The “other” Green Juice

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Has anyone else noticed a huge explosion in juices available at health food stores…or heck, even at Stop-and-Shop now? Five, ten dollar bottles of squeezed plants with claims to do every darn thing, from reduce inflammation to calm us down to sparkle up our colons. Sounds great, right? Who doesn’t want imported Turmeric and Coconuts in disposable single-use plastic bottles with a very nicely designed label backed by a crack marketing team!

But. Do we really believe in this? Is this progress–too many beverages to count lining the refrigerators of Whole Foods….Is it a lasting truth or is it a Band-Aid that just makes us believe we are doing something healthy? What good is a shiny colon if we don’t really have an underlying connection with the Earth, if we aren’t  feeling empowered or creating lasting positive change for everyone?

Is this progress for humanity or progress for capitalism?

I am not exactly against the occasional use of a healthy juice. I have used one for extra B-vitamins after a long flight and sought C during a particularly nasty head cold. But I see it as a temporary fix in the context of a disconnected world, a symptom of my own lack of planning and self-care, an answer so easy as to be perhaps meaningless….and I advise folks to try the other green juice.

Yes, the most ancient and lasting beverage is free, and it is NATURE. Standing next to plants can offer us a kind of food that is so obvious as to seem worthless in this culture. But it is not.

It’s great, actually. I have yet to fall hopelessly in love with any squeezed liquid from who-knows-where. But we all have the ability to lose track of time with a tree, to disappear into a field of honeybee-laden Asters, to lie on moss and forget to worry about our colons and how shiny they are.

And we give of ourselves in this paradigm too… not just 5 bucks but an exchange of our energy.

It does not have to be either one or the other, of course. One could drink kale while sitting in a field. But if I had to, I would choose the green juice that speaks to me in my mother tongue, the green juice that feeds me with fiber and that never fills up landfills…the Earth itself buzzes with the green juice that is available to everyone, independent of shipping routes and disposable income. This green juice endures.

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Archetype 2: the Firebreather

“They got guns but it points the wrong way”-MIA

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Ah, tension. It is vital to life on Earth. I can’t imagine life without the delicious tension of expectation, the tension between lovers and land, movement and excitement. It is the element of fire which creates motion and heat, generates ideas and crystallizes juices.  And yet. Too much of a good thing burns your ass off.

The firebreather as an archetype is widely known but poorly understood. Have you ever seen someone so full of energy and ideas they lay it all out, get it all done and still have juice to make sweet love? Yeah, it happens. They’re on fire. But those who can’t direct this fire–the “firebreather”–get up and get burned by all this fire running them ragged. Waste it on screaming about all of the problems of the word, and oh there are so many, then need to take hours to recover.

If we are going to get up in the morning and expend that much effort, why not make it count? Perhaps the firebreathing dragon can put it in writing, send it to their Congressperson? Paint it? pound it into pie dough? Or set out to limit the undirected rage–only 5 minutes a day raging at that which we can’t change? Then move on. Use the rest of the rage for movement, processing, influencing that which is in reach. Why waste valid anger?

If we use our precious fuel to burn garbage we can potentially drive others away. How easy it is to direct this energy at those who neither want nor need to take on the burden, to breathe in the acrid smoke, and how easily the firebreather forgets that not all people have the capacity to burn up over everything that is AMAZING!!! or SUCKS!!! And these less-fired types may not continue to come around, therefore deepening the levels of anger and rage. What initially attracts others-well-managed fire-can become scary when burning out of control. A common result is the firebreather’s attempts to sedate the fire with ill-conceived self-medication, often creating more problems in the process.

And what does the firebreather type really need? How to let go, how to move on? An outlet. An ally. A plan.

I have observed several firebreathers take up running  in their 40s to manage their emotional states with great results-but I believe various types of movement can help. I see grounding and time spent with the other elements-working in soil, swimming in water and deep breathing of fresh air as especially important for those who are out of balance. It helps t find our own herbal allies which help us deal with pain, emotional and physical, as well as Hawthorne to balance the fiery heart energy  and cool movers such as Cleavers and Dandelion-becasue fire  energy gets stuck just like the other elements, just hotter. Mugwort. Rose. Level it all out with Milky Oats.

Writing, walking, listening and learning to let go. The excess fire state has an element of grasping, a type of sticky attachment to hammering everyone and everything over the head with your energy-it’s like an energetic rabies outbreak. So Mad-dog Scullcap may provide support for “the mad dog of the mind”.

And ultimately the firebreather may wish to learn to harness the fire for productive purposes, to accept that which we can’t change,  to find the balance between git-r-done and recovery, to direct the blazing soul juice and take a time-out when needed or run the risk of that fire burning up or burning out, at which point it may be too late.

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