What is My Medicine?
As a life coach, that question is asked of me regularly; a client wants to understand his or her unique gifts in the world, or understand how to use them to create a more compassionate and sustainable world; that world could be just for that one person, a family, a community or the whole planet. Service is like a bear crossing your path when you don’t know your own medicine. You really have to stop and respect the bear’s space; hold peace in your heart and let that beast cross the road.
On my own medicine walk recently, I asked that same question: what is my medicine? I really wanted to know because even a life coach has bears crossing her path from time to time.
So, I asked the more-than-Human members of the forest that question. I looked up at the tree tops and asked, “What is my medicine?” and the tree tops thought, “It must be the sound of the wind as it passes through our leaves.”
I asked the dirt beneath my feet, “What is my medicine?” and the dirt replied, “It must be the decomposition of all matter that allows other beings to grow.”
I asked the birds in the trees, “What’s my medicine?” and the birds replied that it must be the songs piercing through the forest, even if no one hears them.
I asked the lichens on a maple tree, “What’s my medicine?” and the lichens replied, “It must be the moisture that we provide to the algae that live in symbiotic relationship with us.”
And I asked the algae, living in symbiotic relationship with the lichens, “What’s my medicine?” and it replied, “It must be the food from photosynthesis that we provide the lichens.”
At the end of my questioning, every more-than-Human being replied from his or her own perspective. Whatever sustained it, that was the medicine it believed lived in everything: the wind, the decomposition, the songs, the moisture and photosynthesis. I was surprised by the simplicity of the answers and my own realization that my medicine was fully expressed in my being; not a vocation or an avocation; my medicine was fully expressed in what sustained me as a Human; connection, love, creativity; a slow walk through the forest and like the forest, I am all this and more.
How I want to move in the world, that is my medicine.
P.S. - I share a much-loved image of Ben Franklin as a true Renaissance Soul, fully expressed, not as a 'jack of all trades'; rather, as someone who knew his medicine beyond a vocation or avocation.