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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Letter from Editor

Cheers to fresh coconut water!

As many of you already know, Elaine and I are plant medicine advocates. Whether it’s CBD or essential oils for anxiety, THC for pain relief, or psychedelics for deep spiritual and emotional healing, we believe that with proper, safe administration, plant medicines are incredible at healing us on so many levels.

When Elaine asked me to write the letter from the editor this month, I was like, oh boy. What on earth could I write about that might be uplifting or inspiring? The truth is, I’ve been going through a rough patch lately. It’s like I’ve been stuck in a dark, cold tunnel and can’t seem to find my way out.

The first time Elaine and I visited Rythmia Life Advancement Institute in Costa Rica in 2016, we got the opportunity to sit with amazing shamans and drink psychedelic plant medicines in ceremony on the most transformational vacation either of us had ever taken. Those of you who’ve sat with plant medicines know that these journeys can get really dark and intense at times. But, oh my, they can be so profoundly bright and beautiful, too. I remember discussing one of my first journeys with Elaine. I told her about the darkness I encountered—including some creepy clowns—mixed with strong, painful emotions and repressed memories from my childhood. I also felt the most magnificent, cosmic bliss and a connection with the Universe that I’d never experienced before. The joy I felt was immense. I tried to explain all the beautiful visuals I saw and the healing themes that kept cropping up. Elaine’s response? “I didn’t see any colors. I didn’t see any clowns. All I got was an ass-kicking!”

As true in ceremony as it is in our regularly scheduled lives—sometimes, all we get is an ass-kicking. I seem to be getting one now as I flounder my way through some residual emotional pains that followed me into the New Year. Sometimes excruciatingly painful feelings crop up and rather than crawl into my meditation space to see where they want to take me, I bolt in the opposite direction to find some outside distraction—afraid of the silence, perhaps afraid if I sit still long enough, I might see one of those creepy clowns.

Life is freaking hard at times—hearts get broken, accidents happen, people and pets pass away—and when you’re going through one of these phases, it really knocks the wind out of you! I’m thankful that Elaine reminded me over email today that I can always turn to the plants for healing. Even though I’ve been using them, I could (and will) be relying on them even more. I’ve also just realized I haven’t been reflecting on the wisdom I gleaned while under the influence of medicinal plants. There is a lot of sage advice scribbled in my journey journals that I really need to take to heart. One of the biggest takeaways? It’s OK to allow my heart to break because there is so much beauty in the ability to feel so much. And my personal favorite? I am a beautiful magnificent being of light and I love myself unconditionally.

When we go through dark tunnels, sometimes all we can do is move slowly forward, keeping one hand on the wall, while putting one foot in front of the other. In the meantime, we can find plenty of ways for Mother Nature to help heal us. Whether it’s a transformative trip to a plant medicine focused healing sanctuary, a visit to a dispensary for a tincture, a solo walk through an old growth forest—the plants are always ready and willing to help.

At some point, the light at the end of this tunnel I’m in will get brighter. Soon, a warm breeze will rush in, letting me know that I’m very close. When I finally step outside and feel that delicious sunshine on my skin, I’ll look back at the tunnel and be thankful I survived it. I may even be grateful for lessons learned. Until then, I’ll put one foot in front of the other, and be on the lookout for creepy clowns.