In Loving Memory of Anna.
Updated: Feb 7
I knew I was ready to go into my heart when in Spring this year, I found myself drawn to Rumi poetry; attending Sufi attunements and talks about the beauty of Nature.
I’m a British Indian from a Hindu background who had been searching for meaning through various schools of thought, spiritual healing and therapeutic practices, for decades.
Under an intention to move careers from Corporate Banking to Art Therapy, I met Anthroposophy in 2016. I had questions such as What is illness? Why do I feel such intense feelings? Why do people hurt people? What is Love, really? If God is so wonderful, where was He/She when I needed Him/Her.. It?
Over three years at the Tobias School of Art & Therapy, and supplementary support through other Anthroposophical theories and medicine, I worked through various sensations, thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
Eventually, in 2019, I felt able to try Rhythmical Massage Therapy with Anna. We met for 12 fortnightly sessions and the results were surprisingly transformative for me.
In April 2021, I called her to tell her “I’m ready to go deeper into my heart now”, so we arranged to meet at Rudolf Steiner House as usual. I had been feeling stronger thanks to the challenges of our ‘lockdown’ phase’ and grateful for the finances to be having a second cycle of Rhythmical Massage Therapy with Anna. I was looking forward to sharing insights about the visuals I had seen in my heart world and its relationship to our outer world. Just that morning, I had told my fiancé that she’s very good at helping human beings to embody in a safe way. He was thinking of seeing her too soon.
When I entered the doors of Rudolf Steiner House, I was told she had passed away suddenly from a heart condition. I was devastated.
I was invited to sit in the room where Anna met her clients for the massage work - and I grieved. Someone had suggested I think of her, and when I did, I felt expansion around me, as if she had arrived to say goodbye. I looked around at the light-coloured curtains; the softness of the bedding; the wooden furniture; the warm natural light; the curved coving that helped the cosmic forces balance with Earths forces; the scent of plant-based creams and metal ointments that weaved wonder and peace around me.
Many sobs and snotty tissues later, I left quietly, grateful to have worked with Anna.
What follows is a memory in gratitude to Anna who played a part in helping me to reconnect to my own heart, which helped me to trust and love myself, and others.
She did this by simply being a reflective 'other' for my heart to find it's own sense of peace and acceptance - something I have since learned to do for my Art Therapy clients and others I share this world with.
The first time I encountered Anna, was on the phone when I shared that I would like to feel more at home in my body, which held various forms of psycho-somatic pain. During the conversation, I cried with fear that I was attempting this. She understood what it meant for her task when I told her some of my biography. She reassured me that she would only work over my clothing until I felt able to adjust to touch.
When we met at Rudolf Steiner House, I felt like a child. Her big warm smile and bright shining eyes were the first visual of her warmth and genuine respect for my personal journey.
As promised she worked gently and slowly with me, always listening to my body’s responses, permissioning and describing her movements and intentions, which gave my soul the freedom and space to adjust itself within me. She always took care to check the hot water bottle temperature and the height of the pillow for my neck. This was a woman who loved her work and it showed in the way she checked in on her clients comfort, even calling on the phone to see what had moved so that she was prepared for our next session.
Anna was the only woman who I let near my heart, and she was able to penetrate its walls through gentle specific rhythmical movements and specific natural ointments. The healing that came through as grief, courage, humility, and joy, was profound and freeing for me, leaving me a stronger and clearer.
To me, Anna reflected strength and gentility in one. She reflected what it is to truly listen.
Through Anthroposophy, I was learning to listen, and to discern Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
I remember the kindness in her voice, and her heartfelt smile inspired me to feel accepted. Most of all, she reflected to me, the importance of Touch with ones inner Life and Touch with ones outer Life; the loving Touch of another human being, and the loving Touch of Nature's rhythms.
- I wish Anna’s soul well on its journey onwards.
As I sit with the question of how I will endeavour to enter my heart by myself, with respect for its wisdom and spiritual timing, I feel called to learn more about the Elemental Beings that make up our material world.