23 May, 2019

Broken Hearts & Breathing Spaces

Originally published as a Mmerci Encore newsletter, sign up to receive your periodic dose of fresh inspiration x

Last year, the year before I turned 30, I surpassed my financial goals and got a space to make into my own art shed. It, too, was the year my mum survived cancer, and my sister became a doctor. Blessings upon blessings. More notably, it was the year I had my heart very broken.

It was one of those relationships where you come out not very much like yourself — more numbed than saddened, confused, insecure, and to be very honest, damaged. It made me very sceptical, to the extent of wondering if the universe is a loving entity at all for putting such hurtful people in one’s way. I stopped working for a month to regain my bearings. The pain and guilt, however, lingered and demanded to be felt.

Life is trickled with triumphs and ordeals, of good and bad intentions. One thing that’s true is that you get to decide what happens next. You always get to decide. With such a realization came better questions to ask myself. It was no longer “Why did this happen to me?” or “How do we scrub off pain and suffering from our lives so that we only have happiness?” but rather, “Now that we have nothing, what do we give ourselves? How can you be, through it all, your own best lover and healer — your own person?”

I started my recovery by reverting to frequent meditations, even though it was painful because it can have me reliving memories and eventually bawling on my knees. I’d keep at it regardless because, as they say, it gets worse before it gets better. I’d diffuse some lemongrass and cinnamon during my sessions — one is to stimulate the senses; the other, to soothe distress. Heartaches from bad breakups can numb you and depression can make breathing such a chore. It was only when I meditated with oils and reached those deep points of my aromatherapy-infused in-breaths that I was able to feel something good again. The more I get a whiff of that scented air, the more I savoured every breathing moment.

I looked forward to diffusing. One day, I felt like an 8-year old eagerly and carefully lining up my tiny bottles of essential oils on my dresser: ylang ylang, rose geranium, jasmine, lemongrass, lavender, lavender asia. I had with me an aromatherapy chart. “What to smell today? What would feel good right now?” I learned that a great deal of self-care is just giving yourself what you essentially need at the moment. Aromatherapy offered that opportunity for me to choose and create a sensorial experience that matched my mood/vibe. After a while, I’d forget I was hurting, for I was now like a god playing, alchemizing oils into aromatic galaxies and letting them have their way with me and elevate my meditations. Aromatherapy reminded me that we ultimately possess the power to conjure atmospheres — one that is sensible and most assistive to our healing and becoming.

One way or another, my oils kept me alive. Instead of being consumed by anger, grudge, and confusion, they made me open, playful, lit, relieved, and most of all — present.

I don’t know how long it takes to completely heal, but I do know now that happiness and peace begin here — in the little ways you decide to show up for yourself and do what feels good and aiding to your mind, body, and soul. It begins the moment you realize your power to create space and make the air around you a little more breathable.

Sofia for Mmerci Encore
Sofia is Manila-based designer and artist who occasionally writes about meaningful business and self-care. We collaborated with Sofia to write letters for Mmerci Encore.

About Mmerci Encore

Mmerci Encore is our riff on the French phrase ‘thank you again’ and we’re all about celebrating the small things. We’re an artisanal aromatherapy label offering self-care products for skin and psyche. The line includes aromatherapy perfumes, blends, and body products. Our intention is to create goods that help people pause, rebalance, and come back to themselves.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a healing modality that captures the life force of plants, flowers, roots, bark, resins and more to promote physical and emotional well-being in the form of essential oils.

Why essential oils?

Essential oils can be diffused alone or blended together, offering a plethora of health and wellness benefits. The action of the oils on the limbic system and the adrenal cortex work rapidly when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. We recommend 3 to 5 drops in a diffuser. As our essential oils are very potent, never apply them on the skin neat. Remember to blend them into a carrier (or vegetable-based oil) such as coconut, grapeseed, or jojoba if you’d like to wear them on your skin.

Bergamot busts lethargy and overwhelming feelings of sadness. SHOP

Rose Otto and Chamomile (found respectively in our Moon Phase PMS Trio) is already blended in Jojoba and can be used to anoint over the heart and sacral areas. These exuberant oils celebrate self-love and self-confidence.SHOP

Ylang Ylang when used in small doses is an aphrodisiac and helps you unlock or rediscover your sensuality without shame or guilt. SHOP

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