I’m delighted this week to feature in the Healing Earth, Healing Self Forum a conversation with my flower essence teacher, Joanne Ameya Cohen. Ameya gives us a window into how nature has healed her and heals her clients, and how you can walk as a Medicine Woman (or Man) who is healing self and Earth.
Can you describe for us your connection to the natural world?
Nature has saved me. This is quite the powerful statement and incredibly true.
My path has fortunately led me to use Flower Essences as my main tool for emotional and physical healing.
Flower Essences are the essence, spirit, vibration of a Flower. And so when ingested, they connect to your spirit or essence. Through this process, they return each person back to their truth, free from societal and familial conditionings as well as wounds from the past.
Because Flower Essences have helped me to release emotional baggage and invited me to really stand in the fullness of who I am, they have also deepened my connection to the natural world.
Ingesting the spirit of a flower has always given me a deep understanding of the intellect and potency inherent in the plant world.
When I walk into nature, I feel I am at home. I know the plants. They are my friends and allies. They have, as I said above, saved me. And I have watched them do the same with my clients over the past 15 years.
In Nature, I have been truly found.
When you think of “healing the Earth” and “healing the self,” how do you see them as being related?
In my Flower Essence Practitioner Certification Program, I remind the students that they are walking the path of the Medicine Woman. And a huge part of the Medicine Woman’s path is reconnection to Mother Earth. She knows that by sitting with the plants and trees, she is actually filling herself up with their wisdom and remembering that she is one with the natural world.
The Medicine Woman is also about helping other reconnect to themselves. While she is a healer, she heals by casting light on every aspect of a person’s life and helps to draw those shadowed or wounded parts back into balance. She knows that only when a person can fully heal their trauma and inhabit their body, that true happiness can be experienced. And when we experience the truth of who we are, each person can stand in their sacred leadership and contribute to the world in big ways.
Medicine Women are committed to healing as the act of restoring, nourishing, and building – both people and the Earth. There is no separation.
What do you believe is most needed now in our attunement or connection to the natural world?
The simplest answer: time in Nature. Or better yet, time connecting WITH Nature.
Time being still while in Nature. Time spent touching a tree or inspecting a flower. Time tuning in to what insects are attracted to certain plants. Time out of our to-do lists and into our hearts and Souls.
When we sit and begin to track our own selves while in Nature, most of us realize how much happier we are away from our computers, cell phones, ipads, etc. We come into the knowingness of who we are and our place in the world.
And from this place, we start to come into relationship with the Earth. When we can create or deepen into relationship with animals, plants, and the natural world in general, we are more apt to protect and respect. It is like with any relationship. The more invested, the more we appreciate, cultivate, and honor that relationship.
So, the invitation is to be with Nature and create partnership.
How are you leading your loved ones and/or clients toward a healing connection with the natural world?
When I work with my clients, they are seeking me out because either they have not found answers within the Western model of medicine or they have a knowing that plants have the medicine that they are looking for.
When my clients begin to work with Flower Essences, many of them find that they want a photo of the flowers they are using so they can get to know them better (and soon find them growing in their backyard!) or that they want to spend more time connecting with Nature. Others want to make their own Flower Essences which in itself is a beautiful process of connecting and communicating with the plant world.
There is something so pure about using botanical or sacred medicine for your own self-healing and finding in that process, that you feel or desire a deeper connection to nature. There is an awe and a sense of working with something bigger.
Tell us about practices in your own life that involve nurturing your own wellness while also connecting to, honoring, or serving the natural world.
For me, the very best thing is walking in Nature for awhile to move my body and then finding a spot where I can sit. I breathe in the air. I open my eyes to really see my surroundings. My heart naturally expands. It is really a practice of getting out of my head and seeing beyond what is “normal”.
Just the pause in itself away from distractions is a powerful act of self-care and healing for me. A deep reminder of the sacred.
In this act, not only do I get a reactivation from the Earth, but I am also loving the Earth. By seeing her, hearing her, listening to her, and knowing that the words she speaks are my Guide, I am honoring her as I would any beloved.
When you consider the challenges we’re experiencing on the Earth right now, what gives you hope?
What gives me hope is when a student of mine hears the call from the plants to learn about their medicine. Or she begins to hear plants communicate with her and doesn’t doubt this process. Or she understands that we are in a symbiotic and interdependent relationship with the Earth…. We NEED one another.
From this place, she begins to make different choices in her home and work life.
The ripple effect can begin with just a moment of connection.
Can you offer any advice or guidance to people who want to engage more with connecting human well-being (their own or others’) to the natural world’s well-being, but aren’t quite sure how?
Well, the simplest act is to sit in Nature for an hour of uninterrupted time. Take a journal. Write out how you feel when you first sit down. Put the journal away as well as any distractions and just be IN Nature. After an hour, track how you feel. Write it in your journal. You will notice and feel a difference emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
And of course, I would say, begin to read and do research on Flower Essences. Intuit or intellectually deduce what essences might help you. Take them. And see how you change.
Both of these will create a direct response within you from Nature.
Joanne Ameya Cohen is shifting the current paradigms in Women’s Health and Feminine Leadership. Through her background as a Certified Flower Essence Therapist, Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner, Feminine Embodiment Mentor, Counselor, and Shamanic Practitioner, Joanne supports women to Remember their truths, beauty, wisdom, and power. She is most passionate about helping women to let go of past pains and hurts in order to reclaim their Wild Feminine Hearts. Anchoring this in wisdom traditions, women are invited to coax out their radiance. They are set off on a path of reclamation.
Joanne Ameya teaches women’s wisdom and embodiment workshops, founded and runs the Woman Rising School for Flower Essence and Shamanic Studies, teaches an Online Women’s Mystery School, and co-hosts Wild Sacred Women Retreats. For more information, visit http://joanneameyacohen.com/