Posts

Castanea Sativa is more commonly known as Sweet Chestnut, and a mature tree can live up to 700 years!

Often confused with Horse Chestnut in appearance, this tree bears both male and female flowers, with the female flowers changing form after pollination to the edible chestnuts we traditionally roast in the Winter months.  This beautiful, but rather ‘spiky’ looking tree, is the last to flower of the remedy trees and the Sweet Chestnut remedy was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

I picked Sweet Chestnut as our focus this month as so many of us have left behind a tough period of healing.  One which has contained many ‘dark night of the soul’ moments and even left a collective heartbreak as we say goodbye to loved ones, old friendships and patterns that no longer serve us.  And for those who haven’t done the work, I’m afraid this is the state you will find yourselves going into when you play catch up.

Sweet Chestnut would be the remedy that surpasses Gentian and Gorse states, and is one that can leave a real darkness that can feel as though we will never come back from.  I personally believe this remedy encompasses many other remedies such as Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum, Star of Bethlehem and Mustard as well as the aforementioned Gentian and Gorse, as it’s often a point of no return and a very lonely place to be based on passed failures, loss and actions (from our own personal viewpoint).  It is first and foremost a remedy that we utilise on the dark nights of the soul, the times when we send up a flare or send the Morse code (. . . – – – . . .) aka SOS!  It’s the overwhelm and accumulation of many missed remedies and those low moods we just haven’t nipped in the bud through successful remedy selection.  A pain and longing like no other that makes our hearts break, our stomachs knot and our tears fall hard and fast.

A SC state is a lonely one.  It can be the period after a huge amount of ‘inner work’ on a healing journey when the many emotions, traumas, heartbreaks and fears you have suppressed present like a rush of blood to the head, leaving nowhere left to run.  When we feel we have exhausted all avenues, started to question our faiths and can no longer see the wood through the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have lost our way in many ways and are praying to be shown our next move.  Unlike a Gorse state of darkness, we haven’t quite lost our hope in the early stages of Sweet Chestnut.   And like a Cherry Plum state we are unlikely to be so low to the point of suicidal tendencies, as the Sweet Chestnut state is more strong and stable.  There is an inner trust that once we come through this period of despair and anguish then we will be stronger for it.   We know there is always a lesson in our struggles and we trust the period of surrender in many ways, allowing ourselves to become vulnerable through asking our higher power to step in and lead us back to our salvation.  With Sweet Chestnut it isn’t so much about needing others to save us, but needing someone or something to walk alongside us whilst we save ourselves.

In illness a Sweet Chestnut will be justified in their mental state.  No doubt fighting many invisible battles, chronic illness and daily fights against their own bodies which often bring about a ‘breaking point’ or deep fear that they can no longer fight this.  Feeling as though this is the end of the road for them and becoming a subconscious permission to allow all buried emotions to surface with a vengeance.

On the other side of Sweet Chestnut, we utilise this remedy to soothe our hearts, usually when they’ve broken.

This is where I think the loss and grief of a Star of Bethlehem state and the reminiscing and rehashing of a Honeysuckle frame of mind can come in.  It’s that permanent dull ache when you long for your body to be next to the person you love, when every power ballad sounds as if it was singing the song of you and your soulmate and when you wonder if your heart will ever start beating again without the other persons accompanying rhythm.  The anguish is so great, it becomes almost unbearable.  It’s the knife to the heart feeling and the nights you cry silently, or loudly, into your pillow.  It’s the checking your phone for them to text, it’s the seeing their face every time you close your eyes and every time you open them.  It’s a state which is nothing short of torture, especially if unrequited.

So why take Sweet Chestnut?

Well basically to bring the opposite to all of these things into your life!  The above are just some of the common ways in which a Sweet Chestnut state presents, so taking the remedy in these cases will no doubt be a very restorative and transformational experience.  It’s a remedy that has the capability of mending a broken heart, of placing a lighthouse in turbulent emotional waters in order to guide you back home and to be the life-raft when you’re lost at sea.  It’s a bridge, it’s a light, it’s clarity.  It’s a soother of the soul, a repairer of the heart and should never be overlooked or underestimated in the case of bereavement.  I have been utilising Sweet Chestnut as we leave August and come into September, and will be certainly taking it during this 9th month.

It’s a beautiful remedy that removes the darkness and replaces it with light, allowing us to move through our pain with gratitude to those who have broken our hearts as much as those who have mended them.  A truly magical remedy that is deeply purifying and supportive in purging old wounds, emotions and loves from our aching hearts.  It’s the very thing that transmutes negative energy into positive and leaves us held in a place of greater good, whatever the reason.  It’s a real phoenix from the flames moment, when we rise from the embers of our past traumas and belief systems.  Helping us to shed what no longer serves us, and leave behind the weight that tethers us.

Sweet Chestnut is nothing short of a miracle cure for the hardest of times.

When the sky seems full of darkness, this remedy will reveal the stars.

 

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

 

During my Bach training I noticed a common opinion of 5 remedies in particular, and their universal reputation as being ‘the bad guys’.

Like a lot of people I started my Bach love affair with his emergency formula, more commonly known as ‘Rescue Remedy’, but it was a good 10 years later before I discovered this wonder tincture derived from a system of 38 plant based remedies.  Wow, who knew!

I fell in love with the Bach remedies as soon as I took that first individual stock bottle, and I was desperate to know more.  This deep rooted desire led me to complete a Bach centre approved qualification and in short succession, achieving my BFRP status and completing all 3 levels in only 10 months.  During my level 3 training at the Bach Centre, which is the final qualification required to practice as a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner (BFRP), I started to notice how difficult myself and my fellow students found it to approach these 5 in mock consultations.  There was an apparent fear of upsetting or offending the client by suggesting they take one or more of these remedies, and almost a personal insult if it was suggested you need to take it too!

Later after qualifying, I met with a few BFRP’s and self taught flower practitioners in and outside of my area, by way of wishing to witness and connect to the different ways in which people work with and love this natural system of healing.  I remember meeting one therapist for a coffee and I ordered a water which was made by a company called ‘Willow’.  When I excitedly pointed out the synchronicity with Willow being one of the Bach remedies, she said ‘no-one wants to be a Willow!’  and that always stuck with me, as at the time I tended to agree.  But this collective opinion doesn’t help the undeserving stigma attached to these remedies.

I have been utilising Bach flower remedies personally, and now professionally, for some years.  Learning with every new situation and experience, the many layered intricacies and subsequent positive reactions people have when releasing these conditioned ways and emotional traumas.  Together with my Bach qualification as a strong foundation, this has taken me on a real journey of discovery, which never ceases to amaze me.  Through meeting many wonderful clients and various holistic practitioners who use the remedies in their work, I have witnessed these same 5 remedies have a negative ripple in the wider community when my suggestion has been to take them.  When my ego isn’t in check and my own insecurities of ‘impostor syndrome’ raises its ugly head, then even I as a BFRP can still find it hard to suggest to clients that they need one of these 5.  Especially as these remedies in particular might appear more through interactive behaviour, aura or body language in a consultation, rather than actual words spoken by the client, which doesn’t give me an easy route in to suggesting they take it.

So, without any further ado it probably makes sense at this point to share what the famous five are!

They are Beech, Chicory, Heather, Vine and Willow.

 

Now, it’s important to mention that this is my opinion and that it is stated nowhere in any publication or learning tool that these 5 remedies are the bad boys of Bach.  It’s merely a collective observation, together with my own preconceived opinions at the time of learning, which made me realise just how many ways resistance to the Bach system and in turn our own healing can occur.

The reason I think these remedies are so difficult to broach is because they all relate to the ego and have an element of self-centredness, which lets face it, no-one wants to admit is out of balance!  When we tend to be in any one of these states, or have them as a ‘type’ remedy, we like the sound of our own voice in many ways.  Our connections with others become limited due to our overwhelming need to be heard, validated or the most important person in the room.  Our feelings, opinions and emotions take hierarchy over others whilst in the negative aspect of these remedies, and we often can’t see this before taking them.

But what I have learnt through going on my own personal journey with these remedies, and in turn seeing my clients taking these remedies at the appropriate point of presenting; is that the only way to gain the healing you seek is to address every aspect of your wholeness, and that includes the ego and the shadows.  There is no negative connotation to these remedies, its a myth.

Beech‘s in the positive will be strong people who are able to see the beauty in every situation.  They will be tolerant and considerate types, who are able to value the individuality of each person and learn from any differences.

Chicory‘s in the positive will be loving, open hearted, mindful and selfless.  They will be willing to constantly check in with their ego and to take self acceptance for when it’s out of balance, correcting it with compassion and independence.

Heather‘s in the positive will be those who are caring and close to hand.  They will be able to communicate well, striking up conversations across a broad scale and on all levels.  They will be great at ‘reading a room’ and a situation, knowing when it’s appropriate to share and when it’s right to hold back and allow others the floor.

Vine‘s, we all need Vines.  Some of the strongest leaders and advocates will be Vine’s.  In the positive, Vine’s are powerful types who can really lead from the front, whilst being flexible in that approach.  They will understand the need to see plans through, but not to exclude or dominate others in doing so.  A positive Vine is one that softens and climbs whilst encouraging others without agenda.

Willow‘s, contrary to what was said before, everyone want’s to be a Willow!  For a positive Willow will be forgiving, generous, accepting and adaptive.  They will be able to support others and relish in their successes, even when they have their own troubles, and are able to see the lessons in all situations, even the bad ones!

Now you have heard all of that, how can any of those remedies be negative eh? 

To explain the remedies we often need to look at the negative in order to identify why we might need them, and perhaps that’s where we have gone wrong.  We all grow up learning ‘good and bad emotions’, and the 5 aforementioned remedies feed into what is perceived to be the ‘bad’ ones.  But when you go on a healing journey you begin to understand that there is no such thing as good and bad emotions.  To be whole, we must embrace every emotion.  We must learn to balance them and find a point of equilibrium, which puts us no more in the positive than it does the negative.  We find harmony in every characteristic and every unique trait, discovering new ways to bring the best versions of ourselves to the table.

So, next time a BFRP suggests one of these 5, or you see traits of yourself in any of these remedies, then step aside from the ego and think of the positive aspect of each remedy and just what it can bring to your life.  Don’t see this as a character flaw or a slight on your part, for we will all be every single one of those 38 remedies at multiple times on our personal journey.

The best thing you can do for yourself when working with the remedies is to take the ones you don’t want to.  As when taken at the right point in your journey, they can bring the biggest breakthroughs!

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

This week I proudly announced that I was going vegan!

Whilst this is a decision I feel I have been building up to all my life, following 24 years as a vegetarian, I find myself now only 6 days in and rapidly regretting that statement.

I knew it wasn’t, and isn’t, going to be an easy process, especially as I am a cheese-aholic and have recently gained a bit of an addiction to corner shop convenience.  But this decision was almost taken out of my hands by divine guidance, as it’s a way of life that I now know is necessary to best support my physical and spiritual health.

Being an empath, and I don’t just mean an empathetic person, I feel things deeper than ever now, which extends of course to the animal kingdom.  The guilt I have been feeling as I connect without intention to nature, has been nothing short of unbearable.  I have been feeling their cries as if they were my own, which has actually been keeping me awake at night.  So ‘veganism’ is something that I have been taking many steps towards for some time; whilst beating myself up for every day that I haven’t been able to do it.  “I should have known better” I told myself as I took my new Bach mix this evening, containing Pine (for the critical self talk) and Chestnut Bud (for not learning from my mistakes).

Like everyone I have grown up with labels all my life, and I’m not just talking about the obvious ones such as my gender at birth.  Labels like ‘needy’, ‘sensitive’ and ‘difficult’ are just some of the negative tags that I’ve carried and fought against to date.  And no matter what I do to change or evolve, they just never seem to fully dissolve from the opinions of those I love.

By the age of 35, still a baby some kind souls might say, I have 6 labels attached to me that I know of.  To make matters worse, all of these labels come from a minority group, with half of which being recorded strands on the Equality Act.

I read a book by Mel Wells not so long ago called The Goddess Revolution.  In that book I remember being inspired by a section where Mel states (unquoted), that she chooses to say she tries to follow a plant based way of life when asked about her diet.  I could appreciate Mel’s unwillingness to put herself in a box clearly marked ‘vegan’.  As her decision to do so would have instantly placed a restrictive label upon her, and an imaginary bar that she would strive to reach for the rest of her life.  See, when we give ourselves labels, we give others the power to judge us and to criticise our choices.  When you’re at the start of any journey, and a flawed human being like everyone else out there, you just don’t need that level of peer pressure.  As chances are if you’re anything like me, then you are good enough at judging and berating yourself without the help of anyone else.

I have felt an incredible pressure on myself this week, some self administered and some no doubt from the critics I have out there just waiting for me to fail.  I haven’t felt at all liberated by my decision to go Vegan and instead I feel imprisoned and hugely dis-empowered.  If anything, this additional label will be one of the reasons I am likely to relapse and tuck into a chunk of cheese (mmmm, cheese) or a square of Dairy Milk!

I already feel angry with myself for adding yet another daily battle to my already difficult days.  A war that I no longer feel I can fight in private, as my announcement took the opportunity to tackle this huge life change day by day and at my own pace away from me.  I feel as though I have another lifestyle choice that is open to opinion, to scrutiny and a pre-conceived and timed expectation from others.  Oh jeez Ami, what were you thinking girl?!

Last year I had a new tattoo, and whilst sat in the hot-seat I witnessed a nearby conversation with a fellow ink junkie.  I remember hearing them discuss ‘bloody vegetarians’ who go around with these strong opinions whilst wearing leather Dr Martens!  I remember having to bite my lip so as not to say anything, as it just didn’t feel like my counter-argument would go down too well.  But all the time I was thinking ‘how dare you’ pass judgement on people who are trying their best to make positive changes in the welfare of animals.  For these Doc Marten loving veggies could well have bought those shoes second hand, or have every intention of replacing them when they get past a few months of their overwhelming new regime.  Perhaps they haven’t bought the handbook on ‘how to be the perfect vegetarian’, or perhaps they have only purchased volume one of the series.  You just never know what’s behind someone’s story, so should we really be judging others who are trying their best, and lets face it, doing far more than these meat eating tattooed dudes were!

What’s more, a few years ago , after having always been very distinctively ‘vintage’ in my appearance, I started wearing jeans.   Following a break up, one that was quite controlled in the length of my hair and the clothes in which I could wear, I met a friend for coffee wearing something that I guess was quite ‘masculine’ and plain from what she was used to seeing me in.  I will never forget that this ‘friend’ made a comment about how I didn’t look like me and she didn’t like it.  Given that following a break up always equals cutting off all your hair and trying to look the total opposite of what you looked like when you were with said partner, I was crushed.  Especially as I already felt I had lost my identity.  Right there became another label, the ‘vintage label.’  One that I am still trying to liberate myself from today, when I choose an outfit on my more ‘masculine’ days.  Oh, and all whilst being mindful not to look ‘too gay’…so as to be sure I really don’t offend (said with sarcasm!)

And that’s just it.  The moment you give yourself a label you are open to judgement.  You leave yourself wide open to ridicule, and find yourself having to justify everything you do that just doesn’t meet others strong opinions or expectations of who you told them you would be.

I have gone on a real journey with labels recently.  Rebelling against them and trying to find cruel acts of self-sabotage and defiance whilst I act from a place of pain or unworthiness.  My Indigo nature has wanted to revisit and re-brand all of these labels, even the basic ones such as gender and sexuality, and turn them on their head…just to piss everyone off and give them something to talk about if nothing else!  But all I have done is hurt myself as a result, and moved further away from the empowering points of why I shared these expressed characteristics in the first place.

I’m so fed up of being defined by the restraints of my health, who I fancy, what I eat and what gender I class myself as to name but a few.  And that’s not because anything has changed since I’ve given myself these labels, infact quite the opposite, but more so because I no longer want to live in a world of labels just to make other people feel comfortable about how to address me, cook for me or explain who I am to others in social situations.

I am not these labels.  They do not define me.  But they do seem to limit me.

So whilst I begin my new Bach mix complete with Centaury, which no doubt will help me reassert and redefine myself (much to those around me’s disgust); as of today I am removing my labels!

I do not want to call myself anything, unless it feels right to do so for me at the time, and I no longer feel the need to explain myself to anyone anymore.  My actions whilst I grow, find my authentic self and reawaken my truth mean that I am sometimes going to get things ‘wrong’ and I am going to go against all of the textbook meanings I have set for myself.

Some labels are inevitable, and I am ok with that.  In fact I believe that in the fight against labels we often end up giving ourselves more.  So my hope is that by loosening the restraints of my own identities and pigeon-holes then I will actually be able to live more in flow and more authentically.  Being a lot kinder to myself in the process, especially on the days when it’s an achievement just to be alive and to be me!  However she presents, whoever she kisses and whatever she eats!

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

There seems to be an influx of visiting bees in our conservatory lately, and today’s guest looked like nothing short of the Queen!

I have always loved nature, preferring to be outdoors (contrary to what those around me may have to say) from a young age, but it’s really been the last few years that my love of wildlife, animals, fauna and flora has really come alive.

I think nature is sent to not only provide for us, but to lift our moods and enhance our connection and purpose, although sometimes it takes going on a deeply inward journey in order to truly appreciate it.  When you awaken the goddess within, when you hear her cries and answer her calls I think you naturally become more sentient, more empathetic and can see the way that animals and nature (when kept alive) fit into the great wheel of life, as if they were fundamental cogs in the machines workings.

For me personally, I can see that my authentic self looks like a wild woman at the core, but somewhere along the line she got lost and scared.  She became frightened of spiders, scared of mice, too afraid to pick up and talk to a rat or walk through a field of cows, and that makes me sad.  It’s only now that I am seeing such sadness in those learned behaviours as I realise that I have missed out on so much, and am having to remove these layers and get back to the essence of who I am much later in life.  Somewhat behind where I should be as a result. Everything I do to heal and connect to my higher power and inner wounds takes me ever closer to this wild woman; and she is someone I like and respect a lot more than the girl I have allowed myself to be up until now.

But the problem comes with the fact that I put a great deal of pressure on myself.  To love nature I feel I must be able to roll around in it, covered in spiders and loving the process somewhere in a remote campsite…but that’s sadly not the case!

I do love camping, but the point is I am still learning to love spiders!  With these high expectations and now the line of work I find myself in, I feel it’s somehow my duty and reputation at stake to be at one with nature…including knowing how to save every bee who comes to Bristol for some time out!

However, whilst watching this bee take what I hope is a nap in our ambient temperature glass house, I began to panic and take an unhealthy responsibility for nursing this bee back to health.  Even my Mum has faith in me that I can save the day, which only ceases to add to my own self–administered pressure!  I opted for the ‘go to’ reaction of giving it a water and sugar solution, ensuring I took my instructions from a reputable Google search such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trust, but he didn’t seem interested.  My next step is always to sit as close as I feel comfortable to do so and send this striped fella some Reiki…which has been known to help in the past.  Even Bach Rescue Remedy can help when diluted!  I sat there and channelled my inner Wild Steve England (read Steve’s Honeysuckle guest blog here) , wishing I had his skills and confidence to pick said bee up and administer the sugar water…but I realised I was scared.  I was a Rock Rose level of scared, yet I am not sure why, as I wanted to save this bee more than anything.  So why couldn’t I just ‘get over it’ and help him when my desire to do so seemed to outweigh my fear?

I left the conservatory, with the spoon within the bee’s reach and went back upstairs.  I sat there restless and began to cry.  I went back downstairs 5-10 minutes later and started the process all over again.  And this rig-moral of going back and forth to the wilting bee went on for half an hour, maybe more!  Goggle searches such as ‘how do you know if a bee is sleeping or dying’ happened, tweets to Wild Steve for advice and a lot more empathetic tears shed on behalf of the Queen all followed this exhausting process.  Until I sat there and the penny dropped…. I needed to work with Pine…AGAIN!

Pine is one of my ‘type’ remedies and the negative aspects of the remedy underpins the majority of my feelings, outlooks and interactions, and this bee served as a reminder today that I still have intricate layers of Pine to balance.  For I took the blame for this bee and sole responsibility for it’s predicament.  I somehow felt guilty for the fact that he is sleeping, resting or heaven forbid preparing himself to cross the rainbow bridge.  I was sat there beating myself up for not being able to pick him up or remove my fear to get close enough to him to help.  I felt angry with myself and stupid for not instinctively knowing what to do with him and how to save him.  After all I am a ‘healer’ right?  Therefore it’s ‘my job’ to know how to help every living and sentient being and to not fear mother nature herself.  It just didn’t sit right with me and from that one flying visit I had spiralled into a deep self-reproach and fear, all from a situation that unless I morphed into David Attenborough I don’t think I could have done much more!

But the idea for this blog came as I sat staring at the bee for the 40th time.  Berating myself for not being a good enough healer, for not understanding nature enough and only having the useless and emotional connection of an empath, a gutless empath at that!  For what good is feeling the bee and witnessing its struggles if I can’t do anything to help.  My self talk was terrible and I really heard it today.  Why on earth was I feeling as though this was my fault?  Why did I think I ‘should’ know what to do?  What was I so afraid of?  All of these questions (and more) served as gentle reminders of my next layers presenting, Pine and Rock Rose.  Perhaps this yellow and black wonder was merely sent as a sign of what I need to do next, which remedies would help me unlock my potential. Perhaps he was sent to show me how to step bravely into the ‘fear bubble’ as Ant Middleton would say.   Or perhaps he was just tired, and nothing more!

The moral of the story is that I am human.  Sometimes I don’t know what to do in situations for the best.  Sometimes I can have deep connections, but be too fearful to see them through as my own emotions take over.   And that’s what this little guy was showing me today.  My best in any given moment is my best.  It’s not my fault he was there, and whilst he may have boded better in Steve or David’s house, he was given love and attention perhaps more than he would have been somewhere else.  So that needs to be enough.  With Pine and Rock Rose, which I will now prepare in a mixing bottle to see me through this next stage of my journey, I am sure I will be better prepared for the next bee-autiful guest who stops by.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

BEE-cause I thought you would like an update: Alas, good news!  Writing this blog inspired me to go back downstairs and to try again, with more determination and trust that my loving intention could replace my fear.  I made a solution of sugar and water and added Olive Bach remedy (for tiredness) and Rescue Remedy (to give this guy back its senses) and I added it to one of my Bach mixing bottles so I could administer it to the bees mouth, one drop at a time.  Within a few seconds of doing this he came alive before my very eyes and flew off as if by magic.  Thanks for the lesson little bee, god speed!

It’s important not to give bees honey, or to use certain sugars (such as Demerara).  For more information on how to revive tired bees, you can visit ‘save the bees’ website here

 

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

Perhaps the origins of this Bach remedy need no introduction, for it is taken from the infamous Willow tree.

There are around 400 species of this deciduous tree and shrub and they thrive in moist soils, wetlands and cool climates.  The tree will search deeply in its widespread roots for water to feed from, which is unsurprising when we compare that a Willow state will find ways to root deeper in its surroundings to feed from its own problem.

Although the Bach remedy isn’t taken from the species of ‘Weeping Willow’, I find it easier to remember its purpose when we look at it from this point of reference.  For Willows do weep.   Whether physically through crying, or through their self-obsessed behaviours, they have a tendency to see the sadness in life’s lessons and difficulties.  They are self-pitying, self-denying and all consumed, often with a sulky, sullen or miserable disposition.  There’s an air of pessimism about a Willow, though unlike Gorse they often haven’t even tried for a period before losing hope, as they’re more likely to have given up at the first hurdle.  Perhaps as soon as they have been given a diagnosis they have surrendered to the sadness or unfairness of that.  Or perhaps when life just feels too tough they have become all consumed by it and internalised that pain to the point where it’s difficult to escape.  Willows will feel that they have been dealt a tough hand in life, that life is unfair in many ways and they don’t deserve their fate.  They are resigned to their luck, or rather lack of, and often won’t try and make changes to steer their thoughts or paths into a more positive direction as a result.

Willow’s are not only the hosts of a self-administered pity party, but often the only one invited!

Don’t get me wrong, like every Bach remedy, the feelings presenting may well be justified.  Especially in the case of chronic illness, where I believe you have every right to feel sorry for yourself and to not see a way out.  Battling a daily disability of any kind makes life even harder to manoeuvre, and therefore it’s easy to subconsciously slip into a Willow state of mind.  There is a feeling of unfairness, ‘poor me’ or injustice.  But when unbalanced, these feelings grow roots, and they become deep resentment and bitterness, which only feeds into illness and gives it permission to sprout deeper problems and additional metaphorical trees that become harder to chop down!

Living in a Willow state can be based on an unrealistic view of the world around you, almost as if you are working from everyone else’s ‘show reels’ rather than their very unenviable reality.  As listed in Healing Herbs, “Bach inferred that Willow people are concerned by their success in the material world.”  We see ourselves as the victim in a wallowing Willow mindset and it can be a very dark and sad place to be.  Feeling as if everyone else is enjoying life whilst we battle health, demons, addictions or troubles of any kind, magnified if we do not feel that others deserve their good fortune.  Willow is a place of resentment, of bitterness, of darkness and more importantly it’s a place of ego and self-centredness.  Perhaps without meaning to be, a Willow can’t see how their attitude when left unaddressed for too long, can become a bit of an energy hoover to be around or someone who people wish to avoid due to their inability to pull themselves out of it.  It’s not a sympathetic depression, and more of an inability to take personal responsibility, for the Willow is often the one sabotaging their own success, and keeping themselves imprisoned in darkness.

Willows are consumed by their state of mind and can be sulky in nature.  I find its a remedy of self-sabotage and sometimes can come from a fear of success, so we keep ourselves small and consumed by our pain.  Whether that be resentment, bitterness or sadness.  They will be feeding into every negative emotion and nourishing and giving their illness (or potential illness) more and more fuel to take over their lives.  It’s lonely and it’s difficult to admit when we’re in a Willow state, as it’s one of the remedies that often gets given bad press (blog to follow about this!)  But it’s deeply restorative when taken.

When we feel down we tend to think of Gorse, Sweet Chestnut or Gentian (to name but a few) but don’t underestimate what a sad and lonely place willow can be.  When we’ve reached a place of Willow we’re often all consumed by our own negatives, insecurities, demons, health complaints and outlooks.  We are usually at the stage where our self talk is critical and the way we see the world is through a tinge of resentment and unfairness.  We see others getting the opportunities we want and we see life in an unrealistic way, putting ourselves at the centre of that poverty.  It feels like a place of giving up and giving in, as there is a loss of hope that I think can be as strong as the aforementioned remedies.  Because we feel down, sorry for ourselves, fed up and like life has dealt us the crappiest of hands!  What have we done to deserve this fate?  Why are we here nursing our wounds when others seem to breeze through life unaffected and unscathed?  Any question that usually has an undertone of ‘why me’ or ‘poor me’ indicates Willow!  There’s a sense of injustice and it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

When you get to Willow I think it’s because you have often ignored the warning signs to intervene  in the flow, and to balance characteristics and emotions.  You’ve given too much love for example and not nipped it in the bud with Chicory.  You’ve not set clear boundaries or expectations and missed the call of Centaury.  It’s a domino effect and Willow passing moods can often be avoided with continuous, regular and appropriate remedy selection.  Of course with every remedy there are deeper layers, and Willow can sit there for some time, especially when there have been big let downs, heartbreaks, ill health or trauma.

There’s a real anger and frustration with Willow.  But unlike Holly, it feels more of an internalised loathing that comes from the depths of unjust, and I believe it’s often felt before a big energetic breakthrough.  It’s not outwardly angry at others and more of turning this in on oneself and clouding the way we see the rest of the world as a result.

I have picked Willow as the focus this month as I have seen it in a collective, including my own behaviour, perhaps on a much subtler scale than I have mentioned here.  I have seen those who have missed remedies they should have taken and as a result perhaps haven’t set clear boundaries for themselves or their businesses.  Through missing these earlier indications they have slipped into resentment towards those who have unsurprisingly taken advantage of their good natures.  I have seen those who haven’t learnt lessons and therefore become bitter about situations, blaming others and not taking any personal responsibility.  I have seen those consumed by their own limitations in illness and as a result falling into a dark place of injustice, not allowing them to see that those who seemingly do well around them are battling just as much as them…but perhaps aren’t screaming about it quite so much.   I have seen those who speak with venom and bitterness, because they haven’t been able to forgive themselves or others as their past traumas resurface for healing.   It’s a subtle Willow that runs through the air at the moment, and it’s unsurprising whilst we all realign and adjust to the many energetic changes and challenges we’ve had to deal with recently.  Social media, politics and TV are becoming triggers for Willow and whilst we tend to think of Holly for jealousy, there can be a green streak in a Willow, but they will more come from the stance of ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘poor me’.  Linked more to Chicory, Willow is a place of ego and self-centred behaviour as I mentioned before.  It’s all about the Willow state and they struggle to celebrate in others successes or to connect meaningfully with others as a result of being too lost in their own affairs.  It’s a real place of negativity breads negativity and bitterness attracts bitterness.

At this time we are being encouraged to forgive.  To forgive ourselves and to forgive others.  Forgiveness is a fundamental part of healing and Willow is the key.  I link Willow to Holly and Chicory as I feel all three remedies are amazing for the heart chakra by encouraging forgiveness and to invite heartfelt connection to our lives.

Willow really shouldn’t carry the bad press it does.  A lot like the tree, Willow can bend, and it can adapt, finding the positives in its surroundings and own ability.  We all find life too tough to deal with sometimes and we all struggle to move on from past traumas with pure forgiveness in our hearts.  As a result we stay locked inside these triggers and prisons, even when we think we have moved on.  Those battling disabilities need Willow even more, as my darlings life is that much harder for you, and Willow can be such a natural state as a result of your personal fights to survive and be heard.  It’s less about wallowing or weeping with Willow and more about replacing the darkness of that water with light, soaking that up into your roots and very being.

Forgiveness sets you free.  Willow sets you free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

It seems very fitting to welcome Starlight as my August guests, as it was a year ago this month that I first put faces to the name.

I met Katy and Kath AKA Starlight Soul Journeys (previously Starlight Meditation) in Glastonbury this time last year.  Having taken part in several of their ‘magic month’ webinars and online courses, all of which I credit my goddess awakening to, I nervously joined them on one of their soul journeys, having been drawn to my favourite place, Avalon.  This began a healing spiral of deep alchemic proportions and my love affair with Starlight.

For anyone who personally knows me or regularly reads my blogs and online content, you will know that I mention and recommend Starlight a lot, and that’s because I cannot say enough good stuff about them.  Their work is not for the faint hearted, but I credit so much of where I am, both personally and professionally, to these two wonder beings of light.  It is like no healing I have ever experienced, for it’s a shamanic fusion that triggers and gets to the very centre of pain and trauma…it’s certainly not all love and light, and there is nowhere to hide!  I also hadn’t experienced ‘portal sickness’, mass burping to release energy or indeed cried tears from such a depth until I met these two!  In fact, they often affectionately remind me that I said to them, following a Cacao ceremony at the bottom of the Tor, “why on earth would anyone pay for this shit!” whilst crying and laughing at the same time!  Of course, I jest, for I have signed up time and time again for their unique offerings, which says how addictive their work is.  I even completed my channelling course with them, as they are channels and spaceholder’s whom I respect immensely.

I think both Katy and Kath will agree that the three of us have been on a real journey of love, laughter, tears and triggering together, but personally for me they will always be two of the dearest souls residing in my heart, regardless of how long we choose to physically journey with each-other in this lifetime.  And they are guests whom I hope will always be in my life in one way or another, as they have taught me the importance of the shadow as well as the light and to honour my ability to keep it real!

This month I asked Starlight to join me to discuss the rise of the priesti, and oh my gosh I am so excited for this long overdue interview!  The priesti energy is one that is becoming an integral part of my light work, with thanks to the awareness from Starlight.  In fact I feel almost sheepish for understanding and respecting so deeply the diversity in sexuality and gender, but naively on my part not equating that fluidity to divine energy work.  I think it really is time that we individually and collectively bring this third dimension and duality to light-work.  I am really enjoying interpreting this energy through my own guidance and bringing this into the work I do at Honeysuckle Healing, but the experts and chosen light-bearers of this energy are definitely Starlight, and in particular Kath, who has taught me so very much.  Without further ado, I hand the reigns over to this formidable duo and I sincerely hope that this interview will resonate with the resting priesti within us all.

If you see the purple and green heart emoji’s pop up in my work, or indeed if you choose to follow Starlight after this interview, please know that this is the sign of the priesti, which is how Starlight have received guidance to represent this dual divinity.

August also seems a fitting  guest spot as I will be supporting Starlight at their Frankincense ceremony in Bristol this month.  You can find more details at the bottom of this interview.

The warmest of love and gratitude to the amazing Starlight for bringing the priesti to Honeysuckle this month, it’s a true honour to have you both and to talk about this fascinating subject.

Yours in love and light

 

 

 

August Guest Corner

Q&A With Starlight Soul Journeys

 

“The Rise Of The Priesti”

 

What is a priesti?

Both: A priesti is the gender of unity

Katy: A priesti is someone who is twin gender – they don’t really identify with being male or female, they identify with being both genders within one body whether that body is male or female externally 

Kath: The presence of both genders is within most people, however with priesti’s it tends to be at the forefront of their personalities and identities as opposed to somewhere deep inside

What made you discover the priesti energy?

Katy: When I first met Kath, I realised she was like a boy and a girl in one body and over the years we talked openly about the struggles and the joys of that.   Then in Ibiza 2017 we had a dominant female group that was referring to themselves as priestesses in ceremony and Kath said the word did not resonate with who she is.  The name ‘priesti’ came to my heart, along with the most beautiful energy and music accompanying it

Kath: So, I’ve always felt a bit different in terms of not fitting in to gender types and feeling almost angry and upset that they even exist.  When I was in Ibiza 2017 in a particular ceremony I was blasted with visions and information about the third gender – on experiencing that energy I can honestly say it felt like I’d come home (or I had a breakdown haha!)

Where do you think the priesti originates?

Both: Its roots are in Lumaria and beyond (pre-Atlantis).  It was recognised within all of the ancient spiritual cultures of the world and still is in many

Why do you think it’s important that we all connect to priesti energy?

Katy: We are in a time of ascending back into unity consciousness, and part of that ascension in our consciousness is the recognition of the unity gender, that gender is how we are going to bridge into unity consciousness 

Kath: For people that identify as priesti it is important for them to feel acknowledged and honoured in order to energetically fulfil themselves, their truth and their path

 

How can others reading this know if they identify as a priesti?

Katy: It is something you know within yourself, although this can take time to arrive at that knowing.  If you are questioning it; it is probably because being a man or a woman doesn’t feel 100% aligned with who you are

Kath: I wear it on the inside and the out, always have, so for me it was almost obvious.  But it has nothing to do with sexuality or pronouns etc this is more of an energetic experience that falls into alignment when you work with the energy

How can we connect to, or awaken, our inner priesti?

Katy: Just as all people have male/female within them we also have a priesti energy within us (however we identify).  To find the priesti energy within yourself, explore where the male and female energies within you meet, and the place where the meeting is harmonious is the ‘essence’ of your inner priesti (usually around the heart, higher heart and throat areas in the chakric system)

Kath: Sound really helps me do this and Frankincense

What are the ways in which we can support others who strongly identify as Priesti?

Katy: Being inclusive in your language of the presti gender (such as  not assuming ‘ladies’ is the correct way to address an all female group etc), and celebrating all of the wisdom, beauty and incredible healing that the priesti people and energy can bring to the world

Kath: Acknowledgement and acceptance

How does Starlight incorporate this energy or indeed help others to connect to it on your soul journeys?

Katy: Starlight channels the priesti’s regularly now, working with their energy, their music and also give a lot of guidance about who the priesti is.  We also heal the collective priesti wounds on our journeys

Kath: I am part of Starlight and these days, after previously taking more of a backseat role, I tend to work predominantly with the unity energy in ceremony, and so I think that naturally the energy is present within me when I am in circle.  We also use the priesti energy to help heal the masculine and feminine wounds and ‘blame’ that are so prevalent in our work

How important do you think gender or sexuality is in priesti identification?

Both: Gender/sexuality are fairly irrelevant, we have met priesti’s across the spectrum of all genders and sexuality

Can anyone identify as a priesti? 

Both: Just as a woman can identify a masculine energy within herself but she would still identify as being a woman, anyone can find the preisti energy within themselves.  But only a ‘Priesti’ would necessarily identify themselves as being one

 

Starlight will be travelling to Bristol to hold a Goddess Aphrodite Frankincense ceremony entitled ‘The Beauty In You’ this month.  Held at The Bristol Goddess Temple on Wednesday 29th August 2018 , 7pm – 10pm.  Please click here to read more about this amazing event and to purchase  your tickets.  I will be their Melissa at the event, supporting the loving and nurturing space they are providing.  It will be wonderful to welcome you all.  Limited tickets available, advance booking essential.

Starlight soul journeys is run by Katy (the Channel/teacher/right brain) and Kath (manager/travel co-coordinator/and everything else left brained).  Often referred to as the ‘rock and roll of spirituality’, Starlight is fundamentally about self-empowerment, working a lot with Shadow so we can be our authentic self.  Together they run online courses, 1-1 sessions, ceremonies, soul journeys and much more!  Click here to visit their website.  You can also join their online Facebook community here, where you can get free vlogs, meditations, guidance and tools about the Priesti and other Starlight themes like alchemy, connection, divine feminine healing etc.

 

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

 

Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

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  

 

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

 

Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria