Saturday, 31 October 2009

Reflecting On Our Words - October

Here we go again reflecting on our words for the year that we chose in January. Ten months later Julie, Roban, Coach, Annemarie and I are still enjoying walking along this path together. Each month we "Stop and Smell the Roses"......what a lovely expression!

This month we are associating a flower with our word.

Annemarie's - word is DISCIPLINE and her flower is an Orchid

The orchid is considered to be one of four noble plants. Because it grew deep in the mountains, it was compared to scholars who had transcended the greed and fame-seeking of the secular world.

Orchid growth is affected by everything from elevation and light to humidity, air movement and nutrition. When I looked up how to care for this "delicate" flower, I realized that this is a flower I would probably kill in just a few days.

In my search for a more disciplined life, I came to an understanding about myself. I like my laid back life. I love that I am not always worried about menus and shopping lists. My children are healthy and happy. Yes, my house is less than tidy, and my flower pots outside are less than tended, but I am happy.

So as this year of searching for discipline is nearing an end, I will begin thinking about what it is that I would like to work on next year....I have two more months to think about it.

Julie's- word is EXCELLENCE and she chose Chrysanthemums

I at first thought of flowers that have great beauty or hardy qualities or are rare. But what kept coming back to me is the flower that we see a lot of during this season, the blossom that someone decided is the 'birth flower' for November. And that would be the chrysanthemum. (The chrysanthemum illustration above is from the New International Encyclopedia from 1902, with the image url being hosted at Wikipedia.)

The chrysanthemum is actually native to Asia and wasn't introduced into Europe until the 17th century. It is often seen as a symbol in Chinese and Japanese artwork. In the U.S., it is a floral symbol of the season, a happy spot of color for the autumn.

Chrysanthemums are also used in a number of beneficial ways. The petals can be used to make a sweet tea. The blossoms make a natural insecticide that is not harmful or toxic to animals and humans. The plant is also used as an antibiotic and an antiviral agent. A potted indoor chrysanthemum has also been shown to be effective in reducing indoor pollutants in the air.

And now for the tie-in to my 2009 word, excellence.

True excellence brings with it the benefits similar to the chrysanthemum. When I operate in excellence, I can make life sweeter, more palatable for those around me. When I operate in excellence, I can help reduce the pests of procrastination and apathy. When I operate in excellence, I can help fight off the infecting agents of mediocrity. And when excellence is present in the room, the environment is all the cleaner for it.

Coach's - word is ABUNDANCE and she chose Poppies

I have spent the past ten months with an action plan to have the most abundant life possible. I have cultivated new friendships and renewed old ones. I have committed time to family and used social media to create more connections with people. I made efforts to use my leadership skills in my work and have encouraged countless families in their journey toward spoken language. I have meditated and prayed. I have listened to music that stirs my soul. I have set new goals for fitness and nutrition. Abundance has been all around me each step of the way. My chosen flower can only be the flower that is a personal favorite. I have chosen the poppy. I smile when I see an abundance of poppies scattered across a field as in a Van Gogh painting. The dichotomy is that poppies have a bad rap. They are associated with a shady industry that is the demise of many people, unhealthy, commemorate the death of soldiers in some countries and symbolize remembrance.

They were used in the Wizard of Oz to hinder Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road. Even so, looking over a field of these beautiful flowers gives me a feeling of abundance and of gratitude. Abundance spread in the open for all to see and enjoy.

Roban's- words are JOY and FAITH and she chose an Icelandic Iris

This year as I've journeyed through life contemplating faith and joy, I've been more aware of the beauty around me each day. Yet even though my focus has been on these two words, I've still had days when I saw the world through a darker lens. A busy schedule and seemingly constant demands have clouded my world at times. When my friends and I decided to choose a flower that reflected our words, my first thought was on finding a photo that captured the essence of joy. I thought of sunny buttercups and my mother's favorite flower, tulips. I also thought of flowers that connected to my word, faith.

When it comes to photography, there's no one better than Caroline Manrique of Nowords Photography to capture the beauty of everyday life, so I asked if she would be willing to share one of her photographs with me. And she sent this....

The beauty of the flower against the muted tones of the background seemed to perfectly capture my feelings this month. Even when peering through the world in an imperfect fashion, there we find it. Beauty. It stands out against the backdrop of life leaving us with a more peaceful and joyful feeling.

My word is BALANCE and I chose a Hippeastrum Cinderella

The amazing flower I chose to represent my word is called "Hippeastrum Cinderella".
I took this photo in my hairdresser's garden last week. The complete beauty and balance of this flower called to me as I was leaving his house.

Flowers have always been a source of pleasure and happiness symbolizing love and friendship and since the dawn of time we have instinctively known that flowers can lift our spirits and make us feel well again. They play an important role in restoring or evoking a sense of harmony in mind, body and spirit of healing in its quintessential form.

"Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair..." ~Susan Polis Shutz

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom".
Anais Nin

As always I wish to thank Caroline over at Whimsical Whispers for her part in inspiring us to take this journey. Also do yourself a favour and visit her blog, you will be blown away by her photography!


PS - I plan on visiting San Francisco in July/August 2010 and wear some flowers in my hair....anyone care to join me??


Wendy said...

Well Peg, we did it again and I am smiling right now thinking of you dancing through San Francisco with flowers in your hair. I love it in You've Got Mail where she thinks the daisy is such a "friendly flower". Flowers are a powerful symbol in nature and they do evoke so many emotions. It is hard to choose just one. I think that is why the bouquet was invented. This was a fun way to explore our word.
As I told AnneMarie, this word focus has evoked some great insights this year and with only two months to go I am wondering if the next year will be a quote or phrase...I have been blessed just in the act of posting together no matter who reads it.

Frequent Traveler said...

It's nice to know that with regard to discipline, you enjoy not having to be so fixated about things and can be relaxed !
For me, inner discipline has been key in growing emotionally. It really is being meticulous about facing your issues, and that consistent clarity of focus to peel away the stuff that doesn't work and live a life that does, with grace and ease predominant :)

I loved the words and images here.
You see such beauty in everyone souls in how they see things and what they get out of them.


Mike Smith said...

I would love to visit San Francisco - but I've no hair to put any flowers in!

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Peggy :)
I love this post! It's neat to learn about what the different flowers represent and most importantly, it's magnificent to see people that are putting their words into action! Many of us make plans and then we never follow through. You guys are an inspiration!

Thanks for the spot of sunshine to my day!
Happy Halloween, Peggy :))
Boooooo (..)
Hugs and love,

Roban said...

I've enjoyed our joint posts so much. This month has been a bit trying with my stress-fractured foot and all, but I was determined to take care of this tonight before I did anything else!

I love how you added the quotes at the end.... and San Francisco will be so much brighter when you're there!

HappyOrganist said...

join you in San Fran? That's quite a drive (although I wouldn't mind a break from the kids...) =D

I love those pictures and descriptions. My word is going to be 'jealousy' b/c I don't have a camera to take such gorgeous pictures of flowers like that! But maybe those pictures were borrowed, at that..

At any rate - love the poppies. Have fun on you trip to SF.!

- JL

oh! - I used to live near SF! Concord, CA, actually. We were there for the 89 earthquake. Pretty exciting!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

What a lovely, positive post! I enjoyed reading it very much. I also would like to thank you as you unknowingly helped me to post music to my blog. When my cousin started me off, I used Playlist and once in Kuwait, after several weeks, all of a sudden I kept getting a popup that said "due to licensing restrictions" -- the music no longer worked. But I tried out the widgetz you are using, and last nite, imported music again. Yahoo! Hope you are having a great weekend! :)

Debra said...

Such a lovely and reflective post! I really enjoyed reading about all of your connections with the flowers and how you have grown throughout the past year! I also chose a word at the start of the New year and it's interesting how often it comes up for me. The word I chose is "patience".

Peggy, there is a possibility that I could come up to SF to say hello when you go there! My family loves visiting SF so it might just be an excuse to fly up there for a few days. Keep me posted!

Hugs and love,

Hybrid J said...

Love all the choices of flowers and the meaningful messages. I view them as precious inspiration in time of my need. Humble thanks. :)

Janice Lynne Lundy said...

This is a wonderful read and practice to align our wisdom with flowers. I have often done that in the past and written about it--how the flowers in my garden teach me about life--and myself! Purveyors of spiritual wisdom they are. :-)

Your choice for yourself is stunning! It does speak of balance, harmony, complete wellness. Wholeness. :-) Thank you for sharing all this, and your companions too!

Nina said...

What a fun way to go the next step with the words. The beauty of nature overflows and touches so much if we but open our eyes, hearts and minds to it. You all have chosen wisely for yourselves. Have fun planning your trip!! How's Spring coming along? The leaves here have mostly gone but the sun and sky's are simply beautiful! Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Flowers have so many meanings. If I had to choose one to sum up my word Adventure, it would have to be Edelweiss - a rare and pretty flower that grows high up in the mountains. You have to be on an adventure to see one - and even then you can't pick it because it is protected. So it symbolises the idea that an adventure is something you 'experience'. There are always new adventures!

Oh, and you KNOW what I think about the San Francisco comment!!!!

Unknown said...

I will be in BC around then...we should meet in the middle, providing I dont have any outstanding US warrants by then. When are you coming to visit your Canadian friends?

(sorry, my CDO kicked in and there was a glaring spelling mistake that I had to fix so I deleted my last post. Nanowrimo mode y'know!)

Anonymous said...

What an interesting exercise and an excellent post. And San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the US. Well, it is certainly the most European.