Lessons from Nature, the Whale

Successful executives often talk about what they learn through lessons from nature. Nature is where they spend time to recharge and resolve work-related challenges.

Why spend time in nature?

Greg is a business owner who took a year off before establishing his business. He spent that year cycling the long open roads across three continents. He describes how at one stage he felt totally at peace. It was the repetitive nature of cycling together with the vastness of the landscapes that opened and freed his mind. He had become one with the rhythm of the wheels on the road. This was one of the most powerful lessons from nature he experienced. Consequently today he longs to return to that mental space of complete freedom.

Tom heads up a business unit in a large financial institution. He and his wife have an arrangement that over a weekend he has one day to himself.  His day is often spent hiking or walking in nature. He chooses routes where there are few people. This time enables him to empty his mind of work issues. So Tom knows that he learns lessons from nature where he feels at peace and free to explore his inner world.

He usually finds that he is subconsciously thinking and trying to resolve a work issue. Sometimes in the quietness he finds a solution, but other times not. When the latter occurs he sits on the problem a little longer until he is led intuitively to what to do next.

Learning from animals

Tracy, a coaching client, comments on how she developed a strong affinity with whales. She and her father often went whale watching when she was a youngster. As a result she looks specifically to the animal kingdom where she learns lessons from nature.

The whale teaches us about listening to our intuition, understanding the impact of our emotions on our life and following our own truth.

Whales teach us about being in the natural flow as opposed to trying to control outcomes. The whale’s life is often at the mercy of the elements. It knows to migrate when there is a change of season because it is sensitive to the shifts in temperature of the water.

Similarly we need to honour that just as there are seasons in nature, we also experience these in ourselves. There will always be a winter, a time of discomfort. But this is followed by spring and summer. So the whale teaches us to trust in the natural rhythms and flow of life.

Fighting against the tides takes a great deal of energy and is exhausting. So accept what is, knowing that this too will pass. Go with the flow and allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. By all means have a clear vision, but allow yourself the freedom to listen to your intuition as to how you will manifest this vision.

When we are in our heads the whole time tackling every challenge as a problem that needs to be solved, we miss the point. Life is not a problem to be solved. Business is not purely a problem to be solved. It is a process or journey to be lived where we allow situations to unfold and evolve.  We need to find a balance between our rational problem solving mind and allowing room for our gut-feel to surface. It is often these intuitive messages that lead us to the best way forward.

As business owners we are confronted with many factors that may have us question or doubt ourselves. The whale teaches us about discovering our own truth. Live your own life as opposed to doing what others expect of you. Live out your passion and do what is best for your business.

Nature, the great healer

Nature and everything in it brings us a different way of looking at the world and solving challenges.

Do you ever spend time in the mountains or close to the sea and look for a solution in nature? How do the different species in nature deal with challenges they face? How do plants respond to destructive forces?

What challenge do you have now that you can experiment with by taking it to nature to resolve? Do you take time away from the treadmill of life just to be? Where is your favourite spot in nature? What animals or places are you often drawn to? Why?

If you would like to explore your answers to these questions you would enjoy the benefits of coaching.


Posted in Business Owner, Mind-body connection.