• Many Voices, One Journey

    The Sounds True Blog

    Insights, reflections, and practices from Sounds True teachers, authors, staff, and more. Have a look—to find some inspiration and wisdom for uplifting your day.

    Standing Together, and Stepping Up

    Written By:
    Tami Simon

  • A Free Podcast Interview

    Insights At The Edge

    Tami Simon’s in-depth audio podcast interviews with leading spiritual teachers and luminaries. Listen in as they explore their latest challenges and breakthroughs - the leading edge of their work.

    This Week:
    W. Keith Campbell: The New Science of Narcissism

  • Many Voices, One Journey

    The Sounds True Blog

    Insights, reflections, and practices from Sounds True teachers, authors, staff, and more. Have a look—to find some inspiration and wisdom for uplifting your day.

    Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice Invitation

    Written By:
    Heidi Smith

600 Podcasts and Counting...

Subscribe to Insights at the Edge to hear all of Tami's interviews (transcripts available, too!), featuring Eckhart Tolle, Caroline Myss, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Adyashanti, and many more.

Most Recent

W. Keith Campbell: The New Science of Narcissism

Dr. W. Keith Campbell is a social psychologist and professor in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program at the University of Georgia. Best known for his research and writing on narcissism, Dr. Campbell is the author of several books including The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself, The Narcissism Epidemic, and a new book with Sounds True, The New Science of Narcissism: Understanding One of the Greatest Psychological Challenges of Our Time―and What You Can Do About It. In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Campbell about the latest scientific understanding of narcissism and its various forms, the spectrum of narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the “big five” personality traits and the importance of balance, the malleability of our personalities and the possibility for change, and more.

Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice ...

Plant medicine has always been the people’s medicine, and flower essences create unique opportunities for issues surrounding accessibility, as essences are extremely safe and can be made rather inexpensively. The shift toward holism—complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine—and the proliferation of herbal interventions within our health-care system are proof that we are making progress. In light of this, there are a number of dynamic ways we can promote flower essences to be even more accessible and inclusive for people. Even flower essence therapy itself is a modality historically dominated by white men, but increasingly it is being pushed forward by women-identified, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC healers.

Currently, the alternative healing community is processing its own biases. Much of alternative medicine was developed in the service of the dominant culture, or the patriarchy. Therefore, it hasn’t been a healing space for many groups, including but not limited to women, people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, economically oppressed people, neurodiverse people, and (in the United States) non-native English speakers. In the words of Cara Page, a founding member of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective, healing justice “identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence, and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts, and minds.”

Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice Invitation blog image 1

One of the main themes of The Bloom Book involves balancing duality, which means challenging the perpetuation of oppressive systems. Unless we are actively engaged in dismantling racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and ableism, we are merely reinforcing the power structures we are claiming to challenge. As models of healing justice are emerging, many organizations and community collectives are generating their own missions and value statements from which to work. Meanwhile, practitioners—especially white practitioners like me—have to ask ourselves:

How is my work a function of my privilege? 

Where can I be doing better? 

Does my practice truly support inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility?

The working definitions of healing and trauma are also evolving. Within a healing justice framework, one can see how, by understanding trauma merely as “an emotional response to a terrible event,” we are ignoring a more inclusive interpretation that includes the cumulative and historical trauma of colonization. In the last decade, science has validated that trauma is intergenerational and historical. Likewise, many traditions include community in what constitutes emotional and spiritual healing, whereas Western models of mental health are focused exclusively on the individual self. 

When you open yourself up to the plant kingdom, new awareness can develop. You can become more empathic, which sounds pleasant in theory, but can be overwhelming because now you’re not just experiencing more of your own feelings, but the feelings of others as well. If you’re committed to applying a healing justice framework in your work, you will likely expose new trauma and have to reckon with your own privilege, which can be painful. You could develop more attunement with nature, which also can feel wonderful and, because of the tragic state of our Earth, completely disorienting. At this time, we are experiencing a heightened polarity between the light and the dark. We are being asked to hold a neutral space for all this duality and to have more compassion for all life. Flower essences enhance the energetic interconnection between all living things and so are especially well suited to support an expansion of consciousness.

Understanding how we function within—and our responsibility to—the collective is important because none of us operates alone. If you forget what you derive from the collective, you assume you don’t owe it anything and exist separately from everyone. Much of the privileged world enjoys the benefits of being part of the collective, whether we are conscious of it or not: rights, amenities, protection, accessible health care, clean drinking water, electricity, and so on. So, those with the material upper hand at this time have a special responsibility to the rest of those sharing the Earth.

Within a healing justice framework, we must not only question our privilege as white people, we must elevate BIPOC leadership within all the transformative justice movements. We are all dependent on one another to collectively wake up and heal.

Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice Invitation blog image 2

In this way, it is an exciting time for the community of herbalists and flower essence practitioners. Modalities that are so helpful in bringing people into balance are themselves coming into greater balance. A sign of hope within an era of great hope. The ancient wisdom explored in The Bloom Book supports that the power of the plants is coming through in dynamic new ways. This text exists, in part, to provide more context around the validity and potency of the flowers. The spectrum of human emotional experience is here for our development and delight.

The Absence of Women-Identified, WOC, and QTBIPOC Healers Throughout History 

Missing from our Western history books are most of the contributions by women-identified healers through the ages. Even more scarce are WOC, and most scarce are queer and trans people of color (QTBIPOC) within the codex of Western medical history. The misogyny of the burgeoning patriarchy from ancient Greece spread throughout Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the rest of the world through colonization by white settlers. The suppression of women healers in Europe and the Americas coincided with the rise of the ruling class, capitalism, and the privatization of medical care, away from folk-healing traditions—traditions that women played a huge role in preserving and advancing. Gender seemed to be less of a construct throughout many parts of the ancient world, as there are significant written reports of intersex and gender-fluid healers. In many cases, those who exhibited androgyny were known as having special healing powers because of their ability to connect with both masculine and feminine energy. 

Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice Invitation blog image 3

As historical contexts are becoming more inclusive and less Eurocentric, there is more room for the theory around matriarchal-centered civilizations being much more prominent than previously thought. Senegalese anthropologist and historian Cheikh Anta Diop felt that, historically, most of Africa was matriarchal in organization. Colonizers were tremendously misogynistic, which holds much information for us to ponder as we consider our connection to the feminine and the history of medicine. 

The lack of representation of women and WOC healers in the historical literature of medicine is decidedly a Western trait. Not only is much history transmitted orally and through practices and traditions, but the written history is also a very biased account, formulated in large part by, and for, white men. While our participation in medicine and healing traditions has been historically restricted in the West, women have long been associated with healing, especially within the domains of life and death—as midwives and compassionate caregivers helping to bring new life and support the soul into the afterlife. Women healers have traditionally addressed the issues and needs of populations that our culture typically shames and would rather ignore. Written accounts are limited, but we do have a record of a talented few. We must honor the oral traditions that are not meant to be shared (by me anyway) with the mainstream. There is a protection in keeping knowledge hidden from the masses. This wisdom is secured within the light lineage of all healers. 

Plants, People, and Cosmic Balance: A Healing Justice Invitation blog image 4

Conclusion 

The social and healing justice movements have affected me deeply, and it is my sincere hope that we can continue to decolonize and dismantle where dominant systems are limiting the positive proliferation of alternative healing and flower essence therapy to make them more accessible and inclusive. The more we come into balance in this way, the more transformation is available to us all, our communities, and our Earth—and the more we maintain plant medicine as medicine for all people.

Healing Justice Flower Essence Allies

There are a number of herbalists such as Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary, Jennifer Patterson of Corpus Ritual (also a Bloom Book contributor), Lauren Giambrone of Goodfight Herb Co., and Amanda David of Rootwork Herbals, (to name a few), who have been speaking on the subject of healing justice for quite some time, and I am grateful for their leadership and inspiration. Healing justice business models such as that of Third Root, a worker-owned community center that provides collaborative, holistic health care in Brooklyn, offers a standard that everyone in the healing arts should aspire to. 

I offer some essences below that are wonderful to use in process groups or healing circles that center on antiracism and anti-oppression work. Some flower allies to assist you as you dig deeper into this rich and rewarding terrain are:

Delta Gardens lemon balm—a wonderful essence for when you are immersed in deep work, to keep calm and carry on

Delta Gardens valerian—for any resistance to change, to be able to take in and assimilate new information

Flower Essence Society quaking grass—“harmonious community consciousness,” letting go of personal attachments in social groups

Flower Essence Society lupine—seeing beyond the level of self, seeing self as part of the whole

Flower Essence Society or Delta Gardens echinacea—integration of those parts of the self that may have been repressed

Flower Essence Society or Delta Gardens borage—to support the heart and offer courage

Bach Original Flower Remedies water lily—for humility and wisdom in communication, to heal the perceived separation we feel from others based on race, class, or gender

Flower Essence Society pink yarrow—for emotional vulnerability, assists in discerning what is your responsibility to emotionally process

Additional Information on Healing Justice

A Not-So-Brief History of the Healing Justice Movement, 2010-2016

What Is Healing Justice?—Healing by Choice Detroit

Healing Justice: Holistic Self-Care for Change Makers—Transform Network

Healing Justice Toolkit

Corpus Ritual

Railyard Apothecary

Good Fight Herb Co.

Rootwork Herbals 

Sacred Vibes Apothecary

Harriet’s Apothecary

Third Root 

Heidi Smith headshot

Bloom Book

Heidi Smith, MA, RH (AHG), is a psychosomatic therapist, registered herbalist, and flower essence practitioner. Within her private practice, Moon & Bloom, Heidi works collaboratively with her clients to empower greater balance, actualization, and soul-level healing within themselves. She is passionate about engaging both the spiritual and scientific dimensions of the plant kingdom, and sees plant medicine and ritual as radical ways to promote individual, collective, and planetary healing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner and two cats. For more, visit moonandbloom.com.

 

 

Learn More

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

Emma Isaacs: The Art of Winging It

Emma Isaacs is the founder of Business Chicks, a highly sought-after keynote speaker, and a media commentator on topics around female leadership and entrepreneurship. A bestselling author who has worked with the world’s greatest thought leaders and businesspeople, Emma inspires thousands with her boundless energy and ability to see possibility wherever she goes. She is also a mom to six kids under age 11. In this podcast, Emma joins Tami Simon to discuss her new book, Winging It. Emma and Tami also discuss the fallacy of “having it all,” the “four-burner theory” and focusing on our highest priorities, the concept of work-life balance (Emma doesn’t buy it!), and much more.

Customer Favorites

Jennie Lee: Are You Listening to the Question Life Is ...

Jennie Lee is a recognized expert in the fields of yoga therapy and spiritual living. She has taught classical yoga and meditation for more than 20 years and coaches private clients in practices that integrate life spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. With Sounds True, Jennie Lee has published the book Spark Change: 108 Provocative Questions for Spiritual Evolution, where she guides the reader through powerful question prompts designed to deepen your awareness of your innermost needs and initiate powerful shifts in your life. In this conversation with Sounds True founder Tami Simon, Jennie discusses the importance of knowing how to ask the right questions, rediscovering the art of introspection, assessing your own spiritual evolution, and much more.

W. Keith Campbell: The New Science of Narcissism

Dr. W. Keith Campbell is a social psychologist and professor in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program at the University of Georgia. Best known for his research and writing on narcissism, Dr. Campbell is the author of several books including The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself, The Narcissism Epidemic, and a new book with Sounds True, The New Science of Narcissism: Understanding One of the Greatest Psychological Challenges of Our Time―and What You Can Do About It. In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Campbell about the latest scientific understanding of narcissism and its various forms, the spectrum of narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the “big five” personality traits and the importance of balance, the malleability of our personalities and the possibility for change, and more.

Emma Isaacs: The Art of Winging It

Emma Isaacs is the founder of Business Chicks, a highly sought-after keynote speaker, and a media commentator on topics around female leadership and entrepreneurship. A bestselling author who has worked with the world’s greatest thought leaders and businesspeople, Emma inspires thousands with her boundless energy and ability to see possibility wherever she goes. She is also a mom to six kids under age 11. In this podcast, Emma joins Tami Simon to discuss her new book, Winging It. Emma and Tami also discuss the fallacy of “having it all,” the “four-burner theory” and focusing on our highest priorities, the concept of work-life balance (Emma doesn’t buy it!), and much more.

Timeless Classics

Lance Allred: The New Alpha Male

Lance Allred is a former NBA player (who was the first legally deaf player in the league), public speaker, and author. With Sounds True, he has published The New Alpha Male: How to Win the Game When the Rules Are Changing. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lance about the experiences he had in professional sports that led him to reevaluate what it means to be a man in contemporary society. Lance explains how his upbringing in a rural, polygamous commune informed his original ideas about masculinity, highlighting the subconscious assumptions about money and power that affect American men’s self-worth. Tami and Lance also discuss the roles of emotional vulnerability and surrender in the lives of modern men. Finally, they talk about the principle of perseverance and the increasingly urgent need for all cultures to reexamine their assumptions and core values.(63 minutes)

Micah Mortali: Rewilding

Micah Mortali is the director of the Kripalu School, a certified yoga teacher, and a longtime wilderness guide. With Sounds True, he has published Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Micah about humanity’s growing disconnection from the earth and how “rewilding” can help slow that trend. They talk about rewilding both as individuals and as part of whole ecosystems. Micah also shares the story of an intense, revelatory trail encounter with a bear and comments on the “species loneliness” of urban environments. Mulling the sense of grief they have for humankind’s effects on the environment, Tami and Micah consider how modern people can grapple with being in exile from the natural world. Finally, they discuss the barriers many have to reentering nature, as well as ways to initiate your own rewilding experience no matter where you are.(64 minutes)

Christian Conte: Healing Conflict: Listen, Validate, a...

Christian Conte, PhD, is a mental health specialist and leading authority on anger management. With Sounds True, Christian has published Walking Through Anger: A New Design for Confronting Conflict in an Emotionally Charged World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Christian about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, explore options.” Christian explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger’s charge from their limbic system. Christian and Tami discuss why it’s necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on “the cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.(63 minutes)

>
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap