Updated: Jul 28
"The more time I spend in nature, the more lessons I learn about myself and life."
Honestly though, I didn’t get what people meant by that until a few years ago.
I grew up in New Jersey surrounded by neighbors and just miles from the concrete jungle of NYC. There was no “getting lost in nature”…just a single cement path going through the park right near I-80 where you could still hear the cars passing by even with headphones on. That was the most nature I got growing up so it made no sense to me why people where so obsessed with and almost made it their religion.
After all, plants don’t talk. Birds don’t deal with bills or money stress. And the trees certainly aren’t worried about finding the one and getting married. So how could these non-human species teach me anything useful about the human experience?!
Then one day my wife & I bought a home on an acre of land in Vermont. I found myself for the first walking barefoot in the grass, sitting quietly under trees, and actually hearing the birds sing every day. Being fully surrounded by and immersed in nature almost instantly changed my perspective.
Not a single word was spoken during those moments of losing track of time outside and yet my soul learned something new - THIS is the purpose of life…to just BE! To exist and enjoy all the wonder around us. The plants, birds, and trees got it right! It’s not about the money or finding the one…its about living fully in this present moment 💛
The past 3 years of living here feels like a spiritual awakening every time I step outside. There is always a bit of wisdom waiting for me on my daily walks through the garden (or snow depending on the month here!). So I wanted to share a few more lessons with you today that caring for and gardening on this land as taught me.
ps. make sure to check back time from time as I will continually update this blog as more lessons flow to me from nature! I'd love to hear any lessons you've learned down in the comments below!
Even on cloudy days, the sun still shines & things still bloom
This lesson came to me after a week of feeling emotionally and spiritually gloomy. It was a long couple days of journaling and crying on the couch, but something in me said “go outside”. I sat in the grass for a few minutes when suddenly the sun poked out from behind a cloud reminding me that even when it feels like a dark cloud is looming over me, my sunshine (aka your inner light) is still shining brightly even if I can’t see it.
And at any moment a breeze can come along and cause that cloud to drift away so you can see your light again. After this a-ha moment, I walked over to my raised garden bed and saw the first flowers on my green bean plant opened…even though the sun was only out for a moment that day. You too can bloom even when life feels a bit gloomy!
Did you know peas don’t grow unless they feel supported?
They love to climb up literally anything you put near them, but without that support their little tendrils go searching for something to grab on to. If they don’t find anything to lean on, they shrivel up and stop growing. Humans are similar, we need support and help along the way in order to grow. Even in perfect conditions, we still benefit from having someone to lean on. It could be a friend, teacher, coach, or therapist - but we all need some support once in awhile especially when we are going through periods of massive growth in our lives!
When something doesn’t grow, you don’t blame the plant but look at the environment it is in.
If you watched our June Garden Tour video, you saw that nothing in our new raised beds was growing. Everything was lush and green going in, but within a week it was all yellowing and wilting. So my wife and I went down the list “is it getting enough sunshine? Yes! Enough water? Yup! What about nutrients…..” Turns out that last one was a “no” after we did a soil test.
But at no point did my wife and I think “well these plants are just failures and should be discarded”. Actually that would have been a BIG mistake because after a little fertilizer they are thriving again! The same is true for you. If you don’t feel like you are thriving in life at the moment, look at your environment. What do you need more or less of for you to grow? You are not a failure, just maybe not set up for success yet!
Without resistance , you can’t grow stronger.
As I was sitting on the meditation bench in my back flower garden watching the wind throw around the new sprouted Bleeding Heart flowers, I became concerned for them. What if the wind is too strong and breaks their delicate little stems? I almost went inside to grab some plastic pots and empty yogurt containers to cover them before remembering the purpose of the wind - to strengthen them. If I protected them now, sure they would grow. But the moment that little cozy container comes off, their stems would be too weak to stand up against even stronger winds later on.
When resistance blows against you in life, there are two ways to see it - something that will destroy you or something that will strengthen you. I choose to focus on the latter. (and in case you were wondering, those flowers are big and strong now like that harsh wind never happened.)
Cutting away the old creates space for the new!
Some flowers like zinnias, petunias, and others NEED to have their dead blooms removed in order to produce new, healthy flowers. If you leave those spent blooms there, the plant won’t grow any more to enjoy! I wonder what in your life needs to be pruned away so new and better can come through? Grab those scissors and snip, snip snip!
Collective Consciousness ain’t just for the ants.
Have you ever watched the ants all working together? They seem to be in perfect order without saying a word to one another. From the moment they are born, they know what their job is in the colony and they all work together to reach the common goal - food, shelter, and survival.
Humans also have this collective consciousness, but not all of us seem to be tapped into it. We all desire the same things - love, safety, connection, joy, - but sadly, we are not all working together for the highest good of all….yet. Just like ants we are born with the ability to connect with this consciousness, our true source. Now I am no bugologist, but I would bet that many more of us would be connected with this energy if we did what the ant did - spend more time in nature, less time on our phones; focus on what unites us versus what separates us; and trust that our small contributions make a difference.
So you believe animals have instincts but humans don’t have intuition?
I almost laughed out loud during this conversation with an acquaintance. She was saying how all that “spiritual sh*t and intuition stuff is made up to give people false hope in the world”. So I asked her if she ever noticed the birds migrating over head every fall down south and every spring back up north. She said “yes, of course!”. I responded, “if birds have instincts on what day to travel, how to get there, where to live once they are there…why do you think humans don’t have something similar guiding the way?”. Immediately she got quiet and I think had an epiphany in that moment.
The amazing thing is though just how many animals do something similar! Salmon always return to the same lake they were born in to lay their eggs even though they have to swim upstream. Sea turtles travel thousands of miles to make their nests on the same beach they hatched on years before without a map or GPS. Spiders just know how to spin a web without any help from their parents or other spiders. Caterpillars one day decide to tuck themselves into a cocoon and become butterflies even though they’ve never seen anyone else do that. There are sooo many more examples of this in the world, but I hope just like that acquaintance, you have some more belief that something out there is guiding you.
The butterfly with broken wings.
One day while I was out working in the garden, I saw a beautiful yellow butterfly flutter across my path. It was the first one I saw that season so, of course, I stopped what I was doing and watched it fly around looking for the perfect flower. Once it landed, I noticed it’s two bottoms wings were broken. Almost shredded apart and hardly there anymore. But when she flew, you would never know. I continued to watch her and thought “maybe I should help her?” until realizing she didn’t need it. She figured out how to keep going despite it all.
This magical moment outside taught me three lessons I hold very dear about my own brokenness. 1) You can still live a fulfilling life despite whatever happened to you. 2) Sometimes I too move fast and keep fluttering through life to hide the brokenness in fear of what others may think of it. 3) The people I want to surround myself with will see my brokenness as inspiring and feel called to support me through it.
You may have also heard about butterflies inside their chrysalis.
After a caterpillar forms their cocoon, they turn into a pile of goo. Yeah kinda gross, but stay with me for a second. They have to let go of everything they once where in order to become something new. A really interesting thing happens though once they transform into a butterfly and start to leave the cocoon.
If you try to help them and cut away the cocoon, they never have the strength to fly and eventually die. Because they need the struggle of breaking out of it to prepare their bodies for flight. While it may be difficult or even seem impossible to transform in your own life, those obstacles are there for a reason. Keep fighting and know one day you will break free when the time is right!
The author vs the gardener.
Thich Nhat Hanh was a Buddhist monk, writer, and avid gardener. One day a fan of his was visiting him so he took her out to the gardens to show her his plants. After a few minutes of walking the woman says to him "You shouldn't spend your time growing vegetables. You should spend more time writing poems. Your poems are so beautiful. Everyone can grow lettuce, but not everyone can write poems like you do.' I told her, 'If I don't grow lettuce, I can't write poems.'
We ALL need creative outlets and down time to just be. But often we feel guilt for taking the time to rest (thanks capitalism and hustle culture…). But without that much needed relaxation, we cannot give our best to the other tasks. May this story be the reminder that rest is necessary and nothing to feel bad about for taking. Your best work depends on it after all.
Seeds and The Law of Gender.
No, this has nothing to do with the binary that society has created. Instead we are talking about the masculine and feminine parts in all of us and when they are balanced, the beautiful things that can manifest. We see this clearly when we look at planting a seed. The seed itself is the feminine, full of potential and everything she needs to succeed. But in order for any of that to come out, you need someone to plant the seed aka the masculine. This side of you gets the practical work done so those creative ideas can grow!
And as you know it doesn’t happen overnight. The seed takes a couple weeks to germinate and sprout, but all the while you are still watering and tending to the plant. This is the balance of the feminine and masculine at work. The feminine is full of ideas and thrives on rest while the masculine get’s stuff done to support the feminine’s creative flow. Without the other, neither will succeed. Do you think your masculine and feminine sides are balanced? Which one needs to step up and take up space more right now?
(psst...you can learn more about tapping into the feminine in module 4 of Manifested It! The Course)
Wood knots are actually scars.
Those beautiful twisty knots in wood are actually caused by cutting a branch away. The tree heals by growing bark over the cut and creates a “knot” in the wood. After a few years, you can hardly tell from the outside that a branch was there and removed. But when that tree is chopped down for lumber, the knot it revealed and sought after by some for its unique beauty. Those painful experiences and parts of you that you have healed can add depth, uniqueness, and even some beauty to your life. The scar is still there, but maybe it is something we can learn to cherish a bit more?
Even in decay, beautiful things exist around you.
In recent years “mushroom-core” has become such a trend on social media. And I am guilty of loving it way too much! But have you ever stopped to think about how these beautiful fungi only grow on dead trees?
There is beauty even in decay and there is growth even in death. The same is true in your life. Even in the darkest of circumstances there is still light, joy, and wonder. What mushrooms have been pushing through in your own life?
The way the bamboo grows.
Did you know for 4 years bamboo grows underground before ever sprouting? Then in the 5th year it shoots up out of the ground and can grow 90 feet in just 5 weeks! That is a lot of time to be patient and see no visible changes. I wonder how long you give yourself to grow? Do you continue to trust the process or give up right before your big break? Are you ready for the massive growth that is coming your way?
(ps. shoutout to my friend @drivendani on IG for sharing this lessons with me!)
The flower doesn't focus on attracting the bees, it blooms and bees come to her.
This saying could be interpreted in so many ways as with all lessons we take from nature.
If you're dating, it could be your sign to focus on your own healing and let "the one" come to you.
If you're into manifesting, it could be a lessons in enjoying where you are right now and letting go of the timeline for your goals so they can flow to you.
Or it could just be a beautiful reminder that when you commit to your growth and tune out the distractions beautiful things will naturally be attracted to you.
We live in an abundant world.
Do you think the leaves ever worry if there will be enough sunlight for them to absorb? Do you think the trees are scared when all the leaves drop in the fall that none will ever return? Do you think the birds stress about finding shelter or enough twigs for their home? No, they trust their needs will be met and keep going on about their day. If there is always more than enough for the plants and animals on this planet, why wouldn't the same be true for you?
If you ever doubt the abundance all around you, cut open an apple. From that one fruit you can get up to 5 seeds which have the potential to all become a tree and create hundreds of apples for you! Every where you look in nature there are ways to propagate, clone, and create more plants from just one. We humans are the only ones that see this planet as scarce and finite when truly it is overflowing with all we need and is here to support us! (ps. don't forget to return the favor and support the Earth as much as you can!)
As above, so below.
You may have heard this concept before, but not fully gasped its meaning. Simply put it means what happens in one plane of existence occurs in the others as well. Whatever happens in the spiritual is also happening in the physical. The macrocosm mirrors the microcosm and vice versa.
My wife and I have had many conversations on this topic and love finding instances of it in nature! For example, the human body has veins that mimic rivers, stretch marks that look like lightning strikes, bruises look like nebulas, and so much of our anatomy is based on the Fibonacci sequence that is seen throughout nature. The more you look at nature, the more you see yourself are deeply a part of it. And the more lessons you can pull from observing it and apply to your own life. 😉
I hope you enjoyed some of the life lessons nature has taught me over the years and would LOVE to hear what it has taught YOU in the comments down below!
If you can't think of any lessons to share, let this be your ✨sign✨ to get outside and get quiet! It is in the stillness and the asking that we find the answers. I like to find a tree or nice patch of grass to sit in, take a few deep breaths, and ask "what lessons do you have for me today?". Then silently observe everything around me until the answer comes. It always does.
And if you'd like to hang out with me in the nature even more, check out this video and the monthly garden tours I share over on YouTube!
As I mentioned before, I will update this blog periodically with new lessons nature shares with me so make sure to subscribe to Magical Mail list so you don't miss them!
See you in the next blog babe! ✨
ps. if you enjoyed this blog and my approach to learning spiritual lessons through nature, you might enjoy working together 1:1 to heal your sh*t and embody who you were always meant to become! Learn more about Life Coaching opportunities with me here 💛