The Wisdom of Plants

This past month has been tough for me energy wise. I’ve developed some lovely insomnia which seems to come and go as I figure out my health. And I think I’ve found the proper tools to help which is giving me some relief. When I don’t sleep, I don’t function.

My body is going through balancing itself from living in extremes for pretty much my whole adult life and trying hard to manage hypothyroidism.

It’s tricky.

Minerals, vitamins, sleep, diet, proper levels of hormone replacement – it’s a puzzle that’s hard to put together and figure out. And then to top it off, my mind likes to tell me all kinds of unhelpful things that essentially make things worse.

And, yet, I’ve survived this whole time, my body has kept me alive.

But merely surviving isn’t cutting it anymore and so I am following the path of what it means to thrive in my unique body, my home.

Slowly, but surely.

You might have heard the saying “Bloom where you’re planted.”

I’ve always thought this was a lovely saying, and to some degree I believe it’s true.

However –

You might be able to sprout a couple of leaves, or even produce a flower, but essentially you need certain ingredients to really grow, thrive and bloom.

Living in a highly sensitive body, I’ve learned that blooming requires a unique set of ingredients that works for me. It requires certain things in my environment in order to thrive.

You, my dear also require a certain set of ingredients to thrive in your body and home.

Thomas Boyce, a pediatrician, has done studies on how some children are able to thrive in most conditions (the dandelions), whereas others (the orchids) often deal with a whole host of health issues, both physical and mental, if not raised in a supportive and nurturing social and physical environment.

He also found that if the orchid children were raised in a nurturing, loving and supportive environment they tended to thrive and flourish beyond their dandelion counterparts.

In his TEDx talk, Boyce points out that there is a spectrum from dandelion to orchid.

I’ve written before about high sensitivity. Those who are highly sensitive are the orchids in our world.

But whether we are the heartiest dandelion or the most sensitive orchid, I believe we all need certain conditions to thrive.

In between those two flowers is a world of different plants (and humans) that are unique.

My Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) likes bright but non-direct sunlight. The aloe vera prefers to be closer to the window. The dracaena prefers lower light and moderate temperatures. Each plant needs a specific amount of water and repotting every so often to thrive.

The wisdom of plants shows us that we too need specific conditions to thrive in our lives.

The soil and conditions you plant yourself in matters.

You might need more of one of the five elements (fire, earth, water, metal and wood) to feel good. You might need a little more yang or a little more yin to truly feel comfortable in your life and home.

You might need open spaces or a more closed, cozy spot to relax in.

You might need lots of soft lighting when you work or an extra bright lamp to help you focus.

I like to have a lot of plants in my home. They remind me that as all things in nature require certain conditions to thrive, so do I.

Feng Shui is layered. We can work with the basic principles of the art and science of the practice, but ultimately our homes and lives need to be unique in order for us to thrive. I don’t think one solution ever fits all.

What subtle changes might feel better for you in your environment or even how you move about your life? Take some time this week to notice your surroundings, and how you might be able to tailor them to your unique self thriving.