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Clarity, Or How To Hear The Still Small Voice

flower essence for clarity

The topic of clarity has been top of mind lately for me, and I’m seeing it playing out in my clients’ experiences as well. We all are renegotiating our lives, deciding what parts of our old lives we want to continue, and what to leave behind.

For some, the year plus of relative isolation was a partial blessing, in that they discovered their lives had become filled with obligations that drained them. And some have rediscovered the joy of spending time in community. Everyone I talk with is exploring the balance point between their old and new life.

I’ve been actively considering which of the social and business activities I really miss and want to continue, and which ones I was grateful to no longer see show up on my schedule. Creative work is a little easier to find time for – although, alas, not easier to actually sit down to do.

In all of this I’m trying to listen to the inner voice and hear what is really being called for, what I am here to do, and what is just noise.

Whenever I hear the dreaded “should” in the message, I know I can give it less weight, as my higher self never deals in social guilt. But, sometimes the clarity of what is a true message and what is mind chatter can be hard to determine.

And I also watch for my (totally normal and human) reaction to avoid that which is challenging, something asking me to stretch and grow. Just because I feel uncomfortable does not mean it is something to be avoided. The tension of approaching a threshold, and taking that first step into the new, will always feel a little terrifying and that is to be embraced.

We will always be growing, as long as we are here in these bodies. And we will always be awkward in our first steps trying out something new. Finding the humor in the awkward, and giving ourselves permission to not be perfect is a kindness we can extend for ourselves and our friends.

As I dance with this great “I don’t know”, and follow my path forward into an uncertain world, I am grateful to have the support of my flower essence allies. This issue of discernment, of hearing clearly the still small voice within, is where the flowers specialize.

Little Cerato flower essence for clarity
Blue Corydalis flower essence for inner knowing
Matsu Purple Sandalwood flower essence for a calm mind

When I consider this issue, the very first essence that comes to mind is Dr Bach’s Cerato. It is so precisely aligned with this topic, of connecting us to our inner knowing, that I reach for it again and again. I have the pleasure of growing this plant in my garden, and love to be reminded to listen to my guidance each time I pass by.

Two other blue flowers carry similar messages to Cerato. I have had the privilege of working with and creating an essence from a related species which I call Little Cerato. It has a wispier, more ethereal growth habit and tiny pale blue flowers. The essence has a quality of helping you connect to your higher self and the angelic realm, while staying firmly grounded in your body.

Blue Corydalis is an essence I reach for all the time in my client practice. This essence helps you reconnect to your purpose and path, and builds your sense of trust as you walk into the unknown. In this moment of emergence, the unknown seems to be the only thing we can see, and still we are all being called to engage in stepping forward.

Sometimes the difficulty in hearing our inner voice comes from the noise all around us. We are bombarded with prompts, messages, and the voices of others at every turn. One of my favorite essences to help tune out the chatter is Matsu Purple Sandalwood. Even saying the name slows me down, and helps me connect into my senses. As an essence, it connects you to the present moment, allowing you to have an experience of spaciousness and calm, a place where you can hear yourself think.

I hope you can connect into your inner voice, and to hear clearly what you are being called to do. And if you need help, a consultation and custom formula may be just the thing for you. I’d love to help connect you to the healing Nature can offer.

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The Trouble With Heroes

flower essence for change

No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. I mean, sometimes I just want it to stay saved, you know… for a little bit.

I feel like the maid, “I just cleaned up this mess, can we keep it clean for 10 minutes?”

Captain Incredible

We all love heroes. Showing up at the most perilous moment, displaying enormous courage and taking great risk, the hero saves the day.

And then what?

Well, then we go back to our daily routines. The very same routines and habits that created the situation where a hero is required in order to keep us from plunging off the cliff.

A culture that glorifies heroism is a culture that is perpetually out of balance. When the little things are not attended to, waiting until there is an enormous problem that threatens our way of being…this is when we require the extraordinary measures of heroism. The huge energy output that is required for a heroic act is the complete opposite of sustainability.

This mindset is pervasive in so many aspects of our lives. We love crash diets, 6 week exercise boot camps, extreme cleanses, and weekend seminars that will “change our lives forever”! Each New Year or birthday is a trigger to turn our lives around, ideally in 30 days or less. Unfortunately, these huge (heroic!) changes and programs almost never stick.

It is just not the way real life works.

We forget that life is made of the little things, the everyday small choices and decisions we make.

We forget that we have much more in common with the trees in the garden than we do with the car coming off the assembly line. Each day, a tree takes in sunlight and exhales oxygen, and slowly, slowly, every day, grows and matures. If it is growing in a good place, it grows straight and strong, deeply rooted and productive. In the right season, it flowers, and bears fruit, and in the winter, it sleeps.

Paying attention to our bodies and spirits, cultivating our wellness through steady, gentle, and natural methods, we can avoid circumstances that require heroic actions. True change comes about slowly, organically, over time. When we plant a tree in our garden, we do not step out the next morning and expect it to have grown six feet. Neither should we expect ourselves to radically change overnight.

But change is possible, and flower essences are a wonderful guide and support for the process.

Nature has been a profound partner in my evolution, and I delight in witnessing my clients feeling the changes and shifts in their own lives. Each flower has something unique to offer, and engaging with the essences daily and over time, you too will experience the growth and healing Nature offers.

Flower Essences That Support Balance

Schisandra flower essence for change
Five Leaved Chaste Tree flower essence for knowing what is right for you
Yellow Catnip flower essence to let go of old patterns

Schisandra is one of the first essences I think of when a client is seeking balance. It supports us as we navigate shifts and changes, and helps us stay grounded and calm. One woman reported her experience with Schisandra flower essence saying she noticed significant changes in herself – she had stopped over committing herself and was feeling much more rested and positive about the work she was doing.

I love the Five-Leaved Chaste Tree essence for its ability to help find your own path to balance. This flower essence is very helpful for those who tend to look to authorities for guidance on the best program for exercise, diet, etc. The truth is, you are a unique being with unique requirements. You may certainly find guidance in programs others have created, but the “perfect” program will be one you discern for yourself based on the wisdom in your body and spirit. This essence can help you connect to your intuition and fine tune what is needed for you right now.

Yellow Catnip flower essence is a perfect partner as you work to illuminate the underlying issues that keep you out of healthy balance. It helps you discover unconscious assumptions you may have absorbed from your family of origin or culture that simply don’t work for you. Allowing these imprints to be released can relieve you of a huge burden you didn’t even realize you were carrying.

I created the Balance series of combination formulas out of my years of experience helping my clients find balance in their lives.

One of the three formulas is likely to be a good fit for you, and if you are beginning a self-care program with flower essences it may be easier to use an intentionally designed formula like these to address your challenge. You can learn more about selecting your essences here. And, if you would like more help, I’d love to hear from you. I offer private consultations and custom formulas just for you.

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Winter in the Garden

flower essence for perseverance

Celebrating winter’s beauty on a chilly gray day, enjoying the many berries and rose hips on display. I visited the Blue Evergreen Hydrangea, the Okinawan Holly, and two members of the rose family, the Yeddo Hawthorn and the Shillong Rose.

I walked in the garden near the winter solstice, and reflected how much change can happen in one year. One of the most devastating changes is the loss and damage resulting from the wildfires this fall. My heart goes out to everyone coming to terms with losses both personal and collective.

It has been a privilege to be of assistance and share the gift of healing and comfort flower essences can bring to these invisible wounds. I hope that you all reach out to Nature for help as we walk in the darkness of the year. Here are a few images from my walk in the garden to share with you, and bring a little beauty in your day.

There are just a few hardy blooms in this time, but so much else to enjoy in the garden. This is the season to notice details, the time to slow down and really look. It is amazing how much there is to see – I was particularly fascinated with berries this visit. The fleshier fruits of the earliest spring blooms have mostly been enjoyed already by the bird population. The crabapples are always a favorite of the robins. Now, the sturdier berries and hips are beginning to reach peak ripeness and color.

Blue Evergreen Hydrangea flower essence for shift

The shiny blue berries of the Blue Evergreen Hydrangea are hard to miss in winter. They last well into spring because every bird and animal knows to avoid them. This plant is a primary healing herb in Chinese Medicine, it is a powerful antimalarial. The leaves are used – but not as often as in the past because it is also a powerful emetic. I can only imagine how much you would regret eating these berries. They do look pretty toxic. (Nope, I have not tasted these!) Even as a flower essence, this plant requires respect.

Okinawan Holly flower essence for openheartedness

The female Okinawan Holly is loaded with berries now. Like all hollies, only the female plants bear fruit – the males stand quietly to the side and are largely unnoticed. I’m always amazed how from one week to the next the shrub goes from bent to the ground with berries to picked clean. The birds can somehow tell when they are perfectly ripe, and descend for a feast. To me, the generosity of spirit of the holly shines through in this season of relative scarcity. The healing message from Okinawan Holly flower essence is all about openness and giving from the fullness of your heart. We can all use a gentle reminder to find our generosity, especially during the holidays when we may have to endure the relatives we prefer to avoid the rest of the year.

Yeddo Hawthorn flower essence for collaboration

Berries on the Yeddo Hawthorn are not particularly showy – deep blue but not shiny at all. The leaves do create a lovely counterpoint with reddish blushing. I really love this plant, and admire its sturdy nature. When I designed gardens professionally I specified this shrub often in plans because I knew I could count on it growing happily pretty much anywhere I planted it. In its native habitat in Japan it grows near the ocean, a very difficult location for plants. When I got to know this plant as a wild shrub I developed a new fondness, and continue to enjoy it as a healing essence. This flower essence is helpful to create a team spirit in those (like myself) who try to do it all alone. This essence encourages you to reach out to ask for help and collaboration. You will likely find yourself pleasantly surprised how interested and helpful people can be.

Shillong Rose flower essence for perseverance

The white flowered (yep, just plain white like a million other wild roses) Shillong Rose is remarkably colorful in all other possible ways. For one, she maintains shiny, deep green foliage all year. The canes and stems are distinctly orange or red, with the strong new canes appearing nearly lacquered. And the berries mature from a coral orange to a startling red with a bit of frost. I use this flower essence so often in my practice, and for myself too. This essence gives you strength to do the hard work involved in learning new skills, developing a business, or in any venture that requires sustained effort to succeed (as far as I can tell, that is pretty much all of them).

You can see these plants in all their flowering glory by following the links and viewing the galleries. I love to share images so you can get to know these beauties in other seasons, and not just the few days a year the flowers are at peak. There is so much to notice and admire, and each time I spend time with the plants I learn new things. It is a never ending cycle, and each year I see something I have missed before. Nature is full of wonders.

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Supporting Yourself In Loss and Grief with Flower Essences

flower essence for grief

This fall has been a time of loss for me and for my community. In October, the North Bay area endured the worst fires in California history. Lives were lost, thousands of homes are in ruins, and the entire area was blanketed in smoke and and a palpable sense of fear for weeks. My home was at risk, and was thankfully spared, but I lost my beloved horse in a terrible accident as she was being evacuated.

And now that we are more than a month away from the events, what now? Our culture has such a limited understanding of loss – there is the belief that grief can be wrapped up within a two week time frame. “We have moved on, why haven’t you yet?”

The initial shock phase does often recede within a few weeks, but the grief process is not over, not by a long shot. My clients often express to me feelings of inadequacy, that there must be something wrong with them to still be feeling so badly months later.

But of course there is nothing wrong with them, they are simply working through their grief. There is comfort in hearing the journey is one humans have always taken, that there are known stages, and that while they will always feel pain over their loss, they will indeed start to feel better. The feelings of loss will eventually be tempered by the memories of happier times, and the possibility of a bright future.

Flower essences can be a great help to you as you heal your grief. They do not medicate the pain, or keep you from feeling your loss, but they do give you support and the strength to process it. Emotions are by their nature fluid and move through the body, and your grief must too. Allowing your emotions to flow will keep them from becoming stuck, and prevent them plaguing you in the future.

Flower Essences To Support You In Loss and Grief

A combination formula designed to assist the grieving process is an excellent starting point for most people. As you work through the phases, issues specific to your loss may arise and indicate particular flower essences that you may add to the formula you are using, or use separately. Adding an essence or two to customize a formula to your individual needs can be an excellent way to enhance your healing.

I created the Flora-Therapy Loss and Grief formula to work with this life passage. Grief has been a significant part of my life experience, and I regularly guide my clients in their healing as well. The wisdom of Nature speaks to this shared experience, and the flowers are ready and willing to help us heal from the pain, gain perspective on our suffering, and find the joy and love within our life as it is now.

The Flora of Asia Flower Essences in Loss and Grief Flora-Therapy Blend:

flower essence for grief
Gigantea Rose – the song of this rose can sustain the heart in the darkest of times and give comfort to those who have suffered great losses
flower essence for loss
Lavender Aster – helps you find the perspective of celebration for what was, and deepens appreciation for what was learned and experienced
flower essence for change
Morrow’s Honeysuckle – aids you in accepting impermanence and the inherent instability of life, while honoring the gift of the love or life that has gone, helping you accept the change and find hope for the future
flower essence for balance
Schima – helps you hold a sense of inner stillness and balance in chaotic or shifting times so you can find and maintain your center
flower essence for grief
Soul’s Rose – teaches you to fully embrace the experiences of both love and loss, not attempting to insulate yourself against loss by not fully loving
flower essence for grief
Yulan Magnolia – helps ease tension held in the chest by elevating the spirit, helps to restore natural breath pattern after shock or grief