Cameo Wilson is one incredible individual who has learned to nurture her own self growth and in doing so found her roots and a deep-seated passion for urban farming and sustainability. What brought her to SWIHA was a self-imposed desire for self-growth, followed by the committed decision to take care of herself.
“By taking care of myself physically and emotionally through eating well and observing my own nutritional intake, I found a love for my own well-being and the ability to share my journey of health with others. I decided to further my education in what I love and pursue Nutritional Coaching as an avenue to serve. Food, eating healthy and wellness all resonated with me so I began searching online for schools that offered programs with these options in coaching. SWIHA was the first one to pop up and instantly I felt like that was the option I wanted to explore.”
Cameo states excitedly with smile in her voice, “It just felt right to me to check it out and it felt like home right away. I came to a Gifts and Graces event (which are held the First Friday of every month) where I received a complimentary Life Coaching session around my career goals.” Instantly, her gut feelings were confirmed and it was obvious that she was destined to be a student walking the very halls she was visiting that First Friday.
“I ended up enrolling in the Holistic Nutrition Program, as well as, other courses that peaked my interest, such as, Urban Farming, Hypnotherapy and Aromatherapy to name a few.” Cameo’s passion for Nutritional Coaching developed in an interesting way to Urban Farming and Sustainability. “What brought me to SWIHA was nutrition, eating healthy and caring for body. I enjoyed the classes that supported these areas in my life and that of my potential clients, yet found that there was even more I’d grow to love about my degree. I did very well in nutrition and continued my classes with my enrollment in Urban Farming. It made sense that it would complement my nutrition background because it involves gardening.
Growing food and eating healthy go hand-in-hand. I ended up learning so much that it sparked another passion within me that I felt I had all along, but never before truly uncovered or explored. I started to learn how to help the earth, regenerate soil, nourish our bodies and offer that same healing on a global scale. Gardening and Urban Farming was so intriguing. It snowballed into externships and a career with my current employment with the highly-regarded company, Garden Pool, a federally recognized 501(c)3 public charity organization for sustainable food production, research and education.”
Cameo is elated and shares that she has found her true calling, where she serves as a Research Assistant and right-hand woman to the president of the company, traveling both locally and even internationally to communities where they build self-sustaining gardens from pools for their clients. They receive calls weekly from local families in Arizona to more exotic locations like Morocco, Mexico and Africa! Cameo’s 2016 is already promising a trip as early as March where Garden Pool and its volunteers are taking a two-week assignment to create garden pools in Haiti for underprivileged community orphanage in desperate need of growing and sustaining nutrient-rich food.
She credits her overall education at SWIHA with providing her a profound sense of understanding of the human experience and how it ultimately aligned her with her passions and purpose. “What I learned at SWIHA that was the most valuable to me was how to hold space for another person to be who they are in that moment. To understand that everyone’s best looks different all of the time that we need to accept others for who they are and be fully present with them when we are with them. The most important person in your life is who you are with at that moment and time. This helped me practice what I already knew was true. I learned to be my authentic self knowing others would hold space for me. Accept myself for who I am and allow myself the same respect I would give others.”
Now, because she is secure in who she is, and how she is of the most service, she competently and confidently provides guidance and education that helps others plan, harvest and enjoy their gardens and properties. ”I am a support system for them - a source of knowledge and inspiration. I am a teacher, a helper, a friend. My clients all vary. I am honored to work with a lot of families and everyday people who have a desire to grow their own food and benefit from their choice to do so.”
“It is such an amazing opportunity to work with and educate others all over the country and world even! People that are absolutely in need of a new way to grow food to survive or a family who wants to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. I am here to help anyone with the commitment and motivation to do what it takes to create and sustain a garden pool system. It is one of the easiest and optimal ways to grow food.”
When asked how she came to be living her dream life and dream job within just a year of pursuing her degree she shares, “I cannot say what works for me will work for others as we all have unique paths, but what led me to finding my purpose was starting to take care of myself and beginning the journey of self-love. It is the hardest journey anyone can embark on but most rewarding.
The more you explore your TRUE, AUTHENTIC SELF, you just find out inevitably and effortlessly what you love! As you hang out with yourself and spend time alone, you live your life genuinely and follow what makes you happy. It leads you to your purpose. You must be open and receptive. You must look and think about what feels right and go within for discernment. It is an internal and external process. Once you start that journey of self love and fulfillment, your path unfolds for you. I didn’t even try, I was just living my life and following happiness and working on self, while developing who I was, becoming a better person every day. Everything truly works out for your highest good when following your heart.”
Cameo plans to return to SWIHA in the future when it resonates with her and her “busy-with-blessings” schedule. She cannot speak highly enough on behalf of the program that truly launched her career and course in life. “The Urban Farming program is an amazing program where students learn behind-the-scenes insight, like, conventional vs. organic farming, the difference between permaculture methods and others, opening another side of gardening and sustainability that the average person doesn’t know. What’s best is that it is delivered in a way that is motivating, inspiring and beneficial. We have opportunity for hands-on in the garden during the externship portion of the program. More and more people are being drawn to this lifestyle of growing their own food. The future depends on it. We need this program to survive and have a symbiotic relationship with nature. The SWIHA Urban Farming program ignited enthusiasm in me and all my peers during my studies, connecting me to many others who wish to make the world a better place – even starting with our own backyard gardens. There is a huge growing community and I am honored to be a part of it! If there is anywhere you should to start to truly learn what it takes to live in harmony with nature and be a successful urban farmer, SWIHA’s program is, in my opinion, the most ideal place to start. I recommend it to all!”
To reach Cameo Wilson, you are welcome to stop by the Garden Pool location in person or via website at http://gardenpool.org/contact-gp. If interested, consider volunteering at an upcoming Garden Pool opportunity, whether local or across the globe!
About the Author, StevieAnne Petitt
A current SWIHA student, StevieAnne is a published author and public speaker who uses comedic workshops to “Lighten up Enlightenment” – helping others find humor in their human experience and to allow us to relate with one another through laughter. Her love of humor and authentic dialogue is what earned her the position as Branding Strategist at Social Ally. There, she creates social media content that entertains, educates and engages audiences while displaying an authentic brand voice and presence for each of her clients. More of her professional blogs can be found at SocialAlly Blog