Ask the Cards — Have a Better Day!

Flower Cards Opportunities

Today, I created “The 3-Card Spread for Getting UnStuck and Appreciating Yourself Again.” I hope it will help you to focus and engage with whatever is on your plate now – and, that you will have a better day because of your clarity!

I came up with this card exercise because I cringed when I realized I hadn’t written anything here since July. Summer is busy!

Using Canyon Sound EcoLogic Flower Cards when you are unsure how to move forward will do two things for you. First, it will actually help you to find a starting point that can bear fruit. Second, each time you use the cards, you are strengthening your natural intelligence – that wise voice will become louder and clearer to you.

I am going to show you how I used the cards today so you can see how you may use them.

Let me walk you through it.


Getting Started

As the title suggests, you are going to pick three cards in this exercise. And you are going to ask three questions. If you have your own deck of EcoLogic Flower Cards, find a comfortable, supportive place to sit (or stand) and draw your cards near. If you don’t have cards, get comfortable with your computer and click on the “Ask the Cards” button at the top of this page. Also, grab a pen and some paper.

Get quiet, take a few deep breaths and focus on the part of your body that feels the most solid. Tell yourself that you want help accomplishing “x.” Now you are ready to ask questions and pick cards.


What is your issue?

You want to give your natural intelligence something clear to work with. When I am working with cards, I always write down my issue – that way, there is less chance for mental drift and fuzziness.

My issue: Today I want to write a blog post that is relevant and helpful to my readers.


Question 1: What do I need to do to get ready?

The answer to this question will tell you the frame of mind you should try to adopt, or the more accurate framing of your question. This is a great question to tune up your natural logic – it is different from our learned logic.

My card: Allium – Release




What do I make of this? In my case, “getting ready” to receive help writing means being fully present, just as I am.

Relevant passage: “Feel the strength of your own presence… Make sure that you are asking for input from a position of strength and assurance about your worth.” 

Obviously, I have something useful to say. I might as well own it!




Question #2: How should I open myself up for help?

This question is about what happens after you are aware of a more accurate goal for yourself. How do you receive help to accomplish this task? Help is all around. We just have to be positioned to accept it. Collaboration is an essential component of natural intelligence.

My card: Madagascar Periwinkle – Gentle Movement Under Pressure



To me, this is an iteration of the first card – be yourself! I always know a message is an important one for me if I hear it more than once.

Relevant passage: “You will be surprised at the solutions and good fortunes that make their way to you when you are able to stand solidly in reality while being yourself.”





Question #3: What gift/message/talent am I sharing by doing this?

Enjoying your creations, sharing your gifts or making some kind of difference in your world is another natural intelligence essential. Those things are the “closure” element. They ground our activities and create balance in our world. This is a great question to ask at the end of a day.

My card: Pale Corydalis – Bitterness

Pale Corydalis


Stress doesn’t usually bring out the best in us – usually, it triggers negative self-talk that berates, blames, or confuses us. This card was telling me to take a breath and consider looking at my writer’s block from a different angle.

Relevant passage: ” This means letting go of preconceptions and remaining open to possibilities and new ideas.”







What I learned from the cards today is this: Sometimes, the easiest and most powerful thing to do in a tricky situation is to gather myself together fully and face the situation – listening for an answer that may surprise me.

In my case, what was getting in the way of my creative process was the way I was haranguing myself. Once I let go of that, I came up with a useful and relevant blog post – how to use the cards to get myself out of a jam.

I urge you to give it a try! You can buy the cards here or play with them on this website here.

Download the 3-card spread to keep track of your answers. You can print it out or fill it in and save it on your computer.

Til next time!


The Green Place

Caspar David Friedrich, Woman at Window 1822

Over millennia mankind has crafted a myriad of obstacles that hide the doorway to an inviolable part of the soul.  We cover the entrance with arrogance, we cover it with fear.  We visit it only in vulnerability, in brokenness, in wonder. It is a green place that lives in the core of our being, a place which, left ignored or untended, can, over time, turn utterly to dust, leaving us blind to the treasures we are offered in this life. It is an elusive part of the soul, but wisdom floats on its breezes and hope shines down in its light.  I cannot tell you how to get there, I doubt that anyone can.  But you’ll know it when you do.

Pamela Terry Hudson, From the House of Edward

Today I came across this piece from one of my favourite bloggers, an artist whose gifts come through as words, gardens, and interiors. When I read this, I felt as if my soul had received an invitation.

I know that green place. And my life's work has been helping people find theirs when they've lost touch.

I am not a poet—my name for the green place has always been "the never-been-damaged part of the self." (I will never earn my poetic license with phrases like that!) However, Pamela's words describe perfectly my 25-year relationship with flower essences and why I want to share them with you.

The ultimate gift of healing is discovering that the green place has never left you. In fact, it has been your constant companion, calling to you all along, trying to re-introduce you to the beauty of life all around you. And, furthermore, to your place in that beautiful world.

That, in a nutshell, is the job of flower essences—they take you by the hand and bring you back to your original, beautiful self. That has been the gift of flower essences in my life and what I try to pass on to you.

This is why the Canyon Sound logo shows the unfolding of the first true leaves of a plant—those tiny leaves are pure power and truth.

Despite the turbulence in today's world, I don’t think I am alone in my increased appreciation of its beauty and goodness. And appreciating beauty is a powerful action—do not underestimate it! 

Green places abound. We see them in every act of kindness, tenderness, and joy. Each time we reach out our hand in that direction, we become stronger and more resilient—as a community.

If you are having trouble recognizing your own beauty, your own green place, or the beauty of the world around you, write me a note.

Otherwise, keep enjoying—and sharing—all of the green places you can find this summer. And know that, as you do, you are doing a good bit to change the world.

All the best to you.

Painting above by Caspar David Friedrich, Woman at a Window, 1822

May I have your attention?

Busy street scene

It’s May! Time to get your priorities clear—really clear—and start to move them forward with confidence. This is a month where you will benefit from clarity, positive passion, and courage.

Why? Because most of us feel pressed for time and frustrated by the number and intensity of things that are calling for our attention. And, the antidote to that is being clear about what you are actually here to do.


Here is how you can make May a month you want to remember.

First, if you want to be satisfied, powerful and productive, align your interests with your actions. 

We are all being called into action this month. The world is at a turning point and it needs the best from all of us.

Those things that you find delightful or intriguing or just plain fun? They come from an authentic place—not an advertisement or the latest fad, or the latest outrage. Those feelings deserve your attention because they point to your true priorities. They are clues to or expressions of the piece you are adding to the renewal of yourself and your world.


Second, pay attention to your personal “yes” and “no.”

If you value your priorities, it will be pretty easy for you to say “yes” and “no” to various calls for your attention. If you don’t have any clarity, you will probably get overwhelmed.

And, maybe, this is month your teachers are those competing, overwhelming voices. Maybe fielding the requests all around you is your path to your best action.

This month, be aware of the pulls on your attention and consider which ones hold enthusiasm for you and which ones leave you feeling drained.


Third, if you are doing the two things above—paying attention to what rightly pulls on your attention and actively choosing your responses—there is a very good chance you are going to doubt yourself.

And maybe severely.

Anytime you choose to listen to your soul, your path, and your job, you will feel the pull of the “oughts.” We have written some pretty strong and coercive rules for living the good and healthy life in our society. Right now, life is calling us to focus sharply on our individual gifts. And, not only for our personal satisfaction but because they are needed by our communities.


So, May is a month of making choices that will support you to be your best. In a month’s time, I think you will see how your choices have played out in real time.

Here are the possibilities:
  • Did your choices actually bear fruit? Great.
  • Did your choices show you a need to spend more time sorting things out and making clearer priorities? Great.
  • Did your choices show you a need to build more support for yourself so you can feel courageous? Great.


Whatever the outcome, it is all good news if you have been listening. No matter what happens for you, if you make a serious attempt to listen to your plans, you will have learned something valuable. And you will have figured out your next step.

And remember this: no matter how urgent the calls for action, you have the time to plant your feet, get yourself in order, and gather your resources. Take a month to explore creating more ease and satisfaction by practicing with focused attention.


  • You can purchase the May essence here.
  • To add extra oomph to this process, use the EcoLogic Flower Cards (your own deck or right here on this site) for more information about how to make the best progress with your goal each day.
  • Click here for the PDF of the May 2017 essence.


Good luck, and I hope you do less and are more satisfied this month!

Til next time!

Let’s Play with Natural Intelligence

           Why do I want

            to know about




Why do you want to learn about natural intelligence? So that you can feel more powerful, more creative and less at the mercy of the sometimes crazy world around you. Maybe the world won't be as light to hold as the basketball globe in the picture above, but I'm going to show you a simple exercise that will help you to lessen your load and feel pretty good about how smart you are.

But first, a story:

This morning I was talking to a good friend of mine. She told me of her "serendipitous" rescue of her elderly next store neighbour, Mrs. J.

As my friend spoke, I heard a perfect description of someone's natural intelligence speaking to her through her intuitive sense to go somewhere.

Yesterday afternoon my friend felt compelled to drop in on her daughter, a completely unplanned visit. She hurried to get ready and corralled her significant other to drive her. A block up the road, they came across Mrs. J, face down on the sidewalk, too injured to get up.

They put blankets on her, called the ambulance, went to the emergency room with her, and then brought her home and helped her get settled again. Mrs. J couldn't have asked for better good samaritans. She is a spry 95 years old, but she needed the familiar, loving, and knowledgeable care my friends could give her.

This is an example of natural intelligence at work. You've felt compelled to do something, and it turns out the mission you thought you were supposed not a mission, but a ruse. In fact, your wise self (the part of you that always hears your natural intelligence) was trying to move you to a particular location in the most efficient way. We've all experienced this, right?

Natural Intelligence – our friend in the crazy times

Well, developing your ability to listen and act on these prompts is much more helpful to you than simply getting you to the right place at the right time. Doing a deeper dig into hearing cues to move can help you to strengthen your natural intelligence – to feel more connected and supported by the healthy, natural world around you. And that can help you to feel more powerful, more creative, and less at the mercy of the crazy world around you.

How do I develop my natural intelligence?

As I see it, we need to develop three skills to become masters at using our natural intelligence well.

  1. We have to know and express ourselves truthfully to the world (harder than it seems).
  2. We need to hear the cues that tell us to move – sometimes they are subtle. Sometimes they are emotional or mental sledgehammers that, on the face of it, don't look anything like an exhortation to move. These cues are always about movement –  where and how – rather than why.
  3. We need to be able to reach out to other people and situations. Sometimes we reach out to give, sometimes to receive.

I will be writing much more about all of these aspects of natural intelligence. But right now, I want to focus on the second point – listening to cues to move. As we develop this ability we get to know ourselves much better and we learn that reaching out can be satisfying in ways we might not have expected. Noticing how you deal with change is really a great entry point for developing your natural intelligence.

Listening to the cues that say, "Move!"

So, here is a little exercise I'd like you to try. Canyon Sound's EcoLogic Flower Cards are designed to help you develop your natural intelligence. On this site, there is a nifty electronic version of the cards. Clicking on the "Ask the Card" button simulates picking a card from your personal deck.

The exercise I am proposing to you is an exercise to help you with some area of change in your life. Are you wanting to tweak some aspect of your career? Are you looking for a different career altogether? Is there a relationship that is changing? What kind of change is staring you in the face right now? It could be a change that you would like to make or one that you feel is being thrust upon you.

Here are the steps:

  1. Pick a specific area in which you are seeking (or dealing with) change or movement. Write this down on a piece of paper.
  2. Go to the "Ask the Card" page on this website.
  3. Focus on your chosen topic and pick a card according to the directions there.
  4. Write the card down as well as any insights may have about it.
  5. Do this for 5 days.
  6. This is important: if you have any questions, or would like some help discerning your answers, contact me. I would love to help you. Also, I would really appreciate knowing how the exercise is working for you.

My hope is that after five days (and probably before that), you will have a new appreciation of this thing that is changing, and you won't be as anxious as you were before you started the exercise.

In developing these cards, I've used them to gain insights into different events in my life and I have found the cards so useful. Sometimes you need a deep dive on an issue that is causing you pain – grieving and old wounds, especially. And for those times, a personal essence is so useful.

But sometimes, our strong thoughts and emotions are the door knockers your natural intelligence uses to get your attention. It is encouraging you to change your perspective, your goals, or your way of moving through life.

I hope the 5-day exercise is enjoyable and useful to you. And, remember, email me if you want some help.

logo cut out border

Til next time!

P.S.  Late note: I've created a helpful handout to keep track of your answers. Download it here.

Bob Newhart, Flower Essence for the Modern Era

Well, that's not true, obviously. But when I recently came across this old Bob Newhart sketch from Mad TV, my first thought was – "Flower Essence!"

Take a look...

Essentially, this is what happens when you take flower essences to address an emotional challenge. The flower essence says, "Stop it!" to the unhelpful internal message that is part of your misery. Naturally, the essence does not sound like an internal Bob Newhart, but I personally think in some cases that might be fun and effective!

The big difference is that a flower essence, in addition to stopping that unhelpful message, gives you advice for rejecting that belief.

Left to its own devices, your natural intelligence – the part of you that knows exactly how you are put together to fulfill your goals in life – would probably be able to unwind any wonky idea that has messed up your thinking process.

But, we have these creative minds. Our minds not only come up with great new ideas, but they also interpret life's events in creative, emotional ways. And that is where things can get tricky.

Our psychotherapists and mental health healers are essential for this. They are here to guide us through those difficult times in our lives when emotional events have overwhelmed us. Flower essences do not replace them.

They do help us to break the destructive loop of learned messages that don't come from our natural intelligence. When we can break the hold that these intransigent loops have on our thinking, the therapeutic process can be quicker and deeper.


Flower Essences: "Stop It!" + Some Kind Follow-up

To me, the "kind follow-up" is the essential ingredient when using a flower essence, even though Bob Newhart's character would disagree. In my experience there are three reasons (I can think of at the moment) a negative message loop persists:

  1. The emotional event is recent, or has affected you deeply, and you need some comfort or help re-ordering yourself.
  2. A cultural message is overriding your natural intelligence.
  3. Habit! This message has been around long enough that it has become a bad habit. Time to go!!

In each of these cases, the flower essence will help you to:

  1. open yourself to receiving help,
  2. disregard the "common" wisdom if it is not helpful to you, or
  3. decide in the moment to think differently.


Can you give me an example?

Certainly. I make a lot of essences for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. I do not have a generic essence for grief. When you ask me for an essence to help you through your grieving process, I listen to your body and I test for the essences that belong in your essence combination. (At some point, I will write a post about my method for choosing essences.)

No two people grieve in exactly the same way. So, each essence combination for grief is different. Moreover, I am asking your body to show me its grieving pattern through the essences. Because of that, you are more likely to recognize the essences and the messages as true.

And when the words ring true, you are more likely to receive the help that is offered by them, and you are more likely to catch yourself when you get stuck.

The best thing about using flower essences to help you in any situation is that each time you use an essence, you are strengthening your natural intelligence. That means that you are more and more likely to catch yourself before you lay down another groove of suffering for which you will need another essence!


The Upshot

So, even though Bob Newhart's comic psychotherapist wouldn't go beyond, "Stop it!", a Canyon Sound flower essence is pleased to give you some helpful suggestions about moving forward. In my years of practice, I have seen many people move through difficult life situations with the help of flower essences. More than that, most of the time they find a new appreciation of themselves that gives them the strength to live their lives differently, with more confidence and passion.

If you feel a flower essence could help you, click here to email me. And the month of April is a good time to give it a shot – everything receives a 20% discount!

Bob Newhart bye-bye

Til next time...

Welcome to Canyon Sound!

In 1998, I created Canyon Sound Essences with this purpose: I wanted a group of essences that would address the problem of wonky emotions and how they keep us from being powerful, thoughtful, collaborative, and creative people. I also wanted them to act as teaching aids as we learn the natural intelligence of our subtle communication system. Why did I want to do that? Well, it started with an unexplainable affinity for flower essences and a couple of persistent questions.

Here is the story:

In 1992, someone rather nonchalantly suggested that I might like flower essences. I have no idea why and I never asked. I took her up on the idea and began reading everything I could about them. I'm sure you have had experiences like that -- something tickles your fancy for a reason unknown to you, and you begin devouring everything you can about the subject. (Hint: that's natural intelligence at work.) Here are the questions that defined what Canyon Sound was to become:

Question 1:

I remember reading how flower essences could help balance environments that seemed to have lots of stuck emotional energy. We all know what it's like to walk into a room where a big fight has just happened – you can feel the tension. The flower essence professional described the long-term effects of this kind of emotional debris and she suggested many ways of clearing it. My question was: "Wouldn't it be helpful if we learned how to understand and release our emotions in a more balanced way?" whirling Tasmanian devil that Canyon Sound will calm As I worked with flower essences to help people manage their emotions, I realized that most people were surprised to learn that the root of their emotional distress was often different than they had originally thought, and that, with this understanding, there were several things they could do to get out from under the burden of their tangled up emotional responses. Most surprising was that my clients noticed their intuition becoming louder and more useful. Since they had begun listening to their natural intelligence to get out of emotional traps, well... they were listening to their natural intelligence! And our natural intelligence has a lot to offer us in our everyday life.

Question 2:

This led to my second question: "What is the best way for me to help people understand and use their natural intelligence?" I knew from my years of work that this innate intelligence interprets our emotional responses differently than does our rational mind. It has a much deeper way of communicating with the world around us. Importantly, the symbolic, sometimes dreamlike, way our natural intelligence talks to us can make it harder for us to understand its message. Sometimes I think of the Canyon Sound essences and cards as translators – translating natural intelligence into English for us.

The Birth of Canyon Sound

In 1998 I made the set of 36 Canyon Sound Essences. As in my initial foray into flower essences, this was unexpected. I was not a gardener (still am not, unfortunately) and I remain more comfortable with books than dirt. During the spring and summer of 1998, I collected essences from flowers in friends' gardens and wild places in my little town and in upstate New York. And then I spent the next 20 years helping people through all sorts of physical, emotional, and spiritual "situations." I hope that people who have asked me for help have come to feel more powerful and able.  Ideally, they have more confidence in their life situations and in their own skills. Ultimately, that is my intention with Canyon Sound Essences. If you are experiencing strong, ineffective emotional responses to the world around you, a Canyon Sound personal essence may be right for you. A few drops and the words that accompany them may help you to re-order your emotional life so that you can do what you came here to do. Are you already an emotional rock? Congratulations! In that case, the essences can help you to become more attuned to and creative with the world around you.

The Birth of Canyon Sound, the Website

For years my friends and clients asked me why I didn’t have a website. They wanted to know how they could help others find me and order the essences.  They wanted to know more about Canyon Sound and natural intelligence. So, at long last I can answer, “Here it is.” Welcome to Canyon Sound! I hope you have fun exploring and learning with me.