Keywords: Self-Control and Moral Vigor
(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Qualities: Self-control and Moral Vigor
Message of Self-Mastery: Calmness of the mind; synchronicity of body/mind/spirit; sense of well-being and order; to avoid “burning the candle at both ends”; balance; moderation; wholesome sexuality; for being a sensitive partner in an intimate relationship.
Pattern of Disharmony: Over-indulgence in food or other substances/activities; immoderation, causing minor to serious damage to body, mind, or nerves; sexual excess in thought or action; making wrong choices from the power of past habits; discontentment; uneasiness; for anger connected with sexual issues; frustration.
I am the master of my destiny! With calm power I stride toward the horizon to final victory!
|Moderate||Inward by nature|
|Efficient||Sensitive partner in relationship|
|Avoiding harmful substances||Quiet|
|Lacking in control||Stressed|
|Rebellious||Never caught up|
|Addictive in personality||Frustrated|
“I took Almond for feeling too busy. I felt good and peaceful on it- also more open and relaxed.” -JL, Sandpoint, ID
“I used Almond while driving to town. It helped me stay calm and centered and avoid being emotionally affected by the driving habits of others.” -RB, Walnut Creek, CA
“I was making the transition from ending a relationship to being single. I took Almond for feeling over-sexed, morning and night. It was too much. After one month on the Almond, my energy had changed. I experienced my sexuality differently-as though Almond helped bring together my spirituality and sexuality. What I mean is, I found the spiri tuality in my sexuality. No, sex is not over, I told myself-but Almond took it to a deeper level.” -GH, Vienna, Austria
“My oldest son, twenty-two years old, has a girlfriend. She is a student with much work to do and little time for socializing and romance. Since he was desiring sex more often than she, I offered him Almond. He was then able to match his drives to hers.” -IR, Vienna, Austria
“My client was working on abuse issues from a close relative in child hood. Although married, she was also obsessed with thoughts of another man. She was confused and unclear about leaving her husband and reported that Almond was a real key to help her work through this very difficult situation.” -SC, Nevada City, CA
“Joy, temperance, and repose, slam the door on the doctor’s nose.”
FLOWER /FRUIT /FOLKLORE
The almond tree is also called Prunus dulcis, meaning sweet, pleasing, or delightful. Almond is the oldest known nut tree and a member of the rose family. Naturalized in Western Asia and Southern Europe, the small almond tree (which looks much like the peach tree) originated in the Near East, and now grows in a hundred varieties in South Africa, South Australia, and California. Its pink flowers-similar to, but larger than, peach blossoms-reach up to two inches in diameter and grow in fascicles of one to three. The nuts ripen from a peach-like fruit. The almond nut is a seed without a shell, high in fiber, B vitamins, and eight of the nine essential amino acids-and calories too. Its protein content is legendary, and it is rich in bone-strengthening minerals and cholesterol-lowering mono-unsaturated fats. Almond oil aids skin problems; the milk soothes the lungs and throat.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Almond is our usher into Quadrant III. We continue in the masculine half of the Spectrum, signifying that these five essences possess strength, power and the drive to build and accomplish. The third Quadrant symbolizes the personality ripening in wisdom much like a garden awaiting autumn’s harvest. In its first house placement, Almond encapsulates the matured strength to say “no” to excess. Having learned Fig’s lesson of balance, Almond portrays a healthy sense of self-control.
Almond is the essence for self-control in all parts of our lives. This quality, unfortunately, is not a high priority in our culture where consumerism and materialism are so seriously valued. And yet what a priceless tool for well-being is discipline! Self-control means, simply, that we consider a choice of action rather than being bound to a reactive mode by the subconscious mind.
Almond, then, gives us greater awareness in our choices. In the relationship arena of sexuality, our self-control is a gift we can give to our partner. Sex has two distinct purposes-procreation, and communicating love. With Almond’s attitude of “how can I serve you” instead of “what’s in this for me,” the sexual act becomes purified of self-seeking and self-gratification, and thus infinitely more beautiful and fulfilling. We are not body-bound slaves to our senses, says Almond- we are Spirit.
Almond also encapsulates the quality of moral vigor and stimulates that same quality within us. Do you want the power to rebound vigorously from every setback in life? To live more in your center? Don’t think of the crunchy quality of the nut but of the soothing, spiritual influence of the oil pressed from almonds.
And what of stress from the sense that there are not enough hours in the day-don’t we all have twenty-four? In the positive Almond state, we are able to view our time differently-to be more in the present moment, calmly completing each task. “I took Almond for tension that created pressure and tightness in my diaphragm,” Ursula said. “In thirty minutes, it was gone.”
Robert, too, shared a helpful Almond story: “1 recently had to go to the dentist to have an area worked where a filling had fallen out. I took almond and did the affirmation. I noticed I was able to relax deeply while in the chair. Though the area being drilled was sensitive from an exposed nerve, I was able to remain calm and detached from the sensation.”
Almond is also an excellent remedy for dancers. Yogic tradition speaks of being ”centered in the spine,” that place in the astral body from which our energy radiates. Dance, when most beautiful and pleasing to the eye, emanates from that center. Here is Sita’s testimonial after an East Indian dance performed on three consecutive nights:
“I felt a lot of anxiety before dancing. I didn’t know the right thing to do in order to help myself stay centered, so I started taking Almond a week before the performances. It was an incredible experience how much it helped me, first to be focused on everything that I did. I saw that I was doing everything I needed to do, but not from an emotional state-more coming from my spine. This helped me to feel what it is like to be ‘in the spine.’ The day of the first performance, I was very centered. I didn’t have any anxiety. I was even surprised-the last time I’d had so much fear. My hands and feet had been very cold and I had stomach pains. Taking Almond is like a magician giving you something. Every time I took it, it transformed me. Almond helped me to do a perfect job, a perfect performance.”
The negative Almond state is that spread-too-thin feeling, as though there is never enough time. When no matter how much we accomplish we can’t quite get the job done, it is time for Almond. Tension typically sets off a predictable chain reaction of progressively less productivity that can backslide into a state of complete frustration. Almond, through the quality of calmness, allows us to focus on one thing at a time-and before long a whole stack of incoming work has moved into the outgoing file!
As previously mentioned, Almond also addresses the subject of human sexuality. When the loud hormones of adolescence begin to speak, and any time thereafter when sexual energy seems uncontrollable, Almond may be of benefit. (Please note that Almond falls in the Spectrum’s third Quadrant of drive tempered by self-control, rather than in the second Quadrant of fiery youth where it would not yet have reached a deeper maturity.) One study after another reveals that adolescents in the United States are having intercourse at earlier ages than ever before. Sexually transmitted diseases, some with death as a contraindication, run rampant. The federal centers for Disease Control and Prevention have documented a rise in AIDS cases from 49,016 in 1992 to 103,500 in 1993-a 111 percent increase. The issue of sexuality in our era covers the entire gamut from creating to destroying human life.
Consider, too, the exploitation of this powerful drive through the media. Even ads for items as innocuous as soda pop are unmistakably sexually charged. Constantly bombarded both visually and aurally, what are we to do? Add to this phenomena a diet loaded with preservatives, pesticides and artificial stimulants that play havoc with the sex nerves, and it is clear that we are being overstimulated and encouraged in the direction of excess. Almond is a healthy counter-attack to these detrimental outer stimuli.
No, Almond does not weaken, repress or annihilate sexual energy; rather, it allows us to transmute this powerful force. With this essence, one might say that instead of being driven by our sex drive, we become the driver, through consciously exercising self-control. Sexual energy being our creative force, we might choose to reroute that energy into athletics or creative pursuits, such as painting or the performing arts. Whether in a relationship or single, young or old, Almond provides us with a deeper understanding of sexuality as pure energy at our disposal.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
Almond themes are not as easily detected through physical clues as other themes because their energy flows inward and upward rather than out through their senses and physical body. Their movements are neither grand nor small; their pace is neither too fast nor too slow. In other words, they are conspicuously inconspicuous! They do not stand out in a crowd like Pineapple or off to the side like Banana. Neither wallflowers nor party animals, you probably won’t even find them at social gatherings. They are neither social nor antisocial. The lifestyles of monks, nuns, hermits and ascetics fit comfortably for the inwardly focused Almond theme.
As a rule, Almond themes don’t take second helpings-except to honor their hostess. And, like Goldilocks, they prefer their porridge not too hot or too cold, but just right. These are quiet, interiorized people who use their time and energy wisely. One feels their magnetism of calmness born of moderate, balanced living. Almond themes inspire us to put our own lives in order, simply by their example of how well an orderly life works.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Omar Khayyam
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Ableza in “Hanta Yo”
- St. Anthony of the Desert
- Thomas a Kempis
Omar Khayyam, the son of a tent-maker (and also the meaning of his last name), was an eleventh-century Persian astronomer, mathematician and poet. That little is known of his personal life is compensated for by the richness of his quatrains comprising “The Rubaiyat,” one of the best known and loved poems of all times. This Almond theme’s deep spiritual message pours through the wisdom of his writing.
Misunderstood as a hedonist glorifying sensual excess-or one chronically stuck in the negative Almond state-Omar’s poetry reveals him as a great mystic. (His quatrains have been interpreted by Yogananda in a stunning rendition listed in the bibliography.) In the purest of verse, Omar exhorts us to channel our energy inward, away from all overindulgence, to the highest possible attainment. His words are an Almond theme’s admonition to totally redirect the life force away from the senses and into the astral spine. The deepest and only lasting joy, he tells us, is found in the wine of Spirit, not in the false intoxicants of sensual pursuits.
CONFESSIONS OF AN ALMOND THEME: THOM SHARES
“I am absolutely dedicated to making this lifetime all it can be in all directions. That’s a balancing act. I am in a stage of actively building my business from scratch. I sell personal growth seminars. My work is play right now. Nothing I do is work, and I totally love it. So my energy’s flowing. I love what I’m doing and I pretty much go flat out with it.
“I enjoy meeting people. But I have to have appreciable time alone in my own space. Spare time? I have none. I always have ideas. It is a continual battle for me to prioritize and separate the wheat from the chaff. My girlfriend helps me with balance. On Sundays we go for walks in pretty places, or go to a movie or something like that.
“My spiritual practices have changed me a lot. I used to have pretty high sexual energy. Now that I’m over fifty. . . whatever. My girlfriend and I will make love every once in a great while when she would like it for a feeling of closeness and bonding. For me now, it has nothing to do with my gratification. Self-control is really important to me. All I can say is that I’m healthier and stronger, and I’ve got more energy than ever in my life.
“Yes, I would say I’m a calm person. I’m pretty unruffled. I like to think I’m close to the way Napoleon was, sitting in the battlefield writing a letter when a cannonball landed right beside him. He used the sand from the cannonball to dry the ink on his letter. I don’t know where I heard that story, but it was given to me as the epitome of calmness.
“I do like almonds. When I’m organized enough, every day of my life I carry almonds around as part of my afternoon snack with fruit. I definitely like almonds, though I don’t eat them every day. I think they’re the quintessential food.”
WRAPPING IT UP
Some years ago, I found myself-somewhat by accident, I might add-on a large pleasure-cruise ocean liner routed from Southern California to several Mexican ports. During our first-night orientation program, the social director encouraged-or rather exhorted-us to eat and drink to excess, gamble and carouse all night, and wear ourselves out as if there were no tomorrow. To our privileged group was revealed the unwritten Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not count calories. The message behind all this fanfare was that excessive behavior-or “letting ourselves go”-would deepen our happiness and enrich our vacation experience. And besides, what are holidays for anyway?
As the English poet John Milton intuited, “He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires and fears, is more than a king.” True happiness lies in balance; and fulfillment, tempered by self-respect, is found in moderation. Our passion for life, expressed through moral vigor, need not deplete us. Indeed, we can be strengthened by it. The zeal of this essence can help us tap into vast reserves of calmness. By transforming ourselves, we inspire others as well.
|ALMOND||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Banana||for calmness through non-identification with the ego||for the wisdom to discriminate beyond the level of emotions and desires|
|Fig||for wisdom through willingness to look at all of an issue||for flexibility, not laxity; for a soft approach while holding firm to healthfulideals|
|Lettuce||for calmness and clarity with emotion and feeling, respectively||for being centered in oneself and respectful of what is needed to stay
|Spinach||for stress due to over-work living too much in one’s head||for a tension-free, fun-loving attitude|
|Tomato||for acknowledging, and completely eliminating, addictions||for mental and emotional health and strength in battling excesses and
Allow more time than needed to finish projects in order to avoid feeling rushed by deadlines.
Give yourself a five-minute neck and shoulder rub, finishing with a full minute on your scalp-or enlist the help of a friend.
Do the following breathing exercise three times in succession, three times a day: inhale with two quick inhalations, the second deeper than the first, until the lungs are completely filled. Exhale in the same manner: twice strongly, until the lungs are fully emptied.
Spend a full day or longer in complete silence without speaking. Observe the changes in your energy flow from this practice. When nerves in the tongue are activated through movement, restlessness is created in the brain.
Go dancing, dance in your home or enroll in a dance class. Become aware of the energy in your spine through practicing this art form and consciously direct it inward and upward. Repeat the Almond visualization daily.
It is a perfect day for a short walk and your third day on vacation. The worries and responsibilities of work, home and family all seem dreamlike now, as though they belonged to someone else. Breathe in the fresh morning air as you leave your little cabin in the woods and walk toward the creek bed. Nighttime, you notice, has receded, lifting itself layer by quilted layer, off the earth’s shoulders. An Indian summer day, it is already warm and promising to grow hotter.
A thick scattering of bright orange poppies blankets the field. Drink in this color through your eyes, your hands and the pores of your skin. Feel it warming you, healing you and bathing your cells in a pure ray of orange light.
Continuing on your walk, you approach a swirl of fallen tree limbs covered with moss. Take off your sandals and run your toes through the velvet greenery. Now, sit near the creek where the water splashes over rocks and crags. Breathe this sound into your ears, your lung, and every cell in your body. Allow it to wash away all tension, leaving a flowing stream of calmness in its wake. Replace any thoughts of excess with moderation; any overindulgences with self-control.
Having bathed your senses in the pure orange light, consciously withdraw from them-first from sight, then sound, followed by taste, touch and smell. Imagine that you are retreating into the core of your being You are being recharged, renewed and reawakened in the vast store-house of energy that is your truest reality.