Embracing the Orchid: Loving Your True Self



“Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care.

So holds a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success.

With a bad environment, orchid children can end up depressed, drug-addicted or in jail—but with the right environment, they can grow up to be society’s most creative, successful and happy people.”

—from The Science of Success by David Dobbs


“Y’don’t need to fix Col”

The words of my friend smacked me in the face. It had never dawned on me until that exact moment. This was what I’d been trying to do my entire life: Fix Col.

I suppose I should’a known. One look at my living room bookshelf tells the tale … It’s self-help central down there!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a fan of personal growth and healing. But there’s a big difference between learning/growth/transformation … and trying to fix a broken Col.

The Orchid Theory

Years ago, my clientfriend Elyse shared with me something called The Orchid Theory. It goes a little bit like this:

There are certain genes inside of us that can make us particularly prone to anxiety or depression or things like ADD. Certain genes are linked to those experiences. But … people who have these genes, given the right environment, are likely to become the most outstanding, extraordinary elements of our society.

The idea is that there are lots ‘n lots of dandelions in the world … people who are born with very hardy genes … who will sprout wherever they’re planted, even between the cracks of a sidewalk. They are these resilient souls.

Then there are these highly sensitive orchids. They really need to be nurtured and cared for. But when you take good care of an orchid and provide it with the optimal environment, the difference in beauty between an orchid and a dandelion cannot be questioned.

Under the right circumstances, orchids flourish

A parent was told, “Your children do not have ADD but they are highly sensitive indigo children. You and I have a pencil-thin beam of download, of energy coming in, and your youngest son has one that is like six inches in diameter. He is receiving energy at such a high degree. He is so incredibly sensitive that you’ll want to help him ground that in any way that you can. Because his sensitivity marks him as someone who has a tremendous intent to create and to generate powerfully during his time here.”

Elyse told me, “I want you to hold that vision for yourself. I want you to say …

  • not, “This is bad, I should be flourishing” but
    “I am an orchid. What do I need?” 
  • not “What kind of clearing must I do to get rid of the ikky” but
    “If I had a child in front of me who was not flourishing at the moment, what would I do to help her come back to her highest connection?”
  • not to push away her feelings of disconnection because that’s like trying to control and you can just do and do and do and do and do … but
    “What can I do to soothe and to nurture and to support and to pamper this sensitive and precious being?”

And then she said, “So just be the orchid that you were meant to be. I know that you are an orchid— the work that you created for me is the work of an incredibly gifted soul.”

I took in something so very powerful from this. It’s a tiny tweak that brings huge gifts. And I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed this before but hey, if it’s worth noticing once, it’s worth noticing again. This time really taking it in.

Push vs flow

When I push to fix something inside, the thing that I’m attempting to change yells, “Hey now, that hurts!” and tends to push back. It sorta refuses to be bullied around. I need to pay attention to that push-back energy because it’s a sure sign I’m goin’ down the wrong path.

This can even happen with perfectly good intentions, like doing a process that will in the end bring healing and restoration. When I think of doing something like this and I feel a push-back, I’ll now want to stop and look around. What feels more like a fit right now? Maybe do the process later, when it feels more fluid.

When I’m gentle and loving and work with my natural flow of energy … Well, those are the times when I thrive. Things work and transformation happens and all sorts of beauty is created, no pushing necessary.


“When I see you, I see a being who’s loved just because. I see a being who is powerfully connected to spirit, whose life is a living testimony to the power of spirit and the wonderful adventures and miracles that can unfold when an individual allows spirit to flow through them freely and fully.

You are not broken. You don’t need fixing. Everything that you’ve been trying to get rid of is actually working in your favor, to bring you into more. Everything that you’ve been diligently trying to change is the very stuff that you need to facilitate your greater evolution and the evolution of every other person alive on the planet today.

You’ll either move into the fullness of who you are or you’ll begin to experience everything that’s in the way of that. And when I mean, ‘in the way of that’ I mean everything that you’ve repressed or suppressed within. Everything that you’ve judged about you. Everything that you’ve tried to change about you. Everything that you’ve tried to fix and heal about yourself.

You see, because it’s only ever through the embracing of who we are that true freedom can be found. It’s only through the embracing of who we are that true authentic power can begin to emanate.”

Panache Desai 



  1. Jeannine Little says:

    I read this and it touched me right in my heart. I can see myself in you. I believe that is where the oneness is. We are all parts of the whole. I came into this world as an orchid yet I know that I have the tenacity to be like the dandilion.
    I also resonate with the truth in Panache’s words. I love this journey I am on and where it is leading me. THANK YOU!

  2. How perfect, Jeannine! Thank you for sharing your experience of this … Envisioning / knowing we’re together in it as one, I feel nourished, supported, strong and radiant.

    Where will this journey lead us? And … what fun! 🙂


  3. Good!

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