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Cherry Blossom Memories

Cherry blossom memories

On Friday I went to Auburn Botanic Gardens to view the cherry blossoms. They have a festival on over two weekends where they have sumo wrestling, taiko drums, ikebana presentations, etc, but I wanted to view the blossoms when there were less people.

It was a bright sunny morning and relatively warm for winter with just a hint of a breeze. Taking photos and walking under the arcade of blossoms brought back memories of when I lived and worked in Tokyo during cherry blossom time.

Cherry Blossom arcade I remember the first time I saw them. My landlord at the time took myself and two others to Ueno Park – a very large park in Tokyo – at night to view the cherry blossoms. They were beautiful in the moonlight but I also remember the overwhelming smell of beer as the park cleaners gathered together and removed what seemed like hundreds of beer cans.

Torii

In Japan during cherry blossom time people have picnics under the trees. Office workers used to, and I assume still do, send someone junior out to hold a space for the others to come later. Many people and groups party under the cherry blossom trees hence all the beer cans.

Cherry blossom branches

In Japan the television stations and newspapers have a map announcing when the cherry blossoms will be in bloom starting in Okinawa and moving all the way up to Hokkaido. People know when their local cherry trees will be in bloom and plan their viewing and parties accordingly.

I moved to another part of Tokyo a few years later. It was always a pleasure to walk to the subway there in springtime when the cherry blossoms were in bloom because of the beauty of the trees and the gentle dropping of the petals in the breeze. The path was often pink where the petals had dropped to the ground. It seemed like I was walking in pink snow at times.

The blossoms are ephemeral. A strong breeze or heavy rain will empty the branches of these beautiful blossoms very quickly.

Cherry blossoms

Auburn Botanic Gardens is worth a visit to see the Japanese gardens and the other gardens including the Australian Rainforest and scented gardens. The rose garden is also beautiful when the roses are in bloom. You may see a peacock or other wildlife while you are there.

Geese

 

Bush Turkey
Peacock

Tea House

BridgeBillabong

Essential Oils for Grief and Loss

I still miss those

We all go tGriefhrough periods of grief and loss in our lives. When thinking about grief and loss you may equate it with the death of a partner, parent, child, close friend, relative or even a beloved family pet but there are many events in your life where you experience loss. Some examples include the loss of a job or career, the loss of your home due to fire or being unable to pay the mortgage or because the owner of your rented house or apartment wanted to tear it down, renovate or sell it. You may go through a relationship breakup or divorce. You may face a loss of identity due to the amputation of a limb or your children growing up and leaving home. You may also grieve the loss of a dream that can never come true, for example finding out that you can never conceive a much longed for child.

With loss you lose hope or what is familiar and must embark on a new life in the unknown. It can take time to grieve for what you have lost especially if it was someone, thing or place that was deeply loved. Losing your sense of self can also take time to process and heal as you mourn the loss of a limb, breast, being a mother, father or carer or even leaving behind a life of drugs and/or alcohol for an addiction free life can result in your questioning who am I now or what do I do now?

All life is transition and change and it is how you deal with these losses that shape your life. Some you can pass through very quickly but others will take more time to process. Each person experiences loss and grief in their own way and must be given the time and space to express themselves.

Grief expresses itself in many different ways including but not limited to anxiety, fear, sadness, despondency, tears, guilt, anger, frustration, numbness, remorse, blame, regret, withdrawal, worthlessness, stress and depression.  You may do things that seem out of character for you. You may lose your appetite or eat continually trying to fill the void of what has been lost. You may sleep too much or be unable to get to or stay asleep. You may lose your hair or notice skin changes due to stress and anxiety. In Chinese medicine grief is considered to be the province of the lungs and so six months to a year after the loss you may suffer from lung related issues like flu, bronchitis or pneumonia.

If the loss was sudden and unexpected you may be in “what if..?” mode or regret the things you might have said or done or not said or done if you had known what was about to happen.

The following essential oils can help ease you through the grieving process allowing you to move on with your life. It is important when choosing which oils you will work with to keep in mind that aromas can be associated with a particular memory and to perhaps not choose a blend that you will use in the future which could be associated with your present loss and its painful memories especially in the case of the death of a loved one.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) joy
Bergamot helps to soothe your feelings of anger, frustration and blame. She helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel and bring a sense of joy back into your life. Don’t apply to skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 24 hours as bergamot is phototoxic.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) courage
Cedarwood gives you the courage and strength to hold firm in the midst of crisis and know that you will get through this.

Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) peace
Roman Chamomile helps you to feel at peace with the way you are feeling and soothes your feelings of being abandoned by the one you loved.

Cinnamon (Cinnamon zeylanicum) warmth
Cinnamon helps to dispel the numbness and isolation you may be feeling. She is emotionally warming and can help you regain your passion and purpose for life.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) transition
Cypress is calming at times of transition and when difficult changes need to be made. She helps you to move on in your life.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) calm and centre
Frankincense helps to calm and centre you when your mind seems to be overwhelmed with thoughts of what must be done or should have been done. She slows and deepens your breath so you can think more clearly. She can help you break free of the past.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) balance
Geranium helps to even out the emotional roller-coaster you seem to be on. She brings a feeling of calm strength, security and balance and soothes feelings of anger, frustration and irritability.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) optimism
Grapefruit helps dispel the anger, frustration, blame and depression. She brings a sense of optimism that you will get through this time of loss.

Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua) safe
Kunzea helps to release the shock and pain of your loss and to know you are safe.

Lavender (Lavandula angustafolia) nurture and forgiveness
Lavender reminds you to take time to nurture yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually during this time. She allows you to forgive yourself for things left unsaid or undone.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) clarity
Lemon helps clear your mind so that you can think clearly. Often at this time you will be feeling confused or unable to think clearly. She will also help uplift you mentally and emotionally. Don’t apply to skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 24 hours as lemon is phototoxic.

Linden blossom (Tilia vulgaris) love and respect
Linden blossom brings love and oneness to your heart and a respect for others and yourself especially when others seem not to care.

Marjoram (Marjoram hortensis) comfort
Marjoram can bring a sense of comfort and stop those anxious and what if thoughts that seem to be going on in your mind on a non-stop loop. She can help you accept your loss.

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) healing
Myrrh brings a sense of inner stillness and peace that helps to ease your sorrow and grief and your feelings of loss and rejection.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) reassurance
Neroli helps to bring a sense that things will get better. She eases emotional exhaustion and helps bring unexpressed anger and feelings of denial to the surface.

Rose (Rosa damascena) compassion
Rose allows you to have compassion for the situation, person or yourself and to let go with love.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) stillness
Sandalwood can help you cut your ties with the past and move through your feelings of loss and isolation. She can bring a sense of clarity and moments of stillness.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoide) grounding
Vetiver helps to ground you offering you support and strength during this time of loss.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) tranquillity
Ylang Ylang helps calm feelings of anger and frustration and brings a sense of tranquillity. She has a very strong aroma so only a very little is needed.

HOW TO USE THE OILS
Look through the list and choose one to three oils that seem to resonate with how you are feeling. Either use the oils singly or in a blend in any of the following.

Vaporize 3 or 4 drops in a diffuser or oil burner to scent the room. A grapefruit and frankincense blend will work well here when you want to cleanse the room of heavy emotions and help you breathe deeper and easier.

Room or body mists. Add 50 mls of purified water or hydrosol to a 100ml coloured spray bottle then add 30 drops of your essential oil blend and fill the bottle with another 50 mls of water or hydrosol. Replace the top and shake the bottle before each use. You can use this to spray a room but be careful not to get on your furniture, spray on yourself or spray the area in front of you and walk through the mist to cleanse or heal your aura.

Inhalation. Put some cottonballs in a small bottle and add 3 drops of essential oil. Close the lid and take with you to sniff when you need the oils help. You can also place a couple of drops on a handkerchief to take with you or place under your pillow at night to help you sleep if you prefer. You can also use a personal inhaler.

Add 4 to 6 drops to some full fat milk and add to your bath. The milk allows the oils to disperse in the water rather than sit on top.

Make a massage blend using 4 to 5 drops in 10mls of vegetable oil to massage your tight neck and shoulders. A gentle hand massage may also be considered. You could also use the blend on your chest to help move the grief through your lungs and sleep at night.

In addition you may want to wear a rose quartz pendant. You could also place a small tumble stone in the vegetable oil you set aside to make your blend for a few hours so it can absorb the energies of the rose quartz. Rose quartz is well known as a stone of compassion and love that opens the heart chakra allowing deep inner healing so that you are able to let the person/ situation go with love.

An affirmation that might help at this time is “I am able to let go of this person/situation as I have compassion, love and respect for them/it and myself. I wish love and joy to both of us.”

Finally take time out to be with friends, go for walks and talk about your loss. Nourish yourself physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. If it is your partner, relative or friend who has experienced a loss simply be there to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on.

If you would like a personalised grief inhaler or massage blend feel free to send me an email to discuss your needs.