In our rush to get ahead, pay our bills, balance our checkbooks, put gas in our cars, take the kids to school or care for aging parents, we think about what we truly yearn for, and that breaks our hearts. We ache to slow down, to just be — but how do you do that when our culture screams “keep up, multitask, hurry, cut the line, be first, be a winner not a whiner?” The world tells us all our answers lie in a better job, more money, bigger house, newer car, most updated fashion, faster computer, bustling social media accounts, romantic relationships, etc. They say the answers are on the outside, all we need to do is just stay busy and we’ll find it, right? Guess what? It’s a lie. More unrest and spiritual pain are likely to happen if our souls pursue these empty promises. Spiritual pain can isolate us, take away meaning, disconnect us from God, ourselves and others. How do we do what we love and release the chains of the world that hold us back from listening to the loves of our hearts?
As we seek meaning in our lives, we can find our intended inner life by practicing simple soul feeding actions. Take a few deep breaths from a few drops of an essential oil blend placed on our wrists or a tissue before we get into the car. Smile at our reflection as we log on to our computers for the day. Before checking our cell phones, take five seconds to say a prayer, be thankful for someone or something, even if it is causing us unrest. Sometimes we need to be more single-minded in tending to our spiritual pain by crying, grieving, allowing or asking a safe person to listen as we express our feelings, hold our hands, or hug us. These are all engaging aspects of the nun/monk archetype in our lives. These small choices in action can be monastery moments. These monastery moments are places we can retreat to in our hearts and minds to feed our soul’s yearnings. We engage our inner monk/nun archetypal patterns and reprogram our central nervous systems one step at a time to become calmly inward rather than compulsively outward.
“If you can’t accept what is outside of yourself then accept what is inside of yourself.”
-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
We can soothe our minds and hearts by inhaling an essential oil blend like ginger Zingiber officinale with its warming sensation, or juniper berry Juniperus communis with its fresh bittersweet piney smell. Juniper historically has been used in Tibetan and Native American ceremonies. Another soothing oil is Virginian cedarwood Juniperus virginana its woody, sweet scent can imbue positive thoughts. Other essential oils for consideration can be Eucalyptus radiata for its camphor effect and/or other pine oils that may revive the spirit. A 1% to 3% dilution in vegetable oil inhaled from a few drops placed into the hands or on the wrists can uplift the spirits and may decrease feelings of unrest.
“Virginian cedarwood can assist an individual to take a negative situation and transform it into an experience from which strength and wisdom can be derived.”
-Salvatore Battaglia The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy.
As always, personal discernment combined with consultation with your health care provider, spiritual director, minister, or close supportive friend is vital in this inner journey discovery. Qualified aromatherapists, support groups, or other community resources are other avenues we can explore to find connections with our inner monasteries and find healing peace to sooth and replace spiritual pain.