The Medicines Beyond Medicine
April 7, 2021
One of my teachers told me a number of years ago to look at the medicine in everything. Instead of resisting and feeling the sting of the bee, he suggested I give thanks for Bee Medicine. It was a revelation to recognize the truth of it. As I changed my attitude toward what enters my body, my body reflects that perspective.
A few years later I spent some time in Oregon during Allergy season. I was camping, everything was blooming and growing - and my breathing became quite restricted.
There were lots of Nettle plants around the pathways. Nettle, especially locally grown, is a beautiful medicine for respiratory allergies. I had used the leaves before to brew tea with it that helped me breathe at night. This time though, instead, I decided to talk to the Nettle plant. And the plant invited me to connect with it. Now, it is called Stinging Nettle for a reason. I hesitated for a second and, trusting my guidance, I put both of my arms deep into the Stinging Nettle plants.
I experienced a gentle tingle, the soft brush with the leaf, a connection that filled my body with a fresh feeling, a joyous uplift. Within minutes, I could feel myself breathing. Deeply, freely, the passageways of my nose opening and clearing.
Which brings me to the times we are experiencing right now. This past year has been hard on many people, families and communities. I see that. I feel that. And I acknowledge your suffering.
In this Blog, I want to talk about a medicine that the virus with all its implications holds for us. A teaching that has and will continue to change my life in many ways.
Like so many other poisons that in a smaller quantity are extracted to be a medicine, so does this time of Covid-19 hold lessons and remedies. From the forced slow down for so many of us to the understanding of what is truly important and essential for and within our collective, to the uncovering of so many truths that were previously hidden to many of us, the previous year truly has shaped up to get us closer to 20/20 - clear vision.
I want to talk about another medicine that might not be so obvious. The medicine of personal space and consent.
Without doubt, it has been tragic that so many people had to cross over in isolation without their loved ones around. For those of us who are still here, we had a year of less touch, less hugs, and less interaction with the outer world. I hear you when you tell me that you have been so lonely.
And yet, at the same time, I am fascinated. I have been my own bubble for a lot of last year. For months, all personal touch has consisted of what my furry family of cats were willing to share.
And I feel a freeing within myself. I feel a strengthening within myself. The freedom of space around me. Where I can make my own choice of who I want in that space and who I am not so comfortable to be close to. I feel more clearly where my boundaries are. The ones neither influenced by upbringing and social norms, nor by my own trauma and the need to be liked and accepted. For me, this has brought up a deeper truth.
I was born in a woman's body. Being part of the Boomer Generation, I was brought up to be "nice." Agreeable, fitting into a man's world.
With all of the implications that are part of most women's reality. From learning to ignore cat calls, to not being heard. From accepting a body / beauty image that only takes physical appearance into consideration, to being completely ignored by the sales person when buying a car or tools. Being called difficult for having and voicing my own opinion. For decades, I learned to dim myself.
I have been on the journey towards opening to the energies of Love for over a decade. It has taken me to places within myself that I had no clue existed. Living within the Love Energy, becoming one with it, has taught me - and continues to teach me - to live within ease and grace and let the shine come out. I learned to love myself enough to recognize that there is much wisdom in me that is valuable to share.
This last year, more than any other time before, I felt free to be completely myself, to let my energy flow and spread. To not just know that I need to step up and out and show up in all I am, but to actually do it. I feel that the isolation of the virus gave me the space to spread my wings with confidence. The courage to ask for respect for my space.
As I have learned over the years to honor people and where they are, this is the time for me to expect the same in return. As I ask for consent when engaging with someone and step into their energies, I ask for that same respect. To be able to choose my yeses. The respect to be heard with my no's. To have a choice that is accepted and honored.
It is my intent to never give that up again. In changing my attitude towards the virus, I feel that it has become a great medicine of freedom. To chose what propels me forward in love, in life, in light.