Nature: Commitment, Discipline and Mastery By Nina Mongrende

Nina treeTo understand commitment, discipline and mastery, the best place to direct our awareness is nature.
After a week of being in bed with a fever and the flu, I woke up this morning in awe of the shimmering frost on the grass and the beautiful orange winter sunrise.
How reliable and committed the sun is. Every single day without fail, it rises. It keeps up. It is never late. Without the rhythm of the sun, humans would loose balance. Our cycles echo those of the sun and of the moon. We know that the day will start over, we get a new chance every day to grow.
We are often fearful of repetitiveness yet if we look at nature, it constantly repeats, season after season. In the Spring, the leaf buds form into leaves, providing nourishment for the tree. In exchange for that nourishment, the tree provides water and minerals from the soil. When the days get shorter and the temperature drops, the leaves stop producing the sugar sap and the tree stops providing minerals and hydration to the leaves, which then change color, detach themselves from the tree and return to the earth to feed the soil for another cycle.
Everything transforms, nothing is wasted. It is the same with us. We are here to transform, to repeat practices that help us connect with our eternal self and to find surrender in the cyclical nature of life.
Water surrenders to change and transformation. A snowflake melts into the lake, later evaporating and becoming a cloud and then rain. Merging is the nature of nature. The difference between us and the drop of water is that we feel we are in this one form and because we don’t see the next form we will take, we are afraid.
Can you imagine a snowflake saying: “Oh, please turn me back into a rain drop, I’m too cold. Where are we landing anyway? Nobody gave us the map. I hope there are some good restaurants.”
Or a rock that’s been in the same spot for 5,000 years and someone picks it up and throws it a few feet away: “Hey! How dare you! Put me back! I was having a 5,000 year debate with my neighbor about rockhood.”
When the Fall comes, trees let go of their leaves, they release them to the earth and they stand through the winter, calmly awaiting Spring. They don’t have any plans, any social media, any bills to pay, anything to catch up on. They just are. They are committed, they are masterful, they are devoted.
Walking in the woods near Versailles with my father, he would tell me stories of what these 500 year-old oak trees might have witnessed: ┬árevolutions, famines, wars, peace, lovers holding hands… I would project myself back a few centuries standing at this same place, in front of this same tree, walking in the woods.
Today, let us look at the nature around us and find inspiration to be committed, steadfast, devoted and masterful.