Last week we frollicked in fields devoid of snow and lingered to enjoy the first Flowers of the season- Snowdrops, Winter Aconite and Hellebore.
Then winter arrived again, and this second round seems intent on reminding us of the true definition of the season; serious cold and serious snow.
March is almost always like this. We’ll have a bit of warmth in the end of February. Such a tease. The maple sap runs, and the roads melt enough for serious muddy ruts to form. We get excited and think maybe this will be the year when March is gentle with us. Then March sweeps in with a bitterness of wind and non-stop snow.
It feels like lunacy to start seeds, but we do it anyways. It seems like lunacy to expect the Snowdrops to be there when the snow recedes, but we expect them to poke through the snow, perky and unbowed. The bees we visited with last week as they too checked out the exposed gardens? It seems like lunacy to plan on their reappearance after March’s bitter chill, but we expect them too. We fed the bees “winter patty” during the February warm spell, so we’ve helped them eek through March. We probably will come up with our own “winter patty” to get us through March. In the office it will probably be Flower Essence spritzes and chocolate, a brilliant combo.
In the meantime we enjoy hearing from you all about the warm and sunshine in your more southern worlds. Here at the farm, I try to enjoy the endless flakes of snow falling but really, I can’t wait until its raindrops and I’m out in the gardens again digging and weeding and savoring every last green and blossoming thing.
Today with a new moon in Pisces, we add credit card payments as an option for online orders. Green Hope Farm has been here for 35 years so this seems absurdly overdue, but there is a story about why we never had credit cards until now (Isn’t there always a story with me?).
In the late eighties, the early days of sharing our Flower Essences, it seemed simple enough to take a check or cash for Flower Essences. Sales were mostly with visitors to the farm or people at workshops or after a past life reading I had done. However when we had our official summer of many thousands of visitors in 1993, we did go to the bank to get set up for credit cards. And the bank turned us down.
We’d been turned down for a building loan several years before when building our farmhouse, so we were used to banks turning us down. Later when we finished the house, banks were happy to throw money at us, except for this credit card thing. The bank was part of a greek chorus indicating there was no way I could make money with Flowers. But wasn’t that my problem? What skin off their teeth would it be to give me credit card services even if I didn’t use them much. Yes, I was annoyed.
But I was also far enough into working with Angels and Elementals to know there was a good reason for any roadblock including this one. The Angels and Elementals consoled me and said the best way forward was to move on without credit cards.. They suggested we send out orders on a trust basis. When folks called or sent an order in the mail, we would mail their Flower Essences out with an invoice in with the order. We asked everyone to send us a check when they got their order. This worked splendidly. In fact, we still offer this method of ordering, and it still works wonderfully well
A lot of people thought it was a bad idea to do business this way, but we found that almost everyone sent payment. When they didn’t, it was usually an oversight, and the missing check was in the next day’s mail. Yes, there was the occasional person who didn’t ever pay, but we learned not to take it personally. I felt chagrin for anyone who ordered Flower Essences made with the help of Angels and Elementals and then didn’t pay. I personally wouldn’t want to rip off a gnome or fairy.
From the beginning, there were absolutely wonderful things about our honor system (and still are). It made for a different experience than credit cards would have. You often wrote us lovely notes on beautiful cards when you sent your checks. We treasured your love and friendship, because of course we got to know each other in this back and forth of mail. Additionally, we learned so much from you as your letters shared thousands of insights, anecdotes, funny stories and testimonials that helped us understand our Flower Essences better and better.
We’ve always loved the photos too. Today for example, a photo sits on my kitchen table as I type this. It shows Quinti cat (long time Green Hope Farm friend) sitting on the box of Green Hope Flower Essences that have just arrived at her home. How wonderfully thoughtful you have been to share your worlds with us. In fact, the trust system created this network of friendship that makes me almost startled when someone uses the word customer to describe one of you. I have always thought of you all as friends.
In recent years, more people have found our honor system cumbersome and slow, so when we created our online system, we offered pay pal. We knew next to nothing about pay pal when we chose it, but we learned that it is not always people’s favorite online payment system. So perhaps too slowly, I got webmaster Ben organized to add credit cards to our online platform. After all, was it fair to be snippy about credit cards because of some bank person from thirty years ago at the expense of everyone who would now find credit cards convenient? Obviously not! Yet I lingered long in the nostalgia of how well the honor system had worked for people in a different era when there was more time for handwritten letters.
I heard someone talking yesterday about how the job of being out in the world is a matter of balancing being one’s authentic self and being willing to flow with the spirit of the times. I have had my own peculiar unique challenges flowing with the spirit of the times. Some old GHF friends will remember I was leery of email and I wanted every transaction to be done with me using a fountain pen of purple or green ink. And there has been a bit of foot dragging by yours truly about credit card options.
Bless the staff goddesses for urging me to accept the spirit of the times and embrace credit cards. Can you hear them shouting with glee that finally we have credit cards and they don’t have to tell anyone ever again that we only offer pay pal?
And bless you all, both those who like our honor system and those who are glad for the arrival of credit card option. I will delight in offering a tidy and efficient credit card system that works for you, just as I have long delighted in offering a system for those who like the old fashioned banter of our honor system.
No really, I mean it (Though it does makes me laugh to think that the last blog was some sort of freudian slip in praise of the mail!).
Sometimes those staff goddesses have to work really hard to get me to throw down my fountain pen and surf with the spirit of the times! But once I do, I love it!
The mail is one of our favorite things about each day because even in this almost mail free era, we still get the best letters from you.
Take this one which came in yesterday from a healer in Tennessee.
“I love having Green Hope Farm and all involved (angels, flowers, workers!) as part of my offerings for my clients. There is so much magic and blessings in these sessions and you all are a part of that.
Just one example- what are the odds of flipping through the 336 page (Guide) book and landing on a flower essence to read to my client and it’s her favorite flower (I didn’t even know how to pronounce it!). You can’t make this stuff up! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
And THANK YOU dear friend from Tennessee for taking the time to share this magic story and THANK YOU to all of you who shower us in love and stories! We deeply appreciate it! Much Love!
Despite record colds here at the farm, the greenhouse continues to bloom as if its spring in Bermuda and for that we are most grateful!
As I begin this blog post, I wanted to encourage you to skip the long backstory if you just would like Flower Essence suggestions for the throat chakra. As I look for recipes online, I often want to just skip to the recipe without the long introduction so please feel free to skip this intro and jump down to the Flower suggestions at the end!
When I was a young teenager I had many arguments with my maternal grandfather about the Equal Rights Amendment. This amendment was designed to guarantee legal protection for women from gender discrimination. In 1972, after passing in both houses of Congress, the amendment failed to be ratified by the necessary 38 states.
My grandfather liked to see himself as a progressive New Deal Democrat, but he maintained the ERA was an unnecessary bit of legal business, and he was adamantly against the amendment. Women, he maintained, already had equal rights and that was the story he told in the US History textbooks he wrote for high schools across America. His career wasn’t limited to penning textbooks but also included a stint as Ambassador to Chile for the United States under JFK as well as the presidency of Amherst College. Comfortable using the power perks of his jobs, he never paused to consider the backs on which his brilliant career was built.
One back belonged to my long suffering grandmother whose own creative and career aspirations were entirely swallowed by his constant need for her to play hostess at an endless parade of cocktail parties, dinner parties and other social functions that glued together the world he moved in.
My grandmother made one bid for freedom in her late twenties. She wrote and got published a detective story. I recently read a biography of Agatha Christie. She was just a bit older than my grandmother. Like my grandmother, she was shielded from any ideas of having a career or perception of herself as accomplished. In fact, even after writing eighty books, Christie described herself as a homemaker. During the 1930’s when Christie was sharpening Hercules Poirot’s ability to spot a poison, my grandmother joined her with her book, “I’m Afraid I’ll Live.” Set in Paris, a city my grndmother knew and loved, her book is so cynical, bitter and dark that I have always had a hard time connecting it to my warm and vivacious grandmother After reading the Christie autobiography I understand her book better. Women like Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and my grandmother found themselves in a a world that had shifted on its axis after World War I. In Britain a third of an entire generation of men were dead. No one could tell the women to wait in the parlor for Mr. Right to arrive because he was dead. Plunged into the working world when the men were at war, post war there was no going back. The women had seen death, sometimes as close up as the men in the trenches, and the blush was off the Rose. Yet an integrated shift in life goals doesn’t actually happen fast or seamlessly even when world politics have brought radical change. There were still a lot of mixed messages about what women were supposed to do. My grandmother’s career faltered after this first book. She had expressed some of her angst as well as her diverse ambitions in this detective story, but there were inner and outer forces that narrowed her self articulation and defined her worth only in relation to being the consummate hostess and helpmate to a golden husband.
And then in the 1970’s when my grandmother had entertained ten thousand guests for my grandfather, he still couldn’t see the power imbalance in his own marriage nor could he see that there needed to be structures to bring equal rights and equal power to women on a national scale.
And how pray tell does this connect with the throat chakra and Flower Essences? The third chakra orients around issues of our personal power in the world, but to me the fifth chakra, the throat chakra, is the heart of the matter. It’s the seat from which we speak and live our truth, the meeting place of head and heart. It’s the arena in which we work out the alignment process between what is expected of us and what we genuinely feel called to do. It’s where we figure out what we want to do and what we don’t want to do. It is a chakra that takes the hit when we are silenced by powerful forces outside ourselves and lingering conflicts within us, and it is one of the chakras that suffers when we do too much for other people because of ingrained cultural expectations.
It came as no shock to me when someone told me 85% of women in America have a thyroid imbalance ie challenges in their throat chakra. As women, we are frequently in less powerful positions and therefore in situations where we are either not listened to when we speak our truth or inhibited from speaking our truth because of the extreme consequences if we do speak up. We are also expected to do too much. Of course this is going to impact the health of organs in our throat chakra.
My grandmother expressed some of her complex feelings in her book, but it wasn’t enough, and she died at 65 right before the ERA went down in defeat. As far as I know, the power politics of her marriage were never discussed or even acknowledged by her or anyone else. I wonder if somewhere within her, she assessed the possible consequences of speaking up then decided it was too risky. I suspect she had no place even within herself to articulate her situation. All I know for sure is that to speak up and challenge the status quo might have brought her relationship losses. I know this because it brought losses for me when I took on some of the same power issues thirty years later.
For so many other women, in addition to relationship losses, financial pressures also drive the silence. Sometimes the pressures to stuff our feelings and our dreams go beyond that into life or death concerns.
My grandfather as a person of power and privilege had an obligation to share power with those less powerful i.e. women and other disenfranchised people. His complete failure to see power imbalances in his personal life or the life of the nation left a damaging legacy.
When my unstable and violent brother wanted to kill me and my children during my forties, my family of origin was still anchored in the values of my grandfather. They did not acknowledge that my children, Jim and I were in a less powerful position than my brother or that their decision to ostracize us for calling attention to our “embarrassing” crisis was a move of power politics. They did not see that they needed to help right the power imbalances and work with me and my husband, Jim, to protect us. When I failed to fall in with their world view that these death threats were unmentionable and something to be accepted or ignored even if we got killed, they pulled the relationship plug and removed me from their orbit.
The group had no perception of the situation as an unequal power balance. My own throat chakra took the hit as I felt unheard, felt full of fear and felt the sorrow of being unable to live as I wished in sanctuary with my children. In even standing separate from the view of the powerbrokers in my family, I had been cast off and this too caused grief in my throat chakra.
My grandfather’s sense of the world permeated everything that happened. And this is what so many disempowered folks face today. The views of earlier generations of power brokers still support the privileged few and leave way too many powerless and with throat chakras of stuck energy.
But we can change that, one empowered throat chakra at a time!
FLOWER ESSENCE SUGGESTIONS FOR A VIBRANT THROAT CHAKRA
And so, it has always been of great interest to me to seek Flower Essences that support us to move stuck energy in the throat energy- energies of grief, loss, fear, anger, bitterness. In a chakra that can be a sublime expression of love with and for Divinity, these are just a few of the Flower Essences that come out to get things moving, cleared, healing and flowing.
One place to find a complete list of our Flower Essence suggestions for the throat chakra is here. I highlight a few of our suggestions below.
Breathe– If you only want one to support your throat chakra, this might be the one as it combines a great many of our Flower Essences that support the health and well being of the throat chakra.
Flow Free– This is my go to for keeping energy moving. During the peak of the death threats the Angels had me using copious amounts of this remedy. I still use it most every day. It’s not that we should expect ourselves not to feel but that we need support to feel what we feel and then release the energy versus keep it stuck in our energy field. Keeping things Flowing is the profound strength of this dynamo.
Thyme– This magical Flower Essence brings so much healing to any situation in which we need time and a place of sanctuary to sort things out and find our way. I almost always recommend it for anyone with thyroid concerns. Thyme from Crete and also Thyme from Omey Island ( a tidal island in Ireland covered in Thyme) are also dynamos.
Wound Healing- We struggle with generational wounds and need the support of this complex and deeply healing combination remedy to shift the energies and fully find a new way. As I consider this Essence, I recall how very hard I worked to find the Flowers in this mix. For example, up and down goat trails in St John I searched long and hard for the “weed” Christmas Bush. It was worth every effort.
Cosmos– Among the first if not the first Flower Essence I made, this one helps us speak from the heart, a process essential to throat chakra health and finding our true voice in the world
Authentic Self– The Angels call this a Cosmic Unlock. It is an understatement to say it supports the work of the throat chakra is to help us know and articulate our authentic self despite inner and outer pressures to do otherwise. Authentic Self helps us do this.
Baby Blue Eyes– Our issues with the throat chakra often begin in childhood when we are silenced from expressing ourselves and our truth. This brilliant Essence friends empowers child as well as inner child to know her own value inspite of these experiences.
As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!