The Quiet Roar of Confidence

Be a kind and compassionate person. This is the inner beauty that is a key factor to making a better world.”
—Dalai Lama

 “Look well into oneself; there is a source of strength, which will always spring up if you look.”
―Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,
or any experience that reveals the human spirit”
―E.E. Cummings

“Confidence is courage at ease.”
―Daniel Maher

Natural Confidence
There is no right or wrong way to look at the human condition we call Confidence. To look at it in its totality, it isn’t an either, “you have it or you don’t” experience. Some people are naturally confident; they simply sail through life with easy, breezy social comfort, while others, in varying degrees, can be paralyzed by social interaction.

It can be how we come into the world, naturally shy or outgoing, or how we mature and grow with age and experience, and how we can develop the courage to challenge ourselves to stretch our limits. In my own life I was a normal, social teen, but when it came to public speaking I was off the charts inhibited. In my high school in Northern New Jersey there were two unique courses you had to pass to graduate, and they turned out to be pretty important ones, too. One was typing, I believe you had to type 30 words a minute to pass and the other was public speaking. Typing came easy, but public speaking was my nemesis. Since I had no choice, I rallied and stepped up in front of the class to face my fear. I can remember the feeling, decades later, of standing in front of the class with my classmates’ eyes piercing into me, judging me. With my heart pounding I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to remember even one word of my speech. But, I had planned for exactly that to happen, so I took a deep breath and blurted out the title of my talk and allowed words to flow. There were other times that I worked through this challenge and every time I finished I was amazed at how effortless it really was. It was the anticipation of fear, not that actual event that held me back. On a more recent event I took along my Flower Essence “Confidence,” and found it helpful to move into the space of, “letting go of the fear,” being gentle on myself and becoming more relaxed in the moment.

There are a few tricks I have learned over the years and “Mindful Practice” is one of them, which can help build self-esteem. Mindfulness brings awareness and with awareness we are more likely to move past our fears and challenges, when they arise.

Try these Mindfulness techniques:

  1. Take a Walk: While you are walking be the observers of everything around you. The great Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, has lived and taught this simple exercise his whole life … he says, “Each mindful breath, each mindful step, reminds us that we are alive on this beautiful planet. We don’t need anything else. It is wonderful enough just to be alive, to breathe in, and to make one step. We have arrived at where real life is available—the present moment. If we breathe and walk in this way, we become as solid as a mountain.”
  2. Live Consciously: Enjoy each bite of food, experiencing the texture and taste. Be aware of the daily ups and downs, be the observer of them without being the reactor.
  3. Make Meditation Moments a Habit: Meditation at certain times of the day is a great way to establish a peaceful presence and space in your life. At some point in time each moment can become your meditation. When you are stopped at a red light and you’re late for an appointment, notice your feelings without resistance. If you can’t make the red light change, there is nothing more to do than accept the situation.

With practice, mindfullness helps put your life into perspective. It takes into consideration your natural personality, appearance and what you are doing in the moment as you move through your life experiences. It can be recognized and accepted with ease and grace or resisted bringing pain and sorrow. It’s also helpful to understand the cognitive-behavioral patterns you have about physical beauty, so you can learn how to alter them and use new ones to support self-esteem.

Self-Esteem and Body Image
Who among us is totally happy with our imperfect body. We have so many held beliefs about physical beauty, attractiveness and aging.

  1. Appearance Beliefs: These beliefs are most often created by how other people see us, but you can learn to define yourself

 in your own way. Try writing down a few of your physical and personality aspects that you like the best, not what other people may find attractive. This can place physical beauty in perspective, showing you that the essence of self-esteem is based on both personality and physical characteristics; and more often physical beauty is not the main aspect of our identity.

“We are always the same age inside.”
―Gertrude Stein

  1. Attractiveness: We often confuse attractiveness with flawlessness. No one can look perfect all the time, it’s a belief supported by media-driven concepts. Acknowledging that variability, rather than perfection, is an innate aspect of true attractiveness can be very helpful. Turn this around, an exercise to try is: write down a few of your physical features that you feel may be attractive to others, do this in full sentences. It helps to determine your core sense of identity, which pertains to what you perceive may make you attractive. I know this can be challenging, because we often only see our imperfections, especially as we age, but try and find something, perhaps your smooth skin, thick hair, lip shape, eye colors, a part of yourself that is at the core of your own self-image? This exercise can help you view yourself through the lens of other people.
  2. Positivity: Since “we” often find the most faults in our own appearance, it’s good to perceive your inner negativity and replace it with more positive and realistic feedback. A good example of positive words is in the experiments of Dr. Masaru-Emoto of Japan, who captured “expressions of water.” Dr. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs that had been exposed to loving words reveal brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts form incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The astounding implication of this research created a spectacular awareness of how we can positively impact our well-being and sense of who we are, just by our thoughts.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
 but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

―Maria Robinson

Take a Few Self-confidence Moments
Why not try this little experiment for a few weeks.

1. Sit in a quiet space.
2. Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind.
3. See what comes up when you ask yourself what can you do each day to make yourself a more grateful, kind and appreciative person.

What comes up for me is:

  • Be more patient.
  • Nonreactive.
  • Do thoughtful, quiet deeds that no one else knows about.

These are obviously little things, but they add up and show you what you may miss about yourself, what you can do to boost self-esteem. This experiment can foster a natural self-confidence and even transform a negative concept of yourself into a positive force.

Try Something New and Challenging
By challenging yourself you stretch the limits of what you believe yourself to be. If you are thrust into a situation that demands a change, or demands you stick it out, you can push yourself and discover that it’s okay; you’re okay, after all. Be brave and daring.

“Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives,
and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day.”
―Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Surround Yourself with Good Company
It’s a simple concept, but being around negative, depleting company is simply no fun. A part of getting back the quiet roar of confidence is knowing you hold the power and promise to be around positive energy that uplifts and propels you to be the best you can be, in whatever circumstance you find yourself. It may mean taking the reins to let go of people who don’t uplift you. When you are surrounded by uplifting friends it is a natural confidence enhancer.

Confidence in its essence can be looked at as being yourself, totally … accepting yourself with all your seeming flaws and acknowledge all your wonderful qualities, too.

Florique Essence Roll-ons: Confidence … Glow … Change

Understanding the Marriage of Flower Essences & Aromatherapy

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the Lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”
—Buddha

The Early History of Using Natural Botanicals
In late medieval times, the world was filled with mystical images. “As above, so below,” was a Hermetic principle which expressed the relationship between all that is large and infinite (macrocosm or universe-level), all the way down to the smallest and finite (microcosm, or sub-sub-atomic).  In the twelfth century, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) authored, The Book of Subtleties of the Diverse Nature of Things. She studied plants, trees, animals, birds, and human behavior and compiled her finding in this treatise on the natural world, the therapeutic powers of natural substances, and the doctrine of plant signatures. Hildegard’s views stemmed from the Greek four-element theory, a concept which is based on fire, air, water, and earth. As with other medical practitioners of her time, Hildegard believed that illness stemmed from an imbalance in the humors and elements. She believed that prescribing the Hildegardappropriate plant or natural substance would correct the imbalance and was the ideal way to restore health.

Then, almost four centuries later, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), the most famous advocate of signature plants (which takes into consideration the particular type of flower, where it grew, its color, scent, and its use for healing) arrived on the scene. This Swiss citizen, who later adopted the Latin name Paracelsus, published the literary work titled, Doctrine of Signatures. During the first half of the sixteenth century, Paracelsus travelled throughout Europe, Asia, and to Egypt, curing people with his natural remedies. He regularly experimented with new plants and always searched for natural treatments and solutions. Paracelsus stated, “That which is looked upon by one generation as the apex of human knowledge is often considered an absurdity by the next, and that which is regarded as a superstition in one century may form the basis of science for the following one.”
These theories and doctrines are found in mainstream medical texts far into the nineteenth century.

Other Early Proponents
Giambattista della Porta was also a strong proponent of the theory of the doctrine of signatures. He was probably born in Naples shortly before the death of Paracelsus. His family surrounded themselves with distinguished men of the time and entertained prominent philosophers, mathematicians, poets, and musicians. He eventually wrote a book about human physiognomy, which incorporated the idea that the inner qualities and the healing power of herbs might also be revealed by external signs. This led to his famous work, Phytognomonica, which was first published in Naples in 1588. Both Paracelsus and Porta did not like the use of foreign drugs introduced to the body. They felt that the country where a disease arises can also host natural remedies as a means to overcome it. This idea is one which constantly recurs throughout the herbal remedy books of that time.

Jakob Böhme (1575-1624) was a shoemaker from Görlitz, Germany, who claimed to have had a profound mystical vision as a young man, in which he saw the relationship between God and man revealed in all things. His writings and artwork were influenced and inspired by Paracelsus, the Kabbala, alchemy and the Hermetic tradition. He wrote, Signatura Rerum (1621), which was translated into English and named, The Signature of All Things. This spiritual doctrine was applied to the medicinal uses of plants.

Additional examples of this early doctrine come from the seventeenth century botanist and herbalist, William Coles (1626-1662), author of, The Art of Simpling and Adam in Eden.   Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654), an early herbalist, described in his book, Complete Herbal, the medical use of Foxglove—the botanical precursor to digitalis—for treating heart conditions. He also spoke about the doctrine of signatures as common knowledge and its influence in modern herbal lore. 

Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was a French historian and philosopher who expressed a wider usage of the doctrine of signatures in his book, The Order of Things. In it he writes: “Up to the end of the sixteenth century, resemblance played a constructive role in the knowledge of Western culture. It was resemblance that largely guided interpretation of texts. It was the resemblance that organized the play of symbols, made possible knowledge of things visible and invisible, and controlled the art of representing them.”
                 

Worldwide Flower Essences
Going beyond geographic boundaries our innate relationship with nature spans cultures: from the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, to the early settlers of the African plains; from the ancient Egyptians, who perfected the art of aromatherapy, to the thriving Ayurvedic culture in India; from early natural healing practices throughout Asia and South America, to the North American Native Peoples’ integration of nature and spirit. 

Looking at the historical background and early folklore of using botanicals and the essence of flowers, we find that it documents the understanding of plants and flowers core healing properties. Various acclaimed, worldwide flower essences families available today, include: Bach (English), Australian Bush, Bailey (English), Alaskan, North American (FES), and Himalayan.

“The Bush Essences themselves have a tremendously important role to play. They are powerful catalysts for helping people heal themselves.  These essences allow people to turn inward and understand their own life plan, their own life purpose and direction. They also give people the courage and confidence to follow that plan.”
—Ian White (founder, Australian Bush Essences)

The Significance of Bach Flower Essences
The art and science of using Flower Essences, as a complementary therapy, seemed to have simply receded into the background of medical usage, until Dr. Bach (1886-1936), a British physician, brought it back from obscurity. Dr. Bach observed thirty-two different plants and discovered that their flowers had specific Dr. Edward Bach Photocharacteristics that correlated to similar emotional states. He also found, like the early explorers that the dew on the flowers become impregnated with the plant’s subtle and energetic healing properties. To reestablish what nature had revealed to him, Dr. Bach created a way to transfer this energetic dew by immersing the morning dew-laden, freshly picked flowers in spring water and exposing them to sunlight.

 “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
—Walt Whitman

The Power of Positivity
Flower Essences use vibrational imprinting of its essence to help bring balance and recognition of the innate happiness and inner harmony that is our natural state. They can help us to break free from the ongoing loop of day-to-day emotional challenges.

It has been recognized that a strong vibration influences a weaker one; a negative thought can be more powerful than a positive one, but the opposite is just as true. Since Flower Essences are living, positive vibrations, they initiate a condition that can elevate us in a positive way, like an inspiring message or peaceful presence, which moves us and uplifts our spirit. Then, like a mirror, we reflect the presence that we are exposed to.

EmotoA good example of the power of positivity is in the experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan, who captured, “expressions of water.” Dr. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water revealed changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs that had been exposed to loving words revealed brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, form incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implication of this research created a spectacular awareness of how we can positively impact not only the earth but our personal health and well-being.

The History of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants and is released into a carrier base, which can be an oil or cream. It’s the art and science of stimulating the olfactory nerves to balance and harmonize body, mind, and spirit.

The French perfumer and chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term “aromatherapie,” as far back as 1937. In his book, Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy it contains very early clinical findings for using essential oils for a full range of issues. He coined the word Aromatherapy to distinguish it from their perfumery applications.

PoppiesAnother word for aromatherapy is “attar,” which is Persian/Arabic and means, “fragrance, scent, or essence.” Attars have been used in the Near East, Persia, and India for over 5,000 years and are known as primary or foundation scents. Archaeological digs in ancient India have revealed round copper stills that were used for making attars; these stills are called degs. Following the seasons of the flowers, traditional attar-makers, with their degs, traveled all over India to make attars on the spot.

Indian attars and aromatherapeutic extracts use a variety of extracting techniques to capture the pure oil of plants. Beginning with ancient healers throughout the world, these fragrant oils were and continue to be used to enhance mood, adjust emotions, and uplift the soul. They are used to treat the whole person: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Using aromatherapy in conjunction with flower essences is a great marriage. They blend and work together in a perfect synergy.

Everything is Happiness

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,
the whole aim and end of human existence”
—Aristotle

What Really Makes People Happy?
Everything is happiness. We certainly know what makes us unhappy but when it comes to happiness it often seems fleeting and temporary. As a human race, after a spell of happiness we seem to be just an event away from landing back into the illusive realm of unhappiness. It’s like observing a cloudy day but failing to acknowledge the sun always hidden behind the clouds. Or the Jewish mother lament and superstition, which is, “Oy, if I talk about my happiness it may be taken away.”

This seesaw of happiness and unhappiness goes on all the time; we often perceive, on the surface, what we want from the situation we find ourselves in, creating concept upon concept. If we could turn both happiness and unhappiness inside out or simply see them in a new light, then the unhappiness we think we have lost is transformed into the happiness which has always been with us.

“I don’t let go of concepts – I meet them with understanding.
Then they let go of me.”
—Byron Katie

The Four Questions
The teacher Byron Katie has an exercise she calls, “The Work.” Her method of inquiry is based on four simple questions and the process is called a “turnaround.” When a specific problem arises we can frame it with these questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

When engaging in this inquiry keep in mind a belief or thought related to the specific topic that has or is causing anxiety or unhappiness. A good way to proceed with this experiment is to write down the question and the responses that come from asking each question. After answering the first three questions, the thought which was causing your unhappiness is literally turned around to its opposite, with the last question of, “Who would you be without this thought?” A simple summary of Katie’s work is: “Judge your neighbor, write it down. Ask four questions, turn it around.” This method helps to unravel the “so-called” problem, without adding a new one. In the end, when the “thought” no longer bothers us—happiness is the natural result. It’s simply a new way of seeing. And this is not a new concept. Buddha, Lao-Tzu and Socrates spoke of living in the present without regretting the past or anticipating the future.

“Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now.
What are you? This moment.”
—Socrates

“If things do not turn out as we wish,
wish for them to turn out as they do.”
—Aristotle

The Healing Power of Flowers
Through the years I have worked with a variety of healing creams that can help one remain happy and present. The creams include a variety of Flower Essences and Ayurvedic Attars that bring us back to the place we have always been but just forgot. It’s the place where we stop complaining, resisting, or trying to change, the place where we are free to just be. And what a relief it is. Why carry luggage on our head as we drive in our car, when we can simple deposit it in the trunk and let the car take the burden.

We may not be used being in this state of natural happiness because stress has become our normal home. But we have all experienced moments of peace, when the mind’s problems stop its silly dance and it’s in those moments of being present, when happiness floods us like a river.

“Happiness is a butterfly, when pursued, is just out of grasp.
If you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

It has been my own life-long experiment to find happiness in whatever comes. And my own life with Flower Essences has been a helpful key to unlocking this gift. Nature, from which all arises, has also supplied us with its amazing healing balms. I have found that people often give up on Flower Essences just when they are beginning to work. This always puzzles me. Using them takes energy, effort, and consistency. As my appreciation of Flower Essences has grown and transformed through the years, you might just say I am a Flower Essence lotus-eater. I guess that’s true because I have seen, first-hand, its daily gifts and power.

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.”
—Gérard de Nerval

Florique Essence Roll-ons: Uplift … Change … Fearless

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A Case for Conscious Breathing

“All healing originally resides in the human breathing system. “
—Rudolf Steiner

Breath is life and
life is breath.
It is known that viruses and microbes love and thrive on a low oxygen environment. So if we breathe more consciously and raise our oxygen levels they simply can’t survive. It is also noted that during fearful and stressful periods we tend to hold and restrain our breath.

 “Fear is excitement, without the breath.”
—Fritz Perls, M.D.

So when we feel fatigue or are anxious the first thing we should do is remember to breath—it couldn’t hurt and it might just help.

“Ninty percent of metabolic oxygen comes from breathing.
Ten percent comes from food.”
—Gabriel Cousens, M.D.

There is an interesting reference to breathing in the Hawaiian word “ohana” which in a modern sense means family, but when tracing it back to its origin means, “people who breath together.” At the turn of the century when missionaries (who they looked at as strangers) landed on the islands, the Hawaiian natives called them, “haoles” which translated to, “people without breath.”

“Emotional and physical states can be altered by changing
the breathing pattern.”
—Wilhelm Reich

A wonderful breath meditation was made famous by Stephen Levine. He called it Soft Belly Meditation.

“Watch breath, soften belly, open heart, has become a wake-up call for mindfulness and mercy, which takes people beyond the mind-body of suffering into a deep peace of their healing.”
—Stephen Levine

Soft Belly Meditation
Very simply the meditation works like this: Find a comfortable spot where you can sit and not be disturbed. The first thing you do is to bring your attention to your body. Feel your breath and the sensation of breathing. After a few minutes bring your attention to your belly and feel the breath that is breathing directly into the abdominal region. With each breath begin to soften the belly; soften the hardness which you feel there. Let go of all resistance, fear and holding—a deep holding that is stuck in the belly. Many levels of letting go and softening will occur. When the belly begins to soften then there is room for true healing.

If thoughts arise as you are doing this, let them come, don’t resist them. In Stephen’s own words he tells us to let the thoughts… “float like bubbles in the vast spaciousness of soft belly.”

Another method of breathing comes from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnam Buddhist monk. In many of his books he asks us to pay attention to our in-breath and out-breath. In a very direct way he tells us that by becoming aware of breathing we begin to feel truly alive. He often leds walking meditations where you walk, breathe and simply be with the movement of the feet and the breath. It may sound simple but just try and do it, try and be completely present with your walking and breathing.

“Let us enjoy our breathing. Breathing in … I feel I am alive. Breathing out
… I smile to life.
To Life… smiling to life.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

In my many years spent practicing meditation and inquiring into the profound meaning of life I have always found that breath holds the key to understanding this great mystery. While working on a selection of Flower Essence cream formulas I came up with one that helps in this practice and doing yoga. I call it “Meditative Spirit.” It includes some essences from theHimalayasand works with the breath to help focus the mind and embrace the peace which is within us.

If we allow ourselves to breathe deeply and powerfully we can heal ourselves in the most natural way both physically and mentally.

“The peace that passeth all understanding …
do not be anxious about anything.”
—Philippians 4:6-7

While practicing conscious breathing we can also take note of where we constrict ourselves, where we hold and resist during life’s daily ups and downs. Flower Essences can help to open us up and when we are open we stop creating road blocks. We have to learn to be children again and begin to discover what is new in what we so often overlook as ordinary. Then our breath will follow our heart in its natural rhythm, the very song of our soul.

Florique Essence Roll-ons: Mindful … Uplift … Change

 

Change is Gonna’ Come

“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”
—Oprah Winfrey

I met Hannah when she was in the midst of extreme turmoil. Her marriage was ending, the work that she loved most in the world was no longer relevant in today’s marketplace and her daughter just started college, a two-hour plane ride away. “What else could go wrong?” she asked me with tears streaming down her face. My question to her was, “Tell me one thing that is going right.” She thought about it, “It’s something I haven’t thought about in a long while.” Then she discovered three blessings in her tattered life. “Okay,” I said, “Let’s start from there!”

Whether it’s a life detour, career bump, relationship challenge or health issues what we all need to learn from, accept, and embrace is the changes in our life. We really don’t have any choice in the matter. We can work through them or be miserable. Endless worry can break down our immune system just when we need our health the most.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
—Jack Kornfield

So, what can we do to “go with the flow” of change, to not resist what is happening in our lives, whether we like it or not. When you live in the moment, you have potential for real self-transformation. One of my favorite quotes is from Rama Tirtha, a Hindu mystic/poet who died in 1906: “Every little bit of experience is an occasion for a leap into the infinite.”

“Easier said than done,” you may say.

Here are a few hints to ponder as you ride the seeming storm of change:

Remember the Serenity Prayer
“Change what you can, accept what you can’t and have the wisdom to know the difference.” If there is a solution to the problem, try it or you’ll never know if it would have worked. Remember the song from the 1936 Fred Astaire musical, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” Be accountable. Finally, if you can’t do anything about it, then you have no choice but to relax and let go.

Let Go
When we are in a compromising situation we often tense up. If we could just stop and take a deep breathe, what a difference it makes. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh lives this message and speaks of it eloquently: “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

Be enthusiastic: There are some techniques which show us how to be more positive, to allow ourselves to see the glass half full, to live in a vibration of joyful energy. Then enthusiasm returns, as if it never left, because it really didn’t go anywhere anyway. We just forgot to look; it’s like searching for the necklace that is around our own neck.

Listen to your Intuition
Our own authentic inner voice is always speaking, often we simply aren’t listening, or we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves to hear it. But we are our best advocates. Who knows you better than yourself?

There is a classic Taoist story about change:

Near China’s northern borders there was a man well versed in the practices of Taoism, his horse mysteriously wandered away. So he consulted with his villagers, but no one knew what had happened to the horse.

“Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing,” said his father.

After a few months, his animal did come back, along with another five horses from the north. Everyone congratulated him.

“Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a cause of misfortune,” said his father.

Since he was well off and enjoyed taking care of his prized horses his son became quite fond of riding and eventually broke his thighbone falling from one of the new horses.

Everyone commiserated with him.

“Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing,” said his father.

One year later, the northern tribes started a big invasion on the border regions. All able-bodied young men took up arms and fought against the invaders, and as a result, around nine out of the ten men died. This man’s son did not join in the fighting because he was still recuperating from the broken bone, both the boy and his father survived.

Blessings and Misfortunes Come and Go
Change is not always logical. It may make no sense, but it doesn’t have to, it is just what it is. It seems that when we are finally settled into something, unsettling happens. That’s because change is inevitable. When we build up an arsenal of tools to accept change then we can begin to move forward without the constant fear or dread of changes’ grip on our lives. We hold the power to be truly happy both mentally and physically.

As a flower essence practitioner I work through the issue of life changes a lot. It is often the first element in the laundry list of problems that layers the challenges we are currently working on. A few of the flower essences and aromatherapy oils that I often go to for issues with change are:

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a
changeless core inside them.”
—Stephen R. Covey

You can change the body’s physiological response to change, restructure thought patterns and begin to welcome change; in simple terms you can become nonresistant. When an unexpected change in plans occurs allow yourself to feel uncomfortable with it. Don’t try to detour your feelings; don’t resist them. Just be with them, as detached as you can be in that moment.

Three Tools for your Acceptance Arsenal.

1. Deep Breathing
Stress often creates tension in our bodies and when our bodies soften our mind can follow.
A simple yoga exercise (savasana) often used at the end of a yoga session, helps to relax one’s muscles. Sit in a quiet room in a comfortable chair or lie down on a mat. Rest your hands in your lap or on your stomach and keep your legs uncrossed. Close your eyes and begin to tense different muscle groups, one at a time. First tense your arms, then your legs, next move on to your abdomen, and then shoulders, neck, jaw, eyes and forehead. Hold the tension for about 10 to 15 seconds, and completely release. While you’re doing this focus on how you feel with your muscles tensed and then relaxed.

2. Bio-feedback Cue
Using a simple biofeedback cue can be a powerful relaxation trigger during periods of change.
Use a special cue that reminds you to relax when you feel unraveled. It is good to do this in the beginning before the unraveling spirals out of control. Take a deep abdominal breath and hold it for 10 seconds. Say the word “relax” or use any word(s), such as “let go” as you exhale deeply. You can make this a practice each day or use it when something pops up, at any time of the day, whether you are sitting on a bus, waiting on a line, or taking an exam.

3. Create a Life Metaphor
We all have life markers, times when we were in the midst of dramatic changes and trials, and we all survive them. This too shall pass!
As an example I will share one of my own life metaphors from over twenty-five years ago. We had just come back to the states after a two-year stay of producing a book for the government of India. We arrived with almost no money and no prospects for work. For a while we stayed with friends and then we finally found some work. But we were starting from scratch, every dish, towel and pot had to be bought anew. I discovered a small patch of dirt in front of our apartment; it was early spring and the hint of warmth was around the corner, I thought about growing tomatoes. The challenge was I couldn’t afford the tomato plants for another two weeks. I lamented my fate but I had no choice but to wait. So I waited. When I finally got my first paycheck I bought two tomato plants and some planting soil. With a large kitchen spoon I dug a hole and planted the seedling. I watered it and watched it grow everyday. It was a miracle to witness the tiny flowers, and then discover the little green ball of a baby tomato and to finally pick the first ripe sphere and eat it with relish.

These small plants produced an astounding amount of tomatoes that first summer back. It also became one of my life metaphors, one that I can go to when things seem bleak. Take a memory hike and cull out a metaphor in your own life, one that worked out in the end, one you can go to when things get tough.

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”
—Victoria Holt

Right now in my own life there are major life changes going on, as I’m sure there are in your life too. So as citizens of life we all get to put “acceptance” into practice every day, often moment-to-moment. So, the next time an untimely change occurs in your life, be like an actor on stage. Have your cue-cards ready, step into the spotlight and meet your audience with a smile. At the end of the day take a bow, go to sleep, and in the morning light be ready for the next performance.

Florique Essence Roll-ons: Change … Fearless … Uplift

Navigating the Mind Fields of Daily Stress

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity,
I would have to say, ‘avoiding worry, stress, and tension.’
And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
—George F. Burns

A Flower Essence Experience
As a flower essence practitioner and aromatherapist, Anna Marie came to me with blinding headaches; the first question I asked was what was going on in her life. As we talked she revealed her issues were three-fold and all related to financial difficulties. As a freelance interior designer jobs were slowing down while the bills kept on coming, her husband was on medical leave, and there was no telling when or if he would be able to work again and to top it all off her son was still in college and the money was running out. I had no specific answers for her life issues; they would have to resolve themselves. But we did some exercises to put these challenges into perspective. We took a piece of paper and wrote down the possibilities of how to bring in more money and how to downsize her bills and then the last thing we did was write down the worse case scenario and how she could live and work through it. This effort was done to work on her sense of helplessness, she felt she was in a hole and there was no way out. Through this exercise she discovered a number of things she actually could do. In the immediate moment what she really needed was to reduce the stress in her life that was debilitating her body and mind, compounding everything. The last thing she wanted was to add drugs to the mix, that’s the reason she came to me in the first place.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
—Chinese Proverb

A Perfect Solution for Stress Reduction
Flower Essences can help diminish stress levels so that you can move forward in your life and once stress in under control the immune system is restored; harmony and balance is reestablished. I worked with Anamarie giving her a number of flower essences for anxiety, exhaustion, excessive worry and helplessness. I also added aromatherapy and some powerful stress relief practices as a holistic complimentary therapy. Within two weeks, she was feeling better, more positive and her headaches were slowly fading away. She was able to implement some of the marketing strategies we explored to get her freelance work back on track. The main result was that she began to accept her challenges rather than resist and combat them.

Especially, in today’s uncertain times, we can all relate to the fact that stress can literally wreak havoc on aour body’s systems. Yet, with new and emerging wellness options and alternative complimentary paradigms we can make healthier lifestyle choices and discover an enhanced quality of life to face any challenges that may come our way.

Flower Essences to Help with Stress
Flower Essences are herbal infusions that uniquely address emotional and mental aspects of wellness. In simple terms, it is a tincture harvested from nature; an imprint of its core essence. Essences fortify, support, and stabilize one’s emotions. The results range from renewed energy and the ability to identify new insights in a positive way.

 

“With subtly developed body awareness, it is possible for the individual
to become the conscious orchestrator of health.”
—Jean Houston

Aromatherapy to Head-Off Stress
Essential oils are inhaled into the respiratory and olfactory systems offering psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. The aroma of a natural essential oil stimulates the brain to trigger a reaction.

Orange: The scent of orange helps to promote calm and relaxation. In one study, when the essential oil of orange was diffused into the air it was found to have a relaxing effect on people in a dentist’s waiting room. This was compared to a control group who sat in the waiting room without any aroma. It was also noted that women, in particular, felt lower levels of anxiety and a more positive mood when exposed to the orange oil. Hint: For an afternoon snack, peel an orange. Before eating the orange and discarding the peel, take a good, long whiff of the strong aroma that emanates from the pith inside of the peel, which contains its essential oil.

Lavender: One of the best oils for heading off stress is lavender. It has been found to increase alpha waves (found in adults who are in a relaxed state), in those people who inhaled the essence of lavender. In one study the individuals who received the lavender treatment were more relaxed and calm. In another controlled trial in Ireland, it was found that long-stay neurology hospital patients felt less psychological distress and improved moods when they used the aromatherapy treatment, which included lavender, as well as tea tree, and rosemary.
Hint: Keep lavender hand cream in your workspace or burn lavender candles.

Take an Aromatherapy Break
In times of stress if you take a few deep breaths while inhaling a soothing essential oil it can produce an almost immediate sense of calm and relaxation. For a quick and simple aromatherapy break put a drop of a single essential oil or a blend onto a tissue and inhale.

Managing Stress through Conscious Awareness
In the 1970s the philosopher J. Krishnamurti coined the terms “the observer” and “the observed.” Becoming the observer of life rather than its prisoner is very liberating. When we become the observer we let go of our intense attachments and step back to simply observe without judgment and labeling. It may not be easy at first since we have been conditioned to label and judge from our earliest childhood. But we can begin to make the practice of observing a natural habit.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very
moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
—Oprah Winfrey

Practice
When you find yourself confronted with a challenge, or before the normal reactions set in, turn it around and see if you can see it from the nonjudgmental perspective of the observer rather than the participant. It’s like sitting in an airport and watching the “show” of people coming and going, witnessing the happy reunions or strained relationships playing out in front of you. But they do not affect you in any way. Make your own life the witness to the play in front of you.

“Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.”
—Zen Proverb

Energetic Essence Roll-ons: Upliftment … SleepWell … Transitions … Fearlessness