Details of the ongoing essence selections for

The Ice Woman Melting:
Overcoming Sexual Abuse and Life Traumas

A Certification Case Study by Zöe McCaffrey
illustrating the artistic process in overcoming pain and trauma

 

“I am ready for my heart to open. I am willing to feel the full range of my emotions.”
Olive, Elm, Self-Heal, Borage, Yerba Santa, Explorer’s Gentian

With each breath, fill my heart space with light.
Pink Monkeyflower, Yerba Santa, Borage, Pink Yarrow, Olive, Larch


The Ice Woman Melting
Hibiscus, Baby Blue Eyes, Pomegranate, Centaury, Poison Oak, Pink Monkeyflower


Inspiring reflection into sacred femininity, sexuality, motherhood and partnership
Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Cerato

Connecting with the Sacred Feminine
Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Pink Monkeyflower, Walnut


Tuning in to intuition, developing authenticity and cultivating a sense of trust

Star of Bethlehem and Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Pink Monkeyflower, Walnut

 

Illustrating the soul process: artwork by S


Back to the first page of the case study

 

“I am ready for my heart to open. I am willing to feel the full range of my emotions.”

S began our first session by recounting a dream: she was working with me and flower essence therapy on issues surrounding her chronic procrastination. She felt that this was an indication that our work together was perfectly timed, and expressed her excitement and willingness to engage in the process.

She then shared detailed personal information concerning her marriage, followed by an in-depth description of her complex family-of-origin dynamic. Several issues and obstacles were voiced in this initial session. Her primary concerns include significant family trauma centering around the suicide of her older brother J four years ago, the diagnosis and on-going challenges of relating to another brother, M, with paranoid schizophrenia, as well as her tendency to take on the caretaker role in her family (most recently, nursing father with broken hip back to health).

She shared that her heart felt “closed,” and described it as a “wrinkled, little prune of a heart.” She also described a “fatalistic” outlook on life and described herself as defensive cynical. “I am ready for my heart to open,” she shared.

S is experiencing communication issues with her husband of four years and acknowledges that their relationship has been focused on triaging family troubles on both sides, rather than investing time and energy in their relationship. She described their marriage as “always on the go.”

She is currently enrolled in a Masters in Art Therapy program and is experiencing a deep degree of fatigue as well as a sense of overwhelm in regards to her collegiate responsibilities.

S is aware that she creates obstacles for herself as a form of protection and avoidance of her true feelings. She feels cynical and self-critical. S used the following phrases during our first session: “I feel worn,” “I wake up angry,” “That will never happen,” “It hurts to think about failing.”

S will begin journaling weekly.

The formula: Olive, Elm, Self-Heal, Borage, Yerba Santa, Explorer’s Gentian.

Olive and Elm have been selected to stabilize and rejuvenate S’s overall wellbeing. Self Heal has been selected to initiate S’s intuitive healing ability, as well as to amplify the other essences. Borage and Yerba Santa have been selected to purge the heart of stagnant emotion as well as to invite emotional exploration and authentic expression. Explorer’s Gentian has been selected to instill strength for meeting her life purpose, as well as for transforming crisis and loss into new opportunities.

Affirmation: “I am ready for my heart to open. I am willing to feel the full range of my emotions.”

With each breath, fill my heart space with light.

S’s father had mild heart attack, and she traveled to Michigan to care for him. S’s brother M stopped taking meds and S decided against taking him into her home to care for him. The new year passed and S was able to rest from her school responsibilities.

The first formula was intended to awaken S’s relationship to her heart and to deepen her awareness of the current state of this vital organ. Borage and Yerba Santa were selected to purge the heart of old emotions and to invite inner exploration and expression. There is much evidence that this is occurring. One of the first dreams that S shared with me was of taking a serrated knife to the skin above her left breast and slicing it open, down to the heart. The interesting part of the dream is her ambivalence to the injury—her thought that she could tend to the situation later. Upon reflection, S writes in her journal: “This certainly feels like a metaphor for how I have dealt with my wounds in the past. I can’t just hide pain or deny that it is there if I ever want to heal or help others to heal.”

S is experiencing a lot of old pain coming up. She is not stuffing it away or hiding from it—as has been her pattern in the past—instead she is letting it be there. She is afraid of sliding into a deep depression like what she experienced during young adulthood. She is becoming aware of how hard it is to slow down and be with her emotions. “I have a hard time when the dust settles and I am not distracted by obligations. Can I just sit with this and not avoid it?”

The effects of Borage are noted here. S shared that, “I feel drawn to do more heart-centering work… I woke up last night with an intense feeling in my chest. It was a kind of burning—not in a bad way. The kind of feeling you get when you feel inspired or passionate about something or someone. It made me feel alive. So strange to be woken up by it, but wonderful!”
 
The effects of Yerba Santa are observed here as well. S reflected that, “I woke up last night with a strong sensation in my chest. I want to say an ache but that implies that it hurt or that I was sad. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling—like light, like energy. Interestingly, something has shifted with my husband. We just seem more attuned to one another. Closeness and disconnection can be part of the ebb and flow of any relationship but this feels significant. I realize that I’ve been placing conditions of my own emotional life onto him. ‘If he were like this then I could feel like that…’ How is that authentic? How does this allow for any movement within the relationship?”

Towards the end of this formula cycle she has had some success with sitting with the uncomfortable emotions and not sinking too deep or shying away. “I am feeling much more grounded this week. I’m not as lost in murky feelings and the sense that I am stuck. I feel like it’s important to let these emotions come out and say what they need to say. Today I was able to sit with these feelings and realize that they would pass.” She shared that “Now I’m with myself again.” Her heart feels “More supple. It is a deep purple color, and has a little more lightness radiating out from inside.”

Phone check-in, January: S and I spoke on the phone just after New Years Eve. During this conversation, S indicated significant shifts in her awareness of her heart chakra. She is recognizing a deep-seated tendency to shove her emotions down inside as a coping mechanism. She is seeing that it is all right to feel her emotions while holding the intention of letting them go. She is exploring how to set healthy boundaries and is realizing that she can say “No” to both small and large requests (for example, not inviting her brother M to live with them). She feels that her instincts are “waking up,” and that she is starting to “focus more on what I want rather than what I have to accept.”

A deeper level of authentic sharing occurred during this session. S confided that she had been a victim of sexual abuse when she was fourteen years old, first molested twice and then raped by the same perpetrator.  She hid these “major sexual violations” from her family until she was 24, when a family friend betrayed her trust and told her parents. By then, S had sunk into a very deep and dark depression that no one in the family could comprehend. “For so long I had to put on a face for the world,” she commented. “My true emotions were inappropriate to share with others.” She used the words “phony” and “splitting” to describe this. She continues to feel disconnected from her strong inner voice, her intuition and what she can trust in the world. “How can I have faith in life and in myself when the worst things happen?” She feels the grief and anger from this violation deep in her womb and is confused about her strong desire to conceive a child.

We spoke at length about trust in this session, of how her sense of trust has been severed. “I am having difficulty in trusting life, in trusting my path. This feeling of trust is so connected to the idea of following my heart.” She reflected on her brother J’s suicide, four years ago: “I wish I had a sense that things in life were meant to be. The sense of a clear path and faith in my life seemed to end when J died. When the most feared situation (happens), when your fears are confirmed, it changes everything. How can I transform this to not feel scared that the worst can happen at any time? I feel like the answer is really tuning into my heart and listening deeply without fear of what I will hear.”

In addition, S reflected that “for so long my voice got stuck in my throat.” At the root of this block in her creativity center is a fear of failure and the harsh judgment that might arise within herself and from other people. We revisited together one of her original goals of unblocking her personal and professional creativity.

S is beginning to experience clarity around the nature of her relationship to her heart. The central goal for the next therapeutic session will be to continue cleansing, reconnecting with, and reclaiming her heart-space.

New formula: Pink Monkeyflower, Yerba Santa, Borage, Pink Yarrow, Olive, Larch

Morning meditation: Place your hands over your heart. Feel the beating of your heart and engage in conscious breathing. With each breath, fill your heart space with light.

Essences retained: Olive is indicated to continue supporting her deep fatigue through connecting with her “inner source of energy (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” Borage will continue to invite buoyant courage and confidence as S continues to process difficult memories while living a full and challenging daily life. Borage is also needed to facilitate S’s intention of reclaiming and reconnecting with her heart-space. S reported that her lungs are feeling constricted, and that her breath is stuck in her chest. She shared that most of the time she forgets to breathe all together. Yerba Santa essence will support the free-flow of emotion, awaken her innate ability to harmonize breath with feeling, as well as her capacity to express a full range of human emotion, especially pain and sadness.
           
Essences introduced: Pink Monkeyflower is indicated to address the sexual abuse S experienced as a young woman. This essence is indicated for “masking one’s feelings as a form of protection,” as well as to “support the heart in remaining open during therapeutic work (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” Pink Yarrow will support S in establishing appropriate emotional boundaries. S wrote in her journal, “I need to differentiate where my feelings and my husband’s feelings begin and end—what do I own and what belongs with him? I don’t want my needs to fall to the wayside. I need to fight for myself in this relationship.” Larch will instill self-confidence, creative expression and spontaneity. Her pattern of “playing it safe” reflects a deep fear of failure. Larch may support her in answering the question posed in her journaling: “What prevents me from dreaming big?” This essence will also help to “free creative potential, giving the individual renewed confidence and expressiveness…impelling the soul from a self-limiting to a self-transcending mode of behavior (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).”

The flower essence formula:Larch, Pink Yarrow, Pink Monkeyflower, Borage, Olive, Yerba Santa. This formula is designed to invite a deeper exploration of S’s past as well as facilitate an evaluation of what is and isn’t serving her highest good in her present life. Olive acts as the foundation, offering new energy to a tired system. Yerba Santa and Pink Monkeyflower will invite the heart to continue to open and express itself authentically. Larch and Borage inspire confidence and courage while engaging in deeper self-reflection, while Pink Yarrow will support a re-evaluation of how S relates to those closest to her.

The Ice Woman Melting

During this time period S and her husband decided to move to California. At the close of her spring semester at college, she began her Counseling Internship, and there have been several health issues among her family members.

S is feeling more balanced over-all. “This past month I have felt very resilient, even with numerous challenges with my family. I have had some major transitions happening in my life over the past month but I feel like I have been able to manage my stress really well. I have difficult or conflicting emotions but I am able to be with them and not disassociate and shut down when faced with these challenges. I have been able to maintain balance.” Since using Olive she is generally feeling more positive and resilient and her energy level is a little more even. She is still experiencing deep adrenal fatigue.

Borage was used during this time period to invite “buoyancy in the soul which helps it to rise above, rather than sink into the weight of discouragement or depression (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” S is coming to terms with the health of her father who was recently told by his doctor that he could “fall asleep and not wake up.” In the past, such information would cause her to despair and disassociate from her feelings. Instead, she has been able to stay grounded and allow her emotions to flow through her, rather than getting stuck.

The following journal excerpts illustrate her burgeoning emotional vitality:

“All weekend I’ve been restless… An emotion seems to come up out of nowhere and stirs up my inner world. It feels like energy I want to purge. How have I dealt with this energy in the past? Usually through some avoidance technique… . It’s good to realize that those feelings can exist. I don’t need to take orders from them or listen to them at all. Although maybe the problem is that I haven’t been listening.”

“Forgiveness has been coming up for me a lot lately—how important it is and how difficult. It is such a burden to bear when you can’t seem to forgive, when you hold onto anger and resentment. Forgiveness also means opening your heart and not always knowing what will come from letting go. It is truly about being able to forgive yourself and that is the most difficult thing for me to do.”

Since using Borage, Pink Monkeyflower, and Yerba Santa S is developing a deeper awareness of her heart and expanding her capacity for emotional openness and honesty. She shared the image of an “Ice Woman” who is unfeeling, cold and removed from her own inner warmth. This woman is beginning to thaw outshe is learning how to warm herself from within. “I am gaining a deeper awareness of many of the themes I have been working with- especially the healing of old wounds.”

Pink Monkeyflower has been effective in inviting “courage to take emotional risks with others (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” S has been able to express deep heart-centered sorrow to her husband about her father’s heart condition. While she felt vulnerable saying, “I am hurting,” she did not shut down, and instead shared authentically. Since bringing new emotional honesty to the dialogue, S is feeling a greater sense of ease in their communication. Together they have gained a greater clarity about the direction their lives are taking. “My marriage has felt more of a sense of togetherness. My husband and I have gained a sense of clarity in our relationship and life paths.” They have decided to move to California, where they both have connections through a non-profit that they own. While the move to Arizona was to assist S in her schooling, this move is for both of them. This decision “flowed” and they are feeling a sense of camaraderie.

Pink Monkeyflower has also invited the first steps of healing from her early childhood abuse by bringing awareness to her pelvic region. This area of her body has been tightly locked in a constant state of defense, protecting her from further violation. One evening, while working with a castor oil pack in this area, she experienced a golden energy circulating through her reproductive organs. She felt a sense of control and safety during this experience that was new and healing for her. This was quite surprising to S and she admitted she wasn’t quite ready for it. While she has backed off with the direct applications of castor oil packs since, she recognizes that with conscious preparation and intention she would like to deepen her awareness of this area of her body.

Since using Pink Monkeyflower and Larch, S is beginning to peel away the layers of cynicism that have protected her so well over the years. “I’ve hated myself so much; I’ve felt such a sense of self-loathing.” While she still describes herself as a “pretty harsh critic,” she no longer considers herself insecure. Pink Yarrow is supporting S to cultivate “loving awareness of others from a self-contained consciousness (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” She is being more authentic about her own needs, and is beginning to prioritize her own self-care. In her journal she wrote: “I am reflecting on ways in which I have not been supporting myself and my health over the past couple of weeks.” She also reflected that, “It’s O.K. to be a helper. But I am definitely feeling aware of how I need to care for myself. I am also becoming aware of my tendency to not do what is best for me. I am in the process of figuring out what my specific needs are and I have a deeper sense of centering within myself.”

During this period of time, S had the following dream:

“I was on a beach in San Francisco. There was a kind of building built in to the cliff side. The waves began to crash in. I held on tightly to the rocks and figured out how I could run to the other shelter between the waves coming in. I knew I could get through it but these waves were like nothing I’d ever seen or experienced before. They were huge crashing, epic waves.”
           
S reflected on this dream: “I suppose this dream is an appropriate metaphor for my life right now. It’s not that I feel like I can’t make it through the waves, but they are big challenges that I am navigating. I’ll get through, I’m just not figuring out the best route right now.”

S’s experience with the castor oil pack inspired a conversation about her innate sense of femininity. S shared that she has equated womanhood with weakness since she was a little girl growing up with three older brothers, siblings with whom she had to fight to “hold her own.” Cultivating a connection with her inner femininity was never valued or modeled by the female members of her family. As an adult S began to dance and explore bodywork, and began connecting with the divine feminine within, as well as a sense of appreciation for her body. S requested support in exploring and healing her Feminine Consciousness, specifically around the themes of vulnerability, sexual trauma and her fear that she won’t become pregnant. She is afraid of being denied this quintessential female experience. We spoke at length about the medicalization of birth, of American cultural views on age and conception. I recommended the writings of Appalachian midwife Ina May Gaskin and encouraged her to separate herself from mainstream conception and pregnancy beliefs.

Linked to this fear around conception is confusion about how to balance her professional goals with motherhood. She is working to deconstruct the belief that putting her career on hold is irresponsible.

S would like to explore the following topics more deeply: personal boundaries, her cynical outlook on life, and her habitual patterns of communication.

Underlying these new issues and goals is S’s identification as “The Ice Woman,” one who cannot feel the pulse and warmth of her own heartbeat. As her heart becomes more vibrant, with fresh blood and insight flushing out the old and shriveled cavities therein, perhaps a more accurate image of S is of “The Ice Woman Melting.”

An Art Assignment was given during this session.

New formula: Hibiscus, Baby Blue Eyes, Pomegranate, Centaury, Poison Oak, Pink Monkeyflower

Pink Monkeyflower will be retained as the central “heart remedy” intended to continue the softening and revitalization of this organ as well as support S in “becoming more vulnerable, more in touch with real feelings of the heart (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” 

Centaury is indicated to support S in supporting her loved ones from inner strength without compromising her own needs. This essence will assist her in saying “No” when appropriate, as well as reflecting on her role as “Pleaser” in her family of origin. Baby Blue Eyes and Poison Oak will be introduced to address the roots of her cynical outlook on life: fear and distrust. Baby Blue Eyes encourages “feeling at ease with oneself; trusting in the goodness of the world, thus able to let down one’s defensive guard.” This essence addresses the intellectual cynicism that is often used as a protective shell. “Baby Blue Eyes helps to restore the soul’s original innocence and childlike trust.” Poison Oak addresses these fear patterns directly: The individual fears that “if they are too open or too intimate with others, their personal defenses will be violated…. At the deepest level, such persons are afraid of the inner feminine or of being engulfed by feminine values.” Pomegranate will promote “conscious alignment with the feminine creative Self, so that a woman can see more clearly her right destiny and choices.” This essence will address the confusion S feels around pursuing her career and becoming a mother. Hibiscus is indicated to support S in cultivating a warm connection to her sexuality, as well as to aid her in healing from her sexually trauma. This essence is also chosen to address “unconsciously absorbed media images and other stereotypes of dehumanized sexuality.” Hibiscus will play a key role in the theme of the “Ice Woman Melting” by creating “flowing warmth throughout the body and soul (all direct quotes, Kaminski and Katz, 2004).”

This formula reflects a deepening in S’s inner work. At this time she has effectively allowed her heart to open and has begun to experience fresh life forces pumping through her body. She has made strides in acknowledging the physical and psychological residue from the past that are stored within her body, as well as listening to the stirrings of her inner world. This formula will support her journey down the several potent paths leading deeper into her Self.

Affirmation: “I consciously align with my feminine creative self.”

Inspiring reflection into sacred femininity, sexuality, motherhood and partnership

During this time period, S assisted her husband in moving to California and setting up their new home. She traveled back and forth for about a month before the move was complete, then returned to Arizona to finish her semester. During this time, she rented a room in a local motel.

S has a new level of vitality these days. She has reconnected with her inner artist, painting a few times a week and musing about creative ideas. She finds herself dreaming about the future and fantasizing about things that bring her joy. Creativity is flowing and her heart is feeling good. “I am really feeling the need to bring back some qualities of my more youthful self. I have been day-dreaming a lot about travel and exploration over the past month.”

Having supported her husband in their move from Arizona to California, S has been living on her own in a local hotel while she completes her semester. This time alone has brought fresh air and spaciousness into her life. She is recognizing her own needs and is taking the time to attend to them. Pink Yarrow and Centaury, taken in a previous formula, have been especially instrumental to this shift.

The following journal entries illustrate what this time alone has given her:
           
“I notice that when I have space, I start to dream again. If money weren’t an issue I’d go spend three months in Spain studying Flamenco dance. It’s such an extravagant dream…. Isn’t that what we’re allowed to do in dreams though?”

“I feel the need to make some commitments to myself: return to my yoga practice; return to my art practice; read for my own pleasure.”

“I feel like I’ve really been able to tap back into creative expression.”

“This time alone is giving me a chance to return to myself. There are so many pieces of who I was that I hated but there were those essential parts that I loved and still do. So I am rediscovering that creative, passionate, spontaneous person and integrating her with the parts of my character that have developed more recently- the responsible, practical, healthy person that considers the future and reflects more consciously. I feel so much more connected to the essential parts of myself. And I like them!”

Before beginning this work she hadn’t considered her heart as real and alive. It was, instead, something outside of her body, something “other.” She felt “inhibited” when it came to addressing themes of the heart. After working with Borage (taken in a previous formula) and Pink Monkeyflower she reports to be experiencing an enlivening and “reintegration” of this vital organ into her psyche. “I am ready to focus on finding my joy and be carefree once in awhile.”

Pink Monkeyflower and Poison Oak have been effective in helping S to bring emotional openness and honesty to her friendships. While before it didn’t feel appropriate or safe to share the heavy feelings she was carrying, she is stepping outside of her comfort zone and being more authentic with others. “Social situations are starting to feed me, rather than putting me at risk… I’ve been more accessible as a friend…. My capacity for openness has increased… I can receive.”

With her husband, “communication patterns are hard to shift.” She is becoming more aware of her contribution to the conflict in their relationship and is looking inward for the resources to shift them. “When I go back this weekend I want to have fun with my husband. We’ve gotten into some patterns that I just have no use for anymore!” Pink Yarrow (taken in a previous formula) and Pink Monkeyflower will continue to support her in this.

Baby Blue Eyes has supported S in awakening to a deep-seated pattern in her family she refers to as a “code of silence.” Her mom modeled how to drop everything for her family, at all costs to her own wellbeing. S considers her a martyr. S is clear that this role is not one she is interested in maintaining. “Who are you saving when you keep secrets?” she wondered. “Secrets never serve.” She is eager to continue this exploration.

When asked about her relationship to her sexuality, she revisited her fear about not being capable of conception. This is an indication that she is still in the process of reconnecting with her soul warmth and bodily passion. Hibiscus and Pomegranate will continue to support her in this way.

S also shared that her procrastination tendencies have shifted, despite the fact that the flowers selected did not directly address this.“ I have been so on top of my schoolwork lately. I am really shifting some patterns of avoiding work and it is so freeing. It is interesting that I mentioned wanting a shift like this (at the onset of this flower essence work) but we ended up going about it in a totally different way than I expected.” This illustrates a point made in the Flower Essence Repertory concerning Combining Flower Essences: “It is best to focus on key issues, keeping in mind that the flowers work as catalysts which stimulate a whole process of change; when major issues shift, other minor or accompanying problems may also be transformed (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).”

Footnote: S moved to California in mid-May and sent this feedback about the formula above via email:

“I am maintaining a yoga practice and still feel my creativity moving, which is incredible. I have had some pretty significant shifts since taking the new formula. They are really challenging. I am really asking myself where I want to be in my life and my marriage. Even though it's incredibly painful in many ways, it seems crucial that I address these now. Creating life doesn't always come in the way that we expect (for ourselves or others) and that is what I feel like I'm in the process of discovering right now. Through this I am just trying to receive it all with an open heart and mind and to not shut down as that has been part of my programming and response/defense in the past.”

This narrative is a clear indication that S’s definition of “creation” is expanding beyond the literal conception of a child, to include all the possible ways of expressing her creative potential. Due to Larch essence effectively “freeing up creative potential by giving the individual renewed confidence and expressiveness (Kaminski and Katz, 2004),” and Pomegranate freeing her “feminine creative forces (Kaminski and Katz, 2004), S’s creativity centers are waking up and becoming revitalized.

S hopes very deeply to conceive a child soon, however she is terrified about the possibility. S began to share in more depth about her marital relationship. She hasn’t been able to say, “I’m all in” with her husband as a parenting partner. Her husband feels that this is a reflection of her wavering commitment to him, that she has “one foot out the door.” When I asked if this was true, she admitted that for her the relationship has conditions that he is not meeting. She also recognized that the sexual trauma that she experienced as a young woman has given her a low opinion of men in general. “My femininity was taken away at a young age,” she commented.

In light of the article, “Leading Flower Essences for Conception and Pregnancy,” Patricia Kaminski (Calix, Volume 1, page 127), I have selected the following essences to support S in her intention to explore the themes of sacred femininity, sexuality, motherhood and partnership.

New flower formula: Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Cerato

Essences introduced:White Trumpet (Easter) Lily is indicated for “cleansing of sexual organs, especially when conception is blocked due to prior sexual trauma or behavior.” This essence will help “build a bridge from sexuality to conception.” Cerato will help S develop trust in her inner knowing in regards to if and when it will be appropriate to have a child in her current relationship, as well as in regards to making the right health-care and personal care choices when the time comes. As “the single-most important essence for all stages of pregnancy, including conception, delivery and motherhood,” Mariposa Lily will impart confidence about S’s abilityphysically and emotionallyto be a mother. Mariposa Lily will also support S in deepening her understanding of her own mother and their relationship, as well as inviting forgiveness and healing around this dynamic. This essence will also support S in addressing the sense of emotional deprivation that resulted from family trauma, divorce, and physical abuse in her early years (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127).

Essences retained: Pomegranate will be retained to “help direct creative forces during conception and pregnancy, especially when there are conflicts about motherhood, career, or other identities (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127).” This will also support S in making conscious choices about life-destiny issues and mothering.

This formula is designed to inspire reflection into sacred femininity, sexuality, motherhood and partnership.

Connecting with the Sacred Feminine

During this period S ended her therapy practicum at the college in Arizona and completed her move to California. She has begun a new practicum at a cancer support organization near her home. S and her husband have begun working with a counselor to continue to lay groundwork around becoming parents, and how this will change their ability to fulfill personal needs and goals. Several events occurred in her family of origin including her grandmother passing away, her brother M, a schizophrenic, self-stopping his medication, and a sense of chaos rippling through the family as roles and responsibilities shift to care for those in need. She is now living thirty minutes away from this family grouping.

S and I sat together in Arizona, where she had returned to attend a Summer Art Therapy Institute. There are several new themes arising for S since moving to California in May. She feels that she is at a crossroads between following and fulfilling her personal dreams and desires and embarking on the path towards motherhood. “Why do I have to choose between them?” she asked.

The initial excitement about moving and a sense of unlimited potential of the future (“What does life have in store for me?”) is fading as day-to-day life resumes and a sense of disappointment descends. S is asking herself, “What do I really want for my life?” S is deconstructing her definitions of Wife, Mother, and Professional. She is recognizing her need to operate independent of her marriageto travel and pursue inspiring professional opportunities. She is questioning the belief that she must sacrifice these dreams in order to fulfill her worldly commitments. The nature of this inner dialogue is a reflection of Pomegranate essence and the “promotion of conscious alignment with the feminine creative self…with her right destiny and choices (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” Mariposa Lily is also supporting this exploration into the role of the motherboth her own and the mother she hopes to become. S acknowledges that she was raised to believe that it wasn’t possible to be both mother and professional. “I’m not going to sacrifice anymore,” she commented. “I am not my Mom. I am not my husband’s mom.”

While moving to California has disrupted her life in the usual ways, she has maintained her daily yoga practice, an essential medium for her creativity. She has found herself focused on poses that release the hips and pelvic areaan area of “locked down” tension. Attending to this part of her body feels essential to her and while she did not want to discuss the feelings arising within her, she shared that shifting is occurring. This illustrates how psychological tension can manifest in the sexual organs, and suggests that Pomegranate essence is beginning to bring conscious awareness to phenomenon within her.

S describes her family of origin as being “in chaos” since the death of her grandmother.  She is feeling a new level of urgency to draw her personal boundaries and prioritize her own life goals. Centaury and Pink Yarrow, taken in a previous formula, continue to support S as she recognizes that this drive to fix the issues in her family dynamic comes from an inner sense of guilt and fear, rather than from her relatives pressuring her. S commented, “The situation gets depressing. It’s hard to be around it, and it feels like I’m abandoning ship, failing on some level. But I’m not going to be able to fix it. I can be a sister, a daughter. But I can’t be the glue, the Fixer, the therapist.”

While S hasn’t been painting as much as in the spring, she feels a strong connection to her muse, to her artistic process. She describes her recent paintings as “dark and full of shadows.” “I love working with that,” she commented. “It is so critical right now. If I don’t embrace the darkness, it will find another way to come out.” The primary emotions being expressed are old fears of intimacy and a deep feeling of terror about completely being herself with another person, and fear of that person’s response to her true nature. I got the sense that S has some demons that are kept very locked away. She shared that a “strong willed, self-righteous S” comes out to shield her from these fears. This part of her feels superior, removed, better than anyone else. At the root of this fear and self-righteousness is a lack of self worth and she finds herself having to remember that, “I deserve to get what I need.” She sees clearly the difference when she stands in her truth and asks for what she needs with integrity, versus removing herself from that truth through a guise of superiority and attempting to impose her will in order to get what she wants. The effects of Pink Monkeyflower are clearly seen here: “Such individuals are highly sensitive to being seen, both literally and metaphorically…for the individual is attempting to cover deeply internalized wounds from the past (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).”
             
S has several goals for this next cycle. While she explores the possible synergy between her roles as Wife, Professional and Mother, she is in the midst of remembering her personal dreams and who she is. “I want the different parts of me to come together. Right now, I feel splintered.”

She also hopes for an opening and deep sharing to occur in her marriage. She wants to say to her husband, “Let’s get creative, let’s stay connected.” Inherent in this are old patterns of self-preservation, as well as a recoiling when authentic connection is possible. She is ready to break this fear cycle.

New formula: Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Pink Monkeyflower, Walnut

Essences retained: Pomegranate will promote “conscious alignment with the feminine creative Self, so that a woman can see more clearly her right destiny and choices.” This essence will address the confusion S feels around pursuing her career and becoming a mother. Mariposa Lily is indicated as S continues to explore the type of mother she wants to become. As “the single-most important essence for all stages of pregnancy, including conception, delivery and motherhood,” Mariposa Lily will impart confidence about S’s abilityphysically and emotionallyto be a mother. Mariposa Lily will also support S in deepening her understanding of her own mother and their relationship, as well as inviting forgiveness and healing around this dynamic. This essence will support S in addressing the sense of emotional deprivation that resulted from family trauma, divorce, and physical abuse in her early years. White Trumpet (Easter) Lily is indicated for “cleansing of sexual organs, especially when conception is blocked due to prior sexual trauma or behavior.” This essence will help “build a bridge from sexuality to conception (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127).”

Essences introduced: I have decided to return to Pink Monkeyflower in light of the emotions coming out in S’s painting. This essence “treats a type of fear which resides in the deepest recesses of the soul: the fear of being exposed, of others seeing one’s pain and vulnerability. Such persons experience a profound sense of shame, and this have a need to hide or mask themselves s a form of protection (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” S’s self righteous side is one way that she masks the inner shame she feels about her own Truth.

Since beginning this work, S has recognized that she has become accustomed to living in a high stress state, and that this pattern is no longer needed for her personal protection. She is ready to transform much of the way she has operated in her adult life. Walnut is indicated to inspire “freedom from limiting influences… and courage to follow one’s own path and destiny...it assists the soul in making metamorphic change (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” This essence will assist S in breaking her ties to the past.

This formula is a re-design of the previous formula intended to reconnect S with her Sacred Feminine (Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Pomegranate). Pink Monkeyflower serves as her Archetypal Essence here, and Walnut is introduced with the intention of “jump-starting” the shift and release of any and all patterns identified thus far.

Affirmations:

White Trumpet (Easter) Lily

All Creation is a holy act of Conception.
With reverence, I regard these forces in my own body.
I unite sexuality and spirituality into a Sacred Whole.
I am this Pure Self.

Walnut

I relinquish the past and step toward my future.
I banish limiting beliefs.
I welcome new possibilities.
My Star of Destiny shines brightly on Earth.

Tuning in to intuition, developing authenticity and cultivating a sense of trust

S is settling into her new home in California. Her summer was been spent completing online Master’s classes and fulfilling Practicum hours as a counselor for cancer patients. She and her husband have continued seeing a couple’s counselor.

“The most difficult part for me right now is trust,” S wrote. “I feel insecure and that deep sense of trust feels absent. I feel this need to do everything now because I don’t know when the next disaster will strike.”

S is seeking her “inner compass,” the voice inside that can identify her inner truth. All areas of her life feel unclear and unsteady; as if the ground beneath her is shifting and it’s not clear when and how it will all settle down. Both her journaling and our conversation were filled with many questions to which she had no answers: “How do I tune in to the voice within? The one that knows what I need…my intuition, my wisdom?” After engaging in a life review exercise where she chronicled the major events in her life, she experienced a fresh sense of hindsight filled with non-judgment and compassion, a sense of “it is what it is.” She shared that “before, my life was defined by traumatic events, and now I see it in the context of a developmental process.” This life review led to a line of inquiry into the stories she has created about her life. She wrote: “What are the essential parts of me? What is integral to who I am? How are those parts of me being fulfilled?”

She is also coming to a new level of understanding and acceptance of the fact that she has never been the type of person who is satisfied with the “status quo.” Her old story about this was that “I don’t do things like they're supposed to be…. and the truth is that I never have…. I’m O.K. with this. It’s not a bad thing.”

Professionally, she has been in limbo, burned out on the on-line learning platform and not “feeling connected” to her academic cohort or vision for the program. “What is the path?” she asked. “Where am I going?”

S continues to dissect her ideas about marriage. “I don’t want my marriage to look like my conditioned idea of what it should.” While she and her husband are currently engaged in couples counseling, she is finding that it takes a lot of energy and awareness to translate the work into their daily lives, and that there is “no flow” in their communication. “I feel so much conflict about being a wife. What am I willing to let go of? What am I willing to forgive?” are central questions for her right now. She has had some success discussing her professional aspirations and dreams of travel with him. However, she is caught on a pattern of needing him to grant permission to pursue her dreams, instead of seeking ways to fulfill them for herself. “I want him to say that he will try to provide me with those things that fulfill me so I won’t feel like this relationship is pulling me in such a different way than my heart’s desire... What I need and what he needs seem to be so distant from one another right now. How do we bring them together?”

Her journal reflections convey a woman whose entire platform for life is re-organizing. “I know all of this is not the right fit. So how do I know when it’s time to alter it? Does it need to be as drastic as I imagine it or can I just hem things a little? I am stuck in my head but my heart is still screaming!” This last comment is interesting in light of our original goal of cleansing and refreshing her heart space. It seems that S is effectively feeling into her life in a real and vibrant way.

This degree of inner inquiry indicates the influence of Pomegranate (promotion of conscious alignment with right destiny and choices), Pink Monkeyflower (courage to take emotional risks), and Walnut (courage to follow one’s own path and destiny).

As she navigates closer to her inner truth, S has noticed her tendency to harshly judge herself, and how quickly her mind “spins out” on negative self-talk.  “I have not been willing to listen to myself because it’s not what I expected to hear,” she commented. We spoke about identifying what triggers these negative thoughts and how to choose healthy strategies of self-support, rather than self-destructive habits of self-soothing (in this case, disconnecting from herself through media: “I need to be careful of electronic stimuli because it seems so easy to get sucked in right now. The past week I’ve been decompressing but I can also slip into disengagement.”) Going forward, S would like to continue tuning in to her intuition, and cultivating a sense of trust.

Formula #1: (To be administered 4x daily for one week) Star of Bethlehem
           
Star of Bethlehem is indicated to address S’s persistent expectation of something devastating occurring. The “deeply restorative… soothing properties of this remedy,” may support S in addressing the disturbances from the past, effectively bringing about a “much-needed psychic and spiritual adjustment.” This remedy was also chosen “to allow the radiant Star of the Self to shine through any trauma or distortion that robbed the soul of knowing its own dignity and authenticity (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).”
           
Formula #2: (To be administered 4x daily for three weeks, after one week of Formula #1 is complete) Pomegranate, Mariposa Lily, White Trumpet (Easter) Lily, Pink Monkeyflower, Walnut

Essences retained: Pomegranate will continue to promote “conscious alignment with the feminine creative Self, so that a woman can see more clearly her right destiny and choices (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127).” This essence will address the confusion S feels around pursuing her career and becoming a mother. Pink Monkeyflower will continue to treat S’s fear of being exposed, of sharing her pain and vulnerability. Walnut is indicated to inspire “freedom from limiting influences… and courage to follow one’s own path and destiny... it assists the soul in making metamorphic change (Kaminski and Katz, 2004).” This essence will assist S in moving beyond her past. Mariposa Lily is indicated as S continues to explore the type of mother she wants to become. As “the single-most important essence for all stages of pregnancy, including conception, delivery and motherhood (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127),” Mariposa Lily will impart confidence about S’s abilityphysically and emotionallyto be a mother. This essence will also support S in deepening her understanding of her own mother and their relationship, as well as inviting forgiveness and healing around this dynamic. Finally, this essence will support S in addressing the sense of emotional deprivation that resulted from family trauma, divorce, and physical abuse in her early years. Easter Lily is indicated for “cleansing of sexual organs, especially when conception is blocked due to prior sexual trauma or behavior.” This essence will help “build a bridge from sexuality to conception (Kaminski, Calix, Volume 1, page 127).”

Star of Bethlehem will be used to address S’s persistent expectation of impending tragedy, while the formula below will support her in deepening her self-inquiry.

Affirmation:

Pink Monkeyflower

The portal of my heart is open.
My feelings may be shared.
Others may see who I AM.
I AM who others may see.
I trust I will be loved for who I AM.

Illustrating the soul process: artwork by S

 


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