Healing with Flowers?

Healing with Flowers?

Disease is solely and purely corrective; it is neither vindictive nor cruel, but it is the means adopted by our own souls to point out to us our faults, to prevent our making greater errors, to hinder us from doing more harm, and to bring us back to the path of Truth and Light from which we should never have strayed.

-Edward Back in his Collected Writings

Recently I have begun to dive into the world of Bach Flower Remedies with a passion. If I could buy all 38 of them and try them out on my own at different times (or with volunteers), I would. Wait, I suppose I could do that but don’t currently have the extra money falling out of my pockets…some day.

Anyway, after reading Vinton McCabe’s The Healing Bouquet: Exploring Bach Flower Remedies, I identified a few remedies that I myself might benefit from taking. Here’s the thing about healing your life (whether from disease or old thought patterns, whatever), it can be really hard! I will be the first to admit that it’s ridiculously difficult to look at yourself and focus on your shortcomings or character “flaws”, but over the last several years I have also become very aware that if you want to move forward with health and joy, this is exactly what you need to do! Uhg to exploring and dissecting yourself. So much easier to do with others 😉

So there’s a part in this book–I will paraphrase as I have no idea where to find it off the top of my head–where it talks about how difficult it can be to see these negative characteristics in ourselves. He says that our answers often lie in our biggest pet peeves. Nooooooo!!!! Yes. So what drives me crazy? When people that I love don’t see themselves for the amazing, beautiful, capable beings that they are. When they lack self-confidence in everyday life and especially regarding things that I (and probably everyone else around them) can see that they are amazing at doing. It really bothers me. Hmmmm.

larch

Sooooo…that being said, I started taking Larch (pictured above–follow the link to see other beautiful photos of flowers and pottery creations). Dr. Bach says that this remedy is “for those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.”

Eek. Could that be me? Yes. Sadly, it could. I will spare you the uneventful, very simple reason that I have had self-confidence issues all my life and just admit it. This is true. This is me. This book helped me realize it and about the same time that I was reading this book, I was looking online one day and found some really great energy workers who were offering meditation classes, etc. As I looked at the bio page, I saw that they had been doing this for 3 years. 3 years! And already they started a website offering energy and meditation workshops, etc. And it hit me. I have been doing energy and meditating for nearly 13 years and have been off medicines for my RA and have had no problems with it since…never once did it occur to me that I was capable or qualified to teach. Crazy right?!

I started taking the Larch about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have offered and hosted/taught my first beginning meditation class out of my house. It was only a handful of people that I feel comfortable with, but it went really well! Surprisingly well I would say. And the best part about it is that they asked for more. So we are continuing this class every other week and I look forward to watching as each of my friends begins to find more peace in their everyday lives. More quiet to reflect. And hopefully the calm to begin to hear that inner voice, that whisper, that we so often miss.

Healing with flowers Dr. Bach? I’m starting to think he might have been onto something…

Pushing the Pull Door

Over the past month, I have taken a brief hiatus from writing my blog. I have been concentrating on my other job(s) and have been continuing to do distance energy sessions.

While working with several people, there is one message that continues to come up. Changing your life, healing your life, is absolutely doable but it takes work. 12 years ago as I was beginning my journey toward healing, I often complained that this journey was “really hard!” At the time, my friend would look at me and tell me that it’s not hard…you just have to make up your mind and do it. Easy. I would then beat myself up for making the process so unnecessarily difficult.

Here’s what I have since realized. It was hard. At the time, I had spent the majority of my life (20+ years) living with arthritis. There is so much mentally and emotionally weaved into having a chronic disease. Add to this the fact that, as I was diagnosed when I was 3, this was all I had ever known! It had become a part of my identity. So yes, it was hard. It was hard to unravel this strand from within the bundle that had become “me”.  It wasn’t that I didn’t know that I was on the path to healing this part of me, but that I had to constantly remind myself. I had to dig deep into the why of my pains, etc. and work through them both physically and emotionally each time I felt them…and in the beginning, I won’t lie, that was a lot. But eventually, it became easier. I realized that my spirit was trying to get me to notice things (thoughts or “misthoughts”) by sending me messages. Pains, stiffness, or swelling were ways to get my attention. The beauty of it was that once I got the “message” and made a shift in my thoughts or actions, the pain would go away.

This is where the hard work was. It is not enough to hear the message and to get it, intellectually. The only way to change your life is by starting to do or think things differently. I was watching “New Girl” last night (love this show!) and I was laughing at a part where the one “grumpy old man” kind of roommate, Nick, was trying push open a door that said “PULL” on it. He was getting angrier and angrier, but refused to PULL the door! It was extremely humorous to watch, but how many of you have experienced this in your life? Not necessarily with a door (hopefully), but with something that wasn’t going well for you? My good friend and mentor, Teri, used to say “how’s that working for you?” I heard that a lot, but eventually, I was able to recognize when something that I was doing was not producing the result that I desired. The shift comes in recognizing this and not beating yourself up for spending 3 months pushing on a door that said pull, but in trying something different. Changing your action. Changing your thought. If it’s still not bringing about the desired outcome, change again.

So yes, it’s work. Sometimes you have to retrain your brain and that takes time. The beauty of it is that it’s doable AND it gets easier. I promise.

To Our Health! (and maybe I was a little bit wrong)

Normally, when I write, I try to first connect so that I can “speak” from a place of higher understanding. The other day I did not. Not fully. I even admitted that in my post. I wrote, “I thought very hard about this and I believe the answer is a simple one: let it go.” Sometimes “thinking” is the problem when it comes to big issues. We trust our logical, very intelligent ;), heads rather than the whisper that comes from our hearts. Well, since I wrote that blog, I have had neck and upper back/shoulder pain that…well, really hurts. And I don’t like not being able to turn my head without that jab of pain, so I am thinking that I am meant to go back and truly listen.

I believe that what I was missing was a crucial step. One that I have spent a lifetime working on. Speaking up. Talking about the problem, trying to work it out, expressing how I’m feeling and trusting that that person will not love me any less for having these feelings or opinions. Maybe, in fact, “letting go” and forgiving has a crucial place, but in my zeal to avoid the part of the lesson that is most difficult for me, I skipped the part before letting go: communicating. And here’s the key…it actually works better if you communicate from a place of calm, from your heart. Issues don’t get resolved when you wait for everything to come to a head and then lay it all out on the table with extra helpings of anger and defensiveness on the side. Instead, everyone leaves the table with sadness in their hearts and truly nothing gets resolved. Just brace yourself for that next dinner party when the same exact menu is served.

So here’s a toast to communicating. To clearing the table and making room for some new menu items to discuss. Hopefully at our next dinner party we won’t be showing up with the same foods that we know nobody likes 🙂

Sticks and Stones…

 My mom always says that this little rhyme is completely false. I tend to agree. After all, bones can heal. Our physical bodies can heal. But the words that people say to us, whether intentionally unkind or not, leave scars.

I thought that once I got the big picture, once I had a handle on these amazing universal truths, the words of others would no longer have the same effect. Unfortunately, I thought wrong. Yes, I might now understand why someone says the things that they do or why someone behaves the way that they do, but that doesn’t always make it better. The pain is still there; the hurt remains.

So how do I release these feelings rather than allow them to begin decomposing me from the inside out? I have thought very hard about this and I believe that the answer is a simple one: let it go. Afterall, what do you change by continuing to think about it? Does thinking about it or even approaching the person change the words that were said? Absolutely not. It could give you clarity, it could make it feel a little better, but I can guarantee that those words are still in the back of your mind (or in your heart) and you will use them as justification as to why you need a wall or a shield in the future when dealing with that person. But that’s not healthy either. Building walls to keep us “safe” only keeps us from truly experiencing the amazing things that come from having meaningful relationships with people. Let it go. Holding on, thinking about it only does one thing: it makes you feel bad. I’m not saying letting go is easy. I’m just saying that truly forgiving does not necessarily entail an apology from the other person. Truly forgiving takes only one person: you. So today that is what I’m working on. Truly forgiving and letting go. Wish me luck!

The Ring

Did you know that you are supposed to get the prongs on your ring checked every 6 months? I didn’t. I found out this little bit of information the hard way. In mid-August, I took a little trip to the local Wal-Mart to do some present shopping for various little people who were having their birthdays (including my own son). The trip, though otherwise successful and quiet, ended in me climbing into my car only to notice that the diamond from my engagement ring had fallen out somewhere in the store. Now let me just say, I hope that none of you ever have the need to retrace steps in a Wal-Mart. If you are anything like me, that place is like ADD heaven and there is some strange gravitational pull coming from aisles where you probably don’t even need anything! Strange, but it’s true. I wish I could say that this retracing of steps led to me seeing this little glimmer and viola, no lost diamond, but it didn’t. I also never got that call from the customer service desk saying that they found it or that someone had turned it in (don’t laugh, I truly had hope that this would happen). So here I am about a month later and I am still asking my spirit why this had to happen “to me”. What big lesson was I supposed to learn from it all? I have received so much information from spirit for other people to help them move forward and change their lives, but this one little question of mine seems to have no answer. Is that even possible? Of course not. So today I asked again and finally I heard an answer.

I heard that this didn’t happen “to me”, it just happened. But there is a lesson to be learned. As humans, we sometimes become very egocentric. This happened because I did this or didn’t do that; and this person behaved like that because I said this or didn’t say that. You know what? 99.9% of the time that is absolutely NOT TRUE! Things happen. They happen not because of one person or another but because these events are needed (usually for several people) to help them learn a lesson. So this particular event affected me, my husband, my children, my friends who are now no longer wearing their engagement rings until they can go get the prongs checked (Christina), the workers at Wal-Mart with whom I spoke, the insurance company ladies, the police officer that couldn’t help me (though he wished he could) because it wasn’t stolen, the ladies in the jewelry store(s) that I went to see how much it would cost to replace it, and now you. This event touched each of us in a different way, but it has touched us and has probably taught us a lesson or two. For me, it was a very expensive lesson and one that had an emotional string attached to it, but I also had the amazing opportunity (yet again) to experience contrast in human nature. For every person that I spoke to that was rude or unwilling to help or sympathize, there were 2 that did their best to make me feel okay with a situation that just wasn’t okay. I faced those that had no empathy, but I was blessed by those that did. And you know what? I guess there was an even bigger lesson in it for me. We have choice. In every second of every day we have a choice. And your choice is almost always going to show up in someone else’s story. What do you want that to look like?

So I may not have that diamond anymore, but I have something…

Contrast and a Huge Dose of Gratitude

All-consuming: Two girls are sat at the beach watching the roaring fire destroy the forests on the mountains as it move closed to the beach where evacuees from nearby villages have gatheredSo I’m not usually the kind of person that speaks up and voices my opinion in a public setting.  I may have a different opinion, a strong one, but I just never have felt comfortable speaking up. Today, however, something was sparked in me. I spoke up.

I have family and friends on the island of Chios in Greece. They are currently trying to fight a wildfire that has now caused the people in 10 villages to evacuate. From what I understand, they are trying all that they can to stop the fire, but “all that they can” isn’t quite enough. The wind is strong, the conditions are dry and their fire “departments” are volunteers with flatbed trucks carrying huge tanks of water with what look like garden hoses attached. Airplanes and helicopters are trying to dump sea water on the fire, but they don’t fly at night and the winds are strong enough to keep their efforts from being fully successful. Earlier today, a friend of mine (that lives in Chios) sent me a link to an article so that I could see what was going on. I had already watched a few videos prior to seeing the article and my heart was breaking as I listened to people from the villages talking about how they were losing their land (olive groves and mastic trees) and their animals and feared that they were going to lose their homes. So when I read the article and scrolled down to see the comments, I was blown away. There were many people who were commenting about the grammar or bad use of English in the article; others that were making political jabs and jokes about the recession in Greece. All I could think about was the hundreds of people there (and hundreds more, like myself, who have family and friends there) who were scared. I was pushed beyond my limit and couldn’t help but write a comment basically saying what I just said here.

All this being said, what I realized is this: I have been spoiled by this wonderful community that I have been surrounding myself with here in the blogging world. Lately, when I’m not writing (so let’s just say it’s a lot!) I have been reading. I was about to insert a list of all the amazingly inspiring blogs that I have been reading, but I have to say, the list would be rather large and honestly, I’m a little worried I would leave someone out. But the idea behind this is, I have found this community of like thinkers, “kindred students” as Gina from Professions for Peace said the other day. I didn’t realize that it was happening, but these blogs that I have been reading have given me hope. They have shown me that there is indeed a large population of people who care, who love, who try to live this life the best they can…and when their best isn’t great, they learn, share and keep living and trying to do better. It is inspiring to say the least. It is beautiful. And then I went out into the world and read this article and the comments attached to it. And contrast slapped me in the face. But this time I had the strength and the guts to speak up.

So thank you my dear blogging friends. You know who you are because I follow your blogs. I show up, I “like” and I comment when I am moved to do so. You give me hope and shine your lights so brightly that it’s contagious. Thank you.

Moving Forward

I am in a new phase of my life. A “taking care of me” phase. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like (especially while the kids are out of school for the summer), but occasionally I allow myself the time and the space to do something for myself.

Yesterday it was an amazing yoga therapy session with a dear friend. I have now had 3 sessions with her over the past few months, and each session has provided me one (or more) of those “ah-ha” moments followed by a period of letting go, opening up, and moving forward. It is truly a gift! So yesterday, I had this amazing yoga therapy session. Afterwards, I gave her an energy session that was equally as enlightening for both of us. I left this portion of my day feeling blessed and centered and truly joyful…and then the day went on. Slowly, I started thinking about all the things that I had to do by Friday and started worrying about how I was going to get it all done. Over the next few hours, my energy dropped, my tasking mind took control and by the time my husband got home from work,  and I left to go to the store (sans kids) to get stuff that I felt I needed to get by last night or the world would crumble (not), my left hip started hurting. This should have been my clue to center and listen, but I ignored it. By the time I got home, that pain was so strong, that I could barely sit down without bracing myself. But by this time, some more things had gone “wrong” and I really was in no place to sit and listen. So I went to bed and suffered through the night. I was a prisoner to sleeping on my back as it hurt to lay on either side and the pain would wake me up every time I attempted to roll over. When I woke this morning, I came downstairs and sat in my “zen den” to finally listen. Clearly my spirit wasn’t going to let me get through another day without doing so! I raised my energy and listened. Surprise surprise, my energy was low yesterday afternoon, I was tasking from a negative place rather than checking things off my list in a joyful way (yes, it is possible to get things done while maintaining your energy in your heart or in a positive way) and my spirit wanted me to gain this awareness. Simple lesson…but not if I ignore it 😉 Would you believe that as I got up from my meditation–and braced myself for the pain as I did so–the pain was gone? GONE! I still am utterly amazed at how quickly things can change, even the physical, when we listen and make a shift.

But the key is in the last part of that sentence. I have been shown over the last couple of months that this is the essential piece that we don’t always get. It is not always enough (not ever) to just “get the message”. I strongly believe that we can all experience health and joy if we are willing to take the next step. I mention it on my page about energy sessions. You can and will receive the positive benefits of energy when you do a session if you are open to receiving. But how long will that last? A day? A week? A month? A lifetime? I feel like this is where your responsibility in your own healing comes in. How long are you willing to “take care of  you”? I am aware that I stumble. We all do. My shift has been that I am becoming an active participant in my health and my joy. Sometimes that means that I have to do what is uncomfortable or scary to move forward. Other times it’s as easy recognizing where my energy is and then doing something about it. Message. Action. Repeat. It’s a beautiful journey…even when we stumble. The joy is in continuing to move forward.

Wishing you all a pain-less day filled with joy and love.

Maria

Mountains Out of Molehills

  As most of you know, when I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. In my mid-20’s, I experienced the worst relapse that I can recall. The pain was excruciating and got to the point where I could barely walk. I was embarrassed; I was in pain; I was facing a mountain that I saw no way to get over. It was at that point that a friend of mine introduced me to energy work. She was still learning, but the improvement was immediate (literally 20 minutes passed and the swelling in my wrist disappeared!). I was sold. That was the summer of 2000. Since then, I have also had several energy attunements and have continued on a path of health and spirituality beyond what I had ever dreamed possible.

I am not saying that this path was always easy. I am not saying that I haven’t had moments where I questioned everything. Don’t we all? What I’m saying is that, by the grace of God, I have been given this awesome gift. One where I can connect with my spirit and gain perspective at times when I need it most. Back in 2006, when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I began getting some physical symptoms. Small pains, a little swelling, etc. My initial response was to go back to that place of fear…what if this was just a really long remission? My mind started swirling and I allowed fear to gain control as the symptoms continued. It was at that point that I began to pray for the fear to be lifted. I began sitting in meditation again (something that I had allowed to move to the back-burner as I focused my attention and energy on my family) until one day while I was sitting in meditation, I started picturing myself walking down this beautiful forest path. The plants and trees around me were a rich shade of green and as I looked up I saw the sunlight shimmering through the top of the trees. It was amazing…truly God’s work. As I walked down this soft dirt path, I came across a stone. I looked at the stone and soon all I could see was this annoying rock (now growing) in my path. I no longer was able to see all the beauty that was around me. My anger (which is just a result of fear) clouded all beauty and light. At that point,  I got this message:

If you hit a rock in the road, you don’t become the rock. You step over it or sometimes even stumble, but you never become it. In this sense, your troubles/ailments/experiences are not you, but rather a part of the journey that you are on.

Now if you ever have experienced one of those true “ah-ha” moments in life, you will understand what happened next. It was as if the clouds had been lifted! I realized that I had begun to put so much energy toward this small pain (which turned out to be just a little reminder about trying to hold on to control over situations that I had no business trying to control), that I had given it a power all of its own. I had focused so much on that pain (and as a result let fear creep back in), that it was starting to block out the light! It wasn’t until I received that message that I was able to gain clarity. I watched as the boulder started to shrink back down into the pebble that it began as and once again I returned to the beautiful path. The pain began to subside. By morning, it was gone. What a beautiful reminder! I hate that I had to get to that point to receive this message, but I am continuously grateful for it. Over the years, I have been reminded of this message many times. Sometimes for myself, sometimes for others. But the truth of it is universal. Don’t make mountains out of molehills 🙂 Let love light your way and see the rock for what it really is: just a rock.

I Choose Love

“Today I commit to giving and receiving love in its full power and glory.”

       -Day 7 of the Chopra Center’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge

Although I started late and am still playing catch-up, I have been doing the Chopra Center’s 21 day Meditation challenge. I already meditate on a regular (mostly daily) basis, but love doing these guided mini meditations. Day 6 was so healing for me that I actually was looking forward to doing day 7 today. It couldn’t have been more timely!

Over the weekend, our family joined two other families at the beach. The beach has always been a very healing place for me…the ocean, the waves crashing against the shore. It reminds me of how much bigger this world is than just my day to day.  However, I struggled a bit on this trip. Not with anyone that was there–we all get along so well and the kids really all behaved wonderfully. What I struggled with was maintaining my energy in this group setting. It threw me for a loop this time. I guess I have gotten used to my little circle where the energy is easy to raise and maintain and where the other people involved naturally “vibrate” at a very similar level. But truly, I started to beat myself up over this. Afterall, most of the people with whom I interact when I’m out and about don’t have to be energetically on the same wavelength, so why did it matter so much on this trip to the beach? I think my spirit was using this opportunity to help me. I absolutely love how I feel when I am connected. I love being able to tap in to source and spirit throughout my days. But truthfully, this summer has been spoiling me a bit. I have had the time and the space and the surroundings to be able to do this a lot. This may not always be the case…especially as the kids start a new school year and I go back to work. I believe that my spirit was trying to get me to this question: how do I maintain a comfortable energy level when I am in the company of the general public? The answer came to me during this morning’s meditation (thankfully). I choose love. After doing the basic focus and breathing portion of the meditation, Deepak Chopra led us into a quiet portion where we were to mentally focus on this mantra: I choose love. As I was in this state, I realized that it was as simple as that. Choosing love when out in your day to day world will always surround you in peace and light. Choosing love will not only help me to maintain an energetic level that feels good but will more than likely be a more comfortable place for the people around me. It is much easier for people to raise to their hearts than it is necessarily for them to raise to a more connected spirit level.

Today, when I have to go to the bank and to other places to do my errands, I will be mindful of “choosing love”. It will be interesting to see how the people around me respond to this.

Wishing all of you peace and love today and always.

M