FEP12 Emergency Essences for Crisis

The recent wildfires here in California resulted in stress, dislocation, and crisis for residents and their pets. Flower Essence formulas can be vital support for us as we experience evacuations, uncertainty, and the post traumatic stress of environmental disasters.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:

Other References:

Polyvagal Theory

Herbal Medicine

Emergency Preparedness

Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:43] Thanks for joining us today on the Flower Essence Podcast. Rochana and I are going to be talking about crisis formulas. This last month has been really challenging for us. We both live in Sonoma County, California, and we’ve had some really severe fires that have caused a lot of stress, anxiety and grief. My home came very close to the fire. I live in Alexander Valley and the fire went about 20 feet around my house. Thank goodness for Cal Fire and the great work they did, and all the other first responders who took good care of us and our property. And we’re very grateful. I know all of us in Sonoma County are feeling very grateful. And Rochana and I were talking about the need for flower essences to help support each other and our community and our pets to help come back after, or to feel supported during a crisis. And there’s some great combination formulas that are incredibly helpful so that you can feel more like yourself. I know that when I was evacuated, it was quite a few days before I knew I still had my home. And that was just really unmooring and extremely stressful for me and for my husband and for all the animals. It’s a hard thing to be evacuated and not to know what’s going on. So the flower essences were incredibly helpful to keep us stable, working together, playing as a team and to help keep our emotions stable as we endured what had to be endured. So today we’ll be talking about the different crisis formulas, what they can be used for and our experiences with them. So welcome, Ro. It’s always nice to be here with you as always. 

Rochana Felde [00:02:32] Always a highlight to do this work with you, Kathleen. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:02:36] Yes, absolutely. I think we should just start with the classic with Five Flower Formula, a.k.a. Rescue Remedy. It is always good to have a crisis formula in your bag, in your glove box, in your go bag. It’s a really useful thing to have to be getting ready to evacuate. Those of us in California have gotten used to having an earthquake kit around and having a good emergency formula in your emergency pack is a good way to go. Do you have that setup? 

Rochana Felde [00:03:11] Yeah, I keep Five Flower in my car, so that’s usually available. And I definitely would have it in a go bag, and I didn’t in the beginning this time. So that’s a lesson learned. I think what was really interesting and challenging about this evacuation that most of us in Sonoma County went through during the Kincade fire was, you know, there’s a couple different levels of go bags. There’s not just one. There’s the bag that you grab if you have like 60 seconds to get out of your house because of fires coming and, you know, that’s probably what everybody thinks about when they think of having a go bag. However, then there’s different levels of evacuation that happen when there’s a fire looming, but not right at your place. So there’s the evacuation warning and there’s a mandatory evacuation. And this can happen really quickly or it can happen over the course of a week while the fire is in that area. So it’s challenging to both be living day to day while you’re under the threat of evacuation. It’s kind of like if you think about you want to pack for a trip and then you’re living out of packing for the trip while you’re waiting for the trip to happen. And it may never happen. So there’s a few different levels of preparation that one can do, and hopefully it doesn’t last too long when you are actually evacuated. Then there’s what you want to have with you while you’re in another place, whether it’s at a friend’s house or a family member’s house or potentially an evacuation center. So there’s not a lot that you can bring with you in any of those situations. And having that Five fFlower formula is perfect. As you know, it’s the perfect formula for helping you deal with crisis stress, whatever that phase is that you’re in. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:05:35] I think what you’re saying, it really makes a lot of sense. And there are some good resources available of different lists and different things to think about. If you’ve never experienced an evacuation or a crisis, you’ll have a really hard time thinking clearly when you get that alert that it’s time to go. That was one of the things that I was really noticing on the social feeds of people who hadn’t experienced an evacuation two years ago. They didn’t really know. They kind of freak out and run around in circles a little bit if you’ve never been through something like that. And I think that the biggest thing is to be as prepared as you can with knowing what you need to pack before there’s a crisis or knowing where those items are. And then to recognize that you’re going to need that emotional support, that anxiety and stress support during the crisis itself. So I think that the biggest takeaway for me is to keep these formulas handy and keep them available or at least know where you can go get them to help support yourself during the crisis. 

Rochana Felde [00:06:44] Yeah. And what I found that was really interesting, too, for this area, is that even for those who had been through it two years ago when we had the Tubbs fire there. Now the new Kincade fire was sparking some immediate PTSD about it. So there’s another level of what we’re unfortunately calling the “new normal” around here in that we get the whole county on this PTSD kick, where all these threats push people into a state of anxiety. And what I’ve been reading about a lot lately is the polyvagal theory. I don’t know if you are familiar with that, Kathleen, but it’s really fascinating the way the vagus nerve helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system. And so we have this concept that everybody’s heard of, flight or fight response and also then the calm and and rest and relaxation response. But what the polyvagal theory posits is that there are actually three layers, three levels. So in addition to those two, there is also a freeze response and that I found I was experiencing before the evacuation in the couple days leading up to it and trying to pack my go bags and get ready for the evacuation. I just couldn’t seem to basically get my stuff together. And it it was kind of shocking to me because I’m usually one that can prep pretty well. And so I firsthand experienced that feeling of just kind of being paralyzed. My body, didn’t want to move and do the things that I needed to do. So since I was still home and there was no immediate threat, I created a formula that included the Five Flower and some other essences as well to help get me past that bump. And I’m so glad that I did, because as it turns out, we were evacuated two days later and I wasn’t able to go back home and get all the things that I had planned on having because I was not home when the evacuation call happened. And I did have that special formula that I made which carried me through the whole evacuation time. So that was lucky. But the core of that was really the Five Flower. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:46] And I’m curious, it’s interesting to think about the components within the Five Flower formula that Dr. Bach created. And I have to apologize to listeners who are picking up on wild noises outside because I’m in the burn zone. There’s a lot of trees that are needing to come down in my area. So there’s a team working on my hillside right behind the house right now who are taking down some burned trees and clearing things. So that’s where I live. That’s what’s happening around me. And so there’s a little bit more noise than usual. So apologies to everyone, but maybe it’s creating a sense of cinematic reality. The surround sound of chainsaws. But there it is. We’re talking about that Five Flower component. And I I really get that freeze thing and also the post-traumatic stress. I have been talking to so many people who, whether they were directly or indirectly impacted by the fires two years ago, now it’s all really coming up again. And being able to work with that and help to address it with flower essences is really important to help it move and process through your body so you’re not perpetually in a fear state and your body can get back to the relaxed and restorative state that you’re talking about in those three phases. I’ve been finding for myself, I’ve been taking the Post Trauma Stabilizer from the Flower Essence Society, one of their Flourish formulas, constantly since I returned from evacuation. I didn’t have it with me during the time, but it’s been I’ve been really powering through that formula because I was really stressed, I was really anxious and not sleeping well. And it’s really helped me bring myself back. I think one thing to remember is that when you’re taking flower essences, it’s not a magic wand. You have to keep working with it. You have to keep taking the essence and taking it multiple times a day to help to soothe your nervous system and help you get back to yourself. It’s something you just have to continue using along the way, rather than taking a pill and having the problem go away. They don’t make everything go away instantly, but they help you process it, rather than storing it in your body so that it never moves and would be as big a trigger in the future as it is now.

Rochana Felde [00:12:18] Yeah, I agree with what you’re saying. When we’re not able to process the trauma that’s happening to us, it stores in our body. And so flower essences are are a way to help move through it. It’s not going to make it go away.. It’s not magic. It’s not going to be like taking a pharmaceutical that will just zonk you. I think one of the brilliant parts about flower essences is they help you be just become more aware of yourself and and what you’re going through. And that’s that’s a big part of it, too, because so often in these situations being evacuated,  not being able to be at home, staying at friends or families. You know, it’s tough. And then to top it off, you know, when you don’t know if your house is going to be there when you get back. I mean, that’s probably one of the biggest stresses you can have in life. And, you know, it’s easy to be get snappy and irritable with the people around you. And the flower essences help a lot with that as well, with how we’re acting out during this time of high stress. 

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[00:40:58] 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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