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Friday, March 30, 2012

Animal Signs: Crab

According to my We'Moon 2012 book, today marks a Waxing Half Moon in Cancer. As I've written before, the Waxing Half Moon phase can be a powerful time to draw things toward you. It's a good time for positive magic. Hmm...

Sometimes it seems a combination of events or aspects helps put things in perspective. Today the Waxing Half Moon is in Cancer.  When the moon is in Cancer, We'Moon explains that we reconnect with our "oceans of emotions". Cancer is the cardinal water sign.  That means things are flowing! All that flow can mean we feel a bit overwhelmed, not only by our own emotions, but by the flowing emotions of others as well.  I guess today would be a good opportunity to reconnect with your Vagus nerve.

The sign for Cancer is the crab. I didn't see a crab today, and I defiantly didn't take that picture.  It is thanks to the National Geographic website ( But I believe we all may be experiencing the energy of the Crab due to the moon's position in Cancer.

Steven Farmer, in "Animal Spirit Guides", writes that Crab energy is portrayed by acute hearing, vision, and physical feelings. Farmer explains this includes a sensitivity to your surroundings and other people. This increased sensitivity can lead to a need for withdrawal or self protection from others. The crab is very protective of home and personal space because of it's sensitivity.

When a crab shows up, Farmer writes,  it may signify you are about to experience an unexpected shift in your environment or personal life that will benefit your soul journey. You may find yourself able to see things from the invisible realm more clearly. Farmer suggests you pay attention to promptings from your subconscious what might come in the form of dreams, visions, or flashes of insight. Sounds like positive magic to me!

The crab does have that shell it protects so fiercely. It's possible you've been hiding under that shell for a bit, or want to crawl back in when so many emotions are swirling around you. There's nothing wrong with a bit of protection every once in awhile, but it might be hard to draw good things to you if you're keeping everything and everyone at a distance.

To find the balance between a positively magically time and the urge to withdraw, you might find a few drops of the Bach Flower Water Violet helpful. Water Violet types are a bit like a crab. They are knowledgeable, calm, capable, and pretty happy to be on their own. They are self-sufficient; carrying that house around with them. They don't need much from others and for the most part are pretty happy to be alone. But every once in awhile even a proud and aloof crab gets a bit lonely.  When magic is in the air and insights abound, it might be nice to bounce some ideas off another crab or two. Water Violet can help you develop warmer relationships with others. It might help you open up that Vagus nerve and feel that empathy rather than protect yourself from it's intrusion. You might find yourself allowing others "in" a bit. You might find that strengthens your spine to match with that shell.

Maybe it's an opening of your Vagus nerve that is the unexpected shift suggested by the energy of Crab.  Maybe we could all use a bit of that!

Enjoy the flow!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tiered Health Care?

Having recently discovered my shadow, I have firmly sewed it to both  the soles of my feet and  my soul. I'm embracing my urge to look outside the box and consider systems that I believe could use some tweaking rather than continuing to quietly conform to them or "fly under the radar".  So when I saw yet another headline about Canada's Health care system and required efforts to keep it from becoming two-tiered, I decided to write about it! 

Canada prides itself on not differentiating between rich and poor when it comes to the delivery of health care and strives to prevent what it calls two tiers of health delivery- those that can afford to pay and those that can't. With subsidized care through tax dollars, everyone has equal access to the system. Hmm...

I think the system is already two tiered. The first tier is conventional health care.  You can access this everywhere no matter who you are. You can have multiple tests down on you for a range of reasons.  You can have lab work, x-rays, ultrasound, scopes, exploratory surgery done without paying a dime. You can try out multiple drugs to "see if they might work" to treat your symptoms, in most cases without paying anything near to the actual cost of the medications. They are subsidized.  You can stay in a hospital for days, even weeks, and walk out without paying a cent.  In fact, you have no idea what any of this might cost. No one asks you if you want those treatments tests and procedures- it's free why wouldn't you take advantage of everything there is to offer.  You never see a bill, an itemized invoice, a detailed account of what you've used and how much it cost. The government (tax payers) paid for it. Aren't we lucky.  Maybe...

There is a second tier of health care in Canada in my opinion.  It's alternative health care.  To access this type of care you have to be able to really dig around. You need to talk to people that have used this system.  You have to be pretty open to trying something different. You have to do some research and consider some different ways of looking at health and disease.  You won't find ads for this type of health care on radio and T.V.  You won't be told how or when you should access this level. You'll have to look for it.  In fact, you will find opposition to this level of health care. You may have to move past the fear and anxiety of this tier of health care that many people, and the conventional system, holds on to.

Alternative practitioners don't often even advertise their services. To get to them you might have to go to private houses or small clinics instead of centrally located, easily accessed facilities. In most cases you will see a itemized bill and you will have to pay. This type of health care is not government subsidized. Much of it isn't even covered with additional health insurance plans although you might be able to claim a few services. The fees most of these practitioners charge are actually pretty reasonable and they make no where near the salaries of conventional health care practitioners. That is often why they can't afford, and perhaps don't need,  big overheads for office buildings, receptionists, intake workers, or triage personnel. But the cost can be pretty prohibitive and surprising if you're used to walking out without paying a dime. It comes out of your pocket, not out of your taxes. My shadow gets pretty ticked about that.  I pay into a system I don't access very often and I do access a system the government doesn't support.

I don't want tiered health care. I want to be able to access the system I pay into but have it support my needs better.  I want the system to change just a bit to accommodate me rather than me having to work around a system.

 If I get in a car crash, or break an arm or a leg, I want to be able to call 911 and have trained personnel come and transport me to a medical facility. I want that x-ray, maybe that ultrasound to figure out where I'm hurt and what  my body needs to heal. But I want Rescue Remedy before I get any of that and it would be nice if Paramedics gave me some of that instead of me having to dig through my back pack to get it while I'm spinally imbolizied and not thinking straight. Before they move me onto an examining table, I'd like to take a few more sprays and not have to sneak it, or have it taken away from me with my other belongings.  I would like to choose Homeopathic remedies like Arnica instead of the painkillers. If there is a risk of tetanus, I'd like the nosode instead of the needle vaccine. I'd also like a healthy drink of colloidal silver because lets face it, I've probably hurt my immune system and the guy beside me in the waiting room for sure has a nasty virus. We might both benefit from watching some quantum healing videos while we share that waiting room. There might  be some bacteria on the floor of this facility that I could use some protection from. It would be nice if I didn't have to wait till I got home to dip into my own supply of colloidal silver or have someone "sneak it in" to me. I don't mind if the person beside me takes the vaccine and the pain killers and the antibiotics. But I'd like to be given a choice. I'd like to have my bones set and casted by a professional but I'd like to be given Symphytum once that's done.  I think I'll heal quicker and I might be able to bypass expensive long term repeat visits. I'd like to walk out without a bill and I'd like to save the system some money as well!! Imagine!!

I'd like to be treated by a professional who could recommend the best treatment for me and my condition. I'd like to be in on the discussion. I don't want to be treated like "everyone who has this injury" because I actually think I have some individual characteristics.  I know I'll lose some cognitive thought in the trauma of an injury or illness but I'd like a professional that works with me and helps me understand how complimentary medicine might be to my advantage. If I have problems afterwards, I would like to able to decide if Bowen, or massage, might get me back to balance. I suspect a couple of treatments might be all I need.

Today's picture is of the medical caduceus. I've had this symbol on the arm of many a uniform sleeve for a lot of years. But today I see the shadow in the picture and I wonder what might be out there that I don't even know about. Who knows what wonderful therapies we might discover if this second tier of health could be allowed equal footing, dollars, research and support.  I look at the twisted snake and I see what looks suspiciously like my pendulum.  What if we used some kinesology  to identify what people needed rather than treating everyone the same according to some generic protocol.  There might be some savings there. There are 7 gaps in the intertwining body of that snake. I wonder if that's the chakras wanting some attention for healing? The caduceus is a two headed snake.  That suggests to me, two brains coming together in one body.  That's complimentary health care. And both those heads and brains are on one level. In direct contrast to the grounded nature of a snake, the caduceus also has wings.  To me, that symbolizes using both grounded theories and divine knowing to find true healing.

That's one tier health care.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bach Flowers for Crisis Events

I thought after yesterday's experiences, perhaps it would be a good idea to devote a blog posting to the value of Rescue Remedy. It is  the Bach Flower combination Dr. Bach developed for use in crisis situations.

There are 38 individual essences in the Bach Flower collection.  Each one of these essences is designed to help balance a particular emotion. There are subtle differences between the essences and it can take some good detective work, knowledge of the essences and self awareness,  or a professional consultation, to really identify which of the 38 would be most suited for an individuals particular situation. You can experiment with the essences.  They are meant as a self-help approach and it won't hurt you to take the "wrong" essence, you just might not get the full balancing effect you will if the essences are appropriately selected.

A typical remedy bottle includes 4 to 6 different essences, providing a unique combination of healing help. This type of "chronic" remedy is usually taken as 4 drops, 4 times per day for the maximum effect. Some people experience immediate relief when taking their remedy, for others it's a more subtle benefit.  After a few weeks with the same remedy, people typically experience a layering effect.  One layer of "issues" or emotions is shed or balanced, and they are ready to move on with a different remedy combination.  These remedies are designed to bring long term stability and balance.  Often they help with long standing emotions,  personality traits, or patterns of behavior that have developed over time.

But Dr. Bach didn't stop there. Perhaps it was his background as a physician, or maybe it was the experience of having a sailor pretty much "wash up on the shore in front of him", that encouraged him to develop a remedy that could be used by everyone for emergency situations.

When you suddenly find yourself in a trauma or emergency situation, one of the first parts of your mind that suffers is cognitive thought.  So it's pretty hard once the air bags have deployed in your face, to take a step back and think about what Bach Flower essence might help you with that. It's also pretty impractical to carry around the 38 different essences "just in case".  That's why a bottle of Rescue Remedy can be a valuable addition to your first aid kit, glove compartment, purse or back pack.

In emergency medicine, particularly in the pre-hospital arena, the first "trick" when providing aid is to calm the patient so they can think and respond to questions about what happened and how they are feeling physically. When you aren't calm you don't even know what or where it hurts. That's when a few drops or a spray of Rescue Remedy can really make a difference.  In my opinion, every emergency room and all emergency services personnel should carry Rescue Remedy as the immediate response. Teacher's should have a bottle on their desk and playground supervisors should have one in their pocket. If Rescue Remedy was given as the first action, right up there with immobilizing someones head and spine and telling a patient to take a deep breathe, our bodies and our brains would be better able to begin the healing process.

Rescue Remedy contains 5 of the 38 flower essences; Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis.

If you've ever been in an emergency, or witnessed an emergency, you probably remember you weren't feeling all that patient with yourself, others, and the world in general.  You might have sped into some pretty "non-purposeful movement" just to be "doing something".  If you've ever listened to someone try to explain what happened at a crisis event you know what I mean.  The words and actions just come tumbling out in a fast rush without really making a lot of sense.  People run all over the place in scattered ways to try and help. It feels like emergency personnel took hours to get to you instead of minutes. Nothing seems to happen fast enough for you.  That's why Impatiens is in included in the remedy.  Impatiens helps you calm done, slow down, and allow your brain and body to start working together to process things calmly and efficiently.

Star of Bethlehem is also included in Rescue Remedy.  It's the essence for the after effects of shock.  If you could get a few drops of Star of Bethlehem in you and the patient immediately after an event has occurred, you can help neutralize the emotional effects of the trauma and already be on the way to recuperating instead of continuing down a spiral of shock, pain, disbelief, and grief.  This essence might help prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from showing up years after an event has occurred.

Cherry Plum is included in Rescue Remedy. It is the essence indicated when you fear losing control of your behavior or on the verge of a breakdown. Some people in crisis events react violently. Some people react hysterically. Most people feel on the verge of one or both of those reactions, if only for a fleeting moment. The more crisis you experience and the more "trained" you are, or the better able you are to detach yourself from others, the more controlled you are likely to appear, but for even those seasoned veterans, or victims who have been there multiple times, there is still that moment of fear. That's why Cherry Plum is in there. It helps you calm your racing mind so you can both think and act rationally.

Some people freeze up during crisis events. For some it's more obvious than others, but most people have at least that second when they feel absolute terror. This is often accompanied by a sense of helplessness.  If you've ever seen trauma in action you know what I mean.  You can see the child as they teeter off balance, you know they are going to fall, and time slows as you realize there is no way you can cover the ground required to do anything about what you are seeing. The moment before you hit the tree, there is a similar feeling- total helplessness to prevent this event. That's the emotion that Rock Rose helps with. It provides courage and peace of mind so you can "get your wits about you", move your legs and be calm in the face of the fall-out. 

Clematis is also included in Rescue Remedy.  Clematis helps people in shock remain grounded in the here and now and addresses that sensation of fading consciousness. It is said   Dr. Bach found a sailor on the beach fading out of consciousness, and Clematis is attributed with helping him focus on the here and now and maintain his presence so his body could react in ways to help him heal and recover. Our minds are kind of tricky things it would seem.  Sometimes during emergencies we want to just "slip away", "pretend it's not really happening", go off to dreamland, succumb to another dimension.  Clematis helps you maintain your interest in the world around you so you can focus on what you need to do to improve your situation and initiate your healing.

That's why the 5 essences where chosen for Rescue Remedy. You don't need to remember that. You don't need to think about that, analyze that, or argue that.  All you need to do is have a bottle of Rescue Remedy handy and try it the next time you find yourself in an emergency situation.  You don't even have to consider whether or not your situation qualifies as an "emergency".  We are all individual in that manner.  If this seems like a bad, difficult or uncomfortable situation for you and you could use some emotional help- take Rescue Remedy and see what happens.  If you can't figure out what is wrong with your child or your pet, give a couple of drops or sprays of Rescue Remedy and then see how they respond.  You might need to follow up with more tailored essences, but once the layer of trauma, panic, and shock is balanced you can get to the underlying issue.

There are so many examples of  Rescue Remedy's amazing properties. I have seen it work in dramatic and wonderful ways.  But there's nothing like personal experience to become a believer. You can find Rescue Remedy in both spray and liquid preparations in most drug stores, health food stores, and even some grocery stores.  It's the most common form of Bach Flower essences out there.  Pick one up, keep it within reach and see what it might do for you.

Enjoy the journey.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Connecting with your Shadow

In the Walt Disney Classic, Peter Pan, there is an early scene where Peter is desperately trying to remain attached to his shadow.  He tries some tricks with soap, but in the versions I've seen, it's Wendy that comes to the rescue- she sews it to the bottom of his shoes for him. That seems to do the trick. Hmm...

Lots of psychological and spiritual writers talk about connecting to your shadow self. Debbie Ford has written a number of best sellers about this including "The Secret of the Shadow". I recently picked up  "The Shadow Effect", in the clearance bin.  I find a lot of interesting books there.  This one is a shared authorship between Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson- all well known in the world of spiritual evolution.

The basic idea I guess is that we all have a shadow self.  It's that well-hidden part of us that we would really rather not acknowledge and try hard to squish and suppress. In doing so, we build that shadow self to gigantic proportions. Eckhart Tolle, in "The Power of Now", among other publications, writes about the pain body in a similar concept. Both the shadow and the pain body are sides of our personalities that prevent us from enjoying life to some extent and to growing into all that we could be.

It isn't easy to figure out where your shadow is lurking or what fuels your pain body.  By it's very nature, it's a part of you that you try to avoid. We are taught to "stay in the light", look for the positive, foster our positive qualities and talents and stay away from our "bad side".  We are frightened by our shadow side, perhaps even embarrassed by it's existence. Our shadows aren't the mature, well-behaved, politically correct and well mannered versions of our soul. We are socialized to fear our "dark side" and work hard to keep it in check. Sometimes they aren't even dark or bad, we just think they are and force them into becoming that way.

You know you've caught a glimpse of your shadow or your pain body, when you suddenly explode at something and rather surprise yourself(and others) in the explosion. When something really just "tweaks" that inner part of you and makes your blood boil, and your mouth run away from you, your shadow has come out of the box. And once unleashed, it likes to take full advantage because it knows you are soon going to put it back in the box and hide it again.

I ran into my shadow today. It was at the Motor Vehicle office. From the minute I walked in and had to take that number and wait till I was called, despite the fact there was no line, I started to feel a little a antsy. By the time I got to a person to explain what I was trying to do, I could feel myself preparing to fight. I know she's a civil servant, just doing her job and not out to "get me" but my shadow begs to differ on that. So when she so patiently explained that she couldn't do what I need done without me having to do about 20 previous actions all of which involve more paperwork, money, and the retrieval of documentation I was apparently supposed to keep from 10 years ago, I really knew I should have taken multiple drops of the Bach Flower Cherry Plum before I left the house.  I knew I could take some Rescue Remedy and breathe deep and save us all some grief but I really wanted to just jump over that desk, take her computer keyboard and do something drastic. I'm not "in her system" according to the name that's on all my documentation except the one piece that so happens to be my driver's license. It doesn't matter that "the system" made an error when it issued me that card.  I'm told I'll have to sign my name differently and just "play along" in order to satisfy the computer system. Really!!!  Well.. hello shadow...

 I didn't give in to my shadow and end up arrested. I got out of there intact. But I'm not going to just squish that shadow. I'm going to examine it a bit.  I guess I have some issues with rules and control. You figure??? I don't like to play the game because it makes bureaucratic sense. I'm not trying to buck the system exactly, I just want people to recognize when the system doesn't make sense and when computers are controlling us rather than us controlling computers.  That's my shadow (one of them). I can see how it developed. Maybe it had something to do with the rules of that etch-a-sketch I got and didn't appreciate so much.  Maybe it was being told to "color within the lines", "print neatly", "write a beginning, middle and end to all stories", "eat your vegetables before your ice-cream". Perhaps it's the idea of  taking the medicine the Doctor perscribes whether you feel better, or and it feels right, or not... Hmmm... Now we're looking right at that shadow!

Back to Chopra, Ford and Williamson... They all suggest that once you face your shadow you find  a piece of yourself that, if allowed to emerge at appropriate times, might not build to out of control proportions and might just serve you well.  They suggest that by reclaiming the part of us we've tried so hard to ignore, we might reclaim our true path and release a valuable feature of our personalities.

They are not suggesting, I don't think, that I go back to the government office and launch a protest or spray paint the walls, or drive without a license.  But perhaps if I recognize the piece of myself that likes to look outside the box, challenge the rules, and find different, unconventional ways to solve problems I might find it easier to "play the game" when necessary, knowing that in other areas of life I was breaking new ground. 

The thing is, your strength is in your shadow.  It's strong when it comes flying out of the box in an uncontrolled manner and flies around the room like Peter Pan's did. But it's not an asset then.  It becomes an asset when you don't put it in the box in the first place. When you acknowledge your "dark side" and let it come into the sunlight a bit at a time every day, it doesn't need to "explode" anymore. That's when it's both a strength and an asset. It just wants to be heard and allowed to become a part of you every day. The woman at the motor vehicle branch has nothing to do with my shadow self. My shadow just saw her as a likely target and it was tired of not being allowed out to play.
Shadow's are created in different and individual ways. Sometimes we hide our ability to express ourselves and tell ourselves it's wrong to speak up for ourselves. Sometimes we squish our fears into being a shadow. Sometimes we think if we don't work all the time and keep ourselves busy that lazy shadow will come out of the box. Shadows are created when we overcompensate for something we deemed ,or were told was, undesirable.

Peter Pan felt better when his shadow was re-attached.  Our shadow is a part of us, sometimes it's a good part of us. It might be one of our better qualities. It deserves to be heard and examined and allowed to show it's face. The more you hide it in the box, the darker and the stronger it grows and the more likely it will come out at the wrong time. I'm going to think outside the box a bit more.  Even better, I'm going to speak about what I think that might be unconventional and "outside the system".  I'm going to reattach my shadow firmly to my shoe and then I'll walk into that motor vehicle branch with the right paperwork, happy enough to play along knowing we'll (my shadow and I) write about it later.

I wonder what else is lurking in that box???

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Moon in Aries

Today marks a New Moon in Aries according to We'Moon 2012.  As with all New Moon phases, this is a time for new beginnings  The New Moon can be seen as a time to consider your intentions and focus on what you want to bring to you over the next few weeks.  This "fresh start" seems even more appropriate given the focus on Spring and times of renewal.

Aries is a fire sign and as Spring sunshine lights up the earth, maybe we can use the heat of this sign in the New Moon to light our personal fires and get us focused on moving foreword  towards our goals and aspirations.

We'Moon writes that when the moon is in Aries we tend to be ignited and emotions can run high and intense.  We may feel a sense of urgency to "get on with it" during this time.  We want to get back on track if we think we may have strayed over the sleepiness of winter months and dormant times. This moon phase signals a time to get back to whatever you feel passionate about.  It's about doing whatever makes you feel alive and energized.

The symbol for Aries is a Ram. According to Steven Farmer's "Animal Spirit Guides" book, the Ram spirit energy can help you "charge ahead" with whatever gets your attention. Farmer suggests you draw on this energy when you're ready for new challenges and  want to get started on something, but perhaps need a boost to find the energy to go for it.

Farmer also writes that when Ram energy shows up, it may be an indication that something in your life is out of balance at the moment. This can be a sign to think about your balance and take steps to find the realignment that comes with moving forward in a balanced way.

Rams like to rear up and leap forward but they keep their feet on the ground. That's how they maintain that sense of balance. So in this New Moon of Aries and Ram energy, it's a good time to think about where you want to go, what projects you want to move foreword with at the same time that you maintain a sense of groundedness, firmly connected to the earth.  It seems like it's time to take a leap of faith that might be tempered with a practical influence. Hmm...

Rams are also known for butting heads. And no matter how good you are at that kind of activity, it can still leave you a bit dazed and stunned I think. Aries energy can be quite self directed and independent. While that kind of energy can serve you well, it can also leave you feeling a bit stunned and out of balance. Perhaps you forgot to consider others in your moving foreword. This forward charge without consideration of others and the need to "allow",  might leave you feeling frustrated, critical and just a bit intolerant of the other rams in the pasture!

The Bach Flower essences that might be helpful if you're feeling frustrated, impatient and out of balance during this New Moon phase, could be Impatiens and Beech.  These might be good essences to have close at hand during the spring season in general, perhaps especially during the New Moon phase.

Everything around us right now seems to be pointing in the direction of upward movement and positive change. There is fuel and energy out there to move on with things and start fresh, enriched from our past experiences and dormancy. It seems sometimes our intentions, our thoughts and our desires, move just a bit faster than our bodies and the reactions of those around us. It's about that transition. There can be a lag time between setting our sight on the goal and actually getting there. Perhaps acceptance and awareness of that "lag time" is all we need to soothe the fires. But if you're looking around and deciding those other rams are the cause for your lag period, you might want to consider some Bach Flower essences before you start hitting your head against some equally hard surfaces.

It seems that nature is telling us we are moving into a new phase of challenges and opportunities. The energy around us is encouraging us to pursue our dreams, and pull things towards us. We are encouraged to use this energy for re-growth, renewal and revitalization. Let's move forward with our feet firmly planted in the ground, and our heads in the air. Mind you don't butt heads in the process.

Onward and upward!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lessons From Nature: Spring Flowers

In my part of the world we seem to have bypassed Spring at least for the moment and have gone right to summer.  It's crazy out there- 30 degrees! Unheard of in March and still in my opinion, a little unsettling maybe.  I am looking forward to flowers though.

Sabina Pettitt from Pacific Essences,  identifies three flowers as being particularly significant of spring. They include Purple Crocus, Narcissus, and Windflower. 

Yesterday's picture was of a Purple Crocus.  These guys are defiantly a sign of spring around here and seem to often bloom in that transition when there is still snow on the ground but spring in the air. In her book "Energy Medicine: Healing from the Kingdom of Nature", Pettitt writes that Purple Crocus is a flower that can be used for resolving tension from grief and loss. The buds are deep purple, the colour of mourning and tightly folded inwards symbolizing the journey within that grief requires us to take. But when they open  a wonderful yellow center is revealed symbolizing another part of us that embraces the experience of accessing a new inner part of ourselves as we shed that layer. Pettitt writes that Purple Crocus helps us respond to exactly who we are. It corresponds to our throat chakra helping us express ourselves and release our grief. Maybe the Purple Crocus can help me release the grief of missing snow days and embrace the wonder of springtime!

Today's picture is the Narcissus, usually the flower I see closely behind the crocus and another clear sign of spring.  Pettitt lists this as one of the "spring flowers". Pettitt writes the Narcissus is the "slayer of internal dragons". It has a calming influence when it seems like life experiences are providing a cycle of challenges. The Narcissus is closely linked to the stomach and that feeling of being "unsettled" when little butterflies of fear may be disrupting peaceful flow. The Narcissus sends a message to allow our thoughts and emotions to digest and flow freely rather than getting stuck and disturbing our mind. The Narcissus resonates with the Root chakra.  It can help us feel grounded when our thoughts stray to dreamland or threaten to overwhelm us with the "to do" list. It reminds us that the spring sunshine is meant to nourish us gently and nurture us as we come of the cave.

The third spring flower according to Pettitt is the Windflower.  This is also known as pulsatilla and is prepared as a common homeopathic remedy. This flower is described as being shy or timid.  It's a soft furry violet flower that appears more often on the prairies than the coasts. It is said to open only when the wind is blowing. I guess it needs that little bit of encouragement to open up and reveal itself. Pettitt explains the "Windflower essence provides us the security necessary to express our spiritual being".  I think when we come out of the winter cave we need to know the world is safe enough that we can reveal all the things we discovered while we were sleeping. Like the Narcissus, the Windflower speaks to a grounding type energy. We feel safe and nurtured so that we are able to speak our truth as it comes from the heart.

I guess the lesson from nature is that this is a time of transition.  Having spent the winter a bit "closed in", perhaps hunkered down in our caves, it can be a bit scary to suddenly be out there in the bright sunshine. The presence of these flowers, in my opinion, acts as a sign of safety and security so we can come out, shed a layer, embrace the sunshine, and speak our truth.  Having spent those winter months inside and within ourselves, we have connected with our inner wisdom. Now is the time to slowly let go and release that energy and wisdom. Hmm...

I'm told  today, in 30 degree weather, that it is predicted to snow by the weekend. I'd say there is a 50/50 chance of that snow.  Of the two horses in my backyard, the one that is having the shedding "issues" is still shedding, and she is standing in the sun soaked with sweat.  Apparently it is a good feeling because she doesn't move to the shade.  She seems very peaceful to be shedding now- maybe she's convinced she was right to loose that layer. Perhaps she feels safe enough to let go and let be.  Her brother however, is still sporting his winter coat, hasn't lost a hair, is standing in the sun, and has nary a bead of sweat of him. It seems he believes it's still a little premature to bring out the shorts and sandals.  He's still holding his wisdom within. He's waiting for the flowers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Equinox 2012 and the Transition

Last night or early this morning, depending on your time zone, marked the spring equinox. That means we have an equal amount of light and darkness.  It's a little fuzzy to me whether that means last night and today or today and tonight or somewhere in between.  Apparently it's really not totally 100% equal anyway, but close.  If you're in the Northern Hemisphere that means spring equinox.  If you're in the Southern Hemisphere that means fall equinox.  I tried to sort this out last year. What I really know for sure is that in my part of the world, today is the first day of Spring and nature 100% agrees.  We've got way above normal temperatures and sunny skies. 

In my opinion, equality is one of those words that perhaps in our overuse we have twisted a bit to mean something else.  We tend to think of this as being very positive in nature and sometimes use it to mean that.  But it really just means "the same" and the word itself doesn't put a judgement on whether that is good or bad. Hmm...

Spring is considered to be a time of action.  It's when we put those dormant plans, that thinking, contemplative, energy into "doing". We are encouraged to "get outside" instead of "gazing outside". We are to clean up the yard and allow new growth to emerge from the blanket of leaves.  It's time to crawl out of the cave and take a look around. Hmm....

I know there are people that jump out of bed in the morning and are ready to go. They can make a quick, almost immediate, transition from sleeping to waking and thought to action. I'm not one of them. I like to catch "just a couple more minutes of sleep", maybe take a look around before I put my feet on the ground. I enjoy that first coffee to consider the day and think about what I might want to do.

So for me, the idea that yesterday it was winter and today it is spring is just a little jarring.  I'm not quite ready to let go of winter yet and I need some time to adjust.  I feel a little cheated out of storm days and winter blasts. We didn't really have much this year and maybe I missed that just a bit. I'm happy enough to see spring. The sun feels good, the warmth is great. I look forward to flowers popping up and green grass replacing the dead leaves.  I just need a bit of time here in the middle between winter and spring. I might want to float back to the winter side a bit before I'm ready to commit fully to spring. I'm not quite ready to put away my mittens or exchange winter boots for sandals. I don't even know where the sandals might be, and I am not into "spring cleaning" in order to find them! I'll have to think about that a bit.

It's possible that I'm all alone on my reluctance to totally and completely welcome this sudden change of season but I don't think so.  I've met a few people over the past couple of days that seemed a bit "out of sorts" without really knowing why and I wonder if that isn't the reason.

Nature doesn't make this sudden and complete shift. Nature has been working on getting to this equal state of light and dark for awhile now. The temperature is going to go up and down a bit before we settle into new levels. Those plants that are pushing through the soil have been working at it for awhile. I've never met a bear coming out of his cave, but I don't think they pop up and jump around. I think they stretch a lot and lazily sniff the ground, squint in the sun, wonder around a bit sort of lost and confused in the adjustment. I think a few of them might decide, like the groundhog, to go back for a just a few more minutes before they leave that warm bed for good.

So it's us humans that decided we needed to speed things up, and suddenly "get into gear" and get "doing" instead of thinking, acting instead of planning.  It was humans that decided there should be new fashion trends to celebrate spring and that we should suddenly switch our activities. Okay then.  Well, if you're the kind of person that jumps out of bed ready to go and jumps into Spring ready to plant, or clean or "do" anything- then it's official and you "go for it"- enjoy.  I'm going to just take my time and think about it a bit.  Maybe I'll have a second cup of coffee and enjoy the view a bit.

I think most people, myself included, jump back and forth a bit in the transition from winter to spring. We still want to read a really good book under the blankets but a part of us wants to be outside doing something- we just aren't really sure what. It can be a real time of restlessness in the transition. There are some Bach Flowers that might help you find the balance if your body is adjusting a bit slower. Scleranthus, Beech, Clematis, Crab Apple, Impatiens and Walnut might all be worth considering.

Scleranthus helps balance that jumping back and forth, grasshopper restlessness that can come with a change in season and a change in moods. If you're having difficulty deciding what it is you want to do, or how you feel, Scleranthus can be quite balancing.

Let's face it, a few bears when they come out of the cave could use a few drops of Beech.  They can be irritable and intolerant of all that sunlight, all that noise, those pesky bugs and the lack of immediate sources of food. Beech might help you accept that type of irritation in others and balance it in yourself a bit better.

Spring is the time for bringing plans to action and that speaks to the energy of Clematis.  If you're wanting to go back under the covers to dream instead of working that dream into reality, Clematis might be for you. It can also be very helpful for kids that find it difficult to concentrate in school when they feel the "call" of warmer days and adventure outside the window.

If you've got a bit crazy in the urge to spring clean and all that sunshine is making you feel embarrassed bythe streaks on the windows, the dust bunnies dancing in the sunbeams and the muddy floors, Crab Apple might be helpful for you.  It can also help if you feel the need to "shed a layer" before you're ready for Spring, lighter clothes and sandals.

If you're the "jump out of bed person" and all this slow transition phase is making you bounce around with impatience to get going, a few drops of Impatiens might help. If you've got out the pitch fork and found the ground is still frozen and you're considering a bigger shovel or a well aimed blow torch, this is the Bach Flower for you. Impatiens can help you relax as you wait for nature to catch up with the season humans have decided "is here".

It seems we all are feeling more of a connection to nature's cycles and changes. Perhaps that means during transition phases we need to consider Walnut more often. Walnut can help provide protect from change and outside influences. It's helpful during atmospheric changes. Perhaps that unsettled "out of sorts" feeling is your body feeling the subtle influences of nature changing as it tries to settle into place with a new season.

It is Spring and that is a good thing. Winter, Summer and Fall are good too.  They are all good, for different reasons.  In this time of equinox we're really hanging in the middle between winter and spring as the pendulum swings towards spring. Often transition causes angst. Perhaps it's about acknowledging, allowing, and soothing ourselves gently as we enter a new phase, courtesy of nature. Maybe just knowing that we're experiencing a shift is all that's required to soothe the angst. Bach Flowers, a good pair of rubber boots and the freedom "be" will all help the transition.

Enjoy the puddles!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Left Neglected

I read Lisa Genova's "Left Neglected" over the weekend.  I couldn't put it down. It was just that kind of book that has you really needing to find out what comes next as you root for the main character without there being any villains. Even when I was actually reading the book, Sarah, the main character was kind of "following me around" or at least looking over my shoulder. A couple of times I caught myself speeding things up, doing multiple things at once, and I reconsidered and slowed down.

Sarah is a typical working mother caught between the corporate world and family life, wanting to be the best in both worlds, everything to everybody. She multi-tasks in the extreme just to keep everything held together. I personally think most women can identify with Sarah's life and see threads of their truth in her experience. It's kind of the game many women play at some point in their lives.  There are so many choices, so many different roles woman can have that we want to experience them all, and all at once. We pride ourselves on our multi-tasking abilities just like Sarah does.  I don't really believe this is something society or even life circumstances really "impose" on women as much as it's something we choose to do. The busier we are, the more strung to the max, the more harassed we are, the more alive, successful and accomplished we feel. Hmm...

The thing with multi-tasking is that none of the tasks actually get done well. It's a case of quantity over quality for sure and the margin for error is huge.  Sarah discovers first hand how tragic that can be when she crashes the car while using her cell phone, rushing to work, in a rain storm. And life changes.

I think all authors bring a piece of themselves into their writing. With a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University as her "pre-author" background, Lisa Genova brings the world of brain injury and rehabilitation to life in a fascinating way in this novel.  Her character, Sarah, comes out of her car accident with a very real condition called Left Neglect. In this condition, caused by damage to the right side of the brain, the body becomes unaware of the left side- of everything. Sarah has to relearn the most basic of activities because of this deficit. And in doing so, not only her perception of the world changes, but her perception of her place in the world and the important things in life change as well.
In the condition, Left Neglect, there is no injury to the eyes or any paralysis of the limbs and yet, even with muscle movement  and nerve pathways still intact, things just don't work together.  It's that crucial right and left hemisphere interaction that takes a jolt.  Dr. Bolte-Taylor wrote about how total separation of the hemispheres can affect people with strokes.  Left Neglect isn't  the separation that Bolte-Taylor writes about, but both these books underscore the fact that there are two very different "sides" of us and without the integration, life can be very different.

Although the characters in the book are fictitious  there is a lot of truth and well researched science in this book. I really appreciate a book that allows me to learn something through the eyes of a character that I can care about, empathize with and root for. I learned a lot about brain injuries, the idea of Left Neglect, sport rehabilitation, and even some new information on ADHD. And I learned this without the need for highlighter, sticky notes, underlying passages or having to refer to medical dictionaries. I like that.

This isn't the type of novel where a massive injury forces the main character to re-evaluate life so they come to the conclusion that they have been focusing on the wrong things so they totally change their life. Sarah still wants it all. She doesn't want to choose between having a career and being a mother. She still wants both, in some ways needs both, and she struggles to get her life back. Along the way she gets some pretty big insights and really does find ways to be the best that she can be- both sides of her just a little different. Sarah doesn't learn to give up. But she does learn to let go. She learns to fight to regain parts of herself.  She learns to accept parts of herself she doesn't really like and along the way she learns to accept others and their faults as well. She learns the value of accepting help from others.

Lisa Genova's "Left Neglected" made me think.  It made me reconsider my priorities, what I value, and how I view accomplishments and success.  And if nothing else, "Left Neglected" encouraged me to slow down just a bit over the weekend so I could read a great book. I like that!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Animal Signs: Moth

It's a snow day today! We had some freezing rain followed by snow and now everything is covered in a soft layer of white.  It should be a calm quiet feeling day, in my opinion, to match with the snow day feeling, and yet it's not really.  Nature seems a bit flighty today.  Birds were running into the window, horses were kind of spooky, and nature seems "on edge".

I started a fire in the wood stove this morning- a perfect activity to start off a snow day, and a good back up plan if the heavy snow takes the power out!  I had it started already, put in a good sized log, and a moth came flying out of the stove right into my face.  I have no more idea where she came from, than I do where she went.

That kind of "in your face" experience deserves investigation I figure so, out comes Steven Farmer's "Animal Spirit Guides" book.  Sure enough! Moth is listed in there as a spirit guide. Farmer writes that "when a moth shows up it means a letter, email or package will be coming shortly bringing important news." Well, that sounds good- no need to read any further!

As it turns out a lot of emails have been showing up. And showing up. And showing up. And a few phone calls as well.  All of the communications were about different and unrelated things. So, I spent the morning  answering emails, talking on the phone and putting out emails that had nothing to do with the projects I really needed to get at today. The more I answered and sent, the more they came in. Seemed I was flitting about from project to project, almost like...a moth?

That kind of flipping about from project to project, emails and phone calls really speaks to Wild Oat tendencies. When in an unbalanced Wild Oat state you have difficulty focusing on a true path.  You can start to become a bit frustrated and unsettled as you drift from project to project without seeing anything quite to completion.

An open email "Inbox" is the perfect distraction for Wild Oat, and Moth energy type moods. I personally think a lot of work environments foster this type of distracted energy.  Sometimes it's called "multi-tasking" and considered by some as an admirable trait. It does mean that you can get a lot of things done simultaneously- sort of.  It does look like you are a highly busy person.  It can be exciting to maintain yourself at that high energy frenetic pace.  It can also be contagious and before you know it, all the people around you are spinning in multiple directions and there's a sense of being overwhelmed with "something" you can't quite even identify. It becomes a general sense of crazy business and you start to feel buried under it all .You can keep those emails flipping back and forth for hours without really getting anything tangible done or completed. Trust me- I know of which I speak on that one!

So I took a minute in between emails and read a bit further in Steven Farmer's book.  It seems that Moth energy might mean "you're in a cloud of confusion and need somehow to clear things up". Hmm...

Often I think animal signs suggest we need to look within to sort things out. Sometimes we can use some help to find the balance, and in "the case of the distracting emails", perhaps some Wild Oat would help provide a sense of focused direction.  Sometimes I think animal signs also suggest we need to look at our environment for some solutions.

So... I looked out the window. I saw all that beautiful white snow and those softly falling flakes and how quiet, soft and serene it looked. I considered how that snow is not likely to stick around for long as we head towards spring. I put on my rubber boots and my mittens, shut down (most) of the technology, and headed to the woods. Ahhh....

I focused on making fresh tracks in the snow.  I stood under a tree and admired the quiet of nature. I took a couple of really deep breaths and smelled pine and dirt and the great outdoors. I heard a few birds calling and chirping. They seemed less frantic. Everything seemed a bit slowed and more alive at the same time.

I returned a new person.  I shut down the Inbox- yes, shut it down!!  That doesn't mean the emails won't land there. It doesn't mean I'll ignore them. It means I'll do some projects and then I'll go focus on the emails and see what needs to be answered and what can be deleted.  I'll avoid the temptation of hoping that an incoming "ping" will take me away on a different flight path until I've landed from this one.

It turns out when a moth shows up, according to Steven Farmer, "whatever has been hidden or veiled is about to be revealed".  I think, for me that might just have happened. I think I discovered I was just a bit too immersed in the distraction factor of technology and  little too scattered and disconnected.  Perhaps I was waiting for that external message via an email, a text, or a phone call to "take me away" to some exciting place instead of focusing on where I was right now. What I really needed was to take myself away from the distractions and find my own balanced self and connection with source.

Perhaps sometimes it's a matter of making some adjustments to your environment to find balance within. Perhaps from that balanced inner place the smoke can clear and rather than get singed in the fire you can find the opportunity to soar.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shedding a Layer: Bach Flowers for Animals

It doesn't really feel much like spring today with a cold front moving in and predictions of wind, rain, ice and snow. It our paddock though there is a definite sign of spring- horse hair everywhere. Only one horse is shedding. Those two never agree on when it is the right time to let go of winter it seems.

The horse that is shedding hasn't really been that happy so far during the process.  She seems a bit irritated, and sort of confused and worried.  She's been jumping around and bucking a bit, but not really in the "Yahoo, it's spring sort of way", more in a "get whatever that weird thing is off my back!" way.  In my typical human approach I was sure I knew the fix. I figured she'd love nothing better than for me to help that shedding process along by brushing and brushing and brushing. If I could get all the old hair out and speed up the process she'd feel and look much better.  For anyone that's ever started brushing a shedding horse, you know this can go on for a long time and you can get pretty obsessed with getting it all out. That's why so many shedding brushes and rakes and bricks and curry brushes are on the market.  This horse usually loves the attention of a good brushing.  This time- not so much.  She was fidgety and anxious and kept thinking there was maybe a better brush in the bucket or a way I could do it better.  We couldn't find the right one- and believe me, I have all types!, so we decided it wasn't the helpful thing to do.  She walked away still looking confused and I called my friend that's an animal communicator.

I thought shedding was a natural process and therefore made the huge assumption that it's "no big deal" for a horse, or any animal for that matter. Turns out for some animals, only part of that statement is correct. It is natural. But that doesn't make it comfortable, welcomed or accepted with ease.

My animal communicator friend tells me that shedding can feel very weird.  It can feel like your skin in crawling, like there is something all over you, and for sure it's itchy. And even if you've gone through this multiple times in your life, it can still sort of "take you by surprise" and give an animal some concern that it might not be natural or healthy.  It seems some animals worry about all that hair floating off them and piling up on the ground.  What if they loose it all? And if you're shedding and your brother isn't loosing a hair, maybe that's cause for concern as well.  Maybe this is only happening to you! That can't be good! Suddenly those brushes that feel so loving and nice at other times of the year really start to "creep you out". When you skin is crawling anyway, I guess for some animals that extra manipulation just doesn't feel good. They'd rather just roll in the sand and shake it out.  Ohhh... now I get it!

So I left the brushes in the box and I mixed up some Bach Flower essences. I gave the horse Beech, Chestnut Bud, Aspen, Crab Apple and Walnut.

Beech is for the irritation of the whole shedding thing. It helps soothe that itchy, scratchy crawling sensation that  you just can't stand.  And when you're dealing with shedding issues and pretty focused on that, other things that normally don't bother you can really make you nuts- like that other guy in the pasture that isn't loosing a hair. Who does he think he is anyway!  Beech can help soothe the irritation.

This horse also got Chestnut Bud in the mixture.  She's been here before. We've been here before. In fact, probably every year around this time, she goes through this process including  the irritation and concern. Chestnut Bud will help this horse (and her people) learn from the past.  It will help her remember that she did this same thing for the past 7 years and ended up with a beautiful new shiny coat each time. 

I gave this horse Aspen as well.  Aspen is for unknown fears. It will help address those "heepy jeepies" and that feeling that there is something very fearful about the process. It seems when your skin is kind of crawling anyway, you are in a "heightened alert" phase and the slightest shadow or a weird looking tree can really set you off. Aspen will help calm her, helping her connect with her sense of peace and security. For similar reasons, I'm also giving her ETS Plus for animals before any storms or wind events.

Although it's not her name, we often call this horse "Pretty Girl".  She is beautiful and most of the time she knows it. Perhaps that why she's particularly concerned to be having some pretty dramatic "bad hair days"! Crab Apple can help with that.  Crab Apple can help her accept the imperfections of shedding and let go of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or dirty during the process. Crab Apple can help Pretty Girl relax about the way she looks and realize she's beautiful on the inside.

I also gave this horse Walnut. Walnut helps protect people and animals from change and outside influences. It seems that annual shedding for animals can sometimes be a bit like teething, puberty or menopause for humans.  It's natural, it happens, but it isn't always easy to deal with! Walnut can help Pretty Girl move forward and adjust to that new shinny undercoat, as she truly releases the old heavy layer.

Animals experience the same emotions as people and that's why Bach Flower essences can work for both species. my opinion, we can learn a lot from the animals around us if we open our hearts, let go of some thoughts, and take the time to listen.

I've learned a lot from this.  Just because an experience is natural and inevitable doesn't mean we always have the tools to deal with it well.  Just because we've "been there before" doesn't mean we have developed perfect coping skills.  Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends. We always need our friends to listen to us rather than just act to rescue us. Sometimes a squirt or two of Bach Flowers can be more helpful that a brushing session.

Shedding a layer is a sign of good things to come. It means warmer temperatures, green grass, rolling around in the dirt, and basking in the sunlight. But sometimes we all need some help accepting that letting go of the heaviness and dealing with some uncomfortable itching  is part of the process of getting there!

May we never stop listening and learning!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time Adjustments

At the end of February this year we "gained a day".  It was a leap year so an extra day just "appeared on our calenders". Over the weekend most of the population "sprung their clocks ahead" and all of a sudden we "lost an hour"- poof and it was gone. So today, I figure there's a pretty good chance a lot of people will feel pretty fuzzy.

In my opinion, the whole concept of time  feels arbitrary and artificial, and although I certainly understand the need to agree on a consistent time, it doesn't really quite make sense to me. I still remember the difficulties as a kid learning to tell time. I remember these long sheets of paper with different clock faces on them and we were supposed to write down what time the clock "said".  Nobody could quite understand why this was such a difficult exercise for me. I was supposed to be a fairly intelligent child, and yet I just couldn't "get it".  Perhaps my saving grace was the invention of the digital clock. I didn't have to translate those hands anymore, the watch "told me what it said".  Ahh... communication at it's finest!

It turns out a lot of people have trouble with the concept of daylight savings, and loosing that hour.  A Swedish study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, found in the days right after the change to daylight saving time, the risk of heart attack increases.  American studies report there is a greater incidence of workplace and occupational accidents for about two to three weeks after we change the clocks. The belief is that most people, in the Western world at least, are sleep deprived anyway, and taking away that extra hour just puts us "over the top" and perhaps "under aware" to the point that we suffer physically and mentally. Hmm...

Not everyone agrees to "lose this hour". In Canada, areas of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia don't change their clocks. Most of the province of Saskatchewan hasn't participated since 1966. Arizona and Hawaii both opt out of the concept. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa don't play the daylight saving game either.

There are groups, such as "Lighter Later" in the U.K.  that lobby for daylight saving time to be implemented all year long.  I have no idea what that means in terms of what time it might be (obviously I still have issues), but the idea is that we would have extra hours of daylight in the evening. Lighter Later believes this could even reduce our electricity use.

I guess a lot of the angst comes in because we rely on a clock to tell us when to go to bed and when to get up instead of relying on natural cycles and rhythms. In fact, this arbitrary concept we have created, dictates an entire schedule for us. We follow these time rhythms and hope that our biological rhythms, such as eating and sleeping, can adjust to this pattern. 

A lot of people don't wear watches anymore. But I don't personally think that is because we have become any looser on our concept of time, I think it's quite the reverse.  You don't have to wear a watch anymore because you can see what time it is just about wherever you are without looking at a watch.  There are digital time clock displays outside many buildings. Some of them tell you both the time and the temperature just in case you can't feel that for yourself. All electronic devices, from music devices, to Blackberries, to cellular phones and laptops, all display the time and most of these automatically adjust for daylight savings.  Most meeting rooms display clocks- it's not just one clock for the office, there is usually a clock or time device of some sort in every office. Cars all have a clock on the dashboard.  When was the last time someone on the street stopped and asked  if you knew what time it was? Nineteen eighty something maybe? 

How you feel about time might give you a clue as to the Bach Flower essence that might be helpful for you.

Impatiens types never feel like they have enough time to do the things they want to do, but they also feel like nothing is happening fast enough.  It's a sense of lack for Impatiens, and it causes them great irritation. Impatiens types can be accident prone in their haste so watch out for them, or that sensation in yourself, if you are trying to "make up for that lost hour" today.

Honeysuckle types long for the past and want to "turn the clock back". These types can tell you today, and perhaps for the next few weeks, what time it would really be if we hadn't had the time change. They are eating an hour earlier according to the clock today because they still feel like it's suppertime or lunch time. They regret that "lost hour" the most.

Rock Water types are most likely the time keepers of the group.  They make sure all the clocks are switched to Daylight Savings time.  If you can't figure out how to change that digital clock in your vehicle- ask a Rock Water person. They will read your owner's manual  (their manual is always found in the glove compartment)and have it changed in a minute. In fact, just take them for a drive, they will offer to do it for you.

Vervain types  have done one of two things. They either changed the clocks to Daylight Savings time before they went to bed on Saturday night, or they are refusing to change the clocks at all and suggest you stick to the "old time" as well.  There are probably some Vervain types that belong to the Later Light movement or, having heard about that organization, they are thinking about opening a local chapter. Vervain types often have trouble sleeping so they might really be suffering today with that. Vervain can help them adjust and get a better sleep as well!

Willow types feel "short changed" by the loss of an hour. They don't think it's fair that the government decides to enforce this on them. In particular they begrudge the fact that you loose the hour on the weekend when they should be able to spend time doing what they enjoy. They resent those people that have no problems adjusting to the change, or just went to bed earlier.  If only they were so lucky as to be able to do that. Willow types may be particularly grumpy and a bit sulky today.

Clematis types had no idea that time changed over the weekend until they showed up to work on Monday. Clematis types don't find as much significance in time as others do and they are used to being in their own timeless world of dreams anyway. People that know them well really don't expect them to be on time. They are often distracted by a good book, a daydream, a new concept, or a sunny day.  They have trouble concentrating on tangible things like time.  Clematis types probably understand Time Travel and Time Tornadoes  better than most.

Bach Flower essences are never "one size fits all". Faced with the same external influences people react differently and therefore find benefit from different essences.  If there were one universal essence to choose today however, it would likely be Walnut.  Walnut is helpful when you need protection from change and outside influences. It's helpful when you are having difficulty adjusting to major life changes like moving, puberty, menopause, divorce, or job-loss.  It might help today in the adjustment to a sudden change of time that requires your biological rhythms to quickly adjust to such an external force. Walnut might help you move foreword despite some universal influences that might be pulling you backward.

There is a pull to move backward today. At the same time as all  clock change is occurring, Mercury is in Retrograde, or moving backward. So at the same time we are artificially moving clocks foreword, the universe is moving things backward a bit. Maybe it will all even out and we will feel truly in "the now"? It's about time!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Energetic Tug of War

Yesterday was International Woman's Day.  I didn't write about it on the blog for a couple of reasons.  One reason was that I got pretty into the Full Moon in Virgo event, but the other was because I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.  Sometimes when I'm not sure how I feel, I write, and it gets sorted out by the end.. here goes.

I guess I would feel better if it had of been "International Feminine Energy Day" instead of "Woman's" Day.  That's what I feel we should honor and celebrate. And that type of energy can be every bit as evident in males of the species as females.  In fact, maybe if we could recognize that all of us have aspects that are both feminine and masculine, we could find the balance in the middle.

A lot of people feel that some of the shifting and adjustment going on in the universe lately is a switching over to a more feminine energy atmosphere. There is a belief that we are becoming, or perhaps struggling to become, more nurturing, less competitive, more collectively concerned, and cooperatively focused,  than driven by power elites as we move into the Aquarius Age. Lucia Rene writes about this in her book, Unplugging the Patriarchy.

As Rene writes, this doesn't really have to be about a "tug of war", but I think a lot of times we turn it into that and create some fear,  discomfort, and perhaps unnecessary, angst. I guess to some extent I think declaring a day to be International Women's Day sets up the idea that there must be an opposing team. And when that opposing team feels threatened they start to pull in the opposite direction and before you know it we have committees, movements, protests, and ... wars. That doesn't seem to be highlighting the positive feminine energy aspect to me. In fact, that feels a bit like "matching the other side".

I've watched a lot of tug-of-war matches.  In my part of the world, this is a highly competitive game that is actually played by grown-ups (sort of!) during farming exhibitions.  Usually all participants are wearing plaid shirts and Kodiak boots. The teams are distinguishable by the color of plaid they are wearing (red, blue, or green are the most common). They pull on a huge thick rope across a line drawn in the mud. It's typically played in the same arena where the cows, bulls, and horses are showed, worked and displayed earlier in the day.  Usually someone goes out with a shovel in-between events and cleans up the manure- but not always.  Maybe you're starting to get the picture?

The thing is that both sides are just pulling against each other and a line drawn in the sand.  There is no real price, there is not real "thing" to be controlled, it's just a pull until one side is quite literally "brought to their knees" at which point the other team is declared the winner. Hmmm...

There is one person on each team that is called the "anchor" position. This person is often the biggest or heaviest person. They take the position at the end of the rope for their side. They usually wrap that rope around their waist and just "plant" themselves at the end of the line to be fairly immovable.  When their side starts to get an advantage, they turn and run or drag in the opposite direction from the way the team is being pulled attempting to add momentum and pull the other team over the line.

Perhaps we had some pretty strong anchors that needed to be dislodged or shaken off their feet. I recognize the fact that a lot of pioneering women did a lot of dragging and pulling to shake things up so feminine energy would be even recognized let alone valued. I realize there are parts of the world where the anchors still need to be dislodged. But once that anchor has been pulled up, I'm not sure we have to keep dragging everyone through the mud.

There are a lot of strategies that can be employed to play tug of war.  It isn't always just about brute strength. Sometimes the game is won by intelligence, manipulation, and crafty deception.  You can let the other team think they are gaining advantage by letting up a bit on your pull.  The other side gets confident and stops puling quite so hard. That's when you jerk the rope a bit and go with everything you've got and take the other side off balance.  I wonder if masculine energy is starting to feel that off-balance feeling these days? Sometimes if you exert equal effort and then quite suddenly let go, the other side falls backward- flat on their butts because they have been bracing against you.  This can help you win the game, or it can give you a "potato masher scar".  I've learned that the hard way.  Sometimes letting go, gives you everything you wanted.

The thing about playing tug-of-war is that it's done on a horizontal playing field. There can be no height advantage to either team or it's not fair. It's much easier to pull someone downhill than it is to pull them up.
The thing is that if you have a height advantage, you can use the same rope to pull that other team up to your level. Hmm....

Maybe we should take a look at the ground we're standing on.  Maybe  feminine energy has a bit of a height advantage because of shifting forces, attention, collective consciousness, and the efforts and struggles of past wars. Maybe, instead of dragging masculine energy through the mud, we should use the rope of feminine intelligence, nurturing, caring and creativity to pull up on the rope up so everyone can be on an equal and higher level. Maybe when we get to the top of that hill we can find that's it soft and grassy instead of dark and muddy. Maybe we can leave the cow patties behind.

Once we get the other team up there, we might find that we can use their strength and intelligence in equal , balanced, ways.  If we let go of the rope once we all have our feet on the ground, we might realize there's nothing left to tug about.

I'm not suggesting we don't have gender issues in parts of the world. What I am suggesting is that we might be better focused by using feminine energy to pull people up rather than tugging against something.  I'm suggesting we use the emerging collective, nurturing energy and pull that to us so we can bring everyone to a softer, more aesthetically pleasing place. I'm suggesting we might be able to look past gender and just see people as people if we really tapped into feminine energy and Wise Woman, grounded wisdom.

Just being female doesn't mean you are displaying feminine energy any more than being male means you are displaying male energy. We aren't on opposing teams unless we draw that line in the mud.  We all have both types of energy at our disposal and once we can all find the balance, I believe we'll be in a better place. I don't believe it's about pulling another team to their knees or dragging them through the mud. It's about lifting the other team up, celebrating their attributes, and acknowledging how their energy contributes to us achieving our goals.

So I guess I'd like it to be declared, "International Energy Day". What I would like to celebrate is all forms of energy; feminine, masculine, seen, unseen, human, and nature, in no level of order or hierarchy. Maybe if we took out the idea of there being teams, we could just celebrate the ability to make the world a better place and we wouldn't have to pick a side. Maybe we could just celebrate balance and find that in doing so we could bring that into manifestation. Maybe we could "let go" before that rope gets so frayed and weak in the middle that both teams fall flat on their butts in the dirt.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Full Moon in Virgo

There's a lot going on out there in nature. It seems like we could be in for a few days of rather stormy emotions. In my part of the world, the temperature is still swinging wildly (the sap is flowing) and we've got wind warnings out at the same time as earth is experiencing a pretty intense solar storm. To top it off, according to my We'Moon 2012 book, today marks a Full Moon in Virgo cycle.

The type of energy a Full Moon in Virgo brings is real "get off the couch and get working" stuff. We'Moon explains that when the moon is in Virgo our minds are engaged and focused on work, information and getting things done. Virgo types are problem solvers. They like to clean things up, edit, organize, brainstorm solutions and get going! They assess the situation intellectually and then move forward.

Combine that kind of moving forward momentum with the Full moon phase of letting go and releasing and you've got energy that would suggest it might be a great day to do some de-cluttering, finish off some projects that you've been stuck on, take action on solving some issues that have been hanging over your head, and get that final report off. It's about, go, go, go to completion. Hmm...

The Virgo type energy is often quite focused on others. Virgo types help motivate others to get out of bed, pay attention to details, and sort out their lives. They like to diagnose and heal. They help connect us to tangible alternatives and solutions. In balance, that type of energy can be very helpful. This Full Moon phase could help you release yourself from being "stuck in a rut", unable to find the solution, motivation or energy to get out of something you've been procrastinating about or unable to exit from.

If that type of energy has you feeling a bit "pushy", you might want to turn to some Red Chestnut Bach Flower essence.  Red Chestnut is helpful when you're over concerned for others. That outward focus might have you thinking about how others should be getting "off the couch" and fearing they never will. If you're suddenly worried about family members and there lack of action- Red Chestnut might be the Bach for you.

At the same time as the Full Moon is in Virgo and suggests we get on with it, and get moving in tangible ways, we are experiencing a very powerful solar storm.  This is reported to be the largest solar storm in five years. It all started with a solar flare earlier in the week and now those charged particles are floating out there (well maybe hurtling more than floating) towards our magnetic field. Hmm..

So just when you feel the urge, motivation and inspiration to get that report done, send those emails, do that research, make that trip, you could be affected by some wokey communications disruptions.  Those charged particles cause some concerns for utility companies and telecommunications providers. There is a potential to disrupt satellites and affect the power grid. In the past, similar storms have caused widespread power outages, GPS failures, and Internet issues. You might need some Impatiens, or Beech Bach Flowers to get you past the emotions that might be stirred up by such annoying disruptions just when you got going.

The science is pretty clear on the potential impacts of solar storms on communications equipment. It's much less clear how solar storms could, or if they do, affect humans. Most government scientists are quick to say that such effects don't cause humans harm. That's not quite the same as saying it doesn't affect us.  With the amount of electrical particles and charges floating within and around us, a bit of an influence on the magnetic field seems likely to cause some short circuits in my opinion. That doesn't have to be a problem.  Maybe it will help you see a different path, get that new inspiration, suddenly be inspired to look at those long standing issues from a new perspective. If it's causing discomfort, today might be a really good day to take some Perelandra ETS Plus.

Assuming you've got the energetic push of a full moon in Virgo and no technical disruptions, you might be moving forward really well towards your goal, perhaps that project completion today. Good for you. Make a back up copy. Save frequently. Email a copy to a friend. Print a page or two. Why? Because on March 12th, we move into a period of Mercury in Retrograde that lasts until April 4th.  This isn't a reason to throw up your hands, go back to the couch and bury you head.  It's just about being aware, thinking about what you're doing, and perhaps drawing on that meticulous nature of Virgo that should be all around you to make the saves and back-ups you know you should.

Virgo energy isn't exactly "gentle" in nature. It's about movement, momentum, even perfection. If you suddenly feel like the workload produced by that type of force is overwhelming, it might be time to take a few drops of Elm. Gretchen Lawlor is quoted in We'Moon 2012, as connecting the vibration of the Bach Flower Elm to those born under the sign of Virgo. Elm types, like the Virgo influence are usually competent and capable. They are often found in positions of responsibility,and concerned with the welfare of others. They put problems in perspective and find solutions. But even a competent, capable Elm personality when faced with a dysfunctional computer, a solar flare "short circuit" or some retrograde movement can get a little out of balance and feel overwhelmed.

A few drops of the Bach Flower Elm can help you find practical ways to cope with events. It can help restore your ability to put issues in perspective and find your normally efficient self. Elm can help you take some time to look at your own needs if you have been over focused on others.  It can help us recognize when the workload is too much and encourages us to  let go of some things so we can focus on what's really important. Sometimes we all need some release from the addiction of perfection that can be brought on with the Virgo energy.

It's all about balance. Today is a great day to move forward and find the energy to break out of the constraints that have been holding you back. It's about finding solutions and direction. Once you've connected with that energy let it flow and enjoy the momentum.  But take the time to stop and feel in there as well. Release a few projects, let go of the need to do, do, and do more.  Get the work done and then sit back, relax and enjoy the force of nature. Focus on your inner journey. Gaze at the moon, watch the Northern Lights, and enjoy the feeling of the flow- both in and out!