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Hornbeam:
Early Morning Blues

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I'm usually excited about getting up in the morning because I know that in a little while I'm going to turn on the computer and check my email. I know, however, that if I spend prolonged periods of time at the computer, especially if I'm doing the web housekeeping of coding jobs, checking that links are correct, and fixing errors, I'm going to feel as if brain cells are dying off at a rapid rate, and all my senses are filmed with glue.

This is the classic Hornbeam feeling. Many people experience it when they first wake up, especially if they anticipate a new episode in a life of routine which is demanding, but not challenging. It can be temporary: the feelings of an accountant churning out tax forms which must be completed before a deadline, a student memorizing facts for an exam in a required course, or anyone submitting to the tedium of a necessary task. Once the necessity has passed, the individual reintroduces variety into her life.

Hornbeam is chronic when the individual's routines are chronic. They do the same thing every day, eat the same food, go to the same place for vacations every year. They don't remember the last time they experienced something novel. This kind of life can lead to sexual infidelity, drugs, anything which breaks the monotony.

In general, the Hornbeam condition arises when an individual focuses too much on the mental or physical aspects of existence. For me, on a temporary basis this happens when I try for too long to figure out why an image won't appear on a web page. If I leave the office, take a walk in the woods or watch the birds, I come back to the task refreshed because I've shifted to an emotional or spiritual plane.

In either the temporary or chronic Hornbeam condition exactly this is needed. The accountant needs to put on some classical music and relax; a new vacation destination is needed. Those who are caught up in routine need to take a larger view of their lives.

Most of all, people in a rut need to recognize that ruts are comfortable. They offer few challenges or dangers. Those caught up in the Hornbeam syndrome do well to recognize that it's better to take a few small risks (thus strengthening the risk-taking muscle), lest they go off the rails completely and jeopardize those aspects of their lives which are worth preserving.

The Hornbeam Flower Essence refreshes weary minds. People who take it not only approach the tasks before them with new enthusiasm, but learn to create the needed balances in their lives, whether between work and play, mental and spiritual emphasis, or whatever refocusing is needed for them to wake up in the morning and be glad to be alive.

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