True to form, I ended the year/began the year wrestling with a cold. I say ‘wrestling,’ because I’m not sure we’re ‘fighting’…but we’re definitely ‘wrestling.’ I’ve been able to keep it at bay with various oils, vitamin C, rest, water, etc, and have not had to take medicine. This morning as I was driving to work with a headache, I thought about how it might be easier to just ‘take something to make the pain go away.’
And isn’t that true in life? It’s so tempting to jump to the easiest, quickest, most convenient solution to avoid pain. But often the deeper growth happens when we sit with the discomfort a minute, and find ways to invest in our natural capacity to heal. Often the deeper growth happens when we investigate the core causes of the pain/discomfort, and adjust at that level–rather than resorting to the easy solutions that may be masking the pain rather than healing it.
Sure–there are oils that are natural decongestants that are helping me get through this cold. But I find myself more consciously aware of how my body is feeling as I try to find a good balance between eliminating pain and supporting healing. I’m all about supporting healing. It’s eliminating pain and discomfort just for the sake of the easy/quick fix that oils are helping me reconsider.
In my ongoing quest towards claiming those things that really matter to me in ways that actually show up in my life, I’m experimenting with and learning about essential oils and nature-based hair products and cleaning products. I continue to see connections between these products and…life…and occasionally write these connections down. Here’s one such reflection:
Yesterday I attended a church service of a ministry that is just getting started. We met on the ground of the construction site where the church will be located in the future. We began with a ritual of blessing over the space, praying for peace for all who will enter the space in the future. Meanwhile, our synod is actively preparing to welcome a new bishop through the rite of installation, which will include a laying-on-of-hands, where other bishops surround this one who has been chosen and called and lay their hands on his head with words of blessing. Meanwhile, I’m beginning to think about the season of Lent where we will share anointing oil with pastors and others who anoint babies in baptism, and others in times of sickness and death. THEN (yes…this is going somewhere!!), this morning I saw this link about the rationale for oils in Monat hair products. And it all got me thinking (here’s the connecting point!) about how oil on the head and in different spaces has often been a sign of anointing, set apartness, prayer, etc. So what if using good oil in hair products and diffusers rather than chemicals is kind of like reclaiming that practice of anointing and setting apart? Whether it’s using essential oils to say something about what I want my space to be (tranquil, peace and calming, stress away, etc), or whether it’s using good quality oils in my hair products, perhaps there’s a way to reclaim all that oils can mean–not just for religious rituals.