How Flower Essences
“Pray for a good harvest-but continue to hoe.”
-Billboard at an Arkansas Baptist Church
THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT
“I was playing out the same things over and over in my mind for months,” recounted Stephen of a difficult breakup. “Now it’s over and done with. The essences really allowed me to let go of what I was holding onto and release the pain.” With the assistance of flower essences to vibrationally remind us of who we already are, we can break the false hypnotism of our human frailty.
Through the high vibratory rate of the blossoms from which they are prepared, flower essences interact with our willingness and commitment to change ourselves. Willingness and commitment equal energy, the active ingredient that we contribute to flower essence therapy. The essences activate our life force, the true source of healing. They work as catalysts, or pump-primers. For this reason, we may rightfully take credit for the changes that we co-create through taking the essences. A common response to them is, “Something’s different, and I do feel better!” Or, “I really feel like myself again.” Since happiness is our natural state, our desire to return to it, likewise, is only natural.
Energy generates magnetism, a subject that I mentioned in Chapter Four. A stronger magnetism vibrationally influences a weaker one. Consider this example: Handshaking is a way of transmitting magnetism, since our hands are actual magnets of energy. If a strongly negative person shakes hands with a weaker positive person, the weaker person will be negatively influenced.
Flower essences work in a similar fashion-the essences, as living vibrations, both possess and project magnetism. Their magnetism, being stronger and more positive than ours when we are out of balance, elevates us to their level when we “shake hands” with them. The essences work much like being in the presence of someone who inspires and uplifts us. In taking the essences, we place ourselves in their “presence.”
In the journey we undertake with flower essences, we are lifted up to their higher rate of vibration. A musical metaphor can also illustrate this point. A flower remedy may be likened to a tuning fork. By attuning ourselves to it, we become in tune with the song of our unique perfection. With the essences, we look to balance and thus strengthen our life force. And since each individual is different, there is no pat formula or set order of essences. Each essence program is as unique as the person following it.
Will the changes initiated by the essences last? People often ask this question. In most cases, the answer is yes-although none of us are immune to backsliding! As a rule, it’s also true that we heal in stages, attaining deeper levels of clarity over time rather than categorically clearing lifelong issues instantaneously. If you take Raspberry for forgiveness and expansiveness of the heart, you may experience a response similar to Stephen’s, mentioned earlier. The change will most likely be permanent, provided that your thoughts and actions continue to support it. If, for example, you take Tomato Essence to gather the strength and will power to disentangle yourself from a contractive relationship, it will not be in your best interest to return to that unhealthy situation. Environment, it has been said, is stronger than will power.
AN ESSENCE FOR EVERYONE?
Are there remedies for everyone? Yes. For anyone-including plants, animals and children. Basically, the remedies can help anyone or anything with life force. This sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? You might ask, what about the mother-in-law on heavy antidepressants or the intimidating stray tomcat who seem completely disinterested in
self-improvement? Well, personally, I would rather err on the side of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Since flower essences, at worst, would only be ineffectual, why not let the in-law and the old tomcat at least try to better themselves? If they still refuse to “get their act together” on essence therapy-well, at least the effort was made. (As a reminder, flower essences do not replace proper medical attention, nor are they recommended as such.)
Why should we give everyone the benefit of the doubt? Because we needn’t even be aware of our desire to change in order for the essences to help us. That very energy is what activates the essences to work for us. This is why skeptics make excellent flower essence clients-at least they are putting out the energy to question what flower essences are all about! Let’s assume that no one, animals and plants included, wants to be miserable. When we are not expressing the truth of our higher self, we are not happy. Darkness and darkening qualities must, by their very nature, someday fall away from us. They are not us. We are not the negative habit patterns that we sometimes express. These patterns, like surface dust on a fine sculpture, have no real existence of their own beyond the recognition we give to them. Our conscious desire to grow in positive directions, supplemented with flower essences, can virtually annihilate them. It is to our credit-and our healing-to remain nonidentified with our flaws, viewing them dispassionately.
WELL, THEN: AN ESSENCE FOR EVERYTHING?
In a delightful scene from the stage play “Fiddler On The Roof,” the townspeople ask the village rabbi if there is a prayer for everything. In response to his answer in the affirmative, they plead, “Rabbi, is there even a prayer for the Czar?” Momentarily meditative, he responds in full cantor’s voice, “May God bless and keep the Czar. . .far away from us!” Wild applause erupts.
Often clients ask, “Is there an essence for everything?” “Do you have an essence for my husband’s procrastination?” “My sister-in-law is so overbearing-what do you have to make her change?” “Which essence works for insomnia?” “My son is teething-is there an essence for his discomfort?” A generic answer is, yes, there is an essence for everything. Implicit in our desire to be restored to wholeness is the remedy itself. True seeking leads to sought-after answers.
ENTER FLOWER ESSENCES
Now, back to the above questions. Although Corn addresses procrastination and Grape is wonderful for bossiness, the real issue at hand may not be other people, but us. (To clarify: throughout this book, the capitalized plant or food name refers to the actual flower essence.) Our strength lies in our ability to work on our issues and confront our own tailor-made tests. In truth, we are powerless over others except to the extent that we project a positive magnetism, inspiring them by our example. And what victory when the shortcomings of others no longer negatively affect us! Considerable self-honesty is necessary in order to realize that the flaws we see in others may be exactly the ones that we ourselves possess. If we find bossiness in someone else, it would be worthwhile to introspect on whether we, too, harbor that tendency.
As for the second set of questions above-yes, Lettuce can help with the emotional states causing the insomnia, and Orange is helpful for teething pain in the same way. Flower essences work with the energy that triggers these physical issues, not directly on the actual physiological states. When peace of mind is restored, any latent seeds of illness may remain unnourished and thus unable to sprout. Sometimes, however, illness is necessary for our spiritual growth, offering us needed lessons. In these instances, we needn’t look at illness or even death as failure. Essences do not remove our tests; they help clarify them.
To simplify, all flower essences do the same thing, for every living thing-they restore us to a state of balance in which our internal, intelligent life force is activated. Life force is the real healer; the energy of flower essences merely primes it. The uplifting qualities embodied in the essences are our truest nature; our task is to access those qualities.
WHAT FLOWER ESSENCES DON’T DO
Essences do not affect us biochemically, as does traditional allopathic medicine. Sedatives, for example, can knock you out for the night. This is not the case with flower essences. In other words, they allow us to change; they do not make us change.
Here’s an important point: flower essences will not change us into anything but our true selves. Thus we never need worry about misusing them to manipulate our own or other’s behavior. It’s simply not possible. There’s a joke about a man who, upon having his arm set in a cast, asked the doctor if he would be able to play the piano when it healed. “Of course,” replied the doctor. “Good!” said the man, “I couldn’t before.” This is not the case with flower essences. Without altering our essential nature, they allow us to refine who we already are.
CAUSE FOR CRISIS-OR CELEBRATION
Let’s talk now about the phenomenon known as the “healing crisis.” Often, people believe that in order to heal, toxins need to be flushed out of their systems, either physically or emotionally. Granted, when strong emotions or repressed abuse issues are finally allowed to surface, they may pour forth like a veritable tidal wave. Here, the practitioner’s sensitivity is called into play to support the client’s healing process, without either stifling or magnifying it by interpreting it as a crisis. A good practitioner can help the client understand that he is not being given more than he can handle, with the knowledge that issues surface only when we are ready to deal with them. Yes, we may be stretched beyond what we thought we could endure. But is that not how we grow? (As an aside, you’ll see the masculine singular used in this book, i.e., “someone/he,” as traditionally written, rather than the grammatically incorrect and genderless “someone/they,” that is off-putting to the English major in me. I ask your tolerance-there is no chauvinism intended.)
I propose replacing the term “healing crisis” with “awareness celebration.” The release of the most painfully buried memories can be accompanied by an even deeper joy. This is the joy of freedom: liberation from stored pain and growth from acknowledging that the truth of who we are is, and always has been, untouched by that pain. Flower essences in and of themselves do not draw out emotional toxins-they merely make us more aware. In over 30 years as a flower essence practitioner, I have seen only a handful of people experience a true “healing crisis.” In each case, the individual was energetically ready for a breakthrough at that point in time and could just as easily have undergone a catharsis from chewing bubble gum!
Paradoxically, there are practitioners who report that most of their clientele experience the classic “healing crisis.” Is this attributable to the essence line, the practitioner or the client’s identification with a crisis rather than a celebration? Indeed, individuals often report energetic breakthroughs on their essence programs in the form of insights, clarity, fresh realizations and the breaking of old patterns that no longer serve them. Shall we label this process a crisis or celebrate it as our release from mental and emotional blockages? One practitioner explains, “My experience is that Spirit-in-Nature Essences do not pull you through all your emotions. You don’t go through the drama-the issues just fall away.”
There are two basic schools of thought in the field of healing: one, that it requires as long to cure an illness as it took to acquire it; the other, that of flower essences-that we can change in an instant, much like turning on a light in a darkened room. Physical and mental imbalances, according to Yogananda, spring from one, and only one, illness-ignorance of our true nature that is perfection. “The reason people’s lives are so dull and uninteresting,” he explains, “is that they depend on shallow channels for their happiness, instead of going to the limitless source of all joy within themselves.”
Many people, by choice, live on the periphery of their consciousness, only skimming the surface of true joy. Just the other day, the trainer who checked my membership card at the health club asked, “How ya doin’?” “Oh, fine,” I replied, “and yourself?” “Just great. It’s Friday and I’m really going to party tonight,” he continued, with a significant commitment of energy behind his words. Parties end; true happiness born of the commitment to simply be happy does not. Flower essences help us awaken to that limitless source of inner joy. And how do we reach that state? Through healthy, balanced living and the gentle assistance of these essences that vibrationally remind us of our own perfection. It is by realizing our inner perfection, in this moment, that we tap into that joy.