Here I am in one of my favorite places in Asia: Taipei. Crying in the bathroom. How bizarre.
It's Sunday night and we're at our favorite restaurant. Every bite is exploding with flavor and my mouth hits an extra spicy chili, making my eyes water.
And then it happens. I hear something from the table next to us that inexplicably touches something so deep inside me that I am shell-shocked. I want to burst into tears, but there are five of us at a nice dinner, so I feign chili-spicy-face and excuse myself to the bathroom. In a small stall made up of tiny pink, wall-to-wall tiles, I let the tears spill.
Where on earth is this coming from? I am confused and surprised by the swell of emotion that surges up to the surface, like some treasure that was buried there to be later discovered. Waiting to be discovered, apparently, while holed up alone in a pink-tiled bathroom in Taiwan.
I let the tears roll for a while, feeling into the well of sadness for a few minutes, reaching for where it's coming from and why. I breathe deeply and finally stabilize myself, scanning my body to make sure I won't burst into tears if I leave my pink cave. Seems okay. I dry my eyes, take another deep breath and go back to dinner.
We carry on our usual routine and stroll to a tea shop after dinner. Mei asks me about chocolate cake, and I so rarely get to spend time with her, I think to myself, I can break my rules of staying away from wheat and dairy to have a piece of chocolate cake with my best friend from Taiwan.
After a few minutes, my belly swells to about six months pregnant and I feel uncomfortable in my clothes. The heat and humidity is getting to me. I'm hot and sweaty and sticky. I don't feel well, and want to crawl out of my skin. I hobble down the street alone without the others, so I can shower off my swollen belly. I slip into bed and fall asleep. I wake up in the middle of the night, my subconscious gnawing at me in the wee hours of silence.
After my usual meditation at 4:15am, I fall back asleep, into a dream that goes on for hours. I'm looking for someone that I can't find. I wake up observing the tenderness in my heart.
Logically I can think of several reasons that I might be experiencing stress, but such strong emotion that I don't fully understand - during such a happy time - would almost be comical if I weren't sitting right in it.
Add to that the physical discomfort of feeling out of place in my own body, unsure of what triggers food reactions. Well, it was probably the cake, but that doesn't explain why my belly and organs in general feel so tender to the touch all the time. I am 10 pounds heavier than usual and that makes me crazy as well.
Can you relate? Has any of this ever happened to you? You hear a voice, a laughter, a familiar scent and something inside you triggers an emotion you don't understand? You feel a tenderness arise unexpectedly that you can't explain. The emotion is so strong it breaks down some unknown dam inside you, leaving you flooded and wondering why you're swimming.
Or on the other hand, have you felt that something you're eating is causing an inflammatory reaction, but you're not sure what? You try to pinpoint when and where you feel that uncomfortable feeling, but it's not clear what exactly causes it. Your body just sort of feels bloated and "off" most of the time.
Ironically, these two issues seem similar. There is a reaction happening that we can't quite put a finger on why or where from. One is expressed in the emotional body and one in the physical.
Based on the flower choices I see people making, I believe many of us are experiencing these same kinds of issues, no matter where we are in the world. When I was back home in Phoenix or traveling in New York City, I would see two flowers pop up in the readings in droves. It makes me wonder what's shifting in our culture, and why so many of us need these particular flowers.
If you're still reading, and you relate to one or both of these issues, I want to share two flower elixirs that can be most helpful.
For strengthening the immune system and helping us get to the root causes of physical imbalances, I recommend the Self-Heal flower. An exotic, purple wildflower I found near a hot spring in Iceland, its elixir stimulates our body's ability to heal itself. It cuts through chronic conditions and gives us the will to thrive, not just get by/survive. This is by far one of the most widely chosen flowers these days when I ask in flower readings. Makes me think that every single one of us should be using this elixir all. the. time. Even as a preventative.
For emotions that you can't quite put a finger on where they're coming from, my choice is: Clock Vine. When you're the verge of expanding yourself in a big way, something usually arises from deep inside that wants to heal to facilitate the expansion. Clock Vine, an exotic red and yellow flower that looks like a mouth with something to say, helps us see what's hidden and clarify what's bubbling up from the subconscious. Once it's conscious, we can work with it. It helps us to courageously look at what's been subtly bugging us under the surface, so that we can confront it with vulnerability, rawness and power.
If either or both of these flowers sounds *right-on*, you can put them into every drink, water bottle and in your mouth as frequently as you can. See what happens; I have no doubt you'll feel a difference.
In the meantime, I'll be here in Taipei, crying in the bathrooms. Haha, just joking. Instead, I'll be carefully and gently observing what arises, giving myself the comfort needed to help me stay open to the wild unpredictability of life. And I'll enjoy every moment, while observing what does and doesn't sit well with my physiology. It's a constant unfolding and discovery.
Though I am traveling throughout Asia this summer, I am doing the most valuable exploring within myself ... that which can be done anywhere, anytime, no matter where we are on the planet.
Here's to YOU, enjoying your inner exploring, wherever you may be!
I'm right there with you.
Love from Taipei,