I discovered the joy of Forest Bathing and Earthing while visiting an amazing place up in Scotts Valley, CA. I was there for a week attending a spiritual retreat. I felt an immense sense of peace and belonging from the minute I arrived. I was surrounded by stunning trees, lovely flowers, and beautiful clear blue skies. It was a gorgeous place everywhere.
Mother earth reached every fiber in my body while I spent quality time on its grounds; walking, grounding, meditating, listening to all the sounds around, feeling the earth beneath and breathing the sky above. This place enhanced my respect and love for nature and all my senses were intensified by its beauty. I connected to God, to myself, and to everything around and I disconnected from the daily routine, the busy schedule, and the noise of the city. My visit to Scotts Valley turned out to be an extraordinary experience.
This experience led me to spend more time outside in a meaningful way and led me to learn more about all the benefits of forest bathing and earthing so I could share them with others.
Growing up, I wasn’t the kid who spent hours in the yard or in the sandbox. I never played in the rain, never jumped on puddles, never got muddy, or knew what dirt tasted like. I was an indoor kind of girl and unfortunately that attitude stayed with me for years.
I am happy to say that changed and it changed for good specially when we moved to California. As a matter of fact, the one thing I’ve done on my birthday for the last 10 years is go to the beach, find a quiet spot to sit down, bury my feet in the sand, embrace all the magnificence, and end the day with a small ceremony of gratitude honoring God’s creation.
Mother nature lives everywhere in California and it’s impossible not to feel and appreciate God’s creation in all its splendor. The Sequoia National Forest, Big Sur, Joshua Tree Park, and Big Bear Lake are a few examples of the long list of places where you and nature become one.
The Golden State is where my relationship with mother nature really flourished.
Los Angeles is ideal for great outdoor experiences. The Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains that surround the north and eastern boundaries of the city and the ocean on the west help produce the perfect climate all year-round.
This city is home to the famous Griffith Observatory and to more than 100 hiking trials. I’m sure you have heard people say that in the winter if you’re in Los Angeles you can ski up in the snowy mountains in the morning and watch the sunset at the beach while you swim in the ocean. Well, it’s true. You just need to choose one of the 15 beaches in the L.A. area and maybe if you’re up for it, you can go whale-watching too.
Nature is the reason I fell in love with the city and the state and the reason why I became a Forest Therapy Practitioner.
I would like to ask you a couple of questions:
How much time do you spend in nature?
How often do you stop to smell the roses?
Do you remember the last time you took a break to watch the clouds?
Texas and specially the southeast is ideal for cloud watching by the way. I have captured the most incredible pictures there. I love clouds!
There is so much mother nature has to offer.
I invite you to disengage from your daily routine and take a walk, a short walk. Go to the park or to any natural setting and to enhance you experience, take your shoes off and feel the ground beneath you, sit in silence just for a few minutes, breathe deeply, engage your senses, notice everything around you, and immerse into a world of wonder.
You will feel recharged and motivated to continue with your day.
Practicing nature therapy on a regular basis improves your mood, reduces feelings of anger, makes you feel better emotionally, helps you take time out and feel more relaxed, it contributes to your physical wellbeing reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Spending time in nature improves your confidence and self-esteem, it helps you be more active and boosts creativity.
What are you waiting for? Start today!