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Rose's Medicine: Softening into Self-Love

Rosa blanda, etching by Mary Lawrance, 1799.

The roses have emerged here in Portland (the City of Roses), and each morning as I walk my dog along the flower-lined streets, the scent of rose wafts into my body.

I really do stop and smell the roses: each variety, each bloom, a unique and unmatched fragrance.

(Who knew there were so many varieties of rose scent?)

Rose is one of the oldest medicines and has long been revered, showing up in mythologies from around the world, and cultivated by emperors, royalty, and leaders wherever it grew.

According to Greek Mythology, Aphrodite gave rose her name by rearranging the letters of Eros, and it is thought that the first roses to be domesticated were cultivated as early as 3000 BCE in China.

Recorded history throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America show our true obsession with this flower and the power it holds as medicine.

And for a good reason.

She is an exquisite ally in helping us soften, surrender, find ease and peace in our body, open our hearts, unwind trauma, and help us feel protected, held, and loved.

It's no wonder that Rose is one of the plants that shows up over and over again in my bodywork sessions for people.

She is one of the ultimate healers, and is one medicine that I feel almost everyone in our culture could benefit from.

I’m certain that wherever this flower grew, the love story between humans and plants was fortified.

Plants, in general, help us love ourselves.

They help us accept our humanness, and step into more of our authentic nature.

They teach us compassion. They teach us belonging.

And they teach us how to be in better relationship with the world around us, which they know starts with the relationship we have with ourselves.

So many of my experiences sitting with plant medicines over the years involve me learning something about myself, how I operate, growing more compassion for myself, and healing old wounds that keep me feeling separate.

I can’t even put into words how greatly the exchange between me and plants has healed me. On the deepest of soul levels.

In last week’s blog, I talked about Mothering the parts within us that feel terrified, alone, in grief, or pain.

I’ve found that if I take a couple drops of a plant tincture (especially rose, or hawthorn, dogwood), I can offer myself this space of love so much more readily.

You don’t need a tincture to be with these medicines. You can be with them in person outdoors, or call in their spirit if you don’t have access to these plants in your neighborhood.

Let the plants support your awakening self-love, and help you experience the healing power of offering grace and compassion to yourself.

They are one of the biggest allies on this healing path of embodied-earth living.


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