I send out newsletters about once a week that offer supportive information and tools for your path and your growth. My goal is to get you thinking and exploring, trying new things and looking at the world and at healing in new ways. I hope you enjoy the journey with me! You can sign up for my newsletter here. Make sure to check out my Facebook page while you’re there!
The release ceremony you will receive is wonderful to help let go of old beliefs or energies that may be weighing you down. It is also great for the new moon, full moon, or during the change of seasons to help open space for new energies to come into your life.
If you would prefer to have an herbal recipe as your welcome gift, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get that right out to you.
I have always found a deep energetic connection in Nature and her plants.
Sometimes I find myself getting a bit disconnected, but she always calls me back. The flowers, trees, and plants send their loving medicine to me, even if I’m not listening or I don’t fully know how to receive it.
A few years ago, I started receiving messages from the plants during energy healing sessions. I would get an image of a plant or a tree and understand on a deep level that this plant offered medicine that was needed for that particular situation or person. It wasn’t that the person needed to consume the plant, I simply needed to call upon that plant’s energy to allow the energetic plant medicine to flow through and help healing take place.
When this first began happening, I was fascinated! I would look the plant up after the healing session to see what healing properties it held. I always found that the plant was ideally matched in some way to the concerns of that particular client or situation.
In many cases, I was personally led to the perfect herb to help me heal from a particular health issue or a flower essence to help shift an emotional block. This all led me strongly back to my lifelong fascination with Nature, plants, herbs, flowers and generally with being outside and connecting with the Divine Life Force all around us. I returned to making my own herbal remedies and began using plant energetics in my life on a regular basis.
Life does tend to get busy and things happen that seem to come out of nowhere. Sometime in the last year, I found myself so caught up in the tasks of everyday life that I began to forget the plants and flowers again. I still called upon them on occasion, but I could feel myself ignoring my need to re-connect, insisting that I was too busy. Each time I did this, I felt a part of my inner self wither and die. I felt sick inside. And I began to actually feel physically sick, in pain, and thinking in a lesser vibration. I was shutting myself off from that which fed my life force.
One day, in prayer and meditation, I asked to be connected to and nourished by the River of Life. I often do this, but this day I was feeling lost. I suddenly felt a warm, motherly presence that I recognized as the Divine Feminine Aspect of Life—or what many may call Mother Mary. She seemed to be all around me and within me. She said to me, “The River of Life is inside of you and all around you. You are never separate from it. You only need to breathe to remember your connection to it. It is with you always and you can never part from it. You are swimming in it.”
I felt an immense peace. And I remembered the flowers and plants. I remembered my connection was in all of life, on both an energetic level and a physical level. Yet, I had to find my way back to actually applying it, undoing the blocks I had built up in body and mind.
Around that same time, the plants began visiting me in my dreams. First, there was chickweed and calendula. Then dandelion and violet. Soon nettle joined, and then oat straw. Each time a plant would show up, I felt instantly lighter and freer. They were working with me on an emotional level. I also knew enough about these plant’s properties to realize that they were ideal for the physical issues that I was having.
Once the dandelions, chickweed, and violets made their arrival this spring, I went to visit them in person, to pick some for physical medicine and to receive their healing presence. The simple scent of them each time is enough to heal my heart and mind! Sitting with them in ordinary silent prayerful communion heals my spirit and reminds me of my truth. Consuming them as food, teas and tinctures has been deeply healing to my body as well.
I have returned to my practices of communing with the plants, trees, and the Earth. They are my connection to the Divine, and they are my medicine—on so many levels. It has been the experiences that I speak of here that have encouraged me to teach my Herbal Basics Class this summer. And more classes later on plant energetics. I have felt the nudge for a long time and I am so glad the Divine Mother opened my heart to listen!
Many of us wrestle with an underlying feeling that it is not OK for us to succeed at anything we attempt. This deeply buried belief keeps us from fully embracing our talents and our own understanding of God. We hold ourselves back. We self-sabotage and we keep ourselves small.
For years, I felt it was not safe and somehow wrong for me to fully express myself or to allow myself to receive anything in return for my talents. I subconsciously felt intimidated and resentful of others who were free of this belief and who lived in grace and abundance.
I told myself it was much more important to be a good person, to love others and serve Truth, God. I believed that it was impossible to do these things while feeling whole and being blessed in life. As if being happy, safe and well somehow nullified any good that had been done. What I am realizing is that I can serve God best by fully being the light I was created to be, by fully using my talent and by fully following my intuition, insight and inspiration. When I do these things, I find that I am serving God and all Creation to the fullest of my ability. I am also happy.
When I shine, I feel most in alignment with God. I recognize that everything each of us does can be done in service of each other and God. It is a matter of doing it from a standpoint of love and service, rather than fear, limit, lack or greed. My being unafraid of my own light allows those around me to also be happy and shine in their own way.
Holding myself separate from those that made more money than me or had more success was being judgmental of them and myself. I saw myself as better or more holy than they were because I had less.
Recently I was listening to a successful musician who chants and sings of the love of the Divine. It was deeply moving and very beautiful. Her face was happy and serene. She embodied the love she sang of. I thought, ‘What a wonderful service she does for all who hear her! She is at peace and encourages that in her behavior and her music. She uplifts others to that same Peace of God.’ And it flooded my awareness that she is a very holy person using her talents to serve others and being rewarded for it. I was grateful that she decided to let her light shine and grateful she earned a living doing it so that as many as possible might be able to hear her.
The most important thing, for me, is to do everything I do in the full service of God and others. It is not for my own ends, though I may greatly enjoy the outcome. The point is to release my own expectations of what I should or should not be provided with and serve. Serve all day, in every way, in everything I do and with every being I encounter. To me this means being happy in myself and happy that I am serving so that I can share my happiness with others in all that I do.
Neuroscience has shown again and again that kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude increase our brain’s capacity for happiness. When we are happy, we have even more to share! It is the same thing that every religious tradition has taught for all of history. It is healthy for us and healthy for those around us. It is freeing and rewarding, both on an energetic and a physical level.
This is being in alignment with a spiritually healthy life and with serving God. This is the opposite of being selfish and greedy. This is actually allowing our cups to be filled so that it can overflow to others.
As long as we see our abilities as small and our blessings few, we will never be free to fully give of what we have. What is there to give if we don’t believe we have enough or that we are enough? We first must have faith in what we have and be full of gratitude for our talents and the abundance that flows from them. Through this, our talents will expand and so will our service and the rewards that flow from using our talents for the greater good. When we believe we have little and may lose what we have, we don’t allow for anything different to happen.
This all made me think of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, 14-30. The ones who were given talents and made use of them in the world received more talents and were rewarded. The one who hid his talent and made no use of it for fear it would be taken away lost his talent and had nothing. When we use our talents for the good of others, we are rewarded with more. And when we fear we don’t have enough and may lose what we do have, we never enjoy what we have and therefore have already lost it and may lose even more. Those that are grateful don’t demand more, yet they receive it.
Surrender your demands and expectations. Choose to be filled with gratitude and service. By allowing what is good to flow through us, and freely allowing it to flow from us, we honor the flow of giving and receiving. We can stop fighting Universal Law and recognize we are fully part of it. We can open our arms to embrace it, loving it and letting it love us back.
We can celebrate each day and all that flows from us and to us.
This tea is great for boosting your vitamin C levels, supporting your immune function and supporting the cleansing and detoxifying ability of the kidneys and liver. It is helpful for anyone who is undergoing a stress on their immune system, be it a cold or cancer. It can also help to support your body as you detoxify from medications you may need to take for an illness. As a wonderful bonus, it tastes wonderful, even without any sweetener, and it looks and smells heavenly.
I don’t get really technical about the measurements when I make this, so adjust this as you feel you need to for taste. The ingredients can be found in the bulk section of most natural foods stores or you can find them online at places such as Mountain Rose Herbs and others.
Sweet Cleansing and Immunity Boosting Tea
about a Tablespoon of Pau d’arco bark (large pinch)–immunity support/balance
2-3 whole cloves (NOT powder)–cleansing
about a Tablespoon dried Hibiscus flowers–immune support, cleansing
about 2 teaspoons dandelion root–cleansing, especially kidneys
about 2 teaspoons burdock root–cleansing, especially liver
Bring 32 ounces of water to a boil as you gather your herbs, roots and flowers together in a wire mesh strainer placed over a small to medium bowl. Once the water has reached a boil, pour it over the herbs in the strainer and allow to sit and steep for about 15-20 minutes. Place a small piece of cheesecloth over the top of a pitcher or a Mason jar. Pour the steeped tea through the cheesecloth into the Mason jar or pitcher. I usually brew 32 ounces more water and make a second batch using the same herbs, and then I toss them in the garbage. Refrigerate. Drink 1-3 cups a day over the next 24-48 hours.
Don’t wait for another person to give you permission to be free. You are already free. Let go of your chains. You already have freedom–always. Remember.
We have so many ways to keep ourselves locked in and constricted, mostly thinking we are staying safe or being “good.” We tend to lock the doors to our cages and then give the key away to others, believing they control our ability to know joy, peace and wholeness. We can keep remembering to look for our own key.
This all comes back to lack of forgiveness, lack of trust in ourselves. We carry a judgment, trauma, hardship or a shame with us for so long because we feel it protects us from experiencing the same thing again. But really, we experience it every day, because we still hold it in our hearts and minds. There is scientific evidence now that we even carry it in the cells of our bodies.
There is so much talk about forgiveness. Unfortunately, we rarely hear what it really is or how to go about it. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It does not let them off the hook for causing harm or release them to do it again. It does not make you soft and weak to another attack. It makes you strong and healthy. It opens your heart and makes your mind more available to clarity of thought.
Similarly, self-forgiveness doesn’t mean that we neglect the harm that our actions have caused or that we proceed to do it again. I repeat, forgivenessis not weakness or giving in.
When we wait for the person that harmed us to do something to atone before we allow ourselves to forgive, we create a situation where we suffer. We usually believe that we are making the other person suffer and we even feel justified for that. But justified or not, most of the time, the other person simply doesn’t feel our suffering. We are the ones that carry it, not them. Often they are never even aware of it.
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”–Buddha
But even if they were aware, holding on to suffering because of something another person did only allows them to create more harm for a longer time, long after they actually stopped doing anything. We are doing it to ourselves, through our minds every time we relive the experience and our brains send that rush of neurochemicals through our bodies telling us it’s happening all over again. Over time, our bodies can even feel worse than they did during the first event. It’s repeat trauma every time we relive it and tell ourselves we are justified. We keep telling ourselves that it’s the other person’s fault, when we hold the key to our own prison cell.
So what is forgiveness? It is laying down your chains. Setting yourself free from the internal prison that the situation has created in your heart, mind and body so that you no longer have to carry it around with you every day. It is allowing yourself to release the event to the past, recognizing that it can live there, rather than in the cells of your body and in the neural pathways of your mind.
We can decide to free ourselves when we recognize that what we carry today is only ours, based in what we decide to do from this moment forward. It is not decided by past events or by other people, unless we allow that. The decision is ours and we have the freedom to make it.
It is a very liberating thing to realize you are not a slave to the past or to the memories, events and people of the past. It opens you to your fullest potential. It also invokes great responsibility for your own life. You can no longer blame the past or those who hurt you for your decisions. Your life is your own. You are no longer a slave to your wounds. You can heal.
You can begin to release those old traumas that you have stored through lack of forgiveness by simply acknowledging that you are ready to do that. It sounds incredibly simple and in some ways it is, but it’s the internal shift that is important. That is the turning point and it is the part that can be most difficult to wrap your mind and heart around.
Whenever an old wound comes up and you feel the constriction in your chest or throat or belly–wherever you feel it in your body–notice that you are holding that pain in your cells. That is body memory. Use that moment to recognize that you have options. You could become lost in the old stories about how painful it was, how wrong it was, how it was unfair, etc., but that will reinforce the old patterns. You will feel worse in body, mind and spirit. Ask yourself if this will heal anything in your life.
Instead, you could shift your perspective and accept your own power in this moment. Ask yourself what you can do with the idea that you may not have to keep feeling this way. Say to yourself, “I choose to release this experience from the cells of my body and from the pathways of my mind. I accept the lessons and leave the rest behind. I am free.” Notice how that feels different in your body. You may feel lighter, more open.
See how that has nothing to do with the other person? Nothing is required of them. They have nothing to do with your healing at all. You are really free of them and of the past. You are also free of any past versions of yourself you may need to let go of.
Open the prison door. Let go of the chains. Pick up the key to your own heart. You have the power to free yourself, if you dare. Just remember.
Elderberry syrup is very easy to make at home and is a wonderful and tasty way to keep your immune system strong whenever viruses start making the rounds. Elderberry extract and elderberry syrup have been used for centuries as a basic home remedy. There is evidence[i] that elderberry syrup can stop viruses from replicating, basically stopping them in their tracks. Evidence also suggests that it may be able to stop certain bacterial infections[ii], or at least be supportive in reigning them in.
Elderberry syrup can be taken as a daily preventative dose or you can use it only for support during illness, such as during a cold, flu or sore throat. The dose can be increased during illness or after exposure to help you fight off the nasties.
Aside from cooling time, it only takes about an hour to make, costs about $3 for a quart or so and lasts for 2-3 months in the fridge. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative measures and up to a Tablespoon every hour during an illness, until symptoms subside or for the first 24 hours after an exposure to a viral or a bacterial infection. You can even use it as a yummy pancake and waffle syrup!
The variety of elderberries that are typically used for elderberry syrup is Sambucus nigra. This variety of elderberries are fairly easy to buy already dried. You can find them at Mountain Rose Herbs. You may also be able to find them at your local natural foods store. If you pick or buy fresh elderberries, be sure to cook them before eating them. Cooking them removes a toxic compound that most varieties (except Sambucus nigra) contain. You will also need to adjust the amount of berries used when using fresh elderberries, increasing to 3 ½ cups.
3 ½ cups water
1 ¾ cup dried elderberries
1-2 inches fresh ginger root, cut up
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
½ teaspoon cloves (or 2 whole cloves)
1 cup raw honey
Add all ingredients except the honey and to a medium pot and bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Smash the berries with a potato masher or other tool. Next, allow the mixture to cool a while.
Using a cheesecloth-lined sieve, strain off liquid into a bowl.
Gathering the cheesecloth together, squeeze the remaining liquid from the mixture inside. You may want to wear gloves–the juice can stain! Discard the berries, herbs, and ginger.
Cool in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, then add honey.
Store in a glass jar with a lid, in the fridge. Stores well for 2-3 months with refrigeration.
Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative use or a Tablespoon an hour during cold symptoms, until symptoms subside.
Adding other herbs, such as 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of sage, thyme or, rosemary increases the immune boosting benefits but also alters the flavor. If you choose to add these, you should place them in the pan with the elderberries and water, along with the cloves, cinnamon and ginger root.
*NOTE* Do not give elderberry syrup to children under the age of one, since it contains honey. Honey is not safe for children under the age of one (some sources say two).