Flower Essence Therapy
Ikar at the Alcove
The Juneberry Tree Art Gallery
Healing in the Aftermath of Trauma
Erev Shabbos 13 Elul 5782
September 9, 2022
I recently ran a Zoom event called Healing, Health and Wellness in the Land of Israel, from Holistic to Horseback Riding. Our guest speakers included Shira Chernoble, a pastoral counselor, massage therapist and aromatherapist in Tekoa and Efraim Rosenfeld who is an animal-assisted psychotherapist and part of the team at Merkaz Chossen, The Roklen Resilience Center in S'derot. I gave a presentation on Flower Essences.
To watch a replay of this program: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/TKThW5SHRg9Otw-RTdTydRQi03Vgwz9brmU0G7iqVra1m4cHM78YlUzf-mlWz9LC.FZ9zdX1v9GAvlVMS
Every year on the "anniversary" of the Crown Heights Pogrom I either prepare a special event of some sort or publish an article about it. Below is an excerpt I wrote this year describing my experience. No doubt many who have been through traumatic ordeals with terrorism and war will relate to what I've written. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to learn more about the healing power of flower essences.
May we merit the Geula Shleima and Moshiach NOW and live in a world of filled with peace and harmony!
"The days were already circled months ago on my Hebrew calendar. This is the week (this year the English dates coinciding with the Hebrew calendar are the week of September 5 - 8, 2022) when back in 1991, w lived through the Crown Heights Pogrom."
"Darkness descends on the 10th of Elul and though the full moon’s light illuminates the sky, I don’t need it, my mind’s eye knows exactly where to board for the annual ride on the rollercoaster of emotions. Disbelief, fear and fury flash by as the memories tug me upwards on the creaking rails. At the top, key points from a sicha (discourse) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s came to mind in astonishing clarity. But milliseconds later the window is shattering and then I am shouting to the Almighty and my departed mother to come save us as I pass my youngest child into the arms of my other seven whom I’ve hidden in a tiny bathroom in the back. In the next moment we go hurtling down and up and down and up and down through a wild rush of near misses and miracles. It’s Heavenly to be saved just in the nick of time but for some reason the other parts, like the people who let you down and those lingering repercussions, chime louder."
"This is the kind of week where you either want to bang on drums until somebody says they’re sorry or tune it out with a treat and a fancy shopping spree. By now I’m a realist, I’ll take the latter, please."
"On the road for two weeks after fleeing our home the second night of the Pogrom, when we returned, I thoughtfully called my kids’ schools (not all locally affiliated) with a heads up that as we were still reeling, it might take them a bit longer to get back into the groove of school."
"To my surprise, I am abruptly brushed off and left feeling like I’ve just made a blundering faux pas. This kind of shushing and invalidation – the “we don’t want to hear about it” and other outrageous remarks would hardly be limited to busy principals. Too many uncomfortable truths to deal with apparently."
As an activist, I responded by forming a group called Crown Hts Women to ensure our neighborhood would be properly protected by the police and be safe for us and our children to live in. With the rise in terrorism and mini-wars since 1993 when the Oslo Accords were so foolishly signed, my group added "for the Safety and Integrity of Israel" to its name. Since then we work to promulgate the Lubavticher Rebbe's message for Shleimus HaAretz/True Peace - directives that will be bring peace and security to all lives.
Based on my own experience during and after the Pogrom, I wrote a workshop called GIFTS FROM THE ABISHTER’S GARDEN
HEALING OUR HEART AND SPIRIT for victims of terrorism which I presented a few years ago in Jerusalem at One Family Together, an organization that helps terror victims recover.
More recently, I was especially impressed with the work being done by flower essence practitioners in Brazil where natural disasters often occur. One maker, Sandra Epstein, came up with a very creative and practical way to give flower essences to large numbers of people during crisis by mixing a concentrate of flower essences into gallon or larger jugs of water and then pouring the "charged" water into drinking bottles that can also be used topically and via misting.
I couldn't agree with Steve Johnson's, z"l, statement that "Flower essences are often the missing piece in trauma recovery, an important piece to the puzzle when trauma continues to impact and linger. So much goes on during a traumatic experience that it takes time to come to term with it. Flower essences are a gift that help us along the way, keeping us present as we process what's happened but without the pain and suffering."
Here are a few flowers I selected from my workshop
For Shock and Trauma:
Ian White's Australian Bush flower essence Fringed Violet for when fright causes us to feel as if we’ve “jumped out of our skin”,
Fringed Violet’s aura-like signature repairs the break, heals the damage and restores a sense of harmony and wellness.
For Releasing Fear and Tension held in the body:
Red Clover would be helpful when people are hiding in a bomb shelter, keeping the heart calm and the mind clear-headed
when fear and panic spread and surround us during an emergency, crisis or simply all-around bad news.
And for those traumatized by flaming and exploding rockets, traumatized by burns,
Australian Bush Mulla Mulla is the flower essence to take.
For Re-establishing Peaceful Sleep:
White Chestnut, Lavender and St. John's Wort
My workshop includes flower essences for Sadness and Grief, Anger and Resentment and
Standing Strong B'Simcha - Resilience!
Borage and Gentian are among my choices. and
Simcha Poretz Geder! -
breaks through all the boundaries!