Finding your medicine

Posted by Elizabeth Forst in Life After Paralysis on October 25, 2019 # Lifestyle

"Be of service, be a sensible person, Use your words and don't be nervous, You can do this, you've got purpose, Find your medicine and use it"- Nahko Bear & MFP

As I sat in my apartment in Denver, Colorado this week watching the very first snowfall of the season, I found myself hibernating and listening to a new band that I randomly came across called Nahko and Medicine for the People. They are a six-member band playing alternative world music with lead singer Nahko Bear finding his legendary musical roots while traveling around in a van with his dog – I love them already. It's not very often that I listen to a new band and immediately fall in love with their music, but this particular group was different. I'm not quite sure if it was their soothing melodies, lyrics of protecting and loving mother Earth or heartfelt words that hits home providing inspiration to live a better life. Whatever it may be, I felt it worthy to pass along to others for inspiration for a better day and ultimately a better life.

One particular song that really grabbed my attention was a song titled "Manifesto" and the final verse was the quote I provided at the beginning of this blog. My sister sometimes uses the phrase KISS – keep it simple silly – to remind me not to over-complicate life and the final verse of this song really correlated with this idea. How easy it would be to live a life of service and sensibility, being kind to others and thinking of others before oneself. How incredibly important it is to speak the truth, using one's word, perhaps in educating others, sharing stories, or just being an effective communicator with friends, family or colleagues. But it is the last two lines of these lyrics that really caught my attention. There is encouragement in living one's best life, all the while knowing that there is in fact purpose even if life is being experienced from a difficult place i.e. a wheelchair. Even though life can get really hard and feels like an unending journey of uphill battles, twists, turns, and dead ends, happiness is attainable and there is a purpose for it all.

The idea of finding one's medicine and using it is a fascinating idea. Everyone has a different interpretation of their medicine, and not talking about pills or tinctures, but the type of medicine that fills one's heart and soul. One person’s medicine could be as simple as connecting with nature through a hike, swimming in the ocean on a hot summer’s day or a long brisk bike ride through the changing autumn leaves. Another type of medicine could be spending time with loved ones, sharing a nice meal together or curling up on the couch to watch a movie on a cold wintry night. Maybe your heart will be full after a quiet, soulful meditation and yoga class, or how about dancing wildly at a music festival until the sweat drips off your forehead. It could be even as simple as taking some quiet time for oneself, getting lost in a book where the outer physical world ceases to exist just for a short moment in time. My heart sings traveling the world, exploring new lands, trying new foods and meeting new people speaking different languages. One favorite destination has always been Hawaii, as soon as the island air fills my lungs, I feel at peace and at home. This is my medicine.

We live in such a crazy world, where there is such conflict, negativity, degradation of the environment, obsession with social media, constant snarling of political entities – and so it is incredibly important for all of us, whether in wheelchairs or not, to remember the essence of stepping back, taking a moment and finding one's medicine, one's life balance and using it. This song was such a wonderful reminder of that sentiment, and it was too good to not pass along. I hope you find your medicine… And use it.

Anything's possible…

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.