How many lessons of wisdom lie within a tree? Considering the oldest tree is 5062 years old, there are probably tons and tons of lessons. Maybe even a lesson per growth ring, mm… no I take that back. Five thousand and sixty two lessons inspired by a tree is a little much in my opinion. Anyways, trees are absolutely fantastic bringing, brilliance, vibrancy and beauty to our finger tips. Considering the amount trees provide us, from providing oxygen to absorbing pollutants and slowing global warming, it’s remarkable how overlooked they are. Trees in fact do carry many wise lessons and stories of wisdom and awareness that can help us reach our greatest potential. However, to really understand these lessons we must feel the lessons by getting out in the forest and embracing the trees.
In this post I will present six lessons on wisdom brought to you by trees.
Form sturdy roots
“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
– Meister Eckhart
As a tree sprouts from a seed it is continuously growing, stretching it’s roots as far as it possibly can; never moving but constantly expanding, it creates a firm hold to the earth. A tree is always living in the moment and thus can be fully aware at all times. Strong roots are vital to a trees well being because they allow the tree to absorb the nutrients needed to grow and stand strong against the environment. What we can learn from this is that in order to grow and become stronger individuals we must understand who we are. This makes sense because when we know ourselves we can pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, a trees sturdy roots into the earth can teach us to live in the moment, ground ourselves and to stay clear and focused.
Grow to give the most leaves the most light
“To be truly disciplined in out goals, and to keep working towards happiness at all costs, we often need to sacrifice smaller opportunities and pleasures in order to reach out end goal sooner.”
– Mary Lou Retton
A trees branches are responsible for stretching out as far as possible to reach light. Thankfully, this provides us with some shade. Trees will continue growing to give there leaves as much sun light as possible. At times a tree will grow sideways in order to reach more sunlight. Now, this represents a valuable life lesson in that at times you must sacrifice yourself just like a tree does when it grows in an unnatural way. In order to reach the level of success we strive for we must sacrifice many things whether it be time or sanity. I’m sure when a tree grows sideways it does not feel comfortable at first but it understands that this sacrifice of comfort will pay off in the future as it finds more light.
Connect with other plants
“Realize that everything connects to everything else”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Under our feet lies, a biological Internet that connects 90% of plants together. What we are talking about here is networks of fungi. The fungus connect plants together by linking roots of different plants together through there thin threads, known as mycelium. Trees are a large part of these underground networks where plants are sharing nutrients and information with there neighbors. There are the plants that will spread toxic chemicals to sabotage unwelcome plants. However, these not so nice plants miss out on the luxury of connectivity. When a plant joins into a mycelial network it receives many benefits like improved immunity and new connections. We should all be following this system and become increasingly connected to everything around us. Connecting with others is now proven by research to be good for our moods, and even physical health so make sure you are forming healthy and meaningful relationships. If you want to learn a few things that make up a healthy relationship check this post out: http://goo.gl/teQyKG. I will also re-state that 90% of plants are connected to each other forming one system and not segregating themselves to one species of plants. If you want to succeed in every aspect of life you must appreciate everything around you people, animals, cultures etc. because there is value to be found in everything.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
– Napoleon Hill
Look at the size and of some of the trees around us. They are huge, and have grown very strong over the years. Trees have survived decades, if not centuries and millennium’s of storms. Even small trees have strength it is just used in a different manner than larger more mature trees. The small trees, dance with the wind and hold tight to the ground. Without swaying the small trees could snap. Just as a tree finds a way to grow strong so must we. I do not mean strong in that we need to build a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I mean we must play life with courage and find ways to be mentally and physically strong.
Lose our leaves but don’t worry
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
If you look at a tree for long enough, it is inevitable that you will see it lose a leaf. Do you think the tree wants to lose a leaf? No way, the leaf represents the possibility of more sunlight; more food. However, you don’t see a tree start to die or fall over after the loss of a leaf. Instead a tree will continue along life without a worry in thought, if a tree could think. It would be cool if we found out trees actually have thoughts. Anyways, what can we learn? Well for one, this represents a lesson about failure. Just like a tree regrows leaves, we should never stop improving ourselves after a failure. We should stand back up and try again. And the possibly obvious lesson would be when life goes sideways don’t worry, when you fail don’t worry, when your confused or lost don’t worry, just be content in the moment. With faith your present moment will change over time to a more positive circumstance, just be.
Change each season
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy
Unless you live in the desert you probably know that trees change with each season to come. Deciduous trees change color through the seasons. In spring, there leaves will start to grow. When summer comes along they will be packed with leaves. Throughout the fall the leaves become darker eventually falling off as winter approaches. In life it is important to always be adapting to your environment and always trying to re-invent yourself on a regular basis. When you do these two things you are constantly innovating yourself and finding comfort in new situations. This is vital for your success because it leads to a greater more prepared you, ready to take on anything that comes your way. Therefore, you become courageous and can be confident in overcoming risks.
What other wisdom can we learn from trees?