By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
The Second Step of the Faremouth Method is “Ask Better Questions.”
Lately, I’ve been asking myself lots of questions as I came across a quote recently by Aristotle that really spoke to me:
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
In these recent times, I’ve been asking myself how can we seek the light in perhaps the dark moments we are all experiencing during these uncertain times. Then I thought of Dandelions.
Dandelions, also known as Chicory, are masters of survival. They can take root in places that seem a little short of miraculous and I believe we all can do that, too. We can survive the most difficult situations as our own masters of survival.
As a Recruiter in the midst of a pandemic, what are the possible lessons that Dandelions could possibly impart that would be beneficial to help people deal with these tough times? I know we are all wanting to “make a wish” that Covid-19 would be over and we could resume life as normal. Dandelions do have a legend that relates to blowing on the dried flowers and thinking about dreams coming true as the seeds blow in the air, sending our hopes in all directions. I believe there are more lessons we can glean from our friend the Dandelion and I thank my sweet Grandmother, Mimi, for sharing her wisdom with me when I was a child.
I am reminded of one hot summer day sitting on the front porch with Mimi and having a flashback to the conversation we had. My grandmother lived next door in my childhood and we spent much time together. As I try to settle into the whole social distancing restrictions, I find myself recalling the many lessons I learned from her. Things I resisted as a young girl. Habits I adopted as I grew into adulthood and ways of being that I am just now coming to understand from her wisdom.
The words “strong constitution” or the popular term we hear so much about these days, “strong mindset,” describes my grandmother. She had a strong mind of her own and taught me many things. As we looked out over the lawn I told her that I was noticing all the Dandelions I saw. She immediately informed me that Dandelions, or Chicottia as she called them in her Italian slang, were quite possibly the most successful plants that exist, masters of survival worldwide.
She continued to tell me that in current times they are the most unpopular plant in the neighborhood and considered a weed but it wasn’t always that way. In earlier times, the golden blossoms with lion-toothed leaves were praised as a bounty of food, medicine, and magic.
As a food, I remember her picking the Chicottia with a long paring knife, washing them, and eating them like salad. She told me the vitamins in them were unique and if you ate them often it would clean out your liver and keep you healthy. In her youth Mimi always wanted to be a nurse to explore her healing potential and also had a big garden in her backyard, planting what would nurture her body, eating what came out of her nutritious garden. She was never in the hospital and never had any serious illness, living to the ripe age of almost 90, and died in her sleep. Besides her diet of healthy food for her physical body, she had a heart of gold and was all about love and helping others that enhanced her mental and spiritual body as well.
Let’s look at some of the magical, meaningful lessons I learned from Dandelions and my Grandmother, and how those lessons might be applied during these challenging times:
1. Dandelions are masters of survival. How can we make a determined effort to master our own survival through this pandemic? Stay strong, focused, and ready to become the best version of ourselves we could ever imagine. How can we plan to survive this experience and come out on the other side much more enriched with an expansive attitude and mindset?
2. Dandelions are more nutritious than most of the vegetables available. Maybe we could try an herbal tea on occasion to keep our immune system strong. Eating the right food with better nutrition for our physical and mental bodies is so important especially during these times for becoming our best self.
3. Dandelions are world-famous for their beauty. Dandelions were a common and beloved garden flower in Europe and the subject of many poems. How can we find beauty in what might be looked upon as the “weeds” in our life? How can we take working from home and sheltering in place as a way of cultivating our own inner beauty? By investing in online classes to enrich our mind, soul, and heart to make a contribution to the greater good.
4. Things change. Just like the view of Dandelions over the centuries being considered a lovely flower and then a weed, so many things we see as weeds might turn into beautiful flowerlike qualities from the seeds we are plating at this time.
5. Sitting on the “Virtual Porch” of life. We all sit on our own virtual porch of life and view the “dandelions” in our own life turning into a form of beauty from the preparation we are doing now. That “virtual porch” might be Zoom or another online platform that gives us the chance to change something that we are all experiencing into some form of wisdom, growth, and personal development.
6. Be Creative with your resources. How can you make the most of your resources right now? Can you be more conservative with your available resources to not feel the pinch so much in the future? Can you use what you have in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to make an amazing meal? Could you share a recipe everyone loves or share a good book you have read?
7. Find joy in the moment. Appreciate your relationships. What can you do right now to find your own joy? Perhaps call that old friend you haven’t talked to in a while and check on them? Can you pull out those old love letters and read them one more time? Can you tell your son or daughter how proud you are for the person they have become and how they’ve helped you with a special project, taking time away from their own endeavors?
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light,” Aristotle said. Let the lessons and strength of the Dandelion and my wise sweet Grandmother allow you to focus on your own inner light. Don’t forget to make the WISH of the Dandelion lore as you are using your strength and hard work in your quest for making that wish become real.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.