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Learning From Nature: The Master and The Mistress of Time

lonely woman walking in forest

Learning from Nature: Foliage

A leaf falls to the ground and I look at it. The more I look at the tree the more leaves fall off. I cannot help but think that maybe my stare is forcing this tree’s nakedness. Melancholy takes over. Then, I find myself mourning over a loss that only I alone perceive as such.

Later, I catch myself hurling my feelings, my own sympathies and tragedies onto the tree that does not suffer like me. In reality, I’ve hurled emotions at people near and far, finding suffering everywhere. Except, now I see that I am the mother of that suffering. I birthed it out of an unquiet mind and a spineless fear of the unknown.

The Questioning

How often do we beat ourselves up over not more than a thought? How often do we spare everyone else but ourselves from punishment? What is the programing behind it? What is that fear?

Signs of Life

We go about calling ourselves and our fears by new names. Since once something has a name to it it becomes slightly more familiar, and our weariness of it diminishes. We swallow pills and smoke cigarettes, we drink alcohols and green teas, making sure that we mix it up. Then, we go on diets and detoxes.

We try to clean ourselves of sorrow and shame. However, our toxins keep building and we see nothing else but the need to rise above it and abolish every uneasiness and dirty thing about us. We do it alone, and then we do it together, because having company helps us feel less alone, as though life will spare us some change and give us some benefit.The more of us the merrier and at least we get to have some fun and somebody to talk to.

Living gets serious and then it gets old, we get sick of it and it gets sick of us and we cringe at the thought of doing it all over again. So, we change and hope to fix ourselves and everything around us. We dwell on thoughts and we get too close to some truths that are convincing enough and others absolutely dubious.

Learning about truth from nature

The truth at the end is that we are just passing through; empty handed at first and empty handed at last. You can either find an immense freedom in that or a life sentence of questioning and resistance. What happens before we awaken? and what happens after we go for our eternal sleep? We learn from nature that both must not burden us. Humans already live life carrying burdens and labels in hopes of being of value or creating it, in a world so much bigger and stronger than us.

And so the tree stays still, and though I wish it could break fee of its roots and come crashing to the ground mourning its leaves and its lost colors, it does not move. It lives to withstand yet another winter and it hopes to blossom yet another spring as it stays still and lives, well rooted despite my emotions. Perhaps a lesson is to be learned here, yet again maybe my mind needs to stay pre-occupied.

I must find a name for this tree. It is a master of time or a sign of the times, it doesn’t move, but I do.

I make my steps across the new path, little do I realize that I also left a part of myself with the fallen leaves. This crash course of learning from nature reminds me there are storms to be weathered and suns to be bathed under; life awaits and I keep on.

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I Asked the Seminyak Waves for Advice and They Didn’t Hold Back

How many times have you felt as though life is gushing at you with force like a series of Seminyak waves crashing at your feet? You look at the events of your life and stand still, perhaps for a second, perhaps for a year, floating between two options;

Run away as fast as you can; because maybe just maybe one Tsunami is going to cut right past you and carry you with it to oblivion. OR Stay there and wait for the right moment to take a nice cold swim, get hit by a few waves, and trust in your ability to face what comes to you when necessary.

The struggle is difficult, remaining calm and composed when you feel like the world is going to eat you whole is an act of courage. Then again, you see a pigeon taking its funny little steps at the shore beside you not giving a care about the ocean or the waves. It is focused and content; it accepts the gushing waves and moves when it must; but it by no means avoids the ocean.

The only way to really see what life can do for you is to accept that it can really do whatever it wants to you.

So the best way to learn that is to spend some time close to nature. Nature in its jungles, winds, animals, insects, oceans and rivers has so much to say. It is a performer that doesn’t see you. Nature in all its mastery is a dancer that dances for no one but itself. It sings and hits, it sways and flies not for the sake of the beholder but for its own sake. So assuming that life has any concern for us is ridiculous. However, when we do decide to do as it does, wonderful things happen. When we let ourselves live and love and just do what we truly feel in our hearts we must do; life flows around us. We no longer become little blocks in its way. We become one with it, we reside in its care, and we get treated as it treats its most loved creatures.

So when you feel afraid of life, think about what you truly are afraid of. Perhaps the fear you feel is not of the event itself, but of the possible loss of control that you suddenly come too close to. A fish has no control of the ocean but it swims in it regardless. A tree has no control over the seasons but it works its way around it.

Perhaps we complicate life, and we possibly take it too hard when we don’t get exactly what we wanted. What if we take a step back and relinquish some control as a start, what would happen then?

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How Do You Know If You Live in a Chicken Society?

For those of you who have never been exposed to living chickens, welcome to this post. I must add a necessary disclaimer here because if you believe in equality, this post is not for you. If you believe in gender balance this post is not for you, and if you believe in little hierarchy this post will bother you.

The disclaimer above, is only there to avert the faint hearted from the harsh world of chicken social norms and rules. See we are more like chickens than we know, and if we were to compare many parts of traditional social and corporate norms, well we might as well start growing feathers and holding onto our eggs. Chickens are assumed to be stupid creatures but scientists are out there studying the intelligence and emotional responses of chicken to prove that we might be widely mistaken. So do not lose heart in the comparison but keep an open mind.

The animal kingdom regardless how far we think we are from it, is filled with wonderful and eccentric rules. Somehow a balance is maintained in order to make sure that reproduction is optimized and survival sustained. That balance is especially interesting in chicken societies. From ranking systems to what we have come to know as the pecking order, our feathery friends have very peculiar life styles, not to mention the immense powers of the patriarch rooster.

One rooster per flock, and the then the hen hierarchy begins. Reminds you of something? Perhaps not so long ago, this was absolutely normal in our societies and is still extremely real in many human communities around the world.

Modern westernized culture has deemed this system outdated. Hierarchy based on patriarchy enhances sexism, the loss of rights and the reduction in efficiency. In chicken world however, this is what brings you your fried eggs and better yet, the billions of chickens on earth.

Put a rooster in a suit and he can go corporate. Put a chicken in a skirt and she can still go nowhere.

In our modern world, we can notice that many of the previously intensely corporate systems which were marked by their love for roosters, are moving away from the pecking order and into fairer grounds.

How you ask?

The rooster of the firm gets some privileges removed and the underdog hens get a few boosts to their positions. That way superiority based on loyalty and old timer status gets rebutted and then the newly introduced or the youngest might even get the chance to make a difference in the grander scheme.

What happens to those who wish to hold on to their chicken societies?

Well then if we were perfect reflections of our chicken friends, then fighting among the hens would prevail, opportunism and scheming become normalized and rewarded; as per the pecking order, the winning hen gets to move up the rank, and the losing one returns to lower standing.

Although quite bleak and unimaginative, you may think to yourself, this social system appears to be instinctual to chickens, but is it innate to us?

Good question, so why is any of this important?

We have been growing ever more disconnected from other living things. Peering into the world of animals, better yet, many people’s favorite food: CHICKEN, gives us insight into how we live and what we do about it. We find out eventually that we are not so different, we did not invent much, and many of the norms we believe to be ours have actually been learned. Much can be unlearned and improved. Our evolutionary advantage in having advanced cognation and psychology allows us to grow.

The bottom line is that: Humanity is not better, but it ought to be good.