The First Step to Ending Addictions: Talk to Plants!

Talking to plants is a great way to contact spirit.” – Rosemary Gladstar

When you want to stop doing something that you really love to do, it’s not easy.

I don’t want to trivialize or make fun of the difficulty of ending an addiction to something. It’s really hard to just stop being addicted; every cell of the body screams out in resistance. It doesn’t happen overnight, or trivially. Attacking an addiction head on brings up huge resistance, and because what you resist persists, it’s never going to work to try to stop cold turkey or to shame yourself into it, or to do it for someone else. Unfortunately.

Can Logic, Persuasion, or even Love Stop An Addiction?


    • Logic pales when confronted with physical chemistry of craving. Logic will sabotage you, until you have a new value for the self you are working to change behaviors for. The pleasure self of the addict is delighted with proving its value by defying logic.
    • Persuasion and bargaining, manipulating with bribes: these may work for a moment, but they will also fall by the wayside when a new clandestine using opportunity arises. And it will.
    • Love does not disappear for the addict- the addict loves! You care so much for the others in your life that sometimes it really does hurt to see them suffering from your failures. Unfortunately, the pain of failure and disappointing a loved one makes it inevitable that the pain will need numbing, and even more because you feel so worthless that you can’t live up to their expectations and hopes. That’s why it’s so dangerous for a loved one to get invested in the addict’s recovery. It has to be the addict’s recovery because of himself.

Valuing the Self of the Addict

Instead, a first step which is not too hard, is not attacking the addiction, but rather is opening up to the world of nature, the natural world, and through that to the spirit and the Self. As suggested by famed senior herbalist and author, Rosemary Gladstar, “Talking to plants is a great way to contact spirit.”

Wild plants are preferred, so take yourself outside and find a country walk somewhere. But one of my very best conversations was with a weed poking through a crack in a sidewalk in downtown LA- so don’t be fussy. All plants are great conversationalists! You do have to listen real hard; real hard. But in the end, listening is great to practice, yes?

Maybe you’re listening to your self. The aliveness that’s thriving and growing somehow, despite it all. When you get home you can grab a pen and paper and just write what comes into your head. A poem, or a song? A word? A picture?

Ah, the moment is gone. After this first foray, however, you will be better and better at hearing spirit, so keep it up. After all, we in western civilization all have nature deficit disorder, and the addictions that are so rampant are a sign of that. And yet most people spend more time on Facebook than out in nature.

Connecting to The Earth With Empatharian

When we do the Empatharian practice: The Empath Stretch movement meditation, we are connecting through our feet to the earth and beyond, anchoring ourselves to the center of the earth as we move, slowly and with mindfulness.  The preferred practice location is outside in nature, though sometimes this isn’t possible and we just have to feel ourselves extending past the floors and walls.

All the elements, and all the directions are included in our practice, as we turn and honor each.  There are 12 positions in the initial practice, each a symbol for a word/meaning, and a cycling through of the elements:  1-4 are tje Setup for Peace, 5-8 are Activating Peace, and 9-12 are Results of Peace, which with repetition and more practice, becomes an embodied wisdom:

  1. Making a Stand – fire
  2. for peace-building – water
  3. everyone – wind
  4. wins -earth
  5. inspire – fire
  6. respectful – water
  7. energy – wind
  8. seeking – earth
  9. inner joy – fire
  10. wisdom – water
  11. heart – wind
  12. connection – earth.

These are the elements and practices that cultivate that vitality and aliveness that will help you to flourish to your highest and best growth: your beautiful growing plant self.  Listen to that little plant as well!


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