This morning, on the way to school with my daughter Kaya, it hit me: we finally found our medicine and have begun to use it.
As you may know, Nahko and Medicine for the People, is not only one of my favorite bands, but serves as one of my most valuable resources to get me 'back on the path'. We listen to him regularly, Kaya and I, and often get their songs stuck in our heads. This morning, it was Manifesto, and the idea to "find your medicine and use it":
They sang don't waste your hate.
Rather gather and create
Be of service, be a sensible person
Use your words and don't be nervous
You can do this, you've got purpose
Find your medicine and use it.
For me, like Nahko, music can be extremely healing, depending of course on the message and my state of mind...
Musical medicine, this is my healin'
For past and present things to come
But what came to me this morning was not that Nahko Bear has become like our medicine (because that's a gimme!), but that our newly created Anger Jar is serving a similar purpose, as well as the actions behind our intentions in crafting it.
Suffice it to say that there's some serious energy around here when we get angry - likely not too different than many households, regardless of whether they tend towards stuffing or venting, fighting or flighting. For us, we've been looking for ways to calm down which we can actually grab on to and use in those heated moments--a goal that's much easier conceptualized than fulfilled. But last night, in our family meeting, Kaya augmented an idea that impressed the hell out of me. We have this sparkle meditation jar that we created a few years ago to support Kaya if and when she wanted to 'sit' with me. The idea never really took flight, so it's just been collecting dust. But last night, she resurrected this jar, suggesting that we attach all of our calming ideas to it so we have easy access to them all in one place. Maybe this would grant us access in those most challenging of moments?!
So, last night during nighttime activity, she drew little symbols for us all and taped them to our new medicine bottle, even going so far as to add our initials for those activities that help us each the most. For me, for example (T), I recently discovered that taking a break in front of the piano is a very effective way for me to calm down and feel better pretty quickly. For Kaya, her favorite of late is her new snuggle corner upstairs, complete with the Peace Box that we made last week (full of simple art materials for easy access). And the best part...it's working! During dinner tonight, I took a brief interlude at the piano, and Kaya buried herself under her blanket in her snuggle space. And within minutes, we went from rocking chair to dinner table, feeling 'medicated' and relieved that we have something to lean on. After years of anger and overwhelm, wishing I could just somehow feel better and have access to greater peace...my five year old daughter is granting me access to enlightenment.