Edward Bach recognised that some people are critical and intolerant of others, and considered this trait a potential danger to health. Those reading and familiar with the Bach flower remedies will already know I’m talking about the Beech state. I recently spent time with someone prone to criticism, and I sensed how erosive ‘being Beechy’ is to relationships. (The word 'bitchy' sounds so similar; interesting!) Perhaps that is why Dr Bach thought this state unhealthy – it can impact our connection to others. The Beech frame of mind means filtering for ‘what is (subjectively) wrong’ and expressing that in no uncertain terms. Criticism will blurt out if the person in a Beech mood/state also has an Impatiens personality. It can hurt. It can make people defensive as they justify and defend themselves in the face of criticism. It can make people feel upset and indignant and hit back. Some will, however, quietly accept and try to 'amend' their ways. The Beech state does not bring people together; it separates them.

What brings people together is recognition, validation, acknowledgement, kindness, and appreciation. People in a Beech state don’t readily have these soft-skill communicative assets. And they don’t feel gentleness towards others inside themselves.

Orchid 1

I’m not making a case for not saying what’s not OK; we need to be able to give one another feedback. I’m making a case for how - and the timing. George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright, 1856-1950) is on record as saying, ‘in the right tone, you can say anything, in the wrong tone nothing.’ Edward Bach rather cryptically described the Beech mindset as being ‘For those who feel the need to see more good and beauty in all that surrounds them.’

Being aware that we’re ‘being Beechy’ and thinking before speaking makes the difference. (And yes, I do smile inwardly when I catch myself quietly being critical of critical people.)

I had a partner once who was outstanding in his ability to criticise me. I was on the receiving end of big criticisms and little ones. Among the little ones were a) how I brush my teeth, b) how I hold the car steering wheel, c) how much water I put into the kettle. (I won’t go into the big ones.)orchid 2 Usually, when he was stressed, his intolerance was heightened. I forgave him because I could see that his Beech state came to the fore when he was overworked. But in the end, I couldn’t take it any longer, and we separated.

The problem with people in the Beech state is that issues lie (in their minds) in the other person’s behaviour; they don’t ‘own’ their intolerance. I see this state of mind as relatively inflexible.

Reflecting on this makes me aware of how important it is to affirm others, to quietly say something positive, even if we need to communicate something we’re having trouble accepting. That nurtures relationships. And in a world in turmoil, on the brink of a climate catastrophe, lurching to the far right, with unresolved conflicts and war, aren’t healthy relationships our most essential assets to promote well-being?

The flowers in this piece are all wild orchids seen close to where I live in south-west Germany. Orchids are intolerant to pollution, that's how they got included. ;-)

If you are interested in refining your interpersonal speaking skills, (in consultations and private life) check out my next Bach Centre Accredited Continuing Education course ‘Mindful Communication’ in September. Details here.

orchid 3

The Bach flower remedies and WhatsApp

I’ve been wondering and pondering what to write on my blog. Then I realised a bit of fun might be helpful in these dark times. I guess I wrote this in an unconscious attempt to avoid the unspeakable horrors of recent news.

Many of Bach’s astute descriptions of moods and archetypical personality types show up in how we communicate and use our phones. Here we go:

Impatiens will answer you straight away with short, quick messages.

Clematis has mislaid her mobile and can‘t answer.

Vervain is sharing links about the latest demonstration in town or worthy campaigns you should sign up to.

Rock Water only looks at her phone once a day, in the evening, after her workout.

Scleranthus has several chat accounts - with WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger, X, Snapchat, Telegram and Threema. It’s all a bit unmanageable. You might have to search for her.

Chicory likes voicemail and the possibilities of staying in contact with the family. She expects a prompt answer.

Heather loves voicemail – she uses it several times a day.

Holly is wary and a little suspicious about how the companies collect your metadata. He has also switched off the two blue ticks to maintain privacy about whether he’s seen your message.

Beech is also critical of free messenger services and prefers email. And why do people have to jump to their messages all the time each time their phone makes a sound?

Hornbeam has loads of unanswered messages, so don’t expect an answer quickly.

Pine feels uncomfortable because she has an app telling her how many hours she’s been on her phone this week. It was one hour more than the week before. She's resolved to change.

I hope that made you smile :-) Any additional ideas? Please write your ideas in the comments!

Bach flower remedy Book Club meetings. The series which took place in autumn 2023 has now ended. Notes about the meetings are still online.

Bach Centre accredited continuing education courses coming up in 2024: Marketing for BFRPs and Recognising Bach's plants in Nature.

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Looking forward to 2022

Some of Edward Bach’s flower remedies are for acute emotional states such as Rock Rose (panic), or shock, (Star of Bethlehem). There are remedies at the other end of the scale which are for more long-term and less dramatic states of mind. The tendency to procrastinate, (Hornbeam) or Wild Oat (uncertainty over one’s direction in life) for example. Wild Oat is a remedy that I often think of in connection with welcoming a New Year.

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It‘s nearly two years since I‘ve written anything for this blog. As some of you will know, I went back to university, and this was the reason for discontinuing. So what has brought me out of hibernation? The answer is a) my Vervain streak combined with b) the unprecedented environmental crisis in Australia caused by widespread incineration of the landscape and property. The word „bushfires“ somehow don‘t seem to capture the immensity of the crisis; the word appears belittling to me. But I am not an Australian perhaps Australians are happy with the term.

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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:

- Navalny, Vervain personified

- 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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