Sometimes, people think it is wrong to be angry. I guess it depends on the context. A mother who gets mad with her child for being clumsy and breaking something is not experiencing a good kind of anger. Someone consumed with jealousy and furious because their partner showed interest in someone else is also experiencing a sort of anger that Edward Bach considered unhealthy. That is the spiky-aggressive Holly anger. Yet anger counts as one of the basic emotions of human beings, alongside fear, disgust, sadness, happiness, and surprise. (This means that if you showed photos of people facially expressing these emotions, anyone could identify them; we share this commonality of emotions.) Evolution gave us anger. In a previous blog post I looked at the different types of anger we encounter in the Bach flower remedy system. Andre Hunter Unsplash Anger

At the moment, I’m musing about the type of anger that is not destructive but motivational. There have been some evenings where I have watched the news that my anger towards Putin and his senseless destruction of Ukraine activated me. Freiburg (in southwest Germany, where I live) is a partner city to Lviv in west Ukraine, and I collected donations from friends and passed that on. Like many of you, I organised care packets sent directly from Freiburg to Lviv. This kind of anger makes me want to do something; I turned it in to help, which also made me feel less helpless. It’s not a kind of anger directly destructive towards another person. (But I’m sure I’d be ‘mad’ with Putin if I ever met him.) On a more personal level, I've also experienced injustice, which made me mad but motivated to get something done. To be specific, it was completing my dissertation during my PhD. Someone treated me badly, but instead of sinking into a hard-done-by-Willow feeling, it spurned me on to get out of the situation. One of my supervisors recognised this side of my character and quietly said that my sheer bloody-mindedness got me through my studies. I thought that was quite a compliment.

My bottom line is when you experience anger, check out what kind of anger it is. If something is wrong, and you know it’s not doing you good, your anger might help you initiate change. It might be this kind of anger that is the motivation for members of Extinction Rebellion. The main issue surrounding anger is not getting stuck in it; getting stuck in anger is stressful and can cause all kinds of health issues, from a stomach ulcer to high blood pressure. 

So while I’m not 100% with Dr Bach in the following quote – I nearly am: 

“We must steadfastly practice peace, imagining our minds as a lake ever to be kept calm, without waves, or even ripples, to disturb its tranquillity, and gradually develop this state of peace until no event of life, no circumstance, no other personalities are able under any condition to ruffle the surface of that lake or raise within us feelings of irritability, depression or doubt.”

 Thanks to Andre Hunter Unsplash for the angry image.

Starting in September, BFR Book Club!

Mimulus Bach flower remedies Simone Knorr

I didn‘t notice the arrival of spring this year. Suddenly everything was green, lush, and beautiful, and I hadn’t been aware that springtime had been creeping up upon us. So why had I missed my favourite part of the year? Because I let my mind be caught up with what Putin was doing with Ukraine; his brutality, seen daily in the news – it stunned me. I couldn’t look out to my surroundings in March, April, and May; I wasn’t observing Nature, my attention was elsewhere, caught up in the horrors of war.

(If you haven’t read my last posting about Putin called ‘The evil of ‘Vine’ it is here.)

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Today is the sixth day that Putin‘s bombs from Russia are raining down on the sovereign state of Ukraine. A war is being raged in Europe only a couple of flight hours away from where I live in Germany. Tens of thousands of women with their children and older people have fled to neighbouring countries to escape Putin’s murdering aggression. Husbands and sons have been separated from their families and must stay to fight and protect their homeland. Others have remained, the population of Ukraine is 44 million - all these people are experiencing continual worry, fear, uncertainty, desperation, anguish and panic that is difficult to imagine. How many people have already been killed, injured, maimed forever and traumatised is not yet clear.

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Bach flower remedies and pregnancy

One of my favourite Scleranthus stories goes as follows: a midwife told me about the antenatal classes she was regularly giving and that after the class, the group always went out for a pizza together. Confronted with the choice of over twenty different types of pizzas in the restaurant, she regularly had difficulty choosing which one she wanted and was always the very last to order. And still then she dithered, unable to decide, feeling uneasy because the waiter was waiting and everyone was watching her indecisiveness. It was an uncomfortable situation that repeated itself week in, week out.

Towards the end of the antenatal course she had started taking Scleranthus because she could not decide whether to send her daughter to school at the age of five or wait a year until the child was six. And during that same week the class also went to the pizzeria together. But this time, surprisingly, she was the very first to order. Everyone noticed and laughed, wondering what had come over her. In her mind, smiling to herself, she immediately coupled her ease of deciding which pizza she would like to taking Scleranthus for the situation with her daughter.

ScleranthusFrom Dr. Bach's Scleranthus description: Those who suffer much from being unable to decide between two things, first one seeming right then the other.


One day a while ago, my printer suddenly started making very alarming screeching-grinding noises and refused to work. I opened it up and looked for things that were blocking the works, I could find no screwed up paper anywhere or paper clips in the way. I switched it on and off (that so often helps) but after that, it still made wrong noises and I could not find the cause. I gave it a break for half an hour. Then I unplugged everything again and took it outside into the sunshine. Here I talked nicely to the machine, saying how well it had served me the last three years. I studied the handbook and took the hint to clean a certain part with alcohol. Having no alcohol at home, I found myself in front of my remedies pondering which precious one to sacrifice. I decided upon Gorse because I had the most of that remedy. The situation did appear rather hopeless to me but this was not my reason for choosing Gorse. I was almost reconciled to buying a new printer; this was just a last try. I put Gorse on a cotton-bud and twiddled around here and there, still talking encouragingly to the machine. When I plugged it in again it started making all the right sounds, I was delighted - suddenly it functioned perfectly again. I spent the rest of the day walking around with a grin on my face and saying to myself thank-you Dr. Bach!
Gorse Bach flower remedy

From Dr Bach's Gorse description: Very great hopelessness, they have given up belief that more can be done for them.


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Sometimes Edward Bach’s writing style may appear a little outdated. He was a child of his times (as we all are) and that was Victorian. Here, in a nutshell and in present day words, is how I understand Edward Bach’s wonderful philosophy:

-           we are here to fulfil our potential and develop ourselves

-           everyone has a unique personality; unfolding it is part of life's journey

-           accepting negative patterns and developing virtues makes for well-being

-           learning and collecting experience is what life is all about

-           if you are truly happy, you are healthy

-           inner peace is the foundation of well-being

-           personal harmony means aligning our personality with our Higher Self

-          we may trust our inner voices

-          influencing others is a source of dis-ease*, freedom is our birthright

-          being genuinely present is part of healthiness

* the word disease originally comes from the opposite of “ease” and did not originally mean illness.

Are there any aspects of Bach’s teachings and philosophy you do not agree with? I would love to read your comments!

Here are some inspirational Edward Bach quotes, the first of which I find especially relevant with regard to the terrible attacks the world has recently experienced:

“True, hate may be conquered by a greater hate, but it can only be cured by love: cruelty may be prevented by a greater cruelty, but only eliminated when the qualities of sympathy and pity have developed: one fear may be lost and forgotten in the presence of a greater fear, but the real cure of all fear is perfect courage.”

p. 2 - Ye Suffer From Yourselves Out of my window 2

“The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of our Spiritual Self, to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us the fault which is causing harm. They are able, like beautiful music, or any gloriously uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and bring us nearer to our Souls: and by that very act, to bring us peace, and relieve our sufferings.” p. 5 - Ye Suffer From Yourselves

Gorse Bach flower remedy

“Possibly the greatest lesson of life is to learn freedom. Freedom from circumstance, environment, other personalities, and most of all from ourselves: because until we are free we are unable fully to give and to serve our brother-men.” p. 6 - Ye Suffer From Yourselves

Clematis Bach flower remedy

“We … are personalities down here for the purpose of gaining all the knowledge and experience which can be obtained through earthly existence, of developing virtues which we lack and of wiping out all that is wrong within us, thus advancing towards the perfection of our natures.” p. 10 - Heal Thyself

Bach remedy Honeysuckle 1

“…let us not fear to plunge into life; we are here to gain experience and knowledge, and we shall learn but little unless we face realities and seek to our utmost. Such experience can be gained in every quarter, and the truths of nature and of humanity can be won just as effectively, perhaps even more so, in a country cottage as amongst the noise and hustle of a city.” p. 25, Heal Thyself

Read Heal Thyself, and Ye Suffer From Yourselves by downloading the texts from the Bach Centre website.

blackbird rescue remedyI was sitting quietly at Joe's place reading one afternoon when there was sudden thud on the window and, looking up, I realised that a bird had flown into the glass. I could see a few downy feathers floating in the air. Jumping up and shouting to Joe who was in another room, I ran to the balcony (his lounge is on the first floor) and lent over expecting to see a dead bird. A blackbird lay about 4m below on the wooden terrace, its right wing stretched out at such an angle that I was sure it was broken. I was already running downstairs when I thought of the rescue remedy and called to Joe to bring it from the kitchen. He joined me a few seconds later and gave me the pipette of the little bottle which he had already opened. I started to carefully approach the bird, I could see that the bird was breathing fast and its eyes were closed. I talked quietly and avoided sudden movements and anxiously took the bird into my hand. Briefly, I marvelled at its perfection, it was a young male bird, probably a fledgling from last year and it had a few white feathers around its beak. I quickly put several drops of the rescue remedy on its beak. Immediately, it opened its mouth and eyes and shook its head, its dazed eyes blinking at me. It did not panic in my hands. Luckily, neither its neck nor wing was broken. I gave it more of the remedy and then, still murmuring quietly, and moving softly, I stood up and placed it in the bushes for it to recover. Half an hour later Joe reported that the bird was no longer there.

bird 1088105 180BLACKBIRD

A day later we arrived by car at Joe’s place after shopping and, as I got out of the car, I noticed a blackbird in the hedge next to the parking place in front of the house. I stood still, mesmerized by an almost tangible contact to this bird, feeling its bright black eyes watching me. To my amazement, it hopped twice on twigs towards me, instead of flying away, as one would expect. I saw that it was the same blackbird from the accident the previous day – it came so close that I could see the white feathers around its beak. As Joe got out of the car and spoke to me the bird was startled and it flew away leaving me touched and very surprised...Blackbird bach flower remedies

We know Dr Bach’s story of The Travellers, the remedies as figures walking through a wood. I have had some fun updating the story into the internet as follows ;-)

Fotolia 5155900 XS

Agrimony is surfing happily under various identities with a well functioning alias and several pseudo-names. Avatar games are the right thing for her. Cerato has just set up a forum looking for help and advice from others. Rock Rose has just discovered she’s opened a phishing mail and is panicking because her online bank account might get hacked. Impatiens is annoyed with her browser which is crashing; she clicked it too often, it hadn’t opened quickly enough. She is moving to her smart phone and has just hit the touch screen 6 times.

on the SmartphoneRock Water is working on her collected data from recent weeks about her jogging progress. She has a Cloud-connecting health monitoring device and is aiming to improve her condition via disciplined self-tracking. Scleranthus is trying to book her summer holidays online. She went to a site and then to another and another and could not decide where to book, and is now going offline. Elm is going offline too, she’s overwhelmed by everything.

Vervain has just set up a lengthy Cc. list in her email account to all her contacts. She wants to get everyone to join the latest worthy campaign, asking all friends and acquaintances to sign but also pass on the link to all their contacts!

Oak is studying the online manual on page 262 of the pdf, plodding on until she understands how to use the new iPad, she will not give up until she has finished reading. on the iPad

Heather is busy writing a detailed customer review for Amazon (3 pages) about her experiences with her new vacuum cleaner. Water Violet is hesitating liking something on Facebook, but does enjoy quietly reading what people have posted. Mimulus is also hesitant online, she’s a bit frightened of the internet, she has heard of all the alarming things that happen to people who register anywhere. 

OnlineCherry Plum is about to throw her tablet PC on the floor any minute now because the programme she installed last week is not working. The online help portal is not helpful, not only that, the newly installed programme seems to have disturbed the whole workings of her computer and she cannot open any of her documents.

And then there is someone offline - Clematis - she has forgotten her computer password and is sitting there quietly, dreamily and cannot login…smile 5


Next time: The crisis mixture and treatment of a wild animal, an excerpt from my book One Person’s Journey. Short stories about Dr Bach’s flower remedies.

The prettiest village ever seen

The fairy tale atmosphere I felt at Mt Vernon I also sense as I start my walk around the village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell where the Bach Centre is situated. I am aware that the village has a 1,000 history. There are no street lights or lamp posts alongside the roads, there are no markings on the road, and neither can I see any signposts for traffic. There are dozens of old thatched cottages with lush front gardens and I spot a few houses that obviously stem from Tudor times, perhaps earlier. Many of the houses have dates incorporated into their walls and I start a little competition with myself trying to find the oldest house. If it weren’t for the few cars lining the road here and there it would be easy to imagine that I had travelled in time and I was now in the mid 19th century. 

Sotwell thatched house1688 Sotwell  Sotwell house

Some of the hedgerows are huge and tower over the road; they are certainly at least a hundred years old. The variety of plants along the wayside indicates a healthy ecosystem, bees hum and birds are singing loudly, competing with one another. Some enormous oak trees also line the road which are certainly several hundred years old. There is something amazingly undisturbed about the village which I decide is one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. I come across St James church and know that this is where Dr Bach was buried in 1936. Strangely, there is an old red chestnut tree next to the church and also a holly tree at the entry to the graveyard. 

Walking around the old graveyard (I cannot go into the church as it is locked up), I quickly spot Dr Bach’s grave with the inscription Behold I am alive for evermore which touches me, and tears prick my eyes for a few seconds. I realise for the umpteenth time how this one man has touched ten of thousands of people and gratitude swamps me as I silently walk away.

Dr Bachs grave

 St James church Sotwell

Watch a photo story with music on YouTube about Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and Mt. Vermon which summarizes these first three blog posts...

Brightwell-cum-Sotwell - website

Next time: The Travellers – I have updated the piece Dr Bach wrote about the characters as remedy personalities wandering in a wood. In my version new the figures are now on the Internet. ;-)

Are you familiar with his original story? If not, here it is.

Join me for a step inside Mt. Vernon

After the brightness and warmth of a summer’s day outside in the garden, it is cool inside and rather dark. Mt. Vernon is a very small house which was built in 1892. Having entered the front door, there is no hall, I stand infront of the stairs leading to the next floor where the Bach Centre offices are. To my left and my right are two little sitting rooms. I step into the left room and see the dark bulky furniture that Dr Bach made in the winter's of his time at Mt. Vernon. 

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A feast of flowers - a visit to the Bach Centre

It is a glorious June day with clear blue skies and, as I walk up the rather steep steps, I see the little Victorian red brick house perched in front of me. It stands there simply, unobtrusively. Before going into the house, I wander around the garden and sense a strange peace - not that it is quiet though, the sparrows are twittering loudly, the insects buzzing, Nature is vibrant here. The peace is atmospheric, almost like a pleasant weight that can be felt - and it surprises me. I vaguely think while walking around that it might perhaps have something to do with the peace people have within themselves when they visit this garden.

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Nicola's blog

'One Person's Journey' available as an ebook.

Further training course for practitioners:

Sept. 2024: BC-ACE workshop Mindful communication

Previous blog postings:

- My phone, my habits!

- Sheer bloodymindesness

- Everything is connected

- Worry

- The evil of 'Vine'

- Finding meaning in life

- Corona - again

- Deadly floods

- A red chestnut discovery

- Impatiens broke my arm

- Goodbye 2020

- Magic

- Coming out of lockdown

- When normality slips away

- Our house is on fire

- The Elm bottle breaks

- When nearly everything changes

- Our social lives and genes

- Two refugees

- A nasty accident

- Friendliness

- Sleep

- Panic

- Someone mad with you?

- Breaking decades of silence (II)

- Who is not socialising and why?

- Breaking decades of silence (I)

- Who gets angry and why?

- Hey, Mr President!

- The saddest day

- Life is full of stories

- At Heathrow

- Building site Guardian Angel

- Letting go

- Specifically Chicory

- The Travellers - a fun piece!

- Emotional baggage

- A wild bird and the rescue remedy

- The garden at Mt.Vernon

- Inside Mt. Vernon

- Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

- Edward Bach's philosophy

Nicola Hanefeld 15My name is Nicola Hanefeld, I am English but I've lived in the Black Forest area in Freiburg, Germany, since 1981. I was a biology teacher before I left England. I have been a BFRP since 1997 and am also a trainer for Bach Centre approved courses. I have three wonderful children, all grown up now and am blessed with three grand-children. I'm a member of Greenpeace and am also a teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Alongside the Bach flowers, photography is one of my passions. Follow me on Instagram where I share my photos. Another passion is writing, and you will find many stories relating to my experiences with Edward Bach's amazing remedies in my book One Person's Journey.





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