Yesterday, I was presented with a concept that I had never thought about—someone told me that my “branding” around the lotus flower has Buddhist overtones. To say I was shocked is an understatement! That had never crossed my mind, and just the thought of projecting a belief contrary to my deep Christian faith sent me seeking wise counsel, thinking deeply about my business and praying.
When I had the glimmer of an idea for a website for women over 50 in 2009 (before my focus shifted to life purpose coaching), I spent many hours trying to come up with just the right words for a title. Being a sucker for alliteration, I wanted something that “flowed” with the word fifty. Of course, “fabulous” first came to mind, but it is so over-used, and is more something you are instead of an active word. When I considered the word “flourish,” I thought it was the perfect picture of what I wanted to convey. Flourish is something you do, it is an active word that symbolizes vitality, energy, joy and success. I had my word…now it was time to chose a logo.
I’m not sure what led me to the lotus flower, but I have always loved its beauty. When I read about how it grows, I knew it was a perfect match for the flourishing woman. Today, I found a description that says exactly what my heart and mind were thinking back then. It is from the blog “God as a Gardener,” by Carolyn Adams Roth. This is an excerpt from her blog post “Job and the Lotus Plant.”
Job was a non-Jewish man who worshipped God. He was upright in his conduct and dealings with others (Job 1: 1- 5). ……We read Job’s struggle to understand his losses while still maintaining his faith in God. Finally, God becomes involved in a conversation with Job (Job chapters 38 – 41). God identifies himself as the creator of all things and as such Job should be able to trust God’s wisdom, love, and power.
Most eastern cultures and religions identify some sort of symbolism with the lotus plant, e.g., the lotus represents creative power, purity, faithfulness, divine birth, and vitality. Vitality is the ability to live, grow, and develop. Often vitality is associated with the power to endure and survive. In the dry season in Jordan, water in ponds and streams are low and lotus seeds and roots remain dormant in the mud or cracked earth. With the coming of the rains, lotus seeds and roots grow from the mud. Leaf and flower buds emerge over the top of the water and unfold into the visible beauty of the lotus leaf and blossom.
Like the lotus plant, Job’s dialogues demonstrate vitality – persistent life, endurance, and growth in extreme adversity.
Like the beautiful lotus plant and like Job, we have the opportunity to grow into more vital Christians when we encounter unfavorable and difficulty situations. When we encounter these situation, the way to become a more alive Christian is not to “curse God and die” (Job 2: 9), but to cling even tighter to the giver and sustainer of our lives. When we experience desolation and despair, we need to spend time in prayer and read God’s Word. Just like God judged the attitude of Jobs heart and spoke directly to Job’s situation, so does the Bible speak directly to Christians. God tells us in Hebrews 4: 12 – 13: The word of the Lord is living and active. The word of the Lord judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight (NIV, 2002, p. 1902). If we open our hearts to God through prayer and Bible reading, God gives us insight into our circumstance that we can use to live and grow. God provides clear perception that we can use to move beyond our present situation to a new vitality.
In almost six years of using the lotus flower in my branding, I have never had anyone question my religious beliefs. And although this did get me a bit off-track in my daily routine, this person did cause me to realize that I must be very clear about who MY God is. There are many other “gods” in the world today, and I never want to be vague about being a Christ follower above all else.
My God is an awesome God, and He has “downloaded’ my coaching programs right in to my brain to use in my coaching practice. He has blessed me with a passion for helping women find purpose in life through the knowledge He has give me. I am blessed to share what He wants women to know about loving who they are, not succumbing to perfectionism, self-doubt or fear, so they can flourish in midlife and beyond. Countless times, I have had women refer to my career as a ministry, and for that I am very proud.
So if there has ever been any question in your mind about where my faith lies, let me be perfectly clear: I am a Christ-follower, saved by His death and resurrection for a life that is much better than I deserve. He guides me every day, and He has given me the wisdom, confidence and knowledge I need to impact the lives of women around the world. I am blessed beyond measure, and owe it all to Him!