I once edited a collection of essays called Walking in the Rain, a book to help us slow down and think things through, or revitalise and generate new ideas. Wonderful things can happen when we set out on two feet. In a world where so much of the noise around us suggests we are not good enough as we are, the stories I collected try to do something different.
I walk, run or cycle in nature almost every day - It has a great way of quietening the ego and inspiring creativity, fairness and appreciation. Walking in all weathers allows me to see parts of life that others shy away from, and reminds me that it’s okay to get splashed with mud because it always washes off. These metaphors express the kind of down-to-earth and sparky business resilience that helps us build a future based on what we’ve learned. It’s not fancy or complicated, it’s about allowing yourself to be in touch with the world around you.
Nature is brutal. It seems a cliche to contemplate the turning of the seasons, observing the rhythms and cycles of life. But for growth to happen there has to be change. Good things sometimes have slow and hidden gestations, yet appear to spring from nowhere just at the right moment. There are times of abundance and there are times of struggle. It’s no good clinging to the fruits of a different season, when the conditions are such they can only rot in your hands. Accepting these hard truths, and learning the resilience and flexibility to move on in a constructive direction, is a hard won wisdom.
Developing and growing a creative enterprise can be exciting and exhilarating but sometimes exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes you are caught in a dark and frightening storm, and the only way to survive is to understand that it will pass. It never rains forever. If it never rained, nothing could grow at all. Weather is such an apt metaphor for our feelings because it is so elemental, so necessary for life and so very changeable. The writer Matt Haig reminds us that there “may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”
Everything in nature is interconnected, and everything is riddled with imperfection. That’s where the magic happens. Darwin’s theory of evolution depends upon tiny random malfunctions that become spectacular adaptations. It is only by straying away from safe and predictable comfort - by getting outside and getting muddy - that we can get things wrong, and use that experience to change, develop and learn.
If you can imagine these big ideas in muddy shoes being useful in the growth and resilience of your business, book a walking meeting with me. A nature based business clinic could be the turning point you are looking for.