Flower essence support for dealing
with apparent impediments and complications


  1. a thing that blocks your way, or prevents or hinders progress
  2. a seemingly insurmountable hindrance, often inhibiting the pace of forward movement, that can be a saving grace

How do you deal with obstacles in your path? Passion, inspiration, and necessity demand that you assert your will in the world. Yet when you meet impediments to having things go the way you want them, do you feel defeated and unable to continue? Do you amp up your determination and push harder than ever to get your way? Do you bang your head in frustration against obstacles, or feel victimized and stopped in your tracks? How is it possible to cope with daily obstacles without losing your cool?

It is possible to see apparent obstacles as opportunities for refining and perfecting your plan, but when is it prudent to view an obstacle as an adjustment and when is it a sign to become even more determined? How can you tell the difference? How can you assess whether it is better to adjust or assert yourself when faced with an obstacle?

What are some types of obstacles? Anything that stops you from achieving what you set out to do seems to be an obstacle. A person or situation that blocks your ability to manifest your desire feels like an obstruction. The desire to have complete control over a situation can be an impediment. Your perception that something is an obstacle can sometimes be the obstacle. A feeling of insecurity in your ability to deal with something new or different may feel like a stumbling block. Your perception of the state of your inner growth can be an obstacle. The sense that you are always behind and cannot catch up can feel like a barrier.

At the root of dealing with obstacles are two important opposites: assertion and surrender. On the assertion side, sometimes we need to not give up so easily when we are faced with challenges. Flower essences like Indian Tobacco and Violet Soldier can be helpful here. On the surrender side, sometimes we are too pushy, too demanding, and we need to adjust and learn to surrender to the gift an apparent obstacle is attempting to bring. Cane Cholla Cactus, Canyon Grapevine, and Pencil Cholla Cactus are excellent to help with this type of adjustment. White Desert Zinnia can help both sides.

After so many years using flower essences with myself and others, I know that carefully chosen flower essences can support us in seeing ourselves and the world around us from a new or more expanded perspective. Following is an exploration of the above mentioned flower essences that can help you sort out the best ways to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Attitudinal Regeneration


When an obstacle suddenly appears, you may feel defeated and discouraged. Violet Soldier is a powerful flower essence that helps you find courage and summon personal will to overcome an obstacle.

I have seen many clients who had basically given up experience attitudinal regeneration by using this essence. It helps you overcome feelings of insecurity in your ability to deal with apparent adversity. It can erase the feeling that you are ineffectual by uncovering the courage to move ahead.

Inner Obstacles

Sometimes obstacles are not in the outer world, but rather inside you. When you are hard on and judgmental of yourself and our growth process, you have hit an inner obstacle that must be rooted out if you are going to experience a life of joy.

Indian Tobacco is the flower essence to use when you are stuck in perceiving your growth from a despairing or gloomy perspective. It helps you make peace with yourself and see your growth as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.


Indian Tobacco helps us see that each thing that has happened, or will happen, in our lives is an important opportunity that our soul has brought us. This essence stimulates us to pay attention to what is really happening right now, rather then letting our judgement create despair.

A New View

One thing that stands out to me is that most obstacles are actually in our perception of the situation. One person may perceive a situation as an obstacle while another person sees a challenge. When I think about perspective, one flower essence that immediately springs to mind is Cane Cholla Cactus.


This flower essence is usually indicated for intelligent people whose minds want exercise. They tend to create obstacles wherever they possibly can, perhaps just to be able to solve them. Solving problems means that they are capable and they have a need to continually prove to themselves that they are able.

Cane Cholla Cactus is for those who perceive that a situation is a problem or a hindrance, even if it isn’t. The essence helps you let go of your perception of something so that your mind can leap to a new view. While the situation doesn’t change, the essence helps you see it as a project, releasing struggle and overcoming the apparent obstacle. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to deal effectively with an obstacle: a new definition of the situation.

Surrendering Through Obstacles

Sometimes, when an obstacle blocks the way, we push harder and harder in an attempt to blast through it. There are times when this is an appropriate response. Yet at other times, the block becomes even more obstinate when force is used. Surrenderfulness can solve the dilemma when force is not the answer.

Pencil Cholla Cactus can help when we need to surrender to Universal timing or guidance.


Quite often we say that we are willing to surrender our personal will to our higher self. Yet a short time later we insist upon things being the way that we want them. Pencil Cholla Cactus can bring us the patience to surrender repeatedly until we’ve found the way of our soul. […]

When we are invested in a direction that is no longer valid, Pencil Cholla Cactus helps us redirect our focus. This essence helps us make decisions based upon the direction that we really need to go… It keeps things flowing so that we can harmonize with apparent obstacles that meet us on our way. It supports a steadiness of our intention as we yoke our personal will with Universal Will.

The New Shape of Things

Sometimes, the universe, in its great wisdom, may bring you what appears to be an obstacle as a way of strengthening your resolve, or as a way of making you learn a new talent or skill. When faced with such an obstacle, you may feel like it stops you in your tracks and you can’t go ahead.


Canyon Grapevine is a flower essence that reminds you that sometimes, what is apparently an obstacle is actually something that creates the structure upon which you can grow and expand. As this desert vine grows upon another plant or structure, it doesn’t stop growing when it bumps into a protruding limb or wall. Instead, it uses the apparent obstacle as the structure upon which it will grow. The direction that the apparent obstacle gives becomes the overall defining shape of the plant.

So too, when we meet an apparent obstacle, instead of giving up, we can learn to reshape our plans, or ourselves, to move forward. We may need to learn a new skill or revise or adjust our original intention to conform to the situation. Canyon Grapevine helps us assess and accept the new shape of things rather than giving everything up.

Over-identified with Limitation and Struggle

Sometimes we adopt a discouraged attitude toward life and become over-identified with limitations and struggle. You may feel that you can never get ahead of the game, that there are always more obstacles, more limitations to overcome, more work, and more struggle.


White Desert Zinnia helps us deal with obstacles by helping us release the seriousness of it all. Even when times are hard and life is demanding, if you can let go of it for even short periods of time, you can gain a new perspective.

This flower essence helps you laugh at yourself or at a situation, bringing merriment and renewal. It helps you not take yourself so seriously or events too personally. This is often the key to dealing with obstacles: standing back and giving them a little bit of space while you regenerate through experiencing the play of life. This is the gift of White Desert Zinnia, an amazing ally when faced with an obstacle.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person’s specific needs. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for your particular needs.

Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]

For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

List of the Flower Essences Mentioned in this Article

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