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.

So the Forget-Me-Not, it grows all over where I live in the forest, and as soon as the rain, since it starts getting damp in the spring, it’ll start popping up everywhere and everywhere I look, it’s there. So I get this feeling not only from the energy of the flower, but where I live, it’s the actual physicality of the flower. It’s everywhere I look, and it gives that– because I’m living basically in its environment, I get that feeling of being surrounded by friends and family from that flower.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:15:54] That’s lovely, because nature is our home. Plants are our home, and they are here with us. They are relations. They talk about the green people, and there’s the animal people and the human people, and then there’s the green people. And these people are surrounding us. And they do have, at least in my world view, there’s a level of consciousness, and there’s a level of of inter being, let’s say, that we’re all in this together, and they are recognizing us in this, and we are not just lonely humans that don’t get to hang out with other humans. We are actually part of this web of life and being in nature helps you to remember that that’s the case.

The essence that is so on point for me with that particular topic is one from my Flora of Asia essences, the Kousa Dogwood Bud, and it reminds you– it was made in the green. When the Dogwoods first start to bloom, the bracts are smaller and greener, and when it starts to open up, it still has that deep emerald green flower or appearing flower it’s actually a bract. But the essence was made in that state. And so it has the quality of all of these green flowers, which is that connection to the green world, the spirit of nature and the Kousa Dogwood Bud gives us that reconnection to who we are, to ourselves and how we fit in with nature, where we belong, that there’s this connection. There’s this deep level of connection, and it can never be severed, but we can forget about it. And this essence helps us to remember. Ah, yes, you’re right. I am so part of this world.

Rochana Felde: [00:17:55] That’s beautiful.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:17:58] I think the next piece that I feel is important to talk about is the level of depression right now where the days are shorter. It’s darker. It’s colder. The ways that we’ve been able to interact outdoors more, those things are starting to– those opportunities are reducing. And a lot of us are feeling really depressed as we go into this season. And whatever your relationship is to that particular mental emotional state, whether that’s something that you’ve endured a lot of through your life or not, it is part of the experience right now. And I think essences are appropriate to look at. And I think, we were talking about Mustard a little bit, and Mustard is one that you’ve worked with a lot. And you see that one as being really appropriate in this moment?

Rochana Felde: [00:18:57] I do. I think there’s a couple of aspects of it that work really well. It is for loneliness and isolation, but more when there’s depression and withdrawal for whatever reason, and that’s definitely what you’re talking about, what we’re going through. But there’s also a piece to me that has to do with faith and perseverance. And it just, to me, helps have faith that things are going to get better. It’s just such a bright yellow. It pops up in the fields. I’ve made an essence from one wild Mustard that was growing in an unused cow field, and the way it comes up in the spring and sort of pokes above the other grasses that are coming up, the timing of it, the way that it sort of– it’s like this beacon of light that’s saying, there is hope. There’s light in the darkness. And things are going to warm up and grow and get better. And also, I like to think about what a strong spice that is. It’s warming. It’s carminative. It’s just very strongly flavored. And it has this tenacity that kind of helps pull your hand. I just get this visual of, it’s the energy of it kind of helping pull my hand and pull me kind of up from the depths of wherever I am.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:20:54] Right. It’s all part of its signature, how it’s used, is culinary or as medicinal and also that color. I have more of a relationship with these huge fields that emerge in the spring. And so that quality of spring hopefulness when things tend to be sort of gloomy and gray, and then coming across a field of mustard in bloom is like, boom, you get it with that really hopeful golden energy that gives you the feeling like, okay, well, it may kind of suck right now, but here we go. Here’s something different. Here’s a different mood for you to pull through. So I love what you’re saying about the culinary aspects or the sort of the energetics of mustard is. I hadn’t really thought about that aspect before.

Rochana Felde: [00:21:49] Yeah. And I like to think about just sort of one of my little half baked theories, I guess you could say, is the essence is made from herbs and spices. There’s just a certain quality, just like the essences made from wild versus cultivated. There’s all these different energetic forces with these kinds of plants, and the plants that we’ve been using medicinally in culinary for eons that we’ve sort of really evolved with, I feel like they have such a power because it’s like they’ve made this commitment to help us.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:22:32] Well, there’s a partnership, right? There’s a partnership that’s emerged over bazillions of years.

Rochana Felde: [00:22:38] And we’ve made a commitment to cultivate them or what have you. So there’s something to that, and there’s something to that partnership. And so I feel like there’s a real helpfulness with the essences that are made from plants like that.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:22:57] Yeah, totally. Very interesting. Yeah. I think that that’s pretty cool. The difference to me between Mustard and one of the other plants that I think of for this depression is the Sweet Chestnut and the Mustard, the differentiation for me of how I use one versus the other, and maybe both are indicated in this moment, the Mustard tends to be for that depression that sort of has a sudden onset, just sort of like comes on you. And you just can’t pull yourself off the sofa, or you just can’t even. And it has this sort of density that just sort of keeps you down. And the Sweet Chestnut, another one of the Bach essences, has more of a quality of sort of you’re at the end of your rope, and I think that from my experience, the Sweet Chestnut is one of those more kind of cumulative depressions of just like everything piles on. And it’s just like it just seems like too much. And so Sweet Chestnut can be such a help. And,  the description of how it can be of being sort of the end of your rope, the dark night of the soul, I don’t think you have to be in that extreme state for Sweet Chestnut to be useful to you. You can be 10% of that and still get value out of taking and working with this essence. So if you’re hearing this and you’re thinking, well, I’m not that bad, still, Sweet Chestnut may be of some use to you in wherever you are on that spectrum, of, depression.

Rochana Felde: [00:24:47] Yeah, I agree. We hear this term dark night of the soul, and it sounds so intense, and it certainly can be. And I mean, I’ve definitely experienced many of those. But it’s a spectrum. It’s not a pitch black night of the soul. It could be a great night of the soul. And it’s all about this existential crisis, right, that’s this existential depression. And how perfect is that for right now? Because we’re all questioning everything that we hear, everything that we have believed in, and we don’t know what’s going to happen. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:25:34] Yeah. It’s an experience that every human is going through right now, everybody on this planet is going through. And I think you’re exactly right in that that connection to this shared communal experience of,  what is real, what isn’t real, we’re dealing with something that’s invisible. It’s changed our lives dramatically, and it’s invisible, and not everybody is on board with one way of thinking about it or another. And it has been rocking my foundations of what I believe in and who I used to trust and listen to and believe, and all of these things are shifting. It’s been a really difficult time. And I think we both have had these experiences of just like what is going on. It’s a different time.

Rochana Felde: [00:26:34] It really is, yeah. And reality is so subjective.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:26:38] It turns out. 

Rochana Felde: [00:26:41] Seemingly. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:26:41] Who knew? But yes, it seems to be the case that there is a certain amount of discussion about what is the reality, so. Yeah, so the Sweet Chestnut is one that I use a lot and recommend a lot even though that dark night of the soul thing sounds like it’s much more dramatic than my life would require. It still might be very useful for you as well. So the persevering of finding the way through, we talked about sort of the deepest pit of helping getting you out of with the Mustard and the Sweet Chestnut. And now it’s like and how do we keep climbing, how do we keep going forward one step, one foot in front of the next? And I love to think about Oak in this circumstance. I know that we’ve talked about Oak quite a bit, and I know that’s one that you use a lot, Ro. How do you see oak as being part of our circumstance in this moment of just enduring?

Rochana Felde: [00:27:44] Well, Oak is just the symbol of strength, and that is its signature for sure, for its essence. So the other qualities of Oak are the sheer amount of life that it supports in its ecosystem. And the interesting thing for Oak right now is that’s another thing that I’m surrounded by where I live, and the ones that lose their leaves are losing their leaves. So they teach us a lot about transition, and the leaves are part of its cycle. And I sit there and kind of watch the leaves fall, and it’s really interesting these days because it’s not necessarily when there’s a big gust of wind, do all these leaves come down. They all sort of regardless of what’s happening with wind, it’s like big flurries of leaves dropping seem to happen at the same time.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:28:55] Yeah, I see it too.

Rochana Felde: [00:28:56] Yeah, yeah. And it’s really weird because it’s not necessarily like it was wind that necessarily pushed all those leaves to drop at the same time. It’s like this collective agreement that happens. And when I kind of meditate and watch this, it’s teaching us to let go of what’s no longer needed. There’s no sadness in it. There’s no grief in it. There’s no loss in it. They’re ready to let go of these leaves, and they do it. And it’s like watching rain or snow, because there’s so many around where I live, and it’s so beautiful in this time of year. So I’m forgetting my point, but. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:29:40] Well, it’s about acceptance. 

Rochana Felde: [00:29:42] Yes, yes. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:29:42] Yeah. The acceptance of this moment of like, okay, that’s going. Okay, that’s going. And the loop that I would pick up with Oak is reminding yourself to reach out for help. Oaks don’t survive in a vacuum. They have tons of, I’m forgetting what the botanical what the technical term is, but allies. They grow in a society and a community, and they don’t do it all themselves. And the lesson of the Oak essence is to remember to ask for help, remember to reach out for help. So both that acceptance of what is, what’s happening, and also to be reaching out in whatever ways you can.

And I love Blackberry also because bringing in one of the rosacea into this conversation, I think, is important. And Blackberry is also a plant that grows rampantly around both of us. And anywhere where it grows, it grows rampantly, but it has that quality of perseverance, of helping you dig down deep and keep your heart open, and to keep moving forward.

Rochana Felde: [00:30:59] I really love the tenacity it helps with. It will keep coming back, and I like to piggyback on that energy. But I wanted to say one more thing about the Oak that I just was thinking of. And I know we mentioned this in a previous episode maybe last year around this time because we were talking about deciduous trees and how I believe you said when they lose their leaves, you can see farther. And I really resonate with that and like that statement because it’s so true that it is a time when we are feeling this way that we can really look at things, and it’s giving us an opportunity, I think, to look at those things, and maybe we’ll see something that will help us.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:31:58] Yeah, you’re right. That quality of perspective and clarity of this is what’s happening, and I can see what’s going to be happening in the future here and being able to assess it without for, it’s the forest for the trees scenario, right?

Rochana Felde: [00:32:15] Yeah. Interesting.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:17] Yeah. And I would love to talk a little bit about this quality of sharing space because we’ve talked about being isolated, and yet many of us are sharing space with our loved ones in these close family units, in these, oftentimes, very close spaces. And how do we navigate this? Because we’re looking at a long chunk of time ahead of us that we’ve been doing it for a long time. And now we’ve got even more time in front of us of sharing space. We love these people, but we’d also sometimes need a break. And so what we’re using to help navigate that tension of love them, but also to have a break.

So one of the essences that I’ve been thinking of is Holly. That’s one that you use also. But Dr. Bach’s Holly, all about those frustrations in the heart, whenever we just are vexed of whatever’s happening right now, Holly helps us to open our heart to others and help us open to recognize this part of the shared experience that we’re all having, that we’re all getting on each other’s nerves a little bit or a lot. It’s all possible. And yet, we still can hold on to the part like, oh, yes, I really do love this person. I really do want to be around this person.

Rochana Felde: [00:33:48] And I like that Harmony blend that’s in your line, Kathleen. Can you talk a little bit about what’s in that?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:33:54] Yeah, of course. Harmony, it’s such a good formula for this moment. It’s one that I created as a mist and also as a little accupoint roll-on, and Harmony has one of the essences in it, and they’ve all been chosen to help you with this topic of sharing space because `it’s always a challenge to not step on each other’s toes and all of these dynamics that are happening.

One of the essences that I would love to highlight out of it is the White Michelia. And like all of the Magnolia family, it helps us to navigate this embodiment experience, but it’s particular to helping us find compassion for others, helping us to be in this body, be in this relationship, be in this reality, and also to be kind, to find that place of empathy even when maybe we weren’t feeling it a few moments ago. That’s one of the essences that I think about a lot in this time because we do need to find that empathy for one another because this is a community experience that we are all going through, and the choices and the things that we’re doing are all about taking care of one another. We take care of ourselves, but we also take care of each other. And the White Michelia is a good essence, and the Harmony blend, it’s a survival strategy right now.

Rochana Felde: [00:35:29] Yeah. And I luckily had it, and I’ve had occasion to use it recently, a few times. The spray, it’s really nice to have to really just clear the clear the air. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:35:45] Literally. Before this time I would recommend it for people to use in their homes and just spraying the corners twice a day. Just go ahead and put a mist into each corner. It sets the tone of the space, and the people who’ve been most dramatically responsive to it are households with teenagers and multiple cats. And everybody gets along better. When the energy in the space has been set in that way, but now it’s been really important that we all share the same space. We all need to get along better.

Rochana Felde: [00:36:26] Yeah, I like to look at that, the personal relationships in your house, and then link it back to loneliness and the fact that we can be locked up, I guess, locked in with with our close family members and yet still maybe feeling loneliness and not feeling that connection. There was interesting conversation about that as well in that same podcast I mentioned where Vivek Murthy talks about the three different dimensions of loneliness, and one being intimate and emotional, another being your social relationships and the other collective and how having, say, if we’re not having social relationships, it can end up making us feel lonely in an otherwise good personal relationship with our spouse or who we’re living with. And so that’s something to think about, too. We might start to be feeling like, oh, we’re not happy in our relationship when really, is it really them? Is it really us? Or is it also being fed by the fact that we don’t have social relationships happening as much anymore? And that might be a way to– we kind of want all of those dimensions to be somehow fed, or it can make us feel out of balance in something that might not normally be having problem.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:21] Thanks for bringing that in. I do need to listen to that episode because that’s a really good point, because it’s like we’ve got one of those three things now. And in order for our lives to go normally and happily and feel connected and feel like we belong, we need all three of those things. And so, you’re right that it is really coming up right now that the people that we’re closest to are the ones we’re having the most conflict with. And then it can just spiral. And it may be really the problem isn’t there. Maybe the problem is just that we’re all suffering the loss of those other sorts of connections that we as humans really need and rely on. Mhm, yeah, nice. Thanks for sharing that.

Do you think of Impatiens? That’s one that I think of when we have this prickly interactivity, when we’re just frustrated as heck with people and want to just snap at them. Impatiens has that quality and can help soothe that frustration with other people that they’re in our space or they’re in the way or whatever it might be. That’s an essence I use a lot when when this topic comes up.

Rochana Felde: [00:39:27] Yeah, and especially for people with a Pitta tendency in the Ayurvedic category, because that’s something that can– and I have that so I can get impatient quickly when somebody is not maybe doing things fast enough or the way I want or they’re in the way, just not going the way that I want. 

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:39:55] But we’re both beings of light. We never feel that. 

Rochana Felde: [00:40:00] So I think that Impatiens is definitely a great one for that. Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:40:07] Yeah, it’s tough, people. It’s tough. Everybody’s struggling, and everybody’s watching themselves behave the way that they don’t want to behave. So more apologies all around and more compassion for ourselves and for our loved ones because we are all in this together.

Rochana Felde: [00:40:22] Yeah. And I would add Snapdragon. That’s always a good combo. Those two are like a one, two punch, Snapdragon because that’s what happens as we get snappy when we’re frustrated.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:40:35] Yeah. And we tend to lash out with our words and actions. And for me, that’s the hallmark of Snapdragon is that we tend to to lash out verbally.

Rochana Felde: [00:40:48] Yeah.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:40:48] Oh, my goodness. And the one sort of grounding element that I think we can add to this interpersonal connection issue is the Cow Parsnip, and this is an Alaskan essence as well. And it gives this grounding to, this is what’s happening, and I want it to be different. And I can also just like be okay with how it is. It’s not what I prefer. I want something else, and, hmm, okay, this is where we’re at. It creates that acceptance of what is, but also with the acknowledgement that I’m ready for something better to happen. I’m ready for this to be better. I’m ready for it to be easier for me. The Cow Parsnip is so helpful at that acceptance piece of instead of fighting it all the time, we tend to sort of get locked into that struggle and fighting and all that and not be able to just, uh, ease and soften into it, okay, this is what’s happening.

Rochana Felde: [00:41:59] Yeah. It’s such an interesting plant. It’s very similar in look to Angelicas, and they both grow out on the Pacific coast here. And it took me a while to figure out how to identify the difference. So I feel that there’s some similar energies to the Angelica except the Cow Parsnip, it’s like the leaves are so wide and the stem is so thick, it’s really grounded. Its whole energy is just– it’s got such a presence that is embodied. It’s about, to me, is taking that maybe that Angelica energy and being more embodied with it. And so what you’re saying about kind of that acceptance of this is where we’re at, or we’re right here right now, very much makes sense.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:43:01] Yeah. And I’d like to kind of bring this session to a close and this pod to a close with some possibilities for what we can do to cope because it’s not going to end right away. We wish it might, but what are we doing–? I know what I’ve been up to sort of cope with this time. What are you recommending with your clients for how to cope with this upcoming continuation of the same?

Rochana Felde: [00:43:35] Yeah, well, of course, the being out in nature is always the number one thing, but I’m enjoying and also very much recommending is to find some creative outlets. The one that I’m working with right now is SoulCollage. And I know you do that, too.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:43:57] I got you hooked. 

Rochana Felde: [00:43:59] You got me hooked. I’m so thrilled about this process of SoulCollage. So we’ll put a link in there to the website if people are interested. But really, any sort of meditative, creative practice, it’s just perfect right now. I mean, you can’t go wrong for so many reasons. The stress, the getting your head out of social media and the news, and the contemplation that goes with it, the creative. Doing something creative always provides hope because it makes you part of the process rather than a victim, I guess, is how I look at it. It’s like you are here in this world doing something that is creating a reality and whether that’s just a picture on a page or you’re creating a new option for how to deal with things in your head while you’re doing it, there’s that element of being creative that is participating in the world instead of letting everything happen without your participation, which feels disempowering. So whatever you can do to feel empowered really is the key.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:36] And even just soothing, I mean, coloring.

Rochana Felde: [00:45:39] It’s so relaxing.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:42] Yeah, I really appreciate doing activities that require the use of my hands and my dexterity rather than spending more screen time. I think that there’s there’s wonderful creative things you can do on screens, but also just taking a break from screens because we are spending a lot of time on screens and being able to do something with my hands, whether it’s coloring or doing SoulCollage cards, which is cutting and gluing and all those fun things. I’ve been feeling the urge to learn how to knit. I don’t know how to knit, but I feel like that would be good. So anything you’re doing with your hands that get you out of your head a little bit would be useful.

And the essence that speaks to this creative impulse is Iris, and I know we both love Iris essence. And so if you’re looking for an essence buddy for your creative process, then go ahead and take a look at Iris because that might be just the connection you need to let go of the self judgment and get more in connection with the pure creative impulse. It doesn’t have to be for anybody else. You don’t let anybody see it. It can be totally just for you. It doesn’t have to look good, or you’re not making something for for public consumption. You’re making it to express your soul, your spirit, and that doesn’t matter what it looks like. So I’d encourage all of you to do that. And also cooking. Cooking is a good creative activity. That can be fun if you like it. So lots of possibilities. And if we think of some others after we get off, well, we can write notes, and in the comments, we’d love to hear what you’re doing in this time, how you are finding your way through this period of isolation and loneliness and this dark–

Rochana Felde: [00:47:31] Depression.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:31] Yeah, this depressing dark time. So, please, we would love to hear from you what you’re doing, what essences you’re using, what plant allies you’re relying on. We really enjoy a vibrant interaction on Instagram or on social. We’d love to hear what you’re thinking and how this is landing with you. We really appreciate you as our community of being part of this podcast and being a regular listener and sharing it with your friends. We really appreciate all help that we can get to get the word out about how essences can help all of us in this time, because, boy, have we ever needed essences more. So thank you for listening.

Rochana Felde: [00:48:11] And I would just add, if you’re really struggling to reach out, and we’ll put links to the hotlines, the support hotlines on the show notes because it’s really important to reach out to someone if you need to and not struggle alone. This will be a dark winter for many, many people, and we want to all support each other as much as possible.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:48:41] Thanks. I’d forgotten that. And thank you for adding that. That’s really, really important. So we’ll be sure to put those links. So hang in there. Hang in there, folks. We’re sending lots of love and nature blessings and flower essences to you in this time. And thanks for being part of the community with us. And until next time.

Rochana Felde: [00:49:03] Until next time.

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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