“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.”
Once upon a time I was an activist, protesting for animal rights and social justice. I got arrested at the age of 17. I was angry about all the things that were wrong with the world and wanted to do something about it. At some point, though, I came to the understanding that my fury about everything happening ‘out there’ was tied up in my fury about the things I felt powerless about in my own life and it wasn’t helping the causes I was passionate about to add more fury to the pot.
I stepped back. I focused on inner work. Making space to acknowledge my own feelings of anger and powerlessness and fear. I started meditating and doing yoga. I took flower essences and then trained to use them professionally. And for a long, long time I didn’t get involved in politics or activism of any kind. I’d turned my attention away from what was happening ‘out there’ in the world to focus on what was happening ‘in here’ within my own heart, body and soul instead.
Now, I find myself moving with awareness between what’s happening ‘out there’ and what’s happening ‘in here’. And/and as my Shamanic teacher Elen Sentier would say.
The American Presidential campaign and election, the water protest in North Dakota, Syrian people forced to flee their homes because of a brutal civil war, the British government’s undemocratic decision to allow fracking in Lancashire. The list goes on and on. War, misogyny, racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, social injustice, environmental devastation and daily failures of democracy. There is so much going on in the world that it can feel really challenging to stay present with our current reality yet we cannot ignore it either.
This moment in history is an invitation to experience deep healing and love in action.
We are being invited to keep our hearts open and awake, rather than shutting ourselves down or lashing out when it all seems too much. I’m going to share some suggestions for Bach Flower Remedies that will help you do just that but first I want to contextualise this moment we are in.
Globally, things that had been festering under the surface for a very long time are out in broad daylight now for everyone to see. Painful though it is to be confronted with all that is wrong and seems broken in our world, it’s the first step in the process of healing.
So let’s acknowledge that things are messed up. By naming the dysfunction we are already on our way to healing it.
There is great power in naming the wounds. It takes them out of the shadows to be transformed.
True healing happens when we stop resisting what is, and meet it with our awareness and presence instead.
When we acknowledge the dark and painful parts within us we take our wounds out of hiding so they can be integrated. The same invitation is in this too. Humanity has an evolutionary impetus towards greater wholeness, just as we do individually.
We can’t witness the pain of what is going on around the world, without also feeling a growing yearning for healing, integration and transformation.
And we have the opportunity to acknowledge when our own unhealed pain is being triggered by what’s going on ‘out there’ and take responsibility for that.
Trump’s election has brought a lot of issues into the open that are highly charged and emotive for many of us including racism, religious intolerance, homophobia and rape culture.
If we have personally experienced any of these, it’s going to push our buttons and trigger unhealed trauma. But the very nature of those wounds being triggered is that it also gives us an opportunity to heal.
During Trump’s campaign I witnessed many women standing up and talking publicly about their experiences of sexual assault, and my teeth started chattering and my body began to shake as trauma from my own history of sexual assault released spontaneously through my body. I took Revival Remedy every 10 minutes to support the release, and I shook and I danced to release the energy. It was both extremely uncomfortable and profoundly healing. And/and.
I was able to release a lot of shame by hearing other women saying ‘this happened to me and it wasn’t OK.’ I’d somehow still been carrying this idea that the things that had happened to me were my fault, I’d invited them, I should have handled things differently. I’d normalised it. ‘It’s just what happens to women. It’s just how things are,’ I’d told myself. Not any more.
Over the past few months I’ve healed layers of sexual trauma, released shame and got in touch with fury I hadn’t been able to feel at the time.
And I have felt this mighty power grow deep within my belly and fill me with a sense of personal sovereignty and presence I’ve never felt before. Last week that mighty dragon power rose up within me and enabled me to stand up to two men who wanted to drive across a river because they thought it would be cool like on Top Gear. I would not let them cross.
Had I still been feeling traumatised and triggered by the times men have done things to me against my will, I could not have held my ground like that. I held my ground from a place of power and inner strength that meant I was able to guard the sanctity of the land. I showed up with the power of my embodied presence rather than crumbling because of my unhealed wounds.
When we embrace these times as opportunities to heal what is unhealed, we become more empowered, resilient, and present. Then we can add our clear strong voices and our empowered action to the things we want to change.
We are most effective when we change things from the energy of embodied love, clarity and sovereignty rather than lashing out with our unhealed emotional pain.
As we each acknowledge, feel and transform the emotions that rise up in response to global events, we remain open-hearted and steadfast instead of adding our emotional debris to the collective rubbish tip.
This is how we bring the energy of the awakened heart into the world. I believe we effect sustainable positive change when the energy behind our actions comes from a place of integration rather than a place of pain.
We do the inner work AND we take the outer actions we feel called to make. That could be physically joining a protest, financially supporting a cause or withdrawing from a bank that invests in something we cannot tolerate, signing petitions and writing letters, joining in with healing circles and prayer groups or whatever else we feel called to do.
And when we feel too overwhelmed or fearful or heartbroken to do anything, we need to accept our limitations. Up the self-care, take essences. Sleep and rest and get fresh air and good food. Do yoga, meditation, prayer. Cuddle our loved ones and talk to our friends. Step away from social media and news coverage for a while. We need to tend well to our own hearts until our hearts feel awake with love and strong with presence once again.
Doing our own personal healing work can seem so insignificant, so futile, so self-indulgent when all around us seems so broken yet it is more important now than ever.
These are tough times but you wouldn’t be here now if you didn’t have what it takes to move through them with love, grace and strength.
By taking care of the emotional wounds, old fears and trauma that get triggered by global events, we find our centres again. We are able to respond to the challenges of these times from the clear, calm, strong and steadfast place of our awakened hearts rather than the reactionary, hurting and unhealed places in our wounded hearts. That is powerful. And needed.
We can then show up in times of crisis and hold space for others who subsequently become more resilient and connected to their centres, their hearts, their inner wisdom and their power, so the ripples flow out.
By keeping our hearts open and awake, we can transform our anger into power. Our fears into love. Our powerlessness into action. And our hopelessness into faith.
It’s time to up our game and take very good care of our emotional health so that we are well-resourced to show up as love in action. Flower essences provide us with the perfect emotional support to do so.
Edward Bach developed his 38 Bach Flower Remedies in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s as fascism rose to prominence in the years leading up to the Second World War. These remedies arrived on the planet at a time when their energy was much needed and they are just as relevant today as they were then. They offer us a practical, inexpensive and efficient way to listen carefully to our emotions and choose the perfect antidote for those feelings we’re struggling with.
Here’s the top 10 Bach Flower Remedies I’ve noticed people (including myself!) have needed most in the last few weeks.
Revival Remedy aka Rescue Remedy. Feeling really rattled? Panicky? Ungrounded? Shocked? This combination has an international reputation as an emotional stabiliser for times of shock, fear, panic, trauma and any emergency situation with good reason. It makes an instant difference. Contains Rock Rose, Clematis, Cherry Plum, Star of Bethlehem and Impatiens. Order here.
Elm. Feeling overwhelmed? It’s all too much? You feel like you’re not coping, maybe even at breaking point and can’t handle anything else? Elm works wonders on releasing overwhelm so you will feel more supported and able to cope. This is my go-to remedy for increasing inner resilience. Order here.
Holly. Feeling angry, outraged, furious or even hatred towards ‘the bad guys’ or people who voted differently from you? That anger is a mighty force for change when channelled appropriately. Holly will release the unhealthy aspects of anger so your fury can be transformed into power. Order here.
Gorse. Feeling utterly hopeless and unable to see the light? Your heart is heavy, your energy is low and you don’t see the point to anything? Let gorse lighten your heart and help you get in touch with your natural state of hope. Order here.
Gentian. Feeling pessimistic, despondent, negative or lacking faith in a better world? Gentian restores faith in the bigger picture, and reminds you that all is well and all will be well. Order here.
Rock rose. Feeling real terror or panic? Heart hammering? Solar plexus wide open? Nervous system overloaded? There’s a lot of fear in the collective at the moment, and if you’ve got any unresolved fear in your own energetic system you’re going to plug straight into that. Rock rose will help restore inner calm and steadfast courage. Order here.
Mimulus. Feeling low-level dread? Or fears about tangible things that could happen? Perhaps your gender, sexuality, race or religion are making you feel vulnerable and scared in the current political climate. Mimlus transforms fears of known things so you will feel truly safe in the world. Order here.
Star of Bethlehem. Feeling numb, shocked or traumatised? Aware that old trauma in your own system is being triggered by what’s happening on a global level e.g. past sexual assault, racial attack etc.? Star of Bethlehem releases shock and trauma and is as effective for something that happened when you were a child as it is for something that happened this morning. Let it release that old trauma from your system and restore comfort. Order here.
Red chestnut. Feeling scared or anxious about other people? Thinking the worst and fearing that something bad will happen to them? While fears for others tend to be well-meaning, it doesn’t serve anyone when we project our fears out onto someone else. Red chestnut releases fears you feel on behalf of other people so you can radiate out feelings of safety and love instead. Order here.
Walnut. Feeling unprotected and super-sensitive to other people’s energies with no way of filtering them out? Getting tired and drained around other people? Feeling in a kind of limbo-land, unable to let go of the past and unable to step into the future? Walnut will strengthen your aura, helping you to feel more steadfast and able to adapt to change, big and small. Order here.
These are challenging times, and they invite us to keep our hearts awake and open and well-tended. When you meet those aspects of you that yearn for healing and give them essences to bring balance, you experience loving integration. That is a powerful energy to radiate out into the world.
Take individual Bach Flower Remedies direct from the bottle in extreme situations, or in combination for deep gradual shifts (4 drops each of 5-8 different BFRs in a combination bottle with water and brandy or glycerin preservative).
I have been buying essences handmade with love from Crystal Herbs for 20 years and recommend them wholeheartedly. I receive a percentage of affiliate income from essence sales at no extra cost to you if you buy essences from links in this post.