5 Things that Nature has Taught Me

By Collin Rhoade, MA, LPCC

September 27, 2020

Nature is a very powerful teacher. If we spend enough time in it, we often find ourselves realizing important lessons. Here are five of the most powerful lessons that nature has taught me.

  1. I am not in control.

This lesson is best taught by the weather. None of us controls the weather. When it rains, it rains. If I’m out in a storm or inclement weather, the only choice I have is whether to be frustrated, or to accept it with open arms and keep moving forward. There’s a lot in life that we don’t have control over, but we still get the same choice. We can be frustrated, mad, sad, you name it. Or we can embrace it and keep moving forward.

  1. I’m capable of more than I think

Steep hills on a long hike; bitter cold or intense heat; navigating through a forest where I can’t see any landmarks: these are the challenges that nature can put in our face. While it’s important to be aware of our limits, our limits are often much farther away than we previously thought. If we lean into the discomfort, if we keep breathing through the hard stuff, we often find we’re more capable than we think.

  1. There are beautiful and amazing things all around us

In today’s day-and-age, there’s a million things vying for our attention. If we can cut through the noise and distractions, nature offers us a beautiful and simple picture of life, growth, and change. If we just stop to look around and appreciate what’s before us, we can find a deep gratitude for the beauty that’s all around us.

  1. It’s good to slow down

Nature does not move quickly. The growth of a plant is slow. The changing of the seasons are gradual. Many of our lives seem to go at a pace that is fast and frantic. At the very least, we all need moments of slowing down. When we do this, we rejuvenate. We gain perspective. And we can move forward in a more meaningful and purpose driven way.

  1. We work best in balanced relationship with others

Nature operates in cycles and in relationships. The flowers depend on the pollinators; the pollinators depend on the flowers. The decaying leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps return to rich soil, which helps to grow new vegetables and plants. We work best in balance and in relationship with others as well. When we wall ourselves off to others, we lose the support and refinement of connection with others.

These lessons are universal. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the lessons, because the pace of life or distractions cause us to forget. Whether it’s your own time in nature or during an Inner Trek trip, I hope you get to experience the moments that teach these lessons.