(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Qualities: Enthusiasm, Hope
Message of Self-Mastery: Energy; banishing melancholy; for cultivating an inner smile; resolution of conflict; lightness; emotional integration; “light at the end of the tunnel”; renewed interest in life; for the power to endure difficulties.
Pattern of Disharmony: Mild to severe depression; hopelessness; despair; self-pity; for past or present abuse issues-physical, emotional or sexual; apathy; the “might as well get used to it” attitude.
My thoughts dance on air with cosmic energy. Singing joyfully, they soar above every dark valley of sorrow!
|Enthusiastic||Expressing the power to endure|
|Resilient||Renewing interest in life|
|Serene||Smiling from within|
|Heavy||Lacking in energy|
“I was trying to wean my two-and-a-half-year-old son. He got really depressed and cranky. I gave him two drops of Orange for two days, and he was completely fine.” -SJ, Norfolk, VA
“My two-year-old son was teething-very sullen and whiny. Since he was eating nothing but oranges-orange slices, orange juice, orange popsicles-I started him on Orange essence. Wonderful results!” -LB, North San Juan, CA
“I had a depressed childhood-dysfunctional, sexual abuse, the works. I am also overweight and dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I like taking Orange. It helped me go through therapy in a flash.” -DDG, Long Beach, CA
“I was depressed for a few days. I finally took Orange in the middle of the night. During my depression my knee and hip went out, and I was limping around the house. Within minutes of taking Orange, my knee adjusted itself and hasn’t bothered me since. Also, I felt my energy rising and felt like meditating-so I did. I kept taking the Orange for a few days-but the bulk of the problem was gone instantly.” -MK, North San Juan, CA
“But mortal bliss will never come sincere; Pleasure may lead, but grief brings up the rear.” -Greek epigram
Originating in China and southeast Asia, the subtropical orange fruit dates back to at least 500 B.C. The small orange tree-a winged, leafy-stalked evergreen-grows to about twenty-five feet in height. Its tiny white flowers grow in clusters and exude a delicious scent. More than two hundred varieties of this “liquid sunshine” are grown in the US alone. Oranges, the famous immune boosters, are one of the best sources of water-soluble vitamin C. They aid the intestines, teeth and gums.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Orange brings us to Quadrant III’s final house. Also the last house of the Spectrum’s masculine half, it resounds with the message of a zeal of great depth and strength, unlike the softer, lighter energy of Cherry. Clear-thinking Apple provides the psychologically balanced soil from which Orange germinates. Just as the fruit of the orange possesses a particular tartness, so do many of life’s experiences. Determined to overcome the deepest possible human sorrows, Orange reaches to the very core of true happiness.
Certain individuals are able to take trauma and crisis in stride; others buckle under and suffer greatly. Some children do better with teething than others. Some of the elderly, although understandably lonely, weather the passing of a spouse better than others. This leads us to the conclusion that it is not the experience itself, but the way we choose to react to it-similar to Cherry-that indicates the need for Orange. Culturally, we are faced with some shocking statistics on depression.
Clinical depression affects twenty to thirty percent of adults at some time during their lives.
The lifetime risk of suicide from major depressive disorder is fifteen percent, a higher mortality rate than that of many medical disorders.
Depression and anxiety disorders are twice as common in women than in men. In women, the mid-thirties and forties represent the peak period of new-onset depression and anxiety.
I remember one particular afternoon of consultations following a morning Spirit-in-Nature workshop. Four people in a row came in to the office and recounted their life stories of serious childhood abuse issues. One man was then suicidal; one woman had chosen a homosexual lifestyle that was proving problematic; another gentleman was undergoing long-term psychotherapy; one woman with a difficult childhood had become an elementary school teacher. All had suffered similar abusive situations and had adapted according to their own personalities. Each individual, however, indicated the need for Orange.
Positive Orange is the loving parent by whom we may not have had the opportunity to be raised, who gently takes us by the hand and says, “This is a tough test, but you’re going to be okay. We’ll just see this through and come out the other side.”
Orange is the essence of choice for those heavier-than-Cherry moods or chronic depression. “I took Orange to dispel moods after a serious accident where I sustained a concussion,” Patrick wrote “I was told it would take time for the brain to heal, and to be patient. On Orange, I was able to get though the post-trauma weeks with little or no problem caused by down moods. I was also very steady emotional-ly-in fact, steadier than I have been at other times when I wasn’t going through a healing phase.”
Orange embodies the vibration of not giving up, or giving in, no matter how convincing the case in favor of despair. Orange is indicated for any experience which leaves us feeling as though we can’t go on- the death of a loved one, divorce, miscarriage, thoughts of suicide, a disfiguring accident, or surgery or a chronic, lingering illness. Orange embodies hope and leads us through even the most long-term suffering to the light at the end of the tunnel.
One in the negative Orange state is far beyond the help of Cherry. The negative Cherry state may be likened to waking up on the wrong side of the bed; negative Orange is more like waking up on the wrong side of your life. Orange is helpful for long-standing problems-or long-term, counterproductive attitudes in dealing with those problems.
The negative Orange state, especially when prolonged, is that “end of one’s rope” feeling. It may also indicate the need for other modalities of therapy in addition to taking Orange. (A repeated word of caution: flower essences do not replace proper medical attention.) “I’d been depressed all day,” Verna admitted. “I don’t usually get depressed, but there it was. I was so depressed that I didn’t even want to close up shop. I was going to binge on a box of cookies. Instead, I prayed for an answer and went right over to the Spirit-in-Nature Essences display. I picked up a bottle of Orange and felt better with the first dosage. I took it the next day too. The depression disappeared.”
The dictionary defines depression as a hollow or low place. Certainly for all of us, this describes those times in our lives when we have felt empty inside and hopeless. In the negative Orange state, it is easy to find justification for this absence of enthusiasm. Orange is like a “vibrational fork-lift” that scoops us out of the doldrums.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
Orange wood is known for its flexibility, symbolic of the Orange theme’s resilience in the face of monumental trials. Four or five ripe oranges will significantly bend a limb without snapping it-hence its popularity as a wood used in bow-making. Orange themes, likewise, may suffer greatly yet survive joyfully.
They are easily spotted by a certain heaviness or slowness of movement. (Although this is a general rule, exceptions are not uncommon. Some Orange themes are very light-footed.) A history of difficulty throughout life, coupled with the stamina to overcome, creates their portfolio. Orange themes are survivors and, for this reason, make deeply inspirational company. You will feel their profound sense of inner bliss and hope gained through not one, but repeated, trials. In living so valiantly, they become the light at the end of the tunnel.
The delicate perfume of the orange blossom calls to mind the odor of sanctity, a scent said to exude from the bodies of saints. Orange themes are life’s valiant saints. Purified in the fires of colossal tests, they emerge indomitably serene.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Ananda Moi Ma
- St. Francis of Assisi
- Betty Ford
- Red Buttons
- Rose Kennedy
- Victor Frankl
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Charlie Chaplin
- Mira Bai
“Joy-permeated Mother” is the name Yogananda bestowed upon Ananda Moi Ma, a Bengali saint. Although saints wear their theme essences thinly, their personalities purified of baser qualities, still we see sparse remnants of their themes. In his autobiography, Yogananda describes meeting the woman saint, her face “burnished with the ineffable joy that had given her the name of Blissful Mother.” 10 An Orange theme of extraordinary magnitude, her mere presence so uplifted people that it effected many miraculous healings.
The lives of saints abound with many stories; one will have to suffice for us here. Born in 1896 in the heart of rural Bengal, Ma’s sunny childhood temperament earned her the nicknames, Hasi (“smiles”) and Khusir Ma (“the happy one”). Only on a few occasions did she ever cry, after the deaths of each of her three younger brothers, aged seven to several weeks. Witnessing the torrents of her mother’s grief, she too broke into sobs. This caused her mother to cease crying and comfort the little girl who, by example, taught her mother that “grief brings up the rear” of all human experiences unless transmuted into true inner joy. In her later years, Ananda Moi said, “Whenever you have the chance, laugh as much as you can. By this all the rigid knots in your body will be loosened. But to laugh superficially is not enough: your whole being must be united in laughter, both outwardly and inwardly.”11 Yogananda wrote of the greatest heights of Orange, so beautifully attained by this Orange theme, in his famous poem entitled “Samadhi”: “From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.”12
CONFESSIONS OF AN ORANGE THEME: JACK SHARES
“My childhood? Well, I was raised first by my grandmother and grandfather. My folks had split up and my mother left me in the care of my grandfolks while she was off working somewhere. When I was eight or ten, somewhere in there, my grandmother died, so my mother returned. I was raised by her the rest of the way. I lived mostly by myself. I was pretty much a loner, and learned to do things on my own. In school, it was not that I didn’t enjoy the schoolwork, but I didn’t enjoy being around other children that much. My childhood wasn’t terribly unhappy, though.
“My emotions? I tend to suppress them. I’d say I’m a happy person, though. Why not? No, I wouldn’t say I’ve had a hard life. I’ve had no more things to overcome than other people have-less than many-so I wouldn’t say it was difficult. I’ve often seen myself struggling in situations where, looking back on it, I didn’t need to struggle that hard. So there’s often been a feeling in my life of struggle or pressure and effort. But I wouldn’t call that being a hard life. It’s just an expression of the energy one needs to get something out of life, to do something with it.
“Yes, I dealt with depression in the earlier part of my life. The first few years out of high school and college and through my twenties, I was often depressed until I started meditating and began to pull out of it. There were still a few periods of depression after that, but they gradually disappeared.
“Years ago when I lived in Arizona, I really enjoyed oranges. I bought them by the case and went on orange juice fasts. I would drink a ton of orange juice. I enjoy them a lot. I’ve been away from oranges lately. But usually about once or twice a year, I’ll go get a bag of oranges. I’m not interested in the frozen juice and I’d rather have fresh juice than eat the orange.”
WRAPPING IT UP
Studies conducted at Yale University Hospital have shown that there is a chemical in the oil of the orange that acts as an antidepressant. Similarly, the ultimate and timeless statement of Orange in flower essence form is that life is a dream. Loved ones will forever pass in and out of our lives, touching and transforming us in their own unique ways. A parade of events will endlessly shift before our gaze, like bits of glass in a kaleidoscope. Today’s sorrow will be but a passing memory tomorrow, just as yesterday’s greatest pleasure is now but a pleasant souvenir of the moment.
Yes, we may have suffered serious abuse at the hands of the ignorant or the unwise. But this, too, can pass. Our lesson is to learn kindness from the unkindness of others, and to move forward with hope. Orange’s song, then, is the joy of living, loving, and letting go. With enthusiasm, we can transmute resignation and bitterness into acceptance. The poverty of a sense of loss becomes the vast richness of experience that brings us more perfectly into alignment with our own highest potential.
|ORANGE||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Avocado||for thoughts and emotions that cloud our mental outlook||for remembering that joy is the core of our life|
|Cherry||for passing moods||for an energetic understanding that joy on all levels is our true nature|
|Coconut||perseverance through a wide range of tests not necessarily involving depression||stamina with tests that are especially heavy or emotionally trying|
|Pear||for emotional balance||for the ability to survive trying times no matter how severe; for major catastrophic events|
|Spinach||to aid the inner child who suffered an unhappy childhood||to vibrationally remove the residual effects of a dysfunctional childhood|
Seek counseling or other forms of constructive help.
Join a support group to band with others going through similar difficulties.
Join an organization where you can give help and support to those who are going through the same or similar tests that you have overcome.
Practice viewing your life-especially the particularly difficult parts-as a passing dream. Do so without reacting emotionally, as if it’s someone else’s life you are observing.
Find happiness in the little things in your life, gradually expanding to bigger ones; reading a favorite book, planting a flower garden or jogging with your dog.
For this exercise, you will need to stand in front of a mirror.
Look into the reflection of your eyes. What do you see there? Are they laughing, sad, contented or disgruntled? Now look at the shape of your face-its contours, its features, the texture and color of your skin, and the way you hold your head and shoulders. What does your posture tell you about yourself? Are you self-confident? One-pointed? Contented?
Having assessed your body language and facial expression, place the tip of each index finger at the corners of your mouth, all the while studying the face staring back at you. Push the corners of your mouth upward, forming a smile of sorts, or at least the beginning of one. Now place your hands at your sides, maintaining the expression. Allow the smile to glide over the contours of your face like a cloud leaving a sunlit trail in its wake on a hillside. In the physical process of smiling, let your face be bathed in the exhileration of this smile.
Watch your reflection as the smile reaches your eyes. Observe the change in your energy, your posture and finally your heart. Now, repeat the following affirmation.