“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh
I had a difficult day today. It happens. Lots of sadness today, and grief, and tears.
I feel more balanced tonight, but it took a while to get there. Indeed, I really have a special person to thank for that. Her name is Angela and she runs this little shop a few towns over called The Organic Angel. I probably never would have found this place except that my massage therapist thought I might be interested in the grief group that meets there twice a month. And indeed, the group meetings have truly been a balm for my wounded heart.
And it was through the group meetings that I discovered the other facets of the Organic Angel offerings, which included Saturday morning meditations. I started attending the meditations probably about a month or so after my first group meeting and have been a regular attendee ever since. Each meditation seems to be exactly the thing I need at the right moment. Angela has been carefully guiding us in chakra-based visualization meditation sessions and I have found them to be very healing and calming.
Tonight I decided to attend a new offering she had developed – Restorative Yoga. Her description of it read:
Do you need time to allow the physical and mental body to completely surrender, relax, and restore? Give yourself a mid-week break and receive nurturing and comfort through a series of poses that are supported with blocks, bolster, blanket, and pillow. Rest comfortably in each pose while passively stretching your muscles. Each pose can last from 5-8 minutes. During the poses, clients can receive Reiki. Reiki is universal energy that can assist in rebalancing all aspects of our being – mind, body, and spirit. Free yourself and try this method of restoring all aspects of yourself.
This definitely intrigued me and so I thought I’d give it a try. Now I confess, given the day I had today, I really just wanted to curl up into a tiny ball and let the whole world just go away. But somewhere inside of me I always find that little spark or voice or whatever it is that lets me know that even though I don’t think I want to do something, I know that later on I will thank myself for having done it. So I gave myself a little collapse time – coming home from work early and just crashing on the couch for a while, even falling asleep. Fortunately I had the foresight to set my iPhone alarm so it woke me up after an hour had passed. And so it was off to the Organic Angel to discover what Restorative Yoga might do for me.
I arrived fairly early and came into her shop. She always greets every person who enters with such warmth and sincerity. I’ve rarely seen that in my journeys. Tonight she was talking with a man whom she introduced as Eric. He seemed to have gentle energy around him. They were talking about acquiring land and how to preserve it in perpetuity. Eric left shortly thereafter, at which point Angela told me that he was an astrologer and his name was Eric Linter and of course I knew of him through Spirit of Change magazine so that was cool. He is very well known in this area and yet he seemed like a fairly humble, down-to-earth guy.
Then we talked for a little bit. Angela asked how I was doing and I told her that today had been a difficult day for me – filled with sadness and just missing Laureen. She was compassionate on that accord and told me how great she thought I was doing in working through my grief. A lot of people tell me that and while a part of me accepts that as true, another part of me kind of shrugs it off because there are a lot of times where I just feel so alone and lonely and I’m missing just touching her and laughing with her and I just feel like I’m really struggling to get through each day.
It wasn’t too long before the other participants arrived. In all, there would be four of us, which is the class size that Angela wanted for this so I was glad I was able to get a spot. Now I was a little concerned about how much yoga I’d actually be able to do tonight because I’d hurt my back last weekend while moving some furniture but I figured I could always modify the poses and just do whatever I was able to do. The truth of it is that what really intrigued me was her plan to incorporate elements of meditation and Reiki into the yoga so I really wanted to see how this was going to work. . . and like most things these days, it just kind of “lit up” for me, meaning I kind of just knew that I was supposed to be there for this and that this was probably the next step in my healing process.
Now I’m not going to go into every detail of the hour-long session. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it all in an hour – she had it very well choreographed in that respect and it felt like it was longer than an hour. And it was everything I’d hoped it would be – a perfect blend of gentle yoga (we did a total of 4 postures), meditation, and Reiki. In the Reiki aspect, as we rested in each pose, Angela would come around to each one of us and, with our permission, perform Reiki energy work on us. What I can say is that in the course of that one hour she was able to transform my sadness and pain and even some anger, and bring me back to a place of feeling love and compassion and gratitude, which is the way I always try to walk. We also did some work with a rose quartz crystal, which towards the end she suggested we might place the crystal on our heart chakras, if we wished, to promote healing (I couldn’t have choreographed this any better for my own heart healing).
The final aspect of this was that prior to going downstairs she had us each draw an angel card and the card I drew was Archangel Ariel. I don’t know what deck these cards were, but basically the card had a word on it and mine was “Inspiration” which at first thought I wondered if it might be connected with creativity. Not sure about that, but when I got home I Googled Ariel (I’m beginning to think that Google is my virtual divination deck. . . like, really!) Anyhow, here is some information I found on Archangel Ariel –
Meet Archangel Ariel, the Angel of Nature
Ariel means “altar” or “lion of God.” Other spellings include Ari’el, Arael, and Ariael.
Ariel is known as the angel of nature. She oversees the protection and healing of animals and plants, as well as the care of the Earth’s elements (such as water, wind, and fire). She punishes those who harm God’s creation. People sometimes ask for Ariel’s help to: take good care of the environment and God’s creatures (including both wild animals and pets) and to provide healing that they need, according to God’s will (Ariel works with the archangel Raphael when healing).
In art, Ariel is often depicted with a globe representing the Earth, or with elements of nature (such as water, fire, or rocks), to symbolize Ariel’s role caring for God’s creation on Earth. Ariel appears sometimes in male form, and other times in female form.
Pale pink or rainbow colors
Role in Religious Texts:
Ariel’s name (which can mean “altar”) is used to refer to the holy city of Jerusalem in Isaiah chapter 29 of the Bible, but the passage itself doesn’t refer to archangel Ariel. The Jewish aprocryphal text The Wisdom of Solomon describes Ariel as an angel who punishes demons. The Christian Gnostic text Pistis Sophia also says that Ariel works punishing the wicked. Later texts describe Ariel’s role caring for nature, including the Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels (published in the 1600s), which calls Ariel “Earth’s great lord.”
Other Religious Roles:
Ariel is part of the class of angels called the virtues, who inspire people on Earth to create great art and make great scientific discoveries. Ariel serves as the patron angel of wild animals. Some Christians consider Ariel to be the patron saint of new beginnings.
So, a number of things immediately stand out to me. For example, the very last line, which reads that some Christians consider Ariel to be the patron saint of new beginnings. If that’s the case, that’s certainly what I need because I’ve had a new beginning thrust upon me with absolutely no desire of owning it, but I have no choice.
Also the energy color(s) resonated with me. In working with the rose quartz tonight, we were actually working with pale pink and we were using the rose quartz to heal the heart chakra and the rose quartz is associated with. . .
. . .fair and lovely Rose Quartz, with its gentle pink essence, is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. It carries a soft feminine energy of compassion and peace, tenderness and healing, nourishment and comfort. It speaks directly to the Heart Chakra, dissolving emotional wounds, fears and resentments, and circulates a Divine loving energy throughout the entire aura. Reawakening the heart to its own innate love, it provides a deep sense of personal fulfillment and contentment, allowing one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others.
Of course, “Ariel” has Aries in it too and the whole protection of nature thing is so Laureen. I always told her I’d have to look for her in the animal part of heaven because that’s where she will be hanging out. So a lot of interesting connections in that piece.
And I think that’s all I’ve got for the moment. I have this pain that wants to be a headache that has been doggin’ me all day long. It could be due to the upcoming tropical storm / hurricane that should be here on Friday. Laureen always felt the big storms a few days out so maybe I’ve got a touch of that today. Hopefully it will pass soon.