Last year, I was researching plant medicine for prolonged grief about the loss of my father some years back. It felt as if a rock was lodged in my throat, especially when I meditated. I knew I was holding some complicated grief. Counseling helped me understand that it was grief and I worked with some specific interventions for complicated grief. Since I also love to support the therapeutic process with holistic tools, I looked for an intervention at the mind-body level to help me. Cypress was my oil of choice. It is a highly recommended oil for grief, the tall Cypress trees in the lower mainland have been a source of great comfort to me for years.
I also felt some frustration with how long my process of grieving was taking. So I added Roman Chamomile, as it is wonderful for bringing together oils and also lovely for shifting an emotional state from frustration to progressing. Then I added a couple of drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to open my respiratory airways to release grief. Cedarwood gave some base notes, a little like roots to my formula, and grounded my energy so I could process without getting overwhelmed. The three trees, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood and the flower Chamomile gave me the support and courage I needed to trust in the grand play of the Universe of birth, growth and death. I used coconut oil as my carrier oil and applied the oil around my neck and shoulders, also taking deep whiffs before bedtime. It was helpful for deep sleep because of Cedarwood and Chamomile.
Gently Cypress reinforced my capacity to flow with change and Cedarwood helped support my sense of rootedness instead of displacement. Being an immigrant to Canada and life as a single parent without any family support has taught me that there is no such thing as too much grounding. I will take all the stress reduction that I can get, welcoming any chance to get off the treadmill to just be. I’ve learned that there is no such thing as too much self-care. An integrated, whole person is like a strong beautiful tree and nurturing ourselves is a gift that goes far into the next generation as well as the current generation. I think there is a lot we can learn from my grandmother’s and mother’s generations. In our home, every day meals a day were cooked from scratch. There was time to breathe, reflect and connect with each other. We were hardly ever alone. Our hobbies of art and craft brought joy into our day. That life was very rooted and it gave me a strong early foundation. But, I was a branch that had fallen elsewhere and had to grow my own roots and start over. What was there to lean on? I couldn’t see anything as solid as my childhood anywhere near me. Because of a terrible betrayal of trust, I had lost the property and finances that I had when I first moved here. My father had left his homeworld and started life over. I had his example to inspire and sustain me on the journey of making a life in Canada. He had great resilience and he was the type of person who keeps on keeping on despite the insurmountable hurdles and frustrations of life that he encountered. After a month or so of use along with other therapeutic interventions, I noticed that the pain in my throat had gone. The loss of a loved one is a life-long grief, especially in more complex situations, but it wasn’t as intolerable as it used to be. I felt I had my father by my side as I looked at the future.
Tree oils gently give the support that we lack. Those tall immovable but growing trees symbolize the human consciousness. The strong tree trunk has probably been leaned against by millions of living beings who needed a little rest and comfort in the journey.
For the grief of a world faced with incredible change due to the Pandemic, a change that keeps on changing, Cypress is a profound aid, something to lean on in a seemingly never-ending story. Life is life long adaptation to what is.
Note: I am not a Physician. I work with holistic therapies such as essential oils and flower remedies, mindfulness etc., generally as part of holistic mental health treatment plans that help navigate the rough waters of life. However, I also offer custom and personalized blends.
You can order a custom blend here.
#self-therapy #essential oils #grief and loss