I’ve been drinking: Tea of the week

I generally change teas like underwear, but for the past few weeks I have been struggling with  grief. So everything I have been drinking has been about processing my grief.

Some drink their way through grief. Others cry, journal or create art. Me, I like to eat. You can tell how I am feeling by what’s in my fridge. Look past what’s prominently displayed up front and you’ll see what’s lurking in my heart.

Given that, I’ve gone hard in the paint eating cheese, chocolate and candy corn, what am I drinking to balance it out?  A simple mixture of nettles and dandelion…

Stress & Sugar Tea IMG_3766

1 Part Dried Stinging Nettle Leaf

2 Parts Dried Dandelion Leaf

Parts can be teaspoons or tablespoons. Mix with the intention to love yourself more. Then put one heaping tablespoon into 8 ounces of hot water. Steep at least 7 minutes. Strain & Enjoy 🙂

If you are super curious as to why Nettles and Dandelion.. I find nettles super nurturing and nutritive. It’s like a sweet loving elderly relative who babysits you. They loves you so much that you don’t get into any trouble because you don’t want to give them any trouble. With anyone else you would cut a fool. Nettles (and Oat straw for that matter) love and nurture  me into being kinder to myself. Dandelion is to help my body process all the damn sugar and to help bring me back to reality. Dandelion often offers me a kind kick in the pants. I should be nicer to myself and my body. Life is tough, but let’s not make an even bigger mess than there already is.

My hope is to make a little peace with my body. If I helping it digest the crazy I’ve been putting into it, maybe I can come to digest the reality that my father is dead. We’ll see what comes up. In the meanwhile, enjoy your tea 🙂

They aren't happy with this picture, but they know I do what I can :)
They aren’t happy with this picture, but they know I do what I can 🙂

Edit: Since drinking this tea, I’ve added 1 part Elderflower and 1 part Licorice. Elderflower is helping me keep my energy channeled in positive directions. Licorice is adding the sweetness I crave 🙂

Death’s gift

As I  stumble through grief, I constantly return to a good friend’s advice that death offers a gift. When she first said it, I wanted to sock her. What kind of gift or blessing comes from death? I wouldn’t call my tears, often misguided anger or desire to eat my way out of sadness a blessing to anyone. In fact, I’d call all that a curse.

Often I can’t see the gift because I feel sad, tired, angry or just feel like I should be beyond the stabby part of grieving. However, the gift of my Father’s death is always right there, offering me little goodies when I am not looking. Grief continues to teach me many useful and different things.

Recently, I’ve learned to allow and accept difficult emotions in the midst of chaos. I used to stifle anything that wasn’t pink and fuzzy because that’s who I always imagined myself to be. Now when I feel the darkness of motherhood (heh heh), frustration at another driver, or a general sense of malaise, I don’t stifle that shit. I let it flow. Now that doesn’t mean I go curse anyone or anything out. It means I take a second to acknowledge whatever has popped up, see what it needs from me and move on from there.

Now, I have a 17 month old with me most of the time, so please don’t think I lounge around pondering. But what I do do, is tell Lil Boo what’s up and engage in activities that keep him safe and entertained, but allow me a bit of space. So instead of going to an super intense playground with a ton of parents who will want to talk my ear off, we’ll go to the gardens, or for a walk in a safe place where he can wonder off a bit, but still be safe.

Believe or not, my father’s death has also conferred a sense of freedom for me. I mean,  we are all free, blah blah blah. But you aren’t free if you don’t believe it or feel like it. When my father passed the obligation to stay as a little girl passed with him. I am no longer bound to home in the same way I was as a little girl. I can engage my Mother, Brothers and everyone else in a different way than before because I am no longer anyone’s little girl. Now that my Father is gone, I am a woman; which is odd to say because I feel as old as the hills. But, there it is. I’ve said it. I am finally a woman.

Now whatever comes from grief to you will be different. I am still unpacking what my Father’s death means to me. Knowing him there is much more to come in time. I’ll continue to look forward to what other gifts come in time.

Until next time, Take Precious Care of yourself.

Herb of the Month: Elderflower

If you have never met Elderflower, I’d like to (re) introduce you to Her. She’s an amazing friend of mine.  For me, Elderflower is a doting, wise and powerful Grandmother. She gives you what you need in the form you can best receive it.

There isn’t a harsh word in her. She is firm and gentle; lovingly guiding you in ways you don’t see or recognize until things come right. Suddenly what hurt before doesn’t hurt anymore and you’re surprised at how strong you are.

Elderflower makes for an excellent guide because she calms and grounds scattered energy, soothes emotional wounds and helps you sort out who you really are. Trust Elderflower. She knows.

Although some folks don’t really care for Elderflower during pregnancy and lactation, I used it all throughout pregnancy and lactation without any problems. In fact she helped me create space to mother in my own way, without taking on things that weren’t mine. But be sure to check in with your clinician and intuition before connecting with Elderflower. However, Elderflower is a go-to for me. If there is a problem I usually go to her first. If she can’t help, she always shows me who will. Elderflower always plays nicely with others.

If you are interested in discovering the wonder of Elderflower, try some Elderflower tincture. Simply empty a dropper full in an 8oz glass of water once daily.  As you work with Elderflower tincture, notice what is going on within you and in your life. She is subtle yet powerful and effective.

If tincture isn’t for you, try some tea. Here is a simple recipe that should last for a day or three. The intention here is to introduce you to Elderflower, but also to create some space for her to work her magic 🙂

Elderflower Tea:

2 Parts Elderflower

1 Part Nettles

1 Part Chamomile Flowers

Parts can be tablespoons or teaspoons. After mixing all parts, steep one table spoon in 8 oz of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain & Enjoy 🙂

Enjoy your time with Elderflower! She’s amazing.

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

I’ve been drinking: Tea of the week

IMG_3705This week I have been enjoying a nightly combination of elderflower, elderberry, rose buds, rose hips and hawthorn. It’s calmed me down, helped me sleep and supported me in managing a recent barrage of grief.

Okay, a barrage isn’t quite honest. I just.. stopped… grieving for a few weeks. I had developed this little ritual of arriving early to my Sunday morning yoga class, so I could sit in the car, listen to the blues and cry. I cry because I miss my Dad. I cry because no one incarnate loved me and cared for me like he did. And even though I know in my heart of hearts that he is quite happy now that he’s passed on, there is a part of me that can’t let go of the fact that the human being who cared for me first, and most in this whole world ain’t here anymore. Every Sunday I teach prenatal yoga, I would drown in my own tears and then get ready for class.

Until, I got tired of crying and used that time to just enjoy quiet. And then I stopped getting to class so early because my son and husband are cute and I don’t like leaving them all the time.

I thought all the emotion I felt was frustration because lil boo (my son) has decided that screaming at the top of his lungs for an hour was preferable to napping. I mean yeah, that grinds my gears, but it doesn’t induce the levels of stubborn evil I was at.

When I stopped my nightly yoga practice, started waking up in the middle of the night and started hitting the bottle, I knew there was a problem.

So…..I ended up with this tea..

4 parts Elderflower

1 Part Elderberry

1 Part Rose Buds

2 Parts Rose Hips

2 Parts Hawthorn Berry

From my experience, Elderflower is great for directing and managing emotions. I also find that Elderflower is super soothing. It’s my Grandmothers combined in plant form. Hawthorn puts me back in touch with my heart and supports me in expressing my grief. Rose Bud and Hips allow me to be compassionate with myself and others as grief unfolds. This shit ain’t easy and it’s okay. Elderberry is there to keep me from getting sick and feels like it’s supportive to my heart as well. I have a tendency to get sick when emotionally overwhelmed.

Now, I haven’t gotten fully back into my evening practice. But I have been practicing more since I  modified both my morning and evening  practice. I changed which hip opening postures I was doing and eased off the standing postures a bit. I’ve incorporated more restorative postures  because restorative yoga creates space for me. I find that since I don’t always have space to connect with myself, it’s easy to skip out on grieving. Incorporating poses that relax me, help me feel safe and encourage me to be with myself have been super awesome. I also started giving myself more space to talk to Daddy in the morning and cry if I need to 🙂

So this my friends is the tea of the week. If you decided to enjoy some yourself, please let me know how it works for you.

Infinite Blessings

Jeannette