“Nature doesn’t ask you to be anything other than yourself.” Jackie Handy, 362 Exploring Life’s Path
How wonderful life would be if we all embraced this statement. Speaking with Jackie Handy about her experiences on her 500 mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, the focus was very much on the learnings she gleaned from nature’s wisdom. Of which she said there were many, some of which she thinks are still yet to come.
“If you're metaphorically dressed appropriately, you can deal with anything. That connection with nature because it just means that you're just so very present." Jackie Handy, 362 Exploring Life’s Path
I ensure I spend time outside every day no matter the weather as being in my natural environment grounds and connects me. It keeps me present and aware of all my senses. I stop in my tracks to smell a flower, wonder at the intricate patterns of frost gilding a spider’s web or marvel at the unflawed reflections of trees in a perfectly motionless pool of water. How often do you stop to observe what nature has to offer?
Even if you don’t spend much time outdoors, there is no denying that you are an integral part of this natural world you inhabit. Jackie spoke about how important interconnectedness, diversity and inclusion are in her work and life. Nature thinks so too as it demonstrates how everything operates as one intricate web of interconnectedness. Every species plays a key role in maintaining balance and diversity. If only all humans would learn to live like this too?
Nothing happens in nature instantly. There is a natural and gradual order to follow for growth and transformation to ensue. Nature has an incredible way of adapting to its environments bouncing back from setbacks and adversity. Last year near where I live there were some wild fires however greenery is pushing its way through the earth once more. Nature teaches you patience and resilience.
Nature constantly reminds you of the impermanence of life. Seasons change, flowers bloom and wither and stars are born and die. Embracing the concept of impermanence can help you let go of attachments, be present in the moment and find peace in the face of change. Just as nature experiences seasons, so your life goes through phases of growth, change and rest. Embracing these natural rhythms help you to find peace and acceptance in every stage of your journey.
As Jackie found on her walk, she switched everything off present only to the sound of the birdsong and the noise of her footsteps. Just as nature slows down and rests in the winter before spring's renewal, it’s okay for you to also slow down, to rest and recharge. In fact I believe it is essential for your wellbeing to do so and it doesn’t have to be just in winter either.
Nature has an inherent stillness and presence that can be incredibly calming. Spending time in nature encourages you to be more mindful, fully immersing yourself in all the beauty this world has to offer. This mindfulness reduces stress, boosts creativity and enhances your overall wellbeing.
Balance, sustainability and conservation of energy are demonstrated in nature with its incredible natural recycling of resources. Lessons in abundance to teach you to respect this beautiful planet and to observe how to balance your own life and to re-establish your boundaries. Understand where you spend your time, what you prioritise and what you value and ensure that these are authentically aligned to your values.
Watching a seed grow into a towering tree is a formidable reminder of the power of nurturing, growth and purpose. You too can nurture your talents, relationships and dreams, allowing them to flourish and reach their full potential to build the fulfilling life of purpose you desire.
Nature operates with elegant simplicity. It only takes what it needs and nothing more. Embracing this minimalist lifestyle helps you to declutter your life, reduce stress and focus on what truly matters. Take a moment to step outside, breathe in the fresh air and let nature's wisdom guide you on your path to a more fulfilled, purposeful and meaningful life.
Focus on Nature!
Action Point: Step outside and be present with all your senses to what nature has to offer at this time of year.