Changing Learned Behaviours with Flower Essences - Dirk Albrodt
Changing our behaviour patterns is often no big thing. When we move to a new house, for instance, it may take a couple of days until we adjust to the light switches being in the ‘wrong place’. Changing behaviour patterns that are triggered by emotions, however, is something else, as these are often based upon beliefs we cannot quickly or easily modify. The belief that we are unimportant, stupid and ugly, for example, will make us slouch without even noticing it. In trying to overcome this belief we can pretend to be self-assertive, forcing ourselves to straighten our backs but this requires an amount of energy that will always be exhausting if it is not in our true nature. There is, however, a way to change an underlying belief: we must go back to the time in our lives that we originally developed it. In this article, I shall explain how we could use certain essences to do this.

When the Patterns Begin
The key to understanding how we develop our core beliefs lies in the first few years of our lives. A certain internal shift that occurs around the age of five changes our whole lives so dramatically that it is astonishing that it is hardly noticed. Decisions and determinations appear to become carved in stone and dominate us – our perception, purpose and way of life – as if we have been programmed like a computer. Modifying them in later years requires an awful amount of work, effort and time. Fortunately there is a chance to do it faster and easier, and for this we need to return to the stage they were created. Before that let me explain the two major distinguishing aspects of our first childhood years: magical thinking, and synesthesia.

Magical Thinking
During the first five years of life the child stands at the centre of the world. Everyone is a narcissist at this stage and narcissists see themselves as perfect, the distortion and illusion that is their perception known as ‘magical thinking’. “I cry and mother comes”: “I am almighty”, “I can make people appear!” On the other hand this implies that “when I cry, nobody comes” the feeling of “I am worthless” arises.

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which a sensory stimulus is not just conducted to one certain area of the brain but to two or more areas. For example, anervous impulse like a sound triggers not only our sense of hearing but also our vision. By the age of five all the senses have generally been divided, and as such, isolated from each other. However, a certain percentage of the population – it is thought to
be possibly as around 5% – remain as ‘synesthetes’ in their later lives and do literally see sound as colour (or feel a sound, perhaps; there are different variations).1

However, although this implies that around 95% of people are not obviously synesthetic, they may still have a sense of the meaning or connection between sound and vision. Take as an example this simple image of two shapes. If you were told that these images had names, that one was ‘Booba’ and the other ‘Kiki’, would you be

able to decide which was which?
A totally non-synesthetic person would feel that this is a totally random exercise ... So, in doing this, you may realise that everybody is still a little synesthetic! Everybody can somehow recall their early synesthesia and this is what we need to use if we are to change negative beliefs quickly and thoroughly. The age when beliefs are created is defined by magical thinking and synesthesia, and in linking to both conditions we can redefine the beliefs that tend to sabotage or impede us in later years. Yet how can we do that?

A Key Essence
Bougainvillea is the essence of magical thinking. Often it is taken when the sparkle of life has faded away, when life is nothing but numbers, work and struggle and you have lost the ability to dream, to make faces appear in clouds and dancers in campfires.

Yet Bougainvillea can also take us back to the early belief-building part of our lives in order to change our learned behaviours; it literally helps us access the inner child. If we look at its image using the ‘doctrine of signature’, we can see a flower within a flower, clearly indicating ‘mother and child’, or that nurturing aspect that lovingly holds and can help the child that we were, and still are, inside.

When dealing with pregnant women, who are cradling the actual child within, the colours suggest a connection between the base chakra of the mother and the crown chakra of the baby. Bougainvillea is one of our best researched essences and used with pregnant women who want to learn how to communicate with their unborn baby. We found that Bougainvillea can even ‘ask the baby’ to turn into the right birth position when it is time to leave the breech position, helping avoid so many caesarian sections.

But as an essence for an adult dealing with the personal inner child, Bougainvillea takes you back to the first five years. It triggers the emotions and perceptions that

ruled your life back then. The activated memory enables you to become the child again and make use of its special skills. If you want to learn to speak a new language without an accent, for example, you must regress to this age, back to a time before the brain’s primary Broca speech centre closes. Regression is something that hypnotherapists often do with their clients, mostly to clean up old issues. However,you do not necessarily need to be traumatised in early childhood in order to benefitfrom changes to childhood structures.

The Synesthetic Flowers
Bougainvillea is the dominant essence in a blend I have called the Inner Child Combination. There are many such essence mixes available; however, they deal with the ‘metaphorical’ inner child while this one addresses the perceptive abilities
of the actual child that we once were.

As we have seen, synesthesia is the child’s natural perception of the world. It is also the basis of our inner beliefs. The NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) developers discovered that we look in different directions when we want to remember an
image or a sound or a feeling.2 The eye movement seems to open the associated nerve tract; for example, looking to the upper left side helps us to remember the visual appearance of something, let us say a violin. If we want to remember the
sound of the violin our eyes will tend to move horizontally to the left. However, when it comes to beliefs, the eye movement does not follow this rule. The eyes are focused at a point where all associated sensory perceptions are available at the
same time. You could say we focus at points where we are synesthetic.In order to deactivate the old belief one needs to access the relevant point and then separate the different perceptions, in a similar way to that of the NLP practitioner. When these perceptions are separated the original problem loses its impact, as looking at an issue without having to hear and feel what was associated with it reduces its power. To use an essence-based approach to achieve this we can firstly use a mix that targets all the senses – like this Inner Child Combination, which will connect to all senses simultaneously, and work with them in unison:

{ Perennial Mountain Cornflower stimulates the sense of touch (and being touched)
{ Garlic Mustard stimulates the sense of smell
{ Calendula enhances the hearing and listening ability
{ Pineapple Weed coordinates movement and balances the hemispheres of the brain and also stimulates the sense of taste. It is very helpful when there are problems with breastfeeding.
{ Wild Carrot (or Queens Anne’s Lace) improves the vision
{ And finally Bougainvillea.

Now you still need one more essence that changes the negative belief to add to the individual dosage bottle you take or give your client. Like Gorse, for when you feel helpless. Or Willow when you think the Earth is a place of pain. Or Larch when
you feel useless. There are so many essences available worldwide. Just pick the one that covers the problematic belief.

As an example of this approach, I once worked with two women who developed the same strategy to protect themselves. They came to see me on the same day, in fact. When facing confrontations with others they tended to turn into little girls,
because little girls are nice, harmless and helpless – who would do them any harm? As a strategy it worked, it protected them, but they realised they were not able to get what they wanted in life, and so wished to change, to gain assertiveness.
However, as long as they believed themselves to be weak and vulnerable, they were weak and vulnerable. They believed they needed to please others in order not to get hurt. The idea that they could protect themselves or even stand up for
what they wanted had not occurred to them.

I gave both of them the Inner Child Combination, plus Touch-Me-Not Balsam, which fosters trust and self-confidence. When I met them later they described their previous behaviour as ‘silly’, and had learned to cope with disagreement and conflict.

A long-standing belief like this can be considered a skill – it can even be a lifesaver. However, if you want to change the skill of ‘not being good enough’ into one that says: ‘I am capable’, go back in time to the crossroads where you developed the selfsabotage and replace it with something healthier. Inner Child Combination offers the vibrational help for this. Once the underlying belief has changed, the behaviour pattern too will change in a very natural way, sometimes even without you noticing. But you will certainly notice when being asked: “What happened to you? You look so happy!”

Dirk Albrodt is a Flower Essence therapist living and working in the Netherlands. He is the author of ‘Blütenessenzen in der Schwangerschaft’ (Flower Essences in Pregnancy), based on three years of research with midwives. He is also the Editor of a series of ‘Illustrierte Enzyklopädie der Blütenessenzen’ (Illustrated Encyclopedia of Flower Essences), now consisting of four volumes presenting a total of around 2000 essences. He founded Mamboya /Flower Energy in 1990. He can be contacted at