Saturday, July 18, 2015

Grace in Healing Trauma

I recently had the great fortune of studying with Raja Selvam Phd. in an advanced program for healing trauma. It was a great opportunity to learn with a very accomplished practitioner and elegant teacher.
 I was deeply moved by his humor, sensitivity and intellect. Teachers like Raja are rare. They seamlessly weave decades of study, experience and compassion into a tapestry of great beauty and complexity. Being in the presence of such a teacher is a gift.  It is a great and generous teacher who can sum up an entire course in one sentence. The most radiant pearl that I came home with was this beautiful heartfelt notion:

"When the heart is vulnerable, it can see great beauty."

After Dr. Selvman spoke these words my entire being took a deep sigh. I felt a sense of coming home into my own humanness and vulnerability. 

I have returned to my private practice with a renewed reverence for the wisdom that our bodies carry and the layers grace that resides in each and every one of us. As the integration of the new material is taking hold and anchoring in my system, I am in awe of the many facets of beauty that we own. We are truly multidimensional beings. 

In writing this post, and sharing my training, I wanted to create an image that reflects the many layers   of magic that I experienced this past Spring. I took thousands of pictures of orioles, flowers, yellow finches, a flying turkey and gem filled floral collages. It is my hope that this image conveys the joy inside of my heart that I feel when I am in nature and in my practice treating patients. I feel that it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of a deeply transformational and precious process. I thank Dr. Selvam and all of the exquisite teachers and pioneers who are paving the way for many of us who are working in the field of healing trauma. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Secret Treatise of the Spiritual Orchid

One of my absolute favorite studies is of the classics of Chinese Medicine. Coming into this medicine takes time, it is a long and slow unfolding. 
Sometimes it feels like molasses. 
Dark and sweet. 
After years of study and practice, small luminescent pearls emerge and one is awe struck by the simplicity and beauty of the medicine. 
This past week, one such pearl emerged, the pearl of wisdom that spoke to the translucent nature of simplicity.

This beautiful orchid gift came to me last week and it prompted me to return to Nei jing Su wen Chapter 8. The Secret Treatise of the Spritual Orchid. I have the translation by Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee. 
As I was reading the translation, this small piece jumped off the page and begged to be shared. 

And so here it is:

"The heart is not just a pump to move blood, it is the highest entity in human life. And it is very interesting to understand that morality, virtue and so on are understood by the Chinese not just as being in the field of religion for example, but as essential to keep the quality of life. This is the reason why we have to go and see wonderful scenery, be well rested, have good food and drink and all that, in order that life will be more refined. From this digesting of essences you are then in a position to distribute them."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Isabelle May Botanicals

Before the rain came in last night, I gathered the last peonies from the garden. Their fragrance kept me company all of last night and today. If only I could replicate the sweetness of these beauties in a peony perfume!

I have been working on many custom scents for clients the past few months and making many new discoveries as I blend. I began using Palo Santo in my perfumery, a sacred oil from the rain forest, that in the past I reserved for special occasions in healing sessions. It has such a powerful and grounding scent that opens the heart as it blends with Damask rose, Jasmine or Cistus. 

The more mature my perfume making becomes, the more courageous I have become in making new combinations of scents. I am currently working on a perfume that is built around Apricot and Lemon myrtle. This is a brave experiment as lemon myrtle is very strong and has a very heady and strong lemony scent that reminds me of lemon drops. Every perfume is truly a new adventure.
A package arrived today including White rose absolute, Citron, Osmanthus and Cacao, to name a few. It is hard not to spend every waking moment with these new beauties. 

Every time a new shipment arrives, I know that my grandmother Isabelle May would have loved the experience of carefully opening every new scent and studying the properties of each bottle. I named my perfume line after her as she was such a beautiful and kind mentor to me. She introduced me to the mysterious world of plants in her gardens. While I grew up around many beautiful plants at home, it was through the eyes of my grandmother, a botanist and cultivator, that I truly felt the magic. 
In time, hopefully I will make a perfume that smells like fresh peonies and I will name it Isabelle.

Wishing everyone a beautiful Summer!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Swans

Beautiful swans at Gerard Drive, the Springs, N.Y.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

The magic of the bluebirds appeared again yesterday. 
It was only the second time that I have ever seen them and it was so deeply moving that I was brought to tears. Their song made my heart sing. 

Eastern bluebirds are quite rare. While they are making a slow comeback in population, they are rarely seen. This group of birds found water and Japanese holly berries (Ilex Crenata fruit).

Their blue feathers stood out against the incoming snow.

A rare and special gift.