Lessons Learnt Under the Tree!

Trees are often my companion during my solitude. Whenever I feel turbulence in my mind, the first thing I do is to go to a calm place filled with trees, sit down and take a deep breath. Surprisingly today, when I opened my closed eyes after taking a deep breath and looked at the tree, I felt like the tree was silently hearing my mind and responding with metaphors.

Use your resources to the fullest:

The tree said, “You look troubled. When you touch me, I feel a lot of disturbance in your body, especially in your mind. Are you facing any scarcity?.” The word ‘scarcity’ kept reverberating through my ears. I thought in my mind, “Scarcity has always been my life. My scarcity is so abundant now that fear has crept in. With fear, I’m less sure about everything.” The tree was silent for few minutes and then said, “Do you know from where I grow? Have you ever thought about my growth and looked at your life? My Life beings under the soil. I don’t worry under what soil I’m in, or what minerals I need to add to increase my growth pace or rather I wait for run. Whenever I get water, I absorb and use it. Whatever minerals are there in the soil I’m in; I utilize that for my growth. I don’t expect things and I don’t plan my growth. At that moment, whatever is available I use it best for my growth.” Slowly drilling that metaphor into my mind, I understood how whining dilutes my energy. I should make use of my opportunities to the fullest. Instead of spending my mind in questions like when the rain would come, when the soil will change, I should continue to grow unperturbed about my environs.

Be abundant, not scare:

The tree was happy to extend more of it’s thoughts into me. It told me about the leaves it holds. “You’ve seen the leaves I hold right. Each of these are unique and each of these arranges itself to get maximum sunlight possible(phototropism). They don’t feel scarce as there are many leaves around it, instead they understand each one is unique and leaves space for everyone to grow healthily. Now they are arranged in branches supported by a strong trunk and deep roots underneath. The leaf sways happily with the wind but never forgets the branches or the roots. I see you are young and your focus should lie on making your fundamentals strong, your roots strong. Learn the business, the techniques, build your skill-sets and most importantly be patient. Somethings take time. But if your roots are shallow, you’ll be down in the first storm but if it’s deep and strong, you’ll struggle but you’ll also have the power to sustain it.” I was spellbound when the tree told this to me. We constantly feel scarce because we compare, we rate and we have a scorecard. Each of us are qualitatively different yet we form quantitative comparisons and rate ourselves. By quantitative measurements, we indirectly limit ourselves. We form a band for our growth which cannot be measured and in this competition we feel scarcity and fear. This makes the whole purpose of work hollow. We fail to recognize our uniqueness and we become one in many.

Shed your skin:

The tree continued it’s next metaphor. “The leaves in the trees may be unique and strong, but when the time comes it has to fall. It has to learn to grow again, become fresh again. It’s doing so to adapt to the environs. Only when you react to your environs, you get disturbed. Leaves only respond, adapt, change and grow again ( inspired from Sundar Pichai’s Cockroach theory example). It knows that change is a natural process and doesn’t fear it.” This metaphor was a deep and a relevant one. Change;it’s something we humans never seem to take it the same way as nature takes it. Every minute,something is changing in the universe. Earth rotates, trees move, wind flows with varying speeds, waves flow with different patterns; almost every aspect of Nature changes and it’s not worried. It keeps being the same. We resist change and our mind becomes disarrayed when change happens. The things we have learnt also changes and in Alvin Toffler’s words ,“it’s important we learn, unlearn and relearn things” to adapt ourselves. Your skin is unique and preserve it’s genuineness. But learn to shed your skin, not lose your skin.

I was rejuvenated after this conversation with the tree and rose from the tree’s shade with lucid thoughts. We have to believe that the world works for us and things around us constantly keeps teaching us many things. All we require is the ability to see through things and learn from things.
The universe will always be a wonderful place to stay.

Ram Thilak  

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