Monday, January 31, 2011
Writer's Block; Procrastination & Hornbeam Bach Flowers
A magazine publisher I used to write regular columns for, once told me his suggestion for getting through writer's block was to write the words ,"It was a dark and stormy night" and once those were on the page something else would come. It's a technique that actually works well for me. In fact, it works so well that just last week when an elementary student in a writing workshop asked me how I got over writer's block I confidently explained it to him. Hmm... seems that on Monday, the end of January it isn't working so well...
And so I turned to Dr. Bach and was reminded of the use for Hornbeam. Hornbeam is a Bach flower that is indicated when you are feeling mentally weary. It differs from the physical exhaustion of Olive or Oak- it's much more of an isolated "intellectual" weary. The person who can benefit from Hornbeam really doesn't doubt their abilities or lack confidence, they just can't get started.
Because they lack enthusiasm, those in the Hornbeam state will procrastinate endlessly. Channel surfing, long phone calls, and coffee sessions are favorite habits of the hornbeam state of mind. They may talk a lot about what they should be doing, even how they would do it, they just don't actually "just do it" like the Nike ad suggests.
Hornbeam is often helpful for people that have been working too hard, and can be of particular help for students that have been putting in some long hours studying for exams and reach that point of "can't even open the book anymore".
The Hornbeam state is often created when you have actually been working too long at the same thing without finding a balance between work and play. You end up with a sense of staleness and lack of variety in life. Lacking those outside distractions and emotions can certainly block a writer.
Julian Barnard, in "Bach Flower Remedies, Form and Function", describes Hornbeam as a remedy that must be taken to fully appreciate the quality of the emotional state. Barnard explains that people can become so habituated to the state they feel a sense of lethargy creep in. Because of the slow creep, it's often difficult to recognize you've reached that point.
Hornbeam is closely similar to, but yet distinctive from other flowers within Dr. Bach's grouping or category of "uncertainty". Hornbeam isn't the burden of responsibility feeling of Elm, nor is it the lack of knowing which way to turn that is matched to Wild Oat or inability to decide of Scleranthus. It is really a feeling that the effort required is just too much to face.
"It was a dark and stormy night when I took 4 drops of Hornbeam....