Updated: Mar 24
I hear the knock knock to get my attention. I answer sooner than I used to as I’m listening more. I feel like everything is a mountain and I can’t see through the fog and tears just run freely in my black and white world.
Every time I ignore the knock knock, my reservoir empties more. This self-care pendulum swings wildly from left to right as I learn to pace myself and avoid the rim of depletion. Depending on my inner weather I do okay for a while and as I run interference with deep emotions and uncover aha moments, my battery life lowers.
In this condition, I dragged myself to a virtual event on the weekend. Sagging in my chair facing my computer, I attended a virtual forest bath. My guide, Theresa is a Forest Bathing guide.
“Forest therapy is a practice for supporting healing and wellness through sensory immersion in forests and other natural environments. It is a pathway to health and wellbeing for both humans and the more than-human world of Nature by focusing on our relationship and the reciprocity therein. You can expect a guided sensory experience with invitations for you to explore your own connections.” – Theresa Lewis
“Forest bathing as a medicinal practice in Japan goes back to the 1980s when the government began to notice the adverse effects of the tech boom on Japanese city dwellers, such as depression, distraction and aches and pains.” - a Japanese travel guide
Of course, it’s meant to be in person surrounded by nature and yet my virtual experience was stunning powered by energy of the imagination.
Theresa led us on an hour and a half immersion into our hearts using the woods as a backdrop. I literally started the event having a hard time holding my head up. An hour and a half later, I was sitting forward, feeling relaxed and grounded having experienced a virtual bathing of my energy using intentional guidance to soothe me.
With a focus on my breath, and her guidance, I became aware of movement in my silence. Movement of my body in space, my busy mind, blood moving in my veins and lungs moving with my breath. Awareness of outward movement went to wind and clouds and leaves. I contemplated who I am in relationship to movement in nature.
I stood with the standing tall nation, trees communicating with each other, helping each other survive including us humans. I breathed in powerful, pulsing energy of trees.
She led me on a virtual journey in nature and slowly the wrinkles eased and energy flowed and my energy rose. Similar to a salt bath, I could feel a difference. I felt better and was able to stand upright and feel hope again within the walls of me. A jump-start to my center, I’m present and can more easily cope with decisions and worries and notice the mountains are hills again.
A Gaelic blessing to share:
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
I almost wasn’t going to come this morning. I was writing in my journal that I wanted to rededicate myself to my outdoor sit spot time. So instead, when you rang the bell, I went outside and did my meditation out there. I do some connection mentoring. The sit spot practice is a form of meditation similar to forest bathing but you really plug into all your senses and almost inhabit your animal nature in that way. Animals are fully in their senses, fully alert. It’s a wonderful form of meditation. It was lovely that you had the chance to have a visualization because you probably didn’t have a leaf blower going on in the background. That took me down the path, how we want the ideal nature situation. Here we are, there are noises over there and there, but that’s reality, to learn how and select, to learn how to find the center with all that stuff going on. Thank you for allowing me to find a way to combine the two.
That was great. I’m a transplant from the city and had to learn to weave noises in. What happened for me during the meditation seemed to come from left-field. I stayed with it since it came in. Prior to this session, I was pondering how much more self-care I do now and how I need it. The idea I had was to try to arrive to places early. Someone once said that I have one-more-thing-itis. I seem to cut time so closely and arrive at the appointed time. It never feels good when I’m a bit late. A gift to myself is to lower the stress, leaving ten or 15 minutes ahead of the time. It would show more respect to the other person. It would be bot