Every now and then we receive a story that warms our hearts and pays homage to the innate healing powers of being in connection with nature. Many people think that one must leave the city or suburbs to benefit from connecting to nature, yet there are opportunities to relate just outside our doorstep. Joan Vorderbruggen tells the tale of her neighbor Lisa, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and used Joan's backyard garden as a refuge throughout her treatment process. Joan writes about how designing gardens to mimic Earth's natural beauty provides opportunities for those who cannot take a stroll through the wild to benefit from spending time outside and in connection with the more-than-human-world.
Here at the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, we are always pleasantly surprised by the caliber of people which are drawn to this work. Their inspirations, stories, and relationships to nature continue to propel us forward as we spread the importance of connecting to the Medicine of the Forest around the globe. We now have guides throughout the United States and Canada in North America, New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere, and several countries throughout Europe. Forest Therapy Guide Julie Hall of California recently conducted an interview with Forest Therapy Guide Alex Gesse of Portugal. Here Gesse shares with us what drew him to Nature and Forest Therapy and some of his inspiring experiences as being a Guide.
The beautiful stories that touch our lives and the beautiful stories of our lives bless us every day and all we have to do is listen. Be it an open heart, an open mind, or the opening of that window to your soul that allows you to listen, every bit of growth and every understanding comes from the connections we make be it to any being or forest or aspect of this world. Listening and telling is how we heal it's how we learn and it’s how we can share in the universal ties of love. Forest Therapy Guide Robin Hancock tell us of sharing stories, of listening, of connection and of understanding through her experiences in the forest that has nurtured her and so many others.
"This is a film about forest. It is also a film about you. The path of healing lies inside you. And when you can learn to carry the forest within you, you are always home." Nitin Das is a wandering filmmaker. He tells stories of uncommon people and extraordinary places. Magical fables from enchanted lands.
See more of his work at Films that Make You Think: Http://www.bit.ly/das-nitin
Please enjoy and feel free to share!
As Fall arrives and Winter approaches we can feel different types of inspiration, a changing of our own seasons. We notice the beauty of the changes in the world around us and can find changes in ourselves with more time for reflection while staying cozy. Brian Allan Rose shares with us his poetry and inner reflections inspired by nature. Please enjoy these offerings and let nature inspire you.
Politics can create divisions among us as well as bring us together. It's a touchy subject that we can want to avoid and yet sometimes it's necessary to stand for what is right. We want to stand for what is right for our Earth and the well being of all. To advocate for healing and awareness by sharing the peacefulness of Forest Therapy. Please join us in any effort to create a greater consciousness, protect and preserve our precious Earth. Forest Therapy Guide in training Christy Thomson leads this call to peaceful action and asks for all of our support.
It is a great time of the year for telling tales but instead of spooking you we'd like to offer you a little fun and food for thought. This is a whimsical and thought-provoking folktale of Coyote and his clan of forest friends. According to Coyote, "This comes from a collection of little stories that are either wisdom posing as foolishness or foolishness posing as wisdom". Either way grab your friends to gather around the campfire or cuddle up for story time.
Blending our loves, our life and our work is something we all hope to do. It takes courage and hope to follow our dreams as many of you know. Erika Scilipoti, PhD tells us of how finding that her inspiration is in nature has launched her on a path to pursue a business where she can share her passion with stunning photography and inspire connection in others.
Too often we can feel confined. Imagine how it is for our youth struggling to evolve their own identities while trying to fit within the constraints of rules, expectations and perceptions set by our society. Perhaps if we step outside of our own views and expectations we will see and experience the beauty of those untamed souls and remember our own. Read how Forest Therapy Guide-in-training Alex Gesse encouraged and understood the untamed strength and beauty of a group of “at risk teens”.
Nature is beauty, art, and inspiration itself. We have such gratitude for the wonders and joys nature gives us as well as the beauty it inspires to spill out of our own souls. We are honored to share with you a lovely collection of Haiku written by Suzi Minor, Forest Therapy Guide in training. Please enjoy and let nature inspire you.
This blog is written by ANFT Staff Writers and guest contributors. Submissions may be emailed to ANFTsubmissions@gmail.com for consideration.