“Stop suppressing your true nature!” my burnout shouted loudly, more than 4 years ago now. My true nature, I had no idea what or who that was. After all, I had been too busy meeting the expectations of others and society. Striving for recognition and to be seen. Also, monthly making ends meet to make ends meet. And trying to straighten out a department where things had been going wrong for years. Burning up made me come back to myself and started a process of self-discovery and awareness. A process that continues permanently and allows me to live more and more naturally.
It is my mission to inspire as many people as possible to live from their true nature. That’s why I like to share these nature-inspired tips.
1. Provide an environment where you can thrive
Whether a seed will germinate, grow and bloom depends on the environment where it ends up. Unfortunately, a seed cannot choose where it falls or is planted, but we can.
Most of us ended up in burnout because we stayed too long in an environment where we could no longer thrive. Either a work environment, or a relationship, or the physical environment where you live, and usually a combination of these things.
Choosing an environment where you can thrive means choosing an environment where you can thrive. An environment that is fertile, where you get enough space and freedom to realize your potential. Where parasites don’t mess things up. It is a place where you are fed with the right ingredients and where you can follow your natural rhythm as much as possible.
After my burnout, I searched for such an environment for a long time, a quest that literally led me through different countries. But with fruitful results: from this spring I live in Cantabria, on the beautiful northern coast of Spain.
2. Surrender to the tides
In nature, everything consists of an alternation of inward and outward movements, of rising and withdrawing. Just look at the sea with its ebb and flow moments. Or to the branches of the trees that become empty every year to make renewal possible.
Nature does not fight against what is. Suppose a tree tried frantically in the fall to hold on to its leaves. Whether all winter would grieve at the sight of its bare branches. Suppose the waves in the ocean fight against the retreat of the tide because they fear that the low tide will last forever. It is an absurd performance and yet this is exactly what we humans do.
We are constantly fighting against the lesser moments in our lives and feel strong resistance to them. But growth simply follows a cyclical course. I myself compare burnout with a winter phase. A time of reflection, stillness, and deepening, which was often preceded by a great deal of loss (the autumn phase). And just as plants and flowers have to break through the surface during the spring, the phase after burnout is accompanied by growing pains. Growing pains are necessary to evolve to the summer phase.
I have learned to surrender more and more to the tides of life. On days when it’s high tide, I fully ride with the flow, on days when it’s low tide I let life carry me around, then I just float. The funny thing is, the less I fight the low tide, the faster the high tide comes back.
3. Live in the here and now
In nature, must, have, do, want, and become do not exist. There is only what is, here-and-now, moment to moment. There is an energy of being in nature.
Despite the rise of mindfulness and meditation, for most of us, it remains damn difficult to live in the present. We mentally balance somewhere between the stories of our past and our goals to achieve in the future. Things that call for our attention at this time such as emotions, inner turmoil, or physical pain are ignored or suppressed because we are too busy doing, having, and becoming.
Before my burnout, I was stuck in this energy of doing, having, and becoming. I was always striving for something. My burnout freed up time to just BE. That time of being was very healing and transformative, a true gift that I only realized once I could really surrender to it. Even now it remains a point of attention for me to live more from his own point of view and to make regular conscious contact with the here-and-now.
While you can do this at any time, simply noticing what you perceive with your senses (for example, I now hear the birds chirping outside), helps to get out into nature. When I am walking through a beautiful landscape or lying on my surfboard in the ocean, I can be moved by the richness of the simplicity that surrounds me. Nature puts things in perspective and connects me to the bigger picture. I also literally ask the waves to wash off all unhelpful ballast from me so that my true nature can emerge. A ritual that I have applied since the early stage of my burnout and that works effectively.
‘ The beach is a place where we can just be and it is when we reach this state of being that we can find who we truly are. When we come to this source we can activate the magic within us and connect fully with the power of the natural world.’ Sandra Kynes
4. Be aware of your connection to the bigger picture
In nature everything is interconnected, just look at how the position of the moon affects the tides of the sea; or how a storm in the middle of the ocean creates waves on the coast.
When you realize that everything consists of energy, including ourselves, and that we live in a field of energy, you realize at the same time that we also create a ripple effect with our actions. Simply because of the vibrations and intentions we emit.
Unfortunately, we still live far too often in a mindset of separation. Caused by our thinking ego and fueled by our fear-oriented society. Imagine if the waves were living from their egos, not realizing that they are inextricably linked to the ocean. They would constantly compare and judge themselves against the other waves. They would fear the ebb when the tide is in, and despair and wail for missing the tide when the tide is out. And they would stay on the surface and try to do everything on their own, working against nature. Does this ring a bell?
5. Don’t forget your true nature
Anyone who has flown before knows that there is always a radiant sky above the clouds. Heaven does not identify itself with clouds or weather conditions because it is aware of its origin at all times. The clouds and weather conditions can be compared to the thoughts, emotions, opinions, physical complaints, and/or victim stories. We identify ourselves with this, but these things do not represent who we essentially are.
Heaven does not forget its true nature, unfortunately, we humans do, we go through life en masse while sleeping. Fortunately, burnout gives you the impetus to wake up. And once you’re awake, there’s no going back.