This year, I've resolved to buy flowers for myself more for the betterment of my mental health. Not only do flowers brighten a space, but arranging them is really meditative. It's one part art and one part communing with nature. It's an exercise in balancing chaos and creating harmony out of a broad array of colors, textures, and shapes. For me, that makes it a great meditational activity where I can think about how what I'm creating relates back to my life and how I want or need to live it. It might sound pretty out there, but over the next year, I'm planning on sharing my floral meditations with you. Maybe it will help you like it helps me.
For my first arrangement of the year, I wanted to create something joyous and optimistic. I also wanted to make something very me, seeing as how my mantra for the year is "You Know Who You Are." I knew I needed to go pink and yellow-- my signature colors-- for this. I also wanted things with a lot of volume to represent chaos and abundance.
Chaos is a recurring thing for me in all my floral work. Chaos is essential to giving life to an arrangement which can look inorganic and artificial if it's too symmetrical. It's also impossible to make things exactly symmetrical because flowers, as part of nature, just don't grow uniformly. By working with beautiful chaos, I create an outlet for my anxiety, which is deeply rooted in the chaos and uncontrollability of the universe. I work incredibly hard to maintain my personal agency and choice in all things, but you never have full control of your life and in my darkest moments, that is what terrifies me the most. Working with beautiful, physical chaos in a positive way reminds me that chaos is natural and good.
Especially going into the new year, Abundance is a key theme. It might be asking a lot in this new political climate, which is far from business as usual, but I am hoping that whatever comes down the pike, I can create a sense of abundance, which is really about focusing on my priorities more than generating wealth. While I hope to maintain or improve my financial health, I'm also hoping to create spiritual abundance in the form of stronger relationships with loved ones and making more time for joy.
In the starring role, I bought some large yellow Chrysanthemums. They symbolize optimism and in Chinese traditions, they are considered to be one of the most divine and beautiful flowers. I like how joyous and free they look. These anchor my arrangement and represent my desire to celebrate the moments in life that make me the happiest.
Carnations are supporting cast here and play a big role as well. Carnations symbolize love-- less romantic than roses; more tender, I suppose. Pink carnations are heavily entwined with Mother's Day but they carry a general association with sisterhood to me. Sisterhood is what really gets me through life. I don't consider myself to have tons of close friends, but the ones I have, I consider to be my brothers and sisters. I support the heck outta my friends and they support the heck outta me. That's what's going to keep me going this year-- the bad ass people in my life.
The green dianthus is something I've never worked with before. I like adding greenery to my arrangements and this seemed like a fun and interesting choice. There's a Dr. Seuss-iness to the texture that felt like an important addition and the lushness of the green spray brings to mind financial well-being to me. I like how little tendrils make up each dense head. It strikes me as a nice metaphor for the idea that things of great substance can be made up of many much smaller things. I'm trying to keep this in mind with regard to my financial decisions (eating out for lunch adds up quick!) as well as with my desire to create positive change in the world. It's not all about big grand gestures-- it's also about doing good on an everyday level. A fun fact about green dianthus I learned: Despite how totally different it looks, this is actually a kind of carnation.
Baby breath is a flower I used to hate as a kid, but now I love working with it. The things I hated about it have actually become what I like most about it now, which I think speaks to how I've become more emotionally mature. Traditionally, baby breath is a flower that represents undying love-- familial, romantic, and platonic-- as well as innocence, newborn babies, fidelity, and self-discipline. For me personally though, baby breath is my absolute favorite embodiment of chaos. The voluminousness and randomness of the spray seems like a manifestation of chaos. It's a classic gap-filler in arrangements, and I think randomness fills in the gaps between all our choices. Even the way the sprays branch off into these rigid forks sort of remind me of small, seemingly inconsequential decisions ("forks in the road," if you will) and each one ends in a little blossom-- an outcome, some better than others.
I used to hate the randomness and the inconsequentiality of the tiny baby breath blooms and the volume it took in arrangements. It seemed so chaotic and self-indulgent and lazy to take up space with random spray rather than carefully selected flowers. Now I see how that line of thinking was another indicator of my anxiety issues. Not having precise control of something was so abhorrent to me, and little triumphs felt meaningless. The burden of perfection was heavy but it seemed so much more appealing than just accepting and embracing chaos. Now I love baby breath and I work hard to frame chaos as a co-conspirator in my successes and blessings.
Anyway, that's my first floral meditation. I'd love your thoughts on it because I have never done this kind of content before but the idea of doing more really excites me. Also let me know if you have questions on beginning to take up floral arrangement because as with most things I have feelings and thoughts about this.