What Secrets Do the Sunflowers Have? – From Burden to Blessings

(Important: If you want are looking to comment on the Hummingbird – Curiosity or Passion post coming from the ezine you received in your email, please go to Hummingbird Post.)

Today’s Photos 

Sunflowers, a few of the over 300 photos I took during the 21 days following the purchase of bouquet of five. I invite you to allow the sunflower images to speak to you before reading what I wrote.  Are they holding, or withholding, any secrets, as one person who saw the photos suggested?

Sunflower constrained with netting waiting to be released seen on http://TreasureYourLifeNow.comOne of my activities during these past two months has been working on the completion of my Writing for Self-Discovery: Creating Breakthroughs Kindle book. A friend and mentor who previewed portions of a Preview wrote:”When you do your free-flow writing, it’s like poetry. It’s beautiful writing, clear, elegant, unencumbered.” Her comments moved me to do some timed, free-flow writing to the Sunflowers for this issue instead of explaining. Thus:

Sunflower waiting to burst through
Comfortably protected in elastic netting
What’s possible when released?

Sunflower opening when released - openings and possibility in http://TreasureYourLifeNow.com

Petals open out curly…
some straight, others varied…
lighting demands taking photos from different directions.

Sunflower opened nearing the end before petals drop - http://TreasureYourLifeNow.com5 flowers lasted 21 days.
Reluctant to show the ending…
the beauty seems to have disappeared
and yet they wanted to be taken.
Images, photos.

Can you find the beauty? From underneath and above.
What are the flowers wanting us to know?
That no matter what age, no matter what angle
they still exist to be seen, to be honored?

So be it. I’ll go back and include some of the photos here.

Sunflower at the end on http://TreasureYourLifeNow.com

The third photo was taken seven days into the series. The last two were 20 days after I brought them home and unwrapped them.

The Quandry – Mine, when putting together this issue 
I wanted to share beauty and I was not finding it in the “end-of-life” photos of the sunflowers. Since they did come up, though, in the free-flow writing, plus the fact that a couple of friends encouraged me to “share all”, I went with adding the last two photos.

One “secret” was that I’m almost always promoting finding the beauty in everything we see and I wasn’t here.

I think part of the reluctance for me here also, another “secret,” was being in a state of denial. In addition to my not wanting you to know I was missing seeing beauty, or that writing is often a burden, I was likely thrown back to the days of being in denial about the likelihood of my beloved Sam’s no longer being with me. 

For those not with this community in the Picture to Ponder days, Sam had Parkinson’s Disease. Though Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, other complications generally surface, oftentimes from swallowing issues. Sam unexpectedly died almost 8 years ago. (If you want more information you’re welcome to reply to this mailing and ask.)

Burden to Blessing book featured on http://TreasureYourLifeNow.comThe fact that denial did come up for me led me to think of my friend, Dr. Ina Gilmore’s ebook package, From Burden to Blessing: 31 Days to Start Transforming Caregiving and Life.

Dr. Ina “lived it… Both as a professional and a family caregiver.” Her years of experience led her to the 10 Simple Steps that Can Transform Your Caregiving. To discover what they are, simply click or tap on the image on the left or on Transform Caregiving. It’s A HEART PLAN™,  the step by step guide to transforming caregiving.

 (Synchronistically and unplanned in relation to this post, the Sunflower image on the cover is one of mine from several years ago.)

Self-Reflecting Queries – 
What do/did you see as you viewed the flower photos above?

Were any secrets revealed to you, either in flower stories or your own? It was my friend Julie Jordan Scott, who has a major contributing role in the book, who said the images looked to her as if they were “sharing secrets”.

I invite you to check in with yourself

Are you currently feeling constrained, as the first flower shown here was, in one or more areas of your life? 

If so, do you know what it is you are protecting? What might be possible for you were you to allow the enclosures to be removed? 

What openings and possibilities might there be for you? for the people with whom you are close?

and if you want more to ponder:

My friend Marifran Korb suggested other queries:

What photo reminds you of you as you are now? 
How do you feel about the stage of life that you are in?
What can you celebrate about each stage of life of the sunflower? 
What can you celebrate about your present stage of life?
Is there any grief you need to release?

And, if all of this have become overwhelm, take a deep breath and simply let the sunflowers cast their light and beauty onto you.

Per my promise at the beginning of this ezine for those interested…
Activities During My Last Two Months – 

Life has been full, exploring many directions. I traveled to Colorado, invited as a guest by a client/friend to her beautiful home and surroundings. 

Beautiful and spacious mountain views from their home… Hummingbirds at a feeder on a deck resulted in my doing over 40 videos. I’ll share a couple in the next issue, later this upcoming week.

Early in my time there,  I was enrolled by my friend’s husband to be a passenger on his Harley motorcycle (a scary first for me) for a ride up and down the mountains… approximately a 40 mile round trip to and from our destination. 

Beautiful flowers were everywhere, some in gardens, some in containers in front of shops and more…  Loads of photos, I mentally planned to share.  

When I came home, five sunflowers in bunches greeted me in a local produce market. I purchased one set to continue experiencing natural beauty and at the same time to calm me down from the sensory overload of travel and all that I had seen and done. 

Needless say I took hundreds of photos of them during the next 21 days. The first photo above is of one of them in protective stretch, netting holding it together.

Three weeks later I went to Philadelphia for my brother’s 70th Birthday celebration.  Again I experienced contribution in the love and generosity of many family members. There was more to that also on the home front. This led me to consider “contribution” as a topic for future issues of PTP/TYLN.

In the meantime I invite you to consider, 
Are YOU an opening for contribution? What does it, or would it take, for that to be so? What more is, or could be possible when you receive as well as give?

Comments Invited 
Please share share your experiences with decision-making and perfectionism in the “Leave a Reply” section below or on Facebook.

Last Reminder –
If you are a caregiver or know someone who is, please check out the Burden to Blessing – 10 Simple Steps that Can Transform Your Caregiving ebook package by clicking or tapping on Burden to Blessing.


What Secrets Do the Sunflowers Have? – From Burden to Blessings — 4 Comments

  1. I am so happy you included all the stages of the sunflower! I love sunflowers and have an entire folder dedicated to them and some of my favorites are towards the end of their lives!

    For me, I have learned to appreciate All the different stages of my own life. Childhood, adolescent, adult. Aging is an illusion I have been taught, something we buy into perpetuated by a media who instills fear in getting old! Come buy our products to keep you young, or to help you with your challenges getting older! Today more and more older people are still thriving! The sunflower in the soil first produces a bounty of seeds to grow future generations of itself.

    Communicating with nature transformed my life! They have no sense of “aging.” No judgments of right or wrong, good or bad. They do not rationalize things. There is nothing wrong with drying out and letting go of your seeds. Nothing wrong with being eaten before then, or stepped on an bent over. They are in JOY and Peace regardless of “what is” happening. Loving life without conditions.

    These flowers remind me to do the same. I tell them they are BEAUTIFUL in all stages of their lives! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe we are Each Beautiful and were just taught to not recognize our own beauty because me might become too egocentric, when in fact, we cannot recognize the beauty in others we do not recognize in ourselves. We have a limited perspective. Same with love. I cannot love you more than I love myself!

    It is no different than anything else. While love is natural it has become a skill we have to remember how to use. If I am not a very good cook, it would be difficult to prepare a gourmet meal for a group of my friends. I simply lack the skills. Love is like an Olympic skill. The more you practice with yourself, the better you can use it with others!

    Nature wins a gold medal in this category! The reason we feel so good after taking a walk in nature! We are being bathed in unconditional love! Like our animals often give to us, and even flowers! I thank my sunflowers for lighting up my home and giving me such loving energy. I love them through all their stages, knowing each one is just a process of life, like me going through mine.

    Thank you again for showing the ending as well as the beginning, because that is often the part we strive to ignore most of all. When we are in an ebb and flow, down, lost, confused before new seeds are planted and we arise up new and refreshed again!! Lots of Love, Morgine

  2. I am the fortunate one to have had Sheila as my guest in the mountains. Her enthusiasm enhanced my own – as I knew it would. I was eager to take her as many places as possible to show her the vistas I enjoy through the various seasons.
    The flowers out west are glorious and the resort area has the financial ability to plant and maintain the huge displays! It’s too hot here in Florida for most of the varieties. However, daisies grow in a wide range of latitudes, so my message about a photo I took will have meaning to many of you.

    There was a long garden of daisies at the edge of a property. The stems grew at all angles, reaching for the sun which was sometimes blocked by an overhanging tree limb. All together they appeared as a healthy, well tended garden which added beauty to the neighbor’s gardens. It made passers-by think, “I am lucky to be standing in this spot.” It wasn’t until I looked closely at my photo that I noticed the blooms were in various stages of growth and condition since the wind had stolen many of their petals. Some stems supported buds not yet open, others had the brilliant yellow center we all think of as being in its “prime time”, and some had little left to offer if you were picking stems for a bouquet. But wait, hadn’t they been the ones attracting attention just last week when the others were still growing? They were the colorful ones in someone else’s photo a few days ago. I titled it, “The Stages of Life.”

    I recalled that picture after a fabulous personal experience 18 months ago. I was traveling alone, far away from home, seeing fantastic sites with new people. We all had stories to share and were good about letting each person’s story seem uniquely special.I enjoyed glowing with the attention from others asking me questions about my previous voyages.It was a 30 day trip, so by the end many friendships had been made. It wasn’t until I was home a month, that I realized the glow had diminished, challenges to my health were once again my focus, and the friendly exchanges had come to an end. Others too were back to their REAL lives and only looking at the few pictures they had chosen to frame.

    So, like the daisies, my time to be a part of a bigger group and to glow in the sun was remarkable. However, it was the dance with the wind that tore loose some of my petals and pushed me into my next phase of life. All stages have merit. All produce glowing memories for the future.Notice I didn’t negatively say, memories of the past! A recently seen message keeps me on point – Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone. A garden gives way to the winter cold and yet its strongest plants with special qualities regenerate to produce blooms again in their own space.

    • Claire, this is so beautiful. Thank you for the acknowledgement AND for sharing so much of yourself, your eye, your inner being AND authentic self-expression. I will be reading this again and again over time. Right now I’m going to pull out some quotes and will likely ask you for permission to use them.

      “Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone.” Wow! How true and yet we so often fight getting out of that Comfort Zone.

      “A garden gives way to the winter cold and yet its strongest plants with special qualities regenerate to produce blooms again in their own space.” You’ve said it all.

      Going back to the beginning, “…I noticed the blooms were in various stages of growth and condition since the wind had stolen many of their petals.” “The wind had stolen so many of their petals.”

      “…it was the dance with the wind that tore loose some of my petals and pushed me into my next phase of life. All stages have merit.”

      Your words so elegantly stand alone. Nothing more to be said.

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