From Struggle to Ease

valeriancabinTwo years ago as I was traveling through Ecuador, I spent several days with a Shaman. During one of our conversations he made the statement…

“You need to get out of your own way!”

At the time I never knew what that meant, but during the most recent summer equinox (6/21/15) I finally got it!

For the summer equinox, I decided to visit my 20 acres of land and make some flower essences. Since my return to the US 5 years ago, I have not been giving the land much attention beyond planting a few trees and creating/spraying bio-dynamic preps. OK…let’s be honest… I’ve been avoiding the land. Why? I purchased the land 12 years ago with the vision of becoming a Medicinal Herb Farmer. I had visions of a garden that looked like a picture out of a Martha Stewart magazine. For several years I toiled and worked very hard every summer to turn the grassy hay land into a picture perfect medicinal herb farm. Every spring I started herb seeds in my basement, and as the plants grew, I would transplant them to the chiseled out grass land. I would harvest, dry, and store the herbs for future tisanes and tinctures. Growing herbs on this land was a continual battle between deer, weeds, and life. It was extremely hard work and I struggled with making my dream a reality. One day, life got in the way and I had to leave my dream behind. Returning to the land always reminded me of how I failed to make my own dream a reality.

So on June 21st, I decided to walk to my non-existent garden at the top of the hill. I figured I would see if any medicinal herbs remained and if they did, I would create a flower essence using the “no pick” method. First I saw some White Yarrow flowering, and then some Saint John’s Wort flowering. At the edge of the timber, a 4 foot tall flowering plant caught my attention. I walked up to it and stared and thought “IT CAN’T BE!”. I googled using my phone and verified what I thought I saw…a rouge Valerian plant flowering. I had planted several Valerian plants 12 years ago and after the initial year, they never grew back.  Hmmm…I guess I was wrong.   I then continued to walk to the north side of my abandoned shed (another failed dream). Growing within the grove of trees and tall grass was a whole patch of Valerian plants thriving and flowering. And that is when I got it…the light bulb went off. I needed to get out of my own way. I needed to let go of my expectation of what a medicinal herb farm should look like with its “neat organized rows” and let the plants grow where they want to grow…where they thrive. During that walk, both the land and the plants taught me that I am a Medicinal Herb Farmer. I just needed to get out of my own way and shift from being a Medicinal Herb Farmer who grows through struggle to a Medicinal Herb Farmer who grows through ease. As a result, I’ve decided to turn the land into a sanctuary for wild medicinal herbs. I’ll plant medicinal herbs where they belong and let them tend to themselves. And the abandoned shed (that was originally planned as my art studio)…maybe an individual vision quest/retreat place. I will let the shed decide.

Is there a dream that you are struggling with? Do you need to get out of your own way? Do you need to lose some miss guided expectations so you can shift from struggle to ease?

Robin Rosenstiel

Explorer of Uncharted Territory

Seeker of Truth

Bodacious Dragon Slayer


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