Being a mother is, without a doubt, the most difficult thing I have ever done.
It's as if every ounce of my heart is out there in the world, in a whole and separate person. And that person has her own thoughts, her own opinions, her own struggles, her own journey, and most of it is completely beyond my control and, oftentimes, my understanding.
Concern for her well-being dominates all aspects of my life. I second guess literally every action I take or decision I make when it comes to her.
My life became infinitely more complex from the moment she opened her eyes.
And yet, I wouldn't change a thing about her.
But the love of a Mother can be like that - dedicated and illogical, fierce and all encompassing.
And oh, the gift of having a woman in our life who loves us like that!
Maybe it's our mother, who's love for us is beyond all comprehension.
Maybe it's a sister, or friend, or teacher, who have always held us up when we would rather fall.
Or maybe it's the Divine Mother, the Earth Mother, the Sacred Feminine, from which unconditional love and all bounty flow.
Whatever concept of "Mother" best suits our experience, Myrrh essential oil - the Oil of Mother Earth herself - can help us reconnect to that nurturing space of devoted love beyond measure.
Myrrh, like Frankincense, is an historic oil of biblical proportions, and has been a valuable trade good for over 5,000 years. Both Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions rely on Myrrh as a healing tonic, with regenerative and circulatory properties. It was commonly taken into battle by soldiers of ancient Greece and Rome as a means of healing wounds and preventing infection. And ancient Egyptians not only used Myrrh in their incense, perfumes and royal embalming techniques, but medical texts from 1550BC have been unearthed in Egypt, listing Myrrh as the preferred means of treating wounds and burns as well as respiratory issues. And even today, many natural toothpastes, powders and mouthwashes contain Myrrh, as it has long been used as a way to naturally strengthen gums and heal toothaches.
So with such a lineage to point to, it's no wonder that the physical healing power of Myrrh is well known. But how can it help and heal on an emotional level? By reconnecting us back the Mother, the source of all healing.
An extremely grounding essential oil, anointing the body with Myrrh can bring on a tremendous feeling of safety and relaxation. Like nutrient-rich colostrum from mother's first milk, Myrrh helps protect us from the harms of the world, both actual and perceived. Because nowhere is safer than in the arms of the Mother. And nowhere else do we heal quite as quickly as when we're surrounded by complete unconditional love. And as we heal, Myrrh can help us let go of fears and replace them with trust and hope, fortifying the heart to try again.
Myrrh essential oil can also help reconcile a fractured relationship with a direct maternal figure. It can foster the healing of disturbances, both the subtle and the traumatic, and nurture the soul in the process.
Likewise, Myrrh becomes a catalyst for connecting to the Divine Mother of your understanding. Gaia, Mary, Durga, Isis - whatever her name, the love remains the same. And it's difficult to feel whole without it.
In asana, Myrrh becomes a wonderful tool in a pranayama (guided breathing) practice when applied over the heart and shoulders.
For a very centering meditation, try applying to the forearms and sitting with the palms face up on the thighs.
A wonderfully loving massage oil - both for self massage or for partner bodywork like Thai Yoga Massage- Myrrh will leave the recipient feeling completely cared for, head to toe.
And a few drops onto a hot, wet towel and placed over the chest in savasana can enhance deep breathing and mental clarity.
Plus, if any muscle spasms or cramps come up after your practice, that Myrrh infused towel can do wonders for muscle relaxation.
*Quote from Erich Fromm
I write this post with the full understanding that the mother-child relationship is one of the most complex in our society, and the idea of "mother" can bring up equally complex reactions. My intent is not to gloss over these complications, but (for this purpose) to provide a simpler correlation to the term "mother" - a woman who has impacted our life for the better, or more broadly, the Divine Female essence. That is why I have chosen to capitalize the word "Mother".