Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Back On Your Feet" Means It's Time to Begin Moving Forward

Louise Hays says that foot problems often represent fears of the future that keep you in place instead of moving forward. Our feet are part of our foundation— the part of our bodies we use to travel under our own power. In modern interpretations of chakra theory the feet, legs and base of the spine correlate with first chakra issues of physical well-being, safety and security. What lodges there most relates to family of origin issues—if you had a father and mother who kept you safe and well fed, and never filled your head with fear for your well-being (and that continued enough throughout your life) you don't need to worry. Because you probably don't worry about your safety as much as many others. But if you grew up with abuse or neglect, worried about where your next meal would come from, or were taught to worry about how to keep a roof over your head... well, that's another story!

In the last year recession-related problems led to me needing a day job. I got one after a VERY long haul of looking, sending in resumes and going to interviews. It's not a good job but it keeps at least some of our expenses covered and gets me out in public, meeting people and "moving ahead." People tell me I'm fortunate to have one at all. Unfortunately, I'm on my feet all day and by the end of my shift I can barely walk at all until I've rested in the shade of a tree or back home for a half hour or so.

My feet feel like someone's been stepping on them and I've been assuming that it's the pressure of standing all day that's been getting me down. But recently I was guided to try one of my Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy formulas on my feet and lower legs—"Doing New Things with Confidence"—and I immediately noticed a significant difference at least for short periods of time. My feet would feel better and so would my point of view.

But I'm not doing new things—I need to.

Last night Paul and I allowed a new point of view to come into our conversations about the future. We could be moving again although we don't currently have a plan for doing so. We could be making a career move. We don't know but just the idea that we were now on the same page about it freed something up for me. And, more miraculously, all of a sudden my feet were pain-free!

Some of the tension, of course, returned some time later in the evening—my mindset is still in process with this—but the obvious connection was very unexpected and yet clear. My feet have been "stepped on," at least metaphysically. And now the purpose of using "Doing New Things with Confidence" makes even more sense to me.

That's the formula I created to help me travel! It used to be called "Traveling Easy" but later I discovered myself reaching for it whenever I had to do something I wasn't confident enough about. Doing New Things with Confidence is for moving forward, moving out, trying something different, and approaching the process of creating change with enthusiasm and a sense of optimism.

Instead of seeing the steps we need to take as fraught with danger, imagine preparing from a place of security and moving forward with an air of positive expectation and adventure.

Doing New Things with Confidence...
1 dram oil

1 oz oil

2 oz oil

1 oz Spray

2 oz Spray

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aloe Vera Flower Essence for Balance

Another image you've probably seen here recently -- Aloe Vera, the flower essence for those who need to balance workaholic tendencies with rest and relaxation. It's an essence I frequently need but almost never take the time to use. Yep, that describes the kinds of issues an Aloe person has to a tee.

Aloe is best-known for its rejuvenating qualities.  When the plant has adequate water it repairs its own broken or shriveled leaves almost immediately. Medicinally, Aloe is a fast-acting treatment for burns and inflammation. It helps heal peptic ulcers, colitis and other digestive disorders and acts as a tonic for the liver.

Aloe is a large succulent plant indigenous to the hot dry climate of East and South Africa. The long yellow tubular flowers opening to create an elongated bell-like shape hang down in clumps from an erect central spike. The flowers lower on the stem droop dramatically as they open towards the earth. Symbolically, one could think of this energetic pattern as an intense inner force driving one upward accompanied by the drooping quality of those aspects of the self exhausted by the climb.

Like Agrimony, yellow-flowered Aloe represents another way third chakra issues with self-esteem can wreak havoc with one’s emotional and physical well-being. But rather than drowning their feelings in partying and alcohol, people who need Aloe tend to be driven workaholics who stave off self-blame and criticism from others by proving their worth through over-accomplishment. They need the same healing Agrimony types require but from a spiritual perspective they tend to be slightly more aware of who they are—they believe they are capable of great things—but they use that awareness unskillfully. They’re so hard on themselves that they collapse from overwork and lack of emotional sustenance. The life of a workaholic is harsh and dry like the desert an Aloe plant enjoys. Yet the Aloe is succulent, juicy, fleshy and strong, the very antidote to the life it leads. The leaves of the plant radiate out, star-like, from its center, reaching out and up to catch any drop of moisture and retain it within. Just as the flower spike rises up from this center of nourishment the Aloe person’s psyche needs a nourishment source of its own. That’s the healing this plant has to offer.

Those who need Aloe need to nourish their inner core through rest, food, social interaction and all those pleasures that nurture one’s physical and emotional life. They need to learn that their self-worth is more than than the sum total of their activities. More than anyone they need to rest deeply, knowing they are of value to the universe just lying still. When one’s self-worth comes from knowing who one really is—a manifestation of the healing life force of the universe—one no longer has to attempt to prove one’s worth through overstriving. One’s drive for accomplishment can then come from a centered, more healing place and the level of activity required to bring one’s hearts’ desires to fruition will tend to reflect that healthier balance.

The image accompanying this blog post is available as a print or greeting card in the Mama Love Flower Essence Print Shop.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Agrimony Flower Essence for Honestly Facing What Lies Within

If you've been following my blog you've seen this image recently. It's the Tarot deck card I drew for Agrimony Flower Essence.

Agrimony is a member of the Rosaceae (Rose) Family. It grows abundantly throughout Europe and Canada in fields, prairies and along roadsides where there is sun or light shade and moderately dry soil. It stands about 2-3 feet tall and has narrow deeply cut graceful leaves.  The flowers grow in clumps around an upright central spike. The tiny yellow individual flowers reach up towards the sun and resemble a 5-pointed star made up of rounded petals. The flowers and leaves are sweetly aromatic, somewhat like apricots.

In the symbolism of flowers, blooms that grow all clumped together on a single upwardly-pointed spike are like people who congregate in clusters in a steeple-capped church. For that reason one of the common names for this plant in England is “Church Steeples.” And yet we come together for spiritual upliftment in churches and synagogues and mosques not because our religions require group participation – we could and people often do practice alone—but because we desire it.  It’s easier to feel uplifted surrounded by like-feeling individuals than in our private cottages filled with our private nightmares. And that is, in fact, what people who need Agrimony are in need of: release from the private inner torment they feel but never let other people see. Their compensating pattern is to seek comfort through uplifting (i.e. entertaining) activity with others. They’re the life of the party, the one who buys the round of drinks, the one quick to tell a joke and always attempting to keep things light and cheerful.  Their trademark is staying away from heavy feelings and the methods they use to numb the pain they would otherwise feel—compulsive endless social activity, alcohol and drugs—can lead to addictions and nightmares of an even greater sort.  People who need Agrimony are so used to leaving their pain behind they often need help to know how they feel at all.

Medicinally, the Agrimony plant is used to help heal ulcers and the kind of digestive complaints which usually come from swallowing intense emotion, especially self-blame, anger and fear. It is used for liver disorders (a big factor in alcohol abuse) and is said to be an effective remedy for jaundice. Interestingly enough, yellow is symbolic of the third chakra which has to do with self-judgment and self-esteem and the liver is a third chakra-situated organ. And, with Agrimony being a member of the Rose family which has always been associated with matters of the heart, we can intuit that connecting the third chakra issues of self-esteem with the healing that comes from one’s heart—essentially releasing self-blame—is likely to be an attribute of this essence’s healing power.

Agrimony flower essence helps a person accept and show their true self. This is essential for healing of any sort so it is often recommended that people who are out of touch with their feelings use Agrimony as the first step of any healing journey even though the deepest pain may lie somewhere else. It helps people honestly face their pain so the transformation and healing they need can then occur. It would be rare for a person to use Agrimony alone as their only means of self-care for what lies underneath is what they’ve actually been running away from. Agrimony helps a person feel their connection to their higher power from within so they needn’t depend so heavily on external stimulation for emotional solace.

Flower Essence Art -- Images to Heal, Learn and Grow

Mama Love is growing bit by bit. I've been working on and off on a flower essence self-awareness deck -- used like a Tarot deck - but haven't found financial backing for it yet. That's why there have been long off periods -- needing to focus on paying the rent!

But I'm back to getting it done and out there. As a beginning I'm getting the individual images with a paragraph or two of text each on my Mama Love site. It's still in its infancy stages but you can follow the progress as I proceed through blog posts week by week. Several images are in the Mama Love Flower Essence Print Shop now.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Painting the Buddha

Here's what I've been working on this weekend. You may have seen something like this on this blog before. The first ones were digital paintings -- a combination of digital composite photography and photomanipulation with digital paint on top. This was printed in multiple sheets on my inkjet printer, collaged to canvas and painted on top. The original photograph was one I took of a very weathered garden Buddha. I took out the background and added a pattern I painted based on a piece of batik printed fabric. I just added a final light shimmer of copper paint. I loved that but it made it really hard to photograph.