by guest author Lori-Ellen Grant
This article was written by my sister, Lori-Ellen Grant, owner of Wholebody Health in Christchurch.
My heart went out to her after February’s earthquake and I had to do something to support her – so I wrote this article How the Yoga Lunchbox community can tangibly support the Christchurch holistic health community.
As a result, Chris & Evelyn at Bright Communications called Lori-Ellen and made a considerable donation towards providing treatments to those in need.
This is Lori-Ellen’s story of what it meant to her to receive that money, and what she did with it.
When my sister sent me an email saying she had an idea of something that would help my business in the wake of the Feburary earthquake, I was curious.
She had written an article with an idea of linking Christchurch business with other businesses around the country – getting them to sponsor us to provide treatments to those who needed it most.
I read it and thought it sounded fine yet was feeling exhausted at the time and less than inspired so didn’t think too much about it.
Kara-Leah published the article the next day and then a few days later I had a call from Chris at Bright Communications interested in supporting my business. We had a chat and she said her and her mother Evelyn were interested in helping the people of Christchurch through my business Wholebody Health.
I felt an incredible warmth in my heart when she said this and a deep sense of belonging.
There is no exaggeration here.
Technically my house is ‘okay’ – despite our warped floor, window frame, wall, cracked paving and possibly piles it is in excellent warm and livable condition!
And I have a business premises to work from! Sure, the carpark is training for a 4WD competition, but no one minds, and the view of the now-empty lot across the street is considered fine too.
So all of these blessings gave me a sense ‘I am alright’ – yet the earthquake was still a really big shake up inside and out. Chris & Evelyn’s support gave me an inner sense of calm. I still had a business to run and now I could extend myself out into the community knowing that I was supported.
I had already started to do this, and the sponsorship from Bright Communications just expanded my approach.
The day after the earthquake my partner David and myself headed to the red cross and helped with data entry regarding the welfare centres. We spent three days there at computers and while I was there I gave one of the ladies a neck and shoulder rub and she loved it. I thought to myself ‘why am I doing data-entry when i could be sharing my skill?’.
So the next week I went back and offered massage to Red Cross staff, communications staff and search and rescue people which was well received. Some had come from Australia to organise and assist the recovery.
With the support of Chris and Evelyn I found many opportunities to extend goodwill. This came through other practitioners and patients of mine.
I used to work on Tuam St, right next to Poplar lane. If you know Christchurch you’ll know it was a funky part of town and all old brick. Lu Miln ran a clinic called ‘The Nikau Room’ and has still not been able to get back in and access any of her herbs, patient files, computer etc.
The building is ‘red stickered’ so she may never get in.
I called her a week after the earthquake to see how she was and immediately offered her a place to work from. I told her we would fit her in where ever we could and this worked great for the next month. I was able to support her with some supplies and reasonable rental rate due again to a deep sense of support from Bright Communications.
Berin Turner had a similar situation as he worked above ‘Under the Red Verandah’ which has since been demolished. Lucky the demolition workers saved some of his belongings, yet not all. He is a semi-permanent practitioner at our clinic taking it month by month depending how his life situation is. Again, I was able to offer him a reduced rental to assist in his transition.
Abbie Peters, she worked at the Bikram Yoga studio which too has been demolished. She used to massage with me and when I heard her situation I called her to come in for a treatment before she left for Queenstown.
We had a cry together before I treated her and I was so glad to have something to offer, especially when she left with a smile on her face.
My patients have all been affected too and friends.
One friend Tony has a ‘red stickered’ house and hurt his back trying to move as many belongings out as he could before they told him he could not go back in. Again an opportunity to use my work.
One client’s sister has passed away and she too received a complimentary massage and a collection of tissues! I almost started to cry with her yet my professional self stood strong and I took a deep breath noting how moved I was by her story.
I work in a set of about 10 shops, and on arriving at work one day I spoke with a neighbouring business owner who had been in the CTV building the morning of the quake. My first client had cancelled (this was rather common in the six weeks post-earthquake) so I invited her upstairs for a complimentary treatment.
I told her it was okay to cry, and she did. I held her feet and stayed present with her. I made her a flower essence and she let me know a few days later how much better she was sleeping.
Speaking of flower essences – a big thanks to Den at Well and Truly who donated 25 flower essences for ‘emergency’ and ‘grief & sadness’. I have given so many away! They truly help people sleep and everyone comments on how useful they are.
These are just some of the stories of the people that I have touched through the support of Chris and Evelyn.
It has been so precious to know that I have not been alone, that instead I have had many people around me encouraging me to keep doing the work that can facilitate healing – the work that is about holding the hand of another while we journey through this time of change.
The solidity that comes from this support has changed my life and how I see the world and others. It is a true blessing to share.
When I was in Wellington last week I visited Chris and Evelyn. Beautiful people! We laughed and chatted like old friends and their commitment to meditation and yoga was apparent. It truly makes hearts shine.
Thank-you for being there so I can be here.