Take Your Lead from Nature.

Heather Waring

WomenWalking:WomenTalking

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the months of January, February and even March are the months of hibernation. Nature is at peace; it is recharging its batteries and planning for the spring when it will bloom again. In early winter very little is happening except for rest and rejuvenation but then behind the scenes the preparation happens. The movement, the growth, the rebirth and all of this we can mirror.

For us practically, these months are often when it is hardest to get going. All that cold and damp not to mention dark mornings and early nightfall. Perhaps we should look at what nature is doing and take some of this on board.

This is the time to conserve energy, to take stock, to think about what we want to achieve and to put in place the process that will get us to where we want to be. This is the time to go within, to be quiet, to be reflective.

This may not be the time to start something new but to keep with the tried and tested things and to use the quiet time to plan. By planning we put everything in place for when the time is right to burst out again.

 

I remember one year deciding to detox in the month of February. I found it very hard and no wonder. This is when our bodies need comfort, warmth and nourishment – the thick homemade soups and stews and mugs of hot chocolate. We crave comfort food but that can be warming nutritional dishes just not  salads and light food. Now, if  I detox, I do it later in the year and do you know something, it works.

So how can we take nature’s lessons and apply them to our lives?

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

From the trees, we can learn acceptance and non-resistance. The leaves change colour and then fall from the trees when the time is right. They don’t resist, it is part of their flow. They stand strong in their truth whatever time of year and in whatever garment they wear. In fact in winter they may seem vulnerable as they are striped of their covering and laid bare to all around. What are you resisting? What are you holding onto? What would happen if you were just to let go? Do you show your vulnerability or do you hide it? How would it be to let that vulnerability be seen? How might that serve you? Can you sit with where you are and know it to be the right place for you?

What about the weather – the cold, the wet, the grey skies and the rain and wind. Weather changes often daily and with what is happening in our world at the moment it can be unseasonable, warm when we are expecting cold, cold when we are looking for sunshine. The weather is bigger and stronger than us, we have little control so what do we do? The weather reminds us that nothing is certain in life. We can’t control and prepare for everything. Animals are out and about in all weathers and frankly it doesn’t seem to bother them. Our world is beautiful in all seasons, can we therefore be beautiful in all seasons. Can we adapt to what is delivered to us. Can we go with the flow and be excited by what happens as a result. Rather than waiting for that perfect sunny, blue sky winter day, get out there anyhow. Put your wet weather gear on and all those layers and ‘be’ in the moment. Decide that you are going to show up fully on every day of your life. My beloved Epping Forest looks beautiful in all seasons and weather, showing me something new every time I walk there. The more I spend time in nature, the more beauty I see. Take that and apply it to life. Don’t wait for extraordinary moments to take your breath away, make things happen.

The sea, the rivers and the streams can also teach us. Water flows and here again is a reminder of flow and choosing to go with it, not against it. It takes a lot of energy to go against the flow so ask yourself if you really have to? What would happen if you gave it and allowed ourselves to be guided by the flow of the stream or river? Can you think of a time when you trusted and surrendered to flow? 

““If you struggle with mastering patience, acceptance or any lesson, look to nature as your teacher. Kris Carr

It’s not only in the winter that nature has lessons for us, it’s all year long but perhaps it’s harder for us to listen at that time of year. Nature is vast made up of different parts, all playing a role. We too are made up of different parts playing a role, we as an individual plays a role in our family, our business, our tribe, our society. We are all one small part of something much bigger. Something to celebrate and always to learn from.  

I am sure you will have come away from this with ideas and if you want to become more in sync with nature, why not join my 7 Days of Mindful Walking. This is a 7 day video guided programme which is FREE for you and definitely gets you slowing down and enjoying nature. You can access it by clicking here.

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