In January of this year illness hopped from one member of my family to another over the course of a week. When I am under the weather, I do what any American does. I sink into a plush couch, covered in blankets, and don’t move until my mind is completely washed by great films. Dramatic, I know, but I am a Leo moon and you can expect much dramatic expression as we proceed.
I don’t fall ill as often as I did as a child anymore, but when I do, I turn to movies to feel one with the culture and (more importantly) to escape any unbearable fatigue. This particular instance I decided that it was time to finally watch the ultimate sci-fi movie of all time with Keeanu Reeves. I’m sure many of you already know exactly what movie I’m talking about. For those of you who are like me and are often late to cultural trends, don’t know anything about Keenu Reeves, or his highly rated Academy Award winning 1999 film — I watched The Matrix.
You’re probably wondering: What does this have anything to do with the My Medicine program? Oh friend, the lessons in this film have everything to do with this program.
The character Morpheus said: “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”, and my foggy brain electrified. Today, a note card on my fridge is inked with this statement, that’s how much I was moved.
All my life, I wanted to do one simple thing: help people. I learned I could help others early on by giving an ear to someone who desperately needed to be heard; giving my voice when someone needed advocacy; and giving my energy when someone could not tend to themselves. Intrigued by the workings of the mind and the behavior of those around me, I wanted to desperately figure it all out. I calculated and questioned: Why do we make the choices we make? How do we heal from the choices others make and that we make for ourselves that cause us pain? How do we heal from the things unseen, but felt?
As expected of me, I enrolled in college and majored in Psychology. I double minored in Anthropology and Creative Writing, and snuck in visual art and music courses whenever I could. I intended to blend my love of the arts and psychotherapy into one. I intended to share my learnings with those I love so they could be set free. It may be safe to say, this is the overall motive of healing work: to set ourselves and others free.
As you can tell, I thought I knew the path. In fact, I was carving it out with bare hands and laying each brick in my own vision of perfection.
Then the full-body feeling came that I could no longer proceed the way I had been living. The path I was carving reached an unknown edge. I was dangling emotionally by a thread and my body, overwhelmed by unattended-to-imbalances and dis-ease, gave me an ultimatum. I diverged too far away from the natural and god-given path laid out before me because of my own conviction that I knew best; my own deep desire for control. I was given the option: leap or fall.
I leapt from New England to California, right into the thick forest of the mind. Starting life anew can challenge us beyond measure. It’s been five years now and I continue to face myself, over and over. Tempted to repeat old worn-out patterns, guided to recover. What I’ve learned about behavior change is the importance of discipline, consistency and repetition. There are times I’ve tried carving again, but then, something greater and unexplainable gets me back up and walking. I’ve continued to see the path before me, not long and far out, but enough for me to interpret the instructions on how to step and where. I walk it today and as the Song to The Siren lyrics go by Tim Buckley: “Here I am, here I am / Waiting to hold you”.
Here I am, waiting to hold myself and you in this lush virtual space, as we walk together.
I have joined the My Medicine program as a student and storyteller. I will be participating in the teachings and sharing my learnings, experiences, revelations, and insights here, in the blog section My Path. My Path was created as a safe space for students to share their unique experiences moving through the curriculum. We know that storytelling can make us feel seen through resonation and articulation of the emotions and experiences some of us may not have words for. It’s a powerful and profound practice. As I become vulnerable to you, I welcome you to become vulnerable to me, and the community. Students will have access to our very own online forum, and I could not be more eager to have the opportunity for us all to deeply connect.
At this point, students are preparing. We’re gathering our herbs, ordering our books, grabbing our journals, and putting the final touches on our sacred studying spaces. You’re most likely expecting me to show you these things of my own, link my favorite brands. Surprise! I will not heed to a mainstream influencer archetype. This work is deep. I know that for us to make the meaningful course directions and connections to self we’re hoping for, it will take bonding to the internal materials rather than the external. For external preparations, students can refer to Module 0 for a comprehensive check-list. With me, here and now, we’re going to prepare our inner world.
Along my path, I’ve kept a mental box. Like Pandora’s, if you will. I’ve collected every impactful experience and emotional artifact. My precious (insert Gollum voice) treasure trove. This little box is full of wonder and awe; grief and despair; longing and fear; devotion and unbridled joy.
My preparation is in the opening of this box and becoming aware of every keepsake. It is these things that orient us like a compass and fire our hearts to move forward. If we want to truly understand our authentic nature as practitioners, stewards, students, and individuals, we must be vulnerable to our unique experiences, and their impact, that have brought us to this very moment.
I’ll leave you with some questions to ponder, to respond to, to reflect on:
- Have there been times when I’ve felt as if I was plunged into darkness – feeling lost, confused, depressed, despondent, inactive or unproductive on my path?
- Have I ever felt as if I didn’t know who I was or where I was supposed to be going?
- Where in my life do I feel repressed or stagnant?
- In what ways do the experiences that I have not resolved in the past continue to influence my present circumstances?
- Do I sense deep veins of hidden strengths or wisdom within me that I am reluctant to trust or bring forth? What might they be?
- Can I imagine living into my values and allowing any hidden powers of mine into my life? How would my life be different?
Adapted from Mysteries of The Dark Moon by Demetra George.
I’m taking your hand into mine now so we may walk fervently and curiously, together, down our shared path.
With love and solidarity,
Citation: George, D. (2009). Mysteries of The Dark Moon: The healing power of the dark goddess. HarperCollins.
Sep 7, 2022