My Wild Sages

From the beginning of my faith journey, I have been intentional to surround myself with women who come from various backgrounds but hold one thing in common: wisdom. I have held the honor of sitting across many tables and even working in a wood shop alongside women who I would name as wild sages.

The following is a collection of treasured wisdom that I hold close and seek to live by, of which I have received along the way from my lovely wild sages.

Hold it loosely.

I can remember Kerry gently holding my hands and molding them into a fist. She looked at me with deep love and concern and told me that as things in life come and go, I must learn to hold things loosely. She unraveled my hands so my flat palms were facing up and said it again, “Hold it loosely.” I knew her words carried weight because of her warm yet firm tone. As years have gone by, and as I’ve hiked through mountains and valleys, the words “hold it loosely” remain a beautiful reminder to not hold anything with a tight grip and walk into my future with open hands for whatever may come or go.

Sleep on it.

I am an activator and sometimes struggle with moving too quickly on something. These are both strengths, yet when not contained or met with wisdom, it can get me into trouble. My friend Becca, who knows my swiftness well, has helped me to learn the power of patience. There have been a few occasions when I have wanted to send “that” email, text, or social media post out of my impulsivity or angst, and Becca kindly says to me, “Sleep on it.”

This wild sage’s words bring me to a settled place of groundedness and further away from doing something I may regret later.

There is such wisdom in sleeping on something. Rest and sleep have the ability and power to change one’s perspective a lot. There is goodness to behold in the pausing and waiting…and sleeping!

There is a time for natural methods and a time to go to the doctor.

I am all about essential oils, drinking lots of water, and doing a cleanse here and there. Typically when I start to feel sick or physically off, my first approach is the “natural way,” and this has served me fairly well over the years. A few months ago, I had some intense stomach pain that lasted more than a day. I tried methods of aromatherapy, a heat pack, lots of water, and changed my diet to lighter foods. The pain grew more and more intense, so I then decided to do my typical cleanse. As the pain grew sharper, my hope grew stronger that a cleanse would be the answer. I persisted and prepared my terrible-tasting concoctions. By 3 p.m., the pain was intolerable, and I told my housemate that I needed to drive myself to the hospital. She, of course, didn’t let me since I could barely stand up at this point. In the car I slouched in the front passenger seat to find a position to ease my tummy pain. At one point my friend looked over at me and said, “There is a time for natural methods and a time to go to the doctor.” Her words had a hint of humor and held a lot of truth. Indeed, this was an invitation to stop trying to heal my body on my own and trust a professional who has training, education, and…wisdom.

If you have one really good friend in the course of your life, you truly are blessed.

My friend Allie shared these words with me a few years ago when I was walking through some break-ups with other friends. One good friend. It is indeed something we all long for and dream of, yet it’s hard to grasp that many don’t have this and those who have many may walk the path of taking them for granted. All you need is one good friend. Someone who can attune and reciprocate care, kindness, and love. Someone to listen when you need it, or someone that you can call for help. Someone on the same level. One good friend. May these words continue to hold true for me, especially when I’m in a season of loneliness, grief, and transition. 

This is wisdom passed down from my wild sages. I’m curious–who are your wild sages, and what wisdom have they passed down to you?

Sandhya Oaks is a ministry leader, speaker, writer, and advocate. Born in India and adopted as a Transracial Adoptee in the Midwest, she has been serving with Cru Campus Ministry for more than 13 years and loves developing students and staff. She is the co-founder of The Adoption Triad, a social media group that provides community and resources to those connected to adoption and foster care. Her passion to walk with adoptive families is being lived out through leading virtual Transracial Adoption Parent Groups with Restoration Counseling. Sandhya recently moved to Colorado and spends her free time camping, sipping coffee with friends, and creating tasty charcuterie boards.