FEP41 Healing Toxic Shame

Show Notes:

Kathleen and Rochana explore the challenging terrain of toxic shame that is forged by experiences of emotional and physical abuse. Flower essences can help lift the burden and bring to our conscious awareness the realization there is nothing wrong with us, we deserve to be here, and we are enough — regardless of what we might have been told in the past. 

Warning: this episode includes some personal stories of abuse and may be triggering for some. 

If you are not safe, please contact a hotline: 

National Domestic Violence hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)  https://www.thehotline.org/

National Hotlines – Victim Connect Resource Center

National hotlines can help connect victims, survivors, and their support networks connect with local resources. The VictimConnect Resource Center is one of several national hotlines that are dedicated to helping victims understand their rights and options, and make the choices that will best support their recovery.

Audio:

Video:

Flower Essences discussed during the show:

Resources:

Brené BrownBooks: The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly, TED talks, podcasts and more

Patricia Evans Books: Controlling People, The Verbally Abusive Relationship

Show Transcript

Rochana Felde: [00:00:10] Welcome to The Flower Essence podcast and join us on an exploration of the healing wisdom of flowers

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:18] With combined decades of experience in the study and practice of flower essence therapy, I, Kathleen Aspenns, and co-host, Rochana Felde guide you to reconnect to nature with these potent vibrational remedies.

Hi, flower lovers, it’s nice to be back with you. Rochana and I today wanted to take up the topic of toxic shame. We have been reflecting on this. And as we go into the fall season, sometimes it’s really useful to kind of do this inner work. And we’ve been discussing it and thinking about how much of our practices are really about helping people release this legacy of the emotional abuses we’ve received, of the toxic relationships, of the toxic patriarchy. There’s a lot and we wanted to talk about some essences that helped to relieve shame because it’s a really big topic. It’s a really big troubling experience internally. And the good news, flower essences are incredibly helpful for helping to release this. So that’s our topic today. I’m really glad to be talking about this with you, Ro.

Rochana Felde: [00:01:41] Yeah, it is. It’s just so important because I think as we– you know, it comes up over and over again as really a root cause for sort of these more superficial relationship challenges or emotional challenges. You know, when you dig into it during a flower essence therapy session and over the course of time, I’m sure that, you know, you’ve seen it time and again with your clients, Kathleen, just as I that there’s kind of– a lot of the time there might be this sort of deep sense of shame hiding out somewhere that is sort of at the core, you know, it’s one of the core issues. Don’t you think?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:25] I so agree. You know, that we can come into a recognition of I’m really unhappy or I’m feeling anxious all the time or whatever the sort of the presenting complaint might be. And by just spending a little time with it and doing a little inquiry into where it’s residing in your body, what the kind of constant emotional state is. We can often find underneath of it is an experience of feeling like you’re not enough. There’s something wrong with you. There’s just something– like, I’m not right. I’ve never been enough. I’ve never been– ugh, it’s just, it’s so big.

And to have that running under the surface all the time is such a burden on your emotional system, on your nervous system, on your life. And to be able to relieve that, to be able to bring relief to that is an extraordinary gift. I’m sure that you’ve had some experiences with that also.

Rochana Felde: [00:03:41] Yeah, and it’s that idea that there’s something wrong with us and that can be, so, you know when I talk about shame, I mean, I think that’s what it ultimately comes down to. So it’s not like being embarrassed, although that might be a part of it, right? But it’s not that– it’s not that shy embarrassment. It’s more of that deeper feeling flawed. And then also the fear that other people are going to discover that about you or that they see that about you and trying to hide it.

I guess what really brought this up for me recently, you know, the way that it’s tied in with emotional abuse and sometimes physical abuse is the Gabby Petito case that is, you know, all over the media. It’s gotten a huge amount of media attention, and so I happened to see, you know, the body cam footage and read a bit about the case just because there’s so much information out there about it. And, you know, we can’t know anything about her based on social media. There’s a million internet sleuths out there digging away, but her body language triggered me. It triggered me in seeing and recognizing that feeling. That feeling of something’s wrong with me. I don’t have a right to be here or to take up space or to verbalize my needs. And so, you know, I– that’s, Kathleen, why I kind of pinged you. I think we need to talk about this. I think we need to talk more about this. And I also want to make sure that, you know, it’s not just about Gabby, you know, a white woman who’s gone missing and murdered because there are literally eight times as many women of color that go missing and murdered all the time. And it’s a horrible situation. So any way that we can just help bring awareness to recognizing the signs of being abused or manipulated or controlled and then what we can do internally to sort of change that dynamic, I think, would be helpful.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:11] I completely agree. And also, we want to just express for you listeners, you know, if you are not safe, if you’re not safe at home, if you’re not safe in your relationship, please get help. Please, please, please, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at the hotline.org and their phone number is 800-799-SAFE. There’s also the VictimConnect resources, national hotlines, and that is absolutely paramount to if you are not safe, please ask for help. Please get help. Please make a plan and get out. That is, your safety and your well-being are very important to us. And so we want to make sure that you know those things and you know that people care, and there are resources for you available. And you know, there’s a whole spectrum of that sort of abuse that happens. And if it’s, I’m going to use air quotes, “just emotional”, that is no less important for you to be looking at and to be taking care of yourself. So we really want to encourage you to get help there, too. Shame thrives on silence and secrecy, and the more that you can speak out, you can find your voice, you can connect to those who care, to your friends, to your family, whoever you can reach out to, to your community, to be able to share what’s going on and not need to hide behind a mask of that everything’s okay, that is oftentimes a really important step and often a first step because a lot of these things take place in the shadows. A lot of these shaming experiences take place in the shadows and the cure for that is a little sunlight and to be getting support and people to really see you and they really want to help you. So I wanted to make sure we talked about that too.

Rochana Felde: [00:08:16] Yeah, absolutely. And then just to– you know, also to clarify, you know, when we’re talking about using these flower essences, we’re working on those deep inner levels for somebody who’s sort of already in the process. And as Kathleen said, you know, if you’re in the crisis of where you’re in danger, don’t– you know, like maybe if you have flower essences to help you, but that’s not going to solve the problem. So you need to reach out to the hotlines or whatever support system you have to get out of any kind of immediate danger. And so with flower essences, you know, Kathleen, how would you go about, say,  a client comes to you who’s been recently in the situation or maybe doesn’t even realize they’re being controlled and manipulated?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:10] Yeah, I’d like to start just by telling a little bit of the trajectory that I’ve experienced because I think that it’s useful, and by being able to tell my story, it’s very empowering to me as well. And I found that when I have been able to share it, a lot of people recognize themselves in certain aspects of it as well, and that’s also part of this shared experience that, you know, everybody has a story, everybody has an experience. And so in my particular individual scenario, you know, I was born into and grew up in a fundamentalist Doomsday cult. And the part of the system was women were, you know, subjugated. And the levels of misogyny and toxicity in this scenario were very, very high. And I was, you know, raised up to think my greatest version was essentially to be a servant and to be obedient and compliant to authority, and that was enforced, you know, with physical spanking and that sort of thing from, you know, more or less the time I was born. And so I developed this, you know, this learned helplessness. I didn’t realize I had a voice. I didn’t realize I had the ability to stand up for myself. And it took me many, many, many years, decades to figure this out, to start to work my way through it. And I started to work my way through it sort of more intellectually at first, and I knew that there was nothing wrong with me. I knew that this experience of shame that was just absolutely, you know, buried deeply within me. I knew that wasn’t right. I knew, but I didn’t know how to do anything about it. And you know, I mean, nature has always saved my life. You know, growing up in that circumstance in that, you know, truth only came from outside of you, that, you know, these authority figures were telling me what life was and you know that God was angry and obviously a guy, women were very secondary. And this toxicity that got built into my system, the only peace I had was in nature. The only peace was outside. That always had truth. It felt like truth to me. And inside with the people, it always was very confusing and distressing.

So growing up and getting out of that scenario was one thing physically, but to get out of that internally was another thing. And you know, I remember this situation of talking to some friends. And one of my friends said to me, you should forgive yourself, you know? You know, I felt so bad and I was feeling horrible about things that I had done when I didn’t believe I had any value. Forgive yourself and I’m like, What a great idea. How does that work? Because I knew it. I knew there was nothing. You know, intellectually, I knew like, Yeah, of course, I was a victim. But to be able to actually release it, my cells believed it. It was baked into my physical form, into my heart. And, you know, years later, I thought, you know, I really have to do something about this. I really have to do something. This is unhealthy.

So I had known about flower essences a little bit from working with my birds because they’re safe for using with your animals. And I looked into it and I thought Pine, Pine, inappropriate guilt. Yeah, that seems right. And so I started to use it and I started to use it reliably and, you know, regularly. And, you know, after a few weeks, after a month, I looked back and I went, Oh my god. That feeling is gone. It was just gone. And I haven’t felt that way ever since. I continually kind of touch back in with Pine because it’s been an ally to me. And even just talking about getting ready for this episode, I’ve been touching back in with Pine because it’s helpful for removing these layers over time, but I cannot tell you how much Pine changed my life. It’s one of the Bach essences and I’ve told other people and they’ve had similar experiences, so that is absolutely my first go-to essence for this topic. Have you worked with Pine? Is that a friend to you?

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Rochana Felde: [00:13:55] Yeah, but I’m just– you know, I’m still reeling from the story that you– thank you for sharing that. You know, it’s hard to get that personal in public, and I really honor and appreciate that. I haven’t used Pine in the intensity that you’ve used it that over a month long. And I do, of course, use it in blends and all the time and use it with my clients. It’s not just any guilt, it’s like guilt that’s out of proportion for what happened, right? Because we all, especially those of us working on self-development and self-help, I mean, we want to take responsibility and “fix” ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with you, but we get into that mindset of wanting to fix ourselves and to get better and do better. And so when something goes wrong, I know for me, I can’t speak for everyone, but I think it’s common when you’ve been doing all this self-work for a long time too to take over responsibility for every negative scenario that happens in your life. And I have done that so many times in my life. Maybe it’s also part of being like an oldest child and having that super responsibility mindset to begin with. And then, you know, getting into the world of healing and self-help and self-improvement, it’s like, I just took that on overdrive and that’s not healthy. That’s causing harm. So, Pine is also– you know, I love it for that purpose as well.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:15:38] Yeah, there’s something about Pine that it just helps you drop. It helps you drop the overprocessing that’s happening. You know, when I’ve sat with Pine, you know, I’m really interested in– when I develop essences, I’m really interested in the botanical qualities. And the Conifer family is beyond ancient. They certainly predate the flowering plant families, you know, flowers as we know them. So conifers were one of the very first types of plants that grew here on the planet. And they have this grounded physical quality of being really present. They have this ability to be embodied. And I found that Pine and pines and conifers, in general, are really helpful for this “how to live life” kind of quality. I don’t know how to explain it better than that, but there’s something to that Pine, that Conifer family.

Rochana Felde: [00:16:43] There really is. And, you know, I feel like they just have so much perspective. You know, they really are– you know, they’re like our elders and there is– you know, I have a relationship with a particular Redwood that grows near me and it’s just this constant source of support. You know, I walk over to it, stand next to it, get in its field, touch it, kind of talk to it. Sometimes I can get messages, and sometimes it’s just that sense of feeling like this is a friend of mine, but the solid, like long-term– that there’s a longevity to it there, that it’s been there for so long and it’s so big and it’s seen so much and it’s so connected and grounded. And if I’m upset, that’s where I go and then I feel better. It’s, you know– and that’s the Redwood. So the Pines, you know, the Douglas Firs, you know, all of the conifers, there is a similar thread that I see as well. So they all have their, you know, your unique energies, but there is something there. There’s something to that. They’re like giants in– you know, they’re these beings that are just quite incredible.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:18:13] Yeah, completely agree. It’s very interesting to sort of see the different expressions of Conifer as they come in different ecosystems. And for Dr. Bach to– I don’t think there’s any other conifers in Bach’s system, well, Larch is a conifer also, but to have him sort of feel this experience and to offer to us such an incredibly healing quality in the system. It’s certainly one that I use as much, at least as, if not more than a lot of the others. So I wanted to be sure we thanked Dr. Bach for that and bringing that Pine in.

There are so many other essences that I think of when I’m working with clients that have this toxic shame experience. And I also want to bring in Brené Brown’s work right now because her ability to bring this out of the shadows and to be able to help us to start talking about it, oh, what a gift. Thank you, Brené. Really appreciate. And, you know, for those who aren’t familiar, perhaps with her, she’s written a number of books. She’s got a very influential TED talk, probably more than one by now, on this topic. And so if this is something that you want to learn more about, that would be a really good place to go.

Pink Monkeyflower is sort of my second-tier go-to essence, and I use this essence for– and it’s very broad, but it is that shame that resides in your heart. And this is oftentimes a good step when you feel like no one will accept you if they actually saw who you were. When you feel like you’ll be rejected if they really knew who you were. And so much of this shame, because it’s hiding in the shadows, it’s hiding in secrecy and in silence. And to be able to start opening your heart to someone else, to open your heart to your community, family, whoever and let them know how you’re feeling, it’s a very healing experience, and Pink Monkeyflower can help us start to overcome that need, that desire for silence, and the desire for isolation. That only makes it worse. You know, it’s only a negative spiral and you know, it’s just– it’s such an important essence. And I think that you probably also use this one and are familiar with it.

Rochana Felde: [00:20:52] Absolutely, and I also like Agrimony as part of that. It helps with when you– you know, that cover-up, but when you’re covering it up with a mask of cheerfulness or, you know– and this is so common, even more so I think today than any other time because– why? Because social media, right? We all– you know, everybody has their happy pictures on Facebook and Instagram. And you know, it’s like we spend even more time today, I think than maybe years past of putting on the happy face and making it look like nothing’s wrong. So even people who maybe didn’t used to do that so much now with social media are doing it inadvertently, because that’s kind of what we do. You know who wants to post, you know, sad pictures. And Agrimony, you know, helps with that covering up that shame. You know, it’s not– we don’t need to live our entire life, you know, like The Stepford Wives or whatever. I think Agrimony would be perfect for that.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:22:06] Yeah, Agrimony is such an essential, you know, pivotal, foundational essence. And you’re so right that social media really does, you know, want us to be bright and happy and bouncy all the time? And, you know, we’re sort of expecting that. And maybe even worse is that we believe that. We believe that other people are living those awesome lives. And it helped– and it makes us even feel even more isolated because everyone is inside this bubble of shame that we’re not living this awesome, amazing, fabulous life, you know, taking vacations or whatever it is we’re doing, you know, fabulously, whatever, all of all the time, and we build up more and more walls to authenticity and to, you know, where we really are. And Agrimony has– you know, once again, this is one that I’m very familiar with and use a lot personally and also in my practice, because it feels like– it feels like in order to be accepted, you have to have like– be the positive one. You know, you’ll be rejected if you’re not fun. You know, nobody wants to be around me if I’m really how I feel right now. And it’s such a trap. Especially since what I experienced most of the time, if I’m actually really real about it, I can share it, and then it can release. If I have to hide it, it stays there forever. Being able to actually express true feeling and in the right place, in the right time, you know, not all the time, but in personal relationships, you should be able to tell somebody how you’re feeling and not have to be putting on a mask. So Agrimony is so helpful.

Rochana Felde: [00:24:06] Yeah, I mean, you’re so right about expressing it and releasing it. And maybe if there’s nobody that you can talk to right now, you can at the very least journal it or do something artistic or creative or something to get it out of the system. But what you’re saying, Kathleen is so true. There’s got to be somebody in your life that you can talk to. If it’s not in a personal relationship or a friendship or a therapist or anyone that you’re seeing, you know, therapeutically, I mean it– you know, I hear stories and jokes about people not saying things to their therapist because they’re too, whatever. And that defeats the purpose. That’s what they’re there for. So don’t keep it inside. And you know, but as we’re– Kathleen, as we’re kind of navigating through this, there’s just so many little pieces and parts. What are some other pieces that are part of this picture that we might want to look at?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:25:13] When you’re navigating this shame, you certainly want to be working with the underlying topics that maybe are adding to it or are part of your picture. So to be able to recognize what circumstances are currently going on in your life? What sorts of maybe emotionally abusive situations, manipulative relationships? You know, I think gaslighting is profoundly common and incredibly destructive to our well-being. And that, I think, is one of those things that we can be– and we can actively gaslight ourselves. I know that I’ve totally done that because I wanted to be a spiritual good person. And, you know, the only thing I can work on is me. And that’s true. And also, if I’m only thinking about that, I’m going to be putting my actual lived reality kind of last. It’s not being really truthful that this doesn’t work for me. You know, instead, I will just try to twist myself into shapes in order to tolerate what’s happening. So that self gaslighting, I think, is a significant part of what happens.

Rochana Felde: [00:26:38] Yeah, I can definitely relate with that one, as I’m sure we all can. You know, and I was in a relationship for quite a long time where he was gaslighting and controlling and emotionally abusive. So, you know, I didn’t really know it was happening for a while. You know, I just kept thinking I was, you know, misremembering or I didn’t know. And let me tell you, too, that if you’re in a relationship where there’s a good amount of drugs or drinking involved in the way that you spend time together, this makes it all the more worse because you might not have a clear memory of what happened the night before. And then when the partner is telling you, you know, that you said something or did something and you don’t remember it that way, you’re not 100% sure. And so it’s the perfect scenario for abusive and manipulative people to live. And, you know– and unfortunately, I had that lived experience for a few years, and it took me a while to really start to believe in myself, and part of that was reducing and cleaning up the behavior with drugs and alcohol, definitely to just get some clarity and insight and to start believing in myself, that I had a voice, and I could take up space, and I was– you know, it’s not so much a matter of right and wrong in that, he said, she said, that exact word that somebody said. It’s what is that feeling that you’re getting? And what is that person making you feel? And if they’re making you feel like you are a bad person, that’s where I think there’s something to question. That’s where you might start seeing some red flags. When you start getting those feelings like, you know, that they’re thinking that you’re telling you that maybe you’re crazy or you’re this way or you’re that way, putting you in some kind of box, telling you how you feel, how you’re supposed to feel, you know, there’s all these little red flags that you can look at.

There’s some great books out there. So if you’re in that position, I think Patricia Evans’ book, Controlling People was one and The Verbally Abusive Relationship was another book that I read a decade or so ago when I was in that situation, and it was really, really helpful.

For flower essences, I mean, oh, boy, this is like– again, this is such a big subject, but I do frequently work with women who have basic self-confidence challenges. And so there’s a few that– you know, like that’s a place to start too. It’s just believing in yourself, believing that you have a right to be here and you have a right to your feelings, and your feelings aren’t necessarily– you don’t need to pathologize, you know, your needs and your feelings, that if you feel upset or emotional about something, it doesn’t mean that you’re overemotional or your PMS-ing or you’re this or you’re that. So I kind of go to that core like, let’s look into that third chakra, that core, who I am and I put Gold in almost all my formulas because of that. It really helps us to access our inner value and bring forth that into our– you know, in a very subtle but grounded way in our dealings.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:30:41] Yeah, Gold, that gem elixir just comes up so often because so many of us don’t feel like we have any value. You know, we’ve been told by the world that we don’t. We’ve been told that we’re, you know, unimportant and our feelings aren’t important. And you know who we are is disposable. My favorite essence for this aspect is the Lady Banks’ Rose. This is one of the essences in my line of Flora of Asia Essences. And it’s just– you know, once again, we’re looping back to the Rosaceae family. The Agrimony is in the Rosaceae family, and it is this quality of unconditional self-acceptance and appreciation that, you know, being in the embrace of the Lady Banks’ Rose is there is nothing wrong with you. You are fine. You are as you are supposed to be, and you are appreciated for that. To be able to live this experience, to be able to feel this energy in your body is such a gift and such a wonderful healing journey part of overcoming this toxicity of shame.

Rochana Felde: [00:32:01] Yeah. And I use your Lady Banks’ Rose all the time as well, just for that exact reason. It’s one of the– I think, from your collection, from the Flora of Asia Line of Flower Essences, it’s one of the ones I use the most. So thank you for that. It’s a good one.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:32:18] Oh, good. I’m glad it works the same. I know that other practitioners have told me like, yeah, this is like a really important essence. And it’s that– because this topic is so near and dear to my heart as it were and into my practice, it is something that I did create a combination formula around the topic of shame. I call it Innocent because that is the healing field of shame is to recognize, you know, your value and that you are untouched by this and that this feeling of shame doesn’t have to be who you are and it’s not who you are. And so there are some other essences in there that are really appropriate for shame and to help kind of build back up your experience. And I don’t know if any other companies have really worked with the shame issue very specifically like that. And I felt like it was really important to have that as part of my collection of sort of pre-made formulas because it’s such a big topic.

Rochana Felde: [00:33:20] Yeah, that’s the Innocent combination that you have, right? Is that a– that’s not a spray or is it? I haven’t used that one.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:33:30] Mm, yeah, I package it with a spray top, similar way to the way The Flower Essence Society packages theirs because I think it’s just handier and easier to use on a regular basis. You know, you can keep it in your purse and not worry about dropping the bottle and having the top spin off and drop it. So you can use it internally. It doesn’t have any essential oils in it. It’s just a flower essence formula, but it is packaged so that you could use it externally also if you wished.

Rochana Felde: [00:33:58] Yeah. So I mean, I think that so, you know, your experience, your life experience and working with the clients and you specialize in this. I think you’re the– you know, you’re the perfect flower essence producer to be creating a formula basically for this topic, for shame that we’re talking about. So, yeah, it’s perfect.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:34:21] Expert from within, unfortunately. Yeah. What other essences or topics do you want to dig into because there’s so much.

Rochana Felde: [00:34:30] I know. There is so much. You know, there’s a few too that I like to incorporate usually in blends, and this is more about just personal– kind of, you know, developing personal power. So it’s not just about the shame issue, but, you know, Rosemary is actually one. And it speaks to me because it helps to feel warm and secure in your body and it renews your life force when you’re disconnected from your body. But also so, you know, like herbally, it’s used for circulation, so you can kind of see that tie in. There’s that life, that warming, invigorating kind of life force that it brings. Rosemary, it’s got that strong smell. It’s so spicy, but it has this rich tradition of folklore around it. And one of the stories is, you know, that there was a belief that if Rosemary grew by your front door, then the woman rules the house. And if Rosemary didn’t grow– you know, if Rosemary didn’t grow on the property, you know, basically the– you know, their woman had no– you know, the man ruled the house or they didn’t have the power. And so there was a whole– I think it was in England and maybe Italy and some other countries that had this really kind of long-standing sort of beliefs about Rosemary and women’s power. And I think it’s just fascinating, and there’s all sorts of variations on that belief. You know, if Rosemary is by the door, the woman wears the pants in the family or, you know, just kind of funny little things. And I love that because I see that strength of Rosemary. You know, I always put a Rosemary plant near my house. It’s just a fun little thing.

But the essence, I just I see it really bringing a person’s life force to bear. So, when I see a woman or somebody who has a very sort of timid personality, maybe, you know, you can just kind of see it in their body language, I love that Rosemary can come in and sort of infuse that body with that energy of being alive and being a person who has a right to be here. And I really love the kind of sacred, feminine, queenly energy to it, and I want to bring– I like to bring in flowers that have that sort of sacred, feminine, queenly energy to just help boost whatever we’re working with within a blend. Rosemary is one of them. Evening Primrose is another one. Queen Anne’s Lace is another one.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:37:40] Interesting. Rosemary isn’t one that I use a lot, so I’m delighted to hear your experiences with it, which makes me think of that energetic, of that congestion. And I certainly see that in shame, that congestion is in the lower body, in the lower chakras, in the pelvis. And so often our shame experiences maybe have originated when those chakras were coming online when we were little kids. You know, like once upon a time, you know, I don’t know, I hope this is different now, you know, but we were taught to be ashamed of our bodies. We were taught to be ashamed of, you know, our sexual organs and of pooping. And you know, those sorts of things, at least, that was a little bit of my upbringing. Hopefully, that’s not happening anymore. Oh my God. But so that quality of congestion in the lower body, I know that this is something that I’ve experienced from and I think that it comes out of those experiences, and to be able to start moving that energy, moving that energy in the second chakra, moving that energy in the first chakra really helps you. I mean, for one thing, you can’t ground if you were not– if you don’t have a first chakra working. You can’t be in your body if your second chakra isn’t working. So I love to hear how you’re using Rosemary in that context and how it helps to release some of this toxic shame sort of imprinting and overlapping onto those lower chakras. I’m using White Lily a lot for that. And once again, the Liliaceae family is very much affiliated with certainly the second chakra, but I think also the first as well and the White Lily, and it has a white flower, and the botanical name is Lilium leucanthum and leucanthum means white. So I sort of got really literal with the name. It doesn’t have a common name other than that. But this particular Lily helps us to connect in with our body’s wisdom and what our body wants and what she doesn’t want and what our desires and appetites are outside of these conditioned reflexes of like, what I want isn’t right, you know, whether it’s what you want to eat or whether it’s what you want in your life. And to be able to start nourishing those lower chakras through an essence that helps to connect you to your deepest self, your most rooted self, I think as part of this process of restoring the natural flow that we should be able to connect to when we’ve gotten distorted from this shame kind of scenario.

Rochana Felde: [00:40:27] That makes a lot of sense. The other thing with Rosemary I wanted to say is that it’s commonly used for memory and for remembrance herbally and spiritually. So when I combine that with the deep feminine power that it has, I like to say it helps you remember your power as a woman. So I kind of bring it down to that as well. Like, we’re not just drawing upon our own inner personal power, but you know, the power of all the women before us. And you know– you know, I like that, like that matriarchal line of our ancestry. And you know, I want them to– want that energy to kind of help infuse us to stand up and have our own personal power. But I like what you’re saying a lot about that first chakra. You can’t go around if you’re not in your body, basically. And part of not being in the body is also not feeling like you have a right to be here, to exist, to take up space, and an essence, I like to work with that is the Devil’s Club. It helps with that kind of giving yourself permission, I have a permission to be here, and that I am secure in my surroundings. So to start to feel that. Of course, again, if you’re not physically, literally secure, that’s not going to help. You need to tackle that with more practical means.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:42:07] Yeah, I agree. I use Devil’s Club so much for people who don’t feel like– who tend to get kind of run over, you know, by other people who have more powerful personalities or when they don’t feel like they have the right to take up space. You know, when you don’t feel like there’s enough resources and therefore you shouldn’t have anything. That’s the kind of situation where I think of Devil’s Club. And Devil’s Club, I use even probably equally as much for issues of setting boundaries. And so often when this toxic shame experience is so deeply embodied, we don’t feel like we have the right to say no to anything. We don’t feel like we have the right to set a boundary because, you know, then I will be less acceptable than I am now, and I’m not even acceptable at all now. So it’s sort of this horrid negative spiral. I don’t think that we can talk, you know, fully about this topic. Well, we can’t talk about this fully in the 45 minutes that we talk, but without talking a little bit about Bach’s Century, it goes into that doormat scenario, you know, when we feel like our only value is to be of service and we can’t say no and, you know, we overserve and that’s a really big problem, certainly for women. But a lot of people just, you know, haven’t learned that their needs are appropriate and right, and they shouldn’t just automatically discard their own needs because somebody else wants something. It’s such an important essence. I’m sure that you use it also.

Rochana Felde: [00:43:58] Yeah, and that was exactly the essence I was going to say next. That is perfectly appropriate whenever somebody is putting the needs of other people first. Exactly what you said, being a doormat, placating people, especially when they’re being abusive, you know. So of course, we grow up probably doing that as a self-preservation, you know, a technique to preserve ourselves. But the Centaury can help I think just feel– you know, I think a big part of that is just that recognition, right? We don’t even see that we’re doing it when it becomes part of us and part of our personality.

So a big piece of this and what’s so helpful about a lot of these essences is this ability for the flower essences to help you see things differently, right, to see– and it’s so subtle, but there’s gradual awakening that happens where a different perspective may come to mind. There’s more consciousness. It’s like there’s more conscious awareness about things that are happening and then what you’re doing and you know, what’s really happening. Centaury is a great one to be part of that.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:27] Yeah, the essences give this clarity, this ability to recognize what’s really true. You know, they help us get in our bodies. They help us release some of the nonsense that’s been put on us, that we’ve been told, and can really help us reconnect to who we actually are and that we have value and that we are okay as we are and you’re valued and appreciated. And you know, nature loves you. You don’t have to perform for nature. I think that that’s such a gift to have these essences in our lives and to be able to help this deep, deep level of healing. You know, are there any other things that we absolutely have to have in this conversation? You know, and this is sort of one of those conversations that we can either talk for an hour or 30 hours. Once we open things up, there’s so much that’s possible, but anything that we haven’t talked about?

Rochana Felde: [00:46:26] Yeah, I mean, I would just briefly add Black Tourmaline and Pink Yarrow just for removing that– of the Black Tourmaline, you know, releasing what’s not yours, that toxic energy that might be around you in your space, in your body because of whatever is happening. I think the Black Tourmaline can help remove that and release that and transmute that. And then especially for a lot of our listeners who are highly sensitive, I mean, we’re taking in not just what is happening in the situation, but also all of this toxic energy from the other person that might be part of it, and it makes it even more confusing. It makes it so confusing to know what are my feelings, what are not my feelings? How should I feel? Get started with that Pink Yarrow definitely to help with the tendency to merge emotionally with other people and absorb, you know, their energy. And especially if they have a violent, toxic nature, it’s really, really damaging. And I would definitely, in addition to doing whatever else needs to be done, get working with that Pink Yarrow.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:51] Yeah, could not agree more, Pink Yarrow and Pink Monkeyflower are kind of like two that sort of end up in a lot of formulas because yeah, all the yarrows, but particularly the Pink in this particular circumstance, are absolute partners to anyone who’s experiencing this because the shame does absolutely spiral you out of your heart and spiral you into other people’s energy fields. And that Pink Yarrow helps you create a differentiation line between this is actually somebody else’s thing, and it’s starting to come into my field, but it’s actually not mine. So I completely second that importance of– and the Black Tourmaline as well. I think that’s an excellent thought, and that’s something that I would be thinking of kind of looping back to Pine because Pine helps to clarify and release, and then the Black Tourmaline could come in and also sort of support that action in the formula. So thank you for bringing that in.

Rochana Felde: [00:48:50] Yeah. Were there any others you wanted to briefly bring in?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:48:53] Yeah, I think that we’ve– I don’t want to overwhelm. I really feel like it’s important to talk about the things that are absolutely our first lines because if you are working through shame, you can get very lost in the details. You can get really spun out. And you know, for anyone listening who’s, you know, wanting to start working with this shame process, pick one, pick two, pick a couple maybe, and start working with them like I did with Pine. Just, you know, dig in and start working with them for at least a month on the same essences and see what changes. And I think that you’ll be delighted and surprised and your life will be better for having worked with some of these essences and releasing this. You know, it’s a miserable feeling to feel shame. Let’s make the world a better place by not having that going on.

Rochana Felde: [00:49:52] Absolutely. So this sounds like a good place to end it. And thank you everyone for sticking with us through this challenging topic. It’s so important. Yeah, it’s definitely triggering, probably for us as well as some of you. So I’ll just spray some Soul Support right now for all of us virtually as we, yes, take it in and wrap up the podcast. So thanks again for listening. Thank you to our patrons. We are so appreciative of your support. And you know, maybe we’ll put something special in the Patreon feed for our patrons that will give some extra information on this topic. What do you think?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:50:47] I think that’s great. I think that it would be– we have so many more essences that we could talk about. And so we might give a little bit there to just to let you know some of the other essences that we think about professionally when we’re working with clients who are experiencing shame. So, yeah, check that out in the Patreon feed for our lovely, so appreciated patrons. Thank you so much for taking part in that with us and helping to support this work going out into the world. People need flower essences more than ever and our intention and you know, our focus is to help people. It’s to help as many people as we can.

Rochana Felde: [00:51:27] Thank you and bye-bye now.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:51:29] Bye.

Hi, flower lovers. For the last two years, Rochana and I have been sharing practical insights and our professional experience working with flower essences on The Flower Essence podcast. There is so much more to come. Even after nearly 40 episodes, we find that we have many more topics and guests we’d love to introduce. In service of this project to connect people with plant wisdom and healing, we invite you to join us in building our Patreon community.

Rochana Felde: [00:52:01] There are some costs that come with creating a podcast, and we thought it would be really great for people that want to help us to be able to do it in this way. Patreon is such a great platform that helps creative people finance their projects and allows us to give you some perks for doing it. We’re offering early access to episodes, full transcripts, a flower essence QuickStart guide and more good stuff in the future. We’re excited to build this flower essence community with you as a critical part of it, and we thank you so much for helping to support us and our mission to spread the wisdom of nature around the world.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:52:46] 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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