my dear friend Gabby use to tell me (without actually telling me [this woman has a pervading energy]) that anything can be considered medicine, when done with good intention. and I love this! I practice this, I do believe this! however, in my strongest moments of gripping anxiety, mental exhaustion, and human life stre$$$$ . . . I question it, deeply.
what is medicine? what should be considered medicine, and what should not?
here's what I do know:
that feeling the rhythm of ritual and consistency in my daily routines, that feels like medicine. spending ample time with long-time-no-see family and friends during the holidays, that feels like medicine. having some warm turmeric tea that grew from my garden, halfway across the world, that feels like medicine. taking time each morning to stretch, sit, and look inward, that feels like medicine. getting to bed early and waking up before the sun has hit it's peak, that rhythm feels like medicine.
but here's something else that I also do know, and that I've become increasingly aware of:
one of my biggest lessons in life is that of perfection. or rather, that of abolishing any illusion, any concept of perfection being possible. I've long lived under this illusion of being able to achieve high states of perfection in all aspects of my life -- from how I look, to how I act, to how I work, to how I communicate, to how I eat, to how I sleep, to how I love, to how I just absolutely everything. exhausting. and the older I get, the more I wake up, and thus the more clearly I can see how badly I crave to achieve these high states of perfection -- most of which including, the perfect medicine. exhausting. utterly exhausting.
so, what I've discovered as the most delicious, the most healing medicine of all, is that of continually letting go of these incessant illusions of "the perfect thing". and just how do I do that? the perfectionist in me wants to be able to give you a solid thesis statement or three step process of doing so. but honestly, I can't put it into any other words than: I try. I try with every thing that I do, every day. I just try to not take shit so seriously, and let things fucking gooooo. life is so silly, and beautiful, and fun. I talked about it all a bit here, and this won't be the last time I attempt to touch upon it. and it's this kind of "trying" that actually feels so . . . effortless. so . . . ingrained.
since arriving at my parents home in Birmingham, AL two weeks ago, the activities that my perfectionist-mind tell me will be my demise, have actually been the most loving, most memorable, most medicinal moments of the trip. this including: having more wine than I probably need, much more often, with people that I love the most. staying up unreasonably late, every night, just to laugh, or watch Westworld, or really, just to be in each other's awake company for longer. not working out. drinking more coffee than I'm use to, more often than I'm use to, because it's soul-warmingly good and I'm unreasonably obsessed with supporting local cafes. eating out more, which means eating many more questionable oils, salts, weird ingredients and things that I'm not use to. on and on, and on.
and how do I feel? I feel healed. in every moment -- even through inevitable moments of gripping anxiety and existential stress. I choose to feel healed, simply because I have the choice to do so. I feel blessed to have a choice. no matter the state of my body and mind, I choose to feel healed, resulting in over-bearing, sparkly feelings of loving self-medication.
yes, it is the routines, the clean, whole foods, the sleep and the regularly hard exercise that make me feel whole. but yes, it is also these things and these moments when I ultimately lose control over my own mind and energy in order to gain the most loving awareness of it's tendencies, that leave me feeling full to the brim -- whole with healing and love.
in turn, I feel that this allows me to be a dose of medicine for others. I know this, because others do it for me, as well.
during this holiday season, fill your every moments with medicine. let go. let be. once you feel healthy and balanced within, no matter where you are or what you're doing, then you are in a place to give your full self as a dose to others.
how are you self-medicating this holiday season? whatever it is, I love it. and know that you are whole.