On Acquiring Determined Patience
Seed, tea, flower essence
Globe Mallow teaches lessons in patience, trust, and determination. (Survival, self assuredness, self confidence, self esteem, trust, unfolding, perseverance)
This year I’ve been on the hunt for Sphaeralcea incana, even though it is quite a common desert wildflower. I have long loved this beautiful glowing flower. So when return from Tucson I drove past miles of desert floor ablaze in its ethereal orange blossoms, I knew I needed to connect it with it deeply, and soon.
This led to a series of weekly attempts at finding a grand stand of Globe Mallow, abundant enough to gather, prepare, and share. Revisiting old sites where I'd found it before proved fruitless, as the community I'd previously seen seemed to have packed up and moved to someplace more suitable.
I drove many miles as if on a quest, and eventually the insecurities arose as I sensed the plant's spirit evading my own - maybe I wasn’t supposed to harvest the herb this year, or maybe my understanding and memories of its qualities were incorrect. I had to surrender to the experience of not finding what I was looking for, and maintain the fire of determination at the same time. Glad I did! One of my girl crew was able to point me to a good grove of globes, and then the real magick started to happen.
One week before I sat down to write this, I quit the job to pursue my actual purpose, undeniable and indescribable as it is. Part of that is connecting people to nature and to each other, and to begin to understand the relationships between plants, people, and place, a little (a lot!) more. In order to do this I aspire to spend a lot of time in Nature as an observer and co-creator. In reality, I’m pursuing Nature as a lover in a longterm healthy relationship (and hoping she’s ok with with a non-monogamous affair).
So the day after I quit my job, I rode out to the ‘for-sure’ spot described by my friend. It was early-ish, the desert was still quiet but coming to life, and there was only one other person nearby. I hiked into the desert a little bit and found the stand she was talking about. Except! There were no flowers.
I peeked around a bit more and discovered that while there were no flowers, there were tons of seeds. Literal tons. It became clear that perhaps part of my purpose in seeking out Globe Mallow was not to blend a tea, but to provide seeds from wild plants so that others could experience its healing in their own back yard, just through being with it one on one. A giant orange lightbulb went off and I felt so aligned with everything that I set happily out to gathering seeds with gratitude in my heart and respect in my hands(it would have been too early for the seeds on my previous forays, keep in mind).
A few minutes into this I wandered farther up the hillside and down through a ravine, finding a blossoming Sore Eye Mallow (one of its other names) with enough blooms that I felt good about harvesting a few to make a flower essence (link to flower essence here). The blossoms were bigger, the stalks taller, and the leaves greener than I'd remembered.
Flower Essence medicine is pretty special for a lot of reasons, but one of the most important ways from an ecological perspective is that you only need to use a few blooms to make an ounce of mother essence (link to mother essence here). Flower Essences are vibrational medicine, which means they work to align your own energy/aura/spirit/mind/all of it with the energies of the plant. It raises your own vibrations to meet the plants’, and therefore heals you on the level of your psycho-spiritual self, rather than only on the level of your tangible self. Although the effects are tangible and palpable, and the healing spills over like sunlight onto all the parts of you in need of healing and balance.
I cut about 4 flowers from different stalks, and let them do their thing in their morning sunlight water bath. I sat to think about the meaning of of it, and as I meditated on all the changes I’d just made to my life, my pursuit of Globe Mallow, the sheer bliss of the moment I was experiencing right then, a flood of ideas entered into me. New ways of thinking about herbalism and my professional life, recipes, rituals, classes to write, work to do. It was a moment of divine union as inspiration poured right down into my crown and filled up my heart. I had a deep sense of knowing tuned-inness that I rarely experience indoors.
Sitting there in such quiet stillness, I saw a ton of wildlife. Lizards felt comfortable coming out of hiding, a giant black beetle with red wings walked by on long legs that elevated its body an inch off the ground. There were butterflies. I sat directly across of a giant Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), and began to have ideas for how this, my most trusted and well known ally, could provide healing in ritual and ceremonial ways I hadn’t tried before. As thoughts of our relationship floated through my mind, a hummingbird came to the tree and sat on the highest branch. It was so close I could see its tiny body and long bill, I could see where its colors began and ended and blended. And this was an incredible confirmation for me, sealing in what I knew to be true.
I stood up to have a good look around, and so discovered that there were more Globe Mallow Flowers. As it turns out, they opened up as the sun got warmer. I had wondered if that could be the case, and everything worked out perfectly to where I was still in the same meadow when they began to open. Something, some deep inner knowing, had kept me there to witness the grand opening in a way I’d never before.
Getting to see the flowers open all around me and being in their midst was more amazing than actually getting to harvest. The message was clear: Experiencing is more important than the experience.
Sitting there with an open heart and notebook, Globe Mallow medicine came to me.
This is medicine to support gradual unfolding. We must place unshakable trust in the process of our own opening. The journeys each of us take, the paths we are on in pursuit of goals and success (whatever that means is individual and of the time) come before the achievement, and so we must keep our minds in the moment, without frustration. There is a greater plan than the ones we devise, but they do indeed merge - and this is Alignment.
This medicine supports you in the risks you take, to grow brightly, colorfully, into you as you are meant to be. It helps you to support yourself by recognizing your own robustness and strength. It encourages you in your remembrance of self love, self care, rest, healing , and calmness and the memory that it is ok to slow down. You don’t have to know EVERYTHING Right Now. When you stop moving, everything reveals itself to you.
Here’s the thing. If I had found a bunch of globe mallow the first time I went looking for it, I wouldn’t have kept looking. If I’d found it before I quit my job I might not have made it my first priority after to quitting to go to the desert and harvest. If I’d found it in another location it would have been too early for seeds. I’d never have experienced Globe Mallow’s vulnerable expansion to receive the Sun exactly when it was supposed to. If I still worked in the office, I wouldn’t even have been there, right then. I’d have missed the other messages and the hummingbird, the spotted lizards and giant beetles. I’d have passed over my own process of unfoldment. I’d have missed my own personalized, universal memo!
Hindsight is not always 20/20 but it’s usually a hell of a lot easier to see the past than the future and for many of us, even the present. If you are struggling with feeling like you aren’t where you’re supposed to be, or if you’re facing a big decision that is scary or difficult to make, but you feel it pulling you from deep down in your core, Globe Mallow medicine will be your ally in progress and process. It will help you notice the subtleties and nuance of your life that actually play a bigger role than you expected on your journey. Gently it nudges your mental acceptance of where you are, it reveals that you can open yourself to new ideas and changes that need to be made in order to proceed. Globe Mallow holds your hand as you learn to trust Divine timing, and holds the candle as you illuminate the intersection of your plan with a greater one.
Aligns 3rd and 4th chakras, balancing will, determination, ambition, and outward expression with vulnerability, compassion (for oneself and others), receptivity, healing, trust, and soul knowing.
**Rebel Herbal recommends that you try any new flower essence for a full lunar cycle (28 days)**