Man, there is nothing like some good medicine music to help cleanse your spirit and welcome in the New Year. And who better to offer up a prayer and drop some powerful prose than Nahko, the lead singer of Medicine For The People. With a new album on the horizon, the group has liberated two singles – “Lifeguard” and “Slow Down” – both of which are songs Nahko originally composed over a decade ago. In a vein similar to Trevor Hall and the release of The Bodhisattva Experiment, the stars have aligned and the path has been cleared for the music to find its proper place in the physical world. As both records continue to resonate with the Medicine Tribe, Nahko links with Hxppy Thxxghts favorites Sugarshack for an acoustic performance of “Slow Down.”
Sans the band, viewers witness Nahko and his guitar flowing through a stripped down rendition of “Slow Down” – of course, despite the absence of added instrumentation, the joint is no less powerful than the original release. At the risk of fan boying, there are certain artists who transcend the mere presentation of music, their delivery and energy allowing the music to truly take on the form of sonic medicine. Like Hall, Nahko is one of these artists – and his Sugarshack Session is a visibly moving experience, the prayerful lyrics coupling with the natural power of his guitar to result in a multidimensional performance. It’s a comforting embrace of song, music, energy and vibes – a collective call to action that reminds the audience to relax and re-member who they are and why they are here on Mother Earth.
Wrapped in the layered lyricism, Nahko speaks on the connection between body, mind and spirit. We may be present in the physical form, but the skin and bones are not our only body. So, it’s important we pay mind and take care of all of our bodies so they work together and serve the highest good of ourselves and of humanity as a whole. Regardless of the wild ride the inhabitants of this world are on, each individual must take the time to, quite literally, slow down and heal the self so the self can ripple into the good of the collective consciousness. Be mindful of what your body, mind and spirit are calling for – tap into your creativity, don’t be afraid to rest and listen to the internal flame that, no matter how dim or bright inside you, is helping to guide your experience here in the physical. As the New Year begins, take the time to find your peace and your clarity so you have the internal and external strength to heal and grow.
Life is a journey that begins before you take on your physical form. And it continues after your spirit leaves this body. Be mindful of your thoughts, words and actions while you’re here. And slow down enough to enjoy the ride.
“Slow Down” also serves as an ode to plant medicines – all the majestic beings placed right under our noses that allow us to heal and grow naturally. Whether it’s the herbs you use for tea, the sage or sweet grass you clean with, the tobacco you pray with, the countless gifts from Creator you use for your physical health or the sacred medicines used for Ceremony, one thing is for sure – we are surrounded by all the medicine we need to treat our bodies, minds and spirits like the sacred temples they are.
Speaking on a personal experience, I’ve been on a beautiful journey with plant medicines to remove my “need” for insulin. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 5 years old, I spent the next 20+ years of my life conditioning my body with insulin injections because doctors and medical “professionals” told me my life depended on it. Then, on New Year’s Eve 2016, I met someone – now one of my closest friends – who, without knowing a thing about me, said, “You know you can cure that?” Man, that was all I needed to hear.
Since then, I’ve been working with herbs and other plant medicines (as well as dietary changes) and have cut back from 5-8 shots of insulin (with 5-10 units/injection) a day to 3-4 injections (1-3 units/injection) a week. I’m doing the “impossible” and my doctor still says it’s not possible.
I share this story simply because plant medicines – and God/Creator/Source/whatever you want to call Him/Her/It – have literally changed my life in ways I was told were not possible. You have to be willing to do the work – and it’s not easy work – but there’s real magic out there and it grows out of the beautiful Mother for all of us to heal with.
Mmmm…tobacco down and prayers up!
Apologies for the little personal story *Kanye shrug*.
Anyways, daps and pounds to the lovely people at Sugarshack for helping bring this acoustic version of “Slow Down” to life. And props to Nahko And Medicine For The People for continuing to share their medicine with the world.
“Slow Down” is available now on all your favorite streaming platforms.
Enjoy the Sugarshack Session below.