Monday, March 26, 2018

More on grief

It seems we are on a roll.

Sunday I met with a young woman whose partner had disappeared in mid February.  Earlier this month the police found her body.  Suicide? Accident? We don't know and will never know.

Her friend is truly traumatized.  Not only the loss of her partner, under tragic and traumatic circumstances, but she is facing having to move out of their home, and just a long list of other difficult changes.   So I invited her to come to the shop and play scratch and sniff... because perhaps some of the oils might help.  And although she knows nothing about the oils,  she is desperate for tools that can help her through all this, so she came.

First I offered her our Emotional Trauma blend.  "Where do you feel this."..  and she gestured to her heart.. her heart chakra.  "It feels warm"... good, this is a yes.  And we have inhalers.  That works.  Now, what else.

And I offered a scent strip with our Solace Blend.  No.  It smelled good, but she couldn't feel it, it didn't touch her.  Okay.   Black Sacra Frankincense.  Same thing. She thought the aroma was interesting. "Is it a Citrus? it has a touch of lemon to it."  Good nose! Frankincense and incense are not part of her background so she didn't recognize that, but she picked out the limonene, the trace of lemon present in many Frankincense oils. But no, the oil isn't for her.

But I want to use Frankincense in a grief blend.. I am sure we need this... Frankincense CO2? Boswellia carterii, CO2 extracted to give us the incensole acetate? Perhaps. Yes.. "this feels really calming."  Okay.. that's  a possible.
Wild Rhododendron, in the mountains.

And I took scent strips with some of the carterii CO2,  and some Rhododendron (thanks to Sara Holmes reminder that it is good for grief and anxiety blends!)...  and a whisper of Spikenard.   and.. she didn't much care for the scent (Spikenard IS an acquired taste!)..but it felt good.  And I added a  smidge Rose Damascena 5%...

"It feels like home.  This is what I need."

So we blended in a small bottle.. PERHAPS 3 parts of the Boswellia carterii.  Perhaps 4 or 5 parts of the Rosa Damascena CO2 5%, and 4 or 5 parts of Rhododendron.   and one or two parts (drops) of the Spikenard...just enough to anchor the softer lighter oils  More Rhododendron because it is so light and airy, it takes more to hold it's own and not be overwhelmed.    Before we added more Fractionated Coconut we dipped an inhaler core in the blend til it was saturated about 2/3 of its length, (yes, you can QUICKLY make an inhaler by dipping the cotton core into a bottle of essential oil, did you know that?)  and we topped the bottle off with more Fractionated Coconut oil, for skinsafe dilution.

My friend labeled her new products, "Home Blend"   so she'd know.  And I'm sharing this so I won't forget.  (And, yes, she gave me permission to share about this, because someone else might find the blend helpful.)

We have to remember, while we are busy dealing with physical ailments and aches and pains, that perhaps the most powerful and effective uses of some of these beautiful oils is their ability to facilitate emotional and spiritual healing.   

I'd like to thank Sara Holmes of Botanical Healing Arts,  author of A Fragrant Memory, for sharing her wisdom so generously.

Friday, March 23, 2018

grief, grieving and gifts

This is going to be emotional.  If you are looking for science, and how things work, probably not the blog for you.

Last week my youngest child came to visit, with some friends, and asked about our Solace blend for one of her friends.  The young woman shared what was going on in her life, and we were able to "play scratch and sniff"... pull samples of oils and blends that might resonate with her.  And Solace was not one of them.  But others were.  Frankincense Black Sacra, Emotional Trauma Blend,  Magdalene's Anoint.  Yes, we found some oils and blends that reverberated with her.  Oils that, I hope, will help her as she walks through familial grief.

Wednesday night, my friend and mentor Sara Holmes gave a teleseminar for the members of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. The topic was "Grief support with Plant Medicine and Complementary Therapies from her book,"A Fragrant Memory".  Sara was kind enough to credit me with some of the oils she recommended, and reminded me of oils that I tend to forget in dealing with grief and anxiety.  It was a wonderful reminder.

Thursday,  we were discussing the webinar while I was cleaning my desk, and here was this letter, received last Autumn.  We were awestruck by the memory (or, perhaps, our lack of memory, because I had forgotten sending Terri the gift that she says we sent.) But here we are, talking about grief.  And here is her letter.

And this Sunday I have an appointment with a young woman whose partner chose to leave us.  We will sample, she will experience, and go home with oils that resonate with her and may help her find some peace.

So... it seems that this month of March, grief, my own and others, is very present in my life. And I am reminded again of the transformative power of these oils that I love.

Two books that I recommend for emotional healing are available via our website.  Sara's A Fragrant Memory  and Gabriel Mojay's Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.

Terri has shared her healing journey on her blog,  Back of the North Wind.  You may read her journal, see the photographs that have sustained her and helped her reach outside of herself.  Her gallery is online at Northwind Photos.  There is also an Etsy shop where you may order some of the cards made from her photographs.

Sara Holmes may be reached at her website, Botanical Healing Arts. She is a highly qualified practitioner and available for personal consultation.  

Another friend who has turned her personal grief into outreach to help others heal is my long time friend Karla Helbert.  Karla is a trained counseler, and a Bereavement Care Provider, who practices many modalities as part of her own healing journes.

As I review my notes from Sara's handout from the seminar,  as I reread Terri's letter I am reminded of two things... first, the power of kindness.  We never know how a simple kind gesture can brighten a dark day.  And two,  the transformation that happens when we try to share our gifts and our experience with others.  Our journey is made lighter.

Thank you all for letting me ramble about this.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Allergy Season at Nature's Gift

Our bookkeeper, Cindi, has horrible allergies to most florals. On days that we are, let's say, decanting 20 kilos of Lavender, she gathers up her files and works from home.  But Spring in Middle Tennessee gives her a double whammy.  All of our fruit trees are in full bloom and the air is full of pollen of various types.  And Cindi is miserable.

In Mid February she was sniffling and sneezing,  just miserable, and I asked, "Have you tried our Blue Tansy?" "No, should I?"  We asked one of the production staff to just put a few drops of Blue
Tansy on a tissue and gave it to her.   No more sniffling, no more sneezing.

Yesterday she was coughing constantly.  Not a deep chesty cough, just a little aggravating tickle. "Have you used any Blue Tansy?" "No."  And again, one of the Production staff put a few drops on a tissue.  She inhaled.  The coughing stopped.  Perhaps 30 minutes later the cough started. "Will you please inhale that Blue Tansy again?"  And the coughing stopped.

I'm thinking perhaps we need to offer this deep cobalt oil in an inhaler. I don't want to diffuse something this deeply colored, for fear of staining the surrounding surfaces. 

Until we get around to making and offering some personal inhalers, you may order your own Blue Tansy here,  and even your own inhaler blanks (with instructions) here.