Everything in your life is for something. Nothing is for no reason or chance, ever. The family we have, the relationships we enter into, all are birthed out of something that is beyond language although some have brought it through as karma etc. If we haven’t already begun to look at those closest to us as great teachers of something profound, giving gratitude especially to those that are difficult, then, we can start today. No matter what, thank you mom, thank you dad, I am here because of you and I have work to do.
How Burping Taught Me How To Eat
I have been eating for some time now, you know, for at least 29 years. Food is beautiful. Food is fuel. It nourishes us, it allows us to continue living our lives and hopefully benefiting the others near and far through our virtuous actions.
Food can also be painful. I didn’t know that discomfort wasn’t normal with food until I started to really pay attention to switching around foods. My brother and I came to this saying that, “the pleasures of the mouth aren’t worth the pains of the body.” I suffered digestive issues ranging from stomach ache to severe pain.
I went through many dietary changes, from vegetarian, to vegan and now back to eating a varied diet including the best meats and dairy/egg products that I can sanely afford. I can say, looking back, that the biggest change I made, with the most lasting effect, is controlling the amount of food I consumed in a sitting. This was done through pure intuition, to eat only one plate or bowl of food, or just not to eat until I was ‘full’. For the past few years, I would teeter on the edge of balance in finding out how to gauge this mystery level, but it was difficult to navigate and I would sometimes still land in stomach upset (especially when it was something that I loved to eat!)
Then, a few months ago, I had the sudden inquiry to ask what the simple act of burping really meant. Why do we do this? Is there any meaning to this beyond what WebMd says? Within a few minutes of searching, I found my answer. It was a simple blog post by a student of Dr. Vasant Lad, shared her learning here. It was simple enough.
The basics: There are three kinds of normal* burp. The first, is the clean burp, a burp that will release no taste in the mouth, and this signifies that it is time to eat, the digestive system is ready for you. Mangia, come, vamos. The next burp is the burp while eating, that signifies the stomach is good and you can stop now. It always occurs, even if you have never recognized it before (watch). The third burp occurs when we are considering to eat another meal maybe that a friend prepared for us, or shows a plate of something great and we burp and taste the meal that we had last consumed maybe only an hour or so ago… it means we are still digesting, and to lay off consuming still.
In doing a bit more research for this post, I came across points that I had failed to consider on my own because I don’t usually partake in them, points that would alter the burp scenario. These included drinking a lot during the meal (especially carbonated beverages) and excessive dialogue (maybe distracting the person from the presence for the burp) and too much air intake
So, as of practicing this in real life and not just blog life, I have of course committed to it, for the most part. There are some times where I just go over the burp, but I always know now, what to expect (bloating, stomach ache, etc). For example, at a recent wedding I attended, my partner and I looked at each other and sternly shared that we are not listening to the burp in order to fully love all the wonders of the evening, gastronomically speaking.
Who even cares about burps, ya freak-o? Well, this is a free measure that our intelligent organism presents to us. In the world of capitalistic gains, it is quite something to find the ways that are naturally ours to know and utilize. With diseases of excess being rampant in our surroundings (see diabetes ), we can learn to consume what we actually need and not just what we want. In this way, we can see how we can start to take control of our dietary habits (at least in this way, through quantity, not referring to quality) and hopefully begin to recognize our own power through choice.
Like anything else in the world of healing and finding balance, it can take time. This took me quite a while to stick with, because, flavors. I would say that finding a partner to have this practice take place with makes it fun and interesting and also keeps you accountable to the holy burp of completion. Happy eating my friends!
There are also instances where burping can be excessive, and can be caused due to fermented or undigested carbohydrates. Burping can also occur from air being released during exercise, where the digestive organs being massaged have the tendency to release stagnant foods.
I may add, this is all new to me… how does this actually work? Is it the air ratio of the stomach finding some sort of balance and then releasing a reminder? Also, I would love to hear of your experiences in the coming time, or if you already have been working with the burp as such! 🙂
Albizia, Mimosa, The Tree of Happiness
Common Name: Albizia, Persian Silk Tree, Mimosa
Latin Name: Albizia julibrissin
Parts We Love: Flowers, Bark
Native to: Southwestern and Eastern Asia
Indications: Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Grief, Bruising, Amnesia
Contraindications: Pregnancy (moves blood)
This beauty was first documented in the 2nd century, in the Shen Non Ben Cao, a collection of oral traditions that included the relationship to 365 different plants. It was utilized for it’s effect on the mood and calming actions. Flash way forward to the mid 1700’s, when Italian naturalist Filippo del Albizzi introduces the tree to Europe for cultivation. Then famed botanist Andre Michaux brought the tree to North Carolina in the late 1700’s, and now, it is everywhere (sounds simple, doesn’t it?)
Y Ahora, Donde Vive?
It has naturalized as far North as New Jersey, and down to the tip of Southern Florida as well as west to Texas. It’s vivacious desire to live can be seen here…”One study showed that 90% of the seeds were viable after five years and, for another species of mimosa, a third of its seeds germinated after 50 years in open storage.” Woah. It is considered a highly invasive ‘alien’ species, and this always has me consider our human ways of being highly invasive and alien… and most people you can’t tincture or make tea of for mood lifts and calmness. I am not one to plant invasives and destroy natural habitats, but while the sun shines… let’s get some flowers.
I am driving in a borrowed car and heading towards a client, to help her ease the woes of postpartum depression. I found myself meditating about her life before I met her, and feeling into what plants may come to me. I then look up to the left and catch a stand of trees with bright pink blossoms waving in the wind. “Mimosa!” was my first thought. I had yet to see the tree with the knowing that it was what it was. I pinpointed my location with local landmarks in the town I didn’t know so well, and promised to return to see…
On the way back, I stopped, finding a shady spot under a tall pine tree to park the car. I got out and was engulfed in the scent of what one may think could only come from synthesized perfumes. It is the most incredible scent! With the help of an online plant identification group, I was able to make sure it was Albizia julibrissin (I must get on my botany, i know, I know).
A brown paper bag in the car knew to be there for me. I grabbed it and also my shaker and went out and under the branches, close to the trunk. In the distance, I could feel the intensely intrusive sounds of a factory. I decided to employ one of my favorite pastimes, to resonate with the sounds that you can do nothing about. I sang spontaneously to the stand, in deep gratitude to finally be able to convene with them.
Once connected and in, I started to harvest flowers. I saw so much life in and around the blooms. Two different butterflies, silk worms, and ants were coexisting. I could not stop smiling. I sang and sang and sang and felt such gratitude to find this stand of 1000 plus pink blooms.
I have a deep way of wanting to personally know plants before I administer them to others. It is so easy to google a condition and find anything to pass on to someone… yet, how does it really work? In finding out for myself first, testing them on yours truly and others that are dear to me, I can cultivate communication and confidence in befriending such beings. This is the living way, and although books and the internet are so useful, they can never replace the direct transmission from Nature herself.
Update: This tree came to me for the first time, hours before the Pulse shooting in Orlando. In working with the Orlando Grief Care Project, it is unreal how much Albizia has come in from all over the country in the form of flower essences, tinctures, and elixirs. I really feel these plants make themselves available when we are truly in need, and that we are.
Thomas Easley of the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine advised me to make preparations of the bark and flowers, separately, for how they both affect in different ways. The bark is felt to ‘anchor the spirit’ while the flowers ‘lighten’ it…
I worked with 190 proof grain alcohol for the bark. I cut it up fresh, into pieces and used the ratio of 1:3, bark to alcohol. For the flowers, I tinctured in organic vodka, 1:2, and also made an elixir, using half brandy and half honey, covering the flowers completely.
As I glean from the tinctures and elixirs of both bark and flowers, I will write more about my experiences and the experiences of others. For now, check out the writing of other herbalists that I have found useful:
I want to remind ourselves that nothing will ever replace the deep need to do work on ourselves. These plants and these practices are tools along the way to self discovery and can aid us greatly in making the changes we need to in order to fully come into our highest potential. So, of course, take into consideration dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and emotional healing in conjunction with herbal protocols.
if it makes a sound
it can teach you music
if it has a root
it has a reason
if it has a voice
it has a truth
if it makes skin rise
then its the spirit’s eyes
:listen on in:
I have made it a practice to go with the flow as much as I can remember to. Making it a habit, to replace the complaining and whining with gratitude and acceptance is quite a shift in seeing. It is most evident in situations where the sounds may be so inescapable, that one wants to shut them out or be agitated about them. Yet, there is another option at times.
I would find myself while working in a kitchen with loud fridges housing all of the prepared produce, humming tunes relative to the pitch of the buzz that it put out. It taught me (and I’m still learning all the time) my first intro to harmonizing and feeling my body resonate the sounds.
So, when something is overpoweringly loud and there is no way to not be with it, try embracing it by engaging with your voice. Sing your way through it.
I am not Sorrow
You may have heard this phrase before, it goes something like this…
“I am sorry.”
However, are you really? All those feelings in there, all those bones and tissues and fluids and juices, and you are naming it all, sorrow?
This was pointed out to me in immersing myself in the Spanish speaking language. I started to see in translating the phrases that we use, that these words can be traps, or not. For example, in Spanish, we say, “Lo siento” when expressing “I am sorry” yet its literal translation is “I feel it.” How profound! Instead of calling yourself or someone else an entire emotion, we only claim the temporal nature of feeling it, which is not forever. It passes. It is allowed to leave.
In the same way, there are two forms of saying “to be” in Spanish, Ser and Estar. Ser is the way of permanence, like, “Este arbol es un roble (This tree is an oak)” or “Yo soy Italiano ( I am Italian).” Estar is used with temporary conditions, like “Esta lloviendo (It is raining)” or “Estoy feliz/triste (I am happy/sad).” Do you see what happens once again? They don’t claim to be an emotion, which like the weather, is in and of itself a fleeting and never permanent experience. Que wow, no?
Watch how the words you choose to empower can be trappings. You are not your emotions, yet you do feel them as they come and go, in time. Maybe we can start to use “I feel…” instead of “I am…”. Gentle awareness, like usual, is key in even knowing that these things occur.
The Gift of Presence
I am in a hospital room with a dear brother, who is very ill. He is on bags of liquids that are streaming into thin plastic tubes that run into his body, seemingly keeping him alive. He is being fed through a tube that goes up his right nostril and into his stomach. He has had his colon rerouted to have his feces empty into a bag, and a catheter to go along with it. He is inundated with Dilaudid, an opiate 7x stronger than morphine, whenever he chooses to push the button connected to his PCA pump to wash his pain away, if only for a short while.
A doctor walks in as I am sitting beside his bed, and he says,
“Not looking so good today, are you?”
A short while later, a nurse outside speaks to his mother in law and says
“He is deteriorating…”
There is confusion and the strongest lack of communication between the multiple doctors and medical workers. One doctor walks in and suggests the use of a suppository while our friend here is with a colostomy. Another doctor comes in and begins to order a CAT scan, when he didn’t know our brother had gone through one 2 days ago (each scan is worth about a year of environmental radiation). Another doctor speaks to him and tells him he will be leaving today. The previous doctor tells him he can’t leave today and will leave tomorrow. Up, down, and all around.
This is a small taste of what it can be like in the chaos of a disease process in our current medical system. There are of course, the multitude of beautiful and kind souls who practice perfect patience and share their hearts… and this is not to be overlooked. Yet, it can pale in comparison to the strange and toxic relationship that some have experienced while in this cold building.
I walked into our brothers room and prior, I prepared myself. I had gathered myself in the car, centered and focused, I began to walk into the hospital. A maze of lefts and rights and elevators to here and there, I finally enter the room. I notice his heart rate is at 157; extremely high. His blood pressure and oxygen levels were also at extreme levels, rising and dropping into the red zones multiple times, letting out a disturbing electronic signal.
I brought a lot of things with me, unaware of his true state of health and consciousness. After feeling out the space and knowing that its potential benefits outweighed whatever strange judgements might come at me from the staff, I decided to ask his permission to sing a medicine song for him. He agreed, maybe a part of him hoping that anything will help him feel a bit of ease.
The shacapa is a bundle of leaves that is collected from a plant in Poaceae family (grass family) in South American traditional medicine. It may be Pariana radiciflora, but I am unsure as most local curanderos don’t know the latin names of the plants they are born knowing (and latin names seem not to affect medicinal potency as much as they help us to classify plants). Regardless, it is used in the ceremony space as a sort of shaker, keeping the rhythm going and also employed at times to touch the person being sung to directly, the leaves themselves having the reputation to wipe away negativity and densely stored emotions. Depending on how it is maneuvered, the energy can be experienced as a blend of cleansing, soothing, revitalizing, and lifting; something like a bird’s wings taking off very close to you.
I pulled a shacapa out of my travel bag and started to bring presence to our brother. I whistled in an icaro, a sacred medicine song, and began to shake the shacapa over his body, bringing myself more and more into a state of deep presence. Dancing the shacapa just over his body, going in circles, I sang like this for about 10 minutes.
When I was done, my body was buzzing and I knew it to be a good sign that I was connecting with what heals. I opened my eyes just as he opened his eyes and seemed to return back to his body… I looked up at his vitals on the LED screen. Everything had begun to normalize. His energy was returning to his face, he was calmer and relaxed. Verification of the invisible can be nice sometimes.
David Winston says “Anything that has the power to change you is medicine…” It can’t be any more true. I am still always moved by the simplicity of finding my center and singing a song that comes to me in that moment, and how effective it can be to myself and those who are in the space of such sounds.
So, do we need to all go out and learn medicine songs? Does everyone need to grab a shaker or make their own bundle of leaves to shake over their friends? Not at all. Coming back to Winston, he speaks to anything that has the power to change someone is medicine… Yes, and even before we start to analyze which gift is the one we can share in our lives, we can remember that there is a foundation! This foundation is presence, and it doesn’t matter what it is that ends up being our tool of transferring such a space, be it singing or speaking or even better, just listening, but just that it is not forgotten.
These doctors that I had experienced with their rushed and anxious energies… it could be that they have forgotten the primary act of their practice; Presence. It is how we do what we do that matters so imperatively! I don’t know that much about cancer. I don’t know that much about surgery or intense health conditions to begin with. Yet, I do know that how I feel and what I decide to say when I am around someone affects the space inevitably, in one way or another. We have a responsibility in this to manage ourselves in a conscious way, taking into consideration how we may influence those who are so very sensitive, and especially in times of illness or distress.
How will I choose to hold myself in my daily life, knowing that even my own thoughts affect the space all around me and inevitably, the world at large?
Two shacapas, freshly bundled and ready to use in ceremony.
What do you mean ‘connect to my food’?
You might know a friend who all of a sudden has a deep interest in knowing where their food comes from and with how much care is it raised. This is happening more and more as we are collectively recognizing the link between our It starts to bring one closer to the cycles that keep them alive in a state of wellness. In focusing on what nourishes us, we may then be able to see we can see the nourishment or lack thereof in our lives.
Here are a couple of ways to connect with what keeps us going.
1. It is of course important to reach out to your local farmers. Why do we want to eat local?
– It is fresher. Local means it didn’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get to your table. It also will taste better being that it was actually allowed to ripen instead of being harvested prematurely to make the voyage!
– You are eating your local bacteria. Yes, you get to consume the little beings that help the party out in your stomach.
– You are supporting your neighbors and creating relations. This is crucial in keeping the ball rolling because these farmers usually face the competition of large commercial producers.
Connect with actual farmer’s markets (don’t be afraid to ask folk where the food comes from!)
*** Being certified organic shouldn’t be the deciding factor for your dollars placement. Some folk can’t keep up with the costs of maintaining the certification, where others see the errors that are externalized. Finding people that grow food in an honest way is it.***
Papaya, glorious in it’s abundant ways
2. Start Gardening
Getting our hands in the soil is now a days considered a form of therapeutic activism. We are coming together over what we actually have in common and in that, there is much to be done. We are choosing in what conditions will our food grow. We are nourishing ourselves with wholesome foods. We are remembering our roots as human beings.
Have a yard or access to one?
-Grow perennial crops (plants that you dont have to replant every year)
-Grow cover crops
-Understand your local wild weeds
-Learn permaculture principles and approaches (see inhabit and PRI)
-If you use chemicals to control pests, find natural means to eradicate them or recognize that that plant may just not want to live in your region
All that good stuff being mentioned, still feeling challenged in starting a food forest in your apartment’s patio? Don’t know the difference between a tomato and a potato? Want to understand what plants you could eat when walking around? There are solutions!
One way is to reach out in our local area to see where the community gardens are located… We can get invested in a plot or volunteer and learn how it all functions and flows. We can meet our neighbors in the garden and share in the ways of learning from those with more experience than us.
Edible Hibiscus, a perennial green!
Wild weed Spanish Needle
3. Gratitude. I feel it is almost indicative of our current mainstream cultural disconnect to what is actually important when it seems we need to have lists such as this one. Bless us all!
There exists a multitude of ways to show gratitude for what keeps us going (I am reminded of Rumi’s “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground”). It can range from the direct prayer and gratitude blessing, done by everyone at the table. Or it can be even a silent feeling of gratitude before touching the fork to the mouth, envisioning the journey your food has made to reach your plate. The spirit dance ain’t your style? Well, we can at least all agree that feeling gratitude for the plants and animals that keep us alive isn’t a bad thing to do… It relaxes us into digestion and brings presence to our activity. Thank the plants, thank the cook!
If you eat animal protein, consider its source and if it can be found closer to your home or if you are able to raise it yourself. Also, consider the frequency of meat consumption and if it is truly what your body needs (I am not advocating eating one thing over another for there are many variations of diets and it is good to respect the diversity).
Of all these steps listed, I feel that above having the privilege of choosing which foods to eat, practicing gratitude for whatever is able to make it to your plate is most important. There exists too many food deserts all around us and in bringing the community together through gardening and permaculture, I hope to bring more awareness to all those in need.
***In working in the vegetarian/vegan community for a few years, I came to find that even if one is eating a pure diet of ultra healthy conscious this’ and thats, it doesn’t mean you are all good to go on the holy road to liberation! There is still of course the behavior that happens all around our meal and its ordering i.e. how we treat others! So what if the body is running perfect if the mind and heart are sour?***
Further reading: The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein
Interested in personalized herbal routines for yourself?
Message me for details
Whats Growing On
A few months ago, I got the email heads up that the Swinton Community Garden was looking to redesign their plot as a permaculture based intensive project. The focus will shift from individually cared for raised beds, to a vast array of interdependent guilds as well as annual vegetable production as well. In this, we will come to see the output in the years to come only increase more and more as the perennial polyculture system grows and becomes mature, and the system starts to produce its own biomass and builds soil and life in place, rather than consistently relying upon imported resources.
I have been working alongside great minds. We are Michiko Kurisu, Rachel Bissonette and Jody Mountcastle. It has been wondrously synchronous; I met Michiko years ago when I barely knew what a basil plant was and would just stroll the garden, looking in bewilderment. Rachel’s best friend is currently at the Paititi Institute, a place where I had spent about 2 years living and learning the ways of reconnecting to the Earth. Jody happened to be in the Rosemary Gladstar intensive that I was to be at, had I not stayed home with my mother to help her in the healing process, I would have met her then… what a small world!
This is a project that has been on going for the last 7 years… even though the property has been for sale for that entire time, the garden was only planned to last one season. Yet, here we are, now in the stages of deepening the growth and learning. We know not if it will ever see its full maturity, but to me, that doesn’t matter as much as how many people will inevitably be affected by the community coming together over this. It is also a great tribute to the fact of impermanence and to truly make best of what we have while we have it!
We are planning it to be the host of pop-up events… these can range from live music, to classes, to small mini restaurants utilizing the surrounding vegetative abundance, among other things. I have been feeling called to know more about the ways of creating food forests out of the sadly frequent food deserts that typically surround downtown areas. I feel that making an example of what is possible with locally resourced help and materials, no chemicals, and the intention to benefit others will hopefully show the city that we can share in the inherent tropical abundance. The amount of people traffic this site gets is remarkable, that being that its placement is right on Atlantic Avenue and Swinton, in the heart of Delray Beach, Florida. This level of publicity will allow for many to be exposed to what it is we are capable of when we put our hands together and think beyond just ourselves!
In the City
I am sitting with Don Lucho, a Peruvian healer of the Witoto tribe, when he expresses a way of maintaining the connection with the Earth, even in the chaos of the city. Especially when it seems like we are not in Nature, or disconnected from what is. He expressed it so well, just looking up at the tree off in the distance, beyond the market, maybe outside the bank window, and looking at how its leaves wave at us… Then following its waving leaf down to its branch and from its branch to its trunk and then down to its roots. In its roots, you know that just underneath the floor you stand on is the essential foundation to Mother Earth. That, even the concrete that seemingly separates, is a certain form of mountain. In this way, it is less about creating good or bad, and more about seeing the totality… in zooming out far enough, we can see that all of this; the computers we look at, the chemicals we try to avoid, the people in between; is all the same nature, some aspects being more harmonious than others, yet all connected.
In the last few months, I came across a fair amount of people that are very close to me that were dealing with anxiety. I started to piece together the different themes and associated feelings that were being shared with me. I wondered how it started to be that bad, how it became to be so difficult to do what they needed to do in the day or night. This is the list of thoughts and ideas and even questions that pertain to the beginning of self discovery…
(note: it is beyond understandable that anxiety is a condition that is reflected of our cultural disease; one of disconnection and a deeper seeking of what humans truly thrive off of. I am not saying that this is a definitive list, but only a trickle in the ocean named, let’s start somewhere)
- The nervous system is incredible. It gives us our ability of feeling, and receiving messages from within and outside of ourselves. With this knowledge, we can come to see that our nerves are actually giving us information through our feelings. It is quite okay that we receive anxious feelings, since inherently, these are not bad things per se, but only keys to the fact that something is causing it to occur and calling our attention to be present.
- Anxiety is one of the ways our body lets us know that the life force isn’t flowing as fluidly as it could be through our organism. This is evident in things such as trembling, shaking, unconscious gritting of the teeth, maybe even locking up of the jaw, and tummy aches to name a few. It has been said that our issues are in our tissues. What are we carrying around in ourselves from experiences that we are unable to move on from in some way? I find that these are the things that make us most uncomfortable about our lives, our history and so on. Could we see these events as necessary to our evolution? Can we practice forgiveness and compassion? Who is that pain in your neck? What is the heart broken over? If energy is constantly flowing through our bodies, in a circuit board like fashion, what does a blockage look like? Where do we store our worries and fears in our bodies?
- Are you willing to consider the inclusion of a daily spiritual practice such as meditation or prayer or what have you? Are you connecting with that of which is greater than yourself? Are we stuck in old fears of religious boxes and have given up on our spiritual birthrights? Do you connect to the Earth on a daily basis? Are we acting from a space of gratitude to have a chance to be here on this planet? How do we show this gratitude?
- Practice authenticity. This speaks to being true to how you feel and not just speaking to fill space or to be in agreement in order to be included. This is gentle. It is about being who you really are. So maybe it is rough too.
- Is there a strangeness included with this recent propulsion into technology where there are less surprises in the daily life? Where every moment can be documented and shared in between driving to another moment? How a red light has become an internet station. I find that since being in constant internet zones across homes and public places, I am once again, head lowered, constantly checking my phone. For what? For connection, for messages, for seeing what the world is doing. What is wild is that we pick up that world to miss the one we are in and in this have the table full of people at a restaurant, all looking down at their devices, waiting for their food to come. I am a part of this electronic world too, and I am sharing this as means to check ourselves out. Are we clicking to click, or is there a deeper reason to connect? Is the internet just a bunch of colors that move around on foreign precious metals for us or can we utilize it to transform and remember ourselves?
- We can learn to listen to ourselves again, the inner voice, the intuition. Whats funny about this voice is that sometimes we don’t want to hear what messages are coming through because maybe they don’t fit the picture of what we think we want in our lives, or what we feel is comfortable or what have you. The truth is, we know already, and it takes a message or two (or a 1000) to come through and remind us of this innate human potential.
- Who do you surround yourself with? Do the people that ‘just so happen’ to be your friends lift you? Do they inspire you to be your best? Or is it a competition of some sort?
- Are we remembering the ‘kindergarten qualities’; the givens of humanity, including love, compassion, understanding, care, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, gratitude and so on. Are we connecting with these qualities less than the ones associated with stress and dis-ease such as fear, guilt, shame, judgement, anger, jealousy, and hatred?
- This is about becoming our own detectives. We get to be present with ourselves in all situations, seeing where the mind wanders to… It’s about catching ourselves in the moment of a judgement or the beginning of that anxiety in our belly… where did it just stem from!? A healthy curiosity can take us to its origin. Can we find its root and gently bring it up and out? Much like gardening, as we fine tune our systems from the plants we may not so desire, they appear with less and less force (unless its a weed that is trying to help you, of course), just like chipping away at these habitual forms in our minds by being present with them as they come up. We can, little by little, eradicate the illusion that may have come into our lives via negative self talk, unconscious habits, and so on.
There are plants that can help us in these processes. There are different styles of anxiety and depression and to blanket them all with one plant is somewhat on par with blanketing them with one pill. So, seek out your local herbalist, and dig in. I would say even in the way of starting out on this path, healing already exists as life meets us halfway in our adventure.
There is no one way for anyone. The blanketing of many different unique causes for anxiety with SSRI’s (anti anxiety pharmaceuticals) may do little to support the person through their processing of emotions if too much is being numbed out, message wise. The inner voice becomes quieter, if not completely silenced. Now, from a perspective that Charles Eisienstein elucidates; (The Yoga of Eating, an incredible read!) that whatever substance we happen to be with is essentially the medicine that we need, whether it be pills or alcohol or even stronger substances. They are having an effect on us and they let us do something or feel a certain way which can bring us to a breakthrough point of not needing them anymore. Yet, we can come to recognize that there can be a fuller level of healing and actual resolve from what is being simply repressed from a biochemical standpoint, and not then allowing the real reason for the anxiety to be present to begin with.
These are questions and points to instigate a process of discovery. Almost 50 million people in the United States are taking anti-anxiety medicines. I am not here to bash pharmaceuticals as much as I may not agree with their mafia like systems, I know that all substances inherently have a place (which could be the trash in some cases). It is more to me, about how to recognize why we have a need for them, and at that, such a growing one in this country. There must be another way to truly move on from just a dependency on medications that should make life easier and livable once again… This has been shown to me through the processing of our emotional baggage and histories, knowing that at the core, all beings suffer and go through the pains of existence. We can find solace in the fact that as we work on ourselves, the world is being worked on simultaneously.