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If I were a flower, I would be a sunflower.

I have always loved sunflowers. They are large and bright and face the sun. This weekend the sunflower reached out to me in several ways to let me know I was on the right path.

The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Like many of you, I watch the news of the war in Ukraine and get sad and anxious. How can I help the people who are losing lives, homes and country? Unfortunately, Americans are now becoming apathetic from the daily bombardment of bad news in Ukraine. It is too much in a world already coming out of a pandemic. I learned a long time ago as a conservationist that an individual can just do the little things. Do what you can do with what you have. So, I hosted a supper club as part of #cookforukraine and raised funds to donate to World Central Kitchen ( It was a wonderful evening not just about donations, but about sharing a meal and conversation with a variety of people. We ate borscht, holubtsi, and pampushky sitting together at a table set with vases of sunflowers. Humans around the world are having a tough time now and it is more important than ever for our mental health to engage with others and to treat all with kindness.

The day after the supper club I went to the Van Gogh Immersive exhibit here in New Orleans.

Van Gogh wanted to be known as the painter of sunflowers. Walking through this modern immersive exhibit Van Gogh spoke to me through his art, colors and quotes. His quotes and sunflowers have a lot to do with personal health and wellness.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

Vincent Van Gogh

How many of you are doing what you really love? Do you want to be a better version of yourself? Is it time for you to reexamine where you are in life? This quote is inspirational to me because I have many passions and when I lost my way for a brief while I paused, then looked at what I love in this life. I set new goals for my future. Perhaps it's time for you to look at the things you love and then set goals to "accomplish much".

Finally, the sunflower is more than just a pretty thing. It provides food and healthy oils high in Vitamin A and D. They can also be used to remove toxins from the soil. (They were used by some here in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.) I have sunflower oil on my regular grocery list now and will buy the flowers when I can. I am also currently clearing a spot to raise my "spirit flower" to show unity with Ukraine and a hope for peace.

Think about what you really love and the goals you need to set to be there for who you love. I can help coach you on your journey of personal wellness. Maybe even help you pick a spirit flower....

One final quote from the sunflower artist-

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Vincent Van Gogh

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