“to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary Oliver,
“Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”
― Mary Olive
Notes on Aspen
Today I want to talk about ASPEN, aka POPLAR
Similar to the root system of mushrooms, aka mycelia, Aspen has a root system that can stretch far and wide and is used to communicate. When you see an Aspen grove, it’s usually ONE tree with clones
Before I get into the benefits of ASPEN, I want to talk about inflammation for a moment.
It’s something that we generally think of as ‘bad’ but don’t really know why. The body creates inflammation in order to ‘protect’, but when we have chronic inflammation due to illness, stress, poor diet or a toxic environment, this can cause oxidative stress (the opposite of ANTI-oxidant) and in turn cause cellular and tissue damage. Chronic inflammation suppresses immune function. This is why it’s important to reduce inflammation in the body.
There are plants that can help, including ASPEN.
ASPEN can be used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory for pain relief, as well as headaches. It’s actually so effective that they say if you’re allergic to aspirin, not to take ASPEN
For this reason, it can also help lower fever.
ASPEN can be consumed as a decoction— boil 1-4 grams of bark to get a concentrated drink
You can also find ASPEN ointments to use for pain
Unfortunately, I don’t know of a source that sells ASPEN in capsules or tincture, so to make a decoction, it would have to grow around you.
BUT! The main reason I wanted to share the properties of Aspen today is because it can be taken as a flower essence- which is easier to find.
As a flower essence, Aspen supports overcoming fear of facing the UNKNOWN and CHANGE, invoking trust and confidence, and since CHANGE is today’s topic, I thought it would be apropos.
Patterns of imbalance that may call for ASPEN are fear of the unknown, vague anxiety and apprehension, hidden fears, nightmares; easily startled or frightened
Bach Flower remedies is the most well known company to make flower essences and since ASPEN is more rare, I would get it from them because I know they make it— I like a company called Desert Alchemy for my flower essences, but unfortunately, they don’t make ASPEN
HOW TO STOP GIVING FUCKS ... AND HEAL
Be happy, be good, be positive, be optimistic, be successful, be woke, be spiritually enlightened. Consume the perfect diet. Attract a million followers on Instagram. Live your best life. Rise up the career ladder. Be fit and healthy. Be your greatest self. Manifest your life’s purpose. Optimise your body's functioning. Release your pain, fear, anger and sadness. Free yourself from doubt. Fall in love with the man and woman of your dreams and live happily ever after and never feel lonely again.
This dream is beautiful but it is literally killing us.
The eternal soul has no interest in living up to any ideal of happiness, however beautiful.
Its terrible and sacred rage boils underneath the entire self-help project. Its cry for authenticity, for Truth at any cost.
Fuck the lie of the ‘perfect life’; it only makes us depressed, anxious, addicted, and actually feeds our shame and self-loathing and feelings of failure. The constant striving eventually exhausts us, brings us to our knees. It’s too much work for the poor organism, to be ‘positive’ all the time.
The Unconscious is enraged by the lie. And it wants to fucking rest.
But in our exhausted state, afraid even to touch our exhaustion, we turn to medication, energy drinks, drugs, mantras, the gym, more positivity. Or we simply lose ourselves in thought. Or we create a new identity as ‘the depressed one’ or ‘the failure’. Or we simply ‘push through’ the exhaustion and just keep busy, and numb. Keep moving at any cost. Never stop.
Happiness literally makes us unhappy.
Fuck this kind of false happiness. It’s vitally important to make room for the darkness too.
To create space in your life for the grief, the rage, the shame, the fear and the loneliness. To bring these poor, misunderstood creatures out of hiding and into the Light.
If you do not, they will drain your lifeblood like vampires.
Until you listen to your gorgeous vulnerability.
Accept it all and fuck it all. Bless it all and fuck it all and love it all. Open your heart to it all. Bless this silly human mind with its conditioned ideas and impossible standards and its never-ending attempts to tell us how we ‘should’ be, or what the ‘right’ thoughts and feelings are.
Fuck the lie of happiness that sends so many to an early grave.
Protect the inner child, the one who feels unhappy, lonely, sad, disconnected, sometimes. Stop telling her to be happy, connected, peaceful, spiritual and blissed-out today. She couldn’t give a fuck. She just wants your love.
Drench the sad and lonely inner one with curiosity, understanding. Breathe into her.
Fuck all the forces of the world that would seek to harm her or silence her.
And when she asks,
“Mommy, Daddy, do I have to be happy and perfect for you to love me?” You can reply:
“Of course not my love. I love you exactly as you are. I love your flaws and imperfections and your vulnerable heart. They are all so beautiful to me. It’s okay to not feel peaceful. You don’t have to be happy right now. Let’s be unhappy together…” Now THAT is fucking Happiness.
- Jeff Foster