This new Flower Essence mix is a tool to help us access our unconscious, know it, retrieve the gift of its emotional content and desires and free ourselves from any constraints to make the shifts towards wholeness and an experience of our authentic self that these newly integrated parts of ourselves encourage.
How do we reclaim our authentic self? What is our healing path to this experience?
Our culture believes healing is the suppression of anything deemed unacceptable into our shadow or unconscious. This “healing approach” is how we lose our authentic self in the first place. Actual healing requires us to retrieve these rejected aspects of self, hidden in our unconscious, and bring them to the light of consciousness. Nothing in our unconscious is bad, it is just unknown. If we reclaim unconscious parts, we become conscious of all that we are. We experience our wholeness. We can have an authentic experience of self once again.
Our unconscious or shadow contains aspects of ourselves that we were told were not okay, maybe by our parents, maybe by other people or institutional structures. When told our natural human experiences of self and many of our feelings were not okay, we hid these experiences of self from everyone, including ourselves, deep in our unconscious.
Often our shadow contains banished feelings of sadness and anger, our repressed animal instincts (ours because we are animals and denied because of people’s discomfort with this truth), our thoughts and imaginings deemed unacceptable, our true desires and uniqueness suppressed because of expectations of a patriarchal culture. Healing is re-owning all these lost pieces of self and bringing them together into the light and into an experience of our authentic and whole self.
Patriarchal culture is deeply confused about what it is to be human. Instead of understanding people are born whole and free to think, feel and imagine anything, patriarchal culture insists we must make people good by editing them, fixing them and shaping them. What results is humans split off from their humanness and the genuine, wondrous, authentic and whole self they were born with.
As we go to retrieve these disowned parts of ourselves held in our shadow, the culture freaks out, confusing feelings with actions. Because we are each immersed in this culture we too may have a niggling inner voice that says this retrieval work is not safe. If we own our anger, what might we do? Hurtful actions much more often spring from NOT knowing what we feel than knowing what we feel, but we are taught to believe just the opposite.
Owning what lives in our shadow and bringing it into the light is not the same as acting from the shadow. Feeling is not the same as doing. Feeling is feeling and we are free to feel anything.
Owning our animal selves is also part of our retrieval work. Our animal instincts help us trust ourselves to feel what we feel. Our animal instincts help us choose wisely what to do with our feelings. But we are taught to deny our animal selves as well. Just consider how women are encultured to shave off all their fur. Yet our animal instincts are deeply supportive of and inseparable from our authentic self.
It is worth saying again. To own our shadow is not dangerous. In fact, it is essential. When we repress our feelings to the point of not even knowing they are there, we are likely to find out what we feel because of what we unexpectedly do or what happens to us. When we split off from ourselves and deny our unconscious reality, it will still be expressed, only its expression will seem to come out of the blue because it comes from our unconscious. Just think of our politicians for endless examples of this.
I got fired up to make this new mix one day when many women shared with us stories of overwork and disregard by their families, colleagues and society at large. Sadly, there are many days like this, but on this particular day the stories were so over the top there was smoke coming out of my ears. In the heat of the moment, I wanted to make a mix to help women be more bad ass in response to the negative things happening to them. However the longer I considered how a new Essence could truly serve us, the more I felt it needed to help us go within to heal ourselves, not build tools for external battles. In this instance, the issue is not entirely what people expect of women, but how women believe in these expectations.
I was reminded that when we get embroiled in events in the external world (and who doesn’t?), we are preoccupied by the symptoms not the cause. Things arise in the external world because our inner world is not known to us and our inner wounds are not healed. Our unconscious holds our inner wounds. If we do not bring these wounds to consciousness and attend to them, these wounds will pull into our lives difficult experiences to illuminate themselves. The question becomes what do I really believe about myself and how do I heal the wounds these beliefs have caused not why do other people do what they do to me.
C.G.Jung said, ”The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.” Another way he expressed this truth was, “Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct you and you will call it fate.” If we have felt powerless, Jung’s truth restores us to an understanding of our own power. We are always free to resolve things internally, and thus we always have power to transform ourselves and how we experience our lives. To know that external events are life trying to show us inner places to be healed is so different than feeling a victim of chaotic events.
There are many ways to access our unconscious and bring its contents forward to be integrated into our consciousness. I am partial to the gift of Flower Essences and the gift of dreams.
Flower Essences embody the wisdom of the inside job, because that is their territory. They ring vibrational notes in our energy system bringing our unconscious into the light. They remind us of who we truly are and show us the way to be that once again. They have no volition to change us. We must do this work for ourselves, but they are like a lighthouse in the fog guiding us precisely where to go.
Dreams are another generous gift life gives us. Every night they bring unconscious material right to our door. Dreams come from our unconscious and bring communication from this realm to reveal how we really feel and who we really are. Dreams do not lie. Yes, I know they may seem obscure and nonsensical, but they are the purest information we have about what is really going on in our lives. They do require focus and patience, however the more we consider them, the more gifts they give us. Our efforts to consider what our dreams reveal are vital. Dreams never tell us something we already know. They always take us forward towards wholeness. If we think we have healed something, our dreams will give us feedback about whether this is true. Not only do dreams mirror back to us challenges, they also deepen our awareness that we are sacred beings participating in a sacred experience.
The distress of many women fired this Essence into being so let’s talk about women. Women learn very early, sometimes even from birth, that despite surface rhetoric that we matter, few people or cultures feel this is true. We get the real message very early. Our job is to take care of everyone at the expense of ourselves. If we feel anything but joyful about this, it is not okay. Our natural feelings of anger and overwhelm and our natural desires to express something besides nurturing others get pushed into the shadow where they drain us as any unfelt feeling or desire does. If we retrieve these feelings and desires and own them as valid and natural, we take back precious life energy used to suppress these feelings. We find ourselves able to act on the information of our feelings and desires. We can choose to do less and say no. We can choose to express much more of ourselves. Without guilt we can unbind ourselves from cultural constrictions like the societal demand that women always be nice. And to mention dreams one more time, we may assume we no longer believe the culture’s bias but our dreams may tell us differently and once we know how we really feel, we can heal ourselves more fully.
Here are the Flower Essences in Authentic Self with a short take on why they are in the mix.
Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean– We need an inner life where we are radically free to think and feel and imagine anything. We deserve this freedom. This Flower Essence helps us live in the full expression of this freedom.
Cosmos– If we retrieve our genuine thoughts and feelings from our unconscious, we can choose what we do with this expanded and more authentic sense of self. Cosmos helps us translate our felt experience of our authentic self into an explicit verbalization of what we need. Supported by this Flower, we can speak from the heart with the full authority of our being.
Pyrola Elliptica– This beloved Flower helps us access our dreams. Our culture dismisses dreams. To most people it would just seem odd that people from the ancient world in places like Delphi felt dreams were the key to healing. Let me say once again some reasons dreams are so important. Dreams show us the unvarnished truth. Dreams show us how we really feel. Dreams never waste time telling us something we already know. They always bring forward aspects of self both unseen and unloved. Dreams help us form a relationship between our consciousness and our unconscious. As we bring the unconscious to the light of consciousness, we retrieve precious lost parts of ourselves and we find greater wholeness and a more integrated and authentic self.
Eyes of Mary– This beloved helps us see in overview with loving detachment. It helps us look at external events as galvanizing us to action instead of further disempowering us. If we see clearly what is going on within us and acknowledge our inner reality’s reflection in the outside world, we know better what we need to do and what we don’t need to do.
Ixora, Carry Less, The Letting Go Flower, Puenta la Reina & Los Arcos– Many times knowing what we need to do is knowing we need to say no. These beloveds help us say no. They help us know we are entitled to say no. They work like highlighter pens to show us when and how we need to say no. They help us know we have a right to say no even if it means disappointing people, acting “aggressively” or defying patriarchal authority and “the rules.”
Roses are the perfect amalgam of generous, fragrant, numinous beauty and appropriate boundaries. It feels right that five Roses wanted to help us find this fantastic new amalgam of conscious and unconscious parts which means both numinous beauty and thorns.
Alex Mackenzie Rose – This Rose helps us have the courage to do what we need to do.
Alchymist Rose– There is alchemy when the unconscious material we have retrieved translates into changes in our lives. This Rose helps us with the metamorphosis.
Wild Rose– Retrieving our wholeness is a messy project. It’s messy when you take back all parts of you formerly hijacked by a patriarchal inner and outer world. Wild Rose helps us be at ease with the turbulence and stay true to the whole being we have rediscovered.
Moonlight Datura– Our very being roots us in nature. This one helps restore to us our deep connection with the moon and the cycles of the moon, planets and stars. This empowers us to trust our instincts and our right brain awareness of our connection to all things
Fireweed– Even if we are burnt out and exhausted by all that has gone before, we can restore our inner fire so we are fired up to make the changes we need to make.
Trailing Arbutus– We may feel frail but like this Wildflower, we have a tenacious, irrepressible determination to be true to ourselves and experience our deep and abiding oneness. Let this tough beauty escort us on our way.