Rhododendron ponticum For those who lack flexibility and keep trying to push through blind alleys. Rhododendron is for those who have not learned how to solve problems in their lives. It may be that in childhood they became conditioned into the idea that, with sufficient application and energy, there is an answer to everything. The problem with this approach is that when things do not happen as we expect, we will try harder and harder to force a solution. We need is a sense of proportion, the gift of being able to stand back and look carefully at the whole situation. With such a detached viewpoint we may well see that we are either attempting the impossible or using the wrong methods in trying to achieve our ends. An example is that of the student who stays up all hours trying to cram for an examination. The harder he tries, the more his mind refuses to take in information. He may even precipitate a nervous breakdown. The same characteristic can be seen in politicians who try to solve a problem by “throwing money at it”. Understanding the nature of the problem itself is what is really needed, rather than using a simplistic made-to-measure approach. Rhododendron helps us to see problems in a wider context and to ask questions about the situation. Maybe the problem is insoluble - considering the time and money available. Maybe we are trying to solve the wrong problem! Problems in our life can be many and various. They may be spiritual, physical or interpersonal. Whatever our problems and difficulties the same basic skills are needed: to be able to detach ourselves from emotional entanglement with a problem and see things from a wider viewpoint. Rhododendron can greatly help us to develop this vital life skill.