Look To Nature And Learn: Renewal Is Closer Than You Think

When I go through periods of life when I feel like I’m not growing, I just look to nature. We can learn a lot about life, simplicity, and renewal by looking at the natural world. 

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little stagnant, like I’m not growing as a teacher, writer, and musician. In reality, I am, because I continue to practice each of these arts. But it doesn’t always feel like I’m growing.

Look To Nature And Learn

Do you always see things growing in nature? Change takes place slowly and silently. Seeds fall. They blow in the wind. Sometimes they won’t germinate and sprout for weeks, months, even years. Many trees and flowers only bloom once a year. There are some cactus species that only bloom one day each year. It’s the same for us. We’re not always in bloom.

As a musician I’ve experienced this: For months, even years, it feels like I’m not improving. Still, I practice every day. Then one day I realize how much I’ve improved. It’s a natural progression. In nature we can see natural plateaus and peaks. If we look to nature we can think of our progress as natural stairs.

Consider the wind and the water. Both powerful sources, shape things, and create landscapes. It can take years for water and wind to complete a work. Even then, the work is never completed. A sudden flood could wash away one beautiful landscape only to create another.

And so it is for us. As creative people, we might create something only to decide we must destroy it to create something greater. It might take us years. For true artists, it’s a lifetime of change and improvement. It’s renewal.

We Are The Waves

If you truly practice any kind of art or craft, you’re constantly improving, even when you can’t see the results. Think of yourself as the waves of the ocean, continuously shaping the coastline. That is art.

You might do the same thing as a minimalist. In the true meaning of the word, minimalism is about an artistic aestheticism. I’m constantly working to make my home more simple and aesthetically pleasing. That is an art, not a lifestyle. 

We can look to nature for minimalist inspiration as well. But even the minimalist landscapes are constantly changing and being renewed. We don’t always notice that change as it’s happening, but it’s happening all the same. 

So whether you’re an artist or a minimalist, progression is not always observable. If you’re feeling discontented or stagnant, know that it’s only temporary. If you keep practicing your art, you will progress. Just look to nature if you don’t believe me. 

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James Ewen
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