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plant medicine

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Weekly Forecast Monday May 20th, 2019

Monday 5/20 – Skunk Reversed  – Are you aware of what  kind of energy you are putting out in the world? In every interaction and even as you simply walk down the street, you are transmitting energy and being very conscious about the quality of that energy can make a big impact on your experience in this life. It is often the case that we get what we give, so if you’re finding yourself feeling challenged or put off by the way others seem to be responding to you, you might check in and see if they are mirroring either your behaviors or your internal state. Becoming a master of your own frequency is one of the most empowering things you can do, so observe from a place of curiosity, calibrate as needed, and and notice how things shift.

Tuesday 5/21 – Moose Reversed  - Acknowledging your strengths and gifts isn’t arrogant; it’s actually the first step in being able to discover your purpose and share your medicine with the world. If you’ve been having trouble honoring your worthiness, it’s time to dig into some self-love practices. Honor your body, your heart, your mind, and the journey that you have made. You are not here by accident and if you’ve been struggling to figure out what your unique contribution to this world could be, look into the areas where you’ve experienced the most challenge. It is often the case the we extract medicine from the very experiences that could have poisoned us. Celebrate that ways that you made it through the difficult times, even if it wasn’t a perfectly pretty process, and then find a way to turn around and help others that are going through something similar.

Wednesday 5/22 – Alligator Reversed  – It’s time to integrate the wisdom of your mind with the deep knowing of your body. You can study and spend time learning about tools for creating a happier, healthier life for yourself but nothing really deepens our understanding and connection to a concept as powerfully as embodied experience. Particularly if you’ve been on a fast-tracked growth trajectory lately, make sure you’re taking the time to fully digest and practice what you’re learning before moving on to your next retreat, workshop, or book.

Thursday 5/23 – Grouse Reversed – As we move through life, we often encounter the same lessons again and again. As frustrating as it can be to feel like you’re finding yourself coming face to face with the same issue repeatedly, it’s a sign that there is a gift for you held within the challenge. The key to unlocking this gift and releasing yourself from the cycle is presence. When we resist what life is bringing our way, we miss the opportunity to grow and expand. When we embrace what is, as if we had asked for it, we are able to engage with our experience from a much more empowered place and one that allows us to receive the lesson and, often, this disarms our trigger around this experience. So go ahead surrender to the wild, magical ride of your life, savor the joyful experiences, and mine the challenging ones for gifts. All of it is happening for you, instead of to you. 

Friday 5/24 – Buffalo – There is power in prayer and today is a wonderful day to tap into that. Ask for support. Ask to be shown the next right step. Ask for grace or strength or courage. And then wait. Look around. You might be surprised by what shows up for you. You most likely have more abundance than you even realize and resources that you weren’t even aware of in the form of relationships, personal skills and gifts, and in the natural world around you. If you are feeling like you’re caught in the struggle today, try turning the outcome over to Spirit. Let go of the need to try to control what’s happening and allow yourself to drop back into flow. Sometimes softness can be much more effective than force, and it definitely requires a whole lot less energy. Give it a try.  

Saturday 5/25 – Dog – For any relationship to be healthy, exchange is vital. This means that the energy in the relationship flows circularly, and that both parties are receiving nourishment from the connection. Take some time today to look at the relationships in your life that leave you feeling supported and lifted up--are you reciprocating the love? If not, check in with your people and ask them how you can best support them. It might be something really unexpected as each and every one of us has our own unique love languages and ways of receiving support from others. While you’re at it, you might also check in with your relationship with yourself. It’s just as important to be loyal to our own hearts and needs as it is to those of our friends and family, chosen or given, so make sure that you’re honoring and nourishing yourself, too.

Sunday 5/26 – Bat Reversed – The only constant in life is change and yet, for so many of us, change can be quite confronting and lead to resistance. We want to turn and cling to what has been, but why? How do we know that what is coming is not even better? Today, do your best to let go with grace. Surrender into the unknown possibilities and walk bravely forward. So much of our experience in this life is shaped by how we frame what we are going through. See if you can choose to simply view the shifts that are taking place as an exciting adventure. Sure, there may be some bumps and missteps along the way, but with a state of awe and curiosity, even the challenges can be met with trust and gratitude.

If you’d like to book a private card reading for more in-depth and personalized messages around what the days and weeks ahead hold for you or to gain clarity around specific issues or areas of your life, check out my Intuitive Card Readings page for more information on my card reading offerings, rates, and how to book!

And be sure to Subscribe to the HelloAshleyBerry YouTube Channel to get notified when weekly forecast videos are posted!

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For the Love of Tea and Healing through Ritual

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, my mother, stepfather, younger sister, and I spent some time in Barbados. My father had just committed suicide and we were all processing that in our own ways. Like my relationship with my father had been, my emotions around his death were complicated. I needed space from my family to move through the layers that were coming up for me on my own terms, so I spent a good amount of the trip by myself, hopping on buses into town to explore and roaming the vast and lush grounds of the property we were staying on.

One of the remnants of the colonial history of Barbados is that many of the hotels and resorts offer high tea every afternoon, and during my stay, I found myself spending many of my afternoons sitting by myself on an outdoor patio, drinking tea and taking in the natural beauty that surrounded me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was my entry point into the world of ritual and the healing that can come from practices that encourage stillness, presence, and simplicity.

When I returned to LA with my family, I continued to make tea for myself almost daily. I would boil the water, drop a tea bag or two into a teapot, and watch the steam pour out of it as I filled it with water. I would wait a handful of minutes and then pour my fresh brew into a mug with a little raw sugar and cream, just as I had enjoyed it during my time in Barbados.

My family thought it was kind of silly, but for me, it was a way to create sacred time for myself. The whole process was meditative; it dropped me into my body and my sensory experience and allowed space and quiet so the more subtle aspects of my inner world could come forward. I savored those moments. They were healing in ways that I didn’t even understand at the time. But I could feel it. Even if I wasn’t consciously engaging in a practice of self-care, I was doing something that was nourishing for me on so many levels. And so, I continued.

Over the years my tastes have shifted. Black teas to greens to florals and herbal infusions, but the practice is the same. Heat the water. Steep the tea. Drop in to the experience.

These days, it’s become a very intentional practice. I choose the ingredients that I’ll be using with care and often choose a plant or a blend of plants based on what I’m needing support around. Rose for opening the heart. Thyme for immune support. Ginger root to cleanse. I’ll set aside time to really be present with the ingredients, both as I prepare them and as I sip the infusion, and I’ve come to notice that each ingredient seems to have an energy of its own, a medicine, not just for the physical body, but for the mind and spirit as well.

The element of water is present, too. The source of all life and the universal renewer. Few things are quite as soothing as perfectly warm water, the simplest of all healing balms for weary bodies and souls.

Each of these pieces comes together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Plants, water, time, all infused with intention. None of it has to be fussy or complicated. Honestly, it could be as simple as a little bit of fresh lemon juice in warm water, but used as a way to hold space for yourself, to connect more deeply with the parts of you that so rarely get heard above the din of everyday life, it becomes a ritual. A practice in healing. A way to make even the tiniest moment sacred.

And while tea is my healing ritual, the truth is that it could be anything. Watering your plants. Dancing in your living room. Taking a bath. Massaging oil into your skin. Preparing a meal for yourself with so much love.

So many people seem to be seeking heightened spiritual experiences these days. A connection to something greater, something ancient, perhaps. And while there’s nothing wrong with exploring different practices to find what supports you most, I think what so many people don’t realize is that profound connection to Spirit doesn’t require elaborate ceremonies or a bunch of fanfare. It can be found in the seemingly mundane, everyday rituals that we create for ourselves. In moments of quiet, enjoying the simplest pleasures, like watching the steam rise and swirl above a freshly poured cup of tea.

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