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Berlin … metaphor for Oneness

The 13. August of this year marked the 51st anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall, a strip of 155 km dividing East Berlin and East Germany from West Berlin. Growing up in the East close to the border to Berlin-Zehlendorf, living near the wall was somewhat normalised by everyday life. At the time, I knew there was no hope getting across, being taught in school that the wall would NEVER be opened for East Germans in this lifetime and I found myself being jealous of birds that unhindred flew to the other side. Sometimes there was an element of fear that entered my consciousness when visiting school friends that lived in houses within the ‘Grenzgebiet’ without a permit, as entry to houses within that zone was by official permission only.

The ‘death strip’ consisted of a 3.6m high concrete wall, mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long leashes, over 302 watch towers, border guards that were issued by the East German government with the order to “shoot to kill” any defectors.  The death sentence was issued not only to people but to nature, so that vision across the strip would not be obscured by trees, shrubs and weeds. Pesticides were used as was regular ploughing to stop anything from growing.

The Berlin Wall patrol road by Berlin-Zehlendorf in September 1990.

The Berlin Wall patrol road by Berlin-Zehlendorf in September 1990.

When the wall came down in 1989 I experienced Berlin for the first time as one … the streets, U-Bahn and S-Bahn being gradually re-connected and allowing life to stream back into those cut off arteries, the ‘Chi flowing’ as we would say in Chinese Medicine. An exciting time and it is still exciting for me when visiting Berlin and experiencing this oneness.

Walking on the border strip now that divided my town Teltow from Berlin, only the road used by the border guard vehicles and occasional memorial plaques are reminders of the former border where nothing grew but concrete walls, fences and watch towers. This is now being replaced by an abundance of life – birds, insects, flowers, trees and people cycling, walking, exercising.

The former patrol road of the border fortifications near Berlin-Zehlendorf in June 2012

Perhaps the Berlin Wall can serve us also as a reminder when our fears and anxieties cut us off from life, creating borders within us that block life and Chi to flow. We can experience what it means when nature takes its course creating abundance by being in the flow and I believe we can create this abundance in our lives when we become aware of and transcend our fears.

 

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu

 

As a kinesiology practitioner I support people in my clinic to become aware of the underlying reasons of their fears so they are able to let go, overcoming blocks and allowing growth in their lives. My first hand experience of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing re-connection of the two divided parts is a constant reminder that ALL IS POSSIBLE in life and to disbelieve those people that use the word ‘Never’ and ‘Not possible’.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

Mulla Mulla

Suspended worlds

This is a close up of a Mulla Mulla plant that was growing in a pot on my balcony. I was fascinated by the raindrops suspended in the fine hair of the plant containing a mesmerising world of its own. This plant not only looks stunning but you can try its healing powers in a flower essence from the Australian Bush Flower Essence range.

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Pink Mulla Mulla supports trust and openness as well as deep spiritual healing.

Tall Mulla Mulla helps to feel relaxed and secure with other people and encourages social interaction.

Mulla Mulla helps to calm fear of fire and heat, and can support you when feeling stressed during the hot summer months.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

Wattle

Sunshine Wattle – Let the Sunshine in

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When I just had enough of Melbourne in Winter with the day cast in grey skies, whipped by fierce southerly winds and rain showers I am greeted by masses of soft and bright yellows covering trees and shrubs everywhere in gardens, parks and the country side. Bathing my eyes in the sunny bright yellow colour of Wattle flowers brings sunshine into my heart and hope of Spring being just around the corner.

In Australia, there are around 1000 variants of the Acacia species or Wattle as they are commonly known here. The seeds from some 120 varieties have been used as foods by indigenous Australians for at least 6000 years. The roasted seeds have coffee, chocolate and hazelnut characteristics and can be used in desserts, cakes and as coffee substitute. I recently enjoyed a delicious spicy chai made with wattle seeds.

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The flower essence Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis) from the Australian Bush Flower Essence range helps to bring about acceptance of beauty and joy of the present … as when seeing a flowering shrub on a grey, cold day and smiling with joy. The essence supports people who had a difficult past and who are stuck there in their thoughts bringing the past into their present. It encourages optimism and joyful expectation.

“What, I sometimes wonder, would it be like if I lived in a country where winter is a matter of a few chilly days and a few weeks’ rain; where the sun is never far away, and the flowers bloom all year long?” 

… and truly thinking of Melbourne in Winter I am reminded of those words by British actress Anna Neagle and I know I live in that country.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

Chicory flower

Chicory … the girl left behind waiting in vain

Chicory, is a common sight along roads and in meadows in the European summer. The German name for the plant ‘Wegwarte’ (Waiting by the way) emphasizes its symbolism in old folk tales of a girl left behind, waiting faithfully but in vain for the return of her lover.

With its bitter taste, the plant has been valued for its healing qualities for liver and gall bladder disorders, poor digestion, nervous exhaustion, diabetes, loss of appetite.

Chicory can be used as a tea or coffee substitute and its close relative, the endive, is used in salads.

As a flower essence, Chicory helps with behavioural patterns that are characterised by a possessive attitude, tendency to interfere and manipulate, and a feeling of insufficient love and appreciation. Edward Bach compared the positive Chicory state with the archetype of the ‘universal mother’ that gives without expecting anything in return.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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The mystery of the Queen of the Night Cactus

On my recent visit to the Botanic Gardens in Potsdam, Germany I had the rare opportunity to witness the flowering of the Queen of the Night Cactus. The insignificant looking cactus produces huge flowers 15 cm in diameter that open once a year during the night only and fade at dusk. Its fragrance reminds of the irresistible combination of chocolate and vanilla.

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The Shoshone Indians of the Death Valley use the root and stems as a cardiac stimulant, helpful for tachycardia arrhythmia, vague chest pain and shortness of breath that may be associated with overuse of tobacco and caffeine. They call the plant ‘pain in the heart’.

The Desert Alchemy flower essence range offers a Queen of the Night flower essence that supports feminine qualities of receptivity, subtlety, darkness, intuition, psychic vision, and deep feeling. It helps those who have difficulty connecting with their intuition or those who ignore / not honour what is instinctively felt to be right. It assists with being connected to all life through our inner mysteries.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin

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What’s the difference between flower essences and essential oils?

When first coming across flower essences many people expect them to be scented in contrast to essential oils that are heavily imbued with the aroma of the plant they are extracted from.

Flower essences are vibrational imprints of flowers or parts of plants in water with a small amount of brandy added for stabilisation. They help us with emotional, mental and spiritual imbalances in a subtle, yet powerful way that address the disharmony on an energetic level. In Australia we have a number of flower essence ranges but you may have come across the Australian Bush Flower Essences or Living Essences of Australia ranges. The first range of essences was produced by Edward Bach in the 1930’s in the UK.

Essential oils are most commonly made by steam distilling parts of the plant (flowers, berries, bark, leaves etc.) to extract the aromatic components. The chemical composition and aroma of essential oils can provide psychological and physical therapeutic benefits.

Rose essential oil for example has been found to balance blood pressure and help dry skin on a physical level. It promotes a feeling of wellbeing and happiness on an emotional level and helps mental fatigue, exhaustion and stress.

The Bach flower essence Wild Rose encourages the potential in a person to embrace life, develop initiative, have a feeling of inner freedom and vitality. It has been called the ‘Zest for Life Flower’ by Mechthild Scheffer in the Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy.

Read more on Rose essential oil and flower essences.

© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin