Happy Groundhog Day!
Hey, it’s Groundhog Day! This day reminds me of things I like to repeat. Like one of my all-time favorite movies – Bill Murray is a riot in Groundhog Day! I love the return of Spring, and I like to order the same thing at my favorite restaurant (Green Curry at Thai Fresh in Austin, TX). And, whether alone or in public, I just have to dance every time I hear Bob Schneider sing Let the Light In. Lots of things I love to repeat. What things do you love to repeat?
And if you’re like me, there might be some patterns you would rather not keep repeating. Really, again? So, in honor of Groundhog Day, I have an idea. What if you (and I) choose a repetitive pattern in life to love, honor and move through. Is there something in your life that just keeps happening? An argument with yourself or someone else, a stuck feeling, a fear that keeps surfacing? An action you are compelled to keep repeating? Tripping over the curb? Getting a cold every February? A thought that keeps whirling through the brain right when you’re trying to go to sleep, or a song you just can’t stop singing? Waking every morning at 3:30 am, wide awake or needing to pee? Or a dizzy feeling every Monday when it is time to start the day?
As a professional homeopath, I study symptoms, especially the ones that seem eccentric or have periodicity. In a casual look at Robin Murphy’s Homeopathic Clinical Repertory, in the “Time” chapter there are remedies listed for symptoms that occur periodically. For example, there are listings for symptoms that repeat every day, every hour of the day, every season, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, or every 14, 21, or 42 days. Homeopathy cares so much about the details. (And my experience is that God, the Universe, your Higher Power does too!) Even and especially the symptoms you may have thought were just querky, weird or private to you. Symptoms that occur when the weather gets hot, or a cold-front blows through, thunderstorms, whenever it rains, at the seashore, at sunset, and before the full moon.
Homeopathy is a grand and wise teacher. It is one of my closest life-long friends. Homeopathy does not judge patterns, in fact it CELEBRATES them. Those patterns in your life are happening for a reason. They are actually coming from the soft voice of the Soul, saying, “Please, turn your attention to me, to right now, to your heart, right here.” When a homeopath listens to symptoms and follows their lead, they take us to the perfect remedy. In the school Life, when we give loving attention to the patterns we are in, our Soul can lead us to truth and wisdom, sometimes easy to see and other times way down deep.
One remedy that is known for certain repetitive patterns is Hyoscymus Niger, a homeopathic medicine made from the Solanaceae group of plants, affectionately referred to by plant people as “Stinking Roger” and in the homeopathic world by its abbreviation Hyos. This is a well-used remedy for a plethora of symptoms historically. According to Robin Murphy, one possible symptom for the person needing Hyos is that “she persists in undressing herself” (or himself) – something someone’s partner might enjoy, but not a mom with her son in the grocery store! Also helpful for those prone to quarreling, over-drinking (alcohol), and under-drinking (water), headaches that recur after meals, the child prone to sobbing while still sleeping. Patterns that repeat. In homeopathy, we do not judge the pattern, instead we inquire about it, study it, and receive it with gratitude for bringing us the clues we need to find the perfect remedy for healing.
One thing I love about Hyos is that it is often “found growing on old rubbish heaps, near ruins, on the roadside …” (Murphy, Nature’s Materia Medica, 3rd ed.). Sometimes the things in our life that we think are trash, garbage and not worth using – things we want to get rid of and throw in the trash heap – are the very things that may have an unexpected and powerful particular healing quality or teaching. This makes me think of our medical system that will often be so quick to toss out an organ that isn’t “working” — as if the human body were no more than a machine. We see in the plant life of Hyoscymus, even growing by the trash, it holds healing energy and can be made into a powerful remedy. Hyos has been used historically and in clients I have worked with to bring about healing from patterns of seizure, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and incessant coughing just to name a few of many.
Just maybe, other symptoms — Life Symptoms — those things we just want to GO AWAY — maybe those persistent patterns could really have something to say. Maybe they have a message, maybe they are showing us something noteworthy and highly healing. Is there something in your life that keeps repeating? A happening that occurs over and over that won’t seem to leave you? The first human and natural reaction is simply to push it away, but does telling the symptom or pattern that you don’t like it ever cause it to change?
I used to lose my keys ALL THE TIME! Oh my gosh, and I judged that pattern to be such a pain! I was (seemed like) forever losing the keys, looking and finding. I even lost my sister’s keys and my friend’s keys! However, there was a method to the madness once I stopped to slow down, focus and see. Once I realized this pattern was trying to teach me something and I chose to be receptive, the learning began. And Voila! This pattern taught me many things.
So what did I learn from my keys? First, my key losing pattern taught me to HEAR how I was talking to myself. I found myself saying, “WHAT?? YOU! AGAIN? How could you do that again?” And sad to say, maybe even calling myself a not-so-flattering name. I learned to listen to myself, and since the pattern was repeating, I eventually learned to be kinder to the part of me that was stuck in the persistent pattern. Was it really about losing my keys or was it about something much deeper? When I talked nice to myself I could more easily REMEMBER where were those sneaky keys. It was super helpful when I learned to accept myself lovingly and say, “Oh, miss Jen, it looks like you’ve lost them again – it’s okay! I love you anyway. You’ve found them a jillion times before, you go girl! I know you can find them again!”
So, I started remembering how to be kind to myself, how to be present with myself, how to be patient with unexpected things in life, how to plan according to my eccentricities, how to love unlovable parts of me. I learned to be more organized and I was motivated to clean out the clutter (first in my house, and then in my mind). Once I started to get the lessons and then willingly applied them to my life, they only seemed to take me deeper and multiply. As I responded with the appropriate changes in my life, my key loss occurrences dropped dramatically. Now it hardly ever happens – but when it does it just makes me smile.
I started thinking about losing and finding, keys, other things, and parts of me. I started asking, “What else might I have lost? Dear Soul, what do you want me to find?” I even found some parts of my energy, parts of my heart, feelngs I tucked away in my back and spine, parts I had once left by the wayside in the busy-ness of life. This process helped me to woke up to the automatic programming that was causing me to accept heart loss as a “normal” part of life. So you see, something annoying and inconvenient can often be a very kind and loving teacher when we are willing to stop, breathe, look, feel and see. Once we begin to open up to the gifts and teachings of Life, we can find ourselves on a journey that leads to loving lessons of the heart.
Learning from my patterns and the patterns of others has taught me to receive and appreciate inconvenient and seemingly faulty parts of myself. I am continually learning and being reminded to accept life and all it brings, to love what shows up with non-judgment, to give myself space and choose to examine the habits and beliefs that are speaking to me. The sweetest part is that as I become more patient and loving toward myself, the newer patterns of self-love and caring can expand out to those around me and to my world. It really is true what the sages say — you can only give to others what you are first giving yourself.
Learning from repetitive patterns of my own taught me to be more patient with my son when he tracked mud in the house for the umpteenth time; I learned to be more loving and joyfully receiving of my daughter’s free spirit moods. I learned to be more patient when my 86-year old dad tells me the same story over and over. I started listening to his story instead of tuning it out, I started talking with him about it, until he was all talked out. When I engaged with him lovingly and really heard what he was saying, I was able to feel a heart connection (something not so possible with him in earlier or even recent days). I realized his telling was healing something inside of him, and when I allowed that without judgement, it also was healing for me. Now I continue to learn from patterns I find in my life. I am learning to be patient with life when more challenging patterns are presented and brought into my awareness – long held limiting beliefs, patterns of fear, distraction or even resistance. We all have thoughts or feelings that keep coming up, causing discomfort. The good news is that it is possible to transform them with genuine care and real loving.
The wise ones tell us that the things we RESIST in life will only PERSIST. In fact, our resistance FEEDS them and keeps them thriving! This is so true. I don’t know about you, but I have tried resisting unwanted things in my life. That is a very brow-beating type of learning. Here’s one more teaching from the wisdom of homeopathy that applies: Like cures like – in homeopathy a remedy made from a substance that would CREATE a symptom in a well person, will work to heal and rebalance the energetic pattern that is creating the symptom or illness in the sick person. A like (not same, but like) but higher energy will move in and dissipate the energy creating the illness. In life, we can apply the concept to those unwanted patterns we see: LIKE CURES LIKE – engage, find something to understand and appreciate about the unwanted pattern – something to be grateful for. Instead of focusing on our differences, can we find the commonalities we share.Not forcing the opposite, but meeting ourselves or others with compassion and empathy.
Can I shift my thoughts from judging to learning, observing with curiosity? Can I meet each challenge in myself and others with a higher, stronger loving energy? Can I meet myself, my child, or my life right where it is, yet with my own higher self’s love frequency? That is one way to dissolve the pattern and see it for what it is truly. A challenge, yes, and sometimes heartbreaking – big things, even huge serious life events, way beyond lost keys. How we respond is key (please excuse the word play).We’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s true: Our power is in our choice. Can we love the patterns, let them be, and sit with them lovingly? Can we bring compassion to ourselves, and to the things that we notice? Can we encourage them to shift and change at the pace that is most doable and comfortable? Can we meet ourselves half-way, inside our heart? Can we meet whatever is unfolding with love? For Love is the highest frequency of healing!