The Journey from Law to Spiritual Living & Herbal Medicine

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon to come across people who have made significant career changes in pursuit of their passions, and I’m one of them – twice over!  This is my story.

It struck me as I sat in my office  one gloomy Monday afternoon looking at the stack of paperwork on my desk, that I felt empty inside. I had worked so hard to become a lawyer, studying 4 years for a law degree and another two years doing practical training, yet here I was — still utterly empty. As I looked around me, I could see the other lawyers, aging fast, grey hair, never spending time with their families, being so long in the game that they didn’t even have hobbies anymore. Year after year lost in the four walls of their office, stuck behind a screen. 

I began to realise that I could no longer continue on as I had been. I was yearning to learn the purpose of this existence and understand the discontent that seemed to afflict so many around me. It was at this time that I made the decision to embark on an ayahuasca retreat. This marked the very beginning of my spiritual journey.

Upon returning after the retreat  to my apartment on the outskirts of the city, I made a decision: it was time for myself, my two dogs,my rescue African grey parrot and my cherished tortoise, Lucky to depart to the countryside. While I didn’t leave immediately, I understood already that I had committed to a spiritual odyssey. 

It was around this time that my mother became seriously ill —a large fibrotic tumor had taken root in her womb, severely compromising her quality of life. She found herself regularly bedridden, and conventional medical advice pointed towards cancer treatment. Faced with this prospect, I intervened and suggested alternative therapies. I dedicated myself to researching, preparing and administering herbal treatments to her on a weekly basis. Astonishingly, by the fourth month, the tumor had entirely vanished.

After hearing my mother’s story, people began to come to me for healing. This response encouraged me to feel I could someday say farewell to my legal career and embark on a journey of exploration and learning. I dedicated myself to the study of Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese, and Western herbal medicine, and received my diploma in all three major sectors of Herbal Medicine. (This led me ultimately to receive my Doctorate from BUI in 2022.)

During this time I continued to develop a deep connection with nature, a bond that modern-day society often neglects. It became clear to me that our bodies are intrinsically intertwined with the natural world, sharing the same life force that courses through the entirety of existence. Yet, we have strayed so far from this fundamental relationship. The world as I thought it was began to unravel, laying bare the stark reality of our disconnection from the essence of life.

Through my research on the horrific animal welfare conditions underlying milk production, I decided to embrace veganism.  As a practicing Buddhist, I realized that my commitment to non-harm should also extend to all living beings. Adopting a vegan lifestyle became a tangible way for me to embody compassion in accordance with the Dharma, the teachings of Buddha.

Shortly after adopting this new way of life, my home was burgled. However, this misfortune unexpectedly led me to discover a sense of liberation through loss. Shedding the majority of my possessions allowed me to deeply understand the essence of the Buddhist philosophy. This event served as the catalyst I needed to finally tender my resignation at work and instruct my estate agent to sell my flat, declaring, “I’m leaving!”

I packed up my beloved animals into my 1983 VW camper and headed off to the West of Ireland, driven by the fervent desire to establish an animal sanctuary. After much searching, I discovered an old farmhouse nestled amidst a parcel of land, and in 2017, I made it my own. 

As I made this idyllic setting my home, the doors of my sanctuary opened, heralding the beginning of another chapter. At the same time as the inaugural animal resident — a donkey affectionately named Poncho — arrived in 2018, I also started yoga classes within our rural community. The proceeds from these classes served as the lifeblood of the sanctuary and a fundamental principle of my Buddhist beliefs not to profit from sacred practices.

The rugged landscapes of Ireland have been a sanctuary for me as well as my animals, offering a sense of tranquility that has, in many ways, healed the wounds of the past. The rolling green hills, ancient forests, and tumultuous sea have become my companions, guiding me towards a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. Through this communion with nature, I have unearthed a profound sense of peace, allowing me to navigate the complexities of life with newfound clarity and purpose. 

In leaving the corporate world, I have discovered a sense of freedom that transcends the confines of traditional success. My days are no longer ruled by profit margins and deadlines, but rather by the ebb and flow of the natural world and the pursuit of inner harmony. As I walk this path, I am continually reminded of the boundless beauty that surrounds us, and the importance of nurturing the soul alongside the pursuit of worldly ambitions.

My journey to Ireland has been  transformative — a testament to the profound impact of reconnecting with nature and embracing a spiritual way of life. Through the tears and the triumphs, I have found a sense of fulfillment that transcends any material wealth, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.

If you’d like to read more of Dr Sefi’s work, check out her Instagram here: @ehmedicinewoman

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Dr Sepi Sefy
Dr Sepi Sefy
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