Eating the Sacred December 18, 2020
I’ve been asked so many times how I got involved with this work, it seems fitting to tell the story, yet again. This is the stuff of fairy tales and marketing gurus where the hero makes a bold decision, sacrificing all that is going for him only to step into the abyss. The fate of wisdom falls upon us through virtuous strokes of passion and authenticity, what seems from the outside to be foolishness; looking back, I don't disagree. From the outside, we can only hope to honor the decisions of another.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor. Whenever people asked, I simply thought of the uncles and relatives who were doctors and had a great standard of living and I announced that I wanted to do what they did (and have what they had). Since about that same time, around 12 years old, I had identified with this one really uncomfortable hat I had that said “Worldwide”...I have always thought I would have a worldwide impact, and do something important. Well, around the time of the 2008 recession, I had very few employable skills, and it really didn’t look like I was gonna go far with the work experience I had. But around that time there was a very clear “nursing shortage” and I did have a background in the health professions field. So if not a doctor, maybe a nursing career track would do. I got myself working on the prerequisites for nursing school, buckled down and invested the next calendar year in the pursuit of a career track job.
Everything was moving along fine until I stepped back from a chemistry exam gone wrong and I realized that those kinds of errors might get somebody killed if I was careless with medications, or if stress got me to record some data incorrectly while charting a patient. It was then that I recalled a deep yearning to actually be an …. “Earth Nurse.” With my feverish passion for ecology and my insistence for social justice, I had long before conjured up my Natural Philosopher totem and imagined myself doing much more, impacting the health of humanity, Worldwide. It was not just one person I wanted to help, and it was not good enough to make money so I could then donate it to some cause. I had an agenda deep, deep inside of me that intended to correct the wrongs of humanity, and improve the whole system along the way. I’m wired to offer a way forward with the warm bedside compassion of a trusted professional, and the global awareness of a champion. On New Year’s Day, I stepped away from my classes, and set my dreams upon the wind. My heart had spoken.
To step away from certainty, and choose a new path is truly daunting. It’s all the more difficult when the way forward is not yet clear, or even present at all. But when my heart spoke to me that this was a fear-based path, and modern medicine was not for me, I could not look away. Responding to my own deeper voice was a moment of truth. To live humbly for several more years, to move through humiliating space and endure very challenging times, I had made a choice that guided me toward the Light. It would only be one more day before I received a phone call which later led me directly to the Sacred Food. Financial rewards from pursuing Stone Blood was still a decade away. But I had given life to my role as a “Medicine Carrier.” The “Earth Nurse” vocation encoded in my soul had found the Light.