As we become more and more detached from nature, we start to realize how much we depend on it. Nature is our primal home, our roots, and our remedy.
In search of valuable lessons in life, we ask for wisdom, experience, knowledge, and intuition. And who’s been around in this world longer than mother nature? In it, everything that lives is connected, and its endless cycles seem to be unstoppable. Everything comes from the Earth and goes back to it.
Thinking about the mesmerizing effects nature has on our mind and body, we’ve decided to reflect on what lessons nature can teach us. And we found eight.
1. Nature is flexible and resilient
Flora and fauna tend to adapt to the conditions they’re in. For example, take something as fragile as a leaf. Its flexibility is what helps it endure. If there’s a lot of sun in the area, the leaves of a particular plant will be smaller, thicker, and will change their pigmentation. Leaves growing in the shade, on the other hand, will be larger, greener, and thinner, so they could absorb more sunlight.
Flexibility and adaptability are two things all life has in common–plants and animals alike. Water lilies are aquatic plants that mostly feed on water nutrients, but they get the necessary amount of sunlight by stretching out their leaves to the surface of the water. Saguaro cactuses can stand to go for months without a drop of water in the desert.
Flexibility and fluidity are what makes us strong. The ability to adapt quickly and take what’s best for us is an important ability.
2. Nature knows what’s good for her
In the world of nature, everything revolves around self-preservation and reproduction. Plants need sunlight, soil, and water to survive, while animals strive to feed themselves and their young. These processes help preserve the ideal balance in their habitats. Thanks to its cycles, nature succeeds at balancing its constructive and destructive tendencies.
As humans, we have a strong potential to be constructive. We are creative, able to connect with each other, and live through life-changing experiences. We can become fused with nature. We can also enjoy our solitude. But, sometimes, our destructive side can dominate within us and we might engage in things that are harmful to us or our environment.
By listening to our intuition, developing a growth mindset, and doing the inner work, we will be able to understand our intentions, values, and purpose better, recognize and respond to our emotions adequately, and maintain a balanced life.
3. Nature is ever-changing
As the daily, monthly, and yearly cycles change, everything in nature changes, too. Leaves change their color, flowers turn into fruits, some animals sleep throughout the whole winter, and when they wake up, it’s spring again–a new beginning.
We, on the other hand, cling to things. We want to eat fresh tomatoes and lettuce in wintertime. We want to stay young forever. The fact that we’ve evolved to this level of self-awareness is both a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing because we are able to experience so much, have fun, and change the world by our ideas, but it’s a curse because, at the end of the day, that’s what makes us aware of our own mortality. We can find it difficult to embrace change even when we deeply desire it because change reminds us that everything is transient. What we need to learn is that that is a good thing. Accepting change makes us more adaptable, and that sets us free.
4. Nature is never in a rush
Nature never hurries, and yet, everything is accomplished sooner or later. When you spend time in nature, by the sea, in the forest, or in the desert, you’ll notice nothing really happens in a rush.
On the other hand, human beings are alway in a hurry. We overload ourselves with work that we can’t fit into 24 hours and then we get stressed out. Stop for a moment. Breathe. Disconnect in order to reconnect with yourself. Set your priorities and change your life’s tempo.
5. In nature, everything has a purpose
Humans tend to value nature and things in general by the level to which they help their own survival. This kind of fixed, self-serving attitude is how we’ve managed to endanger so many species that are crucial for the survival of a healthy ecosystem (like bees, for example).
If we observe nature more closely, we’d come to realize that everything in it has a purpose. Every single movement is geared towards preserving the homeostasis within the system. Some animals feed on other animals, but they never eat every potential prey. This has the purpose of maintaining a balanced habitat and ecosystem.
Humans sometimes spend their entire lives trying to find their purpose in life. We think that it must be something very deep and difficult to comprehend, so we often focus on the wrong things, like thinking that work and career are everything and that our purpose can only be accomplished if we succeed professionally.
What we often forget is that there is so much more to life. We can sometimes seemingly do nothing, like lying on the grass gazing at the stars, or chilling by a lake on a hot summer day, and this can suddenly give us a sense of meaning and purpose. How? Because our purpose hides in things that are closer or inherent to our nature: connection to other beings and nature, creating and executing ideas, helping others find their happiness, and genuinely enjoying life.
6. What goes around, comes around
In nature, everything circles back to where it came from. All the actions have their natural consequences. If you know how the system works, it’s not too difficult to figure out what the right thing to do is.
This is something we often forget in life. We can’t just do whatever we want. For example, living a careless life in which we don’t care about our environment has to backfire sooner or later. Irresponsible consumption, lack of care for our personal environment, and lack of sustainability consciousness and sustainability practices in many industries have led to the environmental changes we are facing today.
The principle of endless circulating of energy applies to everything. Whatever we do, positive or negative, it will eventually come back at us.
For example, those who regularly practice gratitude, gradually experience positive change in all other aspects of their lives: their relationships with other people improve and they become more intimate and close. Their mood and mental health start to improve, and this positively affects their physical well-being, too. People who are genuinely happy and satisfied with their life are the ones who change this world, by empowering and supporting other human beings find their meaning and joy.
7. An ocean is a sum of water particles
We often feel alone in this world. This can make us anxious, lost, and disconnected from our purpose in life.
In nature, every individual thing is a part of a larger system. An ocean is a sum of the many water drops, and each drop is equally important in making an ocean what it is. Humans are no different. After all, we, too, are nature. Each and every one of us has a role in this Universe, no one is “a surplus.”
8. Nature is collaborative
More often than not, surviving in nature means collaborating with other members of the same species or even with other species. It’s not survival of the fittest–it’s survival of the most adaptable.
Humans sometimes forget about the importance of working in groups. Our current society teaches us mostly about the values of individual success. So many people want to be the best, the number one, the game-changers. Many of us fear blending in with the crowd, so we want to stand out, be seen, and be remembered.
We sometimes forget how gratifying and rewarding it is to collaborate and work together as a team. Having mind-alike companions we trust makes every experience so much richer. It puts all the other accolades into perspective–being the best, getting to the top. Winning the race by yourself is a great success, but, sometimes, simply finishing the race together with your team is more valuable.
Spending time in nature makes us better humans.It helps us relax, disconnect, and discover the depth of life. Nature is also an incredible and wise teacher. Unless the human factor changes the balance of a certain natural habitat, in nature, everything functions flawlessly and in perfect harmony.
All elements of nature are resilient in their flexibility; they’re intuitive; they take their time; they have a purpose. There are so many useful takeaways from our primary home–nature. It’s the matter of paying attention and acknowledging those lessons.