Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Larch is For Optimism and Self-Confidence

A reader of our last newsletter, about the value of failure and the possibilities that come from it, asked if I could write about flower essences in that same context. Now of course, it matters quite a bit whether we're talking about a "failure" about to happen (OMG!), one in the process of happening (OMG! OMG! OMG!), or the aftermath when you're looking at the rubble and trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces again.

For those OMG (oh my God) moments, nothing really beats Rescue Remedy. It helps you come back down into your body when you're jumping out of your skin, calm down, and get grounded so you can be with what's happening and respond appropriately.

But that's not really what that article was all about. That article was about the aftermath of a disaster, when what you once counted on and maybe even took for granted is gone. How do you rise again and create what you need to move on?

I've been musing on this a little on and off for a few days now when David Spangler's latest email newsletter landed in my in-box. In it he talked about Hope with a big "H". There are people in the Zen Buddhist community spreading the idea that "hope" is a dirty word, that it takes you away from the reality of what's really happening in the present moment. I can understand the impulse behind that—being with the reality of what's happening in the present does seem like a good idea. But this notion of hope being counter to spirituality has always rubbed me the wrong way. Apparently, it bothers David Spangler, too.

First he quoted Paul Gilding, former head of Greenpeace International and author of The Great Disruption: “Hope is not a question of personal philosophy. In the face of uncertainty, operating from a stance of hope is a strategic and practical response. It is a way of approaching the world. As environmental writer Professor David Orr said of it, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.””

Then Spangler goes on to say this: "In my language, hope opens doors that despair closes. Hope feeds the fires of imagination that despair dampens. Frankly, a “realistic” acceptance of “the way things are” rarely creates change or benefits humanity. The blessings of our world would not exist were it not for the power of hope which leads people to dare the unknown and make choices that open possibilities and explore potentials."

Hell, yeah! I agree. So I decided to look at what flower essence most embodies this sense of "we can do it!"—the tapping into hope and optimism for a positive outcome. And Larch is what came to mind.

Larch is for those whose self-confidence has been shaken to the core, for those who fear the future, who fear the worst is the most likely outcome, for those who expect failure to be the end result of any further effort they put in. That's not the way to get up again and create a happy future. But the desire to keep from failing again and feeling the humiliation and lack of self-esteem this failure engendered has to be worked with somehow.

Somebody famous or not so famous who gets quoted a lot these days said: "Failing is only defeat if you don't stand back up." Larch is the flower essence I'd most recommend to help people do it. I use it in several of my flower essence aromatherapy formulas: Releasing Worry and FearComfort and Joy, and Open-Hearted Loving. And oh yeah! Doing New Things with Confidence! How could I have forgotten that?!!!

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