Today I had the opportunity to participate in a beautiful workshop inspired by the project ‘Before I Die’ … From what I understand, this project was initiated by an artist who was grieving the loss of a loved one and struggling with the meaning of this life we live. She created a blank space on an abandoned house with the words ‘Before I Die…’ the space was immediately filled in with intimate responses from people of many paths and perceptions. The project has since made it’s way around the world, encouraging conversations about the inevitability of death as well as the meaningfulness of life.
The workshop today was a Yin yoga class, taught by a beautiful teacher who has the capacity to send so much love & light in every practice I’ve participated in. Her teaching was accompanied by live acoustic guitar played by a local musician which complimented the energy and sentiment within the space. My role was to utilise Essential Oils to nurture further connection with the messages of the class and the project as a whole.
As the Yin teacher worked through 7 Chakras and their relation to the cycle of life, I gave participants the option to receive application of various oils to support their journey. During the initial grounding work, I applied a blend called ‘Stress Away’ to their inner wrists. This blend containing Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Copaiba & Ocotea can support a sense of security and a strong foundation with which to live fully & content in the present time. Because of the extremely concentrated molecular structure of these oils, when inhaled, they are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the limbic system… a part of the brain where we store emotions not otherwise accessible.
As we moved up to the Heart Chakra, Anahata, I offered ‘Joy’ a blend containing Rose, Jasmine and Tangerine among other oils. I encouraged participants to gently massage the oil over their heart, supporting self-compassion and self-nourishment, forgiveness and unconditional Love. Because Rose Essential Oil carries the highest electrical charge of all known substances, it carries healing vibrations to all systems of the body with which the heart resonates. It takes 60,000 Rose Blossoms to produce 1 ounce of Rose oil, so you can imagine the life-force and vitality in that tiny application. In death, Joy can evoke a gentle persuasion to the ultimate surrender… to accept and release peacefully.
Lastly, as we arrived in the final resting pose of a yoga practice, Savasanah, I offered the anointing of Frankincense, an oil with widely-known uses documented throughout history as early as 5,000 BC. Frankincense was seen as worthy as a gift to Jesus, right along with Gold; so even if the stories of the Bible don’t resonate with you, even just the historical reference speaks to it’s value. Frankincense is known for it’s ability to elicit a sense of spiritual alertness and contemplation. It’s benefits can support both the person transitioning into death as well as those grieving the loss of a loved one.
It was a humbling experience to witness this room full of people pay respect to the message behind ‘Before I Die’ and embrace the subtle, yet confronting emotions the oils could release.
I’ve certainly spent the day in reflection. A conversation or contemplation worth honouring indeed❤