One of the many things I love about being back in North East Florida is being able to spend time with my family. Having lived away for most of my adult life (since 1982….) I really appreciate the fact that I’m only about 30-45 minutes away from the family and friends I never left behind.
One of my very favorite cousins Sheri, is into all the stuff I am. Nature, Alternative Healing, Energy, Intuition….the list goes on and on. Last Friday I met her and my cousin Paul at Howell Park in Atlantic Beach to experience “Forest Bathing”. I had never heard of this term before let alone had an experience doing it. Basically you go out into the woods or a park near you and spend quiet time moving slowly through the forest and noticing the little things. The trees or maybe one in particular, birds, sounds, sights, insects…whatever draws you in. Once drawn in, just look and contemplate. Feeling the quiet and energy of the forest and the creature or plant that is calling to you. Noticing the thoughts that float up and what doing this may remind you of about yourself, the world and your relationship with it.
I spent about an hour or so Forest Bathing with my family and some really wonderful folks. We did not walk far, maybe about as far as your back door to your backyard, but the experience was relaxing and profound. I felt so much. The Earth under my feet (yes I kicked off my shoes…), the breeze on my skin, sunlight as it filtered through the trees…and I felt a part of it all. In that one moment I did not think about anything else but bathing in the woods. Once it was over I was ready to go on about the rest of my day, really renewed and at peace with myself.
I enjoyed it so much that today after I took my dog Shadow to the Eye Doctor I stopped at the park on Black Creek in Green Cove Springs. We took us a short slow and easy walk, did not go far, but saw really great stuff. And I bathed again.
If you want to learn more about Forest Bathing here is a nice little article:
Next time you are passing by a nice little park or patch of woods, notice it and feel the call. Stop for a little while and go take a Forest Bath. Won’t take too long and you will feel so wonderful after!