I have ME/fibromyalgia and sometimes can barely get out of bed. Sometimes the pain takes me to a different place. Pain has a way of bringing us right back to who and where we are. And sometimes it can take us on a journey to a different type of awareness. If you have experienced any type of chronic prolonged pain such as #fibromyalgia I expect you already know what I'm talking about.
On those days walking becomes a sacred practise you might say. I lift my foot, I feel it set back down upon the earth, and then the next foot, and each step is a slow and careful shift to a lower gear. We take those lower shifts back to beauty.
On days like that, if I can manage to get outside, the smallest things take on great significance for me as I place my attention on the world around me. As I engage with the beauty of the natural world I am drawn into a kind of enchantment. Some times I can't walk far, sometimes I am very very slow ... but I have come to regard these sometimes epic struggles to put one foot in front of the other as a time for deep zooming into the power of small things.
This is very much the spirit of #ForestBathing, a mindful practise based in nature. Originating in Japan developed by Dr Qing Li there are proven benefits of spending time with trees.
When I set the group up back in 2014 I had it in mind that it would celebrate peoples' personal connections with nature through trees. Since then the group has become a resource and place of well being as well as entertainment and education. Below are some quotes from members.
JW “looking at the tree pictures helps me … At least we have this to enjoy.”
TO “Anything green but especially trees makes me feel stronger … Here we are together but hundreds, thousands of miles apart but brought into a group loving trees and some of that love spills into us. Happy days … remember we are here for a reason and therefore ESSENTIAL x
PG "I feel less well when I don’t spend time among the trees. They empower me. They help to balance me out."
There are of course days when I can't get out and about, when the body is literally beyond my grasping to get up and get moving. It's a challenge but, dreaming of the land, remembering my connections, seeing my photos, seeing others connections too, these things all help me to stay connected to something beyond my own small self. Something that is beautiful alive and vibrant. A shimmering soul that is ever present and waiting for me.
How do trees help you? If you would like to write your experiences here get in touch.
Where ever you are I hope you always find a way to connect to Mother Nature and that the natural world brings you beauty healing and solace.
Blessings from Amanda
PS If woods, wildlife and well being are things you value you can join us on this website and become an official AST member for FREE
If you are on the look out for gifts take a look at Jack In The Green ethical gift shop raising money for trees. Members of our group get 10% off (latest code in next newsletter!)