Playing The Medicine Game
The medicine game conversation isn’t going to be about which meds, supplements, etc., that you should or should not be taking. This is a much more in-depth discussion about self-care and self-healing. The best methods for people to learn are through experience, stories, and thought-provoking metaphors.
My Medicine Game
My medicine game story begins with a very angry guy (me) about 20 plus years ago who got invited to an “experiential” seminar that shall be nameless, think EST, Charter, Landmark Corp., etc. During the 5-day portion of this seminar, we were introduced to a “game,” called The Medicine Game.
Inside of our participant packets was a small manilla envelope with the words “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL INSTRUCTED” written on the envelope. I am surprised I didn’t throw it away, some people already had. Remember the angry guy part of the story.
When it was time to play the game, the presenters told us a story. Imagine you are on a plane that crashes on a desert island. The is no food or water on this island, and the only provisions are going to be on the plane.
The next day, after checking all the people and supplies, you discover that there is only one lifeboat. To make matters, worse, everyone is sick from eating spoiled food and dehydration. Someone finds a first-aid kit and looks for medicine for all the sick people. There is only 1 dose of medicine, which coincidentally is the same number of people that will fit into the lifeboat. We will have to decide to gets the lifeboat and who remains behind.
So the presenters have us line up into a double circle, and each person had to stand in front of each and every person with your hand out (for the medicine). The person in front of you could only say one of two things, “I have medicine for you, or I have no medicine for you.” You don’t get to say anything other than “thank you” if you get a coffee bean.
Things Get Worse
Remember the part where I’m angry and not being a very good participant? I think I died within the first 5 minutes because I gave all of my medicine away and didn’t keep any for myself. It wasn’t a very well-thought-out decision on my part.
Energy is a fascinating process, and when everything you are doing is non-verbal, the only thing people have to go on is your energy, facial expressions, and social conditioning. Does that make you wonder what energy you are sending out into the world, right now?
To make things more fun, then they gathered everyone together, to say goodbye to any persons that were close to us. I chose my 3 daughters. I remember saying to tell my daughters to “forget anything I had ever told them; just go live their lives and be happy.” None of that “sage advice” I used to bestow on them meant anything.
More Medicine Games
I ultimately play the medicine game 3 times that year because the seminar was in 4 parts. The second time I played with more vigor and asked more people for medicine but died anyway. I was pissed because I thought I was playing. But in reality, it was just a half-ass attempt to get by without having to risk anything. Also a normal pattern for me.
The last time I played, I actually asked someone for some advice (*gasp) before the game. The person told me that unbeknownst to many, that ALL of the personnel at the seminar(s) carried coffee beans, just in case someone asked for medicine.
This time, I decided to go all out and ask every single human in that space, at the seminar, and in the building for medicine. I also did something unusual I gave out no medicine to anyone who asked, which felt really weird. I am a very generous person and have, in the past, given away more than I could spare. But this time, I had to live and get back home to my kids.
The third game I actually survived. Remember, there is only one survivor. If you want to live, you have to do more than “just try.” Choosing you over someone else when the consequences are death makes you question your choices and priorities.
What I learned was that I could choose me when I decided to and that floating in a so-so, guess-so mindset doesn’t seem to be the best way to be happy. Thankfully, we don’t have to make “who lives and who dies” decisions very often, for which I’m grateful. I can say that listening to 50 people tell you what they want their family or loved ones to know about their last moments is sobering and gut-wrenching.
What Does This All Mean?
We don’t have to make life-or-death decisions very often anymore but that doesn’t mean that the decisions you make aren’t serious. It’s easy to be lax about living. Food, shelter, and modern conveniences are everywhere. I think this game taught me that we need to pay attention to what we want, what we need, and how to ask for medicine when we need it.
Playing this game has had a profound effect on me. I’d love to stay that after playing this game, I have permanently changed my attitude forever and wander around on this planet with a smile but not always.
I still slip back into old patterns, as we all do, from time to time. Anger has been my life-long go-to drug…but not today.
The Ultimate Medicine
The ultimate medicine isn’t in a pill or capsule, an exercise class, or meditation audio. The ultimate medicine is when you decide to bring your BEST POSSIBLE SELF to any place or situation. And the way you will know that you are doing that is that you create a space for others to bring their best possible selves into that space as well.
Imagine what it might be like to be able to just be you? With no pretense or guarded behavior… only you with all your flaws, past mistakes, and errors… and nobody cares, not even you.
It’s a goal worth pursuing.
Want to find out what it really takes to live? Play the medicine game soon. Ask for medicine every day. Keep asking until you are full, well, or healed then give back others but remember to keep a little for yourself.
If you need any Medicine?
Please feel free to email me or call 214-702-3774
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I will be doing an online medicine game in 2020 (still working out the details)