Recently, I was discussing how to navigate intense emotions with a client. She was frightened by the prospect of facing a big challenge in her life, and I was encouraging her to try to open to the experience. This is a common cultural issue, as we are generally not taught how to experience our more difficult emotions like fear or anger. We may have been shamed by our parents or peers for feeling fear, so we learned to repress it. These emotions then build up, and can feel very daunting to face.
The emotional experience is generally of short duration; emotions flow like water.
The problem arises when we have not learned to allow the flow, and instead repress or bottle them up. When these long repressed emotions are finally acknowledged and allowed to move, they can move very intensely, like water bursting forth from a dam. Part of my work as a flower essence practitioner is to encourage people facing this daunting experience to recognize that the best way is to move through the experience rather than trying to avoid it.
One image that works well came up in a recent consultation. She recalled an experience of river rafting, and how frightened she was of the upcoming rapids. The river was a perfectly safe one, and her group had an experienced guide, so she realized her fear was not truly necessary. But still, she dreaded the rapids and worried about falling out of the raft. After the group went through a few rapids, she realized she could face this intense experience, and that her anticipation of the fear was actually worse than the experience itself. Even falling out of the raft was not that big of a deal. It was actually refreshing!
This adventure mirrors the experience of facing and releasing intense emotions. We tend to dread the surfacing of old and stored emotion, frantically back paddling and trying to find a way around. But truly, the way through is like navigating the rapids. You may get wet or fall out of your raft, and it is guaranteed to be a ride, but once you have gone through there is peace on the other side and a sense of relief, stillness and completion.
Like going on a river trip, you will want to be well prepared to work with your deepest emotions.
When I work with a client, it may take many months before she is ready to face them. It is worthwhile to remember the benefits of going through this process. Having these stored emotions can result in being truly blocked in life. So much energy is being used to hold them back that there is little left for growth, change, or the fulfillment of dreams and goals. Once these blocks are released, you will be surprised at how much easier life is.
Until you are prepared, lots of nurturing and supportive flower essences are in order to build a foundation of strength. It truly is an organic process, and it becomes clear when there are signs of the emotional rapids are coming up. I let the client know that these emotions are arising to be experienced and released. The first time a client experiences this she tends to be displeased, as she started taking flower essences to feel better, not worse. And this definitely feels worse! Fortunately, I have guided many to navigate these rapids, and can assure her that, while this is an intense experience, coming through the other side will be worth every moment.
I recommend having emergency flower essence formulas around, as a sort of life vest for these emotional rapids.
It is best to continue taking your base formula of whatever essences you are working with at the time as they will help support you as you navigate through this experience. This blend of flower essences is your raft, and has brought you safely to this place, and will help get you through. But you may need a little extra support when things get intense. Here are a few essence formulas I recommend. They can be taken as needed in addition to your regular flower essences. You may even want to take a few drops every ten minutes when you are in the most intense phase of your emotions.
Rescue Remedy (AKA Five-flower Formula) by Bach
This classic formula is popular for a good reason. It has broad application for many types of fear, shock or trauma, and has helped many through tough times. I am rarely without a bottle in my bag – if you don’t need it, you may run into someone who does.
This is an excellent support formula for any transformational experience. I particularly like the Fireweed flowers as a component to help rebuild your energetic system after an emotional clearing.
Crisis-Desert Emergency Formula by Desert Alchemy
This formula is useful when you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, and feel as if you may “drown” in them.
Terra by Bloesem Remedies
I love this combination and recommend it often when the emotional crisis is spiritual, or arises from a karmic or ancestral issue.