The Mighty Chamomile
Updated: May 1
There is a beautiful and lush mountain I hike at regularly where the trail is covered in chamomile plants. The sweet little blossoms seemingly rise up from nothing but dirt and rocks. They fight their way through, seeking the sun and its nourishment with endearing perseverance. They really warmed my heart to see them in such abundance. The little budding plant reminded me of times where sipping on a cup of the aromatic herb helped me feel more relaxed, calm, and cozy. I was aware of what a powerful and strong little plant it was and that it exuded such gifts!
On that same hike, I noticed how trampled some of them were from the hikers and animals that frequent the trails. They were literally mashed down to the earth, and yet somehow, they manage to stay vibrant and green and spring their way back, upwards towards the light. They don’t stop to think about whether being trampled could stand in their way of accomplishing their goal of surviving and sharing their gifts with us. They just do it! I was in total admiration of their strength!
This made me think about you, and me, and us and how we are so much like the chamomile. You see, we too have a purpose that we must grow and push towards slowly. We have to connect deeply to our roots, our inner knowing, and trust what that purpose might be for us at any given time. And like the chamomile, there might be things that try to get in the way of that growth and longing. Some may not regard us in the way we need to or honor us in the ways we deserve. We get stomped on, over and over again. Such is life, but then we get back up, again and again. Maybe a little bloody, a little sweaty, a little scarred, but up and moving again, nonetheless. Can you acknowledge all of the different ways in which you’ve persevered through hard shit? Stood up again and again despite getting stomped on? Can you trust in your own ability to be the chamomile, to survive in harsh environments where the odds sometimes seem stacked against you? You’ve done it my lovies. You have done it. Over and over again, you have persevered over challenges, and are still standing right here, right now.
In times of distress, like this current pandemic, it’s easy to forget all we’ve persevered through. We forget we’re the chamomile. We can easily start judging ourselves about struggling, feeling overwhelmed, or wanting to give up. As our feelings of fear and uncertainty rise, it’s easy for self-critical thoughts to appear that make us feel like we may not make it. This is not an unusual experience when we’re faced with challenges. The voice of doubt wants to come in and say something like, “this vulnerable stuff you’re feeling (fear, doubt, pain, sadness) means you’re weak. You’re all grown up now so you should be able to get through this stuff without feeling this way. You’re not strong.” Well, that my lovies is BULLSHIT.
Being the chamomile doesn't mean that you don't experience vulnerability and threat. Being the chamomile means that you know how to be soft and rough. That you understand that as you grow into yourself there will be many challenges along the way that may threaten your existence as you know it. It means that despite the shit du jour flying at you on any given day, you have pushed through and remained standing over and over again. Being the chamomile means that you trust in all of this. You trust in your strength and resilience. You trust in your power and vulnerability to get through things. You trust that you will grow and push into your purpose and that you will sometimes
get trampled on in the process. You trust and know that you will rise up again, over and over again, despite it.
So for today, can you take time to acknowledge all you’ve pushed and persevered through? Can you take a moment to reflect on your strength, your resilience, your endurance, your power to just keep going?! What happens if you actually take a few minutes to pat yourself on the back for being still standing and pushing through yet another day?
One of the greatest disservices we can commit to ourselves as women is to not acknowledge our moments of triumph. For example, is everyone still alive today Excellent! Success! Did everyone get fed (more or less)? Did I get dressed (or not, depending on your goal)? These are small but important things we accomplish every day that we don’t give ourselves acknowledgement for.
And what about the big things like, I still managed to work on professional content in the middle of homeschooling and a pandemic. Or, I finished an important work or home
project or I read a great book or I planted something, etc. etc. Are you starting to get the picture? It’s about seeing ourselves and our fullness throughout the day. It’s about noticing how we’re the chamomile every day, several times a day, pushing through, making it through.
Without that self-acknowledgement to fill us, there’s too much space left for the inner critic to creep in and point out to us all the ways in which we’ve “failed”. (Which I fear is code for “I wasn’t perfect”, but that’s for another post). And we have failed, I’m sure, but we’ve also done things well, albeit imperfectly. But, if we follow the path of the inner critic, then we slowly die because it cages us in a loop of only seeing our mistakes without any acknowledgement of our successes.
So, I leave you with these simple instructions on how to be the chamomile:
1. KNOW you’re here on this planet for a purpose.
2. Move towards the light to share your gifts.
3. Trust that there will be harsh elements in your way of your growth.
4. Trust in your ability to grow back, stand tall, and face the light.
5. Take in all that you’ve pushed through and acknowledge it.
6. Share your gifts with the world.
So, lovies, ask yourself if you want to be a part of the Chamomile Club. Ask yourself if you’re ready to notice and acknowledge the ways in which you stand up and push through? Ask yourself I you’re ready to notice your strength and resilience?
Recognizing where you’ve done well, where you’ve been successful is an energy boosting strategy. It gives you more energy to keep going! The alternative is to focus on ways you’ve screwed up, beat yourself up for it and end up feeling terrible. That is an energy draining alternative that doesn’t help us keep moving forward.
My hope for you is that you’ll join the Chamomile Club where you can indulge in noticing your strengths and resilience and continue growing in spite of challenges, maybe even because of them. I hope you can relish in the club’s acceptance and welcoming of your gifts and purpose on this planet, and that you’ll trust your inner knowing of how important you really are.
So what’ll it be? Are you in?