A couple of months ago, I attended a four-day retreat, in the middle of the Suffolk countryside. The foundations of the retreat were firmly rooted in the principles behind our experience of life (more on that another time).
During this retreat, I came to understand a lot of things, things that make a lot of sense, and things that can save us a lot of time and mental energy, in work and in life. Anxiety and the pointlessness of it was one of them, and I’ve already written about that, which you can read about here.
Another realisation I had was on the topic of resilience, and I saw really very clearly how resilience is the key to navigating the ‘inner journey’ of being self-employed. Let me give you an example because I think what I’m about to share demonstrates it so beautifully.
One of the talks during the retreat was led by Dave Elleray of Freedom Thinking. Dave is a transformational coach who helps people uncover their true mental health, but before he came to this work, he had a tree surgery business based in the Lake District, England.
He showed us a photograph of a tree he came across one day, which at first glance just looks like a normal tree, doing what trees do. However, when he invited us to look closer, you could see that this one had actually been struck down to the ground at some point in its life’s history, and what happened after that was quite incredible. Instead of rotting away into the earth, this tree had sprung up new shoots out of this ground laden trunk, and those shoots eventually had grown as tall and as thick as the original tree that was struck down. In other words, despite the circumstances, in spite of the adversity, this tree had found a way to keep itself going. How remarkable is that?
It’s at this point as I write these words to you, there are a dozen metaphors just tumbling out of me, wanting to make their way on to this page, but I don’t want to draw the conclusions for you. Instead, I’ve managed to contact Dave, and he has kindly agreed to send me a copy of the photo, so that you can see it for yourself and come to your own thoughts about what this tree, and nature in itself can teach us about navigating our way through this wild and wonderful entrepreneurial journey that we’ve chosen to travel on.
I’d love to know what insights and thoughts you find yourself drawing on as you look at this tree. Maybe you’ve seen something like that in real life? Because, I’ve found the more time we spend being in nature and green space (as actually, we humans are designed to be), the more it teaches us about adversity, creative problem solving, and resilience.
Actually, this week’s podcast episode is on the topic of resilience. If you are in any way feeling a bit deflated, frustrated or fed up, consider this episode a friendly but inspiring pep talk. You can subscribe here if not already.