Flowers. They lift our spirits and make us smile. We give them as gifts. They grace our gardens and homes. We stop and smell them (sometimes). Often, they catch our attention as a splash of color along side the road as we rush from one place to another, but generally, we just ignore them as we get caught up in our busy lives.
Flowers have a simple and profound lesson for us if we just take a moment or two to pay attention. In the life of a flower, we know that it starts as a seed. Within that seed contains everything that flower needs to reach its full potential.
As the (daisy) seed sprouts and pushes its way up through the earth, its delicate stem withstands a barrage of challenges as it opens one tentative leaf after another, making way for its colorful buds of beauty.
This daisy continues to grow through the season, never changing its mind to become a magnolia or a rose. It knows its only purpose is to grow and bloom to the best of its daisy ability, just for itself.
As this flower grows to maturity, it continues to express itself with pure trust that it is exactly where it should be at the perfect time. Even as this daisy completes its life cycle and begins to wilt and fade, it drops seeds back into the earth so that more daisies will sprout, each one unique, continuing the spiral of life in the next growing cycle. After all, no two daisies are exactly alike, even though they are all daisies.
What a lovely metaphor for humanity; no two human beings are alike as we express the Spirit within us, yet, we are all connected through the same Spark of Life.
Many of the world’s sacred scriptures reference flowers as a way of reminding us to be still, stop worrying, find refuge, find one’s purpose, and so on.
The bible has numerous references to flowers. One I remember hearing as a child goes something like this, “…observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin.” (Matthew 6:28) This simple verse reminds me to BE still and trust my life.
A reference to flowers from the Bhagavad Gita (9.26), “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it” references man’s eternal need to find peace of mind and the importance of having devotion to something (God…use the title that connects with you) greater than ourselves and the material world. In fact, the word puja (act of worship) translates to “the flower act”. The lotus is one of the most revered flowers in this tradition.
In Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes the highest level of spiritual realization, suggesting beauty arises out of suffering. The lotus is also a metaphor for the “Oneness of All That Is" (Divine Spirit, God, Universal Mind…), referring that the physical is fleeting, but the Spirit is eternal.
Even Paganism incorporates flowers, sometimes referring to them as magical faeries, offering various virtues. Some examples include gardenia offering happiness and joy, while lilac bestows pure love and innocence, and magnolia gives perseverance.
No matter the tradition, flowers can offer us profound teachings and immense amounts of joy and self awareness.
As life seems to be speeding up and we find ourselves continually running out of time to accomplish our duties and projects, or we fear the perils of the world at large, I offer a simple meditation to help bring your life back into balance, perhaps helping to gain perspective on the existential questions of humanity, “Who am I” and “Why am I here”.
Simply take 5 minutes (or more) and breathe deeply as you gaze at a flower. Connect with the flower, taking in every detail of its petals, leaves, stem, color, size, its surroundings, and recognize how it represents all of life…especially your life.
Contemplate one or more of the following questions and listen to the answers of your heart (not your head).
— Do you trust that you are exactly where you need to be right now?
(If not, how can you change this?)
— Are you nurturing the seeds of your life? (creative projects, children, work, your
words and actions)
— Can you do what you love even though fear sometimes blocks the way?
— Are you proud of your accomplishments? (Why…Why not?)
— Can you forgive yourself for not being something you’re not?
May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you know you are perfect just the way you are.
May you enjoy flowers!