Nature's Life and Work Lessons | Print |
Written by Barbara Parks   

What does nature have to teach you about your life? About your work?


If you have not recently (or ever) walked through a deep woods with tall trees towering above you, ambled through a field thick with bluestem prairie grass, or hiked a nature trail with stunning views around every turn, you must go. Soon.


Nature's valuable lessons are not available to us in any other form but direct experience. Lessons not available on the Internet, in an e-book, a webinar, or a blog. Nor will you experience it attending a "Finding Your True Lifework" seminar. I've learned this first-hand.

My most recent foray into nature took me on a short, 2-mile hike through the Wisconsin Blue Hills. The trail was clearly marked, but not well-developed (looked like no one had recently walked the trail.) The hike was an adventure of nature's surprises. Especially the fresh bear scat discovered halfway through the trail!


What did my direct experience with the natural world tell me? I was inspired to reach out beyond the familiar edges of a well-worn trail, to see what's there to see, to refrain from naming it wild wasteland.

And more: to see what's there before knowing what it is or naming it. What does this feel like? What more does this have to tell me? What if I make that choice? What if I took a risk? What if that really were possible?


Questions that spawn more questions: Who would have that information? Where can I find out more about that?

And even: What would I be willing to do to protect this natural world? How does my work support natural systems?


Lots to learn. If you can't hike a nature trail soon (for whatever reason), watch a public TV nature show. Borrow a nature video from the library. Or just stop and take a few moments to go there in your mind.