End of Summer

August 9, 2016

 

Summer can be an extremely hectic time of year for most people. Regardless of the fact that it is traditionally thought of as vacation time...for many people it simply means more work, more shuffling of schedules, more stress. It is a good time to reevaluate priorities and take some time (smile!!!) for a bit of self love, self care.

Sometimes that is as simple as:

A lovely cup of rose/lavender tea while listening to some relaxing music or in the tub or both, 

Doing some deep breathing and gentle stretches,

Inhaling lavender or ylang-ylang while reading some favorite poems or stories.

Lie down for 15 min with a cool cloth dipped into lavender water on your forehead

Set a time for yourself to do one or several of these things several times a week. The holidays are just around the corner and it is so important to approach the autumn with positive energy and spirit. This is an election year and many people are feeling very emotional and unsettled about the possibilities ahead. We need to remember that we actually share this space known as our planet earth...gratitude, kindness, wonder, thoughtfulness and patience are things that do not cost any money.

Take a little time to love your self, your partner, children, neighbors and co-workers...there is a great deal of hurt out there but there is healing as  well...let's find ways to share in it and then share it with others.

 

I am including an amazing article in this month's Blog...enjoy

 

This article is copied from  Herbaria – Plant Healer Magazine’s Free Supplement, August 8, 2016

Chronic Illness as Teacher 
by Asia Suler

Asia Suler is an herbalist teacher and author working on a new book and course, and one of the heartful presenters at this September’s Plant Healer event: The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. The following is a small excerpt from Asia’s piece in the upcoming 2016 Class Essays book that all TWHC registrants get free, and which will be sold to all after the event, This thoughtful piece will provide you with a taste of what she will be sharing with you at this year’s magical gathering.
We all have teachers. Mentors who come into our lives and encourage us to grow, open new avenues of thinking and find the truth of who we. Teachers come in many forms— a pastor, a professor, an animal companion, a plant, a canyon. We all will have many teachers over the course of our lives, and each one will bear their own gifts of wisdom and learning. I’ve had the privilege of studying with some incredible mentors over the years but, for me, the most potent, powerful and transformational teacher of all has been chronic illness. The privilege of studying with some incredible mentors over the years but, for me, the most potent, powerful and transformational teacher of all has been chronic illness. Chronic illness and chronic pain affects over 100 million1 people in the United States. We have, in our country, an honest epidemic of feeling perennially unwell. Chronic illness can be deeply isolating, spirituality debilitating, and profoundly demoralizing. It can also be one of the most powerful teachers you will ever encounter. The idea of illness as a teacher is grounded in a philosophy that is as ancient and expansive as the human imagination. It comes from an awareness that all medicine happens within relationship— Echinacea’s immune stimulating properties, for example, are only potent because of the way those constituents come into relationship with our own white blood cells. No healing happens in a vacuum, it happens because two different aspects of life come into interaction. Earth-based thinkers have always understood that everything is interconnected. And so if anything can enter into a relationship with you and your being, than anything can become medicine. 43 Chronic Illness as Teacher by Asia Suler Asia Suler is an herbalist teacher and author working on a new book and course, and one of the heartful presenters at this September’s Plant Healer event: The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. The following is a small excerpt from Asia’s piece in the upcoming 2016 Class Essays book that all TWHC registrants get free, and which will be sold to all after the event, This thoughtful piece will provide you with a taste of what she will be sharing with you at this year’s magical gathering. If you asked indigenous people around the world what they considered to be medicine, you would get many different answers. Plants, stones, stars, words, chants, water. But you would see one commonality – many things are medicine, and everything is medicine. Medicine, by definition, is something that helps us heal. Fresh picked strawberries, first kisses, kitten purrs and a thick night of stars. All of this affects us deeply, our inner hearts, our sense of wellbeing. Opening new layers of meaning, comfort, security, belonging, profundity, inspiration and expression. All of this is medicine. We have relegated the word medicine in our culture to include only the substances created by humans, prescriptions that treat a symptom. But if we are to understand medicine in its most ancient form, than medicine can expand the very confirms of our human-made definitions. And, if we can tap into this grander perspective, we can begin to see the grand vistas and panoramas, the bigger picture that can help us to answer the one question that plagues all people with chronic illness— Why? Through my own journey experience with chronic conditions, as well as in my practice, I have come to see chronic issues as a kind of communication, a loud directive, leading us back to ourselves. Chronic illness is a roadblock that asks us to stop, and become 44 aware of our deeper needs for healing and realignment. Working to address issues on emotional, spiritual, and sometimes ancestral levels, I consider chronic illness to be a communication emanating from a wider level of self. It is a sacred, and unavoidable, reminder of who we are, and what we are here to learn. When we can embrace chronic illness as a teacher, it ceases to become a burden we must carry our entire lives, it ceases to be an enemy who lives inside your very bones. It becomes a journey. It becomes a companion. It becomes a reminder that you are so loved, so cared for, that not one iota of your growth or expansion will be overlooked. You will not be allowed to live a life that is half of what you could be or become. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you know that you live in a truly benevolent universe, and that you are being cared for. All you have to do is be willing to become a student and listen to what is being said. As a teacher, chronic illness asks you to consider this ever confusing, but ever liberating koan, “what if nothing happens to you, but everything is happening for you?” If we can stretch our perception to begin to see the world in these multicolored hues, chronic illness becomes a kind of medicine itself. And when we can recognize the presence of medicine within an experience that is so difficult, we are transformed. Chronic pain and illness brings the kind of healing that can change your entire world. The Chrysalis: Beyond Victimhood Experiencing chronic illness and pain is hard. It is deeply disorienting and traumatic. Living with any chronic condition means dealing with a daily onslaught of hopelessness and fatigue. For many with chronic health conditions, just getting through the day is the highest goal. (In Christine Miserandino’s “Spoon theory” she describes how those with chronic conditions begin each day with 45 only a limited number of spoons of energy, and they must use each one wisely). In the face of such immense challenges it is normal to feel like the only choice is to constrict ones energy to surviving. To see illness as an unprovoked attacker, and to respond with a feeling of disempowerment. It is natural, normal and instinctual to feel this way at first. But if an illness inside our body is a victimizer, than we become perpetual victims, and when we see ourselves as victims, we place the locus of our power outside of ourselves. Like reclining under the pinch of oncoming tires, as long as we remain in a victim mentality, there is simply no way out of being a victim. So the very first step to becoming a student is to rise out of victimhood and reclaim some of your power. And it begins by entering the chrysalis. Suffering from chronic illness, especially when it’s what we call “invisible” often creates a kind of force field of alone-ness around oneself. As social beings, our first tendency is to resist the feeling of insularity that accompanies chronic condition But what that feeling of solitude wasn’t just a depressing by-product of your condition? What if it is a sign that you have already begun to enter a chrysalis like space of alone-ness and transformation? Instead of fighting the cocoon, it can be so much more powerful to allow it. To go deep into what is there. To give yourself ample quietude and solitude to reflect on these ideas, to come into communication with your illness and find your own truth. Large shifts in thinking and perspective necessitate take quiet time to be with oneself. So try simply sitting with what is, because this time of entering the chrysalis is when real transformation begins. As herbalists, as healers, it is our job to be students to every experience, especially those that are forgotten and minimized. The experience of watching the wind move through the poppies, or the bitter awakening of that first dandelion leaf. Becoming an herbalist is about waking up to a reality that is infused with life and intention. It is the process of re-finding meaning in a world that we have been told is meaningless. And so even as we fall deeper in love with the plants as teachers, we learn, we integrate, and we graduate. Plants are gateways, just like chronic illness. They are helping us to graduate, beyond even the use of plants as medicine. We are in a process of awakening to the knowing that all aspects of this world as medicine. That we are here for a healing that goes deeper than any scientifically identifiable plant constituent can address. That we are here to open up new vistas of understanding. To learn, relearn, and learn again. And that one day, as beloved as our time on earth is, we will all embrace the last lesson and graduate.
 

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