Costa Rica has some of the most biodiverse rain forests on the planet. The sheer number of flora and fauna found here is staggering. Living in the midst of a living, breathing organism like a rain forest can be exhilarating, and also educational. In fact, there are some very simple lessons to be learned from trees. Simply learning from the way trees move, conform to their surroundings, and how they react to their environment.
Here are some valuable and yet simple lessons to learn from trees.
The Only Constant in Life is Change, it is Inevitable. Our planet is one of four seasons, and each season has its own mystical components. For most of us, winter forces us indoors and spend more time with ourselves. Spring and Summer allows us to come back outdoors, and brings feelings of being recharged and hopeful with new growth and beginnings. Fall brings us back to childhood with bonfires, marshmallows, and hot chocolate drinks. Each season brings its own gifts. Trees, like us, live through the cycles of change that come with the changing seasons. Trees are resilient as they learn to bend with the winds, stand strong in the storms, and yet they continue to grow upward. Trees can teach us that our very existence includes change and transformation.
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ~ C. Joy Bell C.
Even the strongest tree will eventually fall. Trees that are hundreds of years old will eventually succumb, and yet what makes you think you cannot? Our cultural ideals of endurance and strength are not even reasonable, if not downright foolish to attempt. It is important to remember that you are not meant to stand alone, you are not a cement pole planted in the ground. You can choose not to stand in the face of overwhelming circumstances. You can make a choice to say ‘no’ when life gets too difficult. You can choose to ask for support when you need it most. Being vulnerable and accepting your vulnerability are not weaknesses.
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~ Susan Polis Schutz
You Can Break Down without Asking Permission. Trees don’t ask any of their neighboring trees for more space to grow, or when it is time to fall. It simply does so without asking permission from anyone. When it’s time, it’s time to let go. This is part of life. But we have been taught that we should ask for permission, let us know that it’s alright to show any emotions like grief, anger, or sorrow. But our emotions are real, and they are ours. No one else truly understands what you are feeling, or what difficulties you are faced with. So rather than asking for permission to breakdown, consider making a breakthrough instead.
There is a season for everything. Trees simply allow for the changes that come with each season. It is simply part of nature, and part of life. We all move through these seasons of life, but we are much harder on ourselves as we do. Allow life to move through you, and take you forward. When you need that time to go within and let go of that emotional baggage, then allow for the time needed to renew and recharge yourself. Allow yourself to breath, hear the sounds of nature, and allow for the right season to grow.
Timing for Everything is Absolutely Perfect. Trees know when to open their flowers to release the seeds for the next generation. Trees know when winter is coming, and to release their leaves and prepare for the next season. Trees flow with the seasons, and allow for the changes that come with each one. There is a greater force working, not just for trees, but for each of us. The secret is to allow and accept as the seasons of your life change. And trust each season has it brings its own gifts to you.
What you can learn from trees is to learn how to sway and move with the seasons of your life. Many simply move through their lives always looking forward, rather than enjoying and appreciating what is right in front of them. Life is truly about being grateful for the small wonders that show up each day. Trees don’t ask if there is a tomorrow. They live in the moment of today, and accept each season as it comes.