Thursday, 23 March 2017

Nature is a great educator.

Nature throws out lessons for free we just need to turn up to a class and appreciate it. I was looking at a plant I have on my windowsill and apologising to it (yes out loud) as I sometimes forget to water it, yet still it grows. So much so that it has outgrown its pot, some of its leaves have browned but for the most part it is flourishing and still a beautiful deep green, it is much fuller and does not look as manicured as it did when I first bought it. An option could be pruning it to keep it looking good in its little red pot, which I bought specifically for it but imagine how much bigger it could grow if I changed the pot and I took better care of it, keeping it in a small pot could also on the flipside be stunting its growth and killing it. There is no wrong option, it's more about intention. To make sure we choose the right option there needs to be a plan and clear alignment to intention. If there is no intention or goal, we are fighting a losing battle.

As we grow in life we outgrow situations and relationships. We can outgrow a job but stay there because we are afraid of the unknown or lack the confidence to step up. This is something that I have suffered, the job/career market can be a battlefield from applications/interviews to office politics. If we arm ourselves with knowledge, skills, courage and an army of mentors and encouragers it can and should be a supportive environment that helps us grow to give and be our best whatever our interests and skills. For a while, I was the Queen of leaving jobs because I thought I had outgrown them but what I didn’t have much of was a plan for how to get what I want and I had stopped believing that I could secure my dream career and even lost touch with what that was. I let life do the choosing which has left me right back where I started more than once, life has a way of bringing you back to square one as many times as you need to learn a lesson (as I write this I am having a revelation – mind excitedly blown).

I have a habit of going back to what is safe and familiar but in so doing I have been playing it small. My branches were growing wild, roots stunted and within no time I was banging my head against the proverbial wall and handing in resignations with no plan for how not to find myself here again. What I know would be more helpful is creating a supportive environment keeping the goal in mind and looking for opportunities to deepen my knowledge, expand my horizons, network and find mentors and encouragers or five to guide and cheer me on. Recognising your opportunities, mentors and guides is whole other post, they are easily missed and mistaken. The pruning I need is in the limiting beliefs I hold about my capabilities, mistrust of the “system”, and engaging in activities that do nothing to help me reach my goal.

I received an inspirational message from a friend this week that exemplifies the depth of lessons from nature. It was about the eagle and its potential to live 70 years, but it can only do this if it makes the bold life or death decision at 40 to undergo a gruelling 150-day process of transformation that involves it going through the pain of plucking out its beak feathers and talons and then wait for new ones to grow back. Change is scary and hard but necessary, imagine the joy when the hard work is done, picture the eagle soaring through the sky with his rejuvenated set of wings. That could be us if we just made the bold choice to do away with that which no longer serves us.

Today I pay respect to the trees that against all odds expand their network of roots beneath the concrete, in this hostile jungle us humans have created and stands majestically enabling us to breathe.

Get out there, breath, listen and learn.

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