Every night before bed, I attempt some kind of yoga or meditation. I somehow need to bring myself down to a level of relaxation that will allow me to sleep, no matter how artificial or drug induced that sleep may be. This evening as I was slowly listening to my body breath in and out, I opened my eyes to focus up the golden glow of my Himalayan salt lamp. It’s truly beautiful. The poignant yet soft glow has always held me in a trance, feeling as though I am gazing right into the centre of the sun. As I finished my meditation and yoga I glanced across to my bedside table. I saw the following; my salt lamp, my essential oils diffuser in full swing determinedly forcing out a flow of lavender and eucalyptus, a candle (not lit this evening for some reason), a salt pipe, a herbal tea and some water. I stared at it for a second. Having been meditating, my head was pretty much empty and accepting of any thought that may come knocking and I suddenly found myself pondering the question, “when did all this enter my life? When did I go from having a hair brush, a nail varnish, a lip balm and a phone on my bedside table to this?”.
Now please don’t for one minute think that I regret or dislike any of these objects, I adore them. But I feel they also represent for me a core change that I was forced into. Because when I asked myself how I discovered aromatherapy, or why I asked for a Himalayan salt lamp for my birthday, they weren’t because I had developed an interest in alternative therapies. They were out of desperation. When I took up these now beloved hobbies which have become a part of who I am, I was at my lowest. Life had forced me into a corner.
It was the autumn before I gave up my business when I googled “alternative therapies” in a bid to somehow convince my immune system to work. Kiddo was yet to be thrown into the unforgiving world of the Autism diagnosis system and yet his behaviour was at his most challenging. I worked 11 hour days and my body was crumbling. So I turned to essential oils in a bid to ward off flu and bugs and bedridden days. Did it work? No. But, I so adore the practices of aromatherapy now. It/s beautiful to read about, to create and to indulge in. Make no mistake there are huge health benefits, but my immune system was beyond help, medically or otherwise.
My turn to diverse herbal teas had much the same premise. To help me sleep, breath and survive. I felt that these did have an affect, but they merely scratch the surface on their own.
As for my lamp, yes I do feel the benefit. The air is purer, my breathing is easier and along with the salt pipe I feel real tangible benefits.
As I continued to let me eyes flow over my bedside table, I was hit with two complete opposite reactions. I was so sad to remember why these individual items had entered my life. My time of crippling anxiety, the slow uprising of a depression that I only just managed to beat down and the sheer exhaustion of helping my son find the medical help he needed. But as I pulled my gaze out, I saw the table as a whole. All these individual battles, all these emotional cuts and bruises that had led me to each item on my table, at some point they all met together. At some point the difficult avenues of my life culminated. And as my collection of alternative therapies grew I was able to start growing myself as a person. And I’ve not only beaten all those challenges, I’ve trampled them down with such vigour that I almost dare them to come and try their luck again. In the words of Sporty Spice to Liam Gallagher all those years go, “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”. Because my bedside table isn’t a table of individual woes anymore, it’s a table of strength. Of victory. And I will only ever view it as a whole, as a collection and as one from now on.
Thanks for reading,