By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
The other day I received a package in the mail from a dear friend. It contained a plaque, a belated birthday gift. She said she sent it because I so often refer to the images on the plaque and the symbolism associated with them. It displayed two large dragonflies and one big dandelion, the type you make a wish with. And it said:
ACCEPT what is
LET GO of what was
HAVE FAITH in what will be
The quote is from author Sonia Ricotti, who is a leader in personal transformation and known as the “bounce back” expert. I reflected on situations in my life in which dragonflies symbolized transformation or bouncing back, and conversations I had with my maternal grandmother. We sat on the front porch, and she gave me a mini lesson on how dandelions not only symbolize making a wish but also change or new viewpoints. I clearly remember her telling me that dandelions were not always looked upon only as weeds — that many cultures view them as nutritious greens that could offer important vitamins and helped clean out our liver. And then the word we hear so much these days, “mindset,” hit me in the face. Isn’t so much of what happens to us within our control depending on how we process it?
This lovely plaque really grabbed me, and I decided to hang it where I would pass by every day as I come home from work and be reminded of its powerful messages.
Let’s take a look at how this quote might be a comfort in how we deal with change and moving forward.
ACCEPT WHAT IS
Michael J. Fox is credited with saying: “Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” That resonates with me because when I lost my husband suddenly to a heart ailment, due to a congenital defect and exacerbated by stress, when he was just 47, I tried hard to find a way through it. At the time I had two small sons, three businesses and 17 employees. But I took what happened and found a way through it.
I wrote a book from the lessons I learned from his horrific experience to help others to try to avoid a similar fate. To date, this book, “Revolutionary Recruiting,” which helps people marry their passion and purpose in work and in their lives, has won many awards, received many five-star ratings and allowed me to find a way through my major challenge. It also taught me that writing can be a way to process our grief and open up other creative avenues that may have been repressed or gone untapped. Besides helping me heal, the greatest reward I got from writing was feeling that I was putting something in the marketplace. My book was a way through my very sad experience that also helped — and still helps — others.
LET GO OF WHAT WAS
Lao Tzu is credited with saying: “The world belongs to those who let go.” It’s normal to try to hold on to something we are used to, something we have had in our lives for many years. That can be a marriage, a job, a lifestyle, a friendship, a location. But there comes a time when we need to let go of what was to move to a better place. Many years ago I had a very good job with a “Big Three” automaker. I was on a fast track, had been with the company five years and promoted five times. I had been granted a special assignment that allowed me to have breakfast in the penthouse with the CEO of the company. But I truly believed I was in the wrong job.
My boss was very supportive and told me he would give me a six-month leave of absence to try to live my dream and, if it didn’t work out, I could have my job back. Still, it was a big risk. My father was furious and didn’t talk to me for a long, long time after I made my move to a totally different state. But I’ve never been sorry that I “let go of what was” because in so doing, I found a job I love, a climate where I don’t have to shovel snow and drive on icy roads, and a way of being that is in alignment with who I am and what I value. And it makes me smile to remember overhearing my dad brag about his brave daughter who took a big chance and landed on her feet!
HAVE FAITH IN WHAT WILL BE
Mahatma Gandhi is credited with saying: “The future depends on what we do in the present.” As a career consultant, I believe that to have faith in what will be, we have to prepare now. That can be in regard to our professional or personal lives. If we have lost a job or see the writing on the wall that there is no progression available where we currently are, what are we doing now to prepare for the next steps? Are we taking online classes, going back to school, getting more up to speed with the digital world? If we are in relationships that are no longer fulfilling, in social situations that we feel stagnant, what are we doing to move to a better place in our future? Complaining about our unhappiness won’t solve the problem. To truly have faith in what will be to allow us to move to a better place, we sometimes have to go through uncomfortable changes. And if we have to seek the services of a personal or professional coach to allow us to move to a better place, isn’t the time or money invested worth the positive result?
I am truly grateful to my dear friend for finding this wonderful plaque for me, and I’m so blessed to have her as my friend for so many years. If you find yourself in a challenging situation, do your own self-reflection by accepting what is, letting go of what was and having faith in what will be. Remember the dragonfly represents transformation and bouncing back. Think of the dandelion when making your own wish and getting rid of the weeds in your garden of life. Evaluate where you are in your life and make changes that allow you to bask in the bright rays of success and happiness that we are all so deserving of in our personal and professional lives.
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.