Feeling Possible to Ourselves: Using the Essential Oil May Chang.
The birds have given it away.
The chickadees, sparrows, towhees, and of course, the glorious robins — their proud orange pot-bellies leading them forward — have begun their persuasive song of joy. Held within the steely grasp of winter, we would have forgotten them entirely. But they are emerging now from their dark tree caverns of rest, a raucous chittering piercing the winter hush.
Arms and legs shifting, the bones of Mother Earth are beginning to feel restless. We are on the cusp. That transitory time of agitation, a stirring, a preparation to move energy from root back out into branches. Woody fingertips twitching. The green drive to grow up and out.
I know it is early.
Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a soggy but rambunctious affair. It is her hope that keeps me living here, the longing for unfolding chartreuse petals and rose daphne whispers. This tender budding, these eager little shoots yearn to permeate the barren spaces of winter. Trees begin their wild, indulgent dreams, and the energy of the land pushes, stretches, strengthened by its long rest.
There is a quivering, the vibration of action moving towards manifestation.
The ancients acknowledged a divine correspondence between the human microcosm and the celestial macrocosm. And some part of our older, wiser selves still knows this to be true: in order to maintain a state of internal harmony, humans must remember and connect with the earth and her cycles.
Our lives have become a fragmented mess: minds divorced from bodies, hearts divided from brains, humans detached from nature, self alienated from cosmos. Instead of acknowledging the different rhythms of our natural world, we live the same all year round with climate-controlled everything and trucked-in foods. We act like we are robots and our bodies are machines.
Instead of remaining deaf and blind to the organic changes happening all around us, relating to the elements and the energy of the season allows us to flow with all of life.
Author Clarissa Pinkola Estes understood this when she described how “the psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul place.”
We are of the earth and her rhythms. We carry the land in us, in our bodies. They are the same body, being, flow, energy, motion, healing, devotion. It is in us.
The earth has so many ways that it lovingly shares its medicine with us. One of the most accessible and potent forms within her pharmacy are essential oils. Concentrated plant medicine, their volatile molecules transmit the imprint of the plant’s essence. Each plant gifts you with its own memories: the environment it grew up in, the glow of the sun and moonlight it basked in, its biological intelligence.
Opening a bottle of essential oil provides direct access to all of that plant’s ancient, ancestral and energetic wisdom.
What better way to support the energy of these days than with the essential oil, May Chang? Wafting with a scent mix of lemongrass and sweet apples, it has a powerful, expansive and clarifying effect on our psyche, supporting the spring surge towards optimism and the dreaming of future endeavors.
May Chang urges us to feel more fully alive.
Dusting off the crust and subtle layers of accumulation from the winter, it acts as an emotional detoxifier and nervous system sedator. This radically uplifting oil asks for emotional transformation, asks us to shed the depleting behavior and thought patterns that we have been clinging so tightly to.
May Chang is an excellent detoxicant, supporting health through the lymphatic pathways of the body that work to move inflammation and stagnation. It shouts of spring cleaning, both mentally and physically, shifting persistent patterns of inner cynicism and self-doubt.
Its bright lemony-green notes diffuse mental fogginess, procrastination and a loss of hope. Its crisp, fruity, herbaceous qualities encourage focus and a reining in of our attention spans from technology and media overload. This is to radiantly look around us and remember that there is more to life.
More than anything, May Chang reminds us to feel possible to ourselves. To feel possible to wonder, to joy, to love despite the lumbering heaviness of our fear-driven world. It tells our nervous system, “Everything is okay in this present moment. Everything is okay right now.”
Let the botanical insinuations of this beautiful message reach out to inspire your nose alive.
The only nerve ending that is exposed to open air, the olfactory nerve is the beginning of an information cascade that ripples deep into the dark corners of the mid-brain. This is where the magic of essential oils takes place, where inner recesses of memory and emotion are sparked awake, where new associations of scent are created.
Incorporate May Chang into your self-care routine for the spring as an act of renewal and emotional support. As with all essential oils, use only the highest quality, therapeutic grade products. If you are wanting to use essential oils for true healing, they must still contain the condensed life force of the plant.
Because of May Chang’s skin-sensitizing effect, it is better to avoid using it directly on your skin. Use a few drops of in a diffuser when you are starting your day, preferably in the bathroom (you will inhale more in a confined space), but anywhere that you are going to get a dose of the oil to set the tone for your day.
Just like the energy of the earth right now, May Chang stimulates a budding of what has lain dormant within, provoking an urge to let our spirit bloom. Incorporating this radically uplifting oil into your routine for the spring is an beautiful act of sacred self-care and verdant renewal.
Kendra Ward is a writer/teacher/healer, braiding these roles like sweetgrass to wear as a crown on her head. She stirs a black cauldron that holds her loves of energy medicine, eco-spirituality, and shamanism. She is currently finishing her first book, Mystic’s Revolution: Freedom in Feminine Confidence, taking your inner rebellion into the outer world. For the last 15 years, she has taken joy in her work as an acupuncturist and herbalist, in mossy Portland, OR. Learn more about Kendra at her website, or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.