By Robin Rose Bennett
In this time of mass uncertainty, I find myself remembering how important it is to become quiet and listen within.
All around us external voices, disconnected from earth and nature, fuel anxiety and fear, and yet the truth is that the next moment has always been uncertain and unknowable.
We can use this as a time to investigate what really matters.
How do we want to take care of ourselves and each other? No matter what the question, love is always an appropriate answer. Love yourself by taking care of your body; at this time focus on your respiratory, immune and nervous/digestive systems. (See recipe below.)
Love one another.
Is there a friend or elderly neighbor to whom you could offer some assistance?
Reconnect with the Earth and Nature:
Take a slow walk outside.
Sit on the ground or on a bench and softly observe what is around you.
Put your back against a tree.
Watch the clouds in the sky and birds flying by.
This will ground and center you, and help spread peace into the atmosphere of our beloved planet.
There is irony in the fact that the primary preventative medicine we’re prescribed at the moment is to isolate ourselves, when that is the very thing that has also been threatening our lives on a daily basis.
So, yes, isolate physically, for now, but realize that ultimately, reconnecting with ourselves, one another and the Earth is always the best medicine.
White Pine Infusion
2 cups fresh white pine needles
1/2 gallon water
Cut up 2 cups or more of fresh pine needles and the small twigs that they grow on. Use your fingernail or a knife to nick the twigs every half-inch or so, to reveal the inner bark (the green cambium layer). Put everything into a half-gallon jar.
Cover with boiling water, and let the infusion steep anywhere from 12-24 hours.
This pleasant-tasting, slightly sour infusion will help relieve a cough and release tightness in the chest. It will generally support the immune system in fighting off any kind of respiratory invader. When you nick the twigs as your prepare your medicine, it will immediately release the fragrance of pine, and perhaps send you into a waking dream of walking through pine-filled woods.
White Pine (Pinus strobus)
BODY: soothes, strengthens, and heal lungs and bronchia; antiseptic for lungs, skin and kidneys; eases joint pain, rich in vitamin C and tannins; resin is antiseptic for boils and and wounds.
MIND: generates peace of mind, helps release perfectionist tendencies, builds inner confidence and self-esteem.
HEART: strengthens sense of unity within oneself and community; eases loneliness and sense of isolation and/or alienation.
SOUL: deep peace.
(excerpted from The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett)
Finally, trust life. Consider the possibility that as difficult as it is, what’s happening now is offering us an invitation to grow our compassion, care and concern for one another.
Robin Rose Bennett is an herbalist, writer and educator who teaches WiseWoman Healing Ways of herbal medicine and EarthSpirit teachings. She is the author of two meditation CDs and the books Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living and The Gift of Healing Herbs.