We are all immersed in an overstimulating world with constant and distracting inputs. Flower Essences can help you calm, focus and ease your overworked mind and nervous system so you can think clearly and act from your center.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Madia – FES
- Mind-Full – FES
- Bunchberry – Alaskan Essences
- White Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Clematis – Healing Herbs
- Lotus – FES
- Blue Lotus – Flora Corona
- Tea – Flora of Asia
- Nasturtium – FES
- Easy Learning – Alaskan Essences
- Jacaranda – Flora Corona
- Hibiscus Pollen – Jane Bell Essences
- Fluorite and Fluorite Combo – Alaskan Gem Essence
- Aquamarine – Alaskan Essences
- Stone Circle – Alaskan Essences
- Greenland Icecap – Alaskan Essences
- Cerato – Healing Herbs
Suggestions and Resources:
- Madia: Learning to Read the Book of Nature: Madia: A Flower Essence Plant Study by Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society
- Bunchberry: Watch a Bunchberry Dogwood Plant in Action | Science News, youtube video
- Bunchberry: Tale of the Dogwood, website
- Bunchberry: Botany: A Record-Breaking Pollen Catapult, Nature, 2005
- Flower Essence Society membership, website
- Alaskan Essences Living Book, website
Rochana Felde [00:00:42] Hi everybody, welcome back to the Flower Essence Podcast. And good morning Kathleen, how are you?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:48] Good morning. I’m doing really well thanks.
Rochana Felde [00:00:50] So today we’re gonna talk about focus. Focus meaning mental concentration. Ways to help from getting distracted, especially when we’re suffering from overwhelm or overstimulation. We want to look at things that can help us have the energy to finish projects or manifest our intentions, and deal with some of the mental cloudiness and exhaustion that comes from the modern lifestyle. So is there anything that you want to start off with when we’re talking about the subject of focus.?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:28] Yeah I think focus is something that is there’s such a deficit of focus right now. We’re so trained to be overstimulated and distracted all the time that I think that there’s a piece of learning how to focus and find a calmer state. It is really useful to think about, emphasize, and build into your lifestyle. You know, I see people walking around.. And you know every 30 seconds your phone chirps at you and wants to distract you from what you’re doing. And the reality is that multitasking isn’t real. No one can do it – you’re just simply distracted all the time. And I think that that learning how to focus and and release yourself of distractions and turning things off and being okay with that your phone didn’t get checked every 30 seconds can be a really good aid to starting to deepen into whatever it is that you want to do, whether it’s a creative activity, or whether it’s an intensive work project. Learn how to turn things off externally, and then now we can talk about some essences that can help you learn to turn things off internally because those two things play into a lack of focus. Don’t you think?
Rochana Felde [00:02:46] I agree. And I really like what you say about multitasking. You know that’s something that I have always done. It really doesn’t help get anything done faster, and it’s been shown that you can’t do multiple things at once well. With tasks that don’t take a lot of mental energy, of course, you can listen to a podcast while you’re driving. That’s a type of effective multitasking because you don’t need all of your focus and concentration for listening to something. But if you’re trying to work on a report and watch TV too, you’re doing yourself a disservice. And what I found and have read more studies is that the more you do that, the more you’re creating these pathways in your brain that are making it harder and harder to stay focused when you really do want to have deep focus time. So the flower essences alone.. You know it’s really about some lifestyle choices that have to be incorporated with the flower essences to increase our ability to focus and to get out of that cycle of the constant checking of the phone, like you say, and having our brain just go off in all these different directions constantly. The more we do it perpetuates the problem, getting worse and worse and so we have to set aside time for deep focus work and we have to be a little more aware of what we’re doing when we are bouncing around from thing to thing and maybe why we’re doing it too.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:04:49] Yeah I agree, I think that on some level learning to think deeply or engage deeply in anything nowadays.. It’s almost a practice you really really really have to intentionally turn your phone away. I’m just I’m pointing out the phone because that is the massive addictive object of the 21st century because it’s just constantly desiring your attention. You know there are constant alerts and things that pop up, and it’s built into the design of the system to give that little dopamine burst of “something exciting might be happening in the world or on your Facebook feed” or whatever it might be and to recognize “oh this is actually just trying to you know trigger my buttons” and it’s designed that way because that’s how these systems pay for them. Advertising is all about attention now. The advertisers are dying to get your attention. So it’s a practice there.
Rochana Felde [00:05:53] Absolutely. And it’s called gamification. It’s a you know it’s a very well studied thing that’s programmed into all of these apps and Facebook and social media that give us that dopamine rush and make us want to look at it more and more often for sure.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:06:10] And that desire of that infinite scroll where you could just do that all day. And there’s the possibility that something interesting could happen, and yet it’s just robbing your life on some levels. You know, doing it in limited bursts to stay in touch with friends is a wonderful beautiful thing, but to just keep constantly hoping to get a little another dose of excitement is probably robbing a lot of your life.
Rochana Felde [00:06:39] Yeah I really agree. And we didn’t have this issue 10 years ago, even definitely before that. So part of what I think we have to develop more in ourselves with this modern age is discernment and the ability to prioritize where we put our attention and where we put our time. So one of the flowers I think in general for focus and being disciplined in where we’re putting our energy is the Madia flower, Madia elegans. I like the Alaskan flower essence for this and it’s really an interesting flower. Have you seen that one?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:32] I think the Madia is made by the Flower Essence Society. I think that you said the Alaskan.
Rochana Felde [00:07:37] Oh, I’m sorry, not Alaska. Yeah you’re right.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:40] Easy to get mistaken, not Alaskan. Are we focused? I don’t know.
Rochana Felde [00:07:48] Yes, bouncing around between Alaskan and FES, it’s easy to do.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:53] Yeah I think Madia is a really valuable essence for that. And I think that next piece, that bridge we’re talking about where the technology is constantly distracting us. I think that the best and most beautiful antidote for that is to engage with nature. Just literally observing a tree or observing the sky – it turns off those centers in your brain that are hyper stimulated because you start to go into sensory noticing, and just watching, and it’s not overstimulating. So literally just shifting your gaze – if you have a window to look at, or a tree, watching it move in the breeze can change that wiring and change you from that overstimulated state from technology. And so Madia I think is the flower essence that offers that energetic of helping you focus down into awareness in your body and then just sort of being in your environment. That’s a really natural state.
Rochana Felde [00:09:03] Yeah. And what I found so interesting about that flower is that it closes during the day time during the hottest part of the afternoon yet it’s not a night pollinated flower. So most other flowers that do that are open during the night and closed during the day – because they’re pollinated during the evening. But the Madia is pollinated during the day, and yet the reason why it closes during the afternoon is because it needs to protect itself from water loss, water evaporation and so it is actually making a choice for what’s more important being pollinated or losing the water and wilting. And I find that really interesting from from this evolutionary perspective with this flower. And I don’t know of any other flowers that do that. It actually completely closes up the petals, they curl into each other and so it looks like it’s going from a full bloom to a small bud. And then after the late afternoon it’ll open back up again and be open all night and into the morning. And there’s some there’s a neat video that you can see that with on the Flower Essence Society website where there’s a little plant study about that flower. So I think that has something to say about what we should be doing. You know, figuring out what’s the most important thing right now – you might have a whole lot of important things to do. And in a small window of time, we have to get good at prioritizing so that we can do what is is necessary right away. So I like to include that when that’s part of the issue.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:11:07] Very cool. I know Chicory also does that where it closes during the heat of the day. But it doesn’t reopen until the morning, as far as I know. But that is a known thing that preserves during excess heat and during the hotter part of the day. And plants will open up and then be receptive in the cooler part of the day and then closed down to preserve moisture. It’s an interesting concept. If you looked at it through a Chinese Medicine lens, where what the plant is doing is preserving its Yin in the most Yang part of the day. The heat, the dryness, it would lose its moisture which is a Yin quality and so it withdraws and retracts into itself so that it doesn’t have too much Yang. And I think that’s an interesting notion for us to think about, because when we get overstimulated, when we get “hot headed”, when we get burned out that’s too much Yang. It’s excess Yang – and preserving ourselves with the Madia, thinking about bringing in and down, centering into our bodies, that’s preserving the Yin qualities. The Madia helps too to bring that Yin down to keep you from being overstimulated by excess Yang. It’s excess heat, or any sort of overstimulation would be considered excess Yang.