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If you grew up in a hurtful home, you may have a hard time imagining that the world can be a soft place to land. You might figure that if your family didn’t hold you in high regard, no one else will. And, perhaps as a result, you hold yourself back from jumping into life, and seizing the day. Perhaps you keep yourself small and compact, skirting the edges of society, trying to go unnoticed. Perhaps you don’t allow yourself to dream, because you are certain that dreams don’t come true. Just like they didn’t come true in your family home, where things never seemed to improve.

If this is you, I have something to tell you: It’s not true. It makes perfect sense that you would feel this way, but it’s just a projected expectation from your lived experience. It’s all you know. But it’s not all that you can know. Because there is a bounty of good people who are willing to support your efforts to create a better life. I know, because I have met many. I entered my twenties certain that the world had to be harsher than my harsh upbringing. And I was proven wrong, time and time again. Sure, there were many who were perpetuating their own ancestral toxicity, but there were also hundreds of wonderful souls, none of whom were remotely interested in abusing or scapegoating me. In fact, many of them were just like me: trauma survivors with hearts of gold, seeking safe and supportive connection. Because at heart, we are all roaming the plains looking for a loving and functional family.

It’s astonishing when you realize that much of the world is kinder than your childhood home. When you do, everything starts to change. You realize that the worst is over (‘worst things first’), and that you are finally free to... live. Sweet relief.

Notes on Purslane

by ANA

Last year, around the end of Summer / early fall, I noticed a sprawling seaweed looking succulent growing in my yard. In the past, I would have thought that it was a useless weed and pulled it out

But after years of working with plants, I’ve come to understand that no plant is useless, even if they don’t benefit humans. After all, they’re not just here to serve us. In fact, I’d say in the natural order of things, it’s the other way around

I used my handy plant id app (picture this) to identify it. (Side note, this app is not 100% full proof. It’s always a good idea to cross reference and make absolute sure the plant is what it says it is, especially if you’re going to consume it or put it on your body)

I think it’s necessary for humans to change our understanding of what a weed is. Most people think of weeds as undesirable and a nuisance. But if we looked at it through the lens of nature, we could see that there is always a reason for a plant.

When I see ‘random’ plants in my yard, I often think that my garden is either giving me the gift of medicine that she may think I need, or she’s offering something to the birds and insects around her (because, again, it’s not just about me)

Turns out, this particular ‘weed’ is called Purslane and not only is she edible, she’s highly nutritious.

Purslane is a mucilaginous substance, similar to aloe, on the inside. This means she’s healing for our mucus membranes, including our gut.

She’s a rich source of potassium, magnesium and calcium. She’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, helping protect our body from free radicals.

As far as vegetables go, she’s been reported to have the highest concentration of Vitamin E per weight, as well as high amounts of Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.

According to the NIH “The antioxidant content and nutritional value of purslane are important for human consumption. It revealed tremendous nutritional potential”

I chop her up and put her in my morning bone broth along with garlic, ginger, and rosemary. YUM!

You can also add superpowers to your salads up with Purslane

I hope this will help you see ‘weeds’ a little differently.

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