For the last year or so, I have been deep in the planing of a very exciting and spiritually based art project that is very dear to my heart. I have asked a dozen or so women I know to help collaborate and be my models for a huge series of paintings I will be starting soon. I haven’t wanted to talk to much about it to the broader world yet, but it’s coming soon. For now, allow me to share a beautiful experience that my friend and I had while contemplating the vibrational essence/flower essence of Passion Flower.
These pictures are of the vines that are growing all over my front porch. I planted it a few years ago from a little start I bought and it has more than thrived- even sending volunteer shoots up all over the front yard.
Yesterday, I had asked my friend Emily to come over so we could work on the aforementioned project. She had been meditating and working with passion flower and would be sharing with me what she had discovered about it.
I spent part of the morning yesterday reading on the front porch, safely enveloped in passion flower vines which gave me privacy our font porch normally lacks. I’ve been reading the book “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser. It’s a book I stumbled across in Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party while visiting Atlanta this year (a very cool tea shop/used book store) and had encouraged Kurt to read, thinking it might have some insight he could share with his clients at work as a social worker. He had started reading it and came home every day to tell me how wonderful it was and eventually I couldn’t stand it anymore and starting reading it, too. What I love about the book is that it encourages people to see the value of pain and sadness and tragedy as opportunities for real and profound spiritual growth.
I had just finished reading the following passage. It references this quote by Joseph Campbell: “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive…. so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” Lesser writes:
“What is keeping you from feeling the rapture? I can assure you, you won’t find the answer in a lighted room.
What stands between you and a full-bodied life can be found only in the shadows.
What wants to live in you may be waiting- as it was for me- at the end of a long loneliness”
I looked up and looked directly into this:
I felt the flower connecting directly to my heart center. I thought about how I came upon my own spiritual path. I had just finished massage school and had been completely devastated by a broken heart. It absolutely broke me apart in a way I had not expected and felt like I had no control over. It really wasn’t until that happened that I started exploring meditation and took my first flower essence class with my teacher, Daisy. I wondered, yesterday morning, if I would have felt the pull in that direction if I had still been safely nestled into the life I had wanted so badly. It was that year of heart healing that set me firmly and stubbornly on the path of spiritual exploration and connection through energy healing, plant medicine, and meditation.
I felt like that was the medicine of passion flower- that’s what it has to teach me. When you look at a branch of blooming passion flower, you see a line of flowers in all its states: behind the bloom, in its past, are various stages of flower death, eventually turning into the fruits. Ahead of the bloom, you see pointed, tightly sealed buds that grow tinier as you follow the vine down to its end. And that seemed so fitting. This transformation through a death of the self that bears fruit. The breaking open of those tight buds might be painful, but the flower is breathtaking. Then the flower dies away and bears fruit. Only to repeat the process down the line of the vine infinitely. Or until fall, only to start again next summer.
Passion flower helps you understand and digest those painful breakings-open and sets you firmly on your new path, stripped of the debris and beliefs that no longer serve you.
After she arrived, Emily shared with me her vision of what passion flower means. She has been working for many years in a medical office in town. Eventually she worked a managerial type position which was extremely stressful. The clinic was always busy and she often felt overwhelmed. Over the years, she had studied in some of the same programs I have- she went to massage school, learned about energy healing and flower essences, and she had also trained to be a doula. Being a doula was her real heart’s calling but she needs an additional income since she can only be on call for a few births at a time, even with a business partner. With her doula business healthily growing, she needed to find an additional source of income that would support her doula practice and feel like her soul’s work. She wanted the additional income to come from energy healing and body work but had some fear around and nervousness around it.
She felt like passion flower had helped her to come to the very brave (and completely unavoidable- how can you resist your soul’s calling?!) decision to quit her safe job and dive completely and fully into her work as a doula/body worker/energy healer, something that wouldn’t be possible to manage while also working a draining 9-5 job.
She told me that passion flower brings you to your gift and your passion. It encourages you to be in the beauty of your gifts and to not be ashamed or embarrassed of being beautiful. Don’t hide it or tame it. She also felt like it was helping her to break the ancestral patterns of the women on her mother’s side of the family not having the courage to really know themselves and their dreams, and to pursue what was their soul’s calling in whatever form that may have taken. She feels that passion flower works on your heart and through your heart.
After I had photographed her with passion flower, I mentioned that I didn’t know what the essence was popularly used for- it wasn’t in the Flower Essence Repertory. She didn’t know either, so she looked it up online. The first sentence of the first website she found said this: “Passion Flower flower essence helps us understand the deepest possible meaning of our own personal suffering, after which it assists in the ascent to our truest calling of service on the planet.” Whoa. Totally!
Please share your experiences with passion flower in the comments! I would love to hear from you!