Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sweet Chestnut Bach Flower Essence for Hope in the Deepest Despair and Angst

Sweet Chestnut Bach Flower Essence, © Copyright 2009 Sheryl Karas
Sweet Chestnut, luckily, is an essence I have not needed to use very often in my life! It's for those deepest darkest times when it seems like all is lost and there is no hope in sight. During one of those times (before I used flower essences very often) I was the woman in this illustration. I went into the woods, my childhood sanctuary, and prayed with the deepest sincerity for help. The words that came were that I "want to go home" although I had no idea what that meant. No place felt like home—I felt like I had no home anymore and nowhere to turn.

Within a short period of time—I think it was less than a week—I had an invitation to live at my ex-husband's house (my old home) while I picked myself up and figured out what to do. We were still friends, still are, and our divorce was never about our ability to live at least as housemates well. Hope returned, and a new journey was embarked on—one my new partner Paul and I are still on.

I didn't use Sweet Chestnut then but I did use the "essence" of what this essence is about. I chose the biggest strongest tree in the deepest darkest part of the forest and asked for help while deliberately standing close to its mighty trunk beneath its branches. I felt calm afterwards, like my prayer would be answered, although I had no idea at that point how.

Looking back, I did not know that the life I was in the process of shedding could be the start of something new. I want to say "better and new" because some significant and much wanted things ARE better but I'm still working with the losses. In fact, Paul and I share some losses that many of us have been working with since the Great Recession crash: loss of a business, loss of an old career, multiple moves, and now deep distress about the run-away government corruption, destruction of so much my generation fought to create, and how that will affect us in years to come. It is a deep dark time in our nation's history for many of us, the darkest time I even know about, never mind experienced. I'd call it a national, occasionally worldwide, Dark Night of the Soul.

We've had some physical effects from this—migraines, stomach pain—so I made up a formula combining Sweet Chestnut (for hope and strength in the midst of despair), Beech (for tolerating the intolerable), Willow (for moving beyond misery) and Impatiens (for the patience needed for events to play out and things to heal). We both think it has helped us move through our feelings about this situation step by step. Paul remarked last night that he has been calmer and less triggered by the news and things he reads on Facebook. I, personally, am less interested in spending quite so much time there (although that fluctuates from time to time). I have tried some of the essences singly as well as in formula. Sweet Chestnut is DEEPLY grounding. But I do like them used together and note that the migraines have been fading away.

I just added dosage strength bottles of Sweet Chestnut infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.
I also added the combination formula listed above.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Beech Bach Flower Essence for Tolerating What Feels Intolerable

Beech Bach Flower Essence
I just spent a crazy long time trying to find a decent photo of Beech flowers that I could stand to use in this post. I finally had to give up. Damn, I thought, those are the ugliest flowers I have ever seen!

LOL, that's appropriate! Because Beech flower essence is for people who find it hard to tolerate imperfections in others or in life situations! I don't tend to think of myself that way but almost anyone can fall into a Beech state under repeated stresses. Take this year, for instance. If you're like 2/3 of the United States you've probably said "OMG, I can't believe this!!! How can one person be so [put your criticism of the president in this space]" every single day!

It can become a chronic habit and when that happens, it can become difficult to accept people who believe differently, to find the good in them and life situations. That can lead to all sorts of problems including, for example, the inability to adapt.

Adapt? Accept? No, no, no, no! This is intolerable! We must RESIST with all we've got!

I know, I totally get that. But if we only focus on what's wrong, what feels dark and dismal, it starts to blind us to what's possible. We lose sight of our inherent humanity, our ability to transcend differences, to mend fences, to at least notice that 2/3 of us feel the same way and THAT number is growing every day! It blinds us to the light.

I took Beech Flower Essence a little while ago. I wanted to see if it might help with what has become a chronically dissatisfied mental attitude— a state I associate with struggles at my disappointing day job as well as dismay at our current political situation. Within an instant after taking it, I started to cry. Oh! Oh yeah. This might be grief I'm trying to protect myself from feeling. Fear (terror maybe) and deep deep grief. And that is true in the majority of cases of people who need Beech flower essence. It is far easier to feel angry and superior to 1/3 of the country than able (or willing) to even attempt to understand what is driving their beliefs and behavior! Beech might just be one of the most important flower remedies for our current day and age.

I just added Beech Flower essence dosage bottles and sprays infused with Reiki to my Etsy shop.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Willow Bach Flower Essence for Releasing Negative Thinking

Willow Bach Flower Essence
I've been going through a challenging period where I, more or less, stay healthy during my week at my day job and wind up with a migraine on the weekend. This is a day job I really wish I did not have to settle for— low-paid, no benefits—and, because I feel desperate to make up for all the time I'm giving away there when I get home, I really get frustrated when I'm down for the count on the weekend!

In my attempt to break the habit I've shared a bit about my experience on Facebook. One friend suggested Feverfew (which I have not tried yet) and another flower essence practitioner friend suggested a combination of Impatiens, Sweet Chestnut, Beech and Willow. I tried his solution last week and found that it did take the edge off. So now I'm working with the feelings that have led to this situation.

Willow seems to be the key ingredient in his formula that resonated with me. It's for renewed optimism when feeling so miserable about your circumstances that you have slipped into patterns of resentfulness, bitterness, even revenge! Now, here's the interesting thing: THAT does not describe me—it describes my boss! But after listening to her non-stop tales of woe and watching her take her revenge by harassing her employees and making their lives hell, I've started to feel more than a bit miserable and resentful of the situation myself.

So I'm taking Willow again this weekend and have spent some time processing my feelings. And I do feel more optimistic and hopeful about not needing to settle for being stuck in this situation forever. I even came up with an idea or two outside my conventional mindset and that's something I haven't been able to do (or allow in -- the ideas had occurred to me before but I had rejected them). I, of course, will be experimenting with this a bit longer, but my first impression is that this approach has been long overdue!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's Your Story? #myturnnow

How has the Trump presidency and its policies affected you? How is the Republican Congress and the actions they are taking or not taking affecting you or are likely to affect in the future? Tell YOUR story. Your personal story. Share online with the tag #myturnnow .

I never expected to feel like my government is out to get me! Yeah, I knew there were inequities in the system that needed to be addressed. Yes, I knew I wanted significant improvements. But I NEVER expected that the “reforms” would 1) take us in the opposite direction and 2) be so horrific that they literally serve to make it so millions of us will be financially devastated and unable to take care of ourselves in the future, especially in the case of accident or illness. I didn’t imagine that my government actually wanted so many of us DEAD.

Of course, what was I thinking? They’ve had no trouble sending our youngest and least well-off adults off to war for dubious reasons. That’s been going on my whole life!

But somehow I was able to delude myself into thinking—in recent years at least—that people who sign up for military service are doing so BY CHOICE, that it was for heroic reasons (at least in their hearts). But then I lived in rural Arizona where people desperately defend that myth with all they’ve got. . . but the only children who go to war are poor and feel like they have no obvious choices available. Not if they want to afford college. Not if they need to get out of what feels like a horrific situation at home. Not if they want to stay off the streets and keep a roof over their heads. And not if they want to make mama and daddy proud in conservative right wing Arizona. That’s an important piece of it, too. During the time when we were there, during the worst of the Great Recession, the economic conditions in that region were far far worse than Recession-quality and the emotional manipulation . . . well . . . let’s just say that Glen Beck was on the television at the local laundromat with a slew of people watching in rapt attention day and night.

But back to me and my feelings of rage—masking the extreme vulnerability and terror I’d feel if I wasn’t channeling it into anger instead! Trump? Nah! Yeah, that’s pretty horrific but he’s NOT the main event. The corporate coup by the Republicans in power and what they are doing is why I can’t sleep at night! In the Republican Tax Plan, they mean to undermine Affordable Healthcare, trigger cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and eliminate deductions for medical expenses all at once! In other words—especially if you are getting older— they’re eliminating your ability to afford to live and pay for unexpected medical expenses without being rich. They’re stealing the money that we paid out of our paychecks our entire lives to help protect ourselves and our families—while getting paid a salary as Congresspeople using our tax dollars (another theft under the circumstances)—in order to pay off multi-millionaires and billionaires who don’t need it! It’s not just insensitive, it’s not just vicious. IF YOU’RE NOT RICH—if the Republican Congress doesn’t get paid enough directly by you to sustain their own millionaire lifestyles—THEY WANT YOU ELIMINATED! They don’t want you actually using the already insufficient government benefits you paid for if you’re not well off. They want you DEAD!

I never thought I’d write something like this, never mind post it publicly. But I never thought that in my late 50s that economic conditions outside of my control (the Great Recession crash) would almost completely destroy my small business and that I’d find it nearly impossible to step back into the workplace as I always used to in the past. I never thought that the impressive resume and portfolio that always brought me jobs within a few weeks would be useless for years, that I’d be turned down for interviews I should have been a top candidate for, that other places would claim to have “lost” my application multiple times, and that I’d be juggling multiple ways of eking out a living while spending most of my time at part-time minimum wage work without benefits that makes my professional resume more outdated and supposedly irrelevant every day! I have no retirement benefits or significant savings left. I’ve been living this particular nightmare for 8-10 years! Somehow we keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Somehow we get by. But, under the circumstances, these Republican Tax Cuts frighten the hell out of me! They feel like a direct attack on my well-being, I don’t sleep well at night as a result, and I wake up livid with rage every morning.

When George Carlin said similar things to what I’m saying in this post in the 60s and 70s, I thought he was exaggerating. When I heard my radical friends saying similar things, I thought they were, well, radical! I didn’t believe it, even if there did seem to be a grain of truth to it way back then. I thought it was just hyperbole, it couldn’t possibly go that far. I knew Republicans I thought were wise and decent people. I still know a few Republicans who seem to give a damn about other people. But not this administration, not this corporate oligarchic almost-dictatorship. 

I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish by posting this. I mostly want to be able to sleep at night! But maybe if we start talking like the women in the #metoo movement did—maybe if we talk openly about what this Tax Bill, DACA, anti LBGT policies, anti-Muslim immigration, anti-black policies, anti-women policies—any of the things this administration is doing to us personally—we’ll get some airtime! We’ll start a movement that will take on a life of its own. Tell your story! #myturnnow

This Morning's Relaxing Cup of Oatstraw Tea

Organic Oatstraw or Oat Tops
I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping these days. Mostly that's because of some bad habits I've fallen into since starting a day job with a very inconsistent schedule. Some of it is because that day job doesn't pay well and never will, and some of it is because of Trump and an out of control Republican Congress. I find myself not wanting to go to bed until I finish at least some of what I'd be doing if I didn't have to have that day job. And I'm quite addicted to Steven Colbert. Those things go hand in hand since I can write these blog posts and tinker with my Etsy shops, even do some forms of art in front of the television. And then the art and finally finding a way to laugh at the national horror show wakes me up should it be the rare occasion when I would have been actually tired enough to go to bed early instead. And then . . . well, I'm awake anyway so more often than not I stay up to watch Seth Myers and his "Closer Look" segment.

Really bad sleep habits! I used to have a healthier sleep schedule or stay up and have the ability to sleep in every day. I'll be doing some brainstorming on how to get my Colbert fix when what he's joking about is still timely -- yeah, that crazy fast news cycle is part of this. And I keep trying to get my boss to have a more sane approach to schedule making, but I guess (being the newest member of the team and low person on the schedule totem pole) I've been way too nice about it.

But enough about that. What I needed this morning was a restorative approach to what I've done to my physiology with all this needless drama.

This morning I made myself a tasty cup of Oat Tops and Honeybush Tea with a little Blackberry Leaf added to help mimic the taste of black tea. I added a touch of honey and milk and it's really good. The Oat Tops (Oatstraw) are the deeply restorative part. Filled with calcium and B vitamins, Oats have been used for centuries to nourish the body and soothe the mind. I use it in a bedtime tea I make with Mint and Chamomile that is really nice to drink in the evening (I should probably remember to do that tonight!) but you can also get the Oats and make your own blends.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Remaining Calm in the Chaos with Red Clover Flower Essence

Remain Calm

I will admit it's been exceedingly hard to remain calm these days. Have you seen the news lately? Pick a day, any day for more than a year now and there's good reason to be freaked out or angry and plenty of people on social media to share the experience with! And that's part of the problem—all the people spreading the "cheer." It's important to be aware—yes—but we're also absorbing all the angst and fear and trauma of the posters.

Red Clover Flower Essence is for an inner steadiness and calm despite what may be going on around you. It's an excellent choice for emergency situations or times when you need to be the rock in a setting where people may be panicking or losing their cool. It can help when you need to access your inner guidance and ability to make choices from a centered place. 

I have Reiki infused Red Clover Flower Essence in dosage bottle and spray form in my Etsy shop.

Healing Gifts for Christmas

Mama Love Flower Essence Aromatherapy
It's been quite a year! How about giving the gift of healing this Christmas?

Couldn't we all use a little Peace and Goodwill or Comfort and Joy? How about Renewed Faith and Optimism?

Maybe someone on your list has been going through a particularly hard time. Give them Support for Troubled Times, Releasing Worry and Fear or Restful Nights for a better night's sleep and far less angst and anxiety during the day.

Want to support someone to make positive changes in their life in the new year? Give the gift of Resolve and Determination, Doing New Things with Confidence or Manifesting Life Purpose. Depending on the change they want, you might add Attracting a Partner, Open-Hearted Loving or Abundant Prosperity!

I've always sold products that combine flower essences with essential oils in both oil and spray form for the people on your list who love aromatherapy. But check out my unscented (flower essence only) droppers and sprays, too—no worries about scent sensitivities there! Everything is infused with Reiki to be the most beneficial products I can make.

Almost all my products are the perfect size for stocking stuffers. Or buy three or more to group together for an even nicer gift (and a decent discount for you!). Check the Discount/Wholesale section of my shop for bulk discounts.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Some Thoughts for the Times We're In

Teachers I had at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology would often talk of great transformation as involving the breaking apart of how things used to be in order to come together in (hopefully) a much better way. I guess we're dealing with the coming apart phase so it's really useful to remember to have faith in the process!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Pine Flower Essence for Self Forgiveness

Pine Bach Flower Essence
I've written extensively about Pine Flower Essence because I think it is incredibly appropriate for the Christmas season. Pine is one of the original Bach Flower Remedies. It is used by people who blame themselves when things go wrong, who feel excessively guilty and feel like they can't forgive themselves. They might constantly criticize themselves or feel tired and depressed from feeling worthless or like nothing they do will ever be good enough. How a person like that might long for salvation and inner peace! Pine is a salve for the heart on many levels. It helps you accept yourself, forgive yourself, and able to move ahead despite faults or past mistakes. 

I recently added Reiki infused dosage strength bottles and sprays of Pine Flower Essence to my Etsy shop.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

It's Hot Drink Season! Make Mine Caffeine-Free and Organic!

Brr, baby, it's cold outside! Time for a hot cup of tea. Or perhaps a hot cup of something like coffee without the caffeine so you can drink it at night, bundled up by the fire, enjoying the tastes of the season. Add a touch of cocoa and whipped cream. Yum, yum, yum!

Warm caffeine-free winter drinks from my shop:
Not Joe Mama
Carob Mocha Mint
Carob Marshmallow Delight
Elderberry Licorice Spice

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sweet Pea Flower Essence -- For a Sense of Belonging and Feeling at Home

Sweet Pea Flower Essence Reiki Infused Dosage Bottles and Sprays
Yesterday on Facebook, one of my friends posted a photograph of magenta flowers growing near the beach. I thought they looked like the wild Sweet Peas that grow there but it's the wrong time of year. And yet, it isn't the wrong time to be thinking about this particular flower essence, it being the season when people come together for holiday celebrations or wish that they were.

Sweet Pea is for people who feel disconnected from their sense of home through great loss or change. Perhaps you moved a lot as a child, perhaps you weren't allowed to fit in, perhaps you went through or are going through a period of homelessness, perhaps you no longer live in the community that once was in your heart. Sweet Pea is for regaining a feeling of connection to community, for feeling a sense of belonging again and a true sense of "home".

I just added Reiki infused dosage bottles and sprays (ready to use without diluting) of Sweet Pea flower essence to my Etsy shop.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fall Thoughts on the Inherent Trust in the Future As Expressed by Plants and Flowers

Walking through a Field of Flowers in the Fall
Late Fall is sad for some people as the natural world turns brown. But this is also when plants cast their seed to the ground and nurture those seeds with the love of their own fallen leaves. It's how new love and joy will return in the year to come! What seeds are you willing to cast? What thoughts do you wish to nurture? Trust in the return of the light. It will come.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Mama Love!

© Copyright 2009 by Sheryl Karas

May you feel surrounded by love and family, at peace and safe at home! Happy Thanksgiving from Mama Love!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Centaury Bach Flower Essence for the Ability to Set Healthy Boundaries

Centaury Bach Flower Remedy is for people who try so hard to be kind and helpful that they neglect themselves in the process. People take advantage of their good nature, expecting that they're always step up to the plate. They'll even compliment them on how great they are and how nice it is to be able to depend on people, etc., etc. And that just makes it even harder to refuse. But eventually the person who needs Centaury will feel exhausted and resentful as they do too much for others and have no time or energy left for what truly would fill their hearts!

Centaury helps people serve from a place of strength and purpose while regaining the ability to set limits and say "no." I offer Reiki infused dosage strength bottles and sprays of Centaury in my Etsy shop.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Walnut Bach Flower Essence for Handling Change and Protection from Outside Influence

Walnut Flower Essence Droppers and Sprays
Change is hard for a lot of us. As a Libra, decision-making can be fraught with anxiety. Should I do this or that? I want to make the best decision but I too often see the value in both sides. But what makes making choices that will ultimately require a change even more difficult for me is when I think my choice will either let someone down or make them think less of me. I feel the impact of outside opinions and influence way too strongly! And it doesn't even matter if that influence is coming from someone I don't know. It's worse when I feel like I have to fight public opinion as it is expressed on television or social media. And we've become a society that is screaming our polarized, sometimes bullying opinions at each other on a daily basis.

That's where Walnut flower essence can be very helpful. I recommend it for any major life change, positive or negative, because all major transitions can be a time of increased stress and vulnerability. Even if no present day outside opinions are threatening to pull us off our course, past history can have an equally damaging effect. Perhaps we made a serious mistake or experienced changes that caused great challenge or pain. It can be difficult to leave the past behind and try again. Walnut can help with that kind of influence as well. 

I just added Reiki infused dosage strength dropper bottles and sprays of Walnut Flower Essence to my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Aspen Flower Essence for Facing Fear of the Unknown

A lot of people on my Facebook friends list have been expressing their grief, loss and pain about Trump, Congress, and politics in Washington in terms of overwhelming trauma. People have been at a loss to cope with feelings of impending doom, wishing they could hide, attempting to tune out the news, hide away from their fears... but not really succeeding.

The daily pain of bad news about what is being destroyed and what horrible thing might happen next is putting a lot of people in a state of free-floating anxiety about the future. We're all waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop but we don't know if that will be impeachment, a constitutional crisis of another sort or all-out nuclear war! If you have a specific fear about the future you can plan for it. If you live in California and know your community may be vulnerable to forest fires, you pack yourself a grab-and-go bag to leave by the door and practice how you might make your escape. 

But what do you do about a future you can't predict? How do you calm yourself in the age of Trump and Republican unwillingness to band together for the sake of the country and take action?

Well, you could demand change—write, call, badger, take to the streets and protest! And I strongly recommend taking some form of action to move into a place of empowerment with others rather than simply trembling in your bed.

But, okay, you've done that—a lot—and you're worn down now and need some sort of relief.

I still recommend action but, I get it, a lot of us have entered the world of free-floating anxiety hell!

I just put Reiki infused dosage bottles and sprays of Aspen Bach Flower Essence in my Etsy shop. Maybe if you get some sleep tonight, you'll be up to calling or writing to your Congresspeople in the morning!

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.