The Stream Orchid grows on a wall of salt and ferns, near a warm spring southern South Dakota, the only place it grows in the entire state. I found it by wading off the beaten path of the swimming hole, surrounded by a deafening chorus of cicadas. Stream Orchid helps us tap into the healing powers of our own voice. We can liberate stuck energies in the body through vocal expression, and expand our potential as healers by gaining a deeper experiential understanding of the healing power of sound. Read more here!
By being intentional when taking our flower essences, we remind ourselves, our guides and the universe what it is we want to embody. Choose one of the phrases below that most resonates, or make up your own! Every time you take your elixir, close your eyes and set your intention:
To take it one step further, as you take your elixir and set your intention, visualize everyone else in this program, all around the world, accessing the healing power of their voice. By connecting with others in our group, we exponentially multiply the benefit + ripple effect!
When do I find myself not speaking up?
What fears do I have around vocal expression - i.e. singing, public speaking, sharing ideas, exclaiming when in pain?
When I can easily express myself through my voice - what do I speak/teach/sing easily + confidently about?
What speech patterns do I have that minimize my vocal efficacy? ('Ummm', qualifiers such as 'like,' 'I think,' 'I'm not sure, but ...'). Experiment with removing them from your vocabulary.
Prefer to have a printed sheet with the writing prompts, exquisite practices + a calendar to track your month?
Explore different ways to expand your vocal expression:
Join a choir. -- Take voice or elocution lessons. -- Join your local Toastmasters chapter. -- Sing aloud in your car. -- Go to a room or place in nature you can play with echo (in the bathtub is generally a great place to do this). -- Hum. --
Practice speaking up with people who have earned the right to hear your truth. You can even preface with "I'm practicing speaking aloud things I would normally keep quiet about."
Give yourself a musical soundbath - put on your favorite instrumental music and listen with your entire body. Trying picking out one instrument, following it through the entire song. (This works best when listening through speakers vs. headphones.)
Go outside and listen to all the sounds - natural and manmade. Let them wash over you.
If you have a daily practice, try incorporating chanting or mantras that resonate with you. What do you notice?
(USE FOR 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE SITE-WIDE ALL THROUGH OCTOBER!)
Bloom into yourself:
Use me when you feel:
The collection story for the Stream Orchid is such a fun one. I had seen in some research that I did before this long summer road trip, that there was this really special place in South Dakota, because it was the only place in the entire state that had these particular orchids. Although they grow in North America, it's usually along sort of a belt from British Columbia, down around California, down to Mexico. To see them in South Dakota was really rare. The only place you could find them was next to this warm springs in the southwestern tip of the state. Since we were going to be driving through there on our Flowerlounge tour, we made it a point to go and visit this warm springs and see if we could find this particular orchid.
Just like with the Fringed Orchid, weeks before we even set out for our trip, I had been making prayers and wishes, and every morning my meditation practice was sort of like tuning into the area. Like, "Hey, we're coming, if it's in our highest, best interest, please be in bloom when we're there." By the time we got to South Dakota, it was about how many days into our trip? We drove to this warm springs. It was so fun, just to take a break in the middle of the road trip in the middle of nowhere essentially, to dive into this warm springs. The water was turquoise and super refreshing. It wasn't hot springs. They’re warm springs. There was this little area where none of the swimmers were going, and so I sort of snuck over there and started poking around, and I was like, "Oh my God." Sure enough there was this cliff of minerals, and growing out from the side of the cliff were only three of these Stream Orchids. So beautiful in real life. So much more beautiful in real life than in the photos.
I was just like, "Oh my God." So this was the first time that we ever collected a flower where we had to really carefully ... Because we were in water chest high. The only way to reach the flowers was actually through the water. They were on this huge cliff, you couldn't walk there by land. And so, carrying all the materials, and the cameras, and everything was kind of fun, because there were currents in the water, and it was deep. We had to take care not to get everything wet. It was so magical, because it felt like it was on the tail end of these flowers blooming, and they were just there gloriously waiting for us.
When I was actually making the flower essence, and soaking it in the sunlight, I was sitting quietly as I typically do next to the flower essence, and taking notes. I was writing about this flower being sort of like a teacher of ... A teacher through direct experience of the healing power of sound, and of vocal expression of speaking, singing, moaning, groaning, humming. Any sort of sound that comes from our vocal chords, and just sound healing in general. As I was writing this massive army of cicadas in this huge tree - in all the trees around me - started sounding. Making that call that they make, and it was the most deafening sound I've ever heard. Cicadas can really get going. They really get going in Phoenix, in the late summer. But I had never heard such a deafening crowd.
In that moment, it actually felt like a transmission. To me, it felt like the Cicadas were giving me a transmission along with this particular flower - about the timing and about this particular flower essence being a direct channel for us to experience, on a more profound level, sound healing. And how we heal with our voices, and how we choose our words, and the way we communicate, and being really fearless about the noises that we make from our vocal chords, and how in so many ways we do things intuitively, but that it in fact helps us when we're sick, for example, and we moan. That that particular frequency is calming, and really is pain. Or, the fact that frogs in the rainforest sing and call the rain. How is that even possible? It's kind of like this other worldly understanding of sound frequency.
So! This month we're working with Stream Orchid. It is a fascinating looking flower, and it has a very unique quality. This month will be very fun to explore. Not only the way that we communicate, the way we make sound, the way we use our voices and our expression. And also listening to the different sounds around us. Listening to the way people speak. Listening to the sounds of the animals, and the trees, and the wind, and noticing how that affects our bodies.
That is the magic of the Stream Orchid.
It's ironic because this month we're working with Stream Orchid, which is all about the healing power of our voice and sound and vocal expression and yet today I'm not gonna talk at all about voice or sound.
I'd rather just talk about the concept o pure expression. And would love for us all to reflect on the ways that we express ourselves that are less traditional and not as reliant on our voice or through vocal expression.
So, for example, in my case it is through dance. It is through writing or poetry, that there is this sort of like subtle essence of something that wants to be expressed creatively with beauty or joy or just simply like raw emotion that wants to be expressed or more deeply felt or understood or processed or integrated through the body. For some people it might be painting or sculpting or trimming trees or flower arranging, through building something, photography, doing some kind of creative project. Singing, chanting, even meditation is a form of expression of one's innermost subtle essence.
For this week I think it would be a great exercise for us all to notice the different ways that we express a profound form of communication or expression of our essence that is not verbal. It may enhance verbal expression, but doesn't rely on words. It could even be your presence, just simply your presence in a room with other people not saying a word. That's also expressing something or communicating something on an energetic level without words.
So the question for this week is:
What are your favorite forms of expression that you're able to channel and funnel subtle parts of yourself through and into but don't rely on words?
What are some of the energies that are being expressed through those forms of language or expression?
This week I'd like to start with another question. This month I am all about the questions. The question for you is about the conversations that you could have with people that are simple and maybe not necessarily easy, but simple and direct that can either forward your relationship or help you understand something more deeply. This month I feel like is all about having the little conversations that lead to a deeper understanding.
So, what are those conversations you want to have? And with whom are those conversations - that will either teach you something about yourself, teach you something about the other person, or about life in general?
When you're having these conversations, being able to practice the awareness practice of really tuning into a person's energy while they're speaking and into what they're not saying verbally, what they're just purely expressing on an energetic level or on their face or body language.
You may even want to jot this down so you don't forget. What are those conversations that might be helpful to create more understanding with the different people in your life? Who are those people? What are the conversations centralized around? And, what kind of understanding would you hope to gain?
These would be not like the kind of painful, emotional, dramatic conversations like, “oh, we need to talk and hash something out.” It's actually where there isn't a lot of emotion. Are there any conversations that you can have that will deepen your understanding without a lot of drama and emotion? More just like inquiries and discoveries, exploration, that are relatively simple to have that will teach you something about yourself, the other person, or the situation you're in.
Short conversations, profound impact. What conversations will you have this week?
So I wanted to just share a little bit of personal insights that I've gained during the time of working with Stream Orchid. I've noticed, that in the first few weeks of working with this flower essence, it's been more about - seems to feel more about - expression and asking for what I wanted and being heard and making sure I understood my true motivations. And I was just doing a lot of singing loud, belting out in my car. In the very beginning, I had an off-and-on, really minor sore throat. Super minor - it would come up and go away.
And I noticed that in the second few weeks of working with the flower, it's been more about listening and asking questions and discovering what the other person is saying. A lot more exploratory and reflective and really trying to come to a deeper understanding.
I've had to have a lot of conversations in the last few weeks from the contractors that didn't work out that we had to let go of, to the new ones coming on, to all the different experiences with the new building. I had a really heated discussion with the landscaper in Spanish. I've actually done the exercises that I've recommended and written down the different conversations that I've had with people. I've noticed some themes - and it seems to be around clarifying intentions and understanding the true motivations of whoever it is that I'm communicating with, as well as myself.
It has an element of being able to ask for what I want, as well as understand where they're coming from and what their needs are. It seems like there aren't a lot of immediate conclusions. It's more about the art of expression and the art of listening. Sort of just letting things come up + out and letting the pieces land where they may, and not having to have any “well, this is what that means” or “well then, the conclusion is this” or “therefore, this action must take place.” It seems like really just an exercise in being able to purely express something that is in the mind or on the heart and not having to put it in any sort of box or do anything with it. It's really just receiving the person.
So if someone is conflicted and they share something, just really deeply being present with that person and receiving what they're saying without trying to come up with a solution or fix it. It's really profoundly just being present with them and understanding where they're coming from as well as the practice of doing that for ourselves, right? Being fully present with all the different personalities that arise inside of us and understanding their motivations and being able to be present with that inside of ourselves.
I think that in terms of sound healing … I mean, any time we endeavor to learn more about the healing power of sound or expression, we start first by finding out what most deeply is desiring to be expressed within us. And finding ways to express that, whether it's verbal or through dance or through song or chanting or meditation or sculpting or flower arranging or whatever that is, so that we can acknowledge it within ourselves. Then practicing the art of deep listening and being present with whoever we're listening to, meeting them where they're at and understanding their motivations and desires and what they're longing to express. I think that is what creates the foundation for being able to understand the healing power of expression or sound healing in general - really listening to what wants to be expressed within us and what wants to be expressed within other people and the different ways that we express those things.
So I'd be curious to know if you are particularly interested in sound healing and if you have noticed any particular shifts in your work in that area and/or just, in general, what have you noticed this month about the way that you express yourself?
The conversations you've been having, the way that you listen to other people, the way that you've received their expressions? What have you noticed this month?