The future of medicine depends on what we are able to extract from our already depleted rainforests. I binge watched a whole season of VICE documentaries that I am still passionate about, so hear me out. (One season, in one sitting, a while ago, but it had an impact on me). Think about the impression that modern medicine professionals with their charts and rubber gloves give off. For me, hospitals are like labs that give off a chemical vibe. Doctors with their white lab coats walking down rows of flood lights and Chemo Limo forever in the peripherals of my mind. Hospitals actually still make me feel sick. The exciting and most beautiful part of this though is that some of the most revolutionary sides to modern medicine are found way out there in the wild. Outside of the hospital. Outside of the lab. Think deeper and further than that, okay? Think out in the trees and leaves with real human hands. Out where the air is sweeter than here, so breathe life into those lungs and lets get started.
An exploration team searches for plants with a specific number of alkaloids. They set out in the rainforests of Indo-China using a monocle to inspect specific leaves and branches. Branch by branch, they weave themselves further into the forest, into the unknown. In this environment, anything and everything evolves and bursts with new and more capable versions of life. They lead a mysterious and limitless adventure, PURE adventure, to me. Into the unknown because really, who knows what they will find in an ecosystem that aggressively, quickly and fiercely evolves just to keep up with itself? A plant to combat whatever kind of future diseases that are in the cards for our species. This is the hope, so these modern day medicine men literally carve out the future of human kind by searching for antidotes in nature. The survival for our own species depends on the rainforest. Unity in motion.
Watching medicine flourish outside of the hospital and lab setting is a beacon of hope for me. It connects us to life in the way that Rodin connects us to authentic human sculpture. It connects us to life in the way that Corot and his colors connect us to landscapes with every shift and subtly of Mediterranean light. It reflects a deeper meaning woven into our hearts: our universal reality. This is the understanding of all things instead of just one side or perspective. As I dig deeper into The Biology of Desire by Marc Lewis, I am more confidently stepping into my own in this role of adventurer. I step out into the unknown despite old themes and disputes of learned behavior. There it is again: the faint sound of doubt trickling through the pages. I know you. I think to myself as I muddle on through the first chapter, reading intently, despite its slight tug at my focus. My first thought is well maybe I am not going to understand what I am talking about if I continue to read about the neurobiological sides of addiction. Maybe I will not be able to hold myself at this level that I am so very comfortable with if I begin as a beginner again, but these thoughts dissipate like they always do. I proceed like I never have before ONCE AGAIN. I continue to read and wake up parts of myself that I did not know existed. I muddle through somehow, always.
For someone who devoted so much of her life to changing her state of mind, it is such a treasure to know that I can continue on this path of being exactly who I am while also growing and brain changing galore! Educating ourselves in sobriety, or just in general, is a lot like going out there as a medicine man in the rainforest. You wake up for the exploration. You live for the discovery. Each morning, I head into unknown territory with a sense of adventure. The shift from vigilance to fluid living has made all the difference. It takes more than a few people to accomplish the growth we need in our sober communities today. We should encourage each other to create and explore with a “by all means!” sort of attitude. Since each of us holds our own unique perspective, it only makes sense that each new awakening or discovery is really within the individual who discovers it. We need all the perspectives, and if I just said okay well I know that they know, so why do I need to explore any of that on my own?, I would metaphorically be plopping,or benching myself out of my own life. Imagine if those explorers stopped checking out what was happening in the rainforest. A lot of us would be dead. I mean, seriously.
By all means, explore. This is how we serve. We look through alternative resources. We bend over backwards and get outside of the rooms, or the tired and set ways of how it is done. Take it from someone who spent two years of sobriety in the rooms accepting that it was either AA, or the highway (a life of pain and suffering). Why only two options? I am only just beginning to release who I am naturally out in the wild by taking chances. This is what works for me, but it might be different for you. This is fluid living for me. I no longer want to drink like I did when I was in AA. It might be different for you. I am free to explore my existence as a completely sober person by going out there and getting it. I am free to “get it girl”, and so are you. You are so important. If you ever feel in doubt or afraid of how you may be perceived also think about that being the best part you know? Oh god what if they notice me? Like what if I am actually putting myself out there enough to be looked at? That is something that Scott Stabile talked about on HOME podcast that has stayed with me for weeks now. OH GOD what if they SEE ME! The dark and the light. Stepping out means stepping out into all of it. Understanding like a master means understanding the essence of what you are exploring. Everything else is novice and surface material. Channeling Stephen Cope again in this last thought. The deep end will not work with you, so you will need time to let it destroy your version of how it felt so that it can show you what it really means. It is never what you would think at first glance. If medicine depends on the fate of the amazon rainforest and the rainforests of Indo-China, anything is possible. ❤