“Picked Up the Real
A Case Study by Linda Cohen
(a pseudonym) came to me with a willingness and openness to give Flower
Essence Therapy his full participation. In his mid-thirties, Carl was
on his final three months of unemployment insurance after leaving a
five-year word-processing job he hated. He was good looking, a talented
writer in the process of honing a three-years-in- the-works first play
about his dysfunctional birth family, and clearly at a crossroads.
Carl’s childhood was laced with
family violence and pervasive substance abuse. Both parents were alcoholics,
as were many others in his family, including his father's brother and
his father's father. His birth father was also a hardened heroin addict,
drug pusher, abuser of many other drugs, and hard-core criminal by
the time Carl was five. The oldest child in his family, Carl has two
(2) create a relevant affirmation for Carl to employ throughout the coming month; and
(3) provide "soul work" for him to do, which included daily journaling, establishing long- and short-term goals, and using visual images to represent his healing and progress, created from whatever sources he chose.
Carl proved an excellent client in that he attended
all sessions, arrived on time, brought Xeroxed copies of all his creative
soul work, made a serious effort to complete his outlined goals, used
the flower essences with great consistency, enjoyed the process, and
made steady, quantifiable progress each month toward sobriety and actualization
of his goals in all areas.
Carl came to me feeling that he was the
greatest obstacle to his own progress. He needed to find a job and
create a healthy lifestyle. While he maintained some good habits in
the morning (yoga, sometimes running, sometimes swimming), he often
procrastinated later in the day, spending most afternoons high on marijuana
and often drinking heavily in the evenings. He also complained of low
energy, inertia, and tendencies to isolate. He did have spurts of sobriety
and felt very positive about his progress on the play he'd nearly finished.
I have the energy and confidence
Carl arrived with all assignments finished and proud
and happy with his work. He reported much more consistent upbeat energy
and progress with both his play and his job search. It was during this
second session that we spoke a good deal about his family history,
abuse, shame, low self-esteem, and primarily poor relationships with
women, relationships that were often fueled by excess drama, out-of-control
emotions, and toxic substance abuse. Carl also revealed, in the positive,
that he felt he had a "destiny, a calling" with his writing:
to become an important voice in his field.
The formula for the month was again grounded in Larch for
stabilizing and internalizing confidence. Added to the formula were Agrimony to
help Carl unpeel his mask of mental torture and release toxic emotions
to create a more genuinely cheerful state of mind, and Baby
Blue Eyes to assist with healing issues of poor and absent
I'm sober and I'm healthy!
Carl arrived with gusto! He had made excellent progress
with his job search since our last session, and had completed his play.
He reported eliminating all prescription drugs, nearly eliminating
alcohol, and using marijuana only occasionally. This was significant
progress toward the sobriety he felt was critical to his success. He
reported that whenever he used the essences, they gave him "a
great big smile."
The formula for the month was again anchored in Larch,
and included Chestnut Bud for internalizing life's
lessons, Morning Glory to continue establishing new
and healthy habits and patterns, Wild Oat for continued
commitment to his writing vocation and to open further options and
opportunities for jobs, and Scleranthus to address
his still-occurring ups and downs and for balance and an even temperament.
Being sober opens the right doors for me!
Carl arrived with the statement, "I'm doing
good." Significantly more relaxed and confident, Carl had made
great progress with his main goals of (1) finishing his play; (2) maintaining
sobriety, for the most part; (3) creating a healthy lifestyle; and
(4) finding a job. He reported using almost no liquor at all during
the month, and smoking "a little pot" on approximately half
the days since we last met. He told me he had “begun the second
half of his life” -- in other words, that within him there had
occurred a wisdom born from experience, and that he had achieved the
ability to commit to his higher vocational calling, which now served
to instill great confidence and provide an emotional stability he lacked.
The essences had served him well since our last session.
The affirmation for the month was:
Sobriety and clear choices make it happen!
This session was mainly an acknowledgment and celebration of the fine work Carl had completed. He reported that with the exception of occasional marijuana smoking, he was and had been sober for the past two and a half months, and beamed with joy and pride while describing his energy as being "on fire."
Carl had done deep, revealing, transformative soul-level work. At this session he spoke of "remaining balanced and content, moving forward and helping others." He also journaled, "I felt emotionally and mentally very strong this month."
Today Carl is clear and focused with regard to his life decisions, especially (1) the certainty of writing as his life's work, (2) doing what it takes to financially ensure that writing remains his career reality, and (3) recognizing that sobriety is the key to his ability to translate his ideas and dreams to reality.
Blackberry helped to give him the necessary energy to manifest a clear life plan for the time being as he continues to write and map his future. He maintains his yoga practice and daily meditation.
Carl is a complex and complicated man. Today he is able to use that complexity and insight to create high art and propel himself forward toward his next writing project. He sees this translation of pain into art as his talent, gift, and opportunity to heal himself and others. He has faced his pain head-on and transmuted it into creative energy, and he is conscious of doing so.
"Pain is legitimate," he wrote in this last
month. Along with, "the feelings, the anger, the determined need
Linda Cohen is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Counselor, flower essence therapist, and writer of poetry and nonfiction. Born in New York City, Linda graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. from New York University. She received her Master's Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Queen Mary College, University of London, in 1971. In 1991, she graduated from The Gary Null Health and Nutrition Program given through The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and is recommended as a health counselor by Gary Null in his book Healing Your Body Naturally. After a 15-year affiliation, Linda recently received her certification as a flower essence therapist through The Flower Essence Society. In 1996-1997 she served as a staff writer and columnist for Movement Magazine:The Guide To South Florida's Night Life. She has counseled privately since 1991 at chiropractic offices, health clubs, and spas in New York City and Miami Beach. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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