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".
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??