Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mama Love Flower Essence Aromatherapy is Spiritually Guided and Reiki-Infused

Today I'm fretting -- yes, I fret -- about what to say on my Facebook page about my business. I get bored with promoting. I really, seriously, hate saying "Buy my stuff all the time! I want you to buy my stuff because, you know, I'm in a business but I am very well aware that not everybody knows or cares about flower essences! And supposed "spiritually-guided and Reiki-infused"? What the hell is that?!!!

A long long time ago -- I was in junior high or high school -- an art teacher of mine taught a summer class where we went into the woods close to my house and learned about edible and medicinal plants. He pointed out cattails and sassafras and wild blueberries and we studied them and drew them in our sketchbooks. I barely remember the art part because I was so fascinated with what he was saying about the plants! Later when I was sick with a chronic stomach problem that would not go away despite what western medicine would have me do, I turned to herbal remedies that did help and launched me into an almost lifelong obsession: Plants that heal! Medicine you can find in the woods or grow in your garden! And, because I really want mostly flowers in my garden, flowering plants that both look beautiful and heal! And smell good and taste good! How awesome is that?

(You may be wondering why I'm not selling flowering herbal teas. I actually will be late this year but more on that later. Back to the "spiritually-guided and Reiki-infused" part...)

Along the way I found my intuition becoming a much more important part of my life. Imagine that you are really sick—you can't keep hardly anything down but you know you have to eat. I'd stand in front of my open refrigerator wondering what to do. And then I noticed my stomach would clench if I looked at spaghetti sauce (I absolutely could not eat that) and relax if I looked potatoes. I learned that I could trust my gut (literally) and things changed.

Years later I learned that I could trust my inner guidance system for many more things than that. Some people use techniques like dowsing rods or a pendulum. I actually find myself attracted to plants and other things I need while my gut clenches and warns me away from others. While I always have been an intellectual (and still am) I combine my conventional book-learning and practical experimentation with this internal guidance system with every product I make.

And what about Reiki? lol, well, did I mention I'm a little obsessive? When I decided to go into what I thought of as a very unconventional field I wanted some "guarantee" my products would work for people. Of course, there is no guarantee. But I really wanted my products to be the most beneficial products I could make. So they're all organic (100% organic whenever possible but always, so far, at least 95%). I've tested the flower essence and essential oil combinations on myself and other people. And because I'm a Reiki Master I figured, what the heck, I'll fill my products with Reiki! That way people will get the benefit of healing energy whenever they use it. They may not believe in it but it works for me! So maybe it will work for you.

You can find my spiritually-guided and Reiki-infused flower essence aromatherapy products on my website or, if you prefer, on Etsy, too!

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Few Resources for Family Caregiving

The subject of support for family caregiving has been coming up over and over again for me lately. This is not typical—at least not outside of my own family situation (we're doing some light but daily caregiving for Paul's father now). But I used to make my living as a Family Caregiving Consultant for the Alzheimer's Association and a Family Caregiving Resource Center, maintained a blog and wrote a book on the subject, and now I sell both flower essence only and flower essence aromatherapy formulas specifically useful for family caregivers. Here are a few links:

My book, "The Spiritual Journey of Family Caregiving"

My Blog about Family Caregiving (be sure to check the archives -- I don't write too much in it anymore)

"Inner Strength and Protection" spray was made especially for caregivers. 

 "Support for Troubled Times", "Releasing Worry and Fear", Restful Sleep", and "Soothing the Angry Heart" are all also possibilities

Sessions with me and Paul can also be arranged.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Product Photography

Sharing more about my photo shoot from the other night. The photo on the left is very close to how it came out of the camera and I couldn't be more pleased. In other photo shoots—before getting the light box—the glare on the labels would obliterate the text. I used to have to Photoshop like crazy to get something acceptable. I did very little to get color right this time-- just a tiny bit of saturation and adjustment of levels. (But truly minor.) I touched up a few things just because the graphic designer in me won't leave me alone and then added a stock photo I bought for a background.

Mama Love's Logo

Being a graphic designer I think a lot about how to create a feeling for the Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy products I make. I want to help people who would most relate to what I'm trying to do recognize and resonate with them right from the start. Of course, my products might be appropriate for lots of markets dressed in different clothes! (Trust me, I think about that a lot and have a growing file of ideas.) But for my first product offering I went straight to the inspiration behind my initial endeavors—to be like a village healer people come to for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. And that applies to the spiritual counseling work I do with my partner Paul as well!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Product Photography Shoot

The great relabeling and restocking project of 2014 is finally over. Which means the great product photography and website updating projects are underway. Here's a look behind the scenes of me doing a photo shoot. And yes, you might be catching a glimpse of my washing machine in the background—that's what a home business is all about!

Art and Photography

© Copyright 2008 Paul Hood

If you like the photographs of flowers I put up from time to time you might enjoy the art and photography Etsy shop my partner Paul and I created:

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Flower Essence Aromatherapy Perfumes Coming Soon

© Copyright 2014 Sheryl Karas
Sneak preview! I finally chose and got the jars I needed to make my Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy formulas in solid perfume form. They are glass and small enough to easily carry in a purse. I'm full-on in the process of creating labels now and will start making perfumes in the next week or two. Aren't they cute?!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jim Carrey, Flowers and Spirituality

The Language of Plants: The Doctrine of Signatures

When I was a kid I wanted to know how native people knew what plants to use to heal themselves of various difficulties. Later as an adult I actually found myself drawn as if by magic to plants and flowers I needed for my own healing. I use this skill to this day in my own life. It's like an internal dowsing mechanism where I get an internal YES to make me take note.

Of course, that's not exactly what the Doctrine of Signatures is about and probably not why you came to this blog post. There's instinct, there's internal guidance, and then there's codifying it for someone else. How do you teach people to recognize characteristics in plants they can use for their own healing if their own internal guidance isn't available for their use?

Umm, personally I'd teach them how to access their guidance! But in a more scientific age that's not always appropriate. The Doctrine of Signatures is NOT considered a scientific approach by today's standards. But when the idea was first conceived I think it made a lot of sense. By using the same tools of observation and trial and error that scientists are taught to use early botanist/healers looked for various characteristics in nature to show them what they needed to know. They noted the plant's "signature" growing style, its signature color and taste, its preferred habitat and growing companions, and whether it looked like the part of the body it was likely to heal. They tried using the plant and observed the results. All these observations were written down and when certain associations seemed to fit it became evidence that this approach worked.

Now, of course, it does not always work—too big a leap was made in many cases—so science-minded skeptics have a real heyday with this method. And yet I have seen it be sufficient in regards to flower essences in too many cases to count.

My favorite example is the Dandelion and you can watch an entire video I created on the signature of the Dandelion and how that relates to its very well-documented healing aspects here.

I've also taken trainings where over the course of  a weekend or a week the associations are noted and made use of over and over again. That's probably the best way to learn about this. But those trainings are not easy to find so the next best thing is to read about it.

Julia Graves is another healer who has had similar experiences to me when it comes to plants. She trained as a flower essence practitioner at Findhorn, is an herbalist and has a lifetime of experience working with plants. She writes about both the intuitive and observational methods of listening to nature in her book The Language of Plants: A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures. Check it out!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Flower Essence Aromatherapy for Giving Birth

Aromatherapy should be used with great caution during pregnancy. In fact, I don't recommend using many of my flower essence aromatherapy products (except in spray form) during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. But there are exceptions!

Doing New Things with Confidence is ideal for a new mother and pregnant women giving birth and is safe throughout pregnancy -- especially when you feel nervous about the process! The flower essences are specifically formulated to help a person approach new things with a relaxed yet confident attitude of "here we go!" Fun, adventure, looking forward to new discoveries. And there are only two very safe essential oils in it -- Lavender and Rosewood. A recent study showed that Lavender can be used safely during delivery and lowered the perception of pain and improved the woman's level of contentment. It reduces anxiety and has a balancing and calming effect on the emotions. Rosewood is also used to help relieve stress and anxiety. Some people call it spiritually uplifting. It has a rosy scent that mixes with Lavender beautifully.

Doing New Things with Confidence oil can be used for a therapeutic massage. Spray the birth room with the spray versions (scented or unscented flower-essence only) to benefit everyone -- the mom to be, her partner, the nurses, midwives, doctors, other family members, etc.

If you'd like to know more about the safety of essential oil products, read this article by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Generally speaking, don't use essential oils neat (undiluted) on the skin, don't drink them, and don't use them excessively. The occasional use of essential oils in a bath or massage won't hurt you or your baby if you are healthy and are not allergic. However, since not enough research has been done about the effects of absorbing essential oils through the skin during pregnancy use caution about daily use. Use of sprays with essential oils diluted appropriately in water or some other appropriate medium are more likely to be okay but, again, use moderation to be sure!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Feeling More Attractive at Menopause (and Other Times)

I found a very interesting study about how we are programmed to find certain attributes attractive and how those perceptions can be changed. The link takes you to a short video that tells you all about it.

I've been thinking too much about attactiveness lately. The changes I've experienced at menopause are challenging.  I've been gaining weight and finding it harder to take it off. My hair seemed to go grey overnight and is so dry I've been afraid to color it. More wrinkles. There are days I go through teenage levels of self-image self-consiousness. But I do have a Mama Love formula that helps!

It has the unfortunately limiting name of "Attracting a Partner" formula! But it's not just for people wanting a new mate -- I have a good one! -- it's really for feeling attractive from the inside out.

You can find it on my Mama Love website as well as on Etsy.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Soothing PMS and Menopause Mood Swings

My newest customer recently wrote to thank me for my "Soothing the Angry Heart" spray. She said it did wonders for cooling down her raging PMS. Interesting, I thought, I just discontinued my PMS, Postpartum and Menopause Support formula. But I don't typically have PMS anymore--I'm at the onset of menopause now -- and put her comment out of my mind. Today, however, I was doing Raging Menopause Woman! And I don't have any more PMS formula in spray form so I used "Soothing the Angry Heart." And it worked! How convenient. 

Available in my online shop.
And in my other shop on Etsy.

Honeysuckle Flower Essence

Don't you just love the smell of Honeysuckle? It has such a nostalgic feeling for me! In Flower Essence Therapy Honeysuckle is used to help people release unhealthy attachments to the past so they can live in the present and make healthy choices for their future. It is especially helpful for people suffering from homesickness or grieving the long time loss of a loved one or old way of life. This is an illustration for Honeysuckle I did for a book / flower essence self-awareness (Tarot-like) deck I've been creating. You can buy a print of this if you like it on Etsy.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Flower Essences Work!

Aromatherapy fans often expect that it is the scent of my formulas that makes them work. While that certainly is one of the keys to their success, you might be interested to know that my unscented Flower Essence-only sprays are extremely effective by themselves! And they're perfect for people who can't wear scents or prefer to use their own. 

Find them in the Unscented Section of my Etsy shop.
And on my own website!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Flower Quotes and Photography
Photograph, © Copyright 2008 Sheryl Karas,