FEP04 Flower Essence 101

Show Notes:

In this episode, we help you get started with flower essences, what they are, how to select and use them, how to use Five Flower Formula for emotional first aid, and more.

Topics and Suggestions:

  • What are flower essences?
  • How to use them for yourself, your family and pets
  • How, and how many, to choose to work with
  • How to blend a formula and how to preserve your bottle
  • Working with intentions
  • Using Five Flower Formula
  • Working with a plant ally
  • Changing habits with Flower Essences

Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:42] Welcome to the flower essence podcast. Today we are going to be talking about some of the basic issues of flower essences. What are they and how to use them. We’re getting started with the basics. So nice to see you again Ro. 

Rochana Felde [00:00:56] Hello Kathleen, great to be here. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:59] So we should start with the very first question of what are they? What are these things we call flower essences? 

Rochana Felde [00:01:07] Well they’re they’re so difficult to define, and because they’re a vibrational medicine I call them gentle botanical extracts that are made from flowers. They’re subtle but powerful in balancing the body and they work on the level of the mind body and spirit. They’re different than essential oils and different than herbal tinctures or extracts. And we can go into a little bit more about those technicalities but the main thing is they’re more closely aligned to homeopathy. The way that I see it as being a highly diluted aqueous infusion. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:52] Yeah I like to think about it as the spirit of the plant in a liquid base. I like that connection to the energetic wisdom and intelligence from the nature of a particular plant. I think it’s a good place to start. Just defining that they’re not essential oils.  The terminology gets very confusing sometimes. Having the conversation about flower essences, and people think “I love the lavender oil that’s the most wonderful thing” and I agree, it is a wonderful thing but it’s very different than the flower essences. You have this wonderful diagram and I’m sure we’ll put this in the show notes talking about or showing the differences between the different forms of herbal medicine and how there’s this spectrum of herbal medicine that has flower essences being all the way on one end and essential oils being all the way on the other. I really enjoyed seeing the way you put that together because it’s so clear. 

Rochana Felde [00:02:54] Yeah, everything depends on the dose. And it’s a little oversimplified in that scenario but just as a visual and showing where the opposite ends of the spectrum are and everything in between. I think it packs a powerful punch. So thank you for that feedback. In my opinion, coming also from the herbal and aromatherapy world, you know every plant medicine has an energetic effect as well as a chemical effect in the body. And then when we get down to flower essences, as with homeopathy, we’ve sort of refined it, we’ve removed the chemical effect and we’re only looking at the energetic effect. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:03:47] Yeah interesting, and I think that even even more it’s that that that’s what we’re looking for out of the flower essences that we’re really connecting deeply to the spirit of the plant, to the Energy Medicine of the plant, rather than that we’re looking for that chemical input. But I think that’s a good way to differentiate it. I think that really intentional herbal medicine and really intentional aromatherapy can be amazing because they can have an energetic input as well. But with flower essences we are working with just simply, strictly, magically, that energetic imprint. But I think that the biggest thing that I always like to think about is that there’s no potential for harm. You don’t really need to worry about contraindications. It isn’t a problem to use with an infant, an elder, a pet. You’re always safe using flower essences which is a really important feature to me. 

Rochana Felde [00:04:50]  That’s an aspect that makes them so much more accessible to anyone. I think that’s part of what Dr. Bach had in mind. You know, that you didn’t have to work with dangerous substances, and you don’t have to look up prescription medicine interactions when we’re working with flower essences, like we do with herbs and essential oils. So you know there’s all sorts of levels we can go to in working with these, as far as the therapeutic effects, and the way we as practitioners offer flower essence therapy. But at the same time, anyone can just start where they are and pick up a flower essence and use it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:05:43] It is really an accessible way of working with plants and plant medicine. So I think  that’s right, you can you can work with it from so many different levels. Whether you don’t really know much of anything at all and you just feel drawn to a particular plant, versus all the way to the other end of being a flower essence therapist and and combining really carefully and intentionally in order to help somebody progress through whatever challenges they might be going through. So there are a lot of different access points for flower essences all along the way. I think that usually I would start with a conversation when I’m talking to somebody about flower essences is, have they ever tried Rescue Remedy? Are they familiar with that particular combination? Because that’s oftentimes a very good starting point for working with flower essences, the five flower remedy as Dr. Bach called it. And I think that it’s a really great entry point. It’s a good thing that people should have on hand as a first aid remedy. You know I really like to keep one in my purse, keep one in the kitchen, because things happen in life. And it’s really good to have your first aid kit handy. So, five flower formula, which is known by the brand name Rescue Remedy. They’re essentially the same thing. Different companies from slightly different makers have different qualities perhaps, but five flower formula is really helpful for crisis. I think about it for any kind of a shock or terror. Are there other circumstances that you like to think about it for?

Rochana Felde [00:07:24] Yeah. You know, I actually use it a lot for anxiety when just that pops up unexpectedly and in a way that’s a certain form of shock or terror. You know in small forms, it’s not like car accident level, but it’s a little random thought that prompts a reaction in the body, a stress response. I find rescue remedy is great for just so many things that are like that. You know, just to pull you out of that cycle. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:59] Yeah, thrilling fear that throws you up and out of your body. Whether it’s small or big. 

Rochana Felde [00:08:06] Yeah absolutely. And I’ve had my own struggles with anxiety throughout my life. And at one point I was taking anti anxiety medication and then I decided to get off of it, which is very difficult because it throws you into rebound anxiety. And the Rescue Remedy was right there in my tool kit and used often and with great results. So even now that I know so much more about how to refine a formula for somebody specific needs, including myself, I still rely on Five Flower so often. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:08:56] Yeah I think that’s a really good thing to remember because a lot of people have different moments of anxiety. Whether it’s something that’s a full fledged part of their lives regularly, or whether it is something more transitory. And it’s just good to know that it exists, that you can have it handy, keep it around, and then just take it as often and whenever you need it. I think the next piece is that you can’t overdo it. Taking it regularly, even taking it every few minutes when you’re in the midst of a little crisis or a big crisis, is really the best way to go. Flower essences work on this vibrational principle, so the more often you take it, rather than the more volume you take is the principle. The next question is what sort of dose should I take? How many drops? And it’s so hard for us as Western minded people to be thinking that the number of drops doesn’t really matter, that one drop or 10 drops is kind of the same, because it’s more that vibrational principle of, did it enter your field? Did it enter maybe your body, or on your skin? And how often? I usually use the framework of a singing bowl. Have you ever felt a singing bowl chime? You feel that vibration flow through your whole body, and your body resonates in in tandem with the bowl or the chime. I think that the essences are like that, where on an imperceptible level we’re vibrating along with that essence. And then we might fall out of that vibration, and then we need a little dose in order to come back into that vibration. That’s kind of the way I think about it. 

Rochana Felde [00:10:39] I love that analogy and I like to say less is more, but more often does better. So that’s what I tell people, it’s not the amount, it’s how often and what your frame of mind is when you take it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:11:00]  What do you like to talk to people about? About the frame of mind concept. I think it’s really important that we’re not taking it mechanically. 

Rochana Felde [00:11:12] I tell people that if all they can do is just take a couple of deep breaths. Then that’s 100 percent better than nothing. And if they can say a positive affirmation while they’re doing it, and really feel what the intention is for the blend, and then  affirming for that intention is making it real for them. It puts them all in alignment. The flowers, the person, the energy, everything gets in alignment. So I I usually work with a client to come up with one to three positively stated affirmations in the style of Louise Hay, which I studied a long time ago. I resonate with the way that she instructs the wording being in the present moment and so forth. Then if the client can do that, it makes everything stronger. They don’t have, obviously we can use essences on animals, and you can speak more about that, but I think the difference is is that animals don’t have negative conditioning patterns that could block it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:12:39] Right. I love your emphasis on intentions because that’s also part of the practice when I work with clients, creating an intention statement. And I’d love to have that conversation at some point with you, about about how we craft them because I have opinions about what I think is really important, and I’d really love to share those with you and hear what yours are. But I think that, for me, if I have a personal relationship with the plant, to recall that plant. Even if I’ve only seen a picture, or even just saying the name can be the medicine too. So each time I take the essence I try to recall that. If I’m taking an individual flower or if I’m taking Five Flower I’ll kind of reflect on the reality of that connection and I think that  helps to anchor it. I think that intentions are also really helpful. There’s just a lot of different access points that you can use to work with essences but I think that the more we connect with the plants, the more we connect with that intelligence in nature, the more will happen. So I think we’re both on the same page about avoiding that kind of mechanical “you just need to put it in you and move on” instead, taking that moment to take a little breath. Just center, maybe to touch your heart, and remember what you’re asking for from these plants. Because you are interfacing with nature intelligence. You’re not just treating it like an object. You’re actually connecting to a level of intelligence. Perhaps you could think about it as a personality. You know I’m asking for help from Oak, I’m connecting to the archetype of Oak here, and I’m looking for support. I think those are some of the access points I think that will help to get the best results. I don’t know. I guess results is the word. I guess I don’t have a better word than results but I’m always a little sensitive.. 

Rochana Felde [00:14:42] Outcome maybe. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:14:42] There you go. That’s the word I was looking for. I think it’s always a little tricky because we are so colonized by the Western mindset. Whenever I’ve heard somebody say “well I tried Rescue Remedy, and it just didn’t work” and I want to have more of a conversation. “So what were you expecting? Were you expecting it to whack you over the head like maybe a pharmaceutical might?”. Do you have that conversation with people sometimes?

Rochana Felde [00:15:10] Yeah. But I wanted to also go back to the nature intelligence. Because that is another way that I work with clients. When I create a custom formula, I usually have one highlighted plant that I’ll tell them has stepped up to be their plant, an ally for them, and I’ll get that when I’m doing the consultation. So I give examples or ways ideas for people to to connect with that. Like oak is a great example, because if you could pick up an acorn, and put it in your pocket for that month that you’re working with this remedy that has oak in it, then that is a way to connect. And you can do that anytime you’re in the office. You don’t have to be on a nature walk. Obviously it’s different for everyone and depends on the essences in the formula, but I try to find something that the ally has, or even it’s just a picture that they can find and carry with them, and save it to their phone. You know, to look at their phone and throughout the month cultivate that awareness of that plant. And if they can go out and sit next to it and meditate with it in nature you know, that’s the ultimate. I think that’s the best thing to do. But not everybody can do that. So there we get creative and there’s other ways that we can bring nature around with us if we can’t go to it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:16:47] Yeah. And that’s one of the reasons why it was so important to me when I created my brand and my label, I really wanted those images of the flowers to be right there on the label. And I’ve found that just looking at a label with a flower image on it completely brings you into the state of connecting with the plant. So you know just looking at it just gazing upon it is the medicine as well, the bottle doesn’t even necessarily need to be open. So I think that visual connection, and the mental connection, and then a physical connection if you can create one. That practice of carrying a little bundle in your pocket or under your pillow is another wonderful way to sort of layer in that benefit of connecting to that plant on the spirit basis. 

Rochana Felde [00:17:33] Absolutely. And your pictures are always so wonderful. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:17:39] I really enjoy diving into what it’s trying to speak to me, that the images are a practice of conversation. And I’m always looking to catch that perfect moment where the plant is really emitting that vibration and that energy right on through. I think that, as far as how to use flower essences, there are a lot of different access points, and a lot of different ways to use them. As practitioners we create dosage bottles. What is your practice on creating a dosage bottle for a client?

Rochana Felde [00:18:18] I’m not sure what you mean. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:18:20] Oh I think I just think it’s useful to just talk about dilutions. You know if you go to if you go to the shop or you purchase online, whatever, you would buy an individual flower essence. A “single flower” as we would call it. Whereas just one plant is in  the bottle. So say we’re looking at Borage. So, if we were to go and get a bottle of Borage, that’s usually bottled up at what’s called the stock dilution. And the stock dilution can be diluted one further time into a dosage for for daily use or it can be used right out of the bottle. So this is where flower essences start to differ from homeopathics where there aren’t the same types of of dosing strategies. You can use either the stock level, or you can dilute it into what’s termed the dosage level. So if you had your bottle of stock remedy and you can just go ahead and take two drops out of that or take two drops and put them in a water bottle and drink little sips of it during the day. That’s one way to interact with the flower essence. But if you’re working with a number of different essences and you really want to dive deep into working with them over time it’s useful to create a dosage bottle. And what I do to make a dosage bottle, I think this is fairly standard, I create a 1 ounce bottle which has about one quarter brandy and then three quarters spring water and then two drops of each essence in the blend. And so it’s just a few drops. It’s a very small amount, it’s a dilution which is so hard to believe that that could possibly work. But it does, it’s amazing. And so that can create a daily use blend. And usually I recommend to dose out at four drops, four times a day. And that is a wonderful way to take your essences. Do you use that sort of structure? 

Rochana Felde [00:20:11] Yeah it’s it’s similar. I just wasn’t sure where you were going with that question. The way that I approach making a custom formula for a client is I throw a little numerology in there. Depending on what they’re dealing with. It’s hard to explain my process but I may feel like the number nine, let’s say they’re going through a transition, or they’re dealing with grief, and then the number nine might be coming up and maybe I’ll have nine stock essences that I’m using in that formula. And then the number of drops for each one I will generally make sure that it adds up to a number that then becomes a nine in numerology. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:21:02] How interesting. Isn’t that creative? 

Rochana Felde [00:21:06] And it is. So it’s highly variable, and all the formulas aren’t necessarily going to be made up of nine. I think most of the time I try to stick with five or seven. I like the odd numbers and it and it just really depends on what we’ve talked about. The number will come up for me, and then it will usually break down to be two to four drops per stock. So it ends up being pretty similar, but I like to feel out the numerology of it from an intuitive standpoint. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:21:45] How interesting. Yeah it’s it’s so funny how every practitioner that I know and I’ve talked to it’s like everybody has a little different flair. So it’s really fun to learn what your flair is. My formulas tend to be a little larger. I tend to have usually around a dozen or 15 different essences and they can be kind of all over the map – flowers, gems, and environmental or nature essences. So I think that that’s one of the things, when you first start practicing are, you look at those lists, or you go online and research. And it’s like everything seems relevant. And it might very well be, but it’s really useful to start paring it down and try to really dial into what specifically that you’re creating. But I think that premise of how we create formulas and how to combine essences might be a larger topic that we’ll dive into on another day. Do you think? 

Rochana Felde [00:22:44] Yeah I see so many things are coming up that we can talk about with that. Yeah it’s a big one episode on that.  

Kathleen Aspenns [00:22:53] And I just would talk about the preservative. That the brandy is there just as a preservative. And I have clients or different applications where it’s more appropriate to use a different preservative, so vegetable glycerin is always a really good way if you’re working with the littles, whether they’re children or animals, that can be a really useful way to go. And usually I use a little more than a third or half of a bottle of glycerin to give it a good preservative. You can also use apple cider vinegar. Another option is to simply preserve with nothing and keep it in the fridge and use it within about a week or so. You don’t want anything to go weird. 

Rochana Felde [00:23:38]  I have a couple flower essence bases that I use, and I do like using organic vegetable glycerin. So I’ll either do a combo with glycerin and alcohol or I’ll do a combo with glycerin and vinegar for people who absolutely don’t want the alcohol. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:24:00] Another thing that I always like to remember is flower essence also work really well topically. So you don’t even need to have a tiny amount of alcohol entering your system. You can use the essences on acupressure points, you can use them in a mist and mist over your heart, or your head. Just as long as it enters your field really, that is sufficient and that will do the trick. So that’s there’s a lot of ways to use essences and that may be another fun topic. I love to use topical application with animals. I find that they really like that and I’d use not glycerin I would use alcohol or just diluted in water and then you could just wet your hand and you can literally just pet it into their coat and that way my client and the animal are both getting the impact of the essence. A nice way to go for the two of them. 

Rochana Felde [00:24:53] How else do you use them. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:24:56] I think that taking a bath with essences is amazing and that can be a really nice deep dive to help anchor the essences into your system. I recommend my clients to take their dose their first dose first thing in the morning when they wake up, and then the last one just before bed, and then the other two doses during the day. 

[00:25:18] I think that 4 times a day cycle is really useful, but not convenient for everyone. So it can be really nice to put those other two doses in your water bottle. Because almost everybody’s into a water bottle habit these days or carries something around with them, and you can just have that with those doses in your water bottle and just be sipping it all day and you’re getting your essences with every little sip. 

Rochana Felde [00:25:40] Yeah and I actually usually put them in a sprayer, a one ounce mister, that people can just spray right into their mouth, so it can just be portable, kept in a purse. And that’s another easy way to do it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:25:58] Yeah. That’s very handy and I think that that more and more I like to use the little mister top because there’s no chance of dropping it. Instead of it getting disgusting, and all sorts of things can happen with droppers, ending up in your mouth. That’s not really great sanitary practice. 

Rochana Felde [00:26:14] And it doesn’t look as weird when you’re out in public. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:26:17] That’s true. That’s true, yes. Nobody needs to see what you’re doing when you just do a little mist in your mouth. People think that you’re doing a breath spray or something. And I think that maybe we could talk about the difference between using a single flower, or connecting to an individual plant. That anyone can do. And then what is flower essence therapy? And there’s a whole spectrum in between one and the other. But what do you see flower essence therapy as being about? 

Rochana Felde [00:26:51] Making that connection with the intelligence of nature in order to move the dial in what is happening internally with the client. What is your elevator speech for flower essence therapy, Kathleen? 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:27:12] I think that it is hard to to sum up into an elevator speech, but I think that the biggest thing is that you’re working systematically, that you’re working over time with somebody. I think that flower essences can be used in a symptomatic kind of way where “today I’m feeling this and I’m going to take this essence”, and that’s a perfectly acceptable use. But working more deeply, and working with layers, and working in a structure of a continuity where one month we’re working on one level and then as that level heals and releases, then something new will emerge in that next piece that can be taken care of in the next cycle of formulas. So I work with clients on a monthly basis over a period of time and it’s amazing to see the progress that can happen. And if you’re just kind of working with essences in sort of a “I’m feeling this and I want to feel something different” take this, take these drops today, you never really end up with those really deep and profound inner changes and restructurings that can take place from connecting deeply with plants over time in structured formulas. That’s a basic description of it, but I think that concept of over time, and on a continual basis, those are two really crucial factors. 

Rochana Felde [00:28:35] Yeah and the changes are so subtle yet profound. What do you tell people if they ask is it working or what to expect? 

[00:28:46] I start by by quoting Dr. Bach, where he would say to take an essence for one month for every year it’s been a problem. You know, there’s always that little moment when the mental math goes through, and the person says “oh my god it’s such a long time I’ll be taking this”. But what I find is that there’s that there’s something magical about six months on an essence. And oftentimes we’ve traveled around enough cycles in that six month period where you may have been able to anchor that new pattern, that healed pattern, strongly enough that you don’t need to keep taking the essence on a daily basis. You may need to come back to it periodically, or seasonally, or whenever things come up. I think that’s one of the frameworks. What I usually find is people start feeling better with whatever the issue might be in a couple of weeks but it’s just as easy to pop right back to where they were before if they don’t continue. And if you just stop taking it because “I’m feeling better now” you really missed the opportunity to create a really deep and inner restructuring and change. Really that’s the magic of essences. That’s really what what they do the best. They really can help you create those deep and profound and lasting changes. I think that part of my work is to witness those changes in people and to really recognize “oh my gosh a month ago this is where you were, and now you’re here, and you know a year ago you were over here and look at how much has changed in your life!”. I think that any kind of process where somebody is is attending to where they are you know whether they do a journaling process, or just reflect with a friend. It’s a really useful thing to have somebody else see where we are. Because, human nature being what it is, whatever is bothering us today is what’s foremost and front of mind. And what bothered us yesterday we’ve totally forgotten about pretty much and so each time an essence “works”. So in those terms, you know “I feel better from this and now I’m going to be worrying about this thing” but it’s really useful to always check back in. What was it that bothered you so much before? “Oh yeah. I haven’t thought about that in a month.” Those are really the remarkable moments. 

Rochana Felde [00:31:13] Yeah. And I I like what you’re saying about over time. You know I think about it in terms of it takes 21 days to change a habit. So at the very minimum you know you’d want to be taking it for three weeks or a month and so that kind of goes with addictions. You know, addictions and changing habits, that 21 day timeline has been bandied around. But I feel that’s when you really feel it click is right around that time. And then if people stick with it for longer. Like you said people you can slide back into old ways if not continuing the process. And I really see after three months the amazing thing that happens, the real catalyzing change seems to have taken hold. And you know I worked with someone recently to quit smoking and that’s the exact process that was 21 days. Things change. Everything was looking good, but they knew that they had done that before and that they had they would slide back, and then they kept with it. So that spurred them to keep with it, and to keep with the practice and have that in the tool box. And three months went by. Everything is great, and six months went by and still using it here and there. But less and less and that change has taken hold. Wonderful. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:32:58] And isn’t that amazing. I think that process of change, that process of changing a habit, is so often viewed to be a matter that involves willpower. And I I just don’t think so. I don’t think that you really can change just on willpower because there’s something underneath that habit. What is underneath that need to smoke, or whatever it might be that you want to change. And if we meet that part of you, if we meet that need as being a legitimate call for something, and meet it with an essence that will help soothe that part – all of a sudden the need for willpower goes away because it’s not about a top down kind of approach of monitoring and changing behavior. It’s about sort of bottom up organic, life filled approach of “what am I choosing what do, I what am I deciding to do instead”. 

Rochana Felde [00:34:00] Absolutely. And then it might be a good moment to outline, to talk about what flower essence therapy is. Our custom essences are made for the unique things that are happening with that person. If I had another person come to me that wanted to give up smoking their essence formulation could be completely different because it’s based on a pretty in-depth intake about what is triggering that addiction or dependency or whatever it is. And so that essence isn’t just trying to… It’s not a chemical formula to stop somebody’s urge for nicotine, or whatever, it’s going at it at a vibrational level, going in and working with that person’s soul to rebalance where things went off, whatever triggers the need for self medication. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:35:09] Yeah. And I think that that’s a really good point in that we’re kind of trained from the allopathic approach of “I have a headache, I go get an aspirin” or whatever painkiller. And so we’ll go classify what our problem, is or what the issue is, and ask what’s the thing for that? And isn’t that perplexing when we don’t have that match for match. Now we’re working in the realm… “Well I hear that you know you’re feeling like you want to smoke. Well, what’s underneath that? Where did it start? Where did it originate? And how do you feel when you want that?” Those are the underlying issues that we’ll be meeting with the essences rather than, this is the contrary for this problem. It’s a good conversation to have because it’s a new way of thinking about things for most people. What else were we going to talk about? We were going to help people who want to choose their own essences, talk about some of the ways that they could do that. I’d love to talk about that. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:36:21] The first step is to define what the issue is. Like I mentioned earlier, if you go through catalogs, or online, or whatever, you’ll look at all the essences and say “I need all of them!”. But you’ll definitely have better results if you really dial in and just try to pick one thing at a time that you really want to work with, and then selecting three different essences that work on that one issue. It’s incredibly powerful when you get a good match. But you know if you can’t quite pick one and let’s say maybe three to five different essences as a good starting point. 

Rochana Felde [00:36:57] I tell people don’t go higher than five if you know they haven’t been used to working with them and that helps. And it should always be, as you say, define the issue. It should always be for the same goal. No matter what the number of essences is that they want to combine it should be for the same purpose, to not try to deal with different issues at the same time. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:37:26] And I guess I when I’m working with a client and we’ve come to the end of a consultation, or towards the end of consultation, when we talk about intentions. I’ll be interested to hear about your intention, how you work with clients, but I usually start out by asking “are there words, or is there a focus that you want this formula to to come through for you?”. And my practice of of working with intentions I got from reading Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer’s work from Desert Alchemy. She has an amazing line of flower essences, all from from beautiful desert plants and she talks about creating an intention statement. And for me the intention statement needs to be a little bit of a reach but not something that sets off your bullshit meter. So if I’m saying, you know something that’s really not true, even if I want it to be true, it’s so far from not being true it sets off my meter. It’s not going to be a helpful intention statement. I think an intention statement should be a little closer to reality and you can sort of settle into it a little bit more. How do you feel about them? 

Rochana Felde [00:38:40] Yeah exactly. It can’t be too out of the realm of possibility that’s in that person’s mind or are they won’t believe it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:38:52] I know I remember working with one woman one time and she was in a really rough place. I think she had just got divorced, and just moved, and was between jobs, and her life was in a really difficult place. And she had been talking to a co-worker, somebody who told her about intentions, and had given her some words to say and it was like peace, and gratitude, and joy. And she said that to me, and I just asked “is that anywhere near where you are right now?”. And she burst into tears. And that’s a terrible intention because that’s going to make you feel horrible. I tend to like to lean towards maybe if you really want to have those words, maybe make them aspirational. Meaning like, I am feeling more whatever this quality is every day. I am feeling more peaceful every day. And so you can say that to yourself without having it turn your stomach and feel horrible. 

Rochana Felde [00:39:52] Yeah absolutely. And then I relate it to what they’re going through if they’re dealing with fear then it’s sort of the opposite of that in intention. That is “I feel safe as I breathe right now”. A positive statement rather than, “I’m not afraid”. So for people who don’t know about affirmations it’s not “I want to be safe”. It’s not. It’s “I am safe” or “I feel safe”. It’s in the present moment. It may sound silly to some, but it’s incredibly powerful. And then what is interesting is…you know I I did this in the early 90s. I did this Louise Hay women’s group, with learning to say these affirmations and there’s more to it, where do you really work with it. It’s not just saying affirmations, it is looking into your belief systems and what formed those belief systems. But I love how so many flower essence practitioners work with affirmations. It seems like they’ve found a home together. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:41:09]  I don’t think everybody does it, but I I find it to be really powerful. It helps to focus the mind, because we really love to have something to attach our mind to rather than something kind of vague like it’s just drops, and I’m taking it from the bottle. It’s more “I’m really connecting it to my intention and what I really want out of this”. There is real value in doing that. 

Rochana Felde [00:41:30] Right. And it’s just a technique, one of many that but it gets you into having that intention. And I think then the flower essence formula was made with an intention, and then once those two intentions sort of match or vibrate together like your analogy with the singing bowls, that’s where the magic happens.

Kathleen Aspenns [00:41:52] Yeah that’s that’s really awesome. There are a lot of other ways of pulling or selecting essences. I think we all started probably with repertories. I don’t know if you started with the repertory, but I certainly did. The Flower Essence Society has an amazing repertory of all these different possible issues and all the different essences that meet them. That’s a really good way of selecting an essence for yourself. Now whether that’s an online repertory or a book it all depends on what works for you. Have you ever used the image cards? 

Rochana Felde [00:42:28] Oh yeah, I think I have every flower essence deck that’s ever been made. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:42:34] I think they are really great right way of working with the essences. You know even with working with clients if you can show them the deck and just sort of fan them out and they’ll just pull cards of what sort of interesting. And then also I think that “repelling thing” is also really useful. So if they see one that they don’t like the looks of, it can be a message in there too.  

Rochana Felde [00:42:57] So yeah people can look at pictures of flowers, and see what they’re attracted to. And whether those are on cards, or on the Internet, or on the bottle… as you say you have lovely photographs and the flowers on the bottles of your essences and so does FES and a number of other makers. And standing there in the store looking at the rows…you know, what jumps out at you. Maybe it’s not even the picture, maybe it’s the name. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:43:28] The medicine is in the name too I think. You can really just say them out loud. You’re invoking their presence. That can be a really useful thing. Depending on what your wiring is like, maybe you’re more auditory than visual so saying the name can be a really great way to bring that poetry of the essence into your life. 

Rochana Felde [00:43:52]  And I find that the repertory that FES puts out is incredibly valuable, especially for folks who haven’t worked with them before, because it lays it out not just by the flower essence name but by the soul issue or emotional issue. And it has a really lovely cross reference. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:44:18] Yeah it’s it’s an incredibly useful guide. I don’t know what we’d do without it. I just love the folks from FES and the intention and real quality that they bring to the world of essences with all of their essences and their guides. It’s just a wonderful place. 

Rochana Felde [00:44:41] I was going to say just another way. That is, I ask people what their favorite flower is. 

[00:44:52] Yeah. And you know it doesn’t even have to be a noble flower. It can be something really small and delicate, a little wild flower. You know I oftentimes when I’m working with a client like to find out what their favorite ecosystem is. So maybe they love going to the desert, or they love the mountains, or they love to go to Hawaii. Then a lot of times I’ll try to put some essence from “home”. You know, a place that feels like home to them into that formula I think is a really nice way to link it in and I’ll do that with animals too. Whenever I’m working with a mustang I’ll really try to include something from the desert or something that that fits in to an ecosystem that they can recognize. I found it to be really powerful. 

Rochana Felde [00:45:38] That’s really fascinating Kathleen. So it’s almost working with someone on a DNA level from their environment. 

[00:45:50] DNA level or just for me it’s just that sense of this is where I’m from. So yeah I guess that is that it could be kind of like that DNA of ancestry. Yeah that’s where my mind was going. Yeah I think that’s exactly right. I just hadn’t thought about it in those terms. It’s cool. But you know, also finding out what place somebody might not like is also useful. I remember having a conversation with a client and I was saying “oh I’m thinking about this plant from Hawaii for you”. And she just went “Oh I don’t like Hawaii at all”. That’s really interesting. And of course I don’t want to put something in there that’s from Hawaii if you don’t like the energy there. So we moved on to somewhere different. So that’s the beauty of flower essences, and having a lot of essences to access that you don’t have to be stuck with just one area or one ecosystem. Well this has been great. Is there are there any other pieces that that you can think of that we maybe have forgotten missed out on? I think we covered a lot of ground. 

Rochana Felde [00:46:53] Well I know we did cover a lot. There’s so much ground to cover. I know we’re going to talk more about how they’re made in another episode. Yes, and about different brands, and then also look a little more deeply about how they work and sort of the nuts and bolts. I think we’ve we’ve done a pretty good job, I hope, in explaining what they are, what they are not, how we use them, how to pick them, and the best ways of taking them.  

Kathleen Aspenns [00:47:32] I think this has been a good starting point of how to get going with flower essences. And I would just say, stay tuned because there’s a lot more to come. We have many more topics to talk about that can help get you deeper and deeper into the world of flower essences. 

Rochana Felde [00:47:49] Yeah. Can’t wait. So until next time. Bye now. . 

Rochana Felde [00:48:02] 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 [00:48:25] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the flower essence podcast. 

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