is for xeranthemum
Xeranthemum? It’s not all that easy to come up with X words for any abecedarium, but to find one that relates to self-care, well that’s a bit of a challenge. But I think I’ve chosen well. Xeranthemum is a flower, perhaps more commonly known as an Everlasting or Immortelle (although there are other flowers in the genus of Helichrysum and Erythrina known by those names as well.)
Here’s a photo of Xeranthemum:
But this post isn’t strictly about Xeranthemum per se. It’s about flowers. All flowers. And how they’re a big part of my self-care.
It’s no secret I love flowers. I’m not really a great gardener. While I have a tiny little space where I grow things I love like peonies, lilacs, bleeding-hearts, bee balm and an assortment of other beauties, my space is more wild than cultivated. I’m not skilled in the language of plant identification and no one would hire me to work for a nursery. But my love of flowers is deep. Which is undoubtedly why I trained as a flower essence practitioner and an aromatherapist. Flowers speak to me.
They soothe, they brighten, they remind. I love keeping bouquets of them around the house. I love poking my nose deep into a flower and inhaling the scent, or getting up close and really looking at the beauty of their structure, or letting my attention focus on their color. All those things are refreshing to me. All those things cause me to pause for a moment, pull me back into the present moment.
They do that every time. Which makes them great allies in my self-care routine. Some things we try and we love and use in our practices lose their ability to engage us over time. That’s why I always encourage you to really keep your senses open and when something stops offering the support it once did or the practice feels more like a tired chore than a refresher, then it’s time to switch it out. It’s counter-intuitive to care and nurture and love yourself with practices that aren’t right-fit anymore.
But flowers feed my soul – they always have and they continue to do so. Years ago a friend introduced me to the concept of “hyacinths for the soul” – meaning the little things we do/treats we give ourselves that bring us joy. I so love the expression, and I can interpret it literally.
Besides surrounding myself with flowers, using their essences and essential oils, there are also a couple of flower oracle decks I use:
- Power of Flowers: an Archetypal Journey through Nature by Isha Lerner (illustrated by Karen Forkish)
- Voices of Flowers by Rhonda Pallas Downey
In closing I offer this wish for you in the form of something Henri Matisse said:
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Do you believe that? Are flowers part of your self-care? What is a hyacinth for your soul? Have a flower oracle deck you can recommend? A flower wish you’d like to bless us with? Do tell – you know I love to hear.