The Stories Nature Tells Us
If we just stop for a little while, and take some time to look around, we will notice that everything we need, every ounce of inspiration, motivation and vitality, is within our reach. All of this can be found within Nature, and we have unlimited access to these gifts. All we need to do is remember to tap in.
We are so busy that we forget to connect to and honour the source of all life, creation and creativity - our Environment. Perhaps if we slow down, take the time to connect and listen to her, we’ll hear we’ll hear her stories.
These are stories of love, and connection, and beauty, and so much joy. They are intertwined with endless inspiration and energy, and she beckons us adopt them, and use them as our own.
As humans we are deeply interconnected with and dependent on the Earth. We are part of the ecosystem, and without her we wouldn’t survive.
Recognising this imbededness in Nature can overcome the alienation we have from the rest of creation and one another, and changes the way we experience our self.
Understanding this interconnectedness and nurturing this relationship, brings forth our human values of caring, cooperation, and empathy. And these principles support both our ecological and human systems, in sustainable ways.
We must learn to understand and cherish this relationship, and work in synergy and conscious collaboration with her.
NATURE = SPIRITUALITY
As we are deeply embedded within nature, our consciousness is part of the same equation. As I talked about in my previous post, I define spirituality and sustainability as intrinsically linked. Here Nature is the fundamental element. The idea of the connectedness and interdependence that we have with nature, is also the principle of spiritual experience.
We are moving away from a spirituality as found in sacred texts, to a spirituality that is revealed in the world around us. Becoming aware of the Earth around us and nourishing this relationship, can help us to understand the human spirit, and allow us to feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to the world around us.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854.
The most amazing thing that you can do to feel connected and spark that creative flow is to be out in nature.
When was the last time you went outside, put your feet in the grass and connected with the Earth?
Have you ever sat against a tree and thanked her for everything that she provides you with?
Have you ever just sat and watched all the intricate natural systems happening all around you?
Come here my child.
Come breathe me in.
Let me replenish your Spirit.
Let me open and clear the channel for flow.
Come back home, my sweet one. Come back home.
Nature allows us to connect with the essence of who we truly are.
Not only that, but she relaxes us. And it is this relaxed, non-resistant mind that becomes an open channel for new ideas and inspiration to flow.
I urge you, go outside today and spend some time in the grass, sitting against a tree,
observing the bees in the flowers.
Take a few deep breaths. Meditate if you wish.
Just observe and be.
Notice the beautiful intricacies happening all around you, for you.
And then if you feel, write or draw whatever comes. Do not overthink it.
Just let yourself be the vessel for what comes through.
If nothing comes, just appreciate the moment you have taken out for yourself to connect. It’s all perfect.
Try to make this a daily practice. It doesn’t have to take long. At least a few minutes a day.
This quiet connection time will do wonders for your creative flow. Trust me.
Develop this daily sacred practice, and ideas will start popping up out of nowhere, solutions to problems will just come to you, and you’ll feel more inspired and connected.
And don’t forget to show some appreciation to her, for keeping you alive and supporting you along the way.
DESIGNING WITH NATURE
The Earth gives us life.
She offers us endless inspiration and beauty.
She nourishes and heals us.
It is our responsibility as designers, makers, creatives and visionaries, to design with her, for the benefit of all.
Biomimicry, as introduced by Janine Benyus, helps us to design with nature, by looking at how she works, and modelling our lives and systems upon these functioning and resilient frameworks.
“How do we make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing?”
- Janine Benyus, Biomimicry, 1998.
Here, Nature is seen as a model, measure and mentor, for the formation of new creations and systems within the world.
There are numerous ways we can design with Nature, creating mindful and beautiful products and systems, that yield purpose and values.
A good starting point is Benyus’ Design Checklist (1998):
Will it fit in?
Will it last?
Does it run on sunlight?
Does it use only the energy it needs?
Does it recycle everything?
Does it reward cooperation?
Does it support biodiversity?
Does it utilise local supply and expertise?
Does it curb excess from within?
Does it tap the power of limits?
There are multiple ways that we can design with Nature, and some examples include design for recyclability, upcyclability, zero-waste, disassembly, circularity, biodegradability, localism…
The point is not to mindlessly extract from her, but create beautiful & useful things, and give back.
How can we create and work in symbiosis with Nature and her gifts?
It’s our responsibility as creators to create and produce things, systems, ideas, that yield positive benefits for the Earth and all living beings, as opposed to mindless extraction.
Have you ever considered your relationship with nature, and how you can use it enhance your creativity and practice?
I’d love to know your thoughts!