I am infinitely blessed to live on an island that is quite literally a shore to shore forest. I have always felt drawn to the silent depths of a dense forest, some final layer of subtle clenching in my inner ear letting go in the profound relief of a complete and utter lack of man made sound.
Many walks in my beloved forests begin with the purpose of completing a “work out” trudging, huffing and puffing up hills and down in a concerted effort to raise my heart rate and induce calorie burning and contribute to my health. Yet almost every single time, this purpose driven pursuit shifts into a softer, slower, experience of simply BEING. BEING WITH the trees, the ferns, the babbling brooks, the moss covered rocks, the birds and hidden treasures that surely look like evidence of fairies and gnomes that have passed by.
And inevitable I return to my point of departure not only having exercised but having filled my heart and soothed my soul. Perhaps a few calories and drops of sweat are left behind yet the rewards of upliftment, inspiration, illumination, connection, creative joy and true WELL BEING have replaced any worry, stress, agitation that were the hidden motivations in the first place.
I hope you have the great blessing of a forest near by, or even a city park with a few trees. I sincerely encourage you to take a few minutes or a few hours to stroll, wander, or sit in this most magical of Wellness Centers. Even if you live in the desert or in the middle of a concrete jungle, find your way to a sand dune, or dry river bed, a flower shop, landscaping nursery or arboretum. Nature will be waiting there for you and you will be so very very glad you did.
And if you need any hard evidence for taking a walk in the woods, here is a compelling article complete with research findings about all the actually physiological, psychological and spiritual effects of communing with trees, rocks, ferns, and flowing rivers.