FEP27 Disaster Fatigue

We are all experiencing compounding stresses this year, from the Coronavirus and related financial, job, and school stresses. In California and the west coast, we are having severe wildfires causing evacuations and uncertainty, along with smoky air. Taken all together, we are reflecting on the strong need for Flower Essence support to help us stay resilient, hopeful, and kind to ourselves and others.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:

Other suggestions and resources discussed:

Herbal teas – nutritive tonics such as nettles, and nervines such as milky oats, oat straw, passionflower, skullcap or catnip to name a few.

Olive gemmotherapy solution

Books – Mind Over Medicine by Dr Lissa Rankin, and Healing Grief When Disaster Strikes by Alan Wolfelt

Related Episodes:

Show Transcript

Rochana Felde: [00:00:11] Welcome to The Flower Essence podcast and join us on an exploration of the healing wisdom of flowers. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:16] With combined decades of experience in the study and practice of Flower Essence therapy, I, Kathleen Aspenns, and co-host Rochana Felde guide you to reconnect to nature with these potent vibrational remedies.

[00:00:41] [music]

Rochana Felde: [00:00:41] Welcome friends to The Flower Essence podcast. Worldwide, we are now experiencing an extended pandemic with increasing climate crisis and natural disasters on a larger scale than ever before. Every system in our society is in crisis; politics, economics, health care, education, social. Parents are trying to homeschool while still working full time. And the 24/7 bad news cycle keeps everyone in a state of shock and people are at their limits of what they can bear. So we’re seeing complete and total exhaustion, depression, emotional numbness, the effects of prolonged anxiety, grief, and just general ungrounded spaciness in the collective right now. Kathleen and I jokingly refer to this as The Zombie episode that we’re recording today because we just keep noticing the way that this disaster fatigue impacts our own lives, both in little and big ways, often resulting in forgetting how to do just simple things or not being able to process uncomplicated concepts and emotions. So in this episode, we want to offer our stories and messages of support along with the flowers and talk about essences that will help us get through this time. Hey, Kathleen, how are you today?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:19] Hey, Rochana. You are definitely deep, deep into this with your experiences. Just, well, has it been a week now that you’ve gotten home from evacuating after the fires?

Rochana Felde: [00:02:33] Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:33] I really feel for you. And we were talking a little bit ahead of the episode here, talking about how stressful it’s been and to just all the impacts that go down just from that one incredibly crazy, stressful event. Never mind all of the other stuff that’s going on in the world, how are you doing today?

Rochana Felde: [00:02:54] Yeah, just trying to keep my head screwed on. Yeah, so the pandemic, of course, has been affecting everyone so much. And then in California here, we’ve had all of these wildfires that were set off recently by lightning storms, really unprecedented weather events, and there was another wildfire. So those of you who’ve been following along with The Flower Essence podcast, over the last year, might remember we talked about a wildfire in Sonoma County last fall when we recorded our Emergency Essences episode. And Kathleen and I both had to evacuate at that time with the fire getting very, very close to Kathleen’s house.This time, this new fire got very, very close to my house and my husband and I had to evacuate for a week. There were definitely days we didn’t know if the house would remain standing. And it’s been interesting to observe this process because it’s a disaster on top of a disaster on top of grief with my dog recently dying. So the brain fog and the disaster fatigue, it’s really real. I really have been experiencing it and observing it. So yeah, we’re going to talk about that and talk about some essences. And then with the fire, too, you didn’t have to evacuate yourself this time, Kathleen, but were you in a warning or it was– I mean it was not too far from your house either. So I’m sure that brought up some of the trauma from last fall.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:45] Yeah, we didn’t have to evacuate this time, thankfully. But just the prospect of it and just the thought of like, “Oh, God, again.” Having done it for multiple years, multiple times a year, it’s been exhausting. And just the prospect of having to go through that list of like, “Okay, all that stuff needs to go into the car. Let’s get the animals together. Let’s get the things,” and just that worry even though we were able to stay home this time, just that worry of like it could happen again, it really does bring up a lot of that trauma. And I was really relying on essences for myself, and also I was noticing the animals were distressed about it as well. So thank goodness for the essences, but still, it is quite an endurance feat to go through again.

Rochana Felde: [00:05:36] Yeah, that is the one saving grace of my dog passing away before this happened, because then we didn’t have to put her through that and have to find a place to stay that would take a dog and all of the other complications that arise with evacuating with animals. So, yeah, I mean, it sucks that it was her time to go, but at the same time, it was kind of perfect timing.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:05] If there is such a thing. Yeah.

Rochana Felde: [00:06:06] Yeah, yeah. And then since then, since the fire, we’ve been back and the fire is mostly contained, but of course, it’s still burning. And the air quality has been horrible in the Bay Area for weeks and weeks. So that’s another part of this that not being able to go outside and not being able to have those nature walks for grounding, yeah, it just adds another dimension of being able to limit what you can do for yourself. That’s something that I would normally do to get grounded again and to feel better. And so I’ve not been– I’ve hardly been able to go. It’s only been a couple of days of relatively clear air since the fire started.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:59] Yeah, that was certainly something that I really noticed. Having experienced coming on six months of the pandemic and not being able to go about normal daily life, that was sort of the outlet was being able to walk and having that pulled away, felt disproportionately big, like, “Okay, now that, I can’t even have that.” There was a part of me that was really struggling with that because that has been sort of a, I call them my sanity walks. And it’s not just the modern notion of sanity. It’s the classic root of the word sanity, which is of health, to be able to be in nature, and to be able to be outside a little bit was taken away for a period of time because of the bad air quality. And it’s been really a challenge. It’s been a challenge for everybody. Everybody I talk to is really struggling with it, whether or not they were imminently in danger. And that was all over the West. I know people in Santa Cruz who lost everything. It was not just the North Bay that was struggling here. It was a great deal of California, at least that I know of. And quite frankly, when I saw an image of fire map from the whole West was getting hit in various and sundry ways and places. So it was really a challenge, especially with the fire crews not being able to support protecting people the way that they normally would. And also, with the pandemic going on, there aren’t as many people available and there’s issues with that as well. So it’s really been– it’s a tough time. It’s really a tough time.

Rochana Felde: [00:08:48] Yeah, and to top that off, we are really only at the beginning of what they call fire season here in California. Normally, these kind of fires happen later in the season so just the idea of having to kind of stay alert and stay packed with a go-bag and making it through the next few months. And today, this coming weekend, we’ve got more record-breaking temperatures on the way and possibly what they call fire weather. So with the fire not being totally out, the chance for sparks happening. So all of this is– there’s a lot to pay attention to and be aware of and watch whatever news feeds you watch to stay informed. And it is exhausting. It really is exhausting. And then when you hear something about something else happening, it’s like, “I can’t even take it.” When this fire happened, I knew there were fires happening in other parts of the West like Santa Cruz. But it was like, I couldn’t even look at those. I could only focus on my own area and I couldn’t even pay attention to any other news about anything whatsoever for over seven days. You go into a state where you just can’t take it.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:19] And that’s a well-known thing, and it’s normal to have that. And then on some level, we’re kind of beating ourselves up a little bit that we’re not more concerned about other things that are going on in the world, but that’s just part of surviving something really stressful and traumatic that you really do have to dial in to, “Okay, this is my problem. This is what I have to deal with right now.” And you only have so much bandwidth. That’s certainly something that I’ve noticed, is that I’ve had less bandwidth to cope with new things coming up or supporting people in certain ways. It’s like I only have so much available. I’m sure you’ve noticed that with working in projects and you just don’t have as much as you would normally.

Rochana Felde: [00:11:04] Yeah, you have to prioritize. And in this case, you’re prioritizing your survival.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:11] There you go.

Rochana Felde: [00:11:13] Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:14] Yeah. So that, it kind of loops us into the theme, it’s the zombies are us. We’re exhausted and walking around in a bit of a stupor and here we are. But we’re still walking anyways, so. But yeah, it’s kind of a lot to work with. I’m finding that a lot of my clients are, whether they were experiencing the fire or not, so many are feeling really exhausted in general right now. There’s a lot of feelings of depression coming up in my clients in the last few weeks. And each one will tell me that, she’ll say something like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Normally, I’m such a positive person, and I’m just feeling so depressed.” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, you and everybody else. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re experiencing something that everyone is experiencing.” And it is a little funny if you’re not feeling that because it’s a communal experience we’re going through right now. We’re going through a lot of sort of the depths of this entire experience, whether you live in California or not.

Rochana Felde: [00:12:29] Yeah, I’m seeing that, too, a lot with people, the depression, and more reliance on alcohol and drugs to get through it or a lot of binge eating. The sheer exhaustion, especially from the moms I know, is incredible having to do that homeschooling and work a job and deal with the pandemic and then in this– and then, to top that off, being near a disaster zone if that’s added to it, it really is. It’s too much.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:13:10] Yeah, it really feels that way. And so some of the essences that I’ve been offering to people in this experience– and I think that it’s– one of the pieces that I always bring into a consult is that the essences, they’re not palliative in nature really. They’re not something that can take all this horrible away and just make you feel magically fabulous all the time. That’s not what they do. But what they can do is they can help you find moments of hope within this process, find deep wells of inner strength in this process, find places to make choices that support your wellbeing in this process. They help us break patterns of all of these larger world patterns that we’re seeing are symptoms of the system that just doesn’t work for anybody. And so we’re also experiencing that within ourselves, being able to learn how to stop these patterns that are not serving us and realize, “Oh, yeah, this is too much. This is literally too much, and I cannot do this anymore. And it’s going to take a toll on my health.” And the essences can give us the strength to do that. I’ve been thinking about Oak a lot lately, the flower essence from Bach’s Oak, which is– I was just talking about this with a client yesterday. The theme of Oak is the one who takes care of so many. If you look at an Oak, she gives acorns and supports whole ecosystems with her acorns and she’s covered in lichen and birds and squirrels make nests in her. And it’s just she supports a lot. And so women in this time are experiencing this especially, I think; certainly, men as well. But a lot of my clients are women. So I tend to speak more in she terms. But what happens with Oak when she does that for so long is just like with the tree Oak, she gets hollow in the center and she gets weak in the center and she tends to just sort of go splat. And in our ecosystem, we see these oaks just collapsing overnight and just falling apart. And that happened on the ranch where I live with that storm, that electrical storm. We had an old oak that had a hollow center and it just collapsed in that wind. And so the Oak essence helps us to learn what our limits are of, “Nope, that is too much. I need to ask for help. I need to recruit somebody else to do this because if I just keep saying yes to every single task, I’m going to break. I’m going to break.” And the Oak essence helps us to recognize that. It tends to be sort of a long term essence that you think about taking for a period of time, months, let’s say, at least, if not years, so that you can help change these patterns because you can be a wonderfully strong giving person that everybody relies on. But there does need to be a space of you saying, “Okay, that’s about all I can handle right now. I need somebody to step in and help me out.” Is that one that you’re using a lot?

Rochana Felde: [00:16:32] Yeah, yeah. I mean, I find that Oak– when you feel like you don’t have the strength anymore, though, to do what needs to be done, that Oak kind of just gives you that boost, that extra helping hand, not so that you continue on the path of saying yes to everything, but so that as you learn how to balance where you can say no and take care of yourself, that you’re given that strength in the sort of those dark times of great need. And this is sort of a dark night of the soul that we’re all going through collectively and then many people very personally, because the collective, the pandemic, I think has triggered a lot of crises on a personal level that aren’t just about the pandemic, but obviously are triggering some deep stuff in people. And essences have like you say, they’re not herbs that are going to create a direct chemical-physical reaction in the body to help relax. But they’re working to this resonance with the energy of the wisdom of the flowers that help you kind of just have perspective and raise your vibration around these things that are happening. I lost where I was going with that, so. Blame it on disaster– 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:18:27] Disaster brain.

Rochana Felde: [00:18:27] Zombie brain. There’s the zombie brain, yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:18:31] Yeah, Olive is one that I’m sending your way.

Rochana Felde: [00:18:36] Thank you.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:18:40] I think that that’s one that’s in your wheelhouse as well as far as essences that you reach for all the time for that nervous depletion, because nothing like checking in on the the fire map every 10 minutes. And like, “Okay, now the next update,” and you’re getting these adrenal spurts constantly because you are kind of needing to survive on that, but it’s not a great lifestyle as far as long term goes in it. And it does have a hangover at the end. And you could probably speak very coherently or not about that experience very recently. Have you been taking Olive?

Rochana Felde: [00:19:22] Yeah, the adrenal crash is definitely a real thing. That doesn’t happen until you get home and you have a little bit of relative safety. And then that whole time of checking and being on it, it really comes back and bites you, that adrenal crash. What I was going to say before, though, was I also talk to my clients about Nervine herbs that can help with the nervous system. And that’s part of it to really help soothe a frazzled nervous system. And it’s something that I already work with with my highly sensitive clients. And it’s very key now. There’s a lot of herbs that I lean on right now for what we’re going through.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:20:21] Like Nettles?

Rochana Felde: [00:20:24] Yeah. Nettles is very helpful for that sustained energy and then also with the– it’s a natural antihistamine. And for me, that’s very helpful, especially when there’s a lot of toxins around and there’s smoke in the air, Nettle and Quercetin are something that I go to. But for the nervous, the Milky Oats is a really good one to do or Oat Straw as a daily infusion. There are calming herbs that are more sedative when needed, a Passionflower and Catnip. Teas are a great thing to get into if you’re not into the teas. And that’s a really nice way to introduce herbs and start to get their energy.And even though they do, so we talk about flower essences as having this vibrational effect and herbs usually are being taken for the more physical effect, but herbs also are carrying the vibrational energy of the plant and they are a wonderful ally to get both of– to really get both of that.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:21:38] Nature medicine on a continuum.

Rochana Felde: [00:21:42] Right. And what I would say about Olive is that is actually one that I take as an herb for Epstein Barr. So that is a challenge that I deal with. And so personally, I’ve had certain times where I’ve taken Olive quite regularly, and there’s actually also Olive Gemmotherapy solutions, which are really interesting, kind of newer development in the herbal world where they use the stem cells of the plant to make a sort of– it’s almost like a hybrid between an herbal medicine and a vibrational medicine and the way that they’re making it. And Olive herb can be a little harsh on some constitutions taken at the amounts that you need to take to deal with certain issues like Epstein Barr. And I’m working with a naturopath on all of that more complicated stuff. So I’m not just putting out, “If you have that, take this,” kind of information. That’s something that is very individual. And you’d want to work with a professional on your individual case if that’s something that you’re dealing with, just to put that out there. But the Olive Gemmotherapy I really love because I felt like it had the best of both worlds. It felt good to my body from an herbal standpoint. And I also felt the energetics of it like taking an Olive flower essence. So something to be aware of for people who are seeing what’s new in the health care world. That’s one.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:23:24] Yeah, awesome. How cool is that?

Rochana Felde: [00:23:26] Yeah. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:23:26] Shifting a little bit to some of the other essences that we were wanting to talk about today, the FES put out a blog recently about Penstemon and building inner resilience and stamina. And the timing of it was really perfect as far as when I was looking at it because Penstemon is really an essence that’s speaking to this moment of– the Penstemon that they make as an essence grows quite high up in the Sierras and exposed to– it’s in a difficult exposure, let’s say, not in a soft little garden situation. And so it has these qualities of resilience to, I wouldn’t say a hostile environment, but not an easy one. And it has that quality of helping you dig deep in yourself and be able to persevere even when you’re kind of overwhelmed and exhausted, but it helps you get through as you’re needing to. And that’s a word we’ve been using a lot is resilience these days. And a lot of us are getting a little tired of being resilient. But there it is. The Penstemon is helpful for building resilience as well.

Rochana Felde: [00:24:47] I haven’t read that article, so I’ll have to check that out, but I do have some Penstemon growing and it’s Penstemon heterophyllus. I’m not sure if it’s the same one that FES makes. (Note: FES makes the essence from Penstemon davidsonii)

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:24:59] There are a lot of different Penstemons, so probably not. But they’ve been adaptable plants, which kind of makes sense with that pattern. But, yeah, this is a particularly wild one that grows in difficult or a high elevation is the word I was looking for. Yeah.

Rochana Felde: [00:25:17] Yeah. Well, I have to say that this has been a extremely resilient plant because I had it. I’ve moved it from my previous location. It spent a lot of time in a pot. It was planted. I finally homed it in a rock garden type of soil, and it loves it. It’s totally fine in that kind of growing environment. So it has shown an extreme amount of resilience. And I love the purple flowers. And when you look deep inside of them, it’s pretty profound how it looks like a rib cage, the way the stamens shape around the inside of the tubular part of the flower, it looks like a rib cage. And it really spoke to me in its ability to help with taking deep breaths and that breath of life and moving that breath through the body.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:26:17] Yeah, interesting. Yeah, when you’re talking about that, because I’m coming at it from what FES essence is, and I see that as being not in their language, in mine, as being that Liver Qi. The liver is the seat of this kind of will to survive, will to get things done, will to– it’s not the will to live per se, but it’s the will to exert oneself and to push forward and to get it done. And if that will gets stomped on or congested somehow it can definitely end up that your muscles get spasmed and you can certainly see intercostal spasming as well around the rib cage. And so they could be really tight in your ribs and tight in your midsection from your liver, not being able to do what it needs to do. So I wonder if those are all kind of on this continuum of that energetic from that essence. It’s quite interesting.

Rochana Felde: [00:27:21] Yeah, well, breath is life, so that will to– I feel like it’s very interconnected. Absolutely.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:27:31] That’s awesome. So the exhaustion piece is very real. And we don’t want to– we talk about some of the individual essences, but a lot of times I know that with people who are calling me, who are kind of in a crisis, I can recommend some combination formulas that are just really easy, like just not one size fits all, but not far from. And the one that I’ve been recommending a lot is Soul Support, and that’s from the Alaskan Essences. And I have sent out– I don’t even know how many bottles of that I’ve sent out lately to clients and friends and people who are calling who don’t have time or energy for a personal formula. But this is really in the moment of helping give us grounding, give us stability, give us a framework to survive this. And also because of the environment of Alaska where this essence is created, that’s a fire ecology if there ever was a fire ecology. So it has that quality of recovery from fire and stability even when life is chaotic. I know that you’ve used that formula.

Rochana Felde: [00:28:42] Yeah, and I just luckily had that, the forethought to bring it with me as I evacuated. I have it in the mist form, which has that lovely lavender essential oil. And we evacuated to a hotel which had a bathtub. So I was able to take a few baths while we were there and what was– hardly had anything pampering with me. There wasn’t anything very to make me feel like I was in a hotel for a vacation. It was not. It was hotel camping. A little bit different, right? But the fact that there was a bathtub was beautiful. And the fact that I had the Soul Support mist, I sprayed that in the water to have a lavender bath and to bathe in the flower essence. And I know we talked more about topical uses in our Topical episode. And this is just a perfect, perfect way to use that. And it was so great and so versatile to have that in a go-bag. So I would highly recommend packing a Soul Support mist in the go-bag even if you don’t have a bathtub, just to spray around you. But it made a divine bath that really just took my stress several notches down. I could just feel it like an elevator, ding, ding, ding, just going down and bringing that tension down. It was pretty profound.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:30:31] That’s great. And this quality of grounding, we’re talking about this as being an essential element of this whole scenario of supporting yourself through this crisis. So it might be useful to mention a few things that will help people ground and find that grounding, re-find that grounding after working their way through all of this disaster fatigue because it’s just so much. What’s your favorite grounding essence?

Rochana Felde: [00:31:03] Well, for this, you already mentioned Oak, and so the tree essences are always nice and grounding. The stone essences are grounding, the stone elixirs. And I usually like Hematite and Smoky Quartz. Smoky Quartz has been perfect for me for this. And it’s definitely what I see helping others. When there’s that dissociation from the body that it helps to just bring you back in. And it seems to really resonate with what’s needed right now.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:31:41] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I also like the Grounding Green formula from FES. And there’s something, it’s almost like a meta grounding quality that that blend has where it’s helping you ground, not just sort of on a You level of this human here is feeling her feet on the ground and feeling connected to the earth. But it’s also helping us connect as humans to Gaia. It helps us to connect on that greater sense of we are part of this environment. We are part of this ecology. We are part of this planet and to remember that we’re home here. And I think that that’s a useful next step from getting in your body, that’s a good start. And then maybe the next larger, zooming out a little bit more to see how we fit in this framework of life here on this planet.

Rochana Felde: [00:32:41] And it’s a nice one when you’re missing that connection to nature, so we’re missing our nature walks and that sort of helps bring it back in to us.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:48] Yeah, absolutely. 

Rochana Felde: [00:32:51] Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:51] And then there’s the clearing qualities that we’re needing help with because there’s the toxins. Just immediately, speaking of the toxins from the smoke and the fires that we’ve been experiencing, and then if you get out further into the crises, the multiple crises we’re experiencing, keeping your body in field as clear as you can is quite useful in this moment. What are you using the most for the clearing qualities?

Rochana Felde: [00:33:22] Yeah, I’m liking the Black Tourmaline, and that’s sort of what has been a kind of a constant go-to for me in moving that, releasing that negative energy. But I’ve been, since this last few weeks, really feeling the need to just do more sort of purification energetically. And it’s just this feeling of cleansing from the collective detritus. So I’m liking some of the Lemon from Flora Corona. It’s just really uplifting and cleansing feeling in there.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:33:57] The purification, the one you were mentioning, that’s the Alaskan Essence’s formula, the drops and the spray. You were mentioning that?

Rochana Felde: [00:34:05] Oh, yeah. And the purification and that has the Black Tourmaline in it. Also nice, it has a fireweed in it, and we talked about that. The Yarrow Environmental Solution, all the yarrows, I’m always working with. I mean that’s sort of a constant.But one thing I love about the Environmental Solution is that it also has a few other essences in there like the Echinacea, and Echinacea has been really calling to me lately. It’s in a few of the other combination formulas as well. But Echinacea, because of all of the loss and grief that I personally went through kind of one after the other, there’s that feeling of kind of just being shattered. And we talked about this on a previous episode, some of that. You mentioned it being helping to re-constellate the soul, I think were the words used. I just love that imagery and I always think about that. So it seems very valid for right now as well when there’s multiple things happening that are just kind of they’re splitting your being apart, it feels like. And in a way it’s almost like a shamanic death or an initiation that these events can bring about in people and especially when they’re layered. So you kind of feel like you’re just stripped bare and there’s nothing left. And then you have to rebuild yourself and heal that. And this is not necessarily a negative process. It’s a very– it can be. It’s not pleasant at all, but it can be extremely empowering and really help your growth as a soul, in my opinion. So let’s let the flowers help us do that and go through that in the best way that we can. Echinacea is one that helps do that healing and that rebuilding. And same with the Magenta Self-Healer, which has Echinacea in it and Self-Heal and a few other things.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:36:35] Yeah. As you were talking about the Echinacea, and I think that is such an important essence for this moment or sort of plant in general, right? But speaking as flower essence practitioners, we’re speaking more about the essence specifically, but that quality of that re-constellation because our whole way of life got shattered, everything that we knew, everything that we used to just count on in our routines, in our lives. And all of those things got shattered and/or it’s still in the process of being shattered. And so the Echinacea helps you to sort of bring back the pieces that are the right fits right now. And as you were talking about that, I was thinking of the metaphor that’s been getting a lot of traction lately about the butterfly’s transformation. The caterpillar turns into a little gelatinous goo before it re-constellates into the butterfly, right? That’s part of that metamorphosis process. And on some level, I think that is what we’re doing right now, is we’re experiencing the goo phase. And I don’t think any caterpillar ever enjoyed the goo phase, but here we are. And then looping it back, Echinacea is a wonderful habitat plant for butterflies, right? 

Rochana Felde: [00:38:02] Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:02] So there’s a natural coherence there to that quality as well. So it’s an interesting thought to be– I like how you were framing it, where it’s like, “This is not a bad thing. It’s distressing and hard, and it sucks a lot of the time, but it’s–“

Rochana Felde: [00:38:25] It sucks. That doesn’t make it terrible.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:28] That doesn’t make it terrible or bad.

Rochana Felde: [00:38:29] Or bad per se. Right.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:29] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It can be terrible but not bad, right? And it’s just this is where we are. And something I’ve been really meditating on lately is this quality of having to have a positive outlook on everything, having to stay positive. And it’s little bit one of my little bugaboos because I think that it bypasses so much of what’s really happening in your life. Life can be really hard. This time, honestly, it really sucks in so many ways. And one of the people I follow, Lissa Rankin, I like her book Mind Over Medicine, and I’ve been re-reading that as she’s released it again. But she did this wonderful thing on her Facebook page just the other day where she was talking about a topic called Conscious Complaining and wanted to share something that she wanted to complain about, just in this little burst, and yes, we all know you can reframe that and we all know that it’s not good to stay there forever, but in certain times it’s fine to go there. And so she invited her followers to add little things. And I noticed I wanted to participate because it seems like a really fun thing to do right now, to complain a little bit about something that didn’t happen for me that I was really upset about. And I found it so difficult to type in how much something sucked without ending with, “Yeah, but I’m really lucky and grateful.” And just to leave it there and just to be with what I was feeling rather than having to shut myself down in order to fit into this world view of like everything has to be positive. Is that something that you experience too or you–?

Rochana Felde: [00:40:17] Yeah, it’s very difficult because I guess I’ve trained myself over the years to do that exact same thing too. I sort of naturally see the silver lining in things, so. But then, that fear of not wanting to say it like it’s almost like– and this comes from being in the New Age world for so long. I mean, we like to do positive affirmations and we like to think about the power– what we’re bringing to us by the words that we say and all that kind of thing, and there’s a lot of good to that, but what you’re saying is so true, because if we don’t allow ourselves to just have that feeling and that emotion or even that thought, I mean, we’re just bypassing. It’s total spiritual bypassing to not allow that to have its moment of existence.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:41:16] And I have clients who are just in such difficult places and they flogged themselves into needing it to be positive all the time. And like as if admitting that they’re having a really hard time is a failure. And it’s so harsh. It’s so unkind to yourself. If your friend were struggling and suffering, you wouldn’t shut her down and tell her she had to be positive all the time. It’s such an interesting thing that we do to ourselves. And I just feel like I wanted to say something about that because I just see it as being a real challenge right now, because it is a hard time and supporting one another and supporting ourselves in, “Yeah, this is hard,” and being sympathetic and kind and rather than sort of flogging ourselves into false positivity.

Rochana Felde: [00:42:08] Yeah. And I’m reading right now a book, Healing Grief When Disaster Strikes, and that is by Alan Wolfelt, who I’ve mentioned before when we did the Grief episode. He’s written so many books on grief. So I was really happy to find that he had this. And he really talks about the trauma when disasters happen and that you don’t necessarily have to have lost a house or I mean, that certainly could happen or even a person or known someone that’s died from these disasters or from the pandemic and the Coronavirus, but you can still be suffering a loss. There’s this loss and this trauma that’s coming from all of these feelings that are happening, and it creates kind of a psychic injury. So the people who are left to experience these, there’s frightening and intrusive thoughts and through this after and math – and this is like a normal grief response – so he brings into all the ways of working with this as a normal grief response. And I highly recommend his work. I just picked this up and it’s been already, I’m going, “Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s right. We can treat this as a loss. And we have touched on that already in the podcast with the Collective Loss episode. And I think all of the grief episodes that totally applies. But this is interesting and very helpful in the way that he ties it to what’s the natural disasters and climate change, etc.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:43:59] Yeah, yeah. I’m really glad we’re talking about this and I really hope that our listeners – Hey, you – can hear this and find a place of kindness for themselves in this. Being gentle with yourself, ask for help from nature, ask for help from your friends and allies and to support yourself in this, because we do need to do this together. We do need this to do this with nature, and we need to do this with one another and be kind to each other as we go through this.

Rochana Felde: [00:44:35] Yeah, absolutely. Be kind to yourself and be kind to each other. I mean, now is the time for that. If there’s any other time to not get caught up in the trauma drama that’s online, and it’s so easy to snap and react at people with so much stress going on. And it’s natural. So forgive yourself for that and just work to do better, to manage, to acknowledge the stress that you have, that we’re not superwomen or super people that can just continuously be running our business or taking care of our children or our houses or whatever it is that we’re doing. That’s hard in a normal, stable situation, so.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:37] And we’re pivoting our business and we’re developing new income streams. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”

Rochana Felde: [00:45:42] Right.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:42] “Deep breath, people.” There’s only so much you have to do that you can do.

Rochana Felde: [00:45:49] Yeah, it’s one day at a time. It’s one hour at a time. It’s one minute at a time. And we just have patience and go through it.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:46:01] Yeah, yeah. So do you feel like there’s anything else that you wanted to bring into this conversation or–

Rochana Felde: [00:46:07] Yeah, I feel like that we went into this with a long list of essences we could talk about.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:46:15] Always.

Rochana Felde: [00:46:18] Yeah, always. We never get through our list. You’ll have to know that. You just take our word for it. But I really feel like this feels complete to me right now that we covered the general base of what we’re going through and some nice essences to bring into the fold. Was there anything that you think we should bring in?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:46:39] No, I think that we can just hold the space of support for ourselves, for all of our listeners. And just that closing piece of be kind to yourself, take as much time as you can with nature in all the varied ways of support and just hang in there because, yeah, it’s a lot.

Rochana Felde: [00:47:06] Yeah, we’re hanging in there. You hang in there. We’ll all hang in there. We’ll get through it.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:12] All right. Big love to you and– 

Rochana Felde: [00:47:16] Big love. Take care, everybody. Bye.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:25] Yeah, bye.

[00:47:25] You’ve been listening to The Flower Essence podcast with Rochana Felde and Kathleen Aspenns, and we appreciate your interest in connecting with nature on a deeper level. You can find us online at thefloweressencepodcast.com or join us on Facebook and continue the discussion.

[00:47:49] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of The Flower Essence podcast. 

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