“May you live all the days of your life.” -Swift
“Life is pain, Your Highness,” said the swordsman to the princess in a recent film, “and anyone who says otherwise is selling something.” He was correct, in a sense, wasn’t he? It’s true that we live in seriously troubled times. If it isn’t earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, there are plenty of the manmade kind-rampant crime, drugs and the pervasive decay of the family unit in the form of divorce, dysfunction and abuse. To add to the list, we are now subjected to the madness of terrorists toying with highly sophisticated chemical weapons and the devastation of incurable viruses. Our present day culture is rent with chronic nervous tension, incessant instability, massive political unrest and increasing violence. Adults and children alike-who among us is safe anymore?
There is hope, and that hope lies within us all-in our ability to change and to uplift ourselves. This, truly, is our task in life. And this is exactly what flower essences can help us to achieve. In the words of a modern-day saint: “Change no circumstance of my life; change me.” Consider, too, this timeless message in the crypts of Westminster Abbey on an Anglican Bishop’s tomb (1100 A.D.):
“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. “But it, too, seemed immovable.
“As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
“And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realized: ‘If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.’
“From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”
Our challenge being to change and uplift ourselves, where do we begin? What tools are at our disposal? As children, we go to the mother for comfort. As adults, we can still return to the bosom of the mother for nourishment and answers to our ills-our Mother Nature and the loving remedies that she proffers to us so abundantly through the plant kingdom.
Flowers are conscious, intelligent forces. They have been given to us for our happiness and our healing. This unique form of herbalism called flower essences is a concentrated encapsulation of pure life force, readily at our disposal. Herbalism has existed since the first human being prepared teas, tonics and poultices-or even earlier, when the first wild animals instinctively grazed on plants designed to heal their wounds. In fact, even in this century, herbs are relied on as the basis of medicine. Today, twenty-five percent of all prescription drugs are derived from natural plant substances.
Flower essences, remedies or drops as they are sometimes called, might also be considered “metaphysical herbs,” because they work on a beyond-the-physical level of our being. Think for a moment about the power and beauty of flowers-their ability to cheer, to inspire, to comfort. Births, birthdays, illnesses, weddings, funerals-all are significant life experiences traditionally accompanied by bouquets of flowers. “Look at the flowers with critical insight,” suggested Yogananda. “How could the flower evolve unless there were intelligence there?”
Likewise, we can hasten our own evolution through employing the tools offered to us by a conscious, caring Mother Nature-flowers and their essences. It has been humorously suggested that if everyone in the world gave one other person a back rub, all wars would cease. Translate this to everyone giving someone else a flower essence, and what do you think might happen? Let’s find out, shall we?