Into 2022 & Plant Medicine

Hoya Lisa my plant medicine

Three months ago was the last time that I wrote on this blog!

Between regular life, work, continuing to settle in my new place, the holidays and then getting COVID, I didn’t prioritize my writing. Which is wrong, because I always start feeling off when I don’t write. I’ve had this nagging feeling for a while that I should write something here. Anything, no matter how short.

Recently, a friend and my mom both separately mentioned to me that I should start writing again. So I’m here. Getting back to my practice. Like I do when I return to yoga or meditation when I’ve been away for awhile. Which had been the case for a few weeks when I stopped those as well.

I like to think that I’m good at taking care of myself. But we all slip up every once in a while. Things get overwhelming and we lose track of time and don’t center our wellness. When we don’t center our wellness, we get sick.

In 2020, I didn’t gather with anyone during the holidays. It was awful. So it was wonderful to spend time with loved ones this past Thanksgiving. It was a small gathering. We were all vaccinated and things felt mostly safe.

A COVID CHRISTMAS

In December, when I heard that Omicron was quickly spreading everywhere, I knew that gathering for Christmas was going to be a risk. My mom, brother and I spent three days together over Christmas.

My brother had sniffles by the time he went home. Pre-COVID, we would have thought nothing of it. Luckily he gets tested regularly and soon tested positive. Most of his housemate were sick as well.

My mom and I started to have similar symptoms. I tested positive soon after, but we were never able to get my mom tested. Thankfully we’re all fully vaccinated and boosted, so our symptoms never got worse than that of a bad cold. We assumed my mom had COVID as well, so we all isolated for ten days. The new five day CDC guidance seems questionable at best.

Anyway, now I don’t even know what to think. I took extreme measures not to get COVID. My activities have been extremely limited. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant in almost two years. I never stopped wearing a mask indoors when out in public. I’m barely out in public and work from home.

Even though my case was very mild, we don’t know the long-term effects of COVID. Until the past few years, I had never known that there were long-term effects from getting chickenpox until I learned about shingles. This summer I also got the two doses of the shingles vaccine. 2021 was about getting all the vaccinations! Got the flu shot too!

Although I might have a somewhat heightened immunity to COVID right now, I know that it won’t last. Especially with all the variants popping up. I don’t want to get it again. I’ve heard of people getting it two and three times! So I’m still being very careful. But I do want to find a way to be out in the world a bit more, because I’m missing out on a lot and it’s getting to me.

PLANT MEDICINE

Taking care of my plants, learning about plants and even talking about plants makes me happy. It’s bringing that peaceful feeling from being out in nature to the indoors. From being more immersed in the wellness community, I’ve learned the new (to me) way that many refer to things that help you feel better as medicine. If there’s a certain song that you play that makes you feel better, that song might be your medicine.

It makes sense when you think about the definition of medicine – a treatment for or prevention of disease. Usually we think of it as a pharmaceutical made by a company to fight disease. But what is disease? Dis-ease. When we are not feeling at ease – feeling unwell. Many things can make us feel at ease and they don’t have to be pharmaceuticals.

I’ve realized that plants are a medicine for me and plant therapy is good for my soul. The plant pictured above is called Hoya Australis Lisa. Yes, I have a namesake plant! She is the latest addition to my plant family and a Christmas gift to me from my mom. I usually get plant cuttings from friends and family, so I don’t buy many plants.

I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a plant online, but this was a plant that I really wanted. I’m not going to many stores nowadays and the stores that I do visit, I haven’t seen one. I don’t know anyone with this plant, so I couldn’t get a cutting. I ordered her from Horti and the delivery was very fast, so I was happy with the experience and finding this plant medicine. This is my first Hoya, so I’m looking forward to learning more about this plant as I move into 2022.

When It’s Your Season

squrirel and acorn season

It’s September! I love summer and never wish it away, but September is a favorite month. As my birthday month, it’s also my personal new year – a time to reset. When we were kids, September was always back to school season, so it was a time of new beginnings for everyone.

The change from summer to fall is also a big time of transition. Right now I’m in the midst of a big change and transition. After 19 years in the same apartment, I’m moving to a new one in a few weeks! I’m so excited!

As a Virgo sun and Taurus rising, I tend to dig in and stay put. I haven’t lived many places because I usually  stay somewhere at least five years. But 19 years is a record. It’s the longest that I’ve ever lived in one place. That was never even the plan. This was supposed to be a transitional place. Ya just never know!

This is the first time that I have no plans for how long I will be at the next place or where it will take me in my life. The longer I live, the more I see that while we do have some control over our lives, we also need to go with the flow of it. When we make a decision and have to fight for it at every turn, it might not be the right plan for us. Sometimes the Universe has decided otherwise.

We can feel the difference when we decide to make a change and everything easily falls into place and flows. This change feels right. As much as I thought about moving over the past few years, it didn’t feel right until now.

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A new favorite podcast is Breathe Go Flow with Tracye Warfield. I started listening at the end of July or beginning of August. I’ve listened from the first episode, which was pre-pandemic, up to August 2020. She’s so uplifting and has been a wonderful motivating force for me to make this change. An episode from February 2019, called Are you a Clinger has some real gems.

“You get to keep what is yours in your season.”

~ Tracye Warfield

It’s important to know what’s for us in our current season and let go of what isn’t. This resonates so much with my word of the year. Another quote that I recently found is a new favorite as well.

“Ripe fruit falls quickly.”

~ Mari Andrew

I don’t think she said it first, but I found it on her Instagram. It goes back to feeling that when the time is right, what’s in season for us will be available without such a struggle. These last few weeks of summer will be full of change and I’m here for it. Let the packing begin!

Recently Read: You Were Born For This

Born For This

The plan wasn’t to finish You Were Born For This in one sitting, but the reading just flowed.

So much of my life, certain events and themes, struggles and luck were obvious and maybe inevitable after looking deeply into my chart. What an awakening!

We all like to think that we have control over our own lives. We do to a certain extent. But luck and chance play big roles as well.

I needed this book in my twenties. But if it had been available then, I wouldn’t have had the familiarity with myself to receive it in the same way. I’ve never read a book with such ease and felt such gentleness towards me as the reader.

After reading some books, I’ve gotten the feeling that they really could have been essays. However, the writers got lucrative book deals. Maybe because they had a big audience. Then they had editors who massaged the hell out of that essay to make it into a book. But it really wasn’t a book and it did not feel genuine or respectful to me as the reader.

As a writer, Chani Nicholas is the exact opposite. While reading, I felt that she was rooting for me and thinking about how I might feel as I journeyed through my life reading her words. Nicholas wrote You Were Born For This as an act of kindness to her audience.

If you are even the least bit interested in astrology, I recommend buying You Were Born For This. I’m always one for borrowing books from the library, but this book is different. It’s more personal.

To get the most out of it, you need to download your chart from her website. Then use that information to fill in the pages as instructed through the book. You’re then guided through your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Its Ruler. These are the three keys to a chart.

Most of us are familiar with our Sun sign. That’s the most basic part of our chart and determined by our birth date. I’m a Virgo, but that’s such a small part! The Sun represents our life’s purpose.

The Moon represents our physical and emotional needs. My Moon is in Scorpio.

The Ascendant and Its Ruler is our motivation for living and steer the direction of our lives. The Ascendant is also known as our Rising Sign. Mine is Taurus and the Ruler is Venus. Venus is all about seeking love, beauty and pleasure. I feel this deep into my bones. This blog is literally my attempt to notice the beauty all around and share it. It also feels like home to me.

But wait, there’s more! Just like with real estate, there are different houses and location matters. The placement of certain planets together in one house, near each other or opposite others changes things dramatically.

The luminaries, the sun and moon, are placed well in my chart and act together helping me live out my life’s purpose. Jupiter, trines my Sun, offering some protection and luck. As a kid and throughout my life, I’ve been good at winning contests.

Jupiter is also in the same house as my Ascendant which magnifies my impact on the world. Nicholas gives the example of “a bombastic laugh” and people tell me that they always remember my laugh.

Some of my life’s challenges I see in my chart too – a Scorpio Moon is not easy. She says that I will be called to “dig deep” and “transform … pain into purpose.” Sometimes that feels like the story of my life. Seeing my chart, it’s definitely part of it.

She says, “Scorpio deals with death, loss and transformation, sometimes having the Moon in this sign speaks to not only experiencing these issues in childhood but also having them as part of your professional interest or expertise.”

When I was a child, almost an entire generation in my family died and I remember being quite aware of the loss. Also when I was a child, the town’s grade school building had structural damage, so I attended school for a couple of years at a Catholic Parish. We had recess out in the back and quite literally played among the graves. As a freelance writer and lawyer, I’ve written about end of life issues.

I could go on and on, but if you do the work on your chart, you will find You Were Born For This endlessly fascinating and return to it over and over again. Because really, it’s all about you.

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If you’re interested in another book that I recently read, take a look here.

15 Years Blogging

15 years anniversary flowers

“I am determined to see this with love. I surrender this story and let the Universe lead the way.”

~ Gabby Bernstein

Another blogging anniversary — 15 years! And a new word for the year. This year’s word is SURRENDER. Because that’s been required recently.

According to Eckhart Tolle, “What you fight, you strengthen. What you resist persists. Make peace with it. The action comes out of presence not out of being defensive.”

There was a lot that I was fighting, because I felt like I had no choice. Then it became too exhausting and I surrendered to the situation. Within days, the situation changed. It didn’t happen the way that I would have chosen. But it allowed what I had been trying to do all along.

Sometimes I feel like I’m learning the same lessons over and over again. But maybe that’s what life is. Remembering what is true and then reminding myself how it applies in many different ways.

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!