I was up to my elbows in dirty water, dingy sponge in hand. I’d been at it two days and the empty apartment was still only half cleaned—my apartment—my new life in a new town, a new state. And I was alone.
The sun was setting on a Wednesday night. I’d had no dinner, I had no furniture, no friends, no bed other than a half-deflated air mattress. My kids were three states away and my marriage in shambles. My entire life was crumbling around me.
If not for an album I’d already over-listened to a god-zillion times, I might have gone completely over the edge. But there was comfort in Nahko’s words, words that offered hope… the hope I’d come to this new place to find.
Still, I wasn’t feeling it.
Until these lines sank in in a way they hadn’t the fifty billion times I’d heard them before. I sang along, tears in my eyes: “Be of service, be a sensible person. Use your words and don’t be nervous. You can do this, you’ve got purpose. Find your medicine and use it.”
I stopped. The sopping wet sponge dripping on the floor. What is my medicine?
I thought back over years and years of being depressed, emotionally distraught, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, and full of hate. “Real” medicine had never worked. Even as an herbalist, I’m hard pressed to find the right herbs to do anything for my calloused body. I’d used medicine before, though. “Other” medicine. What was it?
Rewind nine years. My life felt like it was crumbling then, too. Overwhelmed by planning every aspect of a “budget” wedding, working a miserable, consuming job, and watching my beloved mother-in-law to-be dying. My husband was more stressed than I was, and his sisters, who we had asked to be in the wedding, were doing everything possible to make my life miserable. My family was overwhelmed by my overwhelm—my mother becoming sick, and my sister drawing back.
Needless to say, I was stressed and without much in the way of resources.
|See how happy I look while walking outside?|
“I’m going walking every day and I’m taking yoga everyday,” I announced, finally. And I did. And I survived the wedding, which was all I had hoped for, but I also lost more than ten pounds, not from stress, from de-stressing. I was in the best shape of my adult life without even trying.
The point is, that was my medicine. Walking and yoga.
I dropped the sponge (in the bucket, not on the floor), grabbed my phone and looked up the closest yoga studio. They had a Hatha class starting in about an hour about three quarters of a mile away from my new apartment. I dressed in yoga pants, washed my face and hands, and walked there.
That was four months ago. Today, I’m plodding along, still on my own and still without much in the way of resources, but with my medicine. Medicine that isn’t bitter to take.
Today, I often find myself up late journaling, weaving stories, interpreting dreams, and rediscovering myself on paper. Writing is my medicine, too.
Medicine doesn’t always come in a bottle. Mind Key is about finding how to do what makes you happy… because it’s not always easy to do. But. But if you know it makes you happy, then you are meant to be doing it. It’s your healing. It’s your way of being of service. It’s your medicine. I teach my daughters that the best medicine is the kind that helps your body become stronger so it can do its job best. Isn’t that exactly what the things we find joy in do for us, too?
|The mess of a late-night-journaling and self discovery session|
Mind Key’s mission is help you find your medicine. Your joy. Your purpose. To help you use it in every moment—because our medicine is more than a quick fix—it’s the way we grow and live in service to the the powers that placed us here, and the world in which we live. Who are we kidding in trying to find these things in different places? They’re all in one place. They’re all inside us. We know the answers. We have all the keys to open all the locks.
This month is about sharing the stories, the modalities, and the people who are out there—not to heal you or tell you what you “should” be doing—but to help you find the keys you already have to heal yourself.
We will start this week with healing in a very traditional sense, but we will continue the discussion with healing of the creative and spiritual kind, as well as healing that comes from being connected with others, with nature, and with spirit.
What is your medicine?