“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
Rumi, Sufi poet, 1207 -1273
The same stress that triggered my depression, triggered my fear of flying. The anxiety I felt on the ground was magnified tenfold up in the air. My phobia would slide along a scale between mild stress when there was a change in engine noise to extreme trauma and body shut down if we had turbulence.
So, as a coping mechanism, together with Bach’s Remedy and Pinot Grigiot, I would cover myself in Clarin’s Relax Oil. I decided to replicate the blend, as it was becoming too expensive to sustain and I wanted something that didn’t have chemicals in. Then, the favourite of all my blends, DE-STRESS, was created. It calms and relaxes by kicking in your parasympathetic nervous system, which slows down the heart rate, improves digestion and lowers blood pressure. All in all, it reverses the affect of the ‘fight or flight’ hormones secreted by the sympathetic nervous system in times of stress. It calms you down, whilst keeping you comfortably alert.
The key essential oil, is the beautiful smelling petitgrain derived from the orange tree. It soothes and relaxes the nerves, protecting from the adverse effects of shock and fear. Its perfect partner is clary sage, which has an immediate effect of relaxing and alleviating stress. Geranium, as well as being aromatic, serves to help improve mood and helps with symptoms of the menopause, whilst sandalwood reduces anxiety. Basil and peppermint work well together to maintain alertness and focus.
As part of my holistic journey to recovery, I visited Dr Art O’Malley, a consultant psychiatrist who has developed a revolutionising techique in Sensorimotor-Focused Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprossessing (SF-EMDR). His method is the body upwards approach to healing mental ailments using buzzers to stimulate chakra energy and I was keen to work with him. (See ArtOMalley.com for more details). I had 5 intense sessions with Dr O’Malley, which fast tracked my recovery far quicker than conventional C.B.T. or counselling ever did.
In one of my sessions with Dr O’Malley which dealt with previous conflict trauma, I talked about the consequential need to always feel in ‘control’ in every situation. Conflict, however mild, would make me feel very uncomfortable and ungrounded. My solution would be to act as an intermediary, becoming the ‘knight in shining armour’. Any conflict directed towards me would ‘raise the dragon’, causing me distress and adrenal burnout. I was running on empty and tired of ‘holding up the plane’. As part of the reprocessing of a memory, Dr O’Malley asked me who I turned to as a child for comfort during any conflict. I replied with Judy, my doll. We worked through an imaginary scene where Judy would take me out of the heat of the moment, flying a plane above the sky to pure calmness. I sat comfortably in the passenger seat watching the calamity unfold beneath, and I remained composed. And it worked. Now, in any argument, toxicity or negative comment, instead of a fire raging, I laugh. I literally laugh off the negative energy inside me. Astonishingly, what has happened is that since that session, I no longer have a fear of flying. As with life, I now enjoy the bumps, the variations in speeds, the delays and the final destination, all with a bird’s eye view.
In his book, SF-EMDR: A New Paradigm for Psychotherapy and Peak Performance, Dr O’Malley recites the tale of two Africans who lived in a village with no running water. Every day, they each carried a ceramic pot down to the river and came back to the village with the pots half full. As time passed, other villagers collected water with metal pots which would not leak. As they traced the steps of their predecessors, they found that rows of flowers had sprung up where the ceramic pots had leaked. He goes onto explain that whilst we may be ‘broken’, this is the path to recovery. There is still a wholeness inside of us which is waiting to resurface. If we water our souls whilst we are on our path to health, eventually our own flowers will bloom. A lovely allegory. Out of my brokenness has come my range of oils and the desire to help others on their journey.