Words for Hard Times


Snowdrops One Willow Apothecaries


It’s been a mercurial spring for us here in the mountains. Sunlit days of short sleeves in January and snow whirling alongside the blossoms of late March. The weather, like our own healing paths, seems to be always moving in a spiral. Within the steady progression of the seasons, there is always a non-linear circling back. A revisiting of the same winter barrens, a sudden and all-too familiar freeze in our growth, before learning once more how to keep on blooming.

In the past I’ve tended to be pretty harsh on myself when the same tired issues or blocks (the ones I thought I had left behind for good) reared their heads yet again. Even among the proof of all my inner hillsides teaming with blossoms, the sudden snow of self-doubt seemed to blot out every evidence of newness and growth.

But the more time I spend with the living world the more I realize that such spirals and seesaws, two steps forward and one back, is just the way the world likes to dance with itself. That no matter how many chills come in before the final thaw, spring will always arrive. The crocuses will pick up their heads again after the snow. The cherry blossoms will put out new blooms. The life of things will go on, because we all have access to one singular stream of medicine that will never abandon us— our own inner healer.

Each of us was born with the ability to heal ourselves. It is as innate to our being as tree sap and the audacity of a daffodil patch.

One Willow Apothecaries Daffodils

When I first began working with plants I felt like I had found a wonderland of redemption. Elders who could heal me from all my wounds. But as I learned more about plant constituents, consciousness, and how these medicines actually work inside our bodies and spirits, I realized: plants don’t heal us. They awaken within us the ability to heal ourselves. Whether that is through supporting our own bodies natural processes of elimination and rejuvenation or through the ineffable ability to shift our hearts and minds.

Most days I think this ability to help us remember who we really are is the greatest gift from the plant realm. And that when we realize that we can truly be our own healers, we can invite in an unstoppable spring of rebirth.

Some mornings, the hard ones, I sit by the creek for a long while, singing a tuneless melody and simply asking for help:

May I be cleansed of doubt. May I let go of worry. May I release the shades of anxiety so I can see the bright canvas of my life in the vividness of gratitude that it deserves.

And the creek speaks to me, not to give me new thoughts, but to help me change my own mind. To help me learn how to breathe and heal myself through remembering that I can choose to be whole again.

 

Blood Root One Willow Apothecaries


In early spring we ache to be cleansed. To be awoken again to the wonder at the center of all things. To heal.

And the secret that the birds sing as they flit from thicket to tree. The knowing that the creek murmurs as it touches the mossbraids of green. The promise that the daffodils hold, surviving the cold, is that all the healing in the world is meant to be a mirror, showing you just how powerful of a healer you truly are.

And once we realize this— that we hold the same thimble vessel of magic that lives in the crab apple blooms and the liquid pour of a wood thrush singing in an early green wood—support will rush in like a spring-thawed stream.

For me, learning how to trust my intuition, my inner knowing, has become integral to this process of self-healing. Like the wisdom of the earthworm, sensing just where to dig. My connection with the natural world has helped me to come home to my own inner guide.

Next week I’ll be offering a free online class called Opening your Earth Intuition to help you make these deep and lasting connections. If you want to make sure you are on the list go ahead and hop over here to sign up.

Until then, check out my new video guide to two of my favorite allies to embrace self-healing (below) or this post from the archives to explore three creative spring cleanses for gentle self-renewal.


 

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Asia Suler is a writer, teacher, herbalist and energy worker who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. She is the creator and concoctress behind One Willow Apothecaries, a small Appalachian-grown business that offers handmade and heartfelt medicine. She is also the muse behind Woolgathering & Wildcrafting, a blog detailing the potent magic of good medicine: plants and dreams, earth skills and developing a deep connection with the land.

Article reposted with permission from OneWillowApothecaries.com 

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