A Field Guide to Life – Nature’s Life Lessons

by Brad on October 30, 2012

My Four “Life Lessons” from Nature

Over the years, from early ventures as a young child, to an adult who finds peace and connection in nature, to my work as a nature tour leader in some of the world’s most exotic wilderness locations, I’ve found nature to be a most amazing teacher. With both persistence and non-judgment, nature has taught me:

  • to create, with intention. What do I hear when I listen for my inner voice?  How might I honor the deep personal truth to which I’m continually drawn? Is my life is an expression of what matters most to me?
  • to live, with awareness. Possibility shows up in “the space between,” in emptiness. Opportunity depends on change. What is my relationship to silence? to change? to not knowing?
  • to act, with courage. Rarely can outcomes be known ahead of time. Can I trust the power of my own truth to define my path in life? How does faith light my way?
  • to relate, with reverence, to myself and to others. We’re all connected as one. How I think, speak and act profoundly affects my life, and the lives of others. Do I live with deep gratitude for all I’ve been given?

Whenever I experience new learning, especially in nature, I want to know the “truths” that underlie my experience. What forces drive life in the universe? How are they expressed on Earth? How can I learn about my life from the ways in which nature sustains life? What might I learn about separateness by examining nature’s wholeness? How might I “re-member” those lost parts of self, as a way to reconnect me with the ultimate source of life? Can I listen? Can I hear?

In the articles ahead, you’ll find what I’ve learned and experienced from “nature as teacher” in my life, eight principles that define life in the universe. In summary:

  • Creativity: Life’s purpose is to sustain the process of creative expression
  • Opportunism: Uncertainty and chaos invite creativity
  • Self-organization: Life responds as it goes, creating order from chaos and uncertainty
  • Simultaneity: There’s no independent reality; truth depends on context; all possibilities always exist, simultaneously
  • Rhythm: Life’s recurring patterns, not its events, are the carriers of meaning; patterns renew and refresh
  • Energy: Energy is a measure of creative expression; no energy is wasted
  • Community: Sustainability favors cooperation through relationships
  • Connectedness: All of life is one organism; everything is interconnected


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