The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #114 - Katie Hess
1Katie Hess is an expert of flower alchemy - using the healing power of flowers to awaken our true potential. She is the author of Flowerevolution and founder of LOTUSWEI, the world’s leading flower elixir apothecary. She travels in search of rare flowers with the healing qualities most needed by today’s world, from the forests of British Columbia, to sacred sites in India, rainforests in Costa Rica, hot springs in Iceland and the jungles of Taiwan.
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11:20 - Katie's Personal Story
14:40 - how many flowers are there?
16:00 - supportive flowers
18:05 - the role of flowers in our daily lives
20:00 - the subtle electricity Emitting from flowers
21:15 - male and female flower parts
22:30 - plant communication
23:20 - Mycelia network
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29:30 - Overcoming barriers to enjoy nature
31:25 - Essences, Herbals, and homeopathy
36:50 - finding your elixirs
38:30 - Plant identification app: seek
39:00 - what role does attraction to color play in attraction to flowers?
41:10 - the biases in our selections
42:10 - romance and sexuality; roses
44:40 - what's the typical user experience?
48:30 - working one on one with clients
50:40 - the formulation and application
55:05 - single essences vs combinations
58:40 - the aroma
1:02:10 - carrying the trauma of previous generations
1:02:50 - exchanging energies
1:06:00 - selecting flower essences for other people
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1:09:35 - The Process Of Creating A Business
1:11:15 - the future of Lotus Wei
1:12:50 - the shift in attitude around essenes and aromatherapy
1:14:00 - what role does lunar and solar cycle play?
1:16:00 - Experiments with plant energy
1:19:40 - stephen buhner
1:21:10 - structured water
1:24:30 - the flower quiz in real time
1:25:35 - hong kong orchid: self acceptance
1:26:05 - black bat flower: Balancing Anger
1:28:00 - fire weed: healing trauma
1:29:10 - Mandevilla: fear of loss
1:30:25 - Silk Floss: confidence
1:31:05 - Hollyhock: frustrating relationships or fear of betrayal
1:31:55 - Pink Magnolia: giving away your energy
1:32:15 - Bamboo: the essence of determination
1:33:15 - katie's favorite flower
1:34:30 - the effect of our energy on those around us
Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I am about to have. I have been looking forward to this for a long, long time. A little backstory about everything. As listeners know, I dive deep into the natural world and the effect that it has on our health. But honestly, and I was thinking about this right before we started recording, I'm a little bit shocked in how I've existed on the fringe of appreciating the role of plants in our health, specifically flowers. But three things recently have made me really want to look deeper into all of this. So, the first catalyzing event was the author, Katie Hess, her team sent me her book called Flowerevolution: Blooming Into Your Full Potential with the Magic of Flowers. I received the book which, honestly, hands down out of all the guests I've had on the show, which is over 100 episodes at this point, this is the most beautiful book I have ever received. It is gorgeous. I received it, I was like, “Oh goodness, I really, really hope that there's a lot of science in here,” because there's so much potential and promise just seeing the book aesthetically. It delivered 100%, really opened my eyes to the science of flowers and the effects that they might have on our bodies. So, that was the first thing.
The second thing was Katie also sent me her flower elixirs, and I started using them. We can dive deep into that in the show. But I felt the effects immediately, and, honestly, was a bit shocked by all of it. The third thing is actually something that I've been talking a lot about on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. It's not flowers, but I've started growing plants hydroponically in my apartment. Words cannot describe the effect that it is having on my life. I hadn't really looked at plants before or taken them into my space where I felt I was caring for them and having a relationship with them. It made the whole thing very, very real for me. I was just really looking forward to this. I think there's so much potential here for so many people. Katie, thank you so much for being here.
Katie Hess: Oh my God, such a pleasure to be here. Thanks, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: To start things off, like I said, your book is absolutely beautiful. It's comprehensive, but you do talk a lot about your personal story in the book. For listeners, I was wondering if you could tell them a little bit about your journey, and which it's been a crazy, amazing journey. What brought you to where you are today with everything that you do with flower elixirs?
Katie Hess: I grew up as an only child. So many of us can relate to being little kids and seeing the world as this magical paradise. I really leaned into trees and flowers and plants as a kid when I was playing alone as companions, but I never imagined that I would actually work with them in the future. It wasn't till I graduated college that I was like, “Oh, gosh, what am I really here to do? What's that thing that I can help people reach their full potential faster?” So, I ended up traveling. I lived outside the country for several years in Europe, in Mexico, I traveled throughout Asia.
I ended up meeting an expert in flower remedies. He basically taught me two things, really, really important things. One was that every flower on the planet has a really specific benefit for how it helps us emotionally, mentally, spiritually. That alone was fascinating because there are so many flowers in the world. Then, the second thing was he said that if we could get 3% of the world's population to be actively, regularly working with flower remedies that would change the outcome of the future of our planet. Although he wasn't really specific about the details, that was something I felt was so meaningful, and I could get behind. I loved the idea of having something that I could offer people that would accelerate their personal growth, that would help them through the bumpy parts of life.
I started a practice first in Mexico, and then I realized I was in the wrong place, I moved back to the United States. In a nutshell, the last 20 years has been an incredible learning process, the first 10 years exclusively working with people one on one, and finding out about their lives and what's working and what's not working and where they want to go and creating custom remedies for them. Then, using that experience to really drive a business and a company and a product line that can reach people all over the world.
I never imagined that I would have products, Melanie. I was just working with individuals, and it just got to a point where it was so insane. I see people transform in three weeks, their face, their body language, their stories, and I was just blown away. How is this possible? How is it possible that more Americans don't know about this? Everyone in the world should experience this. So that really drove me, and has continued to drive me to educate as many people as possible, and essentially devote the rest of my life to making flower essences more well known.
Melanie Avalon: This is so, so beautiful and so incredible. I didn't mention in the introduction. Katie is the founder of LOTUSWEI, and it is the world's leading flower elixir apothecary. I'm sure we'll talk more about that. How many flowers are there? How many different types of flowers?
Katie Hess: In the world? There's about 40,000 flowering species of plants.
Melanie Avalon: Do you know, in general, for the average person, how many were exposed to in our daily life that we're aware of?
Katie Hess: [laughs] That we're aware of are the keywords. I didn't know that would be a really interesting experiment to go around and count all the plants and flowers we see in one day. Probably depends on where you live, and how much outdoor time you get. But I'm thinking, it's morning time for me here in Phoenix, Arizona. From the time I did my meditation practice this morning, walked out to my car, drove by some plants on the way to the office, and I'm sitting next to a couple of plants. I maybe have felt the support of 20 plants in the last couple of hours. Probably all of us are a little bit similar, wouldn’t you say?
Melanie Avalon: I would think so. I'm thinking about-- in my apartment complex how they bring all of these different flowers. It probably by the seasons changes a lot. But I love what you just said about feeling the support of the flowers, which I think and I've been thinking a lot about this. I was telling some friends that I was going to be doing this episode, and they were saying if you think about it, flowers are often used for support or to make you feel better. So, what is going on there? When we use flowers for people's birthdays, or when you're sick or for so many different occasions, either of love or sadness, flowers are often involved. Is that a cultural thing? Is that a scientific thing? Why flowers?
Katie Hess: It's a primordial thing. Those are times that we look at where they offer touch points into our culture. It's like you said, at transition points, essentially, like yeah, maybe celebration, birthday, but also graduation, getting married, romance, when someone's sick, when someone dies. They're big moments on the inside for us. It's not a coincidence that they make an appearance in our lives when we are going through these incredible transitions.
Historically, this concept of working with flowers has been around for thousands of years. It's not really alternative medicine or anything like that, like as we would see it. Life has changed so much. Back in the day, we would just spend so much more time out in nature, and we would get the downloads or the upgrades from the botanical realm naturally. And then, over time, in many, many different places around the world, there have been medicine men or women, shaman, yogis in the Himalayas, alchemists, doctors that will prescribe their patients to go out into the wild and drink dewdrops from the tops of specific flowers that they were familiar with. This practice has been around for a really long time of not only bringing them in as beauty and inspiration and to help us transform, but this process of literally drinking the dewdrops from the tops as a form of really gentle way to make ourselves feel better.
Melanie Avalon: I feel ever since reading your book, my eyes have just been opened to the role of flowers in everything that you just spoke about in our daily lives, because before this, I took flowers very casually. I was like, “Oh, they're nice. They're pretty. We like them.” I wasn't really thinking about how they were actually affecting us. I've been listening to this one song by Hailee Steinfeld and just realizing how much it's saturated in our culture. One of the lines she's talking about a love affair that went wrong and she says, “I'll buy myself flowers, and then when they die, I'll be happy that they got me through.” We're very much aware of how they're helping us, but I think so few of us aren't really taking it seriously. What is actually happening? Why are flowers making us feel differently?
Katie Hess: It's more than beauty color, visual image, shape. It's more than oxygen being out in nature. It is a very subtle form of electricity that is being emitted, and it's all concentrated in the flower, because it's the plant's reproductive system. That very subtle electricity can move very quickly through our electrical system. For reference, in the University of Bristol in UK, they actually studied bees and they found that bees are not attracted to flowers based on color or scent, like we had thought. They literally communicate with flowers, they can feel that subtle electricity being emitted from the flowers on the little hairs on their legs. And there's a real subtle dynamic communication occurring between the flowers and the bees about pollination, about how they can work in tandem together.
That subtle electricity when introduced into our bodies, and where our bodies are made of lots of subtle electricity is that Chinese acupuncturist have been tapping into for over 3000 years with acupuncture. These subtle energies move throughout our meridian system, our bodies, our chakras, all the different energy points of the body. The subtle electricity from the flowers or you could call it, lifeforce or chi, it harmonizes where we're static or where we're stagnant. Like an acupuncture treatment without the needles, it reminds us of who we really are of our true nature. It brings things to the surface. It helps us feel better. There are so many different types of flowers, some are very stabilizing, some help you dredge things up to look at them to release them. It can be as simple as you like, like, “I just made to sleep, can I have something for sleep?” Or, it can be very complex, and going down into the cellular body memories from when you were a child.
Melanie Avalon: That is so fascinating. I hadn't really thought about it before about how the flowers are the reproductive part of the plant and sending out that signal. This might be a naive question, but with plants and flowers, are some flowers male and some flowers female, and sometimes both?
Katie Hess: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: Does that effect things?
Katie Hess: I would imagine. In terms of you could collect a papaya flower essence that is the male part, and you could collect a papaya flower, that's the female part. We did make an essence of the female part. So, I actually haven't looked into that, but it may offer a different wisdom or message based on whether it's the masculine or feminine part of the plant.
Melanie Avalon: I'm thinking about that, because I have to self-pollinate my cucumbers. So, I'm learning all about the male and female flowers, but that is so interesting. I read that in the book as well about the bees being attracted to the energy and not the colors like we thought. One of the most eye-opening analogies that you made in the book was how plants might communicate to each other. Basically, this idea that we take for granted, we humans communicate each other with something like text messaging, and that's sending out information invisibly, and receiving it and interpreting it. We think that's very valid and normal, but a lot of people don't really take it seriously that plants might be doing the same thing with their own method of energetic communication. I'm just wondering if you could expand a little bit more on that as far as plants talking to each other, and what is it that, the mycelium network? What is happening with plants and their communication?
Katie Hess: Well, there's two different forms. One is more studied than the other. The first form is that mycelial network that you're talking about, which is mycelium is basically like teeny, teeny, tiny, single-celled fungus or mushrooms. It forms this beautiful-- it's almost like identical to the internet actually, it's this beautiful network right underneath the top layer of soil that connects everything, that connects all the trees, all the plants, all the flowers, essentially, it's like the internet of the ground, of the earth. And they can communicate information like, “Oh, there's a new pathogen, and here's what you do to protect yourself from it,” or, "There's a new bug in town, here's how you protect yourself from that." They share information, they share nutrients. There are such things called mother trees, like a giant tree that sort of gives nutrients to all the rest of the botanicals in the area. So, that's one way that they communicate.
The second way is, I call it and this hasn't really been readily studied, but I like to call it like Flora Wi-Fi. And like you said, it's very easy to look at our cell phones and say, like, “Yeah, I'm going to send a text or send an email. I’ll send some music, poetry videos,” and we never question it, because it just happens. But if somebody would have said, “Okay, Melanie, when you're older, you're going to have this little box in your pocket, and it's going to send out these waves that are invisible. And on these waves, it's a ride like a magic carpet.” All kinds of things like images and videos, and poetry and music. We would have just thought, like, “What?” Even just talking about it, I actually don't know how all of that information gets passed over these waves and particles. Are we really so naive to think that only man has that capacity to create that in the last how many years? If the earth is 4.5 billion years old, don't we think that somewhere along the line, there would be enough wisdom to have that capacity in this live format that doesn't need to be recharged, that doesn't need to be plugged into the outlet, that's happening all the time spontaneously. Flowers know when to bloom, they know when to die, they know when to flourish.
There is this communication that's happening almost like Bluetooth, when we walk in nature. The Japanese are onto it. In the Japanese culture, they have this practice called shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing. It's more than just oxygen. Ah, Melanie, it's so fascinating. 44 of their national forests are certified for this practice. You think forest bathing is like you're in some bathtub in the forest. It sounds very sexy, but it's actually bathing yourself in the energy, the chi, the lifeforce of the plant life. What the medical schools in Tokyo have found is that there is this incredible exponential healing power to Mother Nature. Some of the things they found are that if you spend one day out in the wild, your adrenaline and cortisol plummet, so your stress goes way down. Your white blood cells will skyrocket, so your immune system is boosted. What is even more fascinating is, those healthy benefits will last in your body for an entire week even if you were just in nature for one day. And if you spend two days in the wild, those healthy benefits will last in your body for an entire month. So, there is this exponential benefit. It has more than to do than oxygen. It's like the life force and it's removing all your stagnancy and removing your stress and harmonizing all of the energies of your body so you can come back to your natural balance.
Melanie Avalon: I have a major, major question with what you just said. This has been, honestly, probably the biggest barrier for me as far as receiving the potential health, physical, and emotional benefits of nature, and it's that I am severely allergic to grass, specifically. I know some people have different allergies to different things in nature. For me, if I think of a forest, that's wonderful, so hearing about the forest bathing just sounds absolutely amazing and healing, and I'm down and I want to do it. But if I think about a field, even a beautiful picturesque field like in the countryside, it's one of the few things that immediately makes my body just feel intense anxiety. So, I was wondering, especially in today's modern environment where lot of people have very overactive immune systems, what role does that play, if people have allergies to different plants or different things in nature?
Katie Hess: There's a couple of ways you can approach it. One is just enjoy it where you can. If you are good in the forest, and you're good at the beach, and you're good at the riverside, then go to those places and avoid the ones that are making you miserable and nose runny. Another option is to work with something like homeopathy which is similar to flower essences, a little bit different, similar in that they're incredibly diluted. And you could actually make a homeopathic of grasses that you could introduce in your system to hopefully uproot some of the causes of the allergies.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you brought that up because I was going to ask you about that, because I do think one of the things that people might be a little bit familiar with when it comes to flowers is Dr. Bach. Is that homeopathy?
Katie Hess: That's actually flower essences. So that's what I do.
Melanie Avalon: I think people might confuse the two. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that, and about what essences actually are, what elixirs are, what is all of this?
Katie Hess: I can just back up by doing a really simple metaphor of all the plant medicines that you might be familiar with. Herbs, that's taking the entire body of the plant, and that is to heal your entire body. If someone had come into my office when I was doing consultations and said I had cancer, I would have never said, “Oh, sure, yeah, just take some flower essences and you'll be fine.” Because in the world of energy medicine, the body is the screen, and the aura or the energetic field that surrounds us, the electromagnetic field, is the projector.
When something reaches an imbalance state in the physical body, it's gone through energetic, it's gone through emotional, it's given you some mental flags, some energy flags, and then we all do this, we have our modern life, and we just ignore something. “Oh, it'll go away,” or we put it in the closet for a while. And then, the last-ditch effort, the body does a red flag and shows it as a physical symptom. At that point, I would recommend herbs, it's like the body of the herbs to help heal the body, whether it's tinctures or teas or Chinese medicine.
Then, there are essential oils, which is a distillation of literally the juice of a plant, and you can do it from seeds, leaves, and flowers, highly aromatic, it has to be diluted to put on the skin, not meant for taking internally for the most part, very sensuous yummy experience in the moment.
And then, you have homeopathy, which is a highly diluted, usually from rocks, minerals, some plants, some poisonous plants. So dilute that there are no more actual chemical constituents of the rock or mineral or plant. And they call it light [unintelligible [00:22:41] for example, if you get runny eyes when you're out near the grass, some homeopath might say, “Oh, you might want to take allium,” because when you cut onions, it makes your eyes tear up. So, we're going to give you a little bit of that onion, so that your eyes stop tearing up, is the same concept of like giving you actually the grass remedy to try to help your body unravel the root cause of the allergy.
And then, you come to flower remedies. Out of all of those, it's most similar to homeopathy, except that it's made from a living plant, living flower that's growing in the ground. And it goes through several dilution processes similar to homeopathy. So, you can actually work with flower remedies that are-- some flowers that are poisonous, and you'll be fine because there are no more actual chemical parts of the plant in the remedy. It is purely the life force or that subtle electrical system we talked about before of the bees. Flower remedies are really meant to be taken internally, although they work just as effectively externally, which is something that I've discovered in the last few decades. As long as it gets into your energy system, it will start to balance things out. But traditionally, they're taken internally.
Dr. Bach, who you mentioned, he was actually an allopathic doctor in the 30s, 40s. He became frustrated with the limitations of western medicine, and then he became a homeopathic doctor. Then, at some point, he became frustrated with the limitations of homeopathy. And then, he just turned to his backyard, in his garden. He was really one of the first pioneers to figure out how do you scale the dewdrops? I don't know about you, I don't necessarily-- Well, I live in Arizona, we don't even have to. So, it would be hard to drink the dewdrops every morning.
Dr. Bach figured out a way to scale it so that he could create an infusion and then be able to bottle that up so that we can bring nature into our daily lives. If you're like me and you're on the computer too much, and you're indoors too much, it's a way to bring nature in. From our perspective, there's a couple of different ways, flower essences are the same thing as flower remedies, pretty much the same thing as flower elixirs. They're just different names. We've chosen to use elixirs often because we just didn't want people to get confused with aroma therapy. They're all interchangeable, and to make things more confusing, we also work with aroma therapy because we love it. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: What I'm using right now is the sprays. Those also have essential oils in them, I believe. Do you have just the essences as well?
Katie Hess: Absolutely. So, we probably have 250 or so mother essences in their collection. Many of those have gone into combination blends, like bouquet in a bottle, and then we also have just single flower essences as well.
Melanie Avalon: I really want to order some and we can go into how people should pick them. When it comes to a person finding the elixirs that would work best for them, how do they go about doing that? Is there a science to it? Is there an intuition? What's happening?
Katie Hess: I would say the easiest way is just to see what you're visually drawn to. For that reason, on our homepage, we have a quiz where you can choose the flowers you're most visually drawn to, and then at the end, it'll give you a reading or a little recommendation of where to start. Another way to do it would be, if you're more analytical mind, we have a search bar. You can just type in like, despair, or jealousy or insomnia, or something that you're experiencing, that you want to experience less of or something that you want to experience more of, happiness, joy, laughter. And then, you can look at what flowers pop up in the blog posts and see what you're visually drawn to. I love that method the most rather than trying to overthink it. We are such complex humans, we have so many things going on in our internal world. Sometimes, you really just want to get to the root instead of like working on all the symptoms. So, I find that just seeing what flowers I'm visually drawn to is the fastest path to really figure out what's priority in that moment.
Melanie Avalon: Do you know if there's an app for identifying flowers with your camera?
Katie Hess: Oh, there is. I can't remember what it's called.
Melanie Avalon: I'll find it and put a link to in the show notes, because I was just thinking about how I have that app for wine labels. I was thinking I need one for real life for flowers. That'd be absolutely amazing. For listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes to Katie's website and to the quiz that you take so that you can find what you're attracted to. Something I noticed in myself taking the quiz and looking through the book and looking at the flowers is, is there a bias with color? I feel like I naturally gravitate towards a certain color, and then I was overanalyzing, I was like maybe I'm just picking the flowers based on the color, and I'm not like taking in the whole flower. What role does color play in attraction?
Katie Hess: It may play a role in it, also may not. I wouldn't overthink it, I wouldn't overanalyze it. We do that all the time though, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Story of my life.
Katie Hess: In some cases, okay, you could say, “Well, oftentimes, the pink flowers are really helping people generate more softness, gentleness, love.” If you find yourself wildly attracted to pinks, it could be going in that direction. Whereas if it's a white flower, or a night-blooming flower, maybe you're suddenly just attracted to all the things that bloom at night by the light of the moon, then you could say, “Well, maybe you're going through a process of looking at things that you haven't wanted to look at before,” or looking into the shadow or shining light into dark corners and seeing that what you thought were your weaknesses are actually your strengths. You could say maybe color does play a part if you find yourself just only drawn to one color. But then again, I wouldn't overanalyze it too much. I would just go for whatever juicy.
It's funny that you say that because I used to have-- especially men, they would pick flowers, and then they would-- I show them all these photographs. And they'd say, “Well, I'm drawn to this one. But it's not really fair, because everyone must be drawn to that one, because it's the most interesting one.” And I was like, “Oh, that's interesting. You really think that everyone will be finding that one of the most interesting because you found it the most interesting?” [laughs] Just a funny psychological thing that we all have. In fact, everyone is drawn to so many different things. It's also changing. It's a moving target. You may be drawn to daisies, and then you take daisy essence for a month. And then, next month, you're like, “Oh, it looks boring to me. I'm ready for something different.” So, it will change. It's very dynamic.
Melanie Avalon: It reminds me of how growing up, fruits, my favorite fruit was and is watermelon. For the longest time, for an embarrassingly long amount of time, I literally thought everybody's favorite fruit was watermelon. Whenever there's candy flavors, I feel everybody picks watermelon, and then probably in middle school or maybe even high school, which would be embarrassing, one of my friends said she hated watermelon, and I had this mind-blown moment where it's like, “Oh, I did not even know that was a possibility.” And even with colors, I've always been fascinated by-- I love colors, I just love color. But I don't like the color orange, and I never have, and I've always wondered, what does that mean? Why don't I like the color orange? Do you know anything about the color orange?
Katie Hess: That's really interesting. You might want to explore some orange flowers just to see what that elicits. But I would say, orange has to do with creativity, creation, what you make, your home space, sensuality, sexuality, all things to do with creation.
Melanie Avalon: Actually, speaking of that, with the sexuality and all of that, romance and flowers, because people often give roses, for example, for romance. Is there something about roses or do you think that's cultural? We have just always given red roses for romance. Or, is there something about red roses that's sexual?
Katie Hess: Let's see, roses may be more love, love, love. Rather than sexual, it's like gentleness, loving, kindness, nurturing, nourishing, and softness. There's a very high frequency with rose, you can make rosewater solutions or rose flower essences for protecting you from, let's say, mischievous spirits in the unseen realms. It's a very high vibration flower, or subtle. In my experience, roses is about letting go of struggle, and making things hard. It's about allowing and nourishment. I suppose that could be juicy, lusciousness as well. But there are a lot of interesting flowers for romance, like Hong Kong orchid.
I'll just tell you a little story. When we very first started doing products to sell versus me working with clients, I would set up at the farmers markets in downtown Phoenix. I remember there were some ASU college girls that would come by and be like, “Oh, which one is the love potion? I'm looking for a boyfriend.” It was so funny, because I would say, “Well, it's this one here, and it's called Infinite Love.” But the flowers do something really interesting. They help you fall in love with yourself, they help you accept every aspect of yourself. They help you fall in love with yourself so much that you don't need love from the outside, and that is incredibly sexy, which in turn attracts love. It also helps you take care of yourself, be more kind and gentle to yourself. Everybody is so dang hard on themselves, so they feel that softness in your energy and they want to be near that. So, it's this funny roundabout way of caring for ourselves that can also attract love with flower essences.
Melanie Avalon: That's the one that I've been using, the Infinite Love. The first time I put it on, I was shocked and I don't know if that's normal. I would love to hear of what's the normal experience of using them and reactions, but I felt it very potently immediately. And then, the more I used it, I felt I was feeling it less potently, but you talk about the honeymoon phase and a new baseline. What is a typical reaction that people have when they start using flower essences and a timeline of how it might help them and how their perception of using it might change?
Katie Hess: Let's see, the distilled version would be-- The farmers market had this really cool system of-- well, we just invited in all different kinds of folks. Sometimes, people would come in who were on drugs all weekend. In terms of immediate reaction, it was fascinating because we would even just someone putting Infinite Love serum or oil in their hands and then rubbing it on their face, you could immediately see this milky film on their eyeball, is the best way that I could put it, just pop off. It seemed to be super apparent when people were living on the streets or their life lifestyle is rough. It was like night and day. With everyone, sometimes we'd see people their eyes would tear up, but not in sadness. It was just this immediate cleanse, which I found really interesting. Sometimes, their facial muscles would relax. They would laugh.
So, they're the immediate things you might feel. Then the honeymoon phase is usually like, three to four weeks, where, if you're working with flower essences regularly, like four to five times a day, you have this moment where you're like, “Oh, wow, I feel less irritated. I feel I can hear the birds singing. I just feel good. Why do I feel so good? And I have no reason to feel so good.” That would be the honeymoon. The flower essences have a mind of their own, they know how to stabilize us. Once we're stabilized, they can go deeper, and they can pull up things that we may want to bring up to the surface to look at them as they go on their way out, so we can free ourselves of self-limitations and old patterns.
To summarize, what I saw in my clients, if you work with flower essences regularly, by month three or four, you will start to see changes in your external life. In the beginning, it's just everything on the inside is changing, and you feel different and you think different. You're like, “Oh, something just feels really different.” The outside world starts to mirror back to you those interchanges as at about month three or four. Isn’t that interesting?
Melanie Avalon: You start seeing in the environment around you the things that you're feeling internally or attracting people?
Katie Hess: Well, let me be more clear. If you take Infinite Love for one week, people in the grocery store will be like, “I like your hair.” “Oh, I like your shirt.” You'll already start to see people being attracted to you. Your loved ones will be more affectionate. That can happen really fast. I mean more like your job changes, a new opportunity comes in, a relationship, we realize is like, “Wow, I'm not aligned with that relationship,” or you develop a new relationship that is super aligned with where you're going. Or, you feel you should move to a different location. More bigger, outer changes.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. Do you still work one on one with people?
Katie Hess: At this point, very rarely. Occasionally, but very rarely. Just because it takes a lot to run the business, but we do have other people who have been trained on our team that do consultations.
Melanie Avalon: When you first started working one on one with people, did you present yourself as flowers being a primary part of what you did or was that not on your description and then you brought it up later? I'm just wondering, did it self-select for people that naturally wanted to try flower essences or not?
Katie Hess: That would have been awesome if I was an acupuncturist or a naturopathic doctor, and then I just had these little flower essences on the side. [laughs] No, I went full on 500% in. That was like year 2000, 2001. You can imagine trying to entice people to come for a flower essence consultation. It was rough. Yoga and meditation were not cool yet at that point, but I went full in. I was all in, all my chips in on just the practice and the art and science of flower essences. It was cool, because my business built by word of mouth. I would say in the beginning, probably every single client after we talked, they would stand at the door on their way out, and they would be like, “Katie, I really, really like you. I'm not sure if this is going to work.” [laughs] I'll be like, “Don't worry. That's totally normal. You don't have to believe in it for it to work. You can be as skeptical as you want to, just try it. What do you have to lose? There's no side effects. Just try it for three weeks and come back. In three weeks, at our next appointment, just tell me what you've experienced.” People will come back and be like, “What is this stuff? Why does this work?" It will be anywhere from people with serious suffering that we're looking for ease, to people who are, "Life is amazing, I just know there's more.” It was just like phenomenon to see people transform so quickly.
Melanie Avalon: That is so, so incredible. I have another specific question about the formulation of the elixirs themselves. Are all of the ones that you make made with honey?
Katie Hess: They are. We used to do them with vegetable glycerin and then I was like, it was an inert ingredient. We switched to honey because there are so many health benefits with honey. It's so good for the body, and in the amounts that we use it, even diabetics can take our elixirs internally. It's very little. When you actually add up all the calories and stuff, the sugar intake is actually quite low for people who are sensitive to white sugar and honey and maple syrup and all that stuff. It doesn't bother me. We have had some people say, “Oh, we'll just do this straight up alcohol,” but it's pretty fierce. It's pretty strong. In the beginning, I was like, if I'm going to ask people to take this five times a day, it shouldn't be like a yummy treat, versus trying to choke down some strong alcohol. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Can you take it topically, the essence? Or does it need to be internal?
Katie Hess: Absolutely. That's part of the reason why we use aroma therapy. The mist that you are familiar with, the anointing oils, the serums, bath salts, we really try to get it into as many sort of daily care ritual items as possible, because if you're not going to take it internally, you could mist yourself five times a day, or you could apply this oil five times a day, or a combination of different things so that you get the benefits from taking it.
Another thing, let's say, if you don't want to take it straight, you could put the elixirs in a bottle of water, and it then distributes it throughout the day, and you get several doses, just like every time you drink water from your water bottle.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, because I want to be super clear on this answer, because I know so many people in my audience practice intermittent fasting, and they're just not going to be able to take anything with honey in it orally during the fast and especially people that are fasting 16, 20 hours. I want to make sure that they understand what would be the best route for them to take. If they want to do the essence or the elixir, do they take that topically? Or, do they get the mist or the oil?
Katie Hess: Yeah, so you could do one of two things. If you've got a four- or eight-hour window that you are eating, then you could just take the elixirs five times. Almost every hour, every hour and a half every two hours, you could take the elixir. You just compress it into the time that you're eating and you're not fasting. Or you can just work with the mists, anointing oils, and other forms that are not taken internally.
Melanie Avalon: But topically, that's not the delivery route for the essence?
Katie Hess: No, actually, we put the flower essences in everything. Yeah, you could say, “I'm not taking any of this honey elixir stuff out. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the Infinite Love mist, and I'm going to miss myself multiple times a day." There are flower essences in that mist. So, you will be just as flower essenced as if you had taken the elixir.
Melanie Avalon: Can you turn the essence into a mist yourself, like in a water bottle? Or would it not work that way?
Katie Hess: You could. I'm not sure how the honey would do. Let's see, we have almost 18 different formulas of mists, and they're super yummy. And the aroma therapy profiles are super complex, we pride ourselves on. I pride myself on making stuff that's like super complex and different and unique. You won't see lavender spray. It'll be something fun and interesting. You'll get like six different essential oils and six different flower remedies in there.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. I so want my audience to just go full with this, and I know that a lot of them are going to have questions about that. So, perfect. Actually, to that point, because you're talking about blends. What is the difference between working with single essences versus combinations?
Katie Hess: Yeah, great question. I recommend people to start with combinations, especially if they haven't worked with flower essences before. It's like tackling something from many different angles, and you feel a difference very quickly, which gives you confidence and relief, which is great. And then at a certain point, when you have exhausted all the combinations, there's three different levels. There's a stabilization, exploration, liberation, so you can move your way up or down or in however you want to think of it through the combinations. And then at a certain point, you may feel a desire to work with single-flower essences. They're more targeted, they go deeper into your more subconscious patterning, but they're also more subtle. So, I don't recommend people to start with them because it really just so much better when you're like, “Oh, wow, I feel it,” in the beginning.
We have also a program called the Flower Evolution, which is one single flower essence per month, like a single elixir, shipped to your door, which is also an interesting place to start. It's like the flower that the entire collective needs right now. And each month, it changes to something totally new and different. It comes with the support mist or oil. It's basically what all of us need to anchor in at this particular time. There are a lot of different ways it could go.
Melanie Avalon: So, you choose it based on current events and the current vibe of the world?
Katie Hess: Yeah. It's more of an intuitive process, less of an intellectual, but every month, I'm usually floored at what happens. For example, in 2020, there was this flower that I had in my library for years. I got the sense that it was too strong, not really appropriate for using much. But then, it was like, “Oh, wow, this is popping up,” because we choose the flowers six months in advance. I was like, “Whoa, what's going to happen in 2020? Why are we working with this flower? Wow, that's like its first debut. I wonder what's going to happen.” Then, 2020 thing hit, and I was like, “Oh, right. Okay.” Sometimes, the plants have a wisdom of their own, and they make themselves be of service in a past, present, future time continuum that maybe I don't even really understand until it happens, which is fun.
Melanie Avalon: What was the flower?
Katie Hess: It's called sacred datura, it grows here in the desert. It is a highly, highly poisonous flower. You wouldn't want to put it in your bath or anything, but it's gorgeous. It's a giant white trumpet. It comes out only at night, in the moonlight. And these moths that are literally as big as hummingbirds come to pollinate them. It is just stunning, stunning flower, but very potent, and very strong. Could be used in dark night of the soul or addictions or when we're really suffering about something on the inside. Oh, that's just such a beautiful flower.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I just looked up pictures of it. It looks very intense. I love that. Actually, another question, so the actual essences themselves, do they have an aroma at all or are they scentless?
Katie Hess: They do not.
Melanie Avalon: The mists, anything that we smell is not the flower essence?
Katie Hess: It has it in there. Anything that we make, it has flower remedies in it. We would never make something that doesn't have flower remedies. But the frosting on top would be the aroma therapy scents.
Melanie Avalon: What I meant was, if we perceive a scent, that's not the essence?
Katie Hess: No, it's just the aroma therapy. Let's say I made you two bottles. One is, here's just the aromatherapy blend, and then the second one has the flower remedies added to it, you will feel a difference. Just the essential oils is a little bit flat. Flat isn't a good word, but it feels flat. And then when you add the flower remedies, it's like, “Wow,” alive, you feel it in your field. You feel it in your body, something is alive about it.
Melanie Avalon: If I put it on, will it have an effect on people around me?
Katie Hess: Absolutely. That's one of the coolest phenomena that I didn't realize until I started working with people, is if one person in a family starts working with flower essences regularly, the whole family will shift and transform, which is wild. I even had one client I've been working with her, I think it was about the 10-year mark that she came in and she was like, “Okay, Katie, I know you're going to think I'm crazy. But I swear, my extended family is also changing. Even though I only see my brother once or twice a year, he went sober. Even though I only see my stepmom and my dad once a year, suddenly everybody's getting along better.”
It's funny because that's something that my flower essence teacher always said was that what flower essences are actually doing, is they're targeting the cellular memories in our DNA. We carry up to six to eight generations back in our family lineage of information, thoughts that we think are our own, but they're actually habitual patterns from our family lineage. Emotions, we think that are ours, but actually is something that our great grandmother also felt. And then, you have that type of messaging that you pull in from people that you spend a lot of time around. I'm sure you've also heard, like, “Give me the names of the five people you spend the most time with, and I'll tell you who you'll be.” So, there's that.
There's also, when we're intimate or sexual with someone, we also exchange all of our information for up to seven years, unless you take a flower essence to make it shorter, which I can tell you about. And then, there's also the collective energy. When something big 2020 or 9/11 happens, we see the effect of collective fear and how that spreads. So, flower essences help plug us into the truth of ourselves, to our true nature. And they help us turn down the volume on the things that aren't really us, collective chaos and patterns in our family that are limiting. Does that make sense?
Melanie Avalon: 100%. I've been fascinated by the concept of carrying the trauma or the stress of past generations. And if listeners are interested more in that, I had Wim Hof on the show, and he's talked a lot about that. I'll put a link in the show notes to it, because we talked about it even more. And I just think it's profound, like studies have looked at it as well, because I know people can think that that sounds a little bit. I know people use the word woo-woo. But there's very real things going on there. I'm so glad that you brought up the part about transmitting information sexually. This is probably the most risqué question I've ever asked on this show, but I have to ask you. Does that transmission of information that staying in your body, sexually, does that require-- if you use a condom, does it require not using a condom for that information?
Katie Hess: Oh, yeah, It's all energetic. When you surrender to someone like that, when you open it, you're not just opening up your body. You're opening up your whole everything of who you are. So, yeah. Whether you're using the barrier, this or the barrier that, or this method, or that method, or over here, in here, or it's all-- when you have intercourse, you exchange that information.
Melanie Avalon: That is so fascinating. I was dying to ask you that, so I'm really glad you brought that up.
Katie Hess: That's a great question. I've never been asked that before.
Melanie Avalon: That was the first thing-- I was like, would[?] I wonder-- So, thank you.
Katie Hess: Well, I mean, it's another thing to teach the kiddos, like to teach teens because we thought in our day and age, it was like, prevent STDs or getting pregnant if you weren't prepared for it. And now we have this whole other thing to think about. It's like, we, as individuals, we were like a song. We have our music. And then let's say I sleep with someone, and then I've got their song playing, and then I stick with someone else. And then I have their song playing. Pretty soon if you're looking at, especially like a seven-year time period, if you have multiple partners, you may get to a point where you're just like, “Who am I?” I'm having a hard time listening to my own inner truth. In those cases, there is a magical flower, pomegranate, that when taken regularly can help us sift through that process more quickly. So that rather than seven years, we can squish it down into one year, and cleanse out the reproductive system and cleanse out of the energies of other people that just are simply not our own.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. Would that have implications going both ways, like taking the good qualities from people, but also the bad? I don't know if I should use the words 'good' and 'bad', but say that you have romantic relationships with multiple people, like could good things come from that, but also bad things?
Katie Hess: Oh, absolutely. We exchange the good, bad, the ugly, for sure. Although I wouldn't feel, like let's say I was in a relationship with someone who is amazing, but also had bad habits. I wanted to clear out the bad habits, but, geez, I really wanted to keep his artistic ability or whatever, just as an example. I believe that the closer you are to your true nature ultimately is better for you. And the amount of time that you spent in a relationship with a person could have you learning from their strengths and be able to retain that for the rest of your life. We're more talking about-- trying to think of a metaphor. If I'm Sheryl Crow, and then I introduce Bob Marley in, I can learn from Bob Marley. But ultimately, it's better for me to play my own song versus try to play someone else's music. Does that make sense?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, it's a great analogy. Also, in the world of thinking about other people, so say if people wanted to give flower essences to somebody, is it appropriate to pick something for them or do people really need to pick their own?
Katie Hess: Oh, yeah, absolutely. People love flower essences as a gift. It's such a cool concept. I have people come in the store and I say like, “Okay, close your eyes. Think of the person. Conjure them, they're right in front of you, and then open your eyes. Which flower do your eyes go to first?” Sometimes, they'll choose that way, or sometimes they'll just know what's going on with their beloved and be able to choose something for them.
Melanie Avalon: So, you have a physical store in Arizona?
Katie Hess: Yeah, in Phoenix.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's so cool. I want to go in there. I want to see what it looks like. [laughs] I bet it's a really nice vibe.
Katie Hess: Yeah, it's really wonderful. We have a big building here in Phoenix, and quite the apothecary, and you're welcome anytime.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you. I did want to ask you. I'm just so in awe. Creating your own business is no small feat. What was that process like, bringing things to scale and actually creating your company?
Katie Hess: It was really challenging. I don't have a lot of business experience in my family lineage or that I was exposed to, I didn't know anything about business. I studied sociology in school. I just wanted to help people. [laughs] It was everything self-taught from accounting, to marketing, social media, to promoting things, to selling-- Oh, God, how I hated selling in the beginning. But what I found was that the art of business is the art of figuring things out. Any business person you talk to, will say, “Yeah, it doesn't matter what size you are, you're constantly figuring things out, and you're constantly trying to scale to the next level and constantly trying to deal with the next challenge.”
For me, business is my spiritual path, or a part of my spiritual path. I believe that a business can only be as good as the person who is leading it. My business can only be as good as the effort that I put in for my own personal growth. It behooves the whole company if I make time to be vulnerable, to deal with whatever comes up to look at my weaknesses, and the business will most often show me where all my weaknesses are, so that I know exactly where to start. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: So amazing. Do you have any really big dreams or goals or things you want to do in the future with it?
Katie Hess: Well, I would certainly like to reach more people. We're sell to many countries around the world, but it would be nice to have some grander presence in Asia in particular. If you really want a big, big, big, big, big thing to me, it would be amazing to work in partnership with some sort of bathhouse concept, so that everything could be infused with flower essences, from the food, to bathing pools, to misting rooms, to every kind of experience you could imagine, sort of like a vibrationally enhanced playground, that would be really amazing. But right now, it's more just trying to reach as many people as possible.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, actually thinking big-- because I was just thinking about how do we do that in our daily life already was something else. And if you think about it, we paint our walls different colors, and that's normal. There could be a point in the future where it's just normal that you infuse your environment with the flower essences in some capacity. It's just something that you do. [laughs] That would be amazing.
Katie Hess: Look at where essential oils were in the 70s and 80s. That was the hippie [unintelligible [00:59:03]. And now it's like everybody knows what essential oils are. I think we're where essential oils were at in the 80s. It's like, but it'll happen faster because [laughs] the internet.
Melanie Avalon: Actually, I think it's so important, especially that distinction you made earlier, because I think a lot of people when they first see essences think essential oils, like that's what they are probably correlating it with. So, the distinction there, it's pretty powerful.
Katie Hess: Yeah. I've seen such a huge shift in the United States in particular, although all over the world just in the last two to three years. We primarily sold all the stuff with aromatherapy, mists, anointing oils, all the yummy-smelling stuff. We sold to spas. And now, what we're seeing is people want the elixirs. They want to feel better, they want personal growth, they want to get it recommended by their naturopathic physician. They want to take it seriously. I just love seeing that shift in our culture that people are like, “I want to get to the bottom of why I'm like this.” It's almost like gone are the days that we were just wanting a fluffy experience. Now we're like, "But why? And how do I free myself of this?" That's exciting.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I love it. Something else I had a question about that you touched on. What role does the lunar cycles or the solar cycle play in everything?
Katie Hess: Typically, we collect day-blooming flowers in the sun and night-blooming flowers by the light of the full moon. That gives it a little bit different vibe to the remedy. Oftentimes, I'll choose to make a flower remedy on full moon or new moon just because it has a particular effect on plant life. If you have a jasmine plant outside your door, you'll notice that on full moon and new moon, that you see explosions of flowers, because of the moon's effect. It energizes everything in a way that makes making remedies really conducive. We'll take that into consideration when we're collecting flowers.
Melanie Avalon: Also, thinking about just the whole process with the flowers, growing flowers in your home or outside, does that have an effect energetically as well?
Katie Hess: Oh, absolutely. Anytime you're getting your hands in the dirt, or you have a house plant or you have a garden-- If we spent all day, every day in our gardens, I don't think we'd need flower remedies. But we just don't have enough time to do that. This last year, we turned our office space into a jungle. We bought grow lights and tons of jungle plants. I cannot tell you the difference it's made to be in that space. It's unbelievable.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. What type of plants?
Katie Hess: Massive ferns and bird of paradise and philodendron, things with big, enormous leaves, like fishtail palms. Who would guess that you could grow a bird of paradise in your office? Crazy, but with a little help from the grow lights. I don't know if you got to that part in the book, there was a crazy guy by the name of Cleve Backster, who works at the CIA.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I was going to ask you about this.
Katie Hess: He did all the training, the polygraph machine training in the CIA. The polygraph machine is the lie detector machine. He must have just been like a funny fellow, because he was sitting in his office one day, and he got curious, like, “Hmm, what would happen if I hooked up my lie detector machine to my office plant?” So, he did. And this started several years’ worth of experiments. One of the first being he was thinking, “Oh, what if I took a match, and I lit a plant on fire?” He actually didn't even light it on fire. He didn't get out of the matches, just thinking about it, the plant started to freak out on the readings and the polygraph. And he was like, “Oh, my God, this plant is sentient. It has a consciousness. It read my mind. It feels my intentions.” When he couldn't carry out that experiment. And he did several other experiments where someone would come in the room, and there would be several plants and it would destroy some of the leaves on one. And they'd have some other people walk through and not touch the plants. The plants could identify when the person who is destructive or violent came back in the room, you could see the stress register on the machines. Essentially, the house plants or the office plants could identify the murderer in the room.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness.
Katie Hess: Yeah. Then, one last thing I'll share, just because so many people have houseplants. He started doing experiments on his office mate as well, [laughs] polygraph hooked up to his office mate’s plant. And his office mate went home and it was his birthday, and he knew that all his friends and family-- Cleve, the guy who did the experiments. He knew that everybody was going to be like, “Surprise,” when his colleague walked in the door. What he did was he traced to that precise moment that they all yelled surprise on the readings from his plant in his office, and he found that the plant registered stress at the exact same moment that they yelled surprise. Even though his colleague was several hundreds of miles away, the plant was still in connection with him and felt his stress in that moment.
Melanie Avalon: When I read that in your book, I immediately talked about it ad nauseum on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast, because we record that show every week. In the beginning, my cohost, Gin and I just sort of chat about what we've been learning. I was sharing that because that's just mind blowing. And, yeah, as far as the house plants, my hydroponic cucumbers, I didn't realize when I decided to grow cucumbers, how big of a plant it is. You're speaking about the jungle plants and everything. And it's growing so big, and I have it by the window and it started growing its way up the window. At the very beginning, I would pull it away, because it can't take over the window like that but now I just let it do it because it has a mind of its own. I am so obsessed with this plant. It's growing its way up my blinds and creating this really beautiful, immersive, sort of like a jungle feeling. I don't know, everybody just needs to get plants at home because I'm like, “Is this what it feels like to have a baby?” [laughs] Because it just feels so alive. The effects on my own emotional wellness have been really profound. I'm a believer for sure.
Something else we have in common. I was so excited when I was reading your book and you referenced a lot the work of Stephen Buhner. For listeners, I recorded the audiobook for his book Healing Lyme. I've only read Healing Lyme. What were some of your favorites that you were talking about?
Katie Hess: The Secret Language of Plants is phenomenal, incredible. It's one of those books that you have a marker and you're just underlining like a million things that you want to come back to or look at. So good. He has another book, interestingly, that helped me write my book. He wrote a book about writing, about writing nonfiction books in a way that is divine. Super interesting.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow.
Katie Hess: I know, it was unexpected, because he's so into herbalism. But he has a really beautiful book too.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going to have to read those, because like I said, I've only read Healing Lyme, which is very intense and very specific to one condition. So, I need to read his other book. I know he has a book on fasting. I actually talked to him about recording the audiobook for it. But that book specifically I think his publishers had the rights to, so they were selecting the author or the narrator. But I really love this book. Oh, one other thing, because I keep thinking more things one other thing to touch on. You do talk and this is something I've become recently very obsessed with, because have you heard of Somavedic?
Katie Hess: No.
Melanie Avalon: It's a glass device, handblown, but there's precious and semiprecious stones on the inside. It plugs in and lights up, and its purpose is to combat detrimental EMF in our environment, and actually have studies. One of them is actually published in a clinical journal, showing its protective effects on human cells from cellphone radiation. Some of the devices can structure water, and that's something that you talk about in your book. I was wondering if you talked a little bit about that. Also, the pictures of your flower essences, you sent it off to one of the structure water guys?
Katie Hess: Yeah. Water is such an interesting phenomenon. It's like a recording device. It's like the rainbow-y stuff on the back of a DVD or [unintelligible 01:08:22] design, the magnetic tape on a cassette player. Again, you look at those technologies, and you're like, “But how does it work?” Water is very similar. Water is a recording device, there are 440,000 pieces of information on a single panel or cluster on water. If you look at the work of Dr. Emoto, Japanese scientist who has since passed, but his team still carries on the work. That's who we sent in samples of our flower remedies to because they would take high speed photography of photographs of water at its freezing point, and be able to see the crystalline structure or the structure inherent in the water. And they found, of course, so much interesting information. If you put water in a jar and you wrote hate on the jar, there would be no structure, almost disturbing to look at. If you take a photograph of water that had been stored in a jar with the word 'love' on it, it turns into this most beautiful snowflake-like crystalline structure. Amazing that something you know as beautiful as flowers or music or intention can change the structure of water. It's so malleable and flexible and responsive to the environment, and that it can be used as this recording device in essence of all the different healing capacities of flowers from around the world to help us.
Melanie Avalon: I'm excited for there to be more and more research on all of this because I think cultures have known about this for so long, and it's been a very real thing. It's had to go through its own trial and tribulation journey of people being really skeptical or thinking that it's not scientific or there's not something actually going on there. I'm really, really excited to see how this information evolves and is taken with credibility. You mentioned at the beginning that I could take the quiz online, and you could tell me what my--
Katie Hess: Yeah, absolutely.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. For listeners, this is something that Katie offered to do, and I'm so excited. I'm sure listeners will love to go and do this on their own after hearing this. But if you go to lotuswei.com, and again, all this information will be in the show notes, that's spelled L-O-T-U-S-W-E-I dotcom. If you go to the upper left-hand corner, you can click Take Our Flower Quiz, and then that's the quiz that you can take to ascertain or identify which flowers might work best for you. I'm going to take it in real-time right now, and I'm going to tell her which flowers I pick, and she's going to give me even some more information on what that might mean.
I'm on page one. Hong Kong Orchid, Black Bat Flower, Fireweed, Mandevilla, Silk Floss, see if I go for pinks a lot. Hollyhock, Pink Magnolia, Bamboo.
Katie Hess: Oh, a non-pink.
Melanie Avalon: I know. I love bamboo so much.
Katie Hess: Okay, so I can give you a little bit of information about each selection that you made. You always be drawn to what you need the most in the moment. And if there's something that I say that maybe doesn't hit the mark, you can be sure that there's a lot of other elements to the flower, I can send you information that you can look it up, and you might be like, “Oh, well, I didn't resonate with this piece but I really resonate with this piece.” We'll just start at the beginning.
The Hong Kong Orchid, that is a sexy flower. That's total self-love and self-acceptance as you are. It's oftentimes for those of us who hold really high standards and sometimes run the risk of being too hard on ourselves.
Melanie Avalon: That's me, [laughs] like to a tee.
Katie Hess: It brings in a little more gentleness, and helps us be seen and heard without being so hard on ourselves. Black Bat Flower is one that's been coming up a lot for people recently. It's a wild looking flower with that wing petals, and it's about transmuting any sort of anger, or fear, or being afraid of our own anger and what we're capable of, like alchemizing that into advocacy for ourselves and others. Being able to draw the line and say enough is enough or to be able to protect yourself or others in a way that you can harness that anger versus being afraid of it, like, “Ooh, what if I say something and I offend somebody?” Being able to really embrace the anger and use it to make you move forward.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Can I comment on that really quickly?
Katie Hess: Yeah, of course.
Melanie Avalon: Something I've been working a lot on recently. Historically with anger, I always sort of suppress-- I don't really identify as an angry person. I don't feel anger that much. But if I did, I had this idea in my head that anger was something we shouldn't feel, that it's a bad emotion, like you shouldn't be angry, basically. I've been going through this evolution working with my therapist and stuff about feeling anger, because the more work I do, I realize I do have anger inside of me about certain things. My initial reaction to that has been, “Oh, but I'm not.” It scares me because I'm not supposed to feel anger, or that was my perception. I've been working on experiencing anger as just a feeling with a purpose and not a bad thing. So, everything that you just said really, really resonates a lot.
Katie Hess: Of course. You know what you need, even if you don't know. [laughs] Fire Weed is an incredible plant. They call it a pioneer species. There are various types of pioneer species, which is a plant that comes into the environment and takes-- for example, if you see wildfires and the forest, fire Weed needs the heat of the fire to be able to break open its hard casing, so that the seed can sprout and bloom and that flower helps the environment adjust to trauma like forest fires, not only the ground, but the animals. For us humans, when we're attracted to Fire Weed, it's usually when there's some sort of, we all have it, some old memory or heartbreak or traumatic thing that happened long time ago and it's very subtly somehow still affects us. So, it helps to take the charge or the trigger out of whatever that memory is so we can heal the heart and experience more forgiveness of ourselves and others.
Melanie Avalon: That's beautiful. That's amazing.
Katie Hess: Mandevilla, wow, another gorgeous, pink spiral looping into this gorgeous bloom. And it has a lot to do with fear of loss. When we're afraid we're going to lose a relationship or a best friend, or maybe we're moving and we're afraid things are going to change. Or there's just something about a person, place, or thing that we're either afraid to lose or become separate with. Mandevilla really helps us embrace falling in love with the present moment, and being patient with ourselves and others, and being able to experience, either experience loss or be able to move through it and experience the flip side.
Melanie Avalon: As far as the fear of loss, is it just the fear of loss of good things or could it be fear of loss of things that might not be serving you, whether it's people or habits?
Katie Hess: Yeah, that's a good point. Any kind of change creates loss. Let's say we've got someone in our lives who's not a good influence on us, we still experience loss when we cut them out of our lives. Absolutely. And then, Silk Floss is about confidence. It's about feeling really comfortable in your own skin no matter what situation that you're thrown into and really allowing yourself to shine. I think so many of us-- you have a podcast that's very successful, you're out there, but there still may be a little part of you that's shy or hesitant to really let yourself shine.
Melanie Avalon: I'm the most introverted, shy person, and people are always shocked by that. But you have no idea. So, yes, that really resonates.
Katie Hess: Hollyhock. Hollyhock typically has a lot to do with relationships. It can pop up when we have a relationship with someone that we're just like, “Oh my God, this is hopeless. I can never get along with this person.” Or, “Why I'm so irritated? I'm so irritated that my skin's getting irritated and I'm breaking out,” or, “I have rash,” or just something in a relationship somewhere is just, like, “Ugh. Why can't I make this work?” It can also be really powerful remedy for a fear of betrayal. That's hollyhock. It comes into the really soft, gentle, to help us see that resolutions in relationships are much easier than we think.
Melanie Avalon: Was that the eighth one? Or was there--
Katie Hess: Two more. Can we handle two more?
Melanie Avalon: Yes, please.
Katie Hess: Pink Magnolia, you would at this point in time tend to give all your energy time and resources to other people and forget about yourself, but you also need self-care and nurturing. So, Pink Magnolia would remind you to take breaks and to pamper you. And lastly, Bamboo, magical grass. Some species of bamboo grow a foot a day. They're extremely powerful. It's the essence of determination. “I can do it.” Making the impossible possible. So, if you have big projects in the horizon, that you're like, “Oh, can I do it? Am I capable of doing it?”, bamboo just gives you the energy and the determination to make it possible, and make it happen.
Melanie Avalon: I have always been so attracted to bamboo. I just love bamboo. Do you have bamboo in the book?
Katie Hess: We do. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, perfect. Listeners, you have got to get the book. Like I said, literally the most beautiful thing ever. Not only does it have everything that we talked about, the science, and all of that, but it has a beautiful massive gallery with pictures of all of these flowers, and then more about them, and we know what they do and what might be saying about you, like what Katie just said. So, definitely, definitely check it out. I bet everybody is going to run out to your website and take the quiz. Do you have a favorite flower?
Katie Hess: This is a hard question, but I would say my all-time favorite is night-blooming jasmine. It's in the book too. It's a white star-like flower. Visually, there isn't much interesting about it. It's not flashy, it's very quiet looking. But when you walk by it at night, it just hits you with a wave of incredible fragrance. It's a really, really beautiful flower.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I love this. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. I just so thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. I'm just so grateful for everything that you're doing. I'm also grateful, for listeners, if you'd like to get your own essences or mists or anything from Katie's website, you can go to lotuswei.com. And then, the coupon code, PODCAST, will actually get you 15% off your first order. So, I cannot recommend enough using that and jumping on that and integrating it into your life. Katie, was there anything that we didn't touch on that you wanted to draw attention to?
Katie Hess: I guess the only thing that comes to mind is to say there is another really cool study that you would probably like, a 10-year longitudinal study where they looked at how our emotions affect other people. They found that if your friend's friend's friend becomes wildly happy, it has more of a beneficial effect on you, than if someone put $5,000 cash in your pocket. And conversely, if you become wildly happy, it has more of a beneficial effect on your friend's friend's friend than if we put $5,000 cash in their pocket.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so curious about the setup of that study.
Katie Hess: Yeah, it was in Boston. It's referenced in the back of the book. So, you can see, but I think it's fascinating, because so many of us, we have low points in our life where we're just like, “How am I making any difference here?” “What's the purpose of my life?” It couldn't be any further from the truth that we're not making a difference, because in every moment, we're making a difference with our state of mind. I like to say, you might be dancing naked in your bedroom, and no one can see you. But the fella who just retired and who was questioning what am I supposed to do now and he's mowing the lawn down the street, might be hit by a wave of joy emanating from your heart, you dancing naked in your bedroom, with no one looking at you. And that in every moment, our state of mind is impacting people, people who we don't even know. Phenomenal. It's like we couldn't be more powerful as human beings, and why not use something natural from the earth like flowers to help us amplify all the positive qualities that we have, and move through all of the tough spots with more ease. So that we can just spread more of that all over the world.
Melanie Avalon: I am so glad you said that. I feel like that is something that is going to-- you know learn something and it sticks with you for the rest of your life, I think that it will probably stick with me because normally up until now when I have these moments, because sometimes you have moments of happiness, like you just said, of a beautiful, happy feeling. I love feeling that, but I've never really taken on the lens of, “Oh, it's not just me feeling this. It's affecting the world at large.” So, that is wonderful.
Katie Hess: It just occurred to me too, that sometimes we feel selfish for feeling good.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. Oh, my goodness. Sorry, I'm freaking out now. No. 100%. Literally, I talk about this with, again, my therapist all the time, because when I feel good feelings, I feel that's very selfish. Not that it's selfish, but that it's only helping me, so what purpose does it serve? So, this is a huge reframe. Massive.
Katie Hess: Yeah, definitely. [laughs] Yeah, it's so interesting, that happiness feeling. That’s happiness.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I love it. This was amazing. Well, that's perfect. This goes so well, because the last question that I ask every single guest on this show, and it's just because I realize more and more each day, how important mindset is surrounding everything that we do, like we just talked about. So, what is something that you're grateful for?
Katie Hess: So many things, but at this moment in time, I am feeling so deeply grateful for life, for putting me in very, very, very challenging personal situations so that I can see what work still needs to be done and do some cleanup or some self-compassion work, and learn how to love myself even more. Yeah, just so grateful for life and the people that I've surrounded myself with, where they can act as a mirror to show me where I'm at on my path and what's the direction to go in.
Melanie Avalon: That is beautiful. I love that. Well, Katie, thank you so much for your work, for all that you're doing. I'm just so honored and grateful and thrilled about all of it. I'm super excited for my listeners to all dive in and experience it for themselves as well. Are there any other links that you'd like to put out there? Your website, Instagram, how can people best follow your work?
Katie Hess: Yeah. We're on all the social media channels. I should just say that our blog is a crazy resource. So, if there's anything that you're looking for, if you just type it in the search bar, and click on pages, you'll see like a million different articles about flowers pop up, use it as a resource. Also, we have an amazing team of people working here. So, if you get lost or confused or you're just like, “I want to talk to a human being,” you can call us or you can write to us, “What flower do I need? I'm confused.” Every single person on my team loves helping people get connected to the flowers that they need. So, feel free to reach out.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. For listeners, we'll put links to all of this in the show notes. Again, the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/ flowers. Thank you, Katie. I am just so happy that we met and I'm so grateful for this conversation. Hopefully, we can talk more in the future.
Katie Hess: Absolutely. Such a joy, you're such an incredible host and I'm going to send you a big box of goodies now that I know exactly what you need.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I'm excited. Thank you. [laughs] All right. Well, enjoy the rest of your day.
Katie Hess: All right, you too. Bye.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.