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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Irritation: A Case for Bach Flowers

In my part of the world it has been really cold. It's unseasonably cold and has been so for a couple of weeks- an eternity it sometimes feels like.  It has started to warm up since yesterday to the point that now freezing rain is predicted before a change over to rain and then back to a solid freeze again. This is not really making me feel better.

When it first started to be so cold there was a novelty about the situation.  The weather was the topic of conversation everywhere I went and it gave everyone something in common.  No matter how different we were, no matter how disconnected our situations were, we were all experiencing the cold atmosphere and we felt "together" in that. It's kind of "pride of Canada" stuff.  Hmm..

In the beginning of a cold snap there is a certain kind of "romantic pioneer" atmosphere that takes over in my part of the world.  We are all out there in layers and layers of unfashionable clothes that remind us of the snowsuits of old and we're okay with that.... for a bit...  We're using wool scarves and mitts that don't often get that much wear and we're okay with that too.  We're chipping ice, and trying to get water to flow when it doesn't want to, or stop it when it won't quit. Everything takes longer and becomes more difficult.  But there's a challenge in that and we rise to the occasion. We embrace it. We pat ourselves on the back just for getting the car to actually start or getting water to animals or keeping a fire going all day to cut down on energy costs.  We celebrate the end of the day with a hot toddy and toast our survival skills.  And then....

The cold lingers on.  We really do have to get out to the grocery store. It's no longer romantic to try and get feed and water to critters and instead of coaxing that water to flow we're fighting with it.  Everything is frozen and our bodies are stiff and sore....

That's "winter irritation".  You know you have it, when the clerk at the store in a very friendly manner says; "Is it cold enough for ya"? and something inside you twists. This isn't really a question that deserves an answer ever, nor is it expected to be answered, but if you can imagine reindeer stomping footprints on the clerks head when she smiles, then you've got winter irritation.

If you find your shoulders are up around your ears and every muscle in you tightens before you even open the door- you've got winter irritation.

If that colorful wool scarf is now choking you and, by the way, your skin is crawling with this winter itch that is magnified by simply looking at a picture of a sheep, let alone letting wool touch you anywhere... you might have what the cosmetic industry calls "winter itch", or what I call, "winter irritation".

There's a Bach for that!!!  If you find yourself with a case of winter irritation, try a few drops of the Bach Flower essence Beech.  Beech can be a pretty amazing essence that provides some instant relief. Perhaps this happens because the "Beech emotion" is usually a pretty passing state.

When you're in a Beech state you become highly irritated.  Little things (like wool on your skin) that wouldn't normally bother you, are suddenly all you can focus on and they are making you crazy.  You become particularly critical and intolerant of the actions and behaviors of others (like that poor store clerk who on another day you would have bantered back and forth with). The Beech state is usually a quickly passing state IF you catch it quick enough.  If you let it simmer you are likely to pull a lot of other people into your Beech state of irritation and before you know it you've got a lot of confrontation in your life.  That store clerk may not be that far from Beech reactions herself!

Bach Flower essences aren't "matched" to physical complaints, but once the emotions behind the physical state is soothed you often find relief of the physical manifestations.  Beech addresses that intolerance part of you and once your emotions can be brought back to a compassionate state that allows for unity with others, you may find you skin isn't irritated and itchy either!  For that same reason, Beech can also be a helpful essence for allergic states.

A few drops of Beech may be all you need when winter has you irritated and you'd rather be at the beach .  If you've simmered in the irritation for a bit, you might want to consider adding some other essences to your remedy.  Others to consider along with your Beech would be Water Violet, Willow and Impatiens.

Water Violet helps address that feeling of not wanting to go outside the house.  In the beginning of a cold snap it's a peaceful feeling and you open a good book, dig out your knitting and settle in.  After a few days it starts to become a mood you may have a hard time getting out of. In fact, people may stop calling and asking you if you want to join them because you've turned them down so often in favor of your cave. Water Violet can be a "type" within the Bach Flower essence.  It can be a pretty basic part of your personality and Water Violet types are often pretty happy to be alone.  They are self-reliant and private. But even Water Violet types can be prone to winter irritation and they suffer when they find themselves hiding in their cave, unable to break the cycle and share experiences with others. Water Violet can help you break out of your imposed solitude so that you can appreaciate time alone because you've spent time sharing with others as well. 

It's difficult to find the Beech state inside yourself.  When you're in that state you know that you're right and you should be irritated by those crazy behaviors and frustrating events. It's not really you that has the problem, it's everyone else. The longer you stay with that feeling and conviction, the more likely it will turn into something a bit deeper and that could be a spiral into a Willow State.  At this point ,your irritation becomes more of a self-pity and bitterness.  No one else really feels the cold to the same extent you do.  And what is that clerk complaining about? She gets to stay inside while you have to drag those bags out into the cold, into your car, into the house, no one will help you etc. etc. etc.  In the Willow state you feel you are a victim.  You don't deserve these problems but they are coming at you anyway and it just isn't fair. A few drops of Willow combined with the Beech can help you break out of the victim cycle and get control a bit.  If you've combined Water Violet with your Willow and Beech you may find you have some people you can actually call on for help and you can take control and deal with things in a more productive way. 

Winter Irritation is a passing event. Honestly!  It just doesn't feel like it at the time. Winter often feels so much longer than summer. We get impatient with the drudgery of winter and we want to move through it faster.  That's when a few drops of Impatiens may help.  Impatiens, like Beech, speaks to that state of being easily irritated.  And when it's minus 40 below and you're out there trying to fix a frozen pipe, it's pretty easy to want things done instantly!  Unfortunately, that type of impatiens can lead to temper flare ups and it usually doesn't help much to hit the pipe with a really big hammer.  Reindeer footprints on the cashier really won't improve your situation one little bit.  A few drops of Impatiens combined with the Beech may help you slow down, think your way through the frustration and cope calmly and diplomatically with irritating problems.

So in my Winter Irritation Remedy, I combine Beech, Willow, Water Violet and Impatiens.  I take a few drops of this immediately (that's probably the Impatiens in me!) and even when I feel calmer I keep taking this remedy for a bit.  I feel soothed by the re-balance it provides.  I see the gifts and abilities of those around me.  I've even asked for some help now and then. Together we will survive and thrive.  I don't think the pioneers did it alone.  Maybe that's the key. Maybe that's the "pride of being Canadian" and the reason we are considered so friendly.  We need each other and we know it! To survive during adversity you need to work with others not against others.  And for that, a bottle of Winter Irritation may go a long, long way.  Who knows- it might get you to Spring! If you want a bottle, email me For $25.00 and the cost of shipping it's on the way to you. I'm happy to share!  Keeps the reindeer tracks off my back I figure!


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