I remember the moment when I stopped trying to get on with my life, and I simply let myself live with a broken heart. I stopped trying to be bright, positive, or above it. I stopped trying to convince people that I wasn’t beaten. Instead, I gave in. I let my sadness rub against me until it sanded me down to nothing.
In an uncontested heartbreak, I found a rare beauty in the power the world had to influence me. People could make me cry with an offhand word, with a passing kindness, or with the wonder of their own humanness. A hawk could fly across my path; I could stumble over a white rock shaped like the moon; or I could sit in the dry, wind-bent grasses and feel a tenderness so complete and perfect that it overwhelmed my senses. I was deeply in touch and connected to the world, and I felt that it was constantly offering me symbols of hope and renewal. I was the world’s grace, terror, joy, and its pain—these things were living, without conflict, side-by-side in my body, mind, and spirit.
In our explorations of amyris (Amyris balsamifera) we know that amyris symbolizes resilience. Psychologists tell us that resilient people are empathetic, creative, flexible, find humor in themselves and in situations, and have the ability to calm and focus the mind. I don’t disagree, but I think many of us have a different sort of resilience. It is subterranean, secret, and primal. It is the kind of resilience that finds beauty in heartbreak and in the power that profound vulnerability possesses to transform us. It is an instinctive urge to grasp the catalytic energy of misfortune and harnesses it for personal growth.
I am not an accomplished yoga practitioner, but I have always appreciated the way yoga helps to integrate the body, mind, emotions, spirit, and soul into one fluid and expanded whole. I like to pair one or two yoga poses with the wisdom of a plant and fully experience the combined energy of the pose and the plant.
For me, Mountain Pose (Tadasana) shares the wisdom of amyris, and this was a pose I regularly returned to during the two years that I lived with a broken heart. In this moment, as we celebrate amyris and fully integrate the teachings of this tree, join me in this daily practice and pay attention to ways it shifts your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.
Amyris Mountain Pose Integration
Prepare:You will need amyris essential oil alone or in synergy (see below), an aromatherapy diffuser, and a yoga mat if you have one. I always light a white candle to give myself a point of focus, but this is not necessary. Place 4 drops of amyris or a synergy in the diffuser and let it fill the room with its woody, balsamic aroma. In the morning, I turn on the diffuser and drink a cup of coffee before I do this simple practice. In the evening, I set myself up for bed while the amyris aroma builds in my room.
Set Your Intention:You can use any intention you wish but if you need a start try this, “My intention is to connect with the profound beauty and power of my broken heart and transform in just the right way for my highest good.” If you are not living with a broken heart try, “My intention is to connect with the beauty and strength of allowing myself to be vulnerable in order to live more completely in tender harmony with the world.”
Assume Mountain Pose: Bring your feet together with your big toes touching, but your heels just slightly apart with your arms energized and your hands in prayer position over your heart. You are more stable if you place your feet shoulder width apart, but for this practicethe feet together ask you to find stability through the lift in your spine and firmness of your abdominals. Think of your heels drawing energy from the earth and the back of your neck lifting toward the clouds.
Explore Mountain Pose:Inhale and think about your shoulder blades drawing down and together to find a relaxed, but energized, place of rest against your ribcage. Think of the long length of your legs and energy moving from your grounded feet up the backs of your legs, into your firm torso, and up your spine to your relaxed neck. Exhale and connect to your good heart as air flows out of your body. Inhale and exhale slowly and calmly as you continue to explore the feeling of the pose.
As I stand, embraced by the aroma of amyris, I imagine the summits of mountains. They are elusive but, once achieved, offer an unprecedented observation point. As I stand in mountain pose, I imagine myself looking down from the summit of a great mountain onto the territory of my life. I look at the past, and it is beautiful. I look at the present, and it is beautiful. I look to the future, andI know it can be beautiful too. Life, my life—your life, is beautiful and sacred, even in challenge and heartbreak.
Integrate the Experience:When I feel ready, I leave mountain pose and sit cross-legged before my candle, continuing to inhale and exhale. Invariably, this practice leaves me feeling centered, connected, and peaceful. Often particular emotions or thoughts will arise during the practice. I do not try to shut them down or even “come back to the breath.” I let them be and feel curious about why they have made themselves known to me. Always, I learn something new. Let whatever you learn dissolve around you in a shimmer of golden light and tune in once more to the aroma of amyris holding you. Know that you are ready now to face your day with tenderness for yourself and for all you meet or that you are ready to sleep the deep sleep of quiet resilience.
Beauty of a Broken Heart Synergy
This lovely combination is formulated with 10 drops of amyris essential oil (resilience), 8 drops mandarin (vulnerability), 5 drops Peru balsam (grief), and 4 drops cypress (cycles). Blend these oils together in a 5-milliliter glass bottle with a dropper top and lid. Add 12 drops of the synergy to 1 ounce of expeller pressed vegetable oil or plain lotion for a body application. Add 12 drops of the synergy to 1 ounce of distilled water in a glass bottle with a fine mist top for a spritz. Add 4 drops undiluted to an aromatherapy diffuser to enhance a living or working space. Note, that if the Peru balsam is too thick to use, you can thin it with a few drops of grain alcohol (like vodka). Also know that Peru balsam can be a dermal sensitizer. It doesn’t bother my skin, but if it bothers yours, substitute 4 drops of lavender essential oil (noble heart) for Peru balsam.
If you have enjoyed this blog post, check out “The Nobel Quest for Amyris”. This folio offers a full, complete, rich and lustrous story of amyris, the essential oil it produces, the self-directed life-coaching activities it inspires, and the light that shines through all of us. This folio is on sale for $3.99 during the month of February 2019 (usually $8.99).