Spring is Here!
Spring is in the air everywhere. You hear it, you see it, you smell it, you taste it and you feel it. The fresh sunlight shines through all the cracks and voids of our lives. It inspires us to look at things in a different way. According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, you can't possibly take care of yourself if you don't take care of your surroundings. "Taking care of your environment means taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your environment". Spring helps us cultivate those core values from the inside out. No wonder more and more doctors are prescribing nature as medicine.
Taking care of yourself
In this insanely busy world, it's not always easy to take good care of yourself. Before you know it, you are no longer the director of your own life, but you let yourself be guided and influenced by all kinds of people and situations from the outside. What helps me enormously is to walk for an hour and a half every day. Often, together with my partner, I seek out nature. The plants, the animals, the trees, they always live in the moment. They don't think, like people do. They don't judge, as people do. Walking through nature helps me to regain overview and insight when I have lost it for a while due to the hectic pace of existence. We get stressed when too many things come at us at once. I always pause myself and create an overview for myself first. Without that insight and overview, we tend to react too quickly to all kinds of impulses that come our way. If we react without knowing the full facts, we tend to draw the wrong conclusions.
In nature I get close to myself again. The rustling of the leaves, the acrobatic tours of the squirels and the singing of the birds bring me back into the moment. In Japan they call it: shinrin-yoku, "immersing in nature" or "forest bathing". A conscious walk through the park, on the beach, through the forest, in the fresh air is relaxing. In more and more countries, nature is prescribed on doctor's prescription. Take, for example, the United States and Canada where doctors prescribe a visit to a National Park as a boost to human mental health. Or in the UK where doctors prescribe long walks and bird watching as part of treating chronically ill people. But I wouldn't advise you to wait until you get nature prescribed as a prescription by a doctor. Choose to take the first steps yourself and spend enough time in the fresh air, preferably every day. It helps to calm your thoughts and you start to feel better about the essence of life. The power of nature holds a mirror up to you as far as the power within yourself is concerned. It helps you to further tap into the potential within yourself. By standing still in nature for a moment, you can then make faster progress at the full speed of life.
Taking care of the other person
To really be there for the other person, you first have to be there for yourself. During our financial planning courses, we always tell you how you can't help the customer any further than yourself. A financial planner without his own financial plan is of little use. A financial planner who doesn't have the time and resources to live life the way he wants to, how can he or she give good advice to the client? If we no longer hear the birds in the forest singing, to what extent can we still sincerely listen to the story of our fellow man? Whilst a listening ear is so important. It gives me the energy to sincerely listen to what moves the other person. You may not always be able to help the other person, but you can always be there for someone else. By sincerely listening to the other, the other person no longer feels so alone. We then create more value together.
Live life now!
I recently spent a day with a group of insurance consultants. We shared our life stories and had in-depth conversations about what "quality of life" meant to each of us. Together we discovered how quickly we tend to live in the past or in the future. In the past with the pain and sorrow of personal events. In the future with the desire for life to get better. A better future is often associated with realizing all kinds of dreams and desires. There's nothing wrong with that, unless we forget to live in the meantime. One of the advisors shared the story about his father. His father was a fisherman and spent his entire life at sea. Always with the dream of one day having enough money to be able to build a house and be with his family. As a son, he could hardly remember his father's voice, because father was never home. By the age of sixty, his father stopped working, and he had sufficient resources to come "home" and build a cottage on a Greek island. Two months later he died. It was a deep lesson for his son who didn't want to wait that long to live his dream. He already wanted to celebrate life by cooking for his friends and family, taking long walks through nature and being there as a father to his children, and as a lover to his partner. He said that "a goal is always far away. But life is always here and now."
Spring is here again and as far as I am concerned, that is an extremely appropriate time to remind ourselves to live the moment that is now available to you. Nature helps us enormously to get into the moment, to let go of thoughts and to become available for the present moment. Nature supports in discovering your own inner nature and your own potential, and the realization that we are one with nature. We are nature. From that realization, there is a positive impact, not only on your own personal development, but also on that of your family, your friends, colleagues and relationships. Use nature as a source of inspiration for yourself and everything and everyone around you!