Transmutation: the action of changing one state of being into another state of being.
We are all affected by our environments. All products to a great extent of our upbringing, our families of origin, our demographics, our economic status, and endless other labels which we are born with and acquire in our lives. From the moment of our birth we are absorbing and assimilating the environments in which we find ourselves and our experiences in them. How can we not be affected by it? This is our programming. It subconsciously affects everything that we say and do, that is I believe, until we are aware of it. Then we have a choice.
Hydrangea embodies this beautifully in the way her blooms, and their colors, are completely dependent on the environment in which she grows...the soil. Acid soil makes the blooms more blue, while alkaline soil makes the blooms more pink. Of course, semi-shade and plenty of moisture contribute to the quality of her growth, but it is the soil that directly affects the color of her blooms themselves.
I have spent a good deal of my life subconsciously acting on my programming. It’s like you operate on autopilot, in sort of a dream-like state. So many of my choices in fact coming from these core beliefs that more often than not did not reflect who I was truly in my heart. In fact I wasn’t aware for a long time that I even had a choice.
For example, some of my programming included the notion that successful people go to college. My oldest daughter is starting to consider her options and I had always thought my girls would all go to college but she is expressing other choices and options. This has got me thinking. I didn’t really want to go to college but not going was not even an option. I didn’t even question it I just went. I choose my major based to a large extent on what my programming about being a successful person was, not what made me happy. I made “smart” choices. In fact so many of my choices as I look back on them were made in order to not make waves, to please the status quo, to be a good girl, or to win the approval of my family and others around me.
As a mother too, I have made choices from how I want to birth my babies and how I want to raise my children, what I consider good education, what I consider good parenting, what is acceptable, and what isn’t, all based on my programming. I am bad if I do this, good if I do that. Greedy if I want this, and so on and so on. Many of my choices based on the perceived approval of others rather than evaluating if it resonated with me or not. It’s not that these choices were right or wrong it’s just that for me I’m not sure that they reflected what was truly in my heart and who I am, and instead were subconsciously more fear based choices. Fear that I wouldn’t be loved and accepted. Fear that my children wouldn’t be loved and accepted unless they act in a certain way. I can see now that I have spent a lot of my life essentially hiding. Afraid to be myself and I didn’t even realize it. My body did though, and as my headaches worsened I realized I had some important inner work to do.
My body was directly telling me louder and louder that I was not being true to myself, that I needed to uncover who I truly was and what I wanted to be. To release and to heal and to grow, I started to question whether this thought/behaviour/action was contributing to my happiness and joy, or was it fear based and adding to my suffering?
This is the transmutation. It is not something that happened over night. Instead, it was and is an ever evolving process of self-realization and understanding that is definitely the work of a lifetime. Plants are patient though. They work slowly on your subconscious until you are able to understand and feel their messages. Hydrangea has been with me for a VERY long time.
Hydrangea was the featured flower at my wedding 20 years ago. Hydrangeas of several varieties fill my Maine gardens and "bloom" year round...I let the dried blossoms remain on the plant all throughout the winter. Hydrangea all along has been guiding me to reclaim my power through the transmuting of my emotions and programming. I am not a victim here. I can release my stories of self-pity and being unloved, that is not who I truly am. I can release my fears of not being accepted or successful in the terms that my culture lays out for me. My heart wants to embrace joy and love not wallow in self pity and suffering. It took me a while but I can see clearly now.
I am NOT a victim of my circumstances, my history, my upbringing or my family programming. These are my gifts for self-exploration and self-realization.
My circumstances provide me with unique opportunities to learn and grow.
And now as Hydrangea comes into bloom here in Maine I am reminded again of how her blooms embody the energy of transmutation as they move through several colors during the course of their bloom time...from light blue to dark blue, some hints of purple and then to chartreuse and finally to a lovely pink brown as winter takes over and the leaves fall. All the blooms are transitioning at their own speed so that each bush contains multiple flowers of different colors at the same time. How awesome is that!
Hydrangea is saying that we are all unique and at different stages of growth, even when we have many similarities with others. And the bottom line is we all have the ability to bloom whatever environments we find ourselves in and whatever conditions we face. We can all flourish exactly where we are in life rather than waiting for the perfect conditions...we really do have a choice.
We don’t have to be victims of our circumstances, and we can all overcome perceived obstacles, extinguish them in fact, by realizing that we can move through them.
Hydrangea is teaching me what it really means to bloom.
Hydrangea can be found in my Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle and as a downloadable coloring and journal page.
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On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?