Wisdom from a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah

Wisdom from a Humble Jellyfish

Wisdom from a Humble Jellyfish: And Other Self-Care Rituals from Nature by Rani Shah
English | April 28th, 2020 | ISBN: 0062931733 | 144 pages | EPUB | 11.54 MB


A delightfully illustrated guide to harnessing the rhythms of nature for self-care.

We could all learn a thing or two about living in balance from our friends in the plant and animal kingdom.

Take, for example, the jellyfish, one of the most energy-efficient animals in the world, moving through the ocean by contracting and relaxing, with frequent breaks in between.

Or the avocado tree, which can credit its existence to a mutually beneficial relationship with the pre-historic sloth, followed by some hungry, hungry humans and the advent of agriculture.

And then there is the oyster, producing a pearl as the result of an immune response when a grain of sand invades her system. What better example exists of how adversity can produce something beautiful?

We need look no farther than nature—from the habits of the porcupine to the sunflower to the wombat to the dragonfly—for small and simple things we can do to slow down, recharge, and living more thoughtfully, lovingly, and harmoniously.

Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish . . . is at once charming and scientific, packed with essential wisdom and practical tips worth borrowing from our plant and animal friends for life-changing self-care.

Today is a wonderful day! It’s the day you woke up and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I knew what an axolotl was and what it could teach me about self-care.” If this was the first thing that popped into your head today, then yes, I am a powerful psychic. But if not, and you’ve never heard of an axolotl, don’t sweat it. I’m here to teach you all about how this adorable little creature and an array of other plant and animal friends can improve your life. Hang on tight! You’re in for quite the adventure.

Hiking, safari, deep-sea diving, casually walking on the moon—the numerous ways that humans have come up with for exploring our planet and interacting with her inhabitants are mind-bogglingly impressive. But exploring the natural world isn’t reserved for the adventurous and wealthy. Exploration is meant for anyone who is curious. The notably curious of history have included the famous Greek philosopher Thales,* who by observing the stars successfully predicted the timing of the first solar eclipse, and my personal favorite, household name Charles Darwin, who developed our modern theory of evolution by studying animals on the Galápagos Islands. As a non-notable person who is curious about nature, I once tried to mimic bird calls to elicit a reaction from the local flock, but only succeeded in scaring away small children.

Our humble abode, planet earth, is an astonishing thing. For four and a half billion years, the planet has been creating intricate communities known as “ecosystems,” each consisting of thousands, if not millions, of different plants and animals. And each of these plants and animals has evolved its own unique set of traits and behaviors in order to live, thrive, and reproduce. Whether we’re talking about a flower using its brightly colored petals to attract insects for pollination or a cat using its fantastic night vision to capture prey in low light, plants and animals are able to exist and thrive only if they have adapted traits and behaviors that prioritize their well-being.

How does this relate to self-care? Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the “practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness,” self-care is something that creatures in the wild have been putting into practice since the very beginning. For plants and animals in the wild, self-care, in its most basic sense, begins with avoiding predators and successfully sourcing food to stay alive. These guys are regularly faced with pressing questions like “Will I get killed today?” and “Will I eat today?” So the meaning of “thrive” is very different for a creature in the wild than it is for us modern humans.

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