Wow! What a day of contrasts it has been. This morning I, and all the parents and teachers at my childrens’ school heard the very sad news that one of the precious little sons of one of the families in our school community passed away last night. He and his family endured 18 long and agonising months of treatment for brain and spinal tumours discovered in his body as a two year old. Although I feel so very grateful that his soul is now free of the pain and illness he suffered through so bravely, I shed tears of heartfelt loss when I imagine how difficult it must have been for his parents to have had to say goodbye to their beautiful child. And what a long road they must now walk to begin, however slowly, to move forward with their lives as a family without their littlest brother.
As I digested this news and kept control of my tears while walking home from school this morning, I felt a draining of energy and a kind of heaviness descend over me. When I got home I busily hung some washing, put on another load, watered the pot plants and did some tidying up. Through all this activity I could feel the need to cry just below the surface, but by keeping busy, I was able to block it.
Before I had even got home though, the idea that I needed to get down on the floor and do some yoga stretches had come to me. So once my chores were done, I got out the yoga mat and stretched out on the floor on my back. As soon as I had taken my first deep breath, the crying started. I had a good sob for a couple of minutes and felt the heaviness lift a little. I’m still feeling weighed down and I’m finding myself frowning as I write, but the intensity of my sadness for this amazing family has shifted into a desire to send them love, healing and compassion.
The Australian Bush Flower Essence that assists in times of great turmoil and crisis is the Waratah (pictured above). I am imagining a giant Waratah flower hovering above their home, soothing them and reassuring them at this most traumatic of times.
I think many of us fall into the habit of using activity and busyness to push away strong feelings when something upsetting happens. While this can be functional in the short term, if we don’t eventually stop and consciously devote some time to letting these feelings out, we can end up with mental and physical health problems. One of the definitions of depression is, sadness turned in on oneself. Not everybody cries easily but for those of you who do, make sure you allow yourself the time and place to do this when you need to. If crying is not an outlet for you then work out what is. It might be yoga, walking, running, writing swimming, talking to a friend, meditating, praying or simply sitting staring out the window. Ideally, it is something you do alone, or with one other person you can truly open up with. This gives your inner self the feeling of safety it needs to express itself fully.
While I am still feeling sad, I am also feeling really excited because today I received all the information I needed to book my flights and accommodation for a course to become an Australian Bush Flower Essence teacher in Queensland in a couple of weeks. When I have finished the course I will be qualified to teach Bush Essence courses in natural therapy colleges in Perth. This is a goal I have had for more than two years, so it is lovely for me to see it coming to fruition. Yay!
Something I am gradually learning is that good and bad can come all at the same time, and that we are capable of holding all the feelings that come out of any experience together in our hearts, when we are tuned in to how we really feel. My kids even know this. They said to me on the first day back at school last week that they were feeling excited and nervous at the same time. If it makes sense to them, then I guess it’s OK that today I am feeling so very sad for our friends and happy and excited about my trip all at the same time.
Love and compassion to you all