Kathleen and Rochana talk about fully loving and accepting ourselves, foibles and all. What holds us back from accepting ourselves without conditions? Shame, judgement, unworthiness, and comparison-itis rear their shadowy heads. But there are some lovely and transformational flower essences that help us let go of those things in order to see and appreciate our true, authentic selves.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Pine – Healing Herbs
- Liard Hot Springs – Alaskan Essences
- Rose/Smoky Quartz – Alaskan Essences
- Beech – Healing Herbs
- Sphagnum Moss – Alaskan Essences
- Pretty Face – FES
- Rootstock Rose – Wiseflower Essences
- Ussurian Pear – Flora of Asia
- Alpine Azalea – Alaskan Essences
- Gold – Alaskan Essences
- Night Blooming Cereus – Jane Bell Essences
- Buttercup – FES
- Naked – Jane Bell Essences
- Columbine – FES Range of Light
Matt Kahn – website
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:18]
Hey, flower lovers. It’s really good to be back here with you in The Flower Essence podcast. Today we are going to be talking about self-acceptance, and this is a topic that we’ve– as we had been preparing to talk about it just now before we got on recording, we were talking about how much of a challenge this is, and especially since starting to think about it and plan for this episode, I know I’ve been beginning a little dance with my own issues around this. And I think it’s a little bit like making an essence when we get ready to work with the spirit of a plant, we start to experience the lessons, and sometimes those are the fun lessons and sometimes they’re the harder lessons. So we wanted to talk about this really important process of learning to appreciate ourselves and accept ourselves and developing self kindness. So it’s a big topic. Let’s just see where we go with this and see what happens. It’s good to be back with you, Ro.
Rochana Felde: [00:01:49] Yeah, great. Great to be back after our little winter break. And yeah, I also want to say the synchronicity what you’re saying, when we want to talk about a subject, all the things come up for us. And it also happens with our clients and with working with clients. And it’s something that happens over and over again. It’s so funny that either a client will bring up a subject that then becomes something I notice more or vice versa. And in this case, I got a newsletter from Matt Kahn, who I subscribed to a while back, and he had a video, sort of transmission/meditation where there was some really profound statements in the way he talked about self-acceptance. He asked the question or gave the invitation that said, Can you love yourself exactly as you are right now, equal to the idealized version that you wish you were or that you have been or that you’re working really hard to become?
And I just thought that was so profound because it brought to me some real realizations about this concept of conditional self-love. And lo and behold, my next client, after I heard that, this was the subject that we talked about and that I formulated for, that she had brought. So that synchronicity seems to always come up. And so I hope that with our podcast, when these things are coming up for us or that we’re bringing them forward from our clients, they’re also the right timing for those of you who are listening whenever you are listening to it.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:03:46] Agreed. And it is the beginning of the new year, and a lot of people spend time making resolutions, whether it’s, you know, the classic New Year’s resolution that lasts until roughly January 2nd, if not, you know, dies earlier. But just reflecting on ourselves and like, where have we been? Where are we going? And so many of us have that acceptance that ends in a, “Yes, but.” Right? You know, like, “I’m perfectly happy with my weight as it is, except I’d really appreciate if it were less,” or whatever it might be. We have so many– we have so many things to compare ourselves to, and it’s so toxic. Comparing my individual expression as a human being on this planet with my history and my life and all the things that I’ve experienced and putting that up against an idealized version of a celebrity or an influencer or whatever, man, there is no way that you’re going to come up and go, “Yeah, I’m totally better than that,” so.
Rochana Felde: [00:04:55] Absolutely. And, you know, just to ground the definition of self-acceptance, about what it means, you know, Merriam-Webster’s says, it’s the act or state of accepting oneself, of understanding and recognizing one’s own abilities and limitations. So the limitations, that’s the part of, if we don’t look at and accept our limitations, we’re not practicing self acceptance. And there’s even a quote by someone named Linda Arnold, who I don’t know who it is, but it was in the Merriam Webster’s dictionary as part of this definition that says, in each moment you’re either practicing self-acceptance or you’re judging yourself and, you know, that kind of perfectly explains it very concisely.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:47] And doesn’t it come down to that word, practice. Caring for yourself, self kindness, self appreciation is a practice. We have to keep paying attention to it. It’s not that we’re going to get it set and done and never have to worry about it again. It’s an ongoing thing, especially if you’ve got some old voices that are telling you that you’re not good enough or whatever it might be, they’re going to come up periodically, even after you’ve done a lot of work. I was really reflecting on, as we were preparing for this, the levels that were returning for me. I have really had a lifelong struggle with shame and feeling like there’s something wrong with me and that there’s– you know, I’m not good enough, and that’s part of my journey and process. And so I know this feeling really intimately.
And I have worked deeply and for a long term with Pine to help with this and have found, you know, extraordinary relief. I mean, oh my God, I’m a whole different person than I was once. And yet, it returns to say, “hi” every once in a while. And as we were– you know, as we’ve been focusing on this topic, I’ve been sort of looking at this again. I’m really grateful to say it hasn’t been consuming like it has been in the past. And there’s some level that with essences, once we’ve been working with essences for a while, we start to see almost a metacognitive level of these experiences where I can see myself having that feeling. I can feel it, but I’m not identified with it. And so it’s still there and I’m still working with it, but it’s not overwhelming like it once was. So there’s some real advantage to that, to not being buried in this experience, but just to remember and like, oh, oh, it’s still part of who I am and I can still– boy, does it help make me feel more compassionate to somebody experiencing that because I know just how much that sucks.
Rochana Felde: [00:07:58] Yeah. And we talked a lot about Pine and your Pine story on the Shame episode we did a few episodes back. So it’s such a powerful essence to bring into this kind of work. And another thing that you were talking about with that meta-awareness, I mean, that’s so key to this work in cultivating that mindfulness of what your internal narrative is, for example, your self narrative. And you know, so we want to catch ourselves in negative self-talk in our self narrative. And so acceptance doesn’t mean accepting those things. It means accepting yourself and loving yourself no matter what. But we can work on also changing our narrative without denying our experience.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:03] And there’s a generosity that we can bring to these internal conversations, because there’s a part of us that is expressing this opinion. There’s the inner critic, sometimes we might call, these voices that we hear in our heads. And if we are constantly yelling at them to shut up, which is oftentimes how we approach these voices or these parts of ourselves that are crying out for help, you know, that critic is probably there to try to keep you safe, you know, because social shame and social outcast may have been an experience that you had, and by showing up as yourself or expressing yourself in a certain way, it wasn’t acceptable. And so a lot of times our inner critic is there to try to help keep us from getting ourselves in that spot again. Now, it’s a toxic voice, but it’s also a part that needs to be met with compassion. So to me, there’s a little wiggle room in there of hearing that voice, “Oh, I hear what you have to say to me, and I hear that you’re trying to keep me safe, and also, there’s no danger here and I am okay.”
And so working with essences that help with that critical voice can be really valuable to offer. You know, offering an essence to that voice so that that voice can relax and can then take that burden off of your expression into the world. I just love Liard Hot Springs for that self-critical because it just loosens and softens and and releases that energetic of, there’s something wrong. It’s like being washed in this bath of purity, of innocence. It has this wonderful energetic that just clear stuff out of the way. And shame is one of the big things that it really helps to clear.
Rochana Felde: [00:10:58] And that’s an environmental essence from Alaskan Essences. I also like one of their gem essences for that, and that’s the Rose/Smoky Quartz, which really works in the heart chakra in clearing dense energy from that area and then helping you move from that shadow to acceptance. So it’s moving through and transmuting in this wonderful, comforting energy, it’s safe. It’s another way of– a lot of the– a lot of the essences, whether they’re gem or flowers that work in the heart chakra and help us deal with these uncomfortable feelings, they do so in such a safe way, and so the Smoky Quartz part of the Rose/Smoky Quartz, that combination is really beautiful for this kind of work.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:12:05] I use that essence, you know, darn near endlessly. I use it all the time in formulas. For me, I see that quality of what it repairs of these like angry wounds in your heart. You know, when you have these experiences and they’ve left a mark, they left a black mark in your heart where you just hold a grudge, you know, not– we judge ourselves so much and the essence doesn’t judge. The essence just goes, “Oh, you can let that go. Oh. Yeah, you can let that go.” And then that Rose quality of filling and repairing and restoring the heart chakra, that is a really important essence. I’m glad that you brought that one into play on this topic because, oh my goodness, so beautiful.
Do we want to jump into this judgment voice thing? Because I think that that’s a good next step. I broke it open a little bit, and it’s, God, that voice. I think of it as my inner Joan Rivers, and when I start to– when I start to hear that voice come through like, “Oh honey, oh, you need a rest, you need a break because you’re starting to get really bitchy.” And the best essence for that is Beech. It’s for when you’re feeling beechy, beechy, beechy. And have you worked with Beech too? Do you like to use that?
Rochana Felde: [00:13:32] I do. And yeah, we don’t normally think about it so much as being bitchy towards ourselves. You know, initially it comes up a lot with how maybe you’re acting outwardly in the world, right? So all the things we do outwardly in the world, we also do inwardly to ourselves so that we can use– and we just don’t see it or realize it most of the time. But there it is, and Beech is very nice for that. And also, that Rose/Smoky Quartz is again one that works with that judgment on all levels, and it helps when we’re really critical. I would also add maybe Sphagnum Moss, what do you think about that one?