Normally I listen to NPR for the news at some point every day, but these last few months I’ve had no idea what’s going on in the world because I so loathe presidential election years I just can’t make myself turn on the radio. Why do politics always bring out the basest, vilest, most judgmental aspects of people? I get it that personal political beliefs are just that, deeply personal~ they are built on one’s value system and to have that value system on display on the big screen in a way and open to constant judgement makes people defensive and often offensive. It must be that the fight or flight mechanism is triggered and even the most rational people are reduced to their reptilian core and it’s a shame because no one learns anything. It’s such a divisive time and whenever I see well-communicated, complete thoughts on a political subject met with angry, incoherent, immature reactions it makes me so sad~ and that’s every single day of the election season. I suppose I’m in ‘flight’ mode which isn’t to say I’m not going to vote, because I always do, but I’m trying to stay focused on the beautiful things in life which are uplifting and make humanity more…human, instead of indulging in this display of schoolyard behavior. I get that some people like this stuff, that some actually get a kick out of the competition and one upping each other and debating values and feeling superior and that’s fine and dandy, but I feel like a lot of others get roped into this carnival show who really would be happier thinking about making dinner, or some mathematical problem, or their favorite quotes from their favorite books. The media is so ever-present, and social media is practically inescapable, that it’s easy to forget we each actually have choices about what we think about, how we treat others who disagree with us (whether we actually know them or just have thoughts about them), how we want our days filled and how we choose to conduct ourselves. I choose to focus on beauty and grace where I can find it. Whatever fills your life, I hope you are actively choosing it.
Every single day I use herbs in a multitude of ways and they are not necessarily ‘curing’ anything (although they might be!) nor are they making me super-human. What they do is enhance daily life in meaningful, beautiful ways and I’m on a mission to get others to think about herbs as enhancing their lives, instead of thinking of them in a pharmaceutical way. If people can change the way they think of herbs, they are far more likely to start using them and enjoying their benefits, which is great in itself but also it is beneficial because herbs work best as promoters of long-term balance, so not only would one get the most out of one’s herbal usage, one would also be able to retain balance and avoid imbalances (dis-ease). In other words, more herbs means less drugs, less sicknesses, less doctor visits. Now I’m all for modern medicine~ absolutely would not turn back time to any romantic bygone era because I wouldn’t want to lose access to our modern medical wonders. I am most definitely not talking about replacing modern medicine with herbs~ if you have a medical issue, go to the doctor. Herbs can do so much more though, and if you start incorporating them in your life, it’s my firm belief you’ll have less medical issues for which you need to go to the doctor. And even though modern medicine may be full of wonders, the truth is not many people enjoy the time spent in doctors’ offices, hospitals, or going through the newest medical techniques~ miraculous or not. This attitude reminds me of the slow food movement so I like to think of it as slow health. Herbs alone won’t make a person healthy, but thinking long-term about health is a great way to start thinking about your personal tendencies and imbalances and how to counteract those things long-term. Many things might help: exercise, yoga, dietary changes, brain games, homeopathy, social changes, journaling, essential oils…the list can go on and on because we are all such different individuals. At a time of year when so many of us are reviewing our daily lives and resolving to do better, be better, I hope in the rush towards better-ness we can all pause and instead of just downloading a new app on our smart phones to track diets, or upping goals on fitbits, we can all think of slowing down this rush which is itself out of balance. Perhaps the best part of adding herbs into daily life is the connection with nature that moment provides.
If you own one essential oil, it’s most likely lavender. Add a drop to your pillow tonight, or several drops to your bath and enjoy herbalism that way. In other words, you don’t have to drink an herbal tea or take a tincture in order to benefit from herbs, there is a world of beauty in essential oils that can be tapped through so many ways. Not that there is anything wrong with herbal infusions or tinctures, but if you are new to the world of herbs, I recommend starting with something fully pleasurable and beautiful and hopefully it will whet your appetite to investigate more in the herbal world. Health regimes do not need to be unpleasant~ enjoy creating your optimal health. It’s a beautiful thing.
We all experience it. The jolt when FB pops up with an ad that happens to correspond with something you have had on your mind. Or you go to a new website and the ads are all of your favorite stores and even things you’ve looked at. It’s no surprise that we are all living out loud now, whether we mean to or not, our privacy is gone and it’s one of those things we are just choosing to ignore. Not unlike global climate change I might add, considering how slowly we as humans are reacting to the obvious, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about. Two things have happened that have really stopped me lately, and it worries me because it seems like there is nowhere to hide unless one completely disengages from technology completely, which I don’t want to do. It’s convenient. It’s where I get a ton of information and where I can communicate with friends and family all around the world. But here is the first really strange thing that gave me pause~ My phone broke so I had to go down to ATnT to file an insurance claim. The account is in my husband’s name and the guy helping me said we would have to just file it like we were him. Ok, fine. We then had to go through a series of security questions that were strangely personal and certainly not anything he ever told the phone company, such as: What is the height on your driver’s license? Have you ever had any association with the following addresses? It then gave a bunch of addresses, one being my parents’ address. Just keep in mind, this is assuming it is my husband answering these questions. How weird is that? Why would my parents’ address be part of my husband’s security questions for our cell phones? When I told him about those questions he was just as disturbed as I was, although he seemed more bothered by the fact ATnT knows his height on his driver’s license. (I don’t! I had to guess.) So that was one. This was actually months ago but I was reminded of it this morning when my son got on the Surface, which is like a Ipad, and it was what we took on our Maui trip recently. Now we don’t have TV at our house so when we were at the hotel the guys had fun catching up on what TV is like these days (another thing that continually shocks me) and they got really into a program called Property Brothers. Being out of the TV loop, we had never heard of it before nor watched it, but then today when my son got on the surface to research science experiments (which included youtube) he kept getting ads for Property Brothers. Something tells me that is not a coincidence. It makes me nervous in that can’t-quite-define kind of a way but it definitely feels not right. Big Brother comes to mind in a Big way, and I’m talking about Orwell folks, not another TV show. This is probably something we should all be thinking and talking about more often. Not doing so is only benefitting corporations, certainly not consumers. To disengage or to not disengage…that is the question.