About a week ago I retreated for a much-needed girls weekend to a spa resort just outside of Santa Fe. Lovingly called "Adult Day Care" by one of the friendly staff we met along the way, the resort provides a whole menu of included classes during your stay. I did everything from hold chickens and throw hatchets...not at the same time of course ;)...to make superfood smoothies and participate in a sweat lodge ceremony, among other things.
The sweat lodge was by far the most profound experience of all that I was able to do, and I wanted to share a bit of what Spirit whispered to me in that pitch black room surrounded by strangers and smothering heat.
An amazing woman named Concha led the ceremony (pictured above), walking us through the four directions and telling soul-stirring stories to embody the message of each direction. Each of the four winds has an animal that represents its essence, and when she spoke of the bear, my heart swelled in knowing that its medicine was exactly what I needed.
She said that when the bear hibernates, it does so knowing that it needs the medicine of rest and the medicine of Mother Earth's support. As she passed the ceremonial rattle around the circle, she asked each of us to call out loud what medicine our soul most needed right now in fervent prayer to Spirit.
I was last around the circle, and when it was my turn, the words poured out of me in great waves lubricated by abundant tears.
The medicine of health and stability in my legs and knees.
The medicine of authentic communication in all my relationships.
The medicine of strength and wisdom.
The medicine of powerful storytelling.
The medicine of less versus more.
That last one hung on my lips and lingered in my heart. Less versus more. Yes. So much yes.
I sat with the feelings I was having. I noticed the way the word "less" danced in my heart making me absolutely giddy. And I spent the rest of the weekend allowing myself to linger in less.
Less thinking. Less time around others. Less worry. Less doing.
The magic of less is that it conversely comes with more. So in inviting less of one thing, by default we invite more of another.
Less time around others meant more time with myself. Less doing meant more being. Less worry meant more joy. But it's so important to first invite the less in order to receive the more.
In the week home after my retreat, the magic of less crept into my day-to-day life and showed me how it wanted to be used. From more streamlined days focused on only one task to so much more time spent with just my husband and my daughter, I have felt fuller and more rejuvenated in the past week than I have felt in a long while.
And so I ask you, what medicine is your soul calling for right now? Is it the medicine of less versus more? And if it is, what would you like to allow less of in order to invite more of something else?
When I lay my head on my pillow at the end of the night, I notice that my heart always feels fullest when I've spent quality time with Brian and Chloe and connected with Lacy in some way. My mind always feels calmest when I've moved my body in a joyful way and nourished it well. And my spirit always feels most connected when I've meditated and spent time writing in some way.
That is my feel-good formula. What is yours?
You are the medicine.
Remember, this life is yours to create. You get to choose how you feel, what you believe, and how you spend your precious time in this body. You are the medicine your soul most needs. Choose you.