Captain vs. Steersman

Imagine the engine is working quite well and our ship is on course. Out of a sudden we hear the boy shouting from the look-out: „Iceberg ahead!“. The captain gives the order: „Turn around!“ - the steersman however replies: „Sorry, captain, there cannot be an iceberg since there never has been one. We stay on course.“

What else could happen besides a crash and the sinking of our ship, it is as simple as that. And the steersman sinks with us. Getting angry with him would not make any sense since he is as dead as we are.

Principled until the end

Unimaginable? Nothing less than that. Things like that happen every day – only on a different level. Try to imagine an analogy: our mind plays the role of the captain, our emotions and needs the one of the steersman. Now our mind may say: „I have heard about smoking being not very supportive to my health, I better quit. So, steersman, cease fire!“. But the steersman replies: „I don‘t care!“ and lights another cigarette. Unfortunately although you would love to fire the idiot, he is the only one capable to keep our ship on track. Kind of inner conflict...

Our steersman plays the role of an autopilot. Once programmed he does what he has to do and never accepts any deviation. That is pretty smart, since it allows our captain to take a nap without having to fear any negative consequences. The engine goes on working well - like our breath when we sleep. We do not die when letting our awareness take a rest. Our steersman works thoroughly, carefully and reliably. How wonderful for us! Although ... sometimes we like to try an alternative direction and that is when the trouble begins. He tries to get the ship back to the former direction and he does it by using our senses. We sense some kind of pain or feel there is something wrong or whatever...

Let me use some everyday routine as explanation. Almost 100% of the right-handed people start brushing their teeth on the left side. For them is pretty natural and it works fine – so why should they change the pattern. Do it just for fun, dear readers. You will see it feels very strange to start at the right hand side. Another example: fold your hands. Which thumb lies above the other? Then try it the other way. Your anatomy will certainly allow this, but does it not feel strange anyway, without any special reason?

The power  of habits

So deviation from the original course makes our steersman take action by sending us signals that we can notice through our bodies. Trying to change old habits and patterns will definitely cause trouble, since they afflict our original programming, which our steersman is responsible of. He wants that everything stays the way it has always been. For many reasons this is very good for us. But the same phenomenon can get us into trouble as well, and we have to find out how to cope in order to be able to change ourselves.

Some try it by extensive use of their own will. They believe a strong will should make the steersman change his mind. Ok, you who believe this: try not to get angry, when nobody appears on your date – try not to be frustrated when the children bring in half of the available mudd from the neighbourhood right after you cleaned the house – try not to be disaapointed when again a colleague was promoted instead of you.
Does it work?

I think this has to do with the phenomenon of learning. How it works I shall explain in the next part. However you should be aware: this is nothing but hypothetical and metaphorical – yet if may help ...

During the first couple of years of our lives we learn our life‘s lessons. We learn the basics, we need for our further development in life, like the muscle coordination that helps us walk and work; the sense of balance that keeps us from constantly stumbing and falling, we learn how to communicate and we learn to give troubles names and to cope with them (like this uncomfortable sensation in our belly, that we have used to call hunger and can make disappear by eating). Is it so far fetched to assume that we learn about our emotions at the same stage?

Think about how our main communication skill, the use of our language, works. Perhaps learning emotions works in a similar way. Learning the words and the language our parents use happens almost accidently, we imitate and play with sounds and words and step by step we learn the proper use of our tools, lungs, larynx, tongue and lips and everything. It seems a kind of a game and not at all stressfull. But why for God‘s sake is the same lesson only a couple of years later so difficult and never leads to the same result? No matter how hard we try to learn a foreign language, others will always recognize us by the little mistakes we make and the sound of our voices and know we originally come from another country where they use to use a different language (unless we are very very skilled in terms of learning languages, but then we would only be the exception from the rule).

Let us go back to the analogy of captain and steersman. Let the captain give the order „Spanish, go!“, the steersman is going to say „Paella“, stutters a couple of words and then remains silent. To switch the used language seems as difficult as to switch emotional responses. Both have in common to be determinated during our first years in life. It seems a try to change emotions is as difficult as to make a train turn right. You must have a turnout or your train is going to run off the rails with all its dangerous consequences. Seems we have to go back to where the switch is naturally located: our childhood.

In practice this means to have an eye on the basic beliefs, which cause and determine the current problems of our client (or ourselves). Take a closer look on the roots of the problem. Try to find out when the decision (unconsciously) for any belief of ours took place and you will find the switch, where it is easier to turn to a new direction. You or your client need one of the essences for children to face, go through and overcome his (or your) problems. We are stuck in a situation, repeat our pattern of fear or anger or whatever, block ourselves by sticking to old behaviour patterns that once were appropriate but now are long outdated. We have to find the origin and then not only give (or take) the essence that works on the problem but also the one, that can change the underlying childhood belief.


As someone who grew up in Germany I am very familiar with the concept of criticism and faultfinding. Many parents believe that criticising their children would inspire them to improve. As long as they fullfill all expectations, everything is ok, but nobody feels the need to appreciate and praise the kids. However once they fail, the silent parents start to speak. Once I had a client who although in her 30ies still tried to impress her father and get his appreciation. She was a sportswoman. She told me one day she came home, so happy to tell her parents about her new personal record, but all her father wanted to know was how her other tries went. When she admitted that not every try was that good, he „inspired“ her by mentioning how much better she could be if only she tried somewhat harder. Congratulations! Seems much to hard for him to simply say just one time „Well done! You are good! Go celebrate!“ or whatever. Even when she had success her parents found a way to criticize her. All who suffer from long lasting good mood and selfworth I can only recommend a session with that father. Anyway the inner belief „no matter how hard I try, I shall never be good enough“ is not supportive. It is an inner block worth to be sorted out. I recommend Pine for this purpose.

Somehow similarly works the experience of solidarity (or lack of it). Even when the child is mischievous and nasty, it has to be protected by the family. May it have smashed in the neighbour‘s window, it is necessary that the family stays on its side. The neighbour may be furious and of course there is a damage, but when it gets hard, the child needs support rather than attacks. To experience something like „when I do something wrong, my family drops me“ leads directly to the belief „I should never tell anyone about my failure, I better try to sneak through, since in the end I have nobody to count on“. Imagine how damaging such belief can be! But the steersman accepts the order and takes care that the person, who is no longer a child, still prefers to be an outsider and always has problems with and in relationships and never feels supported even when they are ... perhaps we give this person a second chance – try Cross-leaved Heath.

Cross-leaved Heath

However there is one kind of damage worse than all the mentioned before. The result of beatings and abuse is a child without a childhood. Such child will have to cope with a lack of confidence, self-worth and trust and on the other side an overload of mistrust and self-doubt. People who experience childhood abuse usually do not trust the right people, they do not set proper boundaries, let people come close, who do not mean well, but refuse others who perhaps love them. They simply cannot distinguish between both. So further damage is programmed. - It may be the right time for Touch-Me-Not Balsam.

To come to an end I should not forget to mention Amble Willowherb, the emergency essence for children, also for the inner ones. If the adult suffers from problems with roots in his childhood, he should prefer Amble Willowherb to other antitraumatic working essences, since it directly works on the original trauma (not because the other would not work, do not get me wrong)

Amble Willowherb

There would be many more to mention, that can help children as well as adults, but I stop here hoping that the basic idea behind the use of essences for children has become clear. Children can easily change, so it is good to become a child again to change oneself later.

Whenever we have to cope with an inappropriate emotional response, that we want to change, it is much easier to do that working at the time of their first occurrence, when they create beliefs that block us instead of helping us with orientation and developing. So considering a combination for somebody else or yourself, think about adding one or more essences for children. They help to make up for missed childhood experiences.

Willow – Salix vitellinaThis is one of the Bach flower range that may die out, in some parts of the world it is endangered. In this case it is not
Scleranthus – Scleranthus annuus I am sure most of my readers know this essence very well, the good old Bach flower, that helps to solve the conflict
Sunflower – Sonnenblume – Helianthus annuus Imagine this client of me – a giant of a man, almost 2 m tall, but considering himself as
People tend to look at the course of the world from the perspective of their navel. Make the earth subject to you. In fact, one could write the story from
How do you decide which essence would be appropriate? We had a poll running on The results show up to now that around 15% of our
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