by Jane Ellen
Editor's note: the following is a narrative of the process of essence selection developed and utilized by flower essence practitioner Jane Ellen of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jane uses the 103 Quintessential North American Flower Essences and the 38 English flower essences with her clients.
Listening and feeling for what is presenting itself
FIRST TIME FLOWER ESSENCE CLIENTS
If it is a person’s first flower essence consultation with me, I ask them to bring to the appointment a completed “Client Background Information Form” (created by FES). Together we discuss the information on the form until we agree that I’ve heard them accurately, helping to clarify and refine my understanding of their intentions.
Next, I spend approximately ½ hour offering educational information on working in-depth with flower essences. Part of this education involves offering handouts on flower essences, most of them written by FES, including the Five-Flower Formula brochure, the Y.E.S. brochure, and an article entitled the “Four R’s” written by Patricia Kaminski. I briefly tell them what each document is about, and suggest they read through all the materials to deepen their experience with their flower essence therapy. In addition, I include a handout of my own regarding general tips about caring for one’s dosage bottle, dosage instructions, and a few tips on how to stay present when significant movement is occurring with one’s “blend.” I also include a feedback form and invite them to let me know what worked well for them during the session, and what might not have worked well for them. This is something they can mail to me.
For in-person sessions, the client and I enter into a dialogue with one another, discussing what they want to address at this particular time in their life. If they are unclear about what they want to focus on, due to overwhelm, etc., I draw on my communication and intuitive skills to assist them in exploring what may be presenting itself at this time. Together, through this respectful dialogue, the theme or topic calling for attention always finds its way to the forefront.
As I listen to the specific language of the client as they are sharing, I make note of single words or phrases that stand out to me. This involves “listening” for the specific words that are included in the Flower Essence Repertory in the “categories and cross-reference” section of the book, in addition to listening for specific language that points to individual essences. Oftentimes people use a word or words that are the exact words used in the Repertory to describe an essence. For example, if I heard, “I am such a do-er and a planner:” both of these words are used to describe the beautiful essence of “Dandelion.” I also respectfully note expressions or adjustments in body posture, as well as in voice, skin-tone, eye contact, and/or mood. All the while, I am actively “listening” and “feeling” for any flower essences that want to step forward to offer their support. Part of this listening occurs on a body-level for me, such as suddenly feeling tightness in my throat, signaling the possibility of the Larch essence, or pain in my heart, signaling the possibility of Pink Monkeyflower or Bleeding Heart, or my brain feeling “swollen,” indicating the possibility of White Chestnut. If I hear or feel an essence presenting itself as a possibility, I jot down its name so that I remember it when we are ready to begin exploring specific essences together.
When I have the sense that the client has shared all that feels important in that moment, I ask if they feel ready to begin to explore some possible flower essences. It feels important to me to be sure they understand that together, we are listening for the most resonant essence(s), and also to know that I support them in feeling empowered throughout the session, while consistently building on their ability and comfort level in trusting their own Inner Knowing.
If I’ve noted an essence or essences to explore, we begin with them. If I did not note any specific essence while they were sharing, but instead I noted words that described their feelings, I begin with that specific category or cross-reference in the Repertory…scanning, listening and feeling for what essences step forward as I scan. I make note of any that show up, and we then begin to explore each one together.
I begin by drawing a card from the Affirm a Flower set of cards corresponding to the specific essence we are going to explore. I hand them the card and invite them to look at the color photograph of the card, watching for their response upon first seeing it. This is often so very informative. Sometimes, they will be deeply drawn to the color of the flower, or its shape, or its name; other times, they recognize the flower, have had it growing in their garden, or have it in a favorite painting, etc. On some occasions, they may feel discomfort in looking at it, and yet always feel drawn to learning more about it.
Next, I invite them to turn the card over and read the affirmation on the back, while noticing how they feel emotionally and physically as they read them. Again, this is a very informative time for both the client and me. The responses to the affirmations are as varied as to the photographs: sometimes tears are shed, other times bursts of laughter fill the room, and at times, the tone is serious and they express their inability to imagine feeling what the affirmations are invoking. I wait for them to make eye contact with me again…allowing them ample time to “experience” the energetic offering of the card. The cards are SO powerful in this way! I can’t imagine working without them! I just value and appreciate them deeply…and so do the clients!
At this time, I ask the client if they feel enough “resonance” with the flower to explore it further. If not, I ask for further information such as, what about it does not resonate, and what would make it feel more appropriate? Sometimes a new essence will reveal itself at this point. Most often however, they feel enough resonance to explore the essence further.
Trusting my sense of what will support each client most genuinely, I determine whether or not to incorporate the questions offered in the FES “Assessment Guide.” For some, hearing the questions presented for the flower essence we are exploring makes all the difference in the world, and this will be a strong determining factor for them, assisting them immensely. When this is the case, there will often be playful responses such as eye rolling combined with laughter, and replies such as, “I ALWAYS feel that way!” For others, it is an unnecessary step because they have an easier time trusting their own feelings, and do not need the additional tool. And for a few, hearing too much information ignites an over-analytical response, making it increasingly more difficult for them to “feel” what resonates. In those cases, I don’t use this resource.
The final step in choosing essences involves reading directly from the Flower Essence Repertory about the essence(s) we are discussing for the client. I begin by reading the “patterns of imbalance” because we want to be sure they “match” or resonate with what the client wants to address. If there is a strong resonance, I then read the “positive qualities,” watching for the response. Both of these steps are also tremendously informative. We all know the relief of finally feeling “heard,” and having a language for what we want to express. If together we’ve found a resonant essence, it is apparent in the client’s response and of course, that response will be as varied as each client, AND as varied as each “moment.” If they feel there is a strong resonance after hearing the patterns of imbalance and the positive qualities, I then read the entire paragraph description to them slowly, and encourage them to really practice being present with themselves and their own Knowing as they hear and feel the offerings of the essence being described. Again the response is informative, often moving, and entirely affirming of having found a resonant essence.
Once the client says “yes” to the essence, I ask them to hold the Affirm a Flower card that corresponds to the essence. If we decide that an essence is not resonant, they hand the card back to me.
When we feel we’ve come to completion…arriving at the blend that addresses what they want to address, we gather up all the cards and head into the kitchen with the appropriate Affirm a Flower Cards, to make up their dosage bottle.PREPARATION OF THE DOSAGE BOTTLE
We begin with the client choosing the preservative of either brandy or vegetable glycerin for their dosage bottle. I combine the preservative with water from our filtered water dispenser. Our water dispenser has the words “love and gratitude” on it…with the words facing the water. I make up the label for their bottles, using the FES dosage bottle labels.
Next, I invite the client to lay the Affirm a Flower cards for their blend on the countertop in whatever layout they feel inspired to see them in. This seems to be a very magical and empowering time for clients, and another moment of gently moving into relationship with their personal blend. I encourage them to trust however they feel moved to place the cards. This is another informative time for us both. Some clients know exactly what essence they want in the “middle,” which one they want at the “base/foundation,” which one they want at the top of the formation, etc. Sometimes the layout takes the form of a cross; other times they land in a vertical line, other times in a horizontal line. There have also been circles and geometric-type formations. Sometimes one card will be hidden behind all the rest, with just an edge peeking out…when the essence is wanted in the blend but the client is feeling nervous about their work with that topic/essence. Always, there is a moment of such honoring of the courage and strength it took for them to arrive at this place…inviting these specific essences as allies and guides for their sacred journey.
Once the layout is complete, I place the corresponding flower essence stock bottle on top of the card…directly in the center of the flower image. I clear myself through the use of my breath and intention, and say out loud, “This flower essence blend is for (the clients full name), in Santa Fe, NM. I then ask the client which flower they’d like to begin with. Once they’ve chosen, I ask if they’d like to read the affirmation on the back of the card as I place the drops into the bottle. Most often they want to read them and on occasion, they prefer if I read them. (If I read them, I use their first name when reading the affirmations.) I place one drop in the bottle for each affirmation they read…there are typically three or four. When the drops have been added for a flower, I say out loud, “Thank you (name of the essence).” Typically, the client will also spontaneously say “thank you” to the flower. We continue this process until we’ve added all the essences they’ve chosen. (There are typically no more than six essences in a blend; each stock bottle is tapped 7 times prior to opening it; the dosage bottle is tapped 7 times upon completion of its preparation, and is then handed to the client…with blessings.) Clients often feel compelled to receive their first dosage immediately upon completion of the preparation.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, two-thirds of my clients are out-of-state, located in 15 different states, so many of the sessions take place over the phone. Some of these clients have chosen to purchase the Affirm a Flower card sets and when that is the case, we incorporate the cards into the phone session in the same way we would if it were an in-person session. They draw the card as we are exploring the essence, etc., and I also lay the cards in front of me from my own card set so that we are looking at the cards “together” over the phone.
When we’ve arrived at a resonate blend that they want to enter into relationship with, I ask them to tell me what their card layout/position looks like and I make note of it, and use that layout when making up their dosage bottle for shipment to them. I also read the affirmations when making up their dosage bottle, using their first name.AFTER THE SESSION IS COMPLETE
After the session is complete I send, via email, the descriptions of the patterns of imbalance and positive qualities for each of the essences in their blend. I have entered into my computer all the patterns of imbalance and positive qualities for each essence in the Repertory by looking up each cross-reference description for each individual essence. This offers the client a full, round, in-depth understanding of the essences they are entering into relationship with, while also serving as a tool for them to track the movement and shifts they experience during the process.
The clients who have purchased the Affirm a Flower cards have all made altars or designated areas in which they display the cards representing the Flowers in their blend. They will often place their dosage bottles on the altar, while others also include additional items that hold meaning for the specific topics they are choosing to address with their personal blend. They begin in the morning, and end in the evening by looking at the photographs of the flowers and reading the affirmations before or after receiving their dosage of essences.
View a photo of the altar prepared by Kaila and Trisha and read what they have to say about working with the affirmation cards here.
Nearly all my clients remain in relationship with their personal blend for four months…sometimes longer…rarely less than four months…utilizing the information offered by FES regarding the Four R’s.
Some receive several ½ hour sessions during the four-month cycle to assist them in tracking the shifts occurring, and to receive support in staying in relationship with the intentions they set for themselves in choosing to enter into relationship with the particular essences in their blend.
I send personalized monthly emails to all clients, letting them know how many weeks they’ve been in relationship with the flowers in their blend, and remind them to re-read the Four R’s document occasionally to assist them in staying consciously present with the process. They often email me to share how they are feeling, etc.
Jane weaves together the complimentary tools of intuitive coaching, readings, and flower essence therapy. She offers support and guidance in one-on-one sessions, group classes, and workshops by engaging participants in a respectful and compassionate process of exploration, discovery, and creativity. In addition to a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jane provides sessions, workshops, and classes to clients throughout the United States on a continual basis, as well as private phone sessions.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163 fax: 530-265-0584
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