Alison Smith, Uncovering Inner Wisdom Through Nature’s Metaphors – Innova.Buzz 576


Alison Smith, Landscaping Your Life.

Our guest in this episode is Alison Smith, a specialist in guiding individuals through challenging moments using an inventive, nature-inspired approach. With over two decades of coaching and problem-solving expertise, Alison offers a unique perspective that consistently produces results. As an accomplished speaker, coach, and author, she brings joy, laughter, and connection to every interaction. Her book, ‘Can’t See the Wood for the Trees,’ and podcast, ‘Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith,’ showcase her exceptional tools and insights.

In our conversation Alison and I discussed the power of metaphor and how it can help us find solutions to our problems. Here are three key takeaways from the episode:

  • Metaphors contain solutions hidden within them, and exploring them can lead to a list of options that can be taken back to the real-life situation.
  • Metaphor is a way of bringing inner wisdom into conscious awareness, and looking to nature can help people reflect on their feelings and gain insight into their situation.
  • Understanding individual motivations and roles is key to facilitating behavior change, and incorporating metaphors into corporate training can help people understand different perspectives.

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The power of metaphor can spark insight and unlock solutions that we never thought possible. Alison Smith on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Alison Smith, Landscaping Your Life

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Inner knowing or wisdom can help guide actions unconsciously and bypass logical resistance and barriers.
  • Metaphors contain solutions hidden within them, and exploring them can generate a list of options to solve problems.
  • Nature is a reflection of our inner world, a source of wisdom that we can tap into through metaphor.
  • Metaphors, like designing a garden, can be used to facilitate change, illustrate importance and offer a new language to communicate with.
  • The process of change can involve exploring different perspectives to understand the root cause of resistance or finding an alternate route.
  • Behavior change can be effectively facilitated by providing exercises that encourage understanding different perspectives and motivations.
  • Change agents should understand the individual motivations and values of their stakeholders to create empathy and build stronger relationships. Change resistance stems from misunderstanding stakeholders’ benefits.
  • Corporate training approaches must take into account individual motivation and roles to facilitate behavior change and a change in mindset.
  • Understanding the root cause of resistance, like fear of loss or discomfort with change, can help in creating the right communication approach for stakeholders.
  • Reframing situations as a “challenge” or “opportunity,” rather than a “problem,” can invite a more positive mindset and a possibility mindset.
  • The practice of healthy self-talk can combat the negativity bias and self-sabotage, enabling the development of self-compassion.
  • Picking up sticks in nature reflects our tendency to beat ourselves up with our mistakes and shortcomings. This is entirely self-inflicted, and we have the power to put them down.
Metaphors, like designing a garden, can be used to facilitate change, illustrate importance and offer a new language to communicate with. Alison Smith on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Alison’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. 1 thing to be more innovative – Do something different every day.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Going out into nature and writing.
  3. Favourite resourceThe Creative Whack Pack, Roger von Oech
  4. Keep project/client on track – Split things down into smaller chunks, and daily check ins.
  5. Differentiate – Be yourself, bring your humanity into business.


Do something different today, then again the next day, for 28 days. Build that habit of doing something different every day.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Alison through Landscaping Your Life on LinkedIn and the Landscaping Your Life Podcast.

Suggested Guest

Alison suggested we have a conversation with the kids next door to tap into the insights of young teenagers on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.



Cool Things About Alison

  • She lives in Fife, Scotland
  • Alison often works with her clients via a “landscaping your life walk” in nature
  • Alison’s background is in corporate procurement
Picking up the sticks we beat ourselves up with is entirely self-inflicted, but we have the power to put them down. Alison Smith on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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