We are now immersed in autumn and if there’s anything the past 18 months has taught me, it’s that nature is an important source of healing and soothing, but also many important lessons for life too.
A personal trainer friend of mine constantly reminds me to think like a tree: to stand firm and tall. Upright and grounded, I feel focused and strong, able to see how this kind of rootedness is beneficial for meeting goals both in the gym and in life!
So, I do not question the virtues of tree-like strength at all.
But recently I was working with a colleague and while looking out of the window, I noticed a tree directly in front of me. I admired its beauty and then, in a few mindful moments, I realised we have much to learn from our leafy friends. Wonderful teachings that are transferable to all of us in our daily lives, both professionally and personally.
Resilience and Growth
A tree’s great strength lies in the fact that it knows itself. Totally accountable to what happens next, it has complete trust in its dependability, coping with whatever is thrown its way. Similarly, this sense of self-reliance leads us to use our initiative and develop natural instincts – both very powerful tools in moving forward and creating better outcomes in our lives.
Resilience is being able to quickly become aware of change and willingly learn new methods to cope with it. It’s understanding that an open mindset, a positive approach and being able to self-nurture will get you through.
Adaptability and Flexibility
A tree will sway with the wind and acclimatise to its environment. Regardless of the weather or any other external factors that come to bear, it is ready to flourish when the sun is warm and drop its leaves when it needs to reserve its energy. When it’s blustery, it will bend this way and that to save its boughs from breaking.
In life, being able to understand and accept change or new and difficult situations is the starting point for being able to adapt. In turn, being flexible allows you to rethink issues, become more innovative and navigate your way through whatever you’re having to deal with.
In addition, being agile also supports long-term strategy. If it can happen once, the unexpected can happen again and again and each time, you become better equipped to approach it, assess it, plan a way out and then step forward.
Adding to your sense of resilience, you’re able to understand, withstand and recover from the unexpected and the process becomes second nature. The faster you are restored, the sooner you can be back into a place of ease and flow.
Change becomes something you come to terms with quicker and you learn to move with it so that you have the confidence to overcome anything.
How can you be more tree?
Go outside today, find a mighty oak or an urban beech, look up and think about what adaptability, flexibility, agility, and resilience mean to you. Watch the tree sway as it drops its leaves and think of times when you’ve used these attributes and how you can continue to develop them.
My PT friend says we should think like a tree, and I think we have plenty to learn from them!
I would love to know your resilience strategies and if you are struggling with overwhelm and other resilience issues please do contact me.