One of the first topics covered on the life coaching course I took a few years back was ‘clearing the clutter’. Disposing of any excess ‘stuff’ in your physical environment, completing any half-finished tasks you have been putting off, and handling any chronic minor irritations, will help your daily life run more smoothly and leave more energy available for things you find enjoyable and worthwhile.

New Year is a good time to clear the clutter and to simplify. Buying myself a new bookcase this week gave me the impetus to reorganize the collection of books, journals and unpublished manuscripts which has accumulated in my office over the years. I must admit that I couldn’t bring myself to throw too many items away, but at least the ones I kept have been dusted and put in order. Maybe I will want to read them again one day, maybe not. Though it would be sad to see the end of printed documents, I am aware of the environmental advantages of e-publishing which is definitely the way I intend to go in future.

Bach flowers relevant to clearing the clutter include Hornbeam, for those who feel weary at the prospect of starting their daily work, and Honeysuckle for those who tend to cling to the past. Dr Edward Bach himself was an advocate of simplicity, and possibly took it too far by destroying many of the original papers which formed the basis of his published works. However the books themselves are still available and one of these, The Twelve Healers, can currently be downloaded free from .



Holiday time

Here I am drinking champagne on Auckland’s harbourside to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary at the start of the holiday season.

After 10 years in New Zealand I am adapted to a summertime Christmas – and look forward to the annual events of singing with my choir at Midnight Mass and lunch next day with the extended family, then a peaceful January eating plums and figs from the garden and swimming in the sea …

Happy holidays to all my readers.

Bach flower remedies for anxiety

Anxiety is a very common problem. About one-third of the clients in my Bach flower practice present with some form of anxiety as their main complaint.

Many of the Bach flower remedies can help with managing anxiety, but which one to choose?  Today’s post gives a simple overview. I have included seven flowers – five from the ‘Fear’ group in Dr Bach’s original classification, and two others.

Mimulus: For ‘fear of known things’ – for example phobias of flying, dental visits, public speaking or animals. it is also helpful for those of a generally nervous and shy disposition. The remedy promotes courage, bravery, and trust in the outside world.

Aspen: For fear of the unknown, in sensitive and perhaps psychic people who tend to feel nervous and apprehensive without knowing why.

Agrimony:  For those who hide their worries and fears from others, and even from themselves, by putting on a cheerful facade and maybe using drink or drugs to numb their anxieties. The remedy promotes honesty about feelings.

Red Chestnut: For excessive fears and anxieties felt on behalf of loved ones, rather than for oneself. With this remedy it becomes possible to develop a healthy detachment while still maintaining compassion and empathy.

White Chestnut: For repetitive worrying thoughts going round and round in the mind, often causing insomnia. The remedy promotes mental quiet and calm.

Cherry Plum: For severe anxiety which runs away with the imagination, with fear of losing control.

Rock Rose: For severe terror or panic, especially in threatening situations, and for nightmares.

Combinations of the above can occur, so two or more of these remedies can be mixed in the same treatment bottle. Remedies for associated problems such as feeling overburdened with responsibility, obsessional tendencies, or coping with change, may also need to be included. This allows a more finely-tuned individual approach than is possible with pharmaceutical drugs.