Today I am making the long overdue decision to free myself from perfection.

As I spent the morning in tears, I realised that this emotional eruption has once again all come from this need to be the ‘perfect’ person.  The perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect sister, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect weight, the perfect Mum to one very demanding fur baby, the perfect light-worker and even the perfect loader of the dishwasher….you name it, I want to be perfect at it!  Everything I do is steeped in this deep desire to please, to be liked, to be enough and to some how prove to others that I am worth the air I breathe or their investment, and it is becoming exhausting!

I am not perfect, far from it, and I don’t claim to be.  I make mistakes, I try too hard, I overthink, I care far too much about the feelings and opinions of others and my self-talk is very cruel.  I remember feeling ‘imperfect’ from the age of 2, and different and on the outside every year since that tender age.  Never really sure, even to this date, just why I don’t fit in or just how to channel my shadows and imperfections into something to be proud of.  But what I am now realising is that perfection is an illusion.  Something that can only be represented as a hypothetical carrot that dangles just that tad out of reach in front of you.  Yet the reality is that that carrot is further than you think.  In fact that carrot doesn’t even exist!  Magnify this unrealistic perfection with my Bach type being ‘Pine’, and you have a recipe for disaster.  For when I feel less than perfect or a situation doesn’t quite go to plan then I will revert to my tendency to blame myself and to punish myself by moving that perfect carrot even further away from my reach.

Perfection comes from a source of comparison.  If you didn’t compare the beautiful rose to the rose with noticeable marks and defects then you wouldn’t even know what a beautiful rose was.  For every rose would be on an equal playing field and beautiful in its own right, just as it is.  The rose becomes flawed and criticised because it doesn’t shape up to its blooming neighbour.  And here lies the problem.  Stop the comparisons and you therefore stop the ideal of what perfection is.

Sure we all need to strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, but does that mean striving for perfection?

What does perfection even look like anyway?
Does it have a colour, a face, a name, an identity, a certain size body, or perhaps a minimum amount of tasks that we should excel in?  Is there such a thing as the perfect skill or talent to validate our placement on the Perfect-ometer? When you reach perfection do you graduate with some kind of honours and a certificate that tells the world you did it, you achieved a perfect state.  NO!  of course not.  And that’s why it seems madness that so many of us want to be perfect, when we already know full well that there is no such destination as “Perfectsville” and perfection is simply subjective and a state of peace within ourselves.  It’s a ridiculous notion that so many of us hold on to and today I have decided I am ending my relationship with it and I am starting an affair with being perfectly imperfect!

I have lost count of the number of years that I have tried to be what I thought I needed to be.  I have behaved in ways that danced to everyone else’s tune apart from my own, and as a result I have reinvented myself time and time again following what felt like failure.  And when you strive for perfection, the fall is always that much harder to take.  I simply decided today that I cannot cry any more tears or mourn the loss of the ‘perfect Ami.’  I cannot feel that I am less than acceptable as a human because of how someone else see’s me or interprets my words or behaviours.  I cannot strive to be this being of light who doesn’t hurt, feel pain or have opinions and needs.  I am human, and albeit a human in service, I am making mistakes and learning just like everyone else, and that is a fundamental part of life and any healing journey worth being on.

They say that the circles in which you keep make a difference to how you feel.  Surround yourself with positive people and you will feel positive.  Surround yourself with negative people and you will feel negative.  Whilst I agree (particularly as an empath) that the energy around you has a huge affect on your mood and behaviour, I also realised today that if their aren’t nerves to hit then people can’t hit them!  Whilst I am going along, subconsciously striving to be this perfect person who everyone will like, I am exposing myself to harder falls and more criticism.  The main factor there, is that as I feel everything BUT perfect, I am too emotionally reactive and responsive to said criticism and judgements…because these people are only mirroring the negatives I feel about myself and highlighting the flaws in my own perfect plan.  So rather than just be selective of my circles, I need to continue to work on the rawness of my wounds and tend to the idealised perfection that seeps from this opening.  I need to learn to embrace my shadow sides rather than hide them or be ashamed of them.  I need to understand that it’s none of my business what people say or think about me, nor do their opinions and misjudgements define me.  I define me.  I need to be at peace with myself.  I need to find perfection in my wholeness.

Sometimes in a world of modification, air-brushing, filters and show reels it seems as if we are all fighting a losing battle to expose and challenge perfectionism.  For we purchase flowers for our homes that only look ‘perfect’ and like they have plenty of life left in them, celebs continue to have their unique body scars and marks ‘touched up’ in photos in order to appeal to a larger audience and we live in a time when even a fruit or vegetable can be genetically modified or enhanced!  Nothing seems real anymore, so how do we learn to accept our perfectly imperfect selves, when it seems just about everything around us is still so outwardly striving for perfection and a mass market.

It was Dr Seuss who said:

‘Today you are you!  That is truer than true! There is no-one alive who is you-er than you!

How amazing is that quote?! Those simple lines serve as a reminder that we are who we are, and the very fact that there is no one who can be “you-er than you” just shows how perfect and individual we already are.

If you are feeling less than perfect today, please be kind to yourself.  Chances are your light is so much brighter than you could ever imagine, just as you are.

Yours in love and unashamedly imperfect light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

I have loved and listened to music for as long as I can remember, and today has been a day when I have rekindled my audio love affair.

I grew up in a house mainly listening to anything from Motown to The Carpenters and Aztec Camera to Alison Moyet, all with fond memories of LP’s purchased from Woolworth’s or Rival records at the height of my appreciation.  But the turning point for me was 1999 in Cardiff.  After only attending gigs with my parents or chaperones up to this point, I attended my first ‘proper’ gig on my own.  I was 16, they were Stereophonics, and it was just before ‘Performance and Cocktails’ was released.  Pushing my way with Lisa to the front, only to be almost squashed in a moshing crowd and my friend having her hand cut on some glass, we quickly retreated, slightly petrified but still singing!  It wasn’t the best experience, but the euphoric feeling of live music still resonates every time I listen to that album.

From that moment on I became obsessed with music.  Listening to music before work, during my commute to work via headphones, in my lunch hour and after work when I got home, and if that wasn’t enough I was going to 5 gigs a week and many festivals in my hay day!  I would later go to gigs alone and meet amazing people as a result.  Often I would be buzzing so much after seeing a live band that I would drive my gig buddy home (50 miles round trip) in my old-school mini and even park up outside of his house whilst we talked for a further hour to unwind.  We would talk until the early hours about where Joy Division went wrong (in our opinion) or dissect the latest Elbow album track by track in great detail, and I would still get up for work the next day!  It all seems another lifetime now.

Over the years I guess I lost my connection with music as I knew it.  I got the treble clef tattoo on my wrist covered up and recently sold off the vast majority of my impressive vinyl and CD collection (which wasn’t emotionally easy to do).  The very collection that took presidency to house in every relocation and new relationship I entered; travelling with me as the most precious of cargo.  Some of those ex’s probably wouldn’t even believe that I finally parted with it after all these years, as it was my prize possession.

But things change.  I’ve changed.   Although today I am reminded that music remains ingrained in me.  It’s not about being first to discover the latest underground bands, or recite the order in which the Beatles released their albums anymore, as I realise that those things no longer define or validate how much I love music.  In fact despite the quieter confidence in my musical relationship , my folks still swear that I am the girl you want on your pub quiz team, just in case a music question comes up.  Or they call me into the room when the Eggheads get to the music round.  And I am pretty sure I am the first friend they would call if they were sat opposite Chris Tarrant and there was a question about the Stone Roses!  And that’s because the way in which music moves and excites me did not leave when I gave away my last LP.  Because once you catch the music bug, it never leaves you.  It may go from a hard rock to a soft ballad, but it’s their, like an old flame waiting for you to just say the words to hook up again!

Music is something that we often take for granted just how much it can lift our mood or even communicate with us when those around us just don’t seem to be able to find the words.

Multiple festivals and outside entertainment is now geared around music, as it’s something that we just can’t live without, whether you’re into anything from Mozart to Morrissey or Beethoven to Bowie.  We use it to set ambience during therapies and meditation, to motivate during exercise, to support us through heartache and breakups, to enhance social gatherings and to dance to, amongst many other things.  It’s something that the majority of us turn to when we need to manage any emotion or find connection, as it’s that thing we turn up loud and belt out the words to when we just need a release of feel good hormones.

Music has always been emotive for me, perhaps more than any other tool being an empath.  I have lost myself at many a gig, even crying whilst everyone else is bopping.  I always cry when a drum or bodrum is whipped out in a 1-1 healing session and I have even been deeply triggered by the ‘singing’, or rather whaling, of releasing women in a cave in Avebury.  Music or sound of any sorts is a huge trigger for me, and something that prompts uncensored vulnerability.

Today I let my intuition and my higher guidance show me what I needed to listen to and where this suppressed musical love wanted to take me.  It’s been a day of melodic audio and I have wanted to listen to an array of genres.  As I lay on my bed, candles on and enjoying a moments quiet, I double clicked the ITUNES logo.  I was taken to songs that were as necessary a part of my healing journey as any.  Some of these were songs gifted to me by ex-partners, some were songs that remind me of better times, freer times and evoked deeply nostalgic feelings.  Some songs transported me to where I feel I would like to be.  And some reminded me of where I am pleased I no longer am.  All and all, in the space of an hour I had created my own little sound bath and I released a lot of tears that could only fall as a result of these songs.  Tears that needed to fall for what was, and tears that needed to fall in anticipation for what could be.  Some songs I hadn’t been able to listen to since relationships broke down, until now.  Not because I have any regrets for these relationships ending, or any particular warm thoughts towards these people, but tears for the pain I felt at the time and the promises of love and commitment that never quite transpired.  And that’s what music does.  Those averaged 3 minutes can take you to another time as clearly as if you built a time machine and travelled back to reunite with your younger self.

Music is deeply soothing and the benefits on the chakric system, body and aura are often something we fail to appreciate.  We tend to think that only a huge gong can release pain and trauma within the body or that we need to be held in a room of sound.  But a simple hour out, when you’re ready to witness what needs to be released, can be the perfect and bespoke sound bath you crave.

When we look at the signs in song form, ABBA announced they were thankful for the music, Mama Cass told us that we had to make our own kind of music and Julie Andrews was a little bit in love with the sheer sound of music. And I personally have to agree with John Miles when he said that music was his first love.  So take time out today, and if you haven’t already, put on the first album you lay your hands on, or better still do an ‘intuitive search’ online.  See where it takes you, and don’t just have it as background music, light some candles, spark up the incense and listen to what the words are telling you.  Notice where in the body the notes spark and fall.

On that note (excuse the pun), I’ve an overdue date with Ryan Adams ‘Gold’.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

Since discovering the Bach flower remedies I had been too scared to take two remedies; Agrimony and Oak.

Up until recently, after years of working with the system both personally and professionally, I had managed to escape the clutches of these two remedies and convince myself I didn’t need them.

That’s because Agrimony is the remedy for those who wear masks or use forms of escapism to hide their pain, and Oak is for those who feel they need to keep going all the time, even when the need for rest is glaringly obvious.  I had imagined (despite knowing that the Bach remedies do not work in this way) that I wouldn’t be able to use humour as a way to avoid public vulnerability, I wouldn’t be able to appear strong anymore; the way in which those I love need me to be, and I would be forced to stop and rest past a point I could return from, if I took these two tinctures.

But by starting with Agrimony, when I eventually realised that I was holding myself back by means of resisting it, I came to realise that the remedies and energy-work that invite a period of rest can actually be the most beneficial.  I don’t just mean rest in the physical sense, but rest from show reels, abusive coping strategies or even rest from responding re-actively in the moment, as all of those things are exhausting.

When I meet a new client, I will ask them in their initial consultation why they have come to see me and this question often throws people for some reason.

But can you guess what the most common answer is?…

…It’s ‘relaxation!’

 

Yet relaxation is the very thing that so many of us find so hard to do, and even go as far as to sabotage it by finding things to do when we notice that we start to take time out for ourselves or from our ‘duties’.   The vast majority of us even feel as strong a feeling as guilt for taking time out for ourselves or for doing nothing.

I witness so many people in my own community do one of two things when it comes to ‘healing’.  There are those who avoid alternative therapies altogether, perhaps through fear of the unknown, resistance to change, or even sabotaging their own success, and then there are the group of awakening souls who want to try everything!  They want to sit in circles multiple times during the week, do every training course, or attend the opening of a spiritual envelope, all without adequate time for integration of the healing they have encountered or reflection afterwards.

I am not highlighting either choice by means to cause any detriment to these people, as all of us will fall into both of these camps at varying points on our individual journeys.  But what I have come to learn is that both approaches can cause delays in improved health and well-being as they lack balance.

 

Healing is not always about getting what you want, infact it’s often about getting what you need

 

A channel or intuitive-led practitioner will often bypass the physical body or the guidance spoken on a 3D level and go straight for a deeper connection with your higher self.  This means that healing will take place unfiltered and in ways that are subconsciously determined by the part of you that knows how to get you the results you crave in the long run.  Knowing just what it needs to do to get you back on track physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually without fear or overthought, and often without initially making sense to the conscious mind.  This means that for some people they can be forced to down tools if they are people who are not checking in with their body enough or are in situations of heightened stress and trauma, which causes them to react or ‘keep going’ rather than to rest – almost like a fight or flight situation.

Resting is so hard to do, and learning to do it without frustration, without expectation and without a self-administered ‘time-frame’ is not only a huge act of self-care but it’s an inner surrender to flow.  Trusting the process and learning to see this unscheduled downtime as a blessing that is perhaps saving you from exhaustion, a breakdown, or a further deterioration in physical or mental health.  Those who resist the flow are often taken out of action for longer as it becomes no longer just about the benefits of resting and also about learning the lesson of how to live in flow and the great unknown.`

I understand first hand how hard resting is.  I battle with chronic fatigue every day in my personal life, which means that the need for rest is often unavoidable and unpredictable.  I also struggle with issues of worthiness.

On my ongoing search for my authentic self I can now see just how worthiness for me relates to rest.  For I have never allowed myself to feel worthy of rest.  In the past when I have taken even an afternoon to have a siesta, or I have written off a day to watch rubbish TV and sit in my pj’s, I feel an obligation from myself or those around me to do something.  To perhaps allow myself to lie in bed, but to do some work on my laptop at the same time.  Or to only allow an hour or two’s rest before getting up to tidy the house, all before my partner gets home and would therefore never know I had been resting!  This is not rest.  This is controlled rest.  My mind, let alone my body, never got to fully switch off and immerse itself in this down time as I was already thinking about what time I needed to get up or what was an adequate amount of ticks to make on my to do list alongside this day off!  And I see it so many times.  Clients who have had a period of exhaustion pre and post treatment with me, and being incredibly frustrated by this or wary to book a follow-up as a result.  Or those who ask if remedies will make them tired before even taking them, as they seek stimulants not relaxers.

I can see, and I include my own fears in this, that we are becoming a nation who are frightened to stop!

Truly stop.  As we have too many expectations placed upon us and we view resting as lazy, a waste of time and something that holds us back.

But what happens when we burn out or get sick?  We are forced to stop.  Yet the world keeps turning.  The household still runs.  The kids still get to school.  Our jobs wait for us to return (usually).  And as frustrated as we may feel initially, we know that our bodies want and need this.  We instinctively know that we need to take to our beds and to rest for a while, and in most cases we allow ourselves to do this.

Rest isn’t just about going to sleep or lying in bed.  Rest is about integration.  It’s about taking that time out from therapies, circles, people or duties by making time for some silence in your life.  It’s about switching off from the stimulants of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy foods, social media and TV and getting out into nature, with just you and a good book or an intention of mindfulness.  It’s about getting off the treadmill in the gym and slowing it down to a jog or a walk in the local park.  It’s as simple as that. Above all else it’s about learning the difference between needing rest and integration or going into resistance (resistance blog coming soon!).

After any period of healing there is a time when we must stop and often disconnect from our current lives in order to adjust to the new and improved ways that are trying to enter.

So, if you’re still with me, take 5 minutes now to turn your phone to silent, to turn off the background noise and to tune into your body.  What is she asking from you?  Are there aches or pains?  Are there signs that you’ve ‘overdone’ it at the gym or at work or even socially with alcohol/food/drugs and too many late nights?  Perhaps on the emotional end of the scale, there may even be signs that you have done enough for now.  You have had enough treatments, you have attended enough retreats, you have sat in circle more times this month than you’ve sat at your family dinner table and now it’s time to stop and check in.  To quieten the mind and to engage the heart to see what’s coming up.  What triggers have revealed themselves this week or what signs are around you?  What lessons have you learnt?  What unique traits are you beginning to realise you have (as it’s not all about the negative!) It’s time to rest and it’s time to integrate no doubt, so do this for yourself now, no matter how small the act, as this is a fundamental part of any healing journey and awakening, yet it is often the one that gets ignored.  It shouldn’t take going on holiday to take time out to rest and to be present.

Taking time out whether physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally will give you more energy to get things done in the long run, and a much deeper sense of healing.

Rest. Listen. Integrate. Grow.

 

Yours in love and light,

 

 

Never fear, Oak and Agrimony will not necessarily induce rest for you, no more than any other remedy IF that’s what you need at the time of taking them.  So please don’t avoid them.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month we welcome the West-Country’s answer to Bear Grylls, Mr Steve England, or as his Twitter handle refers to him as ‘wild Steve England’.

Described through his website as an “award-winning wildlife educator, conservationist and horticulturalist from Bristol, on the Walk of Fame leading wildlife, wild food and protection”.  And I have to say after attending a few of his workshops and wild walks now, he is all of those things and not to mention a generally nice bloke!

Audrey and I first met Steve on one of his workshops last year, which looked at taking a “walk on the wild side”.  I came home with an even bigger thirst for natural knowledge and wishing I could invent some kind of machine that would steal his brain!   That’s because attending just one of his workshops will give you more hands on experience and nature connection than reading several books non-stop for a week could do!

Bristol naturalist (not to be confused with naturist!) Steve, is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things nature; from being able to identify an individual bird song, knowing a poisonous plant from an edible one and he is definitely the man you want around when you’re sourcing a mushroom in the forest for your tea or wanting to learn how to light a fire!  I am not saying this to inflate Steve’s ego in any way, but for anyone who has attended one of his events or even looked at his website you will know how much you take away for a very small fee!  In fact I find you even have to ‘write off’ the day when you are booked on one of Steve’s events, as his talks always run over due to his blatant and infectious enthusiasm.

As someone who is deeply passionate about the Bach remedies, it is becoming part of my flowery pilgrimage to learn as much as I can about the source of each tincture, and to witness each plant growing in the wild.  Trees in particular fascinate me and they are the very things I choose to walk amongst (and even hug) when I need grounding or answers.  That said, I was honoured when Steve accepted my invitation to be interviewed for Honeysuckle’s guest corner.  This month I have asked Steve a series of questions which are structured around some of the tree-based Bach remedies, and alongside his interview I have added a brief synopsis of why you might take the remedy in question.  I felt this was important as a lot of people don’t realise that the Bach remedies harness the energy of the plant and do not contain the plant itself.  Therefore, the medicinal benefits of consuming a plant for example will not necessarily mimic the emotional balance obtained from taking the same plant in Bach form, they almost become two separate entities and rewards for working with the same plant.    It is my hope that perhaps one day (when I have personally taken a lot more Larch) that Steve and I might be able to collaborate on our own little plant based workshop!

Thank you so much Steve for your time this month, as I know you are a busy man.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

July Guest Corner
Q&A With Steve England

‘The Teachings Of Trees’

 

BEECH

Beech is the Bach remedy for those who find it hard not to criticise the way other people act, speak or do things.  Beech’s find it difficult to tolerate other people’s idiosyncrasies and as a result may have a tendency to ‘bitch’, gossip, moan at length or may be inclined to be instinctively judgemental – guilty until proving innocent so to speak!  The remedy helps us to be more understanding and tolerant, even when perhaps our feelings are justified, as we are able to exhibit more patience and empathy towards others, learning lessons from every person we meet and every trigger.  Sourced from the Beech tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared in the countryside near Dr Bach’s home, Mount Vernon, in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Beech tree?

The easiest way to identify Beech is by its elongated leaf buds that are pointed, also the greyish bark of the tree helps identify it too.

What are some practical uses for Beech?

The leaves are edible in spring just as they open, having a citric “tang” to them.  A traditional use of the beech is the mast, or beech nuts, when simmered in warm water they release their oils which float to the surface and when scraped off can be used in cooking or as furniture oil. The wood is a hard wood and is traditionally used to make rifle buts, as it has a very tight grain and does not split, a good wood to burn being a hard wood burns hot and slow.

 

PINE

Pine is the remedy best known for balancing feelings of self-reproach, guilt and issues of self-worth.  It’s utilised in times when we don’t feel worthy or good enough and when we tend to take the blame for situations, even when it’s clear it’s not our fault.  Pines tend to apologise for anything that goes wrong, often feeling guilty and in affect doing everyone else’s healing for them! The Pine remedy helps us on our journey to self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, as well as brings a balanced understanding of what is and isn’t our fault or responsibility. One of my personal favourites, the Bach remedy is sourced from the Scots Pine tree and was first prepared near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Pine tree?

Pine trees are identifiable by their leaves, which are always in pairs of two needles, and they smell of pine!

What are some uses for Pine?

This is in my top two of trees that have uses! The resin is loaded with anti inflammatory, anti-fungal and bacterial agents that can have multiple uses such as a glue, and a great wound dressing.  It’s fantastic for lighting fire as the resin is flammable too. It was used as a water proofer in roman times; heated pine resin was used to line their drinking pots to make them waterproof.

You can also twist a pine cone from its tree, leave it on a heatproof dish/plate on a radiator for a natural air freshener.

ELM

Elm is the number one remedy we utilise in times of overwhELM.  This is the remedy for people who become overwhelmed when taking on additional tasks or responsibility, despite usually being able to cope.  It can be utilised for crisis of confidence, when extra pressures and demands mean that we can doubt our competency and ability to manage the task in hand.  The remedy is a great ‘stress-buster’ and restores our belief in our own strengths by helping to break down tasks into bite size pieces, restoring calm and order once again.  Taken from the Elm tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared using trees growing near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying an Elm tree?

To identify elm you can use multiple methods, first the leaves have jagged edges and at the point where the leaf is attached to the stem one side of the leaf is higher up the stem than the other confirming it as elm, also by its bark and seed cases.

What are some uses for Elm?

Being a hard wood it is great for carving, but the inner bark is traditionally used to make cordage and rope, not the best wood to burn as it smoulders.

SWEET CHESTNUT

Sweet Chestnut is described as the remedy for the ‘dark night of the soul’.  It’s best utilised in those times when we have reached the limit of our endurance and we are searching, praying even, for the ways to get ourselves out of these dark times.  This remedy is a saviour in times when we feel as though we can take no more, we have nothing left and no means of escape.  The remedy helps to restore our hope, to bring about light again, and to help us continue on our journey with renewed will and vision.  Sweet Chestnut was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Sweet Chestnut tree?

To identify sweet chestnut you look for its long jagged edged leaves and also by the spiky chestnut fruits.  It can also be identified by its wood colour as sweet chestnut is very high in the wood preserver tannin, giving it a very yellow appearance.

What are some uses for Sweet Chestnut?

Traditionally used to make fencing products called “pales” another great wood for carving and being a soft wood it is great for use in lighting fires making a bow drill set from its wood.  The nuts are very edible, traditionally roasted over a fire in winter.

WILLOW

Willow is the remedy for when we find ourselves hosting our own little pity party.  When there are feelings of bitterness or resentment for the situations we find ourselves in, which make it hard for us to be accepting of other people’s success.  The Willow remedy is one of rebirth.  We become more aware of all of the things we ‘can’ do rather than the things we ‘can’t’ and we refocus our direction in a positive light rather than a negative.  It helps to bring about a steady flow of abundance through a more optimistic mindset and connection with others.

What are you tips for identifying a Willow tree?

Depending on the time of year, in spring it can be identified by its fuzzy catkins, or by the waxy bark. Some are very yellow such as the weeping willow, or look for the diamond markings on some tree bark.

What are some uses for Willow?

Willow is traditionally used in basketry; I use the branches for weaving fish traps and general baskets.  The willow sap contains salicylic acid (a key component of aspirin), which in bush craft if in pain you can simply peel the bark off a young stem and suck to give yourself an aspirin dose to relieve the pain.  The tips of the new shoots are high in concentrated auxins which is the plants growth hormone.  By cutting the stems and crushing them, then soak them in water to release the auxins into the water which can then be used as a plant hormone cutting fluid – fantastic for helping promote new growth for cuttings!

SILVER BIRCH

Not one of the Bach remedies, but a little bonus from Steve is the addition of Silver Birch.  After having tried some of it’s sap on a recent ‘plants and their uses’ workshop with Steve I can confirm it tastes lovely!  But after witnessing how much is involved with tapping it’s water in a way that ensures you leave enough for the tree, I will leave it to the expert….

What are your tips for identifying a Silver Birch?

Silver birch can be identified by its white bark.  Some have paper bark which is very flaky and easy to peel

What are some uses for Birch?

It is an amazing tree with multiple uses.  The sap in spring is drinkable and is used to make wine or syrup.  The oils in the bark are extracted to derive tar, and also the bark is used to make pots and fire.  The leaves in spring are edible and have a nutty flavour.  Being a soft wood tree, the wood makes awesome firewood that burns very hot.

 

Steve England Outdoor Learning comprises of educational material and hands-on workshops in Bristol, but Steve is also available for private bookings.  Steve shares regular videos which help those to connect to his knowledge outside of the West-Country and he has both a Twitter and Facebook page (links here in bio).  For more information on upcoming events and Steve’s work please visit his website here  

 

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Chicorium Intybus is more commonly known as Chicory and this beautiful perennial is a member of the dandelion family.

Better known for its cultivation in the use of food; with its edible roots being used in salads, as a coffee substitute and even a good source of fibre.  But as always we are not looking at the herbal benefits of the plant or consuming the plant at all.  We harness our wonder-juice from the petal’s energy! Common Chicory flowers are a beautiful cornflower-Blue in appearance and to me present as a rather vintage looking specimen and something you might expect to find growing wildly in a picture-postcard house in the country.

The Chicory remedy is one that I feel carries unjustified bad press, as those who need it are often too proud to admit that they may be exhibiting the negative aspects of this essence.  But personally I believe it’s a remedy that can help absolutely everyone on their path to health and happiness, for learning how to contribute to the world from a pure and unconditional place is the key to unlocking every door.  Utilised by those who have a tendency to control or even manipulate, Chicory’s can be emotionally cunning and even like to play games.  They are types who fuss and over-care in many ways, often with the best of intentions, but nonetheless this can be their downfall and effect their relationships on every level.

Chicory is so relevant in today’s world, for no-one is exempt from giving without wanting to receive somewhere further down the line, whether consciously or subconsciously.  We are yet to fully master the art of unconditional love as a human race.

In the positive aspect a Chicory person is very loving.  When someone is upset they will be first on the scene with the hugs or words of encouragement.  They tend to be kind and thoughtful people who are often highly sensitive, perhaps  with an empathetic or clairsentient skill set.  They may likely have professions that support or care for people, and perhaps even hold space or run groups through paid or voluntary positions that help people to awaken or get back on their feet.

A chicory may often have good intentions, and will be a very loving and caring person in the positive.  They will want others to feel loved, appreciated and supported, and perhaps for this reason tend to be types who give others the love and affection they didn’t receive themselves as children or indeed adults. They may possibly find themselves in relationships where they give the most emotionally, and can unknowingly seek out people who are damaged souls or need ‘saving’ in some way, of course the Chicory feels that they are the one to save them!  A Chicory needs to feel needed.  They like to keep their family and loved ones close and they can often feel lonely if those around them stray too far or can’t be reached easily.  They tend to look for love in all the wrong places and are likely drawn to people who are emotionally cold or have narcissistic tendencies, perhaps enjoying deep down winning them over or the thrill of the chase.  Chicory’s can be manipulative in nature and some of the biggest game players in love, due to prioritising their own needs, validation and ego boosts at the end of the day.  They can be ignorant to others feelings as a result.

In terms of children, chicory infants are likely to be clingy.  They can be the toddlers who constantly seek attention, being very loud until they get it, and often play parents/grandparents off against each other to get what they want.  They may play up at the nursery or school gates, with the aim of leaving parents feeling guilty for not giving them what they want, even if they have unreasonable demands!  They’re clever little sprogs and quite likely to be able to turn on the water works at the drop of a hat, or delay bedtime in some way.  When looking at animals, it can be similar.  Those dogs that bark or whimper on demand until you acknowledge their presence.  Or perhaps pets that suffer from separation anxiety, making it hard for fur baby mums and dads to leave them or put their own needs first.  They might even like to leave you a present on the carpet just to punish you, even when the back door is open!

Chicory’s look for validation in many ways.  They need to feel loved, wanted and important to others and in turn they need to feel that their love and kindness is not taken for granted or rejected in some way.   As always there is a scale and at the end of the scale may well be someone with deeply narcissistic tendencies or someone who goes out of their way to control and manipulate people and situations until they get what they want, but at the beginning of the scale can be the simplest of behaviours that we all do from time to time.  Such as only leaving a review for a service if you get one in return, or following someone on social media until they un-follow you, sending a card with the subtle expectation of getting one back when you celebrate similar successes or even expecting our friends and partners to behave in a certain way.  It’s almost an attitude of ‘well I done this for you so you should do this for me’.

A Chicory will have high expectations of people and relationships, as they will often be people who go above and beyond to support others.  In the positive Chicory’s will be generous with their affection, gifts, time and love.   But what they often fail to see is that it will always be controlled in some way; as if a partner, child or anyone for that matter doesn’t exhibit their love in similar ways when the chicory needs it returned then there will be all hell to pay!  The chicory will feel slighted, hurt and even unloved as a result.  They may even go so far as to punish their loved ones by withholding acts of love or affection to teach them a lesson or just because they find it so hard to forgive and let go.

I believe that the underlying block for many chicory’s is governed by the heart chakra. As a result the remedy can present in everyday common traits that often stem from the recipient seeking some kind of validation or approval, or perhaps from feelings of inadequacy or fear of losing what they love.  Chicory’s will find it hard to let their tribe, family or loved ones fly and grow as this can be seen as a betrayal in some way or a rejection, as though a Chicory isn’t enough on their own.

Not as domineering as say a Vine, a chicory will be controlling.  To over-care is equally as abusive as to under-care and either behaviour calls for a toxic relationship.  Chicory’s fuss, particularly over children (even grown up ones!) and loved ones, and will want to keep asking people if they are alright when ill or will need to be involved in nursing them back to health whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually!  Chicory’s will want to remain in the lives of loved ones, especially children, and even ex-partners by way of influencing their decisions and shaping their paths.   There are so many examples, very simple and common examples, that demonstrate the presence of an unbalanced Chicory in need of the Bach remedy.   That’s because I believe the root cause is a deep desire to feel loved, and mistakenly Chicory’s don’t often know how to give or receive that equally and without condition.

I do believe that Chicory is a real ‘journey’ remedy and it’s one that I have really come to respect…I could talk about it for hours!  It’s one that presents in many subtle ways yet can also be a real ‘break through’ remedy when taken consciously as it helps us to break free from toxic relationships and conditioned behaviours.  It’s one that may take a BFRP to suggest before you even notice you need it, as it’s hard to see past the ego and the negative aspects of the remedy when you are at self-selection stage.  But like all remedies there really is a scale and Chicory is a remedy that will need to be taken for longer periods by some, and occasional use for others.  Either way it’s a hugely empowering and loving remedy.  Perhaps thinking less about whether you resonate with some of the negative aspects (and I have only highlighted some of the more obvious scenarios here), look at the positives that you can get from taking the remedy.  It invites more love into your life.  More openness in relationships and love without restriction.  It allows us to forgive friends and loved ones where we perhaps haven’t been able to before as they didn’t behave in ways we expected.   It opens up dialogue and promotes forgiveness and acceptance.  It supports abundance and freedom.  And above all else it encourages selfless love, which once given out will be returned to you ten fold.  It allows people to grow and fly, and in turn yourself to do the same as you are no longer so consumed by your love and pain for others.

There is a saying that seems fitting for so many Chicory’s in the negative,

“If you have the opportunity to treat them the same way they treated you, do differently”.

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you