The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

Dealing with Obsessive Compulsions

In Botanical Archetypes, Flower Essence Therapy, Mailbag, Responses to Peoples Letters on April 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm

In this weeks mailbag comes a question about dealing with an obsessive tendency. The woman in question feels compelled to check… and recheck the gas stove every time she leaves the house. Despite having performed several checks ( and making herself late for appointments because of the habit ), she still experiences high levels of anxiety.

Q. How do you correct this problem with the Skyflowers?

Okay. When dealing with obvious behaviours such as this, things are easy to see and therefore easy to work with. Just break the condition down into pieces and select a remedy that matches each piece of the puzzle and add them together.

In this case, the woman in question feels extreme panic and anxiety – even if she has performed her many safety checks. So this indicates that the physical actions of checking her gas stove does nothing to allieviate the problem. In other words, the problem remains and compels her to perform the same action each and every time.

Let’s see what support we can give using flower remedies ( in support of other forms of therapy. )

Step 1 – Inspecting the issue from the level of the mind / thoughts.

Question 1 – “What is going on mentally?”

The first botanical archetype that springs to mind are the remedies made from genus Tillandsia. The 8 Tillandsia’s all deal with issues of fixations and obsessions. Not only this, but the Tillandsia’s ‘deactivate’ the mind… whereas their close cousin, the Vriesea’s activate the mind. Being yin flowers – flowers that move you from an active state of mind to a passive one – the first flowers to work with are the Tillandsia’s.

This deals with things at the mental / the thought level. As the woman is prone to anxiety, fear and panic, this indicates that the Tillandsia’s would indeed be of benefit. Namely because these are emotions caused by a highly stimulated or overly active mind. I would suggest The Flower of Patience, Tillandsia scaposa to stabilize the frantic mind as well as The Flower of Calm, Vriesea heterandra to highlight the content of her thought pattern ( a trait of the Vriesea’s, mental clarity ). This deals with things at the mental level.

Step 2 – Inspecting the issue from the level of the emotions / feelings-that-move-you.

Question 2 – “What is going on emotionally?”

At the emotional level, the best botanical archetype that springs to mind are the remedies made from genus Neoregelia. There are 19 of these flowers and all of them deal with perceptions and belifs about reality. The Flower of Proportion, Neoregelia concentrica would be a great flower as it ‘brings new eyes to the situation’ allowing her to see things in proper scale and proportion. This will counter the panic and hysteria and allow sense to resume.

Another great passifying flower group are Genus Quesnelia. The Quesnelia’s return you to a neutral, natural state of awareness. As they do so, they gently diffuse active thought patterns – an element that is at the heart of all fixations and emotional patterns. She suggested The Flower of Harmony, Quesnelia lateralis but I think the Flower of Adequacy, Quesnelia quesneliana would bring up the real issue.

My instinct tells me that this is either a cellular / gentic or maybe a past life memory of losing someone in a house fire. Being unable to do anything about the original incident but look on in horror, this woman feels completely innadequate and this is reflected in her inability to change her compulsive tendency. It has her and there is nothing that she can do about it.

As a last addition, I would suggest Queens Tears, Billbergia nutans. other than for helping to ‘cry lost tears’, the Billbergia archetype deals with a sense of limitation and feeling stuck or trapped. Without a sense of freedom, panic arises. With a new sense of identity and freedom, new emotional-choice options arise. Queens Tears is a ‘fail-safe’ flower for easing emotional distress. And in this case, there is a need for that as this woman releases the traumatic memory that inspires her behaviour.

Step 3 – Inspecting the issue from the level of the physical body.

Question 3 – “What is going on physically?”

Although she may feel shakey and her nervous system may be under stress, for now I would leave the remedy where it is at. More remedies and other techniques may be needed, but for now we just need to ‘crack the shell’ and see what’s really going on beneath the veil of compulsion. Once the remedy has been taken for about 2 weeks, I would adjust it to suit the ‘next layer’ of the onion. By gradually ‘chipping away’ in this manner, the mental-pattern will be defused – not via resistance… but with awareness.

Note to professional therapists working with the Skyflowers and the Botanical Archetypes

The above is an example of working with the Skyflowers. The 3 areas that we worked on in the above example – the mental, emotional and the physical levels correspond to the 3 sub-families within the Bromeliad family. By choosing flowers from the correct realm, the Skyflowers become ‘surgical tools’ for the practicing therapist.

Subfamily 1 – The Tillandsioidieae ( flowers from the mental realm )

  • Genus Tillandsia and Vriesea.

Subfamily 2 – The Bromelidioidieae ( flowers from the emotional realm )

  • Genus Acanthostachys, Aechmea, Ananus, Billbergia, Canistrum, Cryptanthus, Neoregelia and Quesnelia.

Subfamily 3 – The Pitcairnioidieae ( flowers from the physical ( manifest ) realm )

  • Genus Puya and the other new research flowers.

Suggested readingBotanical Archtypes Research, How to Apply the Botanical Archtypes and The Bromeliad Family.

  1. Wow Bren totally insightful and very informative as per usual 🙂

  2. Thank you for that informative lesson!

  3. […] Dealing with Obsessive Compulsions « Diary of the Pineapple Guy […]

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