An ode to lessons from nature
We all interpret things differently. Embracing difference is, I feel, one of the key levers to unleashing our exponential, collective humanity at a time when our continued robotic nature of work is rapidly, and necessarily, going to be automated.
However, many are still stuck in comparison, separation and at the end of the day, ‘not enough-ness’ in all of its guises. I was and continue to be periodically.
Yet diversifying our networks, our friendship groups, our organisations, and our communities is critical to help us sense and interpret things in a more diverse and inclusive way.
Is letting go – of attachment to outcomes, attachment to money, attachment to when I have XX, etc – one way to counteract the innocent yet often potential-shrinking thinking stops us from embracing difference?
The trees offered me a lesson
I was walking up the beautifully Autumnal ‘tree of limes’ recently (as below) near my home in Kent, UK and I was struck by something quite profound.
What do you see, or not see, in the below picture?
What struck me powerfully was that the leaves had been let go from the top down.
Firstly, is this how all trees shed their leaves each Winter? I genuinely don’t know at the age of 44 but I have this curiosity now as I continue to look up from my mobile phone, more often! (I spend a LOT more time doing walks n talks and having meetings in the park and nature than I ever did pre-pandemic)
In that moment, the metaphor for unleashing human potential was stark.
Let go of the need to be right if you are in a hierarchical or positionally powerful role.
Let go of the belief that you need all of the answers to ‘stay relevant.’
Realise that those that surround you are good, capable, human beings with the ability and often desire to grow as these trees evidence year in, year out.
Like the trees above, what could you benefit from letting go of as we enter the New Year?
2020 has been tumultuous on many levels, yet at the same time, like with this example, nature has so many lessons to offer us if we are open and curious.
The same tree of limes offered me another wonderful lesson recently when we had high winds.
They swayed beautifully, majestically, and at times violently during a storm, yet at all times they remained grounded, connected by a system of roots and energy that helped them ride out that particular storm.
Oh, how community, human connection, and a genuine sense of care and belonging has helped me navigate the high winds and volatility of 2020.
Planting the seeds of better
I think of my friends Mike Vacanti and Brian Kelly as I write this last paragraph.
Even if one of those trees had succumbed to the angry and violent winds, it would not have been in vain.
That tree would have decomposed and become fertiliser to the next generation of trees as they emerged.
When your time is up on this blue orb, what are the thought and action seeds that you will leave behind to fertilise the hopes and dreams of the next generation?
For me I hope that people are fertilised with:
- The belief that better is better than right
- That we can all be and do better, but to do so lightly and without attachment
- That vulnerability is truly a gateway behaviour to living our fullest most soulful version of our human experience
- That community, connection, inclusion, belonging and listening are the critical currency of human exchange, an exchange that I believe can be well aligned to natural systems
As we seek to redesign work, our lives, and the collective global ecosystem to operate more in line with nature’s teachings and lessons, I leave you with this.
You need no external validation.
You are enough.
We are ready.
Much love from the UK.