We can learn countless valuable lessons from the natural world. Listen to this nature symbolism inspired playlist as you read about how it might look to use images and experiences of earth to remind us of important self care elements.
MOON - TRANSITION
We all know that the moon goes through phases, from the new moon to the full moon and back again in a never-ending cycle. Universally, the moon represents the rhythm of time. It is comforting to know that, just as the moon's phases are natural and necessary, so are the changes that we go through in our lives. While not all changes are comfortable, we can look to the moon for a reminder that life consists of a constant series of transitions that require that we start fresh in order to experience growth.
POPPY - REST
Opium comes from poppies, which has contributed to the flower being associated with sleep and peace. This symbolism can be seen in movies such as The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy falls asleep in a huge field of poppies. Because she was on a mission to return home, and didn't have time or desire to sleep, this was a problem for her. But for many of us, rest is something that we need more of. The poppy can remind us to make sure we are experiencing enough peace and relaxation to balance the amount of hard work we engage in daily.
WIND - CHANGE
In Greek mythology, wind is personified by four different Anemoi, or wind gods, representing each of the cardinal directions. Zephyr was known as the god of the west wind, the warm fresh gust that brought along with it valuable spring rains. This is great symbolism to invoke when we are feelings stuck or uninspired. What can we do to breathe fresh life into our projects? How can we be Zephyrs for ourselves? Make a list of things that help you connect with a sense of passion and refer to it when in need of a cleansing, energizing wind.
LOTUS - PURITY
The lotus, or padma, blooms above the surface of the water, its long stalk rooted in the mud. In Buddhism, this symbolizes the ability of human beings to purify themselves by floating above and remaining unaffected by the "muddy waters" of attachment and desire, from which suffering arises. The ability to remove ourselves from pain is difficult to develop, but the image of the lotus reminds us that it is possible.
OCEAN - UNCONSCIOUS
Carl Jung, who I mentioned in the last several blog posts about symbolism, associated ocean imagery with the unconscious mind. In many ways this comparison makes sense; the ocean is so vast and so deep that we can't possibly know everything about it. The same is true about our brains and ourselves. We are unfathomably complicated creatures and we will never understand all aspects of ourselves. In exploring these unknown parts of us, whether through art, research, conversations with others, or silent reflection, we engage in valuable introspection. Self knowledge is illuminating and rewarding in and of itself. As Carl Jung stated, "your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; Who looks inside, awakes."