“I have lost all of my self esteem. I used to believe in myself, but not anymore.”
DG: In my experience, self esteem is gained by doing esteemable actions. That could look like living in your integrity and with great compassion for yourself – especially and particularly when you feel most unlovable. Please commit to a 15 minute brisk walk every single day, no matter the weather, for 90 days. On these walks, pick up a stone and put it in your pocket. When you arrive home, make a mark on it. Use a Sharpie or some other permanent way of marking. Collect them in a jar that you keep by your mirror. At the end of 90 days, continue your walks except put a stone in a place that calls to you. On that 90th (180th) day of walks, deliver your last stone to someone who is suffering.
Token: Here is your first stone.*
“Feeling unsure about an upcoming major career change. Afraid I won’t be able to be good at something new.”
DG: Think back to a time when you were brand new at something and completely failed and/or felt embarrassed or ashamed. Have it? First, take comfort in knowing that this question could be asked to absolutely anyone, aged 5 or older, and they would have such a memory. That pain and fear connect us. Please hold that memory – that pain – and then take the hand of the you you were then. Invite that you indoors into your most favorite sitting place. Is that you very young? Offer your lap. If not, offer him/her a cup of something delicious and get one for your current you, too. Are you warm and comfortable? Now what will you say to your earlier you to comfort him/her? I bet it’s kind and encouraging. Compassionate. Listen to your own words.
On a day not too long from today, take yourself, by yourself, to one of your most favorite place. Take with you a small spade or spoon and a clear jar with a lid. When you arrive at this special place, say out loud, “I am new again. I feel afraid, but I am courageous. Thank you fear for trying to protect me, but I got this.” Plunge your space into the earth then place its contents in the jar. Put the lid on the jar and carry it home. Once home, put the jar by the place you sleep. Let the soil of your special place help ground you.
Token: Here is a vial of Smoke Farm. Carry this magical place with you and allow it to comfort and ground you.*
*Had you received this prescription at the farm, you would have also received this token. If you wish to have this token, please send me an email at email@example.com for instructions on how to get it. Thank you.
Dear Participants (and Anyone Else Who Cares to Read Them),
Following are “prescriptions” to ailments/burdens that were left with me in my ad hoc apothecary at Smoke Farm on September 6 – 7, 2014. My ambition in offering these prescriptions was (and remains) to connect with people who were willing to become vulnerable with a complete stranger – to be witnessed and figuratively held by someone who cares deeply.
Please know that I am not a trained counselor or healer. I am an artist. I created a space and circumstances that I hoped would elicit an exchange of trust and connection between strangers thus creating a significant relationship, an “us”, if only for a moment. I found that a majority of participants were willing to be incredibly forthcoming in sharing pain. In my own experiences and in the feedback I have received so far, it appears that this experiment was successful. Connections were made.
I was not able to fill all the prescriptions I received during “office hours”, therefore, I brought the project online. While I did not write prescriptions in numerical order at the festival, I will do so here until they are all filled. You may note that many numbers are missing and that there is a pair of identical numbers (1). The missing numbers represent prescriptions that were picked up during the festival. In the prescriptions offered at the Farm, I gave a token “remedy” to be used in the prescription. I am happy to offer tokens to anyone who wants them. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to receive one.
Thank you participants. It is a joy to connect.
(aka Dr. Good – “DG)
“My heart is being smothered by my head. I need to be able to reach it.”
DG: Your heart is a magic, sacred place. It holds the truth. Your head wants to protect your heart. It despises pain and all things it doesn’t understand. Fear often masquerades as Protection. See the truth. Courageously take the reins from the fear. Take this [a] feather to the [a] river, hold it in your right hand and recite, “Fear – thank you for your energy. Your services are no longer required.” Release the feather (fear) into the river.
“I am feeling left behind. Friends are marrying and moving away.”
DG: Now is a wonderful time to reconnect with yourself – to relearn what you enjoy and want to learn. Think back to a time when you experienced great joy when you were alone. What were you doing? Seeing? Tasting? Schedule a date with just you and try that thing again. Also, schedule a daily 15 minute walk with yourself. Do this for 90 days no matter the weather. While on your walk select and pocket a special rock you find along the way. Collect these rocks in a jar that you keep next to where you sleep. Let the weight of the stones help ground you and remind you of your commitment to befriending yourself.