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Learning from Oaks

Anyone who has seen me speak will know that I'm a fan of metaphors. A couple of months back I learned something about Oak Trees (via a friend) that I found myself reflecting on on this, the first day of a new year. Oaks are incredible. They support 2,300 different species and over 300 species depend on them for their survival. As Oaks age (they can live for hundreds of years) some of their lower branches can often end up touching the ground. Many people think that these branches are dying and they are often removed from the tree. But this is a mistake. Having branches that grow to touch the ground is actually the tree's strategy for providing itself with more support, particularly in high winds. 

People are no different. As we grow and become older we also develop our own support structures (people, beliefs, habits, experiences, actions). Yet as we advance through life it's also easy to forget how important these support structures are in providing us with the stable foundation from which we can explore, learn and grow. As we head into what is likely to be (for many) another turbulent year it's more important than ever to really reflect on what those supporting elements are for each of us and not to neglect what enables each of us to be resilient and to truly flourish.

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