Updated: May 5, 2020
I can't say I know that much about herbs or foraging, but there definitely exists a passion for learning. Even if I don't know their latin names and preferred soil types (much respect to those of you who do), plants play such an important part in my life. In times of stress or times of heartache, they are there to support me, no matter what. They support me, sometimes, in a cup of hot water, I will slowly sip whilst sitting in my bed corner, covered with my quilt. Sometimes they remind me to stop on the sidewalk, to slow down and smell a tree blossom, on my way to work. And sometimes they support me just by being there to look at, and in their timeless state of just 'being', they calm me down.
I have been feeling so 'up in the air' with my new surroundings, after moving from busy London, to the beautiful Austrian countryside. Suddenly, the house I live in isn't mine, my friends aren't living around the corner, the shopping is made for me (I am keeping myself from going into town to help prevent my grandmother from being put at coronavirus risk).
So many little things I'm used to doing are no longer possible. I really had no idea what kind of impact this move would have on me. It was in many ways terrifying. Past negative patterns started to reaper, as well as phobias I never knew I had. I felt so unstable and lost. I started to feel worried about my behaviour, when I got lost on a simple tube ride, when I freaked out seeing some clothes were left unfolded on my bedroom chair, when I was looking at my packing boxes, frozen, feeling completely unable to carry out basic tasks to get them ready for shipping. My mind was in chaos, and on top of this, I started beating myself up thinking "You practice this. You want to teach meditation and you can't even do this. Seriously, GET-IT-TOGETHER". I was waking up with anxiety most mornings, I noticed myself over-thanking and over-apologising, almost apologising for my very existence and thinking "why am I like this". Put these thoughts in any psycho analysis system and it will tell you, my self-esteem had dropped way down into a dark cold labyrinth dungeon of fear.
Back to the plants.
As soon as I got to my beautiful countryside destination (after a 14 day coronavirus self-isolation), I went to my favourite field, sat down on the grass and cried my eyes out. I couldn't even tell you about the waterfall cocktail of emotions that poured out, but there were A LOT of them. In this process I felt the earth and the plants under my palms support me. It was as if they were reminding me of something. I ended up laying on the grass for over an hour (I think I might even have fallen asleep). I felt the stress and worry flow down into the ground. It was so soothing. This is when I remembered the foraging day course I had taken in London. I remembered how much calmer I felt afterwards, how connected and revitalised.
The next day I went out to gather nettles (I always wanted to try them cooked). I felt so connected through this interaction. Picking these plants felt like a meditation to me. I went out with a little basket and I felt like a little Heidi in the fields (you know who Heidi is right? She's like, my idol). The more I sat with the plants the more I kept hearing 'we can help you'. In my practices, the one word that kept coming up for me over the past few months was 'resilience'. This was actually a trigger word for me because, as I found out through practice, if I feel a trigger, I need to get closer to it and find out what it's about. I started looking into cultivating resilience. This is when dandelion really drew my attention. As I was looking at it I thought 'you are resilient aren't you?', 'you grow everywhere, no matter what. No matter how many times people fight you and try to clear their gardens from you, you come back'.
This was my plant. I started researching its uses, its qualities and I was blown away. This plant sounded like an all round healer. Not only from a nutrition value perspective, but from a spiritual perspective. I tried digging up the roots and then I started to really understand why resilience was definitely its lesson (try pulling out some Dandelion roots, you'll know what I mean) I looked into the symbolism of dandelion and the first search result said:
"Dandelion is the symbol of emotional healing. Since they can endure almost any living condition, they represent overcoming every hardship by standing strong and proud."
My meditation practice
I decided then to write a little tea ritual practice. I felt inspired by this wild sun beam of a plant, to create a journey back into my centre and help cultivate resilience within myself. From the very first stages of the ritual, simply going out in nature to collect the plants, felt healing. I was still not in a great place, when I was picking the plants, but in that process there was no pressure to be different. My ritual started to allow the heavy fear to come to the surface. Even when my mind was racing a million toxic feeling thoughts, something felt ok, like there was going to be an end to it. I felt like the Dandelions were starting to speak, to soothe, and slowly as the ritual went on, I knew that I was supported, and this knowing was priceless.
If you are feeling unstable in your footing right now, if the world seems upside down, anxiety is getting the best of you and you are looking for a resilience practice to add to your day, my little dandelion ritual is available for purchase here.
Much Love to you all and your journeys.
To delve deeper into a space of inner peace, balance, and to support your resilience work, you can book a distance Reiki session with me here.
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before trying anything dandelion related. I am not a medical professional. These practices are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease process. Before working with any foraged plants, please educate yourself accordingly. No responsibility will be taken by The Circle of Light for any adverse effects caused by any published practices. Please be mindful and safe within all elements of your self-practice.