a crown of beauty for ashes
the oil of joy for mourning
a garment of praise in place of a spirit of despair
This week, I attended Kundalini Yoga for the first time at the Nurture Shed in Somerset. During savasana music, our teacher applied scented oil to our foreheads. It reminded me of the practise of ‘anointing with oil’ found in other religious traditions including Christianity. It was a very beautiful, tender experience.
In Hinduism, the forehead is an important site of the Ajna chakra – the third eye. Coming from a Christian background but now finding myself more and more open to all expressions of spirituality, I find myself re-connecting to the spirit, the prophetic.
For a few years after my psychosis, it felt troubling to visit the idea of prophecy. I had felt so spiritual, so connected to Heaven, so sure of my prophetic gift and the beautiful wedding feast where all my friends would be healed and full of joy.
During savasana, I felt reminded of the verse above from Isaiah which I have clung to in the intense despair of depression. The times when I have felt that my life has crumbled to a heap of ashes. Days when I have woken up devastated that I did not die in the night.
I get a sense of my crown of beauty as I walk through recovery. In acceptance of my diagnosis. In my time alongside others in despair. In raising courageous daughters.
Back in 1999, my wedding headdress looked something like the Odette flower crown pictured above from Gypsy Rose Vintage on Etsy. Next year, I’ll be celebrating our twentieth anniversary with a crown of beauty from ashes. I might even rock a boho floral crown & leather jacket! I’m so grateful for my amazing husband, faithful through every sickness and health.