5 elements of stress and anxiety

FEP60 The 5 Elements of Stress & Anxiety with Lindsay Fauntleroy

Show Notes:

In this episode, we welcome Lindsay Fauntleroy back to the podcast! Lindsay is a medicine maker, educator, acupuncturist, and author of In Our Element — a self-help guide that integrates acupuncture theory, flower essences, yoga and ancestral spirituality.

We talk about the naturally rising levels of stress and anxiety during this time of year and the corresponding elemental forces. 

Exploring the way stress and anxiety manifest in the context of the different elements, we offer our favorite flower essences for each scenario. And wow do we cover a lot! 

Join us on this whirlwind dive into the elements as a lens for Flower Essence Therapy.


FEP60 The 5 Elements of Stress & Anxiety with Lindsay Fauntleroy

amp;nbsp; In this episode, we welcome Lindsay Fauntleroy back to the podcast! Lindsay is a medicine maker, educator, acupuncturist, and the author of In Our Element – a self-help guide that integrates acupuncture theory, flower essences, yoga and ancestral spirituality.


Flower Essences discussed during the show:


The Spirit SeedIn Our Element Immersion

The Flower Essence Podcast – FEP49 The 5 Elements as Soul Medicine

Flower Essence Alchemy – Lindsay’s talk: The Energetics and Elements of Emotion

The Flower Essence Conference – Lindsay’s talk: Magic is Medicine: Attuning to Magical Consciousness to Support our Work with Flower Essences

Show Transcript

Rochana Felde: [00:00:40] Hey flower friends. Welcome to The Flower Essence Podcast. Today Kathleen and I have a guest with us. It’s Lindsay Fauntleroy and she has been on our podcast before, so you might recognize her name, but I’m going to read her bio just in case you’re not familiar with her and her wonderful work. Lindsay Fauntleroy is a medicine maker, educator and acupuncturist. Her book, In Our Element is a self-help guide that integrates acupuncture theory, flower essences, yoga, and ancestral spirituality. Lindsay is a certified instructor for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as well as a facilitator for the Flower Essence Society’s Global Practitioner Certification Program through her school, The Spirit Seed. Lindsay’s approach to soul medicine emerges from over 15 years of clinical practice, her Ph.D. studies of Indigenous and African Diasporic psychology and her commitment to community wellness. Welcome, Lindsay.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:01:55] Hi. Thank you so much for welcoming me here. I love our conversations.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:03] We’re really excited to have you here. When we talked about getting together and having this podcast together, we were talking about topics that are really pertinent to the season, that are pertinent to this moment, and nothing seemed to come forward more than talking about anxiety. As we head out of the late summer into the fall, that really does get stirred up and we’re going to be looking at it through the elemental lens from that aspect because you are a pro on that.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:02:40] It’s one of my favorite ways of thinking about– first of all, anxiety is such a thing in our culture, right? There’s so many places and circumstances that generate anxiety. Life in general coming out of the pandemic, just trying to figure out who we are, why we are, where we are, all the things, there’s so much anxiety that’s generated in our culture. And what I’ve found is that working through a five-element lens helps me really hone in on the particular quality of anxiety that’s showing up for a person or for myself as well as which flower essences are the most appropriate to be helpers through that anxiety. And so I’m really excited about us having a little powwow around which flower essences we use and bring in for these different types of anxiety through the lens of five-element theory.

Rochana Felde: [00:03:35] And this is going to be an exciting conversation because with you both bringing the five-element, the Chinese medicine five-element lens and I’m bringing in the Ayurvedic five-element lens, which has a lot to say about the season and the mind and how that affects us as well. So this will be really interesting to compare notes.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:03] Do we want to dip in with sort of a basic underpinning of this elemental shift that’s happening from the late summer into the fall, from the earth season into the metal season? Would you like to frame this conversation, Lindsay?

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:04:22] Sure. I mean, I think one really great place to start is of the five elements, water, wood, fire, earth, and metal in the East Asian philosophy and the acupuncture framework that the earth is the season of overthinking. All of the elements have an emotion associated with them and the Earth element, the translation is either overthinking or what I like to call hyper-empathy. But both of those qualities are qualities of the mind and how the mind gets preoccupied and how thoughts spin around like the earth itself. And so we’re in this season now of the late summer, which is that transition in between the fire element of summer and the metal element of the fall. And it’s this period where the Earth element is really prevalent. We see a lot of the signatures of the Earth element. And so it’s a heightened time of this Earth element overthinking. And we see that reflected in how people are often during this time of year trying to set up new routines, a new rhythm and new sleep schedules and new dietary schedules and new school schedules and planning and organizing and really just trying to get some clarity and some organization to their life. And I think all of that is reflective of the season of the Earth element.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:46] My practitioner and I were having this conversation about this particular season and he was telling me that that sensation of anxiety is really normal because on some level our ancestors are telling us to get the harvest in. Otherwise, you’re going to starve this winter. That energy of like, you got to get this done, you got to get this done, there’s a level of anxiety that just kind of arises at this time that helps us to complete what needs to be done from the end of the season. It’s kind of an interesting thing because obviously most of us in this point are not actually having to bring melons in out of the field, and so we don’t have that natural turnoff switch of going, “Okay, did all that. Now I can relax.” Instead, all of our work is so virtual for the most part that we don’t really have that visual reminder of like, “Okay, we actually did the thing and now we can chill out and relax.”

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:06:42] Yeah, I love that metaphor. But it feels really reminiscent of just even that idea of even though it’s not necessarily based on get the harvest in for the winter, but there is definitely that feeling of, now’s the time to reorganize and set yourself up for success in the months that follow.

Rochana Felde: [00:07:00] What’s so interesting is the five elements in Ayurveda and also in the Western thinking is earth, air, fire, water, and ether. So it’s similar, but it doesn’t totally match. And in the wheel of the year and the seasons, whether it be with Ayurveda, it’s going from the Pitta season, the fire of the summer into fall, which is air. And ether and air and ether are where the imbalances can come that play into the anxiety. So it’s so interesting that it’s actually different elements that we’re talking about, but having the same result basically, that anxiousness. The Vata is with excess air is kind of like the brain is moving too fast. It’s like there’s too much worry. It’s this, the air can just move so fast and it’s untamed in the mind. And so it’s just going– it can go round and round with circular thinking and have agitation. And then too much ether is like that ungrounded-ness, that spaciness, that just not being able to be grounded into the body. And so not only is there this seasonal time of year that’s happening with this shift from going from Pitta to Vata, the fire to the air and ether, but that also happens in our life. As we get older, as we age, when you get older, you’re going into the Vata time of life. And so this is correlating around menopause and aging. And so it also can hit that way, in that aspect and be double. And if you have the constitution of a Vata constitution in Ayurvedic doshas, then that can even be more pronounced. So these are all the things that I like to look at as the time of year. Also in just California in general, it’s like we’re going from the fire of summer and the heat of summer into this dry that we’re just at the peak of our dryness right now. And it’s of course fire season. So that anxiety about that and wildfires just adds to the whole thing. It’s really weird how it actually correlates exactly to the Ayurvedic cosmology in that sense.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:09:48] Yeah, what I love about all of these systems is that, and I think I’ve talked about it before in the conference on the elements, this idea that different cultures were looking at the same phenomenon but just maybe had a different element that they associated. But it’s essentially looking at the same phenomenon of what’s happening in the psyche right now, what’s happening in the environment right now, what’s happening in nature right now, and being able to name it and understand it through the lens of nature, whether we’re looking at the spinning of the Earth element and needing to be grounded or if we’re looking at fire transitioning to air and ether, or even if we’re looking astrologically at coming into an air astrological sign, there’s all of these different ways that it’s like the same phenomenon is being observed and just given different relationships and different names. But it’s almost like no matter how you slice it and dice it, we’re all looking at the same phenomenon of anxiety right now. So here we are, and the flower essences are like, “I can do this. I know all about anxiety. I can help you.”

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Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:46:01] And really that awareness of the mortality and the temporal nature of things also has the capacity to awaken our sense of the sacred preciousness of life. And that’s another gift of the Metal element of how do we honor life and hold it as sacred and precious because it’s time bound, right? And so I think about Hound’s-tongue comes up for me a lot. Star Tulip, even just that sensitivity to spirit and the essence of things are both flower essences that I think really capture that aspect of metal. And also one of my favorites, which feels a little unconventional, but Iris, there’s something about Iris that allows us to really see the beauty of things and really see the beauty of life and to really be able to hold it in our consciousness while it’s here.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:03] Thank you. I’m really glad that you chose to spend this little slice of your life with us, of this time with us as we contemplate the shift of seasons, as we all reach for support from nature, from the elements to help us navigate this world, navigate life. I know that you’ve got so much going on. In the fall, a lot of us are– those of us who teach are spending a lot of time and energy getting ready for new courses. What do you have coming up? We’d like to hear.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:47:37] Well, one of my favorite courses that will be starting in October is the In Our Element class. And this class is a class that actually was the basis and the foundation for my book, In Our Element. But it’s a nine-month journey through the seasons. And so we move through each of the five elements. We learn about the emotional signatures, we learn about key flower essences that are aligned with those elements. We learn acupressure, yoga poses. It’s just a full soul medicine immersion in each of these five elements so that we can really embody them and see what these elements look like in our lives and in our clients and in our friends and family. And it’s one of my favorite classes to teach. It’s open to beginners. It’s open to established practitioners. And it’s almost like a full-term pregnancy. We start in October, we go all the way into early June, traveling through each of these elements and getting to know them in a really intimate, embodied way, and then of course, learning the flower essences that align with them. So that’ll be starting up in October. And then, of course, on the Spirit Seed website, our full certification program and all of our open-level flower essence classes are listed, including our partnered class on the botanical family. So it’s really exciting all of the things that are happening, how the community is growing. We have a few student presentations coming up that are also on the website, so I invite folks to check us out and see where they get in, where they fit in.

Rochana Felde: [00:49:15] That’s beautiful. And it’s like, yes, what else are you offering? You have so much to offer and it’s wonderful that you are putting that out into the world. So definitely check out. Is that thespiritseed.com?

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:49:33] Thespiritseed.org.

Rochana Felde: [00:49:36] Oh, dot org. Sorry.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:49:38] You can find us at thespiritseed.org.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:49:42] And if you have a parting thought for the listeners of the podcast and I’m waving, hi, all you listeners, we are so glad that you choose to spend time with us. It is so meaningful and we love to hear from you. We’d love to hear from our patrons because they help support this podcast. We really appreciate you all and we just love to hear on the socials and whatnot what your thoughts are. We tend to hear things second-hand and sideways, but boy,  you can always reach out and speak to us. We love to hear from you what your thoughts are and maybe some essences that we didn’t think of or we didn’t talk about that are your favorite essences. So, Lindsay, if you have a final little parting thought, we’d love to make a space for that.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:50:33] Well, I love what you said about inviting listeners to share their favorite essences, especially as it relates to the elements. I’m always really interested in what students bring in and the different ways of being with each of these essences and what they reflect. And I think my parting thought is just this affirmation of nature knows, nature is guiding us. The flower essences, they know things, the seasons know things. It’s, we live in this sentient world and just really honoring where we can be receptive, where we can be humble to that wisdom that nature shares for us.

Rochana Felde: [00:51:14] Thank you so much.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:51:16] Thanks, Lindsay. Thanks for being with us.

Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:51:19] So much.

Rochana Felde: [00:51:19] Bye-bye.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:51:24] 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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