By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
Have you ever reflected on how a legend from the past may have significant meaning for the present and future? That occurred to me when I thought about Palm Sunday and the symbolic meaning of palm trees.
Palm trees are an ancient, prehistoric plant and they have held meaning in many different spiritual and religious traditions for thousands of years, including Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Associated most often with tropical regions, the palm tree has been linked symbolically with fertility rituals, protection rituals and celebrations of military victories.
I also believe in the Bible there is reference to how the people of Jerusalem used the leaves of palm trees to pave the way for Jesus’ triumphant entry to the city the week before his death and resurrection. And in my own memory I recall the enjoyable trips to Florida to get away from the harsh winters of the Detroit area during my college years and beyond. During those trips I took during Spring Break and holidays, I recall the lush large palm trees swaying on either side of the road as I made my way to my parent’s condo for rest and relaxation and time with family. I also recall watching my Dad show my young son how to bait the hook and fish in a nearby pond and the large palm trees blowing in the wind surrounding it.
Palm trees also symbolize renewal, rebirth and new growth. They are a perfect reminder of how we all can have our own new growth after a time when we have dealt with a challenging season in our personal and professional lives. Let’s see how we can apply the symbolism of the palm tree to the New Work World and be reminded of how the cycles of this beautiful tree can give us hope and inspiration to thrive in the midst of uncertainty in our personal and professional arenas going forward.
1. Standing Tall in the Midst of Change
Palm trees grow tall, rising towards the heavens. They often do not wither and fall during inclement weather and harsh winds. How can we apply that same mindset to the New Work World? When our employment arena is going through an upheaval or reorganization, shortages of talent, different generational mindsets, etc., how can we stand tall and not waiver from all the demands and uncertainty that surround us during these transitory times?
2. Unwavering Flexibility
Palm trees are extremely flexible and although they may bend in the wind, it takes a huge amount of wind to break one. How can this symbolism be applied to our own adaptability and determination to persist even when faced with the weight of unprecedented challenges and changes that seem to be unending?
3. Bearing Abundant Fruit
The fruit from the palm tree is tasty and can be nutritious even when no other food is available during challenging times. How can we use the metaphorical foods of the soul like kindness, understanding and patience to see ourselves and others through uncertain times instead of only focusing on the difficulty of situations? How could a changed mindset of looking at the situation through a more positive lens help us going forward?
Just like Palm trees surround many ponds, lakes and oceans, how can we be the fishermen of life and cast our rod into a pond or sea of hope to catch a renewal of spirit that will give us a new attitude of positivity and expansive growth?
The next time you see a Palm tree, be reminded of its long history and its symbolism. Take encouragement from this iconic and ancient plant and take advantage of the lessons it can teach us, especially those that carry us through changing and challenging times. Be reminded to Stand Tall in the Midst of Change, have Unwavering Flexibility, Bear Abundant Fruit, and Fish in a New Pond of Hope. Using these concepts should allow you to have a more positive experience in the New Work World and Beyond!
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.