Thursday, June 30, 2011

More on Wild Rose Flower Essence


In an earlier blog post I wrote about Wild Rose being for people who are so resigned to their fate in life that they'd be "grateful" to be dead. Hence the bow to the Grateful Dead in this flower essence card deck image of mine.

People who were dealt a blow earlier in their lives that they never felt like they recovered from often think like this. "It's fate. I just have to accept it." And when it comes to railing against the wind that makes a certain amount of sense. But people who resign to the extent of just giving up on life need a little help. It's not necessarily that they intend to kill themselves. The Wild Rose type mindset is a little more bleak: they don't have the gumption to even do that! It's a true giving up. An apathy that roots from not believing in the universe to provide what they need, a withdrawal from life, not even willing to try again. If they're in a joyless marriage, they just put up with it. If their job is boring or unsatisfactory they remain stuck in it. And worse, if they are diagnosed with an illness that could become life-threatening they don't fight it.

The experience of Wild Roses is beauty and wonderful fragrance in a sea of thorns. It's about joy in living despite the jagged edges or — another interpretation — despite the desire or need for protection. "I'm grateful to be living!" You would use Wild Rose flower essence to come back to life.

In aromatherapy Rose essential oil is used to ease emotional pain, uplift the senses and heal the heart. I use it in several of my Mama Love formulas— Support for Troubled Times, Open-Hearted Loving, in my PMS, Menopause and Postpartum Support and my Soothing Angry Skin body and massage oils.

In addition to poster print and other "I'm Grateful" products (T-shirts, mugs, etc.) you can find in my Zazzle shop, I'm also offering hand-signed 5" x 8 3/8" prints through my shop on Etsy.com.

Grass and Plastic


On our way across the country from Santa Fe, NM to California we stopped in Kingman, Arizona. A strange old place on historic Route 66 with more than a few too many boarded up buildings. Along the train tracks that run through town is an area that's gone more or less to wasteland status--lots of orange grid plastic that might have once been used to fence off a construction project and other debris with grasses and weeds poking through.

I found the juxtaposition strangely beautiful, like an abstract painting. I might make an actual painting out of this one but for now you'll have to settle for the original photograph printed on canvas (or as a poster print).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NEW Product From Mama Love for Soothing Angry Skin

What makes Mama Love products special is the emphasis on great ingredients plus the combination of flower essence and aromatherapy. They're spiritually-guided and infused with Reiki to bring you the most beneficial products I can make! Flower essences, an offshoot of homeopathy are used specifically for emotional distress. A lot of us know that stress and upset can make our skin problems way worse. Use this oil most effectively as a healing massage or body oil, mix it with your favorite soothing skin cream, or add it to your bath.

This formula is 100% organic and consists of the following ingredients in a nonalcoholic jojoba oil base:

Borage Flower Essence -- for lifting the spirits and counteracting depression and discouragement

Calendula Flower Essence -- for soothing irritation, especially of pessimistic thought patterns resulting in angry words and excessive frustration that can't be relieved by making positive change in the external environment right away. People who feel as though their life circumstances are unbearable are susceptible to believing things will never get better again. Calendula can soothe the inner environment so the outer one can be dealt from a sunnier, more optimistic point of view.

Yerba Santa Flower Essence-- to help a person release anger and pain they harbor inside

Rose Essential Oil -- for soothing the heart on the emotional level and providing relief for itchy burning skin

Lavender Essential Oil-- for calming irritability and nervousness, easing worry and depression. It is also used for healing rashes and preventing scarring.

Rose Geranium Essential Oil-- for relieving inflammation, irritability and internal and external stress.

This oil is debuting as of this evening in my Etsy shop.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Calendula Flower Essence for Loving Communication


Continuing with the Orange theme this week— Calendula.

The common name for this bright orange flower is the Pot Marigold but it’s also known as Mary’s Gold. It prefers full sun and doesn't bloom until the hottest part of the summer season. The plant can grow up to 18 inches high and it tolerates almost any kind of soil or situation.

Medicinally, Calendula is of great value in healing both internal and external wounds. It is cooling and drying in nature and has a pungent, slightly bitter taste. Only orange flowers are used for medicinal purposes.

The most significant feature of the Calendula plant is the sunny warmth of its flower made up of a multitude of radiating petals. Various cultures revered it as a symbol of the sun but many also associate it with sadness or death. One Greek myth tells of a young girl named Caltha who fell in love with Apollo, the sun god. She was melted by the power of his heat and from the place where she died grew a single calendula flower.

This myth gives a hint to the plant's use as a flower essence. Calendula is attracted to heat: it looks like the sun and wants to live in full sun and hot weather. Warmth is nurturing but for human beings too much heat is destructive. People who need Calendula tend to have a very Yang or searing red-hot argumentative personal style. They use heated words and are challenged in their personal relationships as a result. The flower essence helps one tune in to the cooler, Yin quality of receptiveness in human relationships while maintaining the essential warmth, restoring balance to human sun-gods who don't know when to back off.  It helps such a person exhibit more empathy (loving Mary-like nurturing) so communication is healing instead of harmful.

I use Calendula in my PMS, Menopause and Postpartum formula because it helps warm the soul while cooling an overheated disposition and counteracts the effects of negative hormonally induced mood swings. You know, the "raging bitch" syndrome. We don't need that and neither do those around us.

Calendula officinalis flowerPublic Domain Image via Wikipedia  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feeding the Baby Bird, Feeding Ourselves



Paul and I went for a walk late yesterday afternoon down the bike path near our house. We were uncharacteristically furious as yet another job one of us is insanely qualified for went by the wayside without as much as an interview! Yes, we were mad and needed to walk it off.

And yet the angry frustrated talk continued. Did they already have an in-house person they wanted already but had to post the listing to satisfy some nonprofit board mandate? Most likely. If not, what could be the issues we're facing here? This has happened several times now. Our age? Overexperience? "Lack of experience" in that specific setting (meaning "knowing someone on their staff")? Or what?

We couldn't think of a "good" answer — we were at the top of our classes, we were the valued employees that people ought to be clamoring for—what the hell is going on? So we have been mad, mad, mad... and underneath it, scared. Like baby birds who fell out of the nest and feel lost and vulnerable and unsure of what to do.

And then a real baby bird appeared. A nestling with almost but not quite developed feathers started to run into the street and then turned, heard me call to it, and came running towards me instead. It opened its mouth wide and begged me to feed him.

I picked him up and tried to figure out what to do next. We were in a tiny landscaped area next to a strip mall parking lot. There were trees there but no obvious nest and there were driveways and roads all around it. Not a great environment to have been dropped into. He was looking a little unsteady on his feet and, by running in the street, an obvious and most likely vulnerable target. (We've experienced a little of being that ourselves.)

I gave the baby bird some Reiki healing and he closed his eyes and relaxed while we searched for an answer as to what to do. A game warden happened by — he and his partner probably had stopped for a bite to eat at the Burger Hut nearby. But all they suggested was to let Nature run its course.

I put the bird down in the shade of a bush —my own inner guidance said that was what was best for the bird —but I couldn't bring myself to go. So I asked internally what was best for "all concerned." "Bring him home! Mother him up."

So that's what happened. We brought him back to our place, found a box and an incandescent lightbulb to heat it up. We looked up "I rescued a baby bird" on the internet and found suggestions for what to feed it. Inappropriate ones by Wildlife Rehabilitation standards...but giving him eyedroppers of warm 2% milk seemed to revive him nonetheless. Then we found out the reality of rescuing baby birds of this kind—they want more every 20 minutes!

We called the Bidwell Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and the wonderful volunteer I wound up contacting gave me a pep talk in the wisdom of bringing the bird back. If it was a swallow or, more likely, a starling its mother would surely come for it when it heard it call. If not, she said, these birds tend to be communal and another momma bird would come along. If the bird was to be rescued in reality this is what would have to happen because they don't do well in the wild before they've been fledged AND they don't learn to fly or fend for themselves when you rescue them yourself...if you could even manage to put up with the constant feedings every day from dawn to dusk. It was looking like something we really couldn't do.

And yet she was encouraging that if the bird was to have a chance that momma birds will come to the rescue quite often. She thanked me for loving wildlife enough to have given it a try and I felt relieved for having given it a try.  Baby bird was restless in its box and was calling for mom quite vigorously now—something I wasn't seeing it do before. He was getting stronger from the attention, Reiki and feedings we had given him and so we brought him back.

I kept hearing Donna Summers in my psychic music box as we got ready to leave and after:

"Oh go on now go, walk out the door.
Just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one who tried
to break me with goodbyes?
you think I'd crumble?
you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh no not I.
I will survive.
Oh as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive.
I got all my life to live
and I got all my love to give.
and I'll survive. I will survive."

I felt good about the baby bird's survival and much better about our own as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paintball Orange and You

Ha! Just kidding. But since we're on an Orange color theme on my blog lately I thought I'd make a few orange designs you could bring into your life through the clothes that you wear. Through our Zazzle shop, of course. These feature a yellow paintball splat on an orange background. Kind of fun, I think.


Back to the World of Orange and Nasturtium Flower Essence


Hey, big boy! Why don't you put down that book (or that laptop) and come up and see me sometime? Sexy, sassy, unbridled— that's the power of Nasturtium.

When a person spends way too much time up in their heads in intellectual pursuits they deplete themselves physically as well. Remember my earlier post about the color orange being juicy? People's energetic juice can dry up when things get too intellectual, cool and detached.

In the Hindu chakra system different levels of development are associated with different chakras which are located along the spine. The lower chakras are about physical survival, emotional security, procreation, self-will and operating in the physical realm. The upper chakras are about spirituality, intellect, and communication. The middle point between upper and lower is the heart -- associated, as everyone is aware, with love and compassion for oneself and others. In some spiritual traditions there is a tendency to focus almost entirely on the upper chakras but to be healthy it is important that all the chakras be working in balance so that spiritual inspiration can manifest in physical form.

Each chakra has been found to respond to various colors of light and, when healthy, is said to radiate that color frequency of light itself. I don't know what the science is on that but there's a great storehouse of experiential evidence people have been using unconsciously and consciously for millennia. Warm red, orange and sunny yellow are the colors associated with the lower three chakras. Cool violet, indigo and blue with the upper ones.

Flower essences seem to work by encouraging the body to bring forth the energy a person requires at any given time. I believe that a flower's color is a strong indicator of what quality it is bringing forth.

Nasturtium is fiery deep orange and sometimes red. It encourages lower chakra warmth to balance upper chakra coolness, bringing a needed vitality and the ability to more successfully merge intellectual pursuits in a grounded practically physical form. It also helps with sexuality, allowing that juice to flow while relaxing and easing stiffness in the joints and limbs. (There's a reason female sex symbols wear red!) It's good for serious students and others who need to enjoy their bodies and physical life a lot more. It's also beneficial for people who try to think their way through life so much (attempting to control the outcome) that they get stuck and can't just dive in. Nasturtium plants are almost impossible to keep neatly confined. They spread themselves far and wide, rambling and climbing pretty much anywhere they want to go. They're a plant with a bold signature gesture, not shy and retiring little dainty things in the slightest. Use it when you want to bring your sassy inner vixen out to stir things up and keep things lively.

Related Articles and Links:

Big Chico Creek


This is Paul's latest photo of Big Chico Creek. It's the creek that runs all the way through Chico and up into Upper Bidwell Park. This section is on the Chico State campus. Paul put a lot of work into this to express the coolness and luminosity of the water. Don't think this is just a snapshot! The joy of Chico Creek is in how inviting it is in the hot Chico summers. You definitely will want to jump in!

Wonderful Speech in the NY Senate About Marriage Equality

Grey-Haired Weekend Warrior High Tops


The top of Paul's head on a pair of basketball sneakers. I was getting desperate for inspiration... hee, hee, hee. But maybe it will inspire a whole team!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Purple on Red Paintball Sneakers


A couple of weeks ago Paul and I went for a walk by the Sacramento River in Chico, CA and we passed by a cement park bench decorated in a very strange fashion. Paintball? Yes! And — if it had been deliberately commissioned by the Park Department -- it would have been pretty cool. Kind of reminiscent of tie dye on a pair of Keds high top basketball sneakers. So here it is.

Looks even cooler I think on these custom made iPad cases and cellphone covers:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Orange -- the Color of the Sweetness in Life

When the graphic designer in me dressed my Mama Love for Abundant Prosperity flower essence aromatherapy formula in orange it was done deliberately. Just think of the fruit: orange. Does your mouth water a little bit? How about tangerines, peaches, mangoes? Orange is the color of living life juicy.

In the psychology of color, clear bright orange is used for upliftment, to cultivate amusement and a renewed interest in life, and to counteract feelings of self-pity and depression.

Physically, it stimulates the sexual organs and has a strong beneficial effect on our digestion. It also helps the immune system, the adrenals, spleen and pancreas and literally helps the body release excess fluids.

In the Hindu chakra system, orange is associated with the second chakra -- the one approximately located at a woman's uterus. It's the chakra of emotional security, procreation, creativity and relationships. It's also associated with physical prosperity -- literally called a woman's "bread basket" -- perhaps because fertility and bringing forth children was ultimately associated with prosperity in earlier days.

In any case, I always think of orange when I want to lift my spirits up and that's the first step in recognizing the goodness you have in your life already and getting ready to bring more in.

Related Articles:

Abundant Prosperity - Spiritual Guidance and Flower Essence Aromatherapy

 What gets in the way of your prosperity—both your inner experience of happiness and well-being and the outer physical one? A intuitively guided spiritual consultation and healing session can really help you identify the most significant blocks and move through them right away! Add a Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy formula specifically created to support you in this process and you have a combination that can't be beat!

Paul and I offer sessions together and separately on this topic all the time. Check our "Make an Appointment Page" on our Healing Communication website today. But now we offer healing sessions in combination with a flower essence aromatherapy perfume on our Etsy site! Special discount if you order there right now: get a healing session with a perfume for only $5 more.


Bloom and Grow T-Shirt Design

Double meaning for the gardener in your life. Are you a plant or flower lover or know someone who is? Or do you want to encourage a beautiful positive frame of mind in yourself, a kind of affirmation for your growth and highest well-being? Either way, here's a "bud" for you or someone you love!




Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Favorite Recent Photo of Chloe


Taken by Paul in Snowflake, AZ.

Wedding Officiants Do It With Love


They do! And I bet you've never seen a T-shirt that says so. Funny gift for someone who marries other people for a living!

Gimme Shelter Goosebump Version

Inspiring wonderful music video done by many performing artists all over the world, recorded on the street, and mixed in a studio. If you can watch this without eventually smiling... Goosebumps? Yep. Started for me when Taj Mahal joined in and through the end. By the Playing for Change project.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Poetic Organic Bee T


Organic Bee T-Shirt shirt
Organic Bee T-Shirt by paulnsheryl

I met a beekeeper at the Chico Thursday night market. Said she had been a beekeeper most of her life and it's only been in recent years that she had to learn to take extra special care of her bees. Until whatever it is that is causing colony collapse disorder came along, the bees seemed to take care of themselves. 

Recent news reports blame it on cell phones...and yes, there IS evidence that cell phones have a negative effect on humans as well as on bee colonies. But this beekeeper wasn't convinced enough. She thinks it's a lot more complex than that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Get Up and Go with Cayenne Flower Essence


Has your "get up and go" got up and went? Feeling apathetic, unenthusiastic about life? Resistant to change, unable to move forward regardless of what your intentions might be?

There are lots of times in a person's development when the psyche resists being put through the wringer again. "I don't want to go through it again" or "what if it's a wasted effort again this time?" or, worse, "I hate having to even think about it." But withdrawing from the task at hand only makes things worse! Being stuck in an unsatisfying or damaging life situation only serves to bring us down. Eventually you come to a fork in the road: do something dramatically different or give up trying.

Cayenne is for when you're not ready to give up but the emotional baggage from past disappointments or outright failure makes the effort of moving out of your comfort/familiarity zone impossible. Your feet feel stuck in the mud, literally bogged down with too much congested phlegmatic energy. You need white-hot spiritual fire to ignite your internal flame and get you on your way.

Cayenne peppers are red hot—that could be "spicy" enough. But the flowers are white, the color of spiritual introjection, which is what the inner spirit needs right now.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

COLOR!!!

As usual, when I post a lot of things for sale I get fed up with my blog becoming a superstore and not a service... or at least not both! I took some time off today to continue unpacking. I know, we've been here a month but I'm so obsessed with getting our "lives on track" money-wise that I'm actually forgetting to like what I like to do. Color is a huge part of that and when I unpacked my first box of the day I found a favorite book by Suzy Chiazzari (The Complete Book of Color) about color as it affects us emotionally and physically. Color is a part of what connects the work I do with flower essences and the work I always have done as an artist and graphic designer.

How is that? What does color have to do with flower essences? And what could it possibly have to do with personal growth and development?

Well, as I'm sitting here today in my backyard in Chico, CA, I am aware that I am totally and almost constantly now surrounded by the color GREEN. Hospitals use green in a pastel shade —almost too much — because studies have shown that green, particularly paler shades of green, calms people down when in very stressful situations. The doctors wear green, pale blue (another calming color) or pale pink (empathetic healing) scrubs almost exclusively these days. The halls and patient rooms are almost invariably painted those colors. Green has a balancing quality on the physical level: it helps regulate circulation, stimulates the pituitary gland and works with the sympathetic nervous system to relax the muscles in our chests to help us breathe more deeply and slowly. Green is cooling and all we have to remember about that is how the words "cool it" or "chill" are used in slang vocabulary. "Chill out"=calm down.

Chico, in my experience so far, is the land of CHILL. On Paul's blog today he included a video of people being interviewed about what they like about Chico. Trees, nature, friendly relaxed people, eating good food, drinking beer. They seem to like it fine but notice something when you take a peek: they're not gushing enthusiastically. They're not "inspired" or terribly energized as they would be if they were interviewed, say, in Santa Cruz, another place where we have lived. Chico's predominant environment is heavily influenced by the major river that runs through it and the lush abundant trees. Unless you journey a little further out (not very far) to upper Bidwell Park it's hard to get a longer view. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by the ocean and, therefore, surrounded by long beautiful views. The colors are bright blue, green-blue, pale yellow and white—the colors of ocean, sand and sky. Mental stimulation, spiritual insight and a bright optimistic point of view. People pay anything to be in this environment. The cost of their tiny apartments might keep them sleepless at night but a lot of them gush enthusiastically about how it's worth it. We might love resting in green but most of us need to balance that with more inspiration and a long-term view.

I typically use green sparingly in my life because I like feeling more energized. But when a couple of people need healing after a traumatic set of experiences it's really the perfect environment in which to be. Which brings us back to the healing power of color in choosing flower essences. When people have had their life's trajectory severely interrupted regrouping requires remembering one's heart's desires in balance with ALL the needs of one's life. Learning to reconnect with the earth is part of that so I've been using Green Cross Gentian. It's a newly released flower essence that's for having the courage to grow and change and carry on in situations so challenging you might lose hope. Traditional Bach Flower enthusiasts would use Wild Oat for connecting with one's higher purpose while in the process of that change, Scleranthus for supporting hard decisions, or Hornbeam for those times when the burden of carrying on might get you down. All of these feature green or partly green flowers. Paul has his photo of a local variety of Wild Oat on his blog right now.

Green in energy healing circles is often associated with the balance point in the human energy system—the heart which knows what you want and lies exactly halfway between higher spiritual insights and the ground we walk upon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peace, Love and All That Jazz Shoes

Alright, I really thought I was finished with the shoe designs but the idea that type could be used as a design element, kind of pop art style, wouldn't let me go.




Just Chillin' in Chico

Here we are in Chico, CA, a place neither of us thought we'd ever be. Me ever, Paul again. Paul went to school here but left for "greener" pastures — not that there's nothing not GREEN about Chico! There are huge lush green trees, plants and vines everywhere you look! That's because there's water here and plenty of it... at least this year. Rivers and streams with abundant flowing water. After several years in the desert where we walked in dry washes all the time and never saw anything that qualified as a river at all, all I can say is "what a concept!"

We're still getting to know what's possible for us here. One thing we've discovered (or rediscovered) is that Chico is the land of CHILL. People know how to relax and have a great time whether it's barbecuing in the backyard or hanging out on the front porch with friends, joining in the fun at the Thursday night or Saturday outdoor markets and street fairs, listening to some great free music on the Plaza on Friday nights or tubing down the Sacramento River.

Inner tubing has become a great tradition in Chico for both students and locals. Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day are big tubing events with thousands of people bringing coolers, floating in the river and spending all day enjoying life at the beach. We've already discovered Scotty's which is where a lot of the festivities begin and/or end. Scotty's is a cafe and bar right on the river's edge. They have live acoustic shows on Sundays when we stopped by and a huge semi-covered porch where you can eat your lunch and watch all the goings on in the water nearby.

We haven't gone inner tubing ourselves yet but it's supposed to get to be about 100 degrees in Chico and stay that way a lot in the summer so renting a tube and going for a ride might just have to be done!

Blatant advertising for new Chico products featuring my artwork comes next. I had fun doing them and someone just included my work on a more generic "Go with the Flow" t-shirt on a River Tubing Squidoo lens. (I'll include one of those below, too.) That was awesome! If you're planning to spend any time "Chillin' in Chico" maybe you'd like one of these, too! (By the way, glass is NOT allowed on the river! Imagine getting out of your tube and stepping on broken glass--not cool! Bring unbreakable plastic for drinking out of and be sure to bring it home at night.)