I have a a few deal-breakers in my life.
If I were to write a “handbook to Lisa,” there would probably be a chapter entitled “How to Keep Lisa in a Great Mood.” And one of the few things listed in that chapter would be this:
Do not place in situations of extreme heat.
Maybe it was the fact that I grew up in Panama and I can still remember the days of playing soccer in 100 degree, high-humidity, heat. I used to feel the sun’s rays burning through my hair and searing my scalp and thinking, this must be what a day in hell feels like.
Also, being that Panama was a small, third-world country at that time, there was no such thing as central air conditioning in houses or apartments. Electricity was unreliable and too expensive, so I often spent a great deal of time sweating and feeling hot, even while I was sleeping. Not exactly comfortable.
Maybe that is why I just don’t want to tolerate the heat anymore. I get cranky.
Whatever the reason for my heat aversion, this is what was making me struggle heroically as Day 2 of my Soul Adventures France retreat rolled around. A retreat I was leading, by the way.
You see, France was having an uncharacteristic heat wave. Every local I spoke to told me it was horrible and that this never happened there.
And because this never happens there, and this time of the year is always cool and comfortable, most houses or hotels don’t have air conditioning.
Therefore, I was pissy and struggling.
But as I sat there at breakfast, unable to drink hot coffee for fear I might spontaneously combust and praying for ice, a little voice came into my head…
This is medicine.
You see, this whole time, a small part of me had been majorly pissed off.
This isn’t how this was supposed to go.
It’s supposed to be the perfect temperature for me so that I can show up and lead from my most inspired, pleasured-up self!
Except that way of thinking was making me even more frustrated.
There was no way to control the uncontrollable.
And what if this was my medicine, I asked myself.
If this was my medicine, I’d realize I need to surrender to this. I would realize that I need to trust that this heat wave is EXACTLY what we all needed to have the breakthroughs we have been having and that we will still have. I would remember that the Universe is always conspiring in my favor and this is not something happening “against” me, but “for” me.
As I sat with the heat as my medicine, I realized that the invitation it was giving me was:
- Surrender and go with the flow…
- You can lead effectively and properly hold space in any situation, hot or not…
- Your internal state does not need to be affected by this heat if you don’t want it to (also known as “equanimity” — a big pillar of my work. Ha.)
- You can wear cooler clothes instead of being attached to what you wanted to wear during this trip (okay I know that one is more superficial, but it’s real)
You know what’s funny?
That was the whole theme of the trip.
Diving into the feminine flow. Having an experience where you get to truly embody the energy of the feminine and FEEL what it actually feels like to do that in your life… which sometimes we rarely get to do in our overly masculine world of achievements and set structures of how “things are supposed to be.”
And feminine energy, when embodied, is all about deep trust that you’re being held by the love in the Universe and taken where you need to be taken. It goes with the flow. It surrenders. It knows all is working out in her favor, even when it doesn’t appear that way to the ego.
I shared this with the women at my retreat during breakfast. How I had been struggling and how it was wonderful medicine for me because I wouldn’t learn the lesson with other discomforts.
I could only learn the lesson through the thing that REALLY gets to me: heat.
Anything else wouldn’t have gotten my attention.
And the women began to share what their medicine during the trip was. It was magical.
My medicine is that I am expecting you to be my guru and I keep getting triggered that you refuse to be. Yet, I realized that I am having trouble setting boundaries with my own clients because they keep forming co-dependent-guru type of relationships with me and that is no longer working! So that ego shit-fit I’m having over you NOT letting me make you the guru is my medicine.
My medicine is that I was really upset that I had to take care of this one situation at the beginning of the retreat. But actually, NO ONE ACTUALLY ASKED ME TO TAKE CARE OF IT!! I just took on the responsibility of it automatically. And I’m realizing it’s because I constantly take over-responsibility for everything and this doesn’t work for me. I’m doing it to my own self!
There were more stories, but one by one we all shared our medicine and laughed at the lessons it presented for each one of us.
And when we surrendered to the medicine and thanked it, the frustrations we were all experiencing, dissipated.
A few hours later, we came across an ocean of lavender fields. With a gorgeous song blasting on the car radio, we ran out into the intoxicating scent and the buzzing of happy, lavender-drunk bees like wild women unleashed. We cried, releasing the things that do not serve. We circled and held ceremony.
And when it was all over, one of the women turned to me and said: I would never have been able to open up my heart in the lavender fields and release this big thing I have been carrying around inside of me for years, had we not accepted our medicines, each one of us. This needed to get out of the way for me to have this breakthrough.
So what is your medicine right now?
Pick something that is really frustrating you currently.
Ask yourself: what is the medicine in it?
Think about it this way: medicine sometimes brings up some icky symptoms before it takes them all away. Medicine sometimes doesn’t taste good going down, but it heals us.
So what in your life is like medicine for you right now?
I’d love to hear it in the comments below.