Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

Flowers have been used to symbolize many things for centuries.

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 flowerpots 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.

See what my friends had to say about their flower, starting with Octamom:

As my blog buddies and I continue through our Reflecting on Our Words project, I have been delighted with the number of ways my creative friends have come up with to bring imagery and metaphor to their guiding word for the year. This month, the theme was to choose a flower that exemplifies each of our words. It was a fun mental challenge to think through flora and fauna that would give example to my 2009 word, excellence.
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 on the right 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.

Peggy said:

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.

AVTCoach shared this bit about living abundantly:

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 has shared with us a photo from the wonderful Caroline of Whimsical Whispers and Nowordz Photography from whom we got the wonderful idea of focusing on a word for the year. Here is what she had to say about this flower....

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 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.


AVT Coach said...

I love your post this month. In our culture it is easy to be down on ourselves for some expected trait that we think we have to have. Not taking away from always striving to improve I love how your focus has helped you conclude you are great the way you are and your own kind of discipline is enough...It creates happiness and good health. I love how you came to that in October...can't wait to read about it the next two months then we can move on to another great word experience. Who might be a quote or something. No rule right!

MJ said...

I, too, would kill an orchid. Actually, with great love and care, I tend to kill most plants. I don't have a green thumb!

I am glad for you to discover that you like your life the way it is; we can be so difficult on ourselves! Self-acceptance is so important ~ not that I've fully succeeded in that regard either!

miruspeg said...

Ten months down and two to go.
What a wonderful journey we have all had together this year.
Love your insights in this post Annemarie...I love my laid back life too. :)

"You have it in your power to make your days on Earth a path of flowers, instead of a path of thorns."
Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Roban said...

I always learn something new when we post together! I enjoyed reading yours and being a part of this wonderful journey together!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your post and all the flowers the ladies refer to and explain... makes me think about myself.... thanks for sharing this all! I could tell alot of what I am thinking right now, but I'm thinking in Dutch... have to look up "my flower" in English (it's not a common one I guess... ) aaah... let's do at least that....

OK, that took me some time but I think I am a "thistle bees" (the one you find in sanddunes...)

Anonymous said...

Hi friend! I left you a little something on my blog...!!!

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