The Protea Flower

Protea Coaching got its name from the protea, a flower that grows primarily in South Africa, Australia, and South America The protea is remarkable for its adaptability and resilience–two qualities that often flourish in people through coaching.

The flower grows in an amazingly wide variety of forms, which is why it was named after the Greek god Proteus, who had the ability to change his shape and form as he saw fit. The adjective “protean” means versatile, changeable, adaptable. The protea is a perfect symbol for what we can strive to be in a challenging, changing world. Nothing and no one around us remain stagnant, and neither can we if hope to achieve balance and happiness. Doing so is a process and not a destination, but this should not discourage us from seeking balance and happiness. Once we are “there” (wherever we want to be), we mindfully appreciate our gifts and blessings while adapting and adjusting to the constant inconstancy of life.

The King Protea, which is the largest flower in the protea family, has adapted to thrive in a very harsh environment where summers are hot and dry while winters are equally cold and wet. Not only does the King Protea thrive, but it even lives through fires–that’s right, fires. The secret? King Proteas have very long, thick underground stems that hold dormant buds below the soil surface, and these buds shoot new stems up to the light and air after the landscape has been ravaged. And far from struggling in the newly barren landscape, the new King Proteas literally bloom and blossom with vigor, making the most of an open field, painting the scorched earth with color, and inviting bees and birds with its enormous openness and accessibility, sharing life and encouraging more growth. The King Protea doesn’t horde its nectar bracing for the next fire, which will inevitably come. It simply lives and shares, confident that its roots go deep enough to withstand whatever comes its way.