“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu
How I love this insightful quote from Lao Tzu! In this day and age where everything important and unimportant has to be done yesterday, we stop giving life room to unfold at its own way and pace. We question why things can’t be different and why they have to take so long to realise. This train of thoughts keep us in an eternal loop of frustration and we live in a future that’s conjured in our minds, neglecting that life is happening right now and tomorrow is neither guaranteed nor known.
Whenever I find myself getting caught up in the above state of mind, I’ll recall the Lao Tzu quote and remember that life happens for me, not to me. All I need is to stop fighting what is and work with it.
Below are five laws of nature that taught me how to best respond to my life environment and situation at every single point in time.
1. Be mindful on where you’re planting your seeds
More often than not, we invest our efforts on lost causes and wonder later on why nothing works. Unless there is something we can do to improve a toxic relationship, environment or situation to an acceptable state, no amount of persistent hard work over time can turn things around. Keeping at it is like throwing our seeds of life energy into bottomless pit and waiting in vain for a tree of life to spring forth.
2. Understand when to plant, prune and harvest
In the law of life and nature, there is a season and time for everything. Like fruit trees, we need to first choose the right environment and season, fertilize the soil, plant the seeds, water and prune it regularly and finally harvest. The time to have a map is before we enter the forest, the time to prepare is before we start the project and the time we learn or master a skill is before the point we need it. In short, till the fruit of our labour is ready for harvest, there is a time for every important step along the way.
3. Sometimes we have to trim and shed to grow
For many, myself included, hoarding is a way of life and letting go, even when things have turned toxic, is a struggle. If we take a leaf out of nature’s book, we would see that trimming and shedding the excess and the dying parts of our lives is the way to make room for growth. We cannot flourish or reach new heights if we continue to carry the weight of faded glories. There are days where like barren trees in winter, our souls need rest in its barest forms to recharge and ready itself for renewal in spring.
4. A tree was once a seed
Our dreams can often seem impossible but as cliche as it sounds, the journey of a thousand steps does begin with a single step. Every majestic tree we see in nature was once a seed, every grand chef today was once an apprentice and almost every successful person out there toiled for years at their craft before they became an overnight sensation. Each time we feel daunted or disheartened by our progress in certain areas of our lives, remember that a tree was first a shrub and a shrub was first a seed.
5. No man is an island. We thrive in an ecosystem.
In this digital age, we’re constantly connected yet increasingly isolated. It’s easy to forget that like trees out in open fields, we thrive through our interdependency in an ecosystem/community. Trees need air, soil, water, the flora and fauna around it to blossom and we need human connection, passion and purpose to flourish. Our interaction with and contribution back to our community adds a richness to our being that isolation can’t achieve.
Which of the above laws of nature speaks to you about your life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. 🙂