creative hands: gardening hands

Meet Jenna. Jenna has been a gardener at Coral Bay Organic Gardens in St. John for the last two years, where she has fallen in love with plants. Gardening is a creative art, and like other arts, can be done in countless ways. It is a clear give and take. You feed the plants nutrition and love, and they grow to give love and nutrition back. The more you give, the more you receive. There is much wisdom to be learned from plants. I spent a summer as a plant lady around Boston and was fascinated with the insights about life that would reveal themselves naturally to me throughout my days. Working with plants is grounding, fulfilling, peaceful, and inspiring work. It is powerful to get to know a place by digging your hands in its earth, and empowering to eat the food you grow. I believe one of the best things we can do on earth at this point in time is to figure out ways to heal the dirt, and live in balance with nature, through the practice of growing organic food in a sustainable way.

Coral Bay Organic Gardens are a real gem of St. John. They have been growing food there for 20 years, and also sell supplies to get your own garden growing. They were started by the husband and wife team of Hugo and Josephine, who specialize in growing greens, which are a food high in nutrient density, and can add a good dose of iron, magnesium, and calcium to your diet.  My personal favorites of their crops are the (best I've ever had) arugula and the delightful sunflower sprouts. They also grow fruits and vegetables, as well as a variety of fresh herbs for your cooking pleasure. You can purchase them at the garden center in coral bay and at starfish market in Cruz bay, or enjoy them at one of many restaurants around the island. 

We decided to do a design based off an embroidered panel by the Shibipo people in the Peruvian Amazon. They are a culture who has a rich tradition in plant medicines and are carriers of a song pattern tradition. Life is a song and everything can be sung. They weave and paint their healing songs into cloths. The cloth then carries that healing energy to those who look at it. Jenna and I bonded over our love for Peru, which is what inspired this choice in henna designs for her palm. It was the first time I have ever drawn one of their patterns. Every time I try a different style, it is like learning a new rhythm and can take a few times to learn its flow, but then as I internalize the pattern, it flows more naturally. I like this idea that everything has a pattern, whether it is sung or painted, or lived, or felt. To hear one of their songs, check out this video

I once took a plant spirit medicine class, which introduced me to the idea that each plant has a spirit and that it is the spirit of the plant that heals us. Through meditations, one can connect directly with the spirit of the plant, who will teach you how it can heal you (rather than reading it from a book or learning it on an intellectual level). The healing power of plants is something we may take for granted in our modern world, but has existed all over the world in endless ways.  I have been interested in this idea in regards to the henna plant and is another reason I love henna! It has long been regarded as containing Baraka (divine blessings) in Morocco, which carries joy and luck into the lives of people to whom it is applied.  The experience of being henna'd is wonderfully relaxing, which allows people to open up, that is the first step in the healing process. It is also inspiring, which instigates positive action in our lives! I will be interested to learn more about the healing powers of henna as I grow with this plant and its traditions. 



creative hands: healing hands

Meet holly. Holly's creative hands are healing hands. I am inspired by all of the creative ways to heal. I think healing is an amazing and high form of art. Healing energy is in abundance all around us all the time and healers are conduits of this energy. There are many different ways to be a channel; many different modalities of healing. I look forward to exploring some of the ways in this creative hand project over the course of this year. 

When Holly discovered energy healing along her own journey in wellness, it changed her life and has inspired her to want to share it with others. She spent four years studying at the Barbara Brennan school of healing, where she learned to heal herself, and in the process, became a healer.  Barbara Brennan was a NASA physicist who also has the ability to see people's energy bodies, which allowed her to develop her technique of healing. She uses a combination of hands-on healing techniques, body-oriented psychotherapy, high sense perception, channeling, creative arts and meditation, to aid in the healing of her clients. 

Existing alongside the physical body are the emotional, the spiritual, and the energy bodies. There are seven major chakras (spinning energy centers) in the body whose job it is to distribute the energy and keep it flowing. A healthy person is one whose energy flows throughout the body unimpeded! When the flow becomes blocked,  it manifests as dis-ease. We are born clear, with an unimpeded flow, but over time, when we get hurt or experience intense fear, we develop defense mechanisms to cope, which create blocks in our energy field. Most of the time this hurt is passed on over generations. Our energy blocks get in the way of living our lives as our true self, allowing our core essence to shine.

The unfolding movement of human consciousness and its path of healing inspires me on a personal and group level. We have the ability to heal ourselves, change the way we live our lives, and reprogram our cellular make up, changing the patterns in our DNA, which we pass on to our children. By healing ourselves, we can literally change history! As a mom of two small children, I think about this a lot.  I am conscious enough to be aware of the patterns which I am passing on unconsciously (because I am tired and don't know another way), and on the other aware that my children are blank slates and full of potential and deserving of the best I can give them, but it takes a lot of work to find a new way. That is where having the help of a trained healer can be really helpful. 

I had the pleasure of receiving a session from Holly in Cruz Bay last week. We talked for about a half hour about my history and an issue that has been coming up for me lately and I wanted to work on. Then i lay, fully clothed, on the healing table while Holly balanced my chakras and charged my energy body by placing her hands over my body, starting at the feet and working her way up to my head. It was a wonderfully relaxing experience, and when I got off the table, I felt a sense of peace. We sat back down and she gave me a few more insights regarding my issue and also some homework to help further my progress. I felt something shifting in my perception of my issue and am looking forward to doing more sessions with her in the future. 

Holly sees people in Cruz Bay. Check out her website Wave Healing here to contact her and book a session. She offers discounts for locals. To learn more about this school of healing, check out this insightful interview with Barbara Brennan. 

For Holly's henna design on her palms, I used a Moroccan Fessi style heart in the center of her palms to represent the loving healing energy that flows through the palms of her hands. I worked off a photo from Henna Lounge, but have also enjoyed the abundant resource of THE book on Moroccan henna called "Moor: A Henna Atlas of Morroco" by Lisa "Kenzi" Butterworth and Nic Tharpa Cartier. I love the idea of our hands being an extension of our hearts and the idea of creating with love, which inspired this design.