An interview with Jane Ellen conducted and edited by Jann Garitty
Editor's note: The Flower Essence Society is pleased to announce and provide for you, FLOWER ESSENCES—They Are All About Relationship, an e-book written by Jane Ellen, FES Certified Practitioner.
JE: The focus I gave this e-book was primarily on introducing the perspective that receiving flower essences involves entering relationships—relationships with self, with the flower essences being received, with the themes being addressed, and so on. These relationships will naturally invite our presence, our awareness, and our response, and will touch places within us that are ready to be brought into the light of consciousness for transformation.
FES: What types of experiences, thoughts and ideas were foundational for shaping this idea of “relationship” with flower essences?
My first experience, probably my first ‘teaching’ from the flower essences, occurred when I was in 2nd grade. I was walking to school by myself when I decided to take a short cut through someone’s yard, and I came upon a Bleeding Heart plant at the peak of full bloom. I had never seen the plant before, and I remember feeling totally stopped in my tracks, and in awe. I recall gently squeezing one of the flowers, because the blossoms looked puffy and full of air. I thought to myself, “How did Nature figure out how to create a flower shaped like a heart?” I also felt sad when I noticed the little drop hanging down off of each heart-shaped blossom. I so wanted to have a branch of the flowers, but didn’t feel like I should take one. As I walked the rest of the way to school, and all day while I stared out the window, I daydreamed about that plant. I know I was communing with the plant and the plant with me. It so happens, at that time in my young life, my Mom was having a nervous breakdown, and our family was falling apart. So it really was the perfect flower for me. In that moment of meeting the Bleeding Heart plant, we entered relationship with one another, and I was receiving its essence. That was my first living experience of relationship with the essence of a plant, and while I did not know it then, of course, it was the beginning of my relationship with the flower essences and of my vocation as a Certified Practitioner.
I often say to people, ‘If you don’t believe in flower essences and you don’t think that they work, if you’re ever able to witness what happens when a child, or an animal, or a dying person receives them, it will probably change your mind.’ Because they, in my simple way of understanding it, are effortlessly present to this relationship. There’s nothing in the way of the relationship, no resistance, no distraction, and their minds aren’t in the way assessing, analyzing, and trying to decide—‘was it this, or that, or was it a coincidence?’ The essences simply show up, and the receptivity to them is right there. We often hear that children, very small children say, ‘Mom, it’s time for my flowers.’ They simply know.
I can describe an example showing this immediacy of relationship with the essences. A man was having a garage sale; I saw that the garage door was open and there was a dog. The man who was having the sale was not well. I learned that he was going to be moving to Hawai’i to be in a more supportive climate for his body. His dog didn’t look very well either. I asked him about the dog. He said that he had just had a surgery and was recovering, but not doing well. I said, ‘He looks so scared.’ And the man replied, ‘Because all these strangers are coming into our space, and all of our belongings are going out the door. He doesn’t understand what’s happening.’ I went and got Animal Relief Formula and gave it to him, suggesting he administer it to his dog. The man didn’t know about flower essences; he had never heard of them. I didn’t explain anything other than saying ‘You can just mist it in your hand and let him lick it from your palm, or mist it over his body.’ But the man instinctively went to the dog bed and sprayed it on the pillows. Immediately, the dog walked from the street straight over to the dog bed, licked all over the pillow, and laid down on it.
FES: Why do you think relationships in healing are often bypassed for quicker, technical approaches, etc.?
A couple of times, during support sessions with clients over the phone, I could tell that they were texting during the session. If I feel it or hear it, I’ll actually stop and say, ‘I can’t be present to your process if you aren’t.’ I can say, those clients don’t end up being clients for very long. Either they’re bored or they think nothing is happening. But, they’re not coming to the table with themselves, which is sad when it happens. They are not able to give themselves themselves. They don’t know how to stop the busy-ness and create space, time, a season for being, for listening, for walking in nature, for slowing down, for feeling their inner life.
The necessity of discipline and practice for developing a relationship with the inner soul life
Even those who do have more commitment to and awareness of their own inner life cycles, seasons, and processes require a discipline and practice to make time and space for that deeper relationship. They also then need to learn to track the way that flower essences speak to them, how they are touched by them, and how the flowers in their personal blend will set the stage powerfully and perfectly—presenting life experiences that facilitate their process of awakening and empowerment.
A client once told me that despite years of receiving support from a number of very highly skilled professionals in the healing arts, none of them had ever mentioned the ‘inner life’ to her. It can feel uncomfortable to be deeply present to our inner life, yet it is the very key required for our evolution. With all the outward focus, all the ‘doing’ we are encouraged to be a part of, we seem to have forgotten how to yield, how to become an empty vessel ready and willing to wait, to listen, and to receive. Until we open ourselves in this way, sincere and lasting personal transformation is not possible. The only way we can do this is by becoming willing to slow down.
FES: What flower essences would you recommend for those who resist this kind of more engaged process, or have anxiety or other forms of resistance?
JE: Actually, Rock Water would be #1.
When someone is coming for flower essences for the first time, the very first thing I do is an introductory session, an educational session. I explain, ‘This is how I work with the flower essences…’ It gives them a chance to feel if there’s a connection between us and between what I’m presenting. As we enter the session, I say, ‘Use this time to get a sense in your body if what I’m offering is moving you or not— because if it isn’t, we’re not a match.’ I educate them on a slower process, about deepening, about the 4 Stages, and how it will require their regular presence. If they say, ‘Yes, I want to go forward,’ then in the first session, I’m listening to discern and feel if they are ready for a personal blend, or if it would be better to begin with a pre-made formula. When someone is new to flower essences, sometimes starting with a premade blend gives them a very tangible first experience with the flowers. They are able to feel an immediate relief of symptoms.
The gradual and personal transformational process with a personal formula
Their experience with a premade formula opens them to something deeper, and I’m able to say to them, ‘Wonderful! You had that experience, and now you know they are effective.’ I help them understand—and that may mean repeating it often—that when they receive a personalized blend for a longer period of time, it’s a different sort of process. It’s a different intention, a deeper, slower, more gradual, transformational process. Whereas, the pre-made formulas are perfect when we need immediate relief from acute symptoms. One dose of a premade formula may be enough to bring relief. Therefore, the pre-made formulas are oftentimes a really beautiful introduction to the flower essences.
When clients are ready to enter relationship with their first personalized blend, the two flowers that I feel are very key and supportive, are Rock Water and Star Tulip. Rock Water is for softening and receptivity—the yielding qualities. Star Tulip feels like it has some of the same qualities, such as receptivity and softening—softening into listening on the more internal, subtle level. They might receive just those two essences for four full months. In that time, with the regular support sessions, I help them track what’s happening in their dream life, in their body sensations, and with what is coming into their awareness. It’s a time to teach people how to make those deeper connections to the essences they are in relationship with.
FES: Can you please give us an example of how you coach someone to deepen into the relationship with flower essences and their inner life?
JE: A client experienced dreams every single night as soon as she started her blend. She didn’t always remember them, but she said that she woke up everyday thinking, ‘My dream time was so active all night long.’ She said that it stopped abruptly in the 3rd month. All of a sudden, there was no more dreaming. She had also made a trip to Hawai’i at that time and was processing quite a bit.
When she came back home, the dreams started up right away as she entered the 4th month. We talked about why that might have happened. It could possibly be attributed to the fact that she was in a different location away from home, with different energy, and also because she already had enough on her plate with which to work. Consequently, the unconscious didn’t bring anything more forward. When she came back home and the dreams started up again, she said that all of a sudden, they were all very disturbing dreams. They were frightening dreams and she even made sounds in her sleep. Her husband would wake her up or she was afraid that she was going to die.
I asked if she could remember the dreams. She had written down one that she had remembered. I already had some ideas about what might have been happening with the flowers in her blend and that particular dream, but I was grateful that I caught myself and I said, ‘I’m not going to say anything about what I might have seen in the dream. It’s your dream and it’s your flower essence relationship, so if you are interested, you can use this moment to slow down, and look at the descriptions of the flowers in your blend.’
She looked at the imbalances for each of the flowers in her formula. I said, ‘Take your time and see if you can recall what you felt like in the dream, and what the energy around the message of the dream was. See which flowers show up and if any of them are speaking to you through that dream.’ I could feel her go into an entirely different place, she became very quiet. She was reading and she said, ‘I definitely know it’s this one,’ and once she had pointed out one of the flowers, she would then start to go to the next flower. I said, ‘Wait, wait, can you go back to the one you just pointed out and tell me what it is that makes you feel that flower is part of the dream?’
She was able to make correlations to the dream, which was wonderful for her to see: that the dream, even though it was a really frightening dream, was actually the flowers working with her, helping to bring consciousness to the shadow aspect. We talked about how she could then invite herself to go back into the dreams when she went to bed, to welcome the dreams even if they were frightening. Then, when in a dream, even teach herself to stop running from what was frightening; actually turn around, face it, and ask questions.
FES: Can you elaborate more about the concept of “relationship” and deep healing by citing another case example?
JE: A client was working on sex addiction issues and using Baby Blue Eyes, Chicory, Sticky Monkeyflower, and Chestnut Bud. This particular case illustrates the deeper process, as she decided to stay with the blend for longer than four months. This was because after four months, she said, ‘I can tell, I’m just beginning to understand what I’m addressing.’ If you were to look at the Affirm a Flower card layout of the flowers upon which she decided, you would see that the themes she was addressing first began with her father when she was young, and he was emotionally unavailable to her—Baby Blue Eyes. Then, she went into the Chicory state of trying to get the love and attention she wanted and needed. Throughout her childhood development, this became a pattern of Chestnut Bud—that then, in her adult life, ended up taking the shape/form/personality of the Sticky Monkeyflower—attempting to get her needs for love met through sexual connections that were ultimately not fulfilling for her at the love-level she most wanted. While the tender wound she was addressing shifted her relationship challenges with her father, and with men she dated, the most profound shift occurred as she deepened beyond 4 months with her blend. Gradually and with true grace, she realized the masculine relationship she was healing was the one deep within her own being—a profound moment of awakening and healing—and one that proved to be truly life-changing for her.
It was very courageous of her to face this theme so straightforward and honestly, and, to recognize after four full months of truly being very present to her experiences, to say, ‘I’ve only just begun to understand this.’ I am always touched when a fellow human being is willing to look that openly.
That is another beautiful example of the relationship component. The first relationship she addressed was her childhood relationship with her father, then her adult relationship with men, then with herself and her sexuality, then with her understanding of love, then with her own inner masculine, and now with herself as a conscious woman. Ultimately, her relationship to herself was the key.
About Jane Ellen
Jane’s professional relationship with flower essences began in 2003 through her completion of the Practitioner Training program with the Flower Essence Society (FES), and continued through six years of serving clients to becoming a Certified Flower Essence Practitioner in 2009. She was invited by one of the co-founders of FES, Patricia Kaminski, to be a guest presenter at the Advanced Practitioner Training and after years of collaborative relationship with FES, was invited to formulate and name two hospice formulas for the FES line of pre-made formulas. Through five years of community service and pilot studies, the Peace-Full formula and the Compassionate Care Giver formulas were created. Jane’s ongoing flower essence practice is further enhanced by her background in Intuitive Readings, Hakomi Integrative Somatics for trauma recovery, Non-Violent Communication, Mediation, and Polarity Therapy. You may contact Jane through her website.
“How can I move forward if part of me is refusing to let go,” you asked? You can’t, but you already knew that, too, I am certain. I offer this gentle reminder—letting go is a process. You are supporting your process beautifully with your decision to begin mindfulness meditation, to seek the outside support of a Naturopath/Kinesiologist, and to call upon the flower essences.
Bless your Sacred Heart, Jane
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