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Please read Part One of this series.
In Part One, we explored the letdown many of us very capable, intelligent women feel when we suddenly are not succeeding at the level we think we should be in the law profession, despite earnestly trying just as hard at it as we did in school (or dance, or sports, or life).
As Patterson Hood of the Drive-by Truckers sings, "nobody told me it'd be easy / or for that matter be so hard."
So here's a wide-ranging assortment of Flower Essences that address issues of money, abundance, scarcity and self-belief.
Trillium. Trilliums generally address the sense that something is missing (even if you intellectually know that it isn't). This blog post features a picture of a beautiful red trillium. My blog itself has a photo of a white trillium. This is going to be significant as you read further. Now, the red trilliums grow in California; what I've seen firsthand "in the wild" from hiking in western Washington State are the white trilliums.
White Trillium is a Columbia Gorge Flower Essence that corresponds more to the crown chakra and feminine consciousness, and the abundance that is available to us everywhere just with a shift in emotion or mindset. What is really fascinating to me is that the White Trilliums in my area turn a luscious orchid-maroon color as the blossom ages. See here:
Instead of fading, it intensifies. It is like it is bringing something from the imagination or spirit or unseen (the airy white color) into life and form (the rich maroon color). This flower teaches you that you can do that too. You can bring your imaginings into form, and stop feeling completely caught up in "first world problems." (Which is a big part of what I intend to do with this blog.)
Now let's talk about the red ones, which are more specific to money issues. FES' Trillium Flower Essence is the red variety. It addresses root chakra issues of survival. It is for the person who thinks at times they're barely making it, but really has more abundance than they allow themselves to feel. The person needing red trillium may be pretty aware that they "should" feel more abundant than they do, and know that they are pretty well off compared to many people on the planet, but they just can't shake the sense of scarcity.
Here's a scenario: let's say you are stressed about a huge tax bill, and not sure when this or that case is going to settle, and you're at the checkout at some store, and they ask you, "do you want to buy a candy bar for the troops today?" And in your mind are all these things like, "I should buy a candy bar for the troops. God, I'm such a jerk if I don't. But I have this huge tax bill. Should I? Shouldn't I?" And then maybe you buy one for the troops and then buy another one for yourself and feel upset that the candy bars are 50 cents more at this store than it is at the other store you were just at. (Mind chatter. Mind chatter.)
WHOA. Slow your roll...you have clean water, a roof over your head, and your tax bill is kind of a quality problem, isn't it?
Anyway, the Red Trillium is excellent for helping us balance our internal struggle with our first-world problems. They are legitimate soul problems, so don't kick yourself. Just consider this essence to help you do the spiritual and emotional work of consciously choosing giving.
Star Thistle. Star Thistle Flower Essence also addresses a sense of lack that is not a helpful view of the world, kind of like Trillium. Often the person needing Star Thistle really is in more of a state of actual financial stress than the Trillium person. The Star Thistle person will insist, "my situation really IS that bad" as a reason for staying "prickly" and not able to be fluid with material resources in a way that will get them flowing again. The Star Thistle person struggles with the idea that sometimes it can be wiser to spend money to make money. They may not buy the shoes that will last 5 years, even if buying a new cheap pair every 2 years is more expensive long term.
I have taken this essence a few times during my life, and I'll tell you that it just really helps me relax and trust myself, trust in my decisions, and be frugal when that's appropriate, without a major freak-out or guilt trip against myself. Star Thistle helps one discern the "line" that makes sense for the individual.
Cerato. Ah, wonderful Cerato. Cerato is not specifically a money issue remedy. It is one of the original Bach remedies. It is helpful for the person who doubts their own inner wisdom, and who has to poll their friends on every decision. It can also help the person who is easily led into the wrong decision because she listens too much to others and not enough to herself. The Cerato person never feels quite sure, and second-guesses themselves ad nauseam.
Cerato helps one be way more independently decisive and take less time to make decisions. Did you know that according to some, indecision is one of the biggest things that can hold you back? Or to put it more gently, indecision and not trusting oneself can cost one untold thousands of dollars of earning potential. I find that many people who complain of "stress" vaguely around issues of career and money need a course of Cerato just to get centered in hearing their own inner voice, and then a lot of the other problems take care of themselves.
California Poppy is also not specifically a money issue remedy, but is worth mentioning for the shopaholics out there. California poppy can help people who are caught up in trying to emulate the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" even if they don't have the resources to fund it. We all know the type -- their "money is on their feet" instead of their 401k. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but not to the exclusion of one's true values. It helps those people go a little deeper to align with their own authentic values.
Penstemon is the remedy for when life just sucks in every way. I wish I could give it to everyone who just found out that the student loan forgiveness they were expecting is not going to happen. Penstemon evokes the biblical story of Job, and the great Steinbeck novel, Grapes of Wrath. This is the "light at the end of the tunnel" remedy, to help lift one out of self-pity (even if a pity party would be totally understandable). Penstemon is another remedy that isn't specifically about finances, but can be helpful.
Indian Root is one of the Desert Alchemy essences from Arizona. It is a cut through bull remedy for those who overcomplicate things and try too hard. Indulging in confusion, indecision, and overthinking can be a way the primitive brain lies to us and tells us that we are being "prudent" or "responsible," but in reality we are shooting ourselves in the foot because we are doing nothing to get closer to our career or financial goals. I have taken this, and found that it gently but powerfully quiets that primitive brain, allowing the pre-frontal cortex -- the part of the brain more suited to the task of financial goal setting and execution -- room to do its thing.
In summary, money issues and scarcity thinking are never isolated. They tell us volumes about how we are handling other parts of our lives -- our health, our relationships, and all other decisions. This is not a license to judge others or judge oneself harshly. Nothing has gone wrong, and the power is yours!
If you're intrigued about how the Flower Essences or Coaching can help you, you owe it to yourself to reach out.
To your prosperity!
If you're female, and able to read this, you probably need Pomegranate Flower Essence. Stop reading and go get some.
Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But seriously, just look at that gorgeous picture up there of a pomegranate flower just entering its luscious mama fruit phase, saying goodbye to its carefree maidenhood as a blossom, the last limp petals making no effort to hold on any longer, and the thick-skinned full fruit beginning to round out. Eventually it will have a round womb-like belly full of blood-red, health-giving juicy fruit. And when the time is ripe, some lucky chick is going to eat from the tree of knowledge and practically jump out of her knickers with all those antioxidants coursing through her veins.
The gestures of this incredible plant are so obviously connected to women's bodies, life phases, and moon cycles, that it is unsurprising that Pomegranate appears in folklore, religious texts, and art. Ancient wisdom is often a major clue to the healing properties of a flower or plant essence. (People way back when were pretty smart about things even though they didn't have the iCalendar telling them when they had to show up for meetings.)
Some folks believe that the "apple" Eve used to tempt Adam was lost in translation over the years, and was actually a pomegranate. Temptation worked the other way when Hades got Persephone all to himself for 3 months out of the year with delicious pomegranate.
Pomegranate Flower Essence is indicated for many situations and issues women face: pregnancy, obviously is one, but it works on multiple levels to address where we should put our creative efforts. Literally or figuratively, what should we "give birth to" in life, how we should balance our loyalties to ourselves and to others, and how we should balance work, family, and creative pursuits. It also broadly addresses issues of timing and seasons, because although women can "have it all" these days, many of us feel a lot of pressure to try to do it all, all at once.
Pomegranate Flower Essence has many applications.
In summary, Pomegranate essence is a good place for many women to start with Flower Essences. Sometimes when a woman doesn't know what essence to take, this one will help provide additional insight into where to go next. It is very timely with the issues at the forefront of women's conversations about roles, career, health, empowerment, and life phases. You could say we are in a very Pomegranate time.
Pomegranate Flower Essence on Amazon [affiliate link].
Affiliate disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
If you haven't read Part One of this PMS series, please go back and read it now. It provides an important foundation.
The physical symptoms of PMS are enough of a challenge, but the emotional aspects can be even worse for many women. And, unfortunately, much of the "self care" and "mindfulness" strategies barely even scratch the surface...like trying to clean a locker room with a toothbrush.
Ever feel totally overwhelmed, angry, tearful, anxious, worried or irritable during that time of the month? Someone tell you to "just breathe" and you want to wring their neck? Try to go to yoga to sweat it out, but feel knocked over by someone else's cologne wafting through the studio?
PMS can make practicing law unnecessarily challenging, and practicing law can make the PMS unnecessarily challenging. It becomes a vicious cycle, and it is embarrassing or looks like lame-ass excuse-making to talk about it.
What a trifecta: being a lawyer, experiencing the physical symptoms, and the inexplicable emotional variations. When we are in the throes, it can seem impossible to step back into that neutral space (sometimes called witness consciousness or the observer and what Brooke Castillo has termed "passing through neutral") long enough to get perspective on any of it.
Part one of this series addressed some strategies I employ and products I use to get physical relief, but I know from years of personal experience that if we stop there, we miss the amazing opportunities PMS presents to us to become superwomen.
"Wait, what? This is an opportunity? Opportunity my ass," you might be thinking.
I will cover the Opportunities of PMS in the next post, but for now, let's create an energetic bridge from the physical into emotional relief -- and even gifts -- of PMS.
Still with me?
Flower Essences provide an energetic bridge from the difficult physical and emotional cocktail of PMS into a space of greater awareness, where we can process the challenging emotional and energetic aspects of PMS. Flower Essences are a gentle, yet powerful assist that helps us get from point A, physical and emotional misery, to point B, emotional relief, to point C and beyond -- the stages of increasing awareness and consciousness. Points B and C and beyond therefore become a Positive Cycle, and get us out of the vicious one.
When on the Positive Cycle, each subsequent "time of the month" teaches us to manage our bodies and minds in a new, better, more empowered way. Our improved perceptions and experience of the physical symptoms work to alleviate the symptoms. Our deeper and more grown-up nuanced awareness of the emotional aspects work to alleviate the negative emotions.
I am not saying we live a life free of negative emotion. That is not the point of life anyway -- the lawyergoddess knows that sometimes stuff sucks, and acceptance of that fact of life on earth doesn't mean she is going to get a ticket from the law of attraction police. (Proof: I have been a varsity team complainer off and on, and still have an amazing life!) Like seasons, there are changes; there are times that blossom and bear fruit, and there are times when things wither, rot, and freeze. How well we roll with it is so much of our experience. There is a great deal more to say about this that I'll cover in future posts. For now, you probably are here for emotional relief. So let's get on with it!
A Starter List of Flower Essences for PMS Relief
Shasta Lily: for being strong and remaining feminine in a masculine environment. Feeling like the old boys' network has got you down? Feel like you have to "tough it out" or that "there's no crying in baseball?" While this flower is not specific to PMS, this one is so useful for women learning how to better manage their energy in male "dominated" professions, that I include it here.
Agrimony: this is one of the original Bach remedies from England, for the type of person who covers up difficult emotions with a happy face, or buffers with addictive behaviors (sweets, intoxicating substances, too much social media....) to stuff down the emotions. My favorite in-depth discussion about this essence is at the Healingherbs UK site.
Mariposa Lily: this is one of the key essences for healing one's relationship with one's mother, and ability to nurture and be nurtured. Often, difficulties with the physical experience of being a woman stem from an emotional difficulty with being a woman in this world. Even if one reads the FES description of this remedy and it sounds a little extreme or intense, it is worth taking a deeper look: For example, we may feel that our relationship with Mother Earth is troubled. Or, we may feel that our relationship with the archetype of the Mother in our culture is suffering. Many people, women and men included, benefit from Mariposa Lily at some time in their lives when they feel "orphaned" and alone in a situation. For another angle on this category of issues, Evening Primrose is another powerful flower essence that can bring valuable insight to one's PMS experience.
Chocolate Lily: this flower, with its dark color, helps women who deal with an aversion to the physical aspects of their cycles, so they can learn to accept them more gracefully. Some who have worked with this essence report that it addresses chocolate cravings as well.
California Valerian: for anxiety about the future and insomnia; aids peaceful acceptance of life experiences due to better understanding of past experiences. Why do I include this as a PMS remedy? Instead of counting sheep, sometimes we count all the mistakes we made earlier in the day, or a year ago, or when we young and dumb. This tends to happen more during PMS when sleep is disrupted. In addition to addressing the physical aspects of sleep -- which I will cover in more depth in future posts -- California Valerian can help with the emotional aspects.
Pedicularis: for hypersensitivity and crying fits, leading to seclusion; aids insight into one’s underlying true identity and connection to Earth wisdom. Sounds kinda far out there? A friend of mine described the Pedicularis state beautifully when she described how the crying starts to 'cry itself' in heaves...from somewhere else. That's awful in the moment, but there is spiritual gold somewhere in there once a certain level of relief and detachment can can get us to the witness place.
Cherry Plum: This is one of my favorite essences for PMS stress. I resisted trying it for years because I was scared off by the description -- it sounded way too extreme for me. But let me help you by describing what I think it is good for. Now, when we have PMS and part of us feels like we are one email, traffic jam, or spilled-coffee-on the-keyboard incident from completely losing our shit, yet some part of us knows that we are basically sane and this too shall pass, Cherry Plum can help. Understand that "white knuckling" thing too well? Cherry Plum helps us release the death grip on trying to control our circumstances....I linked you to the 1 ounce bottle. Throw it in your work briefcase. You're welcome.
Pomegranate: this essence aids us when we feel ambivalence and inner conflict about female roles. It also aids joyful expression of feminine creativity Many women feel torn between "traditional" women's roles and "modern" opportunities. Sometimes this manifests physically as infertility, PMS, and other issues with the reproductive organs. This essence works on some very deep, archetypal levels. So, let's get all Carl Jung/Joseph Campbell with this for a moment. Think of the goddess Persephone and the pomegranate seeds. Where and when have let ourselves get talked into into doing stuff we don't want to do? How does that still ultimately help us become more authentically creative? How is this universal to the experience of being a woman in this millennium or any other? Pomegranate flower essence warrants several posts all to itself!
Self-Heal: this essence is truly multi-purpose. It helps those who over-rely on external advice for health problems. We need Self Heal when we run around buying every supplement on a list, or read every book, or spend all our time studying health information rather than just making decisions and giving stuff a shot (for that matter, Cerato is helpful too.) Self Heal awakens our inner healing forces and helps us listen to our bodies. It comes in an essence form and in a wonderful soothing lotion called Self Heal Creme by FES.
Mala Mujer: yes, that's Spanish for "bad woman." Please look past any reaction you may have to the name of this plant and own it for its power; it's wonderful for softening the bitchy edge we sometimes get during PMS. For our own sake.
There are many more flower essence remedies that are helpful for women, and even more that may be helpful for one woman or another's PMS that aren't necessarily "women's" remedies or "PMS" remedies. I don't suggest by any means that you run out and buy every essence on this list -- that would be like mixing all the paints in your watercolor kit until you get mud. If one or two really spoke to you, get those; less is more. Or you can work with me directly.
And, stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, where we will dive into the specific mindfulness practice that works (for me), and the critically important thought work that will tie all of this together.