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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Origin of Fear & Book Review

A few days ago someone asked me what my favorite "spiritual" book was. I don't have an answer to that. I guess, my "favorite" changes according to where I am in my evolution. I find that the right book comes to me at the right time.

However,years ago, I read Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now" books. I'm not sure why I even picked the first one up, but I did so before Oprah helped make it famous. I did follow along with some of her web casts with Eckhart when they dissected the book as well. For me,and many others I suspect, Tolle's books were trigger points that opened my mind to further development and expansion. I kept the books for a long time as reference texts, but somewhere along the way, I gave my copies away to someone or recycled it through the used book store. Months ago now, I bought a copy of the newer version of "The Power of Now" wanting to have it on hand as a reference text again. I didn't open it. It sat on my shelf until a few days ago. As I read through it again, I see this book in a much different light- perhaps because my own "light" has changed and I find it extremely useful and helpful once again. I am only half way through this time around because I want to absorb it slowly and much of the book has become highlighted and marked up as I read through it.

One of the sections that I have highlighted deals with the origin of fear. I find myself writing about fear a lot. A lot of Bach Flowers help balance various aspects of fear and I think everyone to some degree or another works through fear. Bach Flowers work at the real core or origin of the problem. They work on the "cause" not the effect, the disease, or a condition. Eckhart Tolle seems to be digging even further into this origin or cause and I find his concepts profound.

Tolle believes that fear is present in our minds when we think of something that might happen- we attach it to a concept of future, not the present moment. He believes fear develops when we listen to our mind that deals in future situations. He explains that we are here "in the now", yet our mind is off somewhere in the future, and that gap been soul and mind creates anxiety. He argues that you can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with the future because it is only a mind projection of something that might happen. That inability to cope becomes constant anxiety or fear.

"The Power of Now", book is set up in a question and answer type format. So the question or hypothesis is posed that perhaps we need fear to protect ourselves. The example given is that we need to have a fear of fire or heat or we might burn our hand on the stove. That old "fight or flight" mechanism that due to a series of ingrained impulses and physiological responses, our mind instructs our body to run from certain signs of danger.

Tolle has a great rebuttal to this in my opinion. He says we don't need to FEAR the heat or the fire, we just have to KNOW or understand that touching it will cause a burn. He argues that you don't need to be afraid of something to avoid unnecessary danger.

That seems so simple and yet so powerful to me. Using that example of the hot stove, I think about how we teach our children to live in the world. We teach them a lot of fear. We ingrain fear into them in order to protect them from the things we believe to be dangerous. And once that's ingrained in us, it's pretty hard to work it out of there and to relearn the concept of knowing and understanding something instead of fearing it. A lot of times we teach fear because it's faster and easier to teach than understanding is. And because we have the fear and panic in us from generations before we keep the cycle of fear going and growing.

We still need to teach children not to touch the hot stove. But maybe if we could really live in the "now" as Tolle suggests, we could in that moment stop and teach understanding rather than fear. And in the process, let go of fear ourselves. Hmmm...

To really understand the concept and a multitude of others, I highly recommend you read the book. You might come away with a very different thought process than I did. I think that's part of the beauty of Eckhart Tolle's book, any good book for that matter, you take away what it is that you need.

Christopher Morley said:

"When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue- you sell him a while new life."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour & Internal versus External Power

Tonight, March 26th at 8:30 pm it is Earth Hour. This is a global initiative for everyone to turn down their use of electricity and shut off the lights. The first Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney Australia as an effort to take a stand against climate change. By 2008, it had become a global sustainability movement and it continues to grow in popularity and increase awareness on a number of issues every year. For more information on Earth Hour, the official website is

In a Freudian slip the other day, I mentioned to someone how I had a moment when the "light bulb went off" for me. I meant I had suddenly gained awareness on something, but the real expression of course is the "light bulb went ON". I am still thinking about that slip of the tongue days later however, and realize maybe it wasn't a slip at all.

The light bulb represents external illumination. It seems to me we have "harnessed electricity" in an effort to override nature. Having a light bulb handy to turn on means you can work, read, enjoy activities that you otherwise might not be able to do if you were relying on untamed nature. Before light bulbs, it was candles and lanterns, but maybe if you had to refill that lantern or were responsible for making the candles you thought a bit more about shutting down for the night and finishing that book in the light of day instead! I guess most of us are pretty distanced from our external source of illumination and don't think about what we are doing- hence the philosophy of earth hour really.

But back to my slip of the tongue. What had occurred for me, was not that someone else had explained a concept to me. I hadn't read about a new strategy or observed something that made things clearer for me. I had gained internal insight that suddenly gave me an idea or thought that presented a solution to a previous problem. Really, it was because the light bulb went off, that I gained insight. I allowed insight to come from within. I shut off the overwhelming sources of information and things became clear to me.

I think it is when you shut down external sources of power that you often acquire true knowledge. That's when you find the information that you need for yourself- it comes from within and from that inner source it is pure and powerful.

I'm not suggesting that electricity, information, or exchange of ideas is bad or should be shut off at all times. What I am suggesting is that it might help to consider the source a bit more than we do. I'm also suggesting that by turning off external forces you may get more connected to your own power. You might find your inner knowing has the answers and insight you're looking for. Rather than always controlling, over-riding, and harnessing nature, we should look at it closer and work with it. Perhaps when the sun goes down we should stop working so hard, ease up a bit and relax with ourselves, content in our thoughts.

As Earth Hour 2011 approaches I realize a lot of people throughout the world will be observing it without conscious intent, as millions remain without power sources due to natural disasters and recent world-wide events. I wish them speedy recovery. I also imagine they are acquiring a lot of inner knowing, insight and finding great sources of strength from within.

So I believe that we should expand the concept of earth hour a bit. When the light bulb goes off- consider what power you may have within and observe what comes to you naturally.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting Started with Homeopathy through Cell Salts

The world of homeopathy can be a pretty big and confusing place. The "Materia Media", considered the "bible" for homeopathy, lists all the possible remedies and the signs and symptoms they are indicated for. It's about 2000 pages of very small print and you really have to be taught the art of searching through it for it to be very useful. It's more a "practitioner's bible" than helpful for the person that wants to try a few remedies in a self-help mode. Miranda Castro in, "The Complete Homeopathy Handbook", whittles things down to a workable form, but it can still be rather intimidating. Internet search engines make life a lot easier for things like this, and you can type in your symptoms or a condition with the word homeopathy and probably find a good place to start.

Another option is to consider approaching self-help by first looking at Cell Salts or Tissue Salts. Cell Salts are minerals that naturally occur in the body, prepared in homeopathic form. Some people like this approach better than overall homeopathy because none of the cell salt remedies are derived from potential poisons, like aresenicum or belledona, that scare some people. Personally, arsenicum and belledona are a couple of my favorite homeopathics, but I understand they can seem intimidating to start with.

Although all homeopathics use tissue or cell salts, some practitioners just use the tissue salts in their practices. There are 12 Essential Cell Salts. These include 3 different types of calcium, iron, 3 forms of potassium, magnesium, 3 types of sodium, and silica. Cell salts are prepared by first grinding the minerals into a fine sugar. The sugar is then diluted in the traditional homeopathic preparation format. In this diluted form, the minerals can be absorbed by the tissues of the body either internally, when ingested as tablets or in liquid, or externally when used as salves or creams applied to the skin. Unlike vitamin or supplement therapy, and in keeping with homeopathic practices, the diluted forms of the cell salts encourage your body to re-balance inself rather than simply replace what you might be mising.

The theory of tissue salt healing is that all bodily functions are influenced on a cellular level by these essential minerals and that deficiencies in these minerals contribute to disease. Some Cell salt practitioners use facial diagnosis to identify which minerals the person is lacking. They believe the absence of the minerals can be evidenced by subtle differences in the person's face. The texture or color of the skin, puffiness,dryness, or lines, are all used to identify the deficiency.

While there are subtle differences between the 3 forms of calcium (calcium fluoride, calcium phosphate and calcium sulphate),they are all used to repair bones, tissue support and digestion issues. Iron is required for oxygenating the blood, for appropriate levels of hemoglobin and for strength in arteries and veins. The 3 forms of potassium ( potassium chloride, potassium phosphate, and potassium sulphate) are used for nerve and brain function, mucus problems (such as sinus headaches), and problems with the skin. Magnesium is helpful for all types of pain as well as muscle spasms. The 3 forms of sodium (sodium chloride, sodium phosphate, and sodium sulphate) are helpful for digestive conditions, maintaining appropriate water balance, and for conditions related to body acidity. Silica is used for conditions related to bones, hair, skin and connective tissue.

The 12 Cell Salts are readily available and can be used separately or in combination without fears of toxicity. They are safe for all ages, can be used when pregnant, and combined with other medications or natural therapies. Cell salts can be used for animals as well as people.

Most people take the cell salts by dropping tablets directly into the mouth allowing them to dissolve rather than swallowing. The range of dosage is anywhere from 2 to 20tablets, 1 to 3 times daily. The tablets can also be dissolved in water and sipped throughout the day. Gel, cream, oil, lotion and spray preparations are available for most of the tissue salts, and in various combinations as well.

So.. if you want to try homeopathy or alternative approaches to healing, an easy way to start is to purchase the 12 essential Cell Salts, and a basic book on their use. All the cell salts and a number of good basic books, can be found in most health food stores. By limiting your choice of remedies to 12 instead of thousands, you can get yourself started on a path to self-diagnosis and healing. When trying the cell salts, like all natural healing- be patient! The longer it has taken for you to develop a condition, the longer it is likely to take to heal it. Many of the tissue salts are used in First Aid applications- check out my First Aid Guide at It's a free download. When using the cell salts in first aid applications you may see very quick results but most healing takes time. You will, however, find it to be time well spent!

Enjoy the freedom of self-healing and see where it takes you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Allowing instead of Forcing Change : Bach Flower Essence Vervain

There is a lot going on in the external world these days and a lot of actions are being driven by political forces. Perhaps that's always the case, but it seems very evident during recent events. Coincidentally, it is said that a lot of "political types" may be Vervain souls in terms of Bach Flower essence therapy.

Vervain people often have a desire to leave a lasting mark on the world. Vervain types are strong-willed and directed. They know what they want to do and they often insist the rest of the world should convert to their way of thinking. If Vervain people find themselves in a new situation, or a new group of people, they very quickly establish themselves as leaders. They will always have an opinion on daily affairs.

Like Agrimony, Vervain has a sense of dissatisfaction with the world around him. For Agrimony types, this dissatisfaction is focused inward, but for Vervain it is focused on the external world. Vervain looks to the outside world and others as the cause for their dissatisfaction. They will push at the external form of things in order to achieve satisfaction and balance.

When you are in a Vervain state, you are burning with enthusiasm and you long to do big things. This enthusiasm is however, sometimes pushed to the extreme and you want the results as soon as you start. Vervain people often have great knowledge and experience. Some believe this link to the past is through family and karma and perhaps a sense of coming into life with a clear view of how things should be. This advanced knowledge is a gift, but it can also be a curse, unless it is tempered with the idea that great things are attained without stress and hurry.

Often we view this type of dissatisfaction as a sign of impatience, and mis-diagnose ourselves as needing some of the Bach Flower essence Impatiens. But the Vervain type sees and recognizes the irritation, tensio,n and self-stressing as a mind-set, an idea that we have about ourselves and others. For Impatiens types, the feelings are linked to emotions, for Vervain, similar feelings are linked to mental outlooks. Rather than try to change their feelings, Vervain types channel their tension into schemes and create environments where they are the dominant force. Impatiens will often retreat inward when under stress, attempting to do things on their own rather than wait for others to catch up. Vervains will try to force and control other people to see to their way of thinking. They control by trying to change people's minds- that "political" force of will.

If you are finding that your enthusiasm is making you strict with others and you are trying to force people to see to your opinion, and are becoming impatient when they don't follow, Vervain may be the Bach Flower essence for you.

Vervain types have a tendency to push themselves beyond their physical limits and they may attempt to take others there as well! Their minds race ahead of events and they may take on too much work and attempt unrealistic multi-tasking- all in a effort to acheive instant results. This active mind can lead to lack of sleep and an inability, or unwillingness, to relax.

Vervain types are strong personalities. When balanced, they make wonderful leaders and they do cause great change. Vervain types are sensitive to injustice and dedicated to causes. When balanced, the Vervain person is calm, wise, and tolerant of others. This tolerance allows them to relax and allow the change to come in slow but steady ways. When balanced, the Vervain person can hold strong views, but they are also able to change those views when it is appropriate to do so. They don't have a need to impose their opinions on others, but can take a broader view of life and events.

In "Bach Flower Remedies:Form and Function", Julian Barnard describes the Bach flower (today's picture) as looking like tiny little stars of light or explosions of energy which combine to create concept and purpose. The challenge for the Vervain person, like the plant, is to channel all the overgrown foliage into small but beautiful flowers. The lesson is to understand that small flowers come from great strength.

Perhaps the main lesson for Vervain types is do things gently, without strain, stress, and explsions! It may be necessary for Vervain types to take a step back and look at the overall big picture, focusing on the journey as much as the destination.

Dr. Bach wrote that when balanced, Vervain types understand: "It is by being, rather than doing, that great things are accomplished".

If you're finding that thought hard to remember and hold on to, try a few drops of Vervain, relax, and allow the big picture to unfold. Perhaps it's your mind set that needs to change as much as that of the external world.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: Book Review; Wise Women

Ahh., the first day of spring and in my part of the world, it is a nice spring day as well. It is the time for rebirth and renewal, and I wanted to focus on something positive, rather than all the things going on in the media.

I just finished a great book. The cover is today's picture: "The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder", by Rebecca Wells. Rebecca Wells is well known for her Ya-Ya Sisterhood Novels. This book "called out to me" from the bargain bin at the bookstore. I always pay attention to books that come to me this way- they are often the best ones. This one continues to prove that theory to be true!

In my opinion, Rebecca Wells does a wonderful job of weaving some very profound thoughts into a fun and easy read. The book is set in Louisiana, in a fictitious town called La Luna. In this town, they celebrate the Moon Lady, which might be thought of as nature's feminine power, in wonderful ways. Cally Lily's family and neighbours are all very much in touch with nature, cycles, and the passing on of traditions and stories. The main characters also spend some time in New Orleans. Surrounded by Cajun culture and magic, mystic and intrigue, in the early 1970's,this is without doubt, a colorful experience and education. There is a lot of healing going on in this book. Some of it sounds very much like forms of reiki, without ever being called that, or acknowledged as such. Most of all, it is a story of sisterhood. It is a celebration of the power of women and their ability to support and nurture each other through some very difficult experiences.

I spent this weekend at a Healing Fair. (Stayed tuned because I've got lots of new ideas that I will post on the blog.) While I was at the fair, I was struck by this kind of feminine power. I had some powerful conversations, and later observations, about the concept of "wise women" and how there is so much to be learned from the women in our lives. Unfortunately, it often isn't something we realize until we age and sometimes,some of the wisest women in our lives are no longer with us- at least not physically. This is part of Cally Lily's story as she realizes she is part of something much bigger than her alone, and she has a role to playing in continuing on with traditions that are passed down to her.

Calla Lily's story is not about any fight against men. I think that's important to understand. It's more about recognizing the roots that you come from and acknowledging the feminine side of yourself. It's about realizing the power you have within you, and the feminine power around you. It's really not a male/female battle and maybe that's where we sometimes get sidetracked. It's about integrating all power sources, not choosing one over another. Calla Lily's story is about allowing that feminine power to become part of you. There is no opposing force here- except your own internal opposition. Maybe it's because we feel the strength of that feminine power that we often fight against our mothers, sisters, and female friends. Perhaps that source of power feels so strong that we turn away from it, thinking that it might be easier to be looked after by someone else- to give up that power (Cinderella raises her head again if you've been following my blogs!). I guess it's the struggle to really discover ourselves and to develop through all levels of our chakras as we experience all aspects of ourselves. It seems to me that, once we really develop, we come back to our roots and rediscover them, appreciate their strength, and acknowledge that the support to branch out comes from the depth of your roots.

One of the Wise Women in my life recently gave me a flower seed catalog.She really didn't explain why she was giving this to me. I'm not sure either of us really questioned it, it just sort of "happened". No doubt, this is a part of feminine tradition in my life that I have paid no attention to. I have nothing against flowers- quite enjoy them in fact, just know virtually nothing about them. I'm not sure what I was doing when the women in my childhood were planting, weeding and growing flower gardens. I know they were more than willing to pass on that education to me. I suspect I might have been fishing with "the boys". Never too late to learn I guess, so I opened the catalogue this morning. The first flowers on the page- Calla Lily!! Here's to feminine power and spring planting!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Super Moon & Spring Equinox

Tomorrow night, March 19th makes a Super moon event. This is a time when the full moon coincides with a close proximity to the earth. Apparently this is the closest the moon has been to earth in 18 years. That does mean high tides and gravitational pull, some say enough to affect continental shift as well. A Super moon has been linked to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and such. Well, it seems we are already experiencing that, so maybe it's time to let go of the fear and focus on the positive aspects of the moon.

The full moon is in Virgo and according to my We"Moon 2011 book, that means a focus on work and accomplishing tasks. Apparently it's a good time to start a new project so that you can take it to completion. It's a good time to sort out where you should be. Set your goals, while still being gentle to yourself and others.

The full moon comes just one day before the Spring Equinox. Equinox means "equal night" and refers to the time when the sun crosses the equator. This means day and night are almost equal in length everywhere in the world. How's that for being connected! In the Northern hemisphere, the spring equinox signifies the beginning of spring. In the Southern hemisphere it signifies the beginning of Autumn. Perhaps where ever you are, the significance is on new beginnings.

With nature sending us so many clues, it's a good time to wake up and consider where you really want to be in your life. And if anything is out of balance, let this be an opportunity to shake it up and realign in new and positive ways.

All this shifting and realignment of the earth, the moon, the sun, and within ourselves, can be a little unsettling. Walnut is a Bach flower essence to consider taking if you need help with this change. It can help you reset your balance and adjust to the negative aspects of changing environments so you can experience the positive results. Wild Oat might also be helpful as you try to find your place in the big scheme of things. It may help you identify your goals and ambitions so you can move ahead, clear in your direction.

If you are feeling "off" these days, perhaps just allow yourself to feel that way, secure in the realization that you are experiencing nature's shift because of the connection. Use the power of nature's shift to propel you in positive ways and enjoy the sense of renewal.

Dance in the moonlight, bask in the sunlight, and enjoy the moments of change.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Blessing

March 17th is St. Patrick's Day, something that is definitely observed in my part of the world, where Irish traditions are prevalent.

To many people around here, St. Patrick's Day means green beer. There is just something about a bit of green food coloring to draft beer that gives you a whole other reason to celebrate life and freedom it seems.

As it turns out, St. Patrick's Day is a little more than that. It is, apparently a religious holiday, dedicated to the Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was born in Britain in 387. At 16 years of age, he was captured by Irish raiders and held captive as a slave in Ireland. At some point in his captivity, he was told in a dream that he should flee back to Britain. He did, and once back home, he became a priest. He felt called to return to Ireland however, and in 432 he went back. He is accredited with bringing Christianity to much of the country. Some stories claim St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. It seems likely there never were snakes there in the first place, since Ireland was cut off from the rest of the continent by the end of the Ice Age, so perhaps it was more symbolic of him driving out the snakes of pagan practices. Perhaps there was green beer afloat even back then, hence the stories got more than a little mixed up!

The symbol for St. Patrick's day is often the Shamrock. It is said that St. Patrick used the three leaved Shamrock as a teaching aid to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. This story seems a little changed in the translation as well, as the shamrock now seems to represent luck and good fortune more than classical religion.

A quick check on the Internet will reveal that the origin of the symbol of green to represent St. Patrick's Day, may be a little suspicious as well. Some accounts say blue was more the color associated with St. Patrick, but over the years this was changed to green, which now seems to represent all things Irish. Green also resonates with the heart chakra and love of self and others. That alone seems worth celebrating.

Leprechaun's are very connected with St. Patrick's day although they have little if no connection to St. Patrick himself. I like those little guys- kind of like Pixie's. It is said that if you catch a Leprechaun they will grant you three wishes, if you agree to release them. How they get these wishes, or the pot of gold they seem to sometimes possess, is unclear. Their main occupation is said to be making shoes, but for some reason they never make a pair of shoes- only one. No connection between shoe making and pots of gold that I could find. Leprechauns do seem to like to organize feasts and often live in farmhouses and wine cellars. Hmm.. back to the green beer again? One of the reasons I like Leprechauns is that they are mischievous. They aren't the totally good type of fairy so common in folklore, nor are they totally bad or evil. They just "are" and it seems, they respond according to how you treat them. I like that.

One common theme, through all of the somewhat confusing traditions of St. Patrick's Day, is that it is a celebration of spiritual renewal. That sounds like a good thing and something we can all agree on, whatever our core beliefs and values. It seems like the world could really use some "spiritual renewal" today so here's to it!

In my opinion, the Irish have a wonderful way with words. Their language is full of poems, lyrics, and songs. Every morning when I was a kid, one of the first things I saw was The Irish Blessing- Author Unknown. It was hanging in our kitchen. To me it represents love, nature's presence, and a perhaps a bit of "the luck of the Irish"!

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coping with Fear: Alternative Remedies

I think it is pretty difficult these days to not be, to some degree, affected by an aspect of fear. The magnitude and reason for the fear may vary depending on where you are in the world, where your friends and relatives are, your focus and reliance on outside resources, your occupation,how much news footage you watch, and your general perspective or outlook on the world. But there aren't many arenas that are left untouched by an element of fear.

When Dr. Bach developed the Bach Flower remedies, he placed the remedies in a series of categories. One of those categories if fear. Within the subset of fear, there are five different essences that may be helpful, depending on the nature of your concern. These essences include; Cherry Plum, Red Chestnut, Rock Rose, Mimulus, and Aspen.

Today's picture is of the Cherry Plum flower. This remedy is indicated when you fear loosing control. No question, world events these days are signifying a loss of human control over nature. Not that we ever had control over nature; but this fact seems to be blatantly obvious these days. Cherry Plum helps when you fear you may loose control of your emotions. This is for people that are on the verge of a mental breakdown. I have no doubt there must be a lot of people who feel this right now. If you are close to the action of devastation, or part of the ripple effect, it would seem that deep despair and a sense that you were loosing control of your sanity could be a prevalent emotion. Cherry Plum can help calm your mind and allow you to act rationally. Cherry Plum can help balance feelings of rage, violent impulses, and hysteria. Cherry Plum may help channel explosive outbursts into purposeful, helpful action.

Red Chestnut is the Bach Flower essence that is helpful if your fear is caused by an over concern or worry for others. If you have friends and relatives in an affected area, or feel attached in some way to the welfare of others, this worry can become quite overwhelming, particularly when there is such cause for concern right now. If you are responsible for others that have preexisting conditions, or occupations that might place them at a greater risk for harm, a lot of the information about radiation exposure, aftershocks, and economic fall-outs, may be taking you past the tipping point of anxiety. Red Chestnut is indicated if you are worrying about the problems of other people. It's pretty hard not to be worried about others right now and I think, to some degree, society teaches us that we should be worried about others; we should feel their pain. Red Chestnut, however, can help balance worry and anxiety into compassion. Red Chestnut can help you remain strong, radiating thoughts of health and courage to help those who need this. Red Chestnut can help you remain mentally and physically strong so you can be calm in emergencies and able to help if called on. It can also help you hold back from forcing help on others that don't need or want it.

Rock Rose is the Bach Flower essence that is indicated if your fear is most accurately described as terror. Rock Rose is recommended when you are under an acute threat such as a natural disaster. That describes a lot people at this moment, as people remain under threat from aftershocks and nuclear emergencies. If you have been watching live footage of the earthquake, tsunami or nuclear crisis, you may be experiencing this type of terror from a bystanders/near escape point of view and Rock Rose may be helpful. People who need Rock Rose are often frozen in fear. They are helpless to do anything as the fear immobilizes them. Taking Rock Rose can help you maintain courage and presence of mind. It can help calm you so that you can act appropriately, instead of being held in a state of inaction.

Mimulus is considered to be the Bach Flower essence indicated for known fears. There is a Mimulus "type". This type of person suffers from fears they can easily name. They are often shy and retiring and may be known for characteristics such as blushing easily, stammering, or nervous laughter. If it is within your general nature to be somewhat fearful, you have a treasure trove of subjects to escalate this fear these days. Mimulus may be helpful for children that have been exposed to media reports or conversations about conditions and concerns in parts of the world. They may have picked up on a specific fact and be afraid they could suddenly be evacuated, swept away by waves, have loved ones die, become homeless,hungry, or poverty stricken due to market crashes. Children don't watch and listen to events with the same filters that adults have. It's a good time to talk very openly to children, limit their exposure, and perhaps provide Mimulus.

In contrast to Mimulus, which is indicated for fears you can name, Dr. Bach developed the Aspen essence for fears of unknown origin. Aspen is recommended when you feel sudden fears, worries or concerns without being able to pinpoint any real cause or specific reason. Aspen is for that unexplained anxiety, or fear of impending doom. For sensitive people, and many people are becoming more and more sensitive in their abilities to "tune in" to others, global events of the magnitude we are experiencing right now can cause this fear of unknown origin. Sensitive people often "pick up" on the general sense of fear in the world at large and carry around this fear as a weight they can't explain. Aspen can help you recognize you may have tapped into someone else's emergency, allowing you to maintain a sense of inner peace assured of your own security.

The Perelandra essence Emergency Trauma Solution(ETS) Plus, may also be helpful, particularly if the Aspen type fear resonates with you. ETS Plus is created from electrical imprints or infusions from 153 different plants, minerals, and elements found in nature. ETS is taken as drops, similarly to Bach Flower essences. Like Bach Flower essences, the imprints of the ingredients are allowed to help your body restore balance. Perelandra works on electrical, emotional, spiritual, and physical levels to help your body heal itself and adjust to changing environments.

The world is shifting, and we are all adjusting to a multitude of changes and conditions. It's hard not to feel some fear with so much of the world changing in such dramatic ways. At Pixie Dust Healing, we don't' believe you have to understand it all. But sometimes, we could all use some help to restore our faith and trust. If fear is taking you out of your comfort zone and leaving you off balance, consider the help that's available to you to adjust your balance and find solid footing once again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seaweed, Iodine and Nuclear Fallout

In 2004, my mind and focus was in a much different place than it is today. I had just finished the textbook, "Criminal and Terrorist Emergencies: A Handbook for Emergency Medical Responders". This was the follow-up book to "Bioterrorism and Biological Emergencies" that Prentice-Hall also published in 2003. They are still available, and if you want to keep yourself awake at night with scenarios of destruction, and the emergency managment thereof, I highly recommend them!

I did pull one out the other night as I watched events unfolding in Japan with the nuclear power plants.

There is a balance to be attained between doom, gloom, panic and fear, and awareness and preparedness I think. In other words; I don't think it's helpful to focus on the media coverage of potential nuclear destruction and build yourself a fall out shelter. But I also don't think it's very helpful to ignore the issues completely and assume it can't happen. In fact, it is happening, and depending on where you are lucky enough to be in the world you may be much less affected.

So, I decided to reacquaint myself with the subject of nuclear contamination, and consider the event from the perspective of what I know and believe now. There isn't much good news about a nuclear blast. My book and the research documents that I used to compile it, are full of negativity on that. There is lots of information on Flash, Blast, Fireball and Firestorm, as well as secondary effects, perimeter distances, and the injuries within. The good news about a nuclear blast would be that I don't think most people would have any idea what hit them. Enough said- not something you can prepare for, as an "average human being". And, that isn't what is the most likely occurance for happening in Japan right now. We are not talking about the intentional use of a nuclear bomb. Japan, if anything, could be facing some delayed radiation fallout as they struggle to prevent anything worse. Radioactive particles contained in the steam releases (or in the fireball of an actual blast) rise in the air, are carried by winds and currents, and then fall slowly over an extended area contaminating that area with radioactive particles.

You can't see, taste, or feel these lower level radioactive particles and that's probably where the fear and panic intrudes. You really don't know if you are in a contaminated area and you have to place some faith and trust in a system that you may feel has already, to some degree, failed you, relying on government experts that can measure the radioactive particles and tell you whether or not it's safe.

The danger of being exposed to low levels of radiation particles, unlike radiation sickness from high levels, are the development of signs and symptoms long after the initial crisis is over. These delayed affects may include such things as various types of cancers, cataract formation, decreased fertility and genetic mutations. These were all affects observed from low level radiation exposure during previous nuclear events such as Chernobyl. These are also all conditions that readily exist in today's society and all have been the focus of much medical advancement and treatment options. We have increased ability to treat these conditions in a number of ways- more good news.

From a preventative perspective, there is something that can be done to prevent the effects of low level radiation. One option is to get out of the area if you have foreshadowing of an event. That is happening in Japan with over 170,000 people evacuated from the promixity to the plant. Another option is the relatively simple distribution of iodine tablets. This is recommended to be given as potassium iodide tablets in 100 milligram doses. Some media reports indicate these are being handed out to people in the nuclear plant vicinity- particularly children and pregnant woman, as these groups are more vulnerable.

The reason iodine is helpful is because of it's effects on the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland in healthy environments, absorbs iodine from food and converts it to the hormone thyroxine which helps convert calories to food energy- it's the "metabolism factor" we struggle with. It is the thyroid gland that will absorb those radioactive particles in a contaminated atmosphere. If you can saturate the gland with "healthy iodine" it may bypass the radioactive particles and they can be excreted, rather than, absorbed. If not, the thyroid will absorb the radioactive particles and they may cause thyroid or other cancers as the radioactive particles hang around for a lifetime in your body. Saturating the thyroid with iodine before exposure or within about 8 hours post exposure, may help considerably in the body's uptake of harmful products.

Here's where I come full circle on this. There are natural ways to take in Iodine. The salt shaker is the first, but not the best source, as most salt is now "iodized". Salt can have other more harmful effects so it's not usually the most recommended. Other natural sources of iodine include most sea fish, sea salt, and fish oils. I remember the horror of having to take a cod liver oil pill every day as a kid. (That might be one of those East Coast rituals, that others don't do, but it was common around here). That's one way. However, some people have concerns about what might be in sea food or just don't want to try and swallow those pills. Another great alternative to increase your iodine content is by taking kelp which is the fancy name for prepared seaweed. Dulse will provide iodine. It is pretty common around the East Coast and exported all over the world. Personally, I find it pretty hard to ingest and I can't even get my horses to eat the stuff, but some people love it. You can buy kelp in powder forms and pills that make it a bit easier to ingest.

A good news piece, is that the Japanese are one of the highest consumers of iodine food sources through fish and seaweed sources in their diet. You do have to be careful that the supply isn't contaminated with radiation particles itself.

I'm not suggesting you stock up on iodine or change your diet dramatically. Unless you are close to the nuclear plants your chance of contamination is no greater than normal. Theoretically, if a blast occurs, the possibility of contaminants being carried across the world on wind currents is possible, but unlikely, and predictable depending on weather patterns. And once again, this is not likely to be a blast situation in Japan, this is a slower release.

So why am I writing this? Well... it's hard to say why any of the subjects make it onto my blog- they just happen. Perhaps it's because the situation in Japan dug up some past memories for me that I wanted to sort out. Maybe it's because I truly believe that dissecting information to understand what it really means helps alleviate fear and allows you to prepare in rational ways. Maybe it's just Karma for me to write calming advice because those earlier books were so darn scary!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rubber Boots, Soakers, and Balance

It was hard to peel myself away from watching the devastation in Japan this morning. For some reason, I kept watching the same news clips of cars and boats moving like toys as they crashed and moved in-land, spreading debris further and further as it went. As I type this, people are being evacuated in many places of the world as a precaution against devastating waves. Hawaii and the Philippines are on alert, as is much of the Western coast of the United States. The warnings even extend to parts of the Russian coastline and here in Canada, for the coastline of B.C. More evidence, I guess, of the shifting nature of our world and the interconnectedness of us all. An earthquake in one location is felt across the world.

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to watch it. I guess it's a combination of shock and awe, a sense of gratefulness that it isn't happening to me,a sense of guilt that it isn't happening to me, a disbelief in the power of nature, and at some level, maybe a need to imagine what others must be feeling. Maybe I try to imagine what it would feel like from a distance that allows me to "pull out" when the imagining gets too horrific. I guess this is the concept virtual gaming is built on. Maybe I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel, and so I watch..

One of the reasons I pulled myself away from the news was because in my own part of the world, a "severe weather warning" has been issued. We are expected to receive 20 to 40mm of rain. What???!!! That almost feels surreal. Compared to a tsunami, that seems like a joke, and yet, for some areas, that might be enough to bring some fairly significant problems. Again, nothing like other parts of the world, and yet- if your basement is flooding, your road is closed, and your lawn furniture is on a journey to your neighbours house- you do need to react.

Wise Woman and I have been talking lately about balance. More to the point- the lack of balance. In such rapidly shifting times, it's hard to find the balance, to secure your footing in the world. How do we expand, evolve, and feel connected to others, at the same time that we remain grounded in our reality? How do you watch devastation in other parts of the world, and at the same time bring yourself back to your own reality when it seems so minor by comparison. I don't have the answer. I don't, personally, think there is an answer. At least, not one that works for everyone. However... rubber boots might be handy.

There is something about rubber boots that provides a sense of groundedness. At least for most people that grew up on the East Coast, rubber boots are synonymous with spring- and sometimes, summer, winter and fall as well! There is just something about walking through the puddles as far as you can go before you get a "soaker". For the uninitiated, a "soaker" is the tipping point. It's went you have reached your limit of exploration such that water seeps into your boot and your sock becomes wet. A soaker can come from either the top or the bottom. If you venture too deep into the puddle, you get a soaker. But if you have a hole in your favorite rubber boots, you can get a soaker even from the sole of your boot, no matter how high you venture out. The name of the game, starts out being how far you can go before your sock gets soaked. But once it does get wet- the rules change. See, once your sock is wet already, you might as well keep going- the damage is done, you're going to get in trouble when you get home anyway, so you might as well see how far your adventure can go. You balance this notion of avoiding the soaker with sweet relief once it actually occurs, because then, there are no limits. Maybe that's where the expression "fill your boots" comes from.

Rubber boots have become a fashion statement. You can find them in every color and design. You can even buy high heeled rubber boots! I think that misses the point. Rubber boots are supposed to be highly functional. It's not really about the boots. It's about how far you can go in those boots. Yellow rubber boots are a favorite of mine, maybe it's the energy of the yellow color that gives me a sense I can go even further than I first imagined. I have a friend that told me, as a kid, she used to be able to fly in her dreams. But, in order to get airborne in her dream state, she had to put on a special pair of rubber boots. See that's what I'm talking about!!

If you can keep your feet solid and grounded you can fly to great heights. That's the balance. Safe in the knowledge that your sock- your security, your root chakra- is warm and dry, you can expand your limits. We balance this sense of adventure with safety and security. But once we get a soaker, we can tip the scales of balance and go even further- then we really fly. Maybe balance isn't really the goal- maybe it is about getting out of balance. Perhaps it's about getting a soaker so, in this unbalanced state, you can keep exploring.

I do realize that rubber boots won't be of much help in a tsunami. But in a heavy rainfall warning they will. So I will keep my rubber boots close to the door. I'll watch parts of the news and imagine what those people are going through and try to send some positive energy, a sense of awareness, and compassion. But when my brain starts to get "soaked", I'll put on those rubber boots and find balance again. Maybe instead of cowboy boots(an earlier post)- Cinderella should wear rubber boots.....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alternative Therapy for Candida

Candida albicans, otherwise known as yeast, is a naturally occurring fungi. Like hundreds of other organisms, candida is normally found in the colon or intestinal tract of healthy individuals. It is typically kept in balance due to the presence of enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bacteria. If however, candida gets out of balance and accumulates unchecked by your body's natural healing systems, you can experience a number of unpleasant and stressful symptoms.

A lot of people experience an over abundance of candida at some point in time. Most women at one time or another will experience a vaginal yeast infection and discover, first hand, the discomfort of "out of control" candida. Candida infection is not restricted to women and seems to have reached almost epidemic proportions in North American society. Such growth of the yeast and incidence of symptoms is not surprising when you consider the two most common causes for outbreaks are an overuse of refined sugar, and the use of antibiotics. Another cause for outbreaks is stress. Use of birth control pills has also been linked to increased incidence.

The symptoms of candida depend largely on the organ or system most affected. Some of the general areas affected include; the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system, the genitourinary tract (bladder, reproductive organs), and immune system. So, the results include, to name a few: abdominal gas, bloating, rectal itching, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, vaginal itching, low sex drive, impotence, headaches, migraines, excessive fatigue, inability to think clearly, mood swings, depression, dizziness, irritability. This list does seem to go on forever and, it seems, yeast overgrowth is considered to play a role in just about any mental health or chronic illness you can think of.

In many alternative healing practices, the elimination of potential candida overgrowth is considered a first step to diagnosis and treatment of any illness or condition. In order to effectively control candida, the person is usually instructed to change their dietary habits. Food and drinks containing sugar or carbohydrates that converts to sugar (most fruit for example) are avoided. Protein and low carbohydrate vegetables with a small amount of nuts and seeds are the basics of the diet plan. Yeast thrives on sugar. At the same time, yeast overgrowth can cause immense sugar cravings, making it difficult to stick to the diet plan. To add insult to injury, during the elimination phase, the symptoms of the overgrowth may get worse before they get better.

Pro-biotics such as acidophilus are also usually recommended to help rid your system of candida. The yogurt industry has made huge profits from this tip! You can also buy any number of pro-biotic pills and powders to help increase your healthy bowel flora, which then helps keep candida under control. It is because of the broad spectrum of bacterial "wipe-out" that can occur when you take anti-biotics that a candida infection may flare up during or after the course of anti-biotics. Providing your body with necessary bacteria such as acidophilus can help.

Diet is definitely a key to controlling candida overgrowth. However, when you are already stressed, not feeling good about yourself and perhaps a bit irritable and depressed, the last thing you really want to tackle is a restrictive diet. Or at least that's my opinion!

Some people are able to manage candida through the use of colloidal silver. Colloidal silver, is an anit-fungal agent, so it makes sense that it can help eliminate the overgrowth or yeast. Found in most health food stores, colloidial silver can be ingested to help eliminate yeast overgrowth. Dose ranges of colloidial silver vary. Some practitioners recommend 1 to 4 teaspoons daily. Higher doses may also be recommended. Check out a previous posts for more information on colloidal silver.

The Bach Flower essence Crab Apple may be helpful when working your way through candida overgrowth. Crab Apple is considered the "cleansing Bach flower remedy". It is helpful when you aren't feeling good about yourself or your body. The itching, discomfort, and sometimes unpleasant odor, that can accompany a yeast infection, certainly indicates a need for Crab Apple essence. The Bach Flower essence Beech may also be indicated. It is helpful for issues of intolerance- in the case of candida, intolerance to certain foods may be a case for Beech.

If you suspect stress is causing the overgrowth in the first place, a Bach Flower combination, specifically matched to your emotions, may be very helpful. Dr. Bach believed all disease was caused by an imbalance of emotions. He felt by balancing your emotions you could allow your body's natural healing ability to work effectively. This would certainly extend to the balancing nature of enzymes, bacteria, and yeast.

There are also a number of Perelandra products that may help you bring your body back in balance, and eliminate yeast overgrowth. If stress is the cause of the imbalance, ETS Plus or Essence of Perelandra may be helpful. Some of the combination remedies; Immune, Digestive; Urinary or Cellular may also be indicated. It is recommended you use kinesiology techniques to determine which essence your body needs. Perelandra essences are taken in drop form, once or twice per day.

For more information on Bach Flower essences or Perelandra products check out my website at

Just looking at today's picture of yeast makes me itchy. Kind of makes my skin crawl. But, as is true for most things in life, there is nothing wrong, and everything right with yeast- it's all about the balance!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homeopathic & Alternative Help for Toothache/extraction

It would seem, as a species,we are wise enough already, without often needing those pesky wisdom teeth at the back of your jaw. That means, for a lot people, a rather painful process of extraction, to remove the teeth in order to prevent pain and complications. If you find yourself lined up on the list, waiting to get those teeth out, you might want to consider stocking up on some homeopathic remedies to ease you through the process.

Arnica Montana is the number one first aid remedy. Arnica promotes healing, controls bleeding, reduces swelling and can help prevent infection from forming. It is always the first remedy to think of after an injury and should also be the first to think of after dental work. People that really respond well to Arnica often deny they are even hurt in the first place. They typically "just want to be left alone". If this sounds like your patient, make sure they have taken Arnica before they "crawl to the cave". Arnica will help after any dental procedure and you don't have to be in extreme pain before taking it. The sooner you take it after the manipulation, the better as it can help reduce the swelling which is part of the cause of the pain in the first place. It will also help reduce "chipmunk cheeks" and bruising. If you can get Arnica in the 200CH format this is ideal. 30CH will also work fine or any and all remedies in a first aid application.

Nux Vomica is a common remedy for stomach complaints. It can make a world of difference for some people in relieving travel sickness. It is produced from the plant Quaker buttons, also known as "poison nut". The plant itself, is poisonous and can cause vomiting if ingested. Hence, in homeopathic tradition, it is used to relieve vomiting. In the homeopathic preparation the remedy is no longer poisionous. Nux Vomica can also help after a tooth filling or extraction. It is particularly indicated if the person feels better for having external warmth (like a hot water bottle), pressed up again the irritated side of the face. If a hot water bottle (wrapped in a towel) and applied to the side of the face is helpful, try taking Nux Vomica as well.

Another helpful remedy to have on hand, and even take prior to the tooth manipulation, is Hypericum Perfoliatum. This is an essential component to any homeopathic first aid kit. Hypericum, is made from St. John's wort. This plant is common to herbal medicine as well. Hypericum is the first homeopathic remedy to reach for if you have an injury to a nerve-rich area of the body. This is the typical "slam your finger in the car door" relief! For pains that shoot along the course of the wounded nerves, or for injuries that are sensitive to touch or pressure, Hypericum can be the answer. Post dental work, it is a good idea to take Hypericum before the freezing is out, and keep taking the remedy every few minutes if the pain continues. Hypericum is indicated for any type of surgery where nerves are cut and painful or you feel frayed or sore. It is perfect for post root canals, gum work, and extractions.

Homeopathics really benefit most if they are closely matched to the presenting symptoms and the persons overall personality. For this reason, there are a wide variety of remedies that might be helpful for you to recover from dental work. The above remedies are however, likely to promote healing and pain relief for most people, regardless of the specifics of their complaints.

The Bach Flower essence combination, Rescue Remedy, can be very helpful before you walk in to the dentists office, especially if you are nervous, uptight and stressed about the procedure in the first place. And let's be honest, not too many people are really relaxed and looking forward to that dental chair are they? The Perelenadra essence, Emergency Trauma Solution (ETS) Plus, is also recommended for the type of shock the body experiences when undergoing dental work. It can be given, like Rescue Remedy, in drop form prior to, and after, the procedure. Both of these essences may be as helpful for the care-giver as they are for the patient. So, if you find yourself in the waiting room, a little uptight, impatient, and concerned, consider using some of this yourself.

Finally, colloidal silver is another option for the dental patient. You can rinse the mouth out with colloidal silver just as you might with warm water and salt. You can even add the colloidal silver to the warm water and salt mixture if you choose. Colloidal silver can help treat any infection that may be lurking in your mouth. You can also drink the colloidal silver to help with any infection that may have traveled thoughout your body from the released tooth.

So, if you find yourself heading to the dentist's chair, a trip to the health food store beforehand to stock up on some basic supplies might go a long way to your healing process. Most of all- be kind to yourself. Dental work takes a significant toll on the body and should be respected. Help your body engage it's own natural healing processes by allowing some time to relax, sleep. You'll find time invested in the healing process is well spent!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bringing Dreams to Reality with Clematis

Early spring can be a difficult time of year. In some ways it seems a paradox. When the sun is shinning it looks warm and inviting as though you should be outside and yet, it often isn't warm enough to really "do" anything out there. When it's rainy it looks dark, dreary, and cold, and yet it's often surprising warm out. Perhaps it's just the "in-between" nature of spring that leads to daydreaming and makes it difficult to focus or feel "settled". It's often a good time of year to turn to the Bach Flower essence Clematis.

Clematis was one of the first remedies Dr. Bach discovered. In "Bach Flower Remedies; Form and Function", Julian Barnard, claims Dr. Bach was an Impatiens type himself. Things couldn't happen fast enough for him. He was quick to rise from bed, didn't need much sleep and was constantly on the go. It is somewhat surprising then, that one of the first remedies he discovered, Clematis, is almost the exact opposite of his Impatiens nature.

Clematis people, in contrast to Impatiens, require many hours of sleep, don't want to get out of bed, and are described as "laid back" in nature. Clematis people really can't be hurried. They live in a world of their own.

Barnard explains that Dr. Bach discovered Clematis in 1928 and may have used it for people who had an illness called "Encephalitis lethargica". This sickness may have been linked to the aftermath of the influenza outbreak of 1918. According to Barnard, this illness had both an unknown cause and cure. It also seems to have both mysteriously appeared, and disappeared. One of the hallmarks of the illness was that the person seemed to withdraw to a place inside themselves, and lose interest in life. Makes one wonder about chronic fatigue syndrome...

It's easy to spot a Clematis child in a classroom. They will be the one absently looking out the window, pencil posed in their hand, but nothing on the page. They seem oblivious to their surroundings. A lot of times, daydreamers are romanticized as being in a "better place", but the Clematis dreamer really isn't happy with life. Dreaming is a form of escape. In fact, the Clematis state can be a coping mechanism to escape pain and discomfort. For some school-aged children, springtime brings an overhwelming sense of workload. Exams pile up, homework projects are due, it seems a long way between Christmas to June and the feeling of being "cooped up inside" can be discouraging.

If you find yourself escaping to a world of your creation rather than changing the situation around you, Clematis may be indicated. People that have imbalances of the root chakra may benefit from Clematis. They may feel they are missing a sense of belonging, safety, and security. In order to compensate, they retreat to an imaginary world. Retreating however, doesn't solve the situation. Taking Clematis can help people bring their dream desires into reality. It can help ground them so they can bring their visions into the present state. Like much of life, it's a balancing act. Creative people need to be able to envision new ideas and states of being, but they sometimes need the grounding nature of clematis to bring those states into action and reality. Clematis can make the difference between "thinking up a good story" and actually "writing a good story". It helps bridge the gap between thought creation, and physical evidence.

It isn't just humans that can benefit from Clematis. The Clematis state is not uncommon in horses and cats. These creatures seem to be very good at basking in the sun and being quite removed from their surroundings. A sudden movement can startle them from the dreamworld causing them to react dramatically, sometimes violently. Who knows what frightful creatures exist in their dreamland. To transition from that world to the present is not always easy, and it can have unpleasant consequences for the person that startled them! Animals that have been abused may have learned to remove themselves from the pain by entering the "Clematis world". Once the abuse is gone, they may need the grounding nature of Clematis to contain them in the present and allow them to trust and adjust.

Clematis is one of the ingredients in Rescue Remedy. In a shock situation, people or animals may move into a state of unconsciousness. Clematis is included to keep them grounded in the present, so they can engage the body's healing abilities to solve the problem, rather than drift away.

Spring can be a wonderful time of year. It is the beginning of the creative cycle after all, with new plants, animals, and evidence of nature's rebirth stirring all around. It's a good time to be present. Really present. Consider a couple of drops of Clematis if you could use help coming out of your sleepy state of hibernation in order to recognize the future is shaped by the present.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Moon Phase

Last night was a new moon. It seems as though we don't pay as much attention to the new moon as we do a full moon. Perhaps that's because we tend to focus on what we can see, versus what we can't see. Typically, you don't see the new moon, you just trust that it's there. Maybe we should pay more attention.

The new moon means a fresh lunar cycle has begun and that means new beginnings. It's a chance to start off again, perhaps in a slightly different path. According to astrology, this new moon is in Pisces. This means we may be inspired by the dreamy nature of Pisces. You may find your heart opened up a bit. You may even be able to let go of past grievances and conflicts.

Pisces is a sign of extremes. This means you may feel some swings between mystical highs and deeps lows. If this is the case, consider the Bach Flower Sceleranthus as discussed in the earlier post (Moon swings, indecision and Scleranthus). If you need some support through this heart opening and letting go of the past, consider the Bach flower Holly. Walnut may also help you adjust to changes and Wild Oat might support you in finding a new path to walk. The moon in Pisces also opens up your perceptions a bit and you may be able to see beyond your ordinary reality. You may find new solutions for problems and renewed inspiration. Dreams can be heightened during this phase of the moon and may provide insight as to the real picture. You dreams can be great gifts.

The new moon in Pisces also signifies a good time for healing to occur. It is about new beginnings and inspiration and this can be brought into the physical world with a bit of work and focus.

If you are still feeling as though these are pretty intense times, you are right! Apparently, according to astrological influences, there is a somewhat uncommon grouping of planets that are mingling in Pisces at the moment. This is said to intensify emotions. It is a good time to reflect or discover your true self and inner purpose. It's also a good time for socializing, networking and finding groups that have similar thoughts and interests as you do.

So maybe the new moon signifies a chance to move out of the "hermit mode" that a lot of people have been experiencing. Perhaps it's no coincidence that this new moon in Pisces phase, seems to be lined up with the first suggestion of spring and will be followed by Spring Equinox. It is a time for new beginnings. Relax, allow, and enjoy, seem to be the words to live by.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hoplessness, Despair and the Bach Flower Gorse

These are pretty intense times we are living in. It seems there are explanations for this intensity from every aspect of science and nature whether it's astrologers,climate change experts,psychics,geophysicists,psychologists or political science analysts that you're talking to.

It's also early March. In my part of the world that means we're starting to get a little tired of snow. Ice is no longer something to enjoy skating on, and hats and scarfs are making us all itchy! It rained last night, and then turned to "minus something or another degrees". Discouraging...

Knowing the possible reason for something, doesn't always help the situation, in my opinion. Sometimes the very reasons themselves can become overwhelming and contribute to the sense of despair. There is also a contagious nature to negative thoughts that keeps the cycle going. In small circles we often toss the same ideas around, grumble about the same issues, and spread that sense of hopelessness. When people get in a cycle of hopelessness, they often are not inspired to get out. Something needs to happen to break the cycle.

The Bach Flower essence Gorse can be helpful for extreme hopelessness and despair. It is indicated for people that really have given up the fight and feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Bach said Gorse could help "bring sunshine into their lives to drive the clouds away".

The Gorse flower grows in a community way, not as an individual flower. As a wild flower it tends to spread over fields that have been neglected. The flowers tend to bloom in early April and when they do it's as thought a bright yellow blanket has been spread out. It's hard to distinguish individual flowers from each other.

The need for Gorse can creep up slowly on a person. For people that have been physically unwell for a long time, they may start to feel condemned to the pain and they stop looking for answers and solutions. It's easy to just slip into a Gorse state without really thinking about it. The workload piles up, the problems just keep building, debts slowly rise, and you don't even realize you haven't seen your mailbox for 2 months because it's buried under the snow drift.

For this reason, it can be very hard to self diagnosis the need for Gorse. By the time you need Gorse, most people are only trying something in order to please their loved ones, not because they have any true hope for relief. It is definitely easier to see the need for Gorse in someone else.

The results however, can be both dramatic and steady. Gorse can help restore a sense of faith and hope despite the current situation. Once the cloud has lifted, people can often find themselves on the road to recovery, brighter, happier and better equipped to find the positive. And this feeling, like the Gorse flower, can spread. Others around you may respond to your positive outlook in similar ways. You may find yourself discussing the seed catalog!

Who knows, maybe there is a long awaited cheque in that "buried under" mailbox!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fleeing Libya; Packing a Suitcase; Examining Possessions

I watched some news footage last night of the people fleeing Libya that are stuck at the Tunisian border and trying to get out. I have so many thoughts on the massive political changes and unrest, but what pervades me most is, that there is no way I can even begin to understand what these people have, are, and will continue to go through.It seems like I should understand, or be able to do something and yet, I would have no idea what that would be. I'm sure during other conflicts, such as when Jews were being forced out of their country, "unaffected people" had the same feelings. Back then we didn't have live streaming video, foreign correspondents embedded with troops and the constant "live action" pictures. I bet people thought, "If only others could really see what we're going through they would react". Well, now we "see" what others are going through, but I don't think we can, at least I can't, truly comprehend or find a way to react.

What struck me as I watched the crushing crowds and the struggles was the suitcases. Many people are carrying huge suitcases with them. A lot of them are carrying these suitcases on their heads as they push through the crowds. I wondered how many times the corner of one of those suitcases hits the person in front, beside and behind you before mass anger breaks out. It's one thing to be pushed by people all around you- even worse to be bashed by their belongings. Then in amazement I noticed one guy was actually carrying a T.V. on the top of his head! That's all he had because it was a pretty big T.V. and he couldn't carry anything else. I wondered why in the world, if you thought you needed to flee and get out of a dangerous situation, the one thing you would choose to take would be your electric television set? I also wondered what the chances are of that T.V. getting anywhere safe in one piece? And how many people will be hurt by it along the way?

Back to the suitcases. In an attempt to try and sort out the scene, I wondered what I would put in a suitcase if I suddenly had to leave my home- forever. My left brain, and the emergency manager in me, immediately went to the "evacuation list" of suggested items to take with you if you have to suddenly leave. Here's the list:
1. Personal documents (health care numbers, passports, birth certificate)
2. Household documents (insurance papers, deeds, wills)
3. spare keys to house and cars
4. cash
5. cell phone, extra batteries, contact phone numbers
6. Seven day supply of medications
7. Extra clothing and footwear
8. Entertainment (kids favorite toy, book, puzzle)
8. Pet supplies (carrier, leash, food)

Back to Libya and a review of that list.
1. What documents? That's part of the problem, no papers, never had health care, unclear country of origin
2. Insurance??? What is that? Something for the rich who aren't fleeing.
3. Keys? Cars? House? Wouldn't be walking if any of these were realistic
4. Cash? Have likely used everything they had to bribe people along the way, or it was stolen, might have small supply, but wouldn't put it in the suitcase- it would be on your person.
5. Cell phone? The news reports say many have had their cell phones stolen or confiscated, but it does seem to be an object people relate to and have taken with them if they can
6. Medications? If they have medical conditions that necessitate meds they have the luxury of having a supply of, I'm not sure they would have made it this far.. maybe
7. Clothes and footwear? Okay- that might be in the suitcase
8. Entertainment? Are you kidding!!?? This is not about "spending time in an evacuation shelter" this is basic survival. But maybe the guy with the T.V. read this list on the Internet somewhere!Hmm...
9. Pet supplies? Are you kidding!!?? Pets are not an option, they are a luxury.

So the logical, emergency management, left side of my brain, really won't help me connect with these people in any tangible helpful way it seems. My list, emergency plans, and management suggestions would likely get me killed quite quickly, unless I made it to a Red Cross/Crescent shelter without getting whacked on the head with those suitcases.

So... I turn to the right side of my brain or perhaps out of my brain and into my heart. There I know we are all connected. I can very much identify with how much pain, fear, worry, panic, and despair these people must be going through. I can understand that whatever is in that suitcase, at this moment in time, it represents your entire world and the things that you hold dear, no matter how crazy they seem to others. I don't judge your decisions. I can understand that a piece of you wants to believe, to hope, that at some point down the road you can plug that T.V. in to a nice electrical outlet somewhere, put your feet up and watch your favorite sitcom. I hope you can too. And I send you peace and the courage to make a difference.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wee Gillis; Letting Go the Past & Following Your Dreams

One of my all time favorite Children's books is "Wee Gillis" by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The same duo is responsible for "The Story of Ferdinand", another favorite of mine. They are real classics. "Wee Gillis" was first published in 1938.

I used to use "Wee Gillis" when I taught conflict resolution to adults. I considered it an example of the collaboration technique. Wee Gillis is split between relatives in the highlands of Scotland and relatives in the low lands. He spends half of the year with one set, the other half with other. In the book he is coming of age and the relatives have met have way in between to fight over where Wee Gillis will settle. Both sides want him. He has learned good and very different skills in both places. It shows collaboration (or so I thought) because in the end Wee Gillis comes up with an entirely different solution. Rather than go with either one of the relatives he chooses to sit on a rock half way in between and play a set of bagpipes all day. He built a house there and lives "happily ever after".

Today I am re-reading that book with a very different take on it. I realize perhaps it isn't correct to say that was collaborative conflict resolution. Because there was no collaboration. Wee Gillis didn't ask anyone else for an opinion. There was no group huddle, discussion, or weighing of the pros and cons. This was not a group decision. Wee Gillis struck out on his own despite a lot of pressure and build up from the past.

While the others are arguing, Wee Gillis sits on a rock and starts playing these bagpipes that no one else can inflate. Seems like he's the first "rock musician"- and in 1938- way ahead of his time!

The part of the story that doesn't get described is how Wee Gillis got the courage to do this. It seems very spur of the moment. He wasn't building up to a great "break away from his roots". He grew up in Scotland, yet before the incident on the rock, he has never even been taught how to play the pipes. We are never led to believe Wee Gillis is even dissatisfied with his life or his fate. Up to this point he seems quite content to go with the flow and follow direction.

However, when he finds his passion, there is no question but he will follow it. He simply doesn't allow for outside influence to affect him. It seems everyone else realizes his gift as well and the transformation occurs.

Seems to me that Wee Gillis must have had a very balanced Crown Chakra. It doesn't seem as though he felt the need to acquire material wealth as much as he wanted to follow what felt good- allowing the rest to come. I mean, look at all that land he stood to inherit in both the lowlands and the highlands and he just walked away. There isn't a lot of money in bagpipe playing to my knowledge, and I grew up surrounded by the things. Yet, they are an icon and they do have a place. Every celebration of life, death and in between when I was growing up featured a bagpiper. Unlike the pictures most people have in their heads, it wasn't likely to be a pipe band. More commonly, it was a lone piper playing in the distance. (Personally, I think that's really the best way to hear bagpipes- well in the distance!) They weren't paid a lot of money but I guess you could survive that way. A lot of my friends made some pretty good money playing the pipes at tourist spots in the summer. There is a story in my family of gaining free passage to come over from Europe on the ship Hector in exchange for being the ships' piper. Certainly that was a survival opportunity.

Wee Gillis didn't seem worried about all those details that stops many of us from pursuing our dreams and passions. He didn't even know how to play the bagpipes, and yet he trusted that the original owner would teach him- and he did. In fact, come to think of it- Wee Gillis didn't even own the pipes! Yet they were given to him. No one lived at this half-way point, there was no house there, and yet somehow, it got built. He maintained good relationships with his past. The story clearly points out that he visited and was welcomed with both sets of relatives. I'm thinking perhaps they fed him a lot! But he didn't end up burdened by having to be something he didn't want to be for either one of them. At no point does he ask the relatives if his idea is "okay" or "feasible". He just does it. Wee Gillis didn't seem to worry about the logical and material obstacles in his way and therefore they didn't obstruct him.

It was 1938 and maybe life was different. Children's stories do have a habit of turning out okay without the details. But there isn't some egocentric twist in thier either. Wee Gillis doesn't become "the best piper in all the land". As far as we know the rock is not hiding a pot of gold. That's not the point. Wee Gillis is content, peacful and happy. That's the point.

I think Wee Gillis has a lesson for us all. Perhaps it's not about collaboration styles of conflict resolution. I think it's about having the courage to trust and listen to yourself. To really listen, without cramming your mind with the details and material concerns that obstruct the flow. Follow your passion and live your dream. Most of all, choose your own path in life. Trust that the details will get worked out. And if you find yourself sitting all alone on a rock with people screaming all around you- look for the opportunity that might be staring you right in the face!