Narcissus the little star shaped flower of Spring. A cheery little plant with a delicious scent and a discretely dark message.
The victorians described it's meaning as one of 'egotism' and 'self esteem'.
We all know the tragedy of Narcissus and Echo. The fury of unrequited love leading to a bitter demise for Narcissus, wasting away with incessant love for himself.
It is said that the Narcissus flower is his parting message to us. A subtle reminder to a modern culture of narcissists.
When I first started researching the sybolism of the Narcissus flower my first thought of course went to social media, in particular Instagram.
With the new algorithm it seems that Instagram, once (in my opinion) the most humble of all the social media platforms, has now turned into yet another popularity contest.
Struggling to be seen, using 'likes' as reassurance, living our lives through a screen. We are all guilty of this and we've all felt the anxiety that comes along with it.
When 'inspiration' turns to comparison, judgement, competiton and feelings of inadequacy. Over sharing and thoughtless posting... What is it all really for?
Social media is now so closely linked to depression and isolation that it has become a genuinely worrying epidemic of modern day society.
Instagram for most people is about finding like minded people to share your interests, often leading to real life relationships. The coming together of a collective consciousness that brings us hope in times of chaos and tragedy, reaching out and finding a market for our otherwise isolated and unusual business models, these are all positive attributes to a platform that has created an online community and sense of togetherness.
I do think that the list of positives outway the negative aspects of social media but that doesn't stop the feelings of anxiety, unworthyness and comparison that come with a life online.
If we are honest with ourselves a lot of what we're all doing online can be described as narcissistic behaviour, but I do believe that most of it comes from a place of low self esteem, not of genuine infatuation for ourselves!
Our modern day version of narcissism is over sharing curated versions of our lives, perhaps lives we wished we were really, truly living.
Over sharing ourselves, our bodies, our children, spreading ourselves so thin, that we loose our true identity in order to recieve instant gratification and outside acceptance.
Worrying more about how the outside world perceives us, than actually staying true to our integrity and our own moral compass.
So how do we go about getting the right balance?
That's where the flowers come in!
In holistic healing 'Narcissus' or 'Jonquil' oil is used to help treat anxiety, frustration and to improve self esteem! Used to help ground and bring people out of their own heads, into the present.
Dear sweet narcissus is teaching us is to come up out of our own heads!... All the way out, like when their cheery yellow faces first appear in early Spring!
None of the answers are inside your screen. You might read this, or find something similar and decide to give it a go, but actually experiencing it will be the magic medicine needed to heal.
It is absolutely no coincidence that our little star shaped flower has this ability. Nature has the subtle answers to it all!
Giving us the message and the tools to heal the problem.
You can never truly experience nature through your phone, taking a picture and looking at it later is not the same, neither is seeing it on your instagram feed! You're missing out on the magic, the whispers and the hidden messages you need to pay attention to.
This is Narcissus's message to us.
The only way to truly learn to love ourselves and to build our own self esteem is to fully engage with the life you're living. Sometimes it's not pretty but you need to look at it and be fully involved in order to make a change!
There is no reason why you can't make it as beautiful as the dreams you're creating inside that little square shaped grid, but you have to be FULLY engaged in it all...In real life.... #IRL
I'm sitting here writing this on my computer and later I will of course share it on Instagram, I am human and guilty of all of the above!
I am however safe in the knowledge that our little sweet smelling Narcissis flower has taught me a very valuable lesson.
We control the way we use social media, not the other way around! Balance is the key!
"If you have a certain number of followers you're relevant. If you don't you're irrelevant. I just think it's nonsense.
My response to people judging you on 'Likes' would be, 'Fuck that!' It's just bullshit. This notion that we are judged by clicks on buttons- we should resist that as a form of navigation.
There will always be people who recognise themselves as punk who recognise that technology is a tool not a lifestyle.
All we can talk about is our devices. For the last decade society has been stoned on technology. If we're living through a screen, we're not doing anything. I thought a lot about the psychological effects of an office. People working eight, ten, twelve hours a day. Look up from that computer, look around you, and nothing has moved. Never in the history of the world have people worked ten hours and nothing moved!
At some point people will sit back and realise that this is a tool. And that real life-real life- is outside of it.
I can accept it's a miracle that we're talking across an ocean, but fuck if i'm going to live in it. I wanna go outside, too!
If you want to talk about real navigation, one should seek balance. If the right foot and left foot are out of whack then you go down."
All floral design, props and photography by Kelly-Marie Burdekin
* Narcissus are toxic and not to be digested or taken internally. If you would like to use Narcissus oil for anxiety or grounding then simply dab some on the balls of your feet. *