Katie Hess is a flower alchemist and the founder of LOTUSWEI, one of the world’s leading floral apothecaries. After 15 years of independent research of flower and plant-based healing, her flower-powered community is thriving in over 15 countries. She instigates a revolution with the premise that you transform the world by transforming yourself (with a little help from flowers!). Katie travels worldwide to seek out flowers that reduce stress, improve sleep, and accelerate personal growth. Her work has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sunset + Organic Spa Magazine. A lifelong spiritual seeker, Katie has studied meditation and mindful-awareness techniques with several Tibetan Buddhist masters, including the Dalai Lama + the Karmapa, Tibet’s next generation leader. Discover what your favorite flower means about you at lotuswei.com.
You recently published a book “Flowerevolution” – how was that process for you?
It was a wild ride! Writing a book is like a spiritual practice. For me it started out as creative exhilaration … then all kinds of blocks arose for me to work with, like: perfectionism, credibility and fears of being seen/heard. I wrote 30,000 words, tossed them, got a writing coach, started over from zero telling my story. I realized that people can go to the internet for whatever information they’re looking for - what we typically want is a real story from someone’s life.
After a year of writing, I turned in the manuscript to the publisher with a huge sigh of relief. And then somebody told me that Reid Tracy, the CEO of Hay House had said that writing the book was 25% of the work, that marketing and promoting the book was the other 75%. I had an ‘oh shit’ moment for a second, haha. Then I gathered up my amazing team and we developed and executed a beautiful book launch plan that felt like ‘us’.
We hosted ‘Flowerlounge’ events in NYC, LA, Phoenix and Singapore, with candlelit flower mandalas, edible flower-infused drinks and food, massive wall projections of collaborator/filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s flower films on the walls, flower card readings and in general, an exquisite atmosphere to receive people and catalyze transformation. The subtitle of the book is: Blooming into Your Full Potential with the Magic of Flowers, and we did everything in our power to create magical events that reconnected people with their own magic and full potential.
What do you feel flowers are here to teach us?
Oooof … so much, and on so many levels. On the most basic level, it’s to be ourselves. When you look at a flower it blooms so fully and without reservation or hesitation. It knows the precise timing and goes for it! There’s no insecurity, no hidden agenda - it fearlessly opens up to the world and just stands there in all its grandeur.
Then if we investigate each specific flower, we find that every flower on the planet has a particular quality or secret teaching. Depending on what each of us needs, we can tap into the wisdom of flowers to help us unravel old self-limiting patterns and unleash our most powerful, positive potential.
Do you have a favorite flower recipe to share with us?
Flower elixirs, because they are ingested and don’t have a particular flavor, can be added to drinks, salad dressings and other foods to impact mood. If you like fresh juices or dark chocolate, check out the Mindful Garden juice or the Vegan Rose Chocolate Truffles.
In terms of edible flowers … I think my favorite recipe ever is Jasmine-infused Cappuccinos. During the summer I infuse a fresh batch of night-blooming Jasmine flowers in maple syrup each day. After a month or so, this fragrant, floral syrup can be poured into the froth of a homemade almond-milk cappuccino! Yum.
Other fun edible flower recipes from the book are: Flower Petal Cookies and Goat-Cheese Squash Blossoms.
What flower is currently inspiring you and why?
Night-Blooming Red Cup Water Lily, such an exquisite, beautiful flower! And its action is powerful. Imagine a world in which all men fully understand, honor, support and elicit the divine feminine power that lies within women, and all women fully understand, honor, support and elicit the divine masculine power that lies within men. We let go of posturing, victimization and friction and dig deep to see the divine power that lies within each person around us. We step fully into our own divine capacity and we all work together.
How can someone that knows nothing about flower essences and flower remedies start incorporating these in their daily routine?
Find out what flower can benefit you most right now: take a quiz or look at the Flowerevolution book (pg 120) and see what flower you’re most attracted to. Start using the indicated flower elixir on a daily basis: take five drops orally, five times each day or put a full dropper into your water bottle each time you fill up. Typically, within 3-5 days you start to notice a difference in how you feel and think, with an exponential effect over time.
What are the products from your own line that you recommend for everyone?
The combination blends are amazing for everyone! Whether it’s in the elixir (ingestible) or mist or anointing oil (with aromatherapy), each of the blends targets a state of mind that we all need more of: Joy Juice, Inner Peace, Infinite Love, Quiet Mind, Inspired Action, Radiant Energy. The combination formulas are multi-faceted and work very quickly!
What is your personal approach and process to reconnect to nature?
It is simple and only takes a second. I look out the window at a tree and its leaves. Or if I’m outside, I stand near a tree or flower. I stop everything and just stare at it, tuning in. My heart opens, tears spring to my eyes and I feel so grateful. Looking at and appreciating trees especially, always reconnects me to that feeling of inseparability and interconnectedness with everything everywhere.
If you were on a deserted island, what 3 flowers would you want with you and why?
What a great question. Hmmm. Night-Blooming Jasmine. It’s my favorite flower, the fragrance is insanely captivating, it’s dissolves loneliness and it’s edible (and cooling).
Pink Torch Ginger. It’s like a lotus on stilts, popping up from the jungle floor ~ very magical. It’s like a torch that lights the forest - it connects us to the light that lies within ourselves and others. It helps us understand the myth/delusion of separation. And it’s edible!
Cacao flower … need I say more? The fruit!
Or Soursop, also for the fruit, because I am absolutely addicted to it! ; )
What is most inspiring you at the moment in the beauty and wellness movement?
Collaboration. Holistic philosophy. Powerful, inspiring women with successful businesses.
Do you have a favorite self-care ritual?
Spending time in nature. Even if I’m in a big city, just being around/looking at trees.
What is next on the horizon for you?
Designing special retreats in the U.S., all over Asia, Iceland & Costa Rica, to facilitate a visceral, life-changing experience of one’s full potential.
What’s inspiring you at the moment?
Heartbreak. Writing poetry. Salsa dancing. Asia. Hot springs. Jungle flowers. Music.
Do you have a “theme” for 2017? What will you be focusing on?
Streamline. Do less. Be more. Wake up to the opportunities around me. Face everything fully and immediately: the joy, the pain … everything.
What’s your definition of beauty?
Beauty … when someone has such authentic, open, positive or loving vibes that it radiates … it’s not necessarily visible, but always felt.