We can all get caught up in the craziness of our modern technological culture, however connecting deeply with Nature can be truly healing, says certified arborist, conservation educator, and forest ecotherapist Julianne Skai Arbor, author of the forthcoming book TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters with Wild Nature.
Here are 5 easy ways we can unplug from our hectic lifestyle and connect to Nature to re-wild ourselves, including:
1. Make Contact – Going outside is more than just getting some fresh air. Every day, try to smell, touch, listen, taste, or look at something new in Nature.
2. Engage In Forest Bathing – Inspired by the Buddhist practice of walking meditation and by Shintoism, the intention of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) is to connect with Nature through all five senses by engaging the whole body to achieve relaxation and health.
3. Become A Naturalist – Do you remember as a child picking up leaves, seeds, acorns, or pine cones, twirling them between your fingers, stowing them in a pocket, or pressing them into a book only to find them later? Next time you’re outdoors, try respectfully collecting or bring a nature journal for sketching, painting, and recording.
4. Create Slow Photography – Many people have a camera on their cell phone and can quickly and effortlessly take hundreds of photographs. The point of Slow Photography is to enjoy the creative process-to really be present to what you are photographing, paying more attention to your subject and surroundings than to capturing the moment in time.
5. Climb Trees – Tree climbing-the kind that requires safety ropes, harnesses, and helmets-is a popular recreational and therapeutic activity for adults and children, including the handicapped, and offers a wealth of new perspectives.
photo by Julianne Skai Arbor