(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Message of Self-Mastery: Light-hearted; hope; inspiration to others; seeing the good in everything; optimistic; positive; the ability to make light of difficulties; genuine, soul-stirring laughter; even-mindedness.
Pattern of Disharmony: Moodiness; grumpiness; fault-finding; “waking up on the wrong side of the bed”; contrariness; ornery; feeling mildly to moderately emotionally out of control; moods of known and unknown origin; for the need to “snap out of it.”
I swim gaily on the sea of life, joyfully breasting the dancing waves of bliss!
|Light-spirited||Untouched by difficulties|
|Negative||Determined to remain upset|
|Pessimistic||Caught in a “dark cloud”|
|Moody||Of sour disposition|
“I put my husband on Cherry. Now he is acting differently. He is more relaxed, and smiles more often. He made dinner for us last week, and even enjoyed cooking it.”
-R], Evanston, IL
“My wife took Cherry, and was whistling away!”
– TM, Ontario, Canada
“I felt an upbeat energy from Cherry-cheerful, actually.”
-RL, Denton, TX
“It’s almost an instantaneous thing (results from Cherry). It’s much like a heavy veil lifting off. ”
-SR, Boise, ID
“I had a client who sobbed uncontrollably during a massage. I felt that she was not cleansing but rather was overwrought. I put two drops of Cherry in her massage oil and she stopped immediately.”
-NB, Nevada City, CA
“Even as we spoke over the phone and you suggested Cherry, I felt a great joy. When you’re pregnant, you feel so unlike yourself! I felt better and had more energy while taking it.”
-MB, Tempe AZ
“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you
can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”-Chinese proverb
Cherry trees are either sweet or sour. Sweet cherry trees are sensitive and need plenty of space around them to ensure enough sunlight to ripen the fruit. The sour variety, prunus cerasus, is among the hardiest of all fruit trees-resistant to harsh weather, insects and disease. The sweet cherry most likely originated in Asia Minor, its many varieties dating back to Roman times. In fact, cherry pits have been found in prehistoric cave dwellings. The trees’ white or pinkish flowers grow in clusters on long stalks or pedicels, producing the shiny fruit with a single stone. Cherries are high in iron, act as a laxative and a blood builder, rid the body of toxins and stimulate the glandular system. The juice is an excellent tonic for gout and hacking coughs. One of its lesser known usages is as a remedy to counteract food poisoning from fish.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Cherry finds its placement midway through Quadrant I’s third house. At this halfway point, we see the quality of lightness at its peak in Cherry’s carefree spirit. From Coconut’s message of upliftment and a growing commitment to carve our own lives, Cherry emerges. Its childlike first-Quadrant buoyancy with a delicate femininity is a necessary building block in creating a happy sense of self.
Symbolic of Cherry’s ability to help dispel surface-layer moods, the cherry tree itself is shallow-rooted-less than two feet underground. Much like the human temperament, it produces either sweet or sour fruit.
Cherry sports a bubbly quality reminiscent of children’s songs and stories: Mary Poppins singing, “Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down”; “Whistle While You Work” from Cinderella; and of course, the seven dwarfs singing, “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go.” Are these songs pure fiction and fantasy? Let’s hope not! We adults have a lot to learn from their simple wisdom. The old folk saying that “life is like a bowl of cherries” can apply to every one of us with a simple change of attitude.
In the positive Cherry state, we are able to see the good in people and things. We smile more. We skip in step a bit. We resonate with the bumper sticker message that reminds us, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Without moods clouding the mind, emotional steadiness is our natural state.
Another important characteristic of Cherry is the refreshing quality of even-mindedness, and with it, a certain detachment. Emotional investment in the outcome of life’s tests is equivalent to asking for a mood. And don’t we all, even consciously at times, choose to court them? Referring to Coconut’s lottery metaphor, why be distraught if you don’t win? One in the positive Cherry state is a good loser; healthy indifference is his victory.
The negative Cherry state reflects our decision to be negative, pessimistic or just plain unhappy. Molehills become mountains and small chores turn into large burdens. It seems there is no right side of the bed on which to wake up! Thus, we see the tongue-in-cheek definition of a pessimist as “someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.” Those in the negative Cherry state view life as a disappointment waiting to happen-which it invariably does, just as they predicted.
To put the matter directly-if you make up your mind to be happy, nothing in the world can make you unhappy. Conversely, if you decide to be unhappy, nothing can cheer you. It seems self-evident here that the main issue is choice. At any given moment, we are making choices in our lives. Granted, we cannot control the events that befall us, such as the birds of sorrow flying overhead. But we can control how we react to them by choosing not to invite them to nest in our hair!
Caught in the negative Cherry state, the legendary film star Katherine Hepburn once said, “I don’t know what one means by ‘happy.’ I’m happy spasmodically. If I eat a chocolate Turtle, I’m happy. When the box is empty, I’m unhappy. When I get another box, I’m happy again.” Tell me-do any of us truly covet a state of happiness so fragile that it can come and go on mere whim?
When we invite the negative Cherry state into our minds, before long we find ourselves in a mood that begins to snowball. In time, tracing this emotional blemish back to its source becomes virtually impossible. All we know is that we’re not happy. At this point the mood takes control of us and everything look bleak. We tend to view the world, innocuous though it may be, from our own state of consciousness. “Wind on a hill sounds lonely if you’re sad,” writes J. Donald Walters, “free if you’re free, cheerful if you’re glad.”
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
A vibrant cheeriness is the hallmark of the Cherry theme. Here we find someone who often, though not always, has suffered through a difficult childhood and emerged without emotional scarring. His good nature cannot be marred by a family history of substance abuse, debilitating bouts of physical illness, divorce or even several unhappy marriages.
Cherry themes seem untouched by the dream nature of this world. Their earlier years, like moods or bad dreams, evaporate as though they had never happened. These people have a distinctive lightness of step and a buoyancy to their gait. Often, though not always, they are rosy-cheeked, similar to Raspberry themes. The optimism of the Cherry state is contagious “in a most delightful way,” to quote Mary Poppins. Cherry themes cheer us. They make us laugh.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Mary Poppins
- Shirley Temple Black
- Goldie Hawn
- Johnny Carson
- Happy (of the seven dwarfs)
- Benjamin Franklin
- Soupy Sales
- Kathy Najimy
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Whoopi Goldberg
Mary Poppins is, for all children and all time, the legendary nanny who blows in on the east wind. You will find her caretaking, and routinely astounding, the Banks children who reside at Number Seventeen on-coincidentally-Cherry-Tree Lane. Although seemingly of a sour and no-nonsense of disposition, Ms. Poppins evokes the most delightful cheerfulness in all who know her. She turns medicine into lime juice cordial and life into a carnival. She will remain in children’s hearts long after the shifting winds have whisked her away.
The Mary Poppins of literature is portrayed a great deal more stiffly than the Poppins of film. The literary version, prim and proper, suggests a strong Fig sub-theme, adding an element of paradox to her character. Ms. Poppins, who just “popped in,” is actually more complex than she seems, for this very Fig-like reason. We might be tempted to label her a Fig theme with a Cherry sub-theme, except for one giveaway clue-the pervasive, childlike joy that her magnetism evokes in others. (Remember to look for “magnetism clues”-or how your subject’s energy affects others around him-in assessing themes.) Do as you’re told, Poppins energetically commands, and we’ll make it more fun than you could ever imagine.
CONFESSIONS OF A CHERRY THEME: LISA’S TALE
“I would say that my biggest quirk is that, even though I do psychic readings for people and have the ability to be very compassionate, I also really tend to laugh at people’s foibles. When I start doing the readings, I start to chuckle, sometimes when people are almost in tears. But I think it’s because life is ridiculous in a way, and so absurd. It’s hard to see it when we’re the ones going through problems. But I do find some stuff very funny.
“I had a pretty bleak childhood in many ways. I grew up in a big family. I think I was very lonely even though there were a lot of kids around. My father was very abusive, and that was hard for me. School was incredibly boring, but I felt safe there, so it was okay. As soon as I could, I moved away. I felt, if I don’t get away from here, I’m going to die. There was a really strong sense of spiritual death-so lonely, nobody with the same kind of values. But it taught me a lot about programming and how the brain works, and how important it is to overcome our past experiences to a degree.
“I deal with my emotions intellectually, but I do deal with them. For three years I’ve been in hormonal turmoil-being pregnant, nursing, and then starting with hot flashes and what not. I’ve been told that with me, what you see is what you get. If I’m upset you can see it all over my face. If I’m sad or touched, I just cry. When I’m happy, it’s just right there. I don’t repress things very well.
“I don’t see how people survive without a sense of humor. I can’t see any reason to at least not continually take anything in this world seriously. Laughing, I think, frees our energy to move forward and to
not be limited by this physical plane. The quality that made me just certain that my marriage would work was that my husband could make me laugh and just have a sense of humor regardless of whatever might be happening. We can pretty much get a chuckle out of almost anything. That was incredibly important to me. And it’s helped me often. (chuckle)
“Oh, I love cherries. I could eat cherries all day and all night. And I wish I could!”
WRAPPING IT UP
Some years ago, I was fortunate to spend a vacation secluding at a friend’s oceanside cabin. The rustic stonework and wood and the absence of electricity and phone all contributed to the perfect hideaway that I had been craving. The only flaw was my growing attitude of attachment to the place. My lesson was to learn that if we find joy within ourselves, we needn’t look for it elsewhere.
I would soon be leaving, I thought, and my good cheer became tinged with gloom. With great reluctance, I packed up and prepared to leave. And then came the hitch-my car wouldn’t start. I was stranded in a prison that only moments before had seemed a paradise! Clearly, the cabin had not changed. I had simply entered the negative Cherry state.
The moral of this story is that circumstances are always neutral. This truth was known to Benjamin Franklin who wisely said of material possessions, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.”
The message of Cherry, then, is about having a more lighthearted, less heavy attitude toward life. Life is what we make of it. And herein lies the greatest hope. We have heard the saying that one man’s tea is another man’s poison. The drink in question either delights or destroys us according to our own perception of it, not the actual contents. Cherry, in its unique, light-hearted way, helps us with that decision. “What, me mope? Nope!” is this essence’s motto.
|CHERRY||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Blackberry||for negativity due to a critical nature rather than moods||for pure happiness|
|Grape||for the ability to “see the larger reality” with equanimity||for a playful, loving nature; finding fulfillment within ourselves|
|Orange||for deep-rooted depresion and an inability to lift oneself out of it||for an energetic understanding that joy on all levels is our true nature|
|Raspberry||for kindheartedness in relation to others and not only oneself||to balance lightness with depth of insight and empathy|
|Spinach||for lightheartedness born of trust and the simple nature of a child||to awaken our developmentally nourished childlike spirit|
Spend time with children Try to understand their reality through shared activities.
Nip moods in the bud. If you can’t change them immediately, change your environment. Go out for a walk, a meal or a movie.
Read fairy tales or stories of heroes and heroines to children.
Sing, dance or be a little bit silly.
Whistle, or learn to.
Sit back and close your eyes. When you open them, imagine yourself sitting in the middle of a cherry tree orchard, right in the middle of the biggest tree that is ripe with cherries. Still young enough to count your age on the fingers of one hand, you study your tiny, cherry-stained appendages.
Yes, you snuck away again to have your fill of the sweet fruit-and who could blame you? Without anyone having to say anything, you know you are eating the light-hearted playfulness of the cherries-and that is what makes them so sweet.
A gentle breeze roves through the orchard, filling your nostrils with the flowery scent. A maverick cloud sneaks across the sky, as afraid to be caught as you are, doing something it was told not to do. Surrounded by branches dripping cherry clusters and so many feet above the ground, life seems just a touch unreal. From this height, it is easy to be detached-and from this sense of detachment a pleasant cheerfulness, like the scent of sweet cherries, wafts upward to the treetops.
Into this gentle breeze, let your cares dissolve. Watch all your worries and moods fly away. And let that very sweet, soft joy become a twinkle in your eye.