|Photo of the plant tinctures in my clinic.|
After a very hectic year in 2013 involved with teaching workshops, writing, seeing patients, working in a health store, and also studying a degree, I had to simplify everything. At the beginning of the year I dropped my workshops, my freelance projects, and decided to focus on my clinical herbal practice, my job at the health store, and my person creative writing that I do for myself.
Hallelujah! That decision saved my hide. I was burning out, fast. Very quickly I learned the only thing harder than saying "no" to what you don't want, is saying "no" to things you do in fact want very much. But for various reasons, can't do.
Life is confusing. What is "right"? What is a "mistake"? Sometimes I really feel like I analyze each possible pathway to death, for fear of making an error or being wrong and regretting it.
But I think I did the right thing. My clinic has never been busier, and it is a wonderful gift in my life to be able to help and guide people with their health problems, to offer safe and natural health solutions, to connect people back with ancient medicines that have now been supported by evidence and research. Plant medicine is our heritage, our birthright, and somehow my role in bringing it back into people's lives feels important to me.
In addition, I have been reading and writing poetry more than I have in years. I have been eating books whole, ravenous for words and ideas. And then at some stage later I poop out a few poems. Maybe that isn't the most eloquent way of putting it? Oh well. Who cares. I am actually quite pleased with the writing and poetry I have been doing.
Sometimes as a writer you secretly think that your latest project is quite clever or inspired. But you doubt yourself. So in the middle of the night you wake up, sneak out of bed, open the latest draft of the project and sneak a peak, just to see if your sleep addled mind will allow you to see the flaws in your work that your waking mind, full of ego, has hidden from you.
But no, I am happy with my writing. I have done a lot of inner work this year about being more comfortable with myself, with my voice, with Joel and all his imperfections and flaws and weaknesses. I think that it has begun to translate into my words, and also into the work I do in my clinic.
You see, I have had to learn I will never be the perfect herbalist, the perfect poet, the perfect freelancer or the perfect teacher. Nor will I be the perfect son, the perfect brother, or the perfect friend (far from it). I can only be the best that I can be. The best version of myself, to date.
And like Microsoft Windows, I will keep updating and developing new versions of myself. Shedding skins throughout life is what I have always done, with the newest skin always resembling something closer to my true self...
So, here I am, blogiverse. Just me, plain and simple. And it feels sooooo good!