My plant dieta with the Sage drew to a close last week. I felt the plant letting go and the part of me we all call ego, coming back to the front of my awareness.
The last few days have been a dance between spirit and ego. Making peace with each other, accepting each other’s needs and learning how to co-exist. Spirit the teacher, ego the enthusiastic infant. All with Sage watching on as the perfect mediator. It’s been an incredible process and you can find our more on the details of it here.
The restrictions, sacrifices and discipline needed for the dieta have been lifted and the lost boy in me has the chance to enjoy the physicality and density of a human life once more. Created within that is a new set of boundaries and allowances. An appreciation for the path I’ve chosen as a healer and shaman, sitting alongside my desires and fallibilities… my humaneness.
When I made the decision to go into dieta I had a huge choice of plants before me, yet my intuition immediately knew Sage was the one I needed. Over the past four weeks she has weaved her way into my life and my being, cleansing, purifying and balancing me, physically, emotionally and mentally.
The dieta began with a strong clearing out that lasted for two weeks. This was followed by some very clear boundary setting. Essentially the same way we use Sage to smudge a room, to cleanse any negative energies and set a strong boundary to protect the space.
Much of the process has been deeply personal and it would feel like a betrayal to throw the wisdom of the plant out in an article. The relationship I’ve developed with the plant has been one of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had. I have a new ally in Sage, along with some excellent lessons to take from the process of a longer dieta suave. Healthy habits and rituals that I've been grooved back into after falling out of them.
Salt - I don’t need anywhere near as much as I usually have. Even if it’s sea salt or himalayan salt. Seasoning is fine but raw on food is unnecessary.
Sugar - Hmm, a little is no big deal but sugar can seriously cloud my judgement. A very conscious consumption if any at all is required. The sugar roller coaster is a slippery slope.
Garlic and onions - As I wrote in my previous article, vedic traditions avoid these alliaceous plants as they increase passion and ignorance. I’ve certainly experienced this, my emotions subsided to give way for a new found clarity, supported by the sage. I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bath water and still feel garlic and onions have a medicinal use and health benefits. I will, however, be using them much more judiciously, rather than throwing them into almost every dish I cook.
Dense energy - I work with heavy energy a lot, it’s my work. In my day to day living I can walk away from it whenever I want.
Meditation - It only takes 5-15 minutes to really reap the benefits from meditation. Doing this on waking and before going to bed takes no time at all in comparison to the benefits it gives. It’s a practice I’ve slipped into and slipped out of many times over. I feel like it’s sticking this time.
Gratitude - The simplicity of gratitude and how it impacts your entire life is beautiful. Being grateful and speaking this gratitude at the end of each meditation is extremely powerful in terms of reframing the mind’s outlook on life. As I read recently:
See gratitude less as a pleasant thought process – of reminding yourself to be happy - and more like medicine. See gratitude as a physical medicine that you swallow. It pours down into your body, cleansing your arrogance, ignorance and martyrdom, dissolving them. Ask the body (and Spirit) to wash them out of you. Don't delve into self-deprecation. This is not "I'm so full of these shitty energies and it's why things are so hard for me…" Just agree that to be human is to take on negative energies, like dust from the road, and to be human in relationship with Spirit is to have a partner than can help cleanse us.
Some of what I experienced was hammering home things I already knew, but there were also brand new lessons and clearings that took place.
In particular I’ve learnt that my ego is sacred too and to consciously make space for its wants and needs is the key to a balanced, healthy life. It’s easy to get waylaid by the trappings of many so called ‘spiritual paths’ and the expectations that go with them. It’s easy to forget what we came here for.
We’re here to be human. We expand, we contract and we do everything in between.
I closed the process by burying the Sage I've worked with at the back of the house, next to the spot where a Raven had died just before my journey began. Death and rebirth, it seemed fitting.
My undying gratitude to my supportive and understanding wife Fiona, who has helped so much during the process and to the wisdom and guidance of Kat, the Afterlife Coach.