Dreamwork and the Teachings of Plants with Leigh Joseph

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Can building a deeper relationship to the land help with sleep? Discover the wisdom of plants, their lifecycle, and how they support rest, sleep, and even dream work with Leigh Joseph (she/her), PhD, founder of the Squamish-based plant-based skincare business Skwalwen Botanicals. Leigh joins Brea Johnson to explore the deep connections between plants, people, and the places they inhabit.

In this episode, Leah shares insights from her dual perspective as an ethnobotanist and a member of the Squamish First Nation. She discusses the importance of establishing reciprocal relationships with plants and the land, emphasizing the role of Indigenous plant knowledge in nurturing these connections.

Leigh explains the wisdom of plants, their lifecycle, and how they support rest, sleep, and even dream work. She illustrates how plants like mint and coastal sage can soothe and prepare us for sleep, and how plants appear in our dreams to teach us. The episode also covers the transformative power of visualization practices in connecting us to meaningful places and memories, offering a meaningful way to engage with the natural world, even from urban settings.

About Leigh Joseph

Leigh Joseph, also known by her ancestral name Styawat, is a trained ethnobotanist, researcher, activist, and the Indigenous founder of Sḵwálwen, a plant-based skincare company dedicated to sustainable and culturally informed practices. As a mother, wife, daughter, and community leader within the Squamish Nation, she integrates Western scientific methods with the rich teachings from her community to foster deeper connections between people and the natural world. Her work is driven by a passion to heal the intergenerational effects of cultural trauma, protecting collective knowledge and bringing indigenous plants into modern wellness practices.


Instagram @skwalwenbotanicals

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00:00 Introduction and Description of Skincare Business

02:23 Leigh Joseph's Background as an Ethnobotanist

05:13 The Importance of Reconnecting with Nature

09:01 The Simplicity and Wisdom of Plants

11:24 Plants that Support Rest and Sleep

20:07 Trusting the Intangible and Listening to the Natural World

24:54 Honouring and Respecting the Natural World as a Radical Act

28:08 The Healing Power of Visualization Practices

30:00 Reconnecting with Indigenous Heritage through the Land

36:23 Finding Meaning in Small Acts of Connection with Nature