Every day I wake up is a gift – a new opportunity to walk with more clarity and joy, more kindness and understanding. What tells me this? The sunrise, that big ball of fire that just gives and gives, asking nothing in return. We’re bathed in its light and warmth and without it nothing on this planet would grow.
I’ve grown this last year. Despite the challenges, despite losing most of my work and income, I've grown. Each time I set off on my walks, I feel a spark inside and I feel my feet in my boots. I wonder what will happen, where will I go and who will I meet?
Surprise and spontaneity are the structure of my days now. It’s the first time I’ve slowed down in 40 years of working. When I leave my home, my head is often full of thoughts, anxieties even. Then as I walk, they fly off me in the breeze.
I look up as I hear a kite or a buzzard, and my spirit soars and my own wings unfold. Out here I can breathe, I can feel my heart leaping out my chest as I climb a hill, reminding me I'm alive.
The forest holds my secrets. The trees bear witness to my sadness and reassure me with their steadiness and strength. They show me that I too can stand rooted in the earth, but reach for the sky and dance in the wind.
I love the wind. It blows all my thoughts clean out my mind and what remains is stillness. A quietness so profound, that in these moments I want for nothing, and I feel pure joy bubbling up inside me.
I’ve taken clients out walking and observed changes taking place in their perception too. When the sky is their ceiling, and the trees a silent witness – in this vast space their perspective can expand.
Faced with the beauty of nature and surrounded by birds singing their hearts out – problems can shrink, fears can dissolve and our feet can become more steady on the earth.
Out in nature, we’re reminded of our biology. Our body makes over 150 million new cells every day and each of those cells is constantly being vibrated by our thoughts inside. It’s hard to change the way we think and how we look at life – until something knocks us out of our habitual way of behaving. This last year has certainly given us a huge opportunity to step back, re-evaluate and make changes if we wish.
We are nature. The mind follows the breath, which is one of the ways I teach my clients how to connect more deeply with their inner world or how to switch off the stress response. When we walk in nature, we remind ourselves who and what we really are.
Healing through nature
Student Moa Sundström evaluates a unique nature connection course for those living with or beyond cancer. Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
How reciprocal is your relationship with nature?
Nature is an enormously precious resource for us and our work, so Charlie Morse-Brown asks us all to take care of it. Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Blogs and vlogs 2021
News, views and updates from our staff, members and counselling clients
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.