quotes waldo emerson

5 lessons these nature quotes teach you about life

August 8, 2018

Quotes are one of my favourite things. If I feel sad, unmotivated or alone, I look for quotes that fit my situation, that cheer me up and give me faith that everything is going to be alright. I write them down on post-its and stick them to the wall, or set them as a background picture to my phone. Travel and nature quotes are one of my favourites: to put it words what it means to me to be outside, to travel, to cross your borders, and what an amazing role nature can play in that. Today I share with you a few of my favourite words with their life lessons.

Lesson 1: to take a step back and heal

Nature helps to relax, I wrote about that before. But it can also help you heal and give you renewed appreciation for life. It gives you a feeling of interconnectedness with a bigger whole, helps you know your true self, and gives you peace to gather your thoughts. Quotes about this are plenty, like these two:

“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.” – Christy Ann Martine

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you like sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.” – John Muir

Lesson 2: to be your true self

Who am I? Maybe I am the clothes that I wear, which say whether I follow fashion trends or oppose them. Maybe my personality formed by the music that I listen to, or the friends that I have, or the hobbie I pursue. Do I do something because I like it, because I get acknowledged because of it, or because it is socially accepted? Can you even change who you are?

If there is something that I simultaneously find interesting and hard, it is pondering who I am. That can go on forever and leave me more tangled and confused than before. My solution is often not to think too much about it (hard!) and just do things I love. Then life becomes much lighter, like Maya Angelou would say:

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she goes without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” – Maya Angelou

Lesson 3: to have patience

Oh patience! Standing in line for check out is fine. If my train is late, I will just walk around a bit. But getting my dream life in order already! A nice house with a porch and a view, where I drink my morning coffee and pet our cat, and then gather some eggs in the garden from our chickens. And then hike plenty in the mountains on holidays. It. has. to. be. NOW. Well, too bad for me. At this moment I am still living in student housing and working on graduating and finding a job. Patience is key, and therefore I practice this quote:

“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lesson 4: to trust upon yourself

Nature works as a mirror: you will encounter yourself and it may not be pretty. When I wanted to climb Mount Rinjani in Indonesia, I thought I could not do it. I called my mom crying beforehand, doubting whether or not I should go ahead. And while it was physically exhausting, the draining fight happened in my head. The devil in me said: “you will not make it, you are not fit enough” or tried to trick me with a compromise: “if you round this next corner you can stop.” But the angel in me trusted me to make it, and I did. Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Everest Pioneer, knew of this internal battle too:

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Mount Rinjani Summit
Dit ben ik op de top van Mount Rinjani

Lesson 5: that you can take time to go on adventures

All that travelling and hiking is good and all, but you also have to study and earn money, right? Of course, but happiness is the key. So if you want to travel or work a little less hours a week to go outside in the morning or afternoon? Do it! It is more than worth it. John Muir, again, would agree:

“Wander a whole summer of you can. Time will not be taken from the sum of life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” – John Muir

Nature carries so much wisdom. It is the words of humans that can help you listen, but in the end it is up to you to go outside, listen and learn.

Want to read more awesome quotes? Visit my Pinterest board on inspirational quotes.

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