Trees are sentient, living beings that have been around far longer than we have and invariably have much to teach us. But, do we have the ability to learn from them? Because as they give selflessly and we take selfishly, trees also carry ancient knowledge inside them and considering we pride ourselves as the most intelligent species on the planet, it is only our duty to harvest this knowledge for our physical and mental well-being.
Here are ten golden lessons, we can learn from trees by simply observing them.
1. Take care of yourself and only then will you be able to give to others.
Trees are constantly giving without abandon but this is only possible because, at the same time, they’re continuously at work building themselves. In today’s fast-paced lives where we’re endlessly racing to please, it’s time to make time for what’s most important – YOURSELF.
2. Stay grounded
The taller the tree, the deeper the roots. Staying grounded ensures you remember who you are, where you came from and why you are here. Growth without humility is just a disaster waiting in the works.
3. Remember that challenges only make you stronger
Dolly Parton famously once said ‘Storms make trees take deeper roots’. The only constant we can expect is change and it may be that there will be times that these changes aren’t to our liking. But do trees willingly allow the slightest storms to blow them over? Then why should we?
4. Learn to take your time
You don’t see trees grow overnight. That’s because they’re in no hurry to do so. They take their time to make growth a beautifully complex journey and savour the process. Like the tree, enjoy the journey, not the destination.
5. Cooperate with your neighbour
Would you ever consider a tree to be sheepish and shy? Most would answer with an instant ‘no’. But, let’s talk about ‘crown shyness’, a phenomenon in which trees withdraw their leaves to ensure they don’t touch each other. This results in beautiful webs where canopies of trees that are almost touching grace entire forests. While shyness may not be the right term, it is imperative to see how trees maintain boundaries allowing each other to not only survive but also thrive.
6. Self-healing is key
In case of accidents and injury, tree cells flow around the wound creating a knot. Trees are bursting with life and cutting supplies to injury and allowing the injury to get the better of them is never, ever an option.
7. Stand tall with pride
Trees take their own sweet time to grow, but when they have, they own their greatness. They stand tall providing shelter to all those who require it. Like trees, be proud of who you are, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and remind yourself that there’s always room for growth.
8. Know when to rest
Each year in Canada, entire forests go dormant for upwards of six months. Trees have the ability to minimize their metabolic activity to conserve energy. Imagine if we all took as much care to rest and conserved our energy for our chance to bloom when the time is right.
9. Find your fingerprint
Did you know that if you were to cut a tree, the rings from the bark to the centre create a unique pattern and that the pattern of no two trees is the same? (Also, the concentric number of trees usually is similar to how old the tree is in years.) Find what makes you unique and own it to define who you are rather than conforming to the norm.
10. Let go of perfectionism
In nature, nothing is perfect and that’s what makes everything perfect. At the end of the day, perfectionism is an illusion that’s constantly changing. Learn to find beauty in imperfections. Remember that you don’t need to be beautiful, because you already are.