Flower essences as a means for
by Dr. Marina Angeli
“Healer, heal thyself”
Flower essences, like all energy means of self-transformation, are as we all know, selected on an individualized basis according to the specific personal situation of the person in need of them. So, also therapists and healers of any kind will have to “work with themselves” following their specific needs in choosing the flower essences which promise to work best for them in dealing with particular issues of their personal and professional life. However, certain flower essences appear to be useful to practically everyone who wishes to further develop and enhance their therapeutic efficiency and healing skills.
Developing intuition and going past the “barrier” of the analytical mind
In the Western world, already from an early age, our society and educational systems tend to orient us to function as “left-brain” individuals. Western people and scientists in particular, are taught to almost entirely rely on the functions of the left part of their brains, which pertains to reason and analytical thought processes. They do so even in dealing with issues of a non-logical, non-analytical nature, such as various philosophical matters or the realm of emotions and of the soul . Although practically all important discoveries—therapies being among them—have been a product of both accumulated knowledge as well as inspired research and intuitive pursuit, later on in an effort to keep them in a scientifically correct context they tend to be practiced in a rather mechanical, often stereotypical manner. This discourages many therapists from using the ability for truly original, spontaneously inventive, “right brain”-led styles of therapeutic interventions. Nevertheless, all those working in the field of therapy know about the big difference that exists between the “charismatic” practitioner and the academically highly-accomplished expert. In practicing therapy, the former is able to “instinctively” do the right thing in the right moment—often without being able to explain why; the latter has a rich, profound theoretical knowledge that covers the specific field.
A combination of both types of skills—a combination of knowledge and intuition, the ability for both learned and direct access to healing information—is, obviously I speculate, a prerequisite for those who aspire to become truly holistic in their approach. Flower essences can be of great help in this process, thanks to their ability to enable an energy re-arrangement of the perceptual inter-relations and mental-emotional mechanisms. This produces immediate results with no effort other than the eagerness to accept, integrate and will to live with a much broader sensitivity and understanding of life and of oneself.
Flower essences for the development of intuition
Many flower essences have proven helpful in the pursuit of this goal, given their ability to remove obstacles in the process of increasing and encouraging talents of intuition, inspiration and other right brain qualities and aspects of consciousness. Among these essences, a fundamental essence in my opinion is the well-known English flower essence Cherry Plum. With the acceleration of the “flow” that this strong energetic catalyst is able to provide, one can become able to gradually remove rationalizations and left-brain analytical patterns of interpretations that stand in the way of one’s understanding oneself and one’s life. This is a process which enables the mind to directly access subconscious realms and draw “raw,” “first hand” emotional information, invaluable for self-realization and understanding reality.
Based on my experience, I believe that this can be a very good flower essence for any therapist to start with (unless we are talking about an exceptionally “open”—in terms of energy—very intuitive person, who has not compromised the least of his/her intuitive capacities through his/her family and social upbringing, scientifically-oriented education and academic background). A few weeks or even months of using an essence like this may dramatically transform a healing-arts student’s ability to proceed with experiencing energy, loosening the logical mind’s defenses and doubts about the reality of “undetectable” phenomena such as “energy fields,” “intuitive understanding,” etc. Another positive effect is the increase in the therapist’s capacity to work with soul issues—in oneself at first and then in others also—in a sensitive, authentically profound way, thus completing a qualitative transition to a more holistic approach to one’s work.
Further enhancing this process, the flower essence Star Tulip will increase the psychic receptivity and the ability for direct soul communication with oneself and with the patient. The Yellow Star Tulip will maximize the therapist’s ability for empathy without the risk of over-identification with the patient, while at the same time give him or her the ability to intuitively “feel” beforehand, the impact his/her words and actions are going to have on the patient. The Iris flower essence will inspire the healer to help out in the expression of emotions through art (in art therapy, but also during the initial phases of soul expression in any other kind of therapeutic approach), opening a way for the expression of creativity and the will for participation in life through the awakening of the primordial creative element that lies within every man.
Performance and the feeling of being “efficient” as a therapist/healer
Self-confidence is of course a very important issue in the therapeutic field. Quite a common problem, especially among young therapists, is the insecurity and fear that they don’t know much or enough, that they can not rely on what they know, and that they need constant guidance and supervision. In these cases, the Cerato flower essence will exceptionally improve one’s ability to be in touch with one’s own knowledge, experience, reason and intuition. It will help one to realize, remember and become aware of what one already knows, intuitively feels and perceives, so that one becomes able to proceed with confidence, without the panicky feeling of having “nothing to hold on to.”
Bach flower essence Larch deals with the classic case where one lacks self-confidence, either in general or in the face of a new venture: in these cases, one feels that “others” are “by definition better” than him/her. Elm is appropriate for the already adequate and/or experienced therapist or healer who suddenly loses her/ his confidence in front of a difficult case or when facing heightened work challenges: for example, in anticipation of an important work meeting, a change in the working environment , a promotion or any other situation that seems about to “shake” the therapist’s well established work rules, standards and obligations, threatening him/her with failure.
The flower essence Vervain restores measure, confidence and calmness when stress is produced by the very high demands the healer has on himself, feeling that he has to be an overachiever and/or that he needs to “save” the patient at all cost. That same flower essence will help the one who deep down thinks nothing less than perfect is enough for him or her in order to consider him/herself a competent therapist or healer. Vervain also, along with Pine, can help the person who tends to easily feel guilty about the natural limitations of his/her ability to be of help to his/her clients. In addition, those in need of Vervain will tend to feel guilty every time they fail to persuade their clients on making necessary changes in their life-style during therapy sessions. Both those in need of Pine and Vervain will find it hard to tolerate and to forgive themselves for their inevitable, human deficiencies and mistakes. Heather will help balance, mature and liberate from dependency on other people’s judgments, approval and acceptance; it is for those persons whose egos are tested when they think their efficiency as therapists or healers is being assessed, while at the same time they wish to be successful, acknowledged and accepted by their own circle.
The Vine flower essence is appropriate for the healer who has the tendency to exert direct power by getting pushy in trying to show the right direction, and ends up exercising psychic power over others. Larkspur functions as a decisive reinforcement for the one who, while s/he is called to assume a responsible or leading position as a healer, supervisor, teacher etc., finds him/herself unable to identify with a leading, authority role. On one hand, s/he is eager and enthusiastic, while on the other hand, feels scared, hesitates and agonizes over if and how well s/he is going to cope, either by reaching the point of saying no, or by making a huge and exhausting psychic effort in order to cope. Rabbitbrush will help those therapists who tend to easily see things as too difficult, demanding and complicated and they get stuck or delayed because of their tendency to attend too much to details, manifesting traits of an obsessive-compulsive work attitude. Cosmos, when needed, will help co-ordinate the thinking and speaking processes, the expression and the articulation of ideas.
The need for maintaining and renewing our forces is definitely an area where flower essences can play a catalytic role. The therapist or healer who gets exhausted, burned out, overloaded and overworked either because of excessive feelings of responsibility and enthusiastic service or simply because of a tendency for hyper-energetic performance, will be assisted in her/his pursuit of a more balanced mode of productivity with the use of the flower essences Vervain and Aloe Vera respectively. Oak will turn out to be a valuable ally during times when we feel tired and overburdened by responsibilities, while Hornbeam will counterbalance fatigue due to a lack of interest, as during phases of monotonous repetition at work, and Olive will “recharge our batteries” during or after circumstances when excessive work is inevitable without any possibility of getting the necessary rest. Heather will be of extreme help at those times when we are not emotionally available to others due to personal, family or other issues that make us turn our interest into ourselves and become self-absorbed in the effort to deal with these issues. At such times we may have difficulty in really focusing our interest and attention on our clients and it is at these times that the Heather flower essence can be of great help, allowing us to “forget ourselves” at work and to adequately adjust to our work’s demands and respond to the clients’ needs. Wild Rose will build up our strength by making sure that we do not give up in the face of difficulties while maintaining a vivid, full of interest participation in the events that take place at our working environment, etc.
Mood protection and protection of the personal energy field
It is only natural that the constant occupation with problems and serious cases of physical and/or mental health ailments, leads to a point where sometimes one can be negatively influenced in their mood and/or state of personal energy.
At these times, the flower essences Crab Apple (for “cleansing” our personal energy) and Walnut (for defending and reinforcing the energy barriers, so that it is not that easy to be influenced and affected by the mental and/or emotional states of other people) are really valuable. The flower essence Yarrow plays an equally important role in the protection of and in keeping our energy field (aura) intact during the frequent contact with intense, inharmonious mental-emotional and/or physical conditions.
For flower essences that enhance and help us in maintaining a cheerful psychic attitude one could suggest among others, California Wild Rose for a feeling of interest, well-being and pleasure at work, Zinnia for becoming able to also view the funny side of things and provide ourselves and our clients with the blessed quality of lightness, humor and laughter, Borage for courage and light-heartedness that uplifts and enhances a good mood, and Gentian for maintaining an optimistic view on life, along with having faith in a positive outcome.
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