What Nature Has to Teach Us
In these times of fast change, many often exclaim, “I don’t know what to do.” We look to all sorts of authorities — the government, the church, schools, experts — to give us direction. What if everything we need to know is around us all the time? What if all we have to do is walk out the front door to see a perfect model of remaining balanced during change?
Most of us who suffer during times of fast, steep change (divorce, death in the family, natural disasters, layoffs at work) many times feel disconnected from everyone and everything. In my healing practice, I tell clients, “First, you need to develop a relationship with your Higher Power and start recognizing this Power’s Presence in everyone and everything.”
We see demonstrations of this Higher Power and how it connects all things in Nature. A bird gathers seeds to feed his mate. When he flies to the nest, he drops a few seeds on the ground. A squirrel walks by and taps the seeds deeper into the soil. It rains that week. The seeds sprout and some of them live a whole life cycle feeding more birds. How does the bird know where to get seed when its hungry? How do the seeds that feed the bird get there? What is underneath this ongoing cycle of birth, maturation, death, rebirth? For me, I call this organizing principle/energy God and feeling connected to God always helps me move in a positive direction, when change knocks on my door.
Another issue that people who are in change experience is loss of identity. We are taught to be someone we are not from the time we are an infant. “Don’t cry. Don’t scream. Don’t be so loud.” This pattern continues as we move through family gatherings, church, school, work. When you are at a party and meet someone new, don’t they say things like, “I’m John’s Mom…Joe’s wife…an executive for such and such.”? These are the roles you play, and the behaviors you adopt to be successful at these roles make up your identity. When a major change occurs, these identities no longer hold up. The confusion many people experience can be simply stated, “Without this job, relationship, home…, who am I?”
We can see true authenticity in Nature. A river birch doesn’t get up and walk into the meadow to see if oak trees have a better life. A cardinal doesn’t pout because blue birds get better bird seed. A marigold doesn’t spend its whole life cycle trying to become a rose. Every unique expression of Divine in Nature is what it is. Because of this authenticity, plants, animals, trees, stones maintain their beingness during times of change. From my view, “to experience more of what we want, we have to be more of who we are.”
Cycles and Timing
Everything in Nature occurs in cycles. The tides are effected by the cycles of the moon. (In fact, farmers of old knew that lunar cycles effected plants, so they planted during certain phases of the moon. Hence, the need for an almanac.) Weather moves in cycles, e.g., hurricane season. There are four seasons, each having its own individual strength (strong sunlight in summer encourages fruiting of plants). Plants, animals, trees, grasses, herbs, stones all have a life cycle of birth, maturation, death, rebirth. We don’t see an animal railing at God over its life cycle. We don’t see plants depressed about their fate. In Nature, cycles are accepted. Every day is lived fully while life is viable. Living in harmony with the cycles of Nature fosters this type of balance.
Everything in Nature grounds their energy in the Earth. Since plants, animals, and rocks don’t have rubber-soled shoes, excess energy that they are not using automatically grounds. This enhances their stability and connection to the Earth. Walking around outside bare foot, like we did as children, certainly will help you feel less dizzy and physically out of sorts during change.
If you watch how Nature supplies all life, you’ll notice that trees don’t order fertilizer. Birds don’t ask for bird seed. Fish don’t ask for more algae. Cats don’t throw temper tantrums because they want more and better prey. This demonstration has been observed since ancient times. So, let me just say this baldly, “God already knows what you need before you ask for it. Trust that you are being provided exactly what you need at all times, for you to remain in balance.”
Humans are the only beings on Earth that are given free will choice. So, assume that your unique gift, choosing, is your job in actualization. When you see a possibility come up in front of you, choose to experience the possibility or move on. When you have gotten all the juice out of an actualization, don’t be afraid to let it go and try something different. Ask more questions, “What’s more juicy out there? What would supply more abundance? How would having this feel? Is there something better for me to try?” When you have made your decision, let God supply the people, places, circumstances, energy, and resources to bring the experience to you. This is what people mean when they talk about “natural flow.”
The world teaches you to manage the manifestation, that something you can do will make it happen faster or better. The fact of the matter is that the right people, circumstances, locations, energy, resources, and timing will happen without your interference. The truth is when you get in the way because you are attached to a particular way for your good to manifest, the actualization slows down to the point where it can look like it has stopped. So, you might as well accept your role as decision maker, be who you are, explore the possibilities, and be grateful when the manifestation occurs.
What I Learned from Nature
Every day I look up at the sun in sky. The sun always comes up. The sky is always there. The river birch is outside my bedroom window. The birds sing in the spring, summer, and fall. What miracles are around me.
I watch this demonstration of God’s infinite love and mercy and feel glad that I am here to celebrate life, to choose experiences, to relearn to be in the flow.