by Bill Schwingel, Master Teacher of Interior Alignment

As we look around nature, we can see beauty in so many places. Whether the vibrant greens in the trees and grasses, the bright colors of roses, tulips, lilies and lavender, the soft and lush furs of our four-legged friends or the acrobatics of our friends in the skies and seas: once you see them it’s easy to fall into a state of wonder and awe.

Our ancestors likely saw this beauty as well, but nature for them was more than a beautiful landscape, it was a wilderness fraught with danger; and survival had to become their primary goal. As such, they needed to look beyond the beauty of their world and understand what it was telling them.

For instance, by understanding how the change in seasons affected their sources of food, they could plan for harsh winter months. Watching the growing patterns of plants in different seasons, allowed them to know when to harvest. Learning the behaviors of predators in the day and night allowed them to keep their families safe. The wisdom they gained from nature allowed them to survive.

Today, our survival depends less on our understanding of our natural environment and more on our ability to pay the rent and get to the grocery store. Unfortunately, this often means being caught up in a high-stress environment that barely allows us to consider the nature around us. And when we do, it is often an escape, where we can breathe easier and admire the trees and butterflies. The beauty we see in nature allows us to remember what it is we’d like to do if only we could get away from the things we have to do.

So how do we bring the wisdom from our ancestors into our lives today, while also honoring the beauty in nature all around us? It begins with you. You must first find how you define beauty.

Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Consider how different cultures look at color. For some, white represents purity while for others it represents death. Red is an auspicious color for some, while others see it as a color of war and bloodshed. Think about your favorite color, and why it is your favorite.

Now consider the complexity abundant within nature. Even within a single species of animals the variety can be awe-inspiring. Frogs, for instance, include the large bullfrogs croaking loudly in a backyard pond to announce their presence and the tiny vibrant tree frogs in the tropics filling the air with a much different song. Do you feel the same about a bullfrog as you do about a tree frog? Probably not.

But the wisdom of these beautiful creatures can be tied to their song. Some cultures see their song as a way to call on the Thunder Beings to bring the rain or “cleansing.” So if you are drawn to the bullfrog, the wisdom for you could be in order to bring cleansing into your life, you need a strong voice – perhaps become a stronger advocate for yourself or others. If on the other hand, you are drawn to the tree frogs, would you use the same voice, or would it be somewhat gentler, and require that you use your voice in a more soothing way to bring about cleansing?

So now imagine finding a small tree frog magnet. You can get them at a zoo, for instance, and placing it on your refrigerator where you’ll see it every day. Now you have brought a beautiful representation of nature into your home, and knowing the wisdom the tree frog can bring you, you reinforce this message every time you see it, and soon you’ll find you use your voice in new ways.

It can be that simple. Find beauty in nature. Learn its wisdom. Bring it into your home. Let the magic begin.

Bill Schwingel, Interior Alignment® Master Teacher

My intention is always to empower people to make positive, powerful changes in their lives by better understanding the impact they have on their spaces and, just as importantly, the impact their spaces have on them. It’s what I love to do, and it makes a real difference in people’s lives.

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