Nature sustains us in every aspect of our lives from food to art, technology to architecture, medicine to engineering. We look up at the vast sky, down at a tiny insect, out over a desert plain or deep into the oceans … and discover a world of extraordinary variety and activity.
Not only do we imitate nature’s ingenious designs, we also draw strengths and other intangible qualities from observing nature. For example, we may notice the poised and patient way that one season moves into the next—and be inspired to bring some of that poise into our own lives. In times of difficulty, the steadiness of a mountain may help us stand firm or perhaps the flow of a river will remind us to refresh and move on in our lives.
The Nature of Strengths is a set of 28 cards inspired by nature’s genius. With exquisitely detailed watercolour paintings in the style of a naturalist’s notebook, each card describes a characteristic of a plant, animal or insect—inviting us to apply that strength in our own lives.
This is a truly beautiful resource for children and adults alike. Developed for use by teachers, environmental educators, counsellors, social workers and mentors, Nature of Strengths is a resource for creating conversations and reflection about strengths, virtues, goals and ways of forward in times of difficulty. We think it will also be treasured by artists, writers and nature-lovers as a source of inspiration!
Discover more about the creative partnership behind The Nature of Strengths.
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Three different uses for The Nature of Strengths…
At a recent workshop on ecological sustainability, participants were invited to each choose a Nature of Strengths card that seemed meaningful in some way, and to write a poem inspired by their card. In another instance, Karen Masman Bedford (the cards’ author) had rich discussions with the cards when she hosted friends from Sydney for a long weekend. ‘What they seemed to really like was the pairing, especially Holding On and Letting Go. So we talked, thinking about the coming year, what is it that we wanted to hold on to and let go of. That was a really great conversation.’ A completely different use for the cards was found by a grandmother. She purchased the cards to frame them and give as gifts to grandchildren in recognition of their special strengths!