FEP31 Isolation and Loneliness

Show Notes:

As we move into the dark Winter season, the usual options for connection and celebration are not available to us this year. What can we do to support our spirits, to build a sense of connection and belonging in this disconnected world? Join us for a discussion of flower essences and strategies to remedy isolation and loneliness.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Unlocking Us podcast – episodes with Vivek Murthy and Priya Parker


Mental health hotlines:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Suicide Hotline and Helpline Information

NIMH Suicide Prevention

Show Transcript

Welcome, flower lovers. We’re back with The Flower Essence podcast. And today, Rochana and I will be talking about the topic of isolation and loneliness. We are in California, and once again, we are looking at the prospect of being under a shelter in place or a even stronger shelter in place order as we navigate our way through the pandemic. And it’s been a long year, and so many of us have been separate from our friends and family and communities. And it’s not ending any time soon. And I know that I’ve been having a lot of conversations with clients this last month about how hard it is, how,  it’s just grinding on and on and on. And as we go into the season, which normally we’re countering this quality of darkness with looking forward to the holidays and looking forward to parties, if some of us who enjoy parties. Not all of us love parties. But at least there’s certain amount of gatherings that we’re used to. And we miss that family connection. We miss that friend connection. And it’s been a long time, and it’s going to continue.

So we thought it’d be really appropriate to bring some flower essences into this topic of how do we find connection even when we can’t meet in person. And what do we do with these feelings that we’re having?  It’s very depressing. It’s very sad and very frustrating. So depending on how it is in you and it can change from day to day, how are you doing to be okay in this time? And we wanted to share some essences that we’re using for ourselves and with our clients and with our friends who are looking for essences to help endure this isolation period. So thanks for being here again. Rochana, it’s always lovely to spend time in your presence.

Rochana Felde: [00:02:39] It’s always a pleasure to do this, and it’s such a timely topic. And I’m really seeing it as well with clients and family members, especially the elders. The elder family members are really those that are isolated, are just really having such a difficult time, understandably. And if there’s anything that we can do to help them right now, I think that’s a good idea because I’m seeing them take risks that might not be a good idea for them to take just because they can’t stand being alone anymore. And so that idea of loneliness is something that I’ve also been thinking a lot about. And what does that mean? Because it doesn’t necessarily mean being alone. You can feel loneliness when you’re with others, and then you can sometimes feel not lonely when you’re alone. So it’s an interesting concept to think about right now and to think about how we can not feel lonely or isolated regardless of our situation. And I recently listened to a great podcast, one of BrenĂ© Brown’s episodes on her Unlocking Us podcast, where she interviewed Vivek Murthy, who wrote a book called Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. And there was something that he said that I really resonated with. It really struck me. And he said loneliness is a gap between the connections you need and the connections you have. And I thought that just explained it so perfectly. And he went on to talk a lot more about connections and the quality of your connections and not just with the people around you, but with yourself, and that having that quality connection with yourself is, as we have talked about before, is really the basis for any good relationship. But here in the context of loneliness and feeling isolated, I think it’s even more important to think about and work with.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:19] Yeah. And I haven’t yet had a chance to listen to that particular podcast, but I heard that episode. And I think that episode came out in April because I was looking for it before we went on because you had mentioned it. And so I was scanning through. It’s a little ways down on the scroll, so persevere and find it. We’ll put a link in the show notes as we always do. And it’s true that so many people are feeling so impatient and frustrated with the process that we’re going through. It’s a process. And like you’re saying, especially the elders, it’s really been even more difficult. And many of them are sort of breaking the rules that they’d made for themselves early on just because it is grinding on so long, and it is exhausting. So I’d encourage everyone who’s feeling this way, in whatever age group you are, to take a beat, take a breath, and reconnect with your intentions of that, we are doing this for our community. We are doing this for our beloveds, and it is frustrating, and that is just normal. And what can we do about that? What can we do?.

Thankfully, the pandemic in 1918, they didn’t have these options of Zoom and FaceTime and even phones perhaps. So we do have abilities to reach out to people even when we can’t be in physical presence. And I didn’t used to enjoy video calls, but now I’m really finding I like to see some faces, and I like to have that little bit of connection. So please reach out. If you’re feeling lonely, think of someone else who might be feeling lonely, too, and give them the gift of reaching out. Taking that action step of just even if it’s a text or whatever, just let them know you’re thinking about them and that you miss them and you love them. It’s so important to retain those connections, to retain that kindness. And if you can’t do it, hopefully, one of your friends will do it. But if you just kind of keep it going around, you’ll all be able to reach out to each other when you’re having tough times. So I just want to acknowledge that it is a really tough time. It’s normal to be having a tough time.

I did listen to a recent, another one of BrenĂ©’s podcasts just the other day. It was a more recent episode, and I’m forgetting who it was. It was the woman who wrote the book on Gatherings. And she had this wonderful quote about being COVID okay. And how are you doing? I’m COVID okay. It’s like the best you can do in these circumstances, which means some days you come to pieces, and you’re just bawling your eyes out. And then some days you’re like, okay, let’s keep going with this. So it’s pretty normal to be feeling a lot of feels these days, and it’s pretty normal to be feeling lonely and pretty normal to be feeling frustrated. And all of these things are normal human emotions to what’s an extraordinary event in our lives. So be kind to yourself, take as good care of yourself as you can, and reach out to others when you’re feeling the need for more connection because they want to hear from you, too.

Rochana Felde: [00:08:41] Yeah. And although I agree with really Zoom or FaceTime or what have you can be such a useful tool right now, it’s really the time to embrace it if you haven’t because it is a way to have that connection that is so much– it’s the next best thing to being together, that social media just doesn’t. It’s not the same. And the other thing I was thinking would be, when I grew up, we didn’t have anything like this, obviously. And I’m not a big telephone person. I don’t really like talking a lot on the telephone. But it was all we had back then, and we would spend hours, hours and hours talking on the phone. I’m sure you can relate much to our our parents chagrin, right, because there would be these expensive phone bills.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:47] Boys and girls, there used to be only one telephone in the house when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Rochana Felde: [00:09:58] I think our equivalent to the Internet would have been those party lines. And you remember those?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:04] Good times.

Rochana Felde: [00:10:05] Yeah. But my point is though that might be something that in this unique time, I would do more of, maybe talk on the phone if somebody didn’t want to go on Zoom or even letter writing. The old ways that people used to connect, I think it might be kind of interesting to not discount the tried and true methods that humanity sort of had for a while, because it’s like, however you can do it and whatever way that is, I don’t know, adds a little variety. So it’s not all the same. You’re not on the Zoom calls all day long. I mean, that can get really old too. But I have to say, I’ve been doing Zoom calls with my family, a weekly since the pandemic started. And at the very beginning, it was a challenge to get my mom on it, and working her devices and all of that. And she’s a pro now, and I love that. And she loves it. She loves connecting to her kids. We’re all over the Bay Area, and it’s a really nice thing for her. And there’s weeks where I don’t feel like doing it, but when we do it, it’s just so much– it really gives us a nice grounding to have that we don’t have otherwise. So I would say the same thing. That reaching out and that connecting to people, it’s worth the effort right now.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:45] Yeah. And it is an effort. It can be a real effort. So we want to encourage that because it has rewards,  just like lacing up your tennies and going for a jog or a rigorous walk sometimes seems like an effort. It’s also a valuable thing for your well-being to spend some time out in nature, if you can, to feel reconnected. And that’s one of the things I’ve been really relying on because human connection is one thing, but also nature connection is another piece that can help you feel at home in the world, even when things have changed, even when everything is weird and different and strange. Finding a place of just being in whatever form of nature you can get even if that’s just looking at the sky a little bit, can help to soothe your soul and help you feel less alone and sad.

The essence that’s been like the poster child essence for this year is the Single Delight from the Alaskan Essences because it has this quality of helping ease that pain of separation, that pain of feeling alone and separate and disconnected. It’s such a sweet, sweet little essence. And I pulled up the Alaskan Essences Living Book before I came on. And I’ve got that image on my desktop right now of that beautiful little downward pointing white Star Flower. And it has that quality of a light in the darkness and a guiding light that can help us in this dark, dense time. So I’d like to think about that essence quite a lot in this moment. And I’ve been using it a lot with clients and in my work because it is perfect for the moment.

Rochana Felde: [00:13:47] Yeah, it’s such a sweet flower, and I’m using it more now as well. I also really like the Forget-Me-Not. Some people think of it only for grief and having that connection to people who’ve passed on or to people  spirits beyond the veil or that kind of thing, and it is wonderful for that, but it’s also wonderful for engendering that feeling of just not being alone. And I know that when I go out into nature, I never feel alone. And that’s one of the things that I love about nature so much. And doing the sanity walks in nature as we talked about, there’s so many benefits to it. But I never feel alone when I’m outside with nature. And it’s a very subtle thing. And I’ve just been kind of realizing it more now that we’ve been thinking about this topic. And that’s probably why it feels so important right now, and it feels so beneficial.

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Rochana Felde: [00:49:12] 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: [00:49:35] 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 healthcare practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of The Flower Essence podcast.

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