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Welcome

My name is Nana Tomova, and I am the founder of the Story Apothecary. I'm based in the Highlands of Scotland and I'm originally from Bulgaria.

Stories can guide us on our journey.

They are filled with wisdom passed through countless generations. Stories are not just entertainment, it is soul work. In some cultures the shaman who could walk between the worlds, and the storyteller were one and the same.

 

With over a decade of experience in mental health, I have walked alongside people in their darkest moments. A real privilege. The land which held me as I breathed my first breath has a long tradition of wise women who told stories and healed with herbs and magic. There are such women in every part of my family tree. It is this bridge of new knowledge and old healing that I walk. This is what I bring in my work as a Medicine Woman, a  Story Apothecary. 

If you would like to work with me, as an individual in need of Story Medicine, if you would like to bring story to your community or to your organisation, contact me for a free chat, to see if we are a fit to work together.

Acknowledgements & Gratitude

I'd like to thank and acknowledge my creativity and wilderness guide, Natasha Lythgoe without whom, I will still be asleep. Without her, I would not be who I am today.

Shonaleigh, who teaches me about story - their nature, the respect they deserve, the traditions they belong to. I owe the skill of my storytelling craft to her and  her tradition. 

Roi Gal-Or who opened my eyes and gave me the gift of seeing myself as a storyteller.

My beloved Ollie, whose tenderness, wisdom, creativity and love nourishes me every day.

Creativity and Nature, who I forgot existed for a while and I was lost. They feed my soul.

Stories and Community. Without which life is much greyer.

Summary of training and qualifications

Storytelling

I trained with Roi Gal-Or in 2018, and in 2019 in biographical storytelling, and continue my training with Shonaleigh Cumbers, a Jewish tradition bearer from the Drut’syla women's tradition. I am part of her Walking the Wildwoods Course, a 3 year course by invitation.

Nature Connection

I gained my Lowland Leader Qualification in 2018, and did my Mountain Leader Training in 2019 with Bryn Williams Mountaineering. I am a member of the British Mountaineering Association. I have partaken in nature connection training and owe a lot of my skill to personal experience, and I have gained experience from Wilderness Mentoring. I also have an Ethnobotany Level 4 course with John Rhyder at the Wood Craft School in 2022. Through this qualification I am able to run foraging walks and workshops.

Wilderness Mentoring with Natasha Lythgoe from the Art of Rewilding for a decade. This has included creative mentoring, the Artist Way course, photography teaching, re-wilding programmes, nature retreats, a Vision Quest as part of  "Peace, Power, Lover and Wildness Programme", and 1:1 ongoing mentoring.

Holistic Healthcare

I have over 10 years experience as a healthcare professional (pharmacist) in the field of mental health. During this time I worked in psychiatric hospitals, in community mental health teams, in alcohol and drug services, in dementia centres. I undertook a Masters Degree in Research, I worked as a lecturer and I taught other clinicians how to have difficult conversations about treatment in human, non-coercive ways. My practice has been informed by training in Motivational Interviewing and Non-Violent Communications.

 

I held spaces for clients with enduring mental health illnesses, as they explored their rich but often difficult journey with medicines. I learned so much about the human experience, about grief and about hope. I continue to practice as a healthcare professional, for 2 days per week in a small family owned practice as an ADHD diagnostician and independent prescriber. I still meet people and listen to their rich life stories, and in turn hope to make a small difference as we walk in the forest of uncertainty for a short while together.

Spiritual Practice

My spiritual journey continues as I have undertaken an introduction to Shamanism training with Twobirds in 2023, Circle Facilitation Training with Gemma Brady of Sister Stories, and I have studied at the Brighton Buddhist centre between 2014 and 2016. In 2018 I undertook a vision quest, which helped to initiate my work with nature and stories. My practice is informed by a strong cultural lineage of wise women and healers from my own heritage. Stories and nature of course are some of my biggest teachers.

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