Keywords: Flexibility, Self-acceptance
(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Qualities: Flexibility and Self-acceptance
Message of Self-Mastery: Sense of humor; fluidity; ability to “go with the flow”; at ease with self and others; self-liberating; energy to move forward in life; relaxation; for setting healthy boundaries; ability to “roll with the punches.”
Pattern of Disharmony: Rigidity; tension; an uncompromising nature; difficulty with change; unrealistic expectations of oneself; fanaticism; self-limiting; too strict a sense of discipline; for over-extending oneself; self-dominating; suppression of faults; trying too hard; self-martyrdom; judgmental of self.
I am relaxed and peaceful: I am one with all that is!
|Adjustable to change||Self-accepting|
|Adaptable||Having a sense of humor|
|Disciplined in moderation||Tolerant|
|Fluid||Able to set healthy boundaries|
|Holding unrealistic ideals||Self-critical|
“I’ve seen Fig help my clients who have Candida and strict diets. It loosens up the energy around their ailments and helps them work with their restrictions without such grim determination.” -NB, Nevada City, CA
“I put a few drops of Fig in my client’s massage oil for tight shoulders. At first she thought she didn’t need it till reading about the emotional qualities of Fig. She commented later that she felt herself more relaxed in her dealings with people and that she was really helped by just those few drops in one application.” -CS, Menlo Park, CA
“I had been very tense when I took Fig. It made me very tired because I finally relaxed.” -SR, Vienna, Austria
“I took Fig for difficulty in making a decision. Shortly after, the is sue seemed to dissolve. Clarity replaced it and a feeling of internal rightness.” -SL, Camptonville, CA
“I never talk about how I really feel. After taking Fig, I was able to tell my boyfriend how sad I was that he didn’t want to marry me. He was surprised and open. He really listened to me.” -NU, Eltangen, Germany
“Do what you can with whayou have, where you are.”
Figs, native to western Asia, are grown in Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, Algeria, Portugal and California. A member of the mulberry family, the fig is a deciduous shrub or small tree of thirty feet. The tree produces three to five palmately lobed leaves per stem and tiny stem-like buds. It is these buds that are used to prepare flower essences, since the actual flowers grow inside the fruit. Many tiny seeds and a soft pinkish-white pulp are enclosed within the fruit’s thin skin. Due to their high sugar content, figs are great energy-producers. They are rich in calcium and laxative value from their mucin and pectin content. Bland in taste, the fresh fig is an emollient that can be used externally to soothe or protect the skin. Figs also help relieve sore throats, boils and chronic joint inflammation.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Fig occupies Quadrant II’s fifth and last house. Like Banana, it possesses a mixture of gentleness and strength-the strength born of flexibility and the ability to go easy on ourselves.
Consider the skin of a ripe fig-deep-hued purple, fleshy and easily bruised, as if it were both youthful and aged at the same time. Metaphorically, Fig is Quadrant II’s perfect closure. Enriched with the energy of youth, it serves as a transitional essence to Quadrant III’s characteristics of autumn and middle age.
The positive Fig state is expressed as flexible, fluid, adaptable energy. Easy to get along with and open to new ideas, individuals in the positive Fig state make great companions. Arbitrators, umpires, emperors and judges-all are fitting Fig-like roles. Ask them for help in making decisions. Able to see both sides of the picture, they can dive into their bag of wisdom without inhibitive rules blocking their understanding. These are classic “go with the flow” people.
Fig supports the development of discrimination without judgment and clear observation without criticism. Feeling comfortable about yourself-your appearance, your daily habits and your outlook on life-is the voice of Fig. The ability to accept both your strengths and weaknesses, and your victories and mistakes, is the echo of Fig. Living in the positive Fig state allows us to adapt to changes, ranging from sudden to long anticipated. And since change and growth are inherent to the human condition, we all need Fig’s remarkable support at one time or another. This essence exemplifies a state of relaxation-the perfect balance between discipline and flexibility.
The negative Fig state manifests as too many self-created rules that confine instead of freeing us. Negative Fig forces us to live in a little box of “should’s” and “have-to’s.” It is said that too many rules kill the spirit. Perhaps we have created ideals that we cannot live up to. Maybe we have placed unrealistic expectations on ourselves that have only constructed walls of tension and frustration.
It is important to note the difference between Fig and Date. Whereas we project Fig’s perfectionist attitude onto ourselves, the judgmental attitude of the negative Date condition is aimed at others. Fig is self-critical; negative Date is critical of others.
Fanaticism, dogmatism and many other “isms” are symptomatic of the negative Fig state. Fanaticism can easily find fertile soil in the garden of daily habits, diets and religious beliefs. Its fruits, though, are always the same-mental rigidity. “I have so many food allergies that there’s very little I can eat without having reactions,” Cheryl lamented. “I have to deal with bloating, constipation and skin rashes. When I took Fig, I noticed that my symptoms were greatly lessened. With this encouraging sign, I’ve been eating a greater variety of foods.”
Indeed, diet is a well frequented arena for the indication of Fig. We live in a society where obesity is a serious health problem, not to mention the opposite extreme of eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Obsessed as we are with the stick-like figures adorning glamour magazines, it’s no wonder we’re confused! As the New Age saying goes, “denial” ain’t just a river in Egypt. Fig, then, not only works with excessive food intake; it also helps those on restrictive health diets to relax with their prescribed programs.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
Fig’s ability to take things in stride gives these themes a precise way of walking. “I choose to walk this way,” they seem to be saying, holding their bodies in strict obedience to an orderly mind.
Fig themes make wonderful orators who can inspire us with both high, and attainable, ideals. They are articulate in speech, at times correcting themselves or searching for just the right words. You’ll hear them say, “What I mean is. . . ” or, “What I’m trying to say is. . . ” Listen closely to their laughter; it will be interesting as well as distinctive.
These people are comfortable with themselves and wear their bodies like favorite, well-worn but stylish outfits. Their magnetism vibration-ally encourages others to be more self-accepting and less self-critical.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Carolus Linnaeus
- Adelle Davis
- Henry Higgins
- Meryl Streep
- Dustin Hoffman
- Queen Elizabeth I
- George Bernard Shaw
- Abraham Lincoln
- Melvil Dewey
The man who first coined the term, homo sapiens, meaning “wise men,” is Carolus Linnaeus. Only a serious Fig theme would go to the trouble of classifying every existing plant, animal and microorganism! Linnaeus meticulously (a fitting Fig adjective) grouped all flowering plants by their number of stamens and pistils into a system called “binomial nomenclature.” In so categorizing flowers and all living things, he made our world a little more orderly.
It is written that Linnaeus was a cheerful fellow with a Fig theme’s sense of humor. He used to guide his students on nature walks through the Swedish countryside, announcing their discoveries of uncommon specimens with a blast of his trumpet. And although no records document his early life, we are probably safe in assuming that, as a child, he always put his socks away! In 1761, Linnaeus was knighted by the Swedish government. He then took the un-Latinized name of Carl von Linnee.
CONFESSIONS OF A FIG THEME: BLAIR’S STORY
“Discipline is part of my nature. Since I was a child, it was always like that. In my youth, I took it to an extreme and I separated myself from others to keep my routine. When I did connect with people, I felt that I had to give up my discipline. This was not right for me. It caused a lot of pain because I wanted to be connected. Now I need to learn how to soften this aspect of myself and make my connection with the world. Even to realize this is not an easy thing to face. But at the same time this will move me forward to break through my own limitations.
“I have a real schedule for my life and my meditation practices. I don’t break my routine or my order to go to town or go to a movie. I am working on being more open to having more of a flow in my life-and this doesn’t mean that I’m going to lose my discipline. I am learning that it is possible to be with other people and to include them in my own reality and my own discipline without losing my sense of self. My fear is loss of self, loss of discipline. Having my own way is rigidity.
“Do I like figs? I love figs!”
WRAPPING IT UP
The fig tree, as mentioned earlier, bears no outer flowers. Its blossoms ripen within the fleshy-seeded fruit itself. This flower-within-thefruit metaphor symbolizes the blossoming of our own internal rules with malleable, self-made guidelines rather than self-limiting iron bars.
Here’s a perfect Fig story: One day, an army lieutenant decided to grill his troop with a pop quiz. “Soldier,” he asked, “why is the butt of a rifle made out of walnut?” “Because, Sir, it’s a hard wood.” “Wrong,” retorted the lieutenant. He then asked the next soldier, “Why is the butt of a rifle made out of walnut?” “Sir, because it is smoother than other wood.” “Wrong,” replied the lieutenant, his patience waning. Asking the third soldier the same question, the answer came: “Because it polishes better.” The lieutenant shook his head and said, “You boys just don’t get it. The correct answer is-because regulations say so.”
When rules override practicality and common sense, we may be assured that we are trapped in the negative Fig state that is uncomfortably joyless at best. The positive message of Fig is found in a sense of humor; in being delighted and delightful; and in replacing the perfectionist’s rigid idealism with the ingenuity to simply “make do.” Or, to quote Roosevelt, to “do what you can with what you have, where you are.”
|FIG||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Almond||for wisdom through self-control and moderation||for flexibility, not laxity;
for malleability while holding firm to healthful ideals
|Avocado||for mindfulness||for seeing the bigger picture as well as details|
|Date||for being too hard on others||for balance through accepting oneself and others; acknowledging imperfections tolerantly|
|Strawberry||for guilt, sense of unworthiness||for self-acceptance and self-study without harmful judgment|
Mentally note areas of your life where you are self-critical. Focusing on one area each week, consciously redefine yourself in positive and supportive ways.
Do yoga postures through the aid of a class, a book or a good video.
Allow enough time in your daily schedule for relaxation and enter-tainment-anything from a leisurely walk to having friends over for dinner.
Read light fiction or humorous pieces every day.
Summertime closes its doors in the face of autumn. The warm sunny days, like candy wrappers, are pinched at both ends by a new chill in the air. Sweaters at dawn and dusk are now a must. The leaves have not yet put on their new colors, but you can tell they’re thinking about it. “What to wear?” you almost hear them muse. “A rusty red, perhaps? A grocery bag brown? This green has got to go!” Their sense of humor, stemming from complete acceptance of the changing seasons, makes you chuckle.
But dress they must for this most special event of their lives-the windborne descent from limb to ground. No matter that the trees’ withdrawn life force relegates them to the category of vestige. Their final role is the fluttering, earthbound dance. At curtain call they will either be raked up into large piles on lawns where children will gleefully pounce on them, or quietly compost themselves to nourish their beloved mother trees in the timeless cycle of death and rebirth.
Ah, here comes the wind now, right on schedule! Mother Nature’s arm sports no wristwatch; she knows by sixth sense when everything needs to happen. But very few people know the truth about the wind- that it is Mother Earth’s breath. She blows and blows, like a child extinguishing festively lit birthday candles-over the mountains, through the mesas and around the trees. Her wind-breath bends and bows; its strength lies in its flexibility. The wind plays by the rules-but it also knows when to break them.
You, too, are like the wind-strong yet gentle and disciplined yet malleable.