Reflections on Love, Politics and Herbs

Caring for what we love

“It’s all about love”

Like so many, I’m increasingly disturbed by the state of politics in the United States in particular, by not just the facts of what is unfolding but also by the tone, by the divisiveness, by the righteousness and judgment, by the disregard for so many of the things that so many of us hold dear. I am terrified of what might happen in our presidential election and beyond. As I scroll through Facebook posts and opinion pieces online, wondering yet again what I can do that will make a difference, I keep thinking of what Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs, said as we walked through the forests of southern India.

“It’s all about love, really. About what do you love and who do you love and how you want to love them. And if you love nature and you love people, you want to take care of them.”

His words echoed what Randy Buresh, co-founder of Oregon’s Wild Harvest, said as he drove us around their biodynamic farm in western Oregon. “It’s all about love, doing it from the heart, not doing it from the mind.” And then he added, “And that’s a completely different aspect when you think about it.”

It’s one thing to nod in agreement. It’s another to really think about how doing it – by it Randy is talking about the work of creating high quality herbal products, but his words really apply to everything we do – looks differently when done from the heart and not from the mind.

Reflections on Politics, Herbs and Love.

I spent this past weekend dancing in a Dare to Dream workshop with Ya’Acov Darling Khan, co-founder of the School of Movement Medicine. Ya’Acov spoke of dance as a way not to enter trance but to wake from the trance of modern life, the trance of being consumers, to see that we are citizens of the world. And he talked of waking from this trance to the dream we are already dreaming.

My dream in following herbs through the supply chain is to create a pathway where we have the information needed to buy herbs as citizens of the world. To me this is just another form of political action. Our money is simply one expression, a particularly potent one, of our life energy. How we spend it determines the world we are calling into being more powerfully than any petitions we sign or images we post or like online. My dream is that we see our choices about what to buy and how to vote not just as ways to make our opinions known but as ways to express our love for this world. And that in doing so, we come to understand ourselves not as consumers of a world that is already created but as co-participants in building a world where we all share responsibility in taking care of the people and places and things that we love.

It’s a dream. As Ya’Acov also said, it takes effort to make dreams real, dozens of choices daily over what we will care for and how. The stakes feel greater now than ever before. We begin the work by, simply, beginning; by asking, as Sebastian said, “What do I love and who do I love and how do I want to love them?” And then we go from there.

Reflections on politics, love, dreaming and the herb industry.

12 Comments

  • Reply February 29, 2016

    Lee

    In the face of all the divisive rhetoric and negative polarization we seem to experience daily in our country, this was such a powerful and welcome message. Thank you so much Ann for this reminder about waking up from the trance of consumerism and about loving what really matters. For the love of our earth, her healing plants, and the freedom to follow natural paths to wellness, I appreciate your reminder about where to put our attention. Thanks for focusing us on the truth that “it’s all about love, really.”

    • Reply February 29, 2016

      Ann

      Thank you so much, Lee. For reading and for taking the time to respond.

  • Reply March 1, 2016

    Megan Brown

    Ann,
    Thanks for these inspiring thoughts and the pictures of the rose! I too find myself feeling concerned and sometimes hopeless about the political future of this country; but then my husband shares his positive outlook filled with hope. He thinks the person he hopes will be president, will eventually be elected. I thought about this perspective and I think how freeing to make that your mindset. The election will happen no matter what my mind set is, so I think I’m going to choose to believe it will work it well. And I’ll keep reading and sharing posts like this : )
    Blessings and gratitude,
    Megan

    • Reply March 1, 2016

      Ann Armbrecht

      Thank you, Megan! And yes, what a wonderful way to approach it… not closing it off but to believe that what one hopes for is possible. Thank you!

  • Reply March 1, 2016

    Lennette

    Yes, beautifully said, Ann. I also keep wondering how to respond to this insanity, and thank you for reminding me I don’t have to get pulled into the darkness but can try to bring more light by loving, and offering kindness to others and this earth.

    • Reply March 1, 2016

      Ann Armbrecht

      Thank you, Lennette. It – these acts – can feel so small, you know? So it helps for us all to keep reminding each other..

  • Reply March 2, 2016

    Anita

    Ann,
    I love your thoughts about love. :) Love is not just thinking about good things, or agreeing with them, or talking about them. Love is about doing. The Sustainable Herbs Project is your “doing.” Thank you for following your dream so that others might know how to better love our fellow human beings and the earth’s resources.

    • Reply March 2, 2016

      Ann Armbrecht

      Thank you, Anita… it can be hard to remember, especially waking up to the results of yesterdays primaries. And helps to be reminded, so thank you for that as well! One foot in front of the other. Sending lots of love…

  • Reply March 2, 2016

    Kelly

    Thank-you for this, Ann. It is reminder that our daily choices either help or harm, and what may sometimes feel frivolous or elitist when it comes to ‘voting’ with our dollars is actually loving and protecting the things we hold dear. I needed these words today, the political stuff is just so frightening at times.

    • Reply March 2, 2016

      Ann Armbrecht

      Thank you, Kelly. Yes, it became so clear to me especially in India visiting the farms where farmers were growing organic herbs for Pukka’s teas that Pukka really was making a difference on the ground, that the higher cost of their tea is not frivolous but is going toward supporting relationships that matter. Thanks so much for taking the time to write – it’s hard to know what each of us can do to make a difference and I appreciate knowing that this small something helped in some way.

  • Reply March 18, 2016

    y học cổ truyền

    Great post. Thank for sharing …
    at: ga choi

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