Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Picture Yourself in the Ancestral Portrait with Flower Essences

Energy Medicine, Herbal Remedies, Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Jan 11 2014

Interview of Ziporah Hildebrandt by Kim Steffgen, December 2013. Answers Copyright 2013 Ziporah Hildebrandt, used with permission.

Your ancestors’ photos may have been in black and white but their lives have colored your world. When ancestral lines are blurry flower essences can sharpen the lines in your family portrait.

I spoke with flower essences practitioner and ancestral energy worker Ziporah Hildebrandt about using flower essences to facilitate the ancestral lineage clearing process.

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.  1919 - 1999

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.
1919 – 1999

HH: Tell me about your experience with family patterns and ancestral pattern clearing.

Ziporah: The way I work is usually directly in connection with, and in dialog with, the ancestors. I also prescribe flower essences to clients. The essences  create more ease with the process of accessing the ancestors, connecting and communicating with them, and transforming a stuck situation into flow and new possibilities. Quite marvelous things will come up in a session working with ancestors. Clients generally report a feeling of lightness and relief of a burden afterward. During a session, specific personal histories often come to light, that can at first shock or dismay a client, and quickly shift the energy to healing, forgiveness, even joy. I enjoy this work—working with someone’s ancestors is just as satisfying as working with a living person: their energy is vivid, their stories poignant, their gratitude palpable. When someone comes to me with a knotty personal situation I can usually tell quickly if there is an ancestral influence. Not everyone is open to these ideas, and there are other ways to work than with an ancestor session. The Healing Roots flower essence combination I created is very helpful for any issues involving ancestral healing.

HH: How do you define Ancestral Pattern Healing?

Ziporah: I like to keep things out of the box, as I find that definitions can limit what shows up in a session, and for a client after a session or while they’re taking the essences. Even calling this an ancestral pattern locks energy—a pattern is something that repeats. My experience is that energies with an ancestral source do run through generations, and they can repeat, and when they do they often resemble the original source in some way. So to this extent there is a pattern, and it usually isn’t an exact replication. If someone was, in a former incarnation, their own ancestor, or involved in the original situation in a former life, there can be eerie synchronicities between the situations in the time periods, even to dates or numbers, names and place similarities. This can be a pattern for that soul, rather than an inherited pattern.

Another type of energy are things like diseases, fires, floods, wars and other situations that are impersonal in their occurrence, that had very personal impacts on ancestors. This type of energy tends to show up differently in each successive generation. For instance,  someone whose great ­grandparent’s mother died of a particular disease while the great­ grandparent was a small child may have grief and loss showing up along with body conditions, and it may not be anything like the same disease physically. I see healing around these energies as a process of thawing a frozen energy that has blocked the flow of life force, of love, of prosperity, of confidence, of receiving the blessings of life and connection with others and the universe.

HH: How can flower essences help?

Ziporah: Flower essences begin to thaw the frozen areas in the ancestral tree. They can clear energetic structures that have kept the frozen area in place. Some flower essences, such as Forget­Me­Not, help us connect directly with ancestors, which allows us to have a transformative dialog with them. Flower essences like Primulas and Crested Iris reorganize and restructure the ancestral energies so that healing is retroactive to the ancestors as well as to other descendents of them. All flower essences will bring in divine light and love to the whole family tree, including opening the living person to forgiveness, to letting go, and receiving change. There is an expansion of the heart and awareness, allowing new possibilities that were never imagined before.

HH: In your experience, what are the essences most specific to ancestral patterns?

Ziporah: There are many flower essences that can heal inherited energy resonances. Any essences that work with the DNA, such as White Primula and Rose Geranium, or with clearing in general, such as Tomato essences, or healing in general, such as Self Heal and Comfrey, will assist with ancestral healing. More specifically, Parsnip, Hemlock, Crested Iris and Boab work very directly with ancestral energies. I’ve described in more detail the flower essences I use in my Healing Roots combination on my web site,­roots/

Any essences that work specifically with family members or the mother and father archetypes, such as Baby Blue Eyes and Sunflower for father, or Lady’s Mantle and Mariposa Lily for mother, can also be applicable to working with ancestors, depending on the situation and issues. Crested Iris works with both mother and father archetypes and is a powerful deep healing essence. If there is an overall pattern of problem with the mother, then using mother­ archetype essences will be helpful, including Madonna Lily, Milk Thistle, Mariposa Lily. You can add an ancestor ­specific essence such as Parsnip or Hemlock or Crested Iris to the combination to “direct” the devas to the family tree.

Not all flower essences will have a strong connection to the devas, it depends on how they are made. Many essence makers do consciously connect with the flower’s deva, and then the essence will carry the intelligence of the deva, which is beyond space and time.

You can do the same thing when working with past lives: formulate for the issue, then add Giant Burmese Honeysuckle to the combination to direct the healing to the past lives. There are also essences that facilitate communication and receiving awareness of ancestors, notably Forget­Me­Not. Any essences that boost intuition and spirit journeys can assist with this.

HH: Do you have your own ‘plant ally?’

Ziporah: I have been guided at different times by particular plant devas. One of them was quite entertaining to work with, taking the form of any flower I was inquiring about and acting out in some way what the flower essence would do. I thought at first that I was suddenly communicating directly with every plant more quickly and easily than ever had before. I laughed out loud when I realized what was going on.

Actually, every flower I make an essence from becomes my ally. While talking with someone, or doing energy healing in a session, a flower may pop into my awareness, and I know something about that plant is a contribution to what is going on. When this happens, I invite the deva of that plant into the session or the conversation, or send it remotely to the person.

HH: Tell me about your flower essence process. How do you determine what’s best for the individual?

Ziporah: This has changed over time, and still changes. I often use a client’s horoscope or Human Design chart to attune to the energy map of their current incarnation. I use kinesiology, or muscle testing as a quick, easy and accurate (for me) method of choosing essences from the thousand or so I work with. With a complex case involving multiple combinations for one person, I may select a number of essences, and then group them as I perceive their resonance. Then I look at the essences in the groups and notice a theme, which further clarifies my knowing about what is going on.

Essences that would like to be included may pop into my awareness when I’m not thinking about the formula, along with the knowing that they would like to contribute their energies to that person. Every practitioner will find their own ways of doing this that work for them.

HH: How does one know the difference between ancestral pattern issues and past life issues?

Ziporah: Sometimes, as I described already, they are the same, where a person was their own ancestor in a former life. More commonly, there is resonance between past lives and the family history. We each choose the body and family we are born into, and we are making that choice from the energetic resonance of a place, a family, a time, as well as connections we may have to people.

As to how to know the difference, each person must learn to perceive their own knowing. Describing my own awareness of the difference would be like trying to put words to the difference between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Energy is our first language, the language of nature and spirit. How we interface with that language is unique to each person, just as no two people will experience a symphony the same way, or even the same way at different times. As infinite beings, we have access to infinite knowing. If we ask, we’ll receive information.

HH: When selecting a mode for healing painful spiritual or emotional issues, how does one determine the best course? Intuition or something more?

Ziporah: This is part of the learning process of being a healer. We all have amazing healing capacities in our bodies and beings. When we don’t try to determine results we open ourselves to possibilities we may not have thought of. It’s key to learn to trust our knowing, trust our awareness, and trust that whatever happens is a contribution to ourselves as well as the client. Whenever we have an outcome in mind we limit and very often interfere with where the energy is moving.

If we have a pre­determined idea of what healing would look like, what the “best course” would produce, we may be preventing the healing and transformation required. Even defining a client’s situation as “painful” is
assuming a stance that suffering is wrong, should be fixed, and that the healer should be the one to figure out how to fix it. Every time we say “Such and such happened to me,” we erase ourselves as a participant in creating our reality.

There are many wonderful and effective techniques and methods available to healing practitioners today. If one simply follows the energy, you’ll be led to what will be effective. And if there is no apparent effect, one might ask if the client was truly choosing change?

Clients come to us for many reasons and not all of them involve being healed!

HH: Can one be addressed without the other? And how can flower essences help in both the discovery process and the clearing process?

Ziporah: Unlike people, flower essences have no propensity for analyzing or separating various types of healing or healing processes. All flower essences can heal on multiple levels and in myriad ways.

We are constantly addressing what we are aware of and can see, and ignoring everything else. Happily, flower essences have no such shortcomings; they will address whatever is there that a person is willing to allow.

HH: Another flower essence practitioner friend of mine remarked that, often, accessing the ancestor is difficult and the most readily available person is oneself, who carries the pattern anyway.  What do  you think
about that?
Ziporah: How difficult something is varies from person to person and time to time. I have found it both quick and easy to access my own and others’ ancestors, and less so at other times. It has always been possible and never what I’d call “difficult.”

Each person carries all of their ancestors within them. There is a chamber in the heart where they are all held, though some can be hidden at first. I’ll be creating an audio guided imagery journey based on what my angel guide showed me about accessing our ancestors. Like many things, accessing this area of our awareness is like a muscle that we can exercise and develop with practice and use.

There are many ways to access one’s ancestors. Gaze with open mind at old photos,hold items that once belonged to someone, go to places where they lived or worked. Ask for a dream. You can fill a glass of water before bed, adding a dreaming flower essence in it, such as Mugwort, or my Dream Healer combination. Just before you turn out the light, drink half of the water and ask for a dream about your ancestors, or whatever else you’d like to receive information about. Ask to remember the dream when you awaken.

When you awaken, drink the other half of the water, asking to remember. Some people remember a dream the first night, others it may take a few nights. Write the dream in your dream journal. The process of creating a dream journal and writing in it whenever you recall a dream tells your subconscious that you are open, willing to receive communication in this way, and honoring of that. When we ask to receive, we will receive.

How difficult it is and in what form it shows up depends mostly on ourselves. How do we expect it to appear? What communications are coming to us daily that we don’t recognize? Our cognitive minds are so busy, so full of conclusions, assumptions and points of view about how things are, how they will be, how they’re supposed to be, that it is difficult for anything to get through that doesn’t look just like we expect it to.

Using flower essences—any flower essences!—gently and gradually changes this. We can let go of things having to be a certain way, of insisting on being right, or wrong, or however we think we are and the universe is. Flower essences soften our finite boundaries so we can receive more of our true nature, which is infinite, light, joyous and free.

Ziporah Hildebrandt is the author of How to Make Your Own Flower Essences. She has extensive training in humanistic psychology, flower essence therapy and ancestral lineage clearing. Learn more at  Maple Seed_Yellow

Energy Psychology and Hypnotherapy

Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Nov 13 2011

Flipping the Lightswitch on the Mind’s Darkness

An Exploration of Energy Psychology and Hypnotherapy

Q. How many neurons does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. 100 billion and one. 100 billion microscopic cells to create a  thought and one to say, “That’s an idea!”

Anyone who has ever reached for a lightswitch that is no longer there on the wall after a room remodel, or pushed the button on a coffee maker during a power outage knows the power of neuro-electrical programming, how it can take days to re-wire their perception, or beliefs, to align with a new reality. Hard wiring is a good thing. It tells us how to navigate our environment, stay alive and motivates us to pay our electric bills.

But what of the destructive programming, or limiting beliefs, we are completely unaware of; the darker messages buried deep in the shadows of our subconscious that informs our decison making, judgement and actions; our shadow selves?

Argue for your limitations and they are yours.~Richard Bach

The above quote is an apt spiritual injunction. Yet, if we don’t know what our limitations are, how to recognize them as negative beliefs driving our behaviors, rather than the gospel truth of our reality, it is nearly impossible to argue against them.

No one wants to be held hostage to destructive behaviors or repel people with persistent negative attitudes. But all behavior is driven by what we believe will keep us alive and safe in the world. It is a cruel irony that those self-regulating behaviors we act out in order to regain balance —physically, psychologically and socially— and to move away from threat all too often backfires. What one does in response to a negative belief to feel safe, included and purposeful causes another to retreat, reject or judge.

This is the pioneering work of energy medicine (also known as energy psychology) which includes methods such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing); EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques); PSYCH-K (psychology + kinesiology) and hypnotherapy. The common denominator is neuroscience and how it addresses the brain’s electrical impulses and currents to reprogram the negative beliefs and perceptions learned and stored in our subconscious during childhood. But if beliefs are more powerful than reality, can we change? Energy medicine says yes!

A relatively new field, energy medicine marries neuroscience and psychology, shining the spotlight on the real reasons we get stuck in destructive patterns and the negative thinking that keeps us missing our goals of true success, happiness and love. Research consistently finds that we make decisions or set goals with only a tiny fraction of our conscious mind while the vastly larger subconscious is really running the show.

We’ve heard it for years now in movies and books like The Secret, and support groups, personal development seminars, eastern mysticism and cognitive psychology: YOU create your own reality.

But there is an element of blame and judgement in that suggestion. Anyone who has lost her husband in a car accident or has a terrible birth defect will tell you, they most assuredly did not create the painful situations they are in. There is some truth in both arguments though. Individually, we do not have the sum power and responsibility for creating all of reality. We do however have the ability to reveal a broader reality beyond our narrow negative perceptions and better align our lives to reflect more of the positive fragments of reality that are out there.

Our negative programming teaches us to select certain fragments of reality while being blind to others. What hypnotherapist Debbie Taylor-Lilly of Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Ore. says is our perception of life events; the personal meaning we assign to our life events. “Your perceptions tell you that what you are looking at, listening to, thinking about, experiencing, etc., is either good, bad, or neutral.” And our negative programs, just as a parasite seeks a host to survive, needs proof of itself to sustain its life. The talented adult artist who bases his livelihood on his artwork but never sells a painting was told as a child that no one will like him if he is a better artist than his peers. A brilliant ad executive who keeps losing her management positions because she is terrified of sticking up for herself is the daughter of a powerfully destructive narcissist. Self-fulfilling prophecy gets its fuel from belief. The reward is survival but the punishment is social isolation.

Energy medicine to the rescue! Methods such as PSYCH-K, EMDR and hypnosis helps us knock down the negative beliefs blocking the neural pathways that obscure the sunnier view. The more an individual can step out of his own shadow the more light he can accept and, in turn, reflect on his environment with positive actions. Collectively, consciously “creating” a new reality.

If the mind is like a box and our neurons are the pinholes through which we perceive only tiny fragments of “what’s out there” —selective reality— PSYCH-K helps slide the lid open to reveal a much broader landscape, and overwrites the negative or limiting belief with a new program of infinite possibility.

Can the mighty iceberg, the submerged part that is our subconscious, be that easily influenced by mere suggestion? Yes, says Taylor-Lilly. “Hypnosis, which is a state of deep relaxation, puts your mind in a state of receptivity that allows new programming to download. Hypnosis provides access to positive beliefs about yourself and the present that negative programming has kept locked out from your awareness.” Reprogramming does not consist of completely erasing our lives and memories. Instead it is a matter of laying down new positive tracks over the negative, limiting beliefs that make our reality a prison of impossibility. Repetition is the key, Taylor-Lilly explains. Just as physical therapy rebuilds and realigns our musculature, positive belief messages, consistently applied, overwrites our sub-conscious mind’s recorded messages about our beliefs and what is possible, or not possible for us.

But how does laying down a new track, so to speak, on the individual’s tape player sync with the reality of the world at large? How to reconcile, for example, a job seeker’s belief he can have any job he puts his mind to with a tough economy and poor job market? Because. The conscious mind will not seek anything that the sub-conscious mind does not believe exists in reality. Once one changes his perceptions of reality, he opens himself, literally, to a world of possibilities where the creative problem solving can begin.

Learn more…

Is That My Reflection or Your Projection?

Mental Health | Posted by Kim
Jan 29 2011
A Closer Look at Narcissism: Why the mirror is really the self obsessive’s worst fear.

Feeling a little crazed by the narcissist in your life? You are not alone. You may feel invisible but you are not alone.

The New York Times recently ran an article about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) being dropped from the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D.S.M.-5). The DSM committee’s decision has made some old school psychiatrists unhappy. But the manual’s definition of the disorder is woefully shallow. The common definition of a narcissist is that of one who, in love with his own reflection, demands constant praise and adoration from others to reinforce his self-image. But that’s only partly accurate. What the true narcissist really seeks by looking into the mirror is not his own reflection, but a reflection of another whose identity he can consume in order to disguise his deeply felt shame.

What level of crazy can dealing with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder make you feel? A true narcissist will have you arguing that Occam’s razor is a shaving utensil. A really good one will have you making a trip to the store to buy a pack of them, then arranging them neatly in his bathroom vanity (pun intended).

We all possess a degree of narcissism. Positive self-regard is a natural, necessary component of a healthy ego. But given a severe enough injury to our self-image, narcissistic tendencies can blow up so far beyond balanced proportions—leaving no room for other people’s needs or feedback—that it becomes pathological; a true personality disorder.

Causes of Narcissism

Distilling it down to its simplest explanation, narcissists use their behavior to hide, or avoid feeling, deep shame. In her book “Disarming the Narcissist,” Wendy Behary explains that the brain connects us with memory-driven mind states—positive or negativein a matter of seconds. It is what our brains do to tell us how to respond to a person or situation; tells us whether or not someone or a situation is safe.

In narcissism the presupposition is always attack. No one stands a chance in the face of the narcissist’s insecurity and insatiable need for approval. Behary ascribes such reactions to schemas, or personal life themes, that the narcissist may be reacting to outside of his awareness.

Behary lists several types of schemas. Some are, fear and inadequacy; entitlement or grandiosity; insufficient self-control and approval seeking. “When a schema is triggered, it can produce extremely powerful negative emotions, thoughts, physical sensations, and self-defeating reactions…Those coping skills often involve donning three protective masks: The perfectionist: the hallmark of his unrelenting standards schema. The avenging bully: the hallmark of his entitlement schema. The competitive braggart: the hallmark of his approval seeking schema.” (Disarming the Narcissist, p. 46.)

Love Him or Leave Him?

We meet one another at points all along the spectrum of self-awareness and human development. In the case of a parent, sibling or child, it’s not possible to completely eliminate a narcissist from our lives. Nor is it necessarily optimal. The better approach is to learn how to navigate our own healthy egos through the raging fires of their self-doubt.

For compassionate caretaker types, it can be hard to recognize a narcissist because her voracious needs and insecurities are often disguised as superiority or persistent indignation. Telling them how their behavior affects you is always, always your problem. Your needs are always, always about their needs. Draining, isn’t it? That’s because narcissists are emotional vampires. They aren’t in love with their own reflections. Vampires don’t have reflections! Because narcissism effectively damages self-image, narcissists lurk in front of the proverbial mirror, seeking another’s image. When a close, core or essential relationship appears, the narcissist pounces! Projecting herself onto you and taking over your identity. From that point on, everything you do and say she will hear and experience as you telling her who she is.

Intuitively it would seem that the narcissist’s theme would be me, me, me. But the hallmark statement of his disintegrated and disassociated ego identity is to constantly say, you, you, you. “I didn’t get to work on time because you didn’t set the alarm.” “I’m bending over backwards for you and you don’t appreciate it.” They master the art of deflection lest self accountability, or even interrelation, destroy their fragile sense of self. Instead of self-regard they are always in a state of self-guard.

Productive dialogue with a profound narcissistic is often impossible. What is being said cannot penetrate the steely armor of the ego wounded. Conversation bounces off  the mirror the narcissist has turned into a bullet-proof window.

Someone in a profound narcissistic state perceives even benign statements as attack. A simple “How was your day?” is a question the narcissistic mind hears as an accusation; a demand for accountability. For the person whose ego is playing out an inferiority or inadequacy schema, every plea for talk is felt as an indictment. To those unaware, it can feel like he is playing mind games, being intentionally mean or even sadistic.

The narcissist needs to feel special. Yet, when they perceive rejection, criticism or blame (which is almost always any time you tell a narcissist how you feel or what you need) they react in ways that make it hard to love or care about them, nevermind see them as special.

Triggers (Don’t Pull Them!)

Triggers make us aware of bodily, emotional and cognitive changes without clear understanding that it is memories, not a present threat, that are responsible for the changes. (That’s why you can’t get to the end of a sentence with your triggered narcissist.) In triggered states, sensory re-enactments of an early experience eclipse the present moment. In other words, “Honey, where did you put my pruning shears?” translates to your spouse’s mind, the enraged mother accusing him, when he was eight years old, of touching things he shouldn’t touch and now he’s going to get in trouble. His heart rate spikes, he starts to sweat and he goes into fight or flight mode. Telling your narcissist (including yourself) to stop living in the past is futile and actually hurtful. Not knowing the source of the uncomfortable physical and psychological states we are experiencing causes us to feel childlike and powerless over the mechanics of moving from threat to safety. Not surprisingly, the bodily symptoms and emotional distress of a narcissist’s triggered schema often mimic post traumatic stress disorder.

Behary uses the example of a supervisor walking by the desk of an employee with a defectiveness schema. The supervisor has what the employee perceives as a ‘funny look’ on her face. The employee immediately thinks he is going to be fired. “Our brains are primed to launch protective missiles when an enemy is present, and in this case the schema is the enemy.” (Disarming the Narcissist, p.47.) Depending on your particular schema, Behary continues, you may flee to safety, avoid tasks, become distracted, make mistakes.

Or, in the case of an abandonment schema, you may make unreasonable or relentless demands for reassurance. Either way, ultimately you end up fired, or dumped from a relationship.

So, how can you avoid triggering a narcissist? Practice active listening. Practice compassionate and reflective dialogue. Remember always the weight of the shame your narcissist is struggling under, and resist the urge (often the very strong urge) to counter-attack, argue your side or seek revenge. It can feel like an unfair burden but the rewards are worth it. Meet another person’s need for being heard and the obnoxious behavior goes away. For the moment anyway. You may have to ‘lather, rinse and repeat’ many times. But soon a level of trust builds to quiet the schema’s voices.

Are you a narcissist?

Do you recognize yourself in reading this? Don’t worry. A chronic narcissist is unlikely to take interest in this article’s title, never mind read down this far. Try this social experiment: print out this article and leave it in a conspicuous place. See who reads it and who ignores it. Narcissists tend to resist that scariest of all objects of self-awareness: the mirror!

Learn more about  Narcissistic Personality Disorder at

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