Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
"My wish for the coming year:
that we may see different opinions and perspectives not anymore as way to create distance but as bridges between our ways of understanding our lives and our universe."
Martien Brands, Homeopathic Dr, The Netherlands
I've been thinking a lot about unity and diversity. About our need to separate and divide, particularly well highlighted globally during our recent Corona times. "You did, I didn't; you're bad, I'm good." Blame casting, guilt tripping, often rendering families torn apart over what are turning out to be pretty irrelevant details.
The need to identify as absolutely unique for so many of us perhaps casts a longer shadow and maybe creates even more distance between others. I would argue we may be at a time when we maybe need each other more than ever. Need our tribe. I'm incredibly grateful for mine.
I'm aware as I write, as a cis-gendered white woman, that I've got privilege aplenty and my areas of diversity are small compared to many. It's not to say I've not experienced 'otherdom'. Hanging out in small mining towns in Australia quickly saw me recognise the sexist nature of many of these places. Even Perth, WA where I was shocked by it at times. It doesn't have to be small towns. My 'otherdom' for simply being a woman. We see it many places in many different lives.
Reading Braiding Sweetgrass recently has allowed some beautiful pondering time. In particular reading Chapter 11, where Robin Wall Kimmerer discusses the Thanksgiving Address of the Haudenosaunee peoples in North America. One of the things that struck me was the repetition of 'Now are minds are as one' at the end of the verses, which are directed towards all areas of our natural world. Separate we may fight tooth and nail for 'our needs', which may often be 'our wants', together it's more about community; what is best for the whole.
Support for each other, recognition of our beauty, our individuality but celebrating our oneness feels to have been lost in the mad rush for our individual uniqueness. 'All duality is illusion' wisely spoke my Belgian storyteller who I know I've quoted here before. How far do we have to travel into the separate illusion before we recognise our collective beauty. Without insult to 'other', with peace and with love.
Our common humanity is a key element of Kirstin Neff's writings on Self Compassion, and I fear we're quick to forget it at times. Remembering our togetherness, our interconnectedness feels crucial. Of course we are all unique, different, special in our different ways, but we are likely more similar than at times we care to think. When I reflect on my nemesis neighbour, I'm sure wants her kids to be happy and well just as I do. She grows an amazing garden so presumably loves plants. Whilst she was muttering about ours in a mocking whilst walking past when we changed it "Oh yeah we don't like anything natural, get rid of all that' and the like; of course we do and we are excited about planting up the space we have - and being able to use the area for fires, celebrating things with friends, sitting out and appreciating the stars from there... maybe even a sleep out one day in there. We are each quick to defend what we think is right, even if we may not align with the other's views.
Watching the last episode of How to Change Your Mind last night made me think further. Over the series Michael Pollan explores several well known, and one slightly less well known, psychedelic compounds. All had mind expanding qualities, even Peyote, the least hallucinogenic of them, which had the feeling of feeling more, diving more deeply into life. One of the clearest things for me coming through the series has been the interconnectedness that participants reported experiencing time and again. There's a time and a place for everything so whilst this is no criticism of current medical psychiatric drugs, merely an observation that often on taking them I've heard people report feeling flat and separate. There is some fascinating research ongoing into the potential of psychedlics in mental health support and is an area I'm intrigued by hearing more from as it develops.
We don't need a mind altering drug to have an experience of interconnectedness of the world but I do wonder if we need to step away a little from the current narrative. That of more is better, nature is there for us to use and throw away and that we all need one of everything as our needs are so different to our other fellow folk. I often wonder about sharing more, and what if there was a street lawnmowever instead of one in every home. I wonder if we need to fall in love with nature, the natural world and those around us (human and non human) all over again. To get more into the here and now (which regular readers will know is one of my feelings that homeopathy can help us with). To see each other with love.
Last words? Have a read of Braiding Sweetgrass - it took me a while to get into it but now I'm there, I'm eager for quiet times and opportunities to read it. Eager to get transported into a world where the natural world is honoured, thanked and appreciated. And all the more appreciative of the sky, the stars, the ground beneath my feet.
My final wish? Let us meet the beauty in the other, and whilst appreciating our unique individualness, celebrate in our shared humanity.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.