“When I was little my grandmother took me to a tree. She dived her wrinkled hand into the muddy earth and rubbed the soil onto my wounds. They healed within days and I knew that an unforgettable share of wisdom was forwarded to me.”
If you happen to be living in Cyprus, you might have encountered this Lady Shaman swinging around the café-bar Hoi Polloi in northern Nicosia. Besides serving her homemade blends of herbal teas and spreading contagious love and healing light, the creatress sells her own jewellery at the Saturday street market by the Büyük Han.
Nihal’s passion for jewellery-making and handicraft sprouted during her childhood years in Turkey. “My mother had a box filled with broken jewellery. My cousin and I would steal bits and pieces from the box and repair my mother’s bracelets and necklaces. At times there was no way of repairing them so we improvised and created completely new pieces.”
Since the age of eighteen she has been traveling around her home country Turkey, living in places like Istanbul and Ankara until life carried her all the way to Cyprus.
“During my younger years I wasn’t able to stay in one place. I loved to move around, to meet new people, explore new horizons and experiment with different types of work. There were hard times. When I had my son, I had to fully rely on myself in order to support both of us. I was living a busy life in Istanbul but no matter how much I loved the big city for its opportunities, I found myself easily engulfed by the crowds and the never-ending office work.”
Today’s busy world made Nihal question every aspect of our consumerist society. She often found herself contemplating her purpose as a human being and often, her life arranged itself in ways that pointed to different directions.
“Whenever I managed to slow down and take a breath, I was pulled by a mysterious force towards creativity and handcrafting. I started making rings and earrings out of copper wires, adding crystals and gems to them. People suddenly got interested in buying them and I started a home business of my own.”
Since then, Nihal has been traveling and selling her hand-made treasures at festivals and markets. “It becomes such a meditative practice when you just focus on the small details of your jewellery-making. I like to experiment with different combinations of wires and of stones because every part of the jewel emanates a different frequency.”
In 2014, Nihal and her now sixteen-year old son packed their suitcases and moved to Cyprus.
“Out of love I moved to Cyprus. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I saved up enough money and was curious what the island had to offer. My son and I first settled in the South and it was a painful experience. Living amongst people from the Greek-Cypriot community was extremely humiliating at times. While many people remained kind-hearted and accepting, occasional racism was lingering around. When I finally found an illicit job as a waitress, my boss wanted me to hide my Turkish identity and pretend that I’m Italian, “to make things easier for both of us”, as he said.”
With strength and integrity, Nihal managed to keep her head high during each and every challenge that life threw at her and I personally think this is what makes her such a beautiful and luminous being. Nihal lives by the philosophy that we are imperfect beings who learn through every mistake that we commit.
“I’m a very self-analytical person and I work on myself on a daily basis. My recent realisations led me to believe that we commit the same mistakes and attract the same kinds of people into our lives because we have to work through past traumas. There is no such thing as a perfect human, we are all victims of anger that is deeply buried inside of us. The point is to work with the dark aspects of our ego instead of working against them and hence repressing them. Whatever we bury inside of us manifests in various forms of experiences and the people that we attract. I put an end to finger pointing and to blaming! All the beauty and every disappointment I’ve encountered in life was a creation of my own.”
When the modern witch finally moved to the North of Cyprus, life got slightly easier. For a while Nihal had her own shop of jewellery where she sold her work until she realised that she might need to take another turn on her path.
A natural healer at heart, with time, Nihal fully dedicated herself to holistic medicine. She is currently completing a course in natural medicine and aromatherapy. In her witchy workshop/yoga practice space, Nihal experiments with nature’s magic by making toothpaste, moisturisers and many other magical potions.
“I am working with a group of artists and “handicrafters”. At the moment we sell our products, paintings and jewellery at markets but we are about to get a caravan where we will be selling our handmade products. In the near future I plan to complete my degree in holistic medicine and start my own business. Our society is going crazy with the pharmaceuticals that we put into our bodies. Your body is a temple and there are so many different ways of curing yourself! Mainstream medicine is manipulative and it destroys us more than we know. I want to help people to turn to nature and acknowledge its power. I firmly believe that anything is curable with nature.”
Nihal is also thinking about exploring other countries and perhaps finally ending her nomadic life and settle elsewhere than Cyprus. “I am thinking about South America. Mexico and Costa Rica have been on my mind recently.” Up until now the beautiful island of Cyprus has taught her so much about life and herself, both negative and positive. However, Nihal feels that the winds are slowly pushing her towards different shores.