Lately, I've been guided to ask myself this question: what is your medicine?
Where do you go?
What do you eat?
What little rituals do you have?
What do you read?
What conversations are you in?
Do any of these contain medicine? What is it that heals you? What is it that supports you? What "life vitamins" are you taking to keep you well, supported, right-side up, happy, shining, loved even?
My teacher Kelly Sunrose has a mantra; "You are your own medicine". Elena Brower talks about your gifts being your medicine for the world, what you uniquely have to offer is your medicine.
What do you do, that you know and trust is good medicine for you? When you do these things, or visit these places, how do you feel? How you feel, or how we feel, lets us know if this medicine is good or if its just a placebo.
Here's some medicine suggestions:
- Nature, yes! Being in nature, smelling, looking, listening, feeling. Nature is a healing balm for us all, and it doesn't need to be fancy. It can be local and easy! You could wander into your backyard, sit on your balcony, raining? find a window with something green to gaze upon. A long time favourite of mine, which I didn't even realise was "medicine", is to go outside at night. Usually I do this before bed, and I gaze up to see some stars, maybe the moon if its not a new moon, clouds if its luminous, just to take in that beautiful picture before bed time.
- Bath. I love a good soak in a warm bath. Sometimes I light candles, maybe a rose petal or 10, perhaps some music. Taking the time to immerse myself in the warmth of a bath can be quite the medicine before the evening finishes.
- Bike. Yes, I love to bike. I ADORE my red bike! It makes me feel so happy, as I leisurely peddle my way to class, coffee, the shops. I am NOT a competitive cyclist, I cycle for the love of it. I can slow down, my senses can absorb the beauty around me and its intentionally slow. Yummmmmmmm!
- Poetry. I am IN LOVE with Salt by Nayyirah Waheed and The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche. I don't need any more books, probably not for many years (but we will see how that goes!!). For me its so calming, so grounding, to bask in the beauty of these books. They are deeeeeeeeeeep! They are yummy, they are like olive oil, so nourishing, so much in just a few words. This probably also is why I love Sanskrit, just the one word unfolding can keep me going for a few weeks.
So, think about your life, your days, your rhythm. What do you do, that feels so good to you? It might be different to mine, it might be same-same. But its so good for us to find out what they are, so when life is all topsy-turvy, all "average", or the boat feels like its sinking, turn to these medicines! Soak in them. Let them restore and uplift, or even just soothe you.
Love to know what your good medicine is?
Lately I've been investigating why I sit, also known as meditation.
Why are we encouraged to sit?
What are we doing all this for?
And I realised that I sit because I enjoy the process of coming home, to myself. The slow steady process of drawing inward is such a gift to me, such a delight (most days!) and a 'must do' for most days. It's a must do because I do feel the benefit, I feel calmer, lighter, more anchored, but most important for me is I am more able to listen to the faculty of "conscience/intuition & heart", the holy 3.
How can I listen to those 3 if the path toward them isn't familiar? If the road isn't worn? With the practice of sitting, I get to become so connected, really up close and cozy with those 3 until referring to them becomes one of the first things I do.
Hmmm, but not all the time. Because I am human, I will make mistakes. Life gives us lots of opportunities to practice right?
For years, mostly in my teens and 20's I did. not. sit. still. I was busy. I had phones ringing (land and mobile!), many social plans with often two running at the same time, commonly running late, I was dating a few guys (some at the same time!), I was spending and having a huge amount of fun.
What I wasn't doing was being intentional about any of it. I was like a leaky boat, I was spraying my energy, my attention, my money, my love, everywhere. Commonly known as leaking prana! Whoosh, like a hose gone wild! And I wondered why I often felt so damn tired. Yes, go figure!
Then Yoga came onto the scene and the process of slowing down and being intentional began. The seed was planted in that first Ashtanga class I took, all those many years and moons ago.
So I sit, on purpose.
I sit so I can come from the best possible place.
I sit so I can find the best way forward.
I sit because I want to be the best possible person I can be.
Do you sit? If yes, I'd love to know why?