When one centers their practice around the focuses of Sex + Drugs + Mind/Body/Soul, they tend to initiate and be privy to some interesting conversations. Even in my wildest of dreams I could never imagine being as lucky as I am to be trusted by so many people over the years with some of their most intimate, private, and personal experiences, anecdotes, imbalances, and inquiries. What’s more special is when the same people return again (and again) or send their network or loved ones my way for conversations all their own. I’ve even had the joy throughout the years of many sharing their adventures of how they’ve improved their quality of life by choosing to balance their healthy + happy, and I love when that comes back full circle.
Often times, I get asked about or invited to share my story and how I ended up here, talking about our bodies and their fluids, best herbs/ positions/ exercises/ strains for XYZ ailments, how to recenter after the universe whoops on us.. etc. Although I often praise the benefits of plant based and botanical medicine including medical marijuana (MMJ), eating better, and moving more for helping me balancing my happy + healthy, there is another component to my wellness that I do my best to highlight just as often: working on my shit and doing the work to heal the hurts that are the root of my imbalances.
This isn’t the glamorous side of yoga retreats, spa days, and shopping sprees showcased in the modern self-care health and wellness industries. This is the gritty, raw, and deep self care that forces one to identify and own their shit, move through it with healthy coping skills, and come out the other side war-torn and ready to grow/go through it again for the next issue. (Because if we’re being real honest, the work is never done and there is always a next issue! This is another trap we fall into as adults that I’ll save for another post…*foreshadowing*). And maybe we need those other floofy self-care techniques to comfort us through or congratulate us on these moments when we’re leaning into the suck (or motivate us to get there) and that’s okay, too.
What’s not okay though is falling down the rabbit hole of healing and getting stuck in cycles that don’t help, make the imbalances worse, are irrelevant to one’s goals or focus, or create new imbalances. Often times when we’re too busy falling down the rabbit hole we don’t even recognize that we’ve changed our focus of balancing our happy + healthy from a verb to a noun. Consider that balance as a noun basically is a state which we attain versus balance as a verb is an action we take, something we do. Instead of being passive about our issues (ignoring health concerns, praying/thinking God will intervene in our health or happiness, hoping someone else will have a cure/fix-all, complaining about our imbalances) we have a choice to take direct action of our health and happiness, determine what that looks and feels like, and identify what help is needed to make it happen. This gets to the root of the issues and heals the hurt, reducing and even eliminating symptoms that distract us from this work. An example that I love using to illustrate this point is a something I adapted from my incredible Herbalism instructor JoAnn Sanchez: if 50 people show up with headaches, as an Herbalist we may end up recommending 50 different herbal options depending on the root of the headache in the individual, whereas modern day medicine would offer an ibuprofen to all 50 people ’cause headaches and never think to ask why the person is experiencing headaches to begin with and how to eliminate/reduce/prevent them from happening in the first place. Some individuals may be experiencing a headache because of sleep, dietary issues, allergies, digestive imbalances, blood disorder, nutrient deficiencies, etc. so it’s imperative that one’s entire health history, current imbalances, medications, goals, and all dis-ease is taken into consideration to determine the root and heal from there.
The important thing to keep in mind is that even though we each have our own path to forge in this life that is completely unique to each one of us, we’re all just humans having this experience together. Sometimes we’re crusin’ along, sometimes we’re off road, sometimes we’re stalled out on the side of the road, sometimes we’re just stuck in traffic. Please know that even though you may be riding solo you’re never really alone out there, and support can come in all shapes and forms. And like good road side assistance, I’m typically a phone call away if you need help~
LHV, The Herbalista