SPEAK: Shine By the Spirit – Living the Life of a Sunflower

SPEAK! … By the Spirit™ with
Erica A. Hawthorne

Living the Life of a Sunflower

© 2010 Erica A. Hawthorne

July 7, 2010

My favorite flower of all time is the sunflower. I don’t quite know when the love affair began, but I know that today, a sunflower anywhere can catch my eye.  Maybe because I grew up in Kansas and since the sunflower is our state flower, it’s possible that some part of them remind me of home…whatever the reason, I know seeing them sometime throughout my day is a special treat.

More than anything, I love what the sunflower represents to me, and over the years my fondness for them has grown into a true lesson of how to indeed SHINE…without saying so much of a word, and taking life cues from my favorite flower.  Here is an excerpt of a couple of observations noted in my recent writing project Lessons from the Life of a Sunflower:

When sunflowers are “young” or in the budding stage, they follow the sun (www.sunflowernsa.com) – When we are in the “youth” stage of any experience or circumstance, the strength we receive from following the Light in our life can result in immeasurable growth and sustenance.  Like the young sunflower, especially when I am seeking understanding and much needed direction, I look to Spirit to shine light upon the situation and grant me clear vision and steady growth.  With my thoughts I follow Spirit, throughout the day I adjust my movement and interactions in a way that is guided by Spirit…so in a way, I too, like the sunflower, follow the “sun”.

The sunflower “is no flower at all but a constellation made up of hundreds of small flowers called the head.” (www.sunflowerguide.com) – Well, imagine that! I was inspired by this little known fact about my favorite flower. That like me, the sunflower is made up of many other smaller “flowers” (read: talents, abilities, traits, etc.) and they all are represented by the culmination that is most visible as this big, bright flowering figure…and it makes me think of God in much of the same way. How the sunflower is representative of how each of us is made up of the whole that is God.  Our collective existence is a lot like the smaller flowers that together represent the big, beautiful sunflower that is God.

Maybe, my love for the sunflower and its inspiration in my life is because quite simply it seems to be the flower that comes closest to being like the sun itself.  Even its Greek name origin “helios” means “sun”.  When I see them, it reminds me to shine, just like they seem to do with all of their flowering parts and petals.  It encourages me to keep my head up, no matter how heavy my crown.  The sunflower inspires me to reach high and stretch myself out before all of the wonderful possibilities and opportunities before me, and to always seek the Light for direction and growth.

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