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weLOG#32 Lessons learned from Nature

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience.

Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” – Hal Borland


There’s so much to learn from the world we live in, from every tiniest being on this planet, when we open ourselves to receive, when we pause, breathe, and listen. Here are a few lessons I received in whispers from Mother Nature.


Rest

There’s time for doing, for action, and for deepened effort. There’s also time for rest or dormancy. It is so evidently present in the cycles of deciduous trees that let go of their foliage for the winter quietness. Our lives go in cycles as well and there’s so much value and richness in those quiet times, in rest times, in stillness. I used to live void of those times, which looking back, I know, didn’t serve me. I’ve learned to honor the cycles of my body and life and how it aids me in both creativity and productivity, just like trees awaken in their highest glory in spring, the same happens, when I allow for some “emptiness” in my life.


Collaboration

Nothing in nature stands alone, in its own right and power. No such thing as pure self-reliance, individuality, and independence. It’s fascinating how humans came up with these concepts, trying in some cultures to live precisely this way or praise what seems to be such when truly, we’re dependent on one another more than we’d like to think (and we’re dependent on nature). It’s not just about dependence, but collaboration - the more elements work together in union, the better for the involved parties and those seemingly not involved. Networks. Nature is all about networks and so we are - I find it true across all life areas, human and non-human, animate and otherwise. Some of the most astounding ones are the mycelium (the largest single network in Oregon, USA, covers an area of approx. 10km2)

Our lives and actions are so beautifully intertwined. It brings a smile to my face, contemplating what a great opportunity to embrace that fully in how we live.


Presence

In some ways, we’re the most “developed” species on this planet, and yet, it seems so challenging to live in the present, the only thing we ever get to experience. I used to live a lot in both the past and the future - anxious or in fear of things there were yet to come (so was my assumption) or in sorrow and disappointment of the past. None of this is part of a reality of a flower, tree, fish, or spider. What a bliss to be so deeply in their own being, knowing what they were created to do and be best, always in the present moment. What an art, that seems something oh so nothing special for other beings, but humans. I know I, we can get there as well, with effort, with turning inwards, like a flower, be all can bloom in our most beautiful ways, in the presence of what life offers, for that is all we ever get to experience.


Natural Intelligence

I’m fascinated by the intelligence of nature - when I say nature, that includes us, human beings. There’s so much we know and understand through the lens of science, but there’s probably even more that we do not fully grasp. And even if we did… awe, I feel awe considering the inner knowing of living beings - the sprouts knowing exactly which way to go to reach the surface; offspring of a wide range of animals knowing exactly how to walk or swim or communicate right from the moment they come out of the womb, egg or pouch; the intelligence of my own body to perform countless functions without my conscious participation… and so so much more. It’s showing me how there are times when I don’t need to reason, that there are times when my body knows exactly what to do and my job is to get out of its way. And above that, simply awe, for all that surrounds me.


I hope this inspires you to look at our surroundings from a different perspective(s) and see what YOU can see and receive by observing nature (which also includes you) by allowing yourself to be a student of this dazzling creation we’re part of.

AROUND THE WORLD 🌏

by Joanna


WHOPPING 380 NEW SPIECES

The Greater Mekong area which stretches across 81 million hectares (200 million acres) is a true treasure cove for species yet to be known to science. Just in a year (between 2021 and 2022) the number of discoveries reached an incredible 380 new species which came as a result of joint efforts of a number of scientists who explored the Mekong River area in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand. Despite the thrill of these discoveries, there’s a hard pill to swallow that comes with it - some of the species are already endangered with extinction due to human activities, such as agricultural expansion, dam or casino construction, illegal logging, or wildlife trade.


WHEN A STUDY DOESN'T GO AS EXPECTED

In seven countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, participants played a game that was designed to examine the effectiveness of financial benefits distributed to farmers to encourage sustainable practices and the protection of the natural environment. The game involved making decisions such as the choice between the use of toxic pest control or natural means, or what actions to take when wildlife damage the crops, etc. The results took the researchers by surprise - monetary incentives proved to be highly unreliable in terms of conservation, as well as sustaining crop production for involved communities. What did come to light was that the decisive element in the effectiveness of the above-mentioned efforts was having more women in decision-making roles (as well as higher education).

WHAT WE'RE READING


  • South Pole & Mitsubishi Read here

  • Carbon credit industry resists vulnerable nations’ call to fund adaptation Read here

  • Revamping Europe’s main climate policy Read here

  • The mouth of the Amazon oil exploration clashes with Lula’s climate promises Read here

  • Carbon credits from award-winning Kenyan offset suspended by Verra Read here



There you have it, dear friends!


What lessons or insights have you received from interacting, being in, or observing Mother Nature? What do you feel?

What can you see?

What can you hear?


Till next time!


Joanna Arai


💛


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