questions we are asking right now.
What’s in place already?
1. Saturday coffee chats (you receive credit for your participation)
2. Relevant online events featuring current topics in the industry that are designed to keep us up-to-date and informed, and offer credits and an opportunity to be part of the discussion
Business Membership Opportunities
As business stems from the focus of our scope of practice, it is important that our business members lead the way through their commitment to the industry and the area that they have chosen to focus on and develop. As we plant these new seeds, I’d love to tell your story! I love writing and would be delighted to interview you and tell others about what you do and your goals and dreams for our industry!
Business Membership Basics: What you need to know
Q. Can you be a business member and an RA at the same time?
A. Yes! But you don’t have to be an RA to be a business member.
Q. What is the cost of a business membership?
A. $95 per year.
Q. What benefits do business members get?
A. Free advertising in our monthly newsletter.
Q. What if I am self-employed? Would it benefit to be a business member?
A. That’s up to you. If you want free advertising and more focus on your offerings, then absolutely!
So, what’s your story?
1. What circumstances led you to become an aromatherapist?
2. What challenges did you face or overcome in the process?
3. How has your life changed because of your efforts, commitment, and the actions that you took?
Your story is creating the world of aromatherapy that we share with others!
If you want to tell your story, I want to hear it. It can be as simple as asking questions that you can answer on your own time, or an interview that I can write up and we can both share.
Here is a link to the business membership category for more information.
You will also notice a few new categories of membership, including professional aromatherapist, which requires only 200 credit hours of course work, and qualified aromatherapist to accommodate those who might be retired or on leave but still interested in participating in our CAOA offerings.
What issue are we addressing as a non-profit that represents you?
• Membership involvement and satisfaction: you asked for it so let’s do it!
• Our blog posts focus on the issues that you face and overcome
Your stories exude hope, solutions, and the commitment to the cause that you took on through your efforts, time and resources. They also show others the scope of practice that aromatherapists actually take on as a professional journey.
In the coming year, I want to focus on the stories of our members. Contact me, and let’s make this fun, entertaining, insightful and inspiring to your peers!
My hope is to acknowledge your contribution to our industry and to put the puzzle of our members together to illustrate how we all use our skills and interests in likely very different ways.
E-mail Anita at email@example.com.