By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
Every Saturday morning I get up early to go to the Farmer’s Market near my house. There is always a wide variety of local fresh vegetables as well as other interesting foods, from near and far-away places. Last Saturday I happened upon one booth that sells delicious Indian foods and discovered a curious bag featuring a beautiful Lotus flower design. It was a bag of curious but delicious Lotus Puffs, made with Lotus seeds from India. I immediately bought them and then set out on a mission to research the Lotus flower.
Tales and legends of the Lotus Flower appear throughout history, as stories of growth and transformation, especially in many yoga traditions.
I remember my grandmother who lived next door to me when I was growing up, and how she always took such careful care of the flowers in her backyard garden. She always taught me that there is a wealth of wisdom to be found in the beauty Mother Nature offer to us. Each flower has a special meaning: a red rose makes us think of deep, romantic love; the sunflower symbolizes long life and abundance; the magnolia, famous flower of the south, not only has one of the sweetest, most poignant fragrances, but it stands for perseverance and determination.
The lotus, however, has often been referred to as the beautiful survivor. The lotus pushes its way through the mud, rising toward the sun’s light. As the lotus bud first emerges at the surface of the water and basks in the sunlight, the first petal opens. (Deana Vassar, Awakenings Health, 2021) This beautiful flower comes to life in the most dire of environments.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist spiritual leader who passed away not long ago said, “No mud, no lotus.” He wrote: “Without suffering through the mud, you cannot find the happiness of the lotus. Without grit, there is no pearl” He also wrote that “When we know how to suffer, we suffer less.”
As an Executive Recruiter, rebounding from the last few years, I have seen so many of us pushing our way through the metaphorical mud. We are all trying to rise toward the sun’s light to have the petals of our life and career open fully.
Let’s take a look at some of the Lessons the Lotus flower can teach us in the New Work World, as we move forward.
Reflect So You Can Rebound
I think the widely acclaimed “great resignation” is proof that the last few years have forced us to all reflect on what it is that we want in our work world. In my over thirty years of doing this job, I have never seen so many people leave their areas of employment to seek more fulfillment and have their own petals of growth expand. Just like the petals of the Lotus flower blooming up from the murky, muddy waters, we too have been able to use our own suffering or challenges to clarify what our paths could be going forward so we can bask in our own areas of sunlight.
Keep Your Head Above Water
Are you growing above the water line? Are you barely keeping your head above water? Are you sinking? What do you need to do to continue to grow? Are you considering online classes to expand your skillset to become more valuable to your current employer or for your future career plans, are you joining networking groups to form important alliances that can expand your relationship and knowledge base? Are you joining leadership groups like Toastmasters and Rotary to become your very best self? What steps are you doing to make sure your own petals of growth are the most beautiful they can be?
Find Your Own Path to Enlightenment
In yoga, besides “Lotus” being the name of a popular pose (Hatha yoga), the lotus flower is also considered a symbol of rebirth, self-realization and enlightenment. Born in dark, muddy waters, it transforms into an unexpectedly beautiful flower. It makes a powerful example of how beauty and strength can emerge from something undesirable. It shows us how can we all rise above from the muddy waters of the last few years and become our best selves and even more importantly, assist others on their own path to enlightenment in the New Work World.
Could you assist that new hire who is struggling with the new computer program and maybe work through your lunch hour with him or her or stay an hour later to assist them? Could you suggest to your boss that because the department is shorthanded right now you could come in early or stay late? How could you work together to meet important deadlines that will enhance the profitability of the company as well as facilitate your own goodwill with the leaders in the company?
I am so grateful that I went to the Farmer’s Market last Saturday morning and for the beautiful lessons my dear Grandmother Mimi taught me about the wisdom available to us from Mother Nature. I encourage you to become your own beautiful survivor of the muddy waters in your life. Just like the resilience and beauty of the Lotus, we can all overcome our obstacles and rise above the muddy waters and bloom. When you reflect to rebound, keep your head above water, and find your own path to enlightenment, your journey forward can lift you free of the mud and into the sun!
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.