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As winter approaches I, like many I'm sure, find myself shifting inward toward a more introverted version of myself. Reading, journaling, soaking in a hot bath are just a few of the rituals that find greater expression in my life at this time of the year. Against the austere backdrop of winter, my inner landscape seems to become more vivid, rich and expansive. The lesser known places in my soul find illumination – inviting exploration, emotional clearing and greater alignment with my own personal truth. I've found flower essences to be an essential companion on this inner journey. At the heart of this system of healing is the understanding that there is a sacred, indefinable place within each of us. The more we clear the emotional and energetic debris, the more we are able to access and move from this powerful place.
First developed by Edward Bach in the 1930s, flower essences work within the subtle energies that shape physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Blossoms are placed in water at peak bloom under the light and warmth of the sun. Through this process, the energetic imprint of the flower is captured in the water, then preserved with brandy. Essences are generally dropped under the tongue or in a bath and are safe for adults, children and animals. Each essence carries a unique vibrational pattern that, when used, initiates a subtle yet transformative healing process. The process of selecting a flower essence can be intuitive, pragmatic or both. Both systems of essences – Bach Flowers and Flower Essence Services (FES) – provide a repertory that describe emotional, mental and spiritual states of imbalance and wellness. Essences can be selected based on the specific issue or pattern we would like to address or state of healing we would like to create and embody.
This year while shifting into hibernation mode, I found a wound surfacing both in my conscious awareness and in the more subconscious realm of dreams. This wound was in the form of an old, old heartbreak – one that, I believe, still affects my relationships to this day. Listening to the voice within that urged me toward healing, I went to the FES Repertory to find an appropriate essence. What I like about the FES system is that many essences are offered for each issue – each one articulating the subtle nuance of the experience in a different way.
For example, in the case of brokenheartedness, Pink Monkeyflower is suggested for someone who wants, “to retain trust and vulnerability despite previous heartbreak or trauma” while Yerba Santa is recommended in a case of, “accumulation of psychic toxins within the heart; deep-seated pain and trauma which blocks the heart from full expression”. These slight differences in the expression both help us to choose an essence and to understand the nature of our wounds in a more holistic way. Cross-referencing is also a part of the FES Repertory and, in my search, I found that Yerba Santa also addresses exhaustion and tension as well as catalyzing expressions of soulfulness and awareness. This manifestation of health and vitality, not simply the treatment of illness, is an essential piece of the flower essence puzzle.
After resonating with the description for Yerba Santa, I searched online for a photo before making my final decision. I found a beautiful flowering bush with a weathered hardness to its roots and branches. Immediately I knew this was a plant that understood the experience of my heart. I’ve recently begun working with Yerba Santa in the morning and before bed. Recommended dosing is 4 drops, 4 times daily or 20 drops in a tub, but that's just a guideline. In the first week I was able to perceive the emotional debris shifting and breaking ever so slightly. Journaling through this process is also helping me to understand my experience from a more awakened and empowered perspective. In the weeks to come, I look forward to exploring this terrain further - knowing that as I clear this old energy, I create a path toward greater alignment with that which is sacred and indefinable within me. From this place of alignment, I've discovered, life takes on a more magical quality and anything seems possible.