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Plant Spirit Medicine Archives - InnerSpark
Energetic Maintenance for the Sensitive Soul

Energetic Maintenance for the Sensitive Soul

A strong nervous system is the foundation upon which a nourishing life, radiant health, emotional fluidity, fulfilling relationships, and inner peace is built upon. When it comes to those of us that identify as empaths, lightworkers, Highly Sensitive People, and the like, intentional, meaningful self-care and energetic maintenance is simply non-negotiable.

Sensitive Souls, Empaths, Intuitives, Clairs, Lightworkers, Highly Sensitive People

These are terms used to describe a sliver of the population that is incredibly sensitive and tuned in, like little antennae.  While they are all slightly different and many have spent lots of time debating them and then proudly adopting a label, for the sake of simplicity, there’s something all of these people have in common and that’s a delicate nervous system that is more easily impacted by the effects of stress and trauma than others.  This makes it imperative for their physical, emotional, mental, and energetic health to love on their systems like it’s their job.

Stress & The Nervous System

Stress and trauma are compounding.  Think of a bucket collecting water droplets from a leak.  It can take a little bit for a really, really long time until finally, it’s full and it begins to leak.

Stress and trauma, when left to lay in our system and create stagnation, end up serving as the root of any dis-ease we experience in our physical lives.  This is what I refer to as the “Subtle creating the gross.”  Many of the sensitives, and I use that as kind of an umbrella term for this group of people, developed these abilities as a result of enduring trauma.

But let me back up quick, we ALL have these abilities to some degree.  For those of us who have been through trauma, particularly in the childhood years when we’re still quite open to our abilities, we really hone in on these skills and take them with us into adulthood.

The shadow side of this is when we continue to use these abilities out of the fear and hyper-vigilance we used them for during childhood, rather than putting them to use elsewhere and transmuting this trauma and the residual impacts thereof, as discussed in Why Letting Go is BS.  This way of being is also the hallmark of a lightworker and serves as the way to come into right relationship with your power.

Self-Care, Grounding, & Energetic Maintenance for the Sensitive

Many people who fall into this sensitive category aren’t even aware of this part of themselves.  They shun it and feel ashamed of their perceived differences and “weirdness.”  Once we become aware of how special we are and how these are all sacred gifts, we can begin to take the power back, reclaim ourselves, and get out of this state of chaos, fatigue, anxiety, and the like that is nothing more than a worn-out nervous system that is running energy improperly.

Like I said, these gifts have become shadows in many who aren’t yet consciously aware of them or are just coming to terms with their authentic selves under layers of trauma.  When these gifts are used as gifts and not as survival mechanisms, nervous systems relax, many health problems disappear, physical bodies change, relationships improve, and work and purpose become clearer.  It’s like someone turning the lights on for the first time!

Once engaged fully on the path of higher consciousness and healing, more stability and self-soothing is required as the system unwinds and arrives.  Ever notice how the “healing crises” occur after the threat?  Like, when I quit drinking, that’s when the work actually began!  Quitting drinking was easy – just don’t drink.  It’s what’s underneath it all when we finally decide to look. 

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming “more sensitive” – you’re finally allowing your authentic essence to live in truth.

HSPs, empaths, lightworkers, anyone dedicated to this level of consciousness and internal wilderness backpacking requires extra self-care, self-love, and gentleness.  Many sensitives actually have a variety of physical health problems as a result of living with a misuse of power and improperly running energy.  Specifically, things like chronic fatigue, chronic pain, adrenal problems, thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, many environmental and food allergies and sensitivities, and more. Supporting the physical body while working with the energetics is crucial, however, physical healing CAN happen.

The Best Resources for Sensitive Souls

  • Safeguard your senses
    • What is your most sensitive sense? This may be how your intuition speaks to you, as well.  How are you nourishing and protecting it?  For me, it’s eyes and ears.  I detest screens after so many hours and I wear protective ear muffs while I am trying to concentrate.  Get past the “weirdness” and honor your needs.
  • Daily rituals and routines
    • What makes you feel connected, alive, safe? DO MORE OF THIS.  Bring feelings of safety to your body daily.  Self-pleasure, meditation, movement, breathwork, dancing, snuggling, laying on the ground, chanting, praying, reading, baths, massages… Explore all the amazing resources available to you.
  • Nature daily
    • You are Nature.  Nature is you.  Reconnect, remember, reclaim, and allow the elements to reconfigure what’s out whack within.
  • Flower Essences & Oils & all the plant medicines
  • Kundalini Yoga
    • Kundalini Yoga has been simply lifechanging for me.  I’ve been a practitioner of yoga for the better part of two decades and have taught it, loved it, and practiced it with many beautiful souls.  However, Kundalini is something truly special and when it comes to strengthening the nervous system, it’s your best bet.
  • Ample alone time
    • Most sensitives are introverted, which means they recharge and replenish alone, as opposed to in a crowd.  Many extroverts are the opposite.  Honor wherever you are on the spectrum and release the need to feel like you “have to show up” or that taking alone time is “selfish” or “anti-social.”  Trust me, your loved ones would rather a stable, whole you than the inauthentic, frazzled version.
  • Lay on the ground
    • Seriously.  Nothing “fancy” or elaborate is needed.  Simply lay on the Earth, inside or outside, and feel your physical body being supported.  Allow yourself to melt and receive.  Earthing and grounding are beautiful practices, too.  Here’s an article I wrote.

The over-extension of a strength becomes a weakness. 

Where are you out of alignment with your gifts and your power?  Where have they become worn out and used in a way that is causing dis-ease?  How can you soften into the other side of this gift through allowing your nervous system to unwind? 

When our nervous system is allowed to unwind, we are able to finally see things clearly and to come into a felt understanding (as opposed to an intellectual one).  When the body is on board, the changes we desire may be received with ease.  Practice some or all of these resources, see what resonates, and allow your gifts to be your strengths.

 

 


I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am a Holistic Life, Relationship, & Wellness Mentor + Earth Medicine Intuitive + Alchemist + Spiritual Guide helping people to heal their four bodies and create sustainable lifestyle and health transformation through plant spirit medicine and gem elixirs, holistic nutrition counsel, lifestyle coaching, vibrational healing, virtual workshops and courses, and other mystical goodness.  Through my unique approach, my clients fall madly in love with themselves and their bodies, awaken their inner healers, recognize self-care as a sacred duty, and enjoy more ease through identifying the roots of their perceived challenges and transmuting them into gold!  I blend the best of both worlds with Western science and ancient metaphysical wisdom for the ultimate experience.  Sign up for 5 Days to Ignite Your Metamorphosis to experience shifts right away.  If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Discovery Session

Healing Hormones & Fertility With Flower Essences

Healing Hormones & Fertility With Flower Essences

The subtle creates the gross. 

Challenges we experience in our physical existence (our bodies, health, lives, relationships) are simply mirroring an imbalance, dysfunction, or state of dis-ease in our subtler bodies (the emotional, mental, and spiritual layers). 

Struggles with fertility and hormonal balance more often than not have their roots in stress – physiologically impacting the adrenal glands and their delicate dance with the rest of our endocrine glands and energetically impacting our root chakra and all it encompasses. 

How does this happen?  Unprocessed trauma that makes us more susceptible to the ill-effects of daily stress.  Stress and trauma are compounding.  Undigested blockages stack on top of each other and the system’s vital energetic flow goes towards trying to manage the mountain of “foreign invaders” (the energetic and physiological residue of the compounding stress). 

This means that daily maintenance required by the system on all levels is maintained only halfheartedly, or depending upon the stage of the undigested blockage, completely neglected.  Additionally, the traumas in question don’t necessarily have to happen to you in your lifetime; they can also be ancestral and handed down through the lineage.

This is how dis-ease manifests on the physical body. 

The subtle body sends its messages and warnings and we fail to pay attention, identify and honor the need.  The subtle creates the gross, remember?  The subtle, and now dysfunctional, building blocks of our system on all levels create an undesired gross experience.

The most interesting part of the dis-ease process is how it manifests and in which area of our physical experience and how our physical body produces its signs and symptoms of dis-ease.

In cases of fertility and hormonal balance challenges, more often not I’ve seen them linked to unprocessed issues around sexuality, femininity, and/or sexual abuse.  Shame, guilt, unworthiness, feeling dependent upon others, “creative constipation,” having a “mother wound,” and more are also tied up in these links, too.  While dietary, lifestyle (proper exercise and stress management resources, for example), herbal and nutrient interventions can work wonders, they aren’t the panacea. 

True healing must begin within and on the subtle levels so they can then create the desired gross experience. 

You can’t heal anything while continuing to operate from the same paradigm that bred the current dysfunction.    

Flower Essences and other energetic interventions used in conjunction with practices like Personal Alchemy, yield lasting and profound results.  For addressing issues in the sacral chakra (the space in our pelvic bowl that includes all things creative and feminine), hibiscuses and lilies are the best!

a very brief guide to essences and healing feminine reproductive challenges:

  • Healing sexual trauma: Star of Bethlehem, Blackberry Lily, Pink Crepe Myrtle, Orange Hibiscus
  • Issues with our own inner child: Orange Hibiscus, Pink Lady Slipper, Lily of the Valley
  • Issues with our own parents or parental figures: Tigrida Lily, Mariposa Lily, Motherwort, Baby Blue Eyes, Rose of Sharon
  • Issues With Our Femininity: Squash Blossom, Red Hibiscus, White Rose, Queen of the Meadow, Lily of the Valley
  • Feel safe in your body, root chakra healing: tree essences such as Red Cedar and Maple

This is a very, very brief introduction into the many flower essences available to peel the layers of subtle woundings and create a more balanced physical experience.  It is always best to turn to an experienced, compassionate Flower Essence Therapist to guide your healing journey.

Additional Considerations:

  • Herbs & Botanicals. Mother Earth has provided all the medicine we need and while flower essences support the sublte bodies in creating the desired gross experience, herbs and botanicals offer more direct support to the physical while it is “catching up” and the subtle blocks are rebuilding it. 
    • Adaptogens soothe a fried nervous system and support reproduction
    • Liver and digestive supportive herbs can also benefit hormonal balance
  • Sacral Chakra Clearing & Healing practices. Practices such as uttar basti, yoni steaming, expressive arts therapy, somatic movement, journey work, and more can be very beneficial.
  • Recognize your creativity in ALL aspects of your life – quit focusing solely on the act of reproducing a human or getting your hormones “on track”
    • Where do you feel the most creative? 
    • When are you most in “the flow?” 
  • A thriving spiritual life and daily practice strengthens your connection to the divine within.  It is our divinity that sustains us and sparks our ability and desire to successfully create our lives. 
    • How do you connect to the divine within? 
    • Do you have a daily practice for feeding your spiritual body? 
  • Your vessel is a sacred temple

    • Is your current lifestyle conducive to being in a state of creative and receptive grace? 
    • Are you properly feeding your physical body?  “Properly” is different for everyone and fluctuates in any given season, phase of the cycle, and life stage.  
    • How do you deeply honor and care for yourself?   

The physical body is a mirror.  What is yours telling you?  What needs to be addressed on the subtle level?  The physical body is slower than your subtle bodies as it’s created by these tiny, energetic building blocks over time. 

Compassion, patience, and disciplined self-love are crucial during any healing process.  Working with an experienced plant medicine practitioner and intuitive mentor who can also guide in nutrition and appropriate lifestyle and supplementation will have your subtle and gross experiences regenerating in your desired frequency.

Recognize that you’re a conduit for the divine, a portal for life, a sacred being, and the great mystery itself.

Curious about learning more on healing with the chakra system, plant medicines, herbal elixirs, and Personal Alchemy?  Click here to receive my complimentary guide. 


I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am a Holistic Life, Relationship, & Wellness Mentor + Earth Medicine Intuitive + Alchemist + Spiritual Guide helping people to heal their four bodies and create sustainable lifestyle and health transformation through plant spirit medicine and gem elixirs, holistic nutrition counsel, lifestyle coaching, vibrational healing, virtual workshops and courses, and other mystical goodness.  Through my unique approach, my clients fall madly in love with themselves and their bodies, awaken their inner healers, recognize self-care as a sacred duty, and enjoy more ease through identifying the roots of their perceived challenges and transmuting them into gold!  I blend the best of both worlds with Western science and ancient metaphysical wisdom for the ultimate experience.  Sign up for 5 Days to Ignite Your Metamorphosis to experience shifts right away.  If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Discovery Session.

The Root of Experience: One Gift and Two Meditations

The Root of Experience: One Gift and Two Meditations

I want to share with you something that is very sacred to me. You’ve probably heard of it before, “mindfulness”, and it saddens me that you’ve also probably heard it misused, so I beg you to have an open mind and receive this gift as if it were something totally new.

Mindfulness and meditation have become trendy lately and the essence has become trivialized and diluted by popular culture.  I’d like to invite you back to the heart of this ancient practice.

It is a practice that has helped me to become who I am more fully. Without it, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have this beautiful partnership in my marriage. I wouldn’t be doing this meaningful and fulfilling work. I wouldn’t know myself. I hope that you will join me in a discussion on mindfulness with a hope as deep as my love for my life and everyone in it, because that’s what mindfulness has meant to me.

Mindfulness, put very simply, is the state of maintaining conscious awareness of your present experience.

It sounds so simple that one has to wonder why it’s even worth mentioning, but an appreciation of mindfulness can be felt as soon as we admit that we spend most of our lives unmindfully. The truth and importance of this is like a thread as thin as a spider’s silk, it can be missed in the space between breaths.

Why is it so important to maintain present awareness?

At our core we are good people, but our inherent goodness gets distracted by impulsive and unmindful behavior. These episodes of unmindfullness can manifest as one-off mistakes or bad habits. All of these mistakes and bad habits add up to poor health, neglected emotional bodies, failed relationships, bypassing our Soul’s calling, and wasted years.

One example that goes from the subtle to the gross in a very quick and obvious way is mindful consumption. Mindfully selecting our food means that we are more likely to make dietary decisions that benefit us in the long run instead of giving in to impulses that we regret later. When we eat mindfully we notice how the food makes us feel, and we also notice when we’ve had enough. If we’re not mindful we can over eat, and we all know what a habit of over eating can do to the physical body’s vitality.

Mindful consumption doesn’t stop with just our bodies. With mindfulness we can see where the parts of our meal came from. If my meal contains animal products, where did those come from? What conditions did the animal live and die under? How does that affect me? How does it affect the world, and is it something that I want to support?

Where did my vegetables come from? (Growing our own is not only healing, but incredibly sustainable.)  Were the farmer’s methods kind and sustainable and co-creative with Mother Earth? How does this affect me? How does it affect the world, and is it something that I want to support?

Keep in mind that consumption is not just what we eat or drink. It’s everything that we take in with our senses. This includes entertainment and even simple conversations. Mindfully observing our sources of entertainment, we might find that some of these things are harmfully exploitative. Conversations about people who are not present, words meant to divide people, words sharpened to hurt people, gossip, these things all have their negative effects on us and the people around us. All of this is consumption for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies, so what is this doing to our health as individuals and as a collective society?

I cannot list here all the ways that mindfulness can be applied in our daily lives, in the way we communicate with people, how we take care of ourselves, the list is endless, but I can share with you some mindfulness practices that have helped me along the way. And yes, it is a practice.

Being mindful is a skill that we can use to regain control of our lives and live up to our highest values, so please, practice with me.

Mindful Breathing

I recommend this as a daily practice of at least 10 minutes. You can break that up into smaller blocks throughout the day, if you wish. Increase your time or the number of smaller blocks as you grow more comfortable with the practice. Personally, I like to practice for 15 minutes, take a mindful walk outside (more on Walking Meditation in a moment), then sit for another 15 minutes. It’s wise to do this as a regular practice because your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies will develop the ability to come into mindfulness more easily throughout the day. It’s a good habit that will follow you wherever you go.

To start, pick a comfortable place where you can sit for a few minutes without distraction. I have a meditation cushion and I find that a good seated posture helps me to get a deeper meditation for longer periods of time, but the really important thing in the beginning is to be comfortable and free from distraction. You can even do this lying down if you’d prefer.

Once you have a place picked out you might want to set some sort of timer. A traditional way to time meditation is by burning short sticks of incense. You can also use a timer, but I find the alerting sound is too jarring. You could also play a recording of chanting or music that has a duration which fits your meditation goals. The point is that you should be able to decide that you’re going to sit for a certain amount of time and not worry about it. Mindfulness is about presence, and if you’re fretting over a wrist watch or a clock on the wall then you’re not being present.

To start, having already set your timer, go ahead and get really comfortable. Ancient texts have described the best meditation posture as being “like a harp string, not too tight and not too loose.” You will be comfortable longer if your head is supported by your spine, your spine is supported by your hips, and your hips are supported by a good cushion. As one teacher put it, imagine the sky is balanced upon your head like a stack of books.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll let you know that there’s nothing special that you need to do with your hands, but if you want to learn more about how to engage your hands in meditation then feel free to look up “mudras.” For now, just do whatever is comfortable, which may just mean your hands are resting in your lap, palms up like you’re carrying a bowl, right hand under left.

Now take a full, deep breath and hold it for a couple heartbeats then let it out slowly, pausing for a couple beats at the bottom of the exhale. You can do this with your eyes closed or open, but if they are open then you must do one of two things: either pick something to be your focus, like spot on a wall, carpet, or a picture, or let your focus go soft and relaxed, focusing on nothing at all. I recommend closed for beginners so that blinking does not become a distraction.

This is where the discipline starts. You are either focused on something intentionally, or you are intentionally focused on nothing at all, either way you have control of your eyes and are making a mindful choice about what to do with them, not just letting them wander aimlessly.

After you’ve established your posture and taken a few deep breaths you can allow yourself to breath normally. Just watch the breath as it comes and goes, observing the body doing its work. When you have thoughts come up in your mind in the form of words or figures, don’t fight them back or anything, just return your attention to the present, to your breath. If your breath is long, be aware of its length. If your breath is short, be aware of its shortness. That’s it.

You may have the urge to fidget, to itch your nose or something like that. Just observe the sensation and return to your breath. It’s okay; you don’t have to respond to every itch, rise to every provocation, or indulge in every impulse, because you have a choice.

Now if you feel like you really must scratch that itch, or move your leg because it’s fallen asleep, or fix your posture, then do so mindfully. Make the conscious choice to do so and observe your movements as you do it. Make the distraction part of the practice. Every movement is a choice, just like every word you speak is a choice. If you can’t manage to do something as simple as mindfully sitting still and breathing, then how can you mindfully navigate the complexities of love and life?

Just keep coming back to the breath.

Walking Meditation

If you have a nice quiet area to walk, then you might try Walking Meditation. You could do this in a park or in your back yard. I like walking around the outside of my house. Either way, if you have an area that allows you to walk for about 10 minutes or so without being interrupted then you’re good.

Start off standing comfortably, balanced on your feet and taking a few deep breaths just like in seated meditation. Feel your connection with Earth and know that She is supporting you.

When you’re ready, lift your left heel off the ground, breathing in slowly as you do so. Notice the shift in your balance as you feel your left foot separate from the ground, heel to toe. Lifting the left foot, take a step forward, keeping the right foot planted the whole time. Feel the left heel touch the ground and roll your foot down to Earth as you finish your inhale.

Only once the inhale is complete and the left foot is firmly planted should you then lift the right foot and begin your exhale. Lifting and placing it just like you did before. It’s very important to keep the step and the breath in time with each other. Move one foot as you’re breathing in. Move the other foot as you’re breathing out.

Just like with seated meditation, your gaze should be deliberate, watching the path in front of you and not flitting around at every impulse. If you need to look around, then come to a stop and do so with intention. It’s even okay to stop and look at a pretty flower so long as you do it mindfully and intentionally, always coming back to the breath.

Now you have two simple practices to help you develop the mindfulness required for authentic and embodied living and hopefully a firmer understanding of its importance and overall implications in your life. Remember that every step you take is a choice: every step on this path, every step in your journey, it’s all the same. This is a sacred part of my practice and I offer it to you as freely as it was given to me, a gift that I pray serves you well and enables you to keep your dedication to your Highest Self intact and as easy as breathing.

 


I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am a Holistic Life, Relationship, & Wellness Mentor + Earth Medicine Intuitive + Alchemist + Spiritual Guide helping people to heal their four bodies and create sustainable lifestyle and health transformation through plant spirit medicine and gem elixirs, holistic nutrition counsel, lifestyle coaching, vibrational healing, virtual workshops and courses, and other mystical goodness.  Through my unique approach, my clients fall madly in love with themselves and their bodies, awaken their inner healers, recognize self-care as a sacred duty, and enjoy more ease through identifying the roots of their perceived challenges and transmuting them into gold!  I blend the best of both worlds with Western science and ancient metaphysical wisdom for the ultimate experience.  Sign up for 5 Days to Ignite Your Metamorphosis to experience shifts right away.  If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Discovery Session.

How To: Start Growing Herbs at Home

How To: Start Growing Herbs at Home

Spring is here and the weather is starting to warm up. Now is the perfect time to learn how to grow your own herbs at home!

An herb garden can be as small as a pot of soil or as big as your backyard, but whatever size garden is right for you, it is sure to be a rewarding pastime. There’s a wonder in harvesting your own herbs, even if it’s just a handful of Peppermint or Chamomile to turn a cup of tea into something special. The wild freshness of home-grown herbs brings a living magic into the present moment that can turn any experience into an appreciation of things both simple and immediate.

Want to begin growing your own herbs at home?  Sign up to receive our amazingly informative, simple, step-by-step guide for the super novice to the experienced. 

First, you need to figure out where you’re going to grow your garden.

Keep in mind that a “garden” does not need to be in the ground. A pot of herbs growing on a patio or balcony works fine, or maybe a box in your kitchen window would better suit your needs. If you would like to grow herbs but don’t think you have the space, be creative. Here’s what you need in an ideal location:

  1. Sunlight – Look for an area that gets sun for most of the day. If you must choose a partially shaded spot, although more sunlight is better, it is preferable to choose one that gets its sun in the morning. The morning dew can provide the moisture that causes diseases in plants, such as downy mildew, so it’s best to have some sunlight in the morning to get rid of this excess dampness.
  2. Water – How are you going to water your herb garden? Will you use a garden hose or a watering can? Think about what it will be like to move your water from its source, like a sink or a spigot, to the location of your garden. Making several trips for water, or wrestling a lengthy hose, can become a chore, and your garden is more likely to succeed if you actually enjoy maintaining it.
  3. Safety – Pick a place that is relatively safe. If you have pets or children, consider how you will ensure that your herbs are not vulnerable to tiny hands or used as Fido’s territorial marker.
  4. Size – Once you’ve found an area that meets the above requirements you can start thinking about scale. How big is your garden going to be? There are plenty of beautiful options out there for growing in containers like pots or boxes, and if you’re new to gardening then a small “container garden” may be just what you need to get started.

Now that you’ve got your location in mind, it’s time to think about what kind of herb garden you want to grow.

Most herbs have some medicinal value, like Echinacea and St. John’s Wort, and some also happen to be great seasonings, like Sage and Rosemary, while others go well in a tea like Chamomile or Peppermint. Maybe you want to dedicate your kitchen window to growing culinary herbs, and a pot on your patio for tea or medicinal herbs.

You can mix and match, and feel free to experiment! Choosing which herbs you’re going to grow can be a very personal decision, as you’re going to nurture these herbs, and one day they are going to nurture you, so take the time to research your herb selection and make your garden an expression of who you are and what you and your family need.

After doing some research and making a list of the herbs you want to grow you can start shopping on-line or at your local nursery for seeds. It’s important to look for seeds that are organic and non-GMO. Be careful when shopping for seeds online; it can be tricky. Some companies have one or two organic seed varieties to choose from, and they’ll use those to get you to click on their website and browse their catalog. Unfortunately, just because a company offers some organic seeds does not mean that all of their seeds are organic, and you have to look for the word “organic” on the page that you’re buying the seeds from, otherwise you might be setting yourself up for this subtle switcheroo.

Another word to look for is “heirloom,” which means that the seeds of the parent plant will be the same as the offspring seeds… this is just a technical point that lets you know what your getting is not some sterile laboratory hybrid. Heirloom is not the same thing as organic. Growers can organically raise a sterile hybrid and still sell it as organic, or dowse an heirloom plant in chemicals and still sell it as an heirloom. If you buy seed that is organic and heirloom, you’re going to get the safest product on the market.

Finding healthy seeds nowadays is probably the hardest part of gardening, period, so if you’ve made it this far then welcome to the club! You’ve already shown all the dedication you’ll need. At this point you’ve picked out a location, a growing container, and your seeds. The next thing you’ll have to pick out is soil. Technically this is what Horticulturalists call “growing medium” because so many of them are growing plants in a chemical soaked “soil-less growing medium” that has nothing to do with soil at all.

If you’ve been careful in selecting your seeds then you should be just as careful in selecting your soil, because whatever is absorbed by the herbs in that soil will eventually be absorbed by whoever consumes the herb. Keep that in mind. Organic potting mix or organic topsoil is what you need.

Finally, we get to the fun part, germination!

Be sure to read the instructions on the seed packet, as some seeds require several nights of pre-soaking or scarification before being planted and failing to follow these instructions could mean that it takes your herbs much longer to sprout, if they sprout at all. Once your seeds are prepared you can either plant them directly into your pot of soil, or you can use a germination tray, which I recommend. Germination, the period of time between the seed “waking up” and when it forms its first “true leaves,” is the most difficult time in a plant’s life. If you can provide a good environment for germination, then your herbs will have a much higher success rate. A germination tray with 72 cells and a clear lid, provided plenty of water and sunlight, will hold in warmth and humidity to create a tropical micro-nursery for your seedlings, the perfect little incubator.

Here’s a look at the incubation setup that I’m using for Spring 2018.

I’m using a Jiffy brand, 72 hexagonal cell germination tray. It’s sitting on a lawn chair (up and away from the reach of our canine roommate, Winslow) in a full-sun location, just a few feet away from my garden hose. I’m using an organic topsoil that is similar to the soil that the herbs will spend the rest of their lives in. On one side of the tray I drilled two tiny holes, just big enough to put zip-ties through. The zip-ties act as hinges for the plastic lid. I also drilled a couple holes in the opposite side so that the lid could be gently tied down with a piece of twine. With the hinge and twine in place, I know my lid will not blow away in the wind, allowing me to leave the whole kit outdoors day and night.

Even though this was taken on a beautifully sunny day with temperatures in the 60’s, you can tell by the condensation collecting inside the lid that my incubator is several degrees warmer (and much more humid) than the air outside. I’m also using a technique known as “bottom watering” where I try to keep about half an inch of water in the bottom of the tray beneath the cells at all times. As the water in the soil evaporates it is replaced by water drawn up from the bottom tray in a process called “capillary action,” ensuring that the soil is always at the perfect moisture level for germination.

Here comes the most delicate step in the process: transplanting.

The first two leaves that you’ll see are called seed-leaves, and they look just about the same on every plant, regardless of whether it’s a dandelion or an oak tree. The third and fourth leaves are the ones you want to wait for, as those are the true-leaves. The appearance of true-leaves means that it is safe to transplant your seedling from its incubator to the pot, box, or plot that you will be gardening in.

To transplant, I recommend sliding a butter knife down one side of the cell containing your plant, and gently wiggling the knife to lift the roots out of the cell. It is important to lift the roots from the bottom, because if you pull from the top you increase the risk of breaking the roots, and the more you damage the roots the harder it will be for your seedling to survive in its new home. Finish transplanting by placing your seedling in its new location and burying the stem up to the bottom of the true-leaves, so that the true-leaves are just above the soil surface. Give it a generous amount of water so that some of the soil you had hilled up around the stem will be carried down to the roots. Do not pat the dirt around the plant as you may damage the roots or compact the soil so densely that the baby roots can’t grow through it.

And congratulations! All the hard parts are done. Just water your herbs regularly and you’ll start reaping the benefits immediately. Remember that while it may take a few weeks for your herbs to mature, having fresh herbs to soothe your aches, flavor your meals, or enrich your tea is only part of the reward of gardening. The work that you put into nursing those little seedlings is repaid everyday that you get to enjoy watching them grow, and the love that you put into caring for them is returned in physical and energetic bounty upon harvesting. The feeling gained from cultivating carefully selected herbs from seed is something unique, somewhere between pride, humility, and satisfaction, that has to be experienced.

I hope you have found this helpful and that you will join me in co-creating with the Earth naturally and organically.

Want to begin growing your own herbs at home? 

Click here to sign up to receive our amazingly informative, simple, step-by-step guide for the super novice to the experienced. 

Experience the rich bounty of Mama Earth whether you’re in an apartment or the hundred acre wood. 


I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am a Nourishment Guide + Earth Medicine Intuitive + Empowerment Mentor helping people to heal their four bodies and create sustainable lifestyle and health transformation through plant spirit medicine and gem elixirs, holistic nutrition counsel, lifestyle coaching, vibrational healing, virtual workshops and courses, and other mystical goodness.  Through my unique approach, my clients fall madly in love with themselves and their bodies, awaken their inner healers, recognize self-care as a sacred duty, and enjoy more ease through identifying the roots of their perceived challenges and transmuting them into gold!  I blend the best of both worlds with Western science and ancient metaphysical wisdom for the ultimate experience.  Sign up for 5 Days to Ignite Your Metamorphosis to experience shifts right away.  If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Discovery Session.

The Energies of Winter: Lifestyle, Movement, & Food

The Energies of Winter: Lifestyle, Movement, & Food

The light is returning.  At the Winter Solstice, despite the fact that it’s the darkest (and coldest) time it’ll be all year, we’re welcoming the return of the light once more.  This is the Wheel of the Year’s “New Moon” and a time for planting seeds in the darkness, the void, the place of no-thing from which all things manifest. 

What are you ready to bring into your life?  What are you ready to manifest?  Think about little baby seeds planted into the soil.  Despite nothing happening above ground, there’s a lot happening below the surface.  The seeds are being cracked open, are activating their codes of becoming and growth, and are preparing for their journey ahead.  This is the energy of winter.

Ways to Support Yourself & Honor the Medicine of Winter

Lifestyle: Even though the light is returning, it’s freaking cold and dark.  We’re still in a reflective, introspective space.  Hibernating and rejuvenating are key for this time.  The more deeply you allow yourself to rest and restore, the better equipped your entire system will be in the coming year and seasons.  This is the time for replenishing our vital life force.  Do not miss it.  In ages past, Yule (now Christmas) was a time for gathering and merriment before hunkering down for the long, dark January ahead.  As Imbolc (now Groundhog Day) approaches, we can begin to feel the thaw taking place.  The days are growing a little longer and hope is returning.  Honor the stillness and the depth available here. 

  • Make lots of clear plans with clearer action steps and at the time same time, don’t feel the need to hurriedly act upon them.  Again, the clearer you can allow yourself to become, the greater the reward when the time is right.  What do you deeply desire?  What needs to be done to allow the space for it to come true?  Dream, plan, prepare to act!
  • Continue choosing more restorative movement over higher intensity sessions in early winter.  Then, as Imbolc approaches, begin to tune in and feel your body’s desires begin to change.  Appetites may reduce and the desire to move more will begin returning as we make our way closer to spring. 
  • Hands-on self-healing is a fast, effective, and pleasurable way to calm the system and deepen into stillness.  Hint: the stillness is where the clarity on your next steps lives!  Check out this guided video I made for you!
  • Prioritizing adequate rest (notice the desire to sleep a bit more during this time and honor it) is essential
  • Maintaining regular meal times supports blood sugar balance, energy levels, and digestion, and of course, all of this soothes the nervous system
  • Syncing with the sun as much as possible (i.e. really winding down at sunset and engaging in relaxing, nourishing activities from then until bedtime and then being up before sunrise)

Movement:  As much as being outside may feel daunting and totally undesirable, bundle up and head outdoors midday for a nice walk in nature.  Enjoy the brisk air and the sunlight – even if it’s just through clouds. 

  • Walking is such an underrated form of movement and is truly the kindest and most effective.  It’s been shown to support the body through reducing stress hormones, lowering the risk of osteoporosis, and doing it outdoors has even more amazing benefits!
  • Yoga and rebounding are ideal right now to prevent stagnation in the muscles and lymphatic system.  Kundalini yoga and breath work is my absolute favorite technology.
  • Dancing is fantastic, also!  Many experience depressed and funky moods in winter and I know of no better way to quicken the blood, raise energy, and lift my spirits than putting on some music and just dancing it out.

Food: Simply, eat seasonally all the time and you can’t go wrong.  To say Nature is smart is such an understatement that it’s almost disrespectful.  We have all that we need to support our bodies and what they are undergoing as we mirror the Earth at any given moment.  Period.
What’s available to you right now?  Much of winter’s menu is similar to falls – root veggies like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, turnips, carrots, beets, etc.; deep, mineral-rich, life-giving greens like collards, arugula, and kale; Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, cranberries, grapes, pomegranates, cauliflower, and more!  Mmmmm!  To check what’s in season locally for you, this is a great resource.  Focus on deeply pigmented produce right now to support the blood and circulation. 

Herbs such as Echinacea for immune support and ginko biloba for circulation are great winter supports.  For deeper rejuvenation and restoration, beautiful adaptogens such as ashwagandha, mucuna, reishi mushrooms, and holy basil are lovely (under the guidance of an expert who’s working directly with you). 

Need to kick a bug?  Try my favorite recipe:

1-2c Warm water

2-3T Apple cider vinegar

Small knob of fresh turmeric or about ½-1t powder

1-2t Raw organic honey

1 clove of garlic

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of black pepper

2-3 drops oil of oregano

Put in a blender and drink!

And of course, there are so many plant essences and gem elixirs to support you right now.  This is a good time to connect to your internal, liminal realms.  Passionflower essence, magnolia flower essence, Datura flower essence, mugwort flower essence, and crocus flower essence are perfect for connecting to our higher selves, our ancestors, and our dreams.

Enjoy this beautiful transition and all it teaches us.  Earth is our mirror and we are all in this spirally dance of life, death, birth, spring, summer, fall, winter.  Embrace the changes and dance the dance.  Honor your needs during this time and all that you are noticing.  Don’t miss a potent opportunity for reflection, dreaming, and planning.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please share with me and let me know how I may support you.

 

I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am a Nourishment Guide + Earth Medicine Intuitive + Empowerment Mentor helping people to heal their four bodies and create sustainable lifestyle and health transformation through plant spirit medicine and gem elixirs, holistic nutrition counsel, lifestyle coaching, vibrational healing, virtual workshops and courses, and other mystical goodness.  Through my unique approach, my clients fall madly in love with themselves and their bodies, awaken their inner healers, recognize self-care as a sacred duty, and enjoy more ease through identifying the roots of their perceived challenges and transmuting them into gold!  I blend the best of both worlds with Western science and ancient metaphysical wisdom for the ultimate experience.  Sign up for 5 Days to Ignite Your Metamorphosis to experience shifts right away.  If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Discovery Session.

 

Why Flower Essences? Part II

Why Flower Essences? Part II

Tie in chakra clearing with symptoms they’re experiencing – “if you experience x, y, z modern medicine has diagnosed you with b and it’s also an issue with your chakras – my methods promote the clearing of these issues gently and permanently to help your body heal on its own by taking the energy being used for fueling outdated beliefs that is much-needed for healing – the same beliefs aided in creating the challenges in the first place”

 

In Why Flower Essences? I presented an overview of this form of Plant Spirit Medicine and now, I’d like to dive more deeply into the energetics.

Flower Essences stabilize our systems on the “etheric” levels – or the emotional and energetic levels (everything is energy, after all) and once stabilized, we’re able to finally see and deal with those things that have been taking up space and dictating our lives.  All of these stories (or “wounds” as I call them) dictate our realities – we literally live from this place and all of our beliefs, actions, decisions, reactions, etc. stem from this wound.  After time, this takes its toll on our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies.  In addition, whether we readily admit it or not, we’ve created our entire lives around these wounds.

Living from the wound affects our physiology.  When you’re “tense” or “stressed” you may experience a tension headache, stiffness in the shoulders or knots because we carry ourselves differently in this state.

The wound creates a subconscious level of stress and we feel some level of threat when we’re attacking ourselves, thus creating a change in our physiology and body chemistry.  Stress is created through living out of the wound because we are unable to adapt to our environment, our bodies are playing catch up with their usual daily duties to compensate for all the extra stress hormones being pumped through our system.  When the physiology is affected, physical dysfunction manifests from the simple ache to overtime and with excess burden, bigger, more life altering/impacting dis-ease.  The ability to optimally digest foods and thus derive all the nutrients needed to propel proper biochemical function for everything from nail growth to hormone production and more.  The cycle is truly vicious.

Stress can be in the form of many, many things and it’s all the same to the body and wears on it tremendously.  However, our ability to adapt to and manage life’s stressors is made even more difficult when we hold onto beliefs, habits, etc. that perpetuate the behaviors that stress us out in the first place – whether it’s our inability to adopt a more health supportive diet when the one we are on hurts and stresses our digestive system, or its maintaining a positive outlook and spiritual practice, or its having a friendly inner dialogue rather than one that is just plain cruel and unusual, etc.  These things over time insidiously wear our bodies down and then voila, disease manifests.

Rather than us seeking the fix through pills, herbs, supplements, etc. we MUST bravely address the root cause of our internal landscape that contributed to the dysfunction in the first place.  THIS is where flower essences come into play.  AND, YES, seek the physical body support through said pills, herbs, supplements, etc., they’re just often not going to “fix” everything all the way, but will certainly enhance our efforts in the process.

Typically speaking, people with certain physical conditions usually have the same energetic/emotional/mental characteristics.  So, someone with adrenal fatigue, for example, is usually a type A, leader, has difficulty slowing down, having fun, and nurturing themselves, is on high alert, has a scarcity mentality, is in “fight or flight”/survival mode more than in chill mode, is running from something, etc. and these may be mostly subconscious patterns that they’ve just rolled with for decades and aren’t fully even aware of!  I wrote more about this here: https://www.innerspark.life/listen-up-your-body-is-speaking/

So, long story short, until the conditions within on the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels are addressed and shifted, the physical body will continually be in a state of trying to heal itself while playing catch up with its regular, daily duties creating a backlog wherein disease is even more susceptible to manifesting.  Flower Essences help us to get to the root, process it, clear it out, shift our vibration and energy, and create a more hospitable home for our spirit/soul/essence/whatever word you choose to embody.  When we’re ungrounded, fearful, running old patterns or beliefs, holding onto unprocessed emotions in our bodies, etc. our spirit doesn’t feel safe, so we’re half in, so to speak, and not fully animating our vessels making them less “vital” and more likely to breakdown.

The vibrations/energy of our imprints create the compulsion to act in such a way that creates dis-ease.  The essences/EMF of the plant come into stabilize our system and wounds so the toxicity can be removed through shifting old beliefs and emotional attachments.

Soul enters at the root and builds from there as we go through the various stages of life.  Initial difficulty/trauma gets lodged in body, becomes wound, becomes the lens through which we operate and a habitual pattern, stagnant energy ensues, chronic pattern becomes our body armor, manifests as self fulfilling prophecy all around us in our life.  Traumas at various ages and stages can end up depleting some systems, creating excess/overcompensatory energy in others, and yield general imbalance that will manifest on the physical level.