It was January of 2018, and my partner and I headed on a cross-country journey. I had California dreaming on my mind, and was ready to pursue my art and film producing career. Stars were in my eyes.
Six months into this California experiment, I left the Airbnb that was my safe haven to pursue firmer roots. Things hadn’t exactly gone to plan. I ventured away from my original path in film as originally thought and took up a job opportunity as a professional caretaker. I started to embody the realization of my life filled with illness, and the job fit well with this story at the time and due to my previous experiences on the east coast. Two years later, I realized the importance of my calling as my own caretaker, which has grown more deeply than ever before amidst this global pandemic.
The Heroes Journey
Previously to my calling, I found myself with complications of Candida, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and a compilation of rare and common gut parasites. I decided to immerse myself in the realms of healing and study. A year in, I really had cracked the code of my microbiome and its role in health: its connection to autoimmunity and its role in overall health. I created a unique protocol that successfully eliminated Candida, and I pursued healthy living. I also realized the importance of sharing my experience with others who were also looking for natural pathways of healing.
A lot has happened between that spring of 2018 and this summer of 2020. I discovered 12 more chronic illnesses. The diagnosis of chronic disease in the allopathic sense is where disease stands alone. At one point or another, I will further explain my journey to root cause in terms of my vascular and feminine health concerns. For now, I’ll stay in my lane and speak to both gut health, herbs, and energetics. These played the most tremendous role in my healing process.
A new version of myself started to emerge through my pain and suffering. I found the healing way– my healing way, and there were a lot of unknowns. I approached my gut biome in an entirely new way.
The Wise Woman Tradition, The Heroic Tradition, and the Allopathic Tradition
Previously, I was living and practicing natural health through the Heroic model of healing. It was my own “Hero’s Journey” so to speak. Fixated on my battles, emerging on top, or die trying. I thought often of the notable film study of the “ heroes journey”. I thought life always had to be like the movies. In reality, my journey looked very much like something out of a modern herbal textbook. Healing in this tradition is often seen through using “one herb for one ailment” or is often paired with the phrase “ what is *any herb* used for?*. In the most ancestral herbal traditions, herbs have many uses. I thought that if I fixed myself, I would be free. I used these textbook remedies and truly thought I had found success. Until I became sicker.
In many schools of thought in the world of herbalism and energetics, there are 3 models of healing. The first is the wise woman tradition( often called the ancestral tradition), the heroic tradition, and the allopathic tradition. The wise woman tradition is the path of nourishment, to tend to a body, mind, or spirit in a state of dis-ease. The heroic tradition is that of using herbs to ‘fix” disease or illness. The allopathic model is that of modern medicine. This uses single chemical constituents (mostly of herbs) to treat disease or sickness. This is most often by means of suppressing symptoms.
Not everything can be solved with the heroic model of healing or the allopathic for that matter. Sometimes it worked, but what else did I need? I needed to deeply nourish myself. It was through my experience on the natural healing road that I learned my hardest lesson. I realized that I had nothing to fix. I only needed to care for myself, and care more deeply than I ever had allowed myself to provide. I realized that all the tools I had gained from this business, professional caretaking, and my herbal training lead to one direction. I realized my connection to the wise woman tradition.
What is the traditional model of healing?
It is the natural way of women. It is the wise woman tradition. We are lead to believe that the heroic model and the allopathic model are the only way, however, the wise woman tradition lives on in the woman that make up 90% of caretaking in homes across the world, even today.
I found my way. I found respect for my previous model of healing, the heroic model. I see where it fits. Everything exists in polarity. There’s the heroic model and there’s the wise woman model.
It is said that the heroic model is the patriarchal model. That the wise woman tradition is the matriarchal model.
For me, was there a choice?
I had to allow myself the time it takes to deeply nourish my body and self, abandon my failed outcomes, and ditch my obsession with fixing myself. It is hard to be energetics of feminine healing that I have abandoned for so long.
Will you nurture yourself? Or are you going to try to fix yourself?
For me the answer was clear. What will you choose?