What can we learn from nature? Everything if Einstein is to be believed. “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
When was the last time you did that? Looked deep into nature? We are blessed in this area with an abundance of natural environments from Cannock Chase, Chasewater and an array of nature reserves and parks. But let’s be honest, when something’s on our doorstep, it’s easy to take it for granted, isn’t it? And when we do make the effort to visit, it’s all too easy to walk with things on our mind and not really absorb the healing energy of such a beautiful environment.
It’s far more powerful if we fully engage all our senses. If we look around us with fresh eyes, it’s amazing to find the little details, the splendours and the wonders that previously passed us by. And the view never stays the same. With each week that passes, we see things bloom and die, baby animals reach adolescence and adulthood, the days grow longer or shorter, the moon waxes and wanes. And as we witness all these changes, we learn.
We learn that change is inevitable in life, that there is a time and a season for everything – a time to bloom, to let go, to rest, recharge, to grow. We learn to establish deep roots to give us strength, to be flexible so the wind can bend us not break us. We learn that you reap what you sow and to make hay while the sun shines. In dark times we remember the caterpillar in its cocoon, patiently growing its wings.
So go into nature, walk or be still and quiet. Observe. Breathe. Find clarity. Studies have shown we think differently whilst on the move and whilst in nature. We may identify solutions previously un thought of, or see things from a different perspective. Focus on what should be your next step
Then, take the necessary action. Plant the seeds of your dreams. Nurture them and be patient. When the going gets tough, remember the seedlings have to push the dirt out of their way to reach the surface and you too will have obstacles when birthing your dream. Take it as a sign you’re close to the surface. And as your dream starts to take shape, nurture it as you would a seedling, to see it come to full fruition.
The Japanese have understood for decades the healing power of trees, with doctors there prescribing shinrin yoku or ‘forest bathing’. The western world, while open to recreation in nature, is only just beginning to understand and appreciate the depth of benefits nature truly brings. With ancient trees being the oldest living thing on earth, some reaching thousands of years old, is it any wonder we feel healed by the presence of these wise elders? To touch a *4000 year old tree, knowing it has witnessed different civilizations come and go does indeed give us a sense of perspective on our own lives.
If you can’t reach local beauty spots, don’t overlook the greenery in your own garden and neighbourhood. Listening to birdsong, feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and watching the changing dress of the trees can uplift your spirits if you only take time to notice. Be present. Don’t hurry by with your head full of swirling and competing thoughts. If you can, find somewhere quiet to sit and take it all in. You’ll return recharged. Mobile phones aren’t the only thing that need to be charged daily.
Perhaps conservationist John Muir, said it best: “And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”
When you find it, keep ahold of it. When you feel it slipping away, run to the arms of Mother Nature to be replenished once more and reconnected with your soul.
* Some of the oldest trees in the UK include yews and oaks, with the Llangernyw Yew of Conwy, North Wales believed by experts to be 4000 years, possibly 5,000 years old. Closer to home, a 350 year old yew tree on the Shugborough Estate, is recorded to be the widest tree in the UK, possibly Europe too.
Jane Newport is a certified life coach based in Cannock, Staffordshire. She specialises in taking people from overwhelm to calm using a holistic approach. She loves being outdoors and extols the virtues of nature for a healthy mind, body and soul. Find out more at www.janenewport.com
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