Keywords: Simplicity, Guilelessness
(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Qualities: Simplicity, Guilelessness
Message of Self-Mastery: Childlike zeal; without guile; trust; sense of wonder, awe, playfulness; freedom; adventurousness; carefree nature.
Pattern of Disharmony: Stress; feeling burdened or overwhelmed; mild distrust to paranoia; for an unhappy or dysfunctional childhood; “worry wart.”
Whatever comes to me is for my highest good! I welcome it!
|Respectful of life||Pure|
|Attuned with nature||Playful|
|Appreciative||Without guile or pretension|
|Innocent||Satisfied with simple things|
|Free-spirited||Lover of animals|
|Desirous of exploring||Nature loving|
|Discontent||Unhappy childhood roots|
|Afraid of aging||Mischievous|
|Taking oneself too seriously||Overburdened|
“On the second or third day of Spinach, it seemed that my attitude
had relaxed and become a little more playful. Because I currently have
a high-pressure job as an aerospace engineer and am in the process of
a divorce, Spinach helps me with childlike qualities.”
-JN, Mountain View, CA
“I love Spinach and feel it may be my theme essence. Just after taking
it, I felt very meditative, then spacey and then euphoric.”
-JS, North San Juan, CA
“I took Spinach to help me deal with the death of a close loved one.
I felt stressed, on edge, emotional, depressed. On the second day, I experienced
an increase in creativity, healing dreams and a comical perspective
on the situation.”
-MG, Palo Alio, CA
“I gave Spinach to one of my clients-a skeptic. She confided that
she woke up the next morning ‘feeling like a little kid.'”
-JS, Sacramento, CA
“When I take Spinach, I remember the things 1 did as a child that
brought me joy. My husband even commented, ‘You’re just like a little
-LD, Salt Lake City, UT
“The child is father of the man.” -Wordsworth
History records the origin of spinach as Iran and neighboring countries. This vegetable made its way to America in the 1800’s. Spinach is a quick-growing potherb. A leafy green plant grown solely for its foliage, it is an annual of the goosefoot family, because its leaves are shaped like goose feet. Small, yellowish-white female flowers grow in auxiliary clusters once the plant bolts, its green male flowers growing on the two-foot-high leafy stem. Spinach is especially rich in vitamins A, C and iron. As a dark green, leafy vegetable, it inhibits cancerous cell mutation and its manganese content is helpful for diabetes. Abundant in therapeutic value, spinach strengthens the lymphatic, urinary, intestinal and digestive systems.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Placed in Quadrant I’s fourth house, Spinach bespeaks both simplicity and playfulness. Spinach captures Cherry’s joy and adds its own two cents’ worth of delight. Whereas Cherry symbolizes song and dance, Spinach represents fun and games. This vegetable, made famous by Popeye the Sailor Man, vibrationally allows the child within us to come out and play.
Although the first-Quadrant essences are both childlike and “springish”-the lighter side of the Spectrum-Spinach sports no lack of depth or importance in the grander Spectrum scheme. It’s gentle, feminine nature expresses a profound receptivity to life. Spinach lays the necessary groundwork for the loved child to mature into the loving adult. Fun-seeking Spinach is aptly placed in this Quadrant; it is the necessary precursor to Peach.
There is a saying that angels fly because they take themselves lightly. This also describes being in the positive Spinach state. Carefree but not careless, light-footed but not light-headed, Spinach is the child of our Spectrum. The jokester, the punster, the incorrigible humorist- Spinach, similar to Cherry, makes us laugh. Laughter being the best medicine, as authorities tell us, did you know that one hundred bellyaching, side-splitting laughs provide the aerobic equivalent of ten minutes of rowing? That’s one way to get yourself in shape!
All of us can benefit from Spinach at one time or another in our lives. It’s the great lightener of burdens. Spinach integrates a sense of play with responsibility and wonderment with acceptance. To understand this essence more fully, watch children at play. In the positive Spinach state, life is a game-and that game is pure fun.
For indications of the presence of Spinach qualities, look into children’s eyes. Even the eyes of baby animals reflect that sense of innocence, trust and play. We might in fact call a baby elephant-our weight many times over-“cute.” People in the positive Spinach state are like children. They relate to their environment, including their own bodies, with an attitude of, “Wow, this is really something! Let’s see what I can do with it.”
As Lord Byron lyricized in the early 1800’s, “Ah! happy years! Once more who would not be a boy!” To answer his rhetorical question- the individual manifesting the negative Spinach state. The glories of youth as portrayed by many a poet are considered undesirable to those in the negative Spinach state. These poor souls, alas, are too busy, too important or too worried to pay attention to the precious life stage of childhood.
One of the sad “occupational hazards” of the work environment in today’s world is stress. The dictionary defines stress as “strain or pressure, especially a force that strains or deforms.” The psychological deformities caused by stress, such as worry and nervousness, can feed chemical poisons into our bodies, triggered by the brain. Warning signs in the physical body-such as headaches, indigestion, high blood pressure and knotted shoulder muscles-mean it is time for Spinach. To remain free of “worldly wisdom,” pretentiousness and affectedness, this essence of guilelessness is paramount.
At the end of the first day of a holistic trade show several years ago, a woman came to our booth with a splitting headache caused by the visual overload customary to these events. We shared a few words and then I mentioned Spinach-not for the headache, but for feeling overwhelmed and sensorily bombarded. (As previously explained, flower remedies do not directly address physical symptoms.) She returned the next day with one of the most frequent responses to the essences, saying, “After taking Spinach, I felt like myself again.” She explained how she had decided to walk to the auditorium instead of driving that morning. As she approached the metal spikes at the parking lot exit point with the warning sign, “Do not back up: severe tire damage,” she thought, “I wonder what those feel like”-and then gently stepped on them, out of sheer curiosity. It was a very “Spinach” thing to do!
Much attention is being given these days to the concept of the inner child and the quality of the childhood that we experienced. If it was dysfunctional-meaning that our psycho-physiological needs were not met and nurtured in a healthy way-how then can we grow into functional adults and be expected to carry on normal, healthy relationships? Spinach addresses these unmet needs from childhood that, sooner or later, can manifest as dysfunction.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
The Spinach theme is truly fun-loving. Easily spotted by a playfulness in the eyes and a contagious, slightly impish smile, this theme is overtly childlike-and sometimes a prankster or slapstick comedian as well! He tends to draw out the child in others and will make friends readily. Several summers ago, I attended a picnic with a Spinach theme girlfriend. Although in her early forties, she had found her way into a watermelon seed-spitting contest with a group of children. The other kids didn’t stand a chance of beating her.
Spinach themes enjoy role-playing and dressing up. Similar to Cherry themes, they like to tickle our psyches. Their humor is delightful, though, to be honest, not always profound. And they are usually the first to laugh at their own jokes-that by the way, are not always funny. Their gait has a weightless quality no matter what their age. Their bodies, even if older, retain a youthful air. Spinach themes relish the simple things in life, shying away from extravagant tastes while possessing a boundless ability for enjoyment. In their presence, you will feel delightfully refreshed-and notably younger!
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Winnie The Pooh
- Robin Williams
- P. G. Wodehouse
- Kevin Kline
- Peter Pan
- Tom Sawyer
- Ed Wynn
- Laurel & Hardy
- Victor Borge
- The Three Stooges
Who but Edward the Bear, a.k.a., Winnie-the-Pooh, can we profile as an idyllic Spinach theme? None other than Christopher Robin’s fuzzy friend who believes that honey was created for one purpose only-him. Pooh personifies the simplicity of Spinach at its most charming. “Let’s go and see everybody,” he says. “Because when you’ve been walking in the wind for miles, and you suddenly go into somebody’s house, and he says, ‘Hallo, Pooh, you’re just in time for a little smackerel of something,’ and you are, then it’s what I call a friendly day.”
In this story the innocent Pooh goes to visit his friend, Owl, just to wish him a Happy Thursday-a perfect “Spinach” greeting. Being a blusterous day in the Hundred Acre Wood, his companion Piglet worries that a tree might fall on them. Pooh responds with flawless, Spinach-like trust, “Supposing it didn’t.” His reply reveals the uncomplicated mind of a true Spinach theme-too simple to even warrant a sub-theme!
CONFESSIONS OF A SPINACH THEME: IN RHODA’S WORDS
“Any quirks? Well, this is probably just my love of fun and the whimsical. I see things in a different light than most people. I mean, I go to the grocery store and I look at how the vegetables are shaped, you know, and I see little stories happening. So I keep myself very entertained and amused. But I enjoy beautiful things, and I’m very visual. I just kind of see the world that way. I have fun. I think you have to take yourself lightly for all the other stuff that comes your way. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, then you can handle the traumas that happen to you in a lighter vein.
“I had a very nice childhood with two very loving parents. I had a wonderful time-a very good school experience and lots of really good friends. You hate to say it was an Ozzie-and-Harriet life, but it pretty much was. I grew up in the 1950s. It was a good time to grow up, before the drugs and all the heavy-duty stuff started. I was brought up to be very responsible. And even though that’s good, it can hang you up as much as being a ‘flake’ all your life.
“I would say that I’m a trusting person. And I stay away from stress by not putting limits on myself. I can do so much when I don’t set limits. I’ve watched people come into the store to work and get stressed out. They say, ‘Gosh, I’m really tired today, or ‘I can’t do this today.’ And I would see that pretty soon they don’t have any energy! Mentally, we sabotage our own energy. And it’s a socially acceptable thing to do. It’s so easy to complain, ‘Oh, yes, I’ve worked so hard.’ I think we’re really not as busy as we think we are. It’s just a matter of where we put our priorities.
“Oh, yes, I do like spinach – as long as it’s not canned. I seek it out occasionally. We even grew spinach in our garden at one time. It’s a nice, good leafy vegetable-good color, good shape.”
WRAPPING IT UP
Spinach is a plain and uncomplicated plant, ready for the table in a mere forty days. It grows in cool weather. Yet for all its simplicity, Spinach offers a wealth of vitamins and minerals. In addition to its rich physical nourishment is its abundance of essence qualities. Its depth lies in its awareness of the importance of taking ourselves lightly, living without guile, and enjoying all the seasons of our lives.
“Call not that man wretched, who whatever ills he suffers, has a child to love,” wrote the poet Southey. If that child resides comfortably within us, so much the better. Spinach, then, could be described as “bottled childhood.” It offers us the opportunity to recapture our youth and rejoice in the delicate play of life. Spinach profiles a consciousness of simplicity through the child emerging, and the child healed.
|SPINACH||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Almond||for stress due to overextending one’s energy||for a tension-free, fun-loving attitude|
|Cherry||cheerfulness from the absence of moods and cloudy emotions||to awaken our developmentally nourished childlike spirit|
|Orange||for an abusive childhood||to vibrationally remove the residual effects of a dysfunctional childhood|
|Peach||for the unconditionally loving mother||whole parent, whole child, within the same individual|
Play games with children.
Spend time in the sun-with lots of sunscreen!
Visit the zoo or a pet store.
Go camping or backpacking.
Go to places frequented by children-the ice skating rink, roller rink, water slide park or children’s matinee.
Go to a magic show; ride a hot-air balloon; visit the circus or amusement park.
Sit quietly with closed eyes. Imagine that you are reaching upward, grabbing a pleasant experience from your childhood-much like taking hold of the string of a helium-filled balloon. Whatever the memory, allow the details to drift; hold only to the pleasant remembrance of that memory’s spirit. Perhaps you feel a warmth, a sense of security, a calm assuredness that all is right. Whatever that feeling, bathe yourself in it now.
Let the quality of simplicity surround you like a springtime breeze in mid-afternoon. Simple, carefree, trusting: these are the colors of childhood. These are the qualities washing from your thoughts all stress, over-concern, and overwhelm.
Now relax even more deeply. Visualize yourself at the foot of a small forested hill. The sun-cloaked pine branches beckon you forward. A few yards ahead, a young speckled fawn dashes onto the footpath, startling both of you. It freezes; you crouch down slowly. The fawn responds to your inner voice that says, “Don’t be afraid. I’m as curious as you.” Her tiny ears draw back in timid wonder. Too young to know fear and sensing your gentleness, she steps forward and sniffs your outstretched palm. As she does so, you look into its eyes, so new to this world. You see in them the innocent joy of youth and the simple magic of childhood.
Embrace the memory of the fawn’s eyes, again like taking hold of a balloon. Re-member that you, too, cradle a child inside.