Finding solace in the natural world.
Feeling the pressure from your responsibilities is starting to take a toll on you mentally and physically.
You have problems focusing and often have less patience in your relationships.
You feel stiff in your body and recognize the impact of your sedentary lifestyle.
You spend WAY too much time on a screen. Now that you work from home, you barely leave your house. The senses are overstimulated daily by all the things you are taking in from the media.
Suddenly, you have become a hermit and don’t remember the last time you breathed fresh air.
Spending time outside seems a little foreign, and you are unsure where to go or what to do when you get there. You are a little afraid you might get lost if you wander the woods alone. None of your friends are open to trying something new. It all seems a little overwhelming… so you stay in your comfort zone.
Have you ever heard of “forest bathing”?
It’s translated from the Japanese word “Shinrin-Yoku,” and it’s the essence of forest and nature therapy!
The practice was developed in the 1980s to respond to the health crisis that developed as the culture started using more and more technology.
The shift increased screen time and decreased time outdoors. It probably won’t surprise you that mental and physical health declined with this shift.
But the practice of forest bathing helped those negatively affected by this technological shift.
Want to know how it works?
The experience usually lasts two to three hours. All experiences are optional and adaptable to meet the individual or group’s needs.
Here’s what we’ll do…
I’ll give you a sequence of invitations to help you connect to your senses and the world around you.
We begin with a centering practice that brings awareness to the sense of touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. This helps activate the senses that sometimes become somewhat dormant in our tamed world. Awakening the senses allows for further invitations that help you connect with the natural world and other beings. You may be asked to observe the range of colors the forest offers you or maybe an invitation to make an acquaintance with another being by exploring it with your different senses.
You may find yourself wandering through the woodlands or taking time to sit in a particular space.
Different invitations offer chances to explore in what way feels right to you. You may be invited to wander but find a space that really calls to you and decide to pause and spend time there. Maybe you settle into a spot but then feel called to another space. I am only the guide to your experience. The forest is the real therapist, and we never know what it may offer you.
There is a mix of group and solo time during each walk.
Most invitations are crafted to be solo explorations but remember, everything is adaptable.
We often come together after each experience to share what we notice as a group. This provides a space to witness our own and others’ experiences. Group wisdom can arise through these experiences, which may give you a different perspective. All sharing is optional, and you are welcome just to hold space in the group setting.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out “stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.
– Mary Oliver, Among the Trees
More and more research proves the benefits…
Forest and nature therapy allows space for you to slow down and get out of the stress of your daily life. It helps get you connect more with the parasympathetic nervous system, typically known as “rest and digest,” rather than our sympathetic nervous system, also known as “fight or flight.”
This has been shown to impact our bodies, from decreased blood pressure to lower heart rates and cortisol levels. The decrease in our stress hormones allows space for a boost to our immune system. Phytoncides released naturally from evergreen trees have also been shown to increase our frontline immune system.
You are allowed time to “get bored,” notice the world around you, and become more attuned. This may allow space for your creative side to arise within you, along with the development of mental clarity. You are welcome to bring a journal or sketchbook on your walk. An overall sense of calm and peace may arise after spending time outside on your walk. You may notice a shift in your mood from when you start your walk to where you end. In our fast-paced world, creation of this time and space is priceless.
You may also gain insight into questions you’ve been asking yourself… or you might simply appreciate the pleasure of having something new in your life.
As your guide…
I’ll create space and invitations that foster deep connections with your senses and the land.
I have completed a six-month certification through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy that taught me the way of the guide and all the components that go into a forest and nature therapy walk.
In addition, I attended a week-long, in-person, intensive experience that honed my skills with other guides and trainers.
I have also completed training through Kripalu’s Mindful Outdoor Guide Certification Program, which brings other dimensions to my walks.
Further certifications in Ecotherapy practices have also been completed with plans for ongoing learning in the benefits of nature connection.
Pulling from these trainings and experiences, I can offer you a truly unique experience where you’ll enjoy reciprocity and connection with the land.
Wander with those that wonder…
If you are ready to wander with me and experience all the benefits of what spending time in the natural world can offer you…
Let’s go for a walk in the woods.
Upcoming walks are on my events page. Or if you would like to schedule your individual or group walk, I am available to lead walks for businesses or organizations interested in creating wellness opportunities for their staff.