When the Universe Gives You a Nod, Nod Back

When the Universe Gives You a Nod

Last night I had the pleasure of attending an herbal tea workshop, held in the home of herbalist, Ona Tzar. In the hour and half I was there,  I not only went on a Shamanic journey to another world but I also got a nod from the universe that I’m on the right track.

I was a bit nervous about attending but felt completely at ease once I stepped in the door. The room was minimally decorated with personal relics belonging to Ona and my eye went immediately to a gorgeous turquoise and coral fringe necklace hanging on the wall. As the others began to arrive, the mood was relaxed and hopeful. Despite Ona’s efforts to break the ice with the intimate group, no one was really in a chatty mood. Instead of filling the awkward silence with the typical "get-to-know-you" questions,  I focused on connecting to my breath and enjoying the chill, non-judgey, atmosphere.

Once everyone arrived, we began by introducing ourselves and mentioning a few sentences about what drew us to the workshop. For some reason this simple task made me feel so nervous which then prompted a wave of heat to rise up from my core, filling my cheeks and shoulders with redness. Impromptu introductions are one of my least favorite things, but luckily, I was sandwiched in the middle of the circle so I had a few moments to prepare what I was going to say in my head. “Nicole, get ahold of yourself, these people are gentle and welcoming. No one is judging you.”

If someone asked me what my superpower is, I’d probably say "feigning self-composure when I’m actually freaking out inside." Now that I think about it, the effect anxiety has on my body is quite remarkable; my voice gets deeper, my sentences become more concise and my facial expression is nonchalant and unaffected. If I’m fast enough, the hive blotches won’t rear their ugly heads until I’m able to hide myself under a baggy sweatshirt or dim lighting. This happened to be a time when luck was on my side.

It was my turn to go.

“I’m Nicole, and I’m a writer. I’m currently writing a book about connectedness, practical ways to connect to your environment and spirituality.”

I managed to mutter that sentence without spontaneously combusting. After my introduction, I did what most introverted writers do, I replayed those words over and over in my head, each time ridiculing a different part of it. You should have said this or you should’t have said that. Eventually, I got over myself and let myself relax in the most beautiful way.

It was time to begin the meditation. 

Ona led us through four meditations. As we took a sip, we were encouraged to focus on the effect that the herbal infusions were having on us as they danced on our tongues and swirled down our throats and into our bodies. Afterwards she asked us to share what we experienced, what colors we saw, and what the “spirt” of the herb looked like. Then she told us the name of the herb and its medicinal effects. I was surprised that some of my “visions” were directly correlated to the properties of the herb, even though I had no prior knowledge of which herbs were what. In total we tried four herbal teas; Ginger (good for breaking up inflammation in the body), Anjelica (good for arthritis, fevers and PMS because of the blood flow stimulation), Burdock Root (good for detoxifying the blood and nourishing the heart) and my favorite, Damiana (good for boosting joy and creativity.)

At the end of the workshop, a few girls lingered around in order to get reoriented with reality. I also lingered, but only because a girl across the room got my attention, “Is there somewhere I can find out more information about the book you’re writing? For some reason, I felt really drawn to what you said.” I was shocked. “Um, there sure is,” I was lying, “just write down your email for me.” I ripped out a piece of paper from my notebook and handed it to her. I didn’t really have any idea what the next step would be, I just knew I didn’t want to disappoint her.

So, there you have it. I’m already busy knocking out some of my 2018 intentions (including attending more workshops and events that focus on specific interests, and writing my book.) Though I’ve been haphazardly writing in a variety of notebooks, notes on my iphone and text docs on my laptop for a while, I’ve vowed that this year is the year I finally compile all those random brain dumps into a tangible piece of work. Thus, why I am dedicating time every week to writing another chapter.  I’ve also vowed to start telling more people about the book (not an easy task when I live 98% of the time inside my head and personal writings). In order to further my evolution, I’ve accepted that I have to start sharing the ideas I’ve been tinkering with, no matter how much anxiety it may stir up inside me in the process.

I took this girl’s interest in my book as a nod from the universe, that I am indeed on the right track. Well played, universe, well played. 

Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

Like this story? Thank Nicole. 

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Nicole Paulus is a Berlin based bozo from the States. When she’s not dancing like a maniac, drinking beers at Tempelhof, or eating shawarma at Maroush, she’s busy running her own digital marketing company Nico New Media. You can read about her adventures on her blog.