Many cultures embrace the concept of as above, so below; as within, so without. Another way of describing this natural order is that life reflects itself. Just as a body of water reflects the earth and sky, what we see outside of us is also contained within us. The patterns of life can be seen all around us. When we look to nature, we see intricate and beautiful displays of harmony and interconnection. Flowers and plants hold a special place in my heart for reflecting back to me the love, peace and cooperation that is my own very nature. Here are five examples of how plants teach us about living in harmony.
1. Self Love and Understanding– Flowers show us that it is okay to be our unique selves. As we appreciate and express ourselves, we appreciate others’ unique expressions as well. Appreciating the unique expression of others allows us to connect deeply with the bounty of variety available to us. Think of all of the different flowers all over the world, each offering an array of visual-sensual delight, color, aroma and taste. Each of us, just like the flowers, has something special to offer our Earth and each other. We need not strive to outshine or be like someone else. We need not feel threatened by one another, but rather know ourselves and our inherent value. We may have confidence in expressing our authentic selves, knowing that when we come together, we create a beautiful bouquet.
2. Growing Together– Plants grow together with other plants that help their growth in a mutually beneficial way, knowing they are stronger and more effective together. When we grow our garden, we may plant basil along with tomato, as they help each other grow. Peas planted at the base of a banana help to add nitrogen to the soil, which helps the banana thrive. We may also “plant” ourselves amongst others who have that special ingredient that helps us grow. If we allow it, life may lead us to our helpers in an easeful, natural way, guiding us to cooperate with each other and accomplish great things together.
3. Making Medicine– Plants work together to create profound healing effects. When formulating food, medicine, perfumes and natural products, each element works together to create a whole healing effect. Similarly, we each have something unique to offer in our community “formula”. The sum is greater than the parts when we are giving of ourselves and offering our life-force in devotion to the greater good.
4. Divine Service– Plants begin to grow where they are needed the most, offering their beauty and service to Earth and people around them. Many plants, like Yarrow and Vetiver, grow where the soil is needing nourishment and detoxification. Their very presence is cleansing to the soil in which it grows. Vetiver root assists with erosion protection, preserving and protecting the land where people live, thrive, and enjoy life. Our existence also plays an important role in healing the environment. We are here, being of the Earth and giving to it at the same time, just by being alive.
5. Sacred Geometry– Plants display in their patterns of growth the sacred geometry of life. The perfection of God’s creative wisdom is shown through the patterns seen in the natural elemental forces of earth, air, fire and water. We have the ability to cultivate this sacred form of growth within our communities, by coming together and intentionally creating the patterns of nature. We build strength, trust, understanding and cooperation. HuMandalas are a great example of how we may support our natural way of growing together, activating the harmonious patterns of human nature in fun and playful ways.
I’d love to hear how Nature inspires you, too!