In 2023, the Essence of the Year was Queen of the Night Cactus. It is a flower essence all about looking inside you and finding answers that your mind cannot. In 2024, the Essence of the Year is all about your mind.
I have a particular love of seeing things in life from the perspective of how it fits into the collective consciousness. In other words, how I fit into the collective pool of awareness and how the work I do on myself affects and hopefully uplifts others alive on the earth today.
My intention this year, before invoking the devas of the desert to support me, was to find the most beneficial flower essence that is universally applicable, that will help each of us to be in the most perfect balance possible to support and address the deepest collective need for the year 2024.
The Essence of the Year 2024 is Arroyo Willow
Arroyo Willow is one of our desert trees or shrubs. But it grows in a large section of the western United States, stretching from Mexico to Washington state. It grows from sea level to about 7,000 feet altitude.
It is usually a shrub but can be treelike and has male and female plants. The pollen-releasing male catkins are yellow, while the seed-producing catkins are green. Its main pollinator is the bee.
In the desert, it is a great plant to know because where the Arroyo Willow grows, you know that the area has water nearby.
The Blame Game
One of the patterns of imbalance of Arroyo Willow is the tendency to blame the outside world for whatever you don’t like that is happening in your life. It is easier to say that everything just happens and you have no power over anything in life.
It is a victim stance. We all feel victimized sometimes, especially when things happen that we did not expect or want. We can even become rigidly righteous in our perspective and hold onto to it so that we can stay in a helpless mode.
Yet Arroyo Willow is here to help us give up victimhood and take responsibility for ourselves and our lives. The flower essence helps you pull yourself out of victimhood and realize that you can change that pattern.
We cannot control what happens in life, some things come out of the blue and suddenly happen. Yet we can control how we interpret them. This is the arena of the mind where Arroyo Willow shines.
There is a universal principle that your thoughts create your reality. It is explained in ancient Sanskrit texts that consciousness descends from a great oneness, a vast energy that most traditions call the Lord, or God, or the Universe.
As this energy descends from the great Oneness, it goes through stages that limit the vastness and becomes, ultimately, human consciousness.
Part of our human makeup is the fact that we make judgements. We see something and draw conclusions with our mind on those things. However, the conclusions we make stay with us until we mature mentally and emotionally, and begin to decide differently. The conclusions we make when we are three years old are probably very different from when we experience the same things at age 34. Or, maybe not.
The conclusions we make stay with us until something within us opens us to the possibility that we could possibly make a new conclusion. This is part of healing.
In one sense, judgement-making stops a situation from changing. Once you make a conclusion and you are attached to that conclusion, the possibility of fully healing the situation stops for a time until you are able to see the situation differently and make a new conclusion.
Arroyo Willow can help you step outside of some of the conclusions you have made and make different choices of interpretation. Often, when Arroyo Willow comes up, you may feel anger or bitterness for what life has done to you. Or, you may have interpreted certain things in your life and you have a negative interpretation of them. The essence offers you an opportunity to free yourself from them so you can move on.
Let’s say that you are happily married and then discover that your husband cheated on you with another. The conclusion you make may be one of anger and bitterness, rage or even fury for the situation you now find yourself in.
For many reasons you may need to defer healing that situation, but it stays with you. It will color your experience of relationships and may even lead you to create the same situation again. It remains within you as a vibrational foundation for relationships until something changes it.
You may even begin to blame yourself for not knowing sooner and getting yourself out of the situation. Or blame yourself for having attracted a cheater and formed a relationship with him. Your self esteem may suffer.
Arroyo Willow can help get the healing started by helping you perceive the situation differently and take responsibility for your part in the situation.
Some people think that karma is the payback for doing doing something wrong. However, I think that karma is the process of living from faulty judgements we have made until something happens within us to allow us to see things differently and make new conclusions about them.
It is our conclusions about the situations we have experienced in our lives that either allow us to heal, or, to draw the same situation to us again and again.
In other words, the old conclusions we have made help to create situations in which we have the opportunity to make new conclusions from them. Or, even better, they give you the opportunity to have a do-over.
You may draw the same situation to yourself again and have an opportunity to think a different thought.
Arroyo Willow is a flower essence that helps you realize that you create your reality. You can see your life as beautiful or ugly, as bitter, or sweet. Yet as long as you are seeing things through the lens of hurt and betrayal, anger or resentment, you will always come to the same or similar conclusion about whatever issue you are facing.
When you can see that everything that is unfolding has a purpose in your life, you begin to accept that the universe is giving you an opportunity to create something great from whatever situations you face.
Arroyo Willow helps you stay flexible, to go with the flow of what is unfolding and to make the very best out of it. Even if what is happening is not what you wanted, how can you perceive that what is happening is for the best?
When I say this I do not mean that you start spouting off platitudes about how everything happens for the best. Rather, Arroyo Willow help you to make new judgements about the things that you are experiencing and see them as opportunities rather than limitations .
To use my previous example, you might think the following. If your relationship is ending, how can you grow and become empowered by that fact? How can you see that it is somehow for the best? That you have outgrown the old and can now create something new?
If your job is no longer available, what new journey of discovery is opening for you? What is the universe going to replace it with? And how can you go into it with a sense of adventure rather than punishment?
If there are situations in your past that left you feeling bitter and negative, how can you see those experiences as opportunities to change your interpretation of them?
Arroyo Willow helps us become aware of, and use our creative power of thought. Yes, it is true that we do not know what will unfold in our lives. Some of things we will experience are not what we expected or wanted. But Arroyo Willow can help you to take advantage, rather then be stymied by them.
This flower essence can also help you go back in time and create different interpretations of things that happened in the past so that you do not keep creating the same situations in your life today. When you can heal old situations you become free of needing to create the same situation again.
If you feel anger or resentment for what life brought you, the essence can help you see how overcoming your interpretations can help you heal and evolve.
If you don’t like what you see, you need to see differently, and Arroyo Willow is for that.
What is creativity? According to the dictionary, creativity is the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the creation of artistic work. Can’t your life be a work of art? No matter what you face, why not use your own unique ideas and imagination to interpret it?
It was Einstein who said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Your mind is filled with a lot of knowledge. And it is a good thing it is. But when you allow another part of yourself, your imagination to get involved, what fun you can have!
The dictionary says that imagination is the faculty or action of forming new ideas or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. It also says that it is the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
I have never understood how someone could be bored. There is always something interesting that can be going on inside you when you allow your imagination to get involved!
Even if you are sitting and watching people in an airport you can imagine who they are, what they are doing, where they are going.
In the same way, when you allow your imagination to get involved with your interpretations of what is happening in your life it is so much more entertaining than your knowledgeable mind.
Arroyo Willow can help free the poor imagination to be alive and well and help you out.
There is a word in English: jaded. It means to feel tired of, or bored with something. Or, lacking enthusiasm. And it is usually used when we have had too much of something and we lose the joy and delight that we used to have.
I think that Arroyo Willow can be a healing element to overcoming this state of being. The word enthusiasm comes from Greek and means that God shines out from within you. In other words, there is an open channel through which the Creator’s purity moves unimpeded through you and out into the world.
Arroyo Willow can help you feel your umbilical cord to this universal energy, which helps you remain more able to surrender to what is unfolding and make the very best interpretation of it. In that way, you will not be a victim to what is happening.
Arroyo Willow is also a flower essence to help us give up inflexibility. When things go bad according to our perspective, we can dig our heels in and try to control everything around us. Yet this stance is not helpful when what is unfolding is something we created to help us heal and evolve.
The flower essence helps you go with the flow, let go and let God. It helps your outlook become more flexible and filled with possibility, rather than limitation.
When you take responsibility for what is unfolding in your life, you begin to feel that there is meaning, purpose, and evolution. You can feel that challenges are opportunities You begin the journey of self-empowerment and follow in wonderment as things change, evolve and you are better off.