Seeking Sacredness? Forest Bathing Can Help.

Into the forest I go, to loose my mind and find my soul. Finding sacredness.



In British Columbia, we’re lucky in comparison to other places in the world. We’re able to emerge from an unfamiliar norm to a different more comfortable norm. It's like we're emerging from a chrysalis into the world.


Some say that this pandemic is a global awakening – an awakening environmentally for the planet as we can see how Mother Earth is taking a deep pause to reset herself. In some places, animals have come to re-walk their space in suburbia. Birds are producing more young than usual and their songs are more audible and prevalent. The air is cleaner. There are so many more examples politically, socially, psychologically and for some, spiritually.

To hold a semblance of inner balance, like the willow in the wind, we've needed to be flexible, yet have deep roots to remain upright. We need to be grounded. Forest bathing is grounding.


Remaining grounded can be difficult. One way to hold fast is through sacredness. Some call it self-love, others call it ‘Being’. What it amounts to is the magical connection to something bigger than ourselves, that most calm, gentle wrapping of serene comfort for all our senses.


Tall fir tree forest with the sunlight steaming through.

There’s a pureness about it.

If we give ourselves permission to sit in those quiet moments and listen to the whispers in our bones, our intuition, those knowings deep inside, over time we begin to realize there is more to us in life than career, cellphones, shopping, or only existing.


It's a beautiful awakening in our heart and soul when it recognizes and feels that special moment of sacredness, the connection to all that is sacred, Nature, Spirit, Universal Consciousness, God, (whatever resonates).


The Ancients knew about it. Living in right relationship with Nature was critical to their survival. In other words, the Ancients were stewards of the land. With care and being of service to the Earth, their hard work rewarded them in kind. They only took as much as they needed and left the rest for others and animals. In recognition of Nature’s forces, they learned to blend their lives to its bounty. They revered it. They were deeply connected to and held it sacred, too.


In contrast, through our disconnectedness, busyness, ego-driven ways, we’ve lost that deeper connection. This pandemic has been the wake-up call from Mother Earth telling us that what we’ve been doing as a human collective is not sustainable and can be destructive.


It all starts with us.

You may have you discovered from being in nature in these past several months, there has been a deeper calling, heart whispers or a knowing has awakened something in you. It may just be your longing for sacredness. If you have found the whisperings becoming louder or more repetitive, (they also come in dreams), they’re trying to tell you something.


This is the time to follow your instincts, your intuition, toward finding your sacredness.


Take a longer, more purposeful time to sit or walk in nature. If nothing else, walk barefoot outside and stand in the grass. It’s known that this will help reduce pain, reduce inflammation, stress, and ground you.


Bathe and breathe in the forest’s healing power. With forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku), “the physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku show that forest environments could lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, increase parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity compared with city settings.” (Bum Jin Park, 2010) Our ancient ancestors already knew this in a practical way. It’s the Earth’s medicine.

However, coming alive in your sacredness requires you to go deeper than just taking a quiet walk in the forest, disconnected from a phone, or observing the landscape around you. It needs to be done with intention and the opening up of all your senses. That's where the magic really starts to take root.


Young redheaded woman standing on a forest path looking in wonder.

A guided Forest Bath is that . . . and magically more.


Try it. Find your deeper medicine, your gift.


The forest is waiting.



If you find yourself needing help to follow those nudges from deep inside, contact Reana through her Contact Form, reana@tenderhearthealing.com or 778.928.5717. She can help you awaken to your sacredness and authentic self.

Thank you to the photographers Emma, Ingmar and Rota from Unsplash.

References

Bum Jin Park, Y. T. (2010). The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health Prevention Medicine, 15: 18-26 .

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