Flowers for World Gratitude Day: September 21st 2017

Beloved Flower Lover,

Its’ time to say thank you. The only thing we have to do right now is to get into  giving thanks  and we do it again on World Gratitude Day.

Its a time to reclaim our selves and relax into the process of gratitude. We have all the time in the world to get into it. We are fascinated with what we are gratitude for. It allows us to tap back into our natural way of being. We don’t have to practice it. We don’t need to turn it into a discipline. We are not worried about fixed time and the bla bla of that. We have all the time we need.

Professor Robert Emmons of the University of California suggests we only need five mins of it to enjoy great benefits. http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html.

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His research found the following:

  • Keeping a gratitude diary for two weeks produced sustained reductions in perceived stress (28 percent) and depression (16 percent) in health-care practitioners.
  • Gratitude is related to 23 percent lower levels of stress hormones (cortisol).
  • Practicing gratitude led to a 7-percent reduction in biomarkers of inflammation in patients with congestive heart failure.
  • Two gratitude activities (counting blessings and gratitude letter writing) reduced the risk of depression in at-risk patients by 41 percent over a six month period.
  • Dietary fat intake is reduced by as much as 25 percent when people are keeping a gratitude journal.
  • A daily gratitude practice can decelerate the effects of neurodegeneration (as measured by a 9 percent increase in verbal fluency) that occurs with increasing age.
  • Grateful people have 16 percent lower diastolic blood pressure and 10 percent lower systolic blood pressure compared to those less grateful.
  • Grateful patients with Stage B asymptomatic heart failure were 16 percent less depressed, 20 percent less fatigued and 18 percent more likely to believe they could control the symptoms of their illness compared to those less grateful.
  • Older adults administered the neuropeptide oxytocin showed a 12 percent increase in gratitude compared to those given a placebo
  • Writing a letter of gratitude reduced feelings of hopelessness in 88 percent of suicidal inpatients and increased levels of optimism in 94 percent of them.
  • Grateful people (including people grateful to God) have between 9-13 percent lower levels of Hemoglobin A1c, a key marker of glucose control that plays a significant role in the diagnosis of diabetes.
  • Gratitude is related to a 10 percent improvement in sleep quality in patients with chronic pain, 76 percent of whom had insomnia, and 19 percent lower depression levels.

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So where we stand, we are grateful to have you as our dear friends reading this material. We are grateful for a platform from WordPress that enables us to being able to share ways to enhance wellbeing using flowers. We are grateful for flowers and all their impacts.

We invite you to go through today and give thanks for something you appreciating in your life and send your gratitude . You might even like to use flowers to send a message of gratitude to someone or place some in your home or office environment to remind yourself of all that you are thankful for.

The Team,

The London Flower Lover

p.s. If you want let us know how this process attracts more things to be thankful for.

 

The Team,

 

The London Flower Lover

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What does Christine Northrup say about Happiness and why we love Flowers and Kintsugi, the process of loving broken things?

Beloved Flower Lover,

Looking through wilted lavender vintage roses and listening to the radio, we re-discovered Dr Christine Northrup, the medical doctor who is a pioneer for women’s happiness and just smiled at our selves with deep gentle soft eyes.

antique rose bouquet count on what counts

We wondered, if you actually focused on the language of happiness and the choice to feel happiness despite the inadequate circumstances. But before wondered about you, we thought, do what Byron Katie says, pay attention to your own business and that was a question which was so needed. This lead to another conversation, because we were not OK with living with habits of scaring ourselves to death and using martyr language that was not great.  So,suppose you would like to explore some more pleasure in life what might you do?

We did several things after that in our team and thought about our habits.  Some of the ladies in the team  went and found flowers that they loved. Over and over again, they were not the flowers that were  so called perfect ones. They were the ones with change, some wilting, some decaying. We opened up our minds and accepted their perfection. Then one woman in to the team pointed to a vase which she loved but which had become broken. She had put tape onto it and continued to use it,even in some of our photo shoots. In Japan, instead of tossing the vase, some craftsmen practice the 500-year-old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” which is a method of restoring a broken piece with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver, or platinum.

We feel we have been on that golden joinery, linking flowers as a practice to the joy of life. The process of growing and change. Rather than being embarrassed with the sticky tape, to instead notice “it’s very important that we understand the spiritual backgrounds or the history behind… the material.” This is interwoven with the philosophy of wabi-sabi, which means “to find beauties in broken things or old things,” .

gift of autumn flowers

We have been reading the work of . Dr Mario Martinez and Dr Douglas Holt. Martinez , invites us to find out who are our cultural editors and cultural co editors. He invites us to consider this question.

Who taught me/you/us to think to be what you/we want to change?

As you reflect on the answer consider, are they really in the best position to edit your life?

Holt, invites us to ask awkward questions of a brand. Does it stand up for the contradictions in society? In fact does it speak with the voice of the contradictions of a society ? Does it help us to find a story to reflect the meaning of our lives? Does it help us to redefine, re edit our life? e.g. to give birth to inner receptor sites of self love.

We felt super vulnerable talking about this in the team as we noticed parts of ourselves that still needed the attention.  Instead we felt the fear gone as we each noticed in our own way putting our hands on our hearts and loving ourselves.

We think about that, especially as ever since this blog started, we talked about how we have been blogging about flowers and the putting real contradictory,sometimes unspoken issues that women and men face when dealing with self love are experiencing. The inflamed topics  in  a society where, we habitually celebrate the birthright of men and women to experience love.  That it. Our radicalness for our brand is to state openly that we completely love and accept all the love, support and beauty around us.  That you can never be to sad to help the sad, to unhappy to help the unhappy, to poor to help the poor.

Instead giving that love support and beauty to ourselves and others in a gentle way is what we do. It’s a gentle work that we do as we put our hands on those flowers which may be wilting or fading and love up on them.

gift of autumn flowers

As we conclude today’s thoughts we appreciate the words of  Joseph Campbell  quote even more. “that give up the life you planned to welcome the life waiting for you.”

Filling up with joy and pleasure, we ask for even more joy and pleasure to overflow as we give thanks for all that has passed, that is to come as we stand today in  the today of appreciation of life.

 

The Team,

 

The London Flower Lover

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Happy Flowers to remember the universal love of Tree Mother, Wangari Maathai, First African Woman Nobel Peace Laureate

Beloved Flower Lover,

As florists we work with enjoy resourcing floral material each and every time. As florists we enjoy working with water, land and the shared space called our home. Earth. We see and hear of fights all the time about land, trees and so on. That eats up the neurotransmitters and opiates.That joy vibe.  However we heard recently a shift in this discussion. An enjoyable dignified spirit of change. A way of finding joy and solace in what’s important to us. Fights occur not because we are different…., says Nobel Peace winner Maati, we wanted to hear more.

TheLondonFlowerLover Autumn Optimism

“When we remove the superficial layers of our differences we find a common ground”, she says.  “How to allocate resources fairly without people feeling marginalise is my agenda”, she said. “Peace and the environment is an important element of life…. Water, land, grazing ground, farming land, resources. Sharing them equitably is at the heart of what our world agenda is about”

In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement to plant trees in hopes of helping poor, rural Kenyans, especially women, by preventing environmental and social conditions from further deteriorating.

Maathai won the Peace Prize in 2004 after enduring death threats, whippings and being tear-gassed at a protest because of her devotion to forest preservation and her anti-corruption work. We wanted to learn more so began our floral journey. We found quotes such as,

“I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.”
Wangari Maathai, The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience

wood and cala lily flowers collage

We found more material such as an interview where She spoke with the NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about her ecology work and social activism in 2005.

“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come”
Wangari Maathai

So in the end we felt inspired to dedicate pieces of our floral work to her memory, inspired by this quote.

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“In trying to explain this linkage, I was inspired by a traditional African tool that has three legs and a basin to sit on. To me the three legs represent three critical pillars of just and stable societies. The first leg stands for democratic space, where rights are respected, whether they are human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, or environmental rights. The second represents sustainable and equitable management and resources. And the third stands for cultures of peace that are deliberately cultivated within communities and nations. The basin, or seat, represents society and its prospects for development. Unless all three legs are in place, supporting the seat, no society can thrive. Neither can its citizens develop their skills and creativity. When one leg is missing, the seat is unstable; when two legs are missing, it is impossible to keep any state alive; and when no legs are available, the state is as good as a failed state. No development can take place in such a state either. Instead, conflict ensues.”
Wangari Maathai, Unbowed

We even found an animation piece she was involved with to help people explore how to manage land resources when they feel overwhelmed with a lack of resource.

So in summary, Wangari Maathai,  the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004,  the founder of the Green Belt Movement in her home country of Kenya, an environmental group that has restored indigenous forests and assisted rural women by paying them to plant trees in their communities. Since 1977, it has planted more than 30 million trees in Kenya and has been replicated in dozens of other African countries.

She reminds us about peace and happiness in the face of adversity and that peace and happiness are not superfical  and energised in the face of adversity, makes us all go forward.

Thank you for focusing on peace and happiness so we can energise and heal ourselves. The gift here is that you can be the protection for others in this world because you focus on universal love. It keeps us optimistic and so much more…..universal love.

 

The Team

 

The London Flower Lover

wood and cala lily flowers collage

“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree.”
Wangari Maathai, Unbowed

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Heal your inner mean girl with flowers

Beloved Flower Lover,

Giving flowers to ourselves is part of a self love journey. You may not call it self love, but it can be part of your self love antidotes.

Christine Arylo has inspired us from her very beginning and we would like to share her programme for self love here. She teaches us how to love ourselves when we are our most mean to ourselves.

She identifies 13 ways that we as women are mean to ourselves and finds 13 antidotes we can use to love up on ourselves.Since its an inner process, its a way to bring counter balance to these  mean inner forces. e.g. comparison queen, achievement junkie, good girl,rejection queen, perfection queen, fixer, skeptic, superwoman, martyr,  optimistic cheerleader,worrier wort, and the drama queen.

Take all the time you need to go through this and play with the different ways she suggests you can energize the internal inner antidotes like inspiration and admiration for the mean girl self within who is a comparison queen.

 

Christine is not preachy, just real…..so enjoy

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Gladioli: the Summer’s Superstar

Beloved Flower Lover,

If you ever want easy and effortless stardom for the summer get her,  yes she who is known as the gladioli. Invite her into your home, your office, your reception desk, or for your dinner party.

gladioli The London Flower Lover 1

The superstar blooms in midsummer and her fashionable status is what we love about the gladioli.

She is in many ways, like the summer tulip and no more difficult to grow. Like tulips, she really make perfect, long-lasting cut flowers.

This classic cut flower, she the  gladiolus serves you by producing perfectly tall flower spikes adorned with large, showy flowers. Let her in you will adore her.

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If correctly cared for, she can bloom between 6 and 10 days when displayed in a vase.  She, Lady Gladiolus is available in a huge range of colors, including apricot, blue, burgundy, pink, gold, red, orange, and white, as well as multicolored varieties.

If you have her in your garden, possibly invite yourself to embrace her energy and bringing them closer to you by preparing her for your vase. So in the early morning or evening, prepare your heart use a  lovely sharp knife or scissors to prepare to cut the stems, leaving at least four leaves on the plant to nourish the corm and guarantee for you her gorgeous blooms next planting season. Cut her lower stems diagonally, place them in a bucket of warm water, and set the bucket in a cool dry place for 2 hours before arranging flowers.

Before arranging your unmistakable super stars , strip away her leaves that would fall below the waterline. Fill a clean vase with water and add floral food to the water. Re-cut  her stem ends on the diagonal and place her stems in vase. Set the clean vase away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

thelondonflowerlover gladioli in vase

Lengthen her superstars life by giving her daily care. Every day, change her water and add floral food. She really appreciates it. It really works. Cut her stems back by 1 or 2 inches and pick off any of her wilted flowers to keep her arrangement tidy and to allow the unfurling upper buds to take center stage.

Keep smiling. She will keep sharing with you feelings of  joy. Keep turning to her this summer as every summer and notice what you notice.

The Team

The London Flower Lover

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Harvest Flowers, Berries and Vintage Plates

Beloved Flower Lover,

 

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Flowers for Gratitude-Yes its simplier sometimes to say thanks with flowers but there is more to it

Beloved Flower Lover,

Struggling, dropping back, but getting back up. Struggling, dropping down, and getting back up. Struggling, dropping off and stayed up. So grateful for the whole journey.

Where are you with your struggle.Frustrated,Miserable,Charged with emotion

Or grateful,appreciative or thankful?

Today might be the day to learn more about what scientists have found out about gratitude. Today might even be the day to return to thanks and collaborate with the part of us that seems so different, but is bringing so many gifts.

Professor Emmons from the University of California believes a successful gratitude practice starts with recognizing what you’re grateful for, acknowledging it and appreciating it. He recommends establishing a daily journaling practice to remember gifts, grace, benefits, and things enjoyed.

“Setting aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable life theme of gratefulness,”

He says that, scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude. Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being. He also says that  gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives.

We use flowers to help with the state of mind called gratitude. To reinforce peace in the face of a challenge and to reinforce peace in when what we don’t want seems to be all we are experiencing. We use flowers as a way to acknowledge this state of mind and invite you to use flowers as part of your process for giving thanks for situations that you  find challenging as well as for those that are  lovely.  That then moves us away from thinking that its all about just giving us what we want, when we want.

thelondonflowerlover

Give thanks.

 

The Team,

The London Flower Lover

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Flowers and Money

Beloved Flower Lover,

What’s your money story?

If you feel brilliant with money and buying flowers then this material is not for you. However if you want to enjoy more intimacy around money and the pleasure of flowers then you might find that this post is really an invitation for a new self expression. An opportunity for course correcting, which is kinda what we do here. A sort of pattern interrupt. A sort of interuption of a way of being.

So let’s think a little more.

When you go and buy your flowers, or for someone else, what do you say to yourself?

Can you admit to yourself that you do not know about things like retirement,investments, tax?

Are you more committed to being seen in a certain light than actually being clear about your real net worth?

what ever the answers, we want you to take yourself to a safe space first. Grow the self love, the self worthiness and then flower as you would like.

A lot of these questions have been inspired by Nancy levin’s book ‘Worthy. We find her to be a great coach and so wanted to share her with you as we to take the opportunity to rewrite the real love story about ourselves, money and flowers.

 

TheLondonFlowerLover peace is my nature yellow background rose posy Collage

 

TheLondonFlowerLover peace is my nature yellow background rose posy Collage

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Give yourself a flower budget-This is a nudge, not an order!

Beloved Flower lover,

Follow your bliss…..Yes we all hear this all around. but really what next?
We also say, give yourself a flower budget AND  select flowers that make your heart sing every week. Yes that’s about you trusting your partnership with source. If not, its a heady thing.

It might be uncomfortable initially, but give yourself a weekly budget and allow yourself to buy flowers and notice how you switch on your hearts delight.

Allow your partnership to be acknowledged. Embrace your partnership.Your confidence will grow as you acknowledge that you have a partnership with source. You don’t need our permission, but perhaps our nudge.

The London Flower Lover Autumn flowers

Surrender to your partnership of love!

 

The Team,

The London Flower Lover

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How you might help your sick or stressed friends and family by using flowers and nature-a stress antidote

Beloved Flower Lover,

Yep we get it. We know. In modern life, our sympathetic nervous system is triggered constantly because sustained, directed attention is required to properly carry out everyday tasks from parking to checking email,phones, laptops, notepads.

Yep we get it. We know that the workday is filled with tasks that YOU/WE are directly responsible for and require your attention to carry out.  Not to mention the stresses of commuting, being in a workplace for eight hours each day, dealing with noise and air pollution both inside and outside, and trouble shooting cause mental fatigue.

Do we know that  we have a balancing system called our parasympathetic nervous systems,which  are necessary to be turned on, to restore ourselves from mental fatigue and physiological drain.

Nature is a natural turn on because nature triggers the parasympathetic nervous system by inducing a gentle fascination—a focused attention that allows us to voluntarily pay attention to things that function completely independent of us. We go into the zone.

When taking a walk outside, we do not influence our surroundings and we are not immediately responsible for them.  Plants and animals going about in their natural habitats  require nothing from us,( in most cases) so we can relax and just be fascinated.This gives our bodies the opportunity it needs to restore our mental capacities for directed attention.

Get more plants and nature into your life. Give and receive more flowers.Bring nature into your own space or go into it. Either way, know nature is your friend.Your personal antidote to stress!

 

The Team,

 

The London Flower Lover

 

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