The natural principles

There are patterns common to all living things. These have been
developed into a set of principles. I’ve gathered some from
permaculture, some from biomimicry, and others I have simply
observed myself in nature, when walking in forests, woodlands,
gardens, moors, seashores, mountains and grasslands. These
patterns and principles are all around us, hiding in plain sight.

These are the 42 natural principles that I set out in my book Think like a Tree: The natural principles guide to life.

The principles can be used in many different ways – for example,
• a guide to living a happy, healthy and fulfilled life
• an everyday reference to keep you on track
• a roadmap for going where you want to go
• a source of tools to help solve problems
• a way to make choices and decisions
• uplifting inspiration to know that you are not alone in life’s
ups and downs
• a way of seeing yourself in the context of the wonder of
life on our unique planet.

They can also be used as part of a design cycle/action plan such as the Think like a Tree design cycle.

Group 1 Principles – Observation

Observe and interact

Be part of the natural world

Follow nature’s patterns

Engage with the present

Learn from what’s gone before

View the big picture then the detail

Listen to your internal ecosystem

Group 2 Principles – Purpose

Live with purpose

Don’t stop growing

Learn self-regulation

Catch and use energy effectively

Find slow and small solutions

Value your uniqueness

Use your edge

Group 3 Principles – Surroundings

Create ideal conditions to thrive

Find your niche

Invest in your wellbeing

Plan for each need to be well supported

Feed your roots

Waste nothing, recycle everything

Value local, biological and renewable resources

Group 4 Principles – Connection

Know that everything is connected

Value diversity

Cultivate co-operative relationships

Integrate don’t segregate

Pick your battles

Accept feedback

Share the abundance

Group 5 Principles – Resilience

Develop resilience

Know that life is a struggle

Bend with the wind

Creatively respond to change

Seek and offer support

Learn to heal yourself

Tune in to natural cycles

Group 6 Principles – Future

Invest in the future

Know that death is part of life

Create conditions conducive to life

Replicate and build on strategies that work

Be a good ancestor

Know that your actions can change the world

Love life!

  • picture copyrighted to Beth Walsh

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