Although I was born in the Pacific Northwest I have always struggled with the weather here. Whenever I have had the opportunity to live in sunnier dryer places, I have thrived. My introverted nature is transformed even when I visit! I feel lighter physically, emotionally, mentally, socially. It has always been difficult for me to come back home as I find myself curling back into my hermit shell involuntarily.
But last week, I was able to see this in a whole new way when I had the honour of experiencing Bill Moody’s plant spirit medicine at a small gathering in my home. He pulled out all his little bottles of plant potions and we passed them around taking a drop on our tongue without looking at the labels. Then we would watch, listen, feel and sense how each plant affected us energetically. It was such a beautiful evening and my daughter absolutely loved it, which warmed my heart.
At one point he passed around a bottle containing yarrow. Bill spoke of how he had come to this yarrow growing high up on a mountaintop where the conditions were harsh and challenging. The plants were so potent, that he harvested a little seed and planted it in his yard. This yarrow grew wildly ginormous in comparison, but it was far less potent. Because the mountain plants they came from had endured such vastly different conditions of altitude and temperature, they stored their medicine in a more compact but powerful form.
Naturally, I could relate.
The environment we are in shapes us. Sometimes, when we are planted in conditions that feel harsh or challenging, this causes us to contract, or feel more compact. Maybe we go inwards, maybe we are forced to work much harder to survive. During times of struggle or when we feel out of place, we may not see our own growth. It might not be apparent on the outside. But it is through these very trials and hardships that we increase our personal potency. We become more powerful.
I have often thought about what my life would look like if I had stayed in California or Arizona or on the coast of Spain. Perhaps I would be more outgoing, even happier. But what gifts would I have not cultivated within me? What special powers do I possess, that I may not otherwise have had the necessity to activate?
Bill said that the stronger yarrow tincture was not better or worse than the weaker one. They have different purposes. Some people need only the tiniest amount if they are very ill perhaps and cannot handle the full strength. For them this plant is perfect. For others, the more intense plant is a better fit. There is a purpose for everything. There is a purpose for everyone. And we are all perfect wherever we are planted, however, we may grow.
It is a beautiful thing when we can learn to love ourselves as we are, no matter where we are or what we are going through.