Here in Connemara we have finished celebrating the Winter Solstice and on Monday I went to a friend’s house to enjoy an evening with women friends as it was Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas. Traditionally in Ireland, this is the day when women put up their feet and relax or they go out and party with female friends before getting back to “business as usual”.
I always do a personal stock-take during the holiday season asking myself – What have I learned? Did I fulfill my aspirations and the plans that I made this time last year? What challenges did I meet this year? Did I have any successes? Was I happy? Did I make others happy? Did I make a positive difference in the world?
Doing this personal stock-take or reflection, I realise that I have learned a lot about myself, which is good because now I know some of the areas that need improvement and I know my strengths. One of my plant allies, Fuchsia was a great help and support when I was facing challenges. I feel so fortunate in having such good friends and allies in the plant world.
I fulfilled some of my aspirations and plans for 2019. For example, I wrote and published my second book – “The Weed Handbook Volume 2”.
(which you can buy from this website – along with “The Weed Handbook Volume 1”)
I battled with technology, struggled with websites, became creative with cameras and learned new skills to create my first ever digital herbal course., “Herbs for Winter Wellness”. This is available on the Udemy teaching platform and here is a link to it:
I am also thrilled that my other digital course, “Wise Woman, Goddess Training” has also taken off and I have students doing that too. Here is a link:
I am happy to be sharing my knowledge about medicinal herbs as well as helping others to reconnect with Mother Nature and at the same time working to heal themselves.
After taking stock of my personal life I must conclude that despite some difficult times during 2019 and despite the let-downs, overall I am happy. I think I have done some good for the planet and for my community. I have continued to build a relationship with the plant community by co-creating with Mother Nature. For any one person that I met this year who was unkind and unpleasant, I was supported and encouraged by so many others and they made a bigger impression on me, Now I am looking forward to 2020 and I intend to have an amazing year, with the amazing people who are my friends and who I have yet to meet and with more wonderful plants.
To this end, I have just carried out a stock-take of my apothecary, my home medicine chest, to see what I have and to plan what I will need for 2020.
I see that I am very well stocked with medicines made mainly from weeds, plants that grow wild here, as well as a few garden herbs. It is such a reassuring feeling having so much good, natural medicine. I am ready now for any event, for any health issue. I noticed that there are several nervine herbs here – Lemon Balm, California Poppy, Skullcap, St. John’s Wort, Passiflora and Valerian. I remember being quite surprised by the abundance of these plants and feeling obligated almost, to make medicine. With so many people under stress these days I am delighted that I have medicine ready to help those with SAD, depression, nervous tension, anxiety and sleep problems. The plants have provided the medicine and those who need it will come.
What I will probably do this coming year is focus more on the plants and herbs that will help with physical problems, digestive issues and pain for example. I will dry more plants for teas and make some incense from the many beautiful flowers that will be growing. We do not know what the weather will be like but it is fun to make plans. Soon it will be time to be looking through the seed packets again! So much to look forward to and Imbolc, the beginning of Spring will be here before we know it. Let me know if you are looking forward to growing anything this year or if you have a home apothecary.