Since Mum’s re-location to Southampton General I’ve been looking for something vaguely “alternative” to support me whilst I’m down there – an organic cafe, a yoga class, a meditation centre, a reiki share. But little exists of this pixie-led living in the sterile bubble that is Southampton. Check this out.
I tried every cafe in the hospital and not one could offer me a herbal tea as the last stock went out of date due to lack of demand. And the existence of a Burger King restaurant in the hosital’s shopping arcade has got to be the most outrageous example of corporate consumerism gone completely bonkers. Especially in a hospital specialising in gastro-intestinal surgery. A-ha! Maybe this is how they get a steady stream of patients.
I’ve always suspected that the Western medical system, whilst offering fabulous acute care, is structured in such a way to keep people sick and taking medicines that produce huge profit for pharmaceutical companies. We haven’t got to the point yet of Mum discussing a pancreatic diet with the nutricionist yet, but a leaflet I picked up in the ward about pancreatic replacement enzyme therapy seems to advocate a patient being able to consume what they want but just to take more enzymes with the meal. This may be OK for an odd meal of two but as a lifestyle choice?
Anyway, off the soap box and back to my story of being alone and desperate in the wilderness… I searched Google for any evidence of alternative activities or locations in the area and it came back listing a site for lotus reiki on the outskirts of the city. I clicked the page and whilst reading the profile of Chetana, this reiki teacher and practitioner found out that she had also been to Osho Leela, one of my most favourite places in the country. Reading some more she had also taken her Sannyas ceremony there. Just like me. But wait it was on the same day. Oh my goddess, she’s one of my Sannyas siblings. What a small world!
So I contacted her and she invited me over to her house on New Year’s Eve. I was so grateful not to be on my own then and had already started getting down about not being able to celebrate how I wanted to. I felt so warm and welcomed into her home and family. I loved hanging out with her kids and her incredibly large dog that makes Shetland ponies look small. Well they are,but you know what I mean. Chetana cooked a lovely meal and we spent the evening talking about out lives and watching the exploding cascade of colour created by the midnight fireworks.
I found her a very inspirational person through her reiki work, being a foster mother and having a great sense of humour. She reminded me that Spirit is busy sorting throught the wheat from the chaff at the moment and throwing some tough things at us. And it’s easy to be spiritual when life is all rosy but maintaining our practise through those tough times is essential. Wise words, wise medicine.
So a big thank you and a massive hug to Chetana, Leo and Sitara, I hope to see you again and I’m also hoping to check out the volunteer-run “Art House” cafe and art gallery in Above Bar, Southampton and sip a rooibus or two amongst the crafts and recycled clothing rail.