You can vibrate with the energy of a plant without eating it, drinking it, or taking little pills made from it.
Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you.
Read on to learn how to use the Flower Power Oracle!
In my newsletter last week, I wrote about the many ways to work with herbs and how you don’t always have to ingest an herb to get its Medicine.
This came up again this week when a friend was mourning not being able to take her beloved Hawthorn since it’s contraindicated for pregnancy.
She laughed when I reminded her she could work with Hawthorn without ingesting it! She’d read the newsletter, but the concept hadn’t quite stuck. We are so used to taking our Medicine through our mouth!
So I was noodling on how to demonstrate to all of you that you can vibrate with the energy of a plant without eating it, drinking it, or taking little pills made from it.
And then I remembered these super fun “oracle” posts that my friend Nicole Cody creates. I thought “hmmmm… that will be a fun shift from the usual!”
So, in homage to Nicole, here’s a Flower Oracle! Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?
(a blog post with instructions! Ha!)
Choose one of these questions to hold in your heart as you check out the images of the flowers below:
♦ What is my Original Medicine (remember Original Medicine? The gifts you were born with? More on that here.)?
♦ What Medicine do I need in my life right now?
After you choose your question, repeat it to yourself 3 times. Imagine pulling the question from your head and down into your heart.
When you are ready, look at all the pictures below. After perusing all of them, come back to the one to which you are most drawn. Don’t over-think this!
When you have chosen your flower, scroll further down for your message.
Remember, you can work with all these flowers (and many more!) without ingesting them! Pin a photo of the plant over your desk, put a sprig under your pillow, or meditate on the plant either by picturing it in your mind or holding a bit, dried or fresh, in your left (your receiving) hand.
Yarrow’s gift is boundaries and bravery. In Celtic cultures, Yarrow was a warrior’s plant. Not only does she help heal the wounds of war, both physically and psychologically, but she’s a protector. Yarrow transcends the physical realm, helping you unite the will of your soul and spirit with your body and mind. Call on Yarrow when you need to strengthen your boundaries or your resolve!
Rose’s gift is an open heart. She calls forth caring with her scent and her beauty. But Rose does not do mushy love! Rose is upright and structured; she holds space for your heart to be open, not for it to be trampled upon! Rose lets you become a vessel for love, to experience its allure both platonically and romantically, while offering the protection of her thorns. Rose reminds you that love does not mean co-dependency, that love is best when, as the poet Rilke said, you can see the distance between you and your beloved so you can “see each other whole against the sky.”
3. Lady’s Mantle
Lady’s Mantle offers motherly protection. She drapes a cloak of caring around your shoulders and whispers that you can make it through this lifetime, that your soul is whole, that no matter what the physical world has thrown at you, no matter what pains or abuse, you have integrity of spirit. She is particularly wise when there has been trauma. Lady’s Mantle doesn’t demand, she waits for you to find the bravery and fortitude within. She knows it is there, and with her help, you will too.
Selfheal is a wee thing! She is the first ripple that allows healing to begin. She reminds you that one small change ripples outward, creating concentric circles of shift. Selfheal knows how to find that center. Ripple out from here, she whispers. Healing begins here. She is a support to those who are ill, to those who work with illness, and to those who have come into this life with physical challenges. She helps you to know your true self, and therefore, your true healing.
Dandelion is bold and bright and sunny. She pushes through cracks in cement and worms her way through a stone wall’s mortar. Cheerfully. Dandelion’s Medicine is perseverance. But not the perseverance of a martyr. Dandelion is the eternal optimist: like the Fool in the Tarot deck, she is always happy to set off on a new journey, in the hopes of learning more and digging deeper. She is not the airy optimist with no grounding in reality–her roots run deep–and she is the shaman and the buddha, knowing that happiness is an inner landscape and has little to do with where you are planted.
Learning to trust yourself can feel like an act of faith or a cliff dive… or at least a precipice walk.
From this side of the learning curve, it’s easy to think “but whom or what else could you possibly trust? Ourselves are the only thing we have half a shot of actually knowing in this lifetime.”
But not too long ago, I counted on books, science, and other people to tell me what to trust. If I felt horrible on a medication, but the doctor told me it was good for me, I took it. If a food made me feel gaseous and bloated, but it had high nutritional value, I ate it.
I was taught all my life—as many of us are—that experts know what is best.
How do you begin to undo a lifetime’s worth of belief in the high value of fact-finding and expert opinions?
Start with this:
Place your right hand on your heart and then your left hand on your right. Focus on your hands and allow yourself to sink toward your center.
Breathe. Notice how it feels to think from this place (Huh??!! your brain screams. Ignore it.).
Do you have some rose essential oil? If you do, put a dab just above your top lip, under your nose, so that every breath is rose. Can you allow yourself to dive deep into scent?
I remember driving west on I84 through the Berkshires and cresting the mountains as the sun hit the horizon. Sparks and rays of light burst across my vision and my heart… opened.
That is really the best word to describe the expansion. My heart opened like a pupil dilating and opened, and opened.
The world felt so beautiful. Beauty was not a voice in my head saying to me “this is what beauty is. Stare at it for a while and appreciate it.” Instead beauty was a feeling, a rapture filling my heart.
In that moment I learned how to feel and understood clearly for maybe the first time in my life that feelings did not live in my mind—they live in my body.
Trusting in yourself comes from this same place. It comes from knowing the body-feel of “this is right and good and okay.”
Or conversely knowing the body-feel of “Run like hell. Danger Will Rogers!”
These each have a body-feel quite separate from the thought. Trust in yourself comes from knowing yourself well enough to identify and recognize these feelings.
So where to begin?
I have my clients start with breath. Inhale and feel the tiny muscle movements that you usually don’t pay attention to. Exhale and feel the release. That is your body. That is feeling.
Now bring this same level of attention to other daily activities. Things often get really juicy when you bring this level of attention to food.
If you live in the States, then you have grown up in a culture that values the head over the heart or the hands. But each of these facets of ourselves offers its own gifts. This is where self-trust begins.
The Navajos wove a flaw into every basket.
Only the Gods are perfect.
I begin every class by announcing, “Don’t put me on a pedestal. I will fall off and we will both get hurt.”
It never occurred to me to announce this to clients as well (further evidence that only the Gods are perfect!) until I watched a client go into angry melt-down when she discovered my essential humanity.
Our shared humanity is the essence of the healing relationship. The place where we are stronger together, where shift can happen, comes from exponentially magnifying our human-ness.
I know, I know: it’s easy to define humanity by our flaws and sins, by the reports on the nightly news and the lowest common denominator of our behavior.
But part of the joy of being human is being the skin-suit for a spark of the divine, for creative energy. When we harness the creatrix within, change happens; we begin to choose our emotional and mental lives, creating our perception consciously.
When I am working with a client, we connect with each other from this place of human essence… not because I am a stand-in for an absent mother, an abusive father, or an omnipresent God.
The “pedestal people,” those who hoist me up and expect me to live up to their expectations, are often stuck in a need for perfect. Their perfectionism creates both self- and outward criticism, topped off with a dash of righteousness.
It does to me — I’ve been there.
Here’s what I know helps:
Perfectionism often goes hand-in-hand with over-thinking, stress, rigidity, or “lack mentality.” The best medicine: train your brain. Negative thoughts release a hormone cascade that encourages more negative thoughts. Catch yourself and redirect your brain.
When I hear a negative thought zipping through my frontal lobe, I consciously say to myself Do you really want to think that? And then redirect the thought along a more positive route.
Until you get used to this, chasing your brain around all day can be exhausting, so reach for some herbal support:
If your mind is on a gerbil-wheel, try Passionflower tea.
If you have what I call “Bully Brain” (i.e., your very fearful amygdala is running the show), try Milky Oat tincture and Rose tea.
If your thoughts scatter six ways to Sunday and your perfectionism is an attempt to keep control (especially if you are ever tempted to try some kid’s Ritalin), try a bit of Gotu Kola tincture (and let me know how it works for you!).
For rigidity in the body, try Wood Betony tincture; if it’s in the soul, try Willow flower essence.
If nobody can do it as well as you, you need Oak flower essence. Like, now.
And beware of the pedestal. It’s a long drop… and somebody’s going to get hurt.
Think of yourself as a seed, deep in the Earth’s dark soil.
What do you dream of becoming?
Do you know your passion? Your form? The shape of your flower?
How will you embody joy in the year to come?
Join us on a Joy Ride as we envision the new year, together, with joy.
For the next 3 weeks, I will be unrolling a process that will help you to release parts of your life that do not serve you and begin to Envision 2013 with Joy.
Each weekend, for the next three weekends, you will be given another piece of the puzzle.
Together we will ride the energy of the seasons, using the days around the Winter Solstice to release (as the days grow shorter) and then envision (as the days lengthen again) so that by the time the calendar year changes to 2013, we are all ready to ride a wave of joyful intention into the year to come.
Are you ready to begin?
Here is your homework for this week:
Step #1: Start each day by opening your heart (so that steps 2 and 3 flow with ease).
My favorite heart-opener is rose and there are so many ways to let her speak to you:
- put of drop of rose essential oil over your heart
- tape a picture of a rose (or many roses) on your bathroom mirror
- find a rose screen-saver
- have a cup of rose tea
- savor a few drops of rose petal elixir… or rose conserves… or rose syrup
- have a square of a rose chocolate bar
- put a drop of rose essential oil on the palm of your hand, and rub your hands together. Place them over your nose and inhale. Breath in and call-in joy, breath out and release what no longer serves your life and happiness.
Step #2: Get in touch with what makes you happy and what brings you joy.
Sounds simple, huh? And yet so many of us lose track of our happiness.
Move past the surface things. Move past what you think brings you joy and look instead for what lifts your heart.
For example, I used to get great joy from horseback riding so last year I leased a horse. Twice a week I dragged my butt out to the barn and took Cody for a spin in the woods. Secretly, I was bored and a bit annoyed at myself for creating this commitment. But I thought that horse back riding in the woods should bring me joy so I kept at it for far longer than I should have.
So dig deep, and ponder your joy.
Then collect words and pictures and poems and songs….
Collect with abandon. If it whispers to you of happiness, pull it closer. Print and clip pictures that inspire you (or use Pinterest. If you don’t know how, my friend Tanya is the Digital Sophisticate and she has blogged all about it).
This is not a time for restraint, this is a time for celebration! Later we will hone and refine and clarify.
Right now, dive deeply in joy.
Step #3: Every day notice one thing that you don’t want to bring into the New Year.
This can be an actual thing: like the grease-covered toaster you inherited from Aunt Hilda that burns every piece of bread that’s ever been dumped in it gullet, or it can be an emotion or a behavior (like being snotty with your mother when ever she comments on your clothing. Yes, I know she was snotty first. Let it go.)
Keep a running list of things to release. Fill notebooks and journals. Hoard only spaciousness and levity.
The only thing I ask is that you do this work by hand. There is a special connection between your hand and the page that is not replicated by typing on the computer. Plus, I want you to have a real-world, pulp-and-fiber, touchable document.
After teaching all day my business coach, Christine Kane, hangs out by the stage so that we can each snap a photo with her.
She nails the smile every time.
As I waited for Andrew to turn his phone into a camera, I asked Christine how she did it, how she remained genuine photo after photo.
She told me that she lets her heart shine through each time the camera is pointed at her.
One of my Cherokee teachers once told me that our job, during this Earth-walk, is to learn to be human.
I’ve worked with shaman, who taught me how to travel the spirit realms. I’ve studied with mystics, who helped me connect with my highest-self.
It’s pretty easy to be your highest self when you’re hanging out in the spirit world.
But back here on Earth, I have emails to answer, the dog to walk, and a chain of expletives to spew at the dude who just cut me off.
Until I met Christine Kane, it was pretty easy to segregate my highest-self from my everyday-self. I think I truly believed that my soul would be damaged if it knew how much time I spent on the computer.
After all, no one taught me how to connect with my highest self while, at the same time, being fully human (and embodied and in business) on this Earth-walk. No one ever taught me to align everyday action with my soul’s purpose.
I had been told what to think, but not what to do.
So, here it is, the big secret:
Get committed: Step up, step in, be present.
Get clear: Cut through your own drama, the story you tell yourself, and the assumptions you make. Be an observer of yourself. I get loud and fall into hyperbole when I am uncomfortable. How ’bout you? What’s your self-defense mechanism?
Get support: Cause you need someone, who isn’t you, to point out when you’re buying your own bull.
Get accountable: There’s nothing like having to report to someone else to help you get the job done. I sometimes have my clients text me when they have completed something so they know that I know that they’re on it!
Set-up systems and structures so you don’t spin your wheels re-thinking the same situation, over and over.
Break it down into small, do-able steps…. and then commit to taking them, one at a time.
And, of course, use your beautiful botanicals to support you through this process:
- Dandelion for adaptability.
- Rose to come into your heart center.
- Milky Oat to sooth the nerves.
- Passion Flower to halt circular thinking.
- White Chestnut Flower Essence to help your brain cut a new groove.
- Pine or Spruce Essential Oil to ground your feet here on Earth, while your soul stretches skyward.
Finally, and most importantly, let your heart shine through, whether you are hugging your honey…. or simply smiling at the camera.
P.S. This was a tough post for me to write because I am still trying to understand, for myself, why Christine’s coaching is so spot on for me. Do you have a teacher or mentor who really speaks to you? What is it that is working so well for you? Comment below!