Daisy Bush

Screenshot 2015-10-08 08.28.28Given the connection I made with Utju, I’m embarrassed to say this was the one community where we got into trouble for going into the wrong area while looking for flowers. The two young men who told us we were heading into sacred men’s territory were very patient and polite. We quickly turned around and headed back out on to the main road. Seeing a variation in leaf colour amongst the trees, I wondered if it might be a mistletoe, so we pulled over and I went to investigate.

I had to scramble through a narrow, dry streambed with steep banks and weave my way through a maze of spiky spinifex to reach the nearest tree. Unfortunately the mistletoe wasn’t in flower, but as I stepped back from the tree, I looked down and discovered a magnificent daisy bush at my feet. Daisy bush belongs to the Olearia genus. In her book, Grandma says: “Olearia are perennials, and are only found in Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.” Continue reading

My love for holism

While writing Wildflower Spirit Journey, there was a subtle theme that kept popping up for me over and over again: holism. I saw it in my mother’s nature-based spirituality, the Aboriginal art I was surrounded by as a child, and the yin-yang teaching style given to me by my spirit guides, Khryse and Tomas.

Both my grandmother and my great-uncle had an enormous childhood influence on my life, imprinting within me their love for nature, science, anatomy and physiology, helping people, wildflowers and photography. My grandmother was a doctor. My great-uncle was an arid zone botanist. And there have been many times through my life I have been tempted to walk in their footsteps, but my love for holism has steered me in other directions. Continue reading

Fan Flowers : Heart-opening, Space-expanding

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The next morning we rose early and drove to Ti Tree. On the way there, I found some fan flowers on the side of the road. Grandma says: “The name scaevola comes from a Latin word meaning left-handed, because of the one-sided shape.”

There are about 90 species of fan flower. Most of them are Australian, and seven of them are specifically Central Australian. Fan flower spirit medicine expands and opens our chakras, especially the heart chakra. They broaden our sense of personal space, helping us feel more open and expansive in heart, mind and body. Continue reading

Humility Fuchsia

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After completing work in this community, we made a brief detour into Palm Valley for lunch. This was my favourite thrill-a-minute four-wheel drive road. Not only was it an adrenaline rush because it was so challenging, the landscape was stunning and ever-changing. We didn’t have time to walk deeper into the valley, but the road itself and the flowers along the way more than compensated. After being forced to drive past many fuchsias on the roads north of Alice Springs due to time constraints, I became a little obsessed with fuchsias for the rest of the trip.

I found myself searching for a black and white fuchsia that I kept seeing in my mind. I couldn’t work out what it was and why it seemed important. Perhaps it was one Grandma had shown me as a child. Fuchsia was one of my grandmother’s favourite flowers and my grandparents had loved visiting Palm Valley, so it felt special to find my first fuchsia here. Continue reading

Convolvulus Flower – Rebirth

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Leaving our home town of Darwin in Northern Australia, we headed south on the Stuart Highway. The green landscape around us gradually became more arid as the kilometres ticked by.

We spent our first night at the Daly Waters campground. The next day we had been driving for a few hours when Stephen spotted a beautiful white flower, so we decided to stop for lunch and investigate. As we got closer we realised it was a Convolvulus vine creeping over a tree.

If I had met this flower a few months earlier, I would have walked right on by without connecting. I’m an independent person, and the idea of a plant that climbs over and suffocates other plants has never appealed to me. Thankfully, my friend Kathleen had recently softened my view on vines by introducing me to a vine essence she made. Connecting deeply with Kathleen’s vine essence helped me understand that vine spirit medicine helps to balance us if we are too independent or not independent enough. It also helps us to let go when we are struggling with grief. Continue reading

Keraudrenia

Keraudrenia

Keraudrenia integrifolia

 

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Keraudrenia doesn’t have petals, says Grandma. The purple parts of this flower are brightly coloured sepals that look like petals. On most flowers, sepals are green leaf-like outer parts that enclose and protect the flower while it is in bud. When the flower blooms, the sepals sit supportively beneath the opened petals.

Sitting in the sand dunes with Keraudrenia, I opened myself, made a heart-to-heart connection, and waited. Nothing happened. No images, no feelings, no words. Nothing. Puzzled, I stepped back and decided to try again another time. On my second attempt, the same thing happened. I let go and moved on.

Then one day, while doing a healing on a client, a presence shot into the room like a bee on steroids, hijacked my healing without saying a word and then, just as suddenly, was gone again. It was Keraudrenia. A week later the same thing happened during another healing. By this time I was starting to feel a little exasperated. I understood nothing about this flower, it would not talk to me, and yet it insisted on entering my space. Not knowing what else to do, I called Kathleen and asked for her opinion. Kathleen reminded me that flowers have personality strengths and weaknesses as we do.

“Perhaps this flower has something to learn from you,” she suggested.

This got me thinking. If Keraudrina had any obvious flaw, it was a lack of social skills. I knew enough about flower spirits to know Keraudrenia was probably reflecting something back to me about myself. Then a series of synchronistic events occurred, and I had a strong feeling they were all related.

First, one of my students sent me a text. “Are you okay Om? You suddenly entered my mind and I had an overwhelming feeling of loneliness wash over me.”

My first instinct was to brush this idea aside with a laugh. Me? Lonely? I don’t think so!  Instead, I decided to sit with it for a while. Then I remembered a dance therapy session I had done with a friend earlier in the year. I had crawled into a small space towards the end of the dance. When it was time to stand up and come out of that space, I was paralysed by what felt like a memory from my childhood. It took all the strength I had to walk back across the dance floor to where my friend sat watching. She was the only person present, but it seemed as though a million eyes were watching me and none of them were friendly. I felt very alone. Everyone was judging me and rejecting me. I could feel and remember my childhood self deciding not to care. I will never need anyone ever again. This way I can be safe.

A few days after I received the ‘loneliness’ text message, I noticed my father’s spirit energy seemed unusually strong around me. To get my attention he usually bombards me with special butterfly and bird experiences, but this time I could literally feel him following me around. It was quite unnerving. After a while, I sat down and turned to face him. “Okay Dad. I am listening. What is it?” His reply was not at all what I expected: When I was alive. I was lonely. I didn’t realise it at the time. I don’t want this to happen to you.

This really surprised me. He did not come across as a lonely person, but then, neither do I. So  now I am making more of an effort to connect with people and make time for them, even though I love spending time alone. When I am with people, I am slowing down and being more present with them, even though this makes me feel restless and unsettled. When Keraudrenia next visited me, it slowed down and warmed up, finally conveying a very brief image of itself entering the back of a closed throat chakra and opening it up.

Swainsona

Swainsona

Swainsona flavicarinata

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Grandma’s house was being prepared for sale, and all of Grandma’s possessions were being sorted and distributed. Mum was feeling overwhelmed because she already had too much clutter in her home and didn’t have room for more. “I should have sorted all of this stuff out years ago!”, she said. With her lament fresh in my mind, I turned down all the objects Uncle Palko offered me, including the ceramic lizard sculpture I made for Grandma in year twelve. I was studying Aboriginal art at the time and had painted my own dreamtime story about Alice Springs on the lizard’s back, with the Todd River separating east from west.  Driving away without my lizard, I felt a twinge of sadness, so it was lovely to receive a text message from my mother a few months later. “Your painted lizard is now in my garden! Looks good too. We are still cleaning Burke St. On it goes.”

Our next community felt familiar. Then I realised an old boyfriend of mine had family connections here. Our relationship had ended after a shared tragedy and a misunderstanding. We lost touch and I’ve long been haunted by the memory of walking with him beside the Todd River and him saying, “One day I’ll end up with them mob of drunks in the river, and you’ll be some fancy white lady driving past in a shiny car.”

In the months leading up to this desert trip, the need to know he was safe and that he had forgiven me became intense. I tried searching for him on line, but had no luck. I am not sure why I didn’t try asking around at the community when we arrived there. Shyness? Time constraints? Fear?

Instead, I focussed on flower hunting and discovered a beautiful pink flower on the outskirts of the community, a flower named swainsona. When Swainsona connected with me, I felt my energy field broaden its grounding connection with the earth, almost as though I were a tree with large buttress roots. Then the back of my heart chakra opened. My chakra walls thickened and stretched out. I could feel my heart repairing its foundations and searching for a deeper sense of authenticity. The flower spirit said: Stop making excuses. Be honest with yourself.

Then I had a sensation of being stretched and pushed, as though I were an aerial acrobat stretching my body as far as it could go without any hesitation or fear of falling. Swainsona asked me to step up and own my power, rather than making excuses in order to avoid taking risks. This flower spirit aligns and connects three auric power centres  positioned in the sacrum, the centre of the chest and the soul chakra above the head. Alignment of all three centres strengthens our will, or power of intent.

I wonder if this power of intent somehow called my old boyfriend back into my life, because two weeks later I was speaking on the phone with him. Like me, he had been wanting to get in touch for a long time, but unlike me, he didn’t give up the search so easily. Our conversation left me feeling healed and whole in ways I never thought possible. We were both relieved to know the other person was safe and happy. How simple healing can be! Thank you spirit.