Age of anxiety
If you’re reading this post at any time in the Turbulent ‘20s, you’re most likely dealing with some stuff. Faith in institutions has hit a record low, division and polarization runs rampant, and even our ruling elites plead in legacy media op-eds for someone other than themselves to take the lead.
No one asks to be born into an Age of Anxiety — such a moment can happen at any time, whether we expect it on our doorsteps or not. When the term was first coined by poet W. H. Auden, he referred to a post-World War II malaise. At this moment, we’re confronted with it on several different levels, from political to personal, and the only place we can turn for solace is towards each other, and inwards.
Whatever side you have chosen, you will need to find calm and peace within yourself — because being able to remain calm in the middle of chaos will make all the difference in seeing this moment through. So handling uncertainty will be crucial in all of this.
Following are some steps you can take, every single day, to handle the stress that comes with uncertainty. I take it alongside my bulletproof coffee and my Equanimity every day to get me through it. Again, equanimity is not just one of our products, but a daily asana that keeps me sober, focused and courageous against each risk I take every day in my life. So let’s go through them.
Step #1: Don't anesthetize yourself
That’s a tricky one to understand. Obviously, most people turn to things like work, sex, drugs, exercise or just about anything else to push away the difficulty. Much of that compulsion stems from an inability to admit your ego can’t control all the outcomes, so you seize upon the one thing that IS under your control and focuses upon it to the exclusion of everything else. It’s compounded by the steady drumbeat of horrible news and authoritarian movements. All of this richly fertilizes the growth of all sorts of mental illnesses, including the obsessive, fear-driven ruts that underpin all sorts of addictions. One must live a balanced life that is not dominated by any one project or ideology in order to avoid the rocky shoals.
Step #2: Do the best you can and move on
Our former Chief Spiritual Officer Michael Hollister often said at the end of our monthly meetings, “That’s the best we are going to be able to do today.” He’d say this no matter what the outcome of that day would be, reminding us to trust the journey. It all comes back to working with chaos and learning how to thrive in it — and how not to be intimidated in those inevitable moments when it goes against you.
Whether you’re educating your kids, dealing with unprepared workplaces, or organizing on the streets or in social media, one must manage what is under your control and recognize where one does possess agency. Such a task takes equal parts courage and forbearance. The forbearance assists you with future tripping, while the courage gets you back up to take advantage of whatever time you have left on earth.
Step #3: Find the purpose and the message
In life, it helps to take control of one’s narrative, no matter how it may change from day to day. This means that WE must master our circumstances and our surroundings. Just before the pandemic hit, we wrote a guest blog recommending how plant medicine companies should tackle 2020, and spoiler alert, no, Medicine Box didn’t see the pandemic in front of us. But we adapted to the new normal — because we had no choice. We either mastered this circumstance, or it would crush us.
For nestled within the mandate to balance one’s life is the possession of a clear purpose, which for Medicine Box is tied closely to the desire to heal the planet. For others it could be raising one’s kids, or combating climate change, or building a better mousetrap — the list goes on. We all get to choose our own adventure in life — or even if we want to apply any meaning to it whatsoever. However, no matter which path you choose, no one can avoid struggling with foes like depression and anxiety. But you can either give into them, or you can fight back. Finding purpose is one way to do this.
Step #4: Listen to the plants
WE all have to take in information, nutrients and air to survive. So taking in the right things you’ll need to rest, eat and live easier matters right now. And you will need to keep your inner environment as non-toxic as possible. For those of you tuning in, those are the choices we’ve made for both the tinctures in our 1CaB collection and our Mind’s Eye Harmonize nootropic capsules. Equanimity and Happy Belly act as natural soothers, acting through both sleep and digestion to create new stores of serotonin which can aid in diminishing stress and anxiety naturally, with CBD, CBN and CBG hemp extracts adding all sorts of soothing, antibacterial benefits. Vital Recovery adds several medicinal mushrooms — reishi, maitake, and chaga — along with CBD/CBN/CBG hemp extracts and wellness standbys such as saffron and turmeric root to energize and revivify your outlook. Mind’s Eye allows mushrooms like turkey tail, chaga, and lion’s mane to take center stage alongside ayurvedic powerhouses like tulsi, brahmi and ashwaganda for heightened mental acuity. It lays the foundation for everything that comes afterward, making every step towards confronting fear and uncertainty easier to face.
Step #5: Know that death and taxes aren't the only certainties in life
It’s always good to have a good anchor for your life — something that isn’t going away any time soon, and that exists regardless of society’s stressors. Lake Tahoe and the Sierras acts as that anchor for Medicine Box, not to mention the herbs and the plants that create our medicines. That connection to the healing that nature provides is Medicine Box’s stock in trade, ultimately. We hope that by engaging with our medicine and mentorship, you can regain that connection to the environment as well — which is where all wellness ultimately resides