OK, so I'll be upfront: I'm no tree. But today I'm going to speak for one, because they have a lot to teach us. Here's an inside look at some advice we might discover from our leafy friends:
Ever noticed that trees are perfectly satisfied being trees? They don't shrink down and wish they were shrubbery or secretly wonder if their leaves are in style. They don't even care that everyone can see them. Trees stand tall and beautiful as they fulfill their purpose each day.
Enjoy the view
Time passes too quickly to spend time wishing we could go back to the past, or try to hurry along the next life phase. Trees exist in the present and so should we. Look for blessings that exist in your life today and smile because of them. Say, "I love you." Laugh out loud. Watch the sunset. Eat more slowly. Dance in the rain.
Trees give and give all of their life. They give fruit, they give shade and many trees give of themselves entirely. And, after they give of their shade and their fruit and their wood, they ask for nothing in return. The best thing about trees is that they give without expectation, which leads to a happy life. Not only are you happier when you love and serve others, but you are physically healthier. According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, and a2012 study in the journal Health Psychology, helping others is good for body and mind: lowering blood pressure, and even your mortality rate.
Sometimes branching out is all we lack in furthering our capacity to enjoy life a little deeper. Relationships and life experience are the spice of life. Meet new people. Try new skills. Throw off your daily routine a little. When I first became a mother I found myself bored and battling discouragement. I soon learned that it wasn't motherhood that was boring — it was my day-to-day routine. Now that I have occupied myself in new interests and activities, my days seem to fly by and I am a better mother because of it. I'm excited to wake up every morning, and my kids can feel a difference in my enthusiasm for life.
Trees understand the importance of their roots. Likewise, life takes on greater meaning when we take the time to connect and stay rooted — whether it be family relationships, nature or religion.
We can plan and we can prepare, but life doesn't always go our way. Bad days will come, and minor (and major) hurricanes will jostle us around a bit. Don't let life's bumps break you. Did you know that the palm tree is made to bend clear to the ground when a storm comes? And then when the storm passes they bounce right back up and go back to their palm tree-living. Incredible! Not only do palm trees bounce back after the storm, but their roots actually become stronger with each storm they experience.
Who knew trees could teach us so much? When I was a kid I loved climbing trees. One day in particular, I was hanging by my legs from a branch. Well, somehow my legs slipped and I landed smack on my head.
So there's our final lesson from a tree: When life seems upside down, stop what you are doing! Don't wait for the pain to tell you that your marriage is starving, your kids need attention or your body needs nourishment. Stop and resolve the problem.