“We have nothing if not belief”
C.S. Lewis – The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, 1950
My root chakra has been weak from a very young age due to nightly disruption of my sleep pattern. Mum, having given up her job as a nurse, worked as a waitress. This meant that I quite frequently stayed overnight at my Aunty and Uncle’s houses, then with my Dad at weekends. I never really slept in my own bed for any more than four nights in a row. Consequently, I suffered from insomnia before I became a teenager; and it has never left me.
I often slept in the spare oom of Aunty Katy and Uncle John’s house, meaning I could spend more time with my cousin, Juliette. It was like my second home and in order to send us to sleep, Uncle John would eloquently read novels to us. Each evening, he would take us from the bright city of War Drobe through the wild woods of the west into the land of Narnia that lies between lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel. Ironically, the fantastical “Chronicles of Narnia” grounded me, making me feel safe enough to sleep. The nights that I did go home were unsettling, as I longed for the comfort of Narnia. I missed Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, my fellow evacuees.
It was in my early teens that my journey of discovery with essential oils began. Nanny Win, who often babysat me, gave me a pillow filled with dried lavender, beautifully embroidered with tiny purple flowers and my name, Anna. She explained that lavender was such a special, powerful flower which made you sleepy. I was mesmerised! It was as magical as the White Witch’s Turkish Delight! Lavender together with camomile were the first two essential oils I ever bought. I sprinkled drops of each oil onto my pillow every night so that I could get to sleep, wherever I was.
Over the years, my nightly ritual developed until the blend SLEEP was created. Lavender and camomile oils have been added into grapeseed oil, which is light enough to penetrate the skin easily, with rich avocado oil for antioxidants. Next is vetiver which is the “oil of tranquillity”, alleviating stress and calming the nervous system. It is one of the most powerful essential oils for grounding and making you sleep – being considered as powerful as Valium. I have used it for almost 30 years to help me sleep and I swear by it.
Over the years, I have perfected this blend, so as to make it more aromatic and pleasant smelling; appealing to both the male and female nose! Grapefruit oil sweetens the earthy aroma of vetiver and lifts the spirits. Marjoram reduces anxiety and eases muscle spasms to help you relax. Finally, carrot seed, as well as being a grounding oil, also helps heal and moisturise the skin whilst you sleep. I simply smear the blend over my arms and my decolletage to keep my skin young-looking. Then I cup my hands, taking in sniffs of the oil, as I drift into the Land of Narnia.