Appreciate the Flower Power

Flower Power

The blossoms and flowers are out in their full magnificence in Victoria B.C. where I was yesterday. I feasted my eyes on the flowering trees lining the streets and the daffodils. Back home a camellia is blooming in our own yard. I have always loved to drink in the energy of blooms.

Back in the sixties and early seventies, we had the “flower children,” a synonym for the hippies. Idealistic young people would wear flowers in their hair as a symbol of love and peace. Their slogan was “flower power” which stood for non-violence in the face of the Vietnam war. The flower children exerted a powerful influence on society. Those were the days of Woodstock and Easy Rider.

Decades later I discovered and wrote about what I call the appreciation break. If you want to pick yourself up from a low mood, or if you are feeling stressed, stop and for 15 or 20 seconds just look at something you appreciate or are grateful for. Focus on it and let yourself feel it at the heart level. Then let it go. Do it any time for a pick-me-up.

The object of your appreciation or gratitude can be in the external world or in your memory. It can be a person or a thing, a song or a saint, so long as you really appreciate it.

The more often you practice this simple gratitude exercise, the easier it becomes to slip into a state of appreciation. It tends to bring your heart rhythm into coherence and bring you into a deeper sense of connectedness with the universe. It’s like a prayer of thanks. It is up to you whether or not you give it a religious connotation.

What I did not understand until more recently was that there is more to flower power than the social movement it symbolized.

Back when I started to use the appreciation break for myself, there was a beautiful public flowerbed a few blocks from my home. That, or my mental picture of it, is what I focused on in my appreciation breaks. Within seconds, my body and mind would relax.

What I subsequently discovered was that I got better results from the appreciation break by focusing on flowers, rather than on other things. Flowers seemed to have a special energy. On reflection, I realized that all my life I had found flowers uplifting and empowering.

I asked a few other people and they confirmed my experience. One friend has built a business around the power of flowers.

Perhaps I have just discovered what gardeners have known all along. Perhaps the flowers in the hippie movement half a century ago played much more than a symbolic role in the social change that ensued.

I invite you to be curious about how the multitude of blooms around you these days are affecting you.

Relationship Communication: Read my Lips, not my Mind

Communication is stalled
When two people are in close sync with each other, they often give little hints of their close connection. For example, they complete each other’s sentences. Such mind reading, tuning in to an intimate partner’s thoughts, is fun, but usually fleeting.
 
Then one day your partner makes several wrong guesses. You are frustrated, not with his failure to read your mind, but with his failure to listen to you as you try to explain something. He was too busy trying to come up with the right word to hear what you were saying. Then it begins to dawn on you that you aren’t listening either; you are fumbling with his thoughts, rather than listening to his words.
 
In any long-term relationship, a million things can come along to interrupt relationship communication… babies, work, illness, in-laws… Every such interruption increases the need for clear verbal communication between you. It is unfortunate that this increasing need for clear verbal communication often comes at a time when you think you know each other quite well and don’t need to talk things out as much.

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How I Fell in Love

Dr Neill Neill

Just before Valentine’s Day in 2009, a magazine ad for a story-writing Contest caught my eye. It was to be a 300-word story about “How did you fall in love.” I wrote our personal story, asked my editor (my wife) to check it over, and then sent it in. I entitled it “The Supper.”

To our surprise and delight, the story won the prize for the “most serendipitous love story” and was published in the March/April 2009 issue of Synergy. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in 2010.

Please have a chuckle with me..

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