Emergency Preparedness & Response: Prepare Hearts and Minds First

Posted by admin on Mar 26, 2011

trilliumredpainting-a2dBy Deborah Bier, PhD, Publisher and Co-Editor of this Publication

I want to give a very brief introduction of myself wearing a hat most of you aren’t aware that I have in my closet.  From 1998 to 2009, I worked with my community of Concord, Massachusetts doing emergency planning preparation and education for citizens. Our focus for the first few years was to organize neighborhoods for social cohesiveness and emergency preparedness/response within a grassroots organization.

And then the next few years training citizens for the same, but as a volunteer for my local fire department, which also was in charge of emergency management. In the process, we created some enormously inventive methods and organizations, resurrected neglected community resources, and also had a lot of fun.

Here’s one of the things that I’ve worked to make most central to my being, and how I look at emergency preparedness and response. It’s how I reply those who criticize me for working in this area because I am somehow going to create emergencies through such activities.  There are different reasons for doing emergency preparedness for ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, and beyond. I think we can boil them down to two useful ways of looking at these reasons: we can prepare out of fear, or we can prepare out of love. Read the rest of this entry »

Flower Essences for Crisis and Trauma—An Article Collection

Posted by admin on Mar 19, 2011

Over the years since Vibration Magazine began in June, 1998, we’ve published numerous articles and two special issues devoted to helping people get through tough times. Little did we know that we’d need to come back to these themes time after time.

map_japanJust now the world is in an especially troubled phase, between natural disasters, economic woes, and violent protests, so we’ve decided to reprint a list of past articles that relate to the various needs people have in times like these. The links are below.

First, however, we’d like to invite you to join us in a group effort to bring comfort and recovery to the people of Japan.  In addition to prayers and financial contributions, we hope our readers will try an essence-related technique described by Robina Hearle in Putting Essences on a Map.

Find a good map of Japan on the internet or in an atlas at home, and place a bottle of essences on it that you feel would be helpful to its people—Rescue Remedy/Five Flower might be one good one, but you’ll doubtlessly find others in the collection of links below. Read the rest of this entry »

Essences for Caregivers

Posted by admin on Mar 12, 2011

By Sheryl Karas, Mama Love Products

For five years, ending in 2005, I worked as a family caregiving consultant for the Alzheimer’s Association and, more recently, for a California state-supported Caregiver Resource Center in Santa Cruz, CA. Dementia caregiving is documented to be the most stressful caregiving there is. Caregivers of all ages report deteriorating health and high rates of depression. Among people who

are 65 and older, those who are caregiving have a 63% higher mortality rate than those who are not.

Caregiving for a loved one is so very stressful. You want to relieve their suffering, and yet with dementia or other chronic progressive conditions near the end of life there is little to be done except to provide basic needs, keep them safe and help them feel loved (when they can allow it). In long term caregiving situations, the greatest task is to learn to take care of yourself by giving from the heart while keeping appropriate limits and boundaries. Caring so much that you put someone else’s needs and desires ahead of your own for months or years on end can be dangerously depleting. In reality, care receivers need the people who take care of them to be well-rested, well-fed, well-supported, well-exercised and relaxed so they can benefit from their support for as long as possible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bridge Essences–Making Transitions Less Traumatic

Posted by admin on Feb 19, 2011

Change is a constant throughout life, yet most of us resist it with all our might, making the inevitable harder than it needs to be.

However, we now live in an era of extreme change, and the pace seems to be continually accelerating. We are expected to adapt to sudden changes in nearly any area of life — personal, family, local, national, or international — at the drop of a hat, with little time for gentle, peaceful transitions.

Transitions do seem to be the toughest times to get through. You’re nine-and-a-half months pregnant and wishing to God the kid would get here already. Or you’ve resigned from the job, but before you can leave, you’ve got to finish closing out all your files and breaking in your replacement — not to mention enduring the inevitable going-away party.

Or you’re pretty well packed to move to your new home, but you’re living out of boxes, waiting for the movers to arrive. Or you’re finally there and the moving van has left, but you’ve got a zillion cartons to unpack, and it will be weeks before you know where anything is.

The good news is that there are flower essences that support us through these neither-here-nor-there times of transition. I call them bridge essences because they help us bridge the old and the new with a greater degree of comfort and clarity.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Essences for the Holidays

Posted by admin on Dec 11, 2010

Editors’ Note: Also see our “Essences for Happier Holidays” issue from 2003 for more about essences to ease the way through this time of  year.

By Kathleen Aspenns

19180233.thbWhile the holiday season is full of fun and heartwarming connections with friends and family, it can also be an incredibly challenging time. The added stress of planning parties, cooking, cleaning and shopping can push us far off balance. Throw in traveling, and spending time with rarely seen family members and you have the recipe for holiday stress! Fortunately, flower essences can support us and help us enjoy the holidays.

Holly and Pine have been used as holiday decorations for as long as humans have been seeking help from the green world to survive cold, dark winters. The evergreen foliage of both plants gives us hope that the sun will shine again and warm, pleasant days will return. As flower essences, they also have powerful resonance with issues surrounding the holidays. Holly (Bach) is a broadly applicable essence for anyone feeling unloved and hurt. It can help with siblings feeling slighted in the gift department, or grownups who re-enact old family dramas each time they meet. Holly helps us realize that there is enough love and attention to go around, helps us to be happy for our friend who received the gift we really wanted for ourselves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nature Talks Through Beauty

Posted by admin on Dec 4, 2010

Editors’ Note: See the earlier Vibration article on “The World Wide Web as a Healing Tool” for more related content.

By Andrea Mathieson, Raven Essences

Two years ago, the Spirituality in Healthcare Network in Toronto invited me to share my work with flower essences. Instead of ‘talking about’ the process of creating essences, a delicious, intimate experience that I consider contemporary alchemy, I created a beautiful slideshow to lead the audience into a virtual garden.

hydrangea2They were mesmerized with the beauty of the images, for flowers always speak directly to the human heart. Though they wanted to understand the healing properties of the essences, it was the flowers themselves that elicited a deeper heart response and visceral connection. The images helped them remember what they already knew — beauty is powerful. It heals, uplifts,
and inspires.

Read the rest of this entry »

Making Easier and More Confident Decisions with Australian Bush Flowers!

Posted by admin on Nov 27, 2010

©2009 by Clare Chapman of Baliena Flower Therapies

Is decision-making more painful than a trip to the dentist for you?

I can’t imagine there would be too many things that people would be more afraid of dealing with in their life than having to make a decision.questiondirectionb-a2d

“But what if I make the wrong decision”, is often the common remark, or at least the internal thought that plagues most people at the time they face a cross-roads: left or right, up or down, should I stay or should I?

Based on the fact that it is critical in so many aspects of our lives, I thought it may be helpful to look at how we can use Australian Bush Flower Essences in the decision-making process to help with: making your decision; feeling more confident with yourself after you have made your decision; and having the confidence to know that no matter which decision you have made, you are always able to adjust course at any point in your journey.

:: Self-Esteem ::

I believe that one of the most important aspects of good decision-making is believing in yourself: believing that you have the ability and life experience to weigh up the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of your current situation, and deliver a decision that will keep you moving in what you deem to be the right direction or at least keep you moving!

Five Corners (Styphelia triflora) is the remedy to help you here, as it will help you to realise that you are the only person who can know what is best for you, and can therefore never make an incorrect decision. Dog Rose (Bauera rubioides) may also be helpful here to remove any fears you may have about your own ability to make decisions, and to instill more confidence in your own abilities.

Another good remedy to ensure you are confident in your past actions and achievements is Philotheca (Philotheca salsolifolia) as it may be that you just don’t recognise the good decisions you have made to date and you need to commend yourself more for all your past achievements. Having a healthy level of self-esteem will ensure that you will never see any decision as incorrect nor punish yourself for what you deem in hindsight to have been a wrong decision: it will instead leave you viewing your decisions as nothing more than learning curves or opportunities to move towards your goals in different directions – some via the fastest option and some via the ‘scenic’ route!

:: How clear are your goals? ::

questiondirection-a2dSometimes one of the simplest things hindering good decision-making is how clearly we articulate or are aware of our goals. Even if that goal is just a short-term one, such as ‘which restaurant should I eat at tomorrow night’, you still need to be aware of what your goal is for the evening: are you entertaining a work colleague that you need to impress or are you just having a cozy evening with a loved one?

Something as simple as working out your objectives can make the decision making process so much simpler. A good Essence to assist with getting clear on your goals is Sundew (Drosera spathulata) which can help you think clearly and focus while you are asking yourself about your objective.

Maybe you don’t know what direction in life you want to head in and therefore find it hard to make goals that suit your unknown objectives. Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia) would be a good remedy here to help you to find your life direction and purpose. If you don’t know where you want to go, it is almost impossible to work out how to get there!

:: Do you determine when you have to make decisions or do circumstances? ::roadfogbd-phcom

This may sound like a strange question, but do you tend to ‘steer’ your life or do you end up making decisions by default: that is, do the decisions you face tend to come about after others around you have made their decisions and you simply react to them by choosing what you are left with?

Christmas Bell (Blandfordia nobilis) may be helpful if you feel that you don’t create your life, but rather you only react to what circumstances around you dictate after they occur. It is an empowering remedy that will help you to sculpt your life and help you to manifest some of your own desires, rather than letting yourself get pushed along by the crowd around you.

Perhaps, though, your problem is that you find yourself making the same decisions over and over again, with similar results (e.g. you may find yourself constantly choosing to work in similar jobs where you keep getting disillusioned and ultimately leave, or you keep choosing the same type of person for a partner which leaves you ultimately feeling unhappy and ending your relationships). If this is the case, you would most likely benefit from using some Isopogon (Isopogon anethifolius) to help you learn the lessons you are missing from these past decisions, which in turn will empower you to make better decisions in future.

:: Have you made ‘bad’ decisions in the past? ::

Remembering I pointed out earlier that there is no such thing as a bad decision, only different lessons to be learned (see Isopogon above if you aren’t doing this!), maybe you feel disillusioned by what your decisions lead you to in life. If this is you, then maybe some Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis) is just what you need to give you a more optimistic outlook on life and the decisions you face.

And if a lot of the time you feel that you don’t really have a choice (an indicator of which might be if you use the expression ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ a lot!), then you may benefit from using Southern Cross (Xanthosia rotundifolia) to remind you that you are indeed responsible for your life and decisions. It is important to note that even if you don’t make a decision, you are still choosing to forego your right to decide.

:: One final note ::

Still dreading decision-making? Maybe some Pink Flannel Flower (Actinotus forsythii) may help you to be grateful that you indeed do have choices when you do not want to make a decision. After all, the fact that you are feeling burdened with options when making a decision is at least a sign that you have freedom of choice! So it may give you peace of mind to know that no matter how tormented you feel by the decision you face, at least you get to choose where you go next and it is not being decided by someone else.

About Clare Chapman: Clare is an accredited Australian Bush Flower Essences College Course Teacher and is a full member of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT). Clare has been using and prescribing Australian Bush Flower Essences for over 6 years, and under the personal guidance of ABFE founder, Ian White, has been teaching the official Australian Bush Flower Essences College Course for the past 3 years.

Clare established Baliena Flower Therapies in early 2008, with the aim of creating a business solely dedicated to the purpose of empowering people through the use of Australian Bush Flower Essences and other supportive techniques – enabling people to gain better health and wellbeing by healing and understanding their own emotions. Visit her website at Clare Chapman – http://www.flowertherapies.com.au and her blog at http://flowertherapies.wordpress.com.

Rocks and Dogs Don’t Mix

Posted by admin on Nov 20, 2010

Editors’ Note: Interesting in more articles about flower essences and animals? See our Virtual Booklet on the topic: http://www.essences.com/vibration/pets

By Deborah Bier, PhD

“My dog won’t stop eating rocks,” moaned my new client’s human. “He’s only a year old, and he’s had stomach surgery THREE TIMES already because he keeps swallowing rocks too large to pass. Can essences help? I’m desperate!”

rocksanddogsThis case was not only an experience in working with a serious animal behavior, but it also went on to affirm my belief that the “identified patient” — that is, the one who is described as having the problem — is so often just the tip of the family iceberg. Many times the symptoms which bring the client to seek help have complex origins: other (or all) members of the family may need intervention in order for the original problem to find healing. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, so the outcome can end up being somewhat less than desired.

Read the rest of this entry »

Flower Essences for Animal Issues

Posted by admin on Nov 13, 2010

Editors’ Note: Interesting in more articles about flower essences and animals? See our Virtual Booklet on the topic: http://www.essences.com/vibration/pets

by Kitty Holman

Many people use flower essences as gentle, healing remedies for various types of problems. But these essences are not just for humans; animals can benefit from their use as well. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the more popular uses of essence as they can be used to treat our pets. It is important to note that all animals are unique and different in their own ways. These guidelines should be used as just that, and not taken as recommendations for use in all cases.

22308169.thbUnfortunately, it’s true that many animals suffer abuse at the hands of humans, either from owners, handlers, or strangers. This abuse can be physical mistreatment, neglect, and even abandonment. Because animals are highly sensitive creatures, the effects of this abuse can often be long lasting. If you have adopted an animal from a rescue organization or taken in a pet that is known to have a less than appealing past, consider these essences for their treatment. First, Aspen is often used to address and assuage unknown fears and promote centeredness or groundedness. Larch is used to generate self-confidence and boost self-esteem, as well as creative expression. To help animals recover from feelings of guilt and shame, try using essence of pine which will help them feel freer and forgiven. Finally, to reduce the symptoms of shock and to promote healing, the Star of Bethlehem is the best choice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Essences for the Four Elements–Part Two (Air and Water Signs)

Posted by admin on Nov 1, 2010

©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

The signs of the zodiac are divided into four elements—fire, earth, air, and water. This is Part Two of a discussion of flower essences for the four elements. If your chart is overly strong in one element—or conversely, that element is largely absent—you may find that returning to the essences described in these two articles serves to center you.  The odd thing about essences is that they often serve to balance both ends of the spectrum–too much or too little.

For instance, I have seen Sunflower work wonders for people with overly strong Suns (and thus too insistent on being the center, too egotistical, etc) and also for people with challenged Suns such as a Saturn or Neptune conjunction who lack confidence and self-esteem. In either case, it seems to help people love themselves but also to recognize the strengths and contributions of others.

Last week we saw some possible essences for the Fire and Earth signs in Part One.  Below are essences for Air and Water. Read the rest of this entry »