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I recently took a vacation to Tennessee to visit the Smokey Mountains. It was a beautiful part of the country—I highly recommend it. While I was there, I was reminded of an artist who wrote down 6 life lessons we could learn from the tree:

  1. Stand tall and proud. God uniquely created you with an awesome set of talents and gifts. There are things about you that only you have, and can bring to the world. So be like the tree and stand tall and proud. Let the world experience your full and true self.
  2. Go out on a limb. Sometimes we have to take risks in order to succeed and reach our full potential. I love the quote that says, “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” It’s true! To get a big reward, we have to take a big risk. Going out on a limb usually brings up fear. We might fail. We might hurt ourselves. We don’t know what’s out there. We need to conquer these fears in order to be the best we can be.
  3. Remember your roots. We all came from somewhere. We each have a particular cultural and family heritage. It’s good to stay connected with our history and where we have come from. The tree needs to stay connected to its root system, because it provides the tree with stability and nourishment. In the same way, staying connected with our roots helps us with our stability and nourishment. So go visit your family once in awhile. Call your mother.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Our bodies are mostly water, and we need to drink a lot of water to stay healthy and replenished. Just like the tree needs water in order to grow healthy and strong, we need to drink lots of water as well.
  5. Be content with your natural beauty. Our society gives us a lot of messages about beauty and our bodies. Most of the time these messages are negative. You’re too… fat, skinny, tall, short, strong, weak, old, young. And the list goes on. We compare ourselves to airbrushed celebrities, and spend lots of money and energy trying to look a certain way. The tree doesn’t care about the latest fashion or cosmetic surgery trends. Yet trees have a majestic natural beauty. In the same way, it can be life-changing to accept yourself as is and be content with your natural beauty.
  6. Enjoy the view. A lot of times in life we rush from one activity to the next, not taking the time to enjoy the view and journey. This can make us feel stressed out and unhappy. The tree isn’t in a rush. The tree has all the time in the world. We can learn a lot from that example. Instead of speeding through life, go more slowly. Make sure you are taking time every day to appreciate the journey.

Discussion: What lesson from the tree spoke to you today? Get yourself into nature today, even if it’s just for five minutes. And recycle 🙂