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Balancing on a Sunbeam: Sunflower Essence and Self-Confidence

Posted by admin on Feb 6, 2010

©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

One of the ways I came to know the essences in my collection in the early days was to meditate on one each night. I would put a dropperful of an essence into a glass of water, stir thoroughly, and sip it slowly while noting the thoughts or impressions that came into my mind.

All these years later, the experience of meditating on Sunflower essence is still quite vivid. It brought a gentle, mellow sense of self-love and a very clear message from my friends in spirit.  The message was, “The sunflower is the biggest and the showiest flower in the garden. AND the only thing that really matters about it are its seeds.”

sunflowerwiki At first I thought these invisible allies of mine were speaking in symbols, as they so often and so eloquently do.  “But of course,” I beamed, “they mean that the show we put on isn’t what establishes our worth, it’s what we nurture and bring into being through our efforts.”

My later research on the sunflower plant showed that the seeds are, in fact, quite valuable. They are high in nutritional content, especially protein and minerals. Not only do birds, animals, and people eat them, but oil can be pressed from them for cooking and margarine, flour can be ground from them, and soap can be made from them.

The tribes of North and South America that first cultivated them found many uses for other parts of the plant, too. They brewed a kind of coffee from the hulls and used the stalks to make cloth and a substitute for tobacco. These sun worshippers loved the plant so much that they made golden images of its flowers, but relied on the seeds and other more humble parts of the plant to serve many practical needs.

That perspective on the sunflower plant, to me, sums up the core lesson of this commonly-needed essence—how to keep a balance between self-love and humility. The essence seems to bring a balanced and mature self-worth, in which we appreciate our own gifts and contributions while giving equal recognition to the gifts and contributions of others around us. We come to feel good about ourselves without conceit or an excessive need for attention, and we can also accept our flaws without shame. That is, we get to that well-balanced state after we have taken Sunflower for a while!

From observing myself and the friends and clients I eagerly suggested Sunflower to, however, the first stage in the process is not always so smooth and gentle, although it  can be a useful corrective. Many of us who take Sunflower seem to go through a phase of being really indignant with people in our daily lives whom we feel put us down.  Touchy, touchy, touchy!

Ultimately, I came to see that #1, I was overreacting, and #2, the people around me were only basing their treatment of me on the low opinion of myself that I projected so clearly. If you don’t think much of yourself, people read that and take it as an estimate of your worth, but if you are confident and believe that you belong, they accept that as well. As your self-esteem improves, so, usually, does the response you get from others.

Sunflower is an especially good remedy for teens and preteens during that painful stage of shyness and of finding fault with everything about themselves. My first year of junior high school, I lived in such a miserable blur of self-consciousness that I could scarcely be present. My frame was larger than most of my classmates, I was frightfully gawky, and I had a lot more chest than the other girls.sunflowerseeds-web

Thinking about sunflowers before writing this, I recalled being virtually addicted to sunflower seeds that year. I even ate them surreptitiously in class all day and was more than once—to my utter humiliation—called down to the principal’s office for absent-mindedly leaving the shells behind.

Reflecting on that time, I now suspect that I craved the sunflower seeds because something in my being was intuitively seeking the confidence that Sunflower essence can impart. The flowers, foods, or gemstones we are drawn to are often clues to essences we need, and what a difference it would have made if I had taken Sunflower at that age!

I would have faced my adolescent and young adult years with much more self-worth—everything from friendships to dating to proving myself in a career would have been less of a struggle. If a teenager in your life is suffering from a painful lack of self-confidence, do offer them Sunflower essence!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham is an internationally-respected author of books, articles, and columns about astrology, flower essences and other metaphysical topics. Along with Dr. Deborah Bier, she has edited Vibration Magazine for the past 12 years.  Her insights reflect her dual background in astrology and psychotherapy. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and over 40 years of experience in working with people. Her ebooks can be found at Moon Maven Publications (http://www.moonmavenpublications.com) Visit her blog at http://skywriter.wordpress.com.



RoxAnna Burkhart:

I love your articles, and would like to share them with my friends on FaceBook. Do you have a Fan Site there, or may I post the link to your articles on my home page? I know that many of my friends there are either in the health profession, or are trying to find home treatments for their problems, and these would really help them. Thank you.

February 6th, 2010 | 11:50 am

Thanks for another wonderful article. Please can you tell me the name of the flower / tree that is illustrating the top banner of this Feb article? We have a very similar tree that was donated to our tree nursery here in South Africa, but we have no idea what this beautiful tree’s name is or where it is indigenous to. Thank you!

February 6th, 2010 | 9:30 pm

Hi, RoxAnna, feel free to link us on your Facebook page — thanks! (we don’t have a FB presence). Melissa, I don’t know. The stock photo house I got the image from doesn’t identify the plant! Sorry. — best,Deborah

February 7th, 2010 | 12:38 am

Donna, I believe you really “hit” the Sunflower energy! Ruled by the Sun, we all need to balance our need to shine with our need to serve, and I cannot think of a better plant to do that.

I purchased Alaskan Essence’s Sunflower and added it to a formula for a mother struggling with her daughter who had a lack of strong and balanced male energy, as well as some authority issues (the others added were to help her process her anger). Whether we minimize ourselves, or in this case, maximize, both are a sign of under-confidence.

Sunflower is indeed a wonderful confidence builder, and I didn’t think that maybe many teens who crave sunflower seeds may be experiencing similar feelings that you had at that age – Wow!! As a more feminine confidence builder, I bet this could work well with Goldenrod, which is ruled by Venus! :-) Thanks once again for your amazing knowledge Donna!

RoxAnna – I am not familiar with a Facebook Fan Page, but there is a “Networked Blogs” Page – hope you use that Facebook App :-)

February 7th, 2010 | 1:08 am

Hello, Aartiana, I’ve heard that Alaskan Flower Essences’s sunflower has different properties, possibly because it was made under the midnight sun of that area. Would be interesting to experiment with.

Folks, Aartiana is one of the astrologers who will be participating in our article collection on essences and astrology as part of an event for International Astrology Day. More information to come on that collection. Donna Cunningham for Vibration.

February 9th, 2010 | 1:24 am

It’s pussytoes, native to the US. It’s on the banner because of Deborah Bier’s article about the essence a few weeks back. Donna Cunningham

February 9th, 2010 | 1:27 am