(Originally posted as a newsletter 5/26/20. If you are not signed up for my newsletters, signup here!)
The time we are living in is an era where the realities of potential illness and inevitable death are provoking anxiety in many people around this beautiful planet.
I have been finding that, amid the uncertainty and deep concern that I have long felt for the health of all who are part of Earth's ecosystems, including us, Nature's green blessings have been helping me to hold steady now, be centered and grounded, and to feel joyful and peaceful most of the time.
I have been genuinely wondering...how can this be so? As a child, and later as a young woman, I basically lived in stress and anxiety most of the time! I may have covered it up well, but I was often afraid. And depressed. My nervous system was always on high alert for danger -- I existed in a state of hyper-vigilance. I felt powerless and disconnected, and suffered from my beliefs that I was not good enough at anything, would never get what I wanted, and no one understood me.
However, I was aware, even as a child, that I was an old soul, that life was magical, and that everything, and everyone, was connected. As I got older I was blessed to have excellent spiritual teachers who helped me open my heart to myself, and stretch my awareness further, but I was still more self-conscious than self-aware.
These days I look outside myself more. I immerse myself in my connection within the larger reality of the web of life, nature's ongoing, transformative cycles: Birth, Death, and Rebirth. It helps that spring has sprung here; rebirth is revealed everywhere I look. We, too, can heal and rebirth ourselves, and grow strong enough to spiral into a kinder way of relating to one another and nature; we can co-create a compassionate, joyful, and just way of living in this world.
Several main themes emerged as I reflected on the experience of peace and joy in a time of high anxiety, and the one I want to highlight is Earth connection:
The practices of herbal self-care and re-connection with Earth and Mystery that I have been honing and teaching for decades, hold up in times of crisis. They really work. They have changed the way I walk in the world. The only thing I have done differently in the time of Covid-19 in this regard is to be even more committed to what I was already doing, because at other times, I would let my practices slip to the background in favor of my busy-ness, my commitments to others, my "important" work. Bertrand Russell once said, "One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important." I kept that written on a yellow post-it stuck to my computer screen as a reminder for years, but I'd still get caught in that illusion. Now it makes me laugh! As many true teachings do.
Gentle self-care can be the most loving thing you can do for yourself and those around you. A commitment to self-care helps you find out what works for you. There is no single answer. A collection of practices and a collective of supportive people are necessary and worth developing. However, at any moment a simple (homemade, ideally) herbal medicine or tea can be healing to your nervous system. Here are a few of the herbal allies I reach for when I want to feel calmer and more centered.
For fast results, add a small amount of tincture into water or tea;
tinctures are great to have on hand.
* California poppy
* St. J's wort
Or, make a simple tea of lavender or chamomile flowers.
For a wonderful full-strength infusion, here is my: "Soothe Me Infusion".
It builds the strength of the nervous system even as it soothes and calms frayed nerve endings and eases pain. This blend can also help you breathe more easily, open yourself to experience pleasure, lift your spirits, and improve your rest and sleep.
SOOTHE ME INFUSION
* 1 cup dried violet leaves
* 1 cup dried oatstraw
* ½ cup dried hawthorn berries/and or leaves and flowers.
Bring oatstraw to boil in half gallon of water and pour over the rest of the herbs. Allow this to steep overnight (or for 8 hours anytime). In the morning, squeeze out the herbs and enjoy throughout the day.
The Gift of Healing Herbs: Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life
by Robin Rose Bennett
Herbal medicine is not mysterious or esoteric; it is accessible to all and you will be amazed at how easy it is to make medicine and let nature awaken your natural joy.
I can help you start your own simple herbal apothecary.
Register here to join me online for my upcoming class on
Wednesday, June 3rd at 7pm
Accessible Herbal Medicine.
Come... join this group of plant loving people and sit in the comfort of your own home as we delve into herbal medicine that is all around us... maybe make an herbal tea or the Soothe Me Infusion (recipe listed above) and sip and learn as we cultivate our connection to the plants and each other.
And if you're unable to attend in real time, it's not a problem.
A replay will be sent to you after the class.
So... let's tend to our own self-care, whether that means sipping a cup of tea, taking a bath, sitting in meditation, or taking a class online.
Join me and Kate Belew from The Alchemist's Kitchen for a conversation on Instagram LIVE about Herbal Magic on Monday, June 1st at 1PM EST!
I hope to see you soon in one of my upcoming online classes or events!
Accessible Herbal Medicine
June 3rd 7PM - 8PM
click here for tickets
A Green Witch Approach to Herbal Medicine and Summer Solstice
June 20th 2PM - 3:15PM
click here for tickets
Herbs, Ritual and Sacred Ceremony
July 30th, August 6th & 13th 8PM - 10PM
click here for tickets
"Turn the World Around" HERBAL MAGIC RITUAL RETREAT - Spiritual Activism
August 28th - 30th
click here to email me for more details