Heidi Smith joins us on the podcast to discuss her new book, “The Bloom Book: A Flower Essence Guide to Cosmic Balance”, and the practice of Flower Essence Therapy. Our wide ranging conversation touched on her passion for social justice, reclaiming feminine consciousness, and her collaborative approach to healing trauma.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Mimulus – Healing Herbs
- Protection Flower Essences from Delta Gardens – Angelica, Rue, Pennyroyal, Yarrow
- Celandine – Delta Gardens
Heidi’s spiritual teacher Jane Bell of Presence of Heart
Rochana Felde: [00:00:37] Welcome, Flower Essence friends. It’s Kathleen and Rochana back, and today we have a very special guest with us, Heidi Smith, the author of The Bloom Book. And if you haven’t seen this book, it is beautiful and just an amazing representation of all the facets of working with the vibrational essences of plants. Heidi is a psychosomatic therapist, a registered herbalist, and a flower essence practitioner. In her private practice, Moon & Bloom, Heidi works collaboratively with her clients to empower greater balance, actualization, and soul level healing within themselves. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and as I mentioned, she is the author of The Bloom Book: A Flower Essence Guide to Cosmic Balance. And I have to say, I wish we discovered this book before we did our favorite book episode because–
Heidi Smith: [00:01:41] That’s okay.
Rochana Felde: [00:01:41] –it would definitely be on the list.
Heidi Smith: [00:01:45] Aw, thank you.
Rochana Felde: [00:01:45] Welcome, Heidi.
Heidi Smith: [00:01:45] Thank you, Rochana.
Rochana Felde: [00:01:46] We’re really glad to have you here.
Heidi Smith: [00:01:50] Yeah, I’m very happy to be here too. Thanks a lot.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:01:54] So we were really delighted to see your book pop up. I saw it on the Sounds True podcast. I’m like, “She’s got a book. That’s so great. There’s a book coming out about flower essences,” because as you know, you’re really one of the first in this kind of this current iteration of sharing flower essences to the world in a much bigger way than they’ve been known in the US anyways. So how did that come about, if you don’t mind sharing?
Heidi Smith: [00:02:24] Yeah. So there definitely are so few books on flower essences. And it’s funny, when you posted the podcast about the books, The Flower Essence books, I recognized literally everyone because there’s only like, I don’t know, 12 resources. So that was part of the invitation for this book. I was approached by a publisher to write a book about flower essences and it hadn’t really occurred to me to do something like that. But I thought, “Okay, well, this would be a really good exercise for me to see what would it be like to create a book proposal.” So I did that and it went very well and I got a deal. And that publisher, the first publisher, was actually not my existing publisher. It was a different one. So it wasn’t Sounds True. And that was kind of a difficult situation because it was not a good deal. And I did not have an agent at that time. And so I actually needed to dissolve that contract. And then I went back and reformatted the proposal, found a phenomenal agent, and that’s how I got connected with Sounds True who are amazing. And I’m so grateful to be working with them. And that is how the book came to be. And they were psyched to be working with flower essences because Tami Simon, as you might have heard on the podcast, she is a huge fan of them. And so they were really into the idea.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:06] Sounds like a really great outcome, even though it was a funny little entry, right?
Heidi Smith: [00:04:10] It was. Yeah. There was some funny, like karma burning up in that situation, I figure.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:16] Yeah. So it goes. How do you get involved in flower essences to start with? Can you tell us a little bit about your stories so our listeners can get to know you a little better?
Heidi Smith: [00:04:27] Sure. I was in graduate school studying mental health counseling and at that time I had been working with my spiritual teacher, Jane Bell, not Jane Bell of Alaskan Essences.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:41] I know.
Heidi Smith: [00:04:41] Different Jane Bell.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:42] We have different Jane Bells.
Heidi Smith: [00:04:45] Yes, Jane Bell of Presence of Heart. And in our work, we were looking at the ancient Egyptian mysteries or looking at the divine feminine or looking at focusing, which is a type of psychosomatic integration. And so I had already been very much introduced to a more alternative mystical way of thinking about healing. And so when I was in school, it was a much more Western approach. And I loved school. It was great. And my husband now, my boyfriend at the time, gave me this book called Vibrational Healing by Gurudas. You’re familiar with that book, right? So that book was extremely out there for me at that time, but I just read it and felt like, “Wow, this is it. This is the bridge between the counseling and the plants and the vibrational nature of reality. Like, I just know this to be true. I have to figure out a way to study this more formally.” So that was kind of my introduction.And then around that time, I had been introduced to the Bach essences by a friend of mine, and he had given me Mimulus. That was my first ever flower essence, Mimulus, which I feel like is probably a common one for people to start off with, right?
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:24] Yeah, I think so.
Heidi Smith: [00:06:27] Yeah, so. And I didn’t understand what they were, really how they worked at that point, but I’d started– I was still in that place where, like, I need to know and I need to control for it to work. And so that was kind of my first experience of just doing something that I didn’t understand, but I trusted it in a way. And so I was very keen to find any opportunity to study flower essences after the Gurudas book and the Mimulus experience.
Rochana Felde: [00:07:04] Amazing. And yeah, did that happen before your herbal studies or after or during?
Heidi Smith: [00:07:13] Yeah, so well, I discussed in my book the kind of the impetus to a really rapid period of awakening for me started when my brother committed suicide in 2007. And so like many seekers who are confronted with existential pain and confusion, that was the doorway for me. And so that’s when I was given Mimulus. That’s when I found Jane, my teacher. And it was a few years before I went back to school. And then after I finished my counseling training, I decided that instead of continuing on to be licensed or to get a Ph.D., I didn’t necessarily want to be associated with the medical-industrial complex in that way. And I instead wanted to study more indigenous traditions of plant wisdom. And so that’s when I found my flower essence teacher, Claudia Kiel and I enrolled in the ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism, and that’s a three-year program, so. And that included more flower essence training in it. And so that was between 2013-2016,’17. Oh, yeah, 2014-2017. So yeah, that training was really so life-changing for me.
Rochana Felde: [00:08:52] I wanted to mention so you’re a registered herbalist and listeners might not know what that means. And herbalism is not a licensed profession in the United States, but there is one organization, the American Herbalist Guild, that does provide, what they call, a registered herbalist designation. And it takes a while. It’s quite intensive to get that designation. Not everybody has that. So I wanted to mention that.
Heidi Smith: [00:09:28] Thanks, Rochana. Yeah, I appreciate that. I earned those letters.
Rochana Felde: [00:09:31] Yeah.
Heidi Smith: [00:09:34] But I’m grateful.
Rochana Felde: [00:09:34] It’s not a weekend class, in other words.
Heidi Smith: [00:09:36] No. It’s more rigorous than that, and I’m really grateful that there is an accreditation available so that, yeah, that’s something that you can– that’s one option you can pursue if you’re wanting to be an herbalist.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:52] Yeah. And I was just really struck and touched and delighted in reading your book, how much credit you give to your teachers and how you talk about the lineage of those who you studied with, because that’s something that I’ve kind of noticed sort of culturally, is a lot of people have just sort of present themselves as knowing something, but they don’t talk about the people who came before them and they don’t express that. In my mind, I think there’s a certain piece of a colonialist attitude to them, right? “We just walked in and I own this now.”
Heidi Smith: [00:10:33] Right.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:33] And that is something that you talk about in your work as well, the de-colonializing these sorts of medicines.
Heidi Smith: [00:10:41] Yes, that is really important to me. I appreciate you bringing that up. I do feel like as white settlers, we have to be very cognizant of where we’re accessing information and what we’re disseminating. And it is the tendency, the capitalist tendency to just take and to not give credit. So I wanted to be really thoughtful about that and and offer a more de-colonized look at flower essence therapy and also herbalism. And also, I just really appreciate the work that my teachers and the people before me put in, because I think that we get to enjoy a much easier climate in which to practice this work. And there was a lot more density and judgments and it was just more challenging for people. Even like 10 years ago, this book would have not even existed, .
Rochana Felde: [00:11:46] Yeah, I think people are really much more ready now than they have been to take in this information. And what I appreciate so much about your book is it’s not just like a manual or a list or a repertoire of the flowers and what they mean in a paragraph. You go very deep into the process of healing. And with that, the nature of duality, it’s so deep. There’s so many places that it explores. And in every page, I turn it and I’m like, “Yeah, that’s right. That’s it.”
Heidi Smith: [00:12:27] Yeah. Oh, that’s great. Yeah, I went pretty deep. I didn’t know how it was going to come out, but that’s what came through. So I just went with it.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:12:41] Yeah. I think we were both in the same position when we were reading it. You don’t know what you’re getting into and then you start reading it, you’re like, “Yes, yes, she has it. She’s got it.” It’s so exciting to see that happen and to see you explain it so well and get, like you say, such a depth to it. It’s so much of the literature is really skimmed surfaces and yours is really thoughtful and brings a lot of clarity and depth to the practice of flower essence therapy. And can you tell us a little bit about your process of working with your clients, maybe who your clients, what they look like first, not maybe look like, but the clients you serve and how you work with them with the flower essences?
Heidi Smith: [00:13:27] Yeah, my client base is– I’m so humbled by my clients. My practice is a huge part of my life. And my client base does skew towards people who identify as women. I do serve a number of women of color. I aspire to be a safe and empowering guide and helper for all people. And I kind of blend my experience into a unique offering. So my intake is very expansive. I like to ask questions about physical health and emotional health, spiritual beliefs, any supernatural experiences to get a very holistic picture of someone. And I like to work very collaboratively with people. I like to facilitate empowerment in the healing process because I believe that we all hold the ability to come into balance and to heal. And I’m not really interested in reinforcing some kind of hierarchy where, like, “I’m the healer and you’re the person that needs to be healed.” And yeah, together we discuss what is the point of our work together? What is the purpose of our coming together, and how I can be of service? And so a general session can look very much like a traditional therapy session. There’s time to process and talk about what’s emotionally coming up or presenting for someone. And then part of the session could be dedicated towards doing the focusing, wherein I lead us into a kind of a guided, meditative state. And we are basically just present with whatever is arising and it’s very client guided and illuminating. And then we might also discuss actual plans, or some people need more structure. So I really like to give people the opportunity to take the work from our sessions into their week so that they continue the work on their own, and that is where the flowers are such a gift because the work can keep going and they can access healing even if we’re not speaking.
Rochana Felde: [00:16:26] Are you seeing certain trends coming up now with your clients? Are you noticing any kind of trend with the challenges that people are having today?
Heidi Smith: [00:16:39] Yeah, I think as soon as COVID hit, there was an increased demand for my services. So there was higher levels of burnout, anxiety. My clients who are mothers, that’s so single mothers, they are in a very difficult situation. My clients who are single, some of them, that’s a very difficult position to be in. I know I would be having a hard time with it. So feelings of isolation and uncertainty about the future, financial insecurity. So those were some of the things that were coming up probably in the last six months.
Rochana Felde: [00:17:34] Yeah. And you since you are an herbalist as well, what does it typically look like that you are recommending? Is it a combination of herbs and flower essences?
Heidi Smith: [00:17:49] Yeah, it varies with every person. Some people gravitate more towards traditional herbal medicine and some people are more drawn to the flower essences and some people like both. Some people like to make their own medicine. Some people just want me to send it to them. So it does vary. But I feel like I’m calling on a lot of Nevine herbs for people, Milky Oats, Chamomile, energizing herbs that are also immune boosting, like Tulsi, Lemon Balm, things like that. And then flower essence wise, people are needing a lot of– I think you all were talking about this like Penstemon and herbs for resilience, grounding, protection. I guess protection essences a lot like Angelica, Rue, Pennyroyal, the Yarrows.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:19:05] It’s been an interesting time to be a flower essence practitioner, what we offer the world, and what flower essences offer the world, let’s say is profoundly needed in this moment.
Heidi Smith: [00:19:17] Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:19:19] The support from nature as we endure these times of isolation and uncertainty and everything that’s happening, being able to draw on these reserves when other times maybe we don’t. It’s sort of like, “Oh, well, if I get around to it, it’s fine.” It’s like, well, those little added frills in life and now it seems much more essential.
Heidi Smith: [00:19:43] Yeah, I agree. And yeah, also with the racial justice movement, people feeling really tied around racial traumas and the resilience and strength and protection needed to show up for protests and just to keep the movement going. And then also like the– I don’t want to project too far into the future, but I feel like a lot of us are concerned about this, the fall and the winter,and so I’m also thinking about sustaining and strengthening and pacing, helping us pace ourselves so that we can keep being here with all of our resources available.
Rochana Felde: [00:20:37] Yeah, and with the continuing increase of climate disasters, especially what we’re seeing right now on the West Coast, I’m seeing a lot of despair added to that. And so what do you see sort of as the future with flower essences and how they can be a part of our personal and planetary healing going forward?
Heidi Smith: [00:21:11] Yeah, the way that I see them evolving, and I talk about this in my book, I feel very strongly about the social and healing justice movements. They’ve impacted me deeply. And I feel that we need to apply these frameworks to healing so that they are more accessible and inclusive and also intervening on the harm that is affecting. BIPOC, Black Indigenous People Of Color, exponentially more than White people. And so I see that as one of the future trajectories of herbal medicine, and that includes flower essences. And I also feel like I’m observing this shift between– I do think that medicine is becoming more holistic. I do think that even science is starting to grapple with some of its own theories around reality. And quantum mechanics is becoming more popular and people are rejecting these old systems that are not all bad, but there’s a lot of harm embedded in them. And so I feel a dissolution happening in a lot of ways. I feel a growing support of land practices of earth returning to the earth of– and I talk about this in the book, like just even a sea change between what we believe is real, how we define healing, how we define trauma, how we define reality, like people are becoming more open to the interconnectedness of everything. People are becoming more open to the reality that 99.9% of our reality is space, that it’s all vibration, right? So that’s exciting to be part of that, to feel that happening. Do you all feel that?
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:23:42] I really connect with the concept that you’re bringing forward about this connectedness because it’s so toxic to consider ourselves apart from. And that’s where certainly that capitalist line, it’s all about the bottom line. It’s all about me and me getting more money and me as the corporation getting more money. And it completely has eliminated the possibility of the interconnectedness that turns out that’s essential for our survival to recognize and to feed that interconnectedness and to feed our communities and to connect with those who help us live, and that includes nature. And I think that that’s a big piece that’s been eliminated from the conversation, is our relationship with nature. And it’s not just an abstract relationship. It’s a direct relationship with nature.
Heidi Smith: [00:24:42] That’s right.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:24:42] Who are you calling on right now for your own well-being, for your connectedness to nature? Is there a particular plant ally that you’re working with right now?
Heidi Smith: [00:24:54] Oh, so many. I am really connecting with the plant’s spirits here in Vermont and the Elementals here. And actually, a friend of mine that I met through the flower essences society, her name is Anna Maria, she gave me this prayer to help– to work with the director of the elements because she’s been impacted by the fires. She lives in Nevada City. And so I’ve been working with this prayer and really calling on the Elementals for support and then personally, well, today, I’m taking Celandine, which is a Delta Gardens essence. He was one of my teachers. And this is for– I work with Celandine when I need to access my higher communication. And I’m hoping that I’m accessing a fuller expression of my ability to communicate right now. And what else am I taking? I was actually going to wait until the new moon and a few days to make a new essence. Sometimes I like to sit and get really still and then make an essence right after the new moon, like a few days after. But the last eclipse, which was back in July, I made an essence of Golden Yarrow, St John’s-wort, and Rue mixed together because they were all blooming outside together, and that was been really powerful for me to work with those essences because they’re all gold and I feel like they’re all protective in nature, but they’re all connecting to that like inner, the will of the solar plexus generated protection through our willpower and our confidence. So that seemed like a good one right now.
Rochana Felde: [00:27:08] Yeah. So that’s nice. And I do love those solar forces, that quality of our self that we bring out into the world. The ego gets a lot of flak, but the ego is what gets us to do things and to put ourselves out there. And you have to channel that from your higher self through the ego to create something as lovely as your book, to put yourself up there as somebody who has something to say, something to offer the world.
Heidi Smith: [00:27:38] That’s right. Yeah, I do agree. I think the ego gets a bad rap. It is not all bad. And I definitely couldn’t have written my book being totally in the feminine receptive allow. I definitely needed those masculine forces of will and confidence and action as well.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:28:01] Yeah, can I ask you a little bit about how your book is called Moon & Bloom, and you just referenced that you like to do new blends on new moons. And so how do you weave in the astrological or astronomical events into your practice?
Heidi Smith: [00:28:20] Yeah, the moon has always existed to me as a symbol of the divine feminine, and the moon has no gender, of course. That’s my subjective experience of it. But I do believe in lunar consciousness. This was something that is part of the ancient Egyptian mysteries. It was a masculine and feminine– equally masculine and feminine society. So there is a sense of unity, consciousness. And this is the same in a number of ancient belief systems, the Uraba tradition. And so I’m interested in the concept of cosmic balance and the role that feminine consciousness and lunar consciousness plays in that because as I talk about in my book, we’ve been living in a really masculine time. And that’s where I think we’re out of balance. So the role that the moon plays in my work is what it represents. The feminine, the yin, the receptive, the creative, the intuitive, everything that has been deemed bad. the moon was vilified. The feminine was vilified. It was associated with evil, the darkness, even menstruating, the body, sex, shame, all that. So I want to– yeah, I want to understand where we have the opportunity to reclaim that and then reintegrate it. Does that make sense?
Rochana Felde: [00:30:07] Yeah.
Heidi Smith: [00:30:07] Okay.
Rochana Felde: [00:30:08] Yeah, definitely resonates. And I love that you’re bringing together those solar forces and lunar forces as well. It’s all about balance, as you say.
Heidi Smith: [00:30:19] Yeah. Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:30:23] I couldn’t let that go passed without bringing in that quality of lunacy, right? I mean–
Heidi Smith: [00:30:30] Exactly. Lunacy.
Rochana Felde: [00:30:32] Right?
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:30:33] So the moon gets that dumped on her? Seriously? But it is interesting that– I’ve even heard sort of– and I don’t know how much urban myth this is, but people talking about how on full moons there’s more activity for law enforcement or in hospitals and things like that. How much is that, these female forces wanting to emerge and they’ve been constrained and shut down by the masculine forces and they just sort of start popping out in ways that are a little less controlled and a little less clean, perhaps.
Heidi Smith: [00:31:16] Yeah, great inquiry. I did do some research about that. And I wanted to bring some maybe more statistical information about that into the book and I didn’t really find anything that was so credible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not real and it doesn’t mean that I don’t believe it. I do agree. I do feel that, okay, what is the presentation of enhanced acting out or more crime or an uptick in hospitalizations and in any place that there are people being cared for, yeah, what is happening there? Are people having experiences that our culture doesn’t know how to support? Are people having– are connecting with the shadow and we just don’t really have much framework to assist in a process with that, right?
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:29] Exactly. What we store in the shadow, what we jam down in the shadow, it comes out somehow–
Heidi Smith: [00:32:37] It’s going to come out.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:37] –and it’s always coming out in nice ways.
Heidi Smith: [00:32:40] And there’s a lot coming out right now in the collective oy!
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:47] Oy! Sound like you’re channeling my grandmother. Yeah. And especially the more structured the society is or the more structured it tries to become, and that energy is not structured. So when people are feeling it, they may not know how to react and that could definitely be a part of it.
Heidi Smith: [00:33:16] Yeah. And I think that that presents in my work with my clients. There’s part of the way that I’m guided to help myself and other people is to bring consciousness to the feeling body, the shadow, the trauma, those places that are scary to us. And can we build up a tolerance to hold space for that? Can we build up ways for us to regulate ourselves? So finding different ways to work with the shadow in safe ways so that we can reintegrate where we need to and we can keep moving forward and not get stuck there.
Rochana Felde: [00:34:17] And how are you feeling about your work that you’re doing in the world these days and where it’s going?
Heidi Smith: [00:34:28] I feel really optimistic about it. I think that like any practitioner getting their practice going, the first few years felt kind of scary, maybe, or confusing because I just wasn’t sure people were ready for what I was doing, I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. And now this, I’m going into the sixth year of being in private practice. I feel a great comfort and relief knowing that all of the groundwork that I’ve been doing for many years is really starting to coalesce in a very powerful and grounded way. And I’m very encouraged by the response the book is getting. And so that feels really amazing. You never know what people are going to resonate with or how. So I’ve got a book series coming up I’m doing next month with The Alchemist’s Kitchen and that’s going to be a four-part class series going in greater depth with the text. And I’m hoping to create a curriculum around cosmic balance that can accompany the book. But that’s something that I am just allowing to gestate right now. I don’t know. I’d be curious to know what you all are feeling about the energetics at this time. It doesn’t feel like a super creative, productive time for me. And so I’m just trying to find my flow within that. And I’m just kind of like waiting for the next thing that’s supposed to come through me pretty much and helping people through my practice in the meantime.
Rochana Felde: [00:36:27] Yeah, I definitely feel similarly, at least it’s more about survival right now over here and for me personally this year. But during these just dark nights of the soul, after dark nights of the soul, there has been an incredible amount of just conscious awareness that is continuously expanding and information and messages that keep coming. So for me, I feel like it’s a time of just learning, just paying attention and learning and kind of preparing. I feel like a sense of whatever I can do to prepare. And I don’t just mean that as a keep in my go bag packed for the next fire disaster in the California. It’s also a very– it’s on a different level. It’s sort of a spiritual preparation that I’m feeling and I don’t even know how exactly to articulate that or what that means yet. But that’s the the the energy that I’m feeling.
Heidi Smith: [00:37:51] Okay, yeah. Did you want to say something, Kathleen?
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:02] No, I’m just taking that in. I think that there’s so much right now that we don’t know.
Heidi Smith: [00:38:08] Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:09] We’re in this giant cauldron of don’t know. We don’t know what’s happening with the virus. We don’t know what’s happening with jobs and economies and people we love and care about in our country. It’s like, we just don’t know. And to rest in the, I don’t know, is its own spiritual practice of examining the shadow because we want answers. We want like, “Tell me what it’s going to be like. Tell me what to do.” And nobody knows. We’re just, here we are. And so that is reclaiming the feminine because the feminine can sit in that and hold all of that and hold the contraries and hold the polarities and hold everything that’s happening in her heart and in this space of we just don’t know. We have to just keep doing the things we’re doing and just wait in the uncertainty of it.
Rochana Felde: [00:39:06] I would agree. It’s really about holding space. That’s a good way to see it.
Heidi Smith: [00:39:12] Yeah, for sure.
Rochana Felde: [00:39:13] And for us working with clients, obviously, that’s what we do normally, but especially now.
Heidi Smith: [00:39:23] Yeah, for sure enough. And you’re right, Kathleen, the feminine knows how to do this or maybe even a better way to say is the feminine knows how to be with all of this and not go into needing to do your way through it or control it, but just to be and is it okay to be very perceptive and receptive right now and pay attention? And yeah, that’s where I– feel like I’m being guided right now. And I also think it’s a really political time to be a healer and it’s a time for us to call on our ancestries. And I talk about this in the book, like how it feels like it’s going to be we’re going to be– we’re going to need to be better resourced on many levels, like you said, Rochana, to be here. So I feel like that’s where, again, that’s where flower essences and plant medicine come in to show us how to be in balance, to show us how to be with what’s arising here.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:40:47] The plants so often talk to me of perspective. One of my plant teachers has been the Magnolia and the whole genus of Magnolia, and they’ve been here 100 million years. So what we’re going through right now is a blip. So perspective is useful and like, “Oh, yeah, okay, this seems really huge to me and it is really huge,” but also here we are within this larger context of, “Ah, okay,” now– like you’re saying, now may not be the time to be going really out and doing all the things. It’s maybe more– it’s that fall drawing inward time of the plants start dropping their leaves. They start just preparing and holding in. It’s not the time to be going out and blooming like crazy all over the place.
Heidi Smith: [00:41:41] Right. And speaking to that way that the plants communicate the of the reminder to not take it all so personally, the thinking about things on more of an energetic level, it’s easy to get so caught up in the physical and the emotional and the feeling states can be really activating and intense. And then on an energetic level, there’s a balancing happening. That’s what’s going on with the climate change, right? Like the earth is a sovereign being that is doing what it needs to do, and there are many factors to that that we don’t get to understand or know. But I trust in the infinite wisdom of the plants and the earth and the elements, and so it’s not really even about what I think I know or even my emotional response to that, to a certain extent. Not that your emotional response isn’t important, but to see where you have the opportunity to kind of detach from that a little bit. Does that make sense what I’m saying?
Rochana Felde: [00:43:08] Yeah, what I’m seeing is it’s a time to be humble and that’s the lesson of the day with what’s happening with the climate. There’s continued talk of, say, forest management in the Western states. And how we haven’t been doing it and fire suppression over hundreds of years have created this imbalance with these lands that are so quick to burn and create these horrible wildfires. And then there’s the discussion of, “Well, we need to go in and do controlled burning and do this and do that,” and and, yes, work with the indigenous who’ve known how to do this and have done this. But it’s interesting to hear the chatter because then it continues to be, “Well, how do we– let’s manage the forests. How do we–?” We need to go in there. Like it’s always going to be a person that knows best instead of admitting that we don’t– we do not control nature. We need to learn how to live in balance and harmony with nature. That is our lesson here. And I think the first step of learning that lesson is to admit that we just don’t– again, we don’t know what’s best. We need to stop thinking that we as humans and especially the humans that have come from the colonial backgrounds and settled this country, so to speak, have all the answers.
Heidi Smith: [00:45:01] Right.
Rochana Felde: [00:45:03] So I don’t know if that ties into what you were saying or not. Still I soapboxed a little bit, but it does speak to me that it’s really just about finding this humbleness to be in nature.
Heidi Smith: [00:45:19] Yeah, it does require a humility for sure.
Rochana Felde: [00:45:24] It’s been just lovely talking with you. Are there any things that we haven’t talked about yet that you really are just dying to share with the audience and listeners because there’s– well, I mean, we could do this all day, obviously, or weeks and weeks, but.
Heidi Smith: [00:45:40] There’s a lot of things.
Rochana Felde: [00:45:41] Did we miss anything really big and important that we have to talk about?
Heidi Smith: [00:45:46] Oh, goodness. I don’t think so. These conversations can go in so many different directions. But I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with you both because it’s so rare that I get to talk publicly with flower essences practitioners. I definitely have a good community, but I think it’s limited. And so it’s just so wonderful to be able to talk with people who know exactly what I’m doing and get it on such a deep level. It’s a real treat and I don’t know, I guess I’m curious to know, is it okay if I ask you a question?
Rochana Felde: [00:46:28] Yeah.
Heidi Smith: [00:46:29] Okay. I’m curious to know what you think– well, I guess you did speak to this a little bit about where the future of– well, I guess you asked me where the future of flower essences therapy was going, but I’d be curious to know from your perspective how you experience flower essence therapy moving. What do you observe?
Rochana Felde: [00:47:00] So I’m seeing it go in a few different ways, and part of the Instagram effect, I think, has been really lovely and helpful in that there’s so much sharing of plant medicine in so many ways. And it is a lovely effect, I think, for both herbalism and flower essences. But I want to make sure that it’s not just a superficial thing, that it continues to go deeper and delve into the aspects of healing that you touch on in your book, just a multidimensional process that true healing is. And so whatever we can do to give those reminders and spread that information and spread the true messages of the plants is to me the way forward as a flower essences practitioner.And the other part of it is the lovely way that flower essences are so sustainable and that’s such a big, big issue and concern for herbalism and a very big issue with aromatherapy. So it is definitely a time to say, “Hey, it is not sustainable to be slathering essential oils on your body and the countertops and floors of your house with these precious substances.” And here are some other ways of using plant medicine that are a little bit more sustainable and respectful for the planet. That’s a really big future subject– well, a current subject that we need to keep carrying forward into the future.
Heidi Smith: [00:49:10] Totally. Thank you so much for bringing that up. I agree, yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:49:14] And and every bit of that and the piece that’s the biggest for me is talking to people about flower essences. The three of us in this room here are very aware of this conversation, because I’m sure you’ve had this many times, Heidi, when somebody asks you about flower essences, if they do, and A, you’ve started to explain to them that they’re not like lavender oil.
Heidi Smith: [00:49:41] Yes.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:49:43] But then they ask something physical. They’ll say, “Oh, well, I’ve got some back issues and I’ve got this thing or that thing or the other thing.” And it doesn’t matter how much you’ve prepared the conversation, talking about, we’re working psycho, spiritual, emotional, that the physical is the only thing we see, speaking as a Westerner. And we’re just starting to sort of open that conversation more and more for people to recognize that the inner life impacts the physical and we can start talking about it and engaging with it. We haven’t had great tools to engage with it. And it reminds me a little bit about the diagnostic blindness that’s been in medicine. If they can’t test for it, if there’s no number that can attach to it, then it doesn’t exist. People who’ve been suffering with autoimmune disorders and whatnot, they run the tests. “You don’t have it. You’re fine. It’s all in your head now.” It’s like, “Where do I go now? And so there’s something about the emotional body and the spiritual body that is starting to come into a place where we can actually work with it now that there’s something that we can do proactively, safely, beautifully, and naturally. And that, to me, is where the opportunity is emerging, I think, in in the general awareness of the world. And that’s what really gets me excited.
Heidi Smith: [00:51:13] Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s definitely a shift I feel too because I come from a psychotherapeutic background, so I’ve watched the resistance people have around correlating the emotional with the physical and the difficulty in bridging because we’re just so oriented around this separatist culture. And also connecting to the idea of generational trauma and generational healing and the dissociation and the disconnect that we feel as humans going back to the healing justice, that’s one of the ideas within healing justice is that there is this interconnectedness between how we are experiencing harm and also how we heal. And so I think, like you’re saying, people are more also open to that being real and not only real, but necessary. That’s all I wanted to say about that.
Rochana Felde: [00:52:31] Gorgeous.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:52:34] No, I’m assuming that like me and Rochana your practice has continued– doing everything remotely like mine has always been remote. And so I’m assuming that you continue working with your clients in the same way that you’ve probably done so. How do people get a hold of you? How do they get to be able to engage with you more? Please tell us how to reach you and what you do and all that.
Heidi Smith: [00:53:00] Sure. Feel free to check out my website. It’s moonandbloom.com. And you can check out my book there. You can check out more about me and my process. And I also have regular class and workshop offerings that I update. I do have a bit of a waitlist going right now for new clients, but you can add your name to that list right now. Like I said, I’m looking into creating some kind of experience where I can lead groups in a deeper process because I can only see so many clients one on one every week. So that’s something I’m working on. And let’s see. Oh, my Instagram is moonandbloom, if you want to connect with me on social media. I don’t spend so much time on Instagram. That’s a whole ‘nother conversation. But I do find it’s a useful way to connect with people. So I would love to see anyone there.
Rochana Felde: [00:54:03] Well, this has just been a fabulous conversation, and I love connecting with other flower essences therapists and especially those that are also doing herbalism since that’s near and dear to my heart as well. So I’ve just really enjoyed this conversation, Heidi.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:54:27] It’s great to have you. We’re really delighted to meet you and just love what you’re doing in the world.
Heidi Smith: [00:54:33] Thank you so much.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:54:34] Praise to you for for doing what you’re doing.
Heidi Smith: [00:54:37] Oh, wow. Well, I’m so grateful for you both, and I really appreciate you having me here. And I hope that you both stay safe and well.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:54:47] Thank you.
Rochana Felde: [00:54:48] Thank you.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:54:50] So thank you, everyone, for joining us on The Flower Essence podcast this time. We’ve really enjoyed spending this time with you and sharing from our hearts our love of flower essence therapy. Thank you, Heidi, for being with us today. We love sharing your book, Moon & Bloom, and we look forward to the next opportunity for us to talk together and share the healing that nature can provide for all of us in these really challenging times.
Heidi Smith: [00:55:23] Thank you. Bye-bye.
Rochana Felde: [00:55:23] 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.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:55:47] 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.