All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see.
— Mark Nepo
seeds mark nepo

I have been in the dark. Fighting to see the light. 

The past month has been brutal. Orlando. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Dallas. All of a sudden the state of our country, which is almost at civil war, is so blatant. 

It's on every screen. Not only the event, but the aftermath. Orlando then anti-muslim sentiment and homophobia. Alton Sterling and the heartbreak of leaving behind a family. Philando Castile departing a beloved community, 4 year old and girlfriend. Black Lives Matter movement, arrests and more violence by police. Dallas policemen doing their jobs quickly losing their lives.

We, as Americans, are reeling and lost and wondering, how do we remake our country to be the LAND OF THE FREE and the HOME OF THE BRAVE?

Simultaneously, I have been facing my own scary health issues. Some issues as minor as a cavity, some as major as mysterious abdominal pain. 

Amidst cultural turmoil, my body is having its own revolution and civil war. 

I found out that I have an ovarian cyst. It's minor, not a big deal in the spectrum of health issues. But what I was experiencing was intense abdominal pain, feeling flu-ish and very uncomfortable in my body.

I got an ultrasound to look at my abdomen more closely and when I left the lab, I hurriedly walked to the car and called my fiancé. The phone rang twice and he picked up, 

"Hi" I said

"Hey, what's up?" he said

"I don't know..... I still....I just....I don't know what's happening..."

I broke into pieces right there over the phone. Big fat alligator tears rolled down my face and my breath caught in my throat. I was still in pain, had just done an exam, and now had to wait 5 days to get the results.

As a health practitioner, I knew the chances of something being really wrong and needing a procedure were low. I was shaking in my boots, as a patient, I am just like anyone else, lost, scared, confused and feeling crappy. 

I have a wide variety of solutions outside the western medical toolbox. I have herbs, (and herbalist friends) great foods, traditional women's health remedies and beyond amazing healer practitioner friends. But I did not want to be the crazy-alternative-medicine-lady who avoids going to the MD and then needs emergency surgery because her plant medicine wasn't the right thing. 

So I went, got the tests, paid for the doctor's appointments (that needs another essay, our healthcare system is wack) and I waited. Turns out, there's nothing much to do in western medicine, just sit, and wait for it to get better. Go back and get more tests, aka more dollars spent. 

For now, I have my resources, herbs, practitioners, friends who are practitioners, nutrition, and a few other tricks. It has made it all the more clear how VITAL it is for "alternative" health care such as acupuncture, herbalism, massage etc to be much higher on the list of resources AND integrated with our western medicine system. 

Simultaneous to this cultural and personal darkness there has been growth. These insanely violent murders have brought to light, loud and clear the big rift and all the work that needs to happen in this country. We have a long way to go to redefine how to truly be free and brave.

If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. When we commit to showing up and risking falling, we are actually committing to falling...Daring is saying, “I know I will eventually fail and I’m still all in.”
— Brené Brown

Personally, in my darkness I have cracked open to my need to keep being vulnerable, sharing my experience and supporting others through their moments of mental and physical darkness. It seems there is no other way than to crack open and surrender. 

seeds growth brene brown

I don't know the answer, or the solutions. I am still grappling with the heartbreak of the violent injustices committed. And I am still figuring out how to get my body back to 100%. What I do know is that these seeds have been in the dark, and they have cracked open and grown, and I will follow their lead.