Invitations are the method we use to help people find their connection with the more-than-human world. Invitations connect people with the healing power of the forest. The way we give invitations has a significant effect on how quickly and completely these connections are made.
Our invitations are given as verbal suggestions. They rely on the spoken word - on language. If we choose our words well and speak with careful intention, we can open the door which makes possible the passage into healing relationship with nature. Simplicity is often the key. As is often the case with simplicity, it can be deceptively difficult to choose language that works well. It is easy to unintentionally close the doors by using unskillful language. Thus, learning to use the language of invitation is at the very core of the craft of the Forest Therapy Guide.
An important beginning to any guided forest therapy walk is to help people shift their attention as much as possible toward their embodied and sensory experience of the present moment and place. We do this using an invitation called "Pleasures of Presence." Pleasures of Presence can be thought of as a supported taking-of-inventory of sensory experience. The better we understand our own sensory experience, the more competently we can guide others.
Forest therapy walks are slow, and as a Forest Therapy Guide you're there to help people slow down. This can be an edge for people and may put the mind into overdrive. To support this edge, offer the invitation, What's in Motion. This invitation is designed to slow people down and shift their mind away from internal thoughts to external awareness of what's in motion in the environment around them.