Just under four hours until the New Year.
And for all the challenges and unknowns looming into view - or still hidden from sight - I feel excited and I feel hopeful.
My watchwords for next year are ‘Permission to succeed’ - that’s for myself, and also to help other people give themselves permission.
The premise being that if you don’t want felt pen all over your walls/furniture/dog/toddler, keep the felt pens well out of the child’s reach, thus setting up a situation where he or she will win.
There are several things I planned to’ve done by this stage of the year, and of my life - and I haven’t, due to diversion, laziness, bad time management, and Oscar-winning procrastination.
And I don’t intend to give myself a hard time about it, but instead to better manage my expectations - and give myself smaller, more achievable goals. Permission to succeed.
In my personal mix goes
Hornbeam - that’s the energiser, the get-up-and-go (the boot up the bum).
Walnut - for managing transition, and keeping me safe.
Cerato - for listening and paying heed to what’s going on in my secret heart.
White Chestnut - to calm the chattering, churning brain in the night.
Chicory - for when I’d like more attention than I’m receiving.
Red Chestnut - to stop over-worrying about my loved ones.
Agrimony - for dealing with anxieties rather than hiding behind a brave face.
What will be in your bottle of Bach Flower Remedies?
I wish you a happy New Year, when it arrives. All twelve months of it.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Although the fields lay golden
Something whispered, - ‘Snow’.
Leaves were green and stirring,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, - ‘Frost’.
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly, -
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.
Rachel Field (1894 - 1942)
Here we are, nearing the end of October, with the clocks changing this weekend, and the garden centres already setting up their Christmas displays. The landscape changes, colours turning from green to russet, gold, and bitter-chocolate, to ochre, and burgundy, and earth-brown. The pavements and gardens begin to fill with leaves. And though the days can burn bright blue skies, they can also carry the chill whisper of winter.
Our inner landscapes alter too, and there is help from Bach Flower Remedies. If we need to pick ourselves up after disappointment or setback, there is Gentian. When we wonder how we seem to be in exactly the same place as this time last year, Cerato, Walnut, and Chestnut Bud can assist with focussing on changes we’d like (or need) to make, as well as how to carry them out.
If we’re mourning the loss of Summer, Honeysuckle and Clematis will help keep us tuned-in to Autumn, to the here-and-now, enabling us to be present and able to get on with what we need to do.
And if what we’d really *like* to do is muffle-up, keep cosy, and slow down - if that’s neither possible nor advisable - there’s Hornbeam, to give us oomph and vitality, and Wild Rose to lift our spirits, and remind us that there’s pleasure and purpose in action.
It’s the boys. They’re big, they’re leggy, and they’re speedy - and just when you think you know where they are, they disappear…and that can be even more disconcerting.
It’s the boys. Coming in from the garden, looking for romance. Well, maybe not romance, but certainly to mate. And there are more of them this year, after the glorious hot summer.
We do have options, including shutting the door, or leaving the premises - and exactly who has a glass big enough to catch them without trapping a leg, comfortable enough to use the good old card-and-glass technique?
And where are they when you need them, the friend/partner who’s happy to bundle up a spider and carefully deposit it outside.
We can turn to Mimulus, the Bach Flower Remedy which helps with fear of known things (if you’re actually terrified, Rock Rose will be even better). Larch for confidence will help, and I also find Hornbeam useful. Hornbeam’s the get-on-with-it Remedy, the encourager, the effective ‘on’ switch.
I’ve found that using a combination of the above has not only enabled me to deal with the spiders, but has allowed me to shift my perception. When a spider the size of a small pony rushed at speed towards me the other day, I was able to think whoa! this spider is hurrying towards me for help.
I’ll not kid you, I had to use a glass and *three* cards of increasing size and sturdiness, but I was able to scoop him into the garden, and settle him near a fabulous female spider.
I hope they live happily ever after.
‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’
Do you sing while driving? I do (often). Obviously, I try not to when stopped at trafffic lights, but sometimes a song is simply irresistible. Robert Palmer, you say? Well, no. Barbra Streisand.
Radio 6 Music often delights and surprises me, and when Barbra came on singing Merrill and Styne’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ from Funny Girl, I just had to sing along.
We all know individuals whose default position, whose automatic response, is to rain on someone’s parade - and others whose is to have their parade rained on.
This song, with its glorious lyrics and clever rhythms, is infectious. It’s about action, courage, clear focus, and leaps of faith - and taking responsibility for one’s own actions, even in the face of nay-sayers.
I especially love the question “Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?”
And it got me thinking about which Remedies help us when we’re faced with someone whose manner or words spoil, undermine, or dim the shine of something dear to us. We can’t change other people, unless they’re willing to change, but how can we look after ourselves?
Walnut’s good for keeping us safe from negative influences, and it’s also known as the ‘link-breaker’; useful in times of leaving old stuff behind in order to explore and develop the new.
With leaps of faith can come fear - so we’d call on Mimulus and Aspen for easing the fear of known as well as unknown things - and courage is required; here’s where Larch comes in. When we’ve had enough of ‘living life with the brake on’, Larch helps us to develop the confidence to move. Chestnut Bud will enable us to ditch old-mode ways of being and replace them with more beneficial habits and behaviours.
And if we’re being somewhat strident in our determination to keep our parade rain-free, there is Vervain. That’s the Remedy for being too full-on, too passionate and in-someone’s-face, and is useful when our depth of feeling and exuberance of expression risk being overbearing and alienating.
We can’t stop the rain, but we can prevent it being a wash-out.