Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Issue of the Week - July 28 - August 3


First I must apologize to my readers for the delay. I am a day late and hopefully, not a dollar short. Both my social and work schedules have been fuller than usual. I know many Leos and they are all having birthday celebrations. Ah! Too much fun. Then, the Sonoma County Fair is on and I have been volunteering at the Master Gardener information booth. And last but not least, I have been processing herbs and berries and making my herbal products and cordials. So - I think the topic is appropo.

On to the Issue of the Week - Relaxation

Often we get wound up by events and activities in our lives so that we cannot sleep, eat or think. Even when we are having a good time, we can feel stressed if our nervous energy keeps us from relaxing and unwinding. A hot bath can be a great way to relax, but during the hot days of summer, that may not be something we want to do. Over-excitement may affect our appetite and digestion as well. Children often suffer from stomach-aches when they get too excited. Another symptom related to this overly stimulated condition is headache.

Two old favorites can help us on many levels: Lavender and Chamomile. They have multiple uses and come in many forms - flower essences, essential oils, teas and fresh or dried plant. Both plants are gentle in their effects and all modalities can be employed simultaneously.

Flower Essences (taken from the Flower Essence Repertory)

Lavender - Lavandula officinalis

Positive qualities: Spiritual sensitivity, highly refined awareness

Patterns of imbalance: Nervousness, over-stimulation of spiritual forces which depletes the physical body

The Lavender flower helps those souls who are highly absorbent of spiritual influences. They tend to be very awake and quite mentally active, with a strong attraction to sprititual practices and various forms of meditation. However, they often absorb far more energy than can actually be processed through the body. "High-strung" and "wound-up" are words typically used to describe such personalities. They especially suffer from afflictions to the head, such as headaches or vision problems, and neck and shoulder tension. They are quite often plagued by insomnia or other nervous maladies. Lavender first works to sedate and soothe such persons; at a deeper level, it teaches one how to moderate and regulate one's spiritual-psychic energy. In this way the soul learns to use its highly sensitive capacities in balance with the physical needs of the body.

Chamomile - Matricaria recutita

Positive qualities: Serene, sun-like disposition, emotional balance

Patterns of imbalance: Easily upset, moody and irritable, inability to release emotional tension

When we say that someone has a sunny disposition, we inherently recognize that such a soul has a harmonious emotional life. Like the sun which shines with constancy for all to see, so the soul must learn to regulate and harmonize its emotional life. Those needing Chamomile flower essense are subject to very changeable moods and ever-fluctuating emotions. Their "inner weather" is stormy and easily "clouded" until they shift their consciousness to remember that the sun is always shining serenely behind all the outer phenomena. People needing Chamomile tend to accumulate psychic tension throughout the day, particularly in the stomach region. They will often have difficulty letting go of their emotional stress at night, and suffer from insomnia. This is particularly true of children, whose myriad stomach complaints are often emotionally based. Chamomile helps such souls to relase tension from the stomach and solar plexus areas, and to harmonize their inner solar forces for greateer emotional peace and stability. It subdues the many emotions which vex the soul life, helping to consolidate these into a more fundamental soul essence of serenity and equanimity.

Another gentle but effective way to use Lavender and Chamomile is as tea. Traditional Medicinals makes a blend that is marvelous - or you can do it yourself. Use just a touch of Lavender. Too much can make your tea taste like soap.

Essential oils of Lavender and Chamomile used separately or in a blend can assist in relaxing. I like to rub Lavender oil mixed with a bit of carrier oil on the the bottom of my feet when I have trouble sleeping, especially on hot nights. Put just a touch of Lavender oil on your upper lip or on your pillow so you can breathe it in at night. You can also put a drop or two in the bath at night. For a relaxing massage oil, use a few drops of essential oil in a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil.

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