A few days before Christmas, my husband had an accident with a ceiling fan in a loft of a house we were visiting. Without detail here, suffice it to say, forty stitches later, and a real life experience of the Indonesian healthcare system, each day, clarity increases, as to why we have been called to this place.
I find it synchronistic that I am marinating in the sweetness of herbal medicine, self-medicinary, where I am learning to be my own doctor through ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and the "kitchen clinic". Then, in the span of 5 brief seconds, we are required to embrace "a real doctor" and are whisked away in search of the best hospital in all of Bali to deal with a serious acute injury.
There is benefit and beauty to both, and I am grateful for both. I guess I say this because I have a tendency to get up on my soapbox and tout the benefits of healing thyself, while I simultaneously shake my head at western medicine and complain of "all the problems with medicine and the healthcare system these days". Truth be told, there is a time and place for both, and as I lay down my pride and strong opinions, I can see more clearly, and access the benefits of both worlds: western and eastern, much more completely.
Just this morning, Nuadi walked with us through the rice fields collecting medicine as we walked... He has taken it upon himself to educate me, since I have been glued to my books of healing herbs and constantly requesting Nyoman to prepare with me any and all foods that have ayurvedic healing potency, and we have spent hours and hours in the "kitchen clinic" experimenting with tonics, foods, and drinks to help counter rashes, insomnia, constipation, headaches, the "crabbies" and all of the common occurrences, where at home it is almost reflex to pop a pill.
As Nuadi guided us through nature's pharmacy, he seamlessly taught as he walked: This leaf boiled to reduce fever, that root made into a paste to seal wounds, this leaf eaten to increase immunity, that stalk steamed to reduce swelling. He told us that he knows this all, not from books, but from his life experiences. What his mother did for him as a child. What his father taught him. As he led the way on the narrow path between rice paddies, he explained, "Everything is medicine. Vegetable, cooking spice, drink..." And then he stopped and turned around to face me. He threw his arms up in the air with a glimmer in his eye and said, "All from the Gods!" He smiled, laughed out loud and turned again, continuing to walk.
You see, medicine comes from plants. Long before there was Merck and Eli Lilly, lab or pharmaceutical industry to produce pill, capsule, or petroleum-based ointment, there were plants to teach us medicine. The origins of medicine come through these people, not from these people, but through them. And true and lasting healing comes from working with the body, not against something that is happening in the body. This is not to say that we want to throw away all wester medical practices, because this would be catastrophic. However, I am suggesting is that there is balance to be had: where we take care of what is ailing the body, and we also take very good care of what supports life and health within the body to keep it whole, balanced, and vital. Where we open the kitchen cabinet first, rather than the medicine cabinet when we don't feel well. Medicine, in its most potent form, is natural. Not produced or synthetic. It is inseparable from nature.
Just as you and I are inseparable from nature. and most importantly, medicine is alive. Just as you and I are alive. Think of it this way, if we consume lifeless food, drink, and medicine, we can expect an eventual increase of lifelessness in our bodies. Like increases like. Similarly, if we ingest live, fresh, and natural food, drink, and medicine, we can anticipate in some form or another, more life force to move through our bodies. More aliveness. More harmony. More vitality.
These times are trying. There is no longer room for denial that things aren't quite like they used to be... not economically, not environmentally, and not systemically... not even inside of our own bodies. The stress and restless concern that permeates our minds when we worry about the future inevitably impacts our bodies, no doubt. And life is challenging, so what do we do to manage and befriend these inevitable challenges?
We listen. and we go deeper. And there are a bounty of blessings in doing this: We can cook from scratch more. Read more. Pray more. Laugh more. Meditate. Do Yoga. Walk in nature. Write. Embrace the time that is available. Draw. Dream. Laugh. Organize the environment: inside and out.
Truth be told, when we fill ourselves with higher things, that which doesn't serve us will fall away: namely restlessness, fear, and attachment to what we can't, and never really could, take with us anyway....
Medicine is all around us, and we can heal ourselves. And we can create an internal environment of harmony and natural resilience within, with attention, care, compassion, and intention. Just listen. And go deeper. We can re-awaken these possibilities: Health is our birthright. Peace is our birthright.
Create harmony, between, among, and throughout all aspects of what has brought us here, and what sustains and empowers us while we are here. this is our task at hand.
May we fill our lives, today, and everyday, with the highest good. It's simple: Just pay attention and make choices that fill your heart with Love. That is the medicine. Love.
P.S. Tell me what you want to learn and I will do my best to address it. Share with me what ails you, and i will do what I can to help support your healing. I love to hear your increased interest in Yoga and Ayurveda and I want to share with you what I am learning... JUST ASK! It would be my honor to serve our collective healing.