“Pausing to appreciate the fleeting beauty of flowers is an almost defiant act of self-care. It allows our imagination to flourish and to stay connected to our creativity in the midst of the hectic society we live in,” says Charlotte Puxley of Charlotte Puxley Flowers, whose uplifting work sees her engage all five senses to be fully immersed in the moment.
To shine a light on Mental Health Awareness month, Charlotte Puxley Flowers together with yogini Kathy Gabriel, will conduct a virtual flower meditation and intention-setting workshop, with all donations from the workshop going to Casa Raudha, a crisis shelter for vulnerable women and children suffering from domestic violence and abuse. What’s rarely addressed in such situations however, is the mental toll it takes on survivors, who are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
“While some of us are privileged to be able to bring the beauty of nature into our homes by way of lush and vibrant posies, it is our responsibility to think of how we can extend a loving hand to those who may not be as fortunate,” Puxley explains.
In such vulnerable times, “triggers, traumas, suppressed emotions can get pushed to the surface. And we are called to confront them on a daily basis. This can be overwhelming,” says Kathy Gabriel. “It’s so important to slow down, get present with what we’re truly feeling, in our inner word to give them the attention they need to heal or process. Taking stock. This is what helps us bring more balance into our lives. As a collective, are going through a radical shift and we are beginning to heal in our own ways. And it’s important to constantly carve out our own space and boundaries for self-care. We alone are the agents of healing and need to commit to the smaller changes or actions that help us feel good in our body and mind.”
By slowing down and tending to our own mental gardens, we learn to be more self-aware and have more meaningful interactions with others.
“Floral art meditation makes the an otherwise difficult practice of [sitting cross-legged in total silence] more accessible for people just starting out,” says Gabriel. “Working with flowers is much like using a tool to aid with the meditation process. Like observing a candle, the sun, or even your breath, the flowers serve a similar purpose. In some cultures, flowers are also used as medicine or healing and for many, especially in the context of a safe space (like this meditation practice) can definitely bring about a feeling of calm and deep relaxation. Nature teaches us many things. Patience, growth, and cycles. And particularly, in a culture of wanting to gain, consume, hoard, keep, or hold on to, working with these flowers can teach us about the beauty in impermanence and perhaps even the essence of life.”
As part of the hands-on virtual workshop, flowers and foliage will be delivered to your door before the class. Zaharah, co-founder of Casa Raudha, will close the Zoom session with a short sharing on how understanding the mental stressors faced by victims of domestic abuse can allow us to better hold space for those around us who may be experiencing similar struggles.
Let’s talk about feelings: A Floral Meditation workshop with Charlotte Puxley and Kathy Gabriel
Date: Saturday 17 October, 2020
Time: 10am – 11.30am
Location: Zoom, register before the workshop