I was shocked and saddened today to learn of the loss of someone special in my life.

Ananda Zaren was a gifted healer and homeopathic educator that I met in 1994 in Santa Barbara when she hired me to decorate the beautiful contemporary mansion she had just purchased.  She was effervescent, with a vitality and passion for her work that I’ve only found in similarly gifted people in various walks of life.  Ananda was a perfect example of one who had found her soul’s purpose.

It was working with her that was, in fact, on my mind when I wrote about using my intuition in my work as a designer just a few days ago.  It was clear to me after this, my last design job, that I was supposed to do something else.  The process of collaborating closely with someone as open to the process as Ananda yielded results that awed her friends and her realtor at her house warming.

In fact, the realtor had bristled when she referred me to Ananda months earlier that no one could understand why she’d bought this house.  It was so masculine and angular.  And Ananda the opposite.  Yet when it was completed we had taken a stark, angular and masculine contemporary mansion and transformed it into something warm and lush enough to befit its very feminine and diminutive new owner.

“It’s so ANANDA,” everyone claimed at the housewarming.

Although I hadn’t seen her since I left Santa Barbara in 1995, Ananda and the concepts in healthy living that she supported in me were never far from my mind.  Thankfully some people in our lives simply have this kind of connection with us. When my Christmas card this year went unanswered I assumed she had changed her email address or was busy on her frequent foreign treks to teach and inspire.

Originally trained as a nurse and midwife, one of her greatest strengths was working with women and infants.  She was adamant about the natural process of birth and gifted with an amazing ability to interpret the psychic wounds in children – even newborns.  People came from all over the world to see her in Santa Barbara.

Zaren taught and treated patients in hospitals all over Europe. And she presented her methods and her books to physicians and other homeopaths, many of whom traveled far and wide to train with her. When Harvard Medical School wanted a presentation on homeopathy, Ananda was the one they called. She was totally engaged with the integration of complimentary and energy medicines with allopathic medicine.

I awoke with a strong need to contact Ananda yesterday about a connection I sensed in her work and my new passion for employing certain modalities of energy medicine with an new equine facilitated human development program I’m developing at Peacock Creek Farm.  At the time she was my client she wrote about fascinating new insights into illness in her books Core Elements of the Materia Medica of the Mind, Volumes I & II.  These books incorporated an uncanny understanding of common homeopathic remedies and their connection to personality and emotional disease.

I was distracted by work on my gardens yesterday. And then Dazzling Daughter came to me in the middle of the night with a sudden ear ache and it brought back memories again of Ananda. Consulting with her for the kids and their health issues was one of the greatest benefits of living in Santa Barbara. Elder Sun had chronic ear infections as a child and our lives were one long merry-go-round of doctor visits and “the pink stuff” (Amoxicillin) for about 8 years until we found homeopathy which completely cured them.

Ananda spent a lengthy amount of time interviewing Elder Sun and me about his symptoms and overall constitution. The remedy she gave him restored his health, cured his infection at the time, and he never got another one. In fact, after a week of green stuff coming out of just about anywhere it could come out he was a different child. Upon moving back to Texas the next year his teachers literally pulled me aside and whispered to me “Who is this boy and what have you done with your other son?!”

The right homeopathic remedy for my son instilled concentration, groundedness, and expressive creativity in a child diagnosed with ADD and previously uninterested in engaging at school. And more importantly the constant ear aches stopped. The fact that he’s now a creative and fabulously insightful young man, I think, were due in part to our lifestyle and our choices. Alternatively he could have become a drug-dependent adult who never found his inner voice.

Dazzling Daughter finally fell asleep in the wee hours after some creative visualization exercises and a plan to call our homeopath today.

I decided to renew my study in Ananda’s Materia Medica of the Mind immediately. I know that there is vast wisdom about the healing process here for me to mine and put to good use.

The world has lost a bright light in the field of integrative medicine. Ananda Zaren’s sports car veered off of a cliff in September of last year and she and her beloved golden retriever were both killed. Not keeping up with California news I had no idea. I was so looking forward to renewing my relationship with her perhaps as a student.

Wherever you are my friend, the world is missing a champion and a bright light.

~

{Santa Barbara Independent Photo:  Pioneer and Nurse/Midwife the late Ananda Zaren, 1946-2008}