My Plant Journey has Begun

plant spirit

I have finally begun my Herbal Apprenticeship at Misty Meadows Herbal Center!! I first heard of this course through my NH Employment caseworker. My daughter was a baby and I was in a program that helped single moms receive education needed to get back to work. I told him I was interested in Alternative Medicine and he mentioned he knew a woman, Wendy who offered some classes on herbs. He was going to mention me to her and see if he could work something out; but, shortly after that, President Bush cut the program. I tucked the aspiration in my pocket and went back to dancing;

After sitting on that goal for all these years it is enthralling it is finally a reality! “The Spirited Herbalist” “A plant guided journey to self” is the title of the course. Orientation was April 9, and I knew something magical was happening the moment there was drumming and a song to Mother Earth to open. I found it hard to hold back tears as deep primal emotions arose within. It stirred memories with my mom by the campfire, singing, and drumming. It made me feel connected to the Ancestors.

Class time is 8:45am to 5:30pm one weekend each month through November, and 10 practicum hours a month working in the gardens. In between classes we have to find, identify and gather plant samples, on our Plant ID list. It is quite the task. My first reaction was frustration, and negativity. I thought what the hell am I paying to learn if I’m just given a book and a list of plants to go find? Then it immediately dawned on me, Oooh! THIS is the journey part!

A journey it is too! I was feeling so much pressure gathering school supplies and trying to find plants that I knew nothing about. The feelings of self doubt grew strong. I felt like I wasn’t finding anything. I wondered if there was a late bloom because of the snow. I couldn’t even find a dandelion at first! One afternoon, I was extremely stressed out; I stopped at a thrift store for a glass bowl needed for the first class. I had planned on going to the woods at school to surely find what I needed; but, instead I locked the keys in my car. Of course my cell phone was in the car as well. I managed to borrow a passerby’s cell to contact a locksmith. Three hours later, I was back in my car. It was too late to go to the school, so I headed to a park with woods. I walked two hours in tears. My feet hurt, the bugs were biting me and I didn’t find one thing on my list; but, I was in nature, and it was healing. I dried my eyes, surrendered. and called it day. As I was leaving, I saw this beauty hiding near a murky swamp. For some reason, I felt better, hopeful.

trillium

I posted the picture in our classes Facebook group and asked what it was. I shared that I stumbled upon her at the end of a very hard day and she cheered me up. I found out it is red trillium, also known as birthroot, and endangered. I felt honored and blessed that it presented itself to me.

Later that night, I messaged my faculty advisor and told him I was extremely overwhelmed and I wasn’t finding anything and didn’t understand why. The only thing I did know is that I am meant to be in this class and so I know it will work out. It was really hard for me to send that message, I felt like I failed and I was embarrassed. He messaged me back and was extremely supportive and encouraging. He said that if the Universe thinks I am ready then that should be an encouraging thought right there. He said it was perfectly normal to be feeling the way I did before first class. Then he offered to go on a plant hunt together at the school. The relief calmed my whole body and tears of joy were released.

I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. I can’t force finding plants or my relationships with them. I can’t neatly schedule it in and expect results. It is an unpredictable adventure. It’s absolutely mandatory to shed preconceptions. I have to put myself in a calm and centered space. I put out an intention and a message to the plants before I search. Sending love to them and gratitude for their lessons in advance. Suddenly, I found plant samples right at the apartment complex I live in!

The exploration of plants, spirit and myself have only just begun. It has returned me to a very sacred part of myself. A part that I used to only believe I could achieve with my mother’s guidance. I had my first weekend’s class on Mother’s day weekend. I mourned my mom as usual; but, I felt some contentment and peace in knowing I am doing something she would be very proud of. I am discovering my own mystical potential.

I believe there is a synchronicity to the timing of events, especially life changing ones. I am beginning to understand why the Universe had me wait almost 18 years. The spiritualistic lessons I am learning and experiencing I may not have been fully ready for until now. This is and will continue to be an extremely powerful awakening!

plant goddess.jpg

 

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Body Healing Habits

I have learned the hard way that emotional pain sits in the body and festers.

A few weeks before I began my EMDR therapy; My body was in a lot of pain. My neck and back were locked up for a few weeks, my stomach was a mess, and my ovaries were acting up. I’ve often had episodes like this throughout my life. My therapist proposed that my body was trying to tell me something and she suggested spending an hour a day with my body really listening to it. I laughed with disbelief and then honestly admitted I couldn’t imagine taking a whole hour to be still and listen; but, I promised that I would check in daily.

Listening to my body has been a whole new process. I have always made it a habit to stay busy, or distracted, I think I’ve been afraid that if I sit still and be open, some horrible memory, image or realization will manifest and grab hold of me.

I turned to EMDR to finally heal these old wounds. The side effects, have thrown my body for a loop! Anxiety, headaches, nausea, flashbacks and even vomiting while my trauma releases. I am slowly processing and nurturing myself through this healing process.

These are a few body healing habits that I have been using to tune in, listen to my body and heal.

You could use any of these methods for any type of anxiety, illness, or pain.

Grounding/Earthing

My therapist suggested this visualization:

Take your shoes off, feel the earth beneath your feet and take a few deep breaths.

Imagine your feet are sprouting roots into the earth and you are solidly grounded.

Take the anxiety and negative thoughts and let them pass through those roots,

Into the Earth, where the energy can be transformed and used to nurture the Earth.

I did this visualization after EMDR each time, and ended with hugging a tree.

Mother Earth resonates with me and I always feel healed in nature.

Epsom Salt Baths

I always knew Epsom Salts were food for aching muscles; but, I came across the above image recently and remembered my mom once telling me that Salt has cleansing properties. Perfect for cleansing old emotional wounds!

I mix up Epsom salts, sea salt and a few drops of lavender oil and soak for about twenty minutes.

Guided Meditation and Binaural Beats

I occasionally do the following meditation by Jason Stephenson while in the bath or before sleeping. It’s only 20 minutes and it helps me slow down, listen to and heal my body specifically.

Jason Stephenson has many wonderful meditations on his youtube channel.

Also, awhile ago I started listening to Binaural Beats with meditation music. I found a bunch of them on youtube and often listen to them as I am falling asleep. Binaural beats are specific tones and frequencies believed to be able to relax and heal the body and mind. It’s most effective if listened to with headphones.

 

 

Grounding to the Earth

Deep memories surface

demanding higher purpose.

I ground my feet to the Earth

praying for rebirth.

The pain in my soul

wants my body to let it go.

Release the poisonous past.

Be free of it at last.

Beginning to loosen my grip;

but, I feel sick.

Please, Mother Earth heal me,

take this dark energy.

Transmutate

love from hate.

Hold me, caress my face.

Let me bask in your safe embrace.