Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. How did you become a flower remedy practitioner?
I am a flower remedy practitioner and homeopath living in Echo Park. I have a line of flower remedy formulas called Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. I also see people one on one for custom flower remedies. I had never intended to go down this path. I was an actress and model and had aspirations to write. Like all the healers I know, I found this work by being sick and learning to heal myself. I contracted a malarial illness while traveling in Egypt in 1999. I felt so unwell for years and I attributed all of the problems in my life to my physical health. This led me from one doctor to another and one alternative healer to another. I tried acupuncture and herbs, craniosacral, rolfing, cleanses. Nothing worked. Then, purely by chance, I tried a flower remedy and within three weeks, I felt better than I had in years, both emotionally and physically. The flower remedy had treated my emotional wounds and while doing so, my body bounced back. I suddenly understood the principle that the body follows the mind; the state I was in, even down to getting malaria, was dictated by the spiritual wounds I had not healed. The body is the last manifestation of the internal spiritual state. The emotional pain I had been in since childhood began to lift and I felt I was returning to my true self. I became obsessed with flower remedies. I studied nonstop, treating my friends and family for about five years, then I studied homoeopathy and quit acting to do this as my career. It’s truly my calling.
You are also a homeopath. How do these healing modalities inform and support each other? How are flower remedies different?
Dr. Bach, who discovered flower remedies in the 1930’s, was an M.D. first and then became a homeopath, because it resonated with his observation that spiritual imbalance is the cause of illness. So, homeopathy and flower essences are the same in that they are both born of that fundamental principle. They differ greatly though. Homeopathy works on the “law of similars,” with the outlook that symptoms are good and they are the body’s way of trying to restore balance. Homeopathy treats illness by giving a minute substance of something that in larger doses would cause all of your symptoms. This tiny dose stimulates the vital force (immune system) to overcome the illness. They use all sorts of substances: minerals, snake venom, plants, poisons. They work on both emotional and physical symptoms. For homeopathy to be successful, you must get the right remedy and the correct dosage. When that happens, the result is nothing short of miraculous. There is, however, the possibility with sensitive people of having aggravations. It requires a great deal of knowledge and proper case management. It's hard to treat yourself with homeopathy. Bach Flower Remedies, on the other hand, are only for emotional conditions. They work by introducing a positive vibration and give the spirit what it's missing. They are only positive, treat only the emotions, are easy to understand and have no side effects. Dr. Bach’s vision was that every family have a flower remedy kit of the 38 essences in their homes and treat themselves.
I use flower remedies and homeopathy in my practice. I use homeopathy if someone has a physical illness that would clearly respond to a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic training has informed the way I take a case. I let the patient talk and I listen very closely and objectively to the person’s story to see where the emotional wound happened. There you will find the beginning of their illness.
How has using flower remedies impacted your view of health? Has it been transformational for you?
It’s totally changed my view of health. I used to have much more anxiety about my health. Now, when I have a symptom, like a headache, I ask myself what this symptom is trying to tell me. What am I feeling? Am I suppressing emotions, which are trying to express themselves with the headache? I might notice that every time I do something I don’t want to do, I start getting a headache. I see my body helping me to wake up to something, rather than thinking my body is flawed and crazy for producing this pain.
What is the guiding principle of your practice as a healer?
To listen. The body’s symptoms, the way a person speaks, their story, tells me what needs to be healed. They may come to heal one thing and not even realize there was a causal factor long ago that needs to be addressed. I think awareness is the first step to healing. Sometimes just by telling someone what I see, they feel a renewed sense of life force and freedom. When I was seeing all of those doctors, I often left their offices wanting to cry because they didn’t listen to me. The first time I saw a homeopath, he listened to me for two hours, without judgment, not passively, but on the edge of his seat, writing everything down. When I left his office, before I even took the remedy, I could feel the healing had begun. Because he listened, he cured me of malaria.
Flower remedies are a vibrational medicine, stimulating a process of self healing by addressing emotional and spiritual symptoms as the root cause of illness. How do we grow by addressing the spirit first, to heal the physical?
Once you experience a well chosen flower remedy and you feel a return to joy, or access happiness you have never felt before, you feel how the body follows the inner state and you almost forget about the body’s aches and pains. We grow through acknowledging that we are here to know ourselves and live according to the dictates of our soul. When we ignore that, we become ill. Many people are forced to listen to the voice of their souls when they get a serious physical illness. They think about the way they have lived, where they denied themselves, where they were not living according to their soul’s desires. They wake up to their spirits. Hopefully we don’t need to get sick to learn this. When you act from this pure place of what your soul wants for you, all of your choices are in alignment and growth is exponential-the ability to love, the ease with which you go through your day and the energy you have left over to help others.
What are your guiding daily practices? What keeps you connected and inspired for this work?
Every morning I write down my dreams from the night before and I make lists of future projects and ideas. I am endlessly inspired and connected to my work, so I don’t need any practice to maintain that. What I must do is be vigilant about taking care of myself on a basic level and not overextending myself in service. This, again, is just about listening to what I need. A lot of it may sound simple, like maintaining my blood sugar and staying hydrated, taking time between clients to sit in the sun and not check emails, taking flower remedies to ground myself. I use my Sun Moon Room Spray constantly to protect me from other peoples’ energy and I take First Aid Kit with Walnut to do the same. I do infrared saunas weekly or Korean Hot Springs, shop at the farmer's market and cook my own food. I work in the garden and read. I take ballet class or yoga and walk around the lake while I listen to music, every day if I can.
If someone is unsure where to begin, or how to choose a remedy for themselves, where should they start?
I designed my formulas to be very accessible and easy to understand. Flower remedies work best when you take one that matches your state, so it’s best to ask your self “How do I feel?” The first answer is usually the biggest thing that needs addressing. And one other question to ask is “What am I like?” Or you could ask a trusted friend “what do you think I’m like?" Once you have an idea of what you want to heal and what kind of personality you are, you can read about my formulas or Bach remedies. They are so easy to understand, you will have a good idea of what to take. One important note: if you have had trauma or grief, healing those old wounds must be the starting point in your healing. Take one of my formulas such as In Love, Whole Hearted, Beauty Formula No.7 or Sunshine. Or take Star of Bethlehem for one month before you decide on your next formula.
What products are on your shopping list from CAP?
Oh, every time I go in to CAP I get wide eyed like a kid in a candy store, so many things. Number one is High Vibrational Beauty!!
I wouldn’t mind looking like Elle McPherson (I’ll have what she’s having), so her Beauty Elixir is top of the list, The Nue Co. Probiotics, Agent Nateur + Shiva Rose deodorant, Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, Kjaer Weis makeup, May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden, The CAPtivator Love Bath, Bodha Modern Wellness anything. Stop me I could go on forever!