A year ago I started to regularly buy flowers without a particular reason. And it’s been a year that I have been buying tulips, roses, hyacinths, carnations, gerberas, phacelias, alstroemerias, lavenders but never, never, orchids. The poor orchids passed by me unnoticed, like ghosts, because I simply believed that they were not for me – they were not me. What do people see in this flat flower? I asked myself. Yesterday, however, when I was at the flower shop this grape coloured orchid said to me: “Hey, what if you took me home?”. I looked at it, and I did not just recognise its beauty, but I allowed myself to be something different from what I thought I was. I brought the orchid home. To my surprise, a sensation of freedom came together, which can be a bit strange as I didn’t do anything special, I mean, I just bought a different type of flower, right? But how many times do you allow yourself to be an orchid? Moreover, do you allow yourself to be something different from what you think you are? Do you allow yourself to find new paths inside and outside yourself?
In general, we can have a pretty narrow vision of ourselves. We think we know everything… we have so many certainties… At the same time that the identifications we create with objects, people, references, sensations help us build our identity, they also have the capacity to put us away from what we could become or at least try out if we opened ourselves to the possibilities. It is like our thoughts have been used to the same pathway for years: when we think about ourselves, the connections x, y and z are the ones that our brain picks up to define what we are, or to tell what we are not, and it seems that there is no other path.
It was when I saw myself with an orchid over my desk that I had completed a year working remotely. Almost every day in the last 12 months, I get out to go to the park, to walk on the streets, to run on the riverside, which made me practically decorate each corner, each plant, each growing weed in my neighbourhood. Even though, it was only this week that I found a tunnel under the highway that connects my house to the river. A tunnel. Two blocks away from my flat. It took a year for me to find it. How many tunnels do you find per day? How many times do you change the route you take from your house to your work, school, university, or whatever is the place you go frequently? These are the paths that we repeat in the automatic mode, blocking the possibility from discovering tunnels and orchids in our lives.
But, as everything in nature changes, transforms, transmutes, so do we. Every time that we learn something new – for instance a new language – we change our brain. Our brain is extremely flexible – if you want to deep down in this subject look for Neuroplasticity. And there is a simple expression that can help you to open the doors of new possible pathways. It starts with “What if…?”. Here are some ideas: “What if I wear this skirt that I thought wasn’t suitable for my age? What if I try a different route today to see what happens? What if I listen to the person I always ignore? What if I allow myself to do something that I thought had nothing to do with me? What if I allow myself to unblock judgements and try something of this thing that carries so many judgements? What if I do what they are telling me to do?”. The action of questioning your pre-conception and visualising yourself in a situation you was certain that had nothing to do with you can reveal as a space opener in your thoughts, and, in your brain. Therefore, I dare saying for you today: good luck with discovering your orchids, tunnels and pathways.
*Image: Vogue, Jul 1941. Vogue Archive: https://archive.vogue.com
The Chronicles of a Wild Woman were born from the coincidence of the leaves, the dreams and the soul writers. If you want to follow the words that follow instinct, the texts are published in Portuguese and English once per month. Read more here and subscribe to my mailing list to receive them in your inbox