Saturday, October 21, 2017

Should You Use Mama Love Flower Essence Aromatherapy Oils or the Unscented Droppers or Sprays?


I got this question today: I don't know what to order—spray, oil or essence. Which is more powerful?

My answer:
It depends on your experience with flower essences versus essential oils. Flower essences have no scent, can be very powerful on their own OR very subtle with their effect accumulating over time. I find them amazing so they are the heart of what I do. 

All my products start with me designing a flower essence formula. If I create an oil then I choose essential oils that will provide similar effects to add in. The reason I do this is 1) a lot of people don't know about flower essences but do feel comfortable with aromatherapy and 2) some people find the effect of flower essences too subtle and don't tend to have the patience for step by step accumulation over time.


The oils give you the quick effect of aromatherapy whether the flower essences affect you powerfully at first or not -- and that's hard to predict! If you like how the oils make you feel, then I figure you'll stick with it to get the full-on longer-lasting effect of the flower essences.


The oils, however,  are not more powerful than the unscented products. They're more accessible and some people LOVE them and wouldn't think of using anything else. But I have a significant and very much growing group of people who only use the dropper bottles and unscented sprays. 


I'd say to experiment! Try what you are drawn to and think you would like most.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Using Wild Oat Flower Essence When You Already Think You Know What You Want To Do (But Don't Feel Motivated)

Wild Oat Flower Essence
Last night I added Reiki infused dosage bottles and sprays of Wild Oat flower essence to my shop. And, as is sometimes my habit when I'm attracted to a particular essence, I wondered what it might do for me. But I was also thinking that was foolish—I know what I think I want to be doing: Art! And flower essences. And... too many things. But I'm not having trouble choosing (she thought). I just don't have time to do it all and have a day job and have fun with my partner and just relax and watch funny movies after a hard day at the day job, etc.

Somehow with all of that inner conflict for how to use my time I had lost motivation for art (even though I want to be doing it). Oh, and did I mention that I have too many styles of art and types of media that I want to do? (Not a Wild Oat problem at all -- HA!)

But I had started a new painting. There's nothing wrong with it . . . but (sigh) I'm afraid it might be a little boring. For the viewer. Of course, that's me at the moment . . . but early in the painting process I often think that . . .

So I took Wild Oat Flower Flower Essence and felt . . . nothing.

I watched a movie with Paul, had a relaxing evening, went to bed really late after dropping off to sleep on the couch, and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was wide awake. I tossed and turned for an hour but all I could think about is how I want to be doing oil pastel paintings!

But I had talked myself out of doing that years ago. I have very little experience with it. Of course, I still have that expensive box of Senneliers I bought years ago but there were reasons I let go of that . . . weren't there? I couldn't think of any that made sense anymore. Except, OMG, try to get proficient at ANOTHER art form?!!!

But I did buy that box. And the thought of working with them would not leave me alone last night. I actually got up at 4 am and looked up my favorite oil pastel artists online and watched youtube videos on how to do one technique after another. Of course, this is what I want to try next. I could do this art form sitting in the living room with my sweetie while watching TV together if I want—no more conflict there.  I could layer colors more easily in the way I want with this. I could explore getting oil paint looks, I could draw and paint at the same time. (It might be a horrible mess and waste of materials, she glumly thought.) But I want to do it! I always wanted to do it! Stop talking me out of things!

So I said yes to myself and finally fell asleep.

And now that's the game plan. Thanks, Wild Oat!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Path in the Woods Painting, Lady Slippers on the Path

Lady Slippers on the Path, © 2015 Sheryl Karas
TV synchronicity! I was just about to post about this painting featuring Lady Slippers—which is about life purpose and walking your path with spiritual integrity—when a commercial said "Follow your path and you'll be unstoppable!"

Well, I intend that this is true because I am currently following the path of artist again and I want that to be a success!

The original of this particular piece sold to Chico Breast Care Center where it hangs in the lobby next to the admissions desk. (Pretty cool—I'm still excited about that!) But several people have expressed interest in buying this one so I'm making prints on stretched canvas in a variety of sizes available in my new Etsy art shop.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Healing Despite the Constant Barrage of Bad News

Garden by the Pond at Twilight, © 2017 Sheryl Karas

I forgot to post a link to our spiritual counseling and healing newsletter! But I think I'd like to reprint the article I did for it here. After all, it's the constant barrage of bad news we're dealing with between the Trump and Trumpublican horror show in the White House and Congress, the massacre in Las Vegas (compounded by massacres caused by gun violence in the U.S. on a daily basis), climate change fueled catastrophes, etc., etc., etc. that is casting a pall over everything else!

So I asked for guidance on coping with my own feelings about this and this is what I received:

“Take it one step at a time. First step: how do you FEEL? Cry! Rant and rave if you have to but reach for what’s driving your rage: fear.
“Then take it one step further. Don’t write your congresspeople yet. Write to yourself: ‘I love you. I am not alone. We are not alone. We are not crying in the wilderness alone!' 
“Take each other by the hand. Take each other out for coffee, a cup of tea. Go for a walk in the park. Sit by the ocean or on a gentle hill and look out, see the vastness of the world around instead of just the suffering that appears to be right in your face (perhaps on “Face”-book) or the evening news.
“Breathe out pain and misery. Take in the view, the vastness of time and space. Sincerely believe that this sitting is necessary. And breathe in light and refreshment, love from all around, and breathe it back out extending to all humanity. 
This is NOT just an exercise. It’s an intention. Buddhists often take it a step further and call it a Lovingkindness Meditation: 
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body and mind.
May I be at ease and happy.
May I be at peace.
And then extending to others you love, are thinking about, those who are suffering:
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
May you be at peace.
“Finally, imagine those you don’t agree with, especially those actively horrifying or infuriating you, and do the same for them! I know that feels hard but, after some sitting on a rock extending the intention of healing to yourself and others, it comes naturally.
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
May you be at peace.
“Want to do more than simply pray?!!
“So be it. Amen.
“May your actions be guided by compassion.”

New Etsy Shop for Canvas Prints of My Art

A Willful Act of Resistance ©2017 by Sheryl Karas
I have opened another Etsy shop! I'm trying to be excited but it's a lot of work. Still, I've been wanting an easier way for people to find me and to be able to buy prints on canvas of my work and printed products featuring my art. I'm pushing through a little artist discouragement to do it, though, so I decided to post this piece that I call "A Willful Act of Resistance." Sometimes that's what painting a vase of flowers can be like (at least for the heart)—a willful act of standing up, against all odds, for the beauty of life. I'm currently showing the original in the window at Kreations clothing store (130 W. 3rd St., Chico) for the month of October for Chico's Artoberfest celebration.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Hound's Tongue Flower Essence for Inspired Creativity

OMG! I have an unexpected day off today (in addition to a scheduled one tomorrow). How nice it is to finally be able to breathe and have some extended to time to relax and dream! 

I thought, of course, that I'd get some put-off work done in my Etsy shop. I have a long ongoing project of adding Reiki infused dosage bottles of ALL the flower essences I use. I thought it would take a few weeks but, ha ha, I have so many it's taking me many months and I'm not even half way through! Oh well.

Today I felt drawn to adding Hound's Tongue. Every time I even look at photos of that flower I get filled with a sense of joy and today that is particularly true. I get SO mired down in the expectation to work enough hours to make, honestly, a rather low income that it becomes a true challenge to think beyond the materialistic challenges of daily life. But Hound's Tongue lifts you up! It takes a person out of the materialistic trap so you can be inspired by higher realms of existence. This helps free the imagination, stirs creativity and allows for a much more holistic perspective. I use it in my Clarity and Inspiration formula.

But sometimes people find it helpful to use flower essences one at a time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Go to Sleep! For Physical and Mental Health and a Better Day Tomorrow

I recently read a disturbing and, I think, IMPORTANT article on sleep deprivation. Apparently sleep deprivation has gotten to be such a serious problem in the United States and other parts of the developed world that people who regularly sleep eight hours a night think of themselves as lazy! 

But eight hours is the recommended amount for simply adequate sleep. According to sleep scientists, people who regularly get less than that are at significantly greater risk for cancer, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health. Lack of adequate sleep has a horrific effect on the immune system. It makes it difficult to fully process and heal from emotional upsets, it raises your blood pressure, and leads to problems with anger management and depression. It also impairs a vast array of significant bodily processes including your brain's ability to clear the brain cell-killing amyloid plaque build-ups associated with Alzheimer's Disease!

So, if you're sleep deprived— 2/3 of all adults in the developed world are!—consider making getting enough rest and deep sleep a cornerstone in your practices for a healthy life. An hour or so before bed, shut off the computer and TV, put down your cell phone, and find ways to wind down that don't involve light stimulation or upsetting talk. I know a lot of you LOVE watching the Late Show—I know that I thought I couldn't do without my evening hit of Stephen Colbert. But the nights I fall asleep on the couch BEFORE his evening monologue (or just after) seem to do me a lot of good.

What will you do with your time before bed that won't keep you up at night even more? Sex? (Might help your relationship!) Cuddling with your sweetheart? (That, too.) No relationship? How about petting the cat, taking a bath, reading an old-fashioned book with pages instead of a bright light? There's also meditating, drinking a cup of soothing bedtime tea or using a sleep-supportive flower essence aromatherapy formula . . . you don't need me to list the ways! Everyone knows what works for everyday problems with getting enough rest.

If you have a significant issue with sleep deprivation, however, you may need significantly more intervention. Take a good look at why aren't you willing to go to bed. Spending too many hours working to pay the bills and wanting your time at night for other things? Trying to numb yourself from emotional stress by scrolling through Facebook for hours or playing video games? Or something else? Do some brainstorming and reach out to others for suggestions on what might be helpful for you!

Perhaps a spiritual counseling session (or a series of them) could help. It's often a complicated problem, but through getting clarity and using intention to move blockages and make better decisions, you CAN work this out.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Red Chestnut Bach Flower Essence for People Who Worry Too Much About Others

Reiki Infused Red Chestnut Dosage Bottles and Sprays
If you've ever been a parent or a family caregiver, you most likely have gone through times when you need this flower essence. Being worried about someone you love is probably a necessary part of  human life—we're made to love one other. But if your worry has gone to extremes, it typically is doing everyone (yourself, your loved ones, the people who have to listen to you fret) harm! And even if it isn't, it drains your energy and makes you ineffective in a caregiving role. It's far better to exude warmth, calm and caring, to have a belief in others and their capacities and in yourself. Or to at least have the ability to let go so you can be there through whatever process your loved is going through.

I just added Red Chestnut at dosage strength and infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yarrow Flower Essence for the Wounded Healer

Do you ever feel like the news of the world is rubbing you raw? Like you can't stand one more newscast, one more post on social media about some horrific tragedy, one more sad story, one more presidential tweet?

Yeah, you're not alone with that one! And if you're an empath or a particularly sensitive type, it's even worse.

You might believe it's okay, even desirable, to wear your heart on your sleeve, but there are times when you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others without depletion. You've ridden in an airplane—you've been told to put your own gas mask on before helping others. That's because you're no good to anyone else gasping for breath and falling apart! You may wish to be noble and selfless and put others first, but the world you wish to heal needs you healthy, wise, and able to follow through.

So that's what Yarrow Flower Essence is for. Think of it as an umbrella of protection for your soul.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Reiki Infused Star of Bethlehem Bach Flower Essence Dosage Bottles and Sprays

Reiki Infused Star of Bethlehem Dosage Bottles and Sprays
Star of Bethlehem is one of the original Bach Flower Essences used in the famous Rescue Remedy formula that people have known and loved for a very long time. What you might not know is that it can be very effective used singly. It is used to provide deep comfort when a person feels so devastated from shock or grief that they can't function or can't seem to be consoled.

I  used it in my very first Mama Love formula—Support for Troubled Times— and I do believe it is a significant part of that formula's effectiveness.

But some people prefer to use one flower essence at a time—or they like to evaluate how one essence affects them before adding others. So I recently added single essence Reiki infused dosage strength bottles and sprays of Star of Bethlehem to my offerings.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Penstemon Flower Essence for Inner Strength in Hard Times

Penstemon Flower Essence Dosage Dropper Bottles and Sprays
It is SO easy to fall prey to feeling sorry for oneself when going through hard times. But what we really need often enough is to have the inner fortitude to persevere and keep going forward as best we can. Penstemon Flower Essence can help. I use it in my Resolve and Determination formula.  But sometimes it is helpful to work with just one flower essence at a time so I just added dropper bottles and sprays at dosage strength (ready to use without diluting) and infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Releasing Pent-Up Emotions with Yerba Santa Flower Essence

Yerba Santa Flower Essence Dosage Strength Dropper Bottles or Spray
I was just adding Yerba Santa Flower Essence, infused with Reiki, in dosage bottle or spray form (ready to use without dilution) to my Etsy shop. And as I did that, I wondered if this was one I could use right now.

Well, yes, of course it is. I had a significant disappointment today on top of a series of disappointments over the last month, and instead of crying—or even acknowledging the pain—I was attempting to carry on in my normal "big girl" kind of way.

And that's a significant problem because in the grip of unacknowledged pain we don't always have the most positive perspective on what to do next or even what might be possible to create! How do you visualize a positive future when you are stuck in despair? You have to let go of the pain!

As an herb, Yerba Santa is specific for respiratory distress. In Chinese medicine, the Lungs and Lung Meridian are thought to be where people store unexpressed grief and despair. And what do we do when we breathe? Literally, we let go of old air, and let in the new. On a metaphoric level, think: "I breathe out old energy; I breathe in renewal."

And that's what Yerba Santa Flower Essence can help you with.

I tried it out, realized that my pent-up grief was telling me exactly what I really wanted to do when I had not been so certain before, and set a positive intention to have that happen as soon as I did! I don't know exactly what my next steps will be yet, but at least I know what direction I would like to head. And that's a significant improvement over where I was earlier this afternoon!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

California Peony Flower Essence for Healing Your Relationship with Money and Abundance

California Peony Dosage Bottles and Sprays infused with Reiki
Celebrate life, celebrate the joy and pleasure of being in a physical body in this place and time! Sure, sometimes times are hard, sometimes it's a struggle. Sometimes when a hurricane is bashing your town or an earthquake hits it's frightening, terrifying, and you just want to scream and cry! And yet, with the right attitude— believing you're in it with many many others in the same boat and that somehow you'll make it through —it can also be a thrill.

California Peony Flower Essence helps with 1st chakra issues related to survival—money problems, personal power—but most importantly, enjoying the pleasure and possibility of being alive. Reveling in it, getting into it, having fun while you experience every minute and bring to life what you most want to experience again and again!

I use California Peony in my Abundant Prosperity formula but I know many people like to work with one flower essence at a time so I just added dosage strength (ready to use without dilution) dropper bottles and sprays of California Peony flower essence infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Lighten Up with Zinnia Flower Essence!

Zinnia Flower Essence, Reiki Infused Dosage Bottles and Sprays
Recently I returned to a day job I hoped I would never need again. Not the happiest situation and yet I'm determined to have a positive attitude about it! So I've been using a combination of Larch, Rock Water, Corn and Zinnia in the water bottle I sip on all day and I'm convinced that the essences combined with my sincere intention has made a significant difference. I notice that I'm amused about things that used to drive me crazy there, that I'm joking about things that didn't seem at all funny before, and that I'm actually enjoying myself much more often and having some fun! 

Those reactions seem more like Zinnia than anything else. Zinnia is great if you have a tendency to be overly serious (I do), have a hard time figuring out how to have fun, or wish to reclaim a youthful, optimistic playful perspective on life. And it's one of the flowers (in addition to Larch) that my inner guidance picks via dowsing for my Mama Love formulas more than any other!

I add it to several flower essence blends in my shop:
Comfort and Joy 
Abundant Prosperity
Renewed Faith and Optimism 

Burnout and Exhaustion Recovery
Energy and Enthusiasm
Doing New Things with Confidence


I love my blends but sometimes using a single flower essence is best so that's why I offer Zinnia Lily Flower Essence infused with Reiki at dosage strength (ready to use without dilution) as well.

Flower Essence Dosage Bottles and Sprays from Mama Love

I've been reorganizing my Etsy shop! Reiki- infused dosage bottles and sprays are now available in the same listing instead of two different sections of my shop. You'll find all my flower essence combination blends here.

I also offer single flower essences in both dosage bottle and spray form in a separate section. Also Reiki-infused!

Reiki-Infused Flower Essences from Mama Love

© 2016 Sheryl Karas
One of the biggest surprises for me in the past year is how popular adding unscented flower essence products to my shop would be. When I first started my Mama Love business about 14 years ago I found it extremely difficult to imagine that I would find a market for flower essence dropper bottles and sprays. And it is still difficult to find retail establishments willing to carry them. That's why I originally added the essences to essential oils and jojoba oil to make a product aromatherapy enthusiasts could enjoy. But flower essences have steadily increased in popularity through the years and, following my inner guidance, I've been slowly adding unscented flower essence only products to my Etsy shop, a few each week. These products have quickly become my most popular offerings!

You can find them in several sections of my shop:

Single flower essences in dosage strength infused with Reiki can be found here. I add more all the time. If a Bach flower or North American flower essence isn't there yet, just ask me! I most likely have it on my shelf and will mix a dosage bottle up for you on demand. Send me a message via Etsy first to make sure I have it and then use this link to pay for it.

Flower Essence blends already combined for specific purposes can be found in this section. You'll find all my original Mama Love formulas in dosage bottle and unscented spray form as well as many new formulas I come up with myself or have had requested.

And finally, if you're big fan and want to buy several bottles at once, you can get bulk discounts here.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Family Caregiving Can Be a Spiritual Journey


I haven't talked about this book for awhile! And that's ironic because I certainly think about these issues almost every day while I try to support my partner with the trials and tribulations of taking care of his dad. Honestly, it doesn't often FEEL like a spiritual journey! Are we going somewhere or just staying in the same place? It's more like a daily practice of meditation— at least the part of returning to center over and over and over. And of acceptance, and letting go, and forgiveness. But a lot more than that made it into this book! Including A LOT of practical information about how to take care of yourself while taking care of a family member with progressive memory loss and dementia. I still have some copies available. You can buy one from me in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Cool Down With Organic Mint from Mama Love!

Dried Spearmint © 2016 Sheryl Karas
It is SO hot this summer in Chico, CA! This week the temperatures reached 117ºF and never dropped below triple digits all week with another week of similar temperatures expected. I hate it!

Luckily, I discovered that Peppermint or Spearmint (or both mixed together) makes a cooling iced tea that is hard to beat. All you have to do is brew a pot (10 minutes to steep) or add some to a jug of water and leave it in the sun to brew. Then keep it in the frig and enjoy it whenever you want. Lazier than that? You could also simply add dried mint to your ice cube tray before adding water and freezing it. Add the minted cubes to your bottled water and enjoy!

Want something a little more interesting? Try my Ginger Lemon Mint Herb Tea iced! Yum!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rock Rose Bach Flower Essence for Anxiety, Fear and Panic-Inducing Emergencies

Rock Rose Flower Essence © Copyright 2017 Sheryl Karas
Since I was just sharing about earthquakes and Hurricane Harvey, it seems fitting that I mention how flower essences can help in a panic-inducing experience like this and in the anxious stressful times that follow. The earthquake in Santa Cruz was terrifying. I remember standing in the doorway of my bedroom (the safest spot in my house) and listening, afraid to look, as everything I owned fell and smashed to bits and the house shook off its foundation. There was no time to grab a bottle of flower essence just then— as soon as the bricks from the chimney stopped falling, I ran out of the house as fast as I could and sat on the ground where I could feel the earth moving like waves on the ocean. (Kind of cool, actually, even in the terror of that moment!)

The worst part of the event for me wasn't just the earthquake itself though. It was the terror of one aftershock after another, never knowing if it was "just" an aftershock or the start of an earthquake even larger than the first! And this experience went on and on for months, making it too dangerous to live in the house, impossible to find a job (the building my job had been in was now rubble), and hard to imagine how we would ever recover! I remember having nightmares, while attempting to sleep in a tent in my backyard, that the devil on Bald Mountain from "Fantasia" was in my house. If ever a person needed to have courage, it was me back then.

Rock Rose Bach Flower Remedy is made for situations like this! When life feels terrifying, like all is lost, and the courage one needs to find has to transcend your earthly fears, stress and anxiety, Rock Rose can help you find that calm so you can cope with the moment and carry on.

I just added dosage strength (ready to use without diluting) bottles of Rock Rose infused with Reiki in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Some Personal Sharing about Earthquakes and Hurricane Harvey

USGS photo of downtown Santa Cruz after the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989
I'm watching the news about Hurricane Harvey with a strange mix of sympathy and thrill. I lived through the horrific Loma Prieta earthquake in Santa Cruz where almost the entire downtown was destroyed, our house fell off its foundation, my ex-husband's business fell off a cliff (literally) and then died, and all my artwork was destroyed (I was a full-time working artist back then). Basically life as we knew it was gone and had to be rebuilt again. So I know the devastation!

But I also knew the thrill: because the day after the earthquake I went to see the destruction downtown with hundreds of other Santa Cruzans and there was a strange exhilaration that a lot of us (not everyone) was feeling from having survived such an obviously catastrophic event. And a lot of people greeting each other as we walked around and hugging each other. And lots of neighbors helping each other.

We had a family sized tent in our backyard that we shared with our neighbors the first few weeks (and I lived in for months). I remember us running to neighbor houses to help them turn off their gas so their houses wouldn't blow up and catch fire, and bravely running into our own wrecked houses between aftershocks to rescue food for barbecues that we shared with each other. The community came together in a way I had NEVER seen before in that town and THAT experience did last -- and was the reason I decided stay in Santa Cruz for as long as I did afterwards (25 years or more). Before the earthquake I didn't feel like there was a real community there. After the earthquake I felt like I was a big part of it.

It wasn't all fun and games. Actually, the opposite! It took years to rebuild both the community and our personal home and lives. (Some of it did not recover.) But some things were improved! Great things happened because it was forced to happen along with the things lost and gone forever.

Personally, watching from a distance, I feel like seeing so many scenes of people helping each other in so many ways is an incredible antidote to the divisive behavior we've been witnessing in the same news media for a year or more. Yes, horrific reasons for WHY this is happening -- devastating for so many people -- but useful just the same.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Quit Smoking with Nicotiana Flower Essence

© Copyright 2014 Sheryl Karas
In an earlier blog post I wrote about Nicotiana Flower Essence at length, discussing what tobacco meant when it was used in sacred ritual by Native Americans and how and why it is so abused.

Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco) Flower Essence is deeply healing on the heart level. It helps people who have been attempting to harden themselves to the hardships of life by shutting down their more naturally sensitive natures so they can soldier on and do what seems to be necessary to get by. This is a deeply grounding essence. Perhaps that is why Native Americans used it in a sacred manner. It helps people feel at peace. I use it in my "Restful Nights (Restful Sleep)" formula ( https://www.etsy.com/listing/470087142/restful-sleep-flower-essence-formula-for ) and many people trying to quit smoking find it useful for letting go of the compulsions that make this kind of addiction take hold.  

I just added Nicotiana flower essence to my Etsy shop at dosage strength (ready to use without dilution) and infused with Reiki.

Dogwood Flower Essence and Upworthy for Positive Body Image



I recently put Reiki-infused dosage strength (ready to use without diluting) bottles of Dogwood flower essence in my Etsy shop. Dogwood is for more grace and ease with physical reality. It can help with having a better relationship with your own body especially if you have a disability or look different from society's ideals, have been physically abused, or suffer from physical challenges. I was thinking about what I wanted to write about it when I opened my Facebook feed and here was this video produced by Upworthy right above a photograph I had shared depicting a Dogwood tree in full bloom. The video was about creating awareness and more acceptance for differently abled people by creating mannequins from some people who volunteered and dressing them in beautiful clothing in a city store window. Perfect timing! And I can take a hint so I'm sharing that video with you.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Putting Your Needs First with Flower Essence Aromatherapy

Mama Love for Putting Your Needs First

Well, that happened fast! In my last newsletter, I asked about what I should name this formula for women having a hard time making the time and following through with their commitment to take care of themselves better. I was calling it "Putting Your Needs First" which didn't seem quite right but my customers disagreed. Not only that, they wanted some for themselves. So, what used to be a custom made-on-demand product with handwritten labels just went into my regular list. That means I've been designing and printing labels, doing photos and creating new listings on Etsy half the day. And I'm not done but I'm putting MY needs first. After I post this announcement, I'm taking a break!

You can find Putting Your Needs first as flower essence aromatherapy spray infused with Reiki in my Etsy shop.

It is also available in traditional flower essence only dropper bottle form and as an unscented flower essence spray. (also infused with Reiki)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making Your Own All Natural Leave-in Hair Conditioner



This is a recipe featuring Marshmallow Root I might actually try because I've been looking for a leave-in conditioner since my favorite brand stopped making theirs. But I would add a little Rosemary Oil and Vitamin E to help preserve it and a touch of Lavender to make it smell good. If you want to try it, I just added Organic Marshmallow Root to my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Making Natural Marshmallows from Scratch the Old-Fashioned Way



Wow! I will never do this. But I bet a lot of my readers will think it's a challenge worth accepting. It will certainly give you a great appreciation for why people no longer tend to make marshmallows this way! But it could be great fun to do with your kids.

And if you should want to, I just added Organic Marshmallow Root to my Etsy shop! It also makes a great  (and I think tasty) addition to medicinal teas -- useful for sore throats and after dinner digestion.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Deerbrush Flower Essence for Knowing Your Inner Truth


Deerbrush Flower Essence, © Copyright 2014 Sheryl Karas
With the intense focus on truth and lack thereof dominating our national consciousness at the current time, I found myself thinking about Deerbrush flower essence, the flower remedy for knowing your inner truth and acting in congruence with your true feelings. It's easy to condemn people who lie or spin the truth. Again, these days it's hard not to be swept up in it. But in reality a lot of us try to hide our true feelings in order to protect ourselves or get along in certain situations. Sometimes we have mixed feelings or inner conflicts that haven't been resolved. "Sure, I'd love to take your job offer—I'm sure I'll do a great job typing your correspondence and filing all day long," says the disorganized but starving artist desperate to get a job. They might even talk themselves into believing that will be true. Deerbrush can be thought of as a cleansing formula -- clearing out the spiritual and mental / emotional debris that gets in the way of knowing your true feelings and acting accordingly.

I've just made Reiki-infused Deerbrush dosage bottles and sprays available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lotus Flower Essence for Expanded but Balanced Spirituality

Lotus Flower Essence
I felt drawn to use Lotus Flower Essence tonight. I'm distressed about a decision I made (felt like I had to make) and despite my best efforts I couldn't seem to allow it to be alright. And yet I don't how to change it to what I'd really prefer right now. I feel like I'm coping with a great lack of faith in this particular area of my life after many years of 1) things working out mostly okay but 2) not what I really want.

Not everyone experiences Lotus this way but I feel like it rebalances me. It helps me feel centered and strengthened. Other people will find that helps them be more open and expanded. Lotus acts like a spiritual elixir for the spiritual body in general. After using it tonight I felt more at ease with my life—more in touch with my own spiritual nature—and faith comes a lot easier when you feel like that.

I just added dosage strength bottles of Lotus infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.


Friday, June 09, 2017

Make Your Own Mint Tea Blends



What do you like the taste of better—peppermint or spearmint? When I was a kid I far preferred spearmint—spearmint gum, spearmint candies, spearmint toothpaste, all gentle, mild and yummy! Peppermint, though, definitely grew on me over the years. Peppermint patties, my favorite Steve’s Ice Cream flavor (way back when Steve Harrell made it himself in his original ice cream store in Somerville, MA), and anything with that distinctive almost icy cold / icy hot effect. (Exactly why I did not like it when I was a kid!)

Now I can’t usually make up my mind, and what do Libras do when they can’t make a decision? Don’t choose—l blend them together and enjoy the qualities of both!

Want to make your own mint tea blends? Here are a couple of recipes to get you started. I put the ingredients in a tea strainer in my teapot, pour boiling water from a tea kettle over the top and steep about 5 minutes.

Lavender-Mint

Sooooo relaxing! Breathe in deep as you drink it to enhance the soothing effects!

1/4 cup dried peppermint or spearmint (or both)
1-1 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender
Add a pinch of stevia or a touch of honey while still hot to taste (if desired).

Keep a container of this in the frig and serve hot or over ice (it’s an excellent summer iced drink).

Lovely Lemon Mint

My favorite combination! I particularly like to add the Lavender Mint tea above to lemonade and drink it iced. Delicious! But when I want something hot to drink I make this tea:

Equal parts (or any combo you prefer):

Lemongrass

(Use 1/2 teaspoon each for a large mug, 2 tablespoons each or more for a teapot)

I like my tea lemony—I even add a squeeze of fresh lemon to my cup. If you prefer a minty beverage with more of a touch of lemon, use half the amount of lemon balm and lemongrass.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Organic Red Clover is Back!

Organic Red Clover Tops
One of my favorite herbal ingredients is back in my Etsy shop! Sweet-smelling organic Red Clover smells so lovely. And it can be really useful for women's health, especially after menopause. I use it in my Pink Goddess blend.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Choosing Flower Essences Using the Power of Intention



When most people—and I'm going to include myself in this—go in search of a healing solution our primary motivating factor is usually PAIN. Emotional and/or physical distress that we just want to STOP! And that's understandable—of course, we want that.

So when someone approaches me with a desire to interrupt a long-standing pattern or current day acute distress they always start with the idea of what they want to change. "I'm not sleeping, I'm worried all the time, I need to know what to do about it!" And being the dutiful helper I start out by thinking the same way. . . until I check my guidance and occasionally get offered a really different solution than what I typically would expect.

When I received my flower essence practitioner training we were taught to not only look at what the client wants to change but what they want to feel instead. What do they intend?

So, for example, suppose you ARE worried all the time because you're facing some challenges that involve making changes and you don't know what to expect. The concern as it usually gets stated is "I need to stop being so anxious and afraid. Do you have anything for that?" And I do! My most popular formula, in fact, Releasing Worry and Fear is great for that.

But what if we reframed the request in terms of what the client wants instead? "To feel more relaxed." Okay, I'm still pointing them to Releasing Worry and Fear. But if I say "relaxed about what?" the answer expands to "the future, of course, and how I'm going to handle it!"

Now I'm starting to look at Larch which is for more positive expectations and, therefore, greater confidence to tackle the process of making the changes desired. If we have more conversation and ask why you are concerned about how you're going to handle things, I might hear that you've had a significant setback (Gentian) or that the project is a long-term one requiring inner strength and determination. If at that point, I ask you to set an intention, I might hear that you might have had a tendency to give up in the face of overwhelming obstacles (again, Larch) but that you intend to have the resolve, inner strength and fortitude to persist in this situation no matter what!

Now I'm thinking you could greatly benefit from a formula I make called Resolve and Determination that has Larch, Impatiens (for acceptance of long-term process) and Penstemon (for great inner fortitude and perseverance).

And that is a very different formula! Does that mean using Releasing Worry and Fear would be wrong? Yes, on one level but it's perfect on another. For example, maybe you need to calm down so you can even imagine a course of action for the future. Use Releasing Worry and Fear first. Then do some intentioning (visualizing and thinking about what you want to create instead of  obsessing about what you fear) and set some goals. When that process is complete, now you step into your power and use Resolve and Determination to help you move ahead.

I offer flower essence consultation if you want help with this process, and my partner Paul and I can work with you separately or together as spiritual counselors and healers to take you even further along.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chocolate and Roses with a Social Conscience


One of my recent customers, Kristi Wilson, has a handmade gourmet chocolate shop on Etsy called Sweet Impact Chocolates.  She offers some of the most gorgeous confections I have ever seen—check these out! But not only are they beautiful, they are made with a social conscience. You see, way too much cacao is grown using child slave labor! Sweet Impact's chocolates use ingredients free of child labor and Kristi donates 10% of all sales to help NGO's working with children in the countries where cocoa production is stealing their futures. And she makes an effort to make sure that most of her ingredients are Fair Trade and/or organic. 

Kristi contacted me about my organic pink rose buds and petals and we struck up a conversation about what her plans were. Turns out she wanted to use the buds to decorate her newest chocolate creations so I made an effort to send her a batch of mostly buds alone. And look what she did with them! So pretty! And not only that, she said the batch sold out really fast. I love hearing things like that and it is such an honor to get to share what she does on my blog. Go support Sweet Impact! I can't think of anything more fun than eating something gorgeous and delicious that supports such a worthy cause.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Don't Be Silent—The U.S. and the World is Suffering from Han (Haan)



Last night I was watching Anthony Bourdain's show about Koreatown in Los Angeles and the concept of Han (or Haan) was discussed. Han appears to be a deep culture-based state with severe emotional and physical symptoms such as chronic acute heartburn, heart palpitations, dizziness and insomnia—people have even died of it! There is no word in English that expresses the condition (yet). Wikipedia defines it as a "collective feeling of oppression and isolation in the face of insurmountable odds, the overcoming of which is beyond the nation's own capabilities. It connotes aspects of lament and unavenged injustice."

I hesitate to say that the solutions are "beyond our nation's capacities" (yet) but, certainly, many people on my Facebook Friends list have expressed such beliefs and we KNOW that Donald Trump's ability to get elected despite his years of obvious perhaps-criminal behavior—how many times has this man been sued for HOW many reasons?!!!. Again, HOW MANY TIMES?—was related to a widespread feeling of anger and injustice among white working class and suddenly-drowning ex-middle class Americans since the crash of the economy in 2008 (and for wide swaths of America long before). The rise of Bernie Sanders among Progressives (of all races and religions) came from a similar place: deep distrust, grief and anger at status quo (Neo-Liberal) Democrats and conservative Republicans participating in allowing our culture to be laid to waste by corporate interests. And now it's worse than ever and operating blatantly in plain sight.

Being the healing-oriented person that I am, I immediately wondered about healing solutions that might help. But this is no ordinary personal-level experience that can be solved by plain old individual-oriented solutions alone! I am working with Angel's Trumpet myself (for the ability to surrender at times of deep transformation) and I can't say the flower essence blend I'm using has had no deep effect.

But when it comes to societally-based injustice, individual solutions without societal-level, planning, organizing and change keeps perpetuating the myth that we are incapable of collectively moving this nation forward. And by the way, this condition is certainly not a U.S. phenomenon alone! No, there is a global wake-up that widespread inequity has to be addressed or suffer the consequences.

The easiest first steps: don't be silent! We can march and we can protest—at least. And we can organize and plan actions to get things done.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Newsletter about Flower Essences and Shelter Pets

My latest Mama Love newsletter is about using flower essences with shelter pets. My cat Chloe, shown here with the roses, was a shelter pet and was as sweet a kitty as you'd ever want one to be! But she needed a little help along the way. Read about her amazing transformation using flower essences here!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Larch Flower Essence is This Flower Essence Product Maker's Best Friend

Larch Flower Essence


Larch Flower Essence, one of the original Bach Flower Remedies, has so many uses I do believe it is the flower essence I use most often in my product line and in my life. I always think of Larch as the flower essence for lack of confidence but, oddly, I don't usually think of myself as inherently lacking in confidence. On the contrary, I was the "A" student who graduated at the top of my class. I know I have many talents and, typically, I have tended to have success at practically anything I choose to take on. 

However, the things nearest to my heart (the arts) were presented to me as practically impossible to make a living at and, at the same time, deemed the most valuable. In other words, I was inculcated with the belief that the best thing I could be (and something I was always told I had some talent at) would be a near-fatal way to try to make a living. And whenever I have tried to do so anyway (who even does this without some positive belief in themselves?), I have barely broken even on supplies and come nowhere near being able to take care of myself. . . so back to the normal work world I go, feeling deeply disappointed and defeated and, I think, done with it. 

Except when I'm not.

You'd think I'd have given up for good already—this has been a lifelong struggle. I try and give up, try and give up, each time starting again with less confidence that I will succeed than before. And yet there's this hook: people tell me they love my work, I get into juried shows, and I do sell a piece or two from time to time. And so I get rewarded, the old driving desire gets stirred up again, and despite all attempts to resist it, I'm back at it

And that choice—being willing to try again—is what Larch is for. The Larch personality has some fragility and lack of confidence because of setbacks, disappointments and adverse circumstances —Larch tends to give up—but, like the Larch seed itself, it can often succeed (when given the chance) in conditions far more adverse than average. If a Larch person can overcome their tendency to expect failure, they become strong and determined and success of some sort is sure to follow! 

Of course, the specific kind of success you want is not guaranteed. I can't seem to stop myself from putting a "be realistic" caveat on it. But even so, I can wholeheartedly say that—despite the desire to keep a centered perspective in a world full of unexpected surprises that often have the potential to shift a person's expected trajectory (it's happened or I wouldn't be writing about Larch!)—this flower essence still never fails to improve my mood! I start to feel like the considerable setbacks of the past and even present do NOT cast my dismal-feeling future in concrete. To the contrary, I stop expecting failure, I stop fretting, I stay in the potential of what can be created from this place. This allows dreaming and visualizing about the near and far future to even come in again. And the feeling of positive possibilities inherent in these visions actually often manifests (sometimes instantly!) in positive experiences taking place.

Reiki-infused dosage bottles or sprays of Larch are in my Etsy shop.