The world has run itself into a state of emergency in recent months. It is time we change our ways of doing business. Our old ways of business talk a lot about scaling up, expansion and growth. It has led us to a state where we grow mindlessly with no awareness and clarity to why we do it. Mentally, it has caused the melt-down of many individuals, leading to high levels of depression and poor mental wellness. Socially, the undying thirst for growth and promotion has led to disintegration of families and communities. There are now increased levels of disconnection amongst individuals within their communities. Environmentally, we have sucked our resources dry, leaving earth with many barren or artificially nourished lands.
These must stop.
We must go back to our roots and relearn the methods of our ancestors. They understand how to live in balance and operate with sensitivity to our environment and community. We must go back to our roots and realise the lessons that nature has taught us for millions of years.
Like a Tree……
She stands there silently, growing and watching the creatures and weather changes around her. She gives her space for creatures to make their homes. She generates a life force that is in balance with the ecosystem. In her silent, seemingly motionless state, she forms a clarity to life. She is clear about her purpose in the ecosystem.
In this time of change and challenge, we have almost come to a standstill. Seemingly motionless, we stay home and go about physical distancing with very minimal movement. In this state, we are like the trees. Are we then able to learn from the trees, and find our clarity?
For businesses, where we have all slowed down and even closed down.. We can learn from the trees, and stay motionless in this time. Let the watching and natural growth take over. Like a tree, we form a clarity of the whole situation (environment), and we progress with a clear purpose of what is essential in our businesses. Are we able to continue with this clear purpose, change the way we function and support our ecosystem instead of exhausting them?
Like a River……
She moves with gradual strength following and flowing along the terrain that is given to her. She gives life to those who follow her. As time moves, so does she. She changes over time, eroding the terrain, but also creating various water characters on the land. Life is living by her bosom, adapting and following her change. They pay attention to her signs and flow. Patiently, they form a fluid form-changing relationship that stretches beyond the river.
In the time of change and challenge, we experience multitude of changes, with new measures/advisories that we must comply with and take responsibility for. In the midst, we have to endure the impact of the change. In this state, we are like the river, needing to follow and flow with the terrain given to us. But with gradual strength and patience, we can create life (work/jobs/ability to be sustainable), as long as we go with the flow. Are we able to learn from the rivers and her compatriots, and find our adaptability to the situation?
For businesses, where we are heavily affected by the changes.. We can learn from the rivers and her compatriots. Follow and Flow with what is given to us. Be patient and adapt as the situation changes. We pay close attention to the signs and flow of the terrain (situation) and change to fit her. Through it all, we may find ourselves forming unique water character (business opportunities) that would nourish our ecosystem and maintain the balance of the land. Are we able to pay attention to the changes, and evolve instead of ignoring the signs?
Like the Sun……
She reaches out far and beyond her understanding, shining with a rhythm. She never gives the same amount every moment, instead gives energy with a rhythm. She sows the world with life by shining with rhythm (together with our moving globe).
In the time of change and challenge, we experience a seemingly halt of our usual grind of life. It is time to relook at our rhythm and reflect if we align with the rhythm of the land and sun. Are we able to learn from our great sun, shining our light rhythmically to our community? Are we resting in rhythm to allow us the light to shine?
For businesses, where we are almost like in dark times.. We can learn from the sun and earth’s rhythm. Shine and be rhythmic with our business. Find the rhythm of our ecosystem (stakeholders’ limitation, value and time), and support them. Shine the light of empowerment instead of exhausting them in these times. Let them rest in rhythm with what is given to us now, but also give them the space to shine like a sun to their community. Our customers, staffs and associates, will find the strength in these interactions. Their light will inevitably shine for us as well. Are we able to change, and be rhythmic instead of working in un-stopping rhythm? Are we able to let them shine even if we have to ask them to leave?
The great wilderness combines the elements of the trees, the rivers, the sun and the universe to show us lessons so valuable that when we align with her, we will endure and rise from the ashes of the cycles.
In the wild, the ecosystem knows how to live with limited resources, they shed leaves and stay lean when the time is rough. Appropriately, in this time now, we can also shed our consumption and non-essential expenses, stay lean and function on our limited resources.
The wild builds ecosystem, that are locally connected within the reach of the forest first and foremost. Her ecosystem supports each other locally first, forming a relationship that is fluid and strong. After the ecosystem is in balance, she stretches out and shines to bless other lands with her nourishment. We can learn from her and start building our local ecosystem of support and relationships, relying on each other first rather than the far-flung land of another. Once the ecosystem is in balance, it will shine the light to other communities, creating a larger ecosystem of balance and support.
Last but not least, the wild understands the cyclical existence of life. In the wild, life comes and go, that’s how we evolve and build relationships. Holding on and possession were never the ways the wild has taught us for millions of years. We must have the propensity in us to accept the cycle of life. Yes, we do face challenges with the best of our ability, but when its time to accept, we must. Like the wild, when one tree falls, she gives life to others around her. She did not vaporise into the abyss; she cycles back as another element to our great wilderness, and so will all of us.
Written by Coach Darren of Forest School Singapore
Realised with Uncle Ben of Touchwood @ Ground-Up Initiative
Editted by Ms Shimin of OhmSantih Yoga Studio