I fell in love with the Cannonball Flower in Singapore. It has one of the most exotic, sensual flowers I’ve ever seen, and it’s fruits look like giant brown cannonballs hanging all along the trunk. As I collected the flower essence in the hot humid weather, the sounds of the jungle were so loud, allowing me to get a sense of what the island of Singapore must have been like 50 or so years ago.
The Cannonball Flower was originally native to Central and South America, but now grows all over the world in tropical places. The tree grows to over 100 feet high, with one tree flaunting as many as 1000 flowers all over the tree per day! Each tree bears 150 fruits, with each ‘cannonball’ taking up to a year to grow and being full of upwards of 500 seeds inside a blue-green flesh.
A member of the Brazil nut family, the fruits are edible, but stinky, so humans don’t eat them; rather they feed them to animals. In South America the tree is used medicinally for inflammation, pain, tumors, high blood pressure, colds, stomachaches, toothaches, skin issues and even malaria. Extracts from the tree have been shown to be effective against E.Coli and Staph bacteria.
The Cannonball flowering tree has cultural and religious significance in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Hindus believe the flowers look like Nagas (snake-like water protectors) and are therefore grown at Shiva temples. When the Cannonball tree was brought to a Sri Lanka botanical garden from Guyana in South America, it was confused with the Sal tree, the tree Queen Maya of Shakya held onto as she was giving birth to Siddhartha (who later became enlightened as the Buddha). For this reason the Cannonball is also known as a sacred tree among Buddhists.
All over Asia in general, the flowers are considered to be a symbol of wealth and abundance.
We’re human, and deep down inside every one of us is a little fearful of intense emotions within ourselves or others.
If you are attracted to the Cannonball Flower, you are (likely) human, just like as the rest of us! Deep down you may feel a little wary about getting into your vulnerably, or witnessing someone around you become vulnerable. We get nervous about emotions, especially those ones we fear might overcome us or make us feel like we’re losing control.
For this reason we might experience reluctance, tension or resistance around core wounding patterns within ourselves. If there is a deep dark part of us or skeletons in the closet, some kind of unresolved grief, anger or other intense emotion, it's possible we keep it buried. Or, more commonly, we don’t even realieze it exists.
If someone around us becomes vulnerable, we may fear getting wrapped up in a story or hooked into an emotional dynamic. Seeing other people in their vulnerabilities makes us face our own vulnerabilities. Seeing people experience intense emotional states connects us with our own unresolved wounds - and that can be scary.
Cannonball Flower elixir magnifies our ability to be vulnerable with ourselves and others. It allows us to be in situations where we fully surrender to ourselves and in the presence of another person. We can also see and appreciate another's ability to surrender. We let go of inhibitions and are able to hold a container of space in which whatever arises can be met with softness, love and acceptance. We can experience appreciation and affection.
If it is us suffering, we no longer feel that there is something terribly wrong with us. We allow the floodgates to open, relieving the pressure and tension of buried or unresolved wounding. If it is someone within our own sphere who is suffering, we no longer feel the need to 'solve the problem' or be their savior. Instead we can hold a certain space or energetic field, so the person feels like they are in an embrace, allowing them to simply transform on their own.
We are able to receive - and fully take to heart others’ efforts and gifts. Likewise we are able to give, and the giving is in the form of a being state. We are simply present with what is. We allow emotion, whatever form it may take, to be there. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable and we allow others to be vulnerable in our presence - without fear of losing oneself.
Magnifies: Attunement; surrender; intimacy
Dissolves:Fear of vulnerability; resistance to emotion; being closed
Love + flower petals,
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