My dear readers, this is the last post for 2012 and I wanted to write something that will be special and suit the occasion-not an easy task really…I wanted it to be meaningful and full of magic that we all need in our lives and thanks to Katie Hess, founder of Lotus Wei, I am hoping that the wish of mine has become true….Katie hand collects exotic flower essences from around the world and creates serums, mists and elixirs that benefit people’s well-being, both inside and outside.
Earlier in the year, on a day when my mind felt a bit too frazzled for my liking and my stress levels have been on the rise, I popped into Content store and was browsing the shelves when something bright came into my field of vision. On the shelves, almost suspended in the air, stood bottles with bright stickers- yellow, red, green, orange…. They products were from the company called Lotus Wei and I have never heard about them until then. I played with the scents of serums, mists and elixirs and walked away with a bottle of Quiet Mind mist, never thinking that this bottle, along with others, will become my faithful companions.
As I misted my face several times a day I noticed within a couple of days that I actually felt calmer and more at peace with myself. That, my dears, was the start of my deeply trusting relationship with Lotus Wei. Since then I bough mists in Inner Peace ( feel relaxed, calm, confident & comfortable with yourself ), Infinite Love ( enhance and attract love, be kind to yourself ), Inspired Action ( get it done, stay motivated, clear and decisive ) and Pure Energy ( energise, revitalise, protect from others’ stress ) and Inner Peace elixir.
I took the lovely bottles on my summer holiday with me- they not only enhanced my holiday, but actually made my skin feel grateful too-after all, there is no such thing as too much moisture in a hot climate. I came to depend on them when I was working or stuck for ideas… They form part of my identity and my armour now, they make me reflect and feel shielded from the environmental stresses. I actually do become more grumpy when I stop using them and all that is down to a lovely young woman who I haven’t yet met in person.
I approached Katie for an interview and she graciously agreed to answer my questions ( Katie lives in the US ) but for reasons beyond both of our controls or maybe because stars and planets had their own ideas, it was taking longer than expected. Katie and I exchanged fleeting, short e-mails, touching base. Unusually for me I didn’t feel rattled or uncomfortable, I thought that I will wait for Katie’s answers and was hoping that she will be able to answer the questions in her own time.
Earlier this month an e-mail landed in my inbox and it contained Katie’s answers, detailed and so meaningful, that I actually nearly cried while reading them. They were full of serenity and grace the likes of which I almost thought don’t exist in our day and age. To me it felt like the wait was so worth it because Katie’s replies were so extrodinarily special, I knew I had my last, very special piece of writing for you to end this year with and to start the new one with too.
Lotus Wei is not going to change your life or the direction you are going to all by itself, but the products will help you choose the best path, help you focus, be brave, be kind, be calm-you will have a reliable armour that will help you move forward feeling ready for the challenges ahead and more self-assured ( don’t confuse that with being arrogant ) in the decisions that you take. Uncertainty, which we all face daily, can be unsettling or scary, but as long as you are happy with what you see in the mirror, if you believe in yourself, your life will change. Start with the simple step, just choose one of Lotus Wei flowers, the one that appeals the most to you, match it to the number of the essence or elixir, the one that you need the most in this moment in time and start your sensory journey, guided by someone who is deeply intuitive, caring and creative……
GAP: How and when was Lotus Wei created? What does Lotus Wei mean?
KH: I’ve been working with flower essences for 13 years. I chose the company name Lotus Wei five years ago, though the product line only came out three years ago. Lotus is a symbol for enlightenment, awakening and using the craziness of life to bring out your true and most beautiful nature; Wei means ‘transformative action’, and that ‘something is happening’ each time you use the flower essences.
GAP: What does a Flower Alchemist do?
KH: Utilise healing powers of flowers to catalyse transformation and accelerate personal growth.
GAP: Can you tell me a little about your professional background-how did you discover flower essences? How long did you have to train for before you could create your products? Who inspired your professional journey?
KH:When applying for college, I remember thinking that I wasn’t really interested in any of the majors, but settled on Sociology, because I wanted to ‘help people’. Both during some schooling years and directly after graduation, I lived outside of the country, learning other languages, cultures and ways of life.
I was searching for something … mostly searching for what would accelerate the potential of each individual. I studied internationally with a flower essence expert from Spain. After learning the technicalities, I moved back to the U.S. and studied over the years with several Tibetan Buddhist teachers, as well as with several herbalists and aromatherapists.
I offered flower essence consultations for over ten years before I made products. It simply got to a point where I was seeing so many radical transformations in my clients and I felt I needed to find a way to benefit more people than those I could physically see in this lifetime.
When I was a child I had deep yearnings to work on a project that would benefit large numbers of people, but of course as a 7-year-old, I was pretty limited at that time. My flower essence teacher later said that if 3% of the world’s population used flower essences, it would be enough to positively impact and change the outcome of the future in a vastly positive way.
Who most deeply inspired me have been my spiritual teachers though, who demonstrate such mind-blowingly profound levels of compassion and love that it can bring you to your knees. I aspire to be as beautiful, powerful, wise and forward-thinking as they are.
GAP: How long did it take to create the products? What are their main ingredients and the brand’s ethos behind them?
KH: The product line was based on having provided a decade of one-on-one consultations and flower essence therapy. During this time I was also practicing a substantial amount of meditation every day. It was this time that really laid the foundation for creating the products. With ten years of experience behind me, it was relatively simple to create blends of flower remedies.
Each blend targets a specific state of mind, arriving at it from various angles depending on the flowers. For example, Infinite Love has flower essences that heal old wounds of the heart, encourage self-love and kindness, catalyse greater self-sufficiency and enhance magnetism.
The transformative nature of the products comes from the flower remedies as they are enhancing various states of mind. Then we add organic essential oils for their yummy aromatherapeutic effects. In an effort to create several mediums for exquisite self-care, we offer them in honey elixirs for internal use, refreshing aromatic mists, silky skin serums and botanical perfumes.
Our vision is to create a worldwide ripple effect of positivity. We help people be at their best with flower remedies, and that has an exponential effect, as we are all interconnected.
GAP: What’s the difference in the effect between Lotus Wei sprays, serums & tinctures?
KH: All of them are equally as effective when used five times each day. It’s really more a matter of figuring out which one you’ll actually be able to seamlessly incorporate into your daily routine five or more times each day.
If you use the serum only morning and night, you’ll still notice a difference, but you’ll notice the most results when using any form or combination of flower essences five times each day.
GAP: How do flower essences work on our body?
KH: Flower essences work through the acupuncture meridians of the body. They are the subtle but powerful energy of a plant that we cannot see or hear, stored in a bottle. When we take them internally or apply them externally, they immediately travel throughout our own energy system, removing static and tuning any energies that are out of tune.
It’s similar to turning the radio station to precisely the right frequency or wave so that the music comes in clearly and beautifully. We cannot see the radio waves in space, but they’re everywhere–think about it: every car can turn on their radio and tune into a variety of stations. The same is true in nature in terms of invisible waves with specific music. Each plant and flower has a particular energy that emanates from it that has a tremendously healing and harmonising effect on our bodies.
We tend not to believe in things we can’t see, but our modern lifestyles are now filled with cell phone, wi-fi internet, and other signals passing through the space all around us constantly. If we can get an inanimate machine to produce invisible waves of energy, isn’t it also possible that living plants, trees and even human beings can emanate waves of invisible energy?
We feel people’s energy all the time … if they have good vibes or bad vibes, if they’re beaming with love or brimming with negativity.
Plants are full of energy too, but it is always pure and positive. Each plant specialises in a specific benefit or healing effect, unraveling a specific pattern and imparting a specific message. Flowers have the highest concentration of chi and life force of a plant. So flower essences are like packets of energy with insight that immediately impact your mood and exponentially catalyse transformation over time.
GAP: How do you source the ingredients for Lotus Wei?
KH: Flower remedies : in the wild or special gardens–tended to by special people. Other raw materials : I seek out companies and suppliers who have utmost care and ethics around where they source their materials from.
GAP: Why is it important to you that Lotus Wei is an organic brand?
KH: Plants are capable of thriving without pesticides and it’s important for me to create self-care products for people that will not add toxicity to their body, that will be 100% nourishing for their bodies. I like to source organic oils, because it creates more demand for organic farming and lifestyles.
GAP: What are your favourite products or the ones that have a more powerful effect on you?
KH: All of them have a powerful effect on me when I need them … but the one I most often use lately is Inspired Action for creativity & focus. I apply the serum on my face and mist myself all day long at the office. I also apply Pure Energy Serum every night on my belly–I love the yummy coffee scent! And it revitalises after computer radiation and regulates cycles. I love Joy Juice and Infinite Love when I’m traveling or going out in social situations.
Inner Peace I use rarely, only when I’m super stressed/overwhelmed or nervous about an important talk I’m giving and Quiet Mind only on those rare occasions that I can’t sleep or am having a busy mind, dreaming nonsensical stuff at night.
I add elixirs to everything: coffee, tea, water, smoothies, salad dressings. If a guest comes to the office I always put add some elixir drops in their drink. I also add flower essences to every bowl of food and water for my doggies. I mist all day long and I love the luscious silkiness of the serums on my face. I love taking the little perfumes with me when I’m traveling.
GAP: How does one choose between buying a specific spray and how often do you need to use it for to feel the effect?
KH: You can totally trust you inner wisdom and choose based on your attraction to the color, flowers, name or benefits. If you use any of them five times each day, you’ll feel a difference in three to five days.
Sometimes you notice it that very same day. For example if I mist myself with Joy Juice five times during the day, by the nighttime I already notice myself laughing more and making others laugh. If I use Inspired Action throughout the day, I immediately find myself ultra-focused. I know some people that mist themselves with Joy Juice or Infinite Love right before having their photographs taken–they swear it makes them more photogenic.
If you’re going to have a party, spike the beverages with Joy Juice elixir. When giving talks in NYC we always have beautiful non-alcoholic beverages and add the Joy Juice elixir. Native New Yorkers are always surprised at how much fun people have even without the wine!
GAP: Can you use different Lotus Wei spray in the course of one day, depending on your mood?
KH: Yes, of course! If you want a real targeted effect, use one blend repeatedly. But if you want to change it up during the day based on your mood, that works too!
GAP: Can you use Lotus Wei mists on children?
KH: Yes, they’re excellent for children. Always mist above them (and anyone) in a halo above their head, letting it rain down on them, so it avoids their eyes. Inner Peace calms the wild child, Quiet Mind gets them to relax and sleep, Joy Juice is for the serious kids or tummy aches, Infinite Love when they’re irritated, jealous or not sharing, Inspired Action to do homework or clean their room and Pure Energy for when they’re feeling sick or vulnerable.
GAP: Can you tell me a little about the plants/flowers that you choose for your products-how many flower essences can you have in one Lotus Wei product?
KH: The flowers come from a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, mountains and tropical areas. I always make the intention to collect and combine the flower essences that are most needed by people today.
We have about 120 flower essences in our total collection and this line uses 25 of them; they’re unique combinations of somewhat obscure flowers, including tree flowers, wild flowers, succulents, an orchid and a flower that blooms when it’s 115 degrees F (46 degrees C).
Each product combination has five flower essences and one gemstone essence. We add Pink Lotus to everything to awaken insights and wisdom; the rest of the four flowers and gemstone essences are different according to each blend.
GAP: Please tell me a little about Lotus Wei organic perfumes. Is it true that organic perfumes aren’t as strong in terms of smell/staying power as their cosmetic counterparts?
KH: Organic perfumes don’t have any chemical fixatives or synthetic fragrances, which means that the scent only lasts several hours, not the whole day or week, like some synthetics do. The upside? They don’t have toxic phthalates that add to your body’s toxicity levels, increase risk of reproductive birth defects and increase ADHD tendencies in adults and children.
Our perfumes have an extra added element: the flower remedies, which means that the more you re-apply the perfumes during the day, the more transformative the effect will be in terms of your mood, your vibes, what you attract and what you create in the world.
GAP: What are the lessons that you have learnt from running your consultancy business & Lotus Wei?
KH: From my previous decade of consulting I learned that everyone suffers. Everyone has heartache, heartbreak and fears. It’s humbling and instills a strong sense of compassion, not only for other people, but for yourself.
I also saw with experience that we really have to be dedicated if we want lasting change-we have to work at something for years. Where I saw the most profound uprooting of non-constructive patterns and massive transformation is in those clients who stuck with it for years, practicing meditation and using flower essences regularly for five+ years.
From the business I have learned so, so much. For me, being an entrepreneur is very closely tied to my spiritual practice. Or I could say that my business is currently a big part of my spiritual path-it has taught me discipline, effort, resilience, innovation, thinking outside the box & has given me endless opportunities to develop and refine qualities like patience, gentleness, sharpness, fearlessness. It has taught me how to work with other people, how to lead and how to run a business in my own way.
Business has taught me about my habitual patterns and tendencies, some constructive and some non-constructive. I strive every day to be a better person … I know that my business and the energy it puts out into the world–and the power of the positive effect of that energy on people–is only as good as I am. So I strive to improve myself and the business every day.
GAP: Can you please share a few of your health & beauty secrets?
KH: Meditation is #1. Something so simple, as being aware of your breathing as a method of meditation is profound. Practiced even just for five minutes each morning can increase your ability to practice it naturally during your other activities, and is the best assurance for inner and outer beauty, ageing gracefully and having a long life. It also helps you experience more spaciousness, insights and openness to whatever arises.
Another secret is not to look in the mirror very much … just don’t be too concerned with your looks. It’s all going to change anyway. We all grow old, get silver hair and laugh lines … most important is to be happy and happy with yourself. Then no matter how your body changes over time you won’t fight it or be too disappointed. When you’re 80 years old, you’ll look back at old photos and think, ‘damn I was hot …’ so we might as well take that stance right now.
As for beauty products, keep it simple. Find your key favourite yummy products that make you feel good inside and out and use them to create rituals each day that allow time for self-care and self-love.
Take breaks. Lots of them every day. Go outside. Get fresh air. Spend time outside. Drink water. Focus on what really makes you happy. Revel in the preciousness of life and magic of this earth we live on. It’s all a miracle really. Even the suffering times are poignant and beautiful in their own way. Appreciate yourself, accept yourself and know you are bigger than you can ever imagine.
available in the UK from Content Well-being www.beingcontent.com