Learning From Nature

While we’re struggling to adapt to new circumstances, we can learn a lot from those who are a bit more flexible: namely non-humans. Some of our very best teachers for dealing with changes can be found in nature.

I’ve spent the past few weeks observing the innate abilities of animals and all things nature to roll with change. So far, the most fascinating adaptation I’ve witnessed has been demonstrated by seagulls on the beach.

When the beaches closed, I thought the seagulls might enjoy the break from screaming kids chasing and throwing sand at them. In the very least, I figured they had to be pleased with the departure of drunken spring breakers, especially that one who tried to prove to his friends that he could catch one of the gulls. (He couldn’t.)

For a day or two, it was probably a relaxing break for the birds. But then they started to look and sound quite perplexed and unsettled. With the subtraction of humans came the question, “Wait, what’s for lunch?”

The beach is still open for exercise, and as I gratefully discovered the first day, anyone sitting alone. One day, a hopeful seagull watched me eat a sandwich. I was fully planning to give him some of the organic seed bread when I was done, but he called over a few friends before we got to that point. I was amazed by what I mistook as his generosity.

It wasn’t until one of the other gulls swooped down and grabbed my sandwich right out of my hand that I understood why he’d called in his troops. At least fifty more flew over for grateful bites of that sandwich, although I did hear a few of them utter complaints about the healthy and vegetarian cuisine. After all, these gulls have been subsisting on food even humans should think twice about eating.

That first week, I felt really bad for those seagulls. Initially, they didn’t seem too happy about having to put more effort into mealtime, or even know how to go about that. But their natural instincts returned, and in no time, they became quite adept at fishing. They’ve also found new ways to entertain themselves. They’re not all fit to print.

The same gulls that seemed sullen and scared that first week now prance and fly around with confidence that borders on arrogance. They didn’t know how they were going to get by at first, but now, they totally own that beach.

They’re not thinking about what they’re missing, or worrying about the future. They’re being present and tapping into their natural talents and resourcefulness. They are thriving.

Clear Your Traffic:

What can you learn from the seagulls and their ability to adapt so quickly to changes and challenges? In what areas of life do you need to be more present, or trust more in new sources? What are some examples of how you’ve already done so?

Share Your Thoughts:

I’d love to hear what’s helping you adapt to change, or anything else you’d like to share. Until I figure out how to reinstall my comments here, you’re welcome to share in our Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clearyourfear/

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