When we were putting together this website, we sorted through so many stock photos to find those that capture us and convey our message. The image of leaves really resonated because I am constantly lecturing people to turn to Nature when they feel bad.
I think we naturally turn to Nature when stressed. There must be some evolutionary reason why it is common to gravitate to the outdoors when we want to escape, to take a walk to “blow off steam.”
Different reasons abound about for why Nature is calming. A common reason is that Nature makes you realize how small you are and gives you perspective and dot…dot…dot… everything will be okay. I am not quite sure how you go from feeling negative emotions or stressed in some way, to feeling okay.
Here’s how Nature works for me: years ago a bright third grader told me that if leaves died and stayed stuck on to the tree branches, then all the water and nutrients would go toward the dead leaves and the tree would die. So, in the winter when food is scarce, it’s time to get rid of the leaves and start fresh in the Spring. I know this is not exactly true, but bear with me, I have a point to make.
I started thinking about how hard it is for us humans to shed our “leaves” even when holding on to them is so unhealthy. We sometimes hold onto habits, ways of thinking, ways of behaving that no longer work for us. We get mad when people tell us to “let it go”, because we think people do not understand how important our leaves are to us. We may even be insulted by such advice. We think that letting certain “leaves” go would be” giving in” or “giving up” or letting someone else win. We want others to change, not us.
Nature lets its leaves go in order to have a wonderful Spring. It lets go in order to continue living. We often think letting go would kill us. Instead, we should thank our leaves for how it has helped us in the past but perhaps it is time to acknowledge that they do not propel us forward.
So, next Autumn, really look around and really observe Nature sheds its leaves and how barren trees look so strong in their vulnerability. Be open to Nature and let it teach you.
If you are interested in how to shed your psychological leaves, check out:
Book: Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Magazine: Oprah (any issue will do. This woman is into letting go and embracing and look how she turned out.)