Dear Blossoming Hearted Ones,
As you read this Jim and I will have been on the road for 4 weeks with our tours in northern Spain where we enjoyed the picturesque Basque country and also the glorious countryside of the Dordogne in the South west of France.
Currently we are travelling through western Turkey with a beautiful group of people enjoying the many delights that Turkey has to offer. We are often asked why we go there at that time - simple answer really, as this is the perfect time to visit the damask rose fields when they are blooming.
Additionally, our aromatic journey also reveals Turkey's unique historic heritage, a tapestry of sorts, like the life stories woven into the exquisitely patterned carpets that we see along the way.
Life remains quite busy with all the travel and yet we also know how important it is to take the time to honour the precious moments in our own lives. In March, Jim and I went to Bali to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was a toss up between a new gate for the country property or going to Bali. Well, what can a girl say to that? Bali thank you very much!
When we arrived at the hotel where the Bali Women's Retreat takes place, our gorgeous Balinese friends were so excited as we are like family there. I first stayed at this beautiful hotel in paradise in 1975 - so how special to be there to celebrate our anniversary.
On entering our idyllic tropical bungalow which looked out over verdant green rice fields, we found a beautiful heart-shaped flower arrangement on the bed. So sweet! All the staff came and popped their heads in the door to make sure were were happy. And oh yes, we certainly were!
Over the last few years we have been inundated with requests to return to New Zealand, so Auckland here we come!
It has been nine years since I was last in New Zealand - the year before The Blossoming Heart was published.
Our venue is The Wellpark College in a beautiful tree lined avenue in the heart of Grey Lynn.
In order to smoothly finalize our plans and to ensure that we have the minimum numbers necessary for the workshop to proceed, we would greatly appreciate your early bookings. The venue size is limited and as we are coming from afar, last minute bookings don't always work as we are obliged to make plans a long way ahead.
If it has been awhile since you attended Aromatic Kinesiology Level One-The Path of Beauty, you will be pleasantly surprised at the direction that The Blossoming Heart has taken.
In the past few years the series of workshops has become less process orientated and more heart based, with a focus on coming home to the truth and beauty that lives inside of you - a place where your heart-light can truly shine.
If you are a therapist wishing to enrich your own experience and also of those with whom you work with then this series based on The Blossoming Heart is for you.
You may know someone whom you feel would have an affinity this work. While many therapists and students do attend the programs you don't have to be a therapist to attend the Aromatic Kinesiology workshop series.
You will most certainly leave on day three, with your heart full, feeling connected, peaceful and quietly confident and with a set of unique and elegant skills to use out in the wider world.
"It was such a joy to recently re-experience AK 1 - The Path of Beauty - after 18 years! Robbi, your passion for this work is inspiring. Your caring gentle facilitation also enables participants to feel comfortable and at ease.
I loved being part of this beautiful group of women exploring with each
other the value and direction of our own lives through the use of Essential
Oils and The Reflections.
Your book “The Blossoming Heart” in which you share your understanding, experience, and wisdom of the oils and their relationship to emotions, provides wise insights for healing and transformation.
Having recently retired from another field of work, I am enjoying reconnecting with the oils and finding creative ways to use them on a daily basis.
I am looking forward to AK Two in October.
With much gratitude."
~ Helen Baxter, Melbourne Australia
Earlier in the year I was in Dublin for AK One & Two.
It truly was an honour and a privilege to spend six days with such caring open-hearted women who came from far and wide to attend, including Spain and Croatia.
I can hardly wait to return in 2014 to deepen our experience further with AK Three - The Path of Stillness
Frankincense was one oil that we explored during the workshops - a theme appeared for some you might say - which is perhaps why our time together was so precious.
Frankincense: Boswellia carterii
PROTECTED - VULNERABLE
A deeply penetrating, spicy, fragrance, Frankincense cleanses the aura, is finely attuned to the subtle energies and paves the way to the higher self.
Frankincense deepens and slows the rhythm of the breath, providing safe passage to the inner realms of the unconscious during meditation.
Frankincense brings stability and insulation when the inner landscape of the heart is feeling vulnerable.
When you feel yourself wide open, choose to stay connected to the light and know that the unseen helpers will protect you.
Our lives are patterned as one continuous voyage moving through many horizons.
Frankincense will sustain you on your journey and cultivate positive inner guidance so that your true self can be seen.
Honour your requirement for protection and create a ceremony or ritual to invoke the presence of your inner protector.
Blossoming Heart Affirmation
I am protected by the fragrance of love and light.
"It is hard to find words that can describe my experience of these workshops.
All six days were so wonderful. I had expectations, but the training
exceeded them all.
I have been working as an aromatherapist for 10 years and as the founder of
a school for aromatherapists in Croatia, I advocate a holistic approach.
At the seminar, I obtained new knowledge and new tools for therapeutic work. The whole program was a magical blend of essential oils, traditional Chinese medicine, kinesiology and release of blocked emotions.
Upon my return to Croatia, I began to apply the lessons learned and the results with myself, clients and students have been excellent.
Thank you for the selflessness of knowledge transfer. See you at level three."
~ Lidija Delic, Adult Education Institute Zagreb Croatia
"I would recommend anyone working with essential oils not to miss this workshop. It was dynamic, thought provoking and overflowing with vibrancy, enjoyment, love and fragrant delight. Having practiced as an aromatherapist for 28 years, it was wonderful for me to take a fresh look at this aspect of working with essential oils, a renaissance of sorts. A true journey of the senses. Thank you so very much."
~ Lainey Ennis, Aromatherapy practitioner, psychologist, yoga teacher. Dublin Ireland
There are three words that I have said to myself for years.
I say them when I’m feeling confident and happy and also when things are tough or uncomfortable.
I say them to calm my mind when I can’t to get to sleep at night or when my body is unwell.
They keep me centered, grounded and bring me to a place of stillness.
I think of these words as a blessing for life.
Those words are Love, Grace and Gratitude.
In the tradition of yoga, I think of these words as a mantra for the heart.
My interpretation of these three beautiful words are:-
Several years ago I thought it would be enriching also to have a series of gestures that matched the words and in the process of developing the movements, I came to understand that they are brightly uplifting and deeply peaceful.
I have been teaching the love, grace and gratitude movements in workshops and retreats for many years.
The movements are essentially a prayer for the heart........
A heart-opening practice as a celebration of all we can be - a meditation in action.
I have witnessed huge shifts in people when they do the Love, Grace & Gratitude movements.
They are practiced all over the world, shared with individuals and communities and offer support to people, spaces and places.
There comes a time when it feels right to share creations and ideas out to a wider audience and that time is now.
It has been a long held dream of mine to film these movements.
In April, we made a short film of Love, Grace and Gratitude with our fabulous director friend, Drew and Jim of course as sound technician, crew and enthusiastic personal assistant to us all.
Filming took place in a glorious garden in the Macedon Ranges where gentle sunlight shone through the rich autumn foliage, with the magnificent Mount Macedon in the background.
A beautiful group of dear women friends joined with me to create an enriching, loving and moving filming experience.
Over the past 20 years we have enjoyed a wonderful journey together and I am so blessed to have each and everyone of these incredible women in my life.
Our collective wish is that many more people be inspired by these simple gestures that honour the gift of life with with we have all been blessed.
Once production has been completed we will be sending our film out into the world to touch the hearts of many. Stand by!
Interestingly, the Macedon Ranges is where I wrote the first chapters of The Blossoming Heart.
It felt so fitting to be surrounded by all that natural beauty once again as we created another way of touching people's hearts.
The Blossoming Heart series is widely loved and appreciated as it gently allows people to move beyond fears and doubts, clearing away what arises up from the subconscious, so that indeed hearts truly blossom.
All real healing is of a spiritual nature and the Blossoming Heart workshops
offer a perfumed road
home. Part of any healing journey is finding your own truth and discarding
everything else that
does not allow you to shine. It naturally follows that if our own light is
shining brightly that
it gives others permission to do the same. Your heart - light and bright!
Workshops Remaining in 2012
Current Workshop Schedule for 2013
It is said that in Bali, there is hardly ever a day without a ceremony of some kind and if you include all of the life cycle celebrations such as baby ceremonies, puberty rites, weddings, cremations, temple festivals, the full moon festivals in April and October, as well as the high holy days of Galungan then this certainly seems to be the case.
The ceremonies can be either private or public and to attend it is appropriate and respectful to wear Balinese dress, although it is unnecessary for tourists to be formally dressed and a sarong, sash and covered arms are sufficient.
All Balinese ceremonies are preceded by a purification ritual to banish any evil spirits before the divine powers are addressed. This is done with offerings, holy water and hand gestures.
The Manusa Yadnya are the rites of passage ceremonies which are integral to Balinese life from conception to just before death and include pre-natal rites, birth ceremonies, the 12 day, 42 day and 3 months' old baby ceremonies, tooth-filing, and marriage.
Last year in between our Bali Women's Retreats, Sally and I were fortunate enough to be invited to attend our hosts' adored first grandson’s 3 month "Tigang Odalan" ceremony. It is quite a grand event and is attended by all of the relatives and neighbors to mark the time when ‘baby’ is allowed to touch the ground for the very first time.
Prior to Tigang Odalan, a newborn’s feet are not permitted to touch the earth -- even for a moment -- as the Balinese believe that a newborn child is very susceptible to the influence of black magic which they associate with the lower earthly elements. As a result, Balinese babies are carried everywhere up until the grounding ceremony and do not leave the family compound.
Tigang Odalan is the first big ceremony in the life of a Balinese and takes place in the family compound where a baby ceases to be considered as a divine creature and attains a normal state and may now be taken into temples. Babies are not considered to be “human” until this time. It is on this day that baby first touches the ground and it is described as a return to the earth.
The ceremony we attended took place in the morning with a Brahman priest intoning chants for several hours and dedicating offerings to the Sun God and the Five Great Elements of Demons. The priest came from a village several hours away and is highly regarded. Once the baby had been blessed with holy water by the priest and both parents also purified with holy water and prayers, they picked up their son and walked him with his feet on the ground, clockwise around a bamboo chicken cage three times which represented the passage of birth, life and death. The priest at this time also gave the baby his true name, as when a Balinese child is born, he is believed to be the reincarnation of an ancestor.
There was much excitement throughout the whole ceremony which continued on for many hours, accompanied by the hypnotic sounds of the gamelan orchestra with many elderly family members chanting the Ramayana story from little booklets written in Sanskrit. One gorgeous old auntie kindly let me look on so that I could happily chant away too. I did give it my best shot! The family compound was highly decorated and laden with offerings brought by family, friends and neighbours. Everyone was colourfully dressed in all their finery and they were so proud to be a part of this auspicious occasion.
Lunch of suckling pig, chicken sate, gado gado, tofu chilli vegetables, long green bean salad, fresh mango, jackfruit and papaya slices and coconut pancakes filled with banana was provided for hundreds of guests. In the evening there was a Wayang Kulit ( shadow puppet) performance to which the whole village was invited it seemed. The Puppeteer we were told was the most famous in all of Bali. It was fantastic to see the Balinese roaring with laughter as the puppet show made fun of their culture in a very humourous way.
Sally and I were blessed to have been part of this incredible celebration,
truly a feast for all our senses.
On the eve
of our first
Spanish Tour it
seems so perfect that our dear friend Ailsa Piper, writer, director, teacher
and actor, has turned her considerable talents to documenting her solo 1200
kilometer walk from Granada to Galicia, one of the lesser walked pilgrim
trails across Spain.
Having walked the 780 kilometer Camino Francés the year before, finishing at the cathedral in the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela and having researched much historical material about pilgrim traditions through the ages, one bizarre notion struck Ailsa in particular: the belief, in medieval times, that a person could be paid to carry the sins of another to Santiago, and by doing so could absolve the 'sinner ' from punishment. As she walked a fascinating idea was born springing from this research into medieval pilgrimage.
Sinning Across Spain is the result of a collaboration with The Australia Business Arts Foundation and individual supporters of the project that Ailsa embarked upon. The book is beautifully written and raises some interesting questions. What sin would you have someone walk off for you? Ailsa travels through glorious villages and inspiring landscapes with her unusual cargo - a load of sins - all the while immersing the reader in the wonder and beauty that is Spain.
I love the following anecdote from the book. As Ailsa walked along a road, a shepherd with his flock raised his staff to beckon her over and asked how her walk had been. Duro she replied. Pero hermoso. Hard. But beautiful. Ah the old man replied, just like life. Hard but beautiful.
Sinning Across Spain is available in book shops throughout Australia and for our friends around the globe the publisher is Melbourne University Publishing.
We look forward to welcoming you and sharing the work of The Blossoming Heart in the near future.
For detailed information please visit our information request page
If you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with any other details please contact us by email at [email protected]
"Angels fly because they take themselves lightly....."
With love, grace and gratitude,
To find out more:
For detailed information about any of Robbi's workshops, tours and retreats and special events, or to contact Robbi with your questions please visit the information request page
Copies of Robbi's wonderful book "The Blossoming Heart - Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation", are available via our book order page