(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Message of Self-Mastery: Inner quietude; inner strength in confrontation of difficulties; clear communication skills; unblocked creative expression; success in undertakings; decisiveness; ability to speak one’s truth; concentration.
Pattern of Disharmony: Restlessness; too many thoughts at once; inability to concentrate; excitability; troubled emotions; agitation; propensity toward anger; nervousness; inability to make decisions; repression; emotional congestion; repeats self in conversation.
I am calm. I am free. In undistrubed stillness, I find my true home.
|Creative||Patient in parenting|
|Certain||Healthy in interpersonal|
|Clear in communication skills||relationships|
|Quiet||Trusting of inner guidance|
|Withdrawn in nature||Emotionally steady|
|Able to speak one’s truth|
|Restless||Unable to concentrate|
|Advice-seeking||Troubling, disturbed emotions|
Thinking too many thoughts
|Lacking in focus||Angry|
“Thank you so much for Lettuce. I was much calmer during the presentations I’ve made recently.”
-JH, Ft. Collins, CO
“I took Lettuce hourly the day of, and then just before, giving a lecture. I felt totally calm in front of an audience of forty people. I was surprised at how relaxed I was!”
-SW, North San Juan, CA
“My daughter would scream at night from eczema. After one drop of Lettuce on two consecutive nights, she fell back to sleep immediately both times. Also, I took one drop of Lettuce before a harrowing visit to the periodontist. I was instantly calmed.”
-MS, San Leandro, CA
“I use Lettuce to relax into sleep, for after meditating at night I’m often too charged up to relax. I use Lettuce, too, if there are uncalming things going on with others in the environment.”
-RB, Bend, OR
“My son is still waking up a lot at night, but on Lettuce, I am handling it better. I’m not as wound up as before.”
-RS, San Francisco, CA
“I felt a definite sense of peace on Lettuce-closer to my center. When you get sick, your energy scatters. It brought my energy more toward that center, and made severe facial poison oak easier to cope with.”
-CS, Colfax, CA
“The tempest is o’er blown, the skies are clear,
And the sea charm’d into a calm so still
That not a wrinkle ruffles her smoothe face.”
Considered one of the oldest vegetables, lettuce dates back to antiquity and supposedly originated in the Near East, Siberia or the Mediterranean. All cultivated varieties probably stem from the wild prickly lettuce, an Asiatic weed. Lettuce belongs to the daisy family (Compositae). When bolting, it produces an aged, flowering stem and bears small, pale yellow flowers. Leaf lettuce is more nutritious than head lettuce because the sun is able to penetrate each leaf. Rich in vitamin A and low in calories with a ninety-five percent water content, lettuce is excellent for weight loss. Lettuce juice can be used to promote sleep.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Lettuce occupies Quadrant I’s first house. It contains the qualities of springtime and childhood-youthful exuberance, and the crispness of winter melting into the season of planting and rebirth. It is a time to begin anew and start afresh. Introducing the feminine side of the chart, Lettuce carries within it a softness and delicacy, a lightness and quiet interiorization. You will find in all five of the Quadrant I essences a certain simplicity of expression-a what-you-see-is-what-you-get quality.
The positive Lettuce state is a joy to behold. Here we see the sailboat personality forging “full speed ahead” into creative projects such as writing, painting, woodworking or calligraphy. In the performing arts, one in the positive Lettuce state breezes across that fine transition line between the actual creative process and its presentation before an audience. Thus we see the annihilation of the performing artist’s most painful dilemma-stage fright. “Will they like me? Will my work, representing the essence of my being, be accepted?”
In a state of inner certainty, Lettuce offers the antidote to an indecisive mind. Remove the anxiety, fear and attachment to the outcome of a decision, and we see an individual with all the knowledge-or the ability to gather it-needed to resolve most any problem.
On a less grandiose scale, the highest octave of Lettuce manifests as a calm mind. A great saint of South India, Thayumanavar, put it rather succinctly:
You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may earn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk on water and live in fire:
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.8
In the positive Lettuce state, we are able to speak up for ourselves instead of “stuffing it” when we feel mistreated. All too often, repression creates resentment and anger that can later manifest as emotional outbursts. Repression is also the host for snide comments that often become increasingly more difficult to trace back to their source. It is better to be “up front” and nip problems in the bud in the positive Lettuce state through the simple act of clear, direct communication. For example: “You know, son, it’s a good idea to ask before taking the car in case Mom or I need it.” Or, “I was really hurt when you made that comment about my hair. Can you explain what you meant?”
The negative Lettuce state manifests much like a stampede of hors-es-a mind running wild with thoughts shooting out in several directions at once-or with emotions that do us harm, anger in particular. Of all human emotions, anger is probably the most destructive. It is actually known to destroy brain cells, not to mention causing deep agitation in each and every bodily system. An angry person breathes spasmodically, aborting every attempt to feed oxygen to the body. It’s best not to eat when angry; food is literally poisoned with indigestion-producing chemicals.
“I am convinced that Lettuce saved my marriage,” wrote Simon. “I was about to strike my wife, but took Lettuce instead and calmed down instantly.”
Restless thoughts and emotions can be likened to sediment stirred in a pond. In such a mental state, decision-making is impossible. Although individuals in the negative Lettuce state may be well informed and highly intuitive, it is possible that they will be unable to reconcile even the simplest decisions-such as what to order from a dinner menu! For this reason, they seek advice from sources outside themselves, perhaps investing in costly therapies. Or they may stretch the patience of their friends by wavering back and forth on decisions, finally spinning themselves into the ground with energy spent and answers unresolved.
What can we do with a mind that is not within our control? In the negative Lettuce state marked by agitated thoughts or emotions, success is virtually impossible. Attainment of even minor goals remains an illusive dream without the necessary ingredient of concentration; and concentration is the fruit of calmness.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
Lettuce themes emote a soft-spoken voice with an interiorized tone, much like hearing someone speak from a distance, almost as if with a slight echo. They are very inwardly centered and seemingly withdrawn. These people speak their truth, though without Blackberry’s outspokenness.
Like a wind through a forest, Lettuce themes touch the lives of many people and are thus very influential, though in an understated way. They possess great strength of character. They stick to what they believe in, and they express themselves clearly. In their own quiet way, they put people at ease in their presence. Being in their magnetism leaves you feeling relaxed, calm and energized.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Henry David Thoreau
- Ben Kingsley
- Denzel Washington
- Madeleine L’Engle
- Walt Whitman
- Stephen Foster
- Joan of Arc
- Albert Schweitzer
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), our Lettuce theme, was the son of a pencil-maker and the gardener of his influential friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau’s famous treatise on civil disobedience exemplifies a Lettuce theme who spoke his truth. He brought calmness to an arena of great unrest in troubled times fraught with unjust laws that usurped individual rights, including slavery.
Most famous for his book, Walden, Thoreau writes of the divinity in nature and its ability to put the human spirit at peace. He spent two years at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, drinking nature’s calming influences, as a man who chose to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” Thoreau wrote that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” His life, to the contrary, bore testimony to the quiet fulfillment of the Lettuce theme. True to his own writings, he forged a life in communion with the harmonious universal laws of nature. His example and his works have inspired other reformers such as Gandhi, Tolstoy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
CONFESSIONS OF A LETTUCE THEME: ROSALYN’S STORY
“My childhood was pretty traditional-standard, Midwestern, middle class, mom and dad, four kids. Our family took a vacation every year, but we weren’t real close, you know. It was average, I’d say. I was basically happy. When I look back, we just sort of went through life with nothing outstanding. It was a meat-and-potatoes family.
“I am manager of a small rural health clinic. I like the work because I’m a pretty mental person with lots of mental energy-always thinking, working on quieting my mind. Emotionally, well-I’m not real emotional. I’m basically pretty steady. I can get emotional but I tend to hold it in. If I do get emotional, I get mad inside, and don’t express it. Am I calm? Generally, yes.
“I do like lettuce. I especially like to pile it on sandwiches, the crunchy kind-that taste! I can’t have a sandwich without lettuce, and I really like salads. Any kind of lettuce will do, as long as it’s crunchy.”
WRAPPING IT UP
Lettuce, then, offers us the experience of strength, wholeness and balance through the simple quality of calmness. When the subject of Lettuce’s calmness arose in one of my classes, an older gentleman piped up, “Excuse me, I don’t get it. How can you be calm and have energy at the same time?” Make no mistake-calmness is not synonymous with laziness. Laziness indicates a lack of energy whereas true calmness reflects an abundance of it. Pure energy, when focused, is calm.
With calmness of mind and thus of body, we can meet our challenges, both great and small; use our inner strength to deal with life’s ongoing tests; and realize our creative potential in whatever unique ways we choose to express ourselves.
|LETTUCE||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Almond||for calmness gained
through control of
|being centered in
oneself and respectful
of what is needed to stay
|Banana||for calmness from
stepping back from
|to be an observer of
one’s own life and not
get caught up in
|Blackberry||for negative or
|for the pure discrim
nation of a calm mind
|Pear||for a more general
sense of well-being
|to enhance the quality
of calmness on deeper
|Tomato||for fears of known
and unknown origin
(with the exception
of stage fright)
|for “calmness in the
midst of battle”
Do the following breathing exercise: inhale, hold the breath, and exhale, each to a count of ten. Gradually increase to twenty-five counts. Meditate. Spend time alone. Create a peaceful and inviting environment at bedtime with soft music, candles, an inspiring book of quotes or seed thoughts (I highly recommend the line of Secrets books by J. Donald Walters). Take time to cultivate a creative pursuit that you have been postponing.
Imagine yourself in a setting of pure tranquility. It is a calm, sunny spring morning and you are seated on the bank of a still pond. The water, a reflection of complete quiescence, is neither cloudy nor clear. What first strikes you is the absence of any breeze, the still life quality of nearby wildflowers and the crispness of the artfully paletted hillside. Color is everywhere, bursting into myriad greens beneath your bare feet.
Now, see yourself merging with the scene before you, your very body dissolving and expanding into its environs. By an act of creative will, bring movement into this pastel still life-much as a composer would add different movements to a symphony-all the while maintaining a sense of complete calm. A bird glides overhead, the subtle song of its wings grazing the sky. A small fish peeks out of the glass-like layer of water that now splinters into a medley of ripples.
Motion without movement is a song without a single superfluous note. This is your self-portrait, painted with brush strokes of calmness.