Life is a constant living, moving, breathing amalgamation of experiences; each crafted to encourage the process of growth, adaptability and evolvement through constant change.
The progressions through change allow humans, animals, insects and plants not only exist, but to thrive.
Within our three-month-old, newly established Healing House, we recently witnessed the beauty of how the safe cocooning of treatments and space, encompassed a complete metamorphic transformation for a particularly high-spirited and exhausted gentleman.
Perhaps it could’ve been somewhat comparable to the metamorphosis that a caterpillar undergoes to resurface as a butterfly.
We could feel him before he bounced in, his strong presence clarifying the amounts of pressure he held in carrying the teams in workplaces back home. His booming voice filled each corner of the colourful space as he bubbled over with relief at finding a place to find some stillness. A sore body, trouble sleeping, a noisy mind and existing in a world of sometimes over-stimulation, with family spread out all over the world. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually in many different places. Most of all, tired.
I gazed into his kind eyes and smiled at the therapists. The long hours and hard work in order to treat his whole family to time in the bush would be more than reciprocated in the cocoon of goodness that we were about to create for him over the next five days.
While the total process of metamorphosis for a caterpillar from start to finish takes between 5 to 21 days to complete, the five full days we had would be more than enough to shift him somewhere solid, beautiful and light.
We started him off with a full body activation – involving three stints of 10 minutes in the infrared Himalayan salt sauna to warm up the body, followed by three alternations of a one minute in a 9 degrees celcius plunge pool and one in a warm outdoor shower. The rapid contrast of hot and cold works to increase circulation within the system, flush out toxins and rid the body of inflammation.
He loved ‘his’ time within that rejuvenating space, known as our River Room, describing it as a secret treehouse; the layers of Jackalberry trees holding the space in a bubble of beauty overlooking the expansive browns and greens of the bush.
Once a caterpillar has created a chrysalis to climb into, it will live inside of it for the entire incubation period. During that time-frame, the old body-parts of the caterpillar undergo a remarkable transformation; shifting, unlayering, morphing, growing.
Although our version of a chrysalis is slightly more man-made and modern, we too access the transformative process of shifting, unlayering, morphing and growing within the body… Facilitated, in this case, through the process of touch. For a man who lives in his head most of the time, this was the most necessary part to put him back into his body.
Wrapped in a fluffy gown and slippers, he stopped to notice the fragrant mixture of the handpicked aromatherapy oils, wafting from the warm, candle-lit room with a bodywork therapist patiently waiting to deliver his tailor-made Londolozi massage.
The gift of time with each body part allowed for blocked, tense, or stuck fascia or muscle fibers to be opened up and released.
Noticing the strong pink colour of nutrient rich blood filling his tissues beneath our working hands, provided the freedom of fresh lymph, energy and life flowing, moving back around the entire body. The elongated rise and fall of his chest indicating the deeper, restorative breathing he was inviting in as his nervous system began to settle.
The topic of change came up during one of the sessions, and the words he spoke were incredible relevant to the entire process he was undergoing.
“While we are only together once a year as a family, it becomes easy to see the changes within everyone… However also harder as it makes me realize how seldomly we take time to appreciate what happens in all of the change”.
Sharing these special, vulnerable and healing times within the Healing House allowed us to be part of his current shifting from his time before entering this space to what it would be afterwards. And while the body was in need of the down time, the chance to rest and repair, so the mind and the heart were too in need of the time to accept the life changes from recent time enormous shiftings that came with it.
Very rarely do we take time to integrate, articulate or appreciate the changes that we are undergoing or in need of, in order to become the next best version of ourselves.
From a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspect, desire and reason force us to morph, just like the caterpillar knows when it is time to morph into its own next version of itself.
We were showered with more and more hugs each day, following the series of treatments, or ‘Journeys’ as we call them in our Healing House.
His aches and pains disappeared, his eyes began to shine from enough sleep and good food, and he added spaces between his sentences (spaces to laugh more too). The fragments of a human reemerging following a gentle rejuvenation, restoration and transformation. A real life-sized Metamorphosis.
Self-transformation is our greatest challenge as human beings. However:
“We delight in the butterfly but rarely admit the change it has gone through to achieve that beauty” – Maya Angelou
Looking forward to Journeying with you in our Sanctuary.
Filed under Healing House Wellness
Sam it sound like pure bliss. The Healing House look amazing.
Like it or not, life is all about transformation as time steadily passes. So glad Londolozi has chosen to address the inner spirit and help others positively “exhale” through the work of the Healing House.
Beautiful post Sam. I love the idea of metamorphosis that you have woven into your writing. Nature definitely does teach us many things.