Sometimes words don't do nature justice. Photography is a wonderful way o capture the beauty of nature, yet even then, sometimes the nuanced details of the magic of nature can get lost behind the lens. In this week's blog, Certified Guide Suzi Minor offers us a compilation of her artistic photography of the beautiful desert of Arizona. This piece is less written content and more visual eye-candy. We hope you enjoy the beautiful photos.
Go to any well-known fine art museum and you can expect to stand in line with throngs of people just to get a glimpse of a beautiful piece of work of art. Go to any forest or natural surrounding, and- unless it is huge national park like Yosemite or Yellowstone- you may be the only person there. Why spend hours with other people to look at an artistic rendition of nature when you can step outside and see the real deal? The forest is a natural art gallery, with colors, textures, and creative compositions that only Earth can create. In this week's blog, Susan Corl walks us through the Natural Palace of Earth Art, and guides us to notice the unique beauty to be found in the bark of a tree or on the forest floor. May this piece inspire the artistic-eye to emerge in all those who are in the forest.
The practice of using found items in nature to create art is catching fire in the field of nature-connection. This method of creative expression was popularized by the highly imaginative artist Andy Goldsworthy, and is a wonderful way to interact with the natural surroundings, as well as leaving a mark impermanent beauty that one time was not there. Yet diving deeper into the act of creation through natural materials, is the intentional creation of mandalas out of these same material and what this can mean for the person who creates. In this week's blog, Liza Pullman explores the significance of the mandala: its implication in the human psyche, the use in religious & spiritual traditions, and how the creation of nature mandalas is a way for a person to strengthen the connective bond between themselves and the natural world. One part history, one part psychology, and one part invitation to explore, we hope this piece opens the doorway to your own inspiration to create a mandala next time you find yourself out in nature. Who knows what insights may arise in the process.
Spending time in nature expands our hearts and minds in more ways than one, and this is especially true for the children in our lives. The non-predictable essence of spending time outdoors is a stark contrast from the robotic nature of television shows or the safe confines of a bedroom. The great outdoors bring with it a whole host of new experiences, most of which are unplanned and altogether new. This 'newness' leads to wonder, and opens the doorway for 'how' and 'why' inquiries. In this week's blog, guest writer David Davis shares with us his thoughts on bringing his children into nature and the existential inquiries which arise. This piece portrays the depth of influence time in nature has on a young mind and heart, and give credence to all the teachers before who found 'enlightenment' while sitting under a tree or next to a body of water.
When we say the words 'Nature and Forest Therapy', some people assume the practice is far out of their reach- that only those who have gone through our training program have the tools to engage in this practice. Yet this is far from the truth. One of the most potent practices of Nature and Forest Therapy that we promote to our Guides-in-Training and to the world at large is the development of a Sit Spot. What is a 'Sit Spot' you ask? In this week's blog, Forest Therapy Guide Susan Joachim of Melbourne, Australia tells us all about this highly potent practice. She descibes what to take into consideration when finding a Sit Spot, and invites us not feel like we have to 'do it right'; but rather relax in the process of cultivating relationship with one piece of land. We hope this piece inspires you to find a Sit Spot of your own, and to discover all the beauty it has to offer.
Blog pieces are written by ANFT Writers, guest contributors, and introduced by Blog Editor Denell Nawrocki. Submissions may be emailed to Denell at ANFTsubmissions@gmail.com for consideration.