Last weekend I had the exquisite pleasure of witnessing the collective Nahko Bear and Medicine For the People live for the first time in Honolulu, and the tribe did something that is rare in today's corporate, profit-driven music scene -- inspired me to be a better person, a more effectual person with a more global mindset, and reminded me that I'm a self-healer. Although every string of words contained a powerful, conscious message, it was one line in a song called "Fix It" that stirred my soul and lodged into my spirit: Find your medicine and use it.
The joyful repetition of this mantra was enough to get me thinking about the paradox of Western medicine versus the healing power of a song, for instance. And how taking a pill to solve a problem is such a diversion from the concept of a well-balanced life, such a different mentality than our ancestors who considered healing an intrinsic power cultivated by creating spiritual abundance. I don't believe Nahko Bear was singing metaphorically; he actually meant that love, tolerance, unity, nature, friendship, integrity, and an open heart are our paths out of sickness, that these things are the prescription for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. He's not the only one who thinks so. Some healing advice from other influential prophets in our world:
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha ~
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future...but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Kahlil Gibran ~
Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
Marianne Williamson ~
In every community, there is work to do be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.
These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them. There is a secret medicine given only to those who hurt so hard they can't hope. The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.
Paulo Coelho ~
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.
Jiddu Krishnamurti ~
The important thing is not to ask what is the purpose of life, but to clear away the confusion that is within you.
Friedrich Nietzsche ~
There is more healing in your body than in your deepest philosophies.
Hopi Ancestor ~
Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth.
Robert Nesta Marley ~
One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.
The body talks and meditation helps.
My medicinal recipe is a zesty concoction of reggae music, dancing, travel, avocados and ginger, conversations with momma, soul writing, jiu-jitsu, jungle hikes, nephew hugs, beach cleanups, stretching, singing and trusting myself. Nahko's medicine is music, but also the way he uses it to motivate and inspire his audience to question the pervasive societal ills and advocate change. If you wish to survive, you will find the guide inside, sings Nahko in the song "Aloha Ke Akua." In "Budding Trees," he prescribes waking your dreams into reality, and states the simple truth, You are the guru, now visualize healing.
Gratitude is also a vessel of soul repair. So thank you, Nahko and friends. Your songs were my personal soundtrack as my little fingers worked this blog on out. If you're still unsure about what your healing formula is, take the words of these Medicine For the People songs and play with them a bit. They'll point you in the right direction. Gibran, Krishnamurti, Rumi, Coelho and Nahko Bear are all healers, and so are you. Find your medicine and use it.
About Nahko Bear & Medicine For the People
A sixth-generation Apache/Mohawk, Nahko and his tribe are sacred voices of personal and global evolution. They sing about sustainability, indigenous rights, equality, social justice, and the power of humility. Medicine for the People is not a band, but rather a non-profit movement working to "rekindle old traditions and spark the fire within the youth and elders to live their truths." The tribe uses the healing power of music to plead with the masses to use their personal medicine and heal the wounds in their soul, for the ultimate healing of the collective spirit of the world's broken communities.