Allow Nature to Inspire You
By Jenna Weiss R-DMT, LNHA, Director of Learning at LiveWell
“When we ask nature, first we quiet our human cleverness.
Then we ask, and then we listen.
The answer is the echo that bounces off of the land herself.
With the solution in hand, we always end the circle by saying thank you.”
Summer ends up being a time when most people are spending more time outside in nature; walking in the woods, wading in the water, viewing the vista and feeling the beauty of our natural world. But is there more to it? I was introduced to this incredible body of work championed by biologist Janine Beynus, called Biomimicry. https://biomimicry.org/janine-benyus/ a few years ago at a leadership retreat and it has changed the way I approach difficult things.
I’ve always been a nature lover. I literally remember as a young child, hugging the tall birch tree in our backyard and, ok, full transparency, telling this tree ‘I love you’. So now I’m a devoted gardener and could spend all day digging and planting and trimming and caring for the plants inside and outside my house.
The field of Biomimicry has offered me an additional way to experience nature- to learn from its infinite wisdom to re-invent, regenerate and reconsider my own life’s challenges. Sometimes unexpected events throw me off and disrupt the equilibrium of my family and I looked to the way the trees in my backyard listen to each other when one begins to fall ill. They connect under the ground through their roots to send extra support to the diseased neighbor. The way nature in my native New England needs the dormancy of winter to live in the next season with a fresh new look. It reminds me the value of cultivating ‘dormant’ periods in my life- it’s not always all about busy-ness and producing.
The world is taking notice of nature’s wisdom too. Whether it’s an aerodynamic ceiling fan inspired by sycamore tree seedpods, portable toilets inspired by evapotranspiration in plants or using the concept of decomposition to inspire a regenerative and equitable fashion industry. Biomimicry isn’t a new concept- the artist Leonardo daVinci wrote about going into nature to study bird flight that served as structural inspirations for his first airplane designs that served as the future models for the Wright Brothers. Teams can look to the way social insects like colonies of ants and bees work together, leveraging the strengths of the group towards the common goal.
So, the next time you are out in your yard or on a walk in the woods, take a moment to stop, take a breath and listen. What systems do you notice? What resilience is happening? What is ending so that something new can be born? And what wisdom does any of those things show you about what’s going on in your life? Happy listening!
For fun, get inspired by the top 10 innovations inspired for nature with this link: https://www.learnbiomimicry.com/blog/top-10-biomimicry-examples-2021