Life Lessons From Mother Nature
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” - Alice Walker
She is always there... In the wind, rain, and snow... Her beauty beguiling, and wisdom profound. Right under your nose, there's art, joy, and kindness for the taking. When you attune to her presence, wonder is undeniable and positive energy ever-present. You don't need mysticism to believe in the awe-inspiring power of Mother Nature; her evidence is as palpable as the sun's warmth on your skin.
Before processed foods were invented, plant-based nutrition made up a large part of one's diet. Today, we're told by health experts to harken back to simplicity in food, and look to the earth for sustenance.
Along with nutrition, there's much to learn about life, by observing various aspects of nature.
The ocean current, a whooshing breeze... nature is in constant whirling motion. Stagnancy is an illusion. Water that appears still, gently moves with the flow of air; from massive to microscopic, sea creatures coexist. Just as nature is always evolving, you are too. So to hold tight to the familiar and resist change, is doing yourself a disservice. Trust in your inner resolve… Change is more than inevitable, it’s a gift sometimes disguised as fear. By looking at newness with a beginner’s mind and curiosity, you can move into unfamiliar terrain and allow yourself the freedom to explore. This causes an energetic shift… Eventually, taking even larger leaps will become natural.
Who doesn't struggle with impatience? Once you want something, it's common to imagine the outcome... Excited by these possibilities, you expect it to materialize quickly. And it can be frustrating when results don't happen fast. Although, usually that isn't nature's way. Think of the trees. Flowers. Vegetation. They take months, years, even decades; the abundance that surrounds you took time to grow from seeds. Just like the animals, and plants, we also emerged from teensy things. By attaching an outcome to your actions, you cheat yourself out of the journey. And where does that leave you? Unable to experience the present, you live in an imagined future. While visualizing positive outcomes is a positive imaginative tool, it’s equally important to be grounded in the present. Why not view action steps as byproducts of nature? Every action needs time to nurture its growth. So release limiting self-imposed restrictions; when you plan to achieve something, approach the task from the perspective of plants; think of your own seedlings. Give them space to sprout, and in time... bloom.
Nature offers us her herbs and spices to heal the body and mind. She also creates sanctuaries of peacefulness in unlikely places. An oasis doesn’t need to be a tranquil field or freshwater stream; it can show itself in rural or urban settings. Opportunities for calm may appear in unexpected incarnations: listen to falling rain, or the ocean inside a seashell. Rest your gaze on a stray wildflower, and windowsill garden. Feel the softness of a puppy’s coat. Day to day distractions often lead you away from inner and outer appreciation. Meditation and Yoga help bring you back to your center. In addition to mindfulness practices, you can use nature to attune to the present, by turning outward, and expanding your consciousness. Recognize this calm as your natural state, regardless of what else may be going on.... Did nature invent meditation? Maybe...
Overhead, seagulls soar in flocks. Salmon swim upstream. Wolves run in pacts. Animals and even insects, find their tribes. Connection is clear in nature: each dragonfly, rooster, and twisted tree, are all beautiful and complete on their own. At the same time, life is joyful when the journey is shared. Reaching out to others means risking vulnerability, which isn't always easy. So it can be tempting to play it safe and retreat. But don't underestimate the value of human connection. By forgoing partners, your view is limited to your own perspective. Learning, collaboration, and friendship, emerge from tiny sparks that ignite into bright fires.
Have you ever seen a flower sprout through a metal grate, or a sprig of grass emerge from a crack in the concrete? With so much adversity, it seems astonishing that nature could force its way through darkness and find its own light. And yet that flower or blade of grass is also vulnerable... One pluck is all it takes to end its existence. But don’t mistake nature’s pliability for weakness. It's a profound strength. With determination, a tiny green stem finds a way to wiggle through the narrowest, most unfriendly spaces. And when it does, it's not frazzled or damaged, but empowered by its efforts. Once emerged, its beauty is undeniable, as it stops passersby in their hurried tracks.
Challenges and hardships are inevitable. You can shrink from them... Or else glide along with determination. Through an awareness of nature, you can regroup, reflect, and recognize your own gifts. Rest in the awareness, that you too, are one of nature's perfect-imperfect creations.