Nature has it all figured out. Plant and animal communities thrive when there is more diversity. Bio-diversity is the marker for health in nature. The more diverse communities/ecosystems have higher productivity, increased chance of survival, and protection against disease and natural disasters. You may remember the idea of “survival of the fittest” from high school science class. New research highlights the fact that there is less competition going on and more of an “ecological niche.” Ecological niche describes how different plants and animals can thrive in the same environment by selecting resources best suited for their species. Each species finding their niche resources promotes a more diverse and healthy community.
The same has been shown for diversity in the workplace. Studies show cultural diversity in the workplace has numerous benefits such as:
- Increased productivity
- Improved creativity
- Increased profits
- Improved employee engagement
- Reduced employee turnover
- Improved company reputation
- Wider range of skills
- Improves cultural insights
- According to an article, innovation companies are worth about $44 million more on average when women hold top leadership positions.
- Global companies with at least one woman on the board have higher average returns, lower debt, and better average growth, according to a study of more than 2,000 global companies.
- Wall Street traders with ethnically diverse groups became 21 percent more accurate over time while ethnically similar groups became 33 percent less accurate over time, according to an article.
So why do humans struggle so much embracing diversity?
Somehow we have been taught that same is “good” and “different” is bad. The focus in most cultures seem to be on how to fit in rather than developing your own individuality. The term “basic girl” is a great example of teens and tweens trying to fit what a “basic girl” looks like. A basic girl is described in urban dictionary: “She is your run of the mill white girl that has no identity of her own. Basic girls has no redeeming unique qualities… Whatever is popular, she is into it whether she likes it or not personally.”
I’m sure you’ve felt the need to fit in to be accepted within a community. Being different makes you feel isolated and not understood. Overall you feel bad about yourself and think that something is wrong with you. I work with many patients who struggle with being different. Being different might show up in how they look, think, sexual orientation, religious or political views, heightened sensitivities to food or emotions, etc. Different is often viewed as something other than what it “should” be.
Embracing your own diversity
I think everyone has something about them they don’t like. Most of the time what they don’t like is different from the cultural norm. Thinking something about you is bad because it is different creates tension within yourself. Disliking certain parts of yourself can quickly turn into hating parts of yourself. How can you embrace diversity in the world if you can’t embrace it within yourself?
I encourage you to tap into the wisdom of nature to value your differences and see them as strengths. Accepting your uniqueness and individuality promotes internal healing. “Different” is now something that doesn’t trigger your own issues. You can connect to compassion and acceptance about someone else’s uniqueness. Your internal healing can flow out into your daily interactions with others.
Once you can value the diversity within yourself, you are free to see the value of diversity in others. Your uniqueness becomes something you want to share with others. Your voice matters! Just like the diversity in an ecosystem, sharing your viewpoint is educational and promotes healthy discussion. There are many different ways to express your passion about a cause. Read more
Plant Essences for Embracing Diversity
The plant essences listed below focus on helping you embrace diversity within yourself and your community. See what plant essence speaks to you.
Desert Willow: Stand up strong! Own your individuality! See how valuing your individuality strengthens yourself and your community. Desert Willow passionately speaks about the strength of a community dependent on how diversity. See the power of diversity within the plant community and apply the same to human communities. Desert Willow encourages communities to supports each person to be their own unique full self. The vitality of the community depends on it. Find balanced living within the greater framework of all that interconnects community and environment. Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Golden dyssodia: Feel the spirit of companionship. Golden dyssodia helps to bring the soul into the body “mattering” and that it is safe and your birthright to do so. As you become embodied, feel the strength that arises from the balance of body and mind. It releases chronic stress in the body related to guarding and posturing from unconscious triggers. Golden dyssodia gently brings these forward to heal and release at the right time. Understand the cycle of healing: remembering, honoring the experience, self forgiveness, and letting go. All a repeating cycle. It helps to release learned beliefs that do not match your own: generational, family, and other past teachings. It helps you feel a sense of self-worth and that you matter. Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Dotted blazing star: Find the freedom to live life in open expression, unchained from the past. I strengthen the heart to connect you to your strength and to know what it is like to live life from your heart. See things through the eyes of your heart and soul. Be yourself in all the different ways you are unique. Be confident in who you are. Own it. Celebrate it. Love every part of yourself especially the parts you do not show to others. See how you can appreciate the uniqueness of others. Realize that conformity is fear and owning your individuality leads to inner harmony. Spread happiness and cheer because you express your individuality. Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
African mustard: What is real? What is imagined? What thoughts, feelings, and beliefs do I transfer to others or take on as my own? What is you? What is me? What do I tell myself to make it through the day? What truths can I not see? What are the lies that I believe? My gift is in taking you to the in-between places of consciousness to see what is real and what is not real in the world within your head. Let the soul prioritize. Let the world be seen through the eyes of your soul. Break free from the bonds that keep you from knowing who you really are. Break free from realities that have been handed to you by your ancestors. Break free from realities crafted by the media, politicians, government, schools, churches, and synagogues. I only ask that you see life through the eyes of your soul. Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Blue Palo Verde: Blue Palo Verde helps you clear out all the stress, emotions, and past baggage you carry around. It sweeps through the body in a circular way clearing all the spaces in the body down to the cellular level. It feels like a breeze, the wind blowing through the body continuing to circle and sweep through an area until it is clear, pushing what is cleared out of the body.
It is a continual process until each area is completely cleared. It clears out what is your own or others’, carrying it all away be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. It creates and holds space for you to emerge in a clearer way after all the space in the body is swept clear. The calm after the storm, the rebuilding: opportunity and choices to do it differently. To start fresh and rethink old patterns with a clean slate going forward. It helps release other peoples emotions, memories, and thoughts. Especially helpful for empathic people who do not know they are carrying other people’s stuff. “I offer support that things can change, do change, and will change over time through releasing the old to make space for the new.” Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Parry’s bellflower: Parry’s Bellflower helps you let go of feeling over-responsible for everyone and everything. Let go of trying to change other people. Accept and trust the flow of life and the flow of the divine in your daily life. See how much easier life gets when you release over-responsibility, judgment, and striving, especially in spiritual matters. Parry’s bellflower works on releasing patterns of judgment, over-responsibility, and striving for something unattainable for self and others. Stop judging and not accepting others or yourself. “See that all are responsible for themselves. Honor each person by seeing their beingness and know it is enough.” Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
Gooseberry Globemallow: Gooseberry Globemallow connects you to your inner wisdom. Remember all the healing that has happened and appreciate your current situation. Look how far you have come. Overcome generational/ancestral patterns because of life experience. Gooseberry Globemallow helps you see the bigger picture by looking at life through soft eyes. Connect to the lullaby of the divine feminine cradling, soothing, transfixing you to that peaceful state knowing everything is taken care of. Nothing more than BEING is required of you. Gooseberry globemallow is deeply peaceful and relaxing to the nervous system. “I will take you to the center of your knowing. Know that you are loved. Connect with your voice and speak your truth to the world and know when to be silent and to honor the instinct within.” Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the wisdom in nature: messages from the plant kingdom)
White Columbine: White Columbine helps you see the beauty within yourself. See how beautiful you are inside and out. See each person as beautiful. Honor each person’s worth, their beingness. White Columbine instills this belief so deeply that it can take root in the body. Free yourself from outside sources telling you what is beautiful. Beauty is something inherent within each person shining out when they are free to express themselves. White Columbine supports positive group dynamics by helping you value yourself and others. It supports the community by honoring each person, promoting non-judgment and unconditional support for everyone. It helps you release judgment and connect to unconditional love for yourself and others. Read more (Excerpt from Honoring the Wisdom In nature: messages from the plant kingdom)